The Daily Les, Back at Last Topic: The Daily Les
We've been remiss on detailing The Daily Les lately -- he's been pretty erratic of late, and we discovered that the Holden's Obsession With the Gaggle section of the First Draft blog features does its own Daily Les. But Romenesko catches Les Kinsolving doing his best Jeff Gannon -- acting as a respite from questions about the reported Bush-authorized spying on U.S. residents by serving up a softball about conservative talk-show hosts at the White House.
Romenesko also links to an interesting Baltimore City Paper profile of Kinsolving.
Torture Update Topic: The ConWeb
We've updated our Dec. 13 article on torture to add the very latest: WND's Joseph Farah declaring that the U.S. doesn't torture and NewsMax declaring that basic military training is torture.
Disclosure Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 16 WorldNetDaily article states that "The New York Times neglected to tell its readers that the publishing of a major story today, claiming President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans, coincided with the release of a book by the article's writer."
But WND regularly neglects to tell its readers of conflicts of interests in its own articles. To list just one example ConWebWatch has documented, WND's articles on the Iran Freedom Foundation often fail to disclose that 1) founder Jerome Corsi's books are published by WND; and 2) WND editor Joseph Farah is a member of the foundation's board of directors.
WND needs to address its own disclosure problems before getting too judgmental about those of others.
WND's Bimbo Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 15 WorldNetDaily article describes what Republican PR operative Merrie Spaeth (you may recall that she worked for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) calls the bimbos of the year. One criterion for receiving the award, according to the article, is that "the speaker causes the listener to believe exactly the opposite of what is said." No. 10 on the list:
"The actions were not politically motivated," said Baptist pastor Chan Chandler who asked Democrats to leave his North Carolina church.
What the article doesn't note is that, as ConWebWatch previously noted, WND gave Chandler a forum to be a bimbo. A May 11 WND article permitted Chandler to defend himself at length; it didn't get around to quoting the parishoners expelled from his congregation until 42 paragraphs down.
Is WND passive-aggressively admitting that it too is a bimbo for giving Chandler a forum?
'Shades of Opinion' Topic: Media Research Center
A Dec. 15 NewsBusters post by Greg Sheffield tries (and fails) to get snarky over a Washington Post editor's insistence that the Post "is NOT a 'relatively liberal newspaper.'" During an online chat, Post associate editor Robert G. Kaiser wrote:
This is NOT a 'relatively liberal newspaper.' This is the Web site of the Washington Post, where all shades of opinion are welcome all the time, as they are on The Post's op-ed page (heavily populated by conservative commentators, among others) and our Sunday Outlook section.
Sheffield's response: "Kaiser offered no defense of the A section, the place that has many "shades of opinion" all from the left.
Sheffield offered no evidence of his claim. He might want to try that sometime.
The Rest of the Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
When a news organization such as WorldNetDaily relies on press releases from conservative legal groups for articles, then fails to go beyond them, this results in a highly biased, if not basically untrue, article. And so it is with WND's reports that a Wisconsin school district had allegedly replaced "Silent Night" with a song with the same tune but different lyrics called "Cold in the Night."
WND articles on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 on the controversy hewed closely to pressreleases sent out by Liberty Counsel, and WND made no effort to contact the school district for a response.
And what was the rest of the story that WND couldn't be bothered to pursue? As Think Progress points out, the song "Cold in the Night" comes from a play the school was to perform called "The Little Tree’s Christmas Gift," about a small, lonely Christmas tree that is told it is "too scraggly, it will never sell." The tree sings the revised lyrics in a scene lamenting his sad state. The rewording has absolutely nothing to do with "secularizing" the song.
See what happens when you rely only on one side's version of the story? You don't tell the truth. WND has a problem with that.
Good Question Topic: WorldNetDaily Pandagon asks an interesting question: Why does WorldNetDaily seem concerned only with older women having sex with teen boys? We don't recall WND highlighting any articles about older male teachers having sex with female students. After all, a 22-year-old man impregnating a 13-year-old barely raised WND's ire.
Any of you WND folks lurking here want to answer that?
iGossip Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've taken a look at iGossip, which WorldNetDaily cites as a credible source for its obsessive compendium of teachers having sex with students. It appears to be mainly a bulletin board for anonymous postings about things like teenage crushes and sordid affairs. One post involved a "bi curious" woman who "wanted to try with one of her friends" and reports: "Wow what a weekend it ended up a 4 some her friends hubby and myself got to watch and the friends hubby got to have my gf."
This is what WND considers a credible source of news, folks. Perhaps the good Christians at WND should explain to their readers why it frequents a site that talks about "bi curious" orgies.
Gay Sex = Smoking? Topic: Accuracy in Media
When he's not obsessing about Rachel Maddow's lesbianism, Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid just can't get over how icky gay sex is. From his Dec. 14 column:
Have you noticed that many news organizations, in honor of former ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings, have embarked on a quit smoking campaign? So why don't our media launch a campaign advising people to quit engaging in the dangerous and addictive homosexual lifestyle?
Kincaid adds: "It appears that the homosexual lifestyle is as addictive as smoking."
This, by the way, is the second sex-oriented column from Kincaid in as many days.
Sexpidemic! Topic: WorldNetDaily
How obsessed is WorldNetDaily with teacher-student sex? A Dec. 14 article by Joe Kovacs is dedicated to it and, yes, uses the word "sexpidemic" in the headline. Kovacs calls it a "seeming U.S. epidemic" and offers a long list of purported cases, credited to something called iGossip, so you know it must be reliable.
Of course, there's no evidence that this is an "epidemic," seeming or otherwise. Kovacs offers no sense of proportion or statistics of the number of these cases relative to, well, anything. He also implies that these cases are all current, but one of the people on the list is Pamela Smart, whose little incident took place in 1990.
In other words, it's another anti-public-school scare story, given that links at the end of the article bash public education and boost homeschooling, which is apparent WND editorial policy.
And today's WND poll is dedicated to the subject, again claiming without evidence that there is a "outbreak of teacher-student sex."
Kincaid's Clinton Obsession, Part 2 Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid's disappointment that a CBS report on Bill Clinton's eating habits didn't turn into a discussion of his sex life has jumped from the bowels of the AIM Report to its own Dec. 13 AIM column.