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Friday, October 2, 2015
MRC's Gainor Attacks Amazon CEO, Can't Grasp Basic Financial Concepts
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center VP of business Dan Gainor -- a right-wing apparatchik who once attacked the Muppets for not being sufficiently conservative -- is back, and this time his target is Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.

In a Sept. 30 NewsBusters post, Gainor rants about the Post publishing articles about income inequality, then attacks Bezos:

According to the Sept. 29, Daily Mail: “But it was Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who has emerged as the biggest overall gainer, adding a whopping $16.5 billion to his war chest in a single year after his company posted a quarterly profit in July.”

Whopping indeed. Bezos made 899,521 times the median household income in the United States -- $52,250. Were Bezos a nation, the $16.5 billion would give him a GDP rank of 150, just below Kosovo and above 81 nations including Guinea and Iceland.

It seems that Gainor doesn't understand a very basic financial principle, the difference between income and net worth.

As Forbes points out, that $16.5 billion was created by a increase in the value of his stock in Amazon; he owns 18 percent of the company. Even a first-year business student can tell you that unless Bezos cashes in that stock -- which he hasn't -- the rise in its value is not considered income. That makes Gainor's rant that Bezos "made 899,521 times the median household income in the United States" look foolish.

Gainor doesn't mention what Bezos actually makes as Amazon CEO -- probably because it would make him look even more foolish.

Bloomberg reported that in 2013 Bezos' Amazon salary was ... $81,840. No, really. And he asked the company not to pay him any more than that. He does, however, receive $1.6 million in compensation to cover security arrangements.

We're pretty sure that even Gainor makes more in salary than Bezos does -- indeed, Gainor made more than $122,000 in 2010, a figure we can only assume has increased since then. Given that he can't grasp basic financial concepts despite being the head of the MRC's operation targeting business news, he seems overcompensated.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:46 PM EDT
Mission Accomplished: MRC's Bozell Relishes That Media Lacks Credibility
Topic: Media Research Center
In his recent interview with Rush Limbaugh, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell admitted that the mission of the MRC is to destroy the media's credibility: "It’s not how liberal the media are. The question is: How much are they believed, how much are they trusted? You’re never going to stop the press from being left-wing. You can’t do a thing to stop that. But what you can do is expose their lack of credibility. You have to do it every single day. That’s what motivates me, because it works."

Well, mission accomplished: a new Gallup poll states that the public's trust in the mass media has reached an historic low.

Needless to say, the MRC couldn't be more thrilled -- after all, this is the result Bozell and Co. has spent millions of dollars a year over the past nearly 30 years trying to accomplish.

"ALL TIME LOW," screamed the headline on a Sept. 29 CNSNews.com article by Terry Jeffrey reporting the results. (That's how important this poll result is to the MRC: the editor-in-chief at CNS wrote the article.) Jeffrey was particularly tickled by the finding that "an all-time low of 7 percent of Americans say that they have a great deal of trust and confidence in the media."

Bozell takes similar joy in the Gallup poll in his (and Tim Graham's) Sept. 30 column, crowing, "One quarter of the population has no trust in the press. Nada. Nothing. Zero. Zip." Of course, Bozell didn't mention that this is the result he and his fellow right-wing activists have bought.

Bozell and Graham then engage in a personal attack against a Washington Post reporter who defended the media, insulting him as "one of those self-impressed Watergate babies" and a "snooty elite." They rant that the "spiel" the reporter is selling that the media  is not organized enough to ram a liberal agenda "is not selling," again staying silent about how much they've spent to sell their own spiel.

But Bozell's project to destroy the media has a fatal flaw: He has not put up anything to replace it. If he really cared about media bias as an issue, he would have created a news organization that truly plays it straight, with none of the bias -- liberal or conservative -- he claims spoils the news.

Instead, Bozell's CNSNews.com is even more biased than he has ever accused the "liberal media" of being -- and has even less credibility as a "news" organization, given that people can't tell the difference between CNS reporters and right-wing protesters.

Bozell could have fixed this alleged problem. Instead, he made it worse. And because he cares more about ideology than the media, he can't see past his glee that the media's credibility is being destroyed to figure out that his own media's credibility has been destroyed as well.

