ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Thursday, February 27, 2014
NewsBusters Thinks George Takei Was Shrieking And Ranting On MSNBC
Topic: NewsBusters

Jeffrey Meyer writes in a Feb. 25 NewsBusters post:

Actor and gay rights activist George Takei is known for his outspokenness when talking about gay marriage. As a result, the former "Star Trek" cast member felt the need to jump into the debate surrounding Arizona’s new religious freedom bill.

Appearing as a guest on The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell on Monday night, Takei expressed his outrage with the Arizona bill and proclaimed that not only is Arizona’s SB 1062 “not a religious freedom bill at all” he shrieked that “religious freedom is just a cloak for prejudice.”

Takei continued his rant against the Arizona bill by pushing the liberal line that “They're trying to write their prejudice into civil law… But it's these right-wing religious extremists that seem to dominate in the legislature.”

[...]

Instead of acknowledging that private businesses are being sued for refusing to service gay weddings, the actor chose to make a blanket disparaging statement that religious freedom doesn’t really exist and instead is “just a cloak for prejudice.” Takei concluded his tirade by pronouncing that SB 1962 is “really a disgraceful repugnant bill that is trying to hide under the cloak of religious freedom.” [emphasis added]

We watched the video attached to Meyer's post (it's an edited one-minute clip plucked from a nine-minute segment) and we didn't see any "shrieking" or "ranting" by Takei, or even a "tirade." He spoke in a sonorous, steady tone -- the guy was Sulu on "Star Trek," after all --  and did not even raise his voice.

Did Meyer watch the same video we did? Or is he simply trying to discredit Takei's argument by falsely portraying him as a crazy ranter?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 PM EST
WND's Corsi Doesn't Understand How A Law Firm Works
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi coinspiracy-mongers in a Feb. 26 WorldNetDaily article:

Perkins Coie, the Seattle-based law firm that has defended Barack Obama in lawsuits challenging the authenticity of his birth records, has emerged as the muscle for Federal Communications Commission threats against media that run advertising critical of Obamacare and of Democrats running for election in November 2014.

Corsi falsely suggests that the same lawyers who worked for the Obama campaign are also working for the Democratic congressman on whose behalf Perkins Coie sent the letters to the TV stations about the inaccurate ad, but at no point does Corsi name the lawyers who sent the letter.

Perkins Coie is a very large law firm, with more than 900 lawyers in 19 offices across the United States and Asia, so it's extremely unlikely the exact same lawyers worked on both cases.

Corsi seems unable to comprehend that a law firm, especially a large one like Perkins Coie, can more than one client and more than one lawyer, and they usually don't work as a cabal.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:28 PM EST
CNS' Starr Has Another Anti-Gay Freakout
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr is CNSNews.com's lead homophobe, and she shows it again in a pair of recent articles.

Starr used a Feb. 24 CNS article to inform us that "Former Olympic figure skating champion Johnny Weir has not tried to hide his homosexuality as NBC’s daytime figure skating analyst. He has worn bright pink and huge, sparkling jewelry as he and former champ Tara Lipinski commentated on this year’s skaters at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia." Because wearing flashy clothing could only mean that Weir is gay.

In another Feb. 24 article, Starr complains that an "American Idol" contestant has two moms:

MK Nobilette is “making history” as the first openly lesbian contestant on "American Idol," but she is also the first contestant to have two lesbian mothers supporting her in the audience.

Nobilette, 20, was selected to go to Hollywood during the San Francisco, Calif., audition, where she lives with her girlfriend. On Thursday, she was named as one of the Top 13 on the show.

[...]

A Feb. 19 article on the 429 website noted Nobilette’s “two mothers.”

“Following her first performance of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ on Tuesday, February 18, the San Francisco-raised Nobilette received a standing ovation from the crowd—which included her two mothers, one of whom was unable to hold in happy tears,” the article stated.

