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Monday, January 27, 2014
MRC's Graham Bashes Media For Engaging In Same Kind of Journalism The MRC Does
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham complains in a Jan. 25 NewsBusters post, headlined "USA Today Writes Unopposed Press Release for Liberal Virginia Attorney General's Gay-Marriage Move":

One way that liberal journalists promote a “rapid string of victories for the gay marriage movement” is by utterly shutting out any voice that dares speak in opposition to it. In Friday’s USA Today, reporter Richard Wolf (not MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe) wrote an entire story on how new Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring refuses to defend a gay marriage “ban,” and Wolf refused to quote any opponents.

One could say that USA Today was following the journalistic example of NewsBusters' sister operation, CNSNews.com, which frequently writes unopposed press releases promoting right-wing activists and policies. 

Yet Graham does not dare criticize his fellow Media Research Center employees for engaging in the very same kind of journalism he's bashing USA Today for.

Graham might be taken more seriously as a media critic if he didn't exempt those who adhere to his right-wing ideology from criticism.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EST
WND Fires Up The D'Souza Conspiracy Bandwagon
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If there's a right-wing, anti-Obama conspiracy to be had, WorldNetDaily wants in on it. So it's no surprise that it's been flooding the zone regarding the arrest of right-wing filmmaker, discredited Obama-hater and adulterous former college president Dinesh D'Souza for campaign finance violations.

A Jan. 24 article by Jerome Corsi quoted the producer of D'Souza's films, Gerald Molen, as claiming that D'Souza's arrest is "political prosecution" comparable to the tactics used on the communist former Soviet Union to quell dissent. Molen concedes that D'Souza did what he is being accused of, but claims that it's "the equivalent of prosecuting a political dissident in the Soviet Union for jay-walking." Molen also accused the Obama administration of "selective enforcement," but Corsi provided no instances of the crime D'Souza is accused of failing to be prosecuted in other instances.

A Jan. 24 WND article by Gina Loudon resorted to a woman hiding behind a fake name -- "a woman executive at a major motion picture studio who is known online as Anita Gunn" -- to accuse Obama of acting "Nixonian" despite the complete lack of evidence of any direct Obama role. Loudon also claims that "the Friends of Abe, a private conservative organization in Hollywood, was being targeted by the Internal Revenue Service," leaving out the fact that Friends of Abe applied for a non-profit tax status that opened itself up to such scrutiny as part of the process to obtain that non-profit status.

Another Jan. 24 article, by Garth Kant, quoted another right-wing filmmaker, anti-immigration activist Dennis Michael Lyncy, claiming that the goal of D'Souza's arrest was to stop his upcoming film. Lynch also said of D'Souza that "nothing in his film has been shown to be false. Everything has been shown to be true.” Which is an utter lie.

WND editor Joseph Farah uses his Jan. 26 column to rant that D'Souza's indictment was part of Obama's " all-out war on the First Amendment," claiming that "Dinesh D’Souza is now officially an enemy of the state."

Pamela Geller also runs to D'Souza's defense, ranting, "America, put down the newly legalized weed that Obama is touting and join us in the fight for freedom."

With the fizzing of his birther conspiracies (not that they'll ever admit it, of course), WND needed a new cudgel to bash Obama with. It has found one in a prosecution of D'Souza an offense that even D'Souza's supporters concede he performed.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EST
Sunday, January 26, 2014
CNS Loves That Anti-Abortion Activist Loves Its Slanted Coverage
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com got a little mash note in the form of a tweet from dishonest anti-abortion activist Lila Rose praising its coverage of the March for Life, to which CNS giddily responded, "Thanks Lila!"

Should CNS, which tries to make people believe it's a "news" organization, really be so happy about praise from an activist whose career is all about making sure only one part of the abortion story is told?

