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Friday, April 23, 2010
NewsBusters' Blumer Invents Bias
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Tom Blumer already has issues with accuracy. Now he overreaches to create an issue of bias where none exists.

In an April 21 post, Blumer asserts that the Associated Press is guilty of bias because an article on Chrysler's quarterly earnings (in which it lost $197 million) waited until the second paragraph to note that Chrysler has lost a total of $4 billion since it exited bankruptcy.

No, really. That's his problem with the AP article, in contrast to a Wall Street Journal article that put the total loss in the first paragraph of its article. Blumer elaborates:

Yes, the second paragraph refers to "the staggering $3.8 billion that Chrysler lost from the time it left bankruptcy protection June 10 through the end of last year." But if the never previously reported number is so "staggering," why isn't it part of the headline or the first paragraph?

Answer 1: The AP knows that many readers never get past the headline. Lots of people will see "Chrysler posts $197M loss but cash balance grows" and say, "Gee, that's not so bad. Oh, and things are getting better." That conclusion is more than a little debatable.

Answer 2: The AP knows that many news readers on radio and TV and Internet search result narratives won't get past the first paragraph.

Answer 3: The AP knows, especially because it didn't refer to what follows in any earlier paragraph, that very few readers will get to Paragraphs 16 through 20, where outside analysts question Chrysler's very viability.

How about Answer 4: The quarterly loss was the actual news, and it didn't significantly add to the total loss.

Or Answer 5: Blumer wants Chrysler to fail. Why is he talking down American companies and hoping they fail?

The funny thing is, earlier in the same day another NewsBusters, Brent Baker, was bashing ABC for supposedly creating a controversy over someone's remarks.  They have no sense of irony, apparently.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 23, 2010 1:12 AM EDT
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Clinton Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Leftists, progressives and other communist community organizers have got to love former president Bill Clinton lecturing America on the dangers of heated rhetoric.

After all, wasn't it Bill Clinton who presided over one of the more murderous administrations, in terms of killing its own citizens, since the Civil War? Was it not Bill Clinton's administration that murdered 76 people, burning them alive in a church compound in Waco, Texas?

Wasn't it Bill Clinton who violated the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by ordering the military to assist the FBI with gassing and then destroying the Branch Davidian church building and residences? And isn't that violation of Posse Comitatus an act for which the former president has never been held accountable?

Wasn't it Bill Clinton who was impeached by the House of Representatives for lying under oath about sex in the Oval Office with intern Monica Lewinsky, but found "not guilty" when the Democrat-controlled Senate refused to convict, entirely along party lines? And wasn't it Bill Clinton who surrendered his law license over his perjury?

I thought so.

-- Craige McMillan, April 22 WorldNetDaily column

(In fact, Clinton was never charged, let alone convicted, of perjury. Further, in the settlement in which he surrendered his law license for five years, Clinton admitted behavior "prejudicial to the administration of justice" -- not perjury.)


Posted by Terry K. at 7:44 PM EDT
Farah Throws Tantrum At SPLC, Lies About His Birther Work Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Southern Poverty Law Center's placing of Joseph Farah on its list of profiles of people "at the heart of" the patriot movement has generated the expected response: a huffy, indignant WorldNetDaily column by Farah in response. (He is notoriously thin-skinned, after all.)

Farah seems most put out by the SPLC saying that he "could not be reached for comment," but  he peddled his old deceits about what he has and hasn't said about Obama's birth:"I have never said or written that he 'was not born in Hawaii, but in Africa.'" As we've detailed, that's revisionism. The point of view of WND is the point of view of Farah, and WND spent a good chunk of last week uncritically repeating assertions that Obama was born in Kenya. For Farah to suggest that this is not essentially the same as saying the exact words that Obama "was not born in Hawaii, but in Africa" is utterly disingenuous.

Farah then expanded such parsing to his previous work:

Next: "Farah is a veteran practitioner of conspiracy 'journalism,' having repeatedly hawked the tale of the supposed cover-up of the death of Clinton aide Vincent Foster – thought to be a murder, not a suicide, by anti-Clinton conspiracy-mongers like Farah and his ilk."

Stop right there! Again, I don't retract a single thing I have ever said or written about Vincent Foster's mysterious death and the amazing, official cover-up that followed it, but I have never said or written that he did not commit suicide or that he was murdered. Isn't it amazing how some people care so little for facts?

Farah is actually outright lying here. He did, in fact, hawk the tale that Foster was murdered as the head of the Western Journalism Center. The WJC's main activity under Farah's leadership, we we've detailed, was publicizing Christopher Ruddy's conspiratorial work on Foster.

