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Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Obama-Hate, Birtherism Rampant At WND's Convention
Media Matters' Zachary Pleat attended last weekend's WorldNetDaily-sponsored Taking America Back conference, and he lived to tell the tale of the rampant birtherism and bigotry exhibited therein. He also brought back audio of the conference speakers. Since WND has not seen fit to post any footage of its convention speakers, here are some choice cuts:
NewsReal Upset It Can't Tell Lies With Impunity
In a Sept. 22 NewsReal post, unapologetic gay-basher Kathy Shaidle purports to detail "George Soros’ 8 Most Despicable Acts." Her rant, however, has been interrupted by the facts, and NewsReal isn't happy about it.
As part of the first "despicable act" Soros purportedly did, Shaidle quoted from a column by Ezra Levant claiming that Soros "collaborated with the Nazis." That is a libelous distortion of what Soros actually did as a 14-year-old during World War II, which was pose as the godson of a Hungarian official who oversaw the confiscation of property from Hungarian Jews. The Canadian newspaper that first published Levant's column has retracted it because it "contained false statements about George Soros and his conduct as a young teenager in Nazi-occupied Hungary."
Shaidle claimed that Levant relied in part "upon research conducted by David Horowitz," but doesn't mentiont that Horowitz got it wrong too.
Soros, understandably, wanted to correct the record, which resulted in a fit of all-caps typing by NewsReal. The headline of Shaidle's post now parenthetically adds that it was "UPDATED AFTER THREAT BY SOROS’ LAWYERS", and the space where the Levant excerpt was located now states:
The unnamed editor appears not to understand the difference between uncritically repeating a lie, which Shaidle did, and repeating a lie as part of correcting it, which is what Media Matters did.
Shaidle's post now begins with another editor's note:
Really? It's "totalitarian" for someone to respond to lies being told about them and to try and correct the record?
It seems Shaidle and NewsReal are upset that they aren't allowed to tell lies with impunity about people they don't like. The right to be above the law that they seem to be asserting is much more "totalitarian" than Soros' actions.
WND Pushes Bogus 'Death Panels' Claim
It’s been a long-established fact that there are no “death panels” in the health care reform law. But that doesn’t keep conservatives from continuing to claim there are.
So if Sebulius [sic] wanted you to be counseled about Dr. Kevorkian services, or counseled on Smurfs in Ancient Russia, she just tells your counselor to make you sit through that. But while giving arbitrary and mandatory "counseling" powers to the secretary of HHS is weird and sinister, it's a minor item compared to Page 723.
But Longman overlooks an important part of this section. Here’s how the section outlining these benefits begins (emphasis added):
(e) ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE COUNSELING.--An agreement entered into under subsection (a)(2)(A)(iii) shall require the entity to assign, as requested by an eligible beneficiary that is covered by such agreement, an advice and assistance counselor who shall provide an eligible beneficiary with information regarding--
In other words, the section clearly states that such counseling is made available at the request of the beneficiary -- not mandatory.
(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)
WND Spins Tea Party Convention's Demise
A Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily article by Brian Fitzpatrick on the demise of the Judson Phillips-organized National Tea Party Convention planned for Las Vegas in October gives free rein to spin the heck out of the demise while omitting crucial information and disclosures.
Fitzpatrick notes that "there were insufficient ticket sales to continue plans for the event" but allows Phillips -- the only person Fitzpatrick apparently talked to and the only person quoted -- to blame it on the "Obama economy."
One must go elsewhere for information on the full story behind the demise. Fitzpatrick doesn't see fit to report, as Talking Points Memo did in beating WND to the story by several hours, that there was opposition to the convention among tea party groups in Nevada, and one even planned to boycott and publicly protest the convention over concerns with the legitimacy of Phillps' organziation, Tea Party Nation.
Fitzpatrick also failed to report that the convention had originally been scheduled for July, and then postponed until October, even though WND reported the schedule change at the time.
Fitzpatrick even omits mention of a couple corportate conflicts of interest: WND editor Joseph Farah was scheduled to speak at the original convention and his bio appeared on the convention's website before it was scrubbed (here it is in Google cache). Also, Phillips has become something of a WND columnist (albeit a factually challenged one) -- he even has a column on today's WND commentary page.
You may recall that WND provided wall-to-wall fawning coverage of Phillips' first Tea Party Nation convention in February, which Farah just happened to speak at.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
WND, MRC Embrace Silly Obama Attack
There's no story too silly for some on the right to turn into an attack on President Obama.
From a Sept. 18 WorldNetDaily article:
WND even goes on to cite "outrage" over the omission at some obscure right-wing blog.
This was an attack too stupid not to spread, and spread it did. The MRC Culture & Media Institute's Alana Goodman was suitably indignant, touting how "Conservative bloggers wondered whether the misstatement by President Obama was a mere slip of the tongue or evidence of his true feelings about the origin of unalienable rights."Goodman went onto decry the "silence from the mainstream media, which had so quickly jumped on any verbal errors that President Bush made during his terms in office."
Needless to say, this line of attack is bogus, which Goodman and WND would have known if they had bothered to do even a minimal amount of research. Media Matters points out that Obama has used the entire phrase numerous times, and that inaccurately quoting the Declaration of Independence is common, even among conservatives.
