NewsBusters Still Trying To Spin Arizona Anti-Gay Bill As 'Religious Freedom' Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters remains in denial mode, insisting that the proposed Arizona "religious freedom" law wasn't really about discriminating against gays.
In a Feb. 26 post, Jeffrey Meyer actually did acknowledge that it was about gays, but huffed that an MSNBC panel "disregarded the religious freedom argument associated with SB 1062," adding: "MSNBC could have had a serious discussion on the merits of this bill and whether or not SB 1062 needed to be clarified to ensure that businesses cannot simply deny services to individuals for being gay but still protect companies such as florists and bakeries from being forced to service a gay wedding. Unfortunately, no such discussion occurred on Morning Joe, as the liberal media has chosen to bully supporters of the bill to prevent actual discussion about religious freedom and gay rights from occurring."
In another Feb. 26 post, Meyer complained that "MSNBC seems to be perfectly content presenting SB 1062 solely as an 'anti-gay' bill rather than discussing the merits of whether or not the state should force private businesses to participate in a gay wedding if it goes against their religious beliefs."
A Feb. 27 post by Ken Shepherd stated that the Wall Street Journal "portrayed accurately the religious freedom legislation" (by framing it as "religious freedom") while "the headers for the print stories at the Washington Post and New York Times were loaded." Shepherd pretended it wasn't an anti-gay bill:
As such, SB 1062 is not an "anti-gay" statute which green-lights discrimination. It's a bill which tightens the legal standards for levying damages against a defendant in civil court for not providing a service when that business owner cites religious conviction as the reason for not providing said service.
Again, the law itself is content neutral, it's about protecting religious conscience. It could just as well be used by a person sued in court for refusing to cater a strip club's Christmas party or an abortion lobby's fundraising gala out of religious objections to participating in and condoning sin.
While Shepherd conceded that "a lawsuit in neighboring New Mexico against a Christian photographer had been the impetus for the legislation," he failed to mention that it involved photographing a same-sex couple -- and, thus, continued ignoring the fact that anti-gay sentiment was really the "impetus" for the bill.
Randy Hall asserted that the bill could not possibly be targeting gays because "the word 'gay' was not mentioned in the legislation."
On March 2, Meyer again complained that the media was "portraying SB 1062 as an anti-gay bill without ever giving the religious freedom argument consideration."
The next day, Meyer went after the Daily Beast's Kirsten Powers for her "outright mischaracterization of a the motives of proponents of the now-vetoed bill" by pointing out that the bill "is very much about gayness." Citing the case against one photographer who refused to shoot a same-sex wedding, Meyer retorted: "But the proprietors of Elane Photography do NOT have a problem with rendering photographic services for gay persons, just with photographing activities which they consider sinful and offensive to the conscience, including nude photo shoots." Meyer added: "Powers may be unaware of those facts, but she should educate herself on the issue and not SLANDER her fellow evangelical Christians for their sincere religious beliefs."
But why must gays be discriminated against in situations like this? How does he know that the photographer's religious beliefs were "sincere"? Shouldn't the sincerity of the same-sex couple's relationship also be taken into consideration?
Meyer then asserted that the proposed bill really wasn't about discrimination:
Powers provided no evidence that SB 1062 would result in a wave of anti-discrimination in Arizona, and there is no evidence that the law would authorize discrimination. It’s highly unlikely we would have seen a wave of discrimination because businesses could get sued and deal with the subsequent legal costs. Would many small businesses want, or be able to afford, such costs associated with a lawsuit simply to “discriminate” against gay people? Yes, under SB 1062, they could recover court costs in the event of winning the case, but the court hassle to get there is not worth it for most folks.
But as Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer noted when she vetoed the bill, it "does not seek to address a specific and present concern related to Arizona businesses," and the out-of-state examples "are not issues currently existing in Arizona. So the law addressed a problem that did not exist, which raises legitimate questions about the motivation of its proponents. Any chance Meyer will acknowledge that?
NewsBusters Thinks George Takei Was Shrieking And Ranting On MSNBC Topic: NewsBusters
Jeffrey Meyer writes in a Feb. 25 NewsBusters post:
Actor and gay rights activist George Takei is known for his outspokenness when talking about gay marriage. As a result, the former "Star Trek" cast member felt the need to jump into the debate surrounding Arizona’s new religious freedom bill.
