ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
WND Unloads Cain Book While It's Still Worth Something
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Cain-gasm is over.

WorldNetDaily, it seems, has given up on Herman Cain's presidential campaign, which it breathlessly promoted and defended in the face of sexual harassment allegations. Allegations of an affair by Cain, however, seem to be the final straw.

But not until WND can find one final way to cash in on it.

So WND is trying to unload Cain's autobiography while it still might sell for something vaguely close to retail price by portraying it as a "collector's item." But there's resignation in the sales pitch in a Nov. 29 WND article:

It was a bold plan, he told us.

But what might have been bolder than the 9-9-9 economic plan was the audacity of a presidential candidate who didn't realize you can't sweep a 13-year affair under the rug.

With Herman Cain now reassessing his bid for the Republican nomination – and probably no more than hours away from withdrawing from the race – the WND Superstore is commemorating the 9-9-9 plan with a blowout sale on his book, "This is Herman Cain: My Journey to the White House."

You guessed it. The sale price on what is likely to become a collector's item is $9.99 – while supplies last.

"This book is sure to be a collector's item – given the circumstances of his presidential campaign," says Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND. "Just look at what presidential memorabilia of the past is selling for these days."

That feels exceptionally cynical and insincere, even for Farah. He knows what doesn't sell now is heading straight for the remainder bin, and he doesn't want to take a bath on the losses.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EST
MRC's Graham: Right-Wing Media Should Only Be Cheerleaders for GOP Candidates
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham does have a bad habit of giving away the game of his employer, the Media Research Center. For instance, he has admitted that most news reports the MRC monitors are not biased.

Graham concedes more of the MRC's real agenda in a Nov. 28 NewsBusters post attacking conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin for committing the offense of scrutinizing Republican presidential candidates and pointing out that most of the right-wing media is not. Graham lectures Rubin on the proper role of the right-wing media, which does not involve saying anything bad about Republican candidates because that's exactly what the liberal media wants them to do:

Rubin could be right that there's a political danger in reacting over-defensively to liberal media attacks on Republican front-runners. But there is also a political danger in reacting under-defensively to liberal media attacks. Conservatives should recognize that the media isn't carefully vetting Republicans in order to assist GOP voters in making the right choice. It's trashing Republicans to insure a smoother path to re-election for President Obama. If the evidence of the last five years hasn't established for Rubin that the media are overtly pro-Obama, then nothing will.

It's also not "ideologically isolated" to insist on actual evidence against a candidate, like an actual name and a resume, before Republicans throw a Herman Cain under the bus. It's not "ideologically isolated" to think the Post's anti-Perry coverage of the "N-head" rock that can be seen through the white paint was ludicrously oversold. Media criticism and skepticism should not be carelessly dismissed as a denial of "honest analysis and fulsome debate."

In other words: The right-wing media should only be cheerleaders for Republican candidates. The MRC has already demonstrated this by trying to smear the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment despite its previous denouncement of anyone who said something mean about the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. (Did the MRC as for "actual evidence" and "a resume" from Paula Jones before parroting her claims? We doubt it.)

Graham also demonstrates the paranoid attitude of the right by declaring that the only possible reason anyone would want to scrutinize Republican candidates is to destroy them. Does this mean that he will admit that this is what the MRC, through is "news" division, is trying to do to President Obama?

Ultimately, Graham and thte MRC do not want a balanced media; they want no criticism whatsoever of conservatives in the media. Thanks, Tim, for removing the mask even further.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 2:47 PM EST
CNS' Farewell to Rep. Frank Ignores How He Pwned CNS

All could muster upon the retirement of Rep. Barney Frank was a short Nov. 28 article by Eric Scheiner, which weirdly focuses on Frank's claim that he's leaving Congress in order to write.

Unmentioned by Scheiner is Frank's epic pwning of CNS.

