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Sunday, December 13, 2009
Defining Bias Down At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Baker wants you to be as critical of George Stephanopoulos becoming a co-host of "Good Morning America" as others were of Republican Rep. Susan Molinari becoming a co-host of a Saturday morning talk show on CBS several years ago. Which can only mean that Baker is wrong about it.

In a Dec. 9 MRC item, Baker writes: "Here’s one yardstick for measuring the media’s response: Back in 1997, CBS announced that ex-GOP Representative Susan Molinari (pictured at right) would take over as co-host of Saturday Morning. Journalists quickly howled at the breaching of the sacred 'barricade that is supposed to exist in journalism between the political people and the officials on the one hand, and the reporters on the other.' NPR’s Mara Liasson said it was 'disturbing' of CBS to hire a Republican; Nina Totenberg exclaimed: 'This really makes me want to puke.'"

A search through the MRC provided no evidence that it has ever provided the full context in which those comments -- particularly the one attributed to Totenberg -- were made, so it's impossible to tell what Totenberg and Liasson meant by what they said.

Baker goes on to complain that ABC "has aided in the transformation of Stephanopoulos from political spinmeister into supposedly neutral journalist over the years, allowing him to fill in as anchor of World News as well as on Good Morning America." But his likening of Molinari's transition from politics to TV to that of Stephanopoulos' is faulty.

Molinari literally quit her job as a member of Congress to take the CBS job just six months after winning re-election; Stephanopoulos was an adviser to President Clinton, an unelected post, when he left the White House to join ABC in late 1996 -- as an analyst and correspondent, not a host. He did not begin hosting "This Week" until 2002, and he was not named chief Washington correspondent until 2005 -- after he had proved himself as a correspondent and analyst.

Stephanopoulos had been with ABC for more than 12 years when he was named "GMA" host; Molinari came to her CBS job straight from Congress, and her hosting gig ended after less than a year.

Baker goes on to complain that that "concept that Stephanopoulos has been 'completely non-partisan' is laughable," directing readers to "the Media Research Center’s freshly-updated 'Profile in Bias'" on him. But it actually says more about the MRC's bias than Stephanopoulos'; as it tends to do, the MRC tries to pass off examples of Stephanopoulos saying nice things about Democrats or otherwise not following the MRC's hard-right script as "bias."

One example of "bias" presented is that Stephanopoulos declared that Barack Obama and Joe Biden won their respective debates against Republican candidates during the 2008 campaign. But as we detailed, Stephanopoulos' opinion reflected that of the American public as indicated by post-debate polling, in which a plurality or majority also declared Obama and Biden the winners.

Agreeing with the views of the American public is "bias"? Baker wants you to think it is -- which tells you all you need to know about the Media Research Center's "research."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 PM EST
WND Columnist Smears Barney Frank
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Burt Prelutsky srites in his Dec. 11 WorldNetDaily column:

Back in 1990, the police raided Barney Frank's home because his gay lover, Steve Gobie, was running a male prostitution ring out of his condo. In 2007, the police raided the home of James Ready and arrested him for possession of marijuana. Ready, who is Barney's main squeeze these days, didn't just smoke the weed; Farmer Ready was growing the stuff. The congressman was there at the time of the raid, but denied he had any idea that those plants in the backyard weren't rhododendrons. I believe he told the police that he was perfectly clueless when it came to plant life. I guess, like Clinton, he never inhaled, either.

Because I am always prepared to grant a liberal politician the benefit of the doubt, I'm sure it's only a coincidence that Barney has long led the fight to decriminalize the use and sale of the narcotic.

On the other hand, considering his sorry track record when it comes to romance, don't you think it's high time Rep. Frank, who'll be 70 years old in a few months, should start using a reputable dating service and stop phoning every number he finds scrawled on bathroom walls?

WND, which books Prelutsky's speaking appearances, must be so proud.

UPDATE: The version of Prelutsky's column at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website omits the final paragraph cited above. We'd note that it's interesting WND similarly didn't find Prelutsky's anti-gay smear offensive to delete it, but then, being anti-gay is what WND does.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 13, 2009 9:42 AM EST
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 10 WorldNetDaily article keeps up Aaron Klein's record of hiding behind anonymous to make unproven claims in order to attack the Obama administration. This time, Klein is citing "a top PA official" and "a source in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office" to claim that the Obama administration is insisting that "most Jewish communities in the strategic West Bank will be evacuated" as part of of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

This was followed by a Dec. 11 article citing "a senior PA official" making more claims about what the Obama administration supposedly has done.

