ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Labeling Ambiguity Alert
A June 7 article by Nathan Burchfiel on the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) dropping the term "social justice" from the criteria used to define the quality of a teacher states that the decision was "hailed by free speech groups." But the only group Burchfiel cites in support of the decision is the the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which is, in fact, a conservative group whose major donors are conservative foundations. Even the National Review admits this; a 2002 article notes that FIRE was founded by a "right civil libertarian." Even though the article states that "It isn't only conservatives who are defended by FIRE," it's clear by the group's promotion there and at CNS that conservatism -- or, more to the point, anti-liberalism -- is FIRE's main emphasis.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:11 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 7, 2006 8:14 AM EDT
Then and Now
Topic: WorldNetDaily
"Personally, when I read Gibson's remarks, I laughed out loud. Clearly this was not a threat. ... He was reacting in a predictable style to someone who can't or won't fight fair."

-- Joseph Farah, Sept. 10, 2003, WorldNetDaily column on Mel Gibson's statement about the New York Times' Frank Rich: "I want to kill him. I want his intestines on a stick. I want to kill his dog."

" ... murderous, hate-filled, venomous, disgusting and loathsome remarks. ... that sick and cowardly threat on the president's life."

-- Joseph Farah, June 7 WorldNetDaily column on New York state comptroller Alan Hevesi's introduction of Sen. Charles Schumer as "The man who, how do I phrase this diplomatically, who will put a bullet between the president's eyes if he could get away with it."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 7, 2006 1:59 AM EDT
Who's Smearing Who?
Topic: Accuracy in Media
A June 7 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid attacks Fox News' Shepard Smith for claiming in a Playboy interview that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are an example of stories that "lack veracity" but which serve as news. Kincaid adds, "as if the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had been engaged not in getting out the truth about John Kerry's military career and dubious war crimes charges, but in smearing the Democratic Senator and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate."

Well, by most accounts, the Swifties were doing exactly that -- smearing Kerry with factually dubious and politically motivated accusations. Kincaid offers no evidence that the Swifties were doing otherwise -- nor, to our knowledge, has AIM ever fact-checked the Swifties' claims.

So, Cliff, unless you can come up with a detailed analysis of the Swifties' claims and the veracity thereof, let's not issue a blanket defense of 'em, mmmkay?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 AM EDT
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Over at Bartholomew's place:

-- We learn more about David Brog, whose book about Christian support of Israel is being promoted by WorldNetDaily and who wrote a June 2 WND column on the issue.

-- We also learn that Hal Lindsey's claim that an al-Qaeda leader is living in France, made in a June 2 WND column, is likely false.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Kessler Joins NewsMax, Harbors Delusions About New Employer
Topic: Newsmax
Author Ronald Kessler has joined NewsMax as its chief Washington correspondent. Kessler is best known of late for writing two conservative-friendly books: "A Matter of Character: Inside the White House of George W. Bush" and "Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady."

Kessler was well acquianted with NewsMax before this. NewsMax heavily promoted his Laura Bush book, which was offered as a premium for its magazine subscribers; the book was also excerpted in the magazine. And to fill the Clinton-hating prerequesite for NewsMax employement, Kessler dished some alleged dirt on the Clintons in an April interview, painting them as unfriendly to the White House help, unlike the Bushes, and that they favored "gaudy" decorations for the White House. And during the 2004 campaign, NewsMax pulled an unflattering bit about John Kerry from Kessler's 1997 book "Inside Congress: The Shocking Scandals, Corruption, and Abuse of Power Behind the Scenes on Capitol Hill."

But NewsMax CEO Christopher Ruddy criticized Kessler in a 2002 column:

This week I heard author Ron Kessler say the FBI "disintegrated" under former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

I happen to agree with Kessler.

But I would like to ask, where was Kessler all these years? And the Washington press corps? And Congress?

During the '90s they mostly hid under a rock, timid as they were to challenge the political takeover of the FBI by the Clinton White House.

