CNS Can't Understand Why Inaccurate Pollster Is Ignored Topic: CNSNews.com
In an Oct. 13 blog post, CNSNews.com communications director Craig Bannister complains:
Topping all other GOP contenders in a Rassmussen poll won’t help get you into the upcoming CNN GOP presidential debate – but, being a favorite in media polls will.
CNN’s self-described “objective criteria” for participation in its upcoming “Western Republican Presidential Debate” on Oct. 18 requires a candidate to meet a minimum two percent popularity threshold in at least three polls:
“A person must receive an average of at least 2.00 percent in at least three national polls released between September 1st and October 16th that were conducted by the following organization: ABC, AP, Bloomberg, CBS News/New York Times, CNN, FOX, Gallup, Los Angeles Times, Marist, McClatchy, NBC, Newsweek, Pew, Quinnipiac, Reuters, USA Today and Time.”
So, they’ll accept Gallup and Quinnipiac numbers (and, Marist?) – and those of 14 media groups – but, not Rassmussen poll results.
What did Rassmussen ever do to CNN?
Well, they suck. As analyst Nate Silver details about Rasmussen's polling for the November 2010 midterm elections:
The 105 polls released in Senate and gubernatorial races by Rasmussen Reports and its subsidiary, Pulse Opinion Research, missed the final margin between the candidates by 5.8 points, a considerably higher figure than that achieved by most other pollsters. Some 13 of its polls missed by 10 or more points, including one in the Hawaii Senate race that missed the final margin between the candidates by 40 points, the largest error ever recorded in a general election in FiveThirtyEight’s database, which includes all polls conducted since 1998.
Moreover, Rasmussen’s polls were quite biased, overestimating the standing of the Republican candidate by almost 4 points on average. In just 12 cases, Rasmussen’s polls overestimated the margin for the Democrat by 3 or more points. But it did so for the Republican candidate in 55 cases — that is, in more than half of the polls that it issued.
Rasmussen’s polls have come under heavy criticism throughout this election cycle, including from FiveThirtyEight. We have critiqued the firm for its cavalier attitude toward polling convention. Rasmussen, for instance, generally conducts all of its interviews during a single, 4-hour window; speaks with the first person it reaches on the phone rather than using a random selection process; does not call cellphones; does not call back respondents whom it misses initially; and uses a computer script rather than live interviewers to conduct its surveys. These are cost-saving measures which contribute to very low response rates and may lead to biased samples.
Rasmussen also weights their surveys based on preordained assumptions about the party identification of voters in each state, a relatively unusual practice that many polling firms consider dubious since party identification (unlike characteristics like age and gender) is often quite fluid.
Bannister tries to defend Rasmussen by noting that "Rassmussen’s Website boasts about coverage he’s gotten from two media organization’s not listed by CNN." But both of those quotes talk only about company head Scott Rasmussen, not about the accuracy of his polls (or lack thereof).
WND's Craige McMillan Brings the Hate Topic: WorldNetDaily
Craige McMillan really pegs the crazy meter in his Oct. 12 WorldNetDaily column. Let us count the ways:
Take a good look at the faces of the protesters you see in the streets, America. They are destined to become your new masters.
They are run from the White House.
Your tax dollars are paying them to overthrow the Constitution.
The community organizer directing them – by his own admission – lacks the natural born citizen qualification necessary to hold the office of the president.
Um, no he hasn't.
The Justice Department is corrupt. It is complicit in selling guns to Mexican drug lords that were used to kill American border patrol agents. This chief law-enforcement officer has repeatedly lied to Congress to cover up his gunrunning. His office has been from the beginning a political tool for the personal and political gain of the Oval Office occupant.
Secret evidence now lands American citizens on secret government lists, to be killed at will by the government without a jury trial.
An illegal federal police force (TSA) now demands "your papers" to move about the country. In fact, they not only demand your papers – they demand to put the long arm of the law up your privates.
Seems like McMillan is wishing that will happen to him someday.
