NewsBusters Heathering Watch Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham gets all Heather-y again on Kathleen Parker in a Feb. 4 NewsBusters post. Graham dismisses parker -- a frequent victim of Heathering by Graham and his NewsBusters buddies whenever she dares to deviate from right-wing dogma -- as a "[p]seudo-conservative columnist" writing a "a provocative 'Look at Me!' column trashing social conservatism," going on to suggest that the only possible reason Parker "has been published in The Washington Post" is said pseudo-conservatism (ignoring the fact that the Washington Post Writers Group has syndicated Parker's column since 2006).
CNS Labeling Bias Watch Topic: CNSNews.com
A Feb. 4 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones demonstrates the author's bias by incorrectly labeling the Democratic Party "the Democrat Party" -- a misleading construct promoted by right-wingers.
Obama Hate Central: WND Can't Stop Lying About Obama, Constitution Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've repeatedlydocumented how WorldNetDaily has deliberately misquoted Barack Obama to portray him saying things about the Constitution that he clearly did not say. The sleazy tradition continues in a Feb. 3 article by Bob Unruh:
Obama believes the Constitution is flawed because it does not mandate redistribution of wealth and he says the Supreme Court should have intervened years ago to accomplish that.
Obama told Chicago's public station WBEZ-FM that "redistributive change" is needed, pointing to what he regarded as a failure of the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren in its rulings on civil rights issues in the 1960s.
Obama said no such thing. As the transcript Unruh includes in his article makes abundantly clear, Obama never said that "the Supreme Court should have intervened" to "mandate redistribution of wealth," or that the Warren Court was a "failure" for not doing so. Rather, Obama was saying that the civil rights movement relied too much on the court system to advance its agenda instead of promoting change from the bottom up, i.e., legislatively, and that the Warren Court did not address it was a sign that it was not as radical as right-wingers have claimed it to be.
Remember how Cliff Kincaid and Jerome Corsi were ranting about "Obamatons"? It seems Unruh is the polar opposite -- let's call him a Farahbot -- programmed to destroy Obama or whatever else Joseph Farah tells him to do, no matter how implausible the lies he must peddle and how egregious the dishonesty he must perpetuate in doing so.
It's a sad comedown for someone whose WND calling card was that he worked for the Associated Press.
Newsmax Doesn't Challenge False Claim on Stimulus Topic: Newsmax
A Feb. 3 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers uncritically repeats a claim by South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford that the stimulus bill is, "according to the Congressional Budget Office itself, about money that in many cases will not get to be spent for another two years or so."
In fact, a new CBO analysis of the stimulus concludes that 78 percent of it will be paid out over the first two fiscal years.
False Equivalence at NewsBusters Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 3 NewsBustsers post, Kyle Drennen suggested hypocrisy on the part of Citizens for Reponsiblity and Ethics in Washington (whose name Drennen gets wrong, calling it "Citizens for Responsibilities and Ethics") spokesman Melanie Sloan. Sloan had said regarding Tom Daschle that he engages in "the more sophisicated kind of lobbying we have in Washington, where he's a consultant. ... Maybe the truth of the matter is, you need some of those Washington insiders to make your new government work." Drennen then pointed out that in 2005, Sloan was quoted as saying that the indictment of Tom DeLay "demonstrates the culture of corruption among the congressional leadership that has become a cancer on our country."
Drennen conveniently ignores two major differences between DeLay and Daschle. First, Daschle was not a sitting senator, having lost re-election in 2004; DeLay was a sitting congressman. Second, Daschle was not accused of any crime regarding his lobbying activities -- though Drennan suggests that both DeLay and Daschle were engaged in "ethics scandals" of similar magnitude -- while DeLay faces criminal charges over his alleged behavior. As the 2005 column Drennen cited described the charges against DeLay:
DeLay's indictment comes on the heels of charges that top political aide Jim Ellis and veteran fundraiser John Colyandro illegally funneled $190,000 in corporate contributions to candidates for the Texas legislature in 2002 through the national Republican Party. "The indictment charges DeLay with conspiring with Ellis and Colyandro to violate the Texas Election Code by contributing corporate money to certain candidates for the Texas Legislature," said the statement from DA Ronnie Earle. "It describes a scheme whereby corporate, or 'soft,' money was sent to the Republican National Committee where it was exchanged for 'hard' money, or money raised from individuals, and sent to those candidates." The probe initially focused on violations of Texas election law but was recently broadened to include conspiracy charges. DeLay's modus operandi — the ruthless accumulation of money and favors to benefit corporate interests and far-right Republicans — may ultimately secure his demise.