Bygones are bygones, apparently. Kessler summed up his love for his new employer this way:

"Since I first learned about NewsMax, I’ve admired how, in order to tell the truth about subjects ranging from politics to medicine, it presents factual material that the rest of the media ignore," Mr. Kessler said. "I’m proud to be associated with an operation that practices journalism honestly and fairly."

Kessler clearly doesn't know much about NewsMax. Not only does NewsMax has a long record of distortions, bias and outright lies, it used that April interview with Kessler to recycle several debunked accusations against the Clintons.

If Kessler really thinks that NewsMax "practices journalism honestly and fairly," he's in for a rude awakening.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 PM EDT
Monday, June 5, 2006
The Return of Jered Ede
Last time we checked, The Carrollton Record, the conservative Johns Hopkins University publication edited by Jered Ede, who last year notoriously misinterpreted Paul Begala for, was nowhere to be found online.

Well, the Record's online presence has returned, as has Ede, who is miraculously not disgraced by his previous journralistic misadventure. In a May 18 Human Events item, Ede described how the Carrollton Record was allegedly "banned" -- in fact, it was merely banned from distribution in campus dormitories, not from the campus as a whole -- allegedly for Ede's reporting that because a gay-porn director was brought to speak on campus using "school funds," the school was therefore "pay[ing] for its students" to "receive complimentary copies of gay, straight, and lesbian pornography."

We don't know how accurate Ede's claim is, given that his description of where the money to pay the speaker came from is somewhat murky. But given Ede's previous journalistic record, it would not be out of line to assume that Ede's claims are exaggerated and incompletely reported. In fact, one of the very few non-conservative outlets to report the controversy -- which is to say, outlets that report more than one side of the story -- the Student Press Law Center, notes that a representative of the campus group that sponsored the speaker's appearance said there are "a number of inaccuracies" in the story. The SPLC also quotes a Johns Hopkins spokesman saying that only official school publications may be distributed in the dorms, though enforcement appears to be lax.

Remember, Ede has a history of sloppy and slanted journalism, and his story has been spreading around the conservative blogosphere. Ede is presumably happy in the knowledge that it, like much of the conservative media, won't bother looking for an opposing viewpoint.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:24 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 5, 2006 7:26 PM EDT
Cliff Kincaid and Jack Thompson: Together At Last
Topic: Accuracy in Media
A June 5 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid praises the new book (well, not quite so new; it was released last November) by Jack Thompson. Kincaid leads by recounting that "sewer-mouth" Howard Stern once called Thompson a "lunatic lawyer," an epithet Thompson now wears with pride.

But despite his current "mission to protect children from the violent and obscene video games, music lyrics, shock jock radio shows, and television programs he says are creating a culture of violence and degradation," Thompson does live up to the "lunatic lawyer" description. Before embarking on his current crusade, Thompson was a rabid anti-Clintonite and even more rabid anti-Janet Reno partisan. As we've detailed, Thompson ran against Reno in 1988 for a district attorney seat in Florida; during the campaign, Reno was unfit for the job because, as a closeted lesbian with a drinking problem, she was great candidate for blackmail by the criminal element. Thompson also, during a public debate during this campaign, presented Reno with a form demanding she fill it out. It read: "I, Janet Reno, am a 1) Homosexual; 2) Bisexual; 3) Heterosexual." Reno was expected to check an appropriate answer. The form went on to say, "If you don't respond by such a date, then you will be deemed to have checked one of the first two boxes."

During the Elian Gonzalez saga in 2000, Thompson was NewsMax's "Man in Miami," filing regular reports. Thompson attempted to blackmail Kendall Coffey, a lawyer for Elian's Miami relatives, in a open letter in which he recounts a certain stripper-biting incident involving Coffey, then added: "I am scheduled to appear today on a national television program to discuss all of the above. Therefore, I would suggest you arrange my meeting with [Eilan's relatives] so that your withholding crucial information from them not be continuing at the time of the broadcast."

Thompson has also threatened to sue anyone who criticizes him anonymously.

Kincaid doesn't mention any of this, nor does he mention that one current target of Thompson's anti-violent-video-game crusade is ... the U.S. military, which developed and gives away the game "America's Army." If Thompson is bashing the military, why isn't he getting the same treatment from conservatives as, say, Jack Murtha? Hmmmm...

Given that Kincaid and Thompson share a obsession with lesbianism, real or imagined (Kincaid's, you'll remember, involves Rachel Maddow), these two should get along just fine.

UPDATE: Edited final paragraph to reflect that while we don't know whether Janet Reno is a lesbian, Thompson is obsessed with the idea that she is.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 5, 2006 5:17 PM EDT
Equivocating a Massacre
Topic: NewsBusters
In a June 4 NewsBusters post, John Armor plays the "But what about...?" game on the alleged Haditha massacre, bringing up for comparison purposes the deaths of dozens of U.S. troops via friendly fire (actually, mistaken bombing) at St. Lo during World War II. Because the New York Times did not cover St. Lo at the time but has covered Haditha, Armor concludes (without evidence) that "today’s Times is a willing participant in the effort to paint the entire American military as murderers," adding that "[e]vents like these happen in wartime."

Armor, however, doesn't bother to point out the major difference between St. Lo and Haditha: St. Lo, by Armor's description, was an accidental attack on U.S. troops; Haditha, by most media reports, was an apparently deliberate attack on civilians.

We can at least take some comfort that Armor merely misleads on his World War II-linked Haditha equivocation, unlike Bill O'Reilly, who simply made stuff up.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EDT
Saturday, June 3, 2006
Topic: Newsmax
Dave Eberhart is turning into NewsMax's go-to guy for softball interviews. Following up on his delicate treatment of Jack Kemp, Eberhart has penned a June 2 piece (but dated June 3) on Chris Simcox, found of the anti-immigrant Minuteman Project. Here's the lead:

The Southern Poverty Law Center once described controversial Minuteman Civil Defense Corps founder, Chris Simcox, 45, as "a relentless self aggrandizer who comes across with a smug egotism and fiery conviction of a former nobody."

But after a couple of up-close-and-personal sessions with the man whose "Minuteman Movement" has spawned 34 chapters in 30 states, a political action committee, and what Simcox sees as the basis and impetus for a national third party, NewsMax found that the only two words in that line of vitriol that truly apply to the soft-spoken man are "relentless" and "conviction."

Needless to say, there's no mention of Simcox being cited for illegally carrying a loaded weapon of federal parkland (as we've previously noted), nor is there any mention of the racism that lurks around the Minuteman Project (detailed by the SPLC).

Eberhart is joined in his softball-tossing by Ed Sigall, who penned a fawning June 3 NewsMax profile of ABC's John Stossel.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EDT
Friday, June 2, 2006
Sexpidemic! (Congressional Division)
Topic: WorldNetDaily
It took the word "orgies" -- well, actually, a Republican congressman's accusation of orgies -- but WorldNetDaily has finally sprung into action and showed a little interest in Duke Cunningham scandal-related activities.

A mere month or so after the allegation first surfaced (despite WND's prurient interest in sexual matters), a June 2 WND article reports on the hookers-and-poker segment of the Cunningham scandal -- but only because Rep. Peter King issued a threat to "launch an investigation into rumors of orgies involving CIA agents at the Watergate Hotel" if New York doesn't get more Homeland Security money.

This is only the fourth mention of Cunningham scandals in an original WND news article since last December, when Cunningham resigned after pleading guilty to taking bribes, despite WND's claim to be "a watchdog exposing government waste, fraud, corruption and abuse of power."

Posted by Terry K. at 7:26 PM EDT
Two, Two, Two Distortions In One
Topic: NewsBusters
A June 2 NewsBusters post by John Armor not only offers a false comparison, but it serves up a little guilt by association on the side.

Armor claims that "the press are trying to protect both Democrats and blacks from the consequences of their own misdeeds," serving up as an example the disparate coverage given to the corruption of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and that of former Rep. Frank Ballance. Armor wrote:

What explains the difference in coverage? Well, Cunningham is a white Republican, therefore a target of opportunity for much of the press. Ballance, on the other hand, is a black Democrat. And we cannot have strongly negative coverage of blacks and Democrats in the press, now can we?


There are three possible reasons why this crooked Republican got big ink, but this crooked Democrat gets little ink. One is that Republicans are held to a higher standard. Corruption is considered par for the course, especially among big city Democrats. The other two are that the press are trying to protect both Democrats and blacks from the consequences of their own misdeeds.

In fact, there are significant differences in the types and severity of the offenses committed, which Armor fails to note. Cunningham, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, resigned after pleading guilty to taking $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for using in order to help a defense contractor get government contracts, a scandal that is likely to touch other members of Congress.

Meanwhile, Ballance -- who was in his first term as a congressman -- was not charged with crimes committed while a congressman, or of a bribery charge. He was accused of channeling $2.3 million in state money over 10 years, while serving as a state legislator, to a nonprofit foundation he operated to help poor people fight drug and alcohol abuse, then giving some of that money to family and friends. He was sentenced to four years in prison and agreed to repay $61,917.25 and to forfeit $203,000 in a bank escrow account.

Then, for no apparent reason but to smear House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Armor -- without accusing her specifically of any legal or ethical violations -- noted that Pelosi is "the daughter of one Baltimore Mayor, Tommy D'Alesandro Sr, and the sister of another, Tommy III. Both Tommys were crooked as a dog's hind leg, but only one ever was charged with anything. Tommy III was charged with rape as a young man, and charged with bribery as Mayor." But Armor fails to note that all of this took place more than 30 years ago -- Tommy D'Alesandro III left office in 1971 -- nor does he explain its relevance to today's political situation. (Armor likes this bit of trivia so much he has posted it at least twice at Free Republic, where he's known as Congressman Billybob.)

Posted by Terry K. at 5:36 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 2, 2006 5:38 PM EDT
Smear By Association
Topic: WorldNetDaily
From a June 2 WorldNetDaily column by Joseph Farah:

I know what the agenda of the Charity, Freedom and Diversity Party is. I know what the agenda of the Democratic Party is. I know what the agenda of the American Civil Liberties Union is. I know what the agenda of Hillary Clinton is.

The Charity, Freedom and Diversity Party is a new political party in the Netherlands formed by "self-avowed pedophiles" who favor the lowering the age of consent from 16 to 12, broadcasting pornographic material on daytime television, and allowing children as young as 12 to feature in porn films. Farah has no evidence -- nor will he find any -- that the Democratic Party, the ACLU and Hillary Clinton endorse this party or its platform. It is a lie for Farah to insinuate that they do, and it is a smear to suggest that they share an agenda.

Remember, Farah is on record as a liar and plagiarizer, so such dishonest rhetoric is, sadly, not surprising.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 PM EDT
The Abuse Continues
Topic: NewsBusters
Even in a harmless, non-judgmental NewsBusters post by Brent Baker about a soldier who gave his Purple Heart to CBS' Kimberly Dozier, some NewsBusters commenters just can't stop denigrating journalists. From the thread:

Too bad that reporters don't act the same way as this soldier has....

This is why American Servicemen are truly an asset to this country. Selfless in their duty, honorable in their character, true to each other and their country and yet this soldier extended his heart-felt compassion towards someone who works for an organization that is looking for America to lose. In the face of that, he is a better man than I am.

I really hate this kind of sentimentalism.
First, the woman getting injured in no way makes her suffering on a par with 'any soldier', especially when her very reporting is responsible for increasing the suffering of soldiers, due to the US Media constantly being willing pawns and enablers to the terrorist agenda.

I think this post was to in no way elevate this woman (who deserves none) but to show what kind of men our soldiers are.

I realize that, I just think the soldier made a mistake. It was kind and gracious, but in my opinion, totally wrong. The liberal media is the enemy of every soldier risking their life in Iraq. Anything that brings comfort to them, or helps to bring credit to the way that these people have failed to report on any positive news in Iraq, yet rush like the wind to report the negative things, to me is wrong.

Fortunately, this abuse was followed by something unusual: a NewsBusters contributing writer, Tom Blumer, defending the soldier's act -- and Dozier:

I think you're overreacting. I'm not going to sit here and question a thoughtful gesture made by a soldier. He met her previously, so why not provide comfort to her and her family?

I can't prove it, but I think Dozier has played it relatively straight with her reports. Also don't forget that higher-ups decide what actually appears on your TV screen, and to an extent what they want the reporter to emphasize when she appears on camera.

But, of course, no good deed goes unpunished, as a commenter responded to Blumer:

When Ms Dozier was injured, the media could barely squeeze into their reports that a soldier had also been killed in the blast that took her co-workers. I dont think I can react strongly enough to this madness. I dont blame the soldier who honored her, as I said though, the whole thing just makes me sick.

Also, to play it straight as you said, would mean that Ms Dozier and others reported ALL the news, unless you are actually trying to suggest that her producers are responsible for editing out her 'positive' stories.

You should have stopped after "I cant prove it"........

Sigh. Sad, isn't it?

UPDATE: The latest wet dream from this thread:

My dreamlike fantasy that will never happen is to see them all exposed from their emails to their private conversations down to their treasonous editing of all their war coverage, while they are all strapped into a CIA watersurfboard begging for 6 months to correct all the partisan record.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 2, 2006 11:31 AM EDT
Thursday, June 1, 2006
Getting It Wrong: WND on MEChA and La Raza
Topic: WorldNetDaily
From a June 1 WorldNetDaily article:

"La Raza," or "the Race," is a designation by many Mexicans who see themselves as part of a transnational ethnic group they hope will one day reclaim Aztlan, the mythical birthplace of the Aztecs. In Chicano folklore, Aztlan includes California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas.

In fact, as David Neiwert details, "la Raza' actually translates more closely as 'the people,' that is, the Latino people -- who are constituted of multiple races. That is, it is an ethnic identity -- one that specifically repudiates racial distinctions."

WND then writes the following about the Latino group MEChA:

MEChA, founded at U.C. Santa Barbara in 1969, has the stated goal of returning the American Southwest to Mexico.

In fact, according to Neiwert, "the MEChA version of 'Aztlan,' conceptually speaking, is of an explicitly spiritual homeland based on their heritage as native American peoples."

Well, we can take some comfort in the fact that, unlike Michelle Malkin, WND didn't claim that MEChA is in favor of "killing all non-Latinos" in the Aztlan territory. But give 'em time -- WND will certainly get around to doing it.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:10 PM EDT
NewsBusters Commenters Revel in Violent Anti-Media Fantasies
Topic: NewsBusters
The wounding of CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier in Iraq and the the deaths of her cameraman and sound man has once again brought out the violent anti-media fantasies of commenters at NewsBusters.

From comments in a May 30 post by Warner Todd Huston complaining that too much attention was being given to Dozier:

I'm curious, is there a breakdown of these "journalists?" I wonder how many worked for the Jazeera? Or who worked for the Reuters?

I guess it just shows you the average journalist is pretty good target practice and has an IQ around room temperature

Shameful that they dont have any sense to duck or get out of the way or that they report lies and falsehoods. Or shameful in the way the dead are exploited by the MSM for political purposes and even more so their colleagues. [...] I doubt from any reporting in the MSM that any of the MSM reporters know the score. They rolled the dice and it came up snake eyes.

Q: What do you call 100 journalists at the bottom of the ocean?
A: A good start.

So whats so special about journalists that were killed? What makes them so special? More so than the troops that are killed and injured? I dont get it Scotty. What makes them worthy of special treatment? More special than the troops?

...aren't there a lot more journalists in Iraq than there were in Viet Nam...?
Just like the terrorists - it's much better to have them all gather in Iraq - much easier to kill them all in one place!!
I'm kidding, of course...but go ahead libbies - feel free to trash me with your trademark "tolerance" anyway...

From the comments in a June 1 post by Clay Waters complaining that the New York Times quoted the president of NBC News criticizing conservative radio host Laura Ingraham for claiming that reporters are covering the Iraq war from hotel balconies, a claim that Dozier's injuries and her co-workers' deaths put the lie to:

Either way, I will not lose any sleep over this journalist or any other journalist being struck by an IED. Maybe next time, they will consider who the real bad guy is.

Compassionate conservatism doesn't apply to journalists, apparently.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« June 2006 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google