The fact that Farah is telling the same lie about his Foster work and his birther work is more evidence that he's cynically running the Clinton playbook against Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 AM EDT
Your Jerome Corsi Update
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Following up on its earlier noting that ABC News was treating Jerome Corsi as a credible source on the subject of immigration, Media Matters fact-checked the ABC article in question and found numerous dubious claims, including the the expressed by Corsi that granting U.S. citizenship to children born in the U.S. to non-citizens is an "incorrect interpretation of the 14th Amendment."

Also, Dave Weigel of the Washington Post reported that Corsi was spreading his hard-core birtherism at a South Carolina tea party event, the same one in which WND columnist Tom Tancredo said he wants to send Obama back to Kenya.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 22, 2010 1:46 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
WND's Falsehoods Don't Bode Well for Sussman Book
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We haven't yet read Brian Sussman's new WorldNetDaily-published book, which purports to expose the "global warming scam," but WND's promotion of it gives us a clue to its apparent dishonesty.

In a April 20 article, WND states: "If you thought the record cold winter, expanding polar ice and other factors would make global warming supporters 'chill out,' guess again, he writes."

Actually, it was not a "record cold winter," except perhaps in some isolated areas. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, global land and ocean surface temperature for December 2009 was the eighth warmest on record, and January was the fourth warmest on record.

Also, "expanding polar ice" does not disprove global warming. There's no evidence that recent increased Artcic ice is indicative of a long-term trend, and increased Antarctic ice is "a result of the ozone hole delaying the impact of greenhouse gas increases on the climate of the continent," but that "this will not last."

WND describes Sussman as "ormerly a highly acclaimed San Francisco meteorologist," but it appears neither he nor WND understand the difference between weather and climate.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 AM EDT
David Kupelian's Hateful Little 'Interview'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in 2006, WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian used arguably evil means to market his book "The Marketing of Evil" -- including, as we detailed, an apparent secret deal with the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund to hype an ADF lawsuit involving Kupelian's book through "news" stories at WND that would, in turn, drive sales of the book.

Kupelian has a new book out, "How Evil Works," and his promotion for it is again showing, well, how evil works. Kupelian's April 20 interview at FrontPageMag is a prime example.

Actually, calling it an "interview" is overly generous. Interviewer Jamie Glazov makes no attempt whatsoever to delve deep into Kupelian's views, let alone challenge them; rather, he does little more than toss softballs that permit Kupelian to prattle on at length about his talking points. Glazov is such a sycophant that he adds at the end: "I have to tell our readers that How Evil Works is a brilliant book. Buy it!!!!"

Thus, Kupelian's most hateful statements get pass from Glazov. Like this:

The Obama propaganda ministry – aka the “mainstream press” – is always looking to reinforce the largely phony narrative that “homegrown terrorism” on the right is a major danger to American civilization. Hence the saturation coverage of the “Christian militia” group. The “rightwing terrorism” narrative is necessary for justifying the left’s attacks on normal, hard-working, tea-partying Americans – evident in the growing allegations that speaking  honestly about the leftist coup in Washington is “hate speech,” that those opposing Obama are racists, and that tea partiers are one step away from violence.

And this:

For one thing, the Left’s very identity and sense of righteousness are tied up in hating America for all its supposed wrongs, arrogance, injustices, exploitations and wars of oppression. And since, as we all know, “the enemy of your enemy is your friend,” cultures that hate and revile America are therefore respected and even admired by the Left, which also hates America. This is one reason Attorney General Eric Holder has pushed to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian court; he secretly – maybe  unconsciously – has a certain amount of sympathy for the 9/11 mastermind.

And this:

For the very egotistical, deluded person, power is like alcoholism. People like Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama are drunk – on power. They don’t think, feel, reason or act in a normal way; they’re in an altered state of consciousness. As we say, “power corrupts,” and the more power we give them, the more absolute that corruption becomes.

Kupelian also says this:

Here’s one most people don’t know about: Last May, just a few days before the World Health Organization classified swine flu as a phase 6 pandemic – the highest, scariest category – the WHO quietly redefined pandemic to eliminate the phrase “enormous numbers of deaths and illness” and substituted wording that said pandemics “can be either mild or severe in the illness and death they cause.” You see, the WHO grows in power and lots of money starts to flow when a phase 6 pandemic is declared. The White House, never one to let a good crisis go to waste, issued a press release saying up to 90,000 Americans would likely die from swine flu. The next day, the head of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden, told Americans to ignore the White House’s wild fear-mongering, saying “Everything we’ve seen in the U.S. and everything we’ve seen around the world suggests we won’t see that kind of number if the virus doesn’t change.”

What he doesn't say is that his news organziation has also engaged in wild fearmongering over the very same issue. As we detailed, WND has long promoted claims that vaccines cause autism -- when the major piece of evidence to support the claim, a 1998 Lancet article, was retracted, WND couldn't even be bothered to devote an original news article to it -- and tried to scare people out of getting swine flu vaccines. Kupelian himself went conspiratorial by claiming that vaccines have "a dark downside utterly covered up by the public health establishment."

