"Global Warming's Communist Underpinnings And the MSM's Active Participation in Same"
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Historical Revisionism Watch
In a Jan. 15 Newsmax review of David Bossie's new anti-Hillary movie, Kenneth Timmerman writes that Dick Morris "says he parted ways with the Clintons after he saw Hillary hire private investigators and retired intelligence officers to track down and harass the women who were threatening to reveal the sexual antics of her husband in the White House."
We've previously noted this.
Shocker: NewsBusters Defends Huckabee
NewsBusters hasn't exactly shown the love to Mike Huckabee lately, but a Jan. 15 post by Mark Finkelstein tried to turn that around by taking MSNBC's Willie Geist to task for saying that "without his charm and his personality," Huckabee would "be dismissed as a crackpot" and happily noting that Joe Scarborough accused reporter David Shuster of hypocrisy for criticizing Huckabee, but not Barack Obama, for "going into a church to preach his political word."
A few days ago, Finkelstein was defending Fred Thompson at Huckabee's expense. Are the NewsBusters boys starting to realize that the Huckster really is a conservative after all?
Clinton Derangement Syndrome Watch
A Jan. 15 WorldNetDaily article on its recent Bahamian cruise includes the following:
Huh? Body piercings are Hillary's fault? Was this guy blaming Hillary for getting Tased? Did we miss something? Perhaps not: WND has also likened people who get tattoos and other body modifications to Charles Manson.
NewsBusters: Obama Too African to Be President
A Jan. 11 NewsBusters post by Seton Motley noted that the church Barack Obama attends claims that it is "Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian" and remains "true to our native land." Motley has decided that this means Obama isn't a real American -- and isn't even American enough to run for president:
Because it doesn't matter all that much, and because Motley is so hopelessly biased against Obama that he's trying to throw a racial bogeyman into the presidential race? That's our guess.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Clinton Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- MIchael Ackley, Jan. 14 WorldNetDaily column
Sheriff Says WND Quoted Him Out of Context
WorldNetDaily has been obsessed in recent days with a Colorado incident in which, according to a Jan. 8 article by Bob Unruh, a 11-year-old boy "was taken by police against his parents wishes to a hospital after he was horsing around and bumped his head." Unruh quoted Garfield County, Colo., Sheriff Lou Vallario as saying that the decision to use SWAT team force -- after the father repeatedly refused to allow paramedics to examine the child and, as a result, a magistrate's order was issud for the boy to be seized -- was justified because the father was a "self-proclaimed constitutionalist" and had made threats and "comments" over the years.
Apparently, that's not quite what Vallario said. From a Jan. 12 article in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent:
Unruh responded to the paper:
The only allusion to the fact that there's a controversy over what exactly Vallario said on WND is a Jan. 12 article by Unruh in which he noted that "Vallario also criticized WND reporting on the events to a local newspaper, without contacting WND with any concerns." But Unruh didn't mention Vallario's complaint about the "constitutionalist" remark being taken out of context or the threats and vulgar comments made to the sheriff's office as a result of Unruh's reporting; he didn't note what the Post Independent quoted Vallario as saying in response to Unruh's defense: "But Vallario said it's not his job to make sure a reporter reports the news accurately." The article does not indicate that Unruh has since tried to contact Vallario.
It's no surprise that WND would stand accused of twisting words -- indeed, Unruh joins Les Kinsolving as being credibly accused of such in recent months. Vallario's description of Unruh's interview with him as "an argument" and that Unruh "would not listen if he didn't like the answers" certainly lends itself to the type of belligerant, slanted journalism Unruh has engaged in at WND. We suspect that Unruh didn't learn such an argumentive style of "interviewing" at the Associated Press, where he worked for nearly 30 years.
