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Wednesday, October 18, 2006
NewsBusters Nonsense
Topic: NewsBusters

-- Scott Whitlock complains that CNN’s "American Morning" "featured over 18 minutes of coverage" of the Mark Foley scandal, but "there were no reports on the unfolding controversy of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, and his questionable land deal." In related news, Whitlock -- nor any other NewsBusters blogger -- still has not mentioned Republican Dennis Hastert's even more questionable land deal.

-- Dave Pierre suggests that David Kuo's accusations that the Bush administrations secretly derided evangelical Christians behind their backs and formed an office of faith-based initiatives for purely political purposes can't be trusted because was once a campaign volunteer for former representative Joseph Kennedy and an intern for Sen. Edward Kennedy.

-- Mark Finkelstein takes exception to Chris Matthews' statement that the Democratic Party is "not my party anymore," countering that "night after night -- Matthews goes after Republicans hammer 'n tongs ablazin'." Yep, favorably comparing President Bush to Winston Churchill and calling him reminiscient of Atticus Finch is real hammer-and-tongs anti-Republican rhetoric from Matthews.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:29 PM EDT
Jerome Corsi Non-Disclosure Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Another WorldNetDaily column by Jerome Corsi attacking Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland, another refusal by Corsi to disclose the fact that he wrote a book earlier this year with Strickland's opponent, Ken Blackwell.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EDT
New Article: Associated Hypocrisy
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writers and bloggers go crazy over Harry Reid's misreported land deal -- and ignore Dennis Hastert's shadier land deal. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EDT
WND Misleads About Book Promotion
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Continuing its history of misleading self-promotion, an Oct. 17 WorldNetDaily article proclaims that Melanie Morgan and Catherine Moy's new WND-published hit job on Cindy Sheehan, "American Mourning," "has risen to No. 84 on Amazon.com's best-seller list, just a day after its official launch."

The article fails to point out one reason for that: WND has placed an ad with rival NewsMax (ad image below) plugging the book that links to ... the Amazon.com page for it.

Also, strangely, even though the article promotes the book's Amazon ranking, it doesn't link to Amazon at all -- just the WND store's edition of the book.

As we've noted, readers should beware when NewsMax or WND -- who have their own retail operations -- tout the Amazon rankings of books in which they have a financial stake. It's not that difficult to juice the Amazon ranking system to get a "bestseller" designation they can use to promote sales in their own retail operation, from which they can make more money per book sold.

Here's the ad for the Morgan-Moy book, linked to Amazon, as it appears at NewsMax:



Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
NewsBusters Recycles Misleading Teresa Heinz Kerry Smear
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 17 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein claims to expose the "leftist" agenda behind a group called Women's Voices, Women Vote. "The clincher? WVWV is a project of The Tides Foundation," Finkelstein writes, "the organization founded to promote a variety of leftist causes whose driving financial force is . . . Teresa Heinz Kerry."

As evidence, Finkelstein links to a February 2004 FrontPageMag article by Ben Johnson noting that Heinz Kerry-controlled foundations gave the Tides Foundation more than $4.3 million between 1995 and 2001. But Johnson also notes that Tides has "distributed more than $300 million for the Left," which contradicts Finkelstein's claim that Heinz Kerry is the "driving financial force" for Tides.

Further, in their rush to tie Heinz Kerry to every left-wing cause Tides supports, neither Johnson nor Finkelstein note that the Heinz Kerry-linked donations to Tides were dedicated to specific projects in Pennsylvania, not to the "leftist" projects they describe.

As we've (writing at Media Matters) noted, Johnson has played fast and loose with the facts regarding Heinz Kerry's connection to Tides. And, if you'll recall, WorldNetDaily has as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:23 PM EDT
CNS' Mismatched Scandals
Topic: CNSNews.com

An Oct. 17 CNSNews.com article by Nathan Burchfiel tries to conflate Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's incomplete declaration of a land sale with the Rep. Mark Foley congressional page scandal, complaining that the Reid story "isn't 'sexy' enough for front-page news" and quoting political analyst Larry Sabato as saying that financial scandals are boring when compared with sex scandals, though "financial scandals ought to attract more attention because they're more common."

So, wouldn't it make more sense for Burchfiel to compare the Reid story to a similar financial misdeed on the Republican side? Like, say, one involving a major Republican official? Like -- oh, I don't know -- House Speaker Dennis Hastert? As it happens, Hastert earned a $2 million profit -- much more than Reid's $700,000 -- on the sale of land near a planned highway for which Hastert helped obtain $207 million federal funding through an earmark.

