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Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Farah Presents An Unreal Doug McKelway
Joseph Farah uses his Dec. 14 WorldNetDaily column to defend Doug McKelway, the former local news reporter fired after a biased news report and recently hired by Fox News. Farah's headline for his column is "Meet the real Doug McKelway," but Farah's version of him diverges from reality:
In fact, McKelway made a specific claim -- that "the one man who has more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else in history is now sitting in the Oval Office -- President Barack Obama -- who accepted $77,051 in campaign contributions from BP" -- that was factually inaccurate. As we've previously noted, Obama received only $1,000 from BP's PAC in 2004, less than what 21 other Senate candidates received from the BP PAC that year. The figure McKelway used in his report was the amount of money Obama received from employees of the company, not the company itself.
And lie about the president. Farah surely meant to say that, but he didn't.
MRC's Double Standard on Entertainers' Political Opinions
Topic: Media Research Center
Matt Philbin, managing editor at the Media Research Center's Culture & Media Institute, tweets: "Doesn't matter that Kelsey Grammer is on our side, he's an actor and his political opinion means nothing."
Well, Philbin might want to impart that message regarding the political views of entertainers to his MRC colleagues at NewsBusters, which just published the latest column by Charlie Daniels.
Then again, Daniels is a close personal friend of MRC chief Brent Bozell.
WND's Kinsolving Whines About Missing WH Party Invite
Les Kinsolving has quite the sense of entitlement, it seems. Why else would he devote his Dec. 14 WorldNetDaily column to complaining that he wasn't invited to the White House Christmas party?
Kinsolving, naturally, has a theory about this:
Or is it because nobody takes Kinsolving seriously as a reporter since he's all about irrelevant gotcha questions like the birther stuff?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
NewsBusters Thinks Bare Majority = 'Massively Unpopular'
The headlineon a Dec. 14 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock reads, "ABC Poll Finds Health Care Law Is Massively Unpopular, Network Offers Scant Coverage."
And what does this ABC poll say? That 52 percent oppose the health care reform law.
Thats right -- Whitlock is portraying a bare majority of opposition as the same thing as being "massively unpopular."
AIM Columnist Smears Obama Officials As Terrorists
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Alan Caruba went on an anti-Muslim tear in his Dec. 13 column, published at Accuracy in Media -- so anti-Muslim that he suggests two Obama administration officials are terrorists because they are "devout Muslims."
After ranting about how "Islam’s holy warriors continue to kill Muslims and Christians," Caruba writes:
Caruba gets Alikhan's name wrong -- it's Arif, not Ari. He's a lawyer who has worked for the Department of Justice as a prosecutor. Shora, meanwhile, is the national executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee who has been published by prominent law journals.
Caruba offers no evidence whatsoever that they are terrorists or in any other way anti-American -- because there is no evidence. Caruba is apparently just copy-and-pasting his hate from email chains; Snopes.com notes that Alikhan and Shora were cited in a email, complete with reference to being a "devout Muslim."
If Caruba cannot prove his sleazy smear -- and he can't -- he must retract his sleaze and apologize to Alikhan and Shora.
NOrris Baselessly Attacks PolitiFact As 'Pro-Obama'
In attacking President Obama for "arrogance, defiance, charismatic charade and inability to lead in conflict," Chuck Norris, in his Dec. 13 WorldNetDaily column, refers to fact-checking site PolitiFact as "pro-Obama." He offers no evidence to back up the claim.
Perhaps because there isn't any. Even Norris himself seems to concede this by relying on PolitiFact's "Obameter" of the status of Obama's promises to back up his attack on Obama.
If PolitiFact is trustworthy enough for Norris to base his column on, it can hardly be "pro-Obama," can it?
Farah Embraces Beck's Soros Falsehoods
He attacks Jonathan Kay, opinion page editor at Canada's National Post, as someone "pretending to be a 'conservative' who loves trashing conservatives and defending socialists." Responding to a column by Kay pointing out that WND "defines the exact inflection point on the spectrum of right-wing punditry where legitimate journalism ends and out-and-out conspiracism begins," Farah writes that he "didn't even respond" when it came out, going on to belittle Kay: "Who would care enough to read what would have to be a lengthy column pointing out numerous falsehoods, ad hominem attacks, mischaracterizations and religious bigotry he displayed in the piece? After all, who was Jonathan Kay?" Farah later denounces Kay as "a second-rate columnist pretending to be something he's not."
