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Monday, April 17, 2006
Softball Interview Watch
Topic: Newsmax
In an April 17 NewsMax article, Dave Eberhart does a delightfully softball interview with Jack Kemp. How softball is it? This is the first question: "Sir, you are a man of many accomplishments. What's the source of your energy and inspiration?"

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 PM EDT
CNS Champions Disgraced Hansen-Bashing Ex-NASA Spokesman
Topic: CNSNews.com
George Deutsch is back, and this time he's leaking documents.

An April 17 CNSNews.com article by Marc Morano plays enabler to the former NASA spokesman's crusade against NASA scientist James Hansen. "Deutsch provided Cybercast News Service with agency internal documents and e-mails detailing the frustration among NASA public affairs officials over Hansen's refusal to follow protocol when it came to granting media interviews," Morano reported. Nowhere in the article does Morano explain under what authority an ex-NASA employee has to release internal NASA documents for the sole purpose of attacking a current NASA employee.

Deutsch resigned his job in February after it was revealed that he did not graduate from college as he had claimed on his resume. As he did in a March interview, Morano gives Deutsch another opportunity to explain that away: "I had more credits than are required to graduate, but I needed one math class," Deutsch said.

Unsurprisingly, it's a one-sided attack, filled mostly with Deutsch's Hansen-bashing. Morano claims at the end of the article that "several phone calls to Hansen's office seeking comment were not returned."

P.S.: Morano unquestioningly reported Deutsch's claim regarding his instistence while at NASA that the word "theory" be attached to "big bang": "Deutsch said he was simply making recommendations to comply with Associated Press style." That's false; as Deutsch himself wrote in a memo, it was about a lot more than style. As the New York Times reported:

The Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion," Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

It [Deutsch's memo] continued: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:21 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 17, 2006 4:13 PM EDT
CNS Peddles False GOP Immigration Spin
Topic: CNSNews.com
An April 12 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones passed along a statement from House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist attacking Senate Democrats, "making it clear that it was Democrats who insisted on making unlawful presence in the United States a felony rather than a misdemeanor." But neither the statement nor CNS' attempt at a "clarification" tells the truth about the issue.

To Hastert and Frist's statement that "there were 191 House Democrats who voted to oppose House Republican efforts to reduce the crime of unlawful presence in the United States from a felony to a misdemeanor. Instead, they voted to make felons out of all of those who remain in our country illegally," Jones added only, parenthetically, "Some conservative Republicans also favored making unlawful presence a felony."

A "clarification" later added to the article states that "a majority of House Republicans wanted to elevate the violation to a misdemeanor; but Democrats proposed making it a felony -- to undermine the entire bill by making it appear too harsh, according its sponsor, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)."

That's false. Sensenbrenner himself put the felony provision in the bill at the beginning, and it was passed by the House in December in that form with only 36 Democrats supporting the bill. Thus, it is Republicans who are flip-flopping on the issue after negative public reaction and trying to reduce it to a misdeameanor; Democrats oppose criminalizing it at all (it's currently a civil violation), plus they're not terribly motivated to help save the Republicans' bacon.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EDT
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Neil Young, Has-Been
Topic: Newsmax
Who thinks Neil Young is a has-been musician who hasn't had a hit in 30 years? Why, NewsMax, of course.

In an April 15 article on Young's upcoming album, which features the "somewhat less than creatively" titled "Impeach the President," NewsMax claims: "Some say Young, who hasn't had a major hit since his 1972 chart-topper, 'Heart of Gold,' is looking to revive his career by bashing Bush." No word on whether the "some" who say that exist outside of NewsMax's offices.

Depicting Neil Young as desperate for a hit single appears to be the biggest ConWeb musical misinterpretation since Accuracy in Media declared Rufus Wainwright a "mainstream" artist.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EDT
Disclosure!
Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a turnabout from its longtime lack of disclosure of its personal and business interests in the people it covers, an April 16 WorldNetDaily article on Sen. Tom Coburn properly includes the following sentence: "Coburn is the author of the WND Books title 'Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders into Insiders.'”

Good job, WND! At least one employee there seems to have some awareness of journalistic ethics ('cuz it sure isn't Joseph Farah).

Posted by Terry K. at 11:11 AM EDT
Saturday, April 15, 2006
David Kupelian, Victim
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's David Kupelian gets to play the victim card via the Alliance Defense Fund's latest cause celebre.

According to an April 14 WND article, the ADF has glommed onto the case of a Ohio university reference librarian, Scott Savage, who purportedly faces a investigationfrom the school for suggesting Kupelian's "The Marketing of Evil" and three other right-wing books for a recommending reading list for students. In typical WND fashion, its article ventures little beyond the ADF press release and other ADF-supplied materials -- nobody from the school was contacted to comment for this article. While WND does add a quote from Kupelian on the controversy, he fails to address a major criticism of his book as described in the article -- that his description of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey as a "full-fledged sexual psychopath who encouraged pedophilia" is a "factually untrue characterization of Dr. Kinsey and his work." Remember, Kupelian has made a big deal out of claiming that "to date, no one has actually identified a single factual error" (italics his) in his book.

