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Friday, December 30, 2011
Newsmax Highlights Morris' Attacks on Paul and Romney, Ignores Morris' Payola
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax devotes a Dec. 26 article to summing up Dick Morris' criticism of Ron Paul ("terrifying") and Mitt Romney ("buyer's remorse may set in"). The article doesn't mention, however, Morris' sordid history of being paid by Republican presidential candidates to promote their prospects.

Media Matters has detailed how Morris has conducted softball interviews with candidates such as Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann, then promoted the interviews through his mailing list, which indicate they were "paid for" by the various campaigns. Morris has promoted Cain on Fox News without disclosing that he has been paid by the campaign.

Further, Morris' stance on Romney is another major flip-flop. Morris trashed Romney in February, then declared earlier in December that Romney, along with Newt Gingrich, "would make a fantastic president of the United States. We are so blessed with having these two as our main candidates." Now, Morris is trashing Romney again.

This was followed by a Dec. 29 article featuring Morris' rather ludicrous claim that Paul is "absolutely the most liberal, radical, left-wing person to run for president of the United States in the last 50 years," even more so than Obama. Morris clearly doesn't understand what libertarianism is.

One can assume that Morris' attack on Paul is partly motivated by the fact that Paul's campaign has not paid Morris to promote him. So what's Morris' deal with Romney?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:01 PM EST
Look Who's Abusing A Headline Cliche
Topic: WorldNetDaily

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard is not the only ConWeb writer to take refuge in headline cliches.

See if you can catch the similarity in these WorldNetDaily headlines from this year:

Look who's behind Occupy Jew-hating

Look who's deciding American court cases

Look who's claiming police brutality at protests

Look who's behind uprising in Orlando

Savage: Look who's traveling with Obama

Look who's reviving terror brigade

Look who's blamed for vanishing eligibility rulings

Look who's doing Libyan rebels' bidding in Washington

Look who's launching anti-tea-party group

Now look who's getting grilled over eligibility

Look who's in line to replace Gadhafi

Look who's 'essential' in Minnesota

Look who's getting soaked by the IRS

Poll stunner! Look who's on Palin's heels for nomination

WND has been abusing the "Look who's" cliche as far back as 2004.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 AM EST
Newsmax Essentially Endorses Gingrich
Topic: Newsmax

We've detailed how Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy has thrown his support behind Newt Gingrich, something that would undermine any pretense of objectivity in any GOP presiential debate it might host. Newsmax has now blown that up completely by throwing its corporate weight behind Gingrich.

A Dec. 29 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers declares: "Newsmax and Ronald Reagan’s eldest son Michael Reagan say the 2012 presidential election is crucial to America’s future and Newt Gingrich is the candidate who will best continue the Reagan legacy."

Accompanying this article is a video called the "The Newsmax 2012 Campaign Special," hosted by Michael Reagan and described by Meyers as being "featured in lieu of the Newsmax Republican presidential debate originally scheduled for Dec. 27." Meyers doesn't mention Donald Trump and how his presidential ambitions torpedoed the debate.

The half-hour video is all about Gingrich. Reagan introduced a fawning profile of Gingrich, followed by a lengthy, fluffy interview with Gingrich by Newsmax's Jon Bachman.

Newsmax's endorsement makes it even less likely that a Newsmax-sponsored debate will ever take place. Why would any candidate other than Gingrich take part?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EST
Thursday, December 29, 2011
WND's Kinsolving Has A Jefferson-Hemings Freakout
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The ConWeb has some serious issues with the idea that Thomas Jefferson might have fathered a child with black slave Sally Hemings. Accuracy in Media called it a "smear," while the Media Research Center's Matt Philbin declared that Jefferson must be "exonerat[ed]" of the accusation.

Now, Les Kinsolving joins the freakout in his Dec. 26 WorldNetDaily column. He declares that the alleged Jefferson-Hemings hookup is "one of the most outrageous libels in American history," then quotes at length from some book on the topic. Kinsolving concludes by calling the story an "unconscionable smear of the third president of our country and author of our Declaration of Independence."

It seems Kinsolving is protesting a bit too much here. We already know he's a raging homophobe; is he a not-so-secret racist as well?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 PM EST
Newsmax's Wead Promotes Ron Paul, Ignores Newsletter Controversy
Topic: Newsmax

Ron Paul is finding himself embroiled in a controversy over the racially charged content of newsletters he published in the 1990s. You wouldn't know that, however, if you've been reading Newsmax columnist Doug Wead.

