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Wednesday, March 7, 2012
MRC Ignored Cal Thomas' Slur of Rachel Maddow -- And His Apology, Too
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell's refusal to criticize Rush's Limbaugh's misogynistic attacks on Sandra Fluke in anything but the most tepid terms possible is not just a Limbaugh-centric issue.

At February's Conservative Political Action Conference, Cal Thomas declared that MSNBC's Rachel Maddow "is the best argument in favor of her parents using contraception." The MRC apparentlydidn't think that opinion was in any way controversial, for no mention of it whatsoever can be found on any of the MRC websites, including NewsBusters. (Granted, the MRC may have been too busy pulling out of CPAC in a snit over Bozell being denied the prime speaking slot he thought he deserved to notice.)

But the MRC managed to take this memory-hole approach to a surprising extreme.

Thomas penned a Feb. 16 column in which he offered a full, unequivocal and abject apology to Maddow, stating: "One of the principles in which I believe is not to engage in name-calling; which, to my shame, I did. ... I had embarrassed myself and was a bad example to those who read my column and expect better from me." In short, it was the kind of apology Bozell apparently thinks Limbaugh offered to Fluke but in reality has not.

NewsBusters carries an archive of Thomas' columns. His Feb. 16 column is curiously absent.

Why would the MRC want to flush this incident down the memory hole? After all, Thomas exhibited the model of how one apologizes for making ugly remarks in public -- a model Limbaugh has thus far chosen not to follow.

Does Bozell think it's weakness for conservatives to apologize when they've clearly done wrong? Given his refusal to speak out on Limbaugh and his utter silence on Thomas, apparently so.

This is just another example of Bozell's moral cowardice when it comes to his fellow conservatives.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 PM EST
Updated: Monday, March 12, 2012 10:36 PM EDT
Lawrence Sellin, AIM's Birther Columnist
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Lawrence Sellin has apparently become Accuracy in Media's official birther columnist.

We noted last month how Sellin promoted debunked birther conspiracies, including one over Obama's purported use of a fraudulent Social Security number (never mind that Sellin himself could be prosecuted for publicly releasing Obama's alleged Social Security number in public). AIM has published two more Sellin columns since then.

In a Feb. 28 column, Sellin touts the Obama-bashing claims of John Drew, whom he describes as " a contemporary of Obama at Occidental College." In fact,  as we've detailed, Drew graduated from Occidential the semester before Obama enrolled , and the two apparently met only twice at social occasions while Drew was making return visits to the schoool.

Sellin went on to suggest Obama never actually attended Columbia University, and that if he had, it didn't mean that much because it was the real Columbia:

In 1981, after two years at Occidental, Obama presumably transferred to the Columbia School of General Studies, one part of the Columbia University system that does not have rigorous Core Curriculum and transfer constraints as the elite Columbia College.

Sellin also delves into conspiracy-mongering about how Obama financed his college education: "It has never been clear, who paid for Obama’s Harvard education, but it is possible, if not probable, that the money came from Saudi Arabia."

Sellin also repeats his discredited claims about Obama's purportedly " forged Certificate of Live Birth, a forged Selective Service registration and the use of a Social Security Number (SSN) not issued to him."

In his March 5 column, Sellin promotes the results of the highly dubious Arpaio cold case posse "investigation" of Obama's "eligibility," touting how it "stated that Obama’s Selective Service card was most likely also a forgery." In fact, as Dr. Conspiracy has detailed, the posse's explanation for how this purportedly occured is an utterly impossible scenario.

Sellin goes on to lament that the media is trying to "discount the evidence of an Obama felony by discrediting Arpaio," but Sellin never disproves any of the criticism made against Arpaio. Nevertheless, Sellin is on a conspiratorial roll:

The Democrat and Republican establishments and the mainstream media will do anything within their power to bury the evidence because they have a clear vested interest in doing so.  Revealing the full truth about public figures would drive a stake into the heart of a hopelessly corrupt political system.

It would, furthermore, expose the American media for being little more than the propaganda arm of extreme left-wing Democrats promoting the goal of a de facto one-party state for the U.S., reminiscent of the role played by the Communist Party newspaper Pravda in propping up the dysfunctional Soviet Union.

