NewsBusters Glosses Over Plagiarist's Conservative Ties Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters had little to say about BuzzFeed's Benny Johnson being fired for plagiarism, using it only as the introduction to a "weekend open thread" in a July 26 post.
NewsBusters clipped a Huffington Post item noting that "Benny Johnson was previously with Glenn Beck's The Blaze, and has also written for Breitbart News," but it avoided further discussion of the unavoidable conclusion those ties mean: Johnson is a conservative.
Outlets like the Blaze and Breitbart are ideologically driven -- much more so than the mainstream media outlets NewsBusters' minders at the Media Research Center love to fearmonger about -- so it's unlikely that Johnson could have gotten jobs there without demonstrating a commitment to right-wing ideology. That says a lot about right-wing media ethics, but you won't hear NewsBusters talk about that.
NewsBusters also won't mention the fact that it previously promoted a Johnson post at BuzzFeed item later found to have contained plagiarized content. A February 2013 post by Randy Hall highlighted a Johnson item headlined “7 Things Democrats Would Have Freaked Out About if Bush Had Done Them”; that item now contains an editor's note that "This post has been corrected to remove phrasing that was copied from The Hill. BuzzFeed takes its responsibility to readers very seriously, and plagiarism is a major breach of that responsibility."
NewsBusters has long covered for the mistakes of conservative writers. When conservative Washington Post blogger Ben Domenech was forced to resign after evidence of plagiarism surfaced, the MRC did what it could to change the subject. Tim Graham asserted that "What the Domenech fiasco should show is that left-wingers like those Media Mutterers are quite furious in attempting to keep the liberal media as liberal as they can muster," and Greg Sheffield claimed that the Post "cave[d] in to left-wing pressure" to fire Domenech while not mentioning his plagiarism.
(Interestingly, Domenech has rehabilitated himself, now running the the Federalist website, and NewsBusters likes to cite him.)
Finally! MRC Discloses Its Link To Catholic League Topic: NewsBusters
Matthew Balan devortes in a July 17 NewsBusters post to the latest rant from the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, this time complaining about David Letterman "making light about Pope Francis's recent remarks about priestly celibacy." For the first time that we've noticed, Balan makes an important disclosure: "it should be pointed out that MRC President Brent Bozell serves on the board of advisors for the Catholic League."
We've documented how the MRC has regularly failed to disclose Bozell's links to the Catholic League in uncritically echoing whatever new outrage Donohue felt compelled to issue a press release about.
Balan is correct that Bozell's link to the Catholic "should be pointed out," which raises the question about why the MRC hasn't felt compelled to point out this blatant conflict of interest until now.
NewsBusters Joins MRC Freak-Out Over Obama Using First-Person Terms Topic: NewsBusters
Mark Finkelstein devotes a July 17 NewsBusters post to an anti-Obama rant:
But enough about me. Let's talk about how you feel about me . . . Maybe Barack Obama should modify his famous New Age-y line, uttered after the 2008 Super Tuesday results, to read "I am the one I have been waiting for." In recent times, it's become an entertaining parlor game to count the number of self references in President Obama's public statements.
The latest opportunity to play the game comes via a fund-raising email the prez sent out this morning. Defiantly entitled "I Won't Apologize," the short message contains by my count no fewer than 11 self-references [12 if you count the URL for the fund-raising link]—a self-adoring assortment of I, I'm, I'll and me. View the complete email after the jump.
Why would a man with such a sorry record in office have such high self-regard? Let's hear from our armchair psychoanalysts out there!
This follows in the footsteps of CNS' Terry Jeffrey -- like NewsBusters a division of the Media Research Center -- who has a similar obsession with how often Obama refers to himself in the first person, despite the fact that it's hardly out of line with previous presidents. Like Jeffrey, we don't recall Finkelstein showing concern over the first-person usage of Republican presidents.
