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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Newsmax Features Claims of Discredited Researcher
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 10 Newsmax article by Phil Brennan cited a discredited researcher in claiming voter fraud in the Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. Brennan repeated claims by "John Lott, writing for Fox News," to suggest that "it appears to be too much of a coincidence that Minnesota's one tight race just happens to be the race with the most "corrected" votes by far."

As Media Matters detailed, Lott -- a favorite go-to researcher for right-wingers -- has been caught using fraudulent data, has been accused of lying about it to cover his tracks, and of using a fake Internet persona to hype his own falsified work.

Brennan has previously repeated right-wing speculation that purported voter fraud will tilt the election Democrat Franken's way.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EST
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
WND Misleads on Another Gun Case
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has a bad habit of uncritically repeating claims made by the right-wing Gun Owners of America without verifying them, let alone bothering to tell the full story.

WND does it again in a Nov. 10 article reporting on the case of David Olofson, who is serving a prison sentence for, according to WND, "simply for loaning a broken gun to a friend." The truth is much more complicated than that -- not that WND will tell you.

WND writes that "The case arose when Olofson loaned an Olympic Arms AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to a friend, who fired it at a gun range. The weapon reportedly misfired, letting loose several shots at the same time, and drew the interest of authorities." Americans are largely prohibited from owning fully automatic weapons. WND regurgitates GOA's claims that "There is nothing illegal about owning an AR-15 that occasionally misfires."

Here's what WND won't tell you, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert said Olofson knew or should have known the gun in question fired automatically.

"This was a man who has considerable knowledge of weapons, considerable knowledge of machine guns," Clevert said. "Mr. Olofson, in this court's view, has shown he was ignoring the law."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Haanstad noted that Olofson had two previous gun-related convictions, including carrying a concealed weapon with his children trick-or-treating. He also noted that Olofson was reprimanded for corrupting Army computers and perhaps providing militia groups access to sensitive information.


People can legally own fully automatic, military-type M-16 rifles, but they must have a federal license and cannot transfer it to someone else.

According to court records, Kiernicki turned the rifle's firing selector to the third position, pulled the trigger, and three bullets fired with each pull. Then the weapon jammed. The automatic gunfire was reported to police, who contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Kiernicki testified Olofson told him the third position was for automatic firing, but it jammed, court records indicate. He also testified Olofson told him he had fired the weapon on the automatic setting at that same range without a problem, according to the records.


Clevert said the key was not what parts were in the weapon but whether it operated in automatic mode. He played a video used at trial showing ATF agents firing Olofson's weapon in automatic mode. He also noted that in one ATF test, the rifle didn't fire automatically when military-grade ammunition was used.

Haanstad said Olofson had provided weapons and ammunition to so many people he couldn't keep track. A search of his home turned up books on converting rifles to fully automatic, and e-mail on his computer showed he bought M-16 parts, records show.

Olofson had contact with vigilante groups and professed to be part of the sovereign movement, which doesn't acknowledge federal laws as applying to them, Haanstad said.

WND has written several other articles on the Olofson case that also largely ignore the other side of the story.

See what you learn when you don't trust WND as a news source?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 PM EST
Graham Bashes Newsweek for Doing What Bozell Did
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 11 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham bashes Newsweek's Jon Meacham for claiming "that Barack Obama ran a 'centrist' campaign and that he in some way already resembles Ronald Reagan."

But what did Graham's boss, Brent Bozell, say a few days ago? Oh, yeah: that Obama "ran as a Reaganite" and "won over ... the public as a fiscal conservative." Bozell further claimed that "Barack Obama won as a conservative."

Graham might want to read those in-house talking points of the day before putting fingers to keyboard.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It is not just a victory for the Democrats; it is a Marxist tsunami. The principles that have guided President-elect Obama to this point are deeply rooted in Marxist philosophy. He is now in the position to infuse government with this philosophy through his appointments and legislative agenda. Democrats Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Frank and others with recognizable names are only the face of what's in store. Behind this face is a force teaming with the power to obliterate the U.S. Constitution and the machinery of self-governance it created.

The God to whom our founders prayed for guidance has been thrown overboard by the modern Democrat Party. For at least a generation, Karl Marx has provided both inspiration and guidance to the people who are now in control of America. Republicans have not just been out-maneuvered and out-campaigned; some Republicans have been willing participants, joining the Democrats in the worship of Marxist ideals.

This Democrat tsunami is not only a defeat of Republicans; it is a defeat of freedom. 

Henry Lamb, Nov. 8 WorldNetDaily column

Why do you think young people overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama?

Could it be because they have been taught by government schoolteachers that socialism is good and capitalism is bad?

Could it be because they have been indoctrinated to believe it is discriminatory to uphold marriage as an institution between one man and one woman?

Could it be because parents have given over their kids for most of their waking hours to the state, forsaking their own godly duty to train up their children in the ways of the Lord?

You bet it could.

-- Joseph Farah, Nov. 8 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 9:54 AM EST
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

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