Fully vetting our country’s top politicians will be a giant step in the right direction.

As would AIM not giving space to gullible birthers so they can spin their discredited conspiracies.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EST
Noel Sheppard's Muddled Attack on Jon Stewart
Topic: Media Research Center

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard has picked a particularly stupid way to rebut Jon Stewart.

In a March 6 post, Sheppard took offense to the "Daily Show" host for "hysterically claiming" that if having insurance cover the cost of contraception is paying for someone to have sex, as Rush Limbaugh contended, then so is paid maternity leave. Sheppard's big response: "unpaid maternity leave depending on how much a woman makes could cost her and her family tens of thousands of dollars." That really has nothing to do with the issue, but whatever.

But then Sheppard huffed:

But there’s potentially a larger point in Stewart’s attack on Limbaugh and Kelly: if Fluke were a conservative going to Congress and asking for her birth control to be covered, the Daily Show host and his crew would have savaged her.

Wrong -- Sheppard's MRC colleagues would have savaged her first before Stewart would have a chance.

Since free birth control is not a conservative position, Sheppard and the MRC boys would be adamantly deny that a woman who advocates it -- even if she meets all the other requirements of conservatism -- is a true conservative.

How do we know this? Because Sheppard's colleagues perform this same bit of party-line Heathering on conservatives they have deemed insufficiently conservative, from Kathleen Parker to David Brooks to David Frum to Joe Scarborough to Jennifer Rubin.

Indeed, the MRC prefers its conservative women to sound like Rush Limbaugh. A March 6 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd touts how Georgetown student Angela Morabito said that Fluke was really saying, "please pay for me to have all the sex I want!" Morabito added, "And I know that we are so, so much better than what Sandra Fluke would make us out to be."

Would Ken Shepherd treat Morabito the same if she changed her position on contraception? Absolutely not. She would cease being conservative in the dogmatic view of the MRC.

Noel Sheppard has forgotten that his employer is more ideologically rigid -- and picks its friends and enemies accordingly -- than Stewart will ever be.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EST
Farah Rants That Media Covering Corsi Cashing In on Birther Posse
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah spends his March 5 WorldNetDaily column complaining that the media is covering a part of the "cold case posse's" so-called birther "investigation" that he would rather be ignored: The fact that a posse leader is collaborating with a WND reporter to cash in on the "investigation" by writing a quickie e-book about it:

Because Mike Zullo, the lead investigator for Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse, has, with the help of WND’s Jerome Corsi, put the findings of the investigation in an inexpensive e-book format for the public, the entire investigation is suspect.

The entire point of the e-book project was to go over the heads of the media, which have almost universally hidden and obfuscated the facts of Obama’s eligibility from the public. And, keep in mind, Zullo participated in the criminal investigation as a volunteer – getting involved reluctantly and skeptically and with no pre-conceived conclusions.

Farah (deliberately?) misses the point. Zullo and Corsi are trying to profit from an "investigation" conducted under the aegis of a nonprofit group that arguably should receive that money instead, a point Farah conveniently omits. This raises the question of whether profit motive -- including the money WND makes from birther and other anti-Obama operations -- is the only motive for WND in keeping the birther issue alive. There's also the question of how Corsi got such intimate access to the posse that he was able to crank out a book that was released the same day as the press conference.

It turns out that Zullo and Corsi's e-book is barely worth the pixels it's printed on. Large chunks of the book are simply copied-and-pasted from Corsi's earlier book,"Where's the Birth Certificiate?" As Dr. Conspiracy details, there is so little in the book that's genuinely new, and no apparent effort made to address holes in previous birther probes, that one must wonder if the posse did any actual investigating at all.

Farah also ignores the fact that WND -- through Jerome Corsi and also through raising money for the posse -- has apparently been inappropriately influencing the posse to reach a predetermined conclusion and deliberately ignoring evidence that contradicted that conclusion, such as the work of John Woodman. One might say that WND has engaged in a form of bribery, as well as having "almost universally hidden and obfuscated the facts" it doesn't want to hear about what Woodman has reported.

