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Saturday, November 17, 2007
Graham Criticizes Praise of Clinton
Topic: NewsBusters

Is merely saying something nice about anyone named Clinton proof of "liberal bias" in the eyes of the Media Research Center? It appears so.

A Nov. 17 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham laments that "sadly," in a Rolling Stone interview, Bono "turned to how Bill Clinton was a genius in talking with the IRA (his role in Irish peace was hailed by the media during his presidency)."

We've previously noted that Graham thinks the Clintons are presumed guilty even when they've been declared innocent. It appears that Graham will never credit the Clintons for things done right. This doesn't exactly bode well for the veracity of his new book.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:37 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 17, 2007 10:58 AM EST
WND Ignores That Swift Boat Vets Have Been Discredited
Topic: WorldNetDaily


A Nov. 16 WorldNetDaily article reports that " Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has accepted a $1 million offer by Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens to anyone who can disprove a single charge of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that challenged his Vietnam war record during the 2004 presidential race." The article also claims that "the group maintains none of its many charges were debunked, pointing out Kerry himself never responded, other than to call them liars," adding, "Mainstream media also repeated the assertion that the claims against Kerry were debunked, without providing evidence."

In fact, numerous claims the Swift Boat Vets made have been discredited. WND makes no mention of this, even though it claimed that Kerry was forced to "backtrack" statements he made, while citing only one instance of Kerry allegedly doing so.

The WND article also notes that Pickens "donated $3 million the swiftboat vets during the 2004 election." 

UPDATE: In a Nov. 17 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard similarly ignores the Swift Boaters' debunked claims. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 17, 2007 11:49 AM EST
Friday, November 16, 2007
Graham Goes On Defense Again Over His Book
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham is apparently the designated defense guy regarding misleading claims made by his co-author, Brent Bozell, in relation to their (factually dubious) anti-Hillary book. In response to a Media Matters (my employer) item pointing that Bozell's claim that Hillary Clinton "was behind the whole FBI-gates" (the obtaining of confidential FBI records by some administation officials) was contradicted by independent counsel Robert Ray's conclusion that she was not "engaged in criminal conduct to obtain through fraudulent means derogatory information about former White House staff," Graham retorted in a Nov. 16 NewsBusters post:

But when special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald declined to indict Karl Rove in the Valerie Plame matter, Media Matters certainly didn’t find that Rove was then free of suspicion.

By contrast, of course, Graham's MRC colleagues did just that. For instance, in an Oct. 28, 2005, NewsBusters post, Brent Baker declared that Rove's non-indictment was a "vindication" for him. The numerous claims by NewsBusters posters that since Richard Armitage was revealed to be the person who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak that it somehow negates the fact that Rove was also leaking Plame's identity to journalists play into this sense of "vindication" as well.

Ignoring this, Graham goes on to insist that he be allowed to continue to push this double standard: "Finally, consider that when Team Clinton says there's no 'evidence' of a Clinton scandal, the destruction or disappearance of evidence will always by suspected by conserrvatives." In other words, the Clintons are always guilty, even when they've been found innocent. Graham's invoking the ConWeb's Clinton Exception, in which the Clintons are held to standards not applied to others, especially conservatives.

UPDATE: Graham's post also appeared in the Nov. 16 MRC CyberAlert

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 17, 2007 10:47 AM EST
Unruh Furthers WND's Misleading About Holiday Displays
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 16 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh about proposed guidelines for holiday displays in Fort Collins, Colo., like an earlier unbylined WND article on the subject, is vaguely written so as not to clearly explain that displays apply only to those on city property and do not apply to private displays.

Further, repeating an omission from the previous article that refutes Unruh's assertion that holiday displays on city property would be limited to "neutral and non-religious decorations," Unruh fails to mention that the proposed guidelines would permit the display of menorahs and creches.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:53 AM EST
Updated: Friday, November 16, 2007 11:55 AM EST
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

Dan Gainor of the MRC's Business & Media Insititute appeared on the Fox Business channel on Nov. 15. While only an edited-down cliip of the appearance has been posted on NewsBusters, it appears that it follows the template by having Gainor appear solo, and we can presume that nobody mentioned the fact that Gainor and BMI are conservative.

