Not sayin', just sayin'...
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Not sayin', just sayin'...
Massie Again Repeats Bogus Immigration Statistic
We've previously noted Mychal Massie's embrace of Rep. Steve King's claim that 25 Americans are killed by illegals every day, half of whom by murder and the others mostly by drunken driving -- a total of 9,000 a year -- despite the fact that a cursory examination shows that the number has no basis in reality. Massie peddles it once again in his Sept. 11 WorldNetDaily column attacking Rudy Giuliani for making the logical point that because illegal immigration is considered a civil offense, it isn't a crime by legal definition (as well as "Robert Pape and the professorial elite" for his claims about Islamic terrorism and Earl Ofari Hutchinson for -- well, we don't know why since Massie never explains):
Apparently for Massie, the number is just too good to fact-check.
Ronald Kessler's Mighty Wurlitzer
Aaron Klein is not the only ConWeb reporter with his own coterie of sources he can reliably count on to spout the (Republican) party line.
In a Sept. 10 article, NewsMax's Ronald Kessler marshals his Mighty Wurlitzer to denounce Robert Draper’s new book "Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush," for committing the sin of being critical of the Bush administration (for which Kessler is heavily in the tank). Kessler quotes a pair of his old faithfuls -- Andy Card and Brad Blakeman -- to nitpick the book and express "embarrassment" that the White House chose to cooperate with such an author. Blakeman, for his part, happily obliges:
In fact, far from having "a predisposition to trash" the president, Draper has issued praise for Bush. In a Salon interview, Draper addressed the accusations of critics like Card, Blakeman and Kessler:
Draper went on to offer an honest assessment of the president:
What's wrong with this as far as Kessler, et al, are concerned? Draper appears to care about the truth, whereas they only want hagiography.
Clinton Derangement Syndrome Watch
WorldNetDaily has been hyping a purported break-in at the house of Kathleen Willey (who just happens to have a book coming out), purportedly by the Clintons (and, of course, failing to mention Willey's utter lack of credibility on such matters). WND followed that up with a break-in claim by Clinton-basher David Schippers.
These purported, loosely documented incidents have prompted WND's Joseph Farah to go into Clinton-paranoia mode. In his Sept. 11 column, Farah asserts:
Of course, Farah offers no evidence to support the break-in claim.
Farah also runs to Willey's defense, claiming she has suffered from "unfair characterization" but not mentioning the facts behind her lack of credibility.
Looks like Farah is firing up WND to act as a Clinton-hating 2.0 machine, just like NewsMax -- or perhaps even worse, given NewsMax's recent efforts to appear more mainstream.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Kessler Cites Discredited Writer
A Sept. 10 NewsMax column by Ronald Kessler promoting John Podhoretz's new book "World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism," states the following:
Taheri, you will recall, was the man behind the claim that the Iranian parliament passed a law that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims. Taheri's claim was heavily promoted by conservatives -- until it was proven to be false.
Taheri's lack of credibility, though, hasn't stopped conservatives like Kessler from approvingly citing him.
Kinsolving's Continuing Problem With the Facts
Why can't Les Kinsolving get basic facts straight?
During the Sept. 10 White House press briefing, Kinsolving centered a question around Media Matters (my employer,) calling it "financially supported by George Soros." But as Media Matters has pointed out, Soros has never given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization.
Of course, Kinsolving still thinks that Bill Clinton was "indicted, tried and found guilty of both perjury and obstruction of justice," so he's clearly unemcumbered by the truth.
Kinsolving also rattled off a list of right-wing radio hosts who Media Matters has "denounced." Among them was a name transcribed by the White House as "Forts," presumably Neal Boortz. But in the Sept. 11 WND article featuring Kinsolving's questions, "Forts" remains. That shows you the level of editorial scrutiny at WND, on top of Kinsolving's own.
Waters Misleads on Kerry's Military Service
Topic: Media Research Center
In a Sept. 10 TimesWatch item and NewsBusters post, Clay Waters defended Rudy Giuliani from a New York Times article suggesting that he was exploiting his role after 9/11 for political purposes: "But where were these complaints about 'exploitation' when Democrat John Kerry milked his three months in Vietnam for all it was worth -- a period far less relevant to the electorate than Giuliani's 9-11 leadership?"
In fact, Kerry did two tours of duty during the Vietnam War, totaling 15 months, seven months of which were spent in the Vietnam theatre. Waters was apparently counting only the second, three-month tour in which he commanded a swift boat.
UPDATE: Waters' post also appeared in the Sept. 11 MRC CyberAlert. Call it a trifecta of falsehoods!
