Deep Thought Topic: NewsBusters
It's at least a tad ironic that a NewsBusters blogger who thinks Hillary Clinton staged a hostage situation at a campaign office "to make herself look battle-hardened" is complaining about the alleged conspiracy theories of others.
Did Bob Unruh learn anything about proper journalism in those three decades at the Associated Press that his boss, Joseph Farah, loves to tout? As we've documented, it appears not. The latest example of Unruh's lack of journalistic standards is a Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily article that manages to be both egregiously slanted and remarkably ill-informed.
The subject of Unruh's article is the possibility that President Obama will overturn a rule instituted by President Bush in December that allows "doctors, hospitals, and even receptionists and volunteers in medical experiments the right to refuse to participate in medical care they find morally objectionable." Unsurprisingly, Unruh paints this in the most dire terms possible, baselessly claiming that Obama is "attempt to overrule their rights of conscience" and "demand[ing] doctors participate in the abortion industry."
Unruh also quotes critics of the proposed reversal, uncritically advancing their views that overturning the rule would mean "the closure of hospitals and clinics across America and a mass migration of physicians and their assistances to other careers."
This demonstrates Unruh's failure as a journalist. This claim is patently absurd on its face -- the Bush rule has been in effect for only two months, and none of the sources Unruh quotes offers any evidence that doctors and other health professionals have entered the field because of the new ability to withhold, say, birth control on the basis on "conscience."
Indeed, Unruh doesn't even mention birth control -- he doesn't bother to quote any supporters of the reversal, who would have noted that the rule would allow a doctor who opposes birth control to refuse to prescribe contraception to a woman. The only medical issueUnruh mentions is the red-meat issue of abortion, as well as unsupported claims that "Medical students report changing career tracks away from obstetrics for fear of pressure to do abortions."
This article is a biased mess because Unruh doesn't care enough to gather both sides of the story -- and he works for a "news" organization that doesn't care about reporting facts to allow Unruh to get away with it. He, unfortunately is a hack, and Farah allows him to be one -- indeed, pays him to be one.
It's no wonder Unruh doesn't work for the AP anymore -- the biased and poorly reported stories he peddles at WND do not meet AP standards.
WND Hides Truth Behind Roy Moore's Pollster Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 23 WorldNetDaily article reported that "A new survey shows that the leading candidate for governor in Alabama to replace a term-limited GOP Gov. Bob Riley is former state Supreme Court Justice and WND columnist Roy Moore. WND added that the survey was "done over 10,000 homes across Alabama from a database of ccAdvertising." WND offers no other information about the poll or who commssioned it -- or, more importantly, what ccAdvertising is.
As we've previously noted, ccAdvertising is a Republican-linked marketing firm that specializes in push polling, "in which real-sounding questions with ludicrous premises are asked to plant negative ideas in voters' minds."TPM Muckraker has pointed out that ccAdvertising's chief, Gabriel Joseph, once boasted of his firm's ability to "deliver a voter suppression message" to unfriendly voters. He's also not above threatening reporters: "If someone writes something that I don't like, I can make their life—I can make them understand a few things if I choose."
That the poll was done via phone numbers from ccAdvertising's "database" rather than by the normal polling methodology of randomly selected numbers makes this survey even more suspect.
In other words, it's highly likely that this "survey" was commissioned by Moore himself or one of his supporters in order to boost his prospective gubernatorial bid -- though WND has no apparent desire to inform its readers about it.
It would be nice if WND was more interested in reporting the truth -- that is, doing its job as a "news" organization -- instead of promoting one of its employees.
A Feb. 27 NewsBusters post by Jack Coleman criticized MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for allegedly taking Bobby Jindal's post-Obama-speech address out of context by claiming his criticism of governmental failures in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina equaled saying that "government never works." Coleman writes that "Maddow edited the segment to deprive viewers of what Jindal said next." He then repeats what Jindal said next: the story of Sheriff Harry Lee, who "during Katrina ... [w]hen I walked into his makeshift office," was angry over government red tape.
Just one little problem: Jindal's anecdote appears to be mostly made up. As TPM Muckraker details, Jindal's office has now admitted that Jindal was never in Lee's office "during Katrina"; rather, Jindal overheard Lee talking about the episode to someone else by phone "days later."(Though Jindal's people later sorta tried to take that back.)
