ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
No, CNS, 'The Ten Commandments' Did Not 'Win Nielsen Ratings'
Topic: CNSNews.com

An April 22 CNSNews.com article by Michael Chapman declares, "'Ten Commandments'--Made in 1956--Wins Nielsen Ratings." But that's not quite what happened, which is clear once you start reading Chapman's story:

“The Ten Commandments,” a movie made 58 years ago starring the conservative Charlton Heston as “Moses,” and which is broadcast by ABC every year at Easter, won the Nielsen ratings for adult viewers ages 18-49 and for total viewers on Saturday, April 19, pulling in 5.87 million viewers and beating NBC, FOX and CBS.

[...]

In 2013, “The Ten Commandments” on ABC drew 5.9 million viewers, and in 2012 it garnered 6.9 million viewers.  This year, with an audience of 5.87 million, the movie easily beat NBC’s Dateline Saturday Mystery (4.49 million viewers), FOX’s UFC: Werdum vs. Browne (1.99 million watchers), and CBS’s Mike & Molly show (2.2 million).

As the evening continued, “The Ten Commandments” still garnered the largest total audience, beating out CBS’s Criminal Minds (2.86 million viewers), CBS’s 48 Hours (5.49 million), and NBC’s Saturday Night Live (2.79 million).

So, no, "The Ten Commandments did not "win" the "Nielsen ratings" -- it won its time slot. As USA Today reports, the film was not even among the top 20 programs of the week, it drew only about one-third the viewers of the top-rated program, "NCIS," and it drew fewer viewers than the latest episode of "Game of Thrones," which does not even air on broadcast TV.

Nevertheless, Chapman goes on to promote how "Ten Commandments" star Charlton Heston "was a liberal early in his career but became more conservative in the 1980s." He doesn't explain the obvious -- that Heston was a liberal at the time "The Ten Commandments" was released in 1956.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
CNS Readers Spew Hate At Hillary
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's been a while since we dipped into the cesspool that is the CNSNews.com comment threads. So let's check out the sheer hate and misogyny that CNS commenters spewed on an April 11 article about a shoe thrown at Hillary Clinton:

These are CNS' readers, folks. These are the people CNS want to read their website. Sad, isn't it?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 PM EDT
Monday, April 21, 2014
CNS' Starr Can't Stop Shilling for the Oil Industry
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr shills for the oil industry again in an April 15 CNSNews.com article:

Three U.S. oil companies paid a total of $289.7 billion in corporate income taxes between 2007 and 2012, the biggest portion of corporate taxes in absolute terms, according to analysis by Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ.

The data show, as reported in the New York Times on May 25, 2013, that when it came to corporate income taxes -- federal, state, local, and foreign – between  2007 to 2012 the three major oil companies paid the following:  ExxonMobil, $146 billion; Chevron, $85.5 billion; and ConocoPhillips, $58.2 billion.

That totals $289.7 billion.

In addition, a 2013 report (p. 7) by the oil and natural gas trade group American Petroleum Institute (API), using S&P Research Insight and S&P 1500 by GICS Industry Code data, shows that the oil and gas industry had the highest effective tax rate during that time period (averaged over 2007-2012) of any U.S. business: 44.6%.

That compares, according to S&P Capital IQ, to Apple -- the largest market capital company at $400 billion – which had an effective tax rate of 14% over the same timeframe. Oil and gas firms are paying more than three times the tax rate of Apple.

Because Starr can't be bothered to go beyond PR flacks for the API, readers don't know that this amount is in dispute because of how the tax figures are computed. Reuters reports:

The difference between the effective tax rate cited by Exxon and lower rates cited by groups such as Citizens for Tax Justice, a left-leaning tax activist group, has several causes.

One is that the company counts foreign taxes paid, while Citizens for Tax Justice does not. Another is that Exxon counts deferred taxes, as well, but the consumer group does not. Still another is which profits are counted by the company and critics.

There are other technical variations shaping the calculations of effective tax rates, but these subtleties are often lost in the sound bites of the ongoing tax policy debate.

[...]

Citizens for Tax Justice considers U.S. profits and U.S. taxes paid only. By that measure, Exxon Mobil paid 13 percent of its U.S. income in taxes after deductions and benefits in 2011, according to a Reuters calculation of securities filings.

