It wasn’t enough that journalists’ opinions (just forget the facts, ma’am) were choking out the sunlight in journalism like kudzu vine. Those opinions not only had to be seen and heard, they also had to be followed by the folks who make things happen.
The next leap, from influencers of action to takers of actions, was a short hop.
Today, the goal of insatiable pseudo-journalists has metastasized from being among the elite to being an equal of the elite who not only decide what’s to be done but actual do the doing.
Put more clearly, the accepted standard for failure among today’s aspiring, and aspired, pseudo-journalists is to become ineffectual, or, God forbid, irrelevant.
Assisting them in those pursuits, it became acceptable to write the news as those manipulators wished the world to appear, to make the soil of society more fertile for the seed of their ideological agenda.
Wearing self-deceiving blinkers like that, it’s no wonder today’s pseudo-journalists don’t get it, don’t get it why they, and the politicians cozying up to them, are the only ones left who have much respect for them or even take them seriously anymore.
What’s happened is that these pseudo-journalists have sucked the life’s blood out of journalism, and turned what was once a noble and respected profession into an empty husk.
Not to Perry. Instead, he concludes that "It is the leftists who are robbing this country of its genuine journalism," offering no evidence to back it up and refusing to examine the role his employer has played in debasing "genuine journalism" (something Perry has a habit of doing).
Wikipedia, the online "free encyclopedia" written and edited by its users that contains 9 million articles in 253 languages, now includes detailed photos of nude homosexual men engaging in sex acts and a variety of other sexually explicit images and content.
While Schilling actually talks to Wikipedia officials -- an relatively rare instance of WND actually making an effort to report both sides of the story -- she gives bigger prominence to attacks on Wikipedia by, you guessed it, Matt Barber.
While Schilling offers vivid descriptions of the Wikipedia images that offend her, nowhere does she describe the context in which those images appear -- which, given that we're talking about an encyclopedia that, in the words of a Wikipedia rep Schilling quoted, "contains the sum of all human knowledge," is an important element of the story. Nor does she note how many pages of those 9 million contain such images; her use of Barber's calling Wikipedia "a bunch of hard-core pornographers," without giving anyone from Wikipedia any apparent opportunity to respond to Barber, suggests that WND's ultimate goal is to discredit Wikipedia. (In that case, it had better tell Aaron Klein to delete his puffery-laden Wikipedia page so he doesn't spend so much time scrubbing criticism of him from it.)
Further, while offering a sole heavily censored image of "one of the more mild photos featured on Wikipedia in the 'striptease' entry," she does not provide links so that readers can judge for themselves the content and context (which, sadly, runs against WND's history of illustrating the things that offend it so).
And yes, the headline blurb for this article on WND's front page reads, "Wikipedia or Wikipornia?"
WorldNetDaily keeps up its anti-gay agenda in a May 6 article headlined "'Gay' indoctrination starts in Minneapolis."
Of course, there is no "indoctrination" going on; the Minneapolis school district is merely instituting an anti-bullying program, "Welcoming Schools," that covers homosexual issues. But WND asserts without evidence that it is a "special interest program" that "promote[s] homosexuality," put together by the Human Rights Campaign, "which advocates for and promotes homosexuality."
The article uncritically repeats claims (pulled from a press release) by the conservative, anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund that the Minnapolis program "further[s]" and "promote[s] the homosexual agenda" and is designed to "indoctrinate young children." Like WND, the ADF offers no evidence to back that up, let alone how any mention of homosexuality specifically "promote[s] the homosexual agenda."
The article also references WND's previous anti-gay reporting, noting "the pro-homosexual 'Day of Silence'" and adding: "The advanced state of California's homosexual indoctrination program for public school students also has been documented." As we've documented, there's no "indoctrination" going on there, either; California merely added "sexual orientation" to a list of characteristics California schools are not allowed to "promote a discriminatory bias" against.
AIM Attacks Kessler Again Over McCarthy Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media has launched its second attack on Ronald Kessler's Wall Street Journal article countering Joe McCarthy revisionism. This time, a May 6 piece by the chief McCarthy revisionist himself, M. Stanton Evans, goes after Kessler's article by calling it "an odd amalgam of unverifiable hearsay and a handful of items checkable from the record. It's noteworthy that, on the checkable matters, Kessler is repeatedly, and egregiously, in error." Evans added: "Like many other critics of Joe McCarthy, Ronald Kessler would be more persuasive if he knew something of the subject."
But, like Wes Vernon before him, Evans fails to note that Kessler is a fellow conservative who works for conservative website Newsmax.
So Kessler has been on the receiving end of two smackdowns by McCarthy apologists. How will Kessler respond?
Are You Biased Enough To Work For WND? Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 5 WorldNetDaily job posting for a "highly motivated editor-writer" begins: "Do you have what it takes to be part of the WND editorial team?"
