White Supremacist Fluffs MRC Topic: Media Research Center
A Marchh 1 Washington Times article touts the Media Research Center's 20th anniversary. It's quite the puff piece; the only person interviewed in it is Brent Bozell, and no apparent effort was made to balance it with comment from, say, another media watchdog group we could name. Given the sympathetic tone, the MRC is quite proud of it, promoting on the MRC front page and in a NewsBusters post.
It's worth noting that the article was written by the Times' resident whitesupremacist and Confederacy fetishist (well, one of 'em), Robert Stacy McCain. Was this really the best choice for the MRC (and we presume that, given the one-sided slant of the article, Bozell and Co. did have a hand in their hagiographer)? Or did McCain's compliance and willingness to not encumber the article with balance trump any concern over his personal views?
Meanwhile ... Topic: CNSNews.com Media Matters notes that in a Feb. 28 CNSNews.com article, Randy Hall uncritically repeated a two-week-old falsehood from the Republican National Committee that the Democrats have called their approach to Iraq a "slow-bleed" strategy. In fact, the term originated in The Politico and was seized upon by the RNC.
WorldNetDaily assumes the solemn duty of informing us in a Feb. 28 article that an "American Idol" contestant has seen "the emergence of racy photos, including one of her reportedly frolicking semi-nude at a World War II memorial." With (censored) photos!
Because it is WND's grim duty to lavishly illustrate the sexiness it deplores, y'know.
The WorldNetDaily online poll question for Feb. 28 asks why the case of a former state ACLU official being charged with possession of child pornography is "getting little media attention." Perhaps unsurprisingly, respondents are quick to sense a conspiracy; the leading answer is "Media are guided by advancing their agenda rather than honest reporting."
Advancing an agenda over honest reporting is, of course, something WorldNetDaily does on a regular basis (as we've repeatedlydetailed). In fact, we've just noted that a WND article on the military blocking websites focuses solely on WND and ignores numerous other examples of non-conservative websites blocked by the military.
Indeed, despite its longtime stance of being a "watchdog exposing government waste, fraud, corruption and abuse of power," WND is keeping up its tradition of ignoring scandals involving conservatives:
It has done no original coverage of Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, the Republican donor accused of trying to send money to terrorists.
It has similarly ignored (save for a single op-ed) the purge of federal prosecutors by the Bush administration in favor of political appointees -- the increasingly apparent motivation for which is those attorneys' prosecution of Repubican corruption.
Wouldn't a "news" organization that purports to care about "exposing waste, fraud, corruption and abuse of power" be interested in reporting on these subjects? If you're WND, it appears not. We can assume that WND's answer would be different if it was a Democrat who was trying to fund those terrorists and purge those prosecutors.
That -- plus trying to link the ACLU to child pornography -- is WorldNetDaily's agenda.
Unruh Fails to Report Full Story on Blocked Websites Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh reports that the WND website "has been blocked from computers on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps bases across the country for an undetermined period of time." But amid all Unruh's self-promotional blather, he doesn't report -- and WND has never reported, as far as we know -- that the military has been accused of blocking liberalwebsites and even some nonpolitical comment sites while letting conservative websites like Free Republic through unfiltered.
Wouldn't a reporter who spent nearly 30 years working for the Associated Press, as Unruh did, know better than to engage in cynically portraying his employer as a victim and instead do some, you know, reporting that tells the full story?
The headline from Joseph Farah's Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily column reads: "Does Obama know about body count?"
The so-called "Clinton body count," that is. Does Farah know that the "Clinton body count" has been debunked?
Apparently not. He goes on to proudly proclaim:
"The Clinton body count," first published in WND, by the way, and later circulated by Linda Tripp to Monica Lewinsky, was not just a source of terror among those of us who were sworn enemies of the administration. It was an even greater terror for those close to Clinton – for those closest, it seemed, died younger and more inexplicably than those on the outside looking in.
This would be the same "body count" that, as we've noted, Farah has denied promoting.
The only "body count" we see is being caused by Farah, and the truth is the victim.
In his Feb. 27 WorldNetDaily column, Les Kinsolving wrote of Bill Clinton: "He was indicted, tried and found guilty of both perjury and obstruction of justice."
Wrong. To refresh Kinsolving's memory: Clinton was never indicted, let alone tried and found guilty, on criminal charges of perjury or obstruction of justice. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton (the political equivalent of an indictment) on charges of providing "perjurious, false and misleading testimony" -- not the same thing as criminal perjury -- and obstruction of justice. A political trial was conducted in the Senate, with a two-thirds majority needed to convict.
Kinsolving overstates the case by claiming that Clinton "came within a handful of votes of being removed from office by the U.S. Senate." In fact, the "perjurious, false and misleading testimony" count received only 45 of the 67 votes required for conviction; the obstruction of justice charges received 50 of 67.
Kinsolving then huffed, "For these crimes he was merely fined, rather than imprisoned." Again, Clinton was never convicted of a "crime" in a criminal court; in the civil case Paula Jones filed against Clinton, the judge ruled that Clinton gave "intentionally false" testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky -- again, not perjury.
Consider this a reminder that his goofyquestions at the White House aren't the only thing to "fear" from Kinsolving; he mangles facts, too.
The Republican Noise Machine: ConWeb in Lockstep on Gore Attack Topic: The ConWeb
As if they were following orders, WorldNetDaily, CNSNews.com, NewsMax (reprinting the CNS article) and NewsBusters all marched in lockstep and repeated a press release by the conservative Tennessee Center for Policy Research claiming that energy consumption at Al Gore's "mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year."
None of these ConWeb outlets offered independent verification or documentation of the claim, nor did they question how the group was able to obtain presumably private and confidential information about purported energy use -- they just rewrote the press release. All of them failed to offer a balanced account by making any apparent effort to contact Gore or his representatives for a response.
Ruddy Contradicts Himself, Bashes Clinton Topic: Newsmax
In an apparent effort to play down his remarks last week to the New York Times that Bill Clinton "wasn’t such a bad president" and "In fact, he was a pretty good president in a lot of ways," Christopher Ruddy's Feb. 27 NewsMax column contradicts those comments.
Here, Ruddy concedes only that "Bill Clinton can share in some of the credit" for the 1990s being "good years for America" and that "Clinton's economic record, I must reluctantly admit, looks even better after the past six years." He then heaps more credit on others:
But a large amount of the credit is due to Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America Republicans who stormed Capitol Hill in 1994 and overthrew decades of Democratic waste and runaway spending.
Sensing the change in America, Bill quickly jettisoned his liberal economic ideas, especially Hillarycare, and took a more centrist approach.
He also took some advice from political guru Dick Morris, who advised him to govern from the middle, embrace welfare reform, and work with the Republicans.
Good came out of it.
Ruddy also engages in the usual Clinton-bashing:
There is a dark side to the Clinton years, however.
For one thing, scandal after scandal plagued the president. Hillary may claim a "right-wing conspiracy," but it is doubtful Americans will want to return to such a polarizing period.
Ruddy doesn't mention that he was among those ginning up "scandal after scandal." He then recycles the discredited claim that Clinton "admitted he had the opportunity to get bin Laden before he left the Sudan in 1996, but declined an offer from the Sudanese to turn him over to the United States."
Is NewsMax trying to kill off John McCain's presidential campaign?
In a level of negativity normally reserved for people named Clinton, NewsMax has posted a trio of negative Feb. 27 articles about McCain: an "analysis" by Dick Morris claiming his campaign "may be dying before our eyes"; an article by Dave Eberhart asking if "the 70-year-old Vietnam icon keep from falling into the black hole of also-rans"; and an article by John Mercurio citing McCain's "anemic effort to joust with Tim Russert on NBC's 'Meet the Press'" and wondering if McCain's age is working against him.
We've know that NewsMax's Ronald Kessler has regularlyattacked McCain over his purported temper problems. It looks like that anti-McCain fervor is spreading to the rest of NewsMax.
Inaccuracy in AIM Award Winners Topic: Accuracy in Media
Shouldn't winners of awards from Accuracy in Media be proponents of, you know, accuracy in media? Apparently not: The winners of this year's Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award are Michelle Malkin and Mark M. Alexander.
Eric Boehlert has dutifully catalogued a representative list of Malkin's distortions and outright false claims. The columnsforwhich Malkin won her AIM Award were described by AIM chairman Don Irvine as "reporting the facts about illegal immigration that the media typically leave out." Uh, not so much. They focus mostly on the alleged Aztlan "reconquista" concept, which Malkin does not prove exists beyond a fringe movement (not to mention largely promoted by white supremacists as a scare tactic).
Alexander, proprietor of the conservative website Patriot Post, won for a column attacking polls conducted by "Leftmedia television and print outlets" as "largely a reflection of MSM indoctrination -- and thus comports with a liberal viewpoint." But as we've noted, this conflicts with an AIM study that used opinion polls to prove liberal media bias -- which failed to factor in the untold millions of dollars spent over the past few decades by AIM and other conservative groups to promote the idea that liberal media bias exist.
So, AIM is giving Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Awards to one person famous for inaccuracy and another who contradicts AIM's own behavior. Way to go, AIM!
Great Moments in Copy-Editing Topic: Media Research Center
Apparently, neither the Washington Times nor the Media Research Center employ copy editors. A Feb. 26 Times op-ed by MRC director of communications Michael Chapman starts this way:
Celebrities sell -- that's largely why their celebrities.
Uh, "that's largely why their celebrities" what?
We'd go after Chapman's use of the archaic term "limousine liberals" and general by-the-numbers liberal-bashing, but the improper grammar -- in the very first sentence, mind you -- is pretty much all you need to know.
Graham on 'Lesbian Rocker Melissa Etheridge' Topic: NewsBusters
Is the MRC's Tim Graham getting as obsessed about Teh Gay as Cliff Kincaid?
In a Feb. 25 NewsBusters post, Graham noted that E! pre-Oscar host Ryan Seacrest claimed his "favorite song is the lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge's song 'I Need to Wake Up.'" The song was featured in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," a movie not about lesbians. Graham later noted that Gore "has pretended to "channel his inner lesbian rock star," linking to a blogger who noted that Gore once lip-synced to the Etheridge tune.
When asked by commenters why he made a point of noting Etheridge's lesbianism despite the fact that it was irrelevant to any point he was making, Graham replied:
I mentioned it because she's a liberal lesbian activist, and the Gores have been very much in the forefront of crusading for many gay-left causes. If she's out and proud and campaigning, why is it objectionable? It's like calling Jeremy Camp a "Christian rocker." It's what makes you distinctive.
But Camp writes songs that explore Christian themes and can't be defined as anything else. Very few, if any, songs by Etheridge could be defined as exploring exclusively lesbian themes. Even if Gore has shown sympathy for "gay-left" causes, Graham offers no evidence that Etheridge's lesbianism has any connection with her writing a song for Gore's movie.
Sheppard Can't Stop Insulting Gore Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 25 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard continued his abuse of Al Gore. He once again called Gore's Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" a "schlockumentary," and after excerpting a section of Gore's acceptance speech, he added: "Can someone point me in the direction of the nearest water closet?"
In the comments section, Sheppard elaborated: "He's a charlatan who doesn't believe in anything but himself and attaining power. And, he's commiting a fraud on the population for his own benefit, not yours, and certainly not mine." Sheppard offered no evidence to support this claim.