A Jan. 4 CNSNews.com article by Philip Shepherd is almost entirely dedicated to attacks on a new California law requiring study of the contributions of gays and lesbians made by a single person, Randy Thomasson of the group Save California. Shepherd quotes statements by state officials about the law, but does not let anyone rebut Thomasson's attacks.
Shepherd seems deterimined to whitewash Thomasson, for he describes Save California no less than three times in a euphemistic fashion. First, Shepherd describes it as a "pro-family group"; then he claims it is "a nonprofit organization that 'stands for moral virtues and against the liberal takeover.'" Finally, Shepherd devotes his final paragraph to boilerplate eupemism:
SaveCalifornia.com is a leading West Coast nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that represents children and families in the areas of marriage and family, parental rights, the sanctity of human life, religious freedom, financial freedom, and back-to-basics education.
In reality, Thomasson and his group are virulent anti-gay activists. He has likened homosexuality to drunk driving and drug abuse, denounced the California as "sexual indoctrination" and "brainwashing" -- statements Shepherd avoided in his own quotes of Thomasson -- and claimed that Lawrence King, a gay teenager murdered by a classmate, provoked his murderer into killing him.
Shepherd seems determined to hide the truth about Thomasson -- not to mention, by extensively quoting him, refuse to provide a fair and balanced account of the California law.
WND Also Sent Out Anti-Gay Group's Homophobic Email Topic: WorldNetDaily
Salon's Justin Elliott detailed how The Weekly Standard sent out on its email list a message from the group Public Advocate of the United States, which repeats anti-gay attacks against a new California law that would bar discrimination against gay and transgendered students in public schools. The email referenced "appalling homosexual acts," "sexual deviants," and a "perverted vision for a homosexual America." The Weekly Standard later responded by saying the email had slipped through its "vetting system" and would not send it out again.
But the Weekly Standard is not the only organization to send the anti-gay message to its readers -- WorldNetDaily has sent it out three times. Equality Matters highlighted it when WND sent it out in April; by our count, WND has sent it out twice more, on Nov. 22 and Dec. 20.
The difference between WND and the Weekly Standard is that WND's "vetting system" obviously approved this virulently anti-gay message.
MRC Peddles More Deceptive Attacks on Planned Parenthood Topic: Media Research Center
A companion piece to Terry Jeffrey's deceptive attack on Planned Parenthood at CNSNews.com, a Jan. 4 MRC Culture & Media Institute article by Paul Wilson hurls even more deceptive attacks at Planned Parenthood.
Wilson calls Planned Parenthood an "abortion group," even though abortion comprises only a tiny percentage of the total number of medical services it provides.
Wilson also complains that the TV networks (as per MRC standards, only the broadcast networks are analyzed) ignored how "Live Action, a pro-life group, put out seven 'sting' videos about Planned Parenthood during the 2011 year." As we repeatedlypointedout when the MRC previously attempted to promote these videos -- which sought to entrap Planned Parenthood clinic workers in a fake sex trafficking scheme -- Planned Parenthood actually contacted the Justice Department immediately after the visits from the Live Action actors, undercutting the entire scandal thing.
Nevertheless, Wilson ignored this and asserted that "Live Action put out videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers assisting sex traffickers at seven different clinics evade mandatory reporting laws." Of course, they were fake sex traffickers.
Wilson also writes:
When the House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood on Feb. 18, in part as a reaction to the videos, all three major networks aired Rep. Jackie Speier's (D-Calif.) impassioned plea to preserve abortion funding.
In fact, Speier did not make an impassioned plea to preserve abortion funding; she defended federal funding to Planned Parenthood by disclosing an abortion she had due to medical complications. Further, federal funding for Planned Parenthood does not pay for abortion.
Wilson goes on to do even more whining that the TV networks (again, only the broadcast networks) won't cover investigations into Planned Parenthood ginned up by right-wing groups whose agenda is to destroy Planned Parenthood.
WND's Klein Repeats Lame Attack on Cordray Topic: WorldNetDaily
The last time WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein wrote about Richard Cordray, President Obama's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he resorted to an exceedingly lame attack repeating claims by Cordray's political enemies that Cordray misused funds as Ohio attorney general by providing state-paid legal support for three state employees accused of accessing the personal information of Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber."
Now that Obama has issue a recess nomination of Cordray to the post, Klein uses a Jan. 4 WND article to repeat the same lame allegation. As before, Klein provides no evidence whatsoever that Cordray engaged in any wrongdoing, only the same accusations by the same political enemies -- who, of course, Klein fails to label as anything other than "critics."
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:
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.
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.
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.
WND Stealing Content From Other Websites, Pretending WND Created It Topic: WorldNetDaily
Plagiarism isn'tenough 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 oneofmanyontheWND 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.
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?
WorldNetDaily's love of anonymoussources -- 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?
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 previouslymade 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.