Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 22 appearance by MRC president Brent Bozell on "Fox & Friends" followed the template: Bozell appeared solo, and the MRC was not identified as conservative.
Monday, October 22, 2007
NewsBusters Suddenly Loves Author It Used to Hate
An Oct. 22 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard touts a Slate article by Steven Landsburg raising questions about whether global warming policies are worth it since "climate policy is almost entirely about you and me making sacrifices for the benefit of future generations." Sheppard promotes the article as "must-reading for all Americans - including elected officials" even though Landsburg "is likely not a household name."
But Landsburg is not necessarily the conservative-friendly writer that Sheppard makes him out to be. Landsburg is the author of the book "More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics," which advanced the theory that those practicing "monogamy, chastity, and other forms of extreme sexual conservatism" are contributing to the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases because they are not widely involved in sexual activity, thus "reducing the fraction of relatively safe partners in the dating pool."
Tim Graham spent an entire July 9 NewsBusters post denouncing Landsburg ("a regular contributor to the liberal site Slate.com") and his "simple-minded thesis" ("He has not pondered that for religious people, armed with a sincere aspiration to avoiding the eternal consequences of sin, there is no convincing argument for casual dabbling in 'safe' sin or 'socially beneficent' sin"). Graham also attacked the New York Times for reviewing Landsburg's book: "Economics aside, this does not morally compute. Would the Times book editors pluck out of obscurity a tome that argued that people who don’t drive cause global warming? Pacifists cause wars? Vegetarians cause the mass slaughter of chickens?"
So, does this mean Landsburg is an OK guy now that he's writing something that dovetails with Sheppard's Gore-bashing agenda?
Farah Belatedly Denounces Vox Day's Column
It's not often you see a ConWeb editor denouncing his own columnists, but Joseph Farah does just that in an Oct. 22 WorldNetDaily column criticizing WND columnist Vox Day's Oct. 15 column in which he made a few odd statements about Jews (which we've previously highlighted).
Farah soft-pedaled his criticism at first, saying that Day "went … well, shall we say, a little over the top," but then got more harsh, saying that Day's statement that "Vanity Fair has recently announced that a remarkable 51 percent of the Vanity Fair 100 Power List are Jewish in a country in which Jews make up approximately 2 percent of the population. Jews also make up 7 percent of the current House of Representatives, 13 percent of the Senate, and, according to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of 'The Israel Lobby,' roughly 100 percent of George W. Bush's foreign policy advisers" "strikes me, quite honestly, as hateful and Buchananesque nonsense." Pat Buchanan, by the way, is another WND columnist.
But then, Farah lists several State Department and Pentagon officials and asks, "Where are the Jews? It looks to me like Bush needs an affirmative action program to get some Jews involved in foreign policy." Farah ignores that a number of prominent neoconservatives who favored a war in Iraq (i.e., Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and William Kristol) are Jews, and that neocons, such as WND columnist Ilana Mercer, have tried to twist criticism of neocons into criticism of all Jews. Julia Gorin wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2004: "By 'neocons,' the left means the Jewish subset of neocons."
Farah also points out that Day's column "gets even meaner and uglier when it turns, in my mind, nearly threatening – blaming the victims of anti-Semitism and hatred for bringing it all upon themselves" by asserting that "Jews have worn out their welcome in literally dozens of countries over the centuries." Farah wrote: "Show me one place they were ever welcome? Again, the Christian Bible Vox Day reads, along with me, explains quite clearly the Jewish Diaspora would have a trying experience in which the Jews received no welcome. That's the way God planned it – not them."
All this is well and good, but why did it take a week for Farah to respond?
Meanwhile, Farah defends Ann Coulter, claiming she was a victim of an "ambush interview with Donny Deutsch." But Coulter willingly appeared on Deutsch's show and was the first to bring up the idea that everyone should be Christian -- hardly the definition of an "ambush." While Farah concedes that Coutler "could have handled" her claims "with more tact and sensitivity," he's mum on Coulter's later statement that "the Jews believe that my savior, a Jew, was a raving lunatic."
More Anti-Gore Rantings from Sheppard
The Media Research Center's professional Gore-hater, Noel Sheppard, keeps up the bile in an Oct. 21 NewsBusters post, calling "An Inconvenient Truth" a "schlockumentary" and an "award-winning abomination," adding: "Gore’s film, though powerfully and convincingly presented, is indeed a work of fiction, and its veracity should be questioned with every conceivable opportunity. Any other conclusion is facile and devoid of logic."
The ostensible point of Sheppard's rant was to relay a report "famed climate change skeptic Christopher Monckton" purporting to find 35 errors in "An Inconvenient Truth." But as we've noted, Monckton (aka Lord Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley) has his own credibility problems that Sheppard has not seen fit to mention: One writer has described Monckton's work as "a mixture of cherry-picking, downright misrepresentation and pseudo-scientific gibberish." Further, by Sheppard's own standards, Monckton has no standing to discuss global warming. Monckton holds no scientific credentials, holding degrees only in classics and journalism; if you'll recall, Sheppard bashed Gore for getting bad grades in college and being "a terrible science student" who "clearly never excelled at anything relating to what folks in Norway and in the media consider him to be so expert at."