Meet Your GOP 'Values Voter' Debate Organizer, Moderator
So WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah has been selected to be moderator for a Sept. 17 "Values Voter" Republican presidential debate, as a Sept. 3 WND article announced. Even though Farah is, for all intents and purposes, a conservative, and the list of "America's leaders" that will supply questions -- Paul Weyrich, Phyllis Schlafly, Don Wildmon, Judge Roy Moore, Rick Scarborough, and Mat Staver (listed as being with "Liberty Council") -- are conservative, and the "Values Voters' Contract with Congress" forwarded by debate promoters is unapolegically conservative, the word "conservative" appears nowhere in the WND article announcing Farah's participation.
The article forwards the usual self-promotional blather about Farah, the . What's missing is Farah's real journalistic record:
The "Values Voter" folks must be proud. Then again, the debate organizer is Faith2Action's Janet Folger, who has her own checkered record on telling the truth. As we've documented, Folger has repeatedly misled readers about incidents in order to promote her anti-gay agenda, and has even invoked the "research" of a neo-Nazi racist.
These are the values of the people behind the "Values Voter" debate. Are conservatives really comfortable with that?
Monday, September 10, 2007
Another Huston Double Standard
Warner Todd Huston has emerged as NewsBusters' chief defender of Fred Thompson (as we've noted). He does so again in a Sept. 10 post bashing the media's coverage of Thompson's reference to an "al Qaeda enforced smoking ban in Iraq" without investigating "what Thompson meant, or could have meant." Huston insisted that it was "just another attempt to destroy Thompson. ... Even Ron Paul is treated with more respect by the media."
Of course, Huston didn't give the same deference to John Kerry when he similarly mangled a statement. After Kerry said that if you don't successfully navigate the educational system, "you get stuck in Iraq" -- meant as criticism of President Bush that he later described as a "botched joke" -- Huston immediately declared: "Obviously, Kerry feels that all our soldiers are uneducated louts with no other opportunities." No effort made to find out "what he meant, or could have meant."
Double standard, anyone? Huston has a lot of them where Thompson is concerned. We've previously noted how Huston refused to ascribed a Thompson campaign official's reportedly anti-Israel views to Thompson himself, though his NewsBusters colleagues couldn't hang controversial statements made by bloggers hired by John Edwards' campaign around Edwards' neck fast enough.
David Neiwert reminds us of the Sept. 4 Salon article by Alex Koppelman on the conservative campaign to portray two Border Patrol agents convicted of firing on an unarmed man and then trying to cover up the crime as heroes. Among those examined are Jerome Corsi's reports on the case for WorldNetDaily (we've previously detailed WND's interest in playing along with the exoneration campaign):
Any chance Corsi will come forward to address this criticism of his reporting and explain why he thinks the agents' supervisors perjured themselves? We somehow doubt it (though he has defended his reporting in the past after we raised questions).
Jews Acting Like Nazis, Farah Says
Richard Bartholomew, at Talk to Action, notes that WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah, in his Sept. 10 column, is linking Israeli leaders Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres to the Nazis by stating they have a "Final Solution" to the dispute over the Temple Mount. By insisting on the actual construction of a Jewish synagogue on the Temple Mount -- currently the site of the Dome of the Rock mosque -- Farah also gets his religious history just plain wrong, Bartholomew says:
Bartholomew also notes that WND reporter Aaron Klein performs yet another bit of whitewashing of a right-wing extremist Jew. He describes Rabbi Chaim Richman only as "director of Israel's Temple Institute" without also stating that Richman is also involved with the "Sanhedrin", a Kahanist theocratic organization founded in 2005 (and about which WND and WND columnist Hal Lindsey has favorably reported in the past).
CNS Ignores Full Story on Global Warming Research
A Sept. 6 CNSNews.com article by Kevin Mooney featuring global warming denier (and employer of former CNS writer Marc Morano) Sen. James Inhofe's praise of Fred Thompson's views on the subject. As evidence that "numerous peer-reviewed studies released in recent months show that natural variability, as opposed to human carbon dioxide (Co2) emissions, are primarily responsible for altering the earth's climate," Mooney linked to a blog post by Morano that cited, among others, a study by Charles D. Camp and Ka Kit Tung that, according to Morano, "is the first to document a statistically significant globally coherent temperature response to the solar cycle." But Morano (and, thus, Mooney) failed to note that, rather than disprove global warming and though, according to a New Scientist article, "[c]limate-change skeptics may seize on the findings as evidence that the sun's variability can explain global warming," Tung says his findings provide important real-world evidence that climate model predictions of global warming are correct. (As we've detailed, Fox News' Brit Hume and NewsBusters' Brent Baker has reliably regurgitated Morano's propaganda.)