It seems to have worked out for the best that Maddow "deprived" her viewer of a lie, eh, Jack?
Don Feder brings the editorial non-integrity we've come to count on at his little Accuracy in Media-bankrolled anti-New York Times website -- a site AIM is so proud of that it doesn't even offer a link to it from its front page, even though it still promotes a "What Liberals Say" page that hasn't been updated in months -- to a Feb. 27 FrontPageMag screed purporting to "guide you through the ideological land mines of Lib-Speak." Let's count the ways Feder can't be bothered to get basic facts straight, or to engage in civil discourse:
He repeats the false claims that "ACORN gets $4.2 billion" in the stimulus bill.
He asserts that "$2 billion for a high-speed passenger train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas." In fact, the bill does not name any specific project, and funding would be allocated by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman.
Feder writes of the New Deal: "All of Roosevelt’s stimulus spending (which was a lot for the times) and alphabet agencies, resulted in higher unemployment in 1938 – five years into the New Deal – than in 1933, when he took office." In fact, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1933 unemployment was 24.9 percent; 1938 unemployment was 19.0 percent.
Feder writes: "Unilateralism is embraced by those with a healthy survival instinct. Imagine that unilateralist Franklin Roosevelt declaring war on Japan on December 8, 1941, without the consent of the League of Nations, Vichy France, Tokyo Rose and the German-American Bund." Of course, FDR didn't "declare war on Japan"; he asked the Congress to do so after Pearl Harbor.
Feder is also quick with the insults,calling Ted Kennedy "Ted The Super-Sized Statist" and calling community organizers "urban guerrillas."
If there's anything we can count on from Feder, it's lies and hate.
Farah Still Not Taking Criticism Well Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've just detailed how poorly WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah handles criticism of him and his website. He exhibits all the symptoms again in a Feb. 27 column, in which he takes issue with conservative radio host Michael Medved.
Hurling insults and denigrating the source? Check. Farah calls Medved's radio show "the flagship of Salem Communications, which once tried to buy WND and whose stock is currently trading at around $0.50." Farah also suggests that Medved is on a personal vendetta because WND canceled his column several years ago.
Avoiding details? Check. Farah describes Medved's criticism only in generalities, and at no point does Farah quote a specific claim Medved made (beyond noting that he called WND "WorldNutDaily"). This allows Farah to create straw men for him to knock down.
That's just how Farah rolls. Don't expect him to actually answer legitimate criticism.
Lowell Ponte's Democrat Derangement Syndrome manifests itself again in a Feb. 26 Newsmax column, in which he decides to trash a South Carolina teenager who wrote a letter to President Obama for help in repairing her school and ended up in the audience for Obama's speech to Congress:
This young woman, lionized Tuesday night on worldwide television, did only one thing: She wrote a letter asking national lawmakers to give her and her school goodies paid for by others.
“We are not quitters,” she wrote.
True, but what she has not quit is mooching.
Once upon a time, self-reliant Americans would have patched the school roof and painted its peeling walls themselves.
All this young woman did was ask politicians hundreds of miles away to tax money from others at gunpoint to benefit her.
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein is still hurling guilt-by-association garbage at Chas Freeman, President Obama's apparent pick to head the National Intelligence Council. In a Feb. 25 WorldNetDaily article, Klein claims that Freeman "once peddled a book to U.S. public schools that falsely claims Muslims inhabited North America far before European explorers."
But Klein offers no evidence at Freeman personally "peddled" this book, as he states. Rather, all Klein offers is that the organization Fredman heads, the Middle East Policy Council, once promoted it.
That's not a distinction without a difference -- things are often done in an organization's name that its officials may not have necessarily signed off on. Unless Klein can demonstrate Freeman's personal involvement in "peddling" the textbook, Klein's claim is guilt-by-association at best and, completely false at worst.
Klein also repeats his previous false suggestion of ties between Freeman and Osama bin Laden.
Examiner Can't Stop Lying About ACORN Topic: Washington Examiner
A couple weeks ago, as we noted, the Washington Examiner built a "special report" around the false claim, made by local opinion editor Barbara Hollingsworth, that ACORN was allocated money in the stimulus.
Hollingsworth strikes again in a Feb. 26 Examiner column, falsely asserting once more that ACORN "received billions of tax dollars under Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan."
