ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
WND Hiding Arpaio Lieutenant's Disbarment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've documented, WorldNetDaily -- as the public-relations arm of Joe Arpaio's -- is simply not going to report any unpleasant news about the Arizona sheriff.

That's why you will read nowhere at WND that Andrew Thomas, the former Maricopa County attorney who worked closely with Arpaio for several years, has been disbarred for abusing his powers as a prosecutor to target his political enemies -- which also happened to be Arpaio's political enemies.

Given WND's role as Apraio's stenographer, you will also not be surprised that WND has previously come to  Thomas' defense.

An unbylined Oct. 28 article claimed that Thomas and two associates were simply trying to "follow the book and apply the law to actions by the system’s power brokers and others." citing a local newspaper blogger who claimed that Thomas was "the victim of a witch hunt." The article goes on to declare the bar association's charging document against Thomas and his associates "apparently politically charged" and quotes in full a resolution by local Republicans denouncing it.

It's hard to spin away disbarment to Arpaio's satisfaction. Indeed, Talking Points Memo argues that this could be the scandal that ultimately brings Arpaio down. Arpaio is mentioned 48 times in the Arizona Supreme Court’s disciplinary panel ruling to disbar Thomas.

IT seems clear that if Arpaio goes down, WND's current stab at making its birther obsession -- putting the veneer of credibility on it by an Arpaio-led "investigation" that merely regurgitated WND's own conspiracy theories -- does as well.

That's why WND won't tell you about Thomas' fate.

UPDATE: Dr. Conspiracy observes regarding the disbarment ruling against Thomas: "What is most disturbing from the point of view of this blog is the fact that the County Attorney and the Sheriff’s office made a false statement of probable cause to further their own interests and not the cause of justice. Sound familiar?"


Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:29 AM EDT
MRC Ignores Evidence of Fox News' Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

If there's one thing the Media Research Center will not do, it's admit that Fox News is has a right-wing bias perhaps even more pronounced than that of the "liberal media" it loves to rail against. It will refuse to do so even when the evidence is right in front of their collective faces.

An April 12 MRC item by Scott Whitlock touts how John Stossel said he "left the liberal confines of ABC News 'because it sucked there.'" While Whitlock portrayed Stosse's disdain for ABC as evidence of its purported liberal bias, Stossel's statement that he "begged" for a job at Fox News was not portrayed as what it is -- evidence that Stossel wanted to work somewhere where his right-wing ideology would be tolerated.

Meanwhile, going completely unmentioned by the MRC is even more damning evidence of Fox's bias. As Media Matters detailed, washed-up Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have both accused Fox of being biased toward Mitt Romney, and that bias helped Romney become the presumptive Republican nominee.

We couldn't find Santorum's or Gingrich's  accusations mentioned anywhere on MRC's NewsBusters, the most likely place for them to appear.

Funny how an organization that screams about bias regarding every other news organization suddenly can't find any on Fox News? But that's the way it's always been -- the MRC has been cultivating this blind spot for years.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 PM EDT
Cashill Still Whitewashing His Favorite Murderer
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill's April 11 WorldNetDaily column weighs in on the Trayvon Martin case, drawing parallels to his favorited convicted killer, Steven Nary:

Nary and Zimmerman have a good deal in common. Most notably, each killed a man acting in what he believed to be self-defense.

Then, too, the incident that landed each in hot water happened during a year when a Democratic president was up for re-election, Nary in March 1996, Zimmerman in February 2012.

A third common denominator in this unhappy trifecta is that each killed a member of a highly protected political class: Trayvon Martin being a black youth and Juan Pifarre, Nary’s “victim,” a well-connected gay Hispanic.

If Zimmerman has an advantage it is that he will be tried in Florida, where he should have a fighting chance. Nary was tried in San Francisco, where he had no chance at all.

Cashill goes on to rehash his whitewashed version of Nary's case: Nary, then a Navy enlistee, "was lured from a co-ed dance club to the apartment of a gay predator," Juan Pifarre, Nary killed the "chunky, coked-up" man in self-defense of a homosexual advance, and when he got back to his ship, "Nary told the chaplain, unaware that San Francisco had morphed into the equivalent of Jim Crow Alabama."

As he has before, Cashill leaves out certain inconvenient details:

  • Nary allowed Pifarre to perform oral sex on him, for which Pifarre offered to pay Nary $40.
  • Nary told police he choked Pifarre for five minutes, and the apartment where Nary killed Pifarre was strewn with blood. That seems to undermine Cashill's insistence that Nary killed Pifarre in self-defense.
  • Nary originally denied any sexual contact with Pifarre and told the Navy medic who treated the broken hand Nary suffered in killing Pifarre that he had hurt it playing basketball.