Christians, for their moral stands against abortion and homosexuality, as well as their allegiance to Jesus Christ, and the wealthy, for their money and property, are both being demonized by the new National Socialists (Nazis) who wish to silence moral opposition to their rule and take the money and property for their own.
Congress is complicit with the new Nazis. Democrats in the Senate have made clear there is no such thing as an impeachable offense, be it lying under oath, usurpery or treason committed against the United States. In fact, both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi lied and violated their oath to protect the Constitution when they certified Obama without investigating the natural born citizenship claim.
Not being a birther makes you a Nazi? We had no idea.
Millions of illegal immigrants are being fast-tracked to the taxpayer benefit offices, and from thence to the election polls, to dilute the votes of American citizens next year. Others are simply not being deported or detained for their illegal entry and false identifications in this country. Lies and deceit are a standard of the new, rising party.
Not to mention the standard of McMillan.
While the new Nazis scratch and claw their way to permanent power, the conservative opposition tut-tuts how sad it all is. No, it's not sad now. It will be sad when they take your house, your savings, shoot you in the head and bury you in a mass grave outside of town with the others who have opposed their thievery and assent to power. That will be sad.
In the meantime, their is vague talk about administration members who have shredded the Constitution for personal and political gain "losing their jobs." This is laughable and pathetic. These people have attacked the deepest foundations of our democratic republic for their own personal power and financial gain. They seek nothing less than the destruction of liberty and freedom that this nation has always represented to the world. They need to lose their jobs – and then spend the rest of their natural lives in confinement for their crimes against humanity.
When I hear these words spoken by a "front-running" presidential candidate, then I will believe that a sliver of hope yet remains for America.
That makes the second columnist this week calling for imprisonment of the current administration for not agreeing with right-wing extremists. That's not the definition of a crime -- that's the definition of the Nazism McMillan purports to be raging against.
Congratulations, Mr. McMillan. You've demonstrated yourself to be a lying, rabid hatemonger who is just one step away from advocating violence to forward your anti-Obama hatred. No wonder Joseph Farah keeps you as a WND columnist.
NewsBusters: Anita Hill Lied! A 20-Year-Old USA Today Poll Said So! Topic: NewsBusters
Who are you going to believe, a lie detector or an opinion poll? That's the question Scott Whitlock sets up in an Oct. 12 NewsBusters post on an interview of Anita Hill, who testified against Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court nomination in 1991.
First, Whitlock complained that interviewer Andrea Mitchell didn't "challenge the honesty of Hill."Then, after noting that Mitchell pointed out that Hill "took a lie-detector test, a polygraph exam, privately administered from a former FBI official and that was not paid any attention to. There were other corroborating witnesses who were not permitted to testify," Whitlock responded: "Also, an October 14, 1991 USA Today poll found that 47 percent of Americans believed Thomas. Only 24 percent found Hill to be telling the truth."
Whitlock doesn't explain why he wants us to trust what an opinion poll once said about Hill's allegation over the results of a lie detector test. Still, it's part of the Media Research Center's revisionism on Hill, led by Tim Graham repeatedly -- and baselessly -- insisting that Hill is a liar.
WND's Klein Again Grants Anonymity to Terrorists Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed how WorldNetDaily loves to grant anonymity for seemingly everyone he interviews -- including terrorists, in total contradiction of WND editor Joseph Farah's assertion that Klein "doesn't use anonymous sources when he quotes senior terrorist leaders in Gaza and many of the most prominent Islamists in the world."
Klein does exactly that once again in an Oct. 11 WND article, in which he cites anonymous "Hamas leaders" as denying that an agreement has been reached for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured in 2006 by Palestinian militants during a raid on his military outpost.
Klein curiously cites only the Middle East satellite network Al Arabiyya as reporting Shalit's imminent release. In fact, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also made the claim.
So Klein is apparently taking the word of Middle Eastern terrorists over the right-wing head of Israel. Nice.
CNSNews.com has a bit of a thing for Rick Santorum.
Earlier this year, an interview CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey conducted with Santorum got lots of attention -- though for a Santorum statement someone else found, not anything CNS originally reported about it.