Then again, CNS thinks comparing random things to abortion is "news," and that's the kind of "news" that makes biased activists like Lila Rose happy. REal journalists? Not so much.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EST
WND Still Fluffing Joe Arpaio
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio for allowing that shoddy Cold Case Posse investigation of President Obama's "eligibility" to happen -- that's why he's gotten nothing but favorable coverage at WND (despite WND's insistence that it has no sacred cows). That Arpaio-fluffing continues in a Jan. 24 article:

If you thought the pink underwear and chain-gang uniforms were tough justice, get a load of what America’s toughest sheriff is forcing inmates to do now.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County is forcing 38 inmates who desecrated American flags inside his jail to eat only bread and water for a week.

“These inmates have destroyed the American flag that was placed in their cells,” Arpaio told CNN. “Tearing them, writing on them, stepping on them, throwing them in the toilet, trash or wherever they feel. It’s a disgrace … this is government property that they are destroying, and we will take action against those who act this way.”

Arpaio implemented the American flag jailhouse initiative in November. It includes listening to the “Star-Spangled Banner” every morning and “God Bless America” every night over the intercom system.

By contrast, you will not read anywhere at WND about how  Maricopa County had to pay $3.75 million to the founders of an alternative weekly in Phoenix because Arpaio's office falsely arrested them, ostensibly for publishing Arpaio's home address in their newspaper but seemingly actually because the paper reported on Arpaio's abuses.

Which is funny, because WND also claims to serve "as a light exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power." Not if those perpetrating said corruption and abuse of power are among WND's sacred cows, apparently.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 AM EST
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Newsmax's Hirsen Upset With Meryl Streep's Criticism of Walt Disney
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen devotes his Jan. 21 Newsmax column to defending the honor of Walt Disney against Meryl Streep calling him a "gender bigot" who allegedly supported an anti-Semitic lobbying group:

Streep is no doubt aware that the charge of bigotry is a toxic accusation that can travel at warp speed across the entertainment industry. Interestingly, her timing happened to coincide with the period in which Academy members were in the process of deliberating over Oscar nominees.
 
Streep’s insinuations about the Disney founder are actually at odds with the facts. In Disney biographer Neal Gabler’s words, there is “no evidence whatsoever in the extensive Disney Archives of any anti-Semitic remarks or actions by Walt.”

Hirsen adds: 

Like most of Hollywood at the time, Disney did not reflect modern enlightenment regarding racial equality. Gabler nevertheless points out in his biography on the mogul that Disney had sought consultation at the time from NAACP official Walter White and other African-American leaders, in conjunction with the partly animated movie “Song of the South,” in order to remove racially offensive material.

In fact, according to Gabler, the NAACP's White never actually participated in script revisions. And the film remains plenty racially offensive, what with its depiction of "Uncle Remus and his fellow smilin’, Massah-servin’ black folk": Disney hasn't released it in more than 25 years and won't be doing so anytime soon.

Hirsen then huffs that Streep may have cost Tom Hanks an Oscar nomination:

Streep’s comments may have had an effect on the voting patterns of Academy members. “Saving Mr. Banks,” a film on many of the short lists of Oscar analysts, was snubbed for a best picture nomination, as was Thompson for best actress, and the snub of the century, Tom Hanks, who played the role of Disney.
 
Hanks, who according to Streep portrayed a bigoted misogynist, was also passed over for his starring role in “Captain Phillips.”

"Snub of the century"? Really?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:04 PM EST
WND Puts Words in Bill Nye's Mouth
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 24 unbylined WorldNetDaily article promotes an upcoming debate between evolutionist Bill Nye and creationist Ken Ham. This being WND, it tilts toward the creationist view, to the point that it falsely puts words in Nye's mouth.

The headline on the article states, "Is Bible 'outdated book' and God and 'ogre'?" This suggests that Nye holds those views or has actually said those things. At no point does the article quote Nye saying anything, let alone that. In fact, those quotes are from Ham talking about atheists:

“These days, you’re finding them more aggressive, not against just creationism, but against people who believe in God. They call the Bible an outdated book. God is an ogre, if there is a God,” he said. “There’s all sorts of statements and name-calling.”

That spin also falsely implies that Nye is an atheist. In fact, Nye says he's agnostic and praises Christianity's sense of community.

