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Sunday, January 27, 2013
MRC's Thatcher Doesn't Understand What A Newspaper Editorial Is
Topic: Media Research Center

Liz Thatcher concludes a Jan. 21 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute item complaining 18 of the top 20 newspapers in the U.S. "pushed gun control in editorials" by ranting:

It shouldn’t be too surprising that newspapers campaigned so aggressively for stricter gun control laws. They, like other proclaimed journalists, have lost touch with what their job actually is – to report the news. Instead, many of our leading newspapers have become advocacy outlets for the left. Ironically, these newspapers have lost respect for the Constitution that gives them the right to operate freely.

Thatcher apparently doesn't understand the difference between a news article an an editorial. Editorials are not for "reporting the news" -- they're for expressing an opinion.

Further, in calling for increased gun control does not equate to newspapers having "lost respect for the Constitution that gives them the right to operate freely." Even conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia doesn't believe Second Amendment rights are absolute.

Nevertheless, Thatcher bashed the New York Times for supposedly having "completely dismissed the Second Amendment" by stating that "he Second Amendment does not provide each American with an absolute right to own guns."

In the comments for her article, Thatcher reacted to criticism of it by stating, "I'm an analyst, not a journalist." We'll agree that Thatcher is not a journalist, but judging by her errors of fact and logic, she's not much of an analyst either.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 PM EST
WND Still Baselessly Blaming Drugs for Newtown Massacre
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've noted, WorldNetDaily is already blaming psychiatric drugs for Adam Lanza committing the Newtown massacre, even though it isn't known what drugs, if any, Lanza had been taking.

WND takes that up a notch with a Jan. 22 article by Jerome Corsi featuring a doctor, David Healy, who is fearmongering about the drugs:

In an exclusive in-person interview in New York City with WND, London-based Dr. David Healy criticized pharmaceutical companies that have made billions of dollars marketing Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, known as SSRIs.

Psychotropic drugs “prescribed for school children cause violent behavior,” Healy stated.

The drugs are widely used in the U.S. as antidepressants by doctors working in the mental health field and increasingly by primary care doctors, he noted.

Healey insisted the problem today is that doctors working with schools to control the behavior of children are inclined to prescribe SSRI drugs without serious consideration of adverse consequences.

“The pharmaceutical companies made these drugs with the idea of making money,” he said. “There’s a wide range of problems when it comes to looking at these drugs for children. Very few children have serious problems that warrant treatment with pills that have the risks SSRI drugs have.”

The drugs can make children “aggressive and hostile,” he noted.

[...]

WND contended that putting more mental illness screening into schools would actually increase the incidence of school shootings, not reduce the violence.

“You can draw a line between the number of child psychiatrists in the United States and the number of school shootings, and you will find that both have gone up in the same direction at the same time,” he said.

He sees a “propaganda campaign” being conducted in the U.S. in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., cinema shooting and the Newtown, Conn., school shooting asserting gun violence is being caused by mental illness and could be stopped by additional school programs that screen for it.

“If school children are screened for mental illness problems, this presumably will lead more medical doctors to put more students on more pills,” he said. “I would predict then the outcome of more school screenings for mental illness will be more mass killings, even if the guns are taken away and the mass killings are not done with guns.”

Corsi doesn't mention that Healy has been roundly criticized for his excessive alarmism about drugs.

Writing at Forbes, John LaMattina states that Healy insists that "any drug approved since 1990 should be considered a possible candidate for late side-effects":

Where does he get this?  What makes 1990 special?  His implication is that the studies done in support of new drug applications (NDAs) prior to 1990 were more thorough and vigorous.  This is absurd.  Furthermore, his singling out of biologic drugs makes no sense at all.  The fact of the matter is that the pre-approval testing of drugs in the 1980s was far less vigorous than what now happens.  Back then, a new drug to treat the pain of arthritis would only need to complete 90 days of continuous testing before approval.  Similarly, lipid lowering drugs were approved with only LDL lowering properties and a year of patient exposure.   This same paradigm held for novel anti-diabetic agents where simple blood glucose lowering and 12 months of testing in patients were the norm.  Today, for drugs such as these that are to be used chronically, sponsors are required to show that their new medicine actually improves the long-term health of a patient.  Thus, pre-approval testing to show the reduction of heart attacks and strokes for drugs to treat obesity, diabetes or heart disease are needed – studies that generally involve tens of thousands of patients to be dosed for 3 – 5 years.  Such studies are needed not just for FDA approval but also for convincing payers to reimburse patients for these new drugs.

The hurdles that must be overcome to get a new drug approved are higher than they have been in the history of medicine.  Does this mean that new drugs are totally safe?  Absolutely not.  But to say that newer drugs are less safe than older ones is incorrect.