Until WND and the posse come clean about their financial entanglements and interpersonal relationships, this "investigation" is too tainted and biased to be taken seriously. Somehow, we doubt Zullo and Corsi's book will give us that answer.

Farah headlined his column "Media in full posterior-cover mode." Until Farah and WND can answer the many questions surrounding the posse "investigation," it's clear that the only person in "posterior-cover mode" here is Farah.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EST
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Bozell: Limbaugh's Three Days of Sleaze Merely A 'Regrettable Blunder'
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell's cowardice in the face of Rush Limbaugh continues.

Bozell penned a letter to CNN's Piers Morgan complaining that he criticized Rush Limbaugh's three-day parade of sleaze against Sandra Fluke while having Bill Maher, who has used "far more vile sexist language," as a guest of his show. As before, Bozell can't bring himself to anything but the most tepid criticism of Limbaugh's vicious smears of Fluke:

Rush Limbaugh made the regrettable blunder of calling Sandra Fluke, who testified on behalf of the administration’s mandate against religiously affiliated institutions, “a slut.” Let’s all agree Limbaugh crossed a line. He agrees. He issued an apology to Fluke “for the insulting word choices.” This should be sufficient, but it’s not and the skewering continues.

Bozell doesn't mention the reason Limbaugh's apology is not considered sufficient -- Limbaugh apologized only for using two words, "slut" and "prostitute," and not the dozens of other attacks he hurled at Fluke.

Also: "regrettable blunder"? Is that the strongest criticism of Limbaugh that Bozell can utter in public? What is wrong with him? Does Limbaugh have something on him that he will unleash if Bozell commits the offense of criticizing him too harshly, even for an offense that cries out for harsh criticism?

Bozell continues:

In the interest of promoting and cultivating a meaningful dialogue based on mutual respect, you and other prominent figures in the media, including other journalists at CNN, ought to report such defamatory personal insults made towards all public figures.

Double standards only serve to make these situations worse. If you are really serious about promoting civil discourse you should treat figures like Maher, Schultz and other liberal pundits the same way you treat Limbaugh.

I think a constructive conversation can be had in the media addressing such a double standard, and you are certainly in a place to do just that.

We suggest that Morgan start that conversation with the issue of Bozell's own blatant and pathetic double standard.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 PM EST
Paul Babeu Gets the Newsmax Image Rehab Treatment
Topic: Newsmax

Let's say you're a county sheriff in Arizona who's running for Congress. It's just come out that you had a longtime relationship with another man (you're a Republican, so the gay stuff is not exactly look upon favorably) who's a Mexican national (raising questions about your own commitment to cracking down on illegal immigration), who has accused you of threatening him with deportation if he ever revealed the relationship publicly. You need to do some quick image rehab because there's a primary coming up. Where do you go?

Why, you go to the experts in image rehab for disgraced conservatives: Newsmax.

Following in the footsteps of Bernard Kerik, Ralph Reed and Vito Fossella is Paul Babeu, who is given the whitewash treatement in a March 4 article by Martin Gould and Ashley Martella. They portray Babeu as "the victim of what his supporters says is a vicious smear campaign in his bid to gain the Republican nomination for a congressional seat," and they assist Babeu in spinning it away:

“It’s been pushed around for months and months, in fact for years; political opponents have threatened me, trying to go to the newspapers and the TV station and nobody would touch it,” Babeu told Newsmax. He said believed his friend was living legally in the U.S. "I had no reason to believe he was any less legal than me or you," Babeu said, adding, "He held a graduate degree, driver's license and full time job."

Babeu says voters should judge him on his long record in public service, including military duty in Iraq. In 2010 Babeu retired from the National Guard after 20 years of service. As a patrolman in Arizona, Babeu was awarded two Life Saving Medals for performing police duties.

Last month, Babeu called a news conference to deny the allegations of threats made by his former friend. Attending the news conference were about three dozen high-ranking uniformed deputies, local elected officials, and citizens, according to The Associated Press.

Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain also joined in supporting Babeu. Noting that Babeu is a “friend of mine,” McCain said, “He also deserves the benefit, as every citizen does, of innocence until proven guilty.”

“I believe we should be defined by not only the value we bring to our community but to our country. That’s what I have done my entire life, that’s how I want and ask people to judge me, the same way that they want to be judged in the end — fairly,” Babeu told Newsmax TV.

