AIM's Self-Appointed 'Senator Bob' Topic: Accuracy in Media
A Nov. 4 Accuracy in Media column carries an interesting byline: "Senator Bob" Smith. The explanation comes at the end of the column:
Former Senator Bob Smith (R-NH), known as "Senator Bob," has joined Accuracy in Media as a Special Contributor. His columns and commentaries on media and politics will be available on a regular basis on the AIM website at www.aim.org.
So Smith is not a senator, he's a former senator. He may want to be called "Senator Bob," but it misleads about Smith's current status.
Why is AIM -- which supposedly believes in, you know, accuracy in media -- enabling Smith to perpetuate the false idea that he's still a senator? He may miss the job, but it's not AIM's job to help him delude himself.
WND Still Wants to Hang Onto Bogus Obama Trip Cost Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has already promoted bogus claims about the cost and extent of President Obama's visit to Asia, while making no effort to verify the claim. Now that no sane person is credibly promoting the claim, WND wants to change the subject.
A Nov. 4 WND article details WND White House correspondent's bantering with White House press secretary Robert Gibbs over the purpoted $200 million per day cost cost, pretending that the issue is not that the claim WND reported has been discredited, but that the White House won't release "the actual cost."
It's not until the 17th and final paragraph that it's revealed that the Pentagon has discredited a related claim, that it would deploy 34 ships and an aircraft carrier during the trip. Even then, WND adds that "Kinsolving then pointed out the Pentagon, while denying the '34 ships' report, did not say how many vessels would be deployed as part of the president's security."
WND doesn't want to tell you the reason the White House doesn't reveal the actual cost of the trip: national security. As CNN's Anderson Cooper reported, the White House doesn't comment on trip logistics for security reasons. Plus, Cooper noted, given the costs of previous presidential overseas trips, there's no way the trip would cost anywhere near $200 million a day, even accounting for inflation and given that the war in Afghanistan costs $190 million a day.
Cooper added that "these facts could have easily been checked by anyone who is spreading this story." The fact that WND couldn't be bothered to check tells you all you need to know about its commitment to journalism -- or, rather, its total lack of commitment.
Terry Jeffrey writes in a Nov. 4 CNSNews.com "news" article:
Democratic congressional candidates dominated the midterm election vote Tuesday—winning 68 percent--among the 3 percent of the electorate who said they were gay, lesbian or bisexual, according to the exit poll conducted for the major television networks by Edison Research.
By contrast, Republican House candidates won the heterosexual vote, defeating Democrats among this demographic 52 percent to 46 percent.
Jeffrey goes on to write, "Even in San Francisco, however, there were only 8,902 same-sex-couple households out of a total of 329,700 households. That means same-sex-couple households accounted for only 2.7 percent of households in San Francisco, according to the 2000 Census." He adds: "Most of the City of San Francisco is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose party lost its majority in the House in Tuesday's election."
To hammer home thatpoint, Jeffrey's article is illustrated with a picture of San Francisco. Nowhere does he explain why he's singling out SF here.
This is not the first time Jeffrey has targeted San Francisco: Last month he devoted a column to how "arts" organizations in San Francisco (Jeffrey's scare quotes, not ours) received stimulus money.
NewsBusters Plays Dumb About Impeachment Topic: NewsBusters
Mark Finkelstein writes in a Nov. 3 NewsBusters post:
I'm an official card-carrying member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, sitting in every morning on the super-secret nationwide conference call during which we receive our marching orders from the Forces of Evil. But unless I've missed something—and granted, maybe the extra-bold coffee doesn't always kick in—not once have I heard mention of a plan to impeach Pres. Obama.
So what does Ed Schultz know that I don't? He splattered his MSNBC show this evening with incessant dark speculation to the effect that the new Republican majority is plotting to impeach Pres. Obama.
