MRC Writer Defends Bashing Film She Didn't Watch Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Katie Yoder wrote twoarticles bashing the film "Obvious Child" for its abortion-related subject matter despite, as we noted, never having seen the film.
Yoder defends her deliberate ignorance in a June 18 MRC article and attacks the critics who called her out for bashing a film she hadn't seen as raising a "bogus" argument:
When “Obvious Child” hit theaters this month, conservatives were aghast the media glorified it – without irony – as an “abortion romantic comedy.” Liberals lashed back, claiming, like the movie’s Director Gillian Robespierre, that "[Conservatives bashing Obvious Child] haven't seen the movie; they're basing it on articles and trailers."
That defense is bogus. We are, after all, talking about the destruction of innocent human life – something nearly impossible to contextualize and utterly repulsive as a romantic comedy plot device.
Yoder's defensiveness is itself bogus. Simple journalistic honesty dictates that you first fully encounter something before you attack it. Apparently, the MRC doesn't teach its writers to do that.
Yoder's column is actually her account of finally bothering to go see the film -- not to behave responsibly, mind you, but to "play along" with her critics. But since Yoder has an agenda, she made sure to keep her mind closed, determined to find nothing whatsoever rewarding about the film:
After watching “Obvious Child” last week, I’m only more determined to continue my “bashing.” The difference is I sat through a lot of crude sex jokes. From comparing an abortion to a “drive-through” or a DMV visit to concocting a plot where every main female character aborted a baby at some point, the film sets out to normalize abortion as a part of everyday life. “Obvious Child” is in the end little more than slick pro-abortion agitprop.
Although adored by the “pro-choice” community and organizations like Planned Parenthood that lobbies we’re “not in her shoes” because abortion is “a deeply personal and often complex decision,” the movie surprisingly deemphasizes choice. With job loss, apartment loss, and a budding relationship, Donna’s “choice” appears limited – and never once does the camera hint at the process of her decision.
Yes, I empathized for Donna, felt her situation. But, at the same time, the movie forgets to voice women who choose life – AND women who choose abortion. The “comedy” makes a joke out of women who go through a difficult decision to abort and ignores regrets of women who do. They exist.
Of course, anything that doesn't slavishly follow the pro-life agenda is "pro-abortion agitprop" to Yoder, who appears to be mostly upset that the film won't demonize a character who has an abortion, as Yoder and her MRC colleagues strive to do in real life.
Since Yoder treated viewing the film as a chore to mollify critics instead of the open-minded fact-finding mission a real writer would have done, it's no surprise that she wasn't moved by it. She never had any intention of allowing that to happen.
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein writes in a June 17 WorldNetDaily article:
Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.
The officials said dozens of ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.
This being Aaron Klein, no actual evidence is offered to back up this claim, only the word of mysterious, anonymous "informed Jordanian officials" in whom Klein has provided no reason whatsoever for readers to place their trust.
Last March, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Americans were training Syrian rebels in Jordan.
Quoting what it said were training participants and organizers, Der Spiegel reported it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were with the U.S. Army, but the magazine said some organizers wore uniforms. The training in Jordan reportedly focused on use of anti-tank weaponry. The German magazine reported some 200 men received the training over the previous three months amid U.S. plans to train a total of 1,200 members of the Free Syrian Army in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper also reported last March that U.S. trainers were aiding Syrian rebels in Jordan along with British and French instructors.
But those articles do not back up Klein's claim -- they disprove it. The Der Spiegel article claims that Americans were training the Free Syrian Army, the secular opposition group mainly comprised of defected Syrian Armed Forces personnel. It is not a terrorist group and is definitely not affiliated with ISIS.
Similarly, the Guardian article states that the training is being done "in an effort to strengthen secular elements in the opposition as a bulwark against Islamic extremism."
In other words, they were doing the exact opposite of what Klein claims.
Klein himself turns contradictory, writing that "The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida." But a link to ISIS presumably would have disqualified them as well.
It seems that Klein's "informed Jordanian officials" aren't really terribly informed at all -- which tells us that there's no reason to believe Klein's article.
But that doesn't keep WND's Erik Rush from doing just that in his June 18 column, linking to Klein's article:
As reported in WND this week, ISIS members were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan; this has been confirmed not only by officials in Jordan, but in both the German and British press.
Are Americans now expected to believe that ISIS is among the “moderate” Muslim factions the administration has maintained it is imperative to support, for which Obama went to the lengths of first clandestinely arming and supplying, and then unilaterally amending U.S. law so that he might do so overtly?
