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Sunday, September 27, 2015
NewsBusters Blogger Again Desperately Tries to Deflect Catholic Church Sex-Abuse Scandal
Topic: NewsBusters

Dave Pierre uses a Sept. 23 NewsBusters post to complain that news reports on Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. are mentioning the sexual abuse scandal among Catholic priests, as he is prone to doing. Pierre dismissed the scandal as "stale" and "decades-old," suggesting that there's no real scandal here because most of the accused priests are dead.

Pierre might want to ask the victims of sexual abuse by priests if they think the abuse they suffered is "stale."

Pierre went on to try to smear groups that are trying to hold the Catholic church accountable for how it enabled the abuse. He sneered that the leader of one group is "cranky" -- "media research," folks! -- and he complained that Barbara Blaine, founder and president of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), "once wrote a letter of support on behalf of a child pornographer."

Pierre overstates the case and leaves out important information. The person in question, a doctor in Louisiana, was not a "child pornographer"; he had apparently downloaded images of child pornography to his computer. The doctor ultimately pleaded guilty to lesser charges after officials decided that they had concerns about evidence in the case, and a state medical board noted the doctor's health conditions making him "prone to confusion and poor judgment when stressed or after more than a half-day's work," and ruled that the evidence does not indicated that the doctor "intentionally downloaded child pornography." Further, Blaine's letter did not attempt to claim the doctor was innocent but, rather, noted that the doctor had been an advocate against sexual abuse and that the doctor's wife had founded a state chaper of SNAP.

Pierre runs the Media Report website, where he serves as an apologist for the Catholic Church on the sex-abuse scandal and attacks the church's critics, particularly SNAP.  We'd complain about someone with such a obviously biased agenda being given a platform at the Media Research Center, but that's kinda what the MRC does.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:28 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 27, 2015 8:34 PM EDT
Thursday, September 24, 2015
NewsBusters' Gwinn: Paula Deen's Use of N-Word No Different Than Tarantino
Topic: NewsBusters

Dylan Gwinn has shown himself to be one of the less sharp knives in NewsBusters' "media research" drawer. He strikes again by venturing far out of his sports expertise in a Sept. 24 post that is ostensibly a review of the season opener of the sitcom "Blackish."

The episode centers on use of the N-word, and here's how Gwinn responds to a reference to usage of the word by Quentin Tarantino and Paula Deen:

Of course, the reason why Quentin Tarantino can use the n-word 87 times in a movie and get an Oscar while Paula Deen loses her show for saying it once has more to do with the hypocrisy of the media than anything else. Quentin Tarantino is loved by the left, and as such gets a free pass. The same kind of free pass that ABC will get for having a sitcom where a black man thumps a gun on the table. Meanwhile, Paula Deen doesn’t have those kind of connections to the politically correct crowd, and gets far worse.

So Gwinn really thinks there's no differene between Tarantino and Deen in their respective uses of the N-word, huh? Let's educate him, shall we?

Tarantino is a filmmaker. His use of the word came in a film he made, "Django Unchained," where it was a least somewhat justified given the film's historical context of 19th-century slavery and discrimination.

Deen, on the other hand, is a TV cook who may or may not have said the N-word in regard to a group of black waiters she wanted to have tap-dance Shirley Temple style as part of a Southern plantation-themed wedding she wanted to throw for her brother -- an idea (ultimately rejected) that reminded her of southern America “before the Civil War.” Deen's brother was also accused of using the N-word in the kitchen of their restaurant.

In short: Tarantino's use of the N-word occurred in fiction. Deen's use (and overall racism) occurred in real life, involving actual black people. That's the difference.

It seems that Gwinn can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EDT
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
NewsBusters Conspiracy-Monger Mocks Someone Else's Conspiracy Theory
Topic: NewsBusters

We got a chuckle out of Mark Finkelstein's Sept. 18 NewsBusters post:

Maybe next week, Chris Hayes will share his views on Area 51, whether fire can melt steel, and if the moon landing happened in a Hollywood studio . . .

