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Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Mychal Massie reprises his favorite (non)word in a July 31 WorldNetDaily column comparing "Michael Vick's alleged involvement in dog fighting" with the alleged "40,000 black children a month ... ripped apart in what should be their most sacred sanctuary" -- with a little explanation:

The Erebusic evil of child genocide, black child genocide specifically, must be stopped. And for those Magdalenian liberals who are as unfamiliar with the name Erebus as they are Greek Mythology, Gene Wolf or Anne Rice – abortion is indeed the very personification of the darkness and hell that shadows our society.

The WND database shows five columns in which Massie has used the word -- three in the past month. While the dictionary does note the existence of Erebus, it contains no provision for using the name as a adjective.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:25 PM EDT
A Double Standard on Campaign Hires
Topic: NewsBusters

Remember when the MRC folks got all het up over the John Edwards campaign hiring two bloggers for low-level posts who wrote things prior to their hiring that the MRC didn't like? Brent Bozell treated the bloggers' views as Edwards' own, as the headline "John Edwards Maligns Faith" attests. Months after the bloggers were forced to resign, the MRC was still ranting about "John Edwards' bigoted bloggers."

Fast-forward to a July 29 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston regarding another controversial hire by another presidential candidate. But the treatment is much, much different.

Huston reported on the Fred Thompson campaign's hiring of former congressman Spencer Abraham. Described in some news reports as a "campaign manager," Huston declares that "Spence" (as Huston affectionately calls him -- interesting that he feels close enough to Abraham to call him that) "will be a mere campaign advisor and 'ambassador' to Washington, NOT the campaign manager," adding "Abraham is not in the decision making position that other news media is assuming he is going to be." Either way, though, Spence is in a pretty high-level position in the campaign.

Why is that noteworthy? Because Abraham has been accused of being "anti-Israel," not a popular stance in the Republican Party and certainly not a part of the platform of any Republican presidential candidate.

While Huston acknowledges the issue, he doesn't rush to hang Abraham's views around Thompson's neck, as his fellow MRC writers did with Edwards and the bloggers, or even make an effort to confirm or deny that characterization of Abraham's views. Rather, in addition to demonstrating that Abraham will not be in a "decision making position" in Thompson's campaign, Huston digs up several examples to show that "Thompson does not have a record of being anti-Israel," concluding, "Man. None of THAT seems too anti-Israel!!"

Would Huston and the rest of the NewsBusters gang be as charitable if a person with Abraham's views had hired onto a Democratic campaign? As the Edwards case demonstrates, not a chance. It's just another double standard.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:34 PM EDT
New Article: A Nostalgia for Racism
Topic: The ConWeb
Will those conservatives who support a return to restrictive 1920s-era immigration laws acknowledge the racist and eugenicist origins of those laws? Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
NewsBusters Bashes Blumenthal
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Matthew Balan went on a tirade Monday, devoting two entire posts to attacking liberal blogger Max Blumenthal, as well as CNN's featuring of Blumenthal's video nailing College Republicans who support the Iraq war but won't enter the military.

Balan's first July 30 post smears Blumenthal as a "left-wing hack" and his video as a "hack job," but he offers no evidence of the "hackery" he accuses Blumenthal of. Balan is also inordinately fond of saying "left-wing"; he makes use of the terms "left-wing Internet clips," "left-wing Internet production," "Blumenthal’s left-wing associations," "the left-wing writer," and "left-wing partisan journalist."

In his other post, Balan again references "Blumenthal latest [sic] left-wing hack job." he also takes issue with the CNN descriptor "a man named Max Blumenthal":

Blumenthal is not merely a "writer" and/or a "man." He has written for  "The Nation" magazine, "The Huffington Post," and for "Media Matters for America," the left-wing "watchdog" group. All three institutions are part of the radical left-wing, a label that Blumenthal apparently rejects, as [CNN's Josh] Levs repeated in the first segment.

Crikey! We work for a "radical left-wing" institution? But since the Media Research Center -- where Balan is a news analyst -- is the ideological opposite of Media Matters, doesn't that mean the MRC is a "radical right-wing" institution? And, thus, shouldn't Balan refer to the MRC as that? We will.

