CNS Standing By Its False Story (So Far) Topic: CNSNews.com
Writing a story that's utterly false appears not to be an impediment to journalism at CNSNews.com.
As we've detailed, a Jan. 14 article by Matt Cover attempting to attack TSA nominee Erroll Southers for purportedly equating Christians with terrorists falsely portrays Southers' use of "Christian identity" as a generic phrase describing all Christians. In fact, context shows that Southers is referring to Christian Identity, an extremist sect which, according to the Anti-Defamation League, is "virulently racist and anti-Semitic beliefs" and is tied to several domestic terrorists.
So far, as of 3 p.m. ET, CNS has not only not corrected or withdrawn the article, it's promoting the article on its website as the lead story:
CNS, it appears, is not one to let facts get in the way of a good smear. Too bad for them that actual journalism is supposed to involve truth.
Newsmax is weeks late to the party, but it is taking the Aaron Klein route of one-sided bashing of anti-Semitism czar Hannah Rosenthal and Jewish group J Street.
A Jan. 13 article by Jim Meyers uncritically repeats an attack by the American Israeli Action Coalition -- which purports to be "a united voice of American citizens living in Israel" -- on Rosenthal and J Street, condemning Rosenthal for her comparatively mild criticism of Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren for refusing to attend a J Street conference.
Meyers makes no apparent attempt to contact Rosenthal or J Street for a response. He merely regurgitates AIAC's unsupported claims that NJ Street is "a radical, far left, anti-Israel, American organization funded by Arab and radical sources" which "has been almost universally condemned by mainstream Jewish organizations."
Further, nowhere does Meyers explain how AIAC executive director Aaron Tirschwell's assertion that "Rosenthal has committed an unpardonable sin" is not a gross overreaction to what Rosenthal actually said. The only statements of Rosenthal's that Meyers quotes is that Oren’s decision was "most unfortunate" and that he would have “learned a lot” at the J Street conference.
Meyers also avoids identifying AIAC's political slant, which, given the virulence of its attack on Rosenthal and its support for Benjamin Netanyahu, can only be described as right-wing.
CNS Botches 'Christian Identity' Attack on Southers Topic: CNSNews.com
A Jan. 14 CNSNews.com article by Matt Cover carries the headling "Obama’s TSA Nominee Characterized Groups That Were Domestic Security Threats as ‘Anti-Abortion’ and Having ‘Christian Identity.’" Throughout the article, Cover treats Transportation Security Administration nominee Erroll Southers' references to "Christian identity" -- note the lowercase of "identity" -- as a generic reference, suggesting that Southers thinks all Christians are terrorists or security threats.
Nothing could be further from the truth. As Media Matters points out, Christian Identity, as Southers was using it, is the name of a specific extremist movement that has, according to the Anti-Defamation League, "virulently racist and anti-Semitic beliefs" and is tied to several domestic terrorists. It is most definitely not a generic reference to Christians.
Cover and CNS should perhaps fact-check the attacks they pick up from right-wing blogs before repeating them. Now, it needs to issue a major correction and retraction. Will it?
In his Jan. 14 WorldNetDaily video, Jackie Mason goes on the most bizarre defense of Harry Reid's remarks ever -- by attacking blacks for being offended by it. In fact, Al Sharpton, who is presumably the kind of person Mason has in mind, is just fine with Reid's remarks; the only people manufacturing outrage are right-wingers trying to make political hay.
Mason asked: "If anybody should be offended, shouldn't the white people be offended?" He went on to claim that "Black people enjoy the idea of believing that every white man is a racist," adding that "Black people say the most racist things every day about white people. How come they're never defensive about it?"
But Jackie was just getting warmed up to spew this:
Here they had a black person who just beat a white person in a presidential contest. The white person was a war hero, was 30 years in the Senate. The black person showed no record of accomplishment in any way. Now let me ask you a question. If you were a foreigner who came into this country, what kind of racism would you interpret that as? You would interpret that as racism against whites. You would say it's impossible for a white person to stand a chance in America. How much do you have to accomplish to still be recognized? Why could a black person who accomplished nothing vanquish a white person who's a hero with a whole history of a lifetime of accomplishment? When a black person just shows up, all of a sudden he's elected. What does it prove? It proves this must be a racist society. But not against blacks -- obviously a racist society against whites. Whites are suffering from a racist society, that's what anybody would interpret it as.
But somehow, even this can't be said because it's not nice. Every time you mention something blacks, even if you're right and 100 percent right, and even if you're insulting the whites, somehow the blacks are the ones offended. This is perverted, this is sick, this is deranged, and this need that black people have to make you feel that you're a racist is a power trip. It's a phony power trip to make you feel that somehow you're destined to be the bosses and they have to serve you and cater to you and they have to be humbled in front of you and humiliated in front of you and they have to be eating humble pie for the rest of their lives just because they're white.
We don't need this kind of racism anymore. This is a racist society against whites, and black people should stop intimidating the whites when there's nothing involved and there's no excuse for it, and it's a fraud and a fake and a phony power trip. Give up the whole idea of racism unless you want to talk about how the white people are the ones suffering from it, not the blacks. You got that? That's it.
