Newsmax Wants Scott's Unsavory Past to Disappear, Despite Previously Attacking It Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has painted itself in a bit of a corner: It spent most of the summer campaigning for a candidate in a Republican primary that didn't win, and now it has to figure out how to champion a candidate it spent months bashing.
As we've detailed, Newsmax threw what little weight it had behind Bill McCollum for the Republican nomination for Florida governor, but he lost to Rick Scott, whom Newsmax repeatedly demonized as participating in "the largest ripoff of taxpayers in the history of Medicare and Medicaid" while heading a hospital firm in the 1990s.
So how does Newsmax deal with Scott now? Through the time-honored way of not explicitly promoting him and attacking his Democratic opponent, Alex Sink.
That's what Jim Meyers does in an Oct. 13 article headlined "Who Is Alex Sink?" Meyers asserts that Sink,currently the state's CFO, has "a woeful record of acting as steward over public and private financial institutions." But those attacks are misleading.
Meyers appears to blames Sink for the fact that "audits dating back to 2000" warned of "risky, unregulated investments" by the state employee pension fund, even though Sink had not been elected to the CFO position until 2006.
Meyers also wrote that "Sink has also come under fire for authorizing convicted felons to sell insurance in Florida," but he did not mention, as others did, that they amounted to a dozen out of the more than half-million insurance licenses in the state.
Then, Meyers repeats a claim by the Scott campaign that the bank Sink used to work for "was investigated and fined millions of dollars for fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission" -- but makes no mention of Scott's involvement in defrauding the government.
Now that it has no choice to offer at least tacit support for Scott, Newsmax apparently intends to make sure his unsavory past goes down the memory hole.
NewsBusters Busted By Fellow Right-Winger Topic: NewsBusters
You know you've screwed up when your fellow ideologues feel moved to correct you.
NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein, in writing about a discussion on "Morning Joe" of the Delaware Senate debate between Democrat Chris Coons and Republican Christine O'Donnell, asserted that MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell "referred to the Delaware Senate candidate as a 'freak show.'"
Except that she didn't. And issuing the correction was none other than Glenn Beck's website, The Blaze:
However, the comment may not be that clear cut. It appears the Norah initially described the entire race as a freak show. However, her comments and reaction afterward raise questions as to whether the statement might have been directed at Christine in particular.
Oops! Then again, this is a guy who thinks every checkered scarf is a show of Palestinian support, so Finkelstein seems quite accustoming to seeing things nobody else does.
As we detail over at Media Matters, Newsmax is apparently hosting the website for Morris' new group, Super PAC for America. The WHOIS file for the website's domain gives a Newsmax phone number and email address as contacts (though the person named as a contact is conservative lawyer Cleta Mitchell, who does not appear to be a Newsmax employee), and the site's favicon is the same blue N used by Newsmax.
We haven't seen any stories on Morris' PAC at Newsmax, but even if there weren't any, providing even technical services to a partisan organization pretty much eliminates any pretense Newsmax may have had to fairness as a news organization -- and all the more so for failing to disclose its involvement with the PAC to its readers.
Giving positive coverage to Morris' PAC is one thing (and, arguably, expected from Newsmax); hosting its website is something else entirely.
WorldNetDaily is still in full-on victim mode in the Johnathon Irish custody case, obsessing over the Oath Keepers aspect and essentially ignoring the child abuse part.
An Oct. 14 WND article by Bob Unruh touts how Oath Keepers sent a letter to the New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth and Family complaining about Irish's membership in the group being cited as a reason for the state to take the child. Unruh's repetition of the Oath Keepers' complaint that "the political affiliations of the parents have no business being cited in an affidavit alleging possible child abuse or neglect," and his later quoting of a statement that Oath Keepers members "have seen first-hand the heart-rending abuse that children can suffer at the hands of dysfunctional adults. It is to prevent such abuse that child protective services is given great latitude and power" are his only references to the abuse aspect of the case, which Unruh has never gone into significant detail about.