Indeed, Monckton's report -- credited as published by the Science and Public Policy Institute, a right-leaning group whose apparent mission is to attack the idea of global warming and whose president, Robert Ferguson, has received funding from at least one oil company -- gets off to a bad start. It accepts as part of those 35 purported errors the nine declared by a British court, but as we noted, one of those alleged errors is an attempt to conflate two separate calculations.
And neither Monckton nor Sheppard note that the British court also ruled that "four main scientific hypotheses" in the film are "very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC."
But Sheppard is too busy ranting to tell the truth. He accuses Gore of running an "indoctrination campaign aided and abetted by a green media and calls proponents of global warming "warm-mongers" who are "propagandist forces in our nation seeking to undermine our very way of life."
Sheppard clearly has a full-blown case of Gore Derangement Syndrome. Somebody get him to a doctor before he rants again!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Stupid Headline of the Day
Even Bozell himself in the column doesn't explicitly say that; the closest he comes is an assertion that "TV dramatists are now portraying those who want to keep children free and safe from premature sexual activity as mentally disturbed, even as a social menace."
But if Graham and Bozell really believe that "Hollywood Hates People Who Oppose Sex at 11," they've got bigger problems than we can help them with.
Sadly, No! deconstructs Dan Riehl's assertion, cross-posted at NewsBusters, that "there was absolutely no genuine smearing of 12 year-old Graeme Frost." Apparently, Riehl's own smears don't count (as we've noted).
Or, as the Sadly, No! folks sum it up: "Somebody has obviously been huffing his computer duster can again."
Saturday, October 20, 2007
In writing about Katie Couric's upcoming "60 Minutes" interview with Valerie Plame, the boys at the MRC still can't stop misleading about Richard Armitage.
An Oct. 19 NewsBusters post by Kyle Drennen claims that a CBS promotion for the interview "completely leaves out the fact that person responsible for giving Plame’s name to Novak was former Undersecretary of State, Richard Armitage, who mentioned her name in an interview with Novak and was never charged with any crime." In another Oct. 19 NewsBusters post, Brent Baker similarly writes that "Novak got the name from Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a political enemy of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove who opposed the Iraq war."
Drennen and Baker are trying to falsely portray Armitage as the only person responsible for leaking Plame's identity. As we've pointed out, Rove and Scooter Libby also leaked her identity to reporters, and Novak confirmed Plame's identity with Rove.
When CNS Reporters Assume ...
An Oct. 19 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones reported that "Republican leaders" were asking following the failed override of the SCHIP bill if Democrats will "continue to play politics with children's health care, or will they finally work to reach a bipartisan agreement on renewing the legislation?" Jones then added: "Democrats apparently plan to play politics: They've promised to introduce another, similar bill -- changing it just enough to attract more Republican support. But Republicans say bipartisan negotiations are the only solution."
Um, doesn't the fact that Democrats are changing the bill "just enough to attract more Republican support" in indication that Democrats are, in fact, acting in a bipartisan fashion?
Further, Jones' statement that "Democrats apparently plan to play politics" plays into CNS' longtime assumption that Democrats are motivated only by politics while Republicans are not. Indeed, Jones makes no statement to readers that Republicans' demand for bipartisan talks on SCHIP is as much a political strategy as what the Democrats are doing.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Huston Attacks Reporting Site That Hasn't Reported Anything Yet
An Oct. 18 NewsBusters post attacks the newly announced investigative reporting website ProPublica for being funded by "a pair of left-wing billionaires responsible for funding such groups as the Center for American Progress and MoveOn.org and other far left Democrat backing organizations." He then tries to create a double standard:
Huston ignores an important distinction: ProPublica has yet to publish any articles -- its website states that "Operations will commence in early 2008" -- while Fox News has, well beyond merely being operated by Ailes, repeatedly demonstrated that it has injected conservative bias into its "product" -- something Huston curiously doesn't concede.
Even the Investor's Business Daily editorial Huston cites to back up his claims concludes by saying of ProPublica: "Let it be known by its product." If only Huston would do the same.
Farah Renews Call for Hollywood Blacklist
Back in 2003, we noted that WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah advocated the return of the Hollywood blacklist for "anti-American" actors (but mostly those who criticize President Bush). Farah makes the call again in his Oct. 17 column.
Farah proclaimed of the 1950s anti-communist blacklist era: "I spent years researching this period. I interviewed and spent time with many of the principals – including members of the [Hollywood] 10" who were blacklisted -- and then proceeds to get the name of one of them wrong. He refers to "Ring Lardner"; in fact, Lardner died in 1933. The person in question is actually Lardner's son, Ring Lardner Jr. Given the elder Lardner's distinction as an author in his own right, it's sloppy of Farah to refer to Lardner Jr. without the "Jr.," which raises the question of just how much research Farah has really done on the subject.
Farah also writes:
Farah offers no examples of "anti-Americanism" that must be "punished," instead asking his readers to make their own list. Probably a wise move, considering that last time Farah was portraying mere dissent as "anti-Americanism."
