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Thursday, March 26, 2009
NewsBusters, AIM Promote False Obama Attack
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters and Accuracy in Media referenced or alluded to a report that President Obama was involved in a teleprompter blunder -- but that report turned out to be false.

A March 18 NewsBusters post by Mike Sargent touted "the President's latest teleprompter gaffe," in which Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen briefly and mistakenly began reading a speech intended for Obama off a teleprompter, followed by Obama purporting to offer Cowen's remarks, during which "President Obama thanked President Obama for inviting everyone over." Sargent complained that an AP story on the incident was "stunningly unclear" and fretted that the media was "skipping a possibly unfavorable story."

A March 21 AIM blog post by K. Daniel Glover called for the creation of a website listing the "Obamateurism Of The Day," citing as evidence examples in which "Obama is caught without a Teleprompter or plagued by one that malfunctions." In support, Glover links to another blog post listing alleged Obama mistakes, including "Thanking himself in a Teleprompter malfunction."

As it turns out, Obama was making a joke.While Sargent ceded the possibility that it was (though presumably hoping it wasn't for agenda purposes), Glover did not. That puts them in line with other conservatives who didn't get the joke.

Will Sargent and Glover update their posts to reflect the full truth? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 AM EDT
MRC: Ed Schultz = Michael Savage
Topic: Media Research Center

In a March 25 Media Research Center press release, Brent Bozell bashed MSNBC's relationship with liberal radio host Ed Schultz, calling it "eerily reminiscent of MSNBC’s Michael Savage experiment.  Savage is crazy Right, and Schultz is crazy Left; the only thing they have in common is that MSNBC hired them both."

Except, of course, for the fact that Schultz and Savage aren't anything alike. The MRC could come up with only two examples of purportedly outrageous remarks by Schultz. And, of course, one is not that serious -- calling Sen. Richard Shelby “a terrorist on the American worker. He is a terrorist on wage workers” for opposing a bailout of the auto industry -- and the other is misrepresented.

According to the press release: "Just this past Friday, Schultz called Republican Senator Jon Kyl a 'spineless scumbag' for daring to criticize President Obama’s joke about how his bowling was so bad it was 'like Special Olympics or something.'" But Bozell's own employees tell a different story. In a March 24 NewsBusters post, Jack Coleman writes that Kyl criticized Obama "[n]ot because of Obama's revealing gaffe about the Special Olympics, but for schmoozing with Leno at a time of widespread economic anxiety."Coleman also pointed out that Schultz donated $100 to Special Olympics and challenged Kyl to do the same.

Savage, meanwhile, has accused Hillary Clinton of killing John Kennedy Jr. and claimed that President Obama "has a plan to force children into a paramilitary domestic army."

There is no comparison -- Savage wins the crazy competition hands down.

Further, Bozell's dismissal of Savage as "crazy right" obscures the fact that Bozell has criticized Savage only after Savage's firing from MSNBC in 2003 made it palatable for Bozell to distance himself from a fellow right-winger. Indeed, the first reference in the MRC archives to Savage is an April 2003 CyberAlert item noting that then-MSNBC reporter Ashleigh Banfield -- whom Savage recently called Banfield a "slut" after her Iraq "reports portraying the radical Arab point of view" -- "denounced MSNBC for giving an hour a week to radio talk show host Michael Savage." The CyberAlert not only didn't criticize Savage's hiring, it seemed to concur with his view of Banfield.

It was not until Savage's firing later that year that Bozell felt the need to put some distance  between him and Savage. Bozell began a July 2003 column with the disclaimer, "I’ve never written about radio/TV shock jock Michael Savage. I don’t know him, nor do I know much about him." He then dismissed Savage as "Saturday-afternoon cartoon conservatism" and fretted that "the conservative movement would get tagged by his outrageousness" -- then equivocated by claiming that certain remarks by liberals were much worse than anything Savage ever said.

Bozell couldn't speak up about Savage when it would have been genuinely brave of him to do so. For him to attack Schultz as a Savage clone is disingenous and cowardly -- not to mention utterly false.

