[S]uffice it to say that Eric Holder is but another floatie in the septic tank that is the Obama administration, albeit a pretty significant one.
-- Erik Rush, March 19 WorldNetDaily column
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Bozell Joins Judicial Watch's PR Team
Topic: Media Research Center
Bozell doesn't bother to mention -- perhaps because it wasn't in the JW press release Bozell was cribbing from -- that the first email he cited came in regard to obtaining a plane for a bipartisan congressional delegations, not for Pelosi's personal use.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Yes, Joseph Farah Is A Homophobe
In the midst of defending Jackie Mason for his use of the word "schvartze" to describe Barack Obama (and curiously failing to mention the historic context of the word as a derogatory insult) Joseph Farah writes in his March 18 column: "I certainly have been labeled a 'homophobe,' because I believe homosexual behavior is immoral – a sin. And I say it. I write it. I publish it."
No, Mr. Farah, you have been labeled a "homophobe" because you have, in fact, exhibited homophobic behavior.
Example 1: Farah threatened to sue Wikipedia because someone had altered his bio at the website to call him a "noted homosexual." It would be logical to assume that WorldNetDaily's war on Wikipedia has some basis in this perceived slight.
Example 2: Farah had an even bigger anti-gay freakout in 2006, when he decided that a college professor who detailed Farah's and WND's anti-gay activism was out to kill him. How so? Because the writer ended his column by rhetorically asking, "Who will rid us of the evil lunatics?" The professor responded to this by explicitly denying that he wanted to kill Farah -- which only enraged Farah even more: He called the professor a "nutcase" and "the Ward Churchill of the pro-perversion, anti-Christian crowd" and added, "Since homosexuals don't reproduce naturally, they need to recruit – not to be their children, mind you, but to be their prey."
Would a person who is not homophobic react so irrationally to 1) having the truth of his anti-gay activism pointed out and 2) being jokingly called gay? We think not.
Farah already has trouble handling criticism as it is, and his homophobic freakouts are an extension of this. Perhaps he needs to get some therapy or something to deal with this stuff better.
Noel Sheppard Shocked-By-The-Unshocking Watch
Noel Sheppard loves to be shocked by things that aren't shocking. In a March 17 NewsButers post, Sheppard demonstrates this propensity once again as he declares "shocking" that the Washington Post would publish a column that runs to the defense of Jim Cramer and CNBC and bashes Jon Stewart.
Wouldn't it be more shocking if NewsBusters permitted one of its bloggers to defend Stewart? Absolutely. Why are Sheppard and his colleagues so afraid of diversity of opinion?
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Ellis Washington, March 18 WorldNetDaily column
Newsmax Misleads on Dodd, AIG Bonuses
A March 17 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers begins:
In fact, as Media Matters details, Dodd's amendment actually limited AIG bonuses, and it did not provide an exemption from any limits on bonuses agreed to before February 11.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Now that he's blown the lid off the "great cabal of underground left-wing plotters," does Warner Todd Huston have the guts to take on the Council for National Policy? Or will he cower because his NewsBusters boss is a member?
Porter Apologizes, Mostly
In her March 17 WorldNetDaily column, Janet Folger Porter offers a formal mea culpa for unciritically repeating the false claim that members of David Wilkerson's New York church made thousands of sandwiches just before 9/11: "There were sandwiches. There were lots of them. But they were not made prior to Sept. 11."
But she's not apologizing for peddling Wilkerson's dire prophecy: "I wish I could say that because I was wrong on the sandwiches detail the rest of Pastor David Wilkerson's warning was also invalid, but I don't believe that is the case." Of course, Porter fails to note that Wilkerson has been making such predictions for at least 35 years.
We don't suppose we'll be seeing an apology from Porter anytime soon for repeating unsubstantiated fantasies about President Obama being a communist-groomed Manchurian candidate, but it may be too much to ask Porter to tell the full truth.
AIM Endorses Censorship
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid has devoted two recent columns to demanding that a book publisher perform an act of censorship and cancel publication of a book. Why? Kincaid doesn't like the author or the message.
Kincaid is all het up about Mark Rudd's autobiography in which he describes his 1960s radicalism., which is to be published later this month by the Rupert Mordoch-owned publisher HarperCollins. Kincaid writes in a March 10 column: "This is nothing less than an effort by Murdoch’s company to use its resources to promote this communist terrorist and his communist views to millions of Americans, especially young people and students. It is morally wrong and runs the risk of setting the stage for the creation of another violence-oriented student movement."
