Bozell Thinks Gaffney's A 'Centrist' Topic: Media Research Center
An April 24 Media Research Center press release featured comments from MRC honcho Brent Bozell attacking PBS for "refusing to air Frank Gaffney’s 'Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center' " -- which he called a "very balanced and measured documentary on centrist Muslims" -- while running "the fanatical work of liberals like Bill Moyers."
Bozell offers no evidence to support either claim. Indeed, Gaffney's history is that of someone offering things that are other than "very balanced and measured," let alone "centrist." Indeed, PBS officials have said Gaffney's film has "serious structural problems (and) ... was irresponsible because the writing was alarmist, and it wasn't fair." Bozell not only fails to mention this, he offers nothing to counter the claim. An April 25 CNSNews.com article by Kevin Mooney fails like Bozell to offer any evidence to counter the claims by Gaffney and his co-producers, not even noting the claims about the film being alarmist and unfair. Additionally, Mooney plays up a claim by one of the producers that PBS is "using the same tools of suppression and censorship Islamists employ to stymie debate."
Bozell claimed that PBS is "using viewers' tax money and airwaves to peddle Moyers’ notion that the liberal media coverage of the Iraq war wasn’t liberal enough" in his show "Buying the War," but Bozell offers no evidence to back this up, either.
If PBS is using the "Islamist" tool of "suppression and censorship" to "stymie debate," Bozell and the MRC are, too, by not telling their readers the full story in order to let them make up their own minds.
In an April 26 CNSNews.com column, Christopher Adamo claimed that following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, "[t]he collapsing rubble from the building had hardly settled on its victims before then President Bill Clinton was in front of the cameras, almost gleefully going through a 'laundry list' of political opponents on whom he disgracefully sought to fix blame for the disaster."
In fact, Clinton cited no "laundry list" of political opponents following the Oklahoma City bombing. In fact, in one speech five days after the bombing, Clinton criticized "loud and angry voices in America today whose sole goal seems to be to try to keep some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other. They spread hate. They leave the impression that, by their very words, that violence is acceptable." He did not list specific names. Clinton said in another speech the next day: "If people are encouraging conduct that will undermine the fabric of this country, it should be spoken against whether it comes from the left or the right, whether it comes on radio, television or in the movies, whether it comes in the schoolyard, or, yes, even on the college campus." (Emphasis added.)
Adamo also wrote regarding the Virginia Tech shooting: "Certainly, no decent individual should be attempting to make political hay of any sort out of the unfathomable carnage and brutality that fell upon that institution. Rather, all respectable Republicans should be loudly decrying the shameless liberal effort to do just that." Adamo showed no sign of being critical of conservatives "attempting to make political hay" out of the shootings, such as Rush Limbaugh declaring that the shooter "had to be a liberal" or Melanie Morgan likening her critics to the Virginia Tech shooter.
In an April 25 column, Joseph Farah renews WorldNetDaily's obsession with (feamale) teacher-student sex, recounting "the latest case in what seems like an epidemic of grown women preying on teenage boys in their charge." Farah adds:
We try hard to track these cases at WND, maintaining a running list in need of updating on a daily basis.
I'm sure this is something that happened occasionally before – 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago. But I am willing to wager it has happened more frequently in the last year than it did throughout the entire decade of the 1960s. Would anyone dispute that?
Sure, we'll give it a shot.
As we've noted, WND has been woefully short on hard numbers about teacher-student sex, let alone anything that allow Farah to legitimately call it an "epidemic" (which is why he hedges and says it "seems like an epidemic"). Further, the frequency of this coming under WND's radar, according to researcher Bob Shoop, has more to do with an increase in such incidents being reported, not necessarily an increase in actual incidents.
Further, as we've also noted, WND's list of teacher-student sex incidents dates back more than 15 years, which makes Farah's claim of a current"epidemic" even more disingenuous. And WND's obsessive list of alleged incidents comes off less like dogged reporting and more like an hobby that skews creepily prurient.
And note that it's only incidents that gets them off -- er, that they're reporting on. They seem not bothered by male teachers involved with students at all. That's even creepier.
