WND doesn't apologize for getting facts wrong or even issue corrections over it -- rather, it tries to make embarrassing mistakes go away as quietly as possible. Read more >>
Thursday, October 20, 2011
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily's Disappearing Act
WND doesn't apologize for getting facts wrong or even issue corrections over it -- rather, it tries to make embarrassing mistakes go away as quietly as possible. Read more >>
Cain Campaign Corrects Tim Graham's Attack on Criticism of Godfather's Pizza
In an Oct. 19 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham took issue with Washington Post writer Tim Carman's critique of Herman Cain based on his experience eating Godfather's Pizza. After noting that Carman wrote that Cain was campaigning "as if America were a midgrade Midwestern chain whose many problems could be solved with a few deaths in the family (read: store closings) and a tough-talking thug in a pin-stripe suit and fedora," Graham huffed: "Can’t a Post editor see that it might be impolite to equate closing unprofitable stores with Mob assassinations? Would they tolerate Barack Obama in the role of 'gangsta,' just let that be published?"
But Carman was doing no such thing; he was referring to Godfather's longtime mascot. Carman even said so later in his article, noting that Cain "brought back the original godfather character from the chain’s early years in the 1970s — a rubbery-mouthed Mafioso who loved to claim that Godfather’s was a 'pizza you can’t refuse.'" (You can see the original actor in the role in this vintage TV ad.)
Carman was also referring to the fact that "Cain’s primary weapon for reviving the brand was marketing" rather than any dramatic sort of innovation, as well as "Cain’s decision to downsize the chain’s ambitions" by locating outlets in "gas stations, convenience stores and the like."
Even Cain's campaign felt compelled to respond to Graham's misrepresentation. Graham added an update that acknowledged his error but still tried to salvage it anyway:
Graham also took an anti-elitist swipe at Carman, mocking him as "all grown up and writing articles about fine food" for his dismissal of Godfather's as "pies of no great distinction." Graham offers no opinion of his own on the taste of Godfather's -- he gives no indication he has ever tried it -- nor did he note a blind taste test conducted by Politico involving Democratic and Republican consultants as well as a local "foodie," in which Godfather's was universally panned.
P.S. As a Nebraska native like Carman -- my hometown is the home of the first Godfather's outside of Omaha -- who happened to eat at Godfather's on a recent trip back to the state, we can second Carman's analysis. The pizza I had was adequate but undistinguished, and eating there felt like a nostalgia trip. Even Godfather's founder, Willy Thiesen, has moved on to an upgraded experience: He now operates a restaurant that makes pizza in a coal-fired oven and offers wine paired with each pie.
Maybe today's Godfather's (and Graham) could take a little advice from its founder: "You've got to reinvent yourself. If you keep doing the same things you were doing, we've always heard, you get the same results. You've got to change yourself. Reinvent."
"U.S. Girls Just Dropping Dead"? No, WND Is Still Fearmongering About Gardasil
WorldNetDaily keeps up its dishonest and dangerous fringe anti-vaccine campaign against Gardasil with an Oct. 19 article by Joe Kovacs which carries the headline "U.S. girls just dropping dead." It repeats WND's previous scare tactics of highlighting adverse reactions to the Gardasil vaccine without offering any context of how they compare with other vaccines.
Kovacs claims that "26 additional deaths" were "caused by the shot" when, in fact, no such judgment has definitively been made -- he's merely regurgitating Judicial Watch's attacks. In fact, Kovacs concedes later in the article that the Centers for Disease Control -- an actual medical authority, unlike WND or Judicial Watch -- has found no "no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths" to suggest they were caused by the vaccine.
Kovacs also repeats the claim that one so-called "expert on Gardasil," Christian Fiala, "claims the drug is not only dangerous, but actually useless in fighting cervical cancer" without mentioning that Fiala has been called "Austria’s most notorious abortionist" by one anti-abortion website.
