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Monday, February 17, 2014
CNS Swings, Misses At Kerry For Pointing 'Shoddy' Climate Change Denialism
Topic: CNSNews.com

Patrick Goodenough takes a rather sad whack at Secretary of State John Kerry for criticizing "shoddy scientists" who dispute climage change and pointing out that “97 percent of climate scientists have confirmed that climate change is happening and that human activity is responsible.” In his Feb. 16 CNSNews.com article on Kerry, Goodenough offers this rebuttal:

Last year a peer-reviewed academic journal published the results of a survey of more than 1,000 professional engineers’ and geoscientists’ views on climate change. It found that only 36 percent fitted into a group that “express[ed] the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”

The other respondents to varying degrees expressed skepticism about the causes of climate change, the extent of risk it poses, and the accuracy of IPCC modeling.

But that survey is largely meaningless, even if it did appear in a "peer-reviewed academic journal."

The survey Goodenough is citing was conducted by Lianne M. Lefsrud and Renate E. Meyer, and it appeared in the journal Organization Studies. As the Scholars & Rogues blog pointed out:

  • The vast majority of survey respondents were engineers, not climate scientists.
  • All respondents were members of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, which is predominantly employed by the Alberta petroleum industry and its regulators.
  • The authors themselves has repeatedly stated that the survey's results are not representative of scientists in general.
  • The study is not about the beliefs of the respondents; it's about their worldviews, the tactics and strategies they use when arguing with others, and how they justify their own claims to have expert opinions on climate science.

In other words, the study is meaningless to the issue of climate change. But Goodenough cited it anyway.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Erik Rush Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Erik Rush is so into the weeds with his Obama derangement that the facts no longer matter to him, if they ever did. Rush writes in his Feb. 12 WorldNetDaily column:

On Feb. 8, 2014, one of the oldest and most highly trafficked websites addressing the eligibility and fraud of the individual representing himself as Barack Hussein Obama II was shut down by Google (Blogger) on a pretext of Terms of Service (TOS) violations.

As you may know, Google and several other highly successful tech and Internet companies have cooperated with the Obama administration and its nefarious data-mining and censorship practices, despite Obama’s disdain for business in general and capitalism in particular, and his habit of co-opting entire business sectors.

The truth, as it usually is, is much more benign. As Dr. Conspiracy documents, the website in question is Birther Report, and the issue was that an advertising supplier to Birther Report was infected by malware that was distributed to site visitors. The anonymous proprietor of Birther Report has admitted this. The site has since returned to normal operation, though with a threat to leave Google Blogger for another service.

But who cares about facts? Rush is in full frothing Obama derangement mode:

After the complaints of the website’s owners, users and negative publicity, Google re-activated the website two days later. Their claim to the owner was that hackers had compromised various servers and ad servers, thus leading to the interruption of service. Many users and observers find this implausible given prominent notices that appeared on the website during that period, which specifically indicated that it had been shut down due to TOS violations.

And one of those terms of service is to not distribute malware.  What is so difficult for Rush to understand?

Oh yeah, Obama derangement. And Rush goes even farther into the weeds on that score:

In addition to the parties targeted for bureaucratic harassment, patriot groups themselves have been infiltrated and sabotaged. Individuals have had their websites hacked, been harassed by law enforcement and federal agencies, illegally searched and their property seized, had their vehicles tampered with and property destroyed. They’ve endured illegal electronic surveillance, stalking and had false criminal complaints filed against them. It has also been widely hypothesized that journalists and government officials who have died under truly bizarre and unlikely circumstances were in fact murdered.

At the same time, there have been revelations of this administration’s involvement in terrorist conspiracies and international crimes, some of which have their roots in Hitler’s Germany, wealth stolen by the Nazis during World War II and the long-held anti-Semitism of Islamists who actually worked with Hitler, as well as their protégés who are active today in international politics, government and finance.

This is all to say nothing of the numerous domestic scandals, unconstitutional actions and treason in which this president and his collaborators have been involved to date.

Rush then tries to inoculate his derangement by admitting he's being ignored as a "paranoid fringe element":

Those who are reporting the facts (not “conspiracy theories,” but facts) of these matters have been dubbed paranoid fringe elements by the left – so why are these precisely the people who are being so vigorously – and might I add, illegally – targeted by the current administration and its minions?

