MRC Repeats Its False Attack on Katie Couric Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center, it seems, will never forgive Katie Couric for exposing Sarah Palin for who she is.
At its annual "DisHonors Banquet," the MRC invented an award to give to Couric, "The Worst Reporter in the History of Man." (Funny, we might have given such an award to Noel Sheppard, who has issued more apologies for false and offensive content this year alone that Couric has in her entire career.)
The CNSNews.com edition of a lightly rewritten MRC press release touting the award includes a video purporting to contain some of the evidence in support of the "award." Among the clips is Couric stating, "Good morning. The Gipper was an airhead!"
This description of Ronald Reagan was Couric's introduction to a 1999 segment on Edmund Morris' just-released Reagan bio -- but as we've detailed, that was the advance word on the book, and even conservatives used the "airhead" phrase when discussing the book. It's dishonest for the MRC to single out Couric for using the word when even Dinesh D'Souza brought it up; the MRC continuing to obsess over it more than a decade after the fact borders on the pathological.
Conspicuous by its absence is any mention of the best piece of reporting Couric did: her interview of Sarah Palin, in which she managed to stump Palin on such innocuous questions like which newspapers she read.
It seems that the MRC has moved beyond mere Heathering and into full-on Mean Girls mode.
Meanwhile, Slate's David Weigel went to the MRC's shindig -- a "black tie appreciated" affair that featured Brent Bozell "wearing the kind of white tuxedo coat that James Bond prefers in Monaco" -- and points out how the MRC's anti-media campaign isn't working: "Barack Obama’s winning. The Huffington Post is providing AOL’s political coverage. MSNBC reverse-engineered Fox News’ approach to proud, ideological news analysis, and it’s beating CNN."
Weigel also noted that the evening's events -- ironically held in a building constructed by the federal government -- were underwritten in part by Republican mega-donor Foster Friess, one of the event's two "diamond" sponsors. The other one? "Anonymous."
It's quite funny that even people who give huge amounts of money to the MRC don't want to be associated publicly with it.
Joseph Farah is pontificating on journalism again, as reported in a Sept. 27 WorldNetDaily article:
Joseph Farah, the co-founder of WND and now its editor and CEO, says the “legacy” media, those old traditional establishments such as newspapers and networks, don’t want to report as much as shape the news these days.
Farah was a guest recently on The Wayne Richard Show, as the host brought up a recent poll showing that the Internet now is considered a better source of news than television or newspapers.
Farah said when he and his wife, Elizabeth Farah, launched WND as WorldNetDaily in 1997, their goal was what used to be standard in the news industry – to be a watchdog on government.
That influence on people today, he said, is “increasingly intrusive” and trying to “grab more and more power.”
“Our central role is to serve as a watchdog on government. But that’s been completely forgotten by my colleagues out there,” he said.
Needless to say, Farah is lying about himself and WND's mission. Does WND's selectively reported birther obsession speak of anorganization that's a "watchdog on government" or one that wants to "shape the news"?
If Farah doesn't want to "shape the news," why did he spend an entire column last week begging Mitt Romney to take his advice is bashing President Obama? He even writes, "I’ve given away far too much free advice to Team Romney, none of which was taken, with the possible exception of his birth certificate remark, from which the candidate quickly distanced himself."
Those aren't the words of someone who merely wants to be a "watchdog on government."
Yet Farah continues to lie to his readers:
“I can actually point to conversations I used to have with old-time grizzled reporters and city editors where we’d talk about what it meant to be a journalist,” he said.
But the new generation is different.
“They didn’t want to report the news, they wanted to shape the news, use the news media to promote a political, philosophical, even spiritual, agenda,” he said.
That's exactly what Farah is doing at WND. He's complaining about himself.
But then, we know he's a liar of a near-pathological level. Which raises the question of why anyone should trust a website run by such a well-documented and shameless liar.