Questions about unpaid taxes, which Daschle faced, are several orders of magnitude lower than a criminal indictment regarding illegal money-laundering. Drennen appears not to know the difference.
An annual subscription to Jerome Corsi's Red Alert "premium online newsletter" costs $99. And what do you get for that premium sum? Apparently, the rantings of Cliff Kincaid, which is offered for free elsewhere.
A Feb. 2 WorldNetDaily preview of this week's Red Alert brings us the shocking news that Obama wants to build support for his economic stimulus plan among his fellow Democrats. Not that shocking, you say? It is when the rhetorical stylings of Corsi and Kincaid are applied:
President Obama has been using persuasive public relations techniques to sell his economic stimulus plan to hard-core supporters, Jerome Corsi's Red Alert reports.
The administration is attempting to influence public opinion using media-management techniques geared toward a YouTube and iPod generation.
"Obama's television and radio addresses are designed to maintain and manipulate a hard-core group of people who can be called upon to support his policies no matter how unpopular he becomes," Cliff Kincaid, editor of Accuracy in Media, told Red Alert.
"These are the Obamatons of the Obama nation," Kincaid said. "Like the media, they are gripped with Obamamania, a psychological state of mind that views the new U.S. president as not only a national but a global savior."
Janet Folger Porter is not known for her ability to tell the truth, and she proves it again in her Feb. 3 WorldNetDaily column in which she repeats discredited claims about the proposed stimulus package.
Porter asserted that "President Obama's plan set aside over $4 billion in his stimulus package for controversial community groups such as ACORN." That's false -- as we've repeatedlynoted, the stimulus package doesn't even mention ACORN by name, let alone "set aside" any money to it. Further, ACORN officials have pointed out that it's not even eligible for that money.
Porter also asserts that the stimulus will mean "Millions for illegal aliens since no proof of citizenship is required to get it." That's false too -- as we've also repeatedlynoted, Social Security numbers are needed to qualify for the tax credits in the bill.
Obama Hate Central: WND Falsely Claims Obama Will Cut Pentagon Budget Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 1 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi asserted that "The Obama administration asked the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff to cut the Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2010 by $55 billion, more than 10 percent of last year's $512 billion defense budget."
That is false. In fact, as Media Matters has detailed, Obama wants to increase the Pentagon's budget from $513 billion this year to $527 billion in the next fiscal year. The so-called "cut" is from the Pentagon's budget proposal of $584 billion.
Defending Wall Street is not exactly a popular move these days, but Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy does it in a Feb. 2 column:
I am not going to defend Wall Street excesses. It is unclear to me if these bonuses are excessive. But let’s put all of this into perspective.
America’s economy is the engine of the global economy. We represent less than 5 percent of the world’s population and a disproportionate 25 percent of the world’s GDP. We remain the reserve currency of the world.
Wall Street has played a major role in American capitalism. Its executives should be well compensated.
I am not angry at Wall Street because the current economic crisis was not caused by Wall Street. And Wall Street is not prolonging the pain.
Our economic problems have emanated from Washington and from the Federal Reserve.
Ruddy goes on to attack President Obama's stimulus plan, claiming that "Even illegal aliens can collect checks of up to $1,000."
That's false. As we've noted, the Associated Press, which first reported the claim and attributed it to an anonymous " top Republican congressional official," now points out that "the measure indicates that Social Security numbers are needed to claim tax credits of $500 per worker and $1,000 per couple. It also expressly disqualifies nonresident aliens."
