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Friday, September 2, 2005
The Blame
Topic: The ConWeb
Note to Frank Salvato, the Media Research Center and others upset that people are blaming President Bush for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina:

Conservatives were blaming President Clinton for 9/11 the day of the attacks, and we don't recall you complaining about that.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:15 PM EDT
The One-Source Wonder Blunders In
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jon Dougherty reminds us why he won that Slantie Award for his slanted, factually deficient reporting. From a Sept. 1 WorldNetDaily column:

[O]ffers of international aid and assistance to help us get back on our feet are not exactly pouring in [after Hurricane Katrina]. As of this writing, I've seen exactly two offers of assistance.

Meanwhile, a Sept. 1 article reports the following:

As graphic and disturbing footage of the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina fills TV screens around the world, the U.S. government has received numerous messages of condolence as well as offers of assistance from more than 20 countries.

If Dougherty can't even keep up with the current events he writing about, it makes you wonder about the online mag he currently operates.

UPDATE: Another thing Dougherty might have noticed if he had bothered to do any research before writing his column: President Bush apparently doesn't want any international help.

UPDATE 2: NewsMax serves up its own version of Dougherty's whine, claiming that is "shameful" that "only 25 nations" have offered assistance, "and almost none have offered what America has so often provided: money."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 2, 2005 3:08 PM EDT
David Horowitz's Favorite Moonbat
Topic: Horowitz
A Sept. 1 post by Andrew Walden on Moonbat Central, the blog of David Horowitz's, tries to disassociate conservatives from Repent America, the group who's blaming gays for Hurricane Katrina:

So what is the real difference between them and the left-wing MoonBats? There is none. ... But their agenda is clear: they are another example of national socialist Moonbats who are trying to sew confusion amongst conservatives and Republicans in order to prepare the ground for a new version of Ross Perot or Pat Buchannan’s third-party campaign. Such a third-party “paleocon” candidate is the necessary prerequisite for Democratic victory in 2008.

Walden might have made a more persuasive case if another branch of his boss' empire hadn't embraced the leader of Repent America a few years back. A March 14, 2001 article on Horowitz's by Dan Flynn cited Michael Marcavage, now head of Repent America, as a prime example of "censorship of conservative ideas" on college campuses:

Criminalizing Dissent Temple University Senior Michael Marcavage sued his school in the fall of 2000 for violating his First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment Rights. After hearing that there would be a school-sponsored performance of Corpus Christi (a play that depicts Jesus as a promiscuous homosexual), Marcavage organized a counter-event during his junior year that was to feature gospel singers, speakers, and a play that depicted Jesus in a more positive light. Although Marcavage didn't seek to censor the play that he found offensive, the school did censor his event. After informing him that he would not be allowed to hold his event, Marcavage alleges that he was assaulted by university administrators who had him involuntarily committed to Temple University Hospital's psychiatric ward. Hospital records show that an administrator signed the paperwork to commit Marcavage but doctors found nothing wrong with the junior and released him.

Wanna rethink that opposition to Marcavage's commitment, guys?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 AM EDT
Thursday, September 1, 2005
Unequal Treatment for Anti-Gay Extremists
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 31 WorldNetDaily article reports the views of Repent America and its leader, Michael Marcavage -- yes, the guy at the center of the "Philadelphia 5" non-controversy earlier this year -- claiming that Hurricane Katrina was God's way of destroying the "wicked city" of New Orleans, "a city that opened its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin." Specifically, an upcoming gay gathering called, "Southern Decadence," which Marcavage claimed would feature "drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars."

Given that these views are pretty much the same as those of Fred Phelps, why is WND promoting only Marcavage and not Phelps?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:21 PM EDT
The Daily Les Returns
Topic: The Daily Les
Les Kinsolving apparently didn't get to go to Crawford, Texas, because we haven't seen a question from him in more than a month. But now that President Bush is back in Washington, Les is too, and he wants President Bush to endorse the shooting of looters in New Orleans:

KINSOLVING: What is the president's reaction to the 1968 statement of Philadelphia's Frank Rizzo that all looters would be shot, and then three looters were shot, and the looting in Philadelphia stopped?