Chevron paid about 19 percent by that method, near CTJ's average for all industries.

It is a far cry from the 35 percent top corporate tax rate.

But, again, since the only person Starr apparently actually talked to for this article was a "spokesperson for API," she's not reporting the full truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:09 PM EDT
Friday, April 18, 2014
CNS' Starr Finds A Way To Attack Obamas For Their Tax Return
Topic: CNSNews.com

It seems to be an official CNSNews.com policy -- nothing positive must ever be reported about President Obama and his administration, and any story must lead with the most negative spin possible.

Penny Starr, being a loyal CNS employee, implements the policy perfectly in an April 14 article on Obama's tax returns. Here's how she starts it:

President Barack Obama gave $1,500, or 0.3 percent of his income, to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., according to his 2013 tax return.

The tax return, made public on Friday and filed jointly with first lady Michelle Obama, shows Obama’s income for the year was $503,183. In Schedule A, under “cash contributions,” the $1,500 donation to St. John’s is listed.

It's not until the fourth paragraph that Starr gets around to mentioning that the Obamas donated more than $59,000 to charities last year.

Starr has performed her Obama-bashing duty. Her boss, Terry Jeffrey, must be proud.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EDT
Thursday, April 17, 2014
CNS Promotes Claims of Serial Health Care Misleader
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones devotes an April 15 CNSNews.com article to the musings of Betsy McCaughey:

A leading Obamacare critic sees trouble ahead for people who signed up for health insurance on the new government exchanges.

First, even the insurance companies that issue the plans are worried about "public pushback" from rising insurance premiums, Betsey McCaughey, the former lieutenant governor of New York and author of the book "Beating Obamacare," told Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Monday.

"That's only part of the bad news," she said. "You're also going to see a million people or more default. In other words, they have paid their first premium, but when they discover what it really means to have a $3,000 or $5,000 deductible on their plan, they go to their doctor again and again and have to pay full freight, even though they're paying a premium, they're going to stop paying their premium.

Jones makes no attempt to get reaction to McCaughey's dire views. Because she's in stenography mode, Jones is certainly not going to tell her readers that McCaughey has a lengthy history of misinforming about Obamacare.

Jones is presenting as authoritative the views of someone who has been repeatedly caught distorting and misinforming. That's pretty much the opposite of journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
CNS' Starr Repeats Global Warming Denier Propaganda
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr spent an April 9 CNSNews.com article serving as the willing stenographer for a group of right-wing global warming deniers (not that she'll ever admit that's what they are, of course):

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but a naturally occurring chemical compound that benefits plants and thus, the planet and its inhabitants, according to a lengthy  report released Wednesday by the free-market Heartland Institute.
“Carbon dioxide is an aerial fertilizer that provides many beneficial impacts,” said Craig Idso, one of the lead authors of the report, when CNSNews.com asked him to name the most salient finding of the 37 scientists from 12 countries who contributed to it.

“You can look at thousands of studies – real world data studies that have actually been conducted that demonstrate beyond any doubt that higher levels of CO2 are going to increase the productivity of plants,” Idso said.

“They’re real,” Idso said of the benefits of CO2. “They’re not imagined. They’re not projected. They’re real, and they’re occurring now.”

Starr can't be bothered to obtain any reaction to the Heartland Institute's report, issued by its "Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change" -- it's an attack on the much more credible United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- so CNS readers will never know that the institute receives funding from ExxonMobil and Koch-connected foundations, or that Idso formerly worked in the coal industry, thus raising more questions about the report's objectivity. Media Matters notes that while the IPCC reviews the current state of scientific knowledge, the NIPCC's references in its Summary for Policymakers include publications that date back to 1904 and few references from the 21st century other than non-peer-reviewed reports from itself and its authors.

Starr also quotes Heartland Institute president Joseph Bast dubiously calling the IPCC report on climate change “largely discredited” by his own NIPCC. But Starr won't tell you that Bast and his institute was claiming as recently as 1998 that "smoking in moderation has few, if any, adverse health effects."

These are the folks Starr apparently considers so authoritative she doesn't feel the need to seek out any outside comment about their denalist theories.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
CNS' Jeffrey Pushes Dishonest Comparison of Working Women, Food Stamps
Topic: CNSNews.com

Terry Jeffrey writes in an April 14 CNSNews.com article:

People participating in the food stamp program outnumbered the women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 2012, according to data from the Department of Agriculture and the Census Bureau.

