Frank Salvato's Dec. 15 CNSNews.com column claiming that "members of immigrating minority groups are increasingly refusing to assimilate into the cultures of their resident countries" might have made a tad more sense had he bothered to substantiate any of his claims.
Instead of evidence, Salvato instead rants against "the Progress-Left, the one-worlders, the globalists, those who have grown to practice the narcissism of placing oneself before all else" and "the aggressive dogma of 'multiculturalism.'"
Then again, evidence is a bad thing when you're trying to mislead your readers, as Salvato does.
He claims that the "reconquista" movement to reclaim the Southwestern U.S. is "aggressive" and "militant." But he offers no evidence to support it, let alone to prove that a widespread "reconquista" movement is anything more than a figment of the imaginations of conservatives (not to mention white supremacists).
Salvato further asserts: "Their motto, “Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada” – which translated means "For the Race, everything, for those outside the Race, nothing" – encapsulates the dangers multiculturalism poses to a nation’s identity." But Salvato mistranslates that motto -- typically ascribed to a group known as MEChA, which Salvato calls "a radical organization that promotes Latino superiority" -- or, more accurately since we doubt Salvato speaks fluent Spanish, he regurgitates what other right-wingers have written. As David Neiwert points out, it's more of an expression of ethnic pride rather than something aggressively exclusionary.
Salvato is the managing editor of a right-wing site called New Media Journal (formerly The Rant); part of its slogan is "Researched opinion. Cogent headlines." As you can see, Salvato isn't much into "researched opinion." And really, how sorry of a website are you when you're reduced to bragging about how "cogent" your headlines are?
From the front page of the Media Research Center website:
The MRC's NewsBusters blog came in second of ten blogs nominated for "Best Media Blog" in the 2006 Weblog Awards contest which closed to voting on Friday. But the winner was a far-left site, making NewsBusters the top conservative media blog.
As long as you ignore the fact that there was no "top conservative media blog" category, then yeah...
NewsBuster: Jamil Hussein's Existence Isn't the Point Topic: NewsBusters
You knew this was coming.
After Editor & Publisher reported a blogger's apparent discovery of the existence of Jamil Hussein, an Associated Press source in Iraq whom numerous conservative bloggers declared didn't exist, Warner Todd Huston declared in a Dec. 18 NewsBusters post that Hussein's existence isn't the issue:
However, E&P seems to be missing the real story... as usual.
The fact is, whether this Captain Hussein exists or not, there is still no corroboration for the story of six burned Iraqis.
And, it has always been a staple of journalism that more than one source be required to publish a story reported as "fact". After all, if only ONE source is ever needed for a story, then anyone can publish anything as "fact" merely upon any single person's say so.
I slept with Marilyn Monroe, ya know? Print that as fact, AP... just because I say so. Even though I was but a child when she was found dead. But this one source says it's true, so the AP MUST assume it could be fact!
But as we've noted, the AP has cited other witnesses to the story of the burned Iraqis, so there is more than one source.
While the AP could certainly be more forthcoming on this issue, and while there are legitimate issues to be raised (Bob Bateman offers a less ideologically charged look), Huston and others have an agenda in their criticism: to discredit any war reporting they don't agree with, no matter how true it is.
NewsBusters' Al Brown, Robin Boyd and Greg Sheffield are presumably commiserating on how to spin this news so as not to contradict their own writing; they claimed that Hussein didn't exist because the government told them he didn't.
Keeping the 'War on Christmas' Alive Topic: Media Research Center
Via Tim Graham at NewsBusters, we learn that the Media Research Center's Culture & Media Institute is trying to keep the "War on Christmas" flame alive. In a CMI article, Kristen Fyfe asks why people think there is a "war on Christmas": "Because, Tiny Tim, there is." She adds: "The war on Christmas is not a figment of the imaginations of Fox News or conservative Christians, as the liberal media would have you believe."
This largely ignores that conservative groups (and Fox News) have worked hard over the past couple of years into blowing up unrelated, isolated incidents into a "war on Christmas." For instance, as we'vedetailed, for the last two holiday seasons, WorldNetDaily simply ran nearly verbatim (and occasionally factuallychallenged) press releases from conservative legal groups like Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defense Fund promoting their "war on Christmas" legal actions without even bothering to present the other side.
Fyfe touches on this, writing: "Led by Christian organizations like the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, the Catholic League, Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defense Fund, the push back against Politically Correct Christmas is gaining momentum." But Fyfe erroneously calls this a "grassroots movement"; in fact, these are groups that reel in millions of dollars in donations each year and have public-relations staffs whose job it is to promote their cause -- hardly "grassroots."