You want to see how evil works? Don't read Kupelian's book, because he won't tell you how his evil works.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 AM EDT
Farah Knows His Push Polls
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah used his April 20 WorldNetDaily column to complain about a CBS/New York Times poll question asking if people believed "Obama was born in the U.S. or another country." Farah asserts:

One thing you have to understand is that polls like this one aren't actually about gathering information. They are what is called in the polling business "push polls." They are actually designed to shape opinion. The purpose is to show how stupid anyone is who believes Obama hasn't proven his eligibility – even though everyone knows darn well he hasn't.

First, Farah's hatred of "push polls" is limited to those that run counter to his political agenda. He has no problem publishing push polling by others, whether it's Brad O'Leary or Wenzel Strategies.

Second, Obama has proven his eligibility; Farah has chosen not to accept it and, instead, to make eligibility Obama's Vince Foster. As we've detailed, it's far from clear rhat he would accept any evidence as sufficient proof.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 1:06 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

I begin the long and frightening litany of the slow but steady march toward socialism that has been taking place since Barack Obama took office . . . his arrogance . . . his egomania . . . his determination to change America into his Marxist vision of what it should be . . . his disdain for such longtime allies as Israel and his fawning obeisance to their enemies. Let's not forget his government healthcare plan that most do not want.

No president in history has squandered the nation’s resources so recklessly or placed such a crushing burden on future generations of Americans.

I'm just barely getting started with the long list of Barack Obama's assaults on our liberty and our prosperity when I suddenly realize there's a much easier way to explain what has happened to our nation under his presidency.

Instead of wasting time and our breath lets just sum it all up by simply explaining that the dog died.

-- Phil Brennan, April 20 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
New Article: The Unrepentant Janet Porter
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Will the Faith2Action leader use her May Day rally to ask forgiveness from God for the lies and hate she's spewed about Obama? Because she should. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:42 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Richard Bartholomew examines WorldNetDaily's promotion of the idea that "at least one constellation is an outright declaration of the 'Second Coming,'" citing as one piece of evidence that "on March 19, 2008, a powerful gamma ray burst detected by NASA’s Swift satellite in the Bo-otes constellation shattered the record for the most distant object that could be seen with the naked eye."

As Bartholomew points outL "It’s fascinating to see the way fundamentalism can be impressed with one bit of scientifc discovery while repudiating the scientific paradigm – the 'gamma burst' of 19 March 2008 actually occurred 7.5 billion years ago."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 PM EDT
CMI Mind-Reading Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

Carolyn Plocher follows the MRC Culture & Media Institute tradition of pretending she can read the minds of reporters in an April 19 piece that purports to impute the motives of the Washington Post in publishing a profile of a lawyer suing the Catholic Church over allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Plocher asserted that the Post "fawn[ed]" over the lawyer, Jeff Anderson, and that the article was "a free 1,400-word advertisement" for him. She went on to complain that "Anything in the article that could possibly be construed as negative about Anderson or his lawsuits against the Church was neatly padded with explanations and self-serving quotes."

Plocher also complained that "The article also sidestepped its duty to question Anderson's lawsuits, or at least give the other side of the story. " But Plocher doesn't tell us what that "other side" could be. It can't be that the abuse didn't occur, since it's pretty clear that it did.

In line with the MRC's treatment of any criticism of the Catholic Church over the child abuse scandal as unfair, Plocher portrayed Anderson's lawsuits as "attacks against the Catholic Church," ignoring the fact that Anderson is only criticizing the church in the context of its demonstrated history of shielding priests who sexually abused children from appropriate punishment.

Plocher also bizarrely portrayed as one of Anderson's "attacks against the Catholic Church" his "first sex abuse case that the Church settled with $1 million dollars – money that the article said was 'in return for silence.'" But the Post article clearly states that it wasn't a settlement: "The church offered $1 million to settle in return for silence. His client persisted and the investigation grew."

Plocher further complained that "Opponents to Anderson's work were only given four sentences – three of which were nothing but one-word epithets strung together and the fourth a partial quote sandwiched between two quotes of Anderson defending himself." Plocher then took it upon herself to amplify one of those criticisms -- the Catholic League's assertion that Anderson is "a radical lawyer who has made millions suing the Church" -- by highlighting the article's noting that Anderson "drives a Lexus," works in an "ornate office ... with Tiffany reproductions," and flies in a "chartered jet." But Plocher didn't highlight Anderson's estimate that most of his lawsuits yield no money for himself or his clients, often due to a statute of limitations.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Having Obama as president is like being involved in a bad relationship. One that we either knew intuitively or had friends warn us would be a big mistake – but we hadn't listened.