Really? Apparently Finkelstein doesn't read fellow right-wing outlet WorldNetDaily, which regularly agitates for impeachment? And he apparently has never heard of famous Republican strategist Floyd Brown, who has entirewebsites dedicated to the impeachment cause, which he's been pushing for more than a year now. Heck, Brown's Western Journalism Center and WND even got together to pen a (falsehood-laden) "case for impeachment."
Or maybe Finkelstein missed Jonathan Chait's prediction that Republicans will impeach Obama for whatever reason? Finkelstein previously praised Chait's pondering that conservatives' worst claims about the Clintons might be correct.
Finkelstein, by the way, followed that declaration of ignorance with an ellipsis-filled Schultz transcript suggesting that he was taking a thing or two out of context.
The next day, Finkelstein followed up by claiming that Schultz "was 'obsessed' with the nutty notion that Republicans are plotting to impeach Pres. Obama." Still no acknowledgment that his fellow right-wing activists are agitating for this to happen.
AIM Plays Dumb About Wash. Times Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Nov. 3 Accuracy in Media blog post, Don Irvine writes about the repurchase of the Washington Times by Rev. Sun Myung Moon:
According to the Washington Post the Times had been receiving a $35 million subsidy in order to continue operating and when that was cut off the paper wasn’t able to survive in its current form. The new owners will also need a similar subsidy or cash infusion if they expect to rebuild the paper and pay its bills since advertising and circulation revenue will fall far short of the break even mark. And frankly I don’t know of any church that can provide this type of subsidy especially during a recession.
Irvine conveniently ignores the fact that the Times has never made money and that Moon's Unification Church has always subsidized it. The Washington Post reported in 2002 that Moon's operation had subsidized the Times to the tune of about $1.7 billion since the paper's founding in 1982.
It's silly for Irvine to pretend the Times' subsidy is something recent, especially given that we can't recall anyone at AIM being overly concerned about the subsidy before.
Sycophantically quoting yet another attack on President Obama by "talk-radio titan" Rush Limbaugh, this time for going to India, Fitzpatrick writes:
Obama's trip to Mumbai reportedly will cost American taxpayers "a whopping $200 million per day" according the Press Trust of India.
President and Mrs. Obama are reportedly bringing along a tremendous entourage of about 3,000 people, ranging from U.S. government officials to journalists to Secret Service agents to private chefs, for a two-day visit beginning Nov. 6.
Since Fitzpatrick is apparently only interested in copy-and-pasting instead of doing actual reporting, it should be no surprise to learn that the claim is bogus.
According to Media Matters, White House spokesman Matt Lehrich responded, "The numbers reported in this article have no basis in reality. Due to security concerns, we are unable to outline details associated with security procedures and costs, but it's safe to say these numbers are wildly inflated."
Fitzpatrick could have done that, but he chose not to. In WorldNetDaily, he seems to have found a place that will tolerate his lazy "reporting" since bashing Obama is more important than the facts.
Newsmax Repeats Bogus Attack on Gore Topic: Newsmax
An Oct. 31 Newsmax article reports that, according to the UK's Daily Mail, "Climate crusader Al Gore did his part to warm the planet last week, leaving his car idling for an hour as he gave a lecture on sustainable development in Sweden." But there's no evidence that this ever happened.
The Daily Mail sourced its claim to Marc Morano's Climate Depot, which, in turn, repeats a claim by "journalist and communications consultant" Einar Du Rietz that is "Reprinted from CFACT.EU." But both CFACT.EU and Climate Depot are operated by the same group, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and Du Reitz offers no proof to back up his claim.
Meanwhile, a Gore spokesman told Media Matters that the story is false and that Gore did not leave his car idling.
Four days after its original post, Climate Depot appended an update asserting that "Swedish Newspaper GT Expressen Has Photographic Proof & Eyewitnesses of Gore's Limo Idling." But the GT Expressen article (translation) cites no "eyewitnesses," and the "photographic proof" -- a picture of a guy standing next to a car -- is hardly proof of anything. (GT Expressen is a right-leaning tabloid.)
