Topic: The ConWeb
Who was responsible for the ConWeb's worst reporting and craziest opinions last year? We honor those achievements. Read more >>
Friday, January 21, 2011
CNS Gets Scooped On A Video On Its Own Website
The Media Research Center, it appears, has no idea what to do with breaking news it generates.
As we've noted, the MRC let WorldNetDaily scoop it on the news that it is refusing to participate in this year's CPAC because it's not anti-gay enough. (We still haven't seen it reported on any MRC website.) Now, CNSNews.com -- which is supposed to be the MRC's "news" division -- is getting scooped on the contents of a video CNS made.
On Jan. 19, CNS posted a nearly two-hour-long video interview editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey did with potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. The same day, Right Wing Watch highlighted a statement Santorum made regarding President Obama and abortion: that "I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, 'Now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.'" Right Wing Watch also made a much shorter video clip of the remark, taken from the CNS video.
On Jan. 20, the clip spread across the Web, with a focus on how Santorum injected race into the abortion issue. Strangely, CNS had done nothing with the Santorum beyond posting the mega-huge clip.
It was only after Santorum issued a statement defending his earlier claim that the MRC snapped into action. CNS belatedly put up an overly long, transcript-heavy article by Jeffrey putting his own spin on Santorum's words, and MRC chief Brent Bozell cranked out a press release in which he yet again plays the victim of a liberal conspiracy:
One: Alveda King's doctorate is honorary, therefore she has not earned the "Dr." title Bozell places in front of her name.
Two: Bozell's complaining about a "false controversy" turned into news is particularly rich given that the MRC created its own false controversy last month over a gay-themed art exhibit at a Smithsonian museum.
Three: Instead of ranting about being a victim, shouldn't Bozell be having a conversation with Jeffrey about how he got so far behind the curve on a story he generated?
Finally, Bozell refused to give credit where it's due, name-checking "numerous major news outlets including Politico, National Journal, the Wall Street Journal, and the Daily Beast" that reported the story but ignoring the originator, Right Wing Watch. Just because the MRC couldn't be bothered to report on its own story doesn't mean it should deny credit to the outlet that did.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Jack Cashill's New Obama Conspiracy: Barack Sr. Isnt His Father
Remember the nutty theory going around a while back that President Obama’s book "Dreams From My Father" was actually written by Bill Ayers? That was the work of WorldNetDaily columnist and conspiracy-monger extrordinaire Jack Cashill. Well, Cashill has a new conspiracy theory to peddle: Barack Obama Sr. isn’t really the father of President Obama. No, really.
Cashill lays out his claim in his January 20 WND column, replete with secret sources, muumuus, and the declaration that in a photograph, the father of Obama’s mother looked a little too happy to be “standing right next to the African guy who allegedly knocked up his 17-year-old daughter.”
From Cashill’s column:
In addition to this latest theory, Cashill is sticking with the idea that Ayers wrote "Dreams" (Cashill has credited Obama biographer Christopher Andersen as vindicating his claim, even though Andersen was merely repeating what Cashill had claimed, and Andersen has said that "I definitely do not say [Ayers] wrote Barack Obama's book.") Heck, he's now claiming that the girlfriends Obama referenced in the book were an invention of Ayers.
Needless to say, Cashill has a book coming out detailing all of his crazy Obama conspiracy-mongering.
P.S. One interesting side note: Cashill's theory that Obama is "the illegitimate son of an American black," if true, pretty much destroys the "eligibility" narrative WND has been pushing, since it hinges on Barack Sr. not being an American citizen.
Newsmax Hypocritically Bashes Obama's 'Coddling' of China
In a Jan. 19 Newsmax article, David Patten asserted that President Obama engaged in "over-the-top coddling" of China, citing as evidence that during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the U.S., "Hu was greeting [sic] at the White House by Vice President Biden and treated to the honor of a 21-gun salute on the White House South Lawn."
What Patten doesn't mention: Hu got the exact same treatment when he visited President Bush in the White House in 2006.
The Associated Press reported that during his 2006 visit, "Hu was welcomed with a pomp-filled arrival ceremony on the South Lawn, including a military honor guard and a 21-gun salute." Bush did not prove Hu with a state dinner, instead giving him a working lunch.
Obama, meanwhile, did provide Hu with a state dinner, the one significant difference between Obama and Bush. But it hardly makes Obama significantly more "coddling" of Hu than Bush was.
