MRC's Graham Apparently OK With Anti-Abortion Activists Targeting Children Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham doesn't seem to care much for the idea that turnabout is fair play.
In a March 30 NewsBusters post, Graham suggests there was nothing at all wrong with anti-abortion protesters targeting the 11-year-old daughter of the Maryland landlord who leased space to an abortion clinic by picketing at her middle school, calling them merely "aggressive," and besides, they were "near (but not on) the property of the middle school his daughter attended."
Again: Anti-abotion protester didn't target the abortion doctor or his family. They targeted the 11-year-old daughter of the doctor's landlord. And Graham is apparently perfectly fine with that. He did concede, however, that "Most pro-life activists prefer protesting at a clinic location than near a school, which can (and did) lead to bad publicity, or worse." But he didn't condemn the protest; instead, he played the equivocation game by pointing out "what happened to James Pouillon when he repeatedly protested abortion outside Owosso High School in Michigan. He was shot dead in 2009."
The landlord's response to such intrusive attacks, however, has drawn Graham's ire. He's really unhappy that, as the Washington Post reported, the landlord is collecting the names and phone numbers of anti-abortion protesters who made harrassing calls to his home "by the dozens, at all hours," and formed a network of supporters who called them back and “In a very calm, very respectful voice, they said that the Stave family thanks you for your prayers.”
Graham huffed that the Washington Post let the landlord "present himself as perfectly tolerant of peaceful pro-life protests as a First Amendment exercise," adding:
Do we know every pro-abortion caller is "calm and reasoned"? More "calm and reasoned" than the protest calls they receive? Dvorak saves words like "tormentors" for the people who oppose ripping out the limbs and vacuuming out the skulls of unborn babies in the third trimester of development. "Turnabout is fair play" is the headline. So Dvorak and the Post don't take the position of "two wrongs don't make a right." They find it "clever" that if you called Stave once, you deserve "up to 5,000 calls in return."
But Graham has made it clear he doesn't really see targeting an 11-year-old girl for something her father did is "wrong." He's just upset that the landlord is fighting back against invasions of his family's privacy by using like-minded tactics against the protesters. Apparently, anti-abortion protesters can be as "aggressive" as they want, but their targets aren't allowed to respond.
Fox's Muslim Defense Not As Good As Noel Sheppard Thinks It Is Topic: NewsBusters
In a March 20 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard touts how Fox News' Bret Baier "struck back" at a statement in a new book by David Corn that President Obama complained that Fox News pushes the idea that "Obama is a Muslim 24/7" by stating, "we found no examples of a host saying President Obama is a Muslim."
Sheppard apparently thinks this was a brilliant response:
Yeah, but that doesn't matter, Bret.
Corn wrote it, Politico cited it, and now it's going to be blast all over the Obama-loving media until large portions of the nation believe it.
Makes you proud to be an American, doesn't it?
In fact, Baier's response is very specific and parsed. It may be factually accurate that no Fox host specifically stated that Obama is a Muslim, but as Media matters details, Fox has clearly and repeatedly questioned and promoted falsehoods about Obama's faith, including pushing the false claim that Obama attended a madrassa. And as Corn himself points out, Fox has made little effort to shoot down claims by others that Obama is a Muslim.
Is anybody proud that Sheppard is such a mindless shill for Fox News? We can't imagine how.
NewsBusters Hates the Comedy Defense -- Except for Limbaugh Topic: NewsBusters
Scott Whitlock uses a March 16 NewsBusters post to complain that Stephen colbert said that the Taliban "evidently have a better track record on women's issues" than Rush Limbaugh. Whitlock further complains:
Liberals, including Colbert and Jon Stewart themselves, will immediately jump to the "we're just comedians" defense. However, considering that outlets like MSNBC routinely promote their clips and portay them simply as cultural satirists, it's worth noting the extreme, often hateful tilt of their comedy.
Whitlock seems to have forgotten that his NewsBusters colleagues defended Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic attack on Sandra Fluke as a joke.
As we've documented, Whitlock's fellow MRC employee Brent Baker said of Limbaugh's hateful demand that he wantsvideo of Fluke having sex: "Obviously, a bit of humor which escaped the overly-sensitive left-wing/media axis always looking to be offended." And another MRC co-worker, Ken Shepherd, insisted that Limbaugh was speaking "facetiously" when he denigrated a female author by saying, "What is it with all these young, single white women, overeducated -- doesn't mean intelligent."
