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Friday, September 9, 2011
What Passes For 'Media Criticism' At The MRC
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer offers this bon mot of "media criticism" in a Sept. 7 NewsBusters post on a poll the Associated Press conducted with the polling firm GfK:

I determined that the joint effort's acronym should really stand for "Absolutely Pathetic Garbage for Koolaiders."

Real mature, Tom. But that's how the MRC rolls.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:45 AM EDT
MRC Has Another Transgender Freakout
Topic: Media Research Center

Earlier this year, Erin R. Brown, writer for the Media Research Center's Culture & Media Institute, had a big ol' hissy fit about a J. Crew ad that featured a 5-year-old boy with painted toenails, calling it "blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children." Now, faced with a transsexual who is committing the offense of existing, Brown is freaking out again.

In a Sept. 7 CMI article, Brown declares that ABC has "an ongoing PR problem" by the selection of Chaz Bono (formerly Chastity Bono) as a contestant for "Dancing With the Stars." Why? Brown doesn't really explain, other than to suggest that Bono's existence has somehow sullied a "once-family friendly show."

Brown claims that this is all part of some sinister "LGBT Agenda" on ABC's part, but, again, she provides no offense beyond the mere existence of Chaz Bono. Apparently, in Brown's world, transsexuals, if they must exist, are not supposed to be seen or heard.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 AM EDT
WND Strains To Find 'Giant Cross' In Crane Collapse
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Sure, WorldNetDaily strives to be piously (if hypocritically) Christian, but it's pushing it with a Sept. 7 article that strives to find "a haunting image of a giant cross" in an overturned crane at the National Cathedral in Washington:

Despite the fact it's clearly nothing but an overturned crane with stability arms sticking out, WND declares that "The cross image is reminiscent of the cross that emerged from twisted metal at Ground Zero after the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001."

Sometimes an overturned crane is just an overturned crane.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 9, 2011 2:54 AM EDT
Thursday, September 8, 2011
WND Dishonestly Edits Hoffa's Remarks
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a Sept. 6 WorldNetDaily article, Drew Zahn selectively edits James Hoffa's Labor Day remarks for maximum inflammatory effect:

When the leader of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters declares of tea partiers that it's time to "take these sons of bitches out," one union watchdog warns, it should be taken as more than just ranting rhetoric.

[...]

Hoffa made the comments at a rally in Michigan yesterday, in a speech leading up to an appearance by President Barack Obama. Hoffa declared that there is a "war on workers" being perpetrated by the tea party:

"President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march," Hoffa added. "Let's take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong."

In fact, Hoffa prefaced the "sons of bitches" statement by stating, "Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize." Thus, Zahn dishonestly presents Hoffa's remarks as advocating violence.

Aiding Zahn in his dishonest journalism is anti-union activist Rick Berman, a human being so loathsome his own son describes him as "a despicable man," "a sort of human molestor," and "An exploiter. A scoundrel. A world historical mother******* son of a bitch."

Zahn also can't get basic things like names correct. He lets Berman's description of Hoffa as "Jimmy Hoffa Jr." stand as the first reference to Hoffa; in fact, like George W. Bush, he is not a "Jr." by virtue of a different middle name. He's James P. Hoffa, and his father is James R. Hoffa.

Why trust a "news" organization that makes such basic, lazy errors?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:48 PM EDT
Matt Barber's Dishonest Anti-Dominionism
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has published its second dishonest column so far this week, this one by professional gay-basher Matt Barber attempting to mock those who write about Christian dominionism:

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has warned that much of the Republican presidential field embraces this startling, seditious sect of extreme fundamentalism. She’s breathlessly warned that Christian Dominionists “believe they have a direct line to God” and intend to “clear the way for the [end of the world]…by infiltrating and taking over government.”

The Daily Beast/Newsweek chimes the tocsin with a hard-hitting, brilliantly penned – though deeply disturbing to all who love freedom – investigative piece headlined: “A Christian Plot for Domination?”

Author Michelle Goldberg warns that Mrs. Bachmann and Mr. Perry are deeply entrenched in a “little-known movement of radical Christians” who are preparing “an army of God” to “commandeer civilian government.”
But it gets worse. It’s much bigger than all that.

Now, you may laugh. You may think these anti-Christian “Dominioners” like Maddow, Goldberg and Mantyla – these fearless progressives risking all to sound the alarm on the rising threat of Christian Dominionism – are just a bunch of liberal, tinfoil hat-wearing kooks.

