ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Thursday, June 28, 2007
NewsMax Joins Coulter-Is-Victim Parade, Repeats False Claims
Topic: Newsmax

A June 28 NewsMax article follows in the Media Research Center's footsteps in portraying Ann Coulter as a victim of the mean liberal media and Elizabeth Edwards.

NewsMax led off by proclaiming that she endeavored to "set the record straight" after "a relentless 24-hour firestorm during which much of the mainstream media used selective quotes to mangle the meaning of several of Ann’s comments about Edwards," stating: "She further explained that she never wished John Edwards would die. She simply said on "Good Morning America" on June 25 that Bill Maher had wished the death of Vice President Cheney by terrorist attack and got away with it." But, as even the MRC has admitted, Coulter distorted Maher's remarks, and Maher did not "wish the death of Vice President Cheney by terrorist attack."

NewsMax went on to claim that Coulter "was blindsided by a phone call from Edward’s wife Elizabeth. Apparently, the call was pre-arranged by Matthews without Coulter’s knowledge." The article later stated, "As Rush Limbaugh said on his Web site, 'Ann Coulter was clearly ambushed' by the Edwards phone call." In fact, Coulter was alerted in advance to Elizabeth Edwards' call.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:02 PM EDT
WND Columnist: Make More (White) Babies!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last week, WorldNetDaily columnist Tristan Emmanuel was nattering on about "Anglo-Saxon self-hatred." In his June 28 WND column, Emmanuel takes the next logical step: encouraging whites to have more babies.

He doesn't come right out and say that, of course. But it's clear that's what he means by his opening statement: "If politicians won't find a way to deport illegals, then it is time for Americans who care to take matters into their own hands. By having lots of babies." Emmanuel throws in the obligatory caveat that "this is not about promoting racism," but later writes:

America will have to shoulder the responsibility of being the only Western democracy left; at least the only one big enough to give the remaining "whites" a geographical location to call "home," and – here is the important part – a place relatively free from hostile cultures.


And what do you think it'll mean for that traditional American demographic when the Latin American population explosion meets the Muslim population explosion on American soil, and traditional Americans are in the minority?

So yeah, he's talking about white babies -- it would seem that, to him, only whites can be "traditional Americans."

UPDATE: It's not exactly an isolated view, by the way -- Fox News host John Gibson said the same thing.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2007 3:40 PM EDT
MRC Still Defending Coulter, Smearing Marcotte
Topic: Media Research Center

In a June 28 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard asserted that Ann Coulter was "ambushed by Elizabeth Edwards and Chris Matthews" -- even though Coulter knew beforehand that Edwards would call in -- and refers us to a new MRC press release defending Coulter and attacking Edwards. The bulk of the release is dedicated to attacking yet again bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, even though they haven't worked for the Edwards campaign for months and the controversial statements Brent Bozell and the MRC are attacking them for were made long before their brief employment by Edwards.

The press release also supplies a list of offending statements by Marcotte and McEwan, but they're taken out of context (as the MRC loves to do). For instance:

In the Duke Lacrosse case, "Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it?" (Marcotte)

We're not sure why the MRC singled this out, given that it's clearly sarcasm. Does Bozell and Co. really think that Marcotte thinks that white men should be allowed to rape black women with impunity?

Of course, there's no mention of what Coulter actually said. But if the MRC is going to defend Coulter, that means axomatically it's defending her words as well. So the MRC is all for calling John Edwards a faggot and wanting to blow up the New York Times building. It is against Coulter being held accountable for her words the way it does for Marcotte and McEwan.

Also of note: In yesterday's press release, Bozell is quoted as saying that Marcotte and McEwan "insulted Christians and their faith in the most repulsive words imaginable, which I won’t repeat here." Those "insults" are all repeated in today's press release. Bozell's Repulse-O-Meter seems to have recalibrated itself rather abruptly.

More MRC Coulter-defending: Tim Graham, in writing about ABC's Jake Tapper's pointing out (as we have) that Coulter misquoted Bill Maher to justify her own hateful rhetoric (though Graham doesn't say that), concedes that "Maher didn't say he wished Cheney would die." Will MRC/NewsBusters now correct all the posts that claim he did? Don't count on it. Graham then adds:

I think it should be obvious to everyone in the talk-show wars that death-wish jokes are more trouble than they are worth, and that free speech doesn't mean that some speech isn't deplorable, and it's our right to speak out and deplore it.

