Sheppard: Time Square Bombing Is Media's Fault Topic: NewsBusters
Yes, this exists:
There's a cynical theme growing in the media that Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of attempting to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square Saturday, was driven to violence by the loss of his job, the loss of his house, and his anger towards former President George W. Bush. In all of this theorizing -- or what some might call psychobabble -- those making the assertion have yet to ponder if six years of Bush Derangement Syndrome might also be involved.
For over a year, Americans have been warned that so-called "hate speech" directed at Barack Obama and Democrats by conservative talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity, as well as others at Fox News, is going to manifest itself in violent acts against elected officials and/or our nation.
With this in mind mightn't years of "hate speech" directed at Bush and Republicans by liberal talk radio hosts and MSNBC in particular have incited Shahzad's anger to such an extent that he decided to become a domestic terrorist?
WND's PR Agent Torpedoes Her Career Topic: WorldNetDaily
It seems Maria Sliwa -- the PR agent working Aaron Klein's anti-Obama book, "The Manchurian President," for WorldNetDaily -- has effectively ended her career as a full-service public relations person.
A May 5 WND article details how Sliwa chose to publicize comments from members of the media who refused to accept a review copy of Klein's book, referring to it as "Absolute crap" and "sensational rubbish," among other things. WND claims the responses were "expletive-laden," but no evidence of that is offered beyond the use of "crap."
The article repeated the laughable assertion that Sliwa's "goal in publicly exposing the e-mail responses to "Manchurian" is not to embarrass the journalists," but to "call them out on their duty as members of the press to leave their biases where they belong – at the door."
This strikes us as stunningly unprofessional behavior on Sliwa's part. Through her pettiness in, yes, trying to embarrass media members who won't play ball with her, Sliwa has sharply limited her PR practice to anyone predisposed to agree with what she's peddling.
Increasingly, she's shilling for every piece of crap WorldNetDaily sends down the pike. When WND wanted Larry Sinclair's bogus story of drugs and sex with Obama publicized (except for the bogus part, of course), it called on Sliwa.When Joseph Farah wanted the world to know just how hate-filled Molotov Mitchell is, Sliwa was his go-to gal.
In another laugher, the WND article claims that Sliwa "dentifies herself as liberal." Not only that, she "lists Robert Thurman, Ghandi and Malcom X as her heroes." First, the names of those last two "heroes" are misspelled, which is either ignorance and atrocious copyeditng on WND's part or a lack of actual commitment on Sliwa's part. Second, stating Malcolm X is one of your heroes is a recipe for getting fired by WND -- after all, Farah has included him on his list of desipcable black "extremists." And Farah is not known for hiring people whose views deviate even slightly from his -- try to find a WND employee who sends their kids to public school, for example.
(Robert Thurman, by the way, is a Buddhist writer and academic. WND is not terribly fond of Buddhists; it was offended that one town put up a banner welcoming the Dalai Lama but not the Ten Commandments, and howled about an insurance company training seminar called "Buddha: 9 to 5."
So not only has Sliwa committed the PR equivalent of burning her sources, which will land her in the ghetto of promoting only right-wingers, she has outed herself as something less than a WND-approved right-winger, which may cost her her WND flacking job as well.
Well played, Maria. Well played.
Of course, if she's an actual Buddhist, she will be glad to get a little of her soul back by no longer taking money from WND.
P.S. It seems the media critics Sliwa so desperately wants to burn may be right in their prejudging of Klein's book. Media Matters' Simon Maloy offers 10 reasons why "The Manchurian President" lives up to the "ridiculous crap" sobriquet.
Meanwhile ... Topic: The ConWeb
We have a fun little blog post up at Media Matters noting, given Fox News' rejection of an ad from a progressive group because it was "too confusing," the kinds of ads Fox News apparently doesn't find confusing.
WND Repeats Rush's False Attack on Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 3 WorldNetDaily article uncritically repeats Rush Limbaugh's false claim that President Obama "didn't do anything for 12 days" regarding the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Had WND chosen to act like an actual news organization instead of Limbaugh's PR agent, they would have reported that the Obama White House responded immediately to the spill. Unfortunately for the public, being Limbaugh's PR agent is more important to WND than journalism.
