Newsmax is, of course, ecstatic that Sarah Palin told ABC's Barbara Walters that she reads their website. Media Matters has a brief history of the symbiotic relationship between Newsmax and Palin.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Bozell Attacks Only Liberal Supporters of WikiLeaks
Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell's Dec. 8 column whips up some outrage over those who won't condemn Julian Assange and WikiLeaks -- but only those on one side of the political spectrum. He claims without evidence that "in the liberal media, the condemnations are few" against Assange, and he cites only two examples of alleged praise of Assange in the "liberal media."
Curiously, Bozell won't criticize supporters of Assange who reside on his side of the political spectrum -- and you think he might have noticed one, since he appears on Bozell's favorite channel, Fox News.
Andrew Napolitano -- Fox News analyst and host of a show on its sister channel Fox Business -- has argued in favor of Assange's First Amendment rights.
Another WikiLeaks supporter is WorldNetDaily columnist Vox Day, who wrote in his Dec. 6 column that "WikiLeaks is one of the last defenses that Americans have against the centralized control of communication being exerted by the U.S. government over the citizenry," and that "those so-called conservatives who have waxed hysterical in their contemptible fulminations against Assange" are "ideological frauds, enemies of democracy and false friends of human liberty."
Republican Rep. Ron Paul is another big WikiLeaks booster, who (while, of course, appearing on Napolitano's TV show) endorsed a WikiLeaks-style assault on the Federal Reserve: "Can you imagine what it'd be like if we had every conversation in the last 10 years with our Federal Reserve people, the Federal Reserve chairman, with all the central bankers of the world and every agreement or quid-pro-quo they have? It would be massive. People would be so outraged."
Larry Klayman -- whose "Judicial Watch litigation machine" Bozell highlighted in one of his columns -- has also sung the praises of WikiLeaks: "Whatever your opinion about Julian Assange, he did a real service to our nation and the world in revealing, in particular, the dangerous internal workings of the corrupt Obama foreign-policy establishment."
Unless Bozell can hold his own allies responsible for their support of Assange, his howling about purported liberals who support him is just empty political opportunism.
UPDATE: The list keeps growing: WND columnist Ilana Mercer calls Bradley Manning, the Army soldier of leaking the documents to WikiLeaks, a "whistleblower" while denouncing "collectivist impulse among so many of freedom's so-called defenders to condemn a man that took a great personal risk so as to expose the workings of the U.S. Empire."
WND Still Complaining About Unasked Questions Going Unanswered
This is becoming a thing. A Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily article complains yet again that White House press secreatary Robert Gibbs didn't answer a question that wasn't asked because WND's Les Kinsolving wasn't called on at the press briefing:
As before, WND has not demonstrated why anyone who would ask such a biased, irrelevant question is deserving of any respect from the White House or its press corps.
CNS' New (Anti-)Gotcha Question
So far, three CNS articles feature various members of Congress being asked during the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Capitol whether they believed that Jesus had a right to life from the moment of conception. Allo f the congressmen asked thus far were Republican, so at this point it's sort of an anti-gotcha -- it gives them a freebie opportunity to play to their conservative Christian base.
Once CNS moves on to asking the question of Democrats -- as it most certainly will -- the point becomes embarrassment.
WND, Reisman Think Kinsey Is 'Father of Child Pornography'
A Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily promo for Judith Reisman's anti-Kinsey screed "Sexual Sabotage" carries the headline "The father of child pornography."
Really? There was no child pornography before 1947? Is that what they're trying to say?
The article goes on to assert that, per Reisman, Kinsey is "not only a scientific fraud but a supremely sick and perverted human being – a sexual psychopath who reveled in the criminal molestation of hundreds of infants and children."
The problem is that Reisman has long engaged in shoddy research to promote her anti-Kinsey crusade, and there's no real reason to assume anything has changed in "Sexual Sabotage," despite WND's claim that Reisman's work is "frighteningly true."
The Kinsey Institute has responded to such claims: "Kinsey did not carry out any experiments on children, nor did he hire, collaborate, or persuade people to carry out experiments on children. He did not falsify research findings and he in no way condoned any sexual abuse."
