MRC Judges Debate Questions -- But Not The One Sponsored By Fox Topic: Media Research Center
A Sept. 13 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Geoffrey Dickens determined that "there were far more liberal questions (13) to the GOP candidates" at the recent CNN-sponsored Republican presidential debate "than there were conservative-oriented questions at the NBC News debate." As per usual for MRC "research," Dickens did not explain how he determined what a "liberal" question was as opposed to a "conservative" question; no indication is given that a objective research metric was determined, leading one to believe that any such judgment was entirely subjective.
But there were three major GOP presidential candidate debates in the past month or so, not two. What about the third one? Dickens says nothing about it.
Well, that Aug. 11 debate was sponsored by two right-wing media entities, Fox News and the Washington Examiner. Perhaps the MRC doesn't want to concede that these conservative outlets asked questions that, had they been asked by employees of CNN or NBC, would get immediately pegged as "liberal."
For instance, the indisputably conservative Byron York asked Michele Bachmann about her previous statements that wives should be "submissive" to their husbands --something that Dickens and any other MRC employee would be screaming "liberal" over had it come out of the mouth of, say, Wolf Blitzer or Brian Williams (both of whom Dickens took to task for their supposedly "liberal" lines of questioning). And Newt Gingrich got all huffy and accused Fox News host Chris Wallace -- who knows how to toe the Fox corporate line, as his interview with Jon Stewart demonstrated -- of asking "gotcha questions."
When NewsBusters "creator" Matthew Sheffield highlighted how Gingrich attacked one of his inqusitors for biased question sduring the NBC debate, he inexplicably failed to mention that Gingrich did the very same thing to Wallace in the Fox-Examiner debate. The only reference in a NewsBusters itemto York's question to Bachmann is a passing one in a post by Tim Graham bashing Frank Shaffer for using it to foment "panic and paranoia about the Fundamentalist Menace."
You'd think that the MRC would be rushing to highlight such questions as a way to prove that Fox isn't a monolithically right-wing outlet. Then again, the Fox debate was the only one that MRC chief Brent Bozell felt compelled to judge; he offered no similar grading of the NBC- and CNN-sponsored debates.
The MRC has a history of going out of its way not to judge Fox by the same standards it applies to the other networks it attacks, presumably because it would prove that Fox is at least as conservative as those other networks, in its mind, are "liberal."
Janet Porter Isn't Far-Right Enough For WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've documented, Joseph Farah's frequent claim that WorldNetDaily "carries the widest ideological spectrum of political commentary anywhere on the Internet" is largely a sham, since the token liberal opinion is far outweighed by the sheer number of right-wing opinions. If there is any "spectrum" of opinion, it ranges from right to far right.
Here's an example.
A Sept. 20 WND column by Dr. Patrick Johnston is a response to a Sept. 12 WND column by right-wing extremist and prodigious liar Janet Porter touting the "heartbeat bill " she's pushing in Ohio, which would forbid abortion of a fetus if its heartbeat can be detected. Porter has all but admitted that the bill is part of her broader goal to outlaw all abortion, even though she inadvertently demonstrated that the heartbeat of a 9-week-old fetus is virtually undetectable.
And what is Johnson's rebuttal to Porter? That her bill is too liberal because it allows exceptions for the life of the mother and doesn't prosecute the mother for having an abortion:
First, let us examine the bill's exceptions. Abortions are permitted for the health and life of the mother.
Is it ever right to intentionally kill an innocent child? Consenting to the intentional killing of one innocent person to save another is never justified. It is not right or necessary to kill the baby to save the mother. A premature delivery may be necessary to save the mother's life, but every care should be taken to ensure the health and life of both patients.
Furthermore, this bill specifically exempts the mother from prosecution. Why does the bill exempt accomplices? In Justice Blackmun's Roe v. Wade decision, he criticizes such hypocrisy. Read his comment on the hypocrisy of Texas' anti-abortion law: "It has already been pointed out ... that in Texas the woman is not a principal or an accomplice with respect to an abortion upon her. If the fetus is a person, why is the woman not a principal or an accomplice? Further, the penalty for criminal abortion specified ... is significantly less than the maximum penalty for murder prescribed by ... the Texas Penal Code. If the fetus is a person, may the penalties be different?"
Good questions, Justice Blackmun. The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court may be blind to justice, but it certainly wasn't blind to hypocrisy. The Heartbeat Bill hypocritically denies some preborn children their constitutional, God-given right to life.
