MRC's Double Standard on Disclosure Topic: Media Research Center
Mike Ciandella writes in a Jan. 16 MRC Business & Media Institute post:
Not only did NBC allow their special anchor Maria Shriver to promote her own report on “Nightly News,” they did it without disclosing that it was made in partnership with a group that liberal billionaire George Soros gave $7.3 million to.
Ciandella, however, has shown no interest in holding the organization he works for to the same disclosure standard. CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center's "news" division, has done the following over the past week or so:
Promoted the Family Research Council's study attacking contraception without mentioning the FRC's anti-contraception, anti-abortion agenda.
Devoted an article to promoting a claim by the Charlotte Lozier Institute without identifying the institute as an anti-abortion, anti-contraception group.
Hidden the anti-Obamacare agenda of an organization whose attacks on Obamacare CNS promoted.
Why is it OK for Ciandella's co-workers to engage in the same kind of non-disclosure he criticizes in others? Perhaps he should spend a little time explaining that.
You can't keep a good lie down, apparently. Burt Prelutsky writes in his Jan. 21 WorldNetDaily column:
After all, we have justices sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court today who have announced that they wouldn’t advise emerging nations to adopt our Constitution as their own. For that matter, Barack Obama has gone on record saying that the major flaw in our Constitution is that it doesn’t deal with the redistribution of wealth. Is it any wonder then that in spite of swearing his allegiance to the sacred document, he ignores what it says with unseemly regularity – things like states’ rights and the separation of powers – any damn time he feels like it?
As we first documented way back in 2008, Obama did not say that " the major flaw in our Constitution is that it doesn’t deal with the redistribution of wealth" -- he said that the fact that the Supreme Court under Earl Warren did not address wealth redistribution means it was not as radical a court as some people contend.
And Prelutsky's claim that a Supreme Court justice said she "wouldn’t advise emerging nations to adopt our Constitution as their own" is taken out of context. What Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, according to PolitiFact:
Ginsburg’s lengthy, nuanced responses repeatedly praised the values, concepts and language of the U.S. Constitution and called the people who wrote it "some of the most brilliant minds of the day "
Ginsburg warned that a constitution means "nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom." She emphasized the importance of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and of the separation of powers between Congress, the president and the judiciary that it created.
Ginsburg also pointed out that a long time had passed between the passage of the U.S. Constitution and Egypt’s current efforts.
"I can’t speak about what the Egyptian experience should be, because I’m operating under a rather old constitution," Ginsburg said early in the interview. "The United States in comparison to Egypt is a very new nation, and yet we have the oldest written constitution still enforced in the world. And it’s a constitution that starts out with three wonderful words: ‘We the people.’ "
"You should certainly be aided by all the constitution writing that has gone on since the end of World War II. I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa.
"That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights [and] had an independent judiciary. It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done.
"Much more recently than the U.S. Constitution is Canada, [which] has a charter of rights and freedoms [and] dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. … I'm a very strong believer in listening and learning from others.''
At no point during the interview did Ginsburg say that she prefers the South African Constitution to the U.S. one. Her point was that it’s better for Egypt to base its constitution on more recent ones written after Word War II.
Not that Prelutsky or WND care about the truth, mind you...
CNS' Hollingsworth Still Hiding Ideology Of Her Sources Topic: CNSNews.com
Barbara Hollingsworth apparently has no interest in being a good journalist -- she refuses to do something as simple as identifying the ideological bias of her sources. We've already caught her hiding the agenda of an anti-abortion, anti-contraception group, and she's still at it.
Here's the gist of Hollingsworth's Jan. 17 CNS article:
Economist John Goodman, who warned last October that Obamacare could plunge into a “death spiral” if not enough young, healthy people signed up for coverage, says that danger is now “significant” following news that the Obama administration failed to hit its young adult enrollment target. “I think there is a significant problem here,” Goodman, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), told CNSNews.com. “I think the insurers are worried. I think the administration is worried.
“Remember, everybody is facing the wrong price. And sick people are facing a price that’s well below the cost of their care. Young healthy people are being overcharged. And so they need lots of young healthy people to join so they can get the money to pay the bills for the sick people. And the younger people just aren’t buying it.
At no point does Hollingsworth explain what the NCPA is -- a right-wing think tank that claims to "develop and promote private, free-market alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector." And Goodman's NCPA blog on health policy is filled with attacks on Obamacare.
In other words, he's hardly an objective observer on Obamacare. And since Hollingsworth can't be bothered to seek out other points of view, her readers don't know that Goodman's claim of a "death spiral" ishighlydisputed.