NewsBusters Deletes Post Complaining That 'Totally Biased' Is Totally Biased Topic: NewsBusters
A Sept. 24 NewsBusters post by Ryan Robertson details his shocking discovery that a show on FX called "Totally Biased" is, well, totally biased. Robertson huffed that the show is hosted by "little known comedian W. Kamau Bell," complained that the show's name is a "fitting choice" given itsd "scathing political commentary of the right," and concluded by lamenting that "Despite mediocre ratings and mixed reviews, Totally Biased will reportedly come back from hiatus on Oct. 11 with another 7 episodes -- just as election season is truly heating up." Yeah, we wouldn't want a show featuring political commentary not to run during election season, would we?
Strangely, though, Robertson's post has been deleted from the NewsBusters website. (The Google cache of the post is here for now.) No explanation has been publicly offered by NewsBusters regarding its deletion.
Why was it deleted? It can't be that NewsBusters has suddenly developed standards -- this is, after all, the website that has the error-prone, cliche-ridden Noel Sheppard as an editor.
Or did the NewsBusters powers that be conclude that "Totally Biased" is totally biased was just too obvious an observation, even for the research-challenged MRC? The world may never know.
A U.S. ambassador is dead, and over 30 U.S. embassies across the globe are under violent attack as a direct result of President Obama’s attempted appeasement of radical Islam. How many more Americans will die before that policy can be reversed and Obama removed from office?
Second, Romney must stress the fact that Obama is ineligible to be president because he is likely Kenyan-born and not a natural born citizen – meaning that both of his parents were not U.S. citizens at his birth. The framers put this requirement into the Constitution to avoid the harmful foreign influences we are now living through with Obama. Romney must take the gloves off and pound away at this legitimate eligibility issue, which underscores, reinforces and explains why Obama’s actions have been un-American and severely harmful to the United States.
Webster’s definition of stupid is: acting in a careless and/or unintelligent manner. I submit that they should have Obama’s picture beside the word in their dictionary. Observing the way he has conducted himself and witnessing his lack of leadership ability, calling his actions stupid is the most generous thing I can say about him.
Forgive me, folks; this can be annoying. But I’m trying to save the country. We’ve got to get rid of this president!
One reason sports will always be more popular than politics is that this kind of fraud can’t work in sports. If there were a quarterback or a pitcher who did his job as poorly as Obama does his and yet had the major sportswriters and commentators constantly and lavishly praising him and denigrating his betters, those commentators would get angry letters in New England, lose their jobs in North Carolina and need police protection to leave the studio in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Did the state-run media forget about the landslide that took place in 2010, when the American people’s votes proved they had enough with Obama and his criminal administration?
Did the state-run media forget that the American people just exposed the fact that 70 percent of Obama’s Twitter followers were found out to be fake or inactive?
Did the state-run media forget that just two weeks ago, the American people watched as Obama’s speech at the DNC had to be moved from a 74,000-seat arena to a 20,000-seat arena due to lack of attendees?
Did the state-run media forget that America knows about those in Obama’s own party and support base who are forsaking him in droves, as he is being taken in his own craftiness?
In the cult TV series “Numb3rs,” a professor helps the feds catch criminals by using higher mathematics. In real life, the lack of elementary mathematical knowledge among the nation’s gumshoes is not the least of the reasons why, so far, Black Jesus has gotten away with his Mickey Mouse “birth certificate.”
By allowing Barack Hussein Obama to be elected president and commander in chief, God was reminding us poor deluded mortals that when we choose someone because he looks and sounds like someone born to be the D.J. at a hip-hop club, we’re just asking for trouble.
AIM Pretends Pat Caddell Is A Liberal Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Sept. 27 Accuracy in Media blog post, Roger Aronoff touts Pat Caddell -- who spoke at AIM's truth-challenged "Day of Truth" and Obama-bashing -- as a "former Democratic pollster." Similarly, in an AIM article the same day, Cliff Kincaid calls Caddell a "longtime Democratic political operative and pollster... who has become critical of the liberal direction of the Democratic Party."
Aronoff and Kincaid are deceiving you. Caddell is not a "Democratic political operative," and he hasn't been a Democrat for years.
