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Thursday, March 19, 2009
Waters Parrots Misleading Attack on Obama Judicial Nominee
Topic: Media Research Center
A March 17 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item), Clay Waters repeats a claim by Wendy Long of the right-wing Judicial Confirmation Network that Obama appellate court nominee David Hamilton "is ... a fundraiser for ACORN." Waters neglects to mention that Hamltion's experience as a "fundraiser for ACORN" took place for one month 30 years ago.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:52 PM EDT
ConWeb Seizes on Unverified WashTimes Editorial
Topic: The ConWeb

The ConWeb eagerly repeated a Washington Times editorial -- not a "news" article, an editorial -- asserting that "President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology." The editorial contains no named sources or, really, any sources at all; only "multiple interviews" are cited, but no elaboration is provided.

The Times appears to extrapolate that claim from a report -- like the rest of the editorial, unsubstantiated -- that "The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots." But the editorial does not explain how moving money from one program to another equals the end of that program, nor does it say how much total money the training program has.

Despite lacking any verified claims, the ConWeb shilled the Times editorial as if it were ironclad:

  • Newsmax's David Patten cited "a report in Tuesday’s Washington Times" (again, it was an unsourced editorial, not a "news" article) to claim that Obama "wants to disarm U.S. pilots." Patten quoted "a Second Amendment advocate" criticizing the purported claim.
  • CNSNews.com's Susan Jones also uncritically repeated the Times' claim and quotes the head of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms criticizing it.

One thing neither Patten nor Jones bothered to do was contact anyone actually involved with the actual pilot training program -- the federal Transportation Safety Administration and the Air Line Pilots Association. According to FoxNews.com, the TSA called the Times editorial "inaccurate," and the ALPA stated that the editorial editorial "couldn't be further from the truth."

Newsmax's Jim Meyers has posted a rewritten version of the Fox News story, while CNS has thus far not been moved to tell both sides of the story.l

(h/t ChattahBox)


Posted by Terry K. at 1:52 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:08 PM EDT
Quote of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

[S]uffice it to say that Eric Holder is but another floatie in the septic tank that is the Obama administration, albeit a pretty significant one.

-- Erik Rush, March 19 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 AM EDT
Bozell Joins Judicial Watch's PR Team
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell joins Newsmax and WorldNetDaily in signing on as public-relations agents for Judicial Watch by using his March 17 column to uncritically regurgitate JW's attacks on Nancy Pelosi:

The media largely skipped the story last week that the group Judicial Watch found that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s aides fussed about the need to have high-level military aircraft like the Gulfstream G-5 at Pelosi’s beck and call: "It is my understanding there are NO G-5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable...The Speaker will want to know where the planes are," Kay King wrote. In another note, when told a certain type of aircraft would not be available, King complained: "This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset Speaker."

Bozell doesn't bother to mention -- perhaps because it wasn't in the JW press release Bozell was cribbing from -- that the first email he cited came in regard to obtaining a plane for a bipartisan congressional delegations, not for Pelosi's personal use.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:07 PM EDT
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Yes, Joseph Farah Is A Homophobe
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In the midst of defending Jackie Mason for his use of the word "schvartze" to describe Barack Obama (and curiously failing to mention the historic  context of the word as a derogatory insult) Joseph Farah writes in his March 18 column: "I certainly have been labeled a 'homophobe,' because I believe homosexual behavior is immoral – a sin. And I say it. I write it. I publish it."

No, Mr. Farah, you have been labeled a "homophobe" because you have, in fact, exhibited homophobic behavior.

Example 1: Farah threatened to sue Wikipedia because someone had altered his bio at the website to call him a "noted homosexual." It would be logical to assume that WorldNetDaily's war on Wikipedia has some basis in this perceived slight.