Corsi doesn't mention the controversy over his views, but then, fearmongering is what Corsi and WND are all about.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EST
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Newsmax Goes Into Radio, Hires Steve Malzberg
Topic: Newsmax

A Jan. 25 Newsmax article reports that Steve Malzberg has been signed to host a radio show that Newsmax plans to syndicate as well as simulcast on its website. Newsmax has even set up a new company for the venture, Newsmax Broadcasting LLC. Newsmax has more:

“The Steve Malzberg Show” will be the channel’s first live-streaming TV show. Newsmax plans to develop a cost-free 24/7 TV streaming channel over the next several months.

The Steve Malzberg radio and TV simulcast will be unique for talk, focused on breaking news and featuring fast-changing topics and guests, combined with cutting-edge viewer and listener interaction through the Internet.

[...]

Newsmax Broadcasting is building a terrestrial radio network of affiliated stations for the Steve Malzberg show. Stations that affiliate will be supported by Newsmax and its 10 million viewer audience across the nation.

Malzberg has been without a steady radio gig since being ousted at New York's WOR radio in September 2011. Malzberg has written a column for Newsmax off and on since 2001.

This isn't Newsmax's first broadcasting venture -- it bought time on CNBC in 2001 to air an infomercial-slash-news program that, near as we can tell, made only a single appearance despite plans to do it at least monthly.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:55 PM EST
WND's Klein Pushes Idea That Obama Is The Devil
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Despite his protestations to the contrary, it's undeniable that WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has it in for President Obama and has been trying to destroy him for years.

The utter hatred and contempt with which Klein treats Obama reaches a new cynical depth with a Jan. 25 WND article in which he promotes the idea that a fly landing on Obama's forehead means that the president is actually the devil.

No, really:

News reports have recounted Obama’s history of attracting flies during recorded interviews and speeches.

Already, religious and other websites are using the headlines to point out that a biblical reference for Satan, the Semitic deity Beelzebub, literally translates from Hebrew into “Lord of the Flies.”

[...]

The End Times blog named Obama the “Lord of the Flies.”

The blog connects Obama to Beelzebub, writing, “This really isn’t an academic question. The Lord of the Flies is real.”

Over at RevalationNow.net, a posting by “editorial staff” muses about whether Obama is possessed by a demonic entity.

“I feel like I am watching a horror movie and the secret evil character is revealed by the evil signs around him,” the post reads.

Beelzebub is first referenced in 2 Kings 1:2-3, 6, 16, in which Beelzebub is described as the god of the Philistine city of Ekron.

Jewish scholars have interpreted the title “Lord of Flies” as the Hebrew way of comparing followers of the Canaanite deity Baal to flies.

The name Beelzebub is found throughout the New Testament, mostly as a reference to the prince of demons.

 

This is what's considered "news" at WND. But then, WND also considers portraying Obama as the literal Antichrist to be "news." 

If Klein had any sense of shame -- which, sadly, he doesn't -- he would apologize for writing this.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 26, 2013 10:22 PM EST
Friday, January 25, 2013
CNS Adds Bias To More AP Headlines
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's been a while since we caught CNSNews.com adding bias to one of the Associated Press articles it publishes, but CNS seems to have rediscovered its love of slanting editorial copy.

A Jan. 24 Associated Press article on groups asking President Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees carries the headline "Gay rights groups seek order on employee bias."


Run that story through CNS' bias machine, and the headline magically turns into "Homosexual Advocacy Groups Seek Executive Order Banning Discrimination in Workplace."

Why did CNS change "gay rights" to "homosexual advocacy" in the headline when they didn't bother to do so in the article itself? Who knows? Could be laziness, could be that AP doesn't allow those kind of edits.

Meanwhile, a Jan. 25 AP article was sent out with the headline "Schools Must Provide Sports for Disabled, US Says."


But the CNS headline on the same article editorializes: "Shades of Title IX: Schools Must Provide Sports for Disabled, Obama Administration Says." 

 

 

Whatever the reason for all this extracurricular editing, CNS is clearly unhappy that AP's articles aren't biased enough. That CNS is using AP articles at all remains strange since its corporate parent, the Media Research Center, regularly bashes the AP and even has a NewsBusters blogger, Tom Blumer, has sniffing out purported bias at the AP and other wire services as his main beat.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:54 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 6:57 PM EST
WND Lets Plaintiff In Abortion Case Overstate Things
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Under the headline "The woman who started legal abortion," a Jan. 22 WorldNetDaily article tells the story of Sandra Cano, who was "Doe" in Doe v. Bolton, a 1973 case overturning an extremely restrictive abortion law in Georgia that was decided by the Supreme Court the same day its Roe v. Wade ruling was issued. WND lets Cano uncritically claim that she didn't realize she was the plaintiff until after the Supreme Court ruling, that she had never asked for an abortion (though the ruling claims that Doe "was denied an abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy"), and is pro-life. Cano is also quoted as saying, "because of me abortion was created."

