In a rather selective attack on President Clinton's statements during a "Fox News Sunday" interview with Chris Wallace, Noel Sheppard used a Sept. 25 NewsBusters post to narrowly focus on Clinton's claims that when Clinton launched an attack on Sudan in 1998 at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, "Clinton had performed these attacks to distract the American people from his extracurricular activities much as in the movieWag the Dog." Sheppard was quick to do some quote-mining to dismiss the claim: "Were there high-ranking Republicans that piled on this assertion? Hardly."
Sheppard does not appear to have checked the archives of his employer. The Media Research Center, in fact, did pile on this assertion by criticizing media outlets who dismissed it.
In an Aug. 21, 1998, CyberAlert, Brent Baker noted that "every network did raise the "Wag the Dog" scenario" in their coverage of the Sudan bombing strike. But Baker seemed unhappy that "CBS questioned the lack of "bipartisan patriotism." When ABC's George Stephanopoulos said that "Yesterday White House advisers were saying that one of the reasons the President was wary of a giving a more fulsome, elaborate apology Monday night was because he was afraid of projecting weakness in the face of potential hot spots around the world and now we know why," Baker responded: "Who really believes that? Instead, Clinton’s now ridiculed."
A Sept. 7, 1998, MRC MediaWatch began "Three days after admitting a sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton authorized cruise-missile attacks on suspected terrorist sites in Afghanistan and Sudan. Was this attack intended to divert attention from Monicagate?" The MRC seemed to concur: "If the timing had been a cynical damage control strategy, it surely worked in the short run: From Thursday to Sunday, the evening shows on ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN carried 78 stories on the attack to just six Lewinsky pieces." The item also appeared to criticize those who tried to supported that theory:
Media and Republican figures initially questioned the attack’s timing, but the backlash came quickly. In Time’s daily Internet update, Frank Pellegrini reported: "Although Clinton-haters Newt Gingrich and Dan Burton have avowed their support of the strike, Republicans Arlen Specter and Dan Coats did not shy from the low road."
The item further attacked ABC's Ted Koppel for saying that it "is, in the final analysis, unthinkable" to "doubt [Clinton's] word on this occasion": "But Koppel did not find it "unthinkable" in 1991 to charge that the 1980 Reagan campaign delayed the release of American hostages in Iran. Nor was it "unthinkable" days before the 1992 election to wonder if the Bush administration secretly armed the Iraqis before the Gulf War."
In an Aug. 10, 1999, MagazineWatch item, Tim Graham beat up on a U.S. News & World Report writer who claimed that a "reporter who demanded to know if Defense Secretary William Cohen had seen the movie Wag the Dog" was a sign of "the reliable inanity of the Washington press corps." Graham responded by suggesting that dismissing the "Wag the Dog" claim meant dismissing any questions about the Sudan strike: "Reporters who lapped up Peter Arnett’s tales of bombing Iraqi baby-milk factories found it somehow suddenly unpatriotic to follow up on this still largely unknown story."
Before Sheppard continues to push his claim that "Wag the Dog" speculation about Clinton was discouraged and shouted down by Republicans themselves, he might want to do a little more research.
CNS Still Silent on Malkin-AP Spat Topic: CNSNews.com
Even though Michelle Malkin's syndicate has apparently sent out to those media outlets who print her column -- of which CNSNews.com is one -- a letter from the Associated Press reacting to Malkin's Sept. 20 column (which CNS ran) attacking AP as well as Malkin's reponse to it, and even though fellow conservative website WorldNetDaily has already run that response (but framed it in a biased manner), CNS has still not acknowledged the controversy surrounding Malkin's column.
What was that about CNS vowing to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story"?
The Sexpidemic! Jihad Rolls On Topic: WorldNetDaily
Beware when Joseph Farah writes a "news" article. It will undoubtedly include numerous journalisic breaches up to and including plagiarism, as we've detailed.