Will Graham "speak out and deplore" Coulter for her numerous "death-wish jokes"? Again, since official MRC policy is to defend Coulter at all costs, don't count on it.

UPDATE: One of those MRC writers Graham will have to correct over the Maher quote is Graham himself, who wrote a couple hours earlier of "Coulter’s complaint that Bill Maher can get away with saying Dick Cheney should be killed by terrorists."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2007 3:26 PM EDT
WND Renews Attacks on Harry Potter
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In 2003, upon the release of the book "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," WorldNetDaily engaged in attacks on the book; the most prominent, we noted, was a column by Caryl Matrisciana (producer of an anti-Harry Potter video that, unsurprisingly, WND sells) in which she went all Godwin's Law on us, claiming that the book appropriated several Nazi symbols, then goes on to call Harry "the young Wiccan" and claim that the books promote "an anti-Christian morality that encourages children to lie, cheat and steal in Harry fashion."

WND backed off on the Potter-bashing for a while after that, but with the impending release of the final book, the lure was too much to resist. 

A June 27 WND article by Jennifer Carden rehashes the Harry-bashing, repeating unchallenged claims by Matrisciana and another anti-Harry activist, Steve Wohlberg, that the Harry Potter books "make witchcraft look 'cool' and exciting" and that Harry himself "lies a lot, break rules at school, curses, throws temper tantrums, and even drinks 'firewhisky' (he's an underage drinker)." Carden makes no apparent effort to contact other Potter experts for a different perspective.

Also unmentioned by Carden: Matrisciana is married to Patrick Matrisciana, producer of the notorious, discredited film "The Clinton Chronicles," which perhaps tells you all you need to know about her anti-Potter film.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
MRC Falsely Portrays Coulter As A Victim
Topic: NewsBusters

The latest in the Media Research Center's Ann-Coulter-is-a-victim meme:

-- Geoffrey Dickens referenced Chris Matthews' "now infamous, staging of the Ann Coulter vs. Elizabeth Edwards throwdown."

-- Matthew Sheffield referenced "Chris Matthews's ambush of Ann Coulter."

In fact, it wasn't an "ambush"; Coulter knew in advance that Edwards might call. From today's "Hardball":

DAVID SHUSTER (correspondent): So, how did the Ann Coulter-Elizabeth confrontation happen? Before Tuesday's "Hardball" appearance, MSNBC promoted that viewer comments and questions would be part of the program.

TAMMY HADDAD ("Hardball" executive producer): The Edwards campaign called to ask if it was possible that Elizabeth could talk to Ann Coulter live on the air, and we told them yes.

SHUSTER: In turn, Haddad had a conversation with Coulter.

HADDAD: I talked to Ann before the show and told her that we had gotten a call from the Edwards campaign and that Elizabeth might call in, and she was fine with it.

UPDATE: Here's the transcript.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:00 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2007 5:12 PM EDT
MRC's Meta-Defense of Coulter
Topic: Media Research Center

A June 27 Media Research Center press release touches all the bases that have been percolating at the MRC all day regarding the Elizabeth Edwards-Ann Coulter clash: Coutler is the victim, it's an audition for return of the Fairness Doctrine, and look over there -- Amanda Marcotte! Plus, Brent Bozell ranting about "the iron boot of liberalism" and claiming, "Hugo Chavez does this type of censoring in Venezuela—but in America, we don't." Nowhere does the press release mention what Coulter said to prompt Edwards' confrontation.

Thus, we must assume, by their long silence on the subject, that Bozell and the MRC approve of Coulter's history of insults and offensive comments.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:49 PM EDT
MRC Still Defending Coulter (Updated)
Topic: NewsBusters

As we've previously detailed, Ann Coulter does no wrong in the eyes of the Media Research Center; she can (and will) say the most offensive, outrageous things, and the MRC will not only refuse to criticize her, it will vociferously defend her right to do so, even as it criticizes liberals for doing the same thing (or some lesser version of it).

