I can't help noticing the similarities between the Democrats' drive to pass Obamacare, and the methods used to collectivize agriculture in the Soviet Union.
-- Larry Eubank, Dec. 9 WorldNetDaily column
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Larry Eubank, Dec. 9 WorldNetDaily column
Porter Misleads in Attack on Gore
In her Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily column, serial hater Janet Porter asserts that Al Gore said in his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth that "The polar ice caps will melt sending 20-plus-foot flood waves into coastal cities worldwide." Porter added: "The problem with Gore's theory, as explained by another guest on my F2A program yesterday, is something called the 'Archimedes Principle: when a less dense solid like ice melts in a liquid like water, the liquid level drops.'"
But Gore didn't claim what Porter claims he did. He was speaking specifically about ice shelfs in Antarctica and Greenland, which sit on land. If they were to melt or slide off the land into the sea, they would indeed contribute to rising sea levels since they would be an addition to the sea and not merely displacing ice with water.
All of which makes Porter's "little science experiment" regarding melting ice cubes in a water glass rather meaningless since, to replicate what Gore was actually talking about, she would have to add more ice cubes to her glass.
Ponte Botches 2000 Presidential Vote Count
In fact, while Gore did lose Tennessee, he won the popular vote over George W. Bush by more than 500,000 votes.
MRC's Double Standard on Conspiracy Theories
Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC's Culture & Media Institute has as its motto "Advancing Truth and Virtue in the Public Square." But it's now saying that truth and virtue can be ignored if you have a decent conspiracy.
A Dec. 2 CMI article by Jeff Poor defends Glenn Beck's frequent spinning of conspiracy theories, in this case about the breach of security that let a couple into a White House state dinner without an invitation:
So, it appears that Poor agrees with Beck's theory that if information about something (involving Democrats, anyway) is not forth coming to your satisfaction, it's perfectly OK to simply make up stuff about it and present it as a grand, evil conspiracy.
That, of course, conflicts with the MRC's previous criticism of conspiracy theories, at least when they're promoted by people they don't agree with. For instance:
No concern was expressed that these conspiracy theories were popping up because the media didn't do its job.
The MRC will occasionally be moved to shoot down a conspiracy theory -- or promote its own -- when doing so suits its interests. An example of it doing both is a 1998 report by Tim Graham defending the honor of right-wing moneybags Richard Mellon Scaife over his role in the "vast right-wing conspiracy" against the Clinton administration. It wasn't a conspiracy, Graham asserted, because the "Scaife foundations’ donations are hardly secret, with their IRS forms posted on the Internet." Further, Graham complained, "investigative journalism (much of it wildly incorrect) charging some highly implausible and terrible conspiracies committed by Republican Presidents was funded by liberal foundations without those elements ever being lumped into a 'vast left-wing conspiracy' by national media outlets." Though we suspect the MRC would have been happy to do so.
What Graham didn't disclose: The MRC was (and is) being funded by Scaife foundations. One of them, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, donated $150,000 to the MRC in 1998, and another, the Carthage Foundation, donated $10,000 to the MRC in 1997.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Examiner Columnist Repeats Wildly Inflated Tea Party Protest Count
Topic: Washington Examiner
In her December 8 Washington Examiner column, Barbara Hollingsworth writes of the tea party movement:
But as Media Matters has detailed, Moilanen's estimate is somewhat less than authoritative. Moilanen, an undergrad studying East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana, cited such not-quite-unimpeachable sources as a Free Republic post and a message board to arrive at his crowd estimate.
Bozell Lifts the Curtain, Spreads Misinformation (Part 2)
Topic: Media Research Center
We hadn't finished going through Brent Bozell's video to MRC Action Team members -- it's 43 minutes long, after all -- so here's even more misinformation he spread during it.
In attempting to distinguish between news an opinion websites, Bozell insists that there's no such thing as objectivity and all news has a bias. He complains that editors decide what goes on the front page of the newspaper, and that's bias too. "What you have to have is journalism that strives for objectivity, and that begins with recognizing the biases you have." Bozell's tone is that he thinks liberal journalists don't recognize their biases -- which he has absolutely no knowledge of. He states that NewsBusters is not a news site, then adds, "If you want to get strict news, you go to [MRC-owned] CNSNews. Go to Newsmax -- there's another one. Some people like WorldNetDaily."
