MRC's Gainor: Telling Truth = Taking Sides Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Dan Gainor writes in his Aug. 25 column:
The unseen hand of journalism manipulating American democracy is no longer unseen, nor is it as effective as it once was. But that hasn't stopped the media from trying its best.
The Associated Press "Standards Center" issued a "staff advisory on covering New York City mosque" on Aug. 19 as just one piece of that spin. "We should continue to avoid the phrase ‘ground zero mosque' or ‘mosque at ground zero' on all platforms."
Since that spin memo, finding the term "Ground Zero Mosque" on network news is all but impossible. Before the memo came out, journalists like ABC's David Kerley were allowed to use it. On Aug. 15, there was Kerley talking about Obama "trying to steer through the treacherous waters of the Ground Zero Mosque" debate. "Early Today" host Lynn Berry talked about the "Ground Zero Mosque controversy." Other reporters echoed the term.
But AP had to choose sides. To the great spinmeisters in that organization, a building near the World Trade Center that was actually damaged in the attack isn't at Ground Zero. Had AP headquarters been in that building, you can bet they would have covered their own damage like it had been Ground Zero. It's the terminology game reporters and editors play.
Gainor is pretending that his position on the definition of Ground Zero is not also "spin."Defining Ground Zero as the grounds of the World Trade Center complex and immediately adjacent buildings that suffered significant damage -- of which the Islamic center site is not one -- is not an unreasonably narrow definition. The planned Islamic center is not merely a mosque.
Thus, "Ground Zero mosque" is an inaccurate term for the project. AP's efforts to strive for an accurate term means it "chose sides" with the truth.
Gainor portrays this as "Americaphobia." Apparently, we're not supposed to tell the truth with it interferes with Gainor's political agenda.
FrontPageMag Tries to Solve The 'Obama Problem' Topic: Horowitz
The last time we heard about the "Obama problem," the solution was a military coup.
The latest effort to solve the "Obama problem" comes from FrontPageMag's David Solway. He writes in an Aug. 23 column:
Regular readers of this site need not be reminded of Barack Obama’s countless gaffes, aberrations, indulgences, prevarications, poor decisions, shady dealings and worrisome patches of biographical obscurity. These blemishes have been rehearsed in article after article to the extent to which we can say that, by this time, the issue of his competence and bona fides should have reached critical mass. Nevertheless, for the fence sitters, the undecideds or those of a different political persuasion who out of curiosity occasionally scan the conservative media, it might be expedient to revisit the Obama problem and set down a brief summary of the president’s track record.
And who does Solway choose as his sources for this examination? Jerome Corsi and Pam Geller. Solway tries to offer a weak defense: " Corsi has been viciously attacked as a liar and a 'discredited, fringe bigot,' but his defense of his allegations is point-device." But Corsi actually is discredited, a bigot, and a liar, and his defense of his book also included corrections.
Solway then unleashes a massive bill of particulars that he described as a "lengthening rap sheet of Obama’s character defects, equivocations, dissemblings, bad judgments and actions harmful to the integrity of the nation." On this list are things the previous president also did, like taking alot of vacations and "puerile blaming of the previous administration for his own inadequacies."
Finally, Solway gets down to brass tacks: "Nobama is the watchword. How to do this in indeed the question." He manages to stay within the legal and constitutional, unlike his fellow "Obama problem" commiserant, Newsmax's John L. Perry. But he also repeats Tom Tancredo's baseless claim that "the president’s refusal to enforce immigration law [is] an impeachable offense"; in fact, border enforcement is at record high levels.
But staying with the legal and constitutional doesn't preclude Solway from descending into a fit of Obama derangement:
In any event, there should be little doubt by this time that Barack Obama is a grave security threat to the United States. He is, as Sowell argues, a president the country may not survive. And still many of us are disinclined to grasp how truly dangerous this man is, for he is not just another Democrat seeking the privilege of power but a crypto-Marxist who hauled his buckets from the wells of the left (e.g., Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, which, as James Lewis points out, he “taught his ACORN followers in all his Community Agitator classes in Chicago”), a clear Islamo-sympathizer and a man who gives every indication of intensely disliking the country he was elected to serve. He is not simply naïve, misdirected, frivolous, unprepared for office, partisan and ignorant—he may be all these things—but, to quote Pajamas Media CEO Roger Simon, he may also suffer from “a serious personality disorder.”
