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Friday, July 29, 2005
New Article: Prolonging the Lie
An compiled, expanded version of our ConWebBlog posts: In the face of logic and common sense, won't apologize for falsely claiming that Paul Begala said that Republicans want to kill him. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EDT
Thursday, July 28, 2005
CNS: Still Assuming
More slanted reporting from's Susan Jones that makes negative assumptions about Democrats in a July 28 article:

A gun control group on Thursday announced it is filing two new lawsuits against gun makers and gun dealers on behalf of crime victims.

The timing of the lawsuits is politically motivated...

Jones does not, however, describe a bill "that would protect the gun industry from lawsuits arising from the criminal misuse of their products" as "politically motivated."

Additionally, Jones engages in one of CNS' favorite pastimes, biased labeling: Opponents of the bill are described by Jones as "anti-gun," while backers of the bill are described as "Second Amendment supporters."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 PM EDT
The Daily Les, 7/27
Topic: The Daily Les
No question, apparently, but Scott McClellan tossed a comment Les Kinsolving's way. WorldNetDaily's take:

The White House implictly welcomed WorldNetDaily's observation that while many pundits and news organizations are focused on U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' links to the Federalist Society, no such concern was expressed in 1993 about Clinton-choice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's overt activism on behalf of the ACLU.

Asked if he sees a double standard, presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said he didn't follow Ginsburg's confirmation process.

But he replied wryly to reporter Les Kinsolving, "You're welcome to point out those things if you so choose."

The WND article cites a July 27 column by Joseph Farah that attacks Ginsburg as having a "record of extremist political advocacy" for a "subversive, anti-American, anti-Christian organization" (that would be the ACLU).

But Farah isn't telling the whole story about Ginsburg. She was considered a moderate at the time of her nomination to the Supreme Court, having been recommended to President Clinton by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch as a candidate whom Republicans would approve. Additionally, while serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Ginsburg often voted with conservatives such as Robert Bork, Kenneth Starr and Laurence Silberman; one study showed that in one year of cases that produced a division on the court, Ginsburg voted with Bork 85 percent of the time.

Is that the "record of extremist political advocacy" Farah is talking about?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2005 1:12 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
WND Stays Quiet About the Duke
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has printed yet another article about a memorial cross in San Diego that mentions the work of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham in trying to preserve it. But WND still has yet to run an original article on Cunningham's ethical misdeeds -- even though they have apparently resulted in his decision not to seek re-election.

WND is not quite the "watchdog exposing government waste, fraud, corruption and abuse of power" it claims to be.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:36 PM EDT
NewsMax Headline Gets It Wrong
Topic: Newsmax
The headline on a July 27 NewsMax article from the Associated Press reads: "Doonesbury Comic Calls Karl Rove a 'Turd.'"

But the article contradicts that claim:

It may be President Bush's nickname for key political adviser Karl Rove, but some editors don't think it belongs in their newspapers.

About a dozen papers objected to Tuesday's and Wednesday's "Doonesbury" comic strip, and some either pulled or edited it.

The strip refers to Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff, as "Turd Blossom."

All "Doonesbury" is doing is following the lead of the president. You'd think NewsMax would be pleased by that.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:24 PM EDT
CNS' Bias-O-Rama
A raftful of bias and questionable facts at today:

-- An article by Susan Jones on an anti-gay-marriage initiative in California features only attacks on California Attorney General Bill Lockyer by "defenders of traditional marriage" who claim Lockyer is, in Jones' words, "deliberately trying to undermine a proposed marriage amendment by issuing a negative and prejudicial paragraph describing it to voters." Jones makes no apparent attempt to contact Lockyer for his response.

-- In a fine example of CNS' assumption that Democrats are motivated only by politics and hatred of Bush comes this lead from another Susan Jones article:

Before news events overtook them, Democrats were on a roll about Karl Rove, the Bush adviser they've targeted for job termination -- even before a federal grand jury concludes its investigation into who leaked the name of a covert CIA agent to the press.

On Tuesday, various Democrats returned to the subject.

