NewsBusters' Sheppard Likens Al Sharpton to Jefferson Davis Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard goes a bizarre rant in a Feb. 11 NewsBusters post over Al Sharpton's contention that a person's basic rights shouldn't be put to a vote.
Sheppard asserted that Sharpton's statement is "something that every American on both sides of the aisle should totally fear," adding:
As should be obvious, the discussion was dealing with the 9th Circuit Court in California striking down that state's Proposition 8 which made same sex marriages illegal.
National Review's Salam observed that the people's voice in such a controversial issue is essential in actually resolving the matter long term. Here we are almost 40 years after nine justices on the Supreme Court decided the fate of abortion in this country and we're still arguing about it.
As such, maybe citizens' views in such a contentious matter should be required to truly settle it.
When Sharpton said to conservative writer Reihan Salam that "if you had civil rights voted on, I'd be sitting in the back of the bus and with a bad eye driver you'd be sitting next to me. So don't think about voting for rights," Sheppard freaked out even more:
First off, that was a despicably cheap shot at the dark-skinned Salam who's the son of Bangladeshi immigrants. Sadly, liberals have no problem making racially-insensitive comments aimed at conservatives.
Of course, Jim Crow-era discrimination laws did not cover only blacks but anyone of dark skin, so Sharpton's remark is accurate. Sheppard did not mention whether he thinks his boss Brent Bozell's claim that President looks like a "skinny ghetto crackhead" was a similar "despicably cheap shot" at a "dark-skinned" man.
But the rest of Sharpton's point was equally preposterous. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved by both chambers of Congress with wide majorities. It passed 289 to 126 in the House and 73 to 27 in the Senate.
Although this didn't come to a popular vote across the nation, at least 535 members of Congress representing the wishes of the electorate decided on this groundbreaking piece of legislation.
That's a far cry from what happened Tuesday when three judges - not appointed by the people of California but instead hand-picked by governors - overruled the wishes of millions of citizens they're supposed to serve.
Sheppard did not say whether he opposed Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court decision that desegregated public schools, because it was not put to a public vote. Nor does he explain why rights -- even basic rights such as those covered in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- should be granted only when "the majority" agrees they should be.
The capper of craziness, comes in an addition to the blog:
Update: Eagle-eyed Twitter follower @BrettBannor accurately notes that in his February 22, 1862, inaugural address, the Confederacy's Jefferson Davis also argued against "the tyranny of the majority." He was referring to the majority's wish to give slaves the right to be free.
I wonder if Sharpton would rail against "the tyranny of the majority" in this instance.
Yes, Sheppard is likening Sharpton to the president of the Confederacy. We can't even think of a response to that kind of stupidity.
WND's Corsi Still Sucking Up to Arpaio Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've detailed, WorldNetDaily appears to be trying to buy a favorable outcome from Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "cold case posse" birther investigation through fawning coverage, raising money for the posse investigation, and even airbrushing him out of controversies to keep him from being besmirched by it.
Jerome Corsi has been Arpaio's chief fluffer at WND. What has he been up to lately?
A Jan. 27 article touted how an "Obama supporter" was arrested for making a threat against Arpaio. Corsi was spoon-fed that claim from Arpaio himself: "The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in a press release Friday revealed that the suspect’s Internet postings indicate he is an avid supporter of Obama and that Arpaio’s ongoing investigation into the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate may be behind the threat to kill the sheriff." Corsi soes not offer any evidence to substantiate the claim.
Corsi proclaimed in a Feb. 6 article that Arpaio "told WND today his office has scheduled a news conference in Phoenix for March 1 to release findings of the Cold Case Posse that has been investigating Barack Obama’s birth certificate and eligibility to be president." Corsi did not disclose that he "spent 18 hours over a two-day period" testifying before the posse, nor has he indicated that the posse has ever taken testimony from people who were not birther conspiracists like himself. Corsi conculdes the article with a solicitation for donations to the posse.
Speaking of donations, WND has now sent out a total of seven emails to date to members of its mailing list begging for donations. The solicitation is in the form of a letter from WND editor Joseph Farah in which he claims that the posse investigaion "is likely our last chance to get to the truth about Obama and to restore constitutional integrity to our political system."
That wording tells us that Farah, Corsi and WND believe the investigation will be rigged in favor of birthers -- and that WND's sucking up to Arpaio is designed to help ensure that result.
Most people would call that bribery. What does WND call it?
More Bozell Jerkiness: Mocking A Writer He Disagrees With Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell was already exhibiting signs this past week of petulant jerkiness even before he pulled his Media Research Center out of CPAC in a snit over not being given a speaking slot he deemed beneath his supposed prominence.
