MediaMatters highlights a couple recent NewsBusters posts of note:
Jack Coleman's defense of the John Birch Society over its longtime opposition to fluoridation of drinking water, even going so far as to liken it to adding iodine to salt. Coleman then took a swipe at Rachel maddow, who raised the fluoridation issue with the Birthers at CPAC, calling Maddow's use of a swear word "a cheap tactic borrowed from Jon Stewart by way of Abbie Hoffman, and the sign of a weak argument."
Candance Moore's attempt to claim that the press ignored the "left-wing tone of Netroots Nation in 2009." As Karl Frisch points out, "Moore's framing of these discussions don't appear to bear any resemblance to what actually transpired because -- I assume from reading her post -- she didn't actually attend Netroots Nation."
A Feb. 24 WorldnetDaily article by Chelsea Schilling tackles the tough issues -- whether a new logo for the Department of Defense's Missile Defense Agency was inspired by the Obama campaign logo or is s"uggestive of an Islamic crescent moon and star." Schilling writes that "some" are making this claim, but names only a "Washington Times blog" and the Drudge Report.
Those are both conservative, as are the "several bloggers" also mentions. Yet Schilling did not see fit to identify the accusers as conservative.
Further, Schilling waits until the ninth paragraph -- well after she rehashes the conspiracy theories over it -- to reveal the truth about the logo: it was designed three years ago.
Sadly, that's the kind of shoddy reporting we've come to expect from Schilling.
NewsBusters Misleads on Reconciliation Topic: NewsBusters
A Feb. 24 NewsBusters post by Lachlan Markay asserts that "the liberal media attempts to downplay Democratic double standards and highlight Republican ones," stating:
In numerous reports on the status of health care negotiations in the Senate, prominent media outlets made sure to mention that Republicans used the so-called "nuclear option"--known in parliamentary terms as the budget reconciliation process--to overcome Democratic filibusters. But conspicuously absent are mentions of Democrats' unequivocal condemnations of reconciliation.
First, reconciliation is not the "nuclear option," despite attempts by Republicans to portray it as such.
Second, despite citing "Democrats' unequivocal condemnations of reconciliation," Markay provides no examples of such. The video he links to, which he claims shows how Democrats "were ardent advocates of majoritarianism in the Senate only a few years ago" shows no such thing. The video, compiled by right-wing website Naked Emperor News, obscures the fact that what the Democrats were criticizing was a 2005 Republican plan to change Senate rules and ban filibusters on judicial nominees -- which is what the "nuclear option" is -- and not reconciliation.
Reconciliation, by contrast, is a existing Senate procedure, which Markay seems to concede. But he conflates filibusters with reconciliation, failing to understand between an existing Senate procedure and an attempt to change Senate rules, which is what Republicans tried to do in 2005, Thus, Markay's complaint that CBS "not[ed] that Republicans have purportedly used reconciliation more often then Democrats--without mentioning the majority leader's about face" is meaningless; there is no "about face" because Reid was talking about two different things.
Markay concludes by complaining that the media, "far from serving as watchdogs, simply regurgitated Democratic talking points without a hint of criticism or analysis." That from someone who's regurgitating right-wing talking points without a hint of criticism or analysis.
WND Columnist Repeats Misleading Attack on Pelosi Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 23 WorldNetDaily column by Chrissy Satterfield takes as her inspiration (aside from "my favorite talk radio host, the 'Titan of Truth,' Michael Savage") Judicial Watch's attack on Nancy Pelosi use of military aircraft in her role as House speaker. Her main complaint is that Pelosi's family members have "hitched a ride or two on congressional flights."
Of course, as we've detailed, Judicial Watch's attack on Pelosi is highly misleading, ignoring the fact that the vast majority of flights arranged through Pelosi's office were congressional delegations that more often than not included Republican members of Congress -- something Pelosi's Republican predecessor, Dennis Hastert, also did.
But Satterfield is less interested in telling the truth than insulting Pelosi, with references to face lifts and Botox. Not terribly surprising, is it?
