NewsBusters' Double Standard on Possibly Illegal Leaks Topic: NewsBusters
An April 10 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan fretted that ABC was covering "startling secret tape" from Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's office "revealing how the Senate's top Republican was planning to go after... [Ashley] Judd if she ran against him," and that said coverage was "omitting left-of-center ideology of the publication that released the audio clip and minimizing the possible illegality of its recording."
Similarly, an April 10 post by Jeffrey Meyer fretted that the McConnell tape may have been "made without McConnnell's knowledge could potentially be a serious violation of federal law" and that nobody in one TV segment seemed "concerned that McConnell’s privacy might have been violated."
Funny, we don't recall such concern over privacy and potential illegality when stolen emails from the University of East Anglia were blown up into "Climategate." To the contrary: NewsBusters was upset that the contents of the possibly illegally taken emails weren't being reported. A November 2009 post by Jeff Poor, for example, called it merely a "breach of data" by "a hacker" and whined that instead of covering it, ABC reported on "A sea lion glut in San Francisco, an orphaned moose in Vermont and the meal selection on the President's State Dinner."
Apparently, NewsBusters is concerned about the propriety of reporting information that may have been illegally obtained when that information makes Republicans look bad.
The ConWeb Ignores, Buries Rand Paul's Flip-Flop on Civil Rights Act Topic: The ConWeb
During an April 10 speech at Howard University, a historically black school, Republican Sen. Rand Paul said that he has "never wavered" in his "support of civil rights or the Civil Rights Act." Which is simply not true. Paul has argued that the public acommodations clause of the Civil Rights Act shouldn't apply to private businesses -- in other words, he thinks that business should be able to discriminate by race.
But the ConWeb really doesn't want you to know about any of that.
A Newsmax article by Todd Beamon highlighted Paul statement on the Civil Rights Act, obliquely following that by noting, "He added that he did 'question some of the ramifications' of the act on business."
By contrast, a CNSNews.com article by Melanie Hunter made no mention whatsoever of Paul's statement or the fact that it contradicts his previous stance.
A WorldNetDaily article by Taylor Rose mentioned Paul's contradiction, but only in the final paragraph of his 24-paragraph article. For some reason, Rose devoted part of his article to Peter Brimelow, "financial journalist, author and founder of the immigration restrictionist website VDARE," calling Paul's outreach a waste of time because "Republicans will cut the programs so many blacks [and other minorities] are dependent on."
Rose's description of Brimelow's VDARE as "immigration restrictionist" is misleading -- in fact, it's basically a white supremacist website. The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that VDARE "regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites."
MRC Fearmongers About Soros To Raise A Few Bucks Topic: Media Research Center
You may have been seeing web ads like this for the past week or so:
We saw them mostly at the Media Research Center. There's a reason for that: It's an MRC fundraising campaign.
The target is George Soros, and the MRC musters all the demonization it can to scare a few bucks out of gullible conservatives, starting with the awesomely evil image at the top of the "StopSorosNow.com" website:
The "puppet master" imagery is steeped in anti-Semitic stereotypes -- Soros was born a Jew -- but the MRC is too busy fearmongering for its money grab to worry about propriety:
George Soros is on a crusade to destroy the freest nation on earth and transform it into a hard-left, socialist state. He funds more than 180 media outlets and leftist front groups to advance his anti-American propaganda.
BUT—the MRC has the strategy and the courage to stand up to George Soros' ruthless anti-American empire. But we can't do this without your help. Your donation will give the MRC the firepower needed to dismantle the Soros Web by exposing his influence over the liberal media, and your support has never been more critical.
Curiously, an earlier version of the MRC's appeal was much more detailed, which promised many specific things it would do with the money (bolding and underlining in original):
There is nothing that can match the depth and intricacies of the George Soros media web.
But that's where the Media Research Center plays a pivotal role, and with your help, we can expose and stop his assault on America by:
Operating a full-time team of researchers devoted solely to fully investigating George Soros' deep ties to the liberal American media.
Funneling this information out to the American people by providing all we uncover to Fox News, conservative talk radio, and the conservative blogosphere.
