In a Sept. 26 NewsBusters post defending George Allen against a New York Times article detailing the N-word allegations against him by calling them "shaky," Tim Graham notes: "The Times never did more than two paragraphs on the Allen campaign's distribution of an article in which [Allen's Democratic opponent, James] Webb opposed women in combat." But if that's such a horrible thing, why does his employer, the Media Reserarch Center, promote a leading critic of women in combat?
A search of the CNSNews.com search engine for the name Elaine Donnelly returns 77 hits. Donnelly is the president of the Center for Military Readiness, whose signature issue is opposition to women in combat. While Donnelly is mostly quoted offering praise to the military and opposing gays in the military, CNS has devoted articles to the anti-women-in-the-military cause:
A Feb. 27 article featured Donnelly criticizing the Pentagon for "a report on the role of women in the military" and accusing the Army of "assigning women to positions involving combat support and therefore the front lines."
A November 2002 article featured Donnelly attacking an appointee to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services for having ties to a group described as advocating "greater access for women to ground-combat units." According to Donnelly, the group is "led by some of the most doctrinaire advocates of Clinton-era social engineering in the military." Another article a few days later repeats Donnelly's claim.
A May 2004 article quoted Connelly calling photos of abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison "exactly what feminists have dreamed of for years ... That demeaning photo of a female soldier with an Iraqi man on a leash - a woman had to have taken that picture." The article, by David Thibault (then CNS managing editor, now editor), goes on to document a bizarre anti-feminist rant by Donnelly:
The feminists to whom Donnelly refers are "the ones who like to buy man-hating greeting cards and have this kind of attitude that all men abused all women. It's a subculture of the feminist movement, but the driving force in it in many cases, certainly in academia," she said.
Although certain feminists would not admit it publicly, "they're probably quite fond" of the photo showing the Iraqi prisoner being held on a leash, said Donnelly. That's "because it is demeaning to a man -- any man."
The MRC has had no apparent problem opposing women in combat before, and it's shown itself to be quite willing to use an extremist to make that case -- which, as Donnelly's rant shows, makes Webb's statements about women in combat 25 years ago (the ones Graham was hoping Webb would get in trouble for saying) seem tame by comparison.
NewsMax Gives Allen The Usual Defense Topic: Newsmax
When in doubt, blame the liberal media.
A Sept. 27 unbylined NewsMax "analysis" examines the case of George Allen. Unsurprisingly, it peddles the usual NewsMax bias, portraying Allen as the victim of a "liberal media" conspiracy:
The liberal media has a lot to worry about Allen. He's a solid Reagan conservative who could be president in 2008.
And by attacking him so stridently now, the major media hopes to possibly knock Allen out of the Senate altogether – making Democratic chances of re-gaining control of the Senate a strong possibility.
NewsMax claims the controversy over Allen is "what he did or did not say 30 years ago as a college student." That's a double standard, of course; NewsMax spent a lot of time being livid over what Hillary Clinton "did or did not say 30 years ago" using witnesses more partisan and less reliable than those accusing Allen of using the N-word, as we've documented.
NewsMax then goes on to quickly dispense of the infamous "macaca" incident by succinctly stating, "He quickly apologized for the gaffe." Well, not exactly; in fact, Allen has offered a series of occasionallycontradictoryexplanations for his use of the word.
The article makes sure to point out that one of the persons accusing Allen of saying the N-word is a Democrat and the other "was a registered Democrat from 1988 until 2004." But as we reported when NewsMax played up allegations that Hillary Clinton called someone a "(expletive) Jew bastard" in 1974, NewsMax never saw fit to point out to its readers that two of the people making the accusation were Clinton's political enemies and the target of the alleged slur was a disbarred lawyer who had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage that led to seizures, addiction to prescription pain killers, erratic behavior and memory loss who had written a letter to Clinton begging her forgiveness for saying things about her "without factual foundation."
Under the subhead "Changing, Baseless Allegations," NewsMax noted that political analyst Larry Sabato as restating his claim that he heard Allen say the N-word to merely concluding it "based on the very credible testimony I have heard for weeks, mainly from people I personally know and knew in the '70s." Changing, perhaps, but not exactly baseless.
