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Wednesday, July 17, 2013
NewsBusters Pretends 'Stand Your Ground' Had Nothing To Do With Zimmerman Trial
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters appears to want to squelch discussion of "stand your ground" laws in numerous states by insisting that such laws had nothing to do with the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin:

  • Tom Blumer complained that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested that "'stand your ground' was at issue in the Zimmerman trial. It wasn't." Blumer added, "Bloomberg appears to be saying that the mere existence of 'stand your ground' laws encourages people who are armed to defend themselves if they are attacked and fear serious bodily harm. Even in the unlikely case that it's true, why are we supposed to have a problem with that?"
  • Scott Whitlock asserted that "the Florida case had nothing to do with stand-your-ground.  Zimmer[m]an's case was based on self defense." Whiltock then likened those making such a claim to "9/11 truthers and conspiracy theorists."
  • Noel Sheppard responded to Stevie Wonder's announced boycott of states with stand-your-ground laws by saying, "Maybe someone should inform Wonder and all the other ignorant reactionaries on the left that "Stand Your Ground" had nothing to do with this case."

In fact, while "stand your ground" was not specifically invoked by Zimmerman's defense lawyers, it's the centerpiece of Florida self-defense laws, and jury instructions in self-defense cases in Florida have changed because of "stand your ground." Further, one of the Zimmerman jurors has stated that the stand-your-ground law was discussed during jury deliberations.

In other words, it was a factor. NewsBusters simply wants to pretend it wasn't.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
Is WND Mocking Rachel Jeantel's Weight?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In linking to a WorldNetDaily article recounting Rachel Jeantel's statement that Trayvon Martin had subjected George Zimmerman to "whoop-ass" prior to Zimmerman shooting Martin to death, a WND email teaser promotes the story with the headline: "A big can of whoop-a--: U.S. mesmerized by Jeantel":

The tone of the email suggests that WND is working in some mocking of Jeantel's plus-size figure along with its story tease. That's pretty low, even for WND.

(That ad about FEMA camps embedded in the email, on the other hand, is totally up WND's alley.)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 1:47 PM EDT
Black Conservative At CNS Defends Racial Profiling

Bob Parks announces what we're in for in the headline of his July 14 blog post: "Pundits Lament 'Profiling of Blacks,' But Don't Some of Us Kinda Invite It?"

Parks starts by complaining that "MSNBC and CNN are both vying for the position of being the new 'Black Entertainment Television,' giving air time to every black face they can find to give an opinion of the 'not guilty' verdict in the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin murder trial." Somehow Fox News gets a pass on this, even though it gave air time to extremists like Erik Rush, who has called for the death of all Muslims in the aftermath of the Boston bombings and has called for armed revolution against President Obama.

Parks goes on to describe how he's a victim of racial profiling, but he's mostly OK with it because it's only young blacks who pose any actual threat, and besides, it can all be blamed on liberals somehow:

For example, I am a black conservative. However, I would be willing to bet that when I'm seen walking down the street, the average person assumes I'm a liberal who votes accordingly. An initial conversation would be started on that basis and the response would vary depending upon the philosophies held by the person starting such conversation.

Young people, especially young black people, do things seen everyday that make many of us cringe. We see young black females initiating violent acts at McDonald's restaurants, young black males playing the "knock out game" on innocent people just walking down the street, and of course, we see the daily tally of deadly shootings within black communities nationally that all these media pundits on the left seldom seem to find time to talk about.

I said condescension.

Many of the liberals look at blacks (not their "black friends") as the downtrodden. I contend they look at blacks as one would look at their pet. We don't get terribly angry when a cat or dog pees in the corner because we assume it doesn't know any better. So, when blacks kill each other indiscriminately, liberals don't consider them as potentially intelligent human beings who knew right from wrong, but blame their "socioeconomic conditions" as an excuse for conduct that would be intolerable in any other community.


Despite the holier-than-thou personae now being displayed by the visually-concerned air talent on MSNBC and CNN, I'm quite certain that, if some young black males walked in their direction on the sidewalk, they would be concerned. Not that a created-out-of-convenience "white Hispanic" would take those kids out, but that those kids might do... something.

We don't profile little old white ladies for suspicion of crimes because they don't commit crimes that often. I don't have baggy jeans, don't wear a do-rag and slippers, but do have some grey hair that comes and goes (if you know what I mean), so I don't generate the kind of scrutiny the activists lament. But, until we get a handle on the self-inflicted image wounds, we will continue to be profiled and people will expect the worst from us.

I would hope that, one day, white liberals would have the same expectations of blacks that they have for themselves. I would hope that, one day, all blacks would behave in a civilized manner and that our communities would not be killing fields no MSNBC or CNN pundit would enter without armed security.

Parks somehow leaps from this to spouting conspiracy theories about the George Zimmerman trial: 

Until then, we'll continue to see black activists and white-guilt liberals lamenting the continuation of racial profiling in America, with no mention of the conduct of some blacks that may justify it. The Zimmerman-Martin trial was a media concoction that was done for ratings. Any damage done to race relations in this country makes for potentially profitable sequels. How it affects us on the street means little to them. And, until the climate that liberals created, perpetuate, and excuse in the black community is addressed, there will be another Zimmerman-Martin trial coming very soon.

By the way, Parks is a video producer for the Media Research Center.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 PM EDT
WND's Farah: I Make Maddow 'Blush Like A Heterosexual Schoolgirl'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously documented Joseph Farah's latest thin-skinned response to criticism, this time from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. Farah has now followed up in his usual thin-skinned way by devoting a column to it.

Farah predicably rants that Maddow is engaging in "modern-day blacklisting" of him "because I published a book about Obama’s provably illegitimate and fraudulent birth certificate." Farah then goes to a really weird place:

She calls me “the guy who’s so handsome he makes you remember there is an O in mustachioed.” I don’t get that. But maybe this explains Maddow’s abject fear of actual debate with me, a subject of so many of her televised tirades, even if MSNBC ratings make it more like closed-circuit TV. She might just blush like a heterosexual schoolgirl.

Yeah, he really said that.

And Farah complaining about "Maddow’s abject fear of actual debate with me" is really rich, given that Farah and WND have systematically hidden from their readers any and all evidence that disproves his claim that Obama's birth certificate is "provably illegitimate and fraudulent."

But that's the birther way. Dr. Conspiracy notes that Carl Gallups -- the WND-published birther preacher who peddles his Obama-hate under the pseudonym PP Simmons -- challenged any “Obot” to call into his Internet radio show and prove that Obama is even a citizen. One did (around 65:00), and Gallups shouted him down and cut him off after a few seconds.

If Farah can't do something so simple and journalistically ethical as report on, say, John Woodman's birther-debunking book, why should Maddow treat Farah with respect he hasn't earned?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 AM EDT
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

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