If Wikipedia is to be believed, Caddell quit the Democratic Party in 1988; last year, Caddell described the Democratic Party as his "former party." Caddell regularly criticizes Democrats in his numerous appearances on Fox News, and he was a key behind-the-scenes part of the Citizens United anti-Obama film "The Hope and the Change."
If AIM really cared about "accuracy in media," it would tell its readers that Caddell is a right-wing operative, not a "Democrat."
Ronald Kessler keeps up his end of his mutually beneficial relationship with David Keene in a Sept. 26 Newsmax column, in which Kessler gives Keene free rein to spin away criticism of Mitt Romney, such as his "47 percent" comment and the lack of specifics he has offered for his economic policies.
Curiously, Kessler identifies Keene only as "the former chairman of the American Conservative Union," neglecting to mention his current post as president of the National Rifle Association. Kessler did fawningly write about Keene's job change when it happened last year.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Fluffy Questions Topic: NewsBusters
Ryan Robertson, in a Sept. 26 NewsBusters post, complains of softball questions being tossed to Presdient and Michelle Obama during an appearance on "The View": "In yet another casual interview for the entertainment-focused media, the First Couple responded to a myriad of questions from the hosts of The View that only touched on issues of significance near the end. Did we really need to hear about the Obama marriage and courtship....again?"
But just a couple days before, an unidentified NewsBusters interviewer posted the first part of an interview with right-wing provocateur Ann Coulter. The introduction to the interview states that "She has been a dear friend of the Media Research Center’s for decades and is beloved by NewsBusters readers around the world." And here's the very first question listed:
Before we get to your fabulous new book which I finished yesterday and think might be the most important piece you’ve ever done, you said on ABC's This Week this morning that you don’t watch any of the shows up for Emmys because you’re “busy watching the children’s hour on MSNBC.” Please explain.
Then, our secret interviewer makes this fanboyish statement later in the interview, revealing an unusually cozy relationship that's unbecoming of a journalistic interview:
As I emailed you Friday, I love the way “Mugged” begins: “The Democrats’ slogan during the Bush years was: ‘Dissent is patriotic.’ Under Obama, it’s: ‘Dissent is racist.’”
We could probably talk for hours about what Republicans did for civil rights issues in the '50s versus the Democrats – including LBJ who prior to becoming president was staunchly opposed to black equality. Give us a brief synopsis of the real '50s and '60s civil rights history Americans aren’t taught in schools or in our media.
If NewsBusters is so concerned about softball questions, perhaps it should do something about its own first.
WND's Farber Begs Conservatives To Stop Criticizing Romney In Public Topic: WorldNetDaily
Barry Farber keeps up his less-than-enthusiastic support for Mitt Romney in his Sept. 25 WorldNetDaily column with a desperate plea for self-censorship among his fellow conservatives so that they don't feel compelled to tell the world about how much Romney sucks as a candidate:
As a Jew I’ve always envied that great line in Christianity from Christ on the cross who looks skyward and pleads, “Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.” I think I understand Peggy Noonan and her brother and sister demolition experts. The question is, do they understand the effect of what they’re doing? A remark that diminishes Mitt Romney diminishes Mitt Romney whether it’s uttered by Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Osama bin Laden or Peggy Noonan. I don’t know of any of these conservative critics who’ve ever run for anything. So maybe they really don’t understand. Getting bitten by your own dog is painful under any conditions. When that insult comes from “one of us” and gets hailed by David Axelrod, the destructive power is multiplied. Morale is all-important in a political campaign. When you watch your boxcars of morale and energy destroyed by your friends, the plug is jerked out of the wall socket.
I can imagine the contempt for my stance among our journalistic heroes. I understand how noble they feel when they haul off and remind the world they’re not owned by the Romney camp or any other. “Primitive” is about the highest compliment my attitude would earn from my fellows, who would likely unanimously deny me the right to call myself a journalist.
