MRC's Graham Thinks It's Lame To Report That Bush Did Same Thing Obama Is Accused Of Doing Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham titled a May 15 NewsBusters post "NPR Legal Reporter Lamely Tries to Spread Bush Into the AP Phone-tapping Scandal." He continues:
NPR legal correspondent Carrie Johnson reported on the IRS scandal on Tuesday’s Morning Edition displaying an urgent need to spread some Bush administration into the story. First she mentioned a 2004 FBI probe that improperly acquired phone records from New York Times and Washington Post reporters without going through proper channels.
Then she concluded with how the last secret subpoena for a reporter’s phone records came in 2001.
Graham never explains exactly what is so "lame" about reporting facts. The implication, of course, is that history throws a wrench into the right-wing narrative that Obama is History's Greatest Monster for doing the exact thing his Republican predecessor did.
NewsBusters: Jose Antonio Vargas 'Has No Rght to Complain' Topic: NewsBusters
Suddently, NewsBusters has suddenly become the arbiter of who can and cannot speak on the subject of immigration.
In a May 9 post, Paul Bremmer unloads on Jose Antonio Vargas, whom he describes as a "former Washington Post reporter and liberal activist who happens to be both gay AND an undocumented immigrant." As you might suspect, that deadly combination disqualifies Vargas from speaking about immigration:
Someone call him a shrink, because he's confusing a cable network for a therapy couch.
I don’t know why this guy is griping. He should just be thankful that the U.S. government allowed him to stay in this country after he revealed his illegal immigrant status in 2011. Vargas has been allowed to live out his dream as a journalist and immigration activist, even winning a Pulitzer Prize, all while trying to smooth the pathway to citizenship for illegals like him. He has no right to complain that our laws currently do not cater to gay illegal aliens.
And Vargas doubly has no right to speak about gay civil rights, at least not without someone sitting next to him telling him he's going to hell and destroying the country:
Vargas asserted: “The country has moved on when it comes to gay marriage, same-sex marriage. How are we moving on in terms of immigration?”
Vargas’s idea of “moving on” involves accepting gay marriage as normal and rewarding those who reside in this country illegally with citizenship. But there are many voices in this country who disagree with that particular notion of societal progress. MSNBC should have balanced Vargas with such a voice.
But wait, the gay immigration activist was not done kvetching.
And neither is Bremmer. After Vargas noted that people think that because he is an undocumented Hispanic immigration it's assumed that he "crossed the border" from Mexico, Bremmer resumed his kvetch-fest:
I guess this is another nuisance in the life of an illegal immigrant. People assume that because Vargas is an illegal alien, he is Mexican. (He’s actually Filipino.) Obviously, not every illegal immigrant crossed our southern border -- many are visa overstays -- and border crossings have declined a bit in recent years. But according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 59 percent of undocumented immigrants in 2011 were from Mexico, a country which itself has rather stringent border security laws to prevent immigration on its southern border.
Federal officials should not be distracted by illegal Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants, who, according to Vargas, make up “a full million of the 11 million undocumented population.” That is not a large proportion of the illegal population. Our southern neighbor is still our greatest supplier of illegal immigrants, so the focus on border security is well warranted.
What MSNBC served up in the Vargas interview was not analysis; it's just good old-fashioned liberal activism thinly and cynically disguised as journalism.
And what Bremmer served up is some good old-fashioned bigotry and right-wing ranting that most definitely is not analysis.
MRC's Graham Mocks Poll He Doesn't Agree With Topic: NewsBusters
Feel the condescension in Tim Graham's May 11 NewsBusters post mocking a poll finding support for letting gays join the Boy Scouts:
ABC and the Washington Post are happy to join the war on the Boy Scouts, pushing every church in America that sponsors a Scout troop to alter their Bibles for the gay agenda. The Post headline on Saturday was "Poll: Most Americans support lifting ban on gay Boy Scouts."
The pollsters did not ask if Americans would also like ending the "bans" in other American social organizations and faith groups. Why can't avid barbecuers join PETA? Freedom of association -- whoever said that was an American principle?
"Catholics" -- at least those saying they were -- favored the gay agenda: "Opposition to banning gay scout leaders ranges by religious group and along well-worn political fault lines. A 56 percent majority of Catholics oppose the continued ban on gay scout masters, a number that rises to 75 percent among people who identify as atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular. By contrast, Protestants are closely divided, 49 percent supporting and 47 percent opposing the ban on gay scout leaders."
