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Monday, September 24, 2012
Shorter Noel Sheppard: Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Topic: NewsBusters

The lack of self-awareness NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard has is nothing short of comical.

Sheppard devotes a Sept. 17 post to lamenting how the media have been "misrepresenting" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's remark that "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president" and touting how the Washington Post's Bob Woodward "proved that the media have been misrepresenting this quote since it was made."

But just eight days earlier, Sheppard himself was misrepresenting a statement by Al Gore, falsely claiming that Gore said he "invented the internet."

Why is OK for Sheppard to misrepresent the words of other people, but not anyone else? He doesn't explain.

It seems that Sheppard would have us do as he says, not as he does.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EDT
Another Dishonest WND 'News' Article
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily article by Jack Minor portrays Democrats as hostile to religion because, he claims, "a Democratic candidate for state office in Colorado worked to exclude a member of the clergy from moderating a local debate because his supporters were 'uncomfortable' with a church leader asking questions."

But Minor's article is incredibly dishonest.

Minor presented only the side of the pastor and the Republican candidate in the Colorado state house race, and makes no effort to contact any Democratic officials for their side of the story. It seems Minor is hiding something -- and he is.

As Richard Bartholomew details, Minor failed to tell his readers that the churchoperated by the pastor in question, Steve Grant, sells a book on its website, written by the pastor's brother -- who also pastors at the church -- arguing that President Obama is the Antichrist.

Further, Bartholomew also notes that Minor regularly quotes Grant for his articles on a right-wing website called the Greeley Gazette. For instance, here's an article by Minor featuring Grant opining on the Vatican calling for "the establishment of a 'global public authority' and 'central world bank' to preside over all financial institutions."

As one would suspect given the fact that he's writing for WND, Minor is also a rabid birther; here's a video of him interviewing none other than Jerome Corsi.

Minor also engages in some sniping at his local competition because the pastor was replaced at the debate by an editor at the real local paper, the Greeley Tribune:

The paper has come out in support of same-sex marriage and written a scathing editorial during the court martial of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, the Army doctor who was dismissed from the military and sentenced to prison after he refused to deploy because he questioned Barack Obama’s eligibility for office.

Lakin, who is from Greeley, was compared by the paper to another local resident who murdered transvestite Angie Zapata. The editorial board also recently criticized the Colorado secretary of state for looking into allegations of voter fraud, saying it “wasn’t an issue.”

Minor provides no links or relevant direct quotes to back up his attacks on a business rival.

Needless to say, Minor did not disclose his relationship with Grant or his status as a writer for a competitor to the Tribune -- this violating journalistic ethics regarding conflicts of interest.

In other words, Jack Minor is a sad joke as a reporter. And since WND published his article without fact-checking his claims or ensuring that he provided a fair treatement of the issue, that make WND a sad joke as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EDT
MRC's Research Laziness, 'Redistribution' Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

We've detailed how the Media Research Center is not particularly interested in doing research, especially when it conflicts with its right-wing, pro-Romney agenda. The MRC does it again with attacking President Obama over taped comments, ignoring their full context and bashing anyone who tries to point that context out.

A Sept. 19 NewsBusters post by Jeffrey Meyer highlighted "audio of  then-State Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) speaking at Loyola University talking about his support for wealth redistribution, complaining that MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell wouldn't play the tape becuase it hadn't been "authenticated."

That caution was justified. The full version of the 1998 Obama video -- the edited version of which had been promoted by the Drudge Report in a clear attempt to distract from a leaked video of Mitt Romney denigrating the 47 percent of Americans who Obama supporters as freeloaders -- shows that Obama was referring to "redistribution" as a way to "decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities." In other words, Obama was not talking about advocating socialism at all.