Of course, Farah doesn't contradict anything Kay wrote in that column. Instead, he takes offense at another Kay column, this time criticizing Glenn Beck's false claims about George Soros:
First, spending the better part of three days attacking Soros, which Beck did onhis Fox News show, is arguably "wallowing." Second, Soros has never claimed he "'enjoyed' working for the Nazis and victimizing his fellow Jews." Heck, even Beck didn't say that, at least not in so many words. Beck said that "I am certainly not saying that George Soros enjoyed that," but attacking Soros for allegedly not showing remorse for "helping send the Jews to the death -- death camps."
Of course, that's not what Soros did. He sent nobody to death camps; Soros biographer Michael T. Kaufman points out that the school-age Soros had been selected by the local Nazi-operated Jewish Council as a courier to deliver letters to Jewish residents that, as his father correctly suspected, would eventually result in the deportation of those residents. Soros said that his father "told me to deliver the notices, but to tell the people if they reported they would be deported," and after that instance, he stopped being a courier.
Farah has a vested interest in keeping Beck's Soros falsehoods alive -- there are likely more than a few of them in WND Whistleblower magazine's issue dedicated to Soros. It'spromoted with a quote from WND managing editor David Kupelian screeching that Soros "opposes free-market capitalism" -- laughable when you consider that Soros has made his billions through free-market capitalism andhelped to overthrow communist and totalitarian regimes.
But, as Kay utterly correctly demonstrated, the truth is less important to WND than pushing its far-right agenda. No wonder Farah is mad at Kay -- he told the truth about Farah and WND.
Monday, December 13, 2010
MRC's Graham Misleads to Keep Up Art Censorship Effort
Topic: Media Research Center
Tim Graham is sticking to the company line in his Dec. 10 NewsBusters post that the 11-second "ants-on-Jesus" video the MRC succeeded in getting censored from a Smithsonian exhibition is "mocking Jesus Christ," and he misleads about other things too.
In attacking a Washington Post article on the manufactured controversy, Graham mocks the universally accepted idea advanced by article author Philip Kennicott that art should be viewed in the context of the time of its creation and the artist's intent, complaining that it "somehow excuses Jesus-bashing art." Which, of course, it doesn't. As Kennicott explained:
Graham goes on to portray Kennicott as having "railed against the cruelty of Reagan conservatives and the Catholic Church." In fact, Kennicott highlighted the dual nature of the church at the onset of the AIDS epidemic: "When AIDS was ravaging the gay population of New York, the church was officially the enemy; but some Catholic service organizations were on the front lines of relief. The church was a complicated organization, monolithic only in the minds of its leaders. Wojnarowicz's imagery was richly Catholic because Catholicism was richly multivalent."
Graham then attacks Kennicott's statement that William F. Buckley's suggestion that AIDS victims be tattooed was "entirely within the mainstream for public commentary on the disease the year before Wojnarowicz found out he was HIV-positive":
Buckley made his tattooing suggestion in a New York Times op-ed -- the epitome of "the mainstream for public commentary." Further, Buckley didn't completely abandon the idea. in a 2005 National Review commentary, he wrote: "Someone, 20 years ago, suggested a discreet tattoo the site of which would alert the prospective partner to the danger of proceeding as had been planned. But the author of the idea was treated as though he had been schooled in Buchenwald, and the idea was not widely considered, but maybe it is up now for reconsideration." That, plus Buckley's invoking of a promiscuous gay with AIDS named "Tony Venenum" -- "venenum" is Latin for poison -- tells us he was not as apologetic about his idea as Graham would like you to believe.
For more evidence ostracising AIDS victims in society, through tattooing or quarantine, was very much in "the mainstream for public commentary" at the time, note that none other than current Republican presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee once advocated quaranting AIDS victims. And as recently as 2005, WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving -- who appears in the White House briefing room every day -- called for "mass hospital prison-camp quarantines" of AIDS victims.
Obama (And Tolkien) Derangement Syndrome
-- Ellis Washington, Dec. 11 WorldNetDaily column
(Washington has attempted "Lord of the Rings" analogies before.)
