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Friday, July 7, 2006
'Lurid Media Speculation'
Topic: NewsBusters
A July 7 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard laments that the Smoking Gun's posting of the Homeland Security manifest regarding Rush Limbaugh’s customs detention last month "is likely to incite more lurid media speculation." Gee, we thought that conservatives were all about lurid media speculation.

Oops, we're sorry. That's only when liberals are the target of it. Our bad.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:42 PM EDT
Just Askin'
Topic: CNSNews.com
If you're going to call a resolution to "support ... homosexual 'marriage'" a "Pro-Homosexual Resolution," as CNSNews.com does in the headline of a July 6 article by Nathan Burchfiel, shouldn't you also -- to be perfectly fair and logical -- label the "conservative family groups" like the American Family Association who have criticized the resolution "anti-homosexual"?

But then, where would CNS be without its labeling bias?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:32 PM EDT
Update: Coulter and Plagiarism
Topic: WorldNetDaily
We went back to the source from which WorldNetDaily lifted its John Kerry-Douglas Brinkley paragraph, an Aug. 28, 2004, Washington Post article. And it's not looking any better for Ann Coulter.

From the Post article:

The Kerry campaign has refused to release Kerry's personal Vietnam archive, including his journals and letters, saying that the senator is contractually bound to grant Brinkley exclusive access to the material. But Brinkley said this week the papers are the property of the senator and in his full control.

From Coulter's Sept. 2, 2004, column:

The Kerry campaign has refused to release Kerry's personal Vietnam papers on the grounds that Kerry is required by contract to grant Kerry hagiographer Doug Brinkley exclusive access to the archive. But then Brinkley contradicted the campaign saying the papers are Kerry's property and in his full control.

While both WND and Coulter stole the same paragraph from the Post, WND at least made a stab at attribution.

So, is Coulter guilty of plagiarism here? Even though she changed a few words, the structure of the paragraph is exactly the same, and she provided no attribution. She credits the Post earlier in the column for a Kerry quote, but that quote does not appear in the article from which she lifted the Brinkley paragraph. And given the growing body of evidence of a pattern of plagiarism, we'd have to lean toward the affirmative.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 PM EDT
Thursday, July 6, 2006
Wall? What Wall?
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Further evidence that WorldNetDaily cares not one whit about separating news from advertising: a July 6 "news" article that is, in fact, an ad for a purported gas-saving device called the VortexValve. Actually, this is the third WND fake-news VortexValve article since early May (the first two are here and here). None of these "news" articles, of course, state that they are advertising; instead, they are promoted as "WorldNetDaily Exclusives," and the latest even gets a "SportsNetDaily" header.

WND had better be raking in some serious cash on this; after all, sullying what journalistic reputation it has ought to come with some kind of price. Assuming, of course, that Joseph Farah and the crew still care about such quaint things.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:19 PM EDT
Kessler Attacks McCain
Topic: Newsmax
Demonstrating that he's all about the conservative cause of his new corporate masters at NewsMax, Ronald Kessler has been on the attack against not-conservative-enough John McCain.

In a June 27 article, Kessler featured the response of conservative activist Grover Norquist to a report by the McCain-led Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Norquist attacked McCain as "dishonest" and "delusional" and accused him of "lying" about the report's conclusion that Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, served as a front to launder payments made to Ralph Reed, former Christian Coalition honcho and current lieutanant governor candidate in Georgia, for his Jack Abramoff-connected lobbying work. Kessler did not allow McCain to respond to Norquist's attacks.