In the average month of 2012, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,609,000 people participating in the food stamp program (formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). That contrasts with the 44,059,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, according to the Census Bureau’s report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States.

For each woman who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, there was slightly more than 1 other person collecting food stamps.

But as Media Matters details, Jeffrey's comparion is meaningless because many working women fall into both categories:

In fact, because the majority of recipients are working-class Americans with jobs, senior citizens, or children, an increase in SNAP beneficiaries is an extremely unreliable predictor of the number of full-time workers, let alone evidence of a tipping point before a decline in overall employment. A 2013 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that the "overwhelming majority of SNAP recipients who can work do so"[.]

[...]

A separate report from the USDA pointed out that in 2012, "75 percent of all SNAP households, containing 87 percent of all participants, included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled nonelderly person. These households received 82 percent of all SNAP benefits."

Jeffrey's article notes that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." As we noted with CNS' dishonest, cherry-picking reporting on unemployment, this sort of coverage may very well be making Dr. Wold spin in his grave.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 PM EDT
Monday, April 14, 2014
CNS' Jeffrey Tries to Politicize Longevity Statistics
Topic: CNSNews.com

Leave it to CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey to politicize census statistics.

It's not a surprise to anyone that women as a whole live longer than men, but Jeffrey puts a political spin on it in an April 10 CNS article headlined "Death Discriminates: 81% of Americans 100 or Older Are Women." Jeffrey continues the needless politicization in the article itself:

There is a vast inequality among people who live past their hundredth birthday, according to newly published data from the Census Bureau.

Eighty-one percent of the Americans 100 years old and older during the five-year period covered in the Census Bureau’s report (2007-2011) were women, while only 19 percent were men.

Why is Jeffrey putting this bizarre frame on what are essentially actuarial statistics? It's not like liberals (or anyone else, for that matter) have made this an issue. Maybe it's Jeffrey's idea of a right-wing joke.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 PM EDT
Sunday, April 13, 2014
CNS' Double Standard On Racial Insults
Topic: CNSNews.com

In an April 10 CNSNews.com blog post, Matt Vespa huffed that "An Illinois State Representative engaged in a shameful game of racial politics" by referring to a biracial politician as a "half." Of course, the only reason Vespa cares about this is that the politician who made the remark is a Democrat and the apparent target is a Republican. Vespa adds that the Democratic politician "has a world-famous Democrat colleague currently living in the White House who, as CNN explains, has a 'white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya.'"

We wonder where Vespa was when conservatives engaged in similarly shameful games of racial politics regarding Barack Obama:

A quick Google search doesn't uncover anything Vespa has said on the subject, let alone deouncing it.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EDT
Friday, April 11, 2014
CNS' Chapman Shocked To Discover U2's Bono Is A Christian
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last year, WorldNetDaily treated as news something music fans have known for decades -- U2 lead singer Bono is a Christian. Now it's CNSNews.com's turn to discover this. Michael Chapman relays this startling revelation in an April 10 CNS article:

Bono, frontman for the Irish band U2, investor, and philanthropist, said he believes Jesus Christ was divine, that he arose from the dead, and that he made promises to the world that will come true.

Bono, who has an estimated worth of $600 million, also said he prays “to Christ” in order “to know the will of God,” adding that he and his family pray together and sometimes go to church to pray for others who are suffering.

“I pray to get to know the will of God, because then the prayers have more chance of coming true -- I mean, that’s the thing about prayer,” said Bono in an interview with Ireland’s RTE One last year. “We don't do it in a very lofty way in our family. It’s just a bunch of us on the bed, usually, we’ve a very big bed in our house. We pray with all our kids, we read the Scriptures, we pray. It’s not even regular.”

This is apparently such stunning news to Chapman that he has to take this revelation from a year-old interview.

Just wait until Chapman finds out that U2 recorded a version of the 40th Psalm ... 30 years ago.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:10 PM EDT
Thursday, April 10, 2014
NEW ARTICLE: Good News For American Workers Is Bad News For CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey and CNSNews.com don't believe that positive news about dropping unemployment rates and more jobs created should be reported when the president is a Democrat. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
CNS Makes A Fallacious Obamacare Assumption
Topic: CNSNews.com

Melanie Hunter writes in an April 3 CNSNews.com article, headlined "It’s a Loss in Md: 73K Lose Insurance; 60K Enroll on Exchange":

The head of the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange testified Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that only 60,000 people have signed up for Obamacare through the state’s exchange - 13,000 less than the number of individuals reported to lose their insurance due to Obamacare.