Appearing as a guest on The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell on Monday night, Takei expressed his outrage with the Arizona bill and proclaimed that not only is Arizona’s SB 1062 “not a religious freedom bill at all” he shrieked that “religious freedom is just a cloak for prejudice.”
Takei continued his rant against the Arizona bill by pushing the liberal line that “They're trying to write their prejudice into civil law… But it's these right-wing religious extremists that seem to dominate in the legislature.”
Instead of acknowledging that private businesses are being sued for refusing to service gay weddings, the actor chose to make a blanket disparaging statement that religious freedom doesn’t really exist and instead is “just a cloak for prejudice.” Takei concluded his tirade by pronouncing that SB 1962 is “really a disgraceful repugnant bill that is trying to hide under the cloak of religious freedom.” [emphasis added]
We watched the video attached to Meyer's post (it's an edited one-minute clip plucked from a nine-minute segment) and we didn't see any "shrieking" or "ranting" by Takei, or even a "tirade." He spoke in a sonorous, steady tone -- the guy was Sulu on "Star Trek," after all -- and did not even raise his voice.
Did Meyer watch the same video we did? Or is he simply trying to discredit Takei's argument by falsely portraying him as a crazy ranter?
At NewsBusters, Discriminating Against Gays Is 'Religious Freedom' Topic: NewsBusters
The boys at NewsBusters sure have a funny definition of freedom -- it involves denying others freedom. They'll support the proposed Arizona bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against gay people.
Ken Shepherd rants in a Feb. 21 post that it's inaccurate to portray the law as Jim Crow-style discrimination because Jim Crow was forced and this is merely voluntary:
The Daily Beast is at it again, portraying attempts by state legislators to protect religious freedom in the workplace as enshring "discrimination" at best and mimicking "Jim Crow" at worst.
And lastly, comparisons to Jim Crow are needlessly inflammatory and insulting to real victims of Jim Crow repression and violence. What's more, Jim Crow laws FORCED businesses -- and in some cases religious institutions -- to discriminate against patrons -- or, in the case of churches, worshiper -- whether or not the business owner wanted to discriminate or not.
In the Jim Crow South, a free market remedy to discrimination was impossible thanks to government requiring all business owners of all races to discriminate and/or segregate in some manner. By contrast, laws being considered in Kansas and Arizona would leave plenty of room for competitors to open their doors wides to all comers and pick up the business both of gay persons and straight individuals who would rather not patronize a business which refuses to work with gays and lesbians.
Again, there's a reasonable debate to be had about whether such a free-market remedy is "enough" to address the real or perceived injustice of the matter, but the fact remains that Jim Crow FORCED discrimination whereas laws being considered in statehouses in 2014 are about allowing business owners to make business decisions which obviously threaten their bottom line while adhering to their religious scruples.
You gotta love how Shepherd frames anti-gay discrimination as a "free-market remedy."
In a Feb. 23 post, Jeffrey Meyer criticized network newscasts for allegedly framing their stories on the proposed law "against the religious freedom argument," adding, "ABC and NBC seem perfectly content arguing on behalf of the bill’s opponents and jumped on the left’s “outrage” and “controversial” nature of the bill rather than adequately include the religious freedom side of the debate."
In a Feb. 24 post, Paul Bremmer also called the bill a "religious freedom bill" and got huffy because somebody on MSNBC called it discrimination when a real conservative "would have argued for the need to protect freedom of conscience for business owners with certain religious beliefs, even if, perhaps, questioning whether this law was the best mechanism for doing so."
Bremmer then took umbrage at MSNBC cutting away from that discussion to a Q&A with Michael Sam, a prospective NFL player who recently came out as gay: "It was another sign of an obsession with homosexuality from a network that doesn’t usually cover sports, much less the NFL combine."
NewsBusters Falsely Denies Link Between Stand Your Ground, Florida Murder Trial Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 17 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd asserts that Florida's Stand Your Ground law "was not even invoked as a defense in the recently-concluded trial of Michael Dunn" in the shooting death of a teenager over loud music.
In fact, Stand Your Ground played a key role in the case. Media Matters details how "Stand Your Ground" is embedded in the Florida statute dealing with the "use of deadly force" in self-defense, was specifically cited by Dunn's lawyer, and noted in the judge's instructions to the jury. Dunn's defense lawyer claimed that Dunn "was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in a public place where he had a legal right to be, a public parking lot asking for a common courtesy, saying thank you, trying to tell the guy I said thank you. He had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force."
