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Sunday, March 4, 2007
Sheppard Misrepresents Anti-Global Warming Theory
Topic: NewsBusters

A March 1 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard misrepresented an anti-global warming theory as mainstream when, in fact, it's merely one man's idea.

In what he called an "absolutely startling report about climate change," Sheppard cited a National Geographic News report on a claim by Russian scientist Habibullo Abdussamatov that global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun, not by man. While Sheppard did excerpt a segment of the article calling it "one scientist's controversial theory," he went on to state, without offering evidence, that "To be sure, Abdussamatov is not the first scientist to make this claim."

However, Sheppard was vague in describing the criticism of the theory in the article:

Yet, in an article about a somewhat contrary concept as far as the mainstream media are concerned, National Geographic expressed great skepticism. In a piece that debunked what the supposed consensus believes on this issue, the magazine spent almost the bulk of the space alloted citing scientists that don’t buy Abdussamatov’s conclusions starting with, “Abdussamatov's work, however, has not been well received by other climate scientists.”

But Sheppard did not detail the specific criticisms of Abdussamatov's theory contained in the article. Chief among them: Not only does Abdussamatov apparently fail to take into account changes in Mar's orbit and tilt that would affect changes in Mars' climate, the article adds: "Perhaps the biggest stumbling block in Abdussamatov's theory is his dismissal of the greenhouse effect, in which atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide help keep heat trapped near the planet's surface."

Oops! This is the guy who "debunked" the scientific consensus on global warming, as far as Sheppard is concerned? Perhaps Sheppard needs to stop copying-and-pasting articles and start reading them.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:41 PM EST
Speaking of Threatening Commenters...
Topic: NewsBusters

From a March 2 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd:

CBS News "PublicEye" editor Brian Montopoli suggested in a recent blog post that conservatives are unfairly attacking liberal Web sites for comments posted by readers that lament that a terrorists attack in Afghanistan did not succeed in killing Vice President Cheney.

Montopoli says that both right and left-wing sites have their share of nutty commenters, which, to some degree is a fair point. There are fring loonies and flamers on the Internet on both sides of the aisle.

What Montopoli seems to miss then is that the objection conservatives like Sean Hannity have raised is not so much the sin of commission by nasty commenters but the sin of omission by Web site administrators and editors.

It's a legitimate question to ask why people wishing for the assassination of the Vice President of the United States are not banned from a politically-oriented site.

Of course, NewsBusters has its own history of tolerating those who wish for the deaths of those they hate.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 4, 2007 12:10 PM EST
The MRC Won't Criticize Coulter
Topic: NewsBusters

With all of the attacks by the various Media Research Center entites  upon those two bloggers forced to quit the John Edwards campaign for writing, in the words of a Feb. 22 Media Reality Check, "hateful and bigoted postings," you'd think the MRC would be rushing to use its moral-scold position to condemn Ann Coulter for calling John Edwards a "faggot" during a speech at a conservative convention (at which at least one MRC employee served on a panel). 

But no. A March 3 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard noted only that Coulter made a "remark about John Edwards" but didn't say what it was, let alone offer any condemnation of it. And a March 3 post by Matthew Sheffield complaining about profanity on "left-wing" blogs didn't mention Coulter at all.

Then again, as we've noted, the MRC may not even consider the word "fag" offensive. 

So, Noel? Matt? Want to clear this up? Care to explain why Coulter is exempt from criticism by conservatives for behavior they have bashed others over -- using offensive language and issuing death threats

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EST
Saturday, March 3, 2007
Ruddy Gets Passive-Aggressive on Clintons
Topic: Newsmax

Christopher Ruddy is engaging in some strange passive-aggressive behavior regarding the Clintons.

Earlier, we noted that Ruddy uncharacteristically praised the Clinton administration to the New York Times (which he didn't note to his NewsMax readers), but a week later returned to form by trashing him in a NewsMax column.

Now, Ruddy chats with the London Times in a March 2 article, (linked to from NewsMax but not otherwise promoted as featuring its leader):

“She’s moderated her image. She’s tougher on the War on Terror and she has not aligned herself with the antiwar Left. Some conservatives think she’s not  all bad,” said Christopher Ruddy, who runs NewsMax, America’s biggest conservative online magazine.