On his MSNBC show this evening, Hayes floated the notion that the guy at a New Hampshire town hall who told Donald Trump that President Obama is a Muslim might have been a plant. According to Chris, although the moment seemed to have happened "organically"  [yes, but was it free range?], "who knows?" Proclaimed Chris: "until they find the guy I'm going to reserve judgment on the origins of the question."

What makes this doubly hilarious is the fact that it's Finkelstein mocking conspiracy theories here. You might recall that Finkelstein used a NewsBusters post to forward the conspiracy theory that NBC host Matt Lauer wasn't just wearing a checkered scarf, he was wearing a "Palestinian support scarf." Because any checkered scarf must be seen as support for the Palestinian cause, you see.

And he has the temerity to mock the conspiracy theories of others? The hell, you say.

UPDATE: Talking Points Memo has compiled a list of people engaging in the same speculation as Chris Hayes -- and surprise, surprise, most of them are conservatives like Laura Ingraham and Greg Gutfield. We're sure Finkelstein will get around to mocking them like he did Hayes any minute now.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:13 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 2:49 PM EDT
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
NewsBusters Writer Bashes 'Liberal Media Narrative' With False Conservative Media Narrative
Topic: NewsBusters

Jeffrey Lord -- who thinks it's a "legitimate conservative" tactic to smear people as Nazis -- spends his Sept. 12 NewsBusters column complaining about the purportedly dishonesty-laden "Liberal Media Narrative." He explains:

How does the Liberal Media Narrative game work? Like this.

Reported the New York Post of then-Senator Barack Obama during the fall campaign of 2008 in a remark that was instantly seen by Republicans as an attack on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

“You know, you can put lipstick on a pig,” Obama said, “but it’s still a pig.”

….Many in the Obama crowd leaped to their feet in delight – apparently taking the “pig” comment as a direct slam at Palin.”

The liberal media of  the day was outraged. From the New York Times to the Washington Post to MSNBC, Obama was pilloried for being a sexist and a misogynist. His poll numbers tanked.

Just kidding. The media didn’t care a whit, Senator Obama was not only elected president he was re-elected.

Except, well, that's not how that happened at all -- starting with what Obama actually said.

Obama was criticizing John McCain's policies by referencing a common saying, and Obama's full statement in context shows that he didn't reference Palin at all. The New York Post made up the part about the statement being a "direct slam at Palin."

Contrary to Lord's claim, MSNBC did, in fact, promote the idea that Obama was attacking Palin. Even the Associated Press, whhich Lord would most certainly count among the "liberal media," did it as well.

Media critic Howard Kurtz, now with Fox News, pointed out at the time that the right's narrative on the "lipstick" quote was a "manufactured story that was pushed by the right ... pushed along and made up by Drudge, Sean Hannity, and the New York Post," and yet the media did "segment after segment on it."

That's what you might call the Conservative Media Narrative -- and Lord fell for it.

Why is Lord doing this? To deflect from Donald Trump's recent misogynistic remarks toward Carly Fiorina and Fox News' Megyn Kelly. He's following the MRC playbook as Ted Cruz did by insisting that any criticism of Trump is, by definition, liberal:

Now comes the media dust-up over Trump’s remark’s about Carly Fiorina. And unlike the media’s treatment of then-Senator Obama’s attack on Sarah Palin with his “lipstick on a pig” comment, Trump gets no pass. As he did not with his comments on Fox’s Megyn Kelly after the Fox debate. The Liberal Media Narrative game is in play.

And it isn’t working.

What is the lesson here?  It’s an easy lesson, an old lesson and a lesson that has nothing whatsoever to do with Donald Trump on Carly Fiorina’s looks or Ted Cruz on a government shutdown beyond the fact that they are Republicans. The fact is that no Republican - no matter who he or she is - will get a pass on anything the media decides is “controversial.” The Liberal Media Narrative must be served  come hell or high water.

Despite the fact that Obama was definitely not referencing Palin in his remarks while Trump was directly and unambiguously directly his remarks at Kelly and Fiorina, Lord insists that Trump's fans -- himself apparently among them -- "understand why comments about the physical looks of a woman are bad if coming from Donald Trump, irrelevant and dismissed if coming from Barack Obama."

