Is The MRC Trying to Destroy Weigel? Topic: Media Research Center
There's a reason why the folks at the Media Research Center were happy to dance on the grave of David Weigel's career at the Washington Post: the MRC was working behind the scenes to help dig the grave.
Starting last month, Dan Gainor, vice president for business and culture at the Media Research Center, the conservative media watchdog group, went on something of a crusade.
Angered by a joke that David Weigel made about Matt Drudge on his Twitter feed, Gainor contacted conservative groups asking them to stop cooperating with Weigel, who had recently taken his blog about the conservative movement to the Washington Post.
“We encouraged conservatives not to deal with him,” he said. “We contacted other conservative organizations and said, ‘This guy is no friend of the conservative movement. We recommend that you deny him access.’ Some did.”
When MRC asked the Heritage Foundation to disinvite Weigel from its weekly Tuesday blogger briefing, Rob Bluey, the briefing’s organizer, said the meeting was on the record and occasionally attended by liberal journalists, and declined to go along with the group’s request.
Most of the group’s other efforts also failed, but the MRC’s reservations about Weigel — voiced in an early letter to Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli, and given public airing on Post Ombudsman Andy Alexander’s piece on the affair on Friday — have played a major role in shaping the debate over whether the Post made the right move in accepting Weigel’s resignation in the wake of leaked emails in which he disparaged prominent conservative figures.
So the MRC was actively trying to interfere with Weigel's job. Working behind the scenes to blacklist someone it doesn't like goes far beyond the "media research" and criticism the MRC purports to do -- it's political activism. On top of that, as Eric Boehlert notes, it's an attempt to hide conservatives from media scrutiny by trying to keep them only in right-leaning media, where their views will never be challenged unless they commit the sin of not being conservative enough (which the MRC frequently does).
But did the MRC do more? Given the antipathy toward Weigel by Gainor and other MRC employees, one has to wonder if the MRC played a role in making sure Weigel's Jourolist emails were made public -- after all, they play right into the MRC's talking points against Weigel.
Gainor has not denied working to undermine Weigel; in a May 28 NewsBusters post, he repeats Politico's claim that he was on "something of a crusade" against Weigel, but he does not contradict it. So it begs the question of what else Gainor or other MRC employees did.
Perhaps it's time that Gainor and the MRC come clean about their behind-the-scenes tactics.
P.S. Gainor, like most at the MRC, have yet to provide any example (personal, off-the-record views aside) of how Weigel's reporting was inaccurate or even "biased."
Klein's Attacks on Gregorian Get Even More Lame (And Conspiratorial) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last week, we detailed the lack of substance in WorldNetDaily reporter Aaron Klein's desperate guilt-by-association smear of Vartan Gregorian, a member of President Obama's Commission on White House Fellowships who in Klein's fevered mind is an Islamic extremist who is "closely tied to the Muslim leaders behind a proposed controversial Islamic cultural center to be built near the site of the 9/11 attacks" -- never mind that Gregorian is a universally respected scholar who formerly headed the New York Public Library and Brown University and who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush.
Any further attacks on Gregorian can only get more lame from there, and darn if Klein doesn't prove it.
Klein trotted out his latest guilt-by-association smear in a June 27 WND article: "Gregorian served on the selection committee of the Annenberg Foundation, which funded Ayers' Chicago Annenberg Challenge with a $49.2 million, 2-to-1 matching challenge grant over five years."
That's it. That's the substance of it.
But that statement appeared in the fifth paragraph of Klein's article. Because Klein isn't satisfied by substance, what you read before you come across that statement is inaccurate and unsubstantiated innuendo:
A scholar and charity head appointed to President Obama's White House Fellowships Commission served as a point man in granting $49.2 million in startup capital to an education-reform project founded by Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers and chaired by Obama.
Documentation shows the White House fellow, Vartan Gregorian, was central in Ayers' recruitment of Obama to serve as the first chairman of the project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge -- a job in which Obama worked closely on a regular basis with Ayers.
Obama also later touted his job at the project as qualifying him to run for public office, as WND previously reported.
The main claim Klein makes -- that Ayers recruited Obama to head the CAC -- is unsubstantiated. As we pointed out when Klein made the same claim in his Obama-bashing book, The New York Times reported that, "according to several people involved," Ayers "played no role" in choosing Obama. Klein offers no evidence to contradict that claim.
Because that central claim is dubious, Klein's secondary claim -- that Gregorian was "central" to Obama being appointed to the CAC -- is even more dubious. Klein's evidence here is a letter in which Gregorian, as head of Annenberg's selection committee, asked Ayers to "compose the governing board" of the Challenge's collaborative project with "people who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of Chicago." As a result, Klein wrote, "Ayers and other founding Challenge members then recruited Obama to serve as the project chairman." But Klein offers no evidence that Obama was specifically mentioned by Gregorian, nor does he offer evidence that the CAC was specifically looking for a black man or other minority to lead it.
Which brings us to where it gets really dumb. The underlying implication of Klein's article is that Obama appointed Gregorian to the board of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships in gratitude for Gregorian funding the CAC and, thus, helping to pad Obama's resume. This implication was made explicit in the front-page promo for Klein's article, which asked, "Ayers-Obama link: Is this the payoff?"
Because nothing screams "payoff" more than an appointment to a minor government board.
If this is Klein's idea of a "payoff," what does he think President Bush awarding Gregorian the Presidential Medal of Freedom is? We don't know, because Klein has curiously omitted mentioning that Gregorian has received it.
Oh, and Klein pads out his article by repeating the lame and baseless smears of his original attack on Gregorian, thus compounding the lameness.
There is a relentless war being waged against American men that literally spans the entire extent of their lives. From the womb, in which a woman's "right" to abort a male baby for being male is defended but a similar right to abort a female baby for being female is vehemently opposed, to the grave, wherein the disparate impact of old age is ignored despite women living 5.2 years longer than men on the average, men are systematically, structurally and unstintingly under assault.
Most men understand this on some level, but like the nice dependable man who can't figure out why attractive women repeatedly reject him in favor of unemployed losers with criminal records, they are incapable of doing anything about it because they simply can't believe that women truly do not think or behave like men.
Young Sam understands that he is under attack on the basis of his sex, even if he has no idea why. Moreover, he even recognizes the direct link between the ideology of female superiority and political left-liberalism that escapes so many adult political analysts. He does not need to read this column because he already knows that he is in a war that was neither of his making nor of his choosing.
But most men, especially men of the Baby Boom and World War II generations, do not understand this because they have bought into the myth of equality that was marketed to them under false pretenses by the ideologists of female superiority. And yet, it is not only an observable, provable and scientifically established fact that there is no such thing as material equality between the sexes, it is also an observable and provable fact that legal equality between the sexes does not exist, either. Nor is there spiritual equality of the sexes under any of the major religions of the West, the Christian concept of Original Sin notwithstanding.
The first step in winning any war is recognizing that whereas it takes two to tango, it only takes one side to start a war. Men have been in unthinking and instinctive retreat before the implacable onslaught of female ideologues for 80 years, which has now reached the point that the very foundations of Western civilization have crumbled and are approaching collapse. And unless men realize that they are engaged in a war that they did not choose, the civilization they constructed so painstakingly over many centuries will devolve into the primitive grass-hut matriarchy from whence it came.
The MRC Ramps Up for Kagan-Bashing Topic: Media Research Center
CNSNews.com is not the only Media Research Center unit that has dedicated itself to bashing Elena Kagan with the advent of her confirmation hearing. The whole organization is taking part.
The MRC primed its attacks with a June 24 "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes complaining that the media was not reporting discredited right-wing attacks on Kagan. That's not what he actually said, of course. He started off complaining that the broadcast networks offered little recent coverage of Kagan (which is true as far as it goes), then highlighted "topics that the broadcast networks have either ignored or downplayed." That's where the right-wing complaining comes in.
The very first item on Noyes' list is "Kagan’s senior thesis on the demise of the Socialist Party in the early 1900s, which she labeled 'sad,'" and her Daily Princetonian op-ed "where she openly described herself a 'liberal' and wailed about the 'anonymous but moral majority-backed avengers of innocent life.'" Noyes didn't explain why Kagan should be held accountable 30 years later for statements she made in college.
Noyes also cited "Kagan’s handling of the Citizens United case as Solicitor General," which he claims is evidence of "openness to regulating political speech." Noyes didn't mention the fact that Kagan was acting on behalf of the government, not necessarily expressing her personal views.
Finally, Noyes referenced that "Kagan blocked the U.S. military from using the school’s Office of Career Services because of the ban on open homosexuals serving in the armed forces, a policy Kagan said she 'abhorred.'" That description leaves out a lot of detail, and the MRC has misled about it in the past.
