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Friday, August 21, 2009
Tapscott Claims Beck Is Being Slandered, But Doesn't Say How
Topic: Washington Examiner

Mark Tapscott runs to the defense of Glenn Beck, sort of, in his Aug. 20 Washington Examiner column. While Tapscott says he has "no idea" wether Beck is correct in attacking President Obama as a "racist" with "an abiding hatred of white people," he is nonetheless certain that Beck is the victim of "a vicious, hypocritical campaign to slander him" led by Color of Change, which is leading a advertiser boycott against Beck's Fox News show. Tapscott dismisses Color of Change as "the Potemkin creation of a former MoveOn.org organizer and his three cohorts." 

(Does that mean we can dismiss the Examiner as the Potemkin creation of a right-wing billionaire?)

While Tapscott insists that Beck is being slandered, he offers no evidence of what exactly the "slander" is. Yet Tapscott himself is not afraid of slandering people, having once declared that Joe Biden's use of "Jesus Christ" as an expletive was "hate speech" -- despite never providing his readers the full context in which Biden used the exclamation so readers could judge for themselves.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EDT
Another One-Sided CNS Article
Topic: CNSNews.com

Following in the footsteps of her similarly one-sided article the day before, an Aug. 20 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr quotes only "conservative analysts" claiming that because an amendment was rejected to the health care reform package that explicitly sets up a "verification provision" to excluse illegal immigrants from taking advantage of public health care, the bill "s and other non-citizens to receive medical services paid for by taxpayers."

As before, no dissenting view is presented. One dissenting view that Starr could have provided but apparently chose not to is that of Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who claims that the amendment is not necessary because the bill prevents anyone in this country illegally from gaining federal help for premiums, just as current law prevents those people from gaining Medicaid and other medical coverage.

CNS, by the way, still claims that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." But Starr has failed to do that for the second day in a row.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 AM EDT
WND Hiding Facts In Conversion Case
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How do we know there's a high likelihood Chelsea Schilling, in an Aug. 20 WorldNetDaily article, is hiding facts in the case of Fathima Rifqa Bary, the 17-year-old who ran away from home claiming her parents plan to kill her because she converted from Islam to Christianity? Schilling cites blogger (and Newsmax columnist) Pamela Geller, who we've documented hiding facts about the case.

And indeed, Schilling does exactly that. She reports that Bary's father called the pastor to whom Bary fled, Blake Lorenze and his Global Revolution Church, "a cult group who kidnapped my daughter and took her away." But she ignores the evidence that suggests cult-likebehavior on the part of Lorenz: his claim, as reported by Richard Bartholomew, that he receives special personal messages from God about the imminent end of the world.

While Schilling reports that an Ohio police officer who investigated the case told the press that Rifqa's father "comes across to me as a loving, caring, worried father about the whereabouts and the health of his daughter," she adds that a group called International Christian Concern (an anti-persecution group) claimed that "a source who spoke with the same investigating officer said the officer indicated earlier that he has spoken with 20 different people who warned him that the girl's life was in danger."

The ICC press release on Bary makes the same anonymous, unsubstantiated claim, citing only an unnamed "ICC source." We're guessing the "source" is taking the officer's comments out of context; ICC must reveal more information in order for its claim to be treated as credible.

Given WND's recent history of embracing anonymous claims, it's no surprise that Schilling would fall in line as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EDT
Ponte: Don Hewitt Was Evil
Topic: Newsmax

Don Hewitt, who created the popular CBS news show “60 Minutes” and controlled it for 36 years, died Wednesday at age 86.

It is customary in our culture to speak no ill of the dead, but as William Shakespeare wrote: “The evil that men do lives after them.”

The specter of Don Hewitt continues to haunt both the network news he shaped and American politics.

-- Lowell Ponte, Aug. 19 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EDT
Thursday, August 20, 2009
WJC Redefines 'Running the Ad'
Topic: Western Journalism Center

The other day, we pointed out that a Western Journalism Center video claiming that Rachel Maddow's statement on "Meet the Press" that MoveOn.org never ran an ad comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler was a lie because the ad in question was not commissioned by MoveOn but, rather, a submission to a 2004 MoveOn contest that was taken down after controversy arose about it and never ran anywhere as a paid ad.

The WJC has now responded by calling us liars, accusing us of "splitting hairs" and asserting that it "never claimed the ad was run on commercial T.V. We consider posting the ad on its website to constitute 'running the ad.' "

So a submission to a contest that was (briefly) posted on a website is the exact same thing as buying airtime for it on commercial TV? Interesting redefinition of "running the ad."

That's not "splitting hairs" -- that's comparing apples and oranges.

Further, the WJC video remains a work of lying by omission: It presents the Bush-Hitler video but at no point does it explain that the ad was a contest submission, never ran as a paid ad, and that MoveOn itself said that "[w]e do not support the sentiment" in it. The WJC post accusing us of being liars doesn't mention that either.

The WJC should try telling the full truth instead of redefining words to fit previous lies.

(Cross-posted at County Fair.)


Posted by Terry K. at 6:45 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 20, 2009 6:51 PM EDT
NewsReal Condemns One 'Anti-Gay Slur,' Endorses Another
Topic: Horowitz

An Aug. 20 NewsReal post by "FrontPageMgEd" -- presumably, Jacob Laksin -- declared offense at Chris Matthews' comment that Tom DeLay, who was showing Matthews the high-heeled shoe he will wear in his upcoming stint on "Dancing With the Stars," would be "a little light in that shoe," calling it an "anti-gay slur" and "a Fifties-era phrase coined to mock homosexuals." Laksin added: "Had these words been spoken by Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, or any townhall protester in the country, the left-wing blogosphere would be on fire, Media Matters would have sent out a blast FAX, GLAAD would have called a boycott, and it would be the lead story on every program in MSNBC prime time."

But a  day earlier, Limbaugh did make an anti-gay slur -- and NewsReal endorsed it.

In an Aug. 19 post -- more accurately, the post immediately previous to Laksin's -- David Swindle responded to Limbaugh's statement that  gay congressman Barney Frank "spends most of his time living around Uranus":

Confession: I laughed when I heard it. Sure, it’s a cheap shot. Yeah, it’s the kind of thing we learned in third grade. And yes, it’s slightly homophobic. But funny is funny. When it comes to humor I don’t care from which ideology a joke emerges. If it makes me laugh then it’s acceptable.

So an anti-gay slur is OK as long as it makes a conservative laugh?

Also unmentioned by Laksin is that, despite his attack on Matthews as a man of "the Left," Matthews and DeLay are apparently close enough that DeLay will send scoops Matthews' way. That suggests Matthews' remark was more about jesting between friends than the malice endemic in Limbaugh's slur of Frank.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 20, 2009 1:28 PM EDT
Molotov Rails Against Public Schools
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long despised public education, and that hate shows up again in Molotov Mitchell's Aug. 19 video.

As per usual, Mitchell is long on hate and short on insight. After declaring that "public school teachers are killing America,"Mitchell notes that Finland is rated at or near the top in math and science while the U.S. isn't in the top 25. The reason for this, he declares, is "vouchers. Finnish parents get tax credits so they get to send their kids to whatever school they want, public or private."

But there are other explanations that Mitchell fails to mention. For instance, the Toronto Globe & Mail reports:

Finnish children do not begin primary school until they are seven years old. But from the age of eight months, all children have access to free, full-day daycare and kindergarten. Finland has had universal access to daycare in place since 1990, and of all preschool since 1996.

Primary-school teachers all have master's degrees, and the profession is one of the most revered in Finnish society.

[...]

Students and teachers receive a free hot meal daily. Classrooms and hallways are so clean many students walk around in their stocking feet. There is only a minimal amount of homework, and students call teachers by their first names, says George Malaty, a professor of education at the University of Joensuu in Finland.

"There is a very informal relationship between teachers and students," Prof. Malaty says. "The children enjoy the socializing, the hot meal, it's a rich experience for them. School isn't only to prepare for the future. It's their life and they must have a good day every day."

By contrast, Mitchell is content, and indeed eager, to further denigrate public school teachers. To them, he claims, "unless you're talking about teen abortions without "parental consent, choice is a dirty word."

Finally, Michell asserts that "the public education system cannot be reformed" because "the goal was never education, it was always about indoctrination. And that's why our kids know everything about sex and nothing about history."

But isn't homeschooling a form of indoctrnation and inculcation as well? Mitchell doesn't seem offended by that.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 AM EDT
A CNS Double Standard
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've previously noted that a Aug. 19 CNSNews.com article by Christopher Neefus failed to note the Lewin Group's links to a private insurer, throwing doubt on the article's claim that the organziation is "independent." But there's something else worth noting about the article as well.

The article was ostensibly about a "liberal Yale scholar" claiming that "he does not see the public option as a 'Trojan Horse' that could lead the United States to single-payer, government-run health insurance." Neefus permitted a representative of an anti-reform group to rebut the claim.

Meanwhile, another Aug. 19 CNS article by Penny Starr promoted the idea that sentencing teenagers to life without parole is not "cruel and unusual punishment." By contrast to Neefus, Starr at no point quotes anyone who objects to that idea.