I felt empty when "Avatar" ended. It was as if I had witnessed an angry man's vision of the world, a man who fails to see joy in a child's smile, but who sees conspiracies around every corner. He is a man who sees his fellow neighbor as evil personified.
"Avatar" proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Cameron is not much of a man. He is a child on a never-ending temper tantrum. Like all members of his extreme political faith, he lives in a fairy tale world, and so it causes rage when that carefully constructed vision of how things should be doesn't translate into reality. Perhaps this explains why he's known to be a tyrant himself and why he's had four failed marriages.
When all is said and done, "Avatar" is more about a man projecting his own self-hatred and self-loathing onto the screen than anything else. It's all about Cameron, the man who doesn't trust corporations, who claims that Western culture is ugly, racist and greedy. Yet, at the same time, Cameron is the man behind "Avatar's" stunning box office records and its release on DVD and Blu Ray which made him even richer than he already was.
As an aside, there is a reason why the DVD has no special features and why the Blu Ray, while slightly better, only has the bare minimum: they are planning to release a special edition of "Avatar" shortly before Christmas. This edition will have all the features we missed the first time around. And Cameron, corporations' main critic, knows full well that fans of his films will buy this second edition as well, which means he will make double his profit. In other words, if he wants a conspiracy, he should look in the mirror.
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard has a habit of smearing Al Gore, and he cranks up the sleaze again in a May 3 post falsely suggesting Gore misused the money of his non-profit corportation to buy "a $9 million mansion in the luxurious hills of Montecito, California."
Newsmax's Ruddy Goes After Beck For Teddy-Trashing Topic: Newsmax
First it was WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah abandoning Glenn Beck for his ridicule of birthers (like Farah). Now Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy is taking issue with Beck.
In his May 3 column, Ruddy takes issue with Beck's bashing of Theodore Roosevelt as an avatar of progressivism. Ruddy loves his Teddy it appears:
A few words of disclosure here: I am an ardent Theodore Roosevelt devotee and have been a longtime member of the Theodore Roosevelt Association (the membership roster has me listed after another TRA member, Karl Rove).
And my brother, Daniel Ruddy, a historian, is the author of a new book called “Theodore Roosevelt’s History of the United States” (published by Harper Collins). It draws upon TR’s own words to construct a unique history of the United States based on Roosevelt’s colorful insights and provocative views.
Self-interest and a book plug! Still, Ruddy does have an informed opinion to share on the subject (unlike, say, Beck). He continues (with a little gratuitous hit on Barack Obama for good measure):
Roosevelt embraced a progressive agenda, one that called for establishing a “progressive” income tax, giving women the right to vote, creating laws banning child labor, instituting anti-monopoly regulations, and other programs. Many of his positions are accepted by most reasonable Americans today.
The policies advocated by TR were not those of some social engineer who wanted to remake the United States based on a Saul Alinsky radical model.
Remember that TR’s generation was dominated by ruthless “robber barons” who did not hesitate to use devious means to eliminate competition.
While TR wanted sensible reform, he was no socialist. In an excerpt from my brother’s book, TR said: “To say that the thriftless, the lazy, the vicious, the incapable, ought to have the reward given to those who are farsighted, capable, and upright, is to say what is not true and cannot be true. Let us try to level up, but let us beware the evil of leveling down.”
It is difficult to imagine Barack Obama uttering such sentiments.
We'll give the victory in this round to Ruddy since he, unlike Beck, has done his research.
Meanwhile, In Aaron Klein's Book... Topic: WorldNetDaily
We're helping Media Matters take a look at Aaron Klein's new book, "The Manchurian President." We note that Andrew Breitbart, who has criticized birthers, lends a blurb to the book, which devotes an entire chapter to "Issues of Eligibility" and rehashes discredited birther arguments regarding the definition of "natural born citizen." And Simon Maloy looks at the first chapter of Klein's book, which rehashes Klein's previous desperate, thinly sourced claim that "Obama tied to Bill Ayers... at age 11!"
WND Ignores Wacky, Hateful Prayers At Porter's Rally Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 3 WorldNetDaily article by Kathleen Farah (Joseph Farah's daughter) reportted on Janet Porter's "May Day: A Cry to God for a Nation in Distress" this past weekend. As expected, it's a fawning, uncritical account in which Porter is permitted to ponderously explain what the event was all about.
