ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
CNS' Starr Can't Stop Obsessing Over Lesbian 'American Idol' Contestant
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last month, CNSNews.com's Penny Starr was fretting that "American Idol" contestant MK Nobilette was was not only the first openly gay contestant but also "the first contestant to have two lesbian mothers supporting her in the audience." Starr's anti-gay freakout continues with another article about Nobilette, headlined "'American Idol's' MK Nobilette Has 5 Mommies":

MK Nobilette, the 20-year-old semi-finalist and first openly lesbian on "American Idol," announced on Thursday’s show that she has four moms, and if you count Nobilette’s biological mother – she was adopted – she has five moms.
On Thursday’s show Nobilette explained that the two lesbians in the audience cheering her on were the women who adopted her. Then the two split up and found new lesbian partners.

No mention was made about Nobilette’s biological mother (or father), but she obviously has one somewhere. Thus, Nobilette has five mommies.

Why is Starr so obsessed with Nobilette? Does she hate gays that much?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 PM EDT
WND Suddenly Loves Webb Hubbell
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in the 1990s, WorldNetDaily had nothing good to say about former Clinton administration official Webb Hubbell. Joseph Farah claimed that President Clintion was guilty of "a prima facie case of obstruction of justice in securing hush money for Webster Hubbell," then asserted that Kenneth Starr should have been impeached because he "let Webb Hubbell off the hook." One WND columnist insisted that "The direct link between Beijing espionage, millionaire drug lords and Bill Clinton is Webster Hubbell."

So why is WND suddently Hubbell's best friend? That's simple -- he became convenient to WND's anti-Obama agenda.

WND published a March 9 column by Hubbell criticizing the Obama administration for "tinkering with Medicare" by considering limits on coverage for certain medications. WND wrote an accompanying "news" article calling him a "top Dem" though he hasn't been involved in politics for years. WND also reminds us that Hubbell "served 21 months in prison in the 1990s after pleading guilty to federal charges of overbilling clients at the Rose Law Firm where he was partnered with Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster." (And Farah considers this being left "off the hook"?)

Even more laughably, WND goes on to portray the Obama administration's ultimate rejection of the Medicare proposal as directly attributable to Hubbell's WND column. From a March 11 article:

One day after former Clinton administration official Webb Hubbell sounded off against a proposed Medicare rule change in a WND commentary, the Obama administration dropped plans to restrict access to antidepressant and antipsychotic medications.

In a stunning reversal, the Department of Health and Human Services killed the proposal a day after the official comment period ended and a day before the House of Representatives was set to vote on a bill to block the change.

In a letter to members of Congress, the department said it recognized “the complexities of these issues and stakeholder input” and declared that it “does not plan to finalize the proposal at this time.”

Some of that stakeholder input came informally from Hubbell in an unusual critique in WND just a day earlier, as he suggested the plan would hurt Democrats in the 2014 election.

There does seem to be a quid pro quo going on here, which WND doesn't explicitly admit. All three articles note that Hubbell is about to publish a novel and has a website where he writes a daily meditation, so it seems Hubbell is getting some promotional value in exchange for writing at WND.

That seems right -- Farah and WND exploited Hubbell's misdeeds to promote its anti-Clinton agenda in the 1990s, so it seems right that Hubbell is getting a little something in return.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:26 PM EDT
NewsBusters Endorses Limbaugh's Jealous Attack on Ronan Farrow
Topic: NewsBusters

Rush Limbaugh hates Ronan Farrow, and NewsBusters loves him for it.

A March 8 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock approvingly quotes Limbaugh attacking Farrow by claiming that "He's never done anything. He's never gotten good at anything" and that everything Farrow has achieved, including becoming host of an MSNBC show, occurred "simply by virtue of genealogy" and "simply because of the sperm cells." Whitlock adds that because Farrow's show isn't an instant hit, "The ratings back up Limbaugh's contention."

