Farah's Double Standard on Secret Societies, Redux Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah smacks around the Davos conference:
I'm deeply troubled by this kind of forum – whether it's the World Economic Forum or the Trilateral Commission or the Bilderberg Group.
These private meetings, far from the public eye and excluded from ethics laws and sunshine requirements, are anathema to the American way of life and the ideals upon which this nation was founded – namely national sovereignty and independence.
The whole purpose of these exclusive gatherings is to avoid the light of public scrutiny.
As we noted the last time he whined about secret gatherings, Farah belongs to his own secret society that " far from the public eye and [is]excluded from ethics laws and sunshine requirements" -- the Council for National Policy. The CNP recently barred all media except friendly ones -- like WND -- from covering a meeting in Salt Lake City, and WND offered the only news to come from it, presumably only after receiving the express permission of CNP officials.
Farah has thus far "avoided the light of public scrutiny" by refusing to disclose to his readers his CNP membership. Why?
CPI Bashed As 'Left-Wing,' But ... Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has declared war against the Center for Public Integrity over its report stating that the Bush administration made hundreds of false statements regarding Iraq:
A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item), Clay Waters described the Center for Public Integrity -- which issued a -- as "left-wing" and complained that a New York Times article on the study "made no mention of CPI's ties to the left-wing billionaire George Soros."
A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post by the ever-insightful Warner Todd Huston calls CPI "ultra-leftist" and "funded by extreme leftist George Soros" and others who are "exclusively leftist in political philosophy."
A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan noted "the Center’s funding by various left-wing individuals and foundations, most notably George Soros."
A Jan. 24 NewsBusters post and CyberAlert item by Brent Baker stated that the report was issued by "a couple of affiliated far-left groups."
Which begs the question: If CPI is so far left, why was it trying to bring down Al Gore in 2000?
As we've detailed, CPI funded much of the reporting for the multi-part series on Gore that WorldNetDaily published before the 2000 election (a secondary target of the series is suing WND, CPI and the authors for libel). CPI then later disassociated itself from the series prior to publication; according to CPI senior fellow Knut Royce, "The biggest determinant was that the main focus to begin with in the project was Al Gore. And the bottom line, we just didn't have Al Gore."
One defense repeated in most of these posts is that, as Baker quoted Fox News' Brit Hume as saying, it was "a concept nearly universally accepted by most of the world's intelligence services at the time" that Iraq under Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. But all are general references, and none of these posts address the specific evidence CPI cites to declare various Bush administration officials' statements about Iraq WMD as false.
UPDATE: Seton Motley stumbles in with a Jan. 24 NewsBusters post saying the same thing: CPI is funded by "left-wing mega-mogul George Soros," and everybody thought Iraq had WMD. But he doesn't note that CPI went after Gore or specifically address the evidence CPI uses to back up its claim of false statements about Iraq WMD.
Motley also disingenously raises the labeling issue, complaining that CPI and its sister organization was described by Keith Olbermann (whom he weirdly describes as the "Legacy Press") as "two non-profit groups," while Olbermann called the MRC a "rabid right-wing spin group." Motley ignores the fact that, as we have repeatedlynoted, that other "Legacy Press" pillar, Fox News (founded the same year as MSNBC), almost never applies an ideological label to the MRC.
New Article: In Bed -- And Out of Bed -- With Sources Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi is too close to the Minutemen to tell the truth about their recent controversies. But that doesn't keep him from violating numerous ethical rules to bash his Minuteman co-author for endorsing Mike Huckabee. Read more >>
WND Buys Its Publishing Partner Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember back in November, when we noticed that WorldNetDaily was claiming it published Kathleen Willey's factually challenged book rather than its publishing partner, World Ahead Media, whose imprint actually appears on the book?
That question is now moot: WND announced in a Jan. 23 article that it has acquired World Ahead Media. Founders Eric Jackson and Norman Book will continue to run the company as a division of WND, as well as serving as WND vice presidents.
