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Monday, November 15, 2010
Pat Boone Pushes False Claim About Federal Pay
Topic: Newsmax

In his Nov. 13 column, published by Newsmax and WorldNetDaily, Pat Boone writes:

I propose the reduction of all government salaries to the average income of most Americans. The sad facts are that not only does the government employ, full-time or in part, almost 40 percent of all workers, but while the average non-government worker makes $65,000 a year, the average federal employee makes $130,000! And with amazing retirement benefits that combine to cost the taxpayers billions – billions they can't afford for themselves. So obviously, we can, and must, cut big government by half, at least.

(WND curiously lops off "by half, at least.")

As he has been about so many other things, Boone is wrong about federal salaries. reported on a similar claim made by Rand Paul, used a smaller set of numbers, $60,000 for private workers and $120,000 for government employees (Boone mysteriously inflated the numbers) and declared it to be false:

However, that figure includes both salary and benefits. This is a legitimate number to raise, but using it requires more explanation than Paul gave it. Since most people usually think about how much they, their spouses and their colleagues get paid in salary alone -- not salary plus benefits -- we think most people hearing this statement would assume that Paul means that the average federal employee gets paid a salary of $120,000. That's simply not true.

That said, there's still a gap between federal and private-sector pay if you strip out the portion that's in the form of benefits. BEA found that federal civilian employees earned $81,258 in salary, compared to $50,464 for private-sector workers. That cuts the federal pay advantage almost exactly in half, to nearly $31,000.

Case closed? Not at all. Several additional caveats are required.

The first is that there's an imbalance in the types of jobs that make up the federal workforce compared to the private-sector workforce. The federal workforce is disproportionately composed of employees with higher educational attainment. Think of all the low-wage burger-flippers, gas station attendants and domestic workers in the private-sector economy. The federal government has some of these types of employees but proportionately far fewer -- especially after nearly two decades of aggressive contracting-out of duties that need not be handled by salaried federal employees. This has further expanded the federal government's disproportionately large numbers of lawyers, scientists and other highly skilled professionals.

If the federal sector today is hiring a lot of people with specialized expertise and the private sector is hiring a lot of people with skills that don't require a college, or even a high school, degree, then it's no surprise that the average salary levels in each sector are going to be at odds.


Gary Burtless, a labor economist with the centrist-to-liberal Brookings Institution, said that "there are certainly many positions where the federal job is compensated less generously than comparable positions in the private sector. These tend to be the most demanding jobs in the federal service -- doctors, attorneys, scientists and senior executives. The U.S. Secretary of Education, for example, is paid far less than the presidents of major public and private universities, even though he has far greater responsibility."

In short, federal workers make more in large part because they're more highly skilled as a whole than private employees. Boone didn't see fit to tell his readers that.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:26 PM EST
MRC's Graham: Eeeek! Gay People on the Radio!
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center doesn't like it when gay people appear in the media. Tim Graham made it clear again in a Nov. 15 post:

On Sunday night's All Things Considered newscast, NPR anchor Guy Raz celebrated “Protestant royalty” coming out of the closet. Bishop Jim Swilley of a megachurch appropriately called The Church in the Now decided to reveal his sexual orientation because of the burst of gay-bullying publicity. Former CNN reporter Raz welcomed the change and how it must have been “incredibly liberating” to be openly gay.

NPR lavished 12 minutes of air time on the interview -- currently a hot and very recommended item on -- and they also offered a more extended interview online, complete with the minister's coming-out speech to his church.

If that wasn't bad enough, Graham added that "NPR also celebrated gay Episcopalian bishop Gene Robinson on Wednesday night's All Things Considered."

Neither story, Graham asserted, "offered a single, solitary second of time for conservative critics to speak out." The greater offense to Graham, though, appears to be that gays were allowed to speak out in the first place.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 PM EST
WND's Gay-Bashing Magazine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long been committed to hating gays. The latest issue of its Whistleblower magazine affirms that hatred.

