Kincaid's Clinton Obsession, Part 2 Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid's disappointment that a CBS report on Bill Clinton's eating habits didn't turn into a discussion of his sex life has jumped from the bowels of the AIM Report to its own Dec. 13 AIM column.
New Article: Tortured (and Waterboarded and Electro-Shocked) Logic Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb learns to love U.S. torture of detainees, either by redefining it or wholeheartedly embracing it. Read more.
NewsMax and Pirro, Part 2 Topic: Newsmax
Another sign NewsMax's enthusiasm for Jeanine Pirro is waning: It has run another Associated Press article on her faltering Senate campaign, noting that New York Republican leaders "recommended that Jeanine Pirro abandon her struggling campaign to challenge Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and instead run for state attorney general."
Christmas Bracelets Topic: WorldNetDaily
World O'Crap does a yeoperson's job of digging into the background of Jennifer Giroux, the woman behind the bracelets that WorldNetDaily has been so eagerlypimping. As WO'C notes, not only is Giroux the sister of a man who claims that Congress is controlled by Israel and is run under "Noahide" laws that require anyone practicing Christianity or celebrating Christmas to "be tried by a court of Jewish rabbis and sentenced to death," there's some doubt about whether Giroux is really making no money on the bracelets, as she claims.
NewsBusters' War on Olbermann Topic: Media Research Center
A Dec. 12 NewsBusters post by Mark Koldys runs to the defense of Bill O'Reilly from that meanie Keith Olbermann, claiming that Olbermann has distorted facts in attacking O'Reilly. But Koldys forwards his own distortions in at least one instance here.
Koldys -- who runs his own blog, Johnny Dollar's Place, dedicated to defending Fox News -- responded to Olbermann's tweaking of O'Reilly because the Fox News online store was selling "holiday" ornaments with "The O'Reilly Factor" logo rather than "Christmas" ornaments by stating: Bill O'Reilly doesn't run the Fox news online store; he doesn't sell the items; he doesn't write the descriptions. He has his own online store, proudly labeled a 'Christmas store."'
But Olbermann wasn't talking about O'Reilly's site, he was talking about the Fox News site. Koldys ignores the larger point, which is that Fox News -- where its anchors led by O'Reilly have been breathlessly hyping a so-called "war on Christmas" and demanding that retailers say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays" -- was itself selling "holiday" ornaments instead of "Christmas" ornaments.
Koldys also plays the same game of not fully quoting people that he accuses Olbermann of. He quotes Olbermann as discussing "This whole attack on Christmas nonsense that he made up, some sort of fantasy in which the liberals are coming to your town to force you and your family to not call it Christmas anymore." Koldys adds: "Did Mr. O'Reilly ever claim liberals were going to force people not to use the word "Christmas"? No."
But Koldys doesn't quote what Olbermann says immediately after that: "The fantasy that we can‘t say Merry Christmas, but you can only say Happy Holidays?" This is the illusion that O'Reilly is in fact promoting, whether Koldys wants to admit it or not.
Koldys also strangely asserts that the "war on Christmas" is not a creation of O'Reilly because "on the MSNBC website, one can find Joe Scarborough railing against "PC police" who 'create new words for Christmas trees', and promoting stories about 'yet another chapter in the war on Christmas.'" Olbermann never claimed that O'Reilly had exclusive rights to the "war on Christmas," or that others weren't hyping the same thing. But O'Reilly is the highest-profile promoter of it, which makes him a "creator" in the minds of many.
NewsMax Bailing on Pirro? Topic: Newsmax
In a sign that its unbridled support of Jeanine Pirro may be waning, NewsMax is doing the previously unthinkable: running negative articles on Pirro, a Repubican who is a candidate for Hillary Clinton's New York Senate seat.
NewsMax reprinted a Dec. 2 Associated Press article noting "pressure from some leaders of her own party to abandon her struggling campaign." And a Dec. 6 column by NewsMax's resident Hillary-hater, John LeBoutillier, called Pirro "a total disaster," adding: "Jeannine Pirro is a lousy candidate. Period." LeBoutiller -- the founder of the Stop Hillary PAC -- even admits, "Hillary is going to sail to re-election here in New York."
This is a far cry from NewsMax's earlier coverage of Pirro. As ConWebWatch detailed, NewsMax conspiratorially called negative media coverage of Pirro the work of "Mrs. Clinton's media spinners," called scandals surrounding Pirro's husband (like an out-of-wedlock child and a conviction for tax fraud) "old news" and dismissed Pirro's fumbling performance at the press conference announcing her candidacy -- when she went silent for 30 seconds after a page of her speech disappeared -- as a "minor gaffe."
With the loss of NewsMax, one of Pirro's most enthusiastic supporters, maybe it is time for Pirro to quit the campaign. NewsMax is almost certainly searching for a new candidate to fluff.
Checkered Scarf = Arafat Lover Topic: Media Research Center No More Mister Nice Blog does a nice job of pondering why NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein assumes anyone who wears a checkered or herringbone scarf (like, say, "Today's" Matt Lauer) is a supporter of Yassir Arafat and the Palestinians.
Wrong About Winter Soldier Topic: Media Research Center
In a Dec. 9 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham stated that the film "Winter Soldier" was about "chronicling John Kerry and others trying to create (often falsified) accounts of American soldier atrocities in Vietnam." Graham offers no evidence of any accounts in the film, or the Winter Soldier investigation from which it sprang, were "often falsified." Instead, he cites wintersoldier.com as one place where one can get "a second opinion on Winter Soldier."