There's no mention of what will happen with the WND Books and World Ahead imprints; there's currently no notable difference in what they offer -- conservative-leaning attack books -- and it would make sense to phase out one or the other unless they decide to take one in a different direction.
Media Matters catches CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey telling Wolf Blitzer: "There was a moment there in the debate, Wolf, where it looked like, if someone had splashed water on Hillary, she would have melted like the Wicked Witch of the West."
And Sadly, No! dismantles "Christian and applied scientist" Andrew Longman's Jan. 22 WorldNetDaily column dubiously claiming that replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones would release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Kincaid Flip-Flops on Inflammatory Descriptions Topic: Accuracy in Media
Remember when Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid was offended that the CIA's detention program was described as "secret prisons" even though the program was secret and people were imprisoned? The term was too inflammatory, he said. It suggested Soviet-style repression, he said.
Forget it. Kincaid now loves inflammatory descriptions.
In a Jan. 23 AIM column, Kincaid endorses calling abortion "genocide," even though it doesn't qualify as such under the international legal definition of genocide. Why? Mainly to crowd stories about Heath Ledger's death from the news:
With young people chanting "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go," hundreds of thousands of people marched on Tuesday to protest an estimated 49 million dead through abortion. On the same day, a young actor named Heath Ledger died. Guess which got more attention from our media?
More than 3,000 deaths a day from abortion don't make news. Nellie Gray, head of the March for Life, calls it "genocide." The Genocide Awareness Project was at the march, exhibiting a series of signs comparing abortion victims to historically recognized forms of genocide. The exhibit has been shown on various college campuses, changing minds in the process.
No debate over semantics or inflammatory language here. In fact, Kincaid goes on to beg President Bush to use the term:
One rather simple thing the President could do is follow Nellie Gray's lead and call abortion genocide. This is something our media couldn't ignore. It might even start a national debate on abortion. But it might also damage his "legacy" in the eyes of the liberal media.
Or perhaps Bush isn't interested in taking semantic advice from a flip-flopper like Kincaid.
Kincaid also doesn't pass up the opportunity to take a shot at the deceased Ledger, noting that his "most memorable role was starring in the pro-homosexual 'Brokeback Mountain,' in which he engages in anal sex with another man and leaves his wife and family. It was trash that Hollywood adored." Kincaid has previously bashed "Brokeback Mountain."
UPDATE: WorldNetDaily honors, if you will, Ledger's death by recounting the "Brokeback Mountain" controversy, including David Kupelian's notorious "Brokeback"-bashing column in which he lamented that "Hollywood has now raped the Marlboro Man." It also reposted a February 2007 column by Kupelian in which he declares "the 'drug'of false love, adoration and unconditional approval" to be "the secret curse of Hollywood 'stars.'" Kupelian adds: "It's not a coincidence that Hollywood celebrities so often become dysfunctional, ultraliberal weirdos." Apparently, being famous makes you liberal. We did not know that.
Mitt Romney didn't win in South Carolina. Must be time for Newsmax's resident Romney-fluffer Ronald Kessler to issue yet another Romney-fluffing piece!
In his Jan. 21 article, Kessler touts Romney's "new image" as a more expressive candidate, spinning away criticism of his image -- a description of Romney as "cold, plastic, or just too perfect" was countered by the claim that "Romney may have thought it was pandering to show too much emotion" -- and complaing that "the media" focuses on image rather than record.
On cue, Kessler replays his greatest hits: noting that "a Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School graduate" and that he helped find the missing daughter of a business partner. This, naturally, leads Kessler to rehash his McCain-bashing; in contrast with Romney's altruism, he writes, "John McCain has an out-of-control temper and displays nastiness with critics."
