Meanwhile... Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters' Simon Maloy uncovers a fine bit of absurdity at NewsBusters: a post by Dan Gainor declaring depictions of tea partiers as "anti-government" to be among "The Five Craziest Attacks on Tea Parties," even though fellow NewsBuster Ken Shepard conceded just two days earlier that tea parties have an "anti-government sentiment."
CNS Columnists Mislead on Abortion Topic: CNSNews.com
Rita Diller writes in a march 29 CNSNews.com column:
Perhaps the largest pot of gold awaiting Planned Parenthood under Obamacare is the $7 billion that has been earmarked for the Community Health Centers program for primary health care, which specifically includes gynecological and obstetrics care. This money appears in the bill without restrictions on the use of the money for abortion.
It is not restricted by the Hyde Amendment, since the Hyde Amendment applies only to funds flowing through the annual Health and Human Services appropriations bill.
That's not true. In fact, community health centers do not perform abortions, the Department of Health and Human Services already bans the use of CHC funding for abortions, and the National Association of Community Health Centers agrees that the Hyde Amendment applies to CHC funding.
A March 30 CNS column by Helen Avare asserted that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a "frank admission to the New York Times" that she had always assumed that Roe v. Wade was intended to "set up Medicaid funding for abortion” for “populations that we don’t want to have too many of.'"
That's not quite true either -- the full context of the quote shows that Ginsburg actually attributed that sentiment to others.
Molotov Wrong on Uganda Anti-Gay Law -- Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
Just in time for our new article, Molotov Mitchell takes another stab at explaining the proposed anti-gay law in Uganda -- and hides the facts again.
In his March 31 WorldNetDaily video, Mitchell asserts that there is "a deliberate disinfo campaign" claiming that "Ugandans want nothing short of gay genocide." He said he "decided to look deeper":
This isn't my opinion, this isn't Rick Warren's opinion, this isn't even MSNBC's monolithic gay opinion. This is what's in the bill.
Uganda's anti-gay bill formally extends the death penalty to homosexuals who commit pre-existing capital crimes. They are as follows: 1) pedophilia or sexual abuse of the handicapped; 2) knowing that you are HIV-positive yet continuing to spread it to others; and 3) using positions of authority to coerce others into performing sexual acts. That is it. That's as far as the genocide goes.
You can argue about other aspects of the bill, but you cannot argue that this is a death sentence for being gay. Unless, of course, your version of gay involves intentionally spreading HIV, raping the handicapped and using political clout to cover it up. And you know who you are.
Molotov is wrong.
As we detailed when Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid tried to push this same story, the bill as it currently stands provides for the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," which is defined not only as the definitions Mitchell cited but also being a "serial offender," which the bill defines as "a person who has previous convictions of the offence of homosexuality or related offences." In other words, if you were convicted of previous homosexual behavior -- or even one of the "related offences" such as "failure to disclose" homosexual acts or "conspiracy to engage in homosexuality" -- and were convicted of it again, you could be put to death.
Mitchell also name-checks Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa as someone who has "called" him "the other night" to complain about how "old colonialization had once again raised its ugly head." Ssempa may be even more anti-gay than Mr. Abolition of Homosexuality himself: Apparently, he runs around Uganda showing gay porn in chiurches in order to whip up anti-gay sentiment, like the anti-gay bill.
Ol' Molotov hasn't stooped to that level -- yet. But Ssempa may have given him some ideas.
WND's New Favorite Far-Right Israeli Extremist Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed how WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has cozied up toward far-right Israeli extremists, regularly whitewashing their violent history. It appears that Klein is now farming out that job of whitewashing to other WND reporters.
A March 30 WND article by Drew Zahn (who, unlike Klein, is not based in Jerusalem) details a campaign "calling for the immediate destruction of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock on the city's disputed Temple Mount," which would "pave the way for construction of the Third (Jewish) Temple." Zahn ascribes no ideology to the peoplepromoting the campaign, describing them and their group, Our Land of Israel, only as "activists."
Zahn lifted quotes for his story out of a Jerusalem Post article, including those of Baruch Marzel, who, again, Zahn describes only as an "activist." But Marzel is much more than an activist -- he's a far-right extremist who sounds like another one of Klein's buddies.
According to Wikipedia, Marzel is a former spokesman for Kach organization for ten years and claims to have been the "right hand man" of Kach founder and far-right extremist Meir Kahane. Another Kach member, Baruch Goldstein, perpetrated the 1994 massacre of 29 Muslims inside Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs. Marzel was named head of Kach's secretariat after Kahane was assassinated.