On the Feb. 9 edition of Sean Hannity's Fox News show -- where he appears weekly to rehash right-wing anti-media talking points without fear of being contradicted by reality or a guest with opposing views, something Bozell is deathly afraid of -- Bozell did a childish mocking imitation of a Washington Post writer who wrote something he didn't like.
Does all of this, on top of last month's declaraion that President Obama looks like a "skinny ghetto crackhead," mean that the great Bozell meltdown we predicted a few years back is kicking in at last?
WND Takes Ginsburg Out of Context In Order to Call Her A Traitor Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is in full manufactured-freakout mode vover a statement by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that Egypt should look to constitutions newer than that of the United States in drafting a new constitution.
Joseph Farah called for Ginsburg's impeachment in his Feb. 10 WND column:
These quotes are nothing short of scandalous. They are borderline treasonous. But they also illustrate an absolute contempt for the U.S. Constitution – the one document Supreme Court justices are to use as their scale of justice.
But what should we expect from an old, bitter former political director of the American Civil Liberties Union?
The House of Representatives is today dominated by Republicans. And one brave person among the 241 of them should push for impeachment of Ginsburg based on her poor record and her flagrantly anti-constitutional position on the court. She is an embarrassment to the USA and for what it stands.
Ellis Washington -- who Washington has a history of lying about Ginsburg -- declared in his Feb. 10 column that Ginsburg was "anti-American," adding that "In my opinion Justice Ginsburg’s actions were tantamount to treason."
Both Farah and Washington, however, are plucking a single state by Ginsburg out of context and deliberately ignoring what she said in the rest of the 18-minute interview -- namely, that she spoke in defense of the Constitition.
GINSBURG: And the next will be the drafting of a constitution. Now I can't speak about what the Egyptian experience should be, because I'm operating under a rather old Constitution. The United States in comparison to Egypt is a very new nation, and yet we have the oldest written Constitution still enforced in the world. And it's a Constitution that starts out with three wonderful words: It's we the people. And so that's the motivating idea, is that the government is formed with the consent of the people and it should serve the interests of the people and not just, of all of the people and not just some of them.
One of my favorite provisions in our Constitution is the one that says that government shall not deny to any person the equal protection of the laws.
We were just tremendously fortunate in the United States that the men who met in Philadelphia were very wise.
So it's, the, the wisdom of the framers, they wrote in general terms, so they wrote, "no person shall be denied due process of law."
This is the person Farah and Washington want to impeach as a traitor. Either they are very stupid, or they are trying to manufacture outrage to gain a few readers.
MRC Loves Story of Kennedy Affair, But Shut Down Questions Over Gingrich's Affair Topic: Media Research Center
After the revelation that President John Kennedy used then-19-year-old White House intern Mimi Alford as a mistress, the Media Research Center has enjoyed reporting on it:
Brent Baker claimed that NBC's Brian Williams "conveyed the distress of JFK sycophants in his audience" over Alford's book on the affair, adding, "Apparently, covering up for Kennedy for 50 years is not long enough for the viewers of a network which employs people who write embarrassingly obsequious books like Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero."
Kyle Drennen highlighted Alford's "revealing interview" promoting her book and criticized those who gave "a sycophantic defense of the womanizing president."
Drennen claimed that NBC's Ann Curry "fretted over" Alford "sharing unflattering details about the late president."
Tim Graham complained that Barbara Walters was being a "shameless public hypocrite" for doing a book on the affair.
Mike Bates declared, "Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Bill Clinton shouldn't even be mentioned in the same context. They've never been accused of jetting women in for their satisfaction. Of directing girls to have sex with other men while they watched. Of forcing a woman to inhale a sex drug."
But when it came to an affair involving a Republican politician, the MRC wanted to shut down all discussion of it.
As se've documented, MRC chief Brent Bozell ran to the defense of Newt Gingrich when one of his ex-wives came forward to talk about his adultery, declaring it to be "systematic character assassination" and an "October Surprise of the worst sort" even though nobody has disputed the basic facts of the case. Further, the MRC also dismissed Marianne Gingrich as "bitter," suggesting she can't be trusted when, again, no one has forwarded any evidence to contradict her.
So, the MRC has no problem talking about politicians' affairs -- as long as that politician isn't a conservative. How that furthers the MRC's hollow campaign to "tell the truth," we have no idea.
Shocker: Newsmax Conducts Friendly Interview With Romney Topic: Newsmax
Given Newsmax's repeatedattacks on Mitt Romney -- as part of being in the tank for Newt Gingrich -- you'd think that when it got Romney alone for an interivew, it would go heavy and hostile.