The theme is "AMERICA'S 'GAY' OBSESSION," though the cover breaks with WND's style of putting the word "gay" in scare quotes. The hatred is clear in WND's Nov. 1 promotion of the issue, in which gays are likened to foreign enemies waging war on the U.S.:

It's a classic, war-time sneak attack.

While Americans' attention is riveted on fierce midterm battles and the subsequent power struggle in response to Barack Obama's attempted socialist revolution, a second stunning coup – one every bit as dangerous to the nation – is rapidly progressing toward victory with almost no notice or publicity.

For the past two decades, the powerful "gay rights" lobby has been crusading tirelessly to promote special legal rights for homosexuals, indoctrinate the nation's schoolchildren with their worldview, radically redefine the institution of marriage, repeal the U.S. military's time-tested rules of conduct, intimidate and discredit any and all critics, and – perhaps worst of all – criminalize and punish the open expression of Judeo-Christian moral beliefs.

This highly coordinated effort, once extremely controversial but today basically greenlighted by politicians and the press – including key conservatives – is rapidly advancing toward total victory, after which any return to Christian morality in American law and culture will become almost impossible.

This extraordinary under-the-radar blitzkrieg is the focus of the November issue of WND's monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled "AMERICA'S 'GAY' OBSESSION."


WND Managing Editor David Kupelian asks the obvious question: "With the nation trying to counter a maniacal socialist coup in Washington, an economy in dire freefall and a wholesale invasion of the U.S. across our southern border, why should anyone care about same-sex marriage at all?"

The answer, says Kupelian: "We all better care, because once gay marriage is legalized in America – something for which there's no precedent in 5,000 years of Western Civilization – schools will be required to indoctrinate children that homosexuality is perfectly normal and healthy, pastors and rabbis will fear preaching their faith's core moral values, gender confusion and gross immorality will dominate our culture, polygamy and other bizarre 'marriage' arrangements will be legalized, and much more – in short, America will become unrecognizable, regardless of who's president and which party is in power."

A Nov. 9 promotion took a slightly different but equally scaremongering approach, blaming acceptance of homosexuality for the impending death of America:

For a long time it was an article of faith among Christians, conservatives and other traditionalists: They believed that when homosexuality becomes widely accepted and even celebrated in a society, that society starts to die.

But such a notion, at least according to today's secular progressive culture, is worse than a bad joke. It's bigoted. It's paranoid. It's insane.

Or is it?

The November issue of WND's monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled "AMERICA'S GAY OBSESSION," says it's not only not bigoted, paranoid or insane, but it's absolutely historically true – and moreover, is where America is rapidly heading unless it reverses course.

The promotion quotes an article by Brian Fitzpatrick claiming that those who support homosexuality are "in thrall to irrational socialistic and atheistic philosophies," while the anti-gay folks are "lined up perfectly with those of the Bible."

The magazine is chock-full of rabidly anti-gay writers, including Kupelian, Matt Barber and Peter LaBarbera. Also included is a piece by right-winger Linda Harvey previously published at WND, in which we noted that she deflects any responsibility for gay teen suicides and instead bizarrely blames gays for creating the situation through "the bad example of a homosexual school club" and pushing "the sad belief that homosexuality was an inevitable destiny, instead of a wayward yet changeable sexual inclination."

When you depict gays as foreign invaders bent on destroying the country, such hateful rhetoric is par for the course.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 AM EST
Updated: Monday, November 15, 2010 11:14 AM EST
Meanwhile ...
Topic: Media Research Center

David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars finds a bit of hypocrisy from the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell. He commiserated with Sean Hannity on his Fox News show about how liberals allegedly agitating for violence, telling Hannity, "Would you last -- if you had that kind of a guest on, that your show wouldn't be over before Roger Ailes fired you?" Turns out Hannity has made not-so-veiled references to armed revolution as a response to Obama's election.

