NewsBusters Nonsense, 2/10 Topic: NewsBusters
-- Note to Lyford Beverage: You might appear more credible bashing the media for calling the NSA surveillance program a "domestic spying program" if you weren't slavishly using the Bush administration's preferred term for it, "terrorist surveillance program."
-- Megan McCormick frowns upon CNN's Miles O'Brien noting that scientists who deny the existence of global warming tend to be "bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry," fails to note that people like Steven Milloy are.
-- Noel Sheppard thinks the media isn't giving enough attention to Harry Reid's alleged ties to Jack Abramoff, as reported in an Associated Press article. Any chance Sheppard will give any attention at all to the fact that the AP article left out exculpatory information about Reid? We don't think so, either.
Debunked? Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 10 WorldNetDaily article claimed that the death of Matthew Shepherd "was believed to be an 'anti-gay' hate crime – a charge recently debunked in an investigation by ABC's '20/20.'"
Debunked? If you call trusting the current version of an ever-changing story told by a convicted murderer and demonstrated liar, then yeah.
Fred Phelps, Leftist? Topic: Horowitz
A Feb. 9 article by Mark D. Tooley at David Horowitz's FrontPageMag is a laughable, poorly written attempt to pull off a bizarre bit of guilt by association: claiming that virulently anti-gay Kansas preacher Fred Phelps is a leftist.
Headlined "The 'God Hates Fags' Left," Tooley's article falls way short of proving that Phelps is a leftist. Tooley writes that Phelps "supported Saddam Hussein and has been appreciative to Fidel Castro," but he offers no supporting evidence to back it up; If Phelps has a "God Loves Saddam" website, Tooley didn't mention it. Details of Phelps' Democratic links -- he ran for office as a Democrat and "actively supported Al Gore in 1988 and 1992" -- may be true, but they are meaningless because Tooley offers no evidence that Democrats currently support Phelps, particularly after launching his "God Hates Fags" campaign.
Tooley also ignores evidence to the contrary. Phelps promoted a 2005 vote in Topeka, Kan., his hometown, to repeal a city ordinance prohibiting discrimination against homosexuals in city government hiring -- a position that puts him in the mainstream of social conservatism. And when Phelps' granddaughter, Jael Phelps, ran against the state's first openly homosexual officeholder for a Topeka City Council seat (and got clobbered), the Souther Baptist Convention-owned Baptist Press newswire deemed it worthy of coverage.
In short, it's the kind of reporting we've gotten to know and love from the Horowitz organization.
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]?
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.
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"?
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?