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Monday, August 5, 2013
Where's The Collusion, MRC?
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center doesn't seem to understand that words mean things.

Geoffrey Dickens starts a July 30 NewsBusters post -- which has been updated over the past week with alleged offenses by the broadcast networks in alleged non-coverage of controversies involving the IRS -- like this: "The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have colluded with the Obama administration to censor the latest IRS scandal news."

The definition of "collusion" is "secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose." Dickens offers no evidence of such an "agreement." Even if allegegd behavior suggests collusion, such a claim is dishonest without proof -- otherwise, it's just a correlation-equals-causation fallacy.

Nor does Dickens offer any evidence of "censorship." Failure to report a particular spin that not equal "censorship" -- indeed, given the talking points Dickens is providing as evidence, that's the prudent and honest path.

For instance, he writes:

House Committee Analysis: Only 46 Percent of Conservative Groups Approved by IRS

On July 30, as reported by even the liberal NPR, House Republicans offered proof that while 100 percent of groups with “progressive” in their name had their tax exempt status approved by the IRS, “only 46 percent of conservative groups won approval.”

The analysis put out by the House Ways and Means Committee also found “conservative groups were asked more questions - on average, three times more” than liberal organizations.

Number of days with NO network story: 6

Dickens didn't mention that "the liberal NPR" also pointed out a serious problem with the House Republicans' metholodogy:

The majority staff dug into the applications of both conservative groups and progressive groups given extra scrutiny by the IRS, but for the purposes of the analysis looked only at groups with names that included terms the IRS used for flagging. The terms included "conservative," "Tea Party," "patriot 9/12" and "progressive."

The committee opted not to make any judgments about the political leanings of other groups given extra scrutiny by the IRS, sticking only with those listed on IRS "Be on the Lookout" watch lists.

That means the House Republican list is incomplete at best and highly biased at worst.

Dickens also writes:

Newly Released E-Mails Suggest IRS Colluded with FEC to Target Conservative Groups

On July 31 The National Review reported the stunning news that yet another government agency (the FEC) may have been utilized by the Obama administration to target conservative groups. NR’s Eliana Johnson reported the following:

“Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner and an attorney in the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel’s office appear to have twice colluded to influence the record before the FEC’s vote in the case of a conservative non-profit organization, according to e-mails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee.”

Johnson continued: “The correspondence suggests the discrimination of conservative groups extended beyond the IRS and into the FEC, where an attorney from the agency’s enforcement division in at least one case sought and received tax information about the status of a conservative group, the American Future Fund, before recommending that the commission prosecute it for violations of campaign-finance law.”

Number of days with NO network story: 5

In fact, there is no scandal here. As Media Matters details, there's no evidence of the direct link Dickens and National Review claim -- just a suggestion of wrongdoing from selectively leaked emails from partisan sources that don't actually establish any malfeasance.

In short, Dickens is demanding that these things be reported -- even though they are dishonest, unproven or have been discredited -- because they conform to right-wing talking points.

Not because they are true -- because they advance Dickens' right-wing agenda (not to mention his boss, Brent Bozell).

Dickens would be screaming at media outlets if they had reported similar things on such flimsy evidence if they had taken place under a Republican administration. But such shoddy reporting is just peachy with Dickens because it advances his political agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Bonus WorldNetDaily Leftover Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If this display by our most distinguished and honored American military heroes is any indication, given the state of affairs generally in this nation, which borders on total political, economic, moral and ethical collapse, is it inconceivable that one day the military in this country could rise up in support of not only the American people but themselves, and remove Obama and his radical Muslim, socialist comrades by whatever means prove necessary to preserve the republic?

This is not the scenario we would like to see, but like the Egyptians, when there is no other choice, anything is possible. Our Congress has shown no willingness to seriously confront Obama for his illegal and treasonous acts; the constitutional process of impeachment has never succeeded at removing a lawless and destructive president; and our judges have become the “yes-men and women” of the political establishment.