Cashill now concedes that "Nary’s memory on what happened chez Pifarre has always been imperfect."

That revisionist history out of the way, Cashill smeared Martin as "a 6′ 3″ wannabe gangster," adding of jurors in the Zimmerman trial: "Hanging over their heads will be the threat of much worse riots – like those that ensued after jurors in L.A. returned the “wrong” verdict in the trial of the police officers who arrested Rodney King. Jurors will also have to worry that if they judge Zimmerman not guilty, the threats now directed at Zimmerman would be directed at them."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EDT
CNS Disappears Limbaugh From Article On Sandra Fluke -- Then Lets Misogynist Readers Take His Place
Topic: CNSNews.com

Edwin Mora devoted an April 16 CNSNews.com article to an appearance by Sandra Fluke at Georgetown University. Mora noted that Fluke "ecame a national figure in February when she testified at a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing put together by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California."

Well, not really -- Fluke became a national figure after Rush Limbaugh spent three days denigrating her as a "slut" and a "prostitute" for talking about birth control in public. But Mora makes no mention whatsoever of Limbaugh in his article.

Mora's readers, however, more than made up for Limbaugh's mysterious disappearance by hurling the same insults at Fluke -- and then some:



















As we've pointed out, misogynist, racist and homophobic cowards who hide behind fake names to spew their bile appear to be the kind of audience Terry Jeffrey is seeking out for CNS these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Absurdity
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters and its Media Research Center parent were all to eager to accept Rush Limbaugh's so-called apology for his three-day denigration of Sandra Fluke by buying his explanation that he was just "illustrat[ing] the absurd with absurdity." The MRC's Brent Baker dismissed Limbaugh's misogyny as nothing more than "a bit of humor."

As you might imagine given the MRC's sorry record of double standards, non-conservatives who illustrate the absurd with absurdity don't get the same break.

In an April 17 NewsBusters post, Josh St. Louis huffs that "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart was being "snarky" in "mocking Fox News for dismissing the Democratic/MSNBC 'war on women' meme," but that he "desecrate[d]" Christianity by saying, after noting that Fox has embraced other wars like the "war on Christmas": "What can women do to generate the same sense of outrage from Fox as the removal of decorative slightly poisonous holiday plants? Perhaps they could play into the theme? Maybe women could protect their reproductive organs from unwanted medical intrusions with vagina mangers."

What? Stewart doesn't get the same credit for absurdity Limbaugh gets?

Nope -- St. Louis grouses, "Makes you wonder if Jon Stewart would make the same sort of disgusting 'jokes' about Judaism or Islam?"

Apparently, only right-wing radio hosts are allowed to be absurd.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:44 PM EDT
Another WND Birther Petition, More Lack of Transparency
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Starting in 2008, WorldNetDaily heavily promoted a petition "demanding that the constitutional eligibility requirement be taken seriously and that any and all controlling legal authorities in this matter examine the complete birth certificate of Barack Obama, including the actual city and hospital of birth, and make that document available to the American people for inspection." But as we documented, the petition itself lacked the transparency WND was demanding from Obama, with no independent way to verify the number of signatures WND claimed or any apparent mechanism to weed out fake names. Indeed, as one enterprising blogger discovered, it was all too easy to inflate the number of signatures by signing up under multiple names and a fake email address -- 216 at last count.

Now, WND is back at it again, with a new petition demanding that "the 112th Congress immediately undertake a full and impartial investigation into the constitutional eligibility of Barack Hussein Obama to serve as president of the United States." And once again, WND is promoting the heck out of it, with the most recent article touting how the petition "is nearing 40,000 names."

Alas, WND is once again refusing to be transparent about the process, providing no mechanism for independently checking the veracity and number of signatures -- an ironic bit of obfuscation in a petition demanding transparency. This means WND's new petition will be as open to fraud as the old one.

Why, it's almost as if WND is cynically creating these petitions to build up its mailing list or something -- after all, an email address is one of the required entry fields on the petition.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:57 PM EDT
NewsBusters Unhappy A Manufactured Controversy Is Identified As Such
Topic: NewsBusters

Mark Finkelstein complains in an April 13 NewsBusters post that "Chuck Todd used variations on the phrase 'manufactured controversy' no fewer than eight times in dismissing the controversy around [Hilary] Rosen's 'Ann Romney never worked a day in her life' remarks," adding that Todd was "doing work the White House will certainly savor."