Nevertheless, the MRC continued to push Obama's "redistribution" comment while not lifting a finger to verify, let alone mention, its proper context:

  • Brent Baker referenced "video of Barack Obama in 1998 advocating redistribution of wealth," calling it a "display of Obama’s far-left economic philosophy."
  • Clay Waters complained that a New York Times writer "took pains to point out that the old Obama segment was 'carefully clipped,' implying it was misleading." Which, of course, was entirely true.
  • Geoffrey Dickens huffed that "when tape emerged of Barack Obama stating he was in favor of “redistribution” of wealth," the Bit Three networks (no mention of Fox News, of course) devoted "just six and a half minutes" to it, compared with 88 minutes to the Romney tape.  
  • In his weekly appearance on Fox News' "Hannity," MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted that Obama's comment "confirms ... that he's a socialist who believes in the redistribution of wealth."
  • Matt Hadro grumbled that "NBC failed to press Obama adviser David Axelrod over the President's remarks about redistribution" but "did find time, however, to cover the 'Honey Boo Boo' nickname generator."
  • In an MRC press release, Bozell touted how "the Romney campaign exposed a 1998 video showing then-State Sen. Barack Obama espousing his far-left philosophy of wealth redistribution." Bozell also referred to when "Obama disparaged small business" -- which the MRC also deliberately took out of context.

When Washington Post political fact-checker Glenn Kessler dared to put Obama's words in their proper context, the MRC attacked him -- never mind that no Bozell employee could be bothered to do so.

In a Sept. 21 Newsbusters post, Ryan Robertson began by ranting about how Obama and Vice President Biden "are given the benefit of the doubt by the supposedly non-partisan media" because "we're told by liberal media 'fact checkers' that Republicans end up using them out of proper 'context.'" Of course, Robertson is really whining that conservatives get busted taking their opponents' words out of context on such a regular basis that he must regurgitate the right-wing attack line of trying to discredit all fact-checking.

Robertson went on to claim that Kessler "furiously spun" Obama' statement and that the edited clip has just "one missing sentence, one that somehow redeems Obama for his previous statement." Robertson then nit-picked that Kessler's Pinocchio rating was too severe:

By excluding the last sentence, Kessler thought this was a "whopper" of a lie. Yet according to his own scale, this doesn't make any sense. "One Pinnocchio" statements are marked by "some shading of the facts and selective telling of the truth. Some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods." Two Pinocchio-defined statements are said to be "significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved, but not necessarily." Three Pinocchios, as Kessler notes, are merited when there is "significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions."

By his own rating system, at worst this only deserved  two. What's more, keep in mind that this has not yet been made into a campaign ad, and yet Kessler and his staff eagerly set to excoriating the Romney camp, giving them the worst-possible score on their Pinocchio scale.

At no point does Robertson explain why the full context doesn't redeem Obama. And he falsely claims that Kessler did not "quote anything Romney or a Romney surrogate said about it per se." But Kessler did:

Nevertheless, the Romney campaign had seized on the remark as evidence of Obama’s apparently socialist tendencies. “You know, President Obama said he believes in redistribution,” GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said Tuesday. “Mitt Romney and I are not running to redistribute the wealth. Mitt Romney and I are running to help Americans create wealth.”

Apparently, if we are to believe Robertson, Paul Ryan is not part of Romney's campaign.

That's the level of self-deception the MRC must practice in order to justify its laziness in trading what little "research" it actually does for mindlessly repeating anti-Obama partisan attacks.

Bozell claimed in his press release: "Like an overeager Labrador retriever, the liberal media will do anything to please their master, even if it means biting his opponent every day between now and the election." And Bozell is desperate to please his master, Mitt Romney, by using his multimillion-dollar organization to dishonestly attack Obama. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 AM EDT
A Real Journalist Asks The Question About Joel Gilbert's Funding That WND Won't
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted how WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi was too lazy and/or incompetent to ask Joel Gilbert who was paying him to mail millions of copies of his factually suspicious anti-Obama film "Dreams From My Real Father" to voters in swing states. Well, an actual journalist did ask Gilbert the question, and he arrogantly responded that it was nobody's damn business.

From Buzzfeed:

Gilbert declined to say how much his company, Highway 61 Entertainment, is spending to distribute the film for free, but said that the film was making a profit through online orders. He also wouldn't say how the company is funded and how they come up with the money to distribute so many free disks.

"We’re a private media company, a journalistic company that’s privately held and we don’t disclose the nature or makeup of our finances," he said.

