An Aug. 1 CNSNews.com "news" article by Gregory Gwyn-Williams Jr. is, in reality, a slobbering love letter to Rush Limbaugh on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his nationally syndicated radio show.
Gwyn-Williams includes numerous of Limbaugh congratulating himself for his success. But no mention is made of the two most recent controversies involving him -- his tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke, and the fact that one of the largest groups of radio stations in the country, Cumulus Media, is apparently planning to drop Limbaugh's show from dozens of its stations, in part because of the fallout and decreased revenue it has experienced in the wake of Limbaugh's attack on Fluke.
CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, similarly gave Fox News' Greta Van Susteren a pass for conducting an hourlong interview with Limbaugh without touching on those controversies.
An Aug. 5 CNS article by Susan Jones uncritically quoted Limbaugh from the Fox News interview, making no mention of the fact that Van Susteren never asked Limbaugh about Fluke or Cumulus.
So much for the MRC caring about fair and balanced journalism.
What The ConWeb Ignores About Fired Newspaper Editorial Writer Topic: The ConWeb
Drew Johnson -- the Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial writer who was fired after publishing an Obama-bashing editorial headlined "Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President" -- has been making the tour of the right-wing media, where his unsubstantiated claim that political pressure caused his firing have found a receptive audience. WorldNetDaily and Newsmax have uncritically repeated Johnson's claims, and even the Daily Caller's Jeff Poor (a former Media Research Center staffer) has given Johnson a pass. The result: creation of the impression that Johnson is a victim of the "liberal media."
But these ConWeb sources have all failed to report a couple of pertinent facts that back up the Times Free Press' claim that Johnson was fired for violating newspaper policy, not because of politics.
First, the Times Free Press is one of the very few newspapers, if not the only one, that runs two separate editorial pages each day -- the liberal-leaning Times page and the conservative-leaning Free Press page. That's a legacy from when there were two separate newspapers in Chattanooga. Johnson was editor of the conservative page, and his departure does not mean any diminishing, let alone the end, of conservative opinion in the Chattanooga newspaper.
Second, the ConWeb has been utterly loath to mention who owns the Chattanooga paper. It's WEHCO Media, which also owns the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The head of WEHCO is Walter Hussman Jr., who made his biggest splash in the newspaper industry in the 1980s by engaging in a newspaper war in Little Rock, ultimately defeating and merging with his own newspaper the rival paper owned by deep-pocketted giant Gannett. It was under Hussman that the two newspapers in Chattanooga -- the Free Press and the Times, the latter formerly owned by the Ochs family of New York Times fame -- were combined and allowed to keep their separate editorial pages.
As the Arkansas Times points out, "Hussman's sympathies — indeed much of his game plan for his own newspaper building strategies came from the former Free Press owner — are not generally with those of the New York Times." Indeed, the Democrat-Gazette's editorial page is headed by Paul Greenberg, a conservative who's perhaps most notorious for his Clinton-bashing during the 1990s.The American Journalism Review has reported that Hussman says the best part of his day is "proofing the paper's stridently conservative editorial page."
It's lazy and dishonest for the ConWeb to shove Johnson's firing into its tired "liberal media" narrative. A conservative-leaning newspaper owner, after all, doesn't fit their agenda.
(Disclosure: I'm a former employee of the Democrat-Gazette.)
Who are America's most influential Republican women? Newsmax magazine has the answer.
Newsmax looked at leading women in politics, the media, and other fields to compile a list of the 25 most influential Republican women for the August issue's cover story "The GOP 25."
Leading off is Kelly Ayotte, the senator from New Hampshire who is an emerging force in Congress. Ayotte won by a landslide in 2010 even though New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group Mayors Against Illegal Guns spent nearly $2 million in attack ads against her.
No. 2 on the list is former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Although she is not currently in office, Palin still holds sway with evangelical women, and her endorsements in GOP primaries reflect an ability to back winning candidates. A single Palin tweet can still shake up the political landscape.