Wead is the resident Newsmax promoter of Paul, repeatedy using his column to tout Paul's presidential prospects. His Dec. 23 column is no different,in which he examines "three myths regarding Ron Paul and the Iowa caucuses." Unmentioned, of course, is the controversy surrounding Paul's newsletters.

Wead is running the risk of denying reality to the point that he looks silly. Then again, Wead is so in thrall to Paul that he wrote a column headlined "Thomas Jefferson Lives On in Ron Paul," so he may be a bit blind to such things.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EST
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
WND's 'Money Guru' Offers More Sketchy Analysis
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You might remember Porter Stansberry as the WorldNetDaily financial adviser who is ready to flee the country at a moment's notice -- which is understandable given that his company has faced a $1.5 million sanction from the Securities & Exchange Commission over aggressive sales tactics. Stansberry's firm is also behind all those scary, Alex Jones-narrated "End of America" commercials on cable news channels, which use fearmongering to peddle his financial services.

Well, Stansberry is back, peddling more dubious advice.

The headline of WND's Dec. 23 article on Stansberry reads, "Money guru: Nation in decline if not outright collapse." Cue the fearmongering:

The man who predicted the bankruptcy of General Motors says the government's financial data isn't giving an accurate picture of the state of the U.S. economy, and the real numbers show things are much worse than is commonly believed.

The numbers tell us America is in decline, if not outright collapse, writes investment expert Porter Stansberry in the December 2011 issue of Stansberry's Investment Advisory.

Stansberry uses questionable analysis to back up this fearmongering. For example:

He uses the sale of cars as an example of evidence that shows real per-capita wealth peaked in the late 1960s.

The lowest median age of the U.S. fleet was in 1969, at only 5.1 years, he points out. Even as recently as 1990, the median age was only 6.5 years. But in 2009, the median age of a registered vehicle in the U.S. was almost 10 years.

"Rich people buy new cars," he argues. "Poor people do not."

First, Stansberry gets his numbers wrong. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average age of an automobile in use in 1970, the earliest number DOT has, was approximately 5.6 years. And in 1990, the average age was more than 7.5 years -- not the 6.5 years Stansberry claims. The 2009 number is 9.4 years, which Stansberry stretches into "almost 10."

Second, Stansberry overlooks the fact that cars last longer than they used to. From a Motor Authority article featuring automotive consulting firm R.L. Polk & Co.:

Dave Goebel, from R.L. Polk, told reporters from MSNBC the increasing durability, not the economy, is the main driver of rising vehicle age. There are more vehicles per household than in the past, he said, indicating that people buy cars and then hang on to them because they last longer."Each new model year the technology continues to get better and there are fewer components that fail, so we expect to see these trends continue," he said.

If Stansberry is manipulating numbers to back up  his claims, one has to wonder about the rest of his analysis.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EST
Newsmax Deceptively Edits Obama's 'Laziness' Quote
Topic: Newsmax

Margaret Menge does a little deceptive editing in a Dec. 23 Newsmax article:

In a pre-Christmas interview with Barbara Walters set to air tonight on ABC, President Barack Obama refers to himself as lazy, saying it’s the result of having grown up in Hawaii, with the sun and beach.

Walters interviewed the president and the first lady in the Green Room of the White House on Dec. 15 in a special called “One-on-one with the Obamas.”

In the interview, Walters asks each: "What's the trait you most deplore in yourself and the trait you most deplore in others?"

"Laziness," the president replies.

"You're lazy?" Walters asks.

"You know, it's interesting,” says the president. “There is a deep down -- underneath all the work that I do -- I think there's a laziness in me. It's probably from, you know, growing up in Hawaii and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach”

“Sounds good to me,” Walters replies.

The president left for Hawaii today on a 10-day vacation with his family. He was scheduled to leave earlier and to stay in Hawaii for 17 days, but changed his plans after Mitt Romney, a leading contender for the Republican nomination for president, rapped him for leaving town before a budget deal had been reached.

Romney has repeatedly criticized the president for his lax work ethic and for taking long vacations, saying earlier this month: “Obama’s idea of a hands-on approach to the economy is getting a grip on his golf club.”

Menge curiously failed to include the entire Obama quote:

Q    Okay.  What's the trait you most deplore in yourself and the trait you most deplore in others?


