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Wednesday, October 12, 2005
The Schiavo Slant, Part 3
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Today's "Terri's Story" excerpt by Diana Lynne purports to describe, in the words of the front-page promo, "how activists crafted law used to kill Terri Schiavo."

Again, there is an issue of balance -- Lynne has made no mention thus far of the "activist" tendencies of the supporters of Terri Schiavo's parents, the Schindlers, such as Randall Terry, Gary McCullough and David Gibbs III. WND claims Lynne's book is "definitive," but given her unwillingness thus far to forward any criticism of the Schindlers and their supporters, evidence to support that description is scant.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EDT
NewsMax Attempts to Un-Punk
Topic: Newsmax
An Oct. 12 NewsMax article builds on the politicians-at-U2-concerts theme while ignoring its own role -- started by its own false reporting.

The article states: "First Sen. Rick Santorum and now Sen. Hillary Clinton have tried to cash in on the popularity of rock group U2 and its front man Bono by scheduling fund-raisers at the band’s concerts. But U2 wants no part of it."

That, of course, is not how NewsMax originally portrayed Santorum's presence at an upcoming U2 concert, falsely stating that U2 was "teaming up" with Santorum for a fund-raiser (as ConWebBlog previously reported). NewsMax has since changed the article (without telling readers) to reflect reality: Santorum got a luxury box for his well-heeled donors.

But now that Clinton's gotten in on the act, NewsMax is looking askance at the whole deal, noting that "backers can catch the concert in comfort with a wet bar, private bathroom and plush chairs in Clinton’s $7,000 suite" without noting that Santorum's backers are getting the same type of accomodations.

NewsMax also quotes a U2 publicist as saying, "The U2 concerts are categorically not fund-raisers for any politician – they are rock concerts for U2 fans." without noting that the comment was in response to Santorum's fund-raiser claims, as Santorum Exposed points out.

But again, NewsMax has yet to admit its original false story, which tells you about journalistic standards on the ConWeb.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
NewsMax Gets Punk'd
Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax's James Hirsen falsely claimed that U2 was holding a fund-raiser for Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum.

An Oct. 10 article originally read this way (courtesy Santorum Exposed):

Teaming up with the legendary rock group U2 for a one-night only appearance will be Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.).

The thousand-dollar-a-seat concert has been put together by Sean and Ana Wolfington and will take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia in support of Santorum’s re-election, reports NewsMax's James Hirsen.
Wolfington puts it this way: "It's truly appropriate for U2, a band with a purpose, to be involved in a fund-raiser with Senator Rick Santorum, a politician with a purpose. Both men are passionate about what they believe and their faith is very important to them."

NewsMax has since changed the article to somewhat closer reflect reality:

On Sunday, October 16, a unique political event will take place.

At a concert of the legendary rock group U2, Senator Rick Santorum will hold a fund-raising event for one night only.

The thousand-dollar-a-seat fund-raiser has been put together by Sean and Ana Wolfington, and it will take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia in support of Santorum's reelection.

In other words, Santorum got some seats to the U2 show -- or rather, as Joe Trippi points out, a luxury box -- and is giving them out to high-dollar campaign donors. Santorum Exposed also quotes a spokesman for Bono as saying that "U2 concerts are categorically not fundraisers for any politician - they are rock concerts for U2 fans."

But NewsMax makes no note of the correction -- or even any hint of the article's significant alterations, which also removed Hirsen's name. Hirsen, a NewsMax columnist, is currently plugging his new book, "Hollywood Nation."

The article also still states that "As in the case of Santorum, Bono's religious convictions inform his activities," implying that Bono supports Santorum.

NewsMax thus joins the ranks of WorldNetDaily, which also wanted to believe something so badly it ran a false news story.

UPDATE: Thanks to the magic of the Google cache, here's a copy of NewsMax's original false story.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:58 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 11:31 AM EDT
NewsMax's Token Liberal
Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax runs Democratic strategist Susan Estrich's syndicated column mostly as a defense against claims that it's monolithically conservative (sorta like why WorldNetDaily runs columns by Bill Press -- or did until a few weeks ago). But in a follow-up on a dustup over why Clinton-basher (and fellow NewsMax columnist) Dick Morris, who has a new book out touting the presidential prospects of Condoleezza Rice, won't appear on any talking-head show against Estrich, who has a new book out touting the presidential prospects of Hillary, NewsMax has chosen sides -- and to nobody's surprise, it wasn't with Estrich.

