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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Gleefully Pushing A Scandal
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham's Jan. 9 NewsBusters post carried the headline "WashPost Gleefully Pushes Scandal as Christie's 2016 Doom: 'Bridge Scandal Engulfing Christie'." Graham huffs that the post is "leaping all over Gov. Chris Christie," adding, "The partisan Post is on fire today."

Graham's complains might be taken a little more seriously were they not immediately preceded on NewsBusters by a post by Matthew Balan gleefully pushing a different so-called scandal by leaping all over President Obama:

ABC, CBS, and NBC ballyhooed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates's attacks on President Obama and other high government officials on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts. NBC's Brian Williams and CBS's Norah O'Donnell also trumpeted the former Cabinet official's "devastating critique" of the President in his upcoming memoir.

The partisan MRC is on fire. Too bad Graham doesn't see the irony.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 PM EST
WND Loves Allen West's Race-Baiting of Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh writes lovingly of Allen West's race-baiting attack on President Obama in a Jan. 14 WorldNetDaily article:

War hero and former Republican congressman Allen West is asking how long it will take for “you people” – white Americans – to realize that their president “abjectly despises” them.

In a commentary posted Tuesday on his website, West, who represented Florida in Congress after an extended career in the U.S. military, confronted the issue of racism.


He said Obama’s and Holder’s advocacy for leniency for those who cause trouble essentially makes them racist.

“This is my clear and succinct message to white Americans. How long will it be before ‘you people’ realize you have elevated someone to the office of president who abjectly despises you – not to mention his henchman Holder. Combined they are the most vile and disgusting racists – not you,” he wrote.

The commentary was prompted by Holder’s recent demand that schools “rethink ‘zero tolerance’ disciplinary policies” because they “disproportionately punish minorities.”

A Hill report on the issue said “alarming numbers of young people are suspended, expelled or even arrested for relatively minor transgressions like school uniform violations, schoolyard fights or showing ‘disrespect’ by laughing in class, Holder said during a speech.”

West said the accompanying new federal guidance from the departments of Justice and Education “encouraging (i.e. threatening) schools to adopt disciplinary policies that are ‘fair, nondiscriminatory, and effective’” is a threat from the Department of Justice.

Unruh says nothing about the racist language West is using, or why he deserves special dispensation for saying such things because he is a black conservative.

Then again, wouldn't WND embrace West's race-baiting? After all, it's of a piece with Colin Flaherty's fearmongering over "black mobs" (which, somehow also include non-blacks and non-humans). And it publishes Mychal Massie, who told blacks to go back to Africa and has repeatedly smeared a black woman he didn't agree with as a "Negress."

WND apparently thinks it can get away with racism as long as it's blacks who are saying racist things or blacks can be dismissed as evil thugs.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:25 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 4:03 PM EST
CNS' Vespa Tries to Distract From Christie Scandal

Matt Vespa was on Chris Christie defense patrol at, desperately trying to distract from BridgeGate.

Vespa wrote a Jan. 10 blog post headlined "Five Reports of Political Bullying that DON'T Involve Chris Christie," adding the standard right-wing equivocation:"Christie's administration may have caused some traffic problems, but he fired the ones allegedly responsible for the act. Obama did nothing after the IRS fiasco was unearthed."

Vespa followed that with a rehashing of a 14-year-old story of how Al Gore's presidential campaign allegedly caused a traffic jam to hinder voting for his primary opponent. Vespa laughably begins his post by stating, "This isn't meant to excuse what happened on the George Washington Bridge."

Yeah, whatever you say, Matt. But it sure looks like you'd rather talk about anything else but that.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 PM EST
No, You Didn't Read It At WND First
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The latest in WorldNetDaily's series of "You Read It Here First" front-page graphics touts Jerome Corsi's Dec. 30 story on Salem Communications' purchase of the company that owns Regnery Publishing and other conservative-orientated operations, paired with a Jan. 13 Yahoo article.