Remember, Mason does have issues with black people in general and Obama in particular, calling them "schvartze" while denying it's not an insult.
NewsReal Buys Into Chuck Norris Conspiracy Topic: Horowitz
Leave it to the Horowitz empire to defend a false conspiracy.
A January 13 NewsReal post by Diane Suffern runs to the defense of Chuck Norris from big bad Newsweek, which demolished his conspiracy-laden WorldNetDaily column about President Obama's executive order extending certain "privileges, exemptions, and immunities" to Interpol. At no point does Suffern offer any evidence to disprove any Newsweek criticism; rather, she complains that "Newsweek attempts to equate reasonable concern for our sovereignty over international agencies with extended speculation (read: conspiracy theories). Not surprising."
Really? Asserting that "Interpol will become Obama's secret vault for terrorists' criminal records and evidence" and Obama's "original, long-form birth certificate" is "reasonable"?
Suffern also complains that Newsweek cited a National Rifle Association analysis of the executive order -- which, by the way, also blows Norris' conspiracy-mongering out of the water -- while conceding it's a "sound argument" (but not that it debunks Norris).
Suffern can't claim that both Norris and the NRA are being reasonable.
NewsBusters Won't Condemn Limbaugh's, Robertson's Offensive Haiti Remarks Topic: NewsBusters
It's axiomatic that NewsBusters would rush to the defense of Rush Limbaugh -- after all, that's what the Media Research Center does. And so it goes with Limbaugh's smear of Obama, claiming that he would use the Haiti earthquake to gain "credibility with the black community...both light-skinned and dark-skinned."
Geoffrey Dickens insists that Chris Matthews, in reporting the remark, took LImbaugh out of context, and that "What Matthews failed to tell his viewers was that Limbaugh and his African-American staffer James Golden AKA Bo Snerdley joked that Obama -- by letting Reid off the hook for his comment about 'light-skinned' blacks -- had disrespected 'dark-skinned' blacks." Dickens doesn't explain how that context makes Limbaugh's smear any more palatable.
NewsBusters' quasi-defense of Pat Robertson for suggesting that Haiti's earthquake was the result of the country's "pact to the devil" is much trickier since it's not explicit -- it's more of a criticize-the-critics approach. Scott Whitlock couldn't work up any criticism over Robertson's outrageous statement, reserving it instead for ABC for highlighting "lefty" Keith Olbermann's "over-the-top rant" on the subject.
While Whitlock concedes that "many Christians and conservatives were offended and embarrassed by Robertson’s comments," he offers no opinion on whether he or his MRC co-workers were. He also tries to downplay his status as a major Christian leader, despite the fact that he appears on TV pretty much every day: "When Robertson ran for President and weilded the power of the Christian Coalition, one could describe him as 'one of the America's top religious leaders.' But, now such a description is highly questionable."
It's more telling that Whitlock is apparently more offended by Olbermann's criticism of Robertson's remarks than the remarks themselves.
UPDATE: Ken Shepherd admits Robertson was "wrong," but that's not what his blog post is about -- he's more upset that the Huffington Post's religion editor told Robertson to "go to hell."
CNS Gives Alveda King Unchallenged Platform to Spread Bile Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's Fred Lucas devotes an entire Jan. 12 article to the rantings of anti-abortion activist Alveda King, who radically distorts Harry Reid's controversial comments about Barack Obama:
“I don’t care who said it,” she told CNSNews.com. “It doesn’t matter to me. It’s still wrong. It’s outrageous to say that we are going to let a man have a position because he is light-skinned and he uses a Negro dialect when it is convenient.
“I think that’s terrible,” she said. “What he’s really saying is, ‘Now we have a White House Negro.’
“I believe Sen. Reid’s apology was a good place to start,” King said. “If he really means what he’s saying, he needs to take eugenics and genocide abortion funding out of all legislation in Washington, D.C. A lip service apology is simply that. But if his actions mean, ‘I’m not a racist, I really want to help African Americans,’ he could start by making sure that no more of us are killed through legislation that is going to pay for genocide.”
Lucas permits no one to respond to King's outrageously offensive interpretations or counter her even more extreme (not to mention unsupported) claim that health care reform is "eugenics" and "genocide." This fits in with CNS' longtime pattern of uncritically presenting right-wing views while progressive views rarely stand unchallenged. It seems that CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story" is no longer operative.
As CNS has donebefore, he also refers to her as "Dr. Alveda King" even though her doctorate is not earned -- it's honorary.
WND seems to be an appropriate home for her since they both share an interest in gay-bashing.
Her personal Five Feet of Fury blog currently hosts an ad for a subsidy-published book written by a "nuclear submarine force engineer" who insists that homosexuality is a "sexual dysfunction." (And really, who better to analyze the issue of sexuality than an engineer?)
Actually, that's a relatively minor offense -- blogging doesn't pay so any ad revenue is generally tolerated, right-wingers like Shaidle (and, presumably, her readers) eat these books up, and an obsession with homosexuality seems right up her alley.
