Earlier this year, we detailed how Newsmax gave fawning news coverage to Florida Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos without disclosing that Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy served on the host committee for a Haridopolos fundraiser that reportedly netted him more than $100,000 for his Senate race.
Ruddy's investment seems to have gone for naught: Haridopolos has pulled out of the race. A July 18 Newsmax article puts the best possible spin on it, claiming that Haridopolos quit "to focus on his current job as president of Florida's senate" and embedding a YouTube video in which he announced his withdrawal.
Needless to say, Newsmax didn't mention Ruddy's contributions to Haridopolos' campaign. They also didn't mention the scandals that have been dogging Haridopolos and undoubtedly contributed to his withdrawal. Fortunately, more honest and less partisan news outlets did, like the St. Petersburg Times:
In August, he could be deposed in the criminal case against former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer, who alleges the state fraud charges against him were part of a conspiracy by top Republicans, including Haridopolos. Greer says his fellow Republicans wanted to avoid paying him $124,000 in consulting fees.
Prior to the criminal complaint against Greer, Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon had signed a secret severance contract with Greer that promised him the fees. During the secret talks, Greer's lawyers say, the legislative leaders used go-betweens — including Bainter. Greer's go-between, Seminole County Republican Jim Stelling, said in a recent deposition that Bainter offered a $200,000 payment to make Greer go away.
"It's the right thing to do," Bainter said, according to Stelling. Bainter would not return calls.
Greer's lawyer, Cheney Mason, suggested that Bainter's departure from Haridopolos' campaign was tied to the criminal case.
"Some of the rats are leaving the ship because they won't lie under oath," Mason said. "I'm going to depose these political leaders involved in the conspiracy against Greer and give them an opportunity to perjure themselves."
The Greer situation was an embarrassment for Haridopolos, who denied signing the contract until Greer released it publicly in March 2010.
Later that year, as Haridopolos took over the reins of the Senate, he ran into a buzzsaw of controversy as he began laying off longtime staffers and hiring his friends and political acquaintances onto the Senate payroll, including future campaign adviser Arlene DiBenigno.
Before the 2011 session started, Haridopolos spent time defending an unusual $152,000 book deal with his former employer, Brevard Community College. Major universities, let alone community colleges, seldom pay professors to write books.
The book, Florida Legislative History and Processes, was full of such common-sense advice that Democrats mocked it by producing a coloring book — a maneuver that bothered Haridopolos, who warns candidates in his book about the challenges of running for higher office.
Newsmax previously gave Haridopolos a platform to explain away the book deal controversy.
UPDATE: And that's not all. Human Events notes an appearance on a right-wing radio show in which the host got so frustrated with Haridopolos' non-answers that the host kicked him off the show.
We are not making up Joseph Farah's July 19 WorldNetDaily column:
Hey, does anyone know who the real Donald Trump is? Does anyone understand the game he is playing right now?
I think I have insight.
Don't listen to a thing he says.
He has no problem with Barack Obama.
In fact, I believe with absolute conviction that he is doing Obama's bidding.
"But that's crazy," you might say. "Trump was all over Obama about that birth certificate thingie. Wasn't he giving Obama fits over that?"
Sometimes things are not the way they seem.
In fact, in politics, I find, things are often not what they seem.
Here's my theory: Trump is a very successful businessman for whom there's never enough money. I don't think he has any interest in politics beyond what it can do for his enterprises. I actually think he may have been involved in shaking Obama down for something he wanted with that birth certificate charade. Because he got cold feet when Obama released the phony birth certificate, now Obama is shaking him down.
To get whatever it is he wants from Obama and company, he may be asked to throw the 2012 election into chaos by running as an independent.
Evidently the stakes are very high.
What are the possibilities?
Apparently Trump wants to build the world's tallest building in Chicago.
Getting things done in Chicago means payoffs.
Those payoffs don't always come just in the form of money.
What else would we expect from the king of the birthers?
