Does Joseph Farah have Lou Boccardi and Dick Thornburgh on speed dial?
Friday, October 24, 2008
McCain Volunteer Admits Attack Hoax; Will ConWeb Care?
Topic: The ConWeb
On Oct. 23, the ConWeb pounced on a McCain campaign volunteer's claim that she was mugged and attacked, including having a "B" carved onto her cheek, in Pittsburgh because her alleged assailant spotted a McCain bumper sticker on her car. CNSNews.com and Newsmax did articles, while NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard, in a post with the screaming headline "Obama Supporter Maims McCain Volunteer, Will Media Care?" howled: "it's going to be very interesting to see how this disgusting incident gets reported by Obama-loving media."
But with the "victim" now admitting the attack was a hoax, how will the ConWeb react?
CNS posted an updated story, though the original story remains posted and has not been updated to state that the attack in a hoax.
Newsmax and Sheppard are silent thus far.
UPDATE: Sheppard has updated his post to note the hoax, but leaves his original histrionics intact. Will he ever apologize for not applying even a smidge of skepticism to the woman's claims before touting them so enthusiastically?
UPDATE 2: Newsmax has posted an updated article, but the original remains posted without any notice that it's a hoax.
'Reality Check' Unreality: MRC Obfuscates McCain Ad Criticism
Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 23 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes claims that "from the end of the primaries (June 4) through October 21 ... the networks aired nearly three times as many stories criticizing McCain's ads (84) as hitting Obama's (32)." But by including statistics from as far back as June, Noyes hides the fact that McCain's advertising has been much more negative in recent weeks than Obama's.
But the WAP report Noyes cited also stated:
Further, Noyes offers no breakdown of when in the time period examined those stories were aired. But as the WAP demonstrates, McCain has been more harshly negative than Obama in recent weeks, so it can be assumed that most of the coverage of McCain's negative advertising also happened in recent weeks, not in June as Noyes implies. Thus, Noyes distorts reality by falsely portraying McCain's and Obama's ads as equally negative throughout the entire campaign.
WND Still Repeating Corsi's Bogus Claims
An Oct. 23 WorldNetDaily article repeats Jerome Corsi's claims that Barack Obama "raised almost $1 million" for Kenya's Raila Odinga, despite the fact that, as we detailed, the document Corsi offers as the only evidence to support the claim is clearly fake.
Neither WND nor Corsi have responded to ConWebWatch's debunking of Corsi's documents; they have neither retracted the articles nor offered further evidence to support their claims.
In noting that Corsi "has been dispatched to Hawaii to uncover the truth of the senator's Hawaiian birth," the article fails to mention that two months ago, "a WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic."
Why is WorldNetDaily lying to its readers?
WND Again Forgets It Discredited Philip Berg
Another WorldNetDaily article promotes the lawsuit filed by Philip J. Berg against Barack Obama regarding Obama's birth certificate while failing to mention that two months earlier, WND declared that Berg's lawsuit "relies on discredited claims" and that a "WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic."
Will no one free WND from its amnesia?
Will Bozell Apologize to CNN for Assuming Malicious Intent?
Topic: Media Research Center
As we detailed, the fluff-laden interview of Sarah Palin by CNN's Drew Griffin was not fluffy enough for Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center. Taking issue with Griffin's taking a National Review article out of context, Bozell unleashed a tirade, claiming that Griffin and CNN "are out to destroy Sarah Palin" and accused them of "journalistic malpractice," further demanding an apology.
An Oct. 23 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan details Griffin's response -- that he didn't not intentionally take the National Review article out of context, but that "I wanted to keep the interview moving. So, I got to the heart...of York’s article...which is -- you’re a successful governor. Why aren't you getting that message out, which she answered."
This leaves two questions:
1) Will Bozell and the MRC accept Griffin's explanation?
2) More importantly, will Bozell apologize to Griffin and CNN for presuming malicious, anti-Palin intent for the way Griffin phrased the question? Bozell has been silent about the rest of the interview, which has been described as "McCain-friendly" to the point that Griffin asked few challenging questions and essentially apologized for asking Palin about Troopergate.
If Bozell would like to look a little less thuggish, an apology is in order.
UPDATE: Bozell sort of apologizes, but still finds a way to play the victim:
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Craige McMillan's Amnesia
Craige McMillan dedicates his Oct. 23 WorldNetDaily column to promoting Philip Berg's lawsuit over Barack Obama's birth certificate, apparently oblivious -- intentionally or otherwise -- to the fact that his employer declared that Berg's lawsuit " relies on discredited claims."
In addition to smearing Obama supporters as "inbred East Coast fools" and treating baseless speculation as something that is "probably very close to the mark," McMillan channels Hal Lindsey in claiming a conspiracy behind FactCheck.org's debunking of the fake-birth-certificate claim:
NewsBusters on Palin's $150,000 Wardrobe: Dismiss, Attack
The boys at NewsBusters are eager to change the subject away from Sarah Palin's $150,000 wardrobe -- at least, when they're not attacking anyone who brings it up.
