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Friday, February 27, 2015
NewsBusters' Shepherd Shows Why He Was Named Top Blogger At CPAC
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd received an award for “Nonprofit Blogger of the Year” at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference. One apparent reason is that he dutifully promotes right-wing talking points.

We've documented Shepherd promoting dishonest conservative narratives on alleged discrimination against Christians, voter ID laws and  a Houston anti-discrimination ordinance. He's also taken President Obama's words about vaccines out of context.

A Feb. 25 NewsBusters post further demonstrates the technique that won  Shepherd his award. In it, he complains about MSNBC host Chris Matthews' criticism that John Boehner's invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress two weeks before an Israeli election was "purely partisan":

As I've documented previously here at NewsBusters, Boehner's invitation to Netanyahu -- which noted that the invitation was on "behalf of the bipartisan leadership" of both houses of Congress -- was initially for him to speak on February 11.

The president was notified by Boehner about the February 11 invite AFTER it was sent to Netanyahu but prior to Netanyahu's response, which turned down February 11 but offered March 3 as an alternate date, which Boehner readily agreed to.

Again, Mr. Boehner noted bipartisan consensus in extending the invite to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Either that is true and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have some explaining to do, or Boehner is lying or at best misrepresenting the bipartisan "OK" he got from his colleagues. Rather than presenting this as nefarious partisan conspiracy, Matthews would do better to attempt to get to the bottom of that question.

But we could find no evidence Boehner consulted any Democratic congressional leaders before inviting Netanyahu. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has stated she was not consulted. Politico reports that "Boehner’s office coordinated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S." The response from Boehner quoted by Politico did not contradict Pelosi's claim.

Politco also reports that Boehner didn't even invite Pelosi to Netanyahu's speech, though he invited other Democratic officials.

So it appears Matthews has done his research. So why is Shepherd still giving Boehner the benefit of the doubt? Instead of pussyfooting around it, Shepherd should simply state what is apparently obvious: that Boehner lied when he portrayed Netanyahu's speech invitation as bipartisan.

But then, that's not the kind of truth in blogging that earns you the "Nonprofit Blogger of the Year" designation at CPAC.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:30 AM EST
Updated: Friday, February 27, 2015 10:55 AM EST
Monday, February 23, 2015
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Celebrities' Political Commentary
Topic: NewsBusters

Clay Waters -- he of the perennial Media Research Center complaint that it's somehow "liberal bias" for the media to identify conservatives as conservatives -- takes another lame whack at the New York Times in a Feb. 20 NewsBusters post by complaining that it's repeating celebrity criticisms of Rudy Giuliani's smear of President Obama:

Times reporter Damien Cave followed up Friday in a story about anti-Giuliani Twitter commentary from renowned political thinkers: "Giuliani Comments Draw Tweets From Martina Navratilova, Judd Apatow and Others." ("Others" including esteemed former talk show host Larry King, who was "saddened by the news." And if you've lost Larry King...)

Waters seems not to have noticed that the NewsBusters post that literally appeared immediately before his features the stylings of that noted political commentator ... Charles Barkley:

Charles Barkley Wishes Obama Was Tough On ISIS Like the King of Jordan

Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are all basketball legends in their own right, but it’s not what they’ve done on the court that’s earning them headlines these days, it’s what they’ve said off the courts that’s getting all the attention.

Barkley told Sports Ilustrated if he could meet anyone today, it would be Jordan’s King Abdullah II because of his response to ISIS burning alive the captured Jordanian pilot, Muath Al-Kaseasbeh, on video.  He said he wished Obama was like that:

If NewsBusters is willing to treat Barkley's  political opinions seriously, why is Waters bashing the New York Times for doing the exact same thing?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 10:29 AM EST
Thursday, February 19, 2015
NewsBusters Whines: Evolution Question To Walker Was Off-Topic!
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer uses a Feb. 15 NewsBusters post to posit that Scott Walker was right to "punt" on a question about evolution he was asked because it should never have been asked in the first place because it was "brazenly off-topic":

In London, England earlier this week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered a speech about global trade at the Chatham House think tank. Given that the group's mission is "to help build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world," and that it encourages "open debate and confidential discussion on the most significant developments in international affairs," it seemed a reasonable expectation that those present would ask questions relevant to those matters.

