MRC Takes A Dump On Bob Schieffer Topic: Media Research Center
It seems that the Media Research Center doesn't believe anyone who isn't in lockstep with its right-wing agenda has any right to be treated with anything remotely resembling. It's true of the conservatives who fail to toe the right-wing line, and it's even more true of the news media the MRC despises.
MRC researcher Jeffrey Meyer's reaction to CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer retiring after 46 years at the network -- a feat in itself that should earn maybe a little respect -- was to take a figurative dump on Schieffer, devoting an April 9 NewsBusters post to sneering at the network giving Schieffer a nice sendoff, under the disrespectful headline "CBS Oozes ‘Giant of Journalism,’ 'Amazing' Bob Schieffer Retiring":
At most companies, when someone who's worked for the company for 46 years retires, they get a nice speech and a nice watch. But at a TV news network, the audience is subjected to the most extreme fawning, complete with the bizarre notion that no one has ever criticized the retiring journalist.
Following CBS reporter Bob Schieffer announcing his retirement this summer, Charlie Rose deemed Schieffer a “giant of journalism” who had a “legendary career” at CBS News. While Rose claimed that he “never heard anyone at CBS or anywhere else say a bad word about Bob Schieffer” longtime CBS anchor was known for saying “bad things” things about Republicans.
We here at NewsBusters have compiled a list of Scheiffer’s worst quotes at CBS, from trashing Conservatives to cheering on Democrats to more recently praising Obama’s Lincolnesque speeches[.]
What Jeffrey calls the "worst" of Schieffer is mostly just Schieffer not blindly repeating the right-wing talking points the way the MRC wants them. Is Schieffer saying that Franklin Roosevelt was a great president or that Sarah Palin served as an attack dog for John McCain during their 2008 presidential campaign really the "worst" things he said? It is if you're offended by anyone who won't spout conservative dogma, as Meyer apparently is.
We suspect that when Brent Bozell or Tim Graham retire from the MRC, Meyer will be oozing profusely. Which makes him a hypocrite as well as disrespectful.
WND's Unruh Censors Cliven Bundy's Violent, Racist Rhetoric To Mark 'Liberty Celebration' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh is in full hagiographic mode in an April 8 WorldNetDaily article:
A “liberty celebration” is on tap this weekend, Friday through Sunday, at the Bundy ranch in Nevada where just a year ago the family and hundreds of supporters stared down the federal government over plans to confiscate cattle from their historic grazing grounds.
And ranch patriarch Cliven Bundy says the fight really isn’t over for Americans until the federal government is pushed back into Washington and stays there.
Federal bureaucrats “are still moving forward,” he told WND.
“What they’re doing now, they are coming into organizations, county organizations, police forces, city forces, even state forces … buying their way in,” he said.
Bundy said the population of the U.S. – which he calls “We the People” – need to teach the federal bureaucrats their job under the Constitution is limited to designated responsibilities, such as establishing monetary policy and maintaining a national defense, and the rest is left to the sovereign states.
It was just a year ago that the Bundy family, reinforced by hundreds of like-minded Americans who converged on the Nevada desert to offer their support, stared down the federal government, which had come to confiscate the ranch cattle.
You'll recall, of course, that WND was one of Bundy's biggest backers, lionizing Bundy and those "like-minded Americans" who helped throw a temper tantrum and escalating the situation during last year's standoff.
Unruh made no mention of the threats of violence that came from Bundy and his "like-minded Americans" -- better known as militia thugs -- or a plan by one rogue militia member to use women as human shields during the standoff. Here's one of those charming "like-minded Americans" preparing to assassinate law enforcement during the standoff:
Unruh also fails to mention the racist statements Bundy made, claiming that blacks were "better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy." At the time, WND tried to do damage control by scrounging up the only black person it could find to explain away Bundy's offensive remarks: Alan Keyes.
It's telling that Unruh has to hide so many inconvenient facts about Bundy in order to present him as a right-wing hero. But then, nobody reads WND to get the facts, do they?
Newsmax TV Running Another Program On JFK, For Some Reason Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax breathlessly announces in an April 8 article by Bill Hoffmann:
An explosive new documentary reveals how President John F. Kennedy's unquenchable sexual appetite was just days from being exposed by the press when he was assassinated in Dallas.
"JFK's Women: The Scandals Revealed" — to be aired Saturday, 8 p.m. ET., exclusively on Newsmax TV — bares the truth behind the endless string of tawdry affairs involving the nation's 35th president.
From blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe to mob honey Judith Campbell to East German stunner Ellen Rometsch, Kennedy shamelessly and indiscriminately hopped from bed to bed with beauty after beauty.