The Return of Scarf-Gate, WND Edition Topic: NewsBusters
Some years ago, NewsBusters tried to invent a controversy by claiming that NBC's Matt Lauer was wearing a "Palestinian support scarf." Surprisingly, the guy who penned that, Mark Finkelstein, still writes for NewsBusters despite the utterly absurd premise.
Now, WorldNetDaily wants in on some of that sweet terror-scarf action. From a Jan. 29 WND article:
The report Tuesday of a photo showing Barack Obama’s half-brother, Malik Obama, wearing a Hamas scarf that declares the Palestinian organization’s aim of destroying Israel tells only part of the story of Malik’s role in the violent advance of Islam.
The photo, posted at the website of Malik Obama’s nonprofit Barack H. Obama Foundation, shows Obama’s half-brother – the best man in the president’s wedding – wearing the scarf at a 2010 conference in Sanaa, Yemen.
The text of the scarf, reports Arabic-language researcher Walid Shoebat, features the Palestinian slogan “Jerusalem is ours – We are coming” and a map with the phrase “From the river to the sea,” a reference to the elimination of Israel, which lies between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Well, there's your problem right there. Shoebat is an Obama-hater who can't quite prove he's the former Palestinian terrorist he claims to be and whose funding is murky.We last saw Shoebat promoting a claim that Muslims were buying the blood of beheaded Christians -- a claim WND's Jerome Corsi took seriously but almost nobody else did.
Since Shoebat, like WND, puts its anti-Obama agenda ahead of actual facts, there's no reason to trust anything being reported here. After all, nobody believes WND.
MRC's Graham: NY Times Is 'Effete' For Questioning The Super Bowl Topic: NewsBusters
Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham turns in another choice bit of "media analysis" in a Jan. 26 NewsBusters post headlined "Effete New York Times Asks: 'Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?'"
Yes, Graham thinks it's "effete" to say anything negative about pro football. We're surprised he didn't use words like "swishy" or "effeminate" -- that would have more directly conveyed the homophobic intent of his words.
Meanwhile, Graham starts his rant proper by devoting an entire paragraph to a non sequitur about ... abortion? Oh, yeah, and a personal attack on the writer:
The New York Times has a very strange sense of morality. Abortion at any time for any reason is never savage. When the Kermit Gosnell case erupted, the Times could only editorialize it was irrelevant: “What does the trial of a Philadelphia doctor who is accused of performing illegal late-term abortions by inducing labor and then killing viable fetuses have to do with the debate over legal abortion?”
But on Sunday, the Times Magazine published a column titled “Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?” Writer Steve Almond, best known previously for resigning an adjunct professorship at Boston College because Condoleezza Rice was picked for commencement speaker, argued that sending men to the NFL was like sending our underclass soldiers off to war in Afghanistan (don't miss the part about the late Pat Tillman)[.]
When you're hurling insults at the publication and personally attacking the writer before you ever get around to addressing what the writer wrote, like Graham did, you've undermined your case for engaging in legitimate criticism.
MRC's Graham: Pro-Choice Activists Want 'The Full Gosnell' Topic: NewsBusters
In Tim Graham's black-and-white worldview, if you're not totally opposed to abortion, you must favor infanticide.
That's basically what Graham is arguing in a Jan. 25 NewsBusters post:
MSNBC's furor over Mike Huckabee's remarks on women and the Democrats boiled over on "Now with Alex Wagner" on Thursday afternoon. Radical feminist "comedians" Sarah Silverman and Lizz Winstead were promoted once again for their "V to Shining V" crusade for "Lady Parts Justice" -- that is, untrammeled abortion, the full Gosnell.
Graham provides no evidence that the "radical feminist 'comedians'" to whom he's referring have ever endorsed what Kermit Gosnell did, let alone speak his name.
A black-and-white worldview is not always a good thing -- and it's an especially bad thing when you, like Graham, are supposed to be a Director of Media Analysis. How much "analysis" did Graham put into making that uninformed snap judgment?
MRC's Graham Bashes Media For Engaging In Same Kind of Journalism The MRC Does Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham complains in a Jan. 25 NewsBusters post, headlined "USA Today Writes Unopposed Press Release for Liberal Virginia Attorney General's Gay-Marriage Move":
One way that liberal journalists promote a “rapid string of victories for the gay marriage movement” is by utterly shutting out any voice that dares speak in opposition to it. In Friday’s USA Today, reporter Richard Wolf (not MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe) wrote an entire story on how new Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring refuses to defend a gay marriage “ban,” and Wolf refused to quote any opponents.
