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Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Will NewsBusters' Sheppard Renounce Limbaugh?
Noel Sheppard used a Feb. 1 NewsBusters post to go on a tirade about Rachel Maddow falling for a claim on a satire website, then noting in her apology that the claim wasn't much crazier than what comes out of Glenn Beck's mouth:
By this same standard, Sheppard must denounce his fellow conservatives -- in particular Rush Limbaugh -- for making the same excuse in treating a satirical article as fact.
In 2009, a blog post circulated purporting to offer quotes from Barack Obama's college thesis. Limbaugh, Fox News' Fox Nation website, and anti-Muslim blogger Pam Geller, among others, breathlessly repeated the quotes. After it was debunked as satire, Limbaugh declared he didn't care if the quotes are fake because "I know Obama thinks it."
So when can we expect Sheppard to assert that since Limbaugh can't discern between fact and fiction, he can’t possibly be trusted or taken seriously about anything, for who knows what her next source will be and whether or not it’s actually legitimate? Don't count on it -- Sheppard isn't interested in the truth.
Another Anti-Gay Rant By WND's Kinsolving
WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving unleased yet another homophobic tirade in his Feb. 1 column, in the form of "imagined letters of gratitude" to the White House for allowing "no limitation at all regarding who any Americans love" and still serve in the military.
The letters start with someone who wants to serve in the military with his horse "whose nuptials were solemnized by a Massachusetts notary public who must remain anonymous (as must Mable and I)," and ends with, "We who have suffered rejection, denunciation and prosecution due to our sexual orientation of necrophilia rejoice in your announcement that "no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love." We hope for your assistance in making it possible for our orientation to serve in hospitals and in the Graves Registration Command," with stops at pedophilia and polygamy.
Kinsolving concludes by asking, "Do any of these four other alternate sexual orientations have anywhere near the HIV/AIDS and syphilis rates – or the hundreds of thousands of deaths – as this nation's homosexuals?"
Why does Kinsolving spend so much time obsessing over what pedophiles and necrophiliacs think? Is there something he wants to tell us?
Newsmax Columnist: Obama Just As Intolerant As Mubarak
Wayne Allyn Root uses his Feb. 1 Newsmax column to fearmonger about the extremely unlikely occurrence of Egypt-style protests in the U.S., smearing President Obama by asserting that "small signs hint that Obama might turn out to be just as intolerant to dissent as Mubarak":
Root doesn't mention that the backers of the bill that would give the president the authority to "shut down the Internet" are a Republican and an independent -- not Obama.
Even if Obama was pushing for a return of the Fairness Doctrine -- which he's not -- it would not "shut down talk radio and Fox News"; it would merely require opposing viewpoints to be presented.
Further, the Obama White House has not stated what positions Obama will take regarding guns, so Root cannot possibly know that he would "tighten gun control."
The rest of Root's rant is just fearmongering sleaze.
Klein's Attacks On Obama Over Egypt Are Totally Anonymous
In recent days, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has been accusing the Obama administration of fomenting unrest in Egypt, with the presumed goal of helping the country's Muslim Brotherhood faction. But all of Klein's major claims rely on anonymous sources, and he has given his readers no reason why they should be trusted.
The claims and their anonymous sources:
Jan. 29: "The Egyptian government suspects elements of the current uprising there, particularly political aspects, are being coordinated with the U.S. State Department." Source: "A senior Egyptian diplomat." As we've noted, this same story also misleadingly portrays Mohamed ElBaradei as an "ally of the Muslim Brotherhood" by cropping a quote.
Feb. 1: "The Egyptian government has information a diplomat at the U.S. embassy in Cairo secretly met yesterday with a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, the nation's major Islamist opposition group." Source: "an Egyptian intelligence official."
It sounds like Klein is shilling for the Mubarak regime, doesn't it? Does Klein really despite Obama that much?
In another Feb. 1 article, Klein attempts to build a case that Obama andhis administration "have an extended history of reaching out to the organization representing the main opposition now in Egypt's unrest, quietly building ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and its worldwide allies." But that article is filled with spurious claims as well. Klein writes that "Muslim Brotherhood members reportedly were invited to attend President Obama's 2009 address to the Muslim world from Cairo." In fact, Obama did not invite them as Klein suggests; Fox News reported at the time that "officials said invitations were only sent out by Cairo University and Al-Azhar University."
Klein writes, "Also in 2009, the Egyptian daily newspaper Almasry Alyoum ran a report claiming Obama had met with U.S. and European-based representatives of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood that year." But that report is unsubstantiated; when Haaretz repeated the Egyptian paper's claim, it offered no evidence that the claim was investigated and verified.
