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Friday, July 18, 2008
Scott McClellan Is Dead to NewsBusters
Topic: NewsBusters

Apparently, NewsBusters believes that the media is never permitted to mention Scott McClellan now that he has decided to criticize the Bush administration. The noting in the 21st paragraph of an Associated Press article on Tony Snow's funeral of McClellan's appearance there caused Tom Blumer to blow a gasket, calling the mention "classless," "execrable," "tabloid trash," "journalistic vandalism," an "inability to stay classy," and "reflective of an organization that ought to consider renaming itself the Arrogant Punks." Not exhausted of venom, Blumer goes on:

So of the three Bush press secretaries who attended (both Ari Fleischer and Dana Perino must have been there, or Feller could not have written "press secretaries"), the AP reporter only deemed McClellan worthy of mention -- apparently, we must conclude, because McClellan is the only one of the lot who has had critical things to say about the President.

By omitting Fleischer's name, Feller also was able to conveniently avoid the need to mention that the President's first press secretary has essentially shredded the key claims McClellan made in his liberal-published, possibly George Soros-funded "tell-all" book.

As we've previously detailed, NewsBusters' desperate attempt to link Soros to McClellan fails because the publisher of McClellan's has, in addition to publishing books by Soros -- nowhere does NewsBusters offer any evidence whatsoever that Soros has any financial connection with the publisher beyond that -- published numerous books by conservatives like Dinesh D'Souza, Linda Chavez and David Frum.

We won't tell Blumer to stay classy -- if he did, we'd have to stop writing about him.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:00 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 18, 2008 4:47 PM EDT
Brennan Peddles More Global Warming Bamboozlement
Topic: Newsmax

Phil Brennan's July 17 Newsmax column begins by asserting:

Fact: All history reveals that time after time this planet of ours has experienced periods of warming and periods of cooling. A century of slight global warming, about half a degree, ended in 1998.

Fact: In this century a global cooling has set in.

Er, not so much. As the United Kingdom's Met (Meteorological) Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia report, annual global mean temperatures have, in fact, increased in the past decade. The UK Met office adds that "[a] simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1° C per decade."

Despite his apparent aversion to simple mathematical calculations, Brennan nevertheless goes on to assert, "Global warming is clearly over, yet Al Gore and his acolytes keep warning us that the planet is heating up even as it continues to get colder." 

As we've noted, Brennan is a regular bamboozler on global warming.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 AM EDT
Klein's Lie Still Live on WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We previously detailed how a July 15 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein falsely claimed that Barack Obama made a "discredited distortion of the Holocaust." In fact, as Klein himself notes, the dispute in question is whether Obama's grandfather helped to liberate Auschwitz -- not the Holocaust. Thus, Klein is lying when he claims that Obama distorted the Holocaust.

We just checked, and it's still posted as originally written without change or apology.

We plan to continue highlighting Klein's lie until he retracts and apologizes for it. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EDT
Topic: Accuracy in Media

A July 16 Accuracy in Media blog entry by Don Irvine noted that "A New York Times story that analyzes their poll on the racial dimensions in this election was disputed by the Obama campaign." After reprinting seven points (copied from an ABC News blog post) that the Obama campaign says were "omitted from the story," Irvine adds: "Barack Obama was hoping for a free ride in the liberal press but even they can suppress the facts for only so long."

Wait -- didn't Irvine just show that, through repeating claims from the Obama campaign that he doesn't dispute, that the Times was, in fact, suppressing facts about Obama? We're confused.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EDT
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The quintessential political prostitute, Obama marches to the tune of the far left fundraising machine put together by a kitchen cabinet (that includes billionaire financier George Soros); he is interested in the greater glory of Barack Obama – period. While his evil-eyed wife, Michelle, may have visions of crushing "white America" underfoot, it is likely that Obama is far more color-blind in this regard. Like most of the black activists this columnist has criticized, "black America" exists for his benefit, and crushing underfoot knows no race.

-- Erik Rush, July 17 WorldNetDaily column 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 PM EDT
Huston's Latest Harangue
Topic: NewsBusters

A July 17 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston is a long harangue of a writer of Larry Hunger, a "lifelong Republican" who wrote a New York Daily News op-ed explaining why he's voting for Barack Obama. Huston declared that Hunter is "dangerously wrong" and engaging in "apostasy," his arguments are "ill considered, filled with petulance, and self-defeating to the ideology to which he insists he hews" (you sure you're not talking about yourself there, Warner?) and, last but not least, his criticism of the Iraq war shows him to be "a complete traitor to all other conservative causes on nearly every level."