In other words, he's burning down his own house. Maybe he should dial back that appetite for destruction a little bit.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 AM EDT
Thursday, October 1, 2015
CNS Gotcha-Question Hurler Insists He's A 'Credentialed Member of the Press'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Meet Sam Dorman. He works for CNSNews.com. It's unclear exactly what he does -- he's not on the CNS staff list, and his archive page lacks a bio. We are guessing he's a reporter of some kind, but we're not sure.

Anyway, Dorman has been running around D.C. to various members of Congress this week to hurl a single gotcha question at them: “Is an unborn baby with a human heart and a human liver a human being?”

Of course, if all you're doing is running around asking important people a single gotcha question with the sole purpose of advancing a political cause, you're not really a reporter -- you're an activist. Given that Dorman has mostly been going targeting Democratic congressmembers with his gotcha question, one could also  say he's making a political statement by doing so. Acting as a protester, if you will.

When the Washington Post did an article on Dorman hurling his gotcha question at House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the reporter, Kelsey Snell, referred to Dorman as an "anti-abortion protester."Snell didn't identify Dorman by name, noting that "It was unclear who the questioner was and for which news organization they worked."

For some reason, Dorman got all huffy about this. He tweeted at Snell: "I am not an anti abortion 'protestor'. I am a credentialed member of the press. Please correct your story."

But one does not have to have "credentials" to act as a journalist in America; he may be referring to what it takes to get into Pelosi's press conference, but the fact he has them means the standards are low enough that his insistence that he has them is a laughable attempt to pull rank.

And, again, if you're just asking a single gotcha question to your ideological enemies, you are, in fact, a protester, not a reporter.

Another curious thing about Dorman" His Twitter account fails to identify his real name (it lists only @blah2k as the handle and "freedorman" as the name) or his employer; there' no description of the use at all. Thus, Dorman's tweet to Snell was a complete failure because she has no idea who's tweeting her.

Further, it appears from Snell's description of the Pelosi encounter and from the accompanying video that Dorman never announced who he was or who he was with before hurling his gotcha question at Pelosi. For a self-proclaimed "credential member of the press," Dorman sure doesn't want many people to know about it -- or maybe he just wants it known when he gets caught acting more like an ideological protester than a journalist.

Wait, wasn't it just yesterday that Dorman's boss, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, was ranting about media transparency? Yes, he was.

Bozell might have a little credibility on the issue if his own so-called reporters weren't so determined to hide their identities in public.

UPDATE: It took two MRC staffers -- Kristine Marsh and Katie Yoder -- to write about this for NewsBusters. They insist that Dorman is a "journalist" and a "reporter" despite him offering no proof of it, and they ignore the fact that Dorman apparently never identified himself before hurling his gotcha question at Pelosi. They also tout his tweet to Snell despite the fact there's nothing at Dorman's Twitter account that would identify him as Dorman or as a CNS employee.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:51 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 1, 2015 6:43 PM EDT
MRC's Bozell Demands Media Transparency. Yes, The Same Guy Who Wasn't Transparent About Who Wrote His Columns.
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell, His Eternal Huffiness*, has spoken:

The hypocrisy meter is going off the charts at CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. In their reporting about the Planned Parenthood videos, they refer to them as 'edited' or 'heavily edited.' Well guess what? Each and every day these same TV news outlets edit and heavily edit their own news segments -- including their stories about the Planned Parenthood videos.  Hours upon hours of footage is collected for every two to three minute segment they air, and the overwhelming amount of that footage hits the cutting room floor, never to see the light of day.
 
What are these networks not showing the American people? What are they cutting? Don't the American people have a right to see it? The difference between these networks and the Center for Medical Progress is that CMP is far more honest and transparent in disclosing the full footage and posting it online.  These "news" networks have a responsibility to do the same.

Today, I am calling on CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS to make public all the footage they collect for all of the news segments they produce, just as the Center for Medical Progress has done. Until they do, they have no right to question CMP's professionalism.

