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Friday, April 21, 2017
MRC's War on the Truth Continues, Starring Tom Blumer's Failure
Topic: NewsBusters

While Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell was defending the lies of Donald Trump and reflexively bashing the "liberal media" by ranting that "This is not a press that has any interest in objective truth," his organization was once again attacking the idea of objective truth.

NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer -- who has a lengthy record of not understanding how the media works despite being a self-proclaimed media critic -- is the latest batter up in bashing fact-checkers for, you know, checking facts.

An April 13 post by Blumer begins:

Posts over the next several days will show that certain left-leaning websites and existing left-leaning news organizations have figured out that they can employ the technique of "fact-checking," perhaps once nobly intended, as a handy device to advance a left-supporting, right-bashing agenda.

Further, these "fact checkers" have taken advantage of their platforms to select and evaluate politicians' and pundits' claims in a decidedly unfair and unbalanced manner. Finally, thanks to the willing cooperation of the world's dominant search engine and the leader in social media, "fact checkers" are transitioning into roles which could ultimately position them as de facto news censors.

Blumer then proclaims right-wing reporter Sharyl Attkisson the official arbiter of all things ideological in journalism by touting her spectrum chart of media outlets, which is done pretty much the way you'd expect from a right-winger. For instance, UPI is somehow listed as "centrist" despite the fact that it's owned by the highly biased (and Moonie-owned) Washington Times. And curiously missing is Attkisson's own employer, Sinclair Broadcast Group, which has a decidedly conservative bias.

Needless to say, Blumer heartily approves: "Readers can and certainly will quibble over how far to the right and left of center certain outlets are. But with the exception of Reuters, which has no business being placed in the center, the chart generally places these entities on the correct side of center." He then whined that "Almost all of the major sites holding themselves out as 'fact-checkers' lean decisively left."

Blumer further touted Attkisson as being "formerly of CBS News until her superiors decided she was actually doing her job in covering the Obama administration's various scandals." His link to support the claim was to a National Review article that uncritically peddled her assertion that her computer was hacked, which actual computer experts diagnosed as just her backspace key getting stuck. Blumer also didn't mention that Attkisson likes to peddle anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.

The next day, Blumer tried again, this time complaining that fact-checkers "overwhelmingly select facts presented by Republican and conservative politicians and pundits, while ignoring similar howlers generated by the left." Blumer highlighted a claim from the blog Powerline (whose right-wing bias Blumer curiously failed to identify despite being quick to label every outlet he doesn't agree with as "liberal" or "left") that most of thte last 25 fact-checks the Associated Press conducted were of claims made by Trump and his administration.

Perhaps Blumer hasn't noticed that Trump is president and, thus, dominates the media.

Blumer then ranted:

The AP is not an isolated example. Readers going to the first few pages compiling recent "fact checks" by Politifact will see a clear tendency to go after Republicans and conservatives combined with a stubborn reluctance to give them the benefit of the doubt.

A comparison which looks at the number of times the Politifact has evaluated the statements of certain well-known politicians demonstrates how obvious the lack of balance is:

Scott Walker, Republican Governor of Wisconsin: 175
Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senator from New York: 9
Rick Scott, Republican Governor of Florida: 148
Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York: 12

The three governors listed above have been in power since the 2010 elections, and Schumer's national profile, which has never been low, thanks to his attention-seeking nature, rose at roughly the same time.

What Blumer didn't mention: Thge reason why there are so many PolitiFact items on Walker and Scott is because PolitiFact has newspaper affiliates in Wisconsin and Florida that wrote those posts -- as should have been obvious by the "PolitiFact Wisconsin" and "PolitiFact Florida" tags on them. By contrast, PolitiFact set up an affiliate in New York, the Buffalo News, only in March 2016 and that hasn't resulted in may posts yet; most of the posts on Schumer and Cuomo were written have the "PolitiFact National" tag.

Apparently oblivious to this fact, Blumer continued to rant: "To believe that Politifact doesn't have a selection bias, one has to defend the absurd notion that Walker and Scott have consistently made controversial or questionable statements or claims worthy of evaluation at a rate 15 times greater than Schumer and Cuomo (323 for Walker and Scott combined compared to 21 for the two New Yorkers)."

How does someone so incapable of understanding how the media works -- or doing basic research before ranting -- continue to be an MRC blogger? Apparently, assuming his readers are dumb is a big part of that.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EDT
Thursday, April 13, 2017
MRC: Don't Blame Ailes for Fox News' Culture of Sexual Harassment
Topic: NewsBusters

Matt Norcross -- who fancies himself to be the "Carolina Culture Warrior" -- has a new post at the Media Research Center's NewsBusters blog attacking the idea of CBS-owned Showtime making a miniseries about Roger Ailes' final days as head of Fox News.