Kyle Drennen tried to do the former: "What exactly is the difference between Sarah Palin getting her clothes at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and Obama getting his clothes at Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale’s?" Well, Obama didn't have the DNC pay for his clothes, and there's no evidence he's spending $150,000 a month on them.
Matthew Balan chose the latter route, declaring that CNN's Jack Cafferty was suffering from "Palin Derangement Syndrome" after he brought it up: "Jack, you’ve had a tough time recently, between your wife’s recent death and the unscheduled surgery. Isn’t about time that you just let the subject of Sarah Palin go?"
And Brent Baker sniffed that it's all "another media-generated controversy."
By contrast, here are the search results on NewsBusters for "john edwards haircut." No concern that we could find about it being a "media-generated controversy."
UPDATE: Clay Waters added that the New York Times "compiled an online slide show featuring Palin in various outfits, with photos accompanied by catty commentary." By contrast, Waters happily pointed out that Times columnist Maureen Dowd "grabbed hold of Edwards' hair and yanked on it" in a 2007 column.
Waters then went the distraction route: "Also at NRO, Lisa Schiffren explains why this was money well spent for the GOP."
WND's Sanchez Misleads on Military Poll
An Oct. 23 WorldNetDaily column by Matt Sanchez touted a Military Times poll that, in Sanchez's words, "showed John McCain defeating Barack Obama by 68 percent to 23, if the members of the United States military were electing the next president. That's nearly a 3-to-1 gap." Sanchez didn't tell his readers about the flaws in the poll.
Military Times stated that the poll was "a voluntary survey of 4,293 active-duty, National Guard and reserve subscribers and former subscribers to Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times," adding:
Military Times further stated:
In other words, it's not a reliable, scientifically conducted poll. Sanchez shouldn't pretend it is.
Newsmax Flip-Flops on Obama Birth Certificate
A couple days ago, we detailed how Newsmax's Lowell Ponte bought into the lie that Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake, ignoring the evidence -- even by his fellow right-wingers at WorldNetDaily -- that it's real.
Newsmax seems to have had a change of heart. An Oct. 22 article by David Patten attacking Obama for being the "most secretive Democratic presidential candidate ever" also, in a stab at balance, cited examples in which "the Obama campaign has offered to provide additional information to reporters if they have specific questions or issues," one of them being ... the birth certificate:
Patten might want to send an email to Ponte or something to alert him of this stunning news ... that everyone else but Ponte knows.
Is WND Taking Blinders Off About Purported Michelle Obama Tape?
Is WorldNetDaily conceding it chose to be suckered by African Press International?
An Oct. 22 article by Bob Unruh strikes a skeptical tone for the first time at WND about API's claim that it has an auditotape of an interview it claims it conducted with Michelle Obama, highlighting Fox News' denial that it was negotiating with API for the "embarrassing recordings." Unruh even calls it an "alleged conversation" and refers to "purported 'Michelle Obama tapes.'"
That's a change from WND's previous reporting on the issue, which uncritically took API at its word despite obvious red flags about its credibility. WND has a history of believing the worst about Obama and presenting it as fact, then not retracting and apologizing when it turns out to be false. But that's what happens when you put a political agenda before journalism.
The blinders aren't completely off, though -- Unruh notes that API's alleged lawyer, attorney, Philip Berg, is "coincidentally pursuing a court challenge over Barack Obama's birthplace" but fails to mention that WND previously delcared that Berg's lawsuit "relies on discredited claims." (WND has an amnesia problem about that.)
Corsi's Memogate: Will He Retract His Articles?
As we've documented, WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi made several claims regarding Barack Obama's relationship with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga using clearly fake documents as the only disclosed evidence to support them.
Corsi has so far been silent, refusing to either defend his claims or retract them due to the discredited evidence; he has hinted at a "fake but accurate" defense, claiming that criticism of his documents didn't counter the "substantive point" of his accusations. Actually, it does if there's no other evidence -- which, if it exists, Corsi has yet to present to his readers.
Corsi is in a corner here. Will he supply non-fake evidence, or retract his claims altogether? The world is waiting.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Matt Barber, Oct. 22 WorldNetDaily column
UPDATE: CNSNews.com publishes Barber's derangement as well.
Softball CNN Interview of Palin Not Fluffy Enough for MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
George Zornick at Altercation detailed how the softball interview of Sarah Palin by CNN's Drew Griffin was "shameful" in being so "McCain-friendly," burying questions about Troopergate and almost apologizing for asking about it at all, even though there's clear wrongdoing documented on Palin's part.
But it wasn't sycophantic enough for the Media Research Center: One of those softballs took a National Review article out of context. And that's what has Brent Bozell's knickers in a twist. From an Oct. 22 MRC press release:
Yeah, CNN is out to get Palin all right, what with those harsh, biased questions from Griffin, like:
The man's a liberal media buzzsaw, that Drew Griffin.
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