ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
MSNBC Host's Descriptions Not As Imaginary As MRC Thinks
Topic: Media Research Center

Kyle Drennen writes in a July 15 Media Research Center item:

On his 11 a.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Thomas Roberts condemned America's current social contract as being "so wrong," launching into an angry rant about the supposed persecution of certain groups in the country and making demands of his liberal network to move even farther left: "I want to challenge this network. We had to have an 'I am other' agenda..."

Roberts recited imagined lines of attack against such groups: "Being an other, whether it's LGBT, because you're then suspected of being a pedophile and a rabid disease carrier. And if you are a woman, well, you certainly don't have a right to your own body and your own reproductive health because if you do, then you're just a slut who wants to sleep around and use abortion as birth control. And then if you're Hispanic, well you're just a taker, you're not a maker, and you want to come here and have anchor babies and you just want to lay off the land."

But Roberts didn't imagine those lines of attack -- they come straight from real life.

Denigrating gays as disease-ridden pedophiles is the stock in trade of homophobes like WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving and other anti-gay activists. The idea that woman talking about birth control makes her a slut is what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke last year -- an attack the MRC condoned and even encouraged. And immigrant- and Hispanic-bashing is what the typical Fox News viewer believes in.

If Drennen think Roberts merely "imagined" those lines of attack, he's not a very good media monitor.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EDT
WND's Simpson: Soccer Fights Demonstrate Latinos Shouldn't Be U.S. Citizens
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barbara Simpson writes in her July 14 WorldNetDaily column:

Do cultural differences matter?

Consider: The exhibition soccer match two weeks ago in Las Vegas between Mexican rivals Chivas and Club America hadn’t even begun when fans swarmed the parking lot and the crowd erupted into massive brawl of rock and can throwing and bloody fighting.

Despite police presence, fighting continued through halftime and after the game, involving players and fans.

One was quoted in the Las Vegas Sun as saying the rivalry is “deadly,” and “We don’t like each other.”

Could’ve fooled me.

The first week of July saw some of the same and more in Brazil. Another soccer game, this time a player disagreed with the referee and was expelled from the game but not before the ref stabbed him.

The player died. That’s when the fans took over, swarmed the ref, stoned him, cut his head off, put it on a stake and cut his body apart.

At that point, nobody much cared who won the game.

Not to say that such violence is typical, but in a sense it is. Soccer games are notoriously violent, and it’s an example of what we face as we enable foreigners to become legal before they’ve become American.

So, Simpson is basically suggesting that Latinos be barred from entering the U.S. because of soccer brawls.

It's not like America doesn't have a tradition of violence at sports events (though, to be fair, without the beheading and quartering). One could actually say that fighting Latino soccer fans are well with the American tradition.

So let's not pretend that Simpson is all that worried about "cultural diffrences" -- she just wants to fearmonger about illegal immigrants, and immigrants in general. She goes on to declare that immigration reform means "the end of the USA as we’ve known it."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EDT
PolitiFact Busts CNS on Food Stamp Claim

In a July 8 article, Elizabeth Harrington reported that "The number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government has risen to 101 million, representing roughly a third of the U.S. population," adding, "That means the number of Americans receiving food assistance has surpassed the number of full-time private sector workers in the U.S."

It turns out that isn't quite true.

Examining Allen West's repeating a version of Harrington's claim, PolitiFact rated the claim "false," pointing out that there is likely overlap in participation in the food aid programs Harrington counted to achieve her total, meaning that the number of people in the programs is probably less than Harrington claimed.

Harrington also very narrowly defined her number of working  Americans to "full-time private sector workers," which is misleading at best and dishonest at worst. PolitiFact states:

The universe of people who could potentially receive food aid is the entire U.S. population. But the universe of people who could potentially hold a private-sector job consists only of those 16 years old and over. And one could easily make that universe smaller by excluding those who are 16 or 17 (and who are supposed to be in school) or those older than 65 (who have reached retirement age).

If you adjust for the differences in the size of these universes, one could easily come to the opposite conclusion than the one West offered.

Using the 101 million figure for food aid, which as we noted is likely overstated, means that about 33 percent of the U.S. population receives food assistance.

By contrast, about 47 percent of people age 16 and up work in the private sector. If you restrict it to people age 18 to 64, the percentage working in the private sector rises to 59 percent.

So, the percentage of working-age people with private-sector jobs is at least twice as high as the percentage of Americans who receive food assistance -- the opposite conclusion to the one West drew.

PolitiFact concludes:

West tweeted that "more Americans receive food aid than work in (the) private sector."