But CNS has never mentioned Hastert's earmark-driven windfall in a news story, let alone make it the subject of one, as it did with the Reid story. The only mention of it on its website has been in two columns by Robert Novak.

Further, Burchfiel never noted the questions that have been raised about the AP's coverage of the story -- something we suspect he would not have overlooked had the target been a Republican. After all, CNS has tried to downplay the Foley story -- again, something it would likely not be doing had Foley been a Democrat.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EDT
Curt Weldon Channels Jack Cashill
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If Rep. Curt Weldon's claim that he's the victim of a conspiracy led by Bill Clinton, Mary McCarthy  and Sandy Berger sounds familiar, that's because it is: WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill has been making the exact same conspiracy claim.

As we've noted, in two recent WND columns, Cashill -- best known for his bogus defense of an admitted killer -- declared that the "Clinton shadow government" is conspiring to keep Pennsylvania Republican congressman Curt Weldon from winning re-election, purportedly "to prevent Weldon from digging any deeper into the Clinton track record" and that Weldon is dedicated to the "search for the truth behind Sandy Berger's shredding of stolen files, the Rosetta Stone of the Clinton saga."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EDT
Corsi Again Does Co-Author's Bidding, Doesn't Disclose It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 17 WorldNetDaily column by Jerome Corsi again plays up purported rumors of a "Foley problem" with Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland. And again, Corsi fails to disclose his relationship with Strickland's election opponent, Ken Blackwell -- the two wrote a book together.

Corsi not only needs to disclose this, he needs to fully disclose his current role with the Blackwell campaign -- after all, the book they wrote is, for all practical purposes, a campaign document. Is he on Blackwell's payroll? Are Blackwell operatives feeding him information to use in his columns to smear Strickland?

UPDATE: The Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that Blackwell distributed copies of Corsi's article at a press conference today. It certainly looks like Corsi is playing the role of a campaign operative.

Also, the subjects Corsi wrote about in his columns on Strickland -- Strickland's vote on a House resolution denouncing a study on adult-child sex and a former Strickland aide who was once arrested for indecent exposure -- are things that Blackwell just happened to bring up in his Oct. 16 debate with Strickland. Coincidence?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 7:29 PM EDT
Monday, October 16, 2006
CNS Labeling Bias Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

An. Oct. 16 CNSNews.com article by Monisha Bansal misleadingly describes the National Taxpayers Union as a "taxpayer group." In fact, it's a conservative group that has received funding fron the usual conservative moneybags (Scaife, Olin) and counts right-wingers Steve Forbes and Ken Blackwell among its advisers and directors. That misleading approach goes all the way to the headline, which reads: "Taxpayers, Pelosi Differ on Outlook for Fiscal Responsibility." It's not "taxpayers" vs. Pelosi; it's a conservative activist group vs. Pelosi.

Surprisingly -- and unlike last week's unchallenged recitation of conservative talking points by fellow CNSer Susan Jones -- Bansal actually gave a Pelosi spokesman an opportunity to respond to the NTU's claims.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:04 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2006 4:05 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
World O'Crap takes on an Oct. 9 column by WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian, in which he laments the puported "war on fathers" and declares that divorce (not to mention Kupelian's usual bogeyman of '60s liberalism) is the problem, and that married couples should "reject divorce as an option" and that women in particular should "give up the anger against your men" for "failure to find real, selfless love for you."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:34 PM EDT
WND Still Flogging Sexpidemic!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In the midst of an Oct. 16 WorldNetDaily column attacking the spending of federal money on public education, Joseph Farah repeats WND's dubious claim about teacher student sex:

And, while all of this is going on, a new epidemic of sex abuse appears to have broken out in government schools. Another day, another molester. No news service has better or more exhaustively chronicled the capers than WND.

Yes, WND has gotten way into the issue. But as we've pointed out, WND has only anecdotal evidence to support the claim that it's an "epidemic." Note Farah's weasel words that an "epidemic ... appears to have broken out"; WND is certainly desperate to create that impression. But the list of (female) teacher-student sex incidents to which Farah links doesn't note that the incidents date back as far as 15 years -- thus falsely playing up Farah's "epidemic" claim -- and neither Farah nor WND serve up any actual data to prove that there is, in fact, an "epidemic" of it.

To create alarm without any actual evidence to support it is irresponsible journalism, and you would think that Farah would know better. 


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 AM EDT
A Clinton in Every Conspiracy, AIM Division
Topic: Accuracy in Media

An Oct. 13 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid attacked 9/11 conspiracy theorists (before, of course, moving on to attack Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger and George Soros). But Kincaid and AIM didn't used to be so allergic to conspiracy theories.