Instead, he obliquely states that WND "has confirmed there are other allegations and issues included in the charging document, a copy of which has been posted at Oath Keepers with blocks of information unrelated to the Oath Keepers allegation redacted."
Unruh clearly has no interest in delving into those "allegations and issues" -- Irish is WND's new poster child!
In his shilling for Oath Keepers, Unruh describes the group as one that "charges its members with following the U.S. Constitution and protecting the American life and American people," uncritically repeats Oath Keepers' claims that "they do not constitute a militia" and gives plenty of spaceto Oath Keepers defending the group.
Unmentioned are some of the more conspiratorial beliefs of the group, such as fearmongering about the government turning cities into "giant concentration camps." The New York Times has reported that Oath Keepers plays a role in a "resurgent militia movement," and has been "recruiting at Tea Party events around the country and forging informal ties with militia groups."
WND itself has promoted the anti-Obama aspect of the group, quoting Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes -- whom Unruh prominently features in his articles -- stating that "fears crystallized when Obama took office and suddenly had access to the accumulated power" and that "WND already has reported on several members of the U.S. military who have raised concerns about the implications of Obama's possible ineligibility to be commander-in-chief."
Unruh is studiously toeing the WND agenda -- condoning child abuse and hiding the facts about a militia-linked group.
UPDATE: A new article by Unruh noting the baby has been returned to the parents misleadingly claims the child was "snatched from her parents' custody a week ago when her father was accused of being an 'Oath Keeper.'" Unruh writes that "According to WND sources close to the case, the accusations against the father ... have been dropped" -- but he never mentions what those accusations were -- you know, abuse -- despite the fact that they are central to the story.
It's a bit strange that two ConWeb editors issued columns on the same day defending New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino's anti-gay remarks -- remarks for which he has apologized.
CNSNews.com editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey proclaimed that "Paladino spoke the truth about homosexual behavior," insisting that "For modern American liberals, there is no greater sin than to publicly express the view that there may be something wrong with homosexual activity and that children should not be taught to consider homosexual behavior morally equal to chastity and marriage." Jeffrey continues:
No prominent politician who questions the wholesomeness of same-sex sex can escape a vicious beating by the liberal elite—because these beatings serve a strategic purpose. They are designed to intimidate good people out of seeking political office and sticking up for the truth. They are designed to uproot the laws and norms of our society from the immutable natural law that is the true foundation of our freedom. They are designed to destroy truth and promote a lie.
To permanently establish their new society, the liberal elite must teach other peoples’ children that killing unborn children and same-sex marriages are morally correct and that the natural law, Biblical morality and more than 2,000 years of Western tradition are wrong.
That is why the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has ruled that parents cannot opt their kindergarteners out of Massachusetts public-schools classes that teach 5-year-olds that same-sex marriage is a good thing. That is why a federal judge in San Francisco—in ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right—declared that children do not need both mothers and fathers and do just as well being raised by same-sex couples.
And that is why Carl Paladino needed to be pummeled for defending the traditional family in an Orthodox synagogue.
WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah, meanwhile, was just as hateful in asserting that Paladino's remarks were "perfectly reasonable" (italics his):
Paladino doesn't want kids "brainwashed," he said. Most people don't realize that is exactly what happens in many or most public schools when it comes to homosexuality. Kids are taught values that would be anathema to their parents if they only knew what was happening. That's what Paladino was saying. He said there is an ugly, revolting side to the "gay rights" movement. That is undeniably true. When candidates boast about taking their kids to "gay pride parades," you have to wonder about their sanity. These are spectacles that could never be aired in their entirety on television because of obscenity laws.
The overwhelming number of Americans reject special privileges for people based on their sexual proclivities. That's a fact. The overwhelming number of Americans reject same-sex marriage. That's a fact.
But the overwhelming number of media people do not. And, the overwhelming number of Democratic politicians, whether they admit it or not, do support those things. And both seek to portray the majority opinion as fringe.
