MRC's Graham Promotes Levin, Doesn't Mention MRC's Promotion Deal With Levin Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham dutifully transcribed one of his favorite radio hosts in a Nov. 7 NewsBusters post:
Mark Levin laid into Chris Matthews on his national radio show Friday night over the MSNBC host oozing on Now with Alex Wagner that South African F.W. deKlerk was more patriotic than Republicans because he "had treated Nelson Mandela so different than the way Mitch McConnell handled the election of Obama." Sharpton hailed the wisdom of Al Sharpton for saying the wisest thing in five years.
"The big dummy hasn’t heard something as smart in five years as something that came out of Reverend Al Sharpton’s mouth," shot back Levin. "Does that show you what a moron he is?" Levin couldn't stand the way media figures are trying to compare Obama to Mandela and the Republicans to apartheid-era racists[.]
Graham didn't mention -- as have somanyother Media Research Center employees before him -- that the MRC has a promotion deal with Levin, as the free bumper sticker offer (above) that runs on MRC websites makes amply clear.
MRC's Graham Disappoves of 'Kinky Boots' Cast in Macy's Parade Topic: NewsBusters
It's been a few days since the Media Research Center last had an anti-gay freakout, so we were due for one. Cue Tim Graham complaining about Broadway musical performers taking part in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade:
The Huffington Post liked how “right-wingers across America” disapproved of NBC putting part of the Broadway show “Kinky Boots” in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Matt Lauer described it as a “fun show that tells the story of a struggling shoe factory owner who pairs up with an outrageous cabaret performer and together, not only do they save the business, but they learn to celebrate the differences in each other.”
The stars addressed a song to “Ladies, gentlemen, and those yet to make up their minds.” They sang let “pride be your guide” and “you change the world when you change your mind.”
Parents had to suddenly explain what a “drag queen” was and why there was a man standing in red thigh-high boots, boxer shorts and the top of a business suit. The show was created by gay playwright Harvey Fierstein and “rock icon” Cindy [sic] Lauper (to use Lauer’s term). The production won six Tony awards.
Every once-traditional family television show is getting transformed into another opportunity for gay-pride evangelism, especially if it’s run out of Manhattan by NBC Universal.
We weren't aware that the parade was limited only to heterosexuals. Graham should let us know these things.
NewsBusters' Sheppard Doesn't Disclose His Boss' Link to Catholic League Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard devotes a Nov. 26 NewsBusters post to touting a demand by the Catholic League's Bill Donohue that HBO host Bill Maher be fired for saying making what Sheppard called "truly disgusting attacks on the Pope, priests, and the Catholic Church." Sheppard also linked to a Catholic League "list of the 54 vile anti-Catholic attacks Maher has made since 1998."
Sheppard doesn't mention that his boss, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, is a member of the Catholic League's board of advisers.
It's a matter of disclosure of a conflict of interest -- something that the MRC regularly criticizes media outlets for when they fail to do so. Is it too much to ask the MRC to do what it demands of others?
NewsBusters' Sheffield: 'Slut' Is A Tame Insult Topic: NewsBusters
If you'll recall, Media Research Center employees condoned and even cheered on Rush Limbaugh's tirade of misoygny against Sandra Fluke last year. The MRC, it seems, just can't stop minimizing Limbaugh's offensive behavior.
The latest to do that is NewsBusters' Matthew Sheffield, who insists in a Nov. 26 post that Limbaugh's comments were "much tamer" than what Martin Bashir said about Sarah Palin. Sheffield further suggests that Limbaugh made only a single passing comment about Fluke that was not "deserving of wall-to-wall attention."
Let's review the record, shall we? Limbaugh made 46 separate personal attacks on Fluke over three days, and he apologized for only two of them: calling Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute." Bashir, by contrast, made only one single statement about Palin, for which he apologized in a more profuse manner than Limbaugh did.
Sheffield goes on to complain that "Bashir has been neither suspended nor fired" for his remark, adding that "Journalists who were so quick to attack Limbaugh need to ask themselves why they aren’t willing to hold Bashir accountable for his consistent pattern of using deliberately inflammatory language in a pitiful attempt to save his low-rated show from cancellation."
Not only did Sheffield's MRC colleagues demand that Limbaugh be punished for his insults against Fluke -- that might have something to do with the "William F. Buckley, Jr. Award for Media Excellence" the MRC gave him in 2007 -- the MRC actually launched an "I Stand With Rush" website declaring that Limbaugh's wholly inadequate apology was good enough but "the radical left will never accept it because they despise him and want him off the air."
If Sheffield is going to complain about hypocrisy, he might want to start with his own side first.
Noel Sheppard Gets Punk'd, Falls For Racist, Sexist Website's Story Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard ominously begins a Nov. 25 NewsBusters post:
Noel Ignatiev, a professor at Massachusetts College of Art, has for years advocated the total elimination of Caucasians.
