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Wednesday, July 21, 2010
News Outlets Have Higher Standards Than Bozell
Topic: Media Research Center

MRC chief Brent Bozell's demand that the media falsely smear Shirley Sherrod was silly on its face, but his claim that the media ignored the story was based on an even more silly assumption: that the media has the same abysmally low standards as he does.

Turns out the media was well aware of the story; they -- unlike Bozell -- just chose to wait until Sherrod's words could be put in context.

CNN's Rick Sanchez pointed out that the network "had the story ... Monday before noon, and we decided not to go with the story because we didn't have a chance to verify it, because we hadn't seen the speech ourselves, because we weren't sure if part of the speech had been edited, because we hadn't had a chance to reach out to Shirley Sherrod. So because we didn't have those things, we here at CNN did not do this story."

Fox News' Shepard Smith said that he didn't run the story on his show because "we didn't who shot it, we didn't know when it was shot, we didn't know the context of the statement, and because of the history of videos on the site where it was posted. In short, we did not and do not trust the source."

Are these standards too high for Bozell? It appears so -- he had no problem promoting misleadingly edited videos whose source he did not know and whose context he made no effort to learn.

That's a lot of things, but it most definitely not "media research."

P.S. Bozell has yet to apologize for falsely smearing Sherrod as a racist, thus opening himself up to potential legal action against him on libel charges. He should know the drill, since he's been sued over making false claims before, over which the Parents Television Council, which he headed at the time, ultimately had to pay millions in damages and publish a retraction.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:43 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 7:48 PM EDT
Finally! Hirsen Reports on Gibson's Slurs -- But Still Defends Him
Topic: Newsmax

It has taken more than two weeks, but Newsmax's James Hirsen has finally gotten around to reporting on the hateful, violent phone calls of his friend, Mel Gibson.

Hirsen leads his July 20 "Left Coast Report" with the Gibson story, albeit narrowly focusing on the possibility of Gibson facing domestic violence charges. Hirsen makes no effort to describe the contents of the phone conversations that have been released; instead, Hirsen highlights claims that "experts concluded that the audio was edited" and a photo of Gibson's ex-girlfriend circulating on the Internet "has been altered." Hirsen also makes sure to note that Gibson’s estranged wife "said he never was abusive to her or acted in a violent way toward their seven children throughout almost 30 years of marriage."

After pointing out that Gibson "has no serious conviction on his record" and that the probable outcome for him would be "probation and counseling," Hirsen does something shocking -- he discloses his relationship with Gibson:

Note: Mel Gibson is a business associate and friend. My sincere hope is that he will receive fair treatment in the media and the courts. I hope, too, that he receives the best available assistance for the personal issues with which he is dealing.

As we've detailed, Hirsen and Gibson have a longstanding relationship dating back at least several years, and this is the first time he has disclosed it at Newsmax.

Hirsen does more defending of Gibson in a July 20 Newsmax interview, in which he asserts that the Gibson heard on the videotapes "is not the person that I know." Hirsen goes on to predict a comeback. From the accompanying article by Jim Meyers:

“For the moment, all the experts are proclaiming his career over,” Hirsen says.

“But he has his own studio. He is autonomous, so it’s not going to stop his work. It may stop certain people from working with him for some time, but that has to do with what actions he takes in the future.

“He has received a tremendous boost from people like Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Downey Jr., and mostly people who have had some sort of relationship with him and his family and know the man, as opposed to those who are judging him strictly by the stories and the tapes.

“He’s been in the business a very long time and there are tons of people who have worked with him and know him. That person on the tape is not the person that I know or that other people who have worked with Mr. Gibson know. He has a long history of being a tremendous family man, a good father, a generous person, easy to work with, with all kinds of positive attributes.”

Hirsen adds, "I think we have not heard the other side, and I think we need to wait and hear the other side of the story."

Newsmax does include excerpts of the Gibson tapes in the video, and the article notes that Hirsen "considers himself a friend of Gibson." As in his "Left Coast Report," Hirsen highlights claims that the tapes are edited and the picture of the ex-girlfriend is altered.

Hirsen also asserted that Gibson "has a long history of being a tremendous family man, a good father, a generous person, easy to work with, just all kinds of positive attributes."

