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Monday, July 23, 2012
MRC's Funhouse Mirror: Fox's Right-Wing Bias Demonstrates Rest of Media's Liberal Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

It's logic that could only apply at the Media Research Center: Fox News' obsession with reporting only negative news about President Obama doesn't mean it has as right-wing bias, it means the rest of the media is liberal.

That's exactly what Clay Waters posits in a July 19 MRC TimesWatch post complaining that a New York Times article accurately pointed out Fox News chief Roger Ailes having "professed to be steering the network toward a 'course correction,' an acknowledgment that it had shifted too hard to the right." But in Waters' funhouse mirror, even Fox admitting its bias doesn't mean it's biased -- rather, it means that all non-Fox media has a liberal bias:

New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters unwittingly revealed the widespread liberal bias of the media in Thursday's report on how the Fox News Channel has really gotten under President Obama's skin: "Jokes About Fox News Creep Into Obama's Comments as the Campaign Heats Up."

[...]

But whether he realizes it or not, Peters' analysis says more about the stark lack of Obama-scandal coverage in the liberal media than it does about slant at Fox News.

And what is the prime example of Waters serves up? "The Media Research Center documented that it took five days for the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks to even notice Obama's remark from last Friday denigrating individual initiative: 'If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that; somebody else made that happen.'"

Needless to say, Waters is displaying his own bias by taking Obama's words out of context. Not that anyone at the MRC thinks that's a bad thing (when it comes to Obama, anyway).


Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 PM EDT
Pat Boone Peddles More Lies About Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Clean-cut Pat Boone is not averse to spreading filthy lies about President Obama, and his July 20 WorldNetDaily article is not exception.

Boone writes, "In his first executive order in the White House he authorized $250 million to Planned Parenthood worldwide, becoming 'the abortion president.'" Not only is that not Obama's first executive order -- that involved reforming the procedures by which former presidents limit access to their public records -- we can't seem to find any executive order that "authorized $250 million to Planned Parenthood," let alone that any of that money paid for abortion.

Boone claimed that Obama "grant[ed] virtual amnesty to children of illegal-alien parents, specifically those in the U.S. age 16 to 24." In fact, Obama did not grant "virtual amnesty"; he permitted prosecutorial discretion in delaying legal action against certain undocumented immigrants.

Boone also went birther:

Though he promised “unprecedented transparency,” he has famously spent millions to keep his own early school, travel and passport records forever hidden from the citizens who elected him. Even the supposed “birth certificate” he presented has been proven by experts to be a photoshopped fraud, which in court would be ruled a crime worthy of impeachment.

First, these so-called "experts" have been discredited at every turn (for instance, here). Second, not even WND has proven that Obama "famously spent millions" to hide is records; his campaign paid a law firm money for legal services that included defending Obama in a birther lawsuit. Only the truly stupid and gullible can extrapolate "spending millions hiding records" from that.

And the parade of lies from Boone continues. Doesn't he realize he'll destroy his clean-cut reputation if this filth keeps spewing from his mouth?


Posted by Terry K. at 6:29 PM EDT
CNS Still Adding Right-Wing Bias to AP Headlines
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is feeling the need to keep up its unprofessional history of adding right-wing bias to unbiased headlines from the Associated Press.

A July 19 AP article was sent out with the headline "In Florida, Obama criticizes Romney over Medicare."

Run that headline through CNS' bias machine, and it pops out with the words "Scaring the Elderly" appended to the beginning.

The AP article itself, it should be mention, contains no accusation of Obama "scaring the elderly."

