For a guy who's supposed to be criticizing the media, the NewsBusters blogger is remarkably clueless about how the media works. Read more >>
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Hypocrisy Watch: Farah Accuses Obama of Evasion
Joseph Farah's April 7 worldNetDaily column is yet another defense of WND's obsession with Barack Obama's birth certificate. He wants us to believe that he cares only about "he sanctity of the Constitution and the rule of law" when, in fact, he has repeatedly demonstrated that he will stop at nothing, including ruining the credibility of his own website and latching onto a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory, to use his hatred to hound Obama out of office.
Even more hilariously, Farah asserts that Obama is being "permitted to get away with his deliberate evasion of the law" -- never mind that his own website found that the birth certificate issued by Obama's campaign was "authentic."
But Farah is engaging in a series of evasions as well:
Farah has no business accusing others of evasions when he refuses to answer simple questions about his own actions. Such hypocrisy makes him into the "whack-job conspiracy nut" he denies he is.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Newsmax Repeats Discredited RNC Cap-and-Trade Talking Point
An April 6 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers writes that during an interview with Republican Rep. Michelle Bachman, Newsmax TV anchor Ashley Martella "noted that by some estimates cap-and-trade will add more than $3,000 a year to every American’s bill for gasoline and energy."
Meyers does not note that "some" in this instance is a list of talking points from the House Republican Conference, or that the claim has been discredited by one of the co-authors of the study from which the HRC purported to extrapolate its claim, stating that his study "has been misrepresented" and that the Republicans' claim of an average household cost of $3,128 is "nearly 10 times the correct estimate" based on his study's cap-and-trade model.
WND, NewsBusters Promote Meaningless Poll
WorldNetDaily loves to promote meaningless polls when they report results that further its political agenda. It does so again in an April 6 article by Drew Zahn, which touts a CNN opt-in poll showing a majority of respondents opposing the idea of Michelle Obama running for president in 2020.
While Zahn describes the poll as "unscientific," he fails to elaborate on what that means. In fact, such opt-in polls are virtually meaningless as an accurate reflection of public opinion because they are susceptible to multiple votes by respondents and organized campaigns to skew the results.
NewsBusters touted the results of this meaningless poll as well. While Matthew Balan pointed out in an April 6 post that "it is not a scientific poll," he nevertheless insisted that "these results may mean that “America’s unofficial royalty” have some obstacles to overcome before any political dynasty could become a reality."
Newsmax Misleads on Obama Poll
An April 6 Newsmax article touts how a new Pew poll shows the gap between support for President Obama among Democrats and Republicans means that Obama "has succeeded in widening the political gulf among Americans more than any other president in modern history" -- a contention summed up in the headline: "Obama: Most Polarizing President Ever." But Newsmax ignores other factors that put the poll result in context.
As Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com details:
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Barbara Simpson is in a particularly whining mood, and one of slinging misinformation as well, in her April 6 WorldNetDaily column:
Of course, Simpson fails to note that Obama also criticized the anti-American attitudes of some Europeans.
Simpson also writes:
Well, yeah, unless Simpson has any evidence to the contrary, which she doesn't.
Simpson further wrote:
First, Tony Blair's gift to the White House of a bust of Churchill was summarily returned to the British embassy. Obama didn't want it so he returned the gift?!?!?
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sheppard: Don't Hold Beck Accountable For His Inflammatory Rhetoric
If a conservative says it, it's not controversial.
That appears to be the conclusion Noel Sheppard has come to in an April 5 NewsBusters post declaring that "prominent left-wing bloggers" in their "vitriolic postings" have come to the "disgusting conclusion" that Glenn Beck should take responsibility for his anti-Obama rhetoric in light of Richard Poplawski's shooting of three police officers in Pittsburgh.
Sheppard doesn't bother to tell his readers what Beck said that the "prominent left-wing bloggers" found so offensive -- specifically, Beck has hyperbolically asserted that gun rights are under fire, and friend of Poplawski claimed that he feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" -- yet he asserts that it is "hateful" and "unfounded" to conclude Beck's words had any effect whatsoever on Poplawski.