Kennedy was so hooked on random sex romps that he was seemingly prepared to risk his political career in return for quick carnal thrills.
And Newsmax TV's unflinching look at JFK and the women he bedded is essential viewing for all Americans who want to know what really happened in Camelot.
"JFK's Women: The Scandals Revealed" adds to the diverse programming featured on Newsmax TV, America's fast-growing news and information channel, carried in more than 40 million U.S. satellite and cable homes.
Despite its suggestion, this film is not a Newsmax production -- it appears to be the same documentary that aired on Canadian TV in 2013.
This is the second show in a year Newsmax TV has aired on JFK. Last November, it ran a program featuring the less-than-credible claims of someone who claims to have been the man on the grassy knoll at JFK's assassination. It's unclear why Newsmax TV considers films about JFK to be a key component toward ratings success for its fledgling cable channel.
WND Finally Boards Harry Reid Conspiracy Bandwagon, 6 Days After The MRC Topic: WorldNetDaily
This might be a first: The Media Research Center beat WorldNetDaily to a conspiracy theory.
Last week, NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick excitedly promoted a conspiracy theory that Harry Reid's exercise injuries were actually from a Las Vegas mafia beatdown. WND's Garth Kant belatedly got around to doing his own version of the conspiracy theory in an April 8 article. He promotes speculative and unverified claims that Reid's own brother is responsible for the beatdown, which in the process violated the confidentiality of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Kant suggests that the Capitol Police's declining to comment on the incident is some kind of cover-up, proclaiming that "Skeptics have begun to openly doubt the explanation" Reid gave for his injuries. Kant is simply rewriting the work of others and does no original reporting here. He couldn't be bothered to do something as basic as contact Reid himself.
Gladnick's article arrived a good six days before Kant's. The WND-ization of the MRC is continuing apace.
'Quote Mark Bias' Makes NewsBusters Angry Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center appears to be running out of things to be offended about. Thus, we have an April 4 NewsBusters item by Quin Hillyer complaining about, yes, "quote mark bias":
Media watchers in the past week rightly have criticized multiple media outlets for suddenly deciding that religious freedom needs quotation marks, as in “religious freedom.” Leave it to the news pages of The Wall Street Journal, though, to use those quotation marks, which by their nature indicate that the very concept is in dispute, in the same story with the term gay rights published without the same punctuation.
So we have a situation where the notion of religious freedom, the very bedrock of America’s settlement in the 1600s and its founding as a nation in the late 1700s, is seen as such a questionable idea that it merits quotation marks. But “gay rights,” a concept only invented in the past 30 years or so, and one not even enshrined in federal law or recognized by federal courts as involving a “protected class,” nonetheless is expressed straightforwardly, unambiguously, as so uncontroversial that it can stand on its own without being set off by special punctuation or other emphasis.
Similarly, no quotation marks or other indicators of controversy attend the passage in paragraph five discussing “the rights of gay and lesbian couples to wed.” But the very next sentence – and this is where the editorializing becomes even more explicit than mere punctuation differences – says that the “political response” of religious people “has been to promote the so-called religious-freedom legislation at the state level.”
Read that again. It’s the so-called religious-freedom legislation. Really? Gay rights is stated as a given, but First Amendment rights are merely “so-called”???
Twice more the news article uses the term “gay rights” without quotation marks.
Hillyer ignores the idea that perhaps "religious freedom" deserves scare quotes if its enforcement restricts the rights of others. Observers have noted that the Indiana religious freedom law, as originally passed, was conceived tas a means of excluding gays and same-sex couples from accessing employment, housing, and public accommodations on the same terms as other people.
And why does Hillyer think "gay rights" is so controversial that it needs scare quote? Does he not think such a thing should exist at all and that gays must be discriminated against simply for existing? Judging by Hillyer's annoyance with gays being so darn public with their gayness -- he literally says they're "frightening the horses" -- apparently so.
Hillyer concluded by sneering, "All in all, a more biased 'news article' could hardly be imagined. Please note the quotation marks." Apparently, if a news article says something Hillyer doesn't like, it isn't "news."
WND Omits That Reposted 'Criticism' Of Islam That Got Coach Fired Is False Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has a sad in an unbylined April 7 article:
A Maine lacrosse coach who reposted on Facebook a viral open letter challenging President Obama’s claim that Muslims have played a role in America throughout its history has lost his job.
The Conway Daily Sun reported Scott Lees, who had coached the Fryeburg Academy’s boys lacrosse team for four years, was forced to resign over the posting.
“I thought it was an interesting letter to President Obama and his current administration, who are not paying attention to Israel and focusing on Iran,” he told the Sun.