FrontPageMag has copied a article from notorious "white nationalist" website VDARE -- an April 22 attack by eugenicist-linked writer Steve Sailer on poet Nikki Giovanni, who taught at Virginia Tech University where Cho Seung-Hui's massacre took place. Sailer claimed that "Giovanni has published poems strikingly similar to Cho's plays in both vileness and incompetence," called her a "one of those sub-doggerel 'poets' who has such Important Things to say that she can't be bothered to take the time to say them well," a writer of "Afrocentrist drivel," a "minimally talented self-promoter" and "a small town version of New York City charlatan Al Sharpton."
This is not the first pas de deux David Horowitz's crew has had with racists; we've previously documented Horowitz's attempt to distinguish between "racist" and "racialist" after FrontPageMag ran a version of an article that first appeared on white separatist site American Renaissance that made dubious claims about the shootings of five whites by two blacks in Wichita in 2000 that some conservatives tried to hype as a reverse hate crime (though prosecutors found no evidence of it).
Clay Waters' 15-Year-Old Grudge Topic: Media Research Center
In an April 25 TimesWatch post (and NewsBusters post), Clay Waters notes new York Times reporter Adam Nagourney's apology for putting the "Breck girl" smear of John Edwards into circulation. Waters adds: "One doubts the Times ran a similar piece apologizing for circulating cracks about former Vice President Dan Quayle's spelling prowess."
Huh? What does Dan Quayle have to do with anything here? Seriously, we don't know; Waters offers no evidence to support his claim of any Times "crack" about Quayle used by Democrats to the extent that Republicans have seized on "Breck girl."
Is this Quayle thing what's driving Waters to be a professional Times-basher? Dude, it was 15 years ago. Maybe it's time to let it go.
New Article: Clinton-Hating 2.0 Topic: Newsmax
Christopher Ruddy's supposed moderation on the Clintons obscures the fact that NewsMax remains a prime source for vitriolic anti-Clinton attacks. Read more.
Conservative media critics -- like, say, those at the Media Research Center -- would have you believe that the only reason newspapers are currently facing financial difficulties is because readers are tired of their purported liberal bias.
Matthew Sheffield is one of those. In an April 24 NewsBusters post, Sheffield rails against the New York Times, claiming that shareholders inflicted some "accountability" on the Times' "unprofessional and unethical behavior" by more than 40 percent of common-stock shareholders witholding a vote on the company's directors. Sheffield claimed that "the uber-leftist Sulzberger family ... has been running the paper into the ground financially and off a cliff when it comes to bias, all the while stuffing its own pockets." He goes on to rail against the Time's dual-tier stock structure, under which, he says, "the people who own most of the Times stock actually have no control as to who runs the company since their shares can't vote on a majority of the board of directors."
Not only does Sheffield not mention the current paradigm shift from print to online that newspaper-based media companies are currently undergoing -- nor note that stockholders unhappy with the dual-tier stock structure (a not-uncommon structure, also used by companies such as Google, Ford, and Berkshire Hathaway) are free to sell said stock -- he approvingly repeats a claim from a pseudonymous commenter who makes the "astute point" that "Pinch [Sulzburger] and the Times are not about publishing. They are not about principle. They are there to push a left wing agenda."
That is an incredibly silly claim (if we made it, we'd want to stay anonymous too), and it says a lot about Sheffield that he thinks such a comment is "astute." The anonymous commenter's single piece of evidence for his claim is that the Times criticized Alberto Gonzales in a editorial. It ignores that numerous Republicans have criticized Gonzales, as well as numerous examples of the Times is deviating from its purported "left wing" agenda.
But the facts would interfere with the conservative media-bias narrative. Sheffield's blinders are way too comfortable for him to contemplate such a thing.
One-Sided Reporting on Abortion Study Continues Topic: CNSNews.com
An April 24 CNSNews.com article by Randy Hall on a study discrediting claims of a link between abortion and breast cancer reads almost exactly like WorldNetDaily's article on the subject. The exact same anti-abortion activists are quoted; the researchers are not given an opportunity to respond to the attacks; and those researchers are described as engaging in "outcome-based science."
And one more: Like WND, nowhere does Hall raise the possibility that it's the anti-abortion activists who are the ones engaging in "outcome-based science."
An April 23 WorldNetDaily article is a one-sided attack on a study that found that having an abortion doesn't increase a woman's risk of getting breast cancer, featuring one critic who said those results "simply were what researchers wanted to find." The researchers of the study were not given a chance to respond to the criticism.