Someone should also remind Finkelstein of the mission of the organization that publishes him. It's supposed to be a media watchdog, not a place for right-wing rants, which would seem to jeopardize the Media Research Center's nonprofit tax status.
Perhaps Finkelstein should stick to media issues, like whether Matt Lauer is secretly showing support for Palestinians by wearing a scarf.
The liberal St. Louis Post-Dispatch has bowed to the "Fire George Will" folks and discontinued his syndicated column after he wrote about liberal universities now being pressed to stem an alleged tide of campus sexual assault. They're switching to big-government conservative Michael Gerson, the former chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush.
Gotta love all the unsupported assertions in that paragraph. How does Graham know the Post-Dispatch is liberal? Does the fact that it published Will and will publish Gerson suggest otherwise?
Graham's assertion that Will's column targeted "liberal universities" (how does Graham know those universities are liberal?) over "an alleged tide of campus sexual assault" glosses over the offending claim Will made: that being a sexual assault victim is somehow a "coveted status."
Finally, Graham whines that Gerson is a "big-government conservative" with, yes, no supporting evidence nor an explanation of how Gerson's purported view is any different from Will's.
Conservative media criticism, ladies and gentlemen.
NewsBusters Unhappy People Coming To Logical Conclusion On False-Claim Lawsuit Topic: NewsBusters
Gabriel Malor writes in a June 17 NewsBusters post:
Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List should be allowed to challenge in court an Ohio state law that criminalizes making false statements in an election campaign. The law, which subjects individuals and groups to costly litigation, fines, and even jail time if they can't defend their political speech to bureaucrats and judges, was used in 2010 to intimidate billboard owners into rejecting the pro-life group's election advertising. The question of whether “somebody should be able to get into federal court,” in the words of Justice Kagan at oral argument, united both the left and right wings of the high Court given the obvious and repellent injury to free speech rights.
Although it said that Susan B. Anthony List should have its day in court, the Court did not rule on the underlying merits of Ohio's false statements law. But that's not how left-wing commentators saw it. Immediately mischaracterizing the decision as endorsing a "right to lie," writers from across the Left used the decision to smear Susan B. Anthony List, in particular, and the political right, in general, as liars.
Malor ignores the fact that if you are fighting against a law that penalizes false political claims, as the Susan B. Anthony is, the conclusion is logical and inescapable that the SBA List wants to be able to spread falsehoods with impunity.
Melor also fails to explain what's so onerous about having to prove the truth of your words.
Seton Motley Misleads About Net Neutrality Again Topic: NewsBusters
Seton Motley has longmisled about net neutrality, and he does so again in a barely coherent June 16 NewsBusters rant, in which he targets HBO's John Oliver for explaining the subject in a manner of which Motley does not approve:
Oliver doesn't explain Net Neutrality - he gets it fundamentally wrong.
Oliver’s segment was start-to-finish Leftist rote. Unwittingly I’m guessing, he’s carrying the water of the Internet’s bandwidth hogs. Particularly video-streaming companies like Netflix, Google (who owns YouTube) - and, perhaps, movie channel HBO? - who want the government to mandate that they get a free ride for being bandwidth hogs.
And Oliver omits a panoply of contravening information.
Oliver begins his piece by incorrectly asserting that huge-bandwidth-using-companies paying for the bandwidth they use is the creation of an Internet “fast lane.” Thus leaving the rest of us consigned to the “slow lane.”
Only there will be no such thing. What Oliver and Company report as brand new “fast lanes”- are in fact regular lane deals that have existed as long as has the Internet. It is all a part of what is called peering.
The words "fast lane" and "slow lane" are the total extent to which Motley quotes Oliver, which poses a problem in Motley trying to disprove Oliver -- and a sign that Motley will be building straw men instead of engaging in a actual discussion.
Motley also undermines himself by including in one of his links showing how "pseudo-news pseudo-consumers were thrilled" a substantive debunking of the point he's trying to make, a Slate piece by Marvin Ammori.
