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Monday, May 16, 2011
MRC's Double Standard on Media Types Advising Presidents
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's grumblings over CNN's Fareed Zakaria apparently advising President Obama on foreign policy has escalated into a full-fledged freakout.

MRC chief Brent Bozell issued a statement asserting that Zakaria "must recuse himself immediately from covering foreign policy that affects the United States," claiming that "must recuse himself immediately from covering foreign policy that affects the United States." Bozell added:

For decades, the liberal media have repeatedly condemned conservatives in the media who communicated privately with Republican presidents. They furiously attacked George Will in 1980 when he advised candidate Ronald Reagan, and trounced on Roger Ailes when he sent President Bush a note about the new war on terror in the wake of September 11th.  Neither of them was a reporter.

But neither is Zakaria. He is a host on CNN and a columnist, not a reporter. And Ailes is more than "not a reporter"; he's the head of a news network.

The MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, meanwhile, penned a NewsBusters post headlined, "CNN's Double Standard: Okay When One of Ours Advises the President, Bad When Fox Does It!"He cited a 2002 MRC CyberAlert whining about how CNN supposedly "throughout an entire broadcast day expressed outrage at Ailes' action."

Dickens is ignoring his employer's double standard: At no point in that 2002 CyberAlert did the MRC criticize Ailes' actions. In fact, it defended what Ailes wrote as "pretty conventional advice at a time when all Americans were 'standing shoulder-to-shoulder' with the President, as Nancy Pelosi might say."

If the MRC couldn't be moved to criticize Ailes, it has no credibility to criticize Zakaria.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EDT
WND's Klayman: Liberal Jews 'Insensitive To Their Heritage,' Forget Holocaust
Topic: WorldNetDaily

At the recent White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, D.C., which is the equivalent of D.C.'s Academy Awards celebration – only for "less beautiful" people – President Barack Hussein Obama celebrated his roughly two years in office. The crowd of 3,000-plus, filled mostly with leftist journalists and TV and radio commentators, as well as Hollywood types, fawned over Obama, encouraging him to pursue a heightened push for his promised leftist-socialist agenda. In this regard, Seth Meyers, the primo star of "Saturday Night Live" and the master of ceremonies of the event, tried to humorously tweak the president by saying he would be even more electable in 2012 if he stood fast to the "change vision" as enunciated during Obama's successful 2008 presidential campaign.

Seth Meyers is a liberal Jew. But his call for Obama to pursue an even stronger "change agenda" had to also mean by definition that Obama should pursue even stronger anti-Israel, pro-Muslim policies – which have been a centerpiece of the Obama presidency. While it is regrettable if not tragic that many liberal Jews are insensitive to their heritage and all to easily forget the lessons of the Holocaust, Meyers' advice to Obama was in the process of taking on even greater significance, if not irony, since plans were then in operation to kill the world's leading anti-Jew hater, Osama bin Laden. But our "fearless leader" saw the death of OBL as less of an effort to mete out justice for the thousands killed on 9/11 and elsewhere by al-Qaida than a milestone in his push to further Muslim interests worldwide, as well as advance has own prospects for re-election in 2012.

-- Larry Klayman, May 14 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 PM EDT
NewsBusters Misleads About George Will's Aid to Reagan
Topic: NewsBusters

In an addendum to a May 13 NewsBusters post by Matt Hadro having a cow over Fareed Zakaria's disclosure that he has advised President Obama on foreign policy, Lachlan Markay complains that there's "a pretty notable double standard at work here in the rest of the news media's silence on Zakaria's conflict of interest." He writes:

Similarly, there was significant media backlash when it was revealed that columnist George Will had advised Ronald Reagan on debate tactics during the 1980 presidential campaign. As Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the far-left Nation magazine, recalled, "a Los Angeles Times media critic called Will 'a political shill,' Chicago columnist Mike Rokyo called him a 'lapdog,' and the New York Daily News kicked him off their editorial pages (though it reinstated him too soon after)." (It should be noted that, contrary to vanden Heuvel's suggestion, Will's role in Reagan's campaign "was well known, and readers could take Will's views into account," as USA Today's Philip Meyer noted.)

