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Saturday, May 28, 2011
WND Labeling Bias Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A May 25 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein is quick to label Media Matters (disclosure: our employer) as a "liberal advocacy group funded by philanthropist George Soros," but none of the conservative organizations Klein cites to attack Soros and other related groups -- such as the Media Research Center, the Capital Research Center, and FrontPageMag -- are identified as conservative. Even, which bills itself as "Ron Arnold's Left Tracking Library ...because something just doesn't feel RIGHT," gets no ideological label.

Klein cites a Capital Research Center report on ProPublica claiming that it "churns out little more than left-wing hit pieces about Sarah Palin and blames the U.S. government for giving out too little foreign aid," laughably ignoring the fact that the CRC report is itself a right-wing hit piece -- it largely complains that ProPublica doesn't uncritically push right-wing talking points -- and ignoring that ProPublica has won two Pulitzer Prizes on subjects other than Palin and foreign aid.

Klein's attack on the Center for Public Integrity is even more laughable:

CPI regularly churns out partisan pieces. One widely debunked Center for Public Integrity study from 2008, covered extensively by the AP, claimed it found President Bush and top administration officials had issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq as "part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

Klein seems to have forgotten that WND published a lengthy series of articles attacking Al Gore before the 2000 election that began life as a CPI project (CPI ultimately parted ways with the authors). Of course, this was the same series that drew a libel lawsuit against WND by Gore associate Clark Jones, which WND ultimately settled out of court just before it was to go to trial by, in part, admitting that it made false claims about Jones. There was presumably also a financial consideration paid to Jones as part of the settlement, but that has been kept secret.

Klein also offers no evidence to back up his claim that the CPI report on the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq was "widely debunked"; the only purported debunking we could find was focused on semantics, claiming that "Being proven wrong is not 'lying.'" Maybe Klein's researcher, Brenda J. Elliott -- who helped put together Klein's factually deficient smear piece -- could enlighten us.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 AM EDT

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