Example 2: Farah had an even bigger anti-gay freakout in 2006, when he decided that a college professor who detailed Farah's and WND's anti-gay activism was out to kill him. How so? Because the writer ended his column by rhetorically asking, "Who will rid us of the evil lunatics?" The professor responded to this by explicitly denying that he wanted to kill Farah -- which only enraged Farah even more: He called the professor a "nutcase" and "the Ward Churchill of the pro-perversion, anti-Christian crowd" and added, "Since homosexuals don't reproduce naturally, they need to recruit – not to be their children, mind you, but to be their prey."

Would a person who is not homophobic react so irrationally to 1) having the truth of his anti-gay activism pointed out and 2) being jokingly called gay? We think not.

Farah already has trouble handling criticism as it is, and his homophobic freakouts are an extension of this. Perhaps he needs to get some therapy or something to deal with this stuff better.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:12 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 5:17 PM EDT
Noel Sheppard Shocked-By-The-Unshocking Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard loves to be shocked by things that aren't shocking. In a March 17 NewsButers post, Sheppard demonstrates this propensity once again as he declares "shocking" that the Washington Post would publish a column that runs to the defense of Jim Cramer and CNBC and bashes Jon Stewart.

Wouldn't it be more shocking if NewsBusters permitted one of its bloggers to defend Stewart? Absolutely. Why are Sheppard and his colleagues so afraid of diversity of opinion?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Therefore, the salient question becomes: Why is the Obama administration causing such chaos against his own nation, his own people who just elected him as the first black man to serve as president of United States?

It's chaos theory.

[...]

Obama is a master at using his enemies' strengths (Christianity, free-market capitalism, Reagan conservatism) as a weakness (moral and economic collapse, multi-billion dollar bailouts, George W. Bush). Obama, along with his socialists and fascist minions, believes the best way to dominate a society is by always having a certain degree of controlled ("determined") chaos to supply the means to achieve their long-term ends of womb-to-tomb socialist controls over the people.

The president has masterfully manipulated chaos theory to exacerbate existing societal problems by acting like he is somehow above it all or disassociated from the plethora of existing problems.

[...]

 

In the manner that Obama's mentor, FDR, used the Great Depression as a pretext for the New Deal, Obama will likewise exploit societal instability, the collapse of Wall Street and the brink of a worldwide great depression, which under chaos theory is determinism and chaos, as a means to achieve his diabolical ends of transforming America from the USA to the USSA (the United Socialist States of America).

Obama's tactics are not new. As I delineated above, they have precedence in Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Alinsky and chaos theory. President Obama, the prep school/Ivy-League/ community organizer, is banking on the fact that as a public school educated citizen you have never read any of those authors and theories. If that is so, please rent the movie, "Enemy of the State" to understand that your precious natural rights are virtually extinct, and let's turn chaos theory against the Obama administration instead of being unwitting victims of his vast, Machiavellian conspiracy where in the name of affirmative action, bipartisanship and civility We the People have become willing accomplices to our own demise.

-- Ellis Washington, March 18 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 PM EDT
New Article: Behind the Whitewash
Topic: Newsmax
As financial news websites tout Newsmax, it runs a column with a fake quote of Barack Obama -- then allows the columnist to justify pretending that it's real. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 AM EDT
Newsmax Misleads on Dodd, AIG Bonuses
Topic: Newsmax

A March 17 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers begins:

Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd on Monday criticized the bonuses given to executives of American International Group Inc. and suggested that the government could tax the recipients to recoup some or all of the payouts.

But it was Dodd who inserted language in the $787 billion stimulus bill that exempts the bonuses from taxation.

In fact, as Media Matters details, Dodd's amendment actually limited AIG bonuses, and it did not provide an exemption from any limits on bonuses agreed to before February 11.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Deep Thought
Topic: NewsBusters
Now that he's blown the lid off the "great cabal of underground left-wing plotters," does Warner Todd Huston have the guts to take on the Council for National Policy? Or will he cower because his NewsBusters boss is a member?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EDT
Porter Apologizes, Mostly
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In her March 17 WorldNetDaily column, Janet Folger Porter offers a formal mea culpa for unciritically repeating the false claim that members of David Wilkerson's New York church made thousands of sandwiches just before 9/11: "There were sandwiches. There were lots of them. But they were not made prior to Sept. 11."

