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Thursday, March 16, 2006
Beyond the Clinton Equivocation
Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax can equivocate anything -- even death threats -- and it doesn't have to resort to a Clinton analogy, as it frequently does.

In a March 16 article, NewsMax responded to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's claim that she and fellow justice Sandra Day O'Connor been the target of death threats, as well as Ann Coulter's "joking" that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned, this way:

Neither Ginsburg, O'Connor nor the AP complained in 1994, when liberal commentator Julianne Malveaux "joked" about Clarence Thomas: "I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease."

Of course, wishing an unhealthy diet on someone is hardly the same as wishing for deliberate poisoning or threatening that Ginsburg and O'Connor "will not live another week."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 AM EST
Then and Now
Topic: Media Research Center
From a March 14 Baltimore Sun article on a Baltimore radio station dropping Rush Limbaugh's show:

Tim Graham, an analyst with the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog group, also played down the significance of the Limbaugh cancellation in Baltimore. "If you have 600 stations, losing one market is not something to worry about. If you go from 600 to 500, then you have a story," Graham said.

That's not the way the MRC used to feel about these things. In 2001, MRC division CNSNews.com declared that it was news that one of the more than 500 newspapers that carried Cal Thomas' column dropped it, advancing claims that it was evidence that it was evidence of a "house cleaning of conservatives at the paper."

Has the MRC decided that it doesn't need to have a cow over every perceived conservative slight? Well, not totally; that's what NewsBusters is for. There, Graham appears annoyed by the mere existence of Keith Olbermann.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EST
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Farah vs. Gore, Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah issued yet another rant against Al Gore today.

Farah, by the way, has yet to respond to our challenge for truth and transparency in both the lawsuit filed against WND by a Gore supporter whom WND trashed in 2000 and WND's legal defense fund, which as currently set up has no public accountibility to show where the money is spent or how it is funded.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:16 PM EST
Harris on Horseback
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gee, where have we seen this cheesecake picture of Katherine Harris before? Ah, yes -- it was WorldNetDaily's preferred picture of Harris circa 2004.

To illustrate yet another example of WND's bias, compare the Harris photo with WND's preferred photo of Ted Kennedy here.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EST
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Massie's Double Standard
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A March 14 WorldNetDaily column by Mychal Massie demonstrates once again his blinders toward conservatives with a history or racism.

While Massie makes sure to tar Sen. Robert Byrd as a "cross burning former Klansman," he gives Strom Thurmond the soft touch, describing him only as a "100-year-old senator at his birthday party" about whom Sen. Trent Lott "made jocund statements." Massie doesn't say that those "jocund statements" implied that Lott supported Thurmond's segregationist 1948 presidential campaign.

Indeed, Massie has been an apologist for Thurmond -- as we've previously noted -- despite evidence that Thurmond has never renounced his segregationist views. Byrd, on the other hand, has repeatedly renounced his long-ago KKK involvement, a fact Massie fails to note.

As an added bonus, Massie smears filmmaker Spike Lee as a "diminutive, pigeon-toed, filmmaker (who could have been a somatologist's prize find in another time)."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:32 PM EST
WND's Favorite Felon Checks In
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Keeping its tradition of hobnobbing with convicted felons alive, WorldNetDaily ran a March 14 commentary by Peter Paul peddling his usual Clinton-bashing schtick. And Paul manages to rattle off the following statement: "My fortune has been destroyed by the Clintons."

Well, no, Pete. You destroyed your own ill-begotten fortune. You're the guy who pleaded guilty to, and are awaiting sentencing for, your role in a scheme to artificially inflate the stock price of a company you operated with comic-book legend Stan Lee. You have served prison time for two previous felonies (we we've noted).

Before you start hurling accusations against others, Mr. Paul, perhaps you might want to forward a compelling reason why anyone (beyond the dedicated Clinton-haters who are propping you up, that is) should believe what a three-time felon like you has to say.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 PM EST
'Pro-Hillary Paper'?
Topic: Newsmax
A March 14 NewsMax article claimed without evidence that the Journal News in Westchester County, New York, which NewsMax described as "Hillary Clinton's hometown newspaper," is a "pro-Hillary paper."

