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Friday, September 17, 2010
CNS' Gotcha Interview of Holdren
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com, on top of their gotcha FOIA requests, has a new gotcha tactic: plucking a random quote of a book by a liberal, then ambushing them with it.

Here's how this worked in a Sept. 16 CNS article by Nicholas Ballasy, in which the victim was longtimeright-wing target John Holdren:

CNSNews.com asked Holdren about this passage on Tuesday after he participated in an Environmental Protection Agency forum celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act.

CNSNews.com asked: “You wrote ‘a massive campaign must be launched to restore a high quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States’ in your book Human Ecology. Could you explain what you meant by de-develop the United States?”

Holdren responded: “What we meant by that was stopping the kinds of activities that are destroying the environment and replacing them with activities that would produce both prosperity and environmental quality. Thanks a lot.”

CNSNews.com then asked: “And how do you plan on implementing that?”

“Through the free market economy,” Holdren said.

As Media Matters notes, this quote was plucked from a book Holdren co-wrote in 1973 -- nearly 40 years ago -- and was asked apropos of nothing.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:28 PM EDT
NewsBusters Promotes Unsubstantiated Quote
Topic: NewsBusters

Melissa Clouthier turns NewsBusters into a supermarket tabloid for a Sept. 16 post, pouncing on a claim that Michelle Obama told French first lady Carla Bruni that life in the White House is "hell":

It's tough being the wife of the most powerful man in the world, just ask Michelle Obama. Carla Bruni, who seemed to reveal her distaste for the First Lady in previous pictures, reveals Michelle's whiny comments in her recent book [Aside: why is a sitting world leader's spouse writing a tell-all? What tawdriness.]

Well, of course the job is difficult-prepared meals, jet-setting, specially designed clothes, lecturing the American people on eating apples is exhausting work.

Also, it's awful. Not out-of-a-job awful. Not repo awful. Not foreclosure awful. Not hungry awful. But, yeah, being First Lady is awful.

Michelle Obama and that husband of her's just don't quite cast an empathetic image, do they?

[...]

When an entitled person feels perpetually ripped off, they tend to feel less empathy for those they perceive as ripping them off. So, that lack of empathy; that attitude of being put-upon? That's genuine no matter how the lib press wants to rationalize it away.

[...]

Michelle Obama is not burdened. The woman doesn't know from burden. And Barack Obama is not mis-perceived by the American people. They are seeing his cold nature for what it is: hard hearted. No amount of fawning press can obscure what is becoming more obvious.

Apparently, this story provided so perfect an opportunity for Clouthier to spew her hate that she couldn't be bothered to check the facts.

And what are those facts? Both Obama and Bruni deny the statement was made, and the claim comes from an unauthorized biography, not from Bruni herself. The report Clouthier is quoting comes from a British tabloid, not from an American publication.

Apparently, the MRC's "Tell the Truth" campaign doesn't apply to itself.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:10 AM EDT
MRC Launches Campaign to Bully Media
Topic: Media Research Center

All week, the Media Research Center had been teasing a "major announcement" by Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center. Well, it finally happened on Sept. 15 via webcast. The MRC has not seen fit to put up the video of the announcement, but we watched it and took notes.

The "major announcement," presented as Bozell was fake-interviewed by CNS' Terry Jeffrey, really isn't all that major: this year's version of the "Tell the Truth" campaign it has previously run.Bozell began by claiming he doesn't want a conservative media, he just wants balance. And toget that, he plans to orchestrate "the most public display of national outrage you've ever seen" over the so-called "liberal media," which includes signs to be given out at tea party rallies as well as moving billboards they plan to drive around the headquarters of the various networks. The Twitter feed of the MRC's Brent Baker has a picture of one of the moving billboards outside MRC headquarters.

The ultimate goal of the campaign, Bozell said, is to have the media make one of two choices -- continue this and go out of business, or go back to real journalism.

We've previously noted the MRC's 2004 campaign, in which the goal wasn't to get the media to "tell the truth" at all but, rather, to bully the media into repeating conservative talking points. Indeed, that appears to be the goal here as well.

