AIM Ignores Own Advice on Dumping Expired Political Titles Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Nov. 27 Accuracy in Media post, Don Irvine repeats an item in The Hill retiring or losing politicians for needing new Twitter handles to reflect a status that doesn't include their former titles.
That rule doesn't seem to apply to the bylines of AIM writers, though. As we've noted, newly minted columnist and former Sen. Bob Smith includes "Senator Bob" in his byline, even though he hasn't been a senator for years. Indeed, a column by Smith published by AIM two days before Irvine's post carries the "Senator Bob" byline.
WJC Touts LeBoutillier's Fiction As Fact Topic: Western Journalism Center
Only the most dedicated, Obama-hating, fact-averse birther freaks would treat John LeBoutillier's fictional claim that Barack Obama's grandmother said he was born in Kenya as unambiguous fact.
Enter the Western Journalism Center. A Nov. 29 WJC post linking to a clip of LeBoutillier on "Fox & Friends" carries the headline "Obama Born in Kenya." No question mark, just a flat-out -- and completely false -- statement.
Of course, Floyd Brown and his WorldNetDaiily-assisted birther minions can barely breathe without saying something false or misleading about Obama, so this is nothing new -- it just reminds us of how little reason there is to take the WJC seriously.
Chuck Norris Joins 'Creator' Word Game Topic: WorldNetDaily
Chuck Norris rather belatedly joins in the gotcha game of focusing on single words President Obama says or doesn't say -- territory CNSNews.com has covered much more obsessively.
Norris' Nov. 29 WorldNetDaily column notes that " some media caught how President Obama twice omitted the words 'by their Creator' when reciting the Declaration in speeches over the past several weeks," then declares that there have been "actually seven presidential 'Creator' omissions in just the past few months!"
Norris went on to falsely suggest that Obama did not omit "creator" only once; in fact, even CNS gave Obama credit for using "Creator" on "several previous occasions."
But Norris isn't interested in facts so much as he is Obama-bashing, so we get darkly conspiratorial speculation instead: "To you, is omitting 'endowed by their Creator' from direct quotes of the Declaration in several speeches a permissible benign act of the president of the United States?"
Norris' column is a two-parter, so it appears we'll have to wait until next week for the answer.
Penny Starr, Anti-Gay Museum Critic Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr seems to have made it her mission to critique museum exhibits. She's alreadyattacked two exhibits for not being right-wing enough.
Starr takes a slightly different approach in a Nov. 29 CNS article, this time complaining an exhibit has too many gay and/or naked people:
The federally funded National Portrait Gallery, one of the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, is currently showing an exhibition that features images of an ant-covered Jesus, male genitals, naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts, and a painting the Smithsonian itself describes in the show's catalog as "homoerotic."
The exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” opened on Oct. 30 and will run throughout the Christmas Season, closing on Feb. 13.
It takes a few more paragraphs for Starr to get around to quoting the actual purpose of the exhibit: "to examine the influence of gay and lesbian artists in creating modern American portraiture."
Which is the crux of what Starr is trying to get across here: Federally funded gay stuff.
To that end, Starr quotes a representative of the conservative Intercollegiate Studies Institute (which, of course, she doesn't identify as conservative) as saying that even though no federal funds went toward acquiring the exhibit, "most of the overall budget derives from tax monies for the facility, and maintenance and staff. Second, the exhibit appears inside and is monitored by staff. Finally, if it was funded only by outside funding the exhibit would be outside in a snowdrift."
Starr then quoted "Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute and a former senior economist on the congressional Joint Economic Committee" -- because who's more qualifed to discuss art than an economist? -- asserting, "If the Smithsonian didn't have the taxpayer-funded building, they would have no space to present the exhibit, right?" Edwards adds, "Think about the Washington Post. ... They don't have to publish every op-ed that they get, right? They own the platform. In this case [the Smithsonian Institution], the taxpayers own the platform and so the taxpayers should decide what is presented on that platform."
We suspect that Starr has the greater problem with the gay stuff than the federally funded part. After all, she has already expressed her shock that a city's tourism bureau would dare to spend money to attract gays to town.
UPDATE: Newsmax has latched onto the story, and Starr has penned a follow-up in which top Republicans John Boehner and Eric Cantor are demanding the exhibition be shut down.
Meanwhile, Starr's boss, Brent Bozell, contributed an outraged tweet: "Elites in Washington using YOUR taxes to attack Christianity during Christmas."