So Bozell -- who spent 15-plus years hiding from his readers the fact that he didn't write his own syndicated column, and still hasn't publicly apologized for his laziness and deceit a year and a half after the charade was exposed, let alone given the guy who actually wrote them, Tim Graham, retroactive credit for his work -- is demanding that others in the media be transparent? It is to laugh.

* We stole "His Eternal Huffiness" from Arkansas columnist John Brummett, who used the term to describe Mike Huckabee during his tenure as governor, which tells you how much Huckabee has moderated (somewhat) his persona for his TV gigs and presidential run.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Meanwhile...
Topic: CNSNews.com

A few weeks back, we wrote an item for the Huffington Post summarizing the dishonest attacks on Margaret Sanger pushed by right-wing professor Paul Kengor at places like WorldNetDaily. Kengor responded in a column at the American Spectator, which was reprinted at CNSNews.com.

We've taken to HuffPo to show why Kengor is still dishonest, at least up to the point where he finally admits Sanger wasn't a rabid racist who wanted to kill blacks.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 10:08 PM EDT
MRC Still Won't Admit Fiorina's Misleading About Planned Parenthood
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center, in contradiction of its self-proclaimed mission to get the media to "Tell the Truth!", has been enabling Carly Fiorina's misleading claims about the contents of a series of secretly filmed, dishonestly edited anti-Planned Parenthood videos.

Curtis Houck is the latest Fiorina apologist. In a Sept. 27 NewsBusters post, he complains about Fiorina being called for her dishonesty by NBC's Kristen Welker, who pointed out that fact-checkers (which Houck will only refer to in scare quotes) have discredited her claim to have seen a certain bit of footage in the videos. Houck huffed in response: "While Welker and 'fact checkers' may say that they multiple videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, it’s fair to say that astute conservatives such as The Federalist’s Mollie Hemmingway [sic] would beg to differ with their assessments."

As we've pointed out, Hemingway does not actually back up Fiorina's specific claim. In her Federalist post to which Houck is referring, she can't identify merely says that Fiorina "is likely referring to the entirety of the 10 videos."

Houck gets further incensed in a Sept. 29 post, upset that Fiorina's campaign manager is being taken to task by CNN's John Berman for her candidate's dishonesty. Berman notes that even Fox News has noted the dishonesty, and that the doctored clip in question "shows someone describing the scene. You hear someone describing the scene and then see file video which doesn't show what Carly Fiorina says it shows." The campaign manager, meahwhile, is in full kill-the-messenger mode, asserting that "the non-partisan fact checkers aren't as non-partisan as you pretending that they are."

All Houck offers in response is this: "For further reading on this matter about whether these unnamed “non-partisan fact checkers” are right, check out this fine piece compiled by the staff of The Federalist."

But that Federalist post conceded that the video was, in fact, doctored by the insertion of an outside video and is "obviously not the same baby as the one [the Planned Parenthood staffer in question] harvested the brain of."

The Federalist, however, then invokes the fake-but-accurate defense the MRC loathed when Dan Rather invoked it, claiming the doctored footage "helps viewers to understand what a 19-week old baby looks like when hearing the testimony of an ex-employee who harvested brains from babies of the same age. Illustrating stories with appropriate images is a common journalistic technique, one used by all media outlets."

Given that neither Hemingway nor The Federalist dispute or contradict the fact that the "Center for Medical Reform" used doctored footage in their videos -- and are apparently the best the anti-abortion forces have in defending Fiorina -- perhaps Houck shouldn't have cited them at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 PM EDT
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Coulter Cowards: MRC Gives Stays Silent on Ann Coulter's Catholic-Bashing
Topic: Media Research Center

 

So the Media Research Center won't publicly criticize Ann Coulter for making an anti-Semitic tweet. Nor will the MRC chastise any conservative who bashes the Catholic Church.

How do you think the MRC will react to Coulter bashing Catholics? That's right: stone silence.

During Pope Francis' visit to America last week, Coulter tweeted that the Catholic Church was "largely built by pedophiles," and claimed that the pope's criticism of economic inequality is "why our founders (not "immigrants"!) distrusted Catholics & wouldn't make them citizens."

