NewsBusters Makes Anti-Obama Screed Quietly Disappear Topic: NewsBusters
Mark Finkelstein used a Aug. 20 NewsBusters post to promote an anti-Obama screed:
Weak Sauce: Obama White House 'Appalled' By ISIS Beheading of Journalist
"Appalled"? Really? Gee, why didn't President Obama go all out and announce that he was "dismayed" by the ISIS beheading of an American journalist. Was "appalled" really the strongest reaction this administration could muster? Apparently, yes. Here was the White House statement: "we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist, and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends."
Let's try out a statement that an American president who truly represented our nation's values and interests might have issued: "The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them." Oh, wait. Can't have that. That was the statement that President George W. Bush delivered on September 11, 2001. More after the jump.
Guess President Obama didn't want to incite or offend the terrorists. So rather than expressing anger and the determination to avenge this murder, Obama contents himself with such weak sauce. That's not how you deal with and defeat terrorists. Will this president ever figure that out?
A day later, however, Finkelstein's screed disappeared. Why? Perhaps because it was so blatantly partisan, and such partisan activity violates the tax-exempt status of its parent, the Media Research Center -- something the MRC occasionally has troubleunderstanding.
NewsBusters didn't explain any of that to its readers, though -- it simply deleted Finkelstein's post without explanation or apology, and the URL for the post returns only an "Access denied" message. Talk about weak sauce.
It's still in Bing cache, though, so read it while you can. Oh, and here's a screenshot for posterity:
NewsBusters Ignores Simple Facts, Fails At Being A Limbaugh Apologist Topic: NewsBusters
The folks at the Media Research Center are seemingly contractually obligated to defend whatever Rush Limbaugh says, no matter how offensive -- which would explain why so many MRC employees endorsed his disgusting attacks on Sandra Fluke.
Lesser Limbaugh offenses, meanwhile, get a more full-throated defense. Witness Randy Hall's Aug. 14 NewsBusters post (emphasis is his):
It's always interesting when liberals and members of the mainstream media think they've caught conservative icon Rush Limbaugh making an inappropriate comment during his three-hour weekday radio program. Even though almost none of them bother to actually listen to his remarks, the outrage flies from online posters and news outlets across the country.
This was the case on Tuesday, when Limbaugh's discussion of the suicide by beloved comedian Robin Williams was misquoted to say that the iconic actor killed himself because of a leftist worldview.
Curiously missing from Hall's post, however, is any direct quote of Limbaugh's original remarks on Williams. Hall is simply regurgitating Limbaugh's complaint -- as so often happens when he gets called out for saying something he shouldn't have -- that he was misquoted and/or taken out of context by the liberal media.
Thus, Hall's readers will never know that Limbaugh did, in fact, link Williams' suicide to a "leftist worldview," claiming that Williams' alleged survivor's guilt over several of his friends who died young "is a constant measurement that is made by political leftists in judging the country."
Hall concludes that claiming that "liberals fail to understand the bond between Limbaugh and his listeners, who have remained loyal during the radio host's ups and downs since 1988." Given that Hall took Limbaugh's defensive remarks at face value rather than bothering to examine what Limbaugh actually said, that bond apparently includes ignoring clear facts in order to maintain a cult of personality.
NewsBusters Endorses Attack On Sharpton Featuring Vile Racial Slur Topic: NewsBusters
A former basketball player hurled a vile racial slur at Al Sharpton, and NewsBusters has no problem with it.
NewsBusters' Randy Hall was so unbothered by it, in fact, that he put it right in the headline of his Aug. 14 post: "Sharpton Hits Back at Critic Who Called Him 'Coon' for Seeking Publicity After Ferguson Shooting."
So unbothered was Hall by this racial slur that he went on to endorse the message of the critic -- onetime NBA star Gilbert Arenas, best known for the gun obsession that got him suspended from the Washington Wizards --that Sharpton is "a publicity-seeking 'coon'" and even bolded the word in his excerpt of Arenas' rant:
That initial reaction came from Gilbert Arenas, a former guard for the Washington Wizards National Basketball Association team, who begged Brown's family to leave Sharpton out of the situation because “Caesar the monkey” or a character from the Planet of the Apes series “could get them better justice.”
Arenas then continued his race-tainted rant by stating that “the stats also show Al 'coon' sharpton has not helped one situation he has protested at; he actually made it worst [sic] and because of him, the jury goes the other way (think about it).”
He also pointed to other situations in which Sharpton's involvement had a negative impact, including the Jena Six -- black teenagers convicted in the 2006 beating of a white student at Jena High School in Louisiana -- whom Sharpton defended even after they were found guilty.
The athlete also discussed the minister's involvement in the Trayvon Martin case, when the teenager was shot by George Zimmerman, a Hispanic man who was later acquitted of any crimes in the incident.
“The list goes way back,” Arenas added, because Sharpton is “lookn for attention; what u said at trayvon's rally, #enoughisenough; ur right, we're tired of u PRETENDING.”
So unbothered was Hall by Arenas' vile racial slur that the only criticism he could muster was that Arenas' rant was "race-tainted." At no point did he mention the fact that "coon" is a vile slur that has no place in civilized debate.
Such insensitivity is part for the course at the Media Research Center, which has also found nothing wrong with Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" or Mark Levin calling Mary Landrieu a "whore."
Tim Graham Transgender Freakout Watch Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham has been on quite the roll lately when it comes to freaking out about transgenders. He's in freakout mode once again in a July 27 NewsBusters post railing at the New York Times for treating transgenders as if they had basic human rights:
In the same Friday New York Times in which “conservative firebrand” Dinesh D’Souza was dissected and a “conservative script” was honed to “light fire on abortion,” the social leftists pushing transgender issues were never identified as liberal or leftist. This time, the venue for gender delusion was a Quaker college in Oregon.
Forget the science. The dictatorship of relativism is bearing down. A person's gender is utterly dependent on what they feel like being. A caption on Friday explained: “Jaycen, a George Fox University student who identifies as male, wants to live next year with a group of male friends; however, the college considers him a woman and turned down his request.”
Now what if someone took this same argument and made it about race? As in: I was "assigned whiteness" at birth, but I feel like I should be black based on my "lived experience" pretending to be what I am not? Jaycen is supposedly more male because she's into "the video game Call to Duty and listening to R&B and hip hop." Could it be discriminatory not to allow people who "identify as black" into black colleges or affirmative action programs, as the "identify as women" advocates push their way into women's colleges?
There's not one sliver of space in this politically correct story for the idea that the "LGBTQ" agenda is completely at odds with Christianity and other major global religions, and that to force this sinful agenda on religious institutions is a breach of religious liberty, which seems to be one of the Obama administration's goals.
What does Obama have to do with this? Nothing that we can see, beyond Graham inadvertently exposing the Media Research Center's agenda to be less about "media research" and more about partisan politics, which the MRC's nonprofit tax status theoretically forbids.
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.