Finkelstein didn't dispute the accuracy of Todd's statement, though.

Kyle Drennen echoes Finkelstein's complaint in an April 13 MRC item. Again, like Finkelstein, Drennen did not dispure the accuracy of Todd's statement.

Which seems to make this yet another example of the Media Research Center attacking people in the media for telling the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 AM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Offended by Obama's Joke
Topic: CNSNews.com

We hate to imagine the spittle-flecked rants that go on inside Terry Jeffrey's office every time President Obama says something he doesn't like -- which, judging by the vitriolic obsession with which Jeffrey writes about him, is apparently quite often.

So, what has set off Jeffrey this time? A little joke Obama told.

Jeffrey rants in an April 15 CNSNews.com article:

Just two days after President Barack Obama gave a sharply edged response to news anchor Larry Conners of KMOV in St. Louis after Conners had asked the president about Americans who “get frustrated and even angered when they see the first family jetting around [to] different vacations and so forth,” Obama told a panel at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia that part of his job there was to scout out locations for a future vacation with First Lady Michelle Obama.

That's right -- Jefrrey devoted an entire article to grousing about this little joke Obama told. He's so livid that he can't even identify Obama's remark as a joke -- he's treating it as a totally serious statement, even though Obama got laughs and applause when he said it.

Jeffrey is so humorless that he finds an innocuous joke offensive. That's how much he utterly despises Obama. 

So, can we stop pretending now that CNS under Jeffrey is a "news" organization?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EDT
Monday, April 16, 2012
Why Didn't Kessler Give Secret Service Scandal Scoop To Newsmax?
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's Ronald Kessler is getting credit for breaking the story about allegations that Secret Service agents hired prostitutes while accompanying the president on his trip to Colombia.

But Kessler didn't break that story at Newsmax. He let the Washington Post have it.

The initial Post article on the scandal states that the paper "was alerted to the investigation by Ronald Kessler, a former Post reporter and author of several nonfiction books." Kessler has given only a couple of follow-up stories to his employer.

Why would Kessler give a huge story to another news outlet, not the one that employs him? Giving away a story to a competitor is highly unusual.

Perhaps Kessler didn't think that Newsmax would give the story the proper exposure, given that most people likely see it as a partisan website and not a genuine news organization.

That exposure by giving the story to the Post, though, would also give Kessler a platform to peddle his book on the Secret Service -- as well as his agenda, which includes highlighting allegations of lax security and demanding the firing of Secret Service director Mark Sullivan.

One had to assume that Newsmax had to sign off on Kessler giving this huge story away to another news organization, given that Kessler has promoted follow-ups on the website. Still, it's surprising that Newsmax would do so, since Kessler's media appearances have downplayed the fact that he works for Newsmax -- meaning that it's not benefiting from its employee's high media profile.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:41 PM EDT
WND Columnists Defend John Derbyshire Over Racist Screed
Topic: WorldNetDaily

John Derbyshire's racially charged screed -- in which he advised that parents tell their children to be wary of black people -- which got him fired from National Review even though said screed appeared in a different publication -- has been endorsed, implicitly if not explicitly, by two WorldNetDaily columnists.

In an April 12 column, Ilana Mercer proclaimed Derbyshire an "iconoclast" and proudly noted that he contribnuted a blurb for one of her books. Mercer then runs to Derbyshire's defense:

Tons of pixels have since been spilt in response to Derbyshire’s article and subsequent dismissal. The dimwitted discourse reflects a polemical landscape from which the Derbs of this world have been uprooted. None of John’s critics can write or reason as he does. None has his “range of historical and literary allusion,” as Mark Steyn observed. John Derbyshire’s is pellucid prose at its best.

A staff writer at The Atlantic epitomizes this fluffy, unfocused, Meghan McCain-like waffle (punctuated with a lot of, “I feel”) that lands you a job at a top publication. “As someone who places a high value on both robust public discourse and the fact that racism is now taboo,” he whimpered, “I won’t even try to mediate between these two except to say that … Derbyshire’s piece was wrongheaded.”

That’s it? A feeble, frightened assertion is a substitute for an argument?

Such cyber-ejaculate gushed from similar androgynous androids, possessors of the Y chromosome.

Mercer added:

For my part, I cop to Western man’s individualist disdain – could it be his weakness? – for race as an organizing principle. For me, the road to freedom lies in beating back the state, so that individuals may regain freedom of association, dominion over property, the absolute right of self-defense; the right to hire, fire and, generally, associate at will.