You might believe they’re merely a left-wing gaggle of tattooed, body-pierced pot-brownie pies in pajamas, no different than 9/11-truthers, global-warmers or Holocaust-deniers.

Oh, you may suppose these liberal Dominioners – daring beyond measure – are simply a batty band of anti-Christian bigots and Daily-Kos-, MSNBC-types looking to smear Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and other GOP presidential hopefuls as a bunch of clandestine theocrats bent on Christian world domination.

Barber's denial of dominionism, and his attempt to portray those who document it as conspiracy-mongers on a level with truthers, is made all the more hilarious by the fact that Barber's employer, Liberty Counsel, is a promoter of dominionism. As PFAW's Mantyla notes:

You know, it takes a special sort of ignorant dishonesty to work for an organization that directly sponsors a dominionism conference organized by a bona fide Christian Reconstruction group that advocates the death penalty for homosexuality and then, when people start to point that out, respond by attacking your opponents as a bunch of kooks and comparing them to Holocaust-deniers.

That, however, is exactly the kind of ignorant dishonesty that gets CNS to publish your columns.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 AM EDT
AIM's Irvine Misreads Video, Reads Minds
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Did Don Irvine even watch the video he's attacking?

In a Sept. 5 Accuracy in Media post, Irvine writes of the "Fox News Sunday" interview between Chris Wallace and Dick Cheney, in which Wallace had shown a clip of Cheney on NBC's "Today" show in order to throw him a softball question about media bias:

Wallace had just shown Cheney a clip in which, after his interview with Matt Lauer of the Today Show, the camera zeroed in on a sign held by a protestor outside the studio that said to investigate Cheney. This was totally unnecessary and could have been avoided.

In fact, it's clear from the video that the NBC camera is zooming out of a crowd of people, during which time someone jumps in front of the camera with the sign.

Further, Irvine is mind-reading when he claims that the shot was "totally unnecessary and could have been avoided." How does he know the circumstances of that shot? He doesn't.

Inaccurate analysis and mind-reading hardly constitute "accuracy in media."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:58 AM EDT
WND Treats Supermarket Tabloid's Birther Claims As Credible
Topic: WorldNetDaily

This is the state of birtherism at WorldNetDaily these days -- it's thrilled that a second-rate supermarket tabloid touts its birther crap.

A Sept. 4 WND article by Drew Zahn praises how "The grocery-line tabloid Globe has made a front-page headline out of Obama's eligibility," hyping how "the published reports of 20 experts with established credentials who conducted forensic examination of the computer PDF file published on the White House website and the Xerox copies of the Obama birth certificate handed out by the White House to the press during an April 27, 2011, press conference." But as even WND's own Jerome Corsi has admitted, none of WND's so-called "experts" are certified forensic document examiners, since they aren't so dumb, as WND apparently is, to treat a PDF file as an original document.

Zahn also referenced "Doug Vogt, a scanner expert who has analyzed the Obama birth certificate documents released by the White House and who has already filed a criminal complaint with the FBI, charging the document is 'created forgery,' to no avail," without mention that Vogt's assertions have been discredited.

Of course, when WND is treating second-rate supermarket tabloid reports as credible, there's little reason to trust anythingelse WND has to say, either.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Ken Blackwell Repeats NLRB Myths At CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com

Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski forward a whole bunch of baseless attacks on the National Labor Relations board in a Sept. 6 CNSNews.com column.

Blackwell and Klukowski assert that the NLRB's action against Boeing is an attempt to "dictate to a private company where they can and cannot open factories or create jobs." That's false; the NLRB complaint against Boeing alleges that the company moved jobs to South Carolina in retaliation for union employees engaging in lawful strikes in its Washington base.

The authors also claim that the NLRB is "claiming jurisdiction over St. Xavier University, saying that the school doesn’t qualify for the religious exemption to NLRB’s authority because St. Xavier is not Catholic enough." In fact, as we've previously detailed, the NLRB ruled that the school could not block faculty members from forming a union because it imposed no religious restrictions on the education they provide. The school's articles of incorporation "does not contain any reference to religion, God, Catholicism, Sisters of Mercy, or CMHE; instead it speaks only to the purpose of education," that the school "does not investigate the religious beliefs of its students, faculty, or trustees," and that it "has no requirement for faculty, including adjuncts, to espouse or emphasize Catholicism in their teachings or imbue students with the tenets of the Catholic faith."

