ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Monday, October 31, 2005
Who's Discredited?
Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 31 NewsBusters post by Clay Waters cites the conservative Power Line blog as evidence that former ambassador Joseph Wilson is "discredited."

But the Power Line post Waters cites, which dates from July 2004, is wrong in its first assertion that Wilson's wife, outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, "did recommend him for the Niger investigation." In fact, the Senate Intelligence Committee report never came to an official conclusion as to Plame's role, if any, in the selection of Wilson, and the CIA's position is that Plame did not recommend her husband.

Tells you something about the MRC's research standards, doesn't it?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:11 AM EST
Defending Student, But Not What He Said
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Conservative groups are rushing to the defense of a student, even though they purportedly don't agree with what he said. (Isn't this what conservatives attack the ACLU for doing?)

An Oct. 29 WorldNetDaily story by Jon Dougherty notes that the American Family Association of Pennsylvania is defending Dusquene University student Ryan Miner, who wrote in an Internet forum that homosexuals are "subhuman." The university, a private Catholic school, is seeking to impose sanctions on Miner for the remark, even though it appeared in a forum not operated by the university, because the school has a student code of conduct that applies both on and off campus.

Dougherty, unsurprisingly, merely regurgitates what the parties say and doesn't examine the inherent contradictions in what they say. The AFA spokesman is quoted as saying that "We cannot support Mr. Miner's description of homosexuals as 'subhuman,' but he has a First Amendment right to express those views on an off-campus blog. " But many religious private schools have rules governing off-campus behavior; Bob Jones University -- where students aren't allow to go to movies and all student dates are chaperoned -- is just one example. Will the AFA fight to overturn all school rules on off-campus student behavior?

And, of course, there's the "we don't agree with what he says but he has a right to say it" contortion. Come on; would the AFA getting involved in this if the student hadn't made an anti-gay remark? Nope; Dougherty also quotes the AFA official as saying that the student was merely following the example of Pope John Paul II in "publicly defending traditional family values in modern society."

The student himself gets his own chance to contort:

For his part, Miner maintains he's no bigot.

"I don't discriminate against homosexuals and I don't hate them. I just don't approve of the actions, especially at a Catholic university," he told the Duke.

Huh? Calling gays "subhuman" isn't an example of bigotry?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EST
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Learning to Smear
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is the WorldNetDaily style of journalism turning into a family tradition?

An Oct. 29 WND article carries the byline of Alyssa Farah, billed as a "reporter intern." The logical assumption is that Alyssa is the daughter of WND editor Joseph Farah, but we can't prove that one way or the other at this point.

The article itself is about the new John Waters-hosted true-crime series on Court TV, which will focus on spousal murders. Alyssa Farah does a lot of blind quoting here, anonymously citing "one man who has dealt personally with it" as a source and hauling out the hoary old "some say" argument to lead into a series of negative attacks on and inflammatory quotes by Waters.

If Alyssa is indeed Joseph Farah's daughter, then she certainly has picked up the gene for peddling distorted smears from her dad's side.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:52 AM EDT
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Photo Fraud
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is exhibiting a sudden interest in writing stories about "doctored" photos.

Remember that a couple years ago, WND built an article around what was almost certainly a staged photo of Hillary Clinton's autobiography in the science-fiction section of a bookstore -- though, strangely, WND has since removed the photo that was the whole genesis for doing the article in the first place.

But thanks to the magic of the Internet (and the fact that stuff posted to the 'Net never completely goes away, even if you delete it from your own site), here's the photo that WND no longer wants you to see:

Posted by Terry K. at 11:11 AM EDT
Friday, October 28, 2005
Old, Wrong News
Topic: Newsmax
Lest you thought that World O'Crap was kidding about the NewsMax story promoting Fox News' Carl Cameron's prediction that Scooter Libby wouldn't be charged with perjury, here's the original story on the NewsMax website. It was posted about an hour or so before Libby was, indeed, indicted for perjury.

Why NewsMax felt the need to send this out via email is a mystery, given that the NewsMax email list tends not to work in real time. We got the email too -- at 2 p.m. ET, more than an hour after Cameron's prognostication had been overtaken by the real thing.

If NewsMax sent out an email on the actual charges against Libby, we haven't received it yet.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EDT
Morally Justified?
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily, in an Oct. 27 article, is shocked that a "radical animal rights activist" said during a Senate committee hearing that killing medical researchers was "morally justified" to save laboratory animals.

The article fails to note that anti-abortion "radicals" have similarly claimed that killing doctors who perform abortions is also "morally justified." WND, you'll recall, ran a seven-part series by Jack Cashill painting James Kopp, killer of abortion doctor Barnett Slepian as, among other things, "like a priest."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:40 PM EDT
NewsMax Botches Whitewater Timeline
Topic: Newsmax
Yet another NewsMax Clinton-Was-Worse article claims that Patrick Fitzgerald's work as special counsel is "small potatoes compared to the results achieved by Independent Counsel Ken Starr's Whitewater probe over the same period of time," adding: "Starr was appointed to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton's involvement in the corrupt land deal on August 4, 1994 - and by that December, his office had already secured a guilty plea from the number two man at the Justice Department, longtime Clinton crony Webster Hubbell."

But NewsMax fails to note that the Whitewater investigation actually began eight months earlier with the appointment of Robert Fiske as independent counsel, as NewsMax's own archive points out. Fiske was replaced in August 1994 by Starr.