This indoctrination of children is one of the latest of a series of attempts to push homosexuality and transgender issues to children. California passed a 'gay history' bill on July 14, requiring public schools to teach students about gay figures in history. Another California school brought transgender clownfish into school to teach children that gender bending is okay during a two day "Gender Spectrum Diversity Training" session.
The media encourages this homosexual and gender-shifting behavior. A video featured on CBSnews.com approvingly highlighted a video of a boy "understanding" same-sex marriage in less than a minute. Pieces favorably profiling transgender prom queens and a 'Princess Boy' also appeared on the networks within the past year.
The message that gender and sexual orientation don't matter is being broadcast to children at full volume. As Raghava KK stated in his promotional video: "Children's books are full of propaganda."
He and the media just want to make sure it's liberal propaganda.
-- Paul Wilson, July 15 NewsBusters post ranting about an iPad application aimed at children that "shows a child interacting with two parents" but "shaking the iPad transforms the parents from male homosexuals to heterosexuals to lesbians."
AIM Wants You To Buy News Corp. Stock Topic: Accuracy in Media
Don Irvine uses a July 16 Accuracy in Media post to try to make lemonade of the lemon of the News of the World scandal, as well has offering some of the most ludicrous right-wing spin so far: Buy News Corp. stock!
The storm over the scandal that has enveloped Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is probably far from over, but in the meantime it has created a possible window of opportunity to pick up stock in the company at a substantial discount.
Thanks to this week’s sell-off, the stock is now trading at a 40% discount compared to its peers, Walt Disney and Time Warner, which is double the typical gap seen since 2002.
Just how undervalued are News Corp shares at this time. Citing a valuation from Barclays Capital, the Times reports that the cable news networks and the movie studio are worth $42 billion, which is equivalent to the company’s entire market capitalization.
Even liberals should be able to recognize a deal when they see one, especially one that they helped create.
Yes, Irvine really thinks the scandal-driven devaluation of News Corp. stock is a good thing.
MRC Downplaying Phone-Hacking Scandal to Protect Fox News Topic: Media Research Center
Months ago, the Media Research Center tried to downplay the importance of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Now that the scandal has proven to be even worse than imagined, the MRC is trying to mitigate damage by trying to separate Rupert Murdoch's U.S. operations -- like Fox News -- from his scandal-tarred British operations.
A July 15 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd gleefully reprints a blogger who "pours cold water" on the idea that there's something to the claim that News of the World hacked the phones of 9/11 victims. Shepherd added, without providing supporting evidence: "It's politics that accounts for the probe being initiated, not rational detective work. And it's politics that has and will account for liberal Foxophobes cynically using the development to openly fantasize about a media environment devoid of Fox News."
Meanwhile, Tim Graham went ballistic after the Washington Post published an op-ed by pornographer Larry Flynt criticizing News Corp. over the scandal, sneering, "After all, to the WashPost elite, pornography is just harmless fun, while Fox News is ruining democracy and civil discourse."
Graham made a big deal out of one of the phone-hacking claims Flynt cited against News of the World (which he misleadingly portrays as "some") being "debunked." Actually, what happened is that the British newspaper the Guardian had reported that Murdoch paper The Sun had hacked the medical records of then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown's infant son and discovered he had cystic fibrosis; The Sun claimed that it learned that information from "a member of the public whose son also suffered from the condition" and then discussed the matter with Brown before publishing a story on it. The Sun claimed that "Mr Brown was very co-operative at the time of the original story and was keen to be a friend of The Sun," but the Guardian stated that "their decision to publish the story clearly caused Gordon Brown and his family considerable distress."
Graham went on to complain that the correction in the Guardian "ran on page 36 – not exactly where the original story ran," but the Guardian noted that the correction appeared where corrections always appear. Funny, we don'trecall NewsBusters publishing a front-page correction to a false post, even though every post starts out there.
Graham even got himself quoted in Fox News protection mode in a Washington Post article examining coverage of the scandal:
“The radicals at the Guardian have clearly salivated to ruin Old Man Rupert,” said Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group based in Alexandria. The American media, he said, have joined in: “It’s blatantly obvious that this pile-on . . . is all about Murdoch and his perceived noxious effect on American politics and media.”