Nowhere in the article does WND ascribe that same motive to anti-abortion activists who promote the idea of an abortion-breast cancer link -- that is, whether such a conclusion is simply what their conservative researchers -- one study WND cites was published in the conservative-skewed Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons -- "wanted to find."
Sadly, No! predicted how "everybody on the Internet" would react to the Virginia Tech shooting: "The senseless massacre at Virginia Tech basically confirms everything I’ve been saying all along."
Doing her best to live up to that prediction is Judith Reisman, who uses an April 23 WorldNetDaily column to graft Cho Seung-Hui to her anti-Kinsey, anti-porn crusade. Reisman claims, citing a story Cho wrote as evidence, that Cho's massacre was sparked in part by "a society drenched in sadosexual arousal as entertainment" and because he sat "at the Internet every night, angrily lusting after naked young blondes who provoke his loins." These, according to Reisman's thinking, were "erototoxins."
According to Reisman, pornography "not only influences behavior but also actually alters brain chemistry, making children most vulnerable to its toxic imagery. Erotic images, she says, "also commonly trigger the viewer's 'fight or flight' sex hormones producing intense arousal states that appear to fuse the conscious state of libidinous arousal with unconscious emotions of fear, shame, anger and hostility. These media erotic fantasies become deeply imbedded, commonly coarsening, confusing, motivating and addicting many of those exposed."
As with her anti-Kinsey research, there are some holes in Reisman's thinking. As the UK Guardian points out: "Much of Reisman's research in developing her theory has necessitated examining hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pornographic magazines and films. By her own reasoning her brain ought, by now, to be a seething mass of toxic smutmulch."
The Mind Hacks blog adds: "Many of her arguments are based on one-reference claims, and some only on what she calls 'extensive documentation'. One unmentioned implication is the fact that, if sexual arousal from pornography causes 'brain damage', then so will real-life sex!"
In an April 19 CNSNews.com column, Christopher Adamo likens special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to Michael Nifong, the prosecutor in the collapsed Duke lacrosse rape case, accusing Fitzgerald of a"charade of upholding American law" in his prosecution of Scooter Libby for obstructing justice in the investigation of the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name:
Like Nifong, Fitzgerald had full knowledge and access to the most significant piece of information pertaining to his investigation, specifically the individual who confessed to the non-crime of passing Valerie Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak. At the beginning of the investigation, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage admitted to Fitzgerald that it was he who had leaked the information in question.
In fact, Armitage's role in leaking to Novak is irrelevant to the case against Libby. While Libby did not leak Plame's identity to Novak, he was reportedly the original source of the information for at least two other reporters during the summer of 2003; Novak was merely the first to go public with it. Armitage's role does not change the fact that a jury found Libby guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to federal investigators.
Nevertheless, Adamo goes on to call Fitzgerald an "unscrupulous power monger" who poses "the greater danger to honest citizens in a free society and therefore should be kept under lock and key for the protection of all good people."
Libby was found guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to federal investigators. How, exactly, does that make him an "honest citizen"?
NewsBusters Treats Press Release As Actual News Topic: NewsBusters
An April 22 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer promotes a OneNewsNow article critical of what he called the "Formerly Mainstream Media" for not paying the desired amount of attention to the American Family Association-led boycott of Ford for alleged "corporate support of homosexual causes." But Blumer fails to note the self-serving aspects of all of this:
-- OneNewsNow is the "news" division of the very same American Family Association that is leading the boycott, making this, for all intents and purposes, a press release. OneNewsNow was called AgapePress until earlier this year, when its operations were merged with American Family Radio's news division.
-- The only person quoted in the article is Kristen Fyfe of the Culture and Media Institut -- which, like NewsBusters, is run by the Media Research Center.
Essentially, this is all circular cross-promotion, and Blumer gives little indication to his readers that it's not.
At the start of his April 20 NewsMax column declaring that "there are too many similarities between the slaughter that was perpetrated on the Virginia Tech campus and the tenants and tactics of jihad inflicted on the innocents of the world by radical Islam, Frank Salvato states, "I like to think of myself as someone who gathers all of the facts, along with some educated opinions, before I formulate my stance on things."