Even if the Heartbeat Bill did overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issue back to the states, it would not protect preborn children in Ohio. It is our hope that the Ohio Personhood Amendment to the Ohio Constitution would protect the God-given rights of every Ohioan. Please visit PersonhoodOhio.com to learn more.
Only at WorldNetDaily would the views of Janet Porter not be right-wing enough.
Tim Graham Joins The MRC's Transgender Freakout Topic: NewsBusters
Apparently, it's official Media Research Center policy to attack Chaz Bono for existing.
Joining in the growingparade of MRC figures bashing Bono's appearance on this season's "Dancing With the Stars" is Tim Graham, who used a Sept. 16 NewsBusters post to express his displeasure that a Fox News host, Megyn Kelly, committed the offense of defending "'transgender' activist" Bono from the attacks of another Fox News figure, Dr. Ketih Ablow. Graham added, "Who said Fox News was the right-wing channel?"
Of course, if Graham really believes that, he also has to admit that ABC is not the "liberal media" outlet he and his employer portray it as because the MRC's Dan Gainor made an appearance on ABC's "Nightline" to peddle his employer's talking points on Bono.
Graham has decided that anyone who doesn't despise transgenders as much as he does is some kind of "activist." In addition to Bono, Graham described Kelly as "a 'special guest' at a Manhattan fundraiser for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association" (and someone who "is going to earn an award from LGBT activists for getting vein-popping angry" at Ablow), and an article by a psychiatrist who rebutted Ablow "was borrowed from the blog of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT lobby -- which might make one think there's more than 'science' here in the mix." As if Graham's Bono-bashing was free from the taint of pushing an agenda.
After noting Kelly's response to Ablow's silly contention that young children might get confused about their gender by watching Bono on "Dancing with the Stars" by noting that "our children are no more likely to turn transgender from watching Chaz Bono on this show than they are likely to turn gay from watching 'Will and Grace,'" Graham huffed: "Kelly did not admit that gay-left advocates often cite pro-LGBT shows on the major networks as proof that 'tolerance' is on the march and conservatives should stop opposing them in public."
Well, Graham did not admit that the psychiatrist he attacked as purportedly being too close to "the nation's largest LGBT lobby," Jack Drescher, stated that Ablow made his claims "without much scientific evidence,' and that Ablow's "views on gender confusion mix apples with oranges and have little basis in current clinical practices." Nor did Graham mention that the writer, according to his FoxNews.com bio, is "a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders."
We'd trust Drescher on this stuff much more than we would Graham, Ablow, or anyone else at the MRC.
Right-wing activist Robert Knight penned a column for the Washington Times headlined "Obama tears up the Constitution," in which he accused President Obama of having "compiled a spectacular record of noncompliance with the Constitution" and "failed to execute the laws while using raw, unauthorized power." But as Media Matters detailed, Knight misleads or is completely wrong on everything from the Defense of Marriage Act to the New Black Panthers to immigration.
Then again, WND founder and editor Joseph Farah has admitted that his website publishes misinformation, so it's really no surprise that it would so blatantly hide the truth in order to advance its right-wing political agenda.
NewsBusters Complains That Media Describes Historic Event As Historic Topic: NewsBusters
A Sept. 20 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan complained that "The Big Three networks unequivocally celebrated the end of the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy as a 'historic moment' on their Tuesday morning programs."
That's right -- Balan is complaining that a historic event is being described in the media as historic.
The MRC has an issue with conceding that historical events are historic when they involve arguably liberal causes. Earlier this year, Balan cited as an example of John Roberts' "reputation for liberal bias" his description of America's first presidential primary between a black and a woman as "historic."
CNS Runs Another AP Headline Through The Bias Machine Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com adds yetanotherentry to its growing list of Associated Press headlines it has rewritten to add right-wing bias.
Here's how the AP headlined an Sept. 20 article on the season debut of "Dancing With the Stars," which includes transgendered Chaz Bono: "New 'Dancing' cast makes its ballroom debut."
Run that same story through the bias machine at CNS, and it magically has a new headline: "'Dancing With the Stars' Rolls Out Its Transgender-Acceptance Season."
Never mind that the word "transgender" never appears in the article, nor does it discuss the issue of "acceptance." The MRC clearly has an agenda to push, and its marching orders are to freakout over the existence of Bono.
Between the rampant headline-rewriting and its bashing of AP as a "liberal media outlet," one has to wonder why CNS even bothers to pay it money for the privilege of publishing its stories on the CNS website (beyond trying to create the illusion that CNS is a real "news" organization, that is).