The letter, which has been circulating on the Web, is a challenge to Obama’s statement in Cairo, Egypt, early in his administration that Islam “has always been a part of America’s history.”
Get the real story about Islam in Washington, in “Radical Islam in the House: The Plan to Take America for the Global Islamic State.”
The letter asks: “Have you ever seen a Muslim hospital? Have you heard a Muslim orchestra? Have you seen a Muslim band march in a parade? Have you witnessed a Muslim charity?”
“Were those Muslims that were in America when the Pilgrims first landed? Funny, I thought they were Native American Indians. Were those Muslims that celebrated the first Thanksgiving day? Sorry again, those were Pilgrims and Native American Indians. Can you show me one Muslim signature on the United States Constitution? Declaration of Independence? Bill of Rights? Didn’t think so. Did Muslims fight for this country’s freedom from England? No. Did Muslims fight during the Civil War to free the slaves in America? No, they did not. In fact, Muslims to this day are still the largest traffickers in human slavery. Your own half-brother, a devout Muslim, still advocates slavery himself, even though Muslims of Arabic descent refer to black Muslims as ‘pug nosed slaves.’ Says a lot of what the Muslim world really thinks of your family’s ‘rich Islamic heritage,’ doesn’t it Mr. Obama?”
The piece also questions Muslim participation in the Civil Rights Movement and the pursuit of Women’s Suffrage. It points out Muslims were aligned with Adolf Hitler during World War II and were found “rejoicing” after the 9/11 attacks.
WND doesn't mention that, like a lot of things "circulating on the Web," is largely false and designed to inflame anti-Muslim sentiment. As Georgetown University researcher Nathan Lean pointed out:
The questions were intended to be rhetorical, with an implicit answer of “no” resounding after each one. ... But a closer examination of history proves that Muslims have done many of them. They are an important and integral part of America’s national fabric and contribute in many meaningful ways to its success and growth.
There are more than 20,000 Muslim physicians in the United States, Lean noted, and the hospital itself is an Egyptian invention. Criticism of the purported lack of Muslim orchestras rings hollow because "Few orchestras are comprised exclusively of members from one particular faith, and many are organized along ethnic or other lines"; besides, the violin has its origins in 10th century bowing instruments of Islamic civilization. And the reason there are no Muslim signatures on the Constitution or Declaration of Independence is because "the first major wave of Muslim immigration to the U.S. occurred in the mid-to-late 19th Century — nearly 100 years after those documents were written."
Lean then asks whether those who promote this Web screed "see an increase in Muslim hospitals, orchestras, charities and marching bands as a welcomed sign of the rich and diverse social fabric of America, or would they decry it an alarming indication of some grand Islamic conspiracy to take over the United States?"
We're guessing Lees and WND would see it as the latter. WND isn't that interested in reporting the truth, after all.
For those keeping track at home, of the 72 articles Chapman has written for CNS since Jan. 1, 29 of them focus on Graham.
Chapman has yet to publicly explain why he thinks apparently everything Graham says is newsworthy. Nor has he said whether he has any sort of agreement with Graham in which he's compensated for giving so much attention to Graham's utterances.
NEW ARTICLE: Yes to Obama Birthers, No to Ted Cruz Birthers Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily simply does not want to discuss Ted Cruz's eligibility to be president, even though by its own standards he's less eligible than Barack Obama. Read more >>
Michael Brown laments in an April 1 WorldNetDaily column:
But who cares about the truth? Misinformation spreads much faster and is often much more convenient. And in this age of instant communication, an age marked by a lack of deep, critical thinking and the frequent absence of serious research, a catchy, misleading sound bite gets “halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on” (to quote and contemporize Winston Churchill’s famous saying about the speed with which a lie spreads).
Misinformation mobs are powerful, but they can (and must) be defeated.
Brown was talking about purported misinformation about right-wing causes, but he may has well have been talking about the publisher of his column.
Newsmax Still Suggesting Kerik Really Wasn't Guilty Topic: Newsmax
Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik has a new book out about his incarceration on corruption charges and his new crusade for prison reform -- and Newsmax, the chief component of the crusade to rehabilitate Kerik's reputation, still wants to promote the idea he really wasn't guilty of what he did.
An April 1 Newsmax article by David Patten uncritically promotes Kerik's book -- he proclaims it "like a late-night alarm jangling down an abandoned street ... a warning to be heeded" -- and adds a little editorial comment about the nature of the charges that landed Kerik in prison:
Kerik very nearly became head of the Department of Homeland Security in 2004. But he withdrew his name after it came to light that he did not pay payroll tax for his children's nanny.
