Newsmax readers didn't see that same level of coverage, however, when it came to an interview given to ABC News by Gingrich's second ex-wife, Marianne, in which she says some unflattering things about him. Newsmax kept the coverage relegated to wireaccounts that weren't promoted as enthusiastically as, say, the polling results.
MRC: NY Times 'Mars Memory of Cracker Barrel Founder' By Telling the Truth Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center, it seems, can't handle the truth.
A Jan. 19 MRC TimesWatch item by Clay Waters carries the headline "No Rest in Peace for Gay Rights: Times Mars Memory of Cracker Barrel Founder." Waters complains that a New York Times obituary on Danny Evins, founder of the Cracker Barrel chain of restaurants, "heavily emphasized his 20-year-old position on openly gay employees," dismissing this as "old news."
Um, aren't you supposed to recount the major events of one's life in a obituary, no matter how old? And Cracker Barrel's anti-gay discrimination, while not illegal at the time but characterized by what the Times called its "blatancy," is certainly an event worth noting.
One gets the feeling that Waters wishes that Evins could still be getting away with doing that -- which, of course, would make this an unsurprising part of the MRC's anti-gay agenda.
WND's Unruh Ignores Facts, Fairness In Anti-Gay Attack on SPLC Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've documented how Bob Unruh gave up a 30-year career in real journalism to peddle bias, stenography and unfairness -- the kinds of things no real news organization would publish -- at WorldNetDaily. Unruh serves up another textbook example of how far his journalistic standards have fallen in a Jan. 17 WND article.
Unruh uses this article to uncritically repeat the agenda of groups such as Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, in this case highlighting a protest by said groups against the Southern Poverty Law Center for daring to criticize their anti-gay agenda. Of the article's 28 paragraph, Unruh devotes 23 of them to bashing the SPLC. Here are the only three paragraphs in which Unruh allows the SPLC to respond to the criticism:
The SPLC declined to respond to a WND request for comment about the news conference. But the organization did post online a statement slamming those who participated.
The SPLC said, “Claiming that the SPLC is engaged in a ‘campaign to demonize adherents of traditional Judeo-Christian morality,’ the white organizers of the press conference are brining along a set of black pastors is a presumed bid to embarrass the SPLC.”
The statement attacked LaBarbera and said his description of homosexuality as “lethal” is wrong.
That's all Unruh will allow the SPLC say in his article, despite linking to a much longer statement on the SPLC website, which further details the criticism the SPLC has made against AFTAH and other anti-gay groups. Thus, Unruh failed to mention the SPLC's most direct response to the protesters:
The irony is that SPLC has named five of the participating organizations as hate groups precisely because they demonize LGBT people, using a series of well-worn lies to paint gays and lesbians as perverts, pedophiles and worse. Despite the claims of the groups, the SPLC is not attacking anyone’s morality. Instead, our hate group listings reflect the fact that they regularly propagate known falsehoods.
Take the press conference’s chief organizer, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), and its leader, Peter LaBarbera. In 2007, LaBarbera claimed that there was “a disproportionate incidence of pedophilia” among gay men — a devastating accusation, but one that is entirely false, according to all the relevant scientific organizations. LaBarbera has compared the alleged dangers of homosexuality to those of “smoking, alcohol and drug abuse” and the AFTAH website describes it as a “lethal behavior addiction.” AFTAH has also claimed that an anti-bullying bill in California promoted cross-dressing and sex-change operations, among other things, to kindergartners and other children.
Why did Unruh edit the SPLC's response so severely? Is it because of petulance at the group for refusing to give a special response to WND? Or is it because a fuller response would have interfered with the slant of his article? Probably both. After all, if Unruh had noted that the SPLC had caught LaBarbera andAFTAH in numerous falsehoods, Unruh would have had to spend precious time explaining that way that he apparently decided could be better spent uncriticially pushing his employer's anti-gay agenda.
