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Friday, November 10, 2017
MRC's Double Standard on News Outlets Using Fusion GPS
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Tom Blumer uses a Nov. 4 post to go on a major tirade over oppo-research group Fusion GPS and its hiring by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign:

Now that Hillary Clinton has admitted that her campaign and the Democratic National Committee — which we now know her campaign totally controlled beginning in August 2015 — paid Fusion GPS for the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, it's long past time that people understand the full scope of what that firm, which has been serially misrepresented as just another "opposition research" outlet, has done to change the media landscape.

Don't count on the establishment press to do it, because, as we'll see, Fusion has played a major role in corrupting their determination of what "news" is, how it gets covered — and how it gets covered up.

[...]

Fusion doesn't just hand over what it finds to its clients. It actively works to place stories with reporters desperate for scoops they'll never find on their own. Their related dispatches almost invariably claim that their stories came from anonymous sources.

[...]

The overarching point here is that when a political campaign or a client engages Fusion GPS, it is not merely looking for "opposition research."

Hillary Clinton outsourced a key component of her campaign's communications effort to a group of news manipulators and smear merchants. Her campaign concealed that arrangement, and intended to keep it permanently away from public scrutiny, by funneling payments to Fusion GPS through the campaign's law firm. (In the Venezuelan matter noted above, "Fusion GPS says being paid by a law firm means all paperwork about their work ... (was) covered by attorney-client privilege.")

The very act of hiring Fusion GPS indicates that Hillary Clinton and her campaign intended to smear Donald Trump and his campaign with accusations — even if false — about their involvement or "collusion" with Russia. This determination, apparently shared by the lame-duck Obama administration's FBI, continued even after she lost the general election a year ago.

For all this ranting about Fusion GPS' media work, exactly none of his ire is directed at the right-wing media outlet that hired Fusion GPS to look into Republican presidential candidates, including Trump, in the first place: the Washington Free Beacon.Blumer only referenced it in passing by quoting from an article admitting that Republican funder Peter Singer "hired the firm on behalf of the Washington Free Beacon to do research on all of the GOP candidates during the primary, including Trump."

Despite Blumer effectively conceding this inconvenient fact, he does not criticize the Free Beacon for laundering the work of an oppo-research firm through its "journalism" operation. He does not call out the Free Beacon for being among the "news manipulators and smear merchants" who made use of Fusion GPS research while failing to disclose it was hired to do exactly that. And Blumer does not declare the Free Beacon to be a political operation hiding behind a scrim of "journalism."

Just another example of how the Media Research Center has different standards for right-wing media than it does for regular media.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:09 PM EST
Monday, September 25, 2017
MRC Blogger Doesn't Know Who John Legend Is
Topic: NewsBusters

Media Research Center blogger Jay Maxson already has a severe case of Colin Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome -- and it's getting worse.

Maxson went on a tirade in a Sept. 24 NewsBusters post against a post at Slate defending football players' kneeling protests, written by John Legend:

NFL protests have given the liberal media a newfound "appreciation" of patriotism and the Constitution. Media covering this movement suffer from selective amnesia about U.S. history, however. Slate's John Legend is a protest apologist and historical revisionist as well who strains credibility.

In his blog today, Legend argues "The NFL Protests are Patriotic." He writes, "The president of the United States loves to drape himself in the symbols of patriotism, but fails to respect the ideals at the core of our Constitution and national identity. Trump may love the flag, but he doesn’t love anything it’s supposed to stand for."

Legend then proceeds to launch into historical revisionism, if not downright fantasy.

[...]

The Slate progressive asks if there would have been a Civil Rights Act without the Birmingham protests when Bull Connor unleashed dogs and firehoses on Black children. Legend skips over the fact that Connor was a Democrat. Would the Act have passed without Republican support? No. Democrats Al Gore Sr. and Robert Byrd were among the 21 Democrats who voted against civil rights, but Legend gives credit for it anyway to President Kennedy and President Johnson.

Maxson seems to be unaware that Legend is not a staff writer at Slate. As the bio link to his name states: "John Legend is a 10-time Grammy Awards winner, an Academy and Tony awards winner, philanthropist, and founder of the FREEAMERICA campaign."

Also, in trying to hang Bull Connor and opposition to civil rights in the 1960s on the entire Democratic Party, Maxson conveniently fails to mention that this opposition was the last gasp of anti-integration southern Democrats in the party, and that Democrats who opposed the party's endorsement of civil rights eventually became Republican.

In other words, the Democratic Party of the 1960s is not the party of today. So who's engaging in historical revisionism again?

