Graham's Lame Evidence of David Gregory's Bias Topic: Media Research Center
In the tradition of its attacks on Katie Couric, the Media Research Center has greeted David Gregory's appointment as host of NBC's "Meet the Press" with dubious claims of liberal bias.
A Dec. 8 "Media Reality Check" by Tim Graham features as its key piece of evidence that Gregory was "an arrogant question-yeller at Bush White House press conferences" the following:
Take this exchange with Scott McClellan on the Plame leak probe on July 11, 2005: “This is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell people watching this that somehow you decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium, or not?...Why are you choosing when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate [to comment]?” McClellan replied: “If you'll let me finish,” but Gregory insisted: “No, you're not finishing! You're not saying anything!”
Graham doesn't bother to tell his reader the context of that conversation. Gregory had earlier noted that, in contrast to McClellan's 2003 statement that Karl Rove had assured McClellan that he was not involved in leaking Valerie Plame's identity to reporters. Rove had in fact done so, and McClellan was evading giving a direct answer about whether he still stood by his 2003 statements.Immediately prior to the "This is ridiculous" statement Graham exerpted, Gregory had asked McClellan:
QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this"?
And immediately after Gregory said, "“No, you're not finishing! You're not saying anything!” the questioning continued:
QUESTION: No, you're not finishing. You're not saying anything.
You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn't he?
McCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.
QUESTION: Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?
McCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question.
QUESTION: After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the president's word that anybody who was involved will be let go?
McCLELLAN: Again, after the investigation is complete, I will be glad to talk about it at that point.
QUESTION: Can you walk us through why, given the fact that Rove's lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk about the involvement of Karl Rove, the deputy chief of staff, here?
McCLELLAN: Well, those overseeing the investigation expressed a preference to us that we not get into commenting on the investigation while it's ongoing. And that was what they requested of the White House. And so I think in order to be helpful to that investigation, we are following their direction.
Rather than expressing arrogance, Gregory was simply pointing out the fact when he accused McClellan of not answering the question at hand. Yet to Graham, to do that is to express liberal bias.
And because there isn't a whole lot of diversity of thought at the MRC, Seton Motley copies-and-pastes Graham's claim in a Dec. 9 Human Events article (reprinted at NewsBusters) as among the purported "examples aplenty" of Graham's liberal bias.
Sadly, this is apparently the best Graham and Motley can come up with.
Media Matters points out that Dick Morris, in his Dec. 11 Newsmax column, repeats the discredited claim that Bill Clinton fired all the U.S. attorneys upon taking office in 1993 to cover that he was targeting one specific attorney who was investigation the Whitewater. In fact, that attorney resisted investigating the Whitewater matter in 1992, in defiance of pressure from officials in then-President George H.W. Bush's administration, who was apparently trying to find a way to bash Clinton during the campaign.
Horowitz Debunks Blaming CRA for Crisis, But His Writers Promoted It Topic: Horowitz
We've previously noted David Horowitz's attempt to talk some sense into conservatives by pointing out the unassailable fact that the Community Reinvestment Act did not cause the current financial crisis. So why did Horowitz's FrontPageMag publish writers who claimed it was?
To be sure, many economists dispute that deregulation is the principal cause of the current crisis. They cite the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, which stipulated that banks had an “affirmative obligation” to make loans to low-income borrowers of dubious creditworthiness; the role of government-sponsored enterprises like Freddie Mac and Fanny May [sic]; and the activist interventions of the Federal Reserve in financial markets as the driving forces of the financial turmoil.
It was the left - the "liberals" or "progressives" - who led the charge to force lending institutions to lend to people whose credit history made them eligible only for "subprime" loans that were risky for both borrowers and lenders.
It started way back in the Carter administration, with the Community Reinvestment Act, and gained momentum over the years with legal threats from Attorney General Janet Reno and thuggery from ACORN, all to force lenders to lend where third parties wanted them to lend. Now we have a bad stomach ache - and now the left wants to start amputating the market.
Q: Are the subprime credit crisis and the stock market’s swoon and the dollar’s drop in value symptoms of a deeper, larger, broader problem?
A: Well, no, they are simply the problems that they are. The government has brought on the housing problem, partly by these very low interest rates, which encouraged many people to go way out on a limb. They’ve brought it on by highly restrictive building policies, which have caused housing prices to skyrocket artificially. And they’ve brought it on by the Community Reinvestment Act, which presumes that politicians are better able to tell investors where to put their money than the investors themselves are. When you put all that together, you get something like what you have.