Posted by Terry K.
at 12:35 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:41 AM EDT
Kessler Fluffs Bush Through Plagiarism-Prone Ex-Aide Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler has been a longtimefluffer of George W. Bush and his presidency. A new book by a former Bush aide gives him the opportunity to fluff once again.
Kessler's Sept. 15 column downplays the rampant plagiarism former Bush aide Tim Goeglein committed -- it's not mentioned until the fifth paragraph of his column, and well after he calls Goeglein "the conservative voice of the White House" who "acted as liaison with conservatives, taking Bush’s message to them and bringing back their concerns and suggestions" -- and quickly turns the story to the saintly actions of Bush:
“I departed the White House that Friday shattered and fearful, exiting the White House gates as I had done a thousand times before and vowing to myself that, even as I returned to work to foster a smooth transition for my successor, I would never again darken the doorstep of the West Wing,” Goeglein writes.
The following week, Josh Bolten, Bush’s chief of staff, told Goeglein that Bush wanted to see him. A few days later, Goeglein walked into the Oval Office and began by offering an apology; Bush cut him off.
“Tim,” he said, “I want you to know I forgive you.”
“But Mr. President, I owe you . . .”
“Tim,” he said, “I have known mercy and grace in my own life, and I am offering it to you now. You are forgiven,” he said firmly.
Then Bush stunned Goeglein even more. Bush said he wanted him to bring in his wife Jenny and two sons. The following week, they all met with Bush in the Oval Office.
“He gave each boy presidential gifts; photos were snapped; hugs all around and handshakes; we departed in a daze of gratitude,” Goeglein says.
“I was stunned not only that he offered his sense of forgiveness to me but also that he wanted to extend that grace and mercy to my family,” Goeglein says.
Kessler lets Goeglein explain away his plagiarism as "an extension of my horrid pride," as he also downplayed the extent of it. Kessler wrote that according to the Fort Wayne, Ind., newspaper that published Goeglein, "20 of 38 Goeglein columns between 2000 and 2008 contained 'portions copied from other sources without attribution.'" In fact, the paper found a total of 27 Goeglein columns dating to 1995 containing some form of plagiarism. Kessler also denies credit to the blogger who first discovered the plagiarism.
Kessler does, however, make sure offer a weird endorsement of Goeglein's book: "In his book, he presents a thoughtful critique of conservatism and what it means today. Ironically, in view of his plagiarism, the book is a breezy read, impressively researched, and full of thoughtful insights."
Kessler does not indicate whether he did any spot-checking to see if Goeglein plagiarized any part of his book.
Vadum Desperate to Link Anything To ACORN Topic: WorldNetDaily
We already know that Matthew Vadum is extremelyfact-challenged. Turns out he's also desperate to peddle his WorldNetDaily-published, ACORN-bashing book "Subversion Inc." by desperately trying to tie random news events to ACORN.
A Sept. 13 WND article highlights how Andrea Pringle, a senior aide to Washington, D.C., mayor Vincent Gray -- described as a "high-level Democratic Party insider" -- admitted to voting in the District of Columbia in one election, even though she lives in Maryland; according to the article, this "appears to constitute voter fraud." The headline calls Pringle an "ACORN operative" even though no direct ACORN employment is noted and any actual connection to ACORN is tangental at best, like this:
She was campaign manager for former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, D-Ill., when she sought the presidency in 2004. Barack Obama helped to elect Braun to the U.S. Senate in 1992 when he ran a successful get-out-the-vote effort for ACORN subsidiary Project Vote.
Yeah, that's all WND and Vadum have.
The point of the article was to plug Vadum's book, featuring this Vadum quote: "The tired old refrain we keep hearing from the Left is that voter fraud is a myth, but in fact it is fairly common crime." Well, no; Vadum offers no evidence that this was anything other than an isolated instance, or that Pringle set out to deliberately commit "voter fraud." Pringle has said that she voted in D.C. because she had not officially established residence in Maryland.
We can only assume Vadum's book is filled with the same kind of desperate guilt-by-association as this article.
CNS' Ingratitude to the Associated Press Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com pays a fee to the Associated Press for the right to publish AP wire copy on its website. And what does the AP get from CNS (and its parent, the Media Research Center)? Nothing but ingratitude.
A Sept. 19 CNS article by Susan Jones on President Obama's deficit reduction plan contained this line: "As for Obama’s call to put 'country above party,' even liberal media outlets don’t see it that way." And what is the only "liberal media outlet" that Jones cites? The Associated Press. At no point does Jones offer any evidence that the AP is "liberal."
