The hackish and biased Bob Unruh turns another lazy performance in an April 2 WorldNetDaily article, coming right out of the gate to attack Common Core educational standards:
Students subject to the federal Common Core curriculum spreading in public schools nationwide will be fed “world citizenship mush,” charges an expert on education and cultural public policy.
It’s not far afield from what communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin wanted to do when he said, “Give me four years to teach the children … and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted,” writes Carole Hornsby Haynes in a WND commentary.
From there, Unruh transitions to a describing an anti-Common Core film relased by anti-Common Core homeschoolers that he wants us to believe really isn't anti-Common Core:
A new documentary, “Building the Machine,” has been released by the Home School Legal Defense Association to examine that very question.
While HSLDA has opposed Common Core since 2009, the group said it wanted a fair evaluation, so people will know the truth about Common Core.
Mike Smith, president of HSLDA, said homeschooling “has shown us that an individualized education is the best thing for a child.”
“Common Core is the complete opposite of that,” he said. “Our hope is that the film will cause a ‘great awakening’ and that parents will question the one-size-fits-all education reform being implemented behind closed doors.”
So filmmaker Ian Reid spent a year traveling the nation and interviewing education experts, including several Common Core Validation Committee members.
“We’ve been very clear from the beginning that our goal is not to produce a hit piece against the standards,” said Reid. “Rather, our goal has always been to explore the strongest arguments on both sides of the debate. In fact, we asked Michael Petrilli of the Fordham Institute, an ardent supporter of Common Core, to fact check the film, and he thanked us for fairly and accurately presenting what he believes about the Common Core.”
Of course, the HSLDA would never have released the film if it didn't ultimately attack Common Core. And Unruh is so determined to parrot pro-homeschooling propaganda that he can't be bothered to offer any balance to the story.
Thus, WND readers will never know that the Fordham Institute has put out a fact sheet addressing the film's errors:
The creators of this movie would like you to think the Common Core State Standards were created in a cloak of secrecy by a small group without the input of teachers, parents, or the public. They also falsely assert that state and federal governments broke laws in replacing old state standards. However, the process—organized by governors and state education chiefs—included many of the most accomplished educators and academics from across the United States, was thoughtful and deliberative, incredibly inclusive, totally transparent, and completely legal.
That runs counter to Unruh's pro-homeschooling narrative, so you'll never read about it at WND.
MRC Promote Crowdfunding For New Film By 'Climate Denial's Michael Moore' Topic: Media Research Center
A March 31 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute article by Katie Yoder is essentially a promotion for the crowdfunding campaign by Phelim McAleer for his new project on rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, which Yoder and McAleer describe as "America's biggest serial killer."
Yoder lets McAleer play the victim card by complaining that Kickstarter wouldn't host his crowdfunding campaign because he wouldn't tone down his language. Yoder adds, "In the past, the Phelim McAleer team garnered media applause for successfully producing the controversial documentary film 'FrackNation' via Kickstarter."
Actually, not so much. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that "FrackNation's" "roster of 'executive producers' who have donated at least $1 includes scores of energy industry associates," adding that "Available footage and trailers of 'FrackNation' play rather like industry commercials that have already been seen across Western Pennsylvania, telling stories of farmers and landowners who say gas drilling provides economic stability."
Clinton Derangement Syndrome, WND Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
While waiting my turn in a DMV office, I randomly glanced at the television. Just as my number was called, a photo of Hillary Clinton flashed on the screen along with this caption:
“Probably my worst quality is that I get very passionate about what I think is right.”
I don’t think I’ve ever read such an oxymoronic statement.
I tried very hard to wrap my mind around equating Hillary Clinton with passion for anything that is right.
If asked to name a quality about Hillary Clinton, the words “right” and “quality” do not come to mind. In fact, I cannot think of a single quality that is to be admired – and I don’t say that flippantly. I feel this way because Hillary Clinton is downright corrupt and cruel.
Hillary has passion – albeit passion for political power that doesn’t serve to lift America to higher heights, but rather, tear her down.
Hillary supports late-term abortions; supports amnesty; supports higher taxes and large budget deficits. Hillary lies and attempts to cover her messy tracks. Her dark past reeks of mayhem, murder and mystery even while serving as first lady.
