ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Of Cherry-Picking and Censorious Desires
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Sept. 15 NewsBusters post promoting his cherry-picking attack on the Huffington Post, Tim Graham criticized "leftist Web sites like" for "demanding" that the Democratic Party "provide no bow of respect or prestige to Fox News, since it was a 'mouthpiece for the Republican party, not a legitimate news channel.'" Graham added: "Leftist bloggers like Matt Stoller of were explicit in their censorious desire that Fox News should not exist: 'The lies of FOX News and Roger Ailes have no place in public discourse, journalism, or the Democratic Party presidential debates.'"

First, note Graham's conflation of Stoller's comment about "the lies of FOX News and Roger Ailes" to an "censorious desire" that all of Fox News be muzzled. Of course, Stoller never said that, unless Graham is admitting that everything on Fox News context is a lie.

Second, by applying similar conflation to Graham's work: By attacking Huffington Post, isn't he expressing a similar "censorious desire"? Isn't it Graham's sweetest dream to see HuffPo shut down? Graham, through his study, is trying to use a tiny fraction of objectionable post to tar the entire operation -- the best way to accomplish such a thing, even if he won't say the words.

And cherry-picking is exactly what Graham does, by the way: Out of the tens of thousands of posts made on HuffPo over the past two years, Graham specifically cites just 19. Graham then claims: "These blogs may not be typical, but they are common." Since Graham did no statistical analysis of objectionable content in HuffPo blogs -- that is, comparing the number of posts with objectionable content to the total number of posts made on the site -- he has no factual basis for that statement.

Graham makes his bias clear in his "study" by his disparaging attacks on HuffPo's bloggers as an "all-star far-left cast of celebrity dilettantes," "celebrit[ies] toasted by the leftist elites" and "Arianna’s cast of hate-speech specialists." Remember, Graham is making this judgment on the content of just 19 posts out of thousands.

Would Graham and his MRC compadres be similarly offended if, say, the entirety of NewsBusters was judged by objectionable content by commenters on a single post? You bet they would. That's why we accuse NewsBusters of forwarding false or misleading claims and smears, we don't merely cherry-pick hither and yon. We back it up.

And remember, NewsBusters has run ads from a company that sells a T-shirt that says, "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required." Does Graham find that more or less offensive than what he plucked out of HuffPo?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« September 2007 »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google