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Friday, February 7, 2014
AIM Column Wants To Fix The News, But Not The Right-Wing Media
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Daniel Greenfield's Feb. 2 Accuracy in Media column is called "Fixing the News," but you can't fix something properly if you misdiagnose the problem.

Greenfield starts off by getting his facts wrong in claiming that a New York Times investigation of the Benghazi attack published in December had been discredited: "It did not take very long for a Senate report and other media outlets to shoot down the story which had left out information about the Al Qaeda links of the attackers, but did include a dubious claim that the attackers had been angry about a YouTube video." In fact, the article has not been discredited, and the Times reporter stands by the article.

But never mind the facts, Greenfield is on a roll:

There are things about the news that actually do need to be fixed and political bias tops the list.

Even though David Kilpatrick’s story was discredited shortly after it was published, Kilpatrick and the New York Times suffered no personal or professional consequences for a story that supported the administration’s line on Benghazi. That is markedly different from what happened to Lara Logan and 60 Minutes for airing a Benghazi report that the administration did not approve of.

Both stories suffered from errors, but while 60 Minutes was deceived, the New York Times did the deceiving. And yet Lara Logan has been denounced for journalistic malpractice, while hardly anyone in the media has criticized Kilpatrick for attempting to sell blatantly refried nonsense that had long ago been discredited and that not even the administration was willing to stand behind.

Despite claiming that "political bias" in reporting needs to be fixes, there's only particular side he's concerned about:

Serious news however comes with so much political context that it’s easier to just rewrite Think Progress or Media Matters content than to do any original reporting on a national or international issue. There is safety in numbers because it’s harder to lynch a reporter whose only crime is reworking an AP story that is based on a Media Matters email that is based on a White House press release.

Greenfield provides no evidence that any of this has ever happened. (Disclosure: I work for Media Matters.)  Further, he appears to not be aware that the right-wing media actually does what he accuses the "liberal media" of doing -- for example, CNSNews.com's enthusiasm for shilling for the oil and gas industry.

Greenfield continues his rant:

The news is broken because it follows the left’s usual model of insider highbrow content and outsider lowbrow content. That same model destroyed art, literature and theater. Now it’s wiping out the news media. The general public gets cat videos, pop stars and stories about a Republican who said something racist. The insiders get endless analyses that read like a case of college sophomore arrested development accompanied by politically correct spin on the latest trends.

"Insider highbrow content and outsider lowbrow content"? That sounds like the Daily Caller, where right-wing politics shares space with pictures of hot babes. Yet Greenfield, to our knowledge, has not raised any objections to that.

Greenfield tries to end on an overused right-wing slam:

The news media has become just another outlet in the culture war of the left. Its business model can’t be fixed because it isn’t in business to make money, but to indoctrinate. It doesn’t care about the financial bottom line, but about the political bottom line. Its future is boutique journalism funded by liberal billionaires looking to influence policy by subsidizing failed media outlets that would otherwise go on the block for a buck just like Newsweek.

Meanwhile, right-wing journalism is boutique journalism funded by conservative billionaires looking to influence policy by subsidizing failed media outlets that would otherwise go on the block for a buck just like the Washington Times.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:23 PM EST
WND Cheers Threat of Divine Punishment for Kerry
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves it when someone issues death threats in the name of Israel. Joe Kovacs happily writes in a Feb. 6 WND article:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is now being warned he’s risking the divine wrath of God if he continues plans for Israel that some feel is a war against the Almighty.

“By the power of our Holy Torah, we admonish you to cease immediately all efforts to achieve these disastrous agreements – in order to avoid severe Heavenly punishment for everyone involved,” a group of Israeli rabbis wrote Kerry in a letter on Sunday.

According to Israel National News, rabbis from the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel are warning Kerry about his “antagonism” of the Jewish state, sharply criticizing him for plans “to establish an Arab capital in Jerusalem for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and to have Israel withdraw to the 1949 Armistice lines.”

Over the weekend, Kerry threatened Israel with an international boycott if peace talks fail.

