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Friday, October 26, 2012
MRC Way Too Excited About NewsBusters Hitting 1 Million Facebook Likes
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center issued a press release on Oct. 25 with the headline "Another Nail In The Liberal Media's Coffin." What could possibly be so earth-shattering?

The MRC blog NewsBusters hitting 1 million likes on Facebook.

Now, this really that big of a deal, because it's far outstripped by other, more popular people and things. Eminem, for instance, has 60 million Facebook likes, and Coca-Cola has 47 million.

But the MRC doesn't count anything outside its right-wing bubble:

With more than 1,000,000 fans, NewsBusters now finds itself in elite company, joining, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck as one of few conservative media outlets to reach a seven figure fandom on the world’s largest social network. Of that group, NewsBusters often has the highest total fan engagement as measured by Facebook’s “talking about this” count.

And even then, NewsBusters is not quite in the same company. Fox News has 2.6 million likes, and Beck has 2.1 million. Limbaugh's Facebook page is actually close, with 1.1 million likes.

But no fit of MRC hyperbole can go without a self-aggrandizing quote from Brent Bozell:

“This incredible achievement is a clear reflection of the American public’s growing awareness of liberal media bias, and is a testament to the hard work of MRC analysts and bloggers.

“The American people know that the liberal media are trying to rig this election for Barack Obama, and NewsBusters has become an invaluable tool in circumventing the corrupt liberal media who simply refuse to Tell the Truth. I would like to thank our fans for their support of NewsBusters and the MRC’s mission to bring balance and responsibility to the news media by documenting and exposing liberal media bias.”

Of course, if Bozell and the MRC are so concerned about telling the truth, it should clean out its own house first.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:30 PM EDT
WND's Erik Rush Thinks Obama Wanted Ambassador Dead
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Believe it or not, marking Free Speech Week by advocating the execution of reporters who don't hate Obama enough is not the only crazy thing WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush has written this week.

In an Oct. 24 tweet, Rush wrote: "Why didn't act in if he had early intel? Any1 considered that he wanted Stevens out of the way?"

Rush links to a Washington Times column by Frank Gaffney in which he ludicrously suggests that Obama was "gun-walking arms to jihadists."

Between this and the attack on journalists, we have to wonder if James Garrow, executive director of Pink Pagoda Girls -- where Rush is the "Vice-President Administration and Strategic Alliances" -- thinks Rush's hateful and conspiratorial rantings reflect well on his organization.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:52 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 5:51 PM EDT
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Reporting Insults
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Oct. 25 NewsBusters post, Matt Hadro frets that CNN "still hasn't covered" how "a Democratic Senate candidate insulted CNN's Candy Crowley by joking to a male debate moderator 'You're prettier than her.'"

Funny, we can't seem to find anywhere on NewsBusters -- or any other Media Research Center-operated outlet -- any mention of Ann Coulter viciously insulting President Obama by calling him "the retard."

Coulter's website is linked on NewsBusters' front page, and NewsBusters publishes Coulter's columns.

Coulter's insult is one that even right-wingers like Michelle Malkin (also an MRC-published columnist) have denounced, but the MRC can't be moved to even mention it, let alone criticize it. It's an act of moral cowardice on par with the MRC's refusal to criticize Rush Limbaugh for calling Sandra Fluke a "slut."

Given the Media Research Center's jihad against Crowley and the other debate moderators, you'd think Hadro wouldn't have any problem with her being insulted.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:55 AM EDT
WND's Obama Nose-Job 'Secret' Just More Baseless Speculation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

This appears to be Jerome Corsi and Joel Gilbert's big October surprise: Barack Obama had a nose job.

No, really:

It’s becoming increasingly clear, just days before Barack Obama’s bid for re-election, that America still doesn’t know much about the man who has lived in the White House for the last four years.

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s challenge to Obama to release his college and passport records in exchange for a $5 million donation to Obama’s charities, here’s another secret from Obama’s life of mystery and make-believe.

Filmmaker Joel Gilbert contends President Obama has altered his facial profile for the national stage of American politics, citing two nationally known cosmetic surgery experts he consulted who concluded Obama had a “nose job.”

In other words, it's not a "secret" -- Gilbert is just wildly speculating, just like he did in his discredited film "Dreams From My Real Father."

Gilbert, if you'll recall, is the guy who used the same method of scouring blurry, blown-up photo to determine that a ring Obama wears says "There is no god except Allah" -- a claim that even birthers were moved to discredit.

