Note to Gainor: Right-Wingers Hate Science and Children, Too Topic: Media Research Center
In an Oct. 4 column headlined "Left Hates Science and Children," the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor portrays questions about vaccines as a partisan issue, suggesting that only liberals such as Robert Kennedy Jr. and Jenny McCarthy are promoting the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. (Gainor never actually proves that McCarthy is liberal; he lumps her in because she's a "Hollywood celeb" who is a "former Playboy model and TV personality.")
But Gainor is ignoring one of the biggest promoters of anti-vaccine scaremongering: the most-definitely-not-liberal WorldNetDaily.
As we've detailed, WND has repeatedly pushed the vaccine-autism link and touting the anti-vaccine American Physicians and Surgeons (also not a liberal group). When the 1998 Lancet article making a vaccine article link was retracted earlier this year, WND did no original article on it; when WND columnist Phil Elmore wrote a column highlighting the retraction, it also published a letter to the editor calling Elmore's column "not convincing" and railing against "filling my babies with pharmaceutical junk."
If only Gainor was as concerned about what his fellow right-wingers are saying as he is about isolated liberals -- especially when they're saying the same exact thing. One might even call that a double standard.
The Media Research Center's hostility to the truth continues -- despite its demand of others to "Tell the Truth" -- as Oliver Willis catches the MRC's Scott Whitlock attacking ABC's George Stephanopoulos for reporting the results of a poll suggesting the tea party movement may be "losing traction."
Willis points out that Stephanopoulos accurately reported this fact. So Whitlock was bashing Stephanopoulos for reporting a fact.
WND Again Bashes Gibbs For Not Answering Question That Wasn't Asked Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's nonsensical strategy of attacking White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for not answering questions that weren't asked resurfaces in an Oct. 4 WND article:
The same day that Rush Limbaugh identified Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs as "Robert Fibs," a key question about White House reaction to a University of Chicago vote to deny longtime Obama buddy Bill Ayers emeritus status went unanswered.
That's because Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House and the second-most senior reporter on the beat behind Connie Lawn, wasn't recognized for any questions.
As before WND provides no evidence that Gibbs deliberately avoided calling on Kinsolving because he knew Kinsolving was going to ask that question, so there is no logical basis on which to bash Gibbs for not answering it.
The article also states that "Kinsolving has confirmed that the exclusion he's dealt with from Gibbs is the worst treatment from any of the 14 presidential press secretaries with whom he's worked." It doesn't explain that Kinsolving complained about alleged mistreatment from White House press secretaries before -- the most recent example of which prompted WND to throw a passive-aggressive temper tantrum and a short-lived protest.
Then again, given his long history of slanted and irrelevant questions, Kinsolving has not exactly demonstrated that he he deserves to be called on at any press conference, not just White House briefings.
Newsmax Still Defending Bernard Kerik Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax, it seems, just can't let go of its favorite -- and failed -- rehab project.
An Oct. 5 article by Jim Meyers recounts the appeal by Bernard Kerik of his prison sentence for corruption. Kerik, if you'llrecall, is the formerNew York police chief whose image Newsmax worked hard to burnish, only to be foiled when Kerik pleaded guilty to the corruption charges and was sentenced to prison.
Meyers uncritically repeats the claims in Kerik's appeal, which apparently focuses largely on attacking the judge presiding over his case, Stephen Robinson. Kerik accuses Robinson of giving him a prison sentence that exceeded sentencing guidelines, and according to Meyers, Kerik "paints a picture of Robinson as abusive, bullying, and sometimes erratic."
