Newsmax Slow-Walked Gibson, Pounces on Stone Topic: Newsmax
We recently noted how it took Newsmax more than two weeks to report on Mel Gibson's latest hateful tirade -- and even then, James Hirsen was making excuses for him. Other celebrities don't get that kind of protection.
So when director Oliver Stone blamed a focus on the Holocaust on "Jewish domination of the media,” Newsmax was Johnny-on-the-spot with a July 26 article.
Hirsen was quick on the draw as well, mixing Stone with his latest apologetic Gibson coverage -- in fact, his item is built around Stone's prediction (which echoed Hirsen's own fervent desire) that Gibson's career hasn't been completely destroyed by his hateful rantings, which Stone agrees with. To his credit, Hirsen writes that Gibson is "a business associate and friend," disclosure he wasn't interested in making when he was playing defense for Gibson over "The Passion of the Christ" and his previous hateful rantings.
Hirsen actually doesn't mention the remarks that drew interest on Newsmax's news side but, rather, another comment that government should be in charge of health care and energy. "This is unabashed Marxism," Hirsen harrumphed. So this just may be extrordinarily bad timing on Hirsen's part -- Stone is probably the wrong guy to vouch for Stone this particular week.
WND Elevates Anonymous Comment to Headline Topic: WorldNetDaily
Here's the latest banal, biased White House press briefing question from Les Kinsolving, per a July 26 WorldNetDaily article:
Kinsolving asked, "What assurance has the president received from his secretary of state that in 2012 she will not run for president?"
"I am unaware of any assurance that this president needs about his secretary of state," responded Gibbs, declining even to mention Clinton's name.
Of course, Kinsolving didn't use Clinton's name either, so pointing out that Gibbs didn't use it is utterly irrelevant.
But here's the headline on this article: "Democrat says he'd pick Hillary, Satan before Obama." Surely it must have been an at least somewhat prominent Democrat making this statement, given that WND elevated it to headline status. Um, no:
Wrote one forum participant at the U.S. News & World Report magazine website, "If Hillary Clinton is not the Democratic nominee in 2012 I am voting for the Republican. I don't care if the Republican is Satan. Obama stole the nomination from Hillary Clinton in 2008. I once was a Democrat. I will never vote for another Democrat if they don't get it together."
That's right -- WND turned an anoymous comment in a comment thread into a headline. WND puts a lot of stock in anonymous sources, despite -- or perhaps because of -- editor Joseph Farah's statement that they are "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better."
AIM Baselessly Defends Breitbart Topic: Accuracy in Media
A July 23 Accuracy inMedia article by Roger Aronoff runs to the defense of Andrew Breitbart, who is "now accused of starting this fire and fanning the flames" of the Shirley Sherrod story by the "mob mentality":
First, there is no evidence that Breitbart “heavily edited” the piece, as a number of sources have charged. And secondly, the larger point he was making is correct. The NAACP had made a decision a week earlier to brand the Tea Party Movement as racist, and in the final draft of a resolution at their annual convention, backtracked slightly to say that the Tea Party movement should repudiate the racist elements in its midst.
Aronoff goes on to approvingly quote National Review's Andy McCarthy whitewashing things: “Clearly, there were parts of the tape left on the cutting room floor that should have been considered in conjunction with the parts Andrew published—and knowing Andrew, he would have published them if he’d had them."
Whether Breitbart personally "heavily edited" the Sherrod video is beside the point -- he posted the misleading video knowing he did not have the full tape and likely knowing the story it told was false.
But Aronoff is not done sucking up:
Breitbart is a good man who has created a cutting edge New Journalism franchise. AIM honored him this year at CPAC, and here was his speech on the bias and corruption of the mainstream media upon accepting the award, primarily for his role in helping to expose ACORN as a corrupt organization. Watch this before judging him too harshly.
Aronoff doesn't mention that those ACORN videos were heavily edited too, in a way that distorted the truth -- law enforcement officials agree.