Intra-ConWeb War Over TSA Scaremongering Topic: The ConWeb
WorldNetDaily has been perhaps the leader of any news outlet, ConWeb or otherwise, in spewing hatred over the TSA's stepped-up passenger screening procedures. From rehashing alleged "horrors" to shrieking about perversion and "gate rape" and radiation and germs and prison camps to the expected anti-gay freak-out, no attack has been out of bounds for WND. (Andthen there's WND's attempt to cash in on said screeching.)
Even Newsmax got into the scaremongering act, enlisting Dr. Russell Blaylock -- if you'll recall, he has also fearmongered over flu vaccine -- to suggest that the scanners "increase your risk of cancer or other diseases."
Now comes the arrival of a voice of reason on overblown coverage of the airport security issue, and that voice is from an unexpected place: Accuracy in Media.
In a Nov. 25 blog post, Don Irvine writes about how "The media has become obsessed with the number of TSA pat-down stories and in at least one case are now asking that travelers send them their screening experiences in hopes of getting that next big horror story":
We have already been subjected to numerous stories and video of passengers who have been subjected to the new TSA pat-down procedure for reasons that are often baffling to say the least. And the outrage has also spawned a new round of somewhat voyeuristic videos from people who seem to be more interested in stripping down to their skivvies and creating a scene rather than out of any concern about the new procedures.
But do we really need videos of women wearing lingerie or bikini’s or men in speedo’s (spare me please) at security checkpoints? No, but the media is playing along and PBS’ Newshour isn’t helping the public gain an unbiased view by asking for screening experiences. They don’t want to hear from you if you sailed through without a hitch, they want another story of a TSA agent patting down a small screaming child or a veteran with artificial joints being subjected to an embarrassing and invasive search.
Once again the notion of fair and accurate reporting has gone out the window in the name of pursuing the sensationalistic headline grabbing stories no matter what the facts may be. There is so much me-too journalism on this story that it is like a television show that has jumped the shark which portends it’s eventual demise. That’s what’s happened here with the coverage going so far over the top that it is now impossible to return to the story’s salient points and separate fact from fiction.
The TSA certainly isn’t blameless but like most government agencies they are terrible when it comes to public relations. As a result of not having an effective p.r. strategy they have let the media get away with focusing on a few horror stories and whip up more anger and anxiety from the flying public whose nerves are already frayed by high air fares , crowded planes and a laundry list of rules unevenly enforced about what is and isn’t permissible on a flight.
After having flown over a million miles in the last 20 years I have seen the changes in security first hand and while I’m no fan of the current procedures I consider it part of the price I have to pay for the convenience of flying.
I even went through the full body scanner this summer and frankly it was just another blip on my radar.
Who would've thought that a website that employs a writer who really wants to see gays dead would generate an actual cogent, reasonable analysis? You probably won't see WND or Newsmax touching this at all.
WND's Welch Likens Gay Rights to Church Demolition Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Dave Welch haslongbeen a gay-hater, and that tendency surfaces yet again in his Nov. 27 column, in which he warns about the danger of gays invading the small towns of America and demanding to be treated like (gasp!) everyone else:
Bowling Green, Ohio, is just the latest American city where the definitions of morality, family and marriage have fallen prey to the GLBT "anti-discrimination" offensive.
As the American Family Association revealed in their documentary ("They're Coming To Your Town") several years ago, GLBTQIA (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, Intersexed and Allies) activists have been quietly moving into small to midsize towns across the country and taking advantage of those who thought the sexual diversity battle is only in the "big cities."
Certainly, as "big city" Houston (population 2.25 million) was just reminded again, the battle certainly exists there as well. Lesbian Mayor Annise Parker has in her first year appointed a lesbian as judge who even by the media's standards was utterly unqualified, issued an executive order opening up city restrooms to the gender-confused and finally, to cap the year, just appointed a radical transgender activist as a city municipal judge.
However, small towns like Eureka Springs, Ark., (population 2,350 and featured in the AFA documentary) and midsize towns like Bowling Green (population 27,775) are increasingly in the crosshairs of the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and their cronies like the ACLU.
We have no idea what Welch is talking about when he says the "lesbian judge" appointed by Parker -- whom Welchdespises for her gayness -- is "utterly unqualified." The only person we could find who fits Welch's description is Barbara Hartle, an "out lesbian" whom Parker nominated to head Houston's municipal courts. She was formerly an associate municipal judge, and she holds a law degree. How much more experience does Welch think she needs?
Welch went on to be offended that anti-discrimination ordinances that covered sexual orientation passed in those small towns, screeching that "non-discrimination is now the hammer used to bludgeon communities into submission by the Purveyors of Perversion."