This, then, leads to more rehashing of attacks on Barack Obama, insisting that "the media have virtually ignored Barack Obama’s connection with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., his minister, friend, and sounding board for more than two decades, and the fact that Wright’s church magazine gave an award to Louis Farrakhan last month." Of course, Kessler has his own double standard on that issue. In a Jan. 7 article, Kessler asked: "Imagine if Mitt Romney’s church proclaimed on its website that it is 'unashamedly white.' The media would pounce, and Romney’s presidential candidacy would be over." As we've noted, the Mormon Church, for a good part of its history, has arguably been "unabashedly white."
Warner Todd Huston, King of Racial Sensitivity Topic: NewsBusters
First, Warner Todd Huston desperately wanted you to know that Martin Luther King Jr. wasn't a saint. Now, Mr. Warmth himself is offended that anyone would question the wisdom of honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day as King, as three Southern states do.
In a Jan. 22 post, Huston declared that the Associated Press "seemingly meant to stir race hatred by bringing up the fact that in the state of Arkansas the memorial recognition of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's birthday is on the same day as that of King's observance there." He has no evidence of this, of course; the article in question makes no activist claims, as even Huston himself admits. Still, he's desperate to find a conspiracy:
So what could be AP's ultimate reasoning for this piece but to stir outrage about coupling a Confederate general's birthday with that of the "slain civil rights leader"? It seems that the AP is trying to use their pulpit as a national news source to stir other areas of the country against the practice in Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi.
Stirring the pot, it's called.
Or maybe the AP just finds it oddly interesting. When that idea was raised in the comment thread on this post, Huston replied:
Then we certainly disagree because I see no other reason to write this story unless it is to raise outrage that the two famous men share birthday celebrations. It certainly isn't a story in Arkansas. Even the AP couldn't find anyone outraged about it and they tried hard to get people to say they WERE outraged.
So does this mean that Huston didn't actually mean it when he said he was reminding people about King's alleged plagiarism only because "his whole life's record really should be known so that we can take a full measure of the man," and that he was really trying to "raise outrage" instead?
Klein Avoids the C-Word Again, Ignores Other Side of Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Jan. 21 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein touts a group called Israeli Academia Monitor, "which has been documenting what it calls the anti-Israel, at times anti-Semitic behavior of the senior staff at major Israeli universities." But nowhere does Klein describe the group's political affiliation: right-wing.
As FrontPageMag noted in 2005, Israeli Academia Monitor goes after "far-left fever swamps found inside Israeli universities" and is a "cousin to the "Campus Watch" web site that operates in the U.S.," a conserative-funded website that attacks liberal college professors.
But while Klein refers to various professors and organizations named in his article as "leftist," "extreme leftist" and "radical leftist," he does not use the term "right-wing" as a descriptor of any critic of the above professors and organizations, and the word "conservative" does not appear at all. We've previously noted Klein's longtimeaversion to labeling right-wingers as such.
And, in keeping with WND's usual lax standards of fairness and balance, Klein makes no apparent attempt to contact the "leftist," "extreme leftist" and "radical leftist" people and groups he names to respond to the charges made by Israeli Academia Monitor.
UPDATE: Campus Watch has taken issue with our description of the group. We respond here.
Clinton Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: Horowitz
In New Hampshire, [Chris] Matthews tried desperately to pin down the would-be commander-in-chief on how her Iraq policy differs from that of Barack Obama. She quipped, “You know, I don’t know what to do with men who are obsessed with me.” (True enough; ask Vince Foster.)
-- Ben Johnson, accusing Hillary Clinton of murder in a Jan. 21 FrontPageMag article.
Huston Way Too Eager to Relate That King Wasn't A Saint Topic: NewsBusters
On this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Warner Todd Huston is a little too eager to proclaim that King wasn't exactly a saint.
In a Jan. 21 NewsBusters post, Huston complains that an Associated Press article stating that King has been "frozen in a moment in time that ignores the full complexity of the man and his message" goes on to "whitewash several aspects of his real life" and that "they only want us to know some of King's real record instead of all of it as they claim."
