New Article: Newsmax and Newsweek, Sittin' In A Tree? Topic: Newsmax
Christopher Ruddy and Richard Mellon Scaife attempt to buy the newsmagazine, but their promise to not interfere with its coverage runs counter to the right-wing agenda of everything else Newsmax does. Read more >>
P.S. The New York Times reports that the Washington PostCo. has rejected Newsmax's bid for Newsweek.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Sexual Conduct, Al Gore Division Topic: NewsBusters
Rremember the Media Research Center's complaint that the media was reporting claims that South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley had an affair when the only evidence they had was that the other person claimed there was one? In the MRC's eyes, this was defined as "unproven"; NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein insisted it it was unworthy of coverage because "Haley has categorically denied the allegations."
No one should be surprised to learn that MRC's ethics on such things are completely situational and depend on who's being accused. Take the case of Al Gore being accused of making sexual advances on a masseuse. The charge is unproven, and Gore has categorically denied it. So guess what the MRC is complaining about? That it's being ignored, of course.
That's what Finkelstein does in a July 1 NewsBusters post, accusing MSNBC's "Morning Joe" of overlooking the story. Finkelstein doesn't mention that Gore has "categorically denied" the accusation -- thus making it, by his own standards of just a few weeks ago, unworthy of coverage.
Why is anyone surprised that MRC employees allow their bias to trump their ethics?
Reed Suggests Solomon Amendment 'Settled Federal Law' Under Kagan Topic: Newsmax
Ralph Reed's June 30 Newsmax column on Elena Kagan contains this curious statement:
Her defiance of settled federal law in banning military recruiters from the campus of Harvard Law School during a time of war reveals the temperament of an ideologue and a political partisan, not the temperament of a judge.
There is no federal law we know of, settled or otherwise, that forbids banning of military recrutiers "during a time of war." Reed is presumably referring to the Solomon Amendment, which cut off federal funding to schools who banned military recruiters. Given that a challenge to the Solomon Amendment was in the federal court system while Kagan was Harvard Law School dean -- and that a ruling by a federal appeals court that the amendment was unconstitutional gave Kagan an opening to keepmilitary recruiters from using the school's career office for a semester -- the suggestion that the Solomon Amendment was "settled federal law" is utterly absurd.
Schlafly's Falsehood-Laden Attack on Kagan Topic: WorldNetDaily
When you start your column with a lie, it's difficult to take anything else you write seriously.
Phyllis Schlafly does just that in the opening sentence of her June 30 WorldNetDaily column:
Barack Obama revealed his goal for the Supreme Court when he complained on Chicago radio station WBEZ-FM in 2001 that the Earl Warren Court wasn't "radical" enough because "it didn't break free from the essential constraints placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution" in order to allow "redistribution of wealth."
As we've detailed, Obama didn't "complain" that the Warren Court wasn't radical enough; he merely stated it as fact.
Unsurprisingly, Schlafly goes on to mislead about other Kagan-related things. She bashes Kagan's praise for Aharon Barak despite his being "the most activist judge in the world" without noting that none other than conservative justice Antonin Scalia has also praised Barak. Schlafly also repeats the discredted lie that Kagan is "anti-military."
Gainor Column on Weigel Doesn't Mention His Anti-Weigel Crusade Topic: Media Research Center
Dan Gainor's June 30 MRC Business & Media Institute column is dedicated to "self-immolating Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel," complaining that "D.C.’s in-crowd, both left and right, has closed ranks around him as one of their own" and are "letting their friendships cloud their judgment."
You'd think that with all this glee about Weigel losing his Washington Post job, Gainor would take a victory lap and proclaim to his readers how he worked behind the scenes to undermine Weigel by trying to convince conservatives not to speak to him. But strangely, he does not mention his own handiwork -- perhaps because it could lead to questions about what else he did to attack Weigel, his depiction of Weigel as "self-immolating" notwithstanding.
Similarly, over at NewsBusters, Lachlan Markay insisted, "Weigel did not leave the post because he is a liberal. And conservatives did not force him out." Markay didn't mention that the publisher of his blog post certainly tried to do just that.
