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Monday, December 14, 2009
AIM Columnist Defends Tobacco Industry, Ignores That Whole Killing-People Thing
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Not only is Accuracy in Media libeling Obama administration officials, it's trying to whitewash the tobacco industry.

A Dec. 9 AIM column by John W. Howard, in trying to warn that the federal government is after you cites previous examples of government interference:

Then they came for the tobacco companies. Knowing that seizure of the vocabulary will frame the terms of debate, they applied their favorite derisive sobriquet: Big Tobacco; as if "bigness" itself were somehow inherently discrediting. If I may indulge in a short digression, bigness does not come from failure but from success. It is the left's project to punish success wherever it is found. It is, after all, a fundamental element of their philosophy. Life to them is a zero sum game. Success for one can only be bought at the expense of the failure of another. Success, then, is the enemy, especially if it is economic success. Bigness, then, as the symbol of extreme success, must be disqualifying to claims to virtue. Indeed, that very bigness equates with evil (unless, of course, it is government bigness).

Whatever its shortcoming, tobacco is a product that is legal. Those of us who do not smoke often find its by-products offensive, but the truth is that millions of people around the globe find pleasure in its use and the only people it generally harms are those who voluntarily use it. (Some of us believe the film industry is significantly more destructive on a broader scale than any tobacco product could be.) "Big Tobacco" employs millions and has added billions to our economy. "Big Tobacco" has given hundreds of millions to support charitable organizations throughout the world, single-handedly saving a number of cultural institutions in the United States.

Howard never gets around to explicitly stating just what that "shortcoming" of tobacco is: it kills people

Howard does aver that the tobacco industry is "a business that traffics in death, as the left's caricature would have it," albeit only to bash fellow businessmen for letting that unpleasant death stuff stand in the way of defending tobacco.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EST
Questions 'From the Right'? Not At NewsBusters
Topic: NewsBusters

The boys at NewsBusters regularly get upset when an interviewer questions someone "from the left" -- that is, forwards supposedly liberal talking points in his or her questions. But what happens when a questioner asks questions from the right?

Pish-posh -- it seems that, according to NewsBusters and its Media Research Center parent, there is no such thing.

A Dec. 12 NewsBusters post by Jeff Poor highlights how Fox News hosts Neil Cavuto and Gregg Jarrett badgered two Republican congessmen about why they didn't do anything about supposedly excessive earmarks in the budget bill pass over the weekend. Did Poor  criticize Cavuto and Jarrett for hitting the congressmen "from the right"?

Of course not. He claimed it debunks one of "the favorite talking points that often comes from Fox News detractors" that the channel "is somehow an organ of the Republican Party."

Gee, where would people "somehow" get that impression? From watching Fox News, perhaps?

Poor's suggestion that questioning Republican congressman from the right disproves the fact that Fox News is a Republican shill is laughable -- in fact, it only reinforces the impression. After all, Anita Dunn said that Fox News was "a wing of the Republican Party," not the entire party.

And what wing would that be? The movement conservative wing -- the same wing that NewsBusters and the MRC embraces. Maybe that's why Poor and his colleagues don't recognize questions "from the right" when they see 'em.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:59 AM EST
New Article: (Gross In)accuracy in Media
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media had no choice but to retract and apologize for a blog post that made false -- and arguably libelous -- claims about Obama administration official Kevin Jennings. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:00 AM EST
WND's Klein Still Attacking J Street
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein continued his attacks on the group J Street with a Dec. 12 WorldNetDaily article summarizing criticism of the group by Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, as published in a Forward article.

As before, Klein makes no apparent effort to obtain a response from J Street (indeed, nowhere in his attacks is there evidence that he has ever interviewed anyone from J Street). And again, Klein falsely portrays J Street's support for talks between Israel and Hamas as evidence that J Street is "anti-Israel." On the other hand, Klein somehow managed to refrain from asserting that J Street is "pro-Hamas," as he has previously done.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EST
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Defining Bias Down At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Baker wants you to be as critical of George Stephanopoulos becoming a co-host of "Good Morning America" as others were of Republican Rep. Susan Molinari becoming a co-host of a Saturday morning talk show on CBS several years ago. Which can only mean that Baker is wrong about it.