He said "We’ve made 12 successful films and we are also making current revenue on the current film" and compared the company to Citizens United, but said that it wasn't a political group and didn't have donors.

Such a simple question, and Corsi couldn't be bothered to ask. Then again, since Corsi hates Obama as much as Gilbert does, they have a vested interest in working together to make sure the source of their funding stays concealed, and Corsi may have been just playing dumb -- which is an unethical things for him to do as a self-proclaimed journalist.

Meanwhile, Josh Marshall uncovers Gilbert's obsession with Bob Dylan:

The guy who made the documentary is named Joel Gilbert and aside from a couple other whacky rightwing docs what he mainly does is churn out an endless series of documentaries about Bob Dylan. And hagiographic would be something of an understatement.

In fact, he has his own Dylan tribute band and seems to model his hair-care to emulate mid-1970s Dylan.


We did a write up when the ‘Dreams From My Real Father’ was released. And afterwards some legal letters were exchanged over a short excerpt of the movie we published with the story. So one night I’m sitting here at my desk at home reviewing where we are in the dispute and deciding what we’re going to do when I think … Joel Gilbert. I know that name. And then, ‘Holy Crap, this is the guy who does those weird Dylan docs!!!’ It can’t be the same guy. But it is the same guy!

It took me a second to sort out the worlds collide moment. Because if you’re a big fan of an artist at some level you imagine (baselessly) that you’re a kindred spirit somehow with everyone else who is. And yet here I am (or there I was) realizing that I’m on the verge of a lawsuit with this dude over his completely loopy documentary about how Obama is some sort of Afro-Marxist Manchurian candidate.

Now, how these two things fit together I really have no idea. Dylan’s politics are largely inscrutable. As a devotee of Dylan’s lyrics I would suggest there’s an undernoted strain of cultural conservatism lurking in some of their recesses. And yet, well, c’mon, I got no idea.

But there you go, that’s the Dylan chapter of the Birther Conspiracy World.

Indeed, WND is selling one of Gilbert's Dylan videos, which it touts as "an insiders view into Bob Dylan's "Born Again" transformation, and its affect [sic] on his life and music."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EDT
Sunday, September 23, 2012
CNS Touts Poll On How Nobody Trusts The Media -- Of Which CNS Is A Part

It seems that Terry Jeffrey couldn't be prouder that nobody trusts the "news" website he runs.

A Sept. 21 CNS article by Jeffrey touts how "Only 8 percent of Americans say they have a 'great deal' of trust in the news media, according to a new Gallup poll," which is "a record low for the 40 years that Gallup has been polling on the question."

While the Gallup poll question Jeffrey features "the mass media--such as newspapers, T.V. and radio," a significant share of news consumption takes place on the Internet. CNS proclaims itself to be "a news source," which means it's part of the "news media" being rejected as untrustworthy. 

In other words, Jeffrey is touting now few people trust his own "news" organization. That's a strange thing for the head of a "news" organization to be proud of; if Jeffrey wasn't, he wouldn't have taken the time from whatever other duties he has as the editor in chief of CNS to summarize these poll findings.

Not only that, Jeffrey's article was promoted at the top of CNS' front page for much of this past weekend with a huge accompanying photo (albeit irrelevant since NBC is not referenced in his story):

Jeffrey clearly wants everyone to know that nobody trusts his "news" organization. Very peculiar.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:13 PM EDT
WND's Kupelian, Disinformation Specialist, Decries Disinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

David Kupelian begins his Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column:

“Disinformation.” Just the crazy sound of the word evokes the shadowy machinations of the KGB, of propaganda campaigns and assassinations, of pinch-faced communist operatives rewriting history as in Orwell’s “1984,” and all the rest of the cloak-and-dagger intrigue of the Cold War era.

But this story is not about the past. It’s about here and now, in America, where a never-ending stream of hardcore disinformation continues to flow, poisoning our national dialogue, our culture and our very identity as a country and a people.

That's quite funny, because WND is one of America's biggest purveyors of disinformation, and Kupelian, as WND's managing editor, is responsible for it.

