Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center already despises gays, so Chaz Bono's presence on "Dancing With the Stars" could only set off its outrage meter even more. Read more >>
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Farah Lives Dangerously, Encourages Palin To Sue McGinness for Libel
The irony positively drips from Joseph Farah's Sept. 26 WorldNetDaily column, in which he claims that "I think Sarah Palin should sue the daylights out of Joe McGinniss and his publisher for their reckless disregard for the truth they showed in his new book –which, for the purpose of this column, shall remain nameless." He continued:
Of course, by his own standard, Farah and WND can be sued for libeling President Obama. WND has told numerous lies about Obama and his administration and smeared him as a Muslim, a Nazi and the Antichrist. There's no question that such attacks are "mean-spirited, politically motivated, profit-motivated and made with such malicious intent and reckless disregard for the truth." Indeed, Farah has already admitted that WND regularly publishes misinformation, which wouldn't exactly aid in his defense.
Further, WND has a documented record of losing libel lawsuits. It settled a lawsuit by Al Gore associate Clark Jones by admitting that "no witness verifies the truth of what the witnesses are reported by authors to have stated" about Jones and that "no document has been discovered that provides any verification that the statements written were true." Given that WND did no independent fact-checking of the claims about Jones before publishing, that's tantamount to admitted it libeled him.
If Palin can sue McGinniss and win, Obama can sue WND and win.
MRC Repeats Bogus Cost-Per-Job Claim
Topic: Media Research Center
We've previously noted that the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor uncritically promoted a claim that an Obama administration green-jobs initiative cost $5 million per job created despite the misleading math involved at arriving that figure. The MRC liked that bogus figure so much, it repeated it again.
Julia Seymour asserted in a Sept. 21 MRC Business & Media Institute item: "The Washington Post, the $36.8 billion loan program has created only 5 percent of the 65,000 jobs promised and each job cost more than $5 million." Seymour got the number wrong -- the program has granted $38.6 billionin loan guarantees, not $36.8 billion.
In fact, as former White House economist Jared Bernstein details, the government didn't actually spend $38.6 billion on the loan guarantee program -- that assumes that all the loans will go bad, an extremely unlikely occurrence. The actual cost of bad loans that will result in the government covering for them will likely end up being under $5 billion, which Bernstein points out "gets you into a much more reasonable neighborhood re bang-for-buck."
That the MRC would repeat a figure it must know is a fraud -- and Seymour's own sloppiness in getting one of the numbers wrong -- tells us all we need to know about whether it's a political organization or a "research" organization.
WND's Vox Day Equates Immigrants With Nazis
We thought Vox Day liked the Nazis more than he did immigrants. After all, he regularly goes Godwin, and he proudly offered Nazi efficiency in departing Jews as a prior example for how one could remove millions of unwanted immigrants from a country (a reference even WorldNetDaily couldn't quite stomach).
Now, it appears that Day has reduced the status of Nazis to something equal to immigrants. From his Sept. 25 WND column:
But above all, Day really, really hates immigrants:
Day's immigrant-bashing is quite ironic because he himself is an immigrant, having fled the U.S. for Italy, where he still resides as far as we know.
Monday, September 26, 2011
MRC's Double Standard on Tabloid Bilge
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is all huffy about Joe McGinniss' new book on Sarah Palin:
Of course, the MRC doesn't mind "tabloid bilge" when it's about a Democrat. It's usually begging the media to report that.
We've already documented how the MRC loved tabloid bilge when it involved John Edwards, and demanded that the rest of the media repeat what the National Enquirer had reported on it. During the Clinton years, the MRC wanted every sleazy allegation spread far and wide.
In a February 1998 column, Bozell claimed that President Clinton deserved tabloid-level coverage: "Clinton receives tabloid coverage because he leads a tabloid life. It's that simple." You won't find Bozell saying that about Palin even though, unlike Clinton, Palin has starred in a reality show.
Just add this to the long list of double standards the MRC manages to maintain.
Gay Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Scott Lively, Sept. 23 WorldNetDaily column
Who Cares What A Foreigner Has To Say About Obama? Noel Sheppard Does
Noel Sheppard devoted a Sept. 18 NewsBusters post to the rantings of a foreigner, declaring that "Maybe what America's press really need is a Canadian television commentator to explain how atrocious their coverage of Barack Obama has been since the moment he tossed his named into the presidential ring in February 2007."
Does Sheppard offer any evidence that CBC's Rex Murphy has any extensive experience or specific insight into American politics beyond saying what Sheppard wants to hear? Nope. Plus, he's not even an American.
Further, Sheppard doesn't even bother to fact-check Murphy's errors. As Mdia Matters points out, Murphy ludicrously claims that the press “walked right past” the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scandal during the spring of 2008. In fact, Wright was mentioned in the media dozens of times in March and April 2008.
Sheppard concludes by opining: 'Maybe with their help, the media malpractice will be totally acknowledged by the guilty parties, and America will never have to witness such a disgraceful episode again." The "disgraceful episode," of course, being the election of Obama. This seems like the kind of partisan electioneering that doesn't comport with the MRC's non-profit tax status.
Kessler and Keene, Together Again
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler has been a longtime fluffer of conservative activist, David Keene, giving him a platform to spout conservative talking points, and he does that yet again in a Sept. 22 column letting Keene pontificate on Republican prospects in the 2012 presidential race, declaring that "Gov. Rick Perry is a riskier presidential candidate than Mitt Romney."
Keene peddles establishment conservatism in pushing for Romney, declaring that Perry overextended himself by asserting that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, and, according to Kessler, thinks that "Perry’s candidacy could help Romney become a stronger candidate."
Kessler weirdly identifies Keene only has "the former chairman of the American Conservative Union," making no mention of his current job, president of the National Rifle Association.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
MRC Praises Author It Denounced For Criticizing Bush
Topic: Media Research Center
When Ron Suskind's 2008 book, "The Way of the World," came out in 2008, the Media Research Center was eager to discredit it for its critical view of the Bush administration:
And when Suskind's 2006 book "The One Percent Doctrine" came out, in which the Bush administration also did not come off well,Mark Finkelstein huffed that Suskind is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, where the news pages are "more liberal than even the New York Times," citing a discredited study as evidence.
Now that Suskind has written a new book painting the Obama administration in an unflattering light, the MRC has changed its tune on the author. Far from nit-picking his book or pretending that rebuttal of claims equals a discrediting, the MRC demanded coverage of the book:
Funny how, in the eyes of the MRC, an author goes from discredited to lionized depending upon who he's writing about.
WND Falsely Claims Jobs Money Going to Group That Doesn't Exist
A Sept. 19 WorldNetDaily article promoting Matthew Vadum's ACORN-bashing book begins: "President Obama's new economic stimulus package contains as much as $15 billion in payoffs for radical left-wing groups such as ACORN, his former employer."
Just one little problem: ACORN no longer exists. It filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last December.
WND offers no evidence that the money is specifically earmarked for ACORN (which, again, does not exist). It merely claims that the $15 billion earmarked for "Project Rebuild." would "go to state and local governments and to 'qualified nonprofit organizations' to redevelop abandoned and foreclosed properties." It's not explained how that equals ACORN (which does not exist), or how that means that ACORN (which does not exist) would receive all $15 billion.
Further, no evidence is offered that "qualified nonprofit organizations" with a conservative viewpoint are automatically disqualifed from receiving money.
Later in the article, WND walks that back a little:
But that's still misleading. In fact, the Government Accountability Office has determined that AHCOA "is not an affiliate, subsidiary, or allied organization of ACORN."
Vadum and WND are misleading readers to prop up a defunct talking point.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
CNS Declares U.N. Bashers To Be 'Stellar'
The headline on a Sept. 23 CNSNews.com article by Patrick Goodenough on a conference that "raised the issue of ending monetary contributions to the U.N. as long as its actions continue to 'delegitimize' Israel" reads, "Stellar Cast of Critics Slam U.N. As Anti-American, Anti-Israel."
And who is the first person in this "stellar cast" that Goodenough deemed worthy of quoting? Jon Voight. No, really. Indeed, Goodenough didn't explain why any of the critics should be described as "stellar."
Goodenough noted that Voight is an "Academy Award-winning actor," but he didn't describe how that qualifed Voight to be a "stellar" critic of the United Nations.
Of course, had Voight not been spouting conservative talking points, CNS and its parent organization, the Media Research Center, would be attacking him for speaking out.
Aaron Klein churns out yet another guilt-by-association special in a Sept. 22 WorldNetDaily article on Jonathan Greenblatt, head of President Obama's Social Innovation and Civic Participation Council.
As Media Matters details, Klein attacks Greenblatt for having ties to the Aspen Institute, which "works closely with" George Soros, while not mentioning that one member of Aspen's board of truestees is right-wing billionaire activist David Koch. Klein claims that one of those links to Soros is that its conference facilities were "used by" Soros at one time.
Klein also repeatedly attacks Greenblatt for having "several ties to Google," even though WND has a formal business relationship with Google through participation in its AdSense program.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Tim Graham Gives The MRC's Game Away
Tim Graham probably didn't mean to admit that his employer, the Media Research Center, cares more about political hack work than "media research," but that's what he does in a Sept. 22 NewsBusters post.
