AIM Acknowledges '60 Minutes' Benghazi Implosion; MRC Still Silent Topic: Accuracy in Media
We noted last week that while Accuracy in Media joined others in the ConWeb in promoting a CBS "60 Minutes" story that included the account of a purported eyewitness to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, it also noted that the report failed to disclose that the purported eyewitness had also written a book published by a division of CBS. But it was also slow in responding to questions about the witness' credibility.
Now that the story of the "60 Minutes" witness, Dylan Davies aka "Morgan Jones," has completely imploded, AIM is finally acknowledging the problems in a Nov. 8 column by Roger Aronoff, in which he criticizes how "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan and others "were apparently taken in by this charlatan" and "doubled down" after criticism first surfaced.
Aronoff also engages in some damage control, insisting that "While Davies’ account may have been a lie, the administration still has much to answer for." He adds:
Maybe “60 Minutes” can re-examine the rest of the material from their hundred or so interviews they did for the segment, and come up with a hard-hitting story, that is also accurate. As Lara Logan said in the “60 Minutes Overtime” website-only feature, which has been pulled from the “60 Minutes” website: “So, we left about 98 percent of what we learned on the floor—didn’t even report it—because unless we could substantiate it with primary sources that we truly trusted and whose motivations we trusted, then we didn’t even go there.”
Many lies have circulated regarding the Benghazi attacks of last year. This wasn’t the first. That is why Accuracy in Media founded the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, which is searching for the truth behind the attacks.
You mean that kangaroo court that's stacked with Obama-haters and birthers?
Meanwhile, the Media Research Center, which also touted the now-discredited "60 Minutes" report, has been utterly silent on its implosion. The only acknowledgement of the controversy so far is an Associated Press article reprinted at CNSNews.com about Davie's book being withdrawn by its publishe.r
None of these six articles mention that 204,000 jobs were created in October.
Also, the "real unemployment rate" CNS references is a fallacy. Because it includes people who are working part-time but would like to find a full-time position, it cannot possibly be an "unemployment" rate.
One has to wonder: Is Dr. Keith C. Wold spinning in his grave because his money is going toward creating such biased and fallacious reporting?
That the establishment media have a leftward lean is news to no one these days, but an episode of reporting on a speech by conservative Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., seems to push the envelope.
It seems the media trumpeted, and even headlined, the senator’s references to abortion, even though he didn’t make any.
The Associated Press reported about Paul’s recent speech at the 10,000-student Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., with the headline: “Rand Paul warns eugenics on horizon unless conservatives stand up against abortion rights.”
Except that Paul didn’t mention abortion in the nearly 18-minute address.
Farah then provided an summary of Paul's speech, refusing to concede that all his talk about eugenics was a pretty obvious reference to abortion. As one Paul supporter stated, "Historically speaking, there is a direct connection between eugenics, birth control, abortion, and race selection. ... Nonetheless, as much as pro-choice advocates want to repudiate part of their movement’s history, these are well-documented facts and are often used to support pro-life policy positions.
Farah then sought to quickly gloss over Paul's plagiarism: "Paul has been under attack for alleged plagiarism in speeches and an article recently. He has conceded he inadvertently made mistakes in crediting sources and has set up a new system for correcting the oversight."
Farah is so focused on distracting from the plagiarism allegations, in fact, that she completely ignores the fact that one of the prime examples of Paul's plagiarism appears in the very speech she's defending. Paul's Liberty University speech on eugenics includes a plot synopsis of the film "Gattaca" -- which was pretty much copied from the Wikipedia entry on the film.
Now that's putting a political agenda before facts!
Newsmax weighed in with a Nov. 5 article by Courtney Coren, who cited not only crazy birther Paul Vallely but the right-wing Investor's Business Daily to back up the conspiracy. Which, on the whole, is about the same amount of solid, documented evidence that WND has -- which is to say, none.
Coren also uncritically repeats Vallely's claim that "we had an Air Force sergeant that was relieved of his duty by a squadron commander who was a woman — she's a lesbian — and he did not believe in same-sex marriages, so he was relieved by her"-- a claim that's been completely discredited.