The video interview of Babeu accompanying the article is even more fluffy, with Martella teeing up softballs like, "Can you tell us why these allegations suddenly surfaced?"

Once that unpleasantness is dispensed with, Martella gets on with the business of promoting Babeu's law enforcement record and cueing up attacks on President Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:18 PM EST
MRC's Philbin Parrots Boss Bozell, Tries to Change Subject From Limbaugh
Topic: Media Research Center

Following in the footsteps of his boss Brent Bozell's capitulation to whatever hold Rush Limbaugh has on the Media Research Center is the MRC's resident misogynist, Matt Philbin, trying to change the subject away from Limbaugh's sleazy words just like Bozell did:

Liberals and the media continue to be upset about Rush Limbaugh’s comments, despite his public apology. Limbaugh’s comments, we’re told, were “unforgivable.”

That’s laughable coming from those who’ve ignored or excused attacks from the left against conservative women like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter and Carrie Prejean. Liberals slime conservative women regularly, usually in language far worse than Limbaugh used. And they are seldom, if ever, held to account for sexual, violent misogynistic speech. Conservative women – whether pundits, politicians or even politicians’ wives – are fair game to the left.

Even as he detailed offenses by liberals, Philbin couldn't bring himself to repeat what Limbaugh actually said about Sandra Fluke.

Not that he objects in any way, mind you. Philbin has endorsed Limbaugh's sleazy attacks on Fluke -- he's tweeted that "Rush's prob was semantic. Shoulda said 'Woman of dubious reputation,' 'horizontal laborer' or 'Lincoln Tunnel Hitcher,'" also writing, "Anybody got Fluke's mailing address? I'm gonna send her a big Costco-sized box of condoms."

And Philbin is not done sliming Fluke. He has since tweeted: "Lawschool in your 30s, kvetching on "The View," calls from the prez, free BC so you can sleep around w/impunity. Some #waronwomen."

And this is the person selected by the MRC to lecture liberals on offensive behavior? No wonder Bozell can't bring himself to offer any real criticism of Limbaugh -- the culture inside the MRC headquarters is apparently as anti-woman as it is at Limbaugh's studio.

Like Craig Bannister, whose hateful CNS blog post inspired Limbaugh's three-day flight of misogyny, Philbin's position at the MRC is secure ... woman-bashing and all.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:02 AM EST
Birther Bribery: Arpaio Rents WND Mailing List
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The list of financial ties between Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the "cold case posse" that conducted the birther "investigation," and WorldNetDaily just keeps growing.

Arpaio is running for re-election as Maricopa County sheriff, and his campaign rented out WND's mailing list Monday to send an email soliciting donations. It reads like it was ripped from Jerome Corsi articles--like Corsi, the email complains about how his opponents are "lying about me and my record" and how the Justice Department's investigation of Arpaio's office "is nothing but a political stunt aimed at intimidating me from doing the job I was elected to do."

How much did Arpaio pay to use WND's mailing list? Is it payback for WND's campaign of sucking up to guarantee that his posse's birther "investigation" would return the results it wanted (which it did)?

The web of deceit just keeps getting more and more tangled. Will Arpaio and WND ever tell the truth about their relationship?

A screenshot from the email is below.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EST
Monday, March 5, 2012
Cowardice: Bozell Waits Until After Limbaugh Apology To Issue Tepid Criticism (Then Launches Limbaugh Defense Site)
Topic: Media Research Center

It has taken five days, but Media Research Center president Brent Bozell has finally spoken out about Rush Limbaugh's sleazy remarks about contraception hearing witness Sandra Fluke. But it's lame, and he didn't originally publish it at his own website.

Bozell published a column at, of all places, Fox News' website. (It was published a couple hours later at NewsBusters.) Here is all the outrage he can muster over Limbaugh denigrating Fluke as a "slut" and a "prostitute":

Let’s all agree Limbaugh crossed a line.

He agrees. He posted an apology to Fluke “for the insulting word choices.”  

