Aaron Klein leads his "news" organization in agitating for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. Read more >>
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
MRC's Transgender Freakout, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center
Last week's freakout at the existence of transgendered person Chaz Bono -- and worse, his appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" -- by the Media Research Center's Erin R. Brown was duplicated by her boss, Brent Bozell, in his Sept. 9 column.
Bozell declared that ABC chosen Bono to join the "DWTS" cast "because she’s well-known as an “LGBT” activist, with an emphasis on the 'T,'" and that he's joined on the show by "Carson Kressley, the most lecherous member of the old show 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.'" We didn't know Bozell kept track of that show's lechery level with such an eye for detail.
Like his dutiful employee, Bozell is appalled by Bono's mere existence:
Apparently, like Brown, Bozell thinks transgenders should be hidden away, with nobody allowed to speak of their existence.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
-- Barbara Simpson, Aug. 21 WorldNetDaily column
-- Joseph Farah, Aug. 22 WorldNetDaily column
-- Burt Prelutsky, Aug. 23 WorldNetDaily column
-- Larry Klayman, Aug. 26 WorldNetDaily column
-- Erik Rush, Aug. 31 WorldNetDaily column
-- Larry Klayman, Sept. 2 WorldNetDaily column
-- Barbara Simpson, Sept. 4 WorldNetDaily column
-- Erik Rush, Sept. 7 WorldNetDaily column
-- James Lewis, Sept. 8 WorldNetDaily column
MRC Report on 'The Media' Post-9/11 Curiously Omits Fox News
Topic: Media Research Center
Apparently, Fox News is not part of "the media" as far as the Media Research Center is concerned.
In a new MRC "special report," Tim Graham attacked "the media spin in the Bush years" and claims that "the media" was "not objective, and it was certainly not independent of liberal partisans, leftist experts and terrorist defense lawyers." Graham makes many sweeping claims (i.e., "Under Bush, anchors and reporters painted the War on Terror as a dark era in American history where our civil liberties were vanishing"), which he illustrates only with anecdotal examples and not any sort of comprehensive analysis. It's reminiscent of Graham's so-called analysis of Huffington Post, in which he cited a mere 19 examples to draw sweeping conclusions about the content of thousands of HuffPo entries.
Graham clearly can't stop shilling for the Bush adminstration, as he attacks reporters for being insufficiently patriotic (translation: they reported bad news about the Bush administration) and played down the Abu Ghraib scandal by huffing that "he networks displayed much greater outrage for U.S. prisoner abuse than for the enemy’s murders."
As with most MRC reports, the scope is deliberately narrow -- it focuses mostly on the broadcast networks, with the occasional appearance of CNN and MSNBC, and Fox News is almost entirely absent. Graham's only mention of Fox News comes on the third-to-last paragraph of his report, which he touts how Fox reported that Iraq war protester Cindy Sheehan proclaimed herself to be a 9/11 truther.
To sum up: Graham ignores how the highest-rated cable news network covered the last 10 years of war, serves up only anecdotal clips of the rest, but portrays his report as some kind of comprehensive examination instead of the repackaging of right-wing talking points it actually is.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Newsmax Baselessly Raises Specter of Voter Fraud In NY-9
This Sept. 13 Newsmax article is a regurgitation of a Washington Times blog post repeating unsubstantiated claims by the campaign of Bob Turner, a Republican who's running to fill the congressional seat in New York's 9th District vacated by Anthony Weiner, that there is the possibility of "vote fraud" in the election. Neither Newsmax nor the Times provide any evidence to back up Turner's claim.
Les Kinsolving Whining Watch
A Sept. 12 WorldNetDaily article complains that "White House press secretary Jay Carney today at the administration's daily news briefing declined to allow a question about the massive funds paid to the family of Martin Luther King Jr. for the use of his image and his words on a memorial in Washington," a question that was "prepared for the news briefing by Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House."
But as before when WND has issued such complaints, WND offers no evidence that Carney knew what Kinsolving was going to ask. Therefore, it can't logically complain that Carney "declined to allow" the question when he apparently had no idea what it would be.
Running yet another story about a question Kinsolving would have asked is simply petulant and unprofessional behavior on WND's part.
MRC's Graham Bashes CNN's Blitzer For Accurately Noting Tea Party Racism
Tim Graham trots out the tired liberal-bias playbook against CNN's Wolf Blitzer in a Sept. 12 NewsBusters post, complaining that he was going to serve as the host for last night's Republican presidential debate with the group Tea Party Express despite having once said that "Within the larger tea party movement that’s gained steam across the country, a small but passionate minority is also voicing what some see as racist rhetoric."
Graham certainly wasn't going to acknowledge that Blitzer was absolutely correct -- and even more so in the case of the debate co-sponsor.