Blackwell and Klukowski went on to claim that a recent NLRB ruling "stripp[ed] workers of the right to promptly contest the results of a vote to form a union." In fact, the ruling restores longstanding procedures on contesting union elections that both employees and the employer agreed to that were themselves overturned in a 2007 NLRB ruling.

Finally, the authors claim that "President Obama’s federal card-check legislation" would "abolish the secret ballot." In fact, the Employee Free Choice Act would have stripped employers, not workers, of the right to demand a secret ballot.

Doesn't anyone at CNS fact-check their columnists? Apparently not.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:58 PM EDT
MRC Complains Non-News Isn't Being Covered
Topic: Media Research Center

A Sept. 6 MRC Culture & Media Institute article by Paul Wilson complains that the major news networks "won't touch" the story of "the exclusion of any religious participation from the Ground Zero memorial service during the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks." But Wilson failed to mention one pertinent fact: it's not news.

The Wall Street Journal, in the article that Wilson noted "broke the story," stated that lack of participation by clergy "has been the case during past events marking the anniversary, and that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg "has said he wants the upcoming event to strike a similar tone as previous ceremonies."

Wilson didn't note therightward leanings of the Journal, nor did he not the right-wing leanings of Fox News as he touted how fox News shows "The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, The Five, and Fox News Watch all produced segments on the issue." Of course, if he had, that might have given away the partisan game he's playing.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:26 PM EDT
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 5 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein credits anonymous "informed Israeli officials" with a claim that "The Obama administration is applying intense pressure on Israel to issue an apology for the 2010 raid of a Hamas-supporting flotilla attempting to enter the Gaza Strip."

As is common practice for Klein's anonymously sourced articles, there is no on-the-record confirmation of the anonymous sources' claims, or is any reason given as to why anyone should trust what Klein's "informed Israeli officials" have to say.

Further, Klein's anonymously sourced assertion appears to contradict previous statements by the Obama adsministration that the flotilla was damaging to the long-term security of Israel. But it wouldn't be the first time Klein has hidden behind anonymous sources to hurl false claims against Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:55 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome, Wayne Allyn Root Edition
Topic: Newsmax

Socialism always sounds sexy, until your economy collapses and your government runs out of other people’s money. It’s always the same ending.

You can’t put a “community activist” who has never run a business, created a job, or made a payroll, and has only one talent — reading teleprompters — in charge of the world’s biggest economy.

This story was always going to end badly. That one was easy to predict.

-- Wayne Allyn Root, Sept. 6 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
AIM's Kincaid Still Trying to Smear Leon Panetta
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid complains in a Sept. 5 Accuracy in Media column that a Washington Post series on "Top Secret America" is hiding "the real secrets." But in the course of his attack, Kincaid makes it clear he's keeping his own secrets.

Kincaid dredges up an attack on Leon Panetta, claiming that he was involved with the "Marxist" Institute for Policy Studies." But as Media Matters detailed, Kincaid's previous attempts to sabotage Panetta's nomination as secretary of defense by portraying him as a secret communist failed spectacularly after Kincaid and his partner, foreigner Trevor Loudon, vastly overstated the significance of constitutent correspondence between Panetta, a congressman in the 1980s, and a resident of his district.

Meanwhile, Kincaid whines about the anthrax case, whining that "Post reporter Marilyn Thompson covered and wrote a book, The Killer Strain, on the anthrax case and unfairly pointed the finger at Dr. Steven Hatfill, who was labeled a 'person of interest' but never charged and was later officially exonerated, to the point where he collected $6 million in damages from the Department of Justice and the FBI for using the media to finger him."

But as Thompson herself pointed out when her book was released: "There is such a strong circumstantial trail surrounding Steven Hatfill that the FBI would have been completely lax not to pursue it vigorously. He remains the key "person of interest" in this case because of an inconclusive polygraph and the fact that FBI bloodhounds I.D.'ed him. But the circumstantial links are compelling and need to be conclusively nailed."

Kincaid went on to declare:

The anthrax case, which was prematurely closed by the FBI when another persecuted suspect killed himself rather than fight for his reputation, was the work of al-Qaeda operatives on U.S. soil, according to the most authoritative book on the subject, Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense. This evidence suggests that the real problem facing the “National Security State” is infiltration and penetration by enemies of the U.S. and not enough safeguards against the internal subversive threat.