During his final lecture before retirement last Monday, he told his white male students "you don’t deserve to live. You are a cancer, you’re a disease."
Just one problem: It appears not to be true. Sheppard hastily added an update to his blog stating that "It has come to my attention that this might be a hoax," noting that the source for the claim, a blog called Diversity Chronicle, describes its content as "largely satirical."
But Sheppard is not telling the whole story. Media Matters notes:
A scan of the list of blogs Diversity Chronicle recommends reveals a number of "white nationalist" blogs, including American Renaissance (amren.com), a white supremacist think tank. The site also recommends various articles with titles such as "Pedophilia More Common Among 'Gays'" and "Virgin Brides Less Likely To Divorce." Under a section labeled "Eugenics," Diversity Chronicles links a website supporting "humanitarian eugenics." The "Institute for Historical Review," which deals largely in anti-Semitism and Holocaust-denial, is also in the list of recommended websites.
Remember, Sheppard did run an anti-Semitic image with one of his NewsBusters blog posts, profusely apologized for it when he was caught -- then, a year later, did it again. Is it any surprise that he would consider a racist and sexist like like Diversity Chronicle to be a reliable source?
To quote Sheppard: Yes, that was a rhetorical question.
NewsBusters Heathers Joe Scarborough Again Topic: NewsBusters
Jeffrey Meyer brings the Heathering to Joe Scarborough in a Nov. 12 NewsBusters post:
MSNBC’s quasi-conservative darling Joe Scarborough seemed right at home as he guest-hosted ABC’s The View on November 12, walking on set arm-in-arm with Barbara Walters before taking aim squarely at folks who dare to be further on the right than he.
Meyer, of course, is denigrating Scarborough because he dares to be slightly to the left of Meyer.
Meyer goes on to complain that Scarborough said “people that would judge Chris Christie because he hugged Barack Obama, first of all, they're too obsessed on hating Barack Obama," insisting that for conservatives, "hugging Barack Obama was merely a symbol for the Republican’s failure to confront President Obama’s failed first term as president. Instead, Scarborough’s misguided views caused him to believe that it’s all about 'hating Barack Obama.'" Is Meyer denying that conservatives hate Obama?
Echoing earliercomplaints from the Media Research Center, Meyer gets further upset that Scarborough accurately blamed conservatives for forcing the government shutdown in October:
Once again, Scarborough buys into and furthers the liberal media's fallacious narratives rather than challenging the conventional wisdom. After all, the Republican House passed numerous bills up to the Democratic Senate which leaders failed to act on. What's more, President Obama threatened vetoes on pretty much every Republican proposal, yet those actions were overlooked by the media or accepted as legitimate rather than obstructive.
Meyer doesn't mention that Republicans had been planning this tactic for months, or that attempting to fund the government piecemeal by issuing numerous bills to fund everything but Obamacare deviated from standard, longstanding congressional practice.
For the past two weeks, the Media Research Center has refused to devote any original coverage to the implosion of the "60 Minutes" Benghazi story it promoted. It's finally done so -- but only as a passing glance.
A Nov. 12 MRC item by Brad Wilmouth is devoted to attacking MSNBC's Chris Hayes for having "fretted about CBS News correspondent Lara Logan being biased in favor of military action against terrorists." As an aside, Wilmouth adds: "He also theorized that her retraction for using a dishonest source 'would be a huge story' if a conservative was being criticized, as he alluded to Dan Rather's story about former President George W. Bush and the National Guard."
Wilmouth doesn't mention that one key piece of evidence supporting Hayes' claim is his own item, which is the first original MRC work to acknowledge any problems with the "60 Minutes" story.
MRC's Graham Sneers At 'Leftist Literary Rag' NY Review of Books Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham holds the title of director of media analysis at the Media Research Center. For Graham, sneering is a form of "media analysis."
How else to explain Graham's Nov. 8 NewsBusters post, which is ostensibly about a Washington Post article on the New York Review of Books but which is really about Graham's utter contempt for things he does not agree with. Graham sneers that the New York Review of Books is a "leftist literary rag," and how the Post article is a "waterfall of gush." Graham also described the Reivew as a "leftist rag" in the headline of his post.
Graham must not have been paying attention when NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard unleashed his own mountain of gush on Ann Coulter: "Ann Coulter is one of the leading conservative voices in America with too many New York Times bestsellers to count. Her newest book, “Never Trust a Liberal Over Three - Especially a Republican,” is guaranteed to be her next bestseller. As NewsBusters readers know, Ann is a dear friend of the Media Research Center’s and a dear of mine [sic]."
This is what passes for "media analysis" at the Media Research Center, folks.