CNS' use of AP articles is only a cover to obscure the massive right-wing bias the rest of the website has. But if it keeps rewriting AP headlines like this, isn't that a breach of contract? Shouldn't the AP pull CNS' membership?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 PM EDT
ConWeb Ignores Reality on Firing Back At Aurora Shooter
Topic: The ConWeb

Various ConWeb outlets have been pushing the idea that had someone with a gun been in the audience at the Aurora, Colo., theater where James Holmes allegedly killed 12 people and wounded dozens, they could have stopped Holmes before the carnage became too much:

  • A WorldNetDaily article by Chelsea Schilling highlights how the company that operates the theater where Holmes allegedly carried out his massacre bans all handguns. She quotes Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert as saying, “Well it does make me wonder, you know with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying that could’ve stopped this guy more quickly?”
  • Lowell Ponte wrote in a July 19 Newsmax column: "What the mainstream media will not speculate about is that this shooter could have been stopped immediately if most law-abiding Colorado citizens in that movie theater had themselves been armed."
  • Ron Meyer wrote in a July 21 CNSNews.com blog post (boldface is his): I cannot help but think, if one person in that audience was carrying a gun with them, that person could have saved lives. Unfortunately - despite what some of the Left have said - this tragedy is an example of the importance of our Second Amendment Rights."

All of these people are ignoring the reality of the circumstances of the Aurora shooting. As Slate's David Weigel details:

[Holmes] wore a bulletproof vest, helmet, and gask mask, and entered a movie theater that was playing The Dark Knight Rises—so the room was dark and loud. He tossed a "gas canister" that went off and would have obscured the vision of anyone looking back at him.

[...]

You've got dark, panic, an enclosed space, and some kind of painful gas. No one's in any position to get the jump on the shooter. No one has a place to hide from him—he has a perfect vantage point of every seat. And he's wearing protective gear.

So, I think the answer for Gohmert is: No. No one was in an ideal position to pull a Dirty Harry on the man shooting at him/her in a panicked theater.

Any chance the ConWeb will acknowledge these factors in calling for wider firearms availability in theaters? Probably not.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:21 AM EDT
Sunday, July 22, 2012
CNS Commenters Smear DNC Chairman As 'Slut,' 'Bitch'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Terry Jeffrey has turned CNS into a honey trap for racists, homophobes, misogynists, and other just plain hateful readers who hang out in the website's comment forums.

That continues in a July 18 CNS article by Eric Scheiner in which he quotes Democratic National Committee chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz telling a women's gathering that it should focus on electing women to Congress who will work for "ensuring access to birth control."

Scheiner's article brought out misogynistic readers who not only engaged in the usual sexist jokes about her looks, they called Wasserman Schultz a "bitch," a "slut," a "whore,' "heifer" and a "wench" who should be "moving to NY and turning tricks near the Holland Tunnel," "needs a bucket of fast drying cement poured down her throat," not to mention should have been aborted. One reader served up a more explicit death threat: "Let's drag her behind a car."










Some of these comments date back three days, which says that either CNS doesn't monitor its comments or nobody flagged them as offensive. Both possibilities raise questions about CNS and its readership.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EDT
WND Sneers At Gays: 'Do These Khakis Make Me Look Kinky?'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has typically been hostile to gays, but it has apparently decided to ratchet up the hate.

On July 19, WND sent out an email to its readers promoting an article by Bob Unruh -- with the headline "Pentagon gets 'gayer' than ever" -- complaining that the Pentagon granted permission for gay members of the military  to wear their uniforms in a gay-pride parade. That email had this headline: "Do these khakis make me look kinky?"

What "kinky" khakis have to do with anything in Unruh's article, WND doesn't say -- indeed, the word "khakis" doesn't even appear in the article. It seems to be merely WND taking an opportunity to sneer at gays asserting their rights.

It's highly unprofessional, of course. But since when has birther-obsessed WND cared about acting in a professional manner?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2012 9:40 AM EDT
Saturday, July 21, 2012
CNS Just Can't Stop Being Dishonest About Planned Parenthood
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com, it seems, is simply unable to stop falsely framing Planned Parenthood's federal funding.

In a July 19 CNS article, Elizabeth Harrington repeats CNS' boilerplate assertion that "Planned Parenthood received  $487.4 million in tax dollars; and according to its fact sheet, Planned Parenthood performed 329,445 abortions in 2010."