As supporting evidence, Kinsolving writes: "In an unscientific poll at WorldNetDaily yesterday, nearly 62 percent of participants said looters should be shot on sight by authorities." Y'all know how we feel about unscientific polls cited in "news" stories.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:12 PM EDT
NewsMax Stays Busy
Topic: Newsmax
It's been more than two days since Hurricane Katrina hit, and NewsMax has thus far not found a way to blame it on the Clintons (yet).

Of course, that may be because NewsMax currently has its hands full defending the Bush administration against questions that it did not adequately prepare for a disaster of this magnitude.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:37 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Purity Test
Topic: Accuracy in Media
When he's not obsessing about Rachel Maddow's lesbianism, Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid would like to be able to determine who is a true conservative.

In a "Cliff's Notes" column attached to an Aug. 24 AIM Report, Kincaid has decided that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough no longer is a true conservative because he wouldn't have Ed Klein, author of the factually challenged "The Truth About Hillary," on his show:

Scarborough says the Klein book has too much speculation and too many unsubstantiated charges. But the Holloway story is nothing but speculation and unsubstantiated charges. It is curious that a former Republican Congressman, who is supposed to be a conservative, would come up with bogus reasons not to interview the author of a provocative book about Mrs. Clinton.

So, in Kincaid's eyes, conservatives are obligated to promote any book that attacks Democrats (and especially the Clintons), even if the charges contained in it are "speculation and unsubstantiated."

Oh, and Kincaid does manage to drop a reference to "the mannish Rachel Maddow."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:54 PM EDT
Ask Farah
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Why is the leader of a organization that claims to be "one of the largest news agencies in the world founded specifically for the Internet" stealing the work of others and presenting it as his own? Feel free to ask him. Or call his radio show between 3 and 6 p.m. ET at 1-877-232-4855.

(We would, but he doesn't acknowledge our existence.)

Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 11:17 AM EDT
WND's History of Plagiarism
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah's wholesale lifting of a Reuters news article (now in a handy color-coded version) is not an isolated incident at WorldNetDaily, as ConWebWatch has documented:

-- WND regularly copies and pastes from articles in other publications to run them under a WND byline.

-- In one case, either WND plagiarized from Ann Coulter, or vice versa.

-- WND was once forced to apologize for improperly taking information without credit.

Such liberal attitudes toward appropriating the works of others is rather ironic given the conniption fit WND once had when another publication used its material without properly citing it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 1:13 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Guilty, Guilty, Guilty
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Not only is WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah guilty of undisclosed conflicts of interest and condoning the theft of government property, he's guilty of plagiarism as well.

A major chunk of Farah's Aug. 30 article on the government's seizure of gold coins stolen years ago was taken -- mostly verbatim -- from a Reuters article on the subject. Nowhere in his article does Farah credit Reuters for the information he lifted.

Farah did make one notable edit to the Reuters copy he stole. Where Reuters noted that the coins "survived destruction after the United States abandoned the gold standard in 1933 and ordered them melted down," Farah changed it to say that the coins "survived destruction after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandated all privately owned gold confiscated in the U.S. in 1933 – ordering the coins melted down."

UPDATE: Here's a handy color-coded guide to Farah's plagiarism.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 9:38 PM EDT
There's Gold In Them Thar Slanted Articles
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah saying that it's OK to steal from the federal government?That's the implication of an Aug. 30 article he wrote regarding the government seizure of gold coins believed to have been stolen from the Philadelphia mint.

Farah quotes a coin dealer who says, "What we appear to have is yet another example of the U.S. government overstepping its boundaries, further alienating American citizens from conducting free trade of personal property." But this case regards stolen property, for which nobody that we know of has affirmed a right of free trade.

Farah also goes off on a tangent over alleged threats to the "right to own gold." That's not the issue, either; nobody has the right to own gold stolen from others.

At the end of the article, a link titled "Read more about your right to own gold" takes readers to an plug for a booklet on the subject at metals dealer Swiss America Trading Corp. The link is not clearly delineated as an ad, nor is it disclosed that Swiss America is a sponsor of WND and and an adviser Farah's radio show.

Swiss America chief Craig R. Smith also writes a weekly column for WND in which it's usually not disclosed that he's even with Swiss America, let alone anything about Swiss America's financial relationship with WND and Farah.