Bozell goes on to baselessly bash the media for being "far left": "This media, news media we have today is far left, and it loves Barack Obama because he's far left. But just as they don't see themselves as far left, neither do they see Barack Obama as far left. They really do see themselves in the mainstream."
Of course, when you're on the far right like Bozell is, everything that isn't far right looks "far left." After all, this is a man who thinks far-right media like CNS, Newsmax and WND are "strict news."
New Article: Pamela Geller's Pretty Hate Machine
The far-right, anti-Islam, anti-Obama blogger brings her outrage to Newsmax -- thus making her the odds-on favorite to become the next Newsmax columnist to go too far. Read more >>
WND Bogus Poll Watch
WorldNetDaily has a long tradition of embracing bogus online polls that reflect its biased editorial views despite being easily gamed and having no scientific validity whatsoever.
The tradition continues with a Dec. 5 WND article touting an AOL poll showing that "67 percent of users supporting questions about Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president."
Monday, December 7, 2009
Another Newsmax Rehab Fail in the Making?
As we've detailed, Ralph Reed -- coming off being tainted in the Jack Abramoff scandal and a huge loss in a race for Georgia lieutenant governor -- has been getting the Newsmax rehab treatment, granted a column and benefiting from fawning articles.
Meanwhile, Raw Story is reporting that Reed's former spokesperson, is shopping a memoir that appears to promise juicy details about him and other figures on the religious right.
Sounds entertaining -- and perhaps the catalyst for another failed Newsmax rehab. Stay tuned.
NewsBusters Ignores Pinkerton's Conflict of Interest
A Dec. 6 NewsBusters post by Brad Wilmouth highlights how, on "Fox News Watch," during a discussion of Mike Huckabee's granting clemency to Maurice Clemmons, who went on to (allegedly) kill four police officers in Washington, "Conservative panelist Jim Pinkerton of New America Foundation had to point out that Huckabee commuted the sentence at a time when Clemmons serving time for the non-violent crime of committing burglary." Wilmouth added that "Pinkerton even had to directly correct liberal FNC analyst Kirsten Powers, who seemed to convey that she thought Huckabee had commuted the sentence after the child rape conviction."
Wilmouth fails to mention Pinkerton's conflict of interest in defending Huckabee -- he was a senior adviser to Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign.
Newsmax Still Running Interference for Huckabee
Newsmax's David Patten keeps up his previous efforts at playing interference for Mike Huckabee with a Dec. 6 article that again seeks to deflect blame from Huckabee for granting clemency to Maurice Clemmons in 2000 by blaming authorites in Arkansas and Washington state for "fail[ing] to keep him incarcerated" after numerous parole violations. Clemmons is accused of killing four police officers in Washington.
Patten features an Arkansas judge, Marion Humphrey, who favored clemency for Clemmons, but Patten fails to note just how close Humphrey is to Clemmons: he officiated at Clemmons' wedding.
Patten also buried criticism of Huckabee. It's not until the 22nd paragraph that Patten gets around to featuring Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley, whom Patten makes sure to note is "a Democrat." Patten waits until the very end of his article to allow Jegley to respond to Huckabee's claims that Jegley's being a Democrat is behind his criticism.
Bozell Lifts The Curtain, Peddles Misinformation
Topic: Media Research Center
A Dec. 3 NewsBusters post features a question-and-answer video made by Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell for his MRC Action group. It's an interesting behind-the-scenes glimpse at the partisan right-wing agenda that runs the MRC, as well as Bozell's platform for disseminating misinformation.
Bozell begins by asserting that the so-called "climate-gate" scandal over stolen emails from a major climate research Center is "hugely important to the conservative movement, and it'shugely important to the Media Research Center." That's right -- not important to science, important to right-wing politics. Bozell insists the emails "utterly incriminate the environmental movement" and show that global warming is "a fraud, that in fact they know there's been global cooling, and they have been doing things -- tricks to cover up the fact that their arguments don't work scientifically."
Bozell then went on to argue against term limits with a dumb analogy:
Actually, incumbent advantages in America are quite different from dictatorships in which in which there is no meaningful opposition (or no opposition at all).