So Hirsen is still defending his buddy -- just as he did when Gibson went on an anti-Semitic tirade. As we detailed, Hirsen insisted that Gibson had apologized sufficiently for the "untoward statements."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:33 PM EDT
Corsi Repeats Discredited Lies About Obama, Kenya
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a July 19 WorldNetDaily article repeating discredited claims that a proposed new Kenyan constitution is a significant expansion of abortion rights, Jerome Corsi reached into his little bag of Obama smears and repeated false claims about what he claimed are "Obama's links to [Kenyan prime minister Raila] Odinga":

The Obama administration's funding of Kenyan internal politics appears to follow a pattern then-Sen. Obama first set on his 2006 Senate-funded visit to Kenya.

During that trip in 2006, Obama campaigned so openly for Odinga that Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua went on Kenyan television on behalf of Kenyan President Kibaki to object that Obama was meddling inappropriately in Kenyan politics, as WND reported.

WND reported in 2008 that Obama raised almost $1 million for Odinga during the run-up to Kenya's 2007 presidential election.

Obama did not campaign for Odinga. As noted when Corsi made the same claim in his anti-Obama book:

What we can confirm is that Obama has remained neutral in Kenyan politics, and did not support Odinga during his trip. Odinga attended some of Obama's events while Obama was in Kenya, and clearly wanted to associate himself with Obama, but there is no evidence to indicate that Obama "openly supported" Odinga. 


Corsi states that Obama "openly supported" Raila Odinga. We found public statements from Obama during the trip saying the exact opposite. We found no other evidence to support Corsi's statement, so we rate his statement False.

Further, as we detailed in 2008 when Corsi first told this lie, Obama did not raise "almost $1 million for Odinga." The documents Corsi is relying on to support the claim are clearly forged (and busted it as well).

Corsi implies that Obama has acted on behalf of Odinga because he is "a Luo tribesman like Obama's father." In fact, as PolitiFact noted, Obama "gave a high-profile speech the need for the country to move beyond corruption and tribal rivalries. This undercuts Corsi's theory that Obama was motivated by his Luo tribal heritage."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 AM EDT
Will Bozell Apologize For Falsely Smearing Sherrod As Racist?
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell already called Shirley Sherrod a "racist" in his silly statement berating the media for not smearing her like he is. He goes on to write in his July 20 column:

The bigger problem for the NAACP is that it has its very own racists. Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website revealed video of a NAACP banquet where U.S. Department of Agriculture appointee Shirley Sherrod talked about how she didn’t want to help a white farmer because he should be helped by “his own kind.” The contempt in her voice, in her face, and in the audience’s laughter is unmistakable.

 As the full video of Sherrod's remarks -- which Bozell did not see, and apparently made no effort to seek out before spewing his smears -- shows, Sherrod is not a racist. The story she was telling that Bozell portrayed as "racist" was in fact an anecdote occurred 24 years ago and was meant to illustrate, in full context that Bozell ignores, that she had learned that race cannot be a consideration in aiding people.

Will Bozell apologize for and retract his smears? We shall see.

P.S. Bozell is not the only MRC employee to portray Sherrod as racist -- Kyle Drennen and Noel Sheppard did as well, again without making any effort to see the full video beforehand. They owe Sherrod an apology and retraction, too, as does Mark Finkelstein, who falsely asserted that Sherrod "bragg[ed] about having declined to do everything in her power to help someone because of the white color of his skin."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Bozell Demands That Media Falsely Smear Woman
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell had this to say about "the explosive video footage of an NAACP banquet speaker admitting her racist views and abuse of power that led to her resignation as a Department of Agriculture official yesterday":

"The liberal media are deliberately spiking the shocking video that reveals an NAACP banquet speaker admitting her racist views and actions. We’ve waited a full 24 hours to see if any coverage of this exposé would surface.  So far, nothing but crickets. The ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning ‘news’ shows have all failed to even mention the damning video admission that is dripping with disdain for white people and that caused the official to tender her resignation.

Worse yet, it comes from the NAACP, the same organization that has feverishly accused the Tea Parties of racism. The thoroughly untrue accusation against the Tea Parties has been propped up and propelled by the incessant reporting of these same networks. Yet they decide to thwart this story about the NAACP.

The only thing more newsworthy than the charges of racism are the hypocritical charges of racism.  The media must report this scandal."

Notice that Bozell didn't demand that Andrew Breitbart release the entire video so the speaker's words could be judged in their full context. Nor did Bozell demand that the story be fairly covered.

No, Bozell demanded that the selectively edited video clips be promoted by the media out of context. In other words, he demanded that the full truth be ignored.

The media is now reporting the story of the NAACP banquet speaker Shirley Sherrod, though perhaps not the story Bozelll wanted reported. It's now become all too clear that Brietbart's smear has self-destructed, and even the white farmer who supposedly was discriminated against by Sherrod is saying that Sherrod is a "friend" who "helped us save our farm."

