MRC Equivocates Away Ted Nugent's Attack on Obama Topic: Media Research Center
As we learned with Rush Limbaugh, if the Media Research Center ever concedes that something a prominent conservative says is offensive, it will do so only invoking supposedly similar statements by liberals.
And so it goes with Ted Nugent's sliming of President Obama as a "subhuman mongrel."
In a Feb. 18 NewsBusters post, Matt Hadro happily parroted Newt Gingrich's claim of "selective outrage" over Nugent, citing Bill Maher as an example. Yet Hadro is engaging in his own selective outrage since neither he nor any other MRC employee could be moved to mention Nugent's sliming of Obama before this.
Tim Graham made his equivocation clear in a Feb. 19 Newsbusters post: "NY Times Devotes Story to Texas Candidate Embracing Ted Nugent, Barely Noticed Obama Embracing Spike Lee." Graham has to go back to 2005 to find something offensive by Lee, despite the fact that this was seven years to before Obama "embraced" Lee. By contrast, Nugent's "subhuman mongrel" remark came a month before Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott invited Nugent to campaign with him.
Unlike Hadro and Graham (and unlike any MRC employee regarding Limbaugh's three-day tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke), Scott Whitlock does use a Feb. 20 MRC item to state that Nugent's remarks "both offensive and disrespectful." But like his colleagues , Whitlock equivocates anyway, using MSNBC host Chris Matthews' statement on Nugent that "you are known by the company you keep" to bring up old statements by other MSNBC hosts:
However, Matthews's "company" includes former colleague and frequent guest Martin Bashir. Bashir famously advocated for someone to defecate on Palin.
Ed Schultz trashed Laura Ingraham as a "slut." On February 18, the similarly tone deaf host complained about conservative vulgarities.
Matthews, Schultz and all the coarse hosts of MSNBC are hardly in a position to judge the company of conservatives. They are the very definition of not practicing what you preach.
And, of course, neither is Whitlock. His co-workers include Brent Bozell, who has committed all manner of offenses, not the least of which is calling Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead": and Matt Philbin, who enthusiastically joined in Limbaugh's sliming of Fluke by calling her a "horizontal laborer" and a "Lincoln Tunnel Hitcher" and viciously insulted his critics.
WND's Garth Kant Finds Another Congressman To Slobber Over Topic: WorldNetDaily
Steve Stockman, it appears, is not the only congressman for which WorldNetDaily's Garth Kant is willing to serve as a public-relations agent.
A Feb. 20 WND article by Kant is full of fawning over Sen. Mike Lee, starting with a headline calling Lee a "1-man think tank":
Lee is one of the Three Musketeers of the new conservative movement in Washington, along with Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky.
If Cruz and Paul are the faces of the new conservatives, particularly after each conducted memorable filibusters last year, Lee may be the behind-the-scenes architect who is particularly active away from the cameras, trying to spark a Reagan revolution for our times and a flowering of new creative energy in the GOP.
He might be called the GOP’s renaissance man because he so obviously relishes ideas on an impressive variety of issues, and is constantly working to come up with innovative and new conservative solutions for modern times.
That’s why he is promoting his own conservative reform agenda that he outlined in a major speech (posted on his website) as well as a conservative solution for poverty.
Needless to say, Kant doesn't challenge anything Lee says, nor does he even bother to talk to anyone else about him.
Kant better hurry and do another puff piece on Steve Stockman, lest he start to feel a little jealous of having to share Kant's adulation.
CNS' Jeffrey Undermines His Argument Against Raising Minimum Wage Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey writes in a Feb. 17 CNSNews.com article:
Sixty-four percent of Americans who earned the minimum wage or less in 2013 were 29 years old or younger, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and 63 percent worked in restaurants, bars or retail.
People 30 years or older equaled only about 36 percent of those who earned the minimum wage or less in 2013--and only 0.8 percent of the people employed in the United States.
Of the 75,948,000 who were paid an hourly wage in 2013, 3,300,000 earned at or below the minimum wage.