Norcross complains that the series "will draw on reporting from far-left New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, who had several major scoops related to the sexual harassment scandal that led to Ailes’ ouster last summer." At no point does Norcross support his assertion that Sherman is "far-left" (another example of the MRC indiscriminately tossing around the descriptor) beyond him reporting on Fox News, and even then he offers no evidence Sherman has ever gotten anything wrong.

Norcross then grumbles:

One of the reasons you know this is going to be a hit-piece on the only news organization that – unlike CBS – reports stories that Middle America cares about, such as political corruption, illegal immigration, and terrorism threats from radical Islamists. Another reason is because one of the writers and executive producers is Tom McCarthy, the director of the anti-Catholic film Spotlight.

Norcross' assertion that only Fox News covers  "political corruption, illegal immigration, and terrorism threats from radical Islamists" is stunningly ignorant, especially given that just a few days earlier on his own blog, he apologized for writing posts that were "over the top, and ... generalized a group of people" and said he would have to clean up his act in writing for the MRC.

Also, "Spotlight" was not "anti-Catholic" -- if it's anti-anything, it's anti-child abuse and anti-covering up said abuse. (The MRC whined about the film's mere existence.) It's "anti-Catholic" only in the sense that it was Catholic Church officials who were doing the covering up.

After noting that former Fox News hosts Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson had lodged harrassment complaints against ailes, Norcross wrote: "To be fair to Carlson and Kelly, their cases against Mr. Ailes are chilling. No woman deserves to be treated like they say they were in the work place. With that said, Ailes was one person. And what he did should not be painted on the network as a whole."

Norcross hasn't been watching Fox News very closely, has he? Fox News was Ailes' brainchild, and it brought us innovations like female hosts in short skirts, the "leg cam" and, yes, a culture that clearly condoned sexual harassment. Ailes created all of this, so it's nonsensical to separate him from it and dismiss his behavior as the work of a mere employee.

You know who else blames Ailes for all this? Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz, who explicitly states Fox News is trying to "change the culture" post-Ailes.

Norcross curiously doesn't mention Bill O'Reilly's history of paying millions of dollars to settle sexual harassment claims, even though that's very much in the news right now and something that was obviously condoned under Ailes.

Norcorss added: "Before she signed off from her job to join NBC, Kelly actually thanked the network, and even said that her colleagues were like a second family to her, especially the Murdochs – the controlling family of parent company 21st Century Fox." As if that somehow made Ailes' alleged harassment of her all better.

Norcross then ranted:

CBS, Showtime, Tom McCarthy, and others are still furious that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. As a result, they are taking it out on the majority of the American public they are supposed to cater towards, and especially the only major news organization that had the courage to cover it all without favor or prejudice.

Hollywood has now proven itself as doing anything it can to destroy the conservative movement in the United States, including the one news network that treats it without prejudice.

Norcross forgets that if Fox News didn't have this extensively documented culture of sleaze and harassment, there would be no miniseries to make.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
MRC's Blumer Pushes Obama Unemployment Stats Conspiracy Theory
Topic: NewsBusters

White House press secretary Sean Spicer tried to handwave the double standard between Donald Trump's pre-elecction assertions that the government's unemployment numbers were somehow rigged with the Trump administration's embrace of positive numbers in February by declaring, "They may have been phony in the past, but it's very real now."

The one person who didn't think that was a ridiculous statement? Media Research Center blogger Tom Blumer. Why? He has a conpsiracy theory for that.

He writes in a March 11 NewsBusters post:

Trump's apparent belief in the jobs numbers as relayed by his press secretary may be defensible, despite his campaign rhetoric.

The AP reporters failed to note that former BLS head Erica Groshen's four-year term expired on January 27, six weeks before yesterday's release.

Groshen's appointment was delayed for 11 months before she was confirmed in January 2013, likely because of Republican senators' and others' concerns over appointing a far-left partisan with "ties to decidedly left-wing political groups" into a technical position with the potential to spin or even alter underlying data.

During Groshen's reign, as the reported unemployment rate dropped from 8.0 percent to 4.8 percent during her term, there was reason to believe that BLS may have changed its criteria for whether a person was in the labor force and began excluding more people who were legitimately looking for work. Doing so in a manner inconsistent with previous practices would artificially reduce the officially reported unemployment rate.

Groshen has been gone for six weeks. With new leadership, it's at least possible that Team Trump has gained confidence in the BLS data, and has had the opportunity to correct any major flaws which the previous director might have allowed into its processes.

Those alleged "ties to decidedly left-wing political groups" Groshen had, according to the Daily Caller article Blumer cites as evidence? She co-authored an article "urging an end to small businesses’ exemption from expensive federal regulations," and her husband donated $20 to "the far-left Working Families Party."

Really, that's it. 

Also, Blumer provides no evidence that Groshen ever falsified unemployment data or even, as he suggests, "changed its criteria for whether a person was in the labor force and began excluding more people who were legitimately looking for work." Indeed, Groshen has pointed out that the agency has used the same method for calculating the unemployment rate since 1940.

