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Tuesday, December 17, 2013
MRC Still Obssessing Over Bashir, But Gave Limbaugh's Misogyny A Pass
Topic: Media Research Center

Martin Bashir hasn't worked for MSNBC for a couple weeks now, but the Media Research Center still can't stop talking about him.

In a Dec. 16 MRC item, Kyle Drennen complains that NBC's "Today" highlighted Fox News host Megyn Kelly's oddball insistence that Santa Claus is white, while NBC "censored any mention of its own cable news host – MSNBC's Martin Bashir – calling for Sarah Palin to defecated on. Bashir later resigned as a result of the disgusting attack."

The MRC has done all it could to pile on Bashir -- and continues to do so even though, as Drennen admits, Bashir resigned some time ago and his attacks no longer prove anything.

By contrast, the MRC worked hard to distract attention from Rush Limbaugh's three-day tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke -- the strongest thing coming form Brent Bozell's mouth being "Let’s all agree Limbaugh crossed a line," ev en though Limbaugh's dozens of sleazy attacks were at least as disgusting as Bashir's single comment about Palin. Bozell's MRC employees not only condoned Limbaugh's sleaze, a few gleefully piled on.

You will never see Drennen call Limbaugh's attacks on Fluke "disgusting" -- Limbaugh must be protected at all costs, after all, and Fluke is a liberal woman who deserves to be denigrated for speaking about birth control in public.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:31 PM EST
WND's Ellis Washington Hides History to Bash Mandela
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington rants in a Dec. 13 WorldNetDaily column:

Here’s the truth about Mandela: On Jan. 31, 1985, the state president of South Africa, P.W. Botha, speaking in parliament, offered Mandela his freedom on one condition: that he “unconditionally reject violence as a political weapon.” This offer of freedom was repeatedly made to Mandela during his 27 years in prison at Robben Island where all of his co-conspirators rejected political violence and were eventually set free. Mandela, the so-called “man of peace,” repeatedly rejected all offers of freedom. Why? Because unlike the phony, global adulation of this man, Mandela and the ANC were brutal murderers of children and innocent civilians. Just look at who attended his funeral celebration earlier this week – a veritable rogue’s gallery of every tyrannical communist, Islamic and Marxist dictator on the planet, with the socialist Obama leading this pack of wolves. Indeed, birds of a feather do flock together.

As we pointed out when his boss, Joseph Farah, made the same claim, Mandela actually said in response to Botha's offer:

What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people remains banned? What freedom am I being offered when I may be arrested on a pass offence? What freedom am I being offered to live my life as a family with my dear wife who remains in banishment in Brandfort? What freedom am I being offered when I must ask for permission to live in an urban area? What freedom am I being offered when I need a stamp in my pass to seek work? What freedom am I being offered when my very South African citizenship is not respected?

Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.

In other words, his freedom would be meaningless in a country that still practiced apartheid.

Washington went on to grouse:

According to the original 1963 and 1964 indictments of the Rivonia Trial: The State v. Nelson Mandela et al, Supreme Court of South Africa, Transvaal Provincial Division, Mandela was not charged for being a political dissident but for four acts of TERRORISM. Specifically, he was originally incarcerated for involvement in 23 different acts of sabotage, conspiracy to overthrow the government and treason. He and his fellow terrorist conspirators of the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) were caught by the police while in the possession of 48,000 Soviet-made anti-personnel mines and 210,000 hand grenades! Mandela lied when he confessed that the ANC only adopted violence as a means of protest “when other forms of resistance were no longer open to us.”

Again, context matters (though not to Washington). Here's the full text of what Mandela said, again from the 1985 response to Botha:

I am surprised at the conditions that the government wants to impose on me. I am not a violent man. My colleagues and I wrote in 1952 to Malan asking for a round table conference to find a solution to the problems of our country, but that was ignored. When Strijdom was in power, we made the same offer. Again it was ignored. When Verwoerd was in power we asked for a national convention for all the people in South Africa to decide on their future. This, too, was in vain.