Of course, Rush is such a rabid Obama-hater that Klein's highly dubious article is catnip for him.
NewsBusters Unhappy People Coming To Logical Conclusion On False-Claim Lawsuit Topic: NewsBusters
Gabriel Malor writes in a June 17 NewsBusters post:
Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List should be allowed to challenge in court an Ohio state law that criminalizes making false statements in an election campaign. The law, which subjects individuals and groups to costly litigation, fines, and even jail time if they can't defend their political speech to bureaucrats and judges, was used in 2010 to intimidate billboard owners into rejecting the pro-life group's election advertising. The question of whether “somebody should be able to get into federal court,” in the words of Justice Kagan at oral argument, united both the left and right wings of the high Court given the obvious and repellent injury to free speech rights.
Although it said that Susan B. Anthony List should have its day in court, the Court did not rule on the underlying merits of Ohio's false statements law. But that's not how left-wing commentators saw it. Immediately mischaracterizing the decision as endorsing a "right to lie," writers from across the Left used the decision to smear Susan B. Anthony List, in particular, and the political right, in general, as liars.
Malor ignores the fact that if you are fighting against a law that penalizes false political claims, as the Susan B. Anthony is, the conclusion is logical and inescapable that the SBA List wants to be able to spread falsehoods with impunity.
Melor also fails to explain what's so onerous about having to prove the truth of your words.
WND's AAPS-Linked Doctor Fearmongers About Disease-Ridden Immigrants Topic: WorldNetDaily
Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet writes in a June 17 WorldNetDaily column:
A flood of illegals has massively surged at our southwestern borders. The economic impact of medical care, education and incarceration for illegals forced on taxpayers is bankrupting Arizona.
Why are such swarms entering the U.S. illegally NOW, particularly children? Newspapers in Mexico and Central and South America are actually describing U.S. “open borders,” encouraging people to come with promises of food stamps or “amnesty.” It is textbook Cloward-Piven strategy to overwhelm and collapse the economic and social systems, in order to replace them with a “new socialist order” under federal control.
Carried by this tsunami of illegals are the invisible “travelers” our politicians don’t like to mention: diseases the U.S. had controlled or virtually eradicated: tuberculosis (TB), Chagas disease, dengue fever, hepatitis, malaria, measles, plus more. I have been working on medical projects in Central and South America since 2009, so I am aware of problems these countries face from such diseases.
If this sort of fearmongering sounds familiar, it should. Vliet is a past director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which is perhaps best known for publishing a journal article by Madeline Cosman claiming an increase in leprosy cases that she blamed on illegal immigrants -- but it turned out that Cosman falsely inflated the number of cases.
Vliet also writes:
Vaccine-preventable diseases like chicken pox, measles and whooping cough spread like wildfire among unvaccinated children. Other illnesses, along with scabies and head lice, also thrive as children are transported by bus and herded into crowded shelters – courtesy of the federal government. Treatment costs are borne by taxpayers.
Our public health departments complain of being overtaxed by a dozen cases of measles or whooping cough. How will they cope with thousands of patients with many different, and uncommon, diseases? Americans, especially Medicaid patients, will see major delays for treatment.
But the fact that there are large numbers of unvaccinated children has been exacerbated by the AAPS' stance against mandatory vaccination. The AAPS invited Andrew Wakefield, the doctor whose claim that vaccines cause autism had to be retracted by the medical journal that published it after it was determined to be an "elaborate fraud," to speak at its 2011 annual meeting.
Perhaps Vliet should address the issue of fearmongering about vaccination and its quite tangible consequences before she fearmongers further about disease-ridden immigrants.
NEW ARTICLE: A Cop-Killer's Best Friends Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center doesn't want to talk about how its operations earned Facebook likes from cop-killer Jerad Miller, and WorldNetDaily doesn't want to talk about how its anti-police rhetoric mirrors that of Miller's. Read more >>
WND Delves Into Lame Ethnic Humor With 'Sum Ting Wong' Headline Topic: WorldNetDaily
Somebody apparently forgot to tell WorldNetDaily that ethnic humor based on derogatory stereotypes stopped being funny a good 30 years ago, if not more.
That would seem to be the logical explanation for why WND headlined a June 17 article "Sum Ting Wong: Feds bust illegals at Chinese restaurants."
The odd point of the article is that it's "bizarre" to go after "Asian restaurants in the sleepy little town of State College, Pennsylvania, the home of Penn State University" when there's an "ongoing flood of illegal aliens pouring across the Mexican border into the U.S." But it comes off as portraying Asians as somehow more desirable immigrants than Hispanics.