Given that Rush has specifically accused  Obama of murder without providing evidence to back it up, we can safely continue to consider a paranoid fringe element -- because that's what he is.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:14 PM EST
MRC's Graham Sneers At Identifying Transgender Woman As Female
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center seems to love having transphobic freakouts, and Tim Graham keeps up the trend by attacking a Washington Post writer for not identifying a transgender woman as the male she was born as.

Graham sneers in a Feb. 14 NewsBusters post:

The Washington Post is glorifying the man who calls himself “Janet Mock” on the front of the Friday Style section, but it’s a bit puzzling. They noted the recent kerfuffle over Piers Morgan’s CNN show describing Mock as “a boy until 18" as “a ticking time bomb that later exploded on Twitter.”

But wait, Post reporter Dan Zak first wrote, “She had three goals when she was growing up as Charles Mock in Honolulu.” So she grew up as a girl named Charles, apparently. Zak celebrated this “trans woman.” Dan Zak – the smug snarkster who trashed Paul Ryan as a little boy –  is now sincerely scolding the “wider world” as “always way behind on trans issues,” as if he were the most sensitive, clued-in reporter on the planet[.]

[...]

The cause for this cotton-candy puff of publicity is not only the CNN controversy, but Mock’s new book – evocatively titled “Redefining Realness” – has made the number-19 slot on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list. This certainly redefines nonfiction, since transgender advocacy in the press demands a complete denial of biological reality.

Graham goes on to respond to Mock's statement that she wants to "liberate the girls" by saying, "Except...they're boys with gender dysphoria." Graham concludes by huffing:

Mock is the center of attention because the politically correct Post and suddenly sensitive Zak decided to put him there. Him? That’s not “gender bigotry.” That’s reality. The press doesn’t like reality or science on this issue. It’s all a gauzy tale of flattery that could be called “The Empress Wore Shiny Pointed Black Heels.”

Graham certainly knows from smug snarking.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EST
WND Hides the Truth In Pharmacist's Firing
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If years of watchdogging WorldNetDaily have taught us anything, it's that one should approach an original WND article by asking what facts are being hidden.

Case in point: A Feb. 14 WND article by Michael Carl about a pharmacist who claims he was fired by Walgreens because he opposed selling the Plan B morning-after pill over the counter. As per usual, the pharmacist's story as told by the right-wing legal group the Thomas More Society, is presented at face value and without challenge.

But in portraying the pharmacist, Philip Hall, as someone "unfairly fired because his faith would not permit him to sell the Plan B morning-after pill over the counter," Carl omits a key part of the story: Hall disposed of a shipment of Plan B sent to the store without selling it or letting anyone else do so, despite his claim to support the "reasonable accommodation" of stepping aside to let another Walgreens employee make the sale.

The Tennessean reports:

When the first shipment of over-the-counter Plan B arrived at the store, Hall bought all of it, paying $324.83. Then he disposed of it. Hall was fired two weeks later.

[...]

When a shipment of six boxes of the drug arrived shortly afterward, Hall noted they were “mislabeled” as a behind-the-counter drug, and “rather than place the inaccurately labeled Plan B on the shelf for sale, Dr. Hall decided to purchase the entire lot of the drugs himself,” the lawsuit said.

Confronted by a loss prevention specialist about the unstocked boxes, Hall provided proof of purchase, and then he was fired, the lawsuit said. Hall claims he contacted another supervisor after he got fired and was told “it was part of his job duties to sell Plan B.”

The fact that Hall specifically interfered in the sale of Plan B by buying it for himself and throwing it away would seem to be important, but Carl doesn't think so. Of course, the Thomas More Society press release on which Carl based his article didn't mention that either,

Carl also misidentifies Plan B as an "abortifacient," despite the fact that it's medically defined as a contraceptive. The Thomas More Society misidentified it too.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EST
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Michael Reagan Plays the Benghazi Card to Defend Christie
Topic: Newsmax

As many other right-wingers have done before him, Michael Reagan uses his Feb. 11 Newsmax column to deflect from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's bridge-closing scandal by invoking Benghazi:

The emphasis the media has put on two events that occurred in September gives a clear insight into journalists' thinking and the priority they give events that involve Republicans as opposed to the priority given events that involve Democrats.
 
