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Saturday, December 23, 2006
Sheppard Drools Over Radio Host's Column
Topic: NewsBusters

A Dec. 22 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard slavers over a column by Mike Rosen, "Denver, Colorado’s most popular radio talk show host," in which he suggests that CBS "go conservative" with its evening newscast and insists that Fox News "is more fair and balanced." Sheppard practically falls over himself with praise, citing a "marvelous payoff pitch" and how he "fabulously concluded" his point. Sheppard himself concludes: "Spectucular job, Mike. I couldn’t agree with you more fervently!"

Alas, reality is much different than Sheppard's view of it. As Colorado Media Matters points out, Brit Hume (who Rosen praised for his "gravitas") and Fox News have regularly eschewed fairness and balance, and the broadcast networks Rosen criticized for being too "liberal" have at times demonstrated a conservative slant. 

And while it's easy to conclude by inference though Sheppard doesn't explicitly state it, Rosen is a conservative radio host, and Colorado Media Matters has also complied quite a dossier on the misleading and false claims he has made.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:19 AM EST
Salvato: Your Liberal Relatives Are Ruining Christmas

Frank Salvato's Dec. 22 column offers a handy guide for how to handle liberal relatives at Christmastime. He rather hilariously portrays "Uncle Mel" as the disruptor of all things peaceful during the holiday, "screaming disingenuous and fallacious talking points about WMD, President Bush lying to get us into the Iraq War and Michael Moore being a gifted documentarian":

It is for this reason that many of us look forward to the solace of the holidays, a time when family and close friends gather to celebrate the good things life has to offer. That is until Uncle Mel starts spouting off at the mouth with his multicultural, progressive ideological point of view.


But as the dinner plates lay upon the table littered with the remnants of a meal that was planned for weeks, invariably Uncle Mel will bring up a topic that will open the door for the end of what promised to be an enjoyable, conflict free evening.

It may start innocently enough, perhaps a mention that we should say a prayer for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan or that the nativity scene was multicultural in nature (although passages in scripture intimate that the "wise men" were not at the nativity but visited the Christ child later).

But just like the slight pause in conversation that occurs when a parent hears their child speak profanity for the first time, the crack of that rhetorical "open door" allows for the seeds of discontent to pollute the camaraderie that until that moment provided a temporary oasis to the ills of the world.

Get the feeling that Salvato is projecting here? One wonders if maybe he, in fact, is the "Uncle Mel" he's writing about, with a propensity for dragging disruptive politics into a peaceful family gathering. One can imagine Savato "polluting the camaraderie" dropping disingenuous talking points like calling Hillary Clinton a "hangman" or Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame as "disgruntled political has-beens" (as we've noted) or ranting about "the aggressive dogma of 'multiculturalism.'" (Indeed, he begins the column by claiming that "the encroachment of multiculturalism" is among the "dangers, threats and coercions" America faces.)

It would be more interesting to hear about the Salvato family Christmas from the point of view of "Uncle Mel," if only to hear his reaction to being treated so condescendingly by Salvato in his column.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 AM EST
Friday, December 22, 2006
Quote of the Day
Topic: Accuracy in Media

"It just so happens-and this is extremely newsworthy-that the Democratic plan for Iraq is similar to the one proposed by al Qaeda."

-- Cliff Kincaid, Dec. 22 Accuracy in Media column.

Democrats want to kill Americans and forcibly convert them to Islam? Kincaid, unsurprisingly, offers no evidence of this.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:30 PM EST
CNS Conflates Conservatives, Christians

A Dec. 22 article by Nathan Burchfiel described those who opposed the removal of a cross from a permanent position in a chapel at the College of William and Mary as "Christians," "Christians who were offended" and "a group of Christians." But the only critics Burchfiel quotes in his article are Mathew Staver of the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel and Stephen Klugewicz, "the director of the conservative Collegiate Network."

So, specifically, it's not all Christians who have criticized the cross' removal; it's conservative Christians. Burchfiel should have made that clear.

On a related subject, two writers in today's CNS letters column claim that liberal Christians are not real Christians at all. As one person wrote: "I call them 'C.I.N.O.' or Christian in Name Only."

Posted by Terry K. at 5:56 PM EST
Speaking of Double Standards ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 22 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh alleges that the Tennessee is using a double standard by "supporting the right of two California reporters to use confidential sources, even though his office has previously denied the same right to WorldNetDaily in the landmark $165 million defamation lawsuit brought in Tennessee against the popular news website by a top fundraiser for Al Gore."

There's no mention of WND's own double standard in the case -- defending the reporters who wrote the anti-Gore articles WND ran while simultaneously arguing that it shouldn't be liable for what they wrote because WND didn't commission the articles (as we've noted).

