NewsBusters Misses the Point on Ultrasound Law Topic: NewsBusters
Ina Feb. 23 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd complained that a MSNBC segment on a proposed Virginia law that required women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound before the procedure failed to mention that "Planned Parenthood abortionists already perform ultrasounds before abortions."
Shepherd did the same thing in a Feb. 24 post highlighting a Washington Post article on the proposed law, responding that the article did not note that "abortionists in the Old Dominion who are affiliated with Planned Parenthood already do ultrasounds prior to conducting abortions."
Clay Waters echoed this talking point in a Feb. 22 MRC TimesWatch item, complaining that a New York Times article failed to mention that "the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood conducts ultrasounds before they perform abortions."
That's beside the point. The point is that an abdominal ultrasound is unlikely to produce an image when performed early in the pregnancy -- one-third of abortions are performed at six weeks or less. To obtain a usable ultrasound image that early requires that an instrument be placed inside the woman's vagina.
Does Shepherd think that the government should have the power to mandate that something be shoved inside a woman's vagina? Apparently so.
Stenography: CNS Echoes Republican Attack on Obama Over Gas Prices Topic: CNSNews.com
As we've detailed, CNSNews.com is treating Republican talking points as "news," to the point of simply rewriting Republican National Committee press releases. This happens again in a Feb. 24 article by Patrick Burke which begins:
The average price for one gallon of unleaded gasoline has increased nearly every month since Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009. At that time, when George W. Bush was leaving office, the price was $1.78 per gallon. Today, three years and one month later, the average price is $3.64.
As it so happened, the RNC released an anti-Obama ad making this exact point the day before Burke's article appeared.
Needless to say, Burke fails to mention that the low gas prices in 2009 were driven by a massive worldwide recession, a condition Burke probably doesn't want to return to (unless he can blame it on Obama, anyway). Burke also offers no evidence that Obama or his policies are to blame for the current increase in gas prices
AIM Falsely Portrays Garrison Keillor As NPR Employee Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Feb. 21 Accuracy in Media blog post, Logan Churchwell disapproves of radio host Garrison Keillor hosting a fundraiser for the Obama campaign. After rehashing Keillor's donations to Democratic causes, Churchwell writes:
The list goes on and on. Lisa Simeone and Michele Norris were both removed from their respective posts for violating NPR’s code of ethics in 2011 after disclosing involvement with political groups. Though Keillor is not on NPR’s news staff, this is further confirmation of NPR’s political leaning. How National Public Radio will weather these challenges to their objectivity in the face of potential federal funding bans remains to be seen.
Not only is Keillor not a member of "NPR’s news staff" -- he is an entertainer, after all -- he's not even an NPR employee. Keillor's show, "A Prairie Home Companion," is produced by Prairie Home Productions, and distributed nationwide by American Public Media.
So much for the "accuracy" part of Accuracy in Media.
MRC's Graham Ignores That Gingrich Was Lying About Obama and 'Infanticide' Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 23 NewsBusters post, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham has a fit because a writer attempted to debunk Newt Gingrich's claim that "not once" during the 2008 election "did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide." Graham responded with a personal attack on the writer, Politico's Alexander Burns, after deeming his answer insufficient:
Is this what they taught the Harvard Class of 2008? One might think Burns spent more time partying than watching the media in '08, because Obama's three votes in the Illinois state legislature against a "Born-Alive Infants Protection Act" barely came up.
The Politico headline was "Newt: Media never asked Obama about 'infanticide' -- except it did." If Burns wanted to prove Gingrich wrong, he'd find an actual question about that. Click on the Burns link, and it's quite clear Chris Wallace was asking a more generic question to Obama, about whether he was truly a bridge-builder:
Overnight, Burns reported "conservative readers" pointed out to him what should have been obvious to him. His link didn't prove his case.
Actually, the real answer is this: Obama did not vote in favor of legalizing infanticide. Gingrich lied.
According to Politifact, an independent fact-checking organization that looked into similar claims made by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum on the campaign trail, Obama voiced his opposition to the new legislation as a state senator because it would have given legal status to fetuses and would thus have been struck down by the courts, and because Illinois already had laws to ensure infants who survived abortions would be given medical attention.
If Burns "didn't prove his case," then Graham ignored the truth entirely by failing to point out Gingrich's falsehood.Bad form for a so-called media watchdog.