Take, for instance, WND's obsession with pushing the myth that President Obama's birth certificate is fake. It promotes the claims of so-called "experts" who claim the PDF is fraudulent while hiding their anti-Obama animus -- Mara Zebest, for instance, is a self-proclaimed "PUMA" who supported Hillary Clinton and opposed Obama's election -- while deliberately ignoring all evidence that discredits the birther narrative. Jerome Corsi won't report on the fact that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's birther posse, of which he is a de facto member, completely botched its examination of birth certificate codes, and is trying to distract from it by obsessing over Obama's sex life.

Like Corsi, Kupelian is trying to distract attention from WND's horrible record of journalism by bashing other journalists for "sell[ing] their souls for “access” to those at the pinnacle of power." But WND has done that too, publishing flattering stories about Arpaio in order to suck up to him and influence the birther posse. It worked, of course -- the posse mostly cribbed from Corsi and WND for its birther "investigation."

In other words, WND is the lie launderer that Kupelian is denouncing -- not that he'll admit it, of course.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Saturday, September 22, 2012
MRC Falsely Attacks Rachel Carson As A Killer of 'Millions'
Topic: Media Research Center

Liz Thatcher uses a Sept. 20 Media Research Center Business & Media Institute article to portray enviromentalist Rachel Carson as a heartless killer, complaining that a children's books about her "teach children to idolize Carson and how to become liberal activists, but without telling them the lives that could have been saved by DDT."

Thatcher laments that if Carson hadn't written her book "Silent Spring," "DDT could have been used to help prevent millions of people from dying a miserable death from malaria." Thatcher then repeats attacks on Carson from her fellow right-wingers:

Henry Miller, scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, argued in a Sept. 5 op-ed for called “Rachel Carson’s Deadly Fantasies” that Carson’s real legacy lie in her disingenuous claims that stopped a useful life saver around the world.

“DDT was used with dramatic effect to shorten and prevent typhus epidemics during and after WWII when people were dusted with large amounts of it but suffered no ill effects, which is perhaps the most persuasive evidence that the chemical is harmless to humans,” Miller wrote.

Another expert, Dennis Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute, said Carson is indirectly responsible for millions of preventable deaths noting “The absence of DDT had led to the needless deaths of at least 30 million people from malaria and yellow fever in the tropics … Most of them were helpless African children.”

Just one problem with Thatcher's Carson-bashing: Carson never actually advocated banning DDT. William Souder writes at Slate:

Rachel Carson never called for the banning of pesticides. She made this clear in every public pronouncement, repeated it in an hourlong television documentary about Silent Spring, and even testified to that effect before the U.S. Senate. Carson never denied that there were beneficial uses of pesticides, notably in combatting human diseases transmitted by insects, where she said they had not only been proven effective but were morally “necessary.”

“It is not my contention,” Carson wrote in Silent Spring, “that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. We have subjected enormous numbers of people to contact with these poisons, without their consent and often without their knowledge.”


Carson did not seek to end the use of pesticides—only their heedless overuse at a time when it was all but impossible to escape exposure to them. Aerial insecticide spraying campaigns over forests, cities, and suburbs; the routine application of insecticides to crops by farmers at concentrations far above what was considered “safe;” and the residential use of insecticides in everything from shelf paper to aerosol “bombs” had contaminated the landscape in exactly the same manner as the fallout from the then-pervasive testing of nuclear weapons—a connection Carson made explicit in Silent Spring.

Thatcher's portrayal of DDT as the only possible way to eradicate malaria overlooks the facts that 1) it had been so overused that mosquitos had developed a resistance to it, reducing its effectiveness; 2) the U.S. ban on DDT didn't apply to the rest of the world, and 3) DDT is undenably destructive to the environment. Souder continues:

DDT had been effective against malaria in Europe, in Northern Africa, in parts of India and southern Asia, and even in the southern United States, where the disease was already being routed by other means. But these were mostly developed areas. Using DDT in places like sub-Saharan Africa, with its remote and hard-to-reach villages, had long been considered problematic. It was an old story and one still repeated: Africa was everybody’s lowest priority.

