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Friday, October 24, 2008
Deep Thought
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Does Joseph Farah have Lou Boccardi and Dick Thornburgh on speed dial?

Posted by Terry K. at 4:03 PM EDT
McCain Volunteer Admits Attack Hoax; Will ConWeb Care?
Topic: The ConWeb

On Oct. 23, the ConWeb pounced on a McCain campaign volunteer's claim that she was mugged and attacked, including having a "B" carved onto her cheek, in Pittsburgh because her alleged assailant spotted a McCain bumper sticker on her car. and Newsmax did articles, while NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard, in a post with the screaming headline "Obama Supporter Maims McCain Volunteer, Will Media Care?" howled: "it's going to be very interesting to see how this disgusting incident gets reported by Obama-loving media."

But with the "victim" now admitting the attack was a hoax, how will the ConWeb react?

CNS posted an updated story, though the original story remains posted and has not been updated to state that the attack in a hoax.

Newsmax and Sheppard are silent thus far.

UPDATE: Sheppard has updated his post to note the hoax, but leaves his original histrionics intact. Will he ever apologize for not applying even a smidge of skepticism to the woman's claims before touting them so enthusiastically?

UPDATE 2: Newsmax has posted an updated article, but the original remains posted without any notice that it's a hoax.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 24, 2008 4:50 PM EDT
'Reality Check' Unreality: MRC Obfuscates McCain Ad Criticism
Topic: Media Research Center

An Oct. 23 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes claims that "from the end of the primaries (June 4) through October 21 ... the networks aired nearly three times as many stories criticizing McCain's ads (84) as hitting Obama's (32)." But by including statistics from as far back as June, Noyes hides the fact that McCain's advertising has been much more negative in recent weeks than Obama's.

Noyes wrote:

Apart from complaints about the accuracy of campaign ads, network reporters often disdained the negative tone of ads. Again, McCain was on the receiving end of nearly three times as many stories scolding his supposed negativity (66) as Obama (26). But according to the Wisconsin Advertising Project's review of ads from June 4 to October 4, and taking into account ads that include both positive and negative messages, "the tone of the McCain and Obama campaigns has been absolutely identical."

But the WAP report Noyes cited also stated: 

Analysis from the Wisconsin Advertising Project of Sen. John McCain’s advertising for the week of September 28 to October 4 shows, in fact, that all McCain campaign advertising did have significant negative content – either spots that were comprised completely of attacks on the Democratic nominee or ones that combined attacks on Sen. Barack Obama with some talk about Sen. McCain’s own plans.

Further, Noyes offers no breakdown of when in the time period examined those stories were aired. But as the WAP demonstrates, McCain has been more harshly negative than Obama in recent weeks, so it can be assumed that most of the coverage of McCain's negative advertising also happened in recent weeks, not in June as Noyes implies. Thus, Noyes distorts reality by falsely portraying McCain's and Obama's ads as equally negative throughout the entire campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:49 AM EDT
WND Still Repeating Corsi's Bogus Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 23 WorldNetDaily article repeats Jerome Corsi's claims that Barack Obama "raised almost $1 million" for Kenya's Raila Odinga, despite the fact that, as we detailed, the document Corsi offers as the only evidence to support the claim is clearly fake.

Neither WND nor Corsi have responded to ConWebWatch's debunking of Corsi's documents; they have neither retracted the articles nor offered further evidence to support their claims.

In noting that Corsi "has been dispatched to Hawaii to uncover the truth of the senator's Hawaiian birth," the article fails to mention that two months ago, "a WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic."

Why is WorldNetDaily lying to its readers?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 24, 2008 10:53 AM EDT
WND Again Forgets It Discredited Philip Berg
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Another WorldNetDaily article promotes the lawsuit filed by Philip J. Berg against Barack Obama regarding Obama's birth certificate while failing to mention that two months earlier, WND declared that Berg's lawsuit "relies on discredited claims" and that a "WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic."

Will no one free WND from its amnesia?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:52 AM EDT
Will Bozell Apologize to CNN for Assuming Malicious Intent?
Topic: Media Research Center

As we detailed, the fluff-laden interview of Sarah Palin by CNN's Drew Griffin was not fluffy enough for Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center. Taking issue with Griffin's taking a National Review article out of context, Bozell unleashed a tirade, claiming that Griffin and CNN "are out to destroy Sarah Palin" and accused them of "journalistic malpractice," further demanding an apology.

An Oct. 23 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan details Griffin's response -- that he didn't not intentionally take the National Review article out of context, but that "I wanted to keep the interview moving. So, I got to the heart...of York’s article...which is -- you’re a successful governor. Why aren't you getting that message out, which she answered."

This leaves two questions:

1) Will Bozell and the MRC accept Griffin's explanation?