That's the lens the MRC is looking at this week's coverage of Kagan -- how much said coverage advances right-wing talking points. More on this later.
With the death of Sen. Robert Byrd, we thought we'd take a look back at Newsmax's treatement of the senator.
As we detailed in 2005, Newsmax was obsessed with making sure Byrd's long-ago association with the KKK was mentioned as often as possible, repeatedly referring to him as "Robert 'KKK' Byrd." It attacked Byrd over the association even as it whitewashed Trent Lott's segregationist-friendly remarks.
Times change: Newsmax so far has not gone out of its way to highlight it, and it even published a wire story of testimonials to Byrd.
CNS Repeats False Claim Kagan Is 'Anti-Military' Topic: CNSNews.com
In a June 28 CNSNews.com article that's yetanotherattack on Elena Kagan, Fred Lucas uncriticially quotes from a letter from the group Military Families United claiming that Kagan has a "perceived anti-military bias" over her purported "failure to comply with federal law" on allowing military recruiters at Harvard Law School.
The claim that Kagan is "anti-military" is objectively false -- something Lucas couldn't be bothered to report.
Lucas also described Military Families United as "a non-partisan non-profit group." That's debatable since its website clearly seems to be right-leaning through the views that it takes, on top of attacking Kagan:
A June 23 statement from Kirk Lippold, the group's senior military fellow, came to the defense of ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal, claiming his comments in Rolling Stone magazine, while "admittedly unprofessional and impertinent," "clearly do not constitute the necessary broad grounds for dismissal."
Lucas also misstated Kagan's actions in the controversy over military recruiters at Harvard Law School, stating that Kagan "reversed the policy" to accept recruiters at the school after the Solomon Amendment was passed. In fact, Kagan reversed the policy for only one semester, and only after an appeals court reversed the Solomon Amendment.
Lucas also uncritically quoted Republican Rep. Jeff Sessions claiming, "Simply put, Harvard was legally bound by the Solomon Amendment every single day that Ms. Kagan was dean," but no evidence is offered to support it, nor is the mitigating factor of the appeals court reversal mentioned.
NewsBusters Smears Maddow By Taking Her Out of Context Topic: NewsBusters
In a June 26 NewsBusters post, Jack Coleman accused Rachel Maddow "asking permission of her audience, which also occupies the fringe left, if it's 'OK' to ridicule al Qaeda," adding, "Suffice it to say, the notion of destroying al Qaeda never gets out of committee with this crowd."
Coleman's evidence for this is a statement by Maddow on her June 21 show: "I know that al Qaeda is al Qaeda, right? But is it OK to point out that they're ridiculous, that their propaganda is inadvertently funny, as in ha ha I'm laughing at you?" But Coleman quotes only this statement, and the accompanying video shows only this statement.
In fact, Maddow's statement placed in the full context of what she said shows that Maddow was pointing out that the media was ridiculing al-Qaeda enough, that it is instead being portrayed as the "mightly al-Qaeda" despite its amateurish recruiting videos:
Here's the thing I always forget about al-Qaeda. For all their murderous intent and demonstrated capacity for all their global plotting, for all the deadly serious implications of them getting access to even more deadly means of targeting us than they have already figured out, for all the truly scary things we have already figured out about al-Qaeda, it is easy to forget that on their own terms, they're often freaking ridiculous.
[clip of Adam Gadahn video]
That's not from The Onion doing a satire of a dorky American kid making a fake jihad video. This is actually the new al-Qaeda video.
Maddow goes on to reference "the al-Qaeda AV club," adding, "These guys are like the reject pile at talk radio tryouts." You'd think the latter statement would be more offensive to Coleman than the statement he highlighted; instead, he had to take Maddow out of context to smear her.
As if blatanting misrepresenting Maddow by taking her words out of context wasn't bad enough, Coleman goes on to suggest that Maddow is rooting for deaths of U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, claiming she was "oddly upbeat" in noting deaths of Australian troops to her guest, former Petraeus adviser and Australian native David Kilkullen.
Again, Coleman takes this out of context. Maddow's full interview of Kilkullen focuses on the mostly separate goals in Afghanistan of destroying al-Qaeda and nation-building. Maddow's statement on the Australian deaths can only be descibed as "upbeat" only if you divorce it from its full context -- which Coleman did.
AIM Publishes Cowardly Army Officer's Anti-Obama Screed Topic: Accuracy in Media
On June 25, Accuracy in Media published a wild anti-Obama screed by someone named Jonah Knox, which sneered at the "Obama and his ruling liberal elite," wholeheartedly endorsed Gen. Stanley McChrystal's attacks on Obama, and oddly complained that "the Right cannot identify that there is a war, doesn’t realize that there are no rules of engagement, and cannot even identify who the domestic enemy is."
But most of the writer's venom was directed at Obama, in the form of "things that we once did not do (and which still break the law or rules) but which the liberals have normalized through unilaterally and unapologetically doing." On his list:
It is now acceptable to appoint a homosexual advocate as a “safe schools czar” and boast of it. Those who condemn such perverts and their advocates are deemed “hateful” and of “leading a vicious smear campaign.” Telling the truth is now a smear.
It is acceptable for the president to try to force the troops, involved in two wars, to accept open homosexuals in the ranks so that a political special interest group can be appeased.
It is now acceptable to have a U.S. President who is personal friends with a communist terrorist.
It is now acceptable to have a U.S. President who goes around the world “apologizing” for America and debasing it.
It is now acceptable for elected officials such as Senator Harry Reid to disparage our troops and give comfort to the enemy.
It is now acceptable to beat an old woman on live TV and “protest” against laws attempting to preserve the last vestiges of morality (see the homosexual reaction to the Proposition 8 measure in California).
It is now acceptable to attack a beauty pageant contestant with the most vulgar of language because she did not completely embrace the sodomite agenda.
It's not until the very end of the column that we learn the real truth about the writer:
Jonah Knox is the pseudonym for a noncommissioned officer and analyst in the United States Army Reserves.
That's right -- the writer won't put his real name on his attack and stand by his words.
What a coward. Real men stand by their words in public.
AIM, of course, is enabling this coward, which makes Cliff Kincaid and company cowardly too.
WND Also Promoted Homophobic Rabbi Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed how CNSNews.com promoted attacks on Elena Kagan by rabidly homophobic rabbi Yehuda Levin. CNS is not the only ConWeb component to have promoted Levin, and you will not be at all surprised to learn who it is.
WorldNetDaily -- which is presumably comfortable with Levin's views given its own anti-gay agenda -- has promoted Levin's anti-gay attacks, most recently on June 16, in which it approvingly quoted Levin bizarrely claiming that repealing the military's don't-ask-don't-tell policy would be a rebellion against God:
"Decent Bible-believing family people have been increasingly outraged by the cravenness of many politicians in their mad dash to turn timeless values on their heads, by advancing homosexual adoption, domestic partnerships, civil unions, 'marriage' and 'Heather Has Two Mommies,'" [Levin] wrote.
"The next slice of the salami – the koshering of volitional homosexual activity, along with all aspects of the homosexual culture, throughout the U.S. military – constitutes a rebellion against G-d and demoralizes both military and civilian society," he added. "We condemn the inherent antipathy, intolerance and even belligerence toward the essential religious liberties of Bible adherents."
"Passage of such evil legislation would expedite our hurtling towards Sodom and Gomorrah," he wrote. "It would also threaten to repel Divine Grace from our military's struggles and beyond. We call upon the Senate to unapologetically filibuster this legislation. We also ask all people of faith to adhere to our previous declaration that it is forbidden to vote for office-seekers who support the homosexual agenda."
This is not the only anti-gay attacks by Levin WND has promoted. A March 2005 WND article by Aaron Klein quotes Levin -- then head of something called Jews for Morality -- attacking the mayor of Jerusalem for not opposing a "world homosexual event" scheduled to take place in the city: "Your 'tolerant' behavior only emboldened the homosexuals, and now radical activists from all over the world are preparing to come to Jerusalem in massive numbers to publicly desecrate the city with their abominations."
In 2006 Klein, in the midst of uncritically promoting claims that "Israel's troubles in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and the Hezbollah rockets slamming daily into major Israeli population centers" were caused by Israel's "tacit support for a homosexual parade slated for next month in Jerusalem," highlighted Levin's anti-gay activism:
Meanwhile, Yehuda Levin, a member of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, has come to Israel specifically to prevent the homosexual celebration from taking place. He said a homosexual parade is akin to a parade of "prostitutes promoting prostitution, or adulterers encouraging others to try adultery at least once in their life."
"Israel is the Holy Land, not the homo-land," Levin told WND.