Posted by Terry K. at 5:40 PM EST
NewsBusters Again Ignores That Matthews Bashed a Liberal
Topic: NewsBusters

According to Mark Finkelstein in a Dec. 22 NewsBusters post, by asking questions about Dick Cheney's upcoming testimony in the Scooter Libby trial, Chris Matthews is continuing his "apparently inexorable plunge off the Olbermann end of the pool."

Finkelstein ignored evidence from the same show that Matthews' alleged plunge is hardly "inexorable": Matthews also dropped a crack about Al Gore's alleged weight problem, calling him "the Hindenburg." (Even more interesting, Matthews said that in front of the Washington Times' Tony Blankley, not exactly a svelte man himself.)

As we've noted, it is the habit of MRC writers like Finkelstein to ignore negative things Matthews says about Democrats and to play up negative things he says about Republicans in order to cast Matthews as a hopelessly biased liberal.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:27 PM EST
Adamo Recycles Conservative Canard

A Dec. 21 column by Christopher Adamo repeats a favorite conservative canard:

One of the last great gasps of liberal supremacy came in 1993, as the Democrats on the House floor broke into spontaneous applause and cheering upon passage of the largest tax increase in history.

As we've pointed out, the biggest tax increase in history was approved in 1982 by a Republican Congress under the Reagan administration.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 AM EST
Who Is Nir Gouaz?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Every original WorldNetDaily article raises the question, "How does this serve WND's biases and/or financial interests?" That is perhaps doubly so for anything written by Aaron Klein, followed by the question, "What is Aaron Klein hiding about his sources?"

Thus, with Klein's WND articles (on Dec. 18, Dec. 20 and Dec. 21) featuring Nir Gouaz -- who Klein describes only as an "Israeli businessman" who is president of a company called Caesar Global Securities -- accusing the law firm where former Secretary of State James Baker worked of helping a South Korean company collect money owed to it from Iraq, using Gouaz's company as "a middleman to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iraq." WND's bias motive is pretty clear: it aims to discredit Baker and, thus, the Iraq Study Group he co-chaired. As we've noted, Klein has already trotted out his terrorist buddies to praise the ISG plan.

On to our next question: Who is Nir Gouaz?

Turns out he, and his company, are a bit on the murky side. Caesar Global Securities has no active website (a scrap of an old site can be found in the Google cache), and it's unclear exactly what it does. Another Google cache scrap reports on a company called Caesar Global Industries, with Gouaz as president, with the following interests: "Diamonds, Energy, Food Supply, Security, Telecommunication, Waste Management and Recycling, Business Development, Debt Collection, Cree Electric Car." Also of note is the following:

Since 1989, Caesar Global Ltd. mine and export diamonds, along with gold from Zaire/Congo, Sierra Leone and Angola  under special authorization from the Local governments as part of the  Diamonds for Commodities program.
 Our turnover at the peak of the program was 160 million US dollars a year, and our biggest diamond ever export was measured at 363 carats for a single gem stone bought and exported by Nir Gouaz in July, 1988 in Kinshasa, Zaire.

Which brings us to this report by the Diamonds and Human Security Project on the diamond industry in Sierra Leone. In it is the following observation:

By the time Sierra Leone’s war broke out in 1991, the country’s then President, Joseph Momoh, had begun to shift away from Lebanese businessmen, towards Israelis. This was encouraged by Israel, which was eager to cut off Lebanese funding for anti-Israeli armed factions in the Middle East. It turned out, however, that Momoh’s new Israeli friends, among them Shaptai Kalmanovitch (of the LIAT Company), and later Nir Guaz (of the SCIPA group), were crooked, with ties to organized crime syndicates. SCIPA, which lasted longer that LIAT, was suspected of financing illegal as well as legal diamond exports, but the Israelis were generally viewed more favourably than the Lebanese. They paid far better prices to miners for their finds, and they imported rice and machinery which they sold at affordable prices.


Indeed, so popular did SCIPA become, that some Lebanese schemed with corrupt police officials to have the company driven out of the country. SCIPA’s boss, Nir Gouaz, was arrested on fake currency-related charges, detained and then deported. The Lebanese mogul, Jamil, had by then gone into self-exile in the UK, after a foiled coup plot that involved some his close friends in government, but the plot against SCIPA was contrived by his close associates in Freetown.

So, it appears that Gouaz has been involved in some shady dealings of his own. It is, of course, unsurprising that Klein would not share that with his readers; after all, as we've documented, he has whitewashed the violent extremism of Israeli's Kahane movement, members and sympathizers of which he has regularly interviewed.

