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Wednesday, March 25, 2009
NewsBusters Tunnel Vision Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters just can't stop echoing its parent organization's tunnel-vision interpretation of the state of the newspaper industry. The latest participant is Stephen Gutowski, who complains about an Associated Press article in a March 25 post:

Not surprisingly the AP skips over an important factor in these papers' collective downfall. That factor being their obvious, undeniable, and (thanks to NewsBusters) well documented liberal bias. While it is certainly true that old media's failure to quickly adapt to a new media world has been one of the main causes of their struggle it is equally true that their utter lack of professionalism and objectivity has played a key role as well.

Gutowski offers no evidence to back up his claim that purported "liberal bias" -- NewsBusters' documentation of which is almost exclusively anecdotal -- "has played a key role" in the downfall of newspapers, let alone a role equal to that of "failure to quickly adapt to a new media world" (which Gutowski at least gets credit for mentioning, unlike his fellow MRC employees).

Posted by Terry K. at 6:41 PM EDT
Examiner Misleads Again on Obama, Defense Spending
Topic: Washington Examiner

A March 25 Washington Examiner editorial asserts that President Obama "intends to slash defense spending 8.2 percent below the level planned under President George W. Bush."

As we noted the last time the Examiner misled about  defense spending, Obama's planned budget is $14 billion higher than the current one, which undercuts the Examiner's assertion that Obama is doing "defense-on-the-cheap." The "plan" that Obama is purportedly "slashing" was, in fact, only a preliminary budget request. Does the Examiner really think that the Defense Department should get everything it asks for without question?

The Examiner also falsely asserts that Obama is "severely cutting American defense forces." In fact, Obama claimed during the campaign that he wants to increase the size of both the Army and the Marines.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:58 AM EDT
Meghan McCain Gets Heathered
Topic: NewsBusters

Rowr! P.J. Gladnick unleashes a big ol' fit of Heathering at Meghan McCain in a March 24 NewsBusters post:

A quick listen to Ms McCain's voice on this video clip of her appearance on CNN's Larry King Live last night brought back memories of the years your humble correspondent spent in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, birthplace of the Valley Girl accent which, unfortunately, spread to many parts of the country. That Valspeak accent still painfully reverberates in my ears yet despite my earnest hope that it would die a permanent death, along comes Meghan McCain to resurrect that annoying sound in interview after interview in her quest for eternal publicity for herself.

So how does someone who sounds so annoyingly vacuous rate so much publicity?


The interview drones on but at this point your humble correspondent is suffering from too many vapid Valley Girl flashbacks to continue.  However, I leave with one piece of advice for Meghan McCain and her quest for fame way beyond her alloted 15 minutes. She should visit Kat Von D on LA Ink for an in-depth discussion on her important tattoo decision. A show like that would be a perfect fit for her and would be like totally rad, if not awesomely tubular.

Gladnick's cattiness is only because, like Gladnick's previous Heathering victims, Meghan McCain refused to strictly toe Gladnick's line of right-wing dogma.

Gladnick also asserts: "For the record, Laura Ingraham never actually called Meghan McCain fat." Only technically true; actually, Ingraham mocked McCain as a "plus-sized model."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:19 AM EDT
WND Embraces Baseless Racism Charge
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily regularly rails against what it sees as the invocation of accusations of racism by liberals. Joseph Farah, for example, recently complained that "Jackie Mason is being accused of racism because he referred to Barack Obama as a 'schwartza'" (but refusing to explain the historic context of the word as a epithet), adding that it was a sign that "some people – and I include Barack Obama's inner circle in this group – want to end dissent in this country." And David Kupelian asserted just two weeks ago that "Racism is largely a manufactured crisis in America today," invoked only by "long-time professional race-baiters who thrive on stirring up racial suspicions and hatreds" like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who have "thrived for decades on literally creating the perception of racism where none existed – for their own benefit."

Funny, because "creating the perception of racism where none existed" is exactly what WND reporter Chelsea Schilling is doing.

In a March 23 WND article, Schilling uncritically repeats allegations by the wife of an anti-abortion protester that her husband is being "targeted because he's a black man who dared to take a stand against race-based abortion":

While white pro-lifers have protested there for more than a decade, Lori [Hoye] said Walter's presence quickly became a problem for the clinic – because of his skin color.

"In the 90 minutes we were out there, 25 women went into that clinic and 23 of them were black," she said. "It's about keeping a black face off the sidewalk so the clinic can continue to target black people and not have any interference."

When WND contacted the clinic to ask if it had targeted Walter because he is a black man with a pro-life message, the operator quickly transferred the call, and a representative did not return messages.

Schilling offers no evidence whatsoever to back up Lori Hoye's assertions. That's bad, lazy, biased reporting -- the kind Schilling regularly engages in. Nor does Schilling bother to offer another view of hurling racism accusations either from her WND bosses (Farah, Kupelian) or others, such as Palm Beach Post blogger Rhonda Swan:

Isn’t there enough real discrimination, prejudice and racism in the world without making it up?


Can we get real here? What’s at stake is their credibility. If the National Black Pro-Life Union, Issues4Life and other anti-abortion groups want to make a case against buffer zones and for freedom of speech, making false accusations of racism is hardly the way to do it.

Will Farah and Kupelian hold their own reporter to the standards they hold liberal politicians? Somehow we doubt it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
CNS Labeling Bias (And Bias In General) Watch

A March 24 article by Edwin Mora followed CNS' longtime labeling bias in inaccurately calling President Obama a "pro-abortion president."

Further, Mora quoted numerous people attacking Obama and Notre Dame University (for inviting Obama to speak at its commencement), but it's not until the 45th paragraph of his article that gets around to quoting someone supports Notre Dame's invitation to Obama.

An unbylined March 23 CNS article also inaccurately called Obama "pro-abortion."

UPDATE: A CNS article by Mora dated March 25 (but posted March 24) also inaccurately refers to "pro-abortion President Barack Obama."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:15 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 4:17 PM EDT
Graham: Plan B 'Makes Teenage Sex Easier'
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham asserts in the headline of a March 24 NewsBusters post that "liberals" are "making teenage sex easier" by supporting a ruling ordering the FDA to make the Plan B morning-after pill available to 17-year-old girls.

Huh? The existence of emergency contraception doesn't make sex "easier" for 17-year-olds or anyone else. Indeed, Graham offers no evidence that emergency contraception was a deciding factor for any couple, teen or otherwise, deciding to engage in sexual activity.

Graham tried to alternatively frame things by claiming that "making high doses of contraceptive medicines available to high-school juniors is in part a social decision about child sexual activity without parental consent." But that doesn't explain his headline's contention that Plan B "mak[es] teenage sex easier."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 PM EDT
New Article: Evasive Answers to Simple Questions
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Why is WorldNetDaily trying to pretend it never reported that Obama's birth certificate is authentic? Is WND bankrolling Orly Taitz's stunts and lawsuits? Who has signed WND's anti-Obama petition? Answers, when given at all, are false or misleading. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EDT
Wheeler Falsely Claims Obama Supports Hamas
Topic: Newsmax

Scott Wheeler writes in a March 23 Newsmax column:

The terrorist group Hamas endorsed Obama before the election, but instead of feeling suckered like many Americans who voted for him, they are seeing results. An AFP report quotes Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal praising what he calls Obama’s “new lexicon” for describing terrorist’s demands. "The challenge for everyone is that (Obama's new language) is a prelude to a sincere change in U.S. . . . foreign policy," said Meshaal, according to AFP.

By “sincere change” the Hamas leader was referring to the previous U.S. policy in the Middle East stating that we would not support Hamas’ goal of killing all the Jews and taking over Israeli land and turning it into the new Palestine. That is the reason for Hamas’ existence — it is written in Hamas’ charter and has been reiterated constantly since it’s founding in 1988.