Graham singles out NPR, which has received funding from “Murdoch-hating” billionaire financier George Soros, as having “a special financial interest in going after Murdoch’s media properties.”
“We’re making decisions about the coverage of the News Corp. story, as we do with all stories, based on its importance and news value,” said Dana Davis Rehm, NPR’s head of communications. “This is very big news with global impact, and we’re really proud of our coverage.”
The non-Murdoch media’s larger goal, Graham said, is “to rid America of the Fox News Channel,” which has provided a prominent platform for conservatives.
NewsBusters also published a column by R. Emmett Tyrrell claiming that Murdoch is a victim of the "Kultursmog," which he defines as "that set of ideas and tastes that are utterly polluted by left-wing values and carried by the liberal news media to pollute people's minds." Newsmax published this same column.
NewsBusters Complains That Something Irrelevent Wasn't Reported Topic: NewsBusters
In a July 13 NewsBusters post about NBC coverage of the impending implementation of an energy efficiency law that will require light bulbs to be more efficient, Brad Wilmouth was upset that Brian Williams "neglected to note that Democrats controlled Congress in 2007 as he introduced the report by informing viewers that President Bush signed the bill into law that year."
Um ... so? Contradictory to Wilmouth's attempt to create a partisan wedge that doesn't exist, it seems that the fact that Bush signed the bill was evidence that it had some measure of bipartisan support. Indeed, 36 House Republicans voted for it, as did 19 Senate Republicans.
The bipatisan nature of the bill's approval suggests some cynical motives by Republicans in using it as a partisan bludgeon, but Wilmouth isn't going to tell you that.
NEW ARTICLE: Deep In The Heart of Whiteness With Ilana Mercer Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily columnist pines for the days of apartheid and advocates racist immigration policies -- and she even defended Michael Vick's dogfighting. Read more >>
CNS Changes AP Headline to Smear Obama Topic: CNSNews.com
When the Associated Press published a short July 13 article on a reportedly contentious meeting between President Obama and members of Congress over the debt ceiling, it carried the headline "AP sources: Obama ends talks brusquely."
But CNSNews.com decided that headline wasn't anti-Obama enough, so it was changed to "Obama Showboats His Way Out of Debt-Limit Talks."
Of course, the word "showboat" appears nowhere in the article. CNS is simply making it up. Oddly, the original AP headline remains in the article's URL.
CNS has added right-wing bias to AP articles at least twicebefore.
WND Lets Anonymous Coward Smear Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last year, we detailed how WorldNetDaily gave a cowardly attorney hiding behind the "pen name" of Frank J. Bleckwenn a platform to falsely attack Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Guess who's back?
Yes, "Bleckwenn" has returned to hurl more cowardly bile in a July 15 WND column. This time, he's freaking about an impending confirmation vote on "the nation's first openly homosexual federal judge," J. Paul Oetken. "Bleckwenn" asserts that "A vote to confirm this nominee is in effect a vote to subject New York by force of judicial fiat to the homosexual agenda, lock, stock, and barrel."
Among the reasons "Bleckwenn" lists to oppose his nomination is that he's gay:
Oetken, like Vaughn Walker, would be an "out gay" man. In fact, he would be the first "out gay" to be put on the federal courts.
Being an unabashedly "out gay" says some important things. For one thing, Oetken considers sodomizing/being sodomized by a man to be normal, and in fact he personally finds the idea attractive. As Oetken wrote in his Supreme Court brief in Lawrence v. Texas, "what is fundamental to the nature of homosexuals … is that they desire a sexual and emotional attachment to a person of the same gender …" For another, he thinks sexual proclivities of this sort are something to be unashamed of. And, crucially for his potential role as a judge, Oetken necessarily rejects millennia of teachings on sexual morality that condemn sodomitical acts and reserve sexuality for a married man and woman.