This week, though, CNS has flooded the zone to uncritically report the pearls coming out of Santorum's mouth:
In an Oct. 10 article, Jeffrey details Santorum's insistence on "Fox News Sunday" that it is "simply not true" that being black is the equivalent of being homosexual.
An Oct. 10 article by Matt Cover was also derived from Santorum's "Fox News Sunday" appearance, this one featuring his assertion that "every Mormon he knows shares his values--except Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."
A third Oct. 10 article, by Fred Lucas, promotes Jeffrey's latest Obama-bashing hobby horse, regulations in health care reform that purportedly forces Catholic institutions to cover "sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that cause abortions."
As we've pointed out when Jeffrey raised the issue, the drugs that Jeffrey and Lucas are talking about don't cause abortions according to the medical definition of the word.
Santorum is a Catholic -- just like MRC chief Brent Bozell and (by all appearances) Jeffrey, which may explain why CNS has been pushing right-wing Catholic issues like contraception of late.
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler wants to blow up some stuff.
In an Oct. 11 article, Kessler declares that the U.S. should bomb Iran's nuclear facilities in retaliation for an alleged plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador in the U.S.:
Kessler said that in an interview he had with Dick Cheney, the former vice-president had said he believed Israel would strike Tehran’s nuclear facilities if the U.S. refused. “But it would be much better if the U.S. did it because otherwise we are going to be in a position where we are going to be held hostage to Iran threatening to detonate a nuclear weapon on our soil unless we give in to whatever demands they might have.”
Ahmadinejad has described the alleged links with his government as “a fabrication,” but Kessler said nothing he says can be trusted. “He is basically nuts,” he said. “That’s what we had with Adolf Hitler – a raving lunatic.
“I would put Ahmadinejad in the same bracket as Hitler, definitely. Nobody thought Hitler would carry out any of his threats. We allowed Germany to re-arm despite the Armistice after World War I and look what we got – millions of deaths.
“We have the same people in denial, people who are isolationists in the United States who didn’t want to go after Nazi Germany and the result was World War II, so it’s the same situation. If we don’t learn from history we are going to repeat it.”
Kessler described the foiled plot as “proof that Ahmadinejad has no compunction about engaging in an act of war with the United States. “They have the capability of developing a nuclear weapon and we simply cannot take a chance that he is going to develop and use it.”
But, he said the United States can avoid a full-fledged war with Iran. “We would just limit the bombing to their nuclear facilities and not go after their population or their military forces.
“But we have to protect ourselves, we have to do what we have to do.”
MRC's Gainor Thinks TV Scriptwriters Are Journalists Topic: Media Research Center
Dan Gainor has big news to announce in his Oct. 12 NewsBusters post: "The big news here is that two separate news unions, including the newspaper guild [sic], the recognized union for many print and online journalists, and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) are fully behind the radical message of Occupy Wall Street."
Only, not so much. The link he provides to prove this does not list the Newspaper Guild (Gainor seems to have decided that's not a proper union name and insists on not capitalizing it) among the organizations who "stand in solidarity" with Occupy Wall Street. Rather, he claims: "The newspaper guild [sic] is part of the Communications Workers of America, listed prominently among 16 union supporters of Occupy Wall Street." That's not the same thing.
The other group Gainor is freaking out about, the Writers Guild of America, East, isn't really for journalists. As Gainor himself notes later in his post, the Writers Guild is a “labor union of thousands of professionals who are the primary creators of what is seen or heard on television and film in the U.S.,” and that includes “everything from big budget movies to independent films, late night comedy/variety shows to daytime serials, broadcast and radio news, web series, documentaries, and animation.”
In other words, the Writers Guild is largely stacked with people who write scripts for entertainment shows, not news reporters.
As for Gainor's attempt to throw around the Society of Professional Journalists' ethics code, he might want to work in-house first by sending a copy of that to the MRC's own "news" division, CNSNews.com. After all, they don't seemterriblyinterested in following ethical principles these days.
WND Still Defending Vindictive Online Stalker Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is still taking the side of an online stalker in his quest to keep his guns in the face of a restraining order against him.
