Flashback: When The MRC Whitewashed News of the World Scandal Topic: Media Research Center
Over the past week, the Media Research Center has been utterly silent about the planet's biggest journalism scandal: the widespread phone-hacking conducted by the British newspaper News of the World, a scandal so severe that owner Rupert Murdoch felt he had to shut down the 168-year-old paper to stave off criticism.
Why the blackout? Perhaps because it, like Fox News, is a Murdoch property, and we know how much the MRC looooves Fox News. But there's also the inconvenient fact that the last time the MRC addressed News of the World's phone-hacking, it was the purpose of trying to discredit the investigation into it.
Tim Graham used an April 13 NewsBusters post to attack NPR for reporting on the phone-hacking. While Graham called it "disreputable media conduct," he also sought to minimize the scandal by claiming that "the socialist newspaper The Guardian has been all over this story." In case Graham's ideological bias wasn't clear enough, he emphasized the point later on by complaining that one person NPR interviewed writes "for that socialist newspaper The Guardian -- where he presently has a blog on media."
Graham even ran to the defense of former News of the World editor Andrew Coulson, asserting that there was a slant to NPR's story "Wouldn't the average listener conclude that NPR was saying Coulson was culpable in the scandal?" Given that Coulson has since been arrested on charges related to the phone-hacking, it appears that NPR has been vindicated.
Graham was also hacked off that NPR wasn't shilling for his preferred right-wing causes: "Not being investigated by NPR: close ties between international financier George Soros and NPR -- not to mention NPR's intense ties to the Obama political establishment."
Finally, Graham drew a false equivalence between the News of the World phone-hacking and a late-1990s case in which someone "hacked" a phone call by then-House Republican Leader Newt Gingrich. Of course, that's not exactly what happened; it was recorded over a legally purchased police scanner that could pick up the frequency Gingrich's cell phone was using. News of the World, by contrast, was actively obtaining passwords to the voice mail of their targets and, in the case of missing British girl Milly Dowler, was actively deleting messages, thus giving her parents and authorities hope that she was still alive (she was later found dead).
That's why you haven't heard anything about this at the MRC for a while. In fact, it wasn't until today that it has mentioned News of the World since Graham's post three months ago.
A NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock laughably tries to suggest that actions by editor Tina Brown were just as "amoral" as those done by News of the World. Whitlock's evidence? Brown saying on "Morning Joe" that Republicans who oppose raising the debt limit were acting like "suicide bombers" and ... the Newsweek cover with Princess Diana added to a picture of Kate Middleton.
Yeah, Photoshopping someone into a picture is just as bad as hacking the voice mail of a missing child.
Meanwhile, an MRC TimesWatch post by Clay Waters tries to equivocate the scandal away, huffing that the New York Times was "piling on" the News of the World scandal by "featur[ing] various angles of the story on its front page for 5 out of the last 7 days, plus multiple stories in the International News section on every aspect of the sleazy saga," while it "was far less aggressive in its coverage of an American media scandal, the September 2004 attempt by the CBS News show '60 Minutes' to bring down George W. Bush with forged documents."
At least Waters conceded the the News of the World scandal is "sleazy," which is more than we've seen from the rest of the MRC. But will any MRC denounce the scandal unequivocally, without comparing it to older controversies? Don't count on it.
Sheppard followed that one up with his adamant approval of Coulter's insult of someone who not only wasn't even on the show but is a private citizen, declaring that guest Chris Hayes' mother is 'a drain on society" because she works for the government. The vast majority of people would consider such an attack on a private citizen to be unwarranted and excessively mean -- especially since Coulter can't possibly know Hayes' mom and is in no position to judge her -- but Sheppard loves it anyway, concluding by shorting, "Game, set match."
So the MRC has gone from mere hostility to expression of liberal views to cheering on insults of anyone who is not conservative. Of course, if it wasn't for this sort of thing, the MRC would have no "media criticism" at all.