Kessler continued the attack on McCain in a July 5 article asking "does McCain have the temperament to be president?" According to "insiders," Kessler writes, "McCain has an irrational, explosive side that make many of them question whether he is fit to serve as president and be commander in chief." Among those he quotes is former Rep. John LeBoutillier, who Kessler describes only as "a New York Republican." Kessler fails to point out that not only is LeBoutillier, like Kessler, a NewsMax employee, he has a longtime animus toward McCain that makes him less than objective on the issue. In a June 2005 column, LeBoutillier calls McCain "an arrogant, condescending prima donna," "a spoiled brat with a gigantic chip on his shoulder" and, last but not least, "a false image who, upon further reflection, is a total nothing. He stands for nothing; he says nothing; his record is filled with nothing." In a February 14 column, LeBoutillier called McCain "the angriest candidate of them all" and "the single worst human being any of us have ever met in the poilitical world ? period!" (Italics his.)

Further, LeBoutillier's buddy, discredited Hillary Clinton scandal-monger Ed Klein, is reportedly working on a McCain book.

On the other hand, such slanted reporting is NewsMax's style.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:52 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 6, 2006 4:55 PM EDT
The ConWeb Job Board
Topic: Newsmax
It's hard out there for a conservative news website. Not only has WorldNetDaily reposted its news editor position first advertised in May, there's this job posting at Media Bistro (registration required):

REWRITE EDITOR: Growing publishing company in West Palm Beach, Florida, seeks an experienced rewrite editor who can work on both magazine and Web copy. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate an ability freshen, rework, and sometimes reimagine news and feature copy. Speed, accuracy, the ability to multi-task, and excellent use of the written language are required. So too is a broad-based knowledge of politics, economics, and cultural trends, all of which are covered in our Web sites, newsletters, and national monthly magazine. Applicants who?ve excelled on a metro desk will receive special consideration.

The company describes itself as "one of America's most dynamic news media companies. We have been headquartered in West Palm Beach for more than seven years and continues to grow at an outstanding rate. We offer multiple groundbreaking publishing products and merchandise including a news site, magazine, newsletters, books, audio tapes, apparel, framed artwork and many other items." Sounds a lot like NewsMax to us.

As with any ConWeb job, the usual caveats apply -- such as no longer being taken seriously as a journalist.

(Thanks to ConWebWatch reader A.K. for the tip.)

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 6, 2006 12:50 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Coulter Kills the Messenger
Topic: WorldNetDaily
How does Ann Coulter respond to plagiarism allegations raised by the New York Post? By not addressing them -- and by attacking the Post.

Since WorldNetDaily is such a Coulterphile -- to the point where it restored something to one of her columns that her syndicated edited out -- does this mean it will follow Coulter's lead and refuse to address the plagiarism allegations, even though WND may be one of her victims?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:22 PM EDT
The Return of the Clinton Body Count
Topic: The ConWeb
Ah, but it never really went away despite all the evidence that it was bogus, did it?

The Freepers and their fellow travelers are having a high ol' time reliving their Clinton-bashing glory days by tying the killing of an Arkansas urologist, David Millstein, to Clinton. The connection? Millstein's wife's first husband was Jerry Parks, a person with tangental Clinton ties who was murdered in 1993 and holds a prominent spot on the Clinton death list. But as we (and Snopes) noted, there are much more likely suspects than Clinton.

Well, as long as they're spinning their wheels on fevered speculation, they can't be plotting to harrass or kill New York Times employees, so there's an upside.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:12 PM EDT
Coulter and Plagiarism
Topic: WorldNetDaily
In 2004, we noted that a passage in an Ann Coulter column was suspiciously close to a passage from a WorldNetDaily article that appeared a few days earlier. At the time, we leaned toward blaming WND for cribbing from Coulter, given WND's history of plagiarism.

We may have to rethink that. The New York Post has revealed Coulter's history of lifting quotes for her books and columns without attribution, and it appears that the syndicate that puts out Coulter's columns is going to investigate.