In a Dec. 9 MRC item, Baker writes: "Here’s one yardstick for measuring the media’s response: Back in 1997, CBS announced that ex-GOP Representative Susan Molinari (pictured at right) would take over as co-host of Saturday Morning. Journalists quickly howled at the breaching of the sacred 'barricade that is supposed to exist in journalism between the political people and the officials on the one hand, and the reporters on the other.' NPR’s Mara Liasson said it was 'disturbing' of CBS to hire a Republican; Nina Totenberg exclaimed: 'This really makes me want to puke.'"

A search through the MRC provided no evidence that it has ever provided the full context in which those comments -- particularly the one attributed to Totenberg -- were made, so it's impossible to tell what Totenberg and Liasson meant by what they said.

Baker goes on to complain that ABC "has aided in the transformation of Stephanopoulos from political spinmeister into supposedly neutral journalist over the years, allowing him to fill in as anchor of World News as well as on Good Morning America." But his likening of Molinari's transition from politics to TV to that of Stephanopoulos' is faulty.

Molinari literally quit her job as a member of Congress to take the CBS job just six months after winning re-election; Stephanopoulos was an adviser to President Clinton, an unelected post, when he left the White House to join ABC in late 1996 -- as an analyst and correspondent, not a host. He did not begin hosting "This Week" until 2002, and he was not named chief Washington correspondent until 2005 -- after he had proved himself as a correspondent and analyst.

Stephanopoulos had been with ABC for more than 12 years when he was named "GMA" host; Molinari came to her CBS job straight from Congress, and her hosting gig ended after less than a year.

Baker goes on to complain that that "concept that Stephanopoulos has been 'completely non-partisan' is laughable," directing readers to "the Media Research Center’s freshly-updated 'Profile in Bias'" on him. But it actually says more about the MRC's bias than Stephanopoulos'; as it tends to do, the MRC tries to pass off examples of Stephanopoulos saying nice things about Democrats or otherwise not following the MRC's hard-right script as "bias."

One example of "bias" presented is that Stephanopoulos declared that Barack Obama and Joe Biden won their respective debates against Republican candidates during the 2008 campaign. But as we detailed, Stephanopoulos' opinion reflected that of the American public as indicated by post-debate polling, in which a plurality or majority also declared Obama and Biden the winners.

Agreeing with the views of the American public is "bias"? Baker wants you to think it is -- which tells you all you need to know about the Media Research Center's "research."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 PM EST
WND Columnist Smears Barney Frank
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Burt Prelutsky srites in his Dec. 11 WorldNetDaily column:

Back in 1990, the police raided Barney Frank's home because his gay lover, Steve Gobie, was running a male prostitution ring out of his condo. In 2007, the police raided the home of James Ready and arrested him for possession of marijuana. Ready, who is Barney's main squeeze these days, didn't just smoke the weed; Farmer Ready was growing the stuff. The congressman was there at the time of the raid, but denied he had any idea that those plants in the backyard weren't rhododendrons. I believe he told the police that he was perfectly clueless when it came to plant life. I guess, like Clinton, he never inhaled, either.

Because I am always prepared to grant a liberal politician the benefit of the doubt, I'm sure it's only a coincidence that Barney has long led the fight to decriminalize the use and sale of the narcotic.

On the other hand, considering his sorry track record when it comes to romance, don't you think it's high time Rep. Frank, who'll be 70 years old in a few months, should start using a reputable dating service and stop phoning every number he finds scrawled on bathroom walls?

WND, which books Prelutsky's speaking appearances, must be so proud.

UPDATE: The version of Prelutsky's column at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website omits the final paragraph cited above. We'd note that it's interesting WND similarly didn't find Prelutsky's anti-gay smear offensive to delete it, but then, being anti-gay is what WND does.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 13, 2009 9:42 AM EST
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 10 WorldNetDaily article keeps up Aaron Klein's record of hiding behind anonymous to make unproven claims in order to attack the Obama administration. This time, Klein is citing "a top PA official" and "a source in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office" to claim that the Obama administration is insisting that "most Jewish communities in the strategic West Bank will be evacuated" as part of of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

This was followed by a Dec. 11 article citing "a senior PA official" making more claims about what the Obama administration supposedly has done.