Clearly, WND is not paying Unruh to deviate from that agenda -- it's paying him to promote it, no matter how many inconvenent truths he has to ignore in the process.
That could be called many things, but journalism isn't one of them.
CNS Ratchets Up Anti-Gay Rhetoric Topic: CNSNews.com
It turns out that CNSNews.com giving space earlier this month to anti-gay activist Randy Thomasson was just the beginning.
In a Jan. 9 article, Christopher Goins gives space to Michael Brown to assert that "Conservative Christians need to take a stand and speak out on the transformation of the American culture by homosexual activism."If that name sounds familiar, it's because WorldNetDaily embraced his anti-gay activism last year. As we detailed, Brown thinks homosexuality is no different than pedophilia (while, of course, denying he was doing any such thing).
In a Jan. 16 article, Pete Winn highlights how a group of orthdodox Jewish clergymen called Mitt Romney "a dangerous homosexualist," featuring claims by the group's spokesman, Rabbi Yehuda Levin.Needless to say, Winn avoided reporting on Levin's more bizarrely homophobic pronouncements, such as blaming last summer's East Coast earthquake on New York and Washington, D.C., approving gay marriage, or blaming the murder of an 8-year-old boy in Brooklyn's Orthodox community on gay marriage.
Despite the fact that CNS' parent organization, the Media Research Center, regularly criticizes the media for not presenting both sides of an issue -- a Jan. 18 MRC item on Piers Morgan and Rosie O'Donnell criticizing anti-gay Republicans, for example, stated that Morgan "ever seriously tried to provide the conservative side of the debate on homosexuality and same-sex marriage" -- neither Goins nor Winn ever seriously tried to provide the liberal side of the debate on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
On top of Penny Starr's latest anti-gay freakout over yet another art exhibit, it looks like CNS is getting fully in line with its parent organization's anti-gay agenda. Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey apparently doesn't mind that between this and the rabid Obama-hating, his "news" organization is looking more and more like WND every day.
Newsmax Fires Up the Gingrich Hype Machine Again Topic: Newsmax
After dialing things back in New Hampshire following an all-out effort in Iowa -- both of which couldn't get its candidate to finish any higher than fourth place -- Newsmax appears to be cranking up the Newt Gingrich hype machine once again just in time for the South Carolina primary.
A Jan. 14 "exclusive interview" by Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter touts Gingrich's claim that "any primary vote that is not for the former House speaker is a vote for Mitt Romney." A Jan. 16 article by Paul Scicchitano highlighted how "Gingrich appeared to score big points in Monday night’s two-hour Republican debate, according to an analysis by Fox News," adding: 'More importantly, Gingrich’s response to questions on the economy, foreign policy, and race in particular appeared to resonate well with the national viewing audience, who were invited to assess whether they felt candidates had answered questions — or attempted to dodge them — using the Twitter social media website to register their responses."
Meyers returns to crank up the level of fawning in a Jan. 17 article:
Newt Gingrich is garnering high praise for his performance in Monday night’s presidential debate in South Carolina — a dazzling success that drew an unprecedented standing ovation and could propel him back into close contention for the nomination.
And his sharp-edged response to a question from Fox News contributor Juan Williams may have generated the buzz equaled only by Ronald Reagan’s famous 1980 New Hampshire debate outcry, “I am paying for this microphone.”
Will Newsmax be buying TV time to run that so-called "campaign special" informercial for Gingrich in South Carolina the way it did in Iowa? We shall see, though that may be less a function of desire than available TV time in the state.
UPDATE: Newsmax keeps up the hype in a Jan. 18 article by Martin Gould, who reports that "Newt Gingrich is closing in fast on Mitt Romney just three days before the vital South Carolina primary," adding that "Now all eyes will be on Thursday night’s debate in North Charleston, S.C. when Gingrich will again try to use his rhetorical skills to catch his principal rival."
We suspect, however, that all eyes will be on Gingrich's debate performance for a different reason.
