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Saturday, December 24, 2011
Ruddy's Support of Gingrich Likely to Undermine Any Newsmax Debate
Topic: Newsmax

The major expressed issue that resulted in the implosion of the Newsmax/Donald Trump presidential debate was Trump own presidential ambitions. But there's another issue that has largely been ignored: Newsmax seems to have taken a side in the Republican presidential race.

When Newsmax was still promoting the debate, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy penned a column vouching for the conservative credentials of Newt Gingrich, one of the two candidates who had committed to the debate.

Ruddy has since written another pro-Gingrich column asserting: "Can Newt Gingrich beat Barack Obama next November? Sure he can." Ruddy goes on to downplay the idea that Mitt Romney is more electable, and even plays the Reagan card:

His record is so strong his critics can't argue with it, so they focus on other issues. We keep hearing that Newt's marriages will be an issue as well as his business dealings.

I recall that, in the 1970s, some said Ronald Reagan should be disqualified as a candidate because he had been divorced.

I believe the public understands they don't elect saints, but want leaders who have positive solutions to the economic crisis we face.

If the head of Newsmax is throwing his weight behind Gingrich, that certainly would have been seen as much of an debate issue by the non-Gingrich candidates as Trump's egomaniac ambitions. And a Trump-less debate, as Newsmax has hinted might still happen, will have that same hurdle.

No wonder most candidates were eager to avoid the Newsmax debate.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 PM EST
Jerome Corsi's Bad Week Continues
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi is having a very bad week. Not only is he embroiled in a plagiarism scandal, he lost an arbitation ruling to make more money off his books.

Publisher's Weekly reports that an arbitrator ruled in favor of Regnery Publishing and against claims by Corsi and two other authors, Joel Mowbray and Richard Minter, that Regnery had “siphoned off” retail sales of their books by selling their books through the Conservative Book Club and Human Events magazine, which, like Regnery are owned by Eagle Publishing. The article continues:

In his ruling, arbitrator Alan Baron rejected all of the authors chargers, noting that the authors “have not produced evidence that a single volume was ‘diverted’ improperly or fraudulently by Eagle Publishers or Regnery. Suspicions and speculation are no substitute for evidence.” The authors had alleged that, in order to lower royalty payments, Regnery had moved sales of their books from retail channels through the book clubs and magazine. Baron agreed with Regnery publisher Marji Ross who said sales through the club and magazine were done as a normal course of events to help promote the book, a position supported by several expert witnesses.

The authors primary evidence was that a total of 460,000 copies of their books were unaccounted for, and alleged that those books had been sold through non-retail channel with royalties unreported, but Ross said that most of those copies had been destroyed. She was backed by Regnery’s distributor at the time, NBN, whose president, Jed Lyons, noted that the 460,000 copies represented a return rate of just over 30%, typical in the book industry.
In ruling against charges of breach of fiduciary duty and fair dealing, Baron said there was no fiduciary duty between Regnery and the authors and that Regnery had acted within industry standards. He pointed to testimony from Regnery expert Cathy Hemming who said the relationship between publisher and author is “fundamentally adversarial, not fiduciary in nature.”

Corsi put forward a case based on speculation and not actual evidence? When hasn't he done that?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, December 24, 2011 10:28 AM EST
ConWeb Is OK With Making Fun of Michelle Obama's Looks
Topic: The ConWeb

For all the conservative whining about liberal incivility (see Sheppard, Noel), they certainly feel no need to keep their own incivility in check (see Bozell, Brent). Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner's comments about Michelle Obama's "large posterior" set off a whole new round of it on the ConWeb.

Accuracy in Media's Don Irvine tweeted in Sensenbrenner's defense: "Butt she does."

In a later tweet, he linked to a video of the song "Baby Got Back," adding, "All this talk about Michelle Obama's rear has me thinking of this."

NewsBusters, meanwhile, seems a bit put out that it's considered rude to make fun of another's supposed looks. In a Dec. 22 "open thread" post headlined "No Joking About Michelle's 'Posterior,'" the anonymous writer mused, "Would these sites be this solicitious of the FLOTUS when she belongs to the Other Party?" If so, would NewsBusters be as blase about it as it is about Obama's looks?

And then there's Mychal Massie, best known these days for frothing at the mouth over Michelle Obama, a.k.a. "Buttzilla." Massie ranted in twitterese: "cngrsman is spot on moose-chelle does have fat arse she shud keep it in mind whn she tells us wat 2 eat."