In both articles, Klein offers no explanation why he has granted anonymity, nor has he provided evidence that his sources are trustworthy.

As we've detailed, Klein frequently uses anonymous sources as a pretense to attack Obama, making it nearly impossible to fact-check him. Given Klein's clear hatred of Obama and his history of unfair reporting on him, he has not earned the journalistic trust needed to credibly cite anonymous sources.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Zombie Lies About Obama At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Lies simply don't die in the right-wing media -- they keep coming back for more. Yet another example of this is Robert Ringer, who dusts off an oldie-but-goodie to smear President Obama in his Dec. 11 WorldNetDaily column:

And, clearly, Obama had a dysfunctional life growing up -- a white Marxist mother, a black African Muslim father who was a drunk and a philanderer, then, of all things, an Indonesian Muslim stepfather. And, of course, there were the years he spent in a Wahabbi Muslim school in Indonesia (Wahabbi schools being most famous for teaching students hatred of Western countries).

The idea that Obama attended a radical madrassa in Indonesia, of course, was disproved almost as soon as it was first made nearly three years ago. That's right -- three years later, this zombie lie is still roaming the Earth (or, at least, WorldNetDaily, which has problems telling the truth about Obama and his administration).

Ringer's hatred of Obama shines through in the rest of his column as well -- he declares he will never call Obama president and claims that Obama isn't evil but merely "a man without a soul. And, as soulless individual, his actions are not hampered by trivial moral considerations."

Ringer has a seriously chronic case of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, December 12, 2009 9:18 AM EST
Newsmax Falsely Impugns EPA Ruling
Topic: Newsmax

A Dec. 9 Newsmax article by David Patten asserts that "the EPA's primary source of information for the finding" that "carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant subject to EPA regulation" is "the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change," adding: "An important source of data for the IPCC was the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in England, the source of the highly controversial 'climategate' e-mails."

But Patten mostly ignores other data that the EPA used to reach its conclusions. As Media Matters detailed, the EPA cited assessments by the U.S. Global Climate Research Program and the National Research Council, as well as the IPCC, in the Technical Support Document accompanying its ruling.

Further, despite Patten's assertion that the stolen "climategate" emails "suggest that climate scientists may have presented data selectively to strengthen the case for global warming," has found that "many of the e-mails that are being held up as 'smoking guns' have been misrepresented by global-warming skeptics eager to find evidence of a conspiracy. And even if they showed what the critics claim, there remains ample evidence that the earth in getting warmer."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EST
Friday, December 11, 2009
AIM Apologizes for Jennings Falsehoods -- Then Tries to Smear Him Again
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media begins a Dec. 11 blog post by apologizing for the falsehoods in its previous smear of Kevin Jennings, as well it should:

Accuracy in Media regrets the publication of a blog entry accusing Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, a homosexual activist, of being a pedophile and personally teaching perverted sexual practices to young people. We have no evidence to support those specific charges. The blog entry was posted by an intern without permission, and has been taken down.

But AIM seems to have learned nothing from getting caught spreading outrageous lies about Jennings, for it continues by hurling more smears:

We continue to urge the media to vigorously investigate Jennings' background, which includes praise for homosexual activist and communist Harry Hay, a supporter of the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Jennings' role in promoting the homosexual agenda and exposing children to discussions of dangerous sexual practices through his organization, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), should also continue to be investigated. For the facts on Jennings, we suggest three important websites:, where Linda Harvey has broken many stories about Jennings and GLSEN;, where Peter LaBarbera writes regularly about the controversy; and, where Brian Camenker has covered the scandal of Obama's appointment of Jennings in much detail.

Linking Jennings to Hays is nothing more than a guilt-by-association smear -- Jennings has never praised NAMBLA. If that's a game AIM wants to play, then it's fair to note AIM's appreciation for convicted felon and unrepentant domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy.

MassResistance is an anti-gay organization declared a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center that has been the springboard for numerous instances of right-wing falsehoods and misinformation about Jennings, and Camenker has not only likened the gay-rights movement to Nazis, he has denied that gays and lesbians were a target of the Holocaust.

The other two organizations AIM cites are no better.