A search of Newsmax's archive found no reference to any attack on Bush's treatment of Hu as "coddling" or "appeasement." Instead, there is only a AP article reporting on the visit and noting the "South Lawn welcoming ceremony" for Hu.
Why the disparate treatment of similar behavior? Patten doesn't say.
NewsBusters Tries to Liken Blogs to Bullets
Responding to a claim by Newsweek's Ben Adler that high-capacity magazines like the ones Jared Loughner used in his Arizona shooting spree could be regulated without violating the Second Amendment, Ken Shepherd offers a curious analogy in a Jan. 19 NewsBusters post:
Apparently realizing the ridiculousness of his argument, Shepherd added:
Unmentioned in Shepherd's silly analogy: High-capacity blogging doesn't endanger the lives of other people (and if it does, there are laws on the books that are court-approved remedies that yes, restrict First Amendment rights), but as we learned in Tuscon, high-capacity magazines do. If opponents of such regulation can't offer anything beyond constitutional absolutism in support, maybe it's not that strong of a claim.
Newsmax' Hirsen Misleads About Soros, Ignores Right-Wing Entertainment Mogul
In his Jan. 19 "Left Coast Report," Newsmax's James Hirsen makes a big deal out of how a Jewish group critical of Glenn Beck "gets its money from [George] Soros’ Open Society Institute." Hirsen added that "Soros is increasingly becoming a player in the media, particularly within the film industry," citing as evidence that "In 2006 Soros shelled out $900 million for 59 films that constitute the DreamWorks SKG library, obtaining a valuable set of film rights while gaining a power position as an entertainment media mogul."
What Hirsen forgot to mention: About a year ago, Soros sold its majority interest in the DreamWorks library to Viacom, from which it purchased the stake in 2006. So that wipes out that talking point.
In touting how Soros "can pull a lot of strings" through his stakes in entertainment ventures, Hirsen failed to mention the political moneybags with the biggest entertainment industry stake: Right-wing billionaire Philip Anschutz. His company, Walden Media, is the producer of films such as the "Chronicles of Narnia" series, his Anschutz Entertainment Group owns numerous sports teams and arenas, and his Regal Entertainment Group is the largest theater chain in the country. Nothing Soros has done in the entertainment sphere approaches Anschutz.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Corsi Puts Words In Hawaii Gov's Mouth
Jerome Corsi's increasingly fact-free obsession with Barack Obama's birth certificate continued on its plodding path with a Jan. 18 WorldNetDaily article in which he claimed that Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie "uggested in an interview published today that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health."
Except Abercrombie did no such thing. As Media Matters noted, Abercrombie actually said that he was told there is a recording of Obama's birth in the state archives.
Corsi went on to attack Snopes.org and FactCheck.org -- which have respectively debunked claims that the birth certificate released by Obama's campaign in 2008 is fake -- as "two purportedly independent websites that have displayed a strong partisan bias for Obama." Corsi offers no evidence to support his assertion of "partisan bias."
Of course, WND is a unambiguously non-independent website that has displayed a strong partisan bias against Obama, so by Corsi's own definition, it -- and he -- can't be trusted either.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Erik Rush, Jan. 6 WorldNetDaily column
-- Larry Klayman, Jan. 15 WorldNetDaily column
-- Roger Hedgecock, Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily column
WND, Sperry Mislead to Attack CPAC Board Member
A Jan. 18 WorldNetDaily article by Brian Fitzpatrick tries to escalate one of its attacks on CPAC by pushing accusations that CPAC is "tied to terror" through board member Suhail Khan. Khan has responded to the accusation by issuing an email to "his fellow ACU directors." Fitzpatrick writes:
(Did Sperry really speak in italics? How does Fitzpatrick know?)
Missing from Fitzpatrick's article is any further quoting of Khan's email or any link to the compete message. There's a reason for that: It doesn't make Sperry look good.
First, Sperry and Fitzpatrick mislead about what Khan is denying. They claim that he's denying that Zawahiri was hosted by the mosque; in fact, nowhere in Khan's email -- posted by blogger Deborah Corey -- does he use Zawahiri's name but, instead, specifically says "no individual connected to al-Qaida was ever hosted by the center in Santa Clara." As Sperry admits, at the time of the alleged visit, Zawahiri was not with al-Qaeda, he was with Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which later merged with al-Qaeda. Yes, it's parsing, but WND should have acknowledged it instead of trying to put words in Khan's mouth.
