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Sunday, December 14, 2008
Dueling ConWeb Cruises
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily isn't the only ConWeb outlet who's peddling a cruise for its readers to buy.

For the second year in a row, WND is offering a Caribbean cruise; it claims it "has managed to put together an absolutely memorable, first-class Western Caribbean cruise, and yet charge half the cost of some cruises currently being promoted by similar organizations."

Featured guests on the WND cruise include Joseph Farah, Jerome Corsi, Aaron Klein and David Kupelian -- which might explain why WND had to cut the price to get people to join.

This is the cruise Farah has previously promoted as an opportunity to "plot the counterrevolution," adding that the idea "might be considered seditious after Jan. 20." Farah also claims: "And there's nothing like getting together with people who share your dread to kick around ideas not just about survival, but about fighting back, about overcoming, about victory." Yeah, nothing says "counterrevolution" like a Caribbean cruise. Rather Brooks Brothers riot-ish, actually.

Newsmax, meanwhile, has its own cruise from Rome to London planned to mark the website's 10th anniversary. Featured guests include Christopher Ruddy, Dick Morris, Ronald Kessler, and Dr. Russell Blaylock. Ruddy states:

Our meetings will be “off the record”— letting experts and insiders tell you what is really going on in the media, Washington, healthcare, Wall Street, and more.

We’ll discuss the hottest political issues facing the country in this post-election period, the most profitable opportunities in financial markets today, and life-enhancing strategies for greater health and longevity.

You will have one-on-one face time with me and our experts and celebrity friends. Plus, have all your questions answered by our distinguished faculty.

Isn't the whole "off the record" thing a bit odd for something that claims to be a journalistic website? And since when did Ruddy and Morris, et al, become "faculty"?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 AM EST
FrontPageMag Falsely Impugns AP Photographer
Topic: Horowitz

The case of Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein was a cause celebre among right-wingers a couple years ago. Some of them still haven't gotten over it.

One of them is David Paulin, who uses a Dec. 12 FrontPageMag article (which also appears at American Thinker and his own blog) to express dismay that Hussein was given an International Press Freedom Award after spending two years detained by the U.S. military in Iraq without ever being charged.In the process, Paulin repeats unsubstantiated claims about Hussein.

Paulin asserted that Hussein "hobnobbed easily with pro-Saddam loyalists and al-Qaida terrorists," which purportedly gave him "the uncanny ability to show up just as an attack occurred." No evidence is offered to support the claim. Paulin added that "To some, Hussein's photos raised troubling questions about the AP's hiring practices and objectivity." Paulin does not say who "some" are.

Paulin added:

But anti-war liberals and media elites saw things differently. Hussein was a dedicated photojournalist doing his job – getting all sides of a story – only to be unjustly imprisoned without formal charges. One AP lawyer, apparently unaware Iraq was not a peaceful democracy but at war, even complained that Hussein was being denied “due process.”

It was a common complaint among liberals: Hussein had been denied “due process.” 

Paulin does not mention why "due process" was a "common complaint": Hussein was never charged with a crime during his time in custody. Nor does Paulin explain why he apparently believes Hussein should have been denied "due process" and why he thinks it's acceptable to imprison a journalist without charges for two years.

Paulin also writes: "After two years in prison, he escaped the possibility of a criminal trial when he was freed under a general amnesty that took effect seven months ago." That's misleading; according to Hussein's attorney, Scott Horton: "When we say 'amnesty,' it’s usually an executive act. This was a judicial amnesty based on a review of the complete court record."

Horton also stated:

An Iraqi Judicial Commission reviewing his case took ten days to reach a conclusion: No basis existed for the terrorism-related charges which had been brought against him. The conclusion was a sweeping repudiation of accusations U.S. military figures have brought against him, backed by no evidence, but by a handful of strangely motivated American wingnut bloggers.

Paulin then snarked:

Hussein, during his live comments, also noted that Iraq was one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists. He was certainly right about that. More than 180 Iraqi journalists and media workers have died during the war – many targeted for asking too many questions or simply because they worked for Western news organizations. Obviously, none worked in the risk-free environment that Hussein did.

Again, Paulin offers no evidence that Hussein faced no risks in his photography, or that his relationship to terrorists is any more chummy that that of, say, Aaron Klein (whom we don't see Paulin ranting about).