Meanwhile, the NAACP has viewed the entire video -- unlike Bozell or any other MRC employee -- and now believes that "the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans," and that "we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias."

Bozell cares nothing about the media, unless he can make it conform to his right-wing agenda. His organization is more accurately titled the Right-Wing Propaganda Research Center.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:04 PM EDT
WND Columnists Denounce NAACP, Mum on Mark Williams
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Today's WorldNetDaily commentary page features no less than four columns -- by Dennis Prager, Thomas Sowell, Mychal Massie, and Joseph Farah -- parroting the right-wing talking points that the tea party movement is not racist and the NAACP is wrong, if not racist themselves, to claim they are. None of these writers mention the most compelling evidence to date of racism in the tea party movement: Mark Williams.

In fact, nowhere at WND can you read about Williams, the Tea Party Express spokesman who, on top of his long history of racially charged statements, penned a blog post mocking NAACP Benjamiin Jealous in the form of a letter to Abraham Lincoln asking him to reinstate slavery because all blacks really want are "Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house." Not even in the WND article quoting Farah challenging the NAACP to "repudiate racism as unequivocally as I have"makes any mention of Williams, even though his racist blog post got him and his Tea Party Express kicked out of the National Tea Party Federation. The fact that other tea partiers felt the need to distance themselves from Williams seems to prove NAACP's point.

Note to Farah: Refusing to acknowledge Mark Williams' racism does not equal a "repudiation" of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 12:44 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor tweets the following offer: "I'll give $100 to first Rep. who punches smary [sic] idiot Alan Grayson in nose. He's a caricature of a congressman."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:39 AM EDT
MRC's Waters Insists on Separating Gibson's 'Artistic Achievement'
Topic: Media Research Center

Clay Waters takes pains to separate art from artist in a July 19 MRC TimesWatch item, running to the defense of "The Passion of the Christ" as something wholly separate from Mel Gibson. Waters was complaining that New York Times columnist Frank Rich went after "not just the artist but his artistic achievement, 'The Passion of the Christ,' the bloodily authentic 2004 portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ directed by Gibson."

Waters offers no comment on the racist, violent Gibson tapes that have been released, but he denounces Rich's description of "The Passion" as "sadomasochistic," calling such a description a "slur."

Weirdly, Waters also avoids comment of Rich's observation that "The Passion" is "nakedly anti-Semitic, to the extreme that the Temple priests were all hook-nosed Shylocks and Fagins with rotten teeth." Is that because Rich has a point that Waters doesn't want to admit?

Waters' insistence on separating art and artist in Gibson's case contrasts with the MRC's treatment of Roman Polanski, convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl. For instance, Waters' boss, Brent Bozell, denounced critics for committing the sin of judging Polanski's latest film on its merits rather than the director's personal life.

Bozell also huffed that "the Beautiful People" in Hollywood believed that Polanski "had too much 'empathy' as an artist to be bothered" to be held accountable for his crime. Waters, however, seems to believe the same thing about Gibson.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 AM EDT
CNS Still Pushing Abortion Funding Falsehood

A July 19 article by Penny Starr promotes CNS' longstanding lie that the Obama administration is funding abortion. Starr uncritically repeats the claim of a "revelation by the National Right to Life’s legal counsel that the new health care law will allow some states to use federal funds for abortion," and Republican Rep. Mike Pence's assertion that it "must not stand," without mentioning that the claim is utterly discredited.

As Starr should know, CNS reported that the Department of Health and Human Services and anti-abortion Rep. Bart Stupak both say that abortion will not be funded beyond current Hyde Amendment restrictions. Yet Starr chose not to include this information in her article.

This makes her either incompetent or willfully deceitful. Why does CNS continue to employ such a reporter?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:16 AM EDT
Newsmax Still Trying to Rehabilitate Fossella
Topic: Newsmax

In February, we noted that Newsmax had taken a stab at trying to rehabilitate the reputation of former Rep. Vito Fossella, who had left office in disgrace after a DUI arrest led to the revelation that he had a mistress and illegitimate child. Newsmax touted him as "the only Republican in Congress from New York City" who "had very high scores for his votes from the American Conservative Union," without a mention of the scandal that brought him down. Not unlike what Newsmax tried to do to rehabilitate scandal-tarred (and now imprisoned) Bernard Kerik.

Newsmax takes another stab at Fossella rehab with a July 19 Moneynews article by Dan Weil in which Fossella is given free rein to bash the Obama administration. Weil describes Fossella only as "chief operating officer of Superfund Investment Group," not even mentioning his status as a former congressman (and, of course, not a word about his scandal).