UPDATE: Rich Noyes has dedicated a "Media Reality Check" to Schultz, adding to the list of offenses that Schultz once "compared [Rush] Limbaugh to Adolf Hitler." Funny, we don't recall the MRC being offended by Limbaugh's frequent use of the term "feminazi."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2009 11:38 AM EDT
WND's Washington: Obama's A Nazi Fascist Devil Mobster Manchurian Candidate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington has already slimed Barack Obama as a Nazi, a fascist, a devil and a mobster. What's next on Washington's checklist of smears? How about Manchurian candidate?

From Washington's March 25 WorldNetDaily column:

Obama can't repent because he is self-righteous, a narcissist, the prince of covetousness and a purveyor of socialism, or what Churchill called, "the gospel of envy." This Manchurian Candidate will continue the ruination of this country that he, his wife and his administration utterly hate until he has bankrupted it.

That was actually rather lame -- not to mention used months ago by his WND boss and partner in Obama-hate, David Kupelian.

Washington's falling down on the job if he's cribbing from Kupelian -- he needs to get on the stick and conjure up some more primo crazy smears.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
NewsBusters Tunnel Vision Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters just can't stop echoing its parent organization's tunnel-vision interpretation of the state of the newspaper industry. The latest participant is Stephen Gutowski, who complains about an Associated Press article in a March 25 post:

Not surprisingly the AP skips over an important factor in these papers' collective downfall. That factor being their obvious, undeniable, and (thanks to NewsBusters) well documented liberal bias. While it is certainly true that old media's failure to quickly adapt to a new media world has been one of the main causes of their struggle it is equally true that their utter lack of professionalism and objectivity has played a key role as well.

Gutowski offers no evidence to back up his claim that purported "liberal bias" -- NewsBusters' documentation of which is almost exclusively anecdotal -- "has played a key role" in the downfall of newspapers, let alone a role equal to that of "failure to quickly adapt to a new media world" (which Gutowski at least gets credit for mentioning, unlike his fellow MRC employees).

Posted by Terry K. at 6:41 PM EDT
Examiner Misleads Again on Obama, Defense Spending
Topic: Washington Examiner

A March 25 Washington Examiner editorial asserts that President Obama "intends to slash defense spending 8.2 percent below the level planned under President George W. Bush."

As we noted the last time the Examiner misled about  defense spending, Obama's planned budget is $14 billion higher than the current one, which undercuts the Examiner's assertion that Obama is doing "defense-on-the-cheap." The "plan" that Obama is purportedly "slashing" was, in fact, only a preliminary budget request. Does the Examiner really think that the Defense Department should get everything it asks for without question?

The Examiner also falsely asserts that Obama is "severely cutting American defense forces." In fact, Obama claimed during the campaign that he wants to increase the size of both the Army and the Marines.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:58 AM EDT
Meghan McCain Gets Heathered
Topic: NewsBusters

Rowr! P.J. Gladnick unleashes a big ol' fit of Heathering at Meghan McCain in a March 24 NewsBusters post:

A quick listen to Ms McCain's voice on this video clip of her appearance on CNN's Larry King Live last night brought back memories of the years your humble correspondent spent in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, birthplace of the Valley Girl accent which, unfortunately, spread to many parts of the country. That Valspeak accent still painfully reverberates in my ears yet despite my earnest hope that it would die a permanent death, along comes Meghan McCain to resurrect that annoying sound in interview after interview in her quest for eternal publicity for herself.

So how does someone who sounds so annoyingly vacuous rate so much publicity?


The interview drones on but at this point your humble correspondent is suffering from too many vapid Valley Girl flashbacks to continue.  However, I leave with one piece of advice for Meghan McCain and her quest for fame way beyond her alloted 15 minutes. She should visit Kat Von D on LA Ink for an in-depth discussion on her important tattoo decision. A show like that would be a perfect fit for her and would be like totally rad, if not awesomely tubular.

Gladnick's cattiness is only because, like Gladnick's previous Heathering victims, Meghan McCain refused to strictly toe Gladnick's line of right-wing dogma.

