Monday, August 24, 2009
Bartholomew Demolishes WND
Over the past week, religious blogger Richard Bartholomew has done an outstanding job of shooting down numerous claims published by WorldNetDaily:
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Sheppard Discredits Himself In Two Paragraphs
Noel Sheppard writes in an Aug. 23 NewsBusters post:
In the space of two paragraphs, Sheppard has just discredited his own post. As he proves, Baird did not "liken recent town hall meeting protesters to Nazis"; he likened the protesters' tactics to those of Nazis.
Is Sheppard really unable to tell the difference between criticizing a person and criticizing aperson's tactics? Or is he just feigning ignorance in order to throw up a cheap, dirty attack post?
WND Non-Disclosure Watch
An Aug. 22 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn details how Michael Savage's website "was forced to shut down for nearly an hour" due to a "computer hacker, who had snuck into the webpage's server." Zahn added, "The website's repair crew told WND the hacker had broken in through a feedback portal, requiring the site to be shut down before any further damage was done."
What Zahn doesn't report: Savage's website is hosted by WND. That's a conflict of interest that should have been disclosed, but WND frequently violates journalistic ethics by failing to offer such disclosure.
Zahn also lists a number of people who appear with Savage on a list of people banned from Britain. Conspicuously absent from Zahn's list is Mike Guzovsky, aka Yekutiel Ben Yaacov, a one-time source for WND reporter Aaron Klein who is a sympathizer of the outlawed far-right Kach/Kahane Chai movement in Israel. WND whitewashed Guzovsky's identity, changing the description of him from a "extremist" to a "nationalist," and Klein himself has responded by touting Guzofsky as merely a patriotic Jew who leads "workshops to teach self-defense to Jews" and fails to acknowledge Kahane's violent history or his condoning of fellow Kahanist Baruch Goldstein's 1994 massacre of 29 Arabs at Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs.
Indeed, WND has not mentioned Guzovsky's name, let alone his placement on that list, since May 16, even though WND has done numerous articles on Savage's ban that reference other members of the list.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Mooney Misleads in Bashing Al Gore
In an Aug. 21 NewsBusters post, Kevin Mooney touts a new "documentary" purporting to claim that "Scientifically unsound claims about global warming are being used to seduce young students and to cajole lawmakers into accepting the legitimacy of regulatory schemes that restrict the use of fossils fuels." Mooney writes:
Mooney fails to mention that, as we've detailed, the judge also said many of the claims made by the film were fully backed up by the weight of science. He identified “four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC.”
Further, Gore never claimed that "the sea level is going to rise by 20 feet in a very near future." What he did say is that there would be a 20-foot rise in sea levels if the Greenland or West Antarctic ice sheets were to melt completely or collapse at an indefinite point in the future.
Obama-Nazi-Sauron Reference of the Day
-- Ellis Washington, Aug. 22 WorldNetDaily column
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tapscott Claims Beck Is Being Slandered, But Doesn't Say How
Topic: Washington Examiner
Mark Tapscott runs to the defense of Glenn Beck, sort of, in his Aug. 20 Washington Examiner column. While Tapscott says he has "no idea" wether Beck is correct in attacking President Obama as a "racist" with "an abiding hatred of white people," he is nonetheless certain that Beck is the victim of "a vicious, hypocritical campaign to slander him" led by Color of Change, which is leading a advertiser boycott against Beck's Fox News show. Tapscott dismisses Color of Change as "the Potemkin creation of a former MoveOn.org organizer and his three cohorts."
(Does that mean we can dismiss the Examiner as the Potemkin creation of a right-wing billionaire?)
While Tapscott insists that Beck is being slandered, he offers no evidence of what exactly the "slander" is. Yet Tapscott himself is not afraid of slandering people, having once declared that Joe Biden's use of "Jesus Christ" as an expletive was "hate speech" -- despite never providing his readers the full context in which Biden used the exclamation so readers could judge for themselves.
Another One-Sided CNS Article
Following in the footsteps of her similarly one-sided article the day before, an Aug. 20 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr quotes only "conservative analysts" claiming that because an amendment was rejected to the health care reform package that explicitly sets up a "verification provision" to excluse illegal immigrants from taking advantage of public health care, the bill "s and other non-citizens to receive medical services paid for by taxpayers."
