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Friday, August 5, 2005
NewsMax, True to Form
Topic: Newsmax
Once again demonstrating that there is apparently no conservative misdeed NewsMax will not try to minimize by claiming that a Clinton did it worse, an Aug. 5 NewsMax article compares Robert Novak's profanity-laced departure from a live CNN interview with something Bill Clinton did.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 PM EDT
New Article: Joseph Farah's Current Bitterness
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A new exhibit in the Out There section: The WorldNetDaily editor seems unusually bitter about Al Gore's new TV channel. It must be that defamation lawsuit filed against WND by a Gore fund-raiser. But why won't Farah give us the full story on that lawsuit? Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:37 AM EDT
Thursday, August 4, 2005
WND Lead of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily
From an Aug. 4 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein:

A mob of Palestinians tonight murdered a Jewish Israeli man in a police uniform after he opened fire on a bus and killed four Arabs, allegedly in protest of the Gaza withdrawal plan.

Klein does not describe the four victims the man killed anywhere else in his article as being "murdered," just the killer himself. In fact, he quotes several people calling the man, an AWOL Israeli soldier named Eden Natan Zada, as a victim of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

A guy who shot four people to death is a victim? Hey, it's keeping with WND's theme of the day, in which Israelis are apparently not to blame for criminal behavior (a strange stance given that WND is normally a law-and-order kind of website). WND also serves up another sympathetic article by Klein on convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, whose release WND has previously agitated for.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:19 PM EDT
What WND Doesn't Cover
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's front page currently features an outside link to an article on a raid of property belonging to a Democratic congressman. We don't recall seeing even an outside link at WND to a similar raid on the house and yacht of Repubican Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

But you knew that already.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:58 PM EDT
Farah Hangs With FrontPageMag
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah did an Aug. 2 interview with The interview with FrontPage managing editor Jamie Glazov is essentially a fluff piece; FrontPageMag's two modes are either fluffing conservatives (the treatment Farah gets) or attacking people and organizations that don't agree with it. As ConWebWatch has noted, a number of the claims Farah is pushing come from a guy trying to sell a book, while others come from a discredited source who claims to be a "former Israeli counterterrorism intelligence officer."

The main focus in this interview is the claim promoted at WND and sister site G2 Bulletin that Osama bin Laden has nuclear weapons and plans to detonate them in the U.S. in what is being called the "American Hiroshima" plan.

One thing Farah plays up is the use of significant dates, noting in particular Aug. 6, the date of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima. Farah adds: "No year has been set, but it is worth noting that this Aug. 6th is the 60th anniversary of that attack." Also worth noting (though Farah apparently doesn't think so) is that Aug. 6 falls on a Saturday this year, minimizing the amount of disruption and carnage (and thus attention) that can be caused since nobody will be commuting to work that day. An Aug. 2 WND article does not this, but adds: "Others point out that Aug. 6 arrives in Japan while it is still Aug. 5 in the U.S. Does that raise the threat level this Friday?"

Farah makes the following interesting statement: "I have had what I consider to be credible sourcing on 95 percent of this for quite awhile." That means 5 percent of what he claims is not credibly sources; perhaps Farah will tell us sometime what those claims are.

Farah also slips into conspiracy-mongering, claiming that illegal immigration in the U.S. is part of a plan: "There is a master plan for global governance being plotted in meetings of groups like the Council on Foreign Relations."

And if you need any more evidence of the fluff job this is intended to be, check out Glazov's parting words: "Mr. Farah, it was a pleasure to have you here with us today. Thank you for coming to share this vital and traumatizing information. We won’t blame the messenger. Take care my friend."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 3, 2005
Blaming the Victim
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 3 WorldNetDaily column by Jill Stanek plays blame-the-victim in criticizing the National Organization for Women's highlighting of individual cases of women who died as the result of illegal abortions. In the case of one woman NOW cites, Becky Bell, Stanek writes:

It turned out Becky had been promiscuous since age 15 and was a known drug user. Her parents placed her in drug rehab earlier in 1988 for several weeks. The weekend before Becky died, she was, according to the coroner's report, "reportedly at a party where various drugs were being used [cocaine, 'speed,' and LSD] ... and later claimed that someone had put 'speed' in her drink."