However, the data West used appears to have undercounted the number of people with a private-sector job and overcounted the number of people receiving food aid. In addition, the comparison isn’t really apples to apples. We rate the claim False.

Will Harrington correct the information in her article? Time will tell.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 PM EDT
WND Ignores Agreement To Bash Colorado Gun Magazine Law
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Minor uses a July 13 WorldNetDaily article to falsely fearmonger about "draconian gun control laws" in Colorado, particularly one involving gun magazines:

The laws include a ban on any magazine that can be modified to hold more than 15 rounds. Since magazines have a removable plate on the bottom to ease in cleaning, the law can be interpreted as a ban on the sale of all magazines in the state. Additionally, the law prohibits the simple act of handing a magazine or firearm to a person to assist with clearing a jam, calling it an illegal transfer.

But Minor failed to tell his readers about an agreement between Colorado state attorneys and county sheriffs -- made public three days before Minor's article was published -- that avoids exactly what he was fearmongering about. The Associated Press reported:

Both sides agreed that magazines that have removable baseplates won't be considered part of ban and won't be seen as being adaptable to hold more rounds than what the law allows. Attorneys also agreed to clarifying language about what happens to larger magazines that were grandfathered in. People who temporarily hand a larger magazine to a shop owner, for example, won't be deemed to have lost "continuous possession" of it in violation of the law.

Minor wouldn't have had much of an article if he had told the full truth about the gun magazine law.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 AM EDT
Monday, July 15, 2013
MRC's Hypocritical Attack on Jenny McCarthy
Topic: Media Research Center

Scott Whitlock howls in a July 15 Media Research Center item that "ABC has officially announced that one of the vacant spots on The View will be filled by Catholic-bashing, anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Jenny McCarthy":

In addition to spewing disgust for the religious, the former nude model– notably not a doctor and someone with zero scientific experience– has led a crusade against childhood vaccinations. Despite there being no connection between autism and vaccinations, McCarthy has pushed this falsehood for years.

The TV personality's claims have been debunked in liberal outlets such as Huffington Post.


So, why is ABC giving her a platform to push conspiracy theories? Are Barbara Walters and the producers of The View now anti-science?

Whitlock's outrage over McCarthy anti-vaccine activism might be taken more seriously if his employer wasn't doing the same thing.

Just last week, the MRC was fearmongering about Gardasil and other HPV vaccines, hyping its alleged "dangerous side effects" even though the Centers for Disease Control considers such vaccines safe.

In the same vein, a July 15 MRC Business & Media Center item by Kristine Marsh laments "vaccination scares led by the media and celebrities championing outdated science." Like Whitlock, Marsh makes no mention of her employer's own vaccination scares.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:47 PM EDT
When Did Mike Zullo Become A Lieutenant?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily still hasn't given up on birtherism yet. From a July 13 WND article by Bob Unruh:

The dispute over Barack Obama’s eligibility captured the imagination of the American public with stunning revelations, lawsuits, a best-selling book and, finally, the release of what was described as the “original” birth certificate from Hawaii in an attempt to silence the doubters.

Since that time, it’s been mostly Obama’s defenders gloating and deriding anyone who questions the official narrative as so-called “birthers.”

That might change soon, according to the lead investigator for Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse in Arizona, which was assigned to do a thorough investigation of the document posted by the White House as Obama’s birth certification.

Lt. Mike Zullo told WND there is interest being expressed in Congress about the investigation’s conclusion that the White House document is fraudulent – an image created on a computer.

Wait -- when did Mike Zullo become "Lt. Mike Zullo"?

We have no idea. Dr. Conspiracy notes that Zullo has also been referred to as "Detective Zullo" and "Commander Zullo," adding: "I have no knowledge (and I have been paying attention) that Zullo bears any law enforcement title in his role heading the Maricopa County Arizona Cold Case Posse, a 501(3)(c) non-profit educational charity. A couple of decades ago, it is reported, Zullo had a job with a municipal police department, but the title he held then is not known."

We've sent an email to Unruh requesting information on Zullo's title, but we have not heard back at the time of this post.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:59 PM EDT
Newsmax Uncritically Promotes Judicial Watch's Dubious Attacks
Topic: Newsmax

A July 11 Newsmax article is promoting Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton's attacks on the Department of Justice:

On Wednesday, Judicial Watch revealed it had obtained documents showing that a little-known Department of Justice unit, the Community Relations Service, was sent to Sanford, Florida, after the Martin shooting to help organize and manage protests against Zimmerman.

