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Thursday, April 16, 2009
CMI's Hypocrisy: Silence on Right-Wing Sexism Toward Liberal Women
Topic: Media Research Center

An April 15 MRC Culture & Media Institute article by Jeff Poor and Colleen Raezler (also posted at NewsBusters) criticizes the "liberal media’s disdain for conservative women," specifically attacking MSNBC for apologizing over slights toward Hillary Clinton and other liberal women but claims it has a "strategy" of "insult, insult, insult" toward conservative women and hurling "belittling, degrading, sexist comments" toward them. Raezler's evidence is a little thin -- they have decided, for instance, that Chris Matthews' description of Sarah Palin as a "fire breather" meant that he was calling her a dragon (even though the dictionary definition of the word says nothing about dragons).Further, Poor and Raezler baselessly suggested that political criticism of Palin is equivalent to sexist remarks; they write that "Following the vice-presidential debate on MSNBC’s Oct. 2, Matthews referred to Palin’s camera demeanor as a 'dolt,'" but as the NewsBusters item to which Raezler links makes clear, Matthews was referring to Palin's habit of addressing the camera instead of the audience or the interviewer, which is in no way a "sexist" criticism.

Poor and Raezler's outrage over sexist remarks, however, end when conservatives are making them and liberal women are the targets.

A search of the CMI database found no examples whatsoever by Raezler, Poor, or any other CMI employee expressing criticism of sexist remarks made by Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage-- two conservatives with long histories of making "belittling, degrading, sexist comments" toward liberal women.

Raezler and Poor complained that MSNBC made "cartoonish characterizations of courageous, intelligent and strong women," but it's clear that they don't consider liberal women to be courageous, intelligent or strong. Raezler quotes "Colleen Holmes, executive director of the conservative Eagle Forum," as saying, "Michelle Malkin summarized it perfectly when she noted that the liberals have a tendency to infantilize, sexualize, demonize and dehumanize conservative women." Apparently, calling Nancy Pelosi "mussolini in a skirt," as Savage has done, is not demonizing or dehumanizing.

Raezler and Poor need to hold their own side accountable for its sexist rhetoric before they have any credibility with which to criticize the rhetoric of others. 

UPDATE: Savage calls a CNN female reporter "a self-hating white woman, who couldn't get a job as a hooker." Is that demonizing and dehumanizing enough to move Poor and Raezler to criticism, or do they think such criticism is justibiable because the reporter can be dismissed as a liberal?

UPDATE 2: Raezler and Poor also referenced a previous CMI report on coverage of Sarah Palin -- also co-written by Raezler -- to claim that "it's not just MSNBC who has treated conservative women in this manner." As we detailed at the time of that report's release, its main complaint was that news reports on Palin didn't uncritically repeat McCain campaign talking points.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 16, 2009 12:33 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Newsmax Again Promotes 'Grassroots' Tea Parties
Topic: Newsmax
An April 15 Newsmax article asserted and uncritically repeated claims that the anti-Obama "tea parties" are a "grass-roots movement" despite the evidence that they're not. The article even quoted Dick Armey of FreedomWorks without noting that Armey's group has been promoting tea party events for months.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:48 PM EDT
Sheppard's Conspiratorial Freakout
Topic: NewsBusters

An April 15 NewsBsuters post by Noel Sheppard asserted that the Department of Homeland Security report on right-wing extremism " enraged conservatives questioning not only the timing of this report's release within days of liberal media representatives blaming the shootings on rightwing talkers, but also just before Wednesday's tax protesting Tea Parties." Sheppard later expresses concern that the report "conspicuously coincident with high-profile cop killings as well as protests against the current administration's fiscal policies" and demands to know "how it got leaked to the press."

In fact, right-wing radio host Roger Hedgecock is taking credit for revealing the report in his WorldNetDaily column.

Unless Sheppard can prove Hedgecock and WND are part of the vast left-wing conspiracy -- let alone that anything in the report is false -- he perhaps needs to chill out for a bit.

Sheppard also repeats his deflection of responsibility from right-wing media personalities for their extremist rhetoric, insisting that in the DHS report "the Pittsburgh cop killings were used as an example of a potential rise in violence associated with rightwing extremism when it was a domestic dispute between a mother and son which flared out of control." Sheppard curiously ignores all the evidence linking the alleged shooter, Richard Poplawski, to right-wing extremism, as well as the likely possibility that it was Poplawski's embrace of that extremism that made it more likely that an argument with his mother would "flare out of control."

UPDATE: Jamison Foser weighs in as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 2:21 PM EDT
Blumer Still Clueless About the Media
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer puts his cluelessness about the media to work yet again in an April 14 NewsBusters post about declining ratings for network evening news broadcasts, writing: "I could of course be commenting on the poor quality of the alleged journalism. But in this case I'm talking about their ratings, which is of course largely caused by said poor journalism."

But Blumer offers no evidence that the networks engage in "poor journalism" -- read: overly pro-Obama journalism -- let alone that there is a direct relationship between it and declining ratings.

Blumer referenced a March 25 post, in which he claimed that the network newscasts were "heavy on fawning favoritism towards Barack Obama and Joe Biden combined with all-out attacks on John McCain and Sarah Palin" and that the networks believed that "an Obama presidency might revive interest in their declining evening newscasts." But he offers no evidence to back that up, either.

Asserting something doesn't make it so, Tom.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 AM EDT
WND Ignores Full Story of Ex-Soldiers, Right-Wing Extremism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An unbylined April 14 WorldNetDaily article featured criticism by the American Legion of a Department of Homeland Security report on "dangers associated with "right-wing extremists" – and singles out returning war veterans as particular threats." The WND article stated that the American Legion "strongly objects to the report linking veterans to the Oklahoma City tragedy simply because bomber Timothy McVeigh had served in the military."

In fact, as Media Matters details, a 2008 FBI report (issued, by the way, under the Bush administration) stated, in the words of the DHS, that "some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups," adding: "A review of FBI white supremacist extremist cases from October 2001 to May 2008 identified 203 individuals with confirmed or claimed military service active in the extremist movement at some time during the reporting period."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EDT
ConWeb Baselessly Calls Tea Parties 'Grassroots'
Topic: The ConWeb

The following ConWeb articles, columns and blog posts baselessly asserted or uncritically repeated claims that the anti-Obama tea parties happening today are "grassroots" or "bottom up" despite growing evidence to the contrary:


  • March 15 article by Chelsea Schilling
  • March 23 article by Andrea Shea King


  • Feb. 20 column by Michelle Malkin
  • March 4 column by Michelle Malkin


  • March 23 item by Clay Waters
  • April 7 item by Jeff Poor
  • April 7 item by Clay Waters
  • April 9 item by Jeff Poor
  • April 11 item by Jeff Poor

Accuracy in Media

Only one ConWeb article uncritically acknowledges claims that the tea parties aren't "grassroots": an April 13 WND article by Chelsea Schilling.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 12:35 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Deep Thought
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard might have a credible case for criticizing government warnings about possible violence from "domestic rightwing terrorists" if the acronym for his so-called "War Against Conservative Opinion" idea didn't invoke images of gun-toting, child-molesting extremist cult members who murdered federal agents.

UPDATE: Jamison Foser adds: "So it is at least creepy, if not dangerous, for Sheppard to run around shouting 'Waco!' over and over, all the while promoting the fiction that the Obama administration has a secret plan to seize guns."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 2:35 PM EDT
WND Repeats False Claim About Obama's Pizza
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 13 WorldNetDaily article by Andrea Shea King falsely claims that President Obama "actually flew" pizza chef Chris Sommers in from St. Louis to make a pizza for him, further snarking that the pizza contains "a heaping helping of environmental hypocrisy."

But as blogger Tommy Christopher writes, he contacted the restaurant in St. Louis and got the truth (h/t Sadly, No!):

  • In fact, Chris Sommers flew commercial.
  • Not only that, he flew coach.
  • Not only that, he had already planned a business trip to DC, so the restaurant paid for his travel!