Countering and neutralizing the lies, smears, and propaganda that these leftist connected groups like Media Matters spread through their Soros ties in the liberal American media.
The MRC has the strategy and the courage to stand up to George Soros' ruthless anti-American empire. But we can't do this without your help.
Your donation gives the MRC the firepower needed to dismantle the Soros Web by exposing his influence over the liberal media. Two of the MRC's trustees are so convinced that George Soros poses a grave threat to America, they have offered to match dollar for dollar every gift made to the MRC by April 11. That means your gift will have DOUBLE the impact in our fight to stop Soros. Your support has never been more critical. Your gift will go TWICE AS FAR in saving America from George Soros' socialist agenda.
But we must receive your gift by midnight on April 11. Please don't wait to help us stop George Soros. Make your gift to the MRC today.
The appeal as it currently stands removes the specifics of how the money would be spent, and there's no mention of donations being doubled.
Instead, there is a notice that the campaign has been extended for a day, until April 12 -- an all-but-certain sign that it's not going well.
Remaining at the end of the appeal, however, is a version of the MRC logo with the addendum "100% Guaranteed No B.S."
Remove the word "no," and it would be a lot closer to the truth.
Diana West begins her April 4 WorldNetDaily column this way:
Get ready for the last straw.
First, though, I’d like to suggest that anyone reading this column in a local newspaper or news site pat the editor on the back for publishing what in our neo-medieval world of fear amounts to a “forbidden” column.
Yup, I am about to say something about the Great Barack Obama Identity/Eligibility Scandal again.
Well, no. We know West loves to play the victim when publications refuse to publish her increasingly fringe, far-right views. What she's writing isn't "forbidden"; it simply proves that West is willing to ignore all logical evidence in order to cling to her birther conspiracy theory.
I know that this is one rich and urgent topic that doesn’t see the light of day in certain so-called news outlets – and I say that from the experience of watching my own syndicated columns fail to appear when covering news of the White House press conference where the president’s long-form birth certificate was unveiled, news of courtroom proceedings in various states on Obama’s ballot eligibility and news of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s investigators presenting evidence that the online Obama birth certificate is a forgery.
Actually, the Arpaio cold case posse has been discredited. Not that anyone would know that by reading WND, since WND writer Jerome Corsi was/is a de facto member of the posse and has plenty of motive to keep up the illusion of credibility. Also, pretty much every birther lawsuit has been laughed out of court, and that's before the subpar lawyering of Orly Taitz and Larry Klayman is taken into consideration.
West then goes the revisionist-history route:
In fact, the whereabouts of Obama’s nativity is in no way the main bone of “birther” contention, despite the blinkered focus on it by the enforcers of silence. Of far greater concern to me, for starters, is the purportedly original documentation President Obama belatedly provided the American people to attest to his identity.
So has Sheriff Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse out in Maricopa County, Ariz. So, too, has the Israel Science and Technology website, a national database and directory of science- and technology-related sites in Israel established by Benjamin Netanyahu’s former science adviser, molecular biologist Israel Hanukoglu, Ph.D.
As for the supposed expertise of "Benjamin Netanyahu’s former science adviser, molecular biologist Israel Hanukoglu, Ph.D.," Dr. Conspiracy sums it up: "Israel Hanukoglu is just another crank birther conspiracy theorist with no credentials in what he’s writing about. He doesn’t even pretend to employ the scientific method with experiment, nor does he cite sources with credentials any better than his."
Having weighed the arguments, it seems to me that by virtue of having a British subject for a father, Barack Obama Jr. is constitutionally ineligible to be president of the United States, no matter where he was born.
With a British father, Obama cannot meet the constitutional requirement of having been “natural born,” which is a different and more restrictive category than “native born.”
Again, no. Most legitimate legal authorities consider "natural born" and "native born" to be interchangeable. And nowhere in the Constitution or in federal law is "natural born citizen" defined only as the child of two citizen parents.
From there, West proceeds to whining:
Aside from Alan Keyes, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and a Republican candidate for the Senate and the presidency, no prominent Republican – from John McCain to Mitt Romney to John Boehner to Ron Paul – and no prominent conservative, from William Bennett to Sarah Palin to Rudy Giuliani, ever faced or raised the issue.