Of course, Mercer kinda misses apartheid, so this was not unexpected.

Vox Day devoted his April 15 column to an interview with Derbyshhire, in which Day notes: "For the most part, there’s been a tremendous amount of support for you across the right blogosphere, whereas there hasn’t been much defense of Rich Lowry’s position except by the other writers at National Review. I would estimate that 80 to 85 percent of the comments have been running in your favor. I thought that was really striking, because I’m not sure that would have been the case 10 years ago."

Day goes on to ask Derbyshire: "National Review has a long and rather Stalinist history of purging its writers, including Joe Sobran, Samuel Francis and Ann Coulter, and now you. Is this part of National Review’s culture or is there something else going on there?" If Wikipedia is to be believed, Sobran was dismissed from National Review after William F. Buckley called Sobran's writing "contextually antisemitic." Sobran also spoke at conferences organized by Holocaust denier David Irving. Francis, meanwhile, held some rather racist views, including calling interracial sexual relationships "an intentional act of moral subversion" and declaring that "neither 'slavery' nor 'racism' as an institution is a sin."

Does Day agree with the extremist views of Sobran and Francis? That may explain his fealty for Derbyshire.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:33 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 16, 2012 10:44 PM EDT
Noel Sheppard Defends Michael Savage's Smear of Kids With Autism
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters normally steers clear of right-wing extremists like Michael Savage (even though its operator, Brent Bozell, would fit right in on Savage's show for his calling Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead"). Which is why it's odd to see Noel Sheppard running to Savage's defense in an April 14 post.

Sheppard notes that an episode of ABC's "What Would You Do?" deals with "how people respond in a public setting when an autistic child acts up," apparently inspired by Savage's statement that in "99 percent" of autism diagonses, "it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out." Sheppard compained that it wasn't noted that Savage's words "were spoken almost four years ago," then defended Savage's attack by noting that some callers to his radio show -- "including a school psychologist - [were] agreeing with him that autism like so many childhood behavior disorders is overdiagnosed oftentimes for financial reasons." Sheppard then complained: "Did What Would You Do? even casually address the possibility that autism is currently being overdiagnosed in America? Not at all. Instead the show depicted Savage as a kook for thinking so."

Sheppard didn't note the rest of what Savage said in his anti-autism rant, in which he went far beyond concerns about overdiagnosis and well into insulting those with autism as coddled brats who need someone to tell them to "act like a man":

SAVAGE: Now, you want me to tell you my opinion on autism, since I'm not talking about autism? A fraud, a racket. For a long while, we were hearing that every minority child had asthma. Why did they sudden -- why was there an asthma epidemic amongst minority children? Because I'll tell you why: The children got extra welfare if they were disabled, and they got extra help in school. It was a money racket. Everyone went in and was told [fake cough], "When the nurse looks at you, you go [fake cough], 'I don't know, the dust got me.' " See, everyone had asthma from the minority community. That was number one.

Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is.

What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, "Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot."

Autism -- everybody has an illness. If I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, "Don't behave like a fool." The worst thing he said -- "Don't behave like a fool. Don't be anybody's dummy. Don't sound like an idiot. Don't act like a girl. Don't cry." That's what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You're turning your son into a girl, and you're turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That's why we have the politicians we have.

Further, Savage has called autism a "phony disease" -- which undermines Sheppard's argument that he was concerned only about overdiagnosis. Savage later recast his attack to claim he was taken out of context.

Sheppard needs to ask himself if he really thinks Michael Savage is a credible spokesman for autism overdiagnosis.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 AM EDT
Echo Chamber: WND Touts Its Columnists' Obama Derangement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily thinks the paranoid rantings of its columnists are news. That appears to be the explanation behind an April 13 WND article by Bob Unruh, which begins this way:

There always have been those few who have launched diatribes over the dictatorial actions of any given U.S. presidential administration, over civil rights, foreign affairs, the economy, the draft or a dozen other topics – even though the Constitution was written specifically to prevent the collection of too much power by one branch of government.

Now, again, there are words like “egocentric megalomaniac” being ascribed to the White House, and warnings about detention camps and government surveillance of its citizens.

Who called Obama an "egocentric megalomaniac"? None other tha WND columnist  and obsessive Obama-hater Mychal Massie, whose claim that "many" call Obama that remains unsubstantiated.

Unruh also name-checks the Obama derangement of other WND columnists like Robert Ringer and Erik Rush.

Meanwhile, Unruh appears to be treating the idea that Obama wants to round up dissenters and put them in "detention camps" as a real thing. It's not.