MRC Still Won't Break Down Fox News Debate Questions By Ideology Topic: Media Research Center
We've detailed how the Media Research Center has been quick to inform its readers how many questions in Republican presidential debates sponsored last year by networks such as NBC and CNN were "liberal" or "conservative" -- but not for the debate sponsored by Fox News. That blind spot continues in the latest round of debates.
The MRC was quick to roll out predictable critiques of debates hosted by ABC and NBC:
But when it came to the debate Fox News hosted on Jan. 16, the MRC was, as before, not interested in breaking down the questions by ideology -- even as it attacked one of the questions.
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard highlighted the "rather testy exchange with Fox News's Juan Williams" over Williams' suggestion that Gingrich was "racially insensitive" by claiming that black Americans lack a work ethic. Sheppard responded: "Despite his likely respect for his former Fox colleague, it was nice to see Gingrich do this. As NewsBusters has been reporting for months the media are going to constantly bring race into the discussion to assist Obama's reelection." But at no point did Sheppard attack Williams for asking a question "from the left."
Is the MRC so afraid of Fox News that it will avoid telling the truth about Fox News out of fear of offending them? Or does the MRC simply give Fox a pass no matter how egregious the behavior?
Then again, MRC chief Brent Bozell clearly feels so comfortable on Fox that he'll call President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead" without fear of retribution.
WND's Corsi Tries to Whitewash Charges Against Arpaio Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi keeps up his borderline illegal fanboy-esque slobbering over Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio in a Jan. 16 WorldNetDaily column.
Corsi does his best to paint Arpaio as the noble victim of a conspiracy against him led by none other than President Obama:
What is shaping up is an epic political battle in which the Obama White House has decided to launch a full-scale assault against local Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
In other words, the national battle on both illegal immigration and on the Obama birth certificate is rapidly coming down to a local duel that can be properly billed much like a heavyweight prizefight, as “Obama v. Arpaio.”
Moreover, it appears the White House has set February as the month Arpaio has either to comply with the Department of Justice demands, or face Eric Holder in federal court.
This is not coincidental.
Corsi is referring here to the investigation into whether Arpaio and his deputies committed civil rights violations against Hispanics. Corsi conveniently fails to mentiont that, as the Arizona Republic pointed out, this investigation began under the Bush administration, and it could have been completed sooner had Arpaio's office cooperated and not forced federal officals to go tocourt to obtain records. In other words, the timing of this investigation is largely a problem of Arpaio's making, not Holder's.
Corsi also tries to dismiss accusation that Arpaio's office botched hundreds of sex-crime investigations, calling it an "old story" and insisting that "the city of Phoenix has five times the uninvestigated sex crimes Sheriff Arpaio’s office supposedly mishandled." At no point, however, does Corsi address the substance of the charges or explain why it's relevant that other jurisdictions have more supposedly mishandled crimes that Arpaio's office.
As he has before, Corsi denounces an effort to remove Arpaio from office, attacking its leader, Randy Parraz, as having a "leftist Saul Alinsky background." And as before, Corsi doesn't explain the relevance of such an accusation -- he clearly has no other purpose than to hurl an ad hominem attack at Parraz.
Corsi even falsely attacks the Hispanic group La Raza:
La Raza even today retains its founding political agenda that major portions of the American Southwest should be returned to Mexico and/or allowed to form a mystical nation of indigenous Indians and Latinos, called “Atzlan.”
Truly, La Raza activists hold the extreme view that the United States should concede back to one form or another of Hispanic rule major portions of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas (at a minimum), under the presumption that an Anglo-dominated United States that communists and the radical left in general view as a capitalist, imperialist nation with colonial ambitions.
La Raza is not an "extreme" group who wants to return the southwester U.S. to Mexico -- in fact, it explicitly rejects that view.
But Corsi still isn't done painting Arpaio as a victim, or slobbering over him:
What the White House appears to hate is that Arpaio is an elected law enforcement officer who remains enormously popular in Maricopa County, precisely because he has the courage to stand up to their Saul Alinsky bullying tactics.
