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Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Speaking of Sticking to the Script ...
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Sept. 10 NewsBusters post, P.J. Gladnick complains about an Associated Press article that accuses Sarah Palin of a sticking to a "basic script" on the campaign trail. In response to the article's pointing out that she decided to sell a state plane by "put[ting] it on eBay" is misleading because the plane didn't actually sell on eBay, Gladnick responded: "Palin never claimed the jet sold on eBay. However she did list it on the auction site just as she stated."

Gladnick is not the only NewsBusters writer sticking to the script on that claim:

  • "Lastly, let us dispense with the meme from the left that Palin 'lied' about selling the jet on ebay. Governor Palin never said she SOLD the plane on ebay. She said she PUT the plane on ebay." -- Warner Todd Huston, Sept. 10
  • "Palin, in fact, did not lie or mislead about anything.  She simply said she put the plane up on eBay." -- Kerry Picket, Sept. 7
  • "Palin never said she sold the jet on ebay. She says she put it up to sell on ebay. And she did. But it didn't sell there." -- Warner Todd Huston, Sept. 6

Conservatives do know how to stick to a script, don't they? And at NewsBusters, the script is to spin away every false and misleading statement Palin makes.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:51 PM EDT
Ponte Rants Against Oprah
Topic: Newsmax

A Sept. 8 Newsmax column by Lowell Ponte is one long rant against Oprah Winfrey, suggesting she's "a misogynist, a hater of women" for not allowing Sarah Palin to be on her show. Ponte misleadingly claimed that "Oprah has used her program repeatedly to showcase, promote, and lionize Barack Obama"; in fact, while Winfrey has endorsed Obama, he hasn't appeared on her show since October 2006, before he became a presidential candidate.

Nevertheless, Ponte rants on, claiming that "Some might say that Oprah is a traitor to her gender, a turn (petty) coat whose support for Obama destroyed Hillary’s chance in 2008 to become America’s first female president." He doesn't say who "some" are. Ponte also gets in some less-than-factual licks on Obama, asserting without evidence that "Obama promises to unleash capricious and partisan government censors on talk radio when he becomes president."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EDT
'Many' = One
Topic: CNSNews.com

In a Sept. 10 CNSNews.com article on Barack Obama's comment that "You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig," Susan Jones baselessly asserts that "many people think he was making a sly reference to Sen. John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin." Jones quotes only one person (a number far less than "many") making the claim -- former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, a Republican -- but she fails to mention that Swift is a member of the McCain campaign's Palin "truth squad."

UPDATE: Jones repeats the baseless claim in another Sept. 10 article: "[M]any Americans viewed the comment as a sly reference to Sen. John McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin." But again, she quotes nobody who isn't a Republican or aligned with McCain's campaign.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 12:26 PM EDT
NewsBusters Even Defends Palin's Lies
Topic: NewsBusters

Even when Sarah Palin is caught in a lie, the ConWeb will defend her.

A Sept. 9 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer seeks to draw attention away from the fact that Palin's claim that she "told Congress 'thanks but no thanks' on the bridge to nowhere" is a bald-faced lie by pointing to a statement by Alaska Democrats noting that the bridge was "officially abandoned" under Palin. Blumer then asserts: "We can quibble about specifics. But the fact is that Palin was governor when the project was abandoned, and no amount of spinning can change that."

Blumer neglects that Congress stopped the earmark for the bridge in November 2005, more than a year before Palin took office and that Palin was a supporter of the bridge when she ran for governor. As Josh Marshall points out, "She couldn't say 'No Thanks' because Congress had already said 'Forget It'." Oh, and Palin never returned the money for the bridge, instead spending it on other projects.

But that's just a "quibble" to Blumer.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 AM EDT
Newsmax 'Analysis' Gets Palin's Troopergate Wrong

A Sept. 8 Newsmax "analysis" -- credited only to "Newsmax Staff" -- purported to make the case that Sarah Palin is the victim of "smears." It states:

Meanwhile, the media has been elevating minor controversies in Palin’s home state of Alaska to national “scandals.” For example, the firing of a state trooper who allegedly Tasered his own 10-year-old son has been elevated to an international human-rights case.

That description of the "troopergate" controversy is completely wrong. The trooper in question hasn't been fired; Palin has, however, fired the trooper's boss, the state public commissioner, for not firing the trooper -- who is embroiled in a bitter divorce battle with Palin's sister -- purportedly upon Palin's demand. Further, the trooper has already been disciplined by state officials over the Tasering incident and others; he has said that the trooper's stepson (not his son, as Newsmax claimed) "wanted to feel the Taser in the same way that troopers tested the device on themselves during training," the device was set on test, and "When it was over he thought it was great and wanted to do it all again. He was bragging about it and telling everyone in the family about it."

Plus, you have to love Newsmax's sudden concern over "elevating minor controversies ... to national 'scandals.'" Isn't that what Christopher Ruddy and Newsmax (not to mention other right-wingers) did to the Clintons regarding Whitewater?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 AM EDT
Klein Misleads About Obama -- So What Else Is New?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 8 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein is written in a way to suggest that Barack Obama's statement that Hezbollah and Hamas are "going down a blind alley with violence that weakens their legitimate claims" means that Obama believes that those groups' attacks against Israel are "legitimate."

Obama immediately affirmed Hezbollah is "not a legitimate political party." Instead, "It's a destabilizing organization by any common-sense standard. This wouldn’t happen without the support of Iran and Syria."

He continued by stating Hamas and Hezbollah violence weakens the groups' "legitimate claims."

Hamas' official charter calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of the Jewish state. It also calls for Muslims to "pursue the cause of the Movement (Hamas), all over the globe."

The terror group has carried out scores of deadly suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks against Israelis.

Hezbollah claims it is fighting to liberate its "lands," purportedly referring to the Shebaa Farms, a small piece of territory it says is Lebanese but is being held by Israel. The group regularly makes threats against Israel and has carried out numerous terror attacks targeting Israel and the West, including the U.S.

Klein, of course, has no evidence that Obama sides with Hamas and Hezbollah -- because there isn't any, as he very well knows. Still, that won't stop Klein from rehashing yet again a Hamas official's endorsement of Obama in a radio interview with him, as he does here. Klein claims that Obama "previously was embroiled in controversy" over over the Hamas endorsement without noting that the "controversy" was fabricated by Klein himself, along with right-wing radio host John Batchelor -- we've yet to hear either of them explain why someone from Hamas would speak to someone who is aggressively anti-Hamas or whether the Hamas guy knew he was playing into Klein's and Batchelor's anti-Obama agenda.

UPDATE: Joseph Farah buys into his reporter's false implications:

But I for one would really like to know which of the claims of Hamas and Hezbollah are "legitimate" in the eyes of Barack Obama. I think it's a very important question.

Is it Hamas' belief that the U.S. Rotary and Lions Clubs are secret societies doing the bidding of the International Zionist Conspiracy?

Is it Hamas' institutionalized anti-Semitic strain that runs throughout Hamas ideology, including its charter, which doesn't just call for the destruction of Israel, but for the killing of all Jews?

Is it Hezbollah's view that Israel represents the vanguard of the United States of America in the Middle East – "the hated enemy that must be fought until the hated ones get what they deserve"?

This makes it a little harder for Klein to claim that he wasn't suggesting Obama thinks every evil thing about Hamas and Hezbollah is "legitimate."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 9:02 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Newsmax False Headline Watch
Topic: Newsmax

A Sept. 9 Newsmax article (actually, an associated Press article) carries the false headline: "Obama: Palin Like 'Lipstick on a Pig.'"

In fact, as the article itself states: "Obama's campaign said he wasn't referring to Palin; he had been talking about McCain immediately before the lipstick comment." 

UPDATE: Newsmax has curiously replaced the AP article with one from Reuters, yet keeping the same false headline. The Reuters article is a little more ambiguous, claiming that Obama's statement "may have been misinterpreted by the audience." An updated version, under a more accurate headline, is now located here.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:11 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 1:43 AM EDT
Mychal Massie Thesaurus Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Sept. 9 WorldNetDaily column, Mychal Massie works in not only his favorite 50-cent word, "erebusic," but also "opprobrious."

The funny thing is that Massie spends his column running to the defense of the "uneducated women" that the "elites" in the media purportedly look down on. If Massie is trying to appeal to the "uneducated," why is he throwing around showoff words like "erebusic" and "opprobrious"?


Posted by Terry K. at 5:51 PM EDT
Kincaid Endorses Misogynist's Views
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In a Sept. 9 Accuracy in Media column, Cliff Kincaid approvingly cites Marc Rudov, who claimed that women who are critical of Sarah Palin are "fascist feminists." Kincaid described Rudov's column, posted on right-wing NewsWithViews.com, an "insightful article"; of Rudov's claim that Palin "has achieved success while expressing love and admiration for her husband, anathema to the misandrist underpinning of fascistic feminism," Kincaid added: "Palin can never be forgiven for this. That is why she must be destroyed."

But Kincaid avoids posting the parts of Rudov's article that are, shall we say, less than insightful:

Feminism, which took root in the late 19th century as an equality movement for women’s suffrage, has evolved into a militant, totalitarian train of entitlement, misandry, superiority, and privilege. To maintain the façade of pursuing equality, the National Organization for Women, self-designated voice for the “slighted” gender, presents a neverending, monolithic image of female victimhood. To achieve this monotony, NOW mandates that its badge-wearing acolytes talk, think, and act according to the the NOW playbook. I’m sure that Mussolini is smiling, wherever he is.

[...]

Women have amassed such unequal power since getting the right to vote in 1920 that they will destroy anyone attempting to remove said power or expose its fraud.

[...]

Joe Biden is the candidate who appeals to women? Gee, why is that? Could it be that Joe Biden is the father of VAWA, the unconstitutional Violence Against Women Act, the passport for female-on-male violence and false claims of male violence? Yes, that’s the same Joe Biden. The same Joe Biden who admitted in a 1990 Senate Judiciary hearing (Serial No. J-101-80; pp. 171-172), the precursor to VAWA, that he grew up with an abusive sister who was permitted to hit him with absolute impunity — no retaliation allowed, even in self-defense — and he still has the bruises to prove it.  Sounds like Stockholm Syndrome to me. This is the VP candidate who appeals to women?

[...]

Considering that NOW is a fascist organization, a so-called feminist like [Sen. Barbara] Boxer portraying Palin as a dictator is laughable.

[...]

Plenty of conservative women have benefited from the handiwork of liberal feminists. Joe Biden could not have succeeded in his mission to villanize American men, via his unconstitutional VAWA, without the overwhelming support of his Republican colleagues in the Senate and House — both genders — and in the Oval Office, both Clinton and Bush.

Finally, it is ludicrous to think that only liberal women falsely accuse men of rape and domestic violence, fraudulently get their husbands to raise and support children fathered through extramarital affairs, and exercise their Roe v. Wade rights. In fact, conservative women do all of those things.

Additionally, Rudov is on record as:

  • Claiming that "that most American women are as shallow as" the characters on "Sex and the City."
  • Asserting that if "the woman is complaining that the man doesn't work enough around the house," it may be because "she said 'I do' at the altar and 'I don't' in the bedroom."
  • Said of Hillary Clinton: "The woman is not called a B-word because she's assertive and aggressive; she's called a B-word because she acts like one."
  • Described the downside of a woman president: "You mean besides the PMS and the mood swings, right?"
  • Claimed, against statistical evidence, that "women are equal-opportunity domestic abusers."

Does Kincaid think these misogynistic attitudes by Rudov are "insightful," too?


Posted by Terry K. at 5:16 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 5:19 PM EDT
Brennan Cherry-Picks Global Warming Info
Topic: Newsmax

In a Sept. 8 Newsmax article, Phil Brennan selectively reports climate information to assert that "The global warming theory is going into the freezer."

Brennan bases his article on an Aug. 20 Reuters report stating that "The first half of this year was the coolest in at least five years, according to the World Meteorological Organization." But Brennan failed to note Reuters' statement that temperature dips "do not undermine the case that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are causing long-term global warming, climate scientists say." While Brennan notes that one meteorologist blaiming La Nina for the cooloing and stating that "Up to July 2008, this year has been cooler than the previous five years at least," he leaves out another meterologist's statement that "La Nina is showing signs of moving towards a more neutral state," meaning that, according to Reuters, "The weakening of the La Nina effect over the last few months could see the global mean temperature creep up again in the latter part of the year."

Brennan is a serial misinformer on global warming


Posted by Terry K. at 2:35 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Media Matters points out that Jerome Corsi asserts that Barack Obama's campaign "failed to prove a single falsehood" in his Obama-bashing book -- then goes on to list the corrections that will appear in the next printing of his book, many of which were documented by the Obama campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EDT
Farah Ratchets Up Lies About Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Among the pile of lies we've documented WorldNetDaily telling about Barack Obama is Joseph Farah's false claim that Obama's mention of a "civilian national security force" means he wants to create a police-state apparatus-- whhile failing to note that Obama is on record as describing "civilian national security force" as the State Department as well as "agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside our military."

Farah has now taken that lie one step further in his Sept. 8 column: he now baselessly claims that Obama wants to create "a boot camp for community agitators – paid for by you, the U.S. taxpayer." Farah bases his claim on an equally specious Sept. 4 Investor's Business Daily editorial asserting without evidence that the Obamas "plan to herd American youth into government-funded reeducation camps where they'll be brainwashed into thinking America is a racist, oppressive place in need of 'social change.'"

But Farah has overlooked the fact that IBD offers absolutely no evidence to support its assertion -- the story's just too good for him to fact-check. One would think he'd have learned his lesson about the consequences of not fact-checking things by now.

Instead of reason and accuracy, we get Farah howling about "Barack Obama's draconian plans to create a domestic army of radical extremists promoting bigger and more intrusive government," with absolutely no evidence to back him up.

