AIM Pretends Pat Caddell Is A Liberal Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Sept. 27 Accuracy in Media blog post, Roger Aronoff touts Pat Caddell -- who spoke at AIM's truth-challenged "Day of Truth" and Obama-bashing -- as a "former Democratic pollster." Similarly, in an AIM article the same day, Cliff Kincaid calls Caddell a "longtime Democratic political operative and pollster... who has become critical of the liberal direction of the Democratic Party."
Aronoff and Kincaid are deceiving you. Caddell is not a "Democratic political operative," and he hasn't been a Democrat for years.
If Wikipedia is to be believed, Caddell quit the Democratic Party in 1988; last year, Caddell described the Democratic Party as his "former party." Caddell regularly criticizes Democrats in his numerous appearances on Fox News, and he was a key behind-the-scenes part of the Citizens United anti-Obama film "The Hope and the Change."
If AIM really cared about "accuracy in media," it would tell its readers that Caddell is a right-wing operative, not a "Democrat."
Ronald Kessler keeps up his end of his mutually beneficial relationship with David Keene in a Sept. 26 Newsmax column, in which Kessler gives Keene free rein to spin away criticism of Mitt Romney, such as his "47 percent" comment and the lack of specifics he has offered for his economic policies.
Curiously, Kessler identifies Keene only as "the former chairman of the American Conservative Union," neglecting to mention his current post as president of the National Rifle Association. Kessler did fawningly write about Keene's job change when it happened last year.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Fluffy Questions Topic: NewsBusters
Ryan Robertson, in a Sept. 26 NewsBusters post, complains of softball questions being tossed to Presdient and Michelle Obama during an appearance on "The View": "In yet another casual interview for the entertainment-focused media, the First Couple responded to a myriad of questions from the hosts of The View that only touched on issues of significance near the end. Did we really need to hear about the Obama marriage and courtship....again?"
But just a couple days before, an unidentified NewsBusters interviewer posted the first part of an interview with right-wing provocateur Ann Coulter. The introduction to the interview states that "She has been a dear friend of the Media Research Center’s for decades and is beloved by NewsBusters readers around the world." And here's the very first question listed:
Before we get to your fabulous new book which I finished yesterday and think might be the most important piece you’ve ever done, you said on ABC's This Week this morning that you don’t watch any of the shows up for Emmys because you’re “busy watching the children’s hour on MSNBC.” Please explain.
Then, our secret interviewer makes this fanboyish statement later in the interview, revealing an unusually cozy relationship that's unbecoming of a journalistic interview:
As I emailed you Friday, I love the way “Mugged” begins: “The Democrats’ slogan during the Bush years was: ‘Dissent is patriotic.’ Under Obama, it’s: ‘Dissent is racist.’”
We could probably talk for hours about what Republicans did for civil rights issues in the '50s versus the Democrats – including LBJ who prior to becoming president was staunchly opposed to black equality. Give us a brief synopsis of the real '50s and '60s civil rights history Americans aren’t taught in schools or in our media.
If NewsBusters is so concerned about softball questions, perhaps it should do something about its own first.
WND's Farber Begs Conservatives To Stop Criticizing Romney In Public Topic: WorldNetDaily
Barry Farber keeps up his less-than-enthusiastic support for Mitt Romney in his Sept. 25 WorldNetDaily column with a desperate plea for self-censorship among his fellow conservatives so that they don't feel compelled to tell the world about how much Romney sucks as a candidate:
As a Jew I’ve always envied that great line in Christianity from Christ on the cross who looks skyward and pleads, “Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.” I think I understand Peggy Noonan and her brother and sister demolition experts. The question is, do they understand the effect of what they’re doing? A remark that diminishes Mitt Romney diminishes Mitt Romney whether it’s uttered by Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Osama bin Laden or Peggy Noonan. I don’t know of any of these conservative critics who’ve ever run for anything. So maybe they really don’t understand. Getting bitten by your own dog is painful under any conditions. When that insult comes from “one of us” and gets hailed by David Axelrod, the destructive power is multiplied. Morale is all-important in a political campaign. When you watch your boxcars of morale and energy destroyed by your friends, the plug is jerked out of the wall socket.