On a related subject, Media Matters' Karl Frisch notes how conservatives like to complain that the right doesn't have a media-criticism operation equivalent to Media Matters -- ignoring, inadvertently or otherwise, the existence of the MRC.And for all we know, the ignorance may be deliberate, given the general crappiness of the MRC's research and the rampant goofiness and illogic at its NewsBusters blog.

(Yes, we work for Media Matters.)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EST
WND Columnists vs. The 17th Amendment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On Nov. 13, WorldNetDaily published not one but two columns calling for the repeal of the 17th amendment, which provides for the direct election of senator.

Henry Lamb asserted that the amendment's existence led to the passage of Obamacare:

Had this system been in place when Obamacare was presented, the bill would likely have failed. The bill passed the House with only a two-vote margin. Had the Senate been composed of individuals chosen by the states, the bill would have never seen the light of day. At least 14 states immediately filed lawsuits to have the new law declared unconstitutional. Had the senators from these 14 states been chosen by the state legislatures – according to the original design – there would be no Obamacare now.

Lamb justified taking voting powers away from the people, in contradition to right-wingers' traditional advocacy of putting pretty much everything else to a vote, by asserting that the original arrangement, in which senators were chosen by each state's legislature, "provided the balance needed to protect the interest of the states, while providing equal representation for the individuals. The tension created by the competition among the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Executive offered the best system of checks and balances the founders could create." Lamb added that "Enactment of the 17th Amendment expanded the power of political parties and opened a whole new avenue of influence for well-funded special-interest groups."

Former regular WND columnist Devvy Kidd makes a similar argument for taking your voting rights away in her first WND piece in more than four years:

The framers of the Constitution wisely understood the absolute necessity of ensuring we the people would have the right to vote for our representative in Congress, and at the same time because they all jealously guarded freedom and liberty, the states must also have equal representation. We the people would have the ability to remove via the ballot box miscreants and scoundrels, while the state legislatures could recall their U.S. senators who acted against the best interests of their states.

The Senate was supposed to be a sort of check and balance, but that disappeared when U.S. senators began to be voted into office by special interests and mobs demanding more from the people's treasury. The absolute right of the states to equal representation was wiped out when the 17th Amendment was declared ratified April 8, 1913.

Kidd then goes way down the rabbit hole by asserting that the amendment is illegitimate because not enough states ratified it. She claimed that she "personally went to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., joined by two colleagues ... to obtain, which we did, court-certified documents regarding the ratification of that amendment. Having obtained them, there is no doubt the amendment was not ratified by enough states at the time. Five states allegedly didn't ratify until months after then-Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan declared it ratified! All of the historical documents, court-certified, are available." She continues:

I am not a lawyer and have no legal training. However, one thing I do believe: It's absolutely wrong to correct a legal fiction using a method which would give legitimacy to that fiction. The same constitutional crisis exists over Obama/Soetoro and the growing call for impeachment. He is without question a usurper. You cannot impeach someone who has legally never held that office. Giving legitimacy to fraud demeans our Constitution and takes away honor and integrity for our system of government purchased with rivers of blood.

So she's a birther too. She fits right in at WND. If this a trial balloon for reinstating her as a columnist, she passed with flying colors.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EST
Updated: Monday, November 15, 2010 12:19 AM EST
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Noel Sheppard: Bogus Obama Trip Figure Must Be True -- 'SNL' Said It!
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard uses a Nov. 14 NewsBusters post to explain how a "Saturday Live Skit" proves Glenn Beck right:

This sequence was surprising on a number of levels. First, Obama's defenders in the media aggressively attacked Fox News and conservative radio hosts for reporting this $200 million a day figure that came from an Indian website.

Although no specific numbers were released by the administration concerning the real cost, the press were very quick to dismiss the $200 million a day estimate.

This is why when SNL sourced it to Beck, viewers probably thought the joke would end there.

Oddly, that wasn't the case as Hader then made the point that maybe Beck shouldn't be dismissed so quickly as a result of his correct advice on gold.

