ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Jeffrey Abandons Journalism, Signs On to Anti-Obama Attack Effort

It's been clear for quite some time that Terry Jeffrey was turning into nothing more than an anti-Obama attack machine. Now, Jeffrey's personal hatred of Obama has made the transition complete.

A Feb. 13 CNS article details how "A sweeping alliance of fiscal, social and national security conservatives and leaders of the Tea Party movement came together on Monday to denounce the attack that President Barack Obama has launched on the free exercise of religion by ordering virtually all Americans to buy health insurance plans that pay for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients even if doing so forces them to act against their consciences and the teachings of their faith." It states:

Conservative journalists joining their voices in the cause include National Review Publisher Jack Fowler, American Spectator Publisher Al Regnery, Washington Examiner Editorial Page Editor Mark Tapscott, Editor Joseph Farah, Western Journalism Center President Floyd Brown, nationally syndicated columnist David Limbaugh, and the author of this article, who is also a nationally syndicated columnist.

Who is "the author of this article"? Terry Jeffrey.

In other words: Terry Jeffrey no longer cares about real journalism -- only destroying Obama. He appears to be hiding behind his status as a "nationally syndicated columnist," but he's also the editor-in-chief of a "news" organization, and there's no reason whatsoever not to think that Jeffrey will use that position to twist CNS' "news" reports to attack Obama and turn CNS even more anti-Obama than it already is.

This blatant bias, of course, means he not a "journalist" -- he's a propagandist. He has thrown in his lot with fellow propagandists, including third-rate hacks like Joseph Farah and Floyd Brown, who are even less associated with "journalism" than Jeffrey is.

If it wasn't obvious already, it is now: By joining forces with Farah to attack Obama, Jeffrey is bringing CNS down to the level of WorldNetDaily. Does this mean Jeffrey will be going birther soon?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EST
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Death Threat Aside, Blackwell's Column Lies About Obama

Sure, there was a death threat against President Obama in the comments section of a Feb. 1 column by Ken Blackwell attacking "the Obama administration’s ongoing hostility to people of faith, especially Christians." But there was also a fundamental problem with Blackwell's column as well.

Blackwell delved into the controversy over former military offical Jerry Boykin's planned (and now-canceled) appearance at West Point, falsely claiming that Boykin "cannot speak at West Point because he’s an outspoken Christian." In fact, the issue is Boykin's lengthy record of extreme anti-Muslim statements and demonization of Obama. Blackwell doesn't explain why anyone who thinks that Obama has created a Hitler-style Brownshirt army to force Marxism on America must be allowed to speak at the nation's premier military academy.

The only hint of controversy Blackwell acknowledges is that "Boykin has cast America’s war against radical Islamic terrorists as fighting Satan." But he has gone even further than that: As Right Wing Watch detailed, Boykin has asserted that Islam not protected under the First Amendment and that there can be no interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians because Islam is not an Abrahamic faith and has nothing in common with Christianity."

As for Boykin's likening of the war on terrorism to a battle against Satan, the Defense Department has previously determined that Boykin violated Pentagon regulations by failing to obtain official clearance for making such extreme statements.

Most egregiously, Blackwell claimed that "This sad episode is yet another example of the Obama administration’s ongoing hostility to people of faith, especially Christians" -- but he offered no evidence that anyone in the Obama administration had anything to do with forcing Boykin to withdraw from his West Point speech.

Blackwell is lying and misleading his way through this column.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 AM EST
Friday, February 3, 2012
Pelosi to CNS: 'Is This A Speech, Or Do We Have A Question In Disguise As A Speech?'

Nancy Pelosi appears to have pegged for what it is: a right-wing talking-points factory posing as a "news" organization. Even more amazingly, CNS is apparently so unashamed of this that it will flaunt that bias.

From a Feb. 2 CNS article by Thomas Cloud:

At her Wednesday press briefing, asked Pelosi: “The administration has issued a regulation that will require all health-care plans to cover sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that induce abortions. This would force Catholic individuals and institutions to act against their consciences. All across the nation, Catholic bishops are saying:--

Pelosi responded: "Is this a speech, or do we have a question in disguise as a speech?" continued: “‘We cannot--we will not—comply with this law.’ Catholic bishops are saying they will not comply with this law. Will you stand with your fellow Catholics in resisting this law or will you stick by the administration?”

