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Wednesday, November 12, 2014
NewsBusters: Google's Veterans Day Doodle Not White Enough
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 11 NewsBusters post, Mark Finkelstein was heartened that Google marked Veterans Day with one of its special "doodles" in its logo, but he had a sad that there weren't enough white people in it:

So yes, let's take some satisfaction from the fact that Google did depict actual members of the US military on its homepage this morning.

That said, Google couldn't resist inflicting its PC-politics onto the homepage, with wildly unrepresentative demographics.  The image shows five military members. Out front is a woman. Of the five, three would appear to be members of minority groups, and two are women.  One white guy manages to make it in. Compare and contrast with the military's actual demographics.  As of 2012, as per this official report, women comprised only 14% of active-duty military, and minority members 30%. So Google doubled minority representation, and more than doubled the proportion of women. Note: the stats given are for active-duty members.  In the Reserve and Guard, the percentage of women is somewhat higher but still less than 20%.  And the percentage of minority members is actually lower.

Not to be too bean-counterish about all this, and yes let's be thankful for small favors, but can there be any doubt that Google had its heavy PC-thumb on the scales?

Yes, Finkelstein really is bothered that there are too many minorities in Google's honoring of Veterans Day.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:02 PM EST
WND Lets Coward Attack Idea Of An Ethnically Diverse Military
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 10 WorldNetDaily article carries the byline of "Otway Burns," which WND tells us is "a pseudonym for an officer currently serving in the United States military. He is a combat veteran with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan." (It's also the real name of a military privateer during the War of 1812.)

The fact that "Otway Burns" is so cowardly as to hide behind a pseudonym tells us all we need to know about the value of what he has to say. And what is it that he has to say? He's attacking the idea of increasing the number of minority officers in the military:

The director of sociology at West Point claims the Army officer corps needs to be racially “representative” of the American public, and diversity makes the officer corps more effective.

In a recent report in USA Today, Col. Irving Smith, an African-American infantry officer who has served in Afghanistan, said, “It certainly is a problem for several reasons.”

But legal experts say both premises have serious flaws.

“Neither justification has been recognized by the courts as constitutionally adequate,” says Roger Clegg, president and general counsel for the Center for Equal Opportunity.

University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, a prominent critic of race-based employment policy, warns, “For all the supposed benefits of a diverse officer corps, it really would impose weighty risks and costs in promoting less qualified and capable people.”

Of course, the reason "Burns" is cowering behind a pseudonym is because it's against military regulations to publicly speak out on political issues while an active member of the military. That gives us a clue as to the kind of coward "Burns" is: He wants to hang onto his career and all its perks while voicing his unpopular opinions under a fake name.

The fact that "Burns" quotes only "legal experts" who have made a career of opposing affirmative action and not sociologists who would know more about the issue conveniently reflects the bias of WND, which has a long history of telling only the side of the story that advances its right-wing agenda.

The fact that WND let someone hide behind a fake name to deliver "news" is just another reason why nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 PM EST
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
MRC Denounces Colbert Joke, Omits The Setup
Topic: Media Research Center

Joseph Rossell is all in a huff in his Nov. 7 Media Research Center item over a "Colbert Report" segment on climate change:

Climate deniers apparently have a simple, albeit crass, message for the world: “We don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about.”

At least, that’s what Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and soon-to-be host of CBS’ “Late Show,” said during his show Nov. 6, 2014. Colbert was mocking Senator Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., who will soon become chairman of the Senate U.S. Environment and Public Works Committee.

Colbert said, “Everyone who denies climate change has the same stirring message: We don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about. I hope that these conservative leaders can inspire all the children out there watching to think to themselves, ‘Hey, maybe someday I could grow up to be not-a-scientist.”

Colbert went on to tell children that they can “completely lack any understanding of science and then grow up to be the chairman of the Senate Environmental Committee.”

Rossell is so angry with Colbert over his joke that omits the setup for it that puts it in context.The statement that climate deniers "don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about" comes after a video clip of climate deniers who admit they're not scientists. That setup is in the clip accompanying Rossell's post, but he doesn't mention it.

And indeed, Inhofe has no scientific background he can bring to his job as a senator. Before becoming a politician, he worked as a real estate developer and an insurance executive. And his anti-global warming book, "The Greatest Hoax," was published by WorldNetDaily, not exactly known for their rigorous peer review in scientific publishing.