-- Interview of Thomas Sowell by Bill Steigerwald, Feb. 4
Meanwhile, Horowitz is still strugging mightily to impose reason on those birth-certificate-obsessed right-wingers:
If this were to come to pass, the principles could not be enforced. In the second place, conservatives need to recognize and accept that they lost the election and it is important for Americans to accept their new president. He may do things, AS PRESIDENT, that will cause them to oppose him, and that is fine. But first they need to accept him as President, because that is the way our constitutional system works. And it is the only way it works.
And judging by the comments, it's going about as well as his previous attempts.
Apparently oblivious to the fact that one has nothing to do with the other, Klein spends the next 35 paragraphs rehashing yet again Obama's purported dalliances with Islam as a child, presumably just copied-and-pasted from previous articles.
The stench of Obama-hate emanating from Klein's articles is well nigh suffocating.
Newsmax Flip-Flops on Patrick Fitzgerald Topic: Newsmax
A Nov. 10 Newsmax article by David A. Patten claimed that "Barack Obama will face a severe 'trial by fire' over whether to fire U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald and other U.S. attorneys, following Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s arrest Tuesday for allegedly offering to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder," adding that "any move to fire Fitzgerald would be highly controversial as a possible conflict of interest." Patten goes on to note that "That Fitzgerald suddenly sees Republicans lining up to defend him is profoundly ironic, given that both prominent Republicans and Democrats have found themselves in his investigatory crosshairs over the years," adding:
Fitzgerald’s delicious gift for offending the rich and powerful on both sides of America’s partisan divide was never more evident than in the Valerie Plame Wilson case. On the one hand, Republicans were troubled that Fitzgerald decided to prosecute I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, for perjury charges that had little or nothing to do with the concerns that originally triggered the investigation -- namely, that a Bush administration official may have broken the law by leaking the identity of Plame, a CIA operations officer, to columnist Robert Novak. Libby was convicted, but President Bush commuted his sentence in July 2007.
Patten fails to mention that Newsmax has a prominent role in that twist of irony, having felt less than "delicious" about Fitzgerald's prosecution of of the Plame leak.
As we detailed at the time, Newsmax didn't even wait until Fitzgerald's October 2005 indictment of Libby before smearing him as a partisan, nitpicking crony:
Newsmax claimed reports that Fitzgerald's charges would focus on "perjury, obstruction of justice and false statement" raise "speculation that the Leakgate case may devolve into a Martha Stewart-like prosecution, which drew howls of derision from legal critics."
Newsmax dismissed Fitzgerald as a "longtime crony" of James Comey, the then-deputy attorney general who appointed Fitzgerald to the special counsel post in 2003.
Newsmax called Fitzgerald's 22 months of work before issuing the indictment of Libby "small potatoes compared to the results achieved by Independent Counsel Ken Starr's Whitewater probe over the same period of time," adding: "Starr was appointed to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton's involvement in the corrupt land deal on August 4, 1994 - and by that December, his office had already secured a guilty plea from the number two man at the Justice Department, longtime Clinton crony Webster Hubbell." (The Whitewater investigation actually began in January 1994 with the appointment of Robert Fiske.)
Newsmax tried to smear Fitzgerald by claiming that "the targets of his investigations into political corruption have been overwhelmingly Republican," and claiming that Fitzgerald indicted more than 60 people in connection with wrongdoing connected to former Illinois Republican Gov. George Ryan, compared with two indicted in a probe of Chicago Democratic Mayor Richard Daley. The next day, Newsmax corrected its numbers, admitting that "it's also true that Fitzgerald has done a better job going after Democrats than media reports we cited yesterday would indicate."
Newsmax also raised the issue of Fitzgerald being accused of "prosecutorial misconduct" in an unrelated case, but it's not until the second-to-last paragraph that it's noted that a three-judge panel ruled that Fitzgerald did nothing illegal.
After Fitzgerald issued his indictment, Newsmax followed up by putting words in Fitzgerald's mouth and misstating what he had said about the Plame case to make it appear that he said that Plame was not covert.
More Obama Lies from Jerome Corsi Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 9 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi repeats a claim by a former bank employee that he was fired for objecting to land appraisals regarding the deal in which Barack Obama bought a Chicago house. But Corsi can't even be bothered to get the basic facts correct about it.
The transaction involved Obama purchasing a multi-million-dollar home in Chicago's trendy Kenwood neighborhood, across the street from the Rezkos, at a discounted price. On the same day, Rezko's wife purchased a strip of land adjacent to the Obamas for the full asking price then sold it to the Obamas for $300,000 less.
