We've previously noted that CNS passed along discredited information in a Nov. article on a breakthrough in stem cell research. CNS has now done done twomore articles on the research; they, like the first one, quotes only supporters of the research and critics of embryonic stem cell research, which the breakthrough research -- which turns skin cells into something resembling embryonic stem cells without the use of actual embryos -- purportedly would make obsolete.
Missing from CNS' reports is a crucial statement from one of the lead researchers on the breakthrough. The New York Times reported that James A. Thomson, leader of the University of Wisconsin team that helped research the breakthrough, said that "it would be premature to abandon research with stem cells taken from human embryos." That statement is found nowhere in any of the three CNS articles on the subject.
Is this a violation of CNS' stated mission to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story" -- or does it not consider embryonic stem cell research to be a "legitimate" story it is compelled to "fairly present"?
WND Still Misleading On Border Patrol Agents Topic: WorldNetDaily
Earlier this year, we detailed how WorldNetDaily has distorted the case of two Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting an illegal immigrant. A Nov. 21 WND article by Jerome Corsi keeps up the distortions.
Corsi's article is entirely devoted to accusations by a "Border Patrol activist group" that the U.S. attorney who prosecuted the Border patrol agents, Johnny Sutton, of suborning perjury in the case. At no point does Corsi indicate that he contacted Sutton or any of his representatives to allow them to respond to the charge, even to the statement that "Sutton is an overzealous prosecutor, just like Mike Nifong in the Duke University case."
Corsi also, in recounting the case, hides important details that conflict with his vision that the agents are innocent. Corsi sums it up this way:
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean are in solitary confinement in federal prisons serving 11- and 12-year terms respectively for shooting Aldrete-Davila as he fled across the border on foot after bringing 750 pounds of marijuana across the Texas border.
Corsi ignores the fact that the salient reason Ramos and Compean were convicted was that they tried to cover up their involvement in the shooting by picking up their shell casings afterwards and failing to file an incident report on it. And Corsi's making a big deal about Ramos and Compean being "in solitary confinement" ignores the fact that the reason they are in solitary confinement is because Ramos was assaulted when he was in the general prision population -- where Ramos was placed after Corsi complained that Ramos was "held in solitary confinement treated as if he were Charles Manson," despite the fact that imprisoned law enforcement officers are typically held separately from the rest of the prison population. (Yeah, Corsi made a big deal out of the assault, too.)
Corsi needs to decide whether he wants Ramos and Compean in solitary confinement or not -- as well as decide whether he wants to actually become the real journalist he pretends to be and tell both sides of the story.
Sheppard Advocates Violence Against Liberal Columnist Topic: NewsBusters
In a Nov. 20 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard seconds indicted Tom DeLay's claim that he would like to "bitch-slap" New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, calling the idea "delicious" and adding, "Don't you love it when you find out that leading political figures in America think just like you?"
So much for fellow NewsBuster Tim Graham's suggestion that conservative bloggers are more civil than liberal ones...
CNS Repeats Discredited Claim About Stem Cells Topic: CNSNews.com
A Nov. 20 CNSNews.com article by Patrick Goodenough on "news of a breakthrough in stem cell research that some ethicists believe could spell the death knell for the controversial science of cloning human embryos for their cells" claimed that research involving "adult stem cells from non-controversial sources like bone marrow and placentas ... have -- unlike in the case of ESCs [embryonic stem cells] -- already reportedly yielded dozens of treatments."
As we noted the last time CNS made this claim -- forwarded by anti-embryonic stem cell researcher David Prentice -- Prentice's list of ailments treatable by adult stem cells has been discredited; FDA-approved adult stem cell treatments are available for only nine diseases.
Criticism of Bush = 'Anti-American' Topic: NewsBusters
A Nov. 20 NewsBusters post by Kyle Drennen noted a CBS segment on a group of American bridge players who held up a sign saying "We didn’t vote for Bush" during the World Bridge Championship in China last month. After repeating a transcript of the segment describing positive reaction to the sign, Drennen added: "Isn’t being anti-American fun?"
So a mere public statement that you didn't vote for Bush makes you "anti-American"? We must not have gotten the memo.
We note at Media Matters that Dick Morris has upped his dosage of Clinton Derangement Syndrome in his Nov. 19 Newsmax column, calling Hillary Clinton "the commander of the Clinton secret police" and Clinton campaign communications director Howard Wolfson a "KGB enforcer look-alike."
New Article: Not-So-Special Reports 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.
Sheppard Just Can't Stop Smearing Gore Topic: NewsBusters
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.
Did WND Columnist Call Hillary Worse Than Manson? Topic: WorldNetDaily
From a Nov. 19 WorldNetDaily column by Mark Crutcher:
First, even though the Democrats are poised to nominate someone who could probably make Charles Manson seem like the lesser of two evils, a significant part of the Republican base does not see the Giuliani as any better.
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:
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.