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Tuesday, June 3, 2014
There's A Reason Live Action Is Ignored By Non-Right-Wing Media
Topic: Media Research Center

Katie Yoder writes in a May 28 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute item:

It seems like prime media bait: a group accusing a taxpayer funded organization of horrors from racism to sex trafficking. Except that the story is centered on abortion – and the accused is Planned Parenthood.

Pro-life advocacy group Live Action has released an  investigative report and video compiling “shocking activity” that occurs within Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics. As part of a Planned Parenthood Exposed campaign, Live Action asked Americans to sign a petition to halt the $500 million per year in taxpayer money that funds Planned Parenthood. Members of Congress received copies of the report on May 28, according to the press release.

The fact that Yoder is uncritically copying from a Live Action  press release shows us the low level of scrutiny she is providing the group. And why should she question anything Lila Rose's group does? They adhere to Yoder's anti-abortion agenda, and that's all she needs to know.

Yoder laments that Live Action "most likely can’t rely on the media to spread its message" -- but she can certainly count on the MRC to do so, which presumably is why Yoder is so willing to be the group's hype woman. But she ignores a key reason what that is: Lila Rose is as dishonest as the activist who trained her, James O'Keefe.

Media Matters has documented how Rose's group has released numerous false attacks on and dishonest smears of Planned Parenthood, which Rose has apparently declared her mortal enemy. 

Yoder will never tell you about any of that, of course -- that runs counter to her little PR operation.

Neither will the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com, which published a May 30 article by Zoey DiMauro that promotes Rose's campaign of dishonesty and made no apparent effort to let any of her critics respond.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:53 PM EDT
WND's 'Shack' Attack Returns
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Over the past few years, WorldNetDaily has steadily attacked a Christian book called "The Shack" for deviating too far from WND's preferred right-wing fundamentalism. Now that "The Shack" is being made into a film, WND's long knives are coming out again.

Bob Unruh does the duty this time in a June 1 WND article:

Hollywood insiders report the next major leap for the message in William Paul Young’s million-selling book “The Shack” is a first-run movie featuring the talents of Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba and Forest Whitaker.

According to an Indiewire report, Whitaker will direct and star in the Summit Entertainment film based on a book that has become iconic among evangelicals but also has drawn strong criticism for its theology.

One of the chief critics of “The Shack,” James B. De Young, is a former neighbor and colleague of Young who authored a response, “Burning Down ‘The Shack.’” De Young charges that “The Shack” minimizes God’s holiness and judgment, distorts the work of Christ on the cross and falsely grants forgiveness and salvation to everyone, a doctrine known as universalism.

Today only! Stunning exposé of ‘The Shack’ – just 99 cents! Discover how the ‘Christian’ bestseller is deceiving millions

“I remain convinced that ‘The Shack’ is aberrant theology,” De Young told WND on Tuesday. “‘The Shack’ goes to the heart of universal reconciliation, Christian universalism.”

Unmentioned by Unruh: DeYoung's attack book was published by WND. And being an Unruh article, the original author of "The Shack" is not given an opportunity to respond to his critics. 

Which makes Unruh's article less of an attack piece and more of an undisclosed in-house ad.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:02 AM EDT
Monday, June 2, 2014
MRC Still Peddling Lies About Rachel Carson
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham devoted their May 30 column to lamenting the existence of a "horrible myth" that Ronald Reagan's silence on the growing AIDS epidemic caused people to die, citing a rant by gay activist Larry Kramer: "Our murderer is dead. The man who murdered more gay people than anyone in the entire history of the world, is dead. More people than Hitler even."

Meanwhile, those who work for Bozell and Graham are busy pushing their own horrible death myths.

In a May 27 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock rants:

The liberals at Google honored radical environmentalist Rachel Carson on their home page, Tuesday, in honor of what would have been her 107th birthday. With the Google logo in the background, an illustration featured the late Carson in the wilderness, next to birds, turtles and butterflies. Clicking on this picture will bring web browsers to a search of all things Carson. Journalists, Al Gore and Hollywood have long lauded the activist. But few of them have questioned her accuracy or impact.

