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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Newsmax-Dick Morris Rehabilitation Watch
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's image rehabilitation project for Dick Morris continues apace.

An April 15 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers fawns over Morris' new radio show in Philadelphia. Meyers sticks to press-release boilerplace, mindlessly spouting things like "Morris, once called 'the most influential private citizen in America' by Time magazine, is a former Fox News commentator and adviser to President Bill Clinton."

No mention, of course, that the reason Morris is a former Fox News commentator is because of his abysmal record of punditry, or that Morris' purported status as "the most influential private citizen in America" was granted shortly before he resigned in disgrace from Bill Clinton's re-election campaign for dalliances with a call girl.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 PM EDT
WND: Bad to Speculate That Right-Wingers Behind Boston Bombing, OK to Speculate Muslims Did It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily huffed in an April 16 article:

Call up the FBI. Whistle down Boston police. The commentators across the television airwaves have pinpointed if not an individual, the ideological leaning of the Boston bomber.

The right wing.

It started yesterday even as the smoke from the terror attack still was drifting in the skies of Boston, where three were killed and more than 170 wounded in two bomb blasts set off at the Boston Marathon.

The article offers a link to Joseph Farah's column in which he falsely claimed nobody has been arrested for an attempted bombing of a Martin Luther King Day parade -- in fact, a white supremacist pleaded guilty and is currently in prison.

The irony here is that WND is railing against baselessly blaming right-wing activists for the bombing. Clearly, the media should be baselessly blaming Islamist -- just like WND is.

AaronKlein served up another one of his no-name anonymous source specials, even admitting that nothing he's writing is confirmed, just what some people he refuses to name purportedly told him:

An al-Qaida-allied group in the Gaza Strip claimed to WND that there have been arrests of jihadists in both Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of the probe into yesterday’s Boston Marathon explosions.

The arrests could not be immediately confirmed.

Members of Gaza’s Jihadiya Salafia group further said that al-Qaida is being credited for the attack in its affiliated online forums.

The Gaza sources told WND the online al-Qaida forum messages claimed the bombings were an al-Qaida response to a U.S. military airstrike that killed a high-profile Taliban leader and four other Taliban members last week near Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan.

Jihadia Salafia represents al-Qaida in Gaza.

It was not immediately clear whether the Internet claims should be taken seriously or simply represented jihadists utilizing the explosions.

Klein goes on to parrot the WND talking point of complaining that "some in the media have been speculating it could have been a domestic attack, with some analysts suggesting 'right wing extremists' were involved." Klein seems to think that hiding behind anonymous sources to baselessly implicate his employer's enemies is somehow more credible.

Meanwhile, Klein's fellow WND conspirator in anonymity, Reza Kahlili -- and that isn't even his real name -- is peddling even more anonymous claims:

Although it is not known yet who is responsible for Monday’s heinous bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured more than 100 people, a source within Iranian intelligence services told WND the Islamic regime was behind them and to look for trails through Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The source said the bombs were planted near the end of the race so that the horrific images of the blasts would be captured by all the media there and be replayed over and over throughout the world.

It seems that WND wants us to trust reporters with a history of biased journalism -- one of whom is hiding behind a fake name -- who can't come up with an on-the-record source to back up their claims over genuine media sources who are looking at all aspects of the case. No wonder nobody believes WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:59 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 10:13 PM EDT
One MRC Division Gives Advice; Another Ignores It
Topic: Media Research Center

In an April 16 NewsBusters post, Kyle Drennen praised NBC's Tom Brokaw for "warn[ing] his media colleagues about premature speculation regarding the motivation of the Boston bombing: 'I think everybody has to take a deep what we know, and do the best we can with the information that we're able to get reliably.'"

He might want to send that message down the hall at Media Research Center headquarters to its "news" division,

An April 16 CNS article by Patrick Goodenough was devoted to highlighting how "a leading al-Qaeda ideologue last year recommended that jihadists in America include sporting events in their list of prospective terror targets." Goodenough conceded that "no group has claimed responsibility for Monday’s deadly bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon," but that didn't keep him from writing an article suggesting otherwise.

If the MRC can't be bothered to follow the advice it gives to other media outlets, why trust anything it says?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 PM EDT
WND's Whitewashes Erik Rush's Kill-'em-All Tweet
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When it came time for WorldNetDaily to report on its columnist Erik Rush's offensive, supposedly sarcastic tweet expressing his desire to kill all Muslims, they picked the ideal candidate to do the job: Chelsea Schilling, she of the fawning profiles and error-laden articles.

