Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's "special reports" purporting to demonstrate liberal media bias have holes big enough to drive misleading claims through. Read more.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Sheppard Just Can't Stop Smearing Gore
A Nov. 19 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard begins: "As NewsBusters readers are well aware, we have for months been chronicling Nobel Laureate Al Gore's profit motive concerning the advancement of climate change hysteria."
Well, actually, no. As we've detailed, Sheppard has regularly attacked Gore for making money in connection with his global warming activism, but he has never provided evidence to support his central thesis -- that Gore is involved in global warming activism for the sole purpose of making money.
Sheppard couldn't even confine today's outbreak of Gore Derangement Syndrome to a single post; he penned another Nov. 19 post featuring the smear that Gore "could be this decade's Ken Lay." Again, Sheppard offers no evidence that Gore is motivated only by the Benjamins.
In fact, given his aggressiveness in making false and misleading claims about global warming, one might more rationally conclude that it is Sheppard, not Gore, who is the mercenary, hurling smear after smear in order to rake in the cash that the MRC sends his way as a NewsBusters associate editor, plus whatever he might be taking on the side from the the various energy industry-funded interests that typically fund claims by folks like Sheppard. He needs to disclose such connections to his readers so we can judge if he is any purer than Gore.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Did WND Columnist Call Hillary Worse Than Manson?
From a Nov. 19 WorldNetDaily column by Mark Crutcher:
The current Democratic front-runner is Hillary Clinton, which means Crutcher is calling Hillary worse than Manson. Nice burst of Clinton Derangement Syndrome there, guy.
UPDATE: Crutcher's statement meshes well with the anti-Clinton paranoia gripping the rest of WND.
AIM Still Misleading About 'Path to 9/11'
Topic: Accuracy in Media
From a Nov. 16 Accuracy in Media column by Roger Aronoff:
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
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.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Dear Noel Sheppard ...
Dear Mr. Sheppard:
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?
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Graham Criticizes Praise of Clinton
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
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.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Graham Goes On Defense Again Over His Book
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:
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.
Unruh Furthers WND's Misleading About Holiday Displays
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?
Sheppard Thinks Juan Williams Is A Liberal
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"?
Jeffrey Misleads on Clinton and NIE
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.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
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.
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