Did The MRC Kill Its 'I Stand With Rush' Website? Topic: Media Research Center
On March 5, as part of Brent Bozell's campaign to downplay Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic attack on Sandra Fluke, the Media Research Center created an "I Stand With Rush" website, where visitors could sign a petition denouncing "attempts by radical left-wing organizations and the media to censor Rush and his commonsense conservative message." In the accompanying video, as we noted, Bozell couldn't be moved to criticize Limbaugh beyond we can "all agree Limbaugh crossed a line" and changed the subject to attack liberals.
The also provided a place for Rush fans to contact advertisers who announced they were abandoning the show "but still advertise on left-wing hate radio. Call them and tell them to end the double standard."
So what happened? Did Bozell and the MRC suddenly have a fit of conscience and realize that their pro-Rush website looked like it was rewarding Limbaugh for his hateful remarks? Did they suddenly remember that Limbaugh's three-day-long tirade of misogynism, from which Bozell and crew are trying to distract, was inspired by an MRC employee? Or did so few people sign the petition that the plug was pulled after a week?
Whatever the reason, the MRC is keeping quiet so far, perhaps out of embarassment.
CNS Just Can't Stop Using Afghan War to Bash Obama Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has regularly denigrated the war effort in Afghanistan by emphasizing the number of U.S. troops killed there under President Obama, something it never did during the Iraq War under President Bush.
CNS keeps up that bias with a March 12 article by Patrick Goodenough touting a poll claiming that "A growing number of Americans – including Republicans – believe the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting."
By contrast, to our knowledge, CNS did not report to its readers about polls that showed growing public disapproval of the war in Iraq in the final years of the Bush administration. And in his article, Goodenough makes no mention whatsoever of the war in Iraq.
That tells us that CNS is cynically using the Afghan war to attack Obama.
Bozell used this national platform to issue yet another tepid critique of Limbaugh's misogynist attack on Sandra Fluke: "Let's underscore here, Sean: Rush crossed a line, he acknowledges he crossed a line, he apologized profusely for doing that."
In fact, Limbaugh did not "apologize profusely"; he apologized only for using the words "slut" and "prostitute," not for the dozens of other attacks he hurled at Fluke.
Also, Bozell saying we should "underscore" his tepid criticism doesn't make it any less tepid.
Bozell and Hannity, of course, spent much more time attacking Bill Maher than they did Limbaugh. Bozell atone point said that MSNBC's Chris Matthews "called Bill Maher the funniest, smartest man in the businesson February 27 when he was his guest. Can you explain hypocrisy any better than this?"
Apparently, according to Bozell, denouncing Maher while giving Limbaugh a pass doesn't count as a better explanation of hypocrisy.
Farah's 'Proudest Achievement" Has A Flaw Topic: WorldNetDaily
For monthsnow, WorldNetDaily has been promoting (and, of course, selling) a book called "The Harbinger" by Jonathan Cahn, which posits that "the seemingly innocuous words of Isaiah 9:10" are actually a prophecy of 9/11. Now, WND has produced a video based on the book, which WND editor Joseph Farah does some serious gushing over in his March 11 column:
Pride is not a great attribute.
The Bible tells us that “pride goeth before destruction.” (Proverbs 16:18) But it’s clear that the Bible is talking about pride, in this context, as a “haughty spirit.”
There’s another kind of “pride” that is perfectly healthy. It’s the feeling you get when, with God’s help, you accomplish something that brings people closer to Him and perhaps more in line with His will for their lives.
As a writer, publisher, editor and journalist, I’ve had a few moments in my life in which I got the feeling of satisfaction that I had done something to further God’s kingdom.
I have that feeling today about a new video documentary I produced called “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.”
It’s the story of how what happened to the U.S. Sept. 11, 2001, was a warning – from God. And it provides what I believe to be overwhelming evidence to support that conclusion.
Just one problem: It may not exactly be the most rigorous piece of Biblical scholarship in the world.
As Richard Bartholomew points out, this appears to be another one of those cases where a Bible verse is plucked out of context to promote someone's theory.
