Misleading Claim on Judicial Nominations Topic: Free Congress Foundation
A May 15 commentary by the Free Congress Foundation's Marion Edwyn Harrison, Esq. (repeated at Accuracy in Media) claims that the federal judiciary "is approaching - some would say, is in the midst of - a crisis," in part because "[t]here are 30 vacancies, 10 appellate and 20 trial."
But as ConWebWatch has pointed out, when the number of federal judicial vacancies was more than 60 in the final years of the Clinton administration, the FCF saw no emergency; one FCF commentary dismissed the number of vacancies as "only 63."
BadgeGate Update Topic: Horowitz
-- A lengthy May 24 FrontPageMag article by Andrew G. Bostom is predicated on the Iran badges story being true. The only hint Bostom provides that it likely is not is a parenthetical insertion that the story is "now disputed."
-- The sound of crickets still emanates from NewsBusters on the subject of the story's apparent lack of veracity.
Kupelian, WND Launch More Ad Hominem Attacks Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 23 WorldNetDaily article resumes WND's ad hominem attacks on critics of David Kupelian's book "The Marketing of Evil" from the Ohio university where librarian Scott Savage was criticized for recommending the book. The article describes one critic as "openly socialist," and another is described three times as "openly homosexual."
When the article finally gets around to addressing the actual claims of critics -- specifically, that Kupelian's description of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey and his work is a "factually untrue characterization of Dr. Kinsey and his work" -- it resorts to repeating (without labeling them as such) the dubiously supported claims of anti-Kinsey researcher Judith Reisman. And the article resorts to ad hominem attacks here too: it calls Kinsey "notoriously fraudulent," and Kupelian himself is quoted as calling him "a profoundly troubled human being sexually" who "encouraged serial pedophiles for obtaining his so-called 'research' on child sexuality."
Heads up: We'll be addressing the issue of Kupelian and Reisman in depth on the ConWebWatch side later this week.
BadgeGate: It's Not Just NewsBusters Topic: Horowitz
The Horowitz empire has also reported the increasingly dubious claim about Iran requiring non-Muslims to wear badges (copying NewsMax's article) without following up on the questions about its veracity that we've been able to find on either FrontPageMag or Discover the Network(s).
Fact-Checking, Or the Lack Thereof Topic: NewsBusters
Eric Boehlert relates the difference between conservative bloggers and liberal bloggers on the issue of fact-checking.
And, in a related story, NewsBusters has still yet to acknowledge the fact that Iran-badges story it scolded the media for not reporting is looking more and more to be false (despite the original promulgator of the the story still clinging to it).
AIM Contradicts Itself Topic: Accuracy in Media
A May 22 AIM Report by Wes Vernon takes contradictory stands on the idea of anonymous sources. As part of AIM's factually dubious war on Washington Post reporter Dana Priest and her article on secret CIA detention facilities in Europe, Vernon first dismissed Priest's story because it was "based completely on anonymous sources," adding that the story "has not been confirmed."
But later, in coming to the defense of Rep. Curt Weldon over his claims regarding the "Able Danger" intelligence program, takes a different tone on anonymous sources and lack of smoking-gun evidence. Vernon dismissed a Philadelphia Inquirer article questioning Weldon's claim that the Soviets buried dozens of suitcase-size nuclear devices in the U.S. during the Cold War: "So the Inquirer essentially casts doubts on the 'suitcase nukes' charge based on the failure to find a needle in a haystack." Vernon also notes that "Among those who came to the congressman's defense was Lowell L. Wood, Jr., who has outstanding credentials in science"; Vernon wrote that "Wood added that 'a fundamental adage' in the 'always imperfect' intelligence business is that 'the absence of evidence isn't the evidence of absence.'"
Vernon also defends Weldon's use of an anonymous source to back up his claims:
The Philadelphia Inquirer's March 15 hit pieces include the name of someone they claim was "Ali." Weldon says, "I have not and will not identify [my source]." Curiously, the media seem oblivious to the possibility they may have put the man's life in danger.
AIM needs to make up its mind about a few things and not judge them by how well they support conservative talking points.
Still Waiting On That Retraction Topic: NewsBusters
As we enter our third day following the emergence of questions about the National Post report that the Iranian parliament passed a law requiring non-Muslims in the country to wear certain insignia identifying them as such -- and as evidence continues to mount that the story is false -- Noel Sheppard and the rest of the NewsBusters crew has remained silent about it, even though it was quick to repeat claims against the veracity of USA Today's story on the NSA phone database.
Double standard, anyone? Apparently, the MRC isn't as interested in accuracy if a fellow conservative publication is the one that gets its facts wrong.
