ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Birther Bribery: WND Tries to Build Up Anticipation for Arpaio Posse News
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's campaign of sucking up to Joe Arpaio with this breathless preview of the "investigation" of Arpaio's "cold case posse" -- so important, in fact, that the article is unbylined:

A challenge to Barack Obama’s occupancy of the Oval Office was thrown out because “the voters ruled” on his eligibility in the 2008 election. Another was tossed when Obama didn’t even bother to show up to refute the evidence. And cases have been rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court because the justices are “avoiding” the issue.

But this week, for the first time, the results of a formal law enforcement investigation into Obama’s eligibility will be released.

WND TV will live-stream the news conference scheduled by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., Thursday at 1 p.m. Mountain Time in Phoenix, or 3 p.m. Eastern. Arpaio previously has indicated there might be a “shock” in the report.

As before, WND offers no evidence that anyone other than birther conspiracists like Jerome Corsi ever talked to the posse. And as before, WND solicits donations for the posse.

P.S. While we're on the subject, an edited version of our piece detailing WND's birther bribery is up at Huffington Post.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:47 PM EST
NewsBusters Strains to Defend Santorum's Anti-College Attack
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Ken Shepherd is in a snit because, in his words, MSNBC's Alex Wagner portrayed Rick Santorum as "anti-college, believing the acquisition of higher education to be a mark of snobbery." Shepherd retorted in a Feb. 27 NewsBusters post:

Far from saying that being college-educated is form of snobbery, what the former Republican senator said at an Americans for Prosperity event on Saturday -- and Wagner's producers aired earlier in the segment -- was as follows (emphases mine):

SANTORUM, first clip: President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!

SANTORUM, second clip: There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard everyday and put their skills to test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor that [is] trying to indoctrinate them.

Shepherd curiously fails to mention that the premise of Santorum's attack is false -- Obama never said that "everybody in America"should go to a four-year college where they are in danger of encountering "some liberal college professor." Obama said in a February 2009 speech (via FactCheck.org):

And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option.

FactCheck also points out that Santorum's 2006 website stated that he is "equally committed to ensuring the every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education" -- the same position he's bashing Obama for promoting.

Santorum is twisting Obama's words. Will Shepherd call him out for that?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Terry Jeffrey Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

Here is a simple question with an obvious answer: Is President Barack Obama more deferential to the religious sensibilities of Afghan Muslims or the religious freedom of American Catholics?

The answer: Obama is more deferential to the religious sensibilities of Muslims in Afghanistan than to the religious freedom of Catholics in the United States.

[...]

It is plain as day: Obama is more deferential to the religious sensibilities of Muslims in Afghanistan than he is to the constitutionally protected religious liberty of Catholics in the United States of America.

-- Terry Jeffrey, Feb. 24 CNSNews.com column


Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 AM EST
WND Ignores Ex-Congressman's Conflict of Interest
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 25 WorldNetDaily article by Jack Minor quotes Todd Tiahrt, "a former congressman from Kansas who now runs an aerospace and aviation consulting company," attacking President Obama over the Air Force awarding a contract for a new light attack aircraft to a Brazil-based company, Embraer, over the American competitor competing for the contract, Hawker Beechcraft.

Minor failed to mention, however, that Hawker Beechcraft is a client of Tiahrt's "aerospace and aviation consulting company."

Minor is so bereft of basic journalistic priniciples that not only did he refuse to report this clear conflict of interest -- granted, WND has a longtime problem with failing to disclose its own conflicts of interest in the stories it publishes -- he only tells one side of the story, that of Tiahrt and Hawker Beechcraft, making numerous unsupported claims along the way about the Beechcraft plane's purported superiority over the Embraer model. At no point does Minor contact Embraer or its American partner, SNC, for a response to Tiahrt's charges.

Of course, if Minor had done so, he would have had to deal with the idea that there is more than one side to the story, and he and WND are clearly not interested in fair and balanced journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST
Monday, February 27, 2012
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 PM EST
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


Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EST
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 AM EST
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.

As the National Journal explained (via Media Matters):

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EST
Sunday, February 26, 2012
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."

Starr and CNS have long offered biased, hostile coverage of Planned Parenthood


Posted by Terry K. at 3:55 PM EST
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 PM EST
Saturday, February 25, 2012
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:24 AM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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.

-- Erik Rush, Feb. 8 WorldNetDaily column

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.

-- Larry Klayman, Feb. 10 WND column

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. 

-- Henry Lamb, Feb. 10 WND column

Barack Obama is a not only an abortion zealot, he’s also a fascist control freak – determined to make government the ultimate arbiter of morality on all matters political and economic.

-- Joseph Farah, Feb. 12 WND column

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?”

Carney replied simply, “Catchy, isn’t it?”

-- Michael Ackley, Feb. 12 WND column

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.

-- Phil Elmore, Feb. 15 WND column

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.

-- Jane Chastain, Feb. 15 WND column

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?

-- Phyllis Schlafly, Feb. 20 WND column

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.

-- Barry Farber, Feb. 21 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EST
Friday, February 24, 2012
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 gotcha questions 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.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 PM EST
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:39 AM EST
Newsmax vs. Newsmax on Romney
Topic: Newsmax

The "news" side of Newsmax has been on an anti-Romney tear over the past day or so:

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."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 AM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« February 2012 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL