ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Graham Has a Fit Over Ayers
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 10 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham has a hissy fit over the Washington Post's gossip column noting that "unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers is coming to downtown Washington for a book event at a radical coffeehouse." Graham seemed especially put out that the writers "breezily discuss" the appearance under a "cutesy headline." (Apparently, gossip columns aren't supposed to use cutesy headlines and breezy discussions.)

No mention, of course, on his employer's rather close relationship with another unrepentant domestic terrorist: G. Gordon Liddy.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EST
Caruba Smears Obama Voters

Alan Caruba uses his Nov. 10 column to declare that those who voted for Barack Obama are brainwashed idiots:

Many of those who helped elect Barack Obama as the next president represent a very different generation of Americans from earlier ones.
They have passed through the politically correct indoctrination of government/union controlled schools and have little accurate knowledge of history, geography, or civics with which to make informed judgments. They are more the product of popular media and culture than any previous generation.

Caruba then purports to paraphrase "dedicated communist" Antonio Gramski to suggest that Obama's election is the result of a communist conspiracy.

A little Obama Derangement Syndrome there, Alan?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 AM EST
NewsBusters Falsely Portrays Reported Statements as Reporters' Opinion
Topic: NewsBusters

Kristen Fyfe writes in a Nov. 10 NewsBusters post:

"Controversial." "Onerous." "Ideologically offensive."  These are the words used by Washington Post reporters Ceci Connolly and R. Jeffrey Smith to describe the pro-life policies of President George W. Bush.  The liberal slam came in an article about some of the early actions President-elect Obama will take when he is inaugurated next year.

"Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions" was carried in the November 9 edition of the Post.  The story revealed that Obama is "now consulting with liberal advocacy groups" in order to create a hit list of "the most onerous or ideologically offensive" regulatory and policy initiatives of the Bush administration.

In fact, the Post itself stated no such thing. From the Post article:

A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration. The team is now consulting with liberal advocacy groups, Capitol Hill staffers and potential agency chiefs to prioritize those they regard as the most onerous or ideologically offensive, said a top transition official who was not permitted to speak on the record about the inner workings of the transition.


Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's.

In fact, the Post didn't call Bush's "pro-life" executive orders -- or any other specific executive order -- "onerous" or "ideologically offensive"; a "top transition official" made that claim about executive orders in general, and the Post simply reported it. And the executive order regarding embryonic stem cell research is described as "controversial" because, well, it was. Fyfe offers no evidence that it wasn't; nevertheless, she baselessly asserted that the story "left no doubt as to the reporters' feelings on pro-life initiatives."

As we've previously reported, MRC writers have a problem with falsely ascribing the views of the people the Post writes about to the Post itself.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Monday, November 10, 2008
Speaking of Child Abuse ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah spends his Nov. 8 WorldNetDaily column getting worked up over a video of a teacher at one of "the government indoctrination centers we euphemistically refer to as public schools" yelling at her students, which he calls "nothing short of child abuse" and "an extreme example of the kind of indoctrination that goes on in public schools around the country."

As we've noted, Farah seems to prefer this kind of child abuse and indoctrination.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 PM EST
Sheppard's Domain of Misinformation Grows
Topic: Washington Examiner

Noel Sheppard isn't content with limiting his misinformation to NewsBusters.

A Nov. 10 Washington Examiner op-ed by Sheppard falsely blames stock declines on the two days following the presidential election were solely attributible to Barack Obama's victory, asserting that "there's no question this represented Wall Street's vote of no confidence in Obama's economic plans for the future."

In fact, as Media Matters points out, even the Fox Business Channel agrees that stocks dropped on Nov. 5 due to the release of a pair of reports showing lower employment and increased layoffs. Further, the Wall Street Journal reported that stocks dropped on Nov. 6 due to further signs of a weakening retail sector and anticipation the release of the monthly federal unemployment report.

Sheppard also curiously failed to mention that stocks closed 248 points higher on Nov. 7.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:48 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

Warner Todd Huston, in a Nov. 10 NewsBusters post, freaks out over Obama transition team leader Valerie Jarrett misspeaking by saying that Obama will "rule" on the first day of office:

It's a word that reflects the worst fears that people have for Obama the "arrogant," the "messiah," that imagines he's here to "rule" instead of govern.


Someone needs to get to Jarrett and inform her that American politicians are not Kings and do not "rule" from office. But if this is the attitude of Obama's transition team, what does The One himself imagine he is about to unleash? Could the fears that Obama thinks he is being anointed America's King be far off with this sort of talk flying about?

Time for your medication, Warner ... 

Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EST
Will Brennan Admit Newsmax's Brazen Bias?
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 9 Newsmax article by Phil Brennan makes a big deal out of the Washington Post's ombudsman "admitting" the paper was "in the tank for Barack Obama" and exhibited "brazen bias" during the presidential campaign. He adds:

Put another way, if the young Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, a conservative Republican and person of color, was running against an elderly liberal Democrat for president, would the coverage have been so kind to Jindal?

To ask the question is to answer it.

Of course, the Post could only hope to be as biased as Newsmax, which consistently defended John McCain and repeatedly peddled false and misleading attacks on Obama. Brennan, meanwhile, likened Obama to Hitler.

At least the Post has an ombudsman. Where is Newsmax's ombudsman to take the website to task for its right-wing bias? Will it ever correct the false and misleading claims it made about Obama? Will Brennan admit that his work for Newsmax strips him of any moral standing to criticize the bias of other news organizations?

As Brennan might say, to ask these questions is to answer them.

UPDATE: As Eric Boehlert points out, the Post didn't actually admit to any bias, as Brennan claims; the Post ombudsman merely tallied up raw numbers but made no conclusions about the content of the articles. Further, Brennan ignores the fact that a notable portion of criticism of McCain in the paper came from its conservative columnists.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 10, 2008 4:41 PM EST
Then And Now
Topic: NewsBusters

Out of Control: Chris Matthews Drops F-Bomb In MSNBC Rant Against Bush

-- Headline on Feb. 7, 2007, NewsBusters post by Rich Noyes, who went on to portray the F-bomb as evidence that Matthews was going "even further off the deep end."

Scarborough Apologizes For Accidental F-Bomb

-- Headline on Nov. 10 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein, who went on to give Scarborough a pass: "For folks that get up in the middle of the night to get ready for their show, and have just come through covering an historically long and grueling campaign, it's surprising that more of these mishaps haven't made their way onto the air.  Scarborough was clearly mortified, his chief dread apparently that of going home to face his wife. Let's call a 5-yard penalty on Joe for unintentional roughness."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 AM EST
Poe Scales Back the Drama
Topic: Horowitz

Since Richard Poe went all drama queen on us when Republicans lost control of the Congress in 2006, we thought we'd check in with his personal blog to see how he reacted to the more devastating (to him) loss of John McCain in this election. He lacks the flourish of his previous citation of St. Jerome, but he gives it a shot, promoting a Human Events article in which he is quoted and asserting, "George Soros is Obama’s principal patron. He created Obama. An Obama presidency will be a Soros presidency."

In a comment, Poe goes on to throw out some baseless speculation:

Soros’ long-standing support of Hillary was one of the factors which led me to write, “The Fix is in for Hillary“, back in January.

After all the time, money and energy Soros had invested in Hillary, I could not understand why he would suddenly turn around and support her opponent. For that reason and others, I presumed that Obama’s candidacy must be some sort of ruse or decoy — a ploy to give people the illusion that Hillary faced real opposition.

Now I’m not sure what to think.

If you'll recall, Poe labored for several years at various David Horowitz operations -- which are heavily funded by Richard Mellon Scaife and other conservative philanthropists -- so his concern about billionaires having too much influence in politics is more than a tad hypocritical.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 AM EST
WND Still Pushing Corsi's Lies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 9 WorldNetDaily article repeats Jerome Corsi's lie that Barack Obama "raised an alleged $1 million for Odinga to run for president in Kenya in December 2007." As we've detailed, the only evidence Corsi has forwarded to support this claim are documents that are clearly fake.

The article goes on to uncritically repeat a claim, also forwarded by Corsi, that Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga "says Obama's father was his maternal uncle" without noting that it too has been debunked.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 AM EST
Gainor Baselessly Blames 'Liberal Bias' for Newspaper Woes

A Nov. 3 column by the MRC's Dan Gainor cites Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell noting complaints from readers that the Post is "too liberal," then adding:

Imagine an ordinary company – like McDonald’s or Sprint – ignoring the wishes of their customers and producing products no one wants. When the American automotive industry runs off the road, the media want to hang management, but when their own industry is falling victim to self-inflicted wounds, they have no clue what to do.
Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. That explains the mindset when journalists are shocked that they keep producing biased news and their industry collapses financially.
Here Howell is being told by the paper’s customers that it is a biased piece of propaganda, and yet she refuses to listen.

But Gainor offers no evidence that "liberal bias" has anything to do with the Post's declining circulation. Gainor concedes that "technology [is] partially to blame," but then claims that "that discounts their immense failure of the public trust." But Gainor himself discounts the role of "technology" -- that is, the overall shift of readers from print to web.

Indeed, Editor & Publisher reported that traffic on the Post's website in September jumped 42 percent from a year ago -- suggesting that the Post's product is not something that "no one wants," as Gainor portrays it.

We've previously noted MRC employees' insistence on blaming "liberal bias" for declining newspaper circulation even though the print-to-web paradigm shift is a much more logical and provable explanation.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EST
Updated: Monday, November 10, 2008 12:50 AM EST
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Speaking of Brent Bozell...
Topic: Media Research Center

We've previously noted Brent Bozell's assertion that Barack Obama ran "as a Reaganite" despite claiming before the election that Obama was a socialist. Media Matters' Jamison Foser highlights something else that we missed:

How much of a fraud is Bozell? In 1998, Bozell claimed the media weren't paying enough attention to Monica Lewinsky -- at a time when there were 500 news reports a day on the topic. Now he's alternately claiming Obama is a "socialist" and a "Reaganite." And in his column last week, he complained that a recent Project for Excellence in Journalism study overstated the extent of negative coverage of Obama by including "talk-radio hosts from Rush Limbaugh to Randi Rhodes" who are supposed to "express an opinion." But that complaint is completely false. The study in question specifically excluded talk radio. It's right there in the study's methodology: "Talk radio stories, which are part of PEJ's regular NCI, were not included in this campaign study of tone." If Brent Bozell tells you the sun is shining, you better grab an umbrella.

Oops. Don't expect Bozell to correct this, of course.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 PM EST
WND's Loony Poll of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The WorldNetDaily poll question of the day: "What primary mistake did John McCain make that denied him the election?"

The current leading answer: "Despite having an inexperienced, cliche-spouting, terrorist-appeasing, socialistic and possibly constitutionally unqualified opponent, he wouldn't attack."

Spouting such discredited nonsense is the danger of relying on WND for news.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:25 PM EST
WND Still Lying About Obama's 'Civilian National Security Force'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 6 WorldNetDaily article begins:

President-elect Barack Obama raised questions during an election campaign stop in Colorado Springs when he asserted the U.S. needs a "civilian national security force" that would be as powerful, strong and well-funded as the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force, but few of those questions have been answered.

False. As we've detailed, Obama has said that the reference is to "teams that combine agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside our military."

Further, as Media Matters points out, in the speech referenced by WND in which Obama made the remark, he expanded on it by proposing to expand the Foreign Service, AmeriCorps, and the Peace Corps.

Similarly, a Nov. 7 Newsmax article promoted right-wing radio host Bob Grant's reference to Obama's remark, and Ann Coulter's response that it "[s]ounds like there’s gonna be a lot more Waco raids, Elian Gonzalez snatchings" without bothering to tell the full truth about Obama's statement.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 AM EST
NewsBusters Gets Touchy
Topic: NewsBusters

Have the election results rendered the boys at NewsBusters a little touchier than usual? It seems so:

  • Noel Sheppard devotes an entire post to how CNN's election-night hologram experiment weren't really holograms but tomograms, accusing CNN of "misrepresent[ing]" the images.
  • Mark Finkelstein decided to frame Barack Obama's reference to "a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any séances" as him "mocking an elderly widow ... who was recently released from the hospital after breaking her pelvis in a fall."

Jeez, chill out, guys.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 AM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« November 2008 »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google