WND Baselessly Claims Stimulus Money Went to ATF's 'Fast and Furious' Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 9 WorldNetDaily article by Michael Carl forwards the idea that a $10 million earmark in the stimulus bill for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Project Gunrunner means that a program known as "Fast and Furious" in which Mexican drug runners were allowed to buy weapons in the U.S. "originated at the highest levels of the Obama administration" and that, according to Gun Owners of America President Larry Pratt, "stimulus money was given to a drug dealer to buy guns."
In fact, Media Matters points out that none of the stimulus money earmarked for Project Gunrunner went to Arizona, where the "Fast and Furious" operation took place; that money was used establish field offices in California, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico, hire employees (none of whom worked in Arizona), and purchase armored vehicles.
Carl is also falsely conflating "Fast and Furious" with the much larger Gunrunner program. Even right-wing blogger Bob Owens notes that "Gunrunner is a long-term cartel weapons interdiction program that kicked off during the previous administration," and "there is no indication that Gunrunner has ever been anything but above-board."
MRC's Strange Idea of MSNBC's 'Journalism' Topic: Media Research Center
A July 7 Media Research Center item by Geoffrey Dickens marks MSNBC's 15th anniversary by highlighting a cliip from each year to prove "the Lean Forward network's decade-and-a-half long devotion to advancing the cause of liberalism under the guise of journalism."
Just one little problem: At least 10 of those clips appear to be from opinion shows, not news segments. We're treating "Internight," which aired in the late 1990s, as "news," but we haven't seen the show enough to say for sure whether it is.
In other words, Dickens and the MRC aren't really criticizing liberal journalism -- they're criticizing the fact that liberal opinions were uttered. Is that "media research"? Not really. Is that partisan bashing due to disagreement with the point of view being expressed? Absolutely.
On the heels of a new economic forecast showing that the domestic and international economy is tanking, and with new turmoil in the oil-dependent Middle East, both President Barack Hussein Obama and the minions of Democrats and Republicans who spend their time feathering their own nest continued to dis-serve the American people with gamesmanship, intellectual dishonesty and outright treasonous behavior – all designed to further their re-election efforts.
Then there was President Obama's decision to "cleverly" force an end to the budget talks with Republicans – talks obviously designed to reduce the huge and life-threatening federal deficit. Obama and his socialist allies in Congress demanded huge tax increases as a quid pro quo to deficit reduction. This tact, taken to again appease Obama and his fellow Democrats' left-wing base, necessary for their re-election in 2012, would further damage the economy, stifle job growth and put a bigger dent in family incomes during what is in effect an economic depression. And, Republicans reacted quickly to take the bait for political ends, calling off any further talks to make them look strong to tea-party voters who had forecast correctly that the GOP would overly compromise during the talks. Tea-party votes are necessary for the Republicans to win control of the White House and total control of Congress in 2012.
Last but not least, President Obama ordered last Thursday that the nation's strategic petroleum reserves be drawn down to put more oil on the market, just temporarily lowering the price of gasoline for the summer months. Americans are overwhelmingly upset with Obama at his failure to curb the increase in gasoline prices. This executive order would jeopardize our emergency reserves at a crucial time when the Middle East is in turmoil, Libyan oil has stopped flowing to world markets, and the region may explode in war – cutting off oil supplies almost totally. While most Republicans objected, none to date has taken a strong stand against this reckless outrage. Obama's executive order was designed, again, to boost his chances of re-election.
Yes, Norman Mailer, a leftist, was "right" almost 40 years ago. That it took this long for the corrupt political pygmies of Washington, D.C., to bring the nation to the brink of disaster is the only miracle that is apparent.
Before my book "Whores" was published, I tried to contact Mailer to ask him to proudly write its foreword. Sadly, Mailer had died, just a few years before we Americans may soon experience the death of our nation.
When Constitutional scholar Barack Hussein Obama and the assortment legal advisers that surrounds him decided that the Commerce Clause authorized the federal government to force private citizens to purchase a product, freedom vanished from America.
With this newly declared authority, the federal government can force its citizens to do anything the government wishes. This omnipotent power is the same power exercised by the governments of Hitler, Stalin and all other despots who have denied freedom to their citizens.