And so we see it again following the Coulter-Elizabeth Edwards dustup on last night's "Hardball." In a June 26 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham plays the distraction card, complaining that in media reports on the dustup, "no one seems to be questioning Elizabeth Edwards attacking Coulter for the "language of hate" when the Edwards campaign hired Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan as official bloggers, who attacked 'Christofascists,' smeared Pope Benedict as a dictator, and mocked the core doctrines of Christianity as excuses for misogyny." Graham is clearly unable to address Coulter's history of offensive remarks without equivocating them. Aren't they offensive on their face? Perhaps Graham could explain why they're not.

The MRC has a cozy relationship with Coulter, who has served as a judge or featured attraction at the MRC's annual "Dishonors Awards" banquet. Perhaps that's why Graham and the rest of the MRC doesn't dare criticize Coulter.

UPDATE: And it continues: Scott Whitlock complains that ABC edited out Coulter's "zingers" to Edwards. Yeah, calling John Edwards a "shyster" is quite the bon mot. But shouldn't Whitlock be happy that ABC didn't repeat what Coulter said since it proves Elizabeth Edwards' point?

Meanwhile, Noel Sheppard attacks -- you guessed it -- not Coulter but Elizabeth Edwards ("look at the words Mrs. Edwards used. They seem rather scripted and on point, dontcha think?") and Chris Matthews ("Is this how you treat a guest, by springing the wife of a political candidate on her without any warning?"). Sheppard also accuses Matthews of setting the whole thing up "possibly to advance the current Democrat push to squash conservative talk radio."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 2:07 PM EDT
Bozell Complains About 'In-Kind Contribution' to Gore, Mum on Thompson
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell's latest column claims that NBC Universal's coverage of the Al Gore-led Live Earth concerts is an "enormous in-kind campaign contribution" to Gore, "even as liberals press him to run for president in 2008." Nowhere does Bozell note that Gore has repeatedly discouraged talk of his running for president, making such "in-kind contribution" talk meaningless.

Bozell also failed to mentioned another "in-kind contribution" by a major media company to a likely presidential candidate -- probably because the candidate is a Republican. That would be Fred Thompson, who has a daily commentary that's syndicated by Disney/Citadel-owned ABC Radio Networks. Further, Thompson is substitute host and "senior analyst" to Paul Harvey's news and commentary radio show, also syndicated by ABC.

Shouldn't Bozell be more concerned that an all-but-declared candidate like Thompson is getting free airtime (as opposed to Gore, who has not declared any interest)? Or is that OK if you're a Republican?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 1:26 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Sheppard Gives Coulter's Falsehood A Pass
Topic: NewsBusters

In a June 26 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard uncritically repeated Ann Coulter's response to a "Good Morning America" query about her suggesting John Edwards was a "faggot": "But about the same time, you know, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack. So I've learned my lesson. If I'm gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot." To which Sheppard sarcastically added: "No, Ann…only liberals like Bill Maher can get away with that."

But Sheppard didn't note that Coulter misdescribed what Maher actually said: "I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power, people wouldn't be dying needlessly tomorrow. ... I'm just saying that if he did die -- other people -- more people would live." That's not the same as Maher "wish[ing Cheney] had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."

Sheppard regularly gives passes to Coulter on her offensive remarks. As we noted, when Coulter made her "faggot" remark, Sheppard would say only that she made a "remark about John Edwards" but not what it was, let alone offer any condemnation of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:34 PM EDT
AIM Takes Refuge in Dubious Study
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In an appearance on CNBC's "Kudlow and Co." (not dated on the AIM website -- it may be from June 22) discussing an article about journalists donating to political causes -- which conservatives have been hyping -- Accuracy in Media's Roger Aronoff said that the article was consistent with "numerous surveys, such as the famous Freedom Forum survey in the '90s that showed 89 percent of the Washington reporters voted for Clinton."

As we've previously reported, it is -- in that that Freedom Forum survey had an equally tiny survey response sample (133; the MSNBC had 144). The Freedom Forum survey is also flawed as an indicator of how all "Washington reporters" because the survey sample wasn't representative of what most people consider to be the Washington press corps. Only one-fifth of the survey participants were from major media; many were from regional newspapers or one-person Washington bureaus who are focused on reporting on their local congressmen for their employers and have next to no influence in Washington politics.