Mr Ruddy said that Mrs Clinton could be more difficult to attack than her  husband.

“She’s been clever. She’s even won big in Republican districts in up-state New York [the state she represents in the Senate].

She just doesn’t get the level of intensity of love and hate that Bill Clinton  got.”

That belies the fact that Ruddy and NewsMax have, in fact, been regularly attacking Hillary. Not only is Ruddy featuring Dick Morris' Hillary-bashing commentaries (while not disclosing to any sufficient extent that Morris is actively working against Hillary), a March 3 article by "NewsMax Staff" tries to tar Hillary with pardon President Clinton made before he left office. And Ruddy's column in which he contradicted his New York Times statements went on to state that " Hillary will have a difficult time persuading Americans she deserves to have [the "tough on terror" mantle] and become our commander in chief."

While NewsMax is not (yet) so monomanical about Hillary as it was about hating Bill Clinton during his presidency -- after all, it's also currently working to bring down John McCain as well -- Ruddy's suggestion that Hillary isn't getting attacked at all by conservatives is highly misleading.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 AM EST
MRC Unchallenged on Fox
Topic: Media Research Center

The MRC's Tim Graham appeared on Fox News on Friday, which followed up an appearance by MRC research director Rich Noyes the previous day. Both Graham and Noyes appeared solo, with no other guest that held an opposing view. These came on top of a Washington Times puff piece on the MRC that quoted only Brent Bozell and featured no opposing view.

We know Brent Bozell doesn't like to share screen time with anyone who might ask something other than a softball question -- indeed, he appeared solo on "Fox & Friends" on March 1. Is this no-debate-allowed policy part of a deal between Fox News and the MRC? How many people have not appeared on Fox because of the MRC's demands that they not be challenged?

Is this really what Fox News and the MRC mean when they talk about wanting "fair and balanced" news coverage?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EST
Friday, March 2, 2007
Olbermann-Haters Wipe Their Site
Topic: NewsBusters

Via Raw Story, we learn that the Keith Olbermann-bashing blog Olbermann Watch has shut down. The only thing left there is a message from managing editor Robert Cox (disclosure: I'm a member, last time I checked, of the Media Bloggers Association, which Cox heads) stating that they gave up the ghost because Olbermann's ratings are up and NBC renewed his contract.

As we've noted, the folks at NewsBusters have used Olbermann Watch -- which frequently hurled insults at Olbermann and his audience -- as supporting evidence. 

One thing we wonder, though: If Cox and his cohorts are so proud of the work they did at Olbermann Watch, as Cox's farewell message indicates, why did he delete the entire site except for his goodbye?

Watching Olbermann Watch weighs in here

Posted by Terry K. at 2:13 PM EST
WND Continues Web-Blocking Narcissism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has written two more articles on the subject of the military blocking access to WND for its troops. But as in his first article, Unruh focuses only on WND and ignores the numerous other websites that the military blocks.

Are Unruh and WND really so self-centered as to not report the full story of military site-blocking? It appears so. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 PM EST
MRC Frowns on Matthews for Saying Something Nice About Clinton
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center reminds us once again of its rule that nobody is allowed to say anything nice about anyone named Clinton.

A March 1 NewsBusters post (and March 2 CyberAlert item) by Geoffrey Dickens looks down upon Chris Matthews for saying that when Bill Clinton speaks, "[t]here are times when he sounds like Jesus in the temple." Needless to say, Dickens does not mention Matthews' weird obsession with speculating over Clinton's sex life. Why isn't that worth noting? Perhaps because the MRC might be forced to admit that he's not the rabid liberal it loves to portray him as?

UPDATE: Matthews has also called Clinton "Holly Golightly." Why didn't Dickens note that? 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 2, 2007 2:41 PM EST
White Supremacist Fluffs MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

A Marchh 1 Washington Times article touts the Media Research Center's 20th anniversary. It's quite the puff piece; the only person interviewed in it is Brent Bozell, and no apparent effort was made to balance it with comment from, say, another media watchdog group we could name. Given the sympathetic tone, the MRC is quite proud of it, promoting on the MRC front page and in a NewsBusters post.

