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Wednesday, September 21, 2005
The Daily Les, 9/21
Topic: The Daily Les
After another long break, Les Kinsolving returns to the White House briefing room. For some reason, he has stopped copying-and-pasting from the transcript; his WorldNetDaily article is written like a regular story (or, at least, what passes for one at WND). Which is too bad, because he actually asked a good question: "Scott, a two-part. First, do you recall when the last time the President vetoed any bill?"

The second part of that question, alas, is vintage Kinsolving; Apparently, even he was so ashamed for asking it that there is no mention of it in his WND article:

KINSOLVING: Publisher Pinch Sulzberger, of The New York Times, which is now laying off 500 more people after laying off 200 more people earlier this year announced that they "will continue to provide journalism of the highest quality." And my question: What does the President believe that claim says about the 700 they're getting rid of? And wouldn't it be better to get rid of Sulzberger, who tried for so long to save two editors who refused to fire that monumental liar, Jayson Blair, from Maryland?

McCLELLAN: They're not decisions the President of the United States makes.

Why make a big deal about Jayson Blair being from Maryland? Is Kinsolving subliminally telling us that like Blair, he too is a "monumental liar from Maryland"?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:34 PM EDT
Wonkette vs. WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Wonkette notes WorldNetDaily's obsession with gays, in particular, its need to name today's meaningless poll question on the subject of "Corporate America's move to become 'gay'-friendly": "Bending Over Backwards."

We'll let Wonkette handle this one.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EDT
An Eyebrow-Raiser
In a Sept. 21 article, Randy Hall leaves out one important fact regarding New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

While Hall accurately notes that Nagin "was a vice president and general manager at Cox Communications before leaving the cable company to join the New Orleans mayoral race in 2002," Hall failed to note that Nagin was also a Republican until just before entering the New Orleans mayoral race.

That missing fact undermines Hall's claim later in the article that "Nagin raised eyebrows across the state" when, in the 2003 governor's race, he endorsed Republican Bobby Jindal over Democrat Kathleen Blanco. Given that Nagin had been a Democrat for only a year or so before that endorsement, we suspect that fewer eyebrows were raised than Hall thinks.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 AM EDT
Quote of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily
"When 75 percent of New Orleans residents had left the city, it was primarily immoral, welfare-pampered blacks that stayed behind and waited for the government to bail them out."

-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily column.

And as a bonus, Peterson also repeats the lie about "2,000 parked school buses, unused and underwater."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:34 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 10:40 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
The Article WND Won't Be Writing About
Topic: WorldNetDaily
In using a Sept. 20 article to regurgitate a U.S. News & World Report item on disgraced ex-FEMA director Michael Brown, WorldNetDaily overlooked a much more interesting item in that same U.S. News report: that the Republican National Committee used e-mails and a "daily conference call to about 80 pundits, GOP-leaning radio and TV hosts, and newsmakers" to forward "insider info" promoting John Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court.

We suspect that WND wasn't in on those conference calls, given WND editor Joseph Farah's opposition to Roberts. But will anyone else in the ConWeb admit to it? Given the ConWeb's reluctance to tell the truth about themselves (i.e., NewsMax's long-awaited admission that it's funded by Richard Mellon Scaife), we're guessing not.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:34 PM EDT
Kincaid vs. Newsweek (and Self-Dealing)
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid once again obscures the truth to bash Newsweek over that Koran-in-the-toilet story -- and engages in some undisclosed self-dealing in the process.

In a Sept. 20 column, Kincaid once again paints the entire Newsweek article as "false," even though the Pentagon has indeed confirmed allegations of Koran abuse (just not in the manner the Newsweek article described). He also insists that Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Richard Myers never absolved the Newsweek article of sparking riots in Afghanistan that killed several people. But he ignores the views, relayed by Myers, of Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, commander of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, that the violence was "not at all tied to the article in the magazine."

Kincaid also fails to disclose his personal interest in the topic: The little organization he heads, America's Survival Inc., has been agitating to extradite Newsweek's Michael Isikoff to Afghanistan over the deaths purportedly caused by the article.

Kincaid needs to tell his readers why he is using his position at AIM to promote views designed to benefit an organization he heads.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
Selective Griping
Headline on a Sept. 19 article by Patrick Goodenough, about Burger King dropping a logo for an ice-cream product with a label that looked like the Arabic script for "Allah": "Fast-Food Company to Drop Logo After Muslims Gripe."

Interesting choice of words there. Has CNS ever written that Christians -- or conservatives -- "griped" about something? Not that we could find in CNS' database.