True to form, Schilling's April 16 WND article on the controversy portrays Rush as a victim instead of an aggressor, highlighting the death threats Rush has allegedly received in the wake of his comment.

How eager is Schilling to whitewash Rush's hate? In the very first paragraph, she asserts that Rush made "a sarcastic comment about killing 'evil' Muslims," then let Rush claim that "I was being sarcastic."

The problem is that Rush's after-the-fact insistence that the tweet was sarcastic doesn't mean that it was. He offers no evidence to prove the sarcasm (and Schilling is certainly not going to ask him). This smacks of the work of another person named Rush -- Rush Limbaugh, who tends to explaining away controversial statements after the fact that claim that they were "media tweaks."

Schilling is being so deferential to Rush, in fact, that nowhere in her article does she quote Rush stating that he does not want to kill all Muslims. Instead, she lets Rush complain that he was being portrayed in the media as defending his tweet, then adding, “They asked me, ‘If you had it to do over again, would you?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, probably.’”

And Schilling is carefully not to mention Rush's reference to "muzzie[s]" -- a Muslim slur -- lest people learn the truth about Rush's hate.

It's ludicrous for Rush to insist he's not defending his tweet when he says he'd send it again. Then again, he has deleted the offending tweet from his Twitter account, which suggests that he's little more than a coward who's trying to turn a screw-up to his advantage.

Fortunately for him, WND and Schilling are going to whitewash and defend him every step of the way.After all, Rush's supposedly sarcastic tweet is not offensive to the powers that be at WND.

Schilling concludes by stating that "Rush said he fully intends to write his WND column about the incident from his point of view Thursday."

And WND wonders why nobody believes them anymore.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 8:58 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Great Moments In AIM Self-Unawareness (With Bonus Attacks on Us)
Topic: Accuracy in Media

James Simpson purports to expose "Illegal Alien Propaganda: A Critical Lesson in Terminology and Tactics" in his April 12 Accuracy in Media column. But Simpson's opening salvo is, well, propaganda:

As we once again face the specter of illegal alien amnesty, and the permanent Democratic majority it will guarantee, it is critical to understand how the Left plays. They are unethical to the core, but we are so frequently deluded by their tactical use of language and emotion, that we are unequipped to deal with them effectively. The result: they win. This cannot happen again, unless we are all willing to start calling Obama “President for Life,” and Democrats, the “Commissars.”

Simpson is apparently oblivious to the irony -- not to mention very thin-skinned about criticism. Read the comments at the end of the column and you'll find us innocuously pointing out Simpson's misuse of the word "amnesty," following by Simpson hurling insults and false attacks at us for doing so.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 PM EDT
Ellis Washington, Bad Law Professor
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his April 5 WorldNetDaily column, Ellis Washington complained that he has been "a blacklisted academic for 30 years." He linked to his manifesto on his personal website, which is mostly a lot of whining about how he can't get a tenure-track teaching job, followed by smearing his ideological opposites as Nazis. (As if exaggerating his resume, getting things flamboyantly wrong, and adhering to far-out-of-the-mainstream legal theories weren't enough reason not to hire him.)

Washington demonstrated yet again why no sane law school should hire him in his April 12 column:

The Court’s most controversial decision on the Fourth Amendment was Mapp v. Ohio (1961), which established the anti-constitutional exclusionary rule where critical evidence gathered by the police can be withheld from proving defendant’s guilt if a single judge deems the evidence “tainted” or derivative of the so-called “fruit of the poisonous tree.” This is judicial tyranny writ large!

Washington conveniently omits the facts of the case, in which a person was convicted of possessing obscene materials after an admittedly illegal police search of her home for a fugitive. Washington doesn't explain why illegally obtained evidence must be admissible.

In other words, Washington declared that it's "anti-constitutional" to uphold the Fourth Amendment's right against unreasonable search and seizure. And this guy wants a job as a law professor?

UPDATE: A ConWebWatch reader with a background in law points out that Washington is even more wrong than we first described. The exclusionary rule was not established in Mapp v. Ohio; that case merely ruled that it applies to the states as well as the federal government. The "fruit of the poisonous tree" rule was established for federal cases in the 1920 case Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 10:56 AM EDT
MRC's Graham: If You Can't See Liberal Bias In Lack of Gosnell Trial Coverage, It's Your Problem
Topic: Media Research Center

We've long known that the Media Research Center is so committed to its insistence of a liberal media bias that it will contort every story around a media-bias frame, no matter how far it is from the truth.