Perhaps before WND flogs this story further, Klein might want to share with his readers the full story about Nir Gouaz.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 AM EST
Thursday, December 21, 2006
WND Again Likens Homeschool Critics to Nazis
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 21 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh asserted that "The German government, in a throwback to its National Socialist Workers Party heritage, has declared war on homeschool families." Regarding a German law requiring school attendance, Unruh adds:

Such mandatory public school attendance, and the accompanying procedures to physically escort children to schools, were legalized under the Nazis in 1938. Hitler was concerned at that time about having children grow up with perspectives that were not approved by the state.

This is at least the fourth article in which WorldNetDaily has likened critics of homeschooling to Nazis; in addition to a Sept. 29 article and a Dec. 15 article referencing a "Nazi-era ban on homeschooling," an Oct. 25 article by Unruh stated that "A Nazi-era law requiring all children to attend public school, to avoid "the emergence of parallel societies based on separate philosophical convictions" that could be taught by parents at home, apparently is triggering a Nazi-like response from police."

Additionally, the headline of Unruh's article -- "Government declares war on homeschooling families" -- is vaguely written to suggest at first glance that it's the U.S. government that is the subject. Wasn't there enough room to add the word "German"?

And, as we've previously noted, Unruh is a homeschooling parent himself, so he isn't exactly objective on the subject. Thus, it's not surprising that the article gives no indication that Unruh contacted any German officials for their response to the "war" charges made by the homeschoolers he featured.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:25 PM EST
AIM's Terrorist Supporter
Topic: Accuracy in Media

For the third time since September, Accuracy in Media has printed a column by Cinnamon Stillwell. As we've documented, Stillwell has defended the extremist Jewish Defense League, a group with a history of violence, as well as Earl Krugel, a JDL member who plotted to bomb a California mosque and a field office of Republican congressman Darrell Issa.

We've previously asked whether AIM ought to be conferring legitimacy on a supporter of terrorists. By running Stillwell's columns, AIM has apparently decided that it wants to do just that. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 AM EST
NewsMax Brings Back Old-School Clinton-Hating
Topic: Newsmax

Lest you thought that NewsMax was going all squishy and abandoning its Clinton-hating heritage, fear not.

In a Dec. 19 column, Charles R. Smith stands ready to fill the void with baseless smears and other unsubstantiated claims about the Clintons that we thought NewsMax gave up in its quest to be taken seriously a legitimate news organization. He starts off by calling Hillary Clinton a "part-time senator"; he quickly moves on to recycling old would-be scandals.

FBI files? Yep: "It served Hillary and her hit squad to snatch the FBI files and rifle through the lives of potential opponents."

The "body count"? Gotcha: "There is also that nagging problem about the body count she has left behind. Vince Foster, Moctar Riady, Johnny Chung, Charlie "yah-lin" Trie, John Huang, Ron Brown, and Webster Hubbell come to mind."

Chinagate? Yupper: "Mrs. Clinton has a few of her own pictures to live down, including one with convicted "Chinagate" figure Moctar Riady, and a photo of her with convicted cocaine smuggler Jorge Cabrera in front of the White House Christmas tree."

Even Smith appears to be bored by the whole thing and shifts into greatest-hits=medley mode:

I can hardly list her repeated scandals in a single article: For example dealing in cattle futures, firing the White House travel office, messing with health care, smearing hubby's girlfriends, blaming the far right for all her problems, and missing Rose office records reappearing out of a wormhole in time/space.

Smith then suggests that one way for Hillary to be elected president "would be for Bill Clinton to die. No one would dare oppose the mourning widow. Not a whisper would be issued about Riady money, Chinese generals, or Monica." He then quickly adds: " Don't get me wrong. I would willingly take a bullet for Bill Clinton if only to protect my financial interests in writing about his future scandals." Then, to demonstrate just how craven he is, Smith concludes:

Of course, I'd vote for Hillary. I'm sure that stuns most of my readers but clearly, a pundit with a book in the ready, filled with facts about the life and times of our future president, would want her to win.  Never mind ideology or that little bit of corruption. Money will sway my vote — because skeletons make for best sellers. So prospective publishers take note, I am waiting anxiously by the phone. 

What's missing in Smith's eagerness to cash in on Hillary, of course, is any hint of why he should be taken any more seriously than the many, many others who have ridden the Clinton scandal gravy train to increasingly diminishing returns. Maybe he should have a little chat with his NewsMax boss, Christopher Ruddy, who himself long ago abandoned the beat.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
This Is A 'Slur'?
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 19 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard called it a "slur" that Dan Rather claimed that Fox News gets talking points from the White House (never mind the evidence that supports the claim). Um, Noel: What's the big deal? Don't your friends at the MRC regularly claim that the "liberal media" uses Democratic talking points?