MRC Expands Art Censorship Effort By Targeting Wash. Post
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is not content with merely censoring art; now it wants to shout down anyone who voices support for the censored art.
Keeping up its war on the Smithsonian over the exhibit on gay portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery, MRC Action has launched an "Action Letter" to "Tell The Washington Post: 'Stop Supporting Smithsonian Smut!'"
Funny how the MRC thinks trying to shut down an art exhibition isn't censorship.
MRC Action even helpfully provides "talking points" for people to copy-and-paste into their haranguing letters:
What the MRC really wants the Post to "formally" apologize for is reporting anything that contradicts its right-wing orthodoxy -- like the idea that art that offends has merit. In short, the MRC wants the Post to apologize for telling the truth. Telling the truth, after all, is something the MRC can't abide when it conflicts with the MRC's agenda.
Because the MRC is trying to stop the truth from being told, it's acting as a censor.
As we've detailed, the Smithsonian controversy is entirely manufactured by the MRC and its agents, including the Catholic League's Bill Donohue (the MRC's Brent Bozell is on the Catholic League board of advisors).
WND's Klein Falsely Portrays WikiLeaks Memo
In a Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily article, Aaron Klein writes that "Pieces of U.S. State Department diplomatic correspondence have been referring to the Hezbollah terrorist organization as a 'resistance' group, according to cables released by WikiLeaks and reviewed by WND."
Except that's not true. The evidence Klein provides is a statement from a memo that "U.S.-Syrian discussions on Hezbollah have tended to 'agree to disagree' after hitting the wall of conflicting views on the legitimacy of armed resistance and Israeli occupation."
Much as Klein would like to think otherwise, that isolated statement is not evidence that the U.S. thinks Hezbollah is a "resistance" group. In fact, that statement in context of the entire memo is a portrayal of Hezbollah thinks of themselves, not the opinion of the U.S. government:
There's nothing in the memo to support Klein's false suggestion that the U.S. considers Hezbollah to be legitimate "resistance" -- something Klein essentially admits by noting that "The cable and others from around the same time period went on to detail a series of complaints the State Department filed with the Syrian government over its continued arming of Hezbollah to the point the Iranian-backed group is thought to have more than 40,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israel."
So there's no real reason for this article to exist except to falsely smear the Obama administration. Klein fails to note, however, that the memo was issued in 2007, when Obama was not the president.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
WND Afraid 'Tangled' Teaches Children to Think For Themselves
In his review of the Disney film "Tangled," WorldNetDaily news editor Drew Zahn states that "there is much to praise" in the film. But... there is much not to like "if you but stop and analyze the resounding message this movie plants in children's minds." Indeed, it peddles a "very worldly and yet completely wicked and untrue philosophy on adolescence."
And what is that "wicked and untrue philosophy"? The idea of adolescent rebellion:
Got that? Teenagers should never rebel against their parents -- shouldn't even think different, apparently. Submission, not independence, is the order of the day.
That was such silly opinion that even Zahn conceded he might be wrong.
In a follow-up column, Zahn begins by condescendingly writing that "Occasionally, one of my critics makes a point so well, so thoughtfully, I must concede the merit of their argument." He then reprints a letter from a mother whose daughter disagreed with the idea that the movie left "the impression that it was OK to rebel against her parents." The parent then provided a slightly less controlling theory -- after all, she does think that "we should expect obedience [from children] by instilling truth with loving discipline so they will not look for something else" -- that Zahn could apparently live with:
At least this mother, unlike Zahn, seems to acknowledge the existence of free will.
CNS Body Count Watch
A Dec. 1 CNSNews.com article by Edwin Mora keeps up CNS' obsession with tracking U.S. troop casualties in Afghanistan: "At least 45 U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan last month--more than two-and-a-half times the 17 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan in November 2009--making November 2010 the deadliest November since the war began more than nine years ago, according to CNSNews.com’s database of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan."
Missing from Mora's article: the word "Iraq." Therefore, Mora's readers aren't aware that November's casualty rate in Afghanistan is one-third that of peak casualty rates at the height of the Iraq war.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
DC Media Picks Up on MRC's Manufactured Outrage
Topic: Media Research Center
The Washington City Paper has a story on how CNS' Penny Starr and the Media Research Center manufactured the scandal over the supposedly offensive and blasphemous art exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
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