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Tuesday, September 21, 2010
MRC Pretends 'Ground Zero Mosque' Debate Isn't About Islamophobia
Topic: Media Research Center

A Sept. 15 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes professes outrage that Americans who oppose the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero are being "smear[ed]" as exhibiting Islamophobia. But it offers no evidence that this isn't the case.

Instead, the MRC tallied up the number of "pro-mosque" and anti-mosque comments on network news (making sure to steer clear of Fox News, which has been relentlessly anti-mosque) but grouping them strangely -- a one week period in August in which anti-mosque sentiment, and a two-week period afterwards in which a "shift in coverage occurred," claiming this happened "after mosque proponents began tarring their opponents as bigots."

Noyes claimed this shift meant "the networks permitted a balanced debate about a proposed real estate project, but allowed mosque supporters to attack the majority of Americans as 'haters' and 'bigots' without adequate debate." He then moves to class-war rhetoric: "That’s yet another sign that the liberal, elite media are hopelessly out of touch with the public they ostensibly serve."

Given that Noyes never proved the underlying thesis of his report -- that opposing the Islamic center has nothing whatsoever to do to Islamophobia -- it appears that he and the MRC are hopelessly out of touch with basic research methods.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 AM EDT
Monday, September 20, 2010
NewsBusters Heathering Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

Speaking of party-line enforcers, NewsBusters seems to be full of them, don't they?

Mark Finkelstein tries his hand in a Sept. 20 post, suggesting that Rahm Emanuel wrote Joe Scarborough's statement on "Morning Joe" condemning "angry voices" and "political extremists" on the far right.Finkelstein asserts that "the manifesto's message suits Dem themes to a 'T', and carries clear echoes of a recent partisan speech by Pres. Obama at a political event" [boldface his]. Finkelstein continues [boldface his]:

But at this juncture in American political history, the anger is understandably more present on the right. The Dems, after all, control both houses of Congress and the White House, and have used their power to promote a big-government agenda on everything from health care to trillion dollar spending schemes to higher taxes.  You're darn right we're angry!  In instructing us to calm down, Joe and Mika are really seeking to sap the vitality from the political movement that threatens to sweep Dems from office.


Let's recapitulate: Obama says anger bad, not a vision for the future.  Scarborough says anger bad, not a way to govern.

I'm sure the folks at the White House and the DNC will be delighted by Morning Joe's manifesto.  They couldn't have said it better themselves.

Scarborough, of course, has been a longtime target for Heathering by the boys at NewsBusters. And Finkelstein might want to consult a dictionary to figure out why he misused the word "recapitulate."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:31 PM EDT
Newsmax Touts Dems Critical of Obama
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax goes concern-trolling with a Sept. 19 article by serial misinformer David Patten, touting "the top 10 blue dog Democrats who have stood up to oppose the president's proposals" as exhibiting a relative level of "Democratic courage."

The front-page promo for Patten's article went even further, claiming that those Democrats "demonstrate what one Democratic icon, John F. Kennedy, once described as 'profiles in courage.'"

Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 PM EDT
Vox Day's Anti-Police Tirade
Topic: Newsmax

Vox Day's Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily column is an anti-police tirade that would seem to fit better on far-left anarchist sites than reliably right-wing, law-and-order (for liberals and gays, anyway) WND.

Using the shooting death of a man by Las Vegas police in a Costco store as a jumping-off point, Day declared the shooting an "execution" and claimed that the typical policement as "the helpful revolver-carrying policeman of yore has been gradually replaced by a steroid-abusing, paramilitarized bully in black body armor with a bad attitude." he continues:

For decades, conservatives have attempted to excuse even lethal police abuses by arguing that the dangerous nature of the job and the stresses it entails somehow justify widespread criminal activity on the part of law enforcement officers. But this is a logically incoherent argument. Police work isn't even among the 10 most dangerous occupations; it is 13 times less dangerous than working as a professional fisherman. And the wide rate at which police commit suicide, become alcoholics and get divorced is less indicative of a terribly stressful job than a sign that the job tends to attract psychologically troubled individuals.

In much the same way that those with mental problems are disproportionately attracted to the mental health fields, those who have problems with authority are disproportionately attracted to a profession that allows them to exert it over others.

