Sheppard's reign of error strikes again in a June 12 NewsBusters post on a remark by Joy Behar about wanting to see Mitt Romney's house burn down, which now begins with a notice of a "CRITICAL UPDATE AT END OF POST." And what was that CRITICAL UPDATE?
*****Update: There was an error in the original transcript posted at Mediaite that I missed. After listening to the audio numerous times with headphones, it's become apparent that Behar didn't say, "It would be kind of cool - the Mormon fire patrol." Instead she said, "Who's he going to call, the Mormon fire patrol?" As such, headline, text, and transcript have been corrected.
Newsbusters‘ Noel Sheppard even got a Drudge link out of the deal, aided by our early transcription error that quoted Behar as saying It would be kind of cool – the Mormon fire patrol,” when she actually said, “Who’s he going to call, the Mormon fire patrol?”
Sheppard opined, “Imagine for a moment a conservative commentator making such a remark about President Obama or any leading Democrat,” while The Blaze‘s Jonathon Seidl similarly wondered “do we really need to ask what the outrage would be if the tables were turned?”
Since Joy Behar isn’t exactly beloved among right-wingers (and is probably delighted at the outrage), it seems she isn’t entitled to a reasonable person’s interpretation of her remark, which was clearly meant to raise a hypothetical in response to Romney’s call for fewer firemen, as in “I’d like to see what would happen if Mitt Romney’s house caught fire. Who’s he going to call since he doesn’t want more firemen? The Mormon fire patrol?”
But, hey, fair enough, I’m sure both sides engage in unkind interpretations of their foes’ words, and Joy isn’t some helpless babe in the woods. But what this mini-brouhaha really illustrates is the right wing’s screwed up sense of priorities. They’re at once outraged by what they all recognize as a joke (perhaps a liberal was around to explain it), and they’re outraged by the lack of outrage, and they’re outraged at the hypothetical outrage that would occur if a conservative made the same joke.
Indeed, Sheppard makes no effort to explain the full context of what Behar was responding to, stating only that they were in response o "Romney's comments on the need for more police, teachers, and firefighters." That's an utterly dishonest way to portray what Romney actually said, which was that we don't need more police, teachers, and firefighters.
And this guy is an associate editor at NewsBusters?
If you have to explain that you're not excusing murder, you're excusing murder.
And that's exactly what Burt Prelutsky does in his June 12 WorldNetDaily column:
For openers, Mrs. Sebelius, while a two-term governor of Kansas, vetoed legislation limiting abortion on four separate occasions. Not so coincidentally, the No. 1 contributor to her political campaigns was none other than Dr. George Tiller, a Lutheran, who was notorious for being one of the very few medical practitioners in America who regularly performed late-term abortions. Eventually, he was gunned down by Scott Roeder in a church, of all places.
Not to excuse Roeder, but his crime consisted of committing just a single cold-blooded murder of a 67-year-old man who’d committed over 60,000 abortions. If I had been his defense attorney, I would have been tempted to argue that my client was guilty of nothing more than performing a very late-term abortion of his own. I’m not sure how long a sentence you get in Kansas for practicing medicine without a license, but I know it’s not life.
Prelutsky thus echoes fellow WND columnist Jack Cashill in cheering the murder of Tiller.
CNS' Jeffrey Still Beating The Dead Horse of Kagan Recusal on Obamacare Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has spent years desperately pushing the idea that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan should be/should have been disqualified from deliberations on health care reform lawsuits before the court because of her earlier work as President Obama's solicitor general -- despite the fact that he has never provided any definitive evidence of a violation of the statute that would force her to recuse (and completely ignoring the fact that if she's in violation, Justice Clarence Thomas is as well).
Jeffrey beats this dead horse one more time in a June 12 CNS article complaining that Attorney General Eric Holder "has refused to provide written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee" regarding Kagan's involvement in health care reform.
Jeffrey goes on to rehash his old, failed arguments, suggesting without evidence that because "Kagan had personally assigned her top deputy to handle the expected litigation against Obamacare," that was a violation of the law demanding recusal.
And, needless to say, Jeffrey makes no mention of Clarence Thomas' conflicts.
WND's Real Intent With Esquire Lawsuit: Vengeance Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily and its sue-happy defamer attorney Larry Klayman seem to know they don't have a case against Esquire magazine for its satirical blog post about WND admitting that President Obama was born in Hawaii and that it was destroying Jerome Corsi's birther book. Not that it will admit that at WND, of course.