Massie followed that up with: "spkg of flotus buttzilla's tractor butt I'm tired of my tax$$ paying $15K a day 2 her makeup person i wud feel same even if makeup helped."

Something tells us that Massie is a lonely single man -- we can't imagine any woman putting up with such misogyny.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 AM EST
Friday, December 23, 2011
Bozell Calls Obama A 'Skinny Ghetto Crackhead'
Topic: Media Research Center

Where's Noel Sheppard and his self-professed concern for civility in political discourse when you need him?

On last night's edition of Fox News' "Hannity," Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell called President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead." No, really:



BOZELL: How long do you think Sean Hannity's show would last if four times in one sentence, he made a comment about, say, the President of the United States, and said that he looked like a skinny ghetto crackhead? Which, by the way, you might want to say that Barack Obama does.

The MRC websites have been strangely silent about Bozell's hostile remarks so far -- the clip of the show hasn't even been posted on NewsBusters yet, though Bozell's weekly appearances on "Hannity" almost always get posted.

Looks like it's time for Noel Sheppard to sit his boss down and have a long, tedious, hypocritical conversation about civility.

UPDATE: NewsBusters has now posted the clip, with the (unintentionally?) ironic headline 'The Left Can Stop Lecturing About Civility At Any Moment Now." Obviously, Bozell can too. The accompanying blog post mentions nothing about Bozell calling Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead."If Bozell doesn't care about civility, shouldn't he be proud enough of this to promote it at his own website?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:21 AM EST
Updated: Friday, December 23, 2011 12:17 PM EST
CNS Mocks Americans Facing Higher Taxes

Apparently, Terry Jeffrey and his subordinates are getting paid so well by the Media Research Center that it can blithely mock those less able to absorb the tax increase that would have occurred without a deal to continue the payroll tax reduction.

A Dec. 22 CNS article by Susan Jones, published before House Republicans caved on their demand for a full-year extension and accepted the Senate's deal for a two-month extension, carries the headline "'Waa, No Pizza Night': Sad Stories Roll In at Request of Obama White House."

Why is "Waa, No Pizza Night" in quotes? We don't know -- nobody in the article is quoted as saying it. Perhaps Jones was quoting a fellow CNS employee.

The only reference to "pizza night" comes from this quote: "Our cable internet bill is $49 per month. If we lose this payroll tax cut then we will have to give up either (our) internet access or possibly our 'Friday Family Pizza' night. Either way, we will lose something that brings us together as a family." Funny, we thought that the conservatives at CNS were all about bringing families together.

If Jeffrey, Jones and their CNS co-workers are so flush with cash that they look down their noses at those less fortunate (and less beneficient of a tax-exempt organization) than them, maybe they can throw a little cash our way. 

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 AM EST
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Civility
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard works up some outrage in a Dec. 19 NewsBusters post over a Huffington Post story on the New England Patriots beating the Denver Broncos, over its headline "Brady Slays Tebow": "Don't you just love the new civil tone in America since Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was shot? ... But none of that matters when you're hunting Christians."

While Sheppard was huffing about that, however, his colleagues in the right-wing media over at Fox Nation were doing the exact same thing to President Obama.

One headline states, "Limbaugh Shatters Obama Into a Million Pieces." Another asserts, "McCain Rips Obama to Shreds." Both of these violent posts were tagged as "inspiring" by Fox Nation readers.

At no point has Sheppard complained about the tone on his own side. Perhaps he should address that before taking others to task. Apparently, lack of civility among conservatives doesn't matter when you're hunting Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 AM EST
Jerome Corsi and WND's 'Trusted Kenyan Professionals'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

So WorldNetDaily put a Band-Aid of an editor's note on its plagiarism-laden Jerome Corsi article, putting the blame on the "trusted Kenyan professionals" who put the research together:

Editor's note: The following article is based on a paid, 8,000-word report by Kenyan researchers commissioned by WND. Unknown to WND, the report included unattributed references to a July 25, 2008, story by the Evening Standard of London. WND included a link to the 2008 story to back up the claims of the report, which WND believed was original. WND regrets the error.

As we noted, this only scratches the surface of the problems with Corsi's article, The editor's note fails to address the other issues Loren Collins identified with Corsi's article -- the AFP article that was also apparently plagiarized and the copyrighted photo that was presented without attribution.

WND's explanation of the Evening Standard link is also suspect. If the link was already there, that means Corsi read the article and, thus, should have known that the exact same information was in that "8,000-word report" WND commissioned from those "trusted Kenyan professionals." As Collins pointed out, sections of Corsi's article are directly copied-and-pasted from the Evening Standard article. Did nobody at WND really notice this before Collins reported on it? This raises serious questions about the competency of both Corsi and the WND editing staff.