Oddly enough, Paulin claims to be a journalist. You wouldn't know it from this little factually deficient attack.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EST
Saturday, December 13, 2008
NewsBusters Misleads on WaPo Article on Obama, Blago
Topic: NewsBusters

A Dec. 12 NewsBusters post by Michael M. Bates objects to the premise of a Washington Post article, as stated by its headline: "Obama Worked to Distance Self From Blagojevich Early On." Bates counters that "Obama - far from distancing himself early on - played a key role in electing the now disgraced governor," falsely suggesting that the Post didn't report in detail on the history between Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich.

In fact, the Post article did give a substantive account of their shared history, including the fact that Obama worked on Blagojevich's 2002 campaign:

Even though they often occupied the same political space -- two young lawyers in Chicago, two power brokers in Springfield, two ambitious men who coveted the presidency -- Obama and Blagojevich never warmed to each other, Illinois politicians said. They sometimes used each other to propel their own careers but privately acted like rivals. Blagojevich considered Obama naive and pretentious and dismissed his success as "good luck." Obama disparaged Blagojevich for what he viewed as his combativeness, his disorganization and his habit of arriving at official events half an hour late.


About all Blagojevich and Obama shared was searing ambition, which is what occasionally brought them together. Obama recognized that a Democratic governor could help him pass legislation and build his résumé in anticipation of a U.S. Senate run, so he helped Blagojevich's campaign as an informal adviser. Once Blagojevich was elected, he and Obama formed an awkward, arranged marriage: Obama passed a steady succession of legislation and built his reputation as a power player in Springfield; Blagojevich signed the bills and took the center seat at celebratory news conferences.

Now, why wouldn't Bates acknowledge this simple fact? Perhaps because he wouldn't have an item otherwise.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 AM EST
Your Bob Unruh Bad Journalism Alert
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah likes to tout his WorldNetDaily reporter Bob Unruh as "a 30-year veteran of the Associated Press." That overlooks the fact that his WND work would never pass muster if he had turned it in to the AP, as we've detailed.

Case in point: We've repeatedly debunked WND's assertion that Barack Obama, in a 2001 radio interview, said that the Constitution is "flawed in that it does not mandate or allow for redistribution of wealth" and that the Supreme Court's failure to address "redistributive change" is a failure of that court. In fact, Obama never said either thing.

Yet, what do we find in a Dec. 12 article by Unruh?

Obama said in a 2001 radio interview the Constitution is flawed in that it does not mandate or allow for redistribution of wealth.

Obama told Chicago's public station WBEZ-FM that "redistributive change" is needed, pointing to what he regarded as a failure of the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren in its rulings on civil rights issues in the 1960s.

The Warren court, he said, failed to "break free from the essential constraints" in the U.S. Constitution and launch a major redistribution of wealth.

Unruh merely copied and pasted this false assertion from the October WND article where it was first made.

It is false. Unruh knows (or ought to) that it is false. Yet there it is, in an article under his name.

That Unruh permits this to happen, or does it himself, demonstrates that he learned nothing in those 30 years at the AP that his boss loves to tout as evidence of his credibility. As long as Unruh continues to peddle such falsehoods, he has no credibility.

And as long as it continues to repeat such easily debunked falsehoods without bothering to correct the record, neither does WorldNetDaily.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EST
Friday, December 12, 2008
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew notes that Hal Lindsey's Dec. 12 WorldNetDaily column informs us that belief in global warming is a sign of the End Times.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:39 PM EST
Examiner Misleads on Clinton, Travel Office
Topic: Washington Examiner

Conservatives just can't let go of the Clinton Travel Office non-scandal.

In an effort to claim that a quick confirmation of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state would be a"gross dereliction of duty," a Dec. 12 Washington Examiner editorial states: "And let’s not forget that she was cited by the Independent Counsel for giving false testimony in her role as First Lady in the infamous White House travel office firings."

But it's the Examiner that has forgotten a few important things. As we've detailed, independent counsel Robert Ray also stated:

The evidence, however, is insufficient to show that Mrs. Clinton knowingly intended to influence the Travel Office decision or was aware that she had such influence at this early stage of the Administration. To a real degree, her interest in the matter was first generated by [Harry] Thomason's intervention, and then overstated by him to others. Thus, absent persuasive, corroborated, and admissible evidence to the contrary, there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mrs. Clinton's statements to this Office or to Congress were knowingly false.
Further, the Examiner fails to note another important conclusion of Ray's report: "The decision to fire the Travel Office employees was a lawful one. The Travel Office employees served at the pleasure of President Bill Clinton, and they were subject to discharge without cause."

Can't the Examiner invent some new Clinton non-scandals to repeat ad nauseam?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 PM EST
Shocker: Kessler Defends -- And Praises! -- Obama
Topic: Newsmax

After his months-long smear campaign during the presidential race, the last thing we thought we'd see was Newsmax's Ronald Kessler coming to Barack Obama's defense -- and even praising the guy. But Kessler has done just that, albeit in something of a backhanded way.

In a Dec. 8 column, Kessler shoots down the conspiratorial assertion from the likes of WorldNetDaily that Obama is not a native-born American:

For months, I have been bombarded by e-mails claiming Barack Obama was born in Kenya and therefore does not meet the constitutional requirements to be president. I have also received hundreds of e-mails from readers asking why I do not expose the truth about his birth.

The truth is that Obama was born in Hawaii.

Kessler adds regarding lawsuits on the issue from folks like Philip Berg:

If there were any basis for Berg’s claims, one would think that the John McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee would have supported the lawsuit or at least blasted out e-mails touting the case. In fact, a McCain campaign aide told me that McCain campaign lawyers had looked into the allegations about Obama’s birth and found them to be bogus.

You would also think that Berg would be happy to be interviewed about the case by a journalist like me. But although he agreed to an interview at the conservative dinner, he has since failed to respond to my voicemails and e-mails asking for him to call.

Instead, Berg has stayed within the comfy confines of WND and right-wing readio for his interviews, where he knows he won't face any tough -- or even mildly skeptical -- questions. 

Of course, that's just common sense. The real shocker is Kessler's Dec. 11 column, in which he states that "Barack Obama is getting high marks from the intelligence community for the way he responds to daily intelligence briefings." He adds:

"Obama is a quick study," says one intelligence official. "He absorbs a lot of information, digests it, and asks strategic questions."

"He has a way of being reflective about what we give him," says another intelligence official.

This appears to contradict Kessler's own pre-election assertions, in which he promoted claims (albeit by someone whom Kessler fails to identify as a McCain campaign official) that Obama's election "will endanger the country by making us more vulnerable to terrorist attacks."

On the other hand, Kessler manages to work in his love of waterboarding once more:

At the same time, intelligence officials are troubled by the fact that Obama decided against appointing John Brennan, a deputy to former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, to be director of the CIA because Brennan served at the agency when it supposedly used torture as an interrogation technique.

The news that Brennan was Obama’s leading candidate provoked an outcry from left-leaning Obama supporters. In fact, the CIA does not believe outright torture produces reliable results and has never used it. Frightening prisoners with waterboarding is another matter. The technique was used on three terrorists, including Abu Zubaydah, Osama bin Laden’s field commander or chief of operations, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 plot.

In both cases, these and other coercive techniques — like subjecting prisoners to frigid temperatures or forcing them to stand for hours — have worked and have led to a takedown of other key al-Qaida operatives when they were planning more attacks that could have killed tens of thousands of Americans.

In fact, as we noted the last time Kessler made this claim, the waterboarding of Zubaydah reportedly produced a stream of statements of such dubious quality, according to journalist Ron Suskind, that intelligence officials now believe any evidence gleaned from Zubaydah to be worthless. Further, waterboarding produced "debatable results" from Mohammed.

Still, Kessler laments: "Since terrorists are now aware that they will not be drowned, the technique has become useless."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 PM EST
Graham's Lame Evidence of David Gregory's Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

In the tradition of its attacks on Katie Couric, the Media Research Center has greeted David Gregory's appointment as host of NBC's "Meet the Press" with dubious claims of liberal bias.

