Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center used to love Chris Matthews. Why is it attacking him now? Read more.
Friday, June 16, 2006
WND Columnist Misleads on Ohio Gov. Race
A June 16 WorldNetDaily column by Fred Taub touts the puported inevitiability of Ken Blackwell being electeed Ohio governor. "Blackwell will not only be the next governor of Ohio, but will be the first black governor outside the south," Taub confidently declared, adding that Democratic opponent Ted Strickland faces "the illusion of a victory" and that money spent on Strickland's campaign will be "diverting dollars away from actual contestable states."
Taub conveniently fails to note that according to the latest polling, Strickland leads Blackwell by 16 points.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Biased WND Reporter Launching Newsletter
A June 15 WorldNetDaily article announced a new "intelligence e-mail newsletter" as a feature of WND's subscription-only G2 Bulletin, which will be written by WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein. The newsletter, to be called the Galil Report, will feature "exclusive, behind-the-scenes information regarding the latest news and events in the Middle East, with particular emphasis on Israel and the Gaza Strip, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon" and "the latest developments and behind the scenes news related to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's planned withdrawal from the West Bank," among other things.
While the article hurls around words like "comprehensive" to describe it, you won't see words like "accurate" or "fair." That's because Klein isn't known for that. As we've documented:
-- Klein's WND reporting has been highly biased in favor of right-wing elements in Israel, to the point that he won't identify them as right-wing.
-- He has described the right-wing perpetrator of a massacre as being "murdered" by those who witnessed his massacre, a term he did not apply to the massacre's victims.
-- WND was forced to retract a Klein article that falsely smeared an Islamic charity.
-- Klein's reporting on Olmert has largely consisted of repeatedly attacking him over his planned withdrawal of Israel from much of the West Bank, which Klein opposes.
Potential subscribers should be warned: Klein isn't fair, has problems with the truth, and likely won't be as "comprehensive" as WND claims, particularly about the things that Klein and WND oppose, like the Palestinians and West Bank withdrawal.
UPDATE: Did Klein name his newsletter after an area of Israel, or an Israeli assault rifle?
Reagan: Democrats Like Iraqi Terrorists
Remember when, during the 2004 presidential campaign, Republicans took offense at John Kerry's comment that "we need a regime change in the United States" because it allegedly equated President Bush with Saddam Hussein?
In a June 14 NewsMax column, Michael Reagan forwards a more explicit argument, equating Democrats with Sunni insurgent terrorists in Iraq: "Both are operating under the same motivation – an unrequited lust for lost power. And both will do just about anything to retrieve it." While Reagan doesn't use the term "terrorists" in his column, the meaning is clear.
Reagan also dubiously claims that "when the GOP took over, Newt Gingrich refused to impose the kind of absolute, anti-minority rule his party suffered under the Democrats," and that "the Democrats have shown not one whit of gratitude."
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
WND Readers Pan Embrace of Phelps
If WorldNetDaily's June 11 article portraying the notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church in a favorable light was a trial balloon for future coverage of Fred Phelps and his brood; it was shot down pretty quickly by WND readers, who think that the WBC's protests of the funerals of dead soldiers overshadow's its Kupelian-esque anti-gay views.
In a June 12 WND opt-in poll seeking views on the on-air altercation between Fox News host Julie Banderas and the WBC's Shirley Phelps-Roper that prompted the article, nearly 32 percent said that "Julie's comments were over the top, but the protests at funerals of dead U.S soldiers are even more disturbing," and 16 percent each responded, "Julie's right! Shirley Phelps-Roper is the devil and belongs in hell" and "While I do think God is punishing America for its sins, Julie is correct to condemn the protests at U.S. soldiers' funerals." Only 2.90 percent said, "Julie is completely in the wrong, and the Westboro Baptist Church is correct that God is punishing America for its sins."
Additionally, the three letters WND ran (which disappear after a week) about the story on June 12 were all critical of Phelps-Roper, calling her "a disgrace and a psychopath," a "cult leader" and a "self-righteous, hateful, name-calling woman."
We suspect (and hope) that WND won't be running to the WBC's defense anymore.
Too Good To Ignore, Indeed
A June 14 NewsBusters post by Greg Sheffield calls the Duke lacrosse rape story "too good for the mainstream media to ignore."