Farah is a man bereft of journalistic standards, and this just further confirms it. Apparently he's decided that as long as he's spreading lies about Obama, he might as well make them whoppers.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EDT
Will Newsmax Retract Apparently False Obama Attack?
Topic: Newsmax

A Sept. 3 Newsmax article by Ken Timmerman asserted that Barack Obama "was closely associated as early as age 25 to a key adviser to a Saudi billionaire who had mentored the founding members of the Black Panthers.":

In a videotaped interview this year on New York’s all news cable channel NY1, a prominent African-American businessman and political figure made the curious disclosures about Obama.

Percy Sutton, the former borough president of Manhattan, off-handedly revealed the unusual circumstances about his first encounter with the young Obama.

“I was introduced to (Obama) by a friend who was raising money for him,” Sutton told NY1 city hall reporter Dominic Carter.

“The friend’s name is Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, from Texas,” Sutton said. “He is the principal adviser to one of the world’s richest men. He told me about Obama.”

Sutton, the founder of Inner City Broadcasting, said al-Mansour contacted him to ask a favor: Would Sutton write a letter in support of Obama’s application to Harvard Law School?

Timmerman's story, however, seems to be falling apart.

First, Politico's Ben Smith reported (h/t Media Matters) that the Obama campaign denied the story, stating that "Obama did not know and does not know Khalid al-Mansour," Obama doesn't have a relationship with Sutton, and that "to our knowledge, no such letter was written." Further, Obama was in Chicago, not New York, when he applied to Harvard, according to the campaign. While Timmerman noted in his article that "The Obama campaign did not respond to requests for comment," he has not yet gone back to report the denial.

Smith further reported that the Sutton family was retracting Percy Sutton's claim:

The information Mr. Percy Sutton imparted on March 25 in a NY1 News interview regarding his connection to Barack Obama is inaccurate. As best as our family and the Chairman's closest friends can tell, Mr. Sutton, now 86 years of age, misspoke in describing certain details and events in that television interview.

We regret this unfortunate incident and we ask good conscientious people to extend compassion and grace to Percy Sutton, a man who has served America in many capacities; an officer with the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II and as a public servant who was the first elected African-American Manhattan Borough President.

Smith added that "there's absolutely no other evidence for the story, and much that contradicts it." Timmerman has made no mention of this, either.

So, will Timmerman acknowledge that his article has essentially been blown out of the water? Or will he try to cling to some shred in order to salvage it? We shall see.

Of course, being proven demonstrably false didn't keep Investor's Business Daily from uncritically repeating Timmerman's debunked claims.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EDT
Monday, September 8, 2008
Gainor Uses Nonprofit Journalism Outlet to Denounce Nonprofit Journalism
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Sept. 8 CNSNews.com column by Dan Gainor criticizes the idea of nonprofit journalism, in particular bashing the website ProPublica. Making a big deal out of how ProPublica is funded by a family, the Sandlers, with a history of donating to liberal-leaning causes, Gainor cherry-picks stories off the site to claim that ProPublica has "an obvious left-wing tilt."

This ignores that ProPublica has also highlighted that John Edwards lied in denying his affair to reporters, tried to find out who was running Detroit while Democratic Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was in jail.

"Imagine how far the media might go without free-market constraints," Gainor then ponders. "Now envision a world where left-wing donors like the Sandlers or George Soros underwrite whole media outlets staffed with journalists out to 'make a difference.'"

But remember where Gainor's op-ed is being published: at a nonprofit media outlet underwritten by right-wing donors like Richard Mellon Scaife.

CNSNews.com is a division of the Media Research Center (as is Gainor's employer, the Business & Media Institute), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. He's benefiting from the same kind of journalistic funding mechanism he asserts would be "scary" if liberals did it. He accuses ProPublica of being "staffed up with activist journalists from some of the best-known outlets in the country," but are CNS' writers any less "activist"? (Answer: No, they're not.)

Oh, the irony. If Gainor finds nonprofit journalism so "scary," he should exit the MRC hothouse.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:54 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 9:26 AM EDT
Graham Need Not Worry That Gibson Will Be Too Tough on Palin
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Sept. 8 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham worried that ABC's Charlie Gibson will be too tough with Sarah Palin in their upcoming interview. "He has been anything but piranha-like with Barack Obama ... so the possibility of a seriously biased contrast is there if Palin gets a Russert roasting, and is not swooned over Obama-style as a symbolic test of American progress."

In fact, not only does Gibson have a record of tossing softballs to John McCain, he's already acquiesced to the Palin camp by declaring in advance he won't ask any questions about her family. Graham fails to mention any of this.

Graham goes on to complain that the media are allegedly looking into National Enquirer-promoted claims of a rumored Palin affair after ignoring the Enquirer's reports on John Edwards' affair. Needless to say, a couple months ago, Graham was all but demanding that the mainstream media repeat the Enquirer's reports on Edwards (as we've noted).


Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EDT

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