How anti-gay is Mission America's Linda Harvey? She has advocated (in her column located, naturally, at WorldNetDaily) that parents remove Harry Potter books from their children's collections because author J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore is gay, asserted that "Open or suspected homosexuals should never be elected" because they are involved in "[w]eird sex, public displays of "affection" and nudity, and sex with youth," and complained that activists who opposed a bill to allow same-sex marriage in Maine weren't anti-gay enough. Mission America's attacks on Jennings and GLSEN are little more than warmed-over smears from other right-wing groups -- i.e., repeating claims about the explicitness of GLSEN's list of recommended books without noting that GLSEN also recommends that "adults selecting books for youth review content for suitability."

Peter LaBarbera, head of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, has been unambiguous in declaring that his attacks on Jennings (also based on recycled smears) are rooted in hatred of homosexuality:

One more point: it is now common for conservatives -- especially non-religiously-affiliated media leaders like Sean Hannity (who should be applauded for his yeoman's work exposing Jennings) -- to make the odd disclaimer that the GLSEN/Jennings controversy (or whatever "gay"-related culture-war story they are discussing) "is not about homosexuality." Baloney. This is all about homosexuality and the "gay" activist agenda whose singular goal is to normalize homosexuality as a "civil right."


The politically correct "not-about-gays" caveat is about as illogical as claiming that the effort to expose systematic human rights abuses in China and North Korea "has nothing to with Communism." Anyone who calls himself "conservative" should know better. Besides, true conservatives should not be ashamed of enthusiastically conserving the age-old Judeo-Christian sexual/marriage ethic -- which has served mankind well and which rejects all efforts to approve of unnatural and destructive sexual behaviors condemned by God.

These are the people from whom AIM believes you can get "the facts on Jennings." Is it any wonder that an AIM intern felt comfortable enough with spreading falsehoods and smears about him to post them on the AIM website?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 11, 2009 1:43 PM EST
WND Embraces Heavily Edited Attack on Planned Parenthood
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 9 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh reported on an "undercover video" by anti-abortion activists purporting to show Planned Parenthood "counselors and an abortionist in Wisconsin apparently misleading a potential patient."

But Unruh fails to acknowledge, as Media Matters details, that the video is heavily edited and provides little context to the remarks made by Planned Parenthood employees.

Further, statements Unruh suggests are misleading or lies -- such as "A fetus is what's in the uterus right now. That is not a baby" and at "women die having babies" and an abortion is "much safer than having a baby" -- are actually true. In fact, fetus is the medically correct term for a 10-week-old fetus, and the mortality rate of abortion is lower than that of live birth. Unruh fails to acknowledge the factual accuracy of those claims.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:02 AM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Obama is like a child TV star who rose to fame because he eloquently delivered a cute catchphrase ("Hope and Change" as opposed to "Hey, Mikey! He likes it!"), but now finds himself an adolescent in a grown-up world and faced with the task of actually manning up to the responsibilities of a new job for which he applied. Yet, instead of stepping up to the plate, Obama is relying merely on his celebrity status to coast through the sometimes ceremonial and often dire decisions a chief executive must make.

Katharine DeBrecht, Dec. 10 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 AM EST
What Is MassResistance?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What is MassResistance, the anti-gay group WorldNetDaily frequently cites to further its anti-gay agenda, most recently in attacking Kevin Jennings? Well, turns out it's on the SPLC's list of hate groups, and its leaders hold some, shall we say, less-than-orthodox views on homosexuals.

We have an article up at Media Matters with all the details on MassResistance.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:00 AM EST
Just Plain Ol' Derangement Syndrome, With a Side of Eliminationist Rhetoric
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Craige McMillan begins his Dec. 10 WorldNetDaily column by writing about his "diarrhetic dog," a condition he eventually learned was caused by a "deer that ate something that didn't agree with them" which, in turn, "produced the greater delicacy for doggie dining."

You don't need a psychic to know where this is going, do you?

This "town deer" herd of politicians are jumping our fences and pooping all over our yards with their legislative delicacies. The bulk of their output tends to resemble that of diarrheic deer, perhaps because the politicians are particularly fond of dining with parasitic lobbyists and the accompanying "wink, wink, nod, nod" bribery (otherwise known as campaign contributions). Let's face it: Our pathetic little backyards can only support a very limited amount of their legislative output.