That shows that the place where something's wrong is actually WND.
Seton Motley Misleads About Net Neutrality Again Topic: NewsBusters
Seton Motley has longmisled about net neutrality, and he does so again in a barely coherent June 16 NewsBusters rant, in which he targets HBO's John Oliver for explaining the subject in a manner of which Motley does not approve:
Oliver doesn't explain Net Neutrality - he gets it fundamentally wrong.
Oliver’s segment was start-to-finish Leftist rote. Unwittingly I’m guessing, he’s carrying the water of the Internet’s bandwidth hogs. Particularly video-streaming companies like Netflix, Google (who owns YouTube) - and, perhaps, movie channel HBO? - who want the government to mandate that they get a free ride for being bandwidth hogs.
And Oliver omits a panoply of contravening information.
Oliver begins his piece by incorrectly asserting that huge-bandwidth-using-companies paying for the bandwidth they use is the creation of an Internet “fast lane.” Thus leaving the rest of us consigned to the “slow lane.”
Only there will be no such thing. What Oliver and Company report as brand new “fast lanes”- are in fact regular lane deals that have existed as long as has the Internet. It is all a part of what is called peering.
The words "fast lane" and "slow lane" are the total extent to which Motley quotes Oliver, which poses a problem in Motley trying to disprove Oliver -- and a sign that Motley will be building straw men instead of engaging in a actual discussion.
Motley also undermines himself by including in one of his links showing how "pseudo-news pseudo-consumers were thrilled" a substantive debunking of the point he's trying to make, a Slate piece by Marvin Ammori.
Motley takes particular umbrage at Netflix over the peering, or interconnection, issue:
Netflix for years had no problem paying middle men for their monster bandwidth use - companies like Level 3 and Cogent. Who are Internet Service Providers (ISPs) - just for these guys rather than us.
Then it occurred to Netflix that it made more business sense to cut out these middle men - and deal directly with our ISPs.
Except Netflix suddenly, disingenuously claimed these very ordinary deals were Net Neutrality violations.
But again, Netflix has always paid someone for their bandwidth hoggishness (as well they should). The only thing new here is their trying to get the government to mandate they no longer have to.
Ammori debunks this idea, responding to a critic named Jon Healey who had made claims similar to Motley's:
Interconnection is a term referring to where and how Comcast’s network connects to the network carrying Netflix’s traffic. This connection is necessary for Comcast users to watch Netflix. Netflix claims that Comcast (and apparently Verizon and others) deliberately congest these connections to force Netflix and other companies to pay Comcast (and Verizon). John Oliver suggested—based on these facts of Netflix’s speeds on different networks—that Comcast and others would have the incentive to make websites work poorly to force them to pay.
But you don’t have to know what interconnection is to realize Healey is being misleading. If you watch the video, you’ll notice Oliver never says the Comcast-Netflix dispute is a network neutrality issue. But, if he had, he would have been in good company. As a matter of fact, not spin, the net neutrality proposal actually includes questions on interconnection (and other things Wheeler opposes, like Title II, protecting mobile users, and banning discrimination). That suggests that interconnection has at least something, not “nothing,” to do with net neutrality. Plus, as I explain here, the net neutrality legal orders have repeatedly rested on interconnection concerns from 2005 through 2010, including for their jurisdictional authority in key decisions. Oh, and the lawyers at Netflix, Level 3, Cogent, and ... the major Internet companies ... all believe that the interconnection is part of this debate and have filed legal arguments about it in the FCC's net neutrality docket. So clearly interconnection has something to do with net neutrality. Healey is just repeating the FCC chairman's talking points that interconnection is not related to net neutrality.
Ammori notes that "John Oliver joined the huge chorus that consists of just about everyone except the phone and cable giants, politicians opposed to anything Obama supports, and the FCC chairman." Add Seton Motley to that list.
WND's Massie: Michelle Obama Is A Filthy Whore Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie has long had an irrational hatred of Michelle Obama (one word: Buttzilla). For his June 16 column, Massie hauls out his thesaurus to come up with new ways to denigrate her:
I am prepared to argue same because, if we have a white Christian conservative as president, we can criticize his (or her) policies without concern of being called racists. It would be expected of that person to adhere to the highest standards of integrity, truthfulness, transparency and protocol. A white Christian conservative’s wife would be expected to exhibit social grace and decorum consistent with the office her husband held and not comport herself as a demimonde or slattern in expensive designer clothes.