Then, Jones rather hilariously includes this footnote at the end: "The Associated Press contributed some of the information used in this report."
CNS is paying AP for the privilege of insulting it. Talk about ingratitude. If the AP is so "liberal," why is paying to run the AP's news on its website?
Even more funny: The sign-up box for CNS' email newsletter contains this exhortation: "Be the first to know all of the news that the liberal media are hiding." It's laughable for CNS to make that claim when much of the news on the CNS website is directly from that very same "liberal media" it purports to despise.
Either CNS has no scruples and is simply paying for AP copy to create a veneer of credibility it wouldn't have otherwise, or it simply doesn't care about the logical inconsistency of publicly bashing a news organization it pays to obtain the content it's bashing.
If the AP is so horrible, CNS should cancel its contract.
Apparently, a condition of employment at WorldNetDaily is that you must be a birther. WND's Aaron Klein has used his WABC radio show in the past few weeks to peddle some key birther claims about the supposed inauthencity of President Obama's birth certificate.
On the Sept. 4 edition of his radio show, Klein told guest, fellow WND employee and fellow birther Jerome Corsi that "I personally hired independent forensics experts, as did WorldNetDaily -- but I did myself. They didn't know who I was, they didn't know each other, and they independently verified that there were modifications made, that they found modifications on the birth certificate PDF document that was released. They can't say what the modifications were, but that already raises questions." Klein offers no further elaboration on who these so-called "experts" are.
That would be surprising, because Corsi has already admitted that no real forensic document examiners will venture an opinion on the authenticity of the PDF file, and that none of the so-called "experts" he has cited are not "traditionally trained court-authorized forensic document examiners." That raises questions about the so-called "experts" Klein retained. Further, WND has already pointed out that the "modifications" that were made were done to enhance the legibility of the document -- hardly the conspiracy he suggests it is.
Klein complained that anyone who peddles birther conspiracies "are disparaged, they are smeared by the media" -- then inadvertently demonstrated why that is by letting Corsi spin his conspiracy that Donald Trump is secretly working with Obama to exploit the issue to achieve Obama's re-election.
Klein expanded on his birtherism on his Sept. 18 radio show while ranting about the Obama campaign's new AttackWatch.com site, bizarrely blaming Obama for the birther rebuttal on the site: "Obama making the birth certificate and issues of eligibility into a story again. Not me, not anybody else, it is Obama." Um, wasn't Klein jusdt talking about it two weeks earlier? Yes, he was. Talk about projection.
He insisted that he believes Obama was born in the United States, but he repeated his assertion that he hired (anonymous) experts who found supposed anomaies in the PDF file. Responding to the site's assertion that FactCheck.org verified the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate, Klein claimed that this was "misleading information" because "FactCheck.org is not a nonpartisan organization. It is funded by the Annenberg Challenge -- yes, the same Annenberg Challenge that funded the Chicago Annenberg Challenge that gave President Obama his first job. And who was the chairman of the board? Why, it was none other than Bill Ayers. So don't tell me on this website that FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan organization."
We've previously noted that Walter Annenberg, whose Annenberg Foundation was the source of the funding behind FactCheck.org and the Annenberg Challenge, was a prominent Republican. And FactCheck.org points out that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge "finished its work long before we came into being in late 2003," the two projects are among 5,200 grants funded by the Annenberg Foundation, and the current foundation chairman donated to John McCain's campaign in 2008.
Klein is also blatantly lying when he says that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge position was Obama's "first job." That would be in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlor as a teenager in Hawaii.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Wayne Allyn Root Edition Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax columnist Wayne Allyn Root has really been ramping up his Obamaderangement of late.
In his Sept. 7 column, Root depicted how he wanted President Obama's speech to Congress to go:
President Barack Obama has the most important speech of his presidency on Thursday. A speech built around creating jobs and inspiring economic recovery. You want an economic recovery? You want jobs? Two magical words are needed to change the course of history.
Two words change the future for millions of desperate unemployed Americans. Two words transform a depression into a boom. Two words motivate and inspire every business owner in America to create jobs. Two words free the U.S. economy from the current doom, despair, debt, depression, misery, and malaise.
Only two words need to be uttered by President Obama’s lips: “I resign.”
Imagine an Obama-Free America.
Overnight 2 1/2 years of pain are erased. Trillions of dollars and millions of jobs are brought back into the USA. Millions of business owners breathe a sigh of relief and begin to plan their recovery. Investors begin investing again, unleashing a torrent of buying and business expansion.
