ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Friday, July 10, 2009
CNS' Lucas Still Taking Walpin's Side
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com vowed to "cover stories that are subject to the bias of omission and report on other news subject to bias by commission." CNS reporter Fred Lucas is fulfilling that mission, though perhaps not in the way the mission statement intended.

We've already noted how his report on a congressional committee report glossed over its partisan nature, failed to seek responses to it, and ignored that parts of the report appeared to contradict established facts. That's largely bias by omission.

Lucas' July 9 article on the case of ousted AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, by contrast, is largely bias by commission:

  • His statement that "Obama fired Walpin in June, after Walpin’s probe showed that Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, an Obama supporter who ran the AmeriCorps-funded, non-profit St. Hope Academy misused more than $800,000 in AmeriCorps grants" falsely suggests a cause-effect relationship that has not beenproven to be factual.
  • Lucas demonstrates whose side he has taken in noting that the AmeriCorps officials "have sent the Senate committee documents intended to discredit Walpin." How does Lucas know that those officials "intend to discredit Walpin"? He doesn't -- he's trying to read minds, divining intent he has no way of actually quantifying.

Lucas engages in bias by omission here as well. He interviews Walpin and a congressman who supports him, but no Walpin critics. He references the Washington Post as his source for the claim about AmeriCorps officials are supplying "documents intended to discredit Walpin," but he doesn't inform his readers that the Post has also posted those documents online.

Further, as he has done before, Lucas failed to reference a letter by acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown that accused Walpin of withholding exculpatory evidence from the attorney's office in the Johnson investigation, that Walpin made pronouncements to the media before discussing them with the attorney's office, and that Walpin's "actions were hindering our investigation and handling of this matter."

We thought CNS was supposed to counter the bias of other media, not create bias of its own.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EDT
Your Jackie Mason Bile-Filled Rant of the Week
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's that time again -- time for Jackie Mason to crank up his Two Minutes Hate against Barack Obama.

In the midst of defending Sarah Palin's decision to resign as Alaska governor, Mason launches into yet another factually deficient anti-Obama tirade:

Look how they never picked on Barack Obama. Barack Obama sat in the Senate for two years and never showed up. He took your money, the taxpayers' money, for literally nothing. When he was a state senator, he spent all his time looking for a job as a United States senator. As a United States senator, he spent all his time looking for the job as the presidency. He took your money for nothing, but nobody ever never criticized him. This is totally immoral and indecent. Could this happen in private industry?

[...]

He would have been sued, he would have been eliminated, he would have been destroyed if he tried this in private industry. But this immoral person who took a job and never showed up on the job and took everybody's taxpayers' money for nothing, nobody criticized him. They couldn't find the words to criticize, no matter what kind of piece of thievery that actually was. But Sarah Palin, who just did nothing wrong, is now considered the worst criminal of all time. Why? Because they're sick, lowlife, fraudulent people. They're fearful to such an extent that they can't tolerate her. They know she's going to do something that's going to beat them. They don't know how or why, but they can't face it. They fear it, they're panicking over it.They're terrorized by it to such an extent that they sound irrational and insane. And while they're condeming her, they sound nuts themselves. They sound like they belong in a sanitarium. They're irrational and hateful and sick, and you aought to be ashamed of yourself. You have no right to be in politics if you can't face a real opponent. You lowlife --

And the video clip abruptly ends. What insult is WND afraid to share with its readers?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EDT
Thursday, July 9, 2009
CNS' Lucas Uncritically Repeats Report's Bogus Claims
Topic: CNSNews.com

A July 8 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas repeats claims from a "congressional report" that "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the chief culprits in the housing crisis because they encouraged people who could not afford payments to borrow money," but Lucas waits until the fourth paragraph to reveal that the report came from "Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee." In other words, it's a biased report that committee Democrats did not sign off on. Lucas failed to solicit any reaction to the report, even though its claims appear to contradict established facts.

Lucas states that "claims in the report have long been advanced by conservatives, who argue that the Community Reinvestment Act and other federal programs fed the housing bubble that burst in 2007 and led to the economic downfall in 2008." In fact, housing experts have pointed out that most subprime loans were not made under the CRA.

Lucas also describes Democratic Rep. Barney Frank as having "fought against regulation of the two quasi-public mortgage giants." In fact, Frank made numerous efforts to enhance federal oversight of Fannie and Freddie.

