MRC Tries to Bury Cuccinelli's Ethics Scandal Topic: Media Research Center
The typical Media Research Center report fails to inform readers of its methodology for arriving at its predetermined conclusion that the media is liberal and treats conservatives unfairly. But surprise, surprise -- the MRC finally does so.
A Sept. 3 report by Rich Noyes examining coverage of Virginia gubernatorial candidates actually makes such a disclosure. And, well, it's kind of odd:
METHODOLOGY: MRC analysts tallied all statements from journalists and quoted sources that were explicitly pro- or anti- one of the candidates. If the total of these comments in a story were tilted in either direction by a greater than three-to-two margin, then the story was scored as either “positive” or “negative” for that candidate. Otherwise, the story was classified as “mixed” or “neutral.” Our analysts only examined comments about the candidates’ merits, and excluded judgments about the campaign “horse race,” i.e., poll standings or fundraising.
Noyes doesn't explain how he arrived at his conclusion that a "three-to-two margin" was sufficient to tag a story as tilted a certain direction, nor why he chose to exlude "horse race" judgments.
Further, Noyes admits that at least some stories were balanced or neutral, but at no point during his report does he state how many there were -- he only compares positive vs. negative coverage.
But the point of Noyes' report is not to demonstrate how well (or, in this case, how poorly) the MRC follows accepted standards for research. It's to try and defuse criticism of the Republican in the race, Ken Cuccinelli.
Noyes predictably complains that "Cuccinelli has received far more negative coverage than his rival," Democrat Terrry McAuliffe, and "despite ongoing ethical questions surrounding Terry McAuliffe, these newspapers have collectively run twice as many pieces talking about Cuccinelli’s ethics than those of his Democratic competitor."
Which ultimately gets us to the nub of this -- whitewashing Cuccinelli's ethics problems. And Noyes does his best to do that:
Controversies swirled around both candidates, but ethical questions surrounding Ken Cuccinelli drew twice as much attention from these newspapers as those involving Terry McAuliffe. From June 12 through August 31, 91 news stories (34% of the total) and 61 editorials and columns (44% of the total) mentioned or discussed Cuccinelli’s ethics, most prominently questions surrounding his belated disclosure of gifts from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams (accounting for 119 of the 152 stories talking about Cuccinelli’s ethics).
In contrast, 48 news stories (18%) and 27 opinion pieces (19%) talked about McAuliffe’s ethical problems, chiefly his stewardship of GreenTech Automotive, currently the subject of a federal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Overall, readers saw 152 stories about Cuccinelli’s ethics, vs. just 75 about McAuliffe, a greater than two-to-one disparity.
Cuccinelli’s name was frequently brought up in stories about Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who is currently being investigated for receiving far more in gifts and loans from the same businessman. A July 18 report by Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring, a Democrat, cleared Cuccinelli of wrongdoing in failing to disclose his gifts until April 2013, when the investigation into McDonnell was underway, but the positive report did little to stem the flood of coverage.
Noyes fails to highlight one possible difference in the treatment of the two alleged scandals: Cuccinelli accepted gifts from a political donor while in office, which creates the appearance of impropriety and of a politician who can be bought. McAuliffe is a businessman and former Democratic Party official who has never held elective office.
Noyes also seems to think that a Democrat-led investigation that "cleared Cuccinelli of wrongdoing in failing to disclose his gifts until April 2013" is some sort of exoneration and somehow makes Cuccinelli look less bad for accepting the gifts in the first place. But Noyes doesn't note that Cuccinelli has refused to pay back all of the gifts because, he claims, some of them were intangible -- an airplane flight, a free dinner, and supplements.
Noyes' boss, Brent Bozell, reinforced the report's spin in a Sept. 6 column, making it abundantly clear that the purpose was to whitewash Cuccinelli's ethics problems:
Cuccinelli admitted error in failing to disclose gifts from Williams, then asked a Democrat to investigate the matter, who absolved him of impropriety. The End. McAuliffe continues to use the Clinton playbook – dodging, weaving, denying, even lying about charges dealing with massive fraud. Yet Cuccinelli’s “problems” get twice the coverage of his rival.