A June 11 WND article announced that WND would appeal a judge's dismissal of its Esquire lawsuit. It repeats the usual rantings from Klayman that don't address the key finding the judge made in dismissing it, that WND editor Joseph Farah admitted the Esquire blog post was satire before it became "inconvenient" for him to do so.
The article also claims that Klayman said that the judge "prejudged the case, for example, in her material finding that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, even though Obama’s birthplace was not at issue." But if you remember, WND's dog-and-pony show announcing the lawsuit against Esquire featured Corsi and Mara Zebest doing their birther presentation. If the subject of Obama's "eligibility" was not a key component of the lawsuit, what were they doing there?
Despite all the usual legalistic boilerplate in the article, WND's promotion of it was, one might say, a little more honest. Here's what the promotional email WND sent to its readers said:
Esquire Magazine's phony-baloney report claiming the "Where's the Birth Certificate?" book was being pulled off the shelves continues to to be fought in the legal realm.
WND is now taking new action in its effort to punish the rag with $250 million in damages ...
So it's not about justice -- it's about vengeance and a desire to "punish the rag." More to the point, the email arguably demonstrates that WND's lawsuit against Esquire is nothing more than a nuisance lawsuit designed to intimidate critics, which runs counter to Farah's assertion in the article that the lawsuit is "not because we desire to restrict First Amendment-guaranteed protections, but because we want to police them and guard them."
Can't lawyers be sanctioned for filing nuisance lawsuits? Yes, they can. Klayman better watch himself.
One wonders why WND and Klayman chose to continue this lawsuit and not a previous one against the White House Correspondents Association for not selling WND the number of tickets it demanded for the WHCA's annual correspondents dinner, which was also swiftly tossed out of court.
Perhaps WND and Klayman have decided they haven't gotten the full amount of publicity from the Esquire suit yet. Perhaps they should hold another dog-and-pony show at the National Press Club.
NewsBusters Ponders Media-Bias Study It Could Not Produce Itself Topic: NewsBusters
Matthew Sheffield uses a June 11 NewsBusters post to highlight an Italian study claiming that, in Sheffield's words, "biased media favoring a certain national candidate and party is worth anywhere from 2 to 5.5 points to that candidate and his party in the final election tally." Sheffield then adds, "One hopes that a similar paper might be produced looking at the effects of media bias in this country."
As someone who works closely with the Media Research Center -- he did create NewsBusters, after all -- shouldn't Sheffield expect that the MRC would be interested in doing such a study? Or does Sheffield know that the MRC's research methods aresoshoddy that they cannot be trusted, let alone subjected to any meaningful peer review?
Besides, any such research would have to look at how many points right-wing media outlets -- like, say, the MRC-owned CNSNews.com -- would add to a Republican candidate, and the MRC is certainly not going to address that.
Further, the media environment in Italy is nowhere near analogous to the United States. As Sheffield himself notes, six of Italy's seven main nationwide TV channels are controlled by now-former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, which were apparently biased toward Berlusconi. Media ownership in the U.S., while concentrated among a handful of corporations, is still more diffuse than in Italy.
Then again, the main TV networks aren't producing four-minute attack ads against Romney like Fox News did against Obama, are they? And no, Matt Hadro, airing someone's speech in favor of Obama as part of news coverage is not the same thing.
That Hadro would think it is is just one more reason why the MRC cannot be trusted to conduct such research.
At the MRC, Context Is 'Spin' Topic: Media Research Center
We've detailed how NewsBusters insists on putting the words of conservatives in their proper context, but if you insist on putting, say, President Obama's words in context, you're simply making excuses for the guy. Now it's doing the latter again.
In a June 11 MRC TimesWatch item, Clay Waters bashing New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes for committing the offense of explaining the full context of Obama's statement that "the private sector is doing fine." He huffed that " "Calmes actually provided 'context' to bolster Obama's argument for him" and that "Calmes felt the need to explain what Obama really meant," going on to portray Calmes' accurate representation of the full context at " spin on Obama's behalf."
That's right -- proper context is "spin" at the MRC, at least when the person whose context is being provided is not a conservative.
What If Mychal Massie Was White? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie's June 11 WorldNetDaily column carries the headline "What if Obama were white?" Sadly, Massie does nothing useful with this premise, instead engaging in his same old regurgitation of hate and lies. Here's a sample:
If the white hypothetical FLOTUS spent $50,000 in one afternoon at one of the most exclusive, exotic lingerie shops in the world and spent $15,000 a day to use the same makeup man Oprah Winfrey uses – would condemnation of her be because she is white? If this hypothetical white FLOTUS falsified travel documents, fraudulently listing her daughters as “senior advisers” so that American taxpayers (millions of whom are unemployed) would be responsible for footing the bill for them – would criticism of her be because she is white?