Why? How could we be accepting of someone who turns out to be filled with rancor and who is unrepentantly untrustworthy – someone who is miserable and makes all around them miserable as well? To the public they/he seem(s) intelligent and winsome, but in reality they/he are white-washed sepulchers which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

That is precisely the case with Obama. He seemed like just the person to make all things right in our lives. He mouthed great and lofty promises that, in reality, were as vacuous as a jar filled with air. And like the scourge our friends warned us about, we ignored the telltale signs that portended trouble.

-- Mychal Massie, April 20 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EDT
CNS' Lazy, Biased Treatment of Obama Visitation Order
Topic: CNSNews.com

An April 19 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr on President Obama's executive order that will lead to hospital not circumventing requests from patients to receive visitation from their homosexual partners is loaded with laziness and bias.

The article is packed almost exclusively with critics of the order, chiefly "conservative activist " Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, who called it a "solution in search of a problem." While Starr endeavored to talk to Sprigg and hospitals for her article, she made no apparent attempt to contact any gay advocay groups. The one quote she includes from the head of the Human Rights campaign is lifted from "a statement posted on his group’s Web site."

Bias and laziness, folks.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:12 AM EDT
Monday, April 19, 2010
NewsBusters Gives Domenech A Defense He Doesn't Deserve
Topic: NewsBusters

Lachlan Markay runs to the defense of blogger Ben Domenech in an April 18 NewsBusters post, portraying him as being unfairly attacked over his repeating of a claim that possible Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is gay.

Markay defended the presumed truth of the claim by citing -- we kid you not -- a Twitter post from a "left-wing blogger." (Domenech cited the same blogger as "proof.") Markay added:

Groups claiming to defend gay rights -- and the White House itself -- pounced on Domenech's statement, apparently presuming that the claim that Kagan was gay was in fact an attack. But liberal and conservative minds both rejected that notion.

[...]

Regardless of one's stance on homosexuality -- or the issue's pertinence to a Supreme Court nominee's eligibility -- it seems apparent that Domenech was noting Kagan's sexuality out of the purely benevolent sense of the gay community's pride and progress.

[...]

It was the groups claiming to defend gay rights, not Domenech, that presumed the (false) claimed that Kagan was a homosexual was a veiled attack and part of some right-wing whisper campaign. It was not, and there was no whisper campaign.

How does Markay know Domenech was acting in a "benevolent" manner by mentioning Kagan's presumed homosexuality? He doesn't -- he's merely giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, something we doubt he would give a liberal blogger caught making a similar claim.

We don't know Domenech's true intentions either, but we know his track record, which includes a history of plagiarism that got him fired from a blogging job at the Washington Post. We think that's worth mentioning in a discussion of Domenech's blogging work; Markay apparently does not.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 PM EDT
AIM Columnist Promotes Discredited Birther Claims
Topic: Accuracy in Media

An April 16 Accuracy in Media column by Margaret Calhoun Hemenway -- spokesperson for Terry Lakin, the Army officer in the thrall of birther extremists who has decided to throw away his military career by refusing to obey orders because he claims Barack Obama is not eligible to be president -- not only fails to disclose that she's the spokesperson for Lakin, she embraces discredited claims about Obama's birth certificate.

First, Hemenway misleads about the nature of the criticism in 2008 of the birth certificate Obama released, asserting that FactCheck.org "lied" when it claimed that the birth certificate it examined was "original." In fact, birthers like Jerome Corsi were claiming at the time that the certificate released by Obama's campaign was itself a fraud -- a claim that has never been credibly proven. FactCheck's use of "original" did not refer to the vaulted copy in Hawaii's archives but, rather, to the authenticity of the certificate released by the campaign.

Hemenway then baselessly suggests that Obama's parents and/or grandparents faked his original certificate by lying to authorities about where he was born. Again, there's no evidence whatsoever to support this claim.

Hemenway adds: "When juxtaposed with statements by Obama's maternal grandmother, Kenya's Ambassador to the U.S, and now a Kenyan cabinet minister and Parliamentarian, that Obama was born in Kenya, calls for Obama to release his original birth certificate are wholly justified." Hemenway is lying when she sayas that Obama's grandmother said Obama was born in Kenya. As we've detailed, this claim comes from an anti-Obama minister who has chosen to dishonestly treat the grandmother's erroneous answer to a mistranslated question by him to the grandmother as a statement of fact.

Further, statements by Kenyan officials about Obama's birth cannot be taken seriously because it's apparent they are speaking more from national pride in Obama's heritage rather than from factual knowledge about the circumstances of his birth.

Hemenway obviously wants to win the lawsuit for Lakin, but she won't do it by peddling discredited lies.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT

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