The end of Hollingsworth's article contains a note that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Is Wold rolling over in his grave knowing that his donation to the MRC is paying for such lazy, biased writing?
WND Thinks Crazy Birther General Will Save America From Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily really thinks that crazy birther general Paul Vallely is going to save the country from President Obama -- so much so, in fact, that WND has become Vallely's public relations agent.
Last weekend, WND promoted Vallely's appearance at a South Carolina tea party convention, where he talked about his idea of "a House-led, parliamentary style vote of 'no confidence' in Obama’s administration" -- never mind the fact that Vallely apparently hasn't noticed that this isn't Europe and that the U.S. system of government has no mechanism for a no-confidence vote.
Then, a WND article by Jack Minor touted Vallely's plan to "unite the tea party into a vast army to turn America back to its constitutional roots." Minor doesn't explain how that plan fits with Vallely's WND-endorsed plan for a military coup against Obama.
Another WND article by Michael Maloof -- who has been a chief promoter of Vallely -- penned an article claiming that "retired U.S. Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely and his Syrian Opposition Liaison Group, or SOLG, were instrumental with the help of the Free Syrian Army in obtaining the release of two Swedish journalists, Niclas Hammarstrom and Magnus Falkehed, who had been held captive for a month and a half by bandits in Syria."
Curiously, Maloof quotes only a Vallely representative in reporting this story -- he offers no independent confirmation of the role of Vallely's group in securing the release of the journalists. Basic skepticism tells us that this story should not be taken at face value.
By contrast, McClatchy reported that "such negotiations usually were conducted by Lebanon’s head of general security, Abbas Ibrahim, who last year helped broker the release of nine Lebanese religious pilgrims who’d been held by rebels for more than a year and was key in helping to free two Turkish airline pilots who’d been kidnapped in retaliation in Beirut by families of the missing men."
Did Maloof simply not bother to check out Vallely's claim, or does he think Vallely is so trustworthy that his story is too good to check?
Apparently Maloof is so in thrall to Vallely that he's willing to serve as the crazy birther general's PR agent.
And Maloof does so yet again in a Jan. 22 WND article uncritically channeling yet another attack on Obama by Vallely. Maloof repeats his unsubstantiated claim that "Vallely and his Syrian Opposition Liaison Group recently were instrumental with the help of the Free Syrian Army in obtaining the release of two Swedish journalists."
Vallely certainly doesn't need to pay for a PR agent -- Maloof and WND are doing the job for free.
MRC's Bozell Is Angry That Christie Scandal Is Getting Covered Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has used dishonest data to attack news coverage of Chris Christie's Bridgegate scandal, so we know where the MRC stands.
A Jan. 21 NewsBusters post by "NB Staff" continues the dishonesty, obsessing over how much time the three broadcast networks have spent on new allegations from the mayor of Hoboken, N.J., that Christie withheld Hurricane Sandy relief aid tothe city for political reasons:
The charges from Mayor Zimmer began on MSNBC’s “Up With Steve Kornacki,” and he spent all four hours of his weekend airtime obsessing about Bridgegate. The new allegations were featured on NBC Nightly News and Today from Saturday night to Monday morning -- ten segments in all (including news briefs), totaling more than 20 minutes of airtime.
ABC's Good Morning America ran full stories on Sunday and Monday, plus coverage on Sunday's World News (4 segments, totaling more than 6½ minutes). CBS, whose weekend newscasts were pre-empted by sports, did not pick up the story until Monday's CBS This Morning, which added nearly 3 minutes to the network totals. Overall, coverage on the Big Three morning and evening newscasts since Saturday evening: 30 minutes, 6 seconds.
Note that Fox News, as usual, is completely absent from the MRC's analysis. That's because Fox has largely ignored the allegations even though it's a 24-hour news network.
The NewsBusters post also promotes a Fox News appearance by MRC chief Brent Bozell calling coverage of the Hoboken allegations "out of control." Bozell didn't mention Fox's lack of coverage -- if he did, he might lose his weekly slot on Sean Hannity's Fox News show. And publicity is much more important to Bozell than the truth.
WND Thinks It's 'Delicious' When Obama Is Denigrated Topic: WorldNetDaily
Of course WorldNetDaily would like the fact that Ted Nugent denigrated President Obama as a "subhuman mongrel" -- it devoted an entire article to it. WND loves it so much, in fact, that its email promotion for the article touts the "delicious VIDEO" of Nugent:
Yes, Joseph Farah and his WND crew would think every denigration of Obama, no matter how vile, is "delicious," wouldn't they?