In both articles, Klein offers no explanation why he has granted anonymity, nor has he provided evidence that his sources are trustworthy.

As we've detailed, Klein frequently uses anonymous sources as a pretense to attack Obama, making it nearly impossible to fact-check him. Given Klein's clear hatred of Obama and his history of unfair reporting on him, he has not earned the journalistic trust needed to credibly cite anonymous sources.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Zombie Lies About Obama At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Lies simply don't die in the right-wing media -- they keep coming back for more. Yet another example of this is Robert Ringer, who dusts off an oldie-but-goodie to smear President Obama in his Dec. 11 WorldNetDaily column:

And, clearly, Obama had a dysfunctional life growing up -- a white Marxist mother, a black African Muslim father who was a drunk and a philanderer, then, of all things, an Indonesian Muslim stepfather. And, of course, there were the years he spent in a Wahabbi Muslim school in Indonesia (Wahabbi schools being most famous for teaching students hatred of Western countries).

The idea that Obama attended a radical madrassa in Indonesia, of course, was disproved almost as soon as it was first made nearly three years ago. That's right -- three years later, this zombie lie is still roaming the Earth (or, at least, WorldNetDaily, which has problems telling the truth about Obama and his administration).

Ringer's hatred of Obama shines through in the rest of his column as well -- he declares he will never call Obama president and claims that Obama isn't evil but merely "a man without a soul. And, as soulless individual, his actions are not hampered by trivial moral considerations."

Ringer has a seriously chronic case of Obama Derangement Syndrome.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, December 12, 2009 9:18 AM EST
Newsmax Falsely Impugns EPA Ruling
Topic: Newsmax

A Dec. 9 Newsmax article by David Patten asserts that "the EPA's primary source of information for the finding" that "carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant subject to EPA regulation" is "the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change," adding: "An important source of data for the IPCC was the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in England, the source of the highly controversial 'climategate' e-mails."

But Patten mostly ignores other data that the EPA used to reach its conclusions. As Media Matters detailed, the EPA cited assessments by the U.S. Global Climate Research Program and the National Research Council, as well as the IPCC, in the Technical Support Document accompanying its ruling.

Further, despite Patten's assertion that the stolen "climategate" emails "suggest that climate scientists may have presented data selectively to strengthen the case for global warming," FactCheck.org has found that "many of the e-mails that are being held up as 'smoking guns' have been misrepresented by global-warming skeptics eager to find evidence of a conspiracy. And even if they showed what the critics claim, there remains ample evidence that the earth in getting warmer."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EST
Friday, December 11, 2009
AIM Apologizes for Jennings Falsehoods -- Then Tries to Smear Him Again
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media begins a Dec. 11 blog post by apologizing for the falsehoods in its previous smear of Kevin Jennings, as well it should:

Accuracy in Media regrets the publication of a blog entry accusing Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, a homosexual activist, of being a pedophile and personally teaching perverted sexual practices to young people. We have no evidence to support those specific charges. The blog entry was posted by an intern without permission, and has been taken down.

But AIM seems to have learned nothing from getting caught spreading outrageous lies about Jennings, for it continues by hurling more smears:

We continue to urge the media to vigorously investigate Jennings' background, which includes praise for homosexual activist and communist Harry Hay, a supporter of the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Jennings' role in promoting the homosexual agenda and exposing children to discussions of dangerous sexual practices through his organization, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), should also continue to be investigated. For the facts on Jennings, we suggest three important websites: www.missionamerica.com, where Linda Harvey has broken many stories about Jennings and GLSEN; www.AmericansforTruth.com, where Peter LaBarbera writes regularly about the controversy; and www.massresistance.com, where Brian Camenker has covered the scandal of Obama's appointment of Jennings in much detail.

Linking Jennings to Hays is nothing more than a guilt-by-association smear -- Jennings has never praised NAMBLA. If that's a game AIM wants to play, then it's fair to note AIM's appreciation for convicted felon and unrepentant domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy.