Since when did Bozell become the judge of what should be "the end" of examination of Cuccinelli's ethics?
WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi penned a Sept. 8 article claiming that "Bill Ayers has turned on Barack Obama, characterizing the president’s determination to launch a military attack on the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria as a 'dumb war.'"
But WND promoted Corsi's article on its front page under the headline "Obama's 'best bud' turns against him on Syria."
Not only does Corsi not quote anyone calling Ayers Obama's "best bud," Corsi doesn't even explain the nature of Ayers' relationship with Obama.
Newsmax Rounds Up Right-Wing 'Experts' To Bash Obama Topic: Newsmax
One of Newsmax writer David Patten's favoritetechniques of biased reporting is to round up right-wing pundits to opine on the subject of the day and call them "experts." He has apparently decided it was time to bring that technique back.
In a Sept. 8 Newsmax article, Patten cites "experts and commentators" to claim that "Deferring to Congress to authorize an attack on Syria’s Bashar al-Assad may have been the biggest gamble of Barack Obama’s presidency – and could significantly weaken the presidential office if it backfires." But as per usual, his list of "experts" is dominated by conservatives:
Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI)
John Bolton (Former U.N. ambassador)
Dan Gillerman (former Israeli ambassador to U.S.)
The only person Patten cites who is not obviously conservative is the Broooings Institution's Salman Shaikh.
WND: Obama Sending Message To Muslim Brotherhood With Foot On Desk Topic: WorldNetDaily
Yes, Andrea Shea King really write this in a Sept. 2 WorldNetDaily article:
How many of our fellow countrymen thought the same thing when viewing this official White House photo (by Pete Souza) of the president with his shod foot firmly planted upon an historic American treasure – the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office?
Is it possible I might have misinterpreted this photo, which played prominently on the Drudge Report site last Sunday? Is it possible President Obama had a White House photographer release this official image to the world to send a wordless message of support to the Muslim Brotherhood, Arab street and Islamic community in general? To convey his disdain and disregard for all things traditionally American? It is, after all, common knowledge that the Arab world considers the bottom of one’s shoes the ultimate sign of disrespect. And it’s not the first time he’s done it.
It also wouldn’t be the first time Obama has used photos to convey a not so subtle message to his intended audiences.
Actually, there's a very high possibility that King misinterpreted the photo. Clearly, she despises Obama so much she's imposing her imaginary delusions on it.
As Right Wing Watch notes: "Of course, Republican presidents from George W. Bush to Gerald Ford were also photographed with their feet on the Oval Office desk, but maybe they were just sending secret Muslim messages as well!"
AIM's Kincaid Takes Russia's Side on Syria Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid's normal mode on Russia is to attack it. As recently as Aug. 27, Kincaid was ranting about "how the Russians play the American media—and some Americans—like violins" on the subject or Edward Snowden and how "Putin lied through his teeth about Snowden’s relationship with Russia and is now boasting about carrying out this monumental deception."
Kincaid seems to have a change of heart since then, for he's now on the side of the Russians in opposing U.S. intervention in Syria -- while trying to hide that fact from his readers.
Just six days later, in a Sept. 2 Accuracy in Media column, Kincaid was lashing out at "the dubious case for war" made by President Obama, declaring that "Obama is spouting a bunch of nonsense, and the media know it." Kincaid made no mention of the fact that Russia also opposes Obama's possible intervention in Syria.
The next day, Kincaid conceded that Syria's Assad regime is "backed by Russia and Iran," but insisted that the real issue is "the nature of the opposition, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the side of the conflict that Obama, McCain and Graham want the U.S. to support." He didn't mention Russia's opposition to U.S. intervention in Syria.