Kincaid Sides With CPAC Gay-Basher Topic: Accuracy in Media
It's completely unsurprising that Cliff Kincaid would lionize Ryan Sorba, the activist known for his anti-gay rant at CPAC, and he does just that in his Feb. 22 Accuracy in Media column. After all, he agrees with Sorba that gays shouldn't be permitted in CPAC because, well, they're gay.
Kincaid defends Sorba's rant by claiming he was "provoked by a speaker who preceded him," who "went out of his way to use valuable time from the podium to thank the American Conservative Union, the main CPAC organizer, for making the controversial decision to approve GOProud's participation."
Kincaid goes on to laud Sorba as "the author of the book, The Born Gay Hoax" -- even though all that apparently exists of this work at this point is an unfinished, unpublished manuscript posted at that other noted nest of anti-gay rants, MassResistance.
This being Kincaid, his pathological anti-gay sentiment takes over his piece, signaled by his lament that "the 'banning' of homosexuality is not realistically possible at this stage in the United States because the Supreme Court has effectively legalized it." Kincaid goes on to:
Oppose repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell because, he asks, "how will open homosexuals in the U.S. military be greeted on Muslim lands where homosexuality is still illegal?"
Bash GOProud's criticism of the anti-gay Uganda law, writing, "Under these "gay conservatives," one can imagine gay soldiers being deployed to overthrow 'homophobic' regimes."
Baselessly insist yet again that the purpose of the anti-gay Uganda law is "trying to prevent the spread of AIDS and protect traditional moral values by toughening laws against homosexuality," failing yet again to acknowledge the simple facts that 1) the Uganda law, as it currently stands, would allow punishing mere homosexual activity with the death penalty, and 2) HIV transmission in Uganda is historically been mostly through heterosexual contact.
Try to put a patriotic spin on gay-bashing, claiming that "the founding fathers regarded homosexual sodomy as a crime against nature and believed it should be outlawed and punished severely."
Drop yet another reference to "Rachel Maddow, the lesbian host of an MSNBC-TV show."
Is AIM president Don Irvine pleased with Kincaid's hijacking of his group into a virulently anti-gay group?
UPDATE: Kincaid's column is promoted onthe AIM front page with this picture:
Is this what Kincaid thinks gays serving openly in the military will lead to?
A Feb. 22 CNSNews.com article by Pete Winn stated that "College professors are more likely than the average person to believe that the Ten Commandments are irrelevant today -- and to think that America is a corrupting influence on good people, according to a new study." The poll was conducted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which Winn described only as "an educational organization based in Wilmington, Del."
In fact, ISI is a conservative activist organization that has declared America is "on a slippery slope to socialism" because "the university is dominated by liberal professors." At no point does Winn identify ISI's ideology.
Perhaps the disclaimer at the end of Winn's article is a clue to that non-disclosure: "CNSNews.com Editor-in-Chief Terence P. Jeffrey is a visiting fellow at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and was involved in the preparation of the ISI report."
WND Ratchets Up War on Glenn Beck Topic: WorldNetDaily
Earlier this month, WorldNetDaily began lashing out at Glenn Beck for ridiculing birthers (like WND editor Joseph Farah). WND has been stepping up the battle in recent days.
Farah penned yet another column on the issue on Feb. 17, complaining that "From Glenn Beck to Andrew Breitbart to Conservative Political Action Conference organizers to social climbing bloggers with little actual audience, some of the right have becoming increasingly hostile to continued calls for Barack Obama to release documents that would prove his eligibility and provide the transparency he promised with regard to his travels, health history, schooling, etc." Farah again lies that all he cares about is "pursuit of the truth without fear or favor."
This was followed by a more direct Feb. 22 attack on Beck, which carried the headline, "Meet kinder, gentler Glenn Beck: New 'global warming' believer?" It summarizes a USA Weekend interview with Beck in which he said that he supports the idea of global warming and "thinks it could be caused partly by man's activity." Perhaps even more unforgivable in WND's eyes, "Beck's personal publicist, Matt Hiltzik, is a Democratic power player who helped get Hillary Rodham Clinton elected to the U.S. Senate."