Similarly, no think tank, no committee in Congress, no judicial body, no civic group and no mainstream media organization has advanced any responsible inquiry into these troubling questions.
We're glad she admits that Arpaio's cold case posse did not conduct a "responsible inquiry." Oh, wait -- you mean it's not a "civic group"? Then again, she appears to be putting noted crazy person Alan Keyes in the "responsible" category.
Finally, West unironically claims: "What chance does any free society in such deep denial have to continue?" The only person we see in deep denial about this is West. You'd think the fact that WND is her most prominent media outlet these days would serve as a clue.
Noel Sheppard Touts Defense of Fox News Reporter Without Noting It Comes From Fox News Employee Topic: NewsBusters
Under the hyping headline "Judy Miller: Media Ignore Reporter Facing Jail Time Because She's From Fox News," an April 9 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard states:
[T]he media have been largely ignoring the plight of Fox News reporter Jana Winter who may end up going to jail for maintaining the secrecy of her sources on a report concerning Aurora, Colorado, shooter James Holmes.
Former New York Times reporter Judy Miller - who spent 85 days in jail in 2005 for withholding her source regarding the Valerie Plame affair - told NewsMaxTV's Steve Malzberg Monday, "If this were CNN or if this were the New York Times, yeah, I think it’s almost certain that there would have been more coverage and more publicity than there’s been to date (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Actully, Sheppard did need to add one bit of additional commentary: the fact that Miller is a paid Fox News contributor, something that may have played a role in her speaking out on Jana Winter.
Sheppard would likely not have let financial considerations go unmentioned if a paid contributor for a "liberal" network defended a reporter for the same network.
Massie has a few lower-level writers that also pump out screeds on his website. One of them is someone named Daniel J. Bubalo, who has the following bio:
Daniel J. Bubalo was hired by the venerable firm of Kidder Peabody in 1978, before becoming a shareholder and partner with Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1984. He ultimately bought his own brokerage firm and steered it successfully through the market crash of 1987 before starting a venture capital and advisory company in the early 1990's. He has been a broker, manager, owner, trader, financier, and advisor on mergers and acquisitions, and throughout his career has opined regularly about the intractable nature of government and its inextricable hold and influence on financial markets. A securities violation landed him in federal prison from 1999 to 2003 which served to only sharpen his observations, watching in dismay at the dissolution of the Glass-Steagall Act, the 2001 dot.com bubble burst without so much as an investigation or arrest, and has since lectured between 2005 and 2011 at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University on government intervention and ethics, as well as being presciently critical about Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank.
Note how quickly Bubalo glosses over the fact he spent four years in prison on what he downplayed as a "securities violation." Needless to say, theres a lot more going on than what Bubalo is telling you.
As a federal appeals court recounted in a failed appeal by one of Bubalo's co-conspirators, Bubalo was on the board of a failing orange juice maker that, in the early 1990s, had solicited investors based on fraudulent claim that it had contracts to sell goods to former Soviet countries, while Bubalo and his co-conspirators kept the investors' money for themselves. The court's ruling sums up Bubalo's crimes:
Bubalo pled guilty to securities fraud, mail fraud, engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property, and conspiracy to commit securities and mail fraud. More than 400 investors lost all the money they invested in O-Jay/Omni, a total of about $4.8 million.
So, a lot more than a simple "securities violation," and seemingly worth at least four years in prison.
And there's also this intriguing entry from a 2000 Senate hearing on bankruptcy reform:
Daniel J. Bubalo of Edina, Minn., was sentenced June 8 to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution following his conviction on two counts of bankruptcy fraud. After Bubalo's bankruptcy case was converted from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7, and without the Chapter 7 trustee's knowledge, Bubalo sold for $70,000 a Duluth, Minn., bar valued at $175,000. He later testified that the property's status had not changed since his case was converted.
This is the guy who Massie trusts to contribute to his website.
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":
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.
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 allitdoeslately.
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 >>
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.