Levin has been posting signs across Jerusalem urging citizens, politicians and Israel's chief rabbinate to use all legal means to prevent the festival.
"We'll use our bodies if we have to," Levin says.
WND has practically been Levin's PR agent (though it curiously has not yet reported on Levin's attacks on Kagan).
An October 2000 article promoting the "excommunication" of Sen. Joe Lieberman, quoting Levin claiming that "many Jews are embarrassed by Lieberman's comments" on abortion and homosexuality "but are unsure of what to think or do since he is part of their community." The article did not explain by what authority the group that excommunicated Lieberman (the New York Torah Court) had to do so, from exactly what it was Lieberman was excommunicated from, and how binding that "excommunication" was.
in October 2000, WND quoted Levin defending the Vatican from claims that it shouldn't be in the United Nations, playing the Nazi card in the process: "Half a century ago, my family was the victim of a movement which wanted to rid the world of Jews, and Jewish teachings and Jewish values. Today, the extremists seek to disallow and disenfranchise the Catholic community and their ideas. Often it is the Catholic presence which reflects our traditional Jewish teaching on respect for life and family. I call upon the U.N. and her members to reject this censorship, reject the bigotry, and reject this hate of the Vatican and of the Jewish pro-life and family [traditions] it expresses. Sixty years ago our people asked, 'Where were you for the Jews?' Today we ask the world, 'Where are you for the Catholics?'"
In 2003 it highlighted Levin's support of Roy Moore, then the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was under fire for placing a monument with a copy of the 10 Commandments on the grounds of the Alabama Supreme Court building.
Levin has consistently promoted right-wing talking points and is as extreme as WND (if not more) on the subject of gays, so it's completely unshocking that WND would embrace him.
In 2004 it touted Levin's attacks on the idea of Arlen Specter being named chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee as "he wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time": "Specter will not look kindly on judicial candidates who do not toe the line on his liberal ideas. He wants judges on the bench who will advance his degenerate agenda of abortion-on-demand, radical homosexual rights, rapacious lawyers, tax increases and the rape of America's constitutional liberties."
Due in part to certain sensibilities circumscribed in my book, as well as stellar marketing, propaganda and a complicit press, Americans reflexively cast votes for a dedicated communist as president of the United States. Every facet of Barack Obama's presidency – his Cabinet, proposals, policies and machinations – smack of old-school Marxist dogma combined with '60s radicalism. Every move appears to be calculated to compromise America economically, politically and socially.
This appearance is with good reason, because indeed every move is calculated to compromise America economically, politically and socially.
Maybe I've been living on a different planet, but it seems to me that Der Fuhrbama's approval ratings have been gently moving back and forth between the low and high 40s for as long as I can remember. Nothing he does, no matter how anti-constitutional, how criminal or how arrogant, seems to faze 40-plus percent of the population.
I understand the roughly 30 percent who want the United States to become a hard-core socialist nation. They have a sincere desire to redistribute wealth and live under an all-powerful central government. I get it. They're a visible enemy, and you're conscious of the fact that you have to push back against them day in and day out.
But the other 10-15 percent – those who don't want to live under a socialist regime, yet still approve of the job BHO is doing – are the ones who have head-scratchers like myself so puzzled. Do they ever watch anything but sports and "Ice Road Truckers" on television? Do they ever read nonfiction adult books or watch Fox News? Are their legs hopelessly trapped in an irreversible tingling mode caused by the realization that an African-American is living in the White House? Are they simply not able to get over it?
Our soldiers and Marines are dying because we put a fool in the White House; perversity is being increasingly glorified in federal policy for the same reason. We did it; we must fix it, with God's grace and help.
The Chief Changer declared to the world the good land was no longer "a Christian nation" – while he openly sought the friendship of people who hated the good land, while criticizing and offending its steadfast friend, Israel.
He was commander in chief of the armed forces, with no experience whatsoever in anything military. The good country – the original "God Country" – was on the brink of bankruptcy, defeat and disaster.
How had this happened?
How? The people weren't paying attention. They were too trusting in people who used "good words." They liked the idea of "change." And so they got a Corruptor in Chief.
How all this turned out will have to wait for our next bedtime story, kids. Sleep tight.