Apparently, Aronoff thinks it's OK to lie and deceive as long as the conservative agenda is advanced in doing so. After all, he does work under the same roof as Cliff Kincaid.
MRC Offended By Factual Description of ACORN Videos Topic: Media Research Center
In the midst of a July 26 MRC TimesWatch item taking umbrage at the New York Times for highlighting the media's "misleading coverage" of the Shirley Sherrod story (which he treats as yet another reason to bash the Times' purported liberal bias), Clay Waters complained that the Times described Andrew Breitbart's ACORN videos as "heavily edited tapes":
"Heavily edited tapes" seems to be the liberally approved phrase to place in front of mentions of the ACORN scandal these days. It's cropped up in several recent Times stories, including Stelter's.
For all his complaining, Waters doesn't deny the claim -- because he can't. The videos were indeed heavily edited, and Breitbart has so far refused to publicly release the unedited videos. Authorities in New York and California, in declining to press charges against ACORN, have pointed out that, in the words of one official, Breitbart, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles "edited the tape to meet their agenda."
Waters is not the only MRC employee to take offense at accurate descriptions of Breitbart's ACORN tapes. A July 25 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham, responding to Rachel Maddow pointing out that "ACORN has been exonerated by prosecutors in New York City and by the attorney general of California and by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Not that you've heard any of that reported on Fox," by trying to change the subject:
(Here's what you didn't hear reported on Maddow. Jerry Brown, the leftist Attorney General of California, denounced "partisan" media in his report on ACORN, but also "pointed out that ACORN probably violated state civil laws by disposing of thousands of pages containing confidential information about employees, members and other individuals in a trash bin, failing to file a 2007 state tax return and engaging in four instances of possible voter registration fraud in San Diego." That's hardly an "exoneration" you boast about.)
What you won't hear about from Graham is that Breitbart and Co. originally claimed that his crew's dumpster-diving uncovered evidence of "obstruction of justice" -- a charge ultimately not supported. Or that the Breitbart crew may well have broken the law by breaking into a caged dumpster to steal those ACORN documents.
A Proposition for Brent Bozell Topic: Media Research Center
Last week, the Media Research Center issued a press release designed to ride the wave of (manufactured) conservative outrage over Journolist, the left-of-center listserv that purportedly allowed journalists to collaborate in attacking conservatives -- never mind the cherry-picking of carefully selected emails out of thousands upon thousands that is being done in order to push the claim.The press release claimed that the Journolist emails shows "blatant intentions of covering up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright news in 2008 to protect Obama" -- again, never mind that this was occurring well after the story had exploded in the media.
Remember, MRC chief Brent Bozell doesn't care about facts, especially when he has a good froth going:
“The revelation of these e-mails simply proves that we have been right all along. The liberal media have no interest in being fair or unbiased. In fact, they are deliberately violating any sense of journalistic ethics.
“There is no excuse – none – for the attitudes and lack of professionalism these so-called journalists displayed not only in these e-mails but in their reporting. Any member of the media that was privy to these Journolist emails, and remained silent, is just as much to blame as the folks that crafted these e-mails. Their silence indicts them.
“We said in 2008 that the media were making excuses for Jeremiah Wright and now we have the proof. And we learned from the Daily Caller that these people went so far as to say that Rush Limbaugh ‘deserves’ their hate.
“Sadly, I am not surprised, as this is what we have been exposing year after year about the media. And it’s exactly why Americans refuse to trust them.”
Of course, this outrage is utterly hypocritical. As Salon's Joe Conason details, off-the-record planning meetings to set agendas are popular on the right wing, the most prominent of which are the Wednesday morning meetings led for more than two decades by the Club for Growth's Grover Norquist.
As it so happens, one member of the Club for Growth's Founder's Committee has been none other than Brent Bozell. This is relevant because Bozell operates a "news"organization, CNSNews.com, that is much more biased than the mainstream media he loves to attack ever dreamed of being.
