A July 16 NewsBusters post by Gary Hall is one long, partisan harangue of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. Hall starts off poorly by making a misleading claim about Wilson's New York Times op-ed that eventually resulted in the exposure of his wife, Plame, as a CIA operative. Hall claims that Wilson's op-ed is "so weak that even Dana Milbank, over at the Washington Post is forced to acknowledge in an Oct, 25, 2005 article that: 'Wilson had to admit he had misspoken.' " In fact, Milbank wrote that the inaccuracy for which Wilson apologized was "was not central to Wilson's claims about Niger."
Hall then created a list of questions that "we will not see Tim Russert ask of the principal player in this personal conspiracy to damage the President and the honor of the U. S." Here, he misleads again: the first question starts off by saying, "It seems obvious to many that the decision, by your wife, to send you on this trip, had political overtones from the beginning." In fact, there is no evidence that Plame "sent" Wilson on the trip to Niger; even the Senate Intelligence Committee never asserted more than that Plame "suggested" Wilson for the trip.
Hall then goes on to ask such less-than-balanced questions as:
-- "Did you and your wife dream up this scheme to attempt to find information to discredit the Administration, in the privacy of your home?"
-- "Were other Democratic operatives involved from the beginning in hatching this plan?"
-- "Do you feel shame? Do you feel any remorse? Is there anything in heart that you wish to express to the American public today? An apology, perhaps?"
-- "Your efforts damaged the US effort abroad. It led a few of our allies to abandon us on the ground in Iraq. It caused the administration to spend much vital time being sidetracked on pathetic political sideshow. Are you sorry for the damage which you and your wife have caused?"
In that same spirit, we ask a question of Hall: Did you ever demand that similar questions about schemes to discredit a president, coordination with political operatives, shame and pathetic political sideshows be asked of Paula Jones?
Speaking of Historical Revisionism ... Topic: NewsBusters
A July 14 NewsBusters post by Howard Nemerov accuses liberals of "historical revisionism" by claiming that "Gun-rights groups contributed nearly 14 times as much as gun-control groups in the 2004 election cycle." To refute it, Nemerov claims that the money raised by John Kerry's presidential campaign and the political donations by the National Education Association and "big-time gun controller" George Soros' be included in the pro-gun control total.
But Nemerov doesn't explicitly insist that the money raised for President Bush's re-election campaign or other Republican political groups be included in the "pro-gun" total. While he admits that "there are PACs and other organizations which support the right to keep and bear arms, even though this is not their primary mission," he doesn't want to talk about it: "The point here is to highlight that as far as campaign finance is concerned, gun control is alive and well."
In other words, Nemerov has no intention of presenting a full view of the situation by subjecting "pro-gun" advocates to the same standards as pro-gun control advocates, which seems to be its own brand of historical revisionism.
More WND Undermining Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've already noted that Israeli military action won't stop WorldNetDaily from trying to undermine Israeli leader Ehud Olmert and his ruling Kadima party. Why would Israel being embroiled in battles on two fronts stop it?
And WND proves it with a July 15 article -- credited to Aaron Sichel, "a writer for WND's Jerusalem bureau" -- claiming that "the No. 2 representative in America" for Kadima, Marc Mishaan, "is a convicted criminal facing a possible lengthy prison sentence after pleading guilty to felony grand larceny." While stating that Mishaan's "arrests and convictions are a matter of public record," Sichel's sources on Mishaan's background are all curiously anonymous. They include:
-- "prominent New York rabbi who asked that his name be withheld" -- "A former self-described best friend of Mishaan, who agreed to talk to WND on background" -- "Several sources close to Mishaan" -- "scores of people in the New York Jewish community"
Remember what WND editor Joseph Farah has to say about this: that claims attributed to anonymous sources are "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better." If Farah has changed his views and policies on anonymous sources, he needs to let his readers know.
Compare this treatment of Mishaan to WND's treatment of another convicted criminal facing a possible lengthy prison sentence for another kind of grand larceny, Peter Paul. As we've noted, WND writer Art Moore has regularlydownplayed Paul's extensive criminal record -- including the case of stock fraud to which he has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing -- in order to play up his accusations against Hillary Clinton.
Aaron Klein's War Fever; Undermining Continues Topic: WorldNetDaily
It appears that with the escalation of the conflict in Israel, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has dialed down his undermining of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. Meanwhile, Klein has found somebody (anonymous, natch) to claim that Israel should expect "a provocation of some kind from Damascus."
This doesn't mean the undermining has stopped, however: WND is still featuring on its front page a pre-escalation article by Klein calling Olmert's policies "failed."
Ignorance Confirmed Topic: NewsBusters
A July 14 NewsBusters post by Mithridate Ombud appears to confirm what we suspected earlier: Because all Ombud apparently understands about the media is filtered through his/her hardcore conservative lens, the only possible reason he/she can come up with to explain a drop in profits for newspaper companies is because of their hopelessly liberal bias.
If we thought like that, we wouldn't use our real name, either.
CNS Tells Only One Side of Judicial Nomination Story Topic: CNSNews.com
A July 14 CNSNews.com article by Kate Monaghan took a conservative group at its word in describing the opposition to federal appeals court nominee William G. Myers III.
Monaghan repeated, without offering an opposing view, the contention by Manuel Miranda -- former possibly illegal leaker of congressional memos-turned-conservative judicial activist -- that "The opposition to William Myers is entirely about trial lawyers and profits. ... His principle [sic] fault is, like most of the other Bush judges that have been opposed, is who his clients have been, and unfortunately he has made the fateful error of feeding his family by working for what some people would consider to be the 'wrong' clients."
In fact, critics of Myers' nomination point out not only that Myers worked as a lobbyist for ranching and mining interests (to translate Miranda's description into English), but also that Myers has no judicial experience nor any significant courtroom experience.
WND Still Undermining Olmert Topic: WorldNetDaily
Even as the conflict in Israel escalated dramatically over the past several hours, WorldNetDaily is still working to undercut the authority of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. At this writing, WND's front page still features an article by Aaron Klein quoting former defense minister Moshe Arens calling Olmert's policies "failed."
Of course, Klein neglects to mention that Arens was a member of the conservative Likud party, whose interests Klein promoted (while attacking Olmert) in his coverage of Israeli elections earlier this year.
Dear Ian Schwartz: Topic: NewsBusters
When you and your NewsBusters cohorts admit that Kenneth Starr and Robert Ray's decision not to charge the Clintons in the Whitewater investigation means that the Clintons are innocent, we will then take seriously your complaint that Patrick Fitzgerald's decision not to charge Karl Rove means that he "did nothing wrong."
New Article: WorldNetDaily Undermines Olmert Topic: WorldNetDaily
Biased WND reporter Aaron Klein is portraying the Israeli incursion into Gaza negatively in order to attack Israel's prime minister. Read more.
Rather Repetitive Topic: NewsBusters
Ho-hum -- another insistence by Dan Rather that his Bush National Guard story, dubious documents aside, was mostly true and corroborated, another dismissal by Brent Baker of the story as "discredited."
Hey, Brent, we have an idea: Instead of going through this stimulus-response kabuki dance every time Rather brings up the issue, how about the MRC engaging in some actual media research and provide a detailed analysis of Rather's story -- the entire story, not just the part involving the documents -- telling us once and for all what is "discredited" and what is not. (Much of the story did not hinge on those documents and has not been disproved, as we've noted.)
Ah, but it's just too easy to regurgitate long-memorized conservative talking points instead, isn't it, Brent?
UPDATE: Today's MRC front page linking to the CyberAlert version of Baker's item goes even further, calling the Bush National Guard story "bogus" and "thoroughly discredited." Prove it, Brent.
Credit Where It's Due Topic: NewsBusters
A July 12 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard on the latest press release by the Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee -- which attacks an upcoming Discovery Channel program by Tom Brokaw on global warming -- does what Tim Graham failed to do when he cited the committee's previous release: note that one of the persons behind it was Marc Morano, formerly a reporter for MRC's CNSNews.com.
Corsi the Alarmist Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a July 12 WorldNetDaily article, Jerome Corsi (last seen telling terrorists how to blow up New York with a nuclear weapon) gets all alarmist about a Texas statewide highway expansion project called the Trans-Texas Corridor. While his main objection appears to be that non-Americans (specifically, a "capital consortium based in Spain") are helping to build it, its contractors have made political donations, and its purported role to "movement to integrate the U.S., Mexico and Canada," Corsi describes the project only in the most apocalyptic terms:
The TTC project at full development will involve the removal of as much as 584,000 acres of productive Texas farm and ranchland from the tax rolls permanently, while displacing upwards of 1 million people from their current residences.
The 11 separate corridors planned will permanently cut across some 1,200 Texas roads, with crossover unlikely for much of the nearly quarter-mile-wide corridor planned to be built. Dozens of small towns in Texas will be virtually obliterated in the path of the advancing Trans-Texas Corridor behemoth.
Corsi also calls the TTC "a four-football-fields-wide highway."
Corsi offers no evidence to support things like the obliterated-small-town claim, nor does he offer any evidence that the TTC will block or reroute any more roads than existing interstates do. And, of course, he's completely wrong about it being a "a four-football-fields-wide highway." According to the TTC website, while the TTC corridor would be as much as 1,200 feet wide, it would not be paved end to end with concrete; it would contain interstate highways, separate interstate lanes for trucks, passenger and freight rail lines, and transmission lines for electricity and communications. The TTC also states: "As much as possible, TTC routes will incorporate existing highway, railway and utility corridors." So some of those thousands of acres that Corsi claims will be taken off "the tax rolls permanently" already are off the tax rolls.
Graham Speaks Out Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham fired off a letter to Romenesko to rebut a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial that, in part, attacked the MRC for being part of "an anti-Times frenzy whipped up by Republican strategists, then echoed ad nauseam by Pavlovian talk shows and blogs." It's telling of the MRC's modus operandi that each of Graham's first three sentences contains either the terms "media elite" or "liberal media elite."
It's also kinda cute how Graham insists that conservatives aren't "entirely focused on election politics" in their attacks on the Times, while assuming that the Times is a "public menace" whose only motivation for its reporting is animus against the Bush administration.
NewsBusters Nonsense Topic: NewsBusters
-- Ian Schwartz is irked that the New York Times' "sycophantic" profile of Keith Olbermann "discusses Countdown's ratings only by its growth and not by actual numbers."
-- Matthew Sheffield insists that those who entered derogatory statements about ex-Enron chief Ken Lay upon his death last week were "liberals."
-- Sheffield buys into the spin from Ann Coulter's publisher that charges of plagiarism against her are "illegitimate," complains that the media has "failed" to report on "a litany of charges made by critics against the equally vocal (but liberal) Michael Moore."