Topic: Media Research Center
Out There, Exhibit 42: When is a record high not a record high? When the Media Research Center decides it needs to be indexed for inflation (or not). Read more.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Folger's False Scare Tactics
Janet Folger's May 28 WorldNetDaily column includes a buttload o' scare tactics.
After portraying a handful of blog comments as representative of how all gays feel about the death of Jerry Falwell, Folger invoked "75-year-old grandmother Arlene Elshinnawy" again. As we've detailed, Elshinnawy is not the meek, ordinary grandmother that Folger portrays -- she's an anti-gay, anti-abortion activist in thrall to bullhorn-wielding street preachers. Folger also writes:
Via Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, we learn that Folger is not telling the full story about this case. It turns out that the girls were not merely "saying an unkind word about homosexuals and passing out a few flyers to their classmates," as Folger wants you to think:
And for good measure, Folger also throws in some scare tactics about the federal hate-crimes bill, asserting that its passage will result in "16-year-old girls imprisoned and ministers' graves desecrated. It's Catholic mothers murdered, and the thought police in schools. What do you want the future to look like?"
Of course, that's not true either. In fact, the bill states: "Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution."
Screed of the Day
Barry Farber's May 29 NewsMax column is an anti-media screed made more entertaining by the fact that he appears to be serious:
Farber goes on to add that "The media hates to report anything from eastern Europe because they love America, George W. Bush and America's pro-liberation policy."
MRC on Fox: Another Challenge-Free Appearance
Topic: Media Research Center
With the May 28 appearance by Dan Gainor, director of the MRC's Business and Media Institute, on "Your World," The Media Research Center chalked up yet another friendly appearance on Fox News.
The segment featured Gainor joined by two other panelists, Fox News reporters Brenda Buttner and Terry Keenan, as well as guest host David Asman. As we've detailed, Fox News hosts tend to avoid asking tough questions of MRC representatives, and Keenan in particular has previously championed the MRC's talking points. Further, BMI was not described as the conservative group it is.
Interestingly, the video of Gainor's appearance posted on NewsBusters is cut off after the first question. Perhaps that's because after the MRC cut off the clip, Asman, Buttner and Keenan went on to reinforce Gainor's talking points regarding alleged hyping of high gas prices:
This is apparently the kind of "fair and balanced" coverage the MRC loves to see -- in which the "journalists" agree with them.
NewsBusters' Flexible Standards
Does NewsBusters hold its fellow conservatives to the same standard it holds the rest of the media?
Generally, no. We've already documented how it promoted a false report, then buried the fact that it was false, and how a NewsBusters blogger falsely smeared someone but couldn't be bothered to apologize for them. Now, there's another example of how conservatives who make errors are treated with kid gloves.
A May 27 NewsBusters post by Lynn Davidson played up claims by right-wing bloggers Little Green Footballs and Ace of Spades, who "questioned its veracity" of a memo used by the Washington Post and "harsh anti-war critic and former CIA and State Department employee Larry Johnson" in raising questions about distribution of food for U.S. troops in Iraq because the memo "used a Lenox china flag-cluthing eagle collectible figurine on tan emblem for the header's graphics." An update on May 28 noted that another conservative blogger received "confirmation from the Baghdad Embassy ... that the content of the memo is real."
But Davidson fails to mention what in between the accusations of fakery and confirmation of authenticity. As Glenn Greenwald details, the right-wing bloggers loudly insisted that the memo was fake; one blog, Flopping Aces -- which provided Davidson with the evidence of confirmation that she accepted -- asserted that "Larry Johnson, that ViPer with a serious case of the BDS, is at it again peddling a forged document." And Ace of Spades insulted another blogger who refused to retract his memo-based claim, calling him a "fucking idiot." And upon the realization that the memo in question was, in fact, authentic, Greenwald writes that there have been "no apologies to Johnson or The Washington Post for impugning their integrity, from what I have seen." Greenwald adds:
So, we wonder: Shouldn't NewsBusters demand that its fellow conservative bloggers adhere to the same standards of accuracy as the "formerly mainstream media" it loves to criticize, especially after promoting a claim originated by those bloggers that turned out to be false? If it's going to denounce, say, Rosie O'Donnell for uncivil behavior, shouldn't it similarly denounce Ace of Spades for his personal attacks and profanity, especially over a charge that proved to be utterly false?
So, NewsBusters: Where are your standards? And will you admit to having more than one set?
Monday, May 28, 2007
Power Line = 'Center Right'
This tells you a good chunk about what you need to know about where NewsBusters (and the Media Research Center) is coming from and how seriously their media criticism should be taken:
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Kuiper Omits Motivation for Anti-Media Matters Column
Tom Kuiper spends his May 25 WorldNetDaily column attacking Media Matters (my employer). Not once does he mention what is presumably the real reason for his tirade: Media Matters busted Kuiper, pointing out that his compilation of Hillary Clinton quotes, "I've Always Been a Yankees Fan," used quotes that even Kuiper himself can't verify are factual, and that the assertion that Kuiper built his book around -- that Hillary was pandering to New York voters when she claimed to be a Yankees fan -- is in fact true; her Yankees fandom has been documented long before she ran for Senate in New York.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
MRC Still Won't Criticize Imus, Misleadingly Attacks Maher
Topic: Media Research Center
We've previously noted that the Media Research Center has a lot of trouble bringing themselves to criticize the racist remarks that got Don Imus fired.
The MRC keeps up the trend with a May 24 press release delcaring that Bill Maher's remarks about religion make Imus "look like a saint." In addition to the MRC's tacit approval of Imus calling women's basketball players "nappy-headed hos," it eliminates the context in which Maher made his remarks. The press release reprinted only the salacious stuff:
But it made no mention of the context. As the clip shows, Maher was criticizing the late Jerry Falwell's hateful rhetoric toward gays:
The press release also quotes Robert Knight, director of the MRC’s Culture and Media Institute, as saying: "Maher is entitled to his vile views, but he’s not entitled to an endless ride on the airwaves courtesy of Time-Warner. ... If Don Imus’s offensive racial joke was too much for the public to bear, certainly Maher’s sickening description of the Mass and Communion as graphic homosexual sex acts is beyond the pale." But Maher's show doesn't appear on "the airwaves"; it appears on pay cable late at night. Imus' radio show, by contrast, appeared on public airwaves during the morning hours.
WorldNetDaily, meanwhile, recycled the MRC's press release into a May 25 article that, of course, made no effort to contact Maher or HBO for a response. WND added to its article by noting that "Maher stirred controversy two years ago when he said Christians suffer from a neurological disorder that 'stops people from thinking.' " But the quote of Maher that followed did not single out Christians:
So, WND: Any Christians "flying planes into a building" lately?
The 2005 WND article from which that quote was taken actually broadened it somewhat, claiming Maher targeted "Christians and others who are religious," but it also stated, "Maher explained that he was not singling out evangelicals, but was targeting all 'religious' people."
Friday, May 25, 2007
Save the Country, Buy A Cheap Flag Pin From WND
From a May 25 WorldNetDaily article:
Given the fact that the pin costs just $2, it's highly likely that the pin is not American-made -- something that would presumably play a factor in the "patriotism" of owning such a pin. The article does not disclose the pin's country of origin, nor does it say exactly how many pins WND is selling that would cause it to describe the pin as a "runaway bestseller."
Further, the article fails to explain how buying a flag pin from WND (or anywhere else, for that matter) is any sort of antidote for the woes it describes. After all, one can be a loyal, patriotic American and not be a fundamentalist Christian, the only kind of Christianity WND recognizes as real.
Can you say "cheap stunt to cash in on patriotism"? We knew you could.
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Media Matters notes that Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid is back to obsessing about lesbians, this time claiming in a May "Cliff's Notes" column that "the sex scandal the media won't touch involves Senator Hillary Clinton's alleged lesbianism."
Bozell on Fox News: One Friendly, One Not, Both Solo
Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell got in a pair of appearances on Fox News on Thursday. The first, on "America's Newsroom," was a solo appearance with the host serving up softball questions and the MRC not identified as a conservative group -- a friendly situation MRC representatives often receive on Fox News. The second, on "Hannity & Colmes," was also solo, but at least he did face some challenging questions from Alan Colmes to balance Sean Hannity's sycophancy.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The Carpetbagger Report's Steve Benen details how NewsMax edited down (without telling its readers of the edit) Ronald Kessler's creepily obsequious description of Ann Romney, in an already massively obsequious, mega-fluffy profile of Mitt Romney:
As Benen writes: "There’s flattery, there’s sycophancy, and then there’s this." The Politico's Ben Smith adds that "I think I've never seen writing, in a publication apparently written by and for grown-ups," than Kessler's fluff job.
We've previously noted Kessler's fluffery of Romney (and check out Kessler's similar fluffery of Dana Perino, as well as his Bush fluffery), as well as NewsMax's tendency to make changes to articles without notifying readers.
UPDATE: Here's a copy of Kessler's original article we pulled out of Google cache.
Xenophone Complains of Being Called a Xenophobe
In a May 23 NewsMax column, E. Ralph Hostetter claims that the proposed compromise immigration bill "could very well take the United States from daylight into darkness." Why? We'll let him explain:
So what Hostetter appears to be saying is that only "Anglo-Europeans" (read: white people) can handle living -- or, perhaps more accurately, deserve to live -- under "Western civilization," as opposed to all those brown and yellow folks.
Hostetter goes on to complain that "I have already been labeled a xenophobe," calling the name "the evil fashion house of political correctness." But he doesn't deny that the term applies to him. (Indeed, he may be referring to us: We've previously called him a xenophobe because, well, he is.)
If Hostetter finds the term "xenophobe" so offensive, how about "white supremacist"? That may actually be a little closer to what the guy is getting at.
New Article: Aaron Klein's Mighty Wurlitzer
In order to pursue his anti-Olmert, pro-right-wing agenda, the WorldNetDaily Jerusalem reporter consorts with terrorists and hides the unappealing backgrounds of some of his favorite sources. Read more.
Biased NewsMax Poll in Progress
Something to keep in mind when NewsMax starts touting the results of its meaningless online poll on the compromise immigration bill:
-- NewsMax is promoting it on its website with the following line: "Back McCain-Kennedy Amnesty? Vote!"
-- It has sent out the following email to its mailing list:
Dear NewsMax Reader:
In other words, by waving McCain and Kennedy -- two people NewsMax hates -- as the masterminds of the bill and repeatedly invoking "amnesty," this poll will be even more biased and meaningless than usual.
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