Instead, Scott Walker was asked several brazenly off-topic questions, including if he believed in evolution. He refused to answer them. In the case of evolution, he said, "I’m going to punt on that one ... That’s a question that a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another," while reminding the audience that "I'm here to talk about trade and not pontificate on other issues."

The smug establishment press apparently wants to believe that Walker's refusal has created a political crisis of epic proportions which they contend (translation: hope) may harm his presidential aspirations.

Blumer gets even more conspiratorial after that, speculating that an Associated Press reporter who covered the Walker incident is biased because he is "likely a member of the far-left, Occupy Movement-supporting News Media Guild" and that the AP itself is "likely inspired by leftist hacks who thought they had an issue they could flog." Needless to say, Blumer offers no evidence of this.

Blumer ultimately whines about "amateur-hour smear-driven journalism" -- as if that isn't what he contributes at NewsBusters, though without the "journalism" part.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:10 PM EST
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Why Is MRC's Graham Putting 'Reverend' In Scare Quotes for Sharpton?
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham does a curious thing in his Feb. 14 NewsBusters post attacking Al Sharpton: When referring to Sharpton, he puts "Reverend" in scare quotes. Those scare quotes, though, create the impression that Graham believes Sharpton isn't a real reverend -- even though he's an ordained minister -- because he believes evolution exists:

“Reverend” Al Sharpton isn’t too big on the Bible, certainly not on the tale that God created the world and everything in it. MSNBC tweeted out Sharpton’s Thursday night segment where he wished his viewers and guests “Happy Darwin Day” three times, and mocked Gov. Scott Walker for skipping an evolution question in a London interview.

A snarky commenter on MSNBC.com noted that Sharpton was pushing Darwin, whose book The Origin of Species was also titled The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Uh-oh, Rev.

As explained on Wikipedia, Darwin's use of "race" is a synonym for "varieties," not the modern connotation of human races; the first use of the word in the book refers to "the several races, for instance, of the cabbage" and proceeds to a discussion of "the hereditary varieties or races of our domestic animals and plants." Graham might want to vet the random "snarky commenters" from whom he gets his inspiration a little more closely.

Nevertheless, Graham then goes on to claim, "Apparently, in other books, Darwin expressed the thought the 'Negro' was inferior, and 'the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world.' That might be worth a segment." Interestingly, the link Graham provides as evidence of this -- from a blog by John S. Wilkins focused on evolution -- points out that Darwin's clinging to the racial stereotypes pervasive in his era actually contradict his theory of evolution:

Why does Darwin do this? In the early days of a theory or new view, it is hard to puzzle out all the ramifications of the idea, and to isolate it from superficially similar ideas already in the air. Darwin’s notion of evolution does not require progress, or inferior versus superior races, but he’s being led down that path by the culture around him, and the fact, after all, that he is a member of a privileged class (historically fairly recently so) of an imperial society, with a history of devaluing those who were not in control. It turns out, Darwin is human after all.

Anyway, the implication remains that Graham appears to believe Sharpton isn't a real reverend because he acknowledges evolution. So we asked him via Twitter:

Graham's first response: "He's a RINO. Reverend In Name Only. Starts with refusing for decades to acknowledge his sin in the Brawley hoax."

Fair enough; it's a legitimate criticism. Then he added: "And it's funny he's channeling the Darwinists and science against Christian conservatives, like he's Ricky Gervais."

That seems to confirm that, in Graham's view, evolution is incompatible with being a "real" Christian, and definitely not compatible with being a Christian minister.