Bozell also insists that "there is no public demand" for health care reform, "but the media are telling us every single day that that's what the public wants."In fact, polls have repeatedly shown that the public option has widespread support.
Bozell curiously takes on birtherism, claiming that they have to "get beyond it. Nothing good will come from this. ... Barack Obama is the president of the United States, and until he is defeated in a re-election campaign, he will remain the president of the United States." Bozell's sincerity on this might be a little easier to believe if his organization wasn't monetarily supporting the biggest media promoter of birtherism by advertising at WorldNetDaily.
Bozell then goes on to explain how "the left controls the media":
Funny, that sounds like a conspiracy to us. Apparently, talent and aptitude for journalism has nothing to do with it.Plus, it ignores the fact that even MRC director of media analysis, Tim Graham has admitted that "the great majority of what we watch and read is not noticeably unfair or inaccurate." Which suggests that this is all a bit of a scam on the MRC's part.
And the MRC keeps attracting money, and Bozell remains employed. And that's the important thing for the MRC.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
NewsReal: Palin's Not A Birther Because Palin Said So Herself (Eventually)
It's kinda cute how David Swindle is pretending that Sarah Palin isn't promoting birtherism.
In a Dec. 4 NewsReal post, Swindle bashes "leftist polemicist[s]" for highlighting Palin's statement that "the public, rightfully, is still making" Barack Obama's birth certificate an issue and "I think it’s a fair question" to ask Obama to present further evidence of his birth. Yet Swindle insists that Palin is not "part of the cult of crackpot conspiracists who know for certain that President Obama was born in Kenya or, is at the very least, 'hiding his birth certificate'" becausePalin tried to walk back her statement on her Facebook page.
Based on that statement, Swindle declares: "So, no, Palin is not a birther. She was just caught off guard in an interview and chose her words poorly."
Swindle refuses to acknowledge the possibility that Palin is trying to have it both ways -- pretending she's not a birther (Swindle fell for that -- he has no evidence that she initially "chose her words poorly" on the subject) while also raising questions about Obama's birth certificate.
If birtherism is, as Swindle says, "poisonous crackpot conspiracism" on a par with 9/11 truthers, then why give Palin a pass by taking Palin's walk-back as a denial and ignoring the fact that she played into the hands of birther conspiracists like WorldNetDaily by answering the question as she did?
In an update to his post, Swindle complains about an Alaska blogger who noted that Swindle failed to note that Palin's statement, in the same interview in which she made the statement about Obama's birth certifciate, that she has released Trig Palin's birth certificate is apparently not true -- as Andrew Sullivan points out, no birth certificate or other evidence has been released by Palin. Still, it gives license for Swindle to complain about "crackpot 'Trig Birtherism' conspiracy theories." Never mind that his boss, David Horowitz, has flip-flopped on embracing conspiracy theories like depicting Obama as a "Manchurian candidate."
Hirsen Hides Right-Wing Views of Pair Demanding Gore's Oscar Be Withdrawn
A Dec. 4 Newsmax article by James Hirsen notes how "Two members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have called on the group to take back the Oscar awarded to former Vice President Al Gore for the documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth.'" At no point does Hirsen mention the right-wing partisan leanings of those two, Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwynd.
Then again, Hirsen is not exactly known for reporting the full truth in his articles.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
WND Spreads More False Smears About Jennings
A Dec. 4 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh parrots the right wing's latest smear against Obama administration official Kevin Jennings (about whom WND has lied before) -- that the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, a group founded by Jennings, "is recommending XXX-rated sex writings for children as young as preschoolers."
In fact, none of the books whose "XXX-rated sex writings" Unruh cites is recommended for preschoolers -- indeed, none of them appear on GLSEN's list of recommended books for grades K-6. All of the books cited appear on a list of books recommended for students in graded 7-12.
Unruh also misleadingly crops a disclaimer on the GLSEN site, reporting only the statement that "All BookLink items are reviewed by GLSEN staff for quality and appropriateness of content." Unruh ignored the rest of that statement, even though it's in bright red type:
But Unruh, it seems, is too distracted by hyperbolic descriptions of "stories of public masturbation" and "semen flying through the air" that this undermines his entire attack. Perhaps that's why he deliberately chose not to include it.
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