Rossell then insists that it really isn't true that the vast majority of people who understand climate science believe global warming is happening and is at least partially human-caused:

Although the media recently touted the claim that 97 percent of scientists agree on anthropogenic (man-made) climate change, this statistic is massively doctored and inflated. Marc Morano, the publisher of Climate Depot and former staff for Inhofe and the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has a list of his own, with more than 1,000 scientists who disagree with the “accepted” theory of anthropogenic climate change. Yet, media outlets were quick to promote the 97 percent statistic without question.

Rossell is misleading. The issue isn't what "scientists" believe, it's about what climate scientists believe, and Rossell is falsely conflating the two. And as we've also noted, relatively few of the "scientsts" on Morano's list have any demonstrated expertise in climatology. Which means Morano's count is at least as "massively doctored and inflated" as he claims the consensus count is.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:13 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 8:14 PM EST
Sharyl Attkisson Gets The Coveted WND Endorsement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah praises his new favorite reporter in his Nov. 9 WND column:

I don’t know Sharyl Attkisson.

I’ve never met her.

But I have met a few reporters like her in my 37 years in the news business.

They are my heroes. They are my professional compatriots. They are the embodiment of why our Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, created special constitutional protections for the press for the first time in the history of the world.

[...]

Attkisson never had an ax to grind. She wasn’t motivated to pursue the truth by a political ideology. Her agenda was always the same – doing good journalism, which, at least in part, requires a determination to expose waste, fraud, abuse and corruption in government no matter who is perpetrating it or allowing it.

I love reporters like Attkisson, and I always have. It’s a privilege to work with them. It’s a privilege to see their work. It’s an honor to be in the same profession.
Experience more of Joseph Farah’s no-nonsense truth-telling in his books, audio and video products, featured in the WND Superstore

It’s also unconscionable what happens to such muckrakers who do their job without fear or favor.

The fact that Farah just loves Attkisson tells you all you need to know about both of them. And this line from Farah is even more telling:

Understand that I love my profession. I never wanted to do anything else. While I don’t know Sharyl Attkisson personally, I know she is just like me in that regard. It hurts to see a worthy institution undermined by unworthy practitioners.

Of course, one of the leaders in undermining the worthy institution of journalism is Farah himself, who runs a "news" website that nobody believes. Indeed, while he was writing that column, his ace reporter, Aaron Klein, was writing an article that attacked the wrong Loretta Lynch, confusing a California lawyer who supported President Clinton with a New York prosecutor nominated as attorney general. While Klein's bogus article was ultimately deleted, WND's version of a similarly false Breitbart article that inspired Klein is still live on WND's website.

If Farah really cared about journalism, he would clear his WND payroll of all the unworthy practitioners he employs. But he won't because he's one of those unworthy practitioners he purports to despise.

Needless to say, Farah is mum about Attkisson's numerous factual errors. Also needless to say, despite all of Farah's bluster about Attkisson supposedly doing her job "without fear or favor," if Attkisson had gone after a Republican president the way she has President Obama, Farah would not be singing her praises.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 PM EST
Monday, November 10, 2014
CNS Adds Scare Quotes To 'Gay Marriage' In AP Headline
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has a bad habit of rewriting headlines for Associated Press articles to conform with its right-wing ideology. It does so again in a Nov. 6 article on gay-marriage bans being upheld in four states. CNS feels the need to put "gay marriage" in scare quotes in the headline:

The last time we checked, it was not AP style to put scare quotes around "gay marriage." Indeed, even the conservative website The Blaze ran the very same AP article and did not use scare quotes.

Rather lazily, CNS' re-editing did not extend to the article itself, where references "gay marriage" and "same-sex marriage" appear without scare quotes.

CNS has not publicly explained why it feels the need to use such scare quotes, or why it feels it must alter AP copy to conform to its policy.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 PM EST
WND's Version of Breitbart's Article Attacking Wrong Loretta Lynch Is Still Posted
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's massive fail in attacking the wrong Loretta Lynch is even worse than we thought.

While WND has deleted Aaron Klein's (and Brenda J. Elliott's) attack piece confusing Loretta Lynch the California lawyer and Clinton supporter with Loretta Lynch the New York prosecutor and attorney general nominee, a Nov. 8 WND article quoting from a Breitbart article making the same erroneous attack is still posted at WND's website. Here's a screenshot (for when WND reads this and disappears that article from its website):

The article links to the now-deleted Breitbart article, which was finally pulled (like WND's, without explanation or retraction) after first posting a ridiculous non-correction correction at the end of it that basically stated the article that came before is completely false yet left that article intact.