As we've repeatedly detailed,  the federal money Planned Parenthood receives cannot and does not pay for abortion services.

Why does CNS persist in this false framing? Surely they know it's dishonest. Or perhaps that's why they persist.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 PM EDT
Conspiracist Farah Hates Being Exposed As A Conspiracist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If there's anything Joseph Farah likes less than legitimate criticism of him and his website -- about which he's notoriously thin-skinned -- it's being exposed for the conspracist he is.

That explains Farah's July 18 WorldNetDaily column, in which he has a fit over an Arizona TV station highlighting the manipulation WND engaged in to get Arizona officials involved in his birther crusade. As we've seen him do before, Farah nit-picks minor errors, issues narrowly crafted and less-than-true denials, and personally attacks the reporter making the charges, all in an attempt to distract from the larger questions regarding his and WND's behavior that Farah has steadfastly refused to answer.

The gist of the TV station's report is that both WND and Tom Ballantyne, whom the station described as "a wealthy conspiracy theory peddler," made presentations before the Surprise Tea Party, an Arizona group,  after which members of thegroup sent "a barrage of emails" to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett -- who also happens to be Mitt Romney's campaign co-chairman in Arizona -- that prompted him to investigate President Obama's birth certificate.

Farah seized upon a minor error by reporter Morgan Loew to attack the reporter and make a less-than-factual denial:

For instance, Loew demands to know if Bennett “knew Ballantyne and Corsi were employees and/or contributors to publications owned by Joseph Farrah (sic).” Since I have had nothing to do with the Western Journalism Center since 1999, when I left to found WND as a for-profit entity, the premise of the question is not even true. I never owned Western Journalism Center, as it has always been a tax-exempt, nonprofit charity.

Farah is misleading. While technically correct about the nonprofit status of the WJC and the fact he doesn't currently run it, so far as we know (Loew did accurately state elsewhere in the article that Farah founded both WJC and WND), Farah is being disingenuous about his relationship with the group. WND was founded in 1997 as a division of the WJC, and as he previously admitted, the WJC continued to own part of WND as recently as 2002 (and likely later), three years after he said he had "nothing to do" with the WJC. It's unclear how much, if any, of WND the WJC currently owns -- Farah is notoriously tight-lipped about the money that backs him (though we've tried to figure it out).

Further, WND continues to have a relationship with WJC. It publishes columns by the group's current leader, Floyd Brown, and it collaborated with the WJC on a falsehood-ridden anti-Obama book in 2010.

While Farah may not personally be currently involved in running the WJC, there is indisputably a relationship between these two organizations he founded, and Farah really should stop playing games in obscuring the nature of that relationship.

Farah also complains:

He demands to know whether Bennett “thinks he was manipulated by Farrah (sic) and his followers to take state action on the issue.” Since I have never met Bennett, written to him, phoned him or spoken to him, I would suggest the answer to that loaded question is “no.”

That's a suspicioiusly specific denial. Farah doesn't answer the question of whether any of his WND employees, such as Jerome Corsi, contacted Bennett, or whether he directed Corsi or others to do so.

Farah makes a strange complaint about Loew's description of Ballantyne as "a wealthy conspiracy theory peddler," retorting that "the story never explains how wealthy he is or how he may have accumulated his wealth." That sounds like Farah knows exactly how wealthy Ballantyne is and how he may have accumulated his wealth, and has decided to be a jerk about it. WND, after all, has promoted Ballantyne's birther activism, so it's unlikely that Farah doesn't know who he is.

Finally, Farah tries to belittle Loew in a way that makes it seem he's talking about himself:

Here’s a guy painting broad conspiracies to explain what turns out to be an inconsequential event without even knowing how to spell some of the participants’ names, while labeling others he has never met nor talked to as “conspiracy peddlers.”