That's it. Never mind that when MSNBC's Ed Schultz called Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut," the MRC repeatedly denounced Schultz, as Bozell deemed his apology -- which was more sweeping than Limbaugh's who apologized only for using "slut" and "prostitute" while ignoring the dozens of other slurs he issued against Fluke -- to be insufficiently comprehensive.

Bozell's tepid remark is the first statement by anyone at the MRC regarding the propriety of Limbaugh's remarks. If we can "all agree Limbaugh crossed a line," why did it take five days for Bozell to decide if he agreed?

Having brusquely dismissed Limbaugh's sleaziness, Bozell then couldn't change the subject soon enough and politicize it on his own right-wing talking points:

The scandal-ette should be over.

So why are the Left and the media still pushing and publicizing a campaign for advertisers to dump the Limbaugh show and end his career?

This is followed by a long string of offenses committed by liberals, citing in particular remarks by Bill Maher about Sarah Palin. Bozell added:

Limbaugh has been singled out and condemned across the national media – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today.

How many of these outlets have condemned Bill Maher with equal vigor for his attacks on Palin?

Bozell ignores the crucial difference between Palin and Fluke. Palin is a nationally known political figure, while Fluke's testimony was her very first appearance in a major political forum. Also, Maher made his "c-word" attack on Palin in a stand-up comedy appearance in Dallas; Limbaugh ranted for three days about Fluke's sex life on a nationally syndicated radio show.

Bozell also fails to mention that one of his employees, Craig Bannister, inspired Limbaugh to  go on his three-day tirade of insults against Fluke by smearing Fluke as a "sex-crazed co-ed." Is Limbaugh proud of that? He has to be.

But Bozell isn't done. The MRC launched IStandWithRush.org, a petition site stating:

I stand with Rush Limbaugh and appreciate the massive contribution that he has made to the conservative movement and our nation over the last 25 years. Rush has apologized. But the radical left will never accept it because they despise him and want him off the air. I condemn attempts by radical left-wing organizations and the media to censor Rush and his commonsense conservative message.

Wow. If Sean Hannity or Mark Levin viciously insults someone, will the MRC build websites praising them, too?

In an accompanying video, Bozell repeats his tepid "let's all agree" comment, falsely asserts that Limbaugh has "profusely apologized," and reads from his column about liberal offenses. Bozell concluded: "It isn’t about what Rush said last week. It’s about roaring hypocrisy and about censorship."

Bozell is wrong. Claiming the controversy "isn’t about what Rush said" is a lame copout made by someone who knows very well that it's precisely about what Rush said. But it is about roaring hypocrisy too -- Bozell's.

Bozell is not a stupid man. He knows what Limbaugh said was offensive. Yet this self-proclaimed moral arbiter couldn't be moved to criticize Limbaugh in public until five days had passed and Limbaugh himself had issued a so-called apology -- and even then, that criticism was so milquetoast as to be meaningless.

It's true that for Bozell, this "isn’t about what Rush said," because he would rather talk about anything else. Bozell has an right-wing agenda to push, and it certainly doesn't involve explaining why three days of slut-shaming by Limbaugh received not only the most tepid criticism possible but earned Limbaugh a website to praise him, while a single instance of the word out of Ed Schultz's mouth drew howls of protest.

Bozell and the MRC has always protected Limbaugh, failing to hold him accountable for his words no matter how offensive. Bozell's selective outrage and situational morality is just one reason why nobody takes him or the MRC seriously.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 PM EST
Updated: Monday, March 5, 2012 9:27 PM EST
Terry Jeffrey's Weird Obsession With John Holdren Continues
Topic: CNSNews.com

Terry Jeffrey apparently has nothing better to do with his life than cherry-pick polls and scour 40-year-old textbooks for statements he can take out of context.

For the second time in the past week, Jeffrey does the latter regarding Obama adviser John Holdren. From Jeffrey's March 1 article:

John P. Holdren, the White House science adviser to President Barack Obama, wrote in a book he co-authored with population control advocates Paul and Anne Ehrlich that “ways must be found to control advertising” and that possible means for doing so would be banning utility companies from promoting increased use of energy and prohibiting “references to size, power or sexual potency” in automobile advertising.