One wonders, for instance, how Harry Reid justifies his existence for the folks in Nevada (and the rest of the nation) while he's so busy trying to shove abortion down our throats and at the same time shaft us with the "public option" in state medicine, which will be every bit as much of an "option" as refusing a sobriety test when the state trooper calls to get your car towed out of the ditch some dark night.

One also wonders how San Francisco's crazy aunt escaped the padded cell in the Pelosi family basement, and now feels entitled to jump into the nation's backyards and doctor's offices, where she can dictate treatment, financing, set up death panels to govern grandma and grandpa's remaining time on Social Security, and otherwise s--- all over the rest of us with her legislative diatribes.

This, of course, can only conclude in a flourish of eliminationist rhetoric:

Out here in flyover country, those of us in receipt of this legislative largesse are in general agreement that the solution to our "deer" problem is a town deer hunt. This would cull the inbreeding before it overwhelms us, restore genetic diversity to the herd, and weed out those with a propensity to deposit their diarrhea in our backyards. In short, it would restore the town deer herd to a more natural, wild state, where they can use their native talents and ability to thrive – somewhere else.

So you want to kill Pelosi and Reid, is that it, Craige?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EST
Another Birther Lawyer In Trouble
Topic: Newsmax

In August, Gary Kreep -- who seems to have become WorldNetDaily's go-to birther lawyer after the increasingly shoddy legal work of Orly Taitz apparently became too much for even WND to ignore (it hasn't mentioned her in more than a month) -- launched, designed to attack Color of CHange, the organization that spearheaded an advertiser boycott for Glenn Beck's Fox News show. Right out of the gate, Kreep's website made numerous false claims about Color of Change.

But Color of Change is getting the last laugh, reporting that after threatening Kreep and Co. with a lawsuit, has posted a retraction on its website, which must remain posted for seven weeks: on several occasions inaccurately reported that Color of Change called President Bush a "racist". We have confirmed that Color of Change did not, in fact, call George Bush a "racist" on its website and although we picked up that allegation from another website (, that allegation is false and we apologize to Color of Change for this error.

We also accused Color of Change of lying regarding it's claims that certain advertisers agreed to stop advertising on Glenn Beck. While our previous comments were partially correct on the matter concerning the claims of Color of Change regarding the initial 20 advertisers, upon review, it appears that the accusation of lying was inaccurate. In at least one instance, and Color of Change were given diametrically opposing statements by the same advertiser, and, in other instances, the statements given by the advertisers were consistent, but open to interpretation.  It is now our understanding that Color of Change accurately reported on it's web site and in its press releases precisely what each of the advertisers told it. also accurately reported on its website precisely what each advertiser told it. We apologize to Color of Change for erroneously accusing them of lying and have removed all such allegations from our website.

We have also alleged that Kayne West claimed that George Bush 'gave troops permission to go down (to New Orleans) and shoot us (black people) after Hurricane Katrina' and that Color of Change endorsed that hateful statement by selling T shirts that said "Kanye Was Right". We have since learned that Mr. West was apparently referring to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco's authorization for troops to fire on the people of New Orleans during Katrina and not President Bush never gave such an order. A representative of Color of Change has informed us that the t shirts they are selling refer instead to Kanye West's much more widely publicized  comment that George Bush "doesn't care about black people." We accept their representation in this regard and apologize for any misunderstanding that this has caused.

We wondered about Kreep's assertion its claim that Color of Change called Bush racist came from Newsmax. Sure enough, a Aug. 23 Newsmax article carries the headline, "Anti-Beck Group Labeled George Bush 'Racist'." The only evidence provided to support the claim is that Color of Change sold a T-shirt stating, "Kanye Was Right." But Kanye West didn't call Bush a racist either; he did say that "George Bush doesn’t care about black people," which does not translate to "racist," let alone Color of Change calling Bush "racist."

Looks like isn't the only group that owes Color of Change an apology. (We've added a screenshot of the false headline at the end of this post for posterity's sake.)

Kreep, by the way, is also representing WND in its efforts to get press credentials from the United Nations despite refusing to  recognize the U.N.'s legitimacy and wanting to see it destroyed. Given WND's protection racket for for the increasingly unhinged Taitz, don't expect WND readers to ever learn about Kreep's misdeeds.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 AM EST

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