Do you want your children to be indoctrinated into believing that homosexuality is just as right as heterosexuality? Do you want them to believe they cannot resist the temptations of homosexuality? Do you want them to believe God doesn't care how they behave sexually – or worse yet that God wants them to do whatever feels right to them?
That's what is at stake in this debate.
Right and wrong.
Both CNS and WND are not exactly gay-friendly, so this was sadly predictable.
It wouldn't be Joseph Farah if he wasn't playing the victim and engaging in baseless conspiracy-mongering, and that's what Farah does in his Oct. 11 column:
Here we go again.
I've been through this nightmare before.
Any day now, you can expect to begin hearing that dozens of groups and individuals critical of Barack Obama and his policies have been subjected to Internal Revenue Service audits.
That's the way it happened during the last Democratic presidential administration. And this one is, if anything, more desperate, more ruthless and more cunning that the one run by Bill Clinton.
The evidence for my prediction is this: Administration officials, political appointees, are already accessing confidential tax information on Obama's critics.
In a late August conference call with reporters, Austan Goolsbee, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, let it slip that he knew more than he should about the tax structure of Koch Industries, one of the primary funders of tea-party activity, including Dick Armey's FreedomWorks.
As a result, the treasury inspector general for tax administration plans to review what Goolsbee knew and how he knew it.
With a Republican midterm election landslide in the making, Democratic lawmakers are already demanding the IRS crack down on those paying for ads attacking them.
This is the way it starts.
I know because I've been there.
Farah has let his darkly vivid imagination run away with him yet again. In fact, Goolsbee did not "know more than he should about the tax structure of Koch Industries"; as Politico notes, all the information about Koch's tax structure was taken from publicly available sources, including Koch's own website.
Nevertheless, this gives Farah an opportunity to play his victim card and whine yet again how his Western Journalism Center was the subject of an IRS audit in the 1990s, just like "Every group and individual that made it onto Bill Clinton's radar screen by being critical of his administration." To do so, of course, Farah has to ignore the fact that, as we noted, a joint congressional committee in 2000 found no credible evidence that the IRS was biased against anti-Clinton groups.
Farah then asserted: "Obama is a true disciple of Saul Alinsky, and he won't hesitate to use quasi-legal and extra-legal means to go after his enemies. Apparently he's already begun putting together the enemies list."
Farah really wishes there was an Obama enemies list, and that he was on it -- that way he could sell more birther crap.
MRC Offended That NY Times Published Criticism of Geller Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 11 MRC TimesWatch post by Clay Waters critiques the New York Times' profile of anti-Islam blogger (and former Newsmax columnist) Pam Geller by complaining that the article quoted a former Geller ally, Little Green Footballs blogger Charles Johnson.
After noting Johnson's statement in the article that Geller is "enabling a real bigotry" through her venomous screeds, Waters writes: "Times Watch isn’t sure the point of the above, given that blogger Charles Johnson has washed his hands of the right and has no allies or credibility among conservatives."
Why does it matter what other conservatives think of Johnson? Is his opinion any less valid now that he's no longer as extreme as Geller? Waters doesn't explain.
Waters concluded by touting how Geller issued a "typically take-no-prisoners response" to the Times article on her blog.
And the MRC proves once again that it has exempted itself from its own "Tell the Truth!" campaign.
Janet Porter's Back, And More Hateful Than Ever Topic: WorldNetDaily
A while back, we were wondering what happened to Janet Porter, who had stopped writing her WorldNetDaily column and suspended other activities as well. Well, Porter has returned to her WND column, and she has not mellowed in the least. She brings the vicious Obama smears in her Oct. 12 column:
It just dawned on me: The Obama mob wasn't cheering when the Berlin wall came down – they were actually rooting for communism! Yes, they must have been devastated when freedom beat communism because Obama and his junior tyrants have been building a wall of communism to match their beloved East German model since they took office.
The good news is this is still America – and on Nov. 2, America is going to tear down that wall.
Welcome back, Janet -- we missed your unhinged Obama-hate.
