AIM Still Misleading About 'Path to 9/11' Topic: Accuracy in Media
From a Nov. 16 Accuracy in Media column by Roger Aronoff:
Bill Clinton himself showed his mastery of manipulating the media when he lined up some senators and others to put pressure on ABC when the network announced plans to air “The Path to 9/11,” a September 2006 miniseries demonstrating how Clinton’s inaction on terrorism may have contributed to the horrendous act of terror committed on that fateful day. The pressure resulted in certain cuts favorable to Clinton being made in the film that eventually aired.
In fact, as we've pointed out, the problem with "The Path to 9/11" was not that it criticized the Clinton administration; it was that it lied in doing so. Conservatives like Aronoff have clung to the idea that the miniseries -- writtten by conservative activist Cyrus Nowrasteh -- was factually accurate when, in actuality, it portrayed the Clinton administration in a more negative light than the facts warrant and the Bush administration in a more positive light than the facts warrant.
WND Mum on Minutemen Controversies Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've long noted that WorldNetDaily pledge of "hard-hitting investigative reporting" doesn't apply to conservatives. WND keeps up that selective enforcement of its purported mission of being "a light exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power" by ignoring controversies surrounding a group it has long championed.
Over the past year or so, as David Neiwert detailed, a rift has been developing between the Minuteman movement's co-founders, Jim Gilchrist and Chris Simcox, and questions have been raised over where the money raised by the Minutemen has gone. Earlier this month, CNN reported that the border fence the Minutemen are attempting to build in Arizona -- promised to be 14 feet high and topped with razor wire -- is instead a mere 5-foot-high wire-mesh cattle fence.
WND has devoted no original coverage whatsoever to this controversy -- surprising since it has been among the Minutemen's biggest boosters, even touting the Minutemen's fence project in an April 2006 article.
Perhaps WND is a little too cozy with the Minutemen to tell the truth. As we've noted, Simcox was a featured player in then-WND writer Jon Dougherty's anti-illegal-immigrant book (in which he whitewashed the weapons violations of Simcox and allegations of pistol-whipping of a border-crosser against a Simcox collegaue). Last year, current WND writer Jerome Corsi also co-authored with Gilchrist a book about the Minutemen, which we somehow suspect also whitewashed the Minutemen's misdeeds.
It appears that WND isn't going to report anything negative about the Minutemen -- which means it will not be telling its readers the truth.
We see that in a Nov. 17 NewsBusters post, you declare the headline "Bush Death Watch: Countdown!" on a San Francisco Chronicle column to be "unimaginably deranged," adding, "if heads don't roll at the San Francisco Chronicle for this one, something is really wrong in this nation."
Well, we noticed that NewsBusters, under its "Editor's Picks," lists a post by the blogger JammieWearingFool. This blogger recently posted a Photoshopped image of Hillary Clinton being shoved in front of a subway train by Rudy Giuliani, which he has declared to be "satire."
As NewsBusters associate editor, will you hold JammieWearingFool to the same standards as the San Francisco Chronicle? Will there be heads rolling at NewsBusters for promoting a blogger who posts images that are, to coin a phrase, unimaginably deranged?
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.
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.
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 numerousclaims 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.
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.
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.
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."
Jeffrey Misleads on Clinton and NIE Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Nov. 15 CNSNews.com 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.
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.
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.
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'venoted, Newsmax still engages in its fair share of Clinton-bashing.
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.
WND Misleads on Holiday Lights Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gearing up for yetanother 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.