No Coverage Topic: WorldNetDaily
For a "news" operation that purports to be "a watchdog exposing government waste, fraud, corruption and abuse of power," WorldNetDaily has been strangely reluctant to delve into the misdeeds of Republican Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. While WND has promoted Cunningham's work in trying to save a cross sitting on public land, it has devoted absolutely no original coverage to questions involving a defense contractor who paid an inflated price for Cunningham's house (which the lobbyist later sold at a loss), or that Cunningham's Washington residence is on a yacht owned by the contractor.
Now that Cunningham has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, and tax evasion, what does WND do? Keeps its record of no original coverage perfect by relegating Cunningham's plea to an outside link on its front page.
UPDATE: WND changed to a different wire story upon Cunningham's resignation from the House, but there is still no original coverage, and the linked article resides well down on WND's front page, below an article on the scant turnout at a book-signing session for Cindy Sheehan's new book. That's what WND considers bigger news than a corrupt congressman's resignation.
Non-Disclosure Topic: WorldNetDaily
Craig Smith's Nov. 28 WorldNetDaily column is essentially a commercial for Smith and his company, Swiss America Trading Corp. In it, Smith touts his prediction about "the ongoing bull market in gold" and how "it is still a 'golden' buying opportunity."
Nowhere is it disclosed that Swiss America is in the business of trading precious metals such as gold, meaning that Smith has a vested personal interest in writing about the subject. Of course, Smith's affiliation with Swiss America wasn't even disclosed on his WND column bio until ConWebWatch pointed it out.
At least two organizations are monitoring the content of Sunday sermons by U.S. pastors and threatening to report churches to the Internal Revenue Service if they hear political messages they deem inappropriate under federal guidelines on tax-exempt status.
College students bombarded with the personal political views of their professors are being urged by talk-show host Sean Hannity to fight back with hard evidence of purported indoctrination.
"Get your little tape recorders if legal, and I want you to start recording these left-wingers. Bring it to this program and we'll start airing it every single time on this program. I'm sick of this indoctrination. I'm sick of this left-wing propaganda."
WND's Elephant Topic: WorldNetDaily
The David Ludwig case -- in which a homeschooled student is accused of murdering his girlfriend's parents -- is turning into the elephant in WorldNetDaily's room. A Nov. 25 WND column by Ilana Mercer addresses the case while keeping WND's record intact by never once mentioning that Ludwig and his girlfriend -- of whom Mercer writes, "The two had been involved in an intense sexual relationship. They were hopped-up on feelings of uniqueness and had a heightened sense of being misunderstood" -- were homeschooled.
New Article: Joseph Farah, Terrorist Sympathizer Topic: WorldNetDaily
Guest author Eric Goodwin asks: Why is WorldNetDaily treating as fact a right-wing group's highly dubious claim that communists want to take over South Africa and kill all the white people, while ignoring the fact that this very same right-wing group was charged with trying to instigate its own takeover of the country? Read more.
The Return of Buckwheat Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax loves to try and create controversies where none exist. One notorious example is its attempt to paint Dan Rather as a racist for saying of CBS officials who caved to pressure from conservatives in forcing Rather to report on the Gary Condit non-story that they "got the willies, they got the buckwheats."
NewsMax is at it again, demanding in a Nov. 23 article that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama admit his "mistake" in "endorsing and raising campaign funds for notorious one-time Ku Klux Klansman, Sen. Robert Byrd."
NewsMax has a bit of a complex about Byrd, interjecting his 50-year-past Klan membership at every possible opportunity, as ConWebWatch has detailed. Of course, NewsMax gives much gentler treatment who former segregationists who became Republicans, most recently defending Strom Thurmond, who ran for president on a pro-segregationist Dixiecrat ticket, as a better person than Byrd because Thurmond wasn't in the Klan.
Look for NewsMax to drag this irrelevant issue out against Obama at regular intervals in the future.
Galen vs. Reality Topic: CNSNews.com
"There was outrage on the floor of the House over the whole thing [the House of Representatives vote to immediately withdraw troops from Iraq] which was, again, characterized as calling Mr. Murtha a coward which I do not believe any Member of Congress did."
"A few minutes ago, I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio representative from the 88th District in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."
Poll Numbers Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Nov. 22 WorldNetDaily article makes an unusually big deal out of the removal of an "unfavorable" poll from Rep. John Murtha's website after it allegedly showed support for views other than Murtha's plan to begin withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. WND implies that the poll is an accurate reflection of public sentiment, but as we've noted previously, opt-in polls like Murtha's are not accurate and are easily manipulated.
While WND cites a Free Republic thread as a source for the poll's results, it doesn't note that another Free Republic thread encouraged Freepers to vote in that poll, thus manipulating and skewing those results.
Of course, WND has its own history of not dealing well with "unfavorable" poll results -- by taking its poll offline for nearly two months, as ConWebWatch has noted.
Another WND Obsession Topic: WorldNetDaily
On today's WorldNetDaily front page, there are four links to articles about teachers accused of having sex with students. WND regularly notes these cases, presumably to support its case of how evil public schools are and how homeschooling is the only answer (as WND editor Joseph Farah has regularly preached).
But to our knowledge, WND has never reported that David Ludwig, the Pennsylvania teenager accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend's parents then fleeing with her (which may or may not be a kidnapping), was homeschooled.