As before, Meyers glosses over the particulars of Kerik's offenses, suggesting that Kerik pleaded guilty to only "minor charges." For the record, here's what the U.S. Attorney's Office that prosecuted Kerik had to say:
KERIK pleaded guilty before United States District Judge STEPHEN C. ROBINSON to: one count of obstructing and impeding the due administration of the internal revenue laws from 1999 to 2007, one count of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return (for the 2000 tax year), one count of making a false statement on a loan application, and five counts of making false statements to the federal government. Two of the false statement counts – the two counts that KERIK also agreed to transfer to White Plains from Washington, D.C. – relate to materially false statements that KERIK made to White House officials vetting him for the position of Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
At today’s plea hearing, KERIK admitted, among other things, that in 1999 and 2000 he received substantial renovations to his Riverdale apartment through Interstate (a metropolitan area-contractor) and conceded that Interstate paid approximately $255,000 for the renovations. KERIK also admitted that around the same time, he contacted New York City regulators concerning Interstate. KERIK further admitted that he failed to report the value of the renovations he received through Interstate on his federal tax returns. And KERIK admitted that he made false statements to the White House concerning the renovations he received on his Riverdale apartment and his relationship with Interstate when he was being vetted for the position of Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Meyers uncritically asserts that "Robinson capriciously ordered Kerik’s legal defense fund and the website for his defense to be shut down" without explaining that the shutdown was precipitated by the head of the defense fund being accused of leaking sealed information from the case to a newspaper.
Since Meyers is in stenography mode, me makes no apparent effort to seek out the other side of the story by talking to the judge or prosecutors.
Joseph Farah kicks off his Oct. 5 WorldNetDaily column bashing "a blogger I have never met or heard of or talked to in my life" because he had the temerity to claim that Farah owned Ann Coulter an apology over the GOProud imbroglio.
Farah went on to claim that he handled the whole thing "without any invective, any rash charges or ad hominem attacks." He seems to have forgotten about the part where he declared that gays are worse than the KKK.
ConWeb Flip-Flops on Kagan Recusals Topic: Newsmax
The Obama administration just can't win in the ConWeb.
We noted that during the Elena Kagan confirmation process CNSNews.com published an article fretting that Kagan might not recuse herself from cases involving health care ifshe made it to bench. CNS published otherarticles speculating about whether she would recuse herself from cases she was involved with while working as Obama's solicitor general.
Now Kagan's on the bench, the new Supreme Court session has begun, and what is the ConWeb worried about? That Kagan is recusing herself from too many cases!
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has decided to step down from participating in nearly half of the 51 cases the court has agreed to review this term because of potential conflicts of interest.
The news that Kagan will bow out of an unexpectedly large number of cases sent attorneys and legal scholars scrambling as the first day of the court's new term began Monday. Observers are trying to determine how major case law could be affected by not having a ninth justice on the bench for as many of the 25 cases that the court has agreed to hear so far this year.
The court is expected to agree to hear another 25 to 35 cases this term, and it is possible that Kagan will recuse herself from some of those cases as well.
Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice who has argued several cases before the Supreme Court, tells Newsmax, "The ramifications of this recusal could be significant for a generation."
He added: "I think this is fraught with disaster, as far as getting definitive opinions out of the Supreme Court of the United States. I think it's going to make it very difficult."
Chicago attorney and Fox News contributor Tamara N. Holder says for one justice to generate so many recusals is extraordinary. "It's good that she's recusing herself if there's a real conflict," Holder tells Newsmax. "But this many seems like a bit much. How can anyone be that conflicted? Is she overly cautious to the point of insecurity or is this the right move so as to avoid scrutiny with the final decision?"
No matter what Obama or his administration or any of his appointees does, the ConWeb will complain about it -- even if it contradicts previous criticism.
MRC Complains That Anti-Gay Activist Described As Anti-Gay Activist Topic: Media Research Center
When is being anti-gay not "anti-gay"? When the Media Research Center decrees it.
An Oct. 4 MRC item complains that a CNN documentary on right-wing video activists described Ryan Sorba as "anti-gay" -- never mind that being anti-gay is his stock in trade. How does Balan explain this away? By playing the ol' "behavior" card:
Boudreau gave brief introductions to all of her subjects at the beginning of the documentary. For Sorba, whom she introduced last, the CNN correspondent described him as "an anti-gay activist, not afraid to stir up controversy, and it seems to follow him wherever he goes." Thirty-four minutes later, Boudreau began her segment on Sorba, again using the "anti-gay" label to label a conference he attended as a speaker.