WND seems to be unaware that this link to Hiltzik was revealed months ago -- last October, by the Washington Post. We don't recall WND mentioning it then. Of course, Beck hadn't yet violated WND's sensibilities by criticizing birthers.
As WND alienates its pool of supporters one by one -- not to mention any journalistic credibility it has left -- with its Javert-like pursuit of Joseph Farah's new Vince Foster, you have to wonder how this can be a sustainable business model. Farah will have to hoodwink folks into buying a lot of birther trinkets in order to make this venture worthwhile.
New Article: Chelsea Schilling's Shilling Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily reporter has racked up an impressive list of misleading claims and falsehoods -- none of which have been corrected. Read more >>
Kessler's Very Convenient CPAC Award From One Of His Favorite Sources Topic: Newsmax
A Feb. 20 Newsmax article announced that Newsmax's Ronald Kessler "was given the first Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award on Friday at the 37th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)."
Dave Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, whose foundation runs CPAC, presented the award to Kessler at CPAC’s Ronald Reagan Banquet, where former Congressman J.C. Watts, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and others spoke to more than 2,000 attendees.
"Ron was recognized this year because of the quality of his writing, reporting and the hard work he puts in to covering Washington," said Keene. "He is always there, always fair and is one reporter who adheres to standards that are all too frequently violated or ignored by his colleagues."
Kessler won the award based on voting by the 96 co-sponsors of CPAC.
It's unclear whether Kessler's award has anything to do with the fact that Kessler has repeatedly quoted Keene in his articles. For instance:
for his part, Kessler made some dubious claims in his acceptance speech, asserting that "really is fair and balanced." As we detailed the last time Kessler made this claim, that is utterly false.
Kessler also suggested that Newsmax is fair and balanced as well because "runs stores [sic] that are critical of Republicans as well as Democrats." That may be true, though Newsmax's criticism of Republicans usually centers on them being not conservative enough. More often than not, Newsmax is eager to defend Republicans while ignoring relevant facts, as it recently did for Mike Huckabee.
For his part, Kessler reciprocated the logrolling award by penning a pair of fawningarticles about CPAC.
Bozell: Obama Czars Are 'Maggots' Topic: Media Research Center
A Feb. 22 NewsBusters post highlights MRC chief Brent Bozell's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference:
"Van Jones was a story that was broken by a blogger," Bozell said. "Say that after me - God bless bloggers, God bless bloggers, God bless bloggers. Now this blogger writes a story about one of the Obama czars. Now these czars, these guys are dangerous for all sorts of reasons. They're not elected. They're not confirmed. And they're not even announced. You just hear about them. They're like maggots. You pick up a rock and you find a czar."
Aside from his dehumanization of Obama administration officials by labeling them "maggots," Bozell is factually wrong about czars not being confirmed. Several of them have been confirmed by the Senate, while other positions had counterparts in the Bush administration, which we don't recall Bozell complaining about.
WND's Massie: Gays Are Filthy And Violent Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie cynically claims in his Feb. 23 WorldNetDaily column that "It's not my intention or desire to dehumanize homosexuals." Of course, that's exactly what he does:
Why are the costs of health risks associated with homosexuality treated differently than the cost concerns of tobacco and fast food? A 2006 Dutch study found that homosexual men more frequently used mental and somatic health care than heterosexual men – and lesbian/bisexual women more frequently used mental health care than heterosexual women. It also found a higher rate of health care use among homosexual and bisexual persons compared to heterosexuals. (See: Soc Sci Med, Vol. 63 No. 8; October 2006; pp. 2022-2030.)