FrontPageMag Repeats Bogus Obama-Soros Conspiracy Theory Topic: Horowitz
A June 22 FrontPageMag article by Tait Trussell repeats the conspiracy theory that President Obama is calling for a moritorium on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in order to benefit George Soros:
Could this be merely a happy coincidence for George Soros, the major financial backer of Obama’s presidential campaign who also has $811 million invested in the Brazilian oil company, Petrobras? Wasn’t it enough of a payback to Soros when the Obama Administration loaned up to $10 billion to Petrobras? Soros, with his far left-wing organization, MoveOn, is called the Godfather of world socialism. But most relevant currently is that he has been an enthusiastic proponent of global warming and environmental liberalism. He has urged adoption of a global carbon tax. Could it be more than coincidence that his position is strikingly similar to what Obama called for in his June 14 Oval Office speech on the Gulf oil spill and future energy actions?
In fact, the loan to Petrobras was made by the Export-Import Bank, not Obama. At the time the loan was made, the bank’s Bboard consisted of three Republicans and two Democrats, all of whom were appointed by President Bush.
We've already demonstrated how WorldNetDaily mixes in lies about Elena Kagan with his sales pitch for his little scam of you giving him money to send letters to Congress opposing Kagan's nomination. Here's another example worth noting.
A June 16 WND article stated that Farah "joins Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., in pointing out her vehement protests of U.S. military recruiting on Harvard University's campus while accepting a $20 million donation from Saudi Arabia":
What incensed Kagan about the military was its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on service by homosexuals, said Joseph Farah, WND chief executive officer and the organizer of the Stop Kagan Campaign, which delivers personalized, individually addressed anti-Kagan letters to all 100 U.S. senators by FedEx for $24.95. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's homosexual policy is the death penalty.
"Ms. Kagan was perfectly willing to obstruct the U.S. military – which has liberated countless Muslims from the hate and tyranny of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban," Sessions said. "But it seems she sat on the sidelines as Harvard created an Islamic Studies Center funded by – and dedicated to – foreign leaders presiding over a legal system that violates what would appear to be her position."
Farah added: "Hypocrisy? Your name is Elena Kagan."
No, actually, hypocrisy's name is Joseph Farah.
The money in question was donated to Harvard University -- not to Harvard Law School -- by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. As Media Matters points out, there's no evidence of discrimination in the Islamic studies program the donation funded, nor does it involve, as Sessions claimed, the teaching of Sharia law.
Prince Alwaleed, it turns out, is also the second largest shareholder of News Corp., which own the Fox News Channel. While Farah has railed against Alaweed's purported influence -- which seems to have mostly manifested in Fox not promoting a WND-published anti-Muslim book to Farah's satisfaction -- Farah has taken no steps to protest this involvement in the most sweeping way possible that would also establish his devotion to the cause: by forbidding his writers and columnist to appear on the channel.
But he has not done so. Indeed, as we noted, Aaron Klein made numerous appearances on Fox News and Fox Business to shill his anti-Obama smear book. And Farah himself will appear on Fox News on Monday to shill his new tea party book.
Oh, and in the process, Farah repeated his contempible lie that "Kagan is a radical antimilitary and proabortion zealot."
It seems Farah loves to complain, but only if he personally benefits from it -- and not if it affects a revenue stream for his business.
CNS Parrots Attacks on Israeli Judge to Falsely Smear Kagan Topic: CNSNews.com
Matt Cover used a June 25 CNSNews.com article to parrot a right-wing talking point against Elena Kagan -- that she "named as her 'judicial hero' an Israeli Supreme Court Justice, Aharon Barak, who said the role of a judge was to 'create [a] new understanding of law.'"
But Cover repeated only attacks on Barak -- he makes no apparent effort to seek comment from Barak defenders. Cover also fails to note that conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has praised Barak, even though Cover noted that Barak appeared at a symposium with Scalia.
Cover repeats Barak's comments about "purposivism," which Cover defines as a method in which "a judge interprets a constitution or law according to his determination of the modern meaning of the statute," without noting that judges in Israel have more interpretative power because there is no formal constitution. Nor did Cover note that the Barak-led Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the two "Basic Laws" approved by the Israeli Knesset in 1992, on "Human Dignity and Liberty" and "Freedom of Occupation," held a higher normative status and thus, the Israeli courts have the power to strike down parliamentary legislation that violated the Basic Laws.
As we've noted, this bogus attack on Kagan was first forwarded by WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein.
UPDATE: A June 23 CNS article by Cover uncritically repeated Robert Bork's attacks on Kagan, as expressed in a "conference call sponsored by Americans United for Life." Cover didn't mention that, as Salon noted, when Bork was nominated as justice (a nomination that failed due to his out-of-the-mainstream views), railed against "public campaigns of distortion" against nominees -- the very type of campaign he is now participating in to bash Kagan.