Gotta love the scare quotes around "Catholic," as if he was the arbiter of who and who isn't Catholic.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Softball Questions Topic: NewsBusters
Kyle Drennen uses a May 6 NewsBusters post to complain that NBC's David Gregory was tossing "softballs" in an interview with Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
Yet just five hours later, NewsBusters executive editor was lobbing softballs of his own in an interview with anti-abortion activist Marjorie Dannenfelser. Here are some of the questions tossed Dannenfelser's way:
Why do liberals like to regulate everything in existence except for abortion clinics?
What do you think is the reason that there is such reluctance to cover [the Kermit Gosnell trial]?
Tell us a bit about “3801 Lancaster,” the documentary that you guys have been showing up on Capitol Hill.
Yep, hard-hitting stuff. How can NewsBusters complain about others lobbing softball questions when it does the exact same thing?
Telling the Truth Got Us Banned From NewsBusters Topic: NewsBusters
What's a good way to get yourself kicked out of the NewsBusters comment thread? Tell the truth.
On May 3, Matthew Sheffield wrote a NewsBusters post headlined "Top Magazine Award Given for Fraudulently Edited ‘47 Percent’ Video." Shortly thereafter, the headline was rewritten without explanation to change "Fraudulently Edited" to "Journalistically Questionable." Here's a screenshot from a Google search for the original headline to prove that it did indeed exist, however briefly:
We pointed out the headline change in a comment on the post, which was quickly deleted without explanation.
Sheffield's post criticized the awarding of a magazine award to Mother Jones magazine for its release of the surreptitiously recorded Mitt Romney "47 percent" video. Sheffield claimed that Mother Jones showed "dishonesty" in claiming he had posted the entire video when there was an approximate 2-minute gap due to the recorder being inadvertently turned off. Sheffield then recounted an unproven right-wing conspiracy theory that "the gap in the recording was made during post-production." Sheffield concluded that "In light of all of the above information, it is quite clear that David Corn and Mother Jones should not be given an award for their release of the Romney 47 percent video."
But right-wing videographers have a much deeper -- and documented -- history of selectively editing videos:
James O'Keefe has a history of promoting false claims through his selectively edited undercover videos.
Lila Rose's anti-Planned Parenthood campaign is littered with selectively edited videos that suggest claims not supported by the full video (which, of course, is released some time afterwards).
When we pointed this on in the comment thread, our comments were deleted shortly afterwards. When we asked why our comments were being deleted, we were locked out of the thread, and that comment was deleted as well. See all those "This comment was deleted" statements? Those were ours.
To our knowledge, we did not violate NewsBusters commenting guidelines, nor did we engage in abusive or trolling behavior. There may be, however, some double-secret guidelines prohibiting any criticism or truth-telling about conservatives -- and that's where we may have gotten into trouble.
We've contacted NewsBusters for an explantion but have not received any response. But given that the Media Research Center's primemission the past couple years has been to shout down or censor any criticism of a conservative in the media, no matter how accurate, that may be all the explanation we'll get.
Censoring someone for telling the truth runs counter to the MRC's campaign of attacking others for alleged censorship. Such blatant hypocrisy hurts the MRC's credibility as well, but since when has it been worried about that?
MRC Upset CNN Described Historic Event As Historic Topic: NewsBusters
Matt Hadro devotes an April 29 NewsBusters post to complaining that "After NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay on Monday, CNN hyped the announcement as a 'bombshell,' a 'big deal,' and one for the 'history books.'" Hadro didn't explain why Collins' coming out is not historic.
Hadro also complained that "CNN's open support of gay rights advocates is no secret, as it has already picked sides in the gay rights debate." But Hadro's main job at the Media Research Center is to be upset every time a gay person is not disparaged on CNN, so he would say something like that.
NewsBusters Decides: Only Positive Things Should Be Reported About Bush Topic: NewsBusters
Apparently, the media was not supposed to say anything bad about President Bush on the occasion of his presidential library dedication -- the folks at NewsBusters had a fit any time the media strayed from being less than fawningly positive.
Jeffrey Meyer set the narrative: "Previewing the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on Thursday, rather than positively reflect on the legacy of the Bush presidency, MSNBC unsurprisingly chose to mock and minimize his eight years in office." In short, no criticism of Bush was going to be tolerated (like it ever has been at the MRC).
Kyle Drennen complained that "On the eve of the dedication of George W. Bush's presidential library, NBC's Meet the Press moderator David Gregory appeared on Wednesday's Nightly News to tear down the former president's legacy, beginning the report by remarking that it was 'difficult to remember' Bush's popularity after the September 11th attacks."