Finally, Barack Obama isn't saddling the American taxpayer with the tab for this feast. He's picking up the tab, for local ingredients, out of his own pocket.

Too bad King couldn't be bothered to investigate the story before latching onto a lie. But that's what makes her such an ideal WND employee.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 PM EDT
Kessler Fluffs Bush Again
Topic: Newsmax

Just because George W. Bush is out of office doesn't mean that Ronald Kessler can't fluff the guy.

A longtime Bush fluffer, Kessler takes the opportunity to fawn over him once more in an April 13 Newsmax column ostensibly about a meeting of former Bush administration officials "to map plans for the George W. Bush Presidential Center." He writes: "In contrast to President Obama, who takes swipes at Bush at every turn, they will have much to be proud of."

And the parade of fluffing begins, combined with potshots at the usual suspects. Kessler insists that Bush's achievements "have been largely ignored by a press determined to bash Bush whenever it can" and asserting without evidence that the New York Times "never misses a chance to portray Bush as an intolerant bigot."

Kessler devotes the latter part of his column to an attack on President Obama, including the misleading claim that "Obama has 'the most polarized early job approval of any president,' according to the Pew Research Center." He also claims that "Vice President Joe Biden has been busy making up stories about how he allegedly chastised Bush in the Oval Office" without offering any proof that Biden lied.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 12:11 PM EDT
AIM Baselessly Claims Critics of Lack of Degree for Obama Allege Racism
Topic: Accuracy in Media

An April 13 Accuracy in Media blog post by Don Irvine baseless asserted taht "Obama supporters and others on the left" are "mercilessly attacking" Arizona State University and "accusing the school of racism for their decision" not to award President Obama an honorary degree when he visits in May to deliver a commencement speech. Irvine offers no evidence that any notable person on "the left" has invoked racism in their criticism of the school. Indeed, it appears that the opposite is true.

For instance, John Aravosis at the liberal AmericaBlog wrote: "Now, before anyone thinks this is about racism or anything, it should be noted that Arizona State is happy to bestow honorary degrees on other people of color (or at least non-white color) who have accomplished great things in their lives, like the vice minister of education of communist China." (One would think that would set off the anti-communist obsessives at AIM more than a degree for Obama; instead, Irvine's offended that ASU will instead rename a scholarship for Obama, which means "his name will live on in perpetuity at a school where he has zero relationship and all because of the desire to be politically correct.")

At the Huffington Post, Earl Ofari Hutchinson stated that allegations that ASU president Michael Crow is a "closet bigot" are "mostly hearsay and does not tag Crow as a president with a vendetta against women and minorities."

Even a blog at the website for the black-oriented cable channel BET did not reference race issues in reporting the story.

Irvine might want to try backing up his claims once in a while.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 AM EDT
Monday, April 13, 2009
For WND, Fawning Profiles More Newsworthy Than Navy's Pirate Rescue
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How pathologically does WorldNetDaily hate Barack Obama? For much of the day today, its coverage of the rescue of a cargo ship captain kidnapped by Somali pirates starts at the 30th item on its front page.

The lead story? A fawning profile of Obama birth certificate obsessive Orly Taitz by Chelsea Schilling (who is apparently WND's go-to gal for slobbering profiles; she did one a couple weeks ago on movie-purity obsessive Ted Baehr).

Since Schilling is all about the slobbering and fawning -- indeed, she describes Taitz as a "fierce blonde" with "a vibrant smile and an ebullient personality" -- she's not going to tell you about WND's overly close relationship with Taitz -- as we've detailed, WND apparently has a role in facilitating Taitz's publicity stunts. Nor will she mention questions that have been raised about Taitz's legal qualifications and her methods of attacking Obama. (She's not a member of the American Bar Association, nor does the school from which Taitz received her law degree have ABA accreditation.)

Schilling will, however, indulge in casual slurs of Obama, quoting Taitz as saying that "much like President Obama's proposed brigade of youth organizers, the Soviet Union used children for slave labor."