I can imagine the contempt for my stance among our journalistic heroes. I understand how noble they feel when they haul off and remind the world they’re not owned by the Romney camp or any other. “Primitive” is about the highest compliment my attitude would earn from my fellows, who would likely unanimously deny me the right to call myself a journalist.
There are times to rise up and be a “journalist.” Truman versus Dewey would have been a good time to be a “journalist.” Or Nixon-McGovern. Or even Reagan-Carter. No race you can name packs the importance of the one upon us right now. Mitt Romney is the only person on earth who can deny Obama four more years. So, what’s so bad about ignoring a little haplessness in his campaign? Am I proposing lying for Romney? Dirty tricks? Sabotage against Obama? Of course not. To put it on a Nixon-esque bumper sticker, all I’m asking is: Quit handing the enemy so many sharp swords.
Which, of course, ignores Farber's own not-so-ringing endorsement of Romney with the rally cry, "It’s no crime to feign enthusiasm."
Farber then tries to pass off his self-censorship plea as something other a bad thing: "If you’re in the media and you deny the danger Barack Obama presents to America, then you’re worse than somebody who says, “Hey! Knock it off. Talk about the Obama administration, not the Romney campaign!” Way to forgive yourself there, Barry.
What Fringe Views Does The MRC 'Endorse' Via Linking? Topic: Media Research Center
A Sept. 25 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute article by Lauren Thompson that Nickelodeon linking to Jason Biggs' Twitter account, which contains "filthy and perverted tweets," constitutes an endorsement of Biggs' Twitter content.
By that standard, let's see what the MRC endorses via its blogroll on the NewsBusters front page:
Denigrating Sandra Fluke as a "slut" for talking in public about birth control (Rush Limbaugh, but you knew that already)
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Robert Ringer Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
As befits a guy who wrote a book called "Winning Through Intimidation," Robert Ringer is trying to use his intimidation tactics on the presidential election. His Sept. 26 WorldNetDaily column is all about baselessly fearmongering that the President Obama will create a state of emergency in the country in order to win re-election:
I’ve been warning about the possibility of his declaring a phony state of emergency as an excuse to “postpone” the 2012 elections. In that vein, doesn’t it seem a bit too convenient that Iran has picked this particular time to raise the stakes with regard to its nuclear threat against Israel?
The far left, of course, would love a state of emergency and suspension of the November elections, and the right would be rendered impotent while frantically searching for their microscopic gonads. As Obama has already discovered, there are no consequences to his violating the Constitution with reckless abandon.
Of course, if Obama could continue to mesmerize enough Homer Simpsons to give him a commanding lead in the polls going into October, he might be willing to gamble on leaving his fate in the hands of the voters. But if he’s behind in the polls in October – or the race is too close to call – don’t discount the possibility of his declaring a trumped-up state of emergency to suspend the elections.
Let me emphasize that I am by no means 100 percent certain this will happen, but I am 100 percent certain that Obama and his Obamafia would do such a thing if they thought they could get away with it. Maybe it’s just my paranoia, but something doesn’t smell right about the timing of the unusually high level of Mideast madness.
The only madness we're seeing is in Ringer's fevered brain.
Seton Motley Lies About GM Again Topic: NewsBusters
Serial General Motors misleader SetonMotley is at it again with even more GM falsehoods in a Sept. 25 NewsBusters post. What does he get wrong this time?
Well, he screws the pooch right in the headline, in which he calls the Chevy Volt a "$89,000 Car." In fact, as he glancingly concedes, the MSRP for the Volt is $41,000. The $89,000 figure is one news services's claim of how much it costs, which ignores the fact that, as GM points out, development costs are spread over the vehicle's lifespan -- meaning that amount per vehicle drops with every Volt sold -- as well as use of the vehicle's techology in other GM products, which spreads those costs even further.
Motley then rants that GM is offering cheap leases on the Volt. But isn't lowering the price exactly what a business does to move a slow-selling product, even if you lose some money in the process? Motley seems to be unaware of that basic economic concept.