A Dec. 8 "Media Reality Check" by Tim Graham features as its key piece of evidence that Gregory was "an arrogant question-yeller at Bush White House press conferences" the following:

Take this exchange with Scott McClellan on the Plame leak probe on July 11, 2005: “This is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell people watching this that somehow you decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium, or not?...Why are you choosing when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate [to comment]?” McClellan replied: “If you'll let me finish,” but Gregory insisted: “No, you're not finishing! You're not saying anything!”

Graham doesn't bother to tell his reader the context of that conversation. Gregory had earlier noted that, in contrast to McClellan's 2003 statement that Karl Rove had assured McClellan that he was not involved in leaking Valerie Plame's identity to reporters. Rove had in fact done so, and McClellan was evading giving a direct answer about whether he still stood by his 2003 statements.Immediately prior to the "This is ridiculous" statement Graham exerpted, Gregory had asked McClellan:

QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this"?

And immediately after Gregory said, "“No, you're not finishing! You're not saying anything!” the questioning continued:

QUESTION: No, you're not finishing. You're not saying anything.

You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn't he?

McCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

QUESTION: Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?

McCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question.

And later:

QUESTION: After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the president's word that anybody who was involved will be let go?

McCLELLAN: Again, after the investigation is complete, I will be glad to talk about it at that point.

QUESTION: Can you walk us through why, given the fact that Rove's lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk about the involvement of Karl Rove, the deputy chief of staff, here?

McCLELLAN: Well, those overseeing the investigation expressed a preference to us that we not get into commenting on the investigation while it's ongoing. And that was what they requested of the White House. And so I think in order to be helpful to that investigation, we are following their direction.

Rather than expressing arrogance, Gregory was simply pointing out the fact when he accused McClellan of not answering the question at hand. Yet to Graham, to do that is to express liberal bias.

And because there isn't a whole lot of diversity of thought at the MRC, Seton Motley copies-and-pastes Graham's claim in a Dec. 9 Human Events article (reprinted at NewsBusters) as among the purported "examples aplenty" of Graham's liberal bias.

Sadly, this is apparently the best Graham and Motley can come up with.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 AM EST
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Meanwhile ...
Topic: Newsmax

Media Matters points out that Dick Morris, in his Dec. 11 Newsmax column, repeats the discredited claim that Bill Clinton fired all the U.S. attorneys upon taking office in 1993 to cover that he was targeting one specific attorney who was investigation the Whitewater. In fact, that attorney resisted investigating the Whitewater matter in 1992, in defiance of pressure from officials in then-President George H.W. Bush's administration, who was apparently trying to find a way to bash Clinton during the campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EST
Horowitz Debunks Blaming CRA for Crisis, But His Writers Promoted It
Topic: Horowitz

We've previously noted David Horowitz's attempt to talk some sense into conservatives by pointing out the unassailable fact that the Community Reinvestment Act did not cause the current financial crisis. So why did Horowitz's FrontPageMag publish writers who claimed it was?

To be sure, many economists dispute that deregulation is the principal cause of the current crisis. They cite the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, which stipulated that banks had an “affirmative obligation” to make loans to low-income borrowers of dubious creditworthiness; the role of government-sponsored enterprises like Freddie Mac and Fanny May [sic]; and the activist interventions of the Federal Reserve in financial markets as the driving forces of the financial turmoil.

-- Jacob Laksin, Oct. 17 

It was the left - the "liberals" or "progressives" - who led the charge to force lending institutions to lend to people whose credit history made them eligible only for "subprime" loans that were risky for both borrowers and lenders.

It started way back in the Carter administration, with the Community Reinvestment Act, and gained momentum over the years with legal threats from Attorney General Janet Reno and thuggery from ACORN, all to force lenders to lend where third parties wanted them to lend. Now we have a bad stomach ache - and now the left wants to start amputating the market.

-- Thomas Sowell, Nov. 7

Q: Are the subprime credit crisis and the stock market’s swoon and the dollar’s drop in value symptoms of a deeper, larger, broader problem?

A: Well, no, they are simply the problems that they are. The government has brought on the housing problem, partly by these very low interest rates, which encouraged many people to go way out on a limb. They’ve brought it on by highly restrictive building policies, which have caused housing prices to skyrocket artificially. And they’ve brought it on by the Community Reinvestment Act, which presumes that politicians are better able to tell investors where to put their money than the investors themselves are. When you put all that together, you get something like what you have.