The event involving a Republican occurred in September of last year and resulted in four days of traffic jams in Fort Lee, N.J. The event involving a Democrat occurred in September 2012 and resulted in four American deaths. Yet a comparison of the energy and resulting coverage of these events can only lead one to the conclusion that Republican errors that result in traffic jams are far more consequential than Democrat neglect that ends with an ambassador and three other Americans dead in Benghazi.

[...]

Now there is a daily drumbeat of congestion coverage as the media announces subpoenas of Christie aides, the New York Times invents an email that “proves” Christie knew, and other reporters follow Christie around the country as he attempts to raise money for the Republican Governors Association.
 
Without the determined efforts of GOP investigators in the House of Representatives and coverage from The Washington Times, the Benghazi attack and cover-up would have faded from memory. Maybe if Ambassador Stevens and the other three Americans had been killed in that traffic jam in New Jersey the mainstream media would be interested in getting to the bottom of their deaths and holding the Obama administration responsible.

Reagan offers no evidence that "Democrat neglect" was responsible for what happened in Benghazi, and he apparently can't tell the difference between a story that's more than a year old about which nothing significant has been revealed, and fresh breaking news about an apparently attempt at political payback by disrupting traffic, something the vast majority of Americans can directly relate to.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 PM EST
AAPS-Linked Doctor Praises Young People For Not Getting Insurance
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves the fringe activists at the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- it does have past AAPS president Lee Hieb as a columnist, after all.

Thus, WND treats us to the spectacle of a Feb. 8 column by G. Keith Smith -- described as "of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons" right there in his byline -- in which he praises young people for not buying insurance:

The Unaffordable Care Act, or UCA, is about to become even more unaffordable, thanks to the unpredicted wisdom of the younger generation. Recognizing yet another Ponzi scheme in UCA, the vast majority of young people (a group the central planners had counted on to keep UCA premiums low by buying expensive “insurance” and filing few or no claims) have thumbed their nose at this “insurance.”

[...]

I predict that future tyrants will have even more difficulty with this young, liberty-minded generation. That so many young people view the regime as illegitimate fills me with hope for the future.

Just like an AAPS-linked doctor to praise people for not getting health insurance.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:04 PM EST
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Newsmax Columnist: To Be More Inclusive, Chevy Should Exclude Gays
Topic: Newsmax

Ronn Torossian uses his Feb. 13 Newsmax column to have a conniption about same-sex couples appearing in a Chevrolet ad:

Sometimes silence really is golden. If there was a list of brands that would be considered the most likely to stay out of the progressive culture war, conventional thinking would argue that Chevrolet would be high on that list.
 
Chevy is an all-American brand, popular with NASCAR-loving conservative values voters, and demographics that may not think favorably of liberal change in cultural mores. That’s what “conventional wisdom” may argue. But apparently conventional wisdom is wrong.
 
With its new Chevrolet Traverse commercial, Chevy has jumped feet first into the hornet’s nest of America’s ongoing debate on gay marriage, and made a commercial sure to alienate some — on an issue which no one asked for their opinion. There’s no right or wrong answer — but as a PR agency CEO I ask, why would an iconic brand get involved in this no-win discussion?
 
How is it strategically advantageous to Chevy to enter any divisive political debate? No one is asking the company to take part in the gay marriage discussion, so why call attention to itself on this issue? It’s unnecessary and could be detrimental. Sometimes less (or none at all) is more. Is this really their issue?
 
Rather than rushing into a debate which they think the media will appreciate, brands may want to pay more attention to considering potential outcomes and repercussions before getting into any kind of public conversation.

Torissian goes on to contradictorily argue that to be really inclusive, Chevy should exclude gays from its ads:

Chevy wants Republicans and Democrats to buy their brand, those for and opposed to gay marriage — so why touch this discussion? Wouldn’t they want everyone to be loyal Chevy fans, buying Chevys, and cheering for Chevy drivers on the circuit?

Torossian seems to have missed the fact that inclusiveness is part of Chevy's current ad campaign. From the Associated Press:

Chevy, a unit of General Motors Co. that is not an official sponsor, didn't comment on the Russian laws specifically, instead saying in a statement that "these ads ... are not intended as any political commentary."