Speaking of competency questions, there's Corsi's sources in Kenya, which have a long history of supplying Corsi with bum information. We've already detailed the cases of two memos Corsi touted in 2008, both of which are clearly fraudulent.

There's another fake document Corsi has been touting. In a Dec. 19 article, Corsi describes the "secret Memorandum of Understanding" then-Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga -- the guy whom Corsi has falsely accused then-Sen. Barack Obama of campaigning for during a 2006 trip to Kenya -- made with Muslim Sheik Abdullah Abdi, the chief of the National Muslim Leaders Forum of Kenya. In the memo, according to Corsi, "Odinga promised to rewrite the Kenyan constitution to install Shariah as law in "Muslim declared regions," elevate Islam as "the only true religion" and give Islamic leaders 'oversight' over other religions, establish Shariah courts and ban Christian proselytism."

Just one problem: That appears to be a fake too. From a Nov. 28, 2007, IHS Global Insight article (via Nexis):

After weeks of speculation and negative publicity, yesterday Kenyan Muslim leaders finally revealed the contents of the so-called memorandum of understanding (MoU) they signed with leading opposition candidate Raila Odinga in August, denying that the agreement was designed to promote their religion at the expense of others in the event of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) presidential candidate's victory in the upcoming election. The National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF), which signed the MoU on behalf of the country's Muslim constituents, said it had decided to make the contents of the deal public after a fake document circulated on the Internet claimed that Odinga's ODM had pledged to introduce shari'a in parts of Kenya where Muslims are the majority. "There was a fear that Muslims will force their faith on other people, Islam does not allow suppression of other religions and we will be the last to advocate for this," NAMLEF Chairman Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi said.

According to the MoU released yesterday, Odinga has pledged to defend Muslims against harassment and victimisation by state security forces that claim to be fighting terrorism. He has also promised to set up a commission to investigate renditions of Muslims to Somalia, Ethiopia, and the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay on the island of Cuba. The document also commits Odinga to initiate policies to redress the present marginalisation of Muslims living in the Coast and North-East provinces.

The fake document -- which he apparently obtained from anti-Odinga sources -- is the one Corsi is citing as the "secret" memorandum.

As far as we can recall, Corsi has used no named sources in a reporting on claims that originate from Kenya -- and that includes the "a former Kenyan Parliament member with whom WND has worked confidentially since 2008" and the "trusted Kenyan professionals" who put out the plagiarized "research" Corsi used.

Perhaps Corsi could explain how he came to trust these "trusted Kenyan professionals"and how they became so trustworthy. Perhaps WND editor JOseph Farah should explain why Corsi should remain on his payroll after such an embarrassing incident that gave yet another body blow to what little credibility WND has.

After all, if Corsi and WND found these folks to be "trusted," they obviously have an extremely low bar for such things. Real news organizations have much higher standards.

Here's an idea: Why doesn't WND post this "paid, 8,000-word report by Kenyan researchers" on its website so the rest of us can check it out? After all, WND paid handsomely for this piece of crap, so it shouldn't feel that bad about throwing these "trusted Kenyan professionals" under the bus, right?

Or is WND going to continue to protect their identities in the hope of getting more "research" from them?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EST
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Newsmax's Root Confused About His Religion, But He Loves Tebow
Topic: Newsmax

Wayne Allyn Root can't seem to decide whether he's a Christian or a Jew. But he knows he likes Tim Tebow.

In his Dec. 19 Newsmax column, Root rushes to the defense of of Tebow against all the haters, including a Jewish rabbi, declaring that "Tim Tebow is a symbol of the role faith plays in our country." He recounts his and his family's religious history:

I am a Jew turned born-again Christian. I married into a family of devout Christian ministers and missionaries. My wife Debra and I have been happily married for over 20 years. We have four beautiful children ranging in age from three to 19. All four have been raised as both Jewish and Christian. All four have been raised to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukah. My oldest child Dakota, now a scholar/athlete at Harvard, attended church throughout her youth, and was also Bat Mitzvah. She leaves the day after Christmas for her birthright trip to Israel. It is the honor of her lifetime.

We might be wrong here, but if you're a born-again Christian, doesn't it mean you stop being a Jew? You can't be both Christian and a Jew at the same time, can you?

Yet this self-proclaimed "born-again Christian" concludes his column by writing, "I am a Jew for Tebow."

