CNS' Starr Has Another Anti-Gay Freakout Over Art Exhibit Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center, led by CNSNews.com's Penny Starr, earned a Slantie award lst year for manufacturing a controversy over a gay-themed exhibit at a Smithsonian-operated art museum. The anti-gay Starr apparently liked that award so much, she's trying to manufacture another right-wing freakout over another art exhibit.
Starr cranks up the anti-gay outrage in a Jan. 10 CNS article:
For the second year in a row, the federally funded National Portrait Gallery (NPG), a part of the Smithsonian Institution, held an exposition during the Christmas season focused on the homosexual lifestyle.
“Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories,” an exhibition appearing at the NPG from Oct. 14, 2011 through Jan. 22, 2012, focuses on lesbian activist and writer Gertrude Stein.
The exhibit, set up in five rooms at the taxpayer-funded museum, highlights Stein’s lesbian relationship with Alice B. Toklas and Stein’s “second family” of homosexual men, some of whom collaborated with Stein on various projects.
The whole thing is pure Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy. Starr is obsessed with tax money being spent on gay things -- even though she admits that the Stein exhibit was paid for by private funds, she adds that "all Smithsonian museums receive federal funding." Here's the question she asked Smithsonian officials about the exhibit:
“In the past 14 months, NPG has mounted two exhibitions--Hide and Seek, and Gertrude Stein--that include a focus on the homosexual lifestyle. Given that NPG mounts less than a dozen exhibits annually, is there a reason that two exhibits within the past 14 months have included a focus on the homosexual lifestyle and is that part of NPR's mission as a national and taxpayer-funding institution?”
On top of echoing the right-wing trope that homosexuality is nothing more than a "lifestyle," Starr got her facts wrong about the number of exhibits the gallery hosts; at the end of her article, she notes that the gallery hosted 22 exhibits during the past year.
Starr is also rather late to the game -- the Stein exhibit opened in October and closes on Jan. 22. Starr seems to be attributing her tardiness to a squabble with the Smithsonian over whether she could take pictures in the exhibit; that request was denied, so instead her article is accompanied with pictures of exhibits as they appear in the book on the exhibition.
All in all, a pretty sad attempt. Starr's anti-gay agenda, it seems, has overtaken her so-called journalism.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Out-of-Context Statements Topic: NewsBusters
We detailed last week how NewsBusters condoned the taking of President Obama's words out of context, with Tim Graham attacking anyone who pointed out the truth "made excuses for Obama." Well, by that definition, NewsBsuters is now making excuses for Mitt Romney.
In a Jan. 9 post, Ken Shepherd scolded Politico for not taking the full context of Mitt Romney's remarks about liking "being able to fire people" seriously:
More specifically, Romney was talking about how he wants to change health care laws so that its easier for individuals to buy insurance without being chained to their employer's preferred health insurance provider.
This was followed by Shepherd's boss, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, attacking the "liberal media" for taking the remark out of context -- even though right now it's mostly Romney's Republican rivals who are doing that. Bozell eventually concedes the latter.
So Bozell is making excuses for Romney too. Which can only mean that Graham will be flip-flopping on this as well.
WND's Massie Likens NAACP To the Devil Topic: WorldNetDaily
There’s a lot of talk about greatness today – but the definition of greatness depends upon who writes the dictionary. And in the case of the NAACP, greatness is analogous to two of the central characters in C.S. Lewis’ book “The Screwtape Letters.”
For those who need refreshing, Screwtape was a senior demon from hell, and Wormwood, his nephew, was a junior “tempter,” charged with leading “The Patient,” i.e., mankind, to hell. It was Screwtape’s job to advise Wormwood on the best ways to bring that about.
That’s precisely the role the NAACP plays in advising their marionettes what to foment discord and malcontent about. The principal issues they support are antithetical to the cohesive family concerns they feign concern about.
Just as Screwtape’s job was to make sure Wormwood used every available machination – including love, pride, sex, war, gluttony and avarice – to deceive man here on earth and lure him into an eternal hell, so, too, does the NAACP parallel that purpose in deceiving blacks. The NAACP exists today as a means of employment for Benjamin Jealous – who cowarded out of my calls for him to debate me in a public forum – and as a contrivance to ensure that blacks are in a perpetual state of discontent.
The NAACP has become an abomination before God and man, and it needs to be euthanized. If its only points of consternation are those herein referenced, making what amount to extortion complaints against CNN pursuant to their not having more black on-air personalities and spreading victimology, despair and resentment – I’d say it’s outlived its usefulness.
