MRC Repeats Misleading '1,000 Scientists' Claim Topic: Media Research Center
Mike Ciandella uses a March 4 Media Research Center Business & Media Institute item to complain that National Journal is pointing out what an extremist Ken Cuccinelli -- the current Virginia attorney general who's running for governor this year -- is, particularly on the subject of climate change. Ciandella whined:
National Journal claims to be “the most credible, objective, and authoritative voice in the Beltway,” but apparently it doesn’t care too much about keeping that title.
The reality of “climate change” is that more than 1,000 scientists are on record dissenting from the so-called "consensus" on global warming. U.S. government atmospheric scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has said, "It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don't buy into anthropogenic [manmade] global warming."
As we pointed out the last time he invoked the "1,000 scientists" argument, that's a very tiny number of total scientists, and it's not clear from the website Ciandella's link ultimately leads us to -- Climate Depot, run by professional global warming denier Marc Morano -- how many of those scientists have a background in climatology or another relevant discipline. Judging by the comments in Morano's article, very few.
And as we pointed out when one of Ciandella's colleagues at NewsBusters made the same assertion, picking 1,000 "global warming skeptics" out of context ignores the fact that 97 percent of climate experts agree that global warming is manmade.
WND Can't Decide Whether Or Not It Hates Catholics Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has had occasional spasms of anti-Catholic behavior in the past, and it's sneaking in again.
On March 3, WND republished (read: stole) a UK Daily Mail article claiming that the real reason that Pope Benedict XVI stepped down is because he "voluntarily delivered himself up as a sacrificial lamb" for the priest sex scandals.
On the other hand, a March 3 WND article by Joe Kovacs complained that "Saturday Night Live" "wasted little time mocking Pope Benedict" with an innocuous "hat hair" joke.
That dichotomy shows how WND's far-right, ultra-orthodox evangelical Protestantism guides the organization -- a branch of which is heavily anti-Catholic, as personified by the likes of Robert Jeffress (whose hatred WND has whitewashed).
WND Attacks Crimes of TSA Workers, Ignores Those of Arpaio's Posse Topic: WorldNetDaily
A March 2 WorldNetDaily article by Chelsea Schilling is very concerned about the kind of people hired by the TSA:
Some might consider it one of the most important jobs in America after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: Protecting the nation’s airports, airplanes and citizens from would-be terrorists hell-bent on mass murder.
But the TSA screeners patting you down and combing through your belongings don’t have federal law-enforcement training, may earn about as much as a McDonald’s shift manager and are not required to possess a high-school diploma or GED.
In fact, they might even be criminals.
If recent news reports are any indication, many Americans can’t even trust that TSA’s screeners won’t steal their laptops, money or jewelry.
The most common offenses in the report included theft of money and laptops and trafficking child pornography.
One agent allegedly wore his uniform and displayed a badge before sexually assaulting a woman before fleeing on foot. Another TSA agent was arrested for kidnapping a woman and sexually assaulting her. At least four of the agents in the report were arrested for sexually assaulting young girls.
One agent wore her uniform while she sold heroin near a local elementary school.
Two agents were arrested for illegally carrying guns into airports.
WND promoted this article at the top of its front under the headline "Obama won't trumpet this about his henchmen" -- even though President Obama is mentioned nowherein the article, and Schilling states that the report she's referring to details alleged TSA offenses dating back to 2005, four years before Obama became president.
You won't, however, find that same level of concern about the kind of people accepted into the posse operated by Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. As a Phoenix TV station reported:
Arpaio wants his army of 3,000 volunteer posse members to look like sworn deputies and sometimes perform the same duties. But an in-depth project by CBS 5 Investigates uncovered a number of posse members with arrests for assault, drug possession, domestic violence, sex crimes against children, disorderly conduct, impersonating an officer - and the list goes on.
These are crimes that are not tolerated in many professions, especially professions with an implied authority.
And then there was Jacob Cutler. According to a Flagstaff police report, Cutler threw his girlfriend to the ground and choked her while trying to sexually assault her in 2008. When she didn't cooperate, he allegedly threatened to call police and said they would side with him, because he "has a badge." He was a member of Arpaio's posse at the time.