Unruh also appears to blame Vallario for not telling him about Tom Shiflett's history of questionable behavior that Vallerio cited for using a SWAT team to seize the boy, as his comment to the Glenwood Springs paper indicates. Unruh notes in the Jan. 12 article that "in an e-mail response to a WND reader who questioned his actions," Vallario stated that "when we requested his cooperation [Shiflett] said, 'if you want my son, bring an army.'" Unruh then bashed the sheriff again:
So stating what is presumably standard procedure in such a case is a "threat"? Unruh then allows Shiflett to explain away his own threat -- claiming it was because "social workers had upset him by threatening a court order" -- as well as a previous arrest of Shiflett for "chasing a man down the street with an ax." Yet Unruh won't give Vallario a fair opportunity to tell his story or air his complaints about WND's coverage.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Graham: 'Fox & Friends' Too Easy on Hillary
We're pretty sure we've posited before that the Media Research Center believes that anyone named Clinton must not be given any positive coverage whatsoever. This theory is confirmed yet again in a Jan. 12 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham, who complains that "Fox & Friends" is being too nice to Hillary Clinton: "But please, Mr. Ailes, can't we ask Hillary a tougher question about her views or her record or her scandals?"
Graham repeatedly bashes Hillary's performance during a recent "Fox & Friends" appearance, claiming that "Hillary babbles on" and at one point begging, "Won’t anyone interrupt?"
We suspect that Graham's demand for hard-hitting coverage from "Fox & Friends" doesn't extend to any interviewee who's not liberal. After all, the MRC's Brent Bozell appeared on "Fox & Friends" the other day and was tossed a series of softballs (and, as we noted, was not even identified as conservative). We suspect Graham doesn't want that little arrangement to change. Otherwise, Fox News would have to have on someone from -- gasp! -- Media Matters opposite them. We can't imagine Bozell (or Fox News, for that matter) allowing that -- which is to say, a real debate -- to happen.
WND Still Not Backing Up Mafi Story
We're previously detailed how WorldNetDaily has reported on the case of Denise Mafi -- a Utah homeschooling mom who claims she was threatened with loss of custody of her children because she did not provide required paperwork to state officials notifying them of her homeschooling plans -- without offering any independent corroboration of her story. That is, the article (and all previous ones) quotes only homeschooling activists regarding the nature of the charges.
That trend continues in a Jan. 12 WND article, which again repeats the claim that Mafi's "recollection of events has been confirmed by attorneys" without identifying who those "attorneys" are. It also repeats a previous claim that "Court officials told WND the comments didn't happen as Mafi reported, but have been unable to provide a transcript to confirm either version," but it's buried at the end of the article, and WND doesn't bother to tell what court officials have to say. If Mafi's story can be told without having a court transcript, why can't the court's side?
This is basic journalism, folks. Does WND care more about advancing an agenda than telling the full story? (Wait -- we already know the answer to that.)
Saturday, January 12, 2008
MRC Hates Huckabee, Loves Thompson
Topic: Media Research Center
We know that the MRC doesn't like Mike Huckabee, judging by CNS' unbalanced attacks on him. But, judging by whom its writers defend on NewsBusters, we're starting to get a picture of who it does like: Fred Thompson. A sampling of recent posts:
This, on top of Warner Todd Huston's Thompson sycophancy, suggests that the MRC has chosen sides in the Republican primary. Are 501(c)3 groups allowed to do that?
UPDATE: A Jan. 12 post by Tom Blumer regurgitates Rush Limbaugh's complaint that the "drive-by media" is tyrying to declare Thompson's candidacy over and that Huckabee as the Republican nominee is "exactly what the Drive-Bys want." Does this mean the MRC is doing the bidding of Limbaugh?
Friday, January 11, 2008
WND Falsely Describes California Law
A Jan. 11 WorldNetDaily article referred to "a new state law that would mandate a positive – and no other – portrayal of bisexuals, homosexuals, transgenders and others choosing alternative sexual lifestyles in public schools."
This is false. SB 777 adds sexual orientation to the state's anti-discrimination laws as they apply to schools and requires that schools don't present material that "promotes a discriminatory bias" against those groups covered under the anti-discrimination clause. The word "positive" does not appear in the law.
WND offers no evidence that all non-discriminatory references to homosexuals are ipso facto "positive" -- a variation of the Depiction-Equals-Endorsement Fallacy. Nor does WND allow anyone to counter the claims made by opponents of the law, as is standard WND practice.
UPDATE: A Jan. 11 Newsmax article by Lowell Ponte weighs in on the same issue. Ponte, unlike WND, gives a notable amount of space to supporters of the law, though he allows opponents to have the last word on with the law "might" do or "could in theory" do.