Stanek adds: "And what about the faces of death due to legal abortions? There are four timely faces NOW could showcase – four who have died just since 2003 from legal RU-486 abortions." As ConWebWatch has noted, the number of deaths allegedly linked to RU-486 is much smaller than the number attributed to liver failure induced by taking Tylenol, as well as smaller than the number of men killed by taking Viagra. But we don't see Stanek rallying the troops to take Tylenol or Viagra off the market.

And somehow, we suspect Stanek won't be painting the purported victims of RU-486 as sluts and druggies like Becky Bell. (Not that we have any knowledge of that.)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
What CNS Won't Tell You
An Aug. 2 article by Melanie Hunter touts the results of a report by the American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund alleging that "paid Democrat operatives were far more involved in voter intimidation and suppression activities than were their Republican counterparts during the 2004 presidential election."

Hunter describes the American Center for Voting Rights merely as "a voting rights group"; in fact, the group is a conservative group (which explains the focus on alleged Democrat voter fraud). The group's leaders have a Republican background: The group's legislative counsel, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, was a national election counsel for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign, and the center's publicist, Jim Dyke, is a former communications director for the Republican National Committee. (BradBlog has more.)

CNS knows all this, by the way; it did a story back in March on criticism of the group's Republican ties. Interestingly, the article, by Kathleen Rhodes, doesn't actually detail what those ties are, merely paraphrasing Dyke acknowledging that "the group includes a number of people formerly involved in Republican politics" and noting the "apparently partisan edge" and the "pretty anti-Bush" posts found on BradBlog.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 2, 2005 9:45 PM EDT
Say What?
Topic: Newsmax
An Aug. 2 NewsMax article makes the claim that Edward Klein's factually flawed attack on Hillary Clinton "will appear on the New York Times best-seller list to be published this coming Sunday, for a record-setting fifth week in a row."

Huh? Since when is five weeks on the Times list considered a record? The list itself notes that Jon Stewart's "America (The Book)" has been on the list for 43 weeks.

The next paragraph clears up things: "Klein's success with his Hillary bio outstrips his success with his previous record of a four-week stint on the Times list for his book 'All Too Human: The Love Story of Jack and Jackie Kennedy.'"

Oh. It's not a record for the list; it's a personal record for Klein. That makes it the biggest ConWeb non-news event since WorldNetDaily breathlessly declared that a book on prophecies had more five-star reviews on Amazon than "The DaVinci Code."

NewsMax's "Analysis"
Topic: Newsmax
An Aug. 2 NewsMax "analysis" by Stewart Stogel of John Bolton's recess appointment to United Nations ambassador is long on cheerleading for Bolton and short on "analysis."

Stogel's "analysis" is full of unsubstantiated claims, such as "Madeleine K. Albright, who was approved by the Senate, was disliked by many a U.N. diplomat" and "On qualifications, Bolton is one of the most qualified of all U.S.-U.N. ambassadors in the last decade."

Stogel also contradicts himself, following up the claim that "While at the U.N. Bolton kept a low and distinctively professional profile" a couple paragraphs later by noting that Bolton engaged in "repeated clashes with then U.S.-U.N. ambassador Thomas Pickering."

Further, it is not stated anywhere what qualifications Stogel has, if any, to offer any sort of "analysis" of Bolton. Given that his piece isn't really an "analysis" at all, one can probably assume such qualifications are scant.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:09 PM EDT
New Article: CheesecakeNetDaily
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is so offended by ads featuring scantily clad women that it must write about them -- and show you the pictures. Read (and see) more.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Monday, August 1, 2005
Cliff Kincaid's Lesbian Obsession
Topic: Accuracy in Media
An Aug. 1 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid manages to squeeze in the word "lesbian" twice in describing Rachel Maddow, panelist on MSNBC's "The Situation with Tucker Carlson":

The problem with the Carlson show is the format, which places too much emphasis on his guests, including a regular named Rachel Maddow, a radio host on Air America who is described as the first out-of-the-closet lesbian to be named a Rhodes Scholar. She is a lesbian with hair so short that she looks like a man.

So, how does Kincaid want his lesbians to look? Or does he secretly want to, a la Hillary Clinton, rub Maddow's hair?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:04 PM EDT
No Bolton-Bashing Here
One thing was conspicuously missing from an Aug. 1 article by Randy Hall about President Bush's recess appointment of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

While Hall noted that "where Republicans saw a silver lining in the Bolton appointment, senators on the other side of the political aisle saw only clouds" and that "Senate Democrats have blocked the job change for the undersecretary for arms control and international security for four months," he does not explicitly state why Democrats opposed Bolton. Hall quotes Sen. Ted Kennedy as saying that "the administration stonewalled the Senate by refusing to disclose documents highly relevant to the Bolton nomination," he fails to explicitly state that this was the reason why Senate Democrats blocked his Senate confirmation vote. However, Hall makes sure to quote Bush accusing Democrats of "partisan delaying tactics."