Then we asked Graham if the MRC would start putting scare quotes around "Dr." when referring to anti-abortion activist Alveda King -- after all, unlike Sharpton's title, King didn't earn hers; the doctorate is honorary. Graham didn't respond.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 9:48 PM EST
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
NewsBusters Censors Dershowitz's Alleged Involvement At 'Sex Fiend Island'
Topic: NewsBusters

P.J. Gladnick writes in a Jan. 29 NewsBusters post:

Is Newsweek contributing editor Catherine Ostler winking at us?

One has to ask that question because of the way she speculates as to what Bill Clinton could have possibly been doing at the Sex Fiend Island luxury home of registered pedophiliac sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Among the observations she makes about Jeffrey Epstein who comes off as very creepy in the extreme, Ostler, with what must have a twinkle in her eye as she eye makes this rather narrow list of activities that Clinton could have participated in at Sex Fiend Island, discussing theoretical physics or  getting massages from pretty girls [.]

Gladnick is being rather selective in his reporting on "Sex Fiend Island." He doesn't mention it, but another prominent figure who has been linked to alleged activities there -- as stated in the Newsweek article on which Gladnick based his post -- is lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Gladnick is thus following in the footsteps of WorldNetDaily, which has also failed to mention Dershowitz while reporting the allegations involving Epstein. As with WND, the reason for Gladnick's silence is likely because Dershowitz has voiced some conservative-friendly opinions.

For instance, NewsBusters repeatedly touted how the "liberal" Dershowitz defended Texas Gov. Rick Perry against a supposedly "politically motivated" indictment, and Gladnick even took perverse delight in the idea that Dershowitz may have made a panelist cry during a TV debate.

While Dershowitz has vehemently denied any involvement, a newly released court document by one of the woman linked to the alleged Epstein scandal claims to detail sexual encounters with Dershowitz and others.

Interesting that Gladnick pounces on the Clinton allegations for salacious value -- even though he has yet to be implicated in any bad behavior on "Sex Fiend Island" -- but censors Dershowitz's alleged involvement even though his name has explicitly come up regarding bad behavior.

It seems Dershowitz is feeling the Sharyl Attkisson effect -- if you say things conservatives like, the Media Research Center has your back no matter how horrible you are.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 PM EST
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
NewsBusters Endorses Intimidation of Abortion Doctors
Topic: NewsBusters

Anti-abortion activist Jill Stanek is a regular NewsBusters blogger, and her Jan. 31 post gave her -- and, thus, NewsBusters' -- enthusiastic approval to a scheme designed to intimidate abortion doctors.

Stanek's post touted the intimidation scheme of fellow anti-abortion activist Eric Scheidler, who mailed a set of plastic handcuffs to every abortion provider in the U.S., suggesting they will eventyually be arrested simply for providing abortion (which, of course, is the goal of Stanek and Scheidler).

As befits someone with a dubious history of anti-abortion activism -- her career-making claim of allegedly having seen fetuses who survived an abortion left to dies was never substantiated -- Stanek saw nothing wrong with this, stating that it's a "stretch" to call Scheidler's scheme indimidation. Stanek then claimed that anti-abortion activists who cross the line into actual harrassment of abortion providers aren't "real harassers."

It appears that Stanek -- and, thus, NewsBusters -- have a double standard of what constitutes initmidation and harrassment depending upon who's doing it.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 3, 2015 4:42 PM EST
Sunday, February 1, 2015
MRC's Graham Complains Politico Following In MRC's Footsteps
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham complains in a Jan. 28 NewsBusters post:

Noah Rothman at Hot Air called out Politico for badly mangling remarks by potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. In his new book, Huckabee devoted a chapter to "The Culture of Crude." On Wednesday morning, they tweeted out this attention-grabbing headline: ["Mike Huckabee complains of ‘trashy’ women at Fox News."]

But after clicking through to the article by reporter Adam Lerner, the reader discovered that Huckabee never mentioned Fox, just being in a "professional setting"[.]

