CNS Hides Hateful Tone of Pravda Opinion Piece Topic: CNSNews.com
One of the stranger sights we've seen lately is right-wingers' embrace of "news" sources, no matter how dubious, that reflect its preferred talking points -- as illustrated by the ConWeb's embrace of an editorial on global warming published by a 9/11 truther on the Russian Pravda website.
That spectacle repeats itself in a June 2 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas that follows other right-wing media in embracing a Pravda website opinion piece lamenting "the American decent [sic] into Marxism."
Lucas claimed that the piece was "published in the once-official newspaper of the Soviet Union"; in fact, Pravda.ru, where the opinion piece appeared, is largely separate from the Pravda newspaper, with the website taking a much more sensationalist and nationalist approach.
Lucas fails to make note of the overall hateful tone of the opinion piece. For instance, it refers Rep. Barney Frank as "Senator Barney Franks [sic], a social pervert basking in his homosexuality."Moreover, the author of the piece has also attacked America as "a democracy where the rights of the minority, such as the homosexuals and Muslims, routinely trumps the rights of the Christian majority, who are viewed by the elites as a vast unwashed, ignorant economic unit to be taxed as needed, bled for the right causes ... in foreign wars and socially experimented on, at the elites' whim."
Are those sentiments Lucas and CNS endorse as well?
New Article: The Insta-Conspiracy Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb quickly latched onto a right-wing claim that Chrysler dealers losing their franchises were disproportionately Republican -- a claim that was just as quickly debunked. But they're too invested in the conspiracy to honestly report the truth. Read more >>
From a June 2 article by Julie Crawshaw on Newsmax's Moneynews website:
Investing experts now worry that inflation in the United States will approach that in Zimbabwe because the Federal Reserve will be reluctant to raise interest rates when it should.
Zimbabwe’s inflation rate was last reported at 231 million percent in July.
At no point does Crawshaw quote any "investing expert" offering a contrasting opinion, let alone citing Zimbabwe's situation as a likely scenario the U.S. faces. Nor does she define "hyperinflation" as anything but "Zimbabwe-level inflation."
The Motley Fool, meanwhile, appears to be a much more sane and trustworthy source on the subject:
Let's get one thing clear from the get-go: Hyperinflation is an extreme occurrence.
In the worst-case scenario of hyperinflation, a country's currency is rendered worthless; a trillion dollars wouldn't buy you a Coke. Uber-reporter Michael Lewis wrote an eye-opening account of the kinds of things he saw while visiting recent hyperinflation victim Iceland: an epidemic of people blowing up their Range Rovers for insurance money, hoarding food and foreign currency, and seriously contemplating emigrating from the country.
Stepping back from that dire possibility, a more conservative definition of hyperinflation is a doubling of prices over three years. For the century or so we've been keeping track, the U.S. hasn't come close.
The U.S. banking problems are bad, but we have the rest of our income-producing industries to fall back on. While hyperinflation in the U.S. is possible, it's just not very likely.
Your WND Hate-Crimes Lie of the Day Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 1 WorldNetDaily article again calls the federal hate-crimes bill the "Pedophile Protection Act" and uncritically repeats the demonstrably false claim that the bill offers protection for "all 547 forms of sexual deviancy or 'paraphilias' listed by the American Psychiatric Association."
As a special bonus, WND also uses the article to whitewash an alleged hate crime in Missouri:
No one really knows what was going through the mind of Nicholas John Profitt, 31, when he allegedly threw rocks that damaged the front door of the Islamic Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Was it an act of anti-Islamic bigotry? Or was it a random act of vandalism?
Nevertheless, Profitt has been charged with a hate crime. What would have been a misdemeanor count becomes a class D felony.
Instead of facing a maximum sentence of four years in prison, Profitt is facing up to seven – the difference due to his state of mind, what he was thinking or not thinking when he threw the rocks.
That's partly what's at stake when the U.S. Senate considers a national hate crimes bill that will add special penalties against individuals guilty of crimes based on ethnic, religious and racial hatred and new classifications based on sexual orientation – legislation that has been dubbed by critics as "The Pedophile Protection Act."