So take all of Starr's achievements and add eight months, and they're not quite as speedy as NewsMax thinks.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 PM EDT
You Knew It Was Coming
Topic: Newsmax
The lack of actual indictments from Patrick Fitzgerald isn't keeping NewsMax from invoking its favorite rhetorical device, the Clinton-Was-Worse defense.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Too White?
Topic: Media Research Center
NewsBusters' Lisa Fabrizio is reading way too much into an Associated Press article about Harriet Miers.

Fabrizio's Oct. 26 post is headlined "AP: Harriet Miers’ High School Too White." The words "too white" do not appear in the article at all. She adds:

If one were to follow the twisted logic of Matt Slagle and other AP writers (one of whom also found [John] Roberts too Catholic), the lack of a childhood tinged with racial controversy or “social turmoil” would somehow disqualify nominees from serving on the High Court.

Slagle offers no such "twisted logic" or makes any conclusions. He merely describes Miers' coming of age in a pre-desegregation Southern city and little else.

Of course, in that Aug. 3 Fabrizio post claiming the AP "found Roberts too Catholic," the AP article in question doesn't support that, either.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:08 PM EDT
MRC and Scaife
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Matters (full disclosure: my employer) notes that the Media Research Center's Tim Graham, appearing on "The O'Reilly Ractor," rather grossly underestimated the amount of money the MRC receives from Richard Mellon Scaife.

As ConWebWatch has previously noted, the MRC has been eager to attack George Soros for funding liberals while staying quiet about the money it gets from Scaife.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:53 PM EDT
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
The Daily Les, 10/25
Topic: The Daily Les
Not that exciting, really. A question about reports that the Army was assisting the Border Patrol in New Mexico (ask the Northern Command about it, McClellan says) and another question about whether President Bush favors birth control that McClellan again refused to answer (which didn't make it into his WorldNetDaily article).

Posted by Terry K. at 11:48 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Sending a Message
Topic: The ConWeb
An Oct. 24 WorldNetDaily article makes a big deal out of a "homosexual debauchery party" being canceled because of Hurricane Wilma and how some have attributed this year's destructive hurricanes on "the hand of God punishing the U.S. for its national breaking of biblical laws."

But reports the following:

Due to Hurricane Wilma, the Restoration Weekend for Oct 27-30, 2005 has been cancelled. There is no power in the area, and the Breakers Hotel is closed. We will try to reschedule the event within the next two months. We are very sorry, but these circumstances are beyond our control. -- David Horowitz and Mike Finch

Restoration Weekend is Horowitz's annual conservative gathering.

How do we know that God wasn't sending a message to David Horowitz instead of to gays?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 PM EDT
AP Really Wrote This?
Topic: Newsmax
We're not surprised that NewsMax, in an Oct. 25 article, called Al Franken's new book a "hate-fest Bush-bashing book." We're not surprised that the article paints anything Franken says as "fringe." We're not surprised that a statement that Franken is moving to Minnesota to consider a Senate bid in 2008 and will do his radio show there is punctuated by the caveat, "assuming the struggling network remains on the air." We're not even surprised at the gratuitous mention of Sen. Robert Byrd for the sole reason of noting for the umpteen-thousandth time that he is "a former member of the KKK."

We are surprised, however, that NewsMax stuck an Associated Press copyright at the end of the article. AP would never send out such a catty, biased article, which is actually a summary of a USA Today article (which reads nothing like NewsMax's slanted interpretation).

Posted by Terry K. at 3:09 PM EDT
Pre-emptive Smearing
Topic: Newsmax
In two Oct. 25 articles, NewsMax is getting in a little pre-emptive smearing of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald prior to indictments expected to be handed down later this week in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

The first article calls Fitzgerald a "longtime crony" of James Comey, the then-deputy attorney general who appointed Fitzgerald to the special prosecutor post in 2003, suggesting that an article calling Fitzgerald and Comey "best friends" somehow damning.

The second article gets a little desperative, playing guilt by association in reporting Fitzgerald's defense of Comey's prosecution of Martha Stewart, suggesting that "any indictments he brings in the Leakgate case will mirror tactics used against Stewart -- where the prosecution pursues "process" crimes after determining that the original allegations were unprovable."

This appears to be the conservative strategy for countering any indictment of people like Karl Rove or Lewis Libby -- that it would be just as frivolous as Stewart's prosecution. An Oct. 21 NewsMax article said reports that Fitzgerald's charges would focus on "perjury, obstruction of justice and false statement" raise "speculation that the Leakgate case may devolve into a Martha Stewart-like prosecution, which drew howls of derision from legal critics."

Um, wasn't President Clinton impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice? We don't recall any "howls of derision" emanating from NewsMax about that.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
Monday, October 24, 2005
The Daily Les, 10/24
Topic: The Daily Les
Les Kinsolving is at his best (good or bad) when he's asking about his odd little obsessions. He managed to merge two of them in today's first question (the second question was about immigration, which offers nothing new) -- his recent fear that Harriet Miers favors banning abortions in the case of rape and incest, and his occasional attempts to get an answer as to whether President Bush opposes the legalization of birth control -- and made a good question out of it:

KINSOLVING: The Washington Post reports that after Senator Specter told reporters that nominee Harriet Miers had endorsed Griswold [v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court case that legalized contraception], she telephoned him to say that she had not endorsed Griswold," said WND. "And my question: Since the case of Griswold versus Connecticut resulted in the court overturning Connecticut's law against selling or even counseling about contraceptives, isn't her opposition to this as serious in the president's mind as her expressed disagreement with what is his support of abortion in cases of rape and incest?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« October 2005 »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google