Topic: The ConWeb
We wrote this week's Media Matters weekly roundup, with a focus on how Fox News have their noise-machine amps cranked to 11 in fighting health care reform. Yes, Spinal Tap references abound.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Newsmax Still Publishing Geller's Pathological Anti-Obama Screeds
Pamela Geller's column may have returned to Newsmax after a brief, unexplained hiatus, but Newsmax is making no effort to promote it -- they're not getting linked to from the Newsmax front page upon posting, as other columnists do.
Thus, we almost missed Geller's March 17 column, which is yet another anti-Obama screed. This time, it's over the Obama administration's criticism of Israel's announced plan to build more settlements in a disputed area of East Jerusalem. Geller declared that "America is profoundly pro-Israel; yet Barack Obama is taking on our best friend and most strategic ally in the Middle East and creating an environment, a free zone, for rampant anti-Semitism." In case the smear wasn't clear, she added, "Obama has worked hard to make the world a safe place for Jew-haters to run amok."
Meanwhile, on her own website, Geller declared that Obama "holds a pen like an illiterate. Have you seen it? Like a little kid who just learned how to write and he signs a scribble. He makes an O instead of an X. Just sayin."
Geller's hatred of Obama appears to be nothing short of pathological. Yet Newsmax continues to provide space for her screeds. Why?
If anything, that kind of frothing hate indicates she should be a WorldNetDaily columnist.
Smithsonian Exhibit Not Right-Wing Enough for CNS' Starr
Penny Starr builds an entire March 18 CNSNews.com article around the complaint that a new Smithsonian exhibit called "What Does it Mean to Be Human?" -- which examines human origins -- lacks "references to God, creationism, or pre-natal existence." Even worse, in Starr's eyes, the exhibit "says fossils 'provide evidence that modern humans evolved from earlier humans.'"
Starr went on to question the exhibit curator about "why the exhibit does not include any reference to God or address the debate – even in scientific circles – about Darwinian evolution," and why "why an exhibit on human origins does not include any references to human beings as they develop from conception to birth in the womb."
By contrast, when Starr wrote last October about a new documentary created by the right-wing activist group Citizens United "using in the founders’ own words to describe how God played a role in America becoming a nation of religious liberty and tolerance," she merely noted that the film "is not a commentary on the Founding Fathers’ theology or lack thereof" but did not pepper narrator Newt Gingrich or producer David Bossie on why the film avoided addressing secularism among the Founding Fathers. Instead, she uncritically quoted Bossie as asserting that the film provides "an accurate reflection of history" and Gingrich's claim that "It’s a story, which is in many ways, profoundly different than the secular version that is now authorized in the government schools."
UPDATE: Right Wing Watch adds: "What's next, a CNS article complaining that nowhere does the museum mention the fact that the world is only six thousand years old?"
Friday, March 19, 2010
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
-- Robert Ringer, March 19 WorldNetDaily column
-- Alan Keyes, March 19 WorldNetDaily column
-- Caroline Lewis, March 19 WorldNetDaily column
-- Jeff Rayno, March 19 WorldNetDaily "letter of the week"
Shocker: WND Identifies Conservatives As Conservatives
So it's surprising to see a March 17 WND article by Joe Kovacs, which specifically identifies those who claim that "America's system of government based on the U.S. Constitution is being overthrown through illegal legislative 'trickery' Congress is using to pass controversial health-care reform" identified as "on the political right."
Bravo, Joe! Keep up the good work. Too bad it seems to be an aberration.
Unfortunately, Kovacs' co-workers don't understand this simple concept of proper identification. A March 19 WND article by Chelsea Schilling states that "several high-profile groups are calling on millions of Americans to slam Congress with phone calls, e-mails and faxes demanding that lawmakers vote "no" on the health-care bill" without ever identifying those groups -- Liberty Counsel and the American Family Association among them -- as conservative.
MRC Mum on Death of 'Filegate'
Topic: Media Research Center
Last week, a U.S. district judge dismissed what had become known as "Filegate" -- allegations that the Clinton administration deliberately used the FBI to gather information for political reasons, illegally obtaining hundreds of files on people. The Washington Post reported:
Curiously, the Media Research Center has been completely silent about this development -- it hasn't even been mentioned at NewsBusters. Why is it so curious? Because the MRC was a dutiful Clinton-hater and pushed Filegate for years. As Joe Conason points out, MRC chief Brent Bozell was ranting as late as 2007 that Hillary Clinton was "behind" the supposed obtaining of confidential FBI files, which flies in the face of reality, as defined by independent counsel Robert Ray, who determined "there was no substantial and credible evidence that any senior White House official, or First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, was involved in seeking confidential Federal Bureau of Investigation background reports of former White House staff from the administrations of President Bush and President Reagan."
You'd think that Bozell would either be apologizing for his baseless Clinton-hate or ranting that Hillary Clinton was still the villain and 14 years wasn't enough time to examine all the evidence.
Instead, crickets. Perhaps we can interpret that as the closest he'll get to an actual apology.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Newsmax Pushes Obama Smear, Ignores Rest of Story
Newsmax touted a March 17 Jerusalem Post article quoting Hagi Ben-Artzi, the brother-in-law of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu smearing Barack Obama as an "anti-Semitic president." But Newsmax couldn't be bothered to tell readers the rest of the story.