One could say that USA Today was following the journalistic example of NewsBusters' sister operation, CNSNews.com, which frequently writesunopposedpressreleases promoting right-wing activists and policies.
Yet Graham does not dare criticize his fellow Media Research Center employees for engaging in the very same kind of journalism he's bashing USA Today for.
Graham might be taken more seriously as a media critic if he didn't exempt those who adhere to his right-wing ideology from criticism.
For MRC's Graham, Medically Accurate Term Is An 'F-Bomb' Topic: NewsBusters
The headline on Tim Graham 's Jan. 15 NewsBusters post read, "New York Times Story from Texas Repeatedly Drops the F-Bomb: 'Fetus'." Graham wrote:
The New York Times spent months debating before deciding not to ban the term “illegal immigrant” entirely (it’s simply discouraged), but the word “fetus” is used without any alarm. At the top of page A-14 on Wednesday is the headline “Suing to End Life Support for Woman and Fetus.”
It’s an update on the sad story of Marlise Munoz, who is on life support and whose family wants her and her baby removed from life support. The F-bomb (to pro-life people) was dropped three times in the Manny Fernandez story, in addition to the headline[.]
Yes, medically accurate terminology is the equivalent of a swear word in Graham's world.
At the end of his post, Graham linked to a 2008 rant by his boss, Brent Bozell, demanding that the word "fetus" be banned because it is allegedly a "humanity-negating" word. Like Graham, Bozell does not mention the term's medical accuracy (though he does concede that it has a "dictionary definition").
Neither Graham nor Bozell make any mention of the humanity-negating properties of the right-wing term "illegal alien." Or how they have a double standard on being politically correct word police.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Gleefully Pushing A Scandal Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham's Jan. 9 NewsBusters post carried the headline "WashPost Gleefully Pushes Scandal as Christie's 2016 Doom: 'Bridge Scandal Engulfing Christie'." Graham huffs that the post is "leaping all over Gov. Chris Christie," adding, "The partisan Post is on fire today."
Graham's complains might be taken a little more seriously were they not immediately preceded on NewsBusters by a post by Matthew Balan gleefully pushing a different so-called scandal by leaping all over President Obama:
ABC, CBS, and NBC ballyhooed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates's attacks on President Obama and other high government officials on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts. NBC's Brian Williams and CBS's Norah O'Donnell also trumpeted the former Cabinet official's "devastating critique" of the President in his upcoming memoir.
The partisan MRC is on fire. Too bad Graham doesn't see the irony.
NewsBusters Promoted Blog Reportedly Created By Fox News Chief Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters details how, according to Gabriel Sherman's new biography of Roger Ailes, the Fox News chief was behind the creation of an anonymous blog called The Cable Game for the purpose of promoting Fox News and trashing its rivals, and tapped Fox contributor Jim Pinkerton to serve as a ghostwriter for it.
NewsBusters took Ailes' bait. A search of NewsBusters' archive shows that it cited the now-defunct blog in four items:
A 2011 post by Tim Graham repeating the blog's claim that MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell likes to wear pricey cloths.
A 2008 post by Mark Finkelstein quoting Pinkerton himself citing the blog on Fox News.
A 2007 post hat-tipping the blog for promoting a claim that Fox News had the most balanced election coverage.
A 2006 post by Matthew Sheffield telling readers to watch the blog for updates on the resignation of an MSNBC president.
Further, as the archived version of the website shows, NewsBusters was on The Cable Game's blogroll.
Will NewsBusters tell its readers that it publicized a blog secretly created by the head of a cable news channel to trash his competition? Don't count on it.
Noel Sheppard Is Just Asking: Did Obama Know Robin Roberts Was Secretly Gay? Topic: NewsBusters
Writing about ABC's Robin Roberts coming out as gay, Noel Sheppard goes out on a speculation limb in a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post:
According toThe Wrap, "Roberts’ sexuality had been known to her family, friends and co-workers for some time."
Makes you wonder if the President was also aware of this and that aided in his decision to give Roberts an exclusive interview in May 2012 wherein he famously flip-flopped on his position on gay marriage saying, "At a certain point, I've just concluded that - for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that - I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
Only someone like Sheppard -- employed by someone with an anti-gay agenda like the Media Research Center -- could turn someone's coming out into a conspiracy.