Yes, Jeffrey somehow believes that this warrants an article. It's not until the fourth paragraph that Jeffrey gets around to noting that this appears in a book Holdren co-wrote in 1973. As before, at no point does J effrey make any effortto contact Holdren to explain what he wrote nearly four decades ago or ask if he holds that belief now, or if he actually held it then.

As we've documented, CNS under Jeffrey is not a "news" organization but, rather, a Republican opposition research group trying to keep President Obama from being re-elected.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:31 PM EST
Pat Boone's Pack of Lies About Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Pat Boone writes in his March 2 WorldNetDaily column:

In 2007, America thought it was electing a president. We never dreamed we were electing an emperor.

Are you among the many who’ve noticed, for a long time now, how many times Mr. Obama uses the word “I” in every speech, every press conference, every White House release? In ever imperious ways, he states what “I have notified Senate leaders,” whom “I have appointed” both to traditional posts and to his own newly created “czarships” over previously less regulated pursuits? How many times in his State of the Union addresses has he told Congress and the Supreme Court what “I will do in the coming months,” what “I‘m directing” various departments to do and even “what I will not allow while I‘m president”?

In fact, social psychologist James W. Pennebaker found that Obama uses the word "I" less than any other modern president.

Boone also claims that Obama "unilaterally made the decision that Catholic charities, schools and public ministries must make abortion services available, regardless of their long-established religious opposition." In fact, the mandate covers only contraception and sterilization, not "abortion services."

But Boone is not done lying; he asserts that Obama's "first 'executive order' after he sat down in the Oval Office was to provide $250 million to Planned Parenthood worldwide." In fact, Obama's first executive order as president was to revoke an executive order by President Bush enabling former presidents and vice presidents to limit public access to their records.

Can we really expect anything but a pack of filthy lies from a rabid Obama-hater like Boone?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 PM EST
CNS Misleadingly Attacks Critics of Blunt Amendment
Topic: CNSNews.com

In a March 1 CNSNews.com article defending an since-defeated amendment by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt to a transportation funding bill that would have allowed employers or health insurers to deny coverage for services they say violate their moral or religious beliefs, Matt Cover writes:

Also misleading is the charge that “any corporation could deny any preventive health service to employees on the basis of religious or moral objections.” The legislation does not say that.

Instead, it states plainly that its purpose is to ensure that employers can offer insurance coverage to their employees that conforms to the employer’s religious beliefs, without being penalized by the government under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the legislation also known as ObamaCare.

“The purposes of this Act are – (1) to ensure that health care stakeholders retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions, without fear of being penalized or discriminated against under PPACA; and (2) to ensure that no requirement in PPACA creates new pressures to exclude those exercising such conscientious objection from health plans or other programs under PPACA,” it states.

Nowhere in the bill does it say that corporations are allowed to deny anyone any type of health care service, as the Democrats’ video claims.

Cover's defense, however, doesn't contradict what critics of the amendment have claimed -- that it was so broadly written that it would have allowed any employer to deny coverage for a given health care service by claiming religious or moral objections.

Cover is simply misleading about the bill by cherry-picking criticism to distort it.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:23 AM EST
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Even After So-Called Apology, MRC Still Won't Criticize Limbaugh
Topic: Media Research Center

Well, Rush Limbaugh has finally decided to offer a so-called apology for his denigrating attack on contraception hearing witness Sandra Fluke, made only after advertisers fled in horror from Limbaugh's radio show. Limbaugh's claim that "I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke" is utterly laughable; he apparently wants us to believe that calling Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" was not a personal attack.

How is the Media Research Center -- which has  defended and echoed Limbaugh's insults of Fluke for committing the offense of speaking in public about birth control -- taking this? Pretty much the way you'd expect.

NewsBusters' initial post on Limbaugh's statement regurgitated his insistence that his real concern is "over the contraceptive mandate and the larger erosion of  personal responsibility and accountability through federal mandates that social costs for personal expenses onto taxpayers or employers.

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard went on a tirade after the Huffington Post's story on Limbaugh's statement used the headline "Rush Caves," never mind that a half-hearted apology buried on the weekend after three days of impugning Fluk, coming in the face of a successful advertiser boycott, really can't be described as anything other than a "cave."