When Corsi continues to trust so demonstrably untrustworthy, it makes WND untrustworthy as well. Joseph Farah still hasn't realized that.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:20 AM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Moderator Wars
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center tried to discredit presidential debate moderator with specious charges of "liberal bias." When that failed, it resorted to ugly personal attacks against the female moderators. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EDT
Thursday, October 25, 2012
WND's Erik Rush: Try (And Presumably Execute) Journalists for Being Too Pro-Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Erik Rush uses his Oct. 24 WorldNetDaily column to mark Free Speech Week ... by advocating the trial and punishment, "no matter how severe," of journalists for "treason" for doing things like pointing out that President Obama did not go on an "apology tour."

We'll outsource the ridicule to Wonkette. (Here, too, also.)

Posted by Terry K. at 3:48 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Has A 'Gay Agenda' Freakout
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Oct. 21 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham has a fit over a Washington Post "puff piece" about Ellen DeGeneres winning the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Award. Why? Because it suggested that DeGeneres' talk show doesn't have a "gay agenda." Graham ranted in response:

As usual, you have the distinct impression that liberals have a reaction for the social-conservative viewpoint: they want it punched in the face. The Post certainly won't give it more than two words of insult. Their denial that there's anything called a "gay agenda" is a denial of reality, and a denial of everything lobbies like GLAAD or the Human Rights Campaign are doing in America.

Needless to say, Graham never describes what this "gay agenda" is. The only example of how this supposed "gay agenda" can be found in DeGeneres' talk show is an anecdote about how she" put on a couple of little red-headed boys, and one said he favored the president, because "Barack Obama said that men and men can marry each other and woman and woman can marry each other and I think that’s right." 

That's it. One example out of 11 years of shows. But apparently, according to Graham, the mere fact that DeGeneres is gay is enough evidence of a sinister "gay agenda."

UPDATE: Fixed name of newspaper.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 5:59 PM EDT
WND, Newsmax Pretend Trump's 'Bombshell' Isn't A Dud
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily drooled at the prospect of what might be in the special announcement Donald Trump made on Oct. 24. It devoted an article prior to his announcement by repeating an unsubstantiated story that "Michelle and Barack Obama once seriously considered getting a divorce," followed by Trump's claim that "none of the speculation about the subject of the announcement was correct."

Well, Trump's big announcement turned out to be a self-promoting dud -- he vowed to donate $5 million to the charity of President Obama's choice if Obama would release his college transcripts.

But WND still needed to pretend like Trump's offer was anything but a fizzle. So Bob Unruh penned an article headlined "Kaboom! Trump drops Obama bombshell" that avoids mentioning Trump's actual proposal anywhere in the headline or the subhead and was mostly a updated cut-and-paste of the earlier article.

Meanwhile, Newsmax -- which has promoted Trump's presidential ambitions and tried to partner with him to host a Republican presidential debate -- played the same game of make-believe. An Oct. 24 article by Martin Gould treated Trump's dud with gravitas, even adding, "The Obama campaign had no immediate comment on Trump's video."

Meanwhile, outside the right-wing, Trump-fluffing fever swamp, his announcement was treated with the lack of seriousness and outright ridicule it deserved.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:21 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Too 'Feisty' For Bozell -- Or Too Female?
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell's Oct. 24 column is headlined "Say No to Feisty Liberal Moderators," but it's clear that he has only certain feisty moderators in mind.

Bozell wrote that "old PBS hand Jim Lehrer let the candidates debate, and for that he was savaged by liberals for 'losing control' of the evening. He also wrote that "liberal CBS anchorman Bob Schieffer did it right. He moderated without asserting his own political opinions. Indeed, if this was all you had as a compass, you'd never know where he leaned." (That, of course ignores the fact that Schieffer has a personal relationship with George W. Bush, whose debate Schieffer moderated in 2004 -- a relationship the MRC has thus far not mentioned to its readers lest that conflict with its lucrative "liberal media bias" storyline.)

Bozell then said that Schieffer and Lehrer were "a welcome change from the Raddatz and Crowley libfests." He continued:

In the second debate, ABC's Martha Raddatz demanded fiscal specifics (and then complained she wasn't getting them) from Paul Ryan, but refused to demand the same from Joe Biden. By the end of the evening, she was interrupting so much it seemed like she was interrupting Biden interrupting Ryan.

In the third debate, CNN's Candy Crowley outraged viewers at home by selecting questions from clearly left-wing "undecided voters." She then compounded the error by enabling Barack Obama in his Libya lies. Liberal in the media rallied around Crowley like she'd scored the winning touchdown.

Welcoming a feisty moderator sounds like a terrible idea — at least as long as the Republicans keep lining up a unanimous cast of four media liberals to do the moderating.

Welcoming a feisty female moderator sounds doubly terrible to Bozell.

