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Thursday, February 9, 2006
The Daily Les, 2/9
Topic: The Daily Les
Les Kinsolving was in full Gannon mode today:

KINSOLVING: The New York Post notes the following – and this is a quote – "Jimmy Carter's disgraceful performance at Coretta Scott King's funeral marks him as the most shameless," while The New York Times Page 1 report mentioned "the overt political jibes." And my question: Did any of the King sons or daughters thank the president for his tribute to their mother and his extraordinary control, despite the performances of Jimmy Carter and Joe Lowery?


The New York Post also noted, "Carter couldn't quite bring himself to note that the wiretappings of Dr. King was conducted under Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, and was originally ordered by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, all Democrats." And my question: Can the president deny that Jimmy Carter was, in this statement, revenging himself on Teddy Kennedy for running against Carter's re-election [in 1980]?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:56 PM EST
WND Columnist Issues Death Threat Against Cartoonist
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 9 WorldNetDaily column by Jon Dougherty takes the Islamic approach to offensive cartoons: calls for death.

Dougherty rants in his column against Tom Toles, the Washington Post editorial cartoonist who drew a cartoon featuring an amputee U.S. soldier. He doesn't explicitly say he wants Toles dead, but the headline leaves no ambiguity as to his intent: "Why is this man still alive?"

Dougherty goes on to call Toles "an amazingly insensitive pinhead," adding that "this obscene cartoon goes beyond dissent and crosses well into the realm of material our society ought to -- and used to -- reject." Dougherty adds:

But the reason why this man is still alive is due far less to his cunning and courage under fire, and much more because the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines he mocked are protecting him from the bad guys.

Even if he doesn't deserve it.

Does Toles need to be protected from Dougherty? Sounds like it.

Dougherty offers no explanation why another editorial cartoon featuring an amputee soldier has not generated similar outrage.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2006 11:09 AM EST
Media Criticism: Compare and Contrast
Topic: NewsBusters
Here's why the MRC/NewsBusters approach to media criticism is intellectually bereft:

-- A Feb. 8 post by Noel Sheppard purports to detail how "something odd happens when he steps on the soundstage of MSNBC to host “Hardball” – his ultra-left, San Francisco Chronicle columnist side emerges…and then some" (despite copious evidence to the contrary). Again citing "Matthews’ San Francisco liberal side," Sheppard went on to attack the entirety of the Feb. 7 editon of "Hardball" -- except for one part, which he quickly skimmed over as "speaking with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) about his spat with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)."

-- A companion post by Mark Finkelstein addresses the McCain segment on "Hardball," but he seems irked that McCain was on TV at all (despite his unambiguously conservative record). "Other Dems and MSM types might back away from McCain in the wake of his shot across Obama's bow, but Matthews is obviously loving the political theater and the grist for his nightly mill," Finkelstein wrote.

-- Media Matters (my employer), meanwhile, pointed out the bottom line of that McCain segment: Matthews gave McCain a forum to attack Obama without giving Obama an opportunity to respond.

C'mon now, Noel and Mark: Is denying a Democrat a chance to respond to an attack by a Republican really the behavior of a "San Francisco liberal"?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EST
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
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 slanted coverage at WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:26 PM EST
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."

Thus proving Tapper right.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:24 PM EST
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EST
A Nobel Nomination for Hypocrisy
A Feb. 8 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2006 1:35 PM EST
Same Lack of Disclosure, Different Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily runs yet another article regurgitating the words of Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson without disclosing its business relationship with him: publishing his book and booking his speeches.

And WND wonders why people don't take it seriously as a source of journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EST
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 AM EST
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
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?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:47 PM EST
If A Republican Said It, It Must Be True
The opening paragraph of a Feb. 7 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."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 PM EST
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?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:51 AM EST
Monday, February 6, 2006
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'...

Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EST
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 6, 2006 1:31 PM EST
Sunday, February 5, 2006
Dubious Poll?
Topic: The ConWeb
Last week, both and NewsMax touted a poll conducted by Richard Viguerie's, 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:23 PM EST

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