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Thursday, June 30, 2005
Today's ConWeb Rewritten Press Release Roundup
Topic: The ConWeb
Today's ConWeb stories that began life as a press release from a conservative legal group:

-- WorldNetDaily, "Student gets F grade for mentioning God." Press release from the American Center for Law and Justice.

--, "Same-Sex Couple Accuses Innkeepers of Discrimination." Press release from Liberty Counsel.

-- WorldNetDaily, "Lesbians target innkeeper over same-sex 'wedding.'" Press release from Liberty Counsel.

Bonus press release-generated article:

--, "Gun Rights Group Calls 'Assault Weapons' Ban 'Gun Registration Scheme.'" Press release from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:25 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 30, 2005 5:29 PM EDT
New Article: The Truth About NewsMax
Topic: Newsmax that it doesn't care about the truth. It will deceive and lie to its readers to shill Ed Klein's Hillary-bashing book. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:52 AM EDT
Another Thing You Won't Read at WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily
From Max Blumenthal's account of the College Republican National Convention:

On June 24 conventiongoers were treated to speeches from conservative stars like House majority leader Tom DeLay; antitax zealot Grover Norquist, who called Senator John McCain a "nut job" for compromising on Bush's judge picks; and black right-winger Jesse Lee Peterson, who announced that "most black people--not all, but most--can't think for themselves."

WorldNetDaily, of course, is the inadequately disclosed publisher of Peterson's book and keeper of his speaking engagements.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Massie Falsely Attacks FBI Documents
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist (and Slantie winner) Mychal Massie falsely casted doubt on documents upon which Sen. Richard Durbin based his claim (for which he has since apologized) that U.S. treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was akin to Nazis and other brutal dictators.

Ini his June 28 column, Massie claimed Durbin's statement was "based on an unsubstantiated – and as yet unseen – FBI report." He later claimed Durbin cited an "alleged FBI report."

In fact, the documents cited by Durbin -- released by the federal government through a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union -- are publicly available. Only Massie has questioned their authenticity.

In his June 21 WND column, Massie discounted the claim Durbin cited of a prisoner who had torn his hair out after suffering alleged abusive treatment: "Prisoners who are freezing or suffering from heat exposure do not pull their hair out, but unstable psychotics do."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 PM EDT
NewsMax Steals from ConWebWatch?
Topic: Newsmax
The new-article tag from ConWebWatch's front page:

The special-alert tag at the top of NewsMax's newly redesigned front page:

Look vaguely familiar? We thought so, too. We'd sue, but we lifted our GIF somewhere on the 'Net about five years ago. We'll savor the irony, though.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 12:55 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Stuff WND Won't Report
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Don't look for WorldNetDaily to tell its readers the following anytime soon:

-- Via Josh Marshall, we learn that Florida Rep. Katherine Harris, WND Books' first author and beneficiary of sycophantic WorldNetDaily "news" coverage, may get pulled into a burgeoning scandal involving a defense contractor called MZM, exposed by Marshall as being very, very generous to another congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Not only did Harris receive $32,000 in campaign contributions from the company and its employees, she has a history of receiving tainted contributions.

-- A June 26 column by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dennis Roddy notes that Bijan Sepasy, president of the Iranian Freedom Foundation founded by WND columnist and author Jerome Corsi (WND editor Joseph Farah is a board member), used to be a lobbyist for the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose overthrow Corsi is trying to agitate. WND's only reference to Sepasy ignores his lobbying work and describes him only as "an Iranian-American born in Iran and naturalized as a U.S citizen."

Roddy quotes conservative author Kenneth Timmerman, who questioned the effectiveness of Corsi's group between Sepasy's background and Corsi's intrusion:

"Jerry Corsi is unknown to the Iranian community and the pro-democracy movement in Iran," Timmerman said. "Until he published a book on Iran. That has made some people suspicious of his motives."

Roddy also quotes another Iranian democracy activist (who is not only Iranian and not allied with former employees of the Islamic government, her father is currently imprisoned in Iran) as saying that while Corsi tries to dominate the debate in an already fracuous Iran democracy movement, "none of us ever gets heard. That's what freaks me out. No one's willing to speak to us. But they bring someone like Jerry Corsi? When did Jerry Corsi end up knowing more than I do?"

EDIT: Fixed Cunningham's name; it's Randy, not Randall.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:34 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 1:04 AM EDT
LeBoutillier Lies About Podhoretz
Topic: Newsmax
In a June 27 NewsMax column chastising conservatives for not supporting Edward Klein's anti-Hillary book, John LeBoutillier selectively quotes comments by one conservative to advance the false claim that he didn't read Klein's book.

From LeBoutillier's column:

Another GOP strategist, said he "wanted to take a shower" after reading the book. He obviously did not read a page of it because, if anything, the book repeats much of what has previously been published elsewhere.

In fact, this unnamed "GOP strategist" is New York Post columnist John Podhoretz who made it clear in his June 22 column that he did indeed read the book. The full quote:

This is one of the most sordid volumes I've ever waded through. Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower. Sixty pages into it, I wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn't have to suffer through another word.

