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Tuesday, June 17, 2008
WND Lack of Disclosure Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A June 17 WorldNetDaily article by Sterling Meyers touts a new anti-public school book called "From Crayons to Condoms." Nowhere does the article mention that the book is published by WND's book division.

WND has a long history of failing to disclose its financial and personal interests in the people and causes it covers. As we've detailed, WND has a longtime animus toward public schools -- an agenda this book serves nicely.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:32 PM EDT
NewsBusters Thinks TNR's Kirchick Is a Liberal
Topic: NewsBusters

A June 16 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston praises a Los Angeles Times op-ed by The New Republic's James Kirchick purporting to claim that President Bush "never lied to us about Iraq." Warner calls Kirchick a "lefty," and his headline describes Kirchick as a "liberal TNR editor."

Er, not so much.

Last August in a Boston Globe op-ed, Kirchick declared himself a "gay recovering leftist," pointed out that "most people knew me as "the gay conservative" for a column I wrote in the school paper," complained that liberals are "the most intolerant people I’ve ever met" (as opposed to him, "the supposedly closed-minded conservative") and asserted, "But there’s nothing about my homosexuality that dictates a belief about raising the minimum wage, withdrawing immediately from Iraq, and backing teachers’ unions: all liberal causes that I strongly oppose."

Huston began his post by stating, "James Kirchick, assistant editor of The New Republic, has come under NewsBusters scrutiny for his bias before, of course." Again, not so much; the only two other articles under Kirchick's tag at NewsBusters are by Mark Finkelstein -- the first incorrectly calls Kirchick "a blogger from the left," and the other, in the vein of Huston, praised Kirchick for writing in "the liberal New Republic" that the New York Times is "in the tank for Obama."

As Eric Alterman points out, The New Republic has supported the Iraq war, was once edited by conservative-leaning Andrew Sullivan and Michael Kelly, was formerly owned by conservative-leaning Martin Peretz and is currently owned by CanWest, a conservative-leaning Canadian publisher -- all things that make it less than the "liberal" publication Finkelstein would like you to believe it is.

UPDATE: George Zornick at Altercation points out the misleading claims Kirchick makes. Don't expect Huston to make note of this.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 3:59 PM EDT
Monday, June 16, 2008
Liberty Counsel Selectively Bothered by Polygamy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In an op-ed published June 16 by WorldNetDaily, Steve Crampton, vice president for Legal Affairs and general counsel of the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel, asserted that the California Supreme Court ruling overturning a ban on same-sex marriage "legitimizes polygamy," claiming that "polygamy is generally considered beyond the pale" and noting "the highly publicized case of the Texas polygamy sect and the concern for the young women alleged to have been 'married' to the older men in the sect."

Interestingly, though, a search of Liberty Counsel's press releases for 2008 shows that it has not weighed in on the Texas polygamist sect case. If Crampton and Liberty Counsel were really concerned about polygamy, wouldn't it have injected itself into the Texas case by now?

As we've noted, WND has not been terribly concerned about the actual polygamy aspect of the the polygamist cult and defending the right of the parents to marry their children off into polygamist relationships.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:15 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barbara Simpson, in her June 16 WorldNetDaily column, feels the need to liken Barack Obama to a corrupt dictator:

Tell me quick: What kind of president has Robert Mugabe been for Zimbabwe during 28 years in office?

If you depend on mainstream media, you probably don't know.

On the other hand, tell me quick, what are the specific accomplishments of Barack Obama – his qualifications for office – his specific plans for this country if elected?

If you depend on mainstream media, you probably don't know.


But, I repeat myself.

[...]

I do not believe that Obama is a nascent tyrant, but his policies and aims for this country are socialist, which is Marxist-communism light. November's election could change this country dramatically with an increased heavy hand of government control.

Remember: When Robert Mugabe was first elected, he was hailed by the West, the U.S. and indeed, Jimmy Carter, as essentially being Zimbabwe's savior.

Consider what's happened – and Carter has never said a word.

Many people regard Obama as our "savior."

That makes me nervous.

It makes us nervous that we still have five months to go in the election and WND is already peddling this kind of smear.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:11 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 12:51 AM EST
Matt Barber's New Gig
Topic: The ConWeb
Matt Barber, whose anti-gay activism we profiled earlier this year, is leaving Concerned Women for America to work as associate dean for career and professional development with Liberty University Law School and director for cultural affairs with Liberty Counsel, the school's right-wing legal organization. (h/t Pandagon)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Ted Baehr's Anti-Gay Attack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ted Baehr uses his June 14 WorldNetDaily article to argue that there are so few homosexuals in the United States that not only should they not be allowed to get married, movies shouldn't be made that appeal to them.

No, really:

[O]n June 4, the Wall Street Journal reported that in advance of the "June 17th day that will live in infamy," "hotel chains, small inns and wedding venues [reported] a surprisingly small number of gay wedding reservations," even though the hotels were offering package deals and discounts rates to sodomite couples.

This seems to confirm what MOVIEGUIDE® has found with respect to homosexual movies. Although there are a lot of homosexual movies, there are very few homosexuals to support such movies. When I do interviews with hosts who have developed the effete accent of those who choose alternate lifestyles, I usually ask them, "If there are so many homosexuals, why don't you just show up and show off at the box office?

In fact, in the last five years, overt homosexual movies, including well-known films like "Brokeback Mountain" and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" and such losers like "Transamerica," "Another Gay Movie," "Shortbus," "Breakfast on Pluto," "Kinky Boots," "The History Boys" and "Adam & Steve," averaged only $7.97 million at the box office. In contrast, movies with very strong Christian worldviews have averaged $76.97 million, or 10 times more money!

If there are very few homosexuals who show up at the box office, or who show up to get married, it could mean that the press, the government and businesses have vastly overrated their size and importance. That would mean that a very small minority is dictating the Judeo-Christian laws of the United States of America, or at least California.

[...]

I can only continue to challenge them to show up and show off at the box office. If they don't, then the movie industry should stop wasting money on this tiny group, and the government of California should be embarrassed that they have allowed a tiny group of Mensheviks to rule the state, destroy marriage and tyrannize the people!

Note the hatred Baehr is demonstrating toward gays with the use of terms like "sodomite couples" and the ridiculous stereotype that anyone who might speak in support of gay rights does so in an "effete accent."

Perhaps this is because Baehr can't figure out a way to make money promoting "overt homosexual movies"; after all, he was found a few years back to have accepted money to promote movies his Movieguide site positively reviewed without disclosing that financial relationship to its readers (a practice WND's Joseph Farah has defended -- perhaps not surprising given WND's long history of failing to disclose business and personal interests in the people and groups it promotes).

Baehr's column fits in nicely with WND's anti-gay agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EDT
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

A June 15 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham declares that the Washington Post is "celebrating homosexuality and the oncoming push against the 'hateful' influence of traditional religion by putting the Capital Pride Festival on the front page of its Friday 'Weekend' section."

Huh? The article in question says nothing about pushing against the "hateful influence of traditional religion" -- or anything about religion, period -- nor does Graham offer any evidence the issue of religion was brought in any other related article.

And Graham plays into the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy by claiming that the Post is "celebrating homosexuality" when it is merely publishing an article about people celebrating homosexuality. There's a difference, even if Graham wants to pretend there isn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:38 PM EDT
Corsi Misleads on Gorelick
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A June 13 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi begins:

A panel of Democratic Party legal heavyweights speculated Jamie Gorelick, former deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, could be appointed attorney general if Barack Obama were elected president.

But Corsi offers no evidence that this was, in fact, the case, other than Gorelick saying what she would do "if she were appointed attorney general in an Obama administration."

Corsi went on to claim:

Attorney General John Aschroft pinned blame on her for issuing a 1995 memo that established a "wall" between the criminal and intelligence divisions, hindering the ability of the U.S. government to detect the Sept. 11 plot.

Ashcroft contended the document by Gorelick [pdf file] helped establish the "single greatest structural cause" for 9/11, which was "the wall that segregated criminal investigators and intelligence agents."

In fact, as we've detailed, the "wall" was created in 1978, and Gorelick claims that her memo actually permitted freer guidelines regarding the exchange of information than what was eventually approved. Also, Ashcroft's Justice Department formally reaffirmed those guidelines in August 2001. Corsi failed to note Gorelick's response.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 AM EDT
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Waters Falsely Suggests Conservatives Didn't Spread False Obama Rumor
Topic: NewsBusters

In a June 13 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item), Clay Waters responded to a New York Times claim that rumors of a video of Michelle Obama "making a racially tinged speech" was "circulating on conservative blogs" by asserting: "Hate to break it to the Times, but this rumor first appeared on Hillary supporter and (liberal loose cannon) Larry Johnson's blog No Quarter back on May 16, a full two weeks before the Obama site's timeline showing that Limbaugh mentioned the rumor on his radio show."

But that doesn't disprove the claim that the rumor was "circulating on conservative blogs." Indeed, a blog post on May 16 -- the same day Johnson made his post -- at conservative TownHall.com repeats Johnson's claim, teasing, "it might be big -- if it's true." Free Republic also repeated the rumor that very same day.

So the answer to Waters' headline question -- "Did 'Conservative Bloggers' Spread Michelle Obama Video Rumor?" -- is a very emphatic yes, despite what Waters wants you to think.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 AM EDT
Friday, June 13, 2008
MRC's Praise of Russert At Odds With Reality
Topic: Media Research Center

A statement by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell reacting to the death of "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert reads in part:

Whenever I’ve been asked to give examples of a fair, balanced and honest journalist, Tim Russert’s name was the first name that came to mind. This was a view shared by everyone and the ultimate testimony to his professionalism.

Er, not quite everyone at the MRC. From a June 5 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard promoting a rant by right-wing radio host Mark Levin:

Playing audio clips of NBC's Tim Russert and MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Levin accurately demonstrated how the sycophantic adoration exhibited by the press for the junior senator from Illinois during this campaign is a bias and a journalistic disgrace likely worse than anything Americans have ever witnessed concerning a presidential candidate.

A May 28 NewsBusters post by Geoffrey Dickens criticized Russert for having "built up [Scott] McClellan's credibility" regarding McClellan's new book "as he trumpeted, 'This is not Moveon.org.'"

A Feb. 28 CyberAlert item suggested Russert was "engaged in a childish game of gotcha" during a Democratic presidential debate by asking Hillary Clinton who the successor to Russian president Vladimir Putin is:

But if the fact that Dmitry Medvedev will assume the Russian presidency is an important fact, Russert and his co-moderator, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, have utterly ignored it as journalists.

[...]

Russert may have thought he was exposing the candidates' lack of knowledge, but he also exposed the superficiality of NBC News.

And a Feb. 27 NewsBusters post by Seton Motley ripped "Meet the Press" as an example "of all that is wrong with the Jurassic Press" because Russert had as a guest historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, whom Motley accused of plagiarism.

And that's just this year. There are likely other instances in which the MRC has called Russert something other than a "fair, balanced and honest journalist."

We're all for speaking nice of the dead -- something the MRC learned the hard way -- but such praise should perhaps have at least some basis in reality.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:00 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Barack Obama campaign phenomenon increasingly resembles the 1973 science fiction movie "Soylent Green" more and more with each passing day.

[...]

Replace the movie's scenes of huge crowds who desperately gathered for food with the television images of Obama's super-sized campaign rallies, where disaffected voters frantically gather to see the pseudo-messianic figure of Obama deliver vacuous promises of "change" and "hope."

I feel a bit like Charlton Heston's character from the movie, knowing the secret of what was in Soylent Green, but finding it difficult to get people to wake up to the sickening reality.

-- Melanie Morgan, June 13 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 PM EDT
Another WND Promo Disguised As 'News'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Apparently learning the WorldNetDaily ropes, Alyssa Farah dips her toe in the promotion-disguised-as-a-"news"-story pool with a June 11 article claiming that "Bookends, a non-profit organization that provides used children's books to LAUSD inner-city schools," rejected the donation of copies of the WND-published children's book "Jose Gonzalez, Great American" -- which purports to impart the lesson that "it is personal pride, self-reliance and a love of learning, not special preferences, that are the keys to becoming not just a good citizen but a great American" -- as "unfit" for the Los Angeles schools.

What's wrong with this article?

  • Farah quotes only the book's author, Tony Robles; she made no apparent attempt to talk to anyone from Bookends.
  • While Farah puts "unfit" in quotes, she never attributes it to anyone.
  • Farah offers no evidence whatsoever that this incident actually happened -- only Robles' one-sided story.

All of which are violations of basic journalistic practice and ethics. This tells us that her dad, WND editor Joseph Farah, is falling down on his homeschooling by failing to properly instruct his daughter in the ways of journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 AM EDT
Jeffrey Hates Public Transportation
Topic: CNSNews.com

Terry Jeffrey really, really hates public transportation.

in his June 12 column, the CNSNews.com editor claims that "Recent evidence that automobile use is declining in America and that some Americans are making significant -- and in some cases not readily reversible -- changes in their lives because of escalating gas prices should be worrisome signs for those who love liberty."  One of those changes is a move to "socialized transportation" -- better known to the rest of us as public transportation.

Jeffrey does grudgingly admit that "roads generally are constructed by government, albeit with funds extracted from the earnings and gasoline purchases of drivers" -- though he doesn't admit that such a scheme is arguably socialist too -- then goes on to complain that "In a socialist transportation system, the government takes the taxpayers' money and purchases vehicles -- often buses or trains -- for itself or a government-funded agency. Where and when these vehicles go is determined by the government."

Jeffrey went on to express shock that one change people have made in reaction to record-high gas prices is that "8 percent have taken public transportation"; he responds that "Hopefully, the 8 percent who have taken to socialized transportation represents a trend that can be reversed."

The hilarious thing about Jeffrey's column is that his place of employement, aka the Media Research Center headquarters, is located within walking distance of a stop on one of the better public transportation systems in the world (the Washington Metro), as well as an stop for Amtrak and a regional passenger railroad. Further, several bus lines run within a few blocks of MRC HQ.

Somehow, we suspect that Jeffrey doesn't take the Metro to work (and we're almost certain he doesn't take the bus). But we also suspect that a number of MRC employees do. Does the MRC provide free parking? And are there enough parking spaces at MRC world headquarters for all of them?

Seems like Jeffrey and the MRC should be putting their money where his mouth is. 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EDT
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein's 37th anti-Obama article for WorldNetDaily (versus just one attacking John McCain) is a June 12 piece essentially claiming that Obama is lying when he says he "has never been a Muslim" because he purportedly was "quite religious in Islam" as a child.

As we pointed out the last time Klein tried to bring this desperate smear up, Klein wants you to believe that what Obama did as an 8-year-old has direct bearing on him now -- that's like holding people who dreamed of being, say, cowboys or ballerinas as a child accountable for not being cowboys or ballerinas now.

As he failed to do then, Klein offers no evidence now why this should be the standard to which anyone should be held, let alone Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EDT
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Noel Sheppard Double Standard Watch (Again)
Topic: NewsBusters

One favorite NewsBusters trope is to cherry-pick a generally obscure pro-Republican, andi-Democratic factoid and dare the "liberal media" to report it -- while, of course, itself engaging in the double standard of refusing to note corresponding factoids that make Democrats look good/Republicans look bad.

Noel Sheppard -- who did this very thing a few days ago -- does it again in a June 11 post, this time about a Democratic senator who won't endorse Obama (but will still vote for him).

But lookie here:

At least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse or publicly support Sen. John McCain for president, and more than a dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator.

Do you think that Sheppard or any other MRC employee will make note of this? Highly unlikely (though a commenter on Sheppard's post does).


Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 12, 2008 2:03 PM EDT

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