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Monday, September 27, 2010
CNS Starts 'Golden Hookah' Award

Near as we can tell, the Media Research Center does not receive funding from tobacco interests. So why has the MRC's established a "Golden Hookah" award?

We'll let CNS explain:

Today, Communications Director Craig Bannister presents the first-ever ‘Golden Hookah,' a symbolic token that will be conferred on the government spending program that wins's weekly "What Were THEY Smoking" award for outrageous government spending.


Inspired by stories that exposed federal grants that were used to subsidize research on hookah smoking in Syria and Jordan, the "Golden Hookah" symbolizes how government squanders the taxpayers' hard-earned money on outrageous, unconstitutional and even unconscionable programs. 

Funny, we don't recall CNS being interested in this sort of thing when a Republican was president. And we suspect it will disappear if Republicans return to power.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:33 PM EDT
Newsmax Adds Discredited Activist As Columnist
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's newest columnist is a right-wing activist with a long trail of false and misleading claims.

Betsy McCaughey made her Newsmax debut with a Sept. 24 column bashing "Obamacare," her specialty. McCaughey's other specialty, however, is misleading about health care reform.

McCaughey's record is so bad on the issue -- from lying about proposed end-of-life provisions to failing to disclose conflicts of interest -- that Media Matters named her Health Care Misinformer of the Year in 2009. Her record of misinformation has continued this year, most recently falsely smearing Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Adding such a discredited activist doesn't exactly help boost Newsmax's reputation.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:40 AM EDT
Obama (And Clinton) Derangement Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

With all the Obama derangement to be found on WorldNetDaily, it was inevitable that one of its writers would have a flare-up of Clinton derangement as well. Which brings us to Craig R. Smith's Sept. 27 WND column:

The single most effective recruiting tool al-Qaida possesses springs eternal from Democrats. It is the misguided appeasers who subscribe to the foolish notion that if we are nice to the enemy they will love us. It started under Bill Clinton.

In 1993, six people died in the World Trade Center bombing. Then president Bill Clinton's response? Nothing.

In 1996, 168 were killed (19 of whom were children) in the Khobar Towers U.S. military complex in Saudi Arabia. The response? Nothing.

In 1998, 244 were murdered in Nairobi, Kenya, and Tanzania at two U.S. embassies. Mr. Clinton responds once again with nothing.

In 2000, 17 U.S. sailors were executed on the USS Cole in Yemen. The leader of the free world responds with? Nothing.

That was the record under the watchful eye of William Jefferson Clinton. Short of a few words of condemnation toward al-Qaida, nothing else was done. Approximately 415 innocent men, women and children died at the hands of Islamic terrorists, with countless thousands injured. Four ruthless, Islam-inspired terrorist attacks targeted at Americans are met only with words.

Smith doesn't forget to throw in a healthy dose of Obama derangement as well:

Today, Barack Hussein Obama has picked up Clinton's torch of appeasement. While sitting in the Oval Office, he recently told Bob Woodward, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever … we absorbed it, and we are stronger."

Is he crazy? Did he think about what he said? Apparently the teleprompter was broken.

Why would anyone taunt the enemy? Unless that person also plans to state that another attack on America will provoke an immediate and devastating response.

But there's no way this president would even think in such a fashion, no less act. And therein lies the problem in securing our freedom from terrorism. Just such an attitude from the Oval Office is the greatest recruitment tool Osama bin Laden could hope for. Under Mr. Obama, al-Qaeda will get Barack-style "diplomacy," but no actions of any consequence.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:40 AM EDT
NewsBusters Upset That Truth Is Told About Fox News
Topic: NewsBusters

It seems the Media Research Center and NewsBusters are still exempting themselves from their "Tell the Truth" campaign -- and getting upset when others do. This time the subject is Fox News.

A Sept. 21 post by Matthew Balan complains that CNN's Rick Sanchez called Fox News "essentially the voice of the Republican Party, whose job it is to make this man [Obama] look bad no matter what he does." Which, of course, is clear to any casual viewer of the channel even without knowledge of News Corp.'s $1 million donation to a Republican activist group (which the MRC has been desperately trying to spin away).

Then, in a Sept. 23 post, Noel Sheppard took offense to Jon Stewart telling Bill O'Reilly  that "on this network you are left-wing." Sheppard insisted that MSNBC is "much further to the left than FNC is to the right." How does he know? No actual evidence, of course, just assertions that in comparison to MSNBC's prime-time lineup, which is all "far to the left," O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are merely "right of center," while Shepard Smith is "liberal" and Greta van Susteren "appears straight down the middle in her reporting," which is not exactly true. Sheppard then whines:

As such, for six straight hours MSNBC extended prime time programming is nothing but far-left content designed for - and often by! - the most left-leaning elements on the Internet including Think Progress, Media Matters for America, and the Netroots.

By contrast, Fox offers viewers three mostly conservative programs, two neutral, and one liberal.

Yet FNC is considered extreme and a threat to our very civilization.

Of course, it's not surprising that folks on the left and their media minions don't see things this way, for simple arithmetic is not and has never been a strong suit for liberals.

Meanwhile, actual media research is not and has never been a strong suit for conservative media researchers.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 27, 2010 11:04 AM EDT
Sunday, September 26, 2010
MRC Defends Beck, Goldline
Topic: Media Research Center

Jeff Poor uses a Sept. 24 MRC Business & Media Institute article to run to the defense of Glenn Beck and Goldline from criticism by Rep. Anthony Weiner, but he leaves out a few inconvenient details in the process.

Poor only mentions in passing Goldline's "unfair business practices" as "deemed" by Weiner, but he carefully avoids going into detail about them. Poor then touts how "even media financial experts advise people to have [gold] in their portfolio," which misses the point of Weiner's criticism, which is focused on the "unfair business practices" Poor doesn't want to talk about.

Poor goes on to quote "a spokesman from Goldline" claiming something so important that Poor put it in boldface: that "out of the 30 to 40 television advertisements the company runs on a daily basis, only one runs during Glenn Beck’s Fox News Channel programming." Actually, on the Sept. 24 edition of Beck's Fox News show, Goldline ran two ads.

Poor also omits mention of the "live read" Goldline ads Beck does on his radio show, which have turned into shameless defenses of the company, mixed with shameless scaremongering. Nevertheless, Poor insists that "Beck was conveying a perfectly legitimate view and speaking on the behalf of a legitimate sponsor."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:35 PM EDT
WND Columnist Repeats False Job Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily column, Christopher Grey repeats a claim that "Los Angeles spent $111 million of stimulus money to save only 55 jobs. That is $2 million per job." Grey continued:

Think about how many homeless people you could house for $111 million. You could have given 740 homeless families a free and clear $150,000 home or condo. Or, you could have paid rent for 1,156 families at $800 per month for 10 years. Instead, your government, according to its own audit, created a pathetic 55 jobs.

How many children could you feed for $111 million? You could feed 3,083 children at $3,600 per year for 10 years. How many college scholarships could you give for $111 million? You could give 2,775 full four-year college scholarships of $40,000 to deserving students.

Are you feeling guilty yet? Are you feeling stupid yet for supporting these so-called liberal politicians? Are you really going to vote for the same lying, corrupt, incompetent charlatans who are spending money this way? If you are, do you have any brain activity at all? Or will you just vote for anyone who supports high taxes, high government spending, lots of regulations, and says things that make you feel good about yourself for being so enlightened, smart, and altruistic?

In fact, as Media Matters documented, Los Angeles did not spent "$2 million per job" to create 55 jobs; the city expects to create 264 jobs from the $111 million they have received once all the money has been spent, and neither job estimates for "contracted-out projects" nor indirect effects on the economy are not included in the total.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EDT
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Aaron Klein's Lame Attacks on Senate Candidate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein -- no stranger to desperate smears of his political enemies -- goes the desperate route again in attacking Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons as someone with "Marxist ties" in a Sept. 23 WND article.

Klein's big piece of evidence? Coons once took a class taught by Cornel West. No, really. That's it.

But Klein hates West, so this gives him yet another opportunity to pad a WND article with attacks on him.

Needless to say, the quality and veracity of Klein's flailing attacks declines quickly from there. Klein goes on to falsely claim that Coons "describing himself as a 'bearded Marxist'"; in fact, that was a joke by his college friends.

