Media Matters catches NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard falsely asserting that "2009's ClimateGate as well as a myriad of recent findings concerning significant errors in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 report have clearly proven" that "manipulation of data" on global warming has occurred. In fact, tghe National Science Foundation cleared "ClimateGate" scientist Michael Mann of scientific misconduct, and the IPCC doesn't conduct research, only summarizes it.
WND Thinks Anti-Obama Rants Are 'News' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Just in case it wasn't clear how much WorldNetDailiy hates Obama and will be doing everything possible (within its little circle of influence, anyway) to keep him from getting re-elected: An entire Aug. 23 WND article is devoted to documenting the rantings of a foreign newspaper columnist who called Obama "a living and breathing nightmare."
At no point does WND explain why Yigal Walt's hate is of any importance when he does not even apparently live in the United States. It's simply a summarization of Walt's spew-fest.
This is what WND has become. It no longer cares about journalism, if it ever did; it's just a far-right political organization.
AIM, Newsmax Bash MLK Monument For Chinese Ties Topic: Accuracy in Media
The news that the new Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington was created by a Chinese sculptor is tailor-made for right-wing freakouts, and the ConWeb has obliged.
Cliff Kincaid, of course, ranted about it in an Aug. 23 Accuracy in Media article declaring that the sculpture "was 'outsourced' to Lei Yixin, a Chinese government-approved sculptor best known for creating edifices glorifying Mao Tse-Tung, father of Communist China and notorious mass-murderer." Kincaid goes on to cite anonymous bloggers and foreign newspapers criticizing the choice. Kincaid also wrote that "Mao, in a 1968 official Chinese government pamphlet, declared that King had been 'assassinated by the U.S. imperialists' and that they had 'killed him in cold blood.'"
Meanwhile, the Washington Post has noted that a construction boom in China has given Lei ample opportunity to build his skills, and reported that Lei was the choice of Harry E. Johnson Sr., president of the foundation that built the monument, was "Lei's skill at capturing personalities in sculptures, his expertise in hewing granite and his extensive experience with large public monuments."
Kincaid followed up with a column rehashing clips from Washington Post columnists criticizing the monument as the paper plans to publish a special section about it.
Newsmax piled on as well in an Aug. 22 article by Jim Meyers, who similarly cited a foreign newspaper to attack Lei and claimed that the sculpture "shows King emerging from a mountain of Chinese granite with his arms crossed."
WND Whiffs In Promoting Non-Scandal To Attack Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein is trying real hard to find a scandal in an Aug. 22 WorldNetDaily article:
President Obama's former political director worked at an international advertising agency that received government funds to direct a multi-million dollar campaign to sell Obamacare to the public, WND has learned.
Last week, Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates government corruption, reportedly obtained documents showing the White House helped coordinate the taxpayer-funded publicity campaign.
The campaign used Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo to drive Web traffic to government websites promoting the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The campaign was led by Ogilvy & Mather, an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency based in Manhattan.
The documents, obtained using a Freedom of Information request, showed that from October 2010 through February 2011, the Obama administration spent $1,435,009 on an online advertising campaign alone, including campaigns with Google and Yahoo, at almost $300,000 per month.
Andrea Shea King similarly tries to find scandal in this story in a separate Aug. 22 WND article:
In the "Why are we not surprised?" department, Surfin' Safari has learned that the government watchdog group Judicial Watch can prove the Obama administration used our taxpayer dollars to orchestrate a campaign to manipulate search engines to promote Obamacare.
Under a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, lawsuit, Judicial Watch learned through Department of Health and Human Services documents that the Obama White House "helped coordinate a multimillion dollar taxpayer-funded campaign to use Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo to drive web traffic to a government website promoting the Affordable Health Care Act (also known as Obamacare)."
According to Judicial Watch, the campaign, which included PR firm The Ogilvy Group, was designed "to increase public support for the president’s health-care overhaul among key Obama campaign demographics, specifically Hispanics, blacks and women."
What Klein and King won't tell you: It's not that big of a deal.
The "manipulat[ing]" of search engines King claims was done, as Judicial Watch notes, was nothing more than "'pay-per-click' advertising tools, such as Google Adwords" -- the same advertising program WND has installed on its website and WND is utilizing right now in a scheme to generate additions to its mailing list.