Starr must have had to work hard to find  a news article that mentioned Nobilette's parents so she could work up the proper outrage. 429 is not even a news organization per se -- it's a website serving as "a go-to destination for the LGBTA professional set." It probably pained Starr to comb through that website as it did to say something positive about a gay person.

Starr ironically closes the article by quoting Nobilette as saying of her sexuality, "I hope in 10 years we won't even have to talk about this." Not if Starr and CNS have anything to do with it, and continue to feel they can get away with creating opportunities for their right-wing audience to mock and slander gay people -- as the comment thread on both articles indicate.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 27, 2014 2:16 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: WND Becomes Steve Stockman's PR Shop
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Garth Kant leads WorldNetDaily in serving as the (presumably unpaid) press agent for the Texas congressman's run for a Senate seat. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Newsmax's Editorial Content Promotes An Advertiser
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is pulling out all the stops to promote the new film "Son of God" -- and it couldn't possibly have nothing to do with the fact that the film is being advertised on Newsmax.

A Feb. 26 article by Melissa Clyne carries the hyperbolic headline "'Son of God' Set to Blow Away Box Office Projections."

Newsmax has also posted a Feb. 26 Reuters article featuring Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman claiming that "Son of God" will be "the antidote to the poison that 'Passion of the Christ' became" due to claims of anti-Semitism and excessive violence.

Note the sponsor line "See the Son of God and Watch the Story of Jesus Come to Life in Theaters" at the top of both of those articles. The producers of "Son of God" has apparently bought that strip, which appears at the top of all Newsmax articles -- the link goes to a website promoting the film.

Whether it may or may not actually be the case, Newsmax has created the appearance that it has adjusted its news content to be complementary to its advertising.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 PM EST
Things You Won't Read At WND, Patrick Henry College Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is a good buddy of evangelical Christian, homeschooler-friendly Patrick Henry College -- it has served as a PR agent for the school, at least one child of WND editor Joseph Farah has attended the school, and founder Michael Farris always gets good press for his homeschooling activism.
 
Which is why you are extremely unlikely to read this story at WND, reported by the New Republic, of PHC's callous attitude toward female students who have been sexually assaulted:
Researchers estimate that one in five American women is sexually assaulted in college, and Patrick Henry College’s unique campus culture has not insulated the school from sexual violence. In fact, it puts female students, like Claire Spear, in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
 
[...]
 
When Claire told Dean Corbitt what had happened in John’s car that night, she says, “it felt like I was just talking to a brick wall.” The administration “basically told me that they couldn’t do anything because none of the details of my story could be proven.” It seemed to her that the school was far more concerned about her underage drinking than it was about an allegation of sexual assault. Corbitt forced Claire to call her mother to tell her she was in trouble for alcohol—and told Claire to be careful because she had put herself on the dean’s “radar.” Claire says PHC administrators never mentioned the possibility of involving the police. The administration was supposed to be a second parent, Claire says, but “they didn’t take me seriously.”
 
[...]
 
Claire was not the first female student to leave PHC disillusioned with the administration she had trusted to protect her. Other female students who say they reported sexual assault or harassment to the administration also left feeling that school officials blamed them instead of holding the accused male students accountable. The administration, they say, seemed much more concerned with protecting Patrick Henry’s pristine public image.
PHC officials denied the claims made in the article (though those same officials mostly refused to talk to the New Republic for the article), and Farris posted a response on his personal Facebook page (later deleted) in which he claimed there was "reliable evidence" that the reported sexual behavior was "consensual," that he is not a part of the Quiverfull movement (despite having 10 children), and that he has no role inoperating PHC despite the fact he's the school's founder and chancellor.
 
If WND bothers to report on this at all, it will be from the perspective of Farris and PHC defending itself against scurrilous accusations, and it certainly won't consider the possibility that the former students' stories are true.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:48 PM EST
Bozell vs. CPAC, Round 3
Topic: Media Research Center

It's that time of year again -- when Brent Bozell picks a fight with CPAC.