CNS Hides Agenda of Anti-Contraception Group Topic: CNSNews.com
Barbara Hollingsworth begins a Jan. 21 CNSNews.com article this way:
Any discussion of Obamacare’s “contraception mandate” must include the fact that the most commonly used emergency contraceptives “can cause the death of a human embryo,” according to a new report by the Washington-based Charlotte Lozier Institute.
What is thet Charlotte Lozier Institute? Hollingsworth never tells us, other than to describe it as "Washington-based," which conservatives usually consider to be a bad thing.
But the institute's website has the answer: it's "the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List," a political action committee that donates money to anti-abortion candidates. Both organizations are opposed to contraception in general and emerghency contraception in particular.
Because Hollingsworth is a lazy reporter, she makes no effort to obtain other points of view -- she's simplywriting a press release for the Lozier Institute. (CNS' Penny Starr did the same thing for the Family Research Council last week.) Thus, she ignores that researchers and the National Institutes of Health have found that contrary to what the Lozier Institute claims, emergency contraceptives do not cause abortion of an embryo.
Hollingsworth won't tell you that because she's too lazy and biased.
WND's Farah Puts On His 'Ethnic Cleansing' Blinders Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
In November, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah blathered on about alleged "ethnic cleansing" in a future Palestinian state, apparently oblivious to the fact that one of his own employees, Aaron Klein, has expressed his support for a far-right Israeli movement that supports ethnic cleansing of non-Jews in Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is citing a cold, hard, inconvenient fact I have been pointing out for a number of years – one that has the potential to reframe the entire Israeli-Palestinian debate.
In an hour-long interview with Canada’s CTV this week, he explained that the official position of the Arabs on a Palestinian state is that the land must first be “Jew free” through ethnic cleansing that is rejected everywhere else in the world today – an argument first made by me 10 years ago, and I alone have continued to make it repeatedly ever since.
That’s exactly what the Palestinian Authority is demanding – ethnic cleansing of it land so that a future Palestinian state can be Jew-free.
Again, Farah is apparently oblivious to the fact that one of his star reporters, Klein, has admitted that "I personally do agree with some of the sentiments of Rabbi Meir Kahane." One of the "sentiments" of Kahane, expressed through his Kach movement in Israel (and carried on through its successor, Kahane Chai), is the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel.
Does Farah stand in solidarity with Klein and his expression of support for a movement that supports ethnic cleansing? It's a simple question that requires only a simple answer -- but it's one that Farah doesn't seem to want to talk about.
Is there “income inequality” in America? Yes, there always has been, but what Obama does not talk about is the “income mobility” that permits low income Americans to secure employment and higher wages when the economy is improving. It is another Big Lie from a President who is wedded to Marxist “solutions” that have never worked.
Caruba seems to have missed the fact that Obama gave an entire speech last month on the subject of income mobility in which, yes, he talked about the system that "permits low income Americans to secure employment and higher wages when the economy is improving." We'll evenhighlight the key word so Caruba can find it easier:
The problem is that alongside increased inequality, we’ve seen diminished levels of upward mobility in recent years. A child born in the top 20 percent has about a 2-in-3 chance of staying at or near the top. A child born into the bottom 20 percent has a less than 1-in-20 shot at making it to the top. He’s 10 times likelier to stay where he is. In fact, statistics show not only that our levels of income inequality rank near countries like Jamaica and Argentina, but that it is harder today for a child born here in America to improve her station in life than it is for children in most of our wealthy allies -- countries like Canada or Germany or France. They have greater mobility than we do, not less.
The idea that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth is heartbreaking enough. But the idea that a child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care, or a community that views her future as their own, that should offend all of us and it should compel us to action. We are a better country than this.
So let me repeat: The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe. And it is not simply a moral claim that I’m making here. There are practical consequences to rising inequality and reduced mobility.
And rising inequality and declining mobility are also bad for our families and social cohesion -- not just because we tend to trust our institutions less, but studies show we actually tend to trust each other less when there’s greater inequality. And greater inequality is associated with less mobility between generations. That means it’s not just temporary; the effects last. It creates a vicious cycle. For example, by the time she turns three years old, a child born into a low-income home hears 30 million fewer words than a child from a well-off family, which means by the time she starts school she’s already behind, and that deficit can compound itself over time.
And finally, rising inequality and declining mobility are bad for our democracy. Ordinary folks can’t write massive campaign checks or hire high-priced lobbyists and lawyers to secure policies that tilt the playing field in their favor at everyone else’s expense. And so people get the bad taste that the system is rigged, and that increases cynicism and polarization, and it decreases the political participation that is a requisite part of our system of self-government.