1) It was not a "multi-million-dollar home"; it was listed at $1.95 million, and the Obamas purchased it for $1.65 million.
2) Corsi has apparently never heard of negotiating for a price on a house or even of purchasing a house for less than the listed price, a very common practice in the real estate industry. In fact, the sellers of the house have said they did not cut their asking price because Rezko bought the adjacent lot, and the Obama's offer for the house was the best one received.
3) Rezko's wife did not purchase "a strip of land adjacent to the Obamas for the full asking price then sold it to the Obamas for $300,000 less." Rezko's wife purchased an adjoining lot, then sold a 10-foot-wide strip land, comprising one-sixth of the lot, to the Obamas, who paid one-sixth of what Rezko paid for the full lot.
Is it any wonder that Corsi's anti-Obama book was dismissed as untrustworthy?
P.S. Corsi still hasn't answered questions about -- let alone retract -- the bogus documents from Kenya he used to falsely smear Obama before the election.
Gainor Misleads on Unemployment Rates Under Clinton Topic: Media Research Center
In a Dec. 8 CNSNews.com column, the MRC Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor writes:
A year into what we just heard is an official recession, unemployment hit 6.7 percent. That’s the highest for the Bush presidency. At this rate, it will soon get as bad as it was in 1993 – when Bill Clinton was president.
Reporters are leaving out that reality of the “staggering” job losses, as CBS called them. Journalists rarely point out that total unemployment isn’t even as high as it was during Clinton’s term (and when they do, the Clinton name is conspicuously absent.)
The last time unemployment was at this level wasn’t 1974 – it was October 1993 under Clinton. Unemployment peaked at 7.1 percent during the Big Dog’s term.
What Gainor doesn't tell you: Clinton inherited this high level of unemployment from his predecessor, George H.W. Bush. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that 7.1 percent peak occurred at the beginning of Clinton's presidency, in February, April and May 1993. Nor does Gainor mention what the unemployment rate was in the last full month of Clinton's presidency -- 3.9 percent.
And yet, Gainor has the chutzpah to complain about how "[j]ournalists manipulate statistics."
Gainor further fails to mention that unemployment was on a largely uninterrupted decline during the eight years of Clinton's presidency, from the aforementioned 7.1 percent to 3.9 percent.
Gainor goes on to write, "Journalists rarely point out that total unemployment isn’t even as high as it was during Clinton’s term (and when they do, the Clinton name is conspicuously absent.)" But he fails to note that the vast majority of the actual job losses that resulted under his prececessor.
Indeed, George H.W. Bush's name is, to coin a phrase, conspicuously absent from Gainor's article.
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch Topic: Media Research Center
A Dec. 10 appearance by the MRC Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor on Fox News appears to follow the template: Gainor appeared solo, and there's no evidence in the clip posted that Gainor or the MRC were identified as conservative.
A Dec. 9 appearance by the MRC's Seton Motley on "Fox & Friends" similarly follows the template: He appears solo and is not identified as a conservative.
UPDATE: A Dec. 10 appearance on Fox News' "Your World With Neil Cavuto" not only follows the template but also enthusiastically buys into the MRC's talkingpoints of the day about media reports allegedly not identifying Rod Blagojevich as a Democrat.
Judicial Watch, Klayman Suddenly Relevant Again to ConWeb Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've detailed, the ConWeb served as a willing conduit for Judicial Watch in the go-go Clinton-suing years of the late '90s, but when Judicial Watch expanded its scope to examine the Bush administration, that coverage dropped off precipitously.
WorldNetDaily actually hadn't slacked down its coverage as much -- Joseph Farah even endorsed Larry Klayman's futile bid for the Republican nomination for Florida Senate in 2004 (he came in seventh out of eight candidates), with Farah slobbering, "Larry Klayman is an American hero." So it was first in line to promote Klayman's newest anti-Democrat crusade.
In the interim, Klayman left Judicial Watch and is now running a newly founded group called Freedom Watch. That website points out that Klayman has sued current Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton, claiming he "has misused the organization for his own ends, improperly dissipating and squandering donor monies and turning the group into a very bad joke, which mostly boasts of the appeals it is forced to take following a string of defeats since I left." Klayman as a goal to "retake control of this once great organization." A separate website further tells Klayman's side of the story.
With an incoming Democratic administration, guess who's back in favor again?
A Nov. 20 article by Bob Unruh described Klayman as claiming that "American voters have been 'defrauded' by President-elect Barack Obama." Unruh also gives Klayman space to make various unsubstantiated claims about various Obama appointees.
With the scandal engulfing Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, it was time for Klayman's former employer to get into the act.
