Media matters Jamison Foser has been swiftly dismantling claims of media bias by NewsBusters' Scott Whitlock this week:
Whitlock's bashing of MSNBC's David Shuster for raising questions about the National Republican Congressional Committee's references to Charles Rangel as a "crooked Harlem Democrat" gets taken to the woodshed when it's noted that other congressmen haven't been identified by the NRCC by the city they represent. When Whitlock further bashed Shuster for bringing that up -- ignoring Shuster's point, then whining that Shuster didn't complain when Luke Russert also called Rangel a "Harlem Democrat" -- it's time for another visit to the woodshed.
When Whitlock complained that Shuster "tossed softballs to an 11-year-old supporter of Obamacare" but MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell last year "grilled a conservative teen and fan of Sarah Palin," Foser points out that the "teen" O'Donnell questioned was 17 -- a big difference from 11 -- and said "grilling" consisted of asking whether the girl knew that Palin supported the 2008 bank bailout.
And when Whitlock, to counter ABC's claim that 9/11 truthers "come from all over the political spectrum," cited a Rasmussen poll claiming a significant number of truthers are Democrats, Foser noted that Whitlock cited that very same poll finding to show the folly of ascribing party affiliation to those who "subscribe to a bizarre conspiracy."
A March 9 WorldNetDaily article toued an "unscientific CBS News poll evaluating President Obama's first year in office." Why? Because most respondents were giving him a failing grade.
WND is coy about exactly what "unscientific" means -- it doesn't reflect reality because respondents are self-selecting, which makes the poll numbers open to manipulation in the form of stuffing the results to favor one outcome -- or freeping, after the propensity of posters at Free Republic to perform such poll-skewing.
New Article: Cliff Kincaid's International Gay-Bashing Topic: Accuracy in Media
The Accuracy in Media editor enthusiastically promotes a proposed Uganda law that would permit the death penalty for homosexuality. Read more >>
Another Anti-Gay Video By Molotov Mitchell Topic: WorldNetDaily
Molotov Mitchell is still in the anti-gay business.
His new WorldNetDaily video praises Lauren Ashley, the beauty queen who’s following in Carrie Prejean’s footsteps and criticizing same-sex marriage. On-screen text: "Another hot homophobe."
Molotov goes on to reference "Uganda’s democratic right to abolish homosexuality" and says he’s gotten "a lot of support" from "thoughtful Christians" for his position supporting it. He goes on to say, “If liberals pass laws based on their religion, so should we.” This is accompanied by a screenshot of various liberals – Obama, Gore, Pelosi – with signs that read “cap and trade,” “socialized healthcare” and “gay rights.” He then says:
Don’t buy the leftist hype. I wouldn’t flip some magic switch and kill all the gays. Neither would Ugandan Christians or Lauren Ashley. But if they've got the votes, free people should have the right to ban activities they don’t like -- drug abuse, suicide or homosexuality.
As we’ve detailed, the Ugandan law as currently written would permit the death penalty for mere homosexual behavior, which he conveniently fails to mention. That is Molotov's "magic switch" that would kill at least some homosexuals. Given that Mitchell previously highlighted Ashley's statement that "the Bible prescribes the death penalty for homosexuals," he's being a tad disingenuous when he says he doesn't want to "kill all the gays." That's exactly what he says his religion is telling him to do.
Mitchell's focus on how a majority of citizens “have the right to ban activities they don’t like” is strange -- demonstrating that he would like his "magic switch" to spread. Somehow, we suspect that ol' Molotov would not be so accepting of a the will of a "free people" who voted to ban something he liked -- say, Christianity. We'd be hearing a bit more about the tyranny of the majority.
(And how, exactly, do you outlaw suicide? It's not like you can prosecute anyone who commits it, being that they would be dead and all. Unless Molotov wants to prosecute the dead...)
We also noticed that WND's videos now begin with a short commercial form an outside advertiser. When we watched it, the advertiser was Toyota, a company under the gun over certain issues with its cars. Does it also want to be linked with Molotov's hateful anti-gay rhetoric, too?
It's been a tidal wave of emotions at Newsmax over Eric Massa over the past few days.
