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Monday, February 20, 2012
Noel Sheppard's School of Headline Cliches Is Back in Session
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard is still up to his headline cliche tricks. Here are Sheppard's overuse of his two favorite cliche -- "schools" and "smacks down" -- since the beginning of the year:

And a bonus bit of what passes for media analysis from Sheppard: "Sarah Palin Totally Rocks Conservative Conference."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 AM EST
CNS' Starr Has Another Smithsonian Freakout (And Gets A Key Fact Wrong)
Topic: CNSNews.com

Does Penny Starr spend all of her waking hours wandering around Smithsonian museums looking for something to offend her? It seems so.

The highly biased CNSNews.com reporter has a long history of manufacturing outrage over Smithsonian exhibits, most notoriously freaking out over a gay-themed art exhibit at one museum. Now she's at it again.

In a Feb. 14 CNS article, Starr is a couple hundred years late to the story of Thomas Jefferson's edited version of the Bible, the subject of a new Smithsonian exhibit. She complains that Jefferson's Bible omits Jesus' resurrection, suggesting that the Smithsonian is calling Jefferson a "genius" for editing the Bible.

But Starr can't get her facts straight. She writes:

In an exhibition that runs through May at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Founding Father and U.S. President Thomas Jefferson is described as a “genius” and “revolutionary” who created his own Bible by cutting and pasting the verses he preferred into a separate compilation.

[...]

The Web site states Jefferson’s “New Testament”  is “an extension of his revolutionary spirit” and that, “In religion as in politics, he imagined liberating contemporary minds from inherited misconceptions and superstitions.”

A 3½-minute video that is in the exhibit and available on the Web site states that it is “a brick and mortar glimpse into the mind of a genius.”

In fact, the video applies that description to Jefferson's home, not his Bible. The video's very first words are "Monticello -- a brick and mortar glimpse into the mind of a genius." The Jefferson Bible itself is not mentioned until nearly two minutes into the video.

Given that Starr's central grievance has no factual basis, all she's left with is complaining that a revered figure in American history interpreted the Christian faith differently than she does. Is that really something to make a "news" article out of?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 AM EST
Sunday, February 19, 2012
WND Discovers Shocking Evidence That Candidates Try To Appeal to Various Groups of People
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has made the completely unsurprising discovery that Barack Obama's re-election campaign -- like any person running for office -- wants to appeal to as many different types of voters as possible.

But because WND has a hatred of Obama that goes well beyond the irrational to well nigh psychotic, it has to twist that into something sinister. Which brings us to Bob Unruh's Feb. 17 article:

Barack Obama repeatedly has said he wants to have Americans work together, share the burden, “spread the wealth” and have everyone play by the same rules.

But that apparently comes only after Americans are divided up, categorized and separated by race, ethnicity, even religion.

The evidence comes from Obama himself, even though he once said, ” I have asserted a firm conviction – a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people – that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice if we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.”

But his campaign divides people into the following categories: African-Americans, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, Jewish Americans, Latinos, LGBT Americans, people of faith, veterans & military families, women and young Americans.

Again: This is not news. But WND has decided to hatefully twist it into something that is. That's how much Unruh and WND despise Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:43 PM EST
MRC's Bozell Unleashes Anti-Obama Tirade
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell went on an anti-Obama tirade a few days ago on Mark Levin's radio show:

“There was no complaint here,” Bozell continued. “There was no outrage here. There was no problem that the Obama administration needed to fix. This is a desire on their part to destroy the Catholic Church. This has nothing to do with contraception.”

[...]

“[T]his is the radical pro-aborts,” Bozell said, adding that Obama is “as fanatical as they come where abortion is concerned.”

Can the head of a tax-exempt organization be allowed to engage in such partisan political activity?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EST
Saturday, February 18, 2012
CNS Is Now Just Rewriting Republican Press Releases
Topic: CNSNews.com

We already know that CNSNews.com has pretty much abandoned whatever journalistic objectivity it may have had in order to become an anti-Obama attack machine. Now it's taking things one step further by simply rewriting Republican press releases.

Matt Cover published two CNS articles on Feb. 17 that do nothing but regurgitate Republican National Committee attacks.

In the first article, headlined "On 3rd Anniversary of Obama's $787B Stimulus, Unemployment Sets Record," Cover note: "The Republican National Committee (RNC) highlighted this and dozens of other facts in a 52-page book listing some of the biggest failures of the Obama stimulus. The book is entitled, Obamanomics: Stimulus Deconstructed, Three Years of Failed Policies." IN the second, headlined "Three Years Later, Some of the Stimulus’ Odder Projects: Basket Weaving, Polka Training, Rats on Meth," Cover states that "The hit parade of stimulus projects are the focus of a report from the Republican National Committee called ‘Where did all the Money Go?’ which gives a state-by state breakdown of questionable stimulus projects and failed government investments."

