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Thursday, February 22, 2007
CNS Doesn't Let Gore Respond

A Feb. 22 article by Kevin Mooney features several critics who charge that the Al Gore documentary "An inconvenIent Truth" does not deserve to win an Academy Award for best documentary because it "arguably violates" the criteria for the award because it "departs from reality" in its depiction of global warming. But nowhere does Mooney allow Gore or his reprsentatives to respond to those claims or note that he attempted to contact them for a response.

Mooney also features Dan Gifford, the filmmaker known for the Oscar-nominated documentary "Waco: The Rules of Engagement," which examines the 1993 Branch Davidian siege. Mooney writes: "Gifford recalls that the documentary came under fire. Since president Clinton was in office at the time, entertainment industry libearals were inclined to defend the government's position," adding: "The Waco documentary withstood the criticism because actual footage was used and compelling evidence introduced."

On the other hand, one review at the time of its 1997 release noted that the film "follows the current trend of one-sided documentary filmmaking. 'Waco' often isn't so much a documentary as it is propaganda for pro-[David] Koresh sympathizers."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EST
Sheppard Bashes -- But Doesn't Rebut -- Impeachment Call
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Feb. 22 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard declared it "completely disgusting," "disgraceful," "despicabl[e]," "tripe," "nonsense," and "unmitigated audacity" that a GQ article would call for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Nowhere does Sheppard address any of the claims the article made in support of its assertion.

Also, we could find no similiar assessment by Sheppard of conservatives who advocated impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Sheppard concluded: "This isn't journalism -- this is activism." Uh, Noel, it's GQ, not exactly a historic bastion of journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 PM EST
At NewsMax, Ruddy Silent About His Clinton Change of Heart
Topic: Newsmax

Earlier this week, NewsMax editor and CEO Christopher Ruddy told the New York Times that he and NewsMax co-owner (and legendarily rabid Clinton-hater) Richard Mellon Scaife "have had a rethinking" about the Clintons: "Clinton wasn’t such a bad president. ... In fact, he was a pretty good president in a lot of ways, and Dick feels that way today."

Three days later, despite NewsMax's historic promotion of any reference to itself that shows up in the dreaded "mainstream media" (even when it's not necessarily positive) there has been no mention of the Times article or Ruddy's presence in it at NewsMax.

As we've noted, Ruddy's change of heart isn't stopping Clinton-haters from congregating at NewsMax. But shouldn't Ruddy be explaining this to his readers instead of leaving it to the MSM? 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 AM EST
Google Gets Under WND's Skin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has an odd animus toward Google.

It seemed to begin in 2003, when WND noted the phenomenon of "Googlebombing" used to link the phrase "miserable failure" to President Bush (and a later Googlebomb used on WND editor Joseph Farah). WND cranked it up in 2004 with allegations that Google was reportedly banning an anti-gay group from using its keyword advertising program. It continued through a guilt-by-association attack claiming that someone operated a pro-pedophelia blog on its Blogger service.

WND has even bashed Google over its logo. It has complained that Google has not specialized its front-page logo for Veterans Day or George Washington's birthday. The strangest attack came in a Feb. 14 article, which attempts to tweak Google for misspelling its name in its Valentine's Day design, which is a reach (the second "g" is a chocolate-covered strawberry, and the "l" is the stem).

The presumed real reason for that article, though, was for WND to once again rehash its attacks on Google's alleged "one-sided political contributions and content policies." The one that comes even before the claim that "98 percent of all political donations by Google employees went to support Democrats" is perhaps the most important:

In addition, the company came under fire for an editorial decision giving preferential placement to large, elite media outlets such as CNN and the BBC over independent news sources, such as WND, even if they are more recent, pertinent and exhaustive in their coverage.

So, basically, it's just business -- WND wants better placement of its articles in Google searches, and will apparently continue to attack the company until that happens. That tantrum approach is something to which WND is no stranger.

