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Monday, March 12, 2007
NewsMax Spins Romney's Abortion Flip-Flop As Reaganesque
Topic: Newsmax
More evidence that Mitt Romney is sewing up the crucial NewsMax endorsement: A March 12 article that spins his flip-flop on abortion following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan. The article lists other politicians who "shifted on abortion as they set their sights on the presidency," but the headline reads, "Mitt Romney Like Ronald Reagan on Abortion Switch."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
On Running Against the Media
Topic: NewsBusters

In a March 11 NewsBusters post, Mark Finkelstein noted Fox News host Brit Hume's reaction to John Edwards' refusal to partiticipate in a Nevada presidential candidate debate sponsored by Fox News -- and ultimately cancellation of the debate after the Nevada state Democratic party refused to participate. Hume said that it's "a shrewd political move by him" because "what Edwards knows is that while he may be at war against Fox News, Fox News is not and cannot be at war with him." Finkelstein called Hume's statement "a fair-and-balanced comment reflecting an appreciation of real politik."

But while Finkelstein noted "pressure from liberal netroots and organizations such as Move.on" on Democrats to pull out of the debate, he didn't mention the stated reason Nevada Democrats gave for ultimately doing so -- Fox News honcho Roger Ailes' deliberate confusion of Barack Obama with Osama bin Laden. Nor did Finkelstein note the reaction of Fox News vice president David Rhodes to the news, in which he, as noted by Tim Graham in a March 9 post, attacked Nevada Democrats as being "controlled by radical fringe out-of-state interest groups." Sounds like a couple of people at Fox News are "at war" with certain Democrats. (Graham noted the cancellation of the debate but minimized Ailes' Obama comment: "It's a dumb-Bush joke, and Democrats object. And don't they know CNN has confused the names twice?")

Finkelstein also didn't note that there's at least one more presidental candidate who is "at war" with a media outlet. That, of course, is Mitt Romney: He has claimed that the "mainstream media" is attacking him "with hammer and tong" because he is "the conservative candidate." 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 12, 2007 1:56 AM EDT
Sunday, March 11, 2007
WND Still Making False Claims About Librarian's Case
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A March 8 WorldNetDaily article about Ohio college librarian Scott Savage's lawsuit against faculty members who criticized him after he suggested a number of conservative books for a student reading list, including WND managing editor David Kupelian's "The Marketing of Evil," repeats false and misleading claims WND has previously made about the case.

The article states that Kupelian's book was "'banned' on the Ohio State University-Mansfield campus last year by 'gay' professors and their faculty supporters." But as we detailed, the book was never "banned."

The article also repeats the false claim that Savage  was "accused of 'sexual harassment' simply for recommending" Kupelian's book. As we also detailed, that phrase came from materials put out by Savage's backer, the Alliance Defense Fund, whose claims on behalf of Savage WND relied on and uncritically reported. In fact, Savage was accused by two faculty members of "harassment based on sexual orientation."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 11, 2007 1:13 PM EST
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Goodenough's Dishonest "Faggot" Attack

And to think we actually believed Patrick Goodenough sorta cared about journalism.

The managing editor proves us wrong in a March 9 commentary purporting to tar liberals with hypocrisy because they've used the word "faggot" just like Ann Coulter, including the earth-shattering discovery that "Daily Kos postings have included the word 'faggot' at least three times in recent years, as have other liberal blogs -- without apology, and without generating a furor."

Of course, those liberals, for thet most part, didn't use the word the way Coulter used -- as a deliberate slur against an ideological opponent -- and none of those writers, unlike Coulter, have a nationally syndicated column or make regular appearances on TV as a spokesman for a point of view that is generally critical of homosexuals. Further, most of the links Goodenough provides are to screen shots of the word, not the posts themselves, thus depriving his readers of the opportunity to judge how the word was used.

For instance, Goodenough states: "Blogger Melissa McEwan, on her site Shakespeare's Sister, used the line -- in reference to Leonardo da Vinci -- "I'm not so sure it's such a good idea for students to be studying that faggot anyway." But he doesn't include the context in which the post appears -- as criticism of conservatives pushing to add a Bible class to public school (or so we can glean from the screenshot; Goodenough won't let us see the whole thread).