-- Interview of Thomas Sowell by Bill Steigerwald, Feb. 4

Meanwhile, Horowitz is still strugging mightily to impose reason on those birth-certificate-obsessed right-wingers:

If this were to come to pass, the principles could not be enforced. In the second place, conservatives need to recognize and accept that they lost the election and it is important for Americans to accept their new president. He may do things, AS PRESIDENT, that will cause them to oppose him, and that is fine. But first they need to accept him as President, because that is the way our constitutional system works. And it is the only way it works.

And judging by the comments, it's going about as well as his previous attempts. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EST
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What does a report about Barack Obama's plans to give a speech in an Islamic capital have to do with an Egyptian Islamic cleric's purported exhortation for Obama to convert to Islam?

Nothing -- except in Aaron Klein's fevered brain. 

In a Dec. 10 WorldNetDaily article, Klein reports on Obama's interest in giving that speech, then adds: "Obama's comments come days after WND reported an Egyptian cleric broadcast on state-funded television a plea urging Obama to convert to Islam while claiming the president-elect has roots in Islam."

Apparently oblivious to the fact that one has nothing to do with the other, Klein spends the next 35 paragraphs rehashing yet again Obama's purported dalliances with Islam as a child, presumably just copied-and-pasted from previous articles.

The stench of Obama-hate emanating from Klein's articles is well nigh suffocating.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, December 13, 2008 1:58 AM EST
Newsmax Flip-Flops on Patrick Fitzgerald
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 10 Newsmax article by David A. Patten claimed that "Barack Obama will face a severe 'trial by fire' over whether to fire U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald and other U.S. attorneys, following Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s arrest Tuesday for allegedly offering to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder," adding that "any move to fire Fitzgerald would be highly controversial as a possible conflict of interest." Patten goes on to note that "That Fitzgerald suddenly sees Republicans lining up to defend him is profoundly ironic, given that both prominent Republicans and Democrats have found themselves in his investigatory crosshairs over the years," adding:

Fitzgerald’s delicious gift for offending the rich and powerful on both sides of America’s partisan divide was never more evident than in the Valerie Plame Wilson case. On the one hand, Republicans were troubled that Fitzgerald decided to prosecute I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, for perjury charges that had little or nothing to do with the concerns that originally triggered the investigation -- namely, that a Bush administration official may have broken the law by leaking the identity of Plame, a CIA operations officer, to columnist Robert Novak. Libby was convicted, but President Bush commuted his sentence in July 2007.

Patten fails to mention that Newsmax has a prominent role in that twist of irony, having felt less than "delicious" about Fitzgerald's prosecution of of the Plame leak.

As we detailed at the time, Newsmax didn't even wait until Fitzgerald's October 2005 indictment of Libby before smearing him as a partisan, nitpicking crony:

  • Newsmax claimed reports that Fitzgerald's charges would focus on "perjury, obstruction of justice and false statement" raise "speculation that the Leakgate case may devolve into a Martha Stewart-like prosecution, which drew howls of derision from legal critics."
  • Newsmax dismissed Fitzgerald as a "longtime crony" of James Comey, the then-deputy attorney general who appointed Fitzgerald to the special counsel post in 2003.
  • Newsmax called Fitzgerald's 22 months of work before issuing the indictment of Libby "small potatoes compared to the results achieved by Independent Counsel Ken Starr's Whitewater probe over the same period of time," adding: "Starr was appointed to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton's involvement in the corrupt land deal on August 4, 1994 - and by that December, his office had already secured a guilty plea from the number two man at the Justice Department, longtime Clinton crony Webster Hubbell." (The Whitewater investigation actually began in January 1994 with the appointment of Robert Fiske.)
  • Newsmax tried to smear Fitzgerald by claiming that "the targets of his investigations into political corruption have been overwhelmingly Republican," and claiming that Fitzgerald indicted more than 60 people in connection with wrongdoing connected to former Illinois Republican Gov. George Ryan, compared with two indicted in a probe of Chicago Democratic Mayor Richard Daley. The next day, Newsmax corrected its numbers, admitting that "it's also true that Fitzgerald has done a better job going after Democrats than media reports we cited yesterday would indicate."
  • Newsmax also raised the issue of Fitzgerald being accused of "prosecutorial misconduct" in an unrelated case, but it's not until the second-to-last paragraph that it's noted that a three-judge panel ruled that Fitzgerald did nothing illegal.