Do Limbaugh and Whitlock think Farrow graduating college at 15 is an achievement accomplished only because he has famous parents? How about becoming a Rhodes Scholar? If so, they don't understand how such things work.

It seems that Limbaugh and Whitlock are jealous of Farrow's success; when Limbaugh was Farrow's age, he was still working as a small-market radio DJ. We don't know what Whitlock was doing, but we're pretty sure he wasn't hosting a TV show.

Limbaugh is green with envy that Farrow has achieved so much more than the young Limbaugh had,  and Whitlock is more than happy to endorse that envy.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 PM EDT
WND Still Hiding Ex-Marine's Violent Words To Portray Him As A Victim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh writes in a March 3 WorldNetDaily article:

You write something on Facebook that someone in the government doesn’t like. The result? You’re in handcuffs and taken to detention in a mental institution.

No charges, no rights, no freedom.

Not in America, you say?

But that’s almost exactly the scenario that is being defended by a federal judge, who now has dismissed a complaint filed over a veteran’s treatment.

A federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Rutherford Institute on behalf of Brandon Raub, a decorated Marine. The nonprofit legal group said in a statement Monday that Raub “was arrested by a swarm of FBI, Secret Service agents and local police and forcibly detained in a psychiatric ward for a week because of controversial song lyrics and political views posted on his Facebook page.”

But missing from Unruh's article -- as it is from previous WND articles about Raub -- is what Raub actually wrote on his Facebook page that drew such attention.

As we detailed, one of those "controversial song lyrics" was the line "Sharpen my axe; I'm here to sever heads," from a song by the obscure Canadian hip-hop group Swollen Members. Raub also penned a rant in which he rails against the Federal Reserve and the income tax and invoked 9/11 trutherism, concluding, "WE MUST TAKE OUR REPUBLIC BACK."

Unruh is dishonestly reporting this story by claiming what Raub wrote was merely something that "someone in the government doesn’t like." Red flags were raised about Raub's writings with good cause. The writings are so disturbing and so undermines Raub's case, in fact, that Unruh won't tell you what he said.

But this yet another one-source Unruh special, this time providing only the point of view of Raub's attorneys at the right-wing Rutherford Institute.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:20 AM EDT
Monday, March 10, 2014
Ben Shapiro Attacks Non-Existent Kennedy School Grads Running Obama Foreign Policy
Topic: CNSNews.com

Ben Shapiro snarkily writes in his March 6 CNSNews.com column:

In the ivory tower inhabited by the great intellects of the Obama administration, however, no problem is too big to be thought or talked or surrendered away. If Russia won't change its perspective, we will simply cut our military more to convince them we mean well; if the Palestinians or Iranians don't change their perspectives, we will force Israel to negotiate with them in order to prove our goodwill.

Meanwhile, our enemies laugh. And they should. The global battlefield is no place for the Kennedy School political science grad students who inhabit our White House and believe that a well-aimed, snooty barb is a substitute for a muscular foreign policy presence.

But Shapiro names no Kennedy School graduates involved in foreign policy in the White House. Perhaps that's because there aren't any.

Of the named people in his column, national security adviser Susan Rice graduated from Stanford and Oxford, and John Kerry went to Yale and Boston College. Of the Kennedy School grads listed at Wikipedia as members of the Obama administration, none are working in foreign policy.

The Kennedy School is operated by Harvard University -- the the same school from which Shapiro received his law degree. Somehow we don't recall him dissing his law degree the way he disses his fellow Harvard grads.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:42 PM EDT
WND Rehashes Serial-Killer Smear of Valerie Jarrett
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's promotion for the new issue of its Whistleblower magazine reads exactly you would expect something from the home of Obama Derangment Syndrome to be:

Suppose you were a committed leftist revolutionary who somehow got elected president of center-right America.

Suppose you were great at making speeches, but little else. You masked your socialist agenda in the appealing rhetoric of fairness and justice, but secretly loathed the American system of constitutional government and free-market capitalism.