Another post Goodenough lists as a screenshot only, a Daily Kos post by Maryscott O'Connor, is described as "a headline reading: 'When is a faggot just a bundle of sticks?' (That posting goes on to ask, 'What's up with the little sly gay jokes? Hmm? As I read the comments in discussions on DKos, there are times when I almost have to check and see if I accidentally stumbled into a Wingnut [right-wing] blog.')" Again, Goodenough fails to include context; as Connor responded:

[T]he entire article is, in itself, a DIATRIBE against anti-gay hate speech -- specifically, anti-gay hate speech disguised as "gay jokes." I refer, in fact, to the sort of purportedly "harmless" gay jokes made by the conservative spokeswoman and preternaturally insensitive attention seeker who laughably styles herself a writer and "pundit:" Ann Coulter.

Note also the ambiguous wording of Daily Kos bloggers using the word "three times in recent years." To speak more specifically that Goodenough will: Of the thousands of posts started at Daily Kos since January 2004 (the date of the earliest post he cites), Goodenough could find only three that featured the word in a headline.

Let's not forget, too, that the word "gay" is verboten at CNS, which leads to clumsy constructions like Goodenough's use of the term "homosexual-rights groups." Perhaps Goodenough should explain to its readers why "faggot" is considered a more acceptable word to him than "gay."

We have to wonder even more now: Is the Media Research Center so in the tank that it absoultely will not criticize Ann Coulter? Does she have blackmail pics of Brent Bozell in a leather teddy, or what?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EST
Friday, March 9, 2007
NewsBusters Now Loves Once-Reviled CNN Reporter
Topic: NewsBusters

A March 8 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein touts the comments of CNN Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware, who claimed that discussions of withdrawal timetables of U.S. troops from Iraq "may as well be happening on the planet Pluto for all that it counts to the bloodshed and endless combat that we're seeing" and that "anyone setting time frames like that without real pre-conditions, anyone trying to put artificial deadlines upon this conflict is only aiding the enemies, so-called, of America, al Qaeda and Iran."

But wait -- wasn't the NewsBusters gang slapping Ware around not so long ago for being insufficiently propagandistic for U.S. purposes about the Iraq war?

Yep. Here's NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard in a Sept. 21, 2006, post calling

It’s really the height of gall, but perfectly illustrates the arrogance of today’s media. On Wednesday evening, Michael Ware – CNN’s Baghdad correspondent – stated that the folks giving President Bush advice and information about what’s going on in Iraq – including General George Casey and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad – “are men who could not be more divorced from the Iraqi reality. They very much live within a bubble, be it physically within the Green Zone or be it within the bubble of heavy U.S. protection” (video link and full transcript to follow).

Ware didn’t end there, for he knows better than all of the advisors, the commanders, and the boots on the ground: “And this is true even for their advisers and for the commanders and the American soldiers.”

Imagine the arrogance. This one reporter knows more about what’s going on in Iraq than everybody else.

And Megan McCormack claimed in a March 2006 post that Ware "sounded defensive" and "rant[ed]" when he said that "All of these critics who are saying that we’re not telling the good news stories, I’d like to know just how many of them have spent any time here on the ground? Or any of these people who are reporting the good news from within the belly of the U.S. military, how much time have they spent on the Iraqi street?" McCormack added, "Ware did not fail to disappoint those eager to hear the United States is losing in Iraq."

Further, the NewsBusters' boss, Brent Bozell, bashed Ware last October for a report that included "video filmed by terrorists" showing "Islamic terrorist snipers time and again shooting and presumably killing American boys," citing it as evidence that "CNN is the terrorist’s messenger service, FedEx for the fanatics who want us dead."

Didja hear that, NewsBusters boys? Michael Ware is your enemy! Why are you approvingly quoting him?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:20 PM EST
Feel the Hillary Hate
Topic: Newsmax

NewsMax is offering (for the price of turning over your email address so they can send you lots of email) "Hillary's Dirty Stuff." There's nothing new here -- they're excerpts from a couple of several-years-old anti-Clinton books, Barbara Olson's "Hell to Pay" and Carl Limbacher's "Hillary's Scheme."

What was that NewsMax head Christopher Ruddy was saying about Hillary not getting the "intensity" of "hate" that Bill Clinton got?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 PM EST
CNS Press Release Rewrite Watch
A March 8 article by Susan Jones is little more than a regurgitation of a press release from the Thomas More Law Center urging people not to use the new presidential dollar coins because "In God We Trust" was moved from the face or tail of the coin to the edge.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 AM EST
AIM's Double Standard on Candidate Drug Use
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Andy Selepak wants to know more about Barack Obama's drug use.

In a March 7 Accuracy in Media column, Selepak declares that "we are not given any kind of definitive coverage of his use of cocaine, an issue that might impact how voters think of him," adding:

We are led to believe that he started down the wrong path but suddenly woke up, realized the error of his ways, and made something out of himself. He strikes many as a real success story. But how often did he use cocaine? How did he get it? Did he become addicted? All of these are questions the media won't ask.

