An Aug. 26 Associated Press article posted at NewsMax about Rob Reiner's comment about Mel Gibson's drunken, anti-Semitic rant carried the headline, "Meathead: Mel Gibson Reflects Anti-Semitism."
We're pretty darn sure that AP didn't stick that headline on the item, especially since it doesn't even reference Reiner's role on "All in the Family." Or, perhaps, it's a generic reference -- NewsMax may actually believe that anyone who thinks Gibson's outburst and work marks him as an anti-Semite is a meathead.
WND Again Buries Real News About Darwin-Hitler Video Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 25 WorldNetDaily article on D. James Kennedy's upcoming video linking Darwin to Hitler leads with Jack Abramoff-scandal-linked Rabbi Daniel Lapin's defense of the video, once again burying the real news involving Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, and his links with the video. WND also misses out on conflicting statements made by Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries about Collins.
It's not until the 14th paragraph of the article that WND gets around to addressing the Collins issue, repeating a statement from Coral Ridge claiming that, contradicting Francis' claim that he was deceived about his appearance in the video, "A producer told Dr. Collins in person before the interview began that he was being interviewed for a program that would address the adverse social consequences of Darwin," and that "he was asked specifically, during the interview, about the Darwin-Hitler connection and responded on tape that he did not agree with that view." Nevertheless, Coral Ridge has agreed to leave Francis' name off promotions and remove him from future airings of the video.
This, however, is a somewhat contradictory stance from the one taken in an Aug. 24 Baptist Press article by Jerry Newcombe, co-producer of the program:
"We interviewed a number of scientists for the science section [of the program]," Newcombe said. "We didn't interview Dr. Collins ... about Hitler. In hindsight, we would not have put Dr. Collins in the program. But he understood it was Coral Ridge Ministries. He understood we were doing a special about Darwinism.... We're sorry we had this misunderstanding and we wish him well."
Newcombe seems to be the one who's being the most straightforward here; the Coral Ridge statement is defensive and couched in vagaries, such as the reference to "a program that would address the adverse social consequences of Darwin," which indicates that they were hiding the program's specific thesis from Collins. Coral Ridge did rather quickly acquiesce to Collins' demand to be disassociated from the video, which appears to be something of an admission nof guilt.
That's how biased WND is: Promoting right-wing Christian views is more important than reporting the news -- and Coral Ridge's deception of Collins is the real news here.
Unnamed Sources vs. Unnamed Sources Topic: Newsmax
"Unnamed sources in the Pentagon with their own agenda have been leaking false information about the killing of civilians in Haditha by Marines last November," begins an Aug. 25 NewsMax article by Phil Brennan. To whom does Brennan attribute this claim? Unnamed sources with their own agenda, of course -- Brennan cites anonymous "Marine intelligence sources" and " one well-placed NewsMax source" to counter "the usual unnamed sources" making claims about Haditha.
It's a good thing nobody at NewsMax has a sense of irony; otherwise, this wouldn't have seen the light of day.
On his Riehl World View blog (not yet on NewsBusters), Dan Riehl cites more discussion-board comments that he attributes to S.R. Sidarth, these apparently more foul-mouthed than (not) racist.
Considering that one of Riehl's fellow bloggers at NewsBusters is the penis-obsessed Jeff Goldstein, we fail to see what the big deal is. If Riehl has no problem with Goldstein -- and we're not aware that he has expressed any -- why should he be bothered by this?
UPDATE: A new Riehl post at NewsBusters tries to make a big deal of Sidarth denying that he posted the comments Riehl attributes to him.
The point of all of Riehl's fulminations -- the bogus racist accusations and such -- is revenge, pure and simple, for Allen getting caught in the act of saying something stupid to a guy who was videotaping him. Why is NewsBusters allowing itself to serve as a host for such partisan revenge?