[...]

One ad, called "The New Us," for the Chevrolet Traverse crossover SUV, shows quick shots of many different families, including a gay male couple with a son and a daughter. "While what it means to be a family hasn't changed, what a family looks like has," a voiceover states. "This is the new us."

Another ad, an overall Chevrolet brand spot, features a pastiche of different images of America, including a shot of a gay couple getting married. "Like the old love, the new love starts with a kiss," a voiceover states. "Like the old community, the new community still keeps us connected. ... A whole new lineup for a whole new world."

And Torossian seems also to have missed the fact that numerous major companies have expressed their support for same-sex marriage, which means Chevy isn't exactly ahead of the curve on the issue.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 15, 2014 11:10 PM EST
WND Revives Zombie Lie About Jamie Gorelick
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein writes in WorldNetDaily's non-bombshell about a business arrangement between the IRS and the Urban Institute that Jamie Gorelick is on the Urban Institute's board of trustees, adding: "Gorelick is also reportedly the official blamed for the pre-Sept. 11 “wall of separation” that prevented the CIA and FBI from comparing investigation notes."

Jack Cashill tries to pile on Gorelick in his Feb. 12 WND column: "In 1995, she went on to pen the infamous 'wall' memo that prevented intelligence agencies from sharing information in the run-up to September 11."

That's nothing but a zombie lie. As we have amply documented,  the "wall" was actually created in the late 1970s and was reaffirmed by the George W. Bush administration shortly before 9/11. Gorelick's memo merely detailed procedures that she said permitted a freer exchange of information between criminal and counterterror investigators than had been allowed under the Reagan and first Bush administrations.

But then, WND loves its zombie lies.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:55 AM EST
Friday, February 14, 2014
Bozell Still Silent About Years Of Ghostwriting Deception, Still Not Giving Graham Credit He Deserves
Topic: Media Research Center

You'd think that having been exposed as having a ghostwriter for years, Brent Bozell would credit his ghostwriter in his next column. But you'd be wrong.

The version of Bozell's latest column posted today at the Media Research Center, CNSNews.com and NewsBusters fails to mention that the MRC's Tim Graham wrote it, as he has done for Bozell's column for years.

Bozell and the MRC has continued to remain silent about Bozell's years of deception -- silence they would not tolerate if a member of the "liberal media" was found to have a ghostwriter.

Meanwhile, TPM has compiled instances of Bozell attacking laziness and dishonesty in the media, in columns Bozell did not write.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EST
WND Promotes Unsubstantiated Claim About IRS Leaking Info About Conservative Groups
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 10 WorldNetDaily article touts an interview with right-wing lawyer Cleta Mitchell, who is peddling the unsubstantiated claim that the IRS is "improperly sharing sensitive information" about conservative groups "with rival liberal organizations." WND continiues:

Another open question centers on whether the IRS not only overstepped its bounds in demanding sensitive information from conservatives but subsequently colluded with liberal organizations with that same data. One of Mitchell’s clients is the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM, one of the leading defenders of traditional marriage across the country. Multiple reports assert the IRS not only demanded excessive amounts of data regarding the group’s donors but that the information subsequently turned up in the possession of the Human Right Campaign, HRC, the most prominent interest group promoting same-sex marriage and other aspects of the homosexual agenda.

NOM is suing the IRS over the matter, and Mitchell is limited in what she can say as the discovery phase of the case unfolds. She said the lack of transparency from the IRS has been infuriating, but what she has uncovered thus far has been stunning.

“We asked for an Inspector General’s report to find out what happened and why NOM’s donor schedule was released to the HRC. How did that happen? Who did it?” she asked.

“There was an Inspector General’s investigation, which the IRS would then not give to us. They said even though the law is to protect the taxpayer, in this case the National Organization for Marriage, the IRS has construed that to mean that they cannot tell you information about the unlawful inspection or release of your tax return because then that would implicate the perpetrator’s confidential information. Therefore, they have to protect the perpetrator, the IRS employee, and they cannot and will not then tell you anything,” Mitchell said.