That means only about 4.4 percent (3,300,000) of hourly wage earners (75,948,000) earned the minimum wage or less in 2013--or only about 2.3 percent (3,300,000) of all U.S. employees (143,929,000).
Jeffrey thus takes the latest line of attack peddled by other minimum-wage-raise opponents like Fox News -- so few people minimum wage, so there's no need to raise it.
But as Media Matters' Eric Boehlert points out, that argument shoots down the normal conservative opposition to raising the minimum wage: "Because if hardly anyone makes minimum wage, than why the movement-wide opposition to changing it? If so few people earn minimum wage, why demagogue the issue and stand in the way of an increase?"
WND Still Pushing Its Birther Hypocrisy Topic: WorldNetDaily
An unbylined Feb. 20 WorldNetDaily article takes issue with a Democrat raising eligibility questions about Ted Cruz because, you know, Obama:
Remember all those questions about Barack Obama’s eligibility and the suggestions that if he’s not American, he’s not eligible to be president?
A Democrat member of Congress has acknowledged that the issue is legitimate.
Well, not really. What Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., said in an interview was that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, couldn’t be president because he’s Canadian.
Grayson’s comment came in an interview with MSNBC when he was asked who he thinks would win the GOP nomination for president in Florida.
“Since Ted Cruz is a Canadian and our Constitution requires an American to win, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be Ted Cruz,” Grayson said.
Cruz has explained that he has held dual citizenship and is renouncing his Canadian citizenship.
The questions about Obama, however, linger as an ongoing, official law enforcement investigation has determined the “birth certificate” he released from the White House appears is a forgery.
WND Founder and longtime news executive Joseph Farah, whose news organization has covered the dispute about Obama’s eligibility, said in a column he was amazed that Democrats have raise the issue regarding Cruz.
“I pointed out … that the media are on a campaign to ensure Sen. Ted Cruz never gets a chance to run for president. Why? Because, they claim or infer, he’s ineligible under the constitutional requirement to be a ‘natural born citizen,’” Farah wrote.
“It’s amazing given the media’s ridicule of those of us who posed the question and did six years of investigative work to try to determine Barack Obama’s eligibility – a question that has still not been answered, by the way, or even debated rationally on the facts we now know.”
Farah said it’s “precisely why it was so important to pay attention to the precedent Obama set by refusing to release his birth certificate for two years and then releasing one that was labeled fraudulent by the only law enforcement investigators who have examined it, as well as dozens of document experts.”
He said the questions that remain include where Obama was born, whether or not his Hawaii birth certificate is accurate and shows he is a “natural born citizen.”
As we've pointed out, the only reason Farah claims there are "questions" about Obama is because WND has refused to report on the answers. Hawaii has vouched for the authenticity of both birth certificates Obama has released, and supposed anomalies in the PDF file of Obama's long-form certificate are easily reproduced with a Xerox scanner.
Farah goes on to rant that "America needs one standard of eligibility" -- but he won't apply to Cruz the standard he used against Obama.
CNS Joins Right-Wing Government Ammunition Conspiracy Theory Topic: CNSNews.com
A right-wing staple over the past couple of years is fearmongering about the government buying ammunition. CNSNews.com apparently felt left out, because it decided to hop on the bandwagon with a Feb. 19 article by Ali Meyer:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is contracted to purchase 704,390,250 rounds of ammunition over the next four years, which is equal to a total of about 2,500 rounds per DHS agent per year, according to a January 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled Ammunition Purchases Have Declined Since 2009.
Much of the article is devoted to explaining how the DHS says that really isn't that much ammo for training purposes. But Meyer leads with the sensational and out-of-context claim and doesn't bother to explain the whole right-wing conspiracy thing.
That makes this a lazy and uninformative article. But have we come to expect anything less from CNS?
WND's Farah Thinks His Website Isn't As Horrible As Gawker Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gawker wrote about Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily, and he's not happy about it. So unhappy, in fact, that Farah dedicated his entire Feb. 20 column to bashing Gawker.
