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Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Sheppard's Laugher: Substance-Free Attack on Vanity Fair Article
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Sept. 4 NewsBusters item, Noel Sheppard feels the need to hurl all sorts of invective at a Vanity Fair article detailing how mainstream media reporters repeated false claims and misquotes about Al Gore during the 2000 presidential election.

Sheppard declared "absurd" the idea that "the media were much kinder to George W. Bush during the 2000 election campaign cycle than Vice President Al Gore" and challenged readers to say it "without laughing hysterically." He went on to personally attack the writer, Evgenia Peretz:

  • "Makes one wonder what the color of the sky is in Peretz's world."
  • "Get the feeling this was going to be a balanced report from Peretz, or an attempt to assist Gore in a makeover he's been working on since the day he conceded to Bush in December 2000?"
  • "This coming from a woman who admittedly can't possibly be impartial, and, as a result, should never have been given this story."
  • "I guess Vanity Fair couldn't find anybody on its staff with less connection to the former vice president. Liberal media? What liberal media?"
  • "Of course, as an obvious Gore sycophant, Peretz can't be so introspective or impartial."

Completely and utterly missing from Sheppard's screed is any evidence that anything Peretz reported is misleading or incorrect or even biased, despite his suggestion that Peretz's disclosure that she has had "maybe two passing exchanges with Gore in my life" somehow disqualifies her from writing the article. Oops!

Sheppard concludes by writing of the Vanity Fair article: "all I have to say is caveat emptor." That would apply to Sheppard himself if had bothered to make any substantive criticisms instead of making hysterical attacks. Indeed, as we've detailed, Sheppard has made numerous unsubstantiated attacks on Gore -- which certainly disqualifies him from making a critique of Peretz's article that anyone should take seriously (not that he has done so here, mind you).

Posted by Terry K. at 3:50 PM EDT

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