Tapscott Pushes Right-Wing Agenda Journalism at the Examiner Topic: Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner has been piling up the right-wing hires of late, most recently Townhall.com's Mary Katherine Ham and NewsBusters' Matthew Sheffield. Is the paper heading in a rightward direction, where the editorial page already is under Mark Tapscott, late of the conservative Heritage Foundation? It would seem so.
Tapscott let the evil plan out of the bag a bit in an Oct. 29 blog post pondering where "the Right side of the Blogosphere goes post-election 2008":
The RightRoots must make a top priority of equiping vastly more of our sites with the reportorial and investigative skills required to dig up and present credible exposes, fact-based analyses and concrete news stories.
In short, we've complained about liberal media bias for decades, but now that the mainstream media is steadily being displaced by online media, many of us need to become ..... journalists, or capable of doing the online analogy of traditional journalism, particularly in its investigative phase.
To be sure, we've not been without some capacity in this regard. Right bloggers regularly break new stories and advance existing ones. But there are no Right blogs primarily devoted to gathering and breaking daily and investigative news in politics, public policy and related venues.
If we are to have decisive influence on the public policy agenda, we must wield a significant voice in shaping the daily media narrative about that agenda. That means being able to unnearth facts, figures and documents that break or advance important news stories.
In other words, it's time for the RightRoots to begin working to raise up a new generation of Right online reporters and editors who happen to publish on blogs and other sites devoted to doing what traditional print and broadcast outlets in the Mainstream Media have done for decades.
Also of interest here is the role of my present organization, The Washington Examiner and its web site, dcexaminer.com. We announced today that Matthew Sheffield is coming onboard to oversee a thorough-going redesign of the site that should make it one of the leading edge media sites bar none.
In other words, Tapscott is trying to position the Examiner as an outlet for right-wing information -- which would seem to undercut its basic mission as a source of local news and information for the greater Washington area.
Tapscott also touted organizations such as the National Journalism Center and the Phillips Foundation for their work in "training aspiring conservative journalists." But in doing so, Tapscott misunderstands the concept of modern journalism.
The term "conservative journalist" (like "liberal journalist") is something of any oxymoron: Once an ideology is placed before the journalistic mission, that mission ceases to exist as journalism. "Conservative journalism" is activism, not journalism. To see how this operates in a worst-case scenario, read WorldNetDaily.
In a comment, Tapscott adds:
You are right about MSM reporters, but they have perverted the practice of genuine journalism of the sort I am suggesting. I'm talking about doing journalism right, not as a tool of propaganda for any particular ideological view or candidates.
But by definition, conservative journalism -- which Tapscott indicates he wants to practice -- is a tool of propaganda for a particular ideological view.
So, as we've previously suspected, the Examiner is on its way to becoming the new Washington Times, at least if Tapscott has his way. Is that even necessary?
CNS to Auto Industry: Drop Dead Topic: CNSNews.com
It appears taht CNSNews.com wants to kill the U.S. auto industry just to punish its unionized employees.
A Nov. 18 article by Pete Winn quotes only opponents of a bailout, highlighting a claim by University of Michigan at Flint economist Mark J. Perry that it "costs over $73 per hour on average to employ a union auto worker."Winn quotes Perry as saying, "Is it right to tax the average worker making $28.50 to bailout workers whose labor cost is over $73 an hour?"
Winn fails to inform his readers that Perry has a right-leaning political agenda. he is a scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which Winn eupemistically calls "a free-market foundation" later in the article. On his blog, Perry has called a teacher pension plan in Michigan public schools a "pyramid scheme," headlined one post "Socialized Medicine Can Kill You" and suggested that Barack Obama's proposed raising of the highest marginal income tax rate from 36% to 39.6% is like a Depression-era tax hike from 25% to 79%.
A Nov. 18 article by Josiah Ryan highlights the views of "Congressmen-elect who were visiting the Capitol for freshman orientation" who oppose a bailout, at least until it's set up in such as way that "company management and autoworker union members ought to make sacrifices in terms of pay and benefit cuts."