CNS' Starr Attacks Witness in Contraception Hearing, The Hearing Itself Topic: CNSNews.com
Penny Starr's anti-Democratic, anti-contraception bias is clear in the first paragraph of her Feb. 24 CNSNews.com article:
Because their witness was denied an opportunity to testify at last week’s Republican-led hearing on religious freedom, House Democrats staged a hearing of their own Thursday, playing to the media and framing the argument as one of “women’s health.”
Starr goes on to describe the hearing once again as "staged." At no point does she describe last week's Republican hearing on contraception -- which invited only religious figures and others opposed to contraception -- as "staged" or "playing to the media" even though it was no less so than the Democratic hearing.
Starr clings to the Republican talking point that the debate over mandating contraception coverage in Obamacare is one of "religious freedom," even quoting from last week's Republican hearing to make the point. She repeats another talking point, that the mandate "will force religiously affiliated schools and hospitals to provide services that some religions, including Catholicism, find morally wrong and impermissible" without explaining that a compromise shifting that particular funding burden from institutions that reject the coverage on moral grounds to the insurance companies all but eliminates that issue.
To emphasize her point, Starr writes: "Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif), who presided over last week’s hearing on freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, noted that his committee is responsible, not for health issues, but for government accountability." Starr doesn't explain how "religious freedom" is covered under Issa's committee's purported mandate of "government accountability."
Starr was apparently offended that the witness, Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, "describ[ed] birth control as 'medication,' said some women need it to cure disease," but she offers no evidence to contradict Fluke's claim.
Starr issued a more direct attack on Fluke in another Feb. 24 article, mocking Fluke's testimony that "a fellow female student at the law school-who is married--had to stop using contraception because she and her husband could not afford it" because "There are three federally funded Planned Parenthood clinics in Washington, D.C.--none being more than 3.2 miles from the Georgetown Law School."
Starr continues the mocking by noting that the Planned Parenthood website states that condoms "cost about $1 each, but are sometimes available for free."
Birther Bribery Watch: WND's Corsi Still Trying to Smear Arpaio Critic Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's efforts to buy a favorable ruling from Joe Arpaio's "cold case posse" birther "investigation" by sucking up to the sheriff continues with a nother article attacking an Arpaio opponent.
Jerome Corsi's Feb. 23 article plays the Alinsky card -- the headline describes activist Randy Parraz as an "Alinsky-style leftist," and Corsi writes that Parraz "made repeated Alinsky-like attempts to isolate and marginalize his political opponents." Cors's article even has the subhead "In Parraz, Saul Alinsky comes to Phoenix."
Corsi continued to smear Parraz, sneering that he "has an elite education" and holds "radical views." Corsi also repeats his previous baseless allegation that "Parraz appears to be coordinating efforts with the Department of Justice to discredit Arpaio ahead of the sheriff’s March 1 press conference in which he plans to release the preliminary results of his office’s Cold Case Posse investigation of Barack Obama’s birth certificate and his eligibility to be president."
Of course, Corsi appears to be coordinating with Arpaio himself. This was made even more apparent with WND's announcement that it will stream Arpaio's news conference announcing the results of the posse investigation, in conjunction with the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center.
Farah touts the streaming in his Feb. 23 WND column:
I don’t know for certain what Arpaio’s “Cold Case Posse” has found, but I strongly believe it could be a game-changer. If I’m right, will the Big Media that have stifled free-and-open debate and unimpeded rational discourse on the subject bother to cover it? If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make any sound?
Farah is probably lying about not knowing about the investigation's results -- given WND's repeated sucking up to Arpaio, it's extremely likely that Arpaio has leaked the results to Corsi. Would Farah and WND be so eager to live-stream the results if they didn't know the results in advance?After all, Corsi spent two days testifying before the posse, and no information has been presented that the posse heard from anyone other than birther conspiracists.
In other words, expect Arpaio's investigation to be rigged in favor of birthers -- and realize that WND helped to rig that result.
MRC Won't Correct Bozell's Falsehoods on Oil Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's video of Brent Bozell's Feb. 23 appearance on Fox News' Hannity" may begin with a promition for its dubious "Tell the Truth" campaign, but it's clear that Bozell has exempted himself from that mantra.
During the appearance, Bozell said:
This president will say that he's allowing drilling, but he just won't give permits. Get this. Consider that oil production in this country was 10 million barrels a day when he took office. It's down to 7 million barrels a day, and here the president is giving a speech today blaming Republicans for this. I mean, this should be an issue. He needs to be called out on this.
There are three huge falsehoods in that statement. In fact, as Media Matters details, not only has the Obama administration issued hundreds of offshore drilling permits, oil production has actually increased under Obama (and domestic oil production hasn't been at 10 million barrels a day since the early 1970s).