Root declared in his Sept. 14 column: It’s all over for Mr. Obama. He is a one-term president, destined to go down in the record books as the man who presided over a second Great Depression, the destruction of the middle class, and the loss of America’s Triple A credit rating." He then went off on another delusion:
I believe Hillary is weighing her options at this very moment. She now knows that blue-collar white Democratic voters across America have broken with Obama. The Jews are the final straw that broke the camel’s back. It is now clear that in places filled with white blue-collar voters — like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Texas — Hillary could defeat Obama in a presidential primary — just as I predicted 18 months ago.
Only one thing is holding Hillary back from a decision to jump into the race. I believe she is concerned with political strategy. She now knows she can defeat Obama in a Democratic primary. Her only concern is the loss of black voters for the general election.
If black voters see Hillary as a backstabber of their beloved Obama, and sit on their hands for the 2012 general election, Hillary cannot possibly defeat her Republican opponent. That is the debate now raging in Hillary’s camp of political advisers.
Her question is simple: Is there a way to defeat Obama but still retain the support of black Democratic voters for the general election?
Root really went to town in his Sept. 19 column, suggesting that Obama was like Hannibal Lecter:
President Barack Obama delivered a masterful and forceful speech on jobs a couple of weeks ago. He must think we are all lambs, sheeple, or complete idiots.
He must be counting on business owners being as ignorant as the traditional Obama voters who cry at his rallies and gush to the camera, “Now I’ll never have to worry about paying rent, or putting gas in my car.”
He must assume we are so naïve that we have forgotten or forgiven all Obama has done to demonize and punish business owners, and damage our businesses.
Obama must think we work so hard, we have no time to read the news. He must think that he can fool all the people, all the time. He must think we listen to what a man says, but we ignore what he does.
He must be hoping we’ll all remain silent, while he redistributes our money, targets and punishes business owners, destroys the U.S. economy, and poisons capitalism. He is counting on “the Silence of the Lambs.”
But I won’t be silenced. Neither will over 30,000,000 American small business owners. We aren’t lambs, or sheeple, or complete fools. You can fool some of the people Mr. Obama, but not all of the people. Some of us watch what you do, not what you say.
Is likening the president to a cannibalistic serial killer elevating the rhetoric? Uh, no.
WND Columnist Defends Taking Hoffa Out of Context Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Sept. 7 WorldNetDaily column, Phil Elmore went on a rampage against Labor Day speech the Labor Day speech made by union official James Hoffa (whom he misidentifies as "Jimmy Hoffa Jr."), taking out of context the statement "Let's take these son of a bitches out," declaring: "He was saying, clearly and publicly, that his political opponents in the tea party must be intimidated, assaulted and killed. That is what it means to "take out" someone whom you characterize in such profane terms. There is no other plausible explanation." Elmore didn't mention that Hoffa had prefaced his statement by saying, "Everybody here's got to vote."
Readers called Elmore on the out-of-context stuff in the Facebook comment thread attached to his column, further wondering why he didn't take to task similar rhetoric by right-wing activists, citing Michele Bachmann's 2010 comment, "We need to have your help for candidates like me. We need you to take out some of these bad guys."
Elmore didn't appreciate that, apparently, so he used his Sept. 14 column to double down. He complained about the "small army of leftist trolls and self-proclaimed "independents'" who criticized his out-of-context plucking of Hoffa's remark, dismissing them as "simply persistent contrarians trolling WND's pages." Elmore asserted that "Neither the alleged perfidy of Fox News nor the casual inclusion of a reference to voting excuse, rationalize, justify, or even sufficiently modify Hoffa's comments," adding:
When Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a deranged assassin, libs were quick to blame Sarah Palin for again creating that bothersome tone, that viciously evil atmosphere. Between the OKC bombing and Giffords' shooting were countless other examples of liberal ghouls eager to pin random acts of violence on conservatives as a group. It doesn't matter that a conservative or libertarian never says, explicitly, what liberals claim he or she is implying. Democrats' political opponents are presumed to speak in a complicated code that only lib augurs can interpret correctly.
When Jimmy Hoffa speaks, by contrast, he must be taken at his literal word, because he is a Democrat who supports Democrats. If he does not say, "we must physically assault our opponents," he must, we are told, be given the benefit of any doubt the rest of his violent rhetoric generates. Why, he even went so far as to mention voting in the "full clip," which was so scurrilously edited by the ever-nefarious Fox News to "smear" poor, innocent James P. Hoffa. How dare Fox paint him as a firebrand exhorting his followers to perpetrate violence?