A third article by Cover attacking the stimulus doesn't credit the RNC, but theproject it features -- "a $35,000 grant to the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance to support apprentice basket weavers and help fund the Maine Indian Basketmakers Festival" -- comes straight from the RNC report.

In none of these articles does Cover make any apparent effort to talk to anyone else -- he's just copying-and-pasting Republican talking points.

The RNC must be happy to have such a compliant "journalist" like Cover who's so eager to do their job for them.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 AM EST
AIM's Kincaid Unhappy That News Corp. Is Cooperating With Police
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Who knew that a law-and-order guy like Cliff Kincaid is opposed to people cooperating with the police?

Kincaid expresses exactly that in his Feb. 16 Accuracy in Media column, in which he declares that "the sacking of Glenn Beck from Fox News" is a "sensitive topic" at the network:

It is even more sensitive in view of what News Corporation, the parent of Fox News, is doing to its staff at the British newspaper, The Sun. As part of an internal investigation of phone-hacking and bribery, News Corporation voluntarily turned over information to police authorities.

Sun associate editor Trevor Kavanagh reports that “30 journalists have been needlessly dragged from their beds in dawn raids, arrested and held in police cells while their homes are ransacked.” He said journalists were being treated like members of a criminal gang and that freedom of the press was in danger.

If News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch would turn over his own journalists to authorities in Britain, why wouldn’t he sack Glenn Beck in response to an orchestrated campaign from George Soros and his operatives at Media Matters?

Kincaid doesn't explain why he thinks News Corp. should have stonewalled authorities even as the  company's phone-hacking scandal continues to grow. Maybe he thinks that's an accepted way of doing journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Friday, February 17, 2012
WND's Geller Upset Anti-Muslim Activist Was Quoted Accurately
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Pamela Geller writes in her Feb. 14 WorldNetDaily column:

Islamic supremacists and their quisling apologists in the leftist media immediately tried to twist the meaning of remarks by one of our speakers, James Lafferty. They accused Lafferty, founder and chairman of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force, of applauding the destruction of mosques. Lafferty set the record straight in a statement he sent me: “I do not condone or encourage any criminal act or vandalism against any mosque. I am a firm believer in the rule of law and the protections our Constitution provides for the free exercise of religion – and that means all religions.”

Geller curiously omits what Lafferty actually said, as Right Wing Watch notes:

Last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force spoke at Pamela Geller’s panel opposing the construction of mosques and the supposed threat of sharia law in the U.S. and bragged that while attending a hate crimes summit convened by the Department of Justice he watched “pictures of some mosque somewhere, and it was usually in the South I’m proud to say where a guy would drive a pickup truck right into the mosque.”

In other words, there was no twisting of Lafferty's words -- he was quoted accurately, and that's something Geller apparently can't deal with.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 PM EST
MRC: Contraception Poll 'Slanted' Because It Wasn't Slanted to the Right
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Feb. 15 NewsBusters post, the Media Research Center's Matthew Balan claims that a CBS/New York Times poll finding that 61% of Catholics approve President Obama's contraception policy is "slanted." Why?

The left-leaning outlets' poll question, however, completely glossed over the religious liberty component to the controversy over the policy, asking only, "What about for religiously-affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university? Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that their health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female employees?"

Reframing the contraception issue as a religious liberty issue is a right-wing talking point that the MRC has aggressively embraced.

In other words, Balan's real complaint is not that the poll was slanted, but that it didn't slant to the right.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:34 AM EST
Newsmax Columnist Fawns Over Gingrich's PAC Funder
Topic: Newsmax

Since there's a little lull right now between presidential primaries, Newsmax has been a little light on Gingrich-fluffing. Doug Wead has apparently decided to try and rectify that with his Feb. 15 column, which is devoted to serving up a ridiculous amount of praise to the billionaire who's funding Gingrich's super PAC, Sheldon Adelson:

Adelson's support of Gingrich is as American as a hot dog and as Italian as his luxurious Venetian hotel and resort. It is American to support the candidate you believe in and it is Italian to put your money where your heart is.

The billionaire's large donations to Newt Gingrich bring to mind the strategies of Nicolo Machiavelli, the 15th century Italian political genius.