Interesting side note: the BMI front page touts "Dan Gainor’s weekly appearance on the Fox Business Network." Do any non-conservative business organizations get such consideration?

And on the Nov. 13 edition of "Fox & Friends," MRC president Brent Bozell was the beneficiary of a fawning interview to plug his new (factually dubious) anti-Hillary book.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 AM EST
Updated: Friday, November 16, 2007 10:24 AM EST
Sheppard Thinks Juan Williams Is A Liberal
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 15 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard touted how "well-known liberal journalist" Juan Williams "slamm[ed] the owner of Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas," calling it "stunning" and "something you don't see every day."

In fact, Williams has supported the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas, repeated misleading information about Democrats and repeatedly runs to the defense of Bill O'Reilly. Is that the behavior of a "liberal"?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 AM EST
Jeffrey Misleads on Clinton and NIE

In a Nov. 15 article, editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey wrote that during a June Democratic presidential debate, CNN's Wolf Blitzer "challenged Clinton on her failure to read the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq that had been produced for Congress in the fall of 2002 specifically to give senators and representatives the intelligence community's best understanding of the situation in Iraq, before they had to decide whether or not to authorize the use of force in that country. Having not read the NIE, Clinton nonetheless voted to authorize a war." Jeffrey claimed that Clinton "gave a 189-word answer that did not directly answer the question" and that after asking the question again, "Blitzer still did not get a clear answer from Clinton." Jeffrey added that Blitzer "then went on to put the same tough question to former Sen. John Edwards, who also voted to authorize the war in Iraq without having first read the National Intelligence Estimate."

Missing from Jeffrey's article are the responses that Clinton and Edwards actually gave, which refute Jeffrey's suggestion that the only possible way to have given an informed vote on authorizing the use of force in Iraq was to have sat down and read the entire NIE.

Clinton responded that she "was thoroughly briefed. I knew all the arguments. I knew all of what the Defense Department, the CIA, the State Department were all saying. And I sought dissenting opinions, as well as talking to people in previous administrations and outside experts." Edwards responded: "I think it's true that I was on the Intelligence Committee -- and I don't think Senator Clinton was, but I was on the Intelligence Committee. I received direct information from that. I met with former high-level people in the Clinton administration who gave me additional information. And I read the summary of the NIE. I think I had the information I needed."

Such a misleading article by CNS' editor-in-chief coincides with other evidence that Jeffrey is taking CNS in a more aggresively biased direction. 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Thursday, November 15, 2007
New Article: The Clinton-Hater Is Dead, Long Live the Clinton-Hater
Topic: WorldNetDaily
NewsMax may be toning down its anti-Clinton rhetoric, but WorldNetDaily is plowing full speed ahead with its old-school Clinton smears. Read more.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EST
MRC Flip-Flops, Defends McCain
Topic: Media Research Center

How times change. As late as August, the Media Research Center (in the personage of Brent Bozell's Aug. 29 column) was deriding John McCain as a "liberal media darling." Now, the MRC is running to McCain's defense.

A Nov. 14 MRC CyberAlert by Brent Baker attacks CNN's Rick Sanchez for "[t]rying to create a scandal over Republican presidential candidate John McCain's failure to rebuke a woman supporter who called Hillary Clinton a 'bitch,'" complaining that "Sanchez's spin matched that of left-wing bloggers." Baker added that Sanchez "haughtily intoned" his report.

A Nov. 15 NewsBusters post by Baker repeats the attack on Sanchez, happily noting that CNN host and Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz (another person the MRC normally despises) stated that the "little incident was pretty badly hyped by Rick Sanchez."

But if the MRC hates McCain for cozying up to the so-called liberal media, why is it defending him now? Why should it care that McCain is embroiled in a controversy? Perhaps because when the chips are down, it will defend any Republican and attack any non-Republican -- thus making it an unofficial adjunct of the Republican National Committee -- as we noted when the MRC flip-flopped on Chris Matthews.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EST
Newsmax Mag's Clinton Article Really Is Positive
Topic: Newsmax

So we picked up a copy of the current issue of Newsmax's magazine, the cover story of which is a profile of Bill Clinton's life after the presidency, to see if is really as positive as Christopher Ruddy's recent atypical fawning over the guy suggests.