Like the rest of NewsMax, LeBoutillier does not address the tons of documented errors in the book.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 3:56 PM EDT
Monday, June 27, 2005
New Article: Les Loves Lott
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The model for Jeff Gannon, WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving, uses his White House briefing questions to push a revisionist history of Trent Lott's controversial remarks. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EDT
Keeping Quiet
Topic: Newsmax
In neither its June 26 "Insider Report" nor a June 26 story by Carl Limbacher alleging that the alleged cancellations of appearances by Edward Klein on some TV shows "may be an unprecedented act of media censorship" does NewsMax note two important things regarding Klein's book "The Truth About Hillary":

-- The scads of documented errors in the book.

-- The June 24 interview Klein did with Al Franken and Joe Conason in which Klein is cracked open like a soft peanut on said errors.

Limbacher's article also fails to correct an error by Klein collaborator-slash-Hillary-hater John LeBoutiller, who called the claim in the book that Bill Clinton raped Hillary "Hillary's spin, an exaggeration of items of the book to make it look extreme." In fact, it was Matt Drudge, no Hillary lover, who advanced that accusation. (LeBoutillier's role in the book is not disclosed in Limbacher's article, either.)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT
Sunday, June 26, 2005
The Rest of the Story
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bartholomew tells what WorldNetDaily doesn't in its June 18 article on an anti-gay-rights rally in Poland. A group called the League of Polish Families led the rally; turns out it has ties to violence against gays and hosted a American who lobbied the Polish parliament for $10 million to "convert" homosexuals to heterosexuality, not to mention an anti-Semite in the family tree.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Tearing Down the Wall
Topic: WorldNetDaily
More evidence that a laudatory "news" article is a part of the package when you advertise on WorldNetDaily:

A June 23 WND article by Ron Strom paints a sympathetic picture of Voice of the Martyrs, an organization whose goals are "aiding Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith, fulfilling the Great Commission to spread the Gospel, and educating the world about the ongoing persecution of Christians."

Voice of the Martyrs and WND to have complementary agendas. Voice of the Martyrs is a regular supplier of articles to WND on alleged persecution of Christians (such as this June 22 article), and as ConWebWatch has noted, Christian persecution is the only kind of persecution WND cares about.

But Voice of the Martyrs is also an advertiser on both WND and Joseph Farah's radio show. And not only does WND have a history of of not properly disclosing its personal and financial interests in the topics it covers (Jerome Corsi, Jesse Lee Peterson), it has a history of presenting promotions for advertisers as news articles (Jack Wheeler, Move America Forward).

It's time for WorldNetDaily to come clean with its readers about this breach of the time-honored wall between news and advertising: Is softball news coverage what advertisers pay for when they place an ad at WND?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 AM EDT
Friday, June 24, 2005
WorldNetDaily's Idea of Balance
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 24 WorldNetDaily article by Ron Strom is a 49-paragraph opus about a man who is challenging his dismissal from an insurance company allegedly for writing an article critical of same-sex marriage that was published on several conservative web sites.

Of those 49 paragraphs, only four detail the response of the insurance company -- which hadn't even been served with the man's lawsuit challenging his dismissal -- and they don't show up until paragraph 40.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:33 PM EDT
When In Doubt, Bash a Clinton
Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax's chosen method of distracting from Bush adviser Karl Rove's claim that Democrats are soft on terror was a June 23 atricle that dragged out a post-9/11 speech by Bill Clinton that, according to the headline, "proves Rove right."

In the speech, Clinton noted the Crusades, slavery and the treatement of native Americans as examples of how "the killing of noncombatants for economic, political, or religious reasons has a very long history." NewsMax selectively cites from Clinton's speech, then concludes: "By the time Mr. Clinton was done with his terrorism history lesson, it was clear America got what it deserved on 9/11."

Of course, that's not what Clinton said at all. As the actual speech shows (and as ConWebWatch noted at the time), Clinton assigned no blame on the U.S. for 9/11; he also said "I support the efforts of President Bush, the national security team, and our allies in fighting the current terrorist threat" and that "no terrorist campaign has ever succeeded, and this one won't if you don't give it permission."

Even the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto defended Clinton, calling a Washington Times attack on the speech that took a NewsMax-like taken-out-of-context approach "unfair" and calling the speech incoherent ... but it's far from seditious."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:46 AM EDT
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Totally Manchurian
Topic: The ConWeb
Media Matters notes the following quote from Jay Severin about Hillary Clinton:

She's absolutely sociopathic. And she has a 50-50 chance of being the next president of the United States, save McCain. She's the Manchurian candidate.

But back in 2000, Paul Weyrich was running around claiming that McCain was the Manchurian candidate.

So, which one is it? We're confused. (Then again, maybe having two Manchurian candidates is part of the whole evil plan.)

Posted by Terry K. at 4:27 PM EDT
ConWeb Balance
Breakdown of a June 22 article by Melanie Hunter on the House's passage of an anti-blag-burning constitutional amendment:

Total paragraphs: 10

Paragraphs containing pro-amendment statements: 8

Paragraphs containing anti-amendment statements: 1

Posted by Terry K. at 4:15 PM EDT

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