At no point, however, does Lord breathe a word of what Trump actually said about Kelly and Fiorina in his defense of them; he simply declares any atempt to hold Trump accountable for his words (never mind the fact that even conservatives criticized his nasty jabs at Fiorina and Kelly) is part of the "Liberal Media Narrative."

But if there is a dishonest "liberal media narrative" that Lord believes exists, then there is also a conservative media narrative that is just as dishonest -- and Lord's column is all about furthering that dishonesty.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:33 PM EDT
Monday, August 31, 2015
NewsBusters' Dylan Gwinn Whiffs Again
Topic: NewsBusters

Poor Dylan Gwinn. He doesn't seem to know when to give it up.

Gwinn's nasty, uninformed sports-themed blog stylings continue in an Aug. 25 NewsBusters post defending ex-baseball player Curt Schilling's tweet likening Muslims to Nazis, which earned Schilling a suspension from ESPN:

Schilling may understand the reasons for his suspension. Yet, they remain a mystery to me. There is nothing factually inaccurate with the message of the tweet. It in no way compares “Muslims” to Nazis. It compares the number of Muslim “extremists” to the number of German extremists, with the point being that whether you accept the math or not, extremists need not have a numerical majority in any one country or religion in order to take control, and create catastrophic results for the rest of the world.

Which, is absolutely true.

Actually, it's not -- both Schilling and Gwinn got it wrong. As Vox explains:

Muslims are by far the number-one victims of extremist groups such as ISIS: They are the most likely to be killed by ISIS, and they are the most likely to actively fight ISIS. Nazi-era Germans, on the other hand, overwhelmingly supported and fought for the Nazi regime. So in fact the relationship between Nazi-era Germans and Nazi crimes is the exact opposite of the relationship between Muslims and ISIS.

Nevertheless, Gwinn concludes his post by writing, "But of course, truth is always the first casualty." Only in your work, dude.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
NewsBusters Blogger Swings At Margaret Sanger, Whiffs
Topic: NewsBusters

We've highlighted how much NewsBusters blogger and right-wing pundit wannabe Dylan Gwinn cheers for gay pro athletes to fail. Perhaps he should stick to his sports, because he's even worse when he ventures off that reservation.

Gwinn devoted an Aug. 17 NewsBusters post to whining about a now-deleted post by "billionaire lib" Mark Cuban defending Planned Parenthood over factually dubious attacks by Republican Ben Carson:

The limousine liberal Cuban might as well have deleted the tweet and distanced himself from the link, because the NPR piece made an atrociously disingenuous defense of Sanger and Planned Parenthood. After identifying Sanger as a member of the eugenics movement – a movement dedicated to ensuring that poor and poorly educated people did not reproduce – NPR described Sanger as “paternalistic” towards blacks, not necessarily racist.

The piece cites an article Sanger wrote in 1946 about “… giving ‘Negro’ parents a choice in how many children they would have.”

“The Negro race has reached a place in its history when every possible effort should be made to have every Negro child count as a valuable contribution to the future of America,” she wrote. “Negro parents, like all parents, must create the next generation from strength, not from weakness; from health, not from despair.”

Hmm, if it’s important for “all parents” to only reproduce only from strength and never from weakness, then why did Sanger feel it necessary to pen a letter specifically referencing black people?

If Gwinn had bothered to closely read the NPR fact-check he cites in his mindless bashing of Cuban, he would have noticed that the 1946 Sanger piece on Negroes appeared in a publication called the Negro Digest. If Wikipedia is to be believed, the Negro Digest "was similar to the Reader's Digest but aimed to cover positive stories about the African-American community."

In other words, Sanger was "specifically referencing black people" because she was writing the article for a publication targeted at black people. So much for Gwinn's sinister racist conspiracy theory.

Gwinn then added, "And NPR failed to mention Sanger’s characterization of blacks as 'human weeds.'" He doesn't explain that's because there's no evidence Sanger ever actually said such a thing.

Gwinn links to an anti-abortion website that claims this statement came from Sanger's "Pivot of Civilization." In fact, the term "human weeds" appears nowhere in the book.

