ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Friday, February 28, 2014
Gun Regulation Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Newsmax

Imagine: American soldiers aim their rifles and handguns at enemy fighters running toward them across the battlefield. But when they pull their triggers, none of the weapons fire. Within moments our troops are shot down by the onrushing enemy.
Border patrol agents under attack by a Mexican drug gang likewise find their handguns suddenly inoperative, as if turned off at a distance by the criminal gang advancing and firing on them.
Could this be the future, if the advocates of "smart guns" get their way?


A California smart gun start-up named Yardarm, reports the Post, has developed a technology so that "Users can even remotely disable their weapons." If owners can do this, who else can?
The inevitable question: Given this potential to turn off smart guns at a distance, thereby de facto disarming the users, will the politicians who require us to have smart guns also require that these same "safer" smart firearms be used by our soldiers in combat, by the Border Patrol, and by local and state police?
This columnist has long said that progressive presidents eager to impose gun control should lead by example. Presidents who say Americans need no guns to defend themselves should first disarm their own heavily armed Secret Service bodyguard.

-- Lowell Ponte, Feb. 24 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 PM EST
For Farah, WND's Web Traffic Still Trumps Ideology
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah has long pretended that his duty as a journalist keeps him from dropping Ann Coulter from the roster of WorldNetDaily columnists. That's a lie, and he's still lying about it.

Farah turns in his latest bill of particulars against Coulter in his Feb. 23 column, complaining about how she favors "electing Republicans – any and all Republicans. It doesn’t matter where they stand on the issues. It doesn’t matter how effective they have been in office. It doesn’t matter if they have betrayed those who elected them or the Constitution." But Coulter's latest betrayal of right-wing principles is still not enough for Farah to drop her column, and he does hint at why:

When Coulter hurled those invectives my way in 2010, many WND viewers urged me to dump her column and stop offering her books for sale.

As anyone can see, her column still runs in WND every week, the place more people read it than anywhere else.

Some wonder why.

Because agreement with me is not a requirement for being a WND commentator. In fact, WND boasts the broadest spectrum of political opinion among its dozens and dozens of columnists. And I have a very thick skin.

By bragging about how WND is "the place more people read [Coulter's column] than anywhere else," Farah is essentially admitting that Coulter drives too much traffic to his website to even consider dropping her. And his claim of WND having "the broadest spectrum of political opinion" is largely window dressing; there are only two explicitly liberal columnists, Bill Press and Ellen Ratner, and the rest of the "dozens and dozens" are definitely on the right-wing tilt.

As we are well aware, Farah claim that he has "a very thick skin" is a complete lie. That's not the only lie he tells here:

I started to see some warning signs that Coulter was losing her principled edge just three years later in 2009, when she led a vicious public assault against “birthers,” as liberals and Democrats dubbed those who asked very tough questions about Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility for the White House – questions that have still never been answered, by the way.

Actully, those questions have been answered -- Farah has simply chosen not to report those answers to his readers.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:12 PM EST
AIM Co-Sponsors Right-Wing Confab Filled With Rants, Racial Humor
Topic: Accuracy in Media

For the past several weeks, Accuracy in Media has had on the front page of its website a promotion for the Western Conservative Conference (see right), which was held in Phoenix this past weekend. AIM served as a co-sponsor of the event.

And what did AIM get for its co-sponsoring money? A lot of right-wing ranting and racially charged so-called humor.

The racially charged humor came from Arizona State Rep. John Kavanagh during a roast of sheriff Joe Arpaio:

Early in his tour de force monologue, Kavanagh riffed, “It’s okay. I’m not the federal monitor. How many Hispanics did you pull over on the way over here, Arpaio, huh?” The crowd roared.

Then he pivoted to an immigration joke, “Sheriff Joe is the kind of guy that you gotta love. As long as you have papers.”

Soon he was making light of the controversy around the “religious freedom” bill SB 1062, which would allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples. Kavanagh, who supports the bill, dismissed the criticism with a joke at the expense of Muslims and Arpaio:

Now a lot of people claim that SB 1062 is gonna cause discrimination based upon religion in Arizona.

And I scoffed at that until tonight. When a Muslim waiter serving up here walked up to Sheriff Joe, wouldn’t give him his dinner ’cause he said ‘I don’t serve swine.’

The crowd reacted with some shock, but not about the Muslim remark. Arpaio covered his face with his napkin. Kavanagh quipped that it “wasn’t quite a burka.”

The entire Western Conservative Conference was a hub of activity for far-right activists. As Media Matters notes, the conference was hosted by Floyd Brown, who has turned the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center into a hotbed of Obama-hating conspiracists (not that Farah probably thinks there's anything wrong with that). The conference also included other far-right fringers like Trevor Loudon and Russell Pearce.

These are the kind of people AIM was hanging out with in Arizona this past weekend.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EST
WND's Unruh Still Can't Be Bothered To Report Both Sides Of A Story
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has never been interested in reporting with any modicum of fairness on views he doesn't agree with (when he mentions those views at all), and that tendency shows up again in a Feb. 25 article.

In it, Unruh frames the issue of transgender rights for public school students through the eyes of its opponents, as the lead paragraph of his article makes all too clear:

Opponents of California’s radical “coed bathroom law,” which allows public school students to choose whether to identify themselves as boys or girls, are vowing to continue their fight even though state officials claimed they did not turn in enough signatures to have voters decide the issue.

WND has regularly parroted right-wing fearmongering about transgenders by uncritically portraying the issue as being about "coed bathrooms" and showers.

Unruh lavishes attention of the anti-transgender views of Brad Dacus of the right-wing Pacific Justice Institute, a serial misinformer who peddles anti-gay views. Unruh makes no effort whatsoever to talk to a supporter of transgender rights.

Unruh also throws in the views of his equally anti-gay superior at WND, David Kupelian, complaining that transgenderism is being "de-pathologized" and no longer considered a "mental disorder."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EST
Thursday, February 27, 2014
NewsBusters Thinks George Takei Was Shrieking And Ranting On MSNBC
Topic: NewsBusters

Jeffrey Meyer writes in a Feb. 25 NewsBusters post:

Actor and gay rights activist George Takei is known for his outspokenness when talking about gay marriage. As a result, the former "Star Trek" cast member felt the need to jump into the debate surrounding Arizona’s new religious freedom bill.

Appearing as a guest on The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell on Monday night, Takei expressed his outrage with the Arizona bill and proclaimed that not only is Arizona’s SB 1062 “not a religious freedom bill at all” he shrieked that “religious freedom is just a cloak for prejudice.”

Takei continued his rant against the Arizona bill by pushing the liberal line that “They're trying to write their prejudice into civil law… But it's these right-wing religious extremists that seem to dominate in the legislature.”


Instead of acknowledging that private businesses are being sued for refusing to service gay weddings, the actor chose to make a blanket disparaging statement that religious freedom doesn’t really exist and instead is “just a cloak for prejudice.” Takei concluded his tirade by pronouncing that SB 1962 is “really a disgraceful repugnant bill that is trying to hide under the cloak of religious freedom.” [emphasis added]

We watched the video attached to Meyer's post (it's an edited one-minute clip plucked from a nine-minute segment) and we didn't see any "shrieking" or "ranting" by Takei, or even a "tirade." He spoke in a sonorous, steady tone -- the guy was Sulu on "Star Trek," after all --  and did not even raise his voice.

Did Meyer watch the same video we did? Or is he simply trying to discredit Takei's argument by falsely portraying him as a crazy ranter?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 PM EST
WND's Corsi Doesn't Understand How A Law Firm Works
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi coinspiracy-mongers in a Feb. 26 WorldNetDaily article:

Perkins Coie, the Seattle-based law firm that has defended Barack Obama in lawsuits challenging the authenticity of his birth records, has emerged as the muscle for Federal Communications Commission threats against media that run advertising critical of Obamacare and of Democrats running for election in November 2014.

Corsi falsely suggests that the same lawyers who worked for the Obama campaign are also working for the Democratic congressman on whose behalf Perkins Coie sent the letters to the TV stations about the inaccurate ad, but at no point does Corsi name the lawyers who sent the letter.

Perkins Coie is a very large law firm, with more than 900 lawyers in 19 offices across the United States and Asia, so it's extremely unlikely the exact same lawyers worked on both cases.

Corsi seems unable to comprehend that a law firm, especially a large one like Perkins Coie, can more than one client and more than one lawyer, and they usually don't work as a cabal.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:28 PM EST
CNS' Starr Has Another Anti-Gay Freakout

Penny Starr is's lead homophobe, and she shows it again in a pair of recent articles.

Starr used a Feb. 24 CNS article to inform us that "Former Olympic figure skating champion Johnny Weir has not tried to hide his homosexuality as NBC’s daytime figure skating analyst. He has worn bright pink and huge, sparkling jewelry as he and former champ Tara Lipinski commentated on this year’s skaters at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia." Because wearing flashy clothing could only mean that Weir is gay.

In another Feb. 24 article, Starr complains that an "American Idol" contestant has two moms:

MK Nobilette is “making history” as the first openly lesbian contestant on "American Idol," but she is also the first contestant to have two lesbian mothers supporting her in the audience.

Nobilette, 20, was selected to go to Hollywood during the San Francisco, Calif., audition, where she lives with her girlfriend. On Thursday, she was named as one of the Top 13 on the show.


A Feb. 19 article on the 429 website noted Nobilette’s “two mothers.”

“Following her first performance of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ on Tuesday, February 18, the San Francisco-raised Nobilette received a standing ovation from the crowd—which included her two mothers, one of whom was unable to hold in happy tears,” the article stated.

Starr must have had to work hard to find  a news article that mentioned Nobilette's parents so she could work up the proper outrage. 429 is not even a news organization per se -- it's a website serving as "a go-to destination for the LGBTA professional set." It probably pained Starr to comb through that website as it did to say something positive about a gay person.

Starr ironically closes the article by quoting Nobilette as saying of her sexuality, "I hope in 10 years we won't even have to talk about this." Not if Starr and CNS have anything to do with it, and continue to feel they can get away with creating opportunities for their right-wing audience to mock and slander gay people -- as the comment thread on both articles indicate.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 27, 2014 2:16 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: WND Becomes Steve Stockman's PR Shop
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Garth Kant leads WorldNetDaily in serving as the (presumably unpaid) press agent for the Texas congressman's run for a Senate seat. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Newsmax's Editorial Content Promotes An Advertiser
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is pulling out all the stops to promote the new film "Son of God" -- and it couldn't possibly have nothing to do with the fact that the film is being advertised on Newsmax.

A Feb. 26 article by Melissa Clyne carries the hyperbolic headline "'Son of God' Set to Blow Away Box Office Projections."

Newsmax has also posted a Feb. 26 Reuters article featuring Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman claiming that "Son of God" will be "the antidote to the poison that 'Passion of the Christ' became" due to claims of anti-Semitism and excessive violence.

Note the sponsor line "See the Son of God and Watch the Story of Jesus Come to Life in Theaters" at the top of both of those articles. The producers of "Son of God" has apparently bought that strip, which appears at the top of all Newsmax articles -- the link goes to a website promoting the film.

Whether it may or may not actually be the case, Newsmax has created the appearance that it has adjusted its news content to be complementary to its advertising.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 PM EST
Things You Won't Read At WND, Patrick Henry College Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is a good buddy of evangelical Christian, homeschooler-friendly Patrick Henry College -- it has served as a PR agent for the school, at least one child of WND editor Joseph Farah has attended the school, and founder Michael Farris always gets good press for his homeschooling activism.
Which is why you are extremely unlikely to read this story at WND, reported by the New Republic, of PHC's callous attitude toward female students who have been sexually assaulted:
Researchers estimate that one in five American women is sexually assaulted in college, and Patrick Henry College’s unique campus culture has not insulated the school from sexual violence. In fact, it puts female students, like Claire Spear, in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
When Claire told Dean Corbitt what had happened in John’s car that night, she says, “it felt like I was just talking to a brick wall.” The administration “basically told me that they couldn’t do anything because none of the details of my story could be proven.” It seemed to her that the school was far more concerned about her underage drinking than it was about an allegation of sexual assault. Corbitt forced Claire to call her mother to tell her she was in trouble for alcohol—and told Claire to be careful because she had put herself on the dean’s “radar.” Claire says PHC administrators never mentioned the possibility of involving the police. The administration was supposed to be a second parent, Claire says, but “they didn’t take me seriously.”
Claire was not the first female student to leave PHC disillusioned with the administration she had trusted to protect her. Other female students who say they reported sexual assault or harassment to the administration also left feeling that school officials blamed them instead of holding the accused male students accountable. The administration, they say, seemed much more concerned with protecting Patrick Henry’s pristine public image.
PHC officials denied the claims made in the article (though those same officials mostly refused to talk to the New Republic for the article), and Farris posted a response on his personal Facebook page (later deleted) in which he claimed there was "reliable evidence" that the reported sexual behavior was "consensual," that he is not a part of the Quiverfull movement (despite having 10 children), and that he has no role inoperating PHC despite the fact he's the school's founder and chancellor.
If WND bothers to report on this at all, it will be from the perspective of Farris and PHC defending itself against scurrilous accusations, and it certainly won't consider the possibility that the former students' stories are true.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:48 PM EST
Bozell vs. CPAC, Round 3
Topic: Media Research Center

It's that time of year again -- when Brent Bozell picks a fight with CPAC.

This year, Bozell has thrown such a fit at the idea that an atheist group was invited to have a booth at CPAC that he spread his displeasure across the MRC empire:

“The invitation extended by the ACU, Al Cardenas and CPAC to American Atheists to have a booth is more than an attack on conservative principles. It is an attack on God Himself.

“American Atheists is an organization devoted to the hatred of God. How on earth could CPAC, or the ACU and its board of directors, and Al Cardenas condone such an atrocity?

“It makes absolutely no difference to me that CPAC and ACU have backed down and removed the booth. I am sick and tired of these games.

“I will continue to denounce CPAC, ACU and Cardenas. No conservative should have anything to do with this conference. If you do, you are giving oxygen to an organization destroying the conservative movement.”

A couple points here:

  • What does Bozell's ideological spat have to do with the MRC's declared mission of hunting out media bias?
  • We thought Bozell didn't believe in censorship -- he has repeatedly accused the media of "censorship" for allegedly ignoring things that conformed to his right-wing agenda. Yet here he is, acting as a censor for CPAC. Hypocrisy much?

This is just the latest shenanigan Bozell has engaged in with CPAC:

  • In 2011, he and the MRC refused to take part in CPAC "because of the continued participation of the homosexual activist organization GOProud." He never bothered to announce this on his own network of websites, though -- he let WorldNetDaily have the scoop.
  • In 2012, he petulantly withdrew the MRC from CPAC because he wasn't granted a suficiently prominent speaking slot.
  • Bozell's tantrum paid off because he got his desired speaking slot the following year, which he used to expand his Heathering to the entire Republican Party.

As long as Bozell continues to use the MRC as a cudgel to advance his personal political agenda instead of a tool to help Republicans, this war will continue for some time to come.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:59 AM EST
WND Sets Up Harvard Student To Be Mocked For Her Looks
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is apparently not afraid to mock a woman's looks, especially when it doesn't agree with what she has to say.

A Feb. 25 WND article by Joe Kovacs takes umbrage with Sandra Korn, a Harvard University student who wrote a column for the school newspaper arguing that the school not support research that runs counter to goals of "oppos[ing] racism, sexism, and heterosexism."

In a email promotion for the article, WND called Korn a "Harvard 'beauty'" -- with "beauty" in scare quotes -- and a "Harvard newspaper gal."

That's definitely denigrating language; we suspect that nobody at WND would call, say, Chelsea Schilling a "website gal."

Now that readers have been set up to ridicule Korn's looks, the article itself delivers with a large picture of Korn placed between the headline and the article:

Apparently, as far as WND is concerned, being a non-conservative is the same thing as being unattractive. Not exactly an enlightened view of women, is it?

Kovacs goes on to mislead readers about Korn's column, falsely claiming that she "insists Harvard stop guaranteeing students and professors the right to hold controversial views and conduct research putting liberalism in a negative light." In fact, the only time the word "liberal" appears in her column is when she's criticizing "the liberal obsession with 'academic freedom.'"

The rest of Kovacs' article is just dutiful stenography of Rush Limbaugh's musings on the subject, which appears to be his main job at WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
MRC Is Still Portraying 'Philomena' As 'Anti-Catholic'
Topic: Media Research Center

Scott Whitlock uses a Feb. 20 Media Research Center item to assert that the film "Philomena" is "anti-Catholic," with "harsh anti-Catholic plot points." He then comlains that the film "includes a scene where actor/writer Steve Coogan denounces the 'fucking Catholics.'"

As we pointed out when others at the MRC attacked the film, the woman whose real-life story served as a basis for the film has praised it, calling the film "a testament to good things, not an attack" and pointing out that "despite some of the troubles that befell me as a young girl, I have always maintained a very strong hold on my faith."

That's right -- the woman whose story the film is based on doesn't think the film is anti-Catholic. How can Whitlock claim that it is? Perhaps because he's being paid to do so; after all, he's just parroting the attacks of his boss, Brent Bozell.

Bozell and the MRC adhere to a strictly conservative interpretation of Catholicism that goes after critics and hides the fact that Bozell is on the board of two conservative Catholic groups.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EST
WND's Loudon Whitewashes Limbaugh's Denigration of Sandra Fluke
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Gina Loudon does a fine job of soft-pedaling Rush Limbaugh's three-day misognistic tirade against Sandra Fluke in a Feb. 22 WorldNetDaily article:

When talk radio king Rush Limbaugh commented on Sandra Fluke’s desire to have free birth control, many thought the days were numbered for the conservative icon, and his medium, talk radio.

Of course, Limbaugh did a lot more than "comment" on Fluke -- he hurled every disgusting insult at her he could think of.

And Loudon is lying when she claims that Fluke talked of her "desire to have free birth control." She did not discuss her personal life at all; according to NPR, she offered "a rousing lawyer-like defense of why failing to cover contraceptives is unfair to women."

But the article isn't about Fluke -- it's about how "Limbaugh remains the king of the hill in talk radio" and conservative opinion is growing. Since this is a right-wing fluff piece, Loudon won't tell you exactly how disgusting and denigrating Lmbaugh's "comments" about Fluke were.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:05 PM EST
CNS' Jeffrey Keeps Up His Electricity Freakout, Still Ignores Efficiency
Topic: editor in chief Terry Jeffrey is still freaking out about decreased electricity production in a Feb. 21 article:

Historically, in the United States, rising electricity prices have not been inevitable. In the first decades after World War II, the U.S. rapidly increased it electricity production, including on a per capita basis. Since 2007, the U.S. has decreased its electricity production, including on a per capita basis.


Over the last seven years, according to the EIA, the U.S. has actually decreased its total net electricity generation, although not in an unbroken downward line from year to year (generation did increase from 2009 to 2010 before going down again in 2011 and 2012).

The EIA has published historical data going back to 1949 on the nation’s annual total net electricity generation, which EIA measures in million kilowatthours.

In 1949, according to EIA, the U.S. produced 296,124.289 million KWH of electricity. By 1959, it produced 713,378.831—an increase of 417,254.542 million KWH or about 141 percent.

In 1969, the U.S. produced 1,445,458.056 million KWH—an increase of 732,079.225 or about 103 percent from 1959.

In 1979, the U.S. produced 2,250,665.025 million KWH—an increase of 805,206.969 or about 55.7 percent from 1969.

In 1989, the U.S. produced 2,967,146.087 million KWH—an increase of 716,481.062 or about 31.8 percent from 1979.

In 1999, the U.S. produced 3,694,809.810 million KWH—an increase of 727,663.723 or about 24.5 percent from 1989.

In 2009, the U.S. produced 3,950,330.927 million KWH--an increase of 255,521.117 or about 6.9 percent.

In 2007, according to EIA, the U.S. generated a net total of 4,156,744.724 million KWH of electricity, which, so far, is the historical peak. In 2012, the last year for which full data is available, the U.S. generated a net total of 4,047,765.26 million KWH. That represents a drop of 108,979.464 million KWH--or about 2.6 percent--in the nation’s electricity production since 2007.

As before, Jeffrey fails to acknowledge the primary reason why electricity production has dropped: Increased efficiency of appliances and electronics.

Instead, Jeffrey tries to blame the decline on "a decrease in the electricity produced by coal—which has not been replaced by a commensurate increase in the electricity produced by natural gas or the “renewable” sources of wind and solar" -- again, without acknowledging the fact that less demand for electricity has allowed for that reduction.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 PM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« February 2014 »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google