This is not to say that all police are psychologically weak individuals predisposed to criminality. Anyone who lifts weights at a gym regularly is likely to know a few good men that serve the community well. The problem is that the fraternal code of silence corrupts those good men and prevents them from exercising the criminal cancers from their midst.

Day concludes: "Americans, particularly conservatives who consider themselves pro-police, should recall Ronald Reagan's famous maxim, 'trust, but verify.' And they must never forget that the first prerequisite of a police state is the police."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EDT
Party-Line Enforcer Upset With Criticism of Party-Line Enforcers
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Sept. 19 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham takes the Washington Post's Michael Gerson -- a former speechwriter for President Bush to task for noting the "unhinged" reaction among right-wingers to any criticism of Christine O'Donnell and how it shows a "Bolshevik approach" inwhich "Every personal feeling, every independent thought, every inconvenient fact, must be subordinated to the party line -- the Tea Party line" and "deviations from the party line are not permitted."

Graham is one of the chief Heatherers at NewsBusters -- who snipe at anyone deemed insufficiently conservative -- and he goes into full Heathering mode here:

Gerson didn't explain in this short blog how it was "unhinged" to see Karl Rove's fierce attack on O'Donnell as like an Olbermann moment. (In fact, it was: Olbermann reran large chunks of it on MSNBC.) He didn't explain how it was "unhinged" to say Rove was at war with the Tea Party when they won a surprise victory, and he denounced the winner in the strongest terms.


Gerson wants to suggest that the Tea Party people are unhinged in their rhetoric, and then he compares them to murderous Russian communists. Remember this the next time Gerson agrees with a liberal that Obama shouldn't be smeared with foreign associations.


Here is Gerson's arrogance on display, for it's very easy to remind the Bush people that "winning" wasn't what happened in 2006 and 2008. Rove and Gerson and their team drove the GOP into a deep hole. This is the spot where the liberals secretly point fingers and laugh -- before they invite these Bushies in front of the cameras to denounce the conservatives.

Funny, we thought the MRC's job was, you know, media research, not ideological enforcement.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 AM EDT
NewsBusters Pushes False Claim About Protest
Topic: NewsBusters

A Sept. 18 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick touts a claim that someone "proudly carrying Nazi-esque signs" at a rally against Illinois Republican congressional candidate Adam Kinzinger was somehow linked to his opponent, Democrat Rep. Debbie Halvorson. Gladnick demanded that local media cover "the demonstrators with the Nazi themed signs returning home to the Debbie Halvorson campaign headquarters."

But one key Gladnick claim is not true. As Media Matters details, the person with the Nazi signs showed up at the protest on his own and is not associated with the Halvorson campaign or any other organized group. Additionally, he said, the other protesters wouldn't carry his signs and tried to block them with their own signs.

Will Gladnick tell the truth about this to his readers? Somehow we kinda doubt it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
Sunday, September 19, 2010
WND Selling John Hagee's Crazy Prophecy Book
Topic: WorldNetDaily

John Hagee is apparently back in the good graces of WorldNetDaily.

WND editor Joseph Farah once described Hagee as "my friend," but  after initially failing to report any of Hagee's controversial statements following his endorsement of John McCain in 2008 (a candidate WND managing editor David Kupelian also endorsed), Farah finally bailed on Hagee after his statement that Adolf Hitler was God's instrument to get the Jews back to the Middle East.

But it seems Hagee has done his time in WND's doghouse -- it's now selling Hagee's latest book, "Will America Survive?" The blurb for the book at WND's store states, "Carefully documented facts and powerful biblical teaching are the basis for the provocative claims and predictions outlined in this riveting book."

Hagee's book even got a fawning review from WND columnist Jim Fletcher (no stranger to slavishly parroting the WND corporate line), in which he slobbers that it's "a thoroughly absorbing book that reads almost like an action novel – the San Antonio pastor is clearly concerned for his home country. Hagee today is perhaps the quintessential prophetic pastor in America, a throwback not only to an early Billy Graham, or a Charles Finney, but also going all the way back to the fiery prophets of Judah."