Then Gwinn gets totally contradictory:

The fact check referenced a report from the Guttmacher Institute, which stated that 60 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are actually in majority white neighborhoods, as opposed to black, which would seem to refute one element of what Carson said. But Guttmacher was once the research arm of Planned Parenthood, and it is explicitly pro-abortion. According to an interactive map created by the pro-life group Protecting Black Life, “79% of [Planned Parenthood’s] surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods.”

But if we shouldn't trust the Guttmacher Institute's because it's "explicitly pro-abortion," shouldn't we similarly distrust Protecting Black Life because it's explicitly anti-abortion?

Actually, there's a good reason we shouldn't trust that map: as we've previously noted, the map's very generous definition of "within walking distance" is two miles, and many of those black and Latino neighborhoods are on the far fringe of that radius.

Gwinn follows that up by getting really stupid:

Billionaire libs like Mark Cuban are so busy trying to take shots at Republicans, while making themselves appear to be so enlightened, that they miss both forest and tree. Abortion is phasing black people out in cities and states all over the country. Only when reactionary libs like Cuban start caring more about that than scoring points with other reactionary libs on twitter can we say that all black lives matter.

Actually, the black fertility rate is currently hovering around 2.0, which is effectively the replacement rate, meaning that the black population in the U.S. is steady, not that "abortion is phasing black people out."

If Gwinn really thinks black lives matter, he might want to try and do something about the black infant mortality rate, which is more than double that of whites and Hispanics and has nothing to do with abortion.

Those black lives probably don't matter to Gwinn since he can't reduce them to a sound bite-friendly right-wing talking point.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:32 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 31, 2015 7:59 PM EDT
Friday, August 21, 2015
NewsBusters Blogger Roots for Failure of Gay Athletes
Topic: NewsBusters

Lower-tier sports radio guy Dylan Gwinn wrote a book, the Regnery-published "Bias in the Booth," whining about alleged liberal bias in sports journalism that the Columbia Journalism review dismissed thusly: "This book is not worth your time. This book is very dumb. This book exposes nothing except its author’s own rhetorical limitations. A keening, bitter catalog of slights and allegations of willful journalistic malpractice, Bias in the Booth is less an analysis than a screed, reliant on ad hominem attacks, suppositions, and generalizations in its bid to document the purported liberal bias of American sports media."

Naturally, all that seething hatred landed Gwinn a blogging gig at NewsBusters. And as befits someone writing for a website of the anti-gay Media Research Center, gay athletes serve as a berzerk button for him.

Gwinn devoted an Aug. 15 post to gloating that openly gay pro football player Michael Sam was taking a break from his Canadian Football League career for mental health reasons. Commence the gloating:

No, the sports media didn’t make Sam a slow, “tweener,” and a bad scheme fit for an NFL defense. It was more sinister than that. They made him unlikeable. In their zeal to turn Sam into the gay Jackie Robinson, they made him arrogant. They took a likeable kid and made him a diva with the sense of entitlement that drives NFL-types nuts.

If the New York Times had been honest about where Sam stood in the draft, as opposed to saying he was “projected to be drafted in the early rounds,” something no scout worth anything believed, then maybe the sense of entitlement that turned NFL scouts off at the Veterans Combine wouldn’t have set in. If Sam hadn’t been told he was making “incredibly brave decisions” and “breaking longstanding barriers,” the arrogance might not have taken root. Perhaps if ESPN hadn’t shown Sam kissing his boyfriend on a loop for 87 hours, Sam would have seen himself as more football player than gay man.


America’s first openly gay football player was always more of an LGBT activist than he was a football player. Now, he’s just one of those things.

A couple days later, Gwinn got to lean on his berzerk button again over the news that a minor-league baseball player came out:

In a stunning coincidence of epic proportions that no one could have possibly seen coming, ESPN has found another gay professional athlete less than three days after Michael Sam’s announcement that he is walking away from football. This most recent out-of-the-closet jock comes to us by way of baseball. David Denson, a minor league first baseman in the Brewers organization, recently came out to his teammates, a process he explained in the ESPN article:


Could that be the reason why Denson decided to come out, believing that his announcement would make it politically impossible for the Brewers to release him? I have no idea. But how many minor league first basemen get articles in ... Slate? And there’s precedent for that. Remember that the NFL called several teams, urging them to sign Michael Sam after the Rams cut him, to prevent a media/PR backlash.

