The networks adore hidden-camera stories when the targets are conservative. Last September, they gave 88 minutes when Mother Jones reporting Mitt Romney was secretly recorded dismissing the "47 percent" that would never vote for him, which probably cost him the election.
When Mother Jones recently leaked video of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's team talking about the vulnerabilities of actress Ashley Judd as a Democratic opponent, ABC and NBC reported it in the evening and then again the next morning, with CBS just catching up in the morning. ABC's Jim Avila said the Republican leader's "private and politically embarrassing strategy session" showed a "cutthroat attack on a Hollywood opponent."
Undercover videos by conservatives? Those don't deserve the light of day. When Live Action exposed Planned Parenthood clinics in New Jersey and Virginia in 2011, with its clinic staff advising a "pimp" on how to evade the law with underage prostitutes, these three networks simply pretended the tapes didn't exist. When James O'Keefe and his activists exposed the leftist pro-Obama group ACORN with hidden cameras in 2009, the networks waited for days to touch it and then aired just one solitary story (ABC, CBS) or three (NBC) once Congress moved to defund them. But Mother Jones is somehow a non-ideological outfit of journalistic integrity.
Bozell apparently doesn't seem to understand the difference between the two. The Romney and McConnell videos simply involved secretly letting a recording device roll while the speakers said what they would have said whether a camera was there or not.
The ACORN videos were perpetrated by right-wing activists who used deceptive editing to portray ACORN workers in the worst light possible with the goal of destroying the organization. Indeeed, lead perpetrator James O'Keefe agreed to pay one former ACORN employee $100,000 to settle a defamation lawsuit.
As far as the Lila Rose "pimp" sting went -- which also involved deception and possibly entrapment and a right-wing activist motivated to destroy the organization she's targeting -- there was no there there because Rose covered up the fact that Planned Parenthood reported reported to the FBI a "potential multistate sex trafficking ring" after Rose's visit.
The Romney and McConnell videos involve no deception; the Live Action and ACORN videos involved such deception to the point that what the selectively edited videos portray cannot be trusted, and further investigation tends to reveal that the facts are not what those videos portray.
But since Bozell wants those organizations destroyed, he doesn't care about the facts -- odd for someone who runs a "media research" organization.
The comments included during a recent press conference, when “the press noted his unusual glum mood” and Obama wisecracked, “If you put it that way, maybe I should just pack up and go home.”
Wrote Hodges, “His super-intel sees the real issue of his illegal presidency and what he should do – leave office. Obama’s true moral compass cannot stop holding himself accountable even if Congress won’t. In fact, he directed further comments at them.”
Hodges explained that Obama told the press about members of Congress: “They’re elected. Members of Congress are elected in order to do what’s right for their constituencies and the American people.”
At that point, Obama said Congress “should be thinking about what is going to happen five years from now, 10 years from now, or 15 years from now. The only way to do that is for them to engage with me on coming up with a broader deal and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.”
The WND article, by Bob Unruh, includes what appears to be the only person who vouches for Hodges' projections, and he got that from Hodges' own website:
On Hodges’ website, Steven A. Egger, associate professor of criminology at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, has written that Hodges’ technique is “becoming the cutting edge of forensic science.”
“Dr. Hodges’ investigation of forensic documents in the Natalee Holloway case indicates that his ‘thoughtprint decoding method’ and ‘reading between the lines’ is, in fact, becoming a major contribution to law enforcement tools used by criminal investigators,” wrote Egger.
Needless to say, Unruh makes no effort whatsoever to obtaining an independent opinion of Hodges' methods, which we've noted are less about rigorous scientific methods and more about projecting his own hatred of Obama and/or throwing red meat to the rubes who hate Obama as much as he does.
Newsmax was the chief promoter of Donald Trump's (ultimately unfulfilled) presidential ambitions in the 2012 campaign. Despite getting burned by its affiliation with Trump in an ill-fated attempt to co-host a presidential debate with him, Newsmax is touting Trump as president again.
"Trump Making GOP Speech — Is 2016 in the Cards?" reads the headline on an April 30 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers, who takes over where Ronald Kessler left off as chief of Trump-fluffing:
Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver a major address at the largest Republican gathering in Michigan, raising the question: Is Trump planning to run for president in 2016?
Trump will be the keynote speaker at the 124th Annual Oakland County Lincoln Day Dinner in Novi, Mich., just outside of Detroit, on May 21.
Observers are wondering why the billionaire mogul has agreed to travel to Michigan for the event. Some say Trump still has a taste for the presidency after talking about a run last year.