This year, Bozell has thrown such a fit at the idea that an atheist group was invited to have a booth at CPAC that he spread his displeasure across the MRC empire:

“The invitation extended by the ACU, Al Cardenas and CPAC to American Atheists to have a booth is more than an attack on conservative principles. It is an attack on God Himself.

“American Atheists is an organization devoted to the hatred of God. How on earth could CPAC, or the ACU and its board of directors, and Al Cardenas condone such an atrocity?

“It makes absolutely no difference to me that CPAC and ACU have backed down and removed the booth. I am sick and tired of these games.

“I will continue to denounce CPAC, ACU and Cardenas. No conservative should have anything to do with this conference. If you do, you are giving oxygen to an organization destroying the conservative movement.”

A couple points here:

  • What does Bozell's ideological spat have to do with the MRC's declared mission of hunting out media bias?
  • We thought Bozell didn't believe in censorship -- he has repeatedly accused the media of "censorship" for allegedly ignoring things that conformed to his right-wing agenda. Yet here he is, acting as a censor for CPAC. Hypocrisy much?

This is just the latest shenanigan Bozell has engaged in with CPAC:

  • In 2011, he and the MRC refused to take part in CPAC "because of the continued participation of the homosexual activist organization GOProud." He never bothered to announce this on his own network of websites, though -- he let WorldNetDaily have the scoop.
  • In 2012, he petulantly withdrew the MRC from CPAC because he wasn't granted a suficiently prominent speaking slot.
  • Bozell's tantrum paid off because he got his desired speaking slot the following year, which he used to expand his Heathering to the entire Republican Party.

As long as Bozell continues to use the MRC as a cudgel to advance his personal political agenda instead of a tool to help Republicans, this war will continue for some time to come.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:59 AM EST
WND Sets Up Harvard Student To Be Mocked For Her Looks
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is apparently not afraid to mock a woman's looks, especially when it doesn't agree with what she has to say.

A Feb. 25 WND article by Joe Kovacs takes umbrage with Sandra Korn, a Harvard University student who wrote a column for the school newspaper arguing that the school not support research that runs counter to goals of "oppos[ing] racism, sexism, and heterosexism."

In a email promotion for the article, WND called Korn a "Harvard 'beauty'" -- with "beauty" in scare quotes -- and a "Harvard newspaper gal."

That's definitely denigrating language; we suspect that nobody at WND would call, say, Chelsea Schilling a "website gal."

Now that readers have been set up to ridicule Korn's looks, the article itself delivers with a large picture of Korn placed between the headline and the article:

Apparently, as far as WND is concerned, being a non-conservative is the same thing as being unattractive. Not exactly an enlightened view of women, is it?

Kovacs goes on to mislead readers about Korn's column, falsely claiming that she "insists Harvard stop guaranteeing students and professors the right to hold controversial views and conduct research putting liberalism in a negative light." In fact, the only time the word "liberal" appears in her column is when she's criticizing "the liberal obsession with 'academic freedom.'"

The rest of Kovacs' article is just dutiful stenography of Rush Limbaugh's musings on the subject, which appears to be his main job at WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
MRC Is Still Portraying 'Philomena' As 'Anti-Catholic'
Topic: Media Research Center

Scott Whitlock uses a Feb. 20 Media Research Center item to assert that the film "Philomena" is "anti-Catholic," with "harsh anti-Catholic plot points." He then comlains that the film "includes a scene where actor/writer Steve Coogan denounces the 'fucking Catholics.'"

As we pointed out when others at the MRC attacked the film, the woman whose real-life story served as a basis for the film has praised it, calling the film "a testament to good things, not an attack" and pointing out that "despite some of the troubles that befell me as a young girl, I have always maintained a very strong hold on my faith."

