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Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Great Minds Think Alike
Topic: Media Research Center
"CBS blew a golden opportunity to upgrade its Evening News anchor slot," said MRC President Brent Bozell. "CBS chose the perky, likeable, and politically liberal Katie Couric, whose biases will only reinforce CBS’s reputation as a network riddled with liberally biased reporting. CBS, already in third place in the evening news ratings, has metaphorically put its anchor chair on the deck of the old media Titanic."

-- Media Research Center press release, April 5

"The decision suggests there will be less emphasis on hard news on the network that employed Edward R. Murrow, considered a hero to the old CBS News crowd. On the Today Show, Couric had to deal with some hard news, but a lot of celebrities and fluff. She has been hired by CBS, apparently, because she is a liberal who projects a pleasant, warm and friendly appearance. That may be enough to raise the ratings. CBS Evening News has been mired in third place among network news shows, with 8.1 million viewers. ABC World News Tonight is second, with 8.7 million, and NBC Nightly News is number one, with 9.7 million. It's like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic."

-- Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media press release, April 5

Or is it that great minds plagiarize each other?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:37 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 5, 2006 6:43 PM EDT
NewsBusters Ignores Conservative Chris Matthews
Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've previously noted, the Media Research Center ignores all evidence that Chris Matthews has some conservative tendencies in order to whack him for his allegedly liberal views. It happened again: An April 5 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein takes offense at a single line of praise uttered by Matthews about Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, but he fails to give credit (as it were) to Matthews for, during that same edition of "Hardball," a lengthy, softball-laden interview with Tom DeLay. That does seem to be how people like Finkelstein and his MRC colleagues want conservatives in the media to be treated, after all. Finkelstein also offers no mention of further evidence of Matthews' admiration of DeLay.

And before Finkelstein gets all worked up about "Democrats and their MSM claque ... dancing on the graves of their political opponents," he might want to recall that his MRC colleagues exhibited much the same behavior when Peter Jennings died last year.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:14 PM EDT
Meaningless Poll of the Day
Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax is polling its readers about the idea of Katie Couric as CBS Evening News anchor, as if 1) its polls mean something, and 2) biased, unreliable opt-in polling plays a role in the hiring process. Oddest question: In asking "who would you prefer be CBS News anchor?" NewsMax serves up the options of Couric, Bill O'Reilly, and Lou Dobbs.

Just in case there was any doubt about how NewsMax wants its readers to vote in this poll -- particularly on the question "Do you believe Katie Couric is fair or biased as a journalist?" -- a companion article by Jim Meyers regurgitates a Media Research Center compendium of Couric's alleged liberal bias. As a bonus, Meyers cites a NewsBusters poll on Couric's purported bias without telling readers that the opt-in poll is just as unreliable and meaningless as the poll NewsMax is doing.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 PM EDT
WND Hearts Olmert?
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Could this be? Nice things about Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert appearing in a WorldNetDaily article?

It's true: In an April 5 commentary, Michael Evans does with WND Jerusalem report Aaron Klein won't, not only describing Olmert's background but explaining the Kadima party's plan to establish a permanent border for Israel with or without the cooperation of the Palestinians.

It's telling, however, that Evans' article is relegated to WND's commentary page, while Klein's much more biased articles are presented as "news."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:21 AM EDT
New Article: Even More Less-Than-Wholeness
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Why does it matter that WorldNetDaily's Diana Lynne is being dishonest about the Terri Schiavo case? Because dishonesty is the fuel that runs WND. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Lack of Disclosure Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily scores a two-fer today in failing to disclose its personal or business interests in the subjects it covers:

-- WND promoted the latest Minuteman border-watching campaign while not disclosing that WND editor Joseph Farah is a member of the group.

-- WND reported on a meaningless NCAA basketball bracket-style presidential poll that has Tom Tancredo in the lead without disclosing that it is publishing Tancredo's new book.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:40 PM EDT
A Question for the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
If Chris Matthews really is the unrepentant, biased liberal the MRC loves to portray him as, why was Matthews the first major media person with whom Tom DeLay broke the news that he was resigning from Congress?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EDT
CNS Buries, Spins DeLay's Corruption Links
Two April 4 articles by Susan Jones about the resignation of Tom DeLay from Congress were less than eager to note DeLay's links to congressional corruption scandals -- and then, when it was broached, to repeat DeLay's spin on it.

The first Jones article appeared to take offense that "a report posted on the Washington Post website Tuesday described DeLay as 'succumbing to scandal.'" Jones then told the tale of DeLay's indictment with a barely disguised attack on the legal process:

A Texas grand jury -- one of several called to hear the evidence against him -- finally indicted DeLay last year on conspiracy and money laundering charges stemming from campaign fund-raising technicalities. A Texas judge later threw out the conspiracy charge.