And in any case, the World Health Organization had begun to question its malaria-eradication program even before Silent Spring was published. One object lesson was that the heavy use of DDT in many parts of the world was producing new strains of mosquitoes resistant to the insecticide. Much as it can happen with antibiotics, the use of an environmental poison clears susceptible organisms from the ecosystem and allows those with immunity to take over. The WHO also faced declining interest in the disease among scientists and sharp reductions in funding from the international community.

When the recently created Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT for most domestic uses in 1972, this ruling had no force in other parts of the world and the insecticide remained part of the international anti-malaria arsenal. The United States continued to manufacture and export DDT until the mid-1980s, and it has always been available from pesticide makers in other countries.

One result is that DDT is still with us—globally adrift in the atmosphere from spraying operations in various parts of the world, and also from its continuing volatilization from soils in which it has lain dormant for decades. The threat of DDT to wildlife—as a deadly neurotoxin in many species and a destroyer of reproductive capabilities in others—has never been in doubt. Carson’s claims in Silent Spring about DDT’s connection to human cancer and other disorders have not been completely resolved. The National Toxicology Program lists DDT as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” The same holds for two of its common break-down products, DDD and DDE, which are also suspected of causing developmental problems in humans.

Funny that Thatcher doesn't blames those who indiscriminately overused DDT for causing "millions of deaths."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EDT
WND's Corsi Still Covering Up for Birther Posse
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi's Sept. 18 article on "cold case posse" leader Mike Zullo's "second trip to Hawaii" where he allegedly found "additional evidence the state’s Department of Health is maintaining a cover-up of Obama’s 1961 birth records," is more noteworthy for what it doesn't contain than what it does.

The most conspicuous thing missing is any reference to the posse's botched coding conspiracy -- using a 1968 coding system to evaluate the handwritten notations on a 1961 birth certificate. The silence on that fiasco is deafening, and each day Corsi and Zullo refuse to address it is another day that no sentient human has any reason to take them seriously. (Well, there are many reasons not to take them seriously; that's just the most glaring one.)

Corsi is also mum about one particular misadventure Zullo had in Hawaii. The Phoenix New Times reports that police  were called to a Hawaii nursing home after spending hours trying to badger Verna K. Lee, a 95-year-old woman who worked at the Hawaiian registrar's office many years ago, into talking to him. The fact that wasn't able to, of course, only added to the conspiracy, according to New Times: "Zullo insists someone must have scared this 95-year-old woman out of talking to him. (Our guess is that his name is Mike Zullo.)"

Corsi and Zullo never seem to understand that a discredited messenger destroys the credibility of the message. Or perhaps they understand all too well, which is why they must hide anything that contradicts the grand birthe conspiracy.

As long as Corsi continues to refuse to report the full truth about how birtherism has been debunked, people will continue to see him as a dishonest Obama-bashing obsessive. He will remain an Obama-bashing obsessive no matter what, but he might be seen as slightly less dishonest if he stops acting dishonest.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Friday, September 21, 2012
CNS' Jeffrey Flip-Flops on Women in the Workforce

Terry Jefrey writes in his Sept. 19 column:

In November 1968, however, only 41.8 percent of American women 16 or older worked. By November 2008, that had grown to 59.4 percent.

By contrast, in November 1968, 77.6 percent of American men 16 or older worked. By November 2008, that had dropped to 67.3 percent.

As of August, only 64 percent of American men were working.

What happened? Why did the percentage of American women working climb while percentage of men declined?

Liberals might point to this as a sign of societal progress, the success of women's liberation.

A better explanation may be this: Women are being driven into the American workforce — and men are being offered a way out — by the demise of the traditional family and the rise of paternalistic government.

So you'd think that Jeffrey would approve of women leaving the workforce, right? Wrong.

Jeffrey wrote in a June 1 CNS article:

The number of American women who are unemployed was 766,000 individuals greater in May 2012 than in January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In January 2009, there were approximately 5,005,000 unemployed women in the United States, according to BLS. In May 2012, there were 5,771,000.


When Obama took office in January 2009, the female civilian non-institutional population was 121,166,000. In May 2012, it hit 125,788,000—an increase of 4,622,000 since January 2012.