If Bozell really wants us to believe he has any moral ground on this issue, he must disclose all of his dealings with secret agenda-setting groups like Norquist's Wednesday morning meetings and the ultra-secretive Council for National Policy of which he is also a member. Bozell must also disclose the contacts between such organizations and CNS editors and reporters, including editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, as well as how this agenda-setting manifested itself in CNS "news" stories.
Then, and only then, will Bozell have any credibility to criticize Journolist. After all,, why should anyone trust his judgment on journalistic issues when his own news organization operates in such a biased manner?
So what do you say, Brent? Do you have the guts to tell the truth, or will you continue to hide your agenda-setting machinations in the darkness?
Corsi's New Employer Distances Itself From His Personal Views Topic: WorldNetDaily
Apparently, being WorldNetDaily's senior staff reporter isn't exactly the high-paying gig one would think such a pretigious position would be.
A July 19 WND tease for Corsi's Red Alert newsletter (subject: the Bilderberg Group naming names of who runs this "assembly of powerful elite," accompanied by a tease for Corsi's book "The Late Great USA,"a book about the careful deceptions of a powerful elite who want to undermine our nation's sovereignty") states that "In addition to serving as a senior staff reporter for WorldNetDaily, Corsi is a senior managing director in the financial-services group at Gilford Securities." This is followed by a lengthy disclaimer and disclosure statement, in which Gilford disavows itself from Corsi's views:
Disclosure: Gilford Securities, founded in 1979, is a full-service boutique investment firm headquartered in New York City providing an array of financial services to institutional and retail clients, from investment banking and equity research to retirement planning and wealth-management services. The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author are his alone and do not necessarily reflect Gilford Securities Incorporated's views, opinions, positions or strategies. Gilford Securities Incorporated makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability or validity of any information expressed herein and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.
The disclaimer is repeated in a July 24 Red Alert promotion.
WND, of course, has no problem with Corsi's personal views, to the point that it refused to report on the most offensive of them when they became an issue in 2004 in the wake of his anti-Kerry book.That was when it was disclosed that Corsi made numerous bigoted remarks on the right-wing website Free Republic. Corsi is also an enthusiastic birther who has repeatedlylied about President Obama.
But the fact that Gilford Securities feels the need to make Corsi add this lengthy disclaimer every time he writes an article -- and it can be presumed that Corsi wouldn't be doing this unless his new employer asked/told him to -- makes you wonder why they hired him in the first place.
Newsmax's Ponte Brings the Democrat Derangement Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Lowell Ponte has long suffered from Democrat Derangement Syndrome -- withness his bizarre, falsehood-riddled attacks on Dems before the 2008 election. Now, the prospect of Democrats losing seats in Congress has Ponte so giddy that the old derangement has flared up again.
In his July 23 Newsmax column, Ponte goes nuts once more. He starts off with a few insults:
But congressional Democrats, having played out Karl Marx's first two acts — tragedy and farce — have one more scene with which to cling to power, and one potentially ugly post-election encore before their power vanishes.
Clearly the Democrats aim to fight.
The Democratic Party, the party of the slave owners, Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow and Bull Connor, has conned more than 90 percent of African-Americans into voting for its divide-and-conquer demagogues instead of the party of the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln who freed their ancestors.
Ponte then claims that Dems will unleash "a mind-boggling October surprise designed to shock and awe the masses, seize media attention, and transform the entire national mood and political environment days or weeks before the election." He even helpfully lays out the scenarios:
Scenario One: Terrorists are captured crossing the Mexican border with some sort of weapon of mass destruction, chemical, biological, or nuclear.
In favor of this scenario: President Obama could take credit for saving the nation, being a heroic leader, and protecting the border.
Negatives: It could remind Americans that our border remains porous, Obama has opposed sealing it, and Democrats keep us at risk.
Scenario Two: Iranians somehow attack Americans and, in a Persian-Gulf-of-Tonkin action, President Obama retaliates with a massive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, perhaps toppling Iran's dictators and liberating its people.
Pros to this scenario: President Obama would turn from a weakling to Superman overnight. His standing with independent and Jewish voters might skyrocket.
