Graham Tries to Divert From MRC Funder's Tawdry Divorce Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 22 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham portrays the Washington Post as "a liberal, Clinton-loving newspaper" because it published an article on the tawdry divorce proceedings of "conservative philanthropist" Richard Mellon Scaife. Graham grudgingly admits that Scaife is a "backer of the MRC, truth be told." But he doesn't disclose how much support it gets from Scaife's foundations. In fact, as Media Transparency details, the MRC has received nearly $2 million from Scaife foundations between 1997 and 2005.
Graham also bashes the article's writer, David Segal, as "one of a pack of liberal media elitists who began his career at the 'neoliberal' magazine The Washington Monthly." Graham has attacked Segal numerous times, at one point falsely ascribing the views of people Segal quoted to Segal himself.
Graham complains that the Post article's "joy in Scaife’s misfortune was hardly hidden" and "began and ended with the gimmick that the divorce was so entertaining that you should literally pack a lunch and travel to Pittsburgh to watch it." But he really takes offense at the article's claim that the Scaife-funded American Spectator fishing expedition to "try to unearth prurient and embarrassing details about Bill Clinton's years as governor of Arkansas ... came up virtually empty-handed," responding:
Anyone who goes back and looks into what caused the impeachment of President Clinton begins with the Spectator's 1993 expose on "Troopergate" -- how Clinton used state troopers to acquire sexual conquests -- for that story spurred the sexual harassment lawsuit of Paula Jones. (She was portrayed by the Spectator as a willing bimbo simply named "Paula.") The Jones lawyers found Monica Lewinsky, the President lied about a sexual relationship with her, and the rest is Clinton scandal history, including Clinton admitting his sexual harassment of Jones with a nearly million-dollar financial settlement. That's hardly coming up "empty-handed."
In other words, the Scaife-funded probe found the kind of stuff Graham turns up his nose at when detailed about conservatives like Scaife. Indeed, Graham is careful not to repeat the tawdrier aspects of Scaife's divorce, which include, as Segal wrote, "a dog-snatching, an assault, a night in jail and that divorce court perennial, allegations of adultery."
Also, by claiming that "[m]ost of the details were personal," Graham glosses over the fact that Segal details the money Scaife doles out to various conservative causes. (A sidebar details Scaife's favorite recipients of his largesse, including a whopping $23 million to the Heritage foundation and nearly $18 million to the Free Congress Foundation.) The article also notes that Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review loses $20 a year and has cost Scaife $312 million to date. (One of the bones of contention is whether the Tribune-Review should be considered a business or a hobby, which will affect the size of alimony payments.)
We suspect that Graham and the rest of the NewsBusters crew would not be so sqeamish about such "personal" details if the person in question was, say, George Soros. Or Bill Clinton.
ConWeb's Latest Promotion of Its Favorite Convicted Felon Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily and CNSNews.com have resumed their shilling for their favorite convicted felon, Peter Paul, and his latest politically motivated and personal vendetta attack on Hillary Clinton, a film called "Hillary Uncensored."
Both an Oct. 22 WND article by Art Moore and an Oct. 22 CNS article by Fred Lucas tout the alleged popularity of the film's trailer. Moore, as he frequently does, called Paul a "business mogul" who "claims President Clinton destroyed his entertainment company." Lucas is slightly less fawning, referring to Paul as a "Hollywood businessman."
Both Moore and Lucas demostrate a lack of enthusiasm about discussing Paul's lengthy criminal history. Moore doesn't mention it at all -- Moore has previously done his best to whitewash Paul's criminality -- while Lucas mentions it only in passing, noting only that Clinton attorney David Kendall has "questioned the credibility of Paul, citing his previous felony convictions." Of course, that ignores Paul's current felony conviction, on a $25 million stock manipulation scheme for which Paul is awaiting sentencing.
WND's Moore repeated Paul's laughable assertion that "the film is not being 'directed by any right-wing group. It's not intended to have any ideological or political message at all, other than confirming what Machiavelli notices in Renaissance Italy, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' " In fact, longtime right-wing activist and Free Republic poster "Doug from Upland" (hiding behind a pseudonym, of course) was involved in the production -- as he has pointed out, he has "worked with Peter Paul for over two years on this" -- and is involved in promoting the film. Doug is a guy whose hate for all things Clinton is well documented in his Freeper posts. For instance, Doug wrote in promoting an upcoming screening of "Hillary Uncensored" at Dartmouth University:
Dartmouth will be a great venue. It was the recent scene of a Democrat debate. Peter Paul went to school there. Hillary went there for a Winter Carnival blind date and got ditched. Her date got stinking drunk (perhaps a good move considering the blind date).