Second, Sperry and Fitzpatrick offer no evidence that Khan or his father knew that Zawahiri was raising money for Islamic extremism. Indeed, Fitzpatrick writes that Zawahiri was raising money "under the pretense of raising money to support victims of the Afghan-Soviet war."
Third, Khan's quote has been edited by Fitzpatrick to eliminate embarrassing information about Sperry. The ellipsis in Fitzpatrick's quoting of Khan removed this statement:
Whoops! That seems like relevant information, but Fitzpatrick and Sperry don't want you to know anything about it.
Catfight! NewsReal's Fox Offended By Us
NewsReal's Megan Fox is shocked -- shocked! -- that I would refer to her as a "hateful catty bitch" over her claim that the media is making insufficient fun of Michelle Obama's looks. Fox insists that I "displayed typical leftist etiquette when talking about a conservative woman."
My answer to that is that I do not show respect to anyone who has not earned it, conservative or otherwise. Making catty remarks about someone's looks, whether or not she is the first lady, is the epitome of bitchiness. It can be argued that I merely told the truth about Fox; it's not my fault that she finds offense.
Fox then proved the accuracy of my analysis by reacting in the manner we have come to expect from her -- more catty, bitchy remarks, this time about me and the kind of person she imagines I am. Because I am a gentleman, I will not sink to her level by responding in kind but will, instead, expand my analysis of her: it seems she's not only a bitch, but an immature one as well.
Fox again insists that the media really does need to make fun of Michelle Obama's looks:
One could say that Fox is displaying typical right-wing etiquette when talking about a liberal woman.
Fox then huffed that I misinterpreted her:
Of course, a wardrobe is part of one's look. It's silly to pretend, as Fox does, that the two are completely separate things. But who died and made her Anna Wintour? Fox's Photoshopping work notwithstanding, I have no opinion to offer about Michelle Obama's looks -- besides, it's Fox's opinion on the subject, not mine, that are of issue.
Then she's back to making more immature, catty remarks about me -- thus obliterating any high-road sympathy she may have had in pretending to be victimized by this big ol' meanie -- ultimately concluding:
In fact, I made my judgment about Fox -- accurately, I would proffer -- based on what she wrote. Her response only confirms the accuracy of my assessment. Yes, "bitch" is an undeniably vitriolic word, but is it really worse than what Fox wrote about Obama (and me)? It's a harsh word that should be used sparingly and only when appropriate. I believe I did so. I chose that particular word for one reason and one reason only: becuase it accurately described the tone of what Fox was writing.
Also, let's not pretend that Fox was offering cogent political analysis in her hit piece. Her goal was the same one she acribes to me: to dehumanize and victimize her target, in this case the Obamas. Projecting much?
To sum up, Megan: If you're not actually the person your writings show you to be, perhaps you should stop writing like that.
Prove you're a better person than the vitriol you spew at NewsReal, Megan. I would love to see it, even if it would prove me wrong.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Kessler Keeps Quiet About CPAC Controversies
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler is very tight with David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union, which operates the annual CPAC conference for conservatives. He has repeatedly interviewed Keene for his column and fawningly promoted CPAC, and Keene has returned the favor by awarding Kessler the inaugural "Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award" at last year's CPAC.
So why is Kessler not covering the current controversies surrounding CPAC?
Newsmax rival WorldNetDaily has been repeatedly attacking CPAC over the past few months -- as we noted, in apparent retaliation for CPAC refusing to allow WND editor Joseph Farah to put on a birther panel at last year's convention. (Farah essentially admitted as much in his Jan. 15 column, relating how his animus was motivated by CPAC officials "boasted publicly about turning down my private request in an interview with the Los Angeles Times – using insulting and degrading language in an apparent effort to ingratiate themselves with the media elite.") WND has been touting how some right-wing groups are refusing to take part in this year's CPAC due to the participation of the "homosexual activist organization" GOProud and playing guilt by association by attacking CPAC board member Suhail Khan as an "Islamist" who is "infiltrating" CPAC.
WND, interestingly, has also suggested that Keene's ex-wife, who WND says was the bookkeeper for the ACU, embezzled "hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor money" from the group.
If ever there was a time for Kessler to run to the rescue and do some fluffy interviews of Keene -- as he loves to do -- this would be it. But Kessler hasn't written a word about the controversies. Instead, he's been focusing on such weighty matters as Donald Trump's presidential prospects and the "secrets" of a long-retired Washington restauranteur.