Timothy J. Daily, Ph. D., wrote, "Hollywood and the media relentlessly propagate the image of the fit, healthy and well-adjusted homosexual. The reality is at polar opposites to the caricature – homosexual and lesbian relationships are typically characterized by instability, promiscuity and unhealthy and risky sex practices, factors that greatly increase the incidence of serious and incurable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). …" ("The negative health effects of homosexuality," Family Research Council)
The New York Blade News, a homosexual newspaper, reported, "Reports at a national conference about sexually transmitted diseases indicate that [homosexual] men are in the highest risk group for several of the most serious diseases. … scientists believe that increased numbers of sexually transmitted disease cases is the result of an increase in risky sexual practices by a growing of [homosexual] men who believe HIV is no longer a life-threatening illness." (Bill Roundy; "STD Rates on the Rise"; Dec. 15, 2005)
Daily rightly acknowledges that which homosexual activists would rather the public be socially unaware of, i.e., "Instability and promiscuity typically characterize homosexual relationships."
"A.P. Bell and M.S. Weinberg, in their classic study of male and female homosexuality, found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having 1,000 or more sex partners." (See also: Bell, Weinberg and Hammersmith, "Sexual Preferences"; Bloomington Indiana Press, 1981.)
Homosexuality can be dressed and presented as being as normal and natural as rain in spring – but it isn't. Comprehensive medical studies found diseases, such anal cancer, Chlamydia trachomatis, cryptosporidium, giardia lamblia, herpes simplex virus, HIV, human papilloma virus, Isospera belli, microsporidia, gonorrhea, viral hepatitis types B&C and syphilis, with extraordinary frequency among male homosexual practitioners as a result of anal intercourse.
It's a safe bet that children in grade school aren't being told about "gay bowl disease," nor other diseases associated with these aberrant sexual practices. School children aren't told, and most adults don't consider the effect that the practice of homosexuality has on the homosexual's physical health, mental health and lifespan. Studies show that homosexuals have a lifespan that is, incredibly, 20 years less than normal heterosexuals.
Homosexual groups and advocates attempt to portray commonality in STDs between homosexuals and heterosexuals. The truth is that, according to the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, pathogens associated with enteritis and proctocolitis "appear only to be sexually transmitted among men who have sex with men."
The incidence of violent abuse is extremely high in lesbian relationships, and in homosexual relationships studies have found the violence to be double that of heterosexual males.
This isn't "dehumanizing" gays? If you have a history of smearing gays as Massie does, it isn't.
CNS Falsely Suggests Obama Health Care Bill Exceeds Hyde Amendment Topic: CNSNews.com
A Feb. 22 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr claimed that President Obama's health care proposal "mostly mirrors the Senate bill and, in particular, would allow for tax dollars to be used to fund health plans that cover abortion."
In fact, as Media Matters details, the Senate bill follows the Hyde Amendment by not using federal funds for abortion. Rather, in health plans in the proposed health insurance exchange that offer coverage for abortion, premiums collected to cover abortion are segregated from other federal funds -- a procedure permitted by federal law.
Tom Blumer, One-Man Pro-Toyota Army Topic: NewsBusters
Tom Blumer has moved on from formulating conspiracy theories about the government's treatment of Toyota to being a full-throated Toyota apologist. He cranked out a series of blog posts in the middle of the night in an attempt to push back on accusations that in an internal presentation, Toyota listed as a "win" successfully negotiating with the federal government a limited recall of vehicles that saved the company millions of dollars.
In his first post, Blumer derided the Detroit News and Associated Press for basing their stories on an incomplete document. He then asserted that, despite the fact that the presentation documents were in English, the Japanese interpret "win" differently than Americans do:
Oh, and did I say "cultural ignorance"? Yes I did -- breathtaking cultural ignorance. Based on my limited knowledge, the two reporters' assertions didn't make sense. I have confirmed that instinct with someone who has much broader knowledge and experience. This person's college degree is in Asian Studies, and has been to Japan several times, visiting several different areas of the country, including Nagoya, where Toyota is headquartered.
Shepardson and Thomas don't understand that the presence of Inaba as the most senior person at the meeting means that it was conducted under Japanese cultural and behavioral norms. That's important, because in Japanese culture a person simply does not "brag" or "boast" about anything -- ever. In fact, what a person regularly does in talking about himself or herself is generally expected to be self-deprecating, lest there be any conceivable inference of what others might perceive as unforgivably rude bragging.