Gladnick also asserts: "For the record, Laura Ingraham never actually called Meghan McCain fat." Only technically true; actually, Ingraham mocked McCain as a "plus-sized model."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:19 AM EDT
WND Embraces Baseless Racism Charge
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily regularly rails against what it sees as the invocation of accusations of racism by liberals. Joseph Farah, for example, recently complained that "Jackie Mason is being accused of racism because he referred to Barack Obama as a 'schwartza'" (but refusing to explain the historic context of the word as a epithet), adding that it was a sign that "some people – and I include Barack Obama's inner circle in this group – want to end dissent in this country." And David Kupelian asserted just two weeks ago that "Racism is largely a manufactured crisis in America today," invoked only by "long-time professional race-baiters who thrive on stirring up racial suspicions and hatreds" like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who have "thrived for decades on literally creating the perception of racism where none existed – for their own benefit."

Funny, because "creating the perception of racism where none existed" is exactly what WND reporter Chelsea Schilling is doing.

In a March 23 WND article, Schilling uncritically repeats allegations by the wife of an anti-abortion protester that her husband is being "targeted because he's a black man who dared to take a stand against race-based abortion":

While white pro-lifers have protested there for more than a decade, Lori [Hoye] said Walter's presence quickly became a problem for the clinic – because of his skin color.

"In the 90 minutes we were out there, 25 women went into that clinic and 23 of them were black," she said. "It's about keeping a black face off the sidewalk so the clinic can continue to target black people and not have any interference."

When WND contacted the clinic to ask if it had targeted Walter because he is a black man with a pro-life message, the operator quickly transferred the call, and a representative did not return messages.

Schilling offers no evidence whatsoever to back up Lori Hoye's assertions. That's bad, lazy, biased reporting -- the kind Schilling regularly engages in. Nor does Schilling bother to offer another view of hurling racism accusations either from her WND bosses (Farah, Kupelian) or others, such as Palm Beach Post blogger Rhonda Swan:

Isn’t there enough real discrimination, prejudice and racism in the world without making it up?


Can we get real here? What’s at stake is their credibility. If the National Black Pro-Life Union, Issues4Life and other anti-abortion groups want to make a case against buffer zones and for freedom of speech, making false accusations of racism is hardly the way to do it.

Will Farah and Kupelian hold their own reporter to the standards they hold liberal politicians? Somehow we doubt it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
CNS Labeling Bias (And Bias In General) Watch

A March 24 article by Edwin Mora followed CNS' longtime labeling bias in inaccurately calling President Obama a "pro-abortion president."

Further, Mora quoted numerous people attacking Obama and Notre Dame University (for inviting Obama to speak at its commencement), but it's not until the 45th paragraph of his article that gets around to quoting someone supports Notre Dame's invitation to Obama.

An unbylined March 23 CNS article also inaccurately called Obama "pro-abortion."

UPDATE: A CNS article by Mora dated March 25 (but posted March 24) also inaccurately refers to "pro-abortion President Barack Obama."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:15 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 4:17 PM EDT
Graham: Plan B 'Makes Teenage Sex Easier'
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham asserts in the headline of a March 24 NewsBusters post that "liberals" are "making teenage sex easier" by supporting a ruling ordering the FDA to make the Plan B morning-after pill available to 17-year-old girls.

Huh? The existence of emergency contraception doesn't make sex "easier" for 17-year-olds or anyone else. Indeed, Graham offers no evidence that emergency contraception was a deciding factor for any couple, teen or otherwise, deciding to engage in sexual activity.

Graham tried to alternatively frame things by claiming that "making high doses of contraceptive medicines available to high-school juniors is in part a social decision about child sexual activity without parental consent." But that doesn't explain his headline's contention that Plan B "mak[es] teenage sex easier."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 PM EDT
New Article: Evasive Answers to Simple Questions
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Why is WorldNetDaily trying to pretend it never reported that Obama's birth certificate is authentic? Is WND bankrolling Orly Taitz's stunts and lawsuits? Who has signed WND's anti-Obama petition? Answers, when given at all, are false or misleading. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EDT
Wheeler Falsely Claims Obama Supports Hamas
Topic: Newsmax

Scott Wheeler writes in a March 23 Newsmax column:

The terrorist group Hamas endorsed Obama before the election, but instead of feeling suckered like many Americans who voted for him, they are seeing results. An AFP report quotes Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal praising what he calls Obama’s “new lexicon” for describing terrorist’s demands. "The challenge for everyone is that (Obama's new language) is a prelude to a sincere change in U.S. . . . foreign policy," said Meshaal, according to AFP.