Mark Williams was the spokesman for the Tea Party Express until his long history of racially charged rhetoric finally went too far when he penned a blog post mocking NAACP Benjamiin Jealous in the form of a letter to Abraham Lincoln asking him to reinstate slavery because all blacks really want are "Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house." Williams' racist blog post got him and his Tea Party Express kicked out of the National Tea Party Federation.
Interestingly, of the three NewsBusters posts that reference Williams' rant, none explicitly condemn it. In one of them, Noel Sheppard rants about "disgustingly offensive anti-Tea Party rhetoric" but offers no opinion about Williams' disgustingly offensive rhetoric.
WND Flies Airplane With Birther Banner Over GOP Debate
WorldNetDaily goes for the lamest stunt in the book to fuel its birther obsession: hiring an airplane to fly a banner stating "Where's the Real Birth Certificate?" over the Republican debate in Florida.
Yeah, lame stunts are pretty much all they have at this point.
Monday, September 12, 2011
NewsBusters: Criticizing Bush Makes You A Sociopath
Sure, the conservative outrage about Paul Krugman's New York Times blog post stating how "Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in" on the 9/11 attacks to "justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons" was completely predictable. But Matthew Sheffield takes it to the next level in a Sept. 11 NewsBusters post, issuing a highly personal attack on Krugman:
On this solemn commemorative day, we at NewsBusters have made a point of holding our rhetorical fire against liberals as a gesture of respect to those who lost their lives that day and subsequently. There is much we could say and, starting tomorrow, will say.
Having no respect for the dead—all 2,977 of them—is hardly the only sin evinced by Krugman today, though. His posting makes no attempt to make an argument and he didn't seem to even bother spell-checking it.
Of course, if Krugman is a sociopath for making supposedly inappropriate 9/11-related remarks, then so is conservative columnist Hugh Hewitt, who just a week after 9/11 doubted that he could have offered any support to the president had that president been Al Gore.
Sheffield provides no evidence that Krugman's assessment is wrong -- meaning that his real complaint is that Krugman said it at all, and that anyone who criticizes Bush and other Republicans is a sociopath. Really, Matthew?
Noel Sheppard Headline Cliche Watch
Noel Sheppard is still dishing out from his big bag of tired headline cliches at NewsBusters. These are from the past month:
Somebody buy that man a thesaurus!
Ellis Washington Is Still Fighting Evolution
Ellis Washington devotes his Sept. 9 WorldNetDaily column to ranting about evolution with all the unseriousness we've come to expect from him. To wit:
Uh, yeah. Washington continues:
As we've repeatedly pointed out every time Washington does this, social Darwinism is not an "ancillary philosophy" to Darwinism -- the idea of survival of the fittest existed long before Darwin. And if Wikipedia is to be believed, Herbert Spencer didn't believe in the kind of social Darwinism Washington is accusing him of.
Washington went on to complain of a law review article he wrote: "after being accepted then rejected by an American law journal for no rational reason, I was forced to publish this work in a Romanian journal – the former communist country of the murderous dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. How's that for irony?" Of course, the unnamed law journal that supposedly accepted his article, on the subject of juvenile justice, likely had a good reason for rejecting it: it's a political screed.
We'll spare you the substance, if you can call it that, of the 26-page article and quote from its conclusion, which reads suspciously like one of his WND columns:
Washington thinks this is a law review-caliber article? No wonder he couldn't get it published in this country.
CNS Praises Media For Rallying Around Bush After 9/11
CNSNews.com director of communications Craig Bannister touts the media's initial response to 9/11 in a Sept. 9 CNS item:
One gets the feeling that the important part to Bannister is the "rallied the nation around President Bush" stuff. We suspect he would not be so solicitous of the media had they behaved the same way toward a President Gore.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
WND Marks 9/11 By Peddling Islamophobia
WorldNetDaily is marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in exactly the way you thought it would: by ramping up Islamophobia.
Joseph Farah used his Sept. 8 column to declare that 9/11 was a disaster in part "because American leadership misused the attack to expand government, misidentified the enemy and failed to recognize that our nation was at war." He wrote that "the exact moment U.S. policy went off the rails" was when "President Bush told Americans to carry on as if there were no war. He told them to go shopping – to go on vacation, to spend money. That was the 'sacrifice' they were asked to make for the cause."
After that odd bit of Bush-bashing (remember, Farah endorsed Bush's re-election in 2004), Farah returned to form by bashing Muslims and selling a book he published:
The Muslim-bashing is really cranked up in a Sept 10 WND article by Michael Carl mocking a Gallup poll of Muslim Americans, complete with sneering headline "Guess who thinks they are the victims."
Carl attacked Gallup official Dalia Mogahed by claiming that she "has been identified by Muslim reformer Tarek Fatah during a recent speech in Toronto as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in a position to influence President Barack Obama's policy." But the WND article in which Fatah makes this allegation -- the same one that serves up an adulterous philanderer as an expert on Islam -- offers no evidence to back it up.
