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Thursday, April 11, 2013
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Vulgarity
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters spends a significant amount of time complaining about alleged vulgarity in the media; for example, a Feb. 8 post declared that "Martin Bashir once again demonstrates that he represents the bottom of the admittedly deep MSNBC barrel" by asking if "by his questioning at the Senate confirmation hearing of John Brennan, Senator Marco Rubio sought to demonstrate that he had 'very strong testicles.'" 

So imagine our surprise (or not) when the headline of an April 11 post by Kyle Drennen complaining that a New York Times profile of "disgraced former Congressman" Anthony Weiner's ambitions to run for mayor of New York City began with the words "Weiner Rising":

NewsBusters engaging in the very same behavior it attacks when others do it? Color us not surprised.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:47 PM EDT
Anonymity Slut WND Keeps On Putting Out
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's promiscuity on granting anonymity to sources has spread to another writer.

An April 9 WND article by Stewart Stogel cites "a senior South Korean diplomat with strong ties to the intelligence community" claiming that "now is the time to increase, not decrease, pressure on what he calls the 'crazy' North Korean regime." Stogel claimed that the anonymous diplomat was "speaking with WND on background because of the sensitivity of his position."

You might remember Stogel as the guy who is even more thin-skinned than his boss, Joseph Farah, about criticism.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 PM EDT
CNS Publishes Dishonest Attack on Obama White House Salaries
Topic: CNSNews.com

Fred Lucas declared in an April 8 CNSNews.com article:

President Barack Obama designated April 9 as National Equal Pay Day, even though 70 percent of White House staffers in the top-salary bracket were men, and male White House staffers earn on average 13 percent more than female staffers.

[...]

CNSNews.com reported on March 15 that 70 percent of White House staffers earning the maximum salary of $172,200 last year were men and 30 percent were women, according to the White House numbers posted on staff compensation. Further, men on the White House staff are paid $86,260.89 on average. Women on the White House staff are paid an average of $76,162.65. So men on the White House staff are paid about 13.26 percent more than women. Put another way, women earn 88.29 percent of what men earn.

But Lucas is making a lazy, bogus comparison. As PolitiFact details, the problem with a simple salary division by gender is that it doesn't take into account the types of jobs being done and the much more important question of whether women are making the same as men for the same job. PolitiFact did what Lucas wouldn't, and found much different results:

When women do the same job as men, the pay gap narrows quite a bit. And in fact, this is exactly what happens when you look deeper into the White House data. Even when you just control for one factor -- people who have the same job title -- the gap narrows significantly.

We found 36 titles for full employees held by more than one person, including at least one man and woman. Of these 36 job categories, there was no difference in pay between men and women in 22 job categories, affecting 121 employees. In another six categories affecting 29 employees, the highest earner in the category was a woman who out-earned at least one man.

In only eight cases affecting 22 employees -- in other words, a small fraction of all employees -- was the highest earner a man who out-earned at least one woman. In a large majority of job categories, there was no salary edge for men. And even in the cases where men did have an edge, it was a small edge -- the lowest-paid women mostly earned between 92 percent and 98 percent of what the top-paid men did.

And don’t forget that we’re only adjusting the data using one factor -- job title. There are other factors that could explain different salaries for people who hold the same job title, such as prior work experience, specific skill sets and the number of years they have spent in the job.

This is just another lazy smear job by CNS, which seems to be all it does lately.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The Right-Wing Paper Chase (And Money Pit)
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell doesn't seem to understand that conservative-leaning newspapers are money-losers, kept in business only through the grace of their deep-pocketed owners. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:19 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
MRC's Hadro Ignores Denials Of Claim By GOP Rep's Gay Son
Topic: NewsBusters

Media Research Center "news analyst" Matt Hadro used an April 8 NewsBusters post to uncritically promote a claim by Matt R. Salmon, son of Republican Rep. Matt Salmon, that "both CNN and MSNBC canceled interviews with him after he refused to criticize his father, who opposes same-sex marriage, on the air." Hadro -- the MRC's go-to guy for fretting about the existence of gay people on CNN -- added: "As NewsBusters has reported, CNN is already devoted to the cause of gay activist group GLAAD, as its corporate partner. GLAAD has bestowed honors on CNN for its reporting on gay rights issues."