Fitton, author of the bestselling book "The Corruption Chronicles," said the documents show the "racial extremism" of the Justice Department and the Obama administration in handling the Zimmerman case.

"The Justice Department's CRS people were down there aiding and abetting the individuals [who protested]" Fitton told Malzberg.

In fact, what the CRS did was engage in community mediation to make sure the rallies were peaceful. Fitton offers no evidence that the CRS actively organized any rallies.

Newsmax privileged Fitton's dubious attacks again in a July 14 article by Todd Beamon:

Then, a secretive branch of the Justice Department was sent to Sanford to help organize rallies, Fitton noted. One event was headlined by the Rev. Al Sharpton, who called for Zimmerman’s arrest and prosecution.

Justice documents obtained by Judicial Watch revealed those activities of the department’s Community Relations Service in March and April of 2012.

And only after the protests and social media outrage alleging racial profiling and discrimination did Florida Gov. Rick Scott appoint a special prosecutor, who brought the charges against Zimmerman six weeks after the shooting.

“Surprise, surprise,” Fitton told Newsmax. “There’s a poor prosecution that results from a process that was kind of distorted almost immediately.”

Notice how the CRS moved from "little-known" to "secretive" in three days' time. No explanation is provided for such descriptions of the CRS.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 PM EDT
Farah's Thin-Skinned Response to Rachel Maddow
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In case you were wondering, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah still can't handle criticism.

A July 13 WND article by Joe Kovacs highlights how MSNBC host Rachel Maddow called Farah's WND "your home for the most-trusted reference material on how President Obama is a gay Muslim murderer and obviously foreign," and that the Republican Party is "spotlighting the most ambitious Republican federal officeholders in the nation alongside the nation’s leading proponents of the theory that our country’s first black president could not possibly be American, he must be secretly foreign, his presidency is illegitimate and it’s a giant conspiracy."

Farah's petulant response:

“If you want to get an idea of how the state-run press will look in Maddow’s Stalinist dream world, you can get a pretty good idea just by watching her show. She smears people with fallacious accusations, offers no opportunity for another point of view, is afraid to invite her targets on to mix it up with her and relies on name-calling and personal attacks rather than anything remotely connected to facts. But at least she called me handsome. I guess some facts are undeniable – especially if you’re going to use a picture.”

Notice that Farah never states what, exactly, is "fallacious" and not "remotely connected to facts" in what Maddow said -- perhaps because he knows Maddow is telling the truth. He merely issues a personal attack of the kind he supposedly opposes by baselessly claiming that Maddow favors a "Stalinist dream world."

Accusing someone of telling lies and then refusing to detail what those supposed lies are is the language of a demagogue. It seems Farah is the one who really wants a "Stalinist dream world."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 15, 2013 10:20 AM EDT
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Is The MRC Really Getting The Money From Bozell's Book?
Topic: Media Research Center

The promotion page for Brent Bozell's new anti-media book, "Collusion," on the Media Research Center website declares, "All proceeds go to the Media Research Center—you not only get a great book, but you also support a great cause!"

But is that really true? The copyright page of the book (available online via Amazon) states that the copyright for "Collusion" belongs to Bozell, not the MRC:


That means the money from the book actually goes to Bozell, not the MRC. And, apparently, Bozell's co-author, Tim Graham, isn't getting anything, as only Bozell is listed as the copyright holder.

Bozell may ultimately give the book's proceeds to the MRC, but the easiest way to guarantee that is to make the MRC the copyright holder. As such, there is no publicly known, legally binding guarantee that the MRC will get the book's proceeds or that Bozell's proceeds will be officially accounted for.

That may be for the best, since what we've seen of the book so far indicates it's nothing but the same old anti-media bashing Bozell, Graham and the MRC have been doing for decades.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:37 PM EDT
WND Perpetuates Myths About Homeschooling Case
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh uses a July 2 WorldNetDaily article to shill for the Romeike family, a German family that has sought asylum in the United States by claiming persecution in Germany for wanting to homeschool their children, which is illegal there.

Unruh uncritically repeats the claim that "The Romeikes withdrew their children from German schools over teachings on sex, violence and other issues that conflicted with their Christian faith." But public schools are not the only option the Romeikes have -- according to the New York Times, the Romeikes have also rejected private and religious schools in Germany, claming that they were "just as bad or even worse" than public schools. The Romeikes could have also chosen to work toward creating a school in Germany that more closely aligns with their claimed "Christian faith," but they apparently chose not to.