What NewsMax thinks is evidence of its claim is a March 12 Journal News article noting that Hillary's current leading opponent for her New York Senate seat, John Spencer, has an "albatross of anger." NewsMax asserted that with this article, the Journal News "is doing its best to deflect charges that the top Democrat has an anger management problem."

But it's NewsMax and other conservative outlets, as well as Republican National Committee leader Ken Mehlman, who put this issue into play by raising it about Hillary. It's a legitimate campaign issue now, and it's likely that the Journal News would not have done the article had NewsMax, etc., not brought it up.

For NewsMax to suggest that looking at Spencer's anger-management issues is an "attack" is highly disingenuous. And would a "pro-Hillary paper" run an article on the wide spectrum of anti-Clinton protesters, as the Journal News did on March 11?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:32 AM EST
Monday, March 13, 2006
Weyrich Whoppers
Topic: Free Congress Foundation
A March 10 column by the Free Congress Foundation's Paul Weyrich (reprinted at Accuracy in Media), which waxes rhapsodic about the Republican Study Committee and its budget-slashing "alternative" federal budget proposal, makes a few dubious claims that Weyrich himself counters.

Weyrich claims that "this budget is not designed to mollify special interests." That's false; given that Weyrich's own description of what the budget does -- "[l]iberal favorites, such as Title X Family Planning and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, would be eliminated" as would "subsidies for certain Indian tribes to the Legal Services Corporation," while it would also "leave intact the Bush Administration pro-growth tax policy" -- it sounds like a lot of conservative special interests are being mollified here.

Weyrich also adds that "the Departments of Commerce, Energy and Education are so restructured that the case could be made that under this budget those agencies would be, for practical purposes, abolished." Another conservative special interest being served.

Another false claim is in Weyrich's headline, "A Realistic Budget From A Realistic Steering Committee." Well, read Weyrich's history of the RSC, with which he kicks off his column, hints at something different. As Weyrich, one of its creators, tells it, the RSC was created as a "counterpart" to the Democratic Study Group, which he called a "caucus of Democratic liberals which continually pulled their party to the left." So, by definition, the RSC is designed to pull Republicans to the right. This self-defined extremism is "responsible"?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 PM EST
Baby Steps
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily seems to be finally, grudgingly acknowledging that its beloved politician and business partner Katherine Harris might be in a spot of trouble.

Buried in the lower half of WND's front page today is a link to a non-WND article on the "major announcement" regarding her Senate campaign planned this week. The subhead reads: "Reports of illegal contributions dog Senate candidacy." This, in WND fashion, is paired with a headline reading "Katherine Harris exposed." This implies a link with Harris' current scandal, but in fact it's another plug for Harris' ghost-written, WND-published account of her role in the 2000 presidential election.

Not the hesitation toward scandal you'd expect to see a news organization that claims to be a watchdog of government fraud and corruption, eh? But in WND's case, this is all too typical.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:59 PM EST
Updated: Monday, March 13, 2006 7:08 PM EST
Sunday, March 12, 2006
NewsBusters Hides Facts in Teacher-Bashing
Topic: NewsBusters
A March 11 NewsBusters article by Tom Blumer rants against the fact that Colorado high school teacher Jay Bennish was reinstated to his job after a suspension following a student recorded part of a class lecture in which Bennish compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler. Blumer wrote:

The message to indoctrinating teachers is, "Indoctrinate to your heart's content. When you get caught, you'll get a slap on the wrist (you might even become famous), and then you'll have to 'be good' for a few years. After a while, you can resume your regular habits of indoctrination. Rinse and repeat as necessary until retirement."

The message to taxpayers and parents who expect their kids to be taught the classroom subject matter instead of having them subjected to political rants: "Up yours. You can't touch us."

Blumer quotes an article (he doesn't say where it came from; it's from the Denver Post) that he attacks as "hopelessly slanted -- The lecture was objectively biased; plus, the primary issue here is teaching the subject matter, and secondarily the political indoctrination Jay Bennish engaged in while not doing his job."