As we've documented with WorldNetDaily, AIM loves a good non-conservative conspiracy theory as much as anyone. As much fulminating as it does about George Soros (an Oct. 3 column by Kincaid plays up a claim that Soros is an "extremely evil person"), it was eager to promote Clinton-related conspiracies promulgated by Richard Mellon Scaife.

A January 1999 AIM article by Kincaid and Reed Irvine fawned over an interview Scaife did with now-defunct George magazine, calling him "candid, accessible, enigmatic — even surprising." It uncritically repeats Scaife's claim that "he knows Foster didn’t die the way the official investigations said and that this is the Rosetta Stone to the Clinton administration," as well as pushes the debunked Clinton body count, stating that Scaife "believes there is a connection between the Clinton administration and the death of Ron Brown, and refers to the list of 60 or more people, including eight of Clinton’s former bodyguards, who have died mysteriously."

Like WND, Kincaid and AIM apparently believe that only liberals and people named Clinton engage in conspiracies. 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Dinesh D'Souza, Meet Anthony LoBaido
Topic: WorldNetDaily

This past week, James Wolcott decisively eviscerated conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza for his upcoming book, which essentially blames America (well, actually, the low morals of American liberals) for the 9/11 attacks. But D'Souza is not the first right-winger to push this blame-America claim.

That honor goes to WorldNetDaily's resident adventurer and friend to right-wing, pro-apartheid mercenaries, Anthony LoBaido. A Sept. 13, 2001, WND commentary by LoBaido put the blame squarely on America for the 9/11 attacks under this rationale:

All that is evil in the world can be found in New York: MTV, the United Nations, the U.N. abortion programs, the Council on Foreign Relations, New Age Church of St. John the Divine, WallStreet greed, Madison Avenue manipulation and of course more confirmed AIDS cases than the rest of America combined. Let's remember the filthy sodomite gay parade last summer in New York. [...]

And let's not forget that New Yorkers elected -- by a landslide -- the openly Marxist, treasonous and abortion-mongering, occultic Hillary to a Senate seat.

LoBaido also noted that "America will no longer be able to deny judgment for its idolatry, wickedness, abandonment of the God of the Bible, embrace of abortion, stem-cell research, the sodomite agenda, materialism, the occult and many other sins."

While WND editor Joseph Farah initially defended LoBaido's right to express his opinions, WND ultimately deleted LoBaido's article from its database (the above link is from the Wayback Machine).

Which raises an interesting conundrum: Given the fact that WND ultimately rejected LoBaido's views on blaming America for 9/11, will it promote D'Souza's book -- which promotes, for all intents and purposes, the same viewpoint -- when it's published?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:51 AM EDT
Saturday, October 14, 2006
NewsMax Dissembles About Itself -- Again
Topic: Newsmax

In an Oct. 13 article, NewsMax repeats its dissembling defense of itself over its use of "Democrat" over "Democratic."

In the article -- which starts off by noting that NewsMax was among other news organizations that misidentified page-chasing Rep. Mark Foley as a Democrat rather than a Republican, NewsMax rehashed the "Democrat" claim as another example of "sources in the media have implied that NewsMax is part of a vast conspiracy." As it did in an Aug. 4 article, NewsMax defended itself against a charge in the New Yorker magazine that it deliberately used the erroneous "Democrat Party" rather than "Democratic Party": "In fact, NewsMax regularly refers to the donkey party as 'Democratic,' although on occasion and rarely, copy editors may have used the colloquial 'Democrat.' "

In fact, as we've documented, NewsMax does in fact have a history of doctoring wire stories to change "Democratic" to "Democrat," and even today, its columnists use "Democrat" rather than "Democratic." 

NewsMax also pulled out the "everyone does it" defense:

It should be noted that Sen. John McCain has used the phrase "Democrat Party” in interviews, and a mass e-mail sent out under the name of President Bush referred to the "Democrat” Party.

Bush also said in a speech: "It’s time for the leadership in the Democrat Party to start laying out ideas.”

So, does that mean if John McCain and President Bush jumped off a bridge, NewsMax will too? (Well, maybe not McCain; given NewsMax's animosity toward him, such as playing up claims about his alleged temper in order to try and torpedo his 2008 presidential run, it's highly ironic that NewsMax is hiding behind him.)


Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 AM EDT
WND Lack of Disclosure Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 14 WorldNetDaily column by Jerome Corsi tries to revive dubious allegations that Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland is gay (despite being married). But nowhere in his column nor in his bio at the end does Corsi disclose that he wrote a book with Strickland's Republican opponent, Ken Blackwell.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EDT

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