In fact, it appears that Will did not disclose the full extent of his debate work for Reagan at the time. Here is what Wikipedia says about it:

Immediately after the debate, Will—not yet a member of the ABC News staff—appeared on ABC's Nightline. He was introduced by host Ted Koppel, who said "It's my understanding that you met for some time yesterday with Governor Reagan," and that Will "never made any secret of his affection" for the Republican candidate. Will did not explicitly disclose that he had assisted Reagan's debate preparation, or been present during it. He went on to praise Reagan, saying his "game plan worked well. I don't think he was very surprised."

Will did not disclose everything he needed to at the time, and even Will himself has admitted that "my participation in his debate preparation was as inappropriate as it was superfluous."

If Markay can show us where he or any Media Research Center employee criticized Will (or, for that matter, Fox News chief Roger Ailes for writing a letter to Karl Rove with post-9/11 political advice) for his unethical behavior, he would have a better case for whining about alleged conflicts of interest.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 AM EDT
Libelous AIM Blogger Checks In Again
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media just can't get enough of a blogger who exposed it to legal jeopardy, it seems.

Even though Allie Duzett used an AIM blog to libelously smear Obama administration offical Kevin Jennings as a "pedophile," forcing AIM to delete the post and issue a retraction and quasi-apology, AIM keeps allowing her to blog there. And so we have her second blog post in the past month, this one lecturing on "Media Bias in Layout."

A side note: The picture accompanying Duzett's post is of three DC-area newspapers, the Washington Post (loathed by the likes of AIM for its purported liberal bias), the Express (a commuter-targeted paper published by the Postthat cares more about entertainment news than political bias), and the Washington Examiner (a right-leaning tabloid daily owned by right-wing billionaire Philip Anschutz). We suspect that Duzett is much more concerned about the bias in the Post-related products, even though the Examiner arguably is the more biased paper (and there's no mention at all of the similarly right-wing-biased Washington Times).

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 16, 2011 1:32 AM EDT
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barack Hussein Obama is a dishonest, untruthful, arrogant, narcissistic human being. I say that because he has conducted himself in ways that make it impossible to conclude anything else. And his suddenly providing a birth certificate, after ignoring requests to provide same for three years, makes him even more so.

His refusal to do so, in addition to his failed policies, has undermined the confidence of the nation in his leadership, including many in the military who must answer to him. It was also a clear example of his disregard for the propriety of the office he holds. A true leader would have understood that the office he holds is bigger than him, and that he serves at the pleasure of the American people. Had he understood those truths, for the good of the nation he would have ended the debate immediately.

-- Mychal Massie, May 3 WorldNetDaily column

Yes, let the joyous news be spread, the wicked old witch at last is dead! He may not have been an actual witch, but he was the wicked old man of the east. Our Navy SEALs have killed Osama. Finally Obama can take credit for something he didn't actually do himself. Wait, he's been doing that all along … never mind, business as usual.

-- Chrissy Satterfield, May 4 WorldNetDaily column

Some of you will remember Nikita Khrushchev at the United Nations, removing his shoe and pounding the heel on the table, while shouting, "We will bury you!" It's not hard these days to suggest this simply was a bad translation and that what the communist leader was threatening, was to "Barry Soetoro" us.

-- Craige McMillan, May 5 WorldNetDaily column

It's time to get real and admit that Obama is not just another ultra-liberal president cut in the mold of Bill Clinton. It's time to stop tiptoeing. It's time to say it: We have a Marxist in the White House! Say it out loud. Say it clearly. Say it with conviction: Marxist.