Further, the $1.4 million the Obama administration is accused of spending on promoting health care reform pales in comparison to the $12.6 million the Bush administration spent in 2004 to promote Medicare prescription drug benefits. WND and Judical Watch won't tell you that.
Noel Sheppard Cheers Republicans Who Put Politics Before Country Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard used an Aug. 22 NewsBusters post to express his annoyance that Howard Fineman said that Republicans are refusing to praise President Obama for the imminent ouster of Moammar Gadhafi from Libya, adding, "If Barack Obama came out and said, 'You know, I really love apple pie,' they would say, 'Apple pie is a socialist plot'”:
As I've said for years, it takes a tremendous number of rationalizations to be a liberal these days.
What is also quite striking about today's left-leaning political analysts is how they conveniently feign total ignorance of politics when the situation warrants.
There's an election next year that the Republicans would like to win. It is therefore not in their best interest to say nice things about the president they're trying to defeat.
Surely someone that has covered national politics since 1978 is not only aware of this, but also has experienced it throughout his career.
Apart from the months immediately following 9/11, Democrats hardly ever had anything nice to say about George W. Bush. That's called politics.
Unfortunately, folks like Fineman lose all knowledge of how this game works whenever there's a Democrat in the White House.
At that point, Republicans are considered rude if they don't fawn and gush over him like members of the media do.
Sorry to disappoint you, Howard.
So it's OK for Republicans to put politics before country, Noel? All righty, then.
NewsBusters Finds A Tax It Wants To Raise Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters, normally advocates of tax cuts, has found a tax it wants to raise.
In an Aug. 22 post, Tom Blumer rants at an Associated Press article that he claims is "a long-winded, chidish taunt about the supposed hypocrisy of anyone who would like to see" elimination of the payroll tax cut. Blumer takes particular offense at the idea that "Many of the same Republicans who fought hammer-and-tong to keep the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts from expiring on schedule are now saying a different 'temporary' tax cut should end as planned. By their own definition, that amounts to a tax increase."
Blumer huffs that "hammer-and-tong" is "violent-appearing imagery," further complaining that "The evidence that this year's cut did much of anything to "help the economy and create jobs" is sparse indeed, given that the latest data on economic growth show an average rate of less than 1% annualized during the first six months of 2011." He then defends the Bush tax cuts:
First of all, the tax cuts took place in 2001 and 2003; the latter cut, which reduced across-the-board income tax rates as well as the rates on capital gains and dividend distributions, were far more important in affecting business behavior and improving the economy. As seen here, after the 2003 tax changes were passed, Treasury receipts increased by 44% from $1.78 trillion in fiscal 2003 to $2.57 trillion in fiscal 2007. Despite overindulgent spending by Congress during that time, the deficit in fiscal 2007 came in at $162 billion, which in Obamaland isn't that much different from the deficit in a typical month.
But Blumer showed only correlation, not causation, and he did not explain why the payroll tax cut did not have thet same effect he claims the Bush tax cuts did.
Blumer also repeats a right-wing fallacy:
Several other AP writers in the past 2-3 months have pointed out that the referenced $1,000 has been gobbled up by increases in gas prices, the responsibility for which largely resides in the administration's refusal to explore and drill for oil (which, if done aggressively enough, would certainly bring down the worldwide barrel price and prices at the gas pump).
In fact, experts agree that even an aggressive expansion of oil production in the U.S. would have little effect on global oil prices.
Homosexual political activists are pushing hard for the cultural and legal acceptance of same-sex marriage, the adoption of hate-crimes legislation and open homosexual activity in the U.S. armed forces.
Opposition to this agenda typically comes from practicing and observant Christians and Jews who recognize the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexual behavior is sinful and that there are grave real-life consequences to nations that condone it.
But I want you to notice who doesn't actively oppose this agenda in American society today – organized Muslim groups.
There is little question the legal acceptance of same-sex marriage will open the door to the legalization of polygamy. It's inevitable. After all, if it is now "discriminatory," as we're told, to prohibit two men or two women from getting married, clearly it is "discriminatory" to prohibit the marriage of one man and two or more women. There is simply no other rational way to view it.
