Bartholomew serves up the lowdown on WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein's recent reporting on the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Saturday, February 3, 2007
AIM's Double Standard: Dan Rather vs. Insight
Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Feb. 1 Accuracy in Media column, Cliff Kincaid is eager to defend InsightMag.com for its article that promoted the false claim that Barack Obama attended an extremist Islamic madrassa as a child. Kincaid insisted that the story "cannot be easily dismissed" because Obama's purported Muslim past remains "mysterious" and the CNN report debunking the claim was "hastily-produced and superficial." He added:
But in 2004, Kincaid did exactly that to CBS' Bush-National Guard story -- dismiss it completely because one part was found questionable -- even though many of the allegations raised in the report were not affected by the questionable sourcing of those memos -- and used it to further AIM's attacks on the "liberal media."
For instance, a Sept. 21, 2004, column calimed that CBS was "caught in the middle of a criminal conspiracy, with links to the Kerry campaign, to use forged documents to bring down an American president." But in his column on the Insight article, Kincaid does not note the prediction of The New Republic's Jason Zengerle, made more than a month before the Insight article appeared, that conservatives will "launch a savage and despicable whispering campaign" against Obama "and then blame it all on Hillary" -- a description that fits the Insight story to a T.
Nowhere to our knowledge has AIM examined every claim made in the CBS report in detail to determine the accuracy of each and what evidence exists to support them. Yet Kincaid declares a debunking of an obvious flaw in the Insight report as "superficial." Not exactly a shining example of seeking "accuracy in media."
Friday, February 2, 2007
Nonexistent Argument Used to Back Up HPV Vaccine Claim
In a Feb. 2 NewsBusters post noting Katie Couric's support of "universal vaccination for the human papillomavirus, HPV, for girls," Mark Finkelstein cited as evidence that the issue is "highly-controversial" and that "[m]any traditionalists are strongly opposed to mandatory vaccinations for girls as young as 11" a column on the subject from the Independent Women's Forum. But in the section of the column Finkelstein excerpts, the author, Charlotte Allen, rails against something no proponent of mandatory HPV vaccination has raised -- that it gives 9-year-olds the green light to have sex. From the column (and Finkelstein's excerpt):
Allen makes another argument (well, copies from a New York Times article on it, anyway) against mandatory vaccination, that it's an expensive vaccine. But Finkelstein didn't excerpt that. The 9-year-olds-having-sex angle is, well, sexier, even if it makes no sense.
P.S.: Finkelstein might want to have a chat with "traditionalist" Texas Gov. Rick Perry (he's "a conservative Christian who opposes abortion rights and stem-cell research using embryonic cells" who "counts on the religious right for his political base," which we're pretty sure is the same thing as "traditionalist"), who just just ordered mandatory HPV vaccination in his state.
Should CNS Add Inhofe Disclaimer?
Shouldn't CNS be including a disclaimer on the fact that former CNS reporter Marc Morano is now on Inhofe's staff? As we've noted, Inhofe sure seems to be popping up at CNS a lot more these days since he hired Morano.
WND Border Patrol Unbalance Watch
On the other hand, the statement that "Despite repeated attempts, Sutton's office did not return WND phone calls to comment on this story" appears in the fourth paragraph, perhaps the most prominent placement of such a statement we've seen in a Corsi article on the issue.
Kessler, Morris Peddle False Hillary Claim
NewsMax has taken an interesting approach to telling its readers about Dick Morris' anti-Hillary activism: having Ron Kessler write about it. A Feb. 1 article by Kessler details Morris' involvement in a documentary that will "present Hillary's conflicting statements side-by-side and will portray her disingenuous statements and misrepresentations alongside the facts."
Too bad Kessler and Morris engage in a misrepresentation of their own. Kessler writes:
But Morris is wrong, and Kessler doesn't bother to fact-check him. According to Media Matters:
Clinton never said Chelsea was "jogging near the World Trade Center," as [Thomas] Kuiper [author of "I've Always Been a Yankees Fan," a collection of dubiously sourced purported Hillary quotes] in the press release. Rather, Clinton said Chelsea "was going to go around the towers." Dick Morris made this same false claim in Rewriting History, as Media Matters noted. Kuiper's claim from his book that Sen. Clinton said Chelsea "was in potential danger" is also false. At no point did she suggest that Chelsea was endangered by the attacks.
Moreover, Kuiper misrepresented Chelsea's account of the attacks in claiming that she "contradicted" her mother. From Kuiper's account of Chelsea's retelling of the attacks, one would believe she spent the entire day in her friend's apartment "on the other side of town" and that she did not go to get coffee. A November 9, 2001, UPI article, however, gave a different account:"When the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, I was 12 blocks away, (and) nothing has been the same since," Clinton wrote in the December/January issue of Talk magazine, on sale Friday in New York.
We figured that NewsMax would have problems telling the truth about Hillary. Who knew it would be starting so early?
And another question: Now that Morris' anti-Hillary activism has been reported at NewsMax, does it think it's now absolved from reporting it every time Morris disparages Hillary (which, we can assume, will be often)?
Thursday, February 1, 2007
NewsBusters Doesn't Think 'Fag' Is A Slur?