In fact, there was no reason to believe Groshen would manipulate the unemployment figures, despite Blumer's rant. There is, however, reason to believe that whomever Trump appoints to replace Groshen -- and he hasn't done so yet despite Groshen leaving in January -- might be ordered to do so, given Trump's obsession with appearances and his baseless attacks on jobless stats under Obama.

Apparently, neither Trump nor Blumer can accept the indisputable fact that the economy improved under Obama. So it seems Obama Derangement Syndrome never dies.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
NEW ARTICLE: NewsBusted: The Blumer File, Part 2
Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer is as clueless as ever about how the media works -- which he topped by justifying the racism of Trump supporters. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EST
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
NewsBusters Writer Ignores Context of O'Reilly Joke on 'The Simpsons'
Topic: NewsBusters

Justin Ashford complains in a Jan. 8 NewsBusters post:

For the second time this season, Bill O'Reilly is a topic of ridicule on The Simpsons. This time, Bill gets some free press for his Killing book series (Killing Jesus, Reagan, Lincoln, Kennedy, etc.), but at the expense of a fellow conservative, natch.

On Sunday’s episode, “Pork and Burns,” Marge Simpson is scanning for reading material at the car wash. While making her selection, we see the fake book Killing Hannity by Bill O'Reilly.

The cover is complete with O’Reilly lurking behind fellow Fox News host Sean Hannity with a dagger. Clearly the lefty writers at The Simpsons have a death wish for Hannity.

Ashford failed to mention the context that makes the image funny rather than a partisan attack. In a 2011 Newsweek interview, then-Fox News chief Roger Ailes said that "O’Reilly hates Sean," something O'Reilly admitted was "absolutely true" a few days later in an interview with Don Imus (though he added, "But I hate everybody").

And that first time? That was in October, and it was a relatively minor shot (Kent Brockman saying that "Sometimes I'd watch Bill O'Reilly and pretend it was an older, stupider version of me") that included better shots at Fox News, such as Brockman considering a Fox News job where he'd have to be "willing to call yourself a liberal and lose every discussion" -- and the entire episode was based on the incident in which favorite MRC punching bag Brian Williams was caught fabricating claims about his reporting.

Ashford ended that post by huffing: "It’s clear the writers on The Simpsons have always, and will surely continue, to favor the left and bash the right. After all, this show has been around since 1989 and doesn’t show any signs of ending. Hopefully its viewers investigate the real truth about the media right here on MRC and the leftist lies and propaganda are exposed for what they are."

Of course, given the fawning pro-Trump stenography MRC "news" division CNSNews.com, to name just one example, Ashford is lying when he claims one can find the "real truth" at the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 PM EST
Thursday, December 15, 2016
NewsBusters Scrubs Post's Suggestion That Multiracialism Is A 'Liberal Wish'
Topic: NewsBusters

A Dec. 15 NewsBusters post by Karen Townsend complains about the new TV series "Star," asserting that"this show is checking off all the boxes in liberal fantasyland" because it has gay characters and another character who's "active with Black Lives Matter."

But that's not the post that was originally made live at NewsBusters.

The current headline reads, "LGBT Stylists, BLM Activist: Fox’s ‘Star’ Grants Every Liberal Wish." But as the post's URL shows -- as does the NewsBusters feed at CNSNews.com, the headline originally read "LGBT Stylists, BLM Activist, Multi-Racial Girl Group: Fox’s ‘Star’ Grants Every Liberal Wish."

Further, as this website's reposting of the NewsBusters post suggests, the original author's name on the post was Alexa Moutevelis Coombs, not Townsend.

We haven't been able to decipher yet if any content was changed, but if there was a reference to the "multi-racial girl group" in the post itself, it's gone now, beyond a plot reference that "Carlotta brought in Star, a white girl, to work in the black women’s salon."

It seems that after posting, someone at the Media Research Center, which runs NewsBusters, realized that it might not be a good thing for a right-wing site to portray being multiracial as a liberal fantasy. Despite the fact thatthe MRC regularly complains about news organizations updating or correcting articles without disclosing it, there is no notice on the post that it has been changed from its original posting.

We contacted Townsend by Twitter to ask some of these questions, but the post in which tweeted out the original headline has mysteriously disappeared.

So what's the deal here? Somebody's clearly trying to hide something.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:49 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2016 2:51 PM EST
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
MRC Blogger Rants: The Dictionary Is Biased!
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center tends to find "liberal bias" in the strangest places. One of them, apparently, is the dictionary.

Melissa Mullins is in full screed mode in a Dec. 1 NewsBusters post:

Each year Dictionary.com and Oxford Dictionaries pick a Word of the Year that “embodies a major theme resonating deeply in the cultural consciousness over the prior 12 months.”  Of all the words they could have chosen, this year, influenced by the presidential election, the words “xenophobia” and “post-truth” were given the star treatment.