Carl then cites anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer -- recently identified as a major promoter of Islamophobia -- to attack the poll as biased:
"They asked questions Muslims are sure to understand what they need to give as the answer to present the best front possible," Spencer said. "But they don't get to the heart of the matter on whether they want Shariah in the United States ultimately. That's not to say they would get honest answers if they did ask those questions.
WND attacking a poll for asking biased questions in laughable considering the biased questions of its own ethically challenged pollster, Fritz Wenzel.
In a fit of laziness endemic to WND, Carl makes little apparent effort to contact Mogahed or any other Gallup officials to respond to Spencer's attacks; he waits until the very last paragraph of his 59-paragraph article tio note that "The Abu Dhabi Gallup Center did not respond to WND's request for comment on the study."
Flashback: How The ConWeb Covered 9/11
Topic: The ConWeb
How did the ConWeb initially react to the events of Sept. 11, 2001? Pretty much the way you'd expect them too. Let's take a look back:
The bodies weren't even cold yet before WorldNetDaily and Newsmax were finding ways to blame President Clinton. WND found a convenient anonymous source to blame Clinton (thus demonstrating that Aaron Klein, while Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy attacked "the ever clever bastard" Clinton for seeking to "destroy America's intelligence agencies," like WND citing an anonymous source as backup. Accuracy in Media, meanwhile, used 9/11 to peddle its conspiracy theory regarding the crash fo TWA Flight 800.
Newsmax was particularly offended that President Bush's actions might be implicated as a cause of 9/11. One article ranted: "How depraved can the liberal media be? How despicable? How utterly anti-American?" Then-Newsmax columnist Dan Frisa called the New York Times "despicable traitors" for suggesting such a thing. (Apparently, it wasn't treasonous or un-American to blame Clinton.) Phil Brennan declared that "I have a few suggestions for Mr. Bush about who he ought to put in the nation's cross hairs: Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Andrea Mitchell, the New York Times, Mary McGrory, The Washington Post and all the other Benedict Arnolds* in the anti-American media rat pack mindlessly attacking President Bush." The asterisk after Arnold keys the reader to a footnote that reads: "I ought to apologize to the memory of Benedict Arnold for lumping him in with this disloyal media scum - he was a genuine American hero before his betrayal - something that can't be said about the president's media critics, the majority of whom never wore a uniform."
Another Newsmax article went into full Bush-worship mode: "The president has been eloquent. He has been confident. Real Americans support him 100 percent."
Then-WND columnist Hugh Hewitt was particularly small-minded in his post-9/11 support for those in high office, writing: "If last November's vote had gone the other way, and vice president Gore had been the man to face this awful challenge, I pray that I would have supported him at this crucial juncture – in my columns and on my radio and television shows." In other words, just a week after 9/11, Hewitt was as eager to use it as a cudgel had those in office been Democrats as he was to use it against critics of President Bush.
The ConWeb also worked to deify Barbara Olson, the right-wing author who was on one of the planes that crashed on 9/11. WND, Newsmax and CNSNews.com all took part in the hagiography, which was mostly about making money on her death by peddling her books to a grieving readership
Newsmax targeted then-ABC host Bill Maher for his statement that "lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away" is cowardly, while "Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly" -- until it figured out that it agreed with him.
Finally, how can we forget Anthony LoBaido's unhinged rant at WND blaming America for 9/11? LoBaido declared that "America has killed over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5 years old with our anti-Saddam sanctions" and tried to make the argument that America deserved to be attacked and suffer massive loss of life:
All that is evil in the world can be found in New York: MTV, the United Nations, the U.N. abortion programs, the Council on Foreign Relations, New Age Church of St. John the Divine, WallStreet greed, Madison Avenue manipulation and of course more confirmed AIDS cases than the rest of America combined. Let's remember the filthy sodomite gay parade last summer in New York.
LoBaido earned extra points for his reference to "the openly Marxist, treasonous and abortion-mongering, occultic Hillary."
This is one of the few times WND eventually decided that something was too crazy for its website. While WND editor Joseph Farah initially defended LoBaido's right to say what he said, the column was quietly deleted from the WND website a few months later without explanation or apology. Of course, nothing ever goes away on the Internet, including LoBaido's screed.
It's that screed that inspired us to name the annual ConWebWatch Slantie Award for most unhinged statement made by a ConWeb writer after LoBaido.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Newsmax Still Trying To Make Kerik Look Good
A Sept. 9 Newsmax article contains former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik's "first-person account of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 for Newsmax magazine's 10th anniversary commemorative edition."
Going unmentioned is Kerik's current residence: prison, following his guilty plea on corruption charges. That may be because Newsmax labored mightily to rehabilitate Kerik's image amid his corruption scandal.
Even prison, apparently, is not going to stop Newsmax from buffing Kerik's image.
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