Dan Gainor's Anti-Gay Freakout Over Romney Spokesman Topic: Media Research Center
You know Dan Gainor as the Media Research Center apparatchik (and T. Boone Pickens Fellow) who loyally spouts right-wing talking points. It's probably not a surprise that he would parrot the MRC's anti-gay agenda as well.
After it came out that Mitt Romney had hired as his national security spokesman Richard Grennell, Gainor managed to find something wrong with that: Grennell is gay. So he decided to tap into his inner Bryan Fischer and and pick Twitter fights with anyone who disagreed with him by ranting about how it wasn't "conservative" for Romney to do such a thing, as Slate's David Weigel documents.
Never mind, of course, that not even Gainor appears to be disputing Grennell's qualifications on national security -- heck, he's certainly right-wing enough, as demonstrated by Newsmax's crush on him. Grennell's sexual orientation is simply irrelevant to the job in question, but Gainor has decided to portray his hiring as a "move to the left." And as the Twitter chain demonstrates, Gainor refuses to address the logical conclusion drawn from his tweets: that conservatives should discriminate against gays in job preferences.
Curiously, Gainor has yet to bring any of this up at the MRC website. Is that because he knows that such blatant attacks on the presumptive Republican candidate are a big no-no at this point? Or is it because that such naked gay-bashing may not fly with even the MRC's conservative base?
AIM's Irvine Didn't Want His Child to Be Born on Earth Day Topic: Accuracy in Media
Earth Day coincides with the birth of one of the sons of Accuracy in Media director Don Irvine. And Irvine's not exactly happy about that. He details in an April 22 AIM blog post:
I will never forget Earth Day 1992, not just because it is my son’s birthday, but also because my wife chose that day to give birth. You see, she knew that she would have to have a C-section and her favorite doctor was only available on that day of that week to do the operation. I did try and discourage her from the April 22 date, since I really didn’t want a child born on Earth Day, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. And as I’ve learned, it is better not to argue with a pregnant woman.
Irvine concluded: "Happy Birthday Steven, and please feel free to expand your carbon footprint today."
This sort of Earth Day bashing, of course, is endemic to right-wingers like Irvine.
MRC Unhappy That Another Pew Study Contradicts Its Agenda Topic: Media Research Center
Last fall, we noted how the Media Research Center tried to discredit a Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism because if offered evidence that ran contrary to the MRC's raison d'etre narrative that the media has a hopeless liberal bias.
Well, the PEJ has issued a new study -- this one claiming that coverage of President Obama has been "mostly negative," while Mitt Romney saw more positive coverage after he began winning more presidential primaries -- and the MRC is trying to discredit it again.
As he did previously, MRC research director Rich Noyes complains again in an April 23 NewsBusters post about PEJ's methodology:
But "the press" hasn't been tougher on Obama than the Republicans. PEJ's "good press/bad press" statistic mixes reports of the campaign horse race (who's ahead, who's behind) with judgmental coverage of a candidate's background, issue positions, etc. And, according to PEJ's own statistics, the vast majority of the reports they examined (they peg it at 64%) are about campaign strategy.
[Check out my earlier blog post for more explanation of the flaws in PEJ's methodology.]
What this all means is that the GOP candidates got better "good press" scores because they each won primaries this year. This is obvious when you look at the report's explanation of how Romney, Santorum and Gingrich each fared with "the press" (I'm stripping out the statistics, because they are a meaningless distraction):
In other words, PEJ is not actually tracking how the press -- journalists, reporters, commentators, etc. -- are evaluating, ranking, spinning, etc., the campaign. Their sample is so heavy with redundant Web posting of the same horse race results that it completely masks the spin that journalists impart to the coverage.
Think about it this way: Can any serious media observer argue that the media elite have been more positive towards Christian conservative Rick Santorum than Barack Obama? On its face, this study is not measuring what it purports to measure, i.e., the tone of campaign journalism.
Undoubtedly, given the resources they've put into this project, you'll see additional reports throughout the campaign year. If President Obama takes a polling lead over Mitt Romney, you'll see PEJ claim a burst of good press for the Democrat; if Romney takes the lead, they'll continue to say that the press is beating up on Obama. Don't believe it.