The MRC Is Still Trying to Exonerate Herman Cain Topic: NewsBusters
Back in the early days of the 2012 presidential campaign, the Media Research Center was an aggressive defender of Herman Cain after allegations of sexual harrassment surfaced -- one of the benefits of being a personal friend of MRC chief Brent Bozell, apparently.
And, it appears, the MRC will never stop defending Cain. Noel Sheppard wrote in a Nov. 2 NewsBusters post on a new book claiming that fellow onetime Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman was the person who floated the sexual harrassment claims about Cain:
As for Cain, readers will certainly recall an October 2011 hit-piece in Politico accusing him of inappropriate behavior with two women.
Although Cain denied the allegations, the media firestorm that ensued was so fierce that he eventually withdrew from the race.
Not surprisingly, as soon as he exited, the accusers went back into their holes and we heard nothing more about the matter. Nothing.
Funny how that happens.
You mean like how we never really heard from Paula Jones again after President Clinton left office?
Sheppard also appears to have forgotten that the central fact of the claims against Cain -- that the National Restaurant Association did reach monetary agreements with two women to settle harassment claims while Cain headed the group -- has never been disputed, including by Cain himself.
That would seem to count for something. To Sheppard, though, telling the truth about Cain is just a "hit-piece."
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.
Noel Sheppard Can't Separate Actor From His Role Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard, it seems, is unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality. How else to explain his insistence on referring to an actor using the role he played 40 years ago?
A Nov. 1 NewsBusters post by Sheppard carries the headline "Rob Reiner aka Meathead: Hillary Would Be ‘Most Qualified Person Ever to Run for President’." In it,Sheppard whines that Reiner, "aka Meathead in the famed sitcom All in the Family," called Hillary Clinton "the single most qualified person ever to run for President of the United States" if she chooses to do so. Sheppard then rants:
Because Hillary was senator for eight years and Secretary of State for four, she’s the most qualified person EVER to run for president of our country?
More qualified than George Washington who led our troops to victory against the British?
More qualified than Thomas Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
More qualified than John Adams who was a pivotal figure in achieving our independence?
More qualified than Abraham Lincoln? And Franklin Delano Roosevelt? And Ronald Reagan?
Would any of these Hillary supporters be so gushing if she were a man with the exact same qualifications?
Of course not.
Much as these people championed Barack Obama despite his lack of qualifications, Hillary is the left’s current ideal not because of what she’s done, but for what she represents.
No wonder Archie Bunker referred to this idiot as Meathead.
But Sheppard wasn't done confusing the actor with his long-ago role. In a Nov. 2 post, in which he places "Rob Reiner aka Meathead" again in the headline, Sheppard gripes that Reiner, "made famous by his role as Meathead in the legendary sitcom All in the Family," said something else he didn't like.
Sheppard doesn't mention that Reiner's "All in the Family" character had a real name, or that Reiner has produced and directed several hit movies. As far as Sheppard is concerned, the only thing of any note Reiner has ever done is play a character named Meathead.
NewsBusters Still Pretending Redskins Name Change Is A 'Liberal' Cause Topic: NewsBusters
Paul Bremmer devotes an Oct. 28 NewsBusters post to bashing New York Times sports columnist Bill Rhoden for saying that a name change for the Washington Redskins "has to start with us in the media," declaring this to be "liberal activist journalism":
Wow. Rhoden actually wants legislation to compel the Redskins, a privately-owned venture, to change their name. That would be government coercion on the level of ObamaCare. But as it stands right now, it’s up to owner Daniel Snyder to change the name, and he has said he doesn’t want to change it.
To those who follow the liberal media, it’s not news that they are fans of political correctness. But it’s a little jarring to hear a journalist talk as if it is the media’s job to force political correctness onto one particular organization, possibly under penalty of law. What happened to just reporting on the facts?
This was not the first time Rhoden mixed sports with liberal activism. Last December, he expressed his wish that the NFL would ban its players from owning guns. In April 2011, he called for the NBA to suspend Kobe Bryant for Game 1 of a playoff series after Bryant mouthed the “gay F-bomb” at a referee.
Following what is apparently Media Research Center policy, Bremmer failed to mention that one prominent advocate of changing the Redskins name is not a liberal at all -- he's conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer, whom the MRC honored with its “William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence” in September.
If we were as careless with the English language as the MRC, we could say that it was censoring this relevant fact.
Why is the MRC so afraid to tell its readers about Krauthammer's advocacy for changing the Redskins name? Perhaps because it would then have to admit it's not a "liberal" issue.
Noel Sheppard Wants False Balance on Fact-Checking Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard whines in an Oct. 27 NewsBusters post:
Is it possible for CNN's John Avlon to at least pretend to be impartial?