-- Larry Klayman, July 5 WorldNetDaily column

Obama is, without question, a mendacious, narcissistic sociopath, but does that contribute to his support for the most despotic anti-American hostiles in the Middle East? What is his quid pro quo for having these elements triumph? Whatever it is, we as Americans should be very concerned.

Those of us old enough will recall that Carter’s betrayal of Mohammad Pahlavi gave almost immediate rise to the Ayatollah Khomeini, which ushered in the destabilizing of Iran and the Middle East.

What does Obama tell malevolent dictators in private? What did he promise Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood? What secret agenda did Obama bring with him that goes beyond his promise to “fundamentally change America”?

-- Mychal Massie, July 8 WND column

Some people insist that racism no longer exists in America. Clearly, that isn’t true. After all, Barack Obama once said that Trayvon Martin looked like the son he might have had. Inasmuch as Obama is half-white, can any of us imagine his making that statement if the 17-year-old who was known to be a dope-smoking thug had been a Caucasian? On the other hand, I suspect that when he gazes fondly at Eric Holder, the attorney general who refuses to indict blacks for intimidating white voters, he sees himself with a little mustache.

-- Burt Prelutsky, July 9 WND column

Recently, a friend and I were discussing the expansion of criminality in the ranks of Washington’s power elite, which prompted him to ask, “With the dramatic increase in the purchase of firearms and ammunition by private citizens since Obama took office, when will the general populace say ‘Enough!’ and resort to violence to overthrow the oligarchy in Washington?”

The answer, I told him, is never. Forget about it. It’s not going happen. There will be no violent revolution in the United States, for a number of reasons.

-- Robert Ringer, July 10 WND column

 Now, decades later, it falls on non-blacks like Zimmerman to bear the brunt of discrimination, as even white prosecutors and judges cower at the thought of having to “answer” to the black power structure, led by our anti-white, racist president, Barack Hussein Obama. Not coincidentally, the “racist in chief” had injected himself into the politics of the case at the outset, when he boasted publicly that he wished that he had had a son like Trayvon. This sent a signal to the legal establishment that it better bend over backwards to placate the black community and ignore the rule of law.

-- Larry Klayman, July 12 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 5:11 PM EDT
CNS' Love Letters to Limbaugh

An Aug. 1 "news" article by Gregory Gwyn-Williams Jr. is, in reality, a slobbering love letter to Rush Limbaugh on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his nationally syndicated radio show.

Gwyn-Williams includes numerous of Limbaugh congratulating himself for his success. But no mention is made of the two most recent controversies involving him -- his tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke, and the fact that one of the largest groups of radio stations in the country, Cumulus Media, is apparently planning to drop Limbaugh's show from dozens of its stations, in part because of the fallout and decreased revenue it has experienced in the wake of Limbaugh's attack on Fluke.

CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, similarly gave Fox News' Greta Van Susteren a pass for conducting an hourlong interview with Limbaugh without touching on those controversies.

An Aug. 5 CNS article by Susan Jones uncritically quoted Limbaugh from the Fox News interview, making no mention of the fact that Van Susteren never asked Limbaugh about Fluke or Cumulus.

So much for the MRC caring about fair and balanced journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:52 AM EDT
What The ConWeb Ignores About Fired Newspaper Editorial Writer
Topic: The ConWeb

Drew Johnson -- the Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial writer who was fired after publishing an Obama-bashing editorial headlined "Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President" -- has been making the tour of the right-wing media, where his unsubstantiated claim that political pressure caused his firing have found a receptive audience. WorldNetDaily and Newsmax have uncritically repeated Johnson's claims, and even the Daily Caller's Jeff Poor (a former Media Research Center staffer) has given Johnson a pass. The result: creation of the impression that Johnson is a victim of the "liberal media."

But these ConWeb sources have all failed to report a couple of pertinent facts that back up the Times Free Press' claim that Johnson was fired for violating newspaper policy, not because of politics.

