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Monday, October 16, 2006
CNS Labeling Bias Watch

An. Oct. 16 article by Monisha Bansal misleadingly describes the National Taxpayers Union as a "taxpayer group." In fact, it's a conservative group that has received funding fron the usual conservative moneybags (Scaife, Olin) and counts right-wingers Steve Forbes and Ken Blackwell among its advisers and directors. That misleading approach goes all the way to the headline, which reads: "Taxpayers, Pelosi Differ on Outlook for Fiscal Responsibility." It's not "taxpayers" vs. Pelosi; it's a conservative activist group vs. Pelosi.

Surprisingly -- and unlike last week's unchallenged recitation of conservative talking points by fellow CNSer Susan Jones -- Bansal actually gave a Pelosi spokesman an opportunity to respond to the NTU's claims.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:04 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2006 4:05 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
World O'Crap takes on an Oct. 9 column by WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian, in which he laments the puported "war on fathers" and declares that divorce (not to mention Kupelian's usual bogeyman of '60s liberalism) is the problem, and that married couples should "reject divorce as an option" and that women in particular should "give up the anger against your men" for "failure to find real, selfless love for you."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:34 PM EDT
WND Still Flogging Sexpidemic!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In the midst of an Oct. 16 WorldNetDaily column attacking the spending of federal money on public education, Joseph Farah repeats WND's dubious claim about teacher student sex:

And, while all of this is going on, a new epidemic of sex abuse appears to have broken out in government schools. Another day, another molester. No news service has better or more exhaustively chronicled the capers than WND.

Yes, WND has gotten way into the issue. But as we've pointed out, WND has only anecdotal evidence to support the claim that it's an "epidemic." Note Farah's weasel words that an "epidemic ... appears to have broken out"; WND is certainly desperate to create that impression. But the list of (female) teacher-student sex incidents to which Farah links doesn't note that the incidents date back as far as 15 years -- thus falsely playing up Farah's "epidemic" claim -- and neither Farah nor WND serve up any actual data to prove that there is, in fact, an "epidemic" of it.

To create alarm without any actual evidence to support it is irresponsible journalism, and you would think that Farah would know better. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 AM EDT
A Clinton in Every Conspiracy, AIM Division
Topic: Accuracy in Media

An Oct. 13 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid attacked 9/11 conspiracy theorists (before, of course, moving on to attack Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger and George Soros). But Kincaid and AIM didn't used to be so allergic to conspiracy theories.

As we've documented with WorldNetDaily, AIM loves a good non-conservative conspiracy theory as much as anyone. As much fulminating as it does about George Soros (an Oct. 3 column by Kincaid plays up a claim that Soros is an "extremely evil person"), it was eager to promote Clinton-related conspiracies promulgated by Richard Mellon Scaife.

A January 1999 AIM article by Kincaid and Reed Irvine fawned over an interview Scaife did with now-defunct George magazine, calling him "candid, accessible, enigmatic — even surprising." It uncritically repeats Scaife's claim that "he knows Foster didn’t die the way the official investigations said and that this is the Rosetta Stone to the Clinton administration," as well as pushes the debunked Clinton body count, stating that Scaife "believes there is a connection between the Clinton administration and the death of Ron Brown, and refers to the list of 60 or more people, including eight of Clinton’s former bodyguards, who have died mysteriously."

Like WND, Kincaid and AIM apparently believe that only liberals and people named Clinton engage in conspiracies. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Dinesh D'Souza, Meet Anthony LoBaido
Topic: WorldNetDaily

This past week, James Wolcott decisively eviscerated conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza for his upcoming book, which essentially blames America (well, actually, the low morals of American liberals) for the 9/11 attacks. But D'Souza is not the first right-winger to push this blame-America claim.

That honor goes to WorldNetDaily's resident adventurer and friend to right-wing, pro-apartheid mercenaries, Anthony LoBaido. A Sept. 13, 2001, WND commentary by LoBaido put the blame squarely on America for the 9/11 attacks under this rationale:

All that is evil in the world can be found in New York: MTV, the United Nations, the U.N. abortion programs, the Council on Foreign Relations, New Age Church of St. John the Divine, WallStreet greed, Madison Avenue manipulation and of course more confirmed AIDS cases than the rest of America combined. Let's remember the filthy sodomite gay parade last summer in New York. [...]

And let's not forget that New Yorkers elected -- by a landslide -- the openly Marxist, treasonous and abortion-mongering, occultic Hillary to a Senate seat.

LoBaido also noted that "America will no longer be able to deny judgment for its idolatry, wickedness, abandonment of the God of the Bible, embrace of abortion, stem-cell research, the sodomite agenda, materialism, the occult and many other sins."

While WND editor Joseph Farah initially defended LoBaido's right to express his opinions, WND ultimately deleted LoBaido's article from its database (the above link is from the Wayback Machine).