Aside from the usual unsupported Obama-bashing one expects from such right-wingers ("to actually and purposefully vote for Barack Obama is a direct stab in the heart to supposed conservative principles"), Huston had this curious response to Hunter's claim that America has "suffered the last eight years":

In this I have to say that Larry Hunter has no clue what the word "suffered" means. Our economy has not "suffered" too badly from the expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, this country has scarcely "suffered" at all from the war. Obviously, the war has touched only a small portion of our people and few Americans have been much put out by it. Even the battle deaths are miniscule compared to any of our past wars. (And YES, speaking as a father of one of our soldiers, it is heartrending to lose even one soldier)[.]

"Few Americans have been much put out by it"? Sure, if you don't count things like, say, deficit spending to fund the war and the Middle East turmoil that fuels specuators to raise oil prices to $140 a barrel and gas prices over $4 a gallon.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:23 PM EDT
'Obama's $50 Billion AIDS Bill' ... Isn't
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Writing in a July 13 Accuracy in Media article about "the irresponsible and budget-busting $50 billion global AIDS bill" -- carrying a headline calling it "Obama's $50 Billion AIDS Bill" -- Cliff Kincaid asserted that "Senator Barack Obama was one of the original sponsors of the bill." That's false; according to the link supplied by Kincaid detailing congressional action on the bill, it was introduced in March 7 by Sen. Joe Biden. Obama did not sign on as a co-sponsor until June 18.

Kincaid's main problem with the bill is that he apparently doesn't want any money spent to prevent AIDS, downplaying the fact that the bill would also cover tuberculosis and malaria. The particular bee in Kincaid's bonnet is that "the federal government has already spent $200 billion on HIV/AIDS. No cure or vaccine has been discovered and there are increasing doubts about the effectiveness of anti-AIDS drugs," while "other diseases ... don't benefit from such attention and interest."

As we've previously noted, Kincaid's crusade against money for AIDS research is little more than anti-gay activism. 

Despite getting Obama's link to the bill wrong, Kincaid does it again in a July 15 column, which again refers in the headline to "Obama's AIDS bill." While Kincaid notes that John McCain is also also a co-sponsor of the bill (he signed on the same day Obama did), nowhere does he refer to "McCain's AIDS bill."

Kincaid also takes a swipe at blogger Andrew Sullivan, who "is advertised as a 'gay conservative' but was exposed for soliciting so-called 'bareback' or unprotected anal sex on the Internet." Kincaid does not explain why such behavior disqualifies a person from being a conservative; in fact, it could be argued that it's a requirement.

Noting Sullivan's support for a repeal of a ban on HIV-positive people from entering the U.S., Kincaid writes: "It seems clear that some of these aliens could function as new sexual partners for those demanding their entry, increasing the number of AIDS cases in the U.S." Stay classy, Cliff.

UPDATE: A July 17 article by Kincaid again falsely calls it "Obama’s AIDS Bill," rants about "the $200 billion already spent by U.S. taxpayers on HIV/AIDS here and around the world has not resulted in any cures or a vaccine," and complains about "spending $50 billion at a time of growing economic difficulties in the U.S."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:31 AM EDT
New Article: Planned Attacks
Topic: serves up a slanted view of Planned Parenthood, issuing attacks on the group without giving it much opportunity to respond. Read more>>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EDT
Shocker: WND Defends Catholics -- Again!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has a notable history of anti-Catholic sentiment, which it abruptly flip-flopped on last week when it went from painting Catholics as violent death-threat issuers over a student who took a communion wafer from a Sunday Mass to attacking a college professor who referred to the communion wafer as a "cracker."

That abrupt change of heart continues in a July 15 article that labeled a San Francisco resolution critical of the Catholic Church's position on homosexuality an "anti-Catholic diatribe" that it claims is "violating the Constitution's prohibition of government hostility toward religion."

Shocking. Will WND take the ultimate step and reverse its previous stand that Catholics aren't real Christians?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 17, 2008 1:49 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
MRC Attacks Analysis As Liberal -- But Conservative Group Based Its Analysis On It
Topic: Media Research Center

A July 15 Media Research Center article gave a "Worst of the Week" award to news organizations that cited an analysis by the Tax Policy Center of John McCain's and Barack Obama's tax proposals, which found that Obama's plan would give a cut of more than a thousand dollars to families making between $37,000 and $66,000 a year, while under McCain's plan, they'd get just $319. Why? Because while the networks said or suggested the group was nonpartisan, "the Tax Policy Center is the product of the left-leaning Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute."

But shouldn't the standard be whether the numbers are accurate? The MRC makes no effort to disprove the TPC's numbers, only asserts that they shouldn't be taken seriously because they came from a "left-leaning" group.