Arab nations would secretly thank him for de-fanging or removing Persia's fanatical regime. Americans might rally around Obama and the Democrats as bold wartime leaders against whom any criticism would seem unpatriotic.
Negatives: Iran's wild-card reactions might involve terrorism here or attacks on Israel or others. Gasoline prices could double or worse, so any such strike should either come days before November's election before prices spike, or months earlier so prices can come back down.
Democrats would risk alienating their anti-war, America-hating left wing and getting criticism from liberal allies around the world. Billionaire financier George Soros might withdraw his funding.
Scenario Three: A tiny group attacks, or is intercepted with plans to attack, one or more prominent Democratic leaders. This group, perhaps secretly encouraged and funded by operatives, is reported by the liberal media to be right-wing domestic terrorist assassins, heavily armed, involved with the tea parties and driven to hatred and violence by conservative talk radio and the Fox News Channel.
Pros: It can be used to distract, discredit and silence critics of the Democrats. It could frighten moderates into distancing themselves from everything on the right. It could win sympathy votes for Democrats.
Cons: It risks chaos if evidence emerges that Democratic operatives were behind the terrorists, although the liberal media will as usual spike any damaging information and attack those who report it. It also risks giving terrible ideas to crazy people.
There you have it: If anything bad happens that might cause people to vote Democrat in November, it's because the Obama administration has either willed it or worked behind the scenes to make it happen.
WND's Dishonest Semantics Attack on Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh turns in another lazy one-source WorldNetDaily article, quoting an official from the right-wing Faith and Freedom Institute attacking President Obama for referencing "freedom of worship" instead of "freedom of religion," uncritically repeating the institute's claim that the two terms are somehow different.
If Unruh had bothered to do anything more than stenography with his article, he would have found that Obama is far from the only president to use the term. According to Arkansas Democrat-Gazette religion editor Frank Lockwood, it's not just Democratic presidents who have used the term but Republican presidents as well, including, yes, Ronald Reagan.
As State Department spokesman Andy Laine told Christianity Today, “the terms 'freedom of religion' and 'freedom of worship' have often been used interchangeably through U.S. history, and policymakers in this administration will sometimes do likewise."
WND and right-wingers (like Glenn Beck) are trying to create a controversy where none exists by playing a bogus game of semantics. It's the kind of dishonest journalism Unruh would not be allowed to practice were he still with the Associated Press, but WND loves dishonest journalism, especially when Obama is the subject.
WND's Welch: Gay Marriage, Transgender Rights 'Evil,' Should Be 'Crushed' Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his July 24 WorldNetDaily column, Dave Welch cites legal cases regarding gay marriage and transgender rights, then writes:
What is "the way home" of those pushing this agenda, referencing the Hart quote above? I submit that their conquest is not marriage or gender identity as much as continued perversion of all moral standards, destruction of absolute truth and rejection of the Author of that truth.
In other words, the battle over gender identity is really only about whether the words, "…male and female He created them" (Gen. 1:27), the book that contains those words and the God Who spoke them are real, relevant and worthy of reverence.
Here is the conundrum. In the "Art of War," Sun Tzu asserted:
Military tactics are like unto water; for water in its natural course runs away from the high places and hastens downwards. So in war, the way to avoid what is strong is to strike what is weak.
If the United States was morally strong, these efforts would have been crushed at their first evil emergence. Of course, the U.S. as a nation cannot be morally stronger than the collective state of its institutions, determined solely by the morality of the people – all utterly dependent on being nurtured by the supplier of moral truth.
Ron Kessler's Week in Obama-Bashing Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler was a on an Obama-bashing tear this week.
In his July 21 column, Kessler repeated a talking point he's been trying to misleadlingly create for months, that "a growing number of American Jews mistrust Obama." He claimed that Obama "has actively sided with Israel’s enemies and dissed Israel," but offered absolutely no specific evidence to back up the assertion. Kessler also called upon a reliable source to echo his attack, Morton Klein of the right-wing Zionist Organization of America (which, of course, Kessler does not identify as right-wing).