Three months ago, Jeffrey thought women leaving the workforce was a bad thing because he could blame it on Obama (despite the fact that the number of women not in the workforce has been steadily increasing for more than a decade). Now, Jeffrey is upset that women are working at all because it harms the "traditional family."

This sort of embarrassing flip-flopping is what happens when you change your opinions based on who your political enemy is on a given day. Which tells us that Jeffrey is not quite the principled, moral person he portrays himself as.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:33 PM EDT
WND's Lame Attack on Obama's Economic Record
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily attack on President Obama's economic record carries no byline, which suggests that someone thought better of taking credit for it after it was determined that it would be presented as "news" and not opinion.

That rare show of apparent shame from a WND writer is entirely justified -- it's based on a dishonest premise.

The anonymous WND writer opines:

Twenty years ago, when Democrats tried to oust an incumbent Republican president from office, they questioned his economic stewardship. Vice presidential candidate Al Gore famously bellowed: “Everything that ought to be down is up, and everything that should be up is down!”

The argument seems more relevant today than it was in late 1992.


Applying Gore’s test to Obama’s economic record produces far worse results.

The anonymous writer then compares current economic numbers with those of January 2009.

Why is this dishonest? Because the economy was still in free fall in early 2009, and no Obama economic policy would take effect for months, making it disingenuous to blame Obama for the state of the early 2009 economy.

Had WND compared the current situation to the depth of the recession, Obama's numbers would look much better. But making Obama look good is not Obama's job. For instance, comparing the January  2009 unemployment rate of 7.8% to the current rate of 8.1% -- which WND's anonymous writer portrays as an example of "everything that ought to be down is up," ignores the fact that  unemployment peaked at 10.0% in October 2009.

The anonymous writer also makes a big deal out of how "the National Bureau of Economic Research says it actually ended in June 2009 – just five months into Obama’s term." But WND's own Jerome Corsi, in a January 2010 column responding to criticism of his isolationist book "America For Sale" by the Cato Institute's Daniel Griswold, denounced NBER's declaration of how the start of the recession was described as starting in December 2007: 

He insists the National Bureau of Economic Research, “the accepted authority on the U.S. business cycle,” puts the start of the recession at December 2007.

The National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit research organization that is not part of the federal government and has never been appointed by the federal government to make official declarations of when recessions begin or end.

Pushing the start of the current recession back to December 2007 is a subjective determination that serves political purposes, allowing organizations like CNN to push blame for the economic downturn into the Bush administration, suggesting President Bush was responsible for the housing bubble that caused the recession.

I chose instead to use the more conventional and objective standard defined by economic statistician Julius Shiskin in the 1970s and commonly used by economists since then that a recession officially begins after two consecutive quarters of negative growth in GDP; this definition would set the start of the recession to December 2008.

So if, by Corsi's defintion, the recession started a year later than WND's anonymous writer claims, doesn't it mean it ended a year later as well? Or is WND simply engaging in the same "subjective determination that serves political purposes" that Corsi accused NBER of doing?

We're going with the latter -- this is WND, after all. 

This shoddy, cherry-picked article can even be true to WND's own internal logic. No wonder the author doesn't want his name associated with it.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:19 PM EDT
MRC Won't Fact-Check Romney, But Will Fact-Check A Kanye West Song
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center is too lazy and/or biased to fact-check anything Mitt Romney says. It has found time, however, to fact-check -- and grammar-check -- a Kanye West song.

Paul Wilson whines in a Sept. 14 MRC Culture & Media Institute post:

Celebrities have certainly been doing their part to get their beloved President Obama elected – including parroting wild speculations from Democratic politicians about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s taxes.

Hip-hop artist Kanye West took a shot at Mitt Romney in “To the World,” a song on his new album Cruel Summer. West referenced a speculation by some on the left that Romney is a tax dodger saying: “I’m just trying to protect my stacks / Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax.”

West’s line echoed the wild speculations of Democrats such as Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.,  who infamously claimed that a Bain Capital investor told him Romney paid no taxes. Reid’s claim was completely “unsubstantiated,” even according to media outlets like ABC. But that didn’t stop the Obama campaign from running with it.