After Fitzgerald issued his indictment, Newsmax followed up by putting words in Fitzgerald's mouth and misstating what he had said about the Plame case to make it appear that he said that Plame was not covert.

Isn't it ironic, doncha think?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 AM EST
More Obama Lies from Jerome Corsi
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 9 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi repeats a claim by a former bank employee that he was fired for objecting to land appraisals regarding the deal in which Barack Obama bought a Chicago house. But Corsi can't even be bothered to get the basic facts correct about it.

Corsi writes:

The transaction involved Obama purchasing a multi-million-dollar home in Chicago's trendy Kenwood neighborhood, across the street from the Rezkos, at a discounted price. On the same day, Rezko's wife purchased a strip of land adjacent to the Obamas for the full asking price then sold it to the Obamas for $300,000 less.

1) It was not a "multi-million-dollar home"; it was listed at $1.95 million, and the Obamas purchased it for $1.65 million.

2) Corsi has apparently never heard of negotiating for a price on a house or even of purchasing a house for less than the listed price, a very common practice in the real estate industry. In fact, the sellers of the house have said they did not cut their asking price because Rezko bought the adjacent lot, and the Obama's offer for the house was the best one received.

3) Rezko's wife did not purchase "a strip of land adjacent to the Obamas for the full asking price then sold it to the Obamas for $300,000 less." Rezko's wife purchased an adjoining lot, then sold a 10-foot-wide strip land, comprising one-sixth of the lot, to the Obamas, who paid one-sixth of what Rezko paid for the full lot.

Is it any wonder that Corsi's anti-Obama book was dismissed as untrustworthy? 

P.S. Corsi still hasn't answered questions about -- let alone retract -- the bogus documents from Kenya he used to falsely smear Obama before the election.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EST
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Gainor Misleads on Unemployment Rates Under Clinton
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Dec. 8 column, the MRC Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor writes:

A year into what we just heard is an official recession, unemployment hit 6.7 percent. That’s the highest for the Bush presidency. At this rate, it will soon get as bad as it was in 1993 – when Bill Clinton was president.
Reporters are leaving out that reality of the “staggering” job losses, as CBS called them. Journalists rarely point out that total unemployment isn’t even as high as it was during Clinton’s term (and when they do, the Clinton name is conspicuously absent.)


The last time unemployment was at this level wasn’t 1974 – it was October 1993 under Clinton. Unemployment peaked at 7.1 percent during the Big Dog’s term. 

What Gainor doesn't tell you: Clinton inherited this high level of unemployment from his predecessor, George H.W. Bush. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that 7.1 percent peak occurred at the beginning of Clinton's presidency, in February, April and May 1993. Nor does Gainor mention what the unemployment rate was in the last full month of Clinton's presidency -- 3.9 percent. 

And yet, Gainor has the chutzpah to complain about how "[j]ournalists manipulate statistics."

Gainor further fails to mention that unemployment was on a largely uninterrupted decline during the eight years of Clinton's presidency, from the aforementioned 7.1 percent to 3.9 percent. 

Gainor goes on to write, "Journalists rarely point out that total unemployment isn’t even as high as it was during Clinton’s term (and when they do, the Clinton name is conspicuously absent.)" But he fails to note that the vast majority of the actual job losses that resulted under his prececessor.

Indeed, George H.W. Bush's name is, to coin a phrase, conspicuously absent from Gainor's article.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:27 PM EST
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

A Dec. 10 appearance by the MRC Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor on Fox News appears to follow the template: Gainor appeared solo, and there's no evidence in the clip posted that Gainor or the MRC were identified as conservative.

A Dec. 9 appearance by the MRC's Seton Motley on "Fox & Friends" similarly follows the template: He appears solo and is not identified as a conservative.

UPDATE: A Dec. 10 appearance on Fox News' "Your World With Neil Cavuto" not only follows the template but also enthusiastically buys into the MRC's talking points of the day about media reports allegedly not identifying Rod Blagojevich as a Democrat.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:15 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 6:25 PM EST

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