The "anti-gay" label applied to both Sorba and Americans for Truth implies they're driven by bigotry against homosexuals in general, when they are actually focused on opposing the agenda of left-wing homosexual activist groups, such as same-sex "marriage" and biased curriculum on homosexuality in public schools.
Boudreau's description that Sorba "denounced conservatives for allowing gays to attend" CPAC is also misleading. The activist specifically objected to how one organization, GOProud, was invited by CPAC's organizers to be a co-sponsor and an exhibitor. Many other social conservatives also objected to this invite, as GOProud endorses the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy forbidding open homosexuals from serving in the military and opposes a federal amendment defining marriage as being between one man and woman.
It's right-wing sleight-of-hand to split hairs between human beings and homosexual behavior -- in other words, there's a difference between what they do and who they are. It's how right-wingers justify discrimination against gays, never mind the unavoidable fact that when you attack behavior you also attack the person who is engaging in that behavior.
Sorba is, by all reasonable standards, anti-gay, as is Americans for Truth. So it looks like we have yet anotherexample of the MRC refusing to apply to itself the "Tell the Truth" standards it wants to push on others.
Ellis Washington Misses the Point Topic: WorldNetDaily
We're still trying to figure out what Ellis Washington's Oct. 2 WorldNetDaily column means. It seems to be about civil rights vs. constitutional rights and alleged confusion between the two. But Washington writes stuff like this:
Have civil rights devolved into pseudo constitutional rights? Are the civil-rights black people marched in the streets, fought, bled and died for during the 1950s-1980s equal to the civil rights that illegal aliens, radical feminists, pedophiles, same-sex marriages, homosexuals, Marxists unionists and animals now claim? Only if government separates legality from morality.
These and other thought provoking questions were raised by Mr. Milt Harris one of my colleagues on "Joshua's Trail," America's premiere radio show of black conservative thought.
Historically the concept of "civil rights" date to the ancient Roman Edit of Milan in 313 A.D. and greatly extended in the English Bill of Rights (1689). In the 1860s, Americans adapted this usage to newly freed blacks after slavery was outlawed. Congress enacted civil-rights acts in 1866, 1871, 1875, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1968 and 1991. However, for well over a century now, since the advent of the progressive movement in the early 1880s, radicals, progressives, socialists and liberal Democrats with their willing accomplices – socialist activist groups, legislator judges, the state-controlled media, trial lawyers, teachers unions and the academy – have so perverted the original intent of the Constitution framers as to make civil rights a potent form of pseudo-rights (for Democrat allies) that our original civil rights founded under natural law and natural rights are now essentially a dead letter.
For example, who can forget that iconic picture of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill signing ceremony with LBJ and MLK shaking hands? To most Americans that was one of our proudest moments in history, but few people were aware of Lyndon B. Johnson's Machiavellian motives behind pushing civil rights after spending more than 35 years of his career actively opposing black American's fight for equality.
Based on Milt's prescient critique of contemporary civil rights pushed by the Democrats to replace legitimate constitutional rights, I ask this question: Why did Dr. King and the civil-rights movement have to go begging to the federal government for civil rights when Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?
Our state-sponsored schools no longer teach our children that civil and political rights need not be codified to be protected, and democracies worldwide have written constitutions which guarantees natural, civil and political rights.
Washington seems not to understand that the civil rights laws of the 1960s did not explicitly grant rights -- they could not, since they are statutory and not constitutional. Rather, they codified a federal mechanism to protect and enforce those already-existing rights against decades of state and local laws and customs.
From there, Washington descends into an attack on Lyndon Johnson:
Therefore, it is with sadness and bitter irony that I must expose that iconic scene of LBJ and MLK signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, constitutionally speaking, as colossal and enduring sham liberal Democrats have perpetrated against MLK, the civil-rights movement and black America. Why? Because every black American already had these unalienable natural rights that were secured not by LBJ, MLK or the Constitution, but by God under natural law for eternity the moment they drew their first breath from their mother's womb!