First, the Times Free Press is one of the very few newspapers, if not the only one, that runs two separate editorial pages each day -- the liberal-leaning Times page and the conservative-leaning Free Press page. That's a legacy from when there were two separate newspapers in Chattanooga. Johnson was editor of the conservative page, and his departure does not mean any diminishing, let alone the end, of conservative opinion in the Chattanooga newspaper.

Second, the ConWeb has been utterly loath to mention who owns the Chattanooga paper. It's WEHCO Media, which also owns the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The head of WEHCO is Walter Hussman Jr., who made his biggest splash in the newspaper industry in the 1980s by engaging in a newspaper war in Little Rock, ultimately defeating and merging with his own newspaper the rival paper owned by deep-pocketted giant Gannett. It was under Hussman that the two newspapers in Chattanooga -- the Free Press and the Times, the latter formerly owned by the Ochs family of New York Times fame -- were combined and allowed to keep their separate editorial pages.

As the Arkansas Times points out, "Hussman's sympathies — indeed much of his game plan for his own newspaper building strategies came from the former Free Press owner — are not generally with those of the New York Times." Indeed, the Democrat-Gazette's editorial page is headed by Paul Greenberg, a conservative who's perhaps most notorious for his Clinton-bashing during the 1990s.The American Journalism Review has reported that Hussman says the best part of his day is "proofing the paper's stridently conservative editorial page."

It's lazy and dishonest for the ConWeb to shove Johnson's firing into its tired "liberal media" narrative. A conservative-leaning newspaper owner, after all, doesn't fit their agenda.

(Disclosure: I'm a former employee of the Democrat-Gazette.)

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EDT
Sunday, August 4, 2013
A Listsicle from Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax tries the listsicle approach in the latest edition of its magazine:

Who are America's most influential Republican women? Newsmax magazine has the answer.

Newsmax looked at leading women in politics, the media, and other fields to compile a list of the 25 most influential Republican women for the August issue's cover story "The GOP 25."

Leading off is Kelly Ayotte, the senator from New Hampshire who is an emerging force in Congress. Ayotte won by a landslide in 2010 even though New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group Mayors Against Illegal Guns spent nearly $2 million in attack ads against her.

No. 2 on the list is former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Although she is not currently in office, Palin still holds sway with evangelical women, and her endorsements in GOP primaries reflect an ability to back winning candidates. A single Palin tweet can still shake up the political landscape.

One has to question the wisdom of a list of influential Republican women that places Palin second.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT
WND Birther Blackout Watch, Reed Hayes Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An unbylined Aug. 1 WorldNetDaily article repeats the usual birther claptrap without telling readers that much of it has been discredited. This time, though, more has been added to the mix:

Most recently, Grace Vuoto of the World Tribune reported that among the experts challenging the birth certificate is certified document analyst Reed Hayes, who has served as an expert for Perkins Coie, the law firm that has been defending Obama in eligibility cases.

“We have obtained an affidavit from a certified document analyzer, Reed Hayes, that states the document is a 100 percent forgery, no doubt about it,” Zullo told the World Tribune.

“Mr. Obama’s operatives cannot discredit [Hayes],” the investigator told the news outlet. “Mr. Hayes has been used as the firm’s reliable expert. The very firm the president is using to defend him on the birth certificate case has used Mr. Hayes in their cases.”

The Tribune reported Hayes agreed to take a look at the documentation and called almost immediately.

“There is something wrong with this,” Hayes had said.

Hayes produced a 40-page report in which he says “based on my observations and findings, it is clear that the Certificate of Live Birth I examined is not a scan of an original paper birth certificate, but a digitally manufactured document created by utilizing material from various sources.”

“In over 20 years of examining documentation of various types, I have never seen a document that is so seriously questionable in so many respects. In my opinion, the birth certificate is entirely fabricated,” he says in the report.

WND, needless to say, is hiding facts here, too. As Dr. Conspiracy points out, Reed is an expert in handwriting analysis, and no evidence has been provided that he has any experience examining a computer copy of a document.

Also, Hayes' full 40-page report has not been made public, making it difficult to determine what exactly he considers to be "fabricated."