Mixed in with this Obama-bashing is Fossella's advocacy for gold:

All this helps to explain why Fossella remains bullish on gold. Fundamentals are strong for the precious metal, he says. The budget deficit and government debt burden are exploding.

“With monetary policy, it looks like the spigot continues to be open,” he said.

“Gold is the one asset that truly maintains its value when central banks print money like it’s going out of style. And there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.”

While the U.S. is acting in a way that will hurt the dollar, “Gold has done well against major currencies across the globe, because smart investors know gold maintains value much better than fiat currencies.”

Given Newsmax's fondness for financial schemes that depend on gold advocacy and Obama-bashing, it's not surprising that Fossella would throw them both in his interview.

This isn't the only recent instance in which Newsmax gave Fossella space to pretend he isn't scandal-ridden:

  • Fossella also sat down for an interview with Newsmax on May 6, in which he pontificated about national security.
  • A Feb. 26 Moneynews article by Weil highlighted Fossella's predictions on gold prices.
  • A July 6 Moneynews article by Weil touted a webinar on "economic policy and financial market issues" featuring Ron Paul that Fossella would be hosting.

Needless to say, Newsmax stayed silent about Fossella's scandal-ridden personal life there as well.

Looks like we'll be seeing a little more of Fossella at Newsmax -- and a lot less about any hint of scandal.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:36 AM EDT
NewsBusters Selective Outrage Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

A July 19 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard expressed outrage that "CNN this weekend invited a 'diversity consultant' on its 'Saturday Morning' program that actually likened black Tea Party members to Jews that worked as guards in Nazi concentration camps" -- specifically, the guest referenced "kapos." Sheppard declared it to be "disgustingly offensive anti-Tea Party rhetoric" and lamented, "How come folks that condemn inflammatory rhetoric use equally inflammatory rhetoric to castigate those their accusing?"

Sheppard's outrage might be more justified if he and his employer had bothered to condemn the same insult when used by their side.

In April, -- like NewsBusters a division of the Media Research Center -- published a column by Ben Shapiro in which he asserted that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel "is a kapo."

NewsBusters also links to the right-wing blog Gateway Pundit, whose proprietor, Jim Hoft, similarly portrayed Emanuel as a "kapo." Like Sheppard, Hoft is full of faux outrage over the CNN segment.

If "kapo" is such an offensive term, why didn't anyone at NewsBusters condemn Hoft for  invoking it? Or lift a finger to stop the organization it's a part of from promulgating the slur?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EDT
Monday, July 19, 2010
NewsReal Declares Levin-Palin Re-Engagement 'A Coup for the Left'
Topic: Horowitz

In one of the dumbest blog posts we've seen in a while, Ann Kane uses a July 17 NewsReal post to go on a tirade about the re-engagement of Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin, declaring it "A Coup for the Left."

How so? It's all the fault of that homewrecker Kathy Griffin! Kane helpfully explains:

Scenario: Sarah Palin’s seventeen-year-old daughter comes home and tells her she’s pregnant. Sarah takes it hard, and tells her they will handle it. Her daughter plans to marry the father of the child.

Within months of Palin losing the election, Levi dumps her daughter for a forty-nine year-old leftist foul mouth comedienne, Kathy Griffin, who has a highly public relationship with him. Then he poses nude for Playgirl magazine.

At Palin’s convention debut, Levi was obviously caught up in the fanfare. Griffin, aka, hovering vulture looking for her next prey in her crusade to wipe out decency from civilization, swept in on Levi, and took advantage of his fifteen minutes of fame. Griffin saw in Levi a messenger from whom she could launch her vitriol against Sarah Palin.

Just one little problem: There was never a relationship between Johnston and Griffin. The New York Daily News article Kane links to as evidence of the alleged affair clearly states the two "never actually dated" and it was all a "comedic charade."

But forget the facts -- Kane is on a roll:

Celebrities like Griffin hate the wholesome goodness of Palin. She tried to destroy the former Alaska governor by seducing the her star struck future son-in-law. Now that Levi’s going to marry Bristol nonetheless, what’s Griffin going to do, fade into the background? I doubt it. Heaven forbid the Palin clan should let Levi, with his despicable past, into their home again.