While the posting lists only "demonstrable experience in reporting and editing" as a requirement, there's another important part of "what it takes" that's not mentioned: a desire to slant the news to the right, unfairly depict those you don't agree with and frame their claims through the eyes of their critics, and to portray conservative and/or right-wing Christians and Jews as positively as possible while refusing to report any criticism of them (or, if it is reported, not treat it as legitimate).
Well, that's obviously how folks like Aaron Klein and Bob Unruh got their WND gigs. Joseph Farah wouldn't have hired them if they didn't.
NewsBusters Puts Words in Reporter's Mouth Topic: NewsBusters
Asserting that "a liberal print journalist has seen racism behind conservative concerns about Sen. Barack Obama," a May 6 NewsBusters post by Lyndsi Thomas claims that Washington Post writer Shankar Vedantam "asserted" in an article "that it is not Revered Jeremiah Wright’s incendiary comments that have damaged Obama, it is his race, sex and public style. If Wright were a white female who wrote her outlandish ideas in a scholarly journal, Vedantam thinks the effects would not be the same."
But Vedantam didn't "assert" anything. Indeed, there are no unattributed assertions in the article that can be interpreted to represent Vedantam's own view; Vedantam presents the article as a "thought experiment." Vedantam merely reported that "social psychologist Steven Neuberg believes that Wright has damaged the biracial Obama because, in his public persona -- as much as in his views -- he activates unconscious fears and racial stereotypes that many voters have about angry black men." Despite Thomas' suggestion that the article was about "racism behind conservative concerns" about Wright, the word "conservative" appears nowhere in Vedantam's article.
Further, Thomas does not know for a fact that Vedantam is a "liberal print journalist." As fellow MRC'er Tim Graham has a habitofdoing, Thomas is conflating the views of those whom the reporter quotes with the (supposed) views of the reporter him/herself.
WND Suddenly Offended by Hitler Comparison Topic: WorldNetDaily
The headline of a May 5 WorldNetDaily article shouts, "Evolutionist compares rabbi to Hitler!" It's a reference to Richard Dawkins alleging that Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, in a debate of sorts with Dawkins over evolution, delivered "a shrieking rant, delivered with an intemperate stridency of which Hitler himself might have been proud."
Why is WND so shocked? Its writers and columnists have regularly smeared those it doesn't like with Nazi allusions. Among their targets:
And if the bone of contention is that Dawkins likened a Jew to Hitler, remember that WND editor Joseph Farah did essentially the same thing in September 2007, asserting that Israeli leaders Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres have a "final solution" to the dispute over the Temple Mount.
Following Brent Baker's lead, a May 5 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item) by Clay Waters complains about a New York Times article that "portrayed Democrats as victims of Republicans challenging their patriotism (without showing any actual examples of such)," later adding again, "Rarely is any actual evidence offered to accompany the accusation."
Um, guys, we offered plenty of evidence to support the accusation, even citing your fellow MRC co-workers (and boss) as examples. How about addressing that, instead of pretending such evidence doesn't exist?
Otis Moss, the man slated to become the new chief pastor at the Trinity United Church of Christ, referenced a rap song during one of his recent sermons that includes among its lyrics "F--- America" and states the U.S. is "still with triple K" – referring to the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.
Trinity United, of course, is the church Obama attends. It's not until the 14th paragraph that you get to the nitty-gritty of Klein's attack:
"Do you know who's got our back? If I was Ice Cube, I would say it a little differently – you picked the wrong folk to mess with," Moss exclaimed.
The song Moss was referring to is actually titled "Wrong N-gga to f--- with." It includes the lyrics "F--- America, still with the triple K" and it uses the spelling "AmeriKKKa."
The full lyrics provided in the album:
"Down wit the niggaz that I bail out I'm platinum b-tch and I didn't have to sell out F--- you Ice Cube, that's what the people say F--- AmeriKKKa, still with the triple K Cause you know when my nine goes buck it'll bust your head like a watermelon dropped from 12 stories up Now let's see who'll drop"
The cover image of Ice Cube's album, titled "Death Certificate," features a dead man identified as "Uncle Sam" who is covered by an American flag.
To sum up: Otis Moss paraphrased a single line from a rap song. That's all he did. He didn't say "F--- America" and "triple K" to his congregation, as the headline and Klein's first paragraph falsely suggests. Moss didn't speak any of the lyrics Klein is trying to tie him to.
The hanging offense Klein is trying to pin on Obama is, again, that Otis Moss paraphrased a single line from a rap song.
That's how desperate Klein is to take down Obama.
P.S. If Klein is as scandalized by gangsta rap as he suggests, why is he able to quote the lyrics so easily?