Carson's claim to fame came when she published Silent Spring in 1962. The book warned of the dangers of pesticide to birds and lobbied for banning the chemical DDT. However, this contention turned out to be flat-out wrong and has had deadly consequences. As San Jose State University entomologist J. Gordon Edwards explained: "This implication that DDT is horribly deadly is completely false.  Human volunteers have ingested as much as 35 milligrams of it a day for nearly two years and suffered no adverse effects.  Millions of people have lived with DDT intimately during the mosquito spray programs and nobody even got sick as a result."

In an article entitled "Rachel Carson's Deadly Fantasies," Forbes writer Henry Miller explained how Carson's fear-mongering cost millions of lives: 

[...]

Will Google do a tribute to the millions who died because of DDT bans?

Except little of that is actually true. As we pointed out the last time the MRC did this, Carson never advocated for banning DDT, just that they not be overused. And for good reason -- overuse was creating DDT-resistant mosquitoes. Also, the U.S. ban on DDT didn't apply to the rest of the world and, thus, could not possibly have caused "millions of lives." Further, DDT is undenably destructive to the environment.

We will see Google do "a tribute to the millions who died because of DDT bans" before conservatives like Whitlock acknowledges the millions of deaths caused DDT-resistant mosquitoes.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EDT
WND Freaks Out Over Preserving Gay Landmarks
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily, as befits a website with an anti-gay agenda, is not taking well the news that the federal government wants to preserve gay-related landmarks.

WND promoted a May 29 article on the subject on the front page with the headline "Obama's feds to honor America's moral decline":

The headline of the actual article is only slightly less awful: "'Gay' national monuments to rewrite America's history."

The article itself, by Bob Unruh (which, despite WND's promotion, does not mention Obama), makes no mention of any purported "rewriting" of American history; rather, Unruh spends much of it seizing on the idea that Harvey Milk’s former camera shop in San Francisco might be considered a landmark to rehash right-wing attacks on Milk and to quote a right-wing activist ludicrously complaining that popularity should determine what history gets preserved.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 AM EDT
Sunday, June 1, 2014
NewsBusters Fooled By Fake Seth Rogen Twitter Account
Topic: NewsBusters

Jeffrey Lord dedicated a May 31 NewsBusters post to attacking actor Seth Rogen for allegedly issuing a tweet in 2012 bashing Mitt Romney. Why do that? To claim hypocrisy over Rogen's outrage over Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday for suggesting Rogen's films may have inspired mass killer Elliot Rodger: "So in other words, Rogen, who now finds Hornaday’s article 'horribly insulting and misinformed' was himself out there in 2012 making a 'horribly insulting and misinformed' charge against Mitt Romney."

Just one problem: Rogen didn't actually make the Twitter post Lord criticized. As Mediaite details, it came from a Rogen parody Twitter account. The real Rogen, meanwhile, is mocking NewsBusters for the stupid mistake.

Lord has now appended a correction to his post, which is still alive even though the entire  premise wasfraudulent:

Seth Rogen has “parody” twitter accounts. And he’s upset with me because I mistakenly quoted one of them as real. He has called me an “idiot.”  The source where I found this originally - and duly and deliberately linked - was the lefty MoveOn.   MoveOn was apparently fooled by the “Real Seth” parody, which in turn fooled me, although in fact the parody was well out there. MoveOn having long ago become a parody I was quite happy to link it. So the notion that a Hollywood liberal would simply parrot this Romney/Klan story was all too easy to believe. But in fact, it was a parody. Our apologies for the error.

Lord, normally a writer for the right-wing American Spectator, is best known for insisting that a black man beaten to death in segregation-era Georgia wasn't technically "lynched" because his assailants didn't hang him and there weren't enough of them to form a proper mob. Lord stood by his article even as his AmSpec compatriots wouldn't defend him.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Southern Poverty Law Center details the latest crusade of WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi: In league with the racist-tinged group TeaParty.org, he's calling for the impeachment of President Obama over "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, despite the fact that Corsi is misusing the term and the anti-immigration group's report he's relying on is highly flawed.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:43 PM EDT
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Accuracy in Media Edition
Topic: Accuracy in Media

For Barack Obama speeches are not just motivational instruments or representations of a desired state of affairs, but feats of political transubstantiation, where, if he utters them, words become reality.

It is a behavior not dissimilar to Adolf Hitler maneuvering imaginary German divisions from his Berlin bunker while Russian troops rampage throughout the city above him.

