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Friday, January 6, 2012
CNS' Hypocritical And Deceptive Recess Appointment Freakout
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is taking President Obama's recess appointment of Richard Cordray as head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three members of the National Labor Relations Board in the biased, hypocritical way you'd expect. A few sample headlines:

Obama on Flouting Article 2, Section 2 of Constitution: ‘I Refuse to Take No for an Answer’

The Heck with the Senate: Obama Skips 'Advise and Consent' in Naming 3 Members to NLRB

Pelosi on Obama Nullifying Constitution's Confirmation Mandate: ‘I’m Proud of What the President Did’

Of course, CNS had no problem with President Bush making recess appointments. For instance, it promoted Bush's recess appointment of a federal judge -- approvingly quoting conservative C. Boyden Gray calling Democrats' "permanent minority filibuster" against him "an unconstitutional measure" -- then touted the upholding of , approvingly quoting the right-wing American Center for Law and Justice's Jay Sekulow attacking then-Sen. Ted Kennedy's "obstructionist tactics he is utilizing in the Senate to prevent up-or-down votes on President Bush's nominees."

When CNS bothers to address the one legal argument at question regarding these appointments -- whether they can be made during a pro forma session of Congress during which no business is conducted and is intended only to  prohibit the president from making recess appointments -- it has largely ignored arguments that disagree with its predetermined conclusion that what Obama did was illegal.

A Jan. 4 article by Matt Cover asserts that "the Constitution seems to back Boehner’s position" that "either house of Congress can adjourn only for three days during a session," thus disqualifying the appointments. A Jan. 5 article by Fred Lucas cites "constitutional scholar" John Eastman claiming that Obama "simply ignored the section of the Constitution, which governs when Congress can adjourn," failing to mention Eastman's affiliation with the right-wing Claremont Institute.

CNS has thus far ignored the analysis of John Elwood, who worked in the Department of Justice and solicitor general's office under President Bush, in which he pointed out that the resolution authorizing these pro forma sessions specifically states that no business can be conducted, raising the question of the legality of such sessions. Elwood also cites a 1982 court ruling stating that "[T]here is no reason to believe that the President’s recess appointment power is less important than the Senate’s power to subject nominees to the confirmation process."

Cover also cranked out a Jan. 6 article trying to make a big deal out of how Sen. Harry Reid "took to the Senate floor during a 'pro forma' session on Dec. 23 to pass a two-month extension to the payroll tax." But that particular pro forma session was long over by the time Obama made his appointments. Ignoring Elwood's analysis, Cover insisted that "the Senate was not in recess" when the appointments were made.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EST
MRC's Gainor Denounces 'Vile' Attack on Santorum, Ignores His Boss' Vile Attack on Obama
Topic: Media Research Center

Dan Gainor blanketed the Media Research Center empire with a Jan. 5 column -- posted at the Business & Media Institute, the Culture & Media Institute and CNSNews.com -- denouncing the campaign by "the vomitous Dan Savage" to criticize Rick Santorum by redefining "santorum" as a term associated with gay sex. Gainor ranted that this was "the lowest form of hate speech," "so vile you don’t want to read it or see it or hear it" and whined about "Savage’s monstrous activities."

Ganior makes no mention, however, of the vile activities of his own boss, Brent Bozell, who called President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead." 

Apparently, that's not "vile" to Gainor at all. Which makes him the same kind of gutless hypocrite as Tim Graham and so many other MRC employees.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 PM EST
AIM's Kincaid Takes Anita Dunn Out of Context, Admits He's Doing So
Topic: Accuracy in Media

You gotta love the chutzpah-tasatic dishonesty inherent in the Obama derangement of Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid. In a Jan. 3 AIM column attacking for Obama aide Anita Dunn, Kincaid writes:

You may remember Dunn as the Obama aide who once said communist mass murderer Mao and Mother Teresa were “two of my favorite political philosophers.” The Soros-funded Media Matters said she was taken out of context.

Kincaid, of course, is taking Dunn's statement out of context -- even admitting he's doing so -- and he dishonestly fails to link to the Media Matters item explaining why it's out of context.