WND misleads its readers by portraying Profitt as someone who benignly threw rocks at a door. WND fails to report other details of the case:
Damage to the door exceed $750.
Profitt is also accused of damaging the windshield of a car parked in the Islamic center's parking lot.
Profitt faces further charges of driving while intoxicated, speeding and failure to wear a seatbelt for offenses he allegedly committed four hours after the property damage.
Why does WND want its readers to think it's somehow acceptable to vandalize an Islamic center and face only minimal punishment for doing so?
MRC Writer: Tiller Deserved to Be Targeted For Murder Topic: Media Research Center
Back in April, we noted how MRC Culture & Media Institute writer Colleen Raezler complained that the media allegedly failed to report the fact that the victims of a plane crash were an abortion doctor and his family, and that Raezler's repeated insistence that "loss of human life is a tragedy" belied her overall tone that she believed the deaths of these people weren't.
Raezler turns in a repeat performance of this argument -- complete with disingenous discliamers -- in a June 2 CMI article co-authored with Sarah Knoploh and also posted at NewsBusters. This time, Raezler goes even farther, suggesting that murdered abortion doctor George Tiller deserved to be targeted (as highlighted by Media Matters):
Loss of human life is a tragedy and should be reported as such, and premeditated murder is always wrong – something all the mainstream pro-life groups were quick to affirm in the wake of the killing. But in reporting this tragic story, the news media have much to say about a man who helped provide women with the “right” to end their pregnancies, but have little to say about lives he helped to end. In failing to highlight what Tiller’s work actually entailed, reporters do nothing to help their audience understand why this man was targeted.
By suggesting that Tiller was targeted for completely understandable reasons, she's also claiming that it's completely understandable that someone would want to murder him, her disingenuous blather about how "loss of human life is a tragedy" notwithstanding.
Raezler goes on to repeat anti-abortion groups' condemnation of the shooting of Tiller as evidence that "the pro-life community truly views all loss of human life as a tragedy." But she takes pains to exclude Randall Terry from the "pro-life community" -- even though he is a seminal part of it. She lumped Terry's "inflammatory" assertion that "George Tiller was a mass murderer" with "several random responses from the Internet."
But Terry's claim really isn't that much more inflammatory than Raezler's, is it?
Notice what Raezler doesn't say: she doesn't so much as hint at disapproval of the terrorists who bombed Tiller's clinic and shot him. Instead, she is unhappy that mentioning those events increases "the aura of martyrdom that now surrounds" Tiller.
In claiming that President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is "a play right out of the standard Democratic dirty-tricks playbook: the race hustle," Scott Wheeler, in his June 1 Newsmax column, distorts Obama's comments on the Constitution and the Supreme Court made in a 2001 interview:
A chilling, January 2001 interview reveals what far-reaching consequences Obama-styled “empathy” can have for the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. “The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society,” Obama told an interviewer for a Chicago radio station.
He went on to complain that when ultra-liberal, judicial activist Earl Warren was chief justice of the Supreme Court “it didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.”
He seems to really miss that the whole point of the Constitution was to prevent tyrants from “break[ing] free” from the rule of law and declaring themselves the final arbiters of what is legal. But, then again, maybe he doesn’t miss that point at all.
In fact, as we've documented, Obama did not say what Wheeler accuses him of saying.He did not "complain" that the Warren Court "didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution"; rather, he said that Warren was not as "ultra-liberal" as Wheeler thinks he is because his court "didn't break free." At no point does Obama endorse "breaking free," and Wheeler is lying when he claims Obama did.
WorldNetDaily, Abortion, and George Tiller Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has long been sympathetic to the extremist end of the anti-abortion movement. Two examples particularly stand out, as we've detailed:
In 2002, WND published a fawning profile of Neal Horsley, most notoriously known for operating a website with the names and personal information of abortion providers and their employees, and whose website served as a conduit for radical anti-abortion activist Clayton Waagner to issue death threats against 42 abortion clinic employees. WND portrayed Horsley asjust a guy who runs "a pair of popular pro-life websites" who's being discriminated against because of a few unpleasant pictures are causing Internet service providers to continally dump him. (Horsley is also, by the way, currently a candidate for Georgia governor.)