Not unlike the story that Iran was forcing non-Muslims to wear badges, which was too good for NewsBusters to ignore -- and, apparently, too definitively proven bogus for NewsBusters to make any meaningful effort to alert its readers to that fact.
The Clinton Exception, Karl Rove Division
A very long June 14 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard demands that the "drive-by media" (a term apparently coined by Rush Limbaugh) apologize to "innocent victim" Karl Rove, now that Patrick Fitzgerald has purportedly decided not to indict him.
But Sheppard ignores a few things. First, this statement comes not from Fitzgerald but, rather, from Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, who has a vested interest in making his client look good (or at least unindicted). Further, said attorney refuses to release any actual evidence to substantiate his claim.
Second, Luskin never said that Fitzgerald said Rove was "innocent." Innocence and "does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove" are not synonymous.
Third, if this scenario sounds vaguely familiar, that's because it is. Back in 2000, if you'll recall, independent counsel Robert Ray released the final report on the Whitewater case, in which he announced that the Clintons wouldn't be charged with anything related to it. Sheppard nor his superiors at the MRC weren't running around declaring the Clintons innocent and demanding that the media apologize for all that speculation about them. In fact:
-- Brent Bozell called the report "flaccid."
-- The MRC highlighted that the report concluded "not that there was no wrongdoing but that 'the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either the President or Mrs. Clinton knowingly participated in criminal conduct.'"
-- The MRC disapprovingly cited Geraldo Rivera's demand that the New York Times apologize to the Clintons for their coverage of Whitewater, scoffing at the notion that the paper was part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy."
-- The MRC bashed ABC for noting "the taxpayer cost and human toll on Hillary of the Whitewater probe."
If Rove is "innocent," then the Clintons are too. If the Clintons were not cleared by the final Whitewater report despite no charges being filed, then Rove is similarly not cleared. We won't hold our breath waiting for Sheppard to concede this logical point.
A Coulter Dissenter on the ConWeb
Topic: Accuracy in Media
The thus-far-unified praise of Ann Coulter on the ConWeb is showing cracks. A June 13 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid takes Coulter to task for her comment that 9/11 widows critical of President Bush are "enjoying their husbands' deaths":
There is no evidence whatsoever that those women enjoyed their husbands' deaths, and Coulter offers none. The only "evidence" for this preposterous and hurtful claim is that the women became activists and sought the media spotlight and took a political position at odds with that of Coulter. But what does that prove?
Kincaid concludes: "An apology would be consistent with the Christian cross that Coulter frequently wears around her neck."
What is it about Mychal Massie? His job as a WorldNetDaily columnist, apparently, is to spout opinions and not bother to back them up.
Take Massie's June 13 WND column. He claims that "Liberal politicians and the liberal media ... attacked the FBI for doing its job in gathering evidence against corrupt Rep. William Jefferson, D-La." Not only does he offer no evidence of this (on the "liberal media" side, anyway), he ignores the fact that the leading critic of the FBI "doing its job" in searching Jefferson's congressional office is a Republican, House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Massie further claims that a "liberal Democrat site" stated that the death of Iraqi terrorist al-Zarqawi "[wasn't] such a big deal," but he doesn't offer a link or even the name of the site. He claims that "Richard Clarke, Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, liberal politicians, et al., all tried to downplay the significance of Zarqawi's blessed fate as nothing that would shorten the war," but he doesn't offer any quotes to show how they purpotedly did that.
Massie attacks "Liberal, anti-war, anti-American politicians and their lycanthropic mainstream media allies" who "try parsing things, claiming to support the troops, but not the war. That is code-speak for not supporting the president." This ignores the fact that Republicans did the exact same thing to President Clinton during the conflict in Kosovo.
We'd complain about standards, but we know he has none. This is, after all, the guy who bashed a congressman for likening President Bush to Bull Connor even though less than a year earlier, Massie himself was likening Harry Reid and Democrats to both Bull Connor and Orval Faubus.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
MRC Hypocrisy, Coulter Division
Topic: Media Research Center
A June 13 Media Research Center press release quotes Brent Bozell accusing "liberal journalists" who highlighted Ann Coulter's "remarks about certain 9/11 widows" of being "moral, editorial hypocrites" because they allegedly did not issue criticism when "Senator Hillary Clinton accused Congress of running a plantation."