-- Lawrence Sellin, May 29 Accuracy in Media column


Posted by Terry K. at 11:34 PM EDT
Lying Preacher Bradlee Dean Spews More Obama Derangement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Lying preacher Bradlee Dean is at it again in his May 29 WorldNetDaily column:

On Memorial Day, Barack Obama unashamedly did his best to attempt to save face by showing up at Arlington National Cemetery with the hopes that you would believe that he supports American ideals, along with our boys and girls in uniform. All the while, he spends his allotted time (to America’s own demise) destroying and desecrating their memories by trampling the Constitution they sacrificed themselves to magnify.

Strangely, Dean offered no evidence whatsoever that Obama spent his Memorial Day speech "destroying and desecrating their memories by trampling the Constitution they sacrificed themselves to magnify." In fact, Dean quotes Obama saying things that even Dean could agree with:

“We rededicate ourselves to our sacred obligations to all who wear America’s uniform, and to the families who stand by them always,” Obama said, pledging troops would have needed resources and that the United States would continue to search for those who had gone missing or become prisoners of war.

“As we’ve been reminded in recent days, we must do more to keep faith with our veterans and their families, and ensure they get the care and benefits and opportunities that they’ve earned and that they deserve,” he said.

Nevertheless, Dean huffs, "Again, Obama is hoping that you will put the crimes he has committed, and is committing against the American people on a daily basis, out of your mind." Just like Dean his hoping you do with his lengthy record of lies.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 PM EDT
Friday, May 30, 2014
Newsmax TV Targets 'Disenfranchised Baby Boomers'?
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax made the big announcement in a May 29 article by Robert O'Leary:

Focused on serving an audience of more than 80 million disenfranchised baby boomers, Newsmax Media Inc.'s Newsmax TV has signed a distribution deal with DirecTV and is accelerating toward a national launch that expects to reach 40 percent of U.S. cable and satellite homes by the end of this year.

Newsmax TV also plans a major OTT platform rollout with penetration estimated in excess of 100 million iOS and Android smart devices.

Wait -- "disenfranchised baby boomers"?

Actually, Newsmax's audience is quite enfranchised -- according to Newsmax itself. Here's how the media kit for Newsmax magazine describes its demographics:

  • 72% are men
  • 93% are 55 and older
  • 30% have a portfolio valued at $500,000-2,000,000
  • 83% own a single family home
  • 17% are professionals or business owners
  • 57% are college graduates or higher
  • 45% have a total net worth of $500,000+

And here's the demographics for Newsmax.com, according to its media kit:

  • 51% of readers are male.
  • 58% of the Newsmax.com audience is 55 years of age or older.
  • 79% of readers have attended college.
  • 26% of readers are retired.
  • 61% of readers have a household income of $60,000+
  • 47% of readers have a household income of $75,000+
  • 20% more likely to have completed Graduate School and received a degree.
  • 45% more likely to have no children living in the household.
  • 48% more likely to own a Condominium.

Both media kits tout how "Newsmax Media reaches afflfluent and inflfluential readers," particularly "conservative voters, families with high household incomes, vacation travelers, or car buyers."

If that's being "disenfranchised," where can we sign up?


Posted by Terry K. at 5:14 PM EDT
WND's Unruh Links To, But Does Not Quote From, Court Ruling He Disagrees With
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh uses a May 23 WorldNetDaily article to crank out one of his one-sided specials, this time regarding the case of a police captain ordered to attend an "Islamic mosque where Muslims 'discussed Islamic beliefs, Muhammad, Mecca, and why and how Muslims pray' in addition to encouraging officers 'to buy' Islamic books and pamphlets that were for sale."

Unruh links to the judge's ruling in the case but, curiously, does not directly quote from it anywhere in his artice. Instead, much of the article is dedicated to bashing the ruling andtelling the case from the side of the plaintiff and his attorneys at the right-wing American Freedom Law Center.