But we give WND plenty of attention. Isn't that good enough? We're saddened.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EST
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Mason, Felder Use New WND Perch to Smear Democrats
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In their Feb. 21 WorldNetDaily column, Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder demonstrate how they got their new gig by channeling Michael Savage:

Like a baby's dirty diaper, hypocrisy and duplicity soils the Democratic majority in Congress, and like the diaper, the closer you get to it, the worse it smells.


The Democrats have no conscience or moral purpose whatsoever. They are worse than mere hypocrites. They are accessories to the murder of American troops.

They go on to call Nancy Pelosi "Botox Babe" and repeat discredited claims about the bogus plane controversy:

-- "She claimed that it was "security people" who encouraged her to request a much larger airplane than the one used by her predecessor, Denny Hastert." In fact, it was the House sergeant at arms who sought the plane, and she herself did not request a larger plane.

-- "Then she said she needed the much larger plane because this country has a lot of enemies. ... Next she said she needed the larger plane because she is third in line for the presidency. Didn't Denny Hastert know about this provision in the Constitution, or was there a new Constitution written just for Nancy Pelosi?" In fact, the White House agrees that Pelosi "is entitled to military transport" and that "[i]t is important for the Speaker to have this kind of protection and travel" due to post-9/11 security concerns.

And this is "political satire" ... how?

Ironically, as this column is featured on WND's commentary page, WND is apoplectic that Bill Maher used not-dissimilar tones to criticize President Bush.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:56 PM EST
CNS Repeats Discredited Stem Cell Claim

From a Feb. 21 article by Nathan Burchfiel:

Dr. David Prentice, a senior fellow for life sciences at the conservative Family Research Council, told the handful of aides in attendance that peer-reviewed research on adult stem cells has resulted in 72 treatments - not cures - for ailments from cancer to heart disease to Parkinson's. Embryonic stem cells have yielded no such treatments to date, he said.

"It's the adult stem cells that are the ones that are actually making good on all these promises," Prentice said. "Patient health has been improved in over 70 different conditions."

In fact, Prentice's list of ailments treatable by adult stem cells has been discredited by researchers Shane Smith, William Neaves, and Steven Teitelbaum. In a letter to the American Association for the Advancement of Science for publication in the association's magazine, Science, the researchers state that FDA-approved adult stem cell treatments are available for only nine diseases, adding: "Prentice not only misrepresents existing adult stem cell treatments but also frequently distorts the nature and content of the references he cites."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 AM EST
Kessler Hearts Romney
Topic: Newsmax

We know Ronald Kessler hates John McCain, having dedicated numerous articles to his horrible temper. Now we know who he likes for president in 2008.

In a Feb. 21 NewsMax article, Kessler continued his sycophantic work for the Bush administration by featuring the claim that "Bush family members, friends, and key supporters are solidly behind Mitt Romney" and lists a number of "striking similarities between George W. Bush and Mitt Romney." In noting that "[b]oth men's lives have been touched by fatal car accidents," Kessler served up an oddly worded description of Laura Bush's crash:

In November 1963, when she was a senior in high school in Midland, Texas, Laura Bush, then 17, was driving on a dark country road with a high school friend when she missed a stop sign. Her parents' brand-new Chevrolet Impala slammed into a 1962 Corvair sedan driven by Michael D. Douglas, another high school friend, who was thrown from his car. He died at the scene. 

Why not just say that Laura Bush drove the car that killed a friend, instead of weirdly detaching things? bBy saying she "was driving on a dark country road" when "[h]er parents' brand-new Chevrolet Impala" hit another car, nonsensically suggests that it was the car, not the driver, who was to blame for the accident.

Kessler concludes his column with a separate item which makes the even more weird argument that congressional Democrats are causing America to lose the war on terror by holding the Bush administration accountable for its actions:

With Democrats holding hearings to try to embarrass the Bush administration, FBI and CIA officials worry about the amount of time they have to devote to testifying on Capitol Hill and the number of people they have to divert from tracking terrorists to locating documents for hearings.