Once again: ACORN isn't even named in the stimulus bill, let alone allocated money, and ACORN officials have stated that they aren't even eligible for the "billions of tax dollars" it's supposedly getting.
Hollingsworth tries to expand her lie this time around, claiming that La Raza is also receiving "billions of tax dollars" in the stimulus. But she offers no evidence of that, which suggests that this claim is false too. All we could find regarding it is an guilt-by-association assertion by Michelle Malkin that because Citigroup has in the past donated money to La Raza, it's getting stimulus money now.
A Feb. 25 WND article uncritically quotes Philip Berg -- whose lawsuits against Obama demanding that he prove he's a U.S. citizen WND has breathlessly promoted -- calling Obama "an illegal alien" who "should be arrested and deported."
Needless to say, WND fails to mention that it originally debunked Berg's claims about Obama's birth certificate -- including citing "experts" to proclaim that the certificate released by Obama's campaign to be authentic -- before deciding to pretend that it didn't.
New Article: Joseph Farah's Thin Skin Topic: WorldNetDaily
The editor of WorldNetDaily has demonstrated a clear inability to handle criticism, to which he responds by insulting his critics and trying to change the subject. Read more >>
In an interview with the Emory University student newspaper, published Feb. 25 at FrontPageMag, David Horowitz lets a little truth slip out:
How do you feel about being paired in debate with individuals such as Ward Churchill, who you termed “an idiot”? Is it demeaning to be paired with them in debate, as if they’re your equivalent?
Yeah, totally. Believe me, the internet is wonderful and horrible. I know everything that’s said about me thanks to Google. A lot of it is deliberately disrespectful and hateful and is meant to destroy me.
The attacks have been so unprincipled that I have had to create my Center [the David Horowitz Freedom Center] in order to have a platform.
There you have it -- the only reason the Horowitz organization (including FrontPageMag) exists is to promote Horowitz.
WND's Washington: Obama Is A NaziFascist Devil and Mobster Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Ellis Washington has already smeared President Obama as a Nazi and a fascist. What can he do for an encore? Liken Obama to the devil, of course -- with a side smear of mobster. From Washington's Feb. 25 column:
How does the legend of Faust apply to Gov. Jindal's refusal to accept all of the $100 million dollars Obama is offering the state of Louisiana as part of it's share of stimulus package money. President Obama, like the suave, cosmopolitan Mephistopheles, has not only crafted and passed the largest wealth confiscation in the history of the world, but upon closer examination of the 1,000-plus pages of this bloated, complex and convoluted text, the devil is truly in the details.
It's like the wedding scene of "The Godfather," Part I, where Michael Corleone recalled his father (Vito Corleone) doing business through his muscleman, Lou Cabrachi: "Either your signature on this contract, or your brains on this contract." President Barack Corleone's so-called $787 billion economic stimulus package has offered America a deal with the devil.
It's only a month into Obama's presidency, and Washington is running out of insults to hurl. We have to wonder: Does Washington insult the college students he teaches the way he insults the president?
Blumer Doesn't Understand the AP (Or, Really, The Entire Media ) Topic: NewsBusters
A Feb. 25 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer bashes the Associated Press for issuing a story on President Obama's address to Congress, written in past tense, several hours before the speech was given. But Blumer clearly doesn't understand the purpose of such a story.
The AP issues such a advance story for many such addresses, based on an advance copy of the speech. Why? To allow morning newspapers that publish early editions with a publication deadline before the speech is delivered to have a story on the speech. Newspapers with later deadlines would not run this story because it would be updated with reaction to the speech and other details. Since many news websites that publish AP copy are set up to do so automatically, advance stories such as this appear online as well.
Because Blumer doesn't understand what he's criticizing, he chooses to make fun of it, touting its "comic relief."
Blumer has frequently displayed his ignorance of the media he's supposedly criticizing. He has gotten facts wrong, he cluelesslythinks that supposed "liberal bias" is the only possible reason the newspaper industry is in trouble, and he has falsely suggested that President Bush didn't pre-select reporters to take questions from during press conferences while Bashing Obama for doing so.
How does someone who clearly knows so little about the media get to present himself as a media critic? Or is such ignorance a prerequisite for writing at NewsBusters?