But Newsmax's Feb. 10 interview with Romney is pretty tame. Kathleen Walter tosses mostly softballs; some potentially controversial issues are raised, such as Romney's commitment to conservatism and concerns about negative campaigning, but Walter frames them, as the rest of the questions, in a open-ended, how-do-you-respond format. That allows Romney to give a largely canned answer, and Walter doesn't probe Romney further, simply moving on to the next question.
So, why is Newsmax being nice to Romney all of a sudden? Is it preparing for the apparent inevitability of Romney being the nominee and the shilling it will eventually do for him in the fall campaign? After all, Newsmax quickly flip-flopped in the 2010 Florida governor's race, bashing the Republican who ran against its preferred candidate then, when the preferred candidate lost, supported the winner during the general election and ignored all the nasty things it said about him during the primary.
MRC Complains That NY Times Article On CPAC Uses The Word 'Conservative' Topic: Media Research Center
We are not making this up. From a Feb. 10 NewsBusters post by Clay Waters:
New York Times reporters Michael Shear (pictured) and Erik Eckholm filed an 1,189-word dispatch Friday from the Conservative Political Action Conference, the conservapalooza held annually in Washington, D.C. Perhaps caught up in the excitement, the reporters committed some amusing label overload: “Romney Takes Conservative Leaders’ Questions in Bid to ‘Reconnect’” contains 22 examples of the word “conservative,” the headline making 23.
Fifteen of those 22 incidents are descriptions of groups and individuals by the reporters themselves. By way of comparison, the common conjunction “and” appears 24 times.
That's right -- Waters is complaining that a story on a gathering of conservatives -- which has the word "conservative" in its name -- uses the word "conservative."
The MRC hasmade this sort of nonsensical complaint before.
Birther Diana West Complains About Being Dismissed As A Birther Topic: WorldNetDaily
In her Feb. 10 WorldNetDaily column, Diana West pretends to be shocked that "I can feel the chill hiss of 'birther' at the mere mention of these events" that she writes about. But she's gone birther before, and that's likely the reason WND runs her column.
West is writing about the Georgia court hearing in which the birthers couldn't even win despite the Obama side refusing to put up a defense. She praises how "Orly Taitz – object of an eternity’s worth of “two-minute hates” within the media mob – introduced evidence that the 44th president of the United States has engaged in what appears to be identity fraud." She continues:
Such evidence, as gleaned from a partial list of exhibits introduced in the hearing and published at the American Thinker website, included affidavits from security professionals and other documentation attesting that Obama is using a Connecticut Social Security number (he never lived in Connecticut); that Obama’s purported Social Security number was never issued to him; and that – my favorite – his Social Security number “does not pass E-Verify.” Another affidavit from an Adobe Illustrator expert maintains that Obama’s birth certificate, released last spring to much hype and ballyhoo, is a computer-generated forgery.
West has to ignore a lot of reality to think this stuff is somehow important. This includes the fact that prominent birther lawyer Phil Berg has shot down the idea that Obama is using a fraudulent Social Security number, that being a "Adobe Illustrator expert" is irrelevant when the PDF of Obama's birth certificate the birthers have spent so much time deconstructing was not created in Adobe Illustrator, and that people like Taitz who have made Obama's Social Security number so public are likely violating the law.
Yet, West whines that Obama should be held in "contempt of court" for not participating in the hearing. But West completely ignores the judge's ruling in the case, which found that "The Court finds testimony of the witnesses, as well as the exhibits tendered, to be of little, if any, probative value, and thus wholly insufficient to support Plaintiffs’ allegations."
West also makes this nonsensical statement:
Frankly, I was unimpressed with the presidential defense in pre-hearing arguments. For example, Jablonski tried to deflect the Social Security issue – which, after all, raises serious questions of fraud – by pointing out that “nothing in the Constitution makes … participating in Social Security a prerequisite to serving as president.” (So what’s a little felonious fraud?) On the “citizenship issue,” Jablonski declared the issue was “soundly rejected by 69,456,897 Americans in the 2008 elections, as it has been by every judicial body” since. Is he saying that a lot of votes or previous court actions nullify the legal merits of any new proceeding? I’m no lawyer, but that doesn’t seem like much of a legal argument.
Um, actually, previous court actions can nullify the legal merits of any new proceeding -- like Ankeny v. Daniels, which previously addressed many of the arguments on the Obama birther issue.
Dear Ms. West: There's a reason people dismiss you as a birther -- because you are.