These sorts of sloppy, malicious implications against Nye are just another reason that nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 AM EST
Friday, January 24, 2014
At CNS, Random Things Compared To Abortion Are 'News'
Topic: CNSNews.com

These are the actual headlines for a pair of CNSNews.com articles this week:

Babies Aborted in NYC in 1 Yr Would Fill Super Bowl Stadium

Rep. Hartzler: More Americans Aborted in 2008 Than Died in 7 Wars Combined

And the headline pretty well sum up what those articles are about.

These are presented as "news" at CNS -- which raises the question of CNS' increasingly slanted definition of "news" is.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 PM EST
Gay Derangement Syndrome, WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We are created to mate with someone of the opposite sex. Any other sexual practice is artificial and often harmful, and the confused folks with those desires need a reality check. It’s totally possible to leave it all in the past, as the world’s many ex-homosexuals have done.

But try to tell that to the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and the various self-important “gay” bloggers. With claws and teeth exposed, the monster purveyors of “tolerance” try to come off as noble moralists, but confront them with the truth and the artifice falls. Their reactions are violent for a simple reason: fear.

They wonder if they might actually be heterosexuals after all.

[...]

The international outrage of homosexualists is being unleashed on Russia because of a new law. Russia actually allows open homosexuality among adults, but passed a law recently prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality to minors. So what’s the concern?

Don’t we all want the best for children? Apparently not. The fear of the pink mafia is that the soft underbelly of their movement will be exposed, showing they badly want to influence children and also that there’s no inborn homosexuality. This reality is the backbone of the new Russian law, because children can be influenced toward harmful behaviors that are unnecessary, unnatural and harmful.

Let me repeat that: unnecessary, unnatural and harmful. No teens are born to be “gay.”

[...]

New humans are an impossibility for two men or two women, even if the Supreme Court declares them “married.” No new life will ever result from these dead-end unions. At least one other person will always have to be involved to produce children.

The reality is, no one is a homosexual and everyone is a heterosexual. And those who have developed, fantasized and nurtured those “gay” feelings really don’t like reality. It makes them want to attack. Or it makes them start vicious organizations like GLAAD, to make the lies seem real and respectable.

It makes them stupid enough to try to take on the Russians. All I can say is, good luck with that.

-- Linda Harvey, Jan. 22 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 PM EST
Newsmax Baselessly Declares D'Souza Indictment To Be 'Payback'
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax once promoted a film that Dinesh D'Souza hadn't even made yet, so it's logical that it would run to D'Souza's defense after his indictment on charges of violating election funding laws. Earlier this morning, Newsmax proclaimed the charges to be "payback":

Funny thing, though: The Reuters article to which that headline linked made no mention of "payback" or political retribution.  Further, neither Newsmax nor anyone else has provided any evidence that D'Souza's indictment had anything to do with his detatched-from-reality attacks on Obama, which he made into a film (that Newsmax also promoted).

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 PM EST
At WND, Great Obama-Haters Think Alike By Taking Same Quote Out of Context
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's Jan. 22 WorldNetDaily column begins with President Obama's statement during a New Yorker interview that "There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president." Farah uses the statement to accuse Obama of race-baiting.

Erik Rush's Jan. 22 WND column, strangely, does the exact same thing -- use the same Obama quote to launch a column bashing Obama for race-baiting.

Both Farah and Rush pulled off the twin feat of taking Obama's statement out of context, omitting the fact that Obama also said that "the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president."

If Farah and Rush had noted that Obama statement, it would have undermined their attacks on the president. They can't have the facts interfere with a good rant, it seems.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EST
Thursday, January 23, 2014
MRC's Double Standard on Disclosure
Topic: Media Research Center

Mike Ciandella writes in a Jan. 16 MRC Business & Media Institute post:

Not only did NBC allow their special anchor Maria Shriver to promote her own report on “Nightly News,” they did it without disclosing that it was made in partnership with a group that liberal billionaire George Soros gave $7.3 million to.

Ciandella, however, has shown no interest in holding the organization he works for to the same disclosure standard. CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center's "news" division, has done the following over the past week or so:

Promoted the Family Research Council's study attacking contraception without mentioning the FRC's anti-contraception, anti-abortion agenda.