We see that fund-raising component in Fyfe's article by her copious use of the ACLU bogeyman; she claims that the "war" is "[l]ed predominantly by the ACLU (they’ll deny it of course, but ask the folks in Wilson County, Tennessee who are currently in court fighting the ACLU over – among other charges -- a kindergarten class singing two Christmas carols)." Indeed, "ACLU" appears eight times in her article.
Along with her copious ACLU references, Fyfe has no problem ascribing the most negative spin to those who dare to say something other than "Merry Christmas." She writes, "It seemed to culminate last year with Wal-Mart’s decision to forbid its employees to greet customers with 'Merry Christmas' " as if it were part of that purported ACLU plot -- and as if no greeting was offered at all. As the Chicago Tribune points out, the truth is much less nefarious: Wal-Mart simply tried out "Happy Holidays" and caved under the boycott threats of those, er, "grassroots" groups.
The "war on Christmas" may or may not be, in Fyfe's words, "a figment of the imaginations of Fox News or conservative Christians," but it is most definitely their creation -- and Fyfe should honestly acknowledge that.
It appears that Kevin McCullough is trying to turn Barack Obama's metoric political rise into his meal ticket into the next level of conservative prominence, a la Christopher Ruddy, Joseph Farah, et al, with President Clinton.
McCullough has written several WorldNetDaily columns attacking Obama, such as a notorious one this one that Obama "represents the views of Satan." His latest column on Obama continues that overheated tone, referring to "Barack Hussein Obama" no less than three times -- thus buying into a weird little right-wing talking point.
Of course, by buying into that talking point an hurling words like "evil" at Obama, McCullough demonstrates that really has nothing thoughtful to say on the subject. Not that it will stop McCullough from clinging to Obama's coattails, mind you.
In a Dec. 15 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard declared White House press secretary Tony Snow to have "class, integrity and decency" for apologizing to NBC's David Gregory for calling him a "partisan" because he read statements from the Iraq Study Group report. Sheppard concluded: "How refreshing. Now, try to imagine a member of the press being as gracious."
Better yet, try to imagine a NewsBusters poster being as gracious. In a Dec. 8 post on the original Snow-Gregory exchange, Matthew Sheffield called Gregory "petulant" and his ISG quotes "out of context," then bashed Gregory and other reporters for "asking captious, leading questions that no public spokesperson is ever going to answer."
Will Sheppard gently prod his NewsBusters bud to serve up a similarly "gracious" apology?
CNS Overlooks Conservativism of Israeli Pols Topic: CNSNews.com
Two Dec. 15 CNSNews.com articles ignore or inadequately explain the conservative political affiliations of the Israeli politicans they quote.
An article by Kevin Mooney quoting "senior Israeli politician" Uzi Landau does note that Landau is "a member of the opposition Likud Party," but Mooney doesn't explain that Likud is conservative or what it is in "opposition" to -- the center-left Kadima party headed by Ehud Olmert. (Nor, interestingly, does Mooney identify the political persuasion of The Century Foundation, which appears to be a liberal-leaning group; as we've noted, CNS is typically more diligent about identifying liberal groups as such.)
Julie Stahl, meanwhile, offered no political affiliation for Israeli lawmaker Yuval Steinitz in an article featuring his call to dissolve the Palestinian Authority and ship its leaders to the Gaza strip. Turns out he's in Likud, too.
NewsBusters: Proving Stephen Colbert Right Topic: NewsBusters
In a Dec. 13 NewsBusters post, Terry Trippany tells the Associated Press how to write a news story: Don't include anything that makes the Bush administration sound bad.
Trippany decided to deconstruct an AP report on military recruiting, declaring, "One can’t help but note how the AP reporter spins the good news story of recruitment success into a negative screed about American pessimism over the war in Iraq and dissatisfaction with the way President Bush is handling the effort." So she turned it into two articles, one a "biased screed," the other the real story.
But Trippany's good-news version of the story conveniently omits certain realities that would be germane, if not essential, to an article about military recruiting, namely 1) the U.S. is fighting a war; 2) that war is unpopular with the majority of Americans; and 3) most Americans disapprove of Bush's handling of the war. Too negative, you see. Makes Repubicans look bad. Can't have that.
Trippany thus proves Stephen Colbert right: reality really does have a liberal bias. And that's what our friends at the MRC are fighting to save us from.
AIM Likens French News Channel to Al-Jazeera Topic: Accuracy in Media
A Dec. 13 Accuracy in Media column by Andy Selepak felt the need to liken the new French news channel, France 24, to al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based channel AIM is seeking to censor. Selepak writes that "it appears that the new channel is designed, like Al-Jazeera, to counter American influence in the world. It also seems designed to give us a more sympathetic view of those behind international terrorism," concluding that "Like Al-Jazeera, France 24 looks like another government-funded propaganda operation of dubious value." Selepak seems to show disdain for the fact that "France 24 is available in Washington D.C. to Comcast cable subscribers"; is AIM looking to censor that, too?
