Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC won't fact-check Mitt Romney out of fear the truth will make him look bad -- but it will fact-check a Kanye West song. Read more >>
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
WND 'Review' Of WND Writer's Book Is Just As Fawning As You'd Expect
Nobody was expecting WorldNetDaily's Jim Fletcher to write anything but a positive review of fellow WND employee Aaron Klein's new Obama-bashing book, but this is ridiculous.
Fletcher's Sept. 25 WND review of Klein's "Fool Me Twice" is not only the fawning fluff-job you'd expect from someone who declared that Klein's previous Obama hatchet job "will reduce the Obama myth to a mere shadow as it blasts the political landscape upon release" -- it proves that Fletcher has fully imbibed the WND Kool-Aid that turns any WND writer into a sputtering anti-Obama conspiracy-monger.
Fletcher brings no critical credulty whatsoever to his "review" and is fully on board with Klein's ranting:
Fletcher concludes: "Educate yourselves, dear Americans, and internalize the message of 'Fool Me Twice': If the country is foolish enough to elect this man a second time, there will be no more country."
Of course, if Fletcher actually offered genuine criticism instead of mindless parroting, he wouldn't be writing for WND.
Bozell's Meaningless, Hypocritical Anti-Media Letter
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell has released a letter signed by more than 20 "prominent conservative leaders" in which they engage in the usual ant-media ranting and declare that they are "publicly urging our members to seek out alternative sources of political news in order to make an intelligent, well-informed decision on November 6."
It's not news that they despise the so-called "liberal media," and they have likely been poisoning their followers against it for years. So there's nothing new in their urging people to seek other sources because they've been doing that for a long time.
Bozell's letter is the usual evidence-free right-wing ranting that the media won't credulously report right-wing talking points as news. Bozell also wrote:
But Bozell has demonstrated he does not follow these SPJ guidelines with his own "news" organization, CNSNews.com. CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has a clear anti-Obama bias that presents itself as advocacy, his reporters have similar right-wing biases, it does the bidding of MRC donors in its reporting, and it's so biased it presents right-wing talking points as "news."
Bozell could have made CNS a shining example of how a news organization should operate; instead, it's a mirror-image caricature of the purported bias he rages against.
If Bozell cannot even run his own "news" organization without bias, what moral authority does he have to criticize alleged bias in others? None that we can see.
More Massie Depravity: Romney's An 'Open Book' Despite Concealing Same Records Obama Is
Mychal Massie's hatred of President Obama is already at derangement epidemic levels. It appears that his hypocrisy is too.
Massie rants in his Sept. 24 WorldNetDaily column:
Of course, it isn't true that Obama's "lawyers have been paid millions" to keep his records hidden -- his records are protected by the same privacy laws that Massie's are.
Massie then writes:
Massie seems to have missed the fact that Romney also has not released many of the same records he accuses Obama of hiding -- his elementary school or Harvard Law School records, his bar association records, his baptism records, or the records of his family's repatriation from Mexico. Yet, Massie describes Romney as an "open book" while he slams Obama as secretive.
Further, release of two years of tax forms and a brief, dishonest summary of his taxes from the previous 20 years hardly qualifies as an "open book" disclosure.
Massie also fails to explain why the records he demands from Obama are "necessary or legally required" while Romney's tax records are not.
But then, Massie's a depraved liar whose hatred of Obama is pathological, so nobody can expect logic or common sense from him.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Newsmax's Ruddy Back in the Romney Fold
It was just a month or so that Newsmax editor was praising President Obama's foreign policy, thus undermining one of the purposes of a conservative, which is to boost Mitt Romney's campaign. He followed that up with a column criticizing the way Romney's campaign was being run.
Ruddy, it seems, has seen the error of his bipartisan ways, for he's back to toeing the pro-Romney party line. Last week, Ruddy endorsed Romney, and now, in a Sept. 24 column, he's spinning Romney's bad poll numbers into peddling "game-changing ideas" on how he can defeat Obama:
Rudgy goes on to advise Romney to "go negative," "stop 'splanin'" and to "do one nationally televised address each week for four weeks before election day on a key topic, giving specifics on how he will fix the problem" just like Ronald Reagan did.