There's just one thing wrong here: It's a lie. As we documented, Corsi's "WND Exclusive" appeared more than two weeks after Buzzfeed reported Salem's purchase on Dec. 13.

So, no, you didn't read that story at WND first. And don't expect WND to whip up an honest graphic stating, "You Read It Here Two Weeks Later."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:43 AM EST
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
NewsBusters Promoted Blog Reportedly Created By Fox News Chief
Topic: NewsBusters

Media Matters details how, according to Gabriel Sherman's new biography of Roger Ailes, the Fox News chief was behind the creation of an anonymous blog called The Cable Game for the purpose of promoting Fox News and trashing its rivals, and tapped Fox contributor Jim Pinkerton to serve as a ghostwriter for it.

NewsBusters took Ailes' bait. A search of NewsBusters' archive shows that it cited the now-defunct blog in four items:

  • A 2011 post by Tim Graham repeating the blog's claim that MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell likes to wear pricey cloths.
  • A 2008 post by Mark Finkelstein quoting Pinkerton himself citing the blog on Fox News.
  • A 2007 post hat-tipping the blog for promoting a claim that Fox News had the most balanced election coverage.
  • A 2006 post by Matthew Sheffield  telling readers to watch the blog for updates on the resignation of an MSNBC president.

Further, as the archived version of the website shows, NewsBusters was on The Cable Game's blogroll.

Will NewsBusters tell its readers that it publicized a blog secretly created by the head of a cable news channel to trash his competition? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:16 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 5:20 PM EST
WND Promotes Birther's Dubious Israel Prophecy Book
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last year, WorldNetDaily published a book by Carl Gallups -- a rabid birther who also posts under the name PP Simmons -- claiming that an Israeli rabbi wrote a "cryptic note" before his death that Jesus is the Messiah. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is also looped into this, as a Jan. 13 WND article promoting a Gallups radio appearance notes:

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has finally died, and now the prophetic significance of his passing will be the broadcast across America and the world tonight.

Pastor and author Carl Gallups will be on the popular radio program “Coast to Coast AM” late Monday night and early Tuesday morning to discuss the astonishing Sharon factor in his revelatory new book “The Rabbi Who Found Messiah: The Story of Yitzhak Kaduri and His Prophecies of The Endtime.”


When Sharon still was in office, vibrant and in command of his faculties, a venerated rabbi predicted the Messiah would not come until after Sharon’s death.

Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri died shortly after the stroke Sharon suffered put him in a coma in 2006. But before the beloved Kaduri died, he wrote a cryptic note in which he named the Messiah with whom he claimed to have had a mystical encounter. On the 108-year-old rabbi’s instructions, the note would be released a year after his death.

The note, when posted eventually on the rabbi’s website, showed Kaduri had revealed the Messiah’s name as Yehoshua, or the formal Hebrew pronunciation of Yeshua, or Jesus.

As a result of this unusual prophetic twist and the recent release of a book and movie about the life and death of Kaduri, the death of Sharon has renewed interest in Christian and prophecy circles around the world.

WND doesn't report that Gallups is trying to fudge his prophecy as it relates to Sharon. Richard Bartholomew reports that Gallups has posted on his blog: "Kaduri ‘prophesied’ that Jesus would NOT come until Sharon died. Today, Ariel Sharon has died. Kaduri did NOT say the Messiah would come immediately but rather that the Messiah would NOT return before the death of Sharon. This Kaduri prophecy has come true. Did God use the flawed Rabbi? With this prophecy and the revealed NAME of the Messiah it does make one wonder, doesn’t it?" Bartholomew adds: "In other words, we have a remarkable confirmation that an unexpected event indeed did not occur."

Bartholomew also points out that Kaduri's prophecy was, in fact, that Sharon would be the last Israeli prime minister -- which Gallups might want to discuss with Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Given Gallups' love of discredited birther conspiracy theories, there's no reason to take his prophecy story seriously either.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:48 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 8:47 PM EST
CNS' Jeffrey Thinks Marriage And Children Fight Poverty

Terry Jeffrey uses his Jan. 8 column to portray getting married and having children a surefire formula for financial success:

Could differences in family structure contribute to differences in family income?

In 2012, households headed by females without a spouse had a median income of $30,686. Households headed by a male without a spouse had a median income of $42,358. Households with married couples had a median income of $75,535.

What about children? Could they make a difference?

Single women did better if they had no children. The median income for a female householder who had no children was $42,147 in 2012. The median income for a single woman who had one or more children 18 or younger was $25,493.

But married couples did better with children. The median income for a married couple with no children under 18 was $70,902.
The median income for a married couple with one or more children under 18 was $81,455.

Indeed, married couples with at least one child under 18 earned a mean (as opposed to median) household income of $101,738 in 2012.

But according to Think Progress, marriage and children are not the panacea Jeffrey seems to think they are:

Kristi Williams, associate professor of sociology at Ohio State University, did some research and found that more than two-thirds of single mothers who married ended up divorced by the time they were 35 to 44. On top of that, marrying and then later divorcing leaves them worse off economically than if they had just stayed unmarried. And marriage promotion campaigns don’t seem to help. An evaluation of programs in eight cities found that they didn’t lead to a lasting improvement in marriage rates, relationship quality, or children’s economic wellbeing. On the other hand, they “resulted in modest decreases in fathers’ financial support and parental involvement,” she writes.

Yet even the marriages that last don’t end up offering women much of a lifeline. Firstly, Williams and her fellow researchers found that the pool of potential partners in low-income communities doesn’t offer single mothers many chances for finding stable partners with economic resources. “The new unions that single mothers form tend to have low levels of relationship quality and high rates of instability,” she writes. Meanwhile, those who do marry and stay together still don’t see a lot of pay off. “[W]e found no physical or psychological advantages for the majority of adolescents born to a single mother whose mothers later married,” she reports.

And as Slate's Matthew Yglesias details, the real reason marriage decreases poverty is shared living expenses:

Having roommates really did greatly improve my personal finances when I was in my early 20's. And the same thing happened when my wife and I moved in together. We split the Internet bill, shared one Netflix account, etc. But the greater efficiency of shared expenses isn't really what's magical about marriage, and what's magical about marriage isn't really what leads to the poverty reduction.

Nevertheless, Jeffrey rants about spending money to lift people out of poverty, claiming that "left-wing politicians will no doubt increasingly target for redistribution the wealth of married, two-parent, hard-working, diploma-earning families who cause this nation's income inequality by living exactly the sorts of lives we must live if we wish to remain free."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:31 AM EST
WND's Kupelian: Obama Wants To Provoke Right-Wingers to Violence
Topic: WorldNetDaily

David Kupelian's obsessive hatred for President Obama is demonstrated yet again in a Jan. 12 WorldNetDaily column, in which he rants about Obama's purported strategy of crisis. He even goes on to suggest that Obama wants to provoke a right-wing act of violence in order to crack down on dissent:

A final warning: There is one perfect crisis for Obama and the entire progressive left, one event that would serve as the ultimate validation of all their delusions, fantasies and projections, something that would validate every prejudice, lie, unworkable idea and failed policy they espouse.

The one event that would be Barack Obama’s grand-slam homerun would be if, in response to the ever-increasing outrages and provocations of the left, someone on “the right” becomes unhinged and goes violent in a big way.

That terrible event would constitute the perfect answer to all Obama’s problems, the fulfillment of the left’s fondest dreams. Haven’t you wondered why the liberal media are always painting the tea party as racist without a shred of evidence, and are always hoping out loud that every new terror act or school shooting was perpetrated by a conservative? Didn’t you see how the media fell over one another trying to portray – ridiculously and incorrectly – the Boston Marathon-bombing Tsarnaev brothers as right-wingers, and how ABC News reported – ridiculously and incorrectly – that the Aurora, Colo., movie theater mass shooter might be a tea-party member, and how the Department of Homeland Security painted pro-lifers, constitutionalists, libertarians, NRA members and returning war veterans as potential “right-wing extremists” and terrorists?

Why do they do this? Because, in their imaginations at least, violence on the right would validate their narrative. Worse, it would finally seem to justify and even necessitate Obama’s violations of Americans’ core liberties – gun control and confiscation, censorship of conservative news and talk radio as “hate speech,” the growing police state, advanced surveillance state and so on. All would be seen as necessary restraints against all those conservative terrorists out there.

Of course, in the turmoil (and secret left-wing revelry) over a major “right-wing terror attack,” forgotten and irrelevant would be the fact that you – and tens of millions like you – are being forced to obtain new and much more expensive health-care insurance. After all, we’re under attack by right-wing extremists!

It’s the perfect crisis.

It's as if Kupelian is begging for such an event to justify his and Joseph Farah's feelings of left-wing persecution -- and, of course, move people to send WND more money.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EST
Monday, January 13, 2014
Newsmax Trots Out Dick Morris to Opine on Christie Scandal
Topic: Newsmax

Give Newsmax a little credit: Virtually alone in the ConWeb, it has covered the Chris Christie bridge scandal from all angles over the past few days. That's even more amazing considering that it started out complaining that the scandal was "threatening to go national as Democrats see a possible chink in the armor of the GOP's potential 2016 presidential nominee."

So thorugh is Newsmax's coverage, in fact, that it has trotted out Dick Morris to opine on the scandal:

By declaring that he had no knowledge and nothing to do with the traffic gridlock, he has hunkered down into a position that might be increasingly difficult to defend. The Democrats in the New Jersey Legislature — they're in control of both chambers — are likely to probe deeply into his denials and there may even be a federal investigation by a Senate committee.

It is just too facile to take at face value his claim to absolute innocence.

Given Morris' track record on such predictions, can we assume that Christie is free and clear on this?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EST
Jack Cashill Is A 'Zimmerman Expert' Now?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 11 WorldNetDaily article by Scott Greer carries the headline "White House justice 'racial,' Zimmerman expert says." Who is this "Zimmerman expert" WND is talking about? Jack Cashill.

Well, Cashill is certainly an expert at being an apologist for George Zimmerman, insisting that he can't be held responsible for his increasingly violent behavior. Does that, plus his writing a book lionizing Zimmerman as a civil rights martyr and trashing his victim, Trayvon Martin, make Cashill an "expert" on the Zimmerman case? In WND's eyes it does.

The point of Greer's article is to fearmonger about Debo Adegbile, nominted to head the civil rights division at the Department of Justice. Greer dubiously claimed that Adegbile was "heavily involved" in the defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal. In fact, Adegbile was not involved during the prosecution of Abu-Jamal for killing a policeman; through his job at the NAACP legal defense fund, he represented Abu-Jamal during the sentencing phase and was ultimately successful in reducing Abu-Jamal's sentence from the death penalty to life in prison.

This was all that was needed for Greer to give Cashill ample space to rant:

[Cashill] is particularly worried that Adegbile, based on his history of actions and ideological bent, will be the one to go after Zimmerman with federal civil rights charges.

The Justice Department has refused to say it won’t file federal charges against Zimmerman, even though he was acquitted by a jury.

“In this appointment, Obama reaffirms his commitment to a strategy that started when the Comintern engaged themselves in the Sacco and Vanzetti Trial, and that is to racialize and polarize by using the criminal justice system in one way or another,” Cashill said.


“The George Zimmerman case is not a one-off case – it’s a sign of things to come,” he said.

Does this mean we can look forward to more books from Cashill in which he defends and whitewashes killers?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:24 PM EST
Ex-CNS Reporter Quits Rare Because It Wasn't Right-Wing Enough

The Daily Caller reports:

Content Editor Matt Cover‘s last day at Rare was last week. He went to the Alexandria, Va. office for the final time on Friday. He’s one of four editors who have parted ways with the Cox Media Group-owned news outlet since its inception in April. Once billed as red meat for conservative readers, those who’ve worked there have experienced editorial policies that are anything but right-leaning.

Cover went to Rare from (where the Daily Caller notes he "had a talent for getting Drudge links"). Cover's departure from Rare due to it being insufficiently conservative rings true for anyone familiar with his CNS work.

As we've documented, Cover's CNS tenure involved a lot of dutiful regurgitation of right-wing talking points and shilling for the oil industry. Most notoriously, he misreported that a onetime nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration who had criticized the extremist Christian Identity movement was criticizing those with a "Christian identity."

The Caller article alleges dysfunction and staff turnover at Rare, but one wonders if the departure of Cover and others really has to do with Cox enforcing actual journalism standards there, as opposed to, say, what Cover was able to get away with at CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:51 AM EST
Meet Marlin Newburn, Colin Flaherty's Race-Baiting Psychologist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a Jan. 8 WorldNetDaily article, Colin Flaherty quoted "former prison psychologist Marlin Newburn" to attack speeches made at a gathering of black legislators:

“This was one fascinating trip down insane memory lane,” said Newburn. The black “caucus” just voiced re-tread, retro-sixties complaints about the difficult world they live in.

“The video is a great learning experienced for those who have never witnessed a unique pathological trait of the so-called “black community;” one that has been distorting their thinking for decades, and inhibiting their growth. The sick trait is that they have no problem publicly complaining about life conditions they have created for themselves. Maladapted adolescents do this often.

“As well, they sanctify the most pathological people and conditions, i.e., ‘The Trayvon Martin Foundation.’ That would be like white people setting up a scholarship program in memory of John Dillinger.

“At least they had a few hours to play dress-up, and praise each other as they engaged their fantasies of torment and abuse by the massive white hoards who they imagine seek their destruction.”

Flaherty has quoted Newburn's race-baiting several times in his WND articles:

  • In a Dec. 12 article, Newburn claimed that a victim of the so-called "knockout game" who in Flaherty's words showed a "willingness to overlook the racial violence perpetrated on him" was suffering from "Masochistic Altruism," and that "What these apologists are doing is enabling and empowering their attackers, and that means there will be more victims. That’s guaranteed."
  • Newburn asserted in a Dec. 5 article: "“The violence is real and based on hate. ... And the hate is based on race. Almost all of the black inmates I’ve dealt with over the years are raised on a diet of racial resentment and violence. But for some reason, reporters do not know it, or choose to ignore it.”
  • In an Oct. 13 article, Flaherty quotes Newburn as saying victims who forgive their assailants are suffering from denial: "In the case of black mob assaults, victims often believed the supposed put-upon black race need only to be understood and seen as social victims, and a blanket acceptance of all blacks do in life is part of being a good person."
  • In an Aug. 27 article, Bob Unruh quotes Newburn as saying of a street gang calling themselves the Obama Boyz that their “pre-adolescent thought processes have also developed a firm belief that regardless of their criminal actions, they’ll get backing from Obama and the black race pimps who never fail to find a media microphone to displace responsibility for them.”

So who is Marlin Newburn, and how did he get so cozy with Flaherty? A web search turns up a report from the Michigan Civil Service Commission, where Newburn had appealed his demotion as a unit chief in the state Department of Corrections after a six-month probationary period. Newburn claimed that his demotion "was the result of harassment in the form of a hostile employment environment created by his former supervisor." The state responded that Newburn's demotion came as the result of a finding of neglect against him, in which a prisoner on a "modified suicidal risk management plan" who should have spent no more than seven days in an observation cell spent at least 17 days there, during which time Newburn should have visited with the prisoner eight times but did not visit under after the prisoner's 17th day in the observation cell. Newburn claimed that he was "overwhelmed by the responsibilities of the new position due in large part to the fact that his predecessor had failed to leave things in any semblance of order for him." The Civil Service Commission ultimately ruled that Newburn's demotion was proper.

The web also yields a review by Newburn on Amazon's page for the self-published version of Flaherty's book "White Girl Bleed A Lot," dated August 2012. He praises the "brutally honest book," going on to rant:

Journalism is pretty much accepted by many people as a now blatantly dishonest profession due to its acceptance as being an organ of the politically correct movement. But the "profession" has gone from being simply dishonest with its blatant promotion of anything Obama, to a form of pathology suitable for listing as a mental illness diagnositic category. Journalism's apparently ego-driven and thus resulting willful blindness to black mob assaults on innocents is now a national phenomenon, a psychological virus that has infected the news media across the country. A majority of inner city blacks will continue their descent into viciousness and barbarism, more people will be traumatized, maimed, or killed, and discussions on race will take a much harder and perhaps violent character, all because a reporter wants to be perceived as "caring" via a sick definition, because a reporter fears the label of "racist", because a reporter fears breaking ranks from the PC party dictates, or because a reporter fears the loss of a job. This is professional cowardism to the highest degree. Journalism's silence or willful blindness also tacitly legtimizes black mob racism. The fact is a large segment of an apparently untouchable racial group, already known for high risk living, violence, chronic failure, and overall dangerousness, is not held accountable for its newest violent activity which includes killing people who are targeted specifically because of their race.

Flaherty is shown responding to Newburn's review by asking him to repeat the comments on Flaherty's personal website. He apparently obliged.

A year later, Flaherty was quoting Newburn in his WND articles to supplement his race-baiting.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EST
Sunday, January 12, 2014
MRC's Dishonest Christie Scandal Comparison
Topic: Media Research Center

As you would expect, the Media Research Center is coming to the defense of Chris Christie over the so-called Bridgegate scandal. But their main bit of defense is utterly dishonest.

Scott Whitlock wrote in a Jan. 9 MRC item:

In less than 24 hours, the three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy. Since the story broke on Wednesday that aides to the New Jersey governor punished a local mayor's lack of endorsement with a massive traffic jam, ABC, CBS and NBC have responded with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage. Since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.

It's only several paragraphs later that Whitlock gets around to parenthetically mentioning one key fact: that the IRS scandal "first broke in May." That's two months before the MRC started its counting of IRS coverage.

That means the MRC is comparing apples and oranges -- breaking news of a scandal vs. story that broke two months before the MRC started counting. It's dishonest and misleading.

Also, Whitlock counts only the broadcast networks -- which devote relatively little airtime to news -- and not the cable news networks. Of course, if he did, he would have to admit that Fox News tried to avoid covering Christie.

Whitlock tries to paper over this dishonest comparison by declaring that "it's not as though there wasn't much happening" during that time on the IRS scandal. But that's dishonest too.

The scandals are not equivalent, and who can explain that better than a Fox News reporter, John Roberts:

During an appearance [Friday] on Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends prior to the press conference, Roberts said that the scandal "has the potential to be very damaging to Gov. Christie because, you know, unlike what's happened with President Obama -- you know, the IRS thing was a woman who was in Cleveland. This is in the governor's living room. This is his deputy chief of staff. And as you mentioned his best friend who he went to high school with. It's difficult for him to be able to fully separate himself from this without at least giving the appearance that he doesn't know what's going on in his own home."

He added that the scandal "reinforces the worst perceptions about Gov. Christie. It makes it look like a Tony Soprano-type of administration. And while people in New Jersey appreciate many of the things that the governor has done, on the national level, if you want to run for president, you can't look like this is the way that your administration would operate."

But the MRC has its dishonest story, and it's sticking to it. Whitlock cranked out a follow-up item whining that the networks were "devoting a staggering 88 minutes" to the Christie story. Unlike his first article, Whitlock completely ignores that he started counting IRS coverage two months after it broke.

MRC chief Brent Bozell also touted Whitlock's dishonest coverage on Fox News, failing to mention that the IRS coverage totals didn't include breaking coverage and trying to dismiss the Christie scandal as nothing but "a lane closure on a highway."

UPDATE: Media Matters points out that the lack of network news coverage of the IRS controversy also meant that they ignored news that the scandal was overblown.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014 8:24 PM EST
WND's Unruh Can't Stop Distorting Facts To Fit His Right-Wing Agenda
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Does Bob Unruh even care about real journalism anymore? Many of his articles of late are one-sided press releases for the right-wing views his employer, WorldNetDaily, favors, and he can't be bothered to tell the other side of the story fairly, when he deigns to mention the other side at all.

Unruh performs his stenography service again in a Jan. 7 article promoting the Alliance Defending Freedom's representaion of a Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, who refused to make a cake to mark a same-sex marriage. Unruh's article is almost entirely devoted to quoting the ADF's defense of the baker, while only one paragraph of the article quotes from the ruling against the baker (which Unruh couldn't be bothered to link to).

What indirect quotes from the ruling Unruh does provide are taken out of context and presented in a highly biased way. He writes that Judge Robert Spencer's ruling "said Phillips’ constitutional rights are secondary, because otherwise the 'cost to society' isn’t considered. He granted homosexuals a special standard." Unrh added:

But the ACLU, which is representing the duo, said the same standard should not be used in other circumstances, such as asking a Muslim baker to make a cake criticizing his faith or asking a black cake maker to make a cake for the KKK.

Those bakers, because of their beliefs, would be allowed to refuse service, Spencer said.

But Spencer made it clear that there was a difference between those hypothetical cases and Phillips' case. From the ruling that Unruh couldn't be bothered to link to:

Finally, Respondents argue that if they are compelled to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, then a black baker could not refuse to make a cake bearing a white-supremacist message for a member of the Aryan Nation; and an Islamic baker could not refuse to make a cake denigrating the Koran for the Westboro Baptist Church. However, neither of these fanciful hypothetical situations proves Respondents’ point. In both cases, it is the explicit, unmistakable, offensive message that the bakers are asked to put on the cake that gives rise to the bakers’ free speech right to refuse. That, however, is not the case here, where Respondents refused to bake any cake for Complainants regardless of what was written on it or what it looked like. Respondents have no free speech right to refuse because they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech.

The judge did not, as Unruh asserteed, grant homosexuals "a special standard." Spencer wrote:

At first blush, it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses. This view, however, fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are. Thus, for well over 100 years, Colorado has prohibited discrimination by businesses that offer goods and services to the public. The most recent version of the public accommodation law, which was amended in 2008 to add sexual orientation as a protected class[.]


The salient feature distinguishing same-sex weddings from heterosexual ones is the sexual orientation of its participants. Only same-sex couples engage in same-sex weddings. Therefore, it makes little sense to argue that refusal to provide a cake to a same-sex couple for use at their wedding is not “because of” their sexual orientation.

Unruh's refusal to quote the judge's ruling appropriately -- or to even provide a link to the ruling so his readers can make their own decisions -- is journalistic malfeasance, pure and simple.

Unruh knows he could not have gotten away with such shoddy, biased journalism in his previous career with the Associated Press. That, presumably, is why he now works for WND, where putting a political agenda before the truth is not only not frowned upon but actively encouraged.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EST
Saturday, January 11, 2014
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: apparently believes that December's unemployment numbers were sufficiently substandard that it didn't need to do much rooting through them to cherry-pick data to obscure good news.

CNS devoted only two stories to the December numbers. The first, by Susan Jones, carried the headline "Hiring Slows in December; Only 74,000 Jobs Added, Fewest in 3 Years." This is the first time in recent memory that CNS put the jobs-added number in the headline; normally, it buries that number because it contradicts CNS' narrative of running down the economy under Obama.

The second article, by Ali Meyer, is more along the lines of CNS' usual cherry-picking, carring the headline "20,000 Fewer Women Held Jobs in December."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:19 PM EST

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