Of course, the main reason Huckabee has spent so much time in New York was to shoot his Fox News show, so it's highly logical to assume that he was talking about women at Fox News. Unless, of course, Graham doesn't think Fox News is a "professional setting."

Besides, it can be argued that Politico was simply using the MRC's own journalistic ethics in reporting the story. As we've detailed, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, insisted in 2005 that Democratic strategist Paul Begala claimed that Republicans "want to kill" Americans when, in fact, the full context of the Begala statement makes it clear that he was saying terrorists -- not Republicans -- want to kill Americans. When Begala called CNS out on its error, then-CNS editor David Thibault (a Republican activist like the intern who originally reported the story for CNS) called Begala a liar. Needless to say, CNS never apologized for its falsehood.

By contrast, the seeming accuracy of the way Politico reported Huckabee's remarks was backed up by how a Fox News host responded to them.

Appearing on Fox News to discuss the remarks (which he denied were targeted at Fox News women), Huckabee found himself on the other end of a mini-lecture from Fox host Megyn Kelly: "Well, I do have some news for you before I let you go. We're not only swearing. We’re drinking, we’re smoking, we’re having premarital sex with birth control before we go to work, and sometimes boss around a bunch of men. ... That's just the reality, Guv."

Curiously, neither Graham nor anyone else at any MRC website has reported Kelly's retort to Huckabee. Apparently, a Fox News host, especially one as reliably conservative as Kelly, deviating from the right-wing script of promoting a persecution narrative -- and, even worse, point out that women behave like human beings -- is simply not news at the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:22 PM EST
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
NewsBusters Complains 'Nightly Show' Debut On MLK Holiday Is 'Obsessing About Race'
Topic: NewsBusters

Jeffrey Meyer had the unenviable task (from a right-wing standpoint) of reviewing the debut episode of "The Nightly Show," Comedy Central's new program starring Larry Wilmore. So we have the only black host currently on late-night TV, with a show debuting on the Martin Luther King holiday, so naturally Wilmore would focus on racial issues.

What do you think Meyer took away from the show? The headline of his Jan. 20 post reveals the answer: "Larry Wilmore Debuts New Comedy Central Show By Obsessing Over Race."

Meyer didn't make a comparison to fill out his definition of obsessive coverage -- after all, NewsBusters has been obsessing about Benghazi much more than Wilmore did in his debut show.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:41 PM EST
Saturday, January 17, 2015
NewsBusters Publishes Tony Perkins' Falsehoods About Fired Atlanta Fire Chief
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center is getting as bad about peddling falsehoods as WorldNetDaily is.

On Jan. 14, the MRC's NewsBusters published a post by Family Research Council chief Tony Perkins on the case of fired Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran. Perkins ranted about a New Yorkk Times editorial about Cochran, which noted that Cochran did not have permission from city authorities to publish his self-published book that includes homophobic rants. RetortsPerkins: "Not only did Cochran have permission from the city’s ethics office to publish his book, but he only distributed it in his personal capacity at church -- where a handful of his coworkers attend."

Perkins is lying. A city investigation into the Cochran case, released five days before Perkin's post was published, confirms that Cochran never had city permission to publish the book:

At the outset of the investigation, Chief Cochran admitted that he did not inform Mayor Reed that he was publishing the book and did not have the Mayor’s permission. The only indication there was any mention of the book to anyone in the Mayor’s Office is the Chief Operating Officer at the time of publication remembering that Chief Cochran had talked about writing a book on leadership.

Chief Cochran insists Ethics Officer Hickson authorized both the publication of the book and the reference in the book to his position as AFRD Chief. His recollection is that he first contacted Ms. Hickson to determine if it was permissible to publish the book and that he later asked if it was appropriate to identify himself in the book as AFRD Chief. Ms. Hickson indicated that she did not approve publication of the book and had no authority to grant such approval. She said she told him that he would need to get the Mayor’s permission as well as a formal opinion from the Board of Ethics.