Posted by Terry K. at 5:06 PM EDT
WND's Smith Displays Ignorance About Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Craig R. Smith writes in his April 13 WorldNetDaily column:

Obamamaniacs ignored his clear avoidance of any contact with the military by Obama during the campaign. Obama spoke to 300,000 Germans in the streets of Berlin but didn't have time to stop at the Landstuhl Medical Center to visit wounded heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan?

In fact, on the same summer 2008 trip in which he spoke in Berlin but canceled a visit to Landstuhl, Obama did visit a casualty unit in Iraq's Green Zone.

Smith also writes that on his most recent trip to Europe, Obama visited "a mosque in Turkey to appease the religion of peace" but not "the sacred, blood-soaked ground of Normandy where 9,387 American soldiers are buried" while ignoring the fact that Obama also visited troops in Iraq.

This is in a column, by the way, in which Smith accuses Obama supporters of being "ignorant of the facts."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnists Move in Lockstep to Bash Obama
Topic: Newsmax

As if moving in lockstep on orders from above, Newsmax columnists have declared that President Obama's visit to Europe and elsewhere accomplished nothing.

John L. Perry asserted in an April 13 column:

Like the Yorkshireman, Barack Obama burst upon the scene from obscure lineage — his emanating in disparate continents, Africa and North America.

Arms extended, Obama still circles the arena. Cheers continue, but slacken. His ill-timed effort to spread his wings across Europe, so congenial in leftist venues he courted, turned into a trans-substantial continental flop.

High-flying oratory proved utterly inefficacious in winning any major foreign-policy result he set himself to bring home in triumph. Obama’s personal diplomacy never took off.

A half-hour later, Newsmax posted a column by James H. Walsh saying pretty much the same thing:

President Barack Hussein Obama has been on a whirlwind tour of Europe, stopping at three recent European “summits.” Of course, his tour received glowing reviews by most U.S. news media and liberal/Democrat talking heads who decried that the tour was on the scale of Caesar’s return from the Gallic Wars.

World leaders and the world press, less obsequious than their U.S. counterparts, acknowledge the likeability of the new U.S. President, but as a leader for U.S. interests, not so much.


It is worth noting, however, that nothing of substance was accomplished. The Obama administration hastened to say that the president “built new relationships, which will prove to be the foundation for future substantive accomplishments,” which is Washington, D.C., spin at its best.

Contrary to the Obama administration, which tends to believe its own press clippings, the world is not in lock-step with the president’s stimulus plans, or his Afghan plans, his bailout plans, or his nuclear weapons control plans.

Did Perry and Walsh compare notes before writing their columns to make sure they didn't say the same thing the same exact way?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 PM EDT
New Article: Ellis Washington's Obama Derangement
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Fascists? Nazis? Mobsters? Devils? Pagan gods? The WorldNetDaily columnist has likened Barack Obama (among others) to all of these and more. Unsurprisingly, he's also a worshipper of Michael Savage. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
NewsBusters Takes Cue from Palin, Throws Levi Johnston Under the Bus
Topic: NewsBusters

Earlier this year, NewsBusters thought well enough of Levi Johnston to grace him with his very own category tag. Mark Finkelstein even ran to his defense in January, bashing MSNBC's David Shuster for labeling Johnston and Bristol Palin "unwed parents."

Not anymore.

Now that Bristol's mom, Sarah Palin, is trying to cut Johnston out of the family -- even to the point of apparently denying him unsupervised visitation of his own newborn son by Bristol --  NewsBusters appears to be doing the same thing.

Warner Todd Huston (of course) lobbed the biggest salvo so far:

Do you care that punk Levi Johnston is bawling to the press that Governor Palin is supposedly a controlling Grandmother? Especially in light of the fact that this kid is an uneducated, immature, unserious lout? 


This time we have punk Johnston whining that Grandma Palin is a bit cross with him and closely watches him when he is with the baby. All I can say is, can you blame her? I wouldn't think much of a grandmother that let's a jobless, high school dropout have unsupervised visits with a child he casually fathered without regard for his girlfriend's future or family. Would you?

Matthew Balan complained that in one interview, Johnston was asked "some obligatory sappy questions, such as what his son Tripp meant to him, and if his 'heart was broken' over the way things turned out."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EDT

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