A day later, Climate Depot appended another update noting Gore's denial and adding:
Rebuttal to Gore: 'Our post is accurate. The bottom line is this: Al Gore continues to arrogantly refuse to make himself available to journalistic inquiry. Mr. Gore continues to make travel and lifestyle choices that reveal his belief that making do with less is for you and me, but not for him.'
But Climate Depot has yet to offer any actual proof to back up its claim, and it has never conclusively demonstrated that its "post is accurate."
As we've detailed, Morano, a former reporter for CNSNews.com, has a history of pushing bogus attacks on global warming.
NewsBusters' Blumer Still Blames Liberal Bias for Newspaper Woes Topic: NewsBusters
Two years ago, we detailed how NewsBusters' Tom Blumer believes the only possible explanation for shrinking newspaper circulation is those papers' supposed liberal bias, ignoring all other, more plausible causes. He's still at it.
Blumer took a stab at advancing the false meme again in an Oct. 31 NewsBusters post:
As usual, they'll blame the Internet, and reject the possibility that persistent, pervasive bias and blind adherence to politically correct reporting priorities have anything to do with the results. But as I've similarly asked before, how does one explain away the fact that the only daily paper in the nation's top 25 that has shown consistent gains during the past several years is the (usually) fair and balanced Wall Street Journal?
Excluding the Wall Street Journal, circulation at the nation's top two dozen papers has dropped over 28% in the past 5-1/2 years -- and we're supposed to believe that it's all due to technology? If bias weren't a signfiicant problem, we would expect that the same players who dominated print media for decades would be dominant forces in Internet-based news -- but to a large extent, they're not.
Blumer ignores the fact that aside from the Wall Street Journal -- whose circulation presumably has more to do with its $15 million effort to move into local news in New York City than the overall quality of its reporting, which is becoming as conservative as the paper's editorial pages -- other conservative newspapers have seen circulation drops (i.e. the New York Post). Most notably, the Washington Times has plunged by nearly half in the past two years.
Technology is a bigger issue than Blumer makes it out to be. Much of the content of newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times is free (though both papers offer electronic subscriptions), which much of the content of the Journal is behind a pay wall, requiring a subscription to access it. The Journal is by far the biggest e-newspaper with nearly 450,000 electronic subscriptions. Since e-subscriptions count toward total circulation, that boosts the Journal's circulation numbers.
So Blumer is still wrong and, like his MRC bretheren, still too blindered by its "liberal bias" tunnel vision to bother with the facts.
WND's Farber: Liberals No Different From Nazis Topic: WorldNetDaily
During World War II, America launched a "de-Nazification" campaign to try to erase Hitlerism from the hearts and minds of German POWs. We could now use a de-liberalization campaign. My friends know the ugly truth about me. I'm not really a conservative. I'm a liberal in remission. I speak their language.
The NewsBusters website has been down pretty much the entire day today.
Perhaps the Media Research Center should have spent some of that $2.1 million from its "Tell the Truth!" campaign that it blew on billboard trucks and hastily organized protests and used it for some working servers.
UPDATE: There's an explanation for the outage on the main MRC site:
It appears we were overwhelmed with traffic this morning which led to a cascade of events which took us offline. Our vendors are working studiously to correct the situation which has continued for much longer than we anticipated. We have conveyed our anger and distress.
I can assure you that changes will be made so that this does not occur again. On a big news day like today, this is embarrassing.
AIM's Irvine Loses MD State Senate Race Topic: Accuracy in Media
While yesterday's election provided mostly bad news for Democrats, one ConWeb candidate lost his race.
Accuracy in Media chairman Don Irvine was seeking a seat in the Maryland state senate, promoting himself as "a fiscal conservative who understands that Maryland citizens are overtaxed by a state where spending is already out of control."
That didn't work out so well for him -- Irvine was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin.
During the runup to the midterm elections, Newsmax allowed Dick Morris to tout his prediction that Republicans could win 100 seats. For instance, Morris wrote in a Sept. 27 column, "Pessimism is the only limit on the potential of Republican gains this year. If we go for 100, we can win 100!" and Newsmax reported on Oct. 27 that Morris said "the GOP can win as many as 100 House seats on Nov. 2."
Then, Newsmax let Morris revise his prediction downward.
An Oct. 29 article by Jim Meyers highlighted how Morris "believes his 'fantasy' of the GOP winning 100 House seats could come true," but waited until the 11th paragraph to give the entire quote: "I’m not predicting 100, I’m predicting 60 to 80. But I fantasize 100, and I think that fantasy may come true."
Newsmax's acquiesence to Morris' downward revisions was completed during the election in a Nov. 2 article:
Looking at early House races, Republicans picked up six of eight contested seats, and political expert Dick Morris says this can be projected to a resounding win in the House races, with the Republicans picking up between 60 and 70 seats.
In the Senate races, Morris says the Republicans will pick up at least six seats, but doubts they will reach the magic number of 51.
With incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer leading in California, Morris cautions that exit polling does not include the early voting numbers, which he feels will lean Republican.
There's no mention of the 100 seats Morris boasted the Republicans could win.
WND, WJC Still Promoting Discredited Impeachment Book Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is marking the day after Republican election victories by promoting its "Case for Impeachment" book:
[Steven] Baldwin, a senior research fellow at the Western Journalism Center, says the issue of impeachment "is no longer a laughing matter."
"With the economy continuing to implode, the coming collapse of the dollar, high unemployment rates, the government takeover of entire industries, the administration's weak and naïve response to the worldwide jihadist threat, and the ongoing frontal assault on our Judeo-Christian heritage, the impeachment option is one that can no longer be ignored," he finds.
Impeachment, after all, is based on "high crimes and misdemeanors," an "old English common law phrase which, in the 1600s, meant negligence, abuse of power, and abuse of trust," says Baldwin.
"Not only has the Obama administration promoted dangerous and unsustainable policies, but it has also engaged in corrupt and illegal activities such as bribery, a crime the Founders specifically cited as an impeachable offense. Moreover, this report details numerous instances of Obama lying to the American people, a pattern which clearly indicates a character defect that in itself endangers America. Given this, we believe impeachment is necessary for the future survival of America," says the author.
But as we've documented, Baldwin's book -- a joint project with WND, which it still won't admit in public -- is filled with lies and misleading claims, making the so-called "case for impeachment" nothing more than a joke.
We've yet to hear from Baldwin, the WJC, or WND responding to our research, which can only be taken as an admission that we are correct.
UPDATE: WND's Bob Unruh has a follow-up article headlined "GOP sweep revives talk of impeachment." WJC president Floyd Brown's pro-impeachment advocacy is noted, but not the fact that Brown's case is discredited.
CNS Dedicates 3 Stories to Obama's 'Hip Hop Radio' Comments Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com really, really wants you to know that President Obama spent the final day before the midterm elections talking to "hip hop radio stations" -- so much so it dedicated three entire articles to the subject.
A Nov. 2 article by Fred Lucas, as demonstrated by the headline "Obama Closes Election Season Campaigning on Hip Hop Radio," gets right to the point, even highlighting the names of the DJs Obama would talk to and songs on the station's playlist:
At 11:35 a.m. Eastern time (8:35 a.m. Pacific time), Obama was scheduled to speak live with KPWR in Los Angeles—which bills itself as “Where Hip Hop Lives/Power 106 FM” Their morning show—5:00 a.m to 10:00 a.m Monday through Saturdays—is called “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” and features DJs Big Boy, Luscious Liz and Jeff G.