One has to question the wisdom of a list of influential Republican women that places Palin second.
WND Birther Blackout Watch, Reed Hayes Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
An unbylined Aug. 1 WorldNetDaily article repeats the usual birther claptrap without telling readers that much of it has been discredited. This time, though, more has been added to the mix:
Most recently, Grace Vuoto of the World Tribune reported that among the experts challenging the birth certificate is certified document analyst Reed Hayes, who has served as an expert for Perkins Coie, the law firm that has been defending Obama in eligibility cases.
“We have obtained an affidavit from a certified document analyzer, Reed Hayes, that states the document is a 100 percent forgery, no doubt about it,” Zullo told the World Tribune.
“Mr. Obama’s operatives cannot discredit [Hayes],” the investigator told the news outlet. “Mr. Hayes has been used as the firm’s reliable expert. The very firm the president is using to defend him on the birth certificate case has used Mr. Hayes in their cases.”
The Tribune reported Hayes agreed to take a look at the documentation and called almost immediately.
“There is something wrong with this,” Hayes had said.
Hayes produced a 40-page report in which he says “based on my observations and findings, it is clear that the Certificate of Live Birth I examined is not a scan of an original paper birth certificate, but a digitally manufactured document created by utilizing material from various sources.”
“In over 20 years of examining documentation of various types, I have never seen a document that is so seriously questionable in so many respects. In my opinion, the birth certificate is entirely fabricated,” he says in the report.
WND, needless to say, is hiding facts here, too. As Dr. Conspiracy points out, Reed is an expert in handwriting analysis, and no evidence has been provided that he has any experience examining a computer copy of a document.
Also, Hayes' full 40-page report has not been made public, making it difficult to determine what exactly he considers to be "fabricated."
Possibly related but no less interesting is the fact that Hayes is also the author of a book titled "Handwriting: Its Socio-Sexual Implications." What do Jerome Corsi and Mike Zullo have to say about that as a key qualification for their so-called expert?
CNSNews.com just loves to cherry-pick and distort the monthly unemployment numbers while downplaying, if not ignoring entirely, any good news. It's a new month, so CNS is at it again.
In one Aug. 2 CNS article, Elizabeth Harrington plucked out the obscure number that "There were 988,000 discouraged workers in the United States in July, an increase of 136,000 from July 2012" and focused on that. He made no mention of the fact that 162,000 jobs were added in July.
Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey piled on with a cherry-picking article obsessing over the Hispanic unemployment rate.How much cherry-picking did Jeffrey do? He writes: "During President Obama's time in office, the number of American Hispanics who are unemployed has increased 161,000--rising from 2,205,000 in January 2009 to 2,366,000 in July 2013."
But Jeffrey fails to mention that, according to the numbers he's using, Hispanic unemployment peaked in November 2009 at 2,978,000. For Jeffrey to refuse to mention that Hispanic unemployment is down more than 600,000 -- or about 20 percent -- from the bottom of the 2009 recession is simply dishonest.
Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew details how, to nobody's surprise, the “Pikes Peak Prophecy Summit” that included WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah as a featured speaker is "a striking convergance of Tea Party conspiracy theories, fringe pseudo-scientific speculations (derived from pop science fiction), Biblical interpretation, and Christian Zionism."
MRC Defies Pope by Bashing Gays Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Lauren Enk used a July 29 MRC Culture & Media Institute item to complain that the media are "misrepresenting" what Pope Francis said about gays and offered to clarify. She praised Reuters for "correctly stating that, while Pope Francis explained that gays “should not be judged or marginalized,” he also “reaffirmed Church teaching that homosexual acts are a sin.”
So what does Enk do the rest of the week? Defy the pope by judging and marginalizing gays.
As though there weren’t enough gay on TV already, ABC just hired gay screenwriter and LGBT activist Dustin Lance Black to write a new gay rights miniseries based on his life. The Hollywood Reporter announced that the new show is planned to be a “semi-autobiographical” drama “based on and told from Black’s background and experiences as a gay rights activist.”