The major question of our time is: Will the bad guys win and build a new America where people will be prevented from creating wealth and where freedom will be virtually nonexistent, or will the good guys prevail and rebuild an America that is based on our founding principles, but with harsh safeguards put in place to prevent collectivism, in any form, from ever again gaining a foothold?

The United States is hanging onto the edge of a financial cliff by its economic fingernails. And Obama and the progressives in Congress know that all it will take to loosen that fingernail grip is to have more and more debt piled on top of it.

Obama's objective from Day 1 has been to punish those who are prosperous and transfer their wealth to those he deems to be the "exploited" class. As he has made it clear throughout his adult life, it's all about "fairness" to him. And he is so close to pushing the U.S. over the financial edge and into the abyss that he can taste it. He's come too far, too fast, to allow anyone slow him down now.

Which is why he will be the first president in U.S. history to spend 95 percent of his time during the remaining year and a half of his first term in office campaigning for his re-election. And he's smart to do it. The fundamental transformation of America has already occurred, but Obama needs another four years to cement it permanently into place.

-- Robert Ringer, May 6 WorldNetDaily column

In the event, Obama's well-known trust and confidence in the prowess and integrity of America's military forces proves correct. In the firefight that takes place between the U.S. team and bin Laden's defenders, he is slain. The victims of 9/11 are revenged. Justice is served. And even Rush Limbaugh thanks God for Obama.

If this were the synopsis for a movie, we might buy the ticket, opt for the requisite suspension of disbelief and enjoy the thrill ride that ensued. We might even sit still for a little casting against type that stretches the artistic prowess of the well-known actor in the leading role. But when dealing with actual events and people, a counterfactual performance may be "good acting," but it is also quite possibly deceptive action. In this instance, for example, Barack Obama is not known as someone who esteems the prowess and integrity of the U.S. military.

-- Alan Keyes, May 6 WorldNetDaily column

When Barack Obama told the nation about the killing of Osama bin Laden, he said, "I, me, we, our" some 72 times. When he spoke to the troops at Fort Campbell in the aftermath of that killing, he used those words at least 68 times.

You'd think he conceived the operation and carried it out all by himself!


No, you're not like the Wizard of Oz, creating a visual image of what you think a good president looks, sounds and acts like. But, you are a man who was elevated far above his level of accomplishment, skill and abilities after an election campaign that painted a picture people wanted to believe.

Unfortunately, it was a false picture. It was a picture of a dream, and dreams don't get elected president. People are elected and now, in your case, the truth is coming out.

-- Barbara Simpson, May 9 WorldNetDaily column

I am not reluctant to assert that those occupying the White House are the most abhorrent and impertinent people ever to venture therein, and truly, we could not have more profaned The People's House if we had piled it from floor to ceiling with excrement. Perhaps I am less concerned with the potential for being labeled a racist for saying these things, but it isn't as though such action is bereft of blowback.

I have no problem with asserting that the birth certificate presented to the world by President Obama is obviously a forgery. I don't believe that it is "over the top" to appraise the SEIU as a criminal organization that ought to be outlawed, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka as a stereotypical thug, or our president's affiliation with these bodies as treason. Had Americans not allowed our legislature, judiciary and state houses to be incrementally peopled by craven elites and socialist operatives, the aforementioned unions would be outlawed, and people like Obama and Trumka would be relegated to bitching amongst one another in bars, coffee shops and penitentiaries.

Some might consider these as ad hominem attacks; I view them as mere observations.

-- Erik Rush, May 12 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 7:32 PM EDT
Newsmax's Walsh Misleads on Crime in El Paso
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's resident immigrant-hater, James Walsh, checks in again with a May 13 column denouncing President Obama's speech in El Paso, Texas, on immigration. Walsh asserted that "A drug cartel crime wave also is underway in El Paso, which ranks second only to southern Arizona in cases of drug and illegal alien smuggling and related murders."