On March 5 Newsmax happily touted the Democratic congressman's resignation over allegations of harassment from male staffers under the headline "Rep. Massa: 'I Am Guilty' and Will Resign." But when Massa alleged that he was forced out by Democratic leadership over his opposition to health care reform and would go on Glenn Beck's Fox News show to dish the details, Newsmax went all giddy:
Just a day after triggering a political firestorm with accusations he was forced out of office because he rebelled against his fellow House Democrats’ healthcare plan, former New York Rep. Eric J.J. Massa will take his story to "The Glenn Beck Program" on Fox News tonight.
Beck said Monday he will devote a full-hour to an interview with Massa. The show airs at 5 p.m. EST and 2 a.m. on the Fox News Channel.
"I'm not saying he's, you know, pure as a driven snow. I don't know. I don't know the guy," Beck said of Massa in a video clip from Fox News. "But this is a moment that will decide the course of this nation, possibly."
Massa was the talk of Washington Monday after he made allegations Sunday on a Hornell, New York radio station that he was "set up" to fall so that House Democrats would have an easier path to passing healthcare reform.
Any denials of that, of course, were buried at the end of the article, all the better to push Massa's newfound embrace by conservatives.
After Massa's appearance on Beck, however, the bloom came off the rose. The headline of Newsmax's post-interview article carried the sympathetic headline "Massa Fumbles in Glenn Beck Interview," but the story itself was much less so:
Fox News host Glenn Beck apologized to his viewers for “wasting your time” Tuesday after an interview in which former New York Rep. Eric Massa seemingly backtracked on his allegations that he was forced to resign over his opposition to Obamacare.
“We learned a lot I think, but what we learned I don’t think affects you at all,” Beck said, shaking his head and laughing at the conclusion of his hour-long interview with Massa, who resigned his office Monday after it became public that he was the subject of a House ethics committee investigation for possible harassment.
Staring into the camera after Massa seemingly contradicted himself on many points and refused to disclose any alleged corruption Beck suggested he had promised to disclose in a private pre-interview phone call, the conservative host apologized.
"I have to shoot straight with you. I think I’ve wasted your time," Beck said. "I think this is the first time I’ve wasted an hour of your time. I apologize for that. Because I think we could have spent a lot less time backtracking a lot....”
“I’m not backtracking,” Massa responded. “I wasn’t forced out. I forced myself out. I failed. I didn’t live up to my own codes... I own up to my misbehavior.”
Newsmax still clung to hope, though, that Massa could still be portrayed as a victim of those mean Democrats. A separate article noted that "new, leaked details of his ethics probe were hitting the Washingtonpost.com website," and that "Drudge was quick to point fingers at the culprit for the leaks, featuring a picture of Rahm Emanuel with the headline “Slime” – which linked to the Post story." Never mind that Newsmax cites no evidence directly implicating Emanuel or anyone else.
Aaron Klein Obama Nominee Smear Fail Topic: WorldNetDaily
A March 8 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein bizarrely portrays as "controversial" Transportation Security Administration nominee Robert Harding's views on expanding ethnic diversity in intelligence agencies.
but as Media Matters points out, numerous officials have stressed the importance of cultural diversity in the intelligence community as vital to national security.
This is just one in the long line of dubious attacks on Obama nominees by Klein and WND.
Of NewsBusters and Naked Shower Fights Topic: NewsBusters
To hear NewsBusters tell it, there's not enough discussion of naked shower fights in the media.
A March 9 post by Tim Graham expressed disappointment that a Washington Post article on the controversies surrounding outgoing Rep. Eric Massa "downplayed the vivid claim that a naked [Rahm] Emanuel approached a naked Massa in the showers of the congressional gym and screamed at him for disloyalty."
Another post by Scott Whitlock expressed even more disappointment:
ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday showed little interest in grilling Robert Gibbs over serious allegations made by a Democratic Congressman. Talking to the White House press secretary, the Good Morning America host could only manage a single question: "[Representative Massa has] made very specific and pointed charges against Rahm Emanuel, Democratic leaders in the House. What's the White House response?"
And that was it. Stephanopoulos simply moved on to health care. He didn't ask about allegations that a naked Emanuel once approached Massa in the shower of the House gym and screamed at him.
On the Bottom Line blog on ABCNews.com, Stephanopoulos managed to completely skip any mention of Emanuel. If a chief of staff in a Republican White House was accused of having a naked shower confrontation, it seems safe to say that the GMA host would have more interest.