In fact, as we've documented, Michelle Obama did not go on a lingerie spending spree, and nobody has claimed that makeup artist Derrick Rutledge charges Obama $15,000 a day (only that that's what he has charged others in the past).
Also, Obama did not "fraudulently list her daughters as 'senior advisers' so that American taxpayers (millions of whom are unemployed) would be responsible for footing the bill for them." As ABC reported, the White House said that a listing for them as "senior staff" indicates only where they sat on the plane, and no "fraud" was committed.
So, Massie can't even get do the basic research of getting his direct quotes correct in spewing his lies.
Which brings up an interesting question: What if Mychal Massie were white? Would WND give him the pass it's giving him now on his numerous falsehoods and misleading claims, of which the above paragraph is only oneexample?
If Massie were white, would he get the same pass he's getting now on calling Michelle Obama "Buttzilla" and Jehmu Greene a "Negress"?
Would Massie be so vaulable to WND if he was a white man spewing the same unhinged hatred of a black president?
Massie, it appears, is hiding behind his race to hurl denigrating attacks he would never be able to get away with if he was white. Not that he'll ever admit that, of course.
Bozell Whines About Non-Coverage Of Rally His Own 'News' Organization Didn't Cover Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell has issued a typically indignant press release complaining about the alleged lack of media coverage of right-wing rallies against the contraception coverage mandate:
"The bias beat goes on, and it's getting more obvious as outrage against Obama and his mandate spreads to every corner of America. To ignore these coordinated protests across the country is bad enough. But then to hype what a few über liberal nuns and their hundreds of supporters - hundreds! - are doing to dissent against the Vatican's supposed 'inquisition' is unbearable.
"This disgraceful decision by the networks to deliberately ignore this national demonstration in support of religious freedom comes only weeks after these same networks deliberately and shamefully ignored the largest legal action ever taken against the government by the Catholic Church in the history of this Republic. CBS committed only 19 seconds of a single nightly newscast to those lawsuits while NBC and ABC gave the story ZERO coverage. This is a pointed and deliberate message from the liberal media directed at the millions of Americans who believe in our constitutionally protected freedom of religion.
"Let there be no mistake. These so-called 'news' networks only cover stories that are helpful to Barack Obama and will not broadcast anything that hurts his chances of re-election this November. The networks have shown their hand, and they are not on the side of freedom."
Bozell's words might have more credibility if his own "news" organization didn't also fail to cover those rallies.
The only mention of the rallies we could find on the MRC-operated CNSNews.com was a basic June 8 Associated Press article focusing on one rally, in Washington. CNS has produced no original coverage of the rallies.
Why should the networks cover something his own "news" organization didn't find newsworthy?
WND's Farah: 'Atheists Cant Be Real Americans' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Atheists can’t be real Americans in the truest sense of the word – and People for the American Way should be renamed People for the un-American Way.
Let me explain why.
America was founded on a creedal statement. It can be found in the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”
Thus, America was founded on the principle that the Creator God endowed men with certain unalienable rights. This statement formed the basis of self-governance in a world ruled by kings and tyrants. It is the principle that set America apart from the rest of the world.
It’s important to note that the founders – and most of the 2 million people living in America at the time of the founding – were Christians who believed in the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They weren’t referring to any other god. They rejected Allah. They rejected paganism in all its forms. They rejected atheism.
America was thus founded as a Judeo-Christian nation, tolerant of other views, but with the understanding that only a moral people governing themselves to the best of their ability under God’s eternal laws were capable of maintaining the liberty established uniquely under this covenant.
While I know some atheists and agnostics who live in America as productive citizens and don’t try to impose their views and their will on others, that’s exactly what groups like People for the American Way do.
They seek a fundamental transformation of America away from the principles and the creed that set it apart.
Likewise, at the end of the day, anyone who doesn’t believe in the Creator God of our founders is, at best, enjoying the blessings established by that national creed without acceptance of it.
There’s an old saying: “America: Love it or leave it.”
And never before in our history has that adage made more sense.
MRC Is Offended GM Wants to Sell Cars to Gays Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's anti-gay agenda leads it to do many silly things.
Like this June 11 MRC Culture & Media Institute article by Taylor Hughes, which takes offense at the idea that General Motors is marketing to gays:
What do GM and President Obama have in common (besides that fact that he bought it)? They’re both catering to the gay agenda for cash. Soon after President Obama declared that “same sex couples should be allowed to marry,” government-owned GM decided that gays should also be targeted by its ad campaigns.