While combing through thousands of pages of court records and police reports, CBS 5 Investigates discovered that some posse members were behaving as though they were above the law.
Kevin Ray Campos was arrested in 2007 outside a Scottsdale club for disorderly conduct. According to the police report, he spit on several bouncers and then hurled profanities at a Scottsdale police officer. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, according to court records, and was hired as a posse member a year later.
You won't find this mentioned at all at WND -- but you will find that WND copied-and-pasted a Dec. 28 article from an Arizona TV station about how Arpaio "plans to deploy his armed volunteer posse" at area schools, as well as another copy-and-paste article from the Associated Press about how Arpaio, with the help of washed-up actor Steven Segal, "is planning a training exercise aimed at helping his volunteer posse members respond to school shootings."
For the past couple of years, WND has been sucking up to Arpaio through fawning puff pieces and airbrushing him out of negative news as part of its birther crusade, which led to Arpaio assigning his "cold case posse" -- with WND's Jerome Corsi serving as a de facto posse member -- to conduct a discredited investigation of Obama's birth certificate.
Once again, WND has decided to hide unpleasant news about one of its favorite sacred cows. Is that how a real "news" organization behaves? Of course not. WND won't trumpet this about Arpaio's henchmen.
Accuracy in Media will honor Catherine Herridge of the Fox News Channel for her outstanding achievements in investigative journalism, and Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit for his groundbreaking contributions to New Media in a ceremony taking place at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 14th.
Herridge is the closest thing to an actual reporter AIM has honored. But remember that the main purpose of the Reed Irvine Award is not to honor fair and balanced reporting but to reward work that promotes conservatives and bashes liberals, especially that one in the White House. As Fox News' point person on turning the terrorist attack on a diplomatic facility in Benghazi into a cudgel her employer uses to bash the Obama White House, Herridge has certainly fulfilled that latter standard.
But Jim Hoft? Really?
Hoft is known as the Dumbest Man on the Internet, and for good reason. As Media Matters summed it up: "Hoft runs with (or spawns) almost every inane story that bubbles up in the conservative blogosphere, has proven that he has absolutely no vetting process for the sources he cites, and apparently has a hard time with basic reading comprehension."
Just this week, in fact, Hoft uncritically repeated a claim from a survivalist blog under the headline "Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile." As Little Green Football's Charles Johnson points out, they aren’t tanks and they aren’t being bought by the DHS (they're for the Marine Corps).
This is the guy that AIM is giving an "Accuracy in Media Award" to.
Media Matters also stated: "Hoft's ongoing position of influence in the conservative media is evidence that the entire movement is intellectually bankrupt." That AIM is giving Hoft its most prestigious award demonstrates the intellectual bankruptcy of AIM.
WND Columnist's Bob Woodward Fantasy Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his March 1 WorldNetDaily column, Craige McMillan displays a very lively imagination regarding the purported fate of Bob Woodward for "coming to terms with the Chicago machine":
On a personal level, dinner and cocktail party invitations will dry up. Obama supporters are a cult of personality. This appears to be true regardless of their educational level. Facts don’t matter. Reality can be shaped by rhetoric. (The awful truth for America will emerge much later.)
On a professional level, there will be a critical reassessment of Mr. Woodward’s journalistic career and contributions. Expect to see more critical articles like this one in the New Yorker. His personal virtues and vices, not his work itself, will be the subject of discussion.
Given his age, I would expect that Mr. Woodward is probably “old school” in terms of his journalistic archives. He probably has copious notes squirreled away in paper notebooks. He probably has audio recordings on tape. He probably has interviews that people in power perhaps wish he did not have.
The Woodward biography will be rewritten not by veteran reporters, but by today’s propagandists. This is because reducing Mr. Woodward’s stature is essential to blunting his message.
Regarding Woodward’s archives, I would expect his employer to assert ownership, on the basis of his employment and “work for hire” in the copyright law. Given his age (and its influence on habits), he is unlikely to have copies stored elsewhere. He may well lose access to his own archives.