Wintersoldier.com -- a Free Republic side project, so it's hardly objective -- is more about smearing John Kerry than any substantive research. Aside from a person who recanted his Winter Soldier testimony during the 2004 presidential campaign, the one substantive attack on Winter Soldier most cited by critics is Guenther Lewy's book "America in Vietnam," which cites a Naval Investigative Service investigation into the Winter Soldier claims. But as ConWebWatch noted, the Navy won't confirm whether this report even exists, and Lewy himself does not recall if he saw a copy of the naval investigative report or was briefed on its contents.
Graham also writes that "CNSNews.com reporter Marc Morano did quite a bit of reporting on this last year." But the only substantial mention of Winter Soldier by Morano is in a March 3, 2004, article aiming to play guilt-by-association by linking Kerry to discredited veteran Al Hubbard (who did not testify in Winter Soldier). Despite describing Winter Soldier as a "stage production," the only person he quotes as discrediting it is anti-Kerry author B.G. Burkett -- who cited the same evanescent Navy report that Lewy did.
New Article: WorldNetDaily's School Days Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND is eager to report any bad news about "government schools" and promote homeschooling -- but it won't tell its readers about the homeschooled teen who killed his girlfriend's parents. Read more.
WND's Journalistic Martyr Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily article by known plagiarist Joseph Farah is making a big deal of its Jerusalem reporter, Aaron Klein, being denied entry into Syria, allegedly because he is Jewish.
A Contradicted Contradiction Topic: CNSNews.com
A Dec. 7 CNSNews.com article by Dawn Rizzoni, regarding a woman who died after having an abortion, declares a siniser contradiction in its first paragraph. But that lead doesn't state that this claim of a contradiction is itself contradicted later in the story.
The article states that a "nine-month investigation by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, which determined that abortionist George Tiller was not responsible for Christin Gilbert's death, contradicted the results of Gilbert's autopsy."
Following this, Rizzoni advances charges of guilt-by-association cronyism and other hearsay attacks on Tiller and the Kansas Board of Healing Arts by anti-abortion activists and links to an anti-Tiller website that, among other things, insinuates that Tiller himself was responsible for a 1986 bombing of his clinic. It's not until the 15th paragraph that Rizzoni gets around to actually quoting someone on that board, executive director Larry Buening, which contradicts Rizzoni's assertion:
"A decision that is unpopular to a particular person or group does not indicate the existence of a hidden agenda or any bias," Buening added.
As for the autopsy's conclusion -- that Gilbert died due to "complications of a therapeutic abortion" -- Buening pointed out that as with any other autopsy report, this conclusion is listed under "opinion."
He also stated that the "investigative information was far more extensive than a copy of the autopsy.
"There are potential risks to every medical or surgical procedure," Buening explained. "The occurrence of a complication, even one that unfortunately and regrettably results in the death of a patient, does not a priori lead to the conclusion that the practitioner involved did not meet the appropriate standard of care."
Nothing in Rizzoni's article directly contradicts Buening's statements, despite all of the accusations she tosses around.
Cashill and Mirecki, Part 2 Topic: WorldNetDaily
Well, we were somewhat wrong. Jack Cashill remains on the case of Paul Mirecki, the University of Kansas professor attacked for intemperate remarks about religion by people with their own history of intemperate remarks. Of course, Cashill wouldn't be still on the case if he couldn't continue to attack Mirecki. Cashill is now accusing Mirecki of making up the story of being beaten by attackers.
Cashill has no actual evidence of this, of course; he merely blows up circumstantial evidence into something that looks substantial.
'Noted Author and Media Watchdog' Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily article attacking a decision by the Armed Forces Network to carry the first hour of Al Franken's radio show described the attacker, Alan Skorski, as a "noted author and media watchdog."
In fact, Skorski is barely the former and definitely not the latter. His claim to authorial fame is his WND-published smear attack on Franken, "Pants on Fire." As Media Matters (and ConWebWatch) noted, Skorski is a former wholesale candy and snack distributor and a failed candidate for Congress who withdrew from the race after fellow Republican candidate and former NewsMax columnist Dan Frisa challenged signatures on the petitions to place Skorski on the ballot.
Additionally, that description is a promotion from previous WND descriptions of Skorski; a Nov. 11 article, for example, described him as a "veteran political consultant."
Note to Skorski and WND: One smear book does not a "media watchdog" make.
And no, WND does not mention anywhere in this article that it published Skorski's book.
WND Misrepresents ElBaradei Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 5 WorldNetDaily article played up comments by International Atomic Energy Agency chairman Mohamed ElBaradei that Iran is only a few months away from creating a nuclear weapon without placing them in their full context, omitting key facts.
As Media Matters points out -- and WND doesn't -- ElBaradei's "a few months away" clock starts ticking only after Iran's uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz is operational; the IAEA has previously reported that it would take at least two years for the plant to be operational. Other intelligence estimates, meanwhile, peg Iran as being as much as a decade away from producing nuclear weapons.
The WND article also quotes author Jerome Corsi on the issue without disclosing within the article that WND published Corsi's book on Iran. (It does note the connection in a "special offer" at the end of the article.)