Selepak concludes: "There are too many missing pieces to this man's life. We need to know more-much more. The public has a right to have a clear picture of the man in the middle of the media mania." 

But AIM was not so eager to learn about the alcohol and alleged drug use by George W. Bush. In a Sept. 2, 1999, AIM column by Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid, they complain that questions about Bush's alleged use of cocaine "are inspired not by a rumor, but by suspicion," scoffing at the idea that he should be "compelled" questions about it because similar questions were not asked of Bill Clinton despite the unimpeachable testimony of the likes of Gennifer Flowers, "whose claim that she had a 12-year affair with Bill Clinton is no longer disputed by anyone but Clinton himself." Uh, not exactly.

But in November 1999, Irvine and Kincaid were cheering the fact that a Bush biography -- which included the charge that Bush had once been arrested for cocaine possession -- was pulled from bookstores after it was revealed that its author was a convicted felon. But rather than asking Bush to clarify the record, they attacked the author as "the ultimate in hypocrisy and deceit."

And when news of Bush's 1970s arrest for DWI made the news before the 2000 presidential election, AIM was eager to declare that Al Gore's alleged drug use when he was younger "was far more serious than Bush's drinking problem." 

In other words, AIM didn't really care to know about mind-altering substances when Republicans used them. 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EST
Thursday, March 8, 2007
CNS Spins Prosecutor Firings As Attack on GOP Senator

A March 8 article by Susan Jones takes a partisan spin on the emerging scandal of the Bush administration firing federal prosecutors for apparently partisan reasons -- painting a Republican senator who allegedly pressured one now-fired prosecutor to indict a Democrat before the November 2006 elections as a victim of Democratic attacks. Here's the lead:

Democrats have placed a big, red X on Republican Sen. Pete Domenici's back. The New Mexico Republican's "questionable behavior" may soon make him the target of an obstruction of justice probe, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said on Thursday.

Jones also wrote that Domenici, "anticipating an Ethics Committee probe," has hired defense attorney Lee Blalack, who "represented former Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, the California Republican who resigned in disgrace after pleading guilty to taking bribes," without noting that one of the federal prosecutors forced out of her job, Carol Lam, had prosecuted Cunningham.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:59 PM EST
Huston Bashes Conservative Paper, Conservative Columnist for Criticizing Giuliani
Topic: NewsBusters

A March 8 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston criticizes "the MSM's attack dogs" for going after Rudy Giuliani -- specifically, the Boston Herald for "going after his bigoted and obviously stupid potential Conservative voters -- stupid at least as far as the Herald is concerned."

What Huston fails to mention: the Boston Herald is a conservative paper, and the author of the article Huston criticizes, Jay Ambrose, is a conservative syndicated columnist, as indicated by his position as a senior fellow with the conservative Independence Institute.

So if a conservative like Ambrose says conservatives won't accept Giuliani as an acceptable Republican presidential candidate, perhaps a conservative like Huston should listen. Or is any criticism of a Republican in the media forbidden in Huston's eyes?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:52 AM EST
This Is A News Story?

The first paragraph of a March 6 article by Monisha Bansal:

Liberals are wrong about everything and have the mentality of kindergarteners, in the view of conservative comedian and commentator Evan Sayet.

And a conservative comedian's act is news ... why?

Even more absurdly, Bansal sought rebuttal to the comedian's statements:

The Democratic National Committee did not respond to invitations to comment for this article, but Toby Chaudhuri, communications director for the liberal Campaign for America's Future, told Cybercast News Service that "Sayet is a comedian with a cross to bear."

"He hasn't been able to think of any new jokes for over 30 years. Maybe that's why he gets laughs even before he opens his mouth," Chaudhuri said.

This may be right up there with WorldNetDaily devoting an article to a book getting more Amazon five-star reviews than "The Da Vinci Code" as the lamest ConWeb story ever.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 AM EST
ConWeb Spins Libby Verdict
Topic: NewsBusters

With the arrival of the verdict in the Scooter Libby case, Media Matters conveniently posted a guide to myths and falsehoods about the case to look out for in news coverage. And right on cue, the ConWeb seemed determined to touch on as many of them as it could.


