ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Softball Questions
Topic: NewsBusters

Kyle Drennen uses a May 6 NewsBusters post to complain that NBC's David Gregory was tossing "softballs" in an interview with Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

Yet just five hours later, NewsBusters executive editor was lobbing softballs of his own in an interview with anti-abortion activist Marjorie Dannenfelser. Here are some of the questions tossed Dannenfelser's way:

  • Why do liberals like to regulate everything in existence except for abortion clinics?
  • What do you think is the reason that there is such reluctance to cover [the Kermit Gosnell trial]?
  • Tell us a bit about “3801 Lancaster,” the documentary that you guys have been showing up on Capitol Hill.

Yep, hard-hitting stuff. How can NewsBusters complain about others lobbing softball questions when it does the exact same thing?

Just another day of double standards at NewsBusters.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 PM EDT
WND's Ellis Washington Gets More Stuff Wrong
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Much as he likes to deny it, there are perfectly good reasons for not hiring WorldNetDaily columnist Ellis Washington as a tenure-track professor that have nothing to do with him being a black conservative, as he claimed in his manifesto. One of them is that he likes to perpetuate myths and outright falsehoods. (He does have an extensive history of that.)

He does exactly that in his May 3 WND column railing against the NAACP for supporting Planned Parenthood. Washington begins by misunderstanding how the Plan B morning-after pill works and how it may become available to females under 18:

America, now a 15-year-old little girl can go to her local drugstore, and right next to the candy bars, bubble gum and Tic-Tacs she can freely purchase the morning-after pill called “Plan B One-Step” to cleans her womb of all unwanted baby materials from “partying” the night before. Statics are demonstrative: 40 years since Roe v. Wade (1973) about 17 million little black babies have been murdered out of 58-60 million babies aborted in America. The worldwide abortion estimate since Roe is a staggering 1.72-1.80 billion babies!

The legalization of this genocide pill will make future abortion estimates impossible.

First, does Washington really believe that Plan B will be stocked "right next to the candy bars, bubble gum and Tic-Tacs"? Pharmacies don't do this with currently available forms of over-the-counter birth control -- typically, they're kept within eyeshot of a pharmacist or clerk -- so why would they start now?

Second, Plan B is not an abortificent. It acts by inhibiting ovulation or interfering with fertilization, and it does not stop development of a fertilized egg that implants in the uterus.

Washington then goes on to take Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger out of context to portray her project to bring birth-control climics to the rural South as wanting to exterminate black babies:

In a 1938 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, Margaret Sanger, the racist, eugenicist and founder of Planned Parenthood whose techniques and writings Hitler and the Nazis would later exploit to eradicate the Jews during World War II and the Holocaust, stated, “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. And the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” explains what the quote really means:

Sanger says that a minister could debunk the notion, if it arose, that the clinics aimed to “exterminate the Negro population.” She didn’t say that she wanted to “exterminate” the black population. The Margaret Sanger Papers Project at New York University says that this quote has “gone viral on the Internet,” normally out of context, and it “doesn’t reflect the fact that Sanger recognized elements within the black community might mistakenly associate the Negro Project with racist sterilization campaigns in the Jim Crow south, unless clergy and other community leaders spread the word that the Project had a humanitarian aim.”

Why would any self-respecting university hire such a dishonest person as an instructor?

Lest one think Washington is merely hyperventilating over abortion -- or that dishonesty alone is a reason not to hire him -- remember that two weeks earlier he claimed that the Supreme Court's decision in Griswold v. Connecticut -- which overturned a state law banning married couples from obtaining contraceptives -- started "Darwinian, atheistic, progressive, anti-constitutional agenda and unleashed a nine-man sexual revolution using the incorporation doctrine to pervert the sexual mores of American society."

So, basically, Washington wants to repeal the past 50 years or so of expanded sexual freedoms. Good luck finding a law school that will allow you to teach that, Ellis.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:03 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 8:25 PM EDT
MRC Smears La Raza As 'Radical,' 'Separatist'
Topic: Media Research Center

Clay Waters devotes a May 6 MRC TimesWatch item to smearing Obama adviser Cecilia Munoz and the advocacy organization for which she used to work.

