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Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Us Vs. CRC
Topic: Capital Research Center

The Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum responds to our critique of his NewsBusters posts on Al Gore:

Unfortunately, though, you appear to have missed the point of the post. Let me explain.

In that entry and in the April 1 item (cross-posted here) I wrote that Al Gore, the former Vice President-cum-tycoon who is now worth much more than $100 million, is trying to create an artificial market in the U.S. for the right to generate carbon dioxide emissions.

[...]

However, for reasons known only to Gore and his handlers, he is now denying the obvious, namely, that he stands to profit from the expansion of carbon trading.

But Vadum offers no evidence that, denials aside, Gore will profit from this, nor does Vadum contradict Gore's denial.

Vadum, meanwhile, misses our point: he never proves his implication that the only reason Gore is a global warming activist, as previously articulated by NewsBusters stablemate Noel Sheppard, is to make a killing.

Ultimately, Vadum states more than he can actually prove. His repeated stating of Gore's current wealth suggests he doesn't think Gore deserves it or any future earnings, which indicates his own hidden agenda.

Vadum goes on to note that we "are affiliated with Media Matters for America, an in-your-face group headed by admitted liar David Brock, and known for its hyperbolic hairsplitting, half truths, and somewhat entertaining sophistry." At the risk of further hair-splitting, we repeat: We just work there, and ConWebWatch is entirely separate from Media Matters.

Vadum then invites us to read the CRC's profile of Media Matters. Let's count the false and misleading statements in the profile's summary:

Media Matters for America is an aggressively liberal nonprofit that claims the mainstream media deliberately promotes “conservative disinformation” and must be exposed in order to protect a gullible public. The group is headed by David Brock, a former conservative journalist who switched sides and now targets his former allies using donations from George Soros and other wealthy liberal activists and foundations.

1) It's "conservative misinformation," not "conservative disinformation."

2) The assertion that Media Matters "claims the mainstream media deliberately promotes 'conservative disinformation'" is itself hyperbolic (which Vadum professes to hate). Substitute "conservative" for liberal," and the statement "claims the mainstream media deliberately promotes liberal disinformation' and must be exposed in order to protect a gullible public" more precisely describes the mission of the Media Research Center.

3) Media Matters has not received "donations from George Soros," directly or through another group. (Of course, CRC has little room to talk, having received millions from the usual conservative foundations and donors, including Mr. Moneybags himself, Richard Mellon Scaife.

The report itself -- a large chunk of which is a hyperbolic attack on David Brock, not Media Matters itself -- is similarly slippery with the facts, so yeah, we did "enjoy" reading it ... for the entertainment value. It's too biased and pejorative to be of real use to anyone who is not a right-wing fellow traveler. "Somewhat entertaining sophistry" indeed.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 4, 2009 2:42 PM EDT

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