Thus, it's no suprise that the first thing wrong in a Sept. 23 Farah-penned WorldNetDaily article is the headline. It reads:
School strip searches mandated by House With student molestations skyrocketing, lawmakers demand weapon in drug fight
First, as even the article itself states, the House bill in question does not "mandate" strip searches; rather, as even Farah himself describes it, it would require schools to "develop policies for searching students, or face the loss of some federal funding," and it would provide immunity for teachers and administrators regarding those searches. Mandating a policy on strip searches is not the same thing as mandating the searches themselves.
Second, Farah offers no objective documentation to support the idea that "student molestations" are, in fact, "skyrocketing." What he offers instead is a qualified claim: that "student molestations seem to be reaching epidemic proportions in schools across America" (italics ours). In fact, all WND has done is compile anecdotal examples and attempt to pass them off as a "trend."
Farah states that "WND has documented the incidents of teacher-student sex throughout the country – particularly the new trend of female teachers molesting male students." But, as we've pointed out, this list was cribbed from a gossip site and stretches back more than 15 years, which hardly makes it a "new trend." And again, there's no explanation of why WND is placing such a focus on "female teachers molesting male students."
Farah concludes: "WND news editor Joe Kovacs, who has spearheaded the research on this trend, is scheduled to appear Wednesday on "The O'Reilly Factor" on the Fox News Channel to discuss the issue." Given O'Reilly's history of misinformation, that seems like the perfect venue for Kovacs.
Meanwhile... Topic: WorldNetDaily
Robert Beale (WorldNetDailiy investor and Vox Day's dad) is still on the lam, a fugitive from justice from tax evasion charges. His co-defendent in the case, the president and COO of the company Beale operates, was found guilty of aiding and abetting Beale's tax evasion.
WND Peter Paul Sycophancy Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's latest piece of Peter Paul sycophancy comes in the form of a Sept. 23 article by Art Moore that promotes Paul's claim that David Kendall -- attorney for Bill Clinton, whom Paul is suing to, for all practical purposes, smear the Clintons and try to chop some time off his upcoming prison term for stock fraud -- of "filing a fabricated statement in a court brief" to quash Paul's lawsuit.
What it boils down to -- and Moore does eventually get to it after first fluffing Paul as a "business mogul": A brief filed by Kendall cites statements by Paul to claim that Paul admitted that his little stock fraud adventure brought down Stan Lee Media, the company Paul headed until it collapsed and he fled to Brazil, where he fought extradiction on fraud charges for two years (as we've detailed). Since the current version of Paul's civil lawsuit claims that Clinton's alleged backing out on a deal with Paul to work for Stan Lee Media and purportedly discouraging an investor from getting involved with the company is what brought it down, rather than Paul's admitted criminal activity, Paul is vehemently denying this.
As per usual, Moore whitewashes Paul's criminal activity, once again describing it in bamboozling legalistic terminology like "a 10(b)5 violation of the Securities and Exchange Commission." The prosecutor put in much clearer terms:
At today's guilty plea proceedings, PAUL admitted orchestrating a scheme in which he and others manipulated Stan Lee Media stock, trading it through numerous nominee accounts that hid from the investing public PAUL's ownership and control of large volumes of stock that were being traded. PAUL also admitted that to further the scheme, he sought to inflate and stabilize the price of the stock by instructing market makers in Stan Lee Media stock to execute trades that created a false appearance of constant demand and that concealed from the investing public the fact that PAUL had arranged for large blocks of stock to be sold at substantial discounts in after-hours trading. Finally, PAUL admitted that he had secretly borrowed millions of dollars on margin using as collateral the stock that he had traded through the nominee accounts; in this way PAUL concealed from the investing public that he was effectively liquidating a substantial part of his stock holdings in Stan Lee Media.
Moore quotes Paul as saying that "I did everything humanly possible to save the company after Clinton did everything possible to destroy it," but he never point out that this behavior was illegal. And again, Moore fails to note Paul's long criminal history.
Morgan: 'Spinach Salad, Mr. Keller?' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Melanie Morgan -- co-author of an upcoming attack book on Cindy Sheehan --is still hatin' on New York Times editor Bill Keller. Morgan still wants Keller to die a painful death for the Times' role in exposing the Bush administration warrantless survelliance program. Her Sept. 22 WorldNetDaily column keeps up the rhetoric, making use of Bush administration rhetoric by calling it a "terrorist wiretapping program" and suggesting that Keller has "gotten away with murder."
But as she is prone to do, Morgan just can't stop there -- she has to go straight to the death threats:
Bill Keller and his ilk at the New York Times have done more to harm the United States in the war against terrorism than many of the Islamic jihadists who have been rounded up and shipped to the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If tried and convicted of treason, Bill Keller should be executed. But first, the Department of Justice needs to get cracking and begin the investigation into whether there are actionable charges.
When I'm feeling charitable, sometimes I soften my position. Maybe Bill Keller should merely spend the rest of his life in a tiny, cold prison cell at Guantanamo Bay. And then I like to imagine the guards blaring the Red Hot Chili Peppers and issuing Keller a prayer mat and a copy of the Quran.
Malkin vs. AP: WND Is Biased, CNS Still Silent Topic: WorldNetDaily
We have one response, sorta, to our question of whether WorldNetDaily or CNSNews.com would run the Associated Press' response to Michelle Malkin's syndicated column (which both WND and CNS ran) attacking it for its connection with photographer Bilal Hussein.
WND did print the AP's response -- as part of a column by Malkin attacking it. It is not allowed to stand alone, as did Malkin's original column. Not exactly fair treatment.
CNS, meanwhile, has done nothing with it so far.
UPDATE: The Horse's Mouth responds to Malkin. Don't expect WND or CNS to notice.
The WorldNetDaily obsession with (female) teachers having sex with students continues. From a Sept. 22 article:
Another attractive female teacher, charged with having a sexual relationship with a male student, will not be serving any jail time – indeed, a Denton County, Texas, grand jury has refused to issue an indictment of the 25-year-old woman.
Gee ... editorialize much, WND?
And of course, as we've previously noted, WND includes its list of female teachers caught having sex with students without noting that some of the incidents on that list date back as much as 15 years and was plucked from a gossip website, or explaining why is holding only female teachers to such close scrutiny.
More Anti-Gay Misinformation from Farah Topic: WorldNetDaily
While we haven't heard a peep from Joseph Farah about what he really wants to do about gays, his Sept. 22 WorldNetDaily column contains more anti-gay rhetoric and misinformation. In the column, he claimed that Tyron Garner, one of the plaintiffs in the Lawrence v. Texas case -- in which the Supreme Court ultimately overturned the country's sodomy laws -- "died mysteriously in a Houston hospital."
But as most newsreports on Garner's death have stated, Garner died of complications of meningitis. No mystery there.
Farah also uses his column to promote a book (sold by WND, natch) claiming that the Lawrence v. Texas case was a setup done for the express purpose of overturning the law. But as a law-student blogger notes, "if you break a law and get caught, you have standing. It doesn't matter why you broke the law or why you got caught. There's no clearer case or controversy than being in jail":
What I really think Judge Law, or at least this article, wanted to say was that homosexuals are sneaky and conniving and will stop at nothing to force their agenda upon the entire world--even resorting to staging faux controversies in order to bring the perfect case before the court.
Some of the most famous civil rights stories in history were staged: Miss Rosa Parks was a secretary for the NAACP; the lunch counter sit-ins of the 1960s weren't held because somebody wanted a sandwich. These scenes were crafted to avoid any judicial wiggling, to hit the issue right on the head and avoid rulings on other grounds.
Which seems to confirm our suspicions that not only does Farah believe that homosexuality should be illegal but that it must be. But he won't explicitly say that, or what he thinks the penalty for homosexuality (death? re-education?) should be.
A Sept. 21 CNSNews.com article purported to detail that "Hugo Chavez's Bush-bashing tirade at the United Nations on Wednesday drew little or no response in most quarters, except for liberal Democratic blogs, where cheers for Chavez dominated the discourse."
While Jones cited only one "liberal Democratic blog" in support of her claim, she also repeated claims that "A number of Democrats also have said derogatory things about President Bush." Among them was Rep. Charles Rangel, who"told the Congressional Black Caucus, 'George Bush is our Bull Connor.' " Needless to say, Jones failed to note that conservatives have similarly compared Democrats to Bull Connor -- like Mychal Massie, who ironically later condemned Rangel for doing so.
But later the same day, CNS' Melanie Hunter wrote an article highlighting Rangel's criticism of Chavez's speech, in which he stated, "You don't come into my country, you don't come into my congressional district, and you don't condemn my president" (even though the United Nations is technically not part of the United States, let alone in Rangel's congressional district). Thus far, Jones' article has not been updated to reflect that Rangel has criticized Chavez -- which would seem to be the fair and journalistic thing to do, since Hunter's citing of Rangel and two other members of Congress seems to contradict Jones' claim that the speech "drew little or no response in most quarters."
Then again, it just may be that CNS would rather let Rangel's remarks about Bush stand unbalanced in Jones' article lest it blunt the article's attack effect -- which, after all, was the point of it.
AP Responds to Malkin; Will WND, CNS Print It? Topic: CNSNews.com
WorldNetDaily and CNSNews.com run Michelle Malkin's syndicated column, and bothran her Sept. 20 column bashing the Associated Press for hiring photographer Bilal Hussein, who conservative bloggers like Malkin accuse of collaborating with terrorists in Iraq.
According to NewsBusters, the AP responded with a letter that is has requested be printed by print and online subscribers to Malkin's column, calling it "filled with innuendo, distortion and factual error." (Malkin responds here.)
The big question: Will CNS and WND, as subscribers to Malkin's column, print the AP's response? We'll be watching.
New Article: The 'Forced Homosexualization' of Joseph Farah Topic: WorldNetDaily
Out There: WorldNetDaily's editor and CEO is so paranoid about anything gay-related that not only does WND pursue a distorted anti-gay agenda, he thinks people critical of it are out to kill him. Read more.
CNS Treats 'Elitist' Meme as Fact Topic: CNSNews.com
A Sept. 20 CNSNews.com article by Kevin Mooney accepts as fact claims by Republican Rep. Peter King and the conservative Center for Immigration Studies that there is a "gap between the elite and public opinion" on the issue of immigration, unquestionly forwarding the CIS' "elite" terminology to describe those who oppose the hardline (er, "enforcement-only") immigration bill in the House.
Mooney even served up a list of these "elitists" -- "the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC), President Bush and U.S. senators who support more lenient immigration legislation such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)" -- but made no attempt to explain how supporting "more lenient immigration legislation" -- presumably, the Senate immigration bill -- makes one "elitist," let alone obtain any response from these purported "elitists" to find out their views about being placed on such a list.
Mychal Massie's Sept. 19 WorldNetDaily column, presented as a open letter to Jesse Jackson, contains the usual rhetorical flourishes ("Who brought 'discredit' on America in the years preceding 9/11, as the mongrel followers of a pedophile and false god bombed American interests around the world?") and personal attacks and smears ("You are the man who rubbed the blood of a fallen hero on your clothing and then lied, saying he died in your arms") that we've come to expect from Massie. But he also gets stuff wrong (which we've also come to expect). He wrote:
You intentionally and erroneously labeled domestic eavesdropping "warrantless wiretapping," never mentioning that it prevented Lyman Farris from blowing up the Brooklyn Bridge, was instrumental in protecting the Sears Towers and was key in uncovering the UK suicide bombers' plan to blow up 10 international passenger planes just one month ago.
Massie never explains why the term "warrantless wiretapping" is erroneous; after all, there is wiretapping and no warrants were obtained to do said wiretapping. And the program, in fact, played no signficant role in thwarting the alleged plot of Iyman Faris (not "Lyman Farris") to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge, and there is only scant evidence that warrantless surveillance played any role in breaking up the British blowing-up-airplanes plot.