Petulant Bozell, Denied Speaking Slot, Pulls MRC Out of CPAC Topic: Media Research Center
We already know that Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is a petulant jerk. How petulant? He just withdrew the MRC from the Conservative Political Action Conference because he wasn't granted a prominent speaking slot.
Sources tell The Daily Caller that the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog located in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., withdrew from the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday because its president, Brent Bozell, was not offered a “prominent” speaking slot at the annual conference.
MRC political director Christian Robey sent a staff-wide email Friday to employees making the announcement, and instructing staff not to attend any of the conference’s events. (RELATED: Full coverage of CPAC)
We have pulled out of CPAC. Please adjust your schedules accordingly and do not attend any CPAC events.
Kristi Campbell, a CPAC spokeswoman, confirmed that the MRC had withdrawn over the speaking slot.
“We offered Brent Bozell the opportunity to participate as a moderator and speaker of one of our events,” she said. “He chose not to accept that opportunity.”
No MRC website has reported this news, even though it occured several hours ago. Still, there is a sideshow over this going on in the form of a low-level Twitter fight between Jeff Poor, the Daily Caller writer who wrote the above report, and MRC researcher Matthew Balan, seemingly centered on Poor not disclosing that he formerly worked for the MRC.
If you'll recall, the MRC refused to participate in CPAC last year over its inclusion of a gay-conservative group (which was banned from this year's festivities). As we detailed, the MRC let WorldNetDaily break that news while not acknowledging it on its own websites until after CPAC was over.
MRC Suddenly Hates Leno, For Some Reason Topic: Media Research Center
We're not sure what triggered this, exactly, but the Media Research Center has suddenly decided that it hates Jay Leno.
In a Feb. 9 NewsBusters post, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth was offended that Leno "wondered why the Republican Party became so interested in social issues and theorized that a moderate Republican should be able to get elected President, as he suggested that a Republican who is liberal on social issues might appeal to someone like himself who 'couldn't care less about social issues.'" Oh, and "Leno made a crack about Republicans being afraid of condoms."
Meanwhile, over at the MRC's Culture & Media Institute, Paul Wilson went on a tirade about how "Leno declared that those who wish to defend the sanctity of marriage" -- which is right-wing-speak for opposing same-sex marriage -- "should 'ban Kardashian weddings.'" Wilson went on to assert that Leno was "mocking the sanctity of marriage" -- which, of course, he wasn't.
The bigger problem is that Wilson apparently believes that Kardashian-style blink-and-you'll-miss-it marriage is somehow more sacred than any relationship that involves a same-sex couple. That's the "sanctity" Wilson believes in?
Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, had been prepared to ask two questions, but was not allowed.
He had wanted to ask: “On Sunday, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote that Mormonism has jettisoned ‘a ban on black clergy members that was in place until 1978.’ Question. Does the White House believe this is an accurate report?”
He also wanted to ask, “Does the White House believe that Wikipedia is wrong in reporting that Elijah Able, a black Mormon, received the LDS priesthood in the 19th century, as did his son in 1900 and grandson in 1935.”
Yes, Kinsolving really was planning to ask about this.
As perusual, WND dubiously framed this as White House press secretary Jay Carney deliberately "declin[ing] to allow a question about issues that could play a role, even if subconsciously, in the 2012 election – that of being black and Mormon." As per usual, WND offers no evidence whatsoever that Carney knew the question Kinsolving was going to ask (let alone any evidence that the history of blacks in Mormonism "could play a role, even if subconsciously, in the 2012 election").
Perhaps Kinsolving should be thankful to Carney -- after all, by not taking this question, Carney saved him from yet another bout of embarrassing public behaviorl
NewsBusters' Sheppard Gets It Wrong in Attacking Maddow Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 5 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard asserts that Rachel Maddow "falsely claimed" that Rick Santorum says that he would like states to be able to make contraception illegal." But the truth is more complicated -- and Maddow is less false -- than Sheppard portrays it.
Sheppard concedes that Santorum is opposed to Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban on contraception. That alone confirms Maddow's statement, since repeal of Griswold would, in fact, allow states to make contraception illegal.
Sheppard, however, takes refuge in Santorum's subsequent statements that he would be opposed to states actually outlawing contraception as the basis for claiming that Maddow is wrong. But that's irrelevant to the claim at hand. Santorum has, by opposing Griswold, stated that he wants states to have the right to ban contraception; whether he wants states to actually exercise such a right is immaterial.
In short: Maddow is right and Sheppard is wrong.
Wouldn't it be nice if people like Sheppard would tell the truth when they're on a popular blog, or is that asking too much?
