The One-Source Wonder, Back in the WND Saddle Topic: WorldNetDaily
His online Voices Magazine looks to be a bit on the defunct side, so Slantie winner Jon Dougherty is writing more for WorldNetDaily, where he was a reporter and columnist before briefly decamping for NewsMax (he left NewsMax in early 2005 to start Voices and to freelance for WND).
Which brings us to Dougherty's Feb. 8 WND article, the sole purpose of which is to blame Congress for the controversy over the Bush administration's domestic spying program and to explain away claims that the administration acted illegally. Dougherty trotted out Jed Babbin, a conservative activist who has previously made false claims in support of the Bush administration, to claim that the administration didn't tell anyone about the program because Congress would have leaked it. Babbin also suggests without evidence that Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV leaked news of the program.
Dougherty also claims: "As to the overall legality of the NSA program, experts say Bush was operating within constitutional and statutory parameters." There are experts -- including some conservatives, like Bruce Fein and Bob Barr -- who believe otherwise, but Dougherty doesn't mention them.
It looks like Dougherty is picking up right where he left off in offering slantedcoverage at WND.
Hillary the Cadaver Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 8 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham scoffs at a claim by ABC's Jake Tapper that everything Hillary Clinton does is "dissected like a cadaver on CSI." Graham writes: "Hillary, probed like a cadaver? Ridiculous. She is the probed about as often as the teacher's pet. She is the anchorman's pet. She's even more the anchor woman's pet."
Graham then claims that "Tapper did not focus on another New York paper whose coverage of Hillary has been ignored by most," citing a claim that Hillary "had some nasty things to imply about Republicans and black voters."
Who Do You Trust? Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell writes in his Feb. 8 column that coverage of the domestic spying scandal is "extremely politicized. Americans can’t trust a liberal media, so partisan in this debate, to tell it to them straight."
But Bozell makes so many bogus claims in his column that you trust him even less. Way to undermine yourself there, Brent.
A Nobel Nomination for Hypocrisy Topic: CNSNews.com
A Feb. 8 CNSNews.com article (repeated at NewsMax) by Susan Jones touts a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and conservative fave John Bolton. But wait -- wasn't CNS and the rest of the ConWeb disparaging such nominations just a few short months ago?
Yup. In stories on the then-pending execution of convicted murderer Stanley "Tookie" Williams (here and here), CNS countered mentions of Nobel nominations for Williams with the statements that "some conservatives question whether Williams' previous actions can be forgiven" and that "similar opportunities were denied his victims." And CNS ran a Jan. 25 column by Michelle Malkin regarding a battle over the life of a badly beaten girl who had been on life support: "I propose nominating her for a Nobel Prize. It bought Tookie Williams five extra years."
ConWebBlog has previously noted WorldNetDaily's hypocritcal view on Nobel nominations.
New Article: NewsMax's Memory Hole Topic: Newsmax
A false Clinton-bashing story gets deleted rather than corrected -- which, of course, does nothing about the uncorrected copies still floating around the Internet. Read more.
A Tale of Two Cartoons Topic: NewsBusters
Conservative outlets such as NewsBusters have regularly reported on the controversy over a cartoon by Washington Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles depicting an amputee U.S. soldier.
An Editor & Publisher article raises a good point: If the depiction of amputee soldiers in an editorial cartoon is such a horrible thing, why aren't NewsBusters, et al., complaining about this cartoon by Atlanta Journal-Constitution cartoonist Mike Luckovich, which similarly depicts an amputee soldier? Is it because instead of taking aim at Donald Rumsfeld, Luckovich's cartoon aims at NewsBusters' favorite target, the media?
If A Republican Said It, It Must Be True Topic: CNSNews.com
The opening paragraph of a Feb. 7 CNSNews.com article by Monica Bansal describes The Interfaith Alliance as "a group of Leftist clergy members." But the only evidence Bansal provides to support that claim is a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee calling the group "a front group for left-wing partisan Democrats."
Inaccuracy in Media Topic: Accuracy in Media
A Feb. 4 Accuracy in Media "AIM Report" by Wes Vernon was rendered incorrect immediately upon publication.
In Vernon's version of the Valerie Plame outing scandal, he claims that "Plame had not been undercover for over 5 years, and her husband, Joseph Wilson, reportedly went around Washington introducing her as 'my CIA wife.'" Because, apparently, what someone "reportedly" did is exactly the same as what they actually did.