Motley takes particular umbrage at Netflix over the peering, or interconnection, issue:
Netflix for years had no problem paying middle men for their monster bandwidth use - companies like Level 3 and Cogent. Who are Internet Service Providers (ISPs) - just for these guys rather than us.
Then it occurred to Netflix that it made more business sense to cut out these middle men - and deal directly with our ISPs.
Except Netflix suddenly, disingenuously claimed these very ordinary deals were Net Neutrality violations.
But again, Netflix has always paid someone for their bandwidth hoggishness (as well they should). The only thing new here is their trying to get the government to mandate they no longer have to.
Ammori debunks this idea, responding to a critic named Jon Healey who had made claims similar to Motley's:
Interconnection is a term referring to where and how Comcast’s network connects to the network carrying Netflix’s traffic. This connection is necessary for Comcast users to watch Netflix. Netflix claims that Comcast (and apparently Verizon and others) deliberately congest these connections to force Netflix and other companies to pay Comcast (and Verizon). John Oliver suggested—based on these facts of Netflix’s speeds on different networks—that Comcast and others would have the incentive to make websites work poorly to force them to pay.
But you don’t have to know what interconnection is to realize Healey is being misleading. If you watch the video, you’ll notice Oliver never says the Comcast-Netflix dispute is a network neutrality issue. But, if he had, he would have been in good company. As a matter of fact, not spin, the net neutrality proposal actually includes questions on interconnection (and other things Wheeler opposes, like Title II, protecting mobile users, and banning discrimination). That suggests that interconnection has at least something, not “nothing,” to do with net neutrality. Plus, as I explain here, the net neutrality legal orders have repeatedly rested on interconnection concerns from 2005 through 2010, including for their jurisdictional authority in key decisions. Oh, and the lawyers at Netflix, Level 3, Cogent, and ... the major Internet companies ... all believe that the interconnection is part of this debate and have filed legal arguments about it in the FCC's net neutrality docket. So clearly interconnection has something to do with net neutrality. Healey is just repeating the FCC chairman's talking points that interconnection is not related to net neutrality.
Ammori notes that "John Oliver joined the huge chorus that consists of just about everyone except the phone and cable giants, politicians opposed to anything Obama supports, and the FCC chairman." Add Seton Motley to that list.
MRC's Graham Upset Planned Parenthood Leader Makes Slightly More Than His Boss Does Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham complains in a June 5 NewsBusters post:
Planned Parenthood likes to paint itself as a crucial provider of affordable women's health care to the poor. But it also aids the rich. JillStanek.com reports that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s 2012 IRS Form 990 shows that CEO Cecile Richards made over one-half million dollars – $523,616 – for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2013.
In fact, for that 2012 reporting period, PPFA’s 12-member executive team tallied a combined income of $3.87 million.
When questioned about it, Richards has replied “None of my salary is paid for by the federal government.” But if “[n]early half of Planned Parenthood patients rely on Medicaid coverage,” as Planned Parenthood claims, does Richards think she’d draw checks that big if government funding of more than $500 million a year were removed from Planned Parenthood’s total revenue of $1.2 billion?
What Graham won't tell you: Richards' salary is something of a bargain.
Compare Richards' salary to that of Graham's boss, Brent Bozell, who in 2011 made a whopping $422,804 for managing a tiny fraction of the revenue -- the MRC had $11 million in assets at the end of 2010.
It seems that, if anything, an argument can be made that Richards is underpaid. And by the same standard of salary vs. revenue, Bozell is grossly overpaid. Not that Graham will ever admit it, of course -- after all, it took a round of public shaming before Graham to finally receive credit for writing Bozell's syndicated column after years in the shadows.
Last night on FNC’s The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly sat down in an exclusive interview with six soldiers who served with Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.
When Kelly asked them about accusations floating around that they’re just engaging in “swiftboating” and “playing politics” by speaking out, the men voiced their frustration. One soldier told her, “I don’t know how he [Bergdahl] felt about us, but we would all die for him and he left.”