NewsBusters Misleads on Party ID, Abramoff Topic: NewsBusters
A May 21 NewsBusters post by Mithridate Ombud claims that none of the six articles about corruption allegations against Rep. William Jefferson to which he links uses the word "Democrat." That's misleading; five of the six linked articles (the exception is the one from the CBS affiliate in Fresno) add "D-La." on the first reference to Jefferson, clearly indicating that Jefferson is a Democrat.
Ombud also claims that "We all know that even when someone who isn't even in the Republican party, like Jack Abramoff, gets caught doing something bad the media frames the story with the word 'Republican' four or five times per column inch." Not only does Ombud offer no evidence to back it up, he/she is wrong about Abramoff, who has a long history of Republican and conservative activism, starting when he was president of -- that's right -- a College Republicans group.
BadgeGate: The Tally Topic: NewsBusters
How has the rest of the ConWeb covered the apparently bogus accusation about Iran requiring non-Muslims to wear badges?
WorldNetDaily: Wrote article questioning original claim. Columnist Craig R. Smith, however, didn't get the memo; his May 21 column attacking Iran over the claim as if no doubts had been raised about its veracity.
Hellooooo? Topic: NewsBusters
As evidence mounts that the National Post story claiming that the Iranian parliament passed a law requiring non-Muslims in the country to wear certain insignia identifying them as such appears to be false, NewsBusters -- after writer Noel Sheppard scolded the media for not immediately repeating the story -- has yet to acknowledge this development in a post. We're closing in on 48 hours since evidence that the story is false first surfaced -- much longer than the six hours that Sheppard gave the media to pick up the original (and apparently false) story.
Tick ... Tick ... Tick ... Topic: NewsBusters
It's been more than 24 hours now since both the Iranian Embassy and experts on Iran have raised significant doubts about the report by Canada's National Post that the Iranian parliament passed a law this week requiring non-Muslims in the country to wear certain insignia identifying them as such, and NewsBusters -- which demanded that the media report on it a mere six hours after the National Post's report came out -- has not dedicated a post to it.
WorldNetDaily Wackiness Topic: WorldNetDaily
-- Oh, here's a surprise: Another story based on an Alliance Defense Fund press release.
-- It's hard to get too worked up about WND executive news editor Art Moore's May 19 column in which he suggests that the alligators who have been chomping on humans in Florida be deployed on the Mexico. Heck, Moore can't even bother to be original: His "joke" about putting illegal immigrants to work to build a moat on the border might have been funny if he hadn't stolen the basic concept from Ann Coulter (who, in turn, stole it from "Saturday Night Live").
Time For A Retraction? Topic: NewsBusters
From a May 19 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard about a report by Canada's National Post that the Iranian parliament passed a law this week requiring non-Muslims in the country to wear certain insignia identifying them as such:
The question is: will America’s media report this? At this point six hours after the National Post article was published, a Google news search identified that, other than Canadian and German news sites, no major American media apart from blogs have covered this story. Moreover, if someone from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in L.A. was questionned on this matter, American media can’t be in the dark on this issue.
As such, where is the media outrage concerning this extremely heinous move by the current extremists in Iran?
Well, it could be that the story is false. Even WorldNetDaily, no stranger to ignoring inconvenient facts, has pointed this out, noting that not only has the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa denied it, but "several experts on the regime have raised doubts about the National Post story."
WND posted this article at 4 p.m. ET May 20. At this writing, it is nine hours later -- three more hours than Sheppard gave the "American media" to report the original National Post story -- and neither Sheppard nor any other NewsBusters writer has made these doubts about the story's accuracy the subject of a post.
Meanwhile, NewsBusters writers are assailing the accuracy of USA Today's story on the NSA's database of domestic phone records because the phone companies cited in the article have denied (several days after the fact) cooperating with the NSA. Needless to say, the boys have been ignoring reports that appear to corroborate the story, such has reports that phone companies have allowed third-party "scapegoats" to give their phone records to the NSA.
It appears that at NewsBusters, some allegations of false stories are more equal than others.
NewsBusters Cites Slanted Poll Topic: NewsBusters
A May 20 NewsBusters item by Brad Wilmouth notes "a recent Zogby poll showing 84 percent of Americans, including 77 percent of Hispanics, support making English the nation's official language" as evidence against a contention by NBC's Brian Unger that Republicans are taking a "hard turn to the right" by pushing to declare English America's official language.
But that poll, linked by Wilmouth from the group ProEnglish, was in fact commissioned by ProEnglish, which means that its questions are slanted to generate a result that reinforces ProEnglish's agenda -- which, as the name indicates, is to "make [English] the official language of the United States."
Wait -- weren't the boys at NewsBusters complaining about biased polls not too long ago?