But one basic fact Salvato failed to gather was the proper usage of shooter Cho Seung-Hui's name. Salvato calls him "Hui" throughout his column, though Cho is his last name. Most Asian cultures put the family name first before the given name.
WND Cozies Up Again to Its Favorite Felon Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily loves its convicted felons.
An April 21 article by Art Moore once again unquestioningly promotes the allegations of Peter Paul against Hillary Clinton. A longtimestenographer for Paul's repeated legal actions against Clinton, Moore this time swallows Paul's claim that there is "a newly recovered videotape his lawyer calls 'smoking-gun evidence' of the New York Democrat's commission of a series of felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison." But Moore describes only in general terms what is purportedly on the video and offers no transcript, let alone a clip of the video itself. Rather, Moore writes that "Paul has indicated plans to release the tape within 30 days as the focal point of the first-ever documentary on Sen. Clinton."
Once again, Moore bamboozles readers about the fact that Paul is a convicted felon who faces 10 years in prison and a $5 million fine for his role in a $25 million stock fraud scheme, obscuring it in legalistic terms by stating that he "pleading guilty to a 10(b)5 violation of the Securities and Exchange Commission." Moore also fails to mention that as his stock scheme was collapsing, Paul fled to Brazil, where he fought extradition for two years.
As we've noted, the judge in the trial of David Rosen, Clinton's former campaign finance manager accused of filing false reports to the Federal Election Commission about a fund-raiser that Paul had a hand in producing -- a charge on which Rosen was acquitted -- has called Paul "a thoroughly discredited, corrupt individual. ... He's a con artist. The fact that he is, is already established."
So, look for Moore and WND to promote the heck out of that video when it comes out, despite it having been made by a thoroughly discredited, corrupt individual.
UPDATE: An April 20 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas (a version of which appears at NewsMax) also unquestioningly repeats Paul's accusations. It dispenses of Paul's criminal record in slightly more detail than Moore -- a section NewsMax edited out in its version of the article -- but does not note that a judge has called Paul "a thoroughly discredited, corrupt individual" and "con artist."
Bozell Excuses Imus Insult As 'Botched Joke' Topic: Media Research Center
We've detailed how the Media Research Center has tried to equivocate and distract attention from Don Imus' "nappy-headed ho" remark. Brent Bozell keeps it up in an April 20 column, calling Imus' insult nothing worse than a "botched joke" and attacking CBS executives for being "craven" in firing him.
Speaking of craven, it's worth looking at the MRC's reaction to another recent "botched joke" -- John Kerry's misstatement prior to the 2006 midterm elections that students who don't perform well "get stuck in Iraq." The MRC wasn't in such a forgiving mood then; a Nov. 6, 2006, CyberAlert called the remark an "insult of troops" and looked down on NBC's Matt Lauer for daring to suggest that Kerry never "meant to question the intelligence of U.S. troops in Iraq."
A Dec. 28, 2006, Times Watch item by Clay Waters attacked the New York Times for "giv[ing] Kerry the benefit of the doubt in assuming he didn't actually mean what came out of his mouth."
A Jan. 25 Times Watch item by Waters (repeated in a Jan. 26 CyberAlert) criticized the Times again for "repeating a pro-Kerry explanation for his 'botched joke.'" In noting the Times' statement that "Republicans quickly turned" the remark "into a defining caricature of him," Waters added: "One could also quibble with the word "caricature," as if Kerry's remark somehow didn't reflect what he really thought about the war."
An Oct. 31, 2006, NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard didn't give Kerry the same benefit of the doubt he gave Imus. (If you'll recall, Sheppard found Imus' firing, but not Imus' insult, "deplorable.") Sheppard declared that Kerry made an "extrordinarily demeaning statement" and attacked CNN for telling Kerry's side of the story: "Fascinating. So, Kerry insults America’s troops on Monday, and on Tuesday, CNN is advancing the notion that this all a strategy for Kerry to go 'head to head with the president again.' Isn't that special?" A Nov. 1, 2006, post by Sheppard compared Kerry's remark to Trent Lott's remark about Strom Thurmond, declaring that "America’s media are much more receptive and tolerant of Democrat jokes and/or mistatements than those from Republicans."
And Sheppard is much more receptive and tolerant of and/or mistatements by Imus than by Democrats. Why is that?