Finally, Newsmax Lets Kessler Do Some Romney-Fluffing Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler is a huge Mitt Romney fanboy -- he touted Romney incessantly in the runup to the 2008 presidential election, engaging in some creepiness toward Romney's wife in the process. Kessler hung with Romney, repeatedly bashing John McCain, until McCain clinched the Republican nomination (after which Romney fell in line and embraced McCain).
This time around, though, Kessler has been less vocal about his love of Romney, largely because he spent much of 2007 distracted by his infatuation with Donald Trump. Kessler penned only a couple of love letters to Romney, and none in the past few months; the one he did try to post mysteriously disappeared shortly afterwards, presumably because Romney wouldn't commit to taking part in Newsmax's ill-fated Republican debate hosted by Donald Trump.
Now, finally -- as Newsmax has dialed back its promotion of Newt Gingrich in New Hampshire after going all in for him in Iowa -- Kessler has been allowed to fluff Romney in the midst of primary season.
Kessler's Jan. 9 column is typically Kessler-esque bit of Romney-fluffing, complaining that "the press once again is ignoring those qualities in the leading Republican candidate that anyone would focus on when hiring a new employee." He recycles an anecdote from his 2007 profile of Romney about how Romney helped locate the teenage daughter of one of his Bain Capital partners after she disappeared following a "rave party" where she had "become high on ecstasy" -- "The fact is Romney saved the young girl’s life," Kessler declared.
Kessler goes on to tout Romney's business experience:
Few voters know that Mitt Romney holds degrees from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. Few know that as a founder of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm, Romney decided to invest in Staples when it had not yet opened its first office supply store. Thomas G. Stemberg, its founder, told Bain Capital that companies spent more on office supplies than they realized. He also cited the growing number of self-employed people who work at home and would patronize a discount stationery store.
Today, Staples employs 70,000 people. Besides Staples, Romney’s Bain Capital started or acquired such companies as Domino’s Pizza, Sealy, Brookstone, and Sports Authority, helping to create jobs for literally millions of people over the years.
Contrary to the spin by opponents, Romney’s Bain Capital represented capitalism at its best.
Kessler concludes with a final fit of Romney-fluffing:
Instead of Bain Capital’s more than a hundred success stories that put food on the table for American families, you will see articles on the handful of instances when Bain had to shutter the doors of companies it acquired because they were losing money.
By ignoring such signs of character and competence in the Republican front-runner, the press does a disservice to the American people.
Romney's company created jobs for "literally millions of people over the years"? Even Romney himself has never claimed creating more than 100,000 jobs, nearly all of which were at two companies, Staples and Sports Authority (and even then, Romney is overstating the facts).
And the Bain Capital record is not "more than a hundred success stories" versus a "handful" of failures. According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 77 companies Bain invested in while Romney headed it, 22 percent of them ultimately closed or filed for bankruptcy, and an additional 8 percent ran into so much trouble that all of the money Bain invested was lost.
Now that Newsmax has finally unleashed Kessler, expect more factually challenged Romney-fluffing like this for months to come.
Farah Tries to Keep Zombie Lie Alive Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've documented, the fact that Obama's 2008 reference to a "civilian national security force" involved an expansion of the foreign service and diplomatic and humanitarian aid hasn't kept WorldNetDaily from regularly lying about it and that Obama really meant he wanted to imprison his political enemies.
WND editor Joseph Farah gives the zombie lie another tired go-round in his Jan. 8 column, falsely asserting that "the media compliantly declined to pursue an explanation of Obama’s call for the creation of a 'civilian national security force.'" That's because the media didn't need to becuase Obama already did.
It's stunning that Farah would continue to peddle this baldfaced lie to his readers, long after it has been exposed as a lie.
Farah goes on to whine, "In short, he probably thinks people like me, who stand firmly behind the Constitution, represent more of a threat to national security than did Osama bin Laden." Hardly -- the only threat Farah poses with his lies is to ethical, honest journalism.
Newsmax's Walsh Takes Obama Out of Context Topic: Newsmax
Immigrant-basher James Walsh writes in his Jan. 10 Newsmax column about President Obama's speech in Osawatomie, Kansas:
Obama stated that cutting taxes and reducing regulations form an unworkable theory.
He said, “Now, it is a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA . . . Here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked.”
Thus Obama’s Osawatomie speech denigrated American individuality, creativity, independence, and belief that a big-brother government of entitlements doesn’t know best.
Walsh is selectively quoting Obama to mislead about what he said. Here's the full quote from the speech:
Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes -- especially for the wealthy -- our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.
Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.
Obama clearly did not say that "cutting taxes and reducing regulations form an unworkable theory" -- he said that simply relying only on tax and regulation breaks for the wealthy, as conservatives like Walsh appear to be advocating, don't wrok.