Another Meaningless Huston Rant Topic: NewsBusters
Warner Todd Huston thought he had something going in a Feb. 2 NewsBusters post:
Apparently, President Barack Obama thought that Jessica Simpson's weight was something he needed to make fun of during his pre-Super Bowl interview with Matt Lauer on NBC Sunday. Seriously. Obama called Jessica Simpson a fatty on national TV.
Lauer displayed for the audience the cover of a recent issue of the tabloid entertainment magazine US Weekly that featured the President's wife and daughters and also had an insert photo pushing a story about singer Simpson.
As he viewed the cover, Obama decided to smack the singer down for "in a weight battle."
It seems a bit low of the President of the United States to so offhandedly slam a mere entertainer, doesn't it? Is this something that a good politician would do? What did Simpson ever do to Obama?
What Huston neglects to tell his readers: Obama was simply reading what was on the cover of the magazine "Inside Jess' Weight Battle."
Even getting caught not checking the transcript against the video -- it originally falsely claimed that Obama said Simpson was "losing a weight battle" -- didn't curb his indignance in an update at the end of the post: "It does not alter my point, however, that Obama was commenting on Simpson's weight. Saying someone is 'in a weight battle' is not very much different than saying they are fat." Again, Huston failed to acknowledge that Obama was merely reading what the cover said, despite insisting that "we need to have the record correct on what the President said."
Huston's known for his misleading and ultimately meaningless rants, and this is just another one.
AIM Repeats Discredited Claim on Stimulus Bill Topic: Accuracy in Media
A Feb. 1 Accuracy in Media column by Pamela Meister repeats the false claim that illegal immigrants are eligible for tax credits in the stimulus bill:
Part of the economic stimulus bill that was just passed by the House (except for House Republicans and 11 Democrats who voted against it), includes “tax credits” of $500 per person and $1,000 per couple. (Note: if the recipients pay no taxes, it’s not a credit, it’s a handout.) Apparently the wording specifically disqualifies “nonresident aliens” – Washington-speak for illegals – people with no Social Security numberscould still get the cashola:
Undocumented immigrants [liberal reporter-speak for illegals] who are not eligible for a Social Security number can file tax returns with an alternative number. A House-passed version of the economic recovery bill and one making its way through the Senate would allow anyone with such a number, called an individual taxpayer identification number, to qualify for the tax credits.
In other words, it doesn’t disqualify illegal aliens. Awesome. Why bother having borders anymore?
In fact, the version of the Associated Press article Meister cites to support her claim has been retracted and corrected. The updated version of the AP article now points out that "in fact the measure indicates that Social Security numbers are needed to claim tax credits of $500 per worker and $1,000 per couple. It also expressly disqualifies nonresident aliens."
Meanwhile, Over At HuffPo... Topic: WorldNetDaily
We have a new article at Huffington Post summarizing the conspiratorial history of WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill, who appeared on Glenn Beck's Fox News show last week.
A Feb. 2 NewsBusters post by Kyle Drennen indulges in the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy by writing about a CBS report on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran and headlining it, "CBS 'Early Show' Celebrates Anniversary of Iranian Revolution."
Drennen offers no evidence that there was any "celebrating" on CBS' part going on or that it was anything other than a straightforward report.
CNS Repeats Misleading Claim on EFCA Topic: CNSNews.com
A Feb. 2 CNSNews.com article by Pete Winn on the Employee Free Choice Act notes that supporters of the bill have pointed out that it "will not eliminate the ability for workers to choose to have a secret ballot election," which is followed by a paraphrased retort, passed along uncritically, by Michael Eastman, executive director of labor relations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that "business has never said that secret ballots would be forbidden."
In fact, numerous opponents of the bill have repeatedlyclaimed that the EFCA eliminates secret ballots, and worse.
Further, even if one interprets "business" very narrowly as applying only to paid business lobbyists, that's wrong too. Eastman himself asserted in a U.S. Chamber blog post that the EFCA "would effectively do away with secret ballot elections in union organizing." Another Eastman blog post sermonizes about the secret ballot and falsely asserts that "Workers would lose a vital privacy protection - the ability to vote in a secret ballot election - if Card Check became law."
Yet, Winn does not challenge or correct Eastman's statement.