I always find it amusing when Americans look down their noses at the English royals, as so many did on the occasion of Prince William's recent marriage to Kate Middleton.
We Yanks can trumpet our democratic ways all we like, but at the end of the day it's all so much idle chatter. We have our own form of royalty, but unlike England's, where the lineage goes back centuries and where they usually know how to carry it off with some dignity and panache, we're stuck with brain-addled actors, brain-fried rock stars, felonious athletes and the Obamas.
Even to the casual onlooker, it's obvious that Barack and Michelle have confused an election victory with winning the super grand prize on "American Idol."
It defies reason that elected officials should be arguing about whether or not to raise the debt ceiling, given where their borrowing has brought us. (This line of reasoning does not factor in the intentional economic sabotage of uber-radicals in the Obama administration, so bear with me.) Common sense would dictate that advocates of raising the debt ceiling would be too ashamed to admit it and that those in opposition would summarily refuse even to hear arguments in its favor, let alone negotiate the point.
As we celebrate Independence Day, the nation's birthday, a day marked by fireworks, flags, patriotic speeches, parades and reflections about a document that gives it all legitimacy and purpose, I can't help contrast our past traditions with our present attitudes.
The man occupying the highest office in the land has never been required to prove his constitutional eligibility to serve there. And recently, in a desperate bid to quell the growing controversy about that failure, he released a fake birth certificate – an obvious fraud.
We obviously have a different attitude about historical documents today than we once did. I can't understand why more Americans – especially the so-called watchdogs in the media – aren't curious about all this. I can only imagine some are afraid of what they might find.
But what bothers me most about our attitude toward historical documents today is our disrespect for the most important one for all for Americans – the Constitution, which set three simple eligibility requirements for presidents of the United States, one of which has never been proven in the case of the current occupant of the White House. In fact, as of now, all available evidence strongly suggests he is not.
Essential Birther Reading Material Topic: WorldNetDaily
Loren Collins, a lawyer who did some of the most notable research debunking the birther claims peddled by WorldNetDaily and others, is writing a book on the birther movement, called "Birth of a Notion." He has published an excerpt from the book on his website.
Read it here. After all, you can't expect that Jerome Corsi will be all that eager to interview him about it.
There were approximately 2.4 million fewer Americans working in June 2011 than there were when President Barack Obama signed the economic stimulus bill on Feb. 17, 2009, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
According to the BLS, there were approximately 141.68 million people counted as “employed” in America back in February 2009. By June of 2011, that number had fallen to approximately 139.33 million, yielding a net reduction in jobs of approximately 2.4 million.
But Cover is cherry-picking numbers to make Obama look bad. He ignores that at the depth of the recession in October 2009, the total number of employed according to BLS was 138.27 million. That means the number of people employed in June is up more than a million people since October 2009.
Meanwhile, we're still waiting for Cover to explain why he flip-flopped from reporting that campaign videos President Obama filmed inside the White House were not illegal to asserting that they were.
WND Still Lying To Its Readers That Nobody's Defending Obama Birth Certificate Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 9 WorldNetDaily article goes to absurdly dishonest means to discredit anyone -- like WND -- who claims that nobody has come forward to defend President Obama's long-form birth certificate:
On the Obamaconspiracy site, forum participants blasted those who want information about Obama's qualifications.
"The people who have expertise and used it objectively to look at the document have found no signs of tampering," wrote one, although there was no citation to support it.
Another, however, raised some concerns about the adequacy of the certificate.
"I have looked at the evidence … All experts unanimously agree that it is fake. This was not even a good forgery."
WND doesn't explain that the Obama Conspiracy website is an anti-birther site. Not only doesn't WND link to the site in general, it doesn't even link to the post in which those comments were made.
If you looked for that specific comment in the post, you would find that it was written by "Dr. Conspiracy," who runs the website. WND's claim that there "no citation to support" his comment since Obama Conspiracy has posted at least two analyses of the certificate's PDF file -- one of them conducted by "Dr. Conspiracy" himself. Anyone with any familiarity with the Obama Conspracy website -- as WND appears to demonstrate -- would know that.
