Thursday, July 14, 2011
CNS Falsely Portrays DREAM Act As Amnesty
A July 12 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr carries the headline "Durbin Characterizes DREAM Act as ‘Starting Point’ in Amnesty for All Illegal Aliens." But nowhere does Starr quote Sen. Dick Durbin using the word "amnesty" to describe the DREAM Act or any other immigration reform.
The article is an echo of a June 29 article by Starr with a headline that falsely suggested that Durbin called for "amnesty" when Starr quoted him saying no such thing. As we've documented, CNS repeatedly portrays the DREAM Act and other comprehensive immigration reform propsals as "amnesty" when, due to the numerous conditions imposed on illegal immigrants before citizenship may be granted, it is not by definition "amnesty."
Nevertheless, Starr follows up in a July 14 CNS article by falsely claiming that the DREAM Act was an attempt at "granting amnesty for illegal aliens."
Vadum Strikes Back (And Whiffs)
Topic: Capital Research Center
Well, he was unhappy that we pointed out his false claim that ACORN is continuing to receive money from the federal government -- which is sort of impossible since ACORN has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the kind that results in liquidation of an organization, and that at least two government agencies have determined that the agency receiving the money, while descended from ACORN, "is not an affiliate, subsidiary, or allied organization of ACORN."
Vadum's initial response was to insult me, calling me a "douchebag" over Twitter. When I gave him an opportunity to prove me wrong, he huffed: "Oh do piss off. Facts are in my book & published opeds."
Vadum expanded his attack on me in a post at his personal website, declaring me to be a "useful idiot," a "paid character assassination [sic], professional liar, and all-around scumbag," and, finally, a "thin-skinned worm." Vadum hurls this torrent of insults at me, and I'm thin-skinned? He must be thinking of his publisher, Joseph Farah.
Again, Vadum punts on offering evidence to disprove my claim:
If Vadum is so hot for me to read his book, perhaps he could send me a review copy so I can examine his claims. Somehow I suspect it's as fact-free as his insult-laden tirades.
Oh, and we're not done with Vadum just yet. Stay tuned...
Newsmax's Walsh: Illegal Immigrants Part of Obama 'Class Warfare'
-- James Walsh, July 11 Newsmax column
Les Kinsolving Whining Watch
The whining continues in a July 8 WorldNetDaily article in which it is yet again suggests without evidence that White House press secretary Jay Carney did not call on Les Kinsolving because he knew what Kinsolving was going to ask and did not want to answer it:
WND's suggestion that Carney is avoiding calling on Kinsolving because he doesn't want to answer tough questions is utterly dishonest. The more likely explanation is that Carney knows very well what a mendacious hack (and virulent homophobe) Kinsolving is.
As he is wont to do, Kinsolving uses his July 12 column to exact a little revenge for being ignored, making sure to note Carney's salary as he bashes the White House for giving raises, asking: "Have the number – and costs to the taxpayers – of the staffers of the president and the first lady shown either restraint or compassion for the millions of Americans unemployed?"
Is such pettiness the sign of a journalist who has earned the privilege of being taken seriously? Common sense says no.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Another Fluffing Nexus for Newsmax's Kessler
It appears that Ronald Kessler's infatuation with Donald Trump's presidential ambitions is over for good.
CNS Selectively Edits Obama Remark
In an apparent attempt to make President Obama look out of touch and elitist, a July 11 CNSNews.com article by Eric Scheiner truncates a remark made by Obama at a press conference:
In fact, the full context of the remark shows that Obama was pointing out that Americans could be shown to support an increase in the debt ceiling if they were fully and accurately informed about the consequences of not doing so by the very "professional politicians" who have been tasked with solving the crisis:
The video clip accompanying Scheiner's article similarly truncates Obama's remark, leaving out the full context.
Newsmax Declares Latest Financial Scheme 'The Ultimate Act of Patriotism!'
Uh-oh -- it looks like Newsmax is brewing up another financial scheme. But not just any financial scheme, to be announced in a July 14 webcast: it's "The Ultimate Act of Patriotism!"
Because, really, what could be more patriotic than taking part in a Newsmax financial scheme -- and throwing your fellow Americans under the bus in an attempt to cash in on said scam?
Did WND Create Another Birther Affidavit?
A July 11 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh touts an affidavit, "a copy of which was obtained by WND," by so-called document expert Doug Vogt "there was a plan to mislead the American public" about President Obama's birth certificate, "and it went as high as the Oval Office."
