WorldNetDaily Wackiness Topic: WorldNetDaily
-- Oh, here's a surprise: Another story based on an Alliance Defense Fund press release.
-- It's hard to get too worked up about WND executive news editor Art Moore's May 19 column in which he suggests that the alligators who have been chomping on humans in Florida be deployed on the Mexico. Heck, Moore can't even bother to be original: His "joke" about putting illegal immigrants to work to build a moat on the border might have been funny if he hadn't stolen the basic concept from Ann Coulter (who, in turn, stole it from "Saturday Night Live").
Time For A Retraction? Topic: NewsBusters
From a May 19 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard about a report by Canada's National Post that the Iranian parliament passed a law this week requiring non-Muslims in the country to wear certain insignia identifying them as such:
The question is: will America’s media report this? At this point six hours after the National Post article was published, a Google news search identified that, other than Canadian and German news sites, no major American media apart from blogs have covered this story. Moreover, if someone from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in L.A. was questionned on this matter, American media can’t be in the dark on this issue.
As such, where is the media outrage concerning this extremely heinous move by the current extremists in Iran?
Well, it could be that the story is false. Even WorldNetDaily, no stranger to ignoring inconvenient facts, has pointed this out, noting that not only has the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa denied it, but "several experts on the regime have raised doubts about the National Post story."
WND posted this article at 4 p.m. ET May 20. At this writing, it is nine hours later -- three more hours than Sheppard gave the "American media" to report the original National Post story -- and neither Sheppard nor any other NewsBusters writer has made these doubts about the story's accuracy the subject of a post.
Meanwhile, NewsBusters writers are assailing the accuracy of USA Today's story on the NSA's database of domestic phone records because the phone companies cited in the article have denied (several days after the fact) cooperating with the NSA. Needless to say, the boys have been ignoring reports that appear to corroborate the story, such has reports that phone companies have allowed third-party "scapegoats" to give their phone records to the NSA.
It appears that at NewsBusters, some allegations of false stories are more equal than others.
NewsBusters Cites Slanted Poll Topic: NewsBusters
A May 20 NewsBusters item by Brad Wilmouth notes "a recent Zogby poll showing 84 percent of Americans, including 77 percent of Hispanics, support making English the nation's official language" as evidence against a contention by NBC's Brian Unger that Republicans are taking a "hard turn to the right" by pushing to declare English America's official language.
But that poll, linked by Wilmouth from the group ProEnglish, was in fact commissioned by ProEnglish, which means that its questions are slanted to generate a result that reinforces ProEnglish's agenda -- which, as the name indicates, is to "make [English] the official language of the United States."
Wait -- weren't the boys at NewsBusters complaining about biased polls not too long ago?
Corsi's Next Book Deal Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 19 item at Human Events Online by Jerome Corsi has an interesting tagline at the end. It list three books he has written -- but not his soon-to-be-released book, co-authored with Ken Blackwell.
The tagline also states Corsi's next project: "He will soon co-author a new book with Jim Gilchrist on the Minuteman Project." Sounds like another WND Books deal.
CNS Slants 'Net Neutrality' Topic: CNSNews.com
A May 19 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones on the issue of "net neutrality" takes a slanted approach to the issue. Jones describes its proponents as "interest groups" and its opponents as "free marketeers," as if interest groups weren't working that side of the issue.
Jones also identifies MoveOn.org as one group that supports the pro-"net neutrality" campaign, but she fails to identify the supporters of the anti-"net neutrality" groups she quotes as bashing MoveOn. She identifies FreedomWorks as a "a group that advocates lower taxes and less government"; in fact, it's a conservative activist group -- in other words, an interest group -- chaired by former Rep. Dick Armey and longtime activist C. Boyden Gray.
If there is any one publication that cannot be considered a shill of the New World Order – as more than a few e-mails accused me and/or WND of being – it is the New American, the journal of the John Birch Society. When I did daily talk radio, I subscribed to the publication because of its reliable, tough-minded reporting.
The first theme of the rock and roll counterculture, as everyone knows, was sex. Not, of course, the old-fashioned kind that cemented marriages and begat children, but the modern, recreational kind, the kind that has produced a pandemic of venereal diseases, abortions, unwed mothers, and broken homes.
Then there's the occultic backdrop so common these days in rock music, and not just among notorious heavy-metal poseurs like Marilyn Manson and Ozzie Osbourne. What are we to make of an artist like Tori Amos, a sweet-voiced, low-key performer whose songs (such as "Father Lucifer") and stage performances are laced with blasphemous imagery and convey a ferocious hatred of Christianity?
Bono, along with many other influential rock stars, is a shrewd propagandist for the cause he advocates. Not all propaganda, after all, emanates from Goebbels-style ministries.
In keeping with the requirements of mass culture, much of rock music encourages severing personal ties: to family, to church, to tradition. Children are incited to rebel against their parents, marriage and sexual purity are sneered at, and traditional modes of dress and conduct are deliberately contravened.
More recently, taboos like homosexuality have also come out of the closet, thanks in no small measure to homosexual rock groups like Queen and the Village People, whose 70's-era anthems to deviant behavior helped set a precedent for frank and open treatment of the subject in the media and in other venues of mass entertainment.
Fortunately, a wide variety of genuinely uplifting, edifying music is still available, from the timeless works of the classical masters to the refined rhythms of the Big Band era, the soulful romance of Hit Parade favorites, and many other wholesome genres. Winning the culture war requires us not only to understand the baneful effects of the "diabolical bawling and twanging" of today's popular music but also to seek out the refining and even ennobling influence of music at its best.
'Pro-Emissions' Topic: CNSNews.com
Josh Marshall got a kick out of a CNSNews.com e-mail that promoted a May 18 article this way: "Pro-Emissions T.V. Ads Counter Gore Film."
But there's more amusement to be found here. The article, by Monisha Bansal, quoted an MIT professor who castigated a global-warming scientist who "libelously labeled scientists who differed with Mr. Gore as stooges of the fossil-fuel industry." But Bansal described the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the funder of those "pro-emissions" TV ads, as merely a "free-market environmental think tank" while failing to note that CEI receives a significant amount of funding from -- that's right -- the fossil-fuel industry.
Lack of Disclosure Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 18 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein quotes Israeli politician Effie Eitam as favoring an Israeli attack on Iranian weapons facilities. Klein describes Eitam as "chairman of the National Union Party," but he never identifies the party's political orientation. That's because it's a right-wing party, one that presumably falls in line with Klein's political orientation as demonstrated by the bias shown in his WND articles.
While Klein regularly identifies the political orientation of Israeli parties and politicans if they are left of center -- for instance, a December 2005 article by Klein describes Israel's Labor party as "leftist" and another politician as an "extreme leftist" -- but Klein rarely points out the orientation of right-of-center parties and politicians.
UPDATE: Here's some background on Klein's labeling bias.
NewsBusters Repeats False "Correction" Topic: NewsBusters
A May 17 NewsBusters item by Dave Pierre credits Bill O'Reilly for "nabbing DNC chair Howard Dean for a lie he aired on last night's episode of the The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" in claiming that President Bush announced in his May 15 televised speech that he was going to "find 12 million undocumented people and send them all back across the border." "The President does not believe what Dean claims the President 'wants to do,'" Pierre wrote, adding: "Not surprisingly, Stewart did not correct Dean on his falsehood. In fact, Stewart nodded his head after Dean's false claim!"
In fact, as News Hounds points out, it was made clear earlier in the program that this episode of "The Daily Show" was being taped before Bush's speech, so any claim made by Stewart and Dean about what Bush said in the speech was considered a inside joke. This is noted by commenters in the thread for Pierre's item, but Pierre has not acknowledged this or corrected himself.
New Article: Aiming to Smear Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media uses dubious evidence and false attacks to wage war on a Washington Post reporter for reporting something it didn't like. Read more.
NewsBusters Nonsense Topic: NewsBusters
-- Scott Whitlock joins in the MRC's long tradition of making dubious accusations about poll bias by claiming that USA Today skewed a poll on the NSA's collection of phone records (which showed public sentiment against it) because, unlike a Washington Post/ABC poll that showed support for the program, it did not state that the NSA didn't eavesdrop on calls. Whitlock failed to note that 1) the Post/ABC poll didn't state that while calls aren't being listened to through that database, it's linked to the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program; and 2) a Newsweek poll on the issue that echoed the Post/ABC question by pointing out that the NSA didn't eavesdrop showed a similar disapproval rate to the USA Today poll.
-- It's not often you see a conservative unquestioningly swallowing something forwarded by NPR, but Greg Sheffield does just that by claiming the following, based on a column by NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin: "Media Matters started an email campaign based on a faulty transcript of Mara Liason's [sic] May 7 appearance on Fox News Sunday." Dvorkin, and thus Sheffield, is wrong; Media Matters (full disclosure: my employer) responds here.
-- Mark Finkelstein finds that ol' debbil liberal bias lurking on ESPN. Apparently, it's liberal bias to point out the indisputable fact that a defendent pushing his case in the media has the potential effect of tainting the jury pool.
-- After making a big deal out of Katie Couric's purported $110,000 fee for speaking at the University of Oklahoma's commencement, Tim Graham backtracks. Turns out Couric donated her speaking fee to charity.
You Know the Drill Topic: Accuracy in Media
Another Cliff Kincaid column attacking Dana Priest, another false claim that her story on secret CIA detention centers isn't true, no acknowledgement that one of AIM's favorite news sources, NewsMax, reported evidence appearing to support Priest's story.
WND cheerfully repeats Savage's misstatement of Phelps' claim about what Savage was charged with, without explaining what the issue is about. Savage claimed that Phelps "claimed that the complaint wasn’t even about sexual harassment"; in fact, Phelps wrote that the complaints against Savage by two professors were "in reference to 'harassment based on sexual orientation,' or discrimination, not sexual harassment."
WND also pads out its article with expanded red-baiting of Phelps. It called Phelps a "far-left professor" in the first paragraph, repeated its comparison of Savage as "a devout and conservative Quaker" with Phelps admitting being "on the left of the left" and his decade-old praise of Marxism, and recounted the platform of Phelps' 1996 campaign for a Senate seat as a socialist. The article also quotes David Kupelian (the WND editor whose book Savage recommended, touching off this whole controversy) bashing Phelps as a "rabid socialist ... who extols values that have cost millions of lives in the last century and left hundreds of millions in poverty and despair." Kupelian never addresses what Phelps wrote.
In short, your classic ad hominem attack.
And, as always, WND concludes with a plug for Kupelian's book -- which, more and more, is what WND's coverage of this issue is all about.