Is it too far-fetched to believe Denson would want to repeat that recent history now?

I wish it was.

Is it too far-fetched to believe that Gwinn is such a homophobe that he roots for the failure of athletes who do not share his sexual orientation? I wish it was.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:54 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
NewsBusters Blogger, Newly Hired CNN Commentator Goes Godwin
Topic: NewsBusters

Jeffrey Lord spent his Aug. 8 NewsBusters post bragging about how CNN just hired him as an analyst and that is happy to promote his "legitimate conservative" views on the network.

Apparently, it's a "legitimate conservative" view to smear people as Nazis.

As Media Matters notes, Lord used a column at the right-wing American Spectator to go Godwin big time, claiming that Donald Trump's critics are engaging in a "Goebbelsesque Big Lie technique" by criticizing Trump's recent "blood" remarks about Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly. He calls it "a plu-perfect example of the insight of Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels" and adds in case anyone missed the point, "This is -- there is no other word for it -- a Goebbels-esque lie."

Lord has a history of dubious ranting, whether it be getting fooled by a fake Twitter account for Seth Rogen or making false claims about an Obama adminstraton appointee or insisting (then doubling down on his insistence) 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.

This is who CNN hired as a commentator. And this is who NewsBusters has hired as one of its "star" bloggers.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EDT
Monday, August 3, 2015
MRC Names Blogging Award After A Terrible Blogger
Topic: NewsBusters

Tonight is NewsBusters' 10th anniversary party, complete with party at a swanky downtown Washington, D.C. nightclub:

The celebration will be held at The Hamilton in downtown Washington, D.C., on Monday, August 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.

As part of the festivities, emcee Ann Coulter will announce our first annual Noel Sheppard Media Blogger of the Year Award. In honor of Noel's memory we established this award to go to a media blogger "who best reflects the spirit of Noel Sheppard’s energetic blog postings in pursuit of exposing the news media’s liberal political agenda."

Note that the Media Research Center is celebrating how "energetic" a blogger Sheppard was -- not how accurate he was.

We've been documenting Sheppard's work for NewsBusters since 2007, when we first noted his history of double standards, incomplete reporting, misleading claims and nasty attacks. He was also a factually challenged climate denier, to the point of telling lies about Al Gore to his infamous appearance on a conspiracy-theory TV show hosted by Jesse Ventura in which he delcared that global warming is all about “power and money and control of the population."

When he wasn't issuing corrections for his blog posts -- which was surprisingly often --  he was slapping cliched, recycled headlines on 'em. If you wanted to hear how somebody was "smacked down" or "schooled," Sheppard was your guy.

Given that, it's rather fitting that Ann Coulter will be giving out the Noel Sheppard award. She's turned herself into a performance artist who must continually say offensive things in order to stay in the headlines, to the point that she's effectively taking a eugenic approach to immigration (no fatties!), which used to be a bad thing when right-wingers accused Margaret Sanger of it.

The fact that MRC thinks Sheppard 1) deserves an award to be named after him and 2) is being "honored" by having Ann Coulter give it out says volumes about the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:29 PM EDT
Monday, July 27, 2015
MRC Is Mad Hillary Tried To Correct A False Story
Topic: NewsBusters

Clay Waters sure tried to make it sound as sinister as he could in a July 24 MRC NewsBusters post, asserting that "after pushback from the Clinton camp," a New York Times story claiming that inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a "criminal investigation" into Hillary Clinton's handling of "sensitive government information" on a personal email server while secretary of state because a "laughably evasive, indirect accusation." Waters highlighted how "the Hillary team had complained to the Times about the initial Thursday night story, and the paper (surprise) complied."

Waters doesn't explain why it's such a bad thing for the Clinton camp to complain about an inaccurate story and try to have it corrected. And as the following days after Waters' post shows, it was very much inaccurate.

The Times has now corrected its story to state that there was, in fact, no criminal referral, let alone any request for an investigation. A second correction states that what happened was a "security referral," not a criminal referral. Times public editor Margaret Sullivan adds that the referral wasn't even targeted at Clinton specifically, but a general referral into how classified information was handled regarding Clinton's personal server. Sullivan said of the story: "So it was, to put it mildly, a mess."