A Sept. 16 MRC press release illustrates this bullying approach. It highlights five quotes regarding new Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell that Bozell portrays as "mudsliging at its ugliest. Pure character assassination." Bozell goes on to harangue: "These networks have never treated a viable Democratic candidate with this level of contempt. How dare they lecture anyone on manners or decency ever again."

Of the five quotes Bozell cites, two are news reports quoting the state Republican chairman in Delaware calling O'Donnell a liar who couldn't get elected dog catcher. A third is a news report stating, "Democratic officials are gleeful and called her an ultra right wing extremist." That is a fact, and the state Republican chairman's statement is a fact. At no point does Bozell dispute the accuracy of this.

What Bozell is doing is relabeling facts as smears in order to intimidate the media into not reporting them.

The other two are statements by Mike Barnicle and Joy Behar -- commentators who expressing opinions, not reporters fowarding news.

It seems that Bozell wants only positive coverage of Tea Party candidates. That's not telling the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 17, 2010 12:36 AM EDT
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Jack Cashill's Double Standard on Violent Nutcases
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill's Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column is devoting to grousing that the media has ignored that a student who slashed the throat of a Kansas community college president "seems to have absorbed just about every animus in the left-wing ether: environmental extremism, radical Islam, anti-capitalism, anti-Zionism and Christophobia, among others." Cashill claimd that "comparable demons drove 'environmental activist' James Lee to storm the headquarters of the Discovery Broadcasting Channel. His inspiration too went largely unexamined." Cashill concluded that "For the last century or more, it is the progressive fever swamps that have nurtured most of the world's hate and virtually all of its violence, including, paradoxically, radical Islam."

But Cashill frets much less about violence with right-wing origins. As we've detailed, Cashill found nothing radical about Scott Roeder, convicted of murdering Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller in church -- in fact, Cashill praised Roeder for administering "frontier justice." And Cashill has repeatedly served as apologist for Steven Nary, convicted of killing a gay man, by demonizing the victim and ignoring incriminating evidence against Nary.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 PM EDT
Rove Gets Heathered At NewsBusters
Topic: NewsBusters

If there's one thing the boys at the Media Research Center and NewsBusters believe (beyond the increasingly dubious claim that the media has an insidious liberal bias), it's ideological purity. Hence its embrace of Heathering, in which snippy remarks are sent the way of any conservative who has committed the offense of not marching in lockstep with the right-wing party line.

Even stalwart conservative Republicans are not immune from the Heathering treatment if they offend the MRC ideology police. So it really shouldn't be a shock that none other than Karl Rove found himself on the receiving end, despite NewsBusters' long history of praising Rove's genius.

Rove's crime? Saying that Christine O'Donnell could not win the general election for Joe Biden's old Delaware Senate seat because she does not "evince the characteristics of rectitude and truthfulness and sincerity and character that voters are looking for."

Criticizing a tea party darling, no matter how truthful the criticism, is simply not permitted by the MRC. And so the Heathering began. Mark Finkelstein looked askance at "rip the winner" O'Donnell, which continued even as host Sean Hannity "defended O'Donnell staunchly."

Finkelstein followed up by what may be a grave insult by NewsBusters standards -- he tied Rove to frequent Heathering victim Joe Scarborough by highlighing how Scarborough said that he agreed with Rove's criticism.

Scott Whitlock then claimed that "liberal journalists" were using the comments to "highlight Karl Rove as an authoritative voice."

On Sept. 16, Finkelstein portrayed Rove's remarks as part of "the trashing of Christine O'Donnell."

NewsBusters' Heathering, though, is fairly tame so far compared with the freak-out other right-wing bloggers have been engaging in, hurling insults at Rove and other conservative former allies insufficiently supportive of O'Donnell with a frequency normally reserved for members of the so-called liberal media.