You'd think that NewsBusters blogger Dave Pierre, who reflextively defends the church against any mention of its sex scandals, would have something to say. But he, along with the rest of the MRC, are keeping their mouths zipped.

By contrast, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League -- on whose board of advisers MRC chief Brent Bozell sits -- approached the issue in his usual way:

What do Ann Coulter and the Westboro Baptist Church have in common? Both are obscene anti-Catholics. Indeed, they are the worst of Pope Francis' vile critics to emerge during his visit to the United States.

Coulter tweeted last week that the Catholic Church was "largely built by pedophiles." This is the kind of comment we might expect from the likes of Bill Maher.

No wonder these two bigots are best of friends. Coulter also tweeted, "I'm an American and this is why our founders (not ‘immigrants') distrusted Catholics and wouldn't make them citizens."

If she doesn't already belong to the Klan, they would love to have her. 

Donohue is a NewsBusters blogger, but you won't find the above commentary there (we found it at Newsmax). That language is apparently too strong for the MRC.

Heck, any criticism at all of Coulter is too strong for the MRC. Call them the Coulter Cowards.

(Photo: MRC)


Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 8:31 PM EDT
WND's Farah Sends Memo To Trump To Dump Coulter, Didn't CC Himself
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah is on another Ann Coulter-bashing tear, devoting his Sept. 28 WorldNetDaily column to criticizing Coulter for her latest provocation, a "vicious slur against Catholics – one that was not only bigoted, but wholly inaccurate historically," writing regarding Pope Francis' views on climate change that "“I’m an American and this is why our founders (not “immigrants”!) distrusted Catholics & wouldn’t make them citizens.”

Farah retorted: "It’s not only anti-Catholic, it’s anti-founders. It’s absolute nonsense that America’s founders wouldn’t allow Catholics to be citizens. In fact, an entire American colony, later an original state, Maryland, was founded, as a Catholic refuge."

But Farah is not telling the whole story. Maryland may have been founded as a "Catholic refuge," but it ceased being that relatively quickly. The first colonial-era settlement in Maryland, St. Mary's City, was established in 1633, but by the 1690s the English Crown had taken over the colony and laws were passed banning Catholics from voting and worshiping in public.

The Catholic World Report adds more information:

Maryland had possessed the most anti-Catholic laws in the colonies prior to the War for Independence.  Catholics could not worship publicly, and children could even, by law, be removed permanently from their parents and sent to live with Protestant families in England should the Catholic parents attempt to educate their children in a “Catholic fashion.” 

[...]

Maryland had not been the only place harboring anti-Catholic feelings in the colonies.  Indeed, every colony had some form of anti-Catholic law, except for Pennsylvania.  The farther north one journeyed, the stronger the anti-Catholicism became.  As early as the 1640s, for example, the New England colonies had passed a law that a man could enter a congregation only if armed with his weapon and firearm, in case of a Catholic or Indian attack.  Along the same lines, men exited Sunday service in scouting formation, securing the area for the defense of the women and children.  When New England militia went into battle during the War for Independence, their war cry was “No king, no popery!”  As General John Sullivan of the Continental Army had claimed, the Quebec Act, which gave rights to Canadian Catholics, was the “most dangerous to American Liberties among the whole train.”  Should the Catholics gain power, he continued, “no God may as well exist in the universe.”

While the Founding Fathers may have been more tolerant of Catholics than their colonial forebears, the fact remains that the Declaration of Independence contains the signature of only one Catholic, Charles Carroll. So Coulter is not historically inaccurate as she is dickish.

But Farah's column is headlined "Memo to Trump: Dump Coulter." And Farah unloads once again, asserting that "Coulter will do anything and say anything for attention," she "badly needs an editor – and a keeper," and "is making the case for herself as a WASP bigot" who has demonstrated "raw bigotry and stupidity." He asks, "Has she run out of material? Does she know how to make a point without defamation and cruelty?" (Never mind that Coulter's sense of defamation and cruelty was a selling point at WND.) He then states:

If I were my buddy David Limbaugh, the person she tweeted directly to as well as the general public, I’d be angry. Limbaugh has been close to Coulter for a long time. I would tell Coulter if she plans on tweeting any more bigoted comments, leave me out of it, thank you. I don’t want that stink on me.

