ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Thursday, March 15, 2012
CNS Oil Industry Shilling Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com keeps up its shilling for the oil industry -- which has funded CNS' parent, the Media Research Center -- in a spate of recent articles.

In a March 13 article, Penny Starr lets the American Petroleum Institute uncritically attack Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s claim that the oil and gas industry is not taking advantage of the leases it already holds. Starr does not permit anyone to respond to the API's claims.

Melanie Hunter managed to derive three separate articles out of a C-SPAN interview with former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister. The first, in which Hofmeister claims that, in Hunter's words, "the U.S. won’t have enough oil to fill gas tanks whatever the price and that high gas prices could lead to another recession," is seemingly contradicted by the second, in which Hofmeister notes that the recession has reduced U.S. demand foroil, and has a result "the [oil] companies are not just going to let gasoline sit in storage tanks, when the demand by Americans has been reduced. They’re going to sell it outside the country, which is what they’re doing."

Hunter seems uninterested in exploring whether U.S. oil needs would be better met if oil companies weren't exporting U.S. petroleum products.

The third article reinforces the right-wing talking point that most new drilling takes place on private land and that federal land permits have been "dramatically reduced in the last several years."cns


Posted by Terry K. at 9:10 PM EDT
Hypocritical Bozell Accuses MSNBC of Hypocrisy
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell writes to MSNBC president Phil Griffin:

Dear Mr. Griffin,

Your network, working on marching orders from Media Matters, is on a mission to take Rush Limbaugh off the air.  Far from being an independent journalistic enterprise, MSNBC is the very essence of a political lapdog of the far left.

Just last night on MSNBC, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, and Lawrence O’Donnell all devoted time on their programs attacking Rush. In each case, they grabbed at thin air looking, looking, looking for the opportunity shamelessly to keep the story alive.   

These assaults by MSNBC have nothing to do with what he said about Sandra Fluke, and everything to do with censoring prominent voices on the right.  Gas prices are nearing $4 a gallon, the unemployment rate hovers over 8%, the US debt is soaring to astronomical highs, but MSNBC is too busy to cover these legitimate news stories. Instead you go after Rush.
         
And you're doing it in the most hypocritical manner imaginable.

While your network continues to attack Rush, you personally continue to employ Ed Schultz.  Ed Schultz, the man who called Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut.”

[...]

If what Rush said is so offensive that it deserves your network's obsession with having him removed, then what are you going to do about a host who has a history of insults a hundred-fold worse than anything Limbaugh has ever said? Unless you fire Ed Schultz, you are a complete hypocrite.

It's time you take responsibility for hiring and promoting this hate-filled misogynist, and resign.

Hoo-boy. Where to begin?

We have the utterly shameless hypocrisy of a man who has offered nothing but the most tepid, milquetoast criticism of Rush Limbaugh's misogyny lecturing somebody else on hypocrisy about offensive remarks.

We have a man who has a regular weekly slot on Fox News, the political lapdog of the far right, lecturing somebody else about purported "marching orders from Media Matters" (which he offers no evidence of) and media bias.

We have someone who is paying his employees handsomely to steer the topic of discussion to anything except Rush lecturing someone about covering Rush.

We have a man who gave his organization's "William F. Buckley, Jr. Award for Media Excellence" to someone who calls women sluts and femi-Nazis.

And how, exactly, did Bozell calculate that Limbaugh calling Fluke a slut and a prostitute, that she's "having so much sex she can't afford her own birth control pills," that she's "round-heeled," that she "wants to be paid to have sex," and that she should "post the videos online so we can all watch" -- a torrent of sleaze inspired by one of Bozell's own employees, Craig Bannister -- is oneone-hundreth the insult of any single thing Ed Schultz said? Does the fact that Limbaugh is a conservative and, thus, is granted immunity by Bozell for these sleazy insults play a major role in that calculation?

If MSNBC must fire Schultz, Bozell must demand that Limbaugh not only be fired from his radio show but also that he return his Buckley award to the MRC. Unless that happens, he's an even more complete hypocrite than he already was.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:15 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012 6:43 PM EDT
WND Presents Pro-Birther News Report As 'Balanced'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A March 13 WorldNetDaily article touts the "stunner" of a purportedly "balanced" news report by a CBS affiliate in Phoenix on the press conference for the "investigation" by Joe Arpaio's cold case posse into President Obama's "eligibility."

But if you watch the segment, it's clear that it's slanted in favor of uncritically presenting only what the posse concluded, and there's no "balance" whatsoever in the form of telling the other side of the story, which is that birthers are pushing discredited conspiracy theories.