Unruh also uncritically repeats an assertion by homeschooling activist Michael Farris regarding the Department of Justice's agreeing with German officials that banning homeschooling does not equal persecution that "I’m glad Obama wasn’t in charge in 1620." Neither Farris nor Unruh mentioned that the initial granting of temporary asylum to the Romeikes also took place under the Obama administration.

(WND's numerous conflicts of interest on the issue are not mentioned, among them being that Unruh homeschools his own children and at least one child of WND editor Joseph Farah has atteneded the Farris-founded Patrick Henry College, which caters to homeschooled evangelical Christians.)

Unruh then goes Godwin on the issue -- as WND is prone to do -- claiming that "The problem is that a Nazi-era law in Germany in 1938, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, eliminated exemptions that would provide an open door for homeschoolers under the nation’s compulsory education laws." In fact, compulory schooling has been a tradition for a good 200 years.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:10 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 14, 2013 4:44 PM EDT
CNS Treats Snide Attack On Napolitano As 'News'

We already know that treats late-night jokes as "news." Now it considers random comments from right-wing talking heads as "news" as well.

A July 12 CNS article by Elizabeth Harrington begins:

Political commentator Charles Krauthammer said the record of outgoing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was that "the underwear didn't explode."

Yeah, that's the whole point of Harrington's article -- to highlight Krauthammer's snide insult. Harrington didn't explain what made an insult from a right-wing talking head worthy of being presented as "news."

It seems that WND is trying to become more like WorldNetDaily, where Joe Kovacs regularly devotes articles to Rush Limbaugh's opining.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:16 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 14, 2013 11:17 AM EDT
Saturday, July 13, 2013
WND's Flaherty Race-Baits on Zimmerman Case, Because Why Wouldn't He
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Colin Flaherty writes in a July 11 WorldNetDaily column:

I owe a whole lot of people an apology. A real big one.

Soon after I first started writing about black mob violence two years for WND and other places, I started seeing comments about Obama.

A whole lot of people thought he was personally behind efforts to gin up the epidemic of black mob violence I was writing about – and the local and national media ignored.

I kind of brushed it off. No, I did worse than that: I mentally placed all these comments into my “black helicopter international banker kook” file.

The president of the United States personally encouraging racial violence? That struck me as crazy.


Now this week, thanks to the heroes over at Judicial Watch, we learn that the federal government of the United States has been sending community organizers to Florida to ratchet up the pressure to indict and convict George Zimmerman.

The Department of Justice people called themselves “peacekeepers.” As in: No justice, no peace.

I keep reading the documents, and I can scarce believe what I am seeing. The president of the United States is sending people to foment racial violence in Florida.

As usual, Flaherty is too busy race-baiting to get his facts straight. There is no evidence whatsoever that Obama "fomented racial violence in Florida" -- representatives of the DOJ mediated to make sure rallies were peaceful. But Slate's David Weigel points out that race-baiters are trying to twist this intervention into the DOJ's Community Relations Service encouraging the rallies:

 If you think the government should materialize when some racial controversy starts boiling, you have no problem with the CRS. But if you think Obama and Holder are habitual race-baiters, the CRS’s Sanford adventure fits into a pattern. Instead of nailing the New Black Panthers, Obama’s saying, “If I had a son, he’d  look like Trayvon,” and Holder’s calling America “a nation of cowards on race.” That’s why they went after Zimmerman. That’s why you can’t trust the Obama regime.

But who cares about facts when there's race-baiting to do? Thus, Flaherty race-baits on:

Obama’s secretive peacekeepers failed in their stated mission. In “White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence and how the media ignore it,” I documented more than a dozen cases of black mob violence connected to Trayvon Martin in the run up to the indictment of George Zimmerman.

Today, all over the country, police departments are on alert for the violence that could follow Zimmerman’s acquittal.

Like Winston Smith, we are now supposed to believe something that is transparently not true. They had nothing to do with the black resentment and animosity and violence connected to this case. And others.

Just like Flaherty wants us to believe that his obsession over "black mob violence" has nothing to do with his own obvious anti-black resentment and animosity.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 15, 2013 12:41 PM EDT
Noel Sheppard Gets A Taste Of His Snark, Doesn't Like It
Topic: NewsBusters

A July 12 NewsBusters post by Matthew Sheffield is devoted to New York Times reporter John Schwartz tweeting a snarky remark regarding the upcoming wedding of the son of NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard. Sheffield called the tweet "a petty and pathetic attempt at humor" and suggested Schwartz was motivated by bitterness because he has a gay son (about whom he devoted a book to, and Sheppard had previously mocked Schwartz's self-promotion of the book). Sheffield ultimately huffs, "Whatever his motivations were for making it, John Schwartz’s tasteless joke is a disgrace. There’s no doubt at all that the guy is a left-wing jerk."