The subject of Gawker's article was WND's current tiff with Google over blocking ads in articles taht reference "black mobs" (as we noted, WND has copped to 670 articles on the subject). Farah is shocked -- shocked! -- to find that there are less-than-friendly people on the Internet:
What’s my beef with Gawker?
It’s mean-spirited. It’s irresponsible. It’s childish and immature. I’ve never said any of that before, because there are lots of sites like Gawker that have no redeeming social value. I never think about them. I never visit them. But I did this week when one of their talentless bloggers went after WND – and me personally.
You can see it for yourself, but I would caution you the coarse, vulgar language and name-calling is pretty rough. Don’t blame me. I’m just the target. Visitor beware.
It’s never pleasant to be accused of something as ugly as racism. But I’ve gotten used to it since 2008, when Barack Obama’s cheerleaders began hurling that epithet at political opponents like it was wealth that needed to be redistributed.
But there is it again from the know-nothings at Gawker.
Do you know what else is sad about this kind of venomous, personal, ad hominem, groundless attack? It comes from a website that actually attracts a lot of viewers. What does that say about the intelligence and discernment of its mainly American audience?
Answer us this, Mr. Farah:
Is Gawker as childish and immature as WND treating a Hitler "Downfall" clip about Obamacare as a real "news' story?
Is Gawker as mean-spirited as WND repeatedly likening President Obama to Nazis and the Antichrist?
Is Gawker as irresponsible as WND publishing lies about a Tennessee car dealer, fighting the ensuing defamation lawsuit for seven years, then abruptly settling out of court before the case was to go to trial?
Is Gawker is vulgar as Farah himself saying of a Muslim scholar named Dalia Mogahed, "I call her toga head"?
Is Gawker as venomous, personal and ad hominem as Farah calling me a "talent-challenged slug" merely for daring to criticize him?
I just sometimes long for the day when people who communicate for a living had some professional standards guiding them. I wonder if people like this Gawker guy would allow his children to read his posts – if he has children or knows any. I guess it would be even more disturbing if he would or does. What are their standards? Do they have any? Is it supposed to be funny? Name-calling, uniformed mockery and vulgarity might get a cheap laugh from the low-information crowd. But is that the point?
Yes, the man who runs a website that publishes lies -- and who admits that he publishes lies -- wonders if others have "professional standards." Well, one can argue that Farah does have standards: he'll publish anything that will keep the rubes glued to his website, regardless of its veracity. Not a high or admirable standard, of course, but it is a standard.
Of course, such thin-skinned tirades are par for the course from a man who's notoriouslythin-skinned. And of course, such tirades are couched in self-aggrandizement about just how awesome he is, combined with a little misinformation:
I was one of the earliest pioneers of the Internet.
I founded WorldNetDaily.com, later shortened to the more manageable and memorable WND.com, in 1997.
Before that I had experimented with launching other sites – back in the days when the few people actually visiting the Internet were nearly all on dial-up connections. There were only 1 million computer users hooked up to the Internet worldwide back in those days.
How long ago was this? How much has the Internet landscape changed?
Back then, the largest, most heavily trafficked website in the world was MSNBC.com. Many observers thought this juggernaut corporate combo of Microsoft and NBC could never be approached by competitors.
Today, MSNBC.com ranks 2,295th worldwide and 530th in the U.S. – well behind WND.com.
But today's MSNBC.com is not the website of yesteryear. Farah seems to have overlooked the fact that in 2012 MSNBC.com changed its name to NBCNews.com, and the current MSNBC.com is not a general news site but one dedicated to supporting MSNBC programming.
Judging by the Alexa numbers Farah used for MSNBC.com, NBCNews.com is ranked 255th globally and 69th in the U.S. -- much bigger than WND. Farah can't even self-aggrandize honestly.
One final note: Nowhere does Farah dispute the accuracy of the information in the Gawker article -- he's merely upset that the truth was told.