Further, Balan gets it wrong by claiming that the College Republicans video was not "Blumenthal['s] latest left-wing hack job." That was posted July 19; Blumenthal's actual latest video, posted July 27, takes a look inside John Hagee's Christians-for-Israel gathering.

UPDATE: Brent Baker toned down Balan's rhetoric in turning the posts into a July 31 CyberAlert item, deleting Balan's "hack" attacks and his description of Media Matters, et al, as "radical left-wing" institutions.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 12:45 PM EDT
Monday, July 30, 2007
Folger Defends Neo-Nazi Source
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ed Brayton is still on the case of WorldNetDaily columnist Janet Folger's dubious anti-gay claims -- particularly, her use of a neo-Nazi racist's purported statistics to support a claim about anonymous gay sex. Brayton now reports that Folger apparently just plucked that statistic off a Free Republic post without doing any further research, and Folger's spokesman defends the use of the neo-Nazi racist because, hey, Charles Darwin and Karl Marx were racists too.

As we've noted, Folger has a history of making misleading or false claims. 

(h/t Bartholomew)

Posted by Terry K. at 11:46 AM EDT
WND Twists Obama's Words
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long had an anti-immigrant -- and anti-Barack Obama -- bias. Those two interests meshed in a July 29 WND article, which gave it a chance to smear both.

The article took Obama's support for a court decision that overturned efforts by the town of Hazelton, Pa., to penalize landlords who rented to illegal immigrants and twisted it as saying that Obama "praised the recent court decision overturning one city's attempt to protect itself from hostile foreigners filling their streets with drugs, crime and gangs as 'a victory for all Americans.'"

In fact, as the article itself later notes, Obama merely echoed the court's ruling that the law was "unconstitutional and unworkable," adding that "it underscores the need for comprehensive immigration reform so local communities do not continue to take matters into their own hands." 

The article's headline went on to describe Hazelton as a "terrorized town," but it offers little evidence to support that claim. The only actual crime in Hazelton the article notes is that "two illegals were charged in a fatal shooting" -- hardly evidence of "terrorism."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 AM EDT
Does Kinsolving Really Deserve Respect?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah has come to the defense of his White House correspondent, Les Kinsolving -- but he never addresses the base conflict that caused the situation in the first place.

In his July 26 column, Farah declared that Kinsolving "will no longer attend" White House press briefings because press secretary Tony Snow was not being "fair" to Kinsolving. This stems from an altercation between the two at the July 26 press briefing. According to Farah's excerpt of the briefing, Snow asserted that Kinsolving had "thoroughly twist[ed] out of context the answer I gave you" a previous story, which Snow called "a disservice to this White House and to the craft of journalism" and told Kinsolving to "pick up the phone and tell them [WND] to start cleaning up or writing corrections."

Farah wrote: "This is a rebuke, and a threat, and an attempt to control Les Kinsolving and WND's right to ask questions at the White House." But Farah never responds to Snow's base claim -- that Kinsolving "twisted" his words.

Snow's criticism appears to stem from a July 23 WND article, unbylined but presumably written by Kinsolving, which claimed: "Attempts by cities or other governments to sidestep federal policy and make their own provisions for illegal aliens won't get any attention from the White House, spokesman Tony Snow says." Kinsolving had asked: "Reuters reports that New Haven, Conn., will begin issuing to illegal aliens city ID cards to allow them access to city programs and to open bank accounts. My question: What is the president's reaction to this municipal…",

Kinsolving left out important context in his question to Snow; unmentioned was the fact that New Haven intends the cards as a way to, as the Christian Science Monitor reported, "protect them from crime that can happen because of a lack  of documentation, and encourage them to be more willing to report crimes to police." And those "city programs" that the ID card allows illegals access to? That would be "libraries, beaches, and parks – and as a debit card for city parking meters and at 15 downtown shops." In other words, the city isn't giving away money to illegals, as Kinsolving seems to suggest.