If Maxson can't figure out something as basic as who John Legend is, we can probably assume that the rest of his hateful ranting is just as ignorant.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:01 PM EDT
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Speaking of Hypocrisy...
Topic: NewsBusters

Right-wing movie critic Christian Toto writes in a June 24 NewsBusters post:

The media's liberal bias keep getting worse in the Age of Trump.

The Motor City Madman has had a change of heart.

Ted Nugent said he wants the country’s political rhetoric to soften in the wake of the June 14 shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise by a Bernie Sanders fan. And he’ll do his part by shelving his own ugly comments regarding the modern Left.

“At the tender age of 69, my wife has convinced me I just can’t use those harsh terms,” he said on the 77 WABC radio program Thursday. “I cannot and will not and I encourage even my friends, slash, enemies on the left, in the Democrat and liberal world, that we have got to be civil to each other.”

The media lapped it up. Outlet after outlet trumpeted the news, from smaller newspapers to the biggest media organs in the country. Type “Ted Nugent rhetoric” into Google News. You’ll see the blanket coverage his comments generated.

And, along the way, reporters recited some of Nugent’s previous, unexpurgated rants. They also mentioned Nugent’s politics. He’s unapologetically conservative.

Nugent’s conversion makes for good copy, no doubt. It also highlights the blaring hypocrisy at work in today’s media.

Toto spends the rest of his post complaining that the Hollywood press didn't cover controversial tweets by George Takei.

Well, as long as we're going to talk about hypocrisy, let's talk about Toto's own. He concedes Nugent's comments about "the modern Left" were "ugly" -- actually, they were borderline death threats against President Obama and Hillary Clinton -- but he doesn't reproduce them the way he served up screenshots of the Takei comments that offended him. Why?

Most of Nugent's offensive comments were made in 2008 and 2012. Where was Toto at the time? Was he quick to condemn them, did he condemn them later, or did he stay silent? A search of Toto's personal website, Hollywood in Toto, turns up just one post carrying a Ted Nugent tag -- and that this very same one he ported to NewsBusters.

And how about his Media Research Center publisher? Well, there are NewsBusters posts that promote Nugent interviews. The MRC's first reaction to the 2012 comments in which Nugent disgracefully called Obama a "subhuman mongrel" and invited him to "suck on my machine gun" was to play the equivocation game, whining that the media "ignored foul-mouthed comedian Bill Maher's $1 million donation to an Obama super PAC" and merely calling Nugent's hate-filled tirade "controversial." Another MRC post took equivocation even further by complaining that the media "failed to mention that Obama has his own history of using violent metaphors."

That was followed by the MRC uncritically posting a CBS interview with Nugent denying that he's extreme, except to grumble that "CBS made sure to emphasize that Nugent is not a moderate." A 2013 post cheered Nugent calling Michael Moore and Piers Morgan "subhuman punks."

It's not until Toto's post that the MRC has offered a judgment of Nugent's hate that went beyond the bland "controversial."

Toto won't write about that hypocrisy, though.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EDT
Monday, June 26, 2017
NewsBusters' Sports Blogger Spews Hate At Obama And Non-Conservative Pro Athletes
Topic: NewsBusters

Mysterious NewsBusters sports blogger Jay Maxson has a knack for oozing contempt for anyone who doesn't hold the same right-wing views that he does. He (or she; Maxson's gender is not immediately clear, since his/her NewsBusters bio has no photo and includes no personal information) does so again in a June 8 post cmplaining about a Politico article on former President Obama's closeness to pro athletes. Maxson dismissed the article as "Kool-Aid" being dispensed to a "politics lite audience" and huffed that the article "demonstrates how Obama used jocks to further his agenda. And the gullible athletes were all too willing to be used."

Maxson's contempt for Obama and the pro athletes who like him drips from every word of his post:

Bryant says the ex-prez helped make locker rooms more “politically aware” (worth a separate wing in the Obama Presidential Library?) and he “did help athletes progress beyond just asking questions or just being angry, and asking why something is the way it is.” It’s unsaid in the article, but Obama unwittingly taught athletes the art of the boycott. At times Obama spent more time with them than meeting with his President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which he boycotted for at least a year.

Obama was famous for his love of basketball, even scrimmaging with pro players on occasion.” Wow, those scrimmages rank right up there with President Reagan’s fame for ending the Cold War and demanding and getting the destruction of the Iron Curtain. 

Strauss touted LeBron James for doing a PSA video encouraging people to enroll in the failure that became ObamaCare.

As Americans gave up seeking employment by the tens of millions, basketball and being “cool” became “critical” to Obama’s political image, Strauss writes. Pickup games on the campaign trail “undermined Republican efforts to portray Obama as foreign, suspicious, or someone who ‘pals around with terrorists.’” Nothing like style over substance.