Missing from Farah's article: anything anyone actually said during the event.
Right Wing Watch, however, did the job WND wouldn't and captured some of the prayers -- none of which apparently involved Porter repenting the lies and hate she's spewed at President Obama.
Instead, we get WND columnist Ted Baehr repenting for the movie "The Runaways" and Porter praying again that Christians will gain control over the entertainment industry and take dominion until Christ returns. We also get a healthy dose of anti-gay venom from Peter LaBarbera.
We can't understand why WND wouldn't want to see any of that appear on its website.
P.S. Right Wing Watch also reports that not only did attendance at Porter's rally fall way short of expectations, forcing speakers to beg for money from the audience to defray the cost of staging the shindig, the evangelical Christian ministry that had been offering production and transmission services for Porter's radio show has pulled the plug, due to Porter's embrace of Christian dominionism (as illustrated by her prayer to take over the entertainment industry for Christ).
LeBoutillier: Health Care Vote 'Dirty,' 'Rigged' Topic: Newsmax
John LeBoutillier wrote in his May 3 WorldNetDaily column:
But the change was not the change people thought they were getting. The trillions spent on corporate bailouts and a useless stimulus, plus the dirty way the healthcare vote was rigged actually have increased the level of despair.
LeBoutillier offers no evidence to back up his claim that the vote was "dirty" and "rigged."
Man With Gun Near Obama Read WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Sean McVey -- the man who was arrested last week after being found armed and impersonating a police officer at the Asheville, N.C., airport from which Presdient Obama's plane was taking off -- had more than a passing acquiantance with WorldNetDaily.
Joseph Sean McVey posted items on his Facebook page in 2009 that were highly critical of President Barack Obama, including a link to a story that says the president must be stopped "or the United States of America is going to cease to exist."
In addition to the screen captures -- an image of whatever is on a computer screen at a given time -- another individual with access to McVey's full Facebook profile said it was common knowledge that McVey was not a fan of Obama. This person indicated the posts in question have been removed from public view.
The screen captures show that on Feb. 24, 2009, McVey provided a link to a story on worldnetdaily.com titled "Stop Obama or U.S. will cease to exist."
In the story, conservative activist Alan Keyes -- whom Obama defeated for a U.S. Senate seat in 2004 -- promotes the widely discredited notion that Obama was born in Kenya and thus is ineligible to be president. Keyes also is quoted as saying, "He is going to destroy this country, and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist."
The story cited in the article is a Feb. 21, 2009, article by Drew Zahn repeating Keyes' statements in a Nebraska appearance:
"Obama is a radical communist, and I think it is becoming clear. That is what I told people in Illinois and now everybody realizes it's true," said Keyes, who ran unsuccessfully against Obama for the state's open Senate seat in 2004. "He is going to destroy this country, and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist."
Keyes also reasserted his belief that unless the question of Obama's eligibility to serve as president is answered definitively, America may face the startling crisis of an executive branch run by a "usurper."
"I'm not sure he's even president of the United States," Keyes continued, "neither are many of our military people now who are now going to court to ask the question, 'Do we have to obey a man who is not qualified under the constitution?' We are in the midst of the greatest crisis this nation has ever seen, and if we don't stop laughing about it and deal with it, we're going to find ourselves in the midst of chaos, confusion and civil war."
Keyes, who stated he refuses even to refer to Obama as president, labeled the man in the Oval Office as "somebody who is kind of an alleged usurper, who is alleged to be someone who is occupying that office without constitutional warrant to do so."
Congratulations, Alan Keyes and WND! It appears you've helped inspire someone with a loaded weapon to approach the president of the United States. Are you proud?
For Graham, Protesting Ariz. Immigration Law = 'Pro-Amnesty' Topic: Media Research Center
An April 30 TimesWatch post by Tim Graham expressed dispproval that the New York Times covered "another tiny left-wing protest of 'dozens' against Arizona’s new immigration law." That's not surprising. But the headline is: "Hyping 'Dozens' of Pro-Amnesty Protesters - At a Chicago Cubs Game."