As we've previously noted, Kincaid has previously come to the defense of Bruce Ivins, the suspect he curiously won't name here. He has yet to address the recent evidence presented against Ivins, particularly a book strongly implicating Ivins in the anthrax attacks.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:14 PM EDT
WND's Erik Rush Invents Obama Race Riot Tweets
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush may have called President Obama a prison rapist, but he's not even saving his best Obama derangement for WND.

Here he is at something called The Daily Pledge creating fake Obama tweets:

Hey, BHO, you and I both know it…

You're the Incredible Shrinking President; shrinking, shrinking, before America's eyes.

Your arrogant minions and most of the press still carry the water for you, but that’s about it at this point. You’ve been deserted faster than a discourteous leper with body odor and halitosis.

But wait! The Incredible Shrinking President still has fingers, right? Maybe you can use them to send out some more tweets!

From @barackobama: "Obama n trubl. Take 2 streets"

Like anyone will listen, as you brandish the last weapon in your psychological warfare arsenal - The Race Riot.

Oh, yes – the prognosticators are already saying that the 2012 election cycle is going to be Race Card City, even though you already played that one. The faithful few are following your lead and trying to drum up some anger among blacks, but their rhetoric has already worn thin... Career race-baiters like Maxine Waters painting patriots as new age klansmen, hiding in the bushes with nooses at the ready. Members of the New Black Loser Party spewing ignorance and vitriolic hate…

Are you serious? The blacks and liberals you’re trying to incite to revolt are the same black folks you’ve led into 20-plus percent unemployment. A few of the really stupid ones might congregate on a few corners, but they’ll be more or less alone – except for the riot police who show up to arrest them.

America’s streets aren’t going to swell with outraged citizens, ready to do battle with nonexistent armies of Tea Party racists; they’re more likely to swell with outraged citizens as you're exposed and deposed.

Like anyone will think you aren't being treated exactly as you deserve…

From @barackobama: "America deposes 1st blk Prez! Riot in streets!"

Get real. Who in America is willing to lay down his life for you? You're just not worth it. By now, everyone knows you'd never do that for them.

Well, if there's anyone who knows firsthand about spewing ignorace and vitrolic hate, it's Erik Rush.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 PM EDT
Newsmax Baselessly Claims Study 'Debunks Manmade Global Warming'
Topic: Newsmax

An item in Newsmax's Sept. 4 "Insider Report" carries the headline, "New Evidence Debunks Manmade Global Warming." Just one problem: it doesn't.

Newsmax is referencing a study by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, that examined the effect of the sun's cosmic rays on creation of aerosol particles in the atmosphere. Newsmax uncritically repeats comments by Lawrence Solomon -- who wrote a book lauding "the world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud" -- calling the study "convincing new evidence" that "point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth."

But as Media Matters notes, the lead author of the study says it "actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate."

Newsmax also quotes Solomon citing CERN scientist Jasper Kirkby as an early promoter of a theoretical link between cosmic rays and global warming. But Media Matters reports that Kirkby has said that the study's findings don't call into question the basic science of greenhouse gas warming, that it's "part of the jigsaw puzzle ... But it in no way disproves the other pieces."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:48 AM EDT
Noel Sheppard's Double Standard on Adult-Level Commentary
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard got the vapors when Mark Shields said that Mitt Romney "has more positions than the Kama Sutra," huffing in a Sept. 3 NewsBusters post, "For those conceivably unaware, the Kama Sutra is a roughly two thousand year old Hindu guide to sexual positions. As Krauthammer scoffed, this seems hardly appropriate for a political talk show." Sheppard went on to wonder if this was "a little too off-color a comment ... or am I getting prudish in my old age?"

But Sheppard apparently has no problem with off-color language when it's directed at his political enemies. As we noted, it was just a couple weeks ago, in an Aug. 16 post, that Sheppard too delight in Rush Limbaugh's insult wondering "which NBC personality" might be found in President Obama's next colonoscopy.

And it was just two days earlier that Sheppard repeated his delight at Limbaugh's scatology, chortling that Limbaugh said that "If they ever do a colonoscopy on Obama, they're gonna find Richard Wolffe's head there." Sheppard heartily endorsed this insult: "At the moment, the winner appears to be Wolffe, but with the number of Obama-loving sycophants out there, this can change on an hourly basis."

Whose colon is Sheppard camping out in that he is allowed to risk the Media Research Center's501(c)3 statuse that he is permitted to engage in such partisan insults that clearly violate the MRC's "media criticism" mandate?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT

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