But she's not apologizing for peddling Wilkerson's dire prophecy: "I wish I could say that because I was wrong on the sandwiches detail the rest of Pastor David Wilkerson's warning was also invalid, but I don't believe that is the case." Of course, Porter fails to note that Wilkerson has been making such predictions for at least 35 years.

We don't suppose we'll be seeing an apology from Porter anytime soon for repeating unsubstantiated fantasies about President Obama being a communist-groomed Manchurian candidate, but it may be too much to ask Porter to tell the full truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 PM EDT
AIM Endorses Censorship
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid has devoted two recent columns to demanding that a book publisher perform an act of censorship and cancel publication of a book. Why? Kincaid doesn't like the author or the message.

Kincaid is all het up about Mark Rudd's autobiography in which he describes his 1960s radicalism., which is to be published later this month by the Rupert Mordoch-owned publisher HarperCollins. Kincaid writes in a March 10 column: "This is nothing less than an effort by Murdoch’s company to use its resources to promote this communist terrorist and his communist views to millions of Americans, especially young people and students. It is morally wrong and runs the risk of setting the stage for the creation of another violence-oriented student movement."

In a March 12 column, Kincaid conflates anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism; Kincaid claims that Rudd's "anti-Semitism apparently was an outgrowth of his anti-Americanism," though he offers evidence of Rudd doing no more than being critical of Israel's relationship with America and showing support for a Palestinian nation. Again, Kincaid demands that HarperCollins "kill the Rudd book."

The irony here is that Kincaid is demanding that others be censored when he himself is quick to hurl censorship accusations when it comes to his own views. For instance, in a 2007 column, Kincaid asserted that reviving the Fairness Doctrine will "intimidate, harass and censor the conservative media." The AIM archive contains many more examples.

Kincaid concluded that 2007 column by asserting that "Conservatives have to remain committed to freedom of speech and freedom of information." Except, it appears for Mark Rudd.

P.S. We aren't endorsing Rudd's views; we simply oppose censorship as a general principle.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 AM EDT
NewsBusters Rants About Jon Stewart
Topic: NewsBusters

Jon Stewart is sending the boys at NewsBusters into new fits of anti-liberal bluster.

A March 15 post by Noel Sheppard ludicriously described the faceoff between CNBC's Jim Cramer and Stewart as a "Battle Between Socialism and Capitalism." That's only if you call deficient reporting "capitalism" and criticism of deficient reporting "socialism." Even more ludicrously, Sheppard goes on to defend CNBC's deficient reporting:

For example, Stewart finds it inappropriate that CNBC personalities interview and/or quote CEOs and CFOs concerning what's going on at their respective companies because they're clearly presenting facts and figures that are almost exclusively painting a positive picture regardless of accuracy.

Well, should company representatives therefore not be interviewed by anyone? Should the presumption be that every representative of every corporation is biased and therefore can't be trusted?

If such is the case, shouldn't the same be true of everyone in America including politicians? After all, doesn't anyone that goes in front of a camera or behind a microphone have an agenda, even including comedians such as Stewart who are stepping into the political and economic arenas?

Let's be clear: CNBC is indeed a financial news network. As such, it reports information about companies when it is made available the bulk of which comes from the companies in question.

Is there any other way of doing it?

Well, yeah -- talking to analysts who can provide indications that those comapnies are not telling the truth and can provide fact-based countervailing views. It's called telling both sides of the story -- apparently Sheppard has never heard of the concept.

Sheppard goes on to while: "what else should a financial outlet such as CNBC do to ensure the information it is presenting is accurate? And, why should it be the only one under such pressure?" Uh, because its specialty is financial news, and company CEOs have been using the network as a platform to whitewash criticism?