Motley follows this up with whining that "We the Taxpayers" are on the hook for depreciation costs when Volts come off lease, bizarrely calculating it against the misleading $89,000 figure and not the MSRP. Motley honed in on one case in which someone got a lease deal of $159 a month, assumes that all the leases are like that but conveniently ignoring the extenuating circumstances under which that lease was obtained, as detailed in the Forbes article he links to but apparently didn't actually read:
To spur Volt sales, GM has been promoting a lease deal of $279 a month and $2,419 due at signing on a two-year, 24,000-mile lease. “The whole idea is we’re creating a market; there is no plug-in market,” said GM spokesman Jim Cain.
But my neighbors apparently stumbled into an even better deal on their Volt. It seems GM is offering dealers extra bonus cash (which they can pass on to Volt buyers) if they exceed their initial Volt sales goals. Dealers who hit their target get an extra $500 payout. If they sell three times their target they get $2,500. Only about 400 of GM’s 2,600 participating Chevrolet dealers (15%) have beaten their Volt sales objectives and are receiving the extra bonus. Just 2.5% sold enough Volts to qualify for the top $2,500 bonus.
My friends used $3,000 in rewards from a GM credit card (5% back on purchases, which can be applied toward the purchase or lease of a GM vehicle) toward their deposit, and then received an unexpected $1,000 discount, no doubt a dealer bonus incentive. It probably also helped that they have a top-tier credit score and were trading in a BMW. Stack it all together and it was one helluva deal.
So the lease deal actually starts at $279 a month, and very few people have the right combination of dealer incentives, creditworthiness and trade-in value to get the super discount.
Finally, Motley does not seem to have figured out that lies and hate make for bad blogging, however much NewsBusters seems to think it does.
Fran Tarkenton (!) Defends Koch Brothers Topic: Newsmax
For reasons we're unclear about, legendary NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton is writing a regular column for Newsmax. It's pretty much the same pro-business conservatism you've seen in numerous other places.
Tarkenton's Sept. 25 column is a defense of the Koch brothers, and that too is something you've seen elsewhere:
This political season, there has been one business name that has been demonized and vilified above all others: the Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries.
They have been demonized as right-wing zealots, and I’ve even seen the work of conservative scholars tossed out and dismissed just because their organization has some connection to the Koch brothers.
The kneejerk attacks and venom that comes out whenever their names are even mentioned really bothers me, and it’s a sign of just how poisonous our political atmosphere is. I don’t know the Koch brothers personally, but I know people who do, and who know them well. And I’ve also been able to observe the things they do, and the way they conduct themselves publicly.
Everything I’m seeing and hearing tells me that these are exemplary business leaders who we should be celebrating, not attacking.
Yeah, pretty much standard right-wing stuff. Probably not the best use of his pro football fame, but there you have it.
NEW ARTICLE: The Media Anything-But-Research Center Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC won't fact-check Mitt Romney out of fear the truth will make him look bad -- but it will fact-check a Kanye West song. Read more >>
WND 'Review' Of WND Writer's Book Is Just As Fawning As You'd Expect Topic: WorldNetDaily
Nobody was expecting WorldNetDaily's Jim Fletcher to write anything but a positive review of fellow WND employee Aaron Klein's new Obama-bashing book, but this is ridiculous.
Fletcher's Sept. 25 WND review of Klein's "Fool Me Twice" is not only the fawning fluff-job you'd expect from someone who declared that Klein's previous Obama hatchet job "will reduce the Obama myth to a mere shadow as it blasts the political landscape upon release" -- it proves that Fletcher has fully imbibed the WND Kool-Aid that turns any WND writer into a sputtering anti-Obama conspiracy-monger.
Fletcher brings no critical credulty whatsoever to his "review" and is fully on board with Klein's ranting:
A few years ago, when I read “The Manchurian President,” by investigative writers Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott, I was quite alarmed. It was clear from their groundbreaking research that the man elected president of the United States was a shadowy character wholly unlike the feel-good image crafted by his campaign.
Now, in the run-up to the possibility of a catastrophic second term for Barack Obama, Klein and Elliott have done it again. In “Fool Me Twice: Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed”, the writers show conclusively that this change agent in the Oval Office fully intends to “finish off” America if given the chance.
Frankly, there are so many devious initiatives put forth by Obama that the average American doesn’t have time to digest the implications (which is why “Fool Me Twice” is so valuable, with its brief but densely packed guide to this president’s plan to bring down the country.