Funny idea of "balance" there, WND.

WND also presents as a "stunning challenge" birther posse leader Mike Zullo's claim that anyone who thinks the posse's conclusions are nothing but "B.S." should prove it. 

But as WND should know by now -- but won't tell its readers about -- the posse's claims have been discredited. WND doesn't actually care about "balance."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:59 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Silence and Slime at the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
Not only have Brent Bozell's Media Research Center subordinates refused to criticize Rush Limbaugh for his misogynistic attacks on Sandra Fluke, they defended Limbaugh's purported humor and did some Fluke-bashing of their own. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:18 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
WND's Massie Just Can't Quit Larry Sinclair
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Mychal Massie is apparently basing his Obama-hating columns on chain emails now, as his March 12 WorldNetDaily column:

If the media declared it their job to find the truth about George Bush, Justice Thomas, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, ad nauseum, why do they not feel the same way about Obama and his wife? Why are they not applying the same effort, and nearly unlimited resources, to once and for all settle Obama’s birth controversy? Why have they not applied the same determination in uncovering the truth surrounding the Obamas’ surrendering their law licenses? Lawyers I have spoken to tell me that lawyers would literally give up their families before surrendering their law licenses, unless there was a legitimate reason.

Sharon Bialek and Ginger White had a long history of impropriety and sordid pasts, but their accusations against Herman Cain were accepted as gospel truth. Anita Hill offered only disgusting allegations, but they were accepted as gospel truth. Do not the allegations of the late Larry Sinclair deserve the same investigative attention from the media that went into looking into President Bush’s past?

Sinclair, if you'll recall, is the man who claimed he did drugs and had sex with Barack Obama, a claim hyped by WND despite Sinclair offering no proof whatsoever to back it up.Massie ignores the fact that Sinclair is a habitual criminal who utterly discredited himself in a June 2008 press conference.

Also, Sinclair is not dead.

As for " the truth surrounding the Obamas’ surrendering their law licenses," Massie need only have consulted with the mythbusters at Snopes, which points out that both Barack and Michelle Obama placed their law licenses on inactive status because they didn't need them for the jobs they were performing at the time they surrendered them, not for any disciplinary action as Massie suggests.

It appears that Massie hates Obama more than he cares about the truth. Sad, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:13 PM EDT
Roland Martin Returns to CNN; MRC's Graham Hardest Hit
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham informs us in a March 13 NewsBusters post that CNN has lifted its suspension of Roland Martin as a commentator following what Graham called "Super Bowl Sunday tweets that offended the gay censorship lobby." Graham added, "CNN is apparently pleased with Martin's sackcloth-and-ashes apology tour with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Martin met with GLAAD lobbyist (and former CNN producer) Herndon Graddick on Valentine's Day."

As one of the lead gay-bashers at the Media Research Center, Graham made sure to get in some potshots by suggesting that Martin is still trying to curry favor with GLAAD: "He no doubt pleased GLAAD by complaining on Twitter Monday that no one had a sense of humor who was 'tripping' at the show 'GCB.' He said Christians should 'lighten up.' The show could not be made if it was titled 'Good Gay Bitches.'"

Of course, the MRC's idea of humor is Rush Limbaugh denigrating a woman for speaking out on birth control, so Graham and Co. may not be the best judges of what is and is not funny.

Graham added this detail of his tweet-fight with Martin over "GCB":

When I asked Martin if his wife the Rev. Jacquie Hood Martin objected or if the "bitches" title was okay because there were no black actresses in ABC's gang of "bitches," he only replied, "Nope. I get satire. But go ahead and knock yourself out, dude."

It appears Graham missed Martin while he was away and is glad to have someone to spar with again.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EDT
AIM's Kincaid Harshly Criticizes Limbaugh (But Not At AIM)
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In contrast to the tepid critiques of Brent Bozell, there is one conservative who has offered forceful criticism of Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic attacks on Sandra Fluke. However, he's apparently not allowed to offer that criticism at the website of his employer.

Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid has harshly criticized Limbaugh, but you won't read about it at AIM -- that sort of thing has been relegated to the fringe-right site Renew America.