Waters calls Munoz "Obama's chief amnesty pusher" -- ignoring the fact that comprehensive immigration reform that requires numerous steps before an illegal immigrant is allowed to become a citizen is, by definition, not "amnesty" --  and complained that a New York Times article on her buried "Munoz's history as a lobbyist for the left-wing separatist group National Council of La Raza ('La Raza' means 'the race')." Waters also called La Raza "a radical pro-Hispanic group."

In fact, La Raza -- which actually means "the people" or "the community" --  is not "radical" or "separatist" but, rather, an advocacy group for Hispanics.

But facts aren't the MRC's strong suit when there are liberals to bash.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
WND Tries To Jump-Start Birtherism Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Birtherism is largely dead, except for a few fringe holdouts -- even WorldNetDaily toned down its anti-Obama crusade, and WND's Jerome Corsi admits he's been "completely marginalized and discredited" for his obsession.

But WND has decided to try and jump-start birtherism, but they're using the same dishonest tactics they were before.

A May 5 WND article (unbylined, presumably because no WND writer wants their linked to birtherism anymore) touts how "professional law-enforcement investigators" will be taking part in an Alabama birther lawsuit. Actually, "professional law-enforcement investigators" is a bit of an exaggeration: what's actually happening is that "Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., and his special Cold Case team lead investigator Mike Zullo will be providing evidence in the arguments."

Of course, WND fails to mention the anti-Obama bias of Arpaio and Zullo's cold case posse or that WND's Corsi was a de facto member. There's also no mention of the numerous things the posse got wrong, such as citing a coding system established in 1968 to interpret a birth certificate from 1961. But then, WND has always censored any factual evidence that contradicts the birthers.

On the other hand, WND repeats a quote from Zullo claiming that "We recently discovered new irrefutable evidence, which confirms, hands down, the document is a fraud." WND makes no apparent effort to find out what that "new irrefutable evidence" is.

WND also highlights how two judges on the Alabama Supreme Court -- where the birther case is being considered -- have expressed sympathy, but ignores the fact that doing so is arguably grounds for the judges to recuse themselves from the case.

So WND is back to its old birther shennanigans. So much for trying to rebuild its credibility after destroying it through four years of Obama derangement.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 12:56 AM EDT
Monday, May 6, 2013
CNS Promotes Highly Misleading Heritage Immigration Study
Topic: was so enthusiastic about a new Heritage Foundation study on immigration, it posted two items on it before the study was even released:

  • A May 6 article by Elizabeth Harrington, posted before the report's officials release, touts the report's chief assertion that "granting amnesty to illegal immigrants would cost $6.3 trillion." She engages in some credential-puffing by sticking a "Ph.D." after the name of a report co-author for no apparent reason. Harrington also uses the word "amnesty" despite the fact that it's a biased, loaded term used only by critics of any immigration reformn (like CNS).
  • A May 6 blog post by Joe Schoffstall uncritically repeats Heritage president Jim DeMint puffing up the credentials of the report's co-author, Robert Rector, as "one of the nation's leading authorities on government social programs" whose "research is based on methodology also used by the National Academy of Sciences."

But  the report has massive flaws that even Rector acknowledges: It not only doesn't examine the entire Senate immigration bill it purportsto be looking at, it leaves out any examination of provisions designed to help the economy.

Will Harrington and Schoffstall issue follow-up articles acknowledging the report's flaws, or will it keep pushing the report as definitive and censor any mention of the errors? Our money's on the latter.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:54 PM EDT
WND Adds Sexism to Race-Baiting, Dismisses CNN Anchor As 'Newsgal'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's no surprise that WorldNetDaily would go in for race-baiting -- after all, Colin Flaherty does exclusively that for WND -- which is why a May 5 WND article by Joe Kovacs highlights how CNN anchor Carol Costello was "robbed by a black teenager in Atlanta."