And, if I were Donald Trump, running for the presidency and using Coulter as an opening act at some of his campaign appearances, I would say goodbye to the increasingly thoughtless, conscienceless, shrill, mean, self-righteous, angry and bombastic Coulter.

But Farah himself is not taking any of his own advice. Nowhere in his column does he explain why the "increasingly thoughtless, conscienceless, shrill, mean, self-righteous, angry and bombastic Coulter" who Donald Trump and David Limbaugh should disavow is still worthy of a place as a WND columnist.

We've detailed how Farah keeps making the case that Coulter doesn't deserve a public forum, yet he remains stubbornly insistent on providing one to her, if only because she drives traffic to the WND website.

Farah is perfectly comfortable telling other people what to do, but he won't take his own advice, lest his website lose readers. That's how cynical and desperate he is.

Farah might want to CC himself on his memo.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:28 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 8:31 AM EDT
Monday, September 28, 2015
MRC Takes 3,500 Words To Say PFAW Is Liberal (Then Distorts Facts About It)
Topic: Media Research Center

Alatheia Larsen, a researcher for the Media Research Center's MRC Business division, spent a good long time to work up her outrage at Norman Lear describing herself as a "bleeding heart conservative," and it exploded a full six weeks after Lear made the statement in the form of a 3,500-word Sept. 23 NewsBusters post dedicated to proving once and for all that Lear’s "pet organization," People For the American Way, and its Right Wing Watch division, is liberal -- as if that was ever in doubt.

For all the time Larsen had to work on this, however, you'd think she'd have done a better job of getting her facts straight.

For example, she ranted:

In April 2015, RWW falsely accused Walker of saying that “ultrasounds should be mandatory since they’re ‘a cool thing.’” Media outlets including Politico, Salon, Huffington Post, The Washington Post and Mother Jones picked up the story without first researching to see if RWW was telling the truth.

 Walker had not said, what RWW claimed. While discussing ultrasound legislation, Walker had shared an anecdote about how “cool” it was to still have the ultrasound pictures of his now adult sons. RWW brutally twisted his words without acknowledging the distortion.

In fact, that is a fair interpretation of what Walker said, given that in the contenxt of the interview, he was using that anecdote to justify the forced-ultrasound bill he signed into law.

Larsen falsely suggested that Right Wing Watch didn't provide the full context of Walker's words by touting how "The Daily Caller supplied Walker’s actual quote." In fact, that full quote is in the Right Wing Watch item Larsen is attacking.

Larsen continues:

RWW also attacked HGTV’s Flip it Forward stars David and Jason Benham for being pro-life and defending traditional marriage, both things the group opposes. In April 2014, RWW called the Benham twins “anti-gay, anti-choice extremist[s].”

The media also bought that made-up scandal. The day after RWW first published its hit piece, HGTV canceled the Benham’s show. ABC and CNN then ran multiple reports repeating the accusations leveled at the Benhams.

Larsen makes sure not to repeat the statements attributed to the Benhams that Right Wing Watch uncovered -- like smearing homosexuality is "demonic" and ranting outside abortion clinics that they are the "altars of Moloch" -- all the better to pretend they're really not extremists. Larsen never explains how these views are not "extremist," but instead grumbles that the Benhams were "forced to defend themselves."

Larsen then sent after PFAW:

Lear often brags about his organization’s hand in keeping Bork, a Reagan Supreme Court nominee, from being appointed in 1987. PFAW spread numerous lies about Bork’s record. The charges included labeling him racist and accusing him of supporting poll taxes. The damage was done: Bork withdrew. PFAW’s attacks were so relentless and effective, that “Borking” became an official term for using baseless personal attacks to effectively keep someone out of a public office.

Larsen's source for this claim is an article by conservative columnist Mona Charen who, like Larsen, doesn't back up her claim.

There is a factual basis for much of what was said about Bork. He did, in fact, effectively support a poll tax through his opposition to the overturning of one in 1966; he expressed his opposition to the overturning of one poll tax because he claimed its use was not racially discriminatory and because he believed the Equal Protection Clause did not cover economic discrimination.