Further, contrary to Perkins' claim, Cochran did in fact distribute his book at the workplace. From the investigation:

Chief Cochran stated that he provided the book to certain members of his command staff as a personal gift. He originally stated that he did not provide it to anyone who did not request a copy. The investigation disclosed that the book was distributed in the workplace to at least nine (9) individuals. Three (3) of these officers stated that the book was given to them without a request on their part.

Perkins insisted that "At no point did Kelvin Cochran 'foist' his views on anyone." But if Cochran is giving his book to employees who did not request one, he is in fact foisting his views on people.

Perkins asserted that the city of Atlanta, in firing Cochran, is engaging in a "campaign of discrimination against Christians." In fact, Cochran was not fired because of his Christianity but, rather, because of his unprofessional behavior. As the city investigation points out, Cochran was fired because he failed to obtain proper approval for his book and because of his insubordination by speaking publicly about his ordeal.

Does the MRC not vet the blog entries it posts? Apparently not.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:26 PM EST
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Context
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters has long fretted over conservatives purportedly being taken out of context while having no problem taking statements by liberals out of context.

That double standard shines through again in a Jan. 6 NewsBusters post by Jack Coleman:

Context is all, especially in media, unless you're a liberal intent on smearing the most prominent voice in radio who also happens to be conservative. At that point, context becomes an inconvenience quickly to be jettisoned.

Two days before Christmas, Rush Limbaugh was talking about the leaked Sony emails when he said something that proceeded to make news during the traditionally slow news drought of the holidays.

After referring to a specific email from Sony co-chair Amy Pascal suggesting that black British actor Idris Elba portray James Bond after actor Daniel Craig's contract playing the super-spy ends, Limbaugh dismissed the suggestion by pointing out that Bond was "white and Scottish, period." (audio)

Given the faux outrage to follow, you'd think Limbaugh lit up a huge cross at the entrance to Sony studios.

On his radio show yesterday, Limbaugh played audio clips of media reaction of his remarks and pointed out what critics neglected to mention that he also said[.]

Actually, it's Coleman who's selectively editing here. The reason why Limbaugh was criticized as racist for his remarks was because Limbaugh himself said it was.

In the original clip, Limbaugh admitted that "it's probably racist to even point this out" about Elba and James Bond. That's context worth mentioning; why didn't Coleman think it was?

Instead, Coleman tried to find a way to bolster one of Limbaugh's weaker arguments:

Undoubtedly not it's safe to say. But isn't Limbaugh muddying the waters by suggesting that outrage would ensue if white actors were cast to portray historical figures who were black, such as Obama and Mandela, whereas Bond is a fictional character, so what difference does it make?

Apparently it meant a great deal in 1990, Limbaugh pointed out, when the Actors' Equity union initially refused to allow white actor Jonathan Pryce to portray a fictional Eurasian pimp in "Miss Saigon" on Broadway, as Pryce already had in London. (audio). The union quickly backed down and reversed its decision.

Does anyone actually believe that Americans have become less politically correct since then?

But ethnicity is arguably a more significant factor in the "Miss Saigon" role than it is in James Bond. And as playwright David Henry Hwang points out, there is a legitimate issue of diversity since 80 percent of the roles on Broadway stages are taken by white actors. Further, the protest had an effect: the producer of "Miss Saigon" on Broadway ensured that all actors who took that role after Pryce left it were of Asian descent.

Coleman didn't mention any of that, of course -- but then, his sense of context is highly selective.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 PM EST
Friday, December 12, 2014
NewsBusters' Pierre Laments That Catholic Abuse Victims Are Being Paid
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Dave Pierre is a big fan of the Catholic Church quietly paying clergy accused of sexual abuse to go away quietly as "fast and economical," never mind that such payments conveniently excluded any sort of accountability or justice.

Paying the victims who accused them, well, that's another story.