Meanwhile, in an article posted at almost exactly the same time as Hadro's, Mediaite also reported on Salmon's claims but added something Hadro didn't -- comments from the networks involved:

A spokesperson for MSNBC told TPM that “A producer had initial conversations with Matt, like we do with many potential guests every day, but he was never formally booked for the show.” A source close to Morgan’s CNN show told BuzzFeed: “This isn’t accurate. The show simply booked up with other guests on a different topic. Happens all the time in cable news.”

Hadro also cited Buzzfeed as the source for his Salmon claim, but  he faiied to note CNN's denial as contained in the article. And the TPM article Mediaite cites for MSNBC's denial was posted an hour before Hadro's.

Hadro had access to MSNBC's and CNN's denials of Salmon's claims, yet he refused to note them, choosing instead to rehash his employer's anti-gay agenda. That may be the kind of "news analysis" the MRC is paying him to do, but it's unfair and dishonest.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 9:58 PM EDT
WND Won't Tell You That Anti-Obama Activist Is A Birther
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily used to like to tout when someone to whom it gave a platform to bad-mouth President Obama and his administration were birthers who questioned Obama's "eligibility" to be president. No longer, it seems.

An April 8 WND article on an interview it conducted with Larry Bailey, head of Special Operations Speaks, a group of right-wing anti-Obama ex-special operations veterans, is all about his demand that Congress delve even further into the terrorist attack at Benghazi.

At no point during the audio interview -- where Greg Corombos tosses softball questions to Bailey -- or WND's writeup of it is it mention that Bailey is a birther and Obama-hating conspiracy-monger. As Media Matters details, Bailey believes Frank Marshall Davis is Obama's real father and called Obama "one of the most unlikeable and unprepared politicians we've ever had." Bailey's organization also sent out a fund-rasing email stating, "We are in a war with Barack Obama ... We absolutely MUST remove that anti-American machine from power."

So, hardly an objective source and seemingly driven by hate rather than facts. Too bad WND doesn't think you need to know that.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:45 PM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Complains That Media Didn't Cover Lanza Story CNS Also Didn't Cover
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editotr in chief Terry Jeffrey thinks it's significant that Newtown shooter Adam Lanza "refused to identify himself by a gender when registering at college." So much so, in fact, that Jeffrey devoted a chunk of his April 8 article on the subject to documenting how few media outlets have covered it:

In the week that has passed since CBS News first reported that Lanza had refused to identify his gender, this particular fact has attracted almost no notice elsewhere in the U.S. media. A Lexis-Nexis search of all English language news--with the terms "Lanza" and "I choose not to answer"--brings up only four citations.

Two of those citations are transcripts of the April 1 edition of CBS Evening News. A third citation is for the April 2 edition of CBS Morning News, where the information about Lanza was reported again. The fourth citation is a story in the Daily Mail, a British paper that cited the CBS report on April 2.

A Google search of "Lanza" and "I choose not to answer" shows that the New York Daily News on April 2 mentioned that Lanza had declined to specify his gender to Western Connecticut and that USA Today also did so on April 5.

Also missing from that list of media that allegedly failed to cover this: CNS. A search of "Lanza" and "I choose not to answer" in the CNS database uncovered no results.

That's right -- Jeffrey is complaining about lack of coverage of a story that he himself couldn't be bothered to cover until he devised the hook of other media not covering it.

But now that Jeffrey has finally covered it, CNS is desperately trying to turn it into a thing:

  • An April 9 CNS article by Fred Lucas stated that "Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday highlighted gender among other characteristics a gun purchaser must fill out on a background check form after reports that the Newtown, Conn. school shooter refused to identify his gender on a college form."
  • In another April 9 article, Patrick Burke asked Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, “Should refusing to disclose gender be a disqualifier for seeking a firearm."

None of this, of course, has anythng to do with anything important. CNS is trying to manufacture a controversy over something CNS itself ignored until it figured out how to use it as a cudgel.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 5:41 PM EDT
WND's Farah is Profiting Off His EMP Fearmongering
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah does love to fearmonger about the possibility of the enemy du jour threatening launching an electro-magnetic pulse weapon at the United States:

In his April 5 column, in which he discusses the merits of the "Red Dawn" remake which features an EMP attack, Farah declared that "an EMP attack would truly be catastrophic beyond anything the moviemakers envisioned. How bad would it be? Imagine a third or more of the country starving to death because of their dependence on technology that would be rendered useless."