We're sure it's just a coincidence that the two debate moderators Bozell found too "feisty" were both female. Make of that what you will.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:43 PM EDT
WND's Farah: Pray For An End To The 'Obama Tribulation'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The tribulation Obama wrought on the nation did, indeed, produce perseverance – and that perseverance renewed character in many and that character gave us hope.

I already knew the hope of salvation in Jesus (Yeshua). But the hope I have today for America is that the tribulation we’ve been experiencing under Obama is coming to an end.

I pray fervently for my fellow Americans, that they have developed the character and the hope for a better America to bring the Obama tribulation to a quick end.

No, not this year is the author of “None of the Above” urging Americans to sit this one out – nor even to vote for a third-party candidate who will only hurt our chances of showing Obama to the exit door of the White House.

If Americans have any chance of restoring “liberty and justice for all” to this nation, there is only one option – vote for Mitt Romney.

He’s not likely to be the political messiah we would like. My hope is his election will simply buy us the time we need to ensure the Obama tribulation does not become more than we can bear.

-- Joseph Farah, Oct. 23 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 5:19 PM EDT
Newsmax Does Post-Debate Romney-Fluffing
Topic: Newsmax

Right on cue, Newsmax's David Patten -- a loyal right-wing apparatchik -- quickly moved after the Oct. 22 presidential debate into full Romney-fluffing mode with an article headlined "Pundits Proclaim: Romney Passes ‘Commander-in-Chief Test’." Patten began in a cheerleading fashion:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney may have exchanged a tactical defeat for a strategic victory in Monday’s foreign policy debate, losing on points to the president by most accounts but scoring a solid performance that left major pundits declaring he had passed “the commander in chief test” in resounding fashion.

Of course, all of the "pundits" Patten quotes -- Judith Miller, David Gergen and Doug Schoen -- are conservative-leaning. Patten misleadingly describes Schoen as a "Democratic pollster" despite the fact that he's making his living these days in part by bashing President Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 PM EDT
WND's Obama-Iran Claim Backed Up ... By 'Whitey Tape' Charlatan
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've been detailing how WorldNetDaily has been trying to take credit for the New York Times' reporting about alleged proposed one-on-one talks between the U.S. and Iran, even though WND's Reza Kahlili made unproven, unsubstantiated claims that went far beyond what the Times reported.

Now, WND is trying to get others to back up Kahlili. its first choice, though, is a bad one.

An Oct. 23 WND article touts how "A former CIA analyst says a WND report that revealed Iranian sources confirming a deal between the Obama administration and a representative of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over that nation’s nuclear program means the issue could not be used to “bludgeon” challenger Mitt Romney." It continues:

Larry Johnson, an ex-CIA analyst, said yesterday during an interview on the John Batchelor Show the revelation has pulled the rug from underneath any Obama campaign plans to take advantage of the situation.

“”There are two types of leaks in Washington,” he said. “One is when the official part of the administration gets it out there in order to help drive the story. The other is when someone who’s inside the administration who’s privy to what’s going on leaks it in order to derail it.

“I think this is a case of the latter. I don’t doubt Reza’s reporting at all. I think it’s quite accurate. What this ended up doing was derailing Obama’s attempt to try to take the high ground…”

If Larry Johnson's name sounds familiar, it should. He's best known for feverishly promoting the existence of what is infamously known as the "whitey tape" -- a supposed recording of Michelle Obama railing against "whitey." Just one problem: No such tape has ever surfaced. Johnson has peddled strange explanations about why the purported tape has never been released, always absolving himself.

We can presume that neither Batchelor nor Kahlili -- who was a guest along with Johnon on Batchelor's show -- asked Johnson about this alleged tape during his appearance. After all, that would have discredited Johnson and, by association, Kahlili -- and we can presume that right-winger Batchelor was not about to do that.

Meanwhile, a new follow-up article by Kahlili quotes more anonymous, unverifiable sources making related claims. Kahlili claimed that his "highly placed" source says that "after the WND revelation of the secret meeting, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was incensed." Kahlili added in yet another attempt to take credit for the Times' reporting: "The Iranian supreme leader demanded the Americans explain about the leak, which prompted the White House to leak a soft version of the story to the New York Times and deny the facts."

What facts? Kahlili has provided nothing that can be independently verified, and he has a history of making crackpot claims. WND has given its readers no reason whatsoever to trust anything Kahlili says.

Kahlili also has provided no evidence linking anything he has written to the Times' report, so he should really be less of an egomaniac about this.

In short: Unless Kahlili can deliver something beyond anonymous, unverifiable sources, he can't -- and shouldn't -- be trusted.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:22 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Fact-Checking the Fact-Challenged Seton Motley
Topic: NewsBusters

Seton Motley has a growing reputation for falsely smearing General Motors in his NewsBusters post, and he continues to live up to it.