Note that Cloud didn't challenge Pelosi's description of his question.

Of course, CNS has a long history of speechifying in the form of gotcha questions designed solely to trip up its political enemies in the hopes of getting a little right-wing catnip out of the deal in the form of a YouTube video.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:50 PM EST
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Another CNS Commenter Asks If It's OK To Wish For Obama To Get AIDS

A death threat against President Obama is not the only odious comment has allowed to fester on its website today.

In the comment thread on a Feb. 1 CNS article by Patrick Goodenough on how a State Department used the term “human rights for LGBT people” instead of "gay rights," there can be found amid the usual hateful right-wing gay-bashing this gramatically challenged comment by someone calling themselves "CUREHOMOSEXUALS": "Is it OK to wish that -obama- get's AID/VIRUS and suffers like the rest of the gay animals."

As you can see from the timestamp, that comment has remained posted for nearly an entire day as of this writing. Nobody at CNS is apparently bothered by this sentiment.

When you pander to the Obama-haters -- as CNS is clearly doing under editor in chief Terry Jeffrey -- these are the kind of commenters you attract.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:41 PM EST
CNS Commenter: 'Obama Needs To Be Killed'

A Feb. 1 column by Ken Blackwell attacking "the Obama administration’s ongoing hostility to people of faith, especially Christians" has this comment attached to it:

It's been up for an hour. They're not big on comment-monitoring at CNS, apparently.

And Mr. Kent (if that's who the author is) is about to get a visit from the Secret Service.

UPDATE: The comment has been deleted.

UPDATE 2: That's not all: Another CNS commenter asks if it's OK to wish for Obama to get AIDS.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:19 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2012 6:43 PM EST
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
CNS Publishes Gaffney's Hypocritical Defense of Boykin
Topic: published a Jan. 30 article by Frank Gaffney defending retired military official Jerry Boykin against efforts to remove him from prayer meetings in Ocean City, Maryland (not successful) and West Point (successful) due to his extreme anti-Muslim views. Gaffney complained that the "threat" is that Boykin "might be allowed to exercise his constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech."

But as Right Wing Watch points out, no one is questioning Boykin’s right to say whatever he wants to say about Muslims -- just where he says it. Further, Gaffney has engaged in the same sort of behavior he deplores when it's used against Boykin. From Right Wing Watch:

If Gaffney really believes that groups protesting Boykin’s appearance at West Point are actually stripping Boykin of his right to free speech, then Gaffney is a serial opponent of the First Amendment under his standard.

Last year, Gaffney demanded that the American Conservative Union disinvite Suhail Kahn of Muslims for America from the Conservative Political Action Conference. He also called on CPAC to give the boot to Grover Norquist, who has done advocacy work in the past with Muslim-Americans including Kahn, labeling both of them threats to the conservative movement and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, Liberty Counsel’s Awakening 2011 conference, Gaffney condemned the conference for allowing Norquist to speak there and said that he made it his “personal burden for the past twelve years” to warn conservatives against joining with Norquist, saying, “I must tell you I think this is time to bring it to a stop”:


Therefore, if Gaffney thinks that asking a conference to disinvite a person from speaking at a conference is an attack on the “constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech,” then Gaffney himself has been one of the biggest opponents of the freedom of speech.

CNS won't be mentioning any of this, of course.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:04 AM EST
Monday, January 30, 2012
CNS Repeats Discredited Number On Cost of Chevy Volt

In a Jan. 27 blog post attacking the Chevy Volt, Matthew Sheffield repeats the right-wing talking point that "According to a recent research study from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, total taxpayer subsidies in the Chevy Volt amount to as much as $250,000 per car."

In fact, that number has been discredited. As the Street points out, it's a crude calculation, dividing the amount of alleged subsidies by the number of Volts sold so far, which ignores the number of Volts to be sold in the future, as well as future vehicles that will incorporate the Volt's technology -- which will drop that per-car cost considerably. Further, Media Matters notes that the Mackinac Center is including in its subsidy costs plants that produce components for vehicles other than the Volt, making it unfair to attribute those subsidies only for the Volt.