Joseph Farah is suchaliar, one has to wonder what the motivation is. Is he pathological, or does he merely lack a conscience, taking the view that the end justifies the means in making money in promoting right-wing extremism?
Whatever the reason, he is clearly unable to stop. Farah adds another arrow to his quiverful of lies about Elena Kagan in a June 29 WorldNetDaily article in which he falsely smears Kagan as "a person who thinks it's OK to ban books," screeching, "Do you want a book banner on the Supreme Court?"
Here's Farah's alleged evidence to support his claim:
As solicitor general, Kagan defended before the Supreme Court a campaign finance law that could ban books and would ban pamphlets that would promote federal political candidacies or oppose them. While Kagan pointed out the law had never been applied to books, she acknowledged her support for the provision to consider such advocacy books as campaign contributions.
The facts are quite different the the pack of lies Farah is peddling. First, Farah thinks "could" and "will" mean the same thing -- apparently, he learned nothing about grammar in his career as a journalist. Second, the campaign finance law Kagan argued to uphold (in the Citizens United case) did not ban all books and pamphlets, as Farah suggests; it addressed only election spending by corporations and unions.
Further, Kagan never argued for banning books. While WND correctly notes that Kagan "pointed out the law had never been applied to books," it conveniently omitted that Kagan also said that because federal law had never banned books, it likely could not do so, and that any attempt would be unlikely to stand up in court.
Specifically, Kagan said, "Nobody has ever suggested -- nobody in Congress, nobody in the administrative apparatus has ever suggested that books pose any kind of corruption problem." Kinda shoots down Farah's claim that Kagan's a "book banner," doesn't it?
Farah pads out the article with the discredited lies that "Kagan is a radical antimilitary and proabortion zealot."
Farah then jumps to crass commercialism, begging his readers to send him $24.95 so he can send anti-Kagan letters to each member of the Senate.
So, compulsive or craven? We're not sure, but there is definitely something amoral going on with Farah. Nobody can spread such deliberate lies without deliberate intent.
WND, CNS Push Attack Du Jour on Kagan Topic: CNSNews.com
In the ConWeb, it's just one attack after another on Elena Kagan, and the facts really don't matter. Take today's attack, for instance.
What the ConWeb is howling about now is that back in the 1990s, when she was working in the Clinton administration, Kagan made suggested edits to a statement the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists planned to issue on the subject of the intact dilatation and extraction (D&X) abortion, aka so-called "partial-birth abortion."
CNSNews.com promoted this in a long, long June 29 article by Jane McGrath (whose main job is being an Obama-bashing blogger at Townhall.com). McGrath claimed that the draft ACOG statement "contradicted the argument President Clinton had been making to defend his opposition to a ban on partial-birth abortion." Which it didn't, of course. While the draft statement stated that ACOG "could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman" -- a claim that remained in the final version of the statement -- it went on to state that making intact D&X illegal "may outlaw techniques that are critical to the lives and health of American women." Kagan's edits mainly consisted of making the latter claim more explicit, stating that intact D&X may be the best option for some women.
McGrath goes on to uncritically quote an anti-abortion activist claiming that because of this, Kagan somehow "'deserves the blame' for delaying enactment of the partial-birth abortion ban."
WorldNetDaily anti-abort columnist Jill Stanek seized on the issue, misleadingly claiming that ACOG's draft was "unhelpful" and that Kagan "changed it to suit Clinton's pro-abortion agenda." Stanek went on to howl that "ACOG accepted a revision of its medical opinion from a political hack."
WND liked Stanek's column so much it rewrote it into a "news" article. WND, as per usual, makes no effort to do anything more with it, like obtain opinions from others on the issue.
But don't worry. As this attack crashes and burns, the ConWeb is sure to concoct a new one tomorrow.