In an Oct. 18 NewsBusters post, Motley ironically attacks former auto czar Steven Rattner for allegeldy having "a bit of a problem telling the truth." Of course, it's Motley who actually has that problem.

He attacks GM for selling the electric Chevy Volt at discount prices -- even though that's standard business practice for dealing with slow-selling inventory.

Motley goes on to attack Rattner for wanting to eliminate previous practice of maintaining "over-bloated inventories on dealers’ lots," then links to newspaper articles citing high inventories of GM pickup trucks.

But Motley fails to explain why pickup inventories are elevated: As these industry websites note, the GM plants that make trucks are being shut down for several weeks in order to retool the assembly lines for a redesigned model, and production was increased prior to the shutdown in order to make sure dealers didn't run out of trucks while the plants were shut down.

Motley serves up even more huffy disingenuousness in an Oct. 23 post, in which he ranted: "Good thing President Obama separated us from our $85 billion - allegedly to “create or save” jobs.  Mostly foreign jobs, but.... And as we’ve seen with Ford, no government bailout money was necessary to preserve a gi-normous member of the American auto industry."

Actually, that $85 billion wasn't given to GM alone -- it was also given to Chrysler and other auto parts suppliers. Much of that money has been paid back, and how much the bailout ultimately costs -- probably less than $25 billion -- depends on how much the government can get for its remaining stake in GM.

And while Ford did not take any bailout money, the company benefited from it. Ford CEO Alan Mulally told Fox News last month that without the bailout, a failed GM and Chrysler "could have taken down the industry and th U.S. economy from a recession to a depression," and that the entire auto industry "would have been in real trouble."

So: More dishonesty from Seton Motley. Anyone surprised?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:08 PM EDT
CNS Fail: Reporter Is Three Weeks Late to Clinton Story, Still Gets It Wrong

An Oct. 22 article by Fred Lucas breathlessly reports on how former President Clinton 'talked about his eligibility to serve as the leader of both Ireland and France" during an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan.

However, as Lucas goes on to later note, this interview took place on "Sept. 30" -- more than three weeks earlier. 

Why did CNS take so long to publish this story? We have no idea -- Lucas adds nothing to it that wasn't covered by other outlets when Clinton actually uttered those words.

Despite this article's lengthy incubation time, Lucas still gets basic facts wrong. His lead paragraph identifies Clinton's interviewer as "Pierce Morgan." Also, the interview aired on Sept. 25, not Sept. 30.

Given that Lucas took so long to write this article, you'd think he would have done a better job with it.

UPDATE: CNS has corrected the spelling of Morgan's name, but it as of this writing has not corrected the date of the interview.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:13 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 7:37 AM EDT
Noel Sheppard Whiffs on Conspiracy Theory Over Libya Attack
Topic: NewsBusters

The increasingly discredited NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard decided to go conpsiratorial in an Oct. 20 NewsBusters post, Sheppard rants about NPR's Nina Totenberg saying that "There'd be no reason to send [United Nations Ambassador] Susan Rice out to lie if she was going to get exposed immediately" regarding the the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya:

Actually, I can think of numerous reasons.

First, the Obama administration believed – rightfully so! - that their media would take what Rice said hook, line, and sinker, especially weeks away from Election Day.

If this were to happen, the White House could create the illusion that this attack was all about protests associated with an anti-Muslim movie trailer and therefore deflect all blame and scrutiny.

The upside is that Obama's foreign policy credentials due to the assassination of bin Laden would remain intact, and he could continue saying on the campaign trail that al Qaeda has been decimated.

This is exactly why Rice, Obama, and other White House officials stuck to this “the movie caused it all” story for as long as they did.

Regardless of the number of holes that are now being revealed in this canard, so-called journalists like Totenberg aren't quite ready to give up the ghost.

They're probably hoping just as the administration is that they can hold this fallacy in place for another sixteen days and not have to really come clean to the American people until after the election.

As such, journalism really is dead, isn't it?

Actually, the only thing that's dead is Sheppard's ability to keep up with the news and examine things fairly. As he was writing that screed, his little conspiracy was getting blown up.

As first reported by the Washington Post's David Ignatius and confirmed by the Wall Street Journal, talking points prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the day that Rice did the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows, stated that the attack wasthe result of a spontaneous protest, and the CIA continued to push that view internally until Sept. 22.

Sheppard needs to do better research if he's going to peddle conspiracy theories like that. He's such an amateur -- yet he hold an editor's title at NewsBusters.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 AM EDT

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