That's not the only dishonesty Kincaid is engaging in here. The headline of his column reads "Former Obama Aide Lobbied for The Washington Post." But that's an inaccurate statement -- Dunn has done consulting work (which she claims is not lobbying) for Kaplan University, a subsidiary of the Washington Post Co., which also owns the Washington Post. Kaplan University is not the Washington Post, though Kincaid does make that distinction somewhat clearer in his column.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:42 AM EST
WND Stealing Content From Other Websites, Pretending WND Created It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Plagiarism isn't enough for WorldNetDaily, it seems -- now it's apparently decided to take credit for stories it didn't write.

A Jan. 5 article on the WND website touts how a new Bible translation "has had its verses on homosexuality reworded, making them clearer in denouncing the practice," and carries the byline of WND news editor Felicia Dionisio.

In fact, click on "read the full story" and it takes you to the Christian Post website, where the full article carries the byline of Michael Gryboski -- not Dionisio.

One might attribute this to a production error due to unfamiliarity with WND's new website layout, but WND has a long history of appropriating the work of others for its own purposes. Even without Dionisio's unearned byline, this article is one of many on the WND site in which WND has simply copied the first couple of paragraphs to its own website -- occasionally offering credit to the author -- then linked to the full story on the originating website.

WND is presumably doing this without properly compensating the original owners of the work -- after all, WND subscribes to no wire service. WND probably considers this to be covered under fair-use laws, but WND is a for-profit business and, as it likes to remind us, "a leading Internet newssite in both traffic and influence," so there's no good reason it can't pay for what appears on its website.

The headline links that appeared on the old WND site are one thing, but actually cutting-and-pasting parts of articles created by others without compensation so they can drive traffic to WND is something else entirely.

WND is, quite simply, trying to profit off the work of others without paying for it. That's stealing. But then, given how casual WND has become about plagiarism these days, that's not surprising.

P.S. In the bio attached to her byline, Dionisio states that she "considers her tenure as a news editor at WND a life-changing experience. The truth has a way of doing that." That's an ironic invocation of "truth" in an article in which she lies about its creation.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EST
Updated: Friday, January 6, 2012 1:39 AM EST
Thursday, January 5, 2012
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Insults
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham is all upset in a Jan. 4 NewsBusters post that a Washington Post humor columnist said that Rick Santorum "LOOKS and SOUNDS like a little boy."

But wasn't it just a couple weeks ago that Graham's Media Research Center boss Brent Bozell, declared that President Obama looks like a "skinny ghetto crackhead"? Why, yes, it was. Where's Graham's indignance over that?

Or is he just another hypocritical MRC hack who has a finely tuned set of double standards, like many other MRC employees, and sufficient lack of a conscience to flit between them depending on which will better advance his right-wing agenda?

Our money's on the latter.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EST
WND Promotes Unverified, Anonymous Attack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's love of anonymous sources -- despite WND editor Joseph Farah's dismissal of anonymous claims as "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better" -- reaches a new level in a Jan. 3 article by Bob Unruh

In the article, Unruh touts the claims of an anonymous man "dentifying himself as a brain surgeon" who called into Mark Levin's radio show and declared that "secret plans being developed by the federal government under the Obamacare law will provide only 'comfort care' for some ailments." The man suggested that he had learned this from "a conference in Washington of an organization of neurosurgeons in which information  from the government was presented."

Unruh then cites a statement by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, which deny that any such presentation took place and stated that "the caller who identified himself as a brain surgeon is not actually a neurosurgeon."

So, we have an anonymous source whose identity can't be verified making a completely unverified claim, and  a respected group of surgeons who are on record discrediting the unverified claim. Guess who Unruh and Levin choose to believe?

Levin, however, told WND the denials are not convincing.

“The gentleman used a fake name on the air, so when the associations say they looked into it and could not find that he was at the conference, that is a straw man,” he said.

“My call screener was very comfortable that he was what he said he was, and I have no basis to disparage anything he said. He knew of the conference, he knew who was holding the conference, he knew of the various meetings at the conference, and he knew the subject-matter thoroughly.”

He continued, “It seems to me the focus by the deniers should be on uncovering what HHS is up to. Have they dug into it, have they filed FOIA requests, have they interviewed numerous attendees, etc.?”