As we detailed, then-CNS reporter Nicholas Ballasy tried to play gotcha with Frank by asking him whether he thought gay and straight soldiers should shower together. Frank saw the attack coming and proceeded to mock Ballasy's attitude, then turn the tables on him by asking him the same question.

Maybe CNS is still feeling a bit burned by the incident, which is why it did only a perfunctory story on Frank's retirement.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 PM EST
AIM's Kincaid Defends Fox Anchor Who Called Pepper Spray A 'Food Product, Essentially'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid is joining Fox News' Megyn Kelly in downplaying the effects of pepper spray, as used on student protesters in California. From Kincaid's Nov. 25 AIM column:

In a new publicity stunt, the Occupiers and their media allies have been attacking Megyn Kelly of Fox News for discussing the incident at UC Davis and supposedly calling pepper spray a “food product” and playing down its effects. A much-publicized petition was launched to get Kelly to “eat or drink a full dose of pepper spray on national television.”

It doesn’t take a visit to the campus library to determine that pepper spray is a non-lethal agent derived from peppers, as the name implies. What Kelly actually said was that it was a “derivative of actual pepper and a food product essentially.” She went on to say that the nature of the substance was “beside the point” because of its potential impact and that it was “abrasive and intrusive” to those getting exposed to it. So there was no effort to play down the nature of what happened.  She pointed out that some of those exposed to the spray went to the hospital, although any injuries they may have suffered are a matter of dispute. The effects of pepper spray are usually temporary and can be washed away with water.

The point of the pepper spray was to get the demonstrators, who had erected an illegal tent city on campus, to leave. They were interfering with the rights of students on campus to get an education and be safe while doing so.

What the leftists really find offensive about Megyn Kelly’s comments is the fact that she defended the police, who used the pepper spray for the purpose of making it easier to remove the protesters. She noted that, from a legal standpoint, the cops can argue that they acted appropriately and did not use excessive force. Pepper spray was used to avoid a more physical confrontation with the people locked arm-in-arm on the sidewalk. Pepper spray is considered a more humanitarian way of dealing with lawbreakers. Batons could have been used as well.

Kelly is being singled out because she defended the police, not because she noted the organic roots of pepper spray.

Kincaid, of course, is merely engaging in wild speculation when he says that Kelly is being criticized because she "defended the police." He has no proof whatsoever to back it up.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:20 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 11:28 AM EST
Chuck Norris' Selective Media-Bashing
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chuck Norris' Nov. 27 WorldNetDaily column bashes the "mainstream media," and goes on to attack what he claims is "The social psychology being used by the progressives and liberal media on many trusting and unsuspecting Americans."

But Norris' media-bashing only goes so far. Norris makes sure to tout "the paperback version of my New York Times bestseller, 'Black Belt Patriotism,' which gives America's founders' solutions for our modern problems." He also highlights "fellow culture warrior and New York Times bestseller Robert Ringer."

So the media is bad, except when you can use them for self-promotion. Got it, Chuck.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 AM EST
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sheppard Dubiously Defends Limbaugh Over Old Allegation
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard devotes a Nov. 26 NewsBusters post to rehashing a questionable defense of Rush Limbaugh against an accusation that he once referred to Chelsea Clinton as the "White House dog" on his 1990s TV show.

Sheppard asserted that "Limbaugh never referred to Chelsea as the White House dog," then extensively quoted from an anti-Al Franken blog to explain "what really happened back then." That blog post at the Lying Liar webste, however, makes only assertions and quotes without providing links to the alleged source material -- or, more importantly, the original video of Limbaugh's TV show. 

If Sheppard was really interested in getting to the bottom of this story, he would demand that Limbaugh release the original video of the incident so people can judge for themselves. He presumably controls that video, so it would be easy for him to release those excerpts, and the corrections he claimed he made, to settle the issue once and for all.