It's more than a bit hypocritical of Whitlock to denounce the comedian defense when his own co-workers used the exact same defense to try and protect Limbaugh.
It's hardly the sign of a competent media critic when he starts channeling 20-year-old teen movies. But that's how Noel Sheppard reacts to Rosie O'Donnell losing her TV show on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Sheppard states this in a March 17 NewsBusters post:
I really am deeply saddened by this news and wish my former classmate all the best...NOT!
There you have it: Sheppard channels the juvenelia of "Wayne's World" to offer "media criticism."
MRC's Graham: What Are All Those Gays Doing At the White House? Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham is having another anti-gay freakout, folks.
The headline of Graham's March 16 NewsBusters post reads, "Was Obama Playing Politics By Loading State Dinner Guest List With Gays?" Graham goes on to note that "fifteen prominent gays" attended the state dinner at the White House for British prime minister David Cameron. He then goes on to list them, noting that this may be part of an effort to "end the media-enabled charade that Obama (the 'committed Christian') opposes 'marriage equality.'"
Of course, Graham has long been a gay-basher, and this obsession with gays at the White House is just another part of that.
Roland Martin Returns to CNN; MRC's Graham Hardest Hit Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham informs us in a March 13 NewsBusters post that CNN has lifted its suspension of Roland Martin as a commentator following what Graham called "Super Bowl Sunday tweets that offended the gay censorship lobby." Graham added, "CNN is apparently pleased with Martin's sackcloth-and-ashes apology tour with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Martin met with GLAAD lobbyist (and former CNN producer) Herndon Graddick on Valentine's Day."
As one of the lead gay-bashers at the Media Research Center, Graham made sure to get in some potshots by suggesting that Martin is still trying to curry favor with GLAAD: "He no doubt pleased GLAAD by complaining on Twitter Monday that no one had a sense of humor who was 'tripping' at the show 'GCB.' He said Christians should 'lighten up.' The show could not be made if it was titled 'Good Gay Bitches.'"
Of course, the MRC's idea of humor is Rush Limbaugh denigrating a woman for speaking out on birth control, so Graham and Co. may not be the best judges of what is and is not funny.
Graham added this detail of his tweet-fight with Martin over "GCB":
When I asked Martin if his wife the Rev. Jacquie Hood Martin objected or if the "bitches" title was okay because there were no black actresses in ABC's gang of "bitches," he only replied, "Nope. I get satire. But go ahead and knock yourself out, dude."
It appears Graham missed Martin while he was away and is glad to have someone to spar with again.
Noel Sheppard Attacks Ex-McCain Advisers As Backstabbing Failures Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard really, really doesn't like the HBO movie about the 2008 McCain-Palin presidential campaign, "Game Change." Or, more accurately, he doesn't like the fact that it apparently tells that story through the eyes of two advisers who paint an unflattering portrait of the campaign.
Sheppard rants in a March 11 NewsBusters post that those two advisers, Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace, "not only were responsible for the worst presidential campaign in decades, but also ended up backstabbing the candidates they represented." He continued:
Instead, the film depicted this as being all Palin's fault, with her left afterward in an on-screen tantrum that concluded with the former Alaska governor throwing her cellphone at a wall.
Such disparagement was standard fare in HBO's "Game Change," which despite book co-author Mark Halperin's claim Palin critics would come away with a more favorable view of the object of their disaffection, this would only be true if you turned off your television after the first hour.
Hour two was filled with the typical Palin-bashing Americans have been exposed to since McCain named her as his running mate in August 2008.
In one scene, Julianne Moore as Palin doesn't know that the Queen of England has nothing to do with actually governing her country.
Sheppard went on to attack Wallace for setting up the now-infamous Sarah Palin interview with Katie Couric, and that "should have been excoriated given the results." But how is it Wallace's fault that Palin was unable to give a straight answer to a simple question like what newspapers she read?
Sheppard further ranted: "It appears that for a Republican to be held in high esteem by the liberal media, all he or she need do is run a failed presidential campaign - McCain-Palin suffered the biggest landslide since Michael Dukakis in 1988 - and then backstab the candidates you represented."