Oetken’s homosexuality on the sleeve approach, combined with his resume’s track record, leave no doubt of the biased worldview he would bring to any case dealing with aspects of the sexual revolution, same sex "marriage" or the homosexual agenda. Furthermore, as someone who rejects traditional sexual values, he is likely as well to harbor animosity toward the proponents of traditional sexual morality, deeming as "bigots" any churches and synagogues – or their members – that adhere to the traditional understanding of man-woman relations.
We’ve already seen what a practicing homosexual federal judge with no paper trail did with the marriage issue (Judge Vaughn Walker in the Prop 8 case). Do we want to subject New York to a new Judge Walker – this time, one unabashedly, demonstrably committed to the same activist goals? Is this what our senators are prepared to inflict on the country?
If we wrote such tripe that is not only hateful but arguably illegally discriminatory as well -- suggesting that he's a horrible lawyer -- we'd hide behind a fake name just like "Bleckwenn."
Of course, WND editor Joseph Farah has said that anonymous sources are "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better." The same goes for its columnists too, it seems.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on MILFs Topic: NewsBusters
In a July 12 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard got all worked up that Bill Maher said that he hopes Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann "split the MILF vote." Sheppard huffed: "Honestly, what does it say about our society that this disgusting creature gets invited on so-called cable news networks to spout his highly misogynistic opinions?"
Of course, when a conservative uses that "disgusting" term, Sheppard can't be bothered to complain. We found no reference whatsoever in the NewsBusters archive to Tucker Carlson's tweet that "Palin's popularity falling in Iowa, but maintains lead to become supreme commander of Milfistan."
Apparently, Sheppard and NewsBusters believe only conservatives are allowed to be "highly misogynistic" in public.
Did WND Hire Private Investigator It Reported On? Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 16 WorldNetDaily article touts how private investigator Susan Daniels, whom Unruh claims "confirmed that Barack Obama is using a Social Security number issued to a Connecticut address," said on an appearance during Joseph Farah's guest-hosting stint for domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy that "I can't wait to see Nancy Pelosi in an orange jumpsuit." (So much for objective research.)
Unruh also writes that Daniels said she "was drawn into the controvery [sic]" after "a client asked her to do some research on Obama." So who was that client? Was it WND?
After all, WND's Jerome Corsi has said that he "hired private investigators" to pursue his anti-Obama vendetta, presumably with WND's money. Did Corsi hire Daniels too? If so, shouldn't have Unruh disclosed that in his article?
Of course he should. But WND refuses to be fully honest with its readers about how it's creating the birther stories it's reporting on. We've documented that Tim Adams has said WND-affiliated attorneys provided him with an affidavit to sign regarding his birther claims, which WND subsequently reported on without disclosing that fact. WND editor Joseph Farah shut down a press conference rather than confirm Adams' claim, which in itself can be taken as a form of confirmation. And for all we know, WND created the possibly fraudulent affidavit for birther Doug Vogt.
It is certainly not outside the realm of possibility -- and is even quite likely -- that WND hired Daniels. Farah should have disclosed that on his radio show, and Unruh should have disclosed that in his article. But Farah and WND have never been big on journalistic ethics, have they?
MRC Headline Falsely Impugns NBC Topic: Media Research Center
A July 13 Media Research Center item by Kyle Drennen -- repeated at NewsBusters -- carries the headline "NBC: 'About Time' Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. Suffer 'Damage'." But the first paragraph of Drennen's item contradicts it:
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk reported the latest details on the phone hacking scandal in Britain involving a Rupert Murdoch owned tabloid and declared: "Damage to the company [News Corporation] may have already been done. And some say it is about time."
In other words: Contrary to the headline, NBC reported what others said about News Corp., and did not assert that it was "about time" Murdoch and his company suffered "damage."
That's sloppy writing. Unfortunately, that's the kind of sloppy "research" we've come to expect from the MRC.
Anti-Gay AIM, WND Rush to Defend Bachmann's Anti-Gay Husband Topic: Accuracy in Media
ABC News' report on the "pray away the gay" counseling tactics used by Marcus Bachmann, husband of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, prompted a defense of Bachmann by some of the most anti-gay elements of the ConWeb.