Needless to say, McMillan fails to mention that Woodward's claim that the White House threatened him over his reporting on the sequester has been completely discredited.
CNS' Matt Cover Caught Spinning Another Falsehood Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Jan. 31 CNSNews.com article, Matt Cover wrote: "In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year."
That's not true at all. FactCheck.org points out that "the IRS made no such declaration about the future cost of health insurance plans":
Beginning in 2014, individuals and families purchasing health insurance on their own will be able to shop for insurance in new state- or federal-run health care exchanges. Qualified health plans offered through the exchanges will provide four basic levels of coverage (bronze, silver, gold and platinum), with the bronze-level plan being the lowest tier of acceptable coverage.
But the headline of the Cybercast News Service report simply jumps to the conclusion that the IRS said that the “Cheapest Obamacare Plan Will Be $20,000 Per Family,” when there was no indication that that was the case. An opinion piece published on LifeNews.com made the same leap, claiming that “the IRS … has finally released a cost analysis based on ObamaCare regulations showing that the cheapest healthcare plan in 2016 will cost average American families of four or five members $20,000 per year for the so-called ‘bronze plan.’ ”
For one thing, the example in the proposed regulations uses the word “average,” which means that the “cheapest” plan could, in fact, be lower than $20,000. But more important, the regulations weren’t a “cost analysis” at all. A spokesperson for the Treasury Department confirmed to FactCheck.org in an email that the IRS wasn’t making any declarations or projections about what prices will be.
“[Twenty thousand dollars] is a round number used by IRS for a hypothetical example,” the official wrote. “It is not an estimate of premiums for a bronze plan for a family of five in 2016.”
Will CNS issue a correction? Don't count on it.
Cover has a notable history of false and misleading claims in his CNS work, the most notorious being his untrue insistence that onetime TSA nominee Erroll Southers was claiming that some domestic terrorists have a "Christian identity." In fact, Southers was referring to the far-right extremist movement known as Christian Identity. CNS never bothered to correct that, either.
WND's Farah Plagiarizes From One Of His Reporters Topic: WorldNetDaily
If Joseph FArah's March 3 WorldNetDaily column looks a little familiar, it should: Farah plagiarized parts of it from a WND article published two months ago.
In the below excerpt of Farah's column, the parts that are lifted verbatim from a Dec. 25 WND article by Jack Minor are highlighted in red:
Before the shooting attack, Hasan was clean shaven. Only after the massacre has Hasan claimed he has the right to wear a beard, in direct contradiction of Army regulations which require a soldier to be clean shaven unless there is a medical reason.
Hasan told the previous judge in the case: “Your honor, in the name of almighty Allah, I am a Muslim. I believe that my religion requires me to wear a beard.”
The judge ruled against Hasan’s right to wear a beard. He was summarily replaced as the judge in the case.
The rules are bent for Hasan, but not for his victims.
Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning was shot six times in the attack, yet he is denied the same benefits a soldier shot in a similar action overseas would receive, thanks to Holder’s designation of the massacre as a matter of “workplace violence.”
Fellow soldiers that day “were killed and wounded by … somebody who was there that day to kill soldiers, to prevent them from deploying,” Manning said. “And if that’s not an act of war, an act of terrorism, I don’t know what is.”
But it gets worse: Survivors and their family are forced to watch while Hasan continues to receive a paycheck and medical benefits from the military.
Col. John Eidsmoe, a former JAG officer and author of “Historical and Theological Foundations of Law,” told WND military justice normally moves much swifter.
“It is definitely not normal for capital cases in the military to take three years to come to trial,” Eidsmoe said. “In the civilian realm, criminal defense attorney may have 100 or so cases they are working on at any given time. In the military you maybe have half a dozen you working on. This gives you more time to devote to the cases you working on, making the whole system move much faster.”
For instance,on Dec. 13, Army Sgt. Vincinte Jackson was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing 28-year-old Spc. Brandy Fonteneaux, a fellow soldier at Fort Carson in Colorado. The murder occurred on Jan. 8, 2012.