Further, as we've noted, the Equal Justice Foundation of America, which also helped finance the film, appears to be little more than a proxy for Paul to attack the Clintons. And then, of course, there's all that free, fawning publicity from CNS and WND. If the film didn't have an "ideological or political message" in the form of bashing the Clintons, CNS and WND would not be promoting it -- and every other pronouncement by Paul -- so unquestioningly.
For Paul to portray himself as having no "right-wing groups" on his side is ludicrious on its face. Of course, WND and CNS -- being so far in Paul's pocket -- won't tell you that.
More Anti-Democrat Bias From CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
Last week, we noted that CNSNews.com's Susan Jones made the assumption that Democrats in Congress "apparently plan to play politics" with a bill while ascribing no such motivation to Republicans. She does it again in an Oct. 23 article.
The headline -- "Democrats Playing Politics With Veterans Funding Bill?" -- depicts the bias to follow, and the lead paragraph sets the tone: "Congressional Democrats are stalling a veterans funding bill, and Republicans want the nation to know that, as Veterans Day draws near." The article quotes only Republican leaders and makes no apparent attempt to contact any Democrat to respond to her (and Republicans') accusations.
Such biased writing plays into CNS' longtime assumption that Democrats are motivated only by politics while Republicans are not.
Scarborough Leaves Examiner Topic: Washington Examiner
MediaBistro reports that Rowan Scarborough has left the Washington Examiner, claiming that he's "retiring." But he was only at the Examiner since February; eight months into a new job is a strange time to "retire."
We have to wonder: Did our busting him on writing an egregiously biased article on CIA official Michael Sulick, thus perhaps forcing him to write a somewhat less biased follow-up (after we complained), play a part?
Times Change: 'Heroic Cop' Kerik Now 'Rudy Crony' Topic: Newsmax
We remember back in 2004, NewsMax vociferously defended then-homeland security secretary nominee Bernard Kerik from what it called an "unprecedented, full-scale attack" by the "leftist media." It attacked Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen for reporting "unverified incidents portraying Kerik as a bully who misused his authority," adding, "Even Jayson Blair covered his tracks better." Such attacks, NewsMax claimed, "hope to derail the nomination of a heroic cop the left fears will do an outstanding job of protecting the homeland and thus reflect credit on the man who picked him, President Bush."
How times change.
NewsMax was eventually forced to abandon its blanket defense of Kerik as the evidence of malfeasance and corruption continued to pile up. And now, in an Oct. 22 article, NewsMax is all to eager to hang Kerik around Rudy Giuliani's neck, reporting that Giuliani's presidential campaign "is increasingly concerned that the controversy swirling around ... Kerik could negatively impact his White House aspirations." NewsMax goes on to call Kerik a "Rudy crony" who "has been a thorn in Giuliani’s side for some time," adding that "after a week of press scrutiny, Kerik withdrew acceptance of the nomination, stating that he had unknowingly hired an undocumented worker as a nanny and housekeeper" without noting its own vociferous defense of the man.
Meanwhile, the main beneficiary of positive NewsMax coverage among Republican presidential candidates is Mitt Romney. Besides Ronald Kessler's creepy sycophancy, another Oct. 22 article cites an endorsement of Romney by Dr. John Willke, whom it calls "the doctor known as the founder of the pro-life movement." In a similarly sycophantic tone, the article adds: "Dr. Willke's fervent support should help erase doubts about Romney's commitment to the pro-life cause, which has been questioned due to his former position in support of abortion when he was governor of Massachusetts."
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 22 appearance by MRC president Brent Bozell on "Fox & Friends" followed the template: Bozell appeared solo, and the MRC was not identified as conservative.
NewsBusters Suddenly Loves Author It Used to Hate Topic: NewsBusters
An Oct. 22 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard touts a Slate article by Steven Landsburg raising questions about whether global warming policies are worth it since "climate policy is almost entirely about you and me making sacrifices for the benefit of future generations." Sheppard promotes the article as "must-reading for all Americans - including elected officials" even though Landsburg "is likely not a household name."
But Landsburg is not necessarily the conservative-friendly writer that Sheppard makes him out to be. Landsburg is the author of the book "More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics," which advanced the theory that those practicing "monogamy, chastity, and other forms of extreme sexual conservatism" are contributing to the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases because they are not widely involved in sexual activity, thus "reducing the fraction of relatively safe partners in the dating pool."
Tim Graham spent an entire July 9 NewsBusters post denouncing Landsburg ("a regular contributor to the liberal site Slate.com") and his "simple-minded thesis" ("He has not pondered that for religious people, armed with a sincere aspiration to avoiding the eternal consequences of sin, there is no convincing argument for casual dabbling in 'safe' sin or 'socially beneficent' sin"). Graham also attacked the New York Times for reviewing Landsburg's book: "Economics aside, this does not morally compute. Would the Times book editors pluck out of obscurity a tome that argued that people who don’t drive cause global warming? Pacifists cause wars? Vegetarians cause the mass slaughter of chickens?"