At WND, Transgenderism Means "Free Pass to Shower With Opposite Sex" Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily hates gay people, so it's not suprising that it would demonstrate similar hostility toward transgender people.
A Jan. 4 WND article by Bob Unruh about an anti-discrimiation law in one Maryland county carries the bizarre headline "Wow! Free pass to shower with the opposite sex"and includes, for no apparent reason, a screen shot from the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
How does WND make such a link between transgenderism and showers? By uncritically repeating the claims of opponents of the bill.
Unruh asserts that the anti-discrimination law has "become known as the 'coed showers' bill," continuing:
The law provides “discrimination” protections for transgenders, and critics say it opens up virtually all of the county – from shower rooms to restrooms to other private areas – to anyone who states he or she is of a certain gender. For example, a man dressing as a woman would be allowed, under penalty of discrimination laws, into a women’s locker room, shower room or restroom.
This line of attack appears to be coming from the group Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government, which opposes the anti-discrimination law. Unruh links to the group's website, "notmyshower.com." The group asserts that "women and children need to be protected from indecency and predators in rest rooms and showers. It has always been appropriate to discriminate by gender in public accommodations."
Invoking coed showers is WND's preferred method of fearmongering against equal rights for transgenders. For example, an April 2010 column by raging homophobe Les Kinsolving, carrying the headline "What's next? Transgender showers for kids," railed against a proposed anti-discrimination law in Maine by playing the shower card:
How would you react if your daughter were forced by a school to share showers and toilet rooms with a transgender?
I would have raised hell about such sexual insanity – as I will if either of my two granddaughters is ordered into such absolute idiocy.
But this so-called Human Rights Commission – which should have been renamed Human Wrongs Commission – wanted to inject a sexually altered boy into the girls’ showers and toilet rooms!
CNS Official Admits Attack Nature Of Its Anti-Obama Stories Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Jan. 4 post, CNSNews.com director of communications Craig Bannister does a fine job of what it wants readers to take away from the top attacks it published on its website, which were masquerading as "news" stories and most of which were devoted to attacking President Obama:
#1. Kagan to Tribe on Day Obamacare Passed: ‘I Hear They Have the Votes, Larry!! Simply Amazing.’
Lesson: Just because an Obama-appointed Supreme Court justice said it in her Senate testimony, doesn’t necessarily make it true.
#2. U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Pays Homage to Obama—But Not Jesus
Lesson: The Obama administration needs Linus Van Pelt to explain what Christmas is all about.
#3. China Has Divested 97 Percent of Its Holdings in U.S. Treasury Bills
Lesson: Spending with wanton (or, wonton) disregard for your country’s finances will reduce the yen for your nation’s debt.
#4. Obama on Congresswoman: You Want Her 'In Your Foxhole' Because She’s ‘Charming,’ Has ‘Cute Smile’
Lesson: Obama can get away with being politically incorrect, even if you can’t.
#5. Fmr. Clinton Adviser: 'Very Possible' Obama Will Bow Out of Presidential Race - For Now
Lesson: Hope springs eternal.
#6. Report: Doctors Refusing to Treat Overweight Patients
Lesson: Obamacare is already presenting some big problems.
7. Obama Administration Exempting Schools From Federal Law’s Testing Mandate
Lesson: If the Obama administration has an unworkable plan, it’ll just issue a waiver (a la Obamacare).
8. Warren Buffett’s Taxing the Rich Won't Solve Deficit, Says Tax Foundation
Lesson: Obama can’t eliminate the deficit by taxing the “rich” – but, he could by taking every penny from every American he thinks has too much. Be afraid; be very afraid.
9. Muslim Group Offends Some Christians With Jesus Advertisements
Lesson: Not everything’s about Obama. Unless, of course, you work for the liberal media.
10. DNC Chair: Republicans Believe Illegal Immigration 'Should be a Crime'
Lesson: Liberal logic does not even remotely resemble our Earth logic.
Thanks, Craig, for confirming that CNS is more interested in being a factory for right-wing talking points than it is for disseminating "news."
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily's Year of Gay-Bashing Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND spent 2011 peddling lots of anti-gay hatred, from selling a discredited book linking gays to Nazis to baselessly linking the Penn State child abuse scandal to homosexuality. Read more >>
CNS' Jeffrey Makes Irrelevent, Misleading Comparison Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey forwards one of the dumber comparisons we've seen in a Jan. 8 article, best summed up by the headline: "Stephanopoulos Questioning Pelosi on Gov't Role in Contraception: 100 Words; Questioning GOP Candidates: 1,000 Words."