America’s allies, from Taiwan to Ukraine to Israel and the United Arab Emirates are feeling profoundly at risk as a result of Obama’s fecklessness or intentions. Indeed, Obama has effectively abdicated America’s role as the guarantor of the free world. But it is America itself that is in direst jeopardy from the operations of a president who governs at a great distance from the people. It is as if a majority of electors and salon intellectuals hurtled down the rabbit hole and found themselves in a sinister wonderland whose gaudy illusions they foolishly took for reality. Many have been chastened and are now scrambling to climb back out.
Sounds like Solway is just itching to call for a military coup if he thought he could get away with it.
CNS Still Thinks Alveda King Is A Real Doctor Topic: CNSNews.com
An Aug. 27 CNSNews.com article by Adam Cassandra touts claims by anti-abortion activist Alveda King trying to link herself to the legacy of her uncle, Martin Luther King Jr. CNS has frequentlygivenher an unchallenged platform.
The headline and first paragraph of Cassandra's article refers to "Dr. Alveda King" even though, as we've previously noted (and others have pointed out), her doctorate appears to be honorary.
Keyes Picks Up WND's Dubious Attack on Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Alan Keyes writes in his Aug. 27 WorldNetDaily column:
Now we have the report that the relatives of some U.S. personnel in Afghanistan "have accused the U.S. government of leaving defenders of its freedoms without basics such as blankets, food, feminine hygiene supplies and even bullets." If true these allegations suggest a degree of criminal neglect at the highest level of command that warrants the immediate dismissal of those responsible, including the one who lays still doubtful claim to the authority of commander in chief.
As we've pointed out, this WND-originated story is unsubstantiated, has no named sources, and contradicts WND's previous stance on questioning the military's supply chain when George W. Bush was president.
Keyes' embrace of this unsubstantiated story is intended to be evidence that "Obama's dissipation of U.S. military strength and resources is intentional; that Obama's pattern of decisions and actions undermining the U.S. strategic posture is intentional; and that it is also his intention to give aid and comfort to the terrorist forces presently at war with the United States by repeated gestures of U.S. submission to Islamic authority, repeated fabrications about Islamic contributions to the history of the United States and repeated statements and other gestures of support for Muslim leaders such as those seeking to build, on the site of the 9/11 attacks, a monument to victory for the forces of Islamic terror."
More Leading Questions from WND's Ethically Challenged Pollster Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 24 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh details the latest poll conducted for WND by its ethically challenged pollster, Fritz Wenzel, and darn if they aren't the usual leading questions we've come to expect from him.
Note the slanted wording of the questions and how they feed into creating an impression to be answered in the final question:
Recently some 20 states joined together to challenge the federal government's plans to force Americans to buy their own health-care insurance because, the states contend, it is unconstitutional to require citizens to purchase a product or service. Do you agree or disagree with this challenge?
Voters in Missouri recently overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative calling for repeal of the federal health-care plan approved by Congress earlier this year. Do you agree or disagree with the Missouri ballot initiative?
While the federal government is suing Arizona for its law intended to curb illegal immigration, other states are lining up in support of Arizona. Do you agree or disagree with the state of Arizona in its fight with the federal government over immigration?
At least two state legislatures last year introduced bills to ensure future presidential candidates are required to prove constitutional eligibility before being placed on the ballot. Do you support or oppose such requirements?
Overall, since Barack Obama took over as president, do you think the federal government has been too aggressive in over-ruling the rights of individual states to pass and enforce their own laws, OR have they been too passive?
The first three questions highlight challenges to federal policy, and the final question asks if "the federal government has been too aggressive in over-ruling the rights of individual states to pass and enforce their own laws." Why, you'd think that was deliberate.
It was, of course. That's what WND is paying Wenzel to do.