He would ultimately become ensnared in a series of allegations that his defenders contended were politically motivated. Finally, after fighting a drawn-out, expensive legal battle, he pleaded guilty in 2009 to charges of tax fraud and making false statements.
Patten didn't explain who these "defenders" were, let alone that the chief defender is his employer.
In an interview with Kerik the previous day, Patten similarly asserted that Kerik "was battered by a flurry of allegations and probes that some saw as politically motivated." But he apparently never questioned Kerik about it in his interview -- perhaps because it would have clashed with the fact that Kerik put his "prison ID and inmate number right there on the cover of your book," as Patten also noted.
Kerik served his time and is owning his offenses. Why is Newsmax still trying to cover for him?
NewsBusters Writer Graduates To Obama Conspiracy Theories Topic: NewsBusters
Last week, NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick peddled conspiracy theories about Harry Reid. Now, in an April 5 post, he's latched onto old conspiracy theories about President Obama:
Does anybody know what Barack Obama was doing during his college years? We know that he was the president of the Harvard Law Review but do we even know what articles, if any, he wrote for it? Beyond that his college years are almost completely blank as to his grades or activitivies to the extent that his time at Columbia University has been completely erased from memory. No professor nor student from that time even remembers him attending classes at Columbia. Compare that big MSM yawn to the recent mainstream media frenzy which included a 2223 word front page Washington Post story devoted to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's college career which ended before graduation. And now we have something of an MSM Crime Scene Investigation carried out by Politifact Wisconsin about Scott Walker's claim that he recently purchased a sweater at Kohl's department store for only a dollar.
Of course, it's been well documented that Obama attended Columbia, and that Columbia considers him a graduate -- after all, he couldn't havegotten into Harvard Law School if he hadn't graduated from Columbia.
But as with many conspiracy theorists, such evidence isn't good enough. In a Twitter exchange we had with Gladnick, he demanded information about "Classes? Grades? Profs?" When we asked Gladnick if he was a birther -- since, after all, believing the conspiracy theory that Obama didn't actually attend Columbia is not that far from believing he wasn't born in the U.S., he freaked out and refused to answer the question (while also refusing to deny that he was) and hurled personal insults at us.
NewsBusters and its parent, the Media Research Center, used to consider themselves above such conspiracy-mongering. Not anymore, apparently. And, thus, the creeping WorldNetDaily-ization of the MRC continues.
Muslim Derangement Syndrome Watch, Mychal Massie Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
Whether it is another transpicuous display of Erebusic diversity (and it is), or another blatant attempt to transmogrify the Untied States into accepting the incursion of Islam as a valued tradition of America (and it is), all reasonable-minded Americans should be outraged.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag isn’t a case of “should be” always said in English, it is a case of “it must always be” pledged in English. There is no acceptable reason for it to be otherwise. For this columnist and hundreds of millions of other Americans, English is recognized as the official language of the United States, regardless of the fact that Congress and Obama refuse to codify it as same. It is the language of those whose blood was shed – from which the Pledge was born.
Islam played no part in America’s history apart from ensuring that there was a robust supply of slaves.
I emphatically state that Muslims are not welcome to come here and form their own idea of government and establish their own definitions of what is acceptable based on their so-called religious beliefs. This is the United States of America. It is not an Islamic outpost.
Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance isn’t “a simple student activity to promote mutual understanding”; it is an act of reverence to those who gave their lives to make America free. It is a Pledge of loyalty born out of the debt that was paid in blood for America to become the greatest nation in the world, and if Muslims do not like that, then I submit perhaps they would be more comfortable back in the Middle East.
Charles Barkley and NewsBusters: The End of the Affair Topic: NewsBusters
After less than two months, NewsBusters has ended its brief infatuation with Charles Barkley.
In a Feb. 20 post, Melissa Mullins praised Barkley for saying that he admired Jordan’s King Abdullah II for being "heroic" by personally going after those who had kidnapped and killed a Jordanian pilot and that his reaction to Hillary Clinton was to think about voting Republican.
That one-sided lovefest, alas, has come to a screeching halt. An April 3 post by Scott Whitlock lashes out at Barkley for having "sneered" that those who support "religious freedom" laws in Indiana are "religious nuts" who "hide behind the Bible." This was a "hateful attack" by Barkley,Whitlock assured us.
Whitlock didn't mention that NewsBusters had praised Barkley's opinions just a few weeks earlier; instead, he complained that "In 2008, CNN brought on Barkley to rail against 'fake Christians.'"
Whatever will Barkley do now that NewsBusters doesn't like him anymore? He'll probably figure out something.
