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Tuesday, February 2, 2010
BMI, Hedgecock Peddle Obama-Toyota Conspiracy
Topic: Media Research Center

There's a new conspiracy making the rounds: President Obama forced the recall of millions of Toyota vehicles in order to tarnish the competition and boost General Motors and Chrysler vehicles, which the government is bailing out.

No, really.

A Jan. 29 MRC Business & Media Institute article by Jeff Poor approvingly highlighted the remarks of Republican Rep. Jeff Sessions hinting at such a conspiracy:

Sessions expressed his concern over that possibility and noted the amount of money the federal government had recently pumped into GMAC, the auto financing arm of General Motors.
“Well, you know – we were in until late last night and I hadn’t heard that,” Sessions said. “I worry about those kind of things. I worry about Ford working hard and having to compete against the federal government. With an unlimited – they just gave $3 billion more to GMAC. The President’s got to be careful here. He can not be playing politics and union politics or regional politics with the economy of this country.”
Since Toyota (NYSE:TM) announced the recall, the shares of the auto manufacturer have dropped more than 15 percent in the last seven trading sessions, down $2.10 on Jan. 28 after a $7.01 slide the day before.

Roger Hedgecock followed up by wholeheartedly embracing the conspiracy in his Feb. 1 WorldNetDaily column:

Disclosure: My family drives Toyota cars (a Prius and a Lexus SUV), and we have never had a problem with these excellent products. On our cars (and every other Toyota vehicle I've seen), the floor mats are firmly secured by hooks and cannot interfere with the gas pedal. And the gas pedal works just as it should – press down and the car moves faster. Ease up and the car slowly decelerates.

Nonetheless, Toyota faces a perfect storm from SUA. But is government "greed" a factor here? As a co-owner of Toyota rivals GM and Chrysler, is the Obama administration and its jihad against Toyota "consumer protection" or revenge against a successful, non-union, red state based rival? Given what Rahm Emanuel said about crisis as an opportunity to "advance the agenda," this question deserves closer attention.


A year ago, Toyota was riding high. With non-union manufacturing plants in Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Indiana, Toyota made the most popular and most highly regarded vehicles in the U.S. Rivals GM and Chrysler were imploding, and the president stepped in with massive taxpayer cash infusions and took over these companies as joint ventures between the federal government and the UAW.

Hedgecock goes on to falsly claim that the Pontiac Vibe is not on the recall list, even though it's a twin of the recalled Toyota Matrix. In fact, the Vibe is on the NHTSA recall list.

Given that one of Hedgecock's cars (the Prius) is on the recall list, we wonder if he will refuse to get it fixed just to spite Obama. Does he drive the Prius himself, or does he make his wife or child drive it?

He's also curiously mum about the fact that at least 24 deaths and hundreds of injuries are connected to the Toyota problems -- sticky accelerators and accelerators getting trapped under floor mats.

Is Hedgecock so conspiratorial that he's willing to put himself and his family at risk of injury just to prove a point? We shall see.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 12:14 AM EST
Monday, February 1, 2010
Meanwhile ...
Topic: Media Research Center
The Washington Independent's David Weigel catches the Media Research Center's Tim Graham whining that a Washington Post article about conservatives uses the word "conservative" a lot.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:59 PM EST
WND Falsely Portrays Judicial Watch Study
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh falsely portrayed a Judicial Watch mini-attack on the use of Air Force aircraft by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, repeatedly portraying the $2 million spent on the flights as solely for the benefit of Pelosi and her family. In fact, the amount covers congressional delegations arranged by Pelosi's office.

Since Unruh was rewriting a Judicial Watch press release, he ignores the same things that Judicial Watch does -- namely, that Republican Dennis Hastert arranged similar CODELs when he was House speaker, that  Republicans also went on the Pelosi-arranged CODELs, that Republicans were permitted to bring their wives on some of these trips, and that members of Pelosi's family who make use of the aircraft are obligated to reimburse the government for it.

Meanwhile, over at NewsBusters, Noel Sheppard similarly misportrayed the flights as being for the benefit of Pelosi only.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EST
MRC Still Misportraying Quote About Kennedy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Media Research Center clearly won't be issuing an apology to Charles Pierce anytime soon.

In a Feb. 1 NewsBusters post, Brent Baker writes of Boston Globe writer Charles Pierce:

Pierce is infamous for his 2003 Globe Magazine tribute to Ted Kennedy in which he ludicrously postulated: “If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.”

As we've documented, the MRC has repeatedly taken Pierce's statement out of context, portraying it as praise of Kennedy when, in fact, it's a criticism.

Baker goes on to describe Pierce as "cocky" and declare Pierce's book "Idiot America" "denigrat[ed] Sarah Palin, amongst others."

It took the MRC nine years to apologize for misleadingly stringing together quotes from Howell Raines' book and falsely portray them. Looks like Pierce has at least another two years to go before he gets his well-deserved apology.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:42 AM EST
Newsmax, Sheppard Give Ailes a Pass
Topic: Newsmax

Roger Ailes' appearance on ABC's "This Week" was unsurprisingly touted by both Newsmax and NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard, who called a "marvelous fireworks display" and claimed that "The one standing at the end likely didn't vote for Barack Obama." But also unsurprisingly, neither Newsmax nor Sheppard held Ailes accountable for his misinformation and questionalble claims.

Both Newsmax and Sheppard highlighted Ailes' statement that Glenn Beck "did say one unfortunate thing, which he apologized for." In fact, Glenn Beck has said numerous "unfortunate" things, the most notorious of which -- calling President Obama a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred of white people" -- he has yet to apologize for.

Both also noted an exchange between Ailes and Paul Krugman, though only Sheppard repeated Krugman's statement that Fox News misrepresented Obama's explanation of why his health-care reform plan was not a European style plan to portray it as Obama supporting a "European-style" plan. Both Newsmax and Sheppard failed to note that Krugman was right.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 AM EST
Kincaid Can't Stop Misleading About Anti-Gay Uganda Bill
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid used an appearance on the radio show of Des Moines, Iowa, host Jan Mickelson to spread his misinformation about the anti-gay law in Uganda.

Kincaid ironically asserted that it's "misinformation" that the Uganda bill is a "kill-the-gays" law and went on to praise the bill as countering "this so-called livestyle": "They want to prevent what has happened to countries like the United States, where ... the courts and certain politicians have accepted this [homosexual] lifestyle. They want to prevent that from happening to Uganda, and I say more power to 'em. And they ought to be able to do that without getting interference from the likes of Rick Warren or anybody else.

Kincaid is loath admit that there's a death penalty in the bill; rather, he states that there are "certain provisions" that are "controversial" because it "emphasizes punishment rather than rehabilitation." He insisted again that the "basic thrust" of the bill is "to try to get control of a lifestyle, so-called, that has been spreading AIDS"-- even though AIDS in Uganda is mostly spread through heterosexual contact.

When Kincaid finally gets around to mentioning the death penalty, he insists that it's limited to "aggravated homosexuality," which he portrayed as limited to "child abuse, child rape, spreading AIDS and so forth." In fact, the death penalty could also apply to those caught engaging in homosexual sex more than once, as well as those who merely test positive for HIV.

Kincaid then claims that the U.S. has "a lot to learn from Uganda. They're doing it right way. We're doing it the wrong way. ... These are brave Christian people. We should be supporting them, not betraying them like Rick Warren did."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EST
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Klein Still Attacking J Street
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein keeps up his history of attacks on the liberal group J Street with yet another article baselessly smearing it as "anti-Israel." As per usual, Klein's right-wing, pro-Israeli-terrorist bias prevents him from permitting anyone from J Street to respond to the attack (and again, Klein never actually quotes anyone calling J Street "anti-Israel").

Klein adds a new twist this time by touting a new group called Z Street. As one would expect, Klein refuses to properly label it as a right-wing group, even though it clearly is -- group official Lenny Ben-David has a history of smearing J Street. Rather, Klein describes the group only as "pro-Israel."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 PM EST
WND Orly Taitz Whitewash Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah asserts that media outlets portraying those that foment controversy over Barack Obama's eligibility for the presidency as "just unfounded doubts propagated by a 'birther movement'" are engaging in "propaganda." Farah does himself no favors by engaging in his own propaganda campaign that, as we have documented, is much more dishonest than the reporting from non-birther outlets.

Another example of WND's dishonest propaganda comes in the form of a Jan. 29 article by Bob Unruh, in which he touts Orly Taitz's latest filing. As per Slantie-winning WND practice, Unruh fails to disclose to WND readers Taitz's long history of shoddy lawyering in the case -- from botched filings to the $20,000 fine for filing frivolous claims to the allegations of suborning perjury.

Unruh, unsurprisingly, allows misleading claims and falsehoods by Taitz to parade as fact. He quotes Taitz asserting that Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga is "Obama's first cousin" -- a claim that has been discredited.

In yet another effort to discredit the birth certificate Obama has released -- which even Farah concedes is authentic -- Unruh faithfully reports Taitz's claim that the state of Hawaii "allows registration of births out of state" without offering any evidence that any out-of-state birth has been registered in Hawaii as an in-state birth.