MassResistance is an anti-gay organization declared a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center that has been the springboard for numerous instances of right-wing falsehoods and misinformation about Jennings, and Camenker has not only likened the gay-rights movement to Nazis, he has denied that gays and lesbians were a target of the Holocaust.

The other two organizations AIM cites are no better.

How anti-gay is Mission America's Linda Harvey? She has advocated (in her column located, naturally, at WorldNetDaily) that parents remove Harry Potter books from their children's collections because author J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore is gay, asserted that "Open or suspected homosexuals should never be elected" because they are involved in "[w]eird sex, public displays of "affection" and nudity, and sex with youth," and complained that activists who opposed a bill to allow same-sex marriage in Maine weren't anti-gay enough. Mission America's attacks on Jennings and GLSEN are little more than warmed-over smears from other right-wing groups -- i.e., repeating claims about the explicitness of GLSEN's list of recommended books without noting that GLSEN also recommends that "adults selecting books for youth review content for suitability."

Peter LaBarbera, head of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, has been unambiguous in declaring that his attacks on Jennings (also based on recycled smears) are rooted in hatred of homosexuality:

One more point: it is now common for conservatives -- especially non-religiously-affiliated media leaders like Sean Hannity (who should be applauded for his yeoman's work exposing Jennings) -- to make the odd disclaimer that the GLSEN/Jennings controversy (or whatever "gay"-related culture-war story they are discussing) "is not about homosexuality." Baloney. This is all about homosexuality and the "gay" activist agenda whose singular goal is to normalize homosexuality as a "civil right."

[...]

The politically correct "not-about-gays" caveat is about as illogical as claiming that the effort to expose systematic human rights abuses in China and North Korea "has nothing to with Communism." Anyone who calls himself "conservative" should know better. Besides, true conservatives should not be ashamed of enthusiastically conserving the age-old Judeo-Christian sexual/marriage ethic -- which has served mankind well and which rejects all efforts to approve of unnatural and destructive sexual behaviors condemned by God.

These are the people from whom AIM believes you can get "the facts on Jennings." Is it any wonder that an AIM intern felt comfortable enough with spreading falsehoods and smears about him to post them on the AIM website?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 11, 2009 1:43 PM EST
WND Embraces Heavily Edited Attack on Planned Parenthood
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 9 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh reported on an "undercover video" by anti-abortion activists purporting to show Planned Parenthood "counselors and an abortionist in Wisconsin apparently misleading a potential patient."

But Unruh fails to acknowledge, as Media Matters details, that the video is heavily edited and provides little context to the remarks made by Planned Parenthood employees.

Further, statements Unruh suggests are misleading or lies -- such as "A fetus is what's in the uterus right now. That is not a baby" and at "women die having babies" and an abortion is "much safer than having a baby" -- are actually true. In fact, fetus is the medically correct term for a 10-week-old fetus, and the mortality rate of abortion is lower than that of live birth. Unruh fails to acknowledge the factual accuracy of those claims.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:02 AM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Obama is like a child TV star who rose to fame because he eloquently delivered a cute catchphrase ("Hope and Change" as opposed to "Hey, Mikey! He likes it!"), but now finds himself an adolescent in a grown-up world and faced with the task of actually manning up to the responsibilities of a new job for which he applied. Yet, instead of stepping up to the plate, Obama is relying merely on his celebrity status to coast through the sometimes ceremonial and often dire decisions a chief executive must make.

Katharine DeBrecht, Dec. 10 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 AM EST
What Is MassResistance?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What is MassResistance, the anti-gay group WorldNetDaily frequently cites to further its anti-gay agenda, most recently in attacking Kevin Jennings? Well, turns out it's on the SPLC's list of hate groups, and its leaders hold some, shall we say, less-than-orthodox views on homosexuals.

We have an article up at Media Matters with all the details on MassResistance.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:00 AM EST
Just Plain Ol' Derangement Syndrome, With a Side of Eliminationist Rhetoric
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Craige McMillan begins his Dec. 10 WorldNetDaily column by writing about his "diarrhetic dog," a condition he eventually learned was caused by a "deer that ate something that didn't agree with them" which, in turn, "produced the greater delicacy for doggie dining."

You don't need a psychic to know where this is going, do you?

