Topic: The ConWeb
How did the ConWeb react to Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize? NewsBusters slimed him, while Accuracy in Media dredged up old, discredited attacks. Read more.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
NewsBusters Bashes Carlin's Statement on Wildfires, Silent on Beck's
An Oct. 24 NewsBusters post by Justin McCarthy claimed that in an appearance on "The View," George Carlin "blame[d] the victims on the Southern California wildfires." Carlin said that because homeowners in forest areas "overbuild, they put nature to the test and they get what's coming to them."
McCarthy did not mention -- indeed, there is no mention anywhere on NewsBusters -- of conservative radio host Glenn Beck appearing to root for the destruction of liberals' homes in the wildfires by saying, "I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today."
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
WND Writer's Head Explodes At Idea That Dumbledore Is Gay
We've previously noted the anti-gay stylings of semi-offical WorldNetDaily columnist Linda Harvey -- she has claimed that "Open or suspected homosexuals should never be elected" because they are involved in "[w]eird sex, public displays of "affection" and nudity, and sex with youth." So with J.K. Rowling's revelation that Dumbledore, the Hogwarts Academy headmaster, is apparently gay, Harvey uses her Oct. 24 WND column to launch a tirade against not only homosexuality but the Harry Potter books as well:
Harvey offers no evidence to support her claim that "many teachers in public schools are now homosexual."
Jill Stanek Is 'The Media'?
From Jill Stanek's Oct. 24 WorldNetDaily column:
1) Um, no, Ms. Stanek, you are not "the media." You are, as the bio at the end of column states, a "pro-life leader."
2) Even if you were "the media," why are you attending "private meetings" regarding public political issues about which you are instructed "not to speak to the media"? Isn't meekly acquiescing to such demands the exact opposite of what someone in "the media" should be doing?
CNS Takes One-Sided View on Immigration
An Oct. 24 CNSNews.com article by Kevin Mooney goes all one-sided in quoting only "policy analysts," "citizen activists" and Republicans who oppose "comprehensive approach" to illegal immigration because "activist judges" are "likely to strike down enforcement measures while leaving 'amnesty' provisions intact."
Mooney quotes no proponents of "comprehensive" immigration reform, featuring instead claims by the anti-immigration Center for Immigration Studies and several Republican politicians. Mooney also features Marianne Davies, whom he describes as being among "citizen activists" who are "mindful of the judiciary's apparently permissive posture toward illegal immigration" and as a spokesman for You Don't Speak For Me, which portrays itself as "American Hispanic Voices Speaking Out Against Illegal Immigration."
Mooney quotes Davies making unsupported claims about the National Council on La Raza, including that La Raza has "successfully interjected [itself] into the judicial confirmation process where they lobby for activist judges" and that La Raza "was really formed for the purpose of advancing interests that closely correspond with the goals and objectives of the Mexican government." Mooney made no apparent attempt to contact La Raza for a response.
Mooney also cited praise for the CLEAR Act, which authorizes local and state officials to enforce federal immigration laws, paraphrasing Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell (whom Mooney fails to identify as a Republican) as saying that "at a time when illegal immigration is intermixing with organized crime, drug trafficking, and homeland security threats, the Clear Act will put police officers in a stronger position to trigger federal action." But Mooney fails to note that there is conservative opposition to the CLEAR Act: a 2004 article by the conservative Heritage Foundation asserts that an earlier version of the bill is "unnecessary" and that it "takes exactly the wrong approach, inappropriately burdening state and local enforcement and providing insufficient protections for civil liberties."
By contrast, an Oct. 24 CNS article by Nathan Burchfiel on the DREAM Act, which would open up a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, takes a somewhat more balanced approach, giving proponents as well as opponents a chance to make their case.
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:
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.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
ConWeb's Latest Promotion of Its Favorite Convicted Felon
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:
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
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'
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."
Monday, October 22, 2007
NewsBusters Suddenly Loves Author It Used to Hate
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?
Farah Belatedly Denounces Vox Day's Column
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
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!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Stupid Headline of the Day
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.
Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!
Accuracy in Media
Capital Research Center
Free Congress Foundation
Media Research Center
The Daily Les
Western Journalism Center
Support Bloggers' Rights!