We've previously detailed how Mike Palmer created a blog to harrass the ex-wife of a friend and make vaguely threatening statements about her "death" -- the header of his blog declares that she's writing about the woman's "death and death."The woman obtained a restraining order against Palmer, a condition of which is that he give up his weapons. Incredibly WND took Palmer's side to portray this as a gun-rights issue, obscuring the facts about Palmer and his threats in the process.
An Oct. 10 WND article by Bob Unruh keeps up the support, as well as the obscuring of facts. Unruh writes that the woman Palmer is targeting is merely a "reader" of the blog who "complained that the online discussion was a threat to her life. In fact, the woman is the entire focus of the blog; Palmer is specifically attacking her and making threatening statements toward her.
As before, WND makes no apparent effort to contact the woman and allow her to respond to Palmer's attacks.
With this enthusiastic support, WND is essentially enabling this online stalker's creepy, vindictive attacks against a women with whom he has a personal grudge. Last time we checked, enabling grudges does not qualify as journalism.
NEW ARTICLE: A Hard Right Turn Topic: The ConWeb
Tim Groseclose's methodology, which paints pretty much every media out as liberal, is still as flawed as it was six years ago. But now, he's written about book about it -- and the ConWeb loves it. Read more >>
Newsmax Again Bashes Holder -- But Not His GOP Attackers -- As 'Highly Partisan' Topic: Newsmax
We've detailed how Newsmax's Martin Gould found a letter by Attorney General Eric Holder defending himself and his office in the "Fast and Furious" scandal to be "highly partisan," a description he did not apply to any of the Republican politicians who are making their career these days by repeatedly attacking Holder.
Gould returns with an Oct. 10 Newsmax article on Republican Rep. Darrell Issa's response to Holder's letter. Gould again called Holder's letter "highly partisan" while he touted how Issa "did not mince words in attacking Holder’s comments," while "accusing him of being incompetent, untrustworthy and negligent." Needless to say, Gould found no partisan intent in Issa's response, even though his quick response to Holder would seem to indicate political motivation over legal prudence.
(P.S. We wonder: Is this guy the same Martin Gould who formerly wrote for the supermarket tabloid The Star, where he ran Ted Kennedy's wife off the road and nearly mowed down a landscaper? Newsmax, after all, is located in Palm Beach, Florida, also home to the headquarters of the National Enquirer, the Star, and other tabloids.)
At NewsBusters, Life Continues to Imitate Stephen Colbert Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters has a strangehabit of being the embodiment of Stephen Colbert's declaration that reality has a well-known liberal bias. Mark Finkelstein plays into that again in an Oct. 10 NewsBusters post in which he cites Politco's digest of news items to declare the publication to be hopelessly liberal:
To be sure, "Post-recession income falls" is not good for President Obama, reporting as it does that Americans' incomes have fallen faster during his presidency than they did even in the depths of the recession. But every other story would surely be welcome at the White House. Here are the stories, in the order they appear in the email:
"Rove vs. the Koch brothers": An "emerging rivalry between the two deepest-pocketed camps in the conservative movement could undercut their party’s chances of taking the Senate and White House in 2012." Internecine warfare on the right? Surely something to warm a liberal's heart!
"POLITICO Primary: Time to vote": the story touts the appeal of a third-party presidential candidacy, and urges readers to vote for their favorite third-party candidate. Yes, Hillary is on the list. But in an election cycle that would seem to strongly favor the GOP, a third-party candidacy could be the only thing to save President Obama's bacon.
"Mitt's Mormon issue returns": Story summary: "The Values Voter Summit in Washington this weekend left no doubt about it: The issue is back." So, troubles for the Republican front-runner.
"Post-recession income falls": see above.
"Pelosi rebuts Cantor on protests": Story summary: "She pushes back on criticism of Occupy Wall Street." You go, Nancy!
"NPR prepares for a new reality": A focus on NPR's survival strategies.
So there you have it. Sure, it's just a snapshot in time, one day's headlines. But also suggestive of Politico's generally center-left line.