So, does this mean Landsburg is an OK guy now that he's writing something that dovetails with Sheppard's Gore-bashing agenda?
It's not often you see a ConWeb editor denouncing his own columnists, but Joseph Farah does just that in an Oct. 22 WorldNetDaily column criticizing WND columnist Vox Day's Oct. 15 column in which he made a few odd statements about Jews (which we've previously highlighted).
Farah soft-pedaled his criticism at first, saying that Day "went … well, shall we say, a little over the top," but then got more harsh, saying that Day's statement that "Vanity Fair has recently announced that a remarkable 51 percent of the Vanity Fair 100 Power List are Jewish in a country in which Jews make up approximately 2 percent of the population. Jews also make up 7 percent of the current House of Representatives, 13 percent of the Senate, and, according to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of 'The Israel Lobby,' roughly 100 percent of George W. Bush's foreign policy advisers" "strikes me, quite honestly, as hateful and Buchananesque nonsense." Pat Buchanan, by the way, is another WND columnist.
But then, Farah lists several State Department and Pentagon officials and asks, "Where are the Jews? It looks to me like Bush needs an affirmative action program to get some Jews involved in foreign policy." Farah ignores that a number of prominent neoconservatives who favored a war in Iraq (i.e., Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and William Kristol) are Jews, and that neocons, such as WND columnist Ilana Mercer, have tried to twist criticism of neocons into criticism of all Jews. Julia Gorin wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2004: "By 'neocons,' the left means the Jewish subset of neocons."
Farah also points out that Day's column "gets even meaner and uglier when it turns, in my mind, nearly threatening – blaming the victims of anti-Semitism and hatred for bringing it all upon themselves" by asserting that "Jews have worn out their welcome in literally dozens of countries over the centuries." Farah wrote: "Show me one place they were ever welcome? Again, the Christian Bible Vox Day reads, along with me, explains quite clearly the Jewish Diaspora would have a trying experience in which the Jews received no welcome. That's the way God planned it – not them."
All this is well and good, but why did it take a week for Farah to respond?
Meanwhile, Farah defends Ann Coulter, claiming she was a victim of an "ambush interview with Donny Deutsch." But Coulter willingly appeared on Deutsch's show and was the first to bring up the idea that everyone should be Christian -- hardly the definition of an "ambush." While Farah concedes that Coutler "could have handled" her claims "with more tact and sensitivity," he's mum on Coulter's later statement that "the Jews believe that my savior, a Jew, was a raving lunatic."
More Anti-Gore Rantings from Sheppard Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center's professional Gore-hater, Noel Sheppard, keeps up the bile in an Oct. 21 NewsBusters post, calling "An Inconvenient Truth" a "schlockumentary" and an "award-winning abomination," adding: "Gore’s film, though powerfully and convincingly presented, is indeed a work of fiction, and its veracity should be questioned with every conceivable opportunity. Any other conclusion is facile and devoid of logic."
The ostensible point of Sheppard's rant was to relay a report "famed climate change skeptic Christopher Monckton" purporting to find 35 errors in "An Inconvenient Truth." But as we've noted, Monckton (aka Lord Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley) has his own credibility problems that Sheppard has not seen fit to mention: One writer has described Monckton's work as "a mixture of cherry-picking, downright misrepresentation and pseudo-scientific gibberish." Further, by Sheppard's own standards, Monckton has no standing to discuss global warming. Monckton holds no scientific credentials, holding degrees only in classics and journalism; if you'll recall, Sheppard bashed Gore for getting bad grades in college and being "a terrible science student" who "clearly never excelled at anything relating to what folks in Norway and in the media consider him to be so expert at."
Indeed, Monckton's report -- credited as published by the Science and Public Policy Institute, a right-leaning group whose apparent mission is to attack the idea of global warming and whose president, Robert Ferguson, has received funding from at least one oil company -- gets off to a bad start. It accepts as part of those 35 purported errors the nine declared by a British court, but as we noted, one of those alleged errors is an attempt to conflate two separate calculations.
And neither Monckton nor Sheppard note that the British court also ruled that "four main scientific hypotheses" in the film are "very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC."
But Sheppard is too busy ranting to tell the truth. He accuses Gore of running an "indoctrination campaign aided and abetted by a green media and calls proponents of global warming "warm-mongers" who are "propagandist forces in our nation seeking to undermine our very way of life."
Sheppard clearly has a full-blown case of Gore Derangement Syndrome. Somebody get him to a doctor before he rants again!