We suspect that Lucas can't be bothered to do a more balanced follow-up, even though prominent conservative David Horowitz has denounced the Republicans' report as "factually wrong-headed" and having "ugly racial overtones."


Posted by Terry K. at 6:44 PM EDT
NewsBusters, WND Mislead on Ginsburg Statement
Topic: NewsBusters

A July 9 NewsBusters post by serial misinformer Tom Blumer falsely suggests that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg believes in eugenics by highlighting a statement she made in a New York Times interview that "at the time Roe [v. Wade] was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of." Blumer added: "Who is this 'we' Ginsburg refers to?"

Blumer does add the transcript of the relevant part of the interview in his post, which contradicts his suggestion by making clear that Ginsburg was not referring to herself regarding that belief.

WorldNetDaily similarly misleads on Ginsburg's comment with a July 8 article headlined "Ginsburg: I thought Roe was to rid undesirables." WND does include a fuller transcript that contradicts the headline.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
Ellis Washington Thinks He's Emile Zola
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Let's see -- Ellis Washington has already likened Michael Savage to Jesus and Prometheus. Where does Washington go from there?

Well, Washington has now decided that he's Emile Zola. Which means, of course, that Savage is Capt. Alfred Dreyfus. It also means that Washington spends his July 8 WorldNetDaily column throwing around the word "j'accuse" a lot.

But that's not all. Washington ventures into Jack Cashill territory and spins a pan-continental conspiracy to destroy the sainted Savage:

Britain's defensive and convoluted reply on the case of Michael Savage amounts to a non-denial denial. It smacks of conspiracy, cover-up, lies and collusion at the highest levels of the world's two most powerful governments.

Here is my theory on how the Obama administration colluded with Britain to blacklist Michael Savage:

  • Let us float a "Fairness Doctrine" trial balloon with our ally across the pond before we bring it home to America.
  • Let us pick a sacrificial lamb: a conservative of some notoriety, yet controversial with few friends in the state-run media or among his conservative peers.
  • Let us associate him with the most evil, irredeemable criminals on the planet.
  • And let us wait and watch with glee as his fellow conservatives lurch back into the shadows, shut their normally big yaps on this case and not come to Michael Savage's defense.

Why? Because big shot conservatives like Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck, Scarborough, Fox News and conservative think tanks are deftly afraid that they will be next to be blacklisted.

The Machiavellian plot of the British and U.S. government against Michael Savage, an American patriot and self-confessed Anglophile is really appalling. 

Um, yeah. Needless to say, Washington has no evidence whatsoever of any of this.

Also needless to say, Washington's whole "j'accuse" framework is faulty. While Dreyfus was innocent of the allegations against him, Savage is quite guilty of the hate speech the British have accused him of making, and Washington's feeble aping of Zola doesn't change that.

P.S. World O' Crap deconstructs Washington's column further.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 AM EDT
Molotov Misleads Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his July 8 WorldNetDaily video, Molotov Mitchell dismisses "wine research" and "Mormon cricket studies" as projects benefiting from the "trillions of dollars that's already been distributed through welfare" by the Obama administration.

Both items appear to be straight off John McCain's list of the "top 10 porkiest projects" in the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress in February (Mitchell doesn't mention, of course, that the bill included earmarks from both Republicans and Democrats). The first apparently refers to, as McCain put it, "$2.1 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in New York." But as one blogger points out, given that the wine industry in California alone is worth $20 billion a year, spending $2 million to assure the genetic safety of grape varieties seems like money fairly well spent.

The latter refers to McCain's citing of "$1 million for mormon cricket control in Utah." As Think Progress noted, Mormon crickets cause millions of dollars a year to crops in Western states. Given that cricket infestations cost Utah alone $22 million in crop damages in 2000, spending money to control the pests also seems like money well spent.

If Mitchell really was the "For the Record" guy he proclaims himself to be, he would have mentioned the cost of those two particular earmarks are mere rounding errors in the "trillions of dollars" he asserts is being misspent under Obama. But he's not.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EDT
Newsmax's Double Standard on Senatorial Temperament
Topic: Newsmax

David Patten is not quite yet done slapping around Al Franken.

Following up a Newsmax article in which he tried to tie the new senator from Minnesota to ACORN -- a charge he had to admit he couldn't substantiate -- another July 6 article by Patten fervently expressed hope that Franken would make a gaffe as senator that Republicans can exploit.

Patten asserted that "Franken is the only senator to joke about helping terrorists assassinate a U.S. president, to openly marvel that his cocaine habit hadn’t led to addiction, and the only salon [sic] who angrily drops F-bombs during campaign fundraisers." He went on to rehash "incidents that don't bode well on Franken's resume," such as his "mouthy satire" and "vitriol," adding, "To conform to Senate decorum, Franken will have to overcome his penchant for getting personal. Senators avoid the acrimonious personal attacks that Franken appears to relish."

Patten's concern about Franken's temper reminds us of how Newsmax -- specifally, Patten's co-worker Ronald Kessler -- treated John McCain, who has a similar temper problem.

As we detailed, Kessler -- who creepily supported Mitt Romney during the Republican primaries -- repeatedly attacked McCain's temper calling it his "irrational, explosive side that make many of them question whether he is fit to serve as president and be commander in chief" and further pondering "whether a man who seems so out of control should have the authority to unleash nuclear weapons." But not only did Kessler's attacks on McCain stop when McCain clinched the Republican nomination, Kessler recast the negative as a positive -- the former "irrational, explosive side" became a "scrappy approach" and "swagger."

We don't recall Patten showing any concern about McCain's temper, which can only mean that Patten's an utter hypocrite.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 AM EDT
WND Runs Fake Franken Photo
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In yet another example of WorldNetDaily's complete lack of journalistic ethics and credibility, WND illustrated an article on Al Franken officially being sworn in as a senator with a doctored photo of him:

As others have detailed, the doctored photo was created in 2006 by Ohio Republicans sticking Franken's head on another photo of an adult in diapers in order to smear Franken, and it's been used that way ever since.Thus, WND knows or should have known that the photo is a fake.

Even though the photo was displayed on its front page throughout the day on July 8, nowhere does WND indicate that the photo is a fake -- a violation of journalistic ethics.

It also runs counter to WND's previous criticism of doctored photos used by others. A 2005 article, for instance, claimed that the Council on American-Islamic Relations "doctored a photograph on its website to ensure a woman was shown wearing a customary Islamic headcovering." WND also complained when USA Today manipulated a photo of Condoleezza Rice to give her what it called "a menacing, demon-eyesing stare."

So WND is exposed yet again as a pathetic hypocrite. But you knew that already.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
WND Columnist: Palin Has No Business Working Outside the Home
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Leave it to a WorldNetDaily columnist to claim that Sarah Palin is not conservative enough. In her July 8 column, Olivia St. John asserts that, as a woman, Palin has no business being in politics -- or any other job outside the home -- in the first place, and that her "highest calling" is to stay at home and take care of her kids:

Palin is an avowed feminist. As such, her husband and children have to fall in line behind her career goals. If everyday actions speak louder than words, then she holds more affinity with her pro-abortion feminist sisters than with her conservative sisters nursing babies at home.

[...]

It came close to sounding as though Palin's family was a priority when she said, "…every American understands what it takes to make a decision because it's right for all, including your family." She also stated, "…we know we can effect positive change outside government" and "actually make a difference."

Was Palin talking about "the hand that rocks the cradle" kind of difference that celebrates motherhood and the value of children, not only inside the womb, but outside as well?

Palin's history over the past 17 years tells another story. Three years after the birth of the first of her five children, she entered the rough-and-tumble world of Alaska (and eventually national) politics and has never looked back.

Has America become so emasculated that our only hope of getting another Ronald Reagan into the Oval Office is to idolize Palin as a political Madonna? Hardly.

Do we have no men who can match her intelligence, charisma and leadership skills? To the contrary, we have better.

Have conservatives become so desperate for a passionate leader that they forsake their most basic values of home and hearth? Yes, but it's more than that.

[...]

It has been said that the sin of homosexuality precedes judgment on a nation. Yet, the first instance in Scripture where we see a curse enacted was in the Garden of Eden when a woman took the lead and a man followed. Does this not describe America today? "As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them," says Isaiah 3:12.

As conservatives continue chanting Sarah Palin for president, are they disenfranchising the men capable of stepping up to the plate in 2012? There are many strong conservative men better qualified to lead the greatest nation in the world.

I pray these men rise to the fore and that Sarah Palin begins to turn her heart toward her home.

I pray America wakes up to realize once again that the hand that rocks the cradle truly rules the world. That is a mother's highest calling. That is Sarah Palin's calling.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 PM EDT
Corsi Still Pushing Discredited Document
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi uses a July 8 WorldNetDaily column to detail his pestering of the Obama White House to explain why President Obama wasn't visiting Kenya on a swing through Africa this week -- rehashing dubious and discredited attacks along the way.

Corsi restated his claim that Obama made "repeated appearances" with Raila Odinga during Odinga's campaign for the Kenyan presidency. But as we've noted, Corsi cited only one joint appearance in his Obama-bashing book.

Corsi asserted that "The truth was that I brought back from Kenya firsthand documents I obtained from former Orange Democratic Movement Party members who had turned against Odinga. The documents proved the points I had argued in "The Obama Nation," namely, that Sen. Obama worked hard to try and get Odinga elected as Kenya's president in December 2007."

Among those documents were emails purportedly from Obama to Odinga setting up an Obama aide as a liaison between the two. As we've detailed, the emails are clearly not written by someone for whom American English is a first language. Corsi has never explicitly acknowledged the emails' clearly fraudulent nature, nor has he formally retracted the claims he made based on those documents.

Corsi made no specific mention of the emails in his July 8 article, but he did reference "an internal document" purportedly showing that "'Friends' of then-Sen. Obama" supported Odinga "with a donation of nearly $1 million." As we also detailed, that document's bogus too -- it's an apparent re-creation of a similar document PolitiFact debunked months before Corsi published his version. Corsi has never addressed the PolitiFact debunking of his story.

Corsi has not been one to let the truth get in the way of a good Obama smear, and he demonstrates that again here.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 1:35 PM EDT
Farah's (And WND's) Military Cluelessness
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah spends his July 8 WorldNetDaily column bashing President Obama for a 1983 newspaper article he wrote as a Columbia undergraduate that advocated a reduction in nuclear arms -- which, of course, Farah dismissed as a "screed ... hat denounced U.S. defense policies." Farah falsely asserted that in the article, Obama "preferred to see deep unilateral disarmament by the U.S."; in fact, the article says nothing about unilateral disarmament.

Farah then repeated claims Obama made in a campaign ad that purportedly "affirmed those ideas" fromthe 1983 article. One of those claims was "I will slow our development of future combat systems," to which Farah responds, "This illustrates the man sitting in the White House today believes America should disarm unilaterally."

Farah has no idea what he is talking about. Obama was not referring to slowing development of all "future combat systems." In fact, Future Combat Systems is a specific Pentagon program launched in 2003 with the goal of modernizing Army weapons systems. It has long been troubled by cost overruns and dubious effectiveness of the planned weapons.

Even Obama's 2008 opponent, John McCain, agreed with Obama, asserting that the FCS program "should be ended" (later amended to "slowed").

Farah's problem appears to be that he's getting his information from his own website. Indeed, all the references to Obama's statement about Future Combat Systems in WND's archive treat the term as an all-encompassing generic reference and not the name of a specific military program. Needless to say, since WND writers are utterly clueless about the nature of the program, there's no mention of its troubled history.

So, what Farah was intending as a quick, cheap shot against Obama only exposes Farah's own ignorance.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EDT
Your WND Obama Lie of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein writes in a July 7 WorldNetDaily article:

In a revelation that raised a few eyebrows, Obama in April 2008 disclosed he traveled as a college student to Pakistan in 1981.

[...]

Pakistan in 1981 was under military rule. It was difficult for U.S. citizens to travel to the country without assistance. It would have been easier for someone to enter Pakistan on an Indonesian passport.

In fact, as we've detailed, it was not particularly difficult to enter Pakistan in 1981 on a U.S. passport. A June 1981 New York Times article states that "Tourists can obtain a free, 30-day visa (necessary for Americans) at border crossings and airports," and an August 1981 State Department travel advisory explains how Americans can obtain visas for visiting Pakistan. Klein writes that Obama was in Pakistan for "about three weeks," which dovetails nicely with a 30-day visa.

The gist of Klein's article, by the way, is his attempt to twist Obama's description of Jakarta as a "home town" into evidence that Obama was an Indonesian citizen.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EDT
Newsmax Strikes Out in Linking Franken, ACORN
Topic: Newsmax

The surprise found in a July 6 Newsmax article by David Patten is not that Patten is trying to smear Al Franken by baselessly linking him to ACORN -- Patten has a long record of making baseless claims about the long post-election Minnesota Senate battle between Franken and Norm Coleman -- it's that the Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum is sticking a little closer to the facts these days.

Like Patten, Vadum has a record of playing fast and loose with the facts, particularly about ACORN. This time, Vadum manages to resist the excesses of Patten's anti-Franken spin: While Patten asserts that Patten "stops just short of saying ACORN grabbed the election away from Coleman," he made it clear that Vadum actually stopped a lot shorter than that by writing, "Vadum says he has no evidence ACORN manipulated the outcome in Minnesota, and Coleman's own attorneys have said the same thing."

Indeed, the only involvement in the Minnesota Senate race Vadum can offer is tangental -- "ACORN helped Minnesota's secretary of state, Mark Ritchie, get elected in 2006." But Patten shoots Vadum down here too:

Vadum blames Coleman's repeated setbacks on "the permissive environment created by the secretary of state who is ACORN's man -- endorsed by them, and ACORN supporters gave money to him."

None of which indicates ACORN has done anything improper, let alone illegal, in Minnesota.

Indeed, despite Patten's article carrying the headline "Experts: Did ACORN Elect Al Franken?" Patten proves that the answer is a definitive no. Later in his article, he's moved to point out again that "None of which, it should be noted again, proves that ACORN did anything wrong in Minnesota."

Patten's "experts," by the way, are all right-wingers -- Vadum, Hans von Spakovsky, a right-wing Minnesota blogger, and the vice president of the Republican National Lawyers Association. As per Newsmax style, only the Republican lawyer is identified by ideology, and that appears to be because it's in the name of her group.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 AM EDT
Farah Still Pushing Discredited Obama Birth Certificate Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a softball interview with Examiner.com's "Orlando Republican Examiner" Blas Padrino, Joseph Farah is still repeating false and discredited claims about Barack Obama's birth certificate.

Farah referenced a "sworn affidavit from the translator of the interview with Sarah Obama, Barack's grandmother, who said she was at his birth in Mobassa." But as we've detailed, that claim has been discredited, and WND has never posted the affadavit for public view, let alone informed readers to whom the affadavit is "sworn."

In response to a question from Padrino about whether getting named "Worst Person in the World" by Keith Olbermann is "a sign that your efforts are paying off," Farah said:

When people have to lie about what you do and say repeatedly to mock and criticize you, then you know you must be doing all right. Olbermann obsesses over the fact that one WND news report seemed to challenge the idea that the certification of live birth was fraudulent. But this has never been an issue for me or WND. I have never challenged the certification of live birth as a forgery. The problem is that the real thing is meaningless to the issue of whether he is constitutionally qualified.

In fact, as we've detailed, the August 2008 WND article in question didn't merely "seem to challenge the idea that the certification of live birth was fraudulent," it specifically declared that a "WND investigation" found that the certificate was "authentic" and that Philip Berg's lawsuit questioning Obama's birth "relies on discredited claims." There is no ambiguity, despite what Farah suggests.

Further, contrary to Farah's claim that the veracity of the certificate "has never been an issue for me or WND," WND has promoted claims attacking the certificate's veracity.

And the part about knowing "you must be doing all right" when "people have to lie about what you do and say repeatedly to mock and criticize you"? Farah must be talking about his treatment of us and anyone else who dares to tell the truth about him.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
CNS Tries to Link House Global Warming Bill, Weather At Time of Vote
Topic: CNSNews.com

Edwin Mora uses a July 7 CNSNews.com article to bizarrely attempt to draw a relationship between the House's passage of a bill regulating greenhouse gas emissions and the weather in Washington at the time of the vote, which "averaged more than 4 degrees cooler than normal."

It didn't work, of course -- Mora was forced to concede that "Temperatures of individual states or districts do not pinpoint what is going on globally" and quoted a scientist at the liberal Center for American Progress saying that "April was the fifth warmest April globally and it said that May was the fourth warmest May on record" -- both of which blow out of the water his suggestion that below-normal weather for a week in Washington means there's no global warming.

Still, Mora did his best to cling to his baseless theory, citing none other than Alan Carlin, an EPA researcher who wrote a report "that had raised questions about the validity of the agency's conclusions on global warming." At no point, however, does Mora mention the fact that Carlin is not a climate scientist or that actual climate scientists have disputed his research (as we've noted).


Posted by Terry K. at 4:02 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« July 2009 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google