And as CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin points out: "It was said, in later years, that Bork was 'borked,' which came to mean treated unfairly in the confirmation process. This is not so. Bork was 'borked' simply by being confronted with his own views—which would have undone many of the great constitutional landmarks in recent American history. 

Larsen is simply angry that PFAW is effective at highlighting right-wing extremism, which she reframes as "tearing down America’s conservatives." But her tirade is short on facts and long on highly subjective outrage.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 PM EDT
CNS Asserts O'Malley Wants To 'Kill Babies'
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com loves to put biased and misleading headlines on articles, but it's reached a new low in a Sept. 28 article by Melanie Hunter, in which she summarized an interview with Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley, in which he expressed his opposition to the death penalty and explains why he's pro-choice.

Here's how CNS headlined Hunter's article: "Martin O'Malley: Kill Babies Not Murderers." No, really.

At no point in Hunter's article does she quote O'Malley saying he wants to "kill babies." How did CNS find a frothing O'Malley screaming "KILL BABIES!" out of a sit-down Sunday morning interview?

We have no idea. It's just making up stuff -- not a good image for a place calling itself a "news" website.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:59 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 28, 2015 5:38 PM EDT
Sunday, September 27, 2015
WND's Farah Forgives Coulter's Anti-Semitic Tirade, Will Keep Running Her Column Until She Stops Bringing Traffic To WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Looks we got somebody's attention. A few days after we raised the issue, Joseph Farah devoted his Sept. 24 WorldNetDaily column to whether Ann Coulter's "f---ing Jews" tirade will cause him to stop publishing her column.

His answer? It won't. His reason? Christian forgiveness, or something.

Farah states that since Coulter's remarks, he has "been inundated with requests and demands to exercise my authority as founder, chief executive officer and editor of WND.com to dump Coulter as a commentator" -- making sure not to mention us, of course.

He then explains: "If I believed she was truly an anti-Semite, that would be a different story. Then I would bounce her so fast it would make her blond hair flip. But I don’t think she is." He adds, "I would hope and trust the editors of WND’s commentary section would never allow her to make such an insensitive and inflammatory remark like that in our publication. I certainly would not condone it."

But WND has, in fact, published anti-Jewish commentary on its pages. In 2010, WND published a commentary by Pat Buchanan complaining there were too many Jews on the Supreme Court. And in 2012, WND columnist Burt Prelutsky argued that the so-called "war on Christmas" is a conspiracy pushed by "Jewish judges, Jewish journalists and the largely Jewish funded ACLU." So let's not pretend that the editors of WND’s commentary section have any particular sensitivity on the subject.

Farah then recounted the tit-for-tat between him and Coulter over Coulter's speaking to a group of gay conservatives and Farah dropping her as a speaker for his far-right political conference over it."People assumed I would dump Coulter’s column then," he write. "I did not. Why? I forgave her. That’s what Christians do." He suggests he's done the same for Coulter here, but he doesn't explicity say so.

Then, Farah turns the whole brouhaha into self-aggrandization, as he's prone to do:

There’s another reason I didn’t drop Coulter (and, no, it has nothing to do with traffic she brings WND).

This is the part very few people get: I actually believe in providing the broadest forum of stimulating commentary to be found in the English language. That’s what we do at WND, in addition to using our news section to uncover fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in government and other powerful institutions with WND’s team of enterprising, investigative and truly independent journalists.

Think about that.

Where else but WND do you find commentary from the far left to the far right and plenty in the middle?

Nowhere.

It’s unheard of at any other news organization today.

It’s a value I learned a long time ago as a newspaperman. But it no longer exists today in the New Media or the Old Media. WND stands alone in presenting both sides! Think of it.

Name one other news organization that strives to do this. Believe me, you won’t find one.

This is all utter horsepuckey. As we've repeatedly highlighted, exactly two of WND's three dozen or so regular columnists are explicitly liberal -- Bill Press and Ellen Ratner, whose presence at WND is merely window-dressing for Farah to claim he has a full spectrum of columnists -- while nearly all of the rest are on the conservative/libertarian end of the spectrum. We can't think of a single WND columnist who is a centrist, despite Farah's claim that he has "plenty in the middle."