The authors of “Fool Me Twice” leave us with perhaps the most disturbing bit of information yet: that the 2012 elections could be “hijacked” by an imperial-minded Obama. This very discussion has been on the lips of millions of Americans since it became obvious that Obama was the kind of change agent we don’t need.
Klein and Elliott trace the multiple ways that voter fraud and even tampering with the Electoral College could transform America overnight. Their spotlight on a foreign-based company, Scytl, and its manipulation of new, online U.S. voting systems is alone worth the price of this book.
Fletcher concludes: "Educate yourselves, dear Americans, and internalize the message of 'Fool Me Twice': If the country is foolish enough to elect this man a second time, there will be no more country."
Of course, if Fletcher actually offered genuine criticism instead of mindless parroting, he wouldn't be writing for WND.
Bozell's Meaningless, Hypocritical Anti-Media Letter Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell has released a letter signed by more than 20 "prominent conservative leaders" in which they engage in the usual ant-media ranting and declare that they are "publicly urging our members to seek out alternative sources of political news in order to make an intelligent, well-informed decision on November 6."
It's not news that they despise the so-called "liberal media," and they have likely been poisoning their followers against it for years. So there's nothing new in their urging people to seek other sources because they've been doing that for a long time.
Bozell's letter is the usual evidence-free right-wing ranting that the media won't credulously report right-wing talking points as news. Bozell also wrote:
A free and balanced media are crucial to the health of this country. It is your duty as journalists – as outlined in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics – to “distinguish between advocacy and news reporting,” while simultaneously “seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.”
But Bozell has demonstrated he does not follow these SPJ guidelines with his own "news" organization, CNSNews.com. CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has a clear anti-Obama bias that presents itself as advocacy, his reporters have similar right-wing biases, it does the bidding of MRC donors in its reporting, and it's so biased it presents right-wing talking points as "news."
Bozell could have made CNS a shining example of how a news organization should operate; instead, it's a mirror-image caricature of the purported bias he rages against.
If Bozell cannot even run his own "news" organization without bias, what moral authority does he have to criticize alleged bias in others? None that we can see.
Massie rants in his Sept. 24 WorldNetDaily column:
Obama himself has sealed and/or fought to prevent release of significant portions of his past.
Those things sealed include his record with the Illinois State Bar Association, his files from his career as an Illinois state senator, his law client list, and his adoption and baptism records.
Records of his and his mother’s repatriation as U.S. citizens on return from Indonesia have not been found or released. His elementary school records, his private school financial aid records, have not been released – and while his Occidental College financial aid records were subpoenaed, his lawyers successfully had the subpoena quashed in court.
His Harvard Law School records have never been released nor have his passport and medical records. The marriage license between his father and mother has never been released nor found. And these are just a few of the many things his lawyers have been paid millions to keep hidden.
Here again, I know his legions will point to liberal websites that claim none of this is true, but their arguments to the contrary are as laughable as the arguments that claim dead people didn’t swing the election for John Kennedy.
Of course, it isn't true that Obama's "lawyers have been paid millions" to keep his records hidden -- his records are protected by the same privacy laws that Massie's are.
Massie then writes:
Obama has been in the Oval Office for three and one-half years, and he is still a mystery. Romney (albeit stupidly) released additional tax records that were not necessary or legally required, because he had nothing to hide. Romney’s past is an open book, warts and all, just as George W. Bush’s was.
Massie seems to have missed the fact that Romney also has not released many of the same records he accuses Obama of hiding -- his elementary school or Harvard Law School records, his bar association records, his baptism records, or the records of his family's repatriation from Mexico. Yet, Massie describes Romney as an "open book" while he slams Obama as secretive.
Further, release of two years of tax forms and a brief, dishonest summary of his taxes from the previous 20 years hardly qualifies as an "open book" disclosure.
Massie also fails to explain why the records he demands from Obama are "necessary or legally required" while Romney's tax records are not.
But then, Massie's a depraved liar whose hatred of Obama is pathological, so nobody can expect logic or common sense from him.