In a Nov. 27 NewsBusters post, Pierre proclaimed his distress at Boston Cardinal Seán O'Malley appearing on "60 Minutes" to talk about the church's sex abuse crisis:

While the media has showered O'Malley with praise for his management of sex abuse cases, we have actually been troubled with the way he has handled cases in Boston by paying sizable sums to settle questionable claims.

In the spring of 2012, O'Malley's archdiocese paid out large settlements related to accusations of abuse against two priests. However, as we carefully chronicled at the time, there is substantial reason to believe that the payments were not justified.

Both accused priests were long ago dead, neither man had even a hint of impropriety when they were alive, and these were the only claims ever made against them. The archdiocese's payoffs understandably infuriated the friends and families of both tarnished priests.

Pierre's "careful chronicling," it should be noted, lacks any evidence that the abuse didn't occur; he merely rants about "unproven allegations against previously unblemished priests who are now deceased and unable to defend themselves" and insists "our priests deserve much better than this" and wails about what "the families, friends, and colleagues of these accused men now must endure."

By contract, Pierre shows little concern for what the victim deserves and must endure. Instead, he baselessly besmirches them by baselessly suggesting they were only out to scam the church of money.

Pierre then moves on to attack Cardinal O'Malley for something completely unrelated, supposedly excessive "salaries for lay leadership in the Archdiocese of Boston." He concludes: "So the lesson here is that if a Church official is willing to criticize the Church over the topic of sex abuse, the media will fête him as a media darling no matter what he has actually done as a Church official."

The other lesson, it appears, is that Pierre will attack anyone who admits there has been a longstanding problem of abuse in the Catholic Church, and anyone who does so -- even victims -- must be thrown under the bus to save the church.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 PM EST
Saturday, December 6, 2014
MRC Can't Stop Being Mad That Conservatives Are Labeled As Conservative
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center's Clay Waters has a weird fixation on stories about conservatives that label conservatives as conservatives. He's at it again in a Dec. 4 NewsBusters post:

The New York Times' labeling bias isn't just aimed at U.S. conservatives; the Times' global reach and bias extends overseas, as demonstrated in Wednesday's edition, crammed with dangerous and unpleasant right-wingers in Europe, Asia, and of course Israel, both among politicians and the media (who knew the "right-wing media" were so powerful?).

The headline to a front-page story by Martin Fackler on a controversy over Japanese "comfort women" from World War II read: "Rewriting War, Japanese Right Goes on Attack." "Ultranationalist" was an apparently insufficient label for the bad guys in the story; Fackler eagerly identified them as "conservative" and "right-wing" at every junction.

Waters doesn't explain why accurately labeling conservatives as conservatives is "labeling bias," let alone why it's not truthful to apply the lable. Most people not obessed with finding bias where none actually exists would call that factual reporting.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 PM EST
Monday, December 1, 2014
NewsBusters Complains GOP Staff Is Being Held Accountable For Her Words
Topic: NewsBusters

Melissa Mullins whines in a Nov. 30 NewsBusters post:

This past Thanksgiving weekend, with all the stories going on in the country today, one seems to have topped the list: an unknown GOP staffer decided to voice her negative opinion about the Obama daughters after they were pictured during the White House turkey pardon ceremony…on her Facebook page. Yep.  That’s the story.

[...]

You could imagine the backlash Lauten got from the online world – and a few “reputable” news organizations. (Start with The Huffington Post.) Apparently, there are even Malia and Sasha partisans that were calling for Lauten to be fired from her job.  Really? What if we were to go around inspecting every Democratic communications director for whichever Democrat they work for – are their personal Facebook posts fair game too?

Well, actually, if Mullins had checked the NewsBusters archive, you'd find that it does, in fact, highlight the content of people's and organzations' Facebook pages. And Mullins might want to check her own writing as well: A Nov. 25 post by her highlights a comment Fox News' Geraldo Rivera made on his Facebook page.

So let's not pretend that a publicly accessible Facebook feed is suddenly off limits because the person writing it is a Republcan.

