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Friday, May 7, 2010
Matthew Vadum Strikes Again
Topic: Capital Research Center

We've had our encounters with the dickish Matthew Vadum (who, if you'll recall, thinks we're "largely responsible for the civil unrest that is growing across America"); now our Media Matters colleague Simon Maloy gets a taste.

After Vadum embraced Glenn Beck's conspiracy theory that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is secretly sending in special teams to "nudge" the U.S. toward "collapse" (while conceding he has "no proof" this is actually occurring), Maloy highlighted it. This drew an indignant response from Vadum, who proudly declared, "My work on the Left is cited repeatedly in the new Aaron Klein book, The Manchurian President. Eat shit, Media Matters."

We, along with Maloy, are reading Klein's book, and Maloy accurately describes it as "a sloppy, guilt-by-association smear job." Further, one of the Vadum works cited in the book is his false claim that White House staffer Patrick Gaspard worked for ACORN.

Congratulations, Matt. Not only do you look bad, you're making Aaron Klein look bad too.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 AM EDT
Another Round of Catholic-Bashing At AIM
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Over the past week, Accuracy in Media has engaged in another round of Catholic-bashing.

An April 29 column by Cliff Kincaid attacks "the shameful role of the Roman Catholic Church in facilitating the foreign invasion of the U.S.," which he claims "deserves as much attention as the seemingly never-ending cases of sexual child abuse involving priests." Kincaid asserts that "Catholic officials want to encourage illegal immigration" because "Most of the illegal aliens are Catholics. Plus, the church makes lots of government money by hosting and serving the immigrants." Kincaid adds, "These facts are considered by some to be anti-Catholic, which is why you seldom read or hear about them in the major media." Kincaid also highlights a writer who claims "that the Roman Catholic Church is aiding and abetting the criminal invasion of America from Mexico because the illegals are almost all Roman Catholics."

Kincaid followed on April 30 by complaining that a May Day immigrant rally in Washington is "financially supported by the Catholic Church."

On May 2, Kincaid bashes Catholic bishops for opposing the harsh anti-immigrant law in Arizona, repeating claims made by Minuteman group founder Jim Gilcrhist (with Jerome Corsi) that "Churches pander to illegal aliens, seeking financial windfalls when more church members come across the borders. This is especially true of the Catholic Church, because so many of the Mexicans coming here are Catholic."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, May 6, 2010
MRC Blames Newsweek Woes on (What Else?) Liberal Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

We've previously detailed how the Media Research Center reflexively blames liberal bias for, well, pretty much everything. So it surprises exactly no one that the MRC would blame Newsweek's problems -- the Washington Post Co. has decided to sell the newsmagazine -- on liberal bias as well.

A May 5 NewsBusters post by Brent Baker claimed that Newsweek "repeatedly showcased their favorite candidate, Barack Obama, on the cover" and asked, "Might such obvious blatant liberal advocacy, which anyone could see in the grocery store checkout line, help explain its decline in fortunes – in credibility followed by finances?"

A May 6 TimesWatch post kept up the drumbeat, complaining that a New York Times article failed to mention "Newsweek's purposeful shift toward liberal opinion over news-gathering."

Completely missing at the MRC, meanwhile, is any claim about Newsweek that deviates from its right-wing talking points, or any serious analysis of its problems. Slate's Jack Shafer and Reuters' Felix Salmon, for example, offer insightful looks at Newsweek's problems, as does Chris Rovzar at New York magazine.

You won't find such analyses discussed -- let alone acknowledged -- at the MRC. Why? If they can't frame it in their liberal-bias tunnel-vision template, it doesn't exist.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 PM EDT
More One-Sided 'Experts' At Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

A May 5 Newsmax article by David Patten cites "experts" who "tell Newsmax fears of massive racial profiling due to Arizona's new immigration law are largely overblown." But Patten doesn't tell his readers that his "experts" are biased.

Patten cites just two "experts" -- the Center for Immigration Studies' Stephen Camerota and National Review blogger Andrew McCarthy. At no point does Patten explicitly identify their slants:McCarthy, as his National Review affiliation indicates, is a conservative who can be assumed to be anti-immigration to some extent, while Camerota's CIS has a "low-immigration vision."

Patten has a long history of citing "experts" with a bias and omitting the views of "experts"  that contradict Newsmax's conservative agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:55 PM EDT
Dan Gainor's Nazi-Double-Standard Double Standard
Topic: Media Research Center

From the Department of Manufactured Outrage, Dan Gainor complains in a May 5 MRC Business & Media Institute column about liberals who "think it’s OK to compare everything to Nazis as a way of bashing conservatives and pushing every agenda item, from nationalized health care to immigration amnesty." Gainor makes sure to include examples of such.

Missing from Gainor's column, of course, is any actual outrage of conservatives tossing the Nazi smear around, let alone any examples. Gainor does make a passing mention of "some" conservatives who "compared Obama to Hitler," but, again, he can't be bothered to name names or specifically criticize the practice beyond the tepid closer "Let’s be honest. Conservatives aren’t Nazis. Neither are liberals."

As we've detailed, WorldNetDaily absolutely loves to tar Obama with the Nazi smear (and worse). But WND is to be found nowhere in Gainor's column.

While Gainor whines that "journalists and liberals love this Nazi double-standard," he's engaging in his own -- calling out liberals but afraid to call out his fellow right-wingers. This dude needs to sack up.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 PM EDT
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?

-- Noel Sheppard, May 5 NewsBusters column


Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 AM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:56 PM EDT
Avatar Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Horowitz

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.

-- Peter Sheldrick, May 5 FrontPageMag article

(See more Avatar Derangement Syndrome here.)


Posted by Terry K. at 11:37 AM EDT
Sheppard Smears Gore Again
Topic: NewsBusters

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."

Media Matters' Jamison Foser has more.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2010 12:17 AM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 8:31 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
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!"

Posted by Terry K. at 10:40 PM EDT
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).

Betcha WND won't report on that, either.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:02 PM EDT
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."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:38 PM EDT

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