Dan Gainor's Nov. 18 CNS column is mpore explicit in his desire to kill the auto industry to spite the United Auto Workers:
[I]t has little to do with saving Detroit and a lot to do with helping out the Democratic Party’s political machine. The chief recipient of this deal isn’t the companies, it’s the union. A bailout of Detroit would secure that the Big Three continue to fail and pay exorbitant sums to thousands of union workers.
Mychal Massie slavers over Sarah Palin in his Nov. 18 WorldNetDaily column, padding her resume in the process:
She ended a multi-year stalemate over the financing and construction of a $40 billion cross-state pipeline that supplies cheaper natural gas to Alaskans and the lower 48 states. That single act alone did more to advance American energy independence than Biden, Obama or McCain can boast collectively. In her capacity as being responsible for the Alaskan National Guard, she authorized 521 missions that saved 200 lives.
Others offer a more reality-based view. Regarding the pipeline, the New York Times wrote:
Certainly she proved effective in attracting developers to a project that has eluded Alaska governors for three decades. But an examination of the pipeline project also found that Ms. Palin has overstated both the progress that has been made and the certainty of success.
Contributing to the project’s uncertainty is Ms. Palin’s antagonistic relationship with the major oil companies that control Alaska’s untapped gas reserves.
Ms. Palin won the governor’s office in part by capitalizing on populist distaste for the political establishment’s coziness with Big Oil, and her pipeline strategy was intended to blunt its power over the process. Her willingness to take on the oil companies has allowed the McCain campaign to portray her as a scourge of special interests.
Now, though, she will need the industry’s cooperation if her plan is to succeed, and just this week, her office said she intended to reach out to the North Slope oil companies.
As Ms. Palin takes to the road to campaign with Mr. McCain, invoking the pipeline as a major victory, some Alaska lawmakers who initially endorsed her plan now believe it was a mistake. State Senator Bert Stedman, a Republican who is co-chairman of the finance committee, said that in its contract with the chosen developer, TransCanada, the state bargained away too much leverage with little guarantee of success.
“There is no requirement to lift one shovel of dirt or lay down one inch of steel,” he said.
The president commands National Guard troops whenever they're deployed in federal missions, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. State governors only command the guardsmen in operations inside their states, traditionally in response to disasters like floods and fires.
According to Alaska National Guard spokeswoman, Kalei Brooks, in the two years of Palin's term, the National Guard has run 521 missions and saved 200 lives.
Major tasks, Brooks said, have been fighting wildfires and providing standby security during two meetings, including the International Whaling Commission (PDF) meeting in May 2007.
But even in state operations, Palin has a limited role. For big or unusual events, Palin authorizes the National Guard's actions, but for most run-of-the-mill work, Palin isn't involved at all.
Brooks explained that the National Guard works with other state security and emergency services, which each cover different geographical areas of the huge state. Each agency has a set of agreements that authorize them to respond automatically in an emergency, without needing the governor's specific authorization every time hunters get stranded in swamps, or Swedish tourists get stuck in the snow.
And while McCain spokesman Tucker Bound was correct when he told CNN that Palin, "makes the decision as to how to equip, how to command the National Guard in Alaska," the federal government, not the state, provides all of their equipment and material.
Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker gets the Heathers treatement again at NewsBusters, this time from Mark Finkelstein in a Nov. 17 post:
Before a few weeks ago, I don't recall seeing Kathleen Parker much on TV. But tuning into Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC show this afternoon, there she was. And when I got back from the gym and fired up my DVR of David Gregory's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?" Yup, Parker redux.
Let's see. What might possibly explain Kathleen Parker's sudden popularity on MSNBC? You don't suppose it could conceivably have anything to do with her September column calling on Sarah Palin to step down from the GOP ticket, do you?
Me-yow! Failure to strictly adhere to conservative orthodoxy continues to have a price at NewsBusters.