Hasn't WND's entire birther crusade been all about blowing up inconsequential events into broad conspiracies? Yeah, pretty much.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 AM EDT
Friday, July 20, 2012
Bozell's Hypocritical Apology Demand
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell has a myopic NewsBusters post:

This morning, in the aftermath of the unspeakable Colorado massacre that claimed at least 12 innocent American lives and injured dozens more, ABC "news" investigative reporter Brian Ross appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and made the outrageous, irresponsible, and completely unfounded claim that the alleged gunman, 24-year-old Jim Holmes, is a member of the Tea Party. Apparently Ross has learned absolutely nothing from the media's disgraceful rush to judgment and dissemination of misinformation following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.
 
That's twice now that the "news" media have falsely implicated the Tea Party in murder.

[...]

In a moment that demanded clarity of thought and purpose, Ross rushed to slander those with whom he does not agree politically, exposing the depths and darkness of his political prejudices. Shame on Brian Ross, and shame on ABC News for not yet demanding he look directly into the camera and beg forgiveness for politicizing this terrible event. Ross' meek Twitter apology is a cynically insincere slap in the face to us all.

Unmentioned in Bozell's post: A rush to judgment by the biased right-wing media he loves.

in a post at Breitbart.com, editor Joel Pollak declared that the accused shooter, James Holmes, "registered as a Democrat on June 14, 2011. He registered from an address in La Plata County, Colorado, and his status is listed as 'inactive.'" Pollak laughably asserted that "There are certainly more facts in our documents than in ABC News' irresponsible speculations."

Pollak, meanwhile, attacked Ross and ABC for their error, and even admitted that ABC has issued a "straightforward apology." By contrast, Pollak issued only a correction and no apology.

It wasn't until a full five hours later that Pollak started to backtrack from his false accusation, finally concediing that "the suspect may, in fact, not have been registered to vote."

Where's Bozell's outrage over this? Why is it OK in his mind to smear Democrats but not conservatives? Shouldn't Joel Pollak issue the very same abject apology Bozell demands from Brian Ross?

If he won't treat Pollak the same as Ross, Bozell is nothing but a coward and a hypocrite. But we knew that already, didn't we?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Salon has an interesting profile of WorldNetDaily columnist and Obama conspiracy-monger Jack Cashill. The article's conclusion sums up Cashill quite well:

Seeing Obama lead the free world may infuriate Cashill, but that’s garden-variety political anger. Seeing Obama celebrated as an author — that’s personal, and intolerable. You can’t fake being a good writer, and yet Obama is doing it. Or maybe Obama really is a good writer, and that’s even worse. There he goes again, using words Jack Cashill has never heard, citing authors Jack Cashill has never read, failing to make errors Jack Cashill would have made, laughing off his undergraduate poems while Jack Cashill pores over them, deep into the night, begging them to betray their author once and for all. There he goes, forgetting all about a poem he wrote in high school while Jack Cashill recites his own prize-winning composition, proudly, to an audience of one.

Yes, Cashill really did claim that "I can still recite the poem that won a class contest when I was a freshman in high school."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
NewsBusters Still Hates Context (For Obama)
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters has a passive-aggressive relationship with putting words in their proper context: It will demand that the words of conservatives be placed in context, but not only does it happily quote, say, President Obama out of context and declare any attempt to put them back in their true context as "making excuses."

We see that again in a July 19 post by Tom Blumer, in which he denounces the Associated Press for putting Obama's statement "If you've got a business, you didn't build that" -- which right-wingers like Blumer have made a point of taking out of context -- in its origial context of talking about the roads, bridges and other infrastructure that makes it possible for customers to get to those businesses:

Geez, Steve, what part of "you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen" didn't you understand?

Note well that Peoples didn't write: "Obama said that his intended point was ..." He asserted as an indisputable, established fact what Obama's "intended point" was. You don't know that, pal -- no matter how many other Obama speeches you quote.