Jones then inserts a little more pro-DeLay, anti-Democrat spin: "Abramoff has not publicly accused DeLay of corruption, nor has his former aide Rudy. But the congressman's close ties to those two men has given Democrats all the political ammunition they need." As we've previously noted, CNS regularly portrays Democrats as being motivated only by the prospect of political gain.

In Jones' second article, she puts DeLay's attack on the guy he's no longer running against ahead of any mention of corruption, waiting until the ninth paragraph to bring it up. Jones also repeated without challenge that "DeLay said the Left has tried to brand him with guilt by association."

Ironically, in a separate April 4 article -- which repeats criticism by Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson of Rep. Cynthia McKinney over an altercation with Capitol Police -- Jones repeats Peterson's guilt-by-association attack against McKinney:

He said McKinney could have defused the situation by apologizing for not wearing the special pin that identifies members of Congress. "Instead, she held a press conference flanked by known racists such as Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, and members of the NAACP.

"The real racists here are Cynthia McKinney and her racially divisive supporters," Peterson said.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:50 AM EDT
NewsMax Recycles Clinton Smears
Topic: Newsmax
In an April 4 NewsMax article (posted April 3) promoting the new, fawning book on Laura Bush by Ron Kessler, Jim Myers revives largely debunked charges of White House vandalism by members of the Clinton administration before George W. Bush took office.

Myers recounts the allegations as an example of "the Clintons' real irreverence for the White House," as opposed to the Bushes' purported reverence. He details the allegations made by then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer of the alleged damage in the White House and the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building before noting three paragraphs later that "The final, official report from the Government Accounting Office, released on June 11, 2002, did not confirm all of Fleischer's allegations." In fact, as the
GAO report indicates (as indicated by the list of items Myers provided), the most serious of Fleischer's allegations were never confirmed and, in fact, not much different from the condition of the White House when Clinton took over in 1993 from George H.W. Bush. Additionally, as was noted at the time, most of the vandalism allegations were made anonymously and never backed up with solid evidence.

Myers also states: "The Clintons had used the White House to court fund-raisers, putting up political supporters in the Lincoln Bedroom. The Bushes, on the other hand, have given overnight privileges only to dignitaries, family members and longtime friends." In fact, the Bush Lincoln Bedroom guest list between 2000 and 2004 included "at least nine of his biggest campaign fund-raisers," according to the Associated Press.

Myers claims that the "Hillary Clinton supporters" at Vanity Fair are "attacking" Kessler's book as a "valentine" to Mrs. Bush filled with "fluffball quotes" and "dubious factoids." Myers hasn't exactly proved VF wrong here; the fact that NewsMax is selling the book is more evidence of that. And Myers' claim that VF is a seething den of "Hillary Clinton supporters" is undercut by the fact that, as NewsMax itself reported, VF published the first excerpts from Edward Klein's dubious Hillary-bashing book that NewsMax loved so much.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
Monday, April 3, 2006
Checking In With Cinnamon
Topic: NewsBusters
Remember back in January, when we profiled Cinnamon Stillwell, the NewsBusters contributor who had defended right-wing Jewish extremist and convicted bombing plotter Earl Krugel? (Read about it here and here.) We thought we'd check in to see what she's up to these days.

Not much beyond the usual right-wing causes, it turns out. But interestingly, she hasn't posted anything at NewsBusters since around the time we posted the profile of her.

Oddly, though, she has linked to our posts about her on the "media" page of her personal website. But she hasn't responded to it anywhere that we know of.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EDT
Sunday, April 2, 2006
Who's Cynical?
Topic: NewsBusters
In an April 2 NewsBusters post bashing Newsweek for daring to examine the issue of illegal immigration from the perspective of "the plight of illegal immigrants," Mark Finkelstein wrote that it was "cynical" for Newsweek to observe that CNN anchor Lou Dobbs' ratings have gone up with his crusade on the issue.

But just three days earlier, NewsBusters' Matthew Sheffield was making a similarly "cynical" observation about MSNBC host Keith Olbermann's increased ratings amid his battle with Bill O'Reilly. The headline on Sheffield's post: "Olbermann Cashes in on Feud with O'Reilly."

NewsBusters clearly has no problem peddling such alleged cynicism. So why take offense when Newsweek does it?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EST
Saturday, April 1, 2006
Flashback: When the ConWeb Loved McKinney
Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb's has thrown its reporting energies into documenting Rep. Cynthia McKinney's alleged hitting of a Capitol Police officer. has generated three articles out of it; WorldNetDaily has printed an article and a column by Les Kinsolving on it. (NewsMax has thus far run only Associated Press articles on the incident.)