In his Nov. 17 WorldNetDaily column, Michael Ackley copied-and-pasted a transcript that he claims is a "colloquy between PBS interviewer Charlie Rose and NBC talking head Tom Brokaw" about how much they don't know about Barack Obama. Ackley then adds: "Alas! This is not satire; it is not parody. I wish it were. The American media, which were able to find out everything about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, couldn't find out much about Barack Obama."
In fact, this transcript was taken from Rush Limbaugh's radio show, who pulled the Brokaw and Rose quotes out of context and spliced them together to create a false picture of what the two were actually talking about. As Media Matters points out, Brokaw's statement that "there's a lot about [Obama] that we don't know" was in fact Brokaw attributing that view to "conservative commentators."
Ackley rather hilariously adds: "During the campaign, you could find the real Barack Obama only in the alternative (soon to be dominant) media, like WorldNet Daily." Well, yeah, if you mean by "the real Obama" WND's litany of lies -- not to mention Ackley's own false distortion.
And such brazen lying and sloppy journalism will make WND the "dominant media" how, Michael?
A Nov. 17 CNSNews.com article by Patrick Goodenough states that if Republican Norm Coleman, who has "built a reputation as a leading watchdog of the United Nations," loses his Minnesota Senate race against Democrat Al Franken, "it could deprive Washington of an outspoken and respected critic of U.N. corruption and abuses."
While there is a definite record on Coleman's criticism of the U.N., Goodenough offers no evidence that Coleman's criticism is "respected." To the contrary, for instance, a January 2005 U.S. News & World Report article noting Coleman's criticism of the U.N.'s oil-for-food program in Iraq notes that "both admirers and detractors wonder whether Coleman's desire to get to the bottom of the U.N. allegations is just a vehicle to take him to the top," with one critic adding that "I think that his career shows that he is ambitious and opportunistic, that nothing is beyond the realm."
Goodenough, in fact, quotes nobody else in his article, let alone anyone supporting his claim that Coleman's U.N. criticism is "respected."
WND's Obama Birth Certificate Amnesia Reaches the Top Topic: WorldNetDaily
Add Joseph Farah to the list of WorldNetDaily employees who doesn't read the website he works for.
In his Nov. 17 column, Farah claims that "Obama's record of non-cooperation and secrecy" in the matter of his birth certificate "has now resulted in conspiracy theories that will plague him throughout his administration if he doesn't address them now with utter transparence. ... Count me among those who really want to see that birth certificate now."
Farah doesn't mention that his own website is among those promulgating those conspiracy theories -- despite the fact that his own website debunked them. Which, of course, he also doesn't mention.
As we've repeatedly detailed, WND determined in August that the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign is "authentic," and that the lawsuit filed by Philip Berg demanding that Obama prove his U.S. citizenship "relies on discredited claims." Farah continues a pattern of WND writers who fail to acknowledge this simple fact in writing about accusations regarding the birth certificate.
Farah goes on to state: "This is hardly a laughing matter. The longer this soap opera drags on, the more suspicions it will raise – the less credibility our electoral system will have, the more many people will believe the whole political system is rigged." Of course, that's exactly the perception Farah wants to prevail.
By clinging to this false conspiracy theory -- which his own website has debunked -- Farah shows himself to be a very dishonest journalist. But then, we already knew that.
Klein Still Playing Guilt-By-Association on Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's clear that Aaron Klein's Obama-hate has not abated with the end of the campaign -- he's still playing guilt by association the way he did during the campaign.