Apparenly, Finkelstein thinks that any news article that does not positively portray Republicans is evidence of "liberal bias."Which, of course, is pretty much the modus operandi of its parent, the Media Research Center.
WND Keeps Up Dishonest, Fringe Anti-Gardasil Activism Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh continues WorldNetDaily's activismagainst the HPV vaccine Gardasil with an Oct. 10 article that features a claim from some obscure magazine in New Zealand that side effects attributed to Gardasil "could be the result of contamination in the vaccine."
Unruh writes that the claimis based on work by "a testing company, S.A.N.E.VAX, Inc." In fact, S.A.N.E.VAX is not "a testing company" -- it's an anti-vaccine activist group. It has repeatedly defended Andrew Wakefield, whose claim that vaccines cause autism have been retracted and discredited by the medical journal that first published his claims. The SANE Vax website featuresinterviews of Wakefield with conspiracy-monger Alex Jones. Another article touts how SANE Vax members traveled to London and "had an opportunity to privately discuss vaccine concerns with Dr. Andrew Wakefield." Yet another post repeats an attack on an Australian news show on vaccines, which includes this irresponsible claim (bolding is theirs):
Not vaccinating a child is playing Russian Roulette with your child’s life. Untrue: Morbidity (chronic illness and disability) is as much an indicator of children’s health as mortality (death). Mainstream science states chemicals have toxic effects on human health and vaccines inject many chemicals into the bloodstream of developing infants. This correlates with the significant increase in chronic illness in this generation of children. The opposite is true – vaccinating children is playing Russian roulette with children’s lives due to individual genetics.
This is who WND considers an authority on vaccination issues.
Unruh then adds another hysterical voice, anti-Kinsey obsessive Judith Reisman, to the anti-vaccine debate:
Dr. Judith Reisman, in residence at Liberty University and the author of multiple books on the issue of sexuality, told WND that STD vaccines are simply "assaults on our humanity, especially that of youth.
"All STD vaccines are grounded in an anti-Judeo-Christian, Kinseyan worldview that claims lust as a driving force that must be accommodated from infancy to old age…"
"This fraud opens the door to unconscionable greed and state tyranny to 'protect' children and keep them 'healthy' while inundating them with promiscuity messages from womb to tomb, school to screen," she said.
"International Planned Parenthood, UNESCO and now schools worldwide have been forcing sexual promiscuity on children for at least five decades," she said.
Unruh even repeats earlier anti-vaccine claims he forwarded from Austrian doctor Christian Fiala, again failing to tell his readers that anti-abortion website LifeSiteNews penned an article in 2008 calling Fiala "Austria’s most notorious abortionist" and accusing Fiala's clinic escorts of having "abused and assaulted both physically and sexually" anti-abortion protesters.
And, as has been a staple of his reporting on the issue, Unruh repeats the claim that "18,000" side effects have been reported from taking HPV vaccines without putting the number in context of doses administered or noting how that number compares with other vaccines or medicines.
The fact that Unruh can cite only fringe "medical" figures and extremely obscure publications that rely on said fringe figures illustrates the shaky foundation of WND's anti-vaccine jihad.
CNS Won't Report That Right-Wing Infiltrator Led Museum Protest Topic: CNSNews.com
In an Oct. 8 CNSNews.com blog post, Craig Bannister writes about how "The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum was abruptly closed today when a mob of approximately 200 protesters armed with prohibited items including large signs and banners tried to push its way past security guards." Bannister then asked, "So, what's next, a protest of the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History because mastodons didn’t recycle?"
But neither Bannister nor CNS has reported on the real story behind that confrontation. Patrick Howley, an assistant editor at the right-wing American Spectator, claims to have helped instigate the events that prompted the museum to close. Detailing his adventure on the Spectator blog, Howley writes that he had "infiltrated" the Occupy DC protesters and escalated the protest at the museum because he wanted a "story."
Telling the whole story of this confrontation, it seems, does not comport with CNS' right-wing agenda of making liberals look bad -- even when they've been duped by a right-wing infiltratorl.