On July 2, 1964, when LBJ, one of the most rabid foes of civil rights, arrogantly took all the credit as a civil-rights champion, exploited the JFK assassination, co-opted MLK and the civil-rights movement and duped most black Americans to foolishly believe that a little piece of paper LBJ had just signed granted them rights. It is tantamount to a politician stealing the keys to your house, letting others live in it for years, then calling a press conference to present the keys to your house back to you as the useful idiots in the audience give thunderous applause to the politician who stole and then returned the property of another.
Washington goes on to bizarrely suggest that the "Democrats" who allegedly "insisted that 'property' not be included as an unalienable right in the final draft of the Declaration of Independence as Jefferson originally intended" in order to "preserve slavery" are the direct ancestors of today's Democrats. In fact, the modern Democratic Party dates only to the 1830s; there were no political parties in America at the time of the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. Further, according to Wikipedia, replacing "property" with "the pursuit of happiness" was apparently Jefferson's idea.
Of course, Washington has gotten things flamboyantly wrong before. No wonder he can't seem to hold a full-time job.
CNS Columnist Offended Police Dog Treated As Hero Topic: CNSNews.com
Recently, a police dog in Fort Myers, Florida, was accorded full honors commensurate with a fallen officer. The ceremony was held in a local Baptist Church. The service included speakers, a 21 gun salute, Taps and a presentation of the American flag to the animal’s keeper. Other area police departments joined in the service and formed an honor guard as Rosco, a four-year-old German shepherd was, as the media reported, “laid to rest.”
Rosco was killed by an armed suspect during a shootout with police. The teenage male suspect was also killed.
In former times the loss of a member of the canine corps would perhaps have been mentioned in reporting the incident. It may have even led to a spin off human interest story of how these dogs are chosen for the job and how they are trained. The real story, however, would have been the tragedy of the young man losing his life and how such tragedies could be avoided in the future.
Dogs, like Rosco, are trained to do certain things to protect humans, because the life of a dog is of limited value compared to the infinite value of the human person. This is due to the fact that humans have reason. This rationality confers on us freedom, as well as rights and responsibilities. A dog can lay claim to none of these.
In light of this, the designation of ‘hero’ can only be applied to a person, since the action applauded by society is one that had been reflected upon and done through free will. A dog like Rosco is not free. He did not choose his job. He is simply conditioned to react in a certain way. There is no altruism exercised. Animals operate on reward and punishment.
Rosco undoubtedly received treats during his training for good performance, which was his sole source of motivation. In no way could he weigh the consequences of intervening on behalf of his human handler.
No doubt Rosco was a fine animal, but that is where the accolades should end. The events honoring him were an affront to human dignity. They have cheapened human life and the sacrifices our law enforcement officers make on our behalf. Unless this nonsense stops, one can only say, our society has ‘gone to the dogs.
-- Rev. Michael P. Orsi, Oct. 4 CNSNews.com column
Farah Whines Again About Birther Coverage Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is it time for Joseph Farah to whineabout coverage of the birther movement in news outlets other than his own? Heck, it's always time for that. From Farah's Oct. 1 WorldNetDaily column:
Here's a recent example from the State, a daily in Columbia, S.C.: "The so-called 'birther movement' has questioned the president's citizenship, claiming Obama's birth certificate, issued by the state of Hawaii is a fake."
The paper uses the derisive term "birther movement," the appellation of choice by those who ridicule the curious constitutionalists. The paper suggests the focus of this movement representing 58 percent of the American people, according to the latest CNN poll, is "citizenship," when it is actually "natural born citizenship." The paper suggests a birth certificate has been produced by the state of Hawaii when it hasn't been. And the paper suggests the primary dispute is over whether this unseen document is a fake.
This is but one of hundreds of examples of this kind of distorted press coverage by news agencies big and small all making assertions that are untrue and contemptuous.
This pattern raises two questions in my mind:
Why don't any of these news sources – newspapers, wire services and television networks – bother to talk to anyone from this "movement"?
From where do they get their information, their impressions, their "facts"?