Who benefits? Those who practice polygamy as part of their religion – Muslims.
I have to laugh at those proponents and apologists for same-sex marriage who suggest there is simply no demand for polygamy. Believe me, worldwide there is a huge demand for polygamy. One-third of the world practices it as a matter of course. There is far less demand, by comparison, for same-sex marriage.
What about hate-crimes legislation? Homosexual activists demand special class status in which they will be free of any dirty looks, offensive speech or criticism because of their lifestyle choices. You might expect organizations of observant Muslims to join with observant Christians and Jews to defend their rights to condemn what all their faiths believe to be sinful behavior. Not so. I have yet to see one of the Muslim Brotherhood front groups active in the U.S. oppose the imposition of hate-crimes laws based on sexual proclivities.
I suggest to you it is because those Muslim Brotherhood front groups also intend to use similar hate-crimes laws to their advantage. In fact, they already are in many places – college campuses, government school districts, government offices and major corporations.
And what about opposition to the gutting of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law? Where are the Muslim organizations on this one? Once again, they are AWOL. Peculiar, isn't it?
Not really. That's because, I believe, the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood tentacles in the U.S. recognize that, ultimately, the U.S. military is one of the last lines of defense of a nation in economic, political and cultural retreat. And they recognize that open homosexual activity within the military's ranks renders it less effective. In other words, it spells victory for the jihadists who ruled the world in the past and intend to rule it in the future.
So what explains the current brand of patty-cake politics between the Muslim Mafia and the Gay Mafia?
Money, moral relativism, naiveté and power.
But this is a short-term marriage of convenience, not a marriage made in heaven.
CNS' Starr Falsely Attributes Sex Ed Info to Government Website Topic: CNSNews.com
You might remember Penny Starr as the CNSNews.com reporter who tried to manufacture outrage over a gay-themed art exhibition at the Smithsonian last year. Now, she’s upset by something she found on the Internet:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is offering advice to parents and teens about sex education, including assurances that teens may “experiment” with homosexuality as part of “exploring their own sexuality,” and that masturbation should be of concern only “if a child seems preoccupied with it to the exclusion of other activities.”
The information, located on a “Questions and Answers About Sex” link on the “Quick Guide to Healthy Living” portion of the HHS Web site, also describes children and infants as “sexual beings.”
Under the question “When Do Kids Start Becoming Curious About Sex?” the answer notes that infants have curiosity about their bodies.
“Children are human beings and therefore sexual beings,” the Q&A Web page says. “It's hard for parents to acknowledge this, just as it's hard for kids to think of their parents as sexually active. But even infants have curiosity about their own bodies, which is healthy and normal.”
Starr suggests this purportedly offensive information originated from HHS; later, she writes that the “HHS Web site reassures teens and parents that having homosexual tendencies as a young person is ‘common’ as teens ‘sort through their emerging sexual feelings.’ ” In fact, both pages are located on a website called KidsHealth, which is operated by the Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media. The center is part of a foundation that is “dedicated to improving the health and spirit of children” and operates several children’s health facilities.
Further, the KidsHealth “Questions and Answers About Sex” article contains a note that it was reviewed by a pediatric endocrinologist, as well as two licensed social workers, and the sexual orientation page states that it was reviewed by a child psychologist who holds a doctorate. At no point does Starr cite any children’s health professional to rebut or contradict the statements being made.
On top of the professional review of those frank but accurate statements, the KidsHealth website features a long list of “educational partners” endorsing its “award-winning, doctor-review, family-friendly content.” On that list are dozens of children’s hospitals across the country, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and private health insurance companies.
In lieu of an actual expert, Starr brings in Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council to take potshots. Not only is Sprigg not a licensed children’s health professional (he’s an ordained Baptist minister), but he is employed by an organization listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its rampant anti-gay rhetoric.
Starr paraphrases Sprigg as saying that “some of the information has no place on a federal government Web site.” So, in the end, this all seems to boil down to a demand that information about sexual health not be discussed by public health officials.
