The Rest of the Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
When a news organization such as WorldNetDaily relies on press releases from conservative legal groups for articles, then fails to go beyond them, this results in a highly biased, if not basically untrue, article. And so it is with WND's reports that a Wisconsin school district had allegedly replaced "Silent Night" with a song with the same tune but different lyrics called "Cold in the Night."
WND articles on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 on the controversy hewed closely to pressreleases sent out by Liberty Counsel, and WND made no effort to contact the school district for a response.
And what was the rest of the story that WND couldn't be bothered to pursue? As Think Progress points out, the song "Cold in the Night" comes from a play the school was to perform called "The Little Tree’s Christmas Gift," about a small, lonely Christmas tree that is told it is "too scraggly, it will never sell." The tree sings the revised lyrics in a scene lamenting his sad state. The rewording has absolutely nothing to do with "secularizing" the song.
See what happens when you rely only on one side's version of the story? You don't tell the truth. WND has a problem with that.
Good Question Topic: WorldNetDaily Pandagon asks an interesting question: Why does WorldNetDaily seem concerned only with older women having sex with teen boys? We don't recall WND highlighting any articles about older male teachers having sex with female students. After all, a 22-year-old man impregnating a 13-year-old barely raised WND's ire.
Any of you WND folks lurking here want to answer that?
iGossip Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've taken a look at iGossip, which WorldNetDaily cites as a credible source for its obsessive compendium of teachers having sex with students. It appears to be mainly a bulletin board for anonymous postings about things like teenage crushes and sordid affairs. One post involved a "bi curious" woman who "wanted to try with one of her friends" and reports: "Wow what a weekend it ended up a 4 some her friends hubby and myself got to watch and the friends hubby got to have my gf."
This is what WND considers a credible source of news, folks. Perhaps the good Christians at WND should explain to their readers why it frequents a site that talks about "bi curious" orgies.
Gay Sex = Smoking? Topic: Accuracy in Media
When he's not obsessing about Rachel Maddow's lesbianism, Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid just can't get over how icky gay sex is. From his Dec. 14 column:
Have you noticed that many news organizations, in honor of former ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings, have embarked on a quit smoking campaign? So why don't our media launch a campaign advising people to quit engaging in the dangerous and addictive homosexual lifestyle?
Kincaid adds: "It appears that the homosexual lifestyle is as addictive as smoking."
This, by the way, is the second sex-oriented column from Kincaid in as many days.
Sexpidemic! Topic: WorldNetDaily
How obsessed is WorldNetDaily with teacher-student sex? A Dec. 14 article by Joe Kovacs is dedicated to it and, yes, uses the word "sexpidemic" in the headline. Kovacs calls it a "seeming U.S. epidemic" and offers a long list of purported cases, credited to something called iGossip, so you know it must be reliable.
Of course, there's no evidence that this is an "epidemic," seeming or otherwise. Kovacs offers no sense of proportion or statistics of the number of these cases relative to, well, anything. He also implies that these cases are all current, but one of the people on the list is Pamela Smart, whose little incident took place in 1990.
In other words, it's another anti-public-school scare story, given that links at the end of the article bash public education and boost homeschooling, which is apparent WND editorial policy.
And today's WND poll is dedicated to the subject, again claiming without evidence that there is a "outbreak of teacher-student sex."
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.