-- An article by Melanie Hunter on a fight over documents sought by Democrats regarding Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts notes that the Bush White House "refused to turn over documents relating to cases Roberts argued on behalf of the Bush administration during the president's first term." That would be the first President Bush, but Hunter does not make that clear.

Hunter also puts words, Paul Begala-like, into the mouth of Sen. Ted Kennedy, responding to White House press secretary Scott McClellan's claim that Roberts documents the White House won't release are bound by attorney-client privilege:

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) dismissed McClellan's comments on the attorney-client privilege, adding that there is no such thing.

No such thing as attorney-client privilege? Will Jered Ede be trumpeting this revelation in a CNS article tomorrow?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:08 AM EDT
New Article: Richard Poe's Not-So-Secret War
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The compiled, expanded version of ConWebBlog's series on Richard Poe: He sums up his Hillary-bashing book in a series of WorldNetDaily articles that ignores evidence that conflicts with his conspiratorial thesis -- and fails to disclose his own conflict of interest. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Plame Strain
Topic: Newsmax
How hard is NewsMax straining to defend the outing of Valerie Plame? A July 26 article claims that President Clinton pardoned "the only case in U.S. history of a person successfully prosecuted for leaking classified information to the press," suggesting that this is the reason that Hillary Clinton has been "silent as a churchmouse about Karl Rove."

The facts of the case detailed by NewsMax, however, undercut the seriousness of its claim, noting that "In 1984, Morison had been convicted of providing classified satellite photos of an under-construction Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Britain's Jane's Defence Weekly."

Unlike Rove, who took part in leaking the name of an undercover CIA operative for the purposes of political revenge, Morison leaked information not about the U.S. but about the other side.

Ironically, in 1997 the Washington Times did the very same thing that Morison did -- obtain classified satellite photos of a Russian military installation -- without apparent reprisals from the government, conservatives or anyone else.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 PM EDT
Monday, July 25, 2005
The Daily Les, 7/25
Topic: The Daily Les
Les Kinsolving once again does the bidding of conservatives:

KINSOLVING: Scott, a two-part. Sean Hannity has just rebroadcast Senator Orrin Hatch's statement that Senator Charles Schumer's questioning of nominee John Roberts was so hostile in 2003 that they were, in Senator Hatch's expressed and twice repeated definition, "dumb-ass questions," which characterization Senator Hatch repeated twice and refused to retract –

McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, was this the confirmation hearings or – no, never mind. [Laughter.]

KINSOLVING: This was in 2003. Does the White House expect that Senator Schumer will be any less hostile next month or in early September, and stop asking such questions?

WND decided the sensibilities of its readers might be offended if it spelled out what its White House correspondent actually said, so the article reads "dumb-a--."

Kinsolving's other question was less egregious but still played to conservatives:

KINSOLVING: Scott, Senator Majority Leader [Bill] Frist has issued a strong defense of the Boy Scouts of America and has deplored the ACLU's suing them. And my question: When he addresses the Boy Scout National Jamboree on Wednesday, will the president agree with, or ignore Senator Frist's support of the Boy Scouts?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 PM EDT
Just Like CNS Did
Can you misquote someone the way did? Campus Progress (at whose conference Paul Begala was speaking when CNS insisted that he said something he didn't) has holding a contest on the issue.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:44 PM EDT
Rhetorical Question of the Day
Topic: Newsmax
A July 25 NewsMax article on Sen. Hillary Clinton's efforts to keep the Pentagon from obtaining detailed information about high school students for recruiting purposes quotes Clinton as saying, "It is critical that we do everything we can to make sure that our most sensitive personal information stays out of the wrong hands."

To which NewsMax adds: "The Pentagon - 'the wrong hands'"?

Much of the article, by the way, is a retelling of a June 29 NewsMax article, which contains the exact same rhetorical question.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 25, 2005 2:08 PM EDT
Lessons in Civility from CNS
In a July 25 commentary, editor in chief David Thibault seems to be backing down from his insistence that Paul Begala said Republicans want to kill him. Instead, Thibault bashes Begala for using inflammatory rhetoric, insisting that he "should go back to school and learn about political civility and personal responsibility":

Begala's unmistakable and outrageous coupling of terrorists and Republicans in his remarks to the impressionable college liberals on July 13 is the latest in a long line of Democratic invective aimed at the GOP and by extension, those Americans who vote Republican.