“Your incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas’ terrorist gang, amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe. For G-d awarded the entire Land of Israel to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order that they bequeath it, as an everlasting inheritance, to their descendants, the Jewish people, until the end of all time,” the rabbis’ letter opens.

If Kovacs and WND didn't approve of this threat, they wouldn't have let the claim not only stand unchallenged but be bolstered by birther Carl Gallups, whose WND-published book dubiously claims that a similar curse led to the stroke and ultimate death of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Kovacs' lazy reporting falsely leaves the impression that these extremist rabbis hold a view that is mainstream. Nothing could be fartherfrom the truth: The Jerusalem Post describes the group of rabbis as "hard-line," and two leading American Orthodox Jewish groups criticized the rabbis for "degenerating into personal venom and threats."

But hey, support for murderous extremist rabbis is just another reason why nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EST
Will MRC's Bozell Admit He's Doing The Same Thing He's Accusing Obama Of?
Topic: Media Research Center

A Feb. 4 NewsBusters post states:

MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on "Cavuto" on the Fox Business channel on Monday night to discuss Bill O'Reilly's Super Bowl interview with President Obama.

Bozell said O'Reilly did a good job, but he wished he would have pushed back harder on the president's attacks on Fox News. "He’s speaking to his base. He’s speaking to his radical base – that’s what he’s got left – and he’s trying to mobilize them."

Bozell is basically admitting the MRC's modus operandi here. If Obama criticizing Fox's clear bias is "speaking to his radical base," so is Bozell's obsession with the "liberal media."

The fact that MRC must resort to dishonest "research" to prove the continued existence of its "liberal media" meme  suggests it can't be backed up any other way. That means Bozell's posturing is solely to mobilize the right-wing base (and, of course, to raise money so the MRC can perpetuate the fraud).

Of course, as with Bozell's faux outrage about others who engage in "character assassination," the guy who called President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead" will never, ever admit that the rules he demands others live by should also apply to himself and his employees.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EST
WND's Unruh Ignores Evolution Side of Evolution-Creation Debate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

 

 

Bob Unruh, being the loyal right-wing Christian he is, devotes a Feb. 6 WorldNetDaily article on this week's debate between evolutionist Bill Nye and creationist Ken Ham solely to touting Ham's reaction to it.

Unruh couldn't be bothered to contact Nye for his response to the debate. But then, Unruh has an aversion to telling the side of the story that interferes with his agenda. Unruh quotes Nye only once in his article, giving an answer that he thinks makes creationists look good.

Because of Unruh's aversion, you also won't learn that a reader poll on a British Christian website found that 92 percent of respondents said Nye won. That doesn't fit with Unruh's agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:20 AM EST
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Ex-Senator Rents Mailing List to Newsmax, Gets Email From Dubious Doctor In Return
Topic: Newsmax

Former senator and Fox News contributor Scott Brown rented his mailing list to Newsmax to make a little money. What Scott and his email recipients got in return was not quite what he expected.

Media Matters reports Newsmax sent out on Scott's list a mailing from Dr. Russell Blaylock -- who, as we've documented, has made numerous questionable medical claims, like fearmongering over vaccinesand linking aspartame and MSG to diseases nobody else can seem to find a link to. Brown's subscribers also received a dubious financial pitch from a Newsmax-affiliated publication.

After being alerted to the questionable Newsmax emails, New Hampshire's WMUR reported that Scott said he is "terminating my relationship with this vendor effective immediately." Brown said with regard to the Blaylock email that he "did not approve or authorize the sending of this particular email."

In addition to renting others' email lists, Newsmax manages the mailing lists of other conservative figures and groups, including Dick Morris, Herman Cain, Rasmussen Reports and National Review.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EST
The Return of Scarf-Gate, WND Edition
Topic: NewsBusters

Some years ago, NewsBusters tried to invent a controversy by claiming that NBC's Matt Lauer was wearing a "Palestinian support scarf." Surprisingly, the guy who penned that, Mark Finkelstein, still writes for NewsBusters despite the utterly absurd premise.