It's no wonder that the Mackinac Center -- a right-wing think tank that has received money from the oil industry -- has a growing reputation for low-quality research. But because it supports a right-wing talking point, that "research" is good enough for Sheffield.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 PM EST
Sunday, January 29, 2012
CNS Falsely Claims Obama Is 'Mandating' Mercury-Filled Light Bulbs

Craig Bannister writes in a Jan. 25 blog post:

Last night, Pres. Obama reaffirmed his determination to protect our country’s children from the dangers of mercury, despite his vigorous defense of a mandate that all Americans put more of it into their homes.

“I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury poisoning,” Obama promised in last night’s State Of The Union address.

But, Pres. Obama, apparently, isn’t concerned with the health risk he’s subjecting Americans to by requiring them to put mercury light bulbs in their homes – a risk his own EPA even warns about on its Web site.

First, the light bulb efficiency law did not come from Obama -- it was passed by Congress in 2007 and signed into law by President Bush (a Republican, in case Bannister has forgotten).

Second, the law does "mandate" that "all Americans" use "mercury light bulbs" -- an apparent reference to compact fluorescent lights -- it simply mandates efficient bulbs. LED bulbs and halogen incandescent bulbs are both more efficient and do not contain mercury.

A Jan. 25 CNS "news" article by Elizabeth Harrington takes a similarly false tack, asserting that Obama supports "replacing the mercury-free incandescent light bulb with the Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL), which, when broken, can emit mercury vapor into the air." Harrington makes no mention of LED or halogen bulbs.

This is nothing but cheap -- and false -- fearmongering by a right-wing propaganda mill that cares nothing about the facts.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:10 AM EST
Thursday, January 26, 2012
CNS Ratchets Up Its Slobbering Over Mark Levin

It actually takes two writers -- Susan Jones and Greg Gwyn-Williams -- to crank out a painfully fluffy Jan. 24 article carrying the headline "1,500 ‘Very Pleasant’ People Wait in Snow for Mark Levin Book-Signing." And yes, the article is really all about how nice the people waiting in line for a Levin book-signing are.

The article is illustrated with pictures taken from Levin's website, so one has to wonder if Levin paid for this press release-esque placement.

This was followed by a blog post by Craig Bannister touting how Levin leads a group of three right-wing writers topping "the Barnes & Noble adult, nonfiction, hardcover bestseller list." That's right -- Bannister has to wander all the way over to B&N to find a bestseller list that conformed to his ideology.

This, in turn, was followed by a Jan. 26 article by Susan Jones declaring that Levin's book  will debut at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list--in four different nonfiction categories."

All of this comes in the wake of CNS editor Terry Jeffrey's fawning interview of Levin last week.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EST
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
CNS Promotes Dubious Claim That AL Immigration Law Lowered Unemployment

A Jan. 23 article by Bill Hobbs carries the headline "Alabama's Unemployment Rate Plummets In Wake Of Tougher Illegal Immigration Laws."

Just one problem: Despite Hobbs' repeated suggestion that there is an "intriguing possibility" that the Draconian law is causing Alabama's unemployment rate to decline faster than surrounding states, there's no actual evidence to back it up.

In fact, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who supports the immigration law, says there's no evidence to support any effect the law has had on the unemployment rate. Hobbs also ignores the fact that one documented factor in the lower unemployment rate is that the labor force has declined at a faster rate than jobs have been created.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:43 PM EST
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
CNS' Curiously Vague Account of Question About Alinsky

Fred Lucas writes in a Jan. 23 article:

White House press secretary Jay Carney replied to a question on the subject at Monday’s press briefing by saying the president’s time as a community organizer was “well documented,” and adding, “his experience is a broad-based one that includes a lot of other areas in his life. I’ll just leave it at that.”


At Monday’s White House briefing, a reporter asked Carney about Gingrich’s claims that Obama’s vision comes from Alinsky.

Curiously missing from Lucas' article: the actual wording of the question Carney was asked, and the name of the person who asked it.

As nearly every other website reporting on this has noted, the question was asked by Fox News' Ed Henry.