The headline of Whitlock's post: "George Stephanopoulos Goes Easy on Gibbs, Shows No Interest in Naked Shower Fight Between Emanuel and Massa."
We know there's something of a right-wing issue with closeted gays, but sheesh, guys, you're gonna have to hide it better than that.
WND Creates A Cover Controversy Topic: WorldNetDaily
A few weeks back, WorldNetDaily created something called WorldNetWeekly -- WND's usual content repackaged in magazine form. Not a real one, though; it's all on computer, delivered electronically. For this repurposing of free content, WND charges $6.99 an issue or $49.95 for an annual subscription.
When you need to sell subscriptions, what better way to drive sales than generate a controversy. That's exactly what WND has done.
The cover of the current issue of WorldNetWeekly is of a black-and-white portrait of President Obama that has been hit by a bright red tomato. Or, if you're not looking too closely, a bullet hole.
Lest you miss the intentionally provocative -- and sales-generating -- intent of the cover, one need go no further than WND's story on the controversy it created. It leads by gushing over how "provocative" and "eye-catching" WorldNetWeekly is and "just what a reading revolution it really is." It goes on to insist that the cover is merely "symbiotic satire" that "was lost on those who projected criminal intents onto the tomato," adding:
Featuring President Obama with a tomato splattered squarely on his nose, the image signifies not just a thorough booing of him and his policies but is positioned to liken him to common clown costuming. That latter point is reflected in the issue's headline, "Enough clowning: Americans rejecting 'greatest snow-job on Earth.'"
WND Financial Columnist Faces $1.5 Million SEC Sanction Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've already noted how WorldNetDaily financial columnist Porter Stansberry is prepared to flee the country. Now it appears that Stansberry is facing a $1.5 million sanction from the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Reefer Madness, The Column Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid's March 7 Accuracy in Media column carries the headline, "Was the Pentagon Shooter an Obama-approved Pothead?" In it, Kincaid declares that Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell "was a psychotic pothead," and asserted that the answer to "the question of how he became criminally psychotic and a patsy for conspiracy theories" is "marijuana, which alters the ability of the mind to comprehend reality but which is depicted by most of the media as safe and harmless":
This connection--between pot and mental illness--is a matter of the medical record but is conveniently being ignored in the many stories about this young man's strange journey and tragic end.
The book, "Marijuana and Madness," cites studies and evidence from around the world, some of it going back 40 years, linking the use of marijuana--supposedly a "soft" drug--to mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and psychosis. One of the latest studies finds that "Marijuana use at a young age significantly increased the risk of psychosis in young adulthood..."
Has Kincaid been watching "Reefer Madness" on a constant loop? It seems so:
The public laughs at the old propaganda films such as "Reefer Madness," which depict marijuana smokers as crazed zombies. However, the Pentagon rampage was likely triggered by marijuana-induced psychosis. Bedell was not only a heavy marijuana user and had been busted for possession and growing the drug, but dedicated much of his life to glorifying the substance.
So, you may wonder, how exactly Kincaid has shoehorned President Obama into this little conspiracy. He clears that up:
The rampage at the Pentagon has also raised disturbing questions about the Obama Administration's policy of allowing "medical marijuana" dispensaries in such places as California, where Bedell was living, to operate free from fear of federal prosecution. President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder have been accused of encouraging marijuana use by refusing to use federal resources to prosecute "medical marijuana" users and the "dispensaries" which supply them with the illegal dope.
Actually, no, it doesn't raise "disturbing questions" about medical marijuana, since Bedell was not using medical marijuana. He also doesn't say who outside the Kincaid household is accusing Holder of "encouraging marijuana use" by not prosecuting medical marijuana dispensaries. As the Justice Department said last October, when the federal guidelines were issued, the feds have decided it's not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state laws.
Still, DOJ officials said, the government will still prosecute those who use medical marijuana as a cover for other illegal activity. The memo particularly warns that some suspects may hide old-fashioned drug dealing or other crimes behind a medical marijuana business. Kincaid doesn't mention that.
Kincaid also throws George Soros (of course) into the conspiracy, since "drug legalization has been mostly a left-wing cause."