In fact, all Sheppard is doing here is engaging in NewsBusters' favorite pastime of Heathering any conservative who fails to toe the right-wing line with sufficient fealty. And, in the case of Schimidt and Wallace, committing the offense of telling the truth about the McCain-Palin campaign.
But Shepaprd's not done complaining yet. In a March 12 post, he further rants regarding Schimidt that "despite his failure as the McCain-Palin campaign’s senior adviser, and his subsequent backstabbing of the candidates he represented, HBO’s 'Game Change' made him the hero of its Palin-bashing film that premiered Saturday."
Sheppard made it clear that he prefers mindless spouting of talking points over telling the truth:
One quite imagines that if Schmidt had kept his mouth shut and remained loyal to those he had previously served, he wouldn’t be receiving this kind of media adoration nor be a contributor to MSNBC.
But this is what becomes of failed Republican campaign advisers willing to proudly disparage those they used to work for: they are heralded as heroes rather than goats by a fawning media with what should be an obvious agenda, especially to those on the receiving end of the hypocritical praise.
For his part, Schmidt - clearly lacking a soul or a conscience - is going to ride this wave as far as it can go, as for him, the selection of Palin really was a game change.
Actually, it's Sheppard who's the one lacking a soul or conscience by putting ideology before facts. But then, the MRC is presumably paying him well to do exactly that.
UPDATE: Sheppard still isn't done with his tantrum: He also interviews Palin shill John Ziegler to help him attack those "backstabbing failures."
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.
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.
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.
NewsBusters' Misleading Posthumous Defense of Breitbart on Sherrod Video Topic: NewsBusters
The death of right-wing activist Andrew Breitbart has sent NewsBusters into a frenzy of posthumous defense that ignores the facts.
In a March 1 post, Matthew Sheffield declares that "Breitbart did not falsely represent Shirley Sherrod, former U.S. Department of Agriculture director of Rural Development in Georgia in relaying a video of her discrimination against white applicants for a farm subsidy program in 2010," and that there is no evidence that Bfreitbart "selectively edited her remarks to take her out of context." Sheffield went on to lament that "Breitbart has been blamed for people not reading his work."
In fact, Breitbart did misrepresent Sherrod, and he did post edited clips of a Sherrod speech. The point of Breitbart posting the clips was not to exonerate Sherrod for, in Sheffield's words, "realizing that discrimination was wrong." Breitbart himself said that "The way she's talking about white people ... is conveying a present tense racism in my opinion." In other words, Breitbart's own declared intent was to present Sherrod as holding racist views.
Breitbart later insisted that the real point of the clips was to show that Sherrod's audience expressed "nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement" -- which is also false.
Further, whether Breitbart himself personally did the selective editing of Sherrod's speech is irrelevent; the fact remains that Breitbart posted the edited clips and made no apparent effort to find out the full and proper context of those remarks before posting them.
Hilariously, NewsBusters itself couldn't get that misleading talking point straight. A March 1 post by Matt Hadro stated that "Sherrod was hastily fired before it was discovered that the video of her was doctored and in fact she was speaking out against racism." This statement now has a strike-through line through it, followed by a correction appended that states: "We apologize for Mr. Hadro's error. The video was not doctored as we have previously noted and chastised the media for getting wrong. Our deepest apologies."
Yes, NewsBusters is so upset that one of its own writers botched a right-wing talking point.
Meanwhile, Tom Blumer also stepped on the message in a March 1 post, declaring that "The sentiment uttered in the Breitbart video was racist, and the African-American audience clearly enjoyed it," adding: "I believe that Sherrod made a political calculation that she couldn't get away with what she was thinking about doing to the white farmer, and later decided to put her change of heart into a pretty outfit. Given the rest of her record and that of her husband, it's hard to see how I can be proven wrong."
Blumer went on to further denigrate Sherrod, claiming that "she could have avoided playing the martyr had she wished" and that her husband "was caught on video in a university speech advocating bizarre and clearly separatist ideas and racist whines."
Will NewsBusters offer its "deepest apologies" for Blumer's undermining of the right-wing narrative as well?
Noel Sheppard surely deserves some kind of award for the amount of desperate spinning he's doing to defend his beloved Fox News when they've been caught red-handed engaging in the kind of bias he and his NewsBusters colleagues are supposed to deplore.