Now, WorldNetDaily wants in on some of that sweet terror-scarf action. From a Jan. 29 WND article:

The report Tuesday of a photo showing Barack Obama’s half-brother, Malik Obama, wearing a Hamas scarf that declares the Palestinian organization’s aim of destroying Israel tells only part of the story of Malik’s role in the violent advance of Islam.

The photo, posted at the website of Malik Obama’s nonprofit Barack H. Obama Foundation, shows Obama’s half-brother – the best man in the president’s wedding – wearing the scarf at a 2010 conference in Sanaa, Yemen.

The text of the scarf, reports Arabic-language researcher Walid Shoebat, features the Palestinian slogan “Jerusalem is ours – We are coming” and a map with the phrase “From the river to the sea,” a reference to the elimination of Israel, which lies between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Well, there's your problem right there. Shoebat is an Obama-hater who can't quite prove he's the former Palestinian terrorist he claims to be and whose funding is murky.We last saw Shoebat promoting a claim that Muslims were buying the blood of beheaded Christians -- a claim WND's Jerome Corsi took seriously but almost nobody else did.

Since Shoebat, like WND, puts its anti-Obama agenda ahead of actual facts, there's no reason to trust anything being reported here. After all, nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:46 PM EST
CNS Keeps Conservative Child-Porn Arrest Buried
Topic: CNSNews.com

Michael Chapman writes in a Jan. 30 CNSNews.com article:

The state's attorney report on the horrific murders at  the Sandy Hook Elementary School by shooter Adam Lanza found no "conclusive motive" for his actions but did document unsettling facts about the 20-year-old killer, including computer files he kept on the rights of pedophiles, a movie about man/boy love, instant messages concerning "homosexual fantasies," numerous mass murder documents, and a computer game entitled "School Shooting."

This is the second article Chapman has written in the past week that address the issue of child pornography. By contrast, Chapman and CNS have yet to devote any original coverage to the case of Ryan Loskarn, the chief of staff to Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, who was charged in December with possession of child pornography. Loskarn later committed suicide.

Perhaps Chapman should explain to his readers why child pornography accusations against a conservative aren't as newsworthy as when they are brought against, say, a gay man or the perpetrator of a massacre.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:02 PM EST
WND Promotes Reader's Claim That God Intervened in Super Bowl
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Yes, WorldNetDaily really did devote an entire article to a readers bizarre theory that God intervened in the Super Bowl to let the Denver Broncos get crushed by the Seattle Seahawks as punishment for the Broncos cutting Tim Tebow:

“God’s hand was all over this Super Bowl,” says David Campbell, a WND reader from Myrtle Beach, S.C., who explained his view of the divine intervention in a letter to the editor.

Get the behind-the-scenes DVD of about Tim Tebow’s life, ad well as the Tebow for President bumper sticker!

“The book of Daniel, chapter 4, verse 25, says that God rules in the affairs of men and gives the kingdom to whom He will. Luke, chapter 18, verse 7, says that God will avenge His elect when they have been unjustly injured.”

[...]

“Denver was the favorite, because of Manning. The Seattle quarterback? A kid named Russell Wilson. Christian, small guy, nothing really of note. No big records, no big wins, no big following. The New York Times labeled him forgotten, undersized and underestimated. Kind of like David against Goliath.”

He explained that in the days preceding the Super Bowl, there was a warning of another big snowstorm heading toward the new Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

“Looked like it was going to hit right about game time,” he wrote. “As the big day approached it was reported that there were 18,000 tickets still available. Who wanted to be stuck in a snowstorm in an open-air stadium?”

“Who knew that God would use the Seattle Seahawks and their Christian quarterback to chastise the Denver Broncos and their quarterback, Peyton Manning?” Campbell continued.

[...]

In an interview with WND, Campbell again stressed he feels the events of the game were directed by God.