How long will Rove stay in NewsBusters' doghouse? Perhaps not for much longer, now that Rove has backpedaled.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:30 PM EDT
Where Is Truth? Not At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah headlined his Sept. 15 column, "Where is truth?"

The answer, of course, is not at WorldNetDaily, which publishes lie after lie after lie.

Farah, of course, will not tell you that. He's actually complaining about the New York Times being insufficient respectful of WND's birther conspiracy theories and yet again blaming President Obama for ignoring said conspiracy theories.

Given Farah's own lies about the birther stuff, it's no wonder he's searching for truth -- he apparently can't find it anywhere within his own news organization.

UPDATE: Speaking of FArah's inability to tell the truth, Farah writes in his Sept,. 16 column, complaining about a Wall Street Journal blogger who called WND "a media outlet that says Barack Obama is foreign-born and can’t be president":

"If you can't find one reference anywhere in WND's extensive archives in which anyone at WND concludes, claims or states that Obama is foreign born, I want a retraction and correction issued by you," I told him. "I'll save you the trouble. There aren't any such references."

Actually, there are. As we've pointed out, WND columnist Craige McMillan has repeatedly called Obama an "illegal alien," which sounds an awful lot like a statement that Obama is foreign born, and the whole of WND's coverage is designed to portray Obama as a foreign entity. No correction necessary.

The WSJ blogger also tweaks WND for referring to a stop on its upcoming cruise as being in "Hispanola" when it's actually in Haiti (located on the island of Hispanola). Farah is upset about that, too.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:15 AM EDT
New Article: The Color of Money, The Color of Bias
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center makes increasingly desperate and logic-defying attempts to spin away News Corp.'s $1 million donation to a Republican group. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Newsmax Endorsement Fail
Topic: Newsmax

Remember that endorsement Newsmax made of Chris Cox in the New York 1st District Republican primary? That didn't work out so well.

Cox ended up third in the three-man race, getting just 23 percent of the vote. The winner, Randy Altschuler, received 45 percent, with George Demos receiving 30 percent.

So this worked about as well as Newsmax's endorsement of Bill McCollum, and it didn't even have to grossly slant its coverage of the race in the process or send Christopher Ruddy and Dick Morris to quietly raise money for him.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EDT
Walsh Peddles Fistful of Unsubstantiated Claims
Topic: Newsmax

The Sept. 13 column by anti-immigration activist James Walsh is headlined, "Federal Figures on Illegal Aliens Misleading." But Walsh appears to be the one doing the misleading by making a slew of unsubstantiated claims.

Walsh writes:

Unfortunately, federal government estimates of illegal alien numbers tend to rely on flawed data based on erroneous assumptions. Flawed in one is flawed in all.

Contrary to the Pew study, the downturn in the U.S. economy has not stopped the flow of illegal aliens across the southwest border. The only “change” is that illegal aliens who once came for jobs now come for social and health entitlements.

What evidence does Walsh cite to back up this claim? None.

The Obama administration early on created DHS Fusion Centers located across the nation purportedly to assist federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in sharing intelligence and thwarting terrorism such as the 9/11 attacks.

Instead these Fusion Centers have become mechanisms for domestic spying, political chicanery, and labeling as suspect those who support enforcement of existing U.S. immigration laws. Secretary Napolitano stands by DHS reports that question the patriotism of U.S. citizens who question Obama's policies.

What evidence does Walsh cite to back up this claim? None.

Meanwhile, many announcements by federal agencies appear to be originating in the White House war room, with the input of radical left groups, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for American Progress. These groups are leading advocates of open borders and amnesty for all.

What evidence does Walsh cite to back up this claim? None.

The Obama administration would reshape U.S. immigration as a transnational right, which is not surprising with a president who was touted by the German press as a “citizen of the world.” Amnesty was the Obama campaign promise that won him the Hispanic vote. Whether he achieves it by federal legislation or executive policy, unauthorized-immigrant advocates are holding him to that promise.

What evidence does Walsh cite to back up this claim? None.