It was only then, when all other forms of resistance were no longer open to us, that we turned to armed struggle. 

Washington also ignores that the ANC did not embrace violent protest until after the Sharpesville massacre in 1960, when South African police killed 69 black anti-apartheid demonstrators and wounded dozens of others.

For Washington to claim that Mandela "lied" requires him to ignore inconvenient facts. We also suspect that Washington won't be as harsh with anyone who resorts to violence against his hated President Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:52 PM EST
Newsmax Buys Into Myth of A Non-Conservative Megyn Kelly
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax goes into stenographer mode in a Dec. 15 "Insider Report":

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly asserts that she is a "straight news anchor" and not an "opinion host" or "conservative operative" on the highly-rated network.

When Kelly made her inaugural appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Monday, Leno asked her: "People assume, if you're on Fox News, you have a certain bias. How do you deal with that?"

Kelly, whose show "The Kelly File" airs weeknights at 9, responded: "I'm a straight news anchor. I'm not one of the opinion hosts on Fox. But I always laugh, because I'll have a conservative pull me aside and say, 'I love your conservative principles,' and I'll say, 'You assume too much.'

"And then the liberals will pull me aside and say, 'I know you're one of us,' and I'll say, 'You assume too much.'

"But I always tell people if they think I'm this conservative operative, ask Karl Rove if that's true."


Kelly told Leno: "The way we do it on the Fox News Channel is the straight news anchors like myself give a hard time to both sides. And my legal background plays right into that," added Kelly, who practiced law for nine years before launching her news career.

"I don't care about pandering to the left or right, I care about protecting my audience," she said. "My boss Roger Ailes pays me a decent amount of money to go out there and ask questions, because he thinks that I know the questions my audience wants answers to.

Newsmax doesn't mention that Kelly has more conservative-leaning guests on herFox News show than that of unabashed conservative Sean Hannity, which does raise legitimate questions about Kelly's objectivity. Newsmax simply took Kelly at her word and didn't investigate whether she really does give an equally hard time to both ends of the political spectrum. 

Posted by Terry K. at 3:13 PM EST
WND Again Disappears Far-Right Israeli From List Of People Banned From Britain
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 13 WorldNetDaily article reports on an invitation by the Oxford Union to right-wing radio host Michael Savage to take part in a debate over NSA leaker Edward Snowden, lamenting that "The popular, nationally syndicated San Francisco-based talk host was banned in 2009 from entering the United Kingdom by Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government along with Muslim extremists and leaders of racist groups for 'seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred.'"

That generic description obscures the fact that another WND favorite is on the banned list.

As we documented when the list first appeared in 2009, it includes Mike Guzovsky, aka Yekutiel Ben Yaacov, a one-time leader of the now-outlawed far-right Kahane Chai movement in Israel. Guzovsky/Ben Yaacov has been a trusted source for WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein -- so trusted that Klein endeavored to whitewash his extremism. Klein has quoted the man under both his Guzovsky (Guzofsky) and Ben Yaacov (Yekutel Ben Yaacov) names, failing to explain that they are the same person.

Klein ran to his source's defense at the time, whitewashing the Kahane movement as a group that merely "seeks to ensure that Israel retains biblically-rich territories, such as the West Bank and Jerusalem" -- without mentioning it also seeks to expel Arabs from Israel. Klein claimed without substantiation that "The only camps Guzofsky currently runs are to train dogs to protect Jewish communities in the West Bank"; but in a 2004 New Yorker article, Guzovsky bragged that "The Arabs are very scared of dogs. Muslims think they’re unclean."

(Remember, Klein has expressed his Kahanist sympathies, so Guzovsky's views are hardly alien, let alone odious.)

As WND's articles about the ban have centered on Savage, WND has disappeared Guzovsky's name from the banned list, speaking of its non-Savage members only in vague terms.