In fact, as Media Matters details, El Paso was recently rated the safest large city in the country. And while its cross-border sister city, Ciudad Juárez, had more than 2,700 murders last year, El Paso had only one, in large part because the drug cartels don't bring their violence across the border.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Saturday, May 14, 2011
WND Dishonestly Presents Case Of Nutrition 'Ministry'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A May 13 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh dishonestly presents the case of a self-proclaimed Christian nutritional "ministry" as a free-speech case. He writes: "The Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether the government can dictate the message of a Christian ministry."

Unruh then offers a biased description of the case:

The core of the dispute involves the government's allegations that the ministry, which advocates for herbal and natural remedies rather than using "toxic pharmaceuticals," made promises of cures from its treatments.

The FTC's own adjudication process earlier decided that the FTC was right in attacking the organization, trying to impose massive fines and then ordering the ministry, at its own expense, to tell all of its customers that the "toxic pharmaceuticals" were the only "scientifically proven" remedies.

In fact, as we've documented, the case is about the "ministry" in question, Daniel Chapter One, offering claims about the supplements it sells without offering scientific evidence to back it up. Daniel Chapter One has steadfastly refused to offer anything but anecdotal evidence that its supplements work. But because Daniel Chapter One presents itself as a ministry, it has tried to reframe the argument as one of free speech when that is not the case. And Unruh is dishonest enough to play along.

More evidence of Unruh's dishonesty: Unruh makes no apparent effort whatsoever to contact federal officials for their side of the story.

Also unmentioned by Unruh are questions raised by the government about the finances of the couple that operate the ministry, Jim and Tricia Feijo, claiming that they have taken a vow of poverty, but are using the proceeds of Daniel Chapter One "to buy things like two Cadillacs, two homes, restaurant meals, tennis memberships, country clubs, pool and gardening services, cigars, carries around a Gold American Express card."

An FTC attorney has also stated, "What we know is that Mr. Feijo stopped paying his taxes sometime in the mid-1990s, and what we know is that thereafter, he incorporated Daniel Chapter One as a Washington corporation sole. The woman who incorporated it, Nancy Johnson, was then prosecuted by the IRS for tax evasion in connection with corporations sole."

But Unruh is too invested in telling the story the Feijos want to get out, so he has no interest in reporting the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 PM EDT
Your Newsmax-Trump Lovefest Update
Topic: Newsmax

Remember that Donald Trump speech Newsmax was charging readers $2.95 (plus the usual loss-leader scheme) for access to the live webcast? Turns out it really wasn't that interesting.

As the May 11 article by Jim Meyers shows, Trump engaged in his usual ranting and Obama-bashing. But if you didn't feel like shelling out the money (or having to remember to discontinue those free trial subscriptions before Newsmax charges you for a full year), Newsmax is offering a free video of the speech -- with, of course, a couple more offers on the side.

Also on the Trump front, National Journal is reporting that, according to an NBC spokesperson, Trump won't be announcing anything about his presidential ambitions on the season finale of "Celebrity Apprentice" because the episode was taped months ago.

That, of course, shoots a big hole in Ronald Kessler's third-time's-a-charm reporting to the contrary. Newsmax isn't ready to run a correction just yet, though: A May 11 article is taking refuge in a statement by a Trump spokesman that a statement of some kind timed to the May 22 finale is still "not inconceivable."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Friday, May 13, 2011
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Softball Interviews
Topic: NewsBusters

Scott Whitlock picked the wrong day to complain about softball interviews.

A May 11 NewsBusters post by Whitlock grouses that in 2008, ABC conducted a "friendly interview" with Osama bin Laden's son and "tossed softballs" to him. But when it comes to softballs being tossed by NewsBusters' own bloggers, however, that's perfectly fine.

Meanwhile, a few hours earlier, a post by Lachlan Markay features his interview with David Freddoso, author of the Obama-bashing book "Gangster Government." Markay immediately buys into Freddoso's premise, saying of the title of the book, "I don't want to call it hyperbole, obviously it's not." (He does concede that it's "a very inflammatory term, almost.") The rest of the interview as transcribed is Markay teeing up softballs for Freddoso to answer at length with no challenge from his interviewer.