It was a remarkable reaction from the men Bergdahl left behind. It was clear earlier in the discussion that their frustration with Bergdahl isn’t necessarily one of anger at him, but of concern for why he felt the need to leave them all behind, something thse men pointed out is not what a soldier of “honor and distinction” would do.
Bergdahl’s platoon leader made the point that speaking out about Bergdahl leaving has nothing to do with politics, but everything to do with wanting to know the truth behind why he left.
But Seal leaves out one important fact: Those platoon members are working through a Republican operative to get on TV.
Richard Grenell and his public relations firm have been coordinating interviews for the soldiers, including the ones who appeared on Kelly's show. Buzzfeed reports that Grenell has "played a key role in publicizing critics of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl."
That seems to be a fact worth noting. But apparently, Seal and NewsBusters didn't think so because it interfered with the right-wing media's narrative that Bergdahl is a deserter, never mind that Bergdahl has not had a chance to tell his side of the story.
NewsBusters Fooled By Fake Seth Rogen Twitter Account Topic: NewsBusters
Jeffrey Lord dedicated a May 31 NewsBusters post to attacking actor Seth Rogen for allegedly issuing a tweet in 2012 bashing Mitt Romney. Why do that? To claim hypocrisy over Rogen's outrage over Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday for suggesting Rogen's films may have inspired mass killer Elliot Rodger: "So in other words, Rogen, who now finds Hornaday’s article 'horribly insulting and misinformed' was himself out there in 2012 making a 'horribly insulting and misinformed' charge against Mitt Romney."
Just one problem: Rogen didn't actually make the Twitter post Lord criticized. As Mediaite details, it came from a Rogen parody Twitter account. The real Rogen, meanwhile, is mocking NewsBusters for the stupid mistake.
Lord has now appended a correction to his post, which is still alive even though the entire premise wasfraudulent:
Seth Rogen has “parody” twitter accounts. And he’s upset with me because I mistakenly quoted one of them as real. He has called me an “idiot.” The source where I found this originally - and duly and deliberately linked - was the lefty MoveOn. MoveOn was apparently fooled by the “Real Seth” parody, which in turn fooled me, although in fact the parody was well out there. MoveOn having long ago become a parody I was quite happy to link it. So the notion that a Hollywood liberal would simply parrot this Romney/Klan story was all too easy to believe. But in fact, it was a parody. Our apologies for the error.
Lord, normally a writer for the right-wing American Spectator, is best known for insisting that a black man beaten to death in segregation-era Georgia wasn't technically "lynched" because his assailants didn't hang him and there weren't enough of them to form a proper mob. Lord stood by his article even as his AmSpec compatriots wouldn't defend him.
MRC's Graham Doesn't Want The Ugly Truth Reported About A Republican Topic: NewsBusters
As we've amplydocumented, the Media Research Center's ongoing "Tell the Truth!" campaign doesn't apply to unflattering news about its favored conservatives.
Tim Graham demonstrates this hypocrisy yet again in a May 17 NewsBusters post in which he complains that Politico is reporting the facts about conservative Oregon Senate candidate Monica Wehby:
Politico’s helping the Democrats wage war on women candidates right before the U.S. Senate primary in Oregon. First, John Bresnahan reported “GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby was accused by her ex-boyfriend last year of ‘stalking’ him, entering his home without his permission and ‘harassing’ his employees, according to a Portland, Oregon police report.”
Wehby (pronounced "Webby") led incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) in one poll, so perhaps the liberals want to defeat her in the primary. Then Politico obtained a 911 call from Miller so they could call it the "Wehby saga," in which he said he was going to get a restraining order:
Liberal media types love to pound tables and complain about how the Supreme Court has allowed wealthy donors to make politics more brutal with negative ads. But what does Politico say when it's the wealthy media outlet sliming a candidate and their personal life?