In July 2011, Sgt. Anthony Silva was shot to death in Denver. Silva was spending the evening at a motel and was waiting for his father to pick him up. Silva was shot and killed by Ricky Scott, who was convicted on one count of first-degree murder on Dec. 14, a year and a half after the shooting.
While Farah does include a link to Minor's in his column, it's placed only with the first Eidsmoe quote, and Farah does not credit Minor for his work or admit that much of his column is a copy-and-paste job.
WND has had a longtime problem with committing plagiarism -- and no wonder, when the head of the company is setting such a poor example.
Ironically, last week Farah was lecturing us about "moral relativism" and how it compelled him to begin his Ten Commandments billboard campaign. It seems that he needs to stare at one of his billboards until he finds the words "Thou shalt not steal."
Newsmax's Walsh Goes On Name-Calling Tirade Over Immigration Reform Topic: Newsmax
Immigrant-bashing is what James Walsh does. Now that comprehensive immigration reform is back on the front burner, Walsh is expanding his bashing to President Obama.
In his March 1 Newsmax column, Walsh attacks Obama as "a true disciple of Saul Alinsky" and "is using Alinsky tactics in addressing the immigration issue." Walsh's ranting ramps up:
One possibility is that CIR is part of his grand strategy for social change, enlisting the help of the feminist social agenda, gullible Hispanics, and artless young people. Another possibility is that he does not really want CIR, and his minimal efforts are just enough to appease Hispanics and rupture the Republican Party. Either way, it is pure humbug.
Immigration reform has evolved into an effort to change America, thanks to Obama’s radical-left money people, among them George Soros. Thus far, Obama has been successful in bringing about “change” without accountability, thanks to an adoring press and an indifferent electorate.
The American people and Republican legislators who have offered no resistance are behaving like intellectual zombies. Republican/Conservative/Libertarian efforts to hold Obama and his minions in check have failed due to crafty stonewalling, obfuscation, and sleight-of-hand maneuvers by the president.
Walsh also claims that Obama's presidential campaign was designed to "appeal to fainéant entitlement “takers,” feminist nihilists, and naïve youths."
Walsh seems not to understand that name-calling is not the way to entice people to your side.
MRC's Waters Joins In Ignoring That Woodward's 'Threat' Was Discredited Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's deception about the nature of the dispute between Bob Woodward and a White House official continues in a March 1 MRC TimesWatch article by Clay Waters.
Waters highlighted Woodward's claim that he considered his "disagreement" with White House adviser Gene Sperling to be a "veiled threat," lamenting that the Times "followed most of the mainstream media in taking the side of the government." But Waters ignored the fact that Woodward backtracked on the threat in the wake of the release of the emails proving there was no threat -- even though he copies-and-pastes from a Times article that points that out.
Is Waters really that stupid, or is he so slavishly dedicated to right-wing talking points that the truth doesn't matter?
Erik Rush Endorses Ilana Mercer's Lament That Apartheid Has Ended Topic: WorldNetDaily
The increasinglyunhinged Erik Rush uses his Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily column to endorse fellow WND columnist Ilana Mercer's lament that apartheid has ended in South Africa.
This transformation of South Africa came about almost entirely due to international pressure rather than national referenda – but why was it done? Not so much because apartheid was an odious policy, but because it offended the sensibilities of Western liberal elites that whites held dominion in countries such as South Africa and the former Rhodesia, which were “meant for blacks” (I suppose because they happened to lie on the African continent).
This rationale would, of course, provide ample justification for Scandinavian or European nations wishing to pitch anyone darker than myself into the sea, but I digress.
They determined that white rule in South Africa, the scourge of Africa and the malignant vestige of white colonialism, must come to an end – and it did. Unfortunately, many of these hold a similar view of the United States; it is clear that this is the case regarding President Barack Obama and his partners in America’s orchestrated decline.