Interesting that CNS presents a conservative claim unchallenged but decides that a liberal claim must contain a conservative response.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EDT
NewsBusters Perpetuates Health Reform Falsehoods
Topic: NewsBusters

Rusty Weiss tries to perform debunking of claims about health care reform by attempted ridicule -- instead of, you know, using facts -- in an Aug. 19 NewsBusters post.

Citing a columnist who claimed that right-wing assertions that "the plans would give health insurance coverage to illegal immigrants; would lead to a government takeover of the health system; and would use taxpayer dollars to pay for women to have abortions" are "all claims that nonpartisan fact-checkers say are untrue," responds, essentially, that they are true because right-winger said they were.

Weiss makes no attempt to actually examine the claims in question -- if, say, Michelle Malkin said it's true, then by golly it's true.

Weiss then claimed that the columnist "goes on to rip Sarah Palin as ignorant, calling her death panel comment as ‘inane' and ‘absurd'.  Therefore, if you too, believe the health care plan will lead to death panels, then you are not only as inane as Sarah Palin, but you're [sic] argument is as absurd as Rush Limbaugh's." Again, Weiss makes no effort to point out that the "death panels" claim has been repeatedly discredited, instead relying on an appeal to authority by assuming that anything Palin and Limbaugh say must be true, even though they have no demonstrated expertise on health-care issues.

Weiss went on to complain that "the liberal mainstream ‘fact-checking' media" reports that such arguments have been debunked by "fact-checking Web sites," then asks, "who is fact-checking the fact-checkers?  They have been refuted before; here, here, and here."

Weiss then attacks FactCheck.org -- even though the link under his first "here" in the previous paragraph is a NewsBusters piece that defends FactCheck's research debunking various claims about Sarah Palin. Citing a FactCheck piece he fails to link to, Weiss writes:

In regards to the illegal immigrant aspect of the poll, FactCheck.org claims this to be a false argument because ‘the House bill specifically says that no federal money would be spent on giving illegal immigrants health coverage'.  This completely ignores the amendment voted on and shot down by Democrats in the House Ways and Means Committee in July, which would have prevented illegal aliens from accessing taxpayer-funded health care benefits.  The measure would have enforced income, eligibility, and immigration verification screening on an estimated 9.6 million illegal immigrants. 

Why doesn't Weiss link to that FactCheck report: because it appears to debunk his final claim:

Of interest: About half of illegal immigrants have health insurance now, according to the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center, which says those who lack insurance do so principally because their employers don’t offer it.

Further, Weiss is nitpicking. The question was whether the bill "would give health insurance coverage to illegal immigrants" -- which it doesn't. Further, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported:

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, said Heller’s measure wasn’t needed because the bill prevents anyone in this country illegally from gaining federal help for premiums, just as current law prevents those people from gaining Medicaid and other medical coverage.

"The rejected amendment would have for the first time allowed insurance companies to access sensitive personal information to shop for customers and for other commercial purposes, while avoiding any responsibility to protect individual privacy or provide redress for errors as currently required of government agencies," said Doggett, the only Texas Democrat on the committee.

Weiss doesn't explain why such a violation of privacy -- which conservatives normally oppose -- is permissible in the pursuit of keeping illegal immigrants from getting public health insurance.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EDT
Even More on Racial Profiling
Topic: Horowitz

Our dialogue with David Swindle at David Horowitz's Newsreal blog continues in an Aug. 13 post by Swindle, who reports Horowitz's response to us:

Treating all black people like potential predators is racist and we’re opposed to that. First look at the statistics of how many traffic stops for broken tail lights turn up criminals and then ask yourself whether the inconvenience isn’t worth it. Because I have an artificial hip I get searched every time I take a flight (which is often). That’s a greater inconvenience than having your car searched because you didn’t bother to fix your tail light. Now consider how many black citizens have been robbed, raped, murdered and become addicted to drugs because of leftists who oppose these simple and reasonable measures the police use to stop crime.

Horowitz is making some baseless blanket assertions there. First, why the assumption that any vehicle with a non-functional taillight is that way because the driver "didn't bother" to fix it? Second, why the assumption that "leftists who oppose ... simple and reasonable measures" are to blame for crime? Third, where is it written that getting stopped for a broken tail light equals automatically "having your car searched"?

Swindle continues:

First, of course, the crew member from Glenn Beck’s show who relayed the alleged incident of racial profiling isn’t going to mention if there was anything else about him that might make him fit the profile of a potential drug dealer. What does he know about offender profiling? Certainly not as much as the cop who stopped him, who assessed the situation and saw clues of possible criminal wrongdoing beyond a busted tail light.

