Ruddy Gets Passive-Aggressive on Clintons Topic: Newsmax
Christopher Ruddy is engaging in some strange passive-aggressive behavior regarding the Clintons.
Earlier, we noted that Ruddy uncharacteristically praised the Clinton administration to the New York Times (which he didn't note to his NewsMax readers), but a week later returned to form by trashing him in a NewsMax column.
Now, Ruddy chats with the London Times in a March 2 article, (linked to from NewsMax but not otherwise promoted as featuring its leader):
“She’s moderated her image. She’s tougher on the War on Terror and she has not aligned herself with the antiwar Left. Some conservatives think she’s not all bad,” said Christopher Ruddy, who runs NewsMax, America’s biggest conservative online magazine.
Mr Ruddy said that Mrs Clinton could be more difficult to attack than her husband.
“She’s been clever. She’s even won big in Republican districts in up-state New York [the state she represents in the Senate].
She just doesn’t get the level of intensity of love and hate that Bill Clinton got.”
That belies the fact that Ruddy and NewsMax have, in fact, been regularly attacking Hillary. Not only is Ruddy featuring Dick Morris' Hillary-bashing commentaries (while not disclosing to any sufficient extent that Morris is actively working against Hillary), a March 3 article by "NewsMax Staff" tries to tar Hillary with pardon President Clinton made before he left office. And Ruddy's column in which he contradicted his New York Times statements went on to state that " Hillary will have a difficult time persuading Americans she deserves to have [the "tough on terror" mantle] and become our commander in chief."
While NewsMax is not (yet) so monomanical about Hillary as it was about hating Bill Clinton during his presidency -- after all, it's also currently working to bring down John McCain as well -- Ruddy's suggestion that Hillary isn't getting attacked at all by conservatives is highly misleading.
MRC Unchallenged on Fox Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC's Tim Graham appeared on Fox News on Friday, which followed up an appearance by MRC research director Rich Noyes the previous day. Both Graham and Noyes appeared solo, with no other guest that held an opposing view. These came on top of a Washington Times puff piece on the MRC that quoted only Brent Bozell and featured no opposing view.
We know Brent Bozell doesn't like to share screen time with anyone who might ask something other than a softball question -- indeed, he appeared solo on "Fox & Friends" on March 1. Is this no-debate-allowed policy part of a deal between Fox News and the MRC? How many people have not appeared on Fox because of the MRC's demands that they not be challenged?
Is this really what Fox News and the MRC mean when they talk about wanting "fair and balanced" news coverage?
Olbermann-Haters Wipe Their Site Topic: NewsBusters
Via Raw Story, we learn that the Keith Olbermann-bashing blog Olbermann Watch has shut down. The only thing left there is a message from managing editor Robert Cox (disclosure: I'm a member, last time I checked, of the Media Bloggers Association, which Cox heads) stating that they gave up the ghost because Olbermann's ratings are up and NBC renewed his contract.
As we've noted, the folks at NewsBusters have used Olbermann Watch -- which frequently hurled insults at Olbermann and his audience -- as supporting evidence.
One thing we wonder, though: If Cox and his cohorts are so proud of the work they did at Olbermann Watch, as Cox's farewell message indicates, why did he delete the entire site except for his goodbye?
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has written twomore articles on the subject of the military blocking access to WND for its troops. But as in his first article, Unruh focuses only on WND and ignores the numerous other websites that the military blocks.
Are Unruh and WND really so self-centered as to not report the full story of military site-blocking? It appears so.
MRC Frowns on Matthews for Saying Something Nice About Clinton Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center reminds us once again of its rule that nobody is allowed to say anything nice about anyone named Clinton.
A March 1 NewsBusters post (and March 2 CyberAlert item) by Geoffrey Dickens looks down upon Chris Matthews for saying that when Bill Clinton speaks, "[t]here are times when he sounds like Jesus in the temple." Needless to say, Dickens does not mention Matthews' weird obsession with speculating over Clinton's sex life. Why isn't that worth noting? Perhaps because the MRC might be forced to admit that he's not the rabid liberal it loves to portray him as?
UPDATE: Matthews has also called Clinton "Holly Golightly." Why didn't Dickens note that?
White Supremacist Fluffs MRC Topic: Media Research Center
A Marchh 1 Washington Times article touts the Media Research Center's 20th anniversary. It's quite the puff piece; the only person interviewed in it is Brent Bozell, and no apparent effort was made to balance it with comment from, say, another media watchdog group we could name. Given the sympathetic tone, the MRC is quite proud of it, promoting on the MRC front page and in a NewsBusters post.
It's worth noting that the article was written by the Times' resident whitesupremacist and Confederacy fetishist (well, one of 'em), Robert Stacy McCain. Was this really the best choice for the MRC (and we presume that, given the one-sided slant of the article, Bozell and Co. did have a hand in their hagiographer)? Or did McCain's compliance and willingness to not encumber the article with balance trump any concern over his personal views?
Meanwhile ... Topic: CNSNews.com Media Matters notes that in a Feb. 28 CNSNews.com article, Randy Hall uncritically repeated a two-week-old falsehood from the Republican National Committee that the Democrats have called their approach to Iraq a "slow-bleed" strategy. In fact, the term originated in The Politico and was seized upon by the RNC.
WorldNetDaily assumes the solemn duty of informing us in a Feb. 28 article that an "American Idol" contestant has seen "the emergence of racy photos, including one of her reportedly frolicking semi-nude at a World War II memorial." With (censored) photos!
Because it is WND's grim duty to lavishly illustrate the sexiness it deplores, y'know.
The WorldNetDaily online poll question for Feb. 28 asks why the case of a former state ACLU official being charged with possession of child pornography is "getting little media attention." Perhaps unsurprisingly, respondents are quick to sense a conspiracy; the leading answer is "Media are guided by advancing their agenda rather than honest reporting."
