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Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Defending Student, AND What He Said
Topic: picks up on the story of the student facing sanctions at a Catholic university for calling homosexuals "subhuman." A Nov. 1 article by Randy Hall notes that the student's defenders have ceased being offended by the remark and are now describing it as an accurate description of homsexual behavior. quoting Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, a national organization dedicated to renewing Catholic identity at the church's colleges and universities,

"No doubt Catholic teaching on this subject is unpopular and offends many people who disagree with it," he stated. "But if gay sex is gravely sinful and opposed to the natural order of human sexuality and family life, then to argue that it is beneath human dignity is as accurate as it is provocative."

CNS has used the Cardinal Newman Society as a source before, reproducing a press release from the group back in May that complained that commencement speakers at Catholic colleges weren't Catholic enough.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 PM EST
New BizNetDaily Partner
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is in the midst of revamping its BizNetDaily financial news site. It has dumped its old parter, Christian business mag Business Reform, for Real Money Perspectives, a newsletter published by longtime WND business partner Swiss America. A Nov. 1 article announcing the change states that BizNetDaily will focus more on precious metals and commodities -- which just happens to be the business Swiss America deals in.

ConWebWatch has noted the increasing synergy between WND and Swiss America, to the point where WND editor Joseph Farah threw in a gratuitous plug for Swiss America in an unrelated article that he plagiarized.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 PM EST
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Massie Lies About Ginsburg
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Project 21's Mychal "Bull Connor" Massie falsely smears Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a Nov. 1 WorldNetDaily column, claiming that "had argued there is a constitutional right to prostitution and polygamy" and "has argued the age of sexual consent should be lowered to 12."

In fact, Ginsburg never endorsed legalizing prostitution and said only that it could "arguably" be legalized, which was raised during her 1993 confirmation hearing and which then-Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Orrin Hatch clearly understood as an "academic point."

Also, Ginsburg has never "argued the age of sexual consent should be lowered to 12"; her comment was in regard to a child-rape law in which she never spoke to the age aspect but approved the fact that the law's language was gender-neutral.

Sadly, we're used to false smears emanating from Massie.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EST
Reality Check Reality
Topic: Media Research Center
A Nov. 1 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" needs a little reality check itself, failing to tell the entire story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Claiming that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's career "is not that of an activist," Rich Noyes claims that Ginsburg "had solid activist credentials as director of the Women's Rights Project for the ACLU, but reporters were loath to assign her a liberal label." But Noyes fails to mention that for the 13 years immediately preceding her nomination, Ginsburg was a member of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where she compiled a moderate record. In fact, examinations of voting records have found that she frequently voted with fellow conservative judges such as Robert Bork, Kenneth Starr and Laurence Silberman.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EST
Fake Smear Campaign Grows
Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax's Steve Malzberg jumps on the bogus Alito-smear bandwagon in a Nov. 1 article, headlined "Howard Dean Plays Mafia Card on Judge Alito." Malzberg manages to go even further, claiming that to call a person of Italian descent a "fascist" is an ethnic slur too:

This isn't the first time that a prominent Italian-American has been linked in some obscene way to the mob, or victimized by some other vulgar stereotype. The left liked to call Rudy Giuliani a fascist. He laughed it off as I'm sure the good Judge will do with Dean's bigoted implications.

Like his NewsMax bretheren, Malzberg offers no evidence that pointing out that Alito was unable to obtain convictions against a Mafia crime family while serving as a prosecutor is false, let alone an ethnic slur.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:35 AM EST
Topic: The ConWeb
Both WorldNetDaily and NewsMax are flogging MSNBC's Chris Matthews' complaint that a Democratic fact sheet about Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is somehow racially inflammatory because it notes that as a prosecutor, Alito failed to obtain convictions against Italian mob figures. Alito is of Italian descent.

One thing you won't find in those stories: actual evidence of this alleged racism, i.e., what the fact sheet actually says. That's because it doesn't support Matthews' accusation.

Tim Chapman of Townhall has posted the talking points at issue. The word "Italian" doesn't even appear. If there's an ethnic slur here, we couldn't find it.

Don't expect WND or NewsMax to set the record straight; telling the truth about non-conservatives isn't one of their strong points.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 12:14 AM EST
Monday, October 31, 2005
NewsMax Corrects Itself, Sorta
Topic: Newsmax
Could this be? NewsMax issuing a correction regarding a conservative foe?

As part of its effort to discredit Plamegate special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald as partisan, an Oct. 30 NewsMax article claimed that Fitzgerald, as U.S. attorney in Chicago, indicted more than 60 people in connection with wrongdoing connected to former Illinois Republican Gov. George Ryan, compared with two indicted in a probe of Chicago Democratic Mayor Richard Daley. Or, as NewsMax put it: "For those keeping score on Mr. Fitzgerald's political targets, the count currently stands at 60-plus Republicans vs. 2 Democrats - not counting Mr. [Lewis "Scooter"] Libby."

But in an Oct. 31 article, NewsMax corrected its numbers -- though it didn't call it that, of course. In what it called an "update," NewsMax noted not only that Fitzgerald "has prosecuted even more people associated with former Republican Gov. George Ryan than the 60 we noted yesterday," but that "it's also true that Fitzgerald has done a better job going after Democrats than media reports we cited yesterday would indicate."

NewsMax then proceeded to spin the Ryan case as a "mini-scandal," making a point of Ryan being "long retired," compared to the "cesspit" regarding the Daley case.

Hay, NewsMax: As long as you're in a correcting mood, how about telling your readers about your lies regarding U2 and Rick Santorum?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EST
More CNS Labeling Bias
Topic:'s labeling bias on abortion continues in an Oct. 31 article by Nathan Burchfiel calling Planned Parenthood a "pro-abortion group."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 PM EST
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

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