At no point does Graham counter any of Politico's reporting -- he's merely complaining that facts are being reported.All Graham can do is complain that Politico's "running around and obtaining police reports and 911 calls looks a little like the way the Chicago Tribune cleared the path for Barack Obama to get elected to the Senate in 2004." Graham noted nothing inaccurate in that reporting either.
Further, this seems to be a pattern with Wehby -- she has also been accused of harrassing her ex-husband as they were divorcing.
Perhaps Graham should be grateful that the truth is coming out now instead of closer to a general election.
NewsBusters Frets That Bush Might Airbrush Bush Out Of Afghanistan (Which Is What CNS Has Done) Topic: NewsBusters
In a May 6 NewsBusters post, Jack Coleman grumbles that a documentary on the 1970 Kent State killings didn't mention Lyndon Johnson (even though he had been out of office for more than a year at the time of the shootings). Coleman huffed, "It was like watching a documentary on President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan -- without a single appearance by George W. Bush. If and when CNN makes that documentary, Bush will be the primary figure, followed by Obama heroically bringing the troops home."
But airbrushing Bush out of the war in Afghanistan is exactly what NewsBusters' sister organization, CNSNews.com, has done. CNS has touted how U.S. casualties in Afghanistan went up under Obama while not mentioning the far higher U.S. casualities in Iraq under Bush, or that Bush essentially abandoned Afghanistan to concentrate on the war in Iraq, allowing the Taliban to rebuild and necessitating a larger troop presence under Obama.
Yet we have not seen Coleman complain about CNS' Afghan coverage. Funny, that.
NewsBusters' Blumer Unhappy That White House Was Allowed To Respond To An Attack Topic: NewsBusters
One of the standard Media Research Center liberal-media tropes is claiming that the media covers only one side of an issue. For some MRC employees, covering one side of a story is OK as long as it's the side of the story they want covered.
Among those MRC employees is Tom Blumer. He starts going wrong in an April 30 NewsBusters post by insisting that Sharyl Attkisson is a "credible" and "authoritative" source on the Benghazi so-called scandal. Indeed, the big Attkisson "scoop" that Blumer regurgitates -- that a newly released memo proves "reveal direct White House involvement in steering the public narrative about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, toward that of a spontaneous protest that never happened" -- is pretty meaningless. As Media Matters and David Weigel note, the memo merely shows that the White House agreed with the CIA's early assessment that an inflammatory video touched off the Benghazi attack, is consistent with other intelligence briefings at the time, and that the memo was about the anti-American protests occurring in the region at the time, not just Benghazi.
Blumer then write: "Naturally, Poltico didn't run a story on this until this morning so it could present the White House's defense. It's here, if you can stand it." Apparently, it's a bad thing for a reporter to give Democratic White House to be given an opportunity to respond to something in the news.
We suspect Blumer would be praising Politico if the White House it delayed its article for was headed by a Republican.
Politico's David Nather must have thought he was so clever. Here's how he opened a recent column: "It can happen to anyone, right? You rally behind a guy ... and suddenly he’s spewing racist bile and boy, does it splash on your face." Yes, I left out a few words, and I'll get to that. But before providing them, the quote just rendered would apply to how those at Los Angeles branch of the NAACP must feel about their now-withdrawn but not forgotten plan to confer a lifetime achievement award on Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling, who has been caught on tape allegedly telling a woman that she shouldn't "associate with black people" or have blacks accompany her to Clippers games.
Let's revise Nather's blather a bit for another comic circumstance: "It can happen to anyone, right? You rally behind a guy because he comes over to your side on climate change, and suddenly he’s arrested in 'a 20-count federal indictment that includes charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and tax fraud.' Boy, does it splash on your face." Now I'm talking about the fools at Organizing For Action, who celebrated the "breakthrough" of having GOP Congressman Michael Grimm come over to their side mere days before his indictment, which occurred today.