As such, Unruh's readers don't get to read the reason that Capt. Paul Fields' lawsuit was dismissed in the full words of the judge who dismissed it:

First, the Attendance Order did not burden Fields’s religious rights because it did not require him to violate his personal religious beliefs by attending the event; he could have obeyed the order by ordering others to attend, and he has not contended on appeal that he had informed his supervisors that doing so would have violated his religious beliefs. Second, the order did not violate the Establishment Clause because no informed, reasonable observer would have perceived the order or the event as a government endorsement of Islam. Third, the order did not burden Fields’s right of association because it did not interfere with his right to decide what organizations to join as a member. Fourth, Fields’s equal-protection claim duplicates his free-exercise claim and fails for the same reason. And fifth, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Fields’s motion to amend the complaint to add ORFA and free-speech retaliation claims because the amendment would have been futile. He has provided no reason why his ORFA claim could succeed when his religion claims under the First Amendment do not. And his retaliation claim would fail because the interests of the Tulsa Police Department (TPD) as an employer outweighed Fields’s free-speech interests in filing his suit.

[...]

Because the Attendance Order did not violate Fields’s right to the free exercise of religion, TPD could lawfully punish him for violating it. An invalid religious objection to an order that does not burden your free exercise of religion does not immunize you from punishment for violation of the order.

The judge also shot down AFLC's (and, thus, Unruh's) suggestion that the event was solely about prostelyzation. In fact, the mosque was hosting a law-enforcement appreciation event:

No informed reasonable person could view the purpose or effect of TPD’s attendance at the event as suggesting that Islam is a preferred religion. Officers attending the event were not required to attend a religious service (and the timing of visits ensured that no officer would be required to be there during a service), read Islamic literature, or even discuss Islam. Those who wished to learn more about Islam could do so. The Establishment Clause does not prohibit governmental efforts to promote tolerance, understanding, and neighborliness. There is no evidence in the record of any attempts to convert officers to Islam, as opposed to providing information. And in any event, if perhaps some representatives of the Center crossed the line, there is nothing that would suggest to a reasonable observer that such conduct had received governmental endorsement.

But since Unruh is such a lazy and biased reporter -- and WND is paying him for that laziness and bias -- his readers won't know the full truth about this case.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 30, 2014 12:48 AM EDT
Thursday, May 29, 2014
CNS Blogger Cheers Putin's Disrespect of Obama
Topic: CNSNews.com

Barbara Boland devotes a May 23 CNSNews.com blog post to expressing her pleasure that Russia's Vladimir Putin dissed President Obama and got cheered for doing so:

Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to Obama's accusations that he's lied about the Ukraine with: "Who is he to judge? Who is he to judge, seriously? If he wants to judge, why doesn't he get a job in court somewhere."

Putin's answer brought cheers and clapping from the crowd at the St. Petersburg economic conference where he was interviewed.

The CNBC interviewer asked Putin: "You have said 'we are a room full of adults,' so let's have an adult conversation. President Obama has accused you of untruths, as you know, when it comes to supporting some of the separatist groups in the Ukraine..."

Putin responded through an interpreter:

"Who is he to judge? Who is he to judge, seriously?" The crowd began to laugh and clap.  "If he wants to judge people, why doesn't he get a job in court somewhere?"

"I don't think he accused me," Putin added for emphasis. "It's his point of view. And I have my point of view when he comes to certain things."

Then, after a pause, "What is it that interested you about what [Obama] said?"

At that point, both the interviewer and the crowd broke out in laughter.

Boland certainly does not disapprove of Putin's insult. Perhaps she should move to Russia if she prefers him as a leader.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 PM EDT
WND's Farber Finds New Heroes In Fringe Fox Newsers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barry Farber excitedly writes in his May 27 WorldNetDaily column:

Fox News has come up with the best political show on television. It’s called “The Political Insiders,” and you’ll never see an ivory tower, self-proclaimed political “consultant,” “strategist” or political “expert.” All three partners on the show have been muddied and bloodied in the political trenches for real. They are Doug Schoen, former pollster for the Clintons; Pat Caddell, former pollster for Jimmy Carter; and John LeBoutillier, former congressman from New York.

Each open-handedly and fist-clenchedly bashes his own party without hesitation or apology. When you watch “The Political Insiders,” you may feel like a resident of Communist Europe hearing Radio Free Europe for the first time!

We've previously noted that Pat Caddell hasn't done anything for Democrats for years, if not decades. Similarly, Doug Schoen is a "Fox News Democrat" who has raised funds for Republicans.