But Walsh isn't done misleading. He writes:

In laying the groundwork for amnesty, the Obama administration claims that the southwest border is “as secure as it’s been in 20 years.” If based on border apprehensions, such claims are fallacious.

Current apprehensions at the border may well be down to 1990 levels, but the explanation is not fewer border crossers, but more U.S. Border Patrol agents detailed to offices miles from these “too dangerous” borderlands.

By focusing on border apprehensions, Walsh ignores other indicators that border enforcement is up. As PolitiFact details, the number of people removed from the U.S. via deportation or other means has dramatically increased. Further, according to PolitiFact, the reason border apprehensions are down is because the number of people attempting to cross the border from Mexico has declined -- contrary to Walsh's unsubstantiated assertion that it hasn't.

Walsh even dragged out the hoary old freakout that a report issued by the Department of Homeland Security 'question[ed] the patriotism of U.S. citizens who question Obama's policies" and depicted "military veterans" as "suspect" for becoming "adherents of right-wing extremism." In fact, an FBI report issued under the Bush administration was cited as evidence that "White supremacist extremist Web sites tend to view the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as an opportunity to recruit new members." Walsh also conveniently fails to mention that DHS issued a similar report on left-wing extremism.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:07 PM EDT
CNS' Starr Offended City Spending Tourism Money to Attract Gays
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Sept. 14 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr begins:

The Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (RMCVB), which is funded in part by hotel taxes, is promoting an initiative by local businesses to attract homosexuals to Virginia’s capital.

But Starr never explains why this is a bad thing, beyond the implication that spending tax money on gay people is inherently a bad thing. Starr's laughable attempt to find something wrong with a city expanding its tourism reach is best exemplifiedby this section, in which Starr details her incisive questioning:

Erin Bagnell, public relations manager for the RMCVB, and Jennifer Carnam, vice president of marketing, confirmed that although White and other sponsors are funding the Rainbow Over Richmond campaign, hotel tax funding is used to pay for all of the RMCVB’s operating costs, including its Web site and the pages it hosts and promotes.

Bagnell and Carnam told CNSNews.com that this mission of RMCVB is to promote and support all efforts to increase tourism in the Richmond region, be it an item added by a local arts group on its Web site calendar or by hosting a landing page on its Web site for initiatives like Rainbow Over Richmond.

CNSNews.com asked Bagnell and Carnam, “According to your Web site, your organization is funded in part by lodging, a portion of the lodging taxes from people who come and stay in hotels in Richmond, correct?”

Carnam answered, “Yes.”

CNSNews.com also asked the following: “If you go to Rainbow Over Richmond, you end up on your Web site [a landing page for Rainbow site], so your organization is funded – everything you do, whether it’s your personnel, office space, your Web site, your utilities – that a portion of what you do as a group, as a non-profit, a portion of your income is from lodging taxes? Correct?”

Carnam answered, “Correct.”

“That’s what we’re charged with at the convention and visitors bureau; to drive people to this area,” Bagnell said.

“We’re a welcoming destination,” Bagnell said. “We are welcoming to all.”

“Our goal is to promote the Richmond region as a welcoming destination, whether you’re coming for a family with your kids from the Washington, D.C., area or whether you’re bringing your family reunion, or whether you have a religious conference,” Carnam said. “We’re one of the top destinations for religious organizations who come here and use our convention center.”

This is nothing more than a failed attempt at homophobia. Starr has previously relayed anti-gay sentiments in her CNS articles.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Another of my late grandmother's many sayings was: "Sometimes it's hard to tell which is worse – the smell from the pile in the pasture or the flies it draws." Thus, in 21 words, she summed up my thoughts, feelings and disgust for the Obamas and their view of America.

-- Mychal Massie, Sept. 7 WorldNetDaily column

In this economy, Obama's policies will be the death knell for many small businesses struggling to survive. Furthermore, they will decimate small towns, many of which are made up entirely of small businesses.

Never mind the track record on these policies. Obama and most Democrats plan to ride this horse till it drops.

-- Jane Chastain, Sept. 8 WorldNetDaily column

It never ceases to amaze me how a complacent people can be lured into self-destructive behavior.