It seems Elliott, who was credited with "research" on Klein's article, really didn't do any research beyond copying Breitbart's erroneous piece. That's just another reason why nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:34 PM EST
MRC Can't Decide Whether Ben Stein's Obama Smear Is Offensive Or Not
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 4 NewsBusters post by Jeffrey Meyer highlighted Ben Stein's comment that President Onbama is “the most racist president there has ever been in America," calling the remark "offensive" and lacking in historical accuracy and noting that the hosts of ABC's "The View" "rightly criticized" Stein for the remark. Meyer then complained that "View" co-host Rosie O'Donnell was "indicting all of Fox News for one man’s offensive comments," as if Meyer's employer, the Media Research Center, has never pulled that same trick.

Meyer's view that Stein's smear of Obama is offensive, however, appears to be held exclusively by him among his Media Research Center cohorts. For thte past few days, the lead item in the NewsBusters "Editor's Picks" box has been, yes, Ben Stein's smear of Obama:

The "Editor's Pick" links to a Conservative Videos item that uncritically promotes Stein's remark.

As we've seen with Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke, the boys at the MRC generally approve of liberals being smeared and denigrated.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EST
Joseph Farah's Know-Nothing 'Klinghoffer' Rant
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah declares of "The Death of Klinghoffer" opera in his Nov. 7 WorldNetDaily column, "Not only will I not pay to see it. I wouldn’t see it if the Met paid me." Thus having established his know-nothing bona fides, like his fellow travelers at the Media Research Center, he nevertheless similarly denounces the opera for allegely being "loathsome, despicable anti-Semitic propaganda" that is "exploiting the death of terrorism victim Leon Klinghoffer in such a shameful way."

Farah doesn't explain how he knows so much about an opera he refuses to see, even claiming at one point he knows that "Throughout the show, actors are framed in a mock-up of Israel’s anti-terrorism walls to make the case for Israeli 'apartheid.'"

Again, Farah has asserted that he has not and will not see the opera. He is, as far as we know, not an expert on opera. Therefore, he can't possibly know what he's talking about.

But then, when has lack of knowledge about a subject stopped Farah from pontificating about it before?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EST
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Shocker: CNS Actually Acknowleges Joless Situation Is Improving
Topic: CNSNews.com

For months now, CNSNews.com has sought to deliberately downplay good economic news under the Obama administration by cherry-picking and playing up data showing not-so-good news.

But for October, the news on the unemployment front was so good that even CNS had to acknowledge it. (Or maybe they're a little more willing to tell the truth now that their goal of a Republican-controlled Senate has  been achieved.) A Nov. 7 CNS article by Ali Meyer, for the first time in recent memory, puts the good news in the opening paragraph, though it still manages to leaven it with cherry-picked bad news:

The employment situation in October improved in every way for most Americans, except for African Americans, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The number of African Americans who were employed in the United States in October dropped by 41,000; and the number of African-Americans not participating in the labor force increased by 114,000.

And because it's CNS, there's still the totally negative jobless article that completely ignores the good news. A Nov. 7 article by Penny Starr touts a "new report" claiming to have "found high rates of unemployment among minorities in many states, including 20.3 percent for Hispanics in Rhode Island and 16.8 percent for African Americans living in Nevada."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 PM EST
Oops! WND's Klein Attacks The Wrong Loretta Lynch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein thinks he has a big scoop in a Nov. 9 WorldNetDaily article:

Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s pick to become the next attorney general, once worked for Bill Clinton’s campaign, where it turns out she co-authored a memo aimed at discrediting alleged Clinton mistress Gennifer Flowers and stopping any news coverage of her claims.

Flowers is the model and actress who claimed publicly to have had a 12-year-long affair with Clinton.

[...]

Archived documents show that Lynch, together with campaign operative Nancy McFadden, co-authored a confidential Feb. 16, 1992, campaign memo entitled “Possible Investigation Needs.”

Under a section entitled, “Defensive Research: Tying up ends and seeing ahead,” the memo’s first item addresses the need to discredit one “GF,” which from the context was a clear reference to Gennifer Flowers.

Reads the Lynch-McFadden memo: “Exposing GF: completely as a fraud, liar and possible criminal to stop this story and related stories, prevent future non-related stories and expose press inaction and manipulation.”

Just one little problem: This is not the correct Loretta Lynch.

As Media Matters pointed out when Breitbart's Warner Todd Huston (a former NewsBusters blogger) made the same mistake,  the Loretta Lynch who worked for Clinton's campaign is a California-based attorney (and white), while the Lynch nominated as attorney general is a federal prosecutor in New York (and African-American).