Vadum's March 29 WND article is a masterpiece of sloppy reporting, starting with this ominous opening:
The Obama administration is using your tax dollars to back a super-wealthy, left-wing charity that cuts checks to a myriad of avowedly "progressive" causes, including the notorious Media Matters for America, founded by Hillary Clinton ally and Fox News nemesis David Brock.
It's just one of many examples of how in the Obama era, government is handing out money to nonprofits that share the ideology and political inclinations of a president who looks back warmly on his time as a community organizer in Chicago.
It takes numerous paragraphs and even more numerous extraneous partisan attacks to lay it out, but the gist of Vadum's article is this: The Social Innovation Fund, which is administered by the taxpayer-supported Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), gave a $7.5 million grant to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for a certain educational program that is "designed to increase the number of third graders who read proficiently in 11 high need school districts in San Mateo County, California."
Had Vadum stopped there, he would have been on safe ground. Instead he goes conspiratorial, accusing the Silicon Valley Community Foundation of being a "left-wing" nonprofit that is "already awash in private funds" due to its links with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Vadum claims the foundation "doesn’t represent the political proclivities of most Americans" because it has given some money to "left-wing" groups like the Center for Responsible Lending (a nonpartisan group that educates Americans about predatory lending practices) and the National Immigration Forum (which apparently violates Vadum's right-wing sensibilities by not hating immigrants).
Vadum suggests that the federal grant money is going to these purportedly "left-wing" causes:
So how did the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which doesn’t represent the political proclivities of most Americans, get its hands on federal money?
Federal bureaucrats get to decide which groups and proposals are funded by the Social Innovation Fund. SIF creates a kind of artificial civil society, one designed from above by elites. It focuses on three areas that are hard to define with precision: “economic opportunity, youth development, and healthy futures.”
In practice, it means that bureaucrats and grant recipients propose more government spending and bigger government as solutions to more or less all problems.
It also means SIF uses taxpayer money to help groups hostile to the interests of taxpayers. Even worse, many of these groups want to remake society along radical left-wing lines.
In fact, such federal grants are typically watched closely to make sure the money is spent on the program it is intended, and the foundation must also verify that.
If Vadum's smear tactic sounds familiar, it is. Back in 2004, WND did the same thing to Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, by claiming that her donations to the Tides Foundation (which Vadum also accuses the Silicon Valley Community Foundation of funding) went to various and sundry radical causes, even though her donations were specifically earmarked for specific, non-radical purposes. When WND was finally forced to report the truth about Heinz Kerry and Tides, it then declared the truth was irrelevant to its anti-Kerry political crusade.
Vadum is doing the same thing here -- claiming that Obama is personally sending federal money to fund various "left-wing" groups while ignoring the specific programs for which that money is used. Vadum's entire WND series does this.
In a follow-up article, Vadum suggests that AARP received a CNCS grant because it was "one of Obamacare's chief cheerleaders" and "has an unabashedly left-wing political agenda" -- largely overlooking the fact that the grant given to AARP was for increasing financial stability in older women, which has nothing to do with Obamacare.
Another Vadum article attacks another CNCS funding recipient, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. Because Vadum is such a bad writer, it's suggested early on that the Clark Foundation is "named for President Obama's Marxist law-school mentor, known for his promotion of the radical 'critical race theory.'" But as Vadum later writes, the foundation is named after the "daughter of 19th century perfumer David Hall McConnell, founder of cosmetic giant Avon," and that his real issue is that "Clark Foundation has given grants to the Dorchester, Massachusetts-based organization BELL," named in honor of Derrick A. Bell Jr., Harvard Law’s first black tenured professor. Vadum notes that the CNCS money he's attacking goes toward "improving the educational skills and workforce readiness of economically disadvantaged young people as well as helping them to avoid high-risk behavior," but he doesn't explain why he apparently thinks that's an unworthy cause -- or bother to prove that any of it ever went to BELL.
Finally, Vadum complains that "The Obama administration has given $16.8 million since 2010 to its allies at a left-wing nonprofit known as the Local Initiatives Support Corp. LISC, in turn, has provided grants to many radical groups, including a Chicago-based nonprofit founded by the late Marxist activist Saul Alinsky." Needless to say, at no point does Vadum prove that any federal money went to that Alinsky-founded group (nor did he mention that Alinsky died more than 40 years ago).
In short, Vadum is doing what he always does -- cranking out factually deficient, innuendo-laced right-wing screeds that are designed to keep up the hate factor on the right.
Strangely, such shoddy work has kept him employed as the "senior editor" at the Capital Research Center -- and, not so strangely, a byline at WND.