Yet Waters' post has not been updated to reflect that the Times story's central claim has been retracted, nor has any other MRC article admitted that the story is false. Indeed, another NewsBusters post coming shortly after Waters', a July 24 item by Kyle Drennen, repeats the now-discredited claim that the "Justice Department was considering launching a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal" and that "the Times altered the story after being pressured by the Clinton campaign."

Will Waters, Drennen and the MRC ever tell their readers that the Times story they hyped was false and that Hillary was absolutely correct to push the Times to get it right? Don't count on it.

UPDATE: A July 27 NewsBusters post by Yuri Perez admits that the inspectors general's recommendations "did not lead to a 'criminal referral' as initially reported by the New York Times, but rather to a 'security referral.'" But Waters' and Drennen's posts touting the Times' original article falsely referring to a "criminal investigation" remain uncorrected.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:10 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 27, 2015 9:55 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
NewsBusters Laments Hastert Scandal 'Tragedy' ... For Hastert
Topic: NewsBusters

Clay Waters writes in a May 31 NewsBusters post:

The New York Times classless liberal columnist Paul Krugman has a reputation for exploiting tragedy for partisan gain, and did so again in a Sunday afternoon blog post about former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is accused of using hush money to cover up sexual misconduct with a former student.

Waters is not lamenting the aformentioned "tragedy" for Hastert's victims -- he's lamenting it for Hastert. How dare Krugman write about a Republican congressman's alleged crimes?

By the way, the word "crime" appears nowhere in Waters' post in relation to Hastert's alleged actions. But he knows it's somehow a "tragedy" -- but, apparently, not a crime -- for Hastert for such behavior to be revealed.

Who's really the classless one here?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 PM EDT
Sunday, April 19, 2015
NewsBusters Doesn't Understand Why Daily Mail's Journalism Is Questioned
Topic: NewsBusters

In an April 17 NewsBusters post, Mark Finkelstein grouses that "volatile former Vermont governor" Howard Dean questioned the accuracy of a Hillary clinton story on the website of the Daily Mail, countering that "if the story were inaccurate, don't you think Hillary's minions would be screaming bloody murder and trotting the attendees to refute the claims?  Crickets, anyone?"

Fibnkelstein doesn't mention the fact that the Daily Mail has a lengthy track record of publishing false and inaccurate stories. One writer notes that in its home country of Britain, the Daily Mail has seen 687 complaints filed against it to the country's Press Complaints Commission -- far more than any other British newspaper -- that led either to a PCC adjudication or to a negotiated resolution. The writer adds: "The paper gets away with publishing libels and falsehoods and with invasions of privacy because the penalties are insignificant."

Additionally, a former writer has discussed the Mail's shoddy journalistic standards, explaining how "the Mail's editorial model depends on little more than dishonesty, theft of copyrighted material, and sensationalism so absurd that it crosses into fabrication."

Finkelstein also fails to mention that the Daily Mail's U.S. political editor is David Martosko, the former editor of the conservative Daily Caller who's best known for standing by a false claim about Sen. Robert Menendez and prostitutes.

Making up stuff is clearly within the realm of the Daily Mail, and there is good reason not to trust what appears there. Instead of telling his readers that, however, he huffs, "If attacking the media messenger is the best the Hillary camp can do, it is in serious trouble." But isn't attacking the messenger the entire reason NewsBusters and its parent, the Media Research Center, exist?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:10 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 19, 2015 9:17 PM EDT
Monday, April 13, 2015
NewsBusters Runs Hoax Picture of Smoking Obama
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer uses an April 12 NewsBusters post to promote a USA Today columnist's claim that President Obama's daughter faces more of an asthma risk from his smoking than from global warming. The image used to promote the post on NewsBusters' front page is one of Obama with a cigarette in his mouth (shown at right). The image appears again inside the post.

But that image is a fake. As the Museum of Hoaxes details, a cigarette was Photoshopped into a reversed 2004 photo of Obama.

Nowhere in the post does NewsBusters identify the photo as a faked image.