But given that Sheppard is such a slobbering right-wing sycophant that he will desperately smear one of Herman Cain's sexual harrassment accusers, he clearly doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to seek the truth if it means one of his conservative heroes might look bad.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EST
WND Ignores Taitz's Insults, Unprofessional Behavior In NH Birther Hearing
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a Nov. 18 WorldNetDaily article, Bob Unruh recounts a New Hampshire hearing starring Orly Taitz, who was trying to get the state to kick President Obama off the election ballot for 2012 "because of suspicions of fraud" -- in this case, what Taitz claims is "evidence concerning Obama's use of a Social Security number from Connecticut, even though he has no links to the state while growing up." It's a lazy article -- Unruh portrays the hearing as told by Taitz herself in a phone interview. He did note that "A spokesman at the commission's office today told WND that the members had "broken up" their meeting and left immediately, leaving no information about any decisions they made."

Because Unruh was so lazy about covering this, you won't hear about Taitz's latest disrespectful antics. 

According to the Concord Monitor, which unlike WND actually covered the hearing, Taitz howled that "This is bigger than Watergate. This is a hundred times bigger than Watergate,"  and repeated the standard birther argument that Obama's birth certificate is fake: "A child can see this is a forgery."

The New Republic went on to note that after House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt rejected Taitz's demand that Secretary of State Bill Gardner be removed for failing to address Obama's purported fraudulence, Taitz exhibited the unprofessional behavior she has become known for by going on a tirade:

Mr. Betancourt (sic), my appearance before the committee was not an outburst, but a testimony with an undeniable proof of Barack Obama using a stolen Social Security number, forged birth certificate, committing elections fraud and treason. Your answer shows that you are another corrupt and dirty politician, who is maliciously disregarding the truth and the Constitution of this nation, who needs to be removed from the position of the Republican majority leader and who should be and will be tried for treason against this nation together with other corrupt politicians who put a complete fraud and a criminal wthout any valid US identification papers in the White House.

As Slate's David Weigel notes, that drew this rebuke from Bettencourt:

Your outburst was unbecoming of any legitimate political dialogue, never mind one as ridiculous as the continued obsession over President Obama’s birth place. I have spoken to the Representatives who were present and expressed to them my strong desire that they immediately disassociate themselves from you and this folly. This country has an opportunity in less than a year to replace this President and it is my fervent hope that we will do so. However, I wholeheartedly reject your request to remove Secretary Gardner or any attempt to bring a criminal complaint of elections fraud or treason.

Will WND report Taitz's childish ranting to its readers? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 PM EST
Tim Graham's Weekend of Gay-Bashing
Topic: Media Research Center

While most of America was spending the holiday weekend giving thanks or shopping, the MRC's Tim Graham decided to use it for a little gay-bashing.

In a Nov. 24 NewsBusters post, Graham declared that basic rights for gays were nothing more than "favor[s] to the 'LGBT' community," as he attacked "obscure HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan for becoming the Cabinet's most pronounced gay-marriage advocate."

Graham followed that by a Nov. 26 post taking yet another shot at the gay-themed art exhibit the MRC manufactured a controversy over last year (while, of course, making no mention of the MRC's central role in said manufactured controversy).Graham dismissed the exhibit as "gay-left," and declared that the video that included a mere 11 seconds of "ants crawling on the crucifix of Jesus" (Graham didn't mention the brief length of the imate) was "Jesus-bashing" (which completely ignored the artist's intent with the image).

Attacking a Washington Post article about the controversy, Graham asserts that the writer "cannot fathom that he and [exhibit co-creator Jonathan] Katz endorse 'meanness' to a Catholic minority." Which is funny, given Graham's long history of meanness to the much smaller gay minority (and, again, ignores the artist's intent).

Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 AM EST
Newsmax Columnist Touts Ron Paul
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler is not the only Newsmax writer to shill for a presidential candidate. Columnist Doug Wead, who more typically writes about the doings of presidents' children, has been regularly cranking out columns promoting the presidential prospects of Ron Paul.

