'Calmed and Reasoned Understanding' Topic: Accuracy in Media
Responding to a New Yorker profile of Keith Olbermann noting that Olbermann's response to network questions over why he was telling President Bush to "shut the hell up" in a "special comment" was, "Because I can't say, 'Shut the f_ _ _ up,' that's why, frankly," Don Irvine wrote in a June 17 Accuracy in Media blog post: "So much for calmed and reasoned understanding in the media."
This from somebody who employs Cliff Kincaid, a man who thinks Barack Obama is a Manchurian candidate and who ascribes the beliefs of fictional characters to Obama.
Newsmax Repeats Sham McCain Supporter List Topic: Newsmax
A June 15 Newsmax article regurgitated a list, provided by John McCain's campaign, of "prominent Democratic and unaffiliated leaders and activists who have joined Citizens for McCain, a new grassroots effort headed by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to rally Americans of all political parties to support McCain's candidacy." Newsmax made no effort to dig further into the list to provide evidence these McCain supporters being Democrat, unaffiliated, or even prominent.
TPM Election Central did, however. Their conclusion:
The list is a bit of a sham. A look at some of these "Democrats and independents" shows that it's a stretch to tout their support for the Republican as anything at all unusual.
Some of the "Democrats" and "Independents" on the list already have often supported Republicans in the past, suggesting that there's little if any meaning to their support for McCain over Obama. And others have a history of hostility towards the Democratic Party that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to take them seriously as genuine cross-over supporters.
Of particular note is list member and "former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Frye." As TPM describes him:
Here's why he ran in the first place: Dem Gov. Bob Wise had been damaged after having been caught having an affair with Frye's wife. (When Wise withdrew from the race, Frye's star faded and he received less than one-percent of the vote.)
New Article: Love Like (Demographic) Winter Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb raises the alarm about declining birth rates and embraces the idea (if not the fervent hope) that only white Christians will, and must, continue to breed. Read more >>
A June 16 WorldNetDaily article unleashes another guilt-by-association attack on Barack Obama, and surprisingly, Aaron Klein's byline is not on it.
The unbylined article claims that "An American citizen who returned to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein to become minister of electricity has called for support of the terrorist insurgency and claims to have contributed the maximum amount under the law to the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama." But the donation is the only direct connection WND makes to Obama -- in other words, yet another desperate guilt-by-association attack, the kind WND writer Klein has becomeinfamous for.
By contrast, WND has provided no original coverage of Clayton Williams, a fundraiser for John McCain's campaign who once compared rape to the weather: "As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it." (Williams' fundraiser was canceled after word of this statement got out.)
Either WND agrees with this sentiment, or it's refusing to treat McCain the way it does Obama -- which appears to run counter to WND editor Joseph Farah's insistence that he won't help McCain get elected. But by refusing to hold McCain to the same relentlessly negative standard he's holding Obama -- plus the fact there isn't a "No McCain" bumper sticker on sale next to the "NObama" sticker WND sells -- that's exactly what Farah is doing.
Do you think Barack Obama is the right man to lead this great nation for the next four years?
If the answer is no, then just say "NObama!"
WND is now offering a new, magnetic bumper sticker that's sure to become an instant classic, bearing the message, "NObama '08."
Draped in the patriotic colors of the American flag, this portable placard lets everyone know you won't be casting your ballot for the Democratic senator from Illinois.
You've been learning plenty about the real Barack Obama in recent weeks. You've seen the kind of people he calls his friends and mentors. Now it's time to share your concerns with your fellow Americans.
Say yes to America's security.
Say yes to a prosperous future.
Say "NObama '08."
And say no to any notion that WND can ever be trusted as a source of information or should be regarded as anything other than a public relations arm of the McCain campaign -- after all, it doesn't sell anti-McCain paraphernalia, and being anti-Obama is, for intents and purposes, being pro-McCain.
Newsmax Tries to Cash In on Russert's Death Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is wasting no time trying to profit from the death of Tim Russert.
Shortly after Russert's death was announced, Newsmax quickly rolled out a promotion of the new issue of its magazine, which -- coincidentially, it seems -- has Russert on the cover:
Tim Russert, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," has passed.
And just as news broke of his sudden death, Newsmax magazine's July 2008 cover story was hitting newsstands — featuring Tim Russert on its cover!
The lead story of the issue purports to "unmask the talking heads — not only their backgrounds, but also their hidden agendas." Somehow, we suspect Newsmax will be bothered more by liberal pundits than conservative ones.