Noel Sheppard Thinks Spooning Is A 'Sexual Position' Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard cranked up his outrage machine to rant in a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post:
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, vulgar comedienne Kathy Griffin - who will once again be co-hosting CNN's New Year's Eve special this year despite kissing Anderson Cooper's crotch on air last year! - actually asked new host Brian Stelter, "Have you ever spooned with Candy Crowley?...You might get a better time slot[.]"
Sheppard then adds: "For those unfamiliar, 'spooning' is a sexual position."
Well, not so much. As Talking Points Memo points out, spooning is more a form of cuddling.
Undaunted by his manufactured outrage and resulting stupidity, Sheppard tries to double down in a update to his post:
Update: There's been a lot of discussion about the term "spooning" and whether it's actually a sexual position. Some have claimed it's a term for cuddling. In reality, it's both.
In this instance, would the vulgar Griffin have asked Stelter if he's ever cuddled with Crowley? Consider that she followed her question up with, "You might get a better time slot."
Think about it: Have you ever heard of anyone cuddling their way to the top?
Notice that Sheppard doesn't acknowledge where this "discussion" is coming from -- likely because its happening mainly on liberal blogs that are ridiculing him.
It might be easy to forget, but ultraliberal Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla) is one of those dreaded "greedheads" who deal in millions of dollars of stocks. A story on the front of The Washington Post business section on Sunday reports Grayson “got burned twice by ‘stock loan’ schemes that have cost him nearly $50 million.”
Dina El Boghdady reports Grayson is ranked 21st in the House for wealth, with a net worth of “at least $16.7 million, in part due to the value of his stock portfolio.” Grayson lost about $18 million in transactions with Virginia businessman William Dean Chapman, who was just sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding Grayson and 121 others. The Post didn't seem to rifle through any of Grayson's recent tax returns, like they wanted to do to Mitt Romney.
Graham seems to have missed the part where Romney was running for president while Grayson wasn't.
Also: Grayson is an "ultraliberal"? Then again, to the right-wingers and Heatherers at the MRC, anyone who isn't as far right as they are must be, by definition "ultraliberal."
NewsBusters Won't Tell Readers About Klayman's CNN Conspiracy Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard writes in a Dec. 19 NewsBusters post:
Is there an anatomical limit to how many times someone can put their foot in their mouth?
Consider the case of CNN's Piers Morgan who on Twitter moments ago actually accused former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin of getting Martin Bashir fired by MSNBC[.]
So Sheppard thinks it's silly for Morgan to blame Bashir's leaving MSNBC job on Palin. Before Sheppard commits further to that point of view, let's go to a Dec. 18 post by fellow NewsBuster Tom Blumer. In it, Blumer runs to the defense of rabid Obama-hater and failed lawyer Larry Klayman after a less-than-friendly interview on CNN:
[CNN anchor Don] Lemon and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin also acted like immature children in Klayman's presence. They were clearly mortified that — ugh — Larry Klayman had to be the guy who brought suit against the National Security Administration arguing against the constitutionality of its metadata collection efforts.
Lemon, Toobin, and others on the left should be thanking Klayman. Instead, they can't stand the idea that he successfully achieved something important with which they fundamentally agree.
Blumer made no mention of the fact that the ruling against the NSA was issued despite Klayman's lawyering -- the judge in the case explicitly rejected Klayman's arguments and substituted his own reasoning.
More notably, Klayman was ready to cast blame for his poor performance on CNN, and it didn't involve himself. According to a Dec. 18 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi:
When CNN preceded an interview with legal activist Larry Klayman last night with an unflattering profile and then removed him from the screen when the dialogue got heated, powers much higher than the cable news network were wielding influence, charges Klayman.
“What CNN did to me yesterday was a hit piece orchestrated against me by the Obama White House with the direct involvement of the Democratic National Committee in an attempt to discredit me and to turn the public against Judge Leon’s court decision that the NSA is violating Fourth Amendment rights,” Klayman told WND in a telephone interview.
“This was a Clinton thing as much as it was an Obama thing,” he said.
Yes, Klayman is claiming that President Obama and the DNC are personally conspiring against him by making him look bad on TV. Is that any less strange than Morgan blaming Bashir's departure on Palin.
There is one difference, though: Neither Blumer nor anyone else at the MRC will tell you about Klayman's delusional conspiracy.