Caruba: Obama's Not Hitler, But ... Topic: Accuracy in Media
In his Oct. 11 Accuracy in Media column, Alan Caruba plays the game of likening the Obama administration to the Nazis while denying he's doing any such thing:
Time and again in these troubled and troubling times people make reference to Germany in the 1930s, the rise of the Third Reich, and to Hitler as they express their fears regarding the Obama administration.
It is an interesting comparison if only because it reveals a sense that an authoritarian government is poised to impose its dictates. This is highly unlikely if only because the forthcoming midterm elections give every indication of overturning any such ambitions by the present administration.
It is, for example, bleeding its top economic advisors, the former chief of staff to the President, the sudden resignation of the president’s national security advisor, and, most tellingly, virtually every Democrat running for office is running away from Obama’s legislative agenda.
Obama is hardly a Hitler and the Democrats are hardly Nazis. It’s a bad comparison.
I think what is at the heart of the comparison is the way, in just under two years, Americans witnessed the government takeover of the healthcare sector, one sixth of the economy, the takeover of General Motors and Chrysler to the benefit of the United Auto Workers and the loss of their creditors and bondholders, and a so-called stimulus package that by most accounts has wasted billions.
The general anxiety is bolstered by the stagnation of the job market and a widespread belief that Obama, Pelosi and Reid, along with the Democrats in Congress, have taken the nation in the wrong direction. Those familiar with history see the kind of conditions that existed in Germany in the 1930s that were the background for the rise of the Hitler and the Nazi Party. Hitler, however, was not massively abandoned by his supporters as Obama as been.
It took twelve years of Nazi rule and the reduction of Berlin to rubble for the usurpation of power to end on May 9, 1945. Compare that, then, with the Obama administration that began on January 20, 2009 followed by a swift loss of public support because of, not despite, its thuggish political effort to reshape the American model into a European socialist one.
Americans are just weeks away from “taking back” their nation from a man who hid or denied his real life from the voters to get elected on the basis of his oratorical skills and the stage managing of mass gatherings that were curiously reminiscent of Nazi rallies.
You gotta love how Caruba so blatantly contradicts himself. He's too consumed with Obama-hate to take much care in keeping up the pretense.
MRC Misleads on Unemployment Numbers Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 8 MRC Business & Media Institute article by Julia Seymour promoted how the latest government numbers show "a loss of 95,000 jobs in September, and an additional 15,000 losses in July and August and an unemployment rate still at 9.6 percent." But Seymour obscures the facts behind those numbers.
While Seymour noted that 64,000 private sector jobs were added in September, she didn't mention one number that you'd think would please the anti-government types at the MRC: As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, government jobs were reduced by 159,000, half of those temporary Census workers.
Are Seymour and her BMI overlords suddenly big fans of government employment now that it can be used as a cudgel against a Democratic president? It appears so.
Seymour also reported that according to Gallup, "the unemployment rate is actually much higher at 10.1 percent." Near as we can tell, this is the first time BMI has embraced the Gallup number.
Why? Because as Media Matters details, for most of the summer, Gallup's unemployment rate was actually lower than the government number -- as low as 8.9 pecent at the beginning of August. Reporting that would have interfered with BMI's anti-Obama narrative.
A Noel Sheppard Smackdown That Wasn't Topic: NewsBusters
Among the many, many invocations of purported "smackdowns" detailed by NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard over the past month, the most recent was an Oct. 10 post headlined "George Will Smacks Down Paul Krugman With Simple Reaganomics." In it, Sheppard gloated over how "Will smacked a monster drive down the middle of the fairway that would make Tiger Woods proud" in responding to Krugman's assertion that claims that no further stimulus is needed "which bears no relationship to what's actually happening" by asserting that "when the Reagan tax cuts kicked in, we had a booming job creation which, relative to the size of this economy, would translate to 7 million new jobs."
