You Knew This Already Topic: The ConWeb
Initial ConWeb coverage of the indictment of Rep. Tom DeLay is going predictably. Reports by WorldNetDaily and CNSNews.com played up accusations by DeLay and his spokesman, Kevin Madden, that the Texas prosecutor who filed the charges, Ronnie Earle, is a partisan seeking political retribution against DeLay without noting that Earle has prosecuted more Democratic officials than Republicans. (WND earns extra points for using the term "Democrat Party" even though there is no such thing.)
Begging for Money Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Sept. 28 WorldNetDaily article by Joe Kovacs disparagingly details Air America Radio's attempt to seek donations from listeners. The headline of Kovacs' article calls it "Panhandle broadcasting," and Kovacs plays up the comments of Michelle Malkin, who claims Air America is "crumbling."
Kovacs fails to point out, however, that Air America is hardly the first for-profit media organization to beg for money from its listeners or readers. One organization whose efforts precede Air America's is ... WorldNetDaily.
Regular appeals by WND editor Joseph Farah, like this one in April, seek donations from readers in the form of "voluntary subscriptions," which are available as one-time or monthly payments.
"To supplement the revenues from the sales of products and advertising, we need additional financial support from those readers who understand what we're up against," Farah wrote.
WND also solicits money for its legal defense fund, which is mostly tied to a defamation lawsuit regarding an 18-part series WND ran in 2000 bashing Al Gore (and which WND has been rather quiet about of late, as ConWebWatch has noted).
WND's history of begging for money is really no different from Air America's, except that WND doesn't throw in any cool swag.
Bull Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax notes that the Republican National Committee is upset that Rep. Charles Rangel said that "George Bush is our Bull Connor."
No similar statement of outrage has been registered by any conservative over Project 21's Mychal Massie, who last December not only likened Sen. Harry Reid to both Bull Connor and Orval Faubus, he claimed that Reid was a racist because of his "inbred familial heritage" as a Mormon.
What Silence? Topic: Newsmax
"Ann Coulter Breaks Her Silence," shouts the headline on NewsMax's front page promoting Phil Brennan's Sept. 28 article.
I know what you're thinking: When was Coulter silent? Did we miss that she stopped appearing on TV and writing her column?
No, you didn't -- it's just hyperbole. NewsMax is merely deceptively touting the fact that this article is, apparently, "her 'first interview' for the paperback edition of her blockbuster bestseller, 'How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must).'" It's nothing more than Brennan lobbing softballs at Coulter and salivating at her presence, which is really creepy when you realize that Brennan is, like, almost 80.
We Get Letters Topic: CNSNews.com
We heard from CNSNews.com's Randy Hall, who had a few things to say. Highlights of my response:
-- Duly noted that Nagin's political registration pre-mayor is disputed. But reputable news sources (for non-conservatives, anyway), like the BBC, have reported that Nagin was a Republican before running for mayor. In addition, Nagin is on record with a donation to George W. Bush's 2000 election campaign, as well as donating to another Louisiana Republican, Billy Tauzin. Overall, I think my original analysis -- that Nagin didn't raise all that many eyebrows by endorsing Bobby Jindal -- still stands.
-- I have corrected an Aug. 15 item to accurately reflect that Hall wrote it, not Susan Jones.
WND Lets Michael Schiavo Speak Topic: WorldNetDaily
We may have a first here: the first time WorldNetDaily has dedicated an article mostly to Michael Schiavo, and the first time any article including Michael's side of the Terri Schiavo case wasn't "balanced" with slanderous accusations by Terri's parents.
WND does crib its Sept. 27 article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune (a fact disclosed for once, though it's still a form of quasi-pagiarism, of WND getting "original" content that it doesn't pay for), and the article does slip in references to protesters outside the venue where Michael Schiavo was speaking at a conference honoring Ronald Cranford. But it's not the overheated, disproven accusations from Terri's parents, the Schindler family, that WND dutifully inserted in every article mentioning Michael earlier this year (as ConWebWatch has noted).
Perhaps that was an oversight, something overlooked by the WND minion in charge of cribbing the article. After all, we still have Diana Lynne's WND-published "Terri's Story" to look forward to, where it appears the Michael-bashing will continue to run rampant.
Accountability Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid serves up some irony in a Sept. 26 column. Claiming inaccurately once again that "Newsweek caused anti-American riots and 17 dead in Afghanistan, after running that false 'Koran in the toilet' story," Kincaid also once again fails to disclose that his own organization, America's Survival, is trying to get Newsweek's Michael Isikoff extradited to Afghanistan over the article.
Kincaid's demand for accountability is as "extremely selective" as he claims the media's is.
Quote of the Day Topic: Newsmax
"If one were ever able to make a good case for a trial deployment of a neutron bomb – the kind that gets rid of people but leaves the buildings standing – last Saturday's Rally Against the War in Iraq on The Ellipse in Washington, D.C., would probably have been it."
At Last, A Little Disclosure Topic: WorldNetDaily
It appears they do read ConWebWatch at WorldNetDaily after all.
The bio at the end of a Sept. 26 column by Craig Smith now notes that Smith is CEO of Swiss America -- a designation it failed to provide in previous columns, as ConWebWatch previously noted. WND apparently has column bios such as Smith's set up as separate editable files, so that changes made there immediately show up in all columns, no matter how old.
The bio doesn't say what Swiss America does or that Swiss America is a major WND advertiser, but this little disclosure is a start.
Criticizing the President Topic: Newsmax
In a Sept. 19 article, NewsMax leaves the false impression that George H.W. Bush has never said a bad thing about Bill Clinton.
The article noted that in an appearance on Monday Night Football (which, of course, is the ideal venue to discuss political issues), "Bush Sr. declined to say a single negative word about his successor" even though Clinton "bashed and trashed his son on everything from his handling of the Hurricane Katrina crisis to the Iraq war."
Anti-Bush = Anti-American Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax is trying to get a new meme started: If you oppose the Iraq war, you're anti-American.
A Sept. 22 article called Cindy Sheehan an "anti-American war protester," a description approved by Rush Limbaugh. A Sept. 25 article on anti-war protests in Washington described what it called "the distinct anti-American attitude and unbridled hatred that emanated from much of the crowd."
But the examples NewsMax cites of "anti-American" statements by Sheehan and other protesters are, in fact, merely anti-Bush statements. It also quotes Sheehan as saying "This country is not worth dying for" and suggesting she was talking about America, when there is evidence Sheehan was talking about Iraq.
If criticizing the president is "anti-American," what does that make NewsMax, which poured forth a constant barrage of criticism of President Clinton (which continues to this day)?
The paper declined, however, to dispute the authenticity of a videotape showing a copy of the Able Danger chart, which was displayed by Rep. Curt Weldon during a May 2002 speech to the Heritage Foundation.
It's not until later in the article that NewsMax quietly admits that its claim that a 2002 video is proof that something happened in 2000 is "circumstantial."
Style Violation Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Sept. 22 CNSNews.com article on the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote on John Roberts' Supreme Court nomination, Melanie Hunter departs from CNS style of using negative terms like "pro-abortion" to describe liberal groups and refers to the National Abortion Federation as an "abortion rights group."
Will Hunter be disciplined for her use of accurate language?