There are times to rise up and be a “journalist.” Truman versus Dewey would have been a good time to be a “journalist.” Or Nixon-McGovern. Or even Reagan-Carter. No race you can name packs the importance of the one upon us right now. Mitt Romney is the only person on earth who can deny Obama four more years. So, what’s so bad about ignoring a little haplessness in his campaign? Am I proposing lying for Romney? Dirty tricks? Sabotage against Obama? Of course not. To put it on a Nixon-esque bumper sticker, all I’m asking is: Quit handing the enemy so many sharp swords.
Which, of course, ignores Farber's own not-so-ringing endorsement of Romney with the rally cry, "It’s no crime to feign enthusiasm."
Farber then tries to pass off his self-censorship plea as something other a bad thing: "If you’re in the media and you deny the danger Barack Obama presents to America, then you’re worse than somebody who says, “Hey! Knock it off. Talk about the Obama administration, not the Romney campaign!” Way to forgive yourself there, Barry.
What Fringe Views Does The MRC 'Endorse' Via Linking? Topic: Media Research Center
A Sept. 25 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute article by Lauren Thompson that Nickelodeon linking to Jason Biggs' Twitter account, which contains "filthy and perverted tweets," constitutes an endorsement of Biggs' Twitter content.
By that standard, let's see what the MRC endorses via its blogroll on the NewsBusters front page:
Denigrating Sandra Fluke as a "slut" for talking in public about birth control (Rush Limbaugh, but you knew that already)
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Robert Ringer Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
As befits a guy who wrote a book called "Winning Through Intimidation," Robert Ringer is trying to use his intimidation tactics on the presidential election. His Sept. 26 WorldNetDaily column is all about baselessly fearmongering that the President Obama will create a state of emergency in the country in order to win re-election:
I’ve been warning about the possibility of his declaring a phony state of emergency as an excuse to “postpone” the 2012 elections. In that vein, doesn’t it seem a bit too convenient that Iran has picked this particular time to raise the stakes with regard to its nuclear threat against Israel?
The far left, of course, would love a state of emergency and suspension of the November elections, and the right would be rendered impotent while frantically searching for their microscopic gonads. As Obama has already discovered, there are no consequences to his violating the Constitution with reckless abandon.
Of course, if Obama could continue to mesmerize enough Homer Simpsons to give him a commanding lead in the polls going into October, he might be willing to gamble on leaving his fate in the hands of the voters. But if he’s behind in the polls in October – or the race is too close to call – don’t discount the possibility of his declaring a trumped-up state of emergency to suspend the elections.
Let me emphasize that I am by no means 100 percent certain this will happen, but I am 100 percent certain that Obama and his Obamafia would do such a thing if they thought they could get away with it. Maybe it’s just my paranoia, but something doesn’t smell right about the timing of the unusually high level of Mideast madness.
The only madness we're seeing is in Ringer's fevered brain.
Seton Motley Lies About GM Again Topic: NewsBusters
Serial General Motors misleader SetonMotley is at it again with even more GM falsehoods in a Sept. 25 NewsBusters post. What does he get wrong this time?
Well, he screws the pooch right in the headline, in which he calls the Chevy Volt a "$89,000 Car." In fact, as he glancingly concedes, the MSRP for the Volt is $41,000. The $89,000 figure is one news services's claim of how much it costs, which ignores the fact that, as GM points out, development costs are spread over the vehicle's lifespan -- meaning that amount per vehicle drops with every Volt sold -- as well as use of the vehicle's techology in other GM products, which spreads those costs even further.
Motley then rants that GM is offering cheap leases on the Volt. But isn't lowering the price exactly what a business does to move a slow-selling product, even if you lose some money in the process? Motley seems to be unaware of that basic economic concept.
Motley follows this up with whining that "We the Taxpayers" are on the hook for depreciation costs when Volts come off lease, bizarrely calculating it against the misleading $89,000 figure and not the MSRP. Motley honed in on one case in which someone got a lease deal of $159 a month, assumes that all the leases are like that but conveniently ignoring the extenuating circumstances under which that lease was obtained, as detailed in the Forbes article he links to but apparently didn't actually read:
To spur Volt sales, GM has been promoting a lease deal of $279 a month and $2,419 due at signing on a two-year, 24,000-mile lease. “The whole idea is we’re creating a market; there is no plug-in market,” said GM spokesman Jim Cain.