Actually, it's quite clear from Obama's words what he intended to say, and indeed did say. But Blumer is too invested in dishonestly taking that statement out of context that he just can't help but parrot the right-wing talking point du jour:

Not "somebody else created the infrastructure (with your taxes) which made pursuing your dreams more possible." Not "somebody else educated your employees (with your taxes) which made leveraging your talents possible." And even if the President was right -- and of course, he's not -- the "progressive" tax system which already takes a disproportionate percentage of income from high earners squares the deal.

In Obama's warped world, you didn't close the sale; "somebody else" did. You didn't screen, vet, hire, and motivate employes; "somebody else" did. You didn't organize and manage your work flow, vendor, and customer relationships; "somebody else" did. On a more personal level, you didn't orchestrate the complex elements (incuding government red tape) of building of your new home; "somebody else" did.

No amount of "context" can paper over the fact that in Obama's world successful people don't have a right to claim credit for their success. The government and the collective deserve all of it, and how dare you think otherwise? There's no room for, or even acknowledgment of, "individual initiative" in the president's "you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen" remark.

No amount of ranting can paper over the fact that Blumer doesn't care about context or even facts. He has right-wing marching orders, and he must deny reality to carry them out.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 PM EDT
WND Race-Baiting Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

While we were posting our compendium of race-baiting by WorldNetDaily and Colin Flaherty, they were tag-teaming for yet another racial tirade.

Flaherty once again operates from the premise that only blacks are violent:

Ready to play the Knockout Game?

The St. Louis version is the most popular, so let’s start there: Begin with a bunch of black people. Anywhere from five to 50.

Find a white person, but an Asian will do. Alone is important. Older is better. Weak and defenseless even more so.

Without warning, punch that person in the face as hard as you can. You win if you score a Knockout.

If not, keep punching until your arms and legs get too tired to continue. Or the person dies.

You can play anywhere, but “vibrant and culturally mixed” South Grand District is probably best. That is where the victims are: Asians, “gay” people, artists, yuppies – people who won’t fight back.

By contrast, the St. Louis Riverfront Times points out that the "knockout game" is not exclusively a black thing, as Flaherty would have you believe:

But Knockout King does not appear to be bounded by race. Jason, from St. Louis County, says two white friends were part of his punch-out crew. One Dutchtown woman, agreeing to speak on the condition that her name not be published, says police caught her son, who is white, playing Knockout King two years ago, when he was sixteen. He and some friends had been hiding between buildings on Gravois Avenue, and he popped out to club a bicyclist who'd come rolling along.

"It's not a black thing, it's a kid thing," the woman says. "It's teenage kids trying to be cool. My son's as white as can be. He doesn't have a black bone in his body."

As with other recent Flaherty articles, WND appended a defensive "editor's note" insisting that "WND considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims." Of course, the only way to consider this "racial abuse" is to pretend that only blacks commit violent crimes -- which, as we just demonstrated, is an utterly false premise.

Flaherty is ignoring evidence that people of other races commit the very crime he purports to be outraged about -- which amply demonstrates this is all about race-baiting, not about the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:35 AM EDT
Thursday, July 19, 2012
MRC's Graham Smears Huma Abedin
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham feels the need to go Muslim-bashing in a July 19 NewsBusters post by smearing Huma Abedin, aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

While most other conservatives are rushing to defend Abedin from specious allegations made by right-wing Rep. Michele Bachmann, Graham has thrown in his lot with Bachmann's Islamophobia, baseless attacking Abedin as "an ardent Sharia-imposing Muslim Brotherhood activist."

What evidence does Graham offer that she is any of those things? None. None whatsoever.

But that's pretty much the level of "research" we've come to expect from the MRC these days, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:38 PM EDT
Zullo, Farah Whine That Birther Posse's Motives Are Being Questioned
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The birthers are getting desperate. WorldNetDaily and its proxy in Joe Arpaio's cold case posse, Mike Zullo, have become increasingly annoyed that their motives are being questioned and whining -- falsely -- that their so-called evidence is being ignored.