Suppose you were also an extreme narcissist with an absurdly grandiose view of yourself and almost no tolerance for criticism and disagreement. Your ego so fragile, your worldview so distorted, your mind so angry beneath your charismatic exterior, and your self-image of being a divinely gifted leader in danger of disintegrating in the light and heat of mounting geopolitical turmoil and your own stunning failures as president.

In short, suppose you were Barack Obama.

To “stay the course” you were on – of trampling the Constitution and forcing socialism on an unwilling America, despite plummeting disapproval and deafening calls for you to stop – you would need help. A very special and secret kind of help.

You would need Valerie Jarrett.

Yep, the issue is about Valerie Jarrett. It apparently includes a version of the article in which WND's Michael Maloof libels Jarrett by likening her to the serial killer Richard Ramirez, baselessly calling her the "Night Stalker."

As we've noted, WND's Joseph Farah claims credit for inventing the "Night Stalker" nickname for Ramirez, so Maloof is presumably well aware of the connotation for applying it to Jarrett.

The magazine also includes an article by Edward Klein, "in which the former New York Times Magazine editor in chief says Jarrett 'is in many ways the de facto president.'”

WND is falsely trying to imply that Klein is a liberal. In fact, he's written a hatchet job on Hillary Clinton and wrote an embarrassing self-published novel treating every crazy Obama conspiracy as fact, co-authored with crazy person John LeBoutillier.

WND has no problem with telling lies and spreading smears -- just another reason nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:18 PM EDT
Zombie Blogger At NewsBusters Issues Zombie Complaint
Topic: NewsBusters

We thought that Clay Waters' departure from the Media Research Center, we were done reading about complaints that the media labeled conservatives as conservative.

But no. In his first work since leaving the MRC last may when his TimesWatch column was canceled, Waters has resurfaced at NewsBusters to, yes, make another silly labeling complaint:

The New York Times covered the latest annual gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with its usual mix of suspicion, overloaded labeling bias, and anti-GOP doomsaying. The paper's skeptical coverage of the three-day conservative confab, held this year at National Harbor on the Potomac, opened with two stories in Friday's edition, one on the organizers's attempts to put "a less strident face on the convention and the party."

Reporter Jonathan Martin's rundown of the speech by Republican star Sen. Marco Rubio, still in the mix for the 2016 presidential race, contained nine "conservative" labels, which actually makes it a model of restraint for the Times compared to last year's label-heavy reporting. Yet the question remains: Just how many "conservative" labels do you need, when the conference has the actual word "conservative" in the title?

Waters doesn't answer his question by telling us which "conservative" labels in the article, if any, he considered extraneous.

Speaking of extraneous: Waters' end-of-blog bio still lists him as an MRC employee, portrays TimesWatch as an existing thing, and links to the TimesWatch Twitter feed though it apparently no longer exists.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 PM EDT
Speaking of Indifference to Murder Victims ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill begins his March 5 WorldNetDaily column this way:

On Tuesday of this week, cop killer and former Black Panther leader Marshall “Eddie” Conway was sprung from a Maryland prison, and the NAACP greeted his release as though he were Nelson Mandela.

As the son of a cop, the nephew of a cop, the cousin of four other cops, I wish I were overstating how indifferent liberal activists were to the murder of then 35-year-old Donald Sager.

Yes, the same man who has amply demonstrated his indifference to the killings of people like Trayvon Martin and George Tiller is suddently concerned that someone might be expressing indifference about someone else's death. How ironic.

Though Cashill's column is ostensibly about the release of Eddie Conway, he leaves out crucial information -- like how long Conway was in prison before he was released. The killing for which Conway was convicted took place in 1970, which means Conway has spent more than 40 years behind bars. Conway has also consistently claimed his innocence, and there's no physical evidence linking Conway to the death; his conviction rested on a confession by one of the other defendants and testimony by a jailhouse informant.

