The Plantation, Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
The folks at NewsBusters are making a big deal out of Hillary Clinton's "plantation" remark: Mark Finkelstein hasthreeposts on it, and Brad Wilmouth and Dave Pierre each have one.
But will Finkelstein, et al., criticize their employer, the Media Research Center, for running articles employing that same metaphor? Some examples, mostly appearing at MRC division CNSNews.com:
-- When I changed my political affiliation ten years ago, I thought I broke the chains of the liberal plantation. -- Kevin Martin, CNS commentary, July 15, 2005
-- Liberals believe that blacks should all think and vote the same. ... And they loathe any free-thinking black who dares to walk off their plantation. -- Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, CNS article, Jan. 26, 2005
-- Liberals have kept the poor on the government plantations, and compassionate conservatives are trying to free them. -- Marvin Olasky, MRC column, Dec. 14, 2002
-- The African American Republican Leadership Council, meanwhile, called [then-NAACP president Julian] Bond "a bigoted plantation'' racist out of step with Black America. -- CNS article, July 8, 2002
-- Shouted down publicly at the universities, disdained in the media, serious Christians are becoming America's new slave class for the plantation owners of the politically-correct U.S. of A. -- Dennis Peacocke, CNS commentary, Oct. 20, 1999
So, NewsBusters guys, before you start bashing Hillary Clinton, you might want to check in your own closet first. And while you're at it, check into why one of your fellow writers, Cinnamon Stillwell, is whitewashing the violent history of Israeli extremists.
(More examples of conservatives using the "plantation" metaphor to attack liberals here.)
New Article: A Textbook Example of Conservative Journalism Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com follows the blueprint by raising dubious allegations from the dead and disgruntled that Rep. Jack Murtha didn't earn his Vietnam War medals. Read more.
The Plantation Topic: Newsmax
A Jan. 17 NewsMax article quotes Republican Rep. Peter King denouncing as "cheap racial politics" and "beyond the pale" Sen. Hillary Clinton's statement that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives was run like a "plantation." WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving asked for White House reaction to the statement during a press briefing and if she was "up to" something, to which White House press secretary responded that Clinton's statement was "way out of line."
Like conservatives' feigned shock 2004 that any left-leaning person would dare to compare President Bush to Adolf Hitler despite a long history of conservatives comparing Democrats to Hitler, conservatives have also made regular use of the plantation metaphor to attack liberals. From the WND and NewsMax archives, from the past year alone:
-- And that's the problem, you see – both among America's "victims" and the leftist "victim plantation owners" – who have carefully cultivated each generation of poor people in order to reap their own power. Four generations of persistent failure hasn't taught either group anything at all. -- WND columnist Craige McMillian, Jan. 12
-- It is not hard to see why the poverty pimps and race-baiters still embrace the party that has historically oppressed blacks and kept them on one plantation or another. -- Nina May, WND commentary, Nov. 4
-- So you have a bunch of white liberals in a newsroom, in an editorial board, typical people that run the white plantation telling blacks how they have to think, telling blacks how they have to act. -- Rush Limbaugh, WND article, Nov. 3
-- Senator Reid has revealed the intolerance found on the political left for minorities who do not reside on their ideological plantation. -- Wendell Talley of the black conservative group Project 21, WND article, Nov. 1
Asking the Democratic Party plantation owners in the U.S. Senate to confirm a black woman who understands, supports and upholds the Constitution of the United States is asking too much. -- WND editor Joseph Farah, June 23
-- [Affirmative action is] a self-empowerment plan to keep minority votes on the new Democratic Party plantation by offering them special race privileges. -- Joseph Farah, April 28
-- Whereas Bush is selling his reform under the theme of an "ownership society," I would call the Democratic alternative the "plantation society." The "plantation society" is characterized by a wealthy class of owners who want to limit the choices, opportunities and freedom of working-class Americans. -- Star Parker, WND commentary, March 22. Parker is author of the 2003 book "Uncle Sam's Plantation," published by WND Books.
