MRC Bigwigs Shill for Levin Book, Don't Disclose Business Deal With Him Topic: Media Research Center
In an August 5 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham mockingly wrote of "this week’s contest to see who can be the most obsequious Jon Stewart ring-kisser."
But when it comes to be the most obsequious Mark Levin ring-kisser, Graham has that covered. Graham and Brent Bozell let the Levin sycophancy fly in their latest column, which was posted the same day as Graham's above hypocritical sneering:
Arrogant liberal journalists naturally assume that conservative talk radio only succeeds in making Americans dumber. They reach this conclusion by avoiding conservative talk radio entirely.
The overwhelming majority would never dare appear on one of these shows and debate the conservative host.
If one of them ever entered the ring with Mark Levin, they'd invoke the "mercy rule" before the first commercial break.
In recent years, Levin has matched a brainy talk show with a series of brilliant political books. The latest is called "Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future." It's a good bet that no liberal journalist will read it, no liberal newspaper will review it, and that no liberal network would imagine calling up Levin for an interview. They are too busy advocating tolerance and diversity.
Graham and Bozell won't tell you, of course, that Levin's on the payroll -- the MRC pays Levin to say nice things about it on his radio show, and the MRC recipriocates by saying nice things about him on its network of websites. Meaning that their column is, in fact, a paid advertisement for Levin's book.
How dedicated is the MRC to slobbering over Levin? For but one example: the blog at MRC-operated CNSNews.com has run a whopping 22 articles transcribing Levin's pearls of wisdom just since July 1. That's even more than the rate at which CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman publishes the most hateful words he can find from Franklin Graham.
CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey joined his bosses in the paid-ad route, also devoting his August 5 column to slobbering over Levin and describing how his book "compelling argues [sic]" against "open-ended immigration" and "warns of the collapse of constitutional restraints on government power."
Like his bosses, Jeffrey didn't the business arrangement between Levin and and his employer.
We'd say how ironic it is that a self-proclaimed media watchdog would refuse to do something so fundamental to journalism as disclose an obvious conflict of interest, but the MRC has never subjected itself to the same rules it applies to others.
WND Still Hiding Extremist, Violence-Condoning Links to Anti-Abortion Videos Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 3 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh, on a judge blocking release of more dishonestly edited anti-abortion videos, is alarmingly headlined, "Baby-parts judge fears 'violence' -- against abortionists." Unruh writes of the request to block the videos, requested by the National Abortion Foundation:
“That security has been compromised by the illegal activities of a group with ties to those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers,” said NAF President Vicki Saporta in an announcement about the filing. “CMP went to great lengths to infiltrate our meetings as part of a campaign to intimidate and attack abortion providers.”
Saporta provided no support for her claim that CMP is tied to “those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers.”
And so, WND continues to hide evidence that Operation Rescue -- one of the groups behind the anti-abortion videos from the Center for Medical Progress -- and its principals Troy Newman and Cheryl Sullenger do have a history of perpetrating or condoning violence against abortion doctors.
As we've documented -- and as Operation Rescue has yet to refute -- Newman has twice been reported to condone the murder of abortion doctors, and Sullenger served prison time for plotting to bomb an abortion clinic.
WND has an obvious conflict of interest here because it published an anti-abortion book by Newman and Sullenger last year. but Unruh won't tell you that either.
We don't think Unruh is a stupid enough reporter to omitted this information inadvertently. Which means he's deliberatly withholding information.
CNS Promotes Anti-Gay 'Civil Rights Activist' Topic: CNSNews.com
Penny Starr writes in an Aug. 4 CNSNews.com article:
President George W. Bush, rather than President Barack Obama, will be best remembered for a legacy of having helped the African people, a Nigerian civil rights activist and attorney said on Tuesday.
“President Bush will really be remembered as the president who had the most impact on Africa of the last three presidents,” said Emmanuel Obege. “I think they’re no doubt about it.”
When asked to expand on his contrast of the impact on Africa of the Bush and Obama presidencies, Obege responded that each had very different priorities.
“The point I’m trying to make is President Bush actually did something that was relevant to the crisis that was facing the continent at the time,” he said.
“When you show up and you’re saying to the people of Africa ‘You need to legalize gay marriage’ – I had a lot of Africans say, ‘Well, when our presidents go to America we don’t say to you to legalize polygamy even though we have a lot of polygamy in Africa and we think it’s a great idea, but we don’t come to your country and tell you to do that.’”
Obege referred to Obama’s recent visit to Kenya where he lobbied for homosexual rights.
Holding a four-year-old HIV-positive boy from South Africa, President Bush speaks at the White House on May 30, 2007 about his efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and worldwide. (AP File Photo) ‘And the president of Kenya [Uhuru Kenyatta] said to him, ‘Well, Mr. President, thank you very much for your kind thoughts but this is really not an issue for us,’” Obege said.
“I’ve been asked when I testified in Congress ‘What is happening with the persecution of gays in Nigeria?’ Obege said. “And I said, very frankly, no gay person has been killed in Nigeria but you have thousands of Christians being killed.”
Not only does Starr spell the man's name wrong throughout her article -- it's Emmanuel Ogebe -- she uncritically repeats his falsehood about Obama and gives him a pass on his denial of gay persecution in Africa.
Contrary to Ogebe, Obama never pushed for legalization of gay marriage during his visit to Africa. He did, however, highlight the persecution of gays in Africa and argued that they shouldn't be the victim of discrimination because of their sexual orientation.
Contrary to Ogebe's suggestion that gays are not persecuted in Nigeria, a 2014 Mother Jones article highlights the sad reality for gays in that country:
Around midnight on February 13, a young Nigerian man named Femi* was jolted out of his evening prayer by shouting outside his window. A crowd of some 40 people had gathered around his house. "No more homosexuals in Gishiri!" they yelled, referring to Femi's neighborhood within Nigeria's capital city, Abuja. The mob broke down his door and dragged him outside in his boxers. They beat him and about 13 other gay men that night with broken furniture, machete handles, sticks, and a garden rake, vowing to kill them if they didn't clear out of the neighborhood.
The attack, and other acts of vigilante violence targeting gays and lesbians around the country, was motivated by a new anti-gay law that Nigeria's president signed January 7. The measure, modeled off the one that Uganda enacted in late February, levies harsh prison sentences on anyone who makes a "public show" of a "direct" or "indirect" same-sex relationship or supports an LGBT organization (10 years), and anyone who attempts to enter into a same-sex marriage (14 years), even though this would be virtually impossible in Nigeria. The anti-gay backlash the law has provoked in Nigeria has led not just to violence, but to homelessness, unemployment, harassment, and a steep drop-off in HIV/AIDS treatment.
If "no gay person has been killed in Nigeria," one -- and probably more -- will be killed soon, and Ogebe apparently doesn't care.
Another gay Nigerian writes of having fled the country because there ceased being opportunities for him there after his homosexuality became known: "I hope I will be able to walk freely in Nigeria one day without the fear of being lynched or jailed."
Further, according to Mother Jones, the ramped-up persecution of gays in Nigeria will likely hamper HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in the country because "social scientists have been scared off from taking stock of HIV trends in Nigeria—data that can improve the response to the epidemic—until the government can assure researchers that they will be exempt from punishment under the law."
It's laughable that Ogebe presents himself as a "civil rights activist" when he apparently believes a particular group of people doesn't deserve any. The fact that he was appearing at an event by the Family Research Council -- notorious for its hatred of gays -- is a clue that his "civil rights" credentials shouldn't be taken seriously. It seems that he thinks only Christians deserve full civil rights.
And Starr is just a lazy reporter who can't be bothered to tell both sides of a story, let alone spell the guy's name correctly.
UPDATE: CNS has corrected the misspelling of Ogebe's name in Starr's article. But here's a screenshot of the non-corrected version for posterity:
WND Columnist Pushes Lies About Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've already documented how fringe-right doctor and WorldNetDaily fave Elizabeth Lee Vliet peddles fear and mendacity. Well, Vliet takes mendacity to new heights in her July 31 WND column smearing Mar agaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood:
Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood in 1916 and idolized by feminists today, was a leader in the Eugenics movement, speaking and writing extensively on the urgency of “exterminating inferior races.”
Sanger focused particularly on blacks, saying, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” Sanger also wrote, “Slaves, Latin, and Hebrew immigrants are…a deadweight of human waste. Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a menace to the (human) race.”
Sanger must be ecstatic. Her legacy of Planned Parenthood has cost the lives of over 57 million babies since 1973, with over 13 MILLION of them African-American babies. That makes Planned Parenthood the leader in black genocide. Over 80 percent of Planned Parenthood abortions are either black or Hispanic babies.
Those purported quotes from Sanger are lies. As Wikiquote notes, there is no record of Sanger saying either of the quotes Vliet attributes to her. While Sanger did once refer to "human weeds," it was not a racial reference, and the "menace" quote is simply made up out of whole cloth.
Vliet's claim that "Over 80 percent of Planned Parenthood abortions are either black or Hispanic babies" also appears to be false, and she offers no evidence to back it up. In fact, whites make up 55 percent of abortions nationwide, and blacks and other races constitute the rest. We found no evidence that Planned Parenthood's numbers are any different than those nationally.
The closest claim we were able to find to Vliet's assertion was by one group of anti-abortion activists that "79% of its surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods." But even that's misleading; the group's definition of "within walking distance" is a two-mile radius -- a rather lengthy distance to walk to anything, let alone a Planned Parenthood clinic -- and those "African American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods" tend to be on the fringe of that radius.
Vliet's vicious hatred of Planned Parenthood does not give her permission to lie, no matter how proud WND is of publishing misinformation.
CNS Dishonestly Smears Obama As Lover of China's "Five-Year Plan" Topic: CNSNews.com
Yes, we know CNSNews.com puts its right-wing, anti-Obama agenda ahead of the facts. But never so egregiously as it did in the headline of an Aug. 1 article (curiously credited to "CNSNews.com Staff," as if nobody wanted to have their name associated with this): "Obama Wants 5-Year Plan: ‘I Guarantee You This Is Not How China’ Handles Its Infrastructure."
We can guarantee you that's not how a real news operation, staffed by actual journalists instead of ideologues, would have handled that headline.
The implication is that Obama is no different than a Red Chinese dictator who wants meaningless "five-year plans" to create the illusion of progress as in the old Soviet era. In fact, as the speech the article reproduces makes clear, Obama was speaking after signing a three-month extension of the current funding plan for transportation needs in the U.S. Obama said:
Well, I am about to sign a three-month extension of our highway funding. And that’s a good thing, because if this wasn’t in front of me and ready for signature, we would end up having projects all across the country that would be closing after midnight.
On the other hand, we have now made it a habit where instead of five-year funding plans for transportation, instead of long-term approaches where we can actually strategize on what are the most important infrastructure projects, how are they getting paid for, providing certainties to governors and mayors and states and localities about how they’re going to approach critical infrastructure projects -- roads, bridges, ports, airports -- instead, we operate as if we’re hand-to-mouth three months at a time, which freezes a lot of construction, which makes people uncertain, which leads to businesses not being willing to hire because they don’t have any long-term certainty. It’s a bad way for the U.S. government to do business.
So what Obama is talking about is a "five-year" funding plan. And these "five-year plans" CNS is sneering at is how the federal government has handled transportation spending for nearly 40 years, including under Republican presidents. The Center for Climate and Energy Solution summarizes:
Since 1978, Congress has reauthorized the federal transportation program as part of a larger multi-year surface transportation law.The HTF funded only highways until 1983, when Congress created the Mass Transit Account, and in later years added bicycle/pedestrian projects, recreational trails, and funding for freight and passenger rail projects. Until 2008, the HTF was funded exclusively from highway- user fees, including fuel and vehicle fees.
The two most recent reauthorization laws are called SAFETEA-LU and MAP-21. SAFETEA-LU was enacted in 2005 and was intended to expire in 2009. While working on a multi-year reauthorization, however, Congress passed short-term extensions of SAFETEA-LU nine times. The current multi-year reauthorization, MAP-21, was enacted in 2012 and is set to expire on October 1, 2014, unless Congress reauthorizes the program.
MAP-21 has been extended twice since October 2014, and what Obama just signed is the third extension that will continue MAP-21 another three months.
And CNS fails to mention that one key reason there isn't a new transportaion plan is because of the Republicans that control the House and Senate. Politico reports:
There are emerging divisions between House and Senate GOP leaders, who now have fewer than six weeks to deal with a vexing highway problem that’s been unsolved for seven years and costs billions just to keep on life support past July 31.
In the House, Republicans have basically given up on finding the tens of billions of dollars they’d need for a long-term fix for the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. Instead, they’re mulling how to pay for the latest punt. But on the other side of the Capitol, Senate Republicans refuse to admit defeat, even though they have yet to come up with the huge sums of money they’d need for a major extension.
Politico also notes that some Republicans are in favor of one of those hated "five-year plan" type things: "Senior lawmakers say they are aiming for a funding bill that covers up to four years, which would cost as much as $60 billion just to extend current highway spending levels."
Oh, and Obama cited the decidedly non-communist Germany as another example of a country that doesn't fund transportation this way. But strangely, that didn't make it into CNS' headline.
But hey, since when does the truth matter if there's a cheap political attack to be made?
By the way, this article was presented as "news," not the dishonest opinion that it is.
Newsmax In Full Trump Promotion Mode Topic: Newsmax
As one might expect given their history together, Newsmax is doing what it can to boost Donald Trump's presidential bid. Here are three of the most obsequious ways it's doing so.
1) The book promo. Newsmax loves giving away books to gin up subscriptions to its magazine, and this time it's using Trump's 2010 book "Time To Get Tough" as its loss leader. The promo copy is positively fawning:
Donald Trump officially put his name in the ring for the 2016 elections, and he touched down like a tornado with his presidential announcement at the Trump Tower in New York.
The well-known entrepreneur and American success story is brazenly taking a stab at real change for our country, with a solid plan to do away with the “losers” who run what was once the most powerful nation in the world.
His announcement speech exposed the flaws of the nation’s leaders and recalled strong elements from his best-selling book, “Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again.”
“Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again” is a pointed reflection on America today. It’s a face-the-facts profile of the damage the Obama administration has done and the concrete solutions needed to stop our decline.
As per usual, the book comes with a three-month "free" subscription to Newsmax magazine and a financial newsletter, which must be canceled before recipients are charged $39.95 for a year's subscription to the magazine and $49.95 for the newsletter.
2) Trump campaign-esque PR. The July 25 Newsmax article is listed as being written by Jim Meyers, but it may have just as well come directly from the Trump campaign's media shop:
Donald Trump has consistently been outpolling all announced Republican presidential candidates despite a barrage of lies in the media about the business mogul.
Here's a look at some of the more prominent untruths the media have reported about Trump:
Meyers has to really finesse the facts to go after some of these "untruths," like this:
The Washington Post reported that Trump said "McCain was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese." But Trump immediately modified his statement by saying, four times, that McCain is a war hero, including: "He is a war hero" and "he is a war hero because he was captured."
But doesn't the fact that Trump "immediately modified" his statement on McCain mean that Trump actually did say McCain wasn't a war hero? You'd think so, but Trump -- er, Meyers feels differently.
3) Kessler's Trump-fluffing. Ronald Kessler -- a Trump-fluffer who did all he could to set the billionaire up for a presidential run in 2012 when he was still a Newsmax employee -- comes back to do some serious sucking-up to the guy in a July 27 article:
The "real Donald Trump" is not the brash, outspoken presidential candidate we're seeing but instead is a sound businessman with smart ideas, says a best-selling author.
During an appearance on Newsmax TV's "Newsmax Prime," Ronald Kessler tells host J.D. Hayworth that if Trump makes it to the general election, he'll know what to do.
"I interviewed his longtime assistant and vice president Norma Foerderer, who went back to when he didn't even have an office," says Kessler, who has written 20 nonfiction books about the Secret Service, CIA, and the FBI."
In a 2006 Kessler article titled "The Real Donald Trump," she revealed, “Donald can be totally outrageous, but outrageous in a wonderful way that gets him coverage. That persona sells his licensed products and his condominiums. You know Donald’s never been shy, and justifiably so, in talking about how wonderful his buildings or his golf clubs are.”
The private Donald Trump, on the other hand, is “the dearest, most thoughtful, most loyal, most caring man,” Foerderer said. That caring side inspires loyalty and is one of his secrets to success.
Kessler is so obsequious to Trump the guy might as well be paying him, if he isn't already.
4) Defending the indefensible. The Trump-fluffing has gotten so bad, Newsmax on Aug. 3 gave its Trump stories its own sycophantic section title, "Donald Trump Stays Strong":
Note the last story in that list, the only one that approaches being negative. It's about Trump aide Sam Nunberg, who had to be fired after offensive writings, including about Al Sharpton's daughter, surfaced. But the story itself, by Courtney Coren, desperately tries to spin things, quoting her boss trying to sweep the controversy under the rug by saying wonderful things about Nunberg:
Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy said that "Sam has played a terrific role in connecting the Trump campaign with the major media and grassroots organizations that have been key to Trump's success. I hope the investigation of this matter shows it is much to do about nothing."
That's the sound of a guy who is putting trying to stay in Trump's good graces above providing fair and balanced journalism.
MRC Names Blogging Award After A Terrible Blogger Topic: NewsBusters
Tonight is NewsBusters' 10th anniversary party, complete with party at a swanky downtown Washington, D.C. nightclub:
The celebration will be held at The Hamilton in downtown Washington, D.C., on Monday, August 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.
As part of the festivities, emcee Ann Coulter will announce our first annual Noel Sheppard Media Blogger of the Year Award. In honor of Noel's memory we established this award to go to a media blogger "who best reflects the spirit of Noel Sheppard’s energetic blog postings in pursuit of exposing the news media’s liberal political agenda."
Note that the Media Research Center is celebrating how "energetic" a blogger Sheppard was -- not how accurate he was.
We've been documenting Sheppard's work for NewsBusters since 2007, when we first noted his history of double standards, incomplete reporting, misleading claims and nasty attacks. He was also a factually challenged climate denier, to the point of telling lies about Al Gore to his infamous appearance on a conspiracy-theory TV show hosted by Jesse Ventura in which he delcared that global warming is all about “power and money and control of the population."
When he wasn't issuing corrections for his blog posts -- which was surprisinglyoften -- he was slapping cliched, recycled headlines on 'em. If you wanted to hear how somebody was "smacked down" or "schooled," Sheppard was your guy.
Given that, it's rather fitting that Ann Coulter will be giving out the Noel Sheppard award. She's turned herself into a performance artist who must continually say offensive things in order to stay in the headlines, to the point that she's effectively taking a eugenic approach to immigration (no fatties!), which used to be a bad thing when right-wingers accused Margaret Sanger of it.
The fact that MRC thinks Sheppard 1) deserves an award to be named after him and 2) is being "honored" by having Ann Coulter give it out says volumes about the MRC.
MRC's Bozell & Graham Cherry-Pick To Attack Stewart Topic: Media Research Center
Kicking off what is sure to be a week full of envy and spite at the Media Research Centder as Jon Stewart finishes up his run as host of "The Daily Show," Brent Bozell and Tim Graham devote their July 31 column to raging over Stewart's "secret" meetings with President Obama. In particular, they obsessed over one particular line:
Naturally, on his way out the door at Comedy Central, Stewart tried to turn the whole story into a nasty joke. After playing a series of Fox News clips reporting on the secret meetings, he announced one Obama meeting included Elvis and a space alien and the meeting opened with "the traditional Saul Alinsky prayer" before they "took turns [sexually penetrating] a replica of the Reagan eye socket." But wait, it gets worse. "The real Reagan eye socket is kept in the Smithsonian, and is only f—-ed on Christmas."
This kind of "comedy" mocking Christian, Fox-watching, Reagan admirers is his daily dish.
Actually, Stewart was mocking people and Bozell and Graham, who seem to think that's what actually happened during the Stewart-Obama meeting.
Apparently, Bozell and Graham stopped watching the "Daily Show" segment after that joke, for they missed Stewart explaining what happened in that White House visit and why he went.
Stewart pointed out that he had been mocking Vladimir Putin long before the "secret" meeting with Obama in which he was purportedly instructed to do so, adding:
Let me tell you how this happened. The president asked me to come to Washington, and I did. Because if the president tells you and you don't, who the [expletive] know what would happen?And by the way, to all future presidents: If you ask me to do that, I will do that, because I have no idea how to react to that other than, "What time?"
And here's how the meetings went. Here's what happened: We spent about five to seven minutes with Obama kind of scolding me not to turn young Americans cynical. And then I spent five to seven minutes explaining to him I'm actually skeptically idealistic and smiling like this. And then we spent about 45 minutes arguing about "really, the VA can't befixed any quicker?" of "Healthcare.gov can't come online without crashing my son's Minecraft game?" And then the whole thing basically takes place over some of, truly, the best salmon you have ever had.
Remember my interview with Obama last week? It was that, but with salmon.
Don't expect Bozell and Graham to provide the behind-the-scenes transparency for its "news" operation, CNSNews.com, that it demands (and ultimately received) from Stewart because, well, the MRC does not believe CNS should operate by the same rules it demands the "liberal media" follow.
Stewart also noted he had an actual secret meeting with Fox News chief Roger Ailes. But none of this matters to Bozell and Graham. Stewart committed the unforgiveable offense of making a joke at the sainted Reagan's expense, so he must be destroyed.
Well, that and the fact that Bozell and Co. are insanely jealous of Stewart's free-market success, especially compared to its own attempt at political satire, "NewsBusted," which is so painfully unfunny the even other right-wing websites ignore it.
WND's Morgan Brittany Is Unclear on the Concept Topic: WorldNetDaily
Morgan Brittany seems to be unclear about how American presidential elections work. She concludes her Donald Trump-promoting July 28 WorldNetDaily column with this:
Maybe for a moment Trump has turned the political system on its head – but just be honest: Wouldn’t you love to see him win the nomination, debate Hillary, go on to win the White House and on Inauguration Day politely say to Barack Obama – “YOU’RE FIRED!”?
I would “pay” to see that!
Brittany is apparently unaware that President Obama, being term-limited, cannot run for president again and will be leaving the White House on Inauguration Day no matter who wins the presidency. Thus, he cannot be "fired," not even in a reality-show sense, since his leaving office is preordained.
Someone should also tell Brittany that she does not have to "pay" to watch the presidential inauguration, whoever is being inaugurated (though that could change if Trump is elected). It's easily viewable on TV, and she can even go see it in person if she can get past security and is able to brave winter weather in Washington, D.C. (or, if she buddies up to Trump, have a chance at a better seat).
MRC's Double Standard on Crisis Management Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is tickled to death that Planned Parenthood has hired a crisis management to deal with the onslaught of dishonestly edited videos by anti-abortion activists (and extremists).
Brent Bozell ranted in a July 29 press release that "Planned Parenthood's newly-hired PR firm is encouraging the media blackout." It couldn't possibly be, in Bozell's mind anyway, that the dishonestly edited videos have been proven to push charges that the unedited videos don't support.
Bozell and Tim Graham rant in unision in their column the same day: "Politico reported Planned Parenthood hired the crisis communications team at SKDKnickerbocker, who circulated a memo pressuring reporters and producers from showing any more videos, 'arguing they were obtained under false identification and violated patient privacy.'"
Funny, we don't recall the MRC making a big deal out of Rush Limbaugh hiring a crisis manager-- perhaps because they were a crisis manager for him.
As we documented at the time, the MRC and its employees were fully on board with Limbaugh's 2012 denigration of Sandra Fluke as a "slut" for daring to talk about birth control in public, helpfully adding some denigration of their own -- until they realized Limbaugh's usual absurdity-to-highlight-absurdity wasn't working this time. So Bozell slammed the MRC into crisis-management mode, meekly conceding that Limbaugh "crossed a line" but he apologized so everything's hunky-dory now, but it isn't since the liberal media want to destroy him. Bozell then launched an MRC-run "I Stand With Rush" website to show appreciation for "the massive contribution that he has made to the conservative movement and our nation over the last 25 years." and insisting the controversy really "isn't about what Rush said."
That's not all. In 2014, the MRC touted a Limbaugh-issued report purporting to claim that a grassroots campaign critical of Limbaugh isn't grassroots at all. Graham quoted a Limbaugh press release quoting "Rush Limbaugh Show spokesperson" Brian Glicklich dismissing the critics as "politically motivated out-of-state activists," and Jeffrey Lord praised Limbaugh's "thorough, highly detailed investigation," also quoting Glicklich.
But who is Glicklich, really? He's the crisis manager Limbaugh hired in 2012, when advertisers were abandoning his show in the wake of his Fluke remarks. The fact that Glicklich's Twitter account still lists him as a "spokesperson for Rush Limbaugh" seems to indicate that the crisis is ongoing and still in need of management more than three years after the fact.
Bozell and Graham were silent about Limbaugh's crisis management (and their role in same), but chortle about Planned Parenthood hiring a crisis manager. Hypocrisy, defined.
WND Hides Operation Rescue's Ties to Anti-Abortion Violence Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a July 27 WorldNetDaily article, Leo Hohmann serves as a crisis-management agent for Operation Rescue, touting pushback by Planned Parenthood leader Cecile Richards that the group -- which is among the anti-abortion activists behind the Center for Medical Progress' dishonestly edited attacks on Planned Parenthood -- is made up of "militant anti-abortion extremists" that is "behind the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes and in their churches."
Hohmann turns to a less-than-objective group, Live Action, to offer a highly disingenous reponse:
She’s alluding to Dr. George Tiller, the late-term abortion doctor who was murdered in church by a man who acted independently. Scott Roeder, who killed Tiller, would call Operation Rescue on the phone (as any member of the public can do), but he was not part of their group. Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, sits on the board of CMP, so the abortion giant is trying to tie CMP to murder.
In fact, Operation Rescue denounced Roeder[.]
Hohmann even trots out Newman himself to claim he's "considering legal action against Richards for her slanderous and libelous accusations." Hohmann curiously fails to mention that his employer published a book by Newman and his Operation Rescue lieutenant, Cheryl Sullenger, hiding a conflict of interest in the issue.
And this is where we can speak on the issue -- and demonstrate how dishonest WND is being beyond the undisclosed conflict of interest.
Last year, WND acted on Newman and Sullenger's behalf by sending us a cease-and-desist letter demanding that we delete a 2014 ConWebWatch post in which we detailed Operation Rescue's links to anti-abortion violence that WND won't admit: The phone number to Sullenger and Operation Rescue was found on a note inside Roeder's car when he was arrested, and Sullenger herself was sentenced to three years in prison in 1988 for plotting to bomb an abortion clinic.
We declined WND's request on numerous grounds, among them that it was objecting to alleged behavior WND itself regularly engages in on its own website. We have heard nothing from WND's lawyer since.
Newman's denouncement of Roeder is irrelevant -- it is, in all likelihood, something presented for public consumption as a way to stay in the mainstream anti-abortion movement. After all, Newman has expressed different views privately; Ms. Magazine reported Roederʼs claim that Newman said it “wouldnʼt upset” him if Tiller were murdered, as well as Roeder's claim that he was an active and regular participant in Operation Rescue events with "donation receipts, event T-shirts and a signed copy of Newman’s 2001 book, Their Blood Cries Out, to prove it."
Further, Operation Rescue under Newman and Sullenger issued a news release (h/t Media Matters) defending Paul Hill, who murdered an abortion doctor in Florida in 1994, by denouncing a court decision not to let Hill use as a defense in his trial the ability to call his murder a "justifiable defensive action" -- thereby effectively stating that Newman and Sullenger thought murder of an abortion doctor was justifiable. Newman and Sullenger called Hill's execution for the doctor's murder "nothing less than murder of a political prisoner."
And as Ms. Magazine also noted, Newman and Sullenger moved Operation Rescue's headquarters to Wichita for the sole purpose of targeting Tiller. Thus, it is logical to assume that even if Roeder had no connection to Operation Rescue (which he did no matter how much Newman tries to deny it), the provocation of moving the headquarters and continued aggressive targeting of Tiller helped create an atmosphere that resulted in Tiller's murder by Roeder.
Newman, whether he likes it or not, is indisputably linked to anti-abortion violence -- which would seem to undercut any slander or libel lawsuit he wants to file against Planned Parenthood (or us, for that matter). He should own what he has wrought and stop trying to harrass those who tell the truth into silence.
WND Presents A Year-Old Story As 'News' Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 29 WorldNetDaily article by Chelsea Schilling touts how "Former President Bill Clinton is cheating on Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and “has a blonde, busty mistress” code named 'Energizer' by Secret Service agents, according to author Ronald Kessler, a former investigative journalist at the Washington Post."
If that story sounds familiar, that's because it is -- it came out a year ago.
That's something Schilling would have known if she read her employer's website. A July 22, 2014, WND article notes Kessler's claim that "Clinton has a mistress nicknamed 'Energizer' by his security staff."
The original version of Schilling's article, available in Google cache, claims that "Kessler published his claims in his new book, 'The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents.'" But Kessler's book isn't new; it came out in August 2014, as the link to the Amazon page for the book in her article demonstrates. The current version of the article deletes the word "new"; the article is noted as being "updated" but not that a false claim was corrected.
The paperback version of Kessler's book came out this week, and Schilling apparently mistook Kessler's rehashing of claims to promote that release as something new. Meanwhile, Schilling is too preoccupied with serving as Kessler's PR agent to note that the salacious claims he makes are anonymously sourced and geared to sell books over imparting verifiable information, or that Kessler's previous book on the Secret Service was disputed by actual Secret Service agents.
Schilling has a long record of making false and misleading claims in her WND articles.
CNS' Starr Botches Facts To Do Stenography Topic: CNSNews.com
Penny Starr writes in a July 24 CNSNews.com article:
Conservatives gathered on Capitol Hill on Thursday to lay claim to the issue of reforming the United States criminal system, including ending the minimum mandatory sentencing laws that were passed by the Democrat majority in Congress three decades ago.
Kevin Ring, who was convicted as part of the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal and served 48 months in federal prison, called minimum mandatory sentences “a classic liberal idea.”
“We’re particularly focused on making sure that conservatives understand the mandatory minimums are nothing a conservative should support or defend,” said Ring, who is now the director of strategic initiatives for Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). “For some reason, people think this was a conservative law and order idea. That’s not true.
“The worst mandatory minimums we have on the books today – the ones that hit drug offenders, including low-level offenders, were passed by a Democratic Congress in the ‘80s. It’s a classic liberal idea,” he said. “You have to understand that.
Starr made no effort whatsoever to seek out an alternative view or even conduct any basic research on her subject, choosing instead to serve as a stenographer to Ring. Let's look at what she got wrong and/or misreprestations she allowed to stand unchallenged in her article:
1) Ring did not serve 48 months in prison for his role in the Abramoff scandal; he was sentenced to 20 months in prison, of which he served just 15 months.
2) Despite Ring's suggestion that his prison term was dictated by mandatory minimums, it was not. In fact, the Justice Department recommended that he be sentenced to 17 to 22 years in prison.
3) Contrary to Ring's claim, conservatives did support mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the 1980s. Support for the two major anti-drug sentencing bills was unambiguously bipartisan:
4) Starr didn't mention (and didn't note whether Ring did) that both of these supposedly non-conservative bills were signed into law by a conservative president, Ronald Reagan.
Instead of doing basic research, Starr was much more concerned with uncritically peddling the views of Ring and other conservatives that "Conservatives are leading the way on criminal justice reform." And her factual errors discredit herself and her employer in the process.
Birthers At WND Blame Obama (!) For Bringing Up Birtherism Topic: WorldNetDaily
Cheryl Chumley actually starts a July 27 WorldNetDaily article this way:
President Obama took time during his Kenya visit to drag out the birth-certificate issue again – just as he did in April and in March – and do some drive-by mocking of those who still question where he was born.
Really? Chumley -- whose employer the day before published a column promoting discredited birther conspiracy theories, and the very same day published an article featuring Sheriff Joe Arpaio responding to criticism o his "refusal to give up" the (discredited) idea "that President Obama’s birth certificate may have been forged," a discussion provoked when Arpaio discussed the issue with WND reporter Aaron Klein earlier this month -- thinks Obama is "drag[ging] out the birth-certificate issue again" simply by making a joke about it?
Chumley goes on to be weirdly offended that "This is the third time in just a few months Obama has brought up the birth-certificate matter at a very public venue." Apparently she hasn't noticed that her employer has been going birther for the past eight years. Except when it comes to evidence that discredits their birther conspiracies -- WND does a good job of shutting up about that.
Indeed, the unbylined article that accompanied Chumley's asserted that "Arpaio's investigative team concluded [the birth certificate] is a forgery" without any mention of the purported anomalies in the PDF of Obama's BC being easily duplicated by scanning the document using a common Xerox office scanner, or that, as former Cold Case Posse member Brian Reilly points out, the state of Hawaii has officially verified the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate, effectively putting the issue to rest once and for all.
Maybe Chumley should spend less time complaining that Obama is "drag[ging] out the birth-certificate issue again" and more time asking why her employer refuses to let it go despite all the evidence discrediting its conspiracy theories.
MRC's Double Standard on Mass Murderers' Motivation Topic: Media Research Center
When Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed several people in Chattanooga, the Media Research Center was upset that the media wouldn't jump to conclusions that Abdulazeez was a jihadi doing the direct bidding of ISIS and/or Al Qaeda, despite the lack of any solid evidence he was actually associated with Muslim extremists.
In a July 21 NewsBusters post, Tom Blumer was offended that a news article asked why Abdulazeez committed two attacks on military facilities and if "was he propelled to do so by his own demons or at the direction of someone else," sneering in response:
Gee, those questions aren't too tough.
The answers to those two questions aren't difficult to discern to a high confidence level.
According to ABC News, Abdulazeez "was following a radical American member of al Qaeda online in 2013, as well as pages of writing that showed the young man was suicidal and looking for a way to absolve what he considered were his sins, according to a representative of Abdulazeez's family." So if he wasn't "directed," he at least appears to have been "inspired" to attack "military sites" — a task made easier by prohibitions against soldiers carrying guns in "gun-free zones" at those installations.
But here we are, five days after Abdulazeez's massacre, with far more than enough evidence, yet virtually no one in authorty or in the establishment press wants to point directly at "radical Islam" or "Islamic jihad" as the likely or even possible motivation.
But when a non-Muslim commits a massacre -- like John "Rusty" Houser tried to do in a Louisiana movie theater, killing two before killing himself -- the last thing the MRC wants to talk about is the killer's motivation. Matthew Balan complained in a July 24 NewsBusters post:
On Friday's World News Tonight, ABC's Ryan Owens played up how Lafayette, Louisiana mass shooter John "Rusty" Houser was "politically active – even running for office as an ultra-conservative, anti-tax crusader in Georgia." Owens also spotlighted how "investigators are scouring Houser's postings on known anti-government websites – hoping, perhaps, to find some answers there." [video below]
The correspondent included his political superlative near the end of his report on Houser's background. Moments earlier, Owens outlined the perpetrator's "troubled past" – including his "'extreme erratic behavior'...'various acts of family violence'... [and] 'manic depression and/or bipolar disorder.' He continued by noting that "in 2001, Houser placed a swastika on the outside of the bar he owned, but denied he was a Nazi sympathizer." The journalist then continued with his "ultra-conservative" label of the murderer.
It seems the MRC only wants to hear the truth about mass murderers when they can easily be defined as an "other," not when the killer's views are not as far from their own.