As it is, people at both agencies work night and day to prevent the next terrorist attack. Diverting personnel from hunting down terrorists who are determined to detonate a nuclear device in the United States so that Democrats can assess blame for intelligence failures that have since been addressed is not the way to win the war on terror.

So, Kessler just wants Democrats to move on? Weren't Republicans opposed to that concept when Clinton was in office? Why is it suddenly OK now?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EST
Sheppard's Global Warming Obsession
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard is a tad obsessed with global warming -- specifically, reprinting every morsel that might chip away at the idea that humans have a role in global warming. In February alone, Sheppard has issued a whopping 29 NewsBusters posts on the subject, and there's still eight more days to go.

For instance, in a Feb. 7 post, Sheppard touted the case of Oregon "state climatologist" George Taylor, who was to be stripped of his "job" because he didn't "buy into the junk science of anthropogenic global warming." But, as we've noted, there's no official Oregon "state climatologist," Taylor is not trained in climatology, and losing the title will not cost him any income or his current job as a college instructor.

Meanwhile, a Feb. 19 post by Sheppard regurgitates Sean Hannity's attack on Al Gore for purportedly not be as carbon-neutral as he has proclaimed himself to be. But as NewsHounds points out, Hannity conflated "global warming" with "climate change" and "carbon imprint" with "carbon neutrality." Hannity's complaint that flying in a private jet, which he claims that Gore prefers, "does more than four times the carbon emission damage to the environment than flying a regular commercial jet" falls hollow given Hannity's own taste for the Gulfstream lifestyle, something Sheppard fails to note.

Further, as Wonkette notes, if there is no such thing as human-based global warming, as Sheppard appears to believe, how can Gore be causing it?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EST
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
WND's New Columnist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has enlisted Jackie Mason (and partner Raoul Felder) as a new columnist to serve up "political satire." This seems only slightly less strange than having Chuck Norris write a column, except for a couple things:

-- Mason is a conservative who says things WND likes, such as calling Islam a "murderous organization" that teaches "hate, terrorism and murder." He and Felder wrote a column for the conservative Jewish World Review until 2005.

-- Mason hosts a weekly radio show syndicated by Talk Radio Network -- which makes Mason part of the synergistic relationship between WND and TRN, founded by alleged cult leader Roy Masters (with whom top WND staffers have ties with).

UPDATE: Mason and Felder show how the got the gig by channeling Michael Savage and smearing Democrats.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:52 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 1:58 PM EST
WND Hides Background of 'Human Rights' Group
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As part of its continued one-sided reporting on a case in which a homeschooled German girl was purportedly kidnapped by the state -- an incident for which WND, to our knowledge, has provided no independent verification -- a Feb. 20 WorldNetDaily article cites a group called the International Human Rights Group, calling it an "international human rights organization."

In fact, the group's website mentions only one cause -- that of the German girl. This, in turn, suggests that the only humans whose rights the group cares about are conservative and evangelical Christians.

Indeed, it appears that the IHRG is a division of the European Defense Fund (headquartered not in Europe but in Georgia). Its website states that it "works with" conservative and evangelical groups such as the Alliance Defense Fund (from which it receives significant funding), the Christian Legal Society, the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board and Campus Crusade for Christ International. It claims that it "exists to help keep the door open for the proclamation of the Gospel message." The EDF is headed by Joel Thornton, who is a former chief of staff for the conservative, Pat Robertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice.

And of course, no WND article on the issue would be complete without pointing out that Germany's mandatory school attendance law was introduced under the Nazis, thus smearing every homeschool critic, German or otherwise, as a Nazi.

UPDATE: Added link to WND article. 

Posted by Terry K. at 2:48 PM EST
Updated: Monday, March 12, 2007 11:23 PM EDT
Waters Falsely Portrays NY Times Article
Topic: NewsBusters

A Feb. 19 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item) by Clay Waters falsely suggests that a New York Times article on the Ugandan premiere of the film "The Last King of Scotland," about former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, didn't mention Amin's dictatorial ways and discussed only "Amin’s complexities" and "Amin’s positive qualities."