Noyes offer no evidence whatsoever to back up his assertions -- perhaps because the MRC's methodology tends to be so shoddy and so ridiculously stacked. For instance, it judged the political slant of questions at Republican debates hosted by CNN and NBC -- but not debates hosted by Fox News.
Unlike the MRC, which mostly limits itself to bashing the three TV networks and ignoring Fox News completely, the PEJ study examines pretty much all media outlets -- more than 11,000 according to the study, along with a smaller breakout of a sample of 52 key news outlets.
Further, if Noyes was the "serious media observer" he claims to be, he wouldn't be tossing around terms like "media elite" in such a pejorative way. The work of Noyes and the MRC is simply too agenda-driven to be taken seriously beyond the political activists it's intended to motivate. That's not research, that's propaganda.
The MRC starts with a conclusion -- the media has a liberal bias -- and finds evidence to back it up. PEJ, by contrast, follows the evidence wherever it goes.
Josh St. Louis parrots Noyes' complaints in an April 24 NewsBusters post bashing MSNBC's Martin Bashir for noting the "faulty" Pew study. He goes on to huff: "It's unfortunate that a division of Pew devoted to "excellence in journalism" uses such flimsy methodology to argue against the clear liberal media bias present in campaign coverage."
There are "serious media observers" out there, but they sure don't work for the MRC.
WND Defends Pat Boone's Gay-Bashing Topic: WorldNetDaily
We know WorldNetDaily has an anti-gay agenda, so it's no surprise to see WND run to the defense of Pat Boone and his gay-bashing remarks. And that's exactly what Drew Zahn does in an April 22 WND article reporting on the controversy of Boone being selected as a commencement speaker for Adrian College, a small college in Ohio.
Critics have pointed out Boone's statement in a 2008 WND column that "there is a real, unbroken line between the jihadist savagery in Mumbai and the hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of our homegrown sexual jihadists." But Zahn insists that doesn't mean he was,you know, likening gays to terrorists:
Boone’s column specifically states that homosexual activists haven’t grown as violent as jihadi terrorists, but does point to “the anger, the vehemence, the total disregard for law and order … the hate seething in the words, faces and actions” of some of California’s Proposition 8 protesters, who took to the streets demanding the state’s voter-approved ballot initiative preserving marriage between one man and one woman be struck down.
“Hate is hate, no matter where it erupts,” Boone writes in the column’s pivotal paragraph. “And hate, unbridled, will eventually and inevitably boil into violence. How crazily ironic that the homosexual activists and sympathizers cry for ‘tolerance’ and ‘equal rights’ and understanding – while they spew vitriol and threats and hate at those who disagree with them on moral and societal grounds.”
Essentially rewriting a Toledo Blade article, which he cites but does not link to, Zahn notes that critics have also cited what he calls Boone's "willingness to question Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president and the legitimacy of the document the White House presented as Obama’s purported, long-form birth certificate." But the article also pointed out that Boone has also "claimed President Obama was born in Kenya," which he has -- but curiously, that part didn't make it into Zahn's article.
Boone, of course, has a long record of spewing hatred of Obama, gays, and others.
As might be expected from someone who turned his website into a hypemachine for Newt Gingrich, Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy serves up a tribute to Gingrich's failed campaign in his April 19 column:
As the dust begins to quickly settle from the hotly contested Republican primary and Mitt Romney assumes the title of presumptive nominee, it’s important to recognize the role Newt Gingrich has played and will continue to play in helping the Republicans win the White House and Senate this fall.
The former House speaker recently told Newsmax in an interview that he remains in the race, not as a spoiler, but to play a key role promoting a conservative agenda at the Republican convention in Tampa in August. It’s a worthy goal – and I have no doubt that Newt will soon be officially supporting Mitt Romney to pursue that agenda.
Michael Reagan pointed out in a recent appearance on Fox News that Republicans must now unite behind Romney to defeat Obama and his liberal agenda. Considering the uphill battle we face, I couldn’t agree more.
And supporters of Gingrich and Santorum should keep in mind that the key goal now is to roll back the Obama agenda. We can only do that with a united front.