Devoted an article to promoting a claim by the Charlotte Lozier Institute without identifying the institute as an anti-abortion, anti-contraception group.

Hidden the anti-Obamacare agenda of an organization whose attacks on Obamacare CNS promoted.

Why is it OK for Ciandella's co-workers to engage in the same kind of non-disclosure he criticizes in others? Perhaps he should spend a little time explaining that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EST
Burt Prelutsky's Zombie Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You can't keep a good lie down, apparently. Burt Prelutsky writes in his Jan. 21 WorldNetDaily column:

After all, we have justices sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court today who have announced that they wouldn’t advise emerging nations to adopt our Constitution as their own. For that matter, Barack Obama has gone on record saying that the major flaw in our Constitution is that it doesn’t deal with the redistribution of wealth. Is it any wonder then that in spite of swearing his allegiance to the sacred document, he ignores what it says with unseemly regularity – things like states’ rights and the separation of powers – any damn time he feels like it?

As we first documented way back in 2008, Obama did not say that " the major flaw in our Constitution is that it doesn’t deal with the redistribution of wealth" -- he said that the fact that the Supreme Court under Earl Warren did not address wealth redistribution means it was not as radical a court as some people contend.

And Prelutsky's claim that a Supreme Court justice said she "wouldn’t advise emerging nations to adopt our Constitution as their own" is taken out of context. What Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, according to PolitiFact:

Ginsburg’s lengthy, nuanced responses repeatedly praised the values, concepts and language of the U.S. Constitution and called the people who wrote it "some of the most brilliant minds of the day "

Ginsburg warned that a constitution means "nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom." She emphasized the importance of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and of the separation of powers between Congress, the president and the judiciary that it created.  

Ginsburg also pointed out that a long time had passed between the passage of the U.S. Constitution and Egypt’s current efforts.

"I can’t speak about what the Egyptian experience should be, because I’m operating under a rather old constitution," Ginsburg said early in the interview. "The United States in comparison to Egypt is a very new nation, and yet we have the oldest written constitution still enforced in the world. And it’s a constitution that starts out with three wonderful words: ‘We the people.’ "

[...]

"You should certainly be aided by all the constitution writing that has gone on since the end of World War II. I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa.

"That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights [and] had an independent judiciary. It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done.

"Much more recently than the U.S. Constitution is Canada, [which] has a charter of rights and freedoms [and] dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. … I'm a very strong believer in listening and learning from others.''

At no point during the interview did Ginsburg say that she prefers the South African Constitution to the U.S. one. Her point was that it’s better for Egypt to base its constitution on more recent ones written after Word War II. 

Not that Prelutsky or WND care about the truth, mind you...


Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EST
CNS' Hollingsworth Still Hiding Ideology Of Her Sources
Topic: CNSNews.com

Barbara Hollingsworth apparently has no interest in being a good journalist -- she refuses to do something as simple as identifying the ideological bias of her sources. We've already caught her hiding the agenda of an anti-abortion, anti-contraception group, and she's still at it.

Here's the gist of Hollingsworth's Jan. 17 CNS article:

Economist John Goodman, who warned last October that Obamacare could plunge into a “death spiral” if not enough young, healthy people signed up for coverage, says that danger is now “significant” following news that the Obama administration failed to hit its young adult enrollment target.
“I think there is a significant problem here,” Goodman, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), told CNSNews.com. “I think the insurers are worried. I think the administration is worried.

“Remember, everybody is facing the wrong price. And sick people are facing a price that’s well below the cost of their care. Young healthy people are being overcharged. And so they need lots of young healthy people to join so they can get the money to pay the bills for the sick people. And the younger people just aren’t buying it.

At no point does Hollingsworth explain what the NCPA is -- a right-wing think tank that claims to "develop and promote private, free-market alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector." And Goodman's NCPA blog on health policy is filled with attacks on Obamacare.

In other words, he's hardly an objective observer on Obamacare. And since Hollingsworth can't be bothered to seek out other points of view, her readers don't know that Goodman's claim of a "death spiral" is highly disputed.