Pursuant to the norms of such a meeting, a "win" in Japanese culture is not what Americans would think it is. It most assuredly does not mean "a victory over the government," or "a successful evasion of regulations, safety be damned" or whatever Shepardson's and Thomas's fevered minds think they are seeing in the word. It simply means "favorable development" -- nothing more, nothing less. The supporting facts that are included are thus emotion-free observations. There are no "brags" or "boasts" emanating from anywhere in these documents, which is to be expected, because anyone doing so would be taking on a substantial career risk. I guess they didn't cover that in the diversity training courses at the Detroit News or the AP.
Being a good conspiracy theorist, Blumer made sure to inject some of that as well:
Finally, did I forget to mention that the U.S. Congress that will "grill" (Shepardson's word) Toyota's CEO this week represents an entity that controls two of the company's three largest U.S. competitors? Or that those two competitors had over 8.9 million vehicles recalled from 2004-2008, but from all appearances have had almost none since they became de facto wards of the state?
An hour and a half later, Blumer wrote a post adding Politico to the offending news outlets reporting the story, insisting that Toyota is doing nothing beyond "playing normal self-defense" and thatthe feds are conducting "a smear campaign orchestrated at higher levels intended to cut the legs out from under a company that 'just happens' to be the largest foreign-owned competitor of government-controlled General Motors and Chrysler."
Three hours later, Blumer had another post complaining that other media outlets had picked up the story.
Finally, two hours after that, Blumer howled that the Department of Transportation spokesperson who had been talking to news outlets about Toyota was "an Obama spokeswoman in Ohio" who "registered to vote in the Buckeye State, even though she was not a resident, and apparently obtained an early-voting ballot" (though the story Blumer links to to support this claim notes that McCain staffers had similar issues after it was made clear that temporary residents couldn't vote in Ohio). This, to blumer, equates to having an "ACORN-y Background." Blumer concluded with this rant:
So the world's largest car manufacturer, employing over 300,000 worldwide and paying untold billions annually in income, property, unemployment, and other taxes, is being lectured about product safety by a known vote fraudster who has been rewarded for her misbehavior with a cushy government job, while the vast majority of the establishment press has no way to make the association because it barely covered Ohio's 2008 vote-fraud story in the first place.
Only in Barack Obama's America.
At no point did Blumer mention that problems with Toyota vehicles date back at least a decade and would be facing these recall issues regardless of who currently owns GM and Chrysler. But that would have interfered with his little conspiracy theory.
Newsmax is back in the Bernard Kerik defense business.
After months of attempting to rehabilitate Kerik's repuatation after being charged with corruption, then going silent upon Kerik's guilty plea to several of those charges, Kerik's sentencing to four years in prison on the charges has ignited a new attempt to rehabilitate Kerik's reputation.
As we noted, Newsmax's new rehab effort began by highlighting a Huffington Post article claiming that Kerik was the victim of overzealous prosecutors. This is followed up by none other than Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy in a Feb. 21 column.
Ruddy curiously complains that "Justice is often unfair and excessive toward the famous." Coming from a guy who ranted about Bill Clinton's ties to the "Dixie Mafia" and promoted the discredited likes of Linda Tripp, that's rich.
Ruddy also promotes a previous Newsmax article lionizing Kerik as something at helps to explain the "complicate" Kerik case. But as we detailed, that article is little more than a fluff piece in which authors Dave Eberhart and Jim Meyers hide facts in order to make Kerik look good.
Ruddy does some of his own whitewashing here, complaining that the judge in the case "threw [Kerik] in jail" prior to his scheduled trial. "The reason? One of Kerik’s attorneys had sent an e-mail to a Washington Times reporter on the case."