It's worth noting that the article was written by the Times' resident white supremacist and Confederacy fetishist (well, one of 'em), Robert Stacy McCain. Was this really the best choice for the MRC (and we presume that, given the one-sided slant of the article, Bozell and Co. did have a hand in their hagiographer)? Or did McCain's compliance and willingness to not encumber the article with balance trump any concern over his personal views?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EST
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Meanwhile ...
Media Matters notes that in a Feb. 28 article, Randy Hall uncritically repeated a two-week-old falsehood from the Republican National Committee that the Democrats have called their approach to Iraq a "slow-bleed" strategy. In fact, the term originated in The Politico and was seized upon by the RNC.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:02 PM EST
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily assumes the solemn duty of informing us in a Feb. 28 article that an "American Idol" contestant has seen "the emergence of racy photos, including one of her reportedly frolicking semi-nude at a World War II memorial." With (censored) photos!

Because it is WND's grim duty to lavishly illustrate the sexiness it deplores, y'know.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 AM EST
New Article: Who's Behind WorldNetDaily?
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND's board of directors has been mostly comprised of California conservatives -- plus a man on the lam for tax evasion. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EST
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Pot, Kettle, Black: WND Division
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The WorldNetDaily online poll question for Feb. 28 asks why the case of a former state ACLU official being charged with possession of child pornography is "getting little media attention." Perhaps unsurprisingly, respondents are quick to sense a conspiracy; the leading answer is "Media are guided by advancing their agenda rather than honest reporting."

Advancing an agenda over honest reporting is, of course, something WorldNetDaily does on a regular basis (as we've repeatedly detailed). In fact, we've just noted that a WND article on the military blocking websites focuses solely on WND and ignores numerous other examples of non-conservative websites blocked by the military.

Indeed, despite its longtime stance of being a "watchdog exposing government waste, fraud, corruption and abuse of power," WND is keeping up its tradition of ignoring scandals involving conservatives:

  • It has done no original coverage of Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, the Republican donor accused of trying to send money to terrorists.
  • It has similarly ignored (save for a single op-ed) the purge of federal prosecutors by the Bush administration in favor of political appointees -- the increasingly apparent motivation for which is those attorneys' prosecution of Repubican corruption.

Wouldn't a "news" organization that purports to care about "exposing waste, fraud, corruption and abuse of power" be interested in reporting on these subjects? If you're WND, it appears not. We can assume that WND's answer would be different if it was a Democrat who was trying to fund those terrorists and purge those prosecutors.

That -- plus trying to link the ACLU to child pornography -- is WorldNetDaily's agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:12 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 4:31 PM EST
Unruh Fails to Report Full Story on Blocked Websites
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh reports that the WND website "has been blocked from computers on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps bases across the country for an undetermined period of time." But amid all Unruh's self-promotional blather, he doesn't report -- and WND has never reported, as far as we know -- that the military has been accused of blocking liberal websites and even some nonpolitical comment sites while letting conservative websites like Free Republic through unfiltered.

Wouldn't a reporter who spent nearly 30 years working for the Associated Press, as Unruh did, know better than to engage in cynically portraying his employer as a victim and instead do some, you know, reporting that tells the full story?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:11 PM EST
Farah's Body Count
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The headline from Joseph Farah's Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily column reads: "Does Obama know about body count?"

The so-called "Clinton body count," that is. Does Farah know that the "Clinton body count" has been debunked?

Apparently not. He goes on to proudly proclaim: 

"The Clinton body count," first published in WND, by the way, and later circulated by Linda Tripp to Monica Lewinsky, was not just a source of terror among those of us who were sworn enemies of the administration. It was an even greater terror for those close to Clinton – for those closest, it seemed, died younger and more inexplicably than those on the outside looking in.

This would be the same "body count" that, as we've noted, Farah has denied promoting

The only "body count" we see is being caused by Farah, and the truth is the victim.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EST

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