[...]

Obama also used NFL players for political purposes, too, Strauss pointed out. Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson recorded propaganda videos for Obama’s socialized health care. And some former football players are running for political office now (and losing).

Strauss also gave love to Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, which “promoted sports and brought partnerships with pro leagues.” It’s about time we had an administration in Washington that did so much for the world of sports, especially amid the terrorism around the world – and the violence in Detroit and Chicago.

Can you be an effective and viable media critic when all you have to offer is hate and contempt? The MRC needs to ask this question about Maxson . And while they're at it, they should also supply information about Maxson to prove he/she is an actual person and not a coward hiding behind a fake name like former NewsBusters blogger "Bruce Bookter."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EDT
Sunday, May 28, 2017
NewsBusters Co-Creator Now Writing At Liberal Website
Topic: NewsBusters

Matthew Sheffield, along with brother Greg, created the NewsBusters blog for the Media Research Center in 2005. Before that, the Sheffields had run a blog attacking Dan Rather, which led to the MRC job.

Sheffield left the MRC in 2014 to work on other projects, which include a media strategy consulting firm. But one other project is unlikely to be mentioned -- or, if so,c ertainly not in a positive way -- when MRC employees are talking about him these days.

Sheffield is currently writing about media, politics and technology for the liberal-leaning site Salon, which Sheffield's former compatriots at NewsBusters like to dismiss with intended epithets as "far-far-left" and "uber-liberal." What's more, some of his articles are calling out the behavior of his fellow conservatives.

In April, for example, Sheffield reported on the network of sock-puppet blogs controlled by former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, which were used to attack Fox News critics, and that this Fox News black-ops group helped subsidized the work of pro-Fox News blogger Mark Koldys and his Johnny Dollar's Place blog.

He's also written about the financial woes of iHeartMedia, the radio station owner that syndicates the shows of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity; the protest by torch-wielding alt-right folks opposing the removal of Confederate monuments; how the never-Trump rantings of Louise Mensch, former editor of the right-wing, Murdoch-owned blog Heat Street, may just be an act to trap gullible liberals; and the creeping moderation at generally liberal-leaning MSNBC, which has added conservative commentators and former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren.

You'll never be reading about any of this at any MRC website. And for all we know, that may be why he left. We've noted a previous attempt to sneak in (albeit perhaps not intentionally) a little truth at NewsBusters, in a 2013 post implicitly conceding -- by begging conservative billionaires to invest in media outlets -- that conservative newspapers need deep-pocketed, ideologically driven sugar daddies to stay afloat. This was proven further last year when the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shut down its print edition to become an online-only publication following the death of conservative benefactor Richard Mellon Scaife, who had sunk $300 million into the paper's operation.

So, congratulations to Sheffield for discovering balanced journalism. It's too bad he had to leave the MRC to do it -- for both him and the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 PM EDT
Thursday, May 11, 2017
No, MRC Blogger, 'Leftists' Did Not 'Confirm' Protesters Are Paid
Topic: NewsBusters

Media Research Center blogger P.J. Gladnick declares in an April 27 NewsBusters post:

Have you noticed how the mainstream media has recently mocked the notion that leftwing protesters are being paid?  The idea is ridiculous they claim and only Trump and his supporters are making that silly charge. Well, guess what? A pair of leftwingers have confirmed in the April 26 Washington Post that protesters are indeed paid.

Except, well, that didn't happen at all.

At no point in the Post column Gladnick is referencing do authors Leo Gertner and Moshe Marvit state that anti-Trump protesters are being paid. They do argue that even if some protesters were paid, doing so would not necessarily delegitimize the movement for which the protests are taking place.

Gertner and Marvit noted the example of Rosa Parks, who had been involved in the civil rights movement for years and was trained in resistance tactics prior to her refusal to give up a bus seat to a white person, asking whether Parks' protest would be "worth less" if she was thought of as a paid protester. Gladnick curiously omits that example from the excerpt of the column he includes in his post (which, again, never backs up Gladnick's claim that protesters are paid).

Gladnick includes in his post an alleged screenshot of a Craigslist ad seeking paid protesters. Fox News wrote about it last November but, crucially, apparently never verified the legitimacy of the ads -- it only notes that groups allegedly linked to the ads "have not returned phone calls seeking comment" -- or if anyone was ever, in fact, paid for protesting.

You'd think that given how purportedly rampant pay-for-protest is, Gladnick would be able to easily find someone who got paid instead of having to extrapolate conjecture from an op-ed and pretend that it's definitive proof.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:21 PM EDT
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

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