Meyers offers no evidence that speaking at "the largest Republican gathering in Michigan" is the springboard for anything, let alone an election that's more than three years away. But he and Newsmax certainly want you to think it does.
What has WorldNetDaily's favorite race-baiter, ColinFlaherty, been up to lately?
A couple weeks back Flaherty was on something of a roll, listing the cities where "large-scale black mob violence" was allegedly occurring. He went on to complain: "More and more local news sites are allowing fewer and fewer comments from readers about the racial violence. Some shut down the comments altogether when the topic is race. Others purge comments frequently."
(Meanwhile, WND has banned me from commenting on its article, possibly because I will do things like point out Flaherty's blatant race-baiting.)
The next day, Flaherty penned a column describing "the Top 10 excuses often heard in the media for the epidemic of black mob violence … without ever mentioning the words 'black mob violence.'" The real reason, apparently, is simply that they're black, as his quotation of the Dr. Dre lyric "When niggaz get together they get mad" exemplifies.
Flaherty began the column by adapting a lyric from the song "Dancing in the Street," then lamented that "Michael Jagger is not available to update us on his classic Rolling Stones paean to street crime." In fact, the song was never recorded by the Stones, nor did Jagger write it; it first became a hit for Martha and the Vandellas in 1964, and Jagger recorded a cover version with David Bowie in 1985. Also, the song is not a "paean to street crime"; it's about, well, dancing in the street.
For his April 30 article, Flaherty returned to what he does best: portray black people as inherently prone to forming violent mobs, and express his disgust that people less into race-baiting than he is won't toss around the term "black mob violence" like he does.
AIM's Kincaid Promotes Debunked Saudi-Boston Conspiracy Topic: Accuracy in Media
The fact that the idea of a Saudi national having participated in the Boston bombings has been discredited apparently isn't going to keep Cliff Kincaid from ranting about it.
So Kincaid starts his April 30 AIM column this way:
The possible involvement of a Saudi in the Boston terror attacks is being curiously ignored or downplayed by most of the mainstream media. Steve Emerson, Glenn Beck, and others have pressed for answers, however. Beck has issued a full report with updates on the controversy.
Nothing like picking the even more conspiracy-addled Beck to vouch for your own conspiracy, Cliff.
Nevertheless, Kincaid continues:
Fox News reporter Bret Baier looked into the alleged Saudi role in the bombings and said the Saudi student became the subject of an “internal document” and put on the “no fly list” because of “an abundance of caution and out of diligence,” according to U.S. officials. However, Baier echoed officials as saying there was no evidence of the man’s involvement in the bombings.
Columnist Diana West says we can’t trust Fox News on this matter, since it is part-Saudi-owned.
West is another conspiracy-addled birther dead-ender who's not exactly the most trustworthy person Kincaid could have chosen. Unless Kincaid was looking for people who make him look sane, that is.
On April 30, WorldNetDaily published the latest unverifable article by the fake-name fearmonger "Reza Kahlili":
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was arrested and held for seven hours Monday and warned to keep his mouth shut about matters detrimental to the Islamic regime before he was released, according to a source within the Revolutionary Guard’s intelligence unit.
Crazy, right? Well, some out there don't think so.
Kahlili's article was copied mostly word-for-word by a website called the Guardian Express, which originally published it without giving WND credit. The article now states that Kahlili " is the primary contributor of this article." The Guardian Express calls itself "a legitimate online newspaper" in Las Vegas.
From there, the article took a weird leap to the Daily Beast, a normally reputable website, which originally erroneously credited the article to "The Guardian," which most people think of as the British newspaper. The article has since been update to properly credit the Guardian Express, but that "the sourcing of the Guardian Express article could not be confirmed."
There's lots of irresponsibility to go around here -- WND, for publishing Kahlili's ravings in the first place without any apparent fact-checking; the Guardian Express, for stealing WND's content (not that WND is any less guilty on that count); and the Daily Beast, for confusing a rinky-dink website in Las Vegas with a major British newspaper.
David Limbaugh Repeats Discredited Claim About Military Blocking Church Website Topic: WorldNetDaily
David Limbaugh wrote in his April 25 WorldNetDaily column:
America’s political and cultural left is, step by step, demonizing and marginalizing Christians and Christian values, to the point that even the congenitally apathetic should be concerned.
Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports that the U.S. military has blocked access to the Southern Baptist Convention’s website on an undetermined number of military bases because it supposedly includes “hostile content.”
Just one little problem: It's not true.
The Tennessean reports that the reason the SBC website was blocked was because military software filters had detected potentially harmful malware on the site, and that the site was unblocked after the malware was removed.