Aaron Klein's Obama Video Fail
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has been desperately trying to climb aboard the bandwagon of old leaked videos of President Obama saying things that sound vaguely controversial. But they're not, no matter how much Klein tries to tart them up.
Klein first gave it a try in a Sept. 17 WND article:
It's kinda cute how Klein suggests that KleinOnline -- the website WND created for him -- isn't actually his.
But "common good" is hardly a controversial concept. Klein labors to make something out of nothing by extrapolating Obama's reference to the "notion that we collectively can decide on our fate" into a reference to "the collective" comes across as a desperate attempt at language manipulation.
But nobody bit on Klein's video -- presumably because only obsessive Obama-haters and word-twisters like Klein can see anything sinister in what Obama said -- so he gave it another shot in a Sept. 23 article featuring a separate interview in which Obama basically said the same thing. But the lameness of Klein's lead paragraph demonstrates even more clearly how much Klein is trying to make a mountain of a molehill:
All Klein has is that Obama discussed the idea of "common ground" 18 years ago. That's it.This is even emptier than Klein's usual M.O. of guilt by association.
That's how desperate Klein is to smear Obama.
NewsBusters Heathering Watch
NewsBusters regularly engages in what we call Heathering -- sniping at media conservatives for even the slightest deviation from the right-wing party line, which demand absolute fealty to the case and tolerates no criticism whatsoever.
Jeffrey Meyer provides a fine example of Heathering in a Sept. 20 NewsBusters post, snarking at MSNBC's Joe Scarborough for calling himself a conservative, adding, "well at least the sort of 'conservative' that MSNBC can stomach to sign to a multi-million dollar contract."
What was the source of Meyer's hostility? Scarborough had the temerity to point out that "Republicans spent us into debt when they were in charge of Washington over the past ten years," which Meyer sniffed was a "typical MSNBC talking point." Meyer doesn't disprove Scarborough's assertion, presumably because there is a sizable amount of truth to it.
Meyer also dismissed Scarborough's criticism of Mitt Romney's performance as a candidate as nothing but an "anti-Republican rant," then demonstrated the proper way to spin facts to demonstrate total loyalty (while also engaging in more Heathering):
So, to sum up: Meyer thinks Scarborough shouldn't tell the truth and should suck it up and defend Romney no matter what while portraying Obama as nothing but evil.
You know, the kind of blind loyalty to ideology Brent Bozell is paying Meyer to spout.
WND's Washington Call On His Imaginary Socrates Again
Given that the real Socrates was not -- unlike Washington -- a right-wing nutjob, it's highly unlikely that he would have used his formidable intellectual and philosophical skills in an attempt to score cheap political points and engage in hateful trash-talking.
Washington has never explained what, if any, evidence exists to support his contention that a modern-day Socrates would be a far-right ranter and hater just like him.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Shorter Noel Sheppard: Do As I Say, Not As I Do
The lack of self-awareness NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard has is nothing short of comical.
Sheppard devotes a Sept. 17 post to lamenting how the media have been "misrepresenting" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's remark that "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president" and touting how the Washington Post's Bob Woodward "proved that the media have been misrepresenting this quote since it was made."
But just eight days earlier, Sheppard himself was misrepresenting a statement by Al Gore, falsely claiming that Gore said he "invented the internet."
Why is OK for Sheppard to misrepresent the words of other people, but not anyone else? He doesn't explain.
It seems that Sheppard would have us do as he says, not as he does.
Another Dishonest WND 'News' Article
A Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily article by Jack Minor portrays Democrats as hostile to religion because, he claims, "a Democratic candidate for state office in Colorado worked to exclude a member of the clergy from moderating a local debate because his supporters were 'uncomfortable' with a church leader asking questions."
But Minor's article is incredibly dishonest.
Minor presented only the side of the pastor and the Republican candidate in the Colorado state house race, and makes no effort to contact any Democratic officials for their side of the story. It seems Minor is hiding something -- and he is.