Hunter's article is based on a fallacious assumption: that there is a direct correlation between the number of people who lost their insurance and the number who signed up through the exchange. Hunter offers no evidence there is.

Further, as USA Today reports, the conservative media's claim that millions "lose their insurance" is itself in dispute. The Obama administration and insurance companies say the final number was lower than 500,000, because insurers automatically enrolled people in new plans or worked to keep their customers.

Instead of reporting that, Hunter highlights a Republican senator who insists on making that direct, fallacious correlation.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:30 PM EDT
Monday, April 7, 2014
Terry Jeffrey's Transphobic Tirade
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey devotes an entire column to freaking out about the federal government is planning to treat transgender employees with respect:

When an expectant mother visits her doctor for an ultrasound, the doctor invariably asks: Do you want to know the sex of your child?
The Obama administration, however, does not believe an unborn child has a sex — even when a doctor sees indisputable physical evidence.

Obama's Office of Personnel Management has published what it calls "Guidance Regarding the Employment of Transgender Individuals in the Workplace." This document speaks of "sex" as something a person has "assigned" to them only after they make it through the birth canal.

[...]

Then there is the point in the guidance governing restrooms and locker rooms.

"For a transitioning employee, this means that, once he or she has begun living and working full-time in the gender that reflects his or her identity, agencies should allow access to restrooms and (if provided to other employees) locker room facilities consistent with his or her gender identity," say the guidelines.

According to the guidance, access to a restroom or locker room should not be conditioned on anatomy.

Jeffrey doesn't mention the fact that there have been no problems with implementation of transgender-protection laws in the states that have done it.

Jeffrey then opines that "The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has submitted well-reasoned comments on the proposed rule." These are the same folks who issue dubious reports on sexual abuse by church clergy.

But relating facts and showing respect is not the point of Jeffrey's column -- fearmongering is:

The people who now run our federal government not only deny the basic facts of life, they are trying to force the consequences of their denial on the world that all the innocent little boys and girls born today must inhabit tomorrow.

Spoken like a true fearmongerer. But then, Jeffrey's Media Research Center co-workers regularly freak out about transgenders.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
Saturday, April 5, 2014
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's that time again -- a new month means a new opportunity for CNSNews.com to talk down the latest unemployment numbers, no matter how positive they are.

And they are positive -- 192,000 jobs added. You wouldn't know that by reading CNS' coverage, of course. Instead, CNS serves up these cherry-picked doom-and-gloom numbers:

180,000 More Women Unemployed in March

Only 38.6% of Jobs Added Under Obama Have Gone to Women

27K More Unemployed in March--As Labor Force Participation Ticks Up

None of these articles mentioned the fact that 192,000 jobs were created. After all, it's CNS' editorial policy to never report good economic news when a Democrat is president.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 PM EDT
Monday, March 31, 2014
CNS' Chapman Race-Baits On Apparent Illegal Immigrant's Crime
Topic: CNSNews.com

A March 28 CNSNews.com article by Michael Chapman has a weird tone:

Luis Enrique Marin Noyola, a 20-year-old Hispanic man, was arrested by Winston-Salem police officers and charged with raping a 3-year-old, and a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer has been put in place in the case.

According to the Winston-Salem Police Department, Noyola entered an apartment on Bruce Street in Winston-Salem, N.C., early on Sunday morning, Mar. 9, and raped the 3-year-old and then fled the scene. After further investigation, police arrested Noyola on Mar. 11.

First, why does Chapman put Noyola's ethnicity in the first paragraph? What does that add to the story? Given that the man is in custody, identifying his race is completely irrelevant.

Second, why is CNS even doing this story? It's a local crime story. Even Noyola's status as an apparent illegal immigrant doesn't raise its news value.

It seems that Chapman, CNS' managing editor, is looking to bring an element of race-baiting to his "news" organization, a la WorldNetDaily's Colin Flaherty.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« April 2014 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL

Add ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch to Newsburst from CNET News.com