Both dictionary organizations chose their specific words because they felt they both had been major headliners for (liberal) news stories in 2016, and had seen a drastic increase of word lookups after the U.K. left the European Union (Brexit)  in June and after then presidential candidate Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination in July. In a blog post, Dictionary.com explained stories such as the U.K. leaving the European Union, the Syrian refugee crisis and France banning burkinis (which was later overturned) were perfect examples for the xenophobia.

Xenophobia, as Dictionary.com defines it, is “fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers. It can also refer to fear or dislike of customs, dress, and cultures of people with backgrounds different from our own.”  Of course, the media and the left’s talking points tried hard to make sure the word “xenophobia” and “Donald Trump” were used in the same sentence, as if to create a subconscious kneejerk reaction (think: Trump = xenophobia).

Dictionary.com proved how liberal this selection was by making a video with ultraliberal professor (and former Clinton Labor Secretary) Robert Reich, where he lectured about how some American politicians use fear to get votes, and create atmospheres of bullying and harassment.

[...]

“Alt-right” was the runner-up to both Dictionary.com and Oxford’s “Word of the Year.” “Alt-right” is defined as “an ideological grouping associated with extreme conservative or reactionary viewpoints, characterized by a rejection of mainstream politics and by the use of online media to disseminate deliberately controversial content.” Another word the media often uses with Trump’s name.

How ironic.  Both words that Dictionary.com and the Oxford Dictionary chose, in addition to their runner-up word (alt-right) all have negative connotations and have been associated with Trump, thanks to the help of the liberal media. Is it any wonder why these words were chosen as their “Word of the Year?”

Funny how Mullins won't hold Trump or other politicians on the right for making disregard for the truth and exploitation of xenophobia central components of their campaigns. It's the media -- or in this case, the dictionary -- who gets the blame for pointing it out.

That's why the MRC's constant haranguing about "liberal bias" falls flat -- and feels insincere at best -- after a while.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Monday, November 7, 2016
NewsBusters' Blumer Angry That People Noticed The Anti-Semitic Undertones in Trump Ad
Topic: NewsBusters

Angry Tom Blumer is angry that people are seeing anti-Semitic undertones in Donald Trump's final campaign ad. Blumer angrily writes at NewsBusters:

CNN's presentation would have viewers believe that the ad actually names the three people involved, and that it shows the three of them together in a single frame. It does neither.

Soros and Yellen appear in separate consecutive half-second clips at about the 22-second mark. Blankfein appears at the 1:14 mark, again very briefly. In all three cases, if you blink, chances are you'll miss them.

The anti-Semitism claim is rubbish.

The problem with [George] Soros isn't that he's Jewish; it's that he and his organizations lavishly fund groups which are working against the best interests of representative governments and everyday people throughout the world.

The problem with [Janet] Yellen and the Fed is that they have artificially propped up the U.S. economy with little in the way of genuine recovery to show for it, while encouraging the rest of the world to follow their failed policies.

The problem with Goldman Sachs is its close relationship with the power players in the Obama administration — a relationship so close that Obama's opponents have justifiably nicknamed him President Goldman Sachs. The administration's relationship with Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms likely explains why no executive has been criminally prosecuted or convicted — including execs at the the government's own Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — as a result of the subprime mortgage and general mortgage-lending meltdowns of 2007-2008.

None of this has a flippin' thing to do with Soros, Yellen and [Lloyd] Blankfein being Jewish. And of course, many others who are part of the global establishment pictured throughout Trump's ad are not Jewish.

It takes a special kind of paranoia to count heads like far-left columnists have done, to find just three, and to scream "anti-Semitism." It's incredibly irresponsible for Jake Tapper to give Al Franken an open mic to make the charge without anyone from the Trump campaign to call him out for how ridiculous his claim is.

You know who doesn't think the anti-Semitism claim is "rubbish"? The Anti-Defamation League. "Whether intentional or not, the images and rhetoric in this ad touch on subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages' This needs to stop," said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

You know who else doesn't think the anti-Semitism claim is rubbish? Actual anti-Semites. Media Matters documented how white-nationalist Trump supporters love the ad, with one site pointing out how ity “highlights the evil Jews Janet Yellen, Lloyd Blankfein and George Soros as being behind the corrupt global establishment destroying America.”

In other words, it's not being noticed only in the "far-left fever swamps" as Blumer claims it is.

Blumer has apparently forgotten that the Trump campaign has been playing with these anti-Semitic undertones for a while; remember the image of a Star of David over a pile of money (lifted from a racist website) that Trump's cammpaign tweeted out?

Trump's supporters are so down with this stuff that they feel comfortable chanting "Jew-S-A!" at a reporter covering a Trump rally.

It takes a special kind of selective ignorance for Blumer to dismiss the claim out of hand because the claim was made only by "far-left columnists" (in fact, the ADL had tweeted out its criticism of the ad hours before Blumer's post was published).