As for the other comment cited by WND that "All experts unanimously agree that it is fake," "Dr. Conspiracy" directly responds to it in a later comment:
Brian Leffler: ALL experts unanimously agree that it is fake.
But of course that statement is false. The most technically competent person to have looked at the PDF file found no signs of tampering whatever:
So when you say ALL experts, you just show your own lack of information. Now if somebody had fooled me like that, tricking me into embarrassing myself saying that “ALL” experts agree when in fact it’s not even close, I would seek out that person and buffet them about the head.
I have not seen any expert that demonstrates any expertise in his field saying that the White House long form PDF has been tampered with. I’ve seen a lot of hand waving, a lot of claims of expertise and ZERO science. It’s not a matter of quantity, but of quality, and not one certified document examiner has said there’s evidence of tampering.
WND curiously didn't mention this response.
WND is either so lazy that it can't be bothered to read the entire comment thread or lift a finger to poke around elsewhere in the website -- or it's deliberately hiding the truth from its readers for fear of undermining its birther crusade. We'll go with the latter, since WND is already on record as lying about the purported lack of document defenders.
Michael Reagan Likens Gays to Serial Killers Topic: Newsmax
Singling out a segment of the population for specific inclusion in school studies programs on the basis of their sexual preferences elevates what — rightly or wrongly — many see as a form of sexual perversion, to a civil right.
The bill, SB 48, passed on a party-line vote, adds lesbian, gay, bisexual, and so-called transgendered people as well as those with physical or mental disabilities to the list of groups that schools must include in the lessons. It also would prohibit material that reflects adversely on gays.
Unless I'm badly mistaken, what the legislature has done is to classify sexual preference as a form of disability, meaning that those who adopt the lifestyle are mentally or physically disabled though no fault of their own. Somehow I seriously doubt that gays or cross-dressers will appreciate being classified as disabled as a result of their sexual orientation or preferences.
This is just another example of the tendency of legislators sticking their noses into the personal lives of the citizenry.
It will prove instructive to see how the state's lawmakers go about the job of implementing this absurd legislation. Will they, for example, rule that textbooks must describe what the state classifies as acceptable behavior? Or exactly how?
Should the state require textbooks used in its schools to provide play-by-play descriptions of the behavior they sanction? Just where does this stop? Should not the "contributions" of convicted thieves be celebrated? Or those of serial killers? Or embezzlers?
Mychal Massie's full-blown case of Obama Derangement Syndrome seems to be getting worse. Massie howled in his July 5 WorldNetDaily column:
Democratic pollster Pat Caddell was less than gracious when he said: Obama is not "a true Democrat." Caddell is right; he isn't a true Democrat, he is a true Marxist – and that's what Caddell was dancing around, but actually saying. He is transpicuously dishonest and untruthful to the point of needing professional help. I am of the opinion that all politicians are liars, but even using that low standard, he makes Anthony Weiner look like less of a liar. He is an increasingly unstable, despotic narcissist, and that is becoming more apparent with every national speech he gives. It's important to again note that after each national speech the criticism from liberals becomes more pronounced.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Massie is just as deranged. Here's one expanded tweet:
bho is dangerous as poisonous pit viper as corrupt and dishonest as judas iscariot himself - he is hateful he is common n he is determined 2 have his own way - he is also increasingly unstable - as I watch him come under the weight of his actions trying 2 force his agendas/policies thru it becomes increasingly apparent that he that we r looking at a man who is beyond redemption n worthy of rebuke - it is not just for the sake of the nation we must drive him out - it is for the sake of all we hold just
"I watched America's limp-wrist mack-daddy fairy princess in pink panties hip-hop his way to the teleprompter for his press conference. The I muted the sound, and watched it in closed captioning - because, the sound of his voice makes me sick to my stomach. His comments were more closely identified to that bodily function, which can be as either a noun or a verb and is accompanied by micturation - only in his case it comes out of his mouth and ears - and properly explains why his eyes are brown." (Read the rest of "I cannot lie, obama makes me sick" at http://mychal-massie.com)
NewsBusters' Sheppard Ignores Economic Chaos Resulting From Failure to Raise Debt Limit Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard writes in a July 5 NewsBusters post:
If you believe every word uttered by hysterical news anchors and political commentators lately, you would think the world ends August 2nd if the debt ceiling isn't raised.