In his April 8 column, Farah highlighted how the new TV show "Revolution" invokes the same plot element, which means that "Hollywood has recognized the beyond-scary potential of EMP."

Both columns tout the existence of a book on EMP attacks, "A Nation Forsaken" by F. Michael Maloof. In the April 5 column, Farah calls it  "probably the most important book of 2013." On April 8, Farah downgraded that observation slightly, calling it merely "one of the most important books published in 2013." He added that the book is "just now beginning to get some real media exposure. I think the initial obstacle it faced with the press is that what it exposes is so horrible, so unimaginable, so terrible and so frightening that the news media just didn’t know what to do with it."

Farah concluded his April 8 column by stating, "What I am telling you is the ugly truth about America’s vulnerability to utter catastrophe can only be found in one place – in the pages of 'A Nation Forsaken.'"

Farah conveniently fails to mention that Maloof is one of his employees, and that "A Nation Forsaken" is published by WND Books. That means Farah's EMP fearmongering has a profit motive.

We've documented Maloof's sketchy past, a member of a special intelligence unit that pushed the discredited idea Saddam Hussein was involved with the 9/11 attacks. Maloof was also having an affair witha  woman whom intelligence agencies were trying to recruit as an asset. He was also aaccused of associating with a Lebanese-American businessman who was under federal investigation for possible involvement in a gun-running scheme to Liberia, then involved in a civil war; that, along with longtime allegations that he was responsible for security leaks (including possibly to WND) ultimately resulted in his security clearance being pulled.

This is the guy Farah wants you to think has written "one of the most important books published in 2013."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 9:09 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Tim Graham, Music Critic
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham takes a break from media criticism to offer some music criticism in an April 8 NewsBusters post, proclaiming Morrissey to be a "Has-Been '80s Pop Star." Why? Because the Daily Beast published a column by Morrissey about the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Graham went on to complain: "Between the old Newsweek offering Morrissey a forum and Time magazine listing five hate-filled Thatcher protest songs, the two news magazines are showing why they're dead or dying. Both have adored Obama with an embarrassing ardor."

So, yeah, Graham's music criticism is on a par with his media criticism.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 PM EDT
WND's Unruh Uncritically Touts Anti-Gay Hate Group's Claims of 'Homofascism'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One of the more ridiculous ledes we've ever read kicks off in Bob Unruh's April 6 WorldNetDaily article:

Hunt for the word “homophobia” – purportedly a fear of homosexuality – and Merriam-Webster, the ADL, Wikipedia, Oxford Dictionary, The Free Dictionary, the Reference Dictionary and others are ready to provide help.

But look for “homofascism” – the use of homosexuality to bludgeon and batter the religious rights of Christians and others – and the logical resources are silent, leaving it to blogs and others to define.

At no point does Unruh consider that this is because homophobia is an actual thing, while "homofascism" is a term made up by homophobes for the sole purpose of denigration. But since the purpose of Unruh's article is to further the idea of "homofascism,"  he's not about to let such things as logic get in his way.

And ironically,Unruh as teamed up with the leader of a hate group to promote "homofascism." Scott Lively is head of Abiding Truth Ministries, which the Southern Policy Law Center  has identified as a"hate group" for Lively's vicious anti-gay activism. We've documented how WND uncritically promotes his homophobia and covers up for his extreme anti-gay activism when he's caught going way over the line, as he did in allegedly inspiring a proposed law in Uganda that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality.

Since agenda trumps facts at WND, Unruh does more uncritical promotion of Lively's anti-gay agenda:

Rev. Scott Lively, who works with Defend the Family, now also has begun working with pastors and churches in Oklahoma City, under the banner of Oklahomans for the 1st Amendment, to take back Christians’ rights to believe, live and express their biblical beliefs.

Essentially, the goal of the program is to affirm that the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and religion trumps laws set up to promote homosexuality by setting aside quotas for hiring and such.

Lively told WND the effort was launched in Oklahoma for a number of reasons, including that the state is fairly conservative and the special “rights” for homosexuals still are a mostly new idea there.