Paul Bremmer huffed about "the media’s rampant anti-Bush attitude" and how an ABC reporter unleashed "an onslaught of negative questioning" about Bush to Karl Rove. Bremmer added:
What’s more, President Bush’s reputation is already on the mend. A recent ABC News / Washington Post poll showed that Bush’s job approval rating has risen from 33 percent when he left office to 47 percent now. So if anything, the “early indication” is that history may end up being kinder to President Bush than many of today’s commentators are.
Bremmer seems to have overlooked the fact that Bush has not been president for four years, so perhaps that "job approval rating" is an expression of approval that he wasn't doing it.
Tim Graham also got in on the act, asserting that the Bush Library dedication should have only been about "dignity":
One might think the opening of George W. Bush’s presidential library in Dallas was an occasion for dignity. But Bill Clinton didn’t think so. On CNN yesterday, Jake Tapper asked former Bush chief of staff Andy Card about “an interesting moment” in Clinton’s remarks.
What's so dignified about demanding that only positive things be reported about Bush?
MRC's Graham Pretends Frank Luntz Isn't Really A Republican Topic: NewsBusters
When Republican pollster Frank Luntz was surretitiously recorded saying that right-wing radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin were "problematic" for the future of the GOP, you'd think it might stir a little soul-searching for the folks at the Media Research Center.
Fat chance. Tim Graham's response, in an April 25 NewsBusters post, is to pretend Luntz isn't really a Republican.
Graham's headline refers to "'GOP' Pollster Frank Luntz" -- yes, "GOP" is in scare quotes -- and he asserts that Luntz is "denounced as too conservative by liberals when he turns up on liberal networks." But that's utterly dishonest -- Graham's fellow NewsBusters haverepeatedlytouted Luntz's Republican ties.
Meanwhile, the MRC is too closely in bed with the right-wing radio figures Luntz criticized for Graham ever to bad-mouth them. Recall that MRC chief Brent Bozell launched an "I Stand With Rush" website last year rather than issue any meaningful criticism of Limbaugh's three-day misogynistic tirade against Sandra Fluke. And the MRC is currenly paying Levin to promote its anti-media campaign on his radio show.
Graham is too much of a company man to even consider biting the hand that feed him -- and he's too much of an ideologue to do anything other than fragging friendly critics simply for daring to criticize.
In an April 4 NewsBusters post, Ryan Robertson referenced "the $529 million loan guarantee" received by the troubled electric car maker Fisker, adding that "The saga all began in 2009 when the Obama administration handed out $1 billion worth of loans to two electric car manufacturers, Fisker and Tesla." Both claims are misleading to the point of being false.
As Media Matters points out, Fisker received only $193 million of that $529 million. An update to Robertson's post sort of acknowledges that, though it's not clearly explained.
Robertson's assertion that "saga all began in 2009" is false. In fact, according to Media Matters, the program under which Fisker received federal money was signed into existence by President Bush in 2007, and it was funded under legislation signed by Bush in 2008. Further, it was Bush officials, not Obama officials, who encouraged Fisker to apply for a loan under the program.
UPDATE: An April 25 NewsBusters post by Geoffrey Dickens stated of Fisker: "The Obama administration has flushed almost $200 million of the American taxpayer's money down the drain on another green company failure." He failed to mention the Bush administration's role in the Fisker loan.
NewsBusters Repeats Bogus Claim About Carjacked Mercedes With 'Coexist' Sticker Topic: NewsBusters
Jack Coleman writes in the midst of a Rachel Maddow-bashing rant in an April 22 NewsBusters post:
In fairness to MSNBC viewers, I doubt that most of them and a majority of the network's former primetime hosts are at risk of becoming jihadist bombers. I am equal confident, however, that many MSNBC viewers have adorned a bumper on their vehicle with a "Co-exist" bumper sticker -- like the one placed on the Mercedes allegedly carjacked by the Tsarnaev brothers.
Maybe the brothers saw the sticker, maybe they didn't, but I hope this detail gets pinned down at Tsarnaev's trial, regardless of where it's held. The owner of the vehicle was sending a message with that sticker, along the lines of -- let's all get along, shall we? That's not how the sticker would be interpreted by predators like the Tsarnaevs. Their reading of it would be this -- unarmed driver who won't put up a fight.
Just one little problem: It's not true. The carjacked Mercedes did not have a "Coexist" bumper sticker on it.
Sorry to interrupt your Maddow-bashing with the facts, Jack.
NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard spent part of his weekend being fascinated by the tweets of Donald Trump.