We're confused.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 PM EST
WND's Corsi Busted for Plagiarism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 19 WorldNetDaily article purports to depict how "A school named for Barack Obama in Kenya has abandoned hope that the U.S. president will honor a pledge he made as senator to finance it." Corsi attributes the reporting to "a report in Kenya commissioned by WND," compiled by "a former Kenyan Parliament member with whom WND has worked confidentially since 2008." Corsi added, "The research was assigned to trusted Kenyan professionals who conducted the field work and reported their findings in writing."

As so frequently happens at WND, Corsi's "researchers" are anonymous, meaning that there is no way to independently verify what they report. As it turns out, though, these supposedly "trusted Kenyan professionals" can't be trusted at all.

Loren Collins at Barackryphal looked into Corsi's story and found that large parts of it are taken directly -- and, in many cases, nearly word-for-word -- from two previous articles, a 2008 article in the London Evening Standard and a May 2011 AFP article. Collins concludes: "In short, every single quote or finding specifically attributed to Corsi's unnamed 'researchers' was lifted from an earlier publication by another news agency."

Collins has documented line by line how Corsi's article directly lifted from those two articles.

On top of that, Collins writes, at least one of the photos that accompanies Corsi's article is a copyrighted image used without attribution -- and, presumably, permission.

As of this writing, Corsi's article is still live at WND. We've made a PDF copy, though, and will post it if/when WND deletes its version without explanation.

So, will Joseph Farah fire Corsi over this blatant plagiarism? Well, he didn't fire Aaron Klein when he falsely accused an Islamic charity of funding terrorism and raising money for nonexistent orphans, so we doubt Farah has the integrity to do the right thing here.

UPDATE: This anonymity-laden method is the way Corsi has always operated when reporting anti-Obama dirt from Kenya -- with much the same fraudulent results. In 2008, Corsi claimed that "an insider in Kenya" gave him a copy of an email purporting to document that Obama "designated a personal aide as his direct contact for the 2007 Kenyan presidential campaign of Raila Odinga." In fact, as we documented, that document was obviously fraudulent as it was clearly written by someone for whom English was a second language.

Corsi peddled another document from Kenya purporting to document that Obama donated $1 million to Odinga's campaign, claiming that "several highly credible ex-ODM sources WND interviewed in Kenya" verified it. In fact, that document is most likely a fraud as well -- PolitiFact had debunked it six months earlier. (The discredited nature of that allegation, though, hasn't kept Corsi from repeatedly asserting it.)

UPDATE 2: WND has added an editor's note to Corsi's article:

Editor's note: The following article is based on a paid, 8,000-word report by Kenyan researchers commissioned by WND. Unknown to WND, the report included unattributed references to a July 25, 2008, story by the Evening Standard of London. WND included a link to the 2008 story to back up the claims of the report, which WND believed was original. WND regrets the error.

This doesn't address the main issue here: If this report from "Kenyan researchers" is so heavily plagiarized, why should anyone trust it?
And given Corsi's history of obtaining fraudulent documents from Kenya, why should anyone trust anything Corsi reports that involves Kenya?

The editor's note also fails to address the other issues Collins identified with Corsi's article -- the AFP article that was also apparently plagiarized and the copyrighted photo that was presented without attribution.

WND has much more it needs to express "regret" for.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2011 4:50 PM EST
Terry Jeffrey's Latest Anti-Obama Hit Job Involves The Capitol's Christmas Tree

Being editor-in-chief of must be a really easy job -- at least, that's how Terry Jeffrey appears to be portraying. Not only does he have ample time to devise ways to mislead his readers about President Obama and root through Gallup polls for statistics to cherry-pick, he can spend spend company time taking in the holiday sights of Washington D.C.

Jeffrey apparently spent hours wandering around the Christmas tree at the Capitol snapping pictures of ornaments, eventually resulting in this story:

The 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama, but includes no ornament readily visible to a person standing near the tree's base that uses the word “Christmas,” or includes an image of the Nativity, or bears the name or image of Jesus Christ.

On the north side of the tree--at a height of about 4 feet and easily visible to people standing near it---there is an ornament that says: “I ♥ President Obama.”

When asked whether the tree included any ornaments that mention or depict Christmas or the birth of Jesus, the office of the Architect of the Capitol, which is responsible for the tree, told that it “does not have a policy nor any restrictions concerning the themes for the ornaments” that go on the tree. The office could not say, however, whether or not this year’s Christmas tree does in fact include even a single ornament that directly references or depicts Christmas or Christ.