While Obama’s move paid off immediately (Hollywood had lavished some $12 million on his campaign within days of his announcing that his opinion had “evolved”), the jury is still out on whether it will pay off for Chevy.
An LGBT Detroit based paper, Between the Lines, ran an ad showing the Chevy Volt taking the most important step in a gay person’s life, coming out. Parked between two gas powered Chevy vehicles, the ad shows the Volt boldly proclaiming, “Mom, Dad, I’m Electric.”
This move was hailed as “particular strategic move for the car manufacturer” by the Huffington Post and others, noting that the LGBT community tends to be more “eco-friendly.”
Um, so? Why shouldn't GM target any audience it chooses in order to sell cars? Why is that a bad thing? Doesn't Hughes want the government to make some money (or at least lose a little less of it) on its GM investment?
Apparently not according to Hughes, if that means treating gays as merely another target audience instead of a minority to be despised.
WND's Ellis Washington Embraces Discredited Historian Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've noted how WorldNetDaily's Ellis Washington is frustrated that he can't get the tenure-track teaching gig he so desperately wants, and which his arrogance and extreme views will make it unlikely that he will get. Here's another reason he won't get that job: He embraces discredited so-called experts.
Conservative historian David Barton, in his outstanding new book, “The Jefferson Lies: Exploring the Myths You’ve Always Known About Thomas Jefferson,” has once again presented an opus that shines the light of truth on the lies and propaganda of atheism, progressivism, liberalism, humanism and secular elites who possess a venal hatred for American exceptionalism.
There's Washington's first problem. Warren Throckmorton has detailed how Barton's book is replete with falsehoods, undermining Washington's insistence that "The Jefferson Lies" is "outstanding."
Washington then digresses to a discussion of "deconstructionism," in which he bizarrely insists that the Salem witch trials weren't that bad because other countries killed many more suspected witches:
Deconstructionism teaches students about the “intolerant” or “fanatical” Christian Puritans who conducted the notorious witch trials in Salem, Mass. While history records 27 individuals unjustly accused, tried and killed in the Salem witch trials, what liberal revisionists almost universally disregard is that these trials weren’t unique to America. In fact witch trials were happening concurrently throughout the world – including 30,000 in England, 75,000 in France, and 100,000 in Germany. In total over 500,000 people were put to death throughout Europe. Additionally, the American witch trials lasted 18 months, but the European trials lasted decades.
Twenty-seven vs. 500,000 deaths. You do the math!
Barton uncovers the real history of the Salem witch trials. The Puritans were not Christian fanatics with a bloodlust towards witches.
If Barton is Washington's source on this, there's a pretty good likelihood that Barton is misleading or wrong here as well.
Of course, a tenure-track-caliber professor would not simply accept someone's so-called research at face value simply because they reinforce one's preconceived notions.
Newsmax Still Promoting Discredited Ed Klein Topic: Newsmax
We've detailed how Newsmax has been promoting discredited author Edward Klein's new Obama-bashing book -- it's even brought in crazy person John LeBoutillier to interview Klein, and is touting the book with a blurb from another noted crazy person, Donald Trump.
A June 11 Newsmax article appears to be an excerpt from Klein's book -- while it carries Klein's byline, it's not identified as an excerpt. It's based on an unnamed "liberal historian" who spent "nearly two hours" bashing Obama after purportedly met with Klein "in a restaurant where we were unlikely to be seen" where the interview was "conducted under the condition of anonymity."
Why should the rantings of someone too cowardly to go on the record with his opinions be taken seriously? They shouldn't. But because the anonymous person is bashing Obama, it's important as far as Klein is concerned. And Newsmax, too.
WND's Mercer: Men Are Enabling 'Female Incompetence' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ilana Mercer writes in her June 7 WorldNetDaily column:
“A dual spigot for an exterior faucet”: We purchased this item at Home Depot, the shop where men roam to feel at home.
The item was without a sticker. A woman clerk was manning the checkout counter. She and her female colleagues congregated to solve the problem. A man at the back was contacted on the intercom system and asked for a price. Alas, and eventually, another man had to save the day. Not one of the ladies was able to coherently describe the 2-outlet faucet adaptor, for the purpose of pricing the item.
A young man who worked the floor staged an “intervention.” He arrived on the scene, held the thing comfortably in his hands, and intuitively blurted out the description above. It was second nature to him. A few minutes later, we were finally on our way.
Everywhere you go, men are enabling – and compensating for – female incompetence in work to which women are unsuited.