Series with gay themes appear to be a favorite with the ABC TV team. Also in development is a miniseries adaptation of a documentary about AIDS activism which follows a group of HIV-positive (mostly gay) men.
But aggressively pro-gay material is nothing new to ABC, which has blatantly pushed social acceptance of gay marriage in its shows like “The Fosters,” and other series that lead the way in all things gay. With the anti-Prop 8 HBO documentary already set to reach the small screen soon, it looks like pro-gay propaganda will continue to take up a sizeable chunk of TV time.
The Huffington Post wants to make Catholic colleges more gay. So, HuffPo Live hosted a segment called “Rainbows for Catholic Colleges” on Thursday, and discussed how to undermine Catholic teaching and push the gay agenda on Catholic campuses. (Because Heaven forbid there be any institution left standing that hasn’t capitulated to postmodern morality.)
Mind you, the MRC is a heavily Catholic organization -- chief Brent Bozell is on the board of advisers of the right-wing Catholic League, and several other key MRC staffers are conservative Catholics.
Apparently, nobody at the MRC is ready to embrace the Pope's call not to judge or marginalize gays.
CNS Forgets To Denounce Immigration Reform As Amnesty Topic: CNSNews.com
It's usually CNSNews.com's editorial policy to smear any attempt at immigration reform with the inaccurate tag of "amnesty." Which makes us wonder what happened to create an Aug. 1 article by Shannon Quick, which not only doesn't use "amnesty" but actually -- and accurately" refers to the "path to citizenship" that immigration reform promises to establish:
Clearly, somebody slipped up in the CNS offices and will probably be punished for straying from right-wing orthodoxy.
Rep. Peter King of New York moved steps closer Thursday to a possible declaration about running for president in 2016 as he detailed the driving issue that would make up his platform — national security and the ongoing battle against terrorists.
"The main reason [I would run] would be, we have to do away with political correctness when it comes to fighting terrorism," King told Dom Giordano on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"We have to put Americans first. We can't be worried about what The New York Times is going to say, we can't be worried about what the United Nations is going to say. We have to do what's right for America," King told Giordano, who was filling in for Marlzberg.
Last month, Newsmax revealed in an exclusive story that King was seriously considering tossing his hat into an increasingly crowded ring.
Hoffmann failed to mention, however, that the person who planted the idea of running for president in King's head was none other than his boss, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy.
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah adds to his rather large pack of lies in his July 31 column, where he writes: "By definition, only homosexual priests would even be inclined to molest boys."
In fact, as we pointed out when WND managing editor David Kupelian made a similar claim, heterosexuals are as likely as homosexuals to molest children. And as Equality Matters elaborates, pedophiles tend not to be capable of a relationship with an adult, male or female, making Farah's labeling of pedophile priests as homosexual doubly dishonest.
We wonder if Farah will repent for this malicious lie on his Sept. 11 "Day of Prayer and Repentence." The lies he needs to repent for are piling up, after all.
After a long three-year gap since their last exclusive sit-down interview with President Obama, you might think The New York Times would be ready to ask tough questions on the most contentious issues of the day, beginning with the deepening Obama scandals.
Wrong. Instead, the Times defined the "news" in this interview to be Obama's counter-attacks. Their stories focused on Obama's accusations that (a) the Republicans are liars about Obamacare, (b) the Republicans exaggerate the benefits of building the Keystone XL pipeline and (c) the Republicans oppose his use of executive power because he has the "gall to win the presidency."
The national media are faithfully executing their Obama second-term call to preserve and protect his legacy. They are steering clear of any story that might imply that the president has in any way cut an ethical corner or abused his power.
Meanwhile, Fox News' Greta van Susteren devoted an entire hour-long show earlier this week to an interview with Rush Limbaugh. As the Washington Post's Erik Wemple noted, van Susteren managed to go the entire hour without bringing up the two most recent news events involving Limbaugh: his tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke, and the fact that one of the largest groups of radio stations in the country, Cumulus Media, is apparently planning to drop Limbaugh's show from dozens of its stations, in part because of the fallout and decreased revenue it has experienced in the wake of Limbaugh's attack on Fluke.