That's right -- the woman whose story the film is based on doesn't think the film is anti-Catholic. How can Whitlock claim that it is? Perhaps because he's being paid to do so; after all, he's just parroting the attacks of his boss, Brent Bozell.

Bozell and the MRC adhere to a strictly conservative interpretation of Catholicism that goes after critics and hides the fact that Bozell is on the board of two conservative Catholic groups.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EST
WND's Loudon Whitewashes Limbaugh's Denigration of Sandra Fluke
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Gina Loudon does a fine job of soft-pedaling Rush Limbaugh's three-day misognistic tirade against Sandra Fluke in a Feb. 22 WorldNetDaily article:

When talk radio king Rush Limbaugh commented on Sandra Fluke’s desire to have free birth control, many thought the days were numbered for the conservative icon, and his medium, talk radio.

Of course, Limbaugh did a lot more than "comment" on Fluke -- he hurled every disgusting insult at her he could think of.

And Loudon is lying when she claims that Fluke talked of her "desire to have free birth control." She did not discuss her personal life at all; according to NPR, she offered "a rousing lawyer-like defense of why failing to cover contraceptives is unfair to women."

But the article isn't about Fluke -- it's about how "Limbaugh remains the king of the hill in talk radio" and conservative opinion is growing. Since this is a right-wing fluff piece, Loudon won't tell you exactly how disgusting and denigrating Lmbaugh's "comments" about Fluke were.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:05 PM EST
CNS' Jeffrey Keeps Up His Electricity Freakout, Still Ignores Efficiency
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey is still freaking out about decreased electricity production in a Feb. 21 article:

Historically, in the United States, rising electricity prices have not been inevitable. In the first decades after World War II, the U.S. rapidly increased it electricity production, including on a per capita basis. Since 2007, the U.S. has decreased its electricity production, including on a per capita basis.

[...]

Over the last seven years, according to the EIA, the U.S. has actually decreased its total net electricity generation, although not in an unbroken downward line from year to year (generation did increase from 2009 to 2010 before going down again in 2011 and 2012).

The EIA has published historical data going back to 1949 on the nation’s annual total net electricity generation, which EIA measures in million kilowatthours.

In 1949, according to EIA, the U.S. produced 296,124.289 million KWH of electricity. By 1959, it produced 713,378.831—an increase of 417,254.542 million KWH or about 141 percent.

In 1969, the U.S. produced 1,445,458.056 million KWH—an increase of 732,079.225 or about 103 percent from 1959.

In 1979, the U.S. produced 2,250,665.025 million KWH—an increase of 805,206.969 or about 55.7 percent from 1969.

In 1989, the U.S. produced 2,967,146.087 million KWH—an increase of 716,481.062 or about 31.8 percent from 1979.

In 1999, the U.S. produced 3,694,809.810 million KWH—an increase of 727,663.723 or about 24.5 percent from 1989.

In 2009, the U.S. produced 3,950,330.927 million KWH--an increase of 255,521.117 or about 6.9 percent.

In 2007, according to EIA, the U.S. generated a net total of 4,156,744.724 million KWH of electricity, which, so far, is the historical peak. In 2012, the last year for which full data is available, the U.S. generated a net total of 4,047,765.26 million KWH. That represents a drop of 108,979.464 million KWH--or about 2.6 percent--in the nation’s electricity production since 2007.

As before, Jeffrey fails to acknowledge the primary reason why electricity production has dropped: Increased efficiency of appliances and electronics.

Instead, Jeffrey tries to blame the decline on "a decrease in the electricity produced by coal—which has not been replaced by a commensurate increase in the electricity produced by natural gas or the “renewable” sources of wind and solar" -- again, without acknowledging the fact that less demand for electricity has allowed for that reduction.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 PM EST
The Amish Make The Mistake of Taking Advice From WND's Farah
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is way excited about this development:

When “Amish Mafia” debuted on Dec. 12, 2012, the show following a group of Amish men who deal with wrongdoings and misdeeds in their community scored the highest ratings among men for any Discovery Channel launch in the network’s history, attracting more than 3 million viewers.