The key Isaiah verse -- "The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars" -- is apparently treated in the book as something that was literally fulfilled at Ground Zero. As stated in another WND article, a sycamore tree that was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks was replaced by a tree in "the same genus as the cedar."
As Bartholomew notes: "The new trees at the site are pines are rather cedars, and it’s unclear how they 'replace' the famous sycamore that stood near St Paul’s Chapel, but apparently we can dispense with literalism when it suits."
So, to sum up: Farah has declared his "proudest achievement" to be selective Bible reading presented as prophecy.
CNS' Jeffrey Deceptively Attacks 'Doonesbury' Artist Over Abortion Strips Topic: CNSNews.com
If CNSNews.com editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey ever cared about journalism, he certainly doesn't now. All he cares about is stoking the right-wing outrage machine, as his eagerness to use CNS as a platform for his hatred of President Obama makes all too clear.
Jeffrey is willing to abuse his CNS platform for other right-wing causes as well, as is demonstrated by a March 11 "news" article attacking "Doonesbury" artist Garry Trudeau for a series this week mocking a new Texas law mandating invasive ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion, in particular Trudeau's statement that there's no difference between that and rape.
Jeffrey, however, stacks the deck against Trudeau. First, Jeffrey buries Trudeau's explanation of his statement in the 11th paragraph of his article. Second, Jeffrey uses the interim paragraphs to tellhis own version of the law:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld the law in January, describing its requirements as follows: “The amendments require the physician ‘who is to perform an abortion’ to perform and display a sonogram of the fetus, make audible the heart auscultation of the fetus for the woman to hear, and explain to her the results of each procedure and to wait 24 hours, in most cases, between these disclosures and performing the abortion. A woman may decline to view the images or hear the heartbeat, but she may decline to receive an explanation of the sonogram images only on certification that her pregnancy falls into one of three statutory exceptions.”
The court said that under the law “the physician’s unconditional obligations are merely to display images so they may be viewed, to provide an understandable explanation, and to make audible the auscultation.” The law, the court said, “specifically does not require the physician to ensure the woman views the images, that she understands the explanation, or that she listens to the auscultation.”
Well, that's not exactly what the appeals court said: Jeffrey is editorializing by italicizing certain words, and he carefully avoids mentioning that the sonogram device is, as Trudeau described it, "a vaginal probe with a hard, plastic 10-inch wand" -- which is specifically what Trudeau was referring to, pointing out that "The World Health Organization defines rape as "physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration — even if slight — of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object.'"
Jeffrey also falsely attacks Obama over an anti-abortion law he opposed as a state senator, claiming that he "sought to maintain legal protection for" abortions in which the fetus survives. In fact, as we pointed out when CNS did this previously, Obama has said that the behavior the law would have banned was already illegal.
Jeffrey concludes his article by bizarrely noting: "Trudeau was an embryo in 1947 and was born on July 21, 1948."
Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
Loren at Barackryphal caught WorldNetDaily's Jack Cashill, on his personal website, promoting that his anti-Obama book "Deconstructing Obama" had "just won book of the year for 2011 at Lysander Spooner Law School." Just one problem: Lysander Spooner Law School doesn't exist -- it's simply the name of a birther's blog who plans to sell fake law degrees on the side.
As President Obama turns to campaigning instead of governing, he reveals more of his real thinking.
“America’s not just looking out for yourself, it’s not just about greed, it’s not just about trying to climb to the very top and keep everybody else down,” Obama said at the United Auto Workers’ annual National Community Action Program Legislative Conference in Washington.
In other words, with certain exceptions, America is about keeping others down. Yet the fact is no one who has climbed to the top wants to keep anybody down. Not Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, George Soros, Michael Moore, Warren Buffett, or Obama himself. Not Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, or Michael Dell.
Having created an imaginary bogey-man, Obama sends a message to the least fortunate in our society that the deck is stacked against them, so why try?