Farah Pretends Fundamentally Flawed Attack Video Is True Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah used his June 29 WorldNetDaily column to defend Rep. Michele Bachmann from criticism over her appearance in a Coral Ridge Ministries-produced video on socialism claiming that "the envy-inflamed ideas of Marx and others are at war with the family, the church, and with God and His Word." Farah, unsurprisingly, insists that such a claim is "undeniably and provably true."
But Farah's really upset that a news article criticized another Coral Ridge video trying to link Charles Darwin to the Holocaust by noting it was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League:
The Anti-Defamation League diminishes itself for blasting it. It is 100 percent true and well-documented. It is an established fact that the Nazi genocide was firmly based on Darwinism. If you have any doubts, just see the fascinating documentary for yourself. But, keep in mind, Bachmann had nothing to do with it! She is a part of a different documentary critiquing socialism.
Well, not quite. As we detailed in 2006, the basic premise of the video -- that Darwin's theory of evolution directly led to the Holocaust -- falsely conflates evolution with social Darwinism, the survival-of-the-fittest concept that existed long before Darwin.
Further, Coral Ridge reportedly misled at least one scientist interviewed for the video claiming that he was interviewed about a book he wrote and was not told he would appear in a Darwin-bashing video. Afther the scientist raised concerns about how he was being portrayed, Coral Ridge reportedly removed him from later editions of the video.
WND also studiously ignored criticism of the video from its fellow right-wingers. For example, a writer at the Alan Keyes-linked Renew America apologized for promoting it, pointing out that Coral Ridge pastor D. James Kennedy's statement "No Darwin, No Hitler" is "not a true statement."
WND was a huge promoter of the video and whitewashed the controversy about Coral Ridge's ethics. WND's promotion just happened to coincide with Coral Ridge's promotion of WND managing editor David Kupelian's WND-published book "The Marketing of Evil," featuring it on its televised services, airing an interview with Kupelian, and giving away copies of a "special paperback edition" of the book to Coral Ridge donors.
Oh, and to put the utterly craven cherry on top of this, WND sellsboth Coral Ridge videos, links for which are scattered throughout Farah's column.
WND Poorly Defends Birther Hero From Racist 'Smears' Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Joe Kovacs runs to the defense of birtherhero Tim Adams in in a June 28 article, portraying him as "the victim of a vicious smear campaign," which includes the allegation that he's a "racist." But Kovacs never address the core evidence to support that allegation.
After first quoting Adams saying that "I was, among other claims made by these 'concerned citizens,' a Nazi, a skinhead, a racist, and a host of other epithets" and that "I have never been a part of any racialist group, nor espoused any racist doctrines, not that that matters to them," Kovacs inserts a video from MSNBC's "Countdown" in which Keith Olbermann lays out the case of Adam's racist ties -- attending a convention of the openly racist Council of Conservative Citizens, where he was interviewed by self-proclaimed "pro-white" radio host James Edwards.
Suddenly, it's diversion time for Kovacs, who chooses to obsess over Olbermann's use of a plural instead of tackling the core issue:
"Oops! You're quoting white supremacists about a black president," Olbermann said. "Well done, WorldNetDaily!"
WND's story from which Olbermann was reading quoted Adams only based on WND's own, exclusive, hour-long phone interview with the former elections official, and mentioned no one else making any similar claim about Obama's hospital-generated birth certificate being non-existent.
Adams, did, however, initially make his allegation June 5 on a show hosted by James Edwards of WLRM Radio in Memphis, Tenn. The show's website describes Edwards – not Tim Adams – as having an "unapologetically pro-white viewpoint."
Kovacs' effort to divorce Adams from Edwards by claiming that Edwards' website didn't describe Adams as "pro-white" is as laughable as it is lame. It probably didn't describe Jerome Corsi that way either when he appeared on Edwards' show (not that Kovacs will mention that little nugget of fact anytime soon).
At no point in the article does Kovacs ask Adams to explain why he was at a CofCC convention (or even that he was there in the first place) or why he chose to be interviewed by a "pro-white" radio host.