Dan Gainor's Hypocrisy on Ideological Diversity Topic: Media Research Center
For someone who is supposed to be a Media Research Center employee, local apparatchik Dan Gainor sure doesn't get published by the MRC much these days -- he tends to pop up at other right-wing outlets, and even then, the articles get minimal, if any, promotion from the MRC.
Thus, we had to go all the way to the Blaze to discover a March 28 column by Gainor complaining that new startup journalism websites are rife with liberals. He fails to notice the fact that most conservatives don't care about journalism, they care about advocacy -- which is why conservative newspapers need the assistance of a deep-pocketed benefactor to stay afloat.
Never one to let facts get in his way, Gainor goes on to complain:
The reality is liberal credentials are never enough for the left. One departure from whatever is the official left-wing position and you are out. Look what happened to Alec Baldwin, a patron saint of lefty Hollywood.
That’s why it’s unlikely for these sites or others – Buzzfeed, Politco, et al – to even try neutrality, much less lean right. Even a slight attempt at diversity of thought and they will get skewered by the left and the journalism community. That leaves the rest of us with an ever-growing diet of well-funded liberal start-ups with too few conservative operations to balance them out.
Ironically, the Guardian’s Bell ended her piece by complaining the new start-ups were just a “repackaging of the status quo.” She added: “A revolution calls for a regime change of more significant depth.”
She’s entirely right, just not the way she intended.
Journalism doesn’t need a multi-hued, “Modern Family” of liberal reporters and editors. A true revolution would be for these start-ups to grasp that 38 percent of Americans are conservative and try to represent them, too.
Gainor has apparently failed to notice that right-wing journalistic startups are hardly paragons of ideological diversity. Where are the liberal writers at The Blaze? At Breitbart? At the Daily Caller?
Gainor doesn't have to look that far for an example -- in fact, he doesn't even have to leave the MRC headquarters. Where are the liberal writers at the MRC's ostensible "news" operation, CNSNews.com?
When Gainor can answer these questions, perhaps then he would have some moral standing to question ideological diversity at supposedly "liberal" websites.
WND Posts Wrong Photo Of Fort Hood Shooter Topic: WorldNetDaily
As the story of the shooting at Fort Hood developed last night, WND editor Joseph Farah tweeted that WND had an "exclusive photo of shooter." WND's main story by Chelsea Schilling on the shooting contains this image, plucked from the Killeen Daily Herald, a newspaper located near Fort Hood:
Just one problem: That isn't the shooter. The Daily Herald has stated that the photo is not of the Ivan Lopez who has been identified as the Fort Hood shooter. The paper reports that the image "was used without permission by other media outlets," and that the image has been removed from its website "to prevent its circulation with other media outlets' reports of Wednesday's shooting." Poynter reports that the Herald will run a story about the innocent man and his experience.
That picture is still posted in WND's main story on the shooting. Don't expect WND to apologize for its irresponsible error or for stealing the content of another news organization without permission.
UPDATE: WND has now deleted the photo from Schilling's article, though it strangely retains a section of the article describing the photo. As expected, it did not even acknowledge that the photo was removed, let alone apologize for falsely identifying someone as a mass murderer for a good 18 hours or explain why it used another news organization's work without permission or compensation.
NewsBusters' Pierre Still Whitewashing Catholic Church Abuse Topic: NewsBusters
Dave Pierre is the Media Research Center's official whitewasher of sexual abuse allegations against Catholic clergy, desperate to mislead in order to divert attention away from the longstanding scandal.
Pierre strikes again in an April 1 NewsBusters post trying to obfuscate things, starting with a claim that a new audit of abuse in the church was issued by "independent experts." In fact, the report was issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is arguably less than independent. Pierre also conveniently ignores the limitations of the audit -- namely, that it depends heavily on self-reporting and that most Catholic dioceses refused to let the USCCB's independent auditor, a company called StoneBridge, conduct its own parish-level audits:
In 2013, as in 2011 and 2012, most dioceses and all eparchies opted not to have StoneBridge conduct parish audits. Some dioceses countered that they perform their own audits and elected to opt out of having StoneBridge also audit them. Parishes and schools represent the front lines in any diocese’s or eparchy’s Charter compliance efforts. If a diocese or eparchy does not conduct some form of audit of its parishes and schools—whether by diocesan/eparchial representative or external auditor such as StoneBridge—the bishop or eparch cannot be sure that Charter-related policies and procedures are clearly communicated and effectively carried out. At the chancery or pastoral center, our auditors may review certain Charter implementation policies, and observe related back office procedures, but without observing the same procedures at the parish/school level, we are unable to verify that parishes and schools are complying with the Charter.