Huh? How does protesting a law critics say could lead to racial profiling equate to being "pro-amnesty"? Graham doesn't explain -- heck, he doesn't even mention the word "amnesty" in his item outside the headline.
We know "amnesty" is being tossed around by right-wingers to frighten people about all those brown people, but sheesh, Tim, try to focus the scare tactics a bit, would ya?
Do WND Columnists Want Return of Prohibition? Topic: WorldNetDaily
We noted earlier WorldNetDaily columnist Ellis Washington's citing of the repeal of Prohibition as a "progressive" idea that leads to the "promotion of excessive drinking," apparently another "progressive" idea. But strangely, Washington is not the only WND columnist who is apparently longing for the return of Prohibition.
Dave Welch uses his May 1 column to display that he learned the wrong lesson from Prohibition. He likened immigration laws to Prohibition, claiming both have been inadequately enforced:
Rewind the clock with me to 1923, Washington, D.C., at an event named the Citizenship Conference. The conference included delegates from Congress, federal law enforcement, national movement leaders and clergy. The topic: lack of enforcement of the 18th Amendment, otherwise known as Prohibition.
What we now know that they did not was that it was indeed soon to be repealed. Prohibition has been much maligned and the victim of historical revisionism, but that entirely aside, there are some fascinating principles we can learn from the speeches given at the conference. They were printed in a book titled, "Law vs. Lawlessness" (Fleming H. Revell Co., 1924).
Welch goes on to quote "federal prohibition commissioner" as saying, "The 18th Amendment was the result of a great moral and religious fervor. The spirit which actuated the sponsors of this law certainly must be kept alive after the law has been written into the statute."
It seems the only lesson Welch learned from Prohibition is that it would have been a success had it been totally enforced. Given the large numbers of Americans who violated Prohibition by consuming alcohol despite its illegality, total enforcement would have resulted in the creation of a police state. Because Prohibition didn't stop demand for alcohol, it led to the rise of organized crime and gangsters like Al Capone.
Welch then lectures: "The fundamental issue in the breakdown of law starts in the heart of the individual as we either conform to or reject the laws of God as given us through His creation and his revealed, written word." But Welch offers no evidence that Prohibition was divinely inspired; in fact, it can be argued that the opposite is true.
McCain, Ruddy Falsely Suggest Obama Will Let All Bush Tax Cuts Expire Topic: Newsmax
In an April 29 interview, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy joined Sen. John McCain in falsely suggesting that President Obama will allow all of the Bush tax cuts to expire this year.
In the posted clip, Ruddy said that the expiration of the tax cuts means "an automatic rise in taxes for almost every bracket by about 10 percent," asking McCain if there is any hope in Congress of "keeping the Bush tax cuts, at least getting the Democrats to compromise and keep them for a while longer?" McCain responded that "it appears as if we are going to see dramatic increases in taxes on most of the, quote, Bush tax cuts."
In fact, Obama's proposed fiscal year 2011 budget keeps the Bush tax cuts for all except those making more than $250,000 a year.
McCain also baselessly asserted that "There's some $60 billion in new taxes on lower-income Americans just as a result of Obamacare." Neither the clip nor the accompanying article notes McCain providing any evidence to back up his claim.
Bozell's Movie Money Fallacy Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell makes the mistake of equating a movie's popularity with its quality in his May 1 column trashing the film "Kick-Ass."
Bozell cites positive reviews of the film claiming it would be a hit, then adds:
The “shrewd” people took a super-beating. The shock merchants ended up shocked. On the first weekend, it finished barely ahead of the family cartoon “How to Train Your Dragon,” and then by the second weekend, it finished a distant fifth, behind the smash-hit dragon cartoon.
John Q. Public’s reaction? The movie is pure junk.
Bozell then mocks one review who claimed that despite the disappointing box office, "Kick-Ass" "was a 'genuine success story' because the movie was produced and financed independently when no studio would touch it, and it would eventually turn a profit. This is like predicting the Dodgers would win the World Series, and when they don’t, they’re still successful because they didn't finish in last place."
The problem is that a movie's quality has no relationship whatsoever to its box office take. As we pointed out when MRC NewsBuster P.J. Gladnick embraced the same fallacy, "Citizen Kane" did not make a profit on its initial release, and nobody's calling that film "pure junk."