Over the past couple weeks, WorldNetDaily's Michael Maloof has been trying to assemble supposedly credible sources to back up his (entirely unsubstantiated) conspiracy theory that President Obama is systematically removing military officers for whatever reason. Maloof sums up the lead members of his retinue in a Nov. 4 article:
In response, prominent retired generals – ranging from Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, a Fox News senior military analyst, to Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, a founder of the Army’s elite Delta Force, to Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. Patrick Henry Brady – have all gone on the record with WND, characterizing Obama’s actions as nothing less than an all-out attack on America’s armed forces.
Let's review, shall we?
As we've noted, Vallely is a crazy birther. Boykin, who's now with the right-wing Family Research Council, is basically rooting for a military coup against Obama -- or, more euphemistically, “fulfill [its] constitutional duty and take over the government,’” though Boykin laments that such a move wouldn't be constitutional. Brady, meanwhile, is another rabidly anti-Obama right-winger, has demonstrated his lack of honor by spewing lies and hate about Obama.
CNS' Jeffrey Still Pushing 'Amnesty' Fallacy Topic: CNSNews.com
One of CNSNews.com's most biased behaviors (despite being operated by an organization that purports to fight against media bias) is portraying any immigration reform as "amnesty" regardless of what it is.
CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey keeps up the bias in a Nov. 6 article headlined "Obama: No Reason We Can't Do Amnesty Before End of Year." Needless to say, at no point does Jeffrey quote President Obama using the word "amnesty."
Jeffrey then tries to justify his improper usage of the word by writing:
Obama further said that providing an amnesty to illegal aliens--n.b. a "pathway to citizenship"--would grow the U.S. economy above "the growth that's already taking place," and reduce the federal deficit.
Wrong -- as we've documented, because Obama's proposed "pathway to citizenship" includes numerous conditions before citizenship would be made available, it is not, by definition, "amnesty."
As with his activism against Obamacare, Jeffrey has simply stopped caring enough about the truth that he can no longer be bothered to report facts. In other words, he's starting to turn into JosephFarah.
Colin Flaherty Doesn't Understand How Journalism Works Topic: WorldNetDaily
Colin Flaherty writes in a Nov. 3 WorldNetDaily article:
When a mom and daughter were kidnapped, forced to withdraw money from an ATM, raped, then shot last week, the Indianapolis Star played it by the book: Do not mention the suspects are black.
The “book” in this case is written by the Society of Professional Journalists, headquartered just three miles from the scene of the crime. In last month’s issue of the SPJ magazine, the oldest and largest organization of journalists in America reminded its members how they should report racial violence.
The SPJ story was just repeating what dozens of chapters around the country tell its members in regular seminars: Unless someone is considerate enough to wave around a sign saying, “Kill Honky,” or issue a press release or utter racial expletives in front of lots of witnesses, the fact that the suspects just happen to be black has no bearing on the story.
And if you wonder about it, you are probably a “racist and hater,” said the SPJ.
Actually, not so much. As it just so happens, the SPJ's Quill magazine discussed the subject of reporting race and crime in a recent issue, and it tells a story much different from the one Flaherty is peddling:
Working journalists may need to look no further than their own media out- let’s policies, which likely will offer guidance on how to report on race and crime. Generally these policies will say to only include race when full descriptions of suspects are available that also include precise information such as height and weight, clothing, getaway car and/or other identifying features, among other details. Even Chicago Tribune’s Kern, in the controversy cited above, declared that he would have included race in the description of the victims and the alleged perpetrator if it were part of a series of identifying details that were relevant to the story (i.e. he was protest- ing including race as a sole identifier or where he thought it was irrelevant).
The Maynard Institute, SPJ and Poynter all have cautioned against gratu- itous references to race that might con- tribute to stereotypes. Poynter’s Kelly McBride, for example, has suggested the following criteria in determining whether race should be an issue in news coverage:
What’s the relevance of race? How do I know that?
Am I making that assertion myself, or do I have authoritative sources to make that assertion?
If race is relevant simply because “the community” or “commenters” were talking about it, is it a few people, or is the conversation widespread?
If I’m going to introduce race as an element in a rape story, how can I make sure the views of the primary stakehold- ers are accurate and accurately represented?
Nevertheless, official news outlet policies almost always allow for inclusion of a suspect’s race or ethnicity when it adds to other identifying details. That’s the policy that should be followed and that can be followed without compromising one’s journalistic ethics and re- sponsibilities.