When Krugman responded to that by saying, "that boom in federal spending never happened. Once you take out the stuff -- the special emergency spending, it just never happened. And, you know, Reagan had the help of a huge cut in interest rates," Sheppard himself went off:
The ignorance and/or dishonesty on display here was astonishing. To claim there has been no boom in federal spending in the past two years requires what Hillary Clinton would call a willing suspension of disbelief.
George W. Bush's fiscal ’09 budget originally called for outlays of $3.1 trillion. This indeed ballooned to $3.52 trillion.
However, if such an increase was just “special emergency spending” as Krugman claimed, we should have seen a decrease in expenditures after the financial crisis ended.
As for Reagan having “the help of a huge cut in interest rates,” Krugman just moments before said, “Interest rates are at near record lows in all of the G-7 countries.”
Indeed. The current federal funds rate is basically zero, and is therefore far lower than when Reagan was president making it quite fascinating to see a Nobel Prize winner in economics contradict himself in roughly sixty seconds.
Sheppard manages to misfire on both of his attacks. As to the first, Krugman clarified himself in a column the next day:
Here’s the narrative you hear everywhere: President Obama has presided over a huge expansion of government, but unemployment has remained high. And this proves that government spending can’t create jobs.
Here’s what you need to know: The whole story is a myth. There never was a big expansion of government spending. In fact, that has been the key problem with economic policy in the Obama years: we never had the kind of fiscal expansion that might have created the millions of jobs we need.
Ask yourself: What major new federal programs have started up since Mr. Obama took office? Health care reform, for the most part, hasn’t kicked in yet, so that can’t be it. So are there giant infrastructure projects under way? No. Are there huge new benefits for low-income workers or the poor? No. Where’s all that spending we keep hearing about? It never happened.
Of the roughly $600 billion cost of the Recovery Act in 2009 and 2010, more than 40 percent came from tax cuts, while another large chunk consisted of aid to state and local governments. Only the remainder involved direct federal spending.
So, contrary to what Sheppard claimed, Krugman was not denying that increased federal spending occured; he was trying to point out that it resulted in a larger federal government.
As for Sheppard's other attack: Media Matters states that economists generally attribute the "Reagan recovery" to the lowering of interest rates from 13 percent to 7 percent. Since interest rates are already near zero, Obama does not have that available to him for a stimulus tool, as Reagan did.
it seems that the smackdowner has become the smackdowned.
AFA's News Operation A Hellish Place to Work Topic: The ConWeb
We generally don't monitor OneNewsNow, the American Family Association's "news" operation, because it makes no pretense to be a fair news website, as the ConWeb components like Newsmax, CNS, WorldNetDaily, et al., do. Plus, there isn't enough time in the day to take down all the bias and falsehoods there.
It turns out things there are worse than even we imagined. Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches has an article detailing the hellish work envionment at the AFA that also confirms everything we presumed about OneNewsNow:
The AFA's radio and news division, in particular, said Martin, had become a place where authority could not be questioned, and where the "news" was nothing more than a mouthpiece for conservative "sources" whose views were portrayed as fact. (The Values Voter Summit award citation to Wildmon described One News Now as a "respected online news service.")
And those views were extreme, even by Martin’s standards of conservative evangelicalism. He said that the director of the news service, Fred Jackson, had a "hateful, hateful attitude" that "carried over" into stories. Martin described editorial meetings in which "liberals were accused of hating their kids," while Chad Groening, who covers immigration, described gay people as "degenerates" and "reprobates."
In the newsroom, said [former AFA news reporter Allie] Martin, "I saw the tone of stories develop in a way I thought was disturbing."
"They get people as news sources to say what they want to say but can't say," he added.
After Obama got elected, said Martin, "this went up to a whole new level, we have to vilify this man."
Questioning Authority="Attitude Problems"
In 2008, Jackson sent Martin an email with the subject line "attitude problems," citing scripture he said governed "a worker's attitude toward their [sic] superiors." The verses he cited included Ephesians 6:5-8 ("Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, singleness of your heart, as unto Christ") and Colossians 3:22-25 ("Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.") He closed the email with a "final warning" that "any further breaches in this area will be turned over to Brother Don."
