CNS Joins Right-Wing Government Ammunition Conspiracy Theory Topic: CNSNews.com
A right-wing staple over the past couple of years is fearmongering about the government buying ammunition. CNSNews.com apparently felt left out, because it decided to hop on the bandwagon with a Feb. 19 article by Ali Meyer:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is contracted to purchase 704,390,250 rounds of ammunition over the next four years, which is equal to a total of about 2,500 rounds per DHS agent per year, according to a January 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled Ammunition Purchases Have Declined Since 2009.
Much of the article is devoted to explaining how the DHS says that really isn't that much ammo for training purposes. But Meyer leads with the sensational and out-of-context claim and doesn't bother to explain the whole right-wing conspiracy thing.
That makes this a lazy and uninformative article. But have we come to expect anything less from CNS?
WND's Farah Thinks His Website Isn't As Horrible As Gawker Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gawker wrote about Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily, and he's not happy about it. So unhappy, in fact, that Farah dedicated his entire Feb. 20 column to bashing Gawker.
The subject of Gawker's article was WND's current tiff with Google over blocking ads in articles taht reference "black mobs" (as we noted, WND has copped to 670 articles on the subject). Farah is shocked -- shocked! -- to find that there are less-than-friendly people on the Internet:
What’s my beef with Gawker?
It’s mean-spirited. It’s irresponsible. It’s childish and immature. I’ve never said any of that before, because there are lots of sites like Gawker that have no redeeming social value. I never think about them. I never visit them. But I did this week when one of their talentless bloggers went after WND – and me personally.
You can see it for yourself, but I would caution you the coarse, vulgar language and name-calling is pretty rough. Don’t blame me. I’m just the target. Visitor beware.
It’s never pleasant to be accused of something as ugly as racism. But I’ve gotten used to it since 2008, when Barack Obama’s cheerleaders began hurling that epithet at political opponents like it was wealth that needed to be redistributed.
But there is it again from the know-nothings at Gawker.
Do you know what else is sad about this kind of venomous, personal, ad hominem, groundless attack? It comes from a website that actually attracts a lot of viewers. What does that say about the intelligence and discernment of its mainly American audience?
Answer us this, Mr. Farah:
Is Gawker as childish and immature as WND treating a Hitler "Downfall" clip about Obamacare as a real "news' story?
Is Gawker as mean-spirited as WND repeatedly likening President Obama to Nazis and the Antichrist?
Is Gawker as irresponsible as WND publishing lies about a Tennessee car dealer, fighting the ensuing defamation lawsuit for seven years, then abruptly settling out of court before the case was to go to trial?
Is Gawker is vulgar as Farah himself saying of a Muslim scholar named Dalia Mogahed, "I call her toga head"?
Is Gawker as venomous, personal and ad hominem as Farah calling me a "talent-challenged slug" merely for daring to criticize him?
I just sometimes long for the day when people who communicate for a living had some professional standards guiding them. I wonder if people like this Gawker guy would allow his children to read his posts – if he has children or knows any. I guess it would be even more disturbing if he would or does. What are their standards? Do they have any? Is it supposed to be funny? Name-calling, uniformed mockery and vulgarity might get a cheap laugh from the low-information crowd. But is that the point?
Yes, the man who runs a website that publishes lies -- and who admits that he publishes lies -- wonders if others have "professional standards." Well, one can argue that Farah does have standards: he'll publish anything that will keep the rubes glued to his website, regardless of its veracity. Not a high or admirable standard, of course, but it is a standard.
Of course, such thin-skinned tirades are par for the course from a man who's notoriouslythin-skinned. And of course, such tirades are couched in self-aggrandizement about just how awesome he is, combined with a little misinformation:
I was one of the earliest pioneers of the Internet.
I founded WorldNetDaily.com, later shortened to the more manageable and memorable WND.com, in 1997.
Before that I had experimented with launching other sites – back in the days when the few people actually visiting the Internet were nearly all on dial-up connections. There were only 1 million computer users hooked up to the Internet worldwide back in those days.