So who are you going to believe on the issue of the cost of Obama's trip -- every legitimate news orgaization and fact-checking agency, or an "SNL" skit? Sheppard has chosen the latter.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 10:45 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch

What do these seemingly disconnected events tell us about President Obama?

First, they tell us that he always had—and still has—a tremendous love for Islam and radical Muslims. Obama famously described the Islamic call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.” Traveling to an Islamist country would scare most people—for Obama, it was like traveling back to his childhood. It’s no wonder that Obama took the opportunity to bash Israel while in Jakarta, Indonesia, this week—that, too, must have brought back nostalgic memories.

Second, Obama’s childhood shows us that he was comfortable with militant homosexuals, black racists and communists/socialists, along with radical Islamists. That’s an odd combination for a child, but Obama had an odd childhood. And that conglomeration of interests—gay rights militants, black racists, socialists and radical Muslims—now form the core of Obama’s idealistic base.

Third, Obama’s childhood shows us that he was always a narcissist concerned with his own power. Not only did he want to be president, he thought the presidency was all about him. Soldiers were there for defending him; businessmen were there for supporting him. Presidents were kings. That’s why he wanted to be president.

Obama’s perspective on the presidency hasn’t changed. Soldiers are “photo ops.” The media is there to praise him. Businessmen are there to be taxed, so he can name bridges and schools after himself and take credit for a phantom recovery.

People don’t change. Obama hasn’t since childhood. And the more we learn about President Obama’s childhood, the scarier he becomes.

-- Ben Shapiro, Nov. 11 WorldNetDaily column, published by

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 PM EST
Saturday, November 13, 2010
MRC's Tally of CNN Guests Has A Flaw
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted that the Media Research Center released a report claming that guest on CNN programs skewed liberal, but didn't release the list it compiled to support the claim.

Well, Politico managed to shake the list loose, and it reveals some flaws -- namely, that it tallied the political ideology of guest who were not talking about politics. From Politico:

CNN took issue with MRC’s methodology.

“Simply using partisan labels on guests who are not even talking about politics is not helpful to the national discourse,” said Barbara Levin, vice president of media relations at CNN. “And counting a newsmaker/headliner guest who gets twice the airtime as a roundtable guest, distorts the true overall picture. As our promo says, CNN doesn’t play favorites and is proud to be the only cable news network without partisan primetime programs.”

Several of the people listed as “Democrat/liberal” in study, such a Wanda Sykes, Kathy Griffin and Sean Penn, were on the air talking about non-political topics, such as bullying and the disaster in Haiti.

And CNN’s booking a liberal guest did not always pan out well for liberals. NAACP President Ben Jealous, for example, showed up on the “Democrat/liberal” side of MRC’s list, but the interview he did with Anderson Cooper – in which Cooper challenged the NAACP’s report pointing to racism within the tea party – ended up being celebrated in the conservative blogosphere the next day.

The MRC's Rich Noyes responded to Politico, admitting that the MRC focused only on perceived ideology, not the content of the appearance: 

“If a guest (such as The Nation's Ari Melber) comes from a strong ideological perspective, we did not parse each interview,” he said. “National Review's Will Cain sometimes talked about non-political issues on Parker Spitzer, but he was consistently labeled as "conservative/Republican."

He also responded to the charge that weighing each guest equally, regardless of how long they were on, distorts the picture.

“We did not weigh interview length, but just tallied guests," he said. "Given the lengthy amount of time given to liberals like Michael Moore on Larry King Live (October 13), it is our belief that timing each interview would have exacerbated the disparity, not reduced it.”

Noyes also added a comment to the Politco article:

FYI, the guests CNN claims were really nonpartisan made liberal points. For example, Kathy Griffin on LKL, talking about bullying, unleashed against conservatives: I think that the way that we had trickle-down economics in the 80s, this is trickle down homophobia. And I really want people to connect the dots. And that's why I believe there's a connection between Prop 8, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and now the string of teen suicides. It's almost sanctioned to bully gay people and treat them as second-class citizens. That's why we classified her as a liberal.