Kessler's July 22 column returns to another longtime obsession, Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
In January 2008, three months before the story of Wright’s connection to Obama finally broke in the mainstream media, I began writing stories as chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com about Obama’s close association with his America-hating, white-hating, Israel-hating minister. The media, which had known generally about Wright since Obama announced his candidacy in February 2007, ignored them.
Indeed, Kessler goes on to rehash what he wrote about Wright and complain that the media ignored him. Kessler went on tobaselessly assert that Obama is implementing "ultra-liberal policies and that "voters are asking why they thought he would govern as a centrist and would bring the country together."
Ellis Washington Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's been a while since Ellis Washington has gone into full-blown Obama Derangement Syndrome -- perhaps because he ran out of nefarious historical figures to liken President Obama to -- but Washington brings the crazy in his July 24 WorldNetDaily column.
Washington begins by making the false assertion that "murderous terrorist Bill Ayers" is "Obama's political mentor," and he quickly cherry-picks from Obama's autobiography to assert: "This is how Obama was raised: to hate America with a fanatical hatred that controls and animates his social, political, economic, religious and foreign-policy worldview. His entire Cabinet are a veritable Who's Who of political radicals, social engineers, Marxists, feminists, socialists, communists, fascists."
Washington also demonstrated that he made no effort to listen to the full video of Shirley Sherrod, for he follows in the same bit of slander that Brent Bozell engaged in:
So, are we to ignore Ms. Sherrod's racism because she recanted by embracing Marxism and redistribution of wealth? What about the hundreds or thousands of unnamed white farmers Sherrod was supposed to help during her career? Did she "do enough" for them?
From there, Washington became even more untethered from reality:
In less than two years, the Obama administration has caused this country cataclysmic and purposeful damage: TARP, $14 trillion debt, U.S. bailout now at $3.7 trillion, fighting two Vietnam wars (Iraq and Afghanistan), 17.5 percent actual unemployment, a de facto border war with Mexico on illegal immigration, over three months of oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico and, worse than Jimmy Carter's "malaise," Obama has plagued America with an Orwellian dystopia where American exceptionalism, hope and Christian forbearance have devolved into despair, hopelessness and the politics of revenge.
Beginning in the 1880s, the Progressive Movement, which is embraced by the political left, had three key mandates for America: 1) Infiltrate the public schools and pervert the young minds of succeeding generations through moral relativism, evolution, Marxist economics and control by the education Brownshirts – the teachers' unions; 2) Characterize the constitutional framers as a bunch of rich, racist white guys and assert that because of slavery, de jure discrimination and misogyny, the Constitution has no binding authority in modern times; and 3) Characterize Christianity as a relic philosophy of the past with no current relevance or transcendental truth.
Washington also plucks Obama's statement that "Whatever we once were, we're no longer a Christian nation" out of context to falsely portray him as "Anti-Christianity."
Washington concluded with a final, desperate stab at Obama-hate:
Who, therefore, is Barack Obama?
President Obama is a vengeful, spoiled little man-child who, since he was raised and mentored by people who hate this country, derives perverse pleasure by seeing America on her knees. Obama's presidency is the revenge of liberal intellectuals, radicals and the counter cultural hippies of the 1960s and '70s.
Obama's presidency is a protracted world war on America, and his fascist policies are systematically being implemented as a politics of revenge.
This utter unhinged Obama derangement is why Washington is a WorldNetDaily columnist -- which he seems to need, since he seems to have no steady employment otherwise.
Sheppard Misleads in Attacking Dean Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard uses a a July 25 NewsBusters post to mount a bogus defense of Fox News and falsely attack former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean.
Noting that Dean said on "Fox News Sunday" regarding the Shirley Sherrod story, "I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist. They took a, they had an obligation to find out what was really within the clip," Sheppard highlighted "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace's retort that Sherrod had been forced out of her job before Fox News started playing the out-of-context clip of her that Fox News host then used to falsely portray Sherrod as a racist.
"Wallace of course was correct," Sheppard wrote. "But facts weren't stopping Dean on Sunday as they NEVER do."