But there was a time when the ConWeb was respectful of McKinney's opinions -- of course, she was bashing Al Gore at the time. Prior to the 2000 presidential election, McKinney assailed Gore for having a low "Negro tolerance level" because "I've never known him to have more than one black person around him at any given time." As ConWebWatch previously noted, NewsMax soberly reported McKinney's statement, while CNS and WND didn't find it offensive enough to note.

Ironically, WND's Kinsolving now cites her Gore statement as evidence that she's "looney," an assessment we could find no record of Kinsolving making at the time.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, April 1, 2006 9:51 AM EST
Friday, March 31, 2006
Morgan Falsely Defends Kaloogian
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A March 31 WorldNetDaily column by Melanie Morgan tosses out several red herrings and misleading claims to defend her buddy at Move America Forward, Howard Kaloogian.

Morgan claims that in during the 2004 presidential election, "mainstream media anchors and reporters openly expressed their contempt for Bush and laid bare their adoration for the liberal Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry," but she offers no evidence of it. Then she claimed that "the media is back to smear campaigns against Republicans" -- right before she smeared Francine Busby, the Democratic candidate in the California House race for the seat of disgraced Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, as an "extremely liberal anti-war Democrat" and an "abortion militant." Kaloogian is one of 14 candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the seat; Morgan says only that Kaloogian is "on the other side" of Busby and fails to mention the other 13 candidates.

Morgan then delves into the meat of her column -- portraying the mini-controversy over a picture on Kaloogian's website labeled as having been taken in Baghdad, when in fact it was taken in Istanbul, as "an innocent mistake" turned into an "international firestorm" by a "liberal news media ... determined to destroy him."

That's not quite how it went down. Kaloogian has offered shifting and dubious explanations for the photo mixup. It has further been revealed that Kaloogian has claimed at least three fake endorsements for his campaign, as well as solicited business for his GOP consulting firm while visiting Iraq.

Morgan is silent on those last allegations, preferring instead to portray Kaloogian as "a fine, honorable and honest man" (italics hers) who is "surging in the polls."

As far as honesty goes, there are some who beg to differ. And as far as "surging in the polls" goes, that doesn't appear to be true, either. (James L. Lambert, take note.)

Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 PM EST
Less-Than-Wholeness, Part 5
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Diana Lynne's bias never stops.

In her March 31 WorldNetDaily article on the case, Lynne's failure to present the Terri Schiavo case fairly continues. She resumes her quest to paint Michael Schiavo as a vicious monster who "seeks to settle some scores" in his new book, "incessantly taking swipes at the Schindlers' faith and ridiculing pro-life advocates"; by contrast, the Schindler family is portrayed as using its book to "introduce us to the fun-loving and compassionate Terri Schiavo, comparatively few people had the pleasure of knowing prior to her injury than after." Lynne writes that the Schindlers offer "more details they consider incriminating evidence against Michael Schiavo," but she doesn't give Michael Schiavo a chance to respond to them.

Lynne also writes that Michael Schiavo "echoes the conspiracy theory espoused by one of his attorneys, Jon Eisenberg, in his book, "Using Terri," disingenuously adding: "A WND analysis published earlier this week exposed the hypocrisy of the book's central theme and the lack of documentation supporting it." No, it didn't; Lynne never disproved Eisenberg's claim that the religious right used the Schiavo case for its own ends. (Lynne might also have noted that she herself wrote that flawed "analysis.")

This article is accompanied by another unbylined article (but more than likely written by Lynne, who is currently WND's point person on the Schiavo case and related issues) about the Schindler family's foundations "devoted to activism on behalf of the disabled." In it is the line: "Bobby Schindler said people should read Diana Lynne's book." In other words, it's official confirmation that Lynne has taken sides and can't be trusted to tell this story fairly.

That tells you all you need to know about Lynne's lack of perspective and her refusal to offfer a fair and complete portrayal of the Schiavo case.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 AM EST
Updated: Monday, April 3, 2006 12:14 AM EDT
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Today's Less-Than-Wholeness
Topic: WorldNetDaily
In today's WorldNetDaily Schiavo article du jour, Diana Lynne tears herself away from explicitly smearing Michael Schiavo long enough to detail a case in Zimbabwe, which she describes has having "eerie parallels" to the Terri Schiavo case.

The main parallel we're seeing, though, is Lynne's one-sided treatment of the story. Lynne describes the victim, a 42-year-old man who was struck by lightning eight years ago and who died in December 2005, as "a perfect double for actor Kiefer Sutherland." As in her Schiavo coverage, Lynne focuses on only one side of the story, that of the man's mother; nobody on the other side -- the man's wife or his doctors -- was interviewed for the article, and the mother's demonization of them is accepted unquestioningly by Lynne.

A quick Googling turned up no objective account of this story elsewhere (here's a non-objective one), making it next to impossible to fact-check. Perhaps that was the point of digging up a story from Zimbabwe.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:31 PM EST

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