More Evil Marketing from Kupelian Topic: WorldNetDaily
In an April 10 WorldNetDaily commentary, David Kupelian becomes a shill for the Bush administration under the guise of telling why politicians lie. And the "Marketing of Evil" author does a fair bit of selective citing and makes at least one false claim to show his Bush love.
Even though all of the evidence has not been released surrounding President Bush's declassification of information that was leaked by ex-vice presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby to a New York Times reporter, Kupelian nevertheless claims that "[i]n reality, as everyone knows, Bush did nothing whatsoever wrong." While, as Kupelian wrote, "the president of the United States has the power and the right to declassify U.S. government information," we still lack information as to whether Bush followed proper procedures in declassifying that particular information, especially given that its release was part of a "concerted action" by the Bush White House to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" Joseph Wilson, who had criticized the administration's rationale for war.
Kupelian also falsely claimed that "The Democrats who are now claiming Bush lied had access to essentially the same intelligence the president did," and they are involved in "a flagrant attempt at rewriting history. That involves lying." That is not true; in several instances, Democratic congressmen did not have access to same full range of intelligence that the White House did.
Kupelian also quoted a column by Michael Barone that falsely suggested that the Robb-Silberman commission cleared the Bush administration of the charged that it "cherry-picked" intelligence to make its case for war. In fact, the commission never examined the issue of how the administration used prewar intelligence.
Where Are ConWeb Reports on Blackwell Stock Hypocrisy? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last fall, both NewsMax and WorldNetDaily made a big deal out of repeating a book's claims that Michael Moore is a hypocrite because he allegedly owns stock in Halliburton (the stock is actually owned by his nonprofit foundation). But neither NewsMax nor WND have reported on the stock holdings of conservative icon Ken Blackwell, which appear to be even more hypocritical.
As the Columbus Dispatch reports, Blackwell -- who is currently running for Ohio governor -- owned stock in voting-machine maker Diebold while he, as Ohio secretary of state, was negotiating a state contract with the company. Also sure to set off warning bells with his conservative base: Blackwell also owns stock in International Game Technology, the world's largest manufacturer of slot machines (though he claims to oppose proposals in Ohio to allow slot machines at the state's horse-racing tracks), and Barr Pharmaceuticals, maker of the controversial Plan B morning-after pill.
Well, at least they would set of warning bells if NewsMax and WND would bother to report it. But WND's publishing a book by Blackwell, and like with its "news" coverage of fellow author Katherine Harris, bad news about its authors is not permitted on its site.
When Conflict Resolution Fails Topic: NewsBusters
A debate occurred on the April 8 "Fox & Friends Weekend" between token WorldNetDaily liberal Ellen Ratner and conservative Newsday columnist Jim Pinkerton over the relevance of the news that President Bush authorized the leak of information from a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq, which ex-vice presidential chief of staff "Scooter" Libby then passed along to the New York Times, to the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, Pinkerton proposed a solution: "Ellen, we'll let NewsBusters.org sort this out."
Which NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein attempts in an April 7 post -- and fails. He cites NBC's Kelly O'Donnell as the voice of reason (it's usually a bad sign when the anti-MSM folks cite the MSM as evidence) as saying, "It's important to point out Libby and senior White House officials say that nowhere in these documents does it suggest that the president told Libby to release the name of Valerie Plame."
A much more accurate way to resolve this would be to go to the source (via Media Matters): the legal documents filed by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald in which the Bush leak link was first disclosed. Under a heading called From a section titled "The Relevance of the NIE to This Case":
Defendant [Libby] understood that the Vice President specifically selected him to talk to the press about the NIE and [former U.S. Ambassador and Plame's husband] Mr. [Joseph C.] Wilson [IV] on July 12, 2003, in place of then-Assistant to the President for Public Affairs, Cathie Martin, the usual press contact person from OVP [Office of the Vice President]. This is relevant to show the importance that defendant and his boss placed on the conversation concerning which he later testified. During his conversations with the press that day, defendant discussed Ms. Wilson's CIA employment with both [Time magazine's] Matthew Cooper (for the first time) and Judith Miller (for the third time). Thus, there is no way to present the relevant events concerning defendant's discussions with reporters about Ms. Wilson without discussing defendant's role in disseminating the key judgments of the NIE in those same conversations.