By “sincere change” the Hamas leader was referring to the previous U.S. policy in the Middle East stating that we would not support Hamas’ goal of killing all the Jews and taking over Israeli land and turning it into the new Palestine. That is the reason for Hamas’ existence — it is written in Hamas’ charter and has been reiterated constantly since it’s founding in 1988.

Wheeler's claim that Obama supports Hamas is a lie. As even WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein concedes in his desperate attempts to link Obama to Hamas by uncritically repeating unverified claims by terrorists (as Wheeler is doing), "there is no change in the U.S. policy of isolating Hamas."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT
Monday, March 23, 2009
Topic: NewsBusters
Jamison Foser at County Fair points out the general cluelessness of Warner Todd Huston, who complained in a March 22 NewsBusters post that the San Francisco Chronicle covered an anti-war protest in San Francisco but not a right-wing "tea party" protest in ... Ohio. Huston also couldn't decide on the size of the Ohio protest, alternately calling it "massive," "no bigger (and arguably smaller)"and "likely bigger" than the San Francisco protest.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EDT
Sheppard Defends Context of Killer's Confession
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard, in a March 21 NewsBusters post, comes to a bizarre defense of  Jim David Adkisson, the man who shot and killed two people in a Tennessee church last July. Trying to rebut Keith Olbermann's statement that "The guy who walked into the church in Tennessee said in his statement to the police that he did this because he could not shoot the liberals who were on the list from Bernie Goldberg," as listed in his book "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America." Sheppard tried to claim that Olbermann was taking Adkisson out of context. But the purported context of Adkisson's motivation doesn't change the fact that Adkisson did, in fact, say:

Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate + House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the Mainstream Media. But I knew these people were inaccessible to me. I couldn't get to the generals + high ranking officers of the Marxist Movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickens**t liberals that vote in these traitorous people.

Sheppard doesn't explain how Adkisson's full confession or his claim that "I've chosen to skip the bad years of poverty" makes's Olbermann's claim, in Sheppard's words, "utter, total nonsense."

Sheppard also falsely claimed that Bill Maher made an "expression of regret that the March 2007 assassination of Vice President Dick Cheney failed."

In fact, as we noted the last time Sheppard falsely portrayed Maher's remarks, that's not what Maher said; he said: "I'm just saying that if he did die -- other people -- more people would live."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
Another Anti-HuffPo Rant from Tim Graham
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham still hates the Huffington Post. In a March 21 NewsBusters post, he denigrates it as a home for "rabid left-wing celebrity hate speech" and "slash-and-burn rhetoric from millionaire Hollywood leftists."

In fact, there are no fewer than six posts at HuffPo, including from "millionaire Hollywood leftists" Ben Stiller and Alec Baldwin, respectfully mourning the death of liberal-turned-conservative actor Ron Silver.

Responding to a claim that HuffPo "publishes consistently thoughtful commentary," Graham responds: "For rebuttal, see our Special Report on 'Huffington's House of Horrors.'" As we've detailed, in his report, Graham cherry-picked just 19 posts out of the tens of thousands made on HuffPo over the two years prior to his report and baselessly extrapolates it to claim "These blogs may not be typical, but they are common." 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 AM EDT
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Noel Sheppard Shocked-By-The-Unshocking Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

Mark March 21, 2009, as the day pigs flew and hell froze over: the shamelessly liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman actually criticized the Obama administration.

-- Noel Sheppard, March 21 NewsBusters post.

Sheppard -- who is prone to such baseless exclamations -- assumes that Krugman is an ideologue like himself, which he is not. It would be much more shocking for Sheppard (or anyone else at NewsBusters, for that matter) to criticize a conservative for a reason other than not being conservative enough.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:35 PM EDT

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