Will Limbaugh correct his column and tell his readers the truth? Don't count on it.
NEW ARTICLE: Beyond Belief in Boston Topic: WorldNetDaily
What does it say about WorldNetDaily that its chief sources on the Boston bombings are the discredited Reza Kahlili, Walid Shoebat, and Steve Emerson? And that WND is defending Erik Rush's anti-Muslim tweets? Read more >>
DID CNS Spend Only One Day Covering Gosnell Trial In Person? Topic: CNSNews.com
We've detailed how the Media Research Center has been haranguing other media outlets to cover the trial of Kermit Gosnell while not sending its own reporter to cover the trial until weeks after it began. But it appears the one day a reporter from the MRC-operated CNSNews.com attended the trial may be the only day an MRC employee was there.
Gosnell's trial began in Philadelphia on March 18. MRC writer Matt Philbin indicated to ConWebWatch that the first day an MRC attended the trial in person was April 17, as described in an April MRC Culture & Media Center item. That day, a CNS article by Elizabeth Harrington ablout the trial carried a Philadelphia dateline, an indicator that she was there.
But Harrington had not covered the Gosnell trial before that article, and all of her subsequent articles on the trial (including twopublished on April 18) carry no datelines, which indicates that she is apparently covering the trial from the MRC's offices in Alexandria, Va., not from Phihladelphia.
Indeed, Harrington managed to find time away from her Gosnell coverage to write up an April 23 article complaining that the government "is spending $152,000 to study 'voice therapy' for transgenders." That follows in Harrington's obsession with portraying the government as wasting money to benefit gays.
You'd think that an organization with a $12 million budget could afford to send someone to drive 2 1/2 hours away, give them a laptop and put them up in a motel room to cover a trial that it has deem so important. But apparently not.
On top of being cheap, it's hypocritical. The MRC has been screaming that the Gosnell trial is so important that it demands national coverage, but it couldn't be bothered to send its own reporter to cover it in person for more day? Puh-leeze.
The MRC did not respond to a query from ConWebWatch about how many days an MRC employee covered the Gosnell trial in Philadelphia.
UPDATE: Harrington has responded, saying that she has been covering the trial from Philadelphia since April 17.
An April 28 WorldNetDaily article by Dave Tombers is basically a regurgitation of American Life League's anti-Planned Parenthood jihad, framed around the New York Times' rejection of an ALL ad designed to smear Planned Parenthood.
Tombers uncritically repeats ALL's assertion that the ad, which purports to show "the methods Planned Parenthood uses to target young kids," was rejectedas "'too graphic' and 'shocking' for their adult readers," ignoring the common-sense fact that graphic images have a place in sex education but not in a general-circulation newspaper.
Tombers also uncritically repeats the wildly hateful anti-PP rhetoric from ALL and its president, Judie Brown:
“Parents tax dollars are being used to turn their own children into Planned Parenthood’s future sex customers,” says Brown. “Their abortion business is based on exploiting young minds and filling those minds with all manner of sex instruction.
“It is a grisly trail, but it leads from sex instruction to contraception to abortion when contraception fails,” she says. “That is the Planned Parenthood recipe, and the media likes it.”
“For the past 40 years we have faced a media hostile to telling the truth about Planned Parenthood and specifically about the manner in which they literally rape the minds of our children,” Brown told WND.
Tombers made very little effort to fact-check anything he regurgitated from ALL; at the bottom of his article is the brief note "Messages to the New York Times for comment were not returned."
MRC Upset CNN Described Historic Event As Historic Topic: NewsBusters
Matt Hadro devotes an April 29 NewsBusters post to complaining that "After NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay on Monday, CNN hyped the announcement as a 'bombshell,' a 'big deal,' and one for the 'history books.'" Hadro didn't explain why Collins' coming out is not historic.
Hadro also complained that "CNN's open support of gay rights advocates is no secret, as it has already picked sides in the gay rights debate." But Hadro's main job at the Media Research Center is to be upset every time a gay person is not disparaged on CNN, so he would say something like that.
An unbylined April 27 WorldNetDaily article uncritically repeats a claimfrom the right-wing Judicial Watch that "the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with the Mexican government to promote the U.S. food stamp program to illegal aliens." The article goes on to quote Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton asserting, "The revelation that the USDA is actively working with the Mexican government to promote food stamps for illegal aliens should have a direct impact on the fact of the immigration bill now being debated in Congress."
But what Judicial Watch is claiming is false. The program being referred to was begun under the Bush administration, and only legal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years are eliginble for it.