In a March 8 Renew America column, Kincaid lamented that "Limbaugh has turned out to be the best thing going for President Obama and the Democrats." After bashing Fluke and the general idea of birth control pills,Kincaid pointed out that Limbaugh was wrong to assume that "birth control pills have no other medical purpose than preventing pregnancy," also noting that Limbaugh "didn't even have the guts to call her personally to apologize, leading to speculation that the hasty statement was a last-ditch effort to stop the mass exodus of his advertisers." Kincaid concluded:

Limbaugh is losing this debate and may lose his show. He has no one to blame but himself. Armed with no facts and a series of smears, Limbaugh, a college drop-out, went into a battle with a young woman law student that he lost and is continuing to lose. Conservatives can and should do better than this. Limbaugh should go, before even more damage to the cause is done.

In a March 10 Renew America column, Kincaid responded to critics:

My advice to those of you who have been critical of me for standing up to Rush Limbaugh: think for yourself. Don't be a "dittohead" for his phony "Gospel" of personal invective. Please stand up for moral values. We cannot hope to save America if we encourage or defend those who drag America down. We should not defend "conservatives" who are in the gutter with the liberals.

We do not have to sink to their level. We should not resort to insulting or abusive language. As an alternative to Limbaugh, I recommend Christian conservative broadcaster Janet Parshall. She is on 700 stations from Alaska to the Virgin Islands. Please listen to her.

Despite Kincaid's claims, Parshall does engage in false and misleading attacks. She baselessly claimed that terrorists wanted John Kerry to defeat President Bush in 2004; treated a satirical right-wing attack on Hillary Clinton as real; and called the adoption of children by same-sex couples "state-sanctioned child abuse."

Is that really any kinder and gentler than Limbaugh? Perhaps it is in Kincaid's world.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 7:30 PM EDT
Noel Sheppard Attacks Ex-McCain Advisers As Backstabbing Failures
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard really, really doesn't like the HBO movie about the 2008 McCain-Palin presidential campaign, "Game Change." Or, more accurately, he doesn't like the fact that it apparently tells that story through the eyes of two advisers who paint an unflattering portrait of the campaign.

Sheppard rants in a March 11 NewsBusters post that those two advisers, Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace, "not only were responsible for the worst presidential campaign in decades, but also ended up backstabbing the candidates they represented." He continued:

Instead, the film depicted this as being all Palin's fault, with her left afterward in an on-screen tantrum that concluded with the former Alaska governor throwing her cellphone at a wall.

Such disparagement was standard fare in HBO's "Game Change," which despite book co-author Mark Halperin's claim Palin critics would come away with a more favorable view of the object of their disaffection, this would only be true if you turned off your television after the first hour.

Hour two was filled with the typical Palin-bashing Americans have been exposed to since McCain named her as his running mate in August 2008.

In one scene, Julianne Moore as Palin doesn't know that the Queen of England has nothing to do with actually governing her country.

Sheppard went on to attack Wallace for setting up the now-infamous Sarah Palin interview with Katie Couric, and that "should have been excoriated given the results." But how is it Wallace's fault that Palin was unable to give a straight answer to a simple question like what newspapers she read?

Sheppard further ranted: "It appears that for a Republican to be held in high esteem by the liberal media, all he or she need do is run a failed presidential campaign - McCain-Palin suffered the biggest landslide since Michael Dukakis in 1988 - and then backstab the candidates you represented." 

In fact, all Sheppard is doing here is engaging in NewsBusters' favorite pastime of Heathering any conservative who fails to toe the right-wing line with sufficient fealty. And, in the case of Schimidt and Wallace, committing the offense of telling the truth about the McCain-Palin campaign.

But Shepaprd's not done complaining yet. In a March 12 post, he further rants regarding Schimidt that "despite his failure as the McCain-Palin campaign’s senior adviser, and his subsequent backstabbing of the candidates he represented, HBO’s 'Game Change' made him the hero of its Palin-bashing film that premiered Saturday."

Sheppard made it clear that he prefers mindless spouting of talking points over telling the truth:

One quite imagines that if Schmidt had kept his mouth shut and remained loyal to those he had previously served, he wouldn’t be receiving this kind of media adoration nor be a contributor to MSNBC.

[...]

But this is what becomes of failed Republican campaign advisers willing to proudly disparage those they used to work for: they are heralded as heroes rather than goats by a fawning media with what should be an obvious agenda, especially to those on the receiving end of the hypocritical praise.

For his part, Schmidt - clearly lacking a soul or a conscience - is going to ride this wave as far as it can go, as for him, the selection of Palin really was a game change.

Actually, it's Sheppard who's the one lacking a soul or conscience by putting ideology before facts. But then, the MRC is presumably paying him well to do exactly that.

UPDATE: Sheppard still isn't done with his tantrum: He also interviews Palin shill John Ziegler to help him attack those "backstabbing failures."