WND Fails WND Columnist's Journalism Standards
In his Oct. 17 WorldNetDaily column, Craige McMillan serves up " a consumer's 'Bill of Rights'" for journalists. McMillan said he was talking about "Big Media," but there's no reason not to apply his standards to his employer as well. How good a job does WND fulfill McMillan's precepts in his "Bill of Rights"?
"Any reporter, editor or broadcaster manipulating facts or obscuring evidence will be terminated immediately." -- WND's Aaron Klein manipulated facts to falsely smear an Islamic relief organization as being linked to terrorists and holding fraudulent fund-raisers. Last we checked, he was still drawing a WND paycheck.
"You have a right to corrections displayed with the same prominence as the original article." -- WND's retraction of the above false Aaron Klein story occurred six months after the story appeared.
"You have a right to know if reporters, editors or broadcasters are married to, dating, sleeping with, suing or otherwise involved with government, business, academia or other interests that we report on." -- WND did not tell its readers about its apparent collaboration with the Alliance Defense Fund in promoting allegations involving a book written by WND managing editor David Kupelian.
"You have a right to know how a story originated. Was it a special interest group press release? Or did we identify and develop the story on our own?" -- WND regularly turns press releases into news articles -- as they repeatedly did in promoting the so-called "war on Christmas" -- without disclosing that fact to its readers.
"'Fake but accurate' reporting has no place in our news room." -- In 2004, WND falsely claimed that "Some of the groups organizing protests at this summer's Republican National Convention in New York -- including one anarchist outfit planning disruptions -- get funding from a foundation chaired by Teresa Heinz Kerry." When it was pointed out that Heinz-linked donations to the Tides Foundation were specifically earmarked toward specific causes that did not include anarchists, WND tried to spin its lie by asserting that "it is accurate to say that donors to Tides are indeed supporting all of its causes" because Tides takes a 10 percent administration fee from donations.
"Plagiarism, also known as reporters too lazy to make up their own stories (see Fake but Accurate, above), has no place in our newsroom. Violators will be terminated." -- It's hard to fire plagiarists when they run the place; WND founder and editor Joseph Farah has engaged in his share of plagiarism.
Does McMillan have the courage to assess the news organization that prints his column by the standards he expects the "mainstream" media to live by? Time will tell, but we won't be surprised if he won't.
Is Fox Business Taking The Fox News Approach to MRC?
Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 17 NewsBusters post touts the appearance of Dan Gainor, director of the MRC’s Business & Media Institute, on the new Fox Business channel. The accompanying clip is only about two minutes long, lopping off his introduction. According to the post, "The segment lasted about ten minutes. It also included a panel discussion about recent allegations by the SEC against Countrywide Financial CEO, Angelo Mozilo for his recent sale of his stock in the company."
We can't tell from the clip whether Fox Business is following the lead of Fox News in its treatment of MRC representatives: appearing solo and not describing the MRC as conservative. But we'll be watching to see if Fox Business will ever embrace these two fundamental issues of fair reporting.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Gore Derangement Syndrome Watch
Yep. Sheppard regurgitates an old story about Gore's grades in college to assert that "Gore was a terrible science student, and clearly never excelled at anything relating to what folks in Norway and in the media consider him to be so expert at" and that is the reason "why Nobel Laureate Al Gore likely doesn't want to debate any of the myriad of scientists and politicians that have challenged him to such a tête-à-tête regarding his manmade global warming theories." Sheppard then sneers, "this is the man liberals and dolts in the media are willing to bet their very lives on when it comes to complex scientific issues surrounding meteorology and climatology."
If decades-ago grades are a qualification to speak about global warming, perhaps Sheppard should release his college grades as well. The only thing we've seen that he brings to the subject is a penchant for copying and pasting, which they don't offer college degrees in.
CNS Misleads On Its Favorite Convicted Felon
An Oct. 17 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas on Peter Paul's failed attempt to drag Hillary Clinton into a lawsuit he filed describes Paul as a "Hollywood mogul" but fails to mention Paul's history as a convicted felon. While Lucas writes that "Paul's suit claims that actions by the Clintons and their associates cost him his multi-million dollar Internet venture, Stan Lee Media, for which he was a majority owner," he does not note (as he sorta did in a previous article) that Paul pleaded guilty to a $25 million stock manipulation scheme, or that he is awaiting sentencing on that plea.
WND Promotes More One-Sided Claims
An Oct. 17 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh touts the opposition of the World Congress of Families, which Unruh describes as an "international organization promoting families," to newly passed laws in California that, according to Unruh, "effectively mak[es] terms like 'mom' and 'dad' obsolete."
Of course, it goes without saying that it's a one-sided story; Unruh allows opponents of the laws to frame them as disparagingly as possible and does not permit supporters to make their case. But what the heck is the World Congress of Families?
As a 2004 Ms. Magazine article details, the WCF was founded in that hotbed of international organizations, Rockford, Illinois:
Unruh, of course, mentions none of this history of activism.
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