Of course, the view from someone without a financial stake in selling the book has a somewhat different view. Ben Demiero at Media Matters details some of the craziness in Hagee's book that Fletcher and WND won't tell you about, such as:

  • Declaring "the very real fact that in the near future planet Earth is going to experience, on a specific day, global ecological disaster in which one-third of humanity will die."
  • Asserting that he on good authority from a "confidential source" that Al-Qaeda, working with Iran, is going to detonate nuclear weapons in seven American cities.
  • Stating as fact that "World War III is about to begin."
  • Insisting that anyone who criticizes his apocalyptic theories is simply more evidence that he is right.

It was worth Hagee getting back into WND's good graces for this?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 19, 2010 10:57 PM EDT
MRC Shoots the Messenger
Topic: Media Research Center

A Sept. 18 Media Research Center item (and NewsBusters post) by Brent Baker goes the shoot-the-messenger route in its continued protection of Republican Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell. In it, Baker dismisses Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington -- which has called for an investigation of O'Donnell for alleged "chronic abuse of campaign funds" -- as an "obviously liberal outfit" and "a left-wing organization staffed by veterans of Democratic congressional offices." Baker went on to huff that CREW's "Crooked Candidates 2010” list "features nine Republicans and just three Democrats, which suggests they are cover for the group's real agenda."

At no point does Baker make any effort to counter the charges CREW makes. This suggests once again that the MRC -- contrary to its demand for the media to "tell the truth" -- is much more interested in intimidating people from telling the truth when that truth is unfavorable to conservative candidates like O'Donnell.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 20, 2010 1:21 AM EDT
AIM Tirade: 'An Ecofascist Crescent Moon Near Ground Zero'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Last year, we noted an Accuracy in Media column by Mark Musser likening environmentalists to Nazis because, hey, Hitler was an environmentalist too.

Now, Musser is back to the same thing to Muslims. In a Sept. 15 AIM column headlined "An Ecofascist Crescent Moon Near Ground Zero," Musser takes the opportunity to riff on a claim that the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero would be a "green mosque" conforming with federal LEED standards to claim that "injecting environmentalism into Islam is hardly uncontroversial" because 'Both Islam and environmentalism loathe western financial institutions, all of which was best represented by the Twin Towers—the bastion of international free trade—before they came crashing down in flames on 9/11." Musser continues:

That environmental regulations have already played a large role in stalling the rebuilding of Ground Zero is not something that should go unnoticed, especially now with a green mosque going up nearby.

Blending environmentalism with Islam can only serve to strengthen the totalitarian ideals of the green movement. With modern environmentalism’s fixation on ecological holism that strictly views people and their economic activities as expendable, unbalanced, unsustainable and cancerous—this will only be greatly bolstered and strengthened by the totalitarian will of Allah. If modern western man is way out of line with regard to the environmental movement, just think what it will mean when Allah enters into the equation.

Musser seems to be trying to make a living smearing environmentalists with the worst smears he can think of. The fact that his most prominent media outlet for such smears is AIM suggets it's not much of a living.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:00 AM EDT
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Graham Rushes to D'Souza's Defense
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham uses a Sept. 17 NewsBusters post to defend Dinesh D'Souza's bizarre, error-ridden attack on President Obama in Forbes magazine, in which D'Souza declares that Obama's policies should be understood as a manifestation of his African father's "hatred of the colonial system." Graham's defense, though, is less about addressing anything D'Souza says and more about attacking the article's critics.

After the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz took D'Souza to task for highlighting Obama's upbringing "off the American mainland, in Hawaii" by noting that Hawaii "may be off the American mainland, but it is hardly out of the American mainstream," Graham huffed:

This is again, not a "fact," but a spin. Hawaii is clearly more than 2500 miles form the mainland. As much fun as reporters make of hicks in Kentucky or Alabama, suggesting they are out of the mainstream, it's just as fair game to question the "mainstream" cultural viewpoint of Hawaii. If the red states are "less than cosmopolitan," the blue states are "less than nationalistic."

When Kurtz highlighted the Columbia Journalism Review's criticism of D'Souza's piece, Graham didn't address any of those criticisms but instead retorted, "The Columbia Journalism Review is a left-wing rag." His evidence? The same CJR writer also criticized Rick Santelli's tea party-inspiring rant as, in Graham's word, "comical." No, Graham doesn't address anything the CJR writer actually said there, either.

