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Friday, September 16, 2005
It's Not A Fact, Part 2
Topic: Accuracy in Media
The Free Congress Foundation's E. Ralph Hostetter joins Ron Marr in botching facts about Hurricane Katrina in a Sept. 16 commentary published at Accuracy in Media.

Hostetter serves up his own version of the school-bus canard by claiming that "more than 1,000 unused school buses were abandoned to the flood waters after the levee broke." The actual number of school buses owned by the Orleans Parish school district is 324.

Hostetter also claimed: "By dawn Tuesday [Aug. 30] Katrina had passed. City newspapers noted that the levees had held." Wrong: the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported "a breach of the levee along the 17th Street Canal" on the afternoon of Aug. 29.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:41 PM EDT
It's Not A Fact
From Ron Marr's Sept. 16 column:

It's a fact, according to the transcripts of a press conference featuring Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco, that George Bush pleaded with this incompetent duo to evacuate the city on August 28th. It's a fact that the mayor failed to utilize nearly 2,000 buses to evacuate the inner cities.

Wrong and wrong.

It's a fact that Marr runs a website called the Trout Wrapper, which may explain where he gets some of his "facts."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 PM EDT
CNS Falsely Impugns Reuters
A Sept. 15 article by Marc Morano makes a mountain out of a molehill -- or, in this case, a bathroom break.

Morano strongly hints that a Reuters photographer violated his employer's policy against "doctoring" photos because a photo of President Bush writing a note during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council was "enhanced" to make the text of the note more readable. The note read: "I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?" Of course, if CNS didn't consider this photo "embarrassing," as the article's headline indicates, Morano wouldn't be doing this article.

Morano adds that "The incident has reminded some people of the CBS '60 Minutes' story in September of 2004 that alleged President Bush shirked his duty while with the Texas Air National Guard in the 1970s." That incident involved documents that were later determined to be unauthenticated. But Morano offers no evidence that the photo is a fake -- that anything was added or removed -- beyond citing "Internet blog speculation that the Reuters photo might have been doctored in the computer program Photoshop."

Nor does Morano explain why, as his headline claims, there is a "contradiction" between enhancing photos to make them look better -- something every publication does -- and Reuters' policy against "doctoring" photos.

It appears that Morano knows very little about Photoshop or digital photography (or regular photography, for that matter, where similar enhancing techniques are used), and it shows in this article.

UPDATE: Where was this "Internet blog speculation that the Reuters photo might have been doctored" that Morano cited coming from? From Matthew Sheffield at NewsBusters -- like CNS, operated by the Media Research Center. A little undisclosed self-dealing here?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 16, 2005 1:07 PM EDT
Lies About Gorelick Continue
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily, in a Sept. 15 article, continues to spread the lie that ex-Clinton administration official Jamie Gorelick "erected" the "wall" that prevented information sharing between intelligence agencies and law enforcement.

To recap, as ConWebWatch has previously done:

-- Gorelick did not "erect" the wall; it was created in the late 1970s.

-- The Bush administration, under attorney general John Ashcroft, reaffirmed Gorelick's guidelines regarding the "wall" shortly before 9/11.

-- The "wall" has nothing to do with the "Able Danger" allegations that a defense intelligence agency had identified lead 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta a year before 9/11. Gorelick's guidelines applied only within the Justice Department, not to the Defense Department.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 AM EDT
New Article: Responsibility Apologists
Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb makes it abundantly clear what President Bush was -- and wasn't -- taking responsibility for regarding Hurricane Katrina. Plus: NewsBusters gets busted trying to pass on a faulty report blaming Democrats for Michael Brown being FEMA director, and other Katrina distortions on the ConWeb. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 AM EDT
Thursday, September 15, 2005
It Speaks For Itself
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Now on sale at WorldNetDaily: "Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel" by Bill Koenig.

The premise: "Nine of the top ten natural disasters in U.S. history ranked by FEMA relief costs" and "The two largest terrorism events in U.S. history," among other similar events, have this in common:

All of these major catastrophes transpired on the very same day or within 24-hours of U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush applying pressure on Israel to trade her land for promises of "peace and security," sponsoring major "land for peace" meetings, making major public statements pertaining to Israel's covenant land and/or calling for a Palestinian state.