Sheppard devoted an April 20 post to highlighting a Trump tweet asking, "Is the Boston killer eligible for Obama Care to bring him back to health?" Sheppard added that "Alas, many of Trump's followers didn't see the humor in this and voiced their displeasure." Actually, it's Sheppard and Trump who missed the humor: As severl Twitter followers responded, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, since he lives in Massachusetts, would be eligible for care under the health care plan put into place under former governor -- and 2012 Republican presidential candidate with prominent backing from Trump -- Mitt Romney.
The next day, Sheppard highlighted another tweet from Trump, this time asking, "What do you think of water boarding the Boston killer sometime prior to allowing our doctors to make him well? I suspect he may talk!" Sheppard did not voice his disapproval at either tweet.
By contrast, Sheppard completely ignored another, even more controversial tweet from Trump the same weekend. As Wonkette details, Trump rebutted a follower who complained about his views on the Central Park 5 case by retorting, "Tell me, what were they doing in the Park, playing checkers?"
In fact, the suspects who were originally convicted of raping a jogger in Central Park were exonerated were exonerated and released from prison after another person confessed to the crime. Trump later deleted the tweet.
Funny that Sheppard didn't want to interrupt his Trump-fluffing to tell the truth.
WND, NewsBusters Publish Ann Coulter's Joke About Killing Meghan McCain Topic: NewsBusters
In her April 10 syndicated column, Ann Coulter wrote that MSNBC's Martin Bashir "suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed for them to support the Democrats' gun proposals," then added in parentheses, "Let's start with Meghan McCain!" Fox Nation posted Coulter's column then pulled it down, apparently thinking better of the implicit death threat.
NewsBusters also published Coulter's column intact, despite its history of avoiding controversy with its syndicated columnists -- it deliberately ignored Cal Thomas' insult of Rachel Maddow, and refused to publish the column in which he apologized.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Possibly Illegal Leaks Topic: NewsBusters
An April 10 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan fretted that ABC was covering "startling secret tape" from Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's office "revealing how the Senate's top Republican was planning to go after... [Ashley] Judd if she ran against him," and that said coverage was "omitting left-of-center ideology of the publication that released the audio clip and minimizing the possible illegality of its recording."
Similarly, an April 10 post by Jeffrey Meyer fretted that the McConnell tape may have been "made without McConnnell's knowledge could potentially be a serious violation of federal law" and that nobody in one TV segment seemed "concerned that McConnell’s privacy might have been violated."
Funny, we don't recall such concern over privacy and potential illegality when stolen emails from the University of East Anglia were blown up into "Climategate." To the contrary: NewsBusters was upset that the contents of the possibly illegally taken emails weren't being reported. A November 2009 post by Jeff Poor, for example, called it merely a "breach of data" by "a hacker" and whined that instead of covering it, ABC reported on "A sea lion glut in San Francisco, an orphaned moose in Vermont and the meal selection on the President's State Dinner."
Apparently, NewsBusters is concerned about the propriety of reporting information that may have been illegally obtained when that information makes Republicans look bad.
Noel Sheppard Touts Defense of Fox News Reporter Without Noting It Comes From Fox News Employee Topic: NewsBusters
Under the hyping headline "Judy Miller: Media Ignore Reporter Facing Jail Time Because She's From Fox News," an April 9 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard states:
[T]he media have been largely ignoring the plight of Fox News reporter Jana Winter who may end up going to jail for maintaining the secrecy of her sources on a report concerning Aurora, Colorado, shooter James Holmes.
Former New York Times reporter Judy Miller - who spent 85 days in jail in 2005 for withholding her source regarding the Valerie Plame affair - told NewsMaxTV's Steve Malzberg Monday, "If this were CNN or if this were the New York Times, yeah, I think it’s almost certain that there would have been more coverage and more publicity than there’s been to date (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Actully, Sheppard did need to add one bit of additional commentary: the fact that Miller is a paid Fox News contributor, something that may have played a role in her speaking out on Jana Winter.
Sheppard would likely not have let financial considerations go unmentioned if a paid contributor for a "liberal" network defended a reporter for the same network.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Vulgarity Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters spends a significant amount of time complaining about alleged vulgarity in the media; for example, a Feb. 8 post declared that "Martin Bashir once again demonstrates that he represents the bottom of the admittedly deep MSNBC barrel" by asking if "by his questioning at the Senate confirmation hearing of John Brennan, Senator Marco Rubio sought to demonstrate that he had 'very strong testicles.'"
So imagine our surprise (or not) when the headline of an April 11 post by Kyle Drennen complaining that a New York Times profile of "disgraced former Congressman" Anthony Weiner's ambitions to run for mayor of New York City began with the words "Weiner Rising":