How long ago was this? How much has the Internet landscape changed?
Back then, the largest, most heavily trafficked website in the world was MSNBC.com. Many observers thought this juggernaut corporate combo of Microsoft and NBC could never be approached by competitors.
Today, MSNBC.com ranks 2,295th worldwide and 530th in the U.S. – well behind WND.com.
But today's MSNBC.com is not the website of yesteryear. Farah seems to have overlooked the fact that in 2012 MSNBC.com changed its name to NBCNews.com, and the current MSNBC.com is not a general news site but one dedicated to supporting MSNBC programming.
Judging by the Alexa numbers Farah used for MSNBC.com, NBCNews.com is ranked 255th globally and 69th in the U.S. -- much bigger than WND. Farah can't even self-aggrandize honestly.
One final note: Nowhere does Farah dispute the accuracy of the information in the Gawker article -- he's merely upset that the truth was told.
NEW ARTICLE: Brent Bozell's Pattern of Deception and Disrespect Topic: Media Research Center
The revelation that Bozell's columns have been ghostwritten for years by a subordinate is just the latest example of the Media Research Center chief's outrageous behavior. Read more >>
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein claims in a Feb. 17 WorldNetDaily article that "The Palestinian Authority received a pledge from the U.S. that by the end of 2014, the Obama administration will issue an official written declaration presenting general highlights of a future Palestinian state." His source: "a senior Palestinian negotiator."
There is no evidence Klein made any attempt to verify this claim, or that he talked to any U.S. official about it.
Klein just loves pushing his right-wing agenda through untraceable anonymous sources.
CNS' Starr Tries To Manufacture Outrage Over Public Radio Story She Doesn't Like Topic: CNSNews.com
Yes, CNSNews.com's Penny Starr devoted an entire "news" article to someone else's news article:
On its “All Things Considered” news program Monday, National Public Radio (NPR) aired a story that included a reporter attending a “live porn shoot.”
The “porn shoot” took place at the headquarters of Kink.com where the reporter interviewed “internet porn mogul” Peter Acworth.
The story, entitled “Hurting for Cash, Online Porn Tries New Tricks,” was produced by KQED public television and radio station in San Francisco, Calif.
The NPR story, posted on its All Tech Considered website pages, portrays the story as a business piece and Acworth as a victim.
"We're suffering what happened to the music industry a while back,” Acworth stated. “It's becoming much more easy to get content for free and people are less apt to want to pay for it.”
Describing how it's harder to make money on pornography hardly equates to portraying someone as a "victim."
Also: Why does Starr care what another news outlet reported? Why did she cherry-pick this story out of the hundreds and thousands of stories reported in the news each day? Because she thinks there's tax money involved, and she wants to destroy public radio:
KQED, which is affiliated with NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), did not respond to an inquiry from CNSNews.com asking if reporting on pornography helped the media outlet meet its mission and whether or not they believe the reporting is beneficial to taxpayers, who help fund public broadcasting.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting – the congressionally created funding arm for public radio and television – was appropriated $445,000,000 for fiscal year 2014, according to its financial records.
Given that KQED was reporting on a local business and did not include any pornographic content in its news report, it's entirely likely that the story fits within the station's mission statement.
Starr is simply trying to impose her right-wing morality on others, like she did when she manufactured outrage over a National Portrait Gallery exhibit because she doesn't like gay stuff.
Steve Stockman's Media BFF, WND's Garth Kant, Strikes Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
Steve Stockman's media BFF, Garth Kant, has struck again.
In anotherpressrelease for the Texas Senate candidate, Kant's Feb. 18 WorldNetDaily article touts how a "stunning new poll" shows Stockman closing in on his Republican incumbent opponent, John Cornyn, which hints that Cornyn might not be able to garner the 50 percent of the vote needed to avoid a runoff.
But Kant fails to mention a few things about the poll: that it found 29 percent had not made up their mind, and that it didn't include the six other candidates who are also running in the Republican primary for Cornyn's seat.
Further, as Slate's Dave Weigel notes, the poll is an outlier: "Nobody else looking at the race sees Cornyn sinking like this." It's highly unlikely that Stockman could be doing as well as that poll claims to be given that, as Human Events points out, he's doing basically no campaigning.
Since Kant is in fanboy mode, the article is filled with quotes from Stockman and attacks on Cornyn, and no attempt is made to contact Cornyn's campaign for a response. Instead, we get slobbering statements about how "Stockman has become the darling of so many conservatives and the bogeyman to such liberal outfits as MSNBC."
Kant also mentions Stockman's libel lawsuit against a Cornyn-linked super PAC without mentioning that it has no merit, and repeats Stockman's boast that he "killed the amnesty bill" without telling readers that it's not true.
Posted by Terry K.
at 12:09 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 10:10 PM EST
WND Tries To Extend Kathleen Willey's 15 Minutes Topic: WorldNetDaily
Kathleen Willey's campaign to crowdfund herself a house -- for which WorldNetDaily did its part by donating copies of the WND-published book she wrote (no doubt collecting dust in WND's warehouse since 2007) to the cause so she could sign them and give to donors -- has stalled, raising less than $4,000 of the $80,000 she sought.
It was time to generate a little publicity. And WND came through again, in the form of Aaron Klein having Willey as a guest on his radio show.
Willey hyperbolically declared that "“Hillary Clinton is the war on women," adding: "Just pack your bags. You’ve had your 15 minutes." Says someone who's trying to extend her 15 minutes by riding a 15-year-old scandal.
This got Willey the publicity she desired, garnering her a mostly softball interview on Fox News. Mission accomplished. She even got a new donation for her house.
Never mind Willey's history of lies and deception. She can be counted on to reliably spout her Clinton-hate, and that's good enough for WND (and, apparently, Fox News.)
Alan Caruba Pretends Right-Wing Media Isn't Failing Topic: Accuracy in Media
Professionalbamboozler Alan Caruba is at it again in his Feb. 17 Accuracy in Media column, regurgitating right-wing shibboleths about the media.
Caruba is happy that the New York Times is not making very much money, noting that "Newsweek was sold for one dollar. In 2013 The Daily Beast was projected to lose $12 million." He adds, "By contrast, The Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily are thriving."
But Caruba is making an apples-to-oranges comparison. The Journal and IBD are not general-interest news outlets like the "liberal" outlets he cites; their focus is on business and market news that is very much separate from the right-wing commentary they publish.
Further, they are not thriving. The privately held IBD is reportedly not a money-maker and is supported by other divisions of its parent company. Rupert Murdoch paid $5 billion for the Journal in 2007 -- which is the current value of all of News Corp.'s publishing assets, which include the New York Post and papers in Britain and Australia.
In noting that Newsweek was sold for $1, Caruba failed to note that the Washington Times was sold for $1 as well.
As we've documented, conservative media would have long ago failed in a free market were it not for deep-pocketed right-wing billionaires -- something Caruba fails to understand.
Joseph Farah Pretends WND Isn't Race-Baiting About 'Black Mobs' (And Completely Sells Out to Google) Topic: WorldNetDaily
The sellout is complete: WorldNetDaily cares more about ad revenue than it does about principles.
We knew this already -- despite Joseph Farah's history of attacking Google as an "immoral" company that "may not be able to discern right from wrong," WND has been using Google AdSense for much of its advertising since 2009 -- but it has come into stark relief with a new tussle between WND and Google.
A Feb. 17 WND article describes how Google "has threatened to block ads on the news site over its use of the term 'black mobs' in news stories and columns reporting on a two-year epidemic of racial attacks in the U.S." Here's WND's response to Google:
In response, WND is preemptively blocking Google ads in content in which that phrase appears in past and current stories, including this one. Other ad providers have agreed to step in and fill the gap.
That's right -- rather than fight the power, WND has acquiesced by trying to keep the offending words from jeopardizing precious Google ad space.
And yet WND still gets it wrong -- there are still Google ad spaces on the page this article resides on. As of this writing, the vertical ad strip on the left side of the article and a horizontal ad strip at the end of the article are still both Google AdSense spaces, as are two square ad boxes in the right-side strip and the middle square ad box at the bottom of the page. The horizontal ad strip at the top of the page belongs to a company called Turn, while the left bottom square space belongs to Criteo and the right bottom space belongs to Evidon/Audience Science. The top right square ad is operated through SiteScout, while another right-hand ad box is operated through AppNexus.
The article is accompanied by a column in which Farah defends the shoddy work of the man who's responsible for Google's flagging, Colin Flaherty, and pretends there's no race-baiting going on:
It all began two years ago when WND made the decision to begin tracking what appeared to be a rise in unprovoked black on non-black violence. Through the reporting, WND first alerted the nation to “the knockout game,” in which perpetrators seek to render unconscious innocent and unsuspecting victims usually with a single blow to the head. We reported on coordinated riots and seemingly spontaneous uprisings occurring in major cities and small towns from coast to coast.
As a result of the reporting, mayors and police departments around the country began responding. Our reporting was condemned by racialists quick to excuse or cover up bad behavior in minority communities and extolled by many, including black scholar Thomas Sowell, who strongly and repeatedly endorsed a groundbreaking book WND published by Colin Flaherty called “White Girl Bleed A Lot,” which includes much of the reporting he did for WND.
Google is clearly assigning motives to our reporting on the basis of the linking of two words – black mobs. Euphemisms for two perfectly accurate words must now be found because Google has determined that the linking of these two words is hate speech. When one of the most powerful media companies in the world starts banning words and phrases and imposing its speech police standards on all those it does business with, we are headed down a dangerous, Orwellian slippery slope.
The term “black mobs” as used in WND is not a pejorative term.
It is not hate speech. In fact, it is the reporting of facts – facts that have been substantiated and reported by many other news sources since WND began reporting on the trend two years ago. WND Books’ “White Girl Bleed A Lot” is carried in bookstores across the nation and on Amazon.com. What’s next – burning the books?
As we've amplydocumented, the only crimes WND consistently reports on involve "black mobs." If there wasn't a racial or pejorative motive behind it, why has Flaherty been so desperate to push the issue that he has included non-blacks and animals in the "black mobs" he writes about?
Why doesn't WND give other crimes the kind of blanket coverage it has afforded Flaherty and his "black mob" obsession? Farah doesn't explain. As the WND "news" article on this subject notes, the term "black mobs" has appeared in "more than 670 WND reports." Can WND claim it has given that kind of coverage in the past two years to any other subject, let alone any other crime?
Farah might claim he's engaging in "the reporting of facts," but those facts are cherry-picked and taken out of context for no other apparent reason than to instill an irrational fear of black people in WND's predominately white audience.
In both the news article and Farah's column, the endorsement of Flaherty's race-baiting by "celebrated black scholar Thomas Sowell" is presented as evidence that this is somehow not race-baiting. That appeal to authority is a logical fallacy that only serves to demonstrate how ethically and morally barren Flaherty's race-baiting crusade is.
As he's wont to do, Farah tries to turn things around and play the victim while puffing himself up as a First Amendment champion:
But there’s an issue here that should be noted by all who value free expression and honest journalism that some may find offensive. Google’s policy attempts to censor words and phrases that are truthful and accurate from First Amendment-protected media on the basis of political correctness and faulty algorithmic methodology.
In journalism, a craft I have practiced for more than 35 year at all levels and in all media as a reporter, top editor of major market daily newspapers, on the radio, in television and, more recently, as an Internet pioneer who created the first independent news source, there is great value in connecting the dots between hundreds of seemingly isolated incidents. That’s what we did. It was seen as a public service by many – including me.
We cannot and should not be forced to sanitize our compelling reporting on a subject of national importance because it is labeled thoughtlessly and falsely as “hate speech.” WND’s reporting on this phenomenon is neither motivated by hatred nor does it foster hatred. Ironically, the real hate speech and hate actions are what we are reporting on, what we are exposing. If Google takes this censorious action, it would be an act that would have a chilling effect not only on free speech but on responsible reporting about a crime wave affecting the entire nation.
Funny, the only "censorious actions" we've seen have all come from WND, which has kept its readers ignorant of the fact that its birther crusade has been discredited and give no meaningful recourse to those targeted by the lies WND publishes on a depressingly regular basis.
WND's race-baiting has been called out, and Farah needs the Google ad revenue too much to do anything other than rant impotently at getting caught.
NewsBusters Falsely Denies Link Between Stand Your Ground, Florida Murder Trial Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 17 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd asserts that Florida's Stand Your Ground law "was not even invoked as a defense in the recently-concluded trial of Michael Dunn" in the shooting death of a teenager over loud music.
In fact, Stand Your Ground played a key role in the case. Media Matters details how "Stand Your Ground" is embedded in the Florida statute dealing with the "use of deadly force" in self-defense, was specifically cited by Dunn's lawyer, and noted in the judge's instructions to the jury. Dunn's defense lawyer claimed that Dunn "was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in a public place where he had a legal right to be, a public parking lot asking for a common courtesy, saying thank you, trying to tell the guy I said thank you. He had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force."
Right-wingers want to punish Girl Scouts for not being as right-wing as they are, and WorldNetDaily wants to help by giving coverage to the right-wingers' boycott of Girl Scout cookies:
A Jan. 30 article by Bob Unruh touts how an anti-abortion group is promoting a cookie boycott because of the Girl Scouts' alleged "pro-abortion agenda." Unruh followed that up on Feb. 3 with an article highlighting how the right-wing American Family Association has joined the boycott, touting how the AFA has "millions of supporters." A Feb. 6 article by Unruh claimed "more and more organizations sign onto the effort."
In none of these articles could Unruh be bothered to contact the Girl Scouts for a response to the boycott, though he did quote a Girl Scouts spokesperson in the Feb. 6 article, in a quote lifted from an Associated Press article.
An unbylined Feb. 9 article noted the possible effect of a boycott on the maker of the cookies, but again, WND could not be bothered to contact the Girl Scouts for a response.
WND columnist Jane Chastain joined in the effort, using her Feb. 12 column to provide reasons to turn down that girl selling cookies at your door:
The changes began in the 1970s when Betty Friedan was put on the national governing board. It wasn’t long before the organization began purging its materials of all positive references to homemakers. Partnerships with Planned Parenthood followed, and the Girl Scouts began showing up at gun-control rallies like the Million Mom March.
The Girl Scouts adopted a new global agenda and began bemoaning the fact that the United States has not signed the radical U.N. feminist treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, CEDAW, which would force nations to legalize abortion and prostitution. Guess a girl has to make a living!
In fact, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women specifically states that "Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women" and says nothing about abortion.
But don't disappoint the girls, however:
Don’t disappoint these young cookie sellers. A troop receives only 10-20 percent of the money from cookie sales, so make a direct donation to the troop. Also, give a letter to the adult who is with her stating your concerns and offering to help her troop transition to American Heritage Girls. I have one you can print out on my blog.
The girls go away happy, and their leaders may be motivated to make a positive change. Then, go to the grocery and buy a box of your favorite cookies for yourself. You deserve it!
Bozell Knows Fox News Won't Question Him About Having A Ghostwriter Topic: Media Research Center
Rather than publicly discuss his ghostwriting scandal, Brent Bozell went to the one place he knows he will never be forced to talk about it: Fox News.
Bozell appeared on Fox on Feb. 17 to rant about coverage of climate change on Sunday talk shows. Bozell did the same thing on Fox Business' "Varney & Co." on Feb. 18. The fact that his syndicated columns have been ghostwritten for years by MRC subordinate Tim Graham was apparently not discussed.
While Bozell and the MRC continue their radio silence on the scandal, the fallout is real and ongoing. Iowa's Quad City Times newspaper dropped Bozell's column, stating: "Bozell may have been comfortable representing others’ work as his own. We’re not." Journalist David Cay Johnston has also weighed in:
The URL and title at his own Media Research Center page show that Bozell is a fraud: “Bozell’s column.”
Without an intellectual crucible fired by actual conservatism we will continue to get weak solutions to our festering problems.
And so we get Bozell’s shtick — accusing all journalists of mendacity unless they share his perspective. To Bozell there is no competitive marketplace of journalism, only a monolith of monstrous liars. As it turns out, there is a paid liar in the news media – Bozell.
Accepting accolades and a byline for work you did not do is dishonest. There’s no moral relativism here. It is wrong.
We suspect Bozell won't be commenting on this, either.
WND Headline Lies About Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
the headline of a Feb. 17 WorldNetDaily article by Joe Kovacs reads, "Obama gets Satan cut from 'Son of God.'" Which is a complete lie that not even the article supports.
Contrary to the headline's claim that Obama somehow personally intervened to remove an image of Satan that vaguely resembled him from the upcoming movie "Son of God," Kovacs writes that the decision was made by the movie's producers, not Obama:
An eerie resemblance between Barack Obama and Satan in the upcoming “Son of God” movie has prompted the film’s producers to completely banish the devil.
Roma Downey, who co-produced the film with her husband Mark Burnett, says scenes with an actor who portrayed the devil but looked like the president have now been edited out.
“It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the Son of God, and the devil gets no more screentime,” Downey told the Hollywood Reporter.
The 20th Century Fox film, which opens Feb. 28, is mainly a reworked version of 2013′s popular 10-hour TV miniseries titled “The Bible.”
For this new project, Downey told the Hollywood Reporter she’s eager to avoid a similar situation, even though Jesus and Satan both made their appearance in “The Bible” miniseries during the same episode, so it would have made sense that “Son of God” also include Satan.
“Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts,” Downey said Monday. “The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead.”
She added: “For our movie, Son of God, I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor.”
Kovacs promoted the idea of Obama-as-Satan last year when the original miniseries aired. He didn't mention that the guy who played the devil looks suspiciously in real life like his boss, Joseph Farah.
CNS Swings, Misses At Kerry For Pointing 'Shoddy' Climate Change Denialism Topic: CNSNews.com
Patrick Goodenough takes a rather sad whack at Secretary of State John Kerry for criticizing "shoddy scientists" who dispute climage change and pointing out that “97 percent of climate scientists have confirmed that climate change is happening and that human activity is responsible.” In his Feb. 16 CNSNews.com article on Kerry, Goodenough offers this rebuttal:
Last year a peer-reviewed academic journal published the results of a survey of more than 1,000 professional engineers’ and geoscientists’ views on climate change. It found that only 36 percent fitted into a group that “express[ed] the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”
The other respondents to varying degrees expressed skepticism about the causes of climate change, the extent of risk it poses, and the accuracy of IPCC modeling.
But that survey is largely meaningless, even if it did appear in a "peer-reviewed academic journal."
The survey Goodenough is citing was conducted by Lianne M. Lefsrud and Renate E. Meyer, and it appeared in the journal Organization Studies. As the Scholars & Rogues blog pointed out:
The vast majority of survey respondents were engineers, not climate scientists.
All respondents were members of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, which is predominantly employed by the Alberta petroleum industry and its regulators.
The authors themselves has repeatedly stated that the survey's results are not representative of scientists in general.
The study is not about the beliefs of the respondents; it's about their worldviews, the tactics and strategies they use when arguing with others, and how they justify their own claims to have expert opinions on climate science.
In other words, the study is meaningless to the issue of climate change. But Goodenough cited it anyway.