Posted by Terry K. at 7:48 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 10:16 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Newsmax's Hirsen Likens Limbaugh Critics to 'Totalitarian Dictators'
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen uses his March 12 Newsmax column to attack Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem for commiting the offense of criticizing Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic remarks about Sandra Fluke and others through what Hirsen called a "hit piece" on the CNN website. He complains that Fonda and Steinem "compare Limbaugh to Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels, criticizing him for using the term 'femi-nazi.'"

After rehashing the usual decades-old "Hanoi Jane" attacks, Hirsen concludes:

Interestingly, while expressing disdain over the use of the term “femi-nazi,” Fonda and her cohorts have illustrated why Rush’s coined phrase for radical feminists has a ring of truth to it, since they are choosing to follow in the footsteps of totalitarian dictators who seek to silence those with whom they disagree.

In fact, Limbaugh has used "feminazi" to describe pretty much an non-conservative woman he disagrees with.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:04 PM EDT
Did The MRC Kill Its 'I Stand With Rush' Website?
Topic: Media Research Center

On March 5, as part of Brent Bozell's campaign to downplay Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic attack on Sandra Fluke, the Media Research Center created an "I Stand With Rush" website, where visitors could sign a petition denouncing "attempts by radical left-wing organizations and the media to censor Rush and his commonsense conservative message." In the accompanying video, as we noted, Bozell couldn't be moved to criticize Limbaugh beyond we can "all agree Limbaugh crossed a line" and changed the subject to attack liberals.

The also provided a place for Rush fans to contact advertisers who announced they were abandoning the show "but still advertise on left-wing hate radio. Call them and tell them to end the double standard."

It's only been a week, but the MRC seems to have changed its mind about standing with Rush. IStandWithRush.org now redirects to the MRC's "Tell the Truth!" website, its hypocritical anti-media campaign. That website, however, does not link to the Limbaugh petition .(Here's what's left of the site's main page in Google cache, and here's the cache of the advertiser target page. The site's Bozell video remains embedded at NewsBusters.)

So what happened? Did Bozell and the MRC suddenly have a fit of conscience and realize that their pro-Rush website looked like it was rewarding Limbaugh for his hateful remarks? Did they suddenly remember that Limbaugh's three-day-long tirade of misogynism, from which Bozell and crew are trying to distract, was inspired by an MRC employee? Or did so few people sign the petition that the plug was pulled after a week?

Whatever the reason, the MRC is keeping quiet so far, perhaps out of embarassment.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:58 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:48 PM EDT
CNS Just Can't Stop Using Afghan War to Bash Obama
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has regularly denigrated the war effort in Afghanistan by emphasizing the number of U.S. troops killed there under President Obama, something it never did during the Iraq War under President Bush.

CNS keeps up that bias with a March 12 article by Patrick Goodenough touting a poll claiming that "A growing number of Americans – including Republicans – believe the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting."

By contrast, to our knowledge, CNS did not report to its readers about polls that showed growing public disapproval of the war in Iraq in the final years of the Bush administration. And in his article, Goodenough makes no mention whatsoever of the war in Iraq.

That tells us that CNS is cynically using the Afghan war to attack Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:00 PM EDT
Bozell STILL Won't Criticize Limbaugh
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell's utter cowardice in issuing any meaningful criticism of Rush Limbaugh continues in his weekly appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News show.

Bozell used this national platform to issue yet another tepid critique of Limbaugh's misogynist attack on Sandra Fluke: "Let's underscore here, Sean: Rush crossed a line, he acknowledges he crossed a line, he apologized profusely for doing that."

In fact, Limbaugh did not "apologize profusely"; he apologized only for using the words "slut" and "prostitute," not for the dozens of other attacks he hurled at Fluke.

Also, Bozell saying we should "underscore" his tepid criticism doesn't make it any less tepid.

Bozell and Hannity, of course, spent much more time attacking Bill Maher than they did Limbaugh. Bozell atone point said that MSNBC's Chris Matthews "called Bill Maher the funniest, smartest man in the businesson February 27 when he was his guest. Can you explain hypocrisy any better than this?"

Apparently, according to Bozell, denouncing Maher while giving Limbaugh a pass doesn't count as a better explanation of hypocrisy.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:51 AM EDT
Monday, March 12, 2012
Farah's 'Proudest Achievement" Has A Flaw
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For months now, WorldNetDaily has been promoting (and, of course, selling) a book called "The Harbinger" by Jonathan Cahn, which posits that "the seemingly innocuous words of Isaiah 9:10" are actually a prophecy of 9/11. Now, WND has produced a video based on the book, which WND editor Joseph Farah does some serious gushing over in his March 11 column:

Pride is not a great attribute.