As before, no dissenting view is presented. One dissenting view that Starr could have provided but apparently chose not to is that of Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who claims that the amendment is not necessary because the bill prevents anyone in this country illegally from gaining federal help for premiums, just as current law prevents those people from gaining Medicaid and other medical coverage.
CNS, by the way, still claims that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." But Starr has failed to do that for the second day in a row.
WND Hiding Facts In Conversion Case
How do we know there's a high likelihood Chelsea Schilling, in an Aug. 20 WorldNetDaily article, is hiding facts in the case of Fathima Rifqa Bary, the 17-year-old who ran away from home claiming her parents plan to kill her because she converted from Islam to Christianity? Schilling cites blogger (and Newsmax columnist) Pamela Geller, who we've documented hiding facts about the case.
And indeed, Schilling does exactly that. She reports that Bary's father called the pastor to whom Bary fled, Blake Lorenze and his Global Revolution Church, "a cult group who kidnapped my daughter and took her away." But she ignores the evidence that suggests cult-likebehavior on the part of Lorenz: his claim, as reported by Richard Bartholomew, that he receives special personal messages from God about the imminent end of the world.
While Schilling reports that an Ohio police officer who investigated the case told the press that Rifqa's father "comes across to me as a loving, caring, worried father about the whereabouts and the health of his daughter," she adds that a group called International Christian Concern (an anti-persecution group) claimed that "a source who spoke with the same investigating officer said the officer indicated earlier that he has spoken with 20 different people who warned him that the girl's life was in danger."
The ICC press release on Bary makes the same anonymous, unsubstantiated claim, citing only an unnamed "ICC source." We're guessing the "source" is taking the officer's comments out of context; ICC must reveal more information in order for its claim to be treated as credible.
Given WND's recent history of embracing anonymous claims, it's no surprise that Schilling would fall in line as well.
Ponte: Don Hewitt Was Evil
-- Lowell Ponte, Aug. 19 Newsmax column
Thursday, August 20, 2009
WJC Redefines 'Running the Ad'
Topic: Western Journalism Center
The other day, we pointed out that a Western Journalism Center video claiming that Rachel Maddow's statement on "Meet the Press" that MoveOn.org never ran an ad comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler was a lie because the ad in question was not commissioned by MoveOn but, rather, a submission to a 2004 MoveOn contest that was taken down after controversy arose about it and never ran anywhere as a paid ad.
The WJC has now responded by calling us liars, accusing us of "splitting hairs" and asserting that it "never claimed the ad was run on commercial T.V. We consider posting the ad on its website to constitute 'running the ad.' "
So a submission to a contest that was (briefly) posted on a website is the exact same thing as buying airtime for it on commercial TV? Interesting redefinition of "running the ad."
That's not "splitting hairs" -- that's comparing apples and oranges.
Further, the WJC video remains a work of lying by omission: It presents the Bush-Hitler video but at no point does it explain that the ad was a contest submission, never ran as a paid ad, and that MoveOn itself said that "[w]e do not support the sentiment" in it. The WJC post accusing us of being liars doesn't mention that either.
The WJC should try telling the full truth instead of redefining words to fit previous lies.
(Cross-posted at County Fair.)
NewsReal Condemns One 'Anti-Gay Slur,' Endorses Another
An Aug. 20 NewsReal post by "FrontPageMgEd" -- presumably, Jacob Laksin -- declared offense at Chris Matthews' comment that Tom DeLay, who was showing Matthews the high-heeled shoe he will wear in his upcoming stint on "Dancing With the Stars," would be "a little light in that shoe," calling it an "anti-gay slur" and "a Fifties-era phrase coined to mock homosexuals." Laksin added: "Had these words been spoken by Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, or any townhall protester in the country, the left-wing blogosphere would be on fire, Media Matters would have sent out a blast FAX, GLAAD would have called a boycott, and it would be the lead story on every program in MSNBC prime time."
But a day earlier, Limbaugh did make an anti-gay slur -- and NewsReal endorsed it.
In an Aug. 19 post -- more accurately, the post immediately previous to Laksin's -- David Swindle responded to Limbaugh's statement that gay congressman Barney Frank "spends most of his time living around Uranus":
So an anti-gay slur is OK as long as it makes a conservative laugh?