But Dean never claimed that Fox News got Sherrod fired -- he claimed that it hyped the deceptively edited tapes without bothering to look for the full story, which it most certainly did. Sheppard doesn't seem to want to admit that.
Sheppard wasn't the only one to decieve about what Fox News did; Accuracy in Media's Don Irvine did a similar bogus defense.
Morris Falsely Accuses Reid of Lying About Angle Topic: Newsmax
In a July 23 Newsmax video, Dick Morris falsely claims that Harry Reid "lied about" the record of his Republican opponent for his Nevada Senate seat, Sharron Angle:
MORRIS: Well, as soon as Harry Reid -- as soon as the Republican primary was held and Angle was nominated, Harry Reid put a negative ad on the air that lied about Sharron Angle's record and had her talking into the camera saying that she had -- she posed -- wanted to phase out Medicare and Social Security, and he put a million dollars behind that lie. The truth is she said she wanted to keep it, she just wanted to keep the Democrats from being able to raid the lockbox and use it to fund their deficits.
So there's a reply ad that has just gone on the air about a week ago, and it's just really beginning to run now. And the Americans for New Leadership.org has raised $300,000 to run that ad and needs additional money. With that moneywe will show people that it's a total lie that Reid is spreading. So please send a check to Americansfornewleadership.org. Sharron Angle can and will win this race, but we have to rebut Harry Reid's lie.
In fact, Reid's ad accurately quoted Angle stating her position, and it was only later that Angle changed her position. As Talking Points Memo notes:
In fact, during the Republican primary Angle did say that she wanted to "phase out" out Social Security, and said that "getting out" of Social Security and Medicare was "not up for grabs" -- that the only room for debate with her was the proper implementation and timeline for doing so. Since then -- after she won the primary -- Angle has shifted her position to wanting to allow people to use the same Social Security system as we know it, while also giving a choice of using a system of private accounts.
Further, Morris' blatant shilling for the newly formed anti-Reid group Americans for New Leadership comes without any disclosure of what his relationship is with the group -- namely, whether he is getting paid to shill for the group. Morris has a long history of using his media appearances to make solicitations for groups he is consulting with.
The MRC's Double Standard on Record Weather Topic: Media Research Center
In a July 23 MRC Business & Media Institute article (and NewsBusters post), Jeff Poor expressed annoyance with the idea that ABC's Jonathan Karl would dare to make global warming denier Sen. James Inhofe -- who insists that the earth is in a cooling trend, despite the fact that the past decade has been the warmest on record -- do an interview outside during a Washington heat wave, "Karl's effort to use the current heat along the East Coast is something the left was up in arms about earlier this year when snow covered much of the country, when it was used to mock the theory of manmade global warming," Poor asserts.
Poor doesn't disclose, of course, that his BMI and his fellow MRC employees at NewsBusters were among the chief promulgators of the idea that record cold in various places last winter disproved global warming -- and that it was not done mockingly. For instance, a March 2009 BMI article by Julia Seymour declared that the fact that "Temperatures have plummeted to record or near-record lows in 32 states this winter" meant that "Reality is not cooperating with the network news’ global warming theme." A Jan. 4 article by Seymour complained: "The news media constantly misuse extreme weather examples to generate fear of global warming, but when record cold or record snow sets in journalists don’t mention the possibility of global cooling trends."
We did find some mocking a BMI: a Jan. 8 article by Matt Philbin bashing the established-beyond-a-doubt fact that weather is not climate, asserting that only "properly indoctrinated young folk" believe such a thing.
Over at BMI's sister organization NewsBusters, such assertions that cold weather disproved global warming, in the form of attacking anyone who said it didn't or otherwise violated conservative correctness on the issue (many of which were penned by Noel Sheppard), were endemic:
Why doesn't Sheppard write about all this record heat we're seeing these days? (We checked -- he hasn't.) Because it conflicts with his denier agenda? Or perhaps because he was too busy falsely smearing Shirley Sherrod as a racist?