Possibly related but no less interesting is the fact that Hayes is also the author of a book titled "Handwriting: Its Socio-Sexual Implications." What do Jerome Corsi and Mike Zullo have to say about that as a key qualification for their so-called expert?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Saturday, August 3, 2013
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: just loves to cherry-pick and distort the monthly unemployment numbers while downplaying, if not ignoring entirely, any good news. It's a new month, so CNS is at it again.

In one Aug. 2 CNS article, Elizabeth Harrington plucked out the obscure number that "There were 988,000 discouraged workers in the United States in July, an increase of 136,000 from July 2012" and focused on that. He made no mention of the fact that 162,000 jobs were added in July.

Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey piled on with a cherry-picking article obsessing over the Hispanic unemployment rate.How much cherry-picking did Jeffrey do? He writes: "During President Obama's time in office, the number of American Hispanics who are unemployed has increased 161,000--rising from 2,205,000 in January 2009 to 2,366,000 in July 2013."

But Jeffrey fails to mention that, according to the numbers he's using, Hispanic unemployment peaked in November 2009 at 2,978,000. For Jeffrey to refuse to mention that Hispanic unemployment is down more than 600,000 -- or about 20 percent -- from the bottom of the 2009 recession is simply dishonest.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:58 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 9:59 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew details how, to nobody's surprise, the “Pikes Peak Prophecy Summit” that included WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah as a featured speaker is "a striking convergance of Tea Party conspiracy theories, fringe pseudo-scientific speculations (derived from pop science fiction), Biblical interpretation, and Christian Zionism."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:01 PM EDT
Friday, August 2, 2013
MRC Defies Pope by Bashing Gays
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Lauren Enk used a July 29 MRC Culture & Media Institute item to complain that the media are "misrepresenting" what Pope Francis said about gays and offered to clarify. She praised Reuters for "correctly stating that, while Pope Francis explained that gays “should not be judged or marginalized,” he also “reaffirmed Church teaching that homosexual acts are a sin.”

So what does Enk do the rest of the week? Defy the pope by judging and marginalizing gays.

Enk sneered in an Aug. 1 CMI item:

As though there weren’t enough gay on TV already, ABC just hired gay screenwriter and LGBT activist Dustin Lance Black to write a new gay rights miniseries based on his life. The Hollywood Reporter announced that the new show is planned to be a “semi-autobiographical” drama “based on and told from Black’s background and experiences as a gay rights activist.” 


Series with gay themes appear to be a favorite with the ABC TV team. Also in development is a miniseries adaptation of a documentary about AIDS activism which follows a group of HIV-positive (mostly gay) men.

But aggressively pro-gay material is nothing new to ABC, which has blatantly pushed social acceptance of gay marriage in its shows like “The Fosters,” and other series that lead the way in all things gay. With the anti-Prop 8 HBO documentary already set to reach the small screen soon, it looks like pro-gay propaganda will continue to take up a sizeable chunk of TV time.

The next day, Enk followed that up with even more gay-bashing:

The Huffington Post wants to make Catholic colleges more gay. So, HuffPo Live hosted a segment called “Rainbows  for Catholic Colleges” on Thursday, and discussed how to undermine Catholic teaching and push the gay agenda on Catholic campuses. (Because Heaven forbid there be any institution left standing that hasn’t capitulated to postmodern morality.)

Mind you, the MRC is a heavily Catholic organization -- chief Brent Bozell is on the board of advisers of the right-wing Catholic League, and several other key MRC staffers are conservative Catholics.