Of course, WND does the same thing, admitting that "technically" supporters are correct about the law's provisions but pushes alarmist speculation about what the law "could" do.
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch
Topic: Media Research Center
In his appearance on the Jan. 11 edition of "Fox & Friends," MRC president Brent Bozell said of NBC talking heads having opinions: "[A]dmit it. Don't pretend to be anything but what you are." Yet nowhere during this appearance was Bozell or the MRC identified as conservative, allowing Bozell to pretend to be something other than who he is.
Bozell also appeared solo as well. Both of these attributes are key parts of the template for MRC appearances on Fox News.
NewsBusters Bashes CBS' Smith -- But Pentagon Proved Him Right
In a Jan. 10 NewsBusters post, Kyle Drennen accused CBS' Harry Smith of "sounding like a liberal conspiracy theorist" and "reminiscent of left-winger Rosie O’Donnell" for "question[ing] the authenticity of an audio tape of the confrontation between U.S. and Iranian ships on January 6."
It looks like Drennen must think the Pentagon is a "liberal conspiracy theorist" as well, because it's backing away from the implication that the voice on the tape unquestionably came from an Iranian ship. According to ABC News, "the voice on the tape could have come from the shore or another ship," adding: "The Navy never said specifically where the voices came from, but many were left with the impression they had come from the speedboat because of the way the Navy footage was edited."
Sounds to us that Smith was right to raise questions. Will Drennen admit this?
Thursday, January 10, 2008
CNS Still Attacking Huckabee
A Jan. 10 CNSNews.com article by Josiah Ryan follows in the footsteps of previous CNS bashing of Mike Huckabee by repeating attacks on Huckabee while giving the candidate no real opportunity to respond.
This time around, Huckabee's sin is that, according to "data compiled for Cybercast News Service by Stephen Slivinski, director of budget studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, the tax hike Huckabee supported between 1997 and 2007 [as Arkansas governor] were far heftier than his tax cuts." While Ryan cites a spokesman for Americans for Fair Taxation noting that Huckabee supports the so-called "fair tax," he adds a spokesman for Americans for Tax Reform bashing Huckabee. All of this is countered only by a note that "Repeated calls to the Huckabee campaign for comment on this story were not returned."
Shouldn't CNS explain to its readers why it's attacking a fellow Republican?
ConWeb Memo: Attack Obama!
Topic: The ConWeb
Looks like another memo came down from on high at ConWeb World Headquarters: Barack Obama must be attacked! And lo, the ConWeb complied.
A Jan. 7 Newsmax article by Ronald Kessler attacked Obama's "racist church" because it claims to be "unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian" with a “non-negotiable commitment to Africa” and a "Black Value System." But Kessler ignores that the church's pastor has stated that the church's philosophy does not "assume superiority nor does it assume separatism." Kessler claimed by way of comparison: "Imagine if Mitt Romney’s church proclaimed on its website that it is 'unashamedly white.' The media would pounce, and Romney’s presidential candidacy would be over." He doesn't mention that the Mormon church has arguably been for a good part of its history "unabashedly white," with a history of anti-black racism.
A Jan. 9 WorldNetDaily article by Ron Strom claimed that "it is the strong African-centered and race-based philosophy of the senator's United Church of Christ that has some bloggers crying foul." By "some bloggers" Strom means one blogger, some guy named "Ric," whom Strom doesn't identify further or even bother linking to.
A Jan. 8 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr quoted four "pro-life experts" claiming Obama's "pro-abortion stance make him a danger to the black community" while giving Obama no real opportunity to respond (as we've noted).
A Jan. 9 WND column by Jill Stanek attacks Obama's "fence-sitting votes as Illinois state senator for the Born Alive Infants Protection Act"; Obama's "present" vote on the act, Stanek claims, was "a tactic they devised to show liberal senators a way out who were squirmy on voting to support aborting babies alive and letting them die in hospital soiled utility rooms, which is what a vote against Born Alive meant."
A Jan. 9 CNS column by Terry Jeffrey called Obama "the most pro-abortion presidential candidate ever," citing claims made by ... Jill Stanek.
A Jan. 9 CNS article by Jeffrey features former Bush aide Karl Rove bashing Obama as "a smarmy, prissy little guy."
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