Again, neither Levin nor Unruh provide any evidence to prove their anonymous source correct -- but they trust him anyway because he sounded like he knew what he was talking about.

This is WND's standard of journalism. Sad, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 PM EST
CNS Still Falsely Framing Planned Parenthood's Federal Funding
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr begins a Jan. 3 CNSNews.com article:

According to its latest annual report, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) received $487.4 million in tax dollars over a twelve-month period and performed 329,455 abortions.

As we've pointed out when CNS has previously made this claim, these two numbers have nothing to do with each other. The federal money Planned Parenthood receives does not, and cannot by law, pay for abortion services.

At no point does Starr report that in her article. That's simply dishonest of her. But then, she's following in the footsteps of her boss, Terry Jeffrey, who has perpetuated the same deception.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 PM EST
AIM Touts Dubious Attack on IPCC
Topic: Accuracy in Media

A Jan. 3 Accuracy in Media column by Rael Jean Isaac promotes a self-published e-book by Donna Laframboise attacking the International Panel on Climate Change and challenging the credentials of those who compile the IPCC's reports.

The claims Isaac and Laframboise make in the column are too vague to fact-check, but Media Matters found inaccurate and deceptive claims in a FoxNews.com article based on Laframboise's book.

Isaac writes: "Laframboise identifies a number of graduate students (at least one without so much as a Masters degree at the time) who served as coordinating lead authors (the most important role, in charge of the entire chapter) or lead authors (responsible for large segments of text)." But this ignores the fact that, according to Media Matters, there are many authors: for the 2007 IPCC assessment, there were 450 lead authors and 800 contributing authors. Additionally, each chapter has at least seven lead authors and goes through two rounds of scientific review.

Using information taken from Laframboise's book, Fox News overlooks facts about some of the IPCC authors, according to Media Matters. One lead author, for example, was dismissed because he had earned a master's degree just two years earlier; in fact, he was already a board-certified doctor at the time he earned that master's degree.

Isaac makes a big deal out of how is Laframboise a "solitary blogger" who relied on the readers of her blog to do the research for her book. Given such apparently shoddy research and Laframboise's own obvious bias -- the thesis of her book is that the IPCC is "a spoiled child" that has "morphed into an obnoxious adolescent" -- it's probably best left as a self-published e-book.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 AM EST
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
More Plagiarism Uncovered at WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It seems that Jerome Corsi's adventure with his "trusted Kenyan professionals" is not the only recent instance of plagiarism at WorldNetDaily these days.

Loren Collins at Barackryphal has uncovered more examples of plagiarism at WND:

  • A Dec. 9 article by Aaron Klein cribs liberally from a CNN op-ed by William Bennett without attribution.
  • A Nov. 22 column by Joseph Farah copies statements made in articles by the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times.

We've previously detailed an earlier example of plagiarism by Farah, in which he lifted large parts of a 2005 article from a Reuters piece.

Ironically, Farah had complained in 2003 that the "AP is lifting WorldNetDaily copyright content seemingly at will without attribution or credit" -- exactly what he and Klein are doing to the AP and other news organizations.

Note to Farah and WND: A redesigned website can't hide the fact that you're stealing the work of others.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:58 PM EST
NewsBusters Plays the Race-Card Card
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Jan. 2 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard is upset that NBC's Andrea Mitchell made the entirely accurate observation that Iowa can be viewed as not representative of the United States because it is "too white, too evangelical, too rural." Sheppard declared this to be "using the race card," then played his own race card: "Nice way of the NBC Nightly News informing viewers that much as the media did in 2008, the race card will be played whenever possible to assist Barack Obama in getting reelected. Can you imagine any state in the union being referred to as 'too black' or 'too hispanic?'"

Of course, the very next day, Sheppard's NewsBusters colleague Matt Hadro did pretty much that. Hadro bashed a "provocative segment" on CNN in which "CNN's Soledad O'Brien hit Republican candidates for not campaigning in Iowa's first majority Hispanic town."

That's right -- he's playing the race card attacking a town for being too Hispanic. (Not to mention being too small and too Democratic, having "voted heavily for Barack Obama in 2008."