“The idea is to accomplish somewhere in the nation an amendment of sexual orientation regulations … as an example to the rest of the nation,” he said.

The idea, with variations, could be applied to governments, corporations, or anything else.

He said such “gay” set-asides are sold to the public as a shield against attacks on homosexuals, but the homosexuals use the special provisions as a sword to attack the rights of Christians.

Neither Lively nor Unruh identify any of these alleged "set-asides" for gays. Instead, Unruh regurgitates a laundry list of"incidents that show abuse of Christians’ rights."

Being the lazy, biased reporter he is, Unruh can't be bothered to obtain any response from any pro-gay group regarding Lively. Does Unruh think talking to people who might be gay is too icky for him?


Posted by Terry K. at 6:10 PM EDT
MRC's Bozell Changes Gender of Melissa Harris-Perry's Child To Fit His Attack on MSNBC
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell has a fit about a new MSNBC promo by Melissa Harris-Perry:

Melissa Harris-Perry declaring in an ad that we must “break through” the “private notion” that “your kid is yours” because “kids belong to whole communities” is an outrage. This isn’t what Mediaite called “a collection of tired progressive cliches on steroids.” This is shredding the notion of family, replacing it with the commands of the state.

MSNBC has awarded itself a new acronym: My Son Needs to Belong to the Collective. How do you sell a private network with this dreadful collectivist advertising?

But as Bozell's own "news" outlet, CNSNews.com, has reported, Harris-Perry has a daughter, not a son. Changing the gender of Harris-Perry's child in order to insult her seems par for the course for Bozell.

On top of that, Bozell's quoting on snippets of Harris-Perry's words and not providing what Harris-Perry actually said in full context. That's another clear sign that he's twisting her words.

Here's what she actually said:

We have never invested as much in public education as we should have, because we've always had kind of a private notion of children -- your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We have't a very collective notion of "these are our children." So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it's everybody's responsibility and not just the household's, then we start making better investments.

In other words, Harris-Perry is arguing that Americans treat children as part of a community through investment in public education, and that the idea of people like Bozell that public education is a waste and children are the property of parents instead of a member of society is harmful to children. Harris-Perry did not "shred the notion of family" in favor of "the commands of the state."

Wait, weren't Bozell's employees complaining just the other day that the "liberal media" was focusing only on controversial comments while ignoring the overall point of what was being said? Yes, they were.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 PM EDT
WND's Klein Confirms What Others Confirmed A Long Time Ago About Obama, Ayers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Under the headline "Ayers confirms what Obama has denied," Aaron Klein writes in an April 7 WorldNetDaily article:

Weatherman domestic terrorist Bill Ayers is now confirming what the White House has previously denied – that he held a fundraiser in his living room for Barack Obama.

That 1995 meeting was said to have launched Obama’s political career.

Sadly for Klein, none of this is the massive scoop he portrays it as.

First, at no point does Klein quote Obama denying that he was the subject of a fundraiser at Ayers' house -- all he offers is a 2008 clip of Obama campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs denying it was a fundraiser.

Second, this is not the first time Ayers has alluded to an event for Obama at his house. In November 2011, conservative blogs were all over a similar statement by Ayers. Klein must have missed that if he thinks the latest statement was the first time Ayers addressed it, which would seem to make him a lousy reporter.

Third, Klein seems to have forgotten that this has been talked about for more than five years. Politico reported in February 2008:

“I can remember being one of a small group of people who came to Bill Ayers’ house to learn that Alice Palmer was stepping down from the senate and running for Congress,” said Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and advocate for single-payer health care, of the informal gathering at the home of Ayers and his wife, Dohrn. “[Palmer] identified [Obama] as her successor.”

Obama and Palmer “were both there,” he said.

Klein actually cites Young's statements in his article -- without crediting Politico, of course and removing any reference to the date the accusation was made -- but he offers no evidence that Obama ever denied this account. (Politico states that the Obama campaign did not respond to a request for a comment.)

Given the fact that nobody had denied this account at the time, it's more than a little disingenous for Klein to suggest that it has been consistently denied for the past five years.

