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Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Gore Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

A Jan. 30 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd notes that Current Media, the company co-founded by Al Gore that operates the Current cable channel, has filed for an initial public stock offering, then adds: "Of course, it’s never made a profit and the vast majority of its revenue comes from cable companies paying it for the privilege of carrying Current. ... Paying up the nose with no return on investment to appease the green movement. Sounds a lot like carbon credits."

Funny, when Newsmax filed for an IPO back in 2002, we don't recall anyone at the MRC expressing concern that it had "never made a profit," as we detailed. Further, all cable channels receive those "affiliate fees" that cable companies pay; Shepherd offers no evidence that Current's business model is any different from any other cable channel.

Gore doesn't seem to be doing anything out of the ordinary. So why is Shepherd so desperate to ridicule and smear him?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EST
Sheppard Hearts Willey
Topic: NewsBusters

A Jan. 29 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard touts a WorldNetDaily column by Kathleen Willey, which he calls a "public warning" to Obama "outlin[ing] some of the tactics Willey believes the Clintons might use against Obama to thwart his presidential candidacy." (Willey's bio at the end of the article rather hilariously calls her a "popular commentator on current events.") Sheppard then writes: "Think Willey will be Harry Smith's guest on the "Early Show" some time soon? No, I don't either."

Think Sheppard will ever tell his readers about Willey's credibility problems? No, we don't either. 


Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 AM EST
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Another One-Sided WND Story
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Most news organizations, when they outline criticism against someone, give that person an fair opportunity to respond. Not WorldNetDaily; as we've detailed, WND has a problem telling both sides of the story.

That tradition continues in a Jan. 29 article by Aaron Klein, in which he claims that Robert Malley, a foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama, "has penned numerous opinion articles ... petitioning for dialogue with Hamas and blasting Israel for numerous policies he says harm the Palestinian cause." Klein quoted one "israeli security official" -- anonymous, of course -- saying that Malley "expressed sympathy to Hamas and Hezbollah and offered accounts of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that don't jibe with the facts." Klein made no apparent attempt to contact Malley for a response.

Klein also wrote:

Malley also previously penned a well-circulated New York Review of Books piece largely blaming Israel for the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David in 2000 when Arafat turned down a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and eastern sections of Jerusalem and instead returned to the Middle East to launch an intifada, or terrorist campaign, against the Jewish state.

But nowhere does Klein actually quote from Malley's piece to support his contention or to contradict anything Malley wrote.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:01 PM EST
Clinton Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax
A Jan. 29 Newsmax column by Lowell Ponte describes the Clintons as "a demented and devious duo of egomaniacs who will go down in history alongside the crazed Emperors Caligula and Nero of the late Roman Empire."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST
Agenda-Laid-Bare Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

Another reminder that the MRC's mission is less about "balance" and more about being offended that positive things are being said about liberals at all comes from Tim Graham in a Jan. 29 NewsBusters post, in which he rails against "at least two completely sickening moments for conservatives" -- as his headline puts it, "puke points."

The first is calling the Kennedys "American royalty," which Graham claims "conservatives would like ... to be a trap-door phrase or a Nerf ball-pasting phrase." The second was "Paul Begala with his usual embarrassing over-praise of Bill Clinton," to which Graham responds: "Let's hope Begala has been well-paid for making statements that are so fawning they make Bambi blush."

Graham added that "Begala then turned even more desperate in tone, suggesting that some in the media hate Clinton so much, it's like mental illness." Graham doesn't comment on that, perhaps because it hits a little too close to home.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 PM EST
Sheffield Still Flailing Away at NYT Stock Structure
Topic: NewsBusters

A Jan. 28 NewsBusters post by Matthew Sheffield continues his flailing away at the New York Times Co.'s stock structure, in particular praising "Morgan Stanley's audacious attempt to end the Times's dual-class share system which enables the radical leftist Sulzberger family to continue running the paper into the ground by giving it almost-exclusive control of the NYT Co.'s board of directors."

As we've noted, Sheffield never criticized the pre-Rupert Murdoch structure of the Dow Jones Co., owner of the Wall Street Journal -- which had the same type of dual-tier stock -- all but admitting his double standard that his NYT criticism is based on what he thinks are its "radical leftist" policies, while Dow Jones while not taking the Journal's right-wing editorial pages into consideration.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EST
Monday, January 28, 2008
Unclear on the Concept
Topic: NewsBusters

A Jan. 28 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston ascribes the views of a single article to that of the entire New York Times: "Through the pessimistically, penumbrous pen of Parag Khanna, the New York Times has declared that the U.S.A. is finished. Yes, we have lost our 'global hegemony' and we will find that by 2016, 'America’s standing in the world remains in steady decline.' "

But the Times didn't just run a single article by neoconservative William Kristol; it hired him as a regular columnist. Shouldn't that mean, using Huston's logic, that the Times is a hotbed of neoconservatism?

Or is it just that Huston is utterly obtuse on the concept of a newspaper permitting the airing of diverse views? He is obtuse is so many other areas...

Posted by Terry K. at 5:33 PM EST
LeBoutillier Embraces Sampley As Source
Topic: Newsmax

In his Jan. 28 Newsmax attack piece on John McCain, John LeBoutillier lists as one of the reasons why McCain is "totally out of step with the GOP voters": "He has a terrible anger problem. (See Ted Sampley's excellent article at the US Veteran Dispatch.)"

Sampley is a longtime hater of McCain best known for calling him a "Manchurian candidate" -- a meme Paul Weyrich tried to spread about McCain in 2000 -- and for punching a McCain staffer, for which he was sentenced to two days in jail, six months probation and an order to stay away from McCain. Sampley was also behind an anti-McCain screed mailed to media outlets in South Carolina before the recent primary that appropriated Swift Boat Vets imagery (spelled "Swift Boot Vets for Truth). Sampley's website also features a picture of Barack Obama doctored to loook like an African savage.

Is this a guy LeBoutillier really wants to rely on as a source of information?

McCain is a prime target at Newsmax today: Diane Alden and Ronald Kessler also weigh in with anti-McCain pieces. In a bit of insider dealing, Kessler cites LeBoutillier as a source, quoting him as saying, "I think [McCain] is mentally unstable and not fit to be president."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:12 PM EST
One-Sided Reporting Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in 2003, we detailed how WorldNetDaily told only one side of the story in the case of William Kennedy, former editor of Conservative Digest who was convicted on charges of racketeering, mail fraud and money-laundering and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Kennedy has been trying to get out of prison ever since, snagging a new lawyer in Christian writer Craig Parshall and a defense funded by "Left Behind" co-author Tim LaHaye.

It appears that Kennedy is still at it. The Jan. 28 edition of James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" radio show details his case, insisting he was "unjustly imprisoned for white collar crimes" that "he did not commit." We haven't listened to the show yet, but we suspect that, like WND, Dobson won't be telling the full story either.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 AM EST
Farah Tosses Softballs to Vox
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted that, despite WorldNetDaily's regular proclamation that it has a "fiercely independent editorial mission with no sacred cows," WND has plenty of them. WND demonstrates it again in editor Joseph Farah's Jan. 28 interview of columnist Vox Day to promote Day's new book, "The Irrational Atheist."

Farah tosses nothing but softballs at Day, culminating with, "When are you going to lose that ridiculous mohawk and grow a righteous mustache like mine?" Thus, Farah sidesteps holding Day accountable for some of his most notorious assertions, including:

  • His approvingly citing the Nazis as a prior example of how millions of people can be removed from a country (ultimately scrubbed from Day's WND column on orders of Farah himself).
  • His statement that "Jews have worn out their welcome in literally dozens of countries over the centuries" (which Farah is on record as criticizing, if belatedly so).
  • His opposition to women being able to vote. 

Looks like we can add a new sacred cow to WND's herd. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EST
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Ponte's 'Serious' Questions
Topic: Newsmax

In a Jan. 25 Newsmax column, Lowell Ponte offers up some "serious" questions that "might be asked of Clinton if a genuine journalist seriously interrogated her." Here are a couple:

Mrs. Clinton, will you pledge that as president you will never appoint to any federal court, including the U.S. Supreme Court, anyone who has had a law license suspended for unethical behavior? Of course, your husband Bill Clinton’s license to practice law was suspended for five years for lying under oath in a court case.


In Africa, Barack Obama and his wife volunteered to be publicly tested for HIV, not because they feared having it but to set a good example that encouraged others to take such tests on this AIDS-plagued continent.

In that spirit of encouraging others, will you and your husband prior to the Democratic National Convention volunteer to be tested for HIV, and to make the results of these tests public?

Unlike past presidential candidates, you and your husband have refused to make your medical records available to reporters — although your 1993 health plan would have opened every citizen’s health records to any curious government bureaucrat.

Of course, Ponte doesn't mention -- as a "serious" questioner presumably would -- that President Bush has also refused to fully release his medical records. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EST
Saturday, January 26, 2008
WND Columnist Misleads on KKK Ties of Democrats
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously detailed how conservatives have decided that only conservatives, and not liberals, are permitted to use the plantation as a political metaphor. WorldNetDaily columnist Ellis Washington is an upholder of that standard.

Washington keeps it up in his Jan. 26 WND column chastising an unnamed "preacher" for giving "support to your mistress" -- that is, Hillary Clinton -- "as she, though shorter than you, looked down to you and upon all who witnessed this spectacle." Washington offers no evidence that Clinton "looks down" on blacks. Ellis goes on to add:

Black preachers across America have been in the forefront of controlling black people's political liberty every election year by demanding their flock vote for a political party that has an unashamed history of undermining your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations under the guise of helping you. On this point, Rev. Preacher, you and your colleagues have been like the overseers of the plantation during slavery times. You have been accorded just enough power by "Masser" to keep those in your charge "on the plantation"; otherwise, what use are you to the Democrat Party?

Guess all that conservative outrage over Clinton using "plantation" as a political metaphor was hypocritical and meaningless, eh, Mr. Washington?

In his zeal to bash Democrats, Washington also gets his facts wrong. he writes:

Jefferson's first promise to all Americans in the Declaration of Independence was denied to your people from the beginning by the evil institution of slavery. Later, by Democrat politicians largely from the South and also by their de facto Brownshirts, the Klu Klux Klan. Two of the KKK's most notable members, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, are both proud Democrats – their infamous membership in the KKK never repudiated by the Democrats to this day.

As we've noted, Byrd has, in fact, repeatedly apologized for his Klan membership. As for Black, evidence suggests that he was a member for a couple of years in the 1920s out of a combination of political expediency and anti-Catholic animus, not out of racist sympathies. Anyway, his record of championing civil rights -- which Washington curiously fails to mention -- far outstrips his Klan link; as a review of a Black biography notes, "he wrote a ringing opinion upholding the rights of four southern blacks from whom police had coerced a confession of murder" and "Black more than paid for his KKK affiliation with his support of the 1954 school desegregation decision, which rendered him until almost the end of his life a virtual exile in his home state [of Alabama]."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 26, 2008 11:29 AM EST
Friday, January 25, 2008
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 25 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi about "ad in which the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee charges the U.S. government surreptitiously utilizes gold reserves to engage in international swaps and other market manipulations" features statements by Swiss America Trading Corp.'s Craig R. Smith. Amazingly, Corsi includes the following statement: "Swiss America, a WND advertiser, specializes in investment-quality numismatic gold coins."

That's a big switch from a couple years ago, when WND didn't disclose in Smith's column that he was a WND advertiser, and has failed to disclose Swiss America's status as an advertiser in previous "news" articles (such as Joseph Farah infamous plagiarism incident). Indeed, WND has a longtime aversion to disclosing conflicts of interest.

But there's one bit of disclosure Corsi didn't make along with that: he co-wrote a book with Smith. It's noted in Corsi's bio at the end of the article but not where he disclosed that Swiss America is a WND advertiser. As we've detailed, Corsi has not disclosed in any of his recent attacks on the Minuteman Project's Jim Gilchrist that he co-wrote a book with Gilchrist.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:32 PM EST
CNS Suggests Hillary Quid Pro Quo It Doesn't Prove

A pair of Jan. 24 articles by Fred Lucas suggest malfeasance by Hillary Clinton that it doesn't bother to actually prove.

The first states that Clinton "secured more than $1 million in federal funding last year for a Harlem-based non-profit whose leader gave her presidential campaign a major endorsement last weekend." The second states that the Gay Men's Health Crisis Center "received a $303,000 federal earmark pushed by" Clinton, after which two officials of the roup donated a total of $1,000 to Clinton's PAC; Lucas adds that "A number of other non-profit organizations in New York state that received Clinton earmarks also had employees who contributed to her presidential campaign or political action committee, HillPAC." Nowhere does Lucas offer any evidence beyond the circumstantial to support the quid pro quo he suggest exists, though the latter article appears to take more offense that federal money was given to a group with "Gay Men" in its name.

Further, the CNS articles cover only Clinton, even though the Citizens Against Government Waste press release on earmarks by senators who are presidential candidates that ostensibly inspired Lucas' articles lists both Democrats and Republicans as responsible for earmarks. Wanna bet CNS never quite gets around to examining the quid pro quo aspects of the earmarks by Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EST
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Farah's Double Standard on Secret Societies, Redux
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah smacks around the Davos conference:

I'm deeply troubled by this kind of forum – whether it's the World Economic Forum or the Trilateral Commission or the Bilderberg Group.

These private meetings, far from the public eye and excluded from ethics laws and sunshine requirements, are anathema to the American way of life and the ideals upon which this nation was founded – namely national sovereignty and independence.


The whole purpose of these exclusive gatherings is to avoid the light of public scrutiny.

As we noted the last time he whined about secret gatherings, Farah belongs to his own secret society that " far from the public eye and [is]excluded from ethics laws and sunshine requirements" -- the Council for National Policy. The CNP recently barred all media except friendly ones -- like WND -- from covering a meeting in Salt Lake City, and WND offered the only news to come from it, presumably only after receiving the express permission of CNP officials.

Farah has thus far "avoided the light of public scrutiny" by refusing to disclose to his readers his CNP membership. Why?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 PM EST

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