Rush also uncritically parrots Mercer's claim that "condemnation of the new racist South Africa is not advocacy for the racist old." But given that Mercer has never explicitly condemned apartheid in her WND writings and has lionized the leader of the white supremacist, militant Afrikaner Resistance Movement -- whose logo echoes that of Nazi Germany -- there's really no other interpretation of what Mercer does.
So why is Rush signing on to it? Maybe it's a side effect of his full-blown Obama Derangement Syndrome.
WND Grants Anonymity to Attack Illegal Immigrants Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh begins with fearmongering:
Amidst all the lobbying that will go on in Washington over the next few months over amnesty for illegal aliens, one issue probably won’t get much attention.
But Sandra Kay knows all about it. Her son, a soldier who served overseas without getting injured, is paying the costs of it – with a year of rehabilitation and probably a lifetime of pain and trouble because an illegal alien driver caused a crash that left him seriously hurt.
The driver had no license and was in a borrowed car with a lapsed insurance policy, Kay told WND. He made an illegal turn, sending Kay’s son tumbling from his motorcycle onto the highway.
Then the offender disappeared before his scheduled court appearance and the case later was resolved with a judge’s decision that probation was appropriate.
Kay’s son, Timothy, still is paying. He goes to therapy regularly for a leg “pieced together with screws and plates and rods” which still is missing a piece of bone one of the surgeons said could not be found.
But Unruh's article began with this editor's note: "WND has changed the names of the mother and son in this story at their request."
That means there's no way to independently verify the story Unruh tells, since Unruh leaves out many details of the incident with the apparent purpose of making it untraceable.
Since it can't be verified -- and since WND has a lengthyrecord of hiding behind unverifiable anonymous sources to deliver its right-wing agenda -- that means the story can't be trusted.
WND's intent to mislead is even more apparent in the choice of photo to go along with Unruh's story, an unidentified photo of a pickup truck wrapped around a utility pole.
But as WND tells it, the anonymous woman's anonymous son was injured when an unidentified vehicle made an illegal turn in front of the son's motorcycle, which most likely would not have caused the kind of damage depicted in the photo.
The choice of an apparently random crash photo to illustrate the article further highlights WND's desire to mislead its readers, as does Unruh's utter lack of interest in offering a response to the anti-immigrant claims being made.
Allof this means Unruh is yet again refusing to act like a real journalist. If he's telling only one side of the story, all he's doing is taking dictation. Then again, Joseph Farah clarlydoesn't want any more from him than that, which makes Unruh a stooge stenographer.
UPDATE: An alert ConWebWatch reader figured out where WND nabbed that photo from: the Hit and Run Unit of the Nashville, Tenn., Police Department.
WND probably didn't obtain permission from the department for use of the photo, which clearly has no relation whatsoever to the unverifiable anonymous accident story Unruh is telling.
CNS Blogger Way Too Excited That Marco Rubio Knows Who Tupac Is Topic: CNSNews.com
Stephen Gutowski spends a March 1 CNSNews.com blog post gushing over Marco Rubio's interview with TMZ, in which he revealed that Tupac Shakur was the best hip-hop artist ever:
While the interview touches on a wide variety of hip hop topics like Lil' Wayne's maturity lever, Tupac's cultural impact, the Kardashians (which Rubio side-stepped), and the senator's opinion that Biggie was just "alight," the real story here is that the interview happened at all. And, that Rubio knew what he was talking about. He knows pop culture and that's important.
It's good, I think, to see an informed conservative figure going out and engaging with cultural outlets like TMZ. Even if the next story after the Rubio interview was about Lindsay Lohan, he reached people he might not have otherwise reached. And, while he didn't communicate anything particularly ground-breaking, he was able to show people that he, and by extension other conservatives, aren't out-of-touch bores.
Of course, some conservatives think that Rubio's immigration reform plan is a sign that he's not conservative enough, and his being conversant in hip-hop will do nothing to dissuade that view.
Esquire magazine and its publisher, Hearst, lied to federal courts in their defense of a blog post falsely reporting that WND’s book on President Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office was being scrapped, charges attorney Larry Klayman.