At Accuracy in Media, Cliff Kincaid -- a gay-hater who has expressed his approval of a proposed law in Uganda that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality -- claimed in a July 12 column that ABC charged that "the Bachmann family counseling service engages in terrible things by teaching homosexuals how to leave their disease-ridden lifestyle," adding "Of course, the notion of the Bible condemning homosexual behavior, reflected in several passages, was viewed as bizarre and intolerant."
Kincaid dismissed the report at "largely recycled leftist material" and quoted at length fellow gay-hater Peter LaBarbera denouncing it. Kincaid even worked in claims by discredited foreigner Trevor Loudon, even though he did not comment directly on the ABC story.
Kincaid followed up the next day with a more direct attack on ABC reporter Brian Ross, who conducted the report, making the largely irrelevant claim that Ross "hosted a fundraising benefit" for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Kincaid further complained that Ross did not interview any "ex-gays" -- and even that anyone would put "ex-gay" in scare quotes, huffing, "The failure of Ross to interview any of the ex-gays can be explained by his subservience to the homosexual lobby, which dominates the media business."
At WorldNetDaily, Joseph Farah -- who leads WND's pervasive anti-gay agenda and portrayed criticism by one writer of that agenda as a paranoid fantasy that the writer wanted to kill him -- also ran to Bachmann's defense, using a July 14 column to inventively parsing the words of both Bachmanns to pretend that they aren't as anti-gay as they are:
No. 1: Did Michele Bachmann say, as has been repeated ad nauseam in reports by CNN and dozens of other news sources, that homosexuals are "part of Satan"?
No, she did not. Here is what she did say in context in a speech in 2004: "We need to have profound compassion for the people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life, and sexual disorders. This is a very real issue. It's not funny, it's sad. Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle – we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It's a very sad life. It's part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It's anything but gay."
Now, I shouldn't have to explain the way the English language works to producers and editors at CNN and other major news agencies, but clearly that last inelegant statement does not say that individuals practicing homosexuality are "part of Satan." It suggests that it is satanic to suggest that the gay lifestyle is funny. There is no condemnation of individuals in her statement. Instead, the full context of her statement is urging compassion for people struggling with sexual dysfunction and sexual identity disorders.
No. 3: Did Marcus Bachmann call homosexuals "barbarians"?
No, he didn't. Again, in all of these deliberate misquotes and distortions, the actual words uttered by Michele and Marcus Bachmann reveal the truth.
Here's what he actually said in a radio interview about dealing with homosexuality: "I think you clearly say, 'What is the understanding of God's word on homosexuality?' We have to understand barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined and just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn't mean we're supposed to go down that road."
What Marcus Bachmann is talking about here is confronting non-believers with their sin – a widely accepted Christian principle. He's not calling homosexuals "barbarians." "Barbarians" is a euphemism for non-believers. He's talking about the need for individuals and societies to stop just doing whatever feels right and paying attention to God's moral absolutes. In other words, he's being a Christian.
Farah is reading a lot into that final statement. Given the close juxtaposition of the two words, a layman's reading of Bachmann's statement makes it very clear that he is indeed calling homosexuals "barbarians." The "euphemism" Farah takes refuge in -- that "barbarians" and "unbelievers" is interchangeable -- is not a common one; we don't even recall WND using it at any point. (Plus, it makes the fallacious assumption that it is somehow impossible to be gay and Christian.) While Farah is willing to impart to Bachmann words he never said and meanings he never expressed, the rest of us have to go by what actually came out of his mouth.
Of course, inventing creative meanings of what people said is nothing new for Farah -- he won a Slantie Award this year for somehow divining that President Obama's omission of the word "creator" when paraphrasing the Declaration of Independence during a speech was "an attempt at deicide."
WND Hides Facts On FDA Abortion Pill Report Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 13 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeated right-wing attacks on the "abortion pill" mifepristone, based on a newly released FDA report, but he ignored or downplayed mitigating factors, and he offered no context for the information.
