Big news at Newsmax:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin tweeted a Newsmax story about Obamacare and drew a huge response from her more than 430,000 Twitter followers.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
What Passes For News At Newsmax
Big news at Newsmax:
WND, Newsmax Won't Fact-Check Bachmann, With Predictable Results
Rep. Michele Bachmann is a ConWeb darling, to the point that they publish her rantings without bothering to fact-check her.
A March 5 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers and Ashley Martella dutifully repeats Bachmann's claim that "President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi should apologize to the American people for the $105 billion appropriation they 'deceitfully' hid in the healthcare reform legislation," adding that the "stunning revelation" of the expenditure points to "one of the biggest lies we have ever seen."
A March 7 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn also parroted Bachmann's claim that the health care reform bill "contains over $105 billion in already-approved spending 'hidden' in it's nearly 1,000 pages."
Newsmax and WND are so sure that Bachmann is telling the truth that neither contact anyone in the Obama administration -- or anyone at all -- to respond to the claim.
Unfortunately for them, it turns out Bachmann is lying about how "hidden" the funding is.
What Newsmax and WND wouldn't do, PolitiFact did -- fact-check Bachmann's claim:
Will WND and Newsmax report this truth about a right-wing icon to its readers? Don't count on it.
UPDATE: A March 7 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones blindly joined the parade, uncritically repeating Bachmann's claims without a fact-check and without allowing anyone to respond.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
WND Prints Unsubstantiated Attack Before Allowing Other Side To Respond
WorldNetDaily dropped a potentially libelous bomb in the form of a March 7 column by Art Robinson -- the anti-global warming activist and failed congressional candidate perhaps best known for a homeschooling curriculum featuring the outdated racist attitudes of a 19th-century author -- accusing Oregon State University instructors and administrators of "political payback" in the form of allegedly throwing three of his children out of graduate school.
Robinson offers not a shred of substantiation for these claims, nor did WND make any apparent attempt to allow the school to respond to the charges before publishing them. That cavalier approach to journalism potentially opens WND up to libel charges -- something it should be quite familiar with.
Finally, more than 20 hours after publishing Robinson's screed, WND has permitted Oregon State to respond in an article by Art Moore -- who quotes only four sentences from a much longer statement by the school and devotes much of the rest to rehashing Robinson's unsubstantiated claims.
That sort of kneejerk response is typical of WND's so-called journalism. After all, it similarly ran to Robinson's defense when questions were raised about the racist author in his homeschool curriculum, and with similar deflections without actually addressing the charges with anything resembling substance.
Sheppard Returns to Spinning Huckabee
So, all that stuff about Noel Sheppard conceding that Mike Huckabee screwed up by venturing into birther territory and even being nice to Chris Matthews? Never mind.
Sheppard takes it all back in a March 7 NewsBusters post bashing Matthews for comparing a column by George Will criticizing Huckabee "to William F. Buckley Jr. banning anti-Semitic writers from the National Review in the '50s" -- a column whose sentiments Sheppard ultimately agreed with. Sheppard ridiculed Matthews' comparison, then retreated to spin mode:
If Sheppard agrees with Will, why is he working to dismiss what Huckabee said as old news and yet valid opinions (if not ultimately helpful to the GOP in regaining the White House)?
Shepperd then snifffed: "I'd say that Matthews and his bosses should be ashamed of themselves for making such a comparison, but that seems futile." The same thing could be said about Sheppard's partisan shamelessness.
CNS Ignores Actual Controversy At 'Islamist' Non-Rally
A March 4 CNSNews.com article by Patrick Goodenough details how "Islamic radical" Anjem Choudary "called off a pro-shari’a (Islamic law) demonstration at the White House on Thursday, saying he did not want it to divert attention from the 'urgent' situation in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East." But Goodenough completely ignores what did happen at the site of the planned rally.
As Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall tells it, anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney and his group planned a counter-rally to Choudary's planned demonstration:
Marshall then heard from Glenn Beck's website The Blaze, which denied that anyone from Gaffney's grouptook part in the cross throwing and that it was instigated by a group linked to Terry Jones, the fundamentalist pastor who wanted to burn Qurans until he was talked out of it.
However, Marshall writes, "Our reporter was in the crowd and observed numerous folks from Gaffney's protest surrounding the praying guy. In fact, one of the people surrounding the praying Muslim man was one of Gaffney's speakers."
You'd think that Goodenough and CNS would be more interested in actual news than a phone interview with a guy who canceled a rally. Apparently not.
Larry Klayman Derangement Syndrome Watch
The entirety of Larry Klayman's March 5 WorldNetDaily column is worthy of clipping, but here are a few choice bits of his high-grade, Obama-hating rant:
It's against the law to not support Israel? Curious legal reasoning there, Larry.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Sheppard Gives Up On Spinning For Huckabee
Noel Sheppard's first attempt to spin away Mike Huckabee's remarks about President Obama's past was to portray it as merely misspeaking. His second attempt to ignore the illogic of that spin. Now, Sheppard seems to have conceded that Huckabee said something stupid.
Sheppard starts off his March 5 NewsBusters post by trying to go after George Will's Washington Post column criticizing Huckabee and pointing out the dearth of plausible Republican presidential candidates. Sheppard first attempts to dismiss Will as someone who is "no stranger to leaving the reservation," but then finds himself approvingly quoting Chris Matthews -- who just a few days earlier Sheppard was bashing as a "shill" and a "so-called journalist" for his "multiple Obamagasms" -- saying that people care more about the economy than fabulism about Obama's background. Sheppard continued:
That could be seen as more spinning for Huckabee by trying to portray the questions Huckabee raised as not worthy of coverage. But later, Sheppard is fully agreeing with Will:
Sheppard is throwing Huckabee under the bus, even if he won't come right out and admit that's what he's doing.