Keep in mind that WND has a habit of treating any old claim in a foreign newspaper as true if it conforms to its agenda. Remember how desperately WND clung to the claim that Obama's trip to India cost $200 million a day well after the claim was discredited by every other news organization that cared about facts?
Klein also asserts that 'there have been multiple reports the past two years of behind-the-scenes contact with Hamas, which was founded as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood." Again, Klein names no actual person making the claim, only "Multiple top leaders of Hamas in Gaza." But if they're terrorists who hate America, why should anyone believe what they have to say? And why is Klein granting anonymity to terrorists in the first place?
Klein his a long history of granting anonymity to anyone who will hurl claims he think will hurt Obama -- even terrorists. Yet he's allowed to appear on Fox News channels to spout fearmongering claims about Egypt.
If Klein will protect a terrorist, what moral authority can he possibly cite for any reader to trust his reporting?
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
CNS Baselessly Portrays Health Care Waivers As Political Payback
CNSNews.com has suddenly become desperate to portray temporary waivers to the new health care reform as payback to political supporters. Here are the headlines of three Jan. 31 articles by Fred Lucas:
Of course, Lucas has no proof of any such payback -- all he's doing is embracing the correlation-equals-causation fallacy. Lucas largely ignores the fact that most waivers have gone to businesses, at least some of which, such as restaurants, actually opposed health care reform.
Lucas also lays bare his right-wing, anti-Obama agenda by highlighting in one article how 'Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) recently told CNSNews.com he believed a congressional investigation will show the waivers were politicized."
In other words, Lucas is serving as a Republican public relations agent. Is that really the role a self-proclaimed reporter should be taking?
Klayman Invokes Vince Foster In Death of Shah's Son
Larry Klayman uses his Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily column to spin a bizarre conspiracy theory regarding the suicide of Alireza Pahlavi, the son of the exiled shah of Iran. After fluffing Pahlavi as "a dashing heir to the Iranian monarchy" whose "moving and beautiful memorial funeral" he attended, Klayman goes off on a familiar track:
Klayman then laughably claims, "I am not equating the death of Alireza to Vince Foster, but instead only pointing out that our government has the motive and means to cover up tragedies such as this."
After smearing President Obama again as the "mullah in chief," Klayman plays the conspiracy card again: "So here is the question: Have President Obama and his government minions also covered up a plausible act of terrorism by Iran on American soil, so as to make it easier for him to continue his failed policy of appeasement toward the regime?"
This is just one reason Klayman's influence is limited these days only to readers of WorldNetDaily.
Newsmax Fluffs McCollum Again, Doesn't Disclose Its Donations To Him
We've detailed how Newsmax heavily slanted its coverage of last year's Florida Republican primary for governor in favor of Bill McCollum -- undoubtedly due to the fact that Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy hosted a fundraiser for him (which he didn't disclose to Newsmax readers). Also undisclosed was the fact that Newsmax donated $500 to McCollum's campaign, on top of a $10,000 donation it made to the Florida Republican Party.
So it's no big surprise that Newsmax would grace McCollum with a flattering Jan. 31 article by David A. Patten and Ashley Martella allowing him to gloat over a Florida judge's decision declaring thte health care reform law unconstitutional. As before, Patten and Martella do not disclose the financial support Newsmax gave to McCollum's failed gubernatorial campaign.
AIM To Honor Inaccuracy At CPAC -- Again
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Last year, we noted that Accuracy in Media gave "Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Awards" at last year's CPAC to Andrew Breitbart and Marc Morano -- two people not exactly known for, you know, accuracy in media. This earned us a shout-out from AIM at CPAC, as well as an offer of a hug from Breitbart.
Well, another CPAC is about to roll around, and AIM is once again handing out awards to people who are better known for inaccuracy:
The Daily Caller has a record of pushing questionable or false claims. In fact, the very same day that AIM announced it was getting this award, Slate's Dave Weigel reports that the Daily Caller published an article claiming that one attendee at a recent liberal confab was a person who had actually died two years earlier.
As for Timmerman, we've noted that he served as a mouthpiece for former Rep. Curt Weldon's conspiracy theories about national security, failing to fact-check his claims as he was regurgitating them. Timmerman has also promoted the bogus claim that the closings of certain GM and Chrysler dealers while the manufacturers were in bankruptcy were motivated by how much money the dealers gave to Republicans. On top of that, Timmerman is a birther.
But AIM's definition of "accuracy in media" has nothing to do with facts and everything to do with pushing right-wing talking points, so it makes sense that Timmerman and the Daily Caller would be so honored.