Which raises an interesting conundrum: Given the fact that WND ultimately rejected LoBaido's views on blaming America for 9/11, will it promote D'Souza's book -- which promotes, for all intents and purposes, the same viewpoint -- when it's published?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:51 AM EDT
Saturday, October 14, 2006
NewsMax Dissembles About Itself -- Again
Topic: Newsmax

In an Oct. 13 article, NewsMax repeats its dissembling defense of itself over its use of "Democrat" over "Democratic."

In the article -- which starts off by noting that NewsMax was among other news organizations that misidentified page-chasing Rep. Mark Foley as a Democrat rather than a Republican, NewsMax rehashed the "Democrat" claim as another example of "sources in the media have implied that NewsMax is part of a vast conspiracy." As it did in an Aug. 4 article, NewsMax defended itself against a charge in the New Yorker magazine that it deliberately used the erroneous "Democrat Party" rather than "Democratic Party": "In fact, NewsMax regularly refers to the donkey party as 'Democratic,' although on occasion and rarely, copy editors may have used the colloquial 'Democrat.' "

In fact, as we've documented, NewsMax does in fact have a history of doctoring wire stories to change "Democratic" to "Democrat," and even today, its columnists use "Democrat" rather than "Democratic." 

NewsMax also pulled out the "everyone does it" defense:

It should be noted that Sen. John McCain has used the phrase "Democrat Party” in interviews, and a mass e-mail sent out under the name of President Bush referred to the "Democrat” Party.

Bush also said in a speech: "It’s time for the leadership in the Democrat Party to start laying out ideas.”

So, does that mean if John McCain and President Bush jumped off a bridge, NewsMax will too? (Well, maybe not McCain; given NewsMax's animosity toward him, such as playing up claims about his alleged temper in order to try and torpedo his 2008 presidential run, it's highly ironic that NewsMax is hiding behind him.)

Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 AM EDT
WND Lack of Disclosure Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 14 WorldNetDaily column by Jerome Corsi tries to revive dubious allegations that Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland is gay (despite being married). But nowhere in his column nor in his bio at the end does Corsi disclose that he wrote a book with Strickland's Republican opponent, Ken Blackwell.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EDT
Another Biased CNS Hit Job

Here's the lead to an Oct. 13 article by Susan Jones:

In yet another apparent attempt to suppress the conservative vote in November, a former White House official is out with a new book suggesting that President Bush's top political advisers ridiculed evangelical leaders -- calling them "nuts" and "goofy" behind their backs, while embracing them in public to win votes (as the Los Angeles Times put it).

Yes, it's another carry-the-Republican-water hit job from Jones -- this one on the new book by David Kuo, a former official in the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives -- that hardly bothers with the pretense of being a "news" article. The only specific claim Jones cites from Kuo's book, as taken from the Los Angeles Times article she's referencing, is the above one, that Bush officials called evangelical leaders "nuts" and "goofy"; she quotes a spokesperson from Focus on the Family attacking the book and defending the Bush administration -- but never countering any specific claim Kuo makes in the book.

And, since the point of her article was to attack the book and not fairly examine its claims, Jones fails to note that Kuo makes the same claim as John DiIulio, the former head of the Faith-Based Initiatives office -- that the Bush administration cared only how the program fit into its political agenda. But that would have required actual reporting and research, which Jones does not do. She's much more content regurgitating press releases.

Oh, well. So much for "fairly present[ing] all legitimate sides of a story." 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EDT
Friday, October 13, 2006
Doctored Photo = 'Assault'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 13 WorldNetDaily article bizarrely claims that an incident in which the head of Michelle Malkin was apparently digitally added to a photo of a woman in a bikini was an "Internet assault."

The article further describes Eric Muller -- who decisively debunked Malkin's 2004 book "In Defense of Internment" -- as a "Malkin-obsessed UNC professor" for posting the photo on his website. But WND mentions nothing about Muller's discrediting of Malkin.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:24 PM EDT
8, 9 And 10
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' latest references to the AP's flawed story about Harry Reid's land deal that fail to acknowledge the problems with the story -- problems NewsBusters would almost certainly acknowledge had the subject of the story been a Republican and not a Democrat:

No. 8: "NB Staff" noting that conservative radio host Mark Levin repeated earlier NewsBusters items on the Reid story.

No. 9: Clay Waters, referring to "the Associated Press story that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid failed to disclose a real estate deal in which he made a $700,000 profit." That's somewhat close to accurate, but that's not what the AP reported; it erroneously claimed that Reid "collected a $1.1 million windfall."

No. 10: Michael Rule, referencing Reid's "lucrative, yet questionable, land deal," linking to the erroneous AP article.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 13, 2006 5:08 PM EDT
MRC Continues to Ignore Questions About AP-Reid Story
Topic: NewsBusters

Rich Noyes because the seventh NewsBusters poster in the past couple days to reference the supposed land-sale scandal involving House Democratic Leader Harry Reid, as reported by the Associated Press. And like his six colleagues, Noyes fails to address the questions that have been raised about the AP story.

Meanwhile, yesterday's NewsBusters items by Brent Baker, Scott Whitlock and Tim Graham about the AP Reid story were repeated in today's MRC CyberAlert -- again, all without acknowledging the questions raised about it.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:19 PM EDT
Does WND Really Think That Catholics Aren't Christians?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 13 WorldNetDaily article on Georgetown University's decision to bar outside Protestant student ministries from campus misconstrues the issue to the point where it portrays the Catholic school as not being Christian.

The opening paragraph describes Georgetown as a " 'Christian' college." And rather than describing the groups as Protestant, most references to them describe them as "Christian evangelical," falsely suggesting that all Christian groups are barred and ignoring the fact that Catholics are Christians.

What would William Donohue have to say about this?

As per WND practice, the article is told from the point of the view of the conservative legal group Alliance Defense Fund, which is fighting the decision, and doesn't allow anyone from Georgetown to respond to ADF's claims. The article does state that "The university did not respond to a request from WND for a comment," but this is not such a pressing issue -- in fact, WND first reported on it in a Aug. 26 article that more accurately described the barred groups as Protestant -- that WND could not have waited for Georgetown officials to respond. Further, that article includes a defense of the policy by Georgetown officials that were not included in the new article. Do WND reporters not read their own website?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 13, 2006 9:20 AM EDT
Kincaid: Gay Republicans Are Actually Democrats
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In his Oct. 9 Accuracy in Media column, Cliff Kincaid insinuates that you can't be both gay and a Republican (not to mention aggressively misinterpreting BlogActive's Michael Rogers, as we noted). In his Oct. 12 column he comes right out and says it. And not just that: he claims that gay Republicans are, in fact, Democrats:

If you are getting the idea that gay Republicans may be closeted Democrats, then you are beginning to understand how the Mark Foley scandal could have been a Democratic Party dirty trick. 


So if the gay Republicans are not really Republicans, what are they? One veteran observer of this ["secret gay"] network told AIM that the Foley scandal should make it crystal clear that the gay Republicans are in reality "liberal activists" who want to use the party to advance the same homosexual agenda embraced by the Democrats. 

Kincaid also attacks Rep. Jim Kolbe, the first openly gay Republican in Congress, as a "closeted Democrat": "It's certainly the case that he started acting more like a Democrat once his secret life was exposed."

Kincaid also states, " It is also beyond dispute that the current scandalous state of affairs will outlive the Foley scandal unless the secret network of bludgeon and blackmail is exposed." But what Kincaid seems to want instead is for that bludgeoning of gay Republicans -- by people like himself, for no other reason than the fact that they're gay -- to be out in the open.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 AM EDT
Bozell: Pelosi Loves NAMBLA!
Topic: Media Research Center

The latest method of distracting attention from the Mark Foley scandal: Link Nancy Pelosi to NAMBLA!

Brent Bozell tries this move in his Oct. 12 column. But the closest he can come to actually doing that is claiming that "in a 2001 “gay pride” parade in San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi was just three spots in the parade from radical gay advocate Harry Hay, who avidly spoke in favor of sex with teens and fiercely advocated for NAMBLA’s inclusion in gay-pride parades." In other words, it's guilt by proximity -- which doesn't link Pelosi to NAMBLA at all. 

Which goes to show that Bozell claims at the end of his column that "None of this is meant to minimize what is rightful outrage over Foley’s scummy behavior, and the actions (or inactions) of anyone covering them up," minimizing it is exactly what he's trying to do. 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EDT
Thursday, October 12, 2006
NewsBusters vs. Reality
Topic: NewsBusters

The AP tried to characterize Bush as a "tepid" supporter of Speaker Hastert and directly said that "half the country" wanted Hastert to resign.


So, um, WHERE do they get this "half the country" statistic? Out of their rear-ends, that's where.

Maybe we might be near the truth to say half the registered voters might have said that they want Hastert to resign, but CERTAINLY not half the country. Not even half the country votes in the first place! And, it is highly doubtful that half the electorate even knows who Denny Hastert is to even want him to resign.

No, this "half the country" statistic is a figment of the AP's fever swamp imagination.

-- Warner Todd Huston, Oct. 12 NewsBusters post 

About half of Americans believe the scandal over former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley's contacts with teenage congressional pages should cost House Speaker Dennis Hastert his leadership post, according to a CNN poll released Monday.

The poll, conducted Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corp., found that 52 percent of the 1,028 adults interviewed think Hastert should step aside. Thirty-one percent said they think he should keep his post, and 17 percent had no opinion.

-- CNN, Oct. 10 

Posted by Terry K. at 11:16 PM EDT

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