Kovacs' cowardice continues: He notes that "if anyone is racist against blacks on this issue, Adams says it is those who suggest Obama is not eligible to hold office," but doesn't ask Adams if he thinks the birther kings at WND are racist.
Kovacs parroted once again Adams' story that he was a "senior election clerk" who "had a secretary, private office, two assistants and about 50 temp workers" working under him, and that he had access to "numerous government databases" and "unfettered Internet access, something else the workers didn't possess," but he ignored anyone who contradicted Adams' story. Like Glen Takahashi, whom Kovacs cited as verifying that Adams was a senior elections clerk. Dave Weigel wrote:
I checked with Glen Takahashi, the administrator of the Honolulu City Clerk's office, and while he verified that Adams worked there, he explained – gently making it clear he did not want to "call anyone a liar" -- that Adams never actually had access to information about Barack Obama.
"Our office does not have access to birth records," Takahashi said. "That's handled by the state of Hawaii Department of Health. Where he's getting that, I don't know. Put it this way: Barack Obama was not trying to register to vote in Hawaii. He is, as far as I know, not a registered voter here. So no one was looking that up."
Takahashi explained that the "senior elections clerk" job that Adams held was a low-level data entry position dealing with voter registration and absentee ballots -- Adams was one of dozens of temporary employees who staffed the pre-election rush. And he contradicted Adams's claims that Obama's lack of a birth certificate was an "open secret" or that voters contacted the office to ask about it.
"To be honest, I fielded no questions about that," Takahashi said. "Why would anyone ask us? We don't have those records."
That would seem to undermine Adams' story, but Kovacs doesn't want his readers to know about it.
David Limbaugh Falsely Claims FDR Made Economy Worse Topic: Newsmax
In attacking President Obama yet again, David Limbaugh writes in his June 29 syndicated column, published by WorldNetDaily and Newsmax: "Obama is wholly impervious to the historical record documenting the failure of FDR's pump priming during the Depression, which exacerbated rather than ameliorated the economic problems."
In fact, unemployment dropped consistently under New Deal programs. Most experts agree that when FDR tried to raise taxes and cut the budget in 1937, the economy faltered again.
CNSNews.com's anti-Kagan crusade continues -- and merges with its recently discovered tool of using Freedom of Information Act request to play gotcha with government officials -- with a June 28 article by Terry Jeffrey trying to create a scandal where there isn't one.
CNS is trying to figure out which issues Elena Kagan would have recuse herself from as a Supreme Court justice based on her work as solicitor general, so it filed an FOIA request with the solicitor general's office demanding records by Kagan mostly in reference to health care reform.
Of course, recusal is a non-issue -- Jeffrey offers no evidence that Kagan has refused to recuse as necessary in the past and, as even Jeffrey points out, Kagan has recused herself from her work as solicitor general due to her Surpreme Court nomination. Nevertheless, Jeffrey finds it significant that the office is seeking "clarification" on CNS' broad request for documents regarding "the administration’s health-care reform plan," putting the "delay" in the opening paragraph and, thus, suggesting that it is intentional stalling.
Jeffrey is trying to create a controversy where there isn't one. Anyonesurprised?
Is The MRC Trying to Destroy Weigel? Topic: Media Research Center
There's a reason why the folks at the Media Research Center were happy to dance on the grave of David Weigel's career at the Washington Post: the MRC was working behind the scenes to help dig the grave.
Starting last month, Dan Gainor, vice president for business and culture at the Media Research Center, the conservative media watchdog group, went on something of a crusade.
Angered by a joke that David Weigel made about Matt Drudge on his Twitter feed, Gainor contacted conservative groups asking them to stop cooperating with Weigel, who had recently taken his blog about the conservative movement to the Washington Post.
“We encouraged conservatives not to deal with him,” he said. “We contacted other conservative organizations and said, ‘This guy is no friend of the conservative movement. We recommend that you deny him access.’ Some did.”
When MRC asked the Heritage Foundation to disinvite Weigel from its weekly Tuesday blogger briefing, Rob Bluey, the briefing’s organizer, said the meeting was on the record and occasionally attended by liberal journalists, and declined to go along with the group’s request.