First up is Zullo, in a July 17 WND article by Art Moore, in which he whines that at that day's dud of a press conference, he was asked about the book on the investigation he co-wrote with WND's Jerome Corsi. Zullo declared that "I’ve made nothing out of that book" -- yet Moore quoted him as saying that he "received a check [for] $700 and another for $630." That apparently doesn't count as making money because "All of that money, he said, went directly to his church." Being the obsequious WND drone he is, Moore not only doesn't challenge Zullo on his blatant lie, doesn't ask the logical question of why the posse, a nonprofit group, shouldn't keep that money. Of course, if he did perform that act of journalism, Moore would also have to ask that very same question of Corsi, his fellow WND employee, and you know that ain't gonna happen.

Moore also quotes Zullo as saying, "Obviously, the information we are bringing forth is becoming very difficult for them to refute." In fact, we cited refutations of Zullo's "information" that were first published before Zullo announced them -- one of them by an organization founded by WND editor Joseph Farah.

The issue is not that Zullo's evidence is "difficult for them to refute," it's that it's difficult for Zullo to admit that it has, in fact, been refuted.

Speaking of Farah, he whined about the same thing in his July 17 column:

After watching the press reaction and “questions” following Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s breathtaking news conference yesterday, I have to tell you I’m embarrassed to call myself a newsman.

If someone asks me what I do for a living, maybe I’ll identify myself as an Internet entrepreneur.

Or maybe I’ll say I’m a “writer.”

Or maybe a publisher or businessman.

I never thought it would come to this. Being a newsman was all I ever wanted to be as far back as I can remember. It’s really all I’ve ever done through adulthood. It’s all I really know and love.

But I don’t ever want to be associated with that pack of jackals from Phoenix who jumped all over Arpaio and his investigator, Mike Zullo, for courageously presenting overwhelming evidence – I would even use the term “proof” – that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is fraudulent and that the state of Hawaii is not only a willing accomplice in this scandal but perpetrating an even bigger one as a virtual factory for phony documents giving noncitizens instant citizenship with a stroke of the pen.

Farah is lying, of course. Farah has freely admitted he's "an activist, a crusader" and no longer a journalist. It's unclear why he would be "embarrassed" to be called a "newsman" when he has completely abandoned journalism.

Farah concludes with a bit of false self-aggrandization:

I may not want to associate myself with the media anymore out of sheer humiliation. But I promise you one thing: I’m not going to stop being a real journalist. I’m not going to stop doing what I’ve been doing for 35 years. I’m not going to stop supporting intrepid, independent renegades like the WND team who make me believe there’s still hope for redeeming the media.

If Farah was a "real journalist," he would have disclosed by now the full extent -- including financial -- of WND's ties with Arpaio and the posse. He also have reported how his entire birther crusade has been discredited, but people like John Woodman remain persona non grata at WND.

It seems that the "real journalists" are the ones questioning the motivations and evidence of Zullo and Farah, not the ones who uncritically regurgitate their discredited research, which is what Zullo and Farah want.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:44 PM EDT
Seton Motley's GM Derangement Syndrome
Topic: NewsBusters

We recently caught former Media Research Center director of communications Seton Motley -- who refused to accept responsibility for his inflammatory and just plain dumb attacks while at the MRC -- making numerous misleading claims about General Motors' sales. Motley strikes again in a July 16 NewsBusters post peddling even more false claims about GM.

Motley declared that "The Press is at every turn covering up - rather than covering - the serial failures of President Obama's signature vehicle," the Chevy Volt. As Media Matters points out, the Volt was in development well before Obama became president.

Media Matters also debunks several other false and misleading claims Motley makes -- for instance, his assertion that the "Volt fire problem remains unsolved." In fact, regulators concluded an inquiry into the Volt after finding it was just as safe as conventional cars, that the three fires associated with Volts had occurred after extreme crash tests, and GM voluntarily offered to make the cars even safer by reinforcing the battery pack.

Why is the MRC allowing Motley to blog at NewsBusters when he cares much more for hurling mean-spirited invective and false attacks than about the truth? Or did we just answer our own question?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 PM EDT

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