In fact, the second paragraph specifically mentions "the blood-soaked reign of Uganda’s mercurial dictator, Idi Amin." A later paragraph reads:

Amin, a charismatic army sergeant and fearsome boxer, seized power in 1971, promising to shake off the vestiges of colonialism. Instead, he plunged his country into a bloodbath, brutally eliminating his enemies — sometimes quite personally, with a hammer — until he was overthrown in 1979. More than 300,000 people are believed to have been killed. 

Waters makes no mention of this, even though his statement that Amin "is thought to have killed over 300,000 of his countrymen" is essentially lifted from the above paragraph.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 AM EST
New Article -- NewsBusted: The Finkelstein File
Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters blogger Mark Finkelstein has a history of posts that selectively edit transcripts, hurl insults and make odd claims. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EST
Topic: NewsBusters

From a Feb. 19 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham:

Last Tuesday, in a blog suggesting the PBS Frontline documentary on 'News War' would be biased, I added: "Suffice it to say PBS has not contacted the news watchers at the MRC." Frontline executive editor Louis Wiley protested that they had. I asked our publicists, and they located an e-mail from April, requesting a 90-minute interview with MRC president Brent Bozell, which was refused. I was not aware of the request, and I was incorrect.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 AM EST
Monday, February 19, 2007
Pot-Kettle-Black Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Feb. 19 NewsBusters post, Mark Finkelstein is quick to accuse Amanda Marcotte of doing "what she does best: using vulgarity to insult her political opponents."

This from a guy who has likened Hillary Clinton to Kim Jong Il and a crocodile, and called John Murtha a "megalomaniac." 

While he reprinted several excerpts from Marcotte, Finkelstein makes no effort to contradict what she has to say or otherwise respond, other than lamenting her "vulgarity."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:37 PM EST
NewsBusters vs. NewsBusters
Topic: NewsBusters

Here is a refreshing change of pace. According to Editor and Publisher, New Mexico Radio station KSFR has made a new policy to eschew usage of newswire stories based on quotes from "unnamed officials" or other unattributed sources.


Though I disagree that these "unnamed" sources in any way added to any "credibility" to take us to war -- it was rather the opposite, really -- the unnamed source has become the scourge of government. So, this is a great idea and would cut down on the kind of destructive leaks that have so consumed the "News" purveyors of late.

Eliminating the over use of unattributed stories would help cut down on the interagency feuds that have been ripping Washington apart since at least Watergate -- though it has gotten far worse since Bush entered the White House.

So, even as i disagree with the Radio station news director in what unnamed sources have done specifically, I agree in general that it is destructive and should be minimized. I say this to you MSM news "reporters" (and we KNOW you read Newsbusters, don't pretend you don't):

If you are so sure your story is legitimate, put a name to your sources. If they refuse to be named, that should be your first clue that the source has an agenda that doesn't hold "truth" as one of its end games.

Remember the basic tenets of journalism: who, what, where and when.

Who is not an unnamed requirement!

--  Warner Todd Huston, Feb. 16 NewsBusters post 

In a statement obtained by this NewsBuster, a senior Bush administration official has disputed a New York Times article, Jailed 2 Years, Iraqi Tells of Abuse by Americans that suggests that the review process for detainees held by the U.S. military in Iraq is inadequate. The Times story is anecdotal, telling the story of Laith al-Ani, an Iraqi Sunni who was released by U.S. authorities last month. According to the Times story, "people like Mr. Ani . . . are being held without charge and without access to tribunals where their cases are reviewed."

Without responding to the specifics of Mr. Ani's case, the senior Bush administration official told me that "the facts of our detention system belie the themes of this article. We follow well-established standards of review that go well above and beyond what the law requires. And we do so in the face of a ruthless and determined enemy."

-- Mark Finkelstein, Feb. 18 NewsBusters post

Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 AM EST

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