So how did WND obtain a copy of this affidavit? Did it create this affidavit for Vogt to sign?
Remember, birther Tim Adams told a radio show that WND-affiliated lawyers created an affidavit for him to sign in which he claimed that he was told there was no copy of Obama's birth certificate in Hawaii state archives -- a claim seemingly disproven by Obama's release of said certificate in April. Also remember that WND editor Joseph Farah shut down a press conference rather than answer a question about the affidavit.
Well, whoever created this affidavit for Vogt did a horrible job, to the point where it may very well not be considered legally valid. The first page carries a date of July 4, but the notary public's signature carries a date of May 10 -- nearly two months earlier. This strongly suggests that Vogt's affidavit was altered after the notary signed it, which we can't imagine is legal.
Further, the final page of the affidavit on which the notary's signature appears is noticably different in appearance than the previous five pages -- it looks like a faded photocopy, while the other five pages appear to be a direct export into a PDF file.
We're not lawyers, but we suspect such obvious discrepancies -- which you wouldn't expect to see coming from a self-proclaimed "expert in documents, typesetting, imaging, scanners and document imaging programs" who is trying to disprove the authenticity of another digital document -- invalidate Vogt's affidavit.
Meanwhile, WND's omerta on anything that contradicts its birther agenda continues as Unruh fails to mention the existence of a detailed analysis that disproves Vogt's analysis.WND has repeatedly failed to tell its readers of this analysis even as it touts Vogt.
So we have a highly questionable affidavit from a so-called "expert" that WND itself may have created for the sole purpose of doing a story on it, just like it did with the Adams affidavit. It seems that neither Vogt nor WND can be trusted.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Flashback: When The MRC Whitewashed News of the World Scandal
Topic: Media Research Center
Over the past week, the Media Research Center has been utterly silent about the planet's biggest journalism scandal: the widespread phone-hacking conducted by the British newspaper News of the World, a scandal so severe that owner Rupert Murdoch felt he had to shut down the 168-year-old paper to stave off criticism.
Why the blackout? Perhaps because it, like Fox News, is a Murdoch property, and we know how much the MRC looooves Fox News. But there's also the inconvenient fact that the last time the MRC addressed News of the World's phone-hacking, it was the purpose of trying to discredit the investigation into it.
Tim Graham used an April 13 NewsBusters post to attack NPR for reporting on the phone-hacking. While Graham called it "disreputable media conduct," he also sought to minimize the scandal by claiming that "the socialist newspaper The Guardian has been all over this story." In case Graham's ideological bias wasn't clear enough, he emphasized the point later on by complaining that one person NPR interviewed writes "for that socialist newspaper The Guardian -- where he presently has a blog on media."
Graham even ran to the defense of former News of the World editor Andrew Coulson, asserting that there was a slant to NPR's story "Wouldn't the average listener conclude that NPR was saying Coulson was culpable in the scandal?" Given that Coulson has since been arrested on charges related to the phone-hacking, it appears that NPR has been vindicated.
Graham was also hacked off that NPR wasn't shilling for his preferred right-wing causes: "Not being investigated by NPR: close ties between international financier George Soros and NPR -- not to mention NPR's intense ties to the Obama political establishment."
Finally, Graham drew a false equivalence between the News of the World phone-hacking and a late-1990s case in which someone "hacked" a phone call by then-House Republican Leader Newt Gingrich. Of course, that's not exactly what happened; it was recorded over a legally purchased police scanner that could pick up the frequency Gingrich's cell phone was using. News of the World, by contrast, was actively obtaining passwords to the voice mail of their targets and, in the case of missing British girl Milly Dowler, was actively deleting messages, thus giving her parents and authorities hope that she was still alive (she was later found dead).
That's why you haven't heard anything about this at the MRC for a while. In fact, it wasn't until today that it has mentioned News of the World since Graham's post three months ago.
A NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock laughably tries to suggest that actions by editor Tina Brown were just as "amoral" as those done by News of the World. Whitlock's evidence? Brown saying on "Morning Joe" that Republicans who oppose raising the debt limit were acting like "suicide bombers" and ... the Newsweek cover with Princess Diana added to a picture of Kate Middleton.
Yeah, Photoshopping someone into a picture is just as bad as hacking the voice mail of a missing child.