Welch then goes in full-tilt scaremongering mode by referencing a controlled demolition of church buildings:
While we've argued that "sexual orientation" is a preference and not determined at birth, they blew right past us to add gender identity, gender expression and now … genetic information. While we get all worked up about our jobs, the economy and national security, the enemy has successfully destroyed our foundations.
Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas described the mechanics of their recently completed destruction of some old church buildings and how explosive charges were placed at strategic locations in the buildings' support beams at the foundation level.
When the button was pushed, explosions were heard, but nothing happened. At least, not for a few seconds. Then, the buildings simply collapsed on themselves in a pile of rubble.
I strongly urge you to watch the video and see these church buildings become nothing more than dust and wreckage. Then think of America following the same course.
As these GLBTQIA operatives run for city councils, become mayors, sponsor referendums and carry out an effective takeover of your town, will they take you by surprise since it always happens "somewhere else"?
When the dynamite explodes and the "institutions" collapse, will you find you were too busy just living your own life and doing church to have seen what was coming?
Finally, after complaining that one pastor "made no formal endorsement of either side" on an anti-discrimination ordinance, Welch added: "It sounds like his gender identity may be up for question. If that sounds harsh, so be it."
Newsmax's John LeBoutillier popped up on "Fox & Friends" this morning to promote his new book, "The Obama Identity," which he's presenting as fact cloaked in fiction. It appears, however to be fiction cloaked in fiction: LeBoutillier repeated the utterly discredited claim that "Obama's grandmother, living in Kenya, we have her in the book, it's fiction, but in reality she has claimed consistently that he was born in Mombasa, Kenya. She said this, adamantly, on the record."
Lest we forget what a conspiracy-mongering nutjob LeBoutillier is, we've compiled a short history of his Clinton-hating over at Media Matters. Remember the Counter Clinton Library? That was him.
LeBoutillier's co-author for his book, by the way, is Ed Klein, best known for a hatchet job of a bio on Hillary Clinton that Newsmax gamelytried to defend.
WND's New Poster Boy Even More Sleazy Than We Thought Topic: WorldNetDaily
A few weeks back, we highlighted the truth about Walter Fitzpatrick, WorldNetDaily's new birther hero whose background WND must whitewash in order to continue to present him as a poster. Turns out that background is even more seamy than we suspected.
An alert ConWebWatch reader directs us to a lengthy list of Fitzpatrick's contacts with law enforcement, which range from numerous instances of alleged domestic violence and harrassment to restraining orders and various other judgments filed against him.
Fitzpatrick was also court-martialed and convicted of failed to properly supervise the spending of his ship's "morale, welfare and recreation" money, effectively ending his Navy career.
Also, here's another bit of whitewashing done by WND. In April, Bob Unruh wrote that Fitzpatrick faced a "rioting" charge "for confronting a grand-jury meeting in Tennessee." Brian Fitzpatrick similarly wrote in his Oct. 28 article that Walter Fitzpatrick "tried unsuccessfully to place evidence about Obama's eligibility before a Monroe County grand jury in 2009."
In fact, such grand jury proceedings are closed to the public. As one Tennessee newspaper pointed out, "Grand jury proceedings, by law, are strictly private and only the grand jury and the officer making his or her case are allowed in the room. Even a court officer is not allowed into the courtroom during a grand jury session."
Fitzpatrick is the man who WorldNetDaily consider s a sane and reasonable advocate for making the case against Barack Obama's "eligibility" to be president. Apparently, Orly Taitz wasn't crazy enough.
WND Defends Anti-Gay Groups on SPLC List Topic: WorldNetDaily
Part of WorldNetDaily's anti-gay agenda is to run to the defense of any person or organization whose anti-gay behavior is called out for what it is. So when the Southern Poverty Law Center added several organizations to its list of anti-gay hate groups, WND was moved to respond.
A Nov. 24 article by Brian Fitzpatrick, carrying the self-pitying headline "Hate intrudes on Thanksgiving" -- ignoring, of course, the hate spread year-round by the groups in question -- complained that the SPLC "placed a virtual who's who of pro-family and Christian organizations, including the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and the Traditional Values Coalition, on a list of 13 'hate groups' for opposing the homosexual political agenda."
Which is, of course, not what the SPLC did. And Fitzpatrick knows that since he quoted the SPLC's criteria in his article noting that "the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities – and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups."
Fitzpatrick dutifully quotes the predictable denunciations of the SPLC by supporters of the groups placed on the list -- for instance, he quotes Coral Ridge Ministries' Robert Knight saying that "Smearing legitimate groups merely for disagreeing about homosexuality is a very hateful act" though that is a false statement -- but he couldn't be bothered to list the specific examples that earned those groups a place on the SPLC list.