Wheeler's claim that Obama supports Hamas is a lie. As even WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein concedes in his desperate attempts to link Obama to Hamas by uncritically repeating unverified claims by terrorists (as Wheeler is doing), "there is no change in the U.S. policy of isolating Hamas."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT
Monday, March 23, 2009
Topic: NewsBusters
Jamison Foser at County Fair points out the general cluelessness of Warner Todd Huston, who complained in a March 22 NewsBusters post that the San Francisco Chronicle covered an anti-war protest in San Francisco but not a right-wing "tea party" protest in ... Ohio. Huston also couldn't decide on the size of the Ohio protest, alternately calling it "massive," "no bigger (and arguably smaller)"and "likely bigger" than the San Francisco protest.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EDT
Sheppard Defends Context of Killer's Confession
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard, in a March 21 NewsBusters post, comes to a bizarre defense of  Jim David Adkisson, the man who shot and killed two people in a Tennessee church last July. Trying to rebut Keith Olbermann's statement that "The guy who walked into the church in Tennessee said in his statement to the police that he did this because he could not shoot the liberals who were on the list from Bernie Goldberg," as listed in his book "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America." Sheppard tried to claim that Olbermann was taking Adkisson out of context. But the purported context of Adkisson's motivation doesn't change the fact that Adkisson did, in fact, say:

Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate + House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the Mainstream Media. But I knew these people were inaccessible to me. I couldn't get to the generals + high ranking officers of the Marxist Movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickens**t liberals that vote in these traitorous people.

Sheppard doesn't explain how Adkisson's full confession or his claim that "I've chosen to skip the bad years of poverty" makes's Olbermann's claim, in Sheppard's words, "utter, total nonsense."

Sheppard also falsely claimed that Bill Maher made an "expression of regret that the March 2007 assassination of Vice President Dick Cheney failed."

In fact, as we noted the last time Sheppard falsely portrayed Maher's remarks, that's not what Maher said; he said: "I'm just saying that if he did die -- other people -- more people would live."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
Another Anti-HuffPo Rant from Tim Graham
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham still hates the Huffington Post. In a March 21 NewsBusters post, he denigrates it as a home for "rabid left-wing celebrity hate speech" and "slash-and-burn rhetoric from millionaire Hollywood leftists."

In fact, there are no fewer than six posts at HuffPo, including from "millionaire Hollywood leftists" Ben Stiller and Alec Baldwin, respectfully mourning the death of liberal-turned-conservative actor Ron Silver.

Responding to a claim that HuffPo "publishes consistently thoughtful commentary," Graham responds: "For rebuttal, see our Special Report on 'Huffington's House of Horrors.'" As we've detailed, in his report, Graham cherry-picked just 19 posts out of the tens of thousands made on HuffPo over the two years prior to his report and baselessly extrapolates it to claim "These blogs may not be typical, but they are common." 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 AM EDT
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Noel Sheppard Shocked-By-The-Unshocking Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

Mark March 21, 2009, as the day pigs flew and hell froze over: the shamelessly liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman actually criticized the Obama administration.

-- Noel Sheppard, March 21 NewsBusters post.

Sheppard -- who is prone to such baseless exclamations -- assumes that Krugman is an ideologue like himself, which he is not. It would be much more shocking for Sheppard (or anyone else at NewsBusters, for that matter) to criticize a conservative for a reason other than not being conservative enough.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:35 PM EDT
MRC Defends Joe the Plumber's 'Horny' Remark
Topic: NewsBusters

It's not often you see the Media Research Center defending the right for someone to delcare himself "horny" -- especially since MRC honcho Brent Bozell just wrote a column criticizing the mocking of "purity rings and abstain[ing] from sex until marriage" -- but that's just what the MRC is doing.

During the MRC's Gala and DisHonors Awards, Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurtzelbacher "accepted" the "award" given to Chris Matthews by saying, "God, all this love and everything in the room - I'm horny."  But reports on that, the MRC insists, were taking Wurtzelbacher's remark out of context. Ken Shepherd writes:

Granted, while it may have been a bit crass of a punchline, the remark came in the context of a night filled with many a ribald double entendre about the near-orgasmic delight the media has over President Obama.

Wurzelbacher's off-the-cuff comments were not scripted and he insisted that he is generally a very "serious" person, adding "that's about all the jokes I got, really" after joking that if the "[mainstream media] loved me anymore, I'd be in jail right now."

Of course, Akers didn't make note of those comments, instead saying he "mumbled a few other things about being the 'token redneck' and the media loving him, and then sat back down in a sea of conservative luminaries."