Though Newt failed to wrest the nomination, I believe he offered a very strong message that Mitt should tap into – a message that may have resonated even more strongly in the general election.
Today, Newt remains the great communicator of the Ronald Reagan vision of small government, strong national defense, low taxes, and individual freedom.
He also has a track record of accomplishment, acting as the key conservative figure behind the Contract with America, and a driving force behind the GOP’s congressional victories in 1995 and the first balanced federal budget in decades.
Newt is what I call a Big Picture Conservative. He grasps that the way out of our dire economic situation is not through tax increases or draconian spending cuts.
As a Big Picture Conservative Newt also grasps the powerful demographic changes underway in the country, especially how Hispanic-Americans and other ethnic minorities need to be embraced and made to feel at home in the Republican party. Today Americans of Hispanic and ethnic backgrounds tend to vote overwhelming Democratic.
Mitt should gravitate toward this Big Picture Conservatism. He has had a tremendous career in business and finance and a reputation as a can-do, problem solver. As governor of Massachusetts he held the record of vetoing the Democratic legislature there, demonstrating he has political courage as well.
Those virtues – coupled with a willingness to bring in the ideas of Big Picture Conservatives, people like Newt Gingrich, Jeb Bush, Larry Kudlow, Grover Norquist and Mike Reagan, to name just a few, will help him craft a positive, pro-growth message that will resonate with the American people come November 6th of this year.
Said like someone who provided a huge in-kind contribution to Gingrich's campaign in the form of wildly biased news coverage.
What Happened to the MRC's List of 'GCB' Offenses? Topic: Media Research Center
Apparently, the purported anti-Christian offenses in the TV show "GCB" have become too much for the Media Research Center's Lauren Thompson to count.
In the latest weekly installment of her "GCB"-bashing, Thompson complains about the show's twisted rendering of the 10 Commandments," but she makes no mention of the running list of offenses she has been documenting since the show began (at last count, the show has racked up 157 offenses).
Thompson has refused to publish this list in the past. Now, apparently, she's either reached the point where there are too many to document, or she has decided to disappear the list since she clearly has no intention of publishing it for the edification of her readers.
Either way, it's a bit of cowardice on Thompson's part. Given that the MRC frequently fails to provide readers with the raw data it uses to attack liberals, it's not surprising.
WND Lets Disbarred Arpaio Attorney Portray Himself As A Victim Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember when we wrote that WorldNetDaily would not cover the disbarment of Andrew Thomas, former Maricopa County attorney and doer of the bidding of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, until it had figured out how to spin things to minimize the damage to its biggest public-relations client? Well, WND figured out a way -- by letting Thomas spin things for himself.
In an April 21 article, Dave Tombers lets Thomas prattle on and on with self-aggrandizing blather about how he's the victim of a "witch hunt," as well as make charges of "a massive cover-up and, for me, genuinely a Dreyfus-like injustice."
Tombers makes sure to bury the details of Thomas' disbarment until the 33rd paragraph, filling most of the remainder with Thomas' blathering and rehashing the "more than 100 charges" Thomas brought against one Maricopa County supervisor, the malicious prosecution of whom was a key reason for his disbarment. Tombers also throws in some unsubstantiated charges he claims he's "learned":
WND has learned that as many as 11 county employees have been terminated in recent months for allegedly accepting bribes in a court tower construction scandal – one of the Thomas investigations that was stymied.
WND has also learned that the FDIC recently announced the loss of millions of dollars. There also are allegations that some $5.5 million was linked to county official Don Stapley, the subject of another Thomas investigation that was thwarted.
Tombers doesn't explain how he "learned" about this -- his article contains no substantive quotes from any source other than Thomas.
Tombers did a fine job of being a stenographer for Thomas (and, by extension, Arpaio) -- just another day for the Arpaio stenographers at WND.
Terry Jeffrey Keeps the CNS Anti-Obama Propaganda Train Rolling Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how Terry Jeffrey is no longer even pretending his CNSNews.com is a "news" operation, turning it into an anti-Obama propaganda mill. He does it again in an April 18 article:
In the 39 months since Barack Obama took the oath of office as president of the United States, the federal government’s debt has increased by $5,027,761,476,484.56.