But then, Cashill is saving his sympathy for killers like Scott Roeder, George Zimmerman and Steven Nary.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 AM EDT
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Flashback: Newsmax's First Foray Into TV
Topic: Newsmax

So Newsmax has been getting attention for the upcoming launch of its new TV news channel as a rivel to Fox News for the conservative audience. But we remember Newsmax's first attempt to get into the TV business.

In 2001, Newsmax produced a show called "NewsMax.com Reports." As we detailed at the time, it starred Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy and then-columnist Barry Farber (now with WorldNetDaily) and promised to be "the start of a new effort to reach millions of Americans with news and information the major media won't report."

It was also essentially an infomercial, airing as paid programming on CNBC on a Saturday. Newsmax also created something called the "Off-The Record Club," designed to "help NewsMax to buy national TV air time to expand our reach." For $25 a month, members were promised a monthly "special audio tape briefing from a top expert, insider or VIP – giving you an insider's perspective you won't get from the major media."

We don't know if more shows were produced beyond the one that aired, or if anyone actually signed up for the club. We assume not, because we never heard from either again.

Meanwhile, in its article on the new TV venture, Bloomberg Businessweek offers some interesting tidbits about Newsmax:

It had revenue of $104 million in 2013 --  $46 million of it in subscription revenue from its 17 newsletters and $6 million more from the sale of vitamin supplements.

The average age of Newsmax’s audience is 54.7, which makes it a prime target for things like newsletters and vitamin supplements.

It was Amway founder Richard DeVos who suggested to Ruddy that Newsmax could sell supplements to his middle-aged audience.

Newsmax has 260 employees, with plans for 300 by summer. It's moving into a new 50,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Boca Raton.

Ruddy's friendship with the Clintons could pose issues down the road: “I’m already torn by a Hillary Clinton candidacy,” he says. “I actually think she would make a good president. Generally, I would align myself with the Republican candidate, so there could be some bumps coming down the road.”


Posted by Terry K. at 11:22 PM EDT
WND's Farah: Why Can't Hillary Be More Like Putin?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The latest WNDer to to hop on the pro-Putin bandwagon is the boss himself, Joseph Farah, and he believes Putin is setting a fine example for Hillary to follow:

What else did she say about Putin?

She said, disparagingly, that he “believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness. When he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes is by its very nature part of Mother Russia.”

Is he wrong about that?

They were once united as one country. They do share much of their history. In fact, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is often referred to as the mother of Russian cities and the cradle of Rus civilization.

And is it wrong for a leader of a modern state to seek to restore greatness to his own country?

This might seem like an obtuse idea to Hillary, but what’s wrong with that objective?

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if Hillary’s party took such an attitude toward their own country?

So according to Farah, Putin is just a patriotic Russian whose patriotism should be an inspiration to Americans. No wonder nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EST
Saturday, March 8, 2014
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's a new month, and new unemployment numbers are out, so you know what that means -- it's time for CNSNews.com to distort those numbers.

Ali Meyer ably distorts in a March 7 article headlined "February: 223,000 More Unemployed Individuals."  Meyer didn't mention that 175,000 jobs were created in February, and the increase in unemployed individuals is because more people joined the labor force.

Meyer's two other articles also failed to mention that 175,000 jobs were created last month, or that the increase in the unemployment rate was driven by people entering the work force. Instead, they focused on cherry-picked statistics like "Black Teen Unemployment 32.4%" and "February: Women Unemployed Up 36,000."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EST
Logrolling In Our Time, Jim Fletcher Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've previously noted, warning flags should go up whenever WorldNetDaily columnist Jim Fletcher reviews a WND-published book -- not only is it the very definition of a conflict of interest, WND editor Joseph Farah has turned in a positive blurb for one of Fletcher's books and is selling said book at the WND store.