At first glance Adelson's moves seem risky, after all, Mitt Romney is the official front-runner. But the casino mogul obviously knows the odds are in his favor.

Machiavelli taught that in a transition, when there are multiple rivals to the throne, one should quickly commit to one of the claimants. Actually, any one of them will do. And commit fully. If your candidate becomes king he will bring you to his bosom.

Wead's enthusiasm for Adelson is a bit surprising given his devotion to Ron Paul, which he even admits here:

As a committed supporter of Ron Paul, I admit that we have had some big donors to our Super PACs as well. I have read about them in the press.

But Ron Paul is running to diminish power not to take it, which attracts a different type of donor altogether.

My guess is that this whole Super PAC business will be shut down next time and there will be no more Sheldon Adelsons. He is seizing the moment as it appears and whatever happens he is a winner.

How else could someone become an overnight player in this trillion-dollar world power game?

And how else could someone do so with such a small investment? Can you really be at the right hand of the president of the United States for a few million? Others will spend a lifetime and commit tens of millions and not even be granted the title Mr. Ambassador, let alone "First Friend."

This sort of Kessler-esque fawning will have to do at Newsmax for now.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 AM EST
MRC's Graham Edits Out O'Reilly Being Unaware of MRC's Existence
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Feb. 14 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham approvingly cites how, on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," Bernard Goldberg describes the Media Research Center as doing "God's work when it comes to exposing liberal media bias."This came during a segment attacking Media Matters (disclosure: my employer).

Before Goldberg said that, however, host Bill O'Reilly said this: "But now it seems like you have a Media Matters, and I don't know if there's a corresponding organization on the right. I don't believe there is. All right, who are basically spinning stuff out to the Washington Post, New York Times, L.A. Times."

O'Reilly doesn't know that the MRC exists? That's brutal.

Of course, O'Reilly may be playing dumb. The MRC spins stuff out to Fox News all the time -- remember, Brent Bozell appears every week on Sean Hannity's show, where there is no guest to counter his spin. And when former Fox anchor Brit Hume accepted the MRC's William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence, he expressed his gratitude for "the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report. I don't know what we would have done without them. It was a daily, sort of a buffet of material to work from, and we - we -- we certainly made tremendous use of it."

Why, it's as if the MRC is writing the scripts for Fox.

Nevertheless, Graham also decided to play dumb by pretending that the MRC is nice and honorable compared to those meanies at Media Matters: "Because liberal outlets dominate the media, there is no way that the MRC could demand the shutdown of a single network like the left-wing pressure groups do."

This is coming from the same guy whose boss called President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead." (The MRC has yet to ackowledge that Bozell did that.) And the same guy who "declared war on the liberal media." So, yeah, that argument won't fly.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EST
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Noel Sheppard: "Sober People Don't Need Birth Control" (It's A Joke!)
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard writes in a Feb. 16 tweet: "If contraceptives R 2 B covered by health insurance shouldn't alcohol since sober people don't need birth control?"


This is immediately followed by tweets insisting that he was joking:

"It's called a joke, dude. Go rent a sense of humor."

"You're into comic books and you can't tell a joke when you see one? Now THAT's entertainment!"

Sheppard has yet to explain where exactly the humor is in his "joke," espeically on a day when prominent right-wing financier Foster Friess was apparently not joking when he insisted that a little aspirin between your knees was an effective contraceptive.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:54 PM EST
WND's Kinsolving Has Earned the Contempt He Receives
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving has another whining fit about White House press secretary Jay Carney being mean to him by not taking another of his stupid questions:

White House press secretary Jay Carney was described as “rude” when he dismissed without consideration a couple of questions from Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, during the daily news briefing today.

Kinsolving had prepared to ask a question or two about the court ruling in New York that lets school officials discriminate against churches by renting facilities to any other group.

Kinsolving, however, didn’t even get the question out, as Carney, apparently referencing a previous question from Kinsolving about a formal Senate vote, warned him to “keep it clean.”

[...]

Kinsolving told WND that he’s never experienced such treatment from a press secretary in the White House. As the reporter who is the second-most senior on the White House beat, Kinsolving has worked with some 16 or 17 different press secretaries since the 1970s when he began attending the White House briefings.

“I’ve never before seen behavior by a White House press secretary like this,” he said. “I’ve never before been denied the opportunity to ask questions by any of the other press secretaries I’ve covered.”

The headline on this article is "See White House Contempt for WND Correspondent." But there's no mention of the contempt WND and Kinsolving has for the Obama White House.

