Another WND Press Release Rewrite Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily squeezes in one more entry for this year's collection of press release-generated "war on Christmas" articles with a Dec. 23 article based on -- and structured exactly the same as -- an Alliance Defense Fund press release.
Clinton Equivocation Watch Topic: Newsmax
You knew it was coming: A Dec. 22 NewsMax article asserting that anything Clinton (allegedly) did trumps any abuse of civil liberties by the Bush administration under the Patriot Act.
Bias Study Bias Topic: Media Research Center
A Dec. 19 NewsBusters post by Mithridate Ombud breathlessly touts a UCLA-sponsored study by Tim Groseclose and Jeffrey Milyo as one that "objectively quantifies media bias," finding, in Ombud's words, that "Yes, Virginia, there is a leftist media bias." But the study, it turns out, is highly flawed, from its conservative links (Groseclose and Milyo have conservative think tank connections) to some outright bizarre assumptions (the ACLU is conservative? The pro-military RAND Corporation is liberal?).
Nevertheless, expect the MRC to add this study to its list of evidence of a liberal media bias -- and to never speak of the study's serious flaws.
Slantie Wannabes Topic: WorldNetDaily
Do WorldNetDaily columnists know that the Slanties are coming up? Apparently so, because there is a minor rush to submit candidates for the LoBaido Award:
-- In a Dec. 20 column, Bruce Shortt tosses out another anti-public education rant:
Surely few are wholly unaware that violent crime and sexual abuse of students in the government's schools are far from uncommon. And surely few can be wholly unaware that the government's schools now incorporate curricula and programs that both are a threat to our children's physical and psychological health and are, in many instances, pornographic.
If the parents of 1960 had been confronted with today's government school system, they would have immediately recognized it as child abuse and shut it down.
-- Judith Reisman, in a Dec. 20 column, starts off by making the mistake that anything WND has to say about a purported teacher-student "sexpidemic" has any basis in reality -- "Anyone notice the number of female teachers arrested lately for sexually abusing boys and girls?" -- then descends into a discussion about "erototoxins," whatever the hell they are:
Although a 2000 U.S. Department Of Justice report "The Sexual Victimization of College Women" mentioned pornography, the latest research eluded any question of how pornography – erototoxins – shape college life.
-- It's not a WND column per se, but for the past few days, WND has featured a link to a Dec. 9 column by Tony Snow that gets the facts wrong regarding an decade-long independent counsel named David Barrett, who started off investigating Clinton-era official Henry Cisneros and meandered into alleged IRS abuses. Snow claimed that Democratic senators "took the highly unusual step earlier this year of trying to slip into an Iraq-war spending bill an amendment to suppress every word of the Barrett report."
In fact, when the senators introduced the amendment that would cut off funding for Barrett's $21 million investigation, he had already delivered his report to a three-judge panel for review, and cutting off funding (the amendment failed, by the way) would have had no impact on the release of the report.
AIM and Hatfill Topic: Accuracy in Media
In our recent ConWebWatch article on Anthony LoBaido's reporting on South Africa for WorldNetDaily, one passing mention caught our eye: a claim that Steven Hatfill, the scientist suspected but never charged in post-9/11 anthrax attacks, had ties to extremist South African militias. A Dec. 20 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid, which runs once again to the defense of Steven Hatfill, reminds us of that again.
We have no idea of Hatfill's culpability in the anthrax attacks, but we wondered: In all of its defenses, did AIM previously mention this unusual connection? Turns out it did -- but downplayed it and otherwise explained it away.
An association with the "white racist" governments of Zimbabwe and South Africa makes Hatfill an easy mark and target. He is politically incorrect. From all appearances, Hatfill appears to be an anti-communist who believed that the U.S. was vulnerable to a chemical/biological attack, and he worked on ways to counter those threats.
That's all the detail AIM serves up about this, aside from the occasional reference to his "background as an anti-communist in Southern Africa." In AIM's eyes, apparently, being anti-communist is enough to trump the fact that Hatfill has associated with violent white supremacists. Go figure.
NewsMax Wrong on Echelon Topic: Newsmax Think Progress debunks a claim in a Dec. 18 NewsMax article that the Echelon intelligence-gathering program operated without using court-ordered warrants. The only reason NewsMax would make such a claim is so that it can continue its practice of deflecting bad news about the Bush administration by dragging a Clinton into it.