Caruba also writes:
A President who thinks that extending unemployment compensation “creates jobs” is so out of touch with reality that it should come as no surprise that Obama has the worst record of unemployment rates since the days of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
In fact, no less an authority than the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office agrees with Obama that unemployment compensation boosts the economy because that money is spent in the economy.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced new guidelines for classroom discipline that he says are intended to end racial disparities in discipline and punishment in America’s public schools.
But several educational experts and commentators have blasted the move as an attempt actually to erect a race-based system of punishment in public education.
Journalist Jack Cashill, who has covered racial issues extensively and whose latest book, “If I Had a Son: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman,” investigated the racially charged trial of Zimmerman, told WND that several school districts throughout America, including Trayvon Martin’s Miami-Dade School District, have already implemented similar guidelines and are partially responsible for the tragic end of Trayvon Martin.
“In a way, the Miam-Dade School Police Department was ahead of its time in trying to racially balance the criminal activity of its students. Trayvon Martin was the beneficiary of that policy, meaning that the crimes he committed that otherwise would’ve gone into juvenile justice, were treated as mere school disciplinary problems,” Cashill explained.
To Cashill, Trayvon would still be alive today if his school district had treated his actions in the appropriate manner.
“Trayvon Martin would be alive if Miami-Dade School District had treated his infractions as crimes and his parents would then have been aware of what he was up to and they would not have allowed him to roam the streets as though he were just a mischievous teen and not a likely criminal,” Cashill stated.
And what is this "descent into criminality" to which Cashill refers? Curiously, this article does not detail the offenses, which tells us they could not have been that serious, let alone worthy of automatically branding him as a criminal.
Cashill wrote in an April 2013 WND article that "Martin had been suspended twice already that school year for offenses that should have gotten him arrested – once for getting caught with a burglary tool and a dozen items of female jewelry, the second time for getting caught with marijuana and a marijuana pipe," and that Martin was never charged because the school has a diversion program purportedly designed to artificially reduce the arrest rate of the school's students.
Needless to say, Cashill is exaggerating things. The Miami Herald reports that while Martin was caught with jewelry and a screwdriver (the alleged "burglary tool"), but he refused to say where the jewelry came from, and he was never disciplined over the incident. And Martin was not caught with marijuana; according to the Herald, he was caught with a bag with marijuana residue.
Further, WND is falsely attacking the Department of Justice's discipline guidelines as "a race-based system of punishment in public education." To the contrary: The guidelines remove race as a factor in discipline, and current zero tolerance policies disproportionately result in minority students being unfairly and excessively punished.
But as we've seen, facts don't matter to WND or Cashill, and the former tees up the latter to rant about race:
“When Holder was called onto the carpet for his release of the New Black Panthers involved in voter intimidation, Bartle Bull, a civil rights lawyer, commented that this was the most egregious voter intimidation case he had ever seen and Holder called those comments an insult to ‘my people,’” Cashill explained.
“The fact is that Holder has created two different systems of justice – one for everyday Americans and the other for ‘my people.’ Unfortunately, that causes more problems for ‘my people,’ not fewer problems.”
In Cashill’s opinion, these policies have proved to be disastrous for the black community and have created more problems, not less.
“Over the last 50 years, virtually every policy designed to help black people ends up hurting black people and this one seems particularly ill-designed. It is designed to simply appease and not to resolve. If you don’t discourage bad behavior, you encourage it. You can’t be neutral about it,” Cashill said.
As usual, Cashill is ignoring an inconvenient fact: No voter, white or otherwise, has ever come forward to say they were intimidated by the New Black Panthers.
And Cashill is certainly never going to admit that George Zimmerman, whom he lauds in his bomb of a book as a civil-rights martyr, has committed more crime than Martin did before his death, and that's not counting Zimmerman's shooting of Martin. After all, unlike with Martin, Cashill has absolvedZimmerman of responsibility for his criminal behavior.
MRC Tries to Script an Anti-Abortion Documentary Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center informs us in a Jan. 15 article by Katie Yoder:
Each year, the March for Life is by far the largest annual rally in Washington, D.C., and each year, it’s met with a near-black-out from major media. But for 2014, there’s a way for the pro-life movement to change that. In a new initiative to combat media censorship on abortion, the Media Research Center (MRC) is inviting marchers to donate video for a documentary on the movement the media hide.
In 2013, the networks spent a mere 17 seconds on the half million participants at the 40th March for Life (in comparison, they spent 521 times more on the Manti Te’o football scandal). The life censorship only continued with the trial of Kermit Gosnell and beyond. Simply put, the old media fear giving pro-lifers the coverage a movement of this size and vitality deserves.