WND also published in 2002 a seven-part series by Jack Cashill claiming that James Kopp was framed for the 1998 death of abortion doctor Barnett Slepian. Cashill accused the Clinton administration of being "determined ... to protect the abortion industry" and of having "open hostility to the pro-life movement" (and Hillary Clinton in particular of having "made the department into a formidable feminist stronghold"), painted Kopp as having "an almost Gandhian devotion to non-violence and passive resistance," accused officials of singling out Kopp as part of "a fishing expedition," claimed that because Slepian was a "mediocre student" and performing abortions takes "no great talent" he "fit the classic stereotype of the abortion doctor," asserted that evidence against Kopp was planted, and even suggested that "the pro-choice side had a much greater motive to kill Slepian than did the pro-life side" because Slepian was allegedly considering leaving his abortion practice. Six months later, Kopp pleaded guilty to killing Slepian; Cashill has yet to correct his articles or apologize for them.
WND has also regularly attacked Tiller; as we've noted, the phrase "Tiller the killer" occurs no less than 92 times on WND's website, includingseveralheadlines. We've alsonoted that WND's attacks on Tiller tend to be one-sided with little to no effort to fairly tell both sides of the story. WND -- and particularly Cashill -- has promoted the anti-Tiller crusade of Phill Kline, former Kansas attorney general and current county attorney.
WND's initial article on Tiller's death was typically unbalanced: It rehashed a case in which he was "accused on 19 counts of illegally aborting viable babies" -- of which he was acquitted.
WND writers have unloaded harsh rhetoric against Tiller as well. For instance, in a July 2007 column, Cashill lamented that "In Kansas, we don't even have a Gestapo to explain our passivity" toward allowing Tiller to stay in business, adding that "I have to ask myself whether we judged too harshly those 'Good Germans,' who turned a blind eye to Nazi inhumanities." And in a March 2007 column, Jill Stanek asserted that Tiller's "secret is to spread abortion blood money so thickly among politicians that there is allegedly nary a one with prosecutorial influence he has not bought off!"
If violent rhetoric by anti-abortion activists can be said to have been a contributing factor in Tiller's death, then WND has undoubtedly contributed. Unsurprisingly, WND would rather divert your attention elsewhere.
A June 1 article by Chelsea Schilling hypes a claim that Tiller's accused killer, Scott Roeder, "allegedly suffered from mental illness." And a June 1 column by WND managing editor David Kupelian insists that "anti-abortion violence is extremely rare and is utterly repudiated by every pro-life organization and leader." (No mention, of course, of Randall Terry's deviation from that supposed norm.)
Kupelian goes on to liken abortion rights activsts' highlighting of anti-abortion violence to -- wait for it -- the Reichstag fire. But there's nary a word about WND's own anti-Tiller rhetoric, let alone any move by him to accept responsibility for it.
Cashill Can't Stop Peddling Obama-Ayers Conspiracy Theory Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill is still spouting his silly little conspriacy that William Ayers ghost-wrote Barack Obama's book "Dreams of My Father." In his May 28 WorldNetDaily column, he touts how right-wing videographer Kerry Picket (formerly with the Media Research Center's EyeBlast video site, now with the Washington Times) asked Ayers if he wrote the book. Ayers unsurprisingly laughed it off.
Cashill then complained that David Weigel of the Washington Independent wrote about the incident (an article Cashill curiously does not link to) by linking to a early article Cashill wrote promoting his conspiracy -- which even Cashill calls "admittedly speculative" -- and ignoring "much more recent and comprehensive articles" on the subject. Cashill then asserts: "The evidence in these articles of Obama's limited skills and Ayers' involvement is irrefutable, which likely accounts for Ayers' uncomfortable response to Picket's question."