As the Politico reported, Ben-Artzi later appeared on an Israeli TV show, where he was greeted with archival footage bashing Netanyahu himself as a small-time, weak and petty politician.
Seems like Ben-Artzi is the Billy Carter of Israel. But Newsmax doesn't think you need to know that.
Erik Rush Derangement Syndrome
-- Erik Rush, March 18 WorldNetDaily column
Kessler Renews His Man-Crush on Romney
We've previously detailed Ronald Kessler's man-crush on Mitt Romney (and a really creepy crush on Romney's wife), and how Kessler had to make the painful transition from McCain-basher to McCain fluffer after Romney lost the Republican presidential nomination.
Well, Romney has a new book out, and Kessler's man-crush is flaring anew.
In his March 17 Newsmax column, Kessler gives themost positive review possible of Romneys book, claiming that it's "hardly surprising" that it's debuting at the top of the New York Times best-seller list because "Polls consistently rate Romney the No. 1 choice among Republicans as a presidential candidate," adding that "the book’s popularity also comes from its quality and depth."
Kessler's slobbering continues:
After several long excerpts from the book, Kessler concludes: "In contrast to Obama, who constantly knocks America, Romney sees only greatness in this country. That refreshing outlook alone is worth the price of the book."
Kessler found a way to throw some of his trademark Obama-bashing into his Romney-fluffing. He must be in nirvana.
CNS Misrepresents Survey of Doctors
A March 16 CNSNews.com article by Christopher Neefus reported: "Nearly one-third of all practicing physicians may leave the medical profession if President Obama signs current versions of health-care reform legislation into law, according to a survey published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine."
Except it wasn't. The survey actually appeared in "Recruiting Physicians Today," an employment newsletter produced by Massachusetts Medical Society, "the publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine," as well as on the NEJM's "CareerCenter" website. The NEJM has since told Media Matters that the survey had "nothing to do with the New England Journal of Medicine's original research."
Neefus also failed to disclose the method the survey was conducted -- an opt-in email survey. That makes the survey is far less than scientifically valid, something Neefus gives no indication of in his article.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Not Again! Another False Smear of Wallis by WND's Klein
We've already noted how WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein made false and misleading claims in order to smear Jim Wallis. Well, it turns out Klein also falsely claimed that Wallis "labeled the U.S. 'the great captor and destroyer of human life.' " Media Matters has more.
The ConWeb Runs to Fox News' Defense
Topic: Media Research Center
The ConWeb has long defended the existence of Fox News, despite its clear bias. When former New York Times editor Howell Raines penned an op-ed for the Washington Post criticizing his fellow journalists for allowing Fox News to "legitimize a style of journalism that is dishonest in its intellectual process, untrustworthy in its conclusions and biased in its gestalt," it was time for another rush to the ramparts.
Kessler has never provided an example of how this purported policy works in practice -- perhaps because it doesn't.
Kessler was followed by Brent Bozell, who devoted his March 17 column to bashing Raines, headlined "A Fraud Fights Fox News." Unmentioned by Bozell: His Media Research Center perpetrated a fraud against Raines, spending nine years insisting that a statement that Raines wrote in his memoir that Ronald Reagan "Reagan couldn't tie his shoelaces if his life depended on it" was an insult of Reagan's intelligence. In fact, Raines was writing about fly-fishing. Even after being called out on its lie, the MRC couldn't do a simple retraction; instead, it added a "clarification" to previous articles containing the quote with the note that "we regret the confusion."
Aaron Klein Misleads Again
Lying about Jim Wallis is not the only bit of misleading reporting WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has served up this week. A March 14 article hides behind anonymous sources to claim that "a member of the U.S. government" met with activists who are trying to establish a Jewish Temple on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, where an Islamic mosque currently is. "The organizer talked on condition of anonymity and also on condition that WND kept confidential the name of the U.S. official who met with the Temple event planners," Klein writes.
As Richard Bartholomew points out, Klein provides a selective history of the Temple Mount "picked and chosen for the benefit of his American Christian Zionist target readership" and designed to prove that Muslims don't consider the site holy. Klein not only ignores "long-standing Muslim practice" toward the site, Bartholomew writes, he ignores "he full range of Jewish views on the Temple," which includes the fact that the Chief Rabbinate has posted a sign close to the site, in Hebrew and English, warning that "According to the Torah it is forbidden for any person to enter the area of the Temple Mount due to its sacredness." That conflicts with intentions of the far-right activists Klein so fawningly portrays to stage an ascent to the Temple Mount.
CNS Lies, Misleads About Jennings
Media Matters catches CNSNews.com's Fred Lucas making false and misleading claims about Kevin Jennings in a March 16 article. Lucas falsely claimed that Jennings "advis[ed] a 15-year-old to use a condom in a sexual affair with an older adult man," asserted that "a person came forward alleging he was [the student] and told news organizations that he was 16 at the time of his conversation with Jennings" -- actually, his identity and age were verified -- and misleadingly described Jennings' position as founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network as having "promoted homosexual clubs in high schools.,"
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Mychal Massie, March 16 WorldNetDaily column
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