Of course, the White House has no control whatsoever over the Capitol's Christmas tree, making Jeffrey's putative attack on the Obama administration even more specious. It did, however, make for good link bait, and the Drudge Report complied.

Maybe the Drudge traffic was worth Jeffrey spending hours wandering around a Christmas tree taking pictures of ornaments. But that only highlights the fact that Jeffrey is a political partisan out for a hit job and link bait, not a journalist trying to report relevant facts.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 AM EST
Noel Sheppard Is Happy 'Glee's' Ratings Are Dropping
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard appears to be rooting for the demise of "Glee."

In a Dec. 14 NewsBusters post, he proudly touts how the show's ratings "plummet[ed] 23 percent," which he attributes to its "intentionally stretching the boundaries of broadcast television decency." He then asks, "What might be one of the reasons? Could it be the program's expressed intention to more aggressively target conservatives this year?" He also raises the idea that the show's "excessive display of teen sex" might be the reason, and that "it is also possible the illusion of teen talent has been destroyed."

But Sheppard eventually gets to the heart of his argument: It's all about the gayness.

Others might think the subject of homosexuality has taken on too much focus this season.

When lead character Kurt's struggles with this and his relationship with his father as a result were the focus in previous seasons, it was handled with greater discretion.

Gay co-creator Ryan Murphy said that he wanted to stretch this envelope further. This included an on-air kiss between lead characters Kurt and Blain.

Maybe much of America isn't yet ready for such a thing on prime time broadcast television.

That seems to sum up Sheppard's argument. After all, he does need to adhere to the MRC's anti-gay agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EST
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Newsmax's Kessler Unleashes Heathering on David Frum
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler's Dec. 15 Newsmax column throws a big ol' Heathering fit at David Frum for supposedly not being a real conservative. Kessler is particularly put out that Frum criticized Fox News, something a real, orders-following cosnervative like Kessler would never do:

The latest example came on Sunday when Frum took a shot at Fox News viewers. Frum told Howard Kurtz on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” that “people who watch a lot of Fox come away knowing a lot less about important world events.”

In a recent New York magazine column, Frum accused the conservative media of running an “alternative knowledge system” of “pseudo-facts and pretend information.”

Frum offered no specifics on CNN to back up his claim, and Kurtz, a solid media reporter, said, “You’re tarring with an awfully broad brush there.”

As noted in my story 'The Five' Spotlights Why Fox News Is a Success,” there are good reasons why Fox News blows away the other cable networks in ratings and is more trusted as a news source, according to polls, than any other television network. One 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.

Thus, if Frum is right that Fox serves up “pseudo-facts and pretend information,” it comes from the mouths of Republicans and Democrats alike.

As we've previously detailed, Kessler is simply wrong about Fox News having any hard-and-fast "rule" about fairly representing both conservative and lilberal views. It unmistakably leans to the right -- which Kessler presumably prefers.

Kessler also demonstrates his hypocrisy in attacking Frum as "pretends to be a conservative but makes a habit of bashing them." This is something that Newsmax does on a regular basis, except from the other ideological end:

We've documented how Newsmax repeatedly gave space to Jerry Zeifman, who repeatedly insists he's a Democrat but regularly bashed Democrats. Similarly, Newsmax hasgiven a regular column to former New York City mayor Ed Koch, another self-proclaimed Democrat who attacks Dems.

Newsmax also loves to promote the musings of Doug Schoen, regularly presented as a "Democratic pollster" but who does nothing but attack Obama. Schoen's musings is occasionally promoted with his fellow pseudo-Democratic partner, Pat Caddell.

If Kessler thinks the media  should not identify Frum as a conservative but instead as "a centrist who is usually wrong," shouldn't he prevail upon his employer to honestly label Schoen and Caddell?

The rest of Kessler's column is catty sniping at Frum, most notably complaining that Frum dared to contradict Kessler's hagiographic portrayal of President Bush by calling the former president "uncurious and as a result ill-informed."Kessler dismissed Frum as nothing but a "low-level speechwriter" who "hardly knew Bush" and was consistently "wrong" about the president.

Very Heather-y of Kessler.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:16 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 6:23 PM EST
Meanwhile ...
Topic: Media Research Center

Equality Matters catches the Media Research Center's Tim Graham whining in a NewsBusters post that news stories about gay teens who commit suicide are too sympathetic toward the victim and aren't balanced by anti-gay activists.

Your MRC anti-gay agenda in action!