The problem with Hoffa's original speech, and with his follow-up comments, is that his words are laden with violent metaphor and pregnant with threats both implied and credible. When an aggressive man speaking before an organization with a history of aggressive protest aggressively invokes deliberately aggressive imagery, then says, "of course, not aggressively," I don't believe him. If Hoffa had said, in the middle of his original speech about "taking out" those "son of a bitches," something like, "… but of course through nonviolent means," a disclaimer so explicit would still be insufficient to soften the loaded rhetoric surrounding it.
Elmore remained silent about Bachmann's "take out some of these bad guys" comment, let alone opine on whether we should be taking her at her literal word or merely focusing on tone and atmosphere.
Newsmax's Kessler Fluffs New RNC Chairman Topic: Newsmax
Ronald Kessler didn't give Michael Steele a fawning profile when he became Republican National Committee chairman in 2009 -- all he got was a mostly straightforward story on his plans. Kessler eventually turned on Steele, claiming that he "seemed to go out of his way to thumb his nose at fellow Republicans."
But there's a new RNC chairman now, and Reince Priebus is getting the full Kessler fluff treatment, right down to the banal personal details:
A lawyer from Wisconsin who ran the state Republican party, Priebus, 39, served as general counsel of the RNC under Steele. Priebus’ first name Reince rhymes with pints, as in pints of his favorite beer, Miller High Life from Wisconsin. In his office at just 6 p.m., Priebus offers me a cold Miller but does not seem offended when I go for a Heineken instead.
“I’ve got a bizarre name, but I’m about as normal as they come,” Priebus says. “I always tell people it’s what happens when you have a Greek and a German who get married. It’s a bit of a disaster.”
Priebus graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1994 and from the University of Miami School of Law in 1998. He met his wife, Sally, at a high school youth group; their first date was a Lincoln Day conservative dinner.
“We did go to a movie afterward,” Priebus says, “so it was a legitimate date.”
They married in 1998 and have two children, Grace, 1, and Jack, 6.
Priebus likes to fish and golf. He owns three shotguns, a rifle, and a handgun. He has enjoyed an occasional moose steak.
MRC Admits Social Security-Ponzi Scheme Is Bogus -- But Runs With It Anyway Topic: Media Research Center
Slavishly toeing the conservative line, the Media Research Center has embraced the erroneous idea that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme -- so much so that it lashes out anyone who proves otherwise.
That's what Clay Waters did in a Sept. 13 MRC TimesWatch post. He dismissed a New York Times blog post debunking the Social Security-Ponzi scheme comparison as a "liberally slanted fact check" by "two liberal reporters." Waters makes no attempt to disprove the fact-check -- thus conceding the factual basis that there is no connection -- but declares that the reporters are stupid for clinging to silly facts because the bogus comparison works as a talking point for right-wingers:
[Reporters Michael] Cooper and [Nicholas] Confessore seem unable to conceive that “Ponzi Scheme” is a (potent) metaphor for the unsustainable state of Social Security’s current financing trajectory (one that liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews has also recently employed), meaninglessly faulting Perry for his comparison not being an exact match in all particulars.
But, again, Waters offers no evidence that it matches up at all. In other words, winning a political argument matters more to Waters than the truth.
Another Dubious Islam 'Expert' Linked to WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've already noted how WorldNetDaily attempted to discredit Walid Shoebat for exposing holes in his past as a self-proclaimed former terrorist while giving presentations to law enforcement groups as a so-called expert on Islamic terrorism who engages in little more than Muslim-bashing. Now another dubious terrorism "expert" has WND ties as well.
Wired's Danger Room blog details how an FBI intelligence analyst named William Gawthrop has created Muslim-bashing research used in counterterrorism briefings for law enforcement. Before he joined the FBI, a 2006 WND article reported how Gawthrop said that the Pentagon has never conducted "a 'systematic study' of Muhammad's military doctrine" since "Muhammad's mindset is a source for terrorism," and that"hitting "soft spots" in the Islamic faith that, once exploited, "may induce a deteriorating cascade effect upon the target." But first, according to WND, Gawthrop said that "officials must first overcome the political taboo of linking Islamic violence to the religion of Islam."
Wired notes that such simplistic elevating of cherry-picked Quran verses is as useful a guide to terrorist behavior as “diving into the rite of exorcism” is to understanding Catholicism.