Farah Quitting Radio Show Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah is leaving his weekday radio show on Jan. 13, according to a Dec. 20 WorldNetDaily article. His reason, he says: "I need to spend more time with WND and my family." No word on if someone else will take over Farah's slot or the fate of Golden Broadcasters, the syndicator created to distribute Farah's show after he got bumped from syndicator Radio America so G. Gordon Liddy could take over his slot.
A Tale of Two Posts Topic: Media Research Center
A Dec. 20 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein starts off by declaring: "Let's get one thing straight: the the Transport Workers Union strike in NYC is illegal." Finkelstein then goes on to complain that the illegality of the strike is not being reported prominently enough for him.
In the NewsBusters post directly below it, Tom Segel writes about the recently disclosed federal wiretapping on suspected terrorists. While he alludes to "allegations" of "criminal action," nowhere does Segel state that wiretapping without a court order is generally considered illegal.
New Article: Conservative Christmas Correctness Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily again teams up with conservative legal groups to hype a press-release-generated "war on Christmas" -- and again, WND can't be bothered to get the other side of the story. And which WND columnist is likening those who don't support the "war on Christmas" to Nazis and Holocaust deniers? Read more.
Accuracy in Plagiarism Topic: Accuracy in Media World O'Crap catches an egregious bit of plagiarism on the part of Deborah Lambert, who works for Accuracy in Media's sister organization, Accuracy in Academia, and who also "oversees the area of fundraising and donor relations for AIM." Turns out Lambert's Dec. 16 column for Accuracy in Academia's online newsletter was lifted from a Human Events Online piece.
That's the kind of skill that could get Lambert hired at WorldNetDaily.
Frighteningly Dubious Assertion of the Day Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a Dec. 19 WorldNetDaily column, Erik Rush likens those who scoff at the dubious claim that there is a "war on Christmas" to Holocaust deniers and Nazis:
Yet the incremental attainment of power on the part of the Nazis in Germany, their duplicity and their denials during their early days parallels the actions of the Left in recent years to a chilling degree, particularly concerning their vociferous denials with respect to attacks on Christianity.
In his Dec. 9 Newsday column, "Peace for Christmas, or 'the holidays'" Ellis Henican declares: "OK, let me say this right up front so there will be no misunderstanding. There is no war on Christmas." So is he dull, deluded or complicit? With literally dozens of public controversies over the last few years over the names of cities, public seals bearing religious icons, "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, and lawsuits over Nativity scenes and Ten Commandments displays, what other intelligent conclusion can be drawn?
And it's not just the American Civil Liberties Union, which many complain is spearheading this effort. I won't validate them by naming the organizations, but, as Franklin Graham stated, there are indeed groups of Americans who are dedicated to eradicating Christianity completely, if at all possible.
But no, they say: You see, this backlash against the "attack on religion and Christmas" thing is just a fabrication of a handful of right-wing zealots, inflammatory news commentators and radio talk-show hosts – not the 85-plus percent Americans who identify themselves as Christians and see their faith being driven back to first-century, almost criminal status.
To me, that sounds a lot like the pre-World War II assertions that the Jews were the name of Germany's pain and the postwar contention that the Holocaust was a Zionist fabrication.
Hitler himself declared decades before he was able to actualize his monstrous programs precisely what he intended to do, as many of America's enemies, at home and abroad, are doing right now.
The Daily Les, Back at Last Topic: The Daily Les
We've been remiss on detailing The Daily Les lately -- he's been pretty erratic of late, and we discovered that the Holden's Obsession With the Gaggle section of the First Draft blog features does its own Daily Les. But Romenesko catches Les Kinsolving doing his best Jeff Gannon -- acting as a respite from questions about the reported Bush-authorized spying on U.S. residents by serving up a softball about conservative talk-show hosts at the White House.
Romenesko also links to an interesting Baltimore City Paper profile of Kinsolving.
Torture Update Topic: The ConWeb
We've updated our Dec. 13 article on torture to add the very latest: WND's Joseph Farah declaring that the U.S. doesn't torture and NewsMax declaring that basic military training is torture.