In fact, the discussions in question were of two completely different subjects. The Pelosi discussion involved money from the stimulus bill used for family planning; the questioning of Republican presidential candidates involved whether contraception should even be legal, focusing on the constitutionality of the 1965 Supereme Court decision Griswold v. Connecticut, which prevented states from banning contraceptives.
Further, ABC's George Stephanopoulos was questioning several GOP candidates, compared with a single person in Pelosi, so Jeffrey's comparison is even more misleading.
WND Downplays Professor's Promotion of Discredited Vaccine-Autism Theiory Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Jan. 6 WorldNetDaily article has an author identity crisis. It carries the byline of WND news editor Jay Baggett, but it also begins "By Dave Tombers." Why doesn't Tombers, who has written numerous articles for WND, get his own article archive?
Regardless of the actual authorship, the article is mostly a rewrite of an Alliance Defense Fund press release about John Oller Jr., a professor at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette who is being represented by the ADF in suing his school because, according to Baggett/Tombers, "he has been targeted by fellow faculty members over his views on creation and intelligent design." Baggett/Tombers adds that "Oller repeatedly has been damaged because of the views expressed in his public lectures and published works on communicative disorders, autism causation and intelligent design."
Note that term "autism causation," which comes straight from the ADF press release and is not addressed elsewhere in the Baggett/Tombers article, despite the ADF complaint itself focusing much more on the autism stuff than intelligent design. Baggett/Tombers also reproduces a quote from the complaint purportedly by a colleague of Oller's saying that "Apparently he [Dr. Oller] doesn’t have much understanding of this issue" without noting that the colleague was referring to Oller's views on "autism causation."
And just what are those views? Oller clings to the discredited view that vaccines cause autism. Oller is so committed to this view, apparently, that Oller wrote a book on the subject that, according to the Independent Weekly, contains a foreword by Andrew Wakefield, the researcher who claims about a relationship between vaccines and autism were retracted by the medical journal that first published them, which later declared Wakefield's research to be an "elaborate fraud."
The Independent Weekly also points out that Oller is a linguist by education who has no expertise in immunology or biological sciences.
Change.org notes that Oller is so anti-vaccine that he even disputes the fact that vaccines have virtually eradicated smallpox and polio.
It's clear that the university's problem with Oller stems much more from his clinging to discredited claims about vaccines and autism than about intelligent design, yet WND makes sure to hide that inconvenient fact. Perhaps because WND itself promoted the vaccine-autism conspiracy before it was discredited and remains an opponent of vaccines.
Newsmax Not Quite As Hot for Gingrich in New Hampshire Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax got solidly behind Newt Gingrich in Iowa, from essentially endorsing him to buying airtime in the state for a half-hour informercial for him to insisting his fourth-place finish was a wonderful thing.
For New Hampshire, Newsmax has become less aggressive in its support for Gingrich and more focused on bashing front-runner Mitt Romney.
Opportunities for Newsmax to buy airtime for its Gingrich informercial are limited because essentially all of the available TV airtime in the state was spoken for well before the votes in Iowa were counted.
A Jan. 8 article by Tim Collie features an "exclusive interview" with Joe McQuaid, publisher of the Manchester Union Leader, which endorsed Gingrich. McQuaid not only touted the paper's Gingrich endorsement but argued that Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry "soon may have to muster their forces and unite behind one conservative to challenge GOP frontrunner and moderate Mitt Romney."
A Jan. 8 column by Newsmax editor Christopher Ruddy criticized Romney for lacking vision while touting Gingrich being a "visionary":
Newt Gingrich is not so much charismatic as he is a visionary. In fact, he’s a born visionary; his head is a virtual popcorn maker of ideas. This vision stuff — Gingrich talks incessantly about American exceptionalism — excites people.
When he visited Staten Island, N.Y., to accept the endorsement of its former Congressman Vito Fossella, Gingrich electrified the crowd of nearly 800 that turned out for the appearance, according to a local newspaper. This is in a New York City borough.
Ruddy didn't mention that Fossella -- whom Newsmax has tried torehabitate -- left office in disgrace after a DUI arrest led to the revelation that Fossella had a mistress in Washington and fathered a child with her, making an endorsement from him less than wonderful.
Newsmax also had a weird nexus of its preferred candidates in a Jan. 6 article nothing that former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum had signed on as chairman of Gingrich's campaign in Florida. Newsmax endorsed McCollum, and Ruddy raised money for him, in the 2010 Republican primary for Florida governor. McCollum lost, after which Newsmax flip-flopped and endorsed his victorious rival, Rick Scott.
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.