Marzel currently heads the far-right Jewish National Front party in Israel. Marzel has a long criminal record, which includes assaults on Palestinians, an Israeli police officer and a Israeli left-wing activist. Marzel has also reportedly advocated violence towards homosexuals in Israel, calling for a religious war against them during a radio interview. He has also sent letters to Jewish women asking them not to marry their non-Jewish boyfriends.
But Zahn and WND don't think you need to know such things -- just as Klein doesn't want you to know the violent extremism of his far-right Jewish buddies like Mike Guzofsky.
Bozell Defends Hannity, Stops Heathering David Frum Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell seems to be going the Sarah Palin route by publishing his missives on his Facebook page.
Bozell's March 31 Facebook statement -- republished at NewsBusters -- is a defense of Sean Hannity over accusations that the group he financially supports, Freedom Alliance, is misusing money:
I have looked at the charges being brought against him. David Frum published an excellent analysis of these charges and concluded, as did I, that they were utterly bogus. That, of course, won't stop the Left. They are now taking these bogus charges and calling for IRS investigations.
Sean Hannity has raised millions of dollars to support the families of fallen heroes. He's criss-crossed the country countless times not just raising this money, but raising awareness for this noble cause. He's done it all for free. And more: He's donated, I'm told, hundreds of thousands of dollars personally to this cause.
It's time for conservatives to rally around this man. He is being attacked personally not just because he's trying to do something good for our military, but because he's got a message to tell America in this book, and the Left wants him stopped -- by any means necessary. We cannot allow them to succeed with this campaign of character assassination.
Bozell leaves out a couple details -- namely, that the accusations against Hannity's group originated not on "the Left" but on the right, from blogger Debbie Schlussel.
Bozell's defense follows a similar one by MRC division CNSNews.com, which identified Schlussel as the source of the accusations but not that Schlussel is a fellow right-winger.
Also, the David Frum whose website hosts the "excellent analysis" Bozell is citing is the same David Frum whom Bozell's Media Research Center has repeatedlyattacked for not being conservative enough. After the 2008 election, Bozell wrote an entire column complaining that the New York Times gave a forum to people, including Frum, to criticize National Review for an alleged decline in "erudition" following the death of William F. Buckley:
But the star of Arango’s piece was David Frum, who clearly and very publicly disagreed with the Sarah Palin nomination (and surprise! CBS News found him very interesting and invited him to come on “The Early Show” and declare the Palin pick a “huge mistake.”) He told the Times “a little more distance” from NR “can help everybody do a better job of keeping their temper.” Arango offered readers no example of Frum’s erudition against Palin, and no example of Frum critics losing their temper in print.
Because Frum's website published something Bozell can make hay with, does this mean the MRC's Heathering of Frum will stop? We shall see.
WND Repeats False Smear of Krugman Topic: WorldNetDaily
A March 30 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh asserts: "Liberal economic commentator Paul Krugman says the so-called 'death panels' established by President Obama's trillion dollar nationalized health-care plan will end up saving 'a lot of money' for the government."
Unruh is lying.
Unruh writes that Krugman made his statement on ABC's "This Week" after "[a]nother panelist interjected, 'Death panels would save money.'" Unruh curiously doesn't identify who it is -- the show's guest host, Jake Tapper. It's also clear from the video accompanying Unruh's article that Tapper is making that remark in a tongue-in-cheek manner, since it drew laughs from the rest of the panel -- something Unruh fails to note.
At no point does Krugman concede that the advisory panels set up by the health care reform bill are "death panels," and as Media Matters points out, Krugman has repeatedly denounced such a claim as "lies" and a "complete fabrication."
We'd demand a correction, but WND apparently has a standing policy not to correct falsehoods it publishes about people and organizations whose ideology the oppose unless they sue WND first, and even then there will likely be a long, drawn-out, expensive legal battle before WND concedes its error and publishes the correction.
New Article: Molotov Mitchell's Gay-Bashing Follies Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily videographer thinks he still has gay friends after endorsing the proposed anti-gay Uganda law that would kill people for being gay and declaring an anti-gay beauty queen to be a "hot homophobe." Read more >>
MRC's Baker: Only Conservatives Get 'Real' Death Threats Topic: NewsBusters
Brent Baker's March 30 NewsBusters post carries the headline, "No Time for a Real Threat as ABC and CBS Skip Arrest of Man Targeting GOP’s Cantor." Baker's premise is that the man who allegedly threatened Eric Cantor's life in a YouTube video is somehow more "real" than the "less-immediate threats against Democrats" that have been previously reported.
Baker has no basis, nor does indicate he used one, upon which to judge if one death threat is more "real" than another -- indeed, as Media Matters' Simon Maloy points out, the voice-mail death threats to Democratic congressmen seem plenty real.
Further, given that the suspect in the Cantor threat, Norman Leboon, has apparently made numerous video threats, including against Democrats and a roommate, it's a bit murky as to just how "real" that threat is, unless Baker believes video is more "real" than audio.
Baker's post was followed up by a post by Scott Whitlock in which he complains that network morning shows ignored the Cantor threat, though he did manage to stay away from pronouncing that threats against conservatives are more "real" than those against Democrats. Whitlock, like Baker, failed to note that Leboon has issued a plethora of threats against Democrats too.
WND's Breast Implant Bomb Story Implodes Topic: WorldNetDaily
Via blogger Richard Bartholomew, we've discovered a tale that plays like a weird wingnut version of the telephone game.
Back in January, there was speculation in the wake of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt to blow up a plane approaching Detroit on Christmas that Al-Qaeda was working on ways to implant an explosive called PETN into the breasts or buttocks of would-be suicide bombers. After the UK's Daily Mail did an article on this at the end of January, and WorldNetDaily followed in a Feb. 1 article, credited to WND's $99-a-year G2 Bulletin newsletter.
Several weeks later, the British tabloid The Sunrehashed the story, not crediting WND yet purporting to quote WND editor Joseph Farah and describing him as a "terrorist expert." The Sun story came back across the pond and was posted on the Fox News website (both are owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.).
Unfortunately for all news organizations involved, the breast-bomb was apparently just too good to check, so it's no surprise to learn that when the claim is examined, it's more than a tad implausible. As Neal Ungerleider at True/Slant writes:
2. PETN is a poor substance for exploding breast implant bombs. Pentaerythritol tetranitrate is known for two things: its relatively thick density/appearance/feel in solid form and for its extremely high brisance. The first means that any that any suicide bomber with breast implants large enough to detonate a hole in a plane would be walking in an odd manner that would likely invite scrutiny. The second means that a dedicated detonation device would be required to blow up the breast bombs - subcutaneous explosive detonation is not an easy task. A collorary of this is that any detonator the suspected breast bomber would have in their posession would have mechanical or electronic parts. That might not be so easy to hide in the carry-on.
3. The "explosives in the buttocks of some male suicide bombers" did not work at all. This author has written about al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's love of rectal suicide bombs before. It turns out that planting explosive charges in the body effectively turns the body of the bomber into a shield protecting the intended target from harm: Instead of the target being blown up or seriously damaged, the bulk of the blast is absorbed by the suicide bomber's body. It's a perfect tribute to the laws of physics.
WND weighed in again in a March 27 article telling its version of how the story spread, denying that Farah would ever call himself a "terrorist expert," and disavowing the things The Sun quoted him as saying. However, WND left out the stuff about the breast-bomber stuff being implausible, insisting instead that "it's no joke," then complaining that The Sun didn't credit WND as the source for the story (even though the Daily Mail ran an article before WND did) and using the opportunity to shill for subscriptions to "the real enchilada" G2 Bulletin.
WND also admitted that the source of the breast-bomb item was "one of G2 Bulletin's contributors, Gordon Thomas," who is "a London-based correspondent with deep contacts in British intelligence." But as Bartholomew points out, even right-wingers like Daniel Pipes are less than impressed by Thomas, who apparently believes that Mossad is responsible for the deaths of Princess Diana and publisher Robert Maxwell, and makes even more fantastical claims about Israeli intelligence. Reviewing a book by Thomas, Pipes writes, "In brief, what is reliable in this book is old-hat, while what is new is utterly unreliable, a mishmash of blather and fantasy."
Somehow, it's completely unsurprising that such a person is writing for WorldNetDaily. Or that Fox News would treat a British tabloid that's best known for celebrity gossip and pictures of topless women as a trusted source on issues of national security.
Correlation-Equals-Causation Fallacy Error At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
A March 29 CNSNews.com article by Joe Schoffstall asserts that "A new report published by MSNBC.com" -- described as a "liberal cable outlet" in the headline, even though no evidence is offered that the report ever appeared on the air -- "shows that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens results in fewer deaths from the use of firearms."
In fact, the MSNBC.com report makes no claim to that effect. Quite the contrary, it portrays the the issue as an open question:
From its beginnings in the 1980s, the “right-to-carry” movement has succeeded in boosting the number of licensed concealed-gun carriers from fewer than 1 million to a record 6 million today, according to estimates from gun-rights groups that are supported by msnbc.com’s research. And while hotly debated, the effect of this dramatic increase is largely unknown.