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, in the closing segment about PolitiFact's just announced new website PunditFact, Avlon showed three reports by the organization: one giving conservative author Ann Coulter a "Pants on Fire," another giving Fox News host Sean Hannity a "Mostly False," and a third giving MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell a "Mostly True"[.]
Yes, Sheppard is complaining that conservatives are found to be wrong more often than liberals, without offering any evidence that this is not the case. But lack of evidence to back up his claims won't stop him from complaining further:
Something also to consider is the appearance that PolitiFact over-fact-checks conservatives versus liberals.
Page one of PF's Health Care fact-checks currently has thirteen conservatives and only five liberals. Nice balance, huh?
But it gets worse because of the conservatives fact-checked on page one, NOT ONE was found to be Mostly True or True. By contrast, the statements by all five liberals fact-checked were found to be Mostly True.
Do the folks at CNN and PolitiFact actually believe that not one liberal politician or pundit has recently made a comment about healthcare that was either Half True, Mostly False, or Pants on Fire?
Notice that Sheppard is not complaining that conservatives are falsely accused of making less-than-true statements -- only that they're getting caught doing it.
Again, Sheppard offers no evidence that liberals have made as many false statements as conservatives. He's just repeating the right-wing "liberal bias" mantra, demanding a false equivalence whether or not it's justified.
Sheppard also comically missed the point about what Avlon's report:
And why did Avlon find it necessary to share exclusively negative reports about conservative pundits with a positive one about a liberal commentator?
Surely CNN could have found a conservative statement about ObamaCare PolitiFact rated positively such as the organization declaring Sarah Palin's remark about Obama having said the individual mandate wasn't a tax to be "True."
Avlon could also have shared PolitiFact finding Newt Gingrich claiming ObamaCare has never had majority support from the public was "Mostly True."
But NOOOO. The conservative pundits had to be "Pants on Fire" and "Mostly False."
Sheppard missed the part where Avlon was specifically citing examples regarding "the current debate over the seriously screwed up implementation of healthcare.gov." The Palin statement Sheppard cites dates from June 2012; the Gingrich statement is from last month, but it's not about the website which, again, Avlon stated he was focusing on.
This is what passes for "media research" at NewsBusters. It's the kind of work that keeps Sheppard employed as a NewsBusters associate editor.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Vomiting Rainbows Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham complains in an Oct. 27 NewsBusters post:
If journalism school began with a course on Avoiding Puff Pieces, they could use as text this Sunday New York Times article by Michael Schulman: “Ronan Farrow: The Youngest Old Guy in the Room.” MSNBC’s newest star is puffed as large as the Sta-Puf Marshmallow Giant in "Ghostbusters." It invites the neologism "Ipe-cackle." It's so vomitous it's humorous.
If such blatant puffery is so offensive to Graham, where was he when his fellow NewsBuster Noel Sheppard unleashed this bit of vomitous fawning over Ann Coulter?
Ann Coulter is one of the leading conservative voices in America with too many New York Times bestsellers to count. Her newest book, “Never Trust a Liberal Over Three - Especially a Republican,” is guaranteed to be her next bestseller. As NewsBusters readers know, Ann is a dear friend of the Media Research Center’s and a dear of mine.
If Graham and the MRC purport to know so much about Avoiding Puff Pieces, why don't they practice it on their own website?
NewsBusters Still Freaking Out About Redskins Criticism, Ignoring That Prominent Conservative Agrees Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center continues to rage against critics of the Washington Redskins name. Randy Hall ranted in an Oct. 21 NewsBusters post:
Just when you think you've seen it all, along comes a political cartoon in the New York Daily News attempting to change the name of a National Football League team that's not even in their city.
The illustration posted on Thursday featured three flags, the first containing the swastika symbol of the Nazis, then the star-filled banner of the Confederates from the Civil War, and finally the logo of the Washington Redskins with a caption that read: “Archaic Symbols of Pride and Heritage.”
Of course, if liberals with too much time on their hands and members of the tiny Oneida Indian Nation succeed in getting the Redskins’ name changed, what other sports teams are next? The Cleveland Indians? The Atlanta Braves? The Kansas City Chiefs? The possibilities for extracting sports fans’ fun are endless!
Hall joins with his fellow MRC critics in failing to note that one of those "liberals with too much time on their hands" isn't a liberal at all. As we've documented, Charles Krauthammer -- such a rock-ribbed conservative that the MRC gave him its “William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence” last month -- endorsed a name change because word meanings have changed over the years.
There is, however, a post by Brent Baker about how Krauthammer "is capable of delivering funny lines and humorous anecdotes."
Of course, mentioning that one of its favorite conservatives has taken a position it opposes, and was not doing so using funny lines and humorous anecdotes, would be inconvenient to its agenda. So the MRC remains silent.