A Nov. 16 article features an interview with Bernardine Dohrn, wife of "former Weathermen radical Bill Ayers." Klein actually appears to present Dohrn's views fairly, though the headline gets things wrong.The headline puts "Fear of Obama's ties to Ayers because of racism" quotes as if Dohrn said those exact words, but Klein quotes Dohrn saying no such thing. The subhead states, "Dohrn claims black man 'not knowable' to white people," but Dohrn never said that either; rather, Klein quotes Dohrn as saying that the idea that Obama was "not knowable to white people" was a tactic used by opponents of Obama -- like Klein, a leading promoter of Obama's purported ties to Ayers:
"You want to recognize here that the famous and much-talked-about Bradley Effect, the notion that white people cannot leave behind some of the trappings of white supremacy and racism that have been the ugly river beneath all U.S. discourse, is really important. I was struck when you were playing those tapes that the real coded message underneath those tapes that used Bill as a fear proxy is that you don't know who Barack Obama really is.
"There was some notion of him being unknowable, exotic, strange, foreign, deceitful. And, you know, strangely enough, we feel like if all they could come up with was that he knew us casually, the guy is pretty clean, is pretty extraordinary. He's been vetted and vetted and vetted, and there was nothing there to throw at him, except this question of maybe an African-American man is not knowable to white people. And it's worth – we don't – neither Bill or I think that we're in a post-racial world, but it is worth noting that that was rejected by almost all sectors of the population, including independent voters."
Given that Dohrn calls out Klein's anti-Obama tactics, it's surprising that Klein makes no effort to respond to her charges.
Another Nov. 16 article by Klein tries to tie the Communist Party to Obama by outlining what it was Obama to do -- despite the fact that he offers no evidence that any Obama policy is socialist.
To do that, Klein deceives on Obama's views. For instance, he writes of Obama's position on health care:
As an Illinois state senator, Obama publicly supported universal healthcare and previously expressed support for "single payer," although he later waffled. He also co-sponsored the Bernardin Amendment, which did not pass but which would have amended the Illinois State Constitution to add healthcare to the list of basic rights for residents.
At no point does Klein state the health care plan Obama promoted during his presidential campaign, which is not a single-payer plan and permits choice in plans.
That's dishonest. Sadly, such dishonesty is the kind of reporting we've come to expect from Klein and WND.
A Sucker's Bet from David Horowitz Topic: Horowitz
For a while now, in an effort to boost sales of David Horowitz and Ben Johnson's book "Party of Defeat," Horowitz's FrontPageMag has been offering $500 "to any critic of the war -- who has written for a reputable publication -- to write a critique of the book and its main thesis." That thesis is summarized in the book's subtitle: "How Democrats and Radicals Undermined America's War on Terror Before and After 9/11."
The problem with this is that it appears to be a sucker's bet. It's not clear whether payment of the $500 is contingent on disproving the book, but it is clear that Horowitz and Johnson -- who appear to be the only judges -- will never concede (publicly, anyway) that it has been disproven, even if it actually was.
Typical is Horowitz and Johnson's exchange with Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff. He writes that Horowitz and Johnson "claim that Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's convicted chief of staff, never leaked the identity of Joe Wilson's wife, CIA officer Valerie Plame. Actually, he did - to Judith Miller of the New York Times over breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel on July 8, 2003." They respond:
Isikoff takes us to task over the leak of Valerie Plame’s name to Robert Novak. Scooter Libby was not the source of this leak; rather antiwar Realist Richard Armitage was. He then told no one and let the president’s enemies in the Democratic Party and the media call him a liar for several years. Still, Isikoff’s co-author, David Corn, has tortured logic to somehow link Armitage’s inadvertent leak to the White House.
Horowitz and Johnson—having been caught in their mistake about Scooter Libby not having leaked Valerie Plame’s CIA identity—subtly reshift their argument to instruct me that Richard Armitage was actually the “source” of the leak. Thanks for the info, guys. The news that it was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage who first leaked Joe Wilson’s wife’s identity to Bob Woodward and columnist Robert Novak was revealed to the world in Hubis, the book I co-wrote with David Corn. Horowitz and Johnson criticize what they call Corn’s ‘”tortured” logic (a Freudian slip that?) regarding the White House connection. I don’t know what tortured logic they’re talking about. But as we painstakingly laid out in the book, Armitage’s role does not change the fact that Libby and Karl Rove (completely independently) leaked the same information for their own political reasons—to discredit Wilson for his criticism of the White House’s use of the phony Niger yellowcake story.