Is Blumer really so ignorant as to pretend there is no history of the Trump campaign's history of toying with such imagery? Apparently so.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EST
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
MRC, WND Want You To Think Doug Schoen Not Supporting Hillary Means Something
Topic: NewsBusters

Horribly misguided NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer is at it again in an Oct. 31 post:

When the outrageous remarks about women Donald Trump made in 2005 became known just before the second presidential debate, the press compiled exhaustive lists of Republicans far and wide who would no longer support the Republican presidential nominee.

Will the press compile similar lists of those who won't support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in light of new developments during the past several days relating to her use of a private server and private email accounts for government business? Will they even ask anyone the question? It can now be reported that the won't-vote-for-Hillary list — and it certainly has more than one person, even if not yet admitted — has a member whose relationship with the Clintons goes back over two decades: Democrat pollster Doug Schoen.

In the Political Insiders segment of Harris Faulkner's Fox Report Weekend Show on Fox News, Schoen announced that "as of today, I am not a supporter of the Secretary of State for the nation's highest office":

[...]

Now we have the beginnings of a list of Democrats who did support Hillary Clinton who can no longer do so. What's more, he's a well-connected longtime friend of the Clintons. Will the press ask other key Democrats, especially those in tight House and Senate races, if they still endorse Mrs. Clinton? If not, why not? Are New Media outlets going to have to do the dirty work and compile a list on their own?

There will be no list because Schoen is so far the only self-proclaimed Democrat of prominence to withdraw support of Clinton, even after a few days of fallout from the remarks.

Additionally, Schoen is not a terribly loyal Democrat, and his ttepid support will barely be missed. He's what's called a Fox News Democrat -- professing to be a Democrat but appearing on conservative outlets (heck, he's a Fox News employee) to bash Democrats and espouse conservative positions.He and fellow Fox News Democrat Pat Caddell were scheduled speakers at right-winger David Horowitz's Restoration Weekend.

By contrast, the list of Republicans who withdrew their support after Trump's vile misogyny became public contains numerous sitting governors and members of Congress, with nary a has-been, disloyal strategist among them.

The meaninglessness of Schoen's abandonment of Hillary didn't keep WorldNetDaily from also pretending it meant something. An anonymously written Oct. 30 article stated that "Schoen’s announcement is a stunning about-face from remarks he made to Sean Hannity during a TV appearance on Fox News just 48 hours earlier," when he predicted a Clinton victory.

Like Blumer, WND ignores the fact that Schoen is on Fox News' payroll because he gives them cover for being "fair and balanced," even though he sounds no different than a conservative Fox News commentator.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:41 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 5:52 PM EDT
MRC Clinton Equivocation Watch, Pre-Election 'Dirty Trick' Edition
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Reserarch Center is seeking to justify the FBI's reopening the Hillary Clinton email case by taking a weird Clinton Eqivocation route: citing an earlier pre-election law enforcement action that may have helped Bill Clinton win the presidency.

NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer lays out the case in an Oct. 29 rant:

FBI Director James Comey's letter to Congress indicating that the bureau has "learned of the existence of (Hillary Clinton) emails" which he concluded must be reviewed "to determine whether they contain classified information" has led to all kinds of people declaring the move an "unprecedented" October surprise.

Even some people who should know better have called it the "Mother of All October Surprises." Perhaps it ultimately will be, but as things currently stand, it's not really in the running for current champion.

The press's institutional memory is so weak, and its insistence on burying long-ago inconvenient truths is so strong, that no one I'm aware of has made a comparison to Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh's indictment of former Reagan Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger on October 30, 1992, and Walsh's obviously calculated decision to include a reference to incumbent President George H.W. Bush in his filing. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, who one would expect to remember its brutality and dishonesty, failed to do so in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.

[...]

Additionally, though it's early, it also appears that a conscientious federal law enforcement officer reporting to Congress like Comey, having come across what he must believe is likely compelling new evidence, has little choice but to report what he knows as soon as he knows it, regardless of the election calendar.

By contrast, Lawrence Walsh, in his sixth year as Iran-Contra prosecutor, was under no compulsion to indict Cap Weinberger on October 30, 1992.

As it turned out, Walsh also had no basis to issue the indictment. What he appeared to have is an obsession with demonstrating that Bush 41 knew about Iran-Contra when he was Vice President under Ronald Reagan:

[...]

The October 30, 1992 indictment of Weinberger was thrown out just 43 days later. The reasons why prove that the indictment was a bogus preelection hit:

[...]

A lawyer as experienced as Walsh should have known, and I believe did know, that filing a charge past an established statute of limitations deadline rarely if every succeeds. The judge's reported reference to how the October 30 indictment "improperly broadened the original indictment" is likely more evidence that Walsh filed a Hail Mary indictment to smear the presidential incumbent.