Hall's "only clouds" comment is not the first time that CNS has negatively portrayed Bolton's opponents in a "news" article. A May 26 article by Susan Jones called Republican Sen. George Voinovich "weepy" for getting emotional during a speech opposing Bolton nomination.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 1, 2005 12:47 PM EDT
NewsMax's Meta-Hypocrisy
Topic: Newsmax
The July 30 edition of NewsMax's "Insider Report" details the rehabilitation of Armstrong Williams, who earlier this year was caught in a mini-scandal after it was revealed that he had refused to disclosed the fact that he had received $240,000 from the Bush administration to promote its educational policies. After quoting Williams as saying that ""None of the conservative [groups] came to my rescue. I was alone", NewsMax adds:

Hmmmm. I guess he forgot to mention NewsMax which published a number of items detailing the press' hypocrisy in attacking Armstrong.

At the time of the Williams' flap, NewsMax noted that there was no disclosure on any major networks that frequent interviews of movie and TV stars on major networks of paid advertising from the movie production firms.

We also noted that CBS's "60 Minutes" promoted several anti-Bush authors and books, including Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies" - without disclosing that the publisher was Simon Schuster, a division of Viacom which also owns CBS.

We're still waiting for NewsMax to add a disclaimer after every David Horowitz and Richard Poe article stating that Richard Mellon Scaife, who heavily funds the Horowitz-operated, Poe-employing Center for the Study of Popular Culture, is also an investor and shareholder in NewsMax. Then again, NewsMax refused to even admit Scaife's financial support on its website until just very recently.

NewsMax also notes that Williams was "acting as public relations agent, a fact he never hid." Um, yes, he did; he hid the fact that he was paid to flack the opinions he was spouting in the media, which was the whole reason for the controversy.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:12 AM EDT
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Karla Faye Tucker, Meet Bernie Ebbers
Topic: The ConWeb
Is WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers too good of a Christian to be in prison?

That's what Matt Friedeman seems to hint at. An a July 15 AgapePress column, Friedeman argues that one reason Ebbers shouldn't be serving a 25-year prison sentence for orchestrating an $11 billion accounting fraud, the largest in U.S. history, is that he is "a man who could still contribute much, given the opportunity."

What Friedeman doesn't explicitly say is that Ebbers is an evangelical Christian. As CBC notes, he was regarded as the ultimate Christian businessman, helping raise $1 million for his church Easthaven Baptist, along with tens of millions for the building fund of his alma mater, the Southern Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College.

Friedeman writes that "If America's judicial system understood punishment, restoration and restitution (Christian principles, all)," it would acknowledge that "Mr. Ebbers is of no danger to society." One might argue that swindling thousands of people out of billions of dollars constitutes some danger to society. Heck, even evangelical, WorldNetDaily-linked Business Reform magazine backed off its claim that Ebbers was the top Christian entrepeneur (though not before deleting the article making that claim from its database).

It's a bit reminiscent of the Karla Faye Tucker case, in which Pat Robertson and other evangelicals argued against the execution of the woman who killed two people with a pick ax because she became a Christian while in prison.

The point is that typically law-and-order evangelicals seem to think that evangelical Christians who commit crimes should receive lighter sentences merely by dint of being evangelical Christians. But if these criminals were truly Christian, would they be committing crimes in the first place?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 PM EDT
Friday, July 29, 2005
One-Source Wonders
Topic: The ConWeb
Is the mainstream media picking up bad things from the ConWeb?

WorldNetDaily and NewsMax, with reporters such as Jon Dougherty, have been specialists in running articles that feature only a single source advancing a particular (usually conservative) point of view. But as Atrios notes, both the Washington Post and Roll Call agreed to publish articles about Republican policies or decisions that didn't contain reaction to those decisions as a condition of publication established by Republicans.

When the ConWeb runs one-sided articles (usually copied from press releases issued by conservatives), rarely do they follow up the article to report the other side. Heck, it took a week to allow Paul Begala to deny CNS' claim that Begala said that Republicans were trying to kill him.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:58 PM EDT

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