Then, in a June 17 "news" article by Sylvia Booth Hubbard quotes "acclaimed neurosurgeon and health advocate Dr. Russell Blaylock" -- who also just happens to the author of a newsletter Newsmax distributes, which Hubbard fails to disclose -- as offering a post-mortem diagnosis of Russert's sudden death: "Chances are the medicines he was taking to reduce his chances of having a life-ending heart attack – probably statins – weren’t helping him at all."
Hubbard adds: "To avoid a fate similar to Russert’s, Dr. Blaylock advises a magnesium supplement every day," followed by a link to a report by Blaylock on "the diabetes solution" that Newsmax is more than happy to sell you.
A June 17 WorldNetDaily article by Sterling Meyers touts a new anti-public school book called "From Crayons to Condoms." Nowhere does the article mention that the book is published by WND's book division.
WND has a longhistory of failing to disclose its financial and personal interests in the people and causes it covers. As we've detailed, WND has a longtime animus toward public schools -- an agenda this book serves nicely.
NewsBusters Thinks TNR's Kirchick Is a Liberal Topic: NewsBusters
A June 16 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston praises a Los Angeles Times op-ed by The New Republic's James Kirchick purporting to claim that President Bush "never lied to us about Iraq." Warner calls Kirchick a "lefty," and his headline describes Kirchick as a "liberal TNR editor."
Er, not so much.
Last August in a Boston Globe op-ed, Kirchick declared himself a "gay recovering leftist," pointed out that "most people knew me as "the gay conservative" for a column I wrote in the school paper," complained that liberals are "the most intolerant people I’ve ever met" (as opposed to him, "the supposedly closed-minded conservative") and asserted, "But there’s nothing about my homosexuality that dictates a belief about raising the minimum wage, withdrawing immediately from Iraq, and backing teachers’ unions: all liberal causes that I strongly oppose."
Huston began his post by stating, "James Kirchick, assistant editor of The New Republic, has come under NewsBusters scrutiny for his bias before, of course." Again, not so much; the only two other articles under Kirchick's tag at NewsBusters are by Mark Finkelstein -- the first incorrectly calls Kirchick "a blogger from the left," and the other, in the vein of Huston, praised Kirchick for writing in "the liberal New Republic" that the New York Times is "in the tank for Obama."
As Eric Alterman points out, The New Republic has supported the Iraq war, was once edited by conservative-leaning Andrew Sullivan and Michael Kelly, was formerly owned by conservative-leaning Martin Peretz and is currently owned by CanWest, a conservative-leaning Canadian publisher -- all things that make it less than the "liberal" publication Finkelstein would like you to believe it is.
Liberty Counsel Selectively Bothered by Polygamy Topic: WorldNetDaily
In an op-ed published June 16 by WorldNetDaily, Steve Crampton, vice president for Legal Affairs and general counsel of the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel, asserted that the California Supreme Court ruling overturning a ban on same-sex marriage "legitimizes polygamy," claiming that "polygamy is generally considered beyond the pale" and noting "the highly publicized case of the Texas polygamy sect and the concern for the young women alleged to have been 'married' to the older men in the sect."
Interestingly, though, a search of Liberty Counsel's press releases for 2008 shows that it has not weighed in on the Texas polygamist sect case. If Crampton and Liberty Counsel were really concerned about polygamy, wouldn't it have injected itself into the Texas case by now?
Aswe'venoted, WND has not been terribly concerned about the actual polygamy aspect of the the polygamist cult and defending the right of the parents to marry their children off into polygamist relationships.
Barbara Simpson, in her June 16 WorldNetDaily column, feels the need to liken Barack Obama to a corrupt dictator:
Tell me quick: What kind of president has Robert Mugabe been for Zimbabwe during 28 years in office?
If you depend on mainstream media, you probably don't know.
On the other hand, tell me quick, what are the specific accomplishments of Barack Obama – his qualifications for office – his specific plans for this country if elected?
If you depend on mainstream media, you probably don't know.
But, I repeat myself.
I do not believe that Obama is a nascent tyrant, but his policies and aims for this country are socialist, which is Marxist-communism light. November's election could change this country dramatically with an increased heavy hand of government control.
Remember: When Robert Mugabe was first elected, he was hailed by the West, the U.S. and indeed, Jimmy Carter, as essentially being Zimbabwe's savior.
Consider what's happened – and Carter has never said a word.
Many people regard Obama as our "savior."
That makes me nervous.
It makes us nervous that we still have five months to go in the election and WND is already peddling this kind of smear.
Matt Barber's New Gig Topic: The ConWeb
Matt Barber, whose anti-gay activism we profiled earlier this year, is leaving Concerned Women for America to work as associate dean for career and professional development with Liberty University Law School and director for cultural affairs with Liberty Counsel, the school's right-wing legal organization. (h/t Pandagon)
Ted Baehr uses his June 14 WorldNetDaily article to argue that there are so few homosexuals in the United States that not only should they not be allowed to get married, movies shouldn't be made that appeal to them.
