Double Standard on Savaging Topic: Media Research Center
NewsBusters' John Armor, in an Oct. 8 post, beats up on the Washington Post for an "extended whitewash" in an article on the Hillary Clinton fund-raising pseudo-scandal, claiming that "The reporter spends most of her article savaging the witnesses against Hillary Clinton" -- that, of course, would be convicted felons (and conservative darlings) Aaron Tonken and Peter Paul. Armor writes:
But if no one could be found responsible based on testimony of witnesses who have themselves committed crimes, no member of the Mafia would ever have gone to jail. Reporters, like prosecutors, have to take their witnesses as they find them. Sometimes, apparently “bad” people do tell the truth.
Armor offers no evidence that the "bad" Tonken and Paul are indeed telling the truth, other than an assumption that because what they say makes the Clintons look bad, it therefore must be the truth.
So, we've established that "savaging" convicted criminals who serve as witnesses is a bad thing (Armor is apparently so opposed to the practice that he doesn't even name Paul and Tonken in his post). But, a few NewsBusters posts later, what do we see Dustin Hawkins doing? Exactly what Armor advised against.
In an Oct. 10 post, Hawkins savages Sandy Berger, who responded to allegations made by former FBI director Louis Freeh on "60 Minutes":
Amusingly, it is Sandy Berger who will be coming to Clinton's defense tonight in a written statement to be read by CBS. Sandy Berger is best known for being Clinton's National Securoty Adviser who was recently given a $50,000 fine, ordered to do 100 hours of community service, and placed on probation for stealing Classified Government Documents and stuffing them in his pants.
So, Dustin and John, tell us again why Tonken and Paul are trustworthy and Berger is not.
Anti-Michael Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 10 WorldNetDaily article by Diana Lynne, based on her book "Terri's Story," seems to be bearing out what we suspected: Far from a "comprehensive" account of the Terri Schiavo case, the book will promote the side of Terri's parents, the Schindlers, and bash her husband, Michael Schiavo.
The article inclusdes a 12-item list of "salient facts of the case" that the media "consistently failed to report" -- all of them negative toward Michael Schiavo. Missing from her list is anything that makes the Schindlers look bad, including:
Somehow, we suspect that Lynne's book is not so "comprehensive" as to include the above information; if it does, we suspect the Schindlers or their representatives are allowed to rebut it, something we assume Michael Schindler or his representatives were not given much opportunity to do with allegations such her 12-point Michael-bashing list.
Israeli Oil Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bartholomew serves up the background on a recent WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein about a company that's using Biblical verses to pinpoint locations to drill for oil in Israel. Of note is yet another patented WND conflict of interest: WND columnist Hal Lindsey used an April 2004 column to promote sales of shares in the company doing the drilling, Zion Oil & Gas, without disclosing that his cousin, Ralph DeVore, owned a piece of the company at the time.
WND's PR Service Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily continues its work as the public-relations division of the Alliance Defense Fund by running not one but two articles on Oct. 8 based on ADF pressreleases.
And no mention, of course, of the conflict of interest that ADF chief Alan Sears is a WND columnist.
UPDATE: Added links to ADF press releases. Also, a WND email to its readers (reprinting Joseph Farah's Oct. 7 column pimping Larry Elder's Michael Moore-bashing film) notes that the ADF is a "sponsor" of WND -- another fact not noted in those WND articles. Than again, those articles may be part of the price of sponsorship.
The Daily Les, 10/7 Topic: The Daily Les
Today's question #1:
KINSOLVING: The Vice President told two talk radio hosts that New York's Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel's comparison of President Bush to Bull Connor "was so out of line, it almost struck me that Charlie was having some problem. Charlie is losing it, I guess." And my question, does the President disagree with the Vice President --
As Kinsolving described the answer: "Scott McClellan said President Bush 'trongly supports' ice President Cheney in his recent comments suggesting Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., is 'losing it.'"
Which, of course, means that fellow WND columnist Mychal Massie is losing it, too, something Kinsolving fails to note.
KINSOLVING: Midway through his speech on the war on terror, the President said, "The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them because they're equally guilty of murder." And my first question, since the Palestinian Authority surely harbors Hamas, which I've heard you say the President recognizes as a terrorist organization, what about the $1.6 billion U.S. that have been given to the Palestinian Authority?
NewsMax Gets It Wrong Topic: Newsmax
In an Oct. 7 article, NewsMax falsely claimed that Democrats tried to bury an investigation dating back to the Clinton administration.
In quoting Sen. Lindsey Graham calling for the release of a report by Independent Counsel David Barrett, NewsMax stated: "The document, finished 13 months ago, has been bottled up by the panel - with Democrats in the Senate making an unsuccessful bid earlier this year to quash its publication."
In fact, since the investigation report is complete and in the hands of a supervising three-judge panel, its eventual release is in the hands of those judges, not politicians. Democrats were attempting to cut off funding for an investigation that began in 1995 to investigate then-HUD director Henry Cisneros -- who pleaded guilty to charges from the investigation in 1999 -- and has spent more than $22 million, including $1.26 million in the last six months of 2004.
NewsMax mentions nothing about the length of the investigation or its original target, let alone the fact that he hasn't held public office in years.
