Learning to Smear Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is the WorldNetDaily style of journalism turning into a family tradition?
An Oct. 29 WND article carries the byline of Alyssa Farah, billed as a "reporter intern." The logical assumption is that Alyssa is the daughter of WND editor Joseph Farah, but we can't prove that one way or the other at this point.
The article itself is about the new John Waters-hosted true-crime series on Court TV, which will focus on spousal murders. Alyssa Farah does a lot of blind quoting here, anonymously citing "one man who has dealt personally with it" as a source and hauling out the hoary old "some say" argument to lead into a series of negative attacks on and inflammatory quotes by Waters.
If Alyssa is indeed Joseph Farah's daughter, then she certainly has picked up the gene for peddling distorted smears from her dad's side.
Photo Fraud Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is exhibiting a sudden interest in writing stories about "doctored" photos.
Remember that a couple years ago, WND built an article around what was almost certainly a staged photo of Hillary Clinton's autobiography in the science-fiction section of a bookstore -- though, strangely, WND has since removed the photo that was the whole genesis for doing the article in the first place.
But thanks to the magic of the Internet (and the fact that stuff posted to the 'Net never completely goes away, even if you delete it from your own site), here's the photo that WND no longer wants you to see:
Old, Wrong News Topic: Newsmax
Lest you thought that World O'Crap was kidding about the NewsMax story promoting Fox News' Carl Cameron's prediction that Scooter Libby wouldn't be charged with perjury, here's the original story on the NewsMax website. It was posted about an hour or so before Libby was, indeed, indicted for perjury.
Why NewsMax felt the need to send this out via email is a mystery, given that the NewsMax email list tends not to work in real time. We got the email too -- at 2 p.m. ET, more than an hour after Cameron's prognostication had been overtaken by the real thing.
If NewsMax sent out an email on the actual charges against Libby, we haven't received it yet.
Morally Justified? Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily, in an Oct. 27 article, is shocked that a "radical animal rights activist" said during a Senate committee hearing that killing medical researchers was "morally justified" to save laboratory animals.
The article fails to note that anti-abortion "radicals" have similarly claimed that killing doctors who perform abortions is also "morally justified." WND, you'll recall, ran a seven-part series by Jack Cashill painting James Kopp, killer of abortion doctor Barnett Slepian as, among other things, "like a priest."
NewsMax Botches Whitewater Timeline Topic: Newsmax Yet another NewsMax Clinton-Was-Worse article claims that Patrick Fitzgerald's work as special counsel is "small potatoes compared to the results achieved by Independent Counsel Ken Starr's Whitewater probe over the same period of time," adding: "Starr was appointed to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton's involvement in the corrupt land deal on August 4, 1994 - and by that December, his office had already secured a guilty plea from the number two man at the Justice Department, longtime Clinton crony Webster Hubbell."
But NewsMax fails to note that the Whitewater investigation actually began eight months earlier with the appointment of Robert Fiske as independent counsel, as NewsMax's own archive points out. Fiske was replaced in August 1994 by Starr.
So take all of Starr's achievements and add eight months, and they're not quite as speedy as NewsMax thinks.
Too White? Topic: Media Research Center
NewsBusters' Lisa Fabrizio is reading way too much into an Associated Press article about Harriet Miers.
Fabrizio's Oct. 26 post is headlined "AP: Harriet Miers’ High School Too White." The words "too white" do not appear in the article at all. She adds:
If one were to follow the twisted logic of Matt Slagle and other AP writers (one of whom also found [John] Roberts too Catholic), the lack of a childhood tinged with racial controversy or “social turmoil” would somehow disqualify nominees from serving on the High Court.
Slagle offers no such "twisted logic" or makes any conclusions. He merely describes Miers' coming of age in a pre-desegregation Southern city and little else.
MRC and Scaife Topic: Media Research Center
Media Matters (full disclosure: my employer) notes that the Media Research Center's Tim Graham, appearing on "The O'Reilly Ractor," rather grossly underestimated the amount of money the MRC receives from Richard Mellon Scaife.
As ConWebWatch has previously noted, the MRC has been eager to attack George Soros for funding liberals while staying quiet about the money it gets from Scaife.
The Daily Les, 10/25 Topic: The Daily Les
Not that exciting, really. A question about reports that the Army was assisting the Border Patrol in New Mexico (ask the Northern Command about it, McClellan says) and another question about whether President Bush favors birth control that McClellan again refused to answer (which didn't make it into his WorldNetDaily article).