WND is simply engaged in some very desperate fearmongering -- and it's veering far away from the facts with the intent to destroy a business. Maybe Merck should sue WND for defamation; if WND's own lawsuit against Esquire magazine is a guide, Merck might win.
Newsmax Slobbers All Over Roger Ailes
Newsmax has posted a sneak peek of the upcoming edition of its magazine, featuring a lengthy, fawning profile of Fox News' Roger Ailes. Written by Deroy Murdock, a right-wing columnist whom Newsmax publishes, the profile is a predictably slobbering hagiography that attempts to whitewash Ailes' more dubious personality traits, copiously documented in other, less biased media, and minimizes Fox News' well-established right-wing bias.
Some examples of Murdock's fawning:
Remember, Newsmax attempted to buy Newsweek. Articles like this is what a Christopher Ruddy-led Newsweek would presumably look like.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Nazi References
An Oct. 18 NewsBusters post by Paul Wilson expresses outrage that actress Susan SArandon referred to Pope Benedict XVI as a "Nazi." Of course, he was, a fact Wilson tried to downplay as much as he could: "The future Pope was forced to serve in the Hitler Youth at 14. But he was an unwilling participant, who deserted the German army before the war’s end."
Funny, we don't recall any similar outrage from Wilson -- or anyone else at NewsBusters -- at Glenn Beck portraying George Soros as a Nazi collaborator. Nor do we recall NewsBusters declaring all the right-wing attacks on President Obama as a Nazi to be out of bounds.
But, hey, what's another double standard to NewsBusters?
Aaron Klein's Anonymous Sources Get Another Story Wrong
Another anonymously sourced article by WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has bitten the dust.
Last week, Klein granted anonymity to terrorists by quoting anonymous "Hamas leaders" as denying that an agreement has been reached for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured in 2006 by Palestinian militants during a raid on his military outpost.
Guess what: There was a deal to release Shalit, and he has been released.
Any chance Klein will issue a printed correction for the false claims of his anonymous and unverifiable sources? Don't count on it.
This is at least the second time this year that an anonymously sourced Klein article has been proven false. In January, Klein cited a senior PA official" to claim that "The Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority it will not veto an upcoming United Nations resolution condemning all Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem." In fact, the U.S. did veto that resolution.
Newsmax's Patten Grinds Out More Obama-Bashing Hack Work
We've detailed David Patten's right-wing hack work for Newsmax, and he turns in another biased "news" article that may as well be a Wayne Allyn Root column for its slavish devotion to Obama-bashing.
Patten kicks off his Oct. 17 article by writing:
Patten cribs without credit from a Republican National Committee-inspired Fox Nation item on purported "facts" about Obama's first 1,000 days in office -- and even then, he can't keep from embellishing them into fiction. He writes: "Healthcare: Obamacare did not reduce healthcare costs as promised and is in fact responsible for increasing costs in 2011. Health insurance premiums are up 13 percent." First, Obamacare has not fully gone into effect yet so it's disingenous for Patten to blame it for cost increases; second, even if you do accept that disingenuous premise, experts have found that only a small part of the increase can be attributed to health care reform.
Patten includes the usual Obama-bashers in his article, such as Doug Schoen and serial misleader Betsy McCaughey. He makes no effort whatsoever to provide a balanced view.
In other words, just more hack work from a conservative shill.
WND Mad Kinsolving Didn't Get To Ask His Gotcha Question
WorldNetDaily has yet another whining fit in an Oct. 13 article, asserting that Jay Carney "avoided" a question WND White House correspondent Les Kinsolving, once again baselessly suggesting that Carney knew the question Kinsolving was going to ask.
Even if Carney had known of the question -- which, again, WND presents no evidence to back up -- it's best that he did. WND reports that it was a gotcha question: "South Africa was boycotted [years ago] because of apartheid. If a Palestinian state is born that bans Jews, does the president believe that this administration should boycott it as the U.S. boycotted South Africa?" This was intended to build on an earlier gotcha question Kinsolving asked Carney on whether claims that a Palestinian state would be free of Jews was "Judenrein."