An Oct. 21 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham promoting a Brent Bozell column attacking sex on TV carries the following headline: "Bozell: Hollywood Hates People Who Oppose Sex at 11."
Even Bozell himself in the column doesn't explicitly say that; the closest he comes is an assertion that "TV dramatists are now portraying those who want to keep children free and safe from premature sexual activity as mentally disturbed, even as a social menace."
But if Graham and Bozell really believe that "Hollywood Hates People Who Oppose Sex at 11," they've got bigger problems than we can help them with.
In writing about Katie Couric's upcoming "60 Minutes" interview with Valerie Plame, the boys at the MRC still can't stop misleading about Richard Armitage.
An Oct. 19 NewsBusters post by Kyle Drennen claims that a CBS promotion for the interview "completely leaves out the fact that person responsible for giving Plame’s name to Novak was former Undersecretary of State, Richard Armitage, who mentioned her name in an interview with Novak and was never charged with any crime." In another Oct. 19 NewsBusters post, Brent Baker similarly writes that "Novak got the name from Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a political enemy of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove who opposed the Iraq war."
Drennen and Baker are trying to falsely portray Armitage as the only person responsible for leaking Plame's identity. As we've pointed out, Rove and Scooter Libby also leaked her identity to reporters, and Novak confirmed Plame's identity with Rove.
An Oct. 19 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones reported that "Republican leaders" were asking following the failed override of the SCHIP bill if Democrats will "continue to play politics with children's health care, or will they finally work to reach a bipartisan agreement on renewing the legislation?" Jones then added: "Democrats apparently plan to play politics: They've promised to introduce another, similar bill -- changing it just enough to attract more Republican support. But Republicans say bipartisan negotiations are the only solution."
Um, doesn't the fact that Democrats are changing the bill "just enough to attract more Republican support" in indication that Democrats are, in fact, acting in a bipartisan fashion?
Further, Jones' statement that "Democrats apparently plan to play politics" plays into CNS' longtime assumption that Democrats are motivated only by politics while Republicans are not. Indeed, Jones makes no statement to readers that Republicans' demand for bipartisan talks on SCHIP is as much a political strategy as what the Democrats are doing.
Huston Attacks Reporting Site That Hasn't Reported Anything Yet Topic: NewsBusters
An Oct. 18 NewsBusters post attacks the newly announced investigative reporting website ProPublica for being funded by "a pair of left-wing billionaires responsible for funding such groups as the Center for American Progress and MoveOn.org and other far left Democrat backing organizations." He then tries to create a double standard:
How often do we see the MSM and other partisans attacking Fox News for being founded by Roger Ailes, a well-known conservative? Yet, the same is NOT the case for the founding of this new effort in "journalism."
It just amazes that the MSM is so blind to its own bias. They attack Fox News constantly because Ailes is a conservative, yet the advent of this new news source bought and paid for by left-wing extremists is met with unquestioning applause. How is it that a conservative MUST interject his bias into his product, but it is automatically assumed that a pair of super rich, leftist activists will leave their bias completely out of their so-called news?
Huston ignores an important distinction: ProPublica has yet to publish any articles -- its website states that "Operations will commence in early 2008" -- while Fox News has, well beyond merely being operated by Ailes, repeatedly demonstrated that it has injected conservative bias into its "product" -- something Huston curiously doesn't concede.
Even the Investor's Business Daily editorial Huston cites to back up his claims concludes by saying of ProPublica: "Let it be known by its product." If only Huston would do the same.
Farah Renews Call for Hollywood Blacklist Topic: WorldNetDaily
Back in 2003, we noted that WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah advocated the return of the Hollywood blacklist for "anti-American" actors (but mostly those who criticize President Bush). Farah makes the call again in his Oct. 17 column.
Farah proclaimed of the 1950s anti-communist blacklist era: "I spent years researching this period. I interviewed and spent time with many of the principals – including members of the [Hollywood] 10" who were blacklisted -- and then proceeds to get the name of one of them wrong. He refers to "Ring Lardner"; in fact, Lardner died in 1933. The person in question is actually Lardner's son, Ring Lardner Jr. Given the elder Lardner's distinction as an author in his own right, it's sloppy of Farah to refer to Lardner Jr. without the "Jr.," which raises the question of just how much research Farah has really done on the subject.
Farah also writes:
But there's a new breed of anti-Americanism deserving of punishment. A price needs to be paid for biting the hand that feeds Hollywood so well.
I don't think people should go to jail for their anti-American views. I just think they should never work in the entertainment industry again.
Farah offers no examples of "anti-Americanism" that must be "punished," instead asking his readers to make their own list. Probably a wise move, considering that last time Farah was portraying mere dissent as "anti-Americanism."