Why, yes, they do. From 2006 alone:

  • "Lynne Cheney was right. The Vice President's wife on Friday attacked a CNN pre-election special as straight out of Democratic talking points. ... Close your eyes and it sounds like an ad straight out of the DNC." -- Oct. 31 CyberAlert item (and Oct. 30 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock)
  • "In his report on the Pennsylvania Senate race for Monday’s NBC Nightly News, reporter Chip Reid had no scrutiny for frontrunner Bob Casey, whom he described using Democratic talking points: The 'son of a popular former governor and an abortion opponent like [incumbent GOP Senator Rick] Santorum.'" -- Oct. 31 "Media Reality Check"
  • "However, [CBS's Bob] Schieffer made [the Washington Post's Dana] Milbank's column sound as if it attacked all sides, when in fact it was an article that spouted the Democratic talking point that the Republicans are attacking their patriotism." -- Sept. 14 CyberAlert item
  • "David Gregory, just scolded the day before by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow for advancing Democratic talking points, pushed them again, along with Matt Lauer, on Wednesday's Today show. ... Lauer then followed Gregory's lead, pounding Senate Majority Bill Frist on the Secretary of Defense. Lauer repeatedly interrupted Frist with anti-Rumsfeld questions." -- Sept. 7 CyberAlert item
  • "The Washington Post reported on Wednesday's front page that House and Senate Republicans reached agreement on extending 'President Bush's deep cuts to tax rates on dividends and capital gains,' but the chart they used on the front page was a Democratic talking point." -- May 10 CyberAlert item
  • "But they are another example of how ABC takes Democratic talking points and uses them in news stories -- without giving the audience a heads-up about their partisan pedigree." -- April 27 CyberAlert item
  • "When Blitzer asked [Helen] Thomas if the President had satisfactorily answered her question on his 'real' reason for going to war in Iraq, Thomas started parroting Democratic talking points." -- March 22 CyberAlert item
  • "Interviewing Terry McAuliffe 18 months earlier, [John] Roberts posed a question that could have been cribbed from DNC talking points." -- February 2 CyberAlert item

Is not the MRC issuing similar "slurs" when it makes that accusation? Shouldn't Sheppard be demanding that the MRC offer the same proof that he demands from Rather?

Posted by Terry K. at 4:50 PM EST
New Article: The Cold War on Christmas
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The ConWeb takes a less aggressive approach to promoting its "war on Christmas" concept -- which includes pretending that it hasn't aggressively promoted it. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:10 AM EST
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
WND Columnist Tries to Back His Claim That Soy Makes You Gay
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Jim Rutz has started the defense of his column last week claiming that soy causes homosexuality.

His first attempt, in his Dec. 19 column (he promises more in the future), isn't very coherent. He mainly focuses on disputed health claims about soy, as well as answering the question, "If soy is so harmful as to potentially alter sexual physiology and behavior, why haven't the Chinese and Japanese all died off or become homosexual centuries ago?" And he doesn't even get to the juicy stuff: "What is that doing to their sex organs and their sexual orientation? Tune in next week." Aw, man...

On a separate footnotes page (but not in his main article), Rutz does offer "three links to articles from prestigious sources that will tell you how safe and wonderful soy is." Interestingly, he doesn't link to one study that that appears to undercut one of his main claims, that soy-based infant formula is what's making our kids all femmy and stuff (he calls infants "worst victims of soy"). That 2001 University of Pennsylvania study found that "in terms of sexual development, there is very little difference between children who, as infants, were fed cow milk formula and those fed soy formula." (Hat tip: World O'Crap.)

Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 9:08 PM EST
Let's Call It Obama's Law
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've learned with Kevin McCullough, it's becoming clear that the level of intelligent discourse in a column about Barack Obama is inversely proportional to the number of times the columnist invokes Obama's middle name.

And so it is with Mychal Massie's Dec. 18 WorldNetDaily column. Not only does he use "Barack Hussein Obama" twice, his column is headlined, "Another threat named Hussein." Massie goes on to call Obama "the extreme socialist liberal version of former Vice-President Dan Quayle, but without the substance," further claiming without evidence that he is a "supporter of sex education for grades K-5."

Massie concludes with a defense of negative campaigning against Newt Gingrich's call to anbandon it, stating: "Newt also overlooks the free use of lies when he calls for an end to negative campaigns. Lying is a negative, and few are more accomplished distorters of the truth than Barack Obama." As we've documented, Massie himself is quite the accomplished truth distorter (not to mention a hypocrite).

Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EST

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