In other words (following in the spirit of Blumer's purported interpolation of intent), Blumer doesn't want points of view that he doesn't like to be expressed anywhere, especially in a classroom, even for the purpose of provoking a discussion.

But Blumer selectively quotes from the article, failing to note that the article points out that even the student who recorded Bennish's lecture and then released it to a conservative radio show, Sean Allen, didn't want Bennish fired and later said that he was "confident that the decision ... has been investigated for all sides and is the right decision."

Blumer also fails to note that in the lecture, Bennish took questions from the class and said at the end of it: "And I'm not in any way implying that you should agree with me. ... And I'm glad you asked all your questions, because they're very good, legitimate questions. And hopefully that allows other people to begin to think about some of those things, too."

Permitting questions? Encouraging students to think? That's a pretty sucky way to indoctrinate.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 PM EST
Saturday, March 11, 2006
WND Obscures Evidence Against Dobson
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A March 10 WorldNetDaily article by Alyssa Farah reported on how Focus on the Family founder James Dobson is "striking back hard" against allegations that he is linked to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But by citing only a New York Times ad by the Campaign to Defend the Constitution -- which she is quick to dismiss as "a left-wing special-interest group" with ties to "the national Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a former ACLU director and the former president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League" -- Farah ignores other evidence of Abramoff's links to Dobson.

As Media Matters has noted, articles in The Washington Post and World Magazine (a conservative Christian weekly) also raise questions about Dobson's connection with Abramoff, mainly through Ralph Reed, a conservative Christian activist who was working for Abramoff. Additionally, Media Matters links to e-mails that lay out a Focus on the Family connection to Reed and Abramoff.

Alyssa Farah, by the way, is Joseph Farah's daughter. Unfortunately, she seems to be following in her father's shoddy-reporting footsteps.

UPDATE: We've noted Alyssa's dubious reporting before. Like father, like daughter: Think about it, won't you?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 12, 2006 1:21 AM EST
Friday, March 10, 2006
'Respected Jurist'
Topic: Newsmax
A March 9 NewsMax article repeated criticisms of the Supreme Court issued by Alabama Supreme Court justice Tom Parker. The article describes Parker as a "respected jurist."

That claim is immediately undercut when NewsMax further describes Parker as an "ally" of Roy Moore, who was thrown off the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to obey a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that barred the state from displaying the Ten Commandments in the state courthouse rotunda. That immediately tells you about Parker's views on following the rule of law.

But there's more that NewsMax hasn't told you. As the Southern Poverty Law Center informs us, Parker hangs out with some less-than-respected types, like officials with neo-Confederate groups the League of the South and the Council of Conservative Citizens. The SPLC also notes that Parker is also on record as hobnobbing with a couple obsessed with Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

NewsMax really ought to be interested in that little tidbit, given its longtime obsession with Robert Byrd's long-ago KKK association.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EST
New Article: When the Spin Levee Breaks
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center wants you to believe that levee topping and levee breaches are separate, unrelated events. The MRC is wrong. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EST
Thursday, March 9, 2006
Bill Press Is A Journalist?
Topic: NewsBusters
In a March 9 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard noted that Bill Press criticized "his journalistic colleagues."

Hate to break it to you, Noel, but Bill Press is a syndicated columnist, radio host and Democratic operative -- not a journalist. Nor, as far as we know, has Press ever claimed to be one.

No wonder the MRC thinks all journalists are liberal -- it apparently uses an unusually broad definition of the term.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:09 PM EST
WND Makes Bogus Kaloogian Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A March 6 WorldNetDaily article by James L. Lambert (last seen here making dubious claims about child pornography) claims that Howard Kaloogian is "the front-runner for the San Diego-area congressional seat held by Republican Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, who was sentenced last week to eight years in prison on corruption charges." We have found no evidence to support Lambert's claim.

We were not able to find any poll numbers on that race, unsuprising since the final candidate list was finalized only on Feb. 28. But MyDD reported in January that internal polling for Democrat Francine Busby reported that "In head-to-head match ups, Busby leads all six potential Republican candidates by up to 14%." That presumably includes Kaloogian, who had declared his candidacy months earlier.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EST

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