Thibault is perhaps not the best person to be giving lectures on civility; he works for Brent Bozell, among the most uncivil of conservatives, and his CNS has, among other things, advanced the comments of a man (Jesse Lee Peterson) who called Democrats "elite, white, racist" and printed a column (by Frank Salvato) that begins, "There is an anti-American attitude prevalent among the liberal left."

Another possible reason for Thibault's backing off of his original claim: Today's letters column, which includes comments from readers who agree that Begala was referring to terrorists, not Republicans, when he said that "they want to kill us."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 AM EDT
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Columnist vs. Columnist
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 23 WorldNetDaily article gives a plug to "Dr." Laura Schlessinger's upcoming one-woman show. Surprisingly, the article reverses longstanding policy on refusing to disclose conflicts of interest by noting the fact that she is a WND columnist, even though she hasn't penned a column since October.

But as World O'Crap points out, another WND columnist, Burt Prelutsky, has something to say about Schlessinger's show. In a July 15 column posted not at WND but at conservative site ChronWatch, Prelutsky revealed that he wrote a script for one act of the show, only to discover that 1) "Dr." Laura was unable to memorize it, and 2) she wanted the primary writing credit, even though she didn't write any of it.

I don't think we'll be seeing this Prelutsky column appearing at WND anytime soon.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:31 PM EDT
Friday, July 22, 2005
Target: Me
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Freepers have discovered ConWebWatch -- specifically, my posts rebutting Freeper Richard Poe. Not that they've rebutted anything I've had to say, mind you, but they're doing a fine job of getting facts wrong about me.

So, to assist the Freepers should they actually get around to actually addressing what I have to say instead of launching personal attacks, here are handy links to my Poe series to save you the trouble of having to rummage through the blog to find them:

Part 1 | Part 2
Part 3 | Parts 4 & 5 | Part 6
Part 7 | Part 8
Part 9 | Part 10

And sometime next week, I'll have these compiled into a single ConWebWatch article. Just for you Freepers.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 PM EDT
CNS Responds
A July 22 article by Randy Hall houses's response to Paul Begala's accurate claim that he was misquoted by CNS' Jered Ede, who wrote on July 15 that Begala said Republicans want to kill him. Hall does a surprisingly good job of explaining Begala's case; the interesting part is what CNS' David Thibault had to say:

David Thibault, editor-in-chief of Cybercast News Service, said readers "should not be fooled" by Begala's attempt to clarify his remarks.

"This is all about Begala trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube," Thibault said. "There was nothing unclear about what Begala said, and he, as a pundit, should know that words matter. We quoted him accurately. We even ran the quote in its entirety as a video clip on our website.

"And not surprisingly, the only ones defending Begala are his friends on the far left who think the same way he does," Thibault added.

"It's really not my place here to judge whether Republicans, as Begala claimed at the Campus Progress Student Conference are 'brain dead.' But let's put it this way: If Republicans, who have won the last three national elections, are brain dead, what does that say about Begala and the Democrats?"

What we learn from Thibault's statement:

-- Even though Begala used "they" to mean both Republicans and terrorists, and just before Begala said, "They want to kill me and my children if they can," he was talking about a terrorist attack, it was somehow "clear" to Thibault that in this instance, "they" meant Republicans.

-- Thibault and Ede are ideological soulmates who immediately assume the most negative and inflammatory interpretation of an ambiguous statement by a Democrat.

-- While Thibault says, "It's really not my place here to judge whether Republicans ... are 'brain dead,'" Thibault also believes it's not his place to check with the source of an ambiguous statement to make sure it accurately reflects the speaker's true meaning.

-- Thibault assumes that anyone who disagrees with him is "far left."

-- Thibault cares much more about ideology than journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EDT

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