NEW ARTICLE: Brent Bozell's Pattern of Deception and Disrespect Topic: Media Research Center
The revelation that Bozell's columns have been ghostwritten for years by a subordinate is just the latest example of the Media Research Center chief's outrageous behavior. Read more >>
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein claims in a Feb. 17 WorldNetDaily article that "The Palestinian Authority received a pledge from the U.S. that by the end of 2014, the Obama administration will issue an official written declaration presenting general highlights of a future Palestinian state." His source: "a senior Palestinian negotiator."
There is no evidence Klein made any attempt to verify this claim, or that he talked to any U.S. official about it.
Klein just loves pushing his right-wing agenda through untraceable anonymous sources.
CNS' Starr Tries To Manufacture Outrage Over Public Radio Story She Doesn't Like Topic: CNSNews.com
Yes, CNSNews.com's Penny Starr devoted an entire "news" article to someone else's news article:
On its “All Things Considered” news program Monday, National Public Radio (NPR) aired a story that included a reporter attending a “live porn shoot.”
The “porn shoot” took place at the headquarters of Kink.com where the reporter interviewed “internet porn mogul” Peter Acworth.
The story, entitled “Hurting for Cash, Online Porn Tries New Tricks,” was produced by KQED public television and radio station in San Francisco, Calif.
The NPR story, posted on its All Tech Considered website pages, portrays the story as a business piece and Acworth as a victim.
"We're suffering what happened to the music industry a while back,” Acworth stated. “It's becoming much more easy to get content for free and people are less apt to want to pay for it.”
Describing how it's harder to make money on pornography hardly equates to portraying someone as a "victim."
Also: Why does Starr care what another news outlet reported? Why did she cherry-pick this story out of the hundreds and thousands of stories reported in the news each day? Because she thinks there's tax money involved, and she wants to destroy public radio:
KQED, which is affiliated with NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), did not respond to an inquiry from CNSNews.com asking if reporting on pornography helped the media outlet meet its mission and whether or not they believe the reporting is beneficial to taxpayers, who help fund public broadcasting.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting – the congressionally created funding arm for public radio and television – was appropriated $445,000,000 for fiscal year 2014, according to its financial records.
Given that KQED was reporting on a local business and did not include any pornographic content in its news report, it's entirely likely that the story fits within the station's mission statement.
Starr is simply trying to impose her right-wing morality on others, like she did when she manufactured outrage over a National Portrait Gallery exhibit because she doesn't like gay stuff.
Steve Stockman's Media BFF, WND's Garth Kant, Strikes Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
Steve Stockman's media BFF, Garth Kant, has struck again.
In anotherpressrelease for the Texas Senate candidate, Kant's Feb. 18 WorldNetDaily article touts how a "stunning new poll" shows Stockman closing in on his Republican incumbent opponent, John Cornyn, which hints that Cornyn might not be able to garner the 50 percent of the vote needed to avoid a runoff.
But Kant fails to mention a few things about the poll: that it found 29 percent had not made up their mind, and that it didn't include the six other candidates who are also running in the Republican primary for Cornyn's seat.
Further, as Slate's Dave Weigel notes, the poll is an outlier: "Nobody else looking at the race sees Cornyn sinking like this." It's highly unlikely that Stockman could be doing as well as that poll claims to be given that, as Human Events points out, he's doing basically no campaigning.
Since Kant is in fanboy mode, the article is filled with quotes from Stockman and attacks on Cornyn, and no attempt is made to contact Cornyn's campaign for a response. Instead, we get slobbering statements about how "Stockman has become the darling of so many conservatives and the bogeyman to such liberal outfits as MSNBC."
Kant also mentions Stockman's libel lawsuit against a Cornyn-linked super PAC without mentioning that it has no merit, and repeats Stockman's boast that he "killed the amnesty bill" without telling readers that it's not true.
Posted by Terry K.
at 12:09 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 10:10 PM EST
WND Tries To Extend Kathleen Willey's 15 Minutes Topic: WorldNetDaily
Kathleen Willey's campaign to crowdfund herself a house -- for which WorldNetDaily did its part by donating copies of the WND-published book she wrote (no doubt collecting dust in WND's warehouse since 2007) to the cause so she could sign them and give to donors -- has stalled, raising less than $4,000 of the $80,000 she sought.