Blumer is simply engaging in malicious speculation about Walsh's purported motives; he can't possibly know that Walsh planned a "bogus preelection hit." And Blumer curiously omits the fact that Bush, on his way out of office, pardoned Weinberger and five other Iran-contra defendants. If Weinberger did nothing wrong, as Blumer wants you to believe, he wouldn'd need a pardon, right?

Blumer also doesn't mention that Walsh was a lifelong Republican, which further dampens the idea of a partisan "dirty trick" motive.

It seems that Blumer is willing to accept Comey's abrupt reopening of the email investigation as a sort of revenge for 1992.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:55 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
NewsBusters' Blumer Still Trying to Blame Birtherism on Clinton, Not Trump
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Tom Blumer just can't stop spinning the birther stuff in Donald Trump's favor. We've already noted that Blumer is obsessed with insisting that Hillary Clinton and her campaign started birtherism, which -- even if it was true -- doesn't explain why Trump pushed the issue for years.

In a Sept. 21 post, Blumer calls on an unusual source for backup: "Larry Johnson, who runs the No Quarter USA blog, which was a heavily visited pro-Hillary site in 2008 but is anything but that now." Blumer doesn't mention that the reason nobody wants to visit Johnson's site anymore is because he spent years pushing one of the biggest hoaxes of the Obama years: that there is a secret recording of Michelle Obama railing against "whitey." That purported "whitey tape" never surfaced, and years later, Johnson tried to handwave it by claiming he was the victim of a Democratic "dirty trick."

Blumer cited Johnson again in a Sept. 25 post, in which he mostly rants about Sidney Blumenthal allegedly shopping the claim in 2008.

Blumer tried again in a Sept. 27 post by citing another less-than-solid source: Trump surrogate Omarosa. He also cites another purported Clinton birther link: "the matter was hand-carried into long-term general visibility when Philip J. Berg, a Pennsylvania Democrat and a former deputy attorney general in that state, filed suit in federal court in August of 2008, 'alleging that Obama was born actually in Mombasa, Kenya and that the 'Certification of Live Birth' on Obama's website is a forgery.'" But Blumer offers no evidence that the Clinton campaign had anything to do with Berg's actions; indeed, Berg himself has said that he had "no direct contact with the Hillary campaign."

And who embraced and promoted Berg's legal actions? No prominent Democrat or even any prominent Hillary supporter -- it was WorldNetDaily, which in turn was the birther whisperer to Trump. Note the utter lack of involvement by Clinton.

Blumer then tries to shut down the whole discussion by harrumphing: Trump put the issue to bed with the statement he made on September 16 when he announced that 'Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.'"

Yeah, no, that's not how that works. None of Blumer's posts address the real issue at hand: that Trump continued to push the birther issue for five years after he "finished it" in 2011. That means Trump is lying.

Will Blumer concede that about his preferred candidate? Don't count on it.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 PM EDT
Sunday, October 2, 2016
NewsBusters Argues Clinton Didn't Really Deny Alleged Rape Because Spokesman Issued His Statement
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer has been living on the rhetorical edge. Last week, Blumer was trying to justify the racism of Trump supporters by arguing that it's really not racist to believe that blacks are less intelligent and more rude because liberals made them that way.

Now, in a Sept. 29 post, Blumer is straining logic to its limits by insisting that Bill Clinton's denial that he raped Juanita Braoddrick isn't real because the denial came from spokesmen and not directly from Clinton's mouth.

No, really. Blumer is actually arguing this:

In a narrow sense, the item discussed here really shouldn't be newsworthy, because it's based on history which has for all practical purposes long been settled. But now that it's being treated as news, let's look into the can of worms at least two media outlets have chosen to open, perhaps without fully grasping the consequences of their doing so.

Leada Gore, an AL.com reporter who says she's "been covering Alabama news for more than 20 years," reported Tuesday morning that Ed Henry, an Alabama lawmaker who is also the state's Donald Trump for President co-chair, tweeted a sharp response to accusations of sexism directed at Trump by Hillary Clinton in Monday night's debate, specifically: "It is ironic that Lying Hillary blast (sic) Trump as a sexist when she is married to Bill, who is likely a rapist." We're supposed to believe that this tweet is controversial or over the top. It is, of course, no such thing.

Leada, you may not like it, and the topic may be unpleasant, but Henry's tweet really isn't beyond the pale. Nevertheless, the Associated Press has posted an abbreviated story based on Gore's work at its main national site. Both reports critically err in claiming that "Bill Clinton has adamantly denied" the related rape charge.

[...]

Why couldn't the president -- on national television -- offer an "adamant denial" of his own? Why answer in such an indirect and lawyerly way? Kendall was (and still is) Bill Clinton's lawyer. That denial reads: "Any allegation that the president assaulted Mrs. Broaddrick more than 20 years ago is absolutely false. Beyond that, we're not going to comment."