Since the White House declared war on Arpaio, he has announced both his decision to seek re-election this November as Maricopa County sheriff and his willingness to take on the wildly partisan Obama DOJ in federal court.
In the final analysis, Arpaio remains a hero to millions of law-abiding citizens across America precisely because today he still retains the same respect for law that has served to distinguish him throughout his five-decades-long career in law enforcement.
Remember, such sycophancy is being done in hopes that Arpaio's "cold case posse" will ignore a complete summation of the facts and return a birther investigation that comports with WND's birther obsession. So consider Corsi's slobbering just another bribe from WND to that end.
UPDATE: TPM reports that Arpaio is still being uncooperative, meaning that the reason this investigation is being dragged out is because of Arpaio himself, not the Obama administration.
Sheppard Approves of Gingrich Demanding That Romney Do Something Illegal Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard uses a Jan. 16 NewsBusters post to highlight Newt Gingrich's attack on Mitt Romney in which Gingrich claimed that "Mitt Romney's inability to control what a Super PAC supporting him says 'makes you wonder how much influence he’d have if he were President.'"
It's a strange thing for Sheppard to highlight, given that it would be illegal for a candidate to have any control over the super PAC supporting him. It's doubly strange because Gingrich has no control over his super PAC either -- to the point where he has to beg his super PAC to fix inaccurate claims in an anti-Romney video it released.
Why did Sheppard highlight this exchange without bothering to report all the relevant facts? Um, because he's incompetent?
Kessler Keeps Up the Romney-Fluffing Topic: Newsmax
Now that Newsmax has unleashed Ronald Kessler to do some Romney-fluffing, Kessler is rushing to take advantage of the opportunity.
For his second such article in three days, a Jan. 13 column by Kessler touts how one of Mitt Romney's co-founders in BainCapital presents the private equity firm's experience with office-supply retailer Staples as a "microcosm" of how the firm did business. Kessler does his best to embellish things further:
The Romney campaign has said that Bain helped create 100,000 jobs while Romney was at its helm. That is clearly a gross underestimate. Today, Staples alone employs 90,000 people and has 2,000 stores. Over the years, that means more than a million people have had jobs because of Staples alone.
Bain Capital went on to help launch or acquire more than 100 companies, including Domino’s Pizza, Sealy, Brookstone, The Sports Authority, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Toys "R" Us.
Kessler even throws in the bonus commentary from his buddy and fellow Romney-fluffer David Keene. If you'll recall, Kessler had penned a Romney-fluffing column featuring Keene when Newsmax was plugging its Donald Trump-hosted debate. When Romney declined to take part in the debate, Kessler's column mysteriously disappeared.
CNS' Jeffrey Slobbers All Over Mark Levin Topic: CNSNews.com
When an interviewee begins his interview with the words, "How are you, brother?" and the interviewer is not in a religious order, you know you're in for a huge chunk of softball.
That's exactly how radio host Mark Levin, who has a new book to promote, begins his interview with CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey. Clearly, Levin is not expecting to field any tough questions, and Jeffrey keeps the sofballs coming:
"And as I was reading your book--and it had been a while since I looked at The Communist Manifesto--I'm thinking: Well, am I reading the Democratic Party platform here or am I reading The Communist Manifesto? ... Compare modern liberals in America today to this vision that Marx and Engels had in The Communist Manifesto?"
"Mark, in 'Ameritopia' you write, let me quote you back to yourself, you say of John Locke, 'Early in the Second Treatise of Government, Locke introduces the notion that of an individual’s God-given and inalienable rights, in which all individuals are entitled and which provide the moral condition of a civil society.' ... What kind of impact did this kind of thinking have on the Founding Fathers, for our country?"