Farah's claim that "WND stands alone in presenting both sides" is a baldfaced lie as well. "Name one other news organization that strives to do this," he says? Sure! To start with, the Washington Post, whose opinion pages include conservatives like George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Kathleen Parker, Jennifer Rubin and Michel Gerson as well as liberals like E.J. Dionne, Greg Sargent and Colbert King.

There's also a little publication called the New York Times, which includes right-leaning columnists such as David Brooks and Ross Douthat.

In fact, most daily newspapers in the U.S. attempt to present a spectrum of opinions on its commentary pages. For Farah to claim WND is literally the only publication publishing a diverse spectrum of opinion is not only false and ahistorical, it allows him to deny the fact that both WND's commentary and supposed straight-news pages are heavily skewed to the right.

And while we can't prove Farah's claim that the "traffic she brings WND" played no consideration into WND's decision to keep Coulter is a lie, we're pretty sure it is. After all , it was just last year that Farah was bragging how "her column still runs in WND every week, the place more people read it than anywhere else."

Interestingly, nowhere in Farah's column does he explain why he is keeping Coulter as a columnist on the basis of the quality of the content she provides. There's not even an attempt to blather about her providing a unique point of view or a track record of being intellectually provocative and writing a series of best-selling books.

Instead, he repeatedly and personally slags her at every opportunity, at one point stating, "Coulter is brash. She is angry. She is reckless. She’s badly in need of some accountability in her life. I hope she finds it along with some peace." The nicest thing he says about her is the backhanded compliment that he doesn't believe she's anti-Semitic.

It's clear Farah doesn't respect Coulter as a person or for the quality of her opinions, which again points us to the inescapable conclusionthat the only reason WND is keeping Coulter is for the traffic she brings to the website. Which, thus, makes Farah's argument that he's forgiven her anti-Semitic tirade sound more than a little hollow.

Farah would probably be the first to argue that Christian forgiveness shouldn't turn one into a doormat, but a doormat is exactly what Farah looks like here. He's constantly forgiving Coulter's transgressions, even when she's personally attacking him. By taking her abuse, he looks weak.

It's almost as if Coulter is trying to see how offensive she can be before Farah will drop her column at WND. It's clear that this will continue until her WND traffic numbers drop -- and not before then.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 PM EDT
NewsBusters Blogger Again Desperately Tries to Deflect Catholic Church Sex-Abuse Scandal
Topic: NewsBusters

Dave Pierre uses a Sept. 23 NewsBusters post to complain that news reports on Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. are mentioning the sexual abuse scandal among Catholic priests, as he is prone to doing. Pierre dismissed the scandal as "stale" and "decades-old," suggesting that there's no real scandal here because most of the accused priests are dead.

Pierre might want to ask the victims of sexual abuse by priests if they think the abuse they suffered is "stale."

Pierre went on to try to smear groups that are trying to hold the Catholic church accountable for how it enabled the abuse. He sneered that the leader of one group is "cranky" -- "media research," folks! -- and he complained that Barbara Blaine, founder and president of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), "once wrote a letter of support on behalf of a child pornographer."

Pierre overstates the case and leaves out important information. The person in question, a doctor in Louisiana, was not a "child pornographer"; he had apparently downloaded images of child pornography to his computer. The doctor ultimately pleaded guilty to lesser charges after officials decided that they had concerns about evidence in the case, and a state medical board noted the doctor's health conditions making him "prone to confusion and poor judgment when stressed or after more than a half-day's work," and ruled that the evidence does not indicated that the doctor "intentionally downloaded child pornography." Further, Blaine's letter did not attempt to claim the doctor was innocent but, rather, noted that the doctor had been an advocate against sexual abuse and that the doctor's wife had founded a state chaper of SNAP.