Most of the group’s other efforts also failed, but the MRC’s reservations about Weigel — voiced in an early letter to Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli, and given public airing on Post Ombudsman Andy Alexander’s piece on the affair on Friday — have played a major role in shaping the debate over whether the Post made the right move in accepting Weigel’s resignation in the wake of leaked emails in which he disparaged prominent conservative figures.
So the MRC was actively trying to interfere with Weigel's job. Working behind the scenes to blacklist someone it doesn't like goes far beyond the "media research" and criticism the MRC purports to do -- it's political activism. On top of that, as Eric Boehlert notes, it's an attempt to hide conservatives from media scrutiny by trying to keep them only in right-leaning media, where their views will never be challenged unless they commit the sin of not being conservative enough (which the MRC frequently does).
But did the MRC do more? Given the antipathy toward Weigel by Gainor and other MRC employees, one has to wonder if the MRC played a role in making sure Weigel's Jourolist emails were made public -- after all, they play right into the MRC's talking points against Weigel.
Gainor has not denied working to undermine Weigel; in a May 28 NewsBusters post, he repeats Politico's claim that he was on "something of a crusade" against Weigel, but he does not contradict it. So it begs the question of what else Gainor or other MRC employees did.
Perhaps it's time that Gainor and the MRC come clean about their behind-the-scenes tactics.
P.S. Gainor, like most at the MRC, have yet to provide any example (personal, off-the-record views aside) of how Weigel's reporting was inaccurate or even "biased."
Klein's Attacks on Gregorian Get Even More Lame (And Conspiratorial) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last week, we detailed the lack of substance in WorldNetDaily reporter Aaron Klein's desperate guilt-by-association smear of Vartan Gregorian, a member of President Obama's Commission on White House Fellowships who in Klein's fevered mind is an Islamic extremist who is "closely tied to the Muslim leaders behind a proposed controversial Islamic cultural center to be built near the site of the 9/11 attacks" -- never mind that Gregorian is a universally respected scholar who formerly headed the New York Public Library and Brown University and who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush.
Any further attacks on Gregorian can only get more lame from there, and darn if Klein doesn't prove it.
Klein trotted out his latest guilt-by-association smear in a June 27 WND article: "Gregorian served on the selection committee of the Annenberg Foundation, which funded Ayers' Chicago Annenberg Challenge with a $49.2 million, 2-to-1 matching challenge grant over five years."
That's it. That's the substance of it.
But that statement appeared in the fifth paragraph of Klein's article. Because Klein isn't satisfied by substance, what you read before you come across that statement is inaccurate and unsubstantiated innuendo:
A scholar and charity head appointed to President Obama's White House Fellowships Commission served as a point man in granting $49.2 million in startup capital to an education-reform project founded by Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers and chaired by Obama.
Documentation shows the White House fellow, Vartan Gregorian, was central in Ayers' recruitment of Obama to serve as the first chairman of the project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge -- a job in which Obama worked closely on a regular basis with Ayers.
Obama also later touted his job at the project as qualifying him to run for public office, as WND previously reported.
The main claim Klein makes -- that Ayers recruited Obama to head the CAC -- is unsubstantiated. As we pointed out when Klein made the same claim in his Obama-bashing book, The New York Times reported that, "according to several people involved," Ayers "played no role" in choosing Obama. Klein offers no evidence to contradict that claim.
Because that central claim is dubious, Klein's secondary claim -- that Gregorian was "central" to Obama being appointed to the CAC -- is even more dubious. Klein's evidence here is a letter in which Gregorian, as head of Annenberg's selection committee, asked Ayers to "compose the governing board" of the Challenge's collaborative project with "people who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of Chicago." As a result, Klein wrote, "Ayers and other founding Challenge members then recruited Obama to serve as the project chairman." But Klein offers no evidence that Obama was specifically mentioned by Gregorian, nor does he offer evidence that the CAC was specifically looking for a black man or other minority to lead it.