Fletcher's Feb. 27 WND column is a review of the WND-published book "The Rabbi Who Found Messiah," by birther Carl Gallups. To the surprise of exactly no one, Fletcher loves it, calling it a "blockbuster book" and adding: "Gallups has an uncanny ability to mention a breathtaking array of topics, and his new book doesn’t disappoint. From discussions of Kaduri and Messianic fervor, to Ariel Sharon and Christian eschatology, Gallups provides the reader with plenty to think about."

At no point does Fletcher mention that Gallups' book was published by the same company that prints his column.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 AM EST
Friday, March 7, 2014
Meanwhile ...
Topic: Media Research Center
Right Wing Watch wonders why conservatives had a fit over an atheist group at CPAC but appear to be perfectly fine with the white nationalist-linked group ProEnglish having a presence there.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EST
WND's Erik Rush Goes Anti-Obama, Pro-Putin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's a given that Erik Rush is going to say ridiculously anti-Obama things. And he does just that in his March 5 WorldNetDaily column, complete with italics:

Obviously, Obama does not care if his detractors declare that he is weak or inept at foreign policy, any more than he cares if they believe he is a poor economic manager or leader on domestic issues. His policies, which have been detrimental to America on every front – economic stability, national security, domestic tranquility, foreign policy – are the sabotage of an enemy operative, not the careless acts of a ham-handed politician.

But Rush is also jumping on the pro-Putin bandwagon being steered by his fellow WND columnists:

The Western press as well as Republican leaders are beating the drum of Putin wishing to “restore the Soviet Union,” being an international bully, a retrograde dictator and so on. We know that Ukraine has been a contested area for centuries. We also know that Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union and that Putin is an authoritarian leader. However, he is also dealing with factions (in the neighboring Ukraine, Dagestan, Chechnya and Armenia, to name but a few) that are replete with those who hold anti-Russian sentiments, including militant Islamists, some of whom have very recently carried out suicide bombings within Russia. This was precisely the reason for widespread safety concerns at the Winter Olympics at Sochi.

[...]

As I’ve recently reported in this space, the close ties between Islamists and Hitler’s Third Reich are a matter of the historical record, as are the ties between the Svoboda Party’s progenitors and the Nazis of World War II. So not only does Putin see himself fighting anti-Russian sympathies and factions in the region, he may even see himself potentially fighting neo-Nazis.

More significantly, Putin is fighting the efforts of the Obama administration, which has dedicatedly supported not only Russia’s enemies in Ukraine, but the Muslim Brotherhood and jihadists globally.

While the nationalist and borderline neo-Nazi Svoboda Party is a faction in the coalition that overthrew the Russian-backed government in Ukraine, as Slate notes, it's inaccurate to paint all Putin opponents in Ukraine as neo-Nazis, as Rush is trying to do.

As with his fellow WNDers, Rush is relying on pro-Putin propaganda. Timothy Snyder in the New York Review of Books points out that before the overthrow, then-President Viktor Yanukovych's regime was denouncing the opposition as not only Nazis but Jews as well.

There seems to be some cognitive dissonance there. But Rush will ignore that since he got in his minimum daily requirement of Obama derangement.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:37 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 7, 2014 7:39 PM EST
MRC Still Having Trouble Giving Graham Proper Credit for Writing Bozell's Columns
Topic: Media Research Center

So, you know that problem the Media Research Center has with half-assedly giving Tim Graham proper credit for ghostwriting Brent Bozell's columns? It's still happening.

The March 5 column by the two is posted at NewsBusters with both Bozell and Graham credited. But the same column posted at the MRC's "news" operation CNSNews.com once again lists only Bozell as author.

Bozell and Graham's March 7 column similarly carries only Bozell's byline at CNS.

It's coming up on a month ago now that Graham was revealed to have served as Bozell's ghostwriter for years. Not only have Bozell, Graham and the MRC refused to speak about it publicly (despite Bozell making several appearances on Fox News in the following days), the MRC still can't properly credit Graham on all its platforms.

How hard can that possibly be? Very hard, apparently.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 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

« March 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 29
30 31

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