Newsmax Repeats Falsehoods To Claim Jobless Numbers Are 'Manipulated' Topic: Newsmax
A Feb. 7 Newsmax article by Andrew Henry repeats a discredited falsehood to claim that recently released jobless numbers have been "manipulated."
The same Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report that showed unemployment dropping to 8.3 percent showed total workforce participation — the number of people either working or looking for work — declining by 1.2 million people in one month.
Tyler Durden of Zerohedge.com writes: “It appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million.”
In fact, as we pointed out the last time Newsmax did this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics adjusted its methodology in January to incorporate demographic data gathered in the 2010 census, causing that statistical anomaly. Time further explains:
The January unemployment report, I had been forewarned by BLS, was the first to be based on models using 2010 census figures. (All these numbers are guestimations based on surveys of smaller samples taken around the country). A big shift up or down in the unemployment rate, I thought, could be explained by the change in the overall population of the country, reflected in the census numbers.
But the census adjustments actually work against my theory and that of the Obama-detractors. The demographic adjustments had no effect on the unemployment rate, says Mary Bowler, the resident expert in these matters at the BLS. And when it comes to labor force estimates, the steep jump in the number of those not seeking work came entirely from the census adjustment, which added 1.25 million people to that group. If you take out the census adjustment, the labor force numbers stayed essentially the same, as reflected by the labor force participation rate of 63.7%. In other words, the spike in the number of people no longer looking for work is entirely the result of some people at the Labor Department adding numbers to their spread sheets rather than an actual observed shift anywhere in the real economy.
That explanation puts the lie to another assertion Henry made, quoting someone as claiming that "there has been no major change in how the rate is calculated in over a decade."
Henry also rather stupidly throws in this quote:
“If you hold the workforce participation rate constant over the past year, unemployment would be about 8.9 percent instead of 8.3 percent,” GOP economist Matt McDonald of Hamilton Place Strategies said Monday on CNBC’s Squawk Box. "So it is a weird number that is out there, and I think people have to be looking at that carefully.”
But constant workforce participation rates are not how unemployment rates are calculated; they are calculated using the participation rate for the month in question.
Henry's inclusion of this statement shows that Newsmax is more interested in a partisan attack on Obama than fairly reporting the news.
Joseph Farah (!) Complains About Plagiarism Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 7 WorldNetDaily article attacks the British newspaper the Daily Mail for "publishing a copycat version" of Reza Kahlili's fearmongering attack on Iran without giving WND credit. The article includes this quote from WND editor Joseph Farah: "I have been working in daily newspapers and journalism for more than 35 years, yet I have rarely witnessed such shameless and blatant plagiarism in my life."
The MRC's Media-Hating Thugs Topic: Media Research Center
Los Angeles Times reporter Ashley Powers tells of her experience of being kicked out of a Nevada presidential caucus meeting simply for being a reporter, even though she had the right to be there:
After about 10 speakers touted their presidential favorites – most of them backed Mitt Romney – the caucus chairwoman, whose name I didn’t catch, announced that no reporters were allowed in the room. The voters sitting near me, who knew I was a reporter, called out that I was taking notes.
The caucus chair, who was standing at the front of the room, repeated: No. Press. Allowed. I said that wasn’t true and held up my press pass.
The chair asked who I was.
“Ashley Powers from the Los Angeles Times.”
To understand what happened next, some context is in order. There is a wing of the Nevada GOP that is very concerned – critics would say paranoid – about outside forces messing with the balloting process.
Awhile back, state party officials suggested registering voters on caucus day. The same tactic handed Democrats 30,000 new voters in 2008, and helped pave the way for President Obama’s commanding victory in the state. But some members of the Nevada Republican Party, convinced same-day registration would lead to voter fraud, protested furiously enough to kill the proposal.
So the verdict on my presence was loud, and near-unanimous.
“You’re a bunch of liars!” someone shouted.
“Spy! She’s a spy!” someone else said.
A woman waved a button at me, which said: DON’T BELIEVE THE LIBERAL MEDIA.
Tough crowd, I thought.
Then a man walked over to me and said if I didn’t leave, he’d call security. So I left the room while voters cast their ballots.
"Don't Believe the Liberal Media" is, of course, the mantra of the Media Research Center, and that button the caucus-goer menacingly waved at the reporter presumably came from the MRC.
The MRC loves it when its signs carrying the phrase pop up in the media it hates. Is the MRC proud that is slogan was used to intimidate a reporter? We suspect they are, though this instance probably won't be touted at NewsBusters.
Engendering hatred of the media, after all, is what the MRC is all about.