An Oct. 11 article NewsMax attacks Estrich for promoting Hillary when she claimed a couple years ago that Hillary is too divisive to be president, suggesting that "before she debates Morris, whose new book "Hillary vs. Condi" debuted yesterday - perhaps she ought to debate herself." NewsMax goes on to call Estrich a "Carol Channing sound-alike." The end of the article announces: "Get Dick Morris' new book "Hillary vs. Condi" for an unbeatable price at's bookstore."

If NewsMax hates Estrich so much, why is it paying her good money to run her column?

Posted by Terry K. at 5:21 PM EDT
The Schiavo Slant Continues
Topic: WorldNetDaily
In what looks to be a series (starting with yesterday's piece), Diana Lynne has penned another article for WorldNetDaily promoting her WND-published book, "Terri's Story." These articles are providing details of the slant that "Terri's Story" is apparently taking on the Terri Schiavo case -- pro-Schindler, anti-Michael.

Today's installment -- and today's slant -- focuses on the autopsy report following Terri Schiavo's death. Lynne repeats criticism of medical examiner Jon Thogmartin's report without providing an opportunity for Thogmartin to respond, and she notes that the New York Times "preached" in an editorial about the case.

Lynne also quotes Dr. William Hammesfahr without citing the controversy over his falsely claiming to be a Nobel Prize nominee.

Finally, as she did yesterday, Lynne quoted people citing the purported bias of the media against Terri Schiavo without addressing the pro-Terri, anti-Michael bias exhibited by WorldNetDaily in its coverage of the Schiavo case (copiously documented by ConWebWatch) in which she, as a WND writer, participated.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:35 AM EDT
New Article: Supreme Confusion
Topic: The ConWeb
Accuracy in Media attacks WorldNetDaily! The Media Research Center bashes NBC for not reporting criticism of President Bush! NewsMax accuses Robert Bork of borking! The Harriet Miers nomination is turning the ConWeb topsy-turvy. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Monday, October 10, 2005
Double Standard on Savaging
Topic: Media Research Center
NewsBusters' John Armor, in an Oct. 8 post, beats up on the Washington Post for an "extended whitewash" in an article on the Hillary Clinton fund-raising pseudo-scandal, claiming that "The reporter spends most of her article savaging the witnesses against Hillary Clinton" -- that, of course, would be convicted felons (and conservative darlings) Aaron Tonken and Peter Paul. Armor writes:

But if no one could be found responsible based on testimony of witnesses who have themselves committed crimes, no member of the Mafia would ever have gone to jail. Reporters, like prosecutors, have to take their witnesses as they find them. Sometimes, apparently “bad” people do tell the truth.

Armor offers no evidence that the "bad" Tonken and Paul are indeed telling the truth, other than an assumption that because what they say makes the Clintons look bad, it therefore must be the truth.

So, we've established that "savaging" convicted criminals who serve as witnesses is a bad thing (Armor is apparently so opposed to the practice that he doesn't even name Paul and Tonken in his post). But, a few NewsBusters posts later, what do we see Dustin Hawkins doing? Exactly what Armor advised against.

In an Oct. 10 post, Hawkins savages Sandy Berger, who responded to allegations made by former FBI director Louis Freeh on "60 Minutes":

Amusingly, it is Sandy Berger who will be coming to Clinton's defense tonight in a written statement to be read by CBS. Sandy Berger is best known for being Clinton's National Securoty Adviser who was recently given a $50,000 fine, ordered to do 100 hours of community service, and placed on probation for stealing Classified Government Documents and stuffing them in his pants.

So, Dustin and John, tell us again why Tonken and Paul are trustworthy and Berger is not.

UPDATE: Breaking factoid: John Armor posts at Free Republic as "Congressman Billybob."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 10, 2005 10:01 PM EDT
Quote of the Day
"Miers was raised Roman Catholic and found Christ in the late 1970s, according to one evangelical acquaintance."

-- Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, Oct. 10 column published at

Huh? Is he really saying that Catholics don't believe in Christ?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EDT
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 10 WorldNetDaily article by Diana Lynne, based on her book "Terri's Story," seems to be bearing out what we suspected: Far from a "comprehensive" account of the Terri Schiavo case, the book will promote the side of Terri's parents, the Schindlers, and bash her husband, Michael Schiavo.

The article inclusdes a 12-item list of "salient facts of the case" that the media "consistently failed to report" -- all of them negative toward Michael Schiavo. Missing from her list is anything that makes the Schindlers look bad, including:

-- The Schindlers encouraged Michael to start dating again, according to the guardian ad litem in the case.