An Aug. 25 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones describes those opposed to a bill in the California legislature that would require the "microstamping" of semi-automatic handguns -- giving cartridges fired from those guns a unique imprint -- as "Second Amendment supporters," a label Jones uses three times in the article. Supporters of the bill, meanwhile, are called in the article's first paragraph as "gun control advocates."
Such labeling implies that those who support this bill do not support the Second Amendment, something for which Jones offers no evidence.
NewsBusters Exposes Sidarth ... As UVA Football Fan Topic: NewsBusters
Dan Riehl keeps racking up the stupidity. In an Aug. 25 NewsBusters post, headlined "Allen Critic S. R. Sidarth Exposed," Riehl asserts that Sidarth -- the University of Virginia student videotaping Republican Sen. George Allen's campaign for Allen's opponent, James Webb, whom Allen famously called a "macaca" -- was "making fun of an Hispanic William & Mary student's death."
Unfortunately for Riehl, the UVA discussion board he cites contains no racial slurs on Sidarth's part, and not much "making fun" either. Sidarth started the thread by merely linking to an article about the W&M student's death -- but offering no comment, racial or otherwise, beyond the link. Later in the thread, when the discussion shifted to sports, Sidarth added another post: "Al Groh left the NFL to coach UVA." The article on the student's death, by the way, offers no obvious clue that the dead student was Hispanic; his last name, Reyno, is not an obviously Hispanic name.
So we have Sidarth "exposed" as someone who likes football and, apparently, doesn't like William & Mary.
Riehl later updated his post to explain what the hell his point was:
I understand some are questioning the point of this post, so please allow me to clear this up from my point of view. The Washington Post has been showing us this sensitive, hurt young man named SR Sidarth for a week. Now, we find out that Sidarth is fully capable of using the death of another individual, who also happened to be Hispanic, as a means of feeding his ego and touting his school. That really is not disputable if you read the thread Sidarth himself started and followed.
In essence, this allegedly sensitive young man had no problem exploiting the actual death of another individual for some props and yuks. Now, where is the sensitivity in that? My point in addressing Reyes ethnicity is because it is a fact of the story and said ethnicity did not give Sidarth pause. So, how sensitive is he really to the issues of race when it comes to others? Obviously, not very.
But I am addressing his obvious lack of sensitivity, not calling him a racist. Frankly, I think mocking a young man's death is just a bit more repugnant than calling someone a silly name. And if you wish to suggest he wasn't mocking the man's death by posting that story so it could be held up to ridicule, then you need to either read the thread, or consider extending that same generousity to Senator Allen. Because in Sidarth's case, holding up Reyes' death to ridicule is precisely what was done.
And no one can even agree on the origin of the word to conclude it was racist. If Allen is going to hang for being insensitive, SR Sidarth is not worthy of tightening the noose given his own grossly insensitive actions in initiating the thread at issue.
Despite claiming that he is "not calling him a racist," Riehl -- by bringing up the dead student's alleged ethnicity -- certainly heavily implied that Sidarth was, in fact, a racist. Riehl is the only one talking about the race of the dead student here -- not Sidarth, not even anyone else on that thead. And of course, to make the point that he wasn't calling Sidarth a racist, he brings up the dead student's ethnicity again and, to top things, gets his name wrong, calling him "Reyes" (it's "Reyno").
Hey, NewsBusters: Are you really sure you want this guy blogging for you?
WND's Peter Paul Whitewash Update Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 25 WorldNetDaily article (unbylined, unlike several recent WND articles on Paul that were written by Art Moore) provides a new take on WND's whitewashing of Paul's criminal record. Paul's latest nuisance lawsuit against the Clintons blames Bill Clinton for the failure of his Stan Lee Media venture: "I am an injured businessman whose entire interest was to employ an ex-president as a rainmaker for my company."
As we've documented, WND has previously downplayed and whitewashed the fact that Paul pleaded guilty to manipulating Stan Lee Media stock, burying it instead in legalistic language. This time, however, WND fails to mention this conviction at all -- despite its relevance in a case that is purportedly centered around the business dealings of Stan Lee Media.
The article also mentions Aaron Tonken as support for Paul's charges without noting that 1) Tonken, like Paul, is a convicted felon, currently serving a five-year prison sentence for bilking celebrities, and 2) WND published Tonken's book about the misdeeds that made him a convicted felon, with the usual Clinton-bashing thrown in for effect (would WND have published Tonken's book if he didn't put that in?). Additionally, the article fails to note that the United States Justice Foundation, Paul's legal representative in the case, has also represented WND in the past. (CNSNews.com sets a fine example in this regard.)
The article further calls Paul's latest legal action a "second amended complaint." What does that mean? Is Paul making additional claims, or is he retracting claims he previously made? WND doesn't say.
This is just another example of how WND is so eager to smear the Clintons that it treats the claims of a convicted felon as pearls of wisdom.
Klein Pushes Unsubstantiated al-Qaida Link to Kidnapping Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 24 WorldNetDaily article shows off what Aaron Klein does with his time when he's not undermining the Israeli government of Ehud Olmert: he's trying to claim that al-Qaida is operating in Gaza against Israel.
Under the subhead "Members of family lead terrorist groups with ties to al-Qaida," Klein's main claim here -- that "A clan from the Gaza Strip with members involved in major terror organizations are lead suspects in the kidnapping of Fox News reporter Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig" -- is attributed to the usual anonymous sources, this time "senior Palestinian security officials." Klein later repeats his claim that anonymous "[a]nalysts are speculating" that the group that kidnapped Centanni and Wiig, the Holy Jihad Battalion, "is a front for al-Qaida."
But nowhere does Klein explicitly claim, anonymous sources or not, that the clan Klein is writing about are members of the Holy Jihad Battalion. Instead, Klein intermixes all these claims to create the impression that al-Qaida is behind the kidnappings -- something for which he apparently has no substantive evidence.
Klein also must deal with his erroneous Aug. 14 assertion that "independent Palestinian gunmen" affiliated with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades kidnapped Centanni and Wiig. He does it here by attempting a diversion:
Last week, within hours of the abductions, Abu Abir, spokesman for the Committees, denied to WorldNetDaily his group was behind the kidnappings but hinted "other groups" are involved.
But Klein doesn't quote Abir in his Aug. 14 article -- which carries the headline "Terrorists: We kidnapped Fox reporters" -- and has never reported Abir's denial of involvement until now. While Klein quoted a "senior Al Aqsa leader" who "claimed his group did not sanction the kidnapping," the guilt-by-association Klein portrays with Al Aqsa and the kidnapping is unmistakable.
Just as the arrival of Santa Claus in the Macy's Thanksgiving parade officially kicks off the annual Christmas season, the first WorldNetDaily article regurgitating a press release from a conservative legal organization kicks off the annual "war on Christmas" promotion.
And so, we have an Aug. 24 WND article that is devoted exclusively to to promoting the case being pushed by the Thomas More Legal Center (and, of course encapsulated in a press release), that New York City schools allow the display of "menorahs and star-and-crescent symbols, but not Christian symbols." As is WND's war-on-Christmas policy (which we've extensivelydetailed), WND does not quote anyone from the NY schools, while it quotes a representative from the Thomas More Law Center and quotes from the center's legal filings, as well as from the ruling of a judge who agrees with them.
And you thought that stores were putting up their Christmas decorations too early...
New Article: WorldNetDaily's Digital Cudgel Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND's reason for being these days is to relentlessly attack Israel's Ehud Olmert and agitate for his overthrow, but WND won't call for a similar removal of President Bush despite a similar list of offenses. Meanwhile, Aaron Klein's Olmert-bashing continues. Read more.
The MRC vs. Bookmobiles Topic: Media Research Center
Time magazine Karen Tumulty clearly struck a nerve at the Media Reserch Center with her article on Hillary Clinton. Why else would there be not one but two denunciations of a throwaway comment?
The offending comment: "Hillary has already figured as Lady Macbeth in enough volumes to fill a bookmobile." The offended parties: Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, who are penning an addition to that bookmobile (as we've noted).
In an Aug. 22 NewsBusters post, Graham sniffed that the comment "exaggerates the number of anti-Clinton tomes by a factor of five or ten," but seemed gratifed that Tumulty mentioned his and Bozell's book.
Bozell, for his part, saw even less humor in the remark than Graham did; in his Aug. 23 column devoted to denouncing Tumulty's article, he wrote of the "bookmobile" comment: "That's just servile exaggeration, just as there isn't a bookmobile of George W. Bush-bashing books." He seemed less pleased that Tumulty mentioned his book; at least, it didn't keep him from spending an entire column on the article.
Internet Hosting Companies = Media Outlets? Topic: NewsBusters
In an Aug. 23 NewsBusters post, Dan Riehl attacks Internet hosting companies with Democratic ties who have declined to host the website for Sen. Joe Lieberman's independent campaign as engaging in the "fascist tactic of denying someone an ability to be heard via the Internet" (does that mean if we ask the MRC to host this website and they refuse, we can call Brent Bozell a fascist?), but the post is headlined, "Dem Media Outlets Shut Out Lieberman for Lamont." Since when are hosting companies "media outlets"?
Sheesh. Howmanyposts have we written about Riehl in the past week or so? He's new there, but already he's bucking to join NewsBusters A-list of misinformation-pushing and stupid-statement-making posters, alongside Mark Finkelstein and Noel Sheppard.
Klein Fails to Admit Earlier False Claim on Fox Kidnapping Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember when WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein reported that the kidnappers of Fox News employees Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were "independent Palestinian gunmen" affiliated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades? Never mind!
Klein hews closer to actual facts in an Aug. 22 article, reporting that "an unknown Palestinian terror organization" called the Holy Jihad Battalion has taken responsibility for kidnapping Centanni and Wiig. Klein fails to reference his earlier, erroneous claim, which he attributed to "leaders of the Al Aqsa Martys Brigades terror group." Well, shoot, if you can't trust a terrorist to tell you the truth, who can you trust?
Nevertheless, Klein continues to trust terrorists in his new article, authoritatively citing "the leader of a terror group that claims it represents the interests of al-Qaida" as making claims about why Centanni and Wiig were kidnapped, though Klein does not directly link this group to the kidnapping.
Klein further claims that "Analysts are speculating the group is a front for al-Qaida," though he quotes no analysts actually doing so. As we've noted, Klein reliesheavily on anonymous and unsubstantiated claims, usually in the service of attacking Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.
An Aug. 23 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones serves up a heapin' helping of favorable coverage of Republican Sen. George Allen, who sparked controversy by calling a staffer of Indian descent for his Democratic opponent, James Webb, who had been videotaping Allen's public appearances, a "macaca."
First, Jones tried to portray the controversy as over with the lead: "Sometimes controversy has a short shelf-life, and that appears to be the case with Sen. George Allen, the Virginia Republican who's running for re-election." Jones then offered a most charitable explanation for Allen's comment:
Allen was making the point that instead of visiting many parts of Virginia, Webb is simply sending a cameraman to record the competition.
This claim is unattributed -- understandable, since Jones seems to be on her own here in advancing this theory. In fact, Allen himself is on record with a different explanation: that in saying, "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia," he was simply saying, "Just to the real world. Get outside the Beltway and get to the real world." Allen, as far as we know, has not claimed that the cameraman is Webb's proxy. Further, Jones offers no evidence that Webb has, in fact, refused to appear in "many parts of Virginia."
Having papered over that controversy, Jones went on to portray Webb's campaign as "cash-strapped" and dependent upon "media messengers, such as the Washington Post, which has run repeated stories about what some Allen supporters consider a manufactured controversy."
Jones has certainly done her part to play into that claim. Does that mean she's an "Allen supporter" too?