It was time to generate a little publicity. And WND came through again, in the form of Aaron Klein having Willey as a guest on his radio show.
Willey hyperbolically declared that "“Hillary Clinton is the war on women," adding: "Just pack your bags. You’ve had your 15 minutes." Says someone who's trying to extend her 15 minutes by riding a 15-year-old scandal.
This got Willey the publicity she desired, garnering her a mostly softball interview on Fox News. Mission accomplished. She even got a new donation for her house.
Never mind Willey's history of lies and deception. She can be counted on to reliably spout her Clinton-hate, and that's good enough for WND (and, apparently, Fox News.)
Alan Caruba Pretends Right-Wing Media Isn't Failing Topic: Accuracy in Media
Professionalbamboozler Alan Caruba is at it again in his Feb. 17 Accuracy in Media column, regurgitating right-wing shibboleths about the media.
Caruba is happy that the New York Times is not making very much money, noting that "Newsweek was sold for one dollar. In 2013 The Daily Beast was projected to lose $12 million." He adds, "By contrast, The Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily are thriving."
But Caruba is making an apples-to-oranges comparison. The Journal and IBD are not general-interest news outlets like the "liberal" outlets he cites; their focus is on business and market news that is very much separate from the right-wing commentary they publish.
Further, they are not thriving. The privately held IBD is reportedly not a money-maker and is supported by other divisions of its parent company. Rupert Murdoch paid $5 billion for the Journal in 2007 -- which is the current value of all of News Corp.'s publishing assets, which include the New York Post and papers in Britain and Australia.
In noting that Newsweek was sold for $1, Caruba failed to note that the Washington Times was sold for $1 as well.
As we've documented, conservative media would have long ago failed in a free market were it not for deep-pocketed right-wing billionaires -- something Caruba fails to understand.
Joseph Farah Pretends WND Isn't Race-Baiting About 'Black Mobs' (And Completely Sells Out to Google) Topic: WorldNetDaily
The sellout is complete: WorldNetDaily cares more about ad revenue than it does about principles.
We knew this already -- despite Joseph Farah's history of attacking Google as an "immoral" company that "may not be able to discern right from wrong," WND has been using Google AdSense for much of its advertising since 2009 -- but it has come into stark relief with a new tussle between WND and Google.
A Feb. 17 WND article describes how Google "has threatened to block ads on the news site over its use of the term 'black mobs' in news stories and columns reporting on a two-year epidemic of racial attacks in the U.S." Here's WND's response to Google:
In response, WND is preemptively blocking Google ads in content in which that phrase appears in past and current stories, including this one. Other ad providers have agreed to step in and fill the gap.
That's right -- rather than fight the power, WND has acquiesced by trying to keep the offending words from jeopardizing precious Google ad space.
And yet WND still gets it wrong -- there are still Google ad spaces on the page this article resides on. As of this writing, the vertical ad strip on the left side of the article and a horizontal ad strip at the end of the article are still both Google AdSense spaces, as are two square ad boxes in the right-side strip and the middle square ad box at the bottom of the page. The horizontal ad strip at the top of the page belongs to a company called Turn, while the left bottom square space belongs to Criteo and the right bottom space belongs to Evidon/Audience Science. The top right square ad is operated through SiteScout, while another right-hand ad box is operated through AppNexus.
The article is accompanied by a column in which Farah defends the shoddy work of the man who's responsible for Google's flagging, Colin Flaherty, and pretends there's no race-baiting going on:
It all began two years ago when WND made the decision to begin tracking what appeared to be a rise in unprovoked black on non-black violence. Through the reporting, WND first alerted the nation to “the knockout game,” in which perpetrators seek to render unconscious innocent and unsuspecting victims usually with a single blow to the head. We reported on coordinated riots and seemingly spontaneous uprisings occurring in major cities and small towns from coast to coast.
As a result of the reporting, mayors and police departments around the country began responding. Our reporting was condemned by racialists quick to excuse or cover up bad behavior in minority communities and extolled by many, including black scholar Thomas Sowell, who strongly and repeatedly endorsed a groundbreaking book WND published by Colin Flaherty called “White Girl Bleed A Lot,” which includes much of the reporting he did for WND.