Advancing an agenda over honest reporting is, of course, something WorldNetDaily does on a regular basis (as we've repeatedlydetailed). In fact, we've just noted that a WND article on the military blocking websites focuses solely on WND and ignores numerous other examples of non-conservative websites blocked by the military.
Indeed, despite its longtime stance of being a "watchdog exposing government waste, fraud, corruption and abuse of power," WND is keeping up its tradition of ignoring scandals involving conservatives:
It has done no original coverage of Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, the Republican donor accused of trying to send money to terrorists.
It has similarly ignored (save for a single op-ed) the purge of federal prosecutors by the Bush administration in favor of political appointees -- the increasingly apparent motivation for which is those attorneys' prosecution of Repubican corruption.
Wouldn't a "news" organization that purports to care about "exposing waste, fraud, corruption and abuse of power" be interested in reporting on these subjects? If you're WND, it appears not. We can assume that WND's answer would be different if it was a Democrat who was trying to fund those terrorists and purge those prosecutors.
That -- plus trying to link the ACLU to child pornography -- is WorldNetDaily's agenda.
Unruh Fails to Report Full Story on Blocked Websites Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh reports that the WND website "has been blocked from computers on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps bases across the country for an undetermined period of time." But amid all Unruh's self-promotional blather, he doesn't report -- and WND has never reported, as far as we know -- that the military has been accused of blocking liberalwebsites and even some nonpolitical comment sites while letting conservative websites like Free Republic through unfiltered.
Wouldn't a reporter who spent nearly 30 years working for the Associated Press, as Unruh did, know better than to engage in cynically portraying his employer as a victim and instead do some, you know, reporting that tells the full story?
The headline from Joseph Farah's Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily column reads: "Does Obama know about body count?"
The so-called "Clinton body count," that is. Does Farah know that the "Clinton body count" has been debunked?
Apparently not. He goes on to proudly proclaim:
"The Clinton body count," first published in WND, by the way, and later circulated by Linda Tripp to Monica Lewinsky, was not just a source of terror among those of us who were sworn enemies of the administration. It was an even greater terror for those close to Clinton – for those closest, it seemed, died younger and more inexplicably than those on the outside looking in.
This would be the same "body count" that, as we've noted, Farah has denied promoting.
The only "body count" we see is being caused by Farah, and the truth is the victim.
In his Feb. 27 WorldNetDaily column, Les Kinsolving wrote of Bill Clinton: "He was indicted, tried and found guilty of both perjury and obstruction of justice."
Wrong. To refresh Kinsolving's memory: Clinton was never indicted, let alone tried and found guilty, on criminal charges of perjury or obstruction of justice. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton (the political equivalent of an indictment) on charges of providing "perjurious, false and misleading testimony" -- not the same thing as criminal perjury -- and obstruction of justice. A political trial was conducted in the Senate, with a two-thirds majority needed to convict.
Kinsolving overstates the case by claiming that Clinton "came within a handful of votes of being removed from office by the U.S. Senate." In fact, the "perjurious, false and misleading testimony" count received only 45 of the 67 votes required for conviction; the obstruction of justice charges received 50 of 67.
Kinsolving then huffed, "For these crimes he was merely fined, rather than imprisoned." Again, Clinton was never convicted of a "crime" in a criminal court; in the civil case Paula Jones filed against Clinton, the judge ruled that Clinton gave "intentionally false" testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky -- again, not perjury.
Consider this a reminder that his goofyquestions at the White House aren't the only thing to "fear" from Kinsolving; he mangles facts, too.
The Republican Noise Machine: ConWeb in Lockstep on Gore Attack Topic: The ConWeb
As if they were following orders, WorldNetDaily, CNSNews.com, NewsMax (reprinting the CNS article) and NewsBusters all marched in lockstep and repeated a press release by the conservative Tennessee Center for Policy Research claiming that energy consumption at Al Gore's "mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year."
None of these ConWeb outlets offered independent verification or documentation of the claim, nor did they question how the group was able to obtain presumably private and confidential information about purported energy use -- they just rewrote the press release. All of them failed to offer a balanced account by making any apparent effort to contact Gore or his representatives for a response.
Ruddy Contradicts Himself, Bashes Clinton Topic: Newsmax
In an apparent effort to play down his remarks last week to the New York Times that Bill Clinton "wasn’t such a bad president" and "In fact, he was a pretty good president in a lot of ways," Christopher Ruddy's Feb. 27 NewsMax column contradicts those comments.
Here, Ruddy concedes only that "Bill Clinton can share in some of the credit" for the 1990s being "good years for America" and that "Clinton's economic record, I must reluctantly admit, looks even better after the past six years." He then heaps more credit on others:
But a large amount of the credit is due to Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America Republicans who stormed Capitol Hill in 1994 and overthrew decades of Democratic waste and runaway spending.
Sensing the change in America, Bill quickly jettisoned his liberal economic ideas, especially Hillarycare, and took a more centrist approach.
He also took some advice from political guru Dick Morris, who advised him to govern from the middle, embrace welfare reform, and work with the Republicans.
Good came out of it.
Ruddy also engages in the usual Clinton-bashing:
There is a dark side to the Clinton years, however.
For one thing, scandal after scandal plagued the president. Hillary may claim a "right-wing conspiracy," but it is doubtful Americans will want to return to such a polarizing period.
Ruddy doesn't mention that he was among those ginning up "scandal after scandal." He then recycles the discredited claim that Clinton "admitted he had the opportunity to get bin Laden before he left the Sudan in 1996, but declined an offer from the Sudanese to turn him over to the United States."