Whitlock's criticism might have come off a little more credible if his own organization could demonstrate that it can conduct interviews other than the softball kind he purports to loathe.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:56 PM EDT
WND Bets It All That Birth Certificate Is A Forgery
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The long-form birth certificate got released, and its definition of "natural born citizen" is questionable, so WorldNetDaily is going all in on the only thing it has left: a conspiracy theory that the long-form birth certificate released by President Obama is a fake.

Jerome Corsi is leading the way by suggesting that the document "is a crude, computer-generated forgery. His evidence? The stamp of certification says "TXE RECORD" instead of "THE RECORD." Of course, the truth is much different: it's clear that overinking of the stamp made the H look like an X.

Despite such desperate stabs, WND is fully on board, led by Joseph Farah himself. He asserted in his May 11 column that "I'm persuaded the birth certificate released by Barack Obama's White House is fake, phony, a fraudulent forgery." He cites as part of his evidence "so-called 'layering' as seen by amateur and professional sleuths who have examined it." But WND itself reported that "the 'layer argument' can be easily explained" as a function of the PDF format in which the document was released.

The next day, Farah declared it to be "at best, an inauthenticatable image of a document" and that Corsi "has returned to Hawaii for more on-the-ground, first-hand investigation." Farah then asserted that "we may be witnessing the final days of the Barack Obama regime."

Funny -- such flailing on Farah's part suggests that we may be witnessing the final days of WorldNetDaily.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 AM EDT
NewsBusters Gets It Wrong On Clinton And Perjury
Topic: NewsBusters

Alex Fitzsimmons complains in a May 12 NewsBusters post that MSNBC's Martin Bashir "admonished" Newt Gingrich's "hypocrisy" for "criticizing former President Bill Clinton's adulterous behavior while he was engaging in sexual transgressions of his own," but "failed to mention even once that the Democratic president didn't just cheat on his wife, but committed perjury to cover up the affair."

In fact, as we've previously pointed out, Clinton was never convicted of perjury in either a criminal court or in his Senate impeachment trial. In the civil case Paula Jones filed against Clinton, the judge ruled that Clinton gave "intentionally false" testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky -- which is not perjury.

Not all lying in court is perjury, which has a specific legal definition. It's simply inaccurate for Fitzsimmons to use that term to describe what Clinton did.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EDT
Thursday, May 12, 2011
NewsBusters Falsely Calls Immigration Reform 'Amnesty'
Topic: NewsBusters

A May 10 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan carries the headline "NPR's Liasson Excludes Amnesty Opponents from Immigration Story." But Balan ignores the fact that President Obama comprehensive immigration plan, which NPR was reporting on, is not "amnesty."

As we've pointed out, Obama's plan places numerous conditions on the path to legalization of illegal immigrants, which by defiinition is not "amnesty."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EDT
AIM Cherry-Picks In Attack On NY Times Reporter
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Moshe Phillips spends his May 9 Accuracy in Media article attacking New York Times reporter Kareem Fahim, claiming that "A quick review of Fahim’s history provides all the evidence needed to prove that he is not an objective journalist but has very radical views on the War on Terror and related issues." But Phillips is cherry-picking Fahim's reporting and misportraying it.

Phillips writes:

Earlier in his career Fahim wrote for The Village Voice weekly tabloid. The Voice’s radical editorial stance on civil liberties, terrorism and Israel related issues is well documented.

So well documented, it seems, that Phillips can't be bothered to back up his claim. He continues:

Just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, in an article titled “The Emir and His Lieutenant” about Al Qaeda, Fahim referred to the terrorist organization simply as an “extremist group.” Fahim’s writings include apologies for the terrorist network, such as the statement that “Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri have seized on the desperation of the Arab world.” He also quoted a New York University professor who stated the following bit of garbage: “The Islamists present a utopian vision.”