Of course, Huston is dredging up unsavory aspects of King's past for our own good; as he states, "just as the AP urges, his whole life's record really should be known so that we can take a full measure of the man."
And what is Huston so eager for the unwashed to know? King plagiarized parts of his doctoral disseration, associated with known communists, and "was not a capitalist, free marketeer and he had drifted toward racial quotas as he neared his final years of activism." We're suprised Huston didn't fully embrace his disdain of King and mention the adultery.
The MRC's Double Standard on Polls Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center hates polls when they don't conform to its ideology. In November, for example, Seton Motley offered this theory of polling:
The media, as One, spend days or weeks bashing someone or something they do not like. They then conduct a poll to prove to you that they were right all along. In a campaign season, their one-sided coverage is calculated, then executed to produce a result. It’s not about reporting the events, it’s about changing the prevailing view.
And the polls -- such as the ones by the media, which are not independent surveys like those undertaken by the likes of Rasmussen or Gallup -- aren’t intended as much to gauge the public view of a candidate or events as they are to reinforce that which they have “reported”, or provide the media guidance on how effective their spinning of the news has been.
So, when the MRC praises a poll's results, beware.
Which brings us to a Jan. 21 NewsBusters post and CyberAlert item in which Brent Baker proudly proclaims that "For the sixth time in a year, a national survey has found many more Americans see a media bias to the left than to the right."
Unmentioned by Baker: Groups like his employer have spent millions of dollars over the years to promote and promulgate that very viewpoint, which is then echoed by right-wing radio hosts and TV talking heads who repeat it. It can easily be argued that polls that come to this conclusion, rather than presenting an accurate picture of the media and the public's view of it, reflect, in Motley's words, "one-sided coverage" that is "calculated, then executed to produce a result." Polling that finds the public concurring with the idea of a liberal media bias, thus, gives the MRC "guidance on how effective their spinning of the news has been."
This is a flaw we pointed out last year when Accuracy in Media -- another group that has spent millions of dollars promoting the idea of liberal media bias -- promoted a poll declaring that because there must be liberal media bias because conservatives perceive a liberal bias and liberals don't.
In other words, the MRC has paid good money over the years to get this polling result. Why wouldn't Baker be proud to promote it?
UPDATE: A Jan. 21 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas on the poll likewise ignores the role conservative propaganda has played in the liberal-media meme, but his article raises a point Baker didn't: He quotes Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute noting that "she thought the questions [in the poll] were weighted toward Fox News Channel by using the phrase 'fair and balanced,' the network's marketing logo, in the question. She also thinks Fox News, which respondents in the poll believed leaned to the right, approaches news coverage with a larger political agenda than most other news organizations." McBride added:
"The poll implies the old theory that journalists are biased liberally and that there is a gap between professional journalists and mainstream Americans," McBride said. "Bias seeps into news reports not so much out of an ideological conspiracy as much as other factors. If a newsroom is too thin, and there is no one to screen for bias, of course bias will go through."
Lucas also quotes Jerry Lindsley, director of the Sacred Heart Polling Institute, which conducted the poll, spouting a conservative talking point, which casts more doubt on the poll's veracity: "The news media presents the facts, but they don't present all the facts, such as the lower death toll, the hospitals being built, the soccer clubs and the women in the streets."
Pierre Doesn't Acknowledge Bias in Abortion-Breast Cancer Evidence Topic: NewsBusters
A Jan. 18 NewsBusters post by Dave Pierre asserts that the Los Angeles Times, "despite the loads of evidence contradicting them, continue to deny the numerous studies asserting the link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer." But as we noted the last time Pierre did this, that link is being promoted almost exclusively by anti-abortion activists.
Pierre also stated: "In addition, as recently as three months ago (October 2007), a major study conducted out of England concluded that abortion is the "best predictor" for developing breast cancer. But Pierre doesn't acknowledge (as we detailed) that the study was conducted by a murky group funded by anti-abortion groups and published in the right-wing Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.