In fact, the NOM release has been explained. Former NOM official Maggie Gallagher reported at National Review that "You may recall that a low-level employee also released NOM's private tax-return information to a guy claiming to be a NOM employee, who then posted it on the Internet." Last May, acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller explained to a House commitee that an investigation had determined that the release of NOM's Form 990 had been "inadvertent."

It's dishonest for Mitchell to perpetuate this myth, and doubly dishonest for WND to uncritically report it.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 PM EST
CNS' Starr Pushes Myth That Plan B Is An Abortifacient
Topic: CNSNews.com

In a Feb. 11 CNSNews.com article complaining that CVS pharmacies will stop selling tobacco products but continue to sell morning-after pills, Penny Starr repeatedly identifies one such pill, Plan B, as an "abortifacient" or "abortion-inducing drug." But even Starr admits that's not mainly how Plan B works.

Starr accurately cites Plan B's packaging, which states that it "works mainly by preventing ovulation, but she also asserts that Plan B "can prevent the implantation in the uterus of the developing embryo and thus end a human life."

Starr clearly does not understand what an abortifacient is. The National Catholic Reporter tries to clear things up:

To understand why scientists believe that the IUD, Plan B and Ella are not abortifacients, it is important first to understand the biology of conception. In order for a woman to become pregnant after sexual intercourse, her ovaries must release an egg (ovulation). Sperm can remain viable inside her reproductive tract for five days. Therefore, if intercourse takes place up to five days before ovulation or within two days after, both sperm and egg are viable and the egg cell can be fertilized.

Now, just because an egg is fertilized doesn't necessarily mean that it will develop into an embryo. For that to happen, the fertilized egg must be implanted into the endometrium that lines the uterus. Implantation happens seven days after fertilization, if it happens at all. Scientists estimate that, at a minimum, two-thirds of fertilized eggs fail to implant. Some scientists estimate that the number may even be as high as 80 percent, according to Discover Magazine.

For this reason, according to the medical definition, a woman is not considered pregnant until the developing embryo successfully implants the lining of the uterus.

Some church officials argue that a woman is pregnant at the moment of fertilization. If that is the case, then it follows that 60 to 80 percent of the time, this natural process results in a massive loss of life.

The Reporter goes on to explain why Plan B is not an abortifacient:

The drug Plan B is also artificial progestin and therefore impedes the sperm from entering the uterus in the same way as the IUD. But the drug can also stop the ovaries from releasing an egg. If an egg has already been released, Plan B can slow down the movement of the egg. By slowing down both the egg and the sperm, it prevents fertilization.

The effectiveness of Plan B drops considerably if given more than two days after intercourse. But even at its peak of effectiveness, it is only works 50 percent to 80 percent of the time. Some have argued that Plan B acts after fertilization by changing the uterine lining is such a way that implantation is impossible.

But according to Dr. Sandra Reznik, who also wrote for the January-February 2010 edition of CHA's Health Progress, if Plan B "involved a change in the endometrium, then one would expect a higher rate of success [in preventing pregnancy]. ... Taken together, there are biological, clinical and epidemiological data clearly indicating that Plan B's mechanism of action involves only pre-fertilization events."

For five years, staff at CHA collected, reviewed and summarized the great majority of articles on Plan B's mechanism of action, Ron Hamel explains in his article: "Virtually all of the evidence in the scientific literature indicates Plan B has little or no post-fertilization effect ... on the endometrium that would make it inhospitable to implantation."

Starr's boss, Terry Jeffrey, has also pushed the myth that Plan B is an "abortion-inducing drug."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:53 AM EST
WND's Garth Kant Won't Tell Readers Stockman's Libel Lawsuit Is Bogus
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's resident Steve Stockman fanboy, Garth Kant, still wants to perpetuate the myth that Steve Stockman's libel lawsuit against opponent John Cornyn -- which Stockman gave him the scoop on -- has merit.

In a Feb. 11 article on Stockman filing a nuisance ethics complaint aghainst a Cornyn-linked super PAC, Kant recounts the libel lawsuit and the  “numerous false statements”  that were allegedly made. A Feb. 13 article by Kant also notes the lawsuit; neither article lists the specific allegations outlined in the original article.