“I do believe God directly intervened to avenge his servant, Tim Tebow, just as He does for the rest of His children when we are wronged undeservedly,” he said. “I believe it was against the Denver Broncos but only God knows if He meant it personally against any individual – probably John Elway – if the rumors of his hostility toward Tim and his ‘Tebowing prayer’ were true.”

Campbell says he just knew God would do something great for Tebow “because, like us, he is a child of the King.”

This being WND, where merely asserting something is proof itself as long as that assertion hews to WND's right-wing agenda, article author Joe Kovacs can't be bothered to consult any actual experts on Christianity to offer a view on the plausibility of the reader's theory.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:58 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The Catholic -- Er, Cybercast News Service
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com makes its pro-Catholic bias so blatant, the word might as well be part of the name. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:22 AM EST
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
WND's Rush: "Somebody Please Drag Harry Reid Behind A Truck'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time we caught WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush tweeting hate, he was saying of Muslims, "Yes, they're evil. Let's kill them all."

In a Feb. 4 tweet, Rush requests: "Somebody please drag Harry Reid behind a truck."

Rush retroactively declared his kill-Muslims tweet to be "sarcasm." Will he do the same for his death threat to Reid?

More importantly, how will WND take this? How far is too for for a WND columnist to threaten someone?


Posted by Terry K. at 5:10 PM EST
CNS Columnist Misleads on CBO Obamacare Report
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Hans Bader writes in a Feb. 4 CNSNews.com column:

The new healthcare law will slow economic growth over the next decade, costing the nation about 2.3 million jobs and contributing to a $1 trillion increase in projected deficits, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report released Tuesday.

That's a misleading, if not outright false, description of that the CBO report says. In fact, the CBO stated that the decrease comes on the supply side, not the demand side, because Obamacare subsidies mean that some workers will choose not to work a job they normally would have just to keep health insurance:

The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses' demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).

Further, while the CBO did increase projected deficits by $1 trillion over the next decade, it did not specifically single out Obamacare as a reason. To the contrary: the CBO is still projecting the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:47 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 11:48 AM EST
WND's Massie Rails Against Black History Month
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One again invoking his privilege as a black conservative to say things that would get him branded as a racist otherwise, Mychal Massie devotes his Feb. 3 WorldNetDaily column to attacking black History Month:

Feb. 1 began the 28 day “ceremony to injustice” that is nothing more than an aversion to modernity that encourages people to mire themselves in the past juxtaposed to embracing the present and the future. That is the essence of Black History Month. Black History Month is used by the nefarious and the corrupt to divide, to evoke blame and guilt, and often for personal gain.

Public school children will be immersed in a 28-day vat of a factually flawed and at times fictional history of how bad the blacks had it in America, and they will hear that whites are privileged and their ancestors had slaves, blah-blah-blah.

The one thing you won’t hear during Black History Month is what blacks are able to get away with today, which, if taken in context, shows the tolerance of America that they won’t be talking about in classrooms during Black History Month.

You also won't hear Massie bragging about how he can get away with saying certain things because he is a black conservative -- i.e., denouncing Black History Month. He continues:

They won’t be talking about the fact that blacks aren’t shot on sight in areas where “Knockout” is taking place. For those unfamiliar, the Knockout game is what black thugs play where they suddenly and unexpectedly punch unsuspecting white persons in the face for sport.

And Massie won't be talking about the fact that non-blacks take part (and if you ask Colin Flaherty, dogs and Australian aborigines can be part of "black mobs" too).

And no Massie rant would be complete without a fit of Obama derangement:

And while I’m on that subject, Obama not only was elected and then re-elected, but he was elected and re-elected with people fully aware that he is a pathological liar whose goal is to “fundamentally transform America” into a socialist state. The blatant violations of the Constitution and congressional authority would have led to the impeachment of any other president heretofore. Bill Clinton was impeached for less, and President Nixon was forced to resign his presidency for demonstrably less than what Obama is guilty of thus far in office.