Sending a Message Topic: The ConWeb
An Oct. 24 WorldNetDaily article makes a big deal out of a "homosexual debauchery party" being canceled because of Hurricane Wilma and how some have attributed this year's destructive hurricanes on "the hand of God punishing the U.S. for its national breaking of biblical laws."
Due to Hurricane Wilma, the Restoration Weekend for Oct 27-30, 2005 has been cancelled. There is no power in the area, and the Breakers Hotel is closed. We will try to reschedule the event within the next two months. We are very sorry, but these circumstances are beyond our control. -- David Horowitz and Mike Finch
AP Really Wrote This? Topic: Newsmax
We're not surprised that NewsMax, in an Oct. 25 article, called Al Franken's new book a "hate-fest Bush-bashing book." We're not surprised that the article paints anything Franken says as "fringe." We're not surprised that a statement that Franken is moving to Minnesota to consider a Senate bid in 2008 and will do his radio show there is punctuated by the caveat, "assuming the struggling network remains on the air." We're not even surprised at the gratuitous mention of Sen. Robert Byrd for the sole reason of noting for the umpteen-thousandth time that he is "a former member of the KKK."
We are surprised, however, that NewsMax stuck an Associated Press copyright at the end of the article. AP would never send out such a catty, biased article, which is actually a summary of a USA Today article (which reads nothing like NewsMax's slanted interpretation).
Pre-emptive Smearing Topic: Newsmax
In two Oct. 25 articles, NewsMax is getting in a little pre-emptive smearing of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald prior to indictments expected to be handed down later this week in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
The first article calls Fitzgerald a "longtime crony" of James Comey, the then-deputy attorney general who appointed Fitzgerald to the special prosecutor post in 2003, suggesting that an article calling Fitzgerald and Comey "best friends" somehow damning.
The second article gets a little desperative, playing guilt by association in reporting Fitzgerald's defense of Comey's prosecution of Martha Stewart, suggesting that "any indictments he brings in the Leakgate case will mirror tactics used against Stewart -- where the prosecution pursues "process" crimes after determining that the original allegations were unprovable."
This appears to be the conservative strategy for countering any indictment of people like Karl Rove or Lewis Libby -- that it would be just as frivolous as Stewart's prosecution. An Oct. 21 NewsMax article said reports that Fitzgerald's charges would focus on "perjury, obstruction of justice and false statement" raise "speculation that the Leakgate case may devolve into a Martha Stewart-like prosecution, which drew howls of derision from legal critics."
Um, wasn't President Clinton impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice? We don't recall any "howls of derision" emanating from NewsMax about that.
The Daily Les, 10/24 Topic: The Daily Les
Les Kinsolving is at his best (good or bad) when he's asking about his odd little obsessions. He managed to merge two of them in today's first question (the second question was about immigration, which offers nothing new) -- his recent fear that Harriet Miers favors banning abortions in the case of rape and incest, and his occasional attempts to get an answer as to whether President Bush opposes the legalization of birth control -- and made a good question out of it:
KINSOLVING: The Washington Post reports that after Senator Specter told reporters that nominee Harriet Miers had endorsed Griswold [v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court case that legalized contraception], she telephoned him to say that she had not endorsed Griswold," said WND. "And my question: Since the case of Griswold versus Connecticut resulted in the court overturning Connecticut's law against selling or even counseling about contraceptives, isn't her opposition to this as serious in the president's mind as her expressed disagreement with what is his support of abortion in cases of rape and incest?
Least Bloody War Ever! Topic: Media Research Center
Over at NewsBusters, John Armor floats a new and exciting way to downplay the impact of the Iraq war:
I wrote on 24 April, 2004, that the War on Terror is the LEAST bloody war in the history of the United States, measured by deaths per month. This is true going back to the Revolutionary War, even though the nation’s population then was only 1 percent of what it is today.
Cliff (Doesn't) Note Topic: Accuracy in Media
An Oct. 24 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid repeats accusations by lawyer Joseph diGenova that the sending of former ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger investigate purported sales of uranium yellowcake to Iraq was actually a "covert operation" against President Bush to undermine the administration's Iraq war policy. Kincaid calls diGenova "a former Independent Counsel who prosecuted several high-profile cases and has extensive experience on Capitol Hill" and, later in the article, an "administration defender," but Kincaid doesn't describe just how much more than an "administration defender" diGenova is.
DiGenova is married to Victoria Toensing, who is making the media rounds as a fellow "adminstration defender" as an author of the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, claiming that the outing of Valerie Plame doesn't rise to the level of offense described under that law (though there are other laws that Plame's outing could be charged under).