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Monday, July 3, 2006
'Legitimate Media'
Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a protest designed mostly to be a conservative photo-op and mini-rally and to provide B-roll for TV news (CNN was there, along with a couple other obscure TV outlets and Michelle Malkin's Hot Air, as well as ex-Wonkette Ana Marie Cox), featuring a chant in which "Lichtblau" was rhymed with "Gitmo," I inadvertently provided the highlight.

Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid started taking questions, so I thought I would ask one: Given his criticism of Ann Coulter's inflammatory statements, did he think his own statement that the New York Times' stories on government surveillance programs were "comparable to interfering with police operations to investigate and arrest child killers" was similarly inflammatory? I started to ask it, but Kincaid tried to cut me off, declaring that he would take questions only from "legitimate media." I raised my voice, he raised his, I asserted my right to ask the question, and I eventually was able to do so. He answered it (in short: no), and steered things to one of his talking points.

Funny -- we thought Kincaid liked alternative media and opposed the idea of "legitimate media." Apparently, media is "legitimate" only if they're not challenging him.

As a special bonus, here's what passes for celebrity citings:

Michelle Malkin (right) records Free Republic's Kristinn Taylor (left, in suit).

Kristinn Taylor (left) and Cliff Kincaid.

Michelle Malkin and Hot Air crew member (behind her).

UPDATE: MyDD has more pictures, and TPM Muckraker wonders about the protester who thinks the NYT would have revealed Anne Frank's hideout.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:56 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 3, 2006 11:26 PM EDT
Dubious Assertion of the Day
Topic: Accuracy in Media
"It's comparable to interfering with police operations to investigate and arrest child killers."

-- Cliff Kincaid, July 2 Accuracy in Media column asking, "What motivates the New York Times to publish information that helps the enemy kill Americans?"

On a related subject, in a little while we'll be here handing out this.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 AM EDT
Sunday, July 2, 2006
Update: Conservative Medicine
Topic: The ConWeb
Last year, we wrote an article about the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and how its right-wing agenda dovetails with the likes of NewsMax and WorldNetDaily. The Neurodiversity weblog has a new article that serves up much more detail about the AAPS' political agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:03 PM EDT
We Write Letters
A letter we wrote criticizing the Washington Examiner's embrace of Jered Ede as a poster boy for alleged conservative student censorship -- in which we recount Ede's factually dubious history as a intern -- appeared in Friday's edition of the Examiner.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EDT
Saturday, July 1, 2006
NewsMax Defends Coulter Again, Still Doesn't Find Alec Baldwin Funny
Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax takes Ann Coulter's side yet again, this time defending in a July 1 article her statement that her "only regret with [Oklahoma City bomber] Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building."

Coulter's statement is A-OK with NewsMax because critics of the remark "have yet to express outrage when left-leaning figures called for the killing of prominent Republicans." Mentioned is Alec Baldwin's 1998 statement that "we would stone Henry Hyde to death." That's a favorite statement for NewsMax and other conservatives to bring up, as we've previously noted.

NewsMax also brought up "Al Franken told Matt Lauer on NBC’s "Today” show that Karl Rove and Lewis Libby should be 'executed.'" Not exactly; Franken merely pointed out that the penalty for outing a secret agent, which Franken said Rove and Libby did to Valerie Plame, is death, and "they are going to be executed, it looks like." In other words, exactly what conservative radio host (and WorldNetDaily columnist) Melanie Morgan said about New York Times executive editor Bill Keller -- and we haven't seen NewsMax raise any objection to that.

If NewsMax is insisting that those offended by Coulter should be offended by Baldwin as well, shouldn't NewsMax lead by example by criticizing Coulter's remark as much it does Baldwin's?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:48 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 2, 2006 12:15 AM EDT
Friday, June 30, 2006
Those Classy NewsBusters Commenters
Topic: NewsBusters
In response to a June 30 NewsBusters post by Tom Johnson noting a columnist who stated that "The First Amendment needs a Terri Schiavo moment" in order to bring awareness to the issue of freedom of the press, the very first commenter, "bigtimer," states: "I'd be all for that suggestion if we could put Helen Thomas in place of Terri Schiavo."