OBAMA: I was telling you I visited Chrysler’s Jefferson North Plant in Detroit about a year and a half ago. Now, the day I visited, some of the employees had won the lottery. Not kidding. They had won the lottery. Now, you might think that after that they’d all be kicking back and retiring. (Laughter.) And no one would fault them for that. Building cars is tough work. But that’s not what they did. The guy who bought --
AUDIENCE MEMBER: What did they do?
OBAMA: Funny you ask. The guy who bought the winning ticket, he was a proud UAW member who worked on the line. So he used some of his winnings to buy his wife the car that he builds because he’s really proud of his work. Then he bought brand new American flags for his hometown because he’s proud of his country. (Applause.) And he and the other winners are still clocking in at that plant today, because they’re proud of the part they and their coworkers play in America’s comeback.
See, that’s what America is about. America is not just looking out for yourself. It’s not just about greed. It’s not just about trying to climb to the very top and keep everybody else down. When our assembly lines grind to a halt, we work together and we get them going again. When somebody else falters, we try to give them a hand up, because we know we’re all in it together.
Unsurprisingly, Kessler goes on to use this cherry-picking to work in one of his favorite obsessions, Jeremiah Wright, in which he yet again complains that he hasn't gotten credit for attacking Wright in 2007.
NewsBusters Still Won't Criticize Limbaugh's Misogyny Topic: NewsBusters
We've documented how the writers at NewsBusters -- presumably following the dictates of Media Research Center -- can't offer even the slightest bit of criticism of Rush Limbaugh's vitriolic, misogynistic attack on Sandra Fluke, not even offering MRC chief Brent Bozell's milquetoast mewlings about how Limbaugh was being "inappropriate." Their marching orders are to change the subject by talking about liberals who say offensive things, and for these opinionated writers to express no opinion whatsoever about Limbaugh.
In a March 7 post, MRC employee Matt Hadro was offended that a CNN contributor claimed that Bill Maher's remarks about women were not as bad as Limbaugh's. At no point did Hadro criticize what Limbaugh said.
In a March 8 post, NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd highlighted an MSNBC anchor complaining about Limbaugh using sexist language like "authorette" to attack Tracie McMillan, who wrote something he didn't like. Shepherd even defended Limbaugh's language, insisting that Limbaugh was speaking "facetiously" when he said of the author, "What is it with all these young, single white women, overeducated -- doesn't mean intelligent." Shepherd then joined Limbaugh in bashing McMillan, dismissing her as "a liberal hack in the guise of journalist."
As you might expect, Shepherd was silent about Limbaugh's attacks on Fluke.
In a March 9 post, NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard uncritically repeated Sarah Palin's criticism of President Obama's PAC accepting a $1 million donation from Maher. Sheppard is silent about Limbaugh, who received the MRC's inaugural "William F. Buckley, Jr. Award for Media Excellence."
A March 9 post by Tim Graham repeatedly criticized Maher for donating to Obama's PAC. He was silent about Limbaugh.
A March 9 post by Tom Blumer uncriticially repeated a Limbaugh transcript in which he expressed pride that what Blumer called "the hate-filled left" has not been able to remove him from the air. Blumer said nothing about the hate-filled rants that brought LImbaugh to this point. Blumer did not criticize Limbaugh for his remarks -- rather he concluded by stating, "Game. Set. Match." Blumer also failed to correct Limbaugh's falsehood that he spent only "five minutes" attacking Fluke; in fact, he spent significant parts of his show over three days doing so.
A March 10 post by MRC employee Kyle Drennen attacked Andrea Mitchell for criticizing limbaugh when "hought use of the word "slut" – one of Limbaugh's offending remarks – was perfectly fine when it was to get laughs for a network sitcom. Back on the September 30, 2010 episode of NBC's 30 Rock, Mitchell made a cameo playing herself and called Tina Fey's character Liz Lemon a 'slut' following rumors of an office romance." Drennen ignores the fact that Limbaugh's radio show is not a sitcom and that Fluke is not a fictional character.