But as we saw with the Media Research Center (which similarly promotes the Freedom Forum survey numbers to justify its existence), methodology is irrelevant when the big numbers support the ConWeb's cause, at least for anyone who doesn't look closely at those numbers.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EDT
Sheppard Demonstrates How Silly Kneejerk Bias Accusations Can Be
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard was full of indignance in a June 24 NewsBusters post. A "Meet the Press" panel, he declared, was "the usual twenty minutes of Bush-bashing, Hillary sycophancy, and attacks on all politicians with an 'R' next to their names."

The problem? He doesn't support his claim that the people on the panel were motivated by liberal bias -- or even that they were liberal.

Sheppard started off by asserting that "Tim Russert stocked his panel exclusively with liberals: David Broder of The Washington Post, John Harwood of The Wall Street Journal and CNBC, Gwen Ifill of PBS’ Washington Week, and syndicated columnist Roger Simon." But he offers no supporting evidence that any of these folks are liberals; in fact, there is much evidence to support the idea that Broder is not liberal, and Harwood and Simon are not necessarily the kneejerk liberals Sheppard wants you to think they are.

Sheppard then claimed that "after Russert read an article published by the Associated Press which was somewhat critical of Hillary Clinton (D-New York), the panel felt compelled to defend her." Judging by what Sheppard highlighted, the panel made several observations about Clinton that can be easily supported by observation, from stating "Mrs. Clinton has done extremely well in every appearance that I’ve covered" to "after eight years of George Bush, the American people want competence this time, not likability." Sheppard proved none of the statements he highlighted to be incorrect, yet he insisted this was "Absolutely disgraceful Hillary sycophancy that wasn’t present three weeks ago when there were conservatives on the panel to refute these overtly liberal sentiments." If these statements were so egregious, shouldn't Sheppard himself disprove them?

This was followed by, according to Sheppard, "uninterrupted bashing of every Republican presidential candidate." Again, he makes no attempt to disprove anything said. For instance, Russert noted that one state official for Rudy Giuliani's campaign is "headed to prison on charges of distributing cocaine." Is Sheppard denying that? Does he think it's not relevant to discuss? How about the revelation that Giuliani didn't bother to show up for meetings of the Iraq Study Group, of which he was a member, in order to rake in cash making speeches? Not true or irrelevant?

What Sheppard seems to be saying -- with his regular disregard of facts that get in the way of his narrative -- is that all praise of Democrats by anyone on TV is liberal bias, as well as all criticism of Republicans. Is this any way to run a media watchdog group?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Monday, June 25, 2007
Terrorists Heart Aaron Klein
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Middle Eastern terrorists sure seem to love the attention that WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein lavishes on them with his gimmicky terrorists-endorsing-Democrats series of articles.

That love continues in a June 25 WND article in which Klein brags that a June 20 article Klein wrote about U.S. weaponry and equipment being allegedly seized during this month's takeover of the Gaza Strip was "displayed prominently" on "Hamas' official websites." That article quoted only "Hamas members" as making that claim and offering no outside verification of it.

One has to wonder: Isn't Klein's time better spent doing actual reporting instead of bragging about how much terrorists love to read his stuff?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:51 PM EDT
Clinton Conspiracy Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A June 25 WorldNetDaily column by Jerome Corsi takes a stab at floating a new Clinton conspiracy: The allegedly suspicious liquidation of the Clintons' blind investment trust.

"Bill and Hillary Clinton have raised eyebrows on Wall Street by liquidating a multi-million dollar stock portfolio just ahead of what may be a major stock market downturn," Corsi wrote, adding, "If the Clintons stock liquidation of their blind trust assets turns out to have been made at a DJIA high, questions are certainly going to be asked about their prescient market timing." Corsi concluded by claiming that "the question" about the Clintons' stock sale "is certain to be, 'What did the Clintons know, and when did they know it?'"

But Corsi also cited evidence about the current investment environment that would seem to support a sale of stock, specifically stating that "the parallels between Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987, and today are striking. For most of 1987, the stock market hit one record close after another, much as the market has in 2007." Despite framing the Clintons' stock sale as an evil conspiracy, Corsi in fact justified it.

Instead of asking why the Clintons sold their stock, maybe Corsi should be wondering why he doesn't follow suit.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:25 PM EDT
WND Touts Claim in Gerth-Van Natta Book
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The headline on a June 21 WorldNetDaily article -- "Hillary book: WND beat Gore in 2000" overstates the actual claim made in the article -- that Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta's book "Her Way" states that "Some law-enforcement officials and journalists believe that stories in 2000 by (Joseph) Farah's WorldNetDaily on then-presidential candidate Al Gore's political dealings in Tennessee, which were picked up by smaller papers in the state, played a role in Gore's loss."

