A Tale of Two Cartoons Topic: NewsBusters
Conservative outlets such as NewsBusters have regularly reported on the controversy over a cartoon by Washington Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles depicting an amputee U.S. soldier.
An Editor & Publisher article raises a good point: If the depiction of amputee soldiers in an editorial cartoon is such a horrible thing, why aren't NewsBusters, et al., complaining about this cartoon by Atlanta Journal-Constitution cartoonist Mike Luckovich, which similarly depicts an amputee soldier? Is it because instead of taking aim at Donald Rumsfeld, Luckovich's cartoon aims at NewsBusters' favorite target, the media?
If A Republican Said It, It Must Be True Topic: CNSNews.com
The opening paragraph of a Feb. 7 CNSNews.com article by Monica Bansal describes The Interfaith Alliance as "a group of Leftist clergy members." But the only evidence Bansal provides to support that claim is a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee calling the group "a front group for left-wing partisan Democrats."
Inaccuracy in Media Topic: Accuracy in Media
A Feb. 4 Accuracy in Media "AIM Report" by Wes Vernon was rendered incorrect immediately upon publication.
In Vernon's version of the Valerie Plame outing scandal, he claims that "Plame had not been undercover for over 5 years, and her husband, Joseph Wilson, reportedly went around Washington introducing her as 'my CIA wife.'" Because, apparently, what someone "reportedly" did is exactly the same as what they actually did.
The truth is a little different. As Newsweek reported about the time that Vernon's article was posted, according to newly released portions of a judge's opinion, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done "covert work overseas" on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA "was making specific efforts to conceal" her identity.
Will we be seeing a correction from AIM anytime soon?
NewsBusters Nonsense, 2/6 Topic: NewsBusters
-- In a post headlined "Time Demonstrates Media Template on Terrorist Surveillance Program," Lyford Beverage shows his adherance to the conservative template by unquestioningly adopting the White House's "Terrorist Surveillance Program" terminology. As does Michael Rule.
-- Writing on a Turkish movie that allegedly depicts U.S. troops as "savages who indiscriminately kill Muslims," Greg Sheffield serves up the headline "Hollywood Execs Wonder: 'Why Didn't I Think of That?'" and quips, "The film may be too late to be considered for Oscar nominations." Ah, more of that "insightful analysis" and "constructive criticism" we've come to expect from NewsBusters.
-- In a post on a CBS poll that reinforces MRC's perception of liberal media bias, Brent Baker noted that the MRC has details of "several polls showing how the public recognizes the news media's liberal tilt." Gee, such findings wouldn't have anything at all to do with the fact that conservative groups such as the MRC have spent millions upon millions of dollars over the past couple decades to get that claim out, would it? Just sayin'...
Playing the Victim Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Feb. 6 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah is feeling a mixed sense of persecution and self-aggrandizement. He followed up a claim that "[t]he impact of what news sources like WND have contributed to our society cannot be overstated" with the following expression of dismay:
Most Americans, however, have no idea how tenuous this development is. Most have no idea how precious few are the resources available to news organizations like WND. Most have no idea how we are being challenged and tested and attacked on a daily basis because of the impact we are having.
Farah has apparently decided to lump all critics of WND as enemies who oppose what it does. That's a simplistic and misleading defense.
ConWebWatch criticizes WND not because of its "impact" but because its particular brand of so-called journalism leans heavily on plagiarism, lies and bias to an extent the "arrogant ... elitists in New York, Washington and Los Angeles" Farah bashes in his column could only dream of.
Farah has never countered any of ConWebWatch's research. Feel free to do so anytime, sir.
P.S.: Farah's citing of its promotion of NAACP head Julian Bond's alleged remarks likening Republicans to Nazis as an example of the "dramatic and timely" articles WND runs would have more credibility if he hadn't also linked to the response to the alleged remarks from Mychal Massie, who has a history of likening Democrats to Nazis.
Dubious Poll? Topic: The ConWeb
Last week, both CNSNews.com and NewsMax touted a poll conducted by Richard Viguerie's ConservativeHQ.com, which claims among other things that 77 percent of respondents are either seriously disappointed with Republican Congressional leaders or want them replaced and that 70 percent would support a "principled conservative challenger" running against an "established incumbent Republican" in a 2006 GOP primary.