Well, no -- abortion had been around for a very long time before Doe v. Bolton ever existed. And even if Cano and WND are talking about "legal abortion." that existed as well, in about one-third of the states by 1973.

While a companion ruling to Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton more specifically overturned certain onerous clauses in Georgia abortion law, such as requiring an accredited hospital, two doctors and a hospital committee to sign off on the abortion, as well as that the woman seeking an abortion must be a Georgia resident.

The mysterious writer of the WND article (it's unbylined) went well beyond the established facts to present Cano's case. Then again, going well beyond the facts is what WND does.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:19 PM EST
NewsBusters' Unironic Likening Of Rachel Maddow To North Korean News
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters blogger Jack Coleman describes himself as "a recovering former liberal journalist from Massachusetts." He's recovered so much, it appears, that he's become a right-wing ranter who cares nothing about journalism.

Take, for example, his Jan. 22 post about MSNBC's Rachel Maddow enthusing over an inauguration ball for President Obama. He warns "nausea may ensue," and grumbles, "OK, that settles it. This is what it's like to watch the news in North Korea."

First: Maddow is a commentator, not a journalist, so gushing a little too much over Obama is hardly a capital offense.

Second: Coleman would likely be just as gushy had Mitt Romney won the election.

Third: Does Coleman really want to see "what it's like to watch the news in North Korea"? He should try Fox News, where Obama is nothing less than an enemy of the state. Or maybe read -- oh, I don't know -- NewsBusters, where conservatives who aren't conservative enough get the gulag treatment (well, Heathering).


Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EST
Jerome Corsi's New Attacks On Kerry Being Ignored, As They Should Be
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi declared last month that he would try to swift-boat John Kerry again in an attempt to derail his nomination as secretary of state, and he's finally making good on the promise with a Jan. 23 WND article rehashing his old attacks.

But his work is making nary a ripple because Americans know something they didn't when Corsi first appeared on the scene in 2004 for his first round of Kerry-bashing: how Corsi operates. Media Matters has a convenient compendium of Corsi's many journalistic offenses, mostly in the birther realm.

Corsi's lack of credibility is compounded by the even greater lack of credibility embodied by his employer. WND has utterly beclowned and destroyed itself by spending the past four years trying to destroy Obama and his administration by any means necessary, including publishing lies and lurid rumors. As a result of WND putting the politics of personal destruction ahead of time-honored journalistic principles, nobody believes anything it has to say.

Corsi has been laying the seeds of his irrelevence for years through his shoddy reporting as published by a "news" outlet where shoddiness is the coin of the realm. He has no one to blame but himself.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:01 AM EST
Thursday, January 24, 2013
CNS' Lucas Puts Words In Obama's Mouth
Topic: CNSNews.com

Putting "love" in scare quotes when referring to gay relationships wasn't the only shennanigan CNSNews.com pulled on President Obama's inauguration speech. In a Jan. 21 article, Fred Lucas has decided he can read Obama's mind:

President Barack Obama seemed to reject entitlement reform in his second Inaugural address Monday, even saying Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security “free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

Praising Social Security does not equal rejecting any reform of the program, and Lucas does not explain how it does.

CNS just loves to put words in the mouths of its ideological enemies.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EST
WND's New Reporter Already Picking Up Obama-Hating Habits
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Taylor Rose is new to WorldNetDaily, but he's already picking up the Obama-hate that is so endemic there. Rose begins a Jan. 22 WND article this way:

Barack Obama probably is one of the most abortion-minded politicians Washington ever has seen, and under his watch pro-lifers have been hounded by the Department of Justice, Planned Parenthood tax funding has rocketed to $540 million and coming health care laws are going to force business leaders of faith to pay for abortifacients in violation of their religious rights.

Rose makes no effort to back up any of this, and his implication that federal money to Planned Parenthood is used for abortion is a lie.

Also note that Rose does not identify Obama as the president of the United States, which makes one wonder if he even recognizes Obama's election.

Rose is also picking up bad habits from his WND stablemate Bob Unruh by  focusing only on anti-abortion activists and refusing to let any pro-choice activists respond.

Speaking of Unruh, he uses a Jan. 22 WND article to give a platform to right-wing activist Mathew Staver to spew that Obama is forcing Americans to fund "'a Hitler-kind of killing machine' through the hundreds of millions of federal taxpayer dollars given to Planned Parenthood." Like Rose, Unruh can't be bothered to explain that federal money to Planned Parenthood doesn't pay for abortion.