As Broaddrick's son Kevin Hickey stated in an April 12, 1999 story at the New York Observer, "He didn’t even say, ‘The President told me this. How do we know it’s not David Kendall’s opinion of what happened?” The key is: We don't — and if you ask Mr. Kendall anything about his statement, he'll either say nothing if not under oath or cite attorney-client privilege if he is. Mr. Kendall's "denial" also could be read as a tacit admission that the encounter on the date Broaddrick contends that the rape occurred did indeed occur, and that if Mr. Clinton were ever to speak on the matter, he would likely attempt to defend that encounter as consensual.

But wait a minute. I just indicated that Bill Clinton has never spoken on the matter, while both the AL.com and AP items (each saved in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) have implied that he "adamantly denied" the charges personally[.]

[...]

So let's be clear here. In the circumstances, nothing short of a direct denial spoken by Bill Clinton himself constitutes a genuine denial. Is there any evidence that Bill Clinton himself has denied Juanita Broaddrick's rape allegation in his own voice since she made it over 17 years ago?

[...]

What needs to be removed from both the AL.com and AP reports is their statement that Bill Clinton has "adamantly denied" the charges. Unless they can drum up some evidence to support that claim which has surfaced in the past eight months, there is no record that Bill Clinton himself has ever done that himself.

Yep, that's Blumer's argument -- Clinton's denial is not "a genuine denial" unless Clinton himself is on record saying it. Sad, yet not unexpected from a guy who insists racism isn't really racism.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:25 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 2, 2016 9:16 PM EDT
Saturday, October 1, 2016
NewsBusters Blogger Gloats Over Tim Tebow Homer
Topic: NewsBusters

Factually challenged NewsBusters blogger Dylan Gwinn dedicates an entire Sept. 28 post to Tim Tebow hitting a home run in his first at-bat in an instructional league. Gwinn sarcastically adds that "If you listen carefully, you can hear the leftist, sports media clap and cheer with joy for Tebow and his incredible achievement."

First, it's not that big of a deal. Instructional league is the absolute lowest run of professional baseball, and it's no more newsworthy than any other instructional league player who hits a homer.

Second, the un-newsworthiness of Tebow's homer is underscored by the fact that he didn't get so much as a hit in the five other at-bats he had in that same game -- something Gwinn curiously fails to mention. That means Tebow's batting average after that game was a less-than-incredible .180.

(Even the pitcher who gave up the homer to Tebow was good-natured about it, tweeting to him that "I thought we agreed you were taking first pitch" and quipping about himself, "Tough day for that kid! Probably should spend the rest of his instructs focused on locating his fastball down!")

Third, the "leftist sports media" did, in fact, note Tebow's homer. We found stories about it at ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Time magazine and the New York Times, among many others. Heck, even TMZ wrote about it.

Nevertheless, Gwinn concludes his post by sneering, "Choke on it sports media."

Remember, Gwinn's tiny tantrum here is all about a low-level baseball player getting one hit in six at-bats.

UPDATE: Gwinn's Media Research Center colleague, CNSNews.com commentary editor Michael Morris, gushed even more profusely about Tebow's homer, calling it "typical Tebow" and adding, "Just what will happen next in the storied sports career of the Florida native? We’ll all just have to wait and see." Like Gwinn, Morris didn't mention that Tebow went hitless in his other five at-bats.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 2, 2016 10:44 AM EDT
Thursday, September 22, 2016
NewsBusters' Double Standard on The Meaning of 'Many'
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Sept. 10 NewsBusters post, Tom Blumer -- he of the racism whitewashing -- had a conniption when the Associated Press, writing about Hillary clinton's "basket of deplorables" remark, stated in a headline that she had put "many" of Donald Trump's followers in that basket: "Mrs. Clinton was describing fully "half" of Trump's supporters — or roughly 25 percent of all Americans, given that recent polling is virtually dead-even — and not just 'many' of them."

Blumer's fuss over descriptors is rather funny, given that four days later, his Media Research Center colleague Brad Wilmouth wrote a post with the headline "MSNBC's Hayes Admits Many Clinton Voters Fit Liberal Definition of 'Racist'." Wilmouth also asserted that "according to a Reuters poll from earlier in the year, a large percentage of Clinton supporters also hold views on race that by his standards would be considered 'racist.'"

What's the number in question? A poll finding that 31 percent of Clinton supporters believed blacks are more violent than whites. That's neither a "large" numer, nor is it "many"-- and, more importantly, it's a much smaller number than that of Trump supporters who believe the same -- 49 percent.

But since Wilmouth's misuse of "many" advances the MRC's agenda, we doubt that Blumer sent him a message schooling him on the finer points of grammar.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:57 PM EDT
NewsBusters Tries to Justify Racism of Trump Supporters By Insisting It's Not Racist
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer wants you to think that because Donald Trump's supporters believe racist things, it doesn't mean they're racist. No, really.