The Bible tells us that “pride goeth before destruction.” (Proverbs 16:18) But it’s clear that the Bible is talking about pride, in this context, as a “haughty spirit.”

There’s another kind of “pride” that is perfectly healthy. It’s the feeling you get when, with God’s help, you accomplish something that brings people closer to Him and perhaps more in line with His will for their lives.

As a writer, publisher, editor and journalist, I’ve had a few moments in my life in which I got the feeling of satisfaction that I had done something to further God’s kingdom.

I have that feeling today about a new video documentary I produced called “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.”

[...]

It’s the story of how what happened to the U.S. Sept. 11, 2001, was a warning – from God. And it provides what I believe to be overwhelming evidence to support that conclusion.

Just one problem: It may not exactly be the most rigorous piece of Biblical scholarship in the world.

As Richard Bartholomew points out, this appears to be another one of those cases where a Bible verse  is plucked out of context to promote someone's theory.

The key Isaiah verse -- "The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars" -- is apparently treated in the book as something that was literally fulfilled at Ground Zero. As stated in another WND article, a sycamore tree that was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks was replaced by a tree in "the same genus as the cedar."

As Bartholomew notes: "The new trees at the site are pines are rather cedars, and it’s unclear how they 'replace' the famous sycamore that stood near St Paul’s Chapel, but apparently we can dispense with literalism when it suits."

So, to sum up: Farah has declared his "proudest achievement" to be selective Bible reading presented as prophecy.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 PM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Deceptively Attacks 'Doonesbury' Artist Over Abortion Strips
Topic: CNSNews.com

If CNSNews.com editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey ever cared about journalism, he certainly doesn't now. All he cares about is stoking the right-wing outrage machine, as his eagerness to use CNS as a platform for his hatred of President Obama makes all too clear.

Jeffrey is willing to abuse his CNS platform for other right-wing causes as well, as is demonstrated by a March 11 "news" article attacking "Doonesbury" artist Garry Trudeau for a series this week mocking a new Texas law mandating invasive ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion, in particular Trudeau's statement that there's no difference between that and rape.

Jeffrey, however, stacks the deck against Trudeau. First, Jeffrey buries Trudeau's explanation of his statement in the 11th paragraph of his article. Second, Jeffrey uses the interim paragraphs to tellhis own version of the law:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld the law in January, describing its requirements as follows: “The amendments require the physician ‘who is to perform an abortion’ to perform and display a sonogram of the fetus, make audible the heart auscultation of the fetus for the woman to hear, and explain to her the results of each procedure and to wait 24 hours, in most cases, between these disclosures and performing the abortion. A woman may decline to view the images or hear the heartbeat, but she may decline to receive an explanation of the sonogram images only on certification that her pregnancy falls into one of three statutory exceptions.”

The court said that under the law “the physician’s unconditional obligations are merely to display images so they may be viewed, to provide an understandable explanation, and to make audible the auscultation.” The law, the court said, “specifically does not require the physician to ensure the woman views the images, that she understands the explanation, or that she listens to the auscultation.”

Well, that's not exactly what the appeals court said: Jeffrey is editorializing by italicizing certain words, and he carefully avoids mentioning that the sonogram device is, as Trudeau described it, "a vaginal probe with a hard, plastic 10-inch wand" -- which is specifically what Trudeau was referring to, pointing out that "The World Health Organization defines rape as "physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration — even if slight — of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object.'"

Jeffrey also falsely attacks Obama over an anti-abortion law he opposed as a state senator, claiming that he "sought to maintain legal protection for" abortions in which the fetus survives. In fact, as we pointed out when CNS did this previously, Obama has said that the behavior the law would have banned was already illegal.

Jeffrey concludes his article by bizarrely noting: "Trudeau was an embryo in 1947 and was born on July 21, 1948."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:26 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Loren at Barackryphal caught WorldNetDaily's Jack Cashill, on his personal website, promoting that his anti-Obama book "Deconstructing Obama" had "just won book of the year for 2011 at Lysander Spooner Law School." Just one problem: Lysander Spooner Law School doesn't exist -- it's simply the name of a birther's blog who plans to sell fake law degrees on the side.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:02 AM EDT

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

« March 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 30 31

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

Add ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch to Newsburst from CNET News.com