A Dec. 9 WND article by Unruh rehashes a Judicial Watch press release in which Judicial Watch's Fitton claims (and fervently wishes) that the Blagojevich scandal "is a burgeoning crisis for Obama that should shake his presidency to its core."
During the anti-Clinton years, Judicial Watch received millions of dollars from the likes of Richard Mellon Scaife. This time around, will Klayman and Fitton tell us where their money is coming from? We already know the ConWeb won't bother to find out.
Is Janet Porter Misusing Faith2Action Resources For Her Personal Anti-Obama Crusade? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aswe'vedetailed, Faith2Action's Janet Folger Porter has been waging a personal, dishonest jihad against Barack Obama through her WorldNetDaily columns, particularly over the birth certificate issue. But is she misusing Faith2Action resources in the process?
The tagline on Porter's column has been altered in the course of Porter's recent rantings. The statement that Porter is "president of Faith2Action" is now followed by an asterisk, which leads to a note at the end stating, "*Title and affiliation for identification purposes only." That's misleading and meaningless, since Porter is using the Faith2Action website for her Obama-hate crusade as well as her other right-wing political activism that is Faith2Action's ostensible purpose. There are links on the front page to Porter's column (with the headline "Obama Is an Immigrant") as well as links to other politically related items that are presumably outside Faith2Action's stated mission of "help[ing] provide an overview of what the different branches of the cultural war are doing before you choose to enlist":
We should start praying for President-elect Barack Obama. God’s Word instructs us to pray for those in authority even if we strongly disagree with them.
However, the issue of whether Obama is truly qualified to serve as President has yet to be determined. If he isn’t a natural born citizen, the U.S. Constitution prohibits him from taking office. We have a new website where you can find ads, videos, articles, and action steps at www.obamaforgery.com
The large TV media outlets need to be contacted, asking them to start providing coverage of what could very well be the “story of the century”
State that we need Congressional hearings immediately to determine whether the Constitutional requirements are really met by Barack Obama.
Please also make some calls to the White House (President Bush) at 202-456-1414, the Attorney General’s office at 202-514-2000, and the FBI at 202-324-3000 and ask them to get involved, asking for the release of Obama’s real birth certificate.
Write a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts and CC: the 8 Associate Justices asking them to review the Obama citizenship cases. The names of the Associate Justices are Samuel A. Alito, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens, Stephen G. Breyer, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Make copies for each justice, seal them in individual envelopes, and then send them together in one larger envelope by FedEx or some other form of expedited delivery since time is of the essence. (The justices cannot be reached by phone, fax, or e-mail.) The address is U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20543
Further, the Yes to Democracy blog notes that last month, Faith2Action issued a press release about a planned ad on the birth certificate issue in the Washington Times, but that the ad itself does not carry Faith2Action' does not seem to appear on it, rather the address is the law firm of Philip Berg, whose lawsuit over the birth certificate has garnered much right-wing attention. Further, "on 17 November, Berg's website takes responsibility for the ad - with no mention of Faith2Action."
It's unclear exactly what tax status Faith2Action holds -- none is listed on the Faith2Action website, and the its donation page states that donations made via that particular link "not tax-deductible and will be used to win the cultural war through lobbying and legislative efforts," adding: "To make a donation that is tax deductible, make your check payable to 'Faith2Action 4 Education' and send it to P.O. Box 633, Dania Beach, FL 33004."
The "Hot Battle Action Steps" prominently begins by begging for money: "For several months, Faith2Action has been operating on very low funds. If you can help us in any way, it would be greatly appreciated."
The fact that Porter and WND felt the need to go the asterisk route to suggest that Porter's columns don't represent Faith2Action tells us that there is some tax-exempt status that is threatened by Porter's Obama-hate.
But Porter's status as president of Faith2Action is not for "identification purposes only" if Porter is using Faith2Action resources to further her Obama-hate crusade -- possibly in violation of any tax-exempt status F2A holds.
Perhaps Porter should share with her readers and F2A donors how exactly Faith2Action donations are being spent and how her anti-Obama activism, and her use of F2A resources in pursuing it, fulfills F2A's mission.
Kincaid Cribs Column Idea from Aaron Klein Topic: Accuracy in Media
How far-right is WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein? Cliff Kincaid is apparently getting column ideas from him.
A few days after Klein mined a blog post by a former Weatherman member to baselessly present speculation-as-fact that Obama "is 'feigning' a centrist position on some issues so he can ultimately push through a radical agenda" (as we noted), Kincaid does the same thing in a Dec. 9 Accuracy in Media article, quoting the most of the same people Klein did and comes to the same baseless guilt-by-association conclusion: that this is "proof that the President-elect is pursuing a political strategy designed to confuse people about his revolutionary agenda."