Not only isn't this true, it's another indication of the press's total ignorance about our nation's budget and/or their willingness to lie to the American people in order to get taxes raised.
Consider that last August, we brought in $164 billion in receipts. As it should be equal to or greater than that this year, we will easily afford the roughly $35 billion of interest expense without raising the debt ceiling.
Our monthly Social Security and Medicare outlays in May were $51 billion. Assuming they're close to the same in August, we'd still be left with $78 billion to pay military members, and a variety of other things.
Will we have enough to meet all of our obligations?
Certainly not. Like what's happened in the past, many government employees and contractors would be given IOUs.
BUT, unlike what the Obama-loving media are telling people, we won't have to default on our debt, we won't have to forego payments to America's seniors, and we won't have to hold back the salaries of our military members in the field.
But Sheppard, in suggesting that there would be no consequences to handing out IOUs to people or to not paying, has chosen to ignore the consequences of doing so even if interest payments on the debt and other obligations continue to be paid. As Media Matters details:
Those IOUs Sheppard would so blithely hand out would come as part of an immediate 44 percent decrease in government spending -- a number that constitutes 10 percent of GDP.
A Standard & Poor's expert states that such a contraction of federal spending "would have a very sharp negative fiscal impulse to the economy, and that would be disruptive."
The global rating agency Fitch Ratings states that "Widespread and prolonged delay to suppliers of goods and services, including salary payments to federal employees, would damage perceptions of US sovereign creditworthiness," adding "extensive payment delays on other obligations would confirm that the US government was in severe financial distress and that a failure to make payments on rated Treasury securities (bills, notes and bonds) was potentially imminent. If it had not already done so, in such circumstances Fitch would place its sovereign rating of the US on RWN [Rating Watch Negative]."
Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker said that the last time the U.S. delayed making some payments, interest rates went up, meaning that interest on the debt would become more costly.
Banking firm UBS points out that not only would there be a likely "sharp increase in interest rates" from failure to raise the debt ceiling, it would also keep the U.S. from paying interest on Treasury bills that have matured, an issue because investors are less likely to roll over their T-bills under such unstable conditions.
So who's expressing "total ignorance about our nation's budget" here? Looks like Sheppard is.
President Obama quietly has been funding the notorious radical group ACORN, his former employer and legal client, possibly in violation of federal law, according to a new report.
Obama's Department of Housing and Urban Development gave a $79,819 grant to a Florida office of the largest branch of the ACORN tree, the massive conglomerate known as ACORN Housing Corp, or AHC. The grant, awarded in March, was recently discovered by the nonpartisan watchdog group Judicial Watch.
False. First, as Media Matters points out, ACORN no longer exists, having filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last November, so it is in no position to receive funding of any kind.
Second, WND deliberately gets the name of the group receiving money wrong. As WND itself notes later in the article, "ACORN Housing filed papers last year legally changing its name to Affordable Housing Centers of America, or AHCOA." So WND is lying to its readers by introducing AHCOA only as ACORN Housing Corp.
While WND goes on to state that "HUD considers AHCOA to be completely separate from ACORN," it failed to report that the Government Accountability Office has also determined that AHCOA "is not an affiliate, subsidiary, or allied organization of ACORN."
WND went on to claim that "a September 2010 report from HUD's inspector general found that the group may have concealed fraud by destroying or failing to produce records. The report said the group charged the government salary costs for employees after they were terminated and that ACORN may have corruptly funneled taxpayer dollars to its affiliates and engaged in money laundering." But WND curiously didn't report that the report also said that AHCOA states it has "completed many of the corrective measures suggested by the OIG," adding, "We commend AHCOA’s efforts to bring its operations into compliance with Federal requirements and its willingness to resolve the issues identified in the report."
WND also gave ACORN-hater Matthew Vadum plenty of space to rant about how much he hates ACORN while ignoring the fact that ACORN no longer exists -- thus undermining the entire premise of his rant.
