The headline the Associated Press put on a July 12 article: "Democrats Assail Bush Record on Race."
The headline NewsMax put on it: "Obama Plays Race Card on Libby Decision."
Friday, July 13, 2007
Kessler's Bush-Fluffing Continues
NewsMax's Ronald Kessler continues his Bush-fluffing ways in a pair of recent posts.
A July 11 article, after recounting how "[k]ey Republican senators are now deserting President Bush on Iraq," a situation bhe blamed on re-election worries, Kessler absolves President Bush of any blame for his current political situation in Iraq, depicting as a result of "mounting American and Iraqi casualties, Iraqi ingratitude for America's support, the Iraqi government's lack of progress in achieving needed political goals, and the fact that Iraqis are senselessly killing each other." Kessler adds: "Americans lose sight of the Bush administration's greatest success: the fact that the U.S. has not been attacked in almost six years."
Meanwhile, NewsMax is hyping a report that "Al-Qaida is stepping up its efforts to sneak terror operatives into the United States and has acquired most of the capabilities it needs to strike here," a situation Kessler fails to address.
Another July 11 article describes the latest news on plans for the Bush presidential library, to which Kessler generously offers "[m]y suggestion for the library: A branch of Johnny's Barbecue, the Midland, Texas, establishment where Laura's father Harold drank coffee and smoked cigarettes with his friends almost every morning."
My, my. Isn't Kessler being unfaithful to the Romneys?
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Shepherd Perpetuates Libby Leak Fallacy
A July 12 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd asserted that the Associated Press, in an article mentioning the investigation of Scooter Libby and the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative, "left COMPLETELY unmentioned" that "then-Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage, a critic of the Iraq war who reported directly to Colin Powell, NOT directly under Bush or Cheney in the White House, was the official who leaked Plame's CIA employment status. I mean, why let facts get in the way of a perfectly good managed storyline?"
That's a question we can put to Shepherd. Armitage was not "the leaker"; Libby did, in fact, leak Plame's CIA identity to at least two reporters. Shepherd, like fellow NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein, is making the absurd argument that because Armitage leaked Plame's name to Robert Novak, and Novak was the first to report it ahead of the reporters to whom Libby leaked, that Libby's leak somehow magically didn't happen.
NewsMax Tries to Cash In on Terror Threat
Following Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff's claim of a "gut feeling" that the United States faced an increased risk of attack this summer, NewsMax seizes on the statement to ... sell radios:
Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff is warning that he expects terror attacks on U.S. soil as early as this summer.
British and German intelligence sources have also warned a terror attack is imminent in the U.S. Recently, FBI Director Robert Mueller warned al-Qaeda is desperately seeking to acquire radioactive material to use here in the U.S.
Not only is that a bit crass, it ignores an inconvenient fact NewsMax itself reported: that the Bush administration has stated there was no specific, credible terrorism threat against the United States.
New Article -- Out There, Exhibit 43: Dim Bulbs of Bias
WorldNetDaily, CNSNews.com and Accuracy in Media all failed to tell the full story of the case they use to attack compact fluorescent light bulbs -- the truth of which would have undercut their attack. Read more.
Will WND Retract Its Inaccurate Lesbian Gang Story?
A July 9 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh claimed that "Two news stories about hundreds of lesbian gangs attacking and raping young girls in schools and other public locations have prompted a backlash against the reporters by members of the homosexual community." But Unruh didn't report questions about the veracity of those claims, and has yet to report that some key claims have been retracted.
Unruh uncritically repeated the claim made by Rod Wheeler, "who has experience as a police detective," on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" of "a growing national concern over lesbians and some men 'recruiting kids as young as 10 years old in a lot of the schools in the communities all across the country.' Wheeler estimated the presence of 150 gangs, including lesbian gangs, in the Washington area alone."
In fact, that's not what Wheeler said; he made no distinction between gay and lesbian gangs when he said that "we've actually counted, just in the Washington D.C. area alone, that's Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, well over 150 of these crews." In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that a gang specialist counts only one lesbian gang in the Washington area, adding:
Wheeler has since completely retracted the claim on his personal website, as well as another assertion, not repeated by Unruh, that "some of these groups carry pink pistols" (h/t Orcinus):
O'Reilly himself did something of a retraction of Wheeler's story, admitting he got "a little carried away with that."
Unruh also cited a report on the subject by a Memphis TV station. While he quoted a representative of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation as issuing a statement charging the reporting was "without … one solid statistic or credible source," he also asserted, without evidence, that the group "tried to suppress the Memphis report before it aired." Indeed, supporting the defamation group's claims, the SPLC described the Memphis report this way, something Unruh didn't tell his readers:
Unruh also featured the anti-gay group Americans for Truth calling the alleged suppression of the inaccurate, unverified Memphis TV story "Orwellian." And, like Unruh, Americans for Truth is silent about the story's unproven claims, instead asserting that " 'gay' pressure groups that are turning America’s newsrooms into homosexuality-promotion centers.
Will Unruh do a follow-up piece pointing out that the claims he reported are either wildly overblown or completely false and admitting his error in reporting unverified claims? We'd be shocked if he did.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
CNS Labeling Bias Watch
A July 11 CNSNews.com article by Nathan Burchfiel perpetuates CNS' longtime depiction of the two sides of the gun debate as "Second Amendment supporters" and "anti-gun groups." Burchfiel offers no evidence that opponents of the issue at hand -- an amendment in a federal appropriations bill that restricts local law enforcement's ability to access federal gun trace data -- are "anti-gun," nor does he specifically explain how support for the amendment correlates to supporting the Second Amendment.
Smear of the Day
In a July 11 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham writes that the Democratic presidential debate to be held Aug. 9 on the gay-oriented cable network Logo is "a lot like the CNN/Sojourners magazine event designed to highlight the Democrats’ religious views – except this pander-to-the-libertine-left event ought to cancel out the impression that these candidates are devoted to their Bibles."
Yesterday's 'Wag the Dog' Is Today's 'Conspiracy Theory'
A July 11 NewsBusters post by Brad Wilmouth claimed that Keith Olbermann was voicing "his latest consipiracy theory" when he suggested that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's assertion that he has a "gut feeling" that terrorists are more likely to strike during the summer was designed to distract attention from stories embarrassing to the Bush administration.
As we've documented, the MRC was not averse to raising such "conspiracy theory" allegations -- but instead calling it "wag the dog" -- against President Clinton, a history Wilmouth fails to mention.
UPDATE: Wilmouth's post also made it into the July 11 CyberAlert.
Kinsolving Suggests Al Gore III Worse Than Libby
Topic: The Daily Les
Given that Libby helped to out an undercover CIA agent who headed a counterproliferation operation focused on Iraq, and in doing so exposed a CIA front company, thus endangering the covers and possibly the lives of an untold number of CIA operatives, we suggest that the answer is yes.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
NewsMax Flip-Flops -- Again -- on Huckabee
Last week, we noted that a July 3 NewsMax article by Dave Eberhart critical of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee as "anything but conservative," particularly on the subject of granting a pardon to a man, Wayne DuMond, who was later convicted of murder, contradicted NewsMax's 2002 defense of Huckabee on that charge.
Well, a July 10 article by Eberhart features an "exclusive NewsMax interview" with Huckabee. The article is a laudatory piece, portraying Huckabee as "the Republican candidate with the truest consistent conservative credentials" and focusing on his support for a tax on consumption to replace the income tax. While Eberhart allows Huckabee to respond to the critics in Eberhart's earlier article on tax issues, there's no mention of the DuMond case. That's surprising, since Eberhart specifically attacked Huckabee's "liberal policy of criminal pardons" on July 3.
So, do NewsMax and Eberhart love Huckabee or hate him? Make up your minds, guys.
David Limbaugh Perpetuates Libby Leak Fallacy
As we've previously pointed out, Libby did leak Valerie Plame's name to at least two reporters. Limbaugh is making the absurd argument that because Armitage leaked Plame's name to Robert Novak, and Novak was the first to report it ahead of the reporters to whom Libby leaked, that Libby's leak somehow magically didn't happen.
Klein Features Jumblatt, Ignores His Background
A July 9 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein touts claims made by Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. As we've detailed, Klein and Jumblatt have a fairly cozy relationship -- Jumblatt issued a statement in support of Klein when he had been denied entry into Syria -- and Klein does not mention Jumblatt's support of Hezbollah and history of anti-American, anti-Semitic rhetoric, let alone explain why a person with a history of flip-flopping views is a credible source.
CNS Ignores Pollsters' GOP Ties
A July 10 CNSNews.com article by Kevin Mooney details a study claiming that "Younger voters, especially women, are embracing a pro-life position in surprising numbers and in sharp contrast to attitudes that held sway 15 years ago." But Mooney didn't mention that the "public consulting firm" responsible for the study, Overbrook Research, does much of its consulting work for Republicans.
The study includes bios of its authors, Christopher Blunt and Fred Steeper. It says of Blunt: "His analysis has helped shaped Republican campaign strategies nationally and in many individual states, including Missouri. In the most recent election cycle, his analysis played an integral role in the RNC’s microtargeting efforts in dozens of campaigns." It says of Steeper: "Mr. Steeper has had significant public opinion research roles in nine GOP presidential races spanning more than 30 years. He was one of two principal polling and focus group consultants to the George W. Bush 2000 presidential campaign and conducted special research projects for the 2004 campaign. In addition, Mr. Steeper was the senior polling consultant for the George Bush 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns."
Overbrook Research also lists the Republican National Committee as among its list of clients, and that "Overbrook Research services also used on behalf of" groups such as Ohioans for Ken Blackwell, Bush-Cheney 2004, and Missourians for Kit Bond -- all Republicans.
Is Bozell Really Ignorant of Coulter's Violent Threats?
Topic: Media Research Center
Is Brent Bozell really as clueless as he appears to be about Ann Coulter's more violent statements?
He certainly appeared to be in a July 9 appearance on "Hannity & Colmes." Bozell attacked a blogger who allegedly called for the death of Rush Limbaugh and Ted Nugent (though, in fact, not until "WHEN they manage to inevitably push their litany of hatespeak into actual bloodletting, and full-blown civil war"), claiming this threat was ignored while Ann Coulter's threats against John Edwards were highly publicized and, in Bozell's words, "vilely taken out of context," despite the fact that there's a big difference between a blogger nobody had heard of until this incident and a million-selling author who appears regularly on TV.
When Alan Colmes (who noted the predicate before the blogger's threat) pointed out that Coulter is on record as stating that the only question about Bill Clinton was "whether to impeach or assassinate," Bozell responded: "I have never heard her say that." That's true only a narrowly technical sense; Coulter didn't speak those words but wrote them in her 1998 book "High Crimes and Misdemeanors."
Colmes also pointed out to Bozell that Coulter got the words of Bill Maher wrong and that Coulter was using Maher as a justification for her statement that rather than referring to John Edwards as a "faggot" in the future, "I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot." Bozell tried to quibble, demanding, "Give me the quote, Alan," which Colmes did. Bozell then retorted: "But you haven't read the whole quote. I don't have it in front of me, but the whole quote said a lot more than that, and you know it."
If Bozell is that whiny and defensive against Alan Colmes, we can see why he won't appear on TV against most liberals (as we've noted). And his purported ignorance of Coulter's more controversial statements doesn't exactly ring true.
UPDATE: Sean Hannity claimed he "never heard" of Coulter's remark, either, despite the fact that he discussed it on "Hannity & Colmes" a year ago.
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