In a March 12 column, Kincaid conflates anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism; Kincaid claims that Rudd's "anti-Semitism apparently was an outgrowth of his anti-Americanism," though he offers evidence of Rudd doing no more than being critical of Israel's relationship with America and showing support for a Palestinian nation. Again, Kincaid demands that HarperCollins "kill the Rudd book."
The irony here is that Kincaid is demanding that others be censored when he himself is quick to hurl censorship accusations when it comes to his own views. For instance, in a 2007 column, Kincaid asserted that reviving the Fairness Doctrine will "intimidate, harass and censor the conservative media." The AIM archive contains many more examples.
Kincaid concluded that 2007 column by asserting that "Conservatives have to remain committed to freedom of speech and freedom of information." Except, it appears for Mark Rudd.
P.S. We aren't endorsing Rudd's views; we simply oppose censorship as a general principle.
NewsBusters Rants About Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart is sending the boys at NewsBusters into new fits of anti-liberal bluster.
A March 15 post by Noel Sheppard ludicriously described the faceoff between CNBC's Jim Cramer and Stewart as a "Battle Between Socialism and Capitalism." That's only if you call deficient reporting "capitalism" and criticism of deficient reporting "socialism." Even more ludicrously, Sheppard goes on to defend CNBC's deficient reporting:
Well, yeah -- talking to analysts who can provide indications that those comapnies are not telling the truth and can provide fact-based countervailing views. It's called telling both sides of the story -- apparently Sheppard has never heard of the concept.
Sheppard goes on to while: "what else should a financial outlet such as CNBC do to ensure the information it is presenting is accurate? And, why should it be the only one under such pressure?" Uh, because its specialty is financial news, and company CEOs have been using the network as a platform to whitewash criticism?
Sheppard then asserts that Stewart's attack on CNBC is "about personalities Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer making negative comments about Obama's economic policies, and the left can't have that." In fact, Stewart first criticized bad reporting at CNBC in the form of Cramer's claim that Bear Stearns was "not in trouble" less than a week before the company collapsed in March 2008, long before Obama was elected.
And guess what? NewsBusters did too, the same day Stewart did. So where, exactly, is the problem here?
Meanwhile, in a March 16 post, Tim Graham has a cow over the idea that Stewart is expressing a populist sentiment, bashing the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz for calling Stewart an "populist avenging angel."Kurtz, Graham claimed, "failed in this story to consider that Stewart wasn’t an 'avenging angel' for populists, but a transparent shill for liberal Obama-lovers." Like Sheppard, Graham fails to grasp that the issue is not ideological.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Did WND Bankroll Orly Taitz's Stunt?
A March 14 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn touts how Obama birth certificate obsessive Orly Taitz "confronted" Chief Justice John Roberts "with legal briefs and a WND petition bearing names of over 325,000 people asking the court to rule on whether or not the sitting president fulfills the Constitution's 'natural-born citizen' clause." Zahn added that a Secret Service agent accompanying Roberts "accepted two suitcases of documents and pledged to deliver them to Roberts," among them "[t]he WND petition, consisting of 3,300 pages of names – over 325,000 in all – of people demanding the Supreme Court hear the Obama eligibility case."
But as we've detailed, the WND petition is highly secretive and apparently problematic -- the signees are not publicly posted, and there's no apparent verification mechanism to prevent people from signing it more than once or the use of fictitious names. Nor are signers apparently screened for being of legal voting age. Further, there is no evidence whatsoever there are actually the number of signatures on the petition that WND claims.
Given that you and I cannot obtain basic information about this petition, and WND has failed to make such information available to its readers, how did Orly Tatiz get a hold of it?
This smells of a WND-orchestrated stunt. Zahn doesn't disclose how Taitz obtained the signatures on WND's petition, but given the logistics of printing out "3,300 pages of names," the only possible conclusion is that WND teamed up with Taitz -- and perhaps paid some expenses to cover Taitz's trip from California to Idaho, where Roberts spoke -- to create this story.
As with Aaron Klein's Wikipedia-bashing stunt, in which he has now admitted that he set in motion the events he wrote about, the issue is one of disclosure. WND still hasn't told its readers that Klein's articles were altered after publication to remove references tracing Klein to his manipulation, and WND hasn't disclosed its role in supplying Taitz with a copy of its petition.
News organizations are supposed to report the news, not create it. And if they do, they're supposed to fully disclose their role in doing so. WND has done neither.
It's time for WND to man up and start telling the full truth to its readers.
CNS Quotes Republican PR Firms to Bash Dems
A March 16 CNSNews.com article by Matt Cover claims that "top advertising and public relations executives told CNSNews.com" that "The Democratic Party is engaged in 'street theater' in its latest campaign against conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh." Cover fails to mention that those PR firms have conservative leanings.