Bozell Takes Dr. Laura's Side, Pushes Bogus Study Topic: Media Research Center
In his Aug. 25 column, Brent Bozell takes Dr. Laura's side on her N-word controversy, uncritically repeating her nonsensical claim that she was quitting her radio gig because "If she could not exercise her freedom of speech, she said, she was not interested in the job."
But she did exercise her freedom of speech; she simply does not want anyone to hold her accountable for what she says.
Bozell goes on to distort the facts about the controversy:
Watchdogs on the left had pounced on a conversation she had with a black woman in which she proclaimed something that everyone with cable TV knows is true. The N-word is acceptable vernacular for black comedians on HBO, but it’s not something you can ever, ever say if you’re not black.
While making this point, Dr. Laura purposely said the N-word repeatedly during this proclamation, and that was all the Left needed to start contacting sponsors, suggesting they shouldn’t want their products associated with this viciously racist talk show. It didn’t matter that even liberal editorialists in The Washington Post declared that there was nothing at all racist in what the doctor said.
The Left had found their to chance to silence her, and they pounced. All they needed to do was distort the context completely, and they did so masterfully.
As others have pointed out, Dr. Laura's use of the N-word may haveactually been the least offensive part of her rant:
In actuality, it's the rest of her rant that drips with racial animus. To recap: Dr. Laura immediately dismisses her caller's problems, uses a racist joke to prove her non-racism, insists that black people voted for Obama over nothing but racial solidarity (as if pre-Obama, African Americans never voted for Democrats), strongly resents the fact that "black guys" can use the N-word but she can't, and declares that "if you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry outside of your race." Dr. Laura isn't known for her sensitivity, but this is an impressive display of raw racial resentment.
Nevertheless, Bozell goes on, because he has something to promote:
The hypocrites. Leftists say outrageous things on the radio routinely, things they truly mean, too, and those remarks never see the light of day on ABC, CBS, and NBC. Talking about the N-word is wrong but wishing death on political enemies is okay when the rhetorical bombs are dropped on conservatives. The Media Research Center has a new report chronicling who the real radio hatemongers are.
In fact, neither Bozell nor anyone else at the MRC have any idea "who the real radio hatemongers are" because they have done no comparative analysis of liberal vs. conservative radio hosts, and thus has not established an emperical basis on which to decide which "hatemongers" are more "real."
And as we've previously noted, the MRC reportfails to account for the fact that the liberal radio hosts it criticizes have a much smaller audience than the top conservative radio hosts, who do -- despite Bozell's insistence that no conservative has "ever said anything remotely similar" -- sayoffensivethings on a regular basis.
WND Flip-Flops on Military Supply Questions Topic: WorldNetDaily
Back in 2004, WND frowned upon the media making the Republican administration look bad by pointing out supply shortages for troops in Iraq.
A Dec. 9, 2004, article highlighted how "'disgruntled' soldiers' tough grilling of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in Iraq" was the work of aChattanooga newspaper reporter who allegedly "set up the soldiers to ask his questions about the lack of armored vehicles." This was followed by columnist Larry Elder scolding the reporter for making news instead of reporting it, as well as WND's Les Kinsolving asserting that "when Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Edward Pitts rehearsed Army Specialist Thomas Wilson on what to ask Secretary Rumsfeld, the Pentagon had already up-armored 97 percent of the vehicles in Wilson's regimental combat team, and the last 20 of their 830 vehicles were in the up-armored pipeline."
Actually, as we detailed at the time, Pitts didn't "set up" the soldier with the question on vehicle armor; in an interview with Time magazine, the soldier said that while Pitts urged him to come up with some "intelligent questions," it was he, not Pitts, who came up with the question about the armor. Further, more than half of that "830 vehicles ... in the up-armored pipeline" had non-standard makeshift "hillbilly armor."
Now that WND no longer has to protect a Republican president, it's more free to make accusations about the military.
An Aug. 25 WND article claims that "The parents of an American soldier in Afghanistan have accused the U.S. government of leaving defenders of its freedoms without basics such as blankets, food, feminine hygiene supplies and even bullets." The claim, which came from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, provides no corroboration in the WND version, and no named source is quoted -- a much lower level of disclosure than was made in the 2004 story WND decried.