But one question not answered by any documentation released thus far: How reliable is this poll? ConservativeHQ states only that it was an "on-line poll of 1,028 conservative activists and donors." "Online poll" conjures up images of unreliable, easily gamed opt-in polls; an earlier memo from Viguerie, however, states that the poll was sent to "tens of thousands of conservative donors and grassroots activists around the country."
So, while this poll is likely not as unreliable as an opt-in poll, it is also not as reliable as a regular poll conducted by a polling firm. Only a thousand or so responses from "tens of thousands" sent out is not necessarily representative, since only the most motivated and/or frustrated will take the time to respond to it. The quickness to which conservative outlets such as NewsMax and CNS and Viguerie's history as a conservative organizer and motivator (not to mention the descriptions of "principled conservative challenger" and "established incumbent Republican," which implants the image in the respondent's mind that the incumbent is, by definition, not "principled") also indicate that it's a poll to be taken with at least a small grain of salt.
-- Since no information was lost -- and since Berger was cleared of the allegation that he withheld information from the 9/11 Commission -- NewsMax's claim that Berger was trying to "to thwart the 9/11 Commission investigation" makes no sense.
Bankrolling Topic: Newsmax
The headline on a Feb. 4 NewsMax article sure sounds sinister: "Teresa Heinz Bankrolling Hillary Clinton." Well, not exactly.
In fact, as the article describes, Teresa Heinz Kerry donated $2,100 to Clinton's campaign. Hardly a "bankrolling" for for a campaign that, according to an Associated Press article NewsMax posted the same day, raised $6 million in the last three months of 2005.
Note to NewsMax: This is not bankrolling. Richard Mellon Scaife's financing of NewsMax? Now that's bankrolling.
Mychal Massie, Hypocrite Topic: WorldNetDaily
Poor Mychal Massie ... he doesn't know when to stop condemning behavior he engages in himself. First, we caught him denouncing Rep. Charles Rangel for saying that "George Bush is our Bull Connor" when Massie himself has a history of making the comparison.
Well, he's at it again. A new Project 21 press release attacking NAACP chairman Julian Bond for, among other things, likening Republicans to Nazis, saying, "The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side." According to the Project 21 press release:
"Julian Bond's tirades serve only to further reduce the once-great standing of the NAACP in our society," added Project 21 member Mychal Massie. "Bond's rank partisanship must call into question the legitimacy of the NAACP's political neutrality and its charitable tax status."
Massie's response would be much less hypocritical if he didn't have his own history of comparing Democrats to Nazis:
-- "So, not unlike Hitler prior to his demise or Saddam Hussein as he fled Kuwait, the liberal special-interest groups have instructed their public personifications to scorch the earth with absolute lies, distortion and a zeitgeist of intimidation and calumny." -- May 24, 2005
-- "George Banzhaf and the cigarette/fast-food Nazis complain and litigate against tobacco companies and MacDonald's [sic] because of alleged health risks. But where is their rancor at the depletion of community resources due to the uncontrolled numbers of anchor babies born here?" -- Aug. 2, 2005
Just who, exactly, appointed Mychal Massie anyone's moral arbiter?
P.S. Let's not forget conservatives' long history of comparing liberals and Democrats to Nazis, further upping the hypocrisy factor in criticizing Bond.
UPDATE: WorldNetDaily repeats Massie's hypocritical Project 21 quote in its Feb. 4 article on reaction to Bond's statements.
Now, for every liberal who claimed Bush lied. For every printed article that passed on the claim, and every TV channel that did as well. Will you devote yourself to pursuing the claims of Gen. Sada as aggressively as you passed on the disinformation about Bush's truthfulness?
Only if you explain why the Bush administration has not expressed any support of Sada's claims and why Sada appears to be hanging out only with right-wing Christians who won't challenge his claims.
CNS Fulfills Low Expectations Topic: CNSNews.com
In her Feb. 2 CNSNews.com article on Georges Sada's claims regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Sherrie Gossett does exactly what we predicted she would -- presents his claims without challenge (beyond previous reports on the issue that Sada was contradicting), doesn't bring up Sada's affiliation with conservatives or his Christian-oriented publisher.
As good as it feels to be proven right, CNS had a very low bar to clear. It's still just stenography, not journalism.