Pierre runs the Media Report website, where he serves as an apologist for the Catholic Church on the sex-abuse scandal and attacks the church's critics, particularly SNAP.  We'd complain about someone with such a obviously biased agenda being given a platform at the Media Research Center, but that's kinda what the MRC does.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:28 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 27, 2015 8:34 PM EDT
Thursday, September 24, 2015
NewsBusters' Gwinn: Paula Deen's Use of N-Word No Different Than Tarantino
Topic: NewsBusters

Dylan Gwinn has shown himself to be one of the less sharp knives in NewsBusters' "media research" drawer. He strikes again by venturing far out of his sports expertise in a Sept. 24 post that is ostensibly a review of the season opener of the sitcom "Blackish."

The episode centers on use of the N-word, and here's how Gwinn responds to a reference to usage of the word by Quentin Tarantino and Paula Deen:

Of course, the reason why Quentin Tarantino can use the n-word 87 times in a movie and get an Oscar while Paula Deen loses her show for saying it once has more to do with the hypocrisy of the media than anything else. Quentin Tarantino is loved by the left, and as such gets a free pass. The same kind of free pass that ABC will get for having a sitcom where a black man thumps a gun on the table. Meanwhile, Paula Deen doesn’t have those kind of connections to the politically correct crowd, and gets far worse.

So Gwinn really thinks there's no differene between Tarantino and Deen in their respective uses of the N-word, huh? Let's educate him, shall we?

Tarantino is a filmmaker. His use of the word came in a film he made, "Django Unchained," where it was a least somewhat justified given the film's historical context of 19th-century slavery and discrimination.

Deen, on the other hand, is a TV cook who may or may not have said the N-word in regard to a group of black waiters she wanted to have tap-dance Shirley Temple style as part of a Southern plantation-themed wedding she wanted to throw for her brother -- an idea (ultimately rejected) that reminded her of southern America “before the Civil War.” Deen's brother was also accused of using the N-word in the kitchen of their restaurant.

In short: Tarantino's use of the N-word occurred in fiction. Deen's use (and overall racism) occurred in real life, involving actual black people. That's the difference.

It seems that Gwinn can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EDT
WND Wimps Out, Keeps Running Coulter's Column
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A couple days ago, we wondered if WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah would have the courage of his conviction that Ann Coulter has degenerated into a "slur machine" and "thuggish commentator" as demonstrated by her "f---ing Jews" tirade (despite the fact that islurs and thuggish commentary are pretty much the cornerstone of commentary at WND) and do the one thing he can to directly send a message to her: cancel her column.

Well, we have our answer, and the answer is no.

Coulter's latest column appeared at WND at its appointed time, just as it has for years.

So it seems that to Farah and WND, Coulter will never be so offensive that it will stop promoting her -- she drives too much traffic to WND, and Farah is afraid to lose it. Since she is a "slur machine" and "thuggish commentator," Coulter will almost certainly continue to say offensive things in the future, and Farah and WND will have enabled her to do so by being gutless when it counted.

Once again, Farah has put money ahead of his self-proclaimed beliefs. We are not surprised.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, 'Muslim Identity' Edition
Topic: Accuracy in Media

So what reason is there to believe that Obama is a Christian just because he says so? He doesn’t act or talk like a Christian, and he doesn’t go to church very often. Instead, he acts and talks like a Muslim. Obama acknowledges in Dreams from My Father that his grandfather was a Muslim (page 104) and that he spent two years in a Muslim school in Indonesia studying the Koran (page 154).

There is no evidence Obama was baptized, in any formal sense, in Jeremiah Wright’s church.  What’s more, there is no evidence that Obama ever specifically rejected Islam. Indeed, Obama could have joined Wright’s church in Chicago without disavowing the Muslim faith. Author Edward Klein notes that Wright told him that he “made it comfortable” for Obama to accept Christianity “without having to renounce his Islamic background.”

[...]

If Obama had demonstrated his Christianity through actions and statements, and if there was indisputable evidence that he was baptized a Christian and rejected Islam, the media might have a point.

In this case, they do not. The behavior of the media is far more objectionable than a simple observation, based on the facts as he perceived them, from an American citizen about the American President.

The record is clear: Obama has lied about his Marxist and Muslim backgrounds. The American people have every right to be suspicious of him.

-- Cliff Kincaid, Sept. 18 Accuracy in Media column


Posted by Terry K. at 8:39 PM EDT

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