But my neighbors apparently stumbled into an even better deal on their Volt. It seems GM is offering dealers extra bonus cash (which they can pass on to Volt buyers) if they exceed their initial Volt sales goals. Dealers who hit their target get an extra $500 payout. If they sell three times their target they get $2,500. Only about 400 of GM’s 2,600 participating Chevrolet dealers (15%) have beaten their Volt sales objectives and are receiving the extra bonus. Just 2.5% sold enough Volts to qualify for the top $2,500 bonus.
My friends used $3,000 in rewards from a GM credit card (5% back on purchases, which can be applied toward the purchase or lease of a GM vehicle) toward their deposit, and then received an unexpected $1,000 discount, no doubt a dealer bonus incentive. It probably also helped that they have a top-tier credit score and were trading in a BMW. Stack it all together and it was one helluva deal.
So the lease deal actually starts at $279 a month, and very few people have the right combination of dealer incentives, creditworthiness and trade-in value to get the super discount.
Finally, Motley does not seem to have figured out that lies and hate make for bad blogging, however much NewsBusters seems to think it does.
Fran Tarkenton (!) Defends Koch Brothers Topic: Newsmax
For reasons we're unclear about, legendary NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton is writing a regular column for Newsmax. It's pretty much the same pro-business conservatism you've seen in numerous other places.
Tarkenton's Sept. 25 column is a defense of the Koch brothers, and that too is something you've seen elsewhere:
This political season, there has been one business name that has been demonized and vilified above all others: the Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries.
They have been demonized as right-wing zealots, and I’ve even seen the work of conservative scholars tossed out and dismissed just because their organization has some connection to the Koch brothers.
The kneejerk attacks and venom that comes out whenever their names are even mentioned really bothers me, and it’s a sign of just how poisonous our political atmosphere is. I don’t know the Koch brothers personally, but I know people who do, and who know them well. And I’ve also been able to observe the things they do, and the way they conduct themselves publicly.
Everything I’m seeing and hearing tells me that these are exemplary business leaders who we should be celebrating, not attacking.
Yeah, pretty much standard right-wing stuff. Probably not the best use of his pro football fame, but there you have it.
NEW ARTICLE: The Media Anything-But-Research Center 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 >>
WND 'Review' Of WND Writer's Book Is Just As Fawning As You'd Expect Topic: WorldNetDaily
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:
A few years ago, when I read “The Manchurian President,” by investigative writers Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott, I was quite alarmed. It was clear from their groundbreaking research that the man elected president of the United States was a shadowy character wholly unlike the feel-good image crafted by his campaign.
Now, in the run-up to the possibility of a catastrophic second term for Barack Obama, Klein and Elliott have done it again. In “Fool Me Twice: Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed”, the writers show conclusively that this change agent in the Oval Office fully intends to “finish off” America if given the chance.
Frankly, there are so many devious initiatives put forth by Obama that the average American doesn’t have time to digest the implications (which is why “Fool Me Twice” is so valuable, with its brief but densely packed guide to this president’s plan to bring down the country.
The authors of “Fool Me Twice” leave us with perhaps the most disturbing bit of information yet: that the 2012 elections could be “hijacked” by an imperial-minded Obama. This very discussion has been on the lips of millions of Americans since it became obvious that Obama was the kind of change agent we don’t need.
Klein and Elliott trace the multiple ways that voter fraud and even tampering with the Electoral College could transform America overnight. Their spotlight on a foreign-based company, Scytl, and its manipulation of new, online U.S. voting systems is alone worth the price of this book.
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:
A free and balanced media are crucial to the health of this country. It is your duty as journalists – as outlined in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics – to “distinguish between advocacy and news reporting,” while simultaneously “seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.”
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.