But hey, when the point is to attack Obama -- the front-page promo headline for the article calls it an "Obama outrage" -- minor things like disclosure and substantiation don't matter to WND.
Newsmax Changes Its Mind, Likes Bush After All Topic: Newsmax
As President Bush left office in January 2009, Newsmax was eager to throw dirt on the grave of his administration, declaring that "Bush’s legacy to his successor is two unresolved wars, a global image that is deeply tarnished, and the greatest economic crisis in modern times."
How times change. An Aug. 22 Newsmax article by right-wing shill David A. Patten touted how "Bush's mojo with the American public appears on the rise." Patten listed several reasons for this, including that "Several former Bush aides have infiltrated the media since leaving the White House, grabbing megaphones they use to push back against spin and distortion." He added that Bush "has demonstrated an ability to keep a low profile and stay out of the controversies that dogged him while in office." Patten also channeled his inner Ronald Kessler, claiming that "Bush kept America safe from terrorism. The jury's still out on Obama."
Patten also falsely suggested that Obama wants to keep most of the Bush tax cuts:
In 2001 and 2003, President Bush signed tax legislation that slashed income tax rates across the board. He also ended the estate tax while cutting dividend and capital gains taxes. The legislation passed but had a sunset provision forcing all the cuts to expire on Dec. 31 of this year. But polls show that Americans strongly favor fully renewing the Bush tax cuts and several leading Senate Democrats have embraced the idea. President Obama and the Congressional Democratic leadership want key portions of the cuts to expire while extending income tax relief to only those in the lower income brackets.
Unless Patten is redefining all income under $250,000 as "lower income," that's not exactly true.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Ben Shapiro Division Topic: CNSNews.com
Is Barack Hussein Obama a Muslim? No.
But there’s a reason 24 percent of Americans believe President Obama is a Muslim: Obama spends an inordinate amount of time stumping for Islam. Obama’s not Muslim. But he proselytizes for Islamic goals and dreams like a member of the faithful.
It bears repeating: Obama’s not a Muslim. But there are only two possible reasons why he would draw himself this close to the Muslim world in speech and deed. First, he could be duping the Muslim world, keeping his friends close and his enemies closer. This seems utterly unlikely as his most sincere statements seem to come with regard to the Muslim world. Second, he could feel true kinship with the Muslim world based on his childhood experiences and his Marxist multiculturalism. This rings true.
For the last time: Obama’s not a Muslim. He’s a sellout to the radical Muslim world. If a swath of the American people mistakes a president who sells out to Islamism for a Muslim president, there’s only one person to blame: Obama himself.
-- Ben Shapiro, Aug. 26 syndicated column, published by CNSNews.com
CNS' Zombie 'Non-Believers' Story Topic: CNSNews.com
Shortly after President Obama was inaugurated, CNSNews.com tried (and failed) to make a big deal out of Obama noting that America is a nation of, among other things, "non-believers." Even the normally conservative religious people CNS consulted didn't bite instead praising Obama for being inclusive and acknowledging our country's diversity.
But just like a villain in a horror movie, it seems, a failed right-wing attack is never really dead. Which may be the only logical explanation for why CNS editor Terry Jeffrey built his Aug. 25 column around the "non-believer" attack.
The only new things Jeffrey brings to it is a complaint that "a miniscule 0.7 percent of American adults—or 1,621,000 out of 228,182,000--are atheists" and a baseless claim that referencing nonbelievers "surely does not promote the American cause in the Islamic world—where our radical Muslim enemies, starting with al-Qaida, falsely claim Americans are infidels."
Some failed things are better left dead, something Jeffrey apparently hasn't figured out yet.
New Article: Ann Coulter Doesn't Hate Gays Enough for WorldNetDaily Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND drops Coulter as a speaker for its big conference, setting off a war of words that shows just how anti-gay Joseph Farah and crew really are. Read more >>
An Aug. 23 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick attacks New York magazine for publishing a "hit piece" article on businessmen Charles and David Koch over the alleged "thought crime" of "contributing to conservative causes."
Gladnick fails to mention that his publisher has taken Koch money as well. According to Conservative Transparency, the Media Research Center has accepted nearly $10,000 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Koch Family-controlled Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation.