Because only liberals oppose bullying of gay teens, apparently.

UPDATE: Looking over the list, we see that the MRC has labeled Jesse Ventura a "Democrat/Liberal." Really? the guy who thinks (along with NewsBusters' very own Noel Sheppard) that global warming is a conspiracy is a "liberal"?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 13, 2010 9:51 PM EST
WND's Klayman: Obama Is 'Mullah In Chief'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As if President Barack Hussein Obama had not yet learned his "lesson" from a week ago Tuesday's mid-term election results, our fearless leader has unabashedly pressed ahead with his public-relations "jihad" to further Islamic interests, both at home and abroad, with his pilgrimage last Wednesday to the Istiquil Mosque in Indonesia.

Gushing over his protracted stay in Indonesia during his boyhood – as Obama's stepdad was Indonesian – the president used the occasion to profusely praise Islam and take yet another swipe at what many Americans believe is his adopted country, the United States. Here are the latest words of wisdom from regrettably a president who has become seen as our "mullah in chief":

"If you ask me – or any of my schoolmates who knew me back then – I don't think any of us could have anticipated that I would one day come back to Jakarta as president of the United States."

Then, vowing a "new beginning" with Islam in the most populous Muslim country in the world, and proclaiming years of distrust created by the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama then praised the "great world religion (of) Islam."


We then have to ask ourselves: Was our president paid off by Islamic foes to bow down and pander to them and their professed radical religion? Only time will tell, but I for one am not going to rock back in my easy chair and not try to get to the bottom of this outrage.

The future of our nation, Israel and our other Western allies and is at stake!

No, it is not time, even as we celebrate Veterans Day, to allow our mullah in chief to do as he pleases.

-- Larry Klayman, Nov. 12 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EST
Friday, November 12, 2010
CNS' Starr Falsely Suggests Federal Money Pays For Abortions

A Nov. 11 article by Penny Starr plays a disingenuous bit of guilt by association. Under the healdine "Planned Parenthood Got $349.6 Million in Tax Dollars, Performed 324,008 Abortions, Paid Its President $385,163," Starr writes:

Planned Parenthood received $349.6 million in tax dollars in the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2008, and it paid its president, Cecile Richards, $385,163, plus another $11,876 in benefits and deferred compensation.

According to a “fact sheet” published by the organization, Planned Parenthood Affiliate Health Centers performed 324,008 abortions in 2008.

Starr never comes right out and says it, but the implication is clear: federal tax money goes toward abortion.

That, of course, is false. The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds from paying for abortions.

But the point of Starr's article is not to inform, it is to inflame -- by her own admission. Starr concludes her article by noting efforts in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, and, on her Twitter account, Starr linked to her article with the message, "Let the de-funding begin!" 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EST
Graham: It's NBC's 'Fault' That Kanye West Called Bush Racist
Topic: NewsBusters

Did you know it was NBC's fault that Kanye West said that President Bush doesn't care about black people?

It's right there in the headline of Tim Graham's Nov. 11 NewsBusters post: "Matt Lauer Walks Rapper Kanye West Through Bush Apology -- But Utterly Ignored NBC's Fault in Airing His Racism Charge." Writing about Matt Lauer's interview of Bush, Graham elaborates:

Lauer failed to note at any time in this interview or the promotions of it that West said these scandalous, hurtful, and untrue words on the airwaves of NBC, at their invitation, and their refusal in any way to interrupt him or dispute him during their telethon for Katrina victims. While he walked West through an apology, Lauer offered no apology on NBC's behalf. 

Saying someone is at "fault" for a behavior means that someone committed or directly contributed to that behavior. But the only evidence Graham offers that NBC is at "fault" for West's statement is that he said it on NBC. There's absolutely no evidence that NBC knew West would say that, let alone that it encouraged him to say it. In fact, NBC made it clear that West "departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him."