So is WND conceding that Guzovsky is a racist by saying that "leaders of racist groups" were banned? Perhaps, but it apparently doesn't have the guts to identify Guzovsky by name as the leader of a racist group.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EST
Monday, December 16, 2013
NewsBusters' Blumer Sneers At Responsible Reporting
Topic: NewsBusters

The right-wing media had a fit when the Denver Post removed a statement about Colorado school shooter Karl Pierson, as claimed by another student, that he was a "socialist."

NewsBusters' Tom Blumer joined the outrage in a Dec. 16 post, followed by what he claimed was Post senior editor Lee Ann Colacioppo's "lame, condescending attempt at a defense." But Blumer reprinted only part of  Colacioppo's response to criticism, the statement that "We decided not to have another student apply a label to the shooter -- a label the student likely didn't even understand."

But as Wonkette notes, Colacioppo offered a fuller response in a second tweet: "We instead chose to use more concrete descriptions such as 'he belittled Republicans.'"

In other words, Colacioppo was stating that she wanted to go beyond a label to the specifics of Pierson's beliefs -- what most people would call responsible journalism.

But Blumer doesn't need the full context to rip into the newspaper for not confirming his preconceived biases by slapping a unsubstantiated label supplied by a single student: "Colacioppo's defense indicates that her paper would rather insult students, their high school, and Post readers' intelligence rather than have the S-word (and, presumably, communism, as will be seen shortly) appear to be associated with violent and deadly acts. What's the point in subscribing to a publication such as this?"

And what's the point in reading a writer like Blumer who is so biased he can't be bothered to fully research what he's writing about?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 PM EST
'Universe-Shattering' Birther Evidence? Not Likely
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is apparently going all in on its birther revival.

After hinting about conspiracies in the death of a Hawaii official who was in charges of state records like President Obama's birth certificate,  Bob Unruh turns stenographer in uncritically repeating Cold Case Posse chief Mike Zullo's latest claims in a Dec. 13 WND article:

The lead investigator in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse investigation of President Obama’s birth certificate says the case has taken a startling turn, and sheriff’s investigators now are assisting the Cold Case volunteers.

“When this information is finally exposed to the public, it will be universe-shattering,” Mike Zullo told WND. “This is beyond the pale of anything you can imagine.”

Zullo explained that because it’s an active investigation that could produce criminal charges, he’s unable to reveal details at the moment.

But the allegations, he said, which go far beyond a fraudulent birth certificate, could be public as early as March.

Given the history of Zullo's so-called investigation -- which relies on heavy input from birther extraordinaire Jerome Corsi and the complete dismissal of any evidence that contradicts their pet birther conspiracies --  the chances are better than good that Zullo's "universe-shattering" evidence really means "easily debunked."

After all, Zullo was caught making simple mistakes as applying the wrong race code to Obama's birth certificate -- not that WND will tell you about that, of course. Indeed, as before, Unruh fails to report that much of what Zullo and WND have claimed about the alleged fradulence of Obama's birth certificate has been discredited.

Further demonstrating what a lazy reporter he is, Unruh simply copies-and-pastes much of his previous article's boilerplate recitation of birther evidence, never bothering to tell readers it's been debunked.

Of course, as we all know, Unruh rejected real journalism the day he was hired by WND. His lazy stenography -- which would make a real journalist vomit in shame -- is exactly what Joseph Farah is paying him to do. 

The man has no pride in telling the truth. You know, like the rest of WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:57 PM EST
Newsmax-Dick Morris Rehabilitation Watch
Topic: Newsmax

After Dick Morris flamed out spectacularly with his utterly wrong predictions during the 2012 presidential election, Newsmax took a few stabs at image rehab for him. But we haven't heard much from Morris in recent months.

Apparently trying to get the rehab machine rolling again, Newsmax gave Morris space for a Dec. 15 column bashing John Boehner's criticism of conservatives, calling them "shortsighted and ungrateful in the extreme" and that they "cast real doubt on his ability to lead the House in the future."

