NewsMax Corrects Itself, Sorta Topic: Newsmax
Could this be? NewsMax issuing a correction regarding a conservative foe?
As part of its effort to discredit Plamegate special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald as partisan, an Oct. 30 NewsMax article claimed that Fitzgerald, as U.S. attorney in Chicago, indicted more than 60 people in connection with wrongdoing connected to former Illinois Republican Gov. George Ryan, compared with two indicted in a probe of Chicago Democratic Mayor Richard Daley. Or, as NewsMax put it: "For those keeping score on Mr. Fitzgerald's political targets, the count currently stands at 60-plus Republicans vs. 2 Democrats - not counting Mr. [Lewis "Scooter"] Libby."
But in an Oct. 31 article, NewsMax corrected its numbers -- though it didn't call it that, of course. In what it called an "update," NewsMax noted not only that Fitzgerald "has prosecuted even more people associated with former Republican Gov. George Ryan than the 60 we noted yesterday," but that "it's also true that Fitzgerald has done a better job going after Democrats than media reports we cited yesterday would indicate."
NewsMax then proceeded to spin the Ryan case as a "mini-scandal," making a point of Ryan being "long retired," compared to the "cesspit" regarding the Daley case.
Who's Discredited? Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 31 NewsBusters post by Clay Waters cites the conservative Power Line blog as evidence that former ambassador Joseph Wilson is "discredited."
But the Power Line post Waters cites, which dates from July 2004, is wrong in its first assertion that Wilson's wife, outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, "did recommend him for the Niger investigation." In fact, the Senate Intelligence Committee report never came to an official conclusion as to Plame's role, if any, in the selection of Wilson, and the CIA's position is that Plame did not recommend her husband.
Tells you something about the MRC's research standards, doesn't it?
Defending Student, But Not What He Said Topic: WorldNetDaily
Conservative groups are rushing to the defense of a student, even though they purportedly don't agree with what he said. (Isn't this what conservatives attack the ACLU for doing?)
An Oct. 29 WorldNetDaily story by Jon Dougherty notes that the American Family Association of Pennsylvania is defending Dusquene University student Ryan Miner, who wrote in an Internet forum that homosexuals are "subhuman." The university, a private Catholic school, is seeking to impose sanctions on Miner for the remark, even though it appeared in a forum not operated by the university, because the school has a student code of conduct that applies both on and off campus.
Dougherty, unsurprisingly, merely regurgitates what the parties say and doesn't examine the inherent contradictions in what they say. The AFA spokesman is quoted as saying that "We cannot support Mr. Miner's description of homosexuals as 'subhuman,' but he has a First Amendment right to express those views on an off-campus blog. " But many religious private schools have rules governing off-campus behavior; Bob Jones University -- where students aren't allow to go to movies and all student dates are chaperoned -- is just one example. Will the AFA fight to overturn all school rules on off-campus student behavior?
And, of course, there's the "we don't agree with what he says but he has a right to say it" contortion. Come on; would the AFA getting involved in this if the student hadn't made an anti-gay remark? Nope; Dougherty also quotes the AFA official as saying that the student was merely following the example of Pope John Paul II in "publicly defending traditional family values in modern society."
The student himself gets his own chance to contort:
For his part, Miner maintains he's no bigot.
"I don't discriminate against homosexuals and I don't hate them. I just don't approve of the actions, especially at a Catholic university," he told the Duke.
Huh? Calling gays "subhuman" isn't an example of bigotry?
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).