NewsBusters Notes Topic: Media Research Center
A couple items of note from NewsBusters:
-- Mark Finkelstein tries out a new meme: Being "pro-life" does not mean you support overturning Roe v. Wade.
-- Tim Graham gets in a minor snit because Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler (soon to be ombudsman for PBS) ignored the MRC's continual complaints about liberal bias. He also claims that NPR co-ombudsman Ken Bode is the "liberal" counterpart to Bill Schulz's "conservative." Not quite; Schulz is definitely a conservative, but Bode is an adjunct fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, and endorsed a Republican for Indiana governor in 2004.
The Daily Les, 10/6 Topic: The Daily Les
Les Kinsolving got shy again and wrote didn't include everything he asked in his WorldNetDaily article. So we consult the White House website for the first question:
KINSOLVING: Scott, a two-part. The New York Times reports that the pill called misoprostol, or Cytotec, is an ulcer drug that can induce an abortion for less than two dollars. And my question: Does the President believe this should be outlawed, or not? Scott McClellan's answer: Talk to the FDA.
And Kinsolving didn't say a word about this question:
KINSOLVING: How does the President stand on the issue of evolution versus intelligent design?
Does Kinsolving really not know the answer to that?
New Article: A Tale of Two Prosecutors Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb eagerly advanced charges of partisanship against Tom DeLay's prosecutor, Ronnie Earle -- but it did the exact opposite when the prosecutor was Ken Starr and the target was Bill Clinton. Read more.
But this was all publicly available in the fall of 2004, when Bush was running for re-election -- and Corsi has admitted knowing about it then. Why didn't Corsi and Farah consider questions about Bush's National Guard stint newsworthy then?
Because, as we've noted, their focus was on attacking John Kerry, and they had no interest in advancing anything negative about Bush.
If WND had any journalistic integrity whatsoever -- even Accuracy in Media has attacked it for distorting facts -- we might take its little anti-Miers crusade a little more seriously.
Misleading About Shuster Topic: Media Research Center
In an Oct. 5 NewsBusters post, the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens misleadingly summarizes MSNBC reporter David Shuster's comments about his former employer, Fox News (which we've previously noted). Dickens asserts that "Shuster revealed he is a lot more comfortable at MSNBC than he was at Fox News," later saying that Shuster "feels more at home with the liberal MSNBC." Dickens' short summary ignores Shuster's claim that Fox News wouldn't let him be as aggressive in covering President Bush than he was in covering President Clinton and that he describes MSNBC not as "liberal," as Dickens insinuates, but as "an organization that cares very deeply about journalistic integrity."
And if Dickens is going to call MSNBC "liberal," shouldn't he also be calling Fox News "conservative"?
Bankrolling Topic: Newsmax
Jane Fonda gives $2,000 to Hillary Clinton's campaign, and NewsMax declares that Fonda is "bankrolling" her. By that same definition, between Christopher Ruddy's political contributions and subsequent fawning NewsMax coverage, we can declare that NewsMax is bankrolling Florida Rep. Mark Foley.
The NewsMax article also notes the following:
"If Hillary wants us to think she supports the military - she can't afford to be seen taking money from 'Hanoi' Jane," one longtime Clinton-watcher told NewsMax.
Why is this an anonymous quote? Probabaly because a NewsMax employee said it; it's something NewsMax clearly wanted out there, and they couldn't get any non-NewsMax employee to say it. We're guessing that it's longtime Clinton-hater John LeBoutillier.
Trifecta Topic: CNSNews.com
Susan Jones shovels out a whole passel of biased writing in her Oct. 5 CNSNews.com articles:
-- Her first article runs to the defense of Tom DeLay as she details how Democrats "are demanding that Republican Members of Congress return DeLay's 'tainted money.'" She states in the lead paragraph that the indictments DeLay faces come from "a Democrat who is out to get him, DeLay says" without noting prosecutor Ronnie Earle's record of prosecuting Democratic politicians. Jones also notes that "Some observers note that the indictments against DeLay rest on insubstantial legal ground; and of course, he is innocent until proven guilty." She concludes with a polemical statement: "The [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] message urges Americans to 'help the DCCC change the leadership in Washington.' Sucking money out of Republican campaigns -- based on unproven charges against a leading Republican -- appears to be a key tactic in achieving that goal."
-- Jones' second article is a lopsided piece on a Republican-backed bill that would automatically suspend the Davis-Bacon Act (which mandates that employees under a government contract be paid the area's prevailing wage) following a disaster. Not only does Jones include 11 paragraphs describing support for the bill versus three paragraphs describing opposition, she insinuates that Democrats are playing class politics by describing their opposition to the bill this way:
In recent weeks, a number of Democrats and advocacy groups have accused President Bush of enriching contractors (the rich) at the expense of laborers (the poor), by allowing contractors to hire workers at "depressed" wages.
Jones has previously forwarded an unchallenged claim that the Davis-Bacon Act is racist, as ConWeBlog has noted.
-- In a third piece regurgitating a press release from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Jones takes a pejorative swipe at my employer, Media Matters for America, describing it as "a liberal advocacy group that seeks to discredit leading conservatives." Jones should try seeing what happens if she describes her employer, the Media Research Center, as "a conservative advocacy group that seeks to discredit leading liberals."