Rose is definitely learning the ways of WND. Unfortunately, they have nothing to do with responsible journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:30 PM EST
Kessler's Gone, But Newsmax Still Lavishes Attention on David Keene
Topic: Newsmax

Just because Ronald Kessler has left Newsmax doesn't mean Newsmax can't do a Kessler-esque fluff job for his BFF, National Rifle Association president David Keene.

Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter do the deed in a Jan. 15 article detailng an "exclusive interview" in which Keene is permitted to uncritically forward attacks on President Obama and his "rabid advisers" who are purportedly behind his alleged gun grab.

Meyers and Walter even got a second article out of the interview, in which Keene claims NRA membership is up afther the Newtown massacare "because the Obama administration’s gun control efforts are .scaring people." Meyers and Walter apparently never considered that the NRA's anti-Obama scare tactics might be what's actually scaring people.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 PM EST
Pam Geller Assumes Your Muslim Neighbor Is A Murdering Jihadist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Noted crazy person Pam Geller cranked up the crazy yet again in her Jan. 21 WorldNetDaily column:

Again and again, we see all of the fallacies and delusions of Western “leaders” and the media elite crumble in the face of reality.

It was revealed Monday that a “Canadian” was in charge of the jihadist operations at the Algerian gas plant. Of course, this jihadist was no more Canadian than Osama bin Laden was. As Robert Spencer says of him and another Canadian reportedly involved in the jihad massacre: “They most likely didn’t consider themselves Canadians. They no doubt thought of themselves as members of the global, supranational umma.”

But in Canada he was almost certainly assumed to be a “moderate.” And so were the gas plant employees who were in on the jihad plot.

What does this tell us about “moderates”? How do we tell the players? How do we know which of our co-workers and neighbors aren’t bloody jihadists in the making? Remember: Anwar Awlaki, the imam to the 9/11 Muslim terrorists (who assisted in the purchase of their airplane tickets), was the go-to imam the media consulted (the “moderate” imam) for all things Islam right after 9/11. And so did the 9/11 hijackers, for “spiritual guidance.”

[...]

Today’s moderate is tomorrow’s mass murderer. What’s the difference? Good PR and a lot of propaganda served as hot as apple pie by a jihad-aligned media.

Geller also claims that "over 80 percent of the mosques in America teach, advance and promote jihad," something only Muslim-haters like Geller believe.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:42 AM EST
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
CNS Turns Another Jay Leno Joke Into A 'News' Article
Topic: CNSNews.com

The NewsBusters-ization of CNSNews.com is continuing apace, for reasons nobody's sure of.

For the second time this month, CNS has made a "news" article out of a Jay Leno joke. From the Jan. 23 article by Eric Scheiner:

Tonight Show host Jay Leno took a jab at the attendance levels for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

“On the news they made a big deal out of the fact that four years ago there were twice as many people at his first inauguration as there was at this one, “ Leno said on Tuesday night’s broadcast,  “Well, yeah, that was because four years ago twice as many people could afford to stay in hotels.”

According to USA Today and other news reports, attendance was significantly lower for Monday’s inaugural ceremonies than for the inauguration in 2009.

Yes, that's a "news" story. Apparently, CNS has stopped caring about journalism and just wants to do right-wing stenography.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:50 PM EST
Colin Flaherty Can't Find A Black Mob To Blame, But Does So Anyway
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's resident race-baiter, Colin Flaherty, is back again with yet another "black mob violence" article. Only he can't find a "black mob" to blame. But he does anyway.

This time, Flaherty has latched onto a case in which the city of Chicago has agreed to pay millions to the family of a white woman who had been taken into custody for causing a disturbance at an airport but later released -- despite exhibiting signs of mental illness -- into a crime-infested black neighborhood, where she was sexually assaulted and fell from a 7th-story window, leaving her incapacitated.

Because the victim is white and her alleged perpetrators are black, Flaherty stops his investigation right there and declares this "racial violence" even though he offers no evidence that race was a driving factor behind any of the events that occurred.

But who needs facts when there's race-baiting to be done? Not Colin Flaherty.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:34 PM EST
MRC Falls for Fake Video Game Targeting NRA
Topic: Media Research Center

Matthew Balan uses a Jan. 17 Media Research Center item to defend the honor of National Rifle Association president David Keene from CBS' Norah O'Donnell, who purportedly "barely contained her contempt" for him. Balan went on to complain that O'Donnell "also failed to mention a new online video game that lets users simulate assassinating Keene."

Just one problem with that: It's a hoax.

As Salon reported the day before Balan's item was published, this "online video game" is in reality a slapped-together demo created for the express purpose of trolling right-wingers. The MRC is just one of many right-wing outlets that fell for it.

Balan should considered himself trolled. But will he correct the record and apologize for taking the bait? we shall see.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 PM EST

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