The truth is a little different. As Newsweek reported about the time that Vernon's article was posted, according to newly released portions of a judge's opinion, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done "covert work overseas" on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA "was making specific efforts to conceal" her identity.
Will we be seeing a correction from AIM anytime soon?
NewsBusters Nonsense, 2/6 Topic: NewsBusters
-- In a post headlined "Time Demonstrates Media Template on Terrorist Surveillance Program," Lyford Beverage shows his adherance to the conservative template by unquestioningly adopting the White House's "Terrorist Surveillance Program" terminology. As does Michael Rule.
-- Writing on a Turkish movie that allegedly depicts U.S. troops as "savages who indiscriminately kill Muslims," Greg Sheffield serves up the headline "Hollywood Execs Wonder: 'Why Didn't I Think of That?'" and quips, "The film may be too late to be considered for Oscar nominations." Ah, more of that "insightful analysis" and "constructive criticism" we've come to expect from NewsBusters.
-- In a post on a CBS poll that reinforces MRC's perception of liberal media bias, Brent Baker noted that the MRC has details of "several polls showing how the public recognizes the news media's liberal tilt." Gee, such findings wouldn't have anything at all to do with the fact that conservative groups such as the MRC have spent millions upon millions of dollars over the past couple decades to get that claim out, would it? Just sayin'...
Playing the Victim Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Feb. 6 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah is feeling a mixed sense of persecution and self-aggrandizement. He followed up a claim that "[t]he impact of what news sources like WND have contributed to our society cannot be overstated" with the following expression of dismay:
Most Americans, however, have no idea how tenuous this development is. Most have no idea how precious few are the resources available to news organizations like WND. Most have no idea how we are being challenged and tested and attacked on a daily basis because of the impact we are having.
Farah has apparently decided to lump all critics of WND as enemies who oppose what it does. That's a simplistic and misleading defense.
ConWebWatch criticizes WND not because of its "impact" but because its particular brand of so-called journalism leans heavily on plagiarism, lies and bias to an extent the "arrogant ... elitists in New York, Washington and Los Angeles" Farah bashes in his column could only dream of.
Farah has never countered any of ConWebWatch's research. Feel free to do so anytime, sir.
P.S.: Farah's citing of its promotion of NAACP head Julian Bond's alleged remarks likening Republicans to Nazis as an example of the "dramatic and timely" articles WND runs would have more credibility if he hadn't also linked to the response to the alleged remarks from Mychal Massie, who has a history of likening Democrats to Nazis.
Dubious Poll? Topic: The ConWeb
Last week, both CNSNews.com and NewsMax touted a poll conducted by Richard Viguerie's ConservativeHQ.com, which claims among other things that 77 percent of respondents are either seriously disappointed with Republican Congressional leaders or want them replaced and that 70 percent would support a "principled conservative challenger" running against an "established incumbent Republican" in a 2006 GOP primary.
But one question not answered by any documentation released thus far: How reliable is this poll? ConservativeHQ states only that it was an "on-line poll of 1,028 conservative activists and donors." "Online poll" conjures up images of unreliable, easily gamed opt-in polls; an earlier memo from Viguerie, however, states that the poll was sent to "tens of thousands of conservative donors and grassroots activists around the country."
So, while this poll is likely not as unreliable as an opt-in poll, it is also not as reliable as a regular poll conducted by a polling firm. Only a thousand or so responses from "tens of thousands" sent out is not necessarily representative, since only the most motivated and/or frustrated will take the time to respond to it. The quickness to which conservative outlets such as NewsMax and CNS and Viguerie's history as a conservative organizer and motivator (not to mention the descriptions of "principled conservative challenger" and "established incumbent Republican," which implants the image in the respondent's mind that the incumbent is, by definition, not "principled") also indicate that it's a poll to be taken with at least a small grain of salt.
-- Since no information was lost -- and since Berger was cleared of the allegation that he withheld information from the 9/11 Commission -- NewsMax's claim that Berger was trying to "to thwart the 9/11 Commission investigation" makes no sense.
Bankrolling Topic: Newsmax
The headline on a Feb. 4 NewsMax article sure sounds sinister: "Teresa Heinz Bankrolling Hillary Clinton." Well, not exactly.
In fact, as the article describes, Teresa Heinz Kerry donated $2,100 to Clinton's campaign. Hardly a "bankrolling" for for a campaign that, according to an Associated Press article NewsMax posted the same day, raised $6 million in the last three months of 2005.
Note to NewsMax: This is not bankrolling. Richard Mellon Scaife's financing of NewsMax? Now that's bankrolling.