A "demimonde" is, according to Merriam-Webster, "a class of women on the fringes of respectable society supported by wealthy lovers; ... the world of prostitution." A "slattern" is "an untidy slovenly woman; also : slut, prostitute."
Which means that Massie is calling Michelle Obama a filthy whore.
This is apparently the kind of thing that keeps WND paying him the big bucks.
MRC Desperately Tries To Discredit School-Shooting Statistic Topic: Media Research Center
When the group Everytown for Gun Safety came out with its statistic last week that there have been 74 school shootings since the Newtown massacre, the MRC knew it had to shoot it down, as it were.
In a June 11 MRC item, Matthew Balan dismissed Everytown for Gun Safety as a "pro-gun control group" founded by Michael Bloomberg, taking refuge in a conservative blog's insistence that gang violence and gun suicides don't count as "school shootings."
A June 12 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer called the group's number a "falsehood" and touted how CNN allegedly debunked the group's figure by focusing only on "situations similar to the violence in Oregon -- a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school." As Media Matters notes, this follows the strange right-wing logic, articulated by right-wing writer Charles C. Johnson, that"It's not a school shooting when someone goes and shoots a specific person on campus. It's a shooting that happens to take place at school."
In a June 13 item, Kristine Marsh attacked the group's purportedly "false data," as if people killed at school by means other than mass shootings didn't really die.
WND's Geller Slurs Rabbi As A 'Kapo' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Pamela Geller, it seems, really can't handle criticism. She writes in her June 15 WorldNetDaily column regarding a Washington Post article on her latest anti-Muslim transit ad campaign:
She even added that “Rabbi Charles M. Feinberg, Congregation Adas Israel, said that because of Geller’s ‘vicious’ ads, Muslims are ‘being yelled at and disrespected.’”
Shame on “Rabbi” Charles M. Feinberg. What a betrayal of his people. What has he done to combat the vicious Islamic texts that are responsible for the unimaginable death toll of Islamic Jew-hatred over the past 1,400 years? What has this tool said or done about the vicious jihad against the Jews and the Jewish state? One can only imagine what these Islamic supremacists say about this kapo when he leaves the room.
As we noted when Ben Shapiro did the same thing to Rahm Emanuel, "kapo" is a derogatory to "a Nazi concentration camp prisoner who was given privileges in return for supervising prisoner work gangs: often a common criminal and frequently brutal to fellow inmates."
So, for simply pointing out the meanness of Geller's crusade, Feinberg is denigrated as a Nazi and suggesting he's not a real rabbi. It's as if Geller said, "Vicious? You wanna see vicious? How does smearing a Jew as a Nazi fit ya, fancy pants?"
Mission accomplished. Geller simply can't take criticism.
CNS Equates Gays With Satanists Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center has an anti-gayagenda, so why wouldn't its "news" division try to portray gays as satanists? That's exactly what CNS managing editor Michael Chapman does in a June 11 article headlined "Satanic Temple: Gay Marriage is 'a Sacrament’":
While Chapman goes on to admit that the Satanic Temple considers heterosexual marriage to be as much of a sacrament as gay marriage, much of the article is given over to "why TST focuses on gay rights." It's clear that the only reason this article exists is for Chapman to liken homosexuality to satanism.
After all, CNS is part of an organization with an anti-gay agenda, so of course Chapman would do this.
WND's Loudon Makes Armchair Diagnosis of Obama As Going Insane Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily will publish pretty much any smear of President Obama, so it was happy when one of its own columnists did the smearing. Drew Zahn writes in a June 6 article:
A prominent therapist and author has publicly questioned the mental stability of both Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl and the U.S. president who traded five terrorists back to the Taliban to secure Bergdahl’s release.
Dr. Gina Loudon is host of “Smart Life with Dr. Gina” on Money Biz Life Network and has appeared on or been cited by the BBC, ABC, CNN, New York Times, Fox News and more. Her columns also appear regularly on WND.
Earlier this week, Loudon told Lou Dobbs on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” that Bergdahl’s anti-American rhetoric doesn’t suggest someone suffering from torture or even “Stockholm Syndrome,” but rather the mind of a man whose thinking had been twisted long before his capture by the Taliban.
She also suggested President Obama may relate to Bergdahl’s “anti-colonialist” rantings, and his recent “erratic” behavior may not be what we “deem sane.”