Further, as Politico's Ben Smith pointed out in 2011, the event at Ayers' house was technically more of an introduction of Obama as a candidate than an explicit fundraiser. It's a bit of a thin distinction, sure, but Klein simply paints Gibbs' denial as a blanket falsehood rather than the threading of the needle it arguably was.

In summary: Klein is trying to create news where there is none by faulty, biased reporting. Anyone surprised?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:49 AM EDT
Monday, April 8, 2013
MRC Bashes Fearmongering About Vaccines, Ignores Its Own
Topic: Media Research Center

Julia Seymour writes in an April 3 MRC Business & Media Institute item:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found further evidence that childhood vaccines and autism are “not related,” in spite of high profile anti-vaccination voices like actress Jenny McCarthy and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

The mainstream media had helped spread fears of vaccination several years ago. In 2005, Kennedy’s scary claims about vaccines were reported on ABC, CBS, in Time magazine and in other media outlets as well. It took until 2008, for some media outlets to do an about face on the issue.

Seymour, of course, makes no mention of anti-vaccine fearmongering in conservative media, where WorldNetDaily serves as a leader.

Further, Seymour makes no mention of the MRC's own anti-vaccine fearmongering, particularly on the subject of anti-HPV vaccines like Gardasil that help prevent cervical cancer.

In a 2007 MRC Culture & Media Institute item, Kristen Fyfe declared that she would not allow her teenage daughter to get the vaccine because HPV "is not passed through casual contact, like measles, mumps, chicken pox or any of the other diseases for which mandatory vaccination makes sense.  No matter how germ-infested my child's classroom is, one germ she won't catch there is HPV."

A 2008 CMI article complained that the media was "ignoring reports that some women have suffered convulsions, paralysis and death after being vaccinated" with Gardasil, citing fellow fearmongers WorldNetDaily as evidence. For all its fearmonger, the article provided no evidence that the rate of serious side effects of Gardasil is any worse than any other vaccine; instead, the fearmongering continued, declaring that "The media continue to keep quiet about the side effects associated with the drug even when young girls' health and lives are at stake."

A 2009 CMI article declared that a media report on Gardasil filed to menion that "the only reason to administer the vaccine is the assumption that girls will be sexually active. It is an assumption that they are incapable of abstinence. In fact, nobody in the segment mentioned that abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to avoid HPV."

A 2010 CMI article declared Gardasil to be "an unnecessary risk," huffing, "What's truly a failure is calling Gardasil a cervical cancer vaccine and not reporting all the side effects." It also referenced claims about side effects by the National Vaccine Information Center, failing to mention that the NVIC has an anti-vaccine agenda.

Apparently, it's OK to fearmonger against vaccines at the MRC when a moral case can be devised.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:55 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew deconstructs self-proclaimed prophet Joel Richardson's claim, as published in an April 3 WorldNetDaily article, that an apparent "gate to hell" was discovered by archelologists in Turkey. In short, Bartholomew says that Richardson "shows a basic misunderstanding of the nature of scholarship," conflates two separate cities, and apparently thinks Magog and Mabog are the same.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 PM EDT
CNS Issues Dishonest, Petty Attack on Obama Over Thatcher Death
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Obama-hating agenda of CNSNews.com means that there is nothing too petty that can't be turned into an attack on the president.

Thus, the existence of an April 8 CNS article headlined "Obama Responded Faster to Ebert's Death Than He Did to Thatcher's." But CNS was in such a rush to smear the president that it couldn't get its facts straight.

In the original article below, the unbylined CNS article claimed that the BBC first tweeted news of Margaret Thatcher's death at "4:49," meaning that as of the article's posting at approximately 10 a.m. ET, the White House had been silent for five hours about Thatcher's death.

But that's false. The first BBC tweet on Thatcher's death was actually sent at 7:49 ET, three hours after CNS first claimed it did:

CNS later changed the time of the BBC tweet to "around 6:50" then, finally, to eliminationg the reference to the BBC tweet entirely and stating that news of Thatcher's death "broke here around 7:50." CNS did not tell its readers that this had been corrected not once but twice, nor did it explain why it changed the time from an exact number to one that was "around."

Not only is this petty gotcha journalism, it's dishonest journalism. But then, CNS is a political organization, not a journalistic one.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 PM EDT

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