In 1978, 912 members of the People's Temple, a predominantly African-American cult formed in San Francisco by Jim Jones, were either murdered or voluntarily committed suicide in Jamestown, Guyana. Those who committed what Jones referred to as revolutionary suicide drank Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. Many who refused to take their own lives were shot. Interestingly, Jim Jones was a community organizer who chided his subjects as they faced death, telling them that crying was not appropriate because that was not how socialists or communists should die.

Does the term community organizer ring a more contemporary bell? Does the odor of socialism taint today's political atmosphere?

Our nation is being led down the path to a contemporary Jonestown by another former community organizer who was trained and indoctrinated by yet another community organizer, Saul Alinsky, a deracinated Jew and a self-described "rebel" who dedicated his life to trying to destroying the economic and social system in America, a system he believed to be oppressive and unjust.

-- Karl Day, Sept. 10 WorldNetDaily column

People used to talk about the seven-year itch as the time in a marriage when one or both spouses was likely to start fantasizing about hooking up with another man or, as is more often the case, another woman. Well, I've reached that point. Not with my wife, you understand, but with Barack Obama.

The truth is, I wasn't that into him even during the courtship. But after nearly two years, I have to say it's just not working out, and it's not just one thing. It's everything.

Frankly, I'm surprised that his campaign, along with his books, didn't red-flag his red beliefs for more people. But I suspect that a lot of folks wanted to garner racial brownie points by voting for a black man and allowed their hearts to rule their heads.

Oscar Wilde once cynically observed that Niagara Falls was the second biggest disappointment in the life of a young American bride. I suspect that even more than his stimulus bill or Obamacare, it was Obama's insufferable arrogance that quickly ended the honeymoon he was having with the voters.

The man is so smug, overbearing and self-aggrandizing, that he is, as he promised to be, the antithesis of George Bush, but not in a good way. Furthermore, I can't believe that anybody ever thought he was eloquent. Without a Teleprompter, he turns into Porky Pig. I keep expecting him to end a press conference with "Th-Th-Th-That's all, folks!"

-- Burt Prelutsky, Sept. 10 WorldNetDaily column

It is a good thing the media have elected to cover for President Obama, our first affirmative action president. If his true depth of incompetence were revealed by an inquisitive reporter, not enchanted by his wiles, America would be the laughing stock of the world for electing him.

[...]

So my personal thanks to the mainstream media in America for not making a bigger fool out of our president than he is already making of himself. They should continue to cover his flaws just like they did for their other socialist hero, FDR. Then maybe we have a fighting chance to survive his four-year reign of chaos.

Jimmy Carter will be more than happy to be replaced by Mr. Obama. That way, Jimmy will only be the second worst president in American history.

-- Craig R. Smith, Sept. 13 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 8:23 AM EDT
NewsBusters vs. Journalism
Topic: NewsBusters

Media Matters' Jamison Foser highlights a couple new examples of hostility to journalism at NewsBusters:

  • A post by Geoffrey Dickens taking offense at NBC's Meredith Veiera asking Republican congressment pushing tax cuts, "What's so good about them?"
  • A post by Brent Baker claiming that NBC's Brian Williams was pushing "the Left’s ten-year-old grudge"  when he asked Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer if the court's 2000 decision in Bush v. Gore "hurt the credibility of the modern court?” 

As Foser detailed, Dickens seems to think that Veiera should only have asked why tax cuts were good, and Breyer was promoting a book in which he wrote about Bush v. Gore. Foser adds, "Williams’ questions -- like Vieira’s -- were so straightforward I’m surprised even the relentlessly inane Newsbusters crew would pretend to find them offensive."