Horowitz and Johnson responded with further parsing:
We were not “caught” in a mistake about Libby: our book’s focus was on the leak to Robert Novak – the leak that sparked the appointment of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald -- in which Libby had no role.
Horowitz and Johnson really aren't interested in a serious debate on the issue -- they just want something they can contort into self-affirming evidence they were right all along. That's how the Horowitz crew rolls; another Horowitz co-author, Richard Poe, tried to do the same thing to Media Matters. (Poe plays the victim over this on his blog, whining that Media Matters "sought to discredit and silence me" four four years, ruefully calling it a "cheerless anniversary." Of course, Poe will never admit that he discredited himself.)
Hilmar von Campe bills himself as a "former Hitler youth," and it indeed appears he learned well at the feet of the master. As he has before, a Nov. 15 WorldNetDaily column by von Campe engages in Nazi-esque demogogery by likening Barack Obama to -- ironically -- Hitler, while hiding behind the shabby cloak of purporting to warn people about Obama.
Von Campe plays the dishonest game by uncritically repeating Republican Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia "warn[ing] of an Obama dictatorship," as purportedly shown by "Obama's intention to establish a civil security force to impose a Marxist or fascist dictatorship," quickly adding that Broun "makes clear that he does not compare Obama with Hitler." That's a lie, of course; von Campe even quotes Broun's statement that, like Obama, "Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany."
Of course, von Campe picks up the false "civil security force" ball, noting that "Hitler created the Storm Troopers, S.A., and the Schutzstaffel (protective squad), or S.S. Both had the task to silence the opposition." As we've detailed, the allegation that Obama is planning to establish an SS-like "civil security force" is a false smear.
Von Campe further demonstrates his ignorance by citing WND as a source for his claims -- always a bad move given WND's history of lying to its readers, especially about Obama:
Obama's views, as reported by WorldNetDaily on Oct. 31, 2008, that America after World War II has similarity to Nazi Germany because the Supreme Court has not established wealth distribution as a constitutional guideline have no basis. He stated to the present generation of Americans, "You've got the doctrines of Nazism that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what's going on back here at home."
Von Campe (as did WND) takes Obama's words wildly out of context. (Isn't that another Nazi-like propaganda tactic?) As we've detailed, the full context of Obama's remarks shows that he didn't say that. The quote about "doctrines of Nazism that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what's going on back here at home" specifically refers to the experience of African-Americans who fought in the war but faced discrimination and segregation upon their return.And Obama never said that America is Nazi-like becaue "the Supreme Court has not established wealth distribution as a constitutional guideline."
Von Campe also uncritically repeats Aaron Klein's unverified WND report that representatives for Obama met with Hamas; as we've noted, even Klein can't provide any backup for the claim, though the lack of facts have never been an obstacle for his anti-Obama agenda.
As a bonus, von Campe likens Colin Powell to the German military official who helped Hitler get into power:
Socialist Hitler was installed into power by the then German president, famous Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg. That made it easy for him to get the military leaders out of the way and in control of the armed forces – the only force in the country that could have spoiled his plans.
Obama also was endorsed by famous Gen. Colin Powell with a well-calculated timing shortly before the election. It was a signal to the military that it was OK to vote for Obama.
Will von Campe apologize for and correct his lies and distortions, or does he regret nothing?
(Richard Bartholomew has more on von Campe; among other things, he has connections with Walid Shoebat.)
Vadum's Double Standard on Would-be Mass Murderers Topic: NewsBusters
In a Nov. 14 NewsBusters post, the Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum bashes ABC for waiting until after the election to take "a fairly hard-hitting look at terrorist William Ayers, the would-be mass murderer, who helped to launch the career of then-Illinois state senate candidate Barack Obama."