Google is clearly assigning motives to our reporting on the basis of the linking of two words – black mobs. Euphemisms for two perfectly accurate words must now be found because Google has determined that the linking of these two words is hate speech. When one of the most powerful media companies in the world starts banning words and phrases and imposing its speech police standards on all those it does business with, we are headed down a dangerous, Orwellian slippery slope.
The term “black mobs” as used in WND is not a pejorative term.
It is not hate speech. In fact, it is the reporting of facts – facts that have been substantiated and reported by many other news sources since WND began reporting on the trend two years ago. WND Books’ “White Girl Bleed A Lot” is carried in bookstores across the nation and on Amazon.com. What’s next – burning the books?
As we've amplydocumented, the only crimes WND consistently reports on involve "black mobs." If there wasn't a racial or pejorative motive behind it, why has Flaherty been so desperate to push the issue that he has included non-blacks and animals in the "black mobs" he writes about?
Why doesn't WND give other crimes the kind of blanket coverage it has afforded Flaherty and his "black mob" obsession? Farah doesn't explain. As the WND "news" article on this subject notes, the term "black mobs" has appeared in "more than 670 WND reports." Can WND claim it has given that kind of coverage in the past two years to any other subject, let alone any other crime?
Farah might claim he's engaging in "the reporting of facts," but those facts are cherry-picked and taken out of context for no other apparent reason than to instill an irrational fear of black people in WND's predominately white audience.
In both the news article and Farah's column, the endorsement of Flaherty's race-baiting by "celebrated black scholar Thomas Sowell" is presented as evidence that this is somehow not race-baiting. That appeal to authority is a logical fallacy that only serves to demonstrate how ethically and morally barren Flaherty's race-baiting crusade is.
As he's wont to do, Farah tries to turn things around and play the victim while puffing himself up as a First Amendment champion:
But there’s an issue here that should be noted by all who value free expression and honest journalism that some may find offensive. Google’s policy attempts to censor words and phrases that are truthful and accurate from First Amendment-protected media on the basis of political correctness and faulty algorithmic methodology.
In journalism, a craft I have practiced for more than 35 year at all levels and in all media as a reporter, top editor of major market daily newspapers, on the radio, in television and, more recently, as an Internet pioneer who created the first independent news source, there is great value in connecting the dots between hundreds of seemingly isolated incidents. That’s what we did. It was seen as a public service by many – including me.
We cannot and should not be forced to sanitize our compelling reporting on a subject of national importance because it is labeled thoughtlessly and falsely as “hate speech.” WND’s reporting on this phenomenon is neither motivated by hatred nor does it foster hatred. Ironically, the real hate speech and hate actions are what we are reporting on, what we are exposing. If Google takes this censorious action, it would be an act that would have a chilling effect not only on free speech but on responsible reporting about a crime wave affecting the entire nation.
Funny, the only "censorious actions" we've seen have all come from WND, which has kept its readers ignorant of the fact that its birther crusade has been discredited and give no meaningful recourse to those targeted by the lies WND publishes on a depressingly regular basis.
WND's race-baiting has been called out, and Farah needs the Google ad revenue too much to do anything other than rant impotently at getting caught.
NewsBusters Falsely Denies Link Between Stand Your Ground, Florida Murder Trial Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 17 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd asserts that Florida's Stand Your Ground law "was not even invoked as a defense in the recently-concluded trial of Michael Dunn" in the shooting death of a teenager over loud music.
In fact, Stand Your Ground played a key role in the case. Media Matters details how "Stand Your Ground" is embedded in the Florida statute dealing with the "use of deadly force" in self-defense, was specifically cited by Dunn's lawyer, and noted in the judge's instructions to the jury. Dunn's defense lawyer claimed that Dunn "was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in a public place where he had a legal right to be, a public parking lot asking for a common courtesy, saying thank you, trying to tell the guy I said thank you. He had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force."