This view, of course, conflicts with Flaherty's race-baiting narrative, in which all crimes committed by blacks (and some by non-blacks and even non-humans) are automatically considered "black mob violence" despite the utter lack of any link beyond the race of the offender. If a black commits a crime, no matter how petty, it's news according to Flaherty. He does not treat crime committed by offenders of other races with the same concern.
But since Flaherty cares only about race-baiting and not responsible journalism -- and thinks that every crime committed by a black person is, by definition, "racial violence"-- he does not know or care about such things. Neither does his employer.
MRC Completely Bypasses Opportunity to Bash '60 Minutes' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center usually doesn't pass up an opportunity to bash one of the most prominent mainstream-media targets of the right wing, CBS' "60 Minuets." But it has been silent about the latest trouble the show is in.
We've already documented how the MRC promoted a recent "60 Minutes" story on the Benghazi attack, featuring what MRC writer Matthew Balan touted as "an actual eyewitness of the attack." But it turns out that this supposed eyewitness, who went under the pseudonym Morgan Jones but whose real name is Dylan Davies, had told his bosses at the security contractor he worked for that he was nowhere near the Benghazi compound that night. This, of course, means that Davies/Jones was either lying then or is lying now, and is therefore suffering a severe lack of credibility.
The MRC has yet to tell its readers about the conflicting stories of this supposed Benghazi eyewitness. It passed up the the chance to do so once again in a Nov. 7 item by Matt Hadro. In the item, Hadro focuses very narrowly on CNN host Chris Cuomo's claim that there's "a negative mythology to what happened in Benghazi that is not supported by fact, it's supported by speculation." Hadro went on to complain that "CNN has failed miserably in holding the administration accountable on Benghazi." The post was accompanied by a 30-second clip of Cuomo's statement.
Hadro didn't tell his readers that Cuomo's comment came within the context of a much longer segment in which CNN examined the controversy over the "60 Minutes" segement and its supposed Benghazi "witness." Media Matters has the longer video demonstrating the full context.
Why did Hadro refuse to tell readers about the full CNN report and only cherry-pick a statement out of context? Is he -- and, by extension, his bosses -- so afraid to admit that there is doubt about the evidence conservatives have been using to hammer President Obama over Benghazi?
Apparently so. Why else would the MRC not grasp an prime opportunity to attack one of its biggest nemeses?
UPDATE: The New York Times is reporting that Jones/Davies told the same story to the FBI that he told to his employer -- which, again, is fundamentally different from the one he told on "60 Minutes." Will that rouse the MRC into the kind of media-bashing it normally needs no rousing to do?
Is it possible that our propagandist-in-chief “innocently” impressed upon certain starry-eyed, Obama-worshiping journalists how tenuous he believes things are with regard to race in order to manipulate them into bringing these issues to the collective top of mind through their reporting? Further, might he be doing so as a precursor to some manner of “false flag” racial incident or incidents that are in the works? It does seem interesting that in addition to the usual suspects (like Jesse Jackson), we are seeing an upsurge in race-related rhetoric and reportage, despite nothing in particular having transpired in this area lately.
While race-baiting is nothing new for the left, the aforementioned incidents appear to have come somewhat out of left field with regard to the news cycle. Should some high profile, highly unpleasant race-related incident occur in the near future, it wouldn’t be the first time such a thing happened at a juncture that proved to be advantageous to the administration.
At this particular juncture, one might say that the Obama administration could use all the help it can get, considering Americans’ anger over the Obamacare rollout, mounting concern with regard to the several scandals in which the president is involved, his plummeting approval rating and the growing alienation of the press.
Let’s just hope that “help” is not forthcoming, for all our sakes.
Obama's natural disease to seek absolute power runs completely counter to the American Way of Life. And, perhaps because of the good-natured people that constitute this nation, we are loathe to identify exactly what is making us feel the warnings. But, acting as if it is not happening will not stop him from seeking and gaining that power, and the corruption that runs with it, hand in hand. In the case of Obama, not only is he the bully, but he has paid off the superintendent, the principal, and even the janitor.