We don't even know what to say.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Telling the Truth
Topic: editor David Thibault writes a Sept. 14 column about what the John Roberts hearings "would be like if everybody told the truth -- I mean really told the truth." Predictibly, it trades on conservative stereotypes of non-conservatives (since he includes the non-conservative Arlen Specter as a target).

It would be more interesting to hear Thibault's interpretation of the true thoughts of conservatives as they ask silly softball questions of Roberts. We suspect the "humor" would not be quite as biting.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 PM EDT
'Democrat Party'?
Topic: serves up another loaded word choice in the headline of a Sept. 14 article by Susan Jones: "Democrat Party Keeping Its Focus on Karl Rove."

There, of course, is no such entity as the "Democrat Party"; the proper name is the Democratic Party. Jones doesn't use it in the article itself, sticking with the proper name "Democratic National Committee."

"Democrat Party" is a deliberately inaccurate construct used by many conservatives. More about it here.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 AM EDT
New Article: A Letter to Joseph Farah
Topic: WorldNetDaily
In which we asked the WorldNetDaily editor to tell the truth. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Negative Descriptions
Topic: serves up more negative descriptions of liberals in two Sept. 13 articles on the confirmation hearings for John Roberts.

One article, by Melanie Hunter, claimed that Sen. Ted Kennedy "lectured Roberts on civil rights" and that "Kennedy was admonished - on several occasions - to let Roberts finish answering Kennedy's questions." Hunter added:

Much of Kennedy's questioning was specific and technical, relating to the application of certain civil rights laws, but his tone was stern and disapproving. He often looked down or took notes as Roberts attempted to reply to - or correct - Kennedy's statements.

And while Hunter described conservative groups who support Roberts as "pro-family groups," another Hunter article described NARAL Pro-Choice America as a "pro-abortion group."

Yoo-hoo! Mr. Ackley! ...

Posted by Terry K. at 7:08 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2005 7:20 PM EDT
Annals of Liberal Bias
Topic: Media Research Center
How absurdly wide is the Media Research Center's view of "liberal bias"? Apparently, saying anything nice about Bill Clinton is ipso facto evidence of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 PM EDT
NewsMax Xenophobes
Topic: Newsmax
Is NewsMax taking a xenophobic turn?

A Sept. 13 article by Phil Brennan and Jim Meyers attacks Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy for using "foreign laws and constitutions to interpret U.S. laws and our Constitution."

But Brennan and Meyers go beyond that to attack Kennedy for traveling outside of the U.S.:

Kennedy in particular has a passion for foreign cultures and ideas. In the late 1970s he was appointed supervisor of the territorial courts in the South Pacific, and traveled often to Guam, Palau, Saipan, American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Every summer for the past 15 years, Kennedy and his wife Mary have rented an apartment in Salzburg, Austria, where he has taught a summer program at the local university.

Brennan and Meyers don't want that sort of thing in a Supreme Court justice, apparently. Do they want any American to travel outside of the U.S.? You never know what ideas diseases they'll pick up.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 AM EDT
Monday, September 12, 2005
Examples, Please
Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a Sept. 12 WorldNetDaily column about "how easy it is to slant journalistic writing" through word choices, Michael Ackley writes:

Another example is to be found in references to the president of the United States. Throughout his tenure, Bill Clinton was uniformly referred to as "President Clinton" by radio and TV network broadcasters. This is a courtesy seldom accorded the current resident of the White House, who regularly is called "Mr. Bush."

Ackley offers no specific proof that this has occurred.

Ackley previously worked with WND editor Joseph Farah while both were at the Sacramento Union. At both the Union and WND, Farah and his employees have a history of using, as Ackley wrote, "loaded words that might prejudice the reader." Ackley might want to look into that sometime.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:58 AM EDT
Topic: WorldNetDaily
One more noteworthy thing has been added to the ConWebWatch article on Joseph Farah's plagiarism: He knows it's wrong because he has criticized others in the past for using WorldNetDaily copy without proper credit.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EDT
Sunday, September 11, 2005
AIM Plays the Race Card
Topic: Accuracy in Media
A Sept. 10 Accuracy in Media press release suggests that the news media is protecting New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin from criticism over his handling of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath because he is black.

"Why is there a media rush to blame Bush and let a black mayor and female governor off the hook in the blame game?" AIM editor Cliff Kincaid is quoted as saying.

A better question would be: Why is AIM so slavishly adhering to Republican talking points in trying to shield the Bush administration from blame for its role in the Katrina aftermath?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 PM EDT

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