Responding to a claim by the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto that it's "dog bites man to complain about "hostile liberal questions" aimed at Republican presidential candidates, and that such questions are "doing the ultimate nominee a favor" by "toughening" them up for the election, Graham asserted:
Graham has essentially admitted what we've already deduced: that the MRC cares only about pushing the "liberal media" trope and has no interest in things (like Fox News) that don't conform to its hypothesis.
And if Graham cares so much about an "objective" media that provides "honest information and balanced analysis," he and his employer should try operating one sometime, because the MRC-owned CNSNews.com certainly isn't it. Graham has no moral standing to criticize other media outlets for bias when his employer's media outlet is far more riddled with bias.
Thanks, Mr. Graham, for giving the MRC's game away. Now explain why the MRC should be taken seriously amid such blatant hypocrisy.
Joseph Farah Thin Skin Watch
In his Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah again responds to criticism in his usual thin-skinned way: lots of name-calling refusing to address the actual criticism.
This time, the target is MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who aired a segment centered on WND's promotion of a self-proclaimed counterterrorism expert who is apparently little more than a Muslim-basher. Farah starts off your basic ad hominem attack, declaring that only watches MSNBC "when it focuses on me" because the alternative is to "suffer through the tedium and infuriation of actually watching a cable network at which the inmates are quite literally running the asylum." He went on to claim that MSNBC "has more in common with the old Soviet-era, official state press organs Izvestia or Pravda than what we once knew, a generation ago, as American-style, professional journalism. He then claimed that "Maddow has a big mouth but very little courage" because she didn't invite him on her show to respond in person. (This from the operator of a website that regularly publishes only one side of a story.)
As he did last week when he bashed Michael Medved for saying mean things about him, Farah uses no direct quotes of what Maddow said, speaking only in generalities. Farah claimed that the author of the article on the counterterrorism expert Maddow featured, Wired's Spencer Ackerman, "defam[ed] a very serious and highly credentialed counter-terrorism expert by the name of William Gawthrop – turning him unfairly into a bigoted cartoon character for his efforts to protect America from future terrorist attacks. There's no scandal in Gawthrop's work or his opinions."
Farah is being disingenous, since he never bothers to explain the source of the controversy over Gawthrop. As Ackerman wrote (in an article Farah failed to link to), Gawthrop was the author of several tracts used in FBI counterterrorism training baselessly claiming that, among other things, the more “devout” a Muslim, the more likely he is to be “violent” and that a “moderating process cannot happen if the Koran continues to be regarded as the unalterable word of Allah.”
Then, as you'd expect, Farah bashes Ackerman:
At no point does Farah prove anything Ackerman wrote to be wrong. It's just another rant by a man too thin-skinned to take criticism.
Newsmax Twists Clinton Comments To Portray Him As Opposing Obama
Is Bill Clinton perhaps regretting chumming up to Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy, his former tormenter?
We've documented the Ruddy-Clinton rapprochement when it began in 2007 (even though the rest of Newsmax was not that eager to change its Clinton-bashing stripes). Even though Ruddy had continued to say nice things about Clinton, one had to wonder if it would last, if Ruddy was setting Clinton up.
We have have gotten our answer with a Sept. 20 Newsmax interview of Clinton by Ruddy and Jim Meyers. The headline claim: "Ex-President Clinton to Newsmax: Raising Taxes Won't Work." The lede: "Former President Bill Clinton tells Newsmax that Washington should not raise taxes until the slumping economy is turned around — and says President Obama’s plan to increase taxes on the wealthy won’t solve the debt problem." That got lots of play in the right-wing media, including Fox News.
But as Media Matters points out, 1) Obama never claimed he would solve "the debt problem" by raising taxes alone, as Newsmax suggests, and 2) Newsmax selectively quoted Clinton's response to Ruddy's question to obscure the fact that the full Clinton statement (in the video attached to the Newsmax article) was much more nuanced than Newsmax's screaming headline suggested.
Further, as Media Matters also noted, Clinton gave another interview around the same time as the Newsmax interview in which he expresses support for Obama's plan and points out that it "would not kick in until the economy has growth well under way."
Salon's Steve Kornacki elaborates on Newsmax's deception:
If Ruddy is so eager to twist Clinton's words make a political point, maybe Ruddy is not really the friend to Clinton he claims to be -- and perhaps Clinton will try to make sure he's not taken in next time.
UPDATE: Newsmax columnist Matt Towery buys into the spin, echoing Newsmax's selective quoting by claiming that Clinton "blew off Obama's obsession with tax increases." Towery also declared: "This Newsmax interview can be looked upon as a gentle settling of many scores by Clinton with his fellow Democrats, who have led his party into the land of left-wing loons."
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