Klein also repeats a claim by The American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord that Coons "may have ties to Black Liberation Theology" because he volunteered to work at the South African Council of Churches during the 1980s. Both Lord and Klein ignore the fact that the SACC helped lead the fight against apartheid at that same time, and that was likely the real reason for Coons' involvement.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 AM EDT
The MRC Suddenly Loves Bob Woodward
Topic: Media Research Center

Newsmax's Ronald Kessler isn't the only ConWeb resident to have a change of heart about Bob Woodward now that he's writing about a Democratic president. The Media Research Center regularly lambasted Woodward's claims about President Bush, but now that he's making similar claims about President Obama, they're being touted as "devastating."

Media Matters' Simon Maloy has more.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:06 AM EDT
Friday, September 24, 2010
AIM Brings Back Blogger Whose Post It Had to Retract
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Last December, we detailed how Accuracy in Media intern Allie Duzett wrote a blog post libelously calling "safe schools czar" Kevin Jennings a "pedophile," forcing AIM to delete the post and issue a retraction and quasi-apology, and that's the last we heard from Duzett at AIM.

Until now.

Duzett is back, writing a Sept. 23 AIM blog post (under the expanded name "Allie Winegar Duzett") about media bias. She manages to avoid libeling anyone this time, but the question must be asked: What is AIM thinking by allowing the return of someone who exposed it to legal jeopardy through her lies?

AIM isn't the only one who has suppressed the normal reaction to shun someone who was caught telling lies. Duzett's LinkedIn profile states that she is currently working for the Heritage Foundation; among her listed duties is "Blog on the Foundry about United States domestic policy." (UPDATE: That part seems to be a tad overblown; she has written only four posts.)

Heritage too might want to ask itself why it hired a blogger who got her previous employer in trouble with a blog post.

UPDATE: Duzett has another post up at AIM, this one attacking the New York Times as "highly biased" while ludicrously suggesting that Fox News is not.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 24, 2010 2:56 PM EDT
Kessler Likes Bob Woodward Again
Topic: Newsmax

When Bob Woodward wrote about President Bush, Newsmax's Ronald Kessler was quick to attack. In an October 2006 article, Kessler highlighted how former Bush White House chief of staff Andrew Card told him that claims regarding him in Woodward's 2007 book "State of Denial" were "not true." (Though Kessler did approvingly quote Woodward when he expressed views about Gerald Ford that presumably mirror Kessler's own.)

Woodward is back to being a hero in Kessler's eyes after the release of Woodward's book on the Obama presidency, even defending Woodward's veracity:

Some will question the credibility of Woodward’s reporting, as they did when he wrote in his book “Veil” that Director of Central Intelligence William Casey spoke to him while hospitalized.

When the book came out in 1987, CIA officials and Casey’s widow Sophia denied that Woodward could have gotten past CIA security at the hospital or that Casey could speak after having undergone surgery for a malignant brain tumor.

But as related in my book “The CIA at War: Inside the Secret Campaign Against Terror,” William Donnelly, who was in charge of CIA administration, including supervision of CIA security officers, admitted, "Woodward probably found a way to sneak in."

Kessler also joins the right-wing freak-out over Obama's statement that America can "absorb" another terrorist attack, huffing that the statement means "the rest of Obama’s policies dealing with national defense make perfect sense" and that it "should help put an end to his aspirations for a second term." Kessler conveniently ignores that President Bush said similar things.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 25, 2010 2:06 AM EDT
Erik Rush's Latest Obama Derangement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Erik Rush begins his Sept. 23 WorldNetDaily column by highlighting how angry people have become:

Even the reader who is new to this column will have observed the increased intensity of political rhetoric over the last two years. Prior to the 2008 election, voices warning against a Barack Hussein Obama presidency may have been background noise to the casual news consumer; after all, every candidate has their detractors.

Over the last 20 months, between the actions and policies of the Obama administration and developments that have taken place as a result of same, the background has become very much foreground. The machinations and designs of the administration have carried more urgency, and their words have become shrill. Likewise, terms like "progressive" and "socialist" have increasingly been replaced with "Marxist," "communist" and "totalitarian" by their opposition.

Obviously, if only a few fringe types were employing such potent terminology, it could be easily dismissed. With hundreds of thousands of Americans mobilized, millions blogging and organizing, an emergent arm of the press dedicating itself to stifling the momentum of this government and even some conservative Hollywood celebrities coming "out of the arsenal" to join their voices with these, however, the gravity of these expressions cannot be ignored.