But the fact of the matter is that in this case, neither Krepel nor Horowitz and myself know what happened. We weren’t there, we can only guess. And it’s here where the subject of ideology emerges. How do we make our guess at what happened? Why do Horowitz and I tend to lean more heavily toward the idea that the cop was just doing his job? Why does Krepel see a potential racist?

True, we are arguing about a incident about which we know very little, only the limited information the Beck crew member related during the Horowitz interview. But Swindle leaves out one important component: the crew member thought that the search was unwarranted. 

And this is where Horowitz's analogy about getting extra attention from airport security because of his artificial hip breaks down. Horowitz's inconvenience mainly applies in one specific situation: when he's boarding a plane. He can prepare for that eventuality and build time into his schedule to allow for it. The crew member, on the other hand, does not know what made the police officer search his car, and thus does not know what, if anything, he can do to lessen the suspicion. Indeed, the only possible contributing factor we're aware of is that he's black.

Further, I find it interesting that Horowitz publications such as NewsReal and FrontPageMag are so dedicated these days to denigrating the authority of elected officials whose politics they don't disagree with, yet offer deference to certain other authoritarian figures even if their motivation is in question, becuase they are "just doing their job." That's not a excuse Horowitz and Swindle would likely let any Obama administration official get away with.

Finally, Swindle writes:

So I return to Krepel with the question posed in my headline, which seems to be our primary fundamental disagreement: Is your average cop society’s sentinel or is he a racist authoritarian? Is racism within the law-enforcement community a systematic problem, or are there just a few bad apples? And if your answer is the latter, then why would you make the assumption that Beck’s crew member was likely the victim of one of those few?

In other words, which ideological approach is ultimately more accurate and more useful in 2009?

Why must it be either/or? I believe that the vast majority of police are doing the best job they can. I suspect that overt racism does not exist and is frowned upon within the ranks, and that any racism that does exist is by and large not consciously done and limited to situations such as what could be described as racial profiling.

I do, however, reserve the right to question the authority of anyone, law enforcement included, who hasn't earned it. And I don't have to resort to political ideology in the process.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
CNS Falsely Calls Lewin Group 'Independent'
Topic: CNSNews.com

In an Aug. 19 CNSNews.com article, Christpher Neefus referenced a study "conducted by an independent group--the Lewin Group--which showed that more and more people would end up in the new public insurance exchange over time."

In fact, as we've noted, the Lewin Group is not "independent" -- it is owned by a private insurer, UnitedHealth Group, which has a stake in opposing the creation of a public option for health insurance.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:23 PM EDT
Tracking the Lie
Topic: The ConWeb

Who are the latest to falsely claim that Nancy Pelosi called protesters against health care reform "un-American"?

Henry Lamb at WorldNetDaily.

Gregory Gethard at FrontPageMag.

Ilana Mercer at WorldNetDaily.

Phil Elmore at WorldNetDaily.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 PM EDT
Brennan Falsely Claims 'Demonstrable Existence of Death Panels'
Topic: Newsmax

In his Aug. 18 Newsmax column insisting that "Barack Obama has been revealed for what he is: a con man who managed to fool some of the people all of the time but has failed to fool most of the people all, or even some, of the time," Phil Brennan referenced "the demonstrable existence of death panels buried with the 1,000-plus pages of the House bill."

Actually, not so much. The "death panels" claim has been repeatedly discredited.

But then, Brennan is on his own quest to fool as many people as he can for as long as possible.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EDT
CNS Still Trying to Create Baseless ACORN Controversy
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is not giving up on trying to create a controversy where there isn't one.

As we've previously noted, CNS' Edwin Mora attempted on July 23 to put Sen. Christopher Dodd on the spot by asking him whether money in the health care reform package would go to ACORN without offering evidence that ACORN engages in health care-related activities.

Mora gave that nonexistent controversy another try in an Aug. 18 article by again baselessly pondering whether ACORN would receive money in the health care reform package set aside for "national network of community-based organizations" to "promote healthy living and reduce disparities."

Again, Mora fails to offer any evidence whatsoever that ACORN is involved in health care, though he quoted an employee of a right-wing think tank similarly engaging in empty thinking by speculating that health reform money "could be misused by organizations that do not promote healthy living."

Also missing from both of these articles is any evidence that Mora asked ACORN itself whether it is even interested in making use of such money. Wouldn't that have been the first thing a reporter should have done, rather than engage in speculation?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 AM EDT
New Article: WorldNetDaily Wants You To Think Obama Is the Antichrist
Topic: WorldNetDaily
What do you do after you've repeatedly likened President Obama to Nazis? If you're WND, you turn "The Daily Show" into reality and go the Antichrist route. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 AM EDT

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