In response, MRC will produce a film from a compilation of amateur March for Life footage. If you plan to attend the March as an individual, with a church group or other organization, please document your experience and allow us to share it with the world.
But just because this is supposed to be a documentary of something that hasn't happened yet doesn't mean that the MRC doesn't have an idea of how they want it to go. In fact, they've issued rules for exactly what they want to see in the submitted footage:
What we’re looking for:
Footage of you and/or your friends looking into the camera (either individually or as a group) and saying, “I am pro-life.”
Footage of you and your friends briefly saying why you are pro-life or why you are attending the March
Behind-the-scenes footage of you and/or your group preparing for/attending the March. This can include footage of creating signs, your bus ride into D.C., planning meetings, marching to the Supreme Court, etc. Be creative!
If you're trying to get documentary participants to adhere to a script, it's hardly a documentary, is it?
NEW ARTICLE -- 2014 Slanties: 11 Years A Slantie Topic: The ConWeb
The war of ConWeb aggression has continued unabated. It's time to once again honor the biased and bizarre from the past year. Read more >>
Is Right-Wing Activist A 'Social Scientist'? CNS Thinks So Topic: CNSNews.com
Barbara Hollingsworth does her best to puff right-wing activist Janice Shaw Crouse, describing her as "a social scientist and expert on women’s issues" in a Jan. 16 CNSNews.com article devoted exclusively to Crouse's attacks on Maria Shriver’s new report on women’s economic status.
But is Crouse who Hollingsworth says she is?
Public Eye notes that Crouse majored in speech and English in college, and that her doctoral dissertation in communications theory at State University of New York at Buffalo was on "the decidedly secular topic of who won the Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford 1976 televised presidential debates."
In other words, Crouse has no formal training in sociology, which one would think would be a prerequisite to being a "social scientist."
That's simply lazy reporting on Hollingsworth's part. That's in addition to her laziness in refusing to obtain reaction to Crouse's attack from the study's authors.
Hollingsworth's "social scientist" descripion of Crouse comes before a description of her that offers a clue to her ideology -- "executive director of the Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute." That's another clue to Hollingsworth's bias.
WND's Ellis Washington Stands With Assassins Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ellis Washington concludes his Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily column, which rants against LBJ and his Great Society, with this:
If America is to survive this existential Progressive Revolution (circa 1859, Darwin’s “Origin of Species,” to the present), which systematically seeks to replace Christianity, the Bible and intelligent design with evolution, natural law with positive law, capitalism with socialism and the rule of law with tyranny and executive decrees, We the People must tell Obama: Yes, President Obama, you have a pen and a phone, but we have a Constitution and a Congress and the tea party … and God.
Sic Semper Tyrannous – Down with the Tyrant!
First: It's spelled "tyrannis." (And this guy complains about not being able to get a job as a college professor?)
Second: Invoking the phrase, though it has some patriotic history, puts Washington in some unsavory company. From Wikipedia:
In American history, John Wilkes Booth wrote in his diary that he shouted the phrase after shooting President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, in part because of the association with the assassination of Caesar. Timothy McVeigh was wearing a T-shirt with this phrase and a picture of Lincoln on it when he was arrested on April 19, 1995, the day of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Does this mean Washington is joining the likes of Erik Rush in endorsing an overthrow -- or assassination -- of President Obama?
For MRC's Graham, Medically Accurate Term Is An 'F-Bomb' Topic: NewsBusters
The headline on Tim Graham 's Jan. 15 NewsBusters post read, "New York Times Story from Texas Repeatedly Drops the F-Bomb: 'Fetus'." Graham wrote:
The New York Times spent months debating before deciding not to ban the term “illegal immigrant” entirely (it’s simply discouraged), but the word “fetus” is used without any alarm. At the top of page A-14 on Wednesday is the headline “Suing to End Life Support for Woman and Fetus.”
It’s an update on the sad story of Marlise Munoz, who is on life support and whose family wants her and her baby removed from life support. The F-bomb (to pro-life people) was dropped three times in the Manny Fernandez story, in addition to the headline[.]
Yes, medically accurate terminology is the equivalent of a swear word in Graham's world.
At the end of his post, Graham linked to a 2008 rant by his boss, Brent Bozell, demanding that the word "fetus" be banned because it is allegedly a "humanity-negating" word. Like Graham, Bozell does not mention the term's medical accuracy (though he does concede that it has a "dictionary definition").
Neither Graham nor Bozell make any mention of the humanity-negating properties of the right-wing term "illegal alien." Or how they have a double standard on being politically correct word police.