We see that again in the story of odious abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. A Washington Post article credits the MRC and its NewsBusters blog for cranking up complaints that Gosnell's trial was not getting the national attention it believed was deserved.  Post reporter Paul Farhi goes on to quote the MRC's Tim Graham declaring that "This is a story that threatens the abortion rights agenda. . . . It’s bias by omission," but adding that "Neither Graham nor any of the other critics have offered evidence for their suspicions."

Though presumably happy that the MRC got a high-profile media mention, Graham was upset that Farhi exposed his employer's modus operandi. He rants in an April 15 NewsBusters post:

Speaking of suspicions, I suspect someone at the Post is ignoring what I clearly said to Farhi as we talked about the Why of the Gosnell blackout. The evidence of the liberal bias is as plain as day in the blackout. The "why" is somewhat irrelevant. We believe the media want to prevent public-relations damage to the abortion industry, in the same way we believe the media want to inflict public-relations damage on other institutions -- say, the Catholic Church, as I said to Farhi.

I told Farhi is what this blackout proves is that the abortion industry and their media enablers have demonstrated they don't believe in the "safe" part of keeping abortion "safe, legal, and rare."

In other words: Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' evidence! If we say there's liberal bias, we don't need to prove it -- it's axiomatic. If you can't see it, it's not our problem.

Remember, the MRC has "research" in its name -- and its director of media analysis thinks it's "somewhat irrelevant" to research why something happened.

And Graham wonders why nobody takes the MRC's work seriously.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 AM EDT
WND's Farah Lies About Attempted Bombing By White Supremacist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah writes in an April 15 WorldNetDaily column railing against CNN analyst Peter Bergen for raising the possibility that a right-wing group was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings:

Here’s his keen insight: “We’ve seen a number of failed bombing attempts by al-Qaida, but we’ve also seen other extremist groups. Right-wing groups trying to attack, for instance – trying to attack the Martin Luther King parade in Oregon in 2010.”

Now, as someone who formerly lived in Oregon and still have quite a few employees there, I couldn’t remember any attack attempted at a Martin Luther King parade in Oregon in 2010 or any other year. I vaguely recalled a minor incident in Spokane, Wash., around that time.

Here’s the story behind it.

In 2011, a backpack bomb was found along the parade route of the Martin Luther King Day “unity march.” The FBI posted a $20,000 reward for the person or persons responsible. None was ever found – no right-wingers, no left-wingers, no wingers of any kind.

In other words, not only did Bergen get the year wrong, the state wrong, but also lied about the motivation for the assembling of a backpack bomb that never went off.

No corrections were issued by CNN.

That's because, aside from being off by one year and one state, no corrections are needs. Contrary to Farah's claim, a white supremacist did, in fact, admit responsibility for the attempted MLK parade bombing in Spokane:

A self-professed white supremacist was sentenced to 32 years in prison on Tuesday after admitting that he left an explosive device in a backpack near the intended route of a Martin Luther King Day Unity March in Spokane, Wash.

The device was packed with 128 0.25-ounce fishing weights coated with the anticoagulant brodifacoum, an active ingredient in rat poison, according to court documents.

The device, discovered on Jan. 17, did not detonate.

Kevin William Harpham of Colville, Wash., was arrested two months later. He pleaded guilty in September to two of four counts in his federal indictment: attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, and attempting to cause bodily injury with an explosive device because of the race, color, or national origin of a targeted person.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Mr. Harpham avoided a potential life sentence. Following his 32-year prison sentence, Harpham has been ordered to serve probation for the rest of his life.


Federal agents working on the case discovered a different version of Harpham. They found that he was a member of the National Alliance, a white supremacy group, and that he participated in an online Internet forum at the Vanguard News Network, a white supremacist website. According to the FBI, Harpham used the online moniker “Joe Snuffy.”

In June 2006, “Joe Snuffy” posted a disparaging comment about supermodel Heidi Klum and her interracial marriage. His last posting on the Vanguard News website was Jan. 15, two days before the backpack was discovered, according to the FBI.

Investigators were also able to link Harpham to the backpack by comparing trace DNA found on the handle and shoulder straps of the backpack to a DNA sample on file with the Department of Defense dating from his years of Army service.

When agents raided his home, they discovered racist books and magazines, and information about domestic terrorism, according to prosecutors. They also seized an AK-47 assault rifle, a handgun, and a digital clock that had been modified as a timing device. 

The above story was the first result upon entering "MLK parade backpack bomb" into Google. Farah either wouldn't or couldn't find this story -- then chose to compound his ignorance by ranting that CNN's Bergen should be "be looking for a new line of work" and "owes the American public an apology for airing this kind of ill-informed 'analysis.'"