Dobbs asked Loudon why Obama would trade five terrorists for Bergdahl, a serviceman suspected of deserting his unit, but not even speak out about the imprisonment of decorated 25-year-old Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who sits in jail in Mexico for inadvertently crossing the border with a gun in his vehicle.
“I am very, very concerned about the mental stability of this president at this point,” Loudon said. “Some of his behavior seems irrational to me. It seems beyond that of just a typical, narcissistic, arrogant sort of ‘I’m a leader of a big country and I feel tyrannical at the moment’ kind of attitude.
“It really seems to me like this president is demonstrating behavior that is not only anti-American, but irrational and erratic and perhaps not exactly what we might want to deem sane,” she concluded.
Loudon followed up in her June 8 column by defending her armchair diagnosis:
First let me say that diagnoses are for purposes of medical treatment, and I do not diagnose or treat. I am a policologist, and it is my job to report on politics and psychology, and the impact of psychology on politics. That is what I do.
No one can accurately diagnose this president for medications or treatments he might need without talking to him – that is true. But that does not mean we surrender our First Amendment rights when we go to graduate school. If the leader of the free world is acting erratically, I would think it would be incumbent upon those who know the signs of instability the best to call out what they see, before something crazy happens, like the release of five terrorists in the exchange for a defector, or something! Thousands, tens of thousands of Americans, could die for that decision. How is that rational? And others have died and been “left on the battlefield” by this same president. This is top-level peril for all Americans. I believe someone needed to say something, and that is why I said it.
Loudon then goes on a tirade against Bowe Bergdahl's family, blaming the father for drawing attention to himself instead of a media jumping to conclusions before all the facts are in as she jumped to her own conclusions:
If one more stiff-lipped talking head talks about how “heartbroken” the Bergdahl family feels, and how we need to “withhold judgment,” they forfeit their credibility. We, the People didn’t make the Bergdahls the center of negative attention. Bob Bergdahl made a spectacle of his wife and deserter son when he praised Allah and made claim to our White House beside the loving approval of the American, Islamic-terrorist-sympathizing president.
This family is not pro-American, as I said in the Dobbs piece. In emails published in 2012, Bergdahl told his father of his growing disenchantment with the Army’s mission in Afghanistan. He said, “The future is too good to waste on lies. And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting.”
There is always a right to dissent in America. America is founded on that freedom. Those facts will wash out, and I stand by my prediction that this is a leftist, anti-American, anti-colonialism vein that runs through the Bergdahl family, and that Bowe Bergdahl cost American lives.
Loudon seems not to understand that the right to dissent also depends on the responsibility to base that dissent on facts, not armchair analysis based on political smears. She should stop confusing right-wing talking points with objective reality.
MRC's Graham Upset Planned Parenthood Leader Makes Slightly More Than His Boss Does Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham complains in a June 5 NewsBusters post:
Planned Parenthood likes to paint itself as a crucial provider of affordable women's health care to the poor. But it also aids the rich. JillStanek.com reports that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s 2012 IRS Form 990 shows that CEO Cecile Richards made over one-half million dollars – $523,616 – for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2013.
In fact, for that 2012 reporting period, PPFA’s 12-member executive team tallied a combined income of $3.87 million.
When questioned about it, Richards has replied “None of my salary is paid for by the federal government.” But if “[n]early half of Planned Parenthood patients rely on Medicaid coverage,” as Planned Parenthood claims, does Richards think she’d draw checks that big if government funding of more than $500 million a year were removed from Planned Parenthood’s total revenue of $1.2 billion?
What Graham won't tell you: Richards' salary is something of a bargain.
Compare Richards' salary to that of Graham's boss, Brent Bozell, who in 2011 made a whopping $422,804 for managing a tiny fraction of the revenue -- the MRC had $11 million in assets at the end of 2010.
It seems that, if anything, an argument can be made that Richards is underpaid. And by the same standard of salary vs. revenue, Bozell is grossly overpaid. Not that Graham will ever admit it, of course -- after all, it took a round of public shaming before Graham to finally receive credit for writing Bozell's syndicated column after years in the shadows.
Dr. Conspiracy makes a valiant attempt to untangle some of the links between WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi and birther Sheriff Joe Arpaio. They involve a man named Dennis Montgomery, who was a paid informant for Arpaio and just so happens to live very close to self-proclaimed birther expert Douglas Vogt, and a billionaire named Tim Blixseth, who is a player in Arpaio's latest dubious investigation against Attorney General Eric Holder and who just so happens to have been interviewed by Corsi.