So it's not unrelated, despite what Finkelstein and Pinkerton suggests. Ratner should have made a counter-offer: "Jim, let Media Matters sort this out."
P.S. NewsMax similarly falsely claimed that "the so-called leak authorized by Bush had nothing to do with Plame - but instead covered Iraq war intelligence that was mostly already in the public domain." If the material that Libby leaked was "already in the public domain," why did Bush have to declassify it?
Update: We're Lame Topic: NewsBusters
In the comment thread on his NewsBusters post about Chris Matthews speaking to a "gay-left lobbying group," Tim Graham reposts (but does not link to) much of our post noting that Matthews has also spoken before conservative-leaning groups. Graham comments that "One lefty tried out this lame line," but he does not rebut our claim that the MRC ignores Matthews' conservative leanings.
Let's see ... offering up evidence vs. not addressing said evidence and dismissing it with a flip remark. Who's the lame one here? (Hint: We're pretty sure it isn't us.)
P.S.: We'd also like to add that our criticism of conservatives for not telling the whole story does not ipso facto make us "lefty."
WND's Journalistic Ethics Continue to Plummet Topic: WorldNetDaily
An April 6 WorldNetDaily "news" article by David Bradshaw on record high gold prices quotes Swiss America Trading Corp. CEO Craig R. Smith -- actually, the only person quoted in the story -- without disclosing that Smith is a WND columnist and that Swiss America is not only a WND advertiser but a partner in WND's BizNetDaily site. The article also links to an "extensive free online library of resources" by Smith and Swiss America.
In other words, this so-called "news" article is an ad for Swiss America, though it is not labeled as such.
One other clue to the bogus-news nature of this article: David Bradshaw, the author, is the editor of Real Money Perspectives, a publication of -- that's right -- Swiss America Trading Corp., as well as the name under which BizNetDaily is co-branded. Bradshaw works for Craig Smith, the sole subject of his story.
Conservative Matthews Ignored Again Topic: NewsBusters
In an April 7 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham cites as evidence of Chris Matthews' alleged liberal bias that Matthews spoke at a fundraiser for "the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-left lobbying group." But Graham ignores the fact that Matthews has spoken to conservative-leaning groups as well.
Matthews is reported to have accepted speaking fees to appear before The National Venture Capital Association, The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and The American Hospital Association -- all trade groups whose PACs have given the majority of their donations to Republicans.
This is yet anotherexample of how the Media Research Center plays up evidence that Matthews is liberal while ignoring evidence of his conservative tendencies.
Joseph Farah, Conspiracy Theorist Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily slides into some serious conspiracy theorizing, declaring on a radio show not only that there are 20 million to 30 million "illegals" in the U.S. (without offering any evidence to back it up; most reliable figures put the number at around 12 million) but also that the "one-worlders" of the Council on Foreign Relations have a plan to merge the United States, Mexico, and Canada by 2010 and that President Bush's proposed guest worker program is part of this plan. Uh, yeah. (Full disclosure: I co-wrote this item for Media Matters.)
Branding her an "anti-war liberal," NewsBusters' Brent Baker repeated Vieira's claim about the Iraq war that “Everything’s been built on lies. Everything! I mean the entire pre-text for war.” Rather than proving Vieira wrong, Baker branded her words a "vicious charge, which matches the most virulent hate speech of the far left" -- a claim NewsMax repeated as fact, ignoring the actual fact that it's merely Baker's overheated opinion.
Selective Softball Outrage Topic: NewsBusters
So Mark Finkelstein does care about Chris Matthews' softball interviews after all. Well, some, anyway.