Given Morris' track record, we can assume that this means Boehner will continue to be the House republican leader in the future.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 AM EST
WND's Apparent Quid Pro Quo With Steve Stockman
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Garth Kant came off quite excited with his big scoop in a Dec. 9 WorldNetDaily article:

One of Washington’s most reliably conservative lawmakers is breaking the news that he will challenge a mainstay of the Republican establishment – all because the incumbent GOP senator “undermined Sen. Ted Cruz’s fight to stop Obamacare.”

Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, told WND exclusively that he will run against against Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in the state’s primary race. Cornyn is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2014.


The Texan had been keeping his decision to run close to the vest, until informing WND.

How did Kant score such a scoop? Perhaps it's a quid pro quo for an earlier collaboration.

Back in October, WND touted how Stockman distributed to other members of the House copies of Aaron Klein's slow-selling anti-Obama book "Impeachable Offenses," which WND donated to the cause. It benefited both sides -- Stockman got to promote his anti-Obama agenda for free, and WND had 435 fewer copies of Klein's book cluttering its warehouse.

Is it too hard to believe that Stockman would return the favor by giving WND a big scoop on his political plans? Not at all. Stockman surely knew that WND would give him all the fawning coverage he could imagine.

And Kant does just that, touting how "Stockman had already picked up some major support" just an hour after the announcement and promoted his "reputation as one of Capitol Hill’s most popular members on Twitter, using his pithy but pungent tweets to deliver scathing indictments of Democrats, often with a characteristically wry sense of humor."

Kant conveniently failed to tell his readers not only about WND cozy relationship with Stockman, but also about ethical problems in the form of Stockman's failure to fully disclose his business affiliations on his congressional financial disclosure forms, which include that he has apparently paid himself $350,000 from a company he formed.

That's the kind of selective reporting Stockman can count on from WND. And it's likely why Stockman graced Kant with his big poltiical scoop.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 AM EST
Sunday, December 15, 2013
NewsBusters' Sheffield Defends Fox Host Over 'White Santa' Remark
Topic: NewsBusters

We've documented how NewsBusters' Matthew Sheffield tries to pass himself off as a new-media guru despite offering little more than the same tired bashing of the "liberal media" peddled by his Media Research Center contemporaries.

Sheffield does this again, kicking off his defense of Fox News' Megyn Kelly for insisting that Santa Claus and Jesus were were white by engaging in more lame media-bashing:

Liberals often love to say that conservatives cannot take a joke but the truth is that both left and right sometimes are lacking in the humor department. That’s especially true of the cottage industry that’s sprung up devoted to finding any tiny little thing to bash Fox News, one of the handful of national media outlets that don’t lean left.

The very existence of Fox News appears to be psychologically damaging to some people, which is why the left-leaning websites that cater to them love jumping on any possible thing as a way of providing emotional validation. The Fox haters are up in arms today about a cheeky discussion that took place on last night’s “Kelly File” program in which a mock debate was held about the moral propriety of portraying Santa Claus as a white man, a proposition raised by an essay pubished Dec.10 at Slate.

Sheffield goes on to dismissed the Slate as, "like so many Slate articles, nothing more than clickbait" and Kelly comment merely "a funny quip very much in line with many a parent’s reassurances to doubting children on the very serious question of the Christmastime epistemology."

Sheffield parenthetically added: "[Slate writer Aisha] Harris’s second article is misleadingly headlined as 'What Fox News doesn’t understand about Santa Claus' even though her piece consists solely of a response to a single segment on a program on FNC which is editorially autonomous."

First, attributing one host's opinions or the alleged slant of a single segment to an entire network is something NewsBusters frequently does. Take these recent headlines, for instance:

Those all refer to a single segment, not the views of the entire network.

Second, Sheffield's insistence that Kelly's show is "editorially autonomous" differs not only with how NewsBusters and the MRC treat the"liberal media" outlets they target (as demonstrated above), it also diverges from reality. Despite Kelly's claim to be a "straight-news anchor," the guest list on her Fox News is more conservative than that of fellow Fox host and unabashed conservative Sean Hannnity.

When Kelly doubled down on her remarks, Sheffield was there to cheer her on and that Kelly "had a message" for her "haters" to "Lighten up and learn to realize what satire is."