Why won't Kessler get involved on behalf of his friend Keene? This seems like the perfect opportunity to flex those "Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award" muscles and get at the truth.
Is Kessler simply too close to CPAC and Keene that he won't bite the hand that gives him awards?
Farah Just Can't Stop Lying About WND's Birther Coverage
Joseph Farah seems to think that if you repeat a lie enough times, it becomes true.
So it is with Farah's Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily column, in which he complains yet again about the Los Angeles Times doing something other than uncritically praising his work. This time, Farah is annoyed that the Times reported that WND is "a prime force in the movement that claims President Obama was born abroad." Farah huffed: "I have never once said Obama was born abroad. No one at WND has made such an allegation."
That, of course, is a bald-faced lie. As we've detailed, Farah has repeatedly invoked the false claim that Obama's grandmother said he was born in Kenya, and WND's heavy promotion of the "Kenyan birth certificate" it couldn't be bothered to authenticate before publishing it is most certainly an allegation that "Obama was born abroad."
Farah also rehashed his whining about a previous Times article about him, calling it "a sleazy, unethically prepared hit piece." In fact, as we noted at the time, the article was accurate.
If the editor of a publication is so amoral as to lie to your face about things that can easily be fact-checked, why should you trust anything else he publishes?
UPDATE: And don't forget that a WND banner headline called Obama "undocumented," synonymous with illegal/born abroad.
In Latest Anti-Gay Freak-Out, MRC Attacks Book Blurb
Topic: Media Research Center
How much does the Media Research Center's Tim Graham hate gays? He's attacking a writer for contributing a blurb to a book by a gay author.
Yes, Graham dedicated an entire Jan. 16 NewsBusters post to attacking a Washington Post staffer for contributing a blurb to a new book by the "editor of the DC gay news magazine Metro Weekly." He finds no bias, though he complains that the staffer isn't identified as a Post staffer but, rather, as the author of two books. Instead, he's upset that the staffer's blurb included "a hurrah for gay 'equality' of respect."
Apparently, respecting gays is against MRC policy, and Graham is nothing if not a slavish follower of MRC policy -- so much so that he must attack book blurbs to enforce it.
WND's Lamb Defends AmRen -- But Not By Name
Henry Lamb uses his Jan. 15 WorldNetDaily column to channel Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid in defending a certain organization:
Note that Lamb never mentions the name of the group he's talking about. That, of course would be American Renaissance, the group for which Kincaid insisted there was "no evidence" that it "by any objective standard is a racist organization." Of course, that's not true, and Kincaid walked it back a few days later.
Lamb went so far as to name AmRen's leader, but not the name of the group itself. Is Lamb afraid to be associated with the group he's defending? Doesn't that make it hard to do a proper defense?
Lamb also gets his facts wrong about the memo. He claim it was issued by DHS, which is what Fox News initially reported; it later stated -- and does so in the Fox News story to which Lamb links -- that it was "a law enforcement memo based on information provided by DHS." Politico later reported that the memo was issued by the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center, was meant as a hastily prepared internal status report on what center employees were working on, and it was never meant for public dissemination.
Yet Lamb insists on blaming DHS for the memo, even though DHS had no role in its preparation.
Monday, January 17, 2011
MRC's Gainor Retweets Terrorist Sympathizer
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center of president for business and culture Dan Gainor issued this retweet:
While the message being conveyed isn't controversial, the person who originally made it very much is.
As we've detailed, David Ha'ivri is a far-right Israeli activist who has organized numerous protests at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, the ancient site of a Jewish temple that is now the site of a mosque. Eden Natan-Zada -- the AWOL soldier who slaughtered four people on a bus in Gaza in 2005 -- joined in one of those protests before he committed his massacre.
Ha'ivri was a follower and sympathizer of the Kach/Kahane Chai movement -- he's also a brother-in-law to the son of movement founder Meir Kahane. which has been outlawed in Israel for its links to anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian violence. And Ha'ivri refuses to condemn such violence; Ha'ivri appeared in a 2007 CNN documentary on religious extremism in which he refused to criticize a plot by Jewish extremists to detonate a bomb outside a Palestinian girls' school.
Additionally, according to the New York Times, Ha'ivri celebrated the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and has served a six-month jail term in connection with the desecration of a mosque.
In short, Ha'ivri is a terrorist sympathizer, if not an actual terrorist. This is hardly the kind of person who deserves attention. Too bad Gainor didn't check him out before retweeting him.
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