The $5,027,761,476,484.56 that the debt has increased during Obama's presidency equals $16,043.39 for every one of the 313,385,295 people the Census Bureau now estimates live in the United States.
As we noted the last time Jeffrey did this, there's no journalistic reason for Jeffrey to replace the perfectly functional (and stylistically correct, AP-wise) word "trillion" with the full number down the penny. That's a political judgment Jeffrey made solely to illustrate his right-wing, anti-Obama agenda.
Jeffrey is being dishonest in another way too. Suggesting that Obama polices are solely responsible for all debt accumulated under his presidency ignores the fact that the legacy of policies implemented make up much of that debt.
NewsBusters' Sheppard Falsely Accuses Bill Maher of Telling Racist Joke Topic: NewsBusters
Mediaite notes that NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard, in an April 21 post, accused Bill Maher of telling a "racist joke about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman" for a quip in which a judge granted Zimmerman permission to kill off the hot new boy band One Direction.
Sheppard had to issue a correction because, it turns out, he had no idea who One Direction is:
Now, to be fair to Maher, my ignorance of boy bands was showing Saturday.
This article was originally titled “Bill Maher Curses Out Audience for Not Laughing at Racist Joke About Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.” I didn’t realize the HBO Real Time host was referring to the popular British-Irish singing group.
I thank the eagle-eyed NewsBusters reader Erik for bringing this to my attention via email, and apologize to Maher for accusing him of making a racist joke about Martin and Zimmerman.
Sheppard does have a habit of writing before thinking, such as defending Michael Savage's smears of children with autism and even whining that President Obama did an introduction to a broadcast of "To Kill A Mockingbird."
WND's Farah Doesn't Understand How Lawsuits Work Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah writes in his April 20 WorldNetDaily column:
In the latest legal challenge of Obama’s eligibility last week, Obama’s campaign counsel, Alexandra Hill, argued in a New Jersey hearing against a request to produce the birth certificate as evidence in the case.
Rather than simply produce the document Obama claims is legitimate, with an image posted on the White House website, Hill argued that New Jersey law does not require Obama to present a valid birth certificate to establish his qualifications under Article 2, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution to be on the New Jersey Democratic Party primary ballot.
She further told Judge Jeff S. Masin: “We do not believe the president’s birth certificate is relevant to this case.”
Did you catch that?
The president’s birth certificate is not relevant to the case.
The judge agreed.
He explained that New Jersey law does not require Obama to produce any proof he is eligible to be president to be placed on the primary ballot.
New Jersey law, he explained, allows a nominating petition endorsing a particular person for president to be filed without the consent of the person endorsed. Masin said, “There is no obligation upon the person endorsed to prove his or her qualification for office.”
Once again, we have another official ruling that shows there is simply no mechanism in the United States of America for establishing the constitutional eligibility of a president or a presidential candidate.
Farah seems not to understand how the judicial system works in such a lawsuit. In this case, Hill took exactly the same approach any lawyer would do -- invoke the relevant law. For this lawsuit, that meant pointing out that there is no need for Obama to submit a birth certificate since New Jersey law does not require presidential candidates to prove their eligibility for office before being placed on the ballot. The lawyer made a proper request, and the judge properly granted it.
And, Farah being Farah, he portrays the justice system working as designed as some sort of conspiracy.
Indeed, as Dr. Conspiracy points out, the Constitution does not permit any mechanism to challenge eligibility through a legal process to begin before the election -- that's when voters themselves make the decision. After the election, the 20th Amendment provides a mechanism to challenge an election through Congress and the Electoral College.
Meanwhile, Farah inadvertently proves that he and WND have never approached the birther issue from a effort to find the truth but, rather, treated it as a witch hunt designed to entrap Obama:
It was in the midst of all this that I got a call from Corsi one morning. He told me his sources were telling him Obama was so desperate he was going to release a phony birth certificate to quell the controversy.
Within a week or 10 days, Obama did just that.
Obama, counting on a compliant media not asking any questions, not looking at the actual document, not questioning why he withheld it for so long, issued a bogus birth certificate. He didn’t overestimate the semi-official, state-sponsored press.