"You look at things that are happening in American government today. You have a House of Representatives that is occasionally supine in resisting the Executive Branch, or a Congress in general, that is. You have a president who just a week ago appointed a director to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, three members to the National Labor Relations Board, theoretically as a recess appointment, but under the plain terms of the Constitution the Congress was not in recess. Do we see an erosion in America today of the separation of powers, the systems of checks and balances that Montesquieu envisioned?"
"And do you believe we’re reaching an endgame here where we either have to choose to just go to the financial and freedom disaster of the welfare state or really roll the federal government back and move back to a free society?"
"On a few occasions Mark, when President Obama has alluded to the Declaration of Independence, he has very cleverly edited it--dropped out the Creator, nowhere our rights came from. Do you believe that Obama’s fundamental vision--with his talk about class war and victims and victimizers, and the way he frames the political debate--that his fundamental vision is basically Marxist, is basically similar to the sort of vision that Karl Marx and Engels were laying out?"
So, yeah. CNS is not about journalism -- it's about manufacturing right-wing talking points. Terry Jeffrey has seen to that.
A Jan. 15 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh promotes a new "quo warranto" lawsuit over Barack Obama’s presidential eligibility, making a big deal of the status of the filer as a self-proclaimed "contender for the presidency."
Unruh pumps up the credentials of the filer, "former lawyer" Montgomery Blair Sibley, citing his "a colorful history, including a grandfather who was the last private owner of Blair House – now a government property – across from the White House." But Sibley's background is much more colorful that Unruhdescribed it, starting with the reason Sibley is a "former lawyer."
That's because Sibley has been disbarred first in Florida in 2008 and then in a reciprocal action in the District of Columbia. The D.C. disbarment ruling contains the background of the case.
Sibley failed to pay his ex-wife child support, in an amount that ultimately totaled $100,000 by the time Florida authorites found him in contempt and ordered him incarcerated. Meanwile, Sibley was sanctioned for filing "vexatious and meritless litigation" regarding his divorce. According to the Washington Post, Sibley once threatened his wife: "We will litigate until I am disbarred and bankrupt if necessary."
In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court appointed a referee to the Sibley case, finding that Sibley had willfully failed to pay child support and had initiated meritless litigation and recommended suspension of Sibley's law license, for which he must show fitness for reinstatement.
Unruh writes of Sibley's lawsuit that he states that "given his access to the Internet and mobile information technology, his support could rise quickly." That dramatically understates what Sibley actually said:
While this Court is doubtlessly paled by the implications that flow from this Petition for Writ of Quou Warranto reaching a jury, the impact and reach of the present day Internet and Mobile Information Technology platforms create a force multiplier effect which could benefit Sibley in his campaign which has known no like since Leonidas of Sparta chose the ground of Thermopylae to make his stand.
Sibley also repeatedly misspells Obama's name as "Barrack" throughout.
Unruh did mention that Sibley is a former attorney for "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey, but not that, according to the Washington Post, federal prosecutors in Palfrey's case said that Sibley's filings are so ignorant of basic legal tenets that they are "almost incoherent."
Further, you may remember Sibley as the former lawyer for the utterly discredited (and WND-promoted) Larry Sinclair. Sibley showed up at an infamous press conference for Sinclair wearing a kilt, which he justified by talking about his genitalia.
Funny that Unruh didn't mention any of this. Can the birther case really be all that formidible if the best person WND can come with to defend it is a disbarred lawyer?
AIM Bashes CREW, Doesn't Disprove CREW's Criticism of Santorum Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Jan. 9 Accuracy in Media column, Cliff Kincaid rants about Ron Paul used "Soros-funded research" in an attack ad target Republican rival Rick Santorum, clarifying: "The Soros organization alluded to by Santorum is the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). It is the source of the corruption charge against Santorum in the Ron Paul ad."
At no point does Kincaid identify the corruption charges CREW leveled against Santorum -- let alone disprove any of them. Instead, Kincaid mindlessly repeated criticism of CREW from Santorum and other right-wingers accused of shady dealings by the group.