It seems that running hoax photos would keep NewsBusters from being taken seriously as a media watchdog, but apparently being taken seriously is not an issue.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 13, 2015 12:42 PM EDT
Thursday, April 9, 2015
'Quote Mark Bias' Makes NewsBusters Angry
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center appears to be running out of things to be offended about. Thus, we have an April 4 NewsBusters item by Quin Hillyer complaining about, yes, "quote mark bias":

Media watchers in the past week rightly have criticized multiple media outlets for suddenly deciding that religious freedom needs quotation marks, as in “religious freedom.”  Leave it to the news pages of The Wall Street Journal, though, to use those quotation marks, which by their nature indicate that the very concept is in dispute, in the same story with the term gay rights published without the same punctuation.


So we have a situation where the notion of religious freedom, the very bedrock of America’s settlement in the 1600s and its founding as a nation in the late 1700s, is seen as such a questionable idea that it merits quotation marks. But “gay rights,” a concept only invented in the past 30 years or so, and one not even enshrined in federal law or recognized by federal courts as involving a “protected class,” nonetheless is expressed straightforwardly, unambiguously, as so uncontroversial that it can stand on its own without being set off by special punctuation or other emphasis.

Similarly, no quotation marks or other indicators of controversy attend the passage in paragraph five discussing “the rights of gay and lesbian couples to wed.” But the very next sentence – and this is where the editorializing becomes even more explicit than mere punctuation differences – says that the “political response” of religious people “has been to promote the so-called religious-freedom legislation at the state level.”

Read that again. It’s the so-called religious-freedom legislation. Really? Gay rights is stated as a given, but First Amendment rights are merely “so-called”???

Twice more the news article uses the term “gay rights” without quotation marks.

Hillyer ignores the idea that perhaps "religious freedom" deserves scare quotes if its enforcement restricts the rights of others. Observers have noted that the Indiana religious freedom law, as originally passed, was conceived tas a means of excluding gays and same-sex couples from accessing employment, housing, and public accommodations on the same terms as other people.

And why does Hillyer think "gay rights" is so controversial that it needs scare quote? Does he not think such a thing should exist at all and that gays must be discriminated against simply for existing? Judging by Hillyer's annoyance with gays being so darn public with their gayness -- he literally says they're "frightening the horses" -- apparently so.

Hillyer concluded by sneering, "All in all, a more biased 'news article' could hardly be imagined. Please note the quotation marks." Apparently, if a news article says something Hillyer doesn't like, it isn't "news."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:45 PM EDT
Monday, April 6, 2015
NewsBusters Writer Graduates To Obama Conspiracy Theories
Topic: NewsBusters

Last week, NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick peddled conspiracy theories about Harry Reid. Now, in an April 5 post, he's latched onto old conspiracy theories about President Obama:

Does anybody know what Barack Obama was doing during his college years? We know that he was the president of the Harvard Law Review but do we even know what articles, if any, he wrote for it? Beyond that his college years are almost completely blank as to his grades or activitivies to the extent that his time at Columbia University has been completely erased from memory. No professor nor student from that time even remembers him attending classes at Columbia. Compare that big MSM yawn to the recent mainstream media frenzy which included a 2223 word front page Washington Post story devoted to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's college career which ended before graduation. And now we have something of an MSM Crime Scene Investigation carried out by Politifact Wisconsin about Scott Walker's claim that he recently purchased a sweater at Kohl's department store for only a dollar.

Of course, it's been well documented that Obama attended Columbia, and that  Columbia considers him a graduate -- after all, he couldn't havegotten into Harvard Law School if he hadn't graduated from Columbia.

But as with many conspiracy theorists, such evidence isn't good enough. In a Twitter exchange we had with Gladnick, he demanded information about "Classes? Grades? Profs?" When we asked Gladnick if he was a birther -- since, after all, believing the conspiracy theory that Obama didn't actually attend Columbia is not that far from believing he wasn't born in the U.S., he freaked out and refused to answer the question (while also refusing to deny that he was) and hurled personal insults at us.

NewsBusters and its parent, the Media Research Center, used to consider themselves above such conspiracy-mongering. Not anymore, apparently. And, thus, the creeping WorldNetDaily-ization of the MRC continues.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:38 PM EDT

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