On Sept. 4, Kincaid wrote a column headlined "War on Syria Means Victory for Al Qaeda." Kincaid didn't mention that it also means victory for Russia (though he did seem to tacitly endorse Russia's new "legislation to protect children from homosexual propaganda").
A Sept. 6 column by Kincaid is headlined "O’Reilly Buys Obama Propaganda on Syria," but Kincaid doesn't explain how he has apparently bought Russia's propaganda on Syria.
WND Columnist Falsely Fearmongers About 'Sex Ed For Kindergarteners' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerry Newcombe writes in his Sept. 3 WorldNetDaily column:
Children are being robbed today of their chance to be children. They’re being forced by selfish adults to be exposed to things that are not age appropriate for them. Unbelievably, in Chicago they are now starting to mandate that kindergartners go through sex ed classes – 300 minutes of them.
In fact, those kindergartener will be receiving age-appropriate sex education. The Chicago Tribune reports:
Under the new program, kindergartners and first-graders would focus on topics like anatomy, healthy relationships and personal safety, [chief health officer Stephanie] Whyte said. The curriculum for those grades would include "my body," "good touch vs. bad touch" and "living things that reproduce."
But that fact is inconvenient for Newcombe, so his fearmongering continues. He rehashes statement by President Obama endorsing sex education for kindergarteners without mentioning that he said it should be age-appropriate.
But Newcombe is not done ranting:
We have already seen in Massachusetts, after the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2004 by judicial fiat, that children in the public schools could not opt out of indoctrination on homosexuality. Parents were not warned about this, and their children are fair game.
One brave parent, Dave Parker, was disturbed by what he learned was being presented to his child, so he met with the principal to remonstrate. He was told he could not take his child out of the offensive, propagandistic lessons. He wouldn’t leave until the principal agreed at least to notify him in advance. Parker was then arrested and spent a night in jail. In these United States.
The truth about Parker isn't as sinister as Newcombe claims. As we've detailed, Parker's child was given a book about families that allegedly depicted at least two households led by homosexual partners. And Parker wasn't arrested for asserting his parental rights -- he was arrested for trespassing after refusing the leave the school, he spent a night in jail only because he refused to bail himself out.
Newcombe soldiers on:
There is a German family, the Romeikes, who have sought asylum in the U. S., so they can homeschool their children. The Romeikes took them out of public schools in Germany to avoid anti-biblical teaching and false indoctrination on human sexuality. Secular sex-ed classes fail to recognize God’s design for sex and the devastating effects of promiscuity. Parents should decide what’s appropriate for their children; they have to deal with the results of their children’s acts.
Yet the Obama administration is actively seeking to deport the Romeikes back to Germany, where they would face the consequences of violating an anti-homeschool law that was created in 1938 when Hitler was in power.
In fact, the Romeikes could have chosen to send their children to a private or religious school in Germany, but they chose not to. And Germany's tradition of compulory schooling dates back a good 200 years and is not specifically linked to Hitler.
In making that last claim, Newcombe rather dishonestly goes Godwin, as WND writers are pronetodo. But pretty much his entire column is dishonest, so it's not surprising.
Newsmax Touts Veterans In Congress Opposing Syria Strike, Ignores McCain Topic: Newsmax
Melanie Batley writes in a Sept. 7 Newsmax article:
Republican congressmen who have witnessed the horrors of war for themselves as combat veterans are among those leading the way in opposition to American involvement in Syria.
Reps. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, Chris Gibson and Michael Grimm of New York, Doug Collins of Georgia, Ron DeSantis of Florida and Steve Stivers of Ohio have all come out saying they oppose air strikes.
Batley curiously makes no mention of the most prominent Republican who supports intervention in Syria: John McCain.Batley did note that "two GOP veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, have declared their support for military intervention," but made no mention of McCain.