Mooney also cites the work of researcher Habibullo Abdussamatov that "the current warming cycle on earth also affects neighboring planets, such as Mars" to assert that "[t]his view is gaining currency among other climate scientists who now dismiss man-made global warming theories." But a National Geographic article pointed out the flaws in Abdussamatov's theory: "Perhaps the biggest stumbling block in Abdussamatov's theory is his dismissal of the greenhouse effect, in which atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide help keep heat trapped near the planet's surface." Oops! (NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard has similarly misrepresented Abdussamatov's research.)
If CNS is not telling all sides of global warming research, it's not living up to its purported mission to "to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Unruh Misleads on Planned Parenthood 'Lies'
A Sept. 9 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh, headlined "Planned Parenthood lies when attacking pro-lifers," repeats assertions that statements made by a Planned Parenthood about an anti-abortion group in Illinois are "lies" and "libel" without proving that they, in fact, are.
Planned Parenthoood is building what Unruh describes as a "superstore abortion clinic" (a pejorative description he does not ascribe to anyone) in Aurora, Illinois. According to anti-abortion activist and WND columnist Jill Stanek, area Planned Parenthood official Steve Trombley sent a letter to city officials critical of local anti-abortion activists who are fighting the clinic and, in particular, the Pro-Life Action Network and its leader, Joe Scheidler. As quoted by Unruh:
Unruh repeats the response of Stanek -- "Oh my, if that doesn't scream libel lawsuit, I don't know what does" -- adding:
But Stanek does not offer, and Unruh does not report no evidence to contradict Trombley's claim that the incidents happened, or that the court disproved their existence. All the court did is negate the claim that the incidents were part of a "criminal conspiracy to halt the abortion industry."
Unruh similarly quotes a letter from Tom Brejcha of the conservative Thomas More Society, attorney for Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League, demand that Trombley retract his "false and libelous assertions" by calling them a "legal nullity" because the RICO decision was overturned. Indeed Brejcha does not specifically refute the incidents described by Trombley; in fact, he tries to depict them as "what Dr. Martin Luther King had described as "peaceable, non-violent direct action" - peaceful, passive acts of Gandhian civil disobedience." So King and Gandhi would have approved "beating a post-operative ovarian surgery patient over the head with a sign, knocking her unconscious and causing her to bleed from the sutures in her abdomen"?
Unmentioned by Unruh are other claims Trombley made in his letter:
Are Unruh and Stanek declining to challenge these claims (perhaps because they're true)? While Brejcha claims in his letter that Scheidler "has never been arrested let alone convicted of any criminal act in connection with pro-life or anti-abortion activity. He has never advocated violence against either persons or property. Nor has he engaged in any such violence in opposing abortion, or otherwise," Unruh does not mention it in his article.
It's also worth noting that, in accordance with longstanding WND practice, Unruh makes no apparent attempt to contact Trombley to give him an opportunity to respond to criticism of his letter.
Kessler Still Uninterested in Freedom's Watch Funding
A Sept. 7 NewsMax column by Ronald Kessler is his second promoting an ad campaign by the conservative pro-war group Freedom's Watch. In it, he states that Freedom's Watch "has more funding than MoveOn.org and other George Soros operations." But, as before, Kessler shows no interest whatsoever in learning where exactly that funding is coming from.
If Kessler is going to make a big deal out of Soros' funding of liberal groups, shouldn't he show maybe a little interest in how conservative groups are funded? Or is that somehow too gauche a question for him to ask of his apparent BFF, Freedom's Watch head Brad Blakeman?
Kessler's refusal to find out the answers to basic questions in an apparent bid to avoid embarrassing his conservative friends makes him a lot of things, but a good reporter is not one of them.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
FrontPageMag Lets Nowrasteh Falsely Claim that 'Path to 9/11' Is True
In a Sept. 7 FrontPageMag softball interview, Jamie Glazov lets Cyrus Nowrasteh assert without evidence that ABC is blocking the DVD release of his miniseries "The Path to 9/11" "to appease the Clintons." Glazov played along by tossing low-and-slow questions:
Nowrasteh offered up one notable talking point -- er, "answer" -- to Glazov's softball inquiry:
In fact, Media Matters did watch the show, and it did find that it didn't tell the truth and was less-than-harsh on the Bush administration. Nowrasteh himself has admitted that at least one scene was fabricated. Nowrasteh's insistence that "The Path to 9/11" tells "the hot-button truth" is, simply, a lie.
Glazov also failed to disclose the ties between his employer and Nowrasteh. Nowrasteh has spoken at the conservative Liberty Film Festival, which is part of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the various Horowitz operations have promoted "The Path to 9/11."
Nowrasteh should stop lying about the content of his minisesries -- and Glazov should stop enabling him.
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