The answer is yes. The article (not online) has numerous nice things to say about Clinton, noting that he "has reinvented himself as an extrordinary pitchman for charitable causes globally and "never appears at a loss for energy or vision." It offers friendly views of the Clinton Global Initiative and his friendship with former president George H.W. Bush, played down played the usual conservative attack on Clinton's private life and even touted a quote from a psychotherapist who said that "Bill Clinton is the embodiment of the American Dream" for coming from humble circumstances. Even a sidebar profile of "Bill's Ultra-Rich Buddy," Ron Burkle, is told in a straightforward manner.

The only arguably negative parts are a few paragraphs spent on Clinton's "finger-wagging rage" during an intervew with Fox News' Chris Wallace and an accompanying unverified anecdote by Richard Miniter, a conservative author who is not described as conservative, and a sidebar on the post-presidency activities of other former presidents that bashes Jimmy Carter and fails to mention Watergate in regard to Richard Nixon, noting only that he was "[d]isbarred by the State of New York in 1976."

The article was written by Edward Sigall, who, near as we can tell, appears to be this guy -- a person who, despite a long career at the National Enquirer, describes himself as "[o]ne of America’s most respected editors and writers."

In his column in the magazine (also not online; it's a partly rewritten version of his Sept. 14 online column), Ruddy endeavored to draw a line between his Clinton-hating antics of the past and his fawning behavior of today:

Our regular readers may be suprised this month to see Bill Clinton gracing the cover of our newly redesigned magazine. That's because thorugh the years, Newsmax and I have done our share of Clinton-bashing.

Let me make it clear that the focus of our coverage this month is on his years after leaving the White House and how he has remolded the job of a post-president into a powerful private post.

As we've noted, Newsmax still engages in its fair share of Clinton-bashing.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2007 10:25 AM EST
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
WND Columnist Wrong About Florida Recount
Topic: WorldNetDaily

From a Nov. 5 WorldNetDaily column by Michael Ackley:

Democrats like Mrs. Clinton also refuse to acknowledge the inconvenient truth that every subsequent recount, by every partisan organization, by every nonpartisan organization, by every news organization, concluded that George W. Bush won Florida.

In fact, in at least four different scenarios, Gore would have won Florida. 

Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 PM EST
WND Misleads on Holiday Lights
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Gearing up for yet another misleading "war on Christmas," a Nov. 6 WorldNetDaily article claiming that Fort Collins, Colo., is considering "banning red and green lights at the Christmas holiday because they fall among the items that are too religious for the city to sponsor" is misleadingly written. The article is vaguely written enough to leave the impression that such a ban would apply to all displays in the entire city, including private ones, when in fact it only applies to holiday displays on city property.

Further, WND failed to note that the city's holiday display task force recommended numerous "symbols incorporating light" for display on the grounds of the city's museum, including religious symbols WND ought to approve of such as a creche and a menorah.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 PM EST
Bozell Can't Stop Lying About Hillary, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell's Hillary mendacity continues: Media Matters reports that in an appearance on Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes," Bozell claimed that Hillary Clinton "was behind the whole FBI-gates," an apparent reference to FBI files reportedly obtained by the Clinton White House. Unfortunately for Bozell, independent counsel Robert Ray determined that "there was no substantial and credible evidence that any senior White House official, or First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, was involved in seeking confidential Federal Bureau of Investigation background reports of former White House staff from the administrations of President Bush and President Reagan.''

Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 PM EST
Ponte Attacks Matthews, Smears Clinton
Topic: Newsmax

In his Nov. 13 NewsMax column, Lowell Ponte declares that the "now-menopausal" MSNBC host Chris Matthews is "in love" with Barack Obama, claiming that Matthews' expressed approval of a recent speech Obama gave "reflects the sensibility of aging boomers who came of age in the era of JFK, Bobby Kennedy, honorable poet Eugene McCarthy, the Rev. Martin Luther King, anti-Vietnam War protests, the Summer of Love, hippies, and chemically-altered consciousness." Ponte seems to have somehow overlooked the fact that Matthews has asserted that John McCain "deserves to be president," as well as other expressions of support for Republicans and attacks on Democrats that contradict Ponte's description of Matthews as a "liberal baby boomer."