In fact, the article in question is an examination of Bin Laden and Zawahiri became Islamist extremists and is in no way an apology. Phillips selectively edited Fahim's statement that "Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri have seized on the desperation of the Arab world" to hide the fact that, far from being an "apology," Fahim warned that bin Laden and Zawahiri wouldn't stop with 9/11. Here's the full Fahim quote:

Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri have seized on the desperation of the Arab world, cloaked their edenic "solution" in faith, and set a massive trap in the wreckage near Wall Street. Bombing Afghanistan to hell might feel like catharsis, but the threat is elsewhere, and it won't go away with the emir and his lieutenant.

Further, the professor who stated that "The Islamists present a utopian vision" is not endorsing that vision, as Phillips suggests. Again, Phillips is cherry-picking. Here's the full statement, which shows the professor going on to point out that utopian visions never work out in real life:

"The Islamists present a utopian vision," Haykel said. No Islamic group has achieved significant power in an Arab country, so their theories on governance remain largely untested. "The only way that it can burst is if they come to power and show that they don't have the answers to the fundamental questions facing society," he said.

Phillips went on to further attack Fahim:

In 2000 Fahim held a position at the Cairo based weekly newspaper Al-Ahram. reported in 2004 that “Egypt’s Al Ahram Weekly (is) the English-language version of the regime’s own media organ.” Fahim also wrote about Mubarak’s downfall for The Times.

Even here, he demonstrated his bias, treating the selection of Dick Cheney as George W. Bush’s running mate as a “summer surprise” that went against “the logic of positive image-making.” Fahim’s biases are transparent.

Phillips is misleading again. Cheney was, in fact, something of a surprise pick, so much so that adviser Karl Rove argued against it. Fahim was pointing out that the selection of Cheney as vice president "seemed to clash with [George W. Bush's] compassionate campaign." Phillips ignores that Fahim went on to explain why the choice was made: "In the political calculation of Republicans, however, Cheney is a perfect choice. Besides appealing to the conservative base of the party, he provides the weight critics have said Governor Bush lacks."

Phillips is portraying legitimate, mainstream observations as "extremism" and "bias." It's certainly red meat for AIM's readers, but not actual media criticism.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 PM EDT
Les Kinsolving Whining Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily keeps up the whining in a May 10 article complaining that White House press secretary Jay Carney "has refused to allow two questions to be raised that were caused by concern over the idea of spending tax money to lobby for more tax money for 'liberal' causes" by WND' Les Kinsolving.

As per usual, the article is structured to suggest that Carney had advance knowledge of what Kinsolving was going to ask, which WND offers no evidence to back up.

Besides, as it turns out, Kinsolving's questions are based on a false premise, that NPR is using "taxpayer financing for lobbying." In fact, an NPR spokesperson told Politico that the federal funding it receives through grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting "must be used ONLY for the specific projects covered by each grant. The funds are not used to support NPR’s general operations. So the notion that these grants would be used to pay for advocacy is completely bogus."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EDT
CNS Using Alinsky's FBI File to Attack Obama

A May 10 article by Christopher Neefus states that CNS has obtained "the FBI’s complete file" on "left-wing community organizer Saul Alinsky," detailing how the FBI sent Alinsky's records to the Secret Service "after Alinsky suggested that President Lyndon Johnson would be in danger when visiting Chicago for the 1968 Democratic National Convention."

What's the news value here? None, except for one thing: it allows CNS to portray Alinsky as "one of President Barack Obama’s intellectual forebears." Neefus makes no other reference to Obama in the article, and he offers no evidence to back up this claim.

It seems CNS will continue rooting through Alinsky's FBI file looking for other instances of untoward behavior it can tar Obama with through a politically motivated bit of guilt by association. Since there is no news value here, the only possible reason for CNS to run this and future articles is to advance its right-wing partisan agenda.

Which makes CNS a political organization, not a news organization.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:38 AM EDT

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