Cashill Still Hiding The Truth About Killer Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his June 24 WorldNetDaily column, Jack Cashill hauls out yet again his biased interpretation of the murder case for which Steven Nary is prison (from which Cashill is trying to spring Nary).
As before, Cashill blames the murder victim for being gay and allegedly trying to make moves on Nary, mentioning at no point the fact that Nary had accepted money from the victim to perform oral sex. Instead, Cashill seeks "mercy" from the gay community, claiming that "Steven's best hope is for someone of influence in the gay community to come to his defense, someone who cannot be accused of homophobia."
Which, of course, Nary and Cashill can very much be accused of.
NewsBusters Shocked to Learn That Blogger Has Opinions Topic: NewsBusters
When Sarah Palin's email account was hacked into, NewsBusters howled, portraying any scrutiny of what might be found in those messages as "blaming the victim."
But what happens when a non-conservative's private email messages are leaked? NewsBusters calls for the writer's head.
NewsBusters did this with the stolen so-called "Climategate" emails, complaining that they weren't being reported enough in the mdeia. And now NewsBusters has done this with Dave Weigel.
The Washington Post blogger has long been a target of right-wingers, which is why NewsBusters turned a blind eye to the violation of privacy here -- in this case, messages Weigel wrote in an off-the-record mailing list in which he made less-than-flattering remarks about certain conservatives were made public.
Lachlan Markay chortled that because Weigel was found to have "ridiculed a number of conservatives and conservative positions," his critics have been "vindicated." Markay insisted that Weigel's defense and apology for some of the remarks "really do not make any difference." After Weigel resigned from the Post over the controversy, Markay seemed quite happy about it, pushing the idea that "such mean-spirited jabs demonstrate a disdain for many conservatives that precludes Weigel from covering them fairly."
In other words, Markay is blaming the victim. Interesting how traditional conservative concern over privacy rights disappears when the person whose privacy rights are violated is not conservative.
Missing from Markay's analysis is any evidence that Weigel's off-the-record remarks, however mean, were actually inaccurate -- is it anything other than true that Newt Gingrich is an "amoral blowhard"? -- and, more importantly, that Weigel got anything wrong in his Post blog. (Indeed, his accuracy rate is arguably above that of, say, NewsBusters.)
Weigel wrote a blog, after all -- he did not write news articles and, to my knowledge, was not published in the print edition of the paper. Standards of objectivity are a little looser for blogs than what is presented as straight news. Further, it cannot be shocking that Weigel expresses opinions in private; we suspect Markay's private correspondence would not stand up to the standards he has set for Weigel, and we're just as certain that the idea of his private correspondence being made public is abhorrent to Markay -- after all, he may have said an unflattering thing or two about his fellow conservatives.
For Markay to complain about Weigel's alleged lack of objectivity is silly because 1) by definition, a blogger is not necessarily objective, and 2) he can't be bothered to come up with evidence that it affected the finished product.
But then, the most important thing to NewsBusters, beyond the right wing obtaining its latest scalp, turned out to be that the MRC's Dan Gainor was quoted opining on Weigel in the Washington Post and on Fox News.
Gainor couldn't come up with any examples of how Weigel's opinions affected his work, instead demanding a "good neutral reporter" be assigned to cover conservatives. But there's no evidence the MRC would recognize a "good neutral reporter" if it saw one -- remember, its idea of "neutrality" is based on how prominently their political affliations are identified.
Since the MRC is much more concerned about scoring political points than conducting anything approaching genuine media research, its gloating over Weigel losing his Post job simply cannot be taken seriously, and it has nothing of substance to add to the conversation beyond its sense of vengeance.
(Full disclosure: I've met Weigel socially a couple of times and linked from this blog to the Washington Independent on the strength of his work there, but didn't get around to updating the link to his Post blog, an issue that is now moot.)
UPDATE: Tim Graham blunders in, absurdly calling it "Weigel-gate" (only in Washington can telling the truth be likened to engaging in criminal behavior), and bizarrely suggesting that the Post should have rifled through Weigel's private correspondence before hiring him. He, like the rest of his NewsBusters colleagues, can't identify anything he got wrong, then claims that "Media outlets don't have to hire conservatives to cover conservatives" when everyone knows full well that's exactly what Graham wants.