It took two people to screw this up, by the way: Klein's article credits "research by Brenda J. Elliott." Elliott is Klein's longtime collaborator and co-author.

Here's a screenshot of Klein's article, just in case WND decides to disappear it:

UPDATE: This is hardly the first time Klein has committed such sloppy errors. In 2004, Klein falsely claimed that the charity organization Islamic Relief was linked to terrorists and fraudulently raised money for nonexistent orphans. And in 2006, he falsely implied that Fox News paid a ransom to free two of its journalists kidnapped in Gaza.

UPDATE 2: WND has quietly deleted Klein's article without explanation or correction. That's why we took the screencap above.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 9, 2014 6:59 PM EST
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I usually end my columns with a call to action to legally remove Obama from office. Today will be no exception. Time is short before all is lost! Our Founding Fathers knew when to act, and we can do no less if the nation is to survive. But we cannot put our eggs into a proverbial Republican basket. Even if the Grand Old Party regains total control of Congress by controlling both houses – the Senate as well as the House of Representatives – they have shown an inability and, to be more exact, a lack of desire to truly confront Obama. What interests our career politicians more than the well-being of our country is their own retention of power and accumulation of personal wealth. Washington, D.C., is rich and flush with cash, and there is a big pie to divvy up. There’s no time to waste to really obtaining justice for We the People and restoring freedom to our shores.

Bottom line: Revolution is upon us! In the words of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death!”

-- Larry Klayman, Oct. 24 WorldNetDaily column

Voter fraud probably gave Mr. Obama the victory in 2012. It may well prove to be crucial in deciding the tight race to capture the Senate in 2014.

-- Christopher Monckton, Oct. 26 WND column

There are a few doctors using the word “disappeared” – i.e. the government is hiding suspected Ebola victims to prevent panic.

True?

It sounds outlandish, but given the track record of truth of this administration, it may well be accurate. Obama is the chief liar.

Barbara Simpson, Oct. 26 WND column

Considering the character of this administration, I feel quite comfortable maintaining that this administration – the same one whose principals’ beliefs are rooted in the philosophy of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Castro, the same one whose actions have led to the deaths of tens of thousands in the Middle East and Africa, the same one that has targeted and persecuted political opponents, spied on private citizens, funded and trained terrorists and left America open to attack via their immigration, visa and border policies – might well intend to facilitate an Ebola epidemic in the United States.

How large they might wish it to get and how it plays into their sick endgame specifically is difficult to say, but with this bunch, history dictates that it’s better to err on the side of the diabolical.

-- Erik Rush, Oct. 29 WND column

What do President Barack Hussein Obama and his National Security Agency (NSA) have in common? Answer: They are both not only criminally corrupt but also incompetent!

-- Larry Klayman, Oct. 31 WND column

The midterm elections are around the corner, and if the Republicans win the Senate – which is a possibility, though it will not be easy – they will have the opportunity to do what should have been done long before now: to set up a formal inquiry into the numerous grave irregularities in Mr. Obama’s birth certificate.

-- Christopher Monckton, Nov. 2 WND column

Barack Obama said he would change the country, and he’s hell-bent on doing it.

Racism has reared its ugly head and is condoned and encouraged on all levels of government. The racist rhetoric from politicians and elites has destroyed all the racial amity that developed since the civil rights movement of the ’60s.

The end result is class envy and a balkanization of racial and religious groups fueled by a terrible economy affecting every age group.

Unfortunately, media virtually ignore this.

-- Barbara Simpson, Nov. 2 WND column

When a president is as unpopular as Obama he begins to talk sharply to his associates, who, in turn, begin to talk acidulously to their underlings, the first thing you know you’ve got the deterioration of the German army at Stalingrad and Kursk, with Hitler refusing to allow entire Nazi armies to retreat and shorten supply lines and instead sacking general after general who brought bad news, until the scope of the disaster could no longer be concealed. The tipping point is when Mommy and Daddy fight openly in the presence of 4-year-old children. The Democrats reached that point on their path downward, and they deserve whatever results we now observe.

-- Barry Farber Nov. 4 WND column

We also know that Obama’s allies are America’s enemies! His support comes from communist nations, as well as the enemies Americans tolerate within.

-- Bradlee Dean, Nov. 6 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EST
Friday, November 7, 2014
CNS Returns To Fearmongering That You Can Catch Ebola On A Bus
Topic: CNSNews.com

You might remember that last month, a CNSNews reporter fearmongered that, despite what President Obama said, you can too catch Ebola on a bus -- followed by CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey mocking the Obama administration for overreacting to a sick passenger on a bus out of fear the passenger might have Ebola.