WND is so amoral that it publishes lies and smears about Obama and his administration with impunity and violates journalistic ethics on a regular basis. Kinsolving, meanwhile, is a right-wing hack, and a raging homophobe to boot, who whines every time his biased shenanigans are pushed back against.

If there is "contempt" against Kinsolving and WND, it is because they have behaved in a contemptuous manner. They have not earned the right to be taken seriously as journalists.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 PM EST
MRC Frets Over Comic Book Character Having An Abortion
Topic: Media Research Center

In 2010, the Media Research Center railed against a characterization of Superman it didn't like. Now, the MRC has found another comic-book plot it disapproves of.

In a Feb. 13 MRC Culture & Media Institute post, Paul Wilson asserts that the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" comic book is "promoting abortion" because the title character decides to have one. Wilson reads the fictional character's mind: "In other words, for Buffy, abortion is a convenient way of cleaning up a mess, created by a lack of self-control."

Wilson then states: "But by publishing a comic where a woman gets an abortion, the creator of the comic has effectively taken the side of abortion." That's a pure Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy.

Wilson goes on to rant about how "Buffy’s abortion decision is merely the latest in a recent spate of pro-abortion propaganda in the entertainment industry":

Grey’s Anatomy, which is produced by a Shonda Rhimes, board member of the Los Angeles Planned Parenthood, inserted a pro-abortion message into a September 2011 episode, by positively depicting one of the doctors killing her baby. Private Practice, also produced by Rhimes, was even more overt in supporting abortion in a May 2011 episode, featuring a “pro-life” doctor who admitted to an abortion doctor who had just performed a partial-birth abortion that “you helped that woman.” Friday Night Lights also featured a pro-abortion message in a July 2010 episode, with the moral counselor of the show counseling a young woman to "think about her life, think about what's important to her and what she wants."

Such knee-jerk attacks -- and dismissal of any portrayal of abortion in the media that isn't negative as "pro-abortion" -- are exactly what "Buffy" creator Joss Whedon was trying to counter with his storyline. From a USA Today article:

Whedon points out that Friday Night Lights is one show that recently tackled abortion with the proper respect. And he concedes there's a little bit of a political jab in the Buffy story line. It's not that women should be on one side or the other, he says, but that people have to make this decision and talk about it.

"It offends me that people who purport to be discussing a decision that is as crucial and painful as any a young woman has to make won't even say something that they think is going to make some people angry."

[...]

"I don't tend to write straight dramas where real life just impinges," he says. "But because I don't, when I do it is very interesting to slap people in the face with just an absolute of life."

Wilson is apparently not interested in dealing with real life -- He's rather just mindlessly spout right-wing talking points.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 PM EST
Obama Derangement: Newsmax's Ponte Likens Obama to Evita Peron
Topic: Newsmax

In Argentina during the late 1940s, fascist ruler Juan Peron's wife Evita had a cunning way to win political support.

She would go on the radio and shower listeners with gifts, but not at her or the government's expense. Evita would announce that Pedro's Hardware Store had agreed to give free washing machines to the first 50 workers who asked for them.

The storeowner had made no such agreement, nor was even consulted. But when a mob of "shirtless" Peronistas arrived demanding the free goodies Evita promised, most owners were too frightened to call the first lady a liar or risk having their store ransacked, torched, or targeted for political retaliation by refusing.

Last Friday President Barack Obama offered the Roman Catholic Church what he called an "accommodation . . . not a compromise" on Obamacare's requirement that all employer health insurance must provide female workers with free birth control and abortion-inducing drugs.

[...]

President Obama, in what his spokespeople call "balancing" the (constitutional) right to practice one’s religion with the (non-constitutional) "right" of women to receive free anti-reproductive medication, offered a very Evita-like accommodation.

-- Lowell Ponte, Feb. 14 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 10:43 AM EST
Tim Graham Anti-Gay Freakout Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

It's been, what, a few days since Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham's last anti-gay freakout? So we were due for another one.

This time, Graham's anti-gay ire du jour is directed at Google for inculding a same-sex couple in its Valentine's Day doodle, and at the Washington Post for reporting it. Oddly, Graham seemed to be more offended by the same-sex couple illustration than he was of the doodles of interspecies love. Still, he sneered: "Gay advocates would likely claim that the cartoon before the end is awfully 'heteronormative.' Perhaps they'll complain that they don't like to be compared to love between an astronaut and a space alien."

The Post drew further ire from Graham because "below a photo of Shirley and Arthur Siden on their 70th wedding anniversary, is a photo of a carving in a tree in Rock Creek park saying 'TED N DARYL,'" as well as "a photo of two black men embracing."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 AM EST

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