Oops -- it appears to be time for Kincaid's regularly scheduled viewing of "Reefer Madness."
And what are Dr. O’s credentials? Medical experience? Zip. Economic expertise? Nada. Political experience? Precious little. Ever run a business? Nope. Brass and charm? Well, sure, he got elected president of the United States!
He reminds me of that guy Leo DiCaprio played in “Catch Me if You Can,” the great imposter Frank Abagnale, Jr. Tall, good looking, and, with gall of a burglar, he pretended to be an airline captain among a number of other preposterous things — even a surgeon! He faked his way through surgeries, with absolutely no knowledge or training, with a patient’s life literally in his hands.
He simply exuded confidence, and was so persuasive he even persuaded himself he could do things he had no qualifications for at all.
I’m terribly concerned we have that situation here, now, in this country. This Dr. O’s resume shows he has no experience at all that would prepare him for forcing such a drastic, completely unaffordable, unwanted, unreasonable dose down the national throat. We may end up having to gag and throw it up.
Much like the turpentine and castor oil Mama gave to me.
Farah Declares CPAC Dead (And His Own Convention Alive) Topic: WorldNetDaily
CPAC is dead to WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah -- and he spends his entire March 8 column explaining why.
Most of the reason is that CPAC wouldn't let Farah speak about President Obama's birth certificate, which he blames on conservative blogger Jon Henke, who raised the idea last year of getting conservatives to not advertise on WND because of its embrace of conspiracy theories (like birtherism). Farah even gives a shout-out to Media Matters, where we noted Henke's boycott idea:
It began when Republican blogger Jon Henke declared an ill-fated boycott of WND. I say ill-fated because WND had a banner year for revenues and traffic. That should tell you something about his level of influence in the world of politics and news. Henke did his best to get the Republican Party to withhold advertising from WND, never thinking, of course, to suggest the same to the Democrats, who outspent Republicans nationally and in WND in the election year 2008.
Nevertheless, Henke was rewarded with multiple appearances on MSNBC and became a darling of the George Soros-backed slime machine Media Matters as a result of his attack on WND.
His next step was calling CPAC to ensure that I would be banned from speaking there in 2010.
Meanwhile, Henke tells the Washington Independent's Dave Weigel that he appeared on MSNBC only once. Further, regarding Farah's claim about Democrats advertising at WND, it's misleading at best. What Farah has usually offered to back up this claim is contextual advertising through Google AdWords -- in which the ads that appear in the Google ad space are driven by the content of the page they appear on -- which is not the same as directly purchasing ad space from WND. (It's ironic that Farah would defend hosting Google-generated ads on WND, given that he devoted an entire chapter of his 2007 book "Stop the Presses!" to bashing Google as an "immoral" company that "may not be able to discern right from wrong.")
Farah goes on to trash CPAC director Lisa De Pasquale for blocking his birtherism, calling her an "arrogant, know-it-all wannabe" who exhibits "ill manners, unprofessionalism and condescension."
But being denied a forum to spread his birtherism is not the only reason Farah is shunning CPAC. He's also annoyed that CPAC "made the conscious decision to include in its sponsors for 2010 a group promoting same-sex marriage. How stupid is that?"
There's a third reason as well: WND is creating its own activism conference. The first Taking America Back National Convention (named after Farah's 2003 manifesto) gathers in September in Miami. The list of speakers is mostly the usual WND suspects -- Farah, Jerome Corsi, Alan Keyes -- as well as one CPAC holdover, WND columnist Tom Tancredo, whose CPAC appearance was notable for his insulting the intelligence of Obama voters and calling for a "civics literacy test" as a requirement for voting.
Farah makes clear how his shindig will be different from CPAC:
This one is about the ultimate issues of God, the Constitution, the tea-party uprising, freedom and justice.
There will be no two-headed monkeys.
There will be no same-sex marriage sponsors.
But there will be free and open discussion of issues like the constitutional eligibility of the man occupying the White House.
Of course, when you're paying for the venue, you can talk about any goofy thing you want.
CNS doesn't explain why it's focusing so heavily on bisexuality. You'd think it would be more accepting of it since opposite-sex attraction is part of the equation. Or does CNS find the whole idea of being sexually attracted to people of both sexes to cause its collective heads to explode?