Perhaps because the claims that Stockman made -- that he “jailed more than once,” was “charged with a felony” and “violated federal ethics laws" -- are indisputably true. Kant almost certainly knows that, but because he is such a PR agent for Stockman that he really should be on the campaign's payroll, he isn't going to tell his readers that inconvenient fact.

Meanwhile, even more evidence has surfaced to discredit Stockman. The Texas Tribune uncovered Stockman's mugshot from his 1977 arrest for felony possession of diazepam (Valium). Stockman ultimately pleaded no contest to “use of a controlled substance” – a misdemeanor – with the understanding that it would be dropped after a short period of “unofficial” probation.

Kant performed even more Stockman-fluffing in his Feb. 13 article:

And, he added, they didn’t like that he killed the amnesty bill (Sen. Majority Leader) Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had sent to the House.

“We did what’s called a ‘blue-slip.’ We declared it a tax, which it is because the Supreme Court ruled the fees in the health care bill are taxes. The Senate cannot create or generate any revenue. The Constitution gives that power strictly to the House. The House creates what’s called a blue slip, in that event, and I did that to both the immigration and the gun bills.”

Turns out that's not true either, according to the Texas Tribune:

Marc Rosenblum, a senior policy analyst at the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, followed the immigration debate in Congress closely last year. When asked about Stockman’s “blue slip,” he said he didn’t remember it. After researching it, he said Stockman did indeed request in June that House Speaker John Boehner use a “blue slip” resolution to kill Senate Bill 744. Yet the provision was never employed because the bill never made it to the House. Moreover, there are methods for the Senate to get around a blue slip, he said.

“It’s not accurate to say he issued the blue slip because he’s not in the position to issue a blue slip,” Rosenblum said. “He raised this issue that might have been a procedural hurdle for 744 to overcome, but it’s not accurate to say that he prevented 744 from passing.” 

Reporters are supposed to tell the truth about the people they cover. Kant is clearly not a reporter, and we hope Stockman is paying him well for his PR services.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EST
Updated: Friday, February 14, 2014 9:36 AM EST
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Busted! MRC's Graham Revealed As Brent Bozell's Long-Suffering Ghostwriter
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, we noted that the latest book by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham carried only Bozell's name on the copyright despite Graham being listed as a full-fledged co-author (and the MRC claiming that it gets all proceeds from the book), and mused that Graham was getting screwed out of the book's proceeds.

Turns out Bozell has been screwing Graham out of a lot more than that.

Jim Romenesko reports that according to former MRC employees, Graham writes “almost everything published under [Bozell's] name,” including Bozell's twice-weekly column. Further, Graham isn't happy aboaut it at all:

“Tim just resents having to do it,” says a former employee.

Graham’s wife, too, is so angry about the arrangement that she refuses to attend Media Research Center events.

“She hates Bozell,” I’m told. “The forced ghostwriting is the issue,” says an ex-employee. 

One loyal MRC employee tried to spin this, according to Romenesko:

I was advised to contact a third MRC employee who, I was told, would confirm Graham’s ghostwriting duties. He did that, but defended the practice of “people signing off on agreeable words written for them.” He asked me: “How many speeches has Obama written the last ten years? Should he have prefaced the State of the Union with ‘My fellow Americans – I didn’t write this?’”

I asked Pittsburgh Tribune-Review colunnist and National Society of Newspaper Columnists president Eric Heyl about this remark. He said:

“The argument that the columnist should be allowed to use a ghostwriter because the president has speechwriters is as limp as pasta left overnight in boiling water. The comparison is ludicrous. The columnist doesn’t have to spend much of his time dealing with a dysfunctional Congress or fretting over Iran’s nuclear program.”

As a result, Bozell's syndicator, Creators Syndicate, will add Graham as a co-author on the columns.

Bozell and Graham have refused to comment to Romenesko, and there is nothing about the controversy on any MRC website, so we don't know things like if Bozell will retroactively credit Graham for his work.