The article also calls "The Marketing of Evil" a "best seller" but offers no evidence to support it; we don't recall seeing it on any best-seller lists, nor do we recall WND promoting such "best seller" status other than at WND's own store -- hardly an accurate indicator of such a status.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 PM EDT
Friday, April 14, 2006
Quote of the Day
Topic: CNSNews.com
With the unprotected, sieve-like U.S.-Mexican border in play for all those willing to cross, it is a certainty that al Qaeda terrorists have crossed along with the massive Mexican incursion.

It is just as certain that a 100,000-person marching mob will have at least one al Qaeda terrorist marching in lock-step and ready to light the fuse that will ignite the mob to burn the city, causing far greater property damage and repercussions than 9/11.

-- Ralph Hostetter, CNSNews.com, April 7

Posted by Terry K. at 2:31 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 14, 2006 3:49 PM EDT
Undisclosed Logrolling Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An April 14 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein repeats "popular radio host" Rusty Humphries' views on the planned Israeli withdrawal from much of the West Bank. Nowhere in the article does Klein disclose that he has been a frequent guest on Humphries' show and has conducted joint interviews with him. WND editor Joseph Farah has also served as a guest host of Humphries' show.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 PM EDT
New Article: The Evil of Marketing
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's David Kupelian engages in some less-than-honest methods to promote his book "The Marketing of Evil." Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 AM EDT
Thursday, April 13, 2006
NewsBusters Misleads on Fitzgerald Correction
Topic: NewsBusters
In an April 13 NewsBusters post, Clay Waters claimed without supporting evidence that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's correction of a claim in a court filing that Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure uranium" was a "key judgment" of a 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that "Scooter" Libby is accused of leaking (turns out it's not a "key judgment") "refutes the thrust" of a New York Times article first describing the contents of Fitzgerald's filing.

But Waters' claim is misleading, given that Libby still leaked what the original Times article described as an "exaggerated account of the intelligence conclusions" by not also leaking that State Department intelligence officials considered the uranium allegation "highly dubious." And considering that Libby was specifically authorized to leak this claim, somebody certainly considered it a "key" finding.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:31 PM EDT
Lack of Disclosure Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An April 13 WorldNetDaily article by Ron Strom featuring investigative journalist Jayna Davis' comments about a proposal for congressional hearings on the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing fails to disclose that WND published Davis' book on the bombing.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:38 PM EDT
Ann Coulter, Loss Leader
Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax is selling copies of Ann Coulter's upcoming book for the below-rock-bottom price of $4.99. And there isn't even an apparent gimmick attached, beyond its usual one of throwing a few free issues of its magazine in hopes that you'll forget to unsubscribe and thus be charged $39 for a full subscription.

Somebody wants to dump a whole buttload of copies of this book -- Drudge is reporting an initial print run of 500,000.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:37 PM EDT
NewsMax Rehashes Stale Oreo Claim
Topic: Newsmax
In an April 13 article, NewsMax once again falsely claimed that Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele, who is running for a Senate seat, was "pelted with Oreo cookies during a speech." In fact, there is little evidence to support the claim that Steele was "pelted" with Oreos (which allegedly occured during a debate, not a speech as NewsMax claimed).

Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
WND Continues Olmert Attack from Left
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Since his previous attacks on Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert over Israel's planned withdrawal from part of the West Bank didn't keep Olmert's Kadima party from winning the recent Israeli election, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein is continuing to attack Olmert from the left. Klein's April 12 WND article follows up on his previous claim that Olmert is a pawn of Israel's business oligarchy, specifically asserting this time that "several top economists and commentators" claim that Olmert and Kadima "are tools for a select group of organizations and individuals who control most of Israel's economy and media." Klein further defies his right-wing, anti-withdrawal loyalties by noting that two of the commentators he's citing "are known for their support of Olmert's plan to withdraw from the West Bank."

Posted by Terry K. at 7:15 PM EDT
NewsMax Falsely Attacks Fitzgerald -- Again
Topic: Newsmax
An April 12 NewsMax article falsely portrays a minor change made by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald in a legal document in the case against ex-vice presidential chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby as evidence that the entire filing is false.

The NewsMax article starts by claiming that Fitzgerald "now admits he was wrong to publicly allege last week that Vice President Dick Cheney deliberately tried to mislead reporters about prewar Iraq intelligence," calling it "a move that raises serious questions about his conduct of the Leakgate probe." NewsMax uses the term "bogus claim" twice in the article, adding that "Fitzgerald advised Leakgate Judge Reggie Walton that his April 5 filing was flat out wrong."

So what was wrong with this purportedly "flat out wrong" filing? Buried within the article, beneath all the false claims and hyperbole, is the truth of the matter: Fitzgerald is revising the statement that "Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium" to no longer claim that it was a "key judgment" of the National Intelligence Estimate Libby leaked to a New York Times reporter with the authorization of President Bush (though it was still stated in the NIE and leaked to the reporter).

That's it. NewsMax offers no explanation of what, if any, relevance this minor change has on the case against Libby, let alone how it extrapolates from there that the entire filing is "flat out wrong."

NewsMax has regularly attacked Fitzgerald in a various misleading ways since before his indictment against Libby was handed down last October.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:48 PM EDT

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