Neither Bozell nor anyone else at his Media Research Center has mentioned van Susteren's lack of curiosity about these news events involving Limbaugh. Gee, wonder why...
CNS Weirdly Singles Out Bisexuals In Non-Discrimination Ordinance Topic: CNSNews.com
In attacking the proposed addition of "sexual orientation" to a San Antonio non-discrimination ordinance, the headline of a July 29 CNSNews.com article by Shannon Quick weirdly focuses only on bisexuality by stating "San Antonio Considers Prohibiting City Workers from Expressing Bias Against Bisexuals":
Quick goes on to claim that "Many members of the community have spoken out against its passage," but directly quotes only pne person doing so, and she quotes nobody on the other side of the issue.
NEW ARTICLE: The Kupelian Conundrum Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's managing editor portrays himself as a journalist who hates it when others lie, but he's clearly too consumed by his far-right agenda to honestly write about anything. Read more >>
MRC's Gainor, Bozell Miss The Point on Reza Aslan Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Dan Gainor makes an attempt to defend FoxNews.com's atrocious interview with author Reza Aslan at, of course, FoxNews.com:
There’s nothing the left likes better than attacking Fox News. Almost all liberal media “analysis” revolves around such activity, without ever noting the outlandishly liberal biases of the traditional outlets that outnumber Fox like the Persians outnumbered the Spartans. Throw in a chance to defend Islam and bash Christians and you get to light up the Internet like a Christmas (or Solstice) tree.
That was the case when Lauren Green, religion correspondent for Fox News (the folks who run this website), interviewed the controversial author of the new book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.” In a Fox News.com Live interview Green dared to ask Reza Aslan, a Muslim who converted to Christianity and then back to Islam, the most obvious of questions:
“Now, I want to clarify: You are a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?”
Gainor is missing the point. The issue is not that Green asked the question; it's that she spent most of the 9-minute interview re-asking the question, and much of the rest of the time insisting that Aslan respond to criticisms of his book that Green had yet to do any discussion of its contents.
Indeed, as the Washington Post's Erik Wemple points out, Green's line of questioning was a clear sign that she hadn't read the book whose author she was interviewing. Gainor makes no mention of that; instead, he attacks Wemple for daring to criticize Green, adding, "In the liberal media, one dare not ever question the motives of Muslims."
Meanwhile, Gainor's boss, Brent Bozell, managed to get it even less in a Fox News appearance. Like Gainor, Bozell defended Green for asking the question, ignoring that she spent most of the interview obsessing over the issue.
Bozell, however, spent most of the appearance bashing Aslan, bizarrely claiming that Alsan is "not a very good Muslim" if he put scholarship before his religion.
We have to wonder: Does Bozell think Robert Spencer is a "good Christian" because he writes books trashing Islam?
Bozell also complained that Aslan said "he had a history degree in religion. In fact, he doesn't." This appears to be a line of attack taken from the conservative Catholic publication First Things, which splits hairs over the fact that Aslan's Ph.D. is actually in the sociology of religion. As TPM' Josh Marshall writes:
I’m sorry. This is silly. Plenty of ‘historians’ - as in working academic historians - have degrees in sociology. How common that is generally depends on methodological framework you work in. This is especially so in the academic study of ‘religion’ since people study the topic sometimes in History Departments, other times in separate Religion Departments and sometimes in Sociology or Anthropology Departments. And this doesn’t even get to programs of religious instruction where you’re possibly studying theology but might also be studying from a history-based disciplinary focus. I have some sense of these things because I have a history PhD. This is not a ‘lie’ unless you’re really clueless or just hunting for gotchas.
It seems that, like Green, Gainor and Bozell are looking to bash an author of a book they can't be bothered to read.
As Aslan himself pointed out about his Fox interview, it's all about selling a product, and fear sells a product.