Selepak also bizarrely claims that "U.S. seems to be practically disarmed" in "the current global media environment." We're not sure what the heck that means, considering the global influence of Hollywood movies and even the reach of CNN's international channel.
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has fired up his mighty Wurlitzer once again -- the same one where he keeps his terrorist buddies when he needs to cue up a Democrat-bashing quote -- and lo and behold, he found a New York politician to bash Ehud Olmert.
A Dec. 14 article features the comments of New York state assemblyman Dov Hikind, who is demanding Olmert's resignation. Nowhere does Klein state what, if any, special expertise Hikind has that makes him a credible critic of Olmert (beyond buying full-page ads in Jewish newspapers making the same argument) or anything else regarding Hikind's background and political affiliation -- seemingly essential background information given that the vast majority of WND's readers are not Jewish and not from New York.
As we reported the last time Klein cited him, a 1999 Village Voice article described Hikind as "a combative disciple of Jewish Defense League capo Meir Kahane." And we know how Klein has previously whitewashed the Kahane movement's violent history. Hikind is also, like Klein, an opponent of the Olmert-led disengagement plan of writhdrawing from Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank.
Indeed, this is the 11th WND article -- all but two of which carry Klein's byline -- in which Hikind is quoted. Among them:
A March 2005 article by Klein stated that Hikind was one of a group fo Americans who "moved ... for three days" to an Israeli settlement in Gaza "protest Israel's planned withdrawal this summer from Gaza and parts of the West Bank." Hikind is the only person Klein quoted in the article. Klein wrote about a second Hikind-led visit to Gaza a few months later, as well as Hikind's unauthorized entry into post-evacuation Gaza in August 2005.
In a May 2005 article touting Gaza as, of all things, a tourist destination just a few months before the Israeli pullout from Gaza began, Klein quoted Hikind as saying, ""Of course I would recommend people vacation in Gush Katif [settlement in Gaza]. I felt completely safe while I was there."
A May 2006 article quoted Hikind bashing Olmert and claiming he is "establish[ing] a coalition to sponsor public information campaigns about what he called the dangers of an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, and to lead solidarity missions to communities Olmert seeks to evacuate."
Hikind was Klein's main source on a June 2006 smear piece claiming that the U.S. branch of Olmert's Kadima party plagiarized parts of its website from a state Democratic Party website.
So, it appears that Hikind is little more than a politician with an ax to grind (against a country where he is not an elected official) who has a kinship with a reporter who opposes the same things -- Olmert and disengagement -- as him. And Klein has a reliable quote-spouter when he feels the need to smack Olmert around.
In his December 13 WorldNetDaily column, Judge Roy Moore attacked newly elected congressman Keith Ellison because he "shocked many Americans by declaring that he would take his oath of office by placing his hand on the Quran rather than the Bible."
But as was repeatedly pointed out when Dennis Prager made the same accusation, the official swearing-in of members of Congress is not done on a Bible or a Quran -- or any religious book, for that matter -- it's done en masse. Members occasionally pose for photos with their hand on a Bible, but there is nothing official about them, and they are unrelated to the actual swearing-in.
MRC's Double Standard on Gotcha Questions Topic: NewsBusters
In a Dec. 12 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock baselessly speculated that CNN's Bob Franken "seemed downright embarrassed to be reporting the fact that Texas Congressman Silvestre Reyes incorrectly responded to a correspondent’s question of who, Shiite or Sunni, primarily comprise al-Qaeda." Whitlock also suggested that CNN was wrong to note "examples of Republicans flubbing such quizzes." But in 1999, when then-candidate for president George W. Bush, in Franken's words, "flubbed a similar impromptu quiz about world leaders," the MRC was eager to deflect attention from it by noting examples of Democrats doing the same thing.
In a Nov. 9, 1999, CyberAlert, Brent Baker noted that "ABC's World News Tonight jumped on how George W. Bush could not identify some obscure world leaders" (those of Chechnya, India or Pakistan, which given subsequent events are not exactly "obscure"), then claimed that the show had not noted an incident in which "Gore could not answer some farm questions posed by Diane Sawyer on 20/20."
A Dec. 12 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein attacks Media Matters blogger Eric Alterman (disclosure: I work for Media Matters) for being "one angry guy" who "vents his bile" and whose "anger burns so brightly that it blots out his substance." As evidence, Finkelstein cites an Alterman column in which he calls David Horowitz "crazy," the Wall Street Journal editorial page "a sorry joke," and a column "so bad it could have been written by Charles Krauthammer."
This complaint, it should be noted, comes from someone who is on record likening Hillary Clinton to Kim Jong Il and a crocodile, not to mention calling Rep. John Murtha a megalomaniac.
Sounds like someone has his own issues with "anger" and "bile" that he might want to deal with before making accusations about others.