-- You have to keep them dependent on the Democrat Party. The more you take from the haves – who you think became haves by dishonest means (you know, by working for it) – the more you'll have to expand your bureaucracy and ladle out more goodies to the have-nots living on your liberal plantation. -- Michael Reagan, NewsMax commentary, Nov. 3
-- Panelist Mychal Massie, director of Project 21, a media outlet that supplies speakers around the country, challenged everyone to "believe we are all Americans - not a hyphenation." Massie said he hoped Blacks could break free of "imprisonment on an ideological plantation." -- NewsMax writer Dave Eberhart, Feb. 25
There's plenty more where these came from if we go back even farther into the archives. Like this choice bit of prose from July 2001 by NewsMax columnist John L. Perry:
Being black is difficult enough. Now there's the additional indignity of having to tote Bill Clinton, not exactly the lightest bale on the barge. Even for a white Southerner, the spectacle of the scalawag disgracer-in-chief's installing himself in the big house of his latest political plantation, smack in the midst of black Harlem, is nauseatingly reminiscent of bad times not forgotten in the land of cotton.
From Clinton's spectacular top-floor veranda overlooking Central Park, where he may conveniently overlook blacks and others being routinely rousted, the Arkansas mas'r may gaze down on his less-affluent and -exalted subjects trying to get a life in the environs of West 125th Street.
The magisterial ensconcing of an impeached president in his expensive new digs in Harlem was not at all unlike the triumphal ceremony when the slave master would move into his edifice of oversight.
All the blacks on the plantation were expected to throng around, grateful faces smiling, to celebrate him on his grand day. They could not run away to register their disgust, no more than could the poor people of Harlem move on up to a better neighborhood now that theirs had been trashed.
So spare us your sanctimony, guys. You weren't offended until now.
UPDATE: Fixes date on John Perry commentary, more clearly marks WND and NewsMax cites.
No Press Release, No WND Article Topic: WorldNetDaily
So the Dodgeville, Wis., school board is suing Liberty Counsel for forcing it to spend money unnecessarily by challenging the lyrics of a song used in an elementary school holiday play. Why hasn't WorldNetDaily run an article on it?
Because Liberty Counsel hasn't issued a press release on it, and WND apparently doesn't do a thing regarding Liberty Counsel without a press release from them.As we've noted, WND repeated without question LC's false assertions about the Dodgeville case.
Getting It Wrong: Google Search Results Topic: Media Research Center
In a Jan. 17 NewsBusters post, Mithridate Ombud uses some bad math in reference to the movie "Brokeback Mountain":
90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association love gay cowboys and transvestites far more than American movie-goers do. Chalk up another 7500 articles.
Ombud fails to note that while the Google News search to which Ombud links returns 7,500-plus links that include the words "brokeback" and "mountain," many of those are duplicates of wire stories, linked to every news organiation that ran it. The total number of articles is, in fact, far less than 7,500.
And despite Ombud's implied (and flawed) assumption that depiction equals endorsement -- that because people are writing about "Brokeback Mountain," they therefore endorse homosexuality -- on the first page of results of Ombud's search is an article on the Utah theater owner's decision to pull the movie from his theater -- a position Ombud presumably supports.
Just Askin' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Given that WorldNetDaily once portrayed a staged photo as a legitimate news story, should it really be making a big deal out of the New York Times misidentifying something in a photo?
A Jan. 16 article goes the guilt-by-association route by claiming that "Hillary's best friend and closest advisor, Susan Thomases, was seated at Belafonte's table" at a recent charity dinner that Hillary also attended. NewsMax also cites the factually challenged Ed Klein as backup for the claim that Thomases is a Hillary confidante.
Pick One, Cliff Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid needs to make up his mind.
He spends the first part of his Jan. 16 Accuracy in Media column defending Jack Abramoff, claiming that "[t]he attack on Abramoff is motivated by envy and jealousy from Democratic and Republican lobbyists who wanted a piece of the action." Then, he suggests that Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan was "for sale" because he took money from Abramoff's Indian tribe clients. But if Abramoff did nothing wrong, neither did Dorgan, correct? So what's the big fuss?
Kincaid also misleadingly points out Democrats on the list of politicians who took money from "Abramoff, his clients or associated companies and groups" while not noting that only Republicans took money from Abramoff himself.
WND's Klein Silent Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a Jan. 16 article on an alleged plan to "evict Jews from their homes in select area neighborhoods including the biblical city of Hebron," WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein reports that Hebron is "home to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, believed to be the resting place of biblical patriarchs and matriarchs." This would have been a ideal place to interject that in 1994, a Jewish extremist with ties to extremist rabbi Meir Kahane, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 30 Arabs in the Cave of the Patriarchs.
But since we know all about Klein's coziness with Jewish extremists, it is therefore axiomatic that Klein did not, in fact, refer to the Goldstein massacre in his article.
Aaron Klein's Friends, Continued Topic: WorldNetDaily
While researching our post on Cinnamon Stillwell and the history of the Jewish Defense League, we found an article from the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles detailing another JDL-linked act of violence, the 1985 murder of Arab-American activist Alex Odeh. (Earl Krugel, as part of a plea agreement regarding his sentence on plotting the bombings of a mosque and the field office of a congressman, was apparently supposed to provide authorities with that crime.) A man named Andy Green, a former JDL member, was considered one of the suspects in Odeh's death. From the article:
Green reportedly immigrated to Israel from New York City in 1975, where he met JDL founder Kahane. He then joined a West Bank settlement, and changed his name to Baruch Ben Yosef. In 1983 he moved back to his hometown, where he ran the office for Kach, another group Kahane started.
That presumably is the same Baruch Ben Yosef who pops up in a few WND articles. the first is a September 2001 article by Larry Dub arguing for the release of Israel spy Johnathan Pollard (Ben Yosef is described at the end of the article as a partner with Dub in "a series of suits in the Supreme Court of Israel which resulted in the government of Israel recognizing Jonathan Pollard as a bona fide Israeli agent and in granting him Israeli citizenship"). Two others are penned by Aaron Klein -- a August 2004 article in which he tries to soften the image of Ben Yosef and Mike Guzofsky (aka Yekutel Ben Yaacov) as "extremists," and the July 2005 Ariel Sharon "death curse" article in which "activist attorney" Ben Yosef describes the ceremony.
At no time have Klein or WND indicated that Green/Ben Yosef is a suspect in a murder in the U.S.
-- Being a recipient of leaked Democratic memos on judicial nominations, and providing a platform for Manuel Miranda, the ex-Bill Frist staffer linked to their possibly illegal leak, to tell his story unencumbered by balance from the other side. CNS has also forwarded other conservative spin points on Bush's judicial nominees.
-- Reported on a frivolous lawsuit filed against George Soros (over a dog bite, for $6 million) despite publishing a pro-tort reform article a day earlier.
-- Assuming that the cancellation of a conservative columnist in America by one of the more than 500 newspaper he appears in is evidence of a conspiracy.
Missing the Point Topic: Media Research Center
In a Jan. 14 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham expresses mostly pleasure with the Washington Post's pickup of the CNSNews.com Jack Murtha hit job, but complains that the Post pointed out that CNS' readers are "mainly conservative, and provides material for other Web sites such as GOPUSA." Graham writes: "Would Kurtz say the Post 'averages a million readers, mainly liberals'? Would it go through the list of publications that buy Post articles through the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service of the Washington Post Writers Group for clues as to how liberal the newspaper is?"
Graham misses the point (aside from the fact that he has no evidence beyond his own biased presumption that the Post's subscriber base is "mainly liberals"). Conservative journalism, as practiced by CNS, is fundamentally different from "mainstream journalism," as practiced by the Post. Regardless of the alleged liberal leanings of many journalists, "mainstream journalism" has as its foremost goal to tell facts in a reasonably impartial manner; it does not, in the vast majority of cases, have an explicit goal of promoting liberalism. CNS-style conservative journalism, on the other hand, promotes conservatism as its foremost goal, and facts are typically bent around that goal. Graham cannot deny that.
The Republican Operatives at CNS Topic: CNSNews.com Murray Waas points out what ConWebWatch readers already knew -- that many CNSNews.com staffers, including editor in chief David Thibault and Marc Morano, co-author of the John Murtha hit piece, have long history of Republican and/or conservative activism. To sum up:
-- Thibault is a former senior producer for GOP-TV's Rising Tide, the televised weekly news magazine broadcast by the Republican National Committee" as well as a former press secretary for Republicn Rep. Judd Gregg (now a senator).
-- Morano was a reporter and producer for Rush Limbaugh's mid-90s television show.
And lest we forget, former CNS reporter Jim Burns -- remembered here for his long history of obscuring the past of Otto Reich -- left CNS to work for a Republican congressman, where he was busted for plagiarizing columns from conservative researchers and putting them under his boss' name.
UPDATE: Just wanted to add the fact, for searching purposes, that CNSNews.com and Cybercast News Service are one and the same.