Here's a post outlining her response to a story that a claim of a playwright ("who still hasn't died of AIDS for some reason") that Abraham Lincoln was gay was made up to "raise awareness": "Dear gays: this is why people hate you."
And here's another one tastefully responding to a British education official named Ed Balls who, after police were called on an 11-year-old for calling a classmate "gay," said that "Even casual use of homophobic language in schools can create an atmosphere that isolates young people and can be the forerunner of more serious forms of bullying."
Shaidle's bon mot: "Not like sending four cops to some kid's house, you dumb fag!" And her headline: "Bullied as a child for obvious reasons, Mr. Balls takes it out on little kids."
So, was Shaidle bullied as a child? Or was she the bullier? We somehow suspect the latter.
WND obviously has no problem with such gay-bashing. But what about the Horowitz empire, which operates NewsReal? After all, managing editor David Swindle insists that commenters refrain from "Abusive, Ad Hominem, Overly Mean-Spirited" comments and "Hyperbolic Nazi References" -- though, as we've noted, that doesn't seem to apply to NewsReal's bloggers.
We predict Shaidle will get to keep her NewsReal job, as long as she keeps her overt homophobia confined to her personal blog (covert homophobia, we suspect, is mostly tolerated). After all, she does serve as NewsReal's reliable (if not coherent or factually accurate) basher of our employer, and that seems to be good enough for the Horowitz folks.
Knight Doesn't Quite Condemn Execution of Gays in Uganda Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Jan. 13 WorldNetDaily column by Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries runs to the defense of anti-gay preachers who were caught spreading their anti-gay hatred in Uganda, which has led to a law permitting the execution of homosexuals. But it's more what Knight doesn't say than what he does.
Knight insists that Scott Lively and his companions are "honest and courageous men who, out of Christian compassion, dare to tell the truth about homosexuality," and that a New York Times editorial calling them out for helping to "feed this hatred" in Uganda contains "wild, unsubstantiated charges; villains; hysterical calls for action; and a smug, holier-than-thou tone that would put 'Saturday Night Live''s Church Lady to shame."
In fact, the editorial does back up its claims -- a companion Times article (unmentioned by Knight) detailing how Lively and Co., in their Uganda visit, "discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how 'the gay movement is an evil institution' whose goal is 'to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.'"
The Times, Knight asserts, "ignores the Christian men's pointed criticisms of the proposed Uganda law." He goes on to rant that there are "militant gay activists in the newsrooms." Knight continues:
The current homosexuality bill is seriously flawed. It contains such overreaches as jail terms for people who do not report homosexual activity and life imprisonment for people who engage in the behavior. But the Times and the Post go beyond criticizing the harsher aspects of the law and attack the underlying concern of Ugandans to defend marriage and family, avoid the corruption of their children and put the brakes on AIDS and other diseases.
Missing from Knight's column: any mention of the fact that the bill would permit the death penalty for homosexual behavior. Also missing: any condemnation of that. Life sentences are "overreaches," but the death penalty isn't?
Knight concludes by complaining that the media "outinely depict pro-marriage Americans as motivated solely by hatred and prejudice, never by genuine, heartfelt concerns." How is condoning the death penalty for sexual behavior you don't like, as Knight appears to be doing, be seen as "heartfelt"?
A Jan. 11 WorldNetDaily article by Michael Carl describes a manslaughter case in Maine as exemplifying "the violence of the homosexual lifestyle."
It's worth noting, however, WND failed to describe the case of a homeschooling family in which corporal and sexual abuse occurred as exemplifying "the violence of the homeschooling lifestyle" -- indeed, WND portrayed the family as victims of state persecution while whitewashing the abuse.
Will Farah Demand Tea Party Convention Be Open to Reporters? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily made a minor ruckus over being denied press credentials for the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen (despite Farah's refusal to acknowledge the U.N.'s right to exist and desire to see it destroyed).
Will Farah demand the same openness from an organizaiton to which he's speaking?
As we've noted, Farah is trying to ride Sarah Palin's coattails by becoming a speaker, like Palin, at the upcoming Tea Party Naiton convention. But as the Washington Independent reports, reporters have largely been prohibited from covering the convention, and only "selected" members of the press will be allowed.
Will Farah allow his speech to be covered by the press? Hard to say -- despite his professed support for openness when WND wants to report on it, Farah's own record of transparency is less than steller. We've detailed Farah's 2007 participatation in a meeting of the Council for National Policy, a secretive right-wing group. Despite reporters being essentially barred from the meeting, WND published an article on news from the conference, which we must assume was cldeared with CNP officials before publication -- a huge ethical no-no for journalists.
Farah loves his journalistic freedom -- but only when it suits him. He has no problem acquiescing to secrecy when that suits his partisan agenda.
Does Farah have the moral conscience to demand that the tea party conference he's speaking at allow reporters to cover it -- or to lodge a public protest or even refuse to participate if it doesn't? History suggests he does not.