Rush, of course, has been among the shrillest of the lot. However, likening Obama to a prison rapist is not exactly an "expression" that can be said to have gravitas.

Rush then freaks out that Obama signed an executive order that " officially adopted the Codex Alimentarius, a policy against which business interests have been fighting for decades? This one – a stealth proviso of Obamacare, by the by – is intended to bring access to all vitamins, minerals and natural health remedies and technologies under government control. This means that Washington can now classify all of these as 'controlled' – like prescription drugs."

The "Codex Alimentarius" is not some secret Vatican document referenced in "The DaVinci Code," as Rush seems to want you to think; it's a set of internationally recognized standards for food safety. Apparently, Rush thinks food safety is a bad thing.

Besides, the Obama executive order doesn't actually adopt the Codex Alimentarius. As the National Health Foundation points out, the executive order merely parallels standards established in the health care reform and "is not imposing Codex rules on the United States." The NHF notes that one section of the executive order references "science-based initiatives," which, according to the NHF, "could allow a smoother interface between domestic and international food guidelines at a small contact point that they might possibly have in the future." In fact, "It would be akin to saying that panty-hose manufacturing techniques are related to food because the nylon fabric might someday be used in straining soup."

But never mind, Rush is still in freak-out mode:

When what we eat, drink, drive, say, do for a living, how much money we make and where we live is dictated by our government, those who were dedicated liberal voters will grit their teeth because they're too arrogant to ever admit they were wrong. When pockets of the stunned, deluded variety of liberal voters finally put down their bongs and declare "Hey, man – you can't, like, do this to us! We have rights …" – they're going to catch a bullet in the head.

Small consolation this will be to patriotic Americans, since we'll already be dead or in a gulag by then.

To put it succinctly, our government is occupied by malevolent, treasonous slime, and it's going to take years to extricate all of them, even with a majority of Americans dedicated to the wholesale eradication of progressivism – which is an absolute imperative. This societal infection is so profoundly and fundamentally destructive that if I had my way, anyone willing to accept it would be stripped of their citizenship.

Yes, Rush has essentially said that anyone he disagrees with should be stripped of their citizenship. And how does he intend to achieve "the wholesale eradication of progressivism"? Bullets in the head, perhaps?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:26 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 24, 2010 11:29 AM EDT
Another Fox News Personality Will Help Newsmax Make A Buck
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax sent out an email today to its mailing list touting the presence of Sarah Palin in “a special pre-election webcast series we will be airing exclusively online” starting October 12. According to the email, the webcast, to be called “Make America Great Again,” will be hosted by Michael Reagan and feature Palin as well as “other opinion leaders such as Dick Morris.”

Morris, of course, has been a longtime marquee participant in shilling for Newsmax’s money-making schemes. Like Palin, Morris is a Fox News contributor, making her at least the third Fox News employee to team up with Newsmax; the other is Bill O’Reilly, who did an interview featured in an informercial for yet another financial product (though Fox News denied that it knew O’Reilly would be used in that way). Palin has also previously touted Newsmax as one of the news sources she reads.

It wouldn’t be Newsmax, though, if it wasn’t using people like Palin to try and sell you something.

If you sign up for this webcast, you are directed to a web page (PDF) that gives you the opportunity to upgrade your Palin experience -- for a price, of course. You can continue to pay nothing and receive only “Brief Clips of the Exclusive Interviews With Governor Palin, Dick Morris, Mike Reagan, and the Entire Lineup of Important Guests” and “Limited Access to the ‘Make America Great Again’ Attendee Website.” Or you could pay $9.95 to be a “VIP Member” and receive “Unlimited Access to the Make America Great Again Campaign, PLUS” a copy of Palin’s forthcoming book. You also get trial subscriptions to Newsmax’s magazine and one of its financial reports, which has the usual caveat that you must cancel before the trial period ends to avoid being automatically charged for a year’s subscription to them.

Or you can pay Newsmax an extra $20 not to send you the magazine and newsletter; a $29.95 “Book Membership” gives you “all of the benefits of VIP access as noted above, as well as Sarah Palin’s upcoming new book, but you will NOT receive free trial subscriptions to Newsmax magazine and The Franklin Prosperity Report.” Seeking payment for not doing something is an interesting money-making strategy, and it’s a big clue as to how much the profitability of Newsmax’s promotion depends on people forgetting to cancel their trial subscriptions.