Since Kincaid won't acknowledge this, here are the allegations leveled against Santorum by CREW in 2006, which caused CREW to place Santorum on its list of most corrupt congressmen that year:
Even though Santorum and his family lived in Virginia, his children attended a cyber charter school based in Pennsylvania, at an estimated cost to local taxpayers of $72,000.
Santorum and his PAC received political donations from companies that Santorum-promoted legislation would benefit from.
Santorum received a special mortage that his financial records indicate he didn't qualify for.
As CREW has pointed out, Santorum has not responded to the substance of these charges. We suspect Kincaid won't either.
As a sidelight, Kincaid tacitly admitted that Fox News' coverage has a vindictive right-wing bias. After noting that CREW recently issued a press release "highlighting Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corporation, parent of Fox News, as 'scoundrel of the year'," Kincaid added, "Perhaps this has something to do with Fox News running a story on CREW’s frivolous complaints against Republicans."
Yet somehow, in Kincaid's eyes, CREW is biased and Fox News is not. Go figure.
WND's Farah: Eligibility Questions (About People Other Than Obama) Are A Distraction Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah is annoyed. The editor of WorldNetDaily and prominent birther has discovered that questioning the eligibility of a presidential candidate can be a distraction.
Here's how Farah begins his January 13 WND column:
How do these things get started?
No wonder people are so confused about the issues of the day.
I am literally deluged with emails from Americans insisting that Mitt Romney is not constitutionally eligible to be president.
It's not true.
Really? The man whose website is so obsessed with the eligibility of Barack Obama to be president that it ignores facts and descends into the realm of absurdity is wondering how such things "get started"?
Furthermore, while I remain a strong advocate of the position that Obama is not eligible for a variety of reasons, I have never made this assertion based on the fact that I detest everything for which he stands. That assertion is based on fact, on reality, on verifiable truth.
Given his willingness to overlook overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it's difficult to believe that Farah would be such a "strong advocate" of Obama's purported ineligibility if he did not "detest everything for which he stands." As for Farah's claim that his assertion "is based on fact, on reality, on verifiable truth," this ignores reality as well. For example, a new book debunks many birther claims, and one prominent birther, Philip Berg, has shot down the WND-promoted idea that Obama is using a fake Social Security number. Curiously, WND has yet to report on either of these things, and WND's Jerome Corsi has refused to debate the book's author about his conclusions.
Farah then complains again that questions about Romney's eligibility is becoming a distraction to "my team at WND":
So can you please stop writing to me and to my team at WND with suggestions that Mitt Romney fails the constitutional eligibility test? It's not true.
I don't think he gets a passing grade on understanding and interpreting the Constitution, but - unfortunately, from my perspective - he passes the litmus test for serving as president.
Can we move on to more substantive issues in this campaign?
Presumably, Farah and his WND team don't think eligibility questions about Obama are a distraction from "more substantive issues," even though no factual basis for them exists.
MRC's Graham Wants You To Believe Michelle Obama Is An 'Angry Black Woman' Topic: Media Research Center
If one needs evidence that Michelle Obama's complaint about media portrayals of her as an "angry black woman" are entirely justified, one needs look further than the Media Research Center.
A Jan. 15 NewsBusters post by MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham carries thte headline "Newsweek Slams Liberal Reporter For Ignoring Angry Michelle Obama's 'Grace, Charm, and Intellect'." It's accompanied by a picture (which curiously shows up only in summary form) of a particularly angry-looking Michelle:
In the post, Graham is contradictory, mocking Obama's concern about the image by stating that Jodi Cantor's book "somehow caused the First Lady to assert she was being painted as an angry black woman," then sneering, "Black women apparently never get angry -- it's too stereotypical to notice if they do."
Of course, the image of Michelle Obama as perpetually angry is one Graham is all to happy to perpetuate, no matter how far from reality it is. After all, like any good MRC employee, slavishly following right-wing talking points is more important than telling the truth.