The article also claims: The other side of the story comes from the conservative Tax Foundation, which reported that Obama would shift more of the tax burden to a relative few families. ... That's an aspect of tax fairness that rarely gets mentioned by TV reporters who seek out liberal analysts to prove liberal points." But this claim doesn't disprove the TPC's numbers either -- indeed, the Tax Foundation uses the TPC's analysis as the basis for its own, stating that "The Tax Policy Center has done the public a service by putting hard numbers on the candidates' tax plans and bringing a dose of reality to the political rhetoric."

So, clearly, there's nothing wrong with the numbers. Will the MRC ever admit that?

The article further bashes the media for "citing left-of-center think tanks as 'non-partisan' entities," which would have some credibility if the MRC didn't do the same thing. For instance, in a October 2006 "Media Reality Check," the MRC cites "non-partisan Center for Media and Public Affairs" as claiming that "more than three fourths (77%) of ABC, CBS and NBC evening news references to Democrats this fall have been favorable, while 88% of the coverage given GOP candidates has been negative, an unprecedented disparity." In fact, the CMPA is a conservative-leaning group whose work is the foundation of the MRC. It touts a book by CMPA founder Robert Lichter, "The Media Elite" -- which "demonstrated that journalists and broadcasters hold liberal positions on a wide range of social and political issues" -- at the top of one "Bias Basics" page.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch: This Time, A Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The lead of Aaron Klein's 41st anti-Obama article (versus just one anti-McCain article), a July 15 WorldNetDaily piece, falsely claims that Barack Obama forwared a "a discredited distortion of the Holocaust." The article carries the headline "New Yorker discredited Obama Holocaust distortion."

In fact, as Klein goes on to report, the "distortion" is actually an alleged misstatement about whether Obama's grandfather helped to liberate the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II. At no point does Klein accuse Obama of making a "distortion" about the Holocaust that has been "discredited," and stating that he has falsely suggests that Obama is a Holocaust denier.

In short, the lead of Klein's article tells a lie. Klein and WND should apologize to Obama and retract it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 PM EDT
Huston Wrong About AP's Fournier
Topic: NewsBusters

Warner Todd Huston uses a July 15 NewsBusters post to take issue with changes made by Ron Fournier, the new Associated Press Washington bureau chief, to more to "a more hard-charging, opinion oriented style of writing," which Huston claims "makes the AP's past bias even more pronounced." Except it's not the bias Huston thinks it is.

Citing an 2007 essay by Fournier claiming his movement toward this style of journalism was caused by Hurricane Katrina, Huston asserts that Fournier's move came because "the media didn't attack Bush enough over the Iraq war and Katrina." That's not what Fournier said. From the essay:

Shortly after Katrina struck, I dutifully reported that President Bush had said nobody anticipated the breach of the levees. In fact, many experts had predicted a major storm would bust New Orleans’ flood-control barriers. In the past, that’s all I would have written; readers would get both sides of the story and then be expected to draw their own conclusion. This time, I went a step further and simply wrote: He was wrong.” Why not? Why force the readers to read between carefully parsed lines when the facts are clear? Why not just get to the point? The president of the United States was wrong.

Huston offers no evidence that Fournier lied when wrote that President Bush was wrong to assert that nobody anticipated the breach of the levees.

Huston concludes by writing, "With Ron Fournier, we might find that the AP gives us here more fodder to reveal liberal bias in the media than ever before." But the record shows a different kind of bias -- one that Huston would find appealing. 

  • In a March 17 column, Fournier asserted that Barack Obama is  "bordering on arrogance" and that "both Obama and his wife, Michelle, ooze a sense of entitlement."
  • During an AP luncheon, Fournier was pratically begging John McCain to call Obama an "elitist." 
  • A House Oversight Committee report on the death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan notes that in 2004, Fournier sent Karl Rove a note saying, "The Lord creates men and women like this all over the world. But only the great and free countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight."

That's the kind of bias Huston can believe in, isn't it? Then again, since it favors his political agenda, he likely won't see it as bias at all.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EDT
Picket of Conservative's Funeral Finally Pushes WND to Reject Fred Phelps
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 15 WorldNetDaily article by Joe Kovacs expresses disdain that members of the "infamous" Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket the funeral of conservative Tony Snow. This is a change of tone for WND, which has no history of criticizing the church when they protested at the funerals of gays.