Snow responded to Kinsolving's misleading question by saying, "Let me lay down a general rule, which is: The president, because of federalism reasons, does not talk about state, local, county, municipality, Cub Scout, Girl Scout, or other resolutions." Kinsolving twisted that to say that the law "won't get any attention from the White House," adding, "Nor is this the only time the White House has expressed little interest in what local governments do concerning the federal issue of immigration – legal or otherwise." As evidence of the latter claim, Kinsolving cited an exchange between Snow and Kinsolving after Kinsolving asked about the Portland, Ore., mayor's statement that he was "angered" that 150 suspected illegal aliens were arrested; Kinsolving asserted that the mayor "openly advocated overlooking existing federal immigration law" though he didn't explain how expressing anger equated advocating "overlooking existing federal immigration law":

SNOW: Was he not talking about an arrest, Lester?

WND: Yes.

SNOW: Well, then I hardly see that the mayor was in a position to circumvent the law.

Again, Kinsolving does not explain how Snow pointing out that the mayor had no power to reverse the arrests constituted the White House "express[ing] little interest in what local governments do concerning the federal issue of immigration."

So we have this allegation of bad journalism against Kinsolving and WND, which Farah makes no attempt to answer either in that column or a follow-up column on July 28 in which he alluded to the issue of Kinsolving "twisting" Snow's words only by noting that Snow "chew[ed] him out because he didn't like the way stories were reported and edited in WND," not addressing the specific allegation. Instead, Farah insisted that Kinsolving is a "truly distinguished journalist" and "a good and decent man" who "has character. He is a living institution – the kind of man who should be honored with dinners and testimonials, not treated like somebody's crazy aunt."

Really? We've previously noted the kinds of questions Kinsolving has asked -- which swing from Jeff Gannon-esque sycophancy to the stunningly irrelevant -- and they've definitely earned Kinsolving the privilege of being "treated like somebody's crazy aunt."

Farah manages to get something else wrong -- claiming that columnist Helen Thomas "is treated with respect – even deference by Snow." Not even close, unless Farah thinks Snow saying to her, "thank you for the Hezbollah view" -- and "stop heckling and let me conduct a press conference" are part of some new definition of "deference" Farah has conjured up.

UPDATE: Kinsolving has a history of getting basic facts wrong. Read more about that and other sycophantic questions under our "Daily Les" file (see also Holden's Obsession with the Gaggle). And the Raw Story has video of the final Snow-Kinsolving altercation.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 30, 2007 1:10 AM EDT
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Huston's Partisan Attack
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters is normally relatively restrained when it comes to partisan attacks on Democrats and progressives. But Warner Todd Huston has apparently decided that needs to change. In a July 29 post, he:

  • Calls liberal activists "nutroots."
  • Uses the false, politically motivated construct "Democrat Party." 
  • Falsely asserted that Al Gore said he invented the Internet: "We can't let the left beat us with the Internet. I mean, Al Gore may have invented it, but WE should OWN it!"
  • Accompanied his post with a highly unflattering photo of Hillary Clinton. 

Huston went on to assert that the San Francisco Chronicle, in a article on YearlyKos, the convention held by supporters of the Daily Kos blog, has gone "ga ga over the YearlyKos convention being held in Chicago" and is "interested in smoothing the differences between the assumed powerful Internet lefties and candidate Hillary Clinton." Huston claims the Chronicle is "acting in the role of mediator" between Daily Kos denizens and Hillary Clinton by "trying to get readers to believe that Hillary is seeing a 'thaw' in the hate the nutroots has shown her thus far. They sure hope so, anyway, and here is their bid to help that "thaw" along." Huston added: "The Chronicle would love this “thaw” to be the case. Fortunately, there is no real evidence that such a thing is taking place except in the Chronicle's fevered imagination."

Huston, of course, offers no actual evidence of this; he's merely making the depiction-equals-approval-like assumption that mere reporting on the dispute between Daily Kos and Clinton equals endorsement of their views and a desire to present them in as positive a light as possible. He conveniently omits evidence to support the opposite -- namely that the Chronicle also quoted Markos Moulitsas Zuniga saying, "It's hilarious that (Hillary Clinton's) not even attending her own group," the moderate Democratic Leadership Council meeting -- a group that Bill Clinton was heavily involved in -- held at the same time as YearlyKos. If the Chronicle is really agitating for a "thaw," as Huston asserts, would it have included that quote?