It's clear that -- adding this to his ever-growing pile of lies he has been peddling -- Farah's the one who should be looking for a new line of work. But it's hard to get rid of the guy who owns the joint.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:25 AM EDT
Monday, April 15, 2013
CNS Publishes Press Release For Keystone XL Pipeline

An April 11 article by Susan Jones might as well have had the TransCanada letterhead at the top -- it's nothing more than a regurgitation of the company's talking points in favor of approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Jones uncritically forwarded TransCanada's wildly inflated figures of the number of jobs the pipeline would generate, despite the fact that independent analysts have found that the job-creation figure is much lower.

Jones also engaged in some factually deficient editorializing about the Obama administration's role in rejecting the initial application for the pipeline:

President Obama -- apparently not wanting to anger his environmentalist supporters before the election -- denied the permit last year. Seizing on a deadline imposed by Republicans, the Obama administration said it needed more time to determine if the project was in the national interest.

Jones offers no evidence to back up the mind-reading claim. She also fails to seek out anyone to respond to TransCanada's claims.

But that, presumably, is what Jones is being paid to do -- CNS is very much in bed with fossil-fuel interests.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 PM EDT
WND's Erik Rush: Kill All The Muslims (Just Kidding!)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It didn't take long for right-wingers to go into knee-jerk blame mode in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon explosions.

WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush declared in one tweet, "Everybody do the National Security Ankle Grab! Let's bring more Saudis in without screening them! C'mon!" When someone tweeted in response about him blaming Muslims despite the total lack of evidence at that point that anyone was being implicated in the bombings, Rush retorted: "Yes, they're evil. Let's kill them all."

After Right Wing Watch posted Rush's offending tweets, Rush pretended it was all a joke, saying, "Sarcasm, idiot."

But he followed that up with another Islamophobic tweet: "Keep 'em coming, muzzie apologist vermin! I LOVE it!"

Never mind, of course, that Rush has never been known for having any detectable sense of sarcasm.This is, after all, the guy who likened President Obama to a prison rapist and thinks Malcolm X is Obama's real father.

There is no detectable line between Erik Rush the paranoid conspiracy theorist and Erik Rush the brilliant satirist, because the latter does not exist. Rush is simply trying to avoid having to take responsibility for his words.

The real question is, will Rush's hateful outburst cost him what passes in his world for high-profilke gigs -- his WND column and his occasional appearances on Fox News with Sean Hannity?

Posted by Terry K. at 5:20 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 15, 2013 5:24 PM EDT
WND, NewsBusters Publish Ann Coulter's Joke About Killing Meghan McCain
Topic: NewsBusters

In her April 10 syndicated column, Ann Coulter wrote that MSNBC's Martin Bashir "suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed for them to support the Democrats' gun proposals," then added in parentheses, "Let's start with Meghan McCain!" Fox Nation posted Coulter's column then pulled it down, apparently thinking better of the implicit death threat.

The ConWeb, meanwhile, is not so reticent.

WorldNetDaily -- a longtime defender of letting Coulter be as nasty as she wants, despite the fact that WND chief Joseph Farah doesn't have the personal integrity to cancel her column despite revoking her invite to a WND-hosted conference because she doesn't hate gays as much as he does -- published Coulter's column intact.

NewsBusters also published Coulter's column intact, despite its history of avoiding controversy with its syndicated columnists --  it deliberately ignored Cal Thomas' insult of Rachel Maddow, and refused to publish the column in which he apologized.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EDT
Lying Preacher Bradlee Dean Is Still Lying
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Lying preacher Bradlee Dean is at it again.

In an April 11 WorldNetDaily column listing reasons that Attorney General Eric Holder should be impeached, Dean claims: "Eric Holder has directed the DOJ not to enforce the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In doing so, Holder has violated his oath of office and clearly shows his violation of the laws of Nature and Nature’s God."

Dean is lying again. In fact, the Department of Justice stated that it would no longer defend DOMA in court, but that it would still enforce the law while it remains in effect.

Dean also claimed: "As we all know, Eric Holder is guilty of putting thousands of assault rifles into the hands of Mexican drug lords in an attempt to blame the American people for the crimes administration officials are guilty of contriving and committing." In fact, an investigation by the DOJ's inspector general found no evidence that Holder knew of the Fast & Furious gun-running operation.

Dean further wrote: "Soon after being sworn in as Obama’s attorney general, Holder ordered the voter intimidation case against the Black Panthers during the 2008 presidential election to be dropped." In fact, the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that DOJ attorneys "acted appropriately, in the exercise of their supervisory duties in connection with the dismissal of the three defendants in the NBPP case." Experts on both sides of the political spectrum agree that the New Black Panther case is a phony scandal.