Most of those news organizations also noted the exact question Henry asked: "Newt Gingrich keeps saying on the campaign trail that the President’s vision comes from Saul Alinsky, the community organizer. I haven’t heard you asked about him but… Is there some kind of portrait of him hanging up in the White House that people look up to or is this BS?"

Why would Lucas choose to hide such basic information? Is he protecting Fox News, or is he trying to hid the facetious nature of Henry's question?

Lucas also describes Alinsky as a "radical Chicago community organizer." But he offered no evidence to back up this claim, beyond noting that Alinsky "identified a set of specific rules for citizen protesters to follow in order to exercise political power." Lucas doesn't explain what is so "radical" about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 PM EST
Friday, January 20, 2012
Oil-Funded CNS Hammers Obama for Rejecting Keystone Pipeline
Topic: is in bed with -- and funded by -- the oil industry, and it has regularly shilled for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. So it's no surprise that it would harshly criticize the Obama administration for rejecting the pipeline.

The pro-oil, anti-Obama bias is palpable in the headlines alone:

Two of the articles uncritically repeat claims that the pipeline project wiould create 20,000 new jobs, ignoring the fact that this claim comes straight from the pipeline's builder and has been discredited.

Another CNS article, by Elizabeth Harrington, is dedicated to attacking Nancy Pelosi for disputing that the oil that would be distributed in the pipeline would be consumed in the U.S. Harrington relies on the American Petroleum Institute and the pipeline builder to rebut Pelosi, insisting that it almost certainly be consumed in the U.S. and that without it, “the U.S. will continue to import millions of barrels of conflict oil from the Middle East and Venezuela.”

But as the Council on Foreign Relations' Michael Levi points out in the Washington Post, U.S. vulnerability to turmoil in the Middle East is linked to how much oil we consume, not where we buy it from, and the pipeline would have no effect on oil prices in the U.S. since those are set on a global basis.

When your parent organization has a fellowship named after oilman T. Boone Pickens, who has donated millions to said organization, it only makes sense to toe the pro-oil line -- and CNS does so here to the expected slavish extent.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 AM EST
Updated: Friday, January 20, 2012 10:09 AM EST
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
CNS Ratchets Up Anti-Gay Rhetoric

It turns out that giving space earlier this month to anti-gay activist Randy Thomasson was just the beginning.

In a Jan. 9 article, Christopher Goins gives space to Michael Brown to assert that "Conservative Christians need to take a stand and speak out on the transformation of the American culture by homosexual activism."If that name sounds familiar, it's because WorldNetDaily embraced his anti-gay activism last year. As we detailed, Brown thinks homosexuality is no different than pedophilia (while, of course, denying he was doing any such thing).

In a Jan. 16 article, Pete Winn highlights how a group of orthdodox Jewish clergymen called Mitt Romney "a dangerous homosexualist," featuring claims by the group's spokesman, Rabbi Yehuda Levin.Needless to say, Winn avoided reporting on Levin's more bizarrely homophobic pronouncements, such as blaming last summer's East Coast earthquake on New York and Washington, D.C., approving gay marriage, or blaming the murder of an 8-year-old boy in Brooklyn's Orthodox community on gay marriage.

Despite the fact that CNS' parent organization, the Media Research Center, regularly criticizes the media for not presenting both sides of an issue -- a Jan. 18 MRC item on Piers Morgan and Rosie O'Donnell criticizing anti-gay Republicans, for example, stated that Morgan "ever seriously tried to provide the conservative side of the debate on homosexuality and same-sex marriage" -- neither Goins nor Winn ever seriously tried to provide the liberal side of the debate on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

On top of Penny Starr's latest anti-gay freakout over yet another art exhibit, it looks like CNS is getting fully in line with its parent organization's anti-gay agenda. Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey apparently doesn't mind that between this and the rabid Obama-hating, his "news" organization is looking more and more like WND every day.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:55 PM EST
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
CNS' Jeffrey Slobbers All Over Mark Levin

When an interviewee begins his interview with the words, "How are you, brother?" and the interviewer is not in a religious order, you know you're in for a huge chunk of softball.