Sheppard loves to defend right-wing rhetoric -- a couple weeks ago, as we noted, he insisted that Bernard Goldberg had no inspiration on a man who allegedly killed two people in a Tennessee church shooting, even though the man specifically said that "Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate + House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book."
This also dovetails with the refusal of his MRC bosses to criticize Ann Coulter no matter what offensive thing she says.
UPDATE: Sheppard was rewarded for his defense of Beck with a guest spot on Beck's show.
Is Newsmax Mouthing PAC's Talking Points?
We've noted that Newsmax has failed to tell its readers about the role of the National Republican Trust PAC in New York's special congresdsional election between Republican Jim Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy, even as Newsmax published a column by PAC director Scott Wheeler touting Tedisco without disclosing Wheeler's position or election largesse -- the PAC has spent well over $800,000 in support of Tedisco.
The election is over but ended in a virtual tie, which means the National Republican Trust PAC is spending more money sending emails to Newsmax readers -- which seem to reflect Newsmax's own reporting.
In an April 1 email from the PAC, Wheeler stated: "The media spin on this result has been amazing. But here’s the truth -- it’s a stunning blow to President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and the Democrats."
That dovetailed nicely with the assertion made in Newsmax's March 31 article by David Patten: "The election, though, seemed to produce one clear loser: President Barack Obama." Jim Meyers followed up in an April 1 article uncritically quoting Dick Morris -- who has a relationship with the PAC that Newsmax has yet to mention to its readers -- asserting that the election's result means that Obama is "in trouble." (As we've noted, Meyers failed to mention that a month before the election, Tedisco held a double-digit lead in polls that Murphy was able to erase by election day.)
Wheeler, meanwhile, kept up the spin in an April 4 email sent to Newsmax readers:
Needless to say, in none of his emails does Wheeler mention the fact that Tedisco blew a double-digit lead -- possibly because of the ads his PAC ran on Tedisco's behaif.
So, is the PAC stealing talking points from Newsmax, or is promoting the PAC's views in "news" articles part of Newsmax's advertising fee?
WND Tees Up Gay-Bashing By Its Readers
Alyssa Farah concludes her April 1 WorldNetDaily article looking disdainfully at the dating site eHarmony for launching "a matching service for homosexuals" (as the result of a lawsuit by "Eric McKinley, a homosexual, who alleged eHarmony's heterosexual-only matching service violated the state's anti-discrimination law") by asserting, "There are currently thousands of homosexual dating sites available on the Web. "
According to who? Farah doesn't tell us. What does she define as a "homosexual dating site"? She doesn't say. Are they all like the one eHarmony set up? we doubt it.
Farah seems to be broadly, if clumsily, framing the issue to claim that eHarmony shouldn't have been forced to create the "gay" (their scare quotes) dating service in the first place. Indeed, the top response to WND's related poll is,"Given eHarmony's Christian beginnings, the owners should have shut it down rather than agree to promote homosexual behavior." (Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy FTW!)
Judging by the comments, it seems that the real purpose of this article and poll is to give WND readers an excuse to engage in gay-bashing. Sample comments from the comments thread on the poll:
And there's even a bit of old-fashioned racism mixed in as well:
Examiner Takes Obama Out of Context
Topic: Washington Examiner
An April 5 Washington Examiner editorial states:
But the Examiner plucked Obama's statement out of context, failing to mention that Obama also stated that immediately after the part of the speech it noted, Obama said: "But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad."
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Reagan Makes Baseless Claim, Hurls Nazi Smear
In his April 2 Newsmax column -- also published by the Washington Examiner -- Michael Reagan writes of "Barack Obama and his sorry conglomeration of far-out liberal confederates" who are "now polluting the government":
Reagan offers no evidence that this is, in fact, the case, nor does he name anyone who is purportedly contemplating such a move. But then, he's more interested in demonizing Obama than relating facts, joining his fellow right-wing brethren in hitting the button on Godwin's Law:
The Apt Pupil Returns: WND Lets Von Campe Hurl More Nazi Smears at Obama
When you pride yourself on hurling Nazi smears at Barack Obama, as WorldNetDaily appears to do, it makes sense to make use of actual Nazis in the process -- after all, they learned at the feet of the master how to smear political opponents.