I have practiced the profession of journalism for 35 years. I've never done anything else since becoming an adult. I have literally done everything you can do in the world of daily journalism, from reporting to running major market newspapers. It was always my impression that we were supposed to interview the people we wrote about. But, in the case of the so-called "birthers," or, as I like to put it, the "curious constitutionalists," it seems to be fair game to stereotype their beliefs with broad brush treatment and, most importantly, never to talk to them.
Farah, as always, is being disingenuous. He knows darn well that one significant component of the birther movement is citizenship; it's only been in recent months that he has changed the focus of his jihad from citizenship to "eligibility."Even Farah isn't so stupid to claim WND has never questioned Obama's citizenship and the authenticity of the birth certificate the Obama campaign released, because it has.
Farah's complaint that birthers like him are never contacted for media interviews is also disingenuous. It's not like anyone is barred from reading WND's articles on the issue -- it even conveniently puts them into one place. Plus, telling both sides of the story is not exactly a journalistic virtue WND is known for.
Nevertheless, Farah trudges on:
One mischaracterization leads to another. One factual error leads to another. One derisive term leads to another.
This is actually counterfeit journalism – with each new story on a subject deriving its assertions of "fact" from another.
Farah and WND know all about publishing factual errors, don't they?
CNSNews.com's obsession with body counts of U.S. troops in Afghanistan continues with a Sept. 30 article by Edwin Mora touting how "September 2010 has been the deadliest September yet for U.S. troops in the 9-year-long war in Afghanistan as U.S. troops continued to be killed at a pace of slightly higher than one a day during the Obama presidency."
Mora carefully avoids any mention of the U.S. death toll in Iraq, which dwarfs the current Iraq numbers. The 38 total casualties he tallies in September is less than one-third of the casualties in the deadliest months of the war in Iraq.
And yes, we're still pretty sure that CNS did not have this same body-count obsession when a Republican was president and the main operation was in Iraq.
NewsBusters Keeps Up Defense of Fox News Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center's last round of defending Fox News was over its corporate parent's $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association. That line of non-reasoning continues in an Oct. 1 NewsBusters post by Lachlan Markay, who insists that "News Corp's political activities have no demonstrable effect on the company's news subsidiaries - no one has been able to point to any instance of such interplay."
Markay also misses the point by pretending to be shocked that Rep. Maxine Waters, given News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch's support for "comprehensive immigration reform (i.e. amnesty)," "is suggesting that Murdoch discard any appearance of separation between News Corp's political preferences and its media activities, and begin promoting a political cause not only through the activities of the parent company, but by pushing that cause under the guise of news at News Corp's media holdings." After all, that's what Fox News already does, as reflected by its RGA donation and a subsequent $1 million donation to the Republican-supporting U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Markay harrumphs: "Liberals are just fine if Fox pushes its corporate parent's political leanings, so long as those leanings are to the left. They should drop the pretense of concern for the neutrality of News Corp's reporting operations and admit it: their objections are nakedly partisan." When will Markay admit that Fox News is nakedly partisan.
An Oct. 2 post by Jeff Poor touts how Charles Krauthammer "takes on" a talk-show panel over Fox News, weirdly claiming that the undisputable fact that Fox news is "a political outlet for Republicans" is nothing more than a "left-wing meme." Poor also whines that the panelists on the show were "ganging up on the lone conservative and often attacking the Fox News Channel or other conservative media outlets like talk radio."
Newsmax Tosses Softballs to D'Souza Topic: Newsmax
An Oct. 1 Newsmax article by David Patten carries the headline 'Author D'Souza Rebuts Critics of His Obama 'Roots' Book." In fact, Dinesh D'Souza does no such rebutting -- he merely rehashes his silly theory that President Obama is motivated by anti-colonialism.
In the accompanying video, interviewer Patten makes no effort to bring up the numerous questions of accuracy that have been raised about D'Souza's book "The Roots of Obama's Rage"; he merely tosses softballs that let D'Souza prattle on about his theory.
Patten even cues up false information, at one point claiming that "almost the first thing" Obama did upon taking office was remove a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office, which allowed D’Souza to spew his fantasy that Obama returned the bust as revenge for his paternal grandfather being tortured by British soldiers during the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya in the 1950s. This completely ignores the fact that Obama had nothing to do with its return -- it was already scheduled to return to Britain at the end of the Bush administration.