Nevertheless, Pierre is in full spin mode, declaring that "there were only ten contemporaneous abuse allegations made against priests even deemed 'credible' in all of 2013" and that "bogus accusations against Catholic priests are rampant." Of course, Pierre's low number for "contemporaneous abuse allegations" is not a reflection of reality, since many allegations of abuse come years after the fact.
Pierre huffed that Only a mere 14.6% of all 2013 cases were even deemed "substantiated" by the liberal standards of review boards" without mentioning that the review boards in question are operated by the dioceses or explaining how its standards are supposedly "liberal." Pierre also portrays the audit's claim that "90% of all abuse accusations last year allege incidents from at least 25 years ago" as something to be proud of instead of the ongoing source of concern it actually is.
So, yes, Pierre is still an apologist for the church, trying to pretend sexual abuse never was a real problem.
P.S. While NewsBusters published this, neither it nor any other MRC outlet has yet to acknowledge Catholic activist Austin Ruse's assertion that liberal professors should be shot.
NEW ARTICLE: Bob Unruh's Favorite Disbarred Lawyer Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily reporter encapsulates his employer's sloppy approach to journalism with his fawning, highly biased coverage of an anti-abortion attorney in Kansas who lost his law license for repeated professional misconduct. Read more >>
Newsmax Blames Liberals For Criticism of Columnist, Ignores His Threats Topic: Newsmax
In a March 30 Newsmax article, Elliot Jager tries to portray a writer as a victim for daring to criticize global warming:
Statistician Nate Silver, who became a darling of Democrats for his accurate predictions that President Barack Obama would win re-election, continues to face flack from liberal critics for hiring University of Colorado environmental scholar Roger Pielke to write on science and climate for his new FiveThirtyEight website.
Michael Mann, writing in The Huffington Post, said he was "crestfallen" and disappointed that Silver "parrots" the "false arguments" of climate skeptics in his own writing on climate change, which Mann characterized as "marred" and "misguided."
The Daily Kos said that Nate Silver was "pushing a new phase of Global Warming denialism."
Dan Satterfield wrote on the American Geophysical Union blog that "shameless self promotion" motivated Silver to hire Pielke. "Look at all the free publicity he got by announcing the hire, and even more after Pielke's first piece on the new website."
Blogger Peter Sinclair described Pielke's essay as so "catastrophic" that it may have undermined the credibility of Silver's site "right at the start."
But Jager didn't mention that Pielke has been accused of threatening his critics with legal action for criticizing his FivethirtyEight piece. Silver has issued an apology to the critics.
Logrolling In Our Time, Jim Fletcher Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Jim Fletcher has a moderately unethical habit of giving exceedingly postiive reviews of books published by the company that publishes his column, and he does so again with his April 1 review of the newly published WND book, "Blood Moons":
Into these passages stepped a quiet pastor, Mark Biltz. Now, almost to his startled surprise, his new book, “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs,” is shattering sales records as readers can’t get enough of the subject.
Biltz, founder of El Shaddai Ministries, in Washington state, has lectured all over the world, and one of the more important facts about his story is that he is the first to uncover the blood moons impact. As with most popular subjects, there are other titles on this subject, but it would be hard to find another anywhere near as thorough and absorbing as “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs.”
At no point does Fletcher mention that "Blood Moons" is a WND publication.
MRC Dishonestly Smears La Raza Again Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's MRC Latino project, as we've noted, is undermined by the MRC's reputation for being less than friendly to Hispanics. A March 27 MRC Business & Media Institute item by Sean Long is another example:
Rather than dismissing his contrary views as sour grapes, the media simply ignore César Chávez’s opinions that stray from liberal orthodoxy.
Chávez was a 1960s and 70s union leader who promoted unionization and Californian farm workers’ strikes. The farm workers of the time were predominantly Latino. He is particularly famous for the Delano grape strike: a five-year strike and boycott against Californian grapes. Liberals seized on this boycott, as well as several high profile hunger strikes, to promote Chávez as a symbol of immigrant and Latino rights.
Even today, prominent media outlets often praise Chávez, just as they lauded his movement during the 1960s. With the new biopic, “César Chávez,” being released on March 28 ahead of his March 31 birth date, immigration activists have once again begun invoking his legacy.