MRC: Disagreeing with Bush = "Left" Topic: Media Research Center
A Nov. 22 MRC CyberAlert item cites a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press to claim that "[t]he news media elite are to the left of the public in several policy areas related to the war on terrorism." But that claim plays on conservative stereotypes of liberals and never states how disagreeing with the Bush administration on Iraq on "several policy areas related to the war on terrorism" -- which is what this is about -- equals being "left."
Some statistics as cited by the MRC:
-- "Efforts to establish a stable democracy:" Will succeed: Public 56% Media: 33%; Will fail: Public: 37% News media: 63%
-- "Decision to take military action" Public: "right decision" 48%, "wrong decision" 45% News media: "right decision" 28%, "wrong decision" 71%
-- "Iraq's impact on war on terrorism" Public: "helped" 44%, "hurt" 44% News media: "helped" 22%, "hurt" 68%
-- "Is torture of terrorist suspects justified?" Combining "often" and "sometimes," vs. "rarely" and "never"
Public: 46% yes, 49% no News media: 21% yes, 78% no
MRC offers no explanation of why disagreeing with these statements is a "left" position. After all, for example, there are thousands of years of history backing up the difficulty of establishing a stable democracy in the Middle East. But does the MRC really want people to think that torturing suspects with impunity is a "right" position?
Trusting Commies Topic: Media Research Center
In a Nov. 22 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham aims to "balance" praise for the retiring Ted Koppel by pointing out alleged examples of his "serious (sometimes atrocious) liberal bias. One of the most recent: going to Vietnam to interview communists to prove John Kerry was right about his war record."
Graham might want to have a chat with his colleague Noel Sheppard, who is much more trusting of commies and believes that they are fair and balanced reporters (as long as they say nice things about President Bush, anyway).
Quote of the Day Topic: CNSNews.com
A Nov. 22 CNSNews.com article on conservatives believe that Roe v. Wade should be overturned (actually, reporter Randy Hall portrays their argument as dismissing "the concept that the Roe v. Wade decision is a 'super-duper precedent' that should not be re-examined even if Judge Samuel Alito sits on the U.S. Supreme Court," but you get the idea) quotes Manuel Miranda, the ex-Republican Senate staffer accused of improperly leaking Democratic memos on judicial nominations to conservative organizations such as CNS, discussing Alito's 1985 statement that the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion:
"I view the 1985 statement and how he's handling it a little bit like I view my marriage," Miranda added. "I learned when I got married that my personal views really don't matter much. That's how a judge approaches a decision as well. His personal views don't matter much."
MRC Prefers Propaganda Topic: Media Research Center
In a Nov. 21 NewsBusters post, contributing editor Noel Sheppard noted that unlike the U.S. media, which gave President Bush "low marks and mixed reviews regarding his just ended trip to China," the "Chinese media were much more positive about Bush's trip." But the Chinese news sources he cites as issuing those glowing reports -- People's Daily, China Daily and Xinhua.net -- are all state-owned media outlets, who presumably aren't reporting anything their government overseers don't want reported.
Is that the kind of media Sheppard and his MRC buddies secretly (or maybe not so secretly) want in the U.S.?
UPDATE: As if the post itself wasn't entertaining enough, the discussion thread on it has degenerated into attacks on the Clenis. Sample post:
Which is stupider? A President who can't open a locked door or a President with a cock so LITTLE that he has to pleasure a fat girl ( and we all know they can't even take a proper cock), with a cigar. How about a President with a little liberal dicK? To quote Jennifer Flowers, about five inches is all he's got!
'Extreme Leftist' Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Nov. 21 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein describes Israeli politican Yossi Beilin as "an extreme leftist lawmaker." Not knowing much about Israel -- our experience is pretty much limited to ConWebWatch's exploration of Klein's whitewashing of Israeli right-wing militants in his WND reporting -- we wondered why Klein would use such a pejorative term to describe Beilin.
Looking in WND's archive, we that that in a May 26 article, Klein described Beilin's political party, Yahad, as "extreme left," and in a July 2004 article, he called Beilin "discredited."
The answer may lie in Klein's accompanying description of Beilin as "an architect of the 1993 Oslo Accords." It's apparently part of the loyalty test WND gives anyone writing about the Middle East that the Oslo accords must be rejected. A July 2001 WND commentary by Joshua Hasten bashed Oslo as the product of a "liberal Jewish think tank" and claimed that those who pushed those accords such as Beilin are "guilty of treason against the Jewish State. ... Israel should hand out jail terms to these individuals just as if they were found guilty of jeopardizing national security through espionage."
Despite Klein's labeling of Beilin and Yahad as "extremist," neither he or any party member have advocated the death of opponents that we could find, let alone performed the act. By contrast, the right-wing Kach-Kahane movement and its successors have been linked to such incidents as the killing of 29 Arabs by Baruch Goldstein in 1994 -- but Klein has never used the word "extreme" to describe them. The closest he comes is in a Aug. 4 article on an incident in which an AWOL Israeli soldier opened fire on a bus, killing four Arabs, in which he described Kahane-Kach as "activist." (This was the incident in which Klein infamously described the soldier as being "murdered" by a mob following the shootings, a description he does apply to the shooter's victims.)