NewsMax Wrong on Echelon Topic: Newsmax Think Progress debunks a claim in a Dec. 18 NewsMax article that the Echelon intelligence-gathering program operated without using court-ordered warrants. The only reason NewsMax would make such a claim is so that it can continue its practice of deflecting bad news about the Bush administration by dragging a Clinton into it.
Farah Quitting Radio Show Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah is leaving his weekday radio show on Jan. 13, according to a Dec. 20 WorldNetDaily article. His reason, he says: "I need to spend more time with WND and my family." No word on if someone else will take over Farah's slot or the fate of Golden Broadcasters, the syndicator created to distribute Farah's show after he got bumped from syndicator Radio America so G. Gordon Liddy could take over his slot.
A Tale of Two Posts Topic: Media Research Center
A Dec. 20 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein starts off by declaring: "Let's get one thing straight: the the Transport Workers Union strike in NYC is illegal." Finkelstein then goes on to complain that the illegality of the strike is not being reported prominently enough for him.
In the NewsBusters post directly below it, Tom Segel writes about the recently disclosed federal wiretapping on suspected terrorists. While he alludes to "allegations" of "criminal action," nowhere does Segel state that wiretapping without a court order is generally considered illegal.
New Article: Conservative Christmas Correctness Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily again teams up with conservative legal groups to hype a press-release-generated "war on Christmas" -- and again, WND can't be bothered to get the other side of the story. And which WND columnist is likening those who don't support the "war on Christmas" to Nazis and Holocaust deniers? Read more.
Accuracy in Plagiarism Topic: Accuracy in Media World O'Crap catches an egregious bit of plagiarism on the part of Deborah Lambert, who works for Accuracy in Media's sister organization, Accuracy in Academia, and who also "oversees the area of fundraising and donor relations for AIM." Turns out Lambert's Dec. 16 column for Accuracy in Academia's online newsletter was lifted from a Human Events Online piece.
That's the kind of skill that could get Lambert hired at WorldNetDaily.
Frighteningly Dubious Assertion of the Day Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a Dec. 19 WorldNetDaily column, Erik Rush likens those who scoff at the dubious claim that there is a "war on Christmas" to Holocaust deniers and Nazis:
Yet the incremental attainment of power on the part of the Nazis in Germany, their duplicity and their denials during their early days parallels the actions of the Left in recent years to a chilling degree, particularly concerning their vociferous denials with respect to attacks on Christianity.
In his Dec. 9 Newsday column, "Peace for Christmas, or 'the holidays'" Ellis Henican declares: "OK, let me say this right up front so there will be no misunderstanding. There is no war on Christmas." So is he dull, deluded or complicit? With literally dozens of public controversies over the last few years over the names of cities, public seals bearing religious icons, "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, and lawsuits over Nativity scenes and Ten Commandments displays, what other intelligent conclusion can be drawn?
And it's not just the American Civil Liberties Union, which many complain is spearheading this effort. I won't validate them by naming the organizations, but, as Franklin Graham stated, there are indeed groups of Americans who are dedicated to eradicating Christianity completely, if at all possible.
But no, they say: You see, this backlash against the "attack on religion and Christmas" thing is just a fabrication of a handful of right-wing zealots, inflammatory news commentators and radio talk-show hosts – not the 85-plus percent Americans who identify themselves as Christians and see their faith being driven back to first-century, almost criminal status.
To me, that sounds a lot like the pre-World War II assertions that the Jews were the name of Germany's pain and the postwar contention that the Holocaust was a Zionist fabrication.
Hitler himself declared decades before he was able to actualize his monstrous programs precisely what he intended to do, as many of America's enemies, at home and abroad, are doing right now.
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?