Here's a sampling of headlines of Wead columns since 2010:

Ron Paul Is Back in the Hunt

Media Turn Blind Eye to Ron Paul's CPAC Win

Goodbye Obama, Hello Ron Paul

Ron Paul Actually Can Win

Thomas Jefferson Lives On in Ron Paul

Ron Paul Just Makes Good Sense

Ron Paul Steals the Show at Faith and Freedom Conference

Ron Paul Shuns Dirty Politics

Is Ron Paul the American Churchill?

Ron Paul Scores Big in Iowa — but Ignored by Media

Ron Paul Is Reagan’s True Heir

The Conspiracy Against Ron Paul

Ron Paul Scores With Born-Again Christians

Ignoring Ron Paul Has Reached Comic Proportions

And here are a few choice Paul-fluffing quotes from Wead's columns:

"He is right on the issues. And he has hardly changed his positions in a lifetime of public service. This gives him an immeasurable advantage over Obama and Palin. The country is moving to him, not the other way around." -- April 15, 2010

"Most of all, Ron Paul still remembers the U.S. Constitution and he knows it by heart. And believes in it. You can't say that about Barack Obama or any of the other Republican candidates. There are the candidates and then there is Ron Paul. He stands alone." -- May 17, 2011

"Ron Paul and the rest of the invisible band will stay on target, moving silently through the marshes, looking to Oct. 19, the next moneybomb fundraiser and a chance to speak with their dollars. Go ahead, they say to the media elites and their robber barons, black this out!" -- Oct. 14

Expect a few more months of this from Wead, until Paul starts losing actual votes.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EST
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Bozell Unhappy That An Atheist Is On TV
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell devotes his Nov. 26 column to ranting about Ricky Gervais being named to host the Golden Globe Awards. Not only doesn't Bozell like Gervais' aggressive style of comedy, he's offended that an atheist will be allowed to appear on TV:

There’s no danger in being an atheist in Hollywood. It’s an honor. But let’s not award Gervais points for sincerity. In the last year, Gervais has sermonized in print about his atheism at both Christmas and Easter. In each, he claimed he stood...for kindness. At Christmas he wrote, “[T]hat’s where spirituality lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. ‘Do this or you’ll burn in hell.’”Then he proclaimed: “You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.”

Then at Easter, he concluded, “God or not, if I could change one thing for a better world, it would be for all mankind to adhere to this little gem: ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ I assure you, no more stones would ever be thrown.”

Don’t bet on Gervais playing nice and putting his bucket of rocks down. NBC is paying him for the privilege of casting the first stone, and many more.

You think Bozell might give a pass on Gervais' humor if he wasn't an atheist?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 PM EST
What Happened To WND's Birther Billboard Partner?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When WorldNetDaily adjusted its birther billboard campaign in July to read "Where's the real birth certificate?" it acquired a new partner in the endeavor:, a right-wing "Social Network of the Revolution." While WND didn't acknowledge RTR as a partner in the inital article on the campaign, RTR's logo appears in the upper left corner of the billboard.

For its part, RTR stated that "'s Gary Franchi partnered with WND in light of the latest Obama birth certificate revelation," and created a donation page for the campaign.

But a month later, WND put up a new billboard in Iowa -- and the picture of it in an Aug. 7 WND article shows that RTR's logo is nowhere to be found.

WND's latest billboard, shown in a Nov. 15 article, also lack the RTR logo.

So, what happened? Was there a falling out? Did one party somehow screw over the other? Was RTR unable to raise the money WND demanded? We have no idea, but inquiring minds would like to know.

Of course, the issue might be that Franchi is too nuts even for WND. in a recent "Reality Report" pretend newscast, Franchi goes truther, shills for Ron Paul, and attacks FEMA for allegedly turning away volunteer firefighters from helping with the Texas wildfires (a claim that seems to be less than true).

Posted by Terry K. at 11:04 AM EST
Saturday, November 26, 2011
CNS AP Headline Alteration Watch

The Associated Press sent out a Nov. 17 article with the headline "Activist prof Cornel West returning to NY seminary." ran that AP story through its bias machine, and out popped the headline "Liberal Activist Prof Cornel West Returning to NY Theological Seminary."

Does the AP know that CNS, who pays AP for its content, is continually adding bias to its articles?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 PM EST
Tancredo: It's 'Acceptable' To Call Obama A Muslim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Portraying in his Nov. 18 WorldNetDaily column a quiz based on President Obama's "recurrent idiocies" that he claims "have become a national embarrassment," Tom Tancredo writes as one question: "Barack Obama is: A) a Christian; B) a Muslim; C) a Jew; D) unsure of his religion." In the answer key, Tancredo adds that for that question: "A, B and D are all acceptable."

Perpetuating the falsehood that Obama is Muslim is jusyt one part of Tancredo's column -- he cranks up the Obama-hate, too. He writes, "A few days ago he went to Australia and announced, 'We are here to stay.' Really? Did he buy a golf course?"

Tancredo concludes with the hateful rant: "Obama is someone who has advanced first in academia and then in politics because of the color of his skin and not by the content of his character – or, quite obviously, his brains."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:40 AM EST
Friday, November 25, 2011
Kessler's Logic: Unbiased 'The Five' Shows Why Fox Is Trusted
Topic: Newsmax

Yes, Newsmax's Ronald Kessler really wrote this:

“Fox lies” has become a favorite mantra of the left, yet there is a reason Fox News blows away the other cable networks in ratings and is more trusted as a news source than any other television network.

The new Fox News show “The Five,” which replaced Glenn Beck at 5 p.m. on weekdays, provides an example.

How so? Kessler offers:

While four of them are conservatives, the liberal in the group — Bob Beckel — usually winds up with at least a quarter of the air time.

So, because the token liberal uses up slightly more than his alloted time (which Kessler offers no statistics to back up) but is still far outweighed by his conservative counterparts is evidence that Fox News is to be trusted?

Kessler goes on to write:

One reason for the stunning finding is Fox News’ rule that in any political discussion, both Democrats and Republicans must be represented. In interviewing Republicans, anchors constantly play devil’s advocate and confront them with Democrats’ rebuttals. Similarly, Newsmax runs both conservative and liberal views and now has 7.7 million unique visitors a month.

If there really is a "rule" that "both Democrats and Republicans must be represented," it's one that the channel repeatedly ignores. And far from playing devil's advocate, Fox anchors regularly advocate for Republican positions.

Also, is Kessler really suggested that Newsmax is fair and balanced becuase it "runs both conservative and liberal views"? Oh, please. Newsmax is indisuptably a right-wing site, as demostrated most prominently by Kessler's sycophantic advocacy for Donald Trump. Newsmax "news" reporters are biased as well -- hello, David Patten! And where is the balance to Newsmax's anti-Obama hatred so embedded into its corporate DNA that it builds promotions around it?

If he can't see the inherent bias in "The Five," no wonder he thinks Newsmax is balanced.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:32 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 26, 2011 1:17 PM EST
Bozell: UC_Davis Protesters 'Wanted Desperately To Be Pepper-Sprayed'
Topic: Media Research Center

Americans awoke Monday morning to all three TV networks spreading the latest viral video by the OWS publicity team showing police pepper-spraying seated student protesters in the face. Leftist students in Davis had linked arms and refused to move despite repeated warnings from campus police to clear out. They were determined to encourage police action. Protests are designed to gain publicity. Publicity demands conflict. Publicity demands egging on the police to engage the disobedient.

They needed to be victimized by police "brutality." They wanted desperately to be pepper-sprayed. They needed to regain the narrative.

-- Brent Bozell, Nov. 24 column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« November 2011 »
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google