Also unmentioned by Laksin is that, despite his attack on Matthews as a man of "the Left," Matthews and DeLay are apparently close enough that DeLay will send scoops Matthews' way. That suggests Matthews' remark was more about jesting between friends than the malice endemic in Limbaugh's slur of Frank.
Molotov Rails Against Public Schools
As per usual, Mitchell is long on hate and short on insight. After declaring that "public school teachers are killing America,"Mitchell notes that Finland is rated at or near the top in math and science while the U.S. isn't in the top 25. The reason for this, he declares, is "vouchers. Finnish parents get tax credits so they get to send their kids to whatever school they want, public or private."
But there are other explanations that Mitchell fails to mention. For instance, the Toronto Globe & Mail reports:
By contrast, Mitchell is content, and indeed eager, to further denigrate public school teachers. To them, he claims, "unless you're talking about teen abortions without "parental consent, choice is a dirty word."
Finally, Michell asserts that "the public education system cannot be reformed" because "the goal was never education, it was always about indoctrination. And that's why our kids know everything about sex and nothing about history."
But isn't homeschooling a form of indoctrnation and inculcation as well? Mitchell doesn't seem offended by that.
A CNS Double Standard
We've previously noted that a Aug. 19 CNSNews.com article by Christopher Neefus failed to note the Lewin Group's links to a private insurer, throwing doubt on the article's claim that the organziation is "independent." But there's something else worth noting about the article as well.
The article was ostensibly about a "liberal Yale scholar" claiming that "he does not see the public option as a 'Trojan Horse' that could lead the United States to single-payer, government-run health insurance." Neefus permitted a representative of an anti-reform group to rebut the claim.
Meanwhile, another Aug. 19 CNS article by Penny Starr promoted the idea that sentencing teenagers to life without parole is not "cruel and unusual punishment." By contrast to Neefus, Starr at no point quotes anyone who objects to that idea.
Interesting that CNS presents a conservative claim unchallenged but decides that a liberal claim must contain a conservative response.
NewsBusters Perpetuates Health Reform Falsehoods
Rusty Weiss tries to perform debunking of claims about health care reform by attempted ridicule -- instead of, you know, using facts -- in an Aug. 19 NewsBusters post.
Citing a columnist who claimed that right-wing assertions that "the plans would give health insurance coverage to illegal immigrants; would lead to a government takeover of the health system; and would use taxpayer dollars to pay for women to have abortions" are "all claims that nonpartisan fact-checkers say are untrue," responds, essentially, that they are true because right-winger said they were.
Weiss makes no attempt to actually examine the claims in question -- if, say, Michelle Malkin said it's true, then by golly it's true.
Weiss then claimed that the columnist "goes on to rip Sarah Palin as ignorant, calling her death panel comment as ‘inane' and ‘absurd'. Therefore, if you too, believe the health care plan will lead to death panels, then you are not only as inane as Sarah Palin, but you're [sic] argument is as absurd as Rush Limbaugh's." Again, Weiss makes no effort to point out that the "death panels" claim has been repeatedly discredited, instead relying on an appeal to authority by assuming that anything Palin and Limbaugh say must be true, even though they have no demonstrated expertise on health-care issues.
Weiss went on to complain that "the liberal mainstream ‘fact-checking' media" reports that such arguments have been debunked by "fact-checking Web sites," then asks, "who is fact-checking the fact-checkers? They have been refuted before; here, here, and here."
Weiss then attacks FactCheck.org -- even though the link under his first "here" in the previous paragraph is a NewsBusters piece that defends FactCheck's research debunking various claims about Sarah Palin. Citing a FactCheck piece he fails to link to, Weiss writes:
Why doesn't Weiss link to that FactCheck report: because it appears to debunk his final claim:
Further, Weiss is nitpicking. The question was whether the bill "would give health insurance coverage to illegal immigrants" -- which it doesn't. Further, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported:
Weiss doesn't explain why such a violation of privacy -- which conservatives normally oppose -- is permissible in the pursuit of keeping illegal immigrants from getting public health insurance.
Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!
Accuracy in Media
Capital Research Center
Free Congress Foundation
Media Research Center
The Daily Les
Western Journalism Center
Support Bloggers' Rights!