That's nothing but lazy speculation, but unfortunately it's the kind of laziness we've come to expect from the hack journalist Kinsolving has become.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
MRC, AIM Try to Discredit Media Bias Survey They Don't Agree With
Topic: Media Research Center
A Oct. 17 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that in September, negative assessments of President Obama in the media "outweighed positive by a ratio of almost 4-1." That finding runs counter ro the right-wing meme that the "liberal media" is in the tank for Obama. So the top right-wing media watchdogs have tried to discredit it.
The Media Research Center's Rich Noyes devoted a lengthy article to countering Pew's claims, asserting there are "three major problems":
Noyes complains that the Pew survey, which examined "coverage and commentary on more than 11,500 news outlets. This is a bad thing, apparently:
Of course, this runs counter to the MRC's "research" methods, which focus almost exclusively on the three major broadcast networks and deliberately precludes any examination of Fox News, even though it's the highest-rated cable news network. But then, the MRC doesn't really care about research; it cares only about advancing a political agenda.
Noyes then complains about Pew's methodology of identifying stories as "“positive,” “negative,” or “neutral” because they include "horse race" assessments:
Again, the MRC's "research" pales in comparison to Pew's. As we've noted, the MRC's attempt to judge questions at Republican presidential debates as "conservative" or "liberal" included no definition of what those words meant in terms of methodology, no complete list of the questions and how they were categorized, and deliberately excluded questions atdebates sponsored by Fox News.
Finally, Noyes complains that Pew used a computer algorithm because "it’s impossible that human researchers could cross-check even a tiny fraction of the coverage. Nearly all of the “anti-Obama” or “pro-Perry” stories were never reviewed by an actual researcher to check the context and meaning of the keywords the computer was trained to spot."
But mostly, Noyes is angry that Pew is trying to detroy the MRC's reason for existence:
Actually, the MRC cares nothing about "fair and balanced journalism"; if it did, CNSNews.com wouldn't have such a pronounced right-wing bias. Its real goal is to try and discredit the media and create openings for organizations that will uncritically promote a right-wing agenda, like Fox News.
Accuracy in Media didn't like Pew's survey either. In an Oct. 18 blog post, AIM chief Don Irvine rehashed the same objections Noyes did -- too many media outlets examined, faulty computer algorithm. Irvine concluded:
Of course. If Irvine doesn't agree, it must be liberal bias, right?
WND's Klein: We're Invading Uganda Because George Soros Wants Us To
Aaron Klein's is obsessed with linking George Soros to anything and everything on the non-conservative side through tenuous fits of guilt-by-association.
Klein takes this to absurd heights in an Oct. 15 WorldNetDaily article, in which he asserts that President Obama's action of sending "American troops" into Uganda was motivated by "billionaire activist George Soros' ties both to the political pressure behind the decision and to the African nation's fledgling oil industry."
Yes, Klein really is saying that we're sending troops to Uganda to protect Soros' oil interests:
It's not until the 19th paragraph that he gets around to hinting at the actual reason for intervention: to target the Lord's Resistance Army. Surprisingly, Klein does concede (unlike Rush Limbaugh) that the LRA's leader, Joseph Kony, is a very bad man: "Kony is accused of major human rights atrocities. He is on the U.S. terrorist list and is wanted by the International Criminal Court."
Then, it's back to guilt-by-association. Klein also rehashes his usual attacks on Obama advier Samantha Power, smearing her as an "Arafat deputy" (in fact, that's just more guilt-by-association -- she once served on a committee with an Arafat deputy). Power is an advocate of the idea that U.S. foreign policy should be guided by the principle of the "responsibility to protect" -- which Klein despises because Soros has a guilt-by-association link to it, not out of any philosophical differences with it.