Apparently, nobody at the  MRC is ready to embrace the Pope's call not to judge or marginalize gays.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 PM EDT
CNS Forgets To Denounce Immigration Reform As Amnesty

It's usually's editorial policy to smear any attempt at immigration reform with the inaccurate tag of "amnesty." Which makes us wonder what happened to create an Aug. 1 article by Shannon Quick, which not only doesn't use "amnesty" but actually -- and accurately" refers to the "path to citizenship" that immigration reform promises to establish:

Clearly, somebody slipped up in the CNS offices and will probably be punished for straying from right-wing orthodoxy.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:12 PM EDT
Newsmax Still Goosing Its Peter King Presidential Boomlet
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax tries to keep its Peter King presidential boomlet going in an Aug. 1 article by Bill Hoffmann:

Rep. Peter King of New York moved steps closer Thursday to a possible declaration about running for president in 2016 as he detailed the driving issue that would make up his platform — national security and the ongoing battle against terrorists.

"The main reason [I would run] would be, we have to do away with political correctness when it comes to fighting terrorism," King told Dom Giordano on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"We have to put Americans first. We can't be worried about what The New York Times is going to say, we can't be worried about what the United Nations is going to say. We have to do what's right for America," King told Giordano, who was filling in for Marlzberg.

Last month, Newsmax revealed in an exclusive story that King was seriously considering tossing his hat into an increasingly crowded ring.

Hoffmann failed to mention, however, that the person who planted the idea of running for president in King's head was none other than his boss, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:04 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 2, 2013 11:37 AM EDT
WND's Farah Lies Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah adds to his rather large pack of lies in his July 31 column, where he writes: "By definition, only homosexual priests would even be inclined to molest boys."

In fact, as we pointed out when WND managing editor David Kupelian made a similar claim, heterosexuals are as likely as homosexuals to molest children. And as Equality Matters elaborates, pedophiles tend not to be capable of a relationship with an adult, male or female, making Farah's labeling of pedophile priests as homosexual doubly dishonest.

We wonder if Farah will repent for this malicious lie on his Sept. 11 "Day of Prayer and Repentence." The lies he needs to repent for are piling up, after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Bozell Gives Fox News A Pass on Fluff Interview With Limbaugh
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell writes in his July 31 column:

After a long three-year gap since their last exclusive sit-down interview with President Obama, you might think The New York Times would be ready to ask tough questions on the most contentious issues of the day, beginning with the deepening Obama scandals.

Wrong. Instead, the Times defined the "news" in this interview to be Obama's counter-attacks. Their stories focused on Obama's accusations that (a) the Republicans are liars about Obamacare, (b) the Republicans exaggerate the benefits of building the Keystone XL pipeline and (c) the Republicans oppose his use of executive power because he has the "gall to win the presidency."

The national media are faithfully executing their Obama second-term call to preserve and protect his legacy. They are steering clear of any story that might imply that the president has in any way cut an ethical corner or abused his power. 

Meanwhile, Fox News' Greta van Susteren devoted an entire hour-long show earlier this week to an interview with Rush Limbaugh. As the Washington Post's Erik Wemple noted, van Susteren managed to go the entire hour without bringing up the two most recent news events involving Limbaugh: his tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke, and the fact that one of the largest groups of radio stations in the country, Cumulus Media, is apparently planning to drop Limbaugh's show from dozens of its stations, in part because of the fallout and decreased revenue it has experienced in the wake of Limbaugh's attack on Fluke.

Neither Bozell nor anyone else at his Media Research Center has mentioned van Susteren's lack of curiosity about these news events involving Limbaugh. Gee, wonder why...

Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 PM EDT
Race-Baiting WND Headline: 'Black Man In Hoodie Stabs White Girl 11 Times'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Even for a website that loves its race-baiting, this headline on an unbylined July 31 WorldNetDaily article is pretty race-bait-y:

Colin Flaherty must be so proud.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:45 PM EDT
CNS Weirdly Singles Out Bisexuals In Non-Discrimination Ordinance

In attacking the proposed addition of "sexual orientation" to a San Antonio non-discrimination ordinance, the headline of a July 29 article by Shannon Quick weirdly focuses only on bisexuality by stating "San Antonio Considers Prohibiting City Workers from Expressing Bias Against Bisexuals":

Quick goes on to claim that "Many members of the community have spoken out against its passage," but directly quotes only pne person doing so, and she quotes nobody on the other side of the issue.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 PM EDT

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