Romekesko also notices the ultimate irony of the situation: The organization that demands media outlets "Tell the Truth!" can't even tell the truth about itself.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:07 PM EST
WND: Jury Nullification for Right-Wingers Good, Jury Nullification For Blacks Not So Much
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Race-baiting writer Colin Flaherty complains in a Feb. 11 WorldNetDaily article:

One of the reasons police do not arrest more black people in the Baltimore area is because black juries are often reluctant convict black defendants. This observation of racial jury tampering comes from academic and legal studies such as “Jury Nullification, Race, and The Wire.” And from David Simon, creator of the Baltimore crime drama, The Wire, a veteran of 13 years on the cop beat for the Baltimore Sun.

But WND used to love jury nullification -- at least when it benefited right-wingers and not black people.

For inatance, Joel Miller touted jury nullification in a 2003 WND column, citing no less than the Founding Fathers to bolster his view:

In other words, the people are deemed sensible enough to decide when one of their fellows is getting the shaft from an unjust law. This only makes sense. The people are judged sensible enough to elect legislators in the first place. If things go awry after the ballot box, the jury box provides one more place to check and stop the progress of tyranny by nullifying bad laws passed by those legislators.

Far from viewing nullification as a gateway to random enforcement of law and anarchy, the founders viewed it as an essential tool for combating despotism and preserving liberty – one more method of denying absolute power to any single man or governing body.

Former WND columnist Vox Day wrote a 2003 column headlined "3 cheers for jury nullification," declaring that "if any juror believes that the law is unjust, he has power and the duty to ignore it and make his decision according to his conscience alone."

A 1999 WND article quotes one anti-tax activist advocating "widespread use of 'jury nullification' to defeat tax prosecutions." And a 2012 WND article by Bob Unruh touted how a supporter of a defendant in a case regarding a private milk-buyers club said that the jury should "return a verdict of not guilty on the charges no matter what the facts and the law of the case are."

And we're not even counting all the times that WND has advocated a larger level of legal nullification by encouraging states to reject federal laws they don't agree with.

But when jury nullification benefits black people, that's apparently where WND draws the line -- and Flaherty is not the first to do so. In a 2007 column, Ann Coulter cited as a case of nullificaiton "a jury composed of nine blacks and three Puerto Ricans acquitted Lemrick Nelson Jr. of the murder [of rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum] – despite the fact that the police found the bloody murder weapon in his pocket and Rosenbaum’s blood on his clothes, and that Rosenbaum, as he lay dying, had identified Nelson as his assailant."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EST
What Passes For 'Research' At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

A Feb. 6 Media Research Center item by Kristine Marsh and Matt Philbin promotes the claim that NBC covered the Russian law banning gay "propaganda" much more than "the plight of Christians in war-torn Syria." But despite the MRC's insistence that it engages in "scientific" research, there's nothing scientific about this screed.

Marsh and Philbin provide no methodology for how they counted their references, nor do they even provide the timeline in which they searched; they discuss only "the run up to the Sochi Winter Olympics." But the references they cite go back to last June -- a six-month-old story can hardly be considered a "run up" to Olympic coverage. Additionally, there's a mention of MSNBC's website, so it isn't even clear if Marsh and Philbin limited their so-called research to NBC.

By contrast, Equality Matters has served up a much more detailed analysis of NBC's coverage of the Russian anti-gay law:

  • There was only one mention of the law on NBC in the month after it was approved. Unlike the MRC, a methodology is provided.
  • NBC has made no mention of the role American conservatives played in the shaping of the law.

Further, comparing NBC's coverage of Russian anti-gay laws to the plight of Christians in Syria is merely the latest MRC's tradition of comparing things to random other things. Marsh and Philbin even admit that alleged persecution of Christians, which involve "tens of thousands," is a minor issue in the overall Syrian civil war, which has "displaced millions of Syrians."

Since the MRC has an anti-gay agenda, Marsh and Philbin don't have much to say about the Russian law itself beyond conceding it is "distasteful legislation to be sure, and enforcement could be dangerous in the hands of Putin’s thugocracy." They then defend it by playing the equivocation game, declaring that "it doesn’t call for prison or violent punishments (like the toppling of stone walls on gays – an execution favored by Islamists and something you won’t find NBC talking much about)." Marsh and Philbin also minimize anti-gay violence in Russia, claiming without evidence it's only "of the street-thug variety."

The MRC's reserach has always been shoddy. Philbin and Marsh prove that the MRC has learned nothing and is more interested in advancing an agenda than telling the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 2:32 PM EST

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