Drennen did concede that "30 Rock is fiction, and the comment was made in jest," but then added, "the fact that Mitchell agreed to use her position as a journalist to promote such language as humor certainly undermines her moral authority in condemning Limbaugh."
In a March 10 post attacking "attention-seeking" Gloria Allred for threatening Limbaugh, Noel Sheppard insisted that what Limbaugh said wasn't offensive at all: "His joke was that a woman wanting others to pay for her birth control is acting like a slut and a prostitute." Sheppard didn't explain what the difference is between Limbaugh and actual comedians like Maher, or why Maher doesn't get the comedian's defense he's offering Limbaugh.
Sheppard followed that up with a post complaining that Maher called Limbaugh ""a stupid fat f--k who’s not funny." Sheppard retorted: "First off, who is Bill Maher - as one of the most vulgar people on television - to determine what's a disgusting sentiment?" Sheppard keeps quiet about his apparently favorable opinion about Limbaugh's "joke."
A March 10 post by Graham proclaimed offense that someone pointed out that Maher is a comedian while Limbaugh is the "de facto leader of the Republican Party." Graham huffed in response: "Would Reince Priebus agree that Rush Limbaugh really runs the GOP?" Graham took further offense that it was pointed out that Mitt Romney was endorsed by Ted Nugent, who has a record of saying offensive things like calling Obama a "piece of shit" who should "suck on my machine gun." (Did we mention he also called Hillary Clinton a "toxic cunt"?)
Rather than criticize Nugent's offensive remarks -- something we can't remember anyone at the MRC ever doing -- Graham tried to change the subject: Wait a minute. Does Ted Nugent compare to Bill Maher? Does Nugent have a weekly HBO show? Or maybe Burton would say he is the de facto leader of the NRA?" Well, Nugent is on the NRA board of directors. That's a bigger deal in some quarters (like MRC headquarters?) than hosting a show on HBO.
Meanwhile, at the MRC's TimesWatch blog, Clay Waters was under the same marching orders -- a March 9 item criticized a New York Times article for "tarring Rush Limbaugh as a thug." Waters said nothing about the offensive nature of Limbaugh's remarks.
WND Desperately Trying to Prop Up Arpaio Birther Posse Probe Topic: WorldNetDaily
As questions mount about the veracity and credibilty of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "cold case posse" -- with its financial and personnel links to WorldNetDaily and the principal investigators, including WND's Jerome Corsi, are trying to profit off the "investigation" by publishing an e-book about it -- WND is feverishly trying to salvage whatever credibility it might have, albeit in the contradictory fashion of making increasingly outlandish claims.
A March 7 article by Bob Unruh features a claim by Mike Zullo, lead posse investigator and Corsi's fellow cashing-in partner, that "he was told by sources members of the media were threatened with federal investigations should they continue to report on the birth certificate issue." Unruh quotes Zullo as saying, "During our investigation, we actually were told [that media] had been threatened with FTC investigations. Commentators [had been] threatened with their jobs." Unruh and Zullo, of course, offer no actual evidence to back up this claim.
That's not surprising, because it appears bogus on its face. Why would the Federal Trade Commission investigate journalists? Not only does that agency have nothing to do with regulating journalism, nobody does.
Unruh also gives Zullo to defend co-writing a book, including paraphrasing Corsi -- oddly, Unruh never quotes Corsi directly, despite being a fellow WND employee -- as having "confirmed that Zullo was very reluctant to do the book," adding that "Corsi also said he was acutely aware of the financial sacrifice Zullo made over the last six months, having to devote much of his time to the investigation."
Unruh doesn't mention that reviewers have pointed out that large chunks of the book are simply copied-and-pasted from other sources, including Corsi's own birther book of last year. That raises the question of just how much actual investigating went on.
The next day, WND published an article focusing on one of the claims made in the press conference announcing the results of the posse "investigation," that "missing records" mean that it can't be confirmed that Barack Obama wasn't born in Kenya. The posse allegedly looked at Immigration and Naturalization Service records from August 1961 for flights landing in Honolulu because "if Barack Obama had been born in Kenya, or any other location outside the United States, there should be a passenger record of the airline flight on which she, a new mother, returned to Hawaii with her newly born infant son."