Sheppard huffed that HuffPo criticized Limbaugh for "doing what it believed was the right thing to do." Note that Sheppard narrowly described Limbaugh's statement as only what HuffPo "believed was the right thing to do," not that it simply was the right thing to do, which strongly suggests that Sheppard doesn't agree with that sentiment.Sheppard goes on to whine:

This is so typical of liberal media outlets.

They bash conservatives for everything they do, think, say, or advocate, and when one actually reconsiders his behavior, they ridicule him for "caving."

Remember that at no point until Limbaugh's statement did Sheppard or any other MRC employee express the opinion that Limbaugh's behavior needed to be reconsidered.

And, really, they still haven't. Sheppard went on to highlight Newt Gingrich criticizing NBC "Meet the Press" host David Gregory for beginning their interview "by asking him about contraceptives and Rush Limbaugh." Sheppard touted how Gingrich "correctly" pivoted the issue from Limbaugh to the right-wing talking point that the question of contraception is not a women's health issue but a religious freedom issue.

Sheppard also promoted a FoxNews.com column by Kristen Powers, "one of the many intelligent, reasonable, liberal contributors to Fox News," claiming that Limbaugh isn't the only "media misogynist." In neither post does Sheppard criticize Limbaugh's behavior -- rather, Sheppard praises Limbaugh's apology, which he claims "should diminish accusations of his misogyny."

Sheppard went on to complain about Penn Jillette saying that "I think it would be a nice gesture if [Limbaugh] were to send Sandra Fluke one of his sex tapes," ignoring the fact that Limbaugh himself opened this line of inquiry by demanding that Fluke post sex videos of herself online.

In another NewsBusters post, Brent Baker conceded that Limbaiugh "didn’t have any defenders ... not even amongst the conservatives." Still, Baker wasn't about to offer criticism of his own, because he has talking points to deliver: "Of course, Limbaugh’s comment only deflected attention from Obama’s antagonism to religious liberty because the news media eagerly pounced to push liberals efforts to make Limbaugh the issue."

Meanwhile, MRC employee Matt Philbin -- who had previously said he wanted to send Fluke " a big Costco-sized box of condoms" -- keeps up Limbaugh's slander by tweeting, "Rush's prob was semantic. Shoulda said 'Woman of dubious reputation,' 'horizontal laborer' or 'Lincoln Tunnel Hitcher.'"

If the MRC won't criticize Limbaugh's misogynism, Philbin certainly won't face any sanction from his employer. Sexists of a feather and all...

Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 4, 2012 10:27 PM EST
Birther Bribery: WND's Corsi Cashing In With Insta-Book on Birther Posse Probe Written With Posse Member
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How closely did WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi work with the supposedly independent "cold case posse" that looked into President Obama's "eligibility"? He has co-written an e-book on the investigation with a member of the posse.

An Arizona TV station reports (h/t Dr. Conspiracy) that Corsi, along with posse member Mike Zullo, issued a e-book on the investigation, on sale for $9.95, the same day the investigation results were announced. Corsi and Zullo will split the proceeds from the book, for which Sheriff Joe Arpaio wrote the introduction.

According to Corsi, he and Zullo get to keep the money because neither of them are paid members of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. However, the posse operates under a nonprofit 501(c)3 structure for which WND has been soliciting donations. Corsi didn't explain why the book's proceeds shouldn't go toward the nonprofit group instead of the authors -- after all, the posse structure made this money-making opportunity possible for Zullo and Corsi.

Of course the book is for sale at the WND online store. Interestingly, the book shares the same title -- "A Question of Eligibility" -- as a wildly inaccurate video WND produced a couple years ago compling its birther conspiracies. As of this writing, WND is trying to dump the video for 99 cents.

If Corsi's presence at the March 1 press conference announcing the posse's results (which essentially channeled WND's conspiratorial work) didn't set off alarm bells, the fact that he was writing the book with a member of the posse as the posse was conducting its investigation should set them off. This further demonstrates the highly inappropriate relationship between WND and the posse, which appears to have tainted the results.

The fact that Corsi is now trying to cash in on his unusually close relationship with the posse provides further evidence that the posse is nothing more than a WND-controlled proxy whose sole purpose is to give the air of legitimacy to WND's birther conspiracies and to make money for WND and Corsi.