At 11:50 a.m., the president is set to tape an interview with WGCI in Chicago, 107.5 FM. Among the songs on WGCI’s playlist this morning were “Sex Room” by Ludacris and Trey Songz. The lyrics to this song include: “Welcome to my sex room … Hi, welcome to my little sanctuary … Better call your boss and tell him that your daddy’s home ... Take a couple days off and take it off and leave nothing but your T-shirt and your panties on ... Feeling high but I’m hung real low, looking kind of like a tripod … It’s about to get real x-rated, can you handle what I’m about to do…”
Obama will tape an interview with WSOL 101.5 FM in Jacksonville, Fla. at 12:05 p.m. One of the songs on WSOL’s playist this morning is “Do You Think About Me” by 50 Cent. Its unexpurgated lyrics include: “This relationship, sh— it’s too much for me/ I wanna f--- your friends and live comfortably.”
At 12:20 p.m. Eastern (9:20 a.m Pacific), Obama will appear on KVEG, Hot 97.5 FM, a contemporary music station in Las Vegas. KVEG’s DJs from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m are J Noise and Krazy Kat.
Lucas followed up with an article on one Obama appearance, which also makes sure to include "hip hop radio" in the headline. Lucas goes on to point out in the lead that Obama was "campaigning on hip hop radio station KPWR 106 FM in Los Angeles."
A third CNS article, by Nicolas Ballasy, managed to avoid working "hip hop radio" into the headline, but Ballasy made sure to point out that Obama appeared on "Las Vegas-based hip-hop radio station KVEG" and that the morning show was "hosted by J Noise and Krayzie Kat."
Gee, what message could CNS be sending by these articles? That Obama is a black, black, black man who loves gangsta rap and misogynist hip-hop? It seems so.
After all, we're willing to venture that the number of articles CNS dedicated to this very small story is significantly greater than the number of CNS employees -- nay, the number of Media Research Center employees -- who regularly listen to hip-hop.
MRC Desperate to Dismiss Stewart-Colbert Rally Topic: Media Research Center
NewsBusters ran a live stream of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally. It, along with the rest of the Media Research Center, is working overtime to dismiss and denigrate the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear.
As we previously detailed, the MRC went on a misleading attack over the presence of the former Cat Stevens at the rally. But that wasn't the only attack:
Matthew Sheffield whined that he "couldn't quite figure out the point" of the rally and took pictures of rally signs he didn't like, claiming that they proved the rally "had its share of hatred."
Tim Graham complained that the Washington Post portrayed the rally as "not 'liberal,' but merely 'distinct' from conservatism" and that it used "the conservative label twice in the 'sanity' story, but never 'liberal.'"
NOel Sheppard crowed about how Dick Armey and Cokie Roberts refuted Ariana Huffington's "typical left-wing nonsense about the significance of the previous day's Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally."
Scott Whitlock groused that "Good Morning America on Sunday skipped the hateful signs at Jon Stewart's rally."
Kyle Drennen was upset that CBS dared to 'chide conservative figures for divisiveness" without noting "Stewart's own long list of vulgar name-calling incidents."
At the MRC's Culture and Media Institute, Alana Goodman insisted that "The crowd at the event appeared to be highly political and divisive – and almost exclusively liberal."
At TimesWatch, Clay Waters was offended that New York Times reporters were "enjoying the rally both in print and through live blogging while hyping the numbers."
A CNSNews.com article by Dan Joseph insisted that "Much of the crowd at liberal comedian Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity,” held Saturday on the National Mall, expressed criticism of the Tea Party and the Republican Party while praising President Barack Obama and other figures on the political left." Josephfurther complained: "While the rally was billed as being “non-partisan,” signs carried by participants almost exclusively attacked conservative politicians and commentators such as Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the Fox News Channel, e.g., 'Keep Fear Alive, Watch Fox News.'"
That's a lot of work to try and shoot down one little rally. Then again, the MRC repeatedlydefended Beck's rally and highlighted about how clean the grounds were afterwards. We don't recall anyone at the MRC noting that Stewart made a point of asking rally participants to clean up after themselves.