In a May 5 NewsBusters post, John Stephenson claims: "There is a huge blogswarm going on about this photo, from Chicago Magazine, of Obama's unrepentant terrorist associate, Bill Ayers stomping on the American flag." Stephenson links the words "huge blogswarm" to ... his own blog at Stop the ACLU.
Stephenson goes on to claim that "many political bloggers are saying it long past due for Obama to disown his association with this controversial radical." But of the four blogs to which Stephenson links in his original Stop the ACLU post who have weighed in on the subject, two are operated by MichelleMalkin.
Where, exactly, is this "huge blogswarm" of which Stephenson speaks?
A May 5 column by Pat Boone, reprinted at Newsmax and WorldNetDaily, repeats a number of incorrect claims. Boone writes:
Consider: Every year, within our borders, an estimated 14,000 to 15,000 Americans are murdered, an alarming percentage by illegal aliens. That’s more than 15 times the death rate in Iraq!
In fact, murder rates in the U.S. are much lower than the death rate in Iraq. According to the FBI, the state with the highest murder rate is Lousiana, with 12.4 murders per 100,000 residents. As we've noted, the overall death rate in the military is 116.6 per 100,000 military personnel; giving that most of those deaths are occuring in Iraq and Afghanistan, restricting the pool to those military who have served or are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan makes that death rate even higher.
Also note that Boone uses the fuzzy term "an alarming percentage" to describe murders by "illegal aliens." That may be because the "alarming" number Boone likely has in mind is not based in reality.
Boone also writes:
In Lexington, Massachusetts, a dad named David Parker paid a visit to his children’s school, complaining about a book that had been assigned celebrating the “virtues” of gay parenting; when he demanded that the school officials comply with state law and at least inform him before his child was given any more instruction about homosexuality, he was arrested, jailed, and slapped with a restraining order.
In fact, what happened was that Parker's son brought home a book about different kinds of families that, in WorldNetDaily's words, "depicted at least two households led by homosexual partners." In other words, Parker objects to anyone telling his child that homosexuals exist. Does Boone feel gays aren't allowed to exist too?
Boone also misleadingly states the circumstances of Parker's arrest. As we detailed, Parker was arrested for trespassing after he refused to leave his child's school until they agreed to his demand that he be allowed to opt out his child from discussions of same-sex marriage. He spent one night in jail after the arrest -- but only because he refused to bail himself out.
Clinton Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Most of the experience [sic] political pundits have been counting out the Lizard Queen for months now. But as with any epic horror star, it's unwise to assume she's done. Those who fail to learn the lessons of "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" may regret counting out the Lizard Queen too soon.
Richard Poe's War on Redesigned Currency Topic: Horowitz
Richard Poe's reappearance peddling the quitediscredited Clinton body count in the Hillary-bashing issue of WorldNetDaily's Whistleblower magazine had us wondering what the guy has been up to these days.
The answer: railing against redesigned currency because it looks postmodernist.
HAVE YOU seen the new five-dollar bill? It looks like someone spilled grape juice on it. A violet stain obscures Abraham Lincoln’s face. On the back, an oversized numeral five appears in purple. Enough is enough. We must stop the desecration of our currency.
The fact is, we are being hoodwinked. The redesign of our currency has nothing to do with fighting counterfeiters or helping people with weak eyesight. It has everything to do with catering to the perverse canons of postmodernist art. The U.S. Treasury has allowed a cabal of avant-garde designers to pull off one of the most audacious practical jokes in art history; the “subversion” and “deconstruction” of the U.S. dollar. We the taxpayers must demand an end to this cultural vandalism.
More than 2,300 years ago, Aristotle opined that art should be wondrous and beautiful. It should instruct and elevate the masses, he said, giving pleasure and catharsis or emotional release.
Today’s hipster intellectuals reject Aristotle. Instead, they embrace a philosophy variously called “poststructuralism“, “postmodernism” or just plain PoMo. For PoMo’s apostles, art is a weapon of revolution. Its purpose is to mock, degrade and undermine the cherished beliefs of Western civilization. PoMo theorists call this process “deconstruction” or “subversion“.
Yes, They Are Questioning Obama's Patriotism Topic: NewsBusters
In attacking a CBS News story that "suggest[ed] Democrats are well-justified in fearing Republicans will succeed in portraying Obama as 'out of the mainstream,' which Reynolds described as 'code for "unpatriotic"'" over things like not wearing a flag pin, Brent Baker used a May 4 NewsBusters post to claim that this "demonstrat[es] how the mainstream media will view criticism of Barack Obama through the prism of past attacks on Democrats they consider illegitimate," then asked: "Which legitimate, significant political figure on the right has accused Barack Obama of being unpatriotic?"