Then again, Unruh can't tell the truth -- it would derail WND's cash machine.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EST
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Is Molotov Mitchell Muslim?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh highlights how "Vanderbilt University is distancing itself from a Muslim chaplain after he told a gathering of students homosexuality is punishable by death under Islam."

Unruh also recounts a question-and-answer exchange between a Christian activist and a Muslim student group, in whcih the activist is quoted as saying, "Yes, Christianity does consider homosexuality sinful, and Christians pray for homosexuals because of it, while Islamic law says they should be punished with death. See the difference?"

Molotov Mitchell doesn't. Does that mean WND's proud endorser of Uganda's anti-gay law -- which permits the death penalty for homosexuality -- is Muslim? We're shocked.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EST
WND Whitewashes Tea Party Convention Implosion
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously noted how WorldNetDaily has studiously avoided reporting on controversies regarding the upcoming National Tea Party Convention WND editor Joseph Farah is speaking at -- from accusations of profiteering to barring of news media except for those guaranteed to provide fawning coverage (like WND).

Now, the convention is seeing major speakers drop out -- Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn. Both cited the for-profit nature of the convention, which, as right-wing blogger Erick Erickson summed up, "smells scammy."

WND does its best to spin this in a Jan. 29 article by Chelsea Schilling, which portrayed the withdrawals as the result of "conflicting advice" over whether a sitting membe of Congress could take part in a for-profit event.

Schilling further whitewashes the nature of the criticism of the convention itself, stating only that "Critics contend that the Tea Party Nation should have filed for nonprofit status" and giving organizer Judson Phillips ample space to defend himself without any of those nasty facts to contradict him:

Phillips said the idea of sending out letters to supporters and telling them, "The world is ending, but for $50 we can put it off for a couple of weeks," didn't sit well with him.

"My vision for Tea Party Nation was to use the capitalist system to support our activities," he said. "The whole idea of begging for bucks is absolutely repugnant to me. I'm not saying people who have nonprofits and seek donations are bad people or anything like that. I'm just saying, for our group, I don't like it."


For critics who suggest Phillips might turn a substantial profit on the convention, he had these words: "That's not why I started this. It's not true. I haven't quit my day job, nor do I anticipate quitting my day job."

He joked, "I think we're going to have just enough to take a few of the volunteers out for a lunch on the dollar menu."

No mention of the blackout of non-sycophantic media. No mentiton of the massive speaking fee Sarah Palin is reportedly receiving. NO mention of Erickson's "scammy" quote.

Such slobbering coverage (plus the fact that the boss is on the speaking schedule) is presumably why WND got one of those scarce press passes -- and why it can be counted on betray its proclaimed principles and not raise a First Amendment ruckus over such hostility to the First Amendment as it did with the United Nations.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EST
Friday, January 29, 2010
Brent Bozell, Informercial King
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell and Terry Jeffrey began their Jan. 27 "MRC Live" webcast by hawking the Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews doormats they sell:

Posted by Terry K. at 3:45 PM EST
WND Columnist: Chevy Volt Is 'Commie Car'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

"We should put more Americans to work building clean-energy facilities," Barack boomed last night. "You can see the results of last year's investments in clean energy - in the North Carolina company that will create 1,200 jobs nationwide helping to make advanced batteries."

Not according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Against its politically correct instincts, the IEEE was forced to "cast stones at a wide selection of ... poorly conceived technology projects." One of these was Government Motors' Chevrolet Volt, a car known as a plug-in hybrid because it will get most of its power from the wall socket in a garage."

You see, unless the Big O issues a mandate compelling Americans to purchase the commie car, the Volt won't be making money.

"The first year's volume, by GM's own calculations, is 10,000 units, and you can't save a company with that. That's chicken feed." Or, as Johan de Nysschen, the president of Audi of America put it: "There are not enough idiots who will buy it." These vehicles, ventured de Nysschen, are "for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are."

-- Ilana Mercer, Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 PM EST
CNS Is Wrong, Obama Is Right

A Jan. 29 article by Fred Lucas carries the headline "Obama Was Wrong and Alito Was Right" -- a statement repeated in Lucas' lead paragraph. Lucas goes on to claim that "During his first State of the Union speech on Wednesday, President Barack Obama incorrectly stated that foreign nationals and foreign entities can now contribute unlimited amounts of money to U.S. political campaigns because of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling lifting certain campaign finance restrictions."

Actually, Lucas is wrong and Obama is right. Obama never claimed that the Supreme court decision allowed "foreign nationals" to contribute to American campaigns; according to the quote Lucas highlighted, Obama specifically stated "foreign corporations,"and his later reference to "foreign entities" can in context be presumed to refer to "foreign corporations."