Blumer complains in a Sept. 19 post that Juan Williams, in a column for The Hill, agrees with Hillary Clinton that a significant number of Trump supporters are "deplorables," citing a poll showing that a large percentage of self-described Trump supporters describe black people as more “lazy” than whites, “less intelligent” than whites, more “rude” than whites, more “violent” than whites and more “criminal” than whites, and that 58 percent of Trump supporters have either a “very unfavorable” or “somewhat unfavorable” view of the entire religion of Islam. But Blumer doesn't want you to believe your own eyes:

Let's make one thing clear: All six of the views identified (five relating to blacks, and one relating to Islam) are NOT presumptively racist views. (Islam is a religion and not a race, so I'll set that matter aside after observing that the over 29,000 Islamic jihadist attacks around the world since 9/11 certainly influence the high percentage of Americans who view Islam unfavorably.) I would argue that the vast majority of people holding those views don't have a racist bone in their body. I'll demonstrate the accuracy of that argument later in this post.

That's right -- according to Blumer, it's not racist to believe blacks are inferior.

After trying to distract from the issue by noting that polls also showed a significantly lower number of Clinton supporters held similar views, Blumer hits us with his "accuracy" argument:

Holding any of those views is not an automatic indicator of racism — and this fallacy, which should be obvious to anyone, has seriously polluted political discourse in the U.S. for far too long.

You identify a genuine racist by asking the "born that way" question. That is, are blacks as a race inherently inferior because they are born less intelligent, lazier, more rude, more violent, and more criminal than members of other races? Only people who would say "yes" would likely qualify as racists. I would argue that fewer than 5 percent of all non-black Americans agree with even one of the five statements; my guess is that it's more like 2 percent (to be clear, this was not always so; it's a credit to the people of this nation that these attitudes have changed as much as they have in the space of no more than four generations).

Prove me wrong, pollsters, if you dare, and ask the questions properly. Sadly, most of won't even think about asking properly formulated questions, because doing so would delegitimize their own or their clients' agendas.

Not only is Blumer trying to obfuscate the issue --  for him, it apparently doesn't follow that declaring another race is violent, lazy, etc., is, in fact, a de facto "born that way" question -- he's trying to mainstream racist views.

In the original version of his post at his own blog, Blumer goes even further by explaining that "There are perfectly good reasons why respondents who are not racist in any way, shape or form would agree with each of the five statements." Which, somehow, gets even more racist while also trying to blame liberals in the process.

Blacks are less intelligent, Blumer argues, because "A disproportionate percentage of the black population receives substandard educations at inferior urban public schools and/or live in family situations where the parent or parents fails to treat childhood education with sufficient seriousness." He adds, "Those who have seen this disparity play out in real life will regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that black adults in 2016 America are on the whole less intelligent than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so."

Lazy blacks? That's because "LBJ’s Great Society programs have devastated the black family and urban areas" and " Minimum-wage laws shut young blacks out of work ethic-building opportunities." Again, he adds: "Those who have seen this disparity play out in real life are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that black adults in 2016 America on the whole do not have as strong a work ethic as non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so."

Rude blacks? "Again, we go back to the disastrous influence of the Great Society and its impact on the black family. Then add in the cultural influences which have filled the void, including violent and pornographic rap music." And again: "Those who have seen the difference in behavior in real life are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that blacks in 2016 America on the whole are more rude than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so."

Violent blacks? "The voluminous violent crime and other crime statistics, especially among black juveniles and early adults compared to non-blacks, speak for themselves. Sadly, those who are aware of the crime statistics are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that blacks in 2016 America on the whole have a record of more violence and more criminality than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so."

Finally, Blumer insists that Trump supporters are not racists but, rather, realists:

What that failure all too often shows is an inability to recognize or admit the sad realities in America today — again, as much as one sincerely wishes that these conditions did not exist. One could also argue that Donald Trump’s overwhelmingly non-racist supporters are more willing to recognize those realities, unintimidated by people like Juan Williams, [Slate writer] Josh Voorhees and so many other misguided commentators and thought-police enforcers.

Yeah, realist like, uh, this Trump supporter.

As Trevor Noah has noted, if the only time you see black people is when they're in a criminal situation, you will believe that all black people are criminals. And if, as is apparently the case with Blumer, if the only media you consume is partisan-motivated right-wing media that portrays blacks as lazy and violent and insists that liberals made them that way as part of their political agenda, you will believe that. That seems to be why he is trying to tell us we shouldn't believe our own eyes with regard to the racist views of Trump supporters.

We highly doubt that Blumer "regretfully agrees" with the inferiority of blacks, as much as he sincerely wishes it were not so -- it's too good of a right-wing talking point for people like him to be regretful about.

Blumer is trying to thread a needle that nobody this side of VDARE believes should be threaded -- and he's making NewsBusters look racist in the process. The Media Research Center surely knows this, since it edited out the most offensive and indefensible part of his post. But what remains -- Blumer's insistence that obviously racist views can't possibly be racist -- is still pretty offensive and indefensible.

Not to mention an incredibly desperate and bizarre attempt at right-wing "logic."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2016 9:54 AM EDT

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