Well, no. As we've detailed, Peter Millican, a philosophy don at Oxford who was offered $10,000 by right-wingers to prove Cashill's little conspiracy theory pretty much shot it down: "The trouble with these sorts of claims is that they are far too easy to make: take any two substantial memoirs from the same era and you are likely to be able to pick out a fair number of passages that have some similarities. Unless the similarities are really close (and they weren't), just listing them makes no case at all, even if it might be enough to persuade some readers."
(Cashill didn't take that well, of course, baselessly asserting that Millican's analysis was "so shabby and slapdash that it had me checking Britain's famous libel laws before I was halfway through." )
Cashill then complains that another blogger, Washington Monthly's Steve Benen, "picked up on Weigel's lead and ran with it" and, even worse, said the conspiracy was "peddled by unhinged right-wing activists during the presidential campaign." Cashill (who doesn't link to Benen's post either) unsurprisingly didn't take that well either:
After reading Benen's piece, I e-mailed him under the server message, "Unhinged right-wing activist weighs in."
"Steve," I wrote, "I am the originator of the 'bizarre conspiracy theory' that Ayers was involved in the writing of 'Dreams From My Father.' I can understand how such a theory may seem bizarre, but the evidence is overwhelming."
I then sent him a link to the most recent article on my site and said, "I would welcome your fair evaluation." I have not heard back from him.
This, of course, does not surprise me. The last thing Obama's acolytes want to see is evidence of his fallibility.
Or maybe Benen knows better to deal with a man who still thinks his conspiracy theory is valid long after it was discredited.
Feder Joins La Raza/KKK Smear Wagon Topic: Accuracy in Media
Following in the dubious footsteps of Tom Tancredo and Joseph Farah, discredited media "critic" Don Feder asserts in a June 1 article at Accuracy in Media's New York Times boycott website:
The Times has yet to mention, even in passing, Sotomayor’s membership in the National Council of La Raza — the Hispanic equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan. (La Raza is Spanish for “the race.”) For a rundown of what this fringe group believes, check out the exposé on David Horowitz’s DiscoverTheNetworks.org.
The DTN profile of La Raza contains no evidence whatsoever that La Raza has engaged in Klan-esque behaviors.
Feder then complains that "The New York Times sees everything through the lens of race and gender." Given his need to smear an ethnic group, it seems like Feder is talking about himself.
ConWeb Loath to Report Randall Terry's Remarks on Tiller Topic: The ConWeb
On May 31, anti-abortion activist Randall Terry made this statement about the killing of abortion doctor George Tiller:
"Dr. Tiller was a mass murderer.
"I grieve for him that he did not have an opportunity to properly prepare his soul to face his Maker. Unless some miracle happened, he left this life with his hands drenched with the innocent blood of tens of thousands of babies that he murdered. Surely there will be a dreadful accounting for what he has done.
"I believe George Tiller was one of the most evil men on the planet; every bit as vile as the Nazi war criminals who were hunted down, tried, and sentenced after they participated in the 'legal' murder of the Jews that fell into their hands.
But if you read the ConWeb, you likely wouldn't know about it.
WorldNetDaily -- despite giving space last month to Terry's attacks on Notre Dame for inviting President Obama to speak and quoting him as claiming he's battling "the evil of people dying under Obama's orders" -- has failed to quote Terry's response to Tiller's death in twoarticles that feature, in the words of one article, "many pro-life voices condemning the murder."
Similarly, in a June 1 CNSNews.com article asserting that 'Pro-life groups say murder is incompatible with their beliefs, and they are condemning the shooting death of Kansas abortionist George Tiller," writer Susan Jones makes no mention of Terry's remark. Like WND, CNSpromoted Terry's anti-Obama campaign over Obama's Notre Dame speech
Only Newsmax among the ConWeb has reported Terry's remarks.
UPDATE: Anti-abortion "news" website LifeNews.com -- which we've previously noted has a vested interest in portraying Tiller's alleged killer as a rogue vigilante and anti-abortion groups as universally denouncing the shooting -- has also yet to mention Terry's remarks, even though he is a seminal figure in the anti-abortion movement and, like the rest of the tongue-tied ConWeb, it touted Terry's Notre Dame protests.