Thus, Hilmar von Campe, the self-proclaimed former Hitler Youth who has made a new career out of smearing Obama, puts his childhood training to use once again in his latest WND masterpice, an April 4 column:
Von Campe also demonstrates his exalted place at WND by repeating some of WND's greatest Obama lies. In addition to repeating the WND lie that Obama "has not produced proof that he is legally eligible to be president of the United States," he wries:
In fact, the "National Civilian Security Force" has nothing to do with indoctrination (as we pointed out the last time von Campe claimed this), and given that the bill in question is about expanding AmeriCorps and other federal volunteer programs, it makes no sense to make religion a component of that -- which, anyway, would violate First Amendment provisions regarding the separation of church and state. It does not ban participants from going to church, as von Campe seems to suggest.
It appears that von Campe has learned to smear and lie like his mentor, Adolf Hitler. Far from appearing as ashamed of that as he ought to be, he's reveling in it. Apt pupil, indeed.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Newsmax Rehabilitating Kerik
We've documented how Newsmax was one of the most vociferous defenders of Bernard Kerik from "leftist" attacks following his 2004 nomination as homeland security secretary, until a tidal wave of allegations of corruption finally forced it to reel its enthusiasm in. Now, Newsmax has decided it's time to rehabilitate Kerik's reputation.
A March 29 Newsmax article, headlined "Bernard Kerik Wins Round in Court," touted how Kerik "won a victory in court last week when a judge threw out several of the charges in his federal indictment." But the article obfuscates on the number of counts dismissed and the number remaining. In fact, the AP reports that a judge "dismissed one count of the 15-count corruption and tax fraud indictment against Kerik" and "removed some elements of a second count."
Now, an April 3 article by Jim Meyers cranks up the rehabilitation, calling Kerik a "highly decorated former New York City Police Commissioner" in the first paragraph. Meyers also writes that Kerik "was President George W. Bush’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security before he withdrew his name from consideration," but fails to mention the charges he faces on, as the previous Newsmax article noted, "wire fraud, mail fraud, and making false statements."
But then, Kerik is serving a more partisan purpose for Meyers, who uncritically quotes Kerik as endorsing the renewal of the Patriot Act.
WND Repeats Misleading CFL Claims
A March 30 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn uncritically repeated misleading claims WND had earlier reported in 2007 about compact fluorescent lights, referencing "a Maine woman quoted $2,000 for cleaning up a broken CFL in her home."
As we detailed, WND editor Joseph Farah, who write the earlier article, didn't tell his readers that, according to experts quoted in the news article upon which he based his report, it's not necessary to spend $2,000 to clean up a broken CFL. Farah's misleading scare tactics even got him enshrined at the urban legend-debunking website Snopes.
Zahn also touted how the Maine Department of Environmental Protection "studied the dangers of broken CFLs and the adequacy of recommended cleanup procedures," and then issued"eight new recommendations for usage and cleanup of CFLs." Zahn does not note that the Maine DEP study he cites also reported that "The pre-study cleanup guidance was generally found to be sound." That would be the guidance that Farah mostly ignored in his 2007 article.
Further, Zahn, like Farah before him, curiously omits mentioning amid the scare tactics they peddle the one essential -- and simple -- thing recommended to lower levels of mercury released by a broken CFL: venting the room where it was broken. As the Maine DEP stated, "A short period of venting can, in most cases, significantly reduce the mercury air concentrations after breakage."
Friday, April 3, 2009
Note to Colleen Raezler:
Topic: Media Research Center
The more you feel the need to repeat that "the loss of human life is a tragedy," the more you raise suspicions that you secretly believe the deaths of the head of "California's largest for-profit abortion provider" and his family in a plane crash are not.
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