2) More importantly, will Bozell apologize to Griffin and CNN for presuming malicious, anti-Palin intent for the way Griffin phrased the question? Bozell has been silent about the rest of the interview, which has been described as "McCain-friendly" to the point that Griffin asked few challenging questions and essentially apologized for asking Palin about Troopergate.

If Bozell would like to look a little less thuggish, an apology is in order.

UPDATE: Bozell sort of apologizes, but still finds a way to play the victim:

"To its credit, CNN has gone out of its way to address and clarify the error on two separate occasions. We acknowledge this effort and are confident that the network has given proper gravity to the mischaracterization and taken proactive steps to correct it.

"We also take Drew Griffin and CNN at their word - that this mistake was not intended to mislead viewers to think a conservative magazine had trashed Gov. Palin.  Conservatives have endured hundreds - even thousands - of examples of the media deliberately distorting our words and positions. In this case, there was not a deliberate attempt. 

"As far as the Media Research Center is concerned, this case is closed."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 24, 2008 10:31 AM EDT
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Craige McMillan's Amnesia
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Craige McMillan dedicates his Oct. 23 WorldNetDaily column to promoting Philip Berg's lawsuit over Barack Obama's birth certificate, apparently oblivious -- intentionally or otherwise -- to the fact that his employer declared that Berg's lawsuit " relies on discredited claims."

In addition to smearing Obama supporters as "inbred East Coast fools" and treating baseless speculation as something that is "probably very close to the mark," McMillan channels Hal Lindsey in claiming a conspiracy behind's debunking of the fake-birth-certificate claim:

As for and it's assurances that the short form "certification" of birth is real, that organization is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Obama's former sugar daddy, the Annenberg Foundation. Come to think of it, isn't the Annenberg Foundation the same organization that unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers used to "spread the wealth around"?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:00 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:30 PM EDT
NewsBusters on Palin's $150,000 Wardrobe: Dismiss, Attack
Topic: NewsBusters

The boys at NewsBusters are eager to change the subject away from Sarah Palin's $150,000 wardrobe -- at least, when they're not attacking anyone who brings it up.

Kyle Drennen tried to do the former: "What exactly is the difference between Sarah Palin getting her clothes at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and Obama getting his clothes at Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale’s?" Well, Obama didn't have the DNC pay for his clothes, and there's no evidence he's spending $150,000 a month on them.

Matthew Balan chose the latter route, declaring that CNN's Jack Cafferty was suffering from "Palin Derangement Syndrome" after he brought it up: "Jack, you’ve had a tough time recently, between your wife’s recent death and the unscheduled surgery. Isn’t about time that you just let the subject of Sarah Palin go?"

And Brent Baker sniffed that it's all "another media-generated controversy."

By contrast, here are the search results on NewsBusters for "john edwards haircut." No concern that we could find about it being a "media-generated controversy."

UPDATE: Clay Waters added that the New York Times "compiled an online slide show featuring Palin in various outfits, with photos accompanied by catty commentary." By contrast, Waters happily pointed out that Times columnist Maureen Dowd "grabbed hold of Edwards' hair and yanked on it" in a 2007 column.

Waters then went the distraction route: "Also at NRO, Lisa Schiffren explains why this was money well spent for the GOP."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:09 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:26 PM EDT
WND's Sanchez Misleads on Military Poll
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 23 WorldNetDaily column by Matt Sanchez touted a Military Times poll that, in Sanchez's words, "showed John McCain defeating Barack Obama by 68 percent to 23, if the members of the United States military were electing the next president. That's nearly a 3-to-1 gap." Sanchez didn't tell his readers about the flaws in the poll.

Military Times stated that the poll was "a voluntary survey of 4,293 active-duty, National Guard and reserve subscribers and former subscribers to Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times," adding:

The results of the Military Times 2008 Election Poll are not representative of the opinions of the military as a whole. The group surveyed is older, more senior in rank and less ethnically diverse than the overall armed services.

Military Times further stated:

McCain’s majority wanes among women and disappears altogether among black respondents.

Nearly eight out of 10 black service members indicated they intend to vote for Obama despite his lack of military service and despite McCain’s record as a naval aviator and prisoner of war in Vietnam.

In other words, it's not a reliable, scientifically conducted poll. Sanchez shouldn't pretend it is.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 PM EDT
Newsmax Flip-Flops on Obama Birth Certificate
Topic: Newsmax

A couple days ago, we detailed how Newsmax's Lowell Ponte bought into the lie that Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake, ignoring the evidence -- even by his fellow right-wingers at WorldNetDaily -- that it's real.

Newsmax seems to have had a change of heart. An Oct. 22 article by David Patten attacking Obama for being the "most secretive Democratic presidential candidate ever" also, in a stab at balance, cited examples in which "the Obama campaign has offered to provide additional information to reporters if they have specific questions or issues," one of them being ... the birth certificate:

When Internet rumors began to fly that perhaps Obama was born outside the United States, for example, the campaign released images of a birth certificate that verified his birthplace as Honolulu, Hawaii. When that led to suggestions the birth certificate had been altered, the campaign again responded, allowing reporters to examine the actual birth certificate, complete with raised seal. (In late July, according to, a researcher uncovered an announcement of Obama’s birth in the August 13, 1961 edition of the Honolulu Advertiser). 