NewsBusters Avoids Talking About GOP Rape Redefinition
There seems to be something the rock-ribbed conservatives at NewsBusters don't want to talk about.
In a Jan. 31 post, Tim Graham highlights a random Daily Kos post that he declares supports "the heroic right to abortion, especially after statutory rape." Later that day, a post by Scott Whitlock highlights how "ABCNews.com on Monday republished, then removed an article from Mother Jones magazine on Republicans 'redefining rape.'"
In fact, the Daily Kos post referenced by Graham links to this same Mother Jones story. Whitlock quotes briefly from the story, but not the part that explains what exactly Republicans are doing.
Here's the part Graham and Whitlock don't want you to read:
It can be argued that NewsBusters' silence equals assent -- they agree that Mother Jones' characterizaton of the change and its impact on abortion funding is accurate, but they aren't going to admit to supporting such an inflammatory change.
That, of course, is dishonest. Graham and Whitlock shouldn't be suggesting the Mother Jones article is false when they apparently privately concede it's not.
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo reports that NewsBusters is not alone -- few other right-wing groups want to talk about this change.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
-- Barbara Simpson, Jan. 24 WorldNetDaily column
-- Barry Farber, Jan. 26 WorldNetDaily column
-- Burt Prelutsky, Jan. 26 WorldNetDaily column
-- Phil Elmore, Jan. 27 WorldNetDaily column
-- Joseph Farah, Jan. 28 WorldNetDaily column
-- Victoria Jackson, Jan. 28 WorldNetDaily column
-- Robert Ringer, Jan. 28 worldNetDaily column
MRC's Waters Hides Truth About Museum-Bashing
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center still isn't done pushing its manufactured scandal over a gay-themed art exhibition at a Smithsonian museum.
A Jan. 27 MRC TimesWatch post by Clay Waters bashes a New York Times arts critic for his "snobbish chiding of uncouth American conservatives who helped squelch a video some found sacrilegious, by a featured artist in a Smithsonian gay art exhibit."Waters was further outraged that the critic "was convinced that conservative outrage against the art was politically “orchestrated.”
Of course, Waters doesn't admit that the critic is absolutely correct. It was Waters' fellow MRC co-workers and fellow travelers like the Catholic League's Bill Donohue -- on whose board MRC chief Brent Bozell sits -- that manufactured the outrage over the exhibit, something Waters fails to disclose. The "some critics" Waters mentions as finding the video "sacrilegious" is almost entirely limited to the MRC headquarters.
The MRC's manufactured outrage was a success -- the video got banned from the exhibit. Why doesn't it want to take credit for this?
Ellis Washington Thinks He's Socrates
So now Ellis Washington thinks he's Socrates.
In his Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily column, Washington does one of his "symposiums" in which he purports to examine issues via the Socratic method of the dialectic, "with the ultimate principle of the dialogue being Veritas – Truth." The problem here is that Washington is no Socrates -- we're pretty sure that Socrates wouldn't make as many flamboyantly wrong claims as Washington does -- and Washington's "Socrates" tends to go off on political rants that sound a lot like, you know, Ellis Washington.
So, in his column "symposium" on divine command theory -- "Is what is good, good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good?" -- "Socrates" rants about liberal politics:
Gee, that doesn't very socratic to us.
As we've previously noted, Washington's "Socrates" has hurled ad hominem Ku Klux Klan smears, which we're pretty sure also violates the Socratic method.
NewsBusters Promotes Bogus Bachmann Camera Claim
Part of the Media Research Center's goal of eliminating all liberal viewpoints in the media is denouncing any criticism of conservatives, even when it's humorous.
So we have Noel Sheppard -- who, as linked above, has asserted that the existence of liberal opinions on TV is "disgraceful" -- dedicated a Jan. 30 NewsBusters post to bashing a "Saturday Night Live" skit about Rep. Michele Bachmann's post-State of the Union speech. Sheppard asserted the skit was "designed to totally trash a conservative woman," adding that "NBC predictably piled on the conservative Congresswoman the media love to defame."
Sheppard then claimed, "In reality, if the folks at SNL had done their homework, they would have known that the real gaffe Tuesday night was made by CNN," citing a Breitbart.tv post as evidence of this. But Breitbart is wrong; Mediaite has reported that the camera feed CNN used during Bachmann's speech -- which caused a minor controversy because Bachmann didn't look into that camera but, rather, another one providing a web feed -- was a pool camera operated by Fox News, not CNN.
Breitbart has since updated his post to note that "the pool camera providing the feed for CNN was Fox News." Will Sheppard make the correction too?
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