As Richard Bartholomew details, Minor failed to tell his readers that the churchoperated by the pastor in question, Steve Grant, sells a book on its website, written by the pastor's brother -- who also pastors at the church -- arguing that President Obama is the Antichrist.
Further, Bartholomew also notes that Minor regularly quotes Grant for his articles on a right-wing website called the Greeley Gazette. For instance, here's an article by Minor featuring Grant opining on the Vatican calling for "the establishment of a 'global public authority' and 'central world bank' to preside over all financial institutions."
As one would suspect given the fact that he's writing for WND, Minor is also a rabid birther; here's a video of him interviewing none other than Jerome Corsi.
Minor also engages in some sniping at his local competition because the pastor was replaced at the debate by an editor at the real local paper, the Greeley Tribune:
Minor provides no links or relevant direct quotes to back up his attacks on a business rival.
Needless to say, Minor did not disclose his relationship with Grant or his status as a writer for a competitor to the Tribune -- this violating journalistic ethics regarding conflicts of interest.
In other words, Jack Minor is a sad joke as a reporter. And since WND published his article without fact-checking his claims or ensuring that he provided a fair treatement of the issue, that make WND a sad joke as well.
MRC's Research Laziness, 'Redistribution' Edition
Topic: Media Research Center
We've detailed how the Media Research Center is not particularly interested in doing research, especially when it conflicts with its right-wing, pro-Romney agenda. The MRC does it again with attacking President Obama over taped comments, ignoring their full context and bashing anyone who tries to point that context out.
A Sept. 19 NewsBusters post by Jeffrey Meyer highlighted "audio of then-State Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) speaking at Loyola University talking about his support for wealth redistribution, complaining that MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell wouldn't play the tape becuase it hadn't been "authenticated."
That caution was justified. The full version of the 1998 Obama video -- the edited version of which had been promoted by the Drudge Report in a clear attempt to distract from a leaked video of Mitt Romney denigrating the 47 percent of Americans who Obama supporters as freeloaders -- shows that Obama was referring to "redistribution" as a way to "decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities." In other words, Obama was not talking about advocating socialism at all.
Nevertheless, the MRC continued to push Obama's "redistribution" comment while not lifting a finger to verify, let alone mention, its proper context:
When Washington Post political fact-checker Glenn Kessler dared to put Obama's words in their proper context, the MRC attacked him -- never mind that no Bozell employee could be bothered to do so.
In a Sept. 21 Newsbusters post, Ryan Robertson began by ranting about how Obama and Vice President Biden "are given the benefit of the doubt by the supposedly non-partisan media" because "we're told by liberal media 'fact checkers' that Republicans end up using them out of proper 'context.'" Of course, Robertson is really whining that conservatives get busted taking their opponents' words out of context on such a regular basis that he must regurgitate the right-wing attack line of trying to discredit all fact-checking.
Robertson went on to claim that Kessler "furiously spun" Obama' statement and that the edited clip has just "one missing sentence, one that somehow redeems Obama for his previous statement." Robertson then nit-picked that Kessler's Pinocchio rating was too severe:
At no point does Robertson explain why the full context doesn't redeem Obama. And he falsely claims that Kessler did not "quote anything Romney or a Romney surrogate said about it per se." But Kessler did:
Apparently, if we are to believe Robertson, Paul Ryan is not part of Romney's campaign.
That's the level of self-deception the MRC must practice in order to justify its laziness in trading what little "research" it actually does for mindlessly repeating anti-Obama partisan attacks.
Bozell claimed in his press release: "Like an overeager Labrador retriever, the liberal media will do anything to please their master, even if it means biting his opponent every day between now and the election." And Bozell is desperate to please his master, Mitt Romney, by using his multimillion-dollar organization to dishonestly attack Obama.
A Real Journalist Asks The Question About Joel Gilbert's Funding That WND Won't
We've noted how WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi was too lazy and/or incompetent to ask Joel Gilbert who was paying him to mail millions of copies of his factually suspicious anti-Obama film "Dreams From My Real Father" to voters in swing states. Well, an actual journalist did ask Gilbert the question, and he arrogantly responded that it was nobody's damn business.