In a Feb. 1 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item), Clay Waters complained that a New York Times headline describes Joe Biden's remarks about Barack Obama as an "Oops!" while former Rep. Dick Armey "didn't get the benefit of the doubt from Times' headline writers" when he referred to Rep. Barney Frank as "Barney Fag," which the Times headline called a "slur."
Oh, gee, I dunno ... could it be that the term "fag" is, in fact, a slur? Is Waters trying to tell us that it's not?
Meanwhile, none of the words Biden used to describe Obama are, in and of themselves, slurs like "fag" is.
WND Misleads on Library Porn Filters
Here's the lead of a Jan. 31 WorldNetDaily article:
Despite presenting that first claim as fact, the article offers no evidence to back it up; in fact, it's merely a repeat of a quote from a conservative legal group -- who similarly offers no evidence for his assertion.
As for the paragraph's second assertion -- that the Sacramento library system has "told porn addicts to go ahead and get loaded" -- it's a wild, misleading overstatement of the facts the article presents (as is the headline: "Let the porn flow, says public library"). What appears to be happening is that, according to that conservative legal group, adult computer users at the library may request that the content filter be turned off. While offering lots of scary rhetoric, the article offers no evidence that Sacramento library computer users are, in fact, getting "loaded" on porn. Indeed, porn filters have a long history of filtering out legitimate non-porn websites, something the article doesn't mention.
Another thing the article doesn't include: the other side of the story. While the article states, "Sacramento library officials did not return messages left by WND asking for a response," certainly this was not so time-sensitive an article -- apparently based on a press release from the conservative legal group, the Pacific Justice Institute -- that WND couldn't have shown a little fairness and allowed library officals to respond.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Corsi Doesn't Let Prosecutor Respond
A Jan. 31 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi on memos that purportedly contradict prosecutors in the case of two Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, imprisoned for shooting at an unarmed illegal immigrant and covering up evidence of the shooting failed to give prosecutors an opportunity to respond.
While Corsi recycles previous statements on the case by prosecutor Johnny Sutton, he makes no apparent attempt to obtain a response from Sutton or his office to the new allegations.
As we've detailed, Corsi and WND have a shoddy record of telling both sides of this story. Since Corsi has interviewed Sutton before, we know he knows how to get a hold of the guy, so there's no excuse -- beyond bias -- for Corsi not to get a response.
UPDATE: In a Feb. 1 article, Corsi did obtain a response from Sutton's office, but that was relegated to only a single paragraph of the 27-paragraph article.
Still No Complete Morris Disclosure
While a Jan. 31 NewsMax column by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann attacking Hillary Clinton did mention "voters who don't like her and don't think she should be president (including us)," there is no mention of the extent to which Morris hates Hillary -- that he's soliciting donations for an anti-Hillary documentary.
How can Morris credibly opine about Hillary's presidential prospects when he's 1) actively working against her and 2) refuses to properly disclose that involvement in his columns? He can't.
Weyrich Rewrites Election History
Topic: Free Congress Foundation
In fact, Republicans lost five seats in the House in 1998 -- hardly a "razor-thin victory."
UPDATE: Added AIM link.
WND Falsely Accuses Clinton of Flip-Flop
An unbylined Jan. 30 WorldNetDaily article accuses Hillary Clinton of flip-flopping on the Iraq war:
But the article makes no mention of evidence that the Bush administration did, in fact, offer misleading evidence to Congress on Iraq. According to a Nov. 19, 2005, FactCheck.org article, noted that one main piece of evidence was a classified National Intelligence Estimate released to members of Congress shortly before its October 2002 vote to authorize action against Iraq:
Further, a December 2005 Washington Post article noted that a congressional report had found that "President Bush and his inner circle had access to more intelligence and reviewed more sensitive material than what was shared with Congress when it gave Bush the authority to wage war against Iraq."
If WND does not point out evidence that Congress was "deceived" by the Bush administration about Iraq war intelligence, how can it claim that Clinton was "contradicting" herself by pointing that out?
Answer: She's a Clinton. The old journalistic rules about making factual claims don't apply to the Clintons, as far as WND is concerned.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Massie Defends One Controversial Remark, Ignores Another
In his Jan. 30 column, Mychal Massie defends Virginia lawmaker Frank Hargrove's statement that those advocating a Virginia state resolution that would apologize for slavery should "get over it." But Massie doesn't mention the other, more controversial statement Hargrove is quoted as saying: "are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?" By not mentioning it, is Massie signaling that he approves of that statement?
Massie Word-of-the-Day bonus: "Barmecidal."
Speaking of Cable Business Show Content ...
Headline of a Jan. 29 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd: "CNN's Idea of a Money Show: More Global Warming Hype, Less Global Business News."
MRC honcho Brent Bozell highly approves of Fox News but opposes sex on TV. We suspect if that show wasn't on Fox News, the MRC would be a tad more vocal about it.
New Article: Underreported, Indeed
Why did it take so long for WorldNetDaily to tell the full story of two imprisoned Border Patrol agents? And, now that it has finally told the other side, why is WND trying to bury it? Read more.
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