Everyone knows Obama won’t be convicted of his high crimes in the U.S. Senate. That’s not the point. The point is he has repeatedly abused his power and violated the Constitution. He doesn’t even think twice about it. He acts as if he is above the law – even above criticism.
So will Americans awaken from this slumber that threatens the future of what has been the greatest bastion of freedom in the world for more than 230 years?
Will they rise up in righteous anger against Obama’s assault on liberty and the rule of law?
Or will they go quietly into the night and watch the sacrifices their forefathers made to guard this unique but short-lived experiment in self-government go down the tubes?
Thanks to the collusion and/or incompetence of his putative opponents in the GOP, Obama’s ideologically driven and purposeful destruction of America’s constitutional self-government moves steadily forward without let or hindrance. I have no doubt that a solid majority of Americans oppose replacing the U.S. Constitution with a Presidential Party dictatorship. I have no doubt that a significant number of them, particularly those who served in the military and remain faithful to the oath they swore to defend the Constitution, would be willing to risk their lives rather than live quietly under such a dictatorship.
But if it comes to the sort of civil conflict that is now building in Egypt, the American way of life will already have failed, and in precisely the manner envisaged by the elitist faction manipulators Obama represents.
If you’re like me, you’re asking yourself this question: Why is House Speaker John Boehner having sleepless nights worrying about how he’s going to give Barack Obama just what he needs to continue destroying America – a hike in the debt limit, which is better than a blank check to spend as much money as he likes, all money the U.S. government doesn’t have?
Whatever one may think about where Mr Obama was born – and I remain agnostic on that subject – it is blindingly obvious that his “birth certificate,” as displayed on the White House website, is a maladroit forgery.
Whatever one may think about whether Mr Obama is a wonderful president and a caring person and an excellent manager of the nation’s finances, his failure to get that bogus document investigated stinks. The failure of his staff, of all the relevant investigatory agencies, of all members of both Houses stinks. It is putrid.
Obama bet on the rebels in Syria fully knowing they are led by Sunni terrorists, including al-Qaida. Now there’s no turning back.
Why did he bet on them? The same reason he did in Libya and Egypt and will again and again. It’s a New World Order game in which the U.S. and its European allies make over the Middle East with talk of an “Arab spring” – and the media eat it up with a spoon and fork.
I’ve heard that a $5 million class-action lawsuit has been filed here in California on behalf of those people who purchased copies of Lance Armstrong’s autobiography in which he swore that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs. Their claim is based on the fact that when they purchased the book, it was represented by the subject and his publisher to be non-fiction.
I am not a member of the lawsuit because I didn’t buy the book, having no interest whatsoever in the life of a professional bicyclist. Perhaps my interest would have been piqued if he’d won all those races riding a unicycle or while juggling dishes, but that’s pretty much the same reason I gave Obama’s memoirs a wide berth.
However, I pray the litigants win their multi-million dollar judgment. What an earth-shattering precedent it would set if every two-bit politician who decides, like Obama, to attach his name to a ghost-written book knew that his self-aggrandizing lies could wind up biting him in the wallet.
Why did Obama even go to Israel? The Muslim Brotherhood advocate in the White House refused to speak to the Knesset. So what was he doing there? He went on the offensive against Israel, and he did it from the Jewish homeland, while the notoriously leftist Israeli press applauded Obama’s land-confiscation policy.
Will you consider becoming part of the growing movement to translate impeachment talk into effective political action? Do you agree that Americans need a vote of no-confidence in Obama and all those (of any party) who are collaborating in his faction’s attack on constitutional government and liberty in the United States? If so, read the call to action here and here. Then let your yes be yes, for the perpetuation of liberty and the U.S. Constitution.
Besides Darwin, Nietzsche and Freud, one of the greatest heroes of the political and academic left is Karl Marx (1818-1883), the father of communism and socialism, who plainly stated: “My life’s goal is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism.” I challenge anyone to demonstrate that, nearly six years into the Obama administration, Marx’s diabolical intent has not been enforced into every aspect of American life, culture, society and policy.