For some reason, though, WND executive news editor Kovacs feels the need to denigrate her with a headline that reads "CNN newsgal outraged after black teen robs her." (The word "black" was later removed from the headline, though its legacy still remains in the article's URL.)

Kovacs is a dedicated transcriber of Rush Limbaugh's radio show, and it appears that Limbaugh's sexism and misogyny is rubbing off on him.

The promotional email for the article goes one step further, appending the word "gorgeous" to the headline:

WND has always had a sexist streak -- after all, this is the website that has for years kept a running list of female (but not male) teachers accused of sexual contact with students.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 6, 2013 2:42 PM EDT
Newsmax's Walsh Misleads on Anti-Islam Military Instructor
Topic: Newsmax

James Walsh wrote in his May 3 Newsmax column:

A story going unreported by the mainstream news media is the smashing of Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley’s career. Dooley, a highly regarded instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College, dared suggest that Islamists were involved in terror against the United States.
A board of review, consisting of three generals and two colonels, had approved Dooley for promotion, when Islamic organizations in the United States demanded that the Obama administration make an example of him. Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, an Obama appointee, overruled the Army’s recommendation and denied Dooley his promotion.

In fact, Dooley did much more than "suggest that Islamists were involved in terror." From Wired:

 Dempsey shut down an elective course Dooley taught at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, which is under the auspices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The course instructed senior officers at the lieutenant colonel, commander, colonel and Navy captain level that “there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam,’” and that wartime protections against civilians of Islamic countries were “no longer relevant.”

Materials distributed by Dooley’s guest lecturers suggested inaccurately that President Obama is a Muslim. Similar material taught to the FBI in 2011 compared Islam to the Death Star in Star Wars. Dooley himself taught, “Your oath as a professional soldier forces you to pick a side here.”

Dooley considered the reduction of Islam to a “cult status” an acceptable outcome of what he considered a civilizational war. Accordingly, his instructional material is reminiscent of The Innocence of Muslims, the anti-Islam video that was used as a pretext in the Middle East over the past week for anti-American protests. Dooley was removed from the college and received an administrative reprimand for teaching material that Dempsey called “totally objectionable, against our values and it wasn’t academically sound.”

Apparently, the truth isn't sexy enough for Walsh, so he resorts to whitewashing the facts aboutwhat Dooley was teaching.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 PM EDT
Your WND Gun Update
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's been busy on the gun front at WorldNetDaily lately.

Media Matters reports that the person who offered a resolution at the National Rifle Association expressing opposition to any and all additional restrictions against guns was none other than WND gun columnist Jeff Knox. That would be the same guy who has suggested that Tim McVeigh was set up in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Meanwhile, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports on one Caleb Lee, who sells what he claims is information on how to build a completely untraceable AR-15 assault rifle. One of the outlets Lee has used to market his stuff is, yes, WND. The plans are sold behind web ads like this (which we copied right off WND):

That takes you to Lee's website, which loads a several-minute-long video that's difficultto stop and impossible to rewind, that begins by announcing that the speaker will be put on an "American citizen kill list" by "Obama and his cronies" for dispensing the info that fills the rest of the video.

As the SPLC reports, the information Lee charges $27 for is available elsewhere on the Internet for free, and what potentially useful advice he offers is on the dangerous side. Also, Lee has a documented history of running scams.

This is the caliber (pun sort of intended) of advertiser WND has these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Telling the Truth Got Us Banned From NewsBusters
Topic: NewsBusters

What's a good way to get yourself kicked out of the NewsBusters comment thread? Tell the truth.

On May 3, Matthew Sheffield wrote a NewsBusters post headlined "Top Magazine Award Given for Fraudulently Edited ‘47 Percent’ Video." Shortly thereafter, the headline was rewritten without explanation to change "Fraudulently Edited" to "Journalistically Questionable." Here's a screenshot from a Google search for the original headline to prove that it did indeed exist, however briefly:

We pointed out the headline change in a comment on the post, which was quickly deleted without explanation. 