In a Feb. 29 post, Sheppard discusses a "Daily Show" segment in which host Jon Stewart points out that Fox News appear to be following the instructions of a Republican National Committee memo advising sympathetic pundits to distract from news of an improving economy by talking about debt, unemployment, and gas prices -- to the point that Fox's Steve Doocy actually reads from the memo on the air, then immediately follows its advice. This is the sort of thing that, when so-called liberal media outlets do it in much less blatant form (like reportingthings that diverge from the right-wing agenda), NewsBusters describe as "talking points."
Sheppard responds by completely ignoring the fact that Fox News was busted quite literally reading Republican talking points and desperately trying to play a switcheroo saying that Fox News using Republican talking points somehow shows that the "liberal media" uses Democratic talking points, or something:
“You can’t do that,” Stewart exclaimed. “You just gave the game away.”
Actually, it was Stewart that gave the game away, as he exposed that much like virtually every liberal media member in the country, he is and has been rooting for Barack Obama since 2008.
It's not odd that news organizations would report the national debt, stubbornly high unemployment, and soaring gas prices.
What's odd is that for over three years, virtually every news outlet besides Fox downplayed budget deficits and the poor condition of the labor markets - and/or blamed both on former President George W. Bush - and are currently underreporting gas prices and/or making the case they're not Obama's fault.
Stewart is clearly displeased that Fox is going against this dishonest grain and actually telling its viewers the truth about these negative economic factors that threaten to derail any recovery that might now be taking root.
To Stewart, reports that undermines the President he loves should be ignored, at least until after the elections, and any outlet going against this tenet must clearly be in bed with the RNC.
It curiously doesn't bother Stewart that by withholding such information from the public virtually every other media organization including his is in bed with the DNC.
Got that? Democratic talking points are just talking points, while Republican talking points are the truth. We think.
It's not often you see someone like Sheppard making such a blatantly dishonest argument that is so desperately determined to deny reality. But, apparently, that's why he makes the big bucks as the associate editor of NewsBusters.
NewsBusters' Silly Freakout Over Hybrids in HOV Lanes Topic: NewsBusters
Tom Blumer spends a Feb. 26 NewsBusters post in freakout mode over the idea that California is allowing certain Chevy Volt models to use high-occupancy vehicle, or HOV, lanes without having to meet the passenger requirement:
Silly me. I thought "HOV" when used in connection with expressway traffic meant "High Occupancy Vehicle." Apparently not, now that California is allowing a 2012 version of the Chevy Volt to use HOV lanes, even by drivers who have no passengers. Maybe the acronym really stands for "Haughty Obama Vehicles." Or "Hapless Odd Vehicles." Or "Have-to Offload (these slow-selling) Vehicles." I'm sure readers can do better.
One upside: At least the drivers sitting stalled in the slow lanes won't have to worry about having a nearby Volt catching fire and having it spread to them.
In fact, California -- along with several other states -- has allowed hybrid vehicles to use HOV lanes with solo drivers since 2005, when a federal transportation law containing the provision was signed by ... President Bush. Blumer somehow forgot to mention that.
In other words, Blumer's freakout is competely silly and driven by a bizarre hatred for a car.
NewsBusters Strains to Defend Santorum's Anti-College Attack Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters' Ken Shepherd is in a snit because, in his words, MSNBC's Alex Wagner portrayed Rick Santorum as "anti-college, believing the acquisition of higher education to be a mark of snobbery." Shepherd retorted in a Feb. 27 NewsBusters post:
Far from saying that being college-educated is form of snobbery, what the former Republican senator said at an Americans for Prosperity event on Saturday -- and Wagner's producers aired earlier in the segment -- was as follows (emphases mine):
SANTORUM, first clip: President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!
SANTORUM, second clip: There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard everyday and put their skills to test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor that [is] trying to indoctrinate them.
Shepherd curiously fails to mention that the premise of Santorum's attack is false -- Obama never said that "everybody in America"should go to a four-year college where they are in danger of encountering "some liberal college professor." Obama said in a February 2009 speech (via FactCheck.org):
And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option.
FactCheck also points out that Santorum's 2006 website stated that he is "equally committed to ensuring the every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education" -- the same position he's bashing Obama for promoting.
Santorum is twisting Obama's words. Will Shepherd call him out for that?