So we wondered: What else does the book say about the ConWeb?

First, it's worth noting that Gerth and Van Natta didn't exactly vouch for the accuracy of those articles, over which one of the subjects of those stories is suing WND. The authors prefaced that statement with: "And whether or not what they published was true, it had undeniable impact."

These statements came in the context of Gerth and Van Natta tracing how right-wingers such as Farah and Christopher Ruddy leveraged the nacent Internet in the late 1990s for the purpose of attacking the Clintons. They described WND founder Joseph Farah as a "self-described 'Clinton-hater' " -- something else that WND mysteriously decided wasn't worth noting to its readers -- and erroneously described WND as being headquarted in northern Virginia. In fact, WND has long maintained its corporate headquarters in Oregon; only Farah lives in Virginia (Centreville, to be exact).

More interesting is Gerth and Van Natta's more extensive look at Christopher Ruddy and NewsMax. A couple things are incompletely reported: They portray conservative financier Richard Mellon Scaife as someone who "was publishing Ruddy's articles" attacking Clinton in his Pittsburgh Tribune-Review without noting that Ruddy was a staff writer for the paper, and they wrote that Ruddy's "articles about [Vincent] Foster's death were promoted by Farah's Western Journalism Center" without also noting that Scaife gave the WJC $330,000 for the purpose of facilitating reporting and publicity of those articles.

Gerth and Van Natta wrote that Ruddy noted Matt Drudge website was linking to his articles and "took him out for a drink at a bar in Los Angeles. Ruddy figured that he and his friends who disliked the Clinton administration 'could have a bigger impact' with their own Web site."

Gerth and Van Natta continue:

Scaife was supportive of Ruddy but not yet excited about the potential of the new media venture. "He didn't gravitate to it immediately," Ruddy recalled, so instead the conservative journalist landed his first seed money ($25,000) from the family of William J. Casey, the former head of the CIA under President Reagan.

Ruddy called his venture NewsMax and knew time was of the essence. "I wanted to start NewsMax while the Clinton impeachemnt was under way." So the site, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, went live in September 1998. By then Scaife had decided to invest $2 million, about 13 percent of Ruddy's initial capital. The fact that Ruddy could raise $15 million for his startt-up in nine months demonstrates the ease with which journalists could attract enormous funding from wealthy conservatives. 

Detecting a pattern here? For all the blather about WND and NewsMax being "new media" (and Farah's aversion to being called a conservative, though Gerth and Van Natta describe Farah as saying how the Internet "revealed the opportunities for conservatives to get their message out in a media environment dominated by liberal-leaning journalists"), one key reason for their formation was to attack the Clinton administration.

There's nothing new about attack journalism, folks, though Farah and Ruddy might want you think otherwise. And remember, neither WND or NewsMax were forthcoming about their sources of funding until we detailed them.

Finally, the WND article described Gerth and Van Natta's "Her Way" as a "best-selling book." Not exactly; according to the Los Angeles Times, "Her Way" sold just 7,000 copies in its first 10 days of release. 

UPDATE: Joseph Farah regurgitates the article in his June 25 WND column -- claiming that the mention of the WND series in Gerth and Van Natta's book gives the claim that it cost Gore the election "more crediblilty" while omitting the fact that Gerth and Van Natta didn't vouch for its accuracy. Farah also erroneously calls "Her Way" a "bestselling book."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2007 1:09 AM EDT
Sunday, June 24, 2007
'Anglo-Saxon Self-Hatred'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Here's a twist on the not-so-secret desire of some conservatives for a white-only immigration plan. A June 22 WorldNetDaily column by Tristan Emmanuel is talking about Canada, but he claims the U.S. is going down Canada's path by letting in too many non-white people:

I'm a Canadian, and we don't have an "illegal alien" problem. However, we suffer from something just as bad – a form of Anglo-Saxon self-hatred. We call it multiculturalism. This is the politically correct way of saying white, English-speaking culture is bad.

So when white people tolerate the cultures of others, it's "hatred" of "white culture"? That's novel.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« June 2007 »
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google