MRC Grinds Out Another Dubious Piece of 'Media Research' Topic: Media Research Center
As if designed to complement our recent report on its dubious "media research," the Media Research Center came out with a new study pushing more of said research. Rich Noyes declared:
Media Research Center analysts reviewed the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news programs from January 1 through July 31 and found 62 “conservative” labels for Republican candidates or those talked about as potential candidates. A check of the same broadcasts for the same time period in 2007 found a paltry three “liberal” labels for the Democrats running that year, a greater than 20-to-1 disparity.
As per usual, the MRC limited its scope to only the networks, making no effort to analyze cable news.
Noyes concludes by asserting that President Obama is "the most liberal President in American history," but he did not back up that claim or explain how he determined it to be so.
That's the kind of biased thinking that makes most people realize that the MRC's "media research" isn't about actual research.
It's not often you see anyone defending predatory payday lenders, but John Berlau does just that in an Aug. 12 Newsmax column.
Such a questionable defense is apparently the only way Berlau could find to attack Consumer Financial Protection Bureau nominee. Richard Cordray. Berlau declared Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general, to be a "paternalistic politico" whose "philosophy was ban first, ask questions later." The example of this supposed behavior Berlau cited was payday loans, which he eupemistically described as "small, short-term loans." Berlau -- a former writer for the now-defunct Moonie-owned magazine Insight who now heads the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Investors and Entrepeneurs -- then went into shill mode to whitewash the payday loan industry:
First, something about the economics about short-term loans, also known as payday loans or cash advances. Typically, lenders will charge $15 per $100 borrowed for a period of two weeks.
Often, misplaced outrage is expressed that that interest is more than 300 percent when measured as an annual percentage rate (APR). But this is an ill-fitting measure, because very few customers take a year to pay these loans off.
Frequently, unexpected circumstances like a car breaking down or the need for travel hits folks who are low on cash at the moment but can pay back their loan in full in two to four weeks.
Berlau seemed to blame Cordray for the payday loan interest cap instituted in Ohio; in fact, it was a ballot initiative that passed with a whopping 63 percent of the vote. Berlau did directly blame Cordray for closing a loophole that allowed payday lenders to substitute other fees to replace the exhorbitant interest charges:
But others found ways to utilize the state laws governing small lender that specifically allowed lenders to charge processing fees. The fees ended up being comparable to the old rates of interest. As explained by PaydayLoanIndustryBlog, “when a payday loan was transacted [previously] . . . a loan customer paid $575 to receive $500 in cash.”
But after the old laws were utilized in the wake of the interest cap, “with the check cashing fees added, customers pay the same $575 to walk out the door with $500 in cash”
Instead of taking this as evidence that the fees for small loans were never that excessive in the first place, he called for the Ohio legislature to pass new laws so lenders wouldn’t “continue gouging consumers through exorbitant fees.”
The individual’s lack of responsibility for his or her own circumstances has been a theme of Cordray’s regulatory enforcement endeavors. As attorney general, he tried to strong-arm banks that service mortgages and mortgage investors into reducing loan principal and interest for borrowers, even when no lender wrongdoing was found.
Berlau seems to be saying that payday loan lenders have every right to take their customers for every penny they can get away with. That's not exactly building the good kind of loyalty, is it?
WND Using Meaningless Imepachment Poll To Build Mailing List Topic: WorldNetDaily
While surfing the Web the other day, we noticed this ad from WorldNetDaily:
Clicking on the ad -- it's a Google AdSense ad, part of WND's continued softening of an anti-Google stance once so strident that WND devoted an entire chapter of his 2007 book "Stop the Presses" bashing the company -- takes you to a page featuring a poll on whether President Obama should be impeached. Much like Newsmax's online polls do, WND pretends this poll means something, claiming that "The results of these polls will be published online and are shared with major news networks and policymakers."
The real purpose of the poll is revealed by the information voters are required to provide: an email address and a zip code. The disclaimer at the end reads, "I understand that as a voter in this poll I will be signed up for FREE Worldnet Daily alerts. I can unsubscribe at any time. Votes with invalid emails will not be counted."
In other words, the poll is just a gimmick to build up WND's mailing list. Caveat emptor.
P.S. Notice that Obama is referred to only as "Barack Obama"; at no point does WND acknowledge that Obama is the president, which makes it unclear exactly from what job WND wants to see him impeached from.