Aside from being grammatically flawed (the double negative suggests Romney does pay tax), West’s claim is factually untrue. He has released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011, both of which show him paying taxes to the federal government. Romney’s returns revealed that he paid effective tax rates of 13.9 percent in 2010 and 15.3 percent in 2011 respectively.

West is also hardly a model for fiscal transparency. Forbes recently estimated that West, who walked through an Occupy encampment wearing gold chains, made an annual income of $35 million. And according to Fox News, in 2010, West’s own charity [the Kanye West Foundation] spent more than a half-million dollars while donating no money to actual charitable grants and contributions. Perhaps West should be concerned with his own tax returns, instead of rapping false rumors about Romney.

Perhaps Wilson should be more concerned about the veracity of a presidential candidate than nit-picking the lyrics of a song he doesn't like.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 AM EDT
Jerome Corsi's New Gay Friend
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For someone who appears to hate gays as much as Jerome Corsi does, he sure has found himself a new gay friend.

There is a mitigating factor, of course -- Corsi's new gay friend hates President Obama as much as he does.

As we've previously noted, Corsi has hooked up with gay Obama-hating blogger Kevin DuJan (not physically, we can only hope; sorry about the visual) to peddle unsubstantiated rumors the Barack Obama is secretly gay and that slain U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was, you guessed it, secretly gay (you can't libel the dead, after all).

Now, DuJan is the source for another piece of desperate Obama-bashing for Corsi: A Sept. 19 WorldNetDaily article repeating unverified rumors that "Obama insiders" are "secretly making retirement plans for the Obamas with the expectation the president will lose his bid for re-election in November" via Obama supporter Penny Pritzker. Given that DuJan himself has peddled the same unverified rumors -- which Corsi credits in his article -- the "confidential source within Pritzker’s Chicago organization" that Corsi cites as his main source was almost certainly procured by DuJan, and for all we know may actually be a figment of DuJan's imagination.

As is par for the course with his work, Corsi provides no reason why anyone should trust his reporting or the veracity of his anonymous source.

Anything to keep from admitting the failure of his birther conspiracies, apparently.

We have to wonder, though: Given WND's well-documented hatred of gays, did Corsi have to get special dispensation from editor Joseph Farah before making DuJan his new BFF?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 12:37 AM EDT
Thursday, September 20, 2012
MRC's Baker Bashes Fact-Checkers Who Do The Job He Won't
Topic: Media Research Center

The other day, we documented how Media research VP for research Brent Baker was too lazy to do any actual, you know, research on the truth of Mitt Romney's attack on Obama supporters, snarkily stating, "And the inaccuracy is?" Now Baker is mad at the fact-checkers who did the work he wouldn't do.

In a Sept. 19 MRC item, Baker was upset that the truth was told about Romney's statement and that media fact-checkers looked at everything Romney said about the 47 percent of voters who support Obama and didn't stop at the one correct claim he made:

NBC and CBS felt compelled Tuesday night to fact check Mitt Romney’s assertion “47 percent of Americans pay no income tax” and both had to acknowledge his accuracy, but then tried to undermine Romney’s point. Noting the statistic had become “Tea Party mantra,” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell allowed “it’s true that approximately 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income taxes, as Mitt Romney said, but,” she quickly added, “not because they are living off of the 53 percent.”

Over on CBS, Anthony Mason relayed how “Roberton Williams with the non-partisan Tax Policy Center says, to be precise, 46.4 percent of Americans pay no federal tax. But,” Mason insisted, “it’s more complicated than that.”

Mason gave a soundbite to Williams for a non-correction effort to explain away Romney’s concern: “Sixty percent of them are working and pay federal payroll taxes, the taxes that support Social Security and Medicare, so they’re not deadbeats that are not on the tax roll at all.”

Yes, Mr. Baker, the truth is complicated. Baker doesn't like things to be complicated, apparently. 

At no point does Baker lift a finger to fact-check the fact-checkers -- after all, he has no basis to, since unlike Baker, they actually did their work -- instead whining that they ignored "Romney’s overall point about a growing number of Americans getting more from government than they put in."

One has to wonder how much the Romney campaign is paying Baker not to work. Would someone like Baker spout such lazy nonsense voluntarily?