Which brings us to where it gets really dumb. The underlying implication of Klein's article is that Obama appointed Gregorian to the board of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships in gratitude for Gregorian funding the CAC and, thus, helping to pad Obama's resume. This implication was made explicit in the front-page promo for Klein's article, which asked, "Ayers-Obama link: Is this the payoff?"
Because nothing screams "payoff" more than an appointment to a minor government board.
If this is Klein's idea of a "payoff," what does he think President Bush awarding Gregorian the Presidential Medal of Freedom is? We don't know, because Klein has curiously omitted mentioning that Gregorian has received it.
Oh, and Klein pads out his article by repeating the lame and baseless smears of his original attack on Gregorian, thus compounding the lameness.
There is a relentless war being waged against American men that literally spans the entire extent of their lives. From the womb, in which a woman's "right" to abort a male baby for being male is defended but a similar right to abort a female baby for being female is vehemently opposed, to the grave, wherein the disparate impact of old age is ignored despite women living 5.2 years longer than men on the average, men are systematically, structurally and unstintingly under assault.
Most men understand this on some level, but like the nice dependable man who can't figure out why attractive women repeatedly reject him in favor of unemployed losers with criminal records, they are incapable of doing anything about it because they simply can't believe that women truly do not think or behave like men.
Young Sam understands that he is under attack on the basis of his sex, even if he has no idea why. Moreover, he even recognizes the direct link between the ideology of female superiority and political left-liberalism that escapes so many adult political analysts. He does not need to read this column because he already knows that he is in a war that was neither of his making nor of his choosing.
But most men, especially men of the Baby Boom and World War II generations, do not understand this because they have bought into the myth of equality that was marketed to them under false pretenses by the ideologists of female superiority. And yet, it is not only an observable, provable and scientifically established fact that there is no such thing as material equality between the sexes, it is also an observable and provable fact that legal equality between the sexes does not exist, either. Nor is there spiritual equality of the sexes under any of the major religions of the West, the Christian concept of Original Sin notwithstanding.
The first step in winning any war is recognizing that whereas it takes two to tango, it only takes one side to start a war. Men have been in unthinking and instinctive retreat before the implacable onslaught of female ideologues for 80 years, which has now reached the point that the very foundations of Western civilization have crumbled and are approaching collapse. And unless men realize that they are engaged in a war that they did not choose, the civilization they constructed so painstakingly over many centuries will devolve into the primitive grass-hut matriarchy from whence it came.
The MRC Ramps Up for Kagan-Bashing Topic: Media Research Center
CNSNews.com is not the only Media Research Center unit that has dedicated itself to bashing Elena Kagan with the advent of her confirmation hearing. The whole organization is taking part.
The MRC primed its attacks with a June 24 "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes complaining that the media was not reporting discredited right-wing attacks on Kagan. That's not what he actually said, of course. He started off complaining that the broadcast networks offered little recent coverage of Kagan (which is true as far as it goes), then highlighted "topics that the broadcast networks have either ignored or downplayed." That's where the right-wing complaining comes in.
The very first item on Noyes' list is "Kagan’s senior thesis on the demise of the Socialist Party in the early 1900s, which she labeled 'sad,'" and her Daily Princetonian op-ed "where she openly described herself a 'liberal' and wailed about the 'anonymous but moral majority-backed avengers of innocent life.'" Noyes didn't explain why Kagan should be held accountable 30 years later for statements she made in college.
Noyes also cited "Kagan’s handling of the Citizens United case as Solicitor General," which he claims is evidence of "openness to regulating political speech." Noyes didn't mention the fact that Kagan was acting on behalf of the government, not necessarily expressing her personal views.
Finally, Noyes referenced that "Kagan blocked the U.S. military from using the school’s Office of Career Services because of the ban on open homosexuals serving in the armed forces, a policy Kagan said she 'abhorred.'" That description leaves out a lot of detail, and the MRC has misled about it in the past.
That's the lens the MRC is looking at this week's coverage of Kagan -- how much said coverage advances right-wing talking points. More on this later.