Patten might want to send an email to Ponte or something to alert him of this stunning news ... that everyone else but Ponte knows. 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 PM EDT
Is WND Taking Blinders Off About Purported Michelle Obama Tape?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Is WorldNetDaily conceding it chose to be suckered by African Press International?

An Oct. 22 article by Bob Unruh strikes a skeptical tone for the first time at WND about API's claim that it has an auditotape of an interview it claims it conducted with Michelle Obama, highlighting Fox News' denial that it was negotiating with API for the "embarrassing recordings." Unruh even calls it an "alleged conversation" and refers to "purported 'Michelle Obama tapes.'"

That's a change from WND's previous reporting on the issue, which uncritically took API at its word despite obvious red flags about its credibility. WND has a history of believing the worst about Obama and presenting it as fact, then not retracting and apologizing when it turns out to be false. But that's what happens when you put a political agenda before journalism.

The blinders aren't completely off, though -- Unruh notes that API's alleged lawyer, attorney, Philip Berg, is "coincidentally pursuing a court challenge over Barack Obama's birthplace" but fails to mention that WND previously delcared that Berg's lawsuit "relies on discredited claims." (WND has an amnesia problem about that.)

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 23, 2008 9:33 AM EDT
New Article: When Criticism Becomes Campaigning
Topic: Accuracy in Media
In two new projects, Accuracy in Media confuses shilling for John McCain with exposing "liberal media bias." Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 AM EDT
Corsi's Memogate: Will He Retract His Articles?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've documented, WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi made several claims regarding Barack Obama's relationship with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga using clearly fake documents as the only disclosed evidence to support them.

Corsi has so far been silent, refusing to either defend his claims or retract them due to the discredited evidence; he has hinted at a "fake but accurate" defense, claiming that criticism of his documents didn't counter the "substantive point" of his accusations. Actually, it does if there's no other evidence -- which, if it exists, Corsi has yet to present to his readers.

Corsi is in a corner here. Will he supply non-fake evidence, or retract his claims altogether? The world is waiting.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If Bill Clinton was the first black president, Barack Obama, if elected, will be the first "gay" president. No, I don't mean he'll personally decorate the West Wing, open a bathhouse in the Rose Garden or take up with Barney Frank. I mean he'll be the most radically pro-homosexual, anti-family president in history.

-- Matt Barber, Oct. 22 WorldNetDaily column

UPDATE: publishes Barber's derangement as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 24, 2008 9:20 AM EDT
Softball CNN Interview of Palin Not Fluffy Enough for MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

George Zornick at Altercation detailed how the softball interview of Sarah Palin by CNN's Drew Griffin was "shameful" in being so "McCain-friendly," burying questions about Troopergate and almost apologizing for asking about it at all, even though there's clear wrongdoing documented on Palin's part.

But it wasn't sycophantic enough for the Media Research Center: One of those softballs took a National Review article out of context. And that's what has Brent Bozell's knickers in a twist. From an Oct. 22 MRC press release:

"CNN ripped the National Review’s Byron York’s quote completely out of context and stood its meaning on its head, all so they could dishonestly bash Gov. Palin with it. This is the lowest form of sub-tabloid journalism. CNN’s distortion simply proves York to be correct: the media are out to destroy Sarah Palin.

"York's quote, properly cited, assails the media for its horrible misrepresentations of Gov. Palin. And CNN reinforces his assessment of their tactics by misrepresenting what he wrote so they could again bash Gov. Palin.

"CNN clearly knows they did something wrong, as evidenced by their removing the question from their online video. But that’s not enough. CNN should immediately correct the record, and apologize to Gov. Palin, Byron York and National Review and their viewers who were again subjected to their special form of journalistic malpractice."

Yeah, CNN is out to get Palin all right, what with those harsh, biased questions from Griffin, like:

  • "You seemed to be very much on your game. You get huge crowds. Even bigger crowds than John McCain. Why is that?"
  • "[T]wo months ago, it was all about who you were, where you were from and Wasilla, Alaska. I think, now it's just the economy. And you are the only person in this race with executive experience, who's taken over governments as mayor and governor. What will you do, day one, to tell the American people, things are changing for the better?"
  • "Governor, is Barack Obama a socialist?"
  • "Do you think his intention though, if not a socialist, is to move away from capitalism, true capitalism?"
  • "But they were talking about the fact that your experience as governor is not getting out. Do you feel trapped in this campaign, that your message is not getting out, and if so who do you blame?"

The man's a liberal media buzzsaw, that Drew Griffin.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:36 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 7:28 PM EDT

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