Dean went on to dramatically declare: "It is time to bind criminals such as Eric Holder down with the chains of the Constitution." When will Dean feel the need to bind himself to the Ten Commandments, particularly the one about bearing false witness?

Posted by Terry K. at 8:38 AM EDT
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Newsmax Tries to Goose Sales of Roger Ailes Bio
Topic: Newsmax

Zev Chafets' friendly biography of Fox News chief Roger Ailes is tanking -- it sold less than 3,000 copies in its first week, despite being heavily promoted on the channel Ailes runs.

For some reason, Newsmax has decided to enter the breach and goose sales of the book.

An April 12 Newsmax article touts how  Chafets' book "has soared to the top of’s list of best-selling books," going on to assert that "Chafets' book is drawing high praise not only for its penetrating look at the man credited with building Fox News into the top-rated cable news channel, but also for the significant revelations it offers about Ailes, his confrontation with President Obama, and other fascinating vignettes."

One significant fact Newsmax fails to mention: Two days earlier, it sent out an email to its mailing list imploring readers to buy the book at Amazon.

Scattered throughout that email are links stating, "Note: You can get this best-selling book from Amazon now — Go Here Now." It takes you to Amazon's page for the book, its URL coded so that Newsmax gets a cut of sales.

Both the email and article make the ludicrous claim that "Chafets is not a conservative — a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and a former columnist for the New York Daily News, he was given unprecedented access to Ailes and others at Fox News with no strings attached." But as the New Republic details, Chafets certainly has special relations with conservatives like Ailes:

The author of more than a dozen books, Chafets has established himself as someone with special access to conservative figures, earned by the sympathetic profiles he writes of them. He seems credible, writes well, does actual reporting, and is published in center to center-left outlets like the New York Times Magazine and Newsweek. He frequently identifies himself as a member of the “mainstream media” or “lamestream media,” complete with quotation marks to deny an endorsement of either appellation. 

The email even touts Rush Limbaugh's endorsement of the book without mentioning that Chafets also wrote a friendly bio of Limbaugh.

Newsmax might want to explain to its readers why it has felt the need to goose sales of Chafets' book. Out of the goodness of Christopher Ruddy's heart? Because Chafets' publisher is paying them? Please tell us.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:55 PM EDT
WND's Klein Ignores Big Picture on Al Qaeda And Gun Shows
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein huffed in an April 12 WorldNetDaily article:

In a clear push for gun control, CNN and MSNBC yesterday hyped false claims by an al-Qaida spokesman that America is awash with easily obtainable, fully automatic “assault rifles.”

The networks played an al-Qaida propaganda video from June 2011 that until now has received little news media attention.

In the video, American al-Qaida spokesman and operative Adam Gadahn urged jihadists to obtain automatic rifles at U.S. gun shows, wrongly claiming those weapons are sold without background checks.

Klein conveniently ignores the fact that criminals and terrorists have, in fact, purchased weapons at gun shows where background checks are lax. While Gadahn was incorrect about being able to buy fully automatic guns at gun shows, one can buy the parts to make a semi-automatic rifle fully automatic at gun shows.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:45 AM EDT
Saturday, April 13, 2013
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Possibly Illegal Leaks
Topic: NewsBusters

An April 10 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan fretted that ABC was covering "startling secret tape" from Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's office "revealing how the Senate's top Republican was planning to go after... [Ashley] Judd if she ran against him," and that said coverage was "omitting left-of-center ideology of the publication that released the audio clip and minimizing the possible illegality of its recording."

Similarly,  an April 10 post by Jeffrey Meyer fretted that the McConnell tape may have been "made without McConnnell's knowledge could potentially be a serious violation of federal law" and that nobody in one TV segment seemed "concerned that McConnell’s privacy might have been violated."

Funny, we don't recall such concern over privacy and potential illegality when stolen emails from the University of East Anglia were blown up into "Climategate." To the contrary: NewsBusters was upset that the contents of the possibly illegally taken emails weren't being reported. A November 2009 post by Jeff Poor, for example, called it merely a "breach of data" by "a hacker" and whined that instead of covering it, ABC reported on "A sea lion glut in San Francisco, an orphaned moose in Vermont and the meal selection on the President's State Dinner."

Apparently, NewsBusters is concerned about the propriety of reporting information that may have been illegally obtained when that information makes Republicans look bad.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:12 AM EDT

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