Gladnick also insists that the Center for Public Integrity is "a left-wing group which is funded by the aforementioned George Soros." But that supposed poolitical affiliation is doubtful -- as we documented, CPI underwrote the reporting that went into WorldNetDaily dubious hit job on Al Gore in the 2000 election, which drew an actual $165 million libel lawsuit from a Tennessee car dealer smeared in the article series. WND eventually admitted that the charges were false and settled the case out of court for an undisclosed sum.
AIM Admits Wash. Times' Coverage Is Ideology Driven Topic: Accuracy in Media
An Aug. 25 Accuracy in Media blog post by Don Irvine on the possibility that Rev. Sun Myung Moon will take over the Washington Times from his son led to some reminiscing on Don Irvine's part, who spills the beans on just how ideology-driven its news coverage was:
The Times started modestly in May of 1982 as a conservative alternative to the Washington Post though in the rush to launch Moon hired many former staffers of the defunct Washington Star many of whom were more interested in having a job than sharing the ideology of Moon.
That initially hampered the paper as liberals and conservatives fought internally on the stance it should take on certain issues. I recall one conversation I had with a friend who worked there during those first few years who told me he was having a discussion about the Sandinistas in Nicaragua with a couple of other people at the national desk and that he was the only one that was against them.
As time went on the Times often took hard line conservative stance especially during the Clinton years and scooped the Washington Post on more than one occasion to the consternation of the Post’s executive editor Ben Bradlee.
Of course, it's not news that the Washingto Times is heavily conservative. But Irvine's admission that there were issues with some journalists who were apparently more interested in reporting the news instead of pushing Moon's "ideology" -- and that AIM apparently endorses ideology over news -- reveals a lot about the Times (and a little about how AIM doesn't really care all that much about accuracy in media).
Klein Puts Words in Rauf's Mouth Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 24 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein carries the headline "Ground Zero imam pushes 'eradication' of Jewish state."
But Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who wants to build an Islamic cultural center near the Ground Zero site in New York, never said "eradication." In fact, the only person using it in the article is Klein himself:
The controversial imam behind a proposal to build an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero has advocated a plan that is widely regarded here as promoting the eradication of Israel as a Jewish state.
In uncovered audio, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf pushes for a "one state" solution of Jews and Arabs sharing the same country.
While the idea may sound moderate to those unfamiliar with Mideast politics, such a proposal, which has been touted by Palestinian leaders, is seen by Israel as pressing for its destruction as a Jewish state. The population of Israeli Arabs combined with incoming Palestinians would cause Arabs to outnumber Jews, thus changing the Jewish character of the country.
Speaking at a recorded Australian lecture series in July 2005, Rauf outlined his views on Israel:
"The differences, perhaps, may lie on whether the solution lies in the two-state solution or in a one-state solution. I believe that you had someone here recently who spoke about having a one land and two people's solution to Israel.
And I personally – my own personal analysis tells me that a one-state solution is a more coherent one than a two-state solution. So if we address the underlying issue, if we figure out a way to create condominiums, to condominiamise Israel and Palestine so you have two peoples co-existing on one state, then we have a different paradigm which will allow us to move forward."
Such a "one state" solution has been called for in the past by Palestinian and Arab leaders, while Israeli officials have warned it would bring about the country's destruction.
Klein fails to offer the full context in which Rauf made his statement -- all that is quoted, in text and in the audio, is only the supposedly offending claim. Klein also offers no evidence that the idea Rauf forwarded is "widely regarded" as "promoting the eradication of Israel" -- in fact, he quotes no one specifically reacting to Rauf's idea.
Further, Klein fails to note, as Media Matters does, that former right-wing Likud Party official Moshe Arens has pointed out that Israel is "already a binational state, and also a multicultural and multi-sector state," and that Likud, which currently leads Israel's ruling coalition, is discussing alternatives to a two-state solution.
But remember, Klein is a sympathizer of far-right Israeli politics and has declared that he "agree[s] with some of the sentiments of Rabbi Meir Kahane" -- the most prominent of which was expulsion of all Arabs from Israel, as well as Gaza and the West Bank.