A March 6 post by Mark Finkelstein made a big deal out of there not being an underlying crime (irrelevant since Libby was charged with obstructing the investigation into whether there was an underlying crime) and that Richard Armitage, not Libby leaked Valerie Plame's name to Robert Novak (also irrelevant -- Libby and Armitage, along with Karl Rove, did leak the name to journalists prior to Novak's printing of it). Finkelstein added that for CBS' Bob Schieffer "[t]o claim, without citing a single damning fact, not only that this is going to hurt the Vice-President 'very badly,' but that the harm will extend to the Bush administration at large, smacks of a smear" ignores a particular "damning fact" or two: that Libby was the chief of staff for the vice president, and he was convicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

A March 6 post (and March 7 CyberAlert item) by Brent Baker also irrelevantly brought up Armitage.

A March 7 post by Finkelstein claimed that "neither Cheney nor Libby could have 'leaked' Plame's identity since it was, thanks to Richard Armitage, already out there." Again, since Libby has been documented chatting up Plame's identity with at least two journalists prior to the publication of Novak's column, he did, in fact, "leak" Plame's identity.

A March 7 post by Scott Whitlock also irrelevantly noted that Plame "had her identity revealed to reporter Bob Novak by an administration critic, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage." 

A March 7 post by Tim Graham also mentions Armitage, as well as suggesting that Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson, aren "far from victims" because the "have made two book deals and a movie deal." Graham also asked: "But if campaigns to discredit critics were illegal, how many Clinton administration officials would have gone to jail?" But, of course, Libby wasn't convicted of trying to discredit a critic; he was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.

A March 7 post by Dave Pierre -- you guessed it -- makes a big deal out of Armitage.


In a March 7 column, Phil Brennan stated that "Mr. Fitzgerald was appointed to determine if a specific law concerning the exposure of the identity of members of the intelligence community, in this case the CIA, was violated in the case of one Valerie Plame Wilson." In fact, Fitzgerald was not limited to investigate only possible violations of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act; the Department of Justice granted Fitzgerald broad "plenary" authority to investigate the "alleged unauthorized disclosure" of Plame's identity.


A March 6 article makes an even more irrelevant reference to Armitage: recounting a conversation between Armitage and the Washington Post's Bob Woodward. Like the others, WND doesn't mention that Libby was also disclosing Plame's identity to reporters before Novak revealed it in his column.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Farah's AP Hypocrisy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's March 7 WoirldNetDaily column rips the Associated Press as "the worst purveyor of political propaganda and distortion," a "pervasive information virus," and "deceitful."

We'd believe Farah's alleged outrage was genuine if we hadn't noticed the following on WND's front page today:






































That's right -- WND is making liberal use of the wire service its leader is railing against. And WND is not paying a dime to AP for relying on its material, either.

As as we've previously noted. WND has also plagiarized AP material without giving them proper credit -- something WND itself has complained about.

"Something must be done," Farah concludes. We agree -- WND should stop profiting off work it doesn't pay for, particularly in light of its contempt for the creators of said work.

If there was ever a textbook definition of hypocrisy, this would be it. If Farah hates the AP so much, why is he freeloading on it to run his business?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2007 10:08 PM EST
NewsMax Gets Nasty About Hillary
Topic: Newsmax

A March 4 NewsMax article begins this way:

Like rodents deserting a sinking ship, former Clinton intimates seem to be abandoning the the lumbering S.S. Hillary Clinton for the sleek new racing yacht Barack Obama.

What was that NewsMax head Christopher Ruddy was saying about Hillary not getting the "intensity" of "hate" that Bill Clinton got?

The Clinton "intimate" being referred to here is for Clinton White House special counsel Greg Craig. NewsMax adds that Craig played a "most notorious role" as "as Juan Gonzalez's attorney in his fight to seize Juan's son Elian and take him back to Fidel Castro's Cuba." The article goes on to describe how "a terrified Elian was seized from his Miami family relatives by gun-waving federal agents who smashed in the door of his house and stuck a gun in his 6-year-old face."

As we noted at the time, NewsMax said a lot of inflammatory things about Elian's seizure, more than a few of them overblown and contradicted by evidence.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:12 PM EST
MRC Solo Again on Fox News (Update)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham made an appearance today on Fox News. As in other recent Fox News appearances by MRC representatives, Graham was alone, with no other panelist to counter his claims.

UPDATE: The MRC's Rich Noyes appeared on Fox News later in the day to discuss the same subject as Graham -- Fox News' efforts to gin into a scandal the revelation that a New York Times reporter paid money to a teenage boy who was engaging in Internet pornography in order to gain his trust and write a story about him and, ultimately, get him out of that lifestyle. Unlike Graham, Noyes didn't appear alone; he was joined by ... another conservative, John Fund.

Where's this "fair and balanced" coverage of which Fox News speaks?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2007 6:35 PM EST

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