Great Moments In AIM Self-Unawareness (With Bonus Attacks on Us) Topic: Accuracy in Media
James Simpson purports to expose "Illegal Alien Propaganda: A Critical Lesson in Terminology and Tactics" in his April 12 Accuracy in Media column. But Simpson's opening salvo is, well, propaganda:
As we once again face the specter of illegal alien amnesty, and the permanent Democratic majority it will guarantee, it is critical to understand how the Left plays. They are unethical to the core, but we are so frequently deluded by their tactical use of language and emotion, that we are unequipped to deal with them effectively. The result: they win. This cannot happen again, unless we are all willing to start calling Obama “President for Life,” and Democrats, the “Commissars.”
Simpson is apparently oblivious to the irony -- not to mention very thin-skinned about criticism. Read the comments at the end of the column and you'll find us innocuously pointing out Simpson's misuse of the word "amnesty," following by Simpson hurling insults and false attacks at us for doing so.
Washington demonstrated yet again why no sane law school should hire him in his April 12 column:
The Court’s most controversial decision on the Fourth Amendment was Mapp v. Ohio (1961), which established the anti-constitutional exclusionary rule where critical evidence gathered by the police can be withheld from proving defendant’s guilt if a single judge deems the evidence “tainted” or derivative of the so-called “fruit of the poisonous tree.” This is judicial tyranny writ large!
Washington conveniently omits the facts of the case, in which a person was convicted of possessing obscene materials after an admittedly illegal police search of her home for a fugitive. Washington doesn't explain why illegally obtained evidence must be admissible.
In other words, Washington declared that it's "anti-constitutional" to uphold the Fourth Amendment's right against unreasonable search and seizure. And this guy wants a job as a law professor?
UPDATE: A ConWebWatch reader with a background in law points out that Washington is even more wrong than we first described. The exclusionary rule was not established in Mapp v. Ohio; that case merely ruled that it applies to the states as well as the federal government. The "fruit of the poisonous tree" rule was established for federal cases in the 1920 case Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States.
MRC's Graham: If You Can't See Liberal Bias In Lack of Gosnell Trial Coverage, It's Your Problem Topic: Media Research Center
We've long known that the Media Research Center is so committed to its insistence of a liberal media bias that it will contort every story around a media-bias frame, no matter how far it is from the truth.
We see that again in the story of odious abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. A Washington Post article credits the MRC and its NewsBusters blog for cranking up complaints that Gosnell's trial was not getting the national attention it believed was deserved. Post reporter Paul Farhi goes on to quote the MRC's Tim Graham declaring that "This is a story that threatens the abortion rights agenda. . . . It’s bias by omission," but adding that "Neither Graham nor any of the other critics have offered evidence for their suspicions."
Though presumably happy that the MRC got a high-profile media mention, Graham was upset that Farhi exposed his employer's modus operandi. He rants in an April 15 NewsBusters post:
Speaking of suspicions, I suspect someone at the Post is ignoring what I clearly said to Farhi as we talked about the Why of the Gosnell blackout. The evidence of the liberal bias is as plain as day in the blackout. The "why" is somewhat irrelevant. We believe the media want to prevent public-relations damage to the abortion industry, in the same way we believe the media want to inflict public-relations damage on other institutions -- say, the Catholic Church, as I said to Farhi.
I told Farhi is what this blackout proves is that the abortion industry and their media enablers have demonstrated they don't believe in the "safe" part of keeping abortion "safe, legal, and rare."
In other words: Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' evidence! If we say there's liberal bias, we don't need to prove it -- it's axiomatic. If you can't see it, it's not our problem.
Remember, the MRC has "research" in its name -- and its director of media analysis thinks it's "somewhat irrelevant" to research why something happened.
And Graham wonders why nobody takes the MRC's work seriously.
WND's Farah Lies About Attempted Bombing By White Supremacist Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah writes in an April 15 WorldNetDaily column railing against CNN analyst Peter Bergen for raising the possibility that a right-wing group was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings:
Here’s his keen insight: “We’ve seen a number of failed bombing attempts by al-Qaida, but we’ve also seen other extremist groups. Right-wing groups trying to attack, for instance – trying to attack the Martin Luther King parade in Oregon in 2010.”
Now, as someone who formerly lived in Oregon and still have quite a few employees there, I couldn’t remember any attack attempted at a Martin Luther King parade in Oregon in 2010 or any other year. I vaguely recalled a minor incident in Spokane, Wash., around that time.
Here’s the story behind it.
In 2011, a backpack bomb was found along the parade route of the Martin Luther King Day “unity march.” The FBI posted a $20,000 reward for the person or persons responsible. None was ever found – no right-wingers, no left-wingers, no wingers of any kind.