Sheppard then asserts that Stewart's attack on CNBC is "about personalities Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer making negative comments about Obama's economic policies, and the left can't have that." In fact, Stewart first criticized bad reporting at CNBC in the form of Cramer's claim that Bear Stearns was "not in trouble" less than a week before the company collapsed in March 2008, long before Obama was elected.

And guess what? NewsBusters did too, the same day Stewart did. So where, exactly, is the problem here?

Meanwhile, in a March 16 post, Tim Graham has a cow over the idea that Stewart is expressing a populist sentiment, bashing the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz for calling Stewart an "populist avenging angel."Kurtz, Graham claimed, "failed in this story to consider that Stewart wasn’t an 'avenging angel' for populists, but a transparent shill for liberal Obama-lovers." Like Sheppard, Graham fails to grasp that the issue is not ideological.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Monday, March 16, 2009
Did WND Bankroll Orly Taitz's Stunt?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A March 14 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn touts how Obama birth certificate obsessive Orly Taitz "confronted" Chief Justice John Roberts "with legal briefs and a WND petition bearing names of over 325,000 people asking the court to rule on whether or not the sitting president fulfills the Constitution's 'natural-born citizen' clause." Zahn added that a Secret Service agent accompanying Roberts "accepted two suitcases of documents and pledged to deliver them to Roberts," among them "[t]he WND petition, consisting of 3,300 pages of names – over 325,000 in all – of people demanding the Supreme Court hear the Obama eligibility case."

But as we've detailed, the WND petition is highly secretive and apparently problematic -- the signees are not publicly posted, and there's no apparent verification mechanism to prevent people from signing it more than once or the use of fictitious names. Nor are signers apparently screened for being of legal voting age. Further, there is no evidence whatsoever there are actually the number of signatures on the petition that WND claims.

Given that you and I cannot obtain basic information about this petition, and WND has failed to make such information available to its readers, how did Orly Tatiz get a hold of it?

This smells of a WND-orchestrated stunt. Zahn doesn't disclose how Taitz obtained the signatures on WND's petition, but given the logistics of printing out "3,300 pages of names," the only possible conclusion is that WND teamed up with Taitz -- and perhaps paid some expenses to cover Taitz's trip from California to Idaho, where Roberts spoke -- to create this story.

As with Aaron Klein's Wikipedia-bashing stunt, in which he has now admitted that he set in motion the events he wrote about, the issue is one of disclosure. WND still hasn't told its readers that Klein's articles were altered after publication to remove references tracing Klein to his manipulation, and WND hasn't disclosed its role in supplying Taitz with a copy of its petition.

News organizations are supposed to report the news, not create it. And if they do, they're supposed to fully disclose their role in doing so. WND has done neither.

It's time for WND to man up and start telling the full truth to its readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EDT
CNS Quotes Republican PR Firms to Bash Dems
Topic: CNSNews.com

A March 16 CNSNews.com article by Matt Cover claims that "top advertising and public relations executives told CNSNews.com" that "The Democratic Party is engaged in 'street theater' in its latest campaign against conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh." Cover fails to mention that those PR firms have conservative leanings.

Cover describes Shirley & Banister Public Affairs fawningly as  "one of Washington, D.C.’s top political media relations firms" and quotes VP and "media adviser" Diana Banister disparagingly claiming Democrats are "just going to try and tear down everybody, between now and 2010 and 2012. They're going to use their money to do these snarky comments and ad campaigns." But Banister has a record of donating to Republicansand conservative causes, and her PR firm -- headed by longtime conservative activist Craig Shirley -- has a similar record of working for Republicans and conservatives.

The other firm Cover cites, 5W Public Relations ("a Top 20 public relations firm"), has conservative ties as well. According to Wikipedia, agency chief Ronn Torossian is the former media director for the Christian Coalition, and the firm has worked on behalf of numerous evangelical Christians, such as John Hagee and Benny Hinn.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 AM EDT

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