Brent Baker adds, regarding Keith Olbermann's singling out of the remark:

Of course, Olbermann preferred his homosexual innuendo to any context. Wurzelbacher was on stage to accept, standing in for ABC's Bill Weir, “The Obamagasm Award.” Weir won for ruminating over how “even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity” at Obama's inauguration. Before that award, Olbermann's colleague, Chris Matthews, earned the “The Media Messiah Award” for boasting Obama gave him a “thrill going up my leg.” So Wurzelbacher's quip came after six nominee videos (three in each category) of journalists oozing over Obama.

So, really, aside from Matthews' remark, it was conservatives and MRC staffers who instigated the sexual metaphors, not Olbermann or anyone else. Thus, it should be no surprise that Wurtzelbacher felt comfortable enough in such an atmosphere to make his remark. The MRC is just upset that it's being reported at all.

On a related subject, Baker offers an incredibly lame retort to Olbermann's criticism of Brit Hume, who received the MRC's William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence and thanked it "for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report. I don't know what we would have done without them." Baker writes:

As if Olbermann doesn't graze a “buffet of daily talking points” from an “ultra-liberal media site.” The headline over a post earlier in the day on Media Matters' “County Fair” blog: “Accepting Buckley award, Fox's Hume thanked Media Research Center 'for the tremendous amount of material' they 'provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report.'” Unlike Olbermann, however, Hume almost always credited the MRC so viewers were informed of his source.

But how many of those citingsfully described the MRC and a right-wing activist organization? Given Fox News' longtime refusal to identify the MRC's ideology when its representatives appear on the channel, we suspect very few, if any.

Further, Hume and Fox News portrayed him and his "Special Report" as a straight news show, which MSNBC has never really done with Olbermann's "Countdown."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:22 AM EDT
Saturday, March 21, 2009
WND Adds Supreme Court to Obama Birth Certificate Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's fraudulent coverage of the Obama birth certificate non-controversy expands its scope by adding the Supreme Court to the conspiracy.

A March 21 WND article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeats lawsuit-happy birth certificate obsessive Orly Taitz's accusations that the only possible reason the Supreme Court has refused to take up the case is because of tampering:

But she wonders whether the justices actually were given the pleadings to review.

"I believe … that there was tampering with documents and records by employees of the Supreme Court and the justices never saw those briefs," she alleges in a letter to the FBI's Robert Mueller, the Secret Service's Mark Sullivan and Attorney General Eric Holder.

"Three hundred five million American citizens … need to know whether a foreign national is usurping the position of the president and the commander in chief," she wrote.


Taitz said she's also concerned that the Supreme Court docket was somehow modified.

"Did somebody from outside break and enter into the computer system of the Supreme Court or was it done by one of the overzealous employees who wanted to keep Obama in the White House?" she asked.

"I demand to see the printout of entries of both internal docket seen by justices and the external docket seen by the public to verify if those were identical at all times, particularly between January 20th and January 23rd," she said.

She also raised the possibility that justices' signatures may have been "stamped" on documentation.

Unruh presents no critique of Taitz's conspiracy, nor does he offer up the possibility that the reason the court hasn't taken up the case is because there's no merit to it (which WND pretends it didn't tell readers last August) and it's being promoted by Obama-haters with an axe to grind.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 PM EDT
Congresswoman Moy?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Melanie Morgan's March 20 WorldNetDaily column is an attempt to get her "best friend," Catherine Moy, to run for a vacant U.S. House seat. Morgan calls Moy "a journalist by trade."

Actually, "right-wing hack" is much closer to the truth.

As we've detailed, Moy has quite a history of acting as a partisan automaton. Most notoriously, Moy uncritically regurgitated the claims of crazy person Andy Martin in a lawsuit against Media Matters (and me) for calling him anti-Semitic. Moy has yet to correct the false and misleading claims she has made, nor has she ever updated her reporting to note that Martin's lawsuit was laughed out of court, due in part to his lengthy history of filing nuisance lawsuits (not to mention that there is ample evidence to support the claim that Martin is anti-Semitic). Such hackery made Moy a contender for our Slantie Awards last year.

Moy is, quite simply, a dishonest reporter. While dishonesty doesn't necessarily disqualify her from a career in politics (indeed, she's gotten herself appointed to a city council seat in Fairfield, Calif., though she has yet to run in an election), that's probably not the motivation Morgan wants people to know about.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 AM EDT

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