Um, yeah. Glad to see the standards for being a NewsReal blogger remain as high as always.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:59 PM EDT
Newsmax Accepts Ad From 'Pro-White' Radio Host
Topic: Newsmax

Note the ad on the left side of this screenshot taken from Newsmax on July 18:

James Edwards is the host of the "Political Cesspool" radio show on a Tennessee radio station. Edwards' website states that "the hallmark of his work on Political Cesspool" is that he delivers "an unapologetically pro-White viewpoint."

Edwards' book, Racism, Schmacism, appears to cover similar territory. The promotion for the book on the” Cesspool” website declares that “James Edwards gets it” -- among the others who apparently “get” Edwards are Jerome Corsi and WorldNetDaily's new birther hero, Tim Adams. -- and also that “James isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade” (underlined for emphasis). The promotion continues (emphasis in original):

When liberals and race hustlers use the word "racist," it doesn't have the meaning it used to have -- someone filled with hate and animosity for other races.

No, when when the race hustlers and leftists use the word "racist," they simply mean "conservative white person."


Until you get this, you will never understand politics in modern day America.

And once you do grasp it, you'll be amazed at how everything suddenly starts making sense.

In this brilliant (and often hilarious) new book, James Edwards proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that in today's politically correct climate, "racist" simply means "white person" or "conservative white person." And "racism" is simply anything a white person does that minorities and leftists don't approve of.

Here are some examples of what is claimed to be in the book:

  • “Ever get the feeling that white people are damned if we do, and damned if we don't? You're not imagining it -- James shows how no matter what white people do, it's called racism -- even the exact opposite actions. When white people move out of neighborhoods that are majority black, that's ‘white flight,’ and it's racist. And when white people move into neighborhood that are majority black, that's gentrification, and it's racist, too.”
  • “How public schools help black kids score better on tests than white kids -- by banning the white kids from ‘blacks only’ college prep courses.”
  • “Now that the Confederate flag has been all but outlawed as a symbol of ‘racist hate,’ guess what the next step is? Yes, going after the Stars & Stripes -- an apartment complex in Oregon actually sent a letter to residents saying that anyone who displayed an American flag sticker on their vehicle would have to remove it, or face eviction, because a lot of non-whites live in the complex. Then there's the white woman in Texas (with a daughter serving in Iraq) who had to remove the American flag in her office because an African immigrant found it offensive.”
  • “And, in what may be the most important chapter of the book, you'll see how conservatives walked right into Eric Holder's trap after he made his infamous speech calling us (meaning white people) ‘a nation of cowards’ when it comes to race. What was the conservative response? Almost every blogger, pundit and conservative leader said Eric Holder was wrong, and that we all have lots of black and brown friends, our churches are integrated, etc. Which proved, once again, that conservatives just don't get it. And it was just about the worst response we could've come up with. James will tell you how how we should've responded, and more importantly, why.”

Does Newsmax really want to be promoting anything involving James Edwards, let alone accept money to do so?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:58 PM EDT
Another Coward Hides Behind Fake Name to Hurl Smears
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Right-wingers love to hide behind anonymity to hurl their smears, don't they?

Already in the past month we had one coward, "Jonah Knox," slime Obama at Accuracy in Media. AIM loved his cowardly sleaze so much that it posted a radio interview with the alleged "Knox."

Now, WOrldNetDaily has embraced another coward, "Frank J. Bleckwenn," whom it admits is "the pen name of an attorney in Washington, D.C." This time the smear victim is Elena Kagan; in a July 17 WND column, "Bleckwenn" portrays what Kagan purportedly say in her Supreme Court confirmation hearing were she administered "truth serum."

When you hide behind a fake name, you can lie and smear all you want. And that's what "Blackwenn" does, falsely portraying Kagan as a socialist because "You can see that from my senior thesis at Princeton and from my subsequent expression of sympathy for a 'more leftist left.'" That, of course, is false.

So "Bleckwenn" isn't just a coward, he's a liar too. Which makes his cowardice somewhat understandable.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 17, 2011 8:40 PM EDT
Hirsen Still Won't Mention Gibson's Hateful Rants
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen seems determined to keep the omerta for his friend Mel Gibson.

We noted that Hirsen failed to mention the story of Gibson's hateful phone conversations with the mother of his out-of-wedlock child in the week after it first broke. Hirsen is keeping up the silent treatment: The most recent edition of his "Left Coast Report" also fails to make any mention of Gibson, even as more tapes were released.

As we've detailed, Hirsen has a close relationship with Gibson -- a relationship Hirsen did not disclose as he was promoting Gibson's films and serving as defender of Gibson at Newsmax by claiming he had apologized sufficiently for his 2006 anti-Semitic tirade.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:25 AM EDT

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