Q    You've lazy?

THE PRESIDENT:  It's interesting, there is a -- deep down, underneath all the work I do, I think there's a laziness in me.  I mean, probably --

MRS. OBAMA:  If you had your choice --

THE PRESIDENT:  It's probably from growing up in Hawaii, and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach --

Q    Sounds good to me.

PRESIDENT:  Right.  But when I'm mad at myself, it's because I'm saying to myself, you know what, you could be doing better; push harder.  And when I -- nothing frustrates me more than when people aren't doing their jobs.  Although -- sorry, I shouldn't provide two answers.  The thing actually that I most dislike is cruelty.  I can't stand cruel people.  And if I see people doing something mean to somebody else just to make themselves feel important, it really gets me mad.  But in myself, since I tend not to be a mean person, if I get lazy, then I get mad at myself.

So Obama actually uses his feelings of laziness as motivation to "push harder." Menge not only didn't mention that, she reinforced the misleading impression that Obama called himself lazy by repeating Romney's criticism of Obama's supposedly laziness.

Politico's Ben Smith is calling this the "next anti-Obama talking point." Menge proves Smith right.Too bad Menge can't be bothered to fairly report the quote in full.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EST
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
CNS Invokes George Washington On End of DADT, For Some Reason

In a Dec. 21 article on how Mitt Romney "says he has no plans to reverse the Obama administration’s repeal of the ban on homosexuals serving in the U.S. military," Michael W. Chapman adds, for no apparent reason:

As has reported, America’s first president, George Washignton [sic], as the leader of the Continental Army, approved the dismissal of a soldier for “attempting to commit sodomy” with “abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes,” on Mar. 10, 1778.

How is this relevant to anything that's happening today? George Washington used muskets as well -- does Chapman want the military to return to those as well?

Just consider this part of the Media Research Center's anti-gay agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 PM EST
Zombie Lie: WND's Farah Still Peddling 'Civilian National Security Force' Falsehood
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It was more than three years ago that we first caught WorldNetDaily spreading the lie that Barack Obama's call for a "civilian national security force" meant that he wanted to create a police-state apparatus and imprison his critics. In fact, Obama was referring to an expansion of the foreign service and diplomatic and humanitarian aid.

WND has regularly fearmongered about it ever since, and it shows no sign of abandoning the lie.

Joseph Farah keeps up the bogus scaremongering his Dec. 22 WND column, kicking things off with a blatant falsehood:

Way back in July 2008, when Barack Obama was just a candidate for the presidency, he gave a speech in which he called for the creation of a "civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the U.S. military.

No one in the media reported it.

The line was chopped from transcriptions of the speech handed out to the media and public.

The Obama campaign stonewalled WND's efforts to question what he meant.

Finally, I broke the story in this column.

In fact, as we documented, Obama explained what he meant by a "civilian national security force" at the time he talked about it. Farah is simply lying through his teeth when he claims Obama never explained it.

Farah's claim that WND was "stonewalled" by the Obama campaign is also suspect. Remember that WND was starting to delve into birtherism around that time, plus it had already embraced the thoroughly discredited Larry Sinclair. What Farah self-pityingly describes as "stonewalling" seems actually to be about the Obama campaign refusing to deal with a "news" organization that was clearly hostile to him. That's just smart politics.

But who cares about the truth when there are readers to scare? Farah continues:

In fact, I think Obama may have pushed his "civilian national security force" through the Congress and signed it into law.

What am I talking about?

I'm talking about the defense reauthorization bill that sailed through both houses of Congress and was signed into law recently. I called it, "The day habeas corpus died."

I mean, who needs a "civilian national security force" if Obama can simply rewrite the rules of engagement for the U.S. military and employ those forces to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial?

Obviously Obama has broken the bank at the U.S. Treasury several times over and run up the deficit to $15 trillion. He's not going to find the money necessary to build a new domestic military force, so he did the next best thing – with bipartisan help from Congress.

The "civilian national security force" is now in place. The U.S. military has been authorized by Congress and Obama to arrest and detain indefinitely without charge or trial any U.S. citizen on suspicion of being a terrorist. The only one who can override the order is Obama himself.

Between these falsehoods and Jerome Corsi's plagiarism scandal, can anyone really trust what WND has to say about anything?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:44 AM EST
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

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