So, to sum up: Baker is the head of research for an organization that claims to do research -- and he's attacking others for doing the research he refuses to do.

Baker really is an incredibly lazy researcher. Arrogant, too.

Which makes the MRC's "Tell the Truth!" such a joke since it exempts Republicans and conservatives from having to do it.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:35 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 5:37 PM EDT
'Black Mobs' Get Their Own WND 'Big List,' Just Like Teacher-Student Sex
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Remember WorldNetDaily's ongoing obsession with (female) teacher-student sex, which includes a continually updated "Big List" of stories about same? Now, WND's race-baiting obsession is being given the same treatment.

A Sept. 19 WND article by Colin Flaherty -- who has spent the past summer as WND's resident freak-out artist on "black mobs" --  debuts his own big race-baiting list, with his usual excuse that he's doing the work "the media" won't:

America is the midst of an epidemic of racial mob violence and the media refuses to report it.

In my book, “White Girl Bleed a Lot,” I documented hundreds of examples of black mob violence in more than 70 cities big and small throughout the country.

Many of the episodes are on YouTube. I also documented how the media and public officials ignore, condone, excuse and even lie about this wave of lawlessness.

Despite a growing mountain of evidence, some still deny this problem exists. (Curiously, the same people who deny the problem are always the first to explain it away.)

So here are the links to racial mob violence throughout the country, following the organization of the chapters in my book: Some by city, some by theme, i.e. racial violence against Asians, “gays,” Jews, women and others.

I followed up many of the links with phone calls or emails to confirm the racial nature of the attacks and lawlessness.

Many of the individual links are definitive. Treat the others as clues that are part of an investigative package that help us determine the racial quality of the mayhem. And how public officials and media react to it.

Of course, WND claimed that teacher-student sex was an "epidemic" too, using the same desperate cherry-picking to falsely suggest racial links that don't exist. All Flaherty has done is document instances in which blacks are involved in crimes, ingoing crimes by all other races -- the epitome of race-baiting.

And some of the stories he links don't appear to be racially driven at all. For instance, one story about a fight involving football teams was apparently driven by one coach sending threatening text messages to opposing players. That's "black mob" violence? In Flaherty's world it is.

It's interesting that WND now considers "black mobs" to be the same kind of threat as teacher-student sex.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:43 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Hurls Media-Bashing Charge He's Too Lazy to Prove
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham headlines a Sept. 15 NewsBusters post thusly: "'Mainstream' Media Bloggers, Reporters Deny That Reporters Are Tougher on Romney In Press Conferences Than on Obama." But if you're familiar with the work of the Media Research Center, it should not be a surprise that Graham makes no effort to prove the accuracy of his headline.

All Graham is doing is keeping up his freakout that a couple of reporters were caught on tape planning to make sure that Mitt Romney was asked a certain question. Again, if you're familiar with the MRC's work, you will not be surprised that Graham considers this part of a grand liberal-media conspiracy, as he huffed in a Sept. 12 post: "But when has the public gotten a sense these journalists have done this to hold Obama accountable?"

In the Sept. 15 post, Graham mocks Washington Post media writer Erik Wemple for asking reporters about the whole coordinating questions stuff -- never mind that it's much more research than he or any other MRC employee has done on the issue. Instead, Graham does armchair pontification: 'Many Obama critics think that Obama may not have strategized that reporters would stoop to asking silly softballs from supposedly serious newspapers like the New York Times, such as how he was 'enchanted' by the presidency." Again, Graham has done no actual research to back up his whining; he's merely citing out-of-context anecdotal evidence.

Graham gets even huffier with a Politico writer who pointed out that Romney called the press conference to talk about the very thing the reporters asked him about: "It does not answer our argument that they looked like they were all plotting to hit Romney like an Obama-loving pack who thought the president deserved an abject apology."

Which is the core problem with Graham's "argument" -- it's about what it looked like, not what actually happened. Graham hasn't lifted a finger to find out what actually happened. He'd much rather carry water for the Romney campaign by attacking any media person who dares ask Romney a question that isn't fawning. 

It's another part of the MRC's highly selective "Tell the Truth!" campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 PM EDT

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