This "town deer" herd of politicians are jumping our fences and pooping all over our yards with their legislative delicacies. The bulk of their output tends to resemble that of diarrheic deer, perhaps because the politicians are particularly fond of dining with parasitic lobbyists and the accompanying "wink, wink, nod, nod" bribery (otherwise known as campaign contributions). Let's face it: Our pathetic little backyards can only support a very limited amount of their legislative output.

One wonders, for instance, how Harry Reid justifies his existence for the folks in Nevada (and the rest of the nation) while he's so busy trying to shove abortion down our throats and at the same time shaft us with the "public option" in state medicine, which will be every bit as much of an "option" as refusing a sobriety test when the state trooper calls to get your car towed out of the ditch some dark night.

One also wonders how San Francisco's crazy aunt escaped the padded cell in the Pelosi family basement, and now feels entitled to jump into the nation's backyards and doctor's offices, where she can dictate treatment, financing, set up death panels to govern grandma and grandpa's remaining time on Social Security, and otherwise s--- all over the rest of us with her legislative diatribes.

This, of course, can only conclude in a flourish of eliminationist rhetoric:

Out here in flyover country, those of us in receipt of this legislative largesse are in general agreement that the solution to our "deer" problem is a town deer hunt. This would cull the inbreeding before it overwhelms us, restore genetic diversity to the herd, and weed out those with a propensity to deposit their diarrhea in our backyards. In short, it would restore the town deer herd to a more natural, wild state, where they can use their native talents and ability to thrive – somewhere else.

So you want to kill Pelosi and Reid, is that it, Craige?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EST
Another Birther Lawyer In Trouble
Topic: Newsmax

In August, Gary Kreep -- who seems to have become WorldNetDaily's go-to birther lawyer after the increasingly shoddy legal work of Orly Taitz apparently became too much for even WND to ignore (it hasn't mentioned her in more than a month) -- launched DefendGlenn.com, designed to attack Color of CHange, the organization that spearheaded an advertiser boycott for Glenn Beck's Fox News show. Right out of the gate, Kreep's website made numerous false claims about Color of Change.

But Color of Change is getting the last laugh, reporting that after threatening Kreep and Co. with a lawsuit, DefendGlenn.com has posted a retraction on its website, which must remain posted for seven weeks:

DefendGlenn.com on several occasions inaccurately reported that Color of Change called President Bush a "racist". We have confirmed that Color of Change did not, in fact, call George Bush a "racist" on its website and although we picked up that allegation from another website (NewsMax.com), that allegation is false and we apologize to Color of Change for this error.

We also accused Color of Change of lying regarding it's claims that certain advertisers agreed to stop advertising on Glenn Beck. While our previous comments were partially correct on the matter concerning the claims of Color of Change regarding the initial 20 advertisers, upon review, it appears that the accusation of lying was inaccurate. In at least one instance, DefendGlenn.com and Color of Change were given diametrically opposing statements by the same advertiser, and, in other instances, the statements given by the advertisers were consistent, but open to interpretation.  It is now our understanding that Color of Change accurately reported on it's web site and in its press releases precisely what each of the advertisers told it. DefendGlenn.com also accurately reported on its website precisely what each advertiser told it. We apologize to Color of Change for erroneously accusing them of lying and have removed all such allegations from our website.

We have also alleged that Kayne West claimed that George Bush 'gave troops permission to go down (to New Orleans) and shoot us (black people) after Hurricane Katrina' and that Color of Change endorsed that hateful statement by selling T shirts that said "Kanye Was Right". We have since learned that Mr. West was apparently referring to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco's authorization for troops to fire on the people of New Orleans during Katrina and not President Bush never gave such an order. A representative of Color of Change has informed us that the t shirts they are selling refer instead to Kanye West's much more widely publicized  comment that George Bush "doesn't care about black people." We accept their representation in this regard and apologize for any misunderstanding that this has caused.

We wondered about Kreep's assertion its claim that Color of Change called Bush racist came from Newsmax. Sure enough, a Aug. 23 Newsmax article carries the headline, "Anti-Beck Group Labeled George Bush 'Racist'." The only evidence provided to support the claim is that Color of Change sold a T-shirt stating, "Kanye Was Right." But Kanye West didn't call Bush a racist either; he did say that "George Bush doesn’t care about black people," which does not translate to "racist," let alone Color of Change calling Bush "racist."

Looks like DefendGlenn.com isn't the only group that owes Color of Change an apology. (We've added a screenshot of the false headline at the end of this post for posterity's sake.)