Among the topics about which Martin had raised concerns was the news room's approach to immigration. Martin said that Groening has, for example, called undocumented immigrants "stupid," "scumbag lawbreakers" and "freeloaders." Groening believed that illegal immigration would "destroy" the country, and that "we have the best way of life, and if our borders aren't secured, this country would be destroyed."
Martin also noted that Groening had referred to Muslims as "raghead scumbag terrorists" and referred to Allah as "Satan."
According to him, Groening received a subscription to American Renaissance magazine at the office. American Renaissance is published by white nationalist Jared Taylor, and, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the magazine and website "regularly feature proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black racists." Taylor's New Century Foundation, which runs the magazine, "also sponsors American Renaissance conferences every other year where racist 'intellectuals' rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists."
WND Still Peddling Bias, Falsehoods About 'Nutrition Ministry' Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's reporting on the battle between the Federal Trade Commission and the so-called "nutrition ministry" Daniel Chapter has apparently passed from the heavilybiased Bob Unruh to Brian Fitzpatrick, but the reporting isn't getting any better.
An Oct. 9 WND article by Fitzpatrick screamed that "Two federal agencies, backed up by state and local police, have swooped down on a peaceful Portsmouth, R.I., ministry like Eliot Ness busting up one of Al Capone's Prohibition-era breweries." Fitzpatrick interviews only Daniel Chapter One representatives and makes no apparent attempt to verify the information they gave him; there's no indication in the article that Fitzpatrick even bothered to contact any federal officials for their side of the story.
Thus, Fitzpatrick shovels out horsepuckey like this:
The FTC alleges that Daniel Chapter One falsely claims its products can cure cancer.
"We never said that," said Tricia Feijo. "They took a few words from one paragraph, some words from another paragraph, put them together, and said we implied we could cure cancer … their biggest complaint was testimonies of people saying they were healed of cancer."
If Fitzpatrick had bothered to read the FTC's administrative complaint against Daniel Chapter One -- again, there's no indication he did even that level of rudimentary research or his article -- he would have know that the FTC specifically laid out several instances in which Daniel Chapter One did just that. It claimed one product "inhibits angiogenesis -- the formation of new blood vessels" which "can stop tumor growth," that another product "battles cancer," and that yet another product can serve "as an adjunct to cancer therapy."
Rather than providing coherent defense of the idea that products that make such claims should have scientific backing for their claims, Fitzpatrick allowed the owners to blather on about faith and the evils of medicine:
"The position for the FDA is only drugs can treat illness. We believe drugs don't treat anything. Fifteen years on the radio, no one's ever complained, no one's ever been harmed, we haven't been sued, but 106,000 people will die this year from FDA-approved drugs," said Jim Feijo.
"They ordered [us] to tell our customers there is no science behind our products, that only conventional medical treatment has been proven safe and effective in humans. We know from experience that chemotherapy and radiation are not safe," said Jim Feijo.
"We told them we can't comply, because there is scientific evidence in favor of our products. They wanted us to give in to their position of scientism and deny our religion of faith in the Lord Jesus.
"They acknowledged that we are a ministry, but then they denied all our rights as a ministry, all our constitutional rights," Feijo added. "We are a corporate soul, a 508 corporate soul. We have same legal status as the Roman Catholic and Mormon churches.
"We told the IRS during the raid they have no legal right to do what they did because of our 508 status. We're immune to filing papers and so forth because we're a 508 corporate soul. They've gone against their own laws."
Fitzpatrick even botches the name of one of the agencies allegedly involved in the raid, referring to the "Federal Drug Administration." That, presumably, is the Food and Drug Administration.
Fitzpatrick has reporting for WND for a couple months now. Between his shoddy reporting and his obvious right-wing, anti-gay bias -- an old Townhall bio shows he once served on the board of directors of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality and is a former senior editor for the professional prudes at the MRC's Culture & Media Institute -- he's fitting right in at his new employer.