An April 6 NewsBusters post shows Finkelstein in high dudgeon over about a Matthews interview with John Kerry that was "all slow-pitch softball." But Finkelstein still has shown no similar outrage over the softball-laden interview Matthews did with Tom DeLay.
Somebody's Got Issues Topic: NewsBusters
In an April 6 NewsBusters post, Michael Rule spends way too much time obsessing of CBS host Harry Smith's alleged lack of masculinity.
In the post, headlined "Harry Smith Giddy as a Feminist Over Couric Joining CBS," Rule wrote that Smith narrated "a piece that was so laden with praise, it could have been mistaken for a eulogy." Rule then claimed that Smith's welcoming of Couric as CBS Evening News anchor "echoed that of Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women," adding that "Bernard Goldberg, in his book Bias described Harry Smith as a man-loathing feminist." Rule concluded by noting: "It may be Harry Smith’s feminism that overpowers him with joy over the fact that Katie Couric is coming to his network."
Um, Michael, is there something you need to bring up with your therapist?
UPDATE: World O'Crap offers its take on Melrose Larry, reminding us that he is a "Los Angeles nut known for spending his time standing on Melrose Avenue holding signs, was formerly one of freaks who made up Howard Stern's 'Wack Pack.'" Which, of course, makes him the perfect spokesman for the Clinton-haters. David Horowitz must be proud to be associated with him.
Great Minds Think Alike Topic: Media Research Center
"CBS blew a golden opportunity to upgrade its Evening News anchor slot," said MRC President Brent Bozell. "CBS chose the perky, likeable, and politically liberal Katie Couric, whose biases will only reinforce CBS’s reputation as a network riddled with liberally biased reporting. CBS, already in third place in the evening news ratings, has metaphorically put its anchor chair on the deck of the old media Titanic."
"The decision suggests there will be less emphasis on hard news on the network that employed Edward R. Murrow, considered a hero to the old CBS News crowd. On the Today Show, Couric had to deal with some hard news, but a lot of celebrities and fluff. She has been hired by CBS, apparently, because she is a liberal who projects a pleasant, warm and friendly appearance. That may be enough to raise the ratings. CBS Evening News has been mired in third place among network news shows, with 8.1 million viewers. ABC World News Tonight is second, with 8.7 million, and NBC Nightly News is number one, with 9.7 million. It's like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic."
NewsBusters Ignores Conservative Chris Matthews Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've previously noted, the Media Research Center ignores all evidence that Chris Matthews has some conservative tendencies in order to whack him for his allegedly liberal views. It happened again: An April 5 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein takes offense at a single line of praise uttered by Matthews about Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, but he fails to give credit (as it were) to Matthews for, during that same edition of "Hardball," a lengthy, softball-laden interview with Tom DeLay. That does seem to be how people like Finkelstein and his MRC colleagues want conservatives in the media to be treated, after all. Finkelstein also offers no mention of further evidence of Matthews' admiration of DeLay.
And before Finkelstein gets all worked up about "Democrats and their MSM claque ... dancing on the graves of their political opponents," he might want to recall that his MRC colleagues exhibited much the same behavior when Peter Jennings died last year.
Meaningless Poll of the Day Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax is polling its readers about the idea of Katie Couric as CBS Evening News anchor, as if 1) its polls mean something, and 2) biased, unreliable opt-in polling plays a role in the hiring process. Oddest question: In asking "who would you prefer be CBS News anchor?" NewsMax serves up the options of Couric, Bill O'Reilly, and Lou Dobbs.
Just in case there was any doubt about how NewsMax wants its readers to vote in this poll -- particularly on the question "Do you believe Katie Couric is fair or biased as a journalist?" -- a companion article by Jim Meyers regurgitates a Media Research Center compendium of Couric's alleged liberal bias. As a bonus, Meyers cites a NewsBusters poll on Couric's purported bias without telling readers that the opt-in poll is just as unreliable and meaningless as the poll NewsMax is doing.