Gun enthusiasts claim a link between more private citizens carrying concealed weapons and the nation’s dramatic decrease in violent crime. Gun-control activists argue that concealed-carry permits are being handed out to people who should never get them, sometimes resulting in tragic, needless shootings.
But even with the push to expand concealed-carry rights now in its third decade, no scientific studies have reached any widely accepted conclusions about the movement’s effect on crime or personal safety.
Statistics from the national Centers for Disease Control do indicate that the murder and mayhem predicted by many opponents of concealed-carry laws have not come to pass. But even that point, while celebrated by gun-rights activists and conceded by some concealed-carry opponents, is disputed by others.
Schoffstall is pretending that correlation equals causation, even though the report he cites goes out of its way not to claim that.
The Week in AIM Conspiracy-Mongering Topic: Accuracy in Media
Most of Accuracy in Media's big articles over the past week or so have been dedicated to promulgating one conspiracy or another.
Cliff Kincaid's March 22 column bashed Catholic bishops for allegedly playing both sides of the fence on health care reform, claiming that this "has proven that the Catholic Church is exercising far too much influence over the national affairs of the United States." As we've detailed, Kincaid has frequently bashed Catholics (despite claiming to be a Catholic himself) while getting a free pass from normally Catholic-sensitive ConWeb outlets.
Kincaid's March 24 column indulges in another recent obsession of his -- that the FBI somehow framed Bruce Ivins as the perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks and that the real perpetrators were Al-Qaeda. A March 26 column by Kenneth J. Dillon trods much the same ground.
Kincaid's March 29 column finds him back in Reefer Madness mode, this time complaining: "The conservative Townhall.com website, owned by the Salem Communications company, a Christian firm, is distributing a column by Steve Chapman claiming that the legalization of marijuana will somehow undermine the power of the Mexican drug trafficking organizations and usher in a new era of peace and tranquility north of the border. The silly column more appropriately belongs on a website associated with George Soros, the moneybags behind the drug legalization movement."
Hey, at least this keeps Kincaid from lying about the Uganda anti-gay law.
NewsBusters Concedes '24' Has Nothing to Do With Real Life Topic: NewsBusters
After years of conservatives using the show "24" to argue for enhanced interrogation and to serve as a blueprint for how the war on terror should be run, NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay suddenly chimes in by bashing liberal criticism of the show and adding that "the Jack Bauer interrogation methods bear exactly zero resemblance to any actual interrogation techniques used by American military, law enforcement, or intelligence agents."
Newsmax's James Hirsen appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" on March 26 and ranted about how Nickelodeon is promoting "political indoctrination," including "global warming science, or maybe not science," and "homosexual parenting." Hirsen is particularly offended by Linda Ellerbee's news segments, which both he and guest host Laura Ingraham call a "disaster."
While we're on the subject of O'Reilly, Bill O'Reilly himself sat down for a Newsmax interview, in which he snipes at MSNBC and complains that Nancy Pelosi won't appear on his show. Karl Frisch has more.
Is Newsmax Ashamed to Run Geller's Column? Topic: Newsmax
We've previously noted how Newsmax briefly dropped the wildly inflammatory Pamela Geller as a columnist, only to reinstate her but refuse to promote her columns on the Newsmax front page. As a result, we've overlooked her work from the past week.
Geller's March 22 column is a paranoid rant about how Obama is coming for your children:
If you’re a child in public school in Obama’s America, watch out.
Obama said he was going to build a civilian army — and he is using our children. He is recruiting in public school classrooms: I exclusively broke the story about how his group Organizing for America is recruiting in the classroom. But AmeriCorps is the primary machinery for his youth army.
Geller goes on to lie about the circumstances under which conservative cause celebre Gerald Walpin was fired "in response" to Walpin having "accused a prominent Obama supporter of misusing AmeriCorps grant money." In fact, Walpin was fired because the AmeriCorps board reported concerns over Walpin's conduct, the "lack of candor" during his tenure, a meeting in which "Walpin was confused, disoriented, [and] unable to answer questions," and a complaint filed by acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California Lawrence G. Brown regarding Walpin's actions during his investigation into the misuse of AmeriCorps grants given to a nonprofit organization in Sacramento, California.
Geller's March 25 column is an attack on Michael Moore for canceling an interview with her regarding the video release of his film "Capitalism: A Love Story." "I wasn’t surprised. It’s unlikely that he would have been able to hold up to hard questions about this patently dishonest film," Geller wrote.
If Newsmax is so intent on burying Geller's column, why bother running it at all? If she has a contract with Newsmax to write it, hasn't she put enough hateful things in her column for Newsmax to warrant breaking the contract?