Baker might want to check down the hall at MRC headquarters. From the April 22 column by Baker's boss, Brent Bozell:
ABC disgusted the Obama-ogling bloggers by dwelling on Obama’s developing vulnerabilities. Gibson questioned Obama’s remarks about the bitterness of poorer voters to cling to their guns and their religion and their antipathy to immigrants (instead of voting for liberals). They asked several questions about Obama’s long-time minister, the inflammatory Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And they asked if it wasn’t a “major vulnerability” that he won’t wear a flag pin.
(This last issue is a bit comical, coming from ABC News, whose president, David Westin, banned all ABC News employees from wearing a flag pin on the air, so they could remain “independent and objective.” Westin also resembled Obama’s mysterious sense of patriotism in suggesting he didn’t think it was his role to decide whether the Pentagon was a legitimate target for terrorists. The candidate could have proclaimed that he has demonstrated all the patriotism of your average ABC News reporter.)
While Bozell doesn't explicitly say it, the implication is undeniably there.
We don't know if Baker considers his fellow NewsBusters bloggers as "legitimate, significant political figures on the right," but there's plenty of fodder to be found there. For instance, Mark Finkelstein wrote regarding the flag pin stuff and his catching Obama failing to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem once (which, by the way, isn't a requirement), "Meanwhile, does Obama have some third act or omission planned to demonstrate that he's not falling for those corny, old-fashioned displays of patriotism?"
And Warner Todd Huston explicitly states that "Barack Obama isn't patriotic enough to wear an American flag lapel pin!"
As for "legitimate, significant political figures on the right," there's Roger Stone ("Many Americans will find the three things [including the flag pin] offensive. Barack Obama is out of the McGovern wing of the party, and he is part of the blame America first crowd") and Mark Williams ("He felt it OK to come out of the closet as the domestic insurgent he is"). (OK, Baker may not consider Williams "legitimate.")
Karl Rove, President Bush's former chief strategist, recently chided Obama for his flag-pin decision, accusing him of declaring that if you do wear one, "you're not a true patriot." Republican pollster Whit Ayres called Obama "George McGovern without the military experience." Setting up a contrast, a recent McCain ad declared the Republican candidate "the American president America has been waiting for."
So Baker's question has been amply answered. We have a question in return: Will Baker throw his inoperative question into tomorrow's CyberAlert with the rest of his post?
A May 3 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston attacks the Associated Press for reporting that an upcoming manifesto claiming that "faith is now too political" is being released by "conservative Christian leaders." Writes Huston: "But a little investigation proves that 'conservative leaders' is not a very good description of those who have signed onto this 'manifesto.' In fact, many of the most well-known conservative Christian leaders in the country have decided not to sign onto the "manifesto" and many more weren't even consulted or included in the creation of this highly political document that pretends it stands against politics."
But Huston never details how those evangelical leaders whose names have thus far been linked to the manifesto don't quailfy as "conservative" even though they are named in the AP article he criticizes; in fact, he never names them at all, even as he quotes an article listing those evangelicals (who all appear to be mixing faith with politics) who said they didn't sign or weren't involved in the drafting of the document. Indeed, a little investigation -- the kind which Huston shows no evidence of actually having done -- shows those linked thus far to the manifesto have at least some conservative cred.
Chief among them is Os Guinness, described by the AP as "a well-known evangelical author and speaker." Guinness is conservative enough for WorldNetDaily to have quoted him personally smearing Frank Schaeffer for being critical of right-wing evangelicals.
Another is Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary. Wikipedia describes Fuller as progressive-leaning yet "welcoming both to the evangelical conservative and the theologically liberal," adding: "Fuller instructors have been cited as seeking ways out of the conservative/liberal debate: 'We need to be the voice of a third way that flows out of biblical values, instead of buying into the political ideology of either the right or the left.'"
We can cite WND here too; not only has it never forwarded attacks on Fuller for being too liberal, it anecdotally noted that one favorite WND conservative "grew up without religion, but during seven years of academic study at Bethany University and Fuller Theological Seminary accepted that the claims of Christianity are true."
Despite this, Huston goes on to write:
This project is beginning to look more like a group of Christians with anti-conservative views attempting to steal the mantle of leadership away from those who are now associated with Christianity in America. But to what end? We know that over the last year the political left has made major attempts to claim Christianity for themselves.
The left has made a concerted campaign to take over Christianity and use it for the purposes of the Democrat Party and the cultural left in America today.
Is this "Evangelical Manifesto" just another attempt by the far left in America to co-opt Christianity in America? It's a bit hard to believe otherwise since the people that put this project together studiously excluded so many prominent conservative Christians.
But one thing is for sure, the MSM will present them as "conservative Christian leaders" even as hardly any known and real conservative leaders are involved in this project.
But haven't right-wingers already co-opted Christianity in America and used it for the purposes of the Republican Party and the cultural left in America? And, again, Huston never demonstrates that any of those linked thus far to the manifesto are not "real conservative leaders."