WND's Unruh Not Even Bothering to Report Facts on ENDA Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh's reporting on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is moving from the denigrating to the outright delusional.
In a Nov. 5 WorldNetDaily article, Unruh asserts that ENDA "provides special job protections and guarantees for homosexuals and transgenders." He doesn't explain how ENDA would do that since it simply adds protections for sexual orientation to current anti-discrimination laws, which do not provide similar job "guarantees."
Unruh also repeats previous false claims from anti-gay opponents of the law that ENDA protects pedophiles by not specifically excluding pedophilia, ignoring the fact that "sexual orientation" is already defined by federal statute as applying only to "consensual homosexuality or heterosexuality" and not to pedophilia.
Can you believe that Unruh used to work for the Associated Press, where reporting facts was a major part of the job? Oh, how the biased have fallen.
NewsBusters Misleads on Cuccinelli's Defense of Anti-Sodomy Law Topic: NewsBusters
Ken Shepherd claimed in an Oct. 31 NewsBusters post that the Daily Beast "misled -- and arguably lied -- to readers" by claiming that Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli "tried and failed to reinstate a ban on oral and anal sex in his home state":
Of course that's patently false. What Cuccinelli, the state's attorney general, did do was seek to prosecute an alleged sex offender for attempting to force an underage girl to perform fellatio on him. Cuccinelli argued that the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas did not apply to prosecuting acts of sodomy.
Indeed, as noted in the writ of certiorari -- basically the document you use when you ask the Supreme Court to take up your case -- Cuccinelli's office quoted from the ruling in Lawrence v. Texas that the decision in that case did NOT address sodomy committed by someone of consenting age upon a minor, as was the case in Moose v. MacDonald:
This was a case not about reversing Lawrence v. Texas and the resulting unconstitutionality about the legality of oral and anal sex between consenting adults. This case was about upholding the conviction of a sex offender, something that should not be troubling to anyone, regardless of whether they are liberal, conservative, moderate, or libertarian.
But what's precision and journalistic integrity when you're on a roll bashing a social conservative as anti-consensual oral sex?
Actually, Shepherd is the one who's not concerned with precision and journalistic integrity.
As Slate's Dalia Lithwick details, Virginia's anti-sodomy law has been found to be unconstitutional under Lawrence v. Texas, and Cuccinelli's appeal was about attempting to uphold by "a call for judges to read statutes to mean what they don’t say":
The sex offender in this case was William MacDonald, a 47-year-old man who solicited oral sex from a 17-year-old woman. (No sex was had). Because 15 is the legal age of consent in Virginia, authorities couldn’t charge MacDonald for statutory rape. Faced with other statutes to choose from, they opted to charge him with soliciting a minor by inducing her to commit sodomy, for which he served a year in prison and must now register as a sex offender.
But even with the tide of legal authority against him, Cuccinelli decided to appeal the case to the Supreme Court, arguing that Virginia’s anti-sodomy statute has no constitutional problem, if—as he concedes, and only if—the high court would just interpret the terrifyingly broad sodomy law to apply only to sex involving 16- and 17-year-olds. (Justice Kennedy left the thread of that argument hanging in his majority opinion in Lawrence.) In effect, Cuccinelli’s legal appeal asks the Supreme Court and the lower courts to ignore the clear meaning and intent of the law, to interpret it in a way that advances narrow goals he wants to advance.
Of course, Cuccinelli’s problem at the Supreme Court is that Virginia’s sodomy statute doesn’t mention age, so reading an imaginary age requirement into it is not “interpreting” the statute so much as rewriting it—a freewheeling position normally anathema to Tea Party conservatives like Cuccinelli. Moreover, the Virginia legislature actually tried to rewrite the law to salvage it for narrower purposes after the Lawrence decision, but Cuccinelli helped kill that bill. You can’t really stagger around swinging a huge, unwieldy legal mallet and claiming it’s the only tool you have against pedophilia. Not when you opted to turn down the offer of a scalpel.
The legal position Cuccinelli pushes creates truly bizarre results, which is normally a sign for reviewing courts that something smells funky. Asking a federal court to turn a state anti-sodomy law into an anti-statutory rape law means that if MacDonald had engaged in ordinary intercourse with a 17-year-old girl every day for a month, he would not face a felony conviction or be a sex offender. He’d just be that guy. But his decision to solicit oral sex, even his decision to just phone her and ask for it, under the imaginarily rewritten law, requires both.