Everywhere, men are doing double duty, sometimes endangering themselves (as in police work), to give girls the delusions of omnipotence they demand. And they do this without question. I guess a guy doing unequal work for equal pay would get fired if he questioned this PC protocol.
So women are genetially incapable of making their way through a Home Depot with any level of competence?
Of course, Mercer ignores the possibility that a checkout clerk is not where you should go at Home Depot for expertise on a specific product and that people who specialize in them are stationed in specific sections of the store. Checkout clerks at such a large store are not necessarily cross-trained to be experts on every single item the store sells.
Just because a female checkout clerk couldn't immediately identify the part you were seeking, Ilana, doesn't make all women incompetent.
MRC's Graham Complains Food Network Host Said Something Nice About Michelle Obama Topic: NewsBusters
Yes, Tim Graham devoted an entire June 9 NewsBusters post to complaining that a Food Network host said something nice about Michelle Obama:
Michelle Obama’s showing up on yet another cable reality show, and once again TV Guide is kissing her ring. The new June 11-17 issue carries the headline “A First-class First Lady.” Reporter Oriana Schwindt said the Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible” will make a new dining room, kitchen and garden for the charity Horton’s Kids in the poor Anacostia neighborhood in Washington, DC, and Michelle came for a few hours to supervise and make her latest cameo.
“I’ve worked for different presidents,” said the program’s host Robert Irvine, “but forget politics – this lady is one of the most humanistic, charismatic, caring people I’ve ever met.” TV Guide wasn’t done:
“She spoke to every child, every worker, every mother,” marvels Irvine, “and didn’t leave, even when she was being pulled left, right, and center by aides and Secret Service.”
If you believe Michelle Obama is just yanked around by the Secret Service like she’s a rag doll, you might also believe she’s one of the most magical people you could ever come across.
That's the MRC's bizarre definition of "liberal bias" at work -- simply saying something nice about a non-conservative is "liberal bias."
Does Graham have nothing better to do with his life than to troll TV Guide and the Food Network to find "liberal bias"? Apparently not.
Diana West's Legal Process Fail Topic: WorldNetDaily
Diana West apparently doesn't udnerstand how the legal process works. Otherwise, she wouldn't have gotten so much wrong in her June 9 WorldNetDaily column-slash-birther rant.
New Jersey citizens, represented by attorney Mario Apuzzo, made two claims: that Barack Obama has not proved he meets the conditions for presidential eligibility (namely, that he is a “natural born citizen”), and that the proof Obama released attesting to his bona fides (an Internet image of his long-form birth certificate) is fraudulent.
In fact, Apuzzo was not representing "New Jersey citizens"; he was representing two specific New Jersey citizens, Nicholas E. Purpura and Theodore T. Moran. And Obama has proven his "presidential eligibility"; West simply refuses to accept it by insisting on a definition of "natural born citizen" that does not exist in American law and ignoring the fact that the state of Hawaii has vouched for the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate.
West goes on to complain that an administrative judge ruled that "A presidential candidate has no obligation under New Jersey state law to prove his eligibility, period." Which, of course, is the correct ruling. Still West whines about it by demanding that judges go beyond their legal authority:
The following questions, asked last week by the three judges who heard the New Jersey case on appeal, typify the official attitude:
“Why is it incumbent on New Jersey to resolve this issue?”
Subtext: Voters, schmoters.
“What statute of New Jersey says he (Obama) has to prove his eligibility?”
Subtext: Please make it someone else’s problem.
“Why won’t Congress and (the Electoral College) protect the integrity of the election?”
Subtext: It’s not our problem.
“Why don’t we accept at face value that they made that determination (after the 2008 election)?”
Subtext: It’s no one’s problem anymore. Can we go home yet?
“Do you agree that we need not reach the issue of natural born citizen?”
Subtext: We don’t want to walk that scary plank, whatever we do.
Surprise, surprise, the appeals court upheld President Obama’s eligibility. The judges, along with Obama’s counsel, agreed that any eligibility questions should be kicked upstairs to Congress and the Electoral College – and after the November 2012 election.
Again, the appeals court made the correct ruling. Apuzzo never established that New Jersey has any legal obligation to vet the eligibility of presidential candidates, so the judges are correct in not enforcing one.
But West is not done whining. After asking "What’s up with that funky online ID of his? No junior high school would hire a P.E. teacher on the strength of that" -- again, ignoring that the state of Hawaii has vouched for its authenticity -- she complains that "some media outlets that subscribe to this column have informed me they won’t run anything I write on the eligibility subject."
If West would recognize reality instead of regurgitating discredited birther conspiracies, that might change.