Huston might want to check with his NewsBusters superiors to see if such a blatantly partisan attack is permitted under the MRC's 501(c)3 tax exemption -- and perhaps offer up some actual evidence to back up his claims while he's at it. 

Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 29, 2007 5:58 PM EDT
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Double Standard on Boycotts
Topic: NewsBusters

Remember how NewsBusters' Tom Blumer was trying to get people to take seriously conservative activists' boycott against Ford for its alleged "aggressive support of homosexual advocacy groups and publications" and insisting that the boycott was hurting the automaker's sales (though he had no actual evidence to back that up)?  You'd think that NewsBusters would take all boycotts seriously, right?

Well, think again. Here's NewsBusters executive editor Matthew Sheffield, in a July 28 post on a plan to boycott Fox News advertisers: "Ah to be a liberal, to proclaim my tolerance and open-mindedness with a few tacky bumperstickers and then turn around and try to silence any type of political divergence." 

Gosh, somebody doesn't like boycotts -- and he might want to alert his NewsBusters underling.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:00 PM EDT
Friday, July 27, 2007
Clinton Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Judicial Watch is continuing its Javert-like pursuit of the Clintons. A July 26 column by Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton explains that the bane of the Clinton administration is going on another fishing expedition:

On July 16, we filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration to obtain access to documents from the Clinton Presidential Library related to Hillary Clinton's tenure as First Lady.

Specifically, Judicial Watch seeks, "First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's calendar, to include but not limited to her daily office diary, schedule, day planner, telephone log book, and chronological file." Judicial Watch is seeking Mrs. Clinton's records from January 1, 1993 to January 20, 2001, the time period during which she served as First Lady.


As proof of the "public interest" in these records, Judicial Watch's press release announcing the Clinton Library lawsuit was published verbatim on the popular news website The Drudge Report, which registers more than 15 million readers per day, and received coverage from the Associated Press, which is syndicated to 1,700 newspapers around the world.

In other words, Judicial Watch wants the chance to make mountains out of 15-year-old molehills. The Clinton-hate by the usual suspects continues.

And it continues over at WorldNetDaily, where a July 27 "letter of the week" by Tim Hirota states:

The reason neither Hillary, nor any other liberal, will claim to be such is because, when viewed in a world-historical perspective, today's "modern liberal" was yesterday's Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot, and today's Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. This group of liberals-by-other-names (Communist, Socialist) were (and are) the worst butchers in history. They were, and are, the greatest suppressors of individual freedoms. They were, and are, the greatest violators of human rights.

Hillary Clinton's ideology is identical to the ideologies of these monsters.

A look at the archives shows that Hirota has a total of seven "letter of the week" honors to date from WND. We've previously noted that Hirota has approvingly cited unsubatantiated Clinton-bashing allegations by Gary Aldrich, but Hirota has also referenced Hillary Clinton's purported "devotion to Marx" and asserted that "The greatest America-haters are liberal Americans."

Feel the Clinton-hate!

Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EDT
FrontPageMag Misleads on Kupelian Case
Topic: Horowitz

A July 27 FrontPageMag article by Janet Levy denouncing a proposed federal hate-crime bill cited several cases in support of her argument that such laws "magnify and criminalize thoughtless, petty actions, exaggerating their importance, and prosecute those doing nothing more than exercising their personal opinions." The first:

Before the fall semester of the 2006-2007 school year, an Ohio State University librarian selected four best-selling books as suitable reading for incoming freshman. They included David Kupelian’s “The Marketing of Evil,” which presents conservative viewpoints on homosexuality, abortion, teenage sex and other issues.

For merely suggesting a book with an alternative viewpoint, the librarian was accused of unprofessional conduct and of creating a hostile work environment.  He was charged with sexual harassment for recommending
 a book that presented a traditional Christian view of homosexuality contrary to the view deemed “reflective” of the university on this issue.  Although later cleared of any wrongdoing by the university, the librarian suffered the consequences of being publicly denounced as a “hatemonger” and “bigot” and the stress of pursuing legal remedies.