Such a simple question, and Corsi couldn't be bothered to ask. Then again, since Corsi hates Obama as much as Gilbert does, they have a vested interest in working together to make sure the source of their funding stays concealed, and Corsi may have been just playing dumb -- which is an unethical things for him to do as a self-proclaimed journalist.
Meanwhile, Josh Marshall uncovers Gilbert's obsession with Bob Dylan:
Indeed, WND is selling one of Gilbert's Dylan videos, which it touts as "an insiders view into Bob Dylan's "Born Again" transformation, and its affect [sic] on his life and music."
Sunday, September 23, 2012
CNS Touts Poll On How Nobody Trusts The Media -- Of Which CNS Is A Part
It seems that Terry Jeffrey couldn't be prouder that nobody trusts the "news" website he runs.
A Sept. 21 CNS article by Jeffrey touts how "Only 8 percent of Americans say they have a 'great deal' of trust in the news media, according to a new Gallup poll," which is "a record low for the 40 years that Gallup has been polling on the question."
While the Gallup poll question Jeffrey features "the mass media--such as newspapers, T.V. and radio," a significant share of news consumption takes place on the Internet. CNS proclaims itself to be "a news source," which means it's part of the "news media" being rejected as untrustworthy.
In other words, Jeffrey is touting now few people trust his own "news" organization. That's a strange thing for the head of a "news" organization to be proud of; if Jeffrey wasn't, he wouldn't have taken the time from whatever other duties he has as the editor in chief of CNS to summarize these poll findings.
Not only that, Jeffrey's article was promoted at the top of CNS' front page for much of this past weekend with a huge accompanying photo (albeit irrelevant since NBC is not referenced in his story):
Jeffrey clearly wants everyone to know that nobody trusts his "news" organization. Very peculiar.
WND's Kupelian, Disinformation Specialist, Decries Disinformation
David Kupelian begins his Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column:
That's quite funny, because WND is one of America's biggest purveyors of disinformation, and Kupelian, as WND's managing editor, is responsible for it.
Take, for instance, WND's obsession with pushing the myth that President Obama's birth certificate is fake. It promotes the claims of so-called "experts" who claim the PDF is fraudulent while hiding their anti-Obama animus -- Mara Zebest, for instance, is a self-proclaimed "PUMA" who supported Hillary Clinton and opposed Obama's election -- while deliberately ignoring all evidence that discredits the birther narrative. Jerome Corsi won't report on the fact that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's birther posse, of which he is a de facto member, completely botched its examination of birth certificate codes, and is trying to distract from it by obsessing over Obama's sex life.
Like Corsi, Kupelian is trying to distract attention from WND's horrible record of journalism by bashing other journalists for "sell[ing] their souls for “access” to those at the pinnacle of power." But WND has done that too, publishing flattering stories about Arpaio in order to suck up to him and influence the birther posse. It worked, of course -- the posse mostly cribbed from Corsi and WND for its birther "investigation."
In other words, WND is the lie launderer that Kupelian is denouncing -- not that he'll admit it, of course.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
MRC Falsely Attacks Rachel Carson As A Killer of 'Millions'
Topic: Media Research Center
Liz Thatcher uses a Sept. 20 Media Research Center Business & Media Institute article to portray enviromentalist Rachel Carson as a heartless killer, complaining that a children's books about her "teach children to idolize Carson and how to become liberal activists, but without telling them the lives that could have been saved by DDT."
Thatcher laments that if Carson hadn't written her book "Silent Spring," "DDT could have been used to help prevent millions of people from dying a miserable death from malaria." Thatcher then repeats attacks on Carson from her fellow right-wingers:
Just one problem with Thatcher's Carson-bashing: Carson never actually advocated banning DDT. William Souder writes at Slate:
Thatcher's portrayal of DDT as the only possible way to eradicate malaria overlooks the facts that 1) it had been so overused that mosquitos had developed a resistance to it, reducing its effectiveness; 2) the U.S. ban on DDT didn't apply to the rest of the world, and 3) DDT is undenably destructive to the environment. Souder continues:
Funny that Thatcher doesn't blames those who indiscriminately overused DDT for causing "millions of deaths."
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