As the show enters its third season Tuesday night at 9 p.m., it ranks as the network’s third highest-rated program – consistently attracting 2.5 million viewers.

For one cast member, the show is more than a job and a paycheck. It’s a way of fostering understanding about his community among what he calls “the English” and also leveraging the show’s popularity to get the Amish more politically active nationally.

Merlin Miller has ventured to Washington in his traditional dress to meet with members of Congress and his unofficial “political adviser” – none other than WND’s founder, editor and chief executive officer, Joseph Farah, who will make an appearance in a future episode of the show this season.

“The reason I like being a part of the TV show is not to only show America how the Amish are, but to show that there are people, like me, who want to bring change to the Amish community,” Miller told WND-TV in a recent in-studio visit in which the producers also recorded an exchange between Miller and Farah.

That's right -- apparently, the only people WND can appeal to these days are people who don't have electricity and, thus, could not have done much reading of WND before selecting Farah as their "political adviser."

This means that the folks who are taking advice from Farah don't know about his history of deceit, from the nakedly partisan motivations of his birther crusade to the lies he publishes on a depressingly regular basis.

How can such a man serve as a "political adviser" to anyone and not lead them astray?

It cannot possibly end well -- which is par for the course for Farah, but would be a tragedy for the Amish.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EST
Monday, February 24, 2014
At NewsBusters, Discriminating Against Gays Is 'Religious Freedom'
Topic: NewsBusters

The boys at NewsBusters sure have a funny definition of freedom -- it involves denying others freedom. They'll support the proposed Arizona bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against gay people.

Ken Shepherd rants in a Feb. 21 post that it's inaccurate to portray the law as Jim Crow-style discrimination because Jim Crow was forced and this is merely voluntary:

The Daily Beast is at it again, portraying attempts by state legislators to protect religious freedom in the workplace as enshring "discrimination" at best and mimicking "Jim Crow" at worst.

[...]

 And lastly, comparisons to Jim Crow are needlessly inflammatory and insulting to real victims of Jim Crow repression and violence. What's more, Jim Crow laws FORCED businesses -- and in some cases religious institutions -- to discriminate against patrons -- or, in the case of churches, worshiper -- whether or not the business owner wanted to discriminate or not.

In the Jim Crow South, a free market remedy to discrimination was impossible thanks to government requiring all business owners of all races to discriminate and/or segregate in some manner. By contrast, laws being considered in Kansas and Arizona would leave plenty of room for competitors to open their doors wides to all comers and pick up the business both of gay persons and straight individuals who would rather not patronize a business which refuses to work with gays and lesbians.

Again, there's a reasonable debate to be had about whether such a free-market remedy is "enough" to address the real or perceived injustice of the matter, but the fact remains that Jim Crow FORCED discrimination whereas laws being considered in statehouses in 2014 are about allowing business owners to make business decisions which obviously threaten their bottom line while adhering to their religious scruples.

You gotta love how Shepherd frames anti-gay discrimination as a "free-market remedy."

In a Feb. 23 post, Jeffrey Meyer criticized network newscasts for allegedly framing their stories on the proposed law "against the religious freedom argument," adding, "ABC and NBC seem perfectly content arguing on behalf of the bill’s opponents and jumped on the left’s “outrage” and “controversial” nature of the bill rather than adequately include the religious freedom side of the debate."

In a Feb. 24 post, Paul Bremmer also called the bill a "religious freedom bill" and got huffy because somebody on MSNBC called it discrimination when a real conservative "would have argued for the need to protect freedom of conscience for business owners with certain religious beliefs, even if, perhaps, questioning whether this law was the best mechanism for doing so."