That's exactly how radio host Mark Levin, who has a new book to promote, begins his interview with CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey. Clearly, Levin is not expecting to field any tough questions, and Jeffrey keeps the sofballs coming:

  • "And as I was reading your book--and it had been a while since I looked at The Communist Manifesto--I'm thinking: Well, am I reading the Democratic Party platform here or am I reading The Communist Manifesto? ... Compare modern liberals in America today to this vision that Marx and Engels had in The Communist Manifesto?"
  • "Mark, in 'Ameritopia' you write, let me quote you back to yourself, you say of John Locke, 'Early in the Second Treatise of Government, Locke introduces the notion that of an individual’s God-given and inalienable rights, in which all individuals are entitled and which provide the moral condition of a civil society.' ... What kind of impact did this kind of thinking have on the Founding Fathers, for our country?"
  • "You look at things that are happening in American government today. You have a House of Representatives that is occasionally supine in resisting the Executive Branch, or a Congress in general, that is. You have a president who just a week ago appointed a director to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, three members to the National Labor Relations Board, theoretically as a recess appointment, but under the plain terms of the Constitution the Congress was not in recess. Do we see an erosion in America today of the separation of powers, the systems of checks and balances that Montesquieu envisioned?"
  • "And do you believe we’re reaching an endgame here where we either have to choose to just go to the financial and freedom disaster of the welfare state or really roll the federal government back and move back to a free society?"
  • "On a few occasions Mark, when President Obama has alluded to the Declaration of Independence, he has very cleverly edited it--dropped out the Creator, nowhere our rights came from. Do you believe that Obama’s fundamental vision--with his talk about class war and victims and victimizers, and the way he frames the political debate--that his fundamental vision is basically Marxist, is basically similar to the sort of vision that Karl Marx and Engels were laying out?"

So, yeah. CNS is not about journalism -- it's about manufacturing right-wing talking points. Terry Jeffrey has seen to that.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 AM EST
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
CNS' Starr Has Another Anti-Gay Freakout Over Art Exhibit

The Media Research Center, led by's Penny Starr, earned a Slantie award lst year for manufacturing a controversy over a gay-themed exhibit at a Smithsonian-operated art museum. The anti-gay Starr apparently liked that award so much, she's trying to manufacture another right-wing freakout over another art exhibit.

Starr cranks up the anti-gay outrage in a Jan. 10 CNS article:

For the second year in a row, the federally funded National Portrait Gallery (NPG), a part of the Smithsonian Institution, held an exposition during the Christmas season focused on the homosexual lifestyle.

“Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories,” an exhibition appearing at the NPG from Oct. 14, 2011 through Jan. 22, 2012, focuses on lesbian activist and writer Gertrude Stein.

The exhibit, set up in five rooms at the taxpayer-funded museum, highlights Stein’s lesbian relationship with Alice B. Toklas and Stein’s “second family” of homosexual men, some of whom collaborated with Stein on various projects.

The whole thing is pure Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy. Starr is obsessed with tax money being spent on gay things -- even though she admits that the Stein exhibit was paid for by private funds, she adds that "all Smithsonian museums receive federal funding." Here's the question she asked Smithsonian officials about the exhibit:

“In the past 14 months, NPG has mounted two exhibitions--Hide and Seek, and Gertrude Stein--that include a focus on the homosexual lifestyle. Given that NPG mounts less than a dozen exhibits annually, is there a reason that two exhibits within the past 14 months have included a focus on the homosexual lifestyle and is that part of NPR's mission as a national and taxpayer-funding institution?”

On top of echoing the right-wing trope that homosexuality is nothing more than a "lifestyle," Starr got her facts wrong about the number of exhibits the gallery hosts; at the end of her article, she notes that the gallery hosted 22 exhibits during the past year.

Starr is also rather late to the game -- the Stein exhibit opened in October and closes on Jan. 22. Starr seems to be attributing her tardiness to a squabble with the Smithsonian over whether she could take pictures in the exhibit; that request was denied, so instead her article is accompanied with pictures of exhibits as they appear in the book on the exhibition.

All in all, a pretty sad attempt. Starr's anti-gay agenda, it seems, has overtaken her so-called journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« February 2012 »
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL