Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars finds even more misleading claims by Janet Folger, this time in her July 24 WorldNetDaily column about anti-gay Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
We Get Results (And No Thanks)
Topic: Washington Examiner
Last week, we noted that Lorie Byrd, in her July 19 Washington Examiner column touting her new attack site Media Mythbusters, falsely claimed that the Associated Press "retracted" its so-called "Sunni burning six" story. We also wrote a letter to the Examiner, which was published Tuesday.
Today, the Examiner published the following correction and appended it to her online column:
Byrd herself issued a correction on the Media Mythbusters blog, but tried to fuzz it up a little: "Instead of saying they 'retracted' elements of the story, I should have said they revised elements of the story." Byrd then digresses into the "ongoing dispute" over the identity of Jamil Hussein.
As much as Byrd likes to tout those who contribute to Media Mythbusters' attacks, she makes no acknowledgment to us for pointing out she was wrong, which would be the honorable thing to do. This speaks to the partisan nature of the website -- that it will not praise anything the media does if it conflicts with Media Mythbusters' agenda, and it will admit errors only bregrudgingly and when it can't otherwise avoid doing so.
Still, when a website that claims "When in doubt, tell the truth" as a motto is forced to apologize for, uh, telling the truth, that's not exactly an auspicious sign.
CNS Obscures Previous Sutton Testimony
A July 26 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas plays up a refusal by U.S. attorney Johnny Sutton to testify before a House committee regarding the prosecution of two U.S. Border Patrol agents in the shooting of an unarmed illegal immigrant on the U.S.-Mexico border (we've noted previous slanted ConWeb coverage of this story). While Lucas notes in the first paragraph that Sutton was "scolded at a Senate hearing this month for his role in the controversial prosecution of two ex-border agents," he doesn't explicitly state that Sutton testified July 17 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, nor does he adequeately explain why the House committee wants his testimony when has already testified before the Senate (though it's hinted that the Republican House members pushing for Sutton's testimony have uncovered new evidence).
Lucas also ignores a statement by Sutton's office, as reported by the Associated Press, that Sutton does not comment on nonpublic matters while cases are pending. The Border Patrol case is currently being appealed.
WND's Unruh, Folger Just Can't Stop Misleading
A July 25 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh repeats the assertion by WND columnist and anti-gay group Faith2Action president Janet Folger that her renditions of "what so called 'hate crime' legislation has already done IN AMERICA" are "the facts." As we've previously demonstrated, Folger and Unruh leave out lots of facts in the cases they cite; thus, what they claim cannot be "the facts."
Unruh is more guilty than Folger because he is treating an activist's opinions as unassailable truth despite easily obtainable evidence that she's making misleading, if not false, claims -- a stance that has no business being in a purported "news" story. Does Unruh have no journalistic pride? Apparently not.
Adamo Unleashes Fury on Cal Thomas
Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the rhetorical bed. A July 19 CNSNews.com column by Christopher Adamo unleashed a surprising vitriolic attack on conservative columnist Cal Thomas. Why? We're not exactly sure.
Adamo started off by bashing Jimmy Carter as, among other things, "a deliberately malignant force striving to wreak horrendous harm on the country," a "naive imbecile" and a "degenerate." This somehow leads to Adamo claiming that Thomas is "headed down this same path" and "can now be counted upon, ostensibly in the name of offering a 'Christian' perspective, to advance the cause of the counterculture while insidiously undermining those on the right."
What did Thomas do that offended Adamo so? Again, we're not exactly sure; the only actual quote from the July 4 Thomas column Adamo attacks is the statement that "religion is not the exclusive property of conservative Christians." Adamo doesn't bother to directly quote anything else Thomas says, preferring to paraphrase -- and add his own interpretation -- instead.
The point of Thomas' column was that, upon a visit to his ancestral Indiana town, he realizes that Democrats are people too and he calls for people to be wary of politicians who rely on patriotism. That concept, apparently, was just too much for Adamo's brain to take:
Adamo does begrudgingly admit that Thomas' statement that "religion is not the exclusive property of conservative Christians" is "technically true," but Thomas' "suggestion that Republicans in general, or conservatives in particular, claim otherwise is itself a vile and patently false accusation." Adamo fails to mention that this is claimed by implication, when conservatives state that one can't be both a Christian and a Democrat.
Adamo then decides to reframe the issue to his liking:
Adamo ignores that Thomas has done exactly that, asserting that Hillary Clinton is "not a person who believes in the central tenets of Christianity." But never mind; Adamo was in full anti-liberal rant mode:
We hope Adamo got back to his meds in time.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Huston Misleads on Bush, Iraq
A July 25 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston takes time that could better be used penning his apology to the Los Angeles Times to accuse the New York Daily News of "[f]ollowing the left's playbook of claiming Bush has illicitly linked Saddam's Iraq to 9/11." Huston then launches into a highly defensive explanation of why, when President Bush asserted that al-Qaeda in Iraq is part of the al-Qaeda "terrorist network" that attacked on 9/11, he wasn't linking Iraq to 9/11.
It should be no surprise that Huston leaves a few things out. First, when Huston stated that "there is no speech in which Bush claimed that Saddam was responsible for 9/11 ... This is a lie that the left has promulgated since Bush announced we were going into Iraq," he failed to note that other Bush administration officials and supporters have, in fact, made that claim.
Huston then writes: "What Bush really did was link al Qaeda, the al Qaeda that is in Iraq today, to the same network controlled by Osamma bin Ladden [sic], the very same bin Ladden that did take credit for perpetrating 9/11," adding, "What he did was say that the al Qaeda that planned 9/11 has a branch in Iraq and always has had one in Iraq." Nowhere does Huston note that the claim that al-Qaeda in Iraq is the same thing as, or is controlled by, Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda is highly disputed by Bush's own officials.
NewsMax Won't Disclose Morris' Anti-Hillary Activism
We've already described how Dick Morris will not disclose in his columns attacking Hillary Clinton that he is actively working against her campaign (though he will disclose his work for other candidates while praising them).
This refusal extends to NewsMax. In a July 24 article reporting on Morris' latest attack on Hillary, there's no mention of the fact that Morris is an activist against Hillary's presidential campaign by cooperating with and promoting an upcoming anti-Hillary documentary -- even though NewsMax's on Ronald Kessler has reported on it.
Speaking of Belated Apologies ...
A July 24 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd takes Keith Olbermann to task for taking too long to apologtize for a segment that aired on "Countdown" while he was on vacation that criticized Wendy Vitter as committing a "ho-pas" for the dress wore during the news conference in which her husband, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), admitted to an affair with a prostitute.
So we know about NewsBusters' sensitivities. Will Shepherd, as NewsBusters managing editor, ask that Warner Todd Huston similarly apologize to the Los Angeles Times for falsely suggesting that its article tying Fred Thompson to lobbying efforts for an abortion-rights group was not true? After all, it's been nearly a week since the the Times' story was confirmed, and Huston has yet to ackowledge that fact.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
'Democrat Debate' (Update)
We already know about conservatives' general refusal to use the proper grammatical form of "Democratic," preferring incorrect constructs like "Democrat Party," as we've documented. Matthew Balan ratchets up this strange refusal a bit in a July 23 NewsBusters post, using terms like "Democrat presidential candidates," "Democrat debate" and "Democrat administrations."
Balan's post purported to count the number of "liberal" or "left-wing" questions vs. "conservative" questions asked at Monday's Democratic presidential debate (see, Matthew? It's not so hard to add those two little, grammatically correct letters!) But his catetorization of "left-wing" vs. "conservative" seems a bit arbitrary, apparently to pump up the number of "left-wing" questions. He listed a question asking "how Obama and Clinton address criticisms that they’re not 'black enough' or 'feminine enough' " as a "left-wing" question. We don't get it.
UPDATE: Brent Baker used Balan's post to claim in a July 24 MRC CyberAlert that "candidates were hit with questions from the left over the right by nearly a 3-to-1 margin." That's misleading, since Baker's tally covers only 23 questions tagged "left-wing" or "conservative" out of 39 questions asked. Baker has a bad habit of making misleading ratio claims about such tallies.
Will Huston Apologize?
We've previously noted a July 7 NewsBusters post in which Warner Todd Huston called a claim in a Los Angeles Times article that Fred Thompson worked as a lobbyist for a family-planning group in the early 1990s "hearsay" and "an unproven (and maybe unprovable) claim" (though the article cited "the minutes of a 1991 board meeting of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Assn." as evidence and names five people as corroborating the claim). Huston further derided the article as having "no real proof by anyone here" and "just a she-said/he-said claim." He concluded that the story was "nothing but claims made with no evidence to back them up so far," adding: "All in all, this is a very badly reported, partisan story that slams Fred Thompson instead of a fully investigated story, fairly presented, so that readers can make a more informed decision on whether to believe the claims made therein."
Since then, more evidence to back up the aricle's claim about Thompson has surfaced: The New York Times reported on July 19 that billing records support the claim that Thompson did some lobbying work for an abortion-rights group.
Huston has yet to acknowledge the New York Times article (though he did take the time to assert on July 9 that parts of the LA Times article were "disappearing" from the website, though it turned out that the story had been replaced by the version that ran in the print due to an uncorroborated minor claim). Even though Huston's attack on the LA Times has proven to be discredited, there's no recognition of that fact by Huston or anyone else on NewsBusters.
Shouldn't Huston note this fact and acknowledge his error of his earlier rhetoric? We think he should.
Monday, July 23, 2007
WND's Baehr Smears Obama
In the middle of a July 23 WorldNetDaily rant against "homosexual propaganda" in the movies as exemplified by the new film "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," Ted Baehr and Tom Snyder (no, not that one; this one's the editor of Baehr's Movieguide website) be felt the need to attack Barack Obama:
In fact -- if Baehr and Snyder had bothered to look up what Obama actually said, rather than "assume" what he meant -- Obama emphasized that sex ed for kindergarteners would be "age appropriate" and be focused on inappropriate touching by strangers as a way to protect children from sexual predators (as we've previously pointed out).
Apparently, Baehr was too busy denouncing homosexuality as an "evil sin" to do any actual research for his column.
Graham Misleads on Blogger Who Misleads
A July 23 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham attacks the Washington Post for alelgedly calling an anti-immigrant blogger in Virginia a "mouse-pushing crackpot" in a profile of the man -- even though he admits that the article points out "that he can’t be dismissed as a crackpot if he’s actually shaping public policy" in the county where he lives.
But even that misstates what the Post article said: that the blogger, Greg Letiecq, "is not some mouse-pushing crackpot with a keyboard and an Internet connection. In the past 18 months, Letiecq has leveraged his blog to help elect allies, kill off opponents' campaigns and shape local public policy. Peers call his site the most influential local blog in Virginia." Yes, the article specifically said that Letiecq "is not some mouse-pushing crackpot."
Graham then goes on to defend Letiecq from the accusation that he claimed, in the Post's words, that "Illegal immigrant ice cream vendors might be spreading leprosy in Manassas" and that Letiecq's blog "often mak[e] up in passion what it lacks in proof." Graham wrote: "On the weird-sounding item on leprosy in your ice cream, the actual blog item doesn’t sound as weird as Miroff's freak-show carnival barking would suggest. "
In fact, the actual blog item -- headlined "You Want Leprosy With That?" and attacking food cart vendors as disease-ridden illegals -- is based on a recitation of claims made in a 2005 WorldNetDaily article taken about a Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons report by Madeleine Cosman attacking illegal immigrants. As we've reported, the JAPS is little more than a conservative publication gussied up with a medical spin, published by the equally conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Further, Letiecq unquestioningly repeats Cosman's claim that "in the past three years America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy" -- a claim that has been proven false. Letiecq also links to a 2004 Rutherford Institute column by John Whitehead making the same claim.
So, Graham doesn't think it's "weird" to repeat false claims to support inflammatory accusations? Sheesh.
At Last: CNS Applies 'Filibuster' to GOP
A July 20 CNSNews.com article by Nathan Burchfiel finally breaks his previous aversion to the word and uses the term "filibuster" to describe the GOP's actions on a bill to mandate the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Sheppard's Swiftly Shifting Standards
In a July 17 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard claimed to be concerned that Bill O'Reilly might be unfairly targeting Daily Kos as "one of the worst examples of hatred America has to offer" in O'Reilly's efforts to get JetBlue to disassociate itself from Daily Kos' annual convention by citing selected website entries:
But Sheppard made no effort to investigate O'Reilly's claims to see if, in fact, they were by diarists or commenters. In fact, as Media Matters pointed out, all of the examples O'Reilly cited did indeed come from commenters, not diarists.
In a July 20 post, Sheppard praises O'Reilly for being "[d]epending on which side you believe ... extremely or moderately successful" in getting JetBlue to disassociate itself from Daily Kos. Nowhere does Sheppard mention that O'Reilly pulled his inflammatory Daily Kos statements from commenters, not diarists -- a behavior Sheppard purported to deplore just three days earlier. Instead, Sheppard joins in the attacking of Daily Kos:
Sheppard shouldn't have even bothered to write that July 17 post if he was going to immediately ignore the standards he set for himself in it.
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