CNS' Jeffrey Still Pushing Kagan Recusal (And Ignoring Thomas' Conflict of Interest)
An Oct. 14 CNSNews.com article by Jeffrey details CNS' latest attempt to obtain internal documents from Kagan's tenure as solicitor general in an attempt to demonstrate that Kagan played some role in defending the Obama administration's position on health care reform. All Jeffrey can come up with, however, is that Kagan named a deputy to handle the issue, and that efforts were made to wall off Kagan from handling the case in anticipation of a Supreme Court nomination.
This time around, a judge ruled that CNS and the right-wing group Judicial Watch could not obtain emails Kagan "sent from her DOJ email account to people in the White House—in which she discussed her recusal decisions as solicitor general—because the emails were 'used for a purely personal objective.'"
As per usual, Jeffrey does not mention conflict-of-interest issues regarding a conservative Supreme Court justice. Clarence Thomas' wife is a a right-wing activist who has attacked health care reform as unconstitutional. Thomas also failed to disclose his wife's income from activist groups for several years.
Indeed, a search of the CNS archives indicates that it has never reported on Thomas' conflict of interest.
WND's Erik Rush Goes Conspiracy-Happy
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush manages to squeeze two unproven conspiracies into one blog post.
Writing at something called Terrible Truth, Rush spins a conspiracy theory around the claim that "One of Barack Obama’s first official acts upon being sworn in as President of the United States was to return a bust of British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill to Britain." In fact, the bust was on loan to the United States, not a gift, and was scheduled to be returned at the end of the Bush presidency.
Despite that non-factual basis of his assertion about the bust, Rush goes on to blather that "many observers surmised that this was a symbolic slight meant to punish the British government’s imperialistic policies of the past – in particular, those which had detrimentally affected the people of Kenya, from whence Barack Obama Sr., had come."
But that's not to be the craziest thing Rush writes. This is (emphasis is Rush's):
So Rush is a birther too. He is a WND columnist, after all.
Correlation-Equals-Causation Fallacy Watch
Tom Blumer devotes an entire Oct. 14 NewsBusters post to the supposition that coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests is driving down the ratings of network evening news programs. Blumer has no proof of that, of course, which he eventually admits: "It's a little early to ascribe the ratings drop to Occupy Wall Street. Another reported drop next week would be more definitive. It certinaly bears watching."
Blumer surely knows that correlation does not equal causation. Doesn't he?
Monday, October 17, 2011
Does Larry Klayman Want Obama Killed?
Larry Klayman's Oct. 14 WorldNetDaily column is a long screed against Iran , with the typical swipesat President Obama and Hillary Clinton. He concludes it by writing, "The bottom line is this, my friends. It's time to take the mullahs out, whatever the cost."
Now, Klayman has repeatedly libeled Obama by calling him a Muslim, and, more specifically, the "mullah-in-chief." Klayman has also called for an "Assault on Washington," though he claims he does not advocate "violent revolt."
Has Klayman changed his mind about violence? Is Obama is among the "mullahs" Klayman wants to take out, whatever the cost? Obama is the "mullah in chief," after all, so Klayman likely wants him taken out even more.
We report, you decide.
FrontPageMag Spreads Obama 'Apology' Lie
In an Oct. 17 FrontPageMag article, Jamie Glazov writes that "WikiLeaks recently released a secret cable revealing that President Obama tried to apologize to the Japanese for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during his tour to that country in 2009." Glazov went on to add, "That Obama sought to apologize to the Japanese for ending a brutal war that they started and for doing it in such a way that it saved millions of lives on both sides is a disturbing testament to the destructive mindset of the man that leads the United States." At the end of the column, Glazov asserted again that Obama was "planning to apologize for the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
Glazov is lying. In fact, the WikiLeaks cable in question says no such thing; rather, it repeats speculation from "anti-nuclear groups" on whether Obama would apologize, but goes on to state that "the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing during World War II is a 'non-starter.'"
Even Fox News has apologized for reporting that an apology was planned. Now it's Glazov's turn to apologize.
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