Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center may have shut down its TimesWatch blog, but Clay Waters' shoddy Times-bashing lives on. Read more >>
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
WND's Farah Wants In On Some Of That Sweet IRS-Bashing Action
You can smell the desperation in the headline of his May 19 WND column: "Hey! I got audited too!" The column itself reflects the headline: The politically-motivated-IRS-audit train has left the station, and Farah is running after it trying to get aboard, invoking his own history of purportedly politically motivated audits against various entities he used to run:
Farah fails to note the fact that a joint congressional committee, formed in response to complaints by Farah's Western Journalism Center and other groups, found "no credible evidence" that the IRS was biased against anti-Clinton groups.
Further, Farah expressed no concern that we remember about claims of politiclally motivated IRS audits under the Bush administration -- heck, at one time WND was essentially begging the Bush administration to sic the IRS on a group critical of the administration's agenda.
Farah generally doesn't miss an opportunity to portray himself as a victim, which is why he's so desperate to glom onto the IRS story.
NewsBusters' Sheppard Issues Another Correction
NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard is practically a correction-generating machine, frequently putting his right-wing agenda ahead of the truth in such a manner that even the normally reluctant NewsBusters has to issue corrections (though not as many as should be issued).
And so we see it again in a May 21 post, in which Sheppard had repeatedly identified Lizz Winstead, who had made a tweet of questionable taste regarding the Oklahoma tornadoes that she quickly apologized for and deleted after the scope of the devastation became clear -- as co-creator of "Jon Stewart's Daily Show."
Well, no -- Winstead was co-creator of "The Daily Show" as hosted by Craig Kilborn. Near as we can tell, she hasn’t had any direct involvement in the show since 1998 or so, before Stewart became the host.
Well, Sheppard managed to figure that out after the fact, because he has added a correction to his post:
By contrast, Sheppard felt no need to apologize for stating in a tweet, "If contraceptives R 2 B covered by health insurance shouldn't alcohol since sober people don't need birth control?"
Remember, this guy has a actual title (and, presumably, commensurate salary) at the MRC -- which it appears he will continue to have despite his lengthy record of screw-ups.
WND Basically Does A Push Poll on Obama Impeachment
Bob Unruh waxes poetic -- and highly biased -- in a May 19 WorldNetDaily article:
Yes, WND's ethically challenged pollster strikes again. But if you look at the questions Wenzel asked, they are so biased and so clearly designed to elicit an affirmative response for impeachment that it's no better than a push poll:
Since WND is paying Wenzel good money to get the poll results it wants, it certainly won't tell you how abysmal Wenzel's polling was in the 2012 elections. Most notably, in the Missouri Senate race, Wenzel had Todd Akin ahead of Claire McCaskill by 4 points a few weeks before the election -- which McCaskill won by 16 points.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
CNS Takes 'Irrelevant' Remark Out of Context
Susan Jones does her best to take Obama adviser Dan Pfeifer's claim about it being "irrelevant" whether the IRS broke the law by allegedly giving extra scrutiny to the tax-exempt applications of tea-party groups out of context.
The headline of Jones' May 20 CNS article reads, "Obama's Point Man: 'The Law Is Irrelevant,'" and Jones herself wrote that Pfeifer "at one point told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, 'The law is irrelevant.'"
The full context of Pfeifer's remarks is, of course, buried farther down in the article. That context -- which Jones didn't see fit to lead with -- is that the legality of the IRS' actions are "irrelevant" because President Obama considers it to be wrong regardless.
This is yet another case in which CNS decided it would regurgitate right-wing talking points instead of report the truth.
The WND Birther Blackout Is Back On
Earlier this month, WorldNetDaily dipped its toes back into the birther pool after a post-election break. Now, WND is is full pre-election mode -- with all the blackouts of inconvenient facts that go along with it.
Bob Unruh devotes his May 19 WND article to regurgitating the birther talking points regarding the latest lawsuit, and he has no time for inconvenient facts.
Unruh touts an affidavit from Cold Case Posse chief Mike Zullo asserting that "there was probable cause that forgery and fraud had been committed" regarding Obama's birth certificate. He makes no mention of Frank Arudini's deconstruction of a similar Zullo affidavit pointing out that, among many other falsehoods and deceptions, that Zullo claims to be speaking from "pesonal knowledge," which is simply false based on the legal definition of the term since "a full 60% of the affidavit has been told to him by Jerome Corsi or gleaned from other sources on the Web."
Unruh claims that the cold case posse was assembled by Sheriff Joe Arpaio "at the request of his constituents, who were concerned they were being defrauded by having an ineligible candidate on the 2012 election ballot." That's a highly disingenuous take on the truth; as we documented, WND's Jerome Corsi got the investigation ball rolling by making a birther presentation to a tea party group.
Unruh notes that Roy Moore is on the Alabama Supreme Court overseeing the case in question and "is on record previously questioning Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president," but he doesn't bring up whether such a prejudicial opinion should disqualify him from judging this case.
Unruh fails to disclose that Larry Klayman, who is representing the birther side of this case, has done legal work for WND, thus violating longstanding journalistic ethics about reporting conflicts of interest.
We'll give Unruh a pass on this one since it was failed after his article was published, but don't look for any future reporting on an amicus brief filed by the Alabama Democratic party in the case that exposes yet another flaw in Zullo's affidavit: that it's signed "solely in his personal capacity and without any title, even an imaginary one."
So: The birther games have resumed at WND, and they have as much to do with reality as its earlier anti-Obama jihad.
At NewsBusters, Telling The Truth = "Demonizing"
Jeffrey Meyer huffs in a headline on a May 20 NewsBusters post: 'MSNBC Dutifully Demonizes Conservative Black GOP Politician: ‘He Might Make Todd Akin Look Like A Moderate'." And how, exactly did MSNBC "demonize" this politician? By telling the truth.
Meyer complained that MSNBC's Chuck Todd "hammered the GOP’s nominee for Virginia Lieutenant Governor, African-American pastor E.W. Jackson, as extreme and someone who 'might make Todd Akin look like a moderate.' 'Can the GOP win in 2013 with a ticket of candidates who are best known for being very conservative and very outspoken on social issues?' Todd rhetorically asked before playing several clips of Jackson in a manner worthy of a liberal attack ad." If that wasn't enough, Meyer writes, "Nowhere in the segment did Todd feel it necessary to mention the passionate speech Jackson gave at the convention, instead choosing to mock the candidate as worse than Todd Akin, the U.S. Senate candidate last year now infamous for his "legitimate rape" remarks."
Oddly, Meyer doesn't include the content of the Jackson clips Todd played in the body of his item, only in the transcript at the end.Meyer also doesn't complain of any inaccuracy on Todd's part, only that Todd played accurate clips of Jackson saying:
Does Meyer not think these remarks are controversial? Or is he trying to work the ref as the MRC did last year, trying to discourage any scrutiny of Republican candidates?
WND's Colin Flaherty Pretends He Knows About Kansas City
Colin Flaherty is still trying to race-bait, this time in a May 19 WorldNetDaily column insisting that it's "black mobs," and only "black mobs," taking part in "dozens" of incidents in Kansas City:
Huh? What is this "Kansas City Plaza" he's talking about? Anyone who is remotely familiar with Kansas City knows the area he's referring to is called Country Club Plaza. If Flaherty had actually done the amount of research he claims he did, he would know that as well.
And are there really "dozens of episodes of racial violence and lawlessness" there? A report from a Kansas City TV station cites "several violent teen fights" in recent years, but we haven't seen any evidence of "dozens" of instances of "black mob violence" there.
But Flaherty wasn't done demonstrating his ignorance. Near the end of his column, he wrote: "Councilman Reed, another question: You want honesty? Then can you please honestly tell me where black people in Kansas got the idea that they can visibly and publicly break the law, hurt people, destroy property, over and over again?"
Again, as anyone remotely familiar with the area knows -- and Flaherty would know too if he'd done the research he claims he has -- Country Club Plaza is in Kansas City, Missouri. Unless Flaherty thinks all the "black people in Kansas" are crossing the border to make Kansas City look bad.
If Flaherty is incapable doing even the most basic research about the city he's writing about, his obsessive race-baiting must be just as factually shoddy.
Monday, May 20, 2013
CNS Still Unhappy Feds Are Spending Money On Gays
A May 15 article by Elizabeth Harrington states: "While the White House claims its stimulus package 'supported as many as 3.5 million jobs,' none were yielded from a $152,000 project to ready lesbians for 'adoptive parenthood.'" Harrington obviously disapproves of the expenditure, but she doesn't explain why.
CNS does have a particular disdain for LGBT folks being the beneficiary of federal largesse: Of the 20 articles currently listed on CNS' "Waste Watch" page, five of them involve LGBT issues.
WND Columnist Baselessly Blames Rise In Military Assaults on Obama
Jane Chastain writes in her May 15 WorldNetDaily column:
But if the trend began in 2004, how can be the fault of Obama, who didn't take office until 2008? And how can it be the fault of allowing gays in the military and women to be stationed closer to combat units if, by Chastain's own admission, those changes occurred only "recently"?
Chastain also offers no evidence to back up her claim that "
Chastain appears to be much more concerned with attacking Obama than telling the truth.
NewsBusters Double Standard on Political Motives
NewsBusters' Tom Blumer is shocked -- shocked! -- that anyone would impute a political motive on the part of Republicans who want to get rid of Attorney General Eric Holder.
Responding in a May 19 post to claims that "Republicans are eager to claim a trophy firing" in targeting Holder, Blumer insisted that the GOP is operating only on the purest of motives:
Blumer went on to whine that no evidence was offered that Republicans' anti-Holder operation is partisan -- but Blumer offered no evidence that Republicans' motives are as pure as the driven snow.
Since this is NewsBusters, you can be sure that someone was doing the very same thing Blumer was criticizing. That someone is Noel Sheppard, who just a few hours before Blumer's post went up was dismissing the idea that IRS scrutiny of tea party groups could be anything other than political:
Apparently, according to NewsBusters, Democrats operate only for political reasons, and Republicans care only about the country.
WND's Corsi Joins AIM's Kincaid In Defending Discredited Anti-Obama Filmmaker
Acuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid isn't the only right-wing writer pretending that Joel Gilbert hasn't been thoroughly discredited.
A May 16 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi is devoted to uncritically repeating Gilbert's claim that he's being harrassed by the IRS, which allegedly leaked financial information about him to a reporter. Neither Gilbert nor Corsi offer any evidence for this, of course, but Corsi does -- in an unusual act of journalism on his part -- obtain a response from the reporter in question.
Corsi reverts to form, however, by letting Gilbert claim that "I was targeted because ‘Dreams from My Real Father’ exposes Obama as a pathological liar. ... Obama intentionally obscured a deeply disturbing family background in order to hide a Marxist agenda, completely incompatible with American values. It was an unacceptable manipulation of the electorate and unquestionably the biggest scandal in American history.”
Needless to say, there's no mention of the work Loren Collins did in discrediting some of the major claims Gilbert made in his film. On the other hand, Corsi made no mention of the main claim Collins debunked -- that Obama's mother posed for nude pictures taken by Davis -- even though Corsi hyped that claim when Gilbert's film was first released.
Is this as close to a correction we will ever see from Corsi? Or is he so gutless that he won't admit Gilbert got it wrong lest it cause his entire birther conspiracy to crumble?
Sunday, May 19, 2013
MRC Stays Silent On How Right-Wing Austerity Argument Has Been Discredited
Topic: Media Research Center
Last month, a study by economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff claiming that a country's economic growth becomes impaired when its debt level exceeds 90 percent of gross domestic product was discredited by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, who looked through Reinhart and Rogoff's data and found selective exclusion of data and a coding error.
You wouldn't know it by reading any website operated by the Media Research Center -- as with its blackout on the racially charged work of ex-Heritiage Foundation researcher Jason Richwine, the MRC has simply refused to tell its readers about the discrediting of Reinhart and Rogoff.
It's doubly odd because the MRC approvingly cited Reinhart and Rogoff's work a month before the debunking. A March 13 TimesWatch item by Clay Waters highlighted a quote fromRogoff in a New York Times article on federal budget issues that "eventually made room for dissenting 'right-leaning' views."
The MRC has been obsessed with attacking other media outlets for failure to cover stories it deems important, i.e. Kermit Gosnell. But what moral authority does such criticism have when the MRC does the exact same thing it attacks others for doing?
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
-- Mychal Massie, April 29 WorldNetDaily column
-- Christopher Monckton, May 7 WND column
-- Robert Ringer, May 8 WND column
-- Joseph Farah, May 8 WND column
-- Craige McMillan, May 10 WND column
-- Mychal Massie May 13 WND column
-- Burt Prelutsky, May 14 WND column
-- Robert Ringer, May 16 WND column
-- Tom Tancredo, May 17 WND column
There’s just one difference between ["Casablanca" character Capt. Louis] Renault and Obama.
-- Joseph Farah, May 17 WND column
-- Craige McMillan, May 17 WND column
-- Larry Klayman, May 17 WND column
Saturday, May 18, 2013
MRC's Bozell Gloats Over Cancellation of Gay-Themed Shows
Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell is positively giddy that some TV shows with gay themes are getting cancdeled:
Bozell then makes a very bizarre statement: "Murphy is in bed with Obama, as it were." Bozell claims this refers to Murphy creating allegedly pro-Obama episodes in the shows he has created,but it could very wall also be a sly reference to the sleazy rumors around Obama's sex life right-wingers like Jerome Corsi like to spread.
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