Cuccinelli’s proposed revision to Virginia’s sodomy law would also mean that those older than 15 can legally consent to sex, yet, have no right of sexual privacy in actually having sex. Or, to put it differently, Virginia could charge any 16- and 17-year-old with felony sodomy simply because they happened to choose oral or anal sex over vaginal sex.
Shepherd didn't mention any of those important details, of course.
WND Likens Valerie Jarrett To A Serial Killer Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Nov. 5 WorldNetDaily article by Michael Maloof carries the headline "General blames 'Night Stalker' for military purge." Maloof begins the article: "Who, or what, is behind the “purge” of top-level U.S. military officers during the Obama administration, with estimates of the number of senior officers fired during the last five years edging toward 200?"
It turns out that Maloof is talking about Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, whom birther general Paul Vallely blames -- without evidence, of course -- for the dismissal of some senior military officers.
Maloof adds: "London’s Daily Mail newspaper notes that Jarrett’s insider nickname is 'Night Stalker' because of her exclusive, late-night access to the presidential family’s private quarters." But the Daily Mail article cites no "insiders" to back up the claim, stating only that "Jarrett is reportedly called 'the Night Stalker.'"
You might remember that "Night Stalker" is also the name that was given to Richard Ramirez, serial killer and avowed Satanist.
Why are we assuming that WND had Ramirez in mind when promoting this purported nickname for Jarrett and not, say, the 1970s TV series?
Let's go back to a June column by WND editor Joseph Farah. In it, Farah bragged that he was "the guy who bestowed" the "Night Stalker" title on Ramirez when he worked at a Los Angeles newspaper, further bragging that "I actually won an award for that headline."
We would say that Farah should know better if weren't for the apparent fact that Farah knows exactly what he's doing -- trying to associate the Obama White House with one of America's most infamous serial killers.
What kind of man is so amoral, so sick as to do something so depraved? The kind of man who lies about Obama with impunity.
Maloof piles on with his reference to "Who, or what, is behind the 'purge,'" suggesting that he doesn't even think Jarrett is human.
To CNS, Food Stamp Recipients And Government Workers Are No Different Topic: CNSNews.com
Here's how an unbylined Nov. 5 CNSNews.com article begins:
If the turnout in this year’s Virginia gubernatorial election is similar to the turnout in the state’s last two gubernatorial elections in 2005 and 2009, there are likely to be about 1.2 voters picking the state’s next governor for each person in the state collecting food stamps or a government paycheck.
CNS thinks food stamp recipients are no different from government employees? Really?
What, if anything, does that prove? That CNS will go to any ridiculous length to denigrate the government?
We have to wonder. Numerous CNS employees drew government paychecks after their CNS stint. Do Terry Jeffrey and his staff think these government workers are as parasitical as it considers food stamp recipients to be?
We'd love to hear Jeffrey's answer to that, to find out whether his personal loyalty trumps his ideology.
WND's Loudon Fearmongers Like A Hack Over Transgender Students Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gina Loudon's Nov. 3 WorldNetDaily column is headlined "Let's wage war on D.C. hacks," but the only hackishness we're seeing is from Loudon.
Loudon complains that "Democrats have found success in slandering conservatives as racist, women-hating homophobes." Then she writes this:
I’ve written before about the extremes that Gov. Jerry Brown has gone to here in California. One example is the new law enabling school children to decide their gender on a whim. One day a boy can “feel like a woman” and enter the girl’s locker room. Then, the next day, when he “feels” like a boy again, he can go to go to football practice and use the boy’s locker room again. I have personally spoken to gay Californians who are very uneasy with the direction in which the Democrat supermajority and Gov. Brown have taken the state.
For someone who claims to have a doctorate in psychology, Loudon is shockingly ignorant of what transgenderism is.There's simply no medical evidence that any person would "decide their gender on a whim" and change it from day to day depending on how he or she "feels," as Loudon claims.
In the real world, the California law merely affirms already-existing protections for transgender students, and no incidents of misconduct have been reported in California.
Who's the real hack here? Loudon might want to look in the mirror for the answer.