Quite the opposite, in fact: In 2003, when an DaimlerChrysler executive said that some conservative critics has "a rather myopic view of the world," CNS insisted it was a "slur." Conservatives who were offended by the remark were not described as "griping" but, rather, expressing "consumer anger" in threatening not to buy another Chrysler vehicle or "increas[ing] pressure" on Chrysler for an apology. Conservatives eventually got their apology; the CNS story on it once again called the remark a "slur."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EDT
Monday, September 19, 2005
The Book Service
Topic: WorldNetDaily
While looking over the ConWebWatch article on ConWeb reaction to the post-mortem on Terri Schiavo, we checked some links and noted that the copy for the WND Book Service listing for Mark Fuhrman's book on Schiavo -- originally the promotional text from Fuhrman's publisher -- has changed. It still reads like was written by a PR flack instead of an "editor" as WND originally promised, so we looked into it. While doing a Google search, we made an amazing discovery.

The WND Book Service, it turns out, appears to be the same thing as the National Review Book Service. For Fuhrman's book is for sale there, on a page with the same basic layout as WND's, with the exact same "review" as WND's.

So the "book service" is simply an independent entity that co-brands with sites like WorldNetDaily and National Review -- and and Human Events and Conservative Book Service and Conservative Book Club. Such a service strikes us as counterproductive for sites, like WND, that operate their own book-selling online store; it could cannibalize sales of the in-house store.

But who's behind it? We're still looking; NR editor Rich Lowry notes that "The book service is a joint project with a publisher who has been responsible for what books to feature in this service and how best to publicize them."

Whoever this mysterious publisher is, it has pretty close ties to conservatives. One of them is Robert Spencer, last seen here trying to whip up anti-Islamic sentiment in the death of a family that turned out not to be Islamic-related at all. In March, he revealed that he was the author of an ad the National Review version of the book service sent out promoting a book that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) took offense to.

Just a reminder that WND, for all of Joseph Farah's insincere protestations that it's not conservative, is still very much a part of the conservative club.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:44 PM EDT
Topic: Media Research Center
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard has been pimping Rasmussen Reports polls lately.

In a Sept. 17 post citing a Rasmussen poll putting President Bush's approval rating several points higher than the record-low ratings cited by other pollsters, Sheppard claimed that "few media outlets pay attention to the poll conducted on a daily basis by Rasmussen Reports. Could it be that Rasmussen's numbers don't mirror the negativity of the other polling groups?"

Sheppard claims in a Sept. 18 post that "regardless of how accurately Rasmussen Reports predicted the 2004 election results, America's media continue to ignore their polling data."

As ConWebWatch has detailed, the reason Rasmussen doesn't get much mainstream play is that it produces conservative-friendly results, having been promoted by the likes of WorldNetDaily. That conservative-friendly 'tude is, presumably, the real reason Sheppard is so infatuated with Rasmussen.

As far as accuracy goes, remember how Zogby, the conservatives' previous polling belle of the ball, did in the 2004 election.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:07 PM EDT
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Letting Fox Off Easy
Topic: Accuracy in Media
In the middle of attacking Bill O'Reilly for, among other things, refusing to promote Ed Klein's dubious anti-Hillary book, Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid used a Sept. 16 column to tweak Fox News for airing erroneous comments. But the incident is a lot worse than Kincaid described.

Kincaid wrote:

In another embarrassment, the Fox News Channel has apologized for airing an interview with John Loftus, a commentator for Fox News, who described a grocery store owner in California named Iyad K. Hilal as a terrorist and gave his home address on the air. The Los Angeles Times reported that his family, including a wife and three children, were "plunged into an unsettling routine of drivers shouting profanities, stopping to photograph their house and—most recently—spray-painting a slogan on their property."

A Fox spokesman said, "John Loftus has been reprimanded for his careless error, and we sincerely apologize to the family."

Loftus said, "I'm terribly sorry about that. I had no idea. That was the best information we had at the time."

Kincaid gets his facts wrong here. Hilal's family is not the one being harrassed; rather, the address Loftus gave out on Fox News as Hilal's address is the home of a different family, and they are the ones who are being harrassed. That's in addition to the fact that, as the Los Angeles Times notes, there is no "law enforcement agency or official that has identified Hilal as a terrorist."

Kincaid seems to think a mere apology and an unspecified "reprimand" is sufficient in this case. But Kincaid was a lot harsher on CBS for doing something similar.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 AM EDT
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

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