WND didn't mention that, as the Fogbow reported, examining only Honolulu arrivals was a useless exercise even if the records had been there:
Imigration control forms are filled out at the first USA airport where an overseas flight lands.
In 1961, the only foreign destinations reachable non-stop from east of Honolulu were Vancouver, Canada and a few small places in northern Mexico that would not have had air service to Hawaii. West of Honolulu, Pan-Am was flying non-stop from Tokyo to Honolulu; Quantas and Canadian Pacific were flying in from Sydney with a refueling stop in Fiji.
Flying from Kenya to Honolulu via Tokyo was possible but not practical as it required a number of Asian stops. A more typical trip from Kenya would be Nairobi to Cairo to London to NY or another East Coast city, then LA or San Francisco to Hawaii. It was a grueling multi-day trip.
Then, in a March 9 article, Chelsea Schilling touts a column in, of all places, the Russian newspaper Pravda claiming that American media is “tame,” afraid to publish news and is “deliberately hiding the evidence published on the internet about [Obama's] defrauding of the American public and the deliberate evisceration of the Constitution of the United States.”
That's right -- WND is promoting work in a publication best known as the official voice of Soviet-era propaganda to back up its birther conspiracies.
That, perhaps more than anything, demonstrates the depths of intellectual dishonesty WND must descend to keep the birther story alive. It apparently doesn't matter to WND that it instantly discredits itself by doing so.
In a March 7 NewsBusters post, Brian Sikma criticizes a reporter for a tiny newspaper in Wisconsin for continuing to cover politics even though "he was found on Facebook personally cheering on the efforts of Lori Compas, the woman who was leading the charge to recall incumbent state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald."
Just one little problem: NewsBusters sister "news" organization works pretty much the same way.
CNSNews.com reporters regularly spout their right-wing opinions on the subjects they cover. Most notoriously, Penny Starr portrayed Harry Reid as a baby-killer for supporting a health care reform bill that, as she misleadingly claimed, used federal money to pay for abortions, yet she reports on abortion-related issues for CNS.
If the MRC can't run its own "news" organization in a fair and balanced manner, how can it criticize others for failing to live up to that standard?
Answer: It can't. NewsBusters is just being hypocritical.
Man Who Inspired Limbaugh's Misogyny Against Sandra Fluke Criticizes Louis C.K. Topic: CNSNews.com
For most people, serving as the inspiration for a massive misogynistic rant would give one pause about criticizing the alleged misogyny of others. But not CNSNews' Craig Bannister.
Bannister, CNS' director of communications, uses a March 9 blog post to repeat criticism from Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that the headliner at this year's Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner is comedian Louis C.K., who he calls "a foul-mouthed denigrater of women." (Louis C.K. has since withdrawn from speaking at the dinner.)
Mind you, Bannister is the man who declared Sandra Fluke to be a "sex-crazed co-ed" for talking about birth control in public, which gave Rush Limbaugh license to call Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" who is "having so much sex, it's amazing she can still walk." Limbaugh added, "Who bought your condoms in junior high? Who bought your condoms in the sixth grade?" and asked, "did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have?"
Bannister has yet to publicly discuss the misogyny he inspired in Limbaugh, let alone criticize it. Yet he feels comfortable bashing Louis C.K. as a "denigrator of women"?
Joseph Farah's Gay-Bashing Streak Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah has been on an anti-gay tear the past few days.
In his March 7 WorldNetDaily column, Farah likened those to favor the legality of gay marriage to terrorists:
Same-sex marriage advocates no more care about the legality of same-sex marriage than Hamas cares about the creation of a Palestinian state.
Neither is interested in creating something new – something that has never been before. Instead, what same-sex marriage advocates and the terrorists of the Gaza Strip have in common is their desire to destroy something they find repulsive. In Gaza, it’s the Jewish state of Israel. Among homosexual activists, it’s the institution of marriage.