Massie goes on to rant, "I’m tired of the lies" -- but somehow he never tires of telling them.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 9:03 AM EST
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
We Write Letters
Topic: Media Research Center

We sent the following to the Media Research Center earlier today:

To Whom It May Concern:

I see that the MRC has demanded apologies from MSNBC for allegedly insulting and offending conservatives. Yet the MRC routinely routinely insults people -- for example, Brent Bozell calling President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead."

The most recent example is Matt Philbin, managing editor of the MRC's Culture & Media Institute. He has a history of saying sexually charged and misogynistic things about Sandra Fluke, and with Fluke's recent announcement that she will run for Congress, Philbin has unleashed his misogyny once again. IN a series of tweets, he has forward so-called Fluke campaign slogans such as "A Diaphram [sic] in every ...," "When that call comes at 3:am, She really will be awake," "Pillow Talk Express!" and "It's Moaning in America." He followed those up with a tweet saying, "You should see her on the stump! And on the chair, and in the hay loft, and back behind the dumpsters and ..."

Does the MRC consider such offensive comments to be acceptable behavior for its employees? If so, doesn't that undercut your demand for apologies from MSNBC?

Despite Philbin being on record saying offensive things in the past, he has remained an MRC employee, which suggests that such misogynistic behavior is, in fact, tolerated if not encouraged at the MRC. I would like to know if that is still the MRC's policy.

Sincerely,

Terry Krepel
Editor, ConWebWatch

We'll let you know if the MRC responds.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 PM EST
WND Is Happy Iran Agrees With Them On Something
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed how WorldNetDaily cares only about Miriam Carey, the woman who was shot and killed outside the Capitol after fleeing from police last October, because it's one more thing an increasingly desperate Joseph Farah can try to use as a cudgel against President Obama.

WND is taking this skirmish to a bizarre extent by touting how an enemy of the United States agrees with them on the alleged violation of Carey's rights. Garth Kant writes in a Feb. 2 WND article:

While most Americans still would not recognize the name Miriam Carey, the unarmed black mother gunned down by police in the streets of the nation’s capital after apparently making a wrong turn near the White House, the case is getting international attention.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has cited the incident, now the subject of a $75 million lawsuit by Carey’s family, as an example of human-rights abuses taking place in the United States.

The report by the Basij paramilitary organization says the United States is “one of the main violators of human rights” in the world, something with which many Americans would not agree.

However, the Iranian media are doing something the Western media are not: Calling attention to a potentially serious human-rights violation, right on the doorstep of the U.S. Capitol.

This is followed by an absurdly long rehashing of events and citing of fringe figures that agree with WND that Carey's rights were violated.

But WND -- and by extension, those that agree with them, like John Whitehead and Nat Hentoff -- have discredited themselves by touting how Iran agrees with this latest attempt to create a new Vince Foster. Logic dictates that we should oppose whatever an enemy of the United States says, but it seems WND hates Obama more than it loves America.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:31 PM EST
MRC's Philbin Hurls Sleaze And Misogyny At Sandra Fluke Again
Topic: Media Research Center

Back in 2012, Media Research Center managing editor Matt Philbin endorsed Rush Limbaugh's tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke by joining in the insults, calling her a "'horizontal laborer," a "'Lincoln Tunnel Hitcher" and a "of dubious reputation" who wants to " sleep around w/impunity."

Now that Fluke has announced a run for Congress, it's time for Philbin's misogyny to resurface.

Philbin has used his Twitter account to create and repeat sleazy insults of Fluke under the hashtag #A Diaphram [sic] in every ...," "When that call comes at 3:am, She really will be awake," "Pillow Talk Express!" and "It's Moaning in America."

Another Philbin tweet adds: "You should see her on the stump! And on the chair, and in the hay loft, and back behind the dumpsters and ..."

The MRC demands that MSNBC apologize for offending the sensibilities of conservatives, yet it employs as a high-level employee someone like Philbin with such open hatred of women? Talk about a double standard.

Until the MRC deals with Philbin's misogyny, it has no moral standing to criticize anyone else's offensive remarks.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:55 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 12:29 PM EST

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