Yes, the organization that finds no humor in Stephen Colbert's satire and treats other satirical content as grim reality wants liberals to "realize what satire is."

This is what the right wing has to offer as a new-media guru, folks.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EST
We'll Be First Against the Wall When The Erik Rush Revolution Comes
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Once again, Erik Rush is committing the offense of not letting WorldNetDaily have first dibs on the more insane things coming from him.

Right Wing Watch catches Rush ranting on his personal website:

In relating those designs to the American people (as opposed to continuing to act as collaborators in his crimes), the shady origins of Dreams might also be a good place for the press to start. They might then move on to the entirely synthetic story of his past, which contains so many inconsistencies and changes in the narrative itself that Obama ought not have been electable as dog catcher. Who says they have to lead with Obama’s birth certificate having been proven to be a fraudulent device?

As this counterfeit American president continues to attempt to defray suspicion and conceal his treason and lies, I intend to continue to expound upon that treason and those lies. I will also continue to assert that those in government and in the press who have failed to reveal Obama for what he is – considering his actions, the evidence of history, and the damning evidence against Obama which is readily available – richly deserve to share in whatever penalties are meted out to traitors and their enablers. I will continue to do this despite the risks and pathetic Alinskyite Marxist ridicule of those whom I pray one day occupy prison cells on the same block as the man representing himself as Barack Hussein Obama.

So Rush thinks that people who criticize him should be jailed? Apparently he's never heard of the First Amendment, which guarantees free speech. And really, isn't a guy who believes Malcolm X is Obama's real father crying out to be ridiculed?

But Rush seems to be serious, for he followed up that post with one calling for Obama to be removed from office "by any means necessary." So it appears the Erik Rush Revolution is coming, and we'll apparently be first against the wall when it comes.

Rush then earned more ridicule by contradictorially claiming that though he opposes apartheid, blacks in South Africa were better off under it.

Simply noting the stupidity of that argument, it seems, has sealed our fate under the coming Erik Rush regime.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 15, 2013 2:04 PM EST
Saturday, December 14, 2013
CNS Acts As Right-Wing Purity Police

The Media Research Center's efforts to Heather anyone deemed insufficiently conservative is apparently growing into a Republican Party candidate-purity operation. Oddly, the MRC's ostensible "news" division,, is taking the lead.

CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman writes in a Dec. 13 article:

Although the Republican Party Platform opposes abortion and homosexual marriage, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is backing and promoting through its "Young Guns" program two congressional candidates who are homosexual, and who support gay marriage and abortion.

In addition, one of the "Young Guns" candidates, Carl DeMaio, has received $15,000 from the political arm of House GOP leaders Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), while the other candidate, Richard Tisei, “has won the support of the entire House Republican leadership, including a $5,000 check from the PAC run by the vice-presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)," reported the Washington Post.

Richard Tisei, who is “married” to his male partner Bernie Starr, in Edgartown, Mass., is running for a congressional seat in the 6th District in the Bay State.    Carl DeMaio is running for a congressional seat out of San Diego, Calif.

DeMaio, who is openly gay, supports abortion and same-sex marriage.  In a press release, he said, “I see myself as a 'new generation Republican' who wants to challenge the party to focus on pocket-book, economic and quality of life issues in a more positive and inclusive way, rather than issues that are, frankly, none of the government's business in the first place.”

Tisei supports gay marriage and is pro-abortion, having received a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.  The NRCC is spending money on television ads attacking Tisei's opponent, Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.),   as is YG Action, a political action committee founded by former aides to House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), reported the Washington Post.

Chapman makes no apparent effort to contact either DeMaio or Tisei to permit them to react to his purity effort.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 PM EST
WND Unintentional Irony Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Sometimes, it's almost cute how self-unaware WorldNetDaily is.

Aaron Klein writes condescendingly in a  Dec. 9 article:

As is the norm following the passing of any major celebrity nowadays, the Internet is rampant with conspiracy theories surrounding the death of movie star Paul Walker of “Fast and Furious” fame.

Walker was killed with friend Roger Rodas on Nov. 30 when the car they were driving burst into flames. Investigators believe the car was speeding at least 90 mph in a 45 mph zone when it reportedly hit a light pole and tree.

Prominent among the imaginative schemes is that Walker was killed as a blood sacrifice by the so-called Illuminati, an alleged shadowy group described as an elitist cabal that yields enormous global influence.

Somebody forgot to tell Klein that his employer believes such shadowy groups are real.

A March column by Mychal Massie, for instance, rants against the "liberal white illuminati" who make white feel guilty about racism. And WND has promoted a book claiming Illuminati influence in selection of popes:

Throughout history including recent times, numerous Catholic priests have built on the foundation laid by Cardinal Manning and have often been surprisingly outspoken on their agreement regarding the inevitable danger not only of apostate Rome but of the False Prophet rising from within the ranks of Catholicism itself as a result of secret satanic ‘Illuminati-Masonic’ influences. (The term ‘Illuminati’ as used here is not strictly a reference to the Bavarian movement founded May 1, 1776, by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt, but as indicative of a modern multinational power elite, an occult hierarchy operating behind current supranatural and global political machinations.)

And don't forget that WND hatemonger Molotov Mitchell's video production company is named Illuminati Pictures.

But that's not all in the unintentional irony department at WND. Joe Kovacs writes in a Dec. 11 article of a Florida TV news anchor "pressing charges" against a viewer who sent him threatening-sounding tweet, though the sender claimed he was "merely clowning with the anchor about his ominous-sounding news teases." The headline of Kovacs' article: "News anchor can't take 'joke,' presses charges."

Meanwhile, we have the continuing saga of WND suing Esquire magazine for $250 million for defamation -- which was just chucked out of court again -- because WND can't take a joke (in the form of a satirical blog post claiming that WND had decided to pulp Jerome Corsi's birther book because WND editor Joseph Farah suddenly came to his senses).

It's as if WND is performance art. Certainly nobody reads it to be informed.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:12 AM EST
Friday, December 13, 2013
Oops! NewsBusters Post Questioning Why Guns Are Public Health Issue Overtaken By School Shooting
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Dec. 13 NewsBusters post, Paul Bremmer complained:

Two days ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Newtown mass murder, Dr. Nancy Snyderman took to the air on NBC's Nightly News, labeling gun violence a public health issue. However, neither Snyderman nor anybody quoted in the story made it clear exactly why the gun issue is a matter of public health.

Unfortunately for Bremmer, around the time the post went up, he got his answer in the form of a shooting at a high school in Colorado, in which a teenager wounded a fellow student before killing himself.

That prompted NewsBusters to add a "Managing Editor's Note" to the top of Bremmer's post to explain the timing:

Managing Editor's Note: Due to a Media Research Center Christmas party held this afternoon, this post was pre-written Friday morning -- well before the school shooting today in Centennial, Colorado -- and was scheduled to automatically post at 3 p.m. Eastern. We regret the unfortunate but accidental timing and our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens of Centennial.

Here's a screenshot just in case NewsBusters decides to make the badly timed post disappear:

Posted by Terry K. at 11:47 PM EST
Finally! Pro-Apartheid WND Columnist Weighs In on Mandela's Death
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've all been waiting with bated breath for the most anticipated WorldNetDaily column of the week: What would Ilana Mercer -- who still kinda misses apartheid -- have to say about the death of Nelson Mandela?

 Now we have our answer. Mercer's Dec. 12 WND column mostly wusses out, devoting most of it to an 11-page excerpt from her book "Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Aparthid South Africa" in which she purports to offer "a historic corrective to the glitterati-created myth that is Mandela."

The rest of Mercer's column is dedicated to calling President Obama a "dictator" and "consummate narcissist" and complaining her work wasn't sufficiently promoted during an appearance on the Russia Today channel.

Mercer also laments that "My homeland South Africa is a dominant-party state where might makes right."  She doesn't indicate whether she's referring to the Apartheid era.

predecessors have lent to the Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe over the decades. The chapter includes a historic corrective to the glitterati-created myth that is Mandela:


Posted by Terry K. at 4:55 PM EST
NewsBusters' Sheffield Wants To Know Why Author of Murdoch Book Didn't Write About NY Times
Topic: NewsBusters

A Dec. 8 NewsBusters post by Matthew Sheffield is a transcript of his interview with David Folkenflik, NPR media critic and author of a new book on Rupert Murdoch. The interview was actually surprisingly balanced for the most part, given that the MRC has generally dismissed Folkenflik as a liberal -- two months ago, Tim Graham was dismissing his book.

But there was one bugaboo that exposed Sheffield for the talking points-spouting right-wing ideologue he is instead of the new-media guru he'd like to be seen as: his obsession with the New York Times.

Sheffield asks Folkenflik why he doesn't consider the Times' Arthur Sulzberger Jr. in the same space as Murdoch as among the last of the old-style media barons. Folkenflik pointed out that Murdoch built his company while Sulzberger inherited it and, unlike Murdoch, has been shedding many of its non-core assets.

Later in the interview, Sheffield does his best to downplay the phone-hacking scandal Murdoch's British newspapers perpetrated,  asking Folkenflik why he wrote about something "most Americans have probably have never even heard of and probably don’t really even care about." Folkenflik repsonds that the papers at the heart of the scandal were Murdoch's first major purchases outside of Australia and were a springboard to his empire, and that the company officials tied to the scandal were close to Murdoch.

But that wasn't enough for Sheffield, who tried to drag the Times back into it again:

Yes but there is a real dichotomy between the coverage, and I’m not just saying in your book here since it’s about Murdoch, but Mark Thompson, the current head of the New York Times, he was in charge of the BBC during the time it was revealed that they found out about an ongoing, decades-long sexual molestation of children that the British celebrity Jimmy Savile did. I mean that was far worse than anything News of the World ever did and yet Mark Thompson—I mean the BBC knew about that he was doing this and didn’t tell the public, didn’t tell the police and so as a result, it’s almost certain that children were molested because that knowledge was kept from the public.

And yet Mark Thompson, even in your own coverage, you only covered him and his involvement twice. And yet—it seems to me—


Yeah, but you see what I’m saying here, right? Mark Thompson is in charge of the most influential paper, as you put it earlier, in the world perhaps and certainly within the United States and yet he was involved perhaps, and no one knows for sure to what extent he was involved compared to with Murdoch. I mean couldn’t you say that Mark Thompson set the culture that led to the suppression of that information about Jimmy Savile? I mean why aren’t we hearing about that?

Folkenflik patiently explains the difference to Sheffield:

FOLKENFLIK: But you can’t say that Mark Thompson created the BBC. Murdoch didn’t create News of the World but he utterly changed what it was. He completely changed what the Sun newspaper was. And it’s not a comparison because the BBC would be something approximating the BBC whether or not Mark Thompson had ever been born. And I just don’t think you can say that about Rupert Murdoch.

SHEFFIELD: Yeah but—

FOLKENFLIK: Murdoch took it from a paper in Adelaide [Australia] and made it something with a market cap in many tens of billions. That’s a very different proposition. So I don’t want in any way anyone to misconstrue my comments into suggesting that what happened with Mark Thompson wasn’t important. The BBC is not an American institution although it has a real presence here. The New York Times Company obviously is an important one. It’s a very important newspaper and news organization. And it was important to direct coverage of that but there’s been ongoing investigations and there’s been some coverage of the results of those investigations and those crimes are horrific as alleged and in some cases acknowledged but I think they’re just different stories.

If you want to go do a history of the BBC, I would think this would be an incredibly complex and brutal chapter and I would think it would be an appropriate one to do. And that’s not the story I set out to tell.

Sheffield's colleagues at the Media Research Center have long tried to downplay the importance of the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal and shield Fox News from its fallout.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 PM EST

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