“The president left for a golf outing after his brief press conference.” Thus Aaron Klein ends his WND report of Mr Obama’s announcement that he will ask Congress to authorize war against Syria.
Now hear this, Hussein. You do not, repeat not, play golf or any other game while you are planning to invade someone else’s country in the name of keeping the peace. You stay at your desk in the Elliptical Office, and you stop using Air Force One as your private jet at taxpayers’ expense, and you get on with the job that – whether or not you are entitled to hold it – you are being handsomely overpaid to do.
Stop playing at Presidents and start taking the lives of America’s servicemen seriously. Is that too much to ask? If it is, get out, and take the dreadful Biden with you.
My genuine British birth certificate provides no less entitlement to hold that office than Obama’s bogus Hawaiian certificate. Besides, unlike Obama, I share your Founding Fathers’ vision of life, liberty and happiness, of government of and for and by the people, and not gummint of the gummint, by the gummint, for the gummint.
MRC's Graham Demands Context For Republican, Ignores It For Obama Topic: NewsBusters
We've documented how the context of one's words matters at the Media Research Center only when those words are spoken by a conservative. The MRC's Tim Graham manages to display that hypocrisy in the span of a day.
In a Sept. 4 NewsBusters post, Graham huffs that the Washington Post took remarks by a Republican politician out of context:
The Washington Post put conservative black minister E.W. Jackson on its front page again Wednesday, replaying its favorite “nutty” remarks. Reporter Laura Vozzella began: “Virginia Republicans have been keeping their distance from E.W. Jackson ever since the fiery minister, who has compared Planned Parenthood to the Klan and linked yoga to Satan, won the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor.”
Vozzella and the Post could care less that Jackson said back in June "I do not believe that yoga leads to Satanism. One of my ministers is a yoga instructor.” It’s all about baking religious Republicans as fruitcakes.
Graham then quotes what Jackson actually said, and he did indeed link yoga to Satan. But he huffs further that the Post is "more interesting [sic] in mocking Christians than understanding their concerns."
The next day, Graham was upset that anyone would dare put President Obama's words in their proper context, complaining about the "strange media treatment of Obama's strange denial that he'd ever set a 'red line' against Syria's use of chemical weapons." He then uncritically repeated an attack on PolitiFact for pointing out that Obama did not actually deny he said it but was emphasizing that the standard against use of chemical weapons was an international one dating back nearly a century, not an arbitrary one he made up on the spot.
Graham, by the way, is the MRC's director of media analysis. This, apparently, is the kind of "analysis" that keeps him employed.
Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
FreeThoughtBlogs' Ed Brayton catches WorldNetDaily flip-flopping from attacking President Obama for wanting to bomb Syria without congressional approval to attacking him for seeking that very same congressional approval. Brayton concludes: "How convenient for the Worldnetdaily that Obama is wrong if he does it and wrong if he doesn’t. Either way, he’s obviously a traitor. Heads they win, tails he loses."
MRC: Soros Is So Evil, He Funded ProPublica Eight Years Before It Existed Topic: Media Research Center
Fresh off his sloppily written attack on George Soros and Columbia University, the Media Research Center's Mike Ciandella is back a new bit of Soros-bashing, this time going after the nonprofit news website ProPublica. Ciandella huffs that "ProPublica is a liberal investigative journalism outfit that has received $300,000 from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations since 2000."
But later on, Ciandella writes that "ProPublica began operations in 2008 with funding from the liberal Sandler Foundation."
How could ProPublica have been receiving money from Soros "since 2000" when it didn't exist until 2008? Ciandella doesn't explain. Perhaps he's so desperate to attack Soros that the truth doesn't matter to him.
Needless to say, Ciandella makes no mention of the fact that Soros' contributions to ProPublican pale in comparision to the millions of dollars each year that prop up such right-wing media outlets like the Washington Times and Pittsburgh Tribune-Rreview.