The end of Hollingsworth's article contains a note that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Is Wold rolling over in his grave knowing that his donation to the MRC is paying for such lazy, biased writing?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:01 PM EST
WND Thinks Crazy Birther General Will Save America From Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily really thinks that crazy birther general Paul Vallely is going to save the country from President Obama -- so much so, in fact, that WND has become Vallely's public relations agent.

Last weekend, WND promoted Vallely's appearance at a South Carolina tea party convention, where he talked about his idea of "a House-led, parliamentary style vote of 'no confidence' in Obama’s administration" -- never mind the fact that Vallely apparently hasn't noticed that this isn't Europe and that the U.S. system of government has no mechanism for a no-confidence vote.

Then, a WND article by Jack Minor touted Vallely's plan to "unite the tea party into a vast army to turn America back to its constitutional roots." Minor doesn't explain how that plan fits with Vallely's WND-endorsed plan for a military coup against Obama.

Another WND article by Michael Maloof -- who has been a chief promoter of Vallely -- penned an article claiming that "retired U.S. Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely and his Syrian Opposition Liaison Group, or SOLG, were instrumental with the help of the Free Syrian Army in obtaining the release of two Swedish journalists, Niclas Hammarstrom and Magnus Falkehed, who had been held captive for a month and a half by bandits in Syria."

Curiously, Maloof quotes only a Vallely representative in reporting this story -- he offers no independent confirmation of the role of Vallely's group in securing the release of the journalists. Basic skepticism tells us that this story should not be taken at face value.

By contrast, McClatchy reported that "such negotiations usually were conducted by Lebanon’s head of general security, Abbas Ibrahim, who last year helped broker the release of nine Lebanese religious pilgrims who’d been held by rebels for more than a year and was key in helping to free two Turkish airline pilots who’d been kidnapped in retaliation in Beirut by families of the missing men."

Did Maloof simply not bother to check out Vallely's claim, or does he think Vallely is so trustworthy that his story is too good to check?

Apparently Maloof is so in thrall to Vallely that he's willing to serve as the crazy birther general's PR agent.

And Maloof does so yet again in a Jan. 22 WND article uncritically channeling yet another attack on Obama by Vallely. Maloof repeats his unsubstantiated claim that "Vallely and his Syrian Opposition Liaison Group recently were instrumental with the help of the Free Syrian Army in obtaining the release of two Swedish journalists."

Vallely certainly doesn't need to pay for a PR agent -- Maloof and WND are doing the job for free.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EST
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
MRC's Bozell Is Angry That Christie Scandal Is Getting Covered
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has used dishonest data to attack news coverage of Chris Christie's Bridgegate scandal, so we know where the MRC stands.

A Jan. 21 NewsBusters post by "NB Staff" continues the dishonesty, obsessing over how much time the three broadcast networks have spent on new allegations from the mayor of Hoboken, N.J., that Christie withheld Hurricane Sandy relief aid tothe city for political reasons:

The charges from Mayor Zimmer began on MSNBC’s “Up With Steve Kornacki,” and he spent all four hours of his weekend airtime obsessing about Bridgegate. The new allegations were featured on NBC Nightly News and Today from Saturday night to Monday morning -- ten segments in all (including news briefs), totaling more than 20 minutes of airtime.

ABC's Good Morning America ran full stories on Sunday and Monday, plus coverage on Sunday's World News (4 segments, totaling more than 6½ minutes). CBS, whose weekend newscasts were pre-empted by sports, did not pick up the story until Monday's CBS This Morning, which added nearly 3 minutes to the network totals. Overall, coverage on the Big Three morning and evening newscasts since Saturday evening: 30 minutes, 6 seconds.

Note that Fox News, as usual, is completely absent from the MRC's analysis. That's because Fox has largely ignored the allegations even though it's a 24-hour news network.

The NewsBusters post also promotes a Fox News appearance by MRC chief Brent Bozell calling coverage of the Hoboken allegations "out of control." Bozell didn't mention Fox's lack of coverage -- if he did, he might lose his weekly slot on Sean Hannity's Fox News show. And publicity is much more important to Bozell than the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 PM EST

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