LeBoutillier, of course, is the former Newsmax columnist who got too ridiculous for them even as they were still a rabidly anti-Clinton operation, refusing to publish a column of his making sleazy allegations about Gary Condit's sex life. LeBoutillier also co-wrote a bizarre novel based on Obama birther conspiracy theories.

These are the people Farber considers to be his new heroes.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 PM EDT
Newsmax Promotes 'Experts' Pushing Dubious Claim About Keystone Pipeline
Topic: Newsmax

Melanie Batley writes in a May 27 Newsmax article:

President Barack Obama's reluctance to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, despite widespread popular support for the project, is not only hindering America's energy independence but driving up the price of gas for American consumers.

According to a column in Forbes Magazine by Kathleen Hartnett White and Vance Ginn, experts at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, recent geopolitical instability and disruptions and bottlenecks in the supply of Brent crude oil from the North Sea have driven up costs for American refiners, leading to higher retail prices at the pump.

Batley doesn't mention that the Texas Public Policy Foundation is a right-wing think tank that pays its analysts to come up with opinions like that.

Batley also ignores that other experts hold other opinions on the Keystone pipeline's effect on oil prices. 

The Washington Post has noted that not even the company that wants to build the pipeline is claiming that it will lower gas prices. And another Forbes columnist suggests that the pipeline might actually raise gas prices.

But most experts agree that the Keystone pipeline will little to no effect on gas prices in the U.S., since it's unlikely that oil companies will pass on their pipeline-derived savings to consumers.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:22 PM EDT
WND Remains A Fact-Free Zone For Birther Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is a world where the most ridiculous claims about President Obama's birth certificate have never been challenged and WND's crediiblity hasn't been irrevocably ruined by peddling increasingly outlandish claims about the president.

Which explains why WND's Unruh still considers Donald Trump to be a credible source on birther conspiracies. Unruh writes in a May 28 article:

Billionaire Donald Trump has revealed he offered Barack Obama a $50 million donation to the president’s favorite charities in exchange for releasing his personal records, but Obama never responded.

“I would take it, and I’d give it to Chicago charities, and I would give it to all sorts of charities,” Trump said at a recent appearance at the National Press Club. “And they can use the money.”

Trump originally offered to give $5 million to Obama’s pick of charities if he would release his college and passport records.

WND reported that Trump wanted to know the place of birth Obama claimed when applying for college admission and aid.

But there was no deal.

Unruh doesn't mention any evidence Trump offered to back up his claim. Instead, he rehashes Trump's previous birther rantings and recycles the WND version of birther history, which conveniently omits the fact that most of it has been discredited.

Is Unruh really that lazy of a reporter, or is he so far in the WND bubble that the truth can't reach him anymore?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
MRC's Sharyl Attkisson Dissonance Continues
Topic: Media Research Center

A May 15 Media Research Center item by Sean Long does something we weren't sure the MRC was going to do -- call out its new BFF, former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, for her shoddy reporting on vaccines:

More than simply covering the connection, some reporters, including former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson who reported anecdotes and interviewed many families convinced that vaccines caused their children’s autism.

Attkisson was particularly prone to report such anecdotes. Some segments, such as May 18, 2004, “Evening News” began and ended with minute long interviews with parent who blamed vaccines for their children’s autism. She even ended that story by asking, “How can it be wrong to err on the side of caution?”

In a similar broadcast on June 12, 2004, Attkisson included an anti-vaccination parent at a rally who claimed, “The CDC is going to become the Enron of the vaccine industry.” The Enron Corporation had recently collapsed in part due to fraudulent financial practices.

Years later, on April 21, 2014, Attkisson defended her vaccine reporting to CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” calling them “some of the most important stories I’ve done.”

But being the MRC, this only goes so far.  Not only does Long fail to reconcile this criticism of Attkisson with the MRC's praise of her self-proclaimed martyrdom for her coverage of the Obama administration, the MRC has approvingly added an Attkisson quote about how her former CBS bosses were purportedly "ideologically entrenched" to its "Journalists Admitting Liberal Bias" page.

There seems to be a bit of cognitive dissonance here -- the MRC can't bash Attkisson for her shoddy vaccine reporting and at the same time praise her for her similarly shoddy reporting on the Obama administration. Shouldn't the same standard be applied to all of Attkisson's reporting?

Ah, but if there weren't double standards, it wouldn't be the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:35 PM EDT

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