The web page also gives previews of the webcast series, which looks like it will be mostly about attacking Obama, reinforcing right-wing talking points, and encouraging conservatives to vote in November. It also sycophantically calls Morris “the top political strategist and the man Time magazine referred to as ‘the most influential private citizen in America’ ” – which, as we’ve previously noted, it did just before Morris resigned in disgrace from Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign.

Newsmax may not be selling financial schemes for once, but it sure has a connection with Fox News that it has no problem exploiting.

(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EDT
Thursday, September 23, 2010
That Word Does Not Mean What WND Thinks It Means
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Under the headling "Shut down! Question about back taxes stifled," a Sept. 22 WorldNetDaily article begins:

The White House shut down questions about the back taxes owed by President Obama's staff members, as well as a question about an investigation of his Department of Justice, by not recognizing for questions a WND reporter at yesterday's daily news briefing.

There were some 60 reporters at the briefing with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who recognized 22 for questions. But some outlets, such as CBS and CNN, were allowed six or seven questions, while others were not recognized.

Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House and the second-most senior reporter on the White House beat, had planned to ask about taxes and investigations.

He was prepared to ask, "The Los Angeles Times reported at the end of 2009, 41 Obama White House aides owed $831,000 in back taxes. What is the White House reaction to this Times report?"

Not taking questions from an obviously biased reporter does not mean a particular line of questioning was "shut down." especially since WND offers no evidence that Gibbs knew Kinsolving would ask that particular question. You can't "shut down" something you didn't open up in the first place.

Does WND's and Kinsolving's belligerance toward Gibbs mean another temper tantrum is forthcoming?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 PM EDT
WND's Unruh Alleges 'Lies,' Doesn't Name Any
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh promotes a claim by anti-abortion activists in Colorado that election officials there have told "lies" about a "personhood" initiative on the ballot. Unruh repeatedly quotes the anti-abortion activists claiming that the proposed ballot description as "falsehoods and out-and-out lies."

What Unruh curiously didn't report, however, is an example of the alleged "lies" being told, beyond a claim that the bill would mean woman could be "denied health care for miscarriages." (The description being contested is in here.) Unruh also offers no explanation of why this or any other claim are "lies,"nor does he make any apparent effort to contact Colorado officials for a response to the criticism.

It seems the activists are complaining that tyhe state of Colorado won't propagandize for them. Unruh, on the other hand, has no problem pushing propaganda.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 PM EDT
Kessler Twists Rauf 's Words
Topic: Newsmax

In a Sept. 15 Newsmax column, Ronald Kessler attacks Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who wants to build "a mosque two blocks from ground zero," as a maker of "nonsensical, contradictory and arrogant statements" and among Muslim leaders who "speak out of both sides of their mouths" and "continue to generate suspicion of Muslims in general."

Kessler also mischaracterizes Rauf's words. Citing an interview Rauf did on CNN, Kessler writes:

Asked if he still believes that the U.S. was an “accessory” to the 9/11 attacks and that Osama bin Laden was “made in the USA,” Rauf waffled. He said that while his comments were not “compassionate,” the U.S. had cooperated with bin Laden in fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

A widespread Internet rumor, that claim is untrue, not to mention irrelevant. In the end, Rauf never retracted his claim that the U.S. was in part responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Here's what Rauf actually said:

RAUF: I was describing the fact that the United States had actually worked with the Taliban, cooperated with the mujahadeen. The mujahadeen were VIPs in the Reagan White House -- administration, and Osama bin Laden was something the United States cooperated with in fighting the Soviet Union. However, looking back on it now, I realize it was not a very compassionate thing to say, and I regret having used those words.

In fact, it's indisputable that bin Laden fought with the mujahadeen in Afghanistan during the 1980s, and that the CIA covertly supported the mujahadeen. The question is whether bin Laden himself had any dealings with CIA operatives in Afghanistan. Despite Kessler's dismissal of it as "untrue" and a "widespread Internet rumor," it appears to be an open question. Wikipedia cites claims that bin Laden received training from the CIA in Afghanistan, as well as denials that there were any such contacts.

It seems the question is much more open than Kessler would have you believe. But he's too busy attacking Rauf to tell you that.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 AM EDT

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