It should be noted that Sheffield is defending a man who may very easily be described as a right-wing jerk.

Sheppard has a long history of attacking reporters for telling the truth about conservtaives -- even as he tells lies about his ideological enemies -- and he clings to global warming denialism and denigrates anyone who thinks differently even though the vast majority.

And Sheppard is hardly immune from dishing out the snark Sheffield is complaining he was victimized by. Just last month, for example, Sheppard portrayed commentator Eleanor Clift as coming from a long line of morons. And who can forget this failed attempt at Twitter humor:

Sheffield's post has been updated to note that Schwartz has apologized. No such apology has been seen from Sheppard regarding his offensive and insensitive remarks.

We're not condoning Schwartz's original remark; we're just pointing out that Sheppard can dish it out but apparently can't take it.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 AM EDT
Friday, July 12, 2013
Bradlee Dean Still Raising Money For Dead Lawsuit
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bradlee Dean's July 11 WorldNetDaily column is your garden-variety rant, this time focusing on the media: "But do they have a right to dispense half-truths, fabricated stories, or outright lies? Of course not!"

Apparently, Dean considers himself exempt from being held accountable for telling lies -- he's told a bunch, and he has shown no interest whatsoever in apologizing or setting the record straight.

More interesting, though, is the end of his column, which states:

Think the IRS scandal is bad? You should see what MSNBC and Rachel Maddow did to Bradlee Dean. Help in his lawsuit against them. Stand for America and get your free gift.

The text links to a page on Dean's You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International website, in which Dean solicits donations for "help with his lawsuit Bradlee Dean vs. Rachel Maddow. Protect him and conservative leaders everywhere from the slander and lies spewed out by the leftist media."

Unmentioned at either place is the fact that Dean's lawsuit against Maddow is essentially dead.

As we've detailed, Dean and his failed lawyer, Larry Klayman, wanted to move the lawsuit to a different venue specifically to deprive Maddow of the anti-SLAPP defense; a judge ordered that in exchange, Dean must pay Maddow's lawyers $24,000 to pay for a new defense in the new venue. As far as we know, Dean and Klayman have thus far refused to make the payment, meaning that unless Dean chooses to pay up and pursue the lawsuit in its current venue -- which he said he has already spent more than $77,000 on -- that lawsuit is de facto dismissed. (Dean and Klayman did appeal the judge's ruling in an insult-laden filing that is seemingly designed to fail.)

By the standards Dean is suing Maddow for defamation, President Obama can sue Dean over the numerous malicious lies he's told. But it seems that Dean would prefer not to be judged by his own standards.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EDT
MRC Dishonestly Fearmongers About HPV Vaccine
Topic: Media Research Center

Remember back in April, when the Media Research Center criticized the mainstreaming of anti-vaccine activists while ignoring its own attacks on Gardasil and other vaccines for HPV (human papilloma virus, which tends to cause cervical cancer)? Well, the hypocrisy contines.

A July 10 MRC Culture & Media Institute item by Katie Yoder complains that news reports were giving Gardasil credit for a dramatic drop on HPV infections among teenage girls while ignoring its supposed "dangerous side effects."

But as we documented when WorldNetDaily was attacking Gardasil, anti-HPV vaccines are considered safe -- no less than the Centers for Disease Control agrees -- and the serious side effects Yoder warns about are extremely rare.

Yoder cites the Washington Times to claim that "the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program recently lost almost $6 million in response to 49 victims’ complaints claims against HPV vaccines. Between 2010 and 2011, there were 26 deaths reported in correlation with Gardasil in addition to seizures, paralysis, blindness, pancreatitis, speech problems, short term memory loss and Guillain-Barré Syndrome – all this according to the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System."

First, as even the most basic researcher knows, correlation does not equal causation, so the "26 deaths reported in correlation with Gardasil" Yoder cites does not mean they were caused by Gardasil.

Second, it was not an Washington Times article Yoder was quoting but, rather, an article by Dr. Peter Lind at a separate site, Washington Times Communities, where "individual contributors are responsible for their content, which is not edited by The Washington Times." Lind -- the kind of anti-vaccine activist the MRC otherwise criticizes -- is citing the right-wing Judicial Watch, which is opposed to Gardasil apparently because it opposes everything remotely linked to the Obama administration.

If Yoder is going to attack Gardasil's supposed severe side effects, she should also tell the truth about the agenda behind its critics.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:26 PM 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

« July 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