But it seems that Klayman and WND are the ones who are lying. The crux of the issue, as explained in the article:
Klayman has filed a motion with the D.C. Circuit federal appeals court to throw out Esquire’s pleadings and end the case in WND’s favor. He notes that Esquire, in its briefs to the lower court in D.C. and now to the appeals court, claims the blog post had “tags” that would indicate to readers that its article was satirical and not a serious news story.
But Klayman contends the original article, which prompted a flood of response to WND by concerned readers and other media who took it seriously, had no such tags.
He has submitted to the court screen shots of the article taken the day it was published accompanied by an affidavit from Farah testifying there were no tags.
Since the article was published, Esquire has inserted below it a list of hyperlinked “tags,” or related article categories. The list in small, faint type consists of key words and phrases, including “Where’s the Birth Certificate,” “Jerome Corsi,” “Birthers” and “Humor.”
“They lied about what was originally published,” Klayman told WND. “They lied to the lower court, and now they’ve lied to the appellate court.”
But the screen shots Klayman has submitted have been edited to remove the section that would contain the tags.
Here's one of the two screen shots Klayman submitted:
Note that the bottom of it is cropped to conform to the end of the blog post's text. But the blog's subject tags appear after the end of the post -- and after where WND has cut off its screen shots.
A copy of the blog post in the Internet Archive dated May 19, 2011, a day after the post first appeared -- which reproduces the formatting and layout of the blog used at the time -- shows the location of the tags and other social media promotional buttons after the end of the post:
This also discredits another claim Klayman and WND make, that the tags are "in small, faint type." The tags now appear in "faint" type, but at the time of the original post, they were in red type.
Further, neither Klayman's filing (which reveals Klayman's incompetence through its note that "A previous version of this motion was inadvertently filed without the exhibits to Mr. Farah's affidavit attached") nor WND's article address the key reason that the lawsuit had been dismissed: Farah, in the judge's words, "immediately recognized the satiric nature of the Blog Post," as demonstrated by his public statements following the initial posting, until it "became inconvenient" for him to do so.
So, look for this motion to be tossed out of court even quicker than the original lawsuit. We may even get to see Klayman be sanctioned for deliberately introducing fraudulent evidence in a court of law.
NewsBusters Perpetuates The Fiction That Woodward Was Threatened Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center's efforts to perpetuate the false notion that a White House official threatened Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward continued with a March 1 NewsBusters post by Matt Vespa.
Blissfullying ignoring actual facts, Vespa writes:
Bob Woodward is a legend in modern journalism, especially for fellow liberal reporters. But that all is for naught now that Woodward has committed the cardinal sin of criticizing the White House for an operative's use of what apparently is a fairly common tactic: a harsh bullying of the press in order to demand even more favorable coverage than the Obama-friendly press already lavishes on Team Obama. It centers on Woodward reporting that sequestration was the White House's idea. This morning Matt Lauer, on the Today Show, questioned Woodward's judgement, saying "I'm a little surprised you've gone public with this." Even, the New York Times offered no refuge for Woodward.
First, the conflict centers on Woodward's claim that Obama "moved the goalposts" by demanding revenue increases -- in fact, the White House plan to avert sequestration has always included revenue increases as well as spending cuts -- not whether the sequester was Obama's idea.
Second, nowhere in his post does Vespa mention that Woodward's suggestion that that White House adviser Gene Sperling threatened him has been discredited by the actual content of the email exchange in question. He does, however, uncritically quote Woodward claiming that he never said there was a threat.
Rather than discuss the actual facts of the issue, Vespa chooses to rant that former White House adviser David Axelrod was allowed to discuss his own previous experiences as a journalist:
Bob Woodward wasn't some outlier in the conversation. Woodward is the story, and to trivialize it by somehow inviting Axelrod to detail his own experiences in press intimidation when he was twenty-five, and working for the Chicago Tribune, is mannerless. It's as if Brzezinski is saying that what Axelrod, the White House mouthpiece on the show, experienced is what real journalists go through.
If Vespa is so serious about making Woodward the "story" here, why won't he look at indisputable facts that prove Woodward wrong?