Pat Boone Falsely Bashes Sex Education, School Official
In fact, that's not exactly what Fox News reported; a July 2010 article stated that "According to the 62-page draft proposal, beginning in kindergarten, school nurses will teach students proper terms such as 'nipple, breast, penis, scrotum and uterus." [emphasis added]. Unless the age for kindergarden has somehow been lowered to three, Boone is lying.
Boone wasn't done with the smears:
Boone appears to be referring to a foreword Jennings wrote to a book called "Queering Elementary Education." But it's not about "pedophilia, the sexual seduction of children"; it is about, in the words of the book's co-author, "creating classroms that challenge categorical thinking, promote interpersonal intelligence, and foster critical consciousness. Queer elementary classrooms are those where parents and educators care enough about their children to trust the human capacity for understanding, and their educative abilities to foster insight intyo the human condition."
Boone might want to try the novel approach of knowing what a book is actually about before he falsely attacks it.
CNS Falsely Claims Immigration Reform Is 'Deeply Unpopular'
Fred Lucas writes in a March 4 CNSNews.com article:
Of course, as we've documented, CNS is one of those opponents who insist on (falsely) describing immigration reform as "amnesty." But Lucas is lying when he says that comprehensive immigration reform is "deeply unpopular with the public."
A November 2009 Pew Research poll found that 63 percent of the general public supported a bill to provide a "path to citizenship" for undocumented immigrants -- and that 54 percent still supported it when the same bill was described as "amnesty."
That's not the only one: An August 2010 Politico poll found that 61 percent of Democrats and independents, as well as 59 percent of Republicans, belive that Congress should “pass comprehensive immigration law guidelines now.”
Meanwhile, a July 2010 Gallup poll found that Americans are about equally divided -- 50 percent to 45 percent -- over whether the government's main focus should be on halting the flow of illegal immigrants coming into the U.S., or on developing a plan to deal with those already here. That might offer some backup for Lucas' position, but even then, you have to seriously spin things to portray comprehensive reform as "deeply unpopular."
NewsBusters Has Double Dose of Lack of Koch Disclosure
In a March 3 NewsBusters post, Matthew Sheffield highlights how right-wing blogger John Hinderaker "has engaged in some industrial-strength deconstruction to debunk two hit-pieces against the Kochs and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker put out by Think Progress blogger Lee Fang."
Sheffield neglects to mention one little thing: As Fang points out, the law firm Hinderaker works for counts Koch Industries as a major client. Then again, Hinderaker didn't disclose that either.
As we've also noted, NewsBusters parent and the organization that pays Sheffield, the Media Research Center, has also taken Koch money.
Farah To Huckabee: Come To The Birther Dark Side
While NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard has been trying to deny the evidence of Mike Huckabee's birther tendencies, WorldNetDaily would like Huckabee to embrace it.
Joseph Farah's March 5 column is an open letter to Huckabee challenging his claim that if there was really some dirt in Barack Obama's past, Hillary Clinton would have used it against him during the 2008 presidential primary:
Farah and WND, of course, have repeatedly misled and lied about those "central issues." Nevertheless, Farah takes a whack at Huckabee for falsely claiming that Obama grew up in Kenya:
Farah, it seems, would rather base it on the hateful rantings from a fringe website. That's not an improvement.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Self-proclaimed prophet Joel Richardson uses a March 4 WorldNetDaily column to proclaim that his prediction of a resurgent Islamic caliphate -- touted with the help of Glenn Beck -- has been proven right. His proof? An anonymously sourced article on a website run as a side project of a Washington Times employee.
Richard Bartholomew has more.
Fellow Conservatives Call Out NewsBusters For False Claim
It's rare for conservative websites to point out another website's errors, but that's what NewsBusters is currently on the receiving end of.
A Feb. 25 NewsReal post by David Forsmark points out that a NewsBusters post by Brent Baker falsely attacks the TV show "The Good Wife" for a character who tries to link tea party activists to racism. In fact, Forsmark, writes, it is a "rather slimy Leftist lawyer pressing the bogus race-baiting lawsuit," adding that "the whole thrust of the episode tore a new one in the idea of race-based lawsuits based purely on numbers and quotas, and gave those who bring them an, excuse the expression, a black eye."
Forsmark followed up on March 1, noting not only that Baker and NewsBusters have done nothing about the false claim, but that "The Good Wife" writer Robert King even posted on the comment thread of Baker's post explaining the reference:
No one at the MRC responded to King, and Baker's post remains uncorrected.
CNS Body Count Watch
It's the start of a new month, and you know what that means: a new Afghanistan body-count report from CNSNews.com's Edwin Mora. As usual, Mora doesn't utter the word "Iraq" -- that, of course, is because the casualty rates for U.S. troops in Iraq under a Republican president was much higher than it currently is in Afghanistan under President Obama.
It's not that Mora is incapable of comparaing Afghanistan deaths to something; it just has to be politically advantageous for him and his employer to do so.
That seems to explain a Feb. 25 article by Mora noting that "More civilians were killed last year in Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city across the border from El Paso, Texas, than were killed in all of Afghanistan." CNS liked this comparison so much, in fact, that it ran the story again on March 3.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Fox Pushes WNDs Loopy Obama-Has-Ties-To-Gahdafi Attack
On the March 3 edition of Fox Business’ "Follow the Money," Eric Bolling devoted a segment -- complete with lame bobblehead-esque animation -- to the idea that President Obama is somehow linked to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi through a series of guilt-by-association connections, like being pictured together with Louis Farrakhan on the cover of a magazine with 17 other people.
(Cross-posted at Media Matters, where you can find video of Klein's appearance.)
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