But the librarian, Scott Savage, was not "charged with sexual harassment"; rather, as we detailed, Savage was accused of "harassment based on sexual orientation" -- not the same thing. The "sexual harassment" claim comes from misleading press releases by the Alliance Defense Fund, which defended Savage.

Further, in asserting that Kupelian's book merely presented "conservative viewpoints," Levy ignores claims made by one professor that Kupelian's description of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey as a "full-fledged sexual psychopath who encouraged pedophilia" is a "factually untrue characterization of Dr. Kinsey and his work on every point." As we documented, Kupelian relied on anti-Kinsey activist Judith Reisman for his claims about Kinsey -- claims that are highly misleading, if not outright false.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:10 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars finds even more misleading claims by Janet Folger, this time in her July 24 WorldNetDaily column about anti-gay Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EDT
Thursday, July 26, 2007
We Get Results (And No Thanks)
Topic: Washington Examiner

Last week, we noted that Lorie Byrd, in her July 19 Washington Examiner column touting her new attack site Media Mythbusters, falsely claimed that the Associated Press "retracted" its so-called "Sunni burning six" story. We also wrote a letter to the Examiner, which was published Tuesday.

Today, the Examiner published the following correction and appended it to her online column:

A July 19 oped by Lorie Byrd (New Web site will keep track of questionable news stories) incorrectly reported that the Associated Press had retracted a story it ran in late November that six people had been burned to death during sectarian violence at a Sunni mosque in Iraq. Byrd also raised questions about the AP's source, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, saying that he could not be found and that his name was a pseudonym. In January, the Iraqi Interior Ministry, which initially denied Hussein's existence, confirmed that he was an Iraqi police officer and said he faced disciplinary action for speaking to the media.

Byrd herself issued a correction on the Media Mythbusters blog, but tried to fuzz it up a little: "Instead of saying they 'retracted' elements of the story, I should have said they revised elements of the story." Byrd then digresses into the "ongoing dispute" over the identity of Jamil Hussein.

As much as Byrd likes to tout those who contribute to Media Mythbusters' attacks, she makes no acknowledgment to us for pointing out she was wrong, which would be the honorable thing to do. This speaks to the partisan nature of the website -- that it will not praise anything the media does if it conflicts with Media Mythbusters' agenda, and it will admit errors only bregrudgingly and when it can't otherwise avoid doing so.

Still, when a website that claims "When in doubt, tell the truth" as a motto is forced to apologize for, uh, telling the truth, that's not exactly an auspicious sign.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:25 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 16, 2007 1:02 PM EDT
CNS Obscures Previous Sutton Testimony

A July 26 article by Fred Lucas plays up a refusal by U.S. attorney Johnny Sutton to testify before a House committee regarding the prosecution of two U.S. Border Patrol agents in the shooting of an unarmed illegal immigrant on the U.S.-Mexico border (we've noted previous slanted ConWeb coverage of this story). While Lucas notes in the first paragraph that Sutton was "scolded at a Senate hearing this month for his role in the controversial prosecution of two ex-border agents," he doesn't explicitly state that Sutton testified July 17 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, nor does he adequeately explain why the House committee wants his testimony when has already testified before the Senate (though it's hinted that the Republican House members pushing for Sutton's testimony have uncovered new evidence).

Lucas also ignores a statement by Sutton's office, as reported by the Associated Press, that Sutton does not comment on nonpublic matters while cases are pending. The Border Patrol case is currently being appealed.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:50 PM EDT
WND's Unruh, Folger Just Can't Stop Misleading
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 25 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh repeats the assertion by WND columnist and anti-gay group Faith2Action president Janet Folger that her renditions of "what so called 'hate crime' legislation has already done IN AMERICA" are "the facts." As we've previously demonstrated, Folger and Unruh leave out lots of facts in the cases they cite; thus, what they claim cannot be "the facts."

Unruh is more guilty than Folger because he is treating an activist's opinions as unassailable truth despite easily obtainable evidence that she's making misleading, if not false, claims -- a stance that has no business being in a purported "news" story. Does Unruh have no journalistic pride? Apparently not.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 AM EDT

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