Cover describes Shirley & Banister Public Affairs fawningly as "one of Washington, D.C.’s top political media relations firms" and quotes VP and "media adviser" Diana Banister disparagingly claiming Democrats are "just going to try and tear down everybody, between now and 2010 and 2012. They're going to use their money to do these snarky comments and ad campaigns." But Banister has a record of donating to Republicansand conservative causes, and her PR firm -- headed by longtime conservative activist Craig Shirley -- has a similar record of working for Republicans and conservatives.
The other firm Cover cites, 5W Public Relations ("a Top 20 public relations firm"), has conservative ties as well. According to Wikipedia, agency chief Ronn Torossian is the former media director for the Christian Coalition, and the firm has worked on behalf of numerous evangelical Christians, such as John Hagee and Benny Hinn.
WND, Newsmax Do PR for Judicial Watch
WorldNetDaily and Newsmax served as public-relations agents for Judicial Watch by uncritically repeating their allegations of abuse of military plane privileges by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi without making any effort whatsoever to tell the other side of the story.
WND's Chelsea Schilling hewed the closest to Judicial Watch's press release in a March 10 article, regurgitating Judicial Watch's description of itself as "the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption" and failing to note its history of disproportionate attacks against Democrats.
David Pattten was similarly acquiescent to Judicial Watch in a March 11 Newsmax article, describing it as as "the nonprofit organization that exposes government waste and corruption" and saying nothing about its anti-liberal bias.
Not only did Schilling and Patten both fail to seek comment from Pelosi or anyone else, they both repeated the same anecdotes from Judicial Watch's press release without telling the full story. For instance, both cited a email from from one Pelosi staffer, as described by Patten:
In fact, as Media Matters and ABC News detail, that particular email came in reference to planes available for bipartisan trips by congressional delegations -- not the speaker's personal travel. Further, many of those congressional delegations included Republicans, which Schilling and Patten also fail to mention.
Meanwhile, Schilling botches the background of the plane issue, writing: "Since Sept. 11, Pelosi has received what the Air Force refers to as 'shuttle service,' allegedly due to concerns for security." False; in fact, the speaker of the House, not Pelosi personally -- who has been speaker only since 2007 -- has received that service since the 9/11 terror attacks. It means that Pelosi's predecessor, Republican Dennis Hastert, took advantage of that privilege as well.
Schilling also uncritically repeats Judicial Watch's claim that "In recent years, Pelosi has reportedly requested a C-32 plane for her travels. The aircraft is a luxurious version of the Boeing 757-200 commercial intercontinental airliner and costs $22,000 an hour to operate." In fact, according to FactCheck.org:
Telling the full story, it seems, is beyond the journalistic capabilities of both Schilling and Patten.
Tim Graham Is Not A Journalist
Tim Graham's on the Heathering trail again, using a March 15 NewsBusters post to once more bash columnist Kathleen Parker for insufficient adherence to conservative dogma. Parker's offense this time is a column suggesting that the decline of newspapers is linked to demonizing of them by conservative "non-journalists."
In the middle of his anti-Parker rant, Graham drops a curious parenthetical aside: "I’m not a 'non-journalist.' I’m a journalist who writes about journalism. Just because the Washington Post wouldn’t hire me doesn’t mean I’m not a journalist."
Actually, the reason Graham is not a journalist has a lot more to do with the fact that he hasn't had anything to do with actual journalism for decades.
Yes, Graham actually worked in journalism at one time -- according to his MRC bio, he "served as a news reporter for the La Crosse (WI) Tribune and local radio stations in Wisconsin."
But he abandoned journalism for right-wing advocacy in 1986, when he became the editor of a newsletter issued by the right-wing Capital Research Center. And no, his short stint as White House correspondent for Marvin Olasky's World magazine doesn't count since that's an advocacy publication too.
Graham went on to further demonstrate he's not a journalist by asserting "overwhelming evidence of liberal media bias" -- despite the fact that he has previously conceded in 2006 that "the great majority of what we watch and read is not noticeably unfair or inaccurate." Graham further rants:
If Graham was actually a journalist, he would have offered evidence to back this up. He doesn't. Apparently, he thinks that asserting that there's "overwhelming evidence of liberal media bias" makes it so. It doesn't.
Of course, a real journalist would know that. We know that Graham isn't, and all his assertions to the contrary won't change that.
Besides, would a real journalist be obsessing so much about the ideological purity of others? We're pretty sure the answer is no.
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