So, according to Graham, the fact that West said something that NBC didn't tell him to say is the fault of ... NBC. That's the kind of logic that has made the Media Research Center -- of which Graham is director of media analysis -- the powerhouse of incisive media criticism it is today.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:54 AM EST
Updated: Friday, November 12, 2010 10:56 AM EST
MRC Presents ... The Girls!
Topic: Media Research Center

Ever wonder what The View would be like if everyone thought like Elizabeth Hasselbeck (and had far less on-screen charisma)? Wonder no more! The Media Research Center has answered your question with ... The Girls!

MRC video producer Bob Parks explains the premise in a NewsBusters posting of the first episode last week:

MRC's newest production 'The Girls' counters the impression created by other lady-led talk shows like 'The View' that the left-wing mindset is the only one worth discussing. Maria, Melanie, and Penny will take on current issues from a conservative perspective, and their insights may not always be what viewers expect.

Despite agreeing to appear on camera in videos made for public consumption, "The Girls" are curiously shy about letting you know who they really are, providing only their first names. In fact, they are all MRC employees: CNS reporter Penny Starr, CNS evening managing editor Melanie Hunter, and MRC development employee Maria Ciarrocchi.

And while "their insights may not always be what viewers expect," most of the time they are exactly what you expect. The first episode discusses, in Parks' words, "Sarah Palin's impact on politics, and the liberal media's visceral loathing for her." There's a lot of predictable fawning over Palin; Starr complained about how people in "the left blogosphere" are "so horrible to a woman, treat her with such disrespect." Starr might want to have a conversation with her boss, Brent Bozell, who has disrespected both Christiane Amanpour and Nancy Pelosi. The only opinion that might be unexpected was an agreement that Palin's quitting as Alaska governor was a bad decision.

The second episode discussed celebrities in rehab. It's not that interesting.

The third episode, posted Nov. 11, follows in this week's gay obsession at the MRC: gays. Specifically, the pressing issue of a lesbian dancing with another woman in the Israeli version of "Dancing with the Stars." In yet another unsurprising conclusion, they don't approve.

Starr said "it seems like they're mixing up two things, gay rights and dance. Because ballroom dancing, if you're a real dance fan, it's for a man and a woman, the whole art form. And it's just interesting to see them turn that into a gay-rights issue."

Ciarrocchi complained that the show is "a family show in America," and such an occurrence here would force "a conversation that needs to happen with the children per se, and a conversation that you as a parent might not be ready to have yet." Hunter concurred.

Starr complained about shows that "are really seeming to go over the top," adding that it goes beyond entertainment to "a messaging tone." Starr went on to declare that if she had young children and there were same-sex dance partners on "Dancing with the Stars," "they wouldn't be watching it. And to tell you the truth, they wouldn't be watching 'Glee' either." Starr did add that she enjoyed "Glee" for the music.

In other words, exactly what you'd expect from employees of a conservative organization that has been generally hostile to gays.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EST
Thursday, November 11, 2010
NewsBusters Upset By Accurate Description of Palin, Rally
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 11 NewsBusters post carries the headline "CBS: 'Polarizing' Palin Speaks At 'Anti-Abortion Rights Rally.'" This indicates that Drennen opposes both terms, and indeed he does:

On Thursday's CBS Early Show, news reader Erica Hill used loaded liberal terms to describe a Texas pro-life event that Sarah Palin attended on Wednesday: "Palin shared the stage in an anti-abortion rights rally with Texas Governor Rick Perry."

Hill touted how despite making no announcement to make a 2012 presidential run, Palin "was looking an awful lot like a candidate," adding that the appearance with Governor Perry represented "a dream ticket for some tea party supporters." However, after playing a brief clip of Palin, Hill noted how "A just-released Associated Press poll finds of all the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, Sarah Palin is the most polarizing."