Mullins then lamely tries to equivocate by invoking criticism of the children of Republican presidents:

For those who insist presidential or vice presidential children (or those of potential candidates) are off limits and should oblige by those wishes – does that mean it’s still ok to give them a free pass when they are older or being trotted out for show and tell to help with a candidacy? 

[...]

In addition to what the Bush twins endured when it came to criticism from the media, who can forget the Palin kids (here, here, here, and here…just to name a few)? Of course, both parties have had their share of mudslinging when it comes to criticizing children of politicians, but more often than not it’s those with an “R” after their name (or like this post proves – any association with the Republican Party) that are often forced into publicly apologizing.

Mullins omits the critical difference that when the Bush twins "endured ... criticism from the media," they were over 18, and one of the things they were criticized for was engaging in criminal behavior -- namely, Jenna Bush attempted to use a fake ID to buy a drink at a bar. By contrast, the Obama daughters -- age 13 and 15 -- did little more than act like bored teenagers, which last we checked isn't criminal behavior.

Mullins also referenced criticism aimed at Chelsea Clinton, but she ignored the most vile example: Rush Limbaugh calling a teenaged Chelsea the White House dog. Not only did NewsBusters not criticize it, the late Noel Sheppard tried to pretend it didn't really happen. As we noted at the time, Sheppard was engaging in lame misdirection when he should have been demanding that Limbaugh release the video of the segment from his 1990s TV show so we can judge for ourselves.

It seems Mullins' real anger is that a Republican was being held accountable for what she wrote. 


Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 PM EST
Sunday, November 30, 2014
At NewsBusters, Racially Charged Cartoon Is Legitimate 'Conservative Opinion'
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 25 NewsBusters post, Laura Flint endorses a racially charged cartoon by criticizing the fact that it was denounced as racist:

The liberal thought police have struck again. On Friday, November 21, one day after Obama announced amnesty for five million illegal immigrants, the Indianapolis Star posted a cartoon by Gary Varvel that depicted an American family gathering around the table for Thanksgiving. As the nonplussed father presents the turkey, three people appear to be climbing in the window, and he states, “Thanks to the president’s immigration order, we’ll be having extra guests this Thanksgiving,”
 
It did not take long for the virulent cry of racism to be heard by Indystar.com. Within one day, executive editor Jeff Taylor published an article admitting the newspaper’s error in featuring the cartoon and removed it from the website altogether.

[...]

While Taylor ends his letter by stating that it is “important to encourage a vigorous public debate on issues of this magnitude…with respectful discourse,” the actions of his newspaper have made it clear that no conservative opinion can be viewed as a form of legitimate “discourse.”

So depicting stereotypical Mexicans as people who break into people's houses and steal their food is legitimate "conservative opinion"? No wonder conservatives have trouble being taken seriously on immigration.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 PM EST
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
NewsBusters: Google's Veterans Day Doodle Not White Enough
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 11 NewsBusters post, Mark Finkelstein was heartened that Google marked Veterans Day with one of its special "doodles" in its logo, but he had a sad that there weren't enough white people in it:

So yes, let's take some satisfaction from the fact that Google did depict actual members of the US military on its homepage this morning.

That said, Google couldn't resist inflicting its PC-politics onto the homepage, with wildly unrepresentative demographics.  The image shows five military members. Out front is a woman. Of the five, three would appear to be members of minority groups, and two are women.  One white guy manages to make it in. Compare and contrast with the military's actual demographics.  As of 2012, as per this official report, women comprised only 14% of active-duty military, and minority members 30%. So Google doubled minority representation, and more than doubled the proportion of women. Note: the stats given are for active-duty members.  In the Reserve and Guard, the percentage of women is somewhat higher but still less than 20%.  And the percentage of minority members is actually lower.

Not to be too bean-counterish about all this, and yes let's be thankful for small favors, but can there be any doubt that Google had its heavy PC-thumb on the scales?

Yes, Finkelstein really is bothered that there are too many minorities in Google's honoring of Veterans Day.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:02 PM EST

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