-- Dr. William Hammesfahr, who examined Terri Schiavo and often spoke in support of the Schindlers, falsely claimed to be a Nobel Prize nominee.

-- The extremist anti-abortion backgrounds of Schindler spokesmen such as Randall Terry and Gary McCullough.

Somehow, we suspect that Lynne's book is not so "comprehensive" as to include the above information; if it does, we suspect the Schindlers or their representatives are allowed to rebut it, something we assume Michael Schindler or his representatives were not given much opportunity to do with allegations such her 12-point Michael-bashing list.

And, of course, keep in mind Lynne's history of biased reporting for WND on the Schiavo case.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:31 AM EDT
Sunday, October 9, 2005
Israeli Oil
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bartholomew serves up the background on a recent WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein about a company that's using Biblical verses to pinpoint locations to drill for oil in Israel. Of note is yet another patented WND conflict of interest: WND columnist Hal Lindsey used an April 2004 column to promote sales of shares in the company doing the drilling, Zion Oil & Gas, without disclosing that his cousin, Ralph DeVore, owned a piece of the company at the time.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 PM EDT
WND's PR Service
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily continues its work as the public-relations division of the Alliance Defense Fund by running not one but two articles on Oct. 8 based on ADF press releases.

And no mention, of course, of the conflict of interest that ADF chief Alan Sears is a WND columnist.

UPDATE: Added links to ADF press releases. Also, a WND email to its readers (reprinting Joseph Farah's Oct. 7 column pimping Larry Elder's Michael Moore-bashing film) notes that the ADF is a "sponsor" of WND -- another fact not noted in those WND articles. Than again, those articles may be part of the price of sponsorship.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 9, 2005 8:02 PM EDT
Friday, October 7, 2005
The Daily Les, 10/7
Topic: The Daily Les
Today's question #1:

KINSOLVING: The Vice President told two talk radio hosts that New York's Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel's comparison of President Bush to Bull Connor "was so out of line, it almost struck me that Charlie was having some problem. Charlie is losing it, I guess." And my question, does the President disagree with the Vice President --

As Kinsolving described the answer: "Scott McClellan said President Bush 'trongly supports' ice President Cheney in his recent comments suggesting Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., is 'losing it.'"

Which, of course, means that fellow WND columnist Mychal Massie is losing it, too, something Kinsolving fails to note.

Question #2:

KINSOLVING: Midway through his speech on the war on terror, the President said, "The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them because they're equally guilty of murder." And my first question, since the Palestinian Authority surely harbors Hamas, which I've heard you say the President recognizes as a terrorist organization, what about the $1.6 billion U.S. that have been given to the Palestinian Authority?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:28 PM EDT
Quote of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily
"Evil people love Bill Clinton because he is one of them. Those who oppose President Bush hate him because he's good."

-- Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Oct. 7 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 3:35 PM EDT
NewsMax Gets It Wrong
Topic: Newsmax
In an Oct. 7 article, NewsMax falsely claimed that Democrats tried to bury an investigation dating back to the Clinton administration.

In quoting Sen. Lindsey Graham calling for the release of a report by Independent Counsel David Barrett, NewsMax stated: "The document, finished 13 months ago, has been bottled up by the panel - with Democrats in the Senate making an unsuccessful bid earlier this year to quash its publication."

In fact, since the investigation report is complete and in the hands of a supervising three-judge panel, its eventual release is in the hands of those judges, not politicians. Democrats were attempting to cut off funding for an investigation that began in 1995 to investigate then-HUD director Henry Cisneros -- who pleaded guilty to charges from the investigation in 1999 -- and has spent more than $22 million, including $1.26 million in the last six months of 2004.

NewsMax mentions nothing about the length of the investigation or its original target, let alone the fact that he hasn't held public office in years.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 PM EDT
NewsBusters Notes
Topic: Media Research Center
A couple items of note from NewsBusters:

-- Mark Finkelstein tries out a new meme: Being "pro-life" does not mean you support overturning Roe v. Wade.

-- Tim Graham gets in a minor snit because Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler (soon to be ombudsman for PBS) ignored the MRC's continual complaints about liberal bias. He also claims that NPR co-ombudsman Ken Bode is the "liberal" counterpart to Bill Schulz's "conservative." Not quite; Schulz is definitely a conservative, but Bode is an adjunct fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, and endorsed a Republican for Indiana governor in 2004.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 PM EDT

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