If Bozell finds the "plantation" metaphor so offensive, why is it used several times against Democrats on MRC websites?
Bozell goes on to attack "those who selectively abuse conservatives while turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to appalling remarks by the left." Given that just today, as we've noted, a columnist for his CNSNews.com attacks Asians for "causing untold damage to America's heritage and cultural base," Bozell appears to be the one who needs to open his eyes to the ideas his organization is promoting.
Those Damn Asians!
A June 13 CNSNews.com column by Ralph Hostetter serves up an ethnic group to blame for America's immigration woes, and for once, it's not Hispanics:
America's cultural and ethnic balance was established over a 230-year period. Its Mother Country was England, with a spiritual history of Christianity for at least a millennium.
Hostetter's moral: We need to import more white European Christians who are willing to, in his words, "preserve the 230 years of America's culture, heritage and traditions." 'Cuz those damn Asians aren't gonna do it.
UPDATE: Accuracy in Media also printed Hostetter's column.
Getting It Wrong: Soros and Chinese Cars
A June 12 WorldNetDaily article gets so many details wrong that you have to wonder if there is any truth to its main -- but unsupported -- claim.
The article begins by stating that conservative bogeyman George Soros is "considering pouring hundreds of millions into a Chinese state automaker with plans to begin dumping cheap exports on the U.S. market next year." The unbylined article offers no support for this claim other than its assertion that "WND has learned" it.
That statement contains another dubious claim: that the Chinese automaker Chery will "dumping cheap exports on the U.S. market." The article doesn't support that claim; it discusses only one Chery model the QQ minicar, then states that "The list price on the Chery is expected to be around $20,000 in the U.S." That actually sounds a little on the high side for a minicar -- hardly "dumping," which usually refers to imported goods being sold below cost. In fact, the price appears to refer to a different Chery model, the larger "crossover" V525, that will reportedly be the first Chery to be sold in the U.S. That car is described as "the features of a $30,000 car for under $20,000" -- which still doesn't necessarily meet the definition of "dumping" that WND raises.
The article also claims:
The "Chery" is a knockoff of the South Korean Spark, sold in the U.S. in partnership with General Motors. GM filed a lawsuit against Chery Automobile Co. for piracy of the car developed by its South Korean affiliate Daewoo.
Two things wrong here: 1) The Spark (also known as the Daewoo Matiz) is sold only in China, not in the U.S.; and 2) the lawsuit to which WND is presumably referring was settled last November.
The article also describes Soros and a fellow investor as "major proponents of global government and rabid environmentalists -- ironic, perhaps, given Cherys' plans to export into the U.S. and elsewhere gas-guzzling SUVs among other smaller vehicles." But the article doesn't describe what the purportedly "gas-guzzling" vehicles are.
It's a misleading mess of an article, the only apparent purpose of which is to smear Soros -- and given the article's factual errors and unsupported claims, it doesn't even do that well.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Shocker: NewsMax Nice to Byrd!
Faced with writing a story about Sen. Robert Byrd's record-breaking Senate tenure and presumably torn between his softball tendencies and NewsMax's policy of pointing out Byrd's 60-year-past KKK affiliation at every possible opportunity, NewsMax's Dave Eberhart chooses ... the softball route.
Eberhart's June 12 article on Byrd doesn't even mention the KKK until the 19th paragraph, and even noted that "Byrd has more than once apologized for and explained his misdirected zeal." He even likens Byrd to Lou Gherig.
Yeah, we couldn't believe it, either.
Joseph Farah, Superfan?
In a strange little June 10 WorldNetDaily column suggesting that there is a "Hillary curse" on the New York Yankees -- that the reason the Yankees haven't won the World Series since 2000 is because Hillary Clinton was elected a senator from New York that year -- Joseph Farah declared that he is "the real brand of Yankee fan, not the fan of convenience like Hillary." Judging by the link Farah supplied, his evidence to support his assessment of Hillary's Yankees fandom comes from the dubiously sourced Hillary-bashing quote book "I've Always Been a Yankees Fan."
The problem is, Farah's wrong. Hillary is on record as far back as 1994 -- long before she sought the New York Senate seat -- as being a Yankees fan.
(Coincidentially, we spent a few hours of our recent mini-sabbatical in Yankee Stadium watching said Yankees lose to Oakland, while Farah merely watched it on TV. So there.)
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