Newsmax's Ruddy Declines Florida Senate Run Topic: Newsmax
Remember how Mike Haridopolos was Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy's favorite candidate for a Florida Senate seat until his campaign kinda imploded last month? Well, Florida Republicans have been trolling for another candidate to join the race despite the existence of at least four other declared candidates, and one possibilty was ... Ruddy.
Chris Ruddy, CEO of the influential West Palm Beach-based conservative publication NewsMax, has ruled out jumping into the 2012 GOP Senate race.
But the fact that Ruddy was encouraged to consider running by Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio ("flattering," says Ruddy) is a sign of how unsettled the contest is for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
Additional confirmation comes from last week's Quinnipiac University poll that showed 53 percent of Republican voters undecided in the Senate primary and Plant City tree farmer and retired Army Reserve Col. Mike McCalister leading the current four-candidate field with a meager 15 percent.
Ruddy has come a long way in the past 15 years, hasn't he? Then again, his Clinton-hating, muckraking past might not survive scrutiny today.
Bozell Throws Christine O'Donnell Under the Bus Topic: Media Research Center
Last September, Brent Bozell and his Media Research Center issued a press release defending then-Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell against criticism of her in the media, declaring that "Christine O’Donnell and her Tea Party supporters have been smeared by every major broadcast and cable network since she won the Delaware primary against GOP establishment candidate on Tuesday night." Bozell himself added:
"This is mudsliging at its ugliest. Pure character assassination. 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.
"The MRC demands the media Tell The Truth! about the Tea Party, its momentum and the revolution of people whose votes are proving America is fed up with Washington."
Bozell ignored the fact that it was largely conservative commentators like Karl Rove who were the most critical of her.
O'Donnell lost the election, and now it seems Bozell wants nothing more to do with her. In the wake of O'Donnell's walking out on an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Bozell issued a statement making that abundantly clear:
In short, O'Donnell's behavior was beyond indefensible. It was downright bizarre.
The questions Piers Morgan put forward may have been trite, even seemingly silly, but given to whom they were being posed, they were not inappropriate. He asked if in her heart O'Donnell has committed lust.
He asked her views on gay marriage. He asked her views on witchcraft and on masturbation. Titillating questions? Sure, but O'Donnell has staked out public opinions on all these fronts and it is those public statements she's made that invite questions like his. She had to know she'd be asked these things when she accepted the interview invitation. If she didn't then she's living in a parallel universe. Moreover, Morgan was neither Chris Matthews rude nor Keith Olbermann offensive. He simply asked the questions.
O'Donnell had no right to reject the questions. Even worse, in declaring them inappropriate she made an ass of herself.
She answered the gay marriage question by declaring, over and over, that the answer could be found in her book, which book she was there to promote, except she refused to discuss her position on gay marriage, which was in the book. She declared she was there to "talk about the issues I chose to talk about in the book," and when asked by Morgan, "Do you answer that question in the book?" she answered, "I talk about my religious beliefs, yes. I absolutely do." But she wouldn't answer his question about gay marriage, and instead accused him of being rude to her.
Nonsensical is too kind. She is a buffoon.
O'Donnell had no right to walk off the set. But in a sense I'm glad she did -- if it means she'll never come back. Conservatives do themselves no favors by defending this woman and she is doing conservatives no favors by going on national television programs to talk about -- God only knows what she'll talk about, or not talk about, next. Please, Christine O'Donnell, call it a day.
Nevertheless, MRC employee Noel Sheppard defended the walkout, complaining in an Aug. 18 NewsBusters post that "America currently has 9.1 percent unemployment, plummeting home and stock prices, a debt explosion, a credit rating problem, and Medicare going bankrupt in twelve years," adding, "With all the problems we're currently facing, wouldn't it be better to focus on what is really concerning the public? Or is that not good for ratings?"
WorldNetDaily, meanwhile, also took O'Donnell's side. In an Aug. 20 WND "news" article, Anita Crane parroted O'Donnell's complaints, fawned over her appearance at a tea party event in Virginia, and ignored Bozell's claim that O'Donnell should have expected such questions from Morgan given her history of discussing them in public.
Of course, WND has its reasons for whitewashing O'Donnell: Its online store is selling her book, and it doesn't want to cut into sales.