Graham Takes Refuge In Biased Report on Tiller Suspect Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham uses a May 31 NewsBusters post to promote the idea that Scott Roeder, suspect in the killing of abortion doctor George Tiller, had no ties to anti-abortion activists, grumbling that "it will be interesting to see how long it takes them to tell us, if it is indeed the case, that George Tiller's murderer was not affiliated with the prolife movement -- or if they will ever report it at all."
But the article Graham cites to back up his claim -- taken from the anti-abortion "news" site LifeNews.com, which has an interest in disassociating Roeder from the anti-abortion movement -- downplays evidence to the contrary. Graham quotes the article's assertion that "Roeder appears to have an affiliation with extremist political groups but not with the mainstream pro-life movement." But the article goes on to note that Roeder had posted messages "on the public forum at the Operation Rescue web site concerning Tiller," which it asserts are "Roeder's only ties to pro-life groups." Graham doesn't quote that part of the article.
Of course, neither Graham nor LifeNews can know that for sure at this point, since the investigation into Roeder has just begun. Nor can LifeNews know that, according to a section of the article that Graham also quoted, anti-abortion groups "genuinely condemned the Tiller shooting" -- that would be mind-reading, something we presume neither Graham nor article authorSteven Ertelt are capable of.
Nevertheless, Ertelt insists that Roeder "appears to have never been a member of any legitimate pro-life group that represents the majority of pro-life Americans." But making such pronouncements is Ertelt's job as LifeNews editor and CEO -- his website was formerly known as the Pro-Life Infonet and has a declared mission to "bring pro-life news to the pro-life community."
In other words, LifeNews is biased media outlet -- but it's a bias Graham likes, so there will be no MRC jihad against it.
Newsmax Kerik Rehabilitation Watch Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's effort to rehabilitate Bernard Kerik continues with its publication of a May 31 column by Kerik asserting that the U.S. should not use "touchy feely politics or depend on the United Nations" in dealing with North Korea -- despite Kerik having no demonstrated expertise in world politics.
In a May 28 WorldNetDaily video, Mason says in purporting that he's "just searching for the truth" about Democrats and torture and that "I was never partisan about political issues," Mason expresses just the opposite in a spittle-filled rant:
And Pelosi is now dancing around like a thief who -- whose head can't get on straight. Her head is swimming, her -- all of her tortured looks are falling apart. Every part of her -- one of her creases that she erased 20 times ago are coming back to her, her nose is going into directions you've never seen before. His mouth -- her mouth is squandering, her face is sweating, she's pulling -- blech -- she's falling apart. You see how nasty she looks and how miserable and how furious, and how every kind of expression that you've seen on 300 people in a month in now in her face in a second. The face is falling apart. The torture is all over her face. Whatever we talk about torturing other people, she's the one who's being tortured more than any torturer could have been tortured.
If we tortured anybody in Guantanamo Bay the way she's torturing now and the way she's suffering and sweating and sorts -- smugly -- she looks like a deranged pig in heat who doesn't know which way to turn. Her temperature's flying out of control to such an extent that she can't see straight. She looks like she's gonna pass away from misery. She can't even finish a sentence without looking like she's drained and destroyed just from the questions.
Now this is torture. Why? Because she's a lowlife and a fraud and a liar, and she knows it and she was caught. And I wanna ask you a question: How come not one Democrat is suggesting that maybe she should be tried?
This is the ultimate hyprosisy of the world, that torturers -- Democrats should be tortured, they should be tortured, and they deserve to be tortured because anybody who wants innocent people to be tortured and sent to jail for whatever they did and can't accept the responsibility for themselves are lowlife, filthy, fraudulental, disgusting [unintelligible] and that's the only thing you can call them. If you disagree with me, let me know because you're probably just as low as them if you could disagree with this.
This isn't the only hateful rant that Mason has engaged in for WND. In a May 14 video falsely claiming that Obama "can't tolerate" a National Day of Prayer gathering at the White House, "which is a tradition that goes back all the way to 1952, in Truman's time" -- in fact, Obama followed presidential tradition in issuing a National Day of Prayer proclamation but not a public event at the White House which, as we've noted, had only occurred under George W. Bush -- Mason went on another tirade:
What is the matter with this man? You ever stop to wonder? Only under communism, only under Stalin, did you ever hear that religion should be silenced. Even in Germany, Hitler, as vicious, violent crazy maniac as he was, tolerated religion in his country. But Barack Obama somehow can't tolerate it.
Do you know he spoke at Georgetown University and at Notre Dame and he demanded that the wall behind him should have no symbols, no religious symbols of any kind? He can't tolerate the sight of it. It sounds unbelieveble. If I didn't tell you about it, you would think that somebody is making it up, it sounds like a fantasy. The president of the United States doesn't want any religious symbols on the walls behind him.
Do you know that there's J.C., it doesn't even say Jesus Christ, it just says J.C. in Georgetown University behind him on the wall. He even wanted that eliminated. Even his initials of Jesus Christ was too much for him to tolerate. Do you believe the president of the United States is doing this?
Now, you're probably saying to yourself, I'm always attacking Barack Obama, I'm probably making this up. I'm not making this up. Everything I just told you is true. This man does not hear -- can't tolerate the thought of the word of religion in his presence.
Mason is making it up, as he did his opening claim. As we've detailed, there's no evidence that the Obama administration specifically demanded that an "IHS" (not J.C.) symbol be covered, only that university signage and symbols be covered during Obama's visit.
Not only is Mason making stuff up, he's not funny -- the biggest sin anyone calling themselves a comedian can commit.
Blumer Ignores the Evidence, Advances Right-Wing Chrysler Conspiracy Topic: NewsBusters
As we've detailed, NewsBusters' Tom Blumer has a long history of botching simple concepts and getting basic facts wrong. So, naturally, he could be expected to weigh in on the latest right-wing non-conspiracy, that the Obama administration is targeting Republican-owned Chrysler dealers for closure.
Blumer does just that in a May 30 post, and the results are about what you'd expect. Blumer explored a tangent of the conspiracy, that minority-owned Chrysler dealers were disproportionately spared from closure. He even quotes a blogger, Sean Parnell at the Center for Competitve Politics, who had calculated that the percentage of minority-owned Chrysler dealers was almost exactly the same before and after the round of closings.
But Blumer has decided that because more minority-owned dealers are allegedly located in less-than-optimal urban locations, more minority dealerships should have closed:
Parnell and his "trusty calculator" are missing an obvious point: The "enemies list" may or may not exist, but the issue of its existence is separate from the issue of minority vs. non-minority dealer survival.
There's a much bigger problem with Parnell's argument. As noted in a May 15 Wall Street Journal article by Alex P. Kellogg, when the number of dealer closures was known but not the identities of all dealers axed, minority-owned dealers publicly feared a three or more times greater depletion in their ranks:
My trusty calculator tells me that the feared closure rate was 82% (140 divided by 170; NADAM's dealer count appears to be from early 2008), while the actual closure rate was 25% (38 divided by 154).
All other factors being equal, given NADAM's [sic: NAMAD, or the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers] expressed fears and the general comparative dealer profile it provided the Journal, the minority-owned dealer termination rate should have been higher -- probably much higher than the 25% overall average. In fact, it's clear that NADAM expected that outcome, even if you heavily discount their worry that over 80% of minority-owned Chrysler dealers would be told to go away as overblown hyperbole.
But it would appear that all other factors were far from equal, and that influences other than bottom-line business considerations were prominent.
In other words, the fact there's no evidence of a conspiracy is evidence of a conspiracy.
One thing to consider when examining coverage of the killing of abortion doctor George Tiller: According to the WorldNetDaily archive, 92 WND articles contain the phrase "Tiller the killer," including several in which the phrase appeared in the headline.
It even pops up in the May 31 WND article on Tiller's death, in the list of headlines of previous articles on Tiller.
WND also repeats Operation Rescue's claim that it's "disturbed" by the killing of Tiller, failing to note that the Operation Rescue website carries a picture of Tiller with the caption, "America's Doctor of Death."