Further, since both Dickens and Baker are MRC employees, both of these posts were promoted to the main MRC site.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Caruba Still Falsely Claiming Global Warming Doesn't Exist
Topic: CNSNews.com

Alan Caruba has long lied that there's no such thing as global warming and that the earth is cooling, and he does so again in his Sept. 13 CNSNews.com column. In the midst of a rant about the impending death of incandescent light bulbs, he writes:

Here are some truths to keep in mind: (1) Carbon dioxide (CO2) along with other “greenhouse gas emissions” does not cause global warming. (2) There is no global warming. (3) The Earth has gone through known warming and cooling cycles for millions of years. (4) The Earth is in a cooling cycle.

Um, no. Even longtime climate "skeptic"-friendly critic Bjorn Lomborg -- whom Caruba defended after Obama science adviser John Holdren once criticized him -- has called for the funding of efforts to battle climate change


Posted by Terry K. at 7:35 PM EDT
Tea Party Founder Swings At Gays-in-the-Military Ruling, Misses
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips writes in a Sept. 13 WorldNetDaily column about a federal district judge overturning the military's "don't ask, don't tell" law against gays in the military:

When someone files a suit to declare a law unconstitutional, the attorney general and the Department of Justice are obligated under law to defend it. While they are duty-bound to defend the law, they do not have to defend it well. The Obama regime knows this.

As the case went to trial, DOJ called no witnesses. The only evidence it offered was the legislative record from Congress.

When judges try a case, their rulings are limited to the evidence that is in front of them. In this case, DOJ offered no real evidence to support DADT. Despite the fact that the judge was a Clinton appointee, she really had no choice in her ruling.

Imagine a baseball game where a team puts its batters up to the plate. The players stand there, but they absolutely refuse to swing at the ball.

That is exactly what the Obama Justice Department did. DOJ's actions were so unusual, the judge even commented on it in her ruling.

Phillips is misleading about the DOJ's efforts in the case. As Media Matters has noted, the case was filed in 2004, and the Obama DOJ has handled for less than two years, so it appears that the legal strategy in the case may have been decided under the Bush administration. Further, the Obama DOJ did much more that just "the legislative record from Congress," as Phillips claims; it filed numerous motions and hundreds of pages of legal briefs, while claiming that the court should consider only "the statute itself and the bare legislative history."

Phillips baselessly asserts that the legal strategy in the case was part of the Obama administration having "concocted a plan to repeal DADT without going through Congress," even though the case was under the jurisdiction of the Bush DOJ for four years. Nevertheless, he adds that "this is yet another example of what liberal elites are capable of when they're granted unchecked power."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:09 PM EDT
Farah Unilaterally Declares Obama Ineligible
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah declares in his Sept. 13 WorldNetDaily column that he is tired of his birther crusade being ignored by its target:

With this kind of arrogance after the patience the American people have demonstrated over this matter, I'd say it's time to conclude that he is ineligible for office. He's had plenty of time to provide the evidence to clear himself of this charge, this suspicion, this indictment in the form of overwhelming public opinion.

He has failed to answer the charge. He has failed to enter a plea. He has failed to show up for a hearing. Therefore, I no longer afford him the presumption of innocence.

It's time to recognize what we have serving in the White House today – a pretender, a usurper, an arrogant narcissist who believes it's beneath him to answer the questions of the public and to demonstrate his worthiness for office.

He's like the suspect who refuses to come to court for adjudication. Sooner or later, the judge throws him in jail, recognizing that the presumption of innocence only goes so far.

Many in Washington, who are complicit in Obama's eligibility charade, and the establishment news media, who failed to provide the appropriate journalistic diligence and curiosity to hold Obama accountable, are still wishing, hoping and praying this issue and the public interest in it just fades away.

That isn't going to happen.

And for those who agree with me, it's time to ratchet up the pressure.

Of course, Obama has proven his eligibility -- Farah has chosen to ignore it and spread lies instead. And his statement that "despite suggestions to the contrary, I never accused Obama of being born elsewhere" defies the facts -- we've repeatedly documented Farah and his website promoting exactly that.

By making this unilateral I-will-not-be-ignored declaration, Farah is starting to go all Glenn Close on us. If Obama finds a dead rabbit on his stove one day soon, it's time for him to really start worrying.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 AM EDT

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