Graham seems not to understand that ad hominem attacks are not actual media criticism.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 AM EDT
Floyd Brown's Impeachment Tirade
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept 16 WorldNetDaily article by Joe Kovacs describes in its full glory Western Journalism Center chief Floyd Brown's tirade at WND's "Taking Back America" conference that President Obama should be impeached:

"The Obama presidency is a disease," said Brown. "Article 2, Section 4 (the impeachment clause of the Constitution) is the cure. And it's Obama's hatred of America that makes it absolutely imperative that we take action now."

"Barack Hussein Obama is not some do-gooder that has had his plans go astray," Brown added. "He is not a person of good will just trying his best to make America go the right direction. He is not. Barack Hussein Obama is a liar that absolutely knows what he's doing to the United States of America. He has a plan. He has an agenda. This man knows exactly where he's taking us."

A political innovator, writer and speaker, Brown is now running an online campaign to impeach the president.

"Barack Obama is a very dangerous man," said Brown. "Over the last two years, we have been watching the slow progression of what I call a bloodless coup."

Read all about the grounds for impeachment.

"For the international socialist movement of which Barack Obama is a card-carrying member," he added, "the U.S. must be brought to its knees, and I guarantee you that Barack Hussein Obama is doing everything he can to bring the country to its knees. He wants to bring it to its knees."


"Obama hates Christianity," Brown declared. "He is a Muslim. Others will say he's just a godless atheist. The bottom line is that this man hates Christianity."

He said at Georgetown University, Obama forced the school to cover the name of Jesus on the podium, and he paraphrased the president's comments suggesting the U.S. was no longer a Christian nation, but could now be considered a Muslim nation.

"Whatever we once were, we're no longer a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of non-believers," Obama stated.

"He said it!" exclaimed Brown. "Have you read about it in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Wall Street Journal? There is a conspiracy of silence in the mainstream media to cover up this man's hatred of Christianity."

He quoted American leaders of the past, including President Andrew Jackson, who called the Bible "the rock upon which our republic rests," and Patrick Henry, who said, "It is when a people forget God, that tyrants forge their chains."

"Obama is that tyrant and he's working that anvil right now of forging our chains," said Brown.

We've picked up a copy of the recently released WJC book "A Case For Impeachment" -- written in the same tone and factual veracity as Brown's tirade -- and we'll be writing about it shortly.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 AM EDT
Friday, September 17, 2010
CNS' Gotcha Interview of Holdren
Topic:, on top of their gotcha FOIA requests, has a new gotcha tactic: plucking a random quote of a book by a liberal, then ambushing them with it.

Here's how this worked in a Sept. 16 CNS article by Nicholas Ballasy, in which the victim was longtimeright-wing target John Holdren: asked Holdren about this passage on Tuesday after he participated in an Environmental Protection Agency forum celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act. asked: “You wrote ‘a massive campaign must be launched to restore a high quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States’ in your book Human Ecology. Could you explain what you meant by de-develop the United States?”

Holdren responded: “What we meant by that was stopping the kinds of activities that are destroying the environment and replacing them with activities that would produce both prosperity and environmental quality. Thanks a lot.” then asked: “And how do you plan on implementing that?”

“Through the free market economy,” Holdren said.

As Media Matters notes, this quote was plucked from a book Holdren co-wrote in 1973 -- nearly 40 years ago -- and was asked apropos of nothing.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:28 PM EDT
NewsBusters Promotes Unsubstantiated Quote
Topic: NewsBusters

Melissa Clouthier turns NewsBusters into a supermarket tabloid for a Sept. 16 post, pouncing on a claim that Michelle Obama told French first lady Carla Bruni that life in the White House is "hell":

It's tough being the wife of the most powerful man in the world, just ask Michelle Obama. Carla Bruni, who seemed to reveal her distaste for the First Lady in previous pictures, reveals Michelle's whiny comments in her recent book [Aside: why is a sitting world leader's spouse writing a tell-all? What tawdriness.]

Well, of course the job is difficult-prepared meals, jet-setting, specially designed clothes, lecturing the American people on eating apples is exhausting work.