Gee, maybe we should change our Free Republic quote of the week to NewsBusters...

Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 PM EDT
WND's Lack of Context on Israel Criticism
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 29 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein makes a big deal out of how "countries around the world have been urging restraint" in Israel's current incursion in Gaza, even though prime minister Ehud Olmert had assured that "the international community would understand and would support any Israeli action."

Klein's article is misleading. In fact, Israel's military actions against Palestinians have regularly drawn criticism from other countries, as WND itself has reported. For instance, a Nov. 23, 2000, WND article noted that "officials in the U.S. issued their harshest criticism yet of Israel's use of force" following a "helicopter gunship attack against Palestinian security offices in Gaza."

Klein article conflicts with his own assessment, posted at WND later on June 29, that the current Gaza incursion is "just a show" designed to boost Olmert's popularity.

Klein offers no evidence that the current criticism of Israel is any different than previous criticism, let alone acknowledge that history of criticism. Then again, as we've detailed, Klein is making use of every tool at his disposal to attack Olmert.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:50 PM EDT
NewsBusters Hits Matthews With Anti-Semitism Smear
Topic: NewsBusters
Reads the headline on a June 29 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein: "Chris Accusing WH of Anti-Semitism in Criticism of NY Times?"

Nope. As Finkelstein himself demonstrates, in asking why the Bush administration and conservative critics (like Finkelstein) are bashing only the New York Times over its reporting on a financial surveillance program when the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal reported the story at the same time, Chris Matthews never once says the word "Jew."

The flimsy basis for Finkelstein's smear is that Matthews mentioned "big ethnic New York way up there in the Northeast that never votes Republican" and did an impression of a Noo Yawk accent, coupled with an entirely unrelated San Francisco Chronicle column by Jon Carroll which did suggest an anti-Semetic motive in criticism of the Times.

Finkelstein ominously states: "Bear in mind that Matthews just happens to be a former San Francisco Chronicle columnist himself. Was it just pure coincidence that on the day the Carroll column appeared, Matthews seemed to be suggesting a similar theory?"

Switch to decaf, Mark. Carroll's and Matthews' theories aren't similar. There are many ethnicities in New York other than Jewish, and the Noo Yawk accent isn't a Jewish accent.

And Finkelstein himself never offers an answer to Matthews' question. That seems like something he might want to answer rather than carelessly tossing around anti-Semitism allegations.

UPDATE: Finkelstein adds in the comments:

If Matthews had been speaking of Bush administration animosity to 'ethnic' New York in general terms, I would agree with you. But here he was doing so in specific reference to the New York Times, historically identified as a 'Jewish' paper. Don't know if you saw the segment, but particularly when Matthews went into his wink and nod with 'New Yawk', I don't think there was any mistaking the point he intended to make.

Ah, those sinister winks and nods. And we thought the Forward was the New York paper "historically identified as Jewish."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:57 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 30, 2006 3:12 PM EDT
WND's Klein: Olmert Wagging the Dog in Gaza
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 29 WorldNetDaily "news analysis" by Aaron Klein appears to exist for only one reason: to smear Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. That's no surprise, since Klein's been smearing Olmert for months. But the extent Klein goes to here is surprising, even for WND; it's as if Olmert is the new version of Bill Clinton, who must be taken down at any cost.

In a nutshell, Klein claims that the current Israeli incursion into Gaza is "mostly a show," suggesting that Olmert is pulling a "Wag the Dog" by staging the incursion to improve his low poll numbers. Klein offers no solid evidence for any of this; all sources he cites are anonymous. Even the links to previous articles of his are mostly devoid of on-the-record sources. He even links to his June 24 article on a poll as evidence of Olmert's unpopularity -- we've already described the dubious, biased sourcing behind that poll.