Which, it appears, is correct. Because the Supreme Court ruling makes no distinction regarding ownership, it can be reasonably interpreted to permit the U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned corporations to donate to U.S political campaigns. That's a point made in the dissenting opinion signed by four justices, but Lucas makes no reference to it.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:20 AM EST
Updated: Friday, January 29, 2010 11:22 AM EST
'Avatar' Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Science fiction is, of course, more popular than ever. James Cameron's blockbuster hit "Avatar," about a crippled Marine who takes an ambitious assignment to infiltrate native aliens on a far away world, has now grossed more than any movie, ever. Just as Jules Verne's novel reflected the tide of popular and public opinion in his day, "Avatar" does as well: The movie is a spectacularly animated collage of left-wing melodramatic sentiments, misconceptions and prejudices. It scorns capitalism, rejects commerce, vilifies Western culture, deifies native Americans (for whom the blue aliens in what has been called "Dances with Smurfs" are an obvious analog) and spits on the United States military, portraying Marines working as mercenaries as little better than baby-killing, genocidal maniacs.

The only sympathetic characters in the movie are those soldiers who betray their fellows and turn their guns on their fellow Marines – and the audience is expected to root for the aliens and against all humanity. By the film's end, the humans have been expelled, sent back to their dying planet. That such a film could shatter all previous box-office records says a great deal about the current state of our society, as reflected in our opinions about space aliens and how we will or should treat them.


For that matter, if the aliens are more advanced, it would pretty damned stupid of us to act as the traveling Amway salesmen of the universe, beaming our address and phone number into the galaxy and asking that people we don't know stop by for lunch. We've even sent them naked pictures of ourselves, as well as a pile of personal data, in the form of a satellite or two whose only job is to let them know who and where we are. You wouldn't do that on an Internet bulletin board. Why does it become OK when the venue is the Milky Way instead of Craigslist?

If science fiction has taught us anything, it is that when the talking apes from the future land on the beach in their space capsule, you should help them out of the spaceship – and immediately murder them. They don't have your interests at heart, and neither do the visiting space aliens. It's a cookbook, as the old saying goes. If they have to tell you they come in peace, they probably don't.

-- Phil Elmore, Jan. 28 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 8:34 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 6, 2010 9:38 PM EST
CNS Whitewashes Anti-Gay Uganda Law

A Jan. 28 article by Karen Schuberg whitewashes the proposed anti-gay law in Uganda, strangely fixating on a provision that would permit the death penalty for "any HIV-positive person who willfully and knowingly engages in homosexual relations." Schuberg suggests that this is the only controversial provision in the law that is generating criticism of it, and asks Democratic members of Congress critical of the law what penalty they would apply to someone for "knowingly putting others at risk."

But as the summary of the law Schuberg links to from Warren Throckmorton --  as well an AP article CNS published last month -- make clear, the bill has many other controversial provisions, such as imprisoning those who fail to report homosexual behavior to authorities and penalizing landlords who rent to gays. We've previously noted other harsh provisions that Schuberg doesn't mention.

Also unmentioned by Schuberg: the facts that the number of gays in Uganda are "negligible," and by far the most prevalent method of HIV transmission in Uganda has historically been either heterosexual or mother-to-child.

Throckmorton, by the way, has been critical of the bill's Draconian provisions, and he takes CNS to task for not only Schuberg's HIV-transmission fixation but also the slant of her questions to Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin:

Rep. Baldwin makes clear that the actionable offense is intent to harm. However, the CNSNews reporter does not seem to get the crucial distinction – a distinction not made in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. In the bill, there is no language that requires the offender to have harmful intent. The clear intent of the bill, as was recently confirmed to me by a researcher in the Ugandan Parliament Research Service is “to outlaw all same-sex sexual conduct.” Being HIV-positive gets the strongest penalty. In the bill, intent to harm is not relevant. The CNSNews reporter ignores Rep. Baldwin’s response.


“Willfully and knowingly” engaging in homosexual relations should not be penalized according to Baldwin; doing so with the intent to spread HIV is what she addressed.  HIV-positive people may engage intimacy with appropriate precautions. Failing to make this distinction might be an oversight on the part of CNSNews or it might be an attempt to change the subject from what the bill says to focus on something that many readers would want to see addressed in law.

However, it is important to note that the bill as written intends “to outlaw all same-sex sexual conduct” and to impose the death penalty on same-sex intimacy, including touching, where one or both parties are HIV-positive, even if the touching is with mutual consent.

Of course, if CNS has no interest in fixing such an obvious error as the defintion of "Christian Identity" in smearing Erroll Southers, addressing rank anti-gay bias is even less of a priority.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 AM EST

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