Hey, WND, how about weighing in on this: Did Coulter steal from you or not?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 PM EDT
WND Writer Praises Book He Co-Wrote, Doesn't Disclose It
Topic: WorldNetDaily
From Jon Dougherty's July 5 WorldNetDaily column:

Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo's new book, "In Mortal Danger: The Battle For America's Borders and Security," should be required reading for every high-school student, public official, elected representative, judge and presidential candidate, as well as every citizen and prospective citizen in America. It is that important. It is that valuable. And were its contents widely digested, I have no doubt it would radically alter the political, cultural and social landscape of our country.

[...]

Pick up a copy of Tom Tancredo's book. As a political manifesto, it is a once-in-a-lifetime find. Such rational, cogent clarity of thought doesn't come along in our public servants very often. I'd hate for you to miss out on the most important message of our time: That America is indeed in mortal danger, but there is a leader who knows how to deliver us from evil.

Dougherty fails to note anywhere in the column that he co-wrote Tancredo's book, as evidenced by the WND Books website putting Dougherty's bio on its page for the book.

Also, Dougherty's tagline shows that he has a new gig, as a policy analyst for Oliver North's Freedom Alliance.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:59 AM EDT
New Article: The Bush Administration Research Center
Topic: Media Research Center
As its promotion of a dubious WMDs-in-Iraq claim and its attacks on the New York Times demonstrate, the Media Research Center is much more interested in advancing White House talking points than engaging in media research. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 4, 2006
Breaking: WND Admits Existence of Right-Wingers in Israel!
Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've previously noted WorldNetDaily reporter Aaron Klein's aversion to labeling right-wing politicians in Israel as such. That may be changing: A July 4 article by Klein contains the following paragraph:

If Shas bolts, Olmert may then be forced to bring Arab parties into his government or form a coalition with the Knesset's right-wing bloc, which would likely only enter the government on condition a Judea and Samaria withdrawal is either cancelled or postponed.

This is a boilerplate paragraph Klein first used in a June 24 article on a dubiously slanted anti-Olmert poll (which he again cites in the July 4 piece). As far as we know, that's the first time Klein used the term "right-wing" to describe an Israeli politician or political party; he's usually whitewashing that sort of thing.

Congratulations, Aaron, on your ackowledgment of reality. Now, about your anti-Olmert bias...

Posted by Terry K. at 11:48 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 4, 2006 11:59 PM EDT
NewsMax Attacks NYT for Running Story NewsMax Did Last Year
Topic: Newsmax
On June 30, NewsMax repeated David Horowitz's overheated blog post claiming that by running an travel-section article on Donald Rumsfeld's and Dick Cheney's summer homes, "The New York Times points cranks, radicals, al-Qaida operatives and would-be assassins to the summer homes of Cheney and Rumsfeld."

Will NewsMax tell its readers that the Times had Rumsfeld's permission to do it? Or that NewsMax itself had previously reported on Cheney's summer house?

We'll be watching.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:35 PM EDT
Shorter Mychal Massie
Topic: WorldNetDaily
I find my freedom in hypocritically attacking people for behavior I myself have engaged in.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
NewsBusters Nonsense
Topic: NewsBusters
-- Tim Graham dedicates two posts to Dana Priest's allusion to Bill Bennett's gambling habit. In the second post, he's shocked -- shocked! -- that a political radio host would take pleasure in an political attack. It's undercut a tad by the post's first commenter; he attacks Priest for bringing up a "personal insult not relevant to the conversation," then states: "Priest is a dyke lesbo."

-- Mark Finkelstein insists that Michael Smerconish, who thinks the United States is "a nation of sissies" where "limp-wristedness" is "compromising our ability to win the war on terror," is not a conservative but, rather, just a "middle-of-the-road Republican." Such mislabeling, Finkelstein further insists, "exemplifies the MSM's truth-in-packaging problem." Since this appears to be a concern, Finkelstein might want to have a chat about labeling with his NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard, who called Chris Matthews a "San Francisco liberal" with an "ultra-left, San Francisco Chronicle columnist side" despite 1) Matthews being from Philadelphia and 2) Matthews' history of bashing Clinton and saying nice things about Bush.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EDT

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