However, Chávez reportedly compared La Raza to Hitler and called for increased enforcement against illegal immigration but liberal media outlets ignore these statements while using his legacy to promote their own agenda on immigration and identity politics.
Long's source for the claim about Chavez likening La Raza to Hitler is a 2009 National Review blog post by anti-immigration activist Mark Krikorian about an oblique reference to a “la raza” group Chavez made in 1969.
It’s dishonest for Long to suggest that today’s La Raza is like the “la raza” movement of the late '60s or to portray Chavez’s 1969 criticism as applying to all “Latino advocacy groups.” The fact that the Cesar Chavez Foundation is a La Raza affiliate also undercuts the argument.
Further, whatever differences Chavez had with "la raza" groups disappeared a few years later. A book of essays on Chavez notes that most of those groups were working with Chavez's United Farm Workers, and activists were crediting Chavez with creating ethnic pride among Hispanics.
The MRC has previously falsely attacked La Raza as a "radical" and "separatist" group.
WND, Unsurprisingly, Hates 'Noah' Film Topic: WorldNetDaily
It was a given that the biblical literalists at WorldNetDaily would despise the film "Noah" -- so much so, in fact, tnat it tried to capitalize on the film's publicity by publishing a book called "Noah: The Real Story." (Hey, just because WND despises the idea of a non-literal Noah doesn't mean they're averse to making a buck off it.)
It was also a given that WND's movie reviewer, Drew Zahn, would also despise the film. But the question was: How would he despise it? He manages to find a somewhat fresh take in his March 30 review, likening it to some game called “Two Truths and a Lie” (spoiler: the movie is the lie):
For the Bible is very clear from the first of Noah’s story that God established a promise (the biblical word is “covenant”) with Noah and his descendants, and even as He commanded the family to leave the Ark, God told the humans to be fruitful and multiply. Scripture says God was grieved with humanity, but Noah found favor in his eyes. The plan all along was for God to show mercy upon Noah and his family, to reveal God’s salvation from his own justice. It’s a story all about God – revealed through Noah, but still all about God.
“Noah,” however, cuts out the most important part of the story. In “Noah,” God announces not mercy, but judgment and judgment alone. Then He goes silent. He abandons Noah to decide whether humanity will live or not.
That’s great drama, but demonic theology.
SPOILER ALERT: Then, in the critical moment, it’s not God who chooses love and mercy, but Noah. God is the bad guy in this movie, and Noah is the good guy. That’s just a wicked lie coated in the disguise of other truths.
And even though Emma Watson delivers a speech in the end that makes it appear as though God might be merciful in having chosen Noah for this task, she still reasserts it is not God who chose to save humanity, but Noah. As though God just abdicated his throne and delegated that critical call to Noah.
Look, I don’t really mind fictionalizing the story and embellishing it with rock monsters and all kinds of other glitz. I’ll forgive straying from the details of the story to spice up the drama. But when Darren Aronofsky took a story about God’s mercy and instead made it about his wrath, when it substitutes God’s indifference for God’s intimate love, when it makes God out to be the villain of the film … that’s not just fiction; it’s evil.
Presumably the millions of human and animal souls who perished in the flood, not all of whom guilty of anything in particular, felt somewhat different about the nature of God's mercy.
MRC, Not A Fan of Hispanics, Launches Effort to Monitor Hispanic Media Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has launched MRC Latino, described as an attempt to subject Spanish-language media to "consistent conservative engagement and scrutiny for fairness, accuracy and journalistic integrity."
Of course, the MRC's "research" is hardly anyone's guide for how to monitor for "fairness, accuracy and journalistic integrity" since it is so skewed and unscientific. That would seem to undermine the entire premise of the enterprise.
So would another salient point: the MRC has long been hostile to Hispanics and their causes, like immigration reform.
Right Wing Watch notes that MRC chief Brent Bozell has called for the expulsion of Republican leadership if it moved ahead with immigration reform, and he complained that the media was "pandering to minority voters as the most crucial, special voters of all," Latinos in particular.
A look through ConWebWatch's archives reveals more MRC hostility to Hispanics:
MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, repeatedly portrays any form of immigration reform as "amnesty," despite the inaccuracy of the term.
The MRC has complained that the media won't uncritically parrot right-wing attacks on immigration reform (like calling it amnesty) and that it dares to present undocumented immigrants as human.
CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has a laughably simplistic view of illegal immigration, suggesting that illegal immigrants are all uneducated liberals who refuse to attend church (though the opposite is true).
As Right Wing Watch states, Bozell -- who once compared President Obama to "skinny ghetto crackhead" -- may want to consider if he himself is playing a role in damaging the GOP brand by attacking Hispanic media.
WND's Klein Again Champions His Favorite Traitor, Jonathan Pollard Topic: WorldNetDaily
Talk of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard being released by the United States as a bargaining chip in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is having one completely expected result: WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein once again coming to the defense of his favorite traitor.
Klein whitewashes Pollard's deeds yet again in a March 31 WND article:
Pollard worked as a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst and was indicted in 1985 on one count of passing classified information to an ally, Israel, and sentenced to life imprisonment in spite of a plea agreement that was to spare him a life sentence.
Pollard’s sentence is considered by many to be disproportionate to the crime for which he was convicted. He is the only person in U.S. history to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally. The median sentence for the offense is two to four years.
The unprecedented sentence was largely thought to have been driven by a last-minute secret memorandum from Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, in which he accused Pollard of treason – a crime for which he was never indicted – and claimed Pollard harmed America’s national security.
But Pollard did, in fact, harm national security. As we documented, prosecutor John L. Martin has said that the classified documents Pollard gave Israel access to would fill a space 10 feet by 6 feet by 6 feet, and the law makes no distinction between spying for an ally or an enemy. Former prosecutor Joe diGenova pointed out that Pollard received about $500,000 a year plus expenses for giving intelligence documents to Israeli agents, and that it "cost between $3 billion and $5 billion to fix because of what he compromised."
Yet Klein still thinks Pollard caused no damage and was punished unfairly.
NewsBusters' Ken Shepherd devotes a March 25 post to laboriously explaining why voter ID laws are needed even if the voter fraud such laws would prevent doesn't really exist.
Responding to an MSNBC article pointing out that voter-fraud allegations are overblown, Shepherd writes:
Granted, it is fair to highlight and criticize a politician for exuberant rhetoric, but that alone does not seem to be MSNBC's aim. Regardless of how prevalent voter fraud is, prophylactic measures to prevent FUTURE fraud are legitimate policy measures for state governments to pursue. What's more, while there may be only a handful of cases in the past 13 years that progressed far enough in an investigation to strongly suggest if not prove voter fraud, that by no means suggests that every instance of voter fraud in the past few years has in fact gone detected and documented. There are plenty of crimes which occur on a daily basis a large number of which are never reported, much less investigated.
What's more, in instances where an election was not substantially close but the losing party has suspicions of voter fraud, investigations into the same would not have generated a change in the electoral outcome and, accordingly, may not have been pursued.
Shepherd is really stretching things here by going into purely speculative mode. It demonstrates the weakness of his argument.
Nevertheless, he goes on, responding to a claim that voter-ID laws are ineffective against the most common form of voter fraud, misuse of absentee ballots:
Of course, in-person balloting is similarly done via secret ballot, which is all the more reason why it's important to prevent someone fraudulently voting in person when claiming to be another individual.
Suppose it's 7:30 a.m. on election day and a Joe Jones fraudulently obtains a ballot intended for a Sam Smith, who has not yet voted. The precinct worker crosses Sam Smith off the rolls as having voted, and Joe Jones votes a secret ballot which, of course, cannot be un-voted. Later in the day, Sam Smith comes in to vote after work only to find his name has already been crossed off the voter roll. The best case scenario is that Mr. Smith will get and mark up a provisional ballot, which may not be counted when all is said and done, while Jones's fraudulently-cast ballot will most certainly be counted.
In the final analysis, this may not swing the election held that day, but in a real sense, Smith was disenfranchised and Jones was able to cast a vote which he was not entitled by law to cast.
That argument might have some weight if he hadn't conceded earlier in the post that there is no widespread voter fraud of that type.
If the MSNBC network really cared about the public policy issues in play, they could give viewers and website readers a thorough exploration of the pros and cons of voter ID laws. But alas, the aim is not illumination but excitation: whipping up the Democratic Party base in an election year to fear and loathe the GOP, all in service of protecting Democrats from an electoral bloodletting.
Shepherd, on the other hand, is trying to whip up the Republican base to fear and loathe Democrats by fearmongering about voter fraud he can't prove exists.