MRC's Latest Attack on Public Broadcasting Proves Absolutely Nothing Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's latest "special report" is a list of "the 20 most obnoxiously biased stories or statements from public broadcasting stars and stories over the last 25 years." The report, by Tim Graham and Geoffrey Dickens, claims that this "underline[s] how dramatically PBS and NPR have tried to shift the American political discussion to the left" and is an argument for cutting off federal funding for public broadcasting.
Such a simplistic, partisan-driven analysis is par for the course at the MRC -- and, of course, absolutely meaningless. Graham and Dickens want you to believe that 20 cherry-picked moments plucked from tens of thousands of hours of broadcasting on both PBS and NPR over 25 years are representative of all programming on those two networks. That makes sense only in the MRC's world, where anything that doesn't promote Republicans is "liberal bias."
This is nothing more than a gussied-up rant designed to rally the MRC's right-wing base around a political attack that had fallen out of the news lately -- and nothing more. Its goal -- defund public broadcasting -- is political, not academic or intellectual. And it proves absolutely nothing beyond the MRC's hatred of opinions they don't agree with, something that was already quite evident before this.
WND's Washington Serves Up Yet Another Right-Wing Rant Masquerading As Socratic Dialogue Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've previously detailed how Ellis Washington's so-called "symposiums" and "dialectics" are nothing more than an excuse for Washington to espouse his view by putting right-wing talking points in the mouths of such unlikely folks as Socrates.
Washington performs this dishonest anti-intellectual exercise again in his Oct. 7 WorldNetDaily column, which begins by having "Socrates" insulting the intelligence of black liberals:
Socrates: We are gathered here today at this symposium to discuss the race question and this enduring paradox. How can tens of millions of otherwise rational, educated and morally conservative people ignore the historical blood and sacrifice the Abolitionist movement and the Republican Party has devoted to black Americans? How can this people for 80 years have increasingly voted for the Democratic Party since the election of FDR in 1932 – the party that enslaved your ancestors, the party of the KKK, eugenics, abortion, exploding ghettoes, exploding prisons, welfare slavery and the death of the black family?
We suspect that Socrates' views on race were not as enlightened as the words Washington are putting into his mouth make him out to be, nor do we suspect that the real Socrates would willingly spout such mindless rhetorical claptrap. And then there's the space-time continuum problem in which someone who died more than 2,000 years ago is speaking about today's events...
Washington brings in "Allan West" and "Herman Cain" to bolster his side, and Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Maxine Waters to serve as prefab enemies. Also brought in as a straw man is President Obama:
President Obama: Uuuhhh, Socrates, when Rev. Wright made those hateful, anti-American, anti-Christian rants, I wasn't there in church those Sundays. It was like when I was in the Illinois Senate, I voted "Present." I wasn't there. I'm not a socialist. I love Ronald Reagan, and my policies are just like his. Change! Change! Change! ¡Sí, se puede! Yes we can! … (ad infinitum).
Finally, Washington gets (mostly) honest and plays the role of "Publius," which he parenthetically explains is "pseudonym for author." And he rants in a most un-dialectic manner:
What is wrong with you people [black America]?! How long will you allow your minds to be shackled by Big Government liberalism and the Democratic Party? In the early 1930s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised you a "New Deal" and with the help of W.E.B. Dubois, the NAACP and thousands of black preachers, got your forefathers hooked on the deadly narcotic of the welfare state and "free" government handouts.
In the 1960s, LBJ, an openly racist demagogue who hated black people, co-opted MLK and the civil rights movement, gave you phony Civil Rights Acts and Voting Rights Acts, gave you the "Great Society" programs, incarcerated your generations in voluntary prisons called "projects" and wasted more than $5 trillion in new welfare spending to fight what LBJ called his "War on Poverty," yet poverty over the past 40 years has grown exponentially. Even worse, there is an existential poverty of the spirit that is particularly acute in the black community that remains undiagnosed, unacknowledged and uncured – even to this day.
Washington -- er, "Publius" -- also invokes his "intellectual mentor, Dr. Levon Yuille." As we've previously noted, Yuille opposes hate crimes protections for gays because he finds it "demeaning [to] the black community." He's also spokenat tea party events.