As we've already detailed, Patten is a lousy reporter who is interested only in peddling conservative talking points, so it's no surprise that he would give D'Souza the softball treatment. The sad thing is that Newsmax apparently thinks it can build a journalism brand on such sycophancy.
WND Gives O'Keefe Benefit of the Doubt Topic: WorldNetDaily
Pretty much nobody is supporting James O'Keefe in the wake of his weird, creepy attempted stunt against CNN -- even the Media Research Center was quick to bail on him -- but leave it to WorldNetDaily to give him the benefit of the doubt.
A day after the MRC's abandonment, a Sept. 30 WND article parroted O'Keefe's defense, that he found "highly objectionable and inappropriate" the "work product" of his organization, Project Veritas, that would have had him set up a "pleasure palace" on a boat, where he would try to seduce a female CNN producer.
This came a couple days after WND was touting a CNN documentary on O'Keefe and other right-wing filmmakers. WND described one, Ryan Sorba, as someone who "reveals the truth about the homosexual lifestyle"; if expressing unbridled hatred for gays equals "revealing the truth about the homosexual lifestyle" in WND's eyes, then there's something wrong with WND's definition of journalism, as its willingness to soft-pedal O'Keefe's transgressions demonstrates.
Heck, even O'Keefe's patron, Andrew Breitbart, has (belatedly) turned his back on him, saying O'Keefe owes an explanation for the stunt to his supporters.
Will WND demand an explanation too, or will it continue to blindly defend him?
A Sept. 30 WND column by Franklin Raff gives it a shot by defending the honor not only of the Confederate battle flag but the Ole Miss antebellum mascot Colonel Reb as legitimate symbols as "sacred and most benign symbols of Southern heritage" that are being abandoned by Southerners who "admit a deeper commitment to ignore and let others define, their past."
Raff feels he needs to gloss over the whole slavery thing:
All Americans understand that scores of Union soldiers fought proudly and honorably "to free the slaves," but now Southerners seem to have started to believe, en masse, that their Confederate ancestors raised their battle flag "to defend the institution of slavery." In fact only a miniscule percentage – I have seen estimates lower than 2 percent – of Confederate soldiers were members of slave-owning families, lived or worked on plantations, or were otherwise part of the "antebellum" life painted by Hollywood. Anyone who knows their history knows exactly what most Confederate officers would have told you in the field: "We have no desire for conquest and, as clearly stated by our political leaders, every wish for national reconciliation. The Confederate battle flag represents the fighting spirit of the citizens of these states who are proudly and patriotically rebelling against a central government which has become tyrannical."
Raff complains further how Southerners are running away from their own heritage:
The long, arduous road toward national reconciliation and equal rights need never have included cultural annihilation: historical, symbolic or otherwise. Yet that is what Southerners face today, and it is their own fault.
By failing to educate their children, or by allowing others to mis-educate their children, and as evidenced by their willingness to repeatedly allow the definition of their cultural symbols – from the Confederate battle flag down to a bow-tied, fancified Southern colonel in a funny suit – as symbols of "hate," they are ultimately, finally, characterizing their forebears – soldiers, yes, along with doctors, lawyers, philosophers, scientists, and farmers, free blacks (including slave-owners), businessmen and politicians (many of whom were abolitionists) – universally, as the simple, hateful hicks federal propagandists once made them out to be.
Raff concludes by claiming the ancestors of modern-day Southerners will confront them and whine much like he is about how they have "willingly disgraced not just this cause – which might have been understandable given the terrible complexity of the time – but you have also disgraced almost every vestige of our memory, corrupting even the flags on our graves."
Raff's end-of-column tagline curiously describes him only as "a Virginian" who "lives in Mount Vernon, Va., and Jerusalem, Israel." In fact, Raff is the producer of convicted felon and domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy's radio show (where WND editor Joseph Farah occasionallyserves as a guest host) and runs a radio marketing and production operation.