Ruddy doesn't mention that it wasn't just any ordinary email. As the New York Times details, the email -- sent by a lawyer who ran Kerik's legal defense fund - contained "information that indicated he was privy to sealed court papers." Further, it appeared the lawyer was forwarding an email sent by Kerik himself -- a violation in a consent decree in the case prohibiting Kerik from revealing confidential information."
In his lengthy defense, Ruddy fails to disclose that he was close enough to Kerik to give him space on Newsmax for a regular column.
Ruddy's defense is joined at Newsmax by a Feb. 22 article highlighting Geraldo Rivera's defense of Kerik and description of the judge that sentenced him as a "hanging judge."
Interesting how some people are for law and order -- unless one of their buddies is on the receiving end.
WND's Unruh Misleads About Nutritional Supplement Case Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've previously detailed how WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has a bad habit of telling only one side of the story, despite his touted previous experience as a reporter for the Associated Press, which typically does not tolerate such bias.
Unruh exhibits that bias again in a Feb. 21 WND article on a "Christian nutrition ministry" called Daniel Chapter One, which has faced sanctions from the Federal Trade Commissionfor making unsupported claims about the nutritional supplements it sells. Unruh quotes only attorneys for Daniel Chapter One who, according to Unruh, "responded to a series of written questions submitted by WND." Unruh doesn't quote any FTC official in the article or even substantively directly quote any FTC documents on the case, even though the FTC has posted numerous documents regarding the DanielChapter One case on its website. Further, Unruh made no apparent attempt to contact the FTC for a response to the charges made in the article.
Unruh misleadingly asserts that it's not until "after the full penalties of being found guilty are scheduled to apply" that "the principals will be able to present their first defense to the charges." In fact, theFTCrecordcontainsseveraldocuments by Daniel Chapter One's attorneys responding to the FTC that include what most people would call a defense.
Unruh also curiously fails to offer specifics about the claims Daniel Chapter One made that drew the FTC complaint, framing the issue as about "how the federal government demands studies of nutritional products such as vitamins be done before the products are advertised to consumers." In fact, in a September 2008 FTC press release summing up its case, the FTCstated that Daniel Chapter One has made "deceptive and false claims that these products effectively prevent, treat, and cure cancer" and that "one of their herbal formulations mitigates the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy."
The original FTC administrative complaint goes on to state that Daniel Chapter One claimed one product "inhibits angiogenesis -- the formation of new blood vessels" which "can stop tumor growth," that another product "battles cancer," and that yet another product can serve "as an adjunct to cancer therapy." Even though Daniel Chapter One's claims that its products treat cancer is central to the FTC's actions, the word "cancer" appears nowhere in Unruh's article -- nor did it appear in an August 2008 WND article Unruh wrote on the case.
Unruh features "Herb Titus, a key constitutional expert working on the Daniel Chapter One case," complaining that the FTC wants "someone marketing dietary supplements must substantiate any health-related claim with 'scientific evidence' – forcing the company to affirmatively prove its statements instead of defending any statements suspected of being incorrect." Neither Unruh nor Titus explain why scientific evidence of efficacy is a bad thing.
Indeed, it seems that Daniel Chapter One has an aversion to "scientific evidence." In an answering brief, the FTC states:
Respondents did not conduct or direct others to conduct any scientific testing of the effects of the Challenged Products, and offered no evidence of any such testing having been performed by others. F.308. Instead of relying upon scientific testing to substantiate their advertising claims, Respondents claimed that they relied on personal observations, customer testimonials, and a variety of books, magazines, and aricles about how certain substances in the Challenged Products could be utilized. F. 316-18. Their proffered experts were not medical doctors and had no specialized training or experience regarding cancer or cancer treatment. F. 335-337. Even Respondents' purorted experts admitted, however, that because the Challenged Products have not been tested, their effectiveness in the prevention, treatment, or cure of cancer is not known.
Rather than tell the truth, Unruh misleadingly portrays the case as one of the "Goliath-sized" FTC unfairly targeting a "small Christian nutrition ministry" and obscures the actual issues involved. It's this kind of biased, misleading reporting that seems to indicate why Unruh is working for WND instead of the Associated Press.