Kreep, by the way, is also representing WND in its efforts to get press credentials from the United Nations despite refusing to  recognize the U.N.'s legitimacy and wanting to see it destroyed. Given WND's protection racket for for the increasingly unhinged Taitz, don't expect WND readers to ever learn about Kreep's misdeeds.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 AM EST
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Jerome Corsi, Bad Climate Scientist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously detailed how WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi is a horrible economist. Well, he's found another field of study to suck at -- climate science.

Here's the lead paragraph of a Dec. 8 WND article by Corsi:

The mainstream media is reporting the World Meteorological Organization's assessment of global average temperatures asserting this decade is "the warmest on record," without mentioning the WMO data actually documents the United States and Canada experienced cooler-than-average conditions since 2000.

Corsi seems not to be aware that the United States and Canada do not solely comprise the planet Earth. It's utterly irrelevant that it was cooler than average in North America because, it appears the rest of the planet was warmer than average -- thus, the global temperature average being the warmest on record.

Corsi also touts a claim by "Mojib Latif, a climate physicist at the Liebniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel in Germany" that he "produced evidence predicting two decades of natural global cooling." But Corsi fails to note, as others have, that what Latif was offering was a hypothetical scenario, not a prediction, and further, Latif wasn't arguing against the existence of global warming but, rather, pointing out that there could be a decade or two of cooler temperatures that would not, in the aggregate, disprove global warming.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:43 PM EST
AIM Falsely Smears Kevin Jennings
Topic: Accuracy in Media

A Dec. 10 Accuracy in Media blog post by Allie Duzett is a falsehood-ridden piece smearing Obama administration official Kevin Jennings as a "pedophile" who is "teaching 14-year-old boys the dangerous sexual practice of 'fisting,' and discussing with them the particulars of oral sex."

Both claims are lies. Read more here.

UPDATE: AIM has now removed the blog post without explanation. Will it issue a formal retraction and apologize to Jennings for libeling him?

UPDATE2: And here's a screenshot of Duzett's post:

 


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:18 PM EST
Meanwhile...
Topic: NewsBusters

Our colleagues at Media Matters have keeping a sharp eye on NewsBusters lately:

-- Jamison Foser catches Noel Sheppard advancing the false suggestion that a single snowstorm somehow disproves global warming.

-- Simon Maloy notes that Lachlan Markay is defending pollsters for showing Obama's approval ratings dropping, despite NewsBusters' long history of attacking polls because they don't mesh with conservative ideology.

UPDATE: Media Matters also notes that the MRC's Brent Baker, in a Dec. 10 NewsBusters post, is essentially endorsing criminal behavior by pretending that the theft of the East Anglia University Climatic Research Unit's emails was merely "laudatory whistle-blowing" and not a crime.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2009 2:22 PM EST
WND Guilt-By-Association Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi has been pedding a trifecta of guilt-by-association this week, with a three-day series attacking Obama adminsitration "science czar" John Holdren by digging up the views of his "guru," geochemist Harrison Brown, as allegedly expressed in a 1954 book he wrote.

On Dec. 7, Corsi claimed that Brown "called for a global increase in carbon dioxide, precisely because of its perceived greenhouse gas effects." On Dec. 8, Corsi painted Brown as a eugenicist. And on Dec. 9, Corsi asserted that Bron "advocated world government in the 1950s to impose mandatory controls over population growth, carried out, if necessary, through sterilization and forced abortions."

Corsi can't claim that Holdren holds these views, but he sure tries. He complains that Holdren, in a 1986 book honoring Brown that he edited, does not "separate himself from Brown's enthusiastic endorsement of eugenics," and he asserts that Holdren once "argued involuntary birth-control measures, including forced sterilization, may be necessary and morally acceptable under extreme conditions, such as widespread famine brought about by 'climate change.'"

That last claim -- extrapolated from a lie WND previously spread about Holdren -- is misleading; as PolitiFact points out, in the book from which the claim is drawn, Holdren and his co-author "make clear that they did not support coercive means of population control. Certainly, nowhere in the book do the authors advocate for forced abortions." PolitiFact adds: "We think it's irresponsible to pluck a few lines from a 1,000-page, 30-year-old textbook, and then present them out of context."


Posted by Terry K. at 7:03 AM EST

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