Sheffield's post criticized the awarding of a magazine award to Mother Jones magazine for its release of the surreptitiously recorded Mitt Romney "47 percent" video. Sheffield claimed that Mother Jones showed "dishonesty" in claiming he had posted the entire video when there was an approximate 2-minute gap due to the recorder being inadvertently turned off. Sheffield then recounted an unproven right-wing conspiracy theory that "the gap in the recording was made during post-production." Sheffield concluded that "In light of all of the above information, it is quite clear that David Corn and Mother Jones should not be given an award for their release of the Romney 47 percent video."

But right-wing videographers have a much deeper -- and documented -- history of selectively editing videos:

  • James O'Keefe has a history of promoting false claims through his selectively edited undercover videos.
  • Lila Rose's anti-Planned Parenthood campaign is littered with selectively edited videos that suggest claims not supported by the full video (which, of course, is released some time afterwards).

When we pointed this on in the comment thread, our comments were deleted shortly afterwards. When we asked why our comments were being deleted, we were locked out of the thread, and that comment was deleted as well. See all those "This comment was deleted" statements? Those were ours.

To our knowledge, we did not violate NewsBusters commenting guidelines, nor did we engage in abusive or trolling behavior. There may be, however, some double-secret guidelines prohibiting any criticism or truth-telling about conservatives -- and that's where we may have gotten into trouble.

We've contacted NewsBusters for an explantion but have not received any response. But given that the Media Research Center's prime mission the past couple years has been to shout down or censor any criticism of a conservative in the media, no matter how accurate, that may be all the explanation we'll get.

Censoring someone for telling the truth runs counter to the MRC's campaign of attacking others for alleged censorship. Such blatant hypocrisy hurts the MRC's credibility as well, but since when has it been worried about that?

Posted by Terry K. at 4:09 PM EDT
Corsi Still A Birther, Upset He's Been 'Marginalized And Discredited'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last month, WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi appeared on a right-wing radio show ("The Tea Party Power Hour") where he lamented that everything he's written about Obama's "eligibility" had no impact on the election. He also says that the birther issue is "politically a dead horse," and whines that he’s been "completely marginalized and discredited."

Of course, the only person Corsi should blame for being "completely marginalized and discredited" is himself. If he didn't promote blatantly false claims, ignore facts that contradicted his anti-Obama agenda, and gleefully report the sleaziest hearsay rumors about Obama's sex life, he might be taken at least somewhat seriously as a reporter instead of being dismissed for what he has demonstrated himself to be: a right-wing hack who despises Obama so much that the truth doesn't matter to him.

Still, he says the historical record will probably demonstrate that Obama was born in Kenya and is an illegitimate president.

Interestingly, WND has yet to report on Corsi's statements. Gee, wonder why...

(h/t Dr. Conspiracy)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EDT
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Good News On Unemployment Is Bad News at CNS

The decrease in unemployment to 7.5 percent -- the lowest rate in four years -- and creation of 164,000 jobs in April was good news everywhere, but you wouldn't know it by reading

A May 3 CNS article by Elizabeth Harrington insisted that "overall unemployment remained largely unchanged in April at 7.5 percent" and did not mention that it was the lowest rate in four years. Instead, the thrust of her article was that the unemployment rate for government workers dropped.

And even that's a dishonest claim --  public-sector jobs have been on a steady decline since 2008.

A separate story by Harrington focused on the claim that there were "33,000 more 'discouraged workers' in April " and made no mention whatsoever of the lowered unemployment rate or jobs created.