An October 2000 news article called Westboro and its pastor, Fred Phelps, "a vehemently anti-homosexual pastor" and "anti-homosexual in the extreme" (important for WND to note only because it was trying to tie Al Gore to Phelps), but an October 2002 article by Art Moore held Phelps' activism up as a reason to oppose a proposal in Canada to add "sexual orientation" to a hate-crimes law: Because Phelps "bases his views on religious grounds," the article claimed, a law forbidding him to spew his hate would "shut down religious discussion."

An August 2003 article by Ron Strom noted that a "homosexual webcasting radio station" blamed Phelps' church for getting "struck by lightning, frying critical phone equipment."

Kovacs goes on to note, "Ironically, as WND previously reported, one of the leaders of the church was already condemned to hell on national television by Fox News host Julie Banderas." But as we noted at the time, that article downplayed the church's extremism, portrayed Banderas as the aggressor and the church member, Shirley Phelps-Roper, as the victim, and touted Phelps-Roper's credentials in being "licensed to practice law in Kansas and before the U.S. Supreme Court."

Even the church's protests at funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan haven't moved WND much. A January 2007 article noted that conservative legal group Judicial Watch supported a Missouri law targeted at Phelps' church banning pickets at memorial services, but even then WND didn't paint the church in a critical manner; it benignly states that the church "believes that God is judging America because of the nation's acceptance of homosexuality," suggesting that there is a person or two at WND who sympathizes.

It's not until a prominent conservative is targeted by the church that WND screws up the courage to denouce it as "infamous."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

In sum, it would be difficult to imagine a more mediocre record. Most candidates for dog catcher have contributed more to society. Yet with the help of adoring reporters, Obama has managed to parlay extraordinary speaking and political skills into a presidential campaign built on sand.

The idea that America might entrust its security and future to someone who has never demonstrated an ability to get anything of significance done is scary.

-- Ronald Kessler, July 15 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EDT
FrontPageMag Bashes Incivility, Ignores Its Own
Topic: Horowitz

A July 14 FrontPageMag article by Ben Johnson baselessly paints the "hateful comments" of a handful of commenters on the death of Tony Snow as the views of "many on the Left." David Horowitz himself similarly chimes in: "large segments of the left are consumed with hate towards those who disagree with them. ... There is nothing personal in this outpouring of leftist hate. The venom directed against Snow is really a hate directed against America."

This is a frequently used tactic on the right to paint those holding opposite views as extremists. (NewsBusters does the same thing.) But as we've previously noted, these sites turn a blind eye when their fellow conservatives make venomous attacks on ailing or deceased liberals like Ted Kennedy. Shouldn't all hateful speech be condemned, instead of when said condemnation is politically expedient?

Johnson went on to write: "[T]the bloggers spun conspiracy theories about the fallen. One diarist linked [Snow] to a much different minister, accusing him fo being a knowing propagandist for the Rev. Sun Myung Moon." But the post to which Johnson links -- a Daily Kos entry by John Gorenfeld, author of a book on Moon -- does no such thing. Rather, it points out that Snow accepted a job as Washington Times opinion page editor at a time when his predecessors had left the job to protest editorial interference by Moon officials. Nowhere does Gorenfeld call Snow a "knowing propagandist," and Johnson does not offer any evidence that anything Gorenfeld wrote is inaccurate.

Johnson also appears offended that one writer called Snow "Goebbels with better hair," which Johnson baselessly asserted "may be the clearest view of the Left's true regard." We don't know why Johnson would be upset about this; after all, writers and commenters at FrontPageMag liken liberals, or anyone else they disagree with, to Goebbels on a regular basis:

  • Thomas Sowell awarded Dan Rather the "Joseph Goebbels award."
  • David Meir-Levi: "Goebbels died 60 years ago, but his core propaganda strategy lives on in the Great Arab Lie that there exists a Palestinian people who have suffered great injustices at the hands of Israel, the UK, and the USA."
  • "US Goebbels Media makes Democrat Pol scum look human."
  • "A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. Gorby didn't have the resources to subdue Eastern Europe & accepted the inevitable. Carter did help the Mullahs take over Iran. Both are historical facts that Goebbels Democrats like to ignore."
  • "90% Dem Media =s Joe Goebbels TODAY"
  • "Goebbels Democrat Media follows playbook"
  • "He's Goebbels grandson James Carville"
  • "Joe Goebbels would be proud of this Scum. Democrat Party Media killed TRUTH in reporting along time ago."
  • "Joe Goebbels said the same thing about Nazis. Only he said it better in the Slick Willy sense."
  • "Goebbels had NOTHING on the present concoction of twisted lies propagated by Damnocrats and the Left."

Shouldn't Johnson and Horowitz be cleaning up their own house first before criticizing others?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 10:48 AM EDT

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