By making the bogus claim that marriage, as it has been known through the eons, is inherently unfair because some people don’t want to participate in it as it has always been defined, homosexual activists are able to establish for themselves what appears to be the political high ground of the victim. In exactly the same way, Arab terrorists are able to portray themselves as the victim by claiming they have been denied a state.
In his March 9 column, Farah declared that there was nothing wrong with Kirk Cameron asserting that homosexuality is "unnatural" and that same-sex marriage would be "detrimental" to society:
Let’s get real.
Cameron expressed no hate. He condemned no one. He succinctly and respectfully reflected the views of a majority of Americans and the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians.
That means the media, the entertainment industry and the homosexual lobby are no longer tolerant of mainstream American and Christian views being publicly espoused.
Think about that.
That’s where we are in America right now.
I want to thank Kirk Cameron for standing up so boldly to proclaim the truth. It takes guts. He probably didn’t realize how much flack he would get. But Jesus warned believers about the times we’re living in.
NewsBusters Dubiously Claims TV Station 'Prevented' Access of Obama Video to Breitbart Topic: NewsBusters
Under the headline "Two Groups Trying to Prevent Breitbart Video Release Also Soros-Funded," Iris Somberg writes in a March 8 NewsBusters post that Boston public TV station WGBH "prevented" access by Breitbart.com to a video of Barack Obama in 1990 making a speech at Harvard Law School in favor of professor Derrick Bell getting tenure. This echoes a previous claim by Breitbart.com Big Journalism editor Dana Loesch that "WGBH refused to give Breitbart.com the video."
Somberg seems to have ignored that the Breitbart sites apparently didn't feel like paying for the video. As WGBH pointed out, the website Buzzfeed, which posted the entirety of what was available of Obama’s speech, paid WGBH for the footage it used. Breitbart apparently demanded the footage be given out for free.
It appears Breitbart was too cheap to pay for the footage it wanted. (WGBH has since posted the Obama-Bell footage in its entirety.)
Somberg also claimed this Obama-Bell footage "was hidden from the American public," which is utterly false. As WGBH noted, excerpts of the footage were used in a 2008 campaign special for the PBS show "Frontline."
Somberg goes on to irrelevently sacaremonger about George Soros, complaining that "more than $3.5 million was granted to WGBH and Harvard by Soros’s Open Society Foundations since 2000." Which, of course, has nothing to do with any of this.
WND Columnist: Sandra Fluke Is An 'Apparent Slut' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Phil Elmore uses his March 7 WorldNetDaily column to regurgitate Rush Limbaugh's slurs of Sandra Fluke:
Never mind that Sandra Fluke – who appeared at a press conference crafted by Democrats to resemble a congressional hearing – is a left-wing activist whose whining about the inordinate sum she pays for birth control has made her name a prurient punch line. Never mind that Fluke was originally misrepresented as a doe-eyed 20-something coed, when in fact the law student is a 30-year-old woman who ought to be able to buy her (presumably) many lovers’ cases of condoms. Never mind that libtalkers like Ed Schultz and Bill Maher have called prominent conservative women like Laura Ingraham and Sarah Palin names like “slut” (and worse). No, when Rush Limbaugh called this apparent slut a slut, his crime was immediately judged so heinous that sponsors started jumping ship without regard to the damage they might be doing themselves.
Elmore, of course, offers up no evidence whatsoever that discussing birth control in public, which is what Fluke did, automatically makes you an "apparent slut."
Perhaps Elmore ought to follow his idol by issuing a half-assed apology for his slur of Fluke. We don't expect him to be genuinely contrite, since Limbaugh wasn't either.
NEW ARTICLE: Brent Bozell's Profile in Cowardice Topic: Media Research Center
Not only can't the Media Research Center president be bothered to issue but tepid criticism of Rush Limbaugh's sleazy attacks on a congressional witness, he effectively rewards Limbaugh's hate with an "I Stand With Rush" website. Read more >>