Graham on Liberal Music, TV: It Stinks! Topic: NewsBusters
As we've noted, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham has a bit of a problem with liberal artists getting any kind of positive review; apparently, he believes that the only reason that critics would like liberal-leaning art or music or film is because the critics themselves are liberal too, and that said praise equals an endorsement of the views of the artist.
Which brings us to a pair of Dec. 30 NewsBusters posts by Graham in which he disapprovingly of critics citing liberal-leaning works as among the best of 2006. The first post complains that Washington Post critics "were dropping some liberal (and radical, even Marxist) politics into their choices," and that one music critic in particular "had two liberal/radical Bush-hater favorites on his Best list." That would be the Dixie Chicks and the Coup; Graham then cites noted music critic Brent Bozell's less-than-glowing review of the Coup ("politically noxious") in which he, like Graham, disapproved of the group because he didn't like their politics. Graham goes on to take Post music critic J. Freedom du Lac to task for his name -- it was taken from the line "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose," from the song "Me and Bobby McGee" -- and for the offense of having San Francisco hippies as parents.
Another Dec. 30 post by Graham took offense at Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker selecting Keith Olbermann and the addition of Rosie O'Donnell to "The View" as among his best TV of 2006. Graham adds: "It's quite knee-jerk of Tucker to assert that Rosie is the apostle of 'common sense' and the ninja of 'barbed wit.' She agrees with me, therefore she is brilliant and witty. And her conservative opponent eats paste."
No less knee-jerk, we would venture to say, than automatically presuming there is no artistic merit in art that does not toe the conservative line.
UPDATE: Graham's review of the reviewers continues: A Dec. 31 post cites "more guess-what-I'm-liberal picks of the Washington Post arts writers," bashing one for preferring "the knocking-boots Jesus of 'The Last Temptation of Christ' " over "the 'troubling' literal approach" of "The Passion of the Christ." (Did Jesus "literally" have that much blood in him?) We also learn that Graham is not a Fugazi fan.
A Jan. 1 post attacks another Post writer because she purportedly "celebrated the new ballet where George W. Bush assaults women and kills them." He then cites his Dec. 18 review of the Post's review, once again assuming without evidence that a positive review of a work of art equals endorsement of the political views contained therein.
And another Jan. 1 post complains that Time's picks for the top political cartoons of the year "certainly have a liberal tilt" because "Republicans and conservatives are mocked "while "[n]one of them mock American liberals."
The death of Gerald Ford has brought some weird grandstanding behavior on the part of NewsMax. It has started up a petition to name a new Navy destroyer after the former president. The odd thing about this is that Ford was a moderate Republican -- the kind conservatives like those at NewsMax typically loathe -- but that hasn't stopped Dave Eberhart, in a Dec. 28 article, from touting Ford as "that unique personality who bound the nation's wounds and set it back on a flank speed course for greatness" and approvingly citing "a groundswell of support in Congress to name a great warship after him."
NewsMax also trots out Jerry Zeifman, who makes a point of declaring himself a Democrat yet again as he uses a Dec. 29 column to praise Ford as "the most nonpartisan and ethical president in my life time" and attack "the current left wing of our Democratic Party." As we've previously noted, Zeifman is one of those "Democrats" who likes only Republicans and wrote a book claiming that "Kennedy loyalists" such as Hillary Rodham obstructed Richard Nixon's impeachment to protect the reputation of John Kennedy -- a bit of conspiracy-mongering readers might want to know as he bashes the New York Times for "assail[ing Ford] for the pardon of Richard Nixon."
The Sexpidemic! obsession continues at WorldNetDaily, with a Dec. 28 article asserting that there is a "classroom sexpidemic of women teachers raping underage boys is not going ignored by Hollywood." As always, the "evidence" for this is its anecdotal list of incidents that fails to note that some items date back more than 15 years -- hardly indicative of a current "sexpidemic."
The article also ponders "if Hollywood has a love affair with themes about underage boys seeking sex with older women." But the support for this is equally specious; the article names only four films over a 35-year time span, plus one storyline from the TV show "Dawson's Creek," as evidence of this "love affair."
Given WND'sobsession with this subject, one wonders if it's really itself WND is accusing of a "love affair" with teacher-student sex.
We're not known for our respect for Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid -- in fact, we're amused to no end by his obsession with homosexuality. But he is one of the few conservatives willing to criticize conservative celebrities for their crass behavior, such as Ann Coulter.
In his Dec. 25 AIM column, Kincaid takes on another conservative celeb, shock jock Erich "Mancow" Muller, criticizing Fox News for giving him a show. We've long been baffled by NewsMax's love for Mancow, and Kincaid calls NewsMax out on it (though we're about two years ahead of him):
Despite Muller's sleazy background, the conservative-oriented Newsmax.com website ran a positive story about his new Fox show and his career. The story made no mention of his history of filthy routines.
Kincaid doesn't mention it, but Mancow has even deeper conservative links than Fox News. Mancow's radio show is syndicated by Talk Radio Network, which also syndicates such conservative stalwarts as Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham. In order to target Mancow, Kincaid should also target TRN as well. (More about TRN and its operators here.)
Or perhaps not. Kincaid's Dec. 26 column writes of Rush Limbaugh's admisison that he promoted Republicans who abandoned conservative principles in theh 2006 midterm elections because he didn't want Democrats to win: "It's no wonder that the website of 'independent conservative' Michael Savage seized on Limbaugh's comments, saying they constituted an admission that he had been deceiving his listeners about the Republican betrayal."
Of course, Savage is just as inflammatory as Mancow, in his own special way. Given that Kincaid has already taken on Ann Coulter, why not Savage's boss as well for hiring Mancow?
Amy Ridenour of the National Center for Public Policy Research notes that we incorrectly stated that Congress was under Republican control in 1982; in fact, Republicans controlled only the Senate, while Democrats controlled the House.
It's also worth noting that Ridenour had no apparent problem with the focus of our entry on Christopher Adamo's claim that 1993 saw the "largest tax increase in history": that the biggest tax increase in history (adjusted for inflation) was signed by a Republican president (and approved by a Republican Senate).
WND Ramps Up Nazi-Homeschool Link Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has stopped beating around the bush on the whole Nazi-homeschool thing. From the lead of Unruh's Dec. 23 WND article:
For parents who wish to teach their own children in the Judeo-Christian tradition, Germany today is not much better than it was under Nazi party control in the 1930s and 1940s, according to a man who lives there and is pleading for international help for his country.
The subject of Unruh's article is conveniently anonymous, purportedly "so that he is not targeted for speaking out, because he is pleading with those outside of Germany to launch a campaign to focus international attention on their actions." What was it that Unruh's boss, Joseph Farah, said about anonymous sources? Ah, yes: "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better."
Also conveniently, Unruh offers no independent verification of the claims he's writing about.
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.
Salvato: Your Liberal Relatives Are Ruining Christmas Topic: CNSNews.com
Frank Salvato's Dec. 22 CNSNews.com 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.
A Dec. 22 CNSNews.com 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."
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.