A little simple fact-checking would have proven this story false, but that's not what WND does -- if a false story hurts the Obama administration more and the truth can be ignored, WND will go with the falsehood.
Newsmax Takes Obama Joke A Little Too Seriously Topic: Newsmax
Paul Scicchitano and Todd Beamon take a joke by President Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner a little too seriously in an April 28 Newsmax article:
It may have been the first time President Barack Obama acknowledged what must have been a painful truth in front of an audience of millions.
“How do you like my new entrance music?” the president said gleefully after making his way to the podium of the Washington Correspondents’ Association gala on Saturday with rap music thumping in the background.
“Rush Limbaugh warned you about this — Second term baby,” he conceded to a wave of laughter.
Scicchitano and Beamon ultimately concede that "it was all good fun in an annual tradition that brings Hollywood to the Potomac and humbles not only the opposition, but also the jokester in chief in what can best be described as a uniquely American political experience."
Obama Derangement Syndrome, Larry Klayman Division Topic: WorldNetDaily
We hardly know where to begin with Larry Klayman's April 26 WorldNetDaily column -- all of it's pretty insane. But here are a few highlights:
In sum, Obama is actually in practice and in his “heart” a Muslim “turned inside out.” As president of the United States and leader of the free world, he is thus potentially even more dangerous than al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the mullahs in Tehran, or any terrorist group or nation state, combined. That is why I have not lightly labeled him “our” “Mullah in Chief.”
Note to Klayman: Putting things in scare quotes doesn't make them any less libelous. Also: Really? Obama is "more dangerous than al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the mullahs in Tehran, or any terrorist group or nation state, combined"?
Klayman also clings to his utterly baseless theory that Muslims blew up that Texas fertilizer plant:
Given that former President George W. Bush is perhaps the most hated man in “Obama’s Muslim world” of the Middle East, and among mosques here in the United States, and that West, Texas, where “W” grew up is only 30 miles as the crow flies from his Crawford ranch, how is it that even the possibility of Muslim terrorism was again not raised? Indeed, during yesterday’s dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, “W” remarked about this closeness to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where one must have surely felt the massive explosion. And, the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, comes on top of the proximity in time to the Muslim terrorist bombings in Boston.
Couple this with the historic fact that fertilizer bombs are widely used in the Middle East and have also been used here in the United States by Muslim terrorists, and Obama’s silence becomes even more deafening and frightening.
As one commenter points out, Bush did not grow up in West, Texas. And if Muslims blew up the fertilizer plant to send a message to Bush, 30 miles is still pretty far away. Why wouldn't they have picked a location closer to the ranch, or the ranch itself?
Those are the kinds of questions that further demonstrate how Klayman is a failed lawyer.
NewsBusters Decides: Only Positive Things Should Be Reported About Bush Topic: NewsBusters
Apparently, the media was not supposed to say anything bad about President Bush on the occasion of his presidential library dedication -- the folks at NewsBusters had a fit any time the media strayed from being less than fawningly positive.
Jeffrey Meyer set the narrative: "Previewing the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on Thursday, rather than positively reflect on the legacy of the Bush presidency, MSNBC unsurprisingly chose to mock and minimize his eight years in office." In short, no criticism of Bush was going to be tolerated (like it ever has been at the MRC).
Kyle Drennen complained that "On the eve of the dedication of George W. Bush's presidential library, NBC's Meet the Press moderator David Gregory appeared on Wednesday's Nightly News to tear down the former president's legacy, beginning the report by remarking that it was 'difficult to remember' Bush's popularity after the September 11th attacks."
Paul Bremmer huffed about "the media’s rampant anti-Bush attitude" and how an ABC reporter unleashed "an onslaught of negative questioning" about Bush to Karl Rove. Bremmer added:
What’s more, President Bush’s reputation is already on the mend. A recent ABC News / Washington Post poll showed that Bush’s job approval rating has risen from 33 percent when he left office to 47 percent now. So if anything, the “early indication” is that history may end up being kinder to President Bush than many of today’s commentators are.
Bremmer seems to have overlooked the fact that Bush has not been president for four years, so perhaps that "job approval rating" is an expression of approval that he wasn't doing it.
Tim Graham also got in on the act, asserting that the Bush Library dedication should have only been about "dignity":
One might think the opening of George W. Bush’s presidential library in Dallas was an occasion for dignity. But Bill Clinton didn’t think so. On CNN yesterday, Jake Tapper asked former Bush chief of staff Andy Card about “an interesting moment” in Clinton’s remarks.
What's so dignified about demanding that only positive things be reported about Bush?