Fitzpatrick has a growingreputation for journalistic hackery at WND, and this is just another example.
MRC Touts 'Climategate' Anniversary, Ignore Plagiarized Paper Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was all over the first anniversary of the so-called "climategate" scandal:
At the Business & Media Institute, Julia Seymour wrote that the emails "showed potential manipulation of temperature data," pretended that the "hide the decline" remark was something sinister (it isn't), and insisted that the "so-called 'independent' investigations" that exonerated the participants of thte most serious claims raised by deniers like the MRC were nothing more than a a "whitewash."
At NewsBusters, Noel Sheppard touted a right-wing article criticizing "the atrocious media coverage of the scandal," ingoring that some of that atrocious coverage same from his own side.
So when news came of accusations that a global warming-related report contained key sections that were plagiarized, you'd think the MRC deniers would be jumping right on that breach of scholarship. They didn't.
Why? Because this made their side look bad. From USA Today:
An influential 2006 congressional report that raised questions about the validity of global warming research was partly based on material copied from textbooks, Wikipedia and the writings of one of the scientists criticized in the report, plagiarism experts say.
Review of the 91-page report by three experts contacted by USA TODAY found repeated instances of passages lifted word for word and what appear to be thinly disguised paraphrases.
Led by George Mason University statistician Edward Wegman, the 2006 report criticized the statistics and scholarship of scientists who found the last century the warmest in 1,000 years.
"The report was integral to congressional hearings about climate scientists," says Aaron Huertas of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C. "And it preceded a lot of conspiratorial thinking polluting the public debate today about climate scientists."
But in March, climate scientist Raymond Bradley of the University of Massachusetts asked GMU, based in Fairfax, Va., to investigate "clear plagiarism" of one of his textbooks.
Bradley says he learned of the copying on the Deep Climate website and through a now year-long analysis of the Wegman report made by retired computer scientist John Mashey of Portola Valley, Calif. Mashey's analysis concludes that 35 of the report's 91 pages "are mostly plagiarized text, but often injected with errors, bias and changes of meaning." Copying others' text or ideas without crediting them violates universities' standards, according to Liz Wager of the London-based Committee on Publication Ethics.
There's another reason the MRC didn't report this scandal: because it previously touted Wegman's research.
A January 2007 NewsBusters post by Amy Ridenour highlightedhow "the eminent statistician, Dr. Edward Wegman, who has described himself as a Gore voter," was among the "expert witnesses" who testified before a House committee.
Turns out he may not be so eminent after all.
If the MRC actually cared about science, it would be outraged by this. But they've said nothing, which tells us they care only about politics, not science.
WND Baselessly Attacks MN Secretary of State, Franken Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Nov. 25 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein attacks Minnesota Secreatary of State Mark Ritchie as having taken donations from "a shocking list of radicals that reads like a 'Who's Who' of the far-left world."
But Klein -- like conspiratorial anti-Obama blogger Trevor Loudon, from whom he lifts this attack -- offers no information as to how much these people gave to Ritchie, and neither link to the original data to back up their claim.
We found what is purported to be a database of Ritchie donations for his 2006 campaign on Loudon's KeyWiki website, and it seems that these donors were only a tiny part of the total donations.
For instance, the first person listed by Klein is "Barbara Baran, a member of Democratic Socialists of America." according to the database, she gave $150. "Max Palevsky, a former trustee of the Marxist-oriented, Soros-funded Institute for Policy Studies," gave $250.
This, by the way, is out of $106,000 reportedly donated to Ritchie's 2006 campaign.
In describing the affiliation of other donors, Klein falsely describes the organization J Street as "pro-Palestinian." In fact, it is a Jewish-led group that describes itself as "pro-Israel, pro-peace" and favors a "two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." (Klein has previously falsely smeared J Street as "pro-Hamas.")
Klein also wrote that Ritchie "oversaw the recount of the 2008 U.S. Senate race that put onetime comedian Al Franken into office," later stating that "fallout from the 'recount' that handed Franken the 2008 victory still is developing." It's unclear why Klein put "recount" in scare quotes, because it's indisputable that a recount took place.
Klein then repeated claims by right-wing group Minnesota Majority -- first reported at WND in an October article by Bob Unruh -- "it was found that at least 341 convicted felons voted in Hennepin County, where Minneapolis is located, and another 52 voted illegally in Ramsey County, home to St. Paul. The number of felons voting in those two counties alone exceeded Franken's margin of victory, the investigation revealed."