Also, it's awful. Not out-of-a-job awful. Not repo awful. Not foreclosure awful. Not hungry awful. But, yeah, being First Lady is awful.

Michelle Obama and that husband of her's just don't quite cast an empathetic image, do they?


When an entitled person feels perpetually ripped off, they tend to feel less empathy for those they perceive as ripping them off. So, that lack of empathy; that attitude of being put-upon? That's genuine no matter how the lib press wants to rationalize it away.


Michelle Obama is not burdened. The woman doesn't know from burden. And Barack Obama is not mis-perceived by the American people. They are seeing his cold nature for what it is: hard hearted. No amount of fawning press can obscure what is becoming more obvious.

Apparently, this story provided so perfect an opportunity for Clouthier to spew her hate that she couldn't be bothered to check the facts.

And what are those facts? Both Obama and Bruni deny the statement was made, and the claim comes from an unauthorized biography, not from Bruni herself. The report Clouthier is quoting comes from a British tabloid, not from an American publication.

Apparently, the MRC's "Tell the Truth" campaign doesn't apply to itself.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:10 AM EDT
MRC Launches Campaign to Bully Media
Topic: Media Research Center

All week, the Media Research Center had been teasing a "major announcement" by Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center. Well, it finally happened on Sept. 15 via webcast. The MRC has not seen fit to put up the video of the announcement, but we watched it and took notes.

The "major announcement," presented as Bozell was fake-interviewed by CNS' Terry Jeffrey, really isn't all that major: this year's version of the "Tell the Truth" campaign it has previously run.Bozell began by claiming he doesn't want a conservative media, he just wants balance. And toget that, he plans to orchestrate "the most public display of national outrage you've ever seen" over the so-called "liberal media," which includes signs to be given out at tea party rallies as well as moving billboards they plan to drive around the headquarters of the various networks. The Twitter feed of the MRC's Brent Baker has a picture of one of the moving billboards outside MRC headquarters.

The ultimate goal of the campaign, Bozell said, is to have the media make one of two choices -- continue this and go out of business, or go back to real journalism.

We've previously noted the MRC's 2004 campaign, in which the goal wasn't to get the media to "tell the truth" at all but, rather, to bully the media into repeating conservative talking points. Indeed, that appears to be the goal here as well.

A Sept. 16 MRC press release illustrates this bullying approach. It highlights five quotes regarding new Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell that Bozell portrays as "mudsliging at its ugliest. Pure character assassination." Bozell goes on to harangue: "These networks have never treated a viable Democratic candidate with this level of contempt. How dare they lecture anyone on manners or decency ever again."

Of the five quotes Bozell cites, two are news reports quoting the state Republican chairman in Delaware calling O'Donnell a liar who couldn't get elected dog catcher. A third is a news report stating, "Democratic officials are gleeful and called her an ultra right wing extremist." That is a fact, and the state Republican chairman's statement is a fact. At no point does Bozell dispute the accuracy of this.

What Bozell is doing is relabeling facts as smears in order to intimidate the media into not reporting them.

The other two are statements by Mike Barnicle and Joy Behar -- commentators who expressing opinions, not reporters fowarding news.

It seems that Bozell wants only positive coverage of Tea Party candidates. That's not telling the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 17, 2010 12:36 AM EDT
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Jack Cashill's Double Standard on Violent Nutcases
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill's Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column is devoting to grousing that the media has ignored that a student who slashed the throat of a Kansas community college president "seems to have absorbed just about every animus in the left-wing ether: environmental extremism, radical Islam, anti-capitalism, anti-Zionism and Christophobia, among others." Cashill claimd that "comparable demons drove 'environmental activist' James Lee to storm the headquarters of the Discovery Broadcasting Channel. His inspiration too went largely unexamined." Cashill concluded that "For the last century or more, it is the progressive fever swamps that have nurtured most of the world's hate and virtually all of its violence, including, paradoxically, radical Islam."

But Cashill frets much less about violence with right-wing origins. As we've detailed, Cashill found nothing radical about Scott Roeder, convicted of murdering Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller in church -- in fact, Cashill praised Roeder for administering "frontier justice." And Cashill has repeatedly served as apologist for Steven Nary, convicted of killing a gay man, by demonizing the victim and ignoring incriminating evidence against Nary.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 PM EDT

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