Bremmer then took umbrage at MSNBC cutting away from that discussion to a Q&A with Michael Sam, a prospective NFL player who recently came out as gay: "It was another sign of an obsession with homosexuality from a network that doesn’t usually cover sports, much less the NFL combine."

 


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EST
WND's Flaherty Falsely Attacks Google's Motive For Not Supporting His Race-Baiting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Colin Flaherty gets his facts wrong at the very beginning of his Feb. 19 WorldNetDaily column:

Google doesn’t like stories about black mob violence. So it recently decided to stop sending its ads to accompany the WND stories about this largely secretive topic.

Actually, Google has determined what Flaherty refused to admit: His obssesion with "black mobs" has a lot more to do with race than it does with concern about crime, and it doesn't want to be involved in such a race-baiting endeavor.

Then, as if to prove how race-obsessed he is, Flaherty offers "a few suggestions to help Google in its quest for racial cleansing":

First, Google should block the results for anyone who enters the term “black mob violence” into its ubiquitous search engine.

There are lots of other phrases to block too: I use them in Google News Alerts to get a heads up on new episodes of racial mayhem.

Here’s a partial list of the phrases I follow like bread crumbs: Unruly teens, rambunctious teenagers, roving bands of youth, random attack, assault with no pattern, violence for no reason, large groups of people fighting, mob violence, bash mob, flash mob, black beach week, black expo, caught on camera, critical race theory, looting, Memorial Day assault, fireworks fight, teen violence, white privilege, and many, many more.

But by far, the most reliable indicator of racial violence comes from Google News Alerts about any story containing the phrase “large fight.”

Better block it.

There’s a lot of racial violence out there. So Google has a lot of work to do. I don’t like its chances.

There are too many videos, too many witnesses, too many victims, too many stories, too many people tired of being prisoner to this untruth to allow the epidemic of black mob violence to stay a secret any more.

Whether Google likes it. Or not.

Never mind that Flaherty has never proven an "epidemic of black mob violence" beyond his cherry-picked anecdotes taken out of context of the entirety of crime in the U.S. And never mind that Flaherty, not Google, is the one who's very concerned about "racial cleansing."

Flaherty is not the only WND writer to opine on the Google-WND battle, despite the fact that it has been solved by WND capitulating to Google and, in essence, admitting the race-baiting nature of Flaherty's reporting. A Feb. 21column by Willie Shields takes the same approach of falsely portraying Google's objections to Flaherty's race-baiting:

The smartest people in the world work at Google.

So if Google had a problem with the way WND and Colin Flaherty write about black mob violence, it should have taken one of its brainiacs about half a second to show they are wrong.

But they can’t. Because WND and Flaherty are not.

Instead Google is trying to inhibit these stories from being published by banning Google ads from them.

Nothing is keeping WND from publishing Flaherty's race-baiting -- Google has chosen not to be a part of it, and as we've noted, there are plenty of other ad delivery services that don't have a problem with race-baiting.

Shields is described as "a writer and radio talk show host in Wilmington, Del." Unmentioned by WND: Shields has been a guest on Flaherty's radio show, and Flaherty has cited Shields in a column at the right-wing American Thinker. So he's hardly an impartial observer.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:04 PM EST
MRC Still Half-Assedly Giving Graham Credit For Bozell's Columns
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center still can't get proper credit for Tim Graham right.

Since Graham was revealed as the ghostwriter of the syndicated columns of his boss, Brent Bozell, the MRC has been struggling to get its act together to properly credit Graham for his work. It still can't.

Bozell's Feb. 21 column gets a Graham credit at NewsBusters but not at CNSNews.com. At the main MRC website, Bozell's Feb. 18 column gets a Graham credit, but the slot it occupies on the website is still designated ror "Brent Bozell Columns," and earlier columns have not gotten a Graham credit.

It's not that difficult, guys. Why are you continuing to screw Graham out of his proper due?


Posted by Terry K. at 5:04 PM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« February 2014 »
S M T W T F S
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL