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Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Gutless MRC Blogger Hides Behind A Fake Name
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 30 NewsBusters post by someone named Bruce Bookter on ESPN's shuttering of Grantland predictably degenerated into an anti-liberal rant:

Make no mistake, ESPN likely, no, ESPN definitely supports and stands behind every wack-a-doo leftist take from every one of their leftist wack-a-doo personalities. Trust me on this.

Case in point, ESPN has still not suspended Tony Kornheiser for comparing Tea Party Republicans to ISIS. Why? Because they see conservatives the same way Kornheiser does.

But you can get rid of Grantland without making declarative statements like “We’re getting out of the pop culture business.” Saying that signals a much deeper meaning than saying “Bill Simmons was a real tool, and he’s basically stealing all of our writers. So we’re shutting this puppy down.”

Look, I’m not saying conservative backlash against ESPN resulted in the network’s decision to stop trying to be MSNBC with highlight reels. Though, it could have played a part. But, do conservatives have to have caused this in order for it to be a conservative victory?

Then we get to the end and see the Bookter's bio: "Bruce Bookter is a sports journalist. This is a pen name."

That's right -- "Bookter" is a coward hiding behind a fake name, which means there's no reason to trust him.

Nevertheless, the Media Research Center thinks this fake "Bookter" guy is worth publishing (which is apparently defined by the intensity of his liberal-bashing). He's written five posts since mid-October, including the above-referenced attack on Kornheiser, and another whining that a sports website made a gay joke mocking a baseball player's anti-gay views.

At least Kornheiser and the other targets of "Bookter's" rants put their names out there. "Bookter," meanwhile, hides behind a fake name and hurls his poo. And the MRC encourages him to be a gutless coward.

A profile in courage he isn't. Put your real name on your blog post, Bookter, and maybe we can talk.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:27 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 8:29 PM EST
Farah Forgets There Was A Reason Romney Shunned WND In 2012
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah devoted his Oct. 30 WorldNetDaily column to complain about Mitt Romney highlighting how the partisan media has created a confirmation bias in which news consumers are "not seeing the other side" and "not even getting the same facts." AS he is want to do, Farah made it about himself by complaining that Romney wouldn't advertise on WND in the 2012 presidential election:

Did you know that during the 2012 election, the Romney campaign prohibited any advertising dollars to be spent on WND? On the other hand, as many of you noted with chagrin, the Obama campaign flooded WND with advertising messages.

What does that show?

Romney didn’t covet WND visitors as voters. Perhaps he felt it was a lost cause. Obama wanted them.

It shows the difference between the Democratic Party establishment and the Republican establishment. The Democrats compete for every vote. The Republicans don’t.

It also shows that the Republican establishment is actually more hostile to independent, Constitution-minded voters than is the Democratic establishment.

Farah seems to have forgotten how extreme his "news" operation was in 2012, so extreme Romney would justifiably shun it:

  • WND was heavily pushing its Obama birther lies and censoring the fact that they have been discredited.
  • WND's Jerome Corsi, on top of his birther activism, was spewing lies about Obama so egregious that his fellow birthers felt compelled to correct him.
  • WND's columnists were frothing at the mouth with anti-Obama hate, none so frothed as Larry Klayman and Mychal Massie.
  • WND had started its own anti-Obama super PAC, which turned out to be a total scam.
  • WND was entering its long, hot summer of race-baiting about "black mob violence" courtesy of Colin Flaherty.
  • By the end of the campaign, WND had completely destroyed what little credibility it had, and Farah himself declared that Obama's re-election is nothing short of "God's judgment" against America.

Why would any sentient being associate himself with an organization known for such extreme attacks and rhetoric? It seems that Romney was just acting prudently.

Of course, Farah could have blocked Obama's ads if he so chose, but 

Farah laughably pretends WND represents "independent" voters when, in reality, it peddled some of the sleaziest so-called journalism of the campaign. The fact that Farah refuses to repent for his sins tells us Romney was correct to shun WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 AM EST
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
At The MRC, White People Pass Judgment On 'Black-ish'
Topic: Media Research Center

ABC's show "Black-ish" is about a black father who questions whether his success has brought "too much assimilation," so he seeks to "establish a sense of cultural identity for his family that honors their past while embracing the future."

Who has the Media Research Center chosen to pass judgment on "Black-ish" for violations of right-wing orthodoxy? White people, of course, people who -- ideology aside -- are not the show's target audience.

The earliest mention of "Black-ish" at the MRC is a December 2014 piece by Tianna DiMartino (not black), who complained about the "racist jokes" in a Christmas-themed episode. In April, Scott Whitlock (not black) may have been amused by an episode with a "blink-and-you'll-miss-it Sarah Palin joke." In May, Kyle Drennen (not black) huffed that the show "treated Reublican African Americans as an abnormality that could not be tolerated."

This fall, "Black-ish" has gotten its own dedicated MRC show reviewer in the person of Dylan Gwinn, who in addition to not being black is actually more of a sports guy and, as we've documented, not the sharpest knife in the right-wing-media-bias drawer. All of which, apparently, makes him the ideal critic of a black-oriented show for the MRC instead of someone who is predisposed to hate-watch the thing.

We've already noted Gwinn's rant about the season opener's use of the N-word and his inability to distinguish between a fictional character using it in a Quentin Tarantino movie and Paula Deen using it in real life about real people.

In an Oct. 10 episode, Gwinn critiques references to the Tuskegee Experiment in a episode about a doctor visit. Gwinn was upset that the characters suggested that the blacks who took part in the experiment were deliberately injected with syphillis, complaining that this "is exactly the impression activists want you to have."

He then weirdly soft-pedals the experiments: he avers that it "was clearly not a 'Blue Star' moment in the history of American medicine" and that it was not "cool" that blacks with syphillis were untreated and misled about their actual condition, and he makes sure we know that the experiment's victims "had syphillis prior to the study taking place." As if that somehow makes the government's behavior less atrocious and the victims somewhat deserved what they got.

In an Oct. 15 post, Gwinn grumbled that "Blackish is not the type of show to let a little thing like the pesky network programming schedule get in the way of taking a belated shot at Columbus Day," then ranted about the show calling Columbus Day racist, insisting that the holiday's origin as a way to counter prejudice against Italian-Americans is some kind of counter to that narrative to "the left" portraying the day as a "symbol of racial genocide."

he concludes by ranting: "So, in their pursuit of taking the one holiday Italian-Americans are allowed away because it’s “racist,” the supposedly immigration-friendly and anti-racist left is continuing the traditions of 20th century anti-immigrant groups by singling out a group of people who were trying to defend themselves against racism. Progress? Not so much."

On Oct., 22, though, Gwinn shockingly had something nice to say about the show:

I must admit, when it dawned on me that ABC’s Blackish was about to tackle the issue of religion on Wednesday night’s episode, fresh off of dealing with guns, the Tuskegee experiment, and generalized racism, part of me cried on the inside.

However, I’m happy to report that my internal sadness was quite out of order. Blackish actually did a great job dealing with not only racial differences between whites and blacks, and the different kinds of churches they attend, but also just the drama and guilt that surrounds normal people and prevents them from getting to church on Sunday.

The following week, however, Gwinn was back to hate-watching, ranting again about Columbus Day and sneering that a couple dressing up as the Obamas for Halloween was "the scariest couple I have ever seen in my life."

It's almost as if Gwinn and the MRC are deliberately trying to be as culturally clueless as possible.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:04 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 9:05 PM EST
WND's Klein Grants Anonymity To Another Terrorist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In one of his many, many lies, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah once claimed that his reporter Aaron Klein "doesn’t use anonymous sources when he quotes senior terrorist leaders in Gaza and many of the most prominent Islamists in the world." In fact, Klein frequently grants anonymity to his alleged sources -- even when they're terrorists, whom you wouldn't think would be deserving to be cloaked in anonymity.

Nevertheless, Klein has found another terrorist whose identity he intends to protect. He writes in a Nov. 1 WND article:

Insiders in the group that represents ISIS in the Gaza Strip claimed to WND Sunday that the global jihadist group will soon release information purporting to show how it helped to bring down the Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt, killing all 224 people on board.

Salafist jihadists in the Gaza Strip who operate under the ISIS banner in the territory said the global jihad group was indeed involved in the downing of the aircraft Saturday morning.

They claimed it was not a missile that brought the plane down and that supposed evidence will soon be released by ISIS.

One ISIS leader in Gaza told WND that “in the Russian plane operation our brothers used their brains more than their bullets or their explosives. It was part of a brains war.”

The ISIS leader hinted to similarities with the 9/11 attacks as far as what he described as the level of sophistication of the claimed attack on the Russian jet.

Never mind that a terrorist taking credit for any given act of violence is even more rampant than the violence itself; ISIS has taken credit for lots of things it had no apparent involvement with, which makes this claim highly dubious at best, especially when no investigation of the crash has taken place.

Read the above again: Klein is granting anonymity to an operative for ISIS. The very same ISIS that is one of the most vicious terrorist groups on the planet.

Why is Klein doing this: He doesn't want to get the operative in trouble with his ISIS overlords. No, really. This is what Klein writes:

The ISIS leader spoke on condition of anonymity, citing specific ISIS instructions for all members of the global jihad group to refrain from putting out information concerning the attack for the time being.

Really, what else is there to say about a reporter who grants anonymity to terrorists just so he can selfishly have a big scoop, no matter how factually dubious? Or a "news" operation that makes such borderline-traitorous dishonesty possible?

Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 AM EST
Monday, November 2, 2015
CNS Doesn't Correct Ben Carson's Lie, Cheers Anti-Media Attack

An Oct. 29 article by Susan Jones touted how "The audience at Wednesday's Republican debate booed moderator Carl Quintanilla when he suggested that Ben Carson had some sort of inappropriate involvement with a nutritional supplement company."

What Jones failed to report: Carson lied to Quintanilla in denying having any relationship with the firm.

Jones included a transcript excerpt of the exchanged in which Quintanilla noted that Carson has had "a 10-year relationship" with the supplement company Mannatech, which has been accused of shady marketing practices and paid millions in fines for false advertising. Carson responded: "Well, that’s easy to answer. I didn’t have an involvement with them. That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda. I did a couple of speeches for them, I do speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them."

In fact, conservative National Review writer Jim Geraghty pointed out that Carson's denials are "bald-faced lies":

Mannatech wanted to improve its image and happily paid Carson, one of the country’s greatest neurosurgeons, the man Cuba Gooding Jr. played in the HBO movie – to appear at their events and to appear in the company videos. They put his face all over their web site (sometime between my story and now, those images were taken down). Carson’s lack of due diligence before working with the company is forgivable. His blatant lying about it now is much harder to forgive.

Further, Carson's business manager, Armstrong Williams (who, interestingly, has his own history of shady business practices), has admitted that Carson had a business relationship with Mannatech, complete with contract that he negotiated for Carson.

Jones' story appeared on the CNS front page, an Associated Press fact-check of the debate that noted Carson's misleading statements regarding Mannatech did not warrant front-page coverage. No original CNS article covers the Carson-Mannatech issue.

So it seems that CNS is giving Carson a pass on his falsehood, even though its mission statement states that it will "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." Apparently, pointing out a Republican presidential candidate's lies is not "legitimate," but that same candidate's anti-media attacks are.

Brent Bozell, head of CNS parent the Media Research Center, similarly gave Carson's lies a pass by dismissing the exchange as Quintanilla "asking Ben Carson about his face on somebody's website." We've also noted that the MRC gave Carson a pass on his conducting research on fetal tissue.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:24 PM EST
WND: Obey Authority! (Unless You Hate Gays, Then Feel Free To Not Obey.)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I would like to obliterate the obscenity of political correctness yet once again by offering a huge Nuge thank you and SALUTE to Columbia, South Carolina, Senior Deputy Ben Fields. You know, that master of “improvise, adapt and overcome” good citizen cop all good Americans have come to admire and respect, who yanked the Spring Valley High School defiant brat out of her classroom desk and dragged her kicking and squealing like the disobedient punk she is.


Here's a basic principle of life for anybody with a soul: obey!


But if you have been allowed to disrespect and ignore authority your entire, pathetic, unruly, undisciplined life, you have been tragically trained to be a troublemaker, and at some point you will hit a dead-end brick wall, and you will deserve it.

Obey and everything will go smoothly.

Obey and you won't get beat.

Obey and you won't get maced.

Obey and they won't stun gun you.

Obey and you won't get shot.

Obey and you won't get ripped from your desk and put under control.

-- Ted Nugent, Oct. 28 WorldNetDaily column

When five of the U.S. Supreme Court justices last summer created a constitutional right to “same-sex marriage,” they overturned a bunch of state constitutional and statutory provisions against that status.

And they crushed the will of tens of millions of voters who had across dozens of states thought about “same-sex marriage,” and decided against allowing it.

Some of those voters now are strategizing ways to simply nullify the ruling from the lawyers on high.


[Attorney Jeff] Cobble explained to WND that he’s discussed the issue with dozens of lawmakers, a multitude of local officials, and state residents by the thousand through email chains and other social media.

The sentiment is that something needs to be done, and the most likely avenue is simply nullification.

That, he explained, is simply making the court decision of no account.


“Today’s nullification movement is revolutionary because it offers the hope of smashing the established political order; an alternative to ‘voting the bums out’ – a way to support the Constitution and liberty whether the federal government wants us to or not,” said Tenth Amendment Center Executive Director Michael Boldin.

-- Bob Unruh, Oct. 29 WND article

Posted by Terry K. at 3:14 PM EST
Sunday, November 1, 2015
MRC's Debate 'Study' Confirms Nothing, And Certainly Not The 'Bias' It Claims Occurred
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been found beating the "liberal bias" drum following the CNBC Republican debate, even though CNBC, as a financial news network, is not a "liberal" outlet by any stretch of the imagination. MRC chief Brent Bozell even asserted that the debate was "an encyclopedic example of liberal media bias." But neither Bozell nor any of his MRC employees ever bothered to provide that "encyclopedia" in support of the claim.

Now, finally, the MRC has issued what it claims is a "study" on the subject. The unsubtle headline: "MRC Study Proves It: CNBC Agenda Was to Undermine GOP Candidates." The unbylined "study" asserts:

A Media Research Center analysis of the questions posed by moderators John Harwood, Carl Quintanilla and Becky Quick at CNBC's Republican presidential debate found nearly two-thirds (65%) hit the candidates with negative spin, personal insults or ad hominem attacks.

In contrast, all of the questions posed by CNBC personalities Jim Cramer, Rick Santelli and Sharon Epperson focused on policy matters and were phrased in a constructive, respectful tone.

The MRC analysis examined the 43 unique questions posed by one of the three moderators. Nearly two-thirds of those (28, or 65%) included negative spin, personal insult or attack, such as Harwood's question to Donald Trump asking if his was a "comic book version of a presidential campaign," or Quintanilla's question to Ted Cruz asking if his opposition to a just-passed spending bill showed he was "not the kind of problem-solver American voters want?"

What you won't find: anything that resembles an actual study. The MRC provides no methodology for making such a determination about the questions, or any objective definition of what it considered "negative spin."

The MRC did not even provide a list of the questions to show how it categorized them.

The "study" went on to complain:

The remaining moderator questions involved personal questions without a negative slant, or policy questions that were phrased in a non-insulting way. While not outright disrespectful, many of these policy questions, such as Quick's question to Cruz claiming a large pay gap between men and women, or Quintanilla's question to Kasich about legalizing marijuana, were framed from a liberal perspective.

Again, the MRC did not provide a methodology for determining political "perspective" or explain why a "liberal perspective" in a question is problematic.

The only supplemental material provided with this "study" is a video compilation of "the most insulting questions posed."

Let's face it: This is not a "study," it's a political statement pretending to be "research." The MRC's  goal was partisan and it makes no attempt whatsoever to be objective. It seems that whatever personally offended MRC staffers was determined to be "negative" or an "insult."

The MRC hammered the partisan intent of its so-called "study" by replacing all that methodology stuff with a rant from Bozell:

The three main moderators, and in particular John Harwood, acted like petulant children trying to pick fights with the candidates. When nearly two-thirds of your questions are comprised of negative spin, personal insults or ad hominem attacks, your agenda is clear: undermine the Republican candidates at all costs. These CNBC "journalists" exposed themselves to the world as left-wing stooges jockeying for a position in Hillary Clinton’s campaign press shop. It was embarrassing.

Who's really being the petulant one? It looks like it's Bozell and the MRC for crying "bias" over questions it doesn't like and ginning up a bogus "study" as purported proof.

Contrary to the headline, the MRC's "study" does not prove an "agenda" -- or anything else it has been asserting about the debate. It does prove, however, that the MRC is little more than a group of hacks dedicated to churning out right-wing talking points without regard to the facts.

By contrast, the MRC did no such "study" on the questions regarding the GOP presidential debate hosted by Fox News, despite Donald Trump's loud complaining about their bias, nor does it make the effort to compare the questions in the CNBC debate with those of the Fox debate. Heck, even MRC friend Ann Coulter (whose anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic rantings the MRC is studiously ignoring) has argued that the questions in the debates were no different.

In fact, the MRC -- whose Bozell has a weekly spot on Sean Hannity's Fox News show -- ignored Trump's complaints of bias in the Fox debate.

We previously asked the MRC to do the "research" the organization's middle name suggests it's capable of. It still hasn't done any. This study has as much scientific legitimacy as Hannity's assertion that the debate was "the single worst example of media bias in a debate in like intergalactic history" -- a nonsensical assertion MRC "news" division decided was worthy of repeating on its front page.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 1, 2015 10:54 PM EST
Saturday, October 31, 2015
MRC Ignores Evidence, Denies NY Times Has A Grudge Against Hillary
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock writes in an Oct. 15 NewsBusters post:

According to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, it’s shocking that the liberal New York Times would praise the liberal Hillary Clinton. While recapping the Democratic presidential debate, host Maddow seriously claimed, “... The New York Times has its knives out for Hillary Clinton more so than any other mainstream media outlet in the country.”

Speaking of the paper that hasn’t endorsed a Republican for president since 1956, the anchor accused the Times of having an “inclination to look for the worst in Hillary Clinton in every instance and to advance every negative story line they can get their hands on whether or not it's comporting with the facts, even so.”

Whitlock curiously edited out the part of Maddow's statement -- left intact in the video clip accompanying his post -- in which she conceded that the Times is "mostly liberal on its op-ed page" but the knives are out for Hillary "on its news pages." Which is very much true if one looks at the history of the Times' coverage of her.

Maddow is hardly alone in pointing this out. Media critic James Fallows observes that the Times has a "vendetta" out for Hillary, and a new book by David Brock (disclosure: my former employer) on the right-wing war against Hillary has an entire chapter on the New York Times' history of antagonistic coverage of Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Even Times public editor Margaret Sullivan concedes the Times has a particular obsession with Hillary:

Since 2013, a Times reporter has been assigned to cover the Clintons as a full-time beat. Other candidates were spared that particular blessing, and at times the whole thing has seemed excessive. For Mrs. Clinton, it has meant that her every move is tracked, often to a fault. Separately, readers objected last April to the way The Times, touting an “exclusive agreement” with the author, reported on aspects of a highly critical book, “Clinton Cash.”

Nevertheless, Whitlock chose to make an exceedingly narrow interpretration of Maddow's remarks:

Maddow’s complaints about the Times undoubtedly refer to the paper's decision to actually investigate Clinton’s e-mail scandal, though timidly. In July, the Times reported on a criminal inquiry into the controversy. After the Clinton campaign complained, the editors altered their reporting for the website.

Hardly a paper with the “knives” out for Hillary Clinton.

Again, Whitlock censors important information. There was, in fact, no "criminal inquiry," and the Times "altered their reporting" because their reporting was wrong.

We've previously noted that the MRC actually complained that the Hillary camp tried to correct this false story -- which, as the Times' Sullivan admitted, involved "too much speed in publishing the story, and too little transparency in correcting and revising it, and for the all-too-familiar reliance on anonymous government sources."

As Whitlock's post shows, the MRC is sticking with the false story and refusing to admit it's false. After all, it has a grudge against Hillary too.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:44 AM EDT
Friday, October 30, 2015
Humorless MRC Writer Complains About 'Satire Smear'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Katie Yoder finds absolutely no humor, it seems, in anything even tangentally related to abortion. Yoder grumps in an Oct. 16 NewsBusters post:

Sometimes things aren’t as funny as they seem.

ClickHole, a satirical site owned by the Onion, joked in an Oct. 13 piece that “Dunkin’ Donuts Has Just Announced That It Will Perform One Abortion.” To support a woman’s “right to choose,” the chain would offer a “complimentary abortion” at one of their locations. While media outlets readily shared the piece, Dunkin’ Donuts and business site Entrepreneur responded to the claim seriously.

Owned by the Onion, the year-old site, “strive[s] to make sure that all of our content panders to and misleads our readers just enough to make it go viral.”

The site attempted to do just that on Monday – by joking about abortion and smearing a business in the process.

Yoder seems to miss that the entire point of the ClickHole satire was to mock the idea of corporate involvement in political causes, or that ClickHole itself is a parody of the clickbait-y BuzzFeed style.

Yoder also makes sure we know that "Dunkin’ Donuts is neutral on life issues." Well, duh, that's part of the joke -- there's no reason for Dunkin' Donuts to get involved in the issue, let alone perform an abortion in one of its stores, which should have been a pretty obvious sign that this was satire. Still, she fretted that "Some Twitter users appeared to take the story seriously," again ignoring that the story is absurd on its face, hence its existence as a satire.

But what's Yoder's complaint about "smearing a business," which she identifies in the headline as a "Satire Smear"? Including a real-life business (or person) in a satirical pice is a "smear"? Perhaps someone should remind Yoder that her employer engages in a "satire smear" on a regular basis called "NewsBusted" (a name the MRC totally stole from us).

The main difference between the two is that Clickhole has actual humor. But Yoder and "NewsBusted" could take a few lessons in funny from professionals.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 AM EDT
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Where's The Beef? MRC's 'Liberal Bias' Cry About GOP Debate Lacks Substance
Topic: Media Research Center

Echoing the attacks by Republican presidential candidates on the moderators of the CNBC-hosted debate, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell ranted: "The CNBC debate will go down in history as an encyclopedic example of liberal media bias on stage."

But there was one thing missing from Bozell's declaration: the encyclopedia.

Bozell's statement did not cite any specific examples of "liberal media bias" expressed at the debate. And in an appearace on Fox Business, Bozell denounced the CNBC moderators as "smarmy, condescending, arrogant" -- but he didn't cite a specific example. He did, however, creepily call the Republicans' ranting about bias "better than sex."

Thus, Bozell set the substance-free agenda for his MRC subordinates, who served as an echo chamber for the "liberal bias" charge while also not proving it:

  • Scott Whitlock complained about the debate's supposed "obnoxious, left-wing questions," but he cited no examples. Instead, he linked to an earlier NewsBusters clip from the debate of Marco Rubio complaining about media bias. 
  • Kyle Drennen asserted the MSNBC moderators were "incredibly biased," but he too cited no examples.
  • Whitlock returned to assert that "the liberal bias of CNBC’s debate [was] so obvious that even Carl Bernstein and the left-wing Salon acknowledged the network’s failure."Actually, neither specifically criticized any "bias" in the debate; Bernstein was criticizing CNBC 's overall handling of the debate, and Salon did so as well, going on to assert that "Most damningly, the anchors frequently failed to call out the candidates on easily checkable misstatements.”

But who needs evidence when you have right-wing talking points to enforce? An MRC poll asked readers: "Who had the best media slam of the debate?"

Bozell finally got around to mentioning a couple of examples in another Fox Business interview. One of them: "Asking Ben Carson about his face on somebody's website." Bozell's fanciful rewording obscures the fact that the question was about Carson's relationship with nutritional-supplements maker Mannatech, which has a history of shady practices -- a relationship Carson dissembled about during the debate.

Bozell seems willing to give Carson a pass on an issue that goes straight to his character -- just like the MRC gave Carson a pass on his conducting research on fetal tissue, which is verboten under the right wing's new anti-Planned Parenthood crusade.

Bozell also denied that the Republicans' anti-media attack was planned in advance, despite Ted Cruz -- who issued the debate's first anti-media attack -- having a history of avoiding questions he doesn't want to answer by denouncing them as liberal.

Further, the candidates didn't really have to plan such an attack in advance; after all, people like Bozell have been inculcating this talking point into right-wing politics for decades. Bozell's mission is to destroy any media that doesn't uncritically repeat right-wing talking points, so he couldn't be happier with the debate, as his ewww-worthy "better than sex" remark demonstrates.

Still, it's interesting that the MRC is simply mouthing the anti-media rhetoric, making no effort whatsoever to back up the claim. To go all Clara Peller here, there's a distinct absence of beef.

It would be so simple for the MRC to post a list of all the questions asked by CNBC moderators at the debate (including Rick Santelli, who effectively inspired the tea party movement and is a good right-wing friend, but is bizarrely being lumped in as a liberal shill under this attack) and explain where in each of them the "liberal bias" resides. but it hasn't.

The middle name of the MRC is "research." It should try that sometime.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:09 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: AIM's Month of Bad Benghazi News
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media not only felt compelled to laughably insist the House Republicans' Benghazi committee isn't politically driven, a key member of its own Benghazi "citizens' commission" has turned out to be an apparent fraud. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Dick Morris' Stint As WND Columnist Ends Quickly, Like His First One Did
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In August 2004, WorldNetDaily added Dick Morris as a columnist. It lasted less than five months, with Morris turning in his last column at the end of that year.

Eleven years later -- spending the intervening time utterly discrediting himself, shilling for questionable financial products and making wildly wrong electoral predictions to such an extent even Fox News wanted nothing to do with him for a long time -- WND felt it was the perfect time for Morris to return as a columnist, mainly for his obsessive hatred of Hillary Clinton, which WND spun as him being "uniquely positioned" to write about her.

And this return stint ended even quick as his first one.

Morris' first column appeared on April 24, and he hasn't written one since Aug. 10 -- meaning this stint lasted less than four months.

Meanwhile, Morris continues to write for Newsmax, which has spearheaded his image rehab efforts over the past couple years. In his latest effort there, Morris frets that Ben Carson wouldn't be able to stand up to Hillary in a debate.

Could it be that even Dick Morris isn't anti-Clinton enough for WND?

Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
MRC's Bozell & Graham Put Words In Carville's Mouth
Topic: Media Research Center

Right-wingers like those who run the Media Research Center hava a complicated relationship with Rupert Murdoch. They love him for creating Fox News, but they're unhappy with Fox's entertainment offerings, which commit the offense of trying to appeal to people who aren't right-wingers and who may be (gasp!) liberal.

So the MRC serves up things like this little screed that kicks off Tim Graham and Brent Bozell's Oct. 23 column:

When James Carville rants that Rep. Trey Gowdy is a super-villain spawned by Rupert Murdoch, conservatives could reply by noting that Murdoch has much less of a financial connection to Gowdy than he does to gay leftist TV producer Ryan Murphy, who had one hit with "Glee" and an ugly garbage barge of other TV programs.

In June 2012, Murphy hosted a $25,000-per-person event at his Beverly Hills home for Barack Obama's re-election that included celebrity attendees Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon and "Glee" star Jane Lynch. He threw his own Murdoch money into that cause.

Murdoch's Fox Entertainment Group is presently airing two Murphy shows, a new horror show called "Scream Queens" in what used to be called the "family hour" on Fox, and a fifth season of "American Horror Story" (subtitled "Hotel") on their FX channel, starring outlandish pop diva Lady Gaga.

Graham and Bozell are presumably referring to an appearance by Carville on MSNBC -- in which he said no such thing. He did say that  Gowdy "is a creation of the Koch Brothers and the whole climate denial industry" and that the House Select Committee on Benghazi headed by Gowdy "was nothing but a creation of Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers."

Graham and Bozell don't mention the evidence Carville cited to back up that last claim: Fox News has aired more than 1,000 segments on Benghazi before the select committee was created. Which is absolutely true.

They also don't mention that Carville dared anyone to fact-check him. Why? Perhaps because, given that invitation, the MRC chose not to take him up on it; it simply posted the clip, complete with unfulfilled fact-check dare. by contrast, liberal blog Crooks & Liars did the fact-check that the MRC wouldn't, noting that Carville is not entirely correct about Gowdy being a creation solely of Koch interests.

So, instead of telling the truth that Carville is mosly correct in his assertions about Gowdy, Graham and Bozell invent something Carville never said.

Notice also how Graham and Bozell abruptly pivot from the good Benghazi-creating Murdoch to the bad liberal-entertainment Murdoch by bringing up a "gay leftist" creator who purportedly has a greater "financial connection" to Murdoch than Gowdy. Graham and Bozell apparently never counted (or, more accurately, had their MRC employees count) the number of times Gowdy has appeared on Fox News or calculate the value of that free media to Gowdy, the Benghazi committee and Republicans in general.

Just keep clicking on the "Load More" button on Fox News Insider's page on Gowdy to get an idea of those appearances.

The rest of Graham and Bozell's column is whining about Ryan Murphy, huffing that "Every week, there's a political reference" on the shows he created. Which is to say, a political reference that isn't conservative. but the MRC boys would never devote an entire column to that.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:07 PM EDT
WND and Cahn Try to Save the Shemitah By Moving the Goalposts
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As a part of trying to make money off its cash cow Jonathan Cahn, WorldNetDaily has been promoting his book "The Mystery of the Shemitah," which claims that every seventh year is a "Sabbath year" or “Shemitah” year linked to various cataclysmic events.
WND reported in 2014, when the book came out and when this Shemitah year began, that Cahn explains in the book that "nearly every major U.S. stock market collapse since the early 1900s has occurred during a Shemitah year, as did the terrorist attack and stock market collapse of September 2001 and the financial collapse of 2008." That year ended on Sept. 13, or "Elul 29" on the ancient Hebrew calendar.

WND honed in on that date to promote Cahn's books. As far back as 2012, WND was claiming that "a pattern of recent economic disasters based on the Hebrew calendar portends what some suspect we will be the biggest U.S. financial calamity yet Sept. 13, 2015." In May of this year, under the headline Countdown to disaster: 4 months to Shemitah," WND's Leo Hohmann touted the "climax" of the Shemitah year happening on Sept. 13, "the same biblical day of reckoning that brought record stock-market crashes in September 2001 and September 2008." But to give Cahn some wiggle room on his prophecy, Hohmann added, "Cahn remains cautious about making any specific predictions on how the Shemitah will play out over its final four months. He emphasizes that nobody can predict with absolute clarity what will happen as August turns into September and September into October."

Well, Sept. 13 came and went and, well, not much happened. Which means Cahn and WND had to explain it away.

First up was Cahn, who wrote a Sept. 24 WND column claiming what happened on Sept. 13 really wasn't that important: "And precisely because it is so precise and because it happened in the last two of the Shemitah’s cycles, many saw it as an absolute that a massive stock market day crash had to take place on the next such day, Sept. 13. Thus we have cautioned repeatedly that this particular manifestation and any particular manifestation does not have to occur in every or any one of the Shemitah’s cycles."

Cahn goes on to explain that as long as something bad happens within the "much larger template" of occuring sometime in or near the Shemitah year, his prophecy is fulfilled: "In many of the Shemitah years, the turbulence and collapse continue and may intensify past Elul 29, into the period of the Shemitah’s wake. In others, they do not. But whatever happens from this point forward, the Shemitah has already and again powerfully manifested."

That's some serious goalpost-moving there.

Then, in an unbylined Oct. 6 article, WND complained, "just as a new movie about Cahn’s life, “The Harbinger Man,” is about to be released," about a Right Wing Watch article -- which makes sure to tell us is "George Soros-funded" despite its lack of relevance to the subject -- calling out Cahn for nothing happening on Sept. 13:

Cahn has never made any such prediction or prophecy concerning dates or time periods but rather wrote about historic patterns of the seven-year cycle in his book “The Mystery of the Shemitah.”

All references to this pattern have been accompanied with a word of caution that God “didn’t have to do anything on Sept. 13,” or any other specific date, nor does God have to comply with anyone’s calendar or expectation.

The fact that WND didn't link to the Right Wing Watch item in question (which was written about three weeks before WND's article) tells us that it's hiding something. And despite WND taking issue with Right Wing Watch's assertion that Cahn predicted terrible things would happen on the "exact date" of Sept. 13, RWW backs it up by linking to a November 2014 Charisma magazine column by Cahn in which he appears to do exactly that (italics in original):

One of the most dramatic manifestations of this biblical phenomenon took place on Sept. 29, 2008. On that morning, the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange refused to ring. Then came the greatest stock-market point collapse in Wall Street history. Massive amounts of money were wiped out as financial accounts were nullified.

On what day did this greatest collapse take place? On the biblical day of Elul 29, the central day of the mystery of the Shemitah, the very day appointed to wipe out the financial accounts of a nation. And it was not only the day, but the year. The greatest wipeout of financial accounts in American history took place on the Elul 29 that only comes around once in seven years, the exact biblical day of financial nullification.

It is a mind-boggling phenomenon. And yet it's just the beginning. If you go back seven years earlier, according to the ancient seven-year mystery, you end up in September of 2001, the month of 9/11. But it was also the month of the other greatest crash in Wall Street history, up to that day. It took place on Sept. 17. On the ancient biblical calendar, this other greatest crash in American history took place on Elul 29, the exact same day—and the day that just happens to be appointed in the Bible for the wiping away of financial accounts!

On top of that, the crash of 2001 was caused by the terrorist-inspired events of 9/11. Thus, all these things only could have taken place on the exact date they did in accordance with the ancient mystery, if the timing of 9/11 was also in accordance with the ancient mystery. Thus, even behind 9/11 lay the ancient mystery of the Shemitah.

The WND article then devolves into an personal attack on RWW and the writer of the post, with Cahn asserting that, based on "looking on the web," that the author has been "cited in the past for a lack of truthfulness, the posting of what has been deemed to be slander, and for publishing a continual stream of vicious attacks on Christians." Cahn cited no examples of this.

So, it's good to know that Cahn thinks just like his friend, WND editor Joseph Farah, when it comes to handling criticism.

If Cahn and WND didn't want to be held accountable for its predictions and suggestions on what would happen on Sept. 13, perhaps they shouldn't have hammered that date so hard in the first place.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 AM EDT
Monday, October 26, 2015
MRC Blames The Victim For Bill O'Reilly Cutting Off His Mic
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Oct. 25 NewsBusters post, Mark Finkelstein huffed over MSNBC's Al Sharpton having "shut ... down" a conservative guest, saying, "Don't know if we've ever witnessed such a blatant suppression of facts--even on MSNBC."

But just the day before, someone was being suppressed on Fox News -- and the MRC was blaming the person being suppressed, not the host.

 Randy Hall summed it up in the headline of his Oct. 24 NewsBusters post: "BLM Advocate Provokes Bill O'Reilly Into Cutting Off His Microphone." To hear Hall tell it, O'Reilly was mad that :

During Thursday night's edition of The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, host Bill O'Reilly tried to demonstrate the bad judgment of the Democratic National Committee allying itself with the Black Lives Matter movement, which has members who have called for violence against police officers in protests all across the country.

However, Keith Boykin, an African-American who once served as a special assistant to president Bill Clinton, aggressively asserted that none of the BLM leaders agreed with that concept -- so much so that the anchor had to turn off his microphone so the host and another guest could take part in the discussion.

Hall then complained that Boykin "tried to filibuster," glosses over the fact that Boykin said O'Reilly mischaracterized his opinion on Black Lives Matter. Hall then claimed "Boykin then tried to slam the anchor" but curiously did not quote what Boykin said, and seemed to be angry that Boykin fought back against O'Reilly likening of the Black Lives Matter movement to Nazis.

So: if a liberal cuts off a conservative's microphone, it's the liberal's fault. If a conservative cuts off a liberal's microphone, it's the liberal's fault. That's "media research" at the MRC.

BLM Advocate Provokes Bill O'Reilly Into Cutting off His Microphone - See more at:
BLM Advocate Provokes Bill O'Reilly Into Cutting off His Microphone - See more at:

Posted by Terry K. at 6:48 PM EDT

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