Will Sheppard criticize his NewsBusters colleague for doing exactly what he criticized Mitchell for supposedly doing? Don't count on it -- after all, Sheppard is an MRC team player, and a master of the double standard to boot.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EST
Newsmax Makes Excuses for Gingrich's 4th-Place Finish in Iowa
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is so solidly behind Newt Gingrich that it's trying desperately to put a positive spin on Gingrich's fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses -- a finish that came despite Newsmax buying airtime in the state to run its Gingrich endorsement posing as a "campaign special."

Newsmax touted Gingrich's "solid 4th place" finish in the red breaking-news banner on its front page, appearing even ahead of Mitt Romney's razor-thin victory over Rick Santorum:

In the linked article -- credited to "Newsmax Wires" but reading like a story no real wire service would send out -- Newsmax is in hard spin mode, portraying Gingrich's finish as "a result similar to both Bill Clinton's in 1992 and John McCain's in 2008" and insisting that the this "gives him a solid platform to continue his primary battle." Newsmax then slags the top vote-getters:

Rick Santorum has not weathered the same intense media scrutiny as Gingrich has, nor does he have the national organizational and fundraising base Gingrich has.

On Monday, the Gallup tracking poll had Romney at 24 percent and Gingrich at 23 percent, a neck-and-neck race. Santorum pulled only 6 percent in the Gallup poll.

Romney, who was considered the Iowa front-runner, faces a daunting challenge as the GOP primary calendar unfolds.

He pulled no more votes in 2012 than he did in 2008. He has spent more than $15 million between both races to win Iowa — forking over $500 a vote for the past two elections combined.

Newsmax has to make its investment in Gingrich pay off somehow. But so far, it's going about as well as Newsmax's endorsement of Bill McCollum.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Mychal Massie Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It appears to be hard to overstate how much Mychal Massie utterly hates Michelle Obama. He unloads this pile of Obama derangement in his Jan. 2 WorldNetDaily column:

Michelle Obama and her family are on a $4 million taxpayer-funded vacation, and between her traipsing around in $2,000 dresses, $1,000 skirts and dining at the most exclusive restaurants – she found time to send an email to an Obama mailing list saying, “I hope you’ll close out this year by donating $3 or more to help make sure we’re ready for the next [election].”

At first glance, this could be viewed as nothing unusual. But there is a sinister sensus plenior to the actions of this woman that is going unaddressed, and so certain am I of what it is, I would be willing to bet one of the cigars I was given as a Christmas gift.

In December 2006, I wrote: “Race is the viscous grease Al Sharpton uses to lubricate his flim-flam machine. Adding the ‘Reverend’ moniker affords him cover by having a credible partner, i.e., God, who doesn’t want a cut of his ill-gotten gains. And not atypical of race-hucksters, he makes his choices based on what will garner him the most cachet.” (“Lights, camera … Sharpton,” WND.com)

Insert the name Obama in place of Sharpton, FLOTUS in place of “Reverend,” and “gullible voters” in place of God, and it’s a perfect fit.

[...]

I submit that it is the blackness of Michelle Obama that gives credibility to the “blackness” of Obama. This is one of the dirty little secrets white people remain ignorant of, because to accept what I am saying as fact would require them to also acknowledge the depth of contempt many blacks harbor toward them. And it is that contempt the Obamas manipulate to control what is said of them and the extent of media criticism they receive.

Michelle Obama is a world-class conductor of the race-mongers orchestra. And she conducts the symphony with the adroitness that even the most skilled race-monger can take lessons from. In 2000, Al Gore may have gotten little more than prayers and fried chicken, but in 2011-12, Obama – thanks to his wife has figured out how to get juice from that fruit.

Massie, by the way, also loves to call Michelle Obama "Buttzilla," which hardly makes him a credible critic of, well, anything.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 AM EST
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Newsmax's Last-Minute Shilling for Gingrich
Topic: Newsmax

As we arrive on the day of the Iowa caucuses, Newsmax is keeping up its shilling for Newt Gingrich.

A Jan. 1 article by Gary Cohen laments that "the lion's share of the money" spent by super PACs in this election cycle have targeted Gingrich, incuding his "ties to Freddie Mac, his divorces, and his lengthy Capitol Hill career."