How can  "anti-abortion rights" be a "loaded liberal term" when that's exactly what the event was about? Pro-lifers do, in fact, oppose abortion rights.

And "polarizing" is exactly what Palin is. As the AP reported:

Forty-six percent of people questioned in the poll, which was released Wednesday, say they have a favorable opinion of the former Alaska governor, with 49 percent saying they have an unfavorable view of the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee. Only five percent say they don't know enough about Palin to form an opinion, a percentage much lower than registered by any other possible White House candidate tested in the survey.

That is the very definition of "polarizing." But Drennen has decided he doesn't like the word

NewsBusters and the MRC just hate it when things are accurately described.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:41 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 11, 2010 2:46 PM EST
Seems Like Old Times: Kessler Fluffs Bush Again
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler began his tenure at Newsmax by being one of the biggest Bush fluffers in the media, promoting his administration and explaining away his failures.

Now that former President Bush ahs a new book out,Kessler is ready to fluff Bush anew, and he does exactly that in his Nov. 9 column:

In press conferences, Bush was stiff, closed, and combative. He often mangled his words.

The real Bush was just the opposite: In a small group, he was candid, articulate, and displayed a mastery of the issues.

In his book “Decision Points,” the real Bush comes out.


Bush acknowledges obvious mistakes: Doing an Air Force One fly-over of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Standing in front of a banner that said “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. Failing to recognize the pitfalls in nominating Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

But what is far more revealing is the character of the man, the thinking behind his decisions, and his command of the issues as revealed in the engrossing pages of this book. When Laura asked if he could remember the last day he hadn’t had a drink, he got her point and soon gave up drinking.

“Quitting drinking was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made,” Bush writes. “Without it, none of the others that follow in this book would have been possible.”

While President Obama has made criticizing his predecessor into a cottage industry, Bush never says a negative word about him. In contrast to Obama, who unleashed the Justice Department on CIA officers who followed instructions to use enhanced interrogation techniques, Bush says he did not want to criticize “the hardworking patriots at the CIA for the faulty intelligence on Iraq.”

Bush’s character, in turn, enabled him to take the bold steps needed to prevent another attack. That included approving waterboarding, which elicited information that led to plots being rolled up. That included taking out Saddam Hussein, who would be threatening the U.S. today and murdering innocent Iraqis if he were still in power.


Many think the fact that we have not had a successful attack since 9/11 is an accident or luck. They are wrong. The reason we have not had a successful attack is the infrastructure Bush put in place to detect plots and the hard work of the men and women of the FBI and CIA.


Just as Ronald Reagan was portrayed by the media as a fool and is now recognized for having been instrumental in ending the Cold War, I believe Bush one day will be seen as a great president.

He may have done it his way, but it was the right way.

Ah, just like old times...

Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 PM EST
Show Your Work, MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

A Nov. 11 MRC item by Rich Noyes states:

MRC analysts reviewed all of the guests and commentators on CNN’s primetime weekday programs from October 4 through October 29, the last four full weeks before the November 2 elections. Guests were grouped into three categories: “Democrat/liberal,” “Republican/conservative,” and “Other.” The latter category included all non-political guests, as well as guests who were not associated with a clear political point of view.

The results show that liberal guests outnumbered conservatives by a more than three-to-two margin, 61% to 39%. Our analysts found 88 “Democrat/liberal” guests to just 56 “Republican/conservative” guests. All three of the network’s primetime programs — Parker Spitzer, Larry King Live, and Anderson Cooper 360 — featured more liberals than conservatives among their politically-affiliated guests.

To be clear, CNN offered opportunities for conservatives and Republicans to speak during the crucial final weeks of the campaign. But as for not “playing favorites,” the data show the networks provided clear advantage for liberals.

But Noyes curiously doesn't post the list it compiled of the guests and the ideological tags the MRC put on them.

If you're going to tout your "data," it should be posted. Noyes hasn't done that, so there's no way to see just how accurate the MRC's research really is.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 PM EST

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