The document has been deemed fraudulent by virtually every forensic expert who has examined it. It has been characterized as a forgery by the only law enforcement investigation that has looked into it.
After WND’s forensics experts examined the document, the optimistic Corsi told me: “Now we’ve got Obama right where we want him. We forced him to release a fraudulent document. Now he will have to live with it.”
Of course, none of WND's "forensics experts" -- in fact, Corsi has admitted that no genuine credentialed forensic document examiners would touch it, and the the only two "experts" with forensics experience to have been quoted by WND both never claimed the document is a fake -- examined the actual "document" of Obama's birth certificate. They examined a PDF scan of it. And as we've detailed, the cold case posse "law enforcement investigation" didn't do any actual investigating at all, instead simply regurgitated WND conspiracy theories.
Farah ends up proving that latter point as well by quoting the head of the posse "investigation," Mike Zullo, as sounding as conspiratorial as Corsi (with whom he wrote about on the so-called investigation):
“What is emerging in the various state legal challenges to including President Obama on the presidential ballot appears to be an attempt by the White House to divorce itself from the Obama long-form birth certificate released,” said Mike Zullo.
Zullo questioned why the White House did not instruct Hill to champion the birth certificate as legitimate.
“The White House appears to be acting as if the Obama birth certificate is of no consequence in establishing the fact of Obama’s birth,” Zullo continued. “Instead of producing the birth certificate to the New Jersey secretary of state and arguing to Judge Masin that the document was legitimate, Obama’s legal counsel did everything she could to keep the document from coming into evidence. Why?”
Apparenly Zullo knows even less about the legal system than Farah does. And that's the way Farah probably likes it.
Newsmax's Ponte: Obama 'Had A Silver Spoon Not In His Mouth But Up His Nose' Topic: Newsmax
Lowell Ponte ramps up the Obama derangement in his April 20 Newsmax column:
"I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth," President Barack Obama told an Ohio audience this week, implicitly contrasting his up-by-affirmative-action life to that of his Republican rival Governor Mitt Romney, son of a prosperous automobile company executive and Michigan Governor.
Trouble is, President Obama as a young man had a silver spoon not in his mouth but up his nose.
In his precocious 1995 autobiography "Dreams From My Father," Mr. Obama told of how he did "a little blow, when [I] could afford it" (page 93 of the 2004 paperback edition).
"Blow" is street slang for cocaine, which in fashionable left-liberal circles has traditionally been inhaled directly into the nostrils from a tiny spoon, often silver, often worn as part of a necklace.
It would be wise for Obama to drop any future references to silver spoons.
Ponte follows this with:
For months Obama has had his attack dogs nipping at Mr. Romney's heels over a trip long ago in which the Massachusetts governor transported the family dog in a carrier on the roof of his car.
Days ago the Daily Caller, followed quickly by ABC's best reporter Jake Tapper, told of a passage in "Dreams From My Father" in which President Obama describes his experience eating dog meat as a child in Indonesia.
Obama describes the flesh of "man's best friend" as "tough."
Imagine that you are a dog. Would you prefer to vote for someone who drove your kind around the roof of a car in a safe carrier, an experience the Romney family says the dog enjoyed?
Or would you vote instead for someone who enjoyed feasting on the body of a fellow dog killed for its meat?
It gives the idea of Obama chowing down a hot dog a whole new meaning.
And that's not all, for Ponte latches onto another Obama conspiracy:
In fairness to President Obama, some scholars doubt that he wrote his autobiography. It is written with a literary skill far beyond anything else from his pen. Some researchers find striking similarities between its language and style and that found in books by Obama associate Bill Ayers, a founder of the radical left Weather Underground.
Sorry, Lowell, Jack Cashill is not a "scholar." And even most conservatives think the the whole ghostwriting thing is a crock.
MRC, AIM Endorse Bishop's Hitler Smear of Obama Topic: CNSNews.com
When Catholic bishop Daniel Jenky went Godwin and claimed that President Obama "seems intent on following a similar path" as Hitler and Stalin, certain parts of the ConWeb unsurprisingly approved -- particularly the Media Research Center.
In an April 17 CNS blog post, Craig Bannister uncritically repeated Jenky's attack, demonstrating his ignorance in the process by transcribing Jenky's reference to a "Kulturkampf" as "Kultur Kamp."