That Kincaid is apparently cribbing from Klein demonstrates how far each have gonedown the Obama-hate trail.
Porter Takes Richardson Out of Context Topic: WorldNetDaily
In her Dec. 9 WorldNetDaily column, Janet Folger Porter takes a statement by Bill Richardson out of context to assert that Richardson said Barack Obama wasn't born in the U.S.
Citing a brief YouTube clip of a TV announcer on an French TV channel translating a interview Richardson gave in Spanish, in which the announcer says that Richardson said "Barack Obama is an immigrant," Porter howls: "You don't need a translator to understand what Richardson admitted: Barack Obama is NOT a natural born citizen. That means we have a guy who's planning to take over the White House who is in direct violation of the Constitution. And his own Cabinet member says so."
Needless to say, Richardson did NOT say that "Barack Obama is NOT a natural born citizen." Richardson was speaking about Obama's appeal to Hispanics, as is clear from even the brief clip Porter cites. The clip, in its entirety (remember, as translated from Spanish and aired on French TV):
Barack Obama is the best candidate for the Hispanic community because our community wants a united country. Obama is an immigrant. When he speaks to Latinos, he doesn't just speak about immigration and civil rights.
But logic is not on Porter's agenda. She continues screaming that this is "the story of the century." She also repeats the claim that the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign is an "obvious forgery" without mentioning the fact that the publication where her column appears weekly has declared it to be authentic.
By telling such lies-by-omission to her readers, Porter isn't exactly turning Faith2Action, is she?
NewsBusters Quick to Tie Obama to Blago Topic: NewsBusters
Well, that was quick. A Dec. 9 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston mines the GOP's Obama oppo research website in order to try and tie Barack Obama to corrupt Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, though he can't come up with much more than that they both knew Tony Rezko. Nevertheless, Huston whines about the media's puported bias in not reporting a connection where there isn't one: "It was as if the media thought Obama had never even met Blago. Yes, the media is doing a bang up job!"
This is undercut a tad by fellow NewsBuster Noel Sheppard pointing out that Blagojevich called Obama a "motherf***er" for not going along with his scheme to auction off Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder.
UPDATE: The MRC decides the mainstream media is good for something after all. A NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock ponders whether the "mainstream media" will report on Obama's links to Blagojevich by citing a report in ... the mainstream media, by ABC's Jake Tapper.
Of course, Whitlock conveniently forgets to copy-and-paste Tapper's statement that "There are no allegations that President-elect Obama or anyone close to him had anything to do with any of the crimes Gov. Blagojevich is accused of having committed."
WND Cashes In on Its Readers' Obama-Hate Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember WorldNetDaily's last-minute drive to get readers to send it letters that WND would FedEx to the Supreme Court in order to badger it into hearing a baseless challenge over Barack Obama's birth? It appears that channeling its readers' Obama-hate is turning into a profit center for WND.
WND claimed in a Dec. 5 article that it sent "6,682 FedEx packages of nine letters each" to the Supreme Court. WND charged each letter-writer $9.95 for the privilege. Somehow we suspect FedEx charged WND a lot less than $89.45 each to overnight those envelopes to Washington. Profit!
So WND's going to that well again -- according to a Dec. 8 article, it's launching "a similar FedEx letter drive directed at individual Electoral College members" to harrass them into not voting for Obama. WND has jacked up the price -- it's now $10.95 for the privilege of badgering "470 members of the 538-member Electoral College with a pre-written letter raising questions about Barack Obama's eligibility to be the next president."
Again, it doesn't send that much to send boxes of letters relative to the cash WND will be raking in from each individual letter.
WND repeats its usual false claims in order to rile up the base -- most prominently that "the [Obama] campaign posted a document purporting to be a birth certificate devoid of these details [of "the hospital of his birth, the attending physician and other details"]. It has also come under fire as a possible forgery." No mention, of course, of the fact that WND found that document to be authentic and that any challenge to the contrary "relies on discredited claims."
If WND ever had any sincere motives in attacking Obama over the birth certificate, they fell by the wayside long ago. At this point, Joseph Farah and WND are engaging in a cynical exercise of profiteering and pure hatred. We'll believe differently if WND ever accounts to its readers exactly where their FedEx money is being spent -- highly unlikely since WND hides behind the scrim of being a privately held company and refuses to release any financial information to the public, even that of its legal defense fund.
The fact that WND's profiteering is based on a fraud is icing on this cynical cake.