Fourteen women have died in the United States alone and several thousand have experienced an "adverse event" after taking the abortion drug RU-486, according to a "quietly released" government report.
A Food and Drug Administration document, called the "Mifepristone U.S. Postmarketing Adverse Events Summary," is being highlighted by Liberty Counsel, a public interest legal organization that fights on behalf of the right to life, among other issues.
The report reveals the dangers of taking the drug, even though the Abortion Care Network reports on its website that many women "feel that Mifepristone is private and more natural."
Unruh didn't mention that the FDA's data was based on an estimated 1.52 million women in the U.S. who have taken mifepristone, and he didn't mention the report's statement that "These events cannot with certainty be causally attributed to mifepristone because of information gaps about patient health status, clinical management of the patient, concurrent drug use and other possible medical or surgical treatments."
Unruh also failed to offer context for how such a rate of adverse events compares to other medications. For instance, taking mifepristone is actually much safer than carrying a pregnancy to term; the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is around 13 per 100,000 live births.
For a comparison with an actual drug, the National Institutes of Health reports that in one clinital trial of the anti-cancer drug Avastin for use in treatingage-related macular degeneration, the rate of adverse events was 24 percent -- much higher than the FDA has identified with mifepristone.
Unruh also muddled the causes of those deaths, writing that "the deaths were blamed on sepsis, the use of drugs, methadone overdose, delayed onset of toxic shock-like syndrome, suspected homicide and ruptured ectopic pregnancies." Are Unruh and his right-wing buddies really going to blame deaths apparently caused by murder or drug overdoses on mifepristone? Removing the drug overdose- and homicide-related deaths, that leaves nine deaths out of 1.52 million women that might possibly be related to mifepristone.
Unruh seems to have based his article on a press release from the right-wing group Liberty Counsel, which makes the same omissions of context and fact that Unruh does.
Vadum Tosses Away GAO Report That Proves Him Wrong Topic: Capital Research Center
Media Matters detailed how Fox & Friends promoted a claim that "ACORN" -- which no longer exists -- is still receiving federal money, only to back down after being contacted by a federal spokesman who pointed out that the figure Fox & Friends cited was the amount that was unspent and reclaimed from a 2005 grant. The spokesman's claim is backed up by a Government Accountability Office report issued last month.
Fox & Friends appears to have taken its information from a post by Matthew Vadum at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website.
If you go to Vadum's personal website, you'll find a copy of his Big Government post. But before you see that, you will see a giant photo of Vadum taken from an appearance from Fox Business. That's taken from his appearance on the June 17 edition of Follow the Money, one of six apperances Vadum has made on that show since early June, according to a Nexis search.
Note that in the picture, Vadum is holding a copy of a GAO report on federal funding of ACORN. During the segment, he attacked the report for not hating ACORN as much as he does, dismissing it as "like teenage interns were researching on Google for a few hours" and accusing it of not detailing as many ACORN-related voter fraud convictions as he found (never mind that doing so was outside of the report's scope). In a dramatic flourish, Vadum declared that "you can just throw it away if you want" as he tossed the report behind him, pages fluttering.
Perhaps Vadum shouldn't have tossed that GAO report away -- it's the very same report that disproves his claim.
The GAO report references the grant Vadum cited at Big Government, a $527,000 grant awarded to ACORN Housing Corp. by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2005. A footnote continues: "The grant was closed with a balance of $461,086 not expended before the expenditure deadline." That's the same $481,086 Vadum claimed in his Big Government post that HUD "gave ACORN ... in January."
Vadum's Big Government post contains no update or correction at this writing, though the version at his own website has an update noting that a HUD spokesman -- the same one who contacted Fox & Friends -- pointed out that the money was "de-obligated and recovered," not awarded and spent.
There's a bit of irony in the fact that Vadum's website features a photo of himself holding a report that, had he actually read it closely instead of theatrically tossing it away, would have saved him some embarrassment.