Such skewed reporting -- which is the sum total of CNS' take on the unemployment numbers -- appears to be part of CNS' anti-Obama agenda, in which it's forbidden to say anything positive about the Obama administration, even when there's positive news to report.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:45 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, May 4, 2013 10:47 AM EDT
Basketball Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For example, America throws away hundreds of billions annually to people who are functionally illiterate, people who can’t put two sentences together without saying, “uuuhhh,” “aaahhh,” “you know” or excessive stuttering. For bouncing a basketball, throwing a football, hitting a baseball or kicking a soccer ball, America, with Nazi-like efficiency, will search out the worst ghettos and barrios, traverse the deepest, darkest jungles of Africa, South America, Cuba, Haiti, the Caribbean Islands, and promise the world to a black mother while sitting in her living room trying to convince her and her fatherless son that playing basketball for the University of X will guarantee a life of fame and riches.

Come on, America! Without the NBA, Shaquille O’Neill would just be a 7-foot-1, 376-lb buffoon, a janitor who thinks he is a rapper.

-- Ellis Washington, April 26 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Friday, May 3, 2013
MRC Touts Fox's Benghazi Whistleblower, Ignores How He's Been Discredited
Topic: Media Research Center

Scott Whitlock wrote in a May 1 Medias Research Center item:

All three network newscasts on Monday and Tuesday ignored the shocking assertions made by a whistleblower who told Fox News that special forces could have responded to the 2012 terrorist attack on Benghazi. He also claimed that the United States knows who perpetrated last year's assault on the U.S. embassy. 

MRC chief Brent Bozell similarly complained on Fox News that Fox's whistleblower was being ignored, adding, "This man is disguising his face out of fear. What does that tell you?These are all stories that could be reported."

But so far, neither Whitlock, Bozell nor anyone else at the MRC has mentioned how the anonymous whistleblower's story has been discredited.

National security journalist Thomas Ricks reports that experts he has talked to question the veracity of Fox's source, adding, "What he offers is pure speculation and not based on any real facts as I have heard and appears to be coming from his fourth point of contact. He comes across as just another conspiracy theorist who is taking Fox News for a ride." And Media Matters has detailed five claims that are contradicted by more authoritative reporting.

The MRC loves to complain that the media is "censoring" whatever right-wing talking point they want to get wider coverage, but by their own definition, they are censoring the truth about Fox News' Benghazi "whistleblower." Ironic, doncha think?

Posted by Terry K. at 5:32 PM EDT
Aaron Klein Guilt-By-Association Smear Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Under the headline "Obama's czar pick snagged in Castro love fest," Aaron Klein writes in a May 2 WorldNetDaily article:

President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency went on a trip to Cuba in 2009 aimed at opening relations with the communist nation, WND has learned.

According to the Cuban media, Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., along with his wife, was part of a delegation of five other lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus who held a four-and-a-half hour meeting in April 2009 with Cuban President Raul Castro, Fidel Castro’s brother.

The delegation was headed by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.


Politico reported Lee and others heaped praise on Castro, calling him warm and receptive during their discussion.

Notice what's missing? Any evidence that Watt himself issued any praise of Castro. Klein can't back up his claim of a "Castro love fest" from Watt.

But then, shoddy guilt-by-association is how Aaron Klein rolls.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:37 PM EDT
CNS Doesn't Think Government Money Should Be Used to Help Transgenders

One of the messages of 's obsession with documenting supposedly wasteful government spending is that money used to help the LGBT community is inherently wasteful. In March, we noted, CNS complained that government money was being spent to study lesbian health issues.

CNS is now targeting the transgendered:

  • An April 23 article by Elizabeth Harrington lamented that the government "is spending $152,000 to study 'voice therapy' for transgenders." 
  • A May 1 article by Fred Lucas groused that "The federal government is spending $355,825 in taxpayer dollars to develop a “culturally relevant stigma-reducing intervention” program for the transgender population in India."

Lucas noted that one question he asked the National Institutes of Health regarding this expenditure was, "Since this study focuses on India, what is the benefit to the U.S.? Why is it worthwhile to U.S. taxpayers?" We wonder if Lucas feels the same way about the Bush administration spending billions of dollars combating AIDS in Africa, something even non-conservatives have praised him for.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:22 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 3, 2013 11:24 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« May 2013 »
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google