Ponte then writes:

Former President Bill Clinton now describes Hillary’s political rivals as “boys.”

To Northern ears, Mr. Clinton seems merely to be belittling Hillary’s opponents, suggesting that they are behaving like children by “piling on” her.

But to Southern ears — and Bill Clinton was born in the segregated, Democrat-ruled state of Arkansas, whose first ray of civil rights enlightenment came when Republican President Dwight Eisenhower sent troops to integrate Little Rock schools — Clinton’s use of this code word carries a different meaning.

In the racist Arkansas of Bill Clinton’s youth, African-American men were called “boy” to denigrate them and assert white supremacy.

Because Barack Obama is Hillary Clinton’s main rival, the only candidate with high enough popularity and money to overtake her, Bill Clinton’s use of this racist epithet “boy” falls most heavily on him.

The Clintons poll, test, and focus-group everything. So when Bill Clinton aims a racially-loaded word like “boy” at Barack Obama, this is no accident. It is a calculated attempt to evoke white racist feelings at an almost subliminal, subconscious level as a way to help elect Hillary.

Ponte, offers no evidence whatsoever that Clinton was referring to Obama specifically when calling Hillary's opponents as "boys."

Does Ponte also think that the Southern term "good ol' boy" has some kind of "code word" racist connotation as well? Does this mean that when Ronald Reagan referred to "states' rights" in a speech in Mississippi while running for president in 1980, he was also sending a "code word" to "Southern ears"? Do tell, Mr. Ponte.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EST
Bozell Can't Stop Lying About Hillary
Topic: Media Research Center


We've noted that in promoting his new anti-Hillary book, Brent Bozell falsely asserted that Time magazine "introduced her to the country as an 'amalgam of Betty Crocker, Mother Teresa, and Oliver Wendell Holmes.'"

He's still doing it: In a Nov. 13 National Review article, Bozell and Tim Graham wrote that "Time’s Margaret Carlson describing her as 'an amalgam of Betty Crocker, Mother Teresa, and Oliver Wendell Holmes.'" We'll let TPM's Greg Sargent do the honors this time:

Carlson was actually mocking Hillary supporters for presenting her in such glowing terms. But Bozell and Graham cheerfully told National Review's readers that Carlson herself had presented her in these terms. Even more amusingly, they held this up as proof of the media's liberal bias.

I know, I know, this is just garden variety wingnut mendacity. Standard fare. Low-hanging fruit. Still, it was definitely worth a quick laugh.

Bozell and Graham go on to complain in their National Review article that they and others in the "alternative media" are "blasted as 'Clinton haters' and 'persecutors' straight out of the 'vast right-wing conspiracy'" for "having the temerity to seek the truth." But their book's lead claim is not only false, it's easily proven to be false.

The reason Bozell and Graham are "blasted as 'Clinton haters'" is because, in fact, they are.

UPDATE: Graham defends his and Bozell's quoting of the Time article in a Nov. 14 NewsBusters post, insisting that Carlson "described Hillary that way, and we think it's emblematic of the pro-Hillary media goo" and that entire article shows that "Margaret sounds exactly like the 'gushing and cringe-worthy' Hillary friends that get sent out to spin the media." But that's not what Graham claimed in the National Review article (and their promo copy); they didn't go after the whole article. And Graham's suggestion that because Carlson "described Hillary that way" that it is, ipso facto, an accurate reflection of her personal opinion of Hillary brings to mind Graham's attempt to falsely ascribe the opinions of people quoted in a Washington Post article about Che Guevara to the person who wrote the article.

UPDATE 2: Sargent responds here.

Also worth noting out of Graham's response is this snide aside: "Let’s put aside for a moment the point that Hillary doesn’t come anywhere close to Betty Crocker (she wouldn’t be caught dead making Bill’s dinner every night, when there are servants for that)." And Graham is purportedly offended by being called a "Clinton-hater"?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 4:06 PM EST

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