But Vadum has nothing to brag about on that subject: He appeared at leasttwice in the month before the election on the radio show of unrepentant domestic terrorist -- and would-be mass murderer, given that he plotted to blow up the Brookings Institution -- G. Gordon Liddy.
Did Vadum confront Liddy about his history of murder and bombing plots and his ties to John McCain? We suspect not -- his agenda was to give ACORN a "beating" (and given Vadum's history, it was likely a factuallyinaccurate one) and to discuss "financial affirmative action," whatever that is.
Lowell Ponte's Obama Fiction Is Actually Presented As Fiction For Once Topic: Newsmax
The candidacy of Barack Obama has inspired a lot of alarmist fiction about what he will purportedly do as president. Newsmax's Lowell Ponte joins the crowd with a Nov. 14 column:
Looking back from 2016 on eight strange years of President Barack Obama's administration, we see that it has been nothing like what idealists believed they were electing in 2008.
The Obama years will be remembered in the Ministry of Truth's official history as the era of 1,000 czars, the elitist commissars he gave the power to rule by fiat in every sector of America's government, economy, and society.
Thus it has been these past eight years for President Obama's bailout czar and urban planning czar, his education czar and Latin America czar, his cybersecurity czar and Internet czar, his Afghan-Iraq war czar and income redistribution czar, the voter list czar and radio-Internet fairness czar, and many hundreds more.
And through their partisan power, Barack Obama became America's permanent caesar.
Ponte has long been peddling false claims about Obama and other Democrats, so it's no surprise to see him make the tiny jump to fiction actually presented as such.
NewsBusters Bashes Reporter for Following AP Style Topic: NewsBusters
A Nov. 14 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer bashes a Greenville (South Carolina) News reporter for referring to Catholic priest Jay Scott Newman -- who has declared that parishoners who voted for Barack Obama should not accept Communion until they have done penance -- as "the Rev. Jay Scott Newman":
Note to Greenville News reporter Ben Szobody: It's "Father Newman" or "Fr. Newman" every time his name appears, not "The Rev" when you feel like it. This should not be "controversial" (a favorite media word for "majority or accepted opinion we journalists don't like"), but it almost surely will be.
In fact, it appears that Szobody has correctly followed longstanding AP reporting style, which is to use "the Rev." for all ministers and priests -- including Catholic priests -- on first reference and the last name only on subsequent references.
There's noting "controversial" about what the reporter did here. Blumer shouldn't pretend that there is.
The Atlantic Is 'Mainstream Media'? Topic: NewsBusters
In a Nov. 13 NewsBusters post, Robert Bluey declared the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz "guilty" of "institutional bias against conservatives" for writing that "no mainstream outlet" published rumors regarding Sarah Palin's pregnancy "until the McCain campaign issued a statement, during the GOP convention, that Palin's teenage daughter Bristol was pregnant." Bluey adds:
I don't know what Kurtz considers a "mainstream outlet," but let's just assume we include the 151-year-old Atlantic, which Kurtz wrote about with great fanfare in August 2007. The magazine's most prominent contributor, Andrew Sullivan, was among the most rapid rumormongers about Trig Palin.
Has Andrew Sullivan done so much damage to The Atlantic's journalistic standards that's it's no longer considered a "mainstream outlet"? Please tell us, Howie.
So, uh, tell us, Bob: How exactly is Sullivan and The Atlantic "mainstream"? The Atlantic has a fraction of the circulation of, say, that "mainstream media" stalwart Time magazine -- where, by the way, Sullivan used to blog. Since the Atlantic is smaller than Time, that means it's less "mainstream," does it not? And isn't Sullivan also less "mainstream" for moving from Time to the Atlantic?
Indeed, the Atlantic archive at NewsBusters contains a mere 17 items -- and none before January of this year, even though NewsBusters was founded in 2005 -- which tells us that Bluey's own colleagues don't consider it very "mainstream," either.
Yet Bluey "assume[d]" that The Atlantic is "mainstream." You know what they say about people who assume ...