The NewsBusters post accompanying the Bozell clip makes no mention of Bozell's falsehoods, let alone bother to correct them.
"Tell the Truth"? Bozell obviously can't. And his minions are desperately trying to hide that inconvenient fact.
At any rate, what I found interesting about the 2008 O’Reilly interview was Obama’s demeanor, such as when O’Reilly challenged him with questions like “So you’re going to pull out and let the Islamic fundamentalists take them [Iraq] over?”: These issues O’Reilly kept bringing up were annoying distractions. There was an impatience there, but very restrained. I could see it in his eyes: But you don’t understand, Bill. I am the culmination of the dreams of generations of American communists. We’re finally going to get our 51 percent, and there will be no turning back. We’ll be in power for the duration.
Aside from its ever-increasing fascistic leanings, the proclivity of this administration for subverting the Constitution is more than just illegal and immoral; it’s twisted and evil. Among instruments of government, the Constitution really is a beautiful thing. What they are doing to it, and to America, is analogous to taking a box cutter to the Mona Lisa or a sledgehammer to Michaelangelo’s “David.” I am also reminded of when the Taliban gained power in Afghanistan and blew up priceless, ancient Buddhist temple statues, citing them as heretical.
Perhaps it is Obama’s affinity for Islam that compels him in these Luddite pursuits, but I disagree with those who claim that he’s a closet Muslim. I don’t believe that Obama has any real religious or spiritual leanings to speak of, because I believe that he’s always seen himself as a quasi-deity.
In conclusion, you probably thought that Larry Klayman was finally writing a column devoid of politics. But sorry to disappoint! As you may know, President Barack Hussein Obama has openly admitted that he too is addicted to his Blackberry and had one made that is secure from wiretapping or interception by adversaries foreign or domestic. While this may help explain the president’s poor performance in office – apparently he is distracted and unable to concentrate, like the nation’s youth – at least his smart phone insures his privacy. Not so for the rest of us; the government and other entities can easily and do tap into your communications.
If America continues the Obama route to Marxism — for even one more term — it could easily take our nation beyond the point of no return. Republics become democracies when the majority discovers it can force its government to take from those who have wealth and redistribute it to those who do not. Democrats made that discovery years ago and are now handing out far more largesse to their supporters than is being taken in from the wealthy — and from borrowing. Democrats pay labor unions and the poor for their votes on Election Day.
In refusing to back off its order that religious organizations – specifically Roman Catholic organizations – provide contraceptive and abortion services for their employees, the White House announced a new Obama administration motto:
“Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.”
An elderly member of the White House press corps asked Press Secretary Jay Carney, “Wasn’t that Mussolini’s motto?”
The debate over Obama’s attempt to order religious organizations and insurance companies to offer specific coverage has until now centered on a threat to religious freedom. Most of this debate completely misses the philosophical and political issue we should be arguing, namely: What part of the United States Constitution mandates that citizens pay, through taxes, for other citizens’ entirely elective medical treatments? When did contraception or abortion become “rights,” and where do these demands end?
Setting aside the obviously false notion that abortions are regularly and routinely required to save the lives of otherwise healthy pregnant women, the debate over Glorious Leader Obama’s health-care dictates should and must be centered on the fundamental violation of individual rights they represent.
Obama’s latest bend-over in order to kiss the Birkenstocks of radical feminists who are expected to carry the water for his re-election campaign was barely noticed due to his squabble with the Catholic Church. His unconstitutional edict requiring religious institutions to offer insurance coverage that includes birth control and abortifacient drugs to their employees – even if it violates their moral teachings – is an extremely important issue. Equally important is his decision to place military women with combat battalions.
Thank you, Rick Santorum, for calling attention to an equally dangerous pronouncement.
If this decision had received the same amount of press coverage as the birth control pronouncement, Obama likely would have been forced to walk it back or trash it entirely.
The religious-liberty issue is definitely not confined to Catholic hospitals, schools, colleges and charities. It opens up the whole attack on religion and on Christianity that is now going on in the Obama administration, the courts and even the military.
The U.S. Army chief of chaplains sent an email to senior chaplains telling them that Archbishop Timothy Broglio’s letter criticizing the Obama insurance rule was not to be read from the pulpit. There is no evidence Obama personally issued this order, but the Army chief of chaplains must have thought he was taking a politically correct action.
Has anti-religious bigotry become so pervasive that chaplains believe they must censor their sermons to conform to Obama’s prejudices?
Many of us who do not support the Obama administration feel heavy-duty “hypnotism” is at work to conceal the true state of our union today and make everything appear as appealing as Polgar’s “magic spyglass.” This may be the biggest political hypno-scam since Nazi Germany.
CNS Cherry-Picks Obama Adviser's Writings Again Topic: CNSNews.com
Obama adminstration adviser John Holdren has long been a target of CNSNews.com, from cherry-picking his decades-old writing to hurling gotchaquestions at him. Now CNS is at it again with the former, pulling some ancient statement linked to Holdren out of some musty textbook.
This time, a Feb. 22 CNS article by editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey claims that Holdren "wrote in a book he co-authored with population control advocates Paul and Anne Ehrlich that children from larger families have lower IQs." Jeffrey offers no evidence that Holdren personally offers this view -- taken from a 1973 textbook -- nor did he give Holdren an opportunity to respond to his smear job.
That's how desperate Jeffrey and company are to destroy the Obama administration -- and a demonstration of how thin the material is they are working with.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Media Outlet Operator Bias Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 22 NewsBusters post -- headlined "Bias Alert -- Scott Whitlock is upset at the idea that Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor and former head of the Democratic National Committee, is part of an investor group looking to purchase the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. Whitlock approvingly quotes a former Inquirer employee saying that if thesale goes through, "Essentially, the Inquirer will cease to exist as a legitimate newspaper."
By that same standard, Fox News is not a legitimate news outlet because it was created and is being run by a former Republican operative, Roger Ailes.
Don't expect Whitlock or anyone else at the Media Research Center to concede that little truth.
Meanwhile, Newsmax's resident Romney cheerleader, Ronald Kessler, is trying to do damage control in a Feb. 22 column, enlisting Romney adviser Bay Buchanan to spin away conservatives' concerns about Romney. One way this happens is to attack one of Romney's critics, columnist Charles Krauthammer:
As a result, Buchanan says she agrees with columnist Charles Krauthammer’s assessment that the “real problem” with Romney is that “he doesn’t have fluency with conservative ideas.”
In the same vein, Krauthammer does not have fluency with the world of business.
“I wonder what would happen if you put Charles Krauthammer in a room with 20 CEOs,” Buchanan says. “He would speak as he does on television and would have great depth of information, because that is what he has done, but if they said let’s talk about the earnings of a couple of companies, you’d suspect he would probably have a basic line or two but would not come across as being fluent in the subject of corporate earnings.”
What counts, Buchanan says, is that Romney governed in Massachusetts as a conservative both fiscally and socially and lives conservative values in his family life.
“The social conservatives of Massachusetts have attested to the fact that he not only was good, but he was a champion of their causes,” she says. “As governor, he was very intent on making certain the business environment was healthy so that the private sector could thrive. In addition, he cut taxes and balanced the budget. That’s exciting to conservatives.”
Buchanan continues the spin by arguing that no candidate, including those conservatives are pining for to get into the race, is a perfect conservative. And there's even more Romney-fluffing:
Buchanan says Romney has improved his delivery dramatically since he last ran but is highly competitive and intent on improving.
“Mitt Romney is as smart and competent as individuals come, and his experience is exactly what we need, but he doesn’t communicate like a politician,” Buchanan says.
“If we really want somebody from the outside who is accomplished, who is competent, who has proven that he not only understands the economy but knows what needs to be done to turn it around and to create jobs and put this country back on track fiscally, we have our man,” she adds.
It looks like Newsmax is going to let Kessler do his Romney-fluffing more often now, after apparently blocking him from doing so in order to promote the now-collapsing Newt Gingrich.
This is not to say, however, that Newsmax has completely given up on Gingrich. A Feb. 23 article by Jim Meyers fawns over Gingrich's "bold new energy program designed to lower fuel prices and bring down the cost of gasoline to just $2.50 a gallon."
MRC Unclear on Definition of Incest Topic: Media Research Center
A Feb. 22 MRC Culture & Media Institute item by Lauren Thompson carries the screaming headline "TeenNick Endorses Teen Incest, Casual Sex in New Season Of ‘Degrassi’." As with a lot of CMI freakouts, that's not really true. And the incest stuff is definitely not true. Thompson writes:
The February 20 episode appropriately titled “Underneath It All” begins with two characters, Clare and Jake, on their way to school, with their father. Jake received a text message from Clare which read, “Dying to kiss you.” and later we find out the two are stepbrother and stepsister. As soon as their father’s car pulled away Clare declared the ride to school as the “longest car ride ever,” and proceeded to kiss her boyfriend/stepbrother.
Incest is defined as sexual relations between two people too biologically closely related to marry by law or custom. As Thompson concedes, the "Degrassi" siblings in question are step-siblings not related by blood. It may be a salacious plotline, but it is not incest.
Mychal Massie uses his Feb. 20 WorldNetDaily column to attack Maxine Waters' remarks about Republicans:
Blacks have two trump cards they can play at any time, in any situation and for any reason. They are “anger” – born out of real or perceived oppressive conditions created by white people – and the “bully factor” – born out of same. As referenced, Waters has a history of making inflammatory and insulting statements, which she defends with her blackness, i.e., it’s the mace she uses to remind people that she has a right to be angry. She has been given a pass her entire political career to say things and engage in behavior that a white representative, media person, or analyst would never be forgiven for, unless they are deemed to have favored status. And even then, we see the power of blacks, because it is they who determine what the acceptable standards are.
But Massie was not done -- he defends Fox News' Eric Bolling's remark that Water should "step away from the crack pipe" as "jocund," adding, "Trent Lott was forced out of office for making a harmless statement in a moment of jocularity. When have you heard a white comedian make jokes about blacks? But black comics mock whites as a matter of routine."
Massie is counting on you to forget exactly what Lott said, which was a tacit endorsement of Strom Thurmond's segregationist Dixiecrat presidential run in 1948.
Bozell Eliminating Contraception From MRC's Insurance Plan Topic: Media Research Center
Via The Jane Dough, we learn that Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell has decided to eliminate coverage for "contraceptive, sterilization and abortifacient services" from the insurance policy that covers MRC employees, claiming he was not aware of the coverage until now and that " I never would have approved this had I known."
Until that provision is actually removed, Bozell is trying to guilt his employees into not making use of it:
In the meantime, I have a simple plea I make: Do not avail yourselves to these contraception/abortifacient/abortion services, not through the MRC. They are evil, and I am unequivocal about this. But I’m also unequivocal in saying I cannot, and will not demand or even ask you to agree with me if you feel otherwise. I cannot, and will not force you to comply with this request if you’re not so inclined.
I cannot and no one here will not ever review your personal records to see what you have or haven’t done. Period. This is a personal request, and nothing more. To not do this is to commit a mortal sin, I believe.
This is probably not surprising, since the MRC is a conservative organization and all. But his trying to guilt his employees into not using coverage they're paying for is a somewhat dickish move. But that's not surprising either, given whatweknow about Bozell.
The incident is reminiscent of the Republican National Committee’s reaction upon discovering — through an article in Politico — that its health insurance plan covered abortion in 2009. Like Bozell, the RNC did not change its policy until it contradicted its political rhetoric, suggesting that women’s health care benefits are standard insurance benefits and that the GOP’s sudden outrage is nothing more than a manufactured political issue designed to rally the Republican base.
AIM Embraces Debunked Birther Conspiracy Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media has been known to go birther on occasion, and it does so again with a Feb. 21 column by Lawrence Sellin, who embraces one particular conspiracy (edited to remove references to Obama's full Social Security number):
Lawlessness may apply, not only to his Administration, but to Obama himself.
In my opinion, there is irrefutable evidence that Barack Hussein Obama is using a Social Security Number ([number]) not issued to him.
According to SSN Verifier Plus, the number [number] was issued in Connecticut between 1977 and 1979. The names associated with it are “Obama, Barack” and “Obama, Barack Hussein.” The dates of birth associated with that SSN are “1890”, “8/4/1961” and “4/8/1961.”
Sellin, it should be noted, is apparently violating federal law by including Obama's full alleged Social Security number. The law forbids "disclosing, using, or compelling the disclosure of the Social Security number of any person for unauthorized purposes."
Anyway, back to the conspiracy:
It is not a quantum leap in logic to conclude that Obama’s friend, unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, who also lived in New York City between 1981 and 1985, may have helped him obtain a new SSN.
In his book “Fugitive Days” Ayers describes his method for creating false identities:
“We soon figured out that the deepest and most foolproof ID had a government-issued Social Security card at its heart, and the best source of those were dead-baby birth certificates. I spent impious days over the next several months tramping through rural cemeteries in Iowa and Wisconsin, Illinois and North Dakota…”
The 1890 birth date may refer to the Connecticut resident who was the original holder of Obama’s SSN.
Sellin ignores the fact that birther lawyer Phil Berg has debunked the idea that Obama is using a fraudulent Social Security number.