This was followed by a Jan. 3 article by Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter, in which they quote Republican Sen. Charles Grassley expressing a similar lament:

Grassley does agree that Newt Gingrich has been victimized by negative political ads from other candidates.

“I don’t know why he’s been a target but I do know that those negative ads have worked. And I believe when he goes to South Carolina, or even in New Hampshire, you’re going to find Gingrich using negative ads, assuming he has the money to do it, because I think he has probably realized that not pointing out the faults he felt his opponents had was a mistake.”

Newsmax also touted how Gingrich called Mitt Romney a liar.

Will the slanted coverage and the ads Newsmax bought in Iowa on Gingrich's behalf be enough to put Gingrich over the top? Well, Newsmax's most recent foray into Republican primary politics was a failure -- Christopher Ruddy and Dick Morris hosted a fundraiser for Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum and slanted its news coverage to hype McCollum and bash his primary opponent, Rick Scott, who defeated McCollum. Newsmax then flip-flopped and promoted Scott in the general election, ignoring the attacks it made on him during the primary, and Scott won.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:14 PM EST
What Stories Did WND Spike Last Year?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Every year, WorldNetDaily does an "Operation Spike" list of what it claims are "the most underreported or unreported news events of the year – to shine a spotlight on those issues that the establishment media successfully 'spiked.'" As we've detailed, this list is nothing more than the top right-wing stories of the year and a snapshot of WND's own coverage.

Of course, the list ignores the fact that WND spikes stories too, particularly when they are inconvenient to its far-right, Obama-hating agenda. So here's ConWebWatch's own "Operation Spike" list of stories that WND refused to tell its readers about.

1. Compelling evidence that Obama's birth certificate is real. Fifth on this year's list from WND is "Compelling evidence from multiple experts that the birth certificate released by Barack Obama on April 27, 2011, is a fraud." But as even WND has admitted, no certified forensic document examiner will support this assertion, which means that WND has had to scrounge up other so-called "experts" to conform to its version of reality.

A few months back, John Woodman published a book debunking many of the claims promulgated by WND about the supposed inauthenticity of Obama's birth certificate. Not only has WND refused to acknowledge its existence -- not even to debunk its claims, which in itself can be considered evidence of the book's veracity -- but WND's Jerome Corsi has refused to debate Woodman over birther claims. What are Corsi and WND afraid of?

2. WND's creation of legal documents for its sources to sign, which WND then reports on. We reported the story of how prominent birther source Tim Adams has stated that WND-affilated lawyers provided him with an affidavit to sign, in which he made assertions about Obama's birth certificate -- none of which Adams has any firsthand knowledge of. WND then reported on the affidavit without admitting that it supplied him with the affidavit. When we asked WND editor Joseph Farah to confirm that WND did supply the affidavit for Adams to sign, he shut down the press conference rather than answer the question.

3. Key birther conspiracy debunked. On top of all of that, prominent birther Phil Berg has debunked one key birther conspiracy promoted by WND -- that Obama is using a fraudulent Social Security number. Given that this information comes from a prominent birther, you'd think WND would report this to its readers, but it hasn't.

4. The truth about WND poster boys. WND has avoided telling its readers the inconvenient fact that the aforementioned Tim Adams first made his birther claims on the radio show of a self-described "pro-White" host. WND followed this up by defending a stalker and his right to be armed even while he's stalking a woman.

5. WND's agenda echoed by Anders Breivik. Accused Norway terrorist shooter Anders Breivik cites WND six times in his manifesto, and Breivik's anti-Muslim, anti-multiculturalist, and anti-feminist attitudes are regularly reflected on WND's website. WND never told its readers about this.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EST
MRC's Graham: If You Tell the Truth, You're Making Excuses for Obama
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham becomes the latest NewsBusters writer to embody Stephen Colbert's declaration that reality has a well-known liberal bias.

In a Jan. 1 post complaining about a list of "political misstatements" posted by Politico, Graham complained that Politico "made excuses for Obama." How? By accurately noting that Mitt Romney and Rick Perry were wrong to claim that Obama called Americans lazy, because "Obama was talking about an institutional problem, not about Americans themselves."

That's right -- according to Graham, if you tell the truth about Obama, you're making excuses for him.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:49 AM EST

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