In an April 19 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock bashed MSNBC's Chris Matthews for having "piously proclaimed that liberals would never compare a conservative to a dictator such as Joseph Stalin," then complained that "MSNBC host Martin Bashir outrageously linked Rick Santorum to genocidal murderer Joseph Stalin." Whitlock didn't even mention Jenky's attack, let alone explain how it, unlike Bashir's remark, is some not "outrageous."
In an April 20 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham snarked that Jenky "the utter gall and audacity to make comparisons between that secular saint President Obama and church-oppressing dictators like Hitler and Stalin." Graham declared that "You can't be 'oppressed' in America by the Catholic Church," though he didn't offer any evidence of how anything Obama is purportedly doing equals Stalin-esque "oppression." Graham also mentioned Bashir's remarks without explaining why the twoshould be treated differently.
Meanwhile, at Accuracy in Media, Cliff Kincaid devoted a column to praising the attack, declaring that Janky is "an educated Catholic Bishop with knowledge of history and a commitment to religious freedom" who, thus, knows what he's talking about and should have some immunity for issuing such a rank insult:
It will be interesting to see whether the national media cover these sensational charges in a fair and balanced manner. Or will “the malice of the media,” to use the Bishop’s words, take over?
What is "fair and balanced" about likening someone to Hitler and Stalin? Kincaid doesn't explain.
Media Matters has gotten a hold of the Media Research Center's latest fundraising letter, in which Brent Bozell and Co. go completely paranoid over George Soros. Bozell rather flamboyantly declares that the MRC is "a direct threat to his media empire -- THE ONLY THREAT REALLY."
As we've documented, the MRC has vastly overstated the influence Soros wields over media while ignoring the fact that a handful of conservative billionaires have sunk much more money into their media outlets in a single year than Soros has spent in a decade.
NewsBusters: Obama Is Just As Offensive As Ted Nugent! Topic: NewsBusters
Yes, Brad Wilmouth wrote this in an April 21 NewsBusters post:
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, Wednesday's NBC Nightly News highlighted controversial comments about President Obama recently made by conservative rocker Ted Nugent, even bringing up another controversial clip from 2007.
But correspondent Andrea Mitchell failed to mention that Obama has his own history of using violent metaphors, as, during the 2008 campaign, then-Senator Obama gave a speech in which he spoke of bringing a gun to a knife fight.
Obama is just as offensive as Ted Nugent? Really?
Interestingly, Wilmouth quotes only one of the "controversial" things Nugent said, and he completely ignores the apparent death threat of Nugent's statement that he will either be dead or in jail if Obama is re-elected.
Wilmouth also euphemistically notes that NBC aired "a clip of Nugent attacking Obama and Hillary Clinton at a concert in 2007," but was careful not to mention what he actually said: Obama is a "piece of shit" who should "suck on my machine gun," and Clinton is a "worthless bitch."
Of coruse, given that the MRC all but endorsed Rush Limbaugh's sliming of Sandra Fluke as a "slut," it's likely that Wilmouth agrees with Nugent's assessment, though he's clearly too gutless to say so in public.
CNS' Jeffrey Puts Words In Obama's Mouth Again Topic: CNSNews.com
CNS keepsup its dishonest habit of putting words in the mouths of President Obama and others its right-wing agenda opposes with an April 19 article by editor Terry Jeffrey that begins this way:
"You don’t want to buy it, fine. We’ll fine you into oblivion."
That, says a lawyer representing a number of Catholic institutions, is what the Obama administration will say to his clients if the federal courts do not strike down a regulation the administration has issued that requires all health insurance plans to cover sterilizations and artificial contraceptives, including those that induce abortions.
At no point does Jeffrey lift a finger to do any actual reporting and, you know, contact the Obama administration to see if they think this is an accurate characterization of the administration's position on the issue.
Which, by the way, it isn't. The administration has announced that for those religious-affiliated institutions that object to covering contraception for moral reasons, that will be paid for by their insurance companies, not the institutions.
But then, if you're putting false statements in someone's mouth, why wouldn't you keep on lying?