NewsBusters Offended by Moderation
Only the right-wing ideologues at NewsBusters and the MRC would find bipartisanship and moderation to be a "strange" idea.
Newsmax Claims Credit for Insulting Obama Into Going to Church
In a Sept. 20 article by Jim Meyers, Newsmax takes credit for President Obama's appearance at a church on Sunday. How? Because Mike Huckabee insulted him into doing it.
In a Sept. 17 video posted by Newsmax, Huckabee ranted that "I don’t mind him reaching out to Muslims as long as he’s reaching out to them in the same way that he’s reaching out to Christians or people who are Jewish. But what I’ve seen is that he has chastised the Jewish people for wanting to have neighborhoods for their children to grow up in. He’s certainly not been overwhelmingly kind to Christians who have a real conscience issue with things like abortion."
Embracing the corellation-equals-causation fallacy, Meyers writes:
Newsmax, however, is in competition with others claiming credit for Obama going to church, like Glenn Beck.
MRC Pretends 'Ground Zero Mosque' Debate Isn't About Islamophobia
Topic: Media Research Center
A Sept. 15 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes professes outrage that Americans who oppose the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero are being "smear[ed]" as exhibiting Islamophobia. But it offers no evidence that this isn't the case.
Instead, the MRC tallied up the number of "pro-mosque" and anti-mosque comments on network news (making sure to steer clear of Fox News, which has been relentlessly anti-mosque) but grouping them strangely -- a one week period in August in which anti-mosque sentiment, and a two-week period afterwards in which a "shift in coverage occurred," claiming this happened "after mosque proponents began tarring their opponents as bigots."
Noyes claimed this shift meant "the networks permitted a balanced debate about a proposed real estate project, but allowed mosque supporters to attack the majority of Americans as 'haters' and 'bigots' without adequate debate." He then moves to class-war rhetoric: "That’s yet another sign that the liberal, elite media are hopelessly out of touch with the public they ostensibly serve."
Given that Noyes never proved the underlying thesis of his report -- that opposing the Islamic center has nothing whatsoever to do to Islamophobia -- it appears that he and the MRC are hopelessly out of touch with basic research methods.
Monday, September 20, 2010
NewsBusters Heathering Watch
Speaking of party-line enforcers, NewsBusters seems to be full of them, don't they?
Mark Finkelstein tries his hand in a Sept. 20 post, suggesting that Rahm Emanuel wrote Joe Scarborough's statement on "Morning Joe" condemning "angry voices" and "political extremists" on the far right.Finkelstein asserts that "the manifesto's message suits Dem themes to a 'T', and carries clear echoes of a recent partisan speech by Pres. Obama at a political event" [boldface his]. Finkelstein continues [boldface his]:
Newsmax Touts Dems Critical of Obama
Newsmax goes concern-trolling with a Sept. 19 article by serial misinformer David Patten, touting "the top 10 blue dog Democrats who have stood up to oppose the president's proposals" as exhibiting a relative level of "Democratic courage."
The front-page promo for Patten's article went even further, claiming that those Democrats "demonstrate what one Democratic icon, John F. Kennedy, once described as 'profiles in courage.'"
Vox Day's Anti-Police Tirade
Vox Day's Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily column is an anti-police tirade that would seem to fit better on far-left anarchist sites than reliably right-wing, law-and-order (for liberals and gays, anyway) WND.
Using the shooting death of a man by Las Vegas police in a Costco store as a jumping-off point, Day declared the shooting an "execution" and claimed that the typical policement as "the helpful revolver-carrying policeman of yore has been gradually replaced by a steroid-abusing, paramilitarized bully in black body armor with a bad attitude." he continues:
Day concludes: "Americans, particularly conservatives who consider themselves pro-police, should recall Ronald Reagan's famous maxim, 'trust, but verify.' And they must never forget that the first prerequisite of a police state is the police."
Party-Line Enforcer Upset With Criticism of Party-Line Enforcers
In a Sept. 19 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham takes the Washington Post's Michael Gerson -- a former speechwriter for President Bush to task for noting the "unhinged" reaction among right-wingers to any criticism of Christine O'Donnell and how it shows a "Bolshevik approach" inwhich "Every personal feeling, every independent thought, every inconvenient fact, must be subordinated to the party line -- the Tea Party line" and "deviations from the party line are not permitted."
Graham is one of the chief Heatherers at NewsBusters -- who snipe at anyone deemed insufficiently conservative -- and he goes into full Heathering mode here:
Funny, we thought the MRC's job was, you know, media research, not ideological enforcement.
NewsBusters Pushes False Claim About Protest
A Sept. 18 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick touts a claim that someone "proudly carrying Nazi-esque signs" at a rally against Illinois Republican congressional candidate Adam Kinzinger was somehow linked to his opponent, Democrat Rep. Debbie Halvorson. Gladnick demanded that local media cover "the demonstrators with the Nazi themed signs returning home to the Debbie Halvorson campaign headquarters."
But one key Gladnick claim is not true. As Media Matters details, the person with the Nazi signs showed up at the protest on his own and is not associated with the Halvorson campaign or any other organized group. Additionally, he said, the other protesters wouldn't carry his signs and tried to block them with their own signs.
Will Gladnick tell the truth about this to his readers? Somehow we kinda doubt it.
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