Given that Farah is so squeamish about disclosing conflicts of interest, condoning theft isn't really that far of a leap. After all, he already condones murder.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
Just An Observation
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 30 WorldNetDaily article tells us "what smart WND readers are buying" from its online store.

What might more interesting and informative (not to mention helpful to WND from a marketing standpoint) is a list of what stupid WND readers are buying.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:49 AM EDT
Monday, August 29, 2005
Topic: Media Research Center
Looks like we're gonna have to keep an eye on NewsBusters, the Media Research Center's group blog. It's proving to be as biased and error-prone as its parent:

-- Tim Graham in an Aug. 29 post on labeling at the Washington Post: "Ever notice how liberals like the Posties won't use 'pro-life' too much, because that would be calling the liberals 'anti-life'? Or they use 'anti-abortion,' but almost never 'pro-abortion'?"

The MRC, of course, has no problem using those loaded labels, as a article from today conveniently details. CNS prefers the terms "pro-life" and "pro-abortion," as well as other labels designed to make conservatives look good and liberals look bad, as ConWebWatch has previously noted.

-- An Aug. 28 post by Vinny Fiore claims that antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan is "insisting" that "America is not a country worth dying for." But those aren't the words she said; rather, she said, "This country is not worth dying for," and there's evidence that the country Sheehan is talking about is Iraq, not the United States.

If that seems like nitpicking, note that later in his post, Fiore berates Sheehan for making "obvious misstatements" about President Bush. After quoting Sheehan as saying that Bush "always said that if you are not for us, you are against us," Fiore adds: "Bush has never said the above in relation to the American public. He has always said, though, to governments that do not take a proactive hand in defeating terrorism, that 'Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorist [sic].'"

-- An Aug. 26 post by Dan Gainor implies that concerns that a mercury-based preservative in children's vaccines are linked to autism are merely "radical environmentalist claims." In fact, you'll find articles about the subject on NewsMax and WorldNetDaily, not known for being radical environmentalists.

For instance, June 2003 WND article, reproduced from the late Moonie-owned magazine Insight (also not known for radical environmentalism), claimed that "vast majority of finger-pointing [about the causes of autism] has been directed at childhood vaccines as the culprit." And an April 2003 NewsMax column by Michael Arnold Glueck and Robert J. Cihak -- Chiak is is a past president of the conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- quoted a study that found "a strong correlation ... between dosage of thimerosal from childhood vaccines and the incidence of autism, speech disorders, and cardiac arrest."

Oy. The fun never ends...

Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 PM EDT
Discover the Name-Calling
Topic: The ConWeb
So, the giant pulsing brain that is David Horowitz's has gotten around to posting its funhouse-mirror profile of my employer, Media Matters. Frankly, we're a bit disappointed, and for reasons other than the article's distortions and factual errors (which are no surprise).

Despite the fact that Richard Poe, managing editor of DTN's Moonbat Central blog, doesn't like me, I somehow escaped being singled out in DTN's Media Matters profile. Then again, I'm still waiting for a reponse from Poe to ConWebWatch's deconstruction of his 10-part WorldNetDaily series that involves something other than personal attacks on me.

Of course, if I had actually gotten any facts wrong in my article, Poe would have screaming it all over Moonbat Central by now.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:58 PM EDT
Filtering the News
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah starts off his Aug. 29 column this way:

In another time and place, in a universe that seems sometimes far, far away, I was a member of the Old Guard.

I was part of the Media Elite, that effete corps of impudent snobs who filtered the news for the American people.

In fact, I had arisen to the very top of the food chain – the elite of the Media Elite, the small club of those who actually ran newsrooms in major metro dailies.

We're not sure that being the editor of a dying Los Angeles Herald-Examiner (shut down in 1989) qualifies as "the very top of the food chain."

But Farah is implying that because he's no longer part of the "Old Guard" media, he's not "filtering the news for the American people." Wrong -- the very act of operating a news service is the act of filtering the news. If you are deciding what news is important to your readers -- which WND does every day via selection of articles and their placement on the page -- you are filtering the news. Just because Farah's WND uses a different filter than other news organizations (one with a predeliction toward lies, distortions and an embrace of convicted felons) doesn't mean news isn't being filtered.

Which makes Farah, by his own definition, the same "impudent snob" he was in his pre-WND days.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 PM EDT

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