Meanwhile, as the posse's so-called results collapse under actual research, Dr. Conspiracy asks some important questions about this relationship that WND and the posse need to answer. Among them:

  • Was Jerome Corsi deputized by Maricopa County, or did he sign an affidavit under oath and penalty of perjury as to his examination of files at the National Archives? If not, why not?
  • Did WorldNetDaily, Jerome Corsi, or Joseph Farah contribute funds to the CCP?
  • John Woodman, the author of a book analyzing claims about Obama birth certificate images, offered on two occasions to assist the CCP. Why was he ignored?
  • What exactly was the role of Mara Zebest in the production of the CCP report?
  • What exactly was the role of Jerome Corsi in the production of the CCP report?
  • Why was Mark Gillar, a well-known anti-Obama partisan, chosen to narrate the six short videos that constituted most of the posse’s presentation? Why were the videos posted to Gillar’s “TeaPartyPowerHour” YouTube account, the links to which were included in the sheriff’s press release? And did Gillar help make the videos as well?

We add another question: How much money has WND raised for the posse, and how much of it has WND skimmed off for its own use? (WND has stated that "A portion of all contributions will go to support WND’s efforts.")

In short: This thing stinks to high heaven, and the smell starts at the top: Joe Arpaio, Joseph Farah, and Jerome Corsi.

UPDATE: Phoenix New Times reports that the posse's report is, for all practical purposes, the same thing "nationally recognized computer expert" Mara Zebest claimed eight months ago about the PDF of Obama's birth certificate released by the White House. WND's Corsi, of course, promoted Zebest's claims then. Zebest was in attendance at Thursday's posse press conference.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 4, 2012 12:25 AM EST
Saturday, March 3, 2012
MRC Keeps Defending Limbaugh's Sleazy Remarks
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center keeps finding new ways to avoid criticizing Rush Limbaugh for his denigrating attacks on contraception hearing withness Sandra Fluke.

A March 2 MRC item by Scott Whitlock repeated a theme by insisting that criticism of Limbaugh's  hateful remarks was a "left-wing attack on Rush Limbaugh."Whitlock claimed with NBC "Today" co-host Robin Roberts "could barely contain her contempt" over Limbaugh's remarks, while avoiding any non-transcript mention of the words that earned that contempt.

A March 2 NewsBusters post by Geoffrey Dickens complained that MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell "actually had his production team make up a graphic of Rush Limbaugh’s sex life, adding "Of course, O’Donnell and [Alex] Wagner completely ignored the point that Limbaugh, unlike Fluke, has never demanded that the American taxpayers should pay for his or any other person’s birth control."

Of course, Dickens completely ignored the fact that Limbaugh cast aspersions on Fluke's personal life by calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute," thus creating an opening to criticize Limbaugh's own sex life.

Kyle Drennen, meanwhile, huffed that Fluke was allowed to appear on the "Today show, where co-host Matt Lauer did not pose "any challenging questions to Fluke" and gave Fluke a platform to slam the conservative radio host and urged her to denounce 'what seems to be a deafening silence coming from the right in standing up for you.'" Drennen didn't mention that some of that "deafening silence" about Limbaugh was coming from his own employer.

Drennen weirdly declared that "Today" host Matt Lauer's description of Limbaugh as someone whose "business model" is to make comments "that he hopes will get more people to talk about him, more people to listen to his radio show or buy his books" was "contemptuous." Drennenn made no effort to disprove that analysis.

Drennen proudly added that "Limbaugh's initial comments regarding Fluke were based on a CNS News report." That "report" -- actually a blog post by CNS director of communications Craig Bannister -- slimed Fluke as a "sex-crazed co-ed" who is having sex nearly three times a day.

Iin that sleazy vein, MRC employee Matt Philbin tweeted: "Anybody got Fluke's mailing address? I'm gonna send her a big Costco-sized box of condoms."

Then again, one might argue that Philbin himself is likely not making use of them.

That retweeter of Philbin's tweet, by the way, is former MRC employee and current Daily Caller reporter Jeff Poor.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:54 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, March 3, 2012 7:04 PM EST

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