Posted by Terry K. at 4:53 PM EST
WND's Farah Pretends He's Not a Hater
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah plays the Christian-victim card in his Dec. 19 WorldNetDaily column, outraged that Ron Paul would say that Michele Bachmann hates Muslims:

If it were an attempt at humor, it failed miserably. It was certainly unpresidential and unbecoming a Republican candidate for the presidency, especially one who has any thought of supporting a nominee other than himself.

Michele Bachmann doesn't hate Muslims any more than I do. She is, like me, a born-again believer in Jesus as the messiah, the redeemer, our Lord and our king.

Jesus taught His followers to pray even for their enemies, so when you call a Christian a "hater" you are characterizing him or her as someone who betrays one of the very principles of the faith. In other words, he or she is a phony, a fake Christian. It's about the meanest, nastiest thing you could ever say about someone who loves and reveres and worships Jesus.

Hey, if the shoe fits...

If Farah is not a hater, as he proclaims himself to be, why is his website filled with some of the most vile hatred of people he clearly doesn't like, including gays, Muslims and President Obama?

Farah has a flexible enough conscience that he will publish lie after lie about Obama without it apparently keeping him up at night. Is that what a Christian does? Not that we're aware of. Maybe Farah subscribes to some different breed of Christianity that pretends hatred isn't hatred and that lies are the truth.

Ask yourself: Would someone who truly "reveres and worships Jesus" behave like Farah does or operate a factually challenged "news" organization like WND? 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 AM EST
MRC Thinks Hitchens' Biggest Achievement Is Flipping Off Bill Maher's Audience
Topic: Media Research Center

You'd think that at the top of any writings by the Media Research Center upon the death of Christopher Hitchens would be his withering attack on Mother Teresa. You would be wrong.

A Dec. 16 NewsBusters post by John Nolte contradictorily praised Hitchens for being a "truth-teller" but also stating that "Hitchens could be infuriating and even wrong" and adding that "he wasn’t always right (especially when it came to Mother Teresa)." If you're a "truth-teller," how can you be wrong?

Nolte headlined his post "A Warm Memory: Chris Hitchens Flips Off Maher's Audience: 'None of You Is Smarter Than' George W. Bush," and also embedded a YouTube video titled "Hitchens flips off Maher's morons." Weirdly, he doesn't reference the incident itself anywhere in his post.

One of his fellow NewsBusters filled that vacuum. The MRC's Brent Baker wrote in a post the next day that Hitchens' death "reminded me of one of his finest moments, which occurred on a Friday night five-and-a-half years ago when he gave the finger to the pretentious, left-wing Los Angeles studio audience of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher." Baker didn't mention Mother Teresa at all.

This was followed by a post by Jill Stanek, who praised Hitchens as a "lucky abortion survivor" who became "pro-life." No mention of Mother Teresa here, either.

Finally, Tim Graham stepped in to fill the vacuum with his misguided rage. In a Dec. 18 rant, Graham whined that NPR's reporting on "atheist author" and "scabrous nun-basher" Hitchens "didn't shrink from noticing that Hitchens viciously bashed the globally beloved nun Mother Teresa of Calcutta." Graham further huffed, "Everyone who insists that the media's obituaries should be kind and generous never met the NPR people who wanted to make sure Hitchens was slinging mud from their taxpayer-supported mudpit at Mother Teresa when she died."

Um, Tim, aren't news organizations supposed to note that sort of thing when someone dies? Hitchens' Mother Teresa piece was, and remains, quite notorious, so why wouldn't have NPR mentioned it?

And if the piece was so offensive, why did three previous NewsBusters writers largely fail to address it in their eulogies of Hitchens, apparently believing that Hitchens' flipping off Bill Maher's audience was more important?

Graham goes on to be bizarrely offended that NPR didn't feel the need to trash Hitchens upon his death:

It should be acknowledged that NPR would insist it's fair and balanced because it brought in his Christian debating partner, Dinesh D'Souza. But again notice how they did not bring D'Souza on NPR's air to do to Hitchens what he did to nuns.

Graham seems to have forgotten how well trashing the deceased went over when his bosses did that to ABC's Peter Jennings upon his death. The MRC quickly added a proper condolence note.

Does Graham have so little Christian charity for Hitchens that he wants to see the guy trashed after his death? What a jerk.

But Graham wasn't done abusing Hitchens' corpse. Another Dec. 18 post is dedicated to complaining that an NPR anchor "celebrated him as non-doctrinaire." Graham then tried to snark: "As if NPR was utterly non-doctrinaire!"

You mean, like the MRC?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST

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