Unruh also rehashes one of WND's favorite zombie lies:

As a presidential candidate Obama called for a “national civilian security force” that would be as big and as well-funded as the half-trillion dollar U.S. military. And a study a short time later confirmed that there are several ways to create the suggested “Stability Police Force” so that it legally could operate inside the U.S. borders.

As we've repeatedly pointed out, Obama has explained that he was referring to an expansion of the foreign service and diplomatic and humanitarian aid. Unruh's suggestion that Obama provided no such explanation, or that it means something other than what he said it did, is nothing but a bald-faced lie.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Sunday, April 15, 2012
CNS Gives Its Readers Opportunity to Insult Planned Parenthood President
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we've seen, CNSNews.com appears to posts "news" stories for no other purpose than to allow its readers to hurl denigrating insults while hiding behind anonymous screen names. The fact that CNS makes little effort to keep its comment threads from descending into racism and hatred tells us that this is the readership Terry Jeffrey -- and, by extention, Brent Bozell -- wants for his website.

Following in this tradition is an April 9 CNS article by Patrick Burke featuring Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards describing how she obtained birth control from Planned Parenthood while a college student. That was all the excuse CNS readers needed to hurl denigrating. misogynist insults at Richards, portraying her as a "slut," a "ho bag" and a "baby murdering whore," among many other things:





Are Jeffrey and Bozell proud that these are the people who now read CNS? They must be, since they have shown little interest in doing anything about it.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:38 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 15, 2012 8:40 PM EDT
MRC Doesn't Like the Media Telling the Truth
Topic: Media Research Center

We've detailed how the Media Research Center's "Tell the Truth" campaign is curiously hostile to anyone who actually does. It does so again in a TimesWatch item by Clay Waters.

Waters uses his item to mock New YorkTimes writer Joe Nocera for accurately pointing out that right-wing media outlets like Fox News have been carrying out a vendetta against the Chevy Volt hybrid car. Waters portrays Nocera's criticism of Volt-bashers as "what he saw as a Fox News conspiracy campaign against it."

Waters doesn't mention that Nocera is correct. As Media Matters points out, Fox and other right-wing media have relentlessly attacked the Volt as part of its anti-Obama agenda (even though the Volt had been in development well before the federal government bailed out GM).

In other words, Waters is mad at Nocera for telling the truth. But isn't that what the MRC wants?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:04 AM EDT
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Robert Ringer Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I began warning about Barack Obama’s dictatorial ambitions before he even won the 2008 presidential election. Now, finally, more people are beginning to take this possibility as a serious threat.

Obama’s recent contention that it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to overrule congressional legislation had dictatorship written all over it. It was, quite obviously, an ignorant slip on his part.

[...]

I will say yet again what I have been saying for more than three years: If polls indicate that Obama is going to win the upcoming election, no problem. He’ll keep flashing that fake Barry Obama grin until Nov. 7, then move swiftly to begin unleashing a dictatorial full monty – consisting of more regulations, higher taxes and less freedom – that will shock all but his staunchest Marxist allies.

Nothing will be off limits – a national police force, instant citizenship for all Third World people who want to come to America, forced equalization of income (except for Obama’s wealthy supporters), widespread use of tax audits to carry out vendettas against enemies of his administration, a virtual end to oil drilling, coal mining and gas exploration, suspension of habeas corpus, a new sedition act that will make it a crime to speak out against the government, the police, or the military … and much, much more.

On the other hand, two or three months before the election, if the polls clearly show that Obama is going to go down in defeat, I believe there’s better than a 50-50 chance of a major “emergency” coincidentally making its appearance, convincingly manufactured in such a way as to cause the average entitlement junkie to agree that we must rally around the president and “postpone” the November elections.

[...]

Dictatorship and total collapse is in the air. I can feel it. That’s why it was encouraging when Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, a decorated Army doctor, refused to go to Afghanistan unless Barack Obama would make his birth certificate public, which resulted in his serving six months in prison and being dishonorably discharged. But it’s far more discouraging that no other high-ranking officer has had the courage to join him.

This is an important issue, because I continue to believe that if a dictatorship starts to emerge (many would argue that it already has), it may ultimately get down to a question of whether, at the moment of truth, the military will take orders from Barack Obama or, instead, side with American citizens.

Those who chuckle at all this would do well to bone up on their history.

-- Robert Ringer, April 10 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 PM EDT

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

« April 2012 »
S M T W T F S
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 30

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

Add ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch to Newsburst from CNET News.com