Meanwhile, an MRC TimesWatch post by Clay Waters tries to equivocate the scandal away, huffing that the New York Times was "piling on" the News of the World scandal by "featur[ing] various angles of the story on its front page for 5 out of the last 7 days, plus multiple stories in the International News section on every aspect of the sleazy saga," while it "was far less aggressive in its coverage of an American media scandal, the September 2004 attempt by the CBS News show '60 Minutes' to bring down George W. Bush with forged documents."
At least Waters conceded the the News of the World scandal is "sleazy," which is more than we've seen from the rest of the MRC. But will any MRC denounce the scandal unequivocally, without comparing it to older controversies? Don't count on it.
At NewsBusters, Ann Coulter's Insults = Media Criticism
Apparently, if someone insults a liberal, that qualifies as "media criticism" as far as the Media Research Center is concerned, as we've already seen.
Noel Sheppard got such a kick out of Ann Coulter's hostile appearance on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" that he got two NewsBusters clips out of it:
First, Sheppard resorts to his usual bag of lame headline cliches: "Ann Coulter Smacks Down Bill Maher: 'I Only Talk To Rubes Right Here.'" Sheppard enjoyed the insult so much -- Brava, Ann! Brava!" -- that he couldn't even get the Coulter quote right; she actually sad, "I do not talk to rubes except right here."
Sheppard followed that one up with his adamant approval of Coulter's insult of someone who not only wasn't even on the show but is a private citizen, declaring that guest Chris Hayes' mother is 'a drain on society" because she works for the government. The vast majority of people would consider such an attack on a private citizen to be unwarranted and excessively mean -- especially since Coulter can't possibly know Hayes' mom and is in no position to judge her -- but Sheppard loves it anyway, concluding by shorting, "Game, set match."
So the MRC has gone from mere hostility to expression of liberal views to cheering on insults of anyone who is not conservative. Of course, if it wasn't for this sort of thing, the MRC would have no "media criticism" at all.
WND Baselessly Claims Stimulus Money Went to ATF's 'Fast and Furious'
A July 9 WorldNetDaily article by Michael Carl forwards the idea that a $10 million earmark in the stimulus bill for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Project Gunrunner means that a program known as "Fast and Furious" in which Mexican drug runners were allowed to buy weapons in the U.S. "originated at the highest levels of the Obama administration" and that, according to Gun Owners of America President Larry Pratt, "stimulus money was given to a drug dealer to buy guns."
In fact, Media Matters points out that none of the stimulus money earmarked for Project Gunrunner went to Arizona, where the "Fast and Furious" operation took place; that money was used establish field offices in California, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico, hire employees (none of whom worked in Arizona), and purchase armored vehicles.
Carl is also falsely conflating "Fast and Furious" with the much larger Gunrunner program. Even right-wing blogger Bob Owens notes that "Gunrunner is a long-term cartel weapons interdiction program that kicked off during the previous administration," and "there is no indication that Gunrunner has ever been anything but above-board."
MRC's Strange Idea of MSNBC's 'Journalism'
Topic: Media Research Center
A July 7 Media Research Center item by Geoffrey Dickens marks MSNBC's 15th anniversary by highlighting a cliip from each year to prove "the Lean Forward network's decade-and-a-half long devotion to advancing the cause of liberalism under the guise of journalism."
Just one little problem: At least 10 of those clips appear to be from opinion shows, not news segments. We're treating "Internight," which aired in the late 1990s, as "news," but we haven't seen the show enough to say for sure whether it is.
In other words, Dickens and the MRC aren't really criticizing liberal journalism -- they're criticizing the fact that liberal opinions were uttered. Is that "media research"? Not really. Is that partisan bashing due to disagreement with the point of view being expressed? Absolutely.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
-- Larry Klayman, June 25 WorldNetDaily column
-- Henry Lamb, June 25 WorldNetDaily column
-- Burt Prelutsky, June 29 WorldNetDaily column
-- Erik Rush, June 30 WorldNetDaily column
-- Joseph Farah, July 4 WorldNetDaily column
Monday, July 11, 2011
Essential Birther Reading Material
Loren Collins, a lawyer who did some of the most notable research debunking the birther claims peddled by WorldNetDaily and others, is writing a book on the birther movement, called "Birth of a Notion." He has published an excerpt from the book on his website.
Read it here. After all, you can't expect that Jerome Corsi will be all that eager to interview him about it.
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