WND's Corsi Unleashes Nasty Tweets About John Kerry Topic: WorldNetDaily
In case you needed another reminder that Jerome Corsi is a horrible human being who's motivated by personal destruction rather than the truth, the WorldNetDaily writer has been kind enough to provide us with one.
The spectacle of Secretary of State John Kerry trying to sell members of Congress on taking action against Syria for using chemical weapons sent Corsi into a paroxysm of attempted schadenfreude, and he spewed his venom into a series of tweets in which he mocks Kerry's Vietnam War heroism and the pronunciation of Kerry's wife's name:
These sound a lot like the hateful comments he posted at Free Republic prior to his publication of his anti-Kerry book,"Unfit for Command." Corsi made a half-hearted attempt to swift-boat Kerry again upon his nomination as secretary of state, which nobody cared about.
Corsi's mean-spirited insults are more evidence that he should never be taken seriously as a reporter -- as if his lies and dishonesty about President Obama hadn't already made that crystal clear.
MRC Transgender Freakout Watch Topic: Media Research Center
More than 40 organizations have signed a statement calling for respect and fairness in media coverage of transgenders, even Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning. The Media Research Center won't be signing that statement -- it would interfere with its two basic modes of coverage of transgenders, mockery and fearmongering.
Tim Graham takes the former approach in an Aug. 31 NewsBusters post, complaining that People magazine "aggressively used female pronouns" in an article about Manning, while sneeringly calling Manning a "traitor-ettte."
The latter approach shows up in a lengthy Sept. 3 Culture & Media Institute screed by Katie Yoder:
Welcome to the brave new world of “the next civil-rights struggle.” From a California law decreeing that any student has the right to use any gender-specific restroom and play on any gender-specific sports team he or she (or she or he) wants, biology be d**ned, to LGBT activists counseling network honchos on more sensitive TV portrayals, transgender is all the rage among liberals and media types.
The campaign to normalize gender confusion relies on emotional appeal. The media present “adorable” “transgender” 6-year-olds or teen couples who transitioned genders together. Or, for a child still unsure of his or her gender, lefty sites like Huffington Post and Slate enthusiastically recommend transgender children’s cartoons and transgender kid camps where little boys dress as “princesses.” It’s all part of the effort to “loosen the reins of gender expression,” as NPR put it.
At the adult level, CNN’s Anderson Cooper spoke with a transgender ex-SEAL “Warrior Princess” who advocated for transgender soldiers, while The Washington Post promoted “new hope” for transgender public bathroom use. The New York Times and the AP have decided to call convicted traitor Bradley Manning “Chelsea” (with all the matching pronouns) simply because he declared he wants to be a woman named Chelsea.
And no effort to force the public to celebrate “alternative” sexualities would be complete without ABC, CBS, and NBC giving viewers stories of transgendered “normal” people leading “normal” lives – except for the “unique challenge” of transitioning into the opposite sex.
Downsides? Consequences? Differing opinions? Don’t be silly. The accounts of rallies defending marriage between one man and one woman are censored. The stories of entertainment media redefining the family don’t break into the mainstream.
As the same-sex marriage debate proved, the media ruthlessly shut down dissent when they find a pet cause.
Yoder went on to declare that it was "language abuse" to refer to Manning with feminine pronouns. Yoder concludes by huffing:
The normalization of transgender is probably a done-deal. The left has declared it a civil rights issue and the media – news and entertainment – have their marching orders. Fresh from their victory on same-sex marriage, they’ll employ the same tactics.
Trans characters will be turning up in your favorite sit-coms, and ribbons will appear on awards shows. Look forward to a parade of “Princess Boys,” Chelsea Mannings and Miss/Mr Universes, all with a poignant story and all scrambling to sort out their restroom accommodations.
Graham and Yoder certainly has their marching orders to disparage people different from themselves. That's what the MRC is paying them to do, after all.