Newsmax's Ruddy Back in the Romney Fold Topic: Newsmax
It was just a month or so that Newsmax editor was praising President Obama's foreign policy, thus undermining one of the purposes of a conservative, which is to boost Mitt Romney's campaign. He followed that up with a column criticizing the way Romney's campaign was being run.
Ruddy, it seems, has seen the error of his bipartisan ways, for he's back to toeing the pro-Romney party line. Last week, Ruddy endorsed Romney, and now, in a Sept. 24 column, he's spinning Romney's bad poll numbers into peddling "game-changing ideas" on how he can defeat Obama:
What a day!
I took a look at Real Clear Politics and saw Obama now dominating every swing state with wide margins. He's even opened clear leads in North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada!
Is there a silver lining here? Can Mitt Romney still win come election day? The answer is YES and YES.
Rudgy goes on to advise Romney to "go negative," "stop 'splanin'" and to "do one nationally televised address each week for four weeks before election day on a key topic, giving specifics on how he will fix the problem" just like Ronald Reagan did.
Aaron Klein's Obama Video Fail Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has been desperately trying to climb aboard the bandwagon of old leaked videos of President Obama saying things that sound vaguely controversial. But they're not, no matter how much Klein tries to tart them up.
Klein first gave it a try in a Sept. 17 WND article:
A 1995 video depicts Barack Obama calling for “democracy with a small ‘d,’” while pushing a society based on collectivism and “common good.”
In the video unearthed by KleinOnline, Obama hails unions and collective bargaining as encapsulating the societal “common good” of which he speaks.
It's kinda cute how Klein suggests that KleinOnline -- the website WND created for him -- isn't actually his.
But "common good" is hardly a controversial concept. Klein labors to make something out of nothing by extrapolating Obama's reference to the "notion that we collectively can decide on our fate" into a reference to "the collective" comes across as a desperate attempt at language manipulation.
But nobody bit on Klein's video -- presumably because only obsessive Obama-haters and word-twisters like Klein can see anything sinister in what Obama said -- so he gave it another shot in a Sept. 23 article featuring a separate interview in which Obama basically said the same thing. But the lameness of Klein's lead paragraph demonstrates even more clearly how much Klein is trying to make a mountain of a molehill:
In a 1995 video interview, Barack Obama advocated using an economic agenda to achieve a “common ground” that would be “good for all people.”
While Obama does not define what he means by “common ground” during that one interview, in another video interview from the same year, first exposed by WND last week, Obama specifically defined “common ground” as a society built on collectivism, including unions and collective bargaining.
All Klein has is that Obama discussed the idea of "common ground" 18 years ago. That's it.This is even emptier than Klein's usual M.O. of guilt by association.
NewsBusters regularly engages in what we call Heathering -- sniping at media conservatives for even the slightest deviation from the right-wing party line, which demand absolute fealty to the case and tolerates no criticism whatsoever.
Jeffrey Meyer provides a fine example of Heathering in a Sept. 20 NewsBusters post, snarking at MSNBC's Joe Scarborough for calling himself a conservative, adding, "well at least the sort of 'conservative' that MSNBC can stomach to sign to a multi-million dollar contract."
What was the source of Meyer's hostility? Scarborough had the temerity to point out that "Republicans spent us into debt when they were in charge of Washington over the past ten years," which Meyer sniffed was a "typical MSNBC talking point." Meyer doesn't disprove Scarborough's assertion, presumably because there is a sizable amount of truth to it.
Meyer also dismissed Scarborough's criticism of Mitt Romney's performance as a candidate as nothing but an "anti-Republican rant," then demonstrated the proper way to spin facts to demonstrate total loyalty (while also engaging in more Heathering):
Conservatives would readily agree that Romney is no Reagan or Thatcher, but that he is the alternative in this election to a president whose spending binge would make FDR and LBJ blush with shame. Scarborough's too-cool-for-school bad-mouthing of the GOP only proves he prefers self-righteous smugness over being a strong conservative voice on an otherwise liberal network yelling STOP! at the Obama agenda.
So, to sum up: Meyer thinks Scarborough shouldn't tell the truth and should suck it up and defend Romney no matter what while portraying Obama as nothing but evil.
You know, the kind of blind loyalty to ideology Brent Bozell is paying Meyer to spout.