In other words, not only did Bergen get the year wrong, the state wrong, but also lied about the motivation for the assembling of a backpack bomb that never went off.
No corrections were issued by CNN.
That's because, aside from being off by one year and one state, no corrections are needs. Contrary to Farah's claim, a white supremacist did, in fact, admit responsibility for the attempted MLK parade bombing in Spokane:
A self-professed white supremacist was sentenced to 32 years in prison on Tuesday after admitting that he left an explosive device in a backpack near the intended route of a Martin Luther King Day Unity March in Spokane, Wash.
The device was packed with 128 0.25-ounce fishing weights coated with the anticoagulant brodifacoum, an active ingredient in rat poison, according to court documents.
The device, discovered on Jan. 17, did not detonate.
Kevin William Harpham of Colville, Wash., was arrested two months later. He pleaded guilty in September to two of four counts in his federal indictment: attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, and attempting to cause bodily injury with an explosive device because of the race, color, or national origin of a targeted person.
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Mr. Harpham avoided a potential life sentence. Following his 32-year prison sentence, Harpham has been ordered to serve probation for the rest of his life.
Federal agents working on the case discovered a different version of Harpham. They found that he was a member of the National Alliance, a white supremacy group, and that he participated in an online Internet forum at the Vanguard News Network, a white supremacist website. According to the FBI, Harpham used the online moniker “Joe Snuffy.”
In June 2006, “Joe Snuffy” posted a disparaging comment about supermodel Heidi Klum and her interracial marriage. His last posting on the Vanguard News website was Jan. 15, two days before the backpack was discovered, according to the FBI.
Investigators were also able to link Harpham to the backpack by comparing trace DNA found on the handle and shoulder straps of the backpack to a DNA sample on file with the Department of Defense dating from his years of Army service.
When agents raided his home, they discovered racist books and magazines, and information about domestic terrorism, according to prosecutors. They also seized an AK-47 assault rifle, a handgun, and a digital clock that had been modified as a timing device.
The above story was the first result upon entering "MLK parade backpack bomb" into Google. Farah either wouldn't or couldn't find this story -- then chose to compound his ignorance by ranting that CNN's Bergen should be "be looking for a new line of work" and "owes the American public an apology for airing this kind of ill-informed 'analysis.'"
It's clear that -- adding this to his ever-growing pile of lies he has been peddling -- Farah's the one who should be looking for a new line of work. But it's hard to get rid of the guy who owns the joint.
CNS Publishes Press Release For Keystone XL Pipeline Topic: CNSNews.com
An April 11 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones might as well have had the TransCanada letterhead at the top -- it's nothing more than a regurgitation of the company's talking points in favor of approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Jones uncritically forwarded TransCanada's wildly inflated figures of the number of jobs the pipeline would generate, despite the fact that independent analysts have found that the job-creation figure is much lower.
Jones also engaged in some factually deficient editorializing about the Obama administration's role in rejecting the initial application for the pipeline:
President Obama -- apparently not wanting to anger his environmentalist supporters before the election -- denied the permit last year. Seizing on a deadline imposed by Republicans, the Obama administration said it needed more time to determine if the project was in the national interest.
Jones offers no evidence to back up the mind-reading claim. She also fails to seek out anyone to respond to TransCanada's claims.
But that, presumably, is what Jones is being paid to do -- CNS is very much in bed with fossil-fuel interests.
WND's Erik Rush: Kill All The Muslims (Just Kidding!) Topic: WorldNetDaily
It didn't take long for right-wingers to go into knee-jerk blame mode in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon explosions.
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush declared in one tweet, "Everybody do the National Security Ankle Grab! Let's bring more Saudis in without screening them! C'mon!" When someone tweeted in response about him blaming Muslims despite the total lack of evidence at that point that anyone was being implicated in the bombings, Rush retorted: "Yes, they're evil. Let's kill them all."
After Right Wing Watch posted Rush's offending tweets, Rush pretended it was all a joke, saying, "Sarcasm, idiot."
But he followed that up with another Islamophobic tweet: "Keep 'em coming, muzzie apologist vermin! I LOVE it!"
Never mind, of course, that Rush has never been known for having any detectable sense of sarcasm.This is, after all, the guy who likened President Obama to a prison rapist and thinks Malcolm X is Obama's real father.
There is no detectable line between Erik Rush the paranoid conspiracy theorist and Erik Rush the brilliant satirist, because the latter does not exist. Rush is simply trying to avoid having to take responsibility for his words.