These two far more damning examples demonstrate what a fool Nather was Thursday evening as he tried to tar Republicans who were expressing single-issue sympathy for Cliven Bundy in his ongoing battle with Uncle Sam's Bureau of Land Management with Bundy's later race-based remarks[.]
With its award, the LA NAACP was embracing Donald Sterling in his entirety. OFA cast Congressman Grimm as a supposedly shining example of political courage. With rare exceptions, those who have opined on the Cliven Bundy situation have expressed no such unvarnished support, but have limited their advocacy to objecting to the Bureau of Land Management's heavy-handed tactics and to the idea that Bundy and his family might deserve to continue to conduct their business as they have.
In other words, the Sterling and Grimm situations are steeped in embarrassing hypocrisy. The Bundy situation isn't.
I hope that crow you're eating tastes good, David Nather. I hear that lathering it with barbecue sauce covers up a little of the bitterness.
Of course, as we noted, Blumer himself was engaging in some serious guilt-by-association just a day earlier when he was highlighting the Democratic donations of apparently racist Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
It can happen to anyone, right? You castigate a racist because he donated money to Democrats 20 years ago, and suddenly he turns out to be a registered Republican. Boy, does it splash on your face.
Better keep that bottle of BBQ sauce out for your own helping of crow, Mr. Blumer. We recommend the pride of Kansas City, Arthur Bryant's.
NewsBusters, WND Desperately Play Guilt-By-Association With Racist NBA Owner Topic: NewsBusters
It's almost as if the right-wing media is following the same set of talking points.
Both NewsBusters' Tom Blumer and WorldNetDaily's Joe Kovacs have basically written the same article highlighting the fact that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling -- currently in hot water for allegedly making racist statements -- once donated to Democrats.
Both have to concede, however, that Sterling's donations to Democratic candidates came more than 20 years ago. Not that it stops their desperate guilt-by-association, of course.
Blumer at least appears to be aware he's peddling a desperate line of partisan bull:
What kind of crazy, reactionary mindset would cause an owner who works in an industry dominated by black players to have such opinions and feelings? The evidence is admittedly thin and a bit dated, but to the extent it exists, that answer is, apparently, "one who supports and donates to liberal Democrats[.]"
As noted, this is not definitive evidence of Sterling's current political leanings. But if the Clippers' owner had a 20 year-old record of donating to Republican candidates, it would not only be included in mainstream media stories about the controversy; it would also be considered prima facie evidence of racism.
Kovacs presumably knows he's peddling partisan bull, but he's too much of a WND loyalist to admit it. He quickly mentions that "Sterling donated $6,000, with no activity since the early 1990s," then moved on.
But Kovacs' and Blumer's guilt by association is all for naught: Turns out Sterling is a registered Republican. Will they ever get around to noting this inconvenient fact?
MRC Glosses Over RNC Spokesman's Falsehood Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center is a de facto arm of the Republican Party, so it's no surprise that it would gloss over a falsehood told by a Republican spokesman.
In an April 25 NewsBusters post, MRC news analyst Matt Hadro claimed that Republican National Committee Sean Spicer "flayed the media for its double standard over Republican and Democratic controversies, on CNN on Friday morning," claiming "that the media had largely ignored Democratic Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, whose campaign recently tweeted – and then deleted – a link to an article likening black Republican voters to Jews working with Nazis."
But that's not what Spicer said. As the transcript Hadro supplies makes clear, Spicer said that "Pat Quinn, the Democratic governor of Illinois, the President's home state, made Jewish -- anti-Semitic Jewish and black comments."
There's a huge difference between Quinn's campaign tweeting a link to a columnist making an outrageous comparison -- which is what actually happened, as fellow NewsBuster Tom Blumer concurs -- and Quinn himself making "anti-Semitic Jewish and black comments," which clearly did not happen.
Rather than call Spicer out for his blatant falsehood, Hadro reinterprets it to what he thinks Spicer might have meant. That's what passes for media criticism at the MRC.