Neither Klein nor Unruh reported that Minnesota Majority's claims are largely overblown. MinnPost repoted that out of 451 names submitted by Minnesota Majority to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office for alleged illegal voting by felons, only 47 will result in charges. Election law expert Michael McDonald has stated that there are "solid reasons to suspect that Minnesota Majority has overstated the number of illegal votes."
Klein's intention, of course, is to undermine Ritchie and falsely portray him as conspiring to make Franken the winner of the Senate race. In fact, there's no evidence whatsoever that Ritchie acted contrary to law. Indeed, as writer Jay Weiner states, various panels of judges and even the lawyer for Franken's Republican opponent, Norm Coleman, said there was no widespread fraud in the election.
MRC's Graham Also Feels DeLay's Pain Topic: NewsBusters
Earlier, we noted how Noel Sheppard is feeling Tom DeLay's pain at being convicted of campaign finance crimes. Now fellow Media Research Center employee Tim Graham is joining in DeLay's pity party.
In a Nov. 26 NewsBusters post, Graham complained that no network news broadcast that reported DeLay's conviction "allowed DeLay air time to defend himself." Of course, if you've been convicted by a jury of your peers, the time for defense has passed. Does Graham think every person who claims they've been wrongly convicted should have the chance to say so on national television?
Also, Graham seems to have decided that only the I've-been-framed words straight from DeLay's mouth count. His own transcript shows that CBS noted that "His [DeLay's] lawyer called the verdict a miscarriage of justice and vowed to appeal." Graham doesn't explain why that's not good enough.
Victoria Jackson Goes Anti-Gay Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ranting about the forms of "sabotage" liberals use on conservatives, Victoria Jackson writes in her Nov. 26 WorldNetDaily column:
A very sneaky form of sabotage is brainwashing, and since the left owns the airwaves, this is an easy tactic to accomplish. It has inserted the gay agenda into every TV show and movie, even down to this minute detail I observed on "The Talk." The co-hosts call their husbands "partners" to be on the same level as lesbian Sara Gilbert. The shadow agenda of the show is the viewpoint that women do not need men. You can have it all: career, children and romance. A man is simply a "partner" you can enjoy or throw out. How subtle and wiley are the ways of the enemy. I auditioned for that show last year. I was told that it was a talk show like "The View" that would focus on motherhood. Little did I know that the focus was man-less motherhood. I brought in pictures of my babies from birth to now. I bragged about my husband, my high-school sweetheart, the breadwinner in our family. I was asked how I felt about Elisabeth Hasselbeck. I said she was my favorite because she held the conservative views that were closest to mine. I mentioned that I thought I could stand up for Christianity better than Sherri Shepherd because not only did I know that the world was round, I had a Bible verse to back it up ( Isaiah 40:22). I don't think there is one representative of Christian conservative values on "The Talk," is there? Talk about "tolerance."
Of course, Jackson has engaged in her own attempts at brainwashing, asserting that president Obama is "a Marxist, progressive, leftist, radical, socialist, communist dictator drunk with power."
Jackson also writes that "Another form of sabotage is lying." Her previous statement on Obama would seem to violate that as well.
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard is offended that anyone would be thankful that the American justice system worked. Lashing out in a Nov. 25 post against Roger Ebert's tweeting "Today let us give thanks for the right of trial by jury. Especially Tom Delay's jury," Sheppard huffs: "Makes you wonder what kind of deranged mind is actually getting pleasure from another human being's pain on Thanksgiving. Shame on you, Roger."
Sheppard conveniently omits the fact that DeLay's "pain" is entirely self-inflicted. He committed a crime, and he has been found guilty of that crime.
We're pretty sure Sheppard does not feel the "pain" of liberals convicted of crimes.
WND's Cashill Still Whitewashing Convicted Killer Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill takes yet another stab at rehabilitating the reputation of convicted killer Steven Nary, turning over the bulk of his Nov. 25 WorldNetDaily column to a letter from him. Cashill reiterated his usual defense of Nary:
As an inebriated 18-year-old sailor on leave in San Francisco, Nary was lured from a co-ed dance club to the apartment of the Argentina-born Juan Pifarre under false pretenses. When the coked-up Pifarre tried to rape Nary, the sailor fought back and killed him unintentionally.
The fact that Pifarre had at least two prior arrests on sexual charges, one for assault, carried less weight with San Francisco prosecutors than that he was both gay and a noisy Hispanic activist. Nary never had a chance.
As we've detailed, Cashill's version of events leaves out numerous inconvenient facts, such as that Nary allowed Pifarre to perform oral sex on him for money, and that, according to what Nary himself told police, he choked Pifarre for five minutes in the process of killing him. That doesn't sound unintentional.