The real question is, will Rush's hateful outburst cost him what passes in his world for high-profilke gigs -- his WND column and his occasional appearances on Fox News with Sean Hannity?
WND, NewsBusters Publish Ann Coulter's Joke About Killing Meghan McCain Topic: NewsBusters
In her April 10 syndicated column, Ann Coulter wrote that MSNBC's Martin Bashir "suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed for them to support the Democrats' gun proposals," then added in parentheses, "Let's start with Meghan McCain!" Fox Nation posted Coulter's column then pulled it down, apparently thinking better of the implicit death threat.
NewsBusters also published Coulter's column intact, despite its history of avoiding controversy with its syndicated columnists -- it deliberately ignored Cal Thomas' insult of Rachel Maddow, and refused to publish the column in which he apologized.
In an April 11 WorldNetDaily column listing reasons that Attorney General Eric Holder should be impeached, Dean claims: "Eric Holder has directed the DOJ not to enforce the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In doing so, Holder has violated his oath of office and clearly shows his violation of the laws of Nature and Nature’s God."
Dean is lying again. In fact, the Department of Justice stated that it would no longer defend DOMA in court, but that it would still enforce the law while it remains in effect.
Dean also claimed: "As we all know, Eric Holder is guilty of putting thousands of assault rifles into the hands of Mexican drug lords in an attempt to blame the American people for the crimes administration officials are guilty of contriving and committing." In fact, an investigation by the DOJ's inspector general found no evidence that Holder knew of the Fast & Furious gun-running operation.
Dean further wrote: "Soon after being sworn in as Obama’s attorney general, Holder ordered the voter intimidation case against the Black Panthers during the 2008 presidential election to be dropped." In fact, the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that DOJ attorneys "acted appropriately, in the exercise of their supervisory duties in connection with the dismissal of the three defendants in the NBPP case." Experts on both sides of the political spectrum agree that the New Black Panther case is a phony scandal.
Dean went on to dramatically declare: "It is time to bind criminals such as Eric Holder down with the chains of the Constitution." When will Dean feel the need to bind himself to the Ten Commandments, particularly the one about bearing false witness?
For some reason, Newsmax has decided to enter the breach and goose sales of the book.
An April 12 Newsmax article touts how Chafets' book "has soared to the top of Amazon.com’s list of best-selling books," going on to assert that "Chafets' book is drawing high praise not only for its penetrating look at the man credited with building Fox News into the top-rated cable news channel, but also for the significant revelations it offers about Ailes, his confrontation with President Obama, and other fascinating vignettes."
One significant fact Newsmax fails to mention: Two days earlier, it sent out an email to its mailing list imploring readers to buy the book at Amazon.
Scattered throughout that email are links stating, "Note: You can get this best-selling book from Amazon now — Go Here Now." It takes you to Amazon's page for the book, its URL coded so that Newsmax gets a cut of sales.
Both the email and article make the ludicrous claim that "Chafets is not a conservative — a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and a former columnist for the New York Daily News, he was given unprecedented access to Ailes and others at Fox News with no strings attached." But as the New Republic details, Chafets certainly has special relations with conservatives like Ailes:
The author of more than a dozen books, Chafets has established himself as someone with special access to conservative figures, earned by the sympathetic profiles he writes of them. He seems credible, writes well, does actual reporting, and is published in center to center-left outlets like the New York Times Magazine and Newsweek. He frequently identifies himself as a member of the “mainstream media” or “lamestream media,” complete with quotation marks to deny an endorsement of either appellation.
The email even touts Rush Limbaugh's endorsement of the book without mentioning that Chafets also wrote a friendly bio of Limbaugh.
Newsmax might want to explain to its readers why it has felt the need to goose sales of Chafets' book. Out of the goodness of Christopher Ruddy's heart? Because Chafets' publisher is paying them? Please tell us.
WND's Klein Ignores Big Picture on Al Qaeda And Gun Shows Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein huffed in an April 12 WorldNetDaily article:
In a clear push for gun control, CNN and MSNBC yesterday hyped false claims by an al-Qaida spokesman that America is awash with easily obtainable, fully automatic “assault rifles.”
The networks played an al-Qaida propaganda video from June 2011 that until now has received little news media attention.
In the video, American al-Qaida spokesman and operative Adam Gadahn urged jihadists to obtain automatic rifles at U.S. gun shows, wrongly claiming those weapons are sold without background checks.
Klein conveniently ignores the fact that criminals and terrorists have, in fact, purchased weapons at gun shows where background checks are lax. While Gadahn was incorrect about being able to buy fully automatic guns at gun shows, one can buy the parts to make a semi-automatic rifle fully automatic at gun shows.
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.