And to counter a claim that Allen stuffed a severed deer's head into a mailbox at a black-owned house, NewsMax claimed that "two sheriff's deputies in Louisa County who were on the force in the early 1970s said they could not recall any complaints about severed animal heads." But the article does not quote anyone as having reported that incident to authorities at the time, so what the deputies say is irrelevant. So, again, the allegation is still not baseless.
Why is NewsMax investing such effort in defending Allen? Because it promoted him as a top 2008 presidential prospect, as it recounts:
As NewsMax Magazine disclosed in a cover story in the February issue "Star Player for 2008," a survey of 175 Washington insiders, conducted by the National Journal's "The Hotline" and released last year, named Allen as the outright front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2008.
GOP insiders consider Allen the only likely Republican candidate who can win both the nomination and the general election, NewsMax reported.
Then again, as we've also noted, NewsMax defended Bernard Kerik until his corruption proved too much for even NewsMax to ignore.
UPDATE: Remember, too, that NewsMax also defended the heck out of Jeanine Pirro. That's all done now, too; NewsMax ran a Sept. 27 AP article detailing Pirro's attempts to work with -- that's right -- Bernard Kerik to figure out a way to wiretap her philandering husband.
Meanwhile, NewsMax has added a Sept. 28 column by Kathleen Antrim making the same point as the NewsMax analysis: The liberal media is out to get Allen, "the only true Reagan-conservative in a position to win the presidency in 2008."
Perhaps She Should've Brought This Up With Her Therapist Topic: NewsBusters
A Sept. 25 NewsBusters post by Stacy L. Harp (whose day job involves being a publicist for Christian causes) starts off criticizing coverage of a Family Research Council-sponsored gathering of right-wingers in Washington, but for some reason, she turns it into an attack on her own family.
Harp stated that religious-right luminaries like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson " have put their faith into action and many have paid the price by being beaten and battered by the liberal media who have no clue what love for others is like because they are so beholden to their worldview of self-centeredness." She then latched onto that theme, claiming that if the so-called liberal media "could’ve gotten outside of their self-centeredness, then they would be able to see that this whole movement about values and how Christians and conservatives vote is about others and not the self centered “me-generation” that so many of them are a part of." Then it got personal:
I speak as a child of parents who were into themselves, and I know personally the destruction of family through divorce, abuse and immorality that this mentality is based on. The focus of values voters is to bring healing, restoration and hope to those who have been the victims of the others egocentric world.
Ladies and gentlemen in the media, here’s a newsflash for you, get a pen and write this down – “Everything isn’t about YOU”. There are children to be fought for. There are hearts to heal because parents divorce and disregard the impact on their families. There are traditional standards and definitions of marriage that need to be in place, like one man and one woman being the definition of marriage, lest the next generation die out.
Do Harp's parents know she's bad-mouthing them in public? And what do her personal issues have to do with "media research," anyway?
NewsBusters Misleads about Gergen Topic: NewsBusters
Two NewsBusters items -- a Sept. 25 post by Al Brown and a Sept. 26 Gaggle cartoon -- misleadingly portrayed David Gergen, in an appearance on NBC's Nightly News, as offering a blanket defense of President Clinton regarding his interview with Chris Wallace. Brown described him only as a "former Clinton staffer"; the Gaggle cartoon, by Greg Sheffield, portrays Nightly News anchor Brian Williams saying of Gergen, "He used to work for Bill Clinton. We both agree that what Clinton did was not that bad, especially since Gergen taught him that."
Neither post notes Gergen's history of working for Republicans, specifically his seven years in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan adminstrations. And Media Matters has documented instances of Gergen serving upconservativemisinformation. This suggests he's not exactly a liberal shill.
Another Sept. 26 NewsBusters post, by Brent Baker (repeated as a CyberAlert item), doesn't label Gergen but highlights only Gergen's statements defending Clinton in his Nightly News appearance. In fact, Gergen also said that "the question, from Chris's point of view, I'm sure, was legitimate" and noted that "there are some Republicans salivating over that clip because you don't usually see a President that angry, even a former one."
JON STEWART: Let's put aside any of the emotional aspects of the discussion. Talk about the substance of what Clinton was saying during the interview.
SAMANTHA BEE: Absolutely, Jon. The president, his neck bulging and forehead veins atwitter, flailed his arms in frenzied swatting like some crazed silverback gorilla. The one-time commander in chief now reduced to a spastic ball of rage, his grunts decipherable only to Jane Goodall --
STEWART: Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, I'm sorry. I understand that people take it as an emotional moment, but with regard to the issues -- this president invaded a couple of countries, hasn't gotten to bin Laden yet -- has anyone looked at the facts behind what Clinton was saying?
BEE: Oh, oh, OK, the facts. Let's see here ... we've got anger ... rage ... presidential spittle ... Incredible Hulk-esque ... no, I don't have anything about the facts per se, Jon, but I got the substance.
STEWART: Without hearing the facts.
BEE: Jon, I'm a seasoned reporter. I learned to listen with my eyes. The former president said more with his face than his mouth ever could. Trust me, Jon, the man's guilty.
A Gold Star in the Sunday Morning News Program business is to be the topic of conversation on the MONDAY morning news programs. Using that as the benchmark, Chris Wallace's Fox Sunday show was a smash hit.
Which is what we thought Wild Bill Clinton was going to do to Wallace with that eye-bulging, neck-vein-popping, finger-pointing tirade which lacked only a scream at the end to equal the satisfaction we get when we listen to the Ride of the Valkyries finish in a ear-bursting, cymbal-clashing major chord.
NewsMax's Misguided Defense of O'Reilly Topic: Newsmax
A Sept. 25 NewsMax article launched a defense of Bill O'Reilly's new book "Culture Warrior" by attacking Media Matters' deconstruction of the book's errors and attacks -- but never actually getting around to disproving anything in the Media Matters review. (The article has a "NewsMax.com Wires" byline, though we could not find -- nor could we imagine -- any self-respecting wire service serving up such an article.)
First on NewsMax's agenda, though, is attack mode. It makes sure to bash Media Matters as "lef-wing" and "developed with the help of the George Soros-backed advocacy organization, Center for American Progress" (gotta throw in that Soros bogeyman, doncha know).
Then it starts going off the tracks. The article asserts that Media Matters "led the way Monday" with its review -- but it was posted to the Media Matters site on Friday, three days earlier. NewsMax then states:
According to Media Matters, "Culture Warrior" is "replete with factual errors, rank hypocrisy, and ad hominem attacks directed at anyone who has crossed swords with O'Reilly."
In fact, the Fox News Channel anchor writes about what he sees as a fierce culture war between those who embrace traditional values and those who want to change America into a "secular-progressive" country. And he warns that those who ignore the threat that the secular-progressive movement poses do so at their own peril.
But NewsMax's description of the book contradicts nothing that Media Matters wrote about it; nowhere in the article does NewsMax address any of the specific claims Media Matters made. The article adds that "a look at what he has to say in the book about some of those he targets shows that in the end, he is 'fair and balanced.'" But the excerpts NewsMax cites don't exactly bear that out; for instance, it quotes O'Reilly calling Al Franken "a man without scruples, a far-left fanatic whose brand of unbridled hatred is sound-bite ready and media friendly," Michael Moore "[t]he clown prince of the secular-progressive movement" and Bill Moyers "Perhaps the farthest-left broadcaster in the history of television." That sounds a lot more like the "ad hominem attacks" Media Matters describes than the "fair and balanced" descriptions NewsMax seems to think they are.
But the whole point of this exercise is to sell books. NewsMax is unloading "Culture Warrior" for $4.99 plus a free trial subscription to its magazine that you must opt out of in order to avoid being charged $39 for a year's subscription.
CNS' Double Standard on Partisan Hearings Topic: CNSNews.com
A pair of Sept. 26 CNSNews.com articles by Susan Jones made a point of including Republican disparagement of Monday's hearing on the Iraq war by the Democratic Policy Committee -- something CNS has been loath to do in regard to similar hearings held by Republicans.
The first Jones article called the hearing "a Democrats-only 'oversight' hearing" and noted that "The Democratic Policy Committee held hearings on the Iraq war simply for partisan gain, the Republican National Committee said," adding:
The RNC also noted that the Democratic Policy Committee -- established in 1947 to conduct research and track votes -- has never held hearings or conducted investigations until Reid and Dorgan took over and expanded the DPC's mission.
A second Jones article also gave Republicans a platform to disparage the hearing:
But Carolyn Weyforth, press secretary for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), told Cybercast News Service that the hearings are "just another political move by the Democrats."
But in August, CNS offered up a much different treatment for Republican-only field hearings on immigration. As we documented, an Aug. 17 article by Kevin Mooney unquestioningly repeated GOP spin points on immigration and misleadingly claimed that the entire House Judiciary Committee was involved in the field hearings when, in fact, only the Republican members were involved. A Sept. 13 article by Jones on a hearing summarizing the findings of those field hearings, however, did give space to Democrats who called it a "sham hearing" (as we also noted).
Still, there's an imbalance, and CNS has shown itself to be much more willing to take Republican claims at face value.
The liberals have the three major broadcast networks; they have PBS; they have CNN, MSNBC and Bloomberg on cable; they have the powerful voices of THE WASHINGTON POST, LOS ANGELES TIMES and NEW YORK TIMES. We have the Fox News Channel (which only seeks to present both sides and is not outright conservative) and talk radio.
-- Paul Weyrich, Free Congress Foundation commmentary, Sept. 26.
Beyond the Valley of the Description-Equals-Promotion Fallacy Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily still has no intention of offer fair and balanced coverage of the California education bills issue, even as the opponents of the bills who WND love to quote make increasingly bizarre claims about them. From a Sept. 26 WND article featuring Campaign for Children and Families head Randy Thomasson:
"If Arnold Schwarzenegger signs these bills, we will be calling on people to leave the governor's race blank on their ballot and calling upon pro-family people to remove their children from the government school system," Thomasson said.
Life in California under these bills would mean that "children would not go to school anymore, they would go to sexual indoctrination centers for six hours a day. They would come home sexualized activists at an early age, stalking their parents and radically changing the society we live in."
AB 606 would allow the state to financially destroy local schools unless those districts trained all their teachers to promote transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality as "good" and "natural" for children as young as ages four and five, Thomasson said.
Thomasson's depiction is allow to stand unchallenged, despite his obvious distortions and unhinged rhetoric.
WND describes CCF only as a "family group" despite its clear conservative ties. It also repeats its misleading description of a signed law that added "sexual orientation" to the non-discrimination provisions any group accepting state money must abide by as a mandate "to promote those alternative choices."
And needless to say, WND permits nothing to counter Thomasson's views, even as far out there as they are.
Riehl Weighs In on George Allen Topic: NewsBusters
Via TBogg, we learn of the latest shenannigans by our ol' buddy (and NewsBusters poster) Dan Riehl. At his own blog, Riehl is claiming that Sen. George Allen is undergoing a "lynching" via revelations of his history of making racist remarks; below a picture of one of Allen's (white) accusers with his (black) wife, but before he details said accuser's CV -- as if that's relevant to the conversation; are people with Ph.D's in anthropology not qualifed to speak on racial issues? -- Riehl adds: "It's a little difficult to imagine he's the type of guy one would want to hang around the pond and crack wise with about race...." As TBogg points out, the accuser wasn't "hanging around the pond" with Allen; he had come to pick up a puppy.
Finally! Topic: CNSNews.com
Four days after WorldNetDaily did so and six days after the original column ran, CNSNews.com finally addresses the controversy between columnist Michelle Malkin -- whose Sept. 20 column attacking the Associated Press CNS ran -- and the AP. But, like WND, it did so in a biased fashion, running only Malkin's response to the AP (in which AP's original response is buried) while not letting AP's response stand on its own.
New Article: AIM's Game of Semantics Topic: Accuracy in Media
AIM's Cliff Kincaid claims that the CIA is not operating secret prisons, even though they were secret and people were imprisoned. Read more.
A Sept. 25 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones about an classified intelligence report that reportedly asserts that the Iraq war has heightened increased the terrorist threat -- which focuses less on that conclusion than on the fact that it was leaked classified information -- concludes by claiming: "Some say the leak to the New York Times may have been timed to bolster the Democrats' Monday hearing." Jones quotes nobody making this claim.
We have to wonder: Do any of the "some" claiming this reside outside of the Media Research Center's offices?
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"?