CNS' Jeffrey Walks Back Kagan 'Investigation' Claim Topic: CNSNews.com
In a July 6 CNSNews.com article, Terry Jeffrey had claimed that "the House Judiciary Committee is launching an inquiry to probe the involvement that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan had in 'health care legislation or litigation' when she was serving as President Barack Obama’s solicitor general." It turns out that's false, and Jeffrey has been forced to correct it.
An new editor's note at the top of the article reads:
As originally posted, this story used the word “investigation” in three places to describe what the House Judiciary Committee was initiating with Chairman Lamar Smith’s letter to the attorney general which is cited in this report. In those three places, the word “investigation” has been changed to “inquiry.” The committee requested a correction of the story, saying Smith’s letter asking for four categories of documents from the Justice Department as well as “witness interviews” is a “request for additional information” and not the beginning of a “formal investigation.” “The Committee has contacted the Justice Department for additional information, but we have not launched a formal investigation at this time,” a Judiciary Committee aide told CNSNews.com in an emailed statement.
Jeffrey, meanwhile, devotes a separate July 8 article to an expansion of the editor's note.
Of course, in neither article does Jeffrey demonstrate any interest in inquring if the House Judiciary Committee will investigate an apparent conflict of interest on health care reform regarding Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife has been involved in activism against the law. Jeffrey has long refused to report on this.
WND Thinks Obama Is A Decepticon Topic: WorldNetDaily
Drew Zahn writes in his WorldNetDaily review of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon":
As for the film's more significant worldview messages, there's very little depth beyond a few, throwaway lines about "believing in yourself" and the shameless objectification of the lead actress's physical assets.
But if you stick with me, we'll have a little fun at Obama's expense.
For starters, Witwicky receives a medal in the film from the president. And while the twenty-something Sam is literally gaga for Obama, reverently showing off his medal as though it represents great status, every other character who sees it … is simply not impressed.
Even more fun, however, is the coincidental likening of Obama to Decepticon leader Megatron.
At the opening of the film, the leader of the Autobots explains that on their planet, the Autobots fought for freedom, while the Decepticons fought for tyranny. Since no one could plausibly argue Obama is fighting for greater freedom, but a case could be made his policies are pushing us toward a more tyrannical federal government … clue No. 1, Obama is a Decepticon.
Later in the film, a human accomplice of the Decepticons proclaims, "You have to be on the side of progress if you want to be part of history": Hmmm, "progress," progressive, … yep, clue No. 2 Obama is a Decepticon.
The same accomplice also declares, "We all work for the Decepticons now." Given Obama's record government spending, attempted takeovers in the banking, auto and health industries and an ever-increasing percentage of the population working in the public sector … yep, clue No. 3 Obama is a Decepticon.
Finally, a reporter over at MSNBC recently got in a lot of trouble for turning aside after listening to Obama speak, when he thought the microphones were off, and calling Obama "kind of a dick."
In the film, the Decepticon's human accomplice listens to Megatron give yet another self-aggrandizing speech, turns aside where the Decpticons can't hear and pronounces of his robot leader, "What a dick!"
As I was already joking with myself about the idea of the Decepticons being like Obama, when I heard the same crude word used to describe the same, condescending, self-centered attitude … I just about fell out of my chair laughing! What are the odds of the film so paralleling real life?
In the end, the MSNBC host Mark Halperin got suspended for the insult. The human accomplice in "Dark of the Moon" doesn't fare any better.
If WND is willing to believe this about Obama, no wonder it's clinging to the birther conspiracy.
MRC Loves Conservatives' Insults Hurled At NY Times Editor Topic: Media Research Center
In a July 6 MRC TimesWatch post, Clay Waters reveled in the insults heaped upon New York Times editor Bill Keller in a recent letters section, touting how "The latest edition of the New York Times’ Sunday magazine gave conservatives a rare opportunity to repurpose Times Executive Editor Bill Keller as a pinata" in reaction to a Keller column about Sarah Palin.
Is it really "media criticism" to take such pleasure in seeing people insulted? Waters and the MRC seem to think so.