Well, the flip-flop has flipped back. From a Nov. 3 CNS article by Melanie Hunter:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is also a medical doctor, told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that President Barack Obama's biggest mistake was saying you can't catch Ebola on a bus.

"I think the president's biggest mistake was like saying, oh, it's no big deal, you can't catch it if you're sitting on a bus with somebody," said Paul.

[...]

"Well, apparently, you can be intensive care unit gloved, gowned and masked and still get it. It's very contagious when someone is sick. So, I think it was a mistake for him to say, oh, it's not big deal. You can be riding on a bus. And we're not going to stop any travel," Paul said.

"American public sees people getting it who are fully masked and gowned and saying, my goodness, I don't think anybody should be riding on a bus or coming from Liberia to visit their aunt or uncle and when they could be contagious. So, I think a temporary stop of travel for elective travel, if you're coming to visit your relatives, couldn't that wait for a few months?" he asked.

Hunter is also overstating Paul's medical credentials. He is an non-certified ophthalmologist, which technically makes him a "medical doctor" but specializes in eye problems, not viral issues like Ebola.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:54 PM EST
WND Blames "Gun Grabbers" For Non-Gun-Grabbing
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 5 WorldNetDaily article by Leo Hohmann carries the headline "Billionaire gun grabbers get their way."

But if you read the article, there's no "gun grabbing" actually happening. It's about the passage of a Washington state law mandating stricter background checks for firearms purchases. 

That's not "gun grabbing" -- it's keeping people who shouldn't have guns from getting them.

Nevertheless, Hohmann whines that "Five billionaires – Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer and Nick Hanauer – poured a total of more than $5 million into the promotion of expanded background checks in Washington state."Hohmann also baselessly asserts that these billionaires "paid for ads featuring emotional pleas by survivors of mass shootings that would not have been stopped by a background check."

In the grand WND tradition of biased reporting, Hohmann can't be bothered to interview any supporters of the law but freely quoted its opponents.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 PM EST
Thursday, November 6, 2014
MRC Mum on Holes In Attkisson's Claim Of Computer Hacking
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 6 NewsBusters post by Melissa Mullins touts a Hollywood Reporter interview in which former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson discusses the alleged hacking of her computer, and how a "legal and forensics team" supposedly found evidence of “highly sophisticated remote intrusions into my personal and work computers by someone using software proprietary to a government agency…either to the DIA, CIA, FBI or NSA over a period of time.”

Mullins doesn't mention, however, that significant doubts have been raised about Attkisson's claim.

After Attkisson posted an online purporting to show her computer being hacked in real time, Media Matters consulted computer experts who said the apparent culprit was a stuck backspace key.

Attkisson has also changed her story on the alleged hacking. She originally claimed that an anonymous source had given her the identity of the person who had hacked into her computer, but in a later interview, Attkisson said she didn't know who the hacker may have been, but "I just know that there's some government tie."

Mullins doesn't mention she was asked about the video of the supposed hacking video during the Hollywood Reporter interview. Despite originally presenting the video as evidence of hacking, she backed off it in the interview, dismissing her own video as "a video anecdote, something that happened along the way. It has nothing to do with the forensic evidence and the analysis. It’s just something interesting, a punctuation mark of things that were happening."

Mullins also uncritically repeats Attkisson's claim that she's not biased, which ignores the fact that she has worked exclusively for conservative outlets -- and has been championed by conservative groups like the MRC -- since leaving CBS. If she didn't have a right-wing bias, wouild that be happening?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:08 PM EST
Newsmax Falsely Portrays Pat Caddell As A Democrat
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 5 Newsmax article by Greg Richter introduces Pat Caddell as a "Democratic pollster" who's denouncing Harry Reid. But he's not a Democrat -- or at least he hasn't been in decades.

Caddell hasn't done anything for Democrats in years -- as we've pointed out, he's frequently seen on right-leaning Fox News where, as Salon's Alex Pareene notes, "he’ll reliably repeat every idiotic right-wing talking point that comes down the pike." Caddell also served as a consultant on an anti-Obama film made by right-wing group Citizens United. 

It seems that Newsmax has fallen into the Fox News pattern of presenting Caddell as a "Democrat" even though they know he will reliably bash Democrats at every opportunity. That's dishonest journalism, and Richter and Newsmax should know better.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:42 PM EST

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