Given Klein's clear animus (if not outright hatred) toward Olmert, he is less than trustworthy on this subject. This is the guy, mind you, whom WND thinks can support a subscription-only newsletter. If all Klein is going to do is attack Olmert, bash Palestinians and promote right-wing Israelis while not labeling them as such or hiding or whitewashing their extremist, violent backgrounds -- in short, Klein's history of Middle East coverage for WND -- it's hard to see what's worth paying for under his pen.

In case you wondered how WND would have covered the Iraq war if Al Gore was president, this provides a clue.

UPDATE: Bartholomew points out even more Klein bias, this time by not explaining what Klein didn't about just how orthodox the Orthodox rabbis Klein featured bashing Olmert are.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 30, 2006 1:13 AM EDT
Thursday, June 29, 2006
MRC Oddly Reluctant to Claim Morano
Topic: NewsBusters
A June 29 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham touts how "the Senate Environment and Public Works committee (GOP side) did quite a job" in attacking an AP article on scientists' response to Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth." But he's oddly reluctant to do a little horn-tooting for his employer: He fails to note that a co-author of that Senate committee release is his former MRC colleague Marc Morano, who was a longtime reporter for the MRC's before jumping to the Senate job last month.

You'd think that, being a loyal company man, Graham would want to promote something like that. Guess not.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 PM EDT
CNS Labeling Bias Watch
A June 29 article by Melanie Hunter featuring comments on the Supreme Court's decision on military tribunals for alleged "enemy combatants" labeled two groups that supported the court's decision against the tribunals, Amnesty International and the Council for American-Islamic Relations, as "a human rights group" and a "U.S. Islamic advocacy group," respectively.

But Hunter provided no descriptor for the Southeastern Legal Foundation -- a conservative legal group -- and described executive director Shannon Goessling, who opposed the ruling, as "a former criminal prosecutor." Hunter offered no similar credential-burnishing for the Amnesty International official she quoted (CAIR's statement was taken from a press release).

Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EDT
Spin, Bias, and the WND Way
Topic: WorldNetDaily
David Kupelian's plea for e-mail list subscribers has now been posted on the WorldNetDaily website in all its silly "truth, justice and the American way" glory.

Of course, as we've already pointed out, Kupelian's claim that WND is "truth-oriented" is especially dubious.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:58 PM EDT
The MIA List
In discovering that Marc Morano had moved on to disseminating misinformation for Republicans than for (but really, isn't that the same thing?), we noted another name missing from the CNS masthead: reporter Sherrie Gossett, who wrote her last CNS story in March. A Google search turned up nothing on her current whereabouts, though her blog is relatively up-to-date.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
Comparing Hillary to N. Korean Dictator = Media Research
Topic: NewsBusters
This is how Mark Finkelstein started out a June 29 NewsBusters post:

If she was watching 'Today' this morning, you can imagine Hillary Clinton using her best North-Korean-parliament rhythmical clapping in response to what she saw. It might be 'ronery' in her Georgetown or Chappaqua spreads, but it's always heart-warming to know you've got friends at the highest-rated morning show.

It's hard to understand how likening Hillary to Kim Jong Il serves the MRC's mission of "media research," but then again, the MRC thought Clinton sex jokes did too.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:14 AM EDT
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 28 WorldNetDaily article by Joe Kovacs repeated Bill O'Reilly's contention that claiming authorities in Palm Beach County, Fla., are "out to get Rush Limbaugh -- or, in the words of WND's headline, Limbaugh is being "targeted for destruction."

But Kovacs fails to note one thing that one of O'Reilly's guests did: The search of Limbaugh's belongings that turned up the bottle of Viagra that wasn't prescribed to him was done by U.S. Customs, not Palm Beach County authorities. Given that O'Reilly offered no evidence that the Customs search was anything but routine, that seems to undercut O'Reilly's (and Kovacs') argument.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT

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