[O]n June 4, the Wall Street Journal reported that in advance of the "June 17th day that will live in infamy," "hotel chains, small inns and wedding venues [reported] a surprisingly small number of gay wedding reservations," even though the hotels were offering package deals and discounts rates to sodomite couples.
This seems to confirm what MOVIEGUIDE® has found with respect to homosexual movies. Although there are a lot of homosexual movies, there are very few homosexuals to support such movies. When I do interviews with hosts who have developed the effete accent of those who choose alternate lifestyles, I usually ask them, "If there are so many homosexuals, why don't you just show up and show off at the box office?
In fact, in the last five years, overt homosexual movies, including well-known films like "Brokeback Mountain" and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" and such losers like "Transamerica," "Another Gay Movie," "Shortbus," "Breakfast on Pluto," "Kinky Boots," "The History Boys" and "Adam & Steve," averaged only $7.97 million at the box office. In contrast, movies with very strong Christian worldviews have averaged $76.97 million, or 10 times more money!
If there are very few homosexuals who show up at the box office, or who show up to get married, it could mean that the press, the government and businesses have vastly overrated their size and importance. That would mean that a very small minority is dictating the Judeo-Christian laws of the United States of America, or at least California.
I can only continue to challenge them to show up and show off at the box office. If they don't, then the movie industry should stop wasting money on this tiny group, and the government of California should be embarrassed that they have allowed a tiny group of Mensheviks to rule the state, destroy marriage and tyrannize the people!
Note the hatred Baehr is demonstrating toward gays with the use of terms like "sodomite couples" and the ridiculous stereotype that anyone who might speak in support of gay rights does so in an "effete accent."
Perhaps this is because Baehr can't figure out a way to make money promoting "overt homosexual movies"; after all, he was found a few years back to have accepted money to promote movies his Movieguide site positively reviewed without disclosing that financial relationship to its readers (a practice WND's Joseph Farah has defended -- perhaps not surprising given WND's longhistory of failing to disclose business and personal interests in the people and groups it promotes).
A June 15 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham declares that the Washington Post is "celebrating homosexuality and the oncoming push against the 'hateful' influence of traditional religion by putting the Capital Pride Festival on the front page of its Friday 'Weekend' section."
Huh? The article in question says nothing about pushing against the "hateful influence of traditional religion" -- or anything about religion, period -- nor does Graham offer any evidence the issue of religion was brought in any other related article.
And Graham plays into the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy by claiming that the Post is "celebrating homosexuality" when it is merely publishing an article about people celebrating homosexuality. There's a difference, even if Graham wants to pretend there isn't.
A June 13 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi begins:
A panel of Democratic Party legal heavyweights speculated Jamie Gorelick, former deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, could be appointed attorney general if Barack Obama were elected president.
But Corsi offers no evidence that this was, in fact, the case, other than Gorelick saying what she would do "if she were appointed attorney general in an Obama administration."
Corsi went on to claim:
Attorney General John Aschroft pinned blame on her for issuing a 1995 memo that established a "wall" between the criminal and intelligence divisions, hindering the ability of the U.S. government to detect the Sept. 11 plot.
Ashcroft contended the document by Gorelick [pdf file] helped establish the "single greatest structural cause" for 9/11, which was "the wall that segregated criminal investigators and intelligence agents."
In fact, as we'vedetailed, the "wall" was created in 1978, and Gorelick claims that her memo actually permitted freer guidelines regarding the exchange of information than what was eventually approved. Also, Ashcroft's Justice Department formally reaffirmed those guidelines in August 2001. Corsi failed to note Gorelick's response.
In a June 13 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item), Clay Waters responded to a New York Times claim that rumors of a video of Michelle Obama "making a racially tinged speech" was "circulating on conservative blogs" by asserting: "Hate to break it to the Times, but this rumor first appeared on Hillary supporter and (liberal loose cannon) Larry Johnson's blog No Quarter back on May 16, a full two weeks before the Obama site's timeline showing that Limbaugh mentioned the rumor on his radio show."
But that doesn't disprove the claim that the rumor was "circulating on conservative blogs." Indeed, a blog post on May 16 -- the same day Johnson made his post -- at conservative TownHall.com repeats Johnson's claim, teasing, "it might be big -- if it's true." Free Republic also repeated the rumor that very same day.
So the answer to Waters' headline question -- "Did 'Conservative Bloggers' Spread Michelle Obama Video Rumor?" -- is a very emphatic yes, despite what Waters wants you to think.