The institute has even responded to the "Esther White" case, in which a woman claimed that Kinsey paid her father "to rape her and then report to him on the attacks." As we noted, the woman has offered no substantive evidence to back up her claims, and WND reporter Brian Fitzpatrick, who promoted the case in October, made no apparent effort to obtain the institute's side of the story. He could have pulled it off the website:
Nevertheless, WND promotes Reisman's version of Kinsey has some sort of superhuman villain: "Kinsey succeeded in promoting widespread sexual experimentation and immorality. He single-handedly gutted the tough laws that kept pornography and predators at bay in America."
Between Reisman's history of shoddy research and WND's wildly overblown claims here -- all designed to promote a special on Reisman's book -- there's really no reason to take any of this seriously, making WND's $4.95 offer perhaps still too much to pay for her screed.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Gay Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Les Kinsolving, Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily column
AIM's Kincaid: Bring Back the Commie Witch Hunts!
Topic: Accuracy in Media
In his Dec. 8 "AIM Report," Cliff Kincaid argues for bringing back the House Un-American Activities Committee, best known for its witch hunts against anyone remotely suspected of being communist. Why? He has one particular suspected communist in mind that he'd like to lead a witch hunt against:
Kincaid goes on to assert that "The liberals will raise a hue and cry, and some conservatives may balk, but it is mandatory and necessary to begin addressing what an old congressional committee used to call “un-American activities” at the highest levels of the U.S. Government."
Kincaid repeats his point at the end of the column: "We are faced with the problem of U.S.-based Marxists supporting our foreign enemies. These are dangerous times for America. The Congress must re-establish a House Internal Security Committee." The House Internal Security Committee was the euphemistic re-naming of the Un-American Activities Committee.
CNS Peddles False Claims About SPLC's Research on Anti-Gay Groups
A Dec. 8 CNSNews.com article by Pete Winn falsely asserted that the Southern Poverty Law Center "announced that it was going to classify the Family Research Council and 12 other organizations as 'hate groups' because of their positions on homosexuality."
In fact, as Right Wing Watch has noted, the SPLC named only five anti-gay groups to its "hate groups" list. Other groups Winn listed as being named to the "hate group" list -- the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage -- were merely profiled by the SPLC.
Winn also wrote that right-wing former attorney general Edwin Meese said the SPLC "had cited no evidence whatsoever to show that the FRC or the other major pro-family conservative organizations were hate groups," quoting Meese as saying, "I think it is attacking them for exercising their freedom of speech and their freedom of religion." Winn also writes that the National Association of Marriage's Maggie Gallagher similarly said that the SPLC "has not presented any evidence to back up its claim that the groups it named were 'hate' groups"; Winn adds that "In a blog posting on its Web site, the SPLC said only that the FRC and the other groups 'have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.'"
In fact, the SPLC report on anti-gay groups -- linked nowhere in Winn's article -- serves up detailed evidence to back up its claims, including a lengthy section on the FRC detailing how it has "pushed false accusations linking gay men to pedophilia." The report also states that "Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups."
WND's Farah's Scary Anti-Immigrant Attack Misfires
Joseph Farah hurls a load of hooey at the DREAM Act in his Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily column -- much of it misleading or outright false.
Farah begins by claiming the "so-called" DREAM Act is "providing ... amnesty" to the children of "illegal aliens." First, it's not the "so-called" DREAM Act; it is called the DREAM Act. Second, it's not amnesty. As conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin explains, "amnesty" is defined as "a blanket abolition of an offense by the government, with the legal result that those charged or convicted have the charge or conviction wiped out." Since there are conditions placed on who is eligible for the DREAM Act and what must be done before any steps toward citizenship are granted, it cannot be amnesty.
Next, Farah lists various crimes committed by illegal aliens -- none of which he makes any effort to prove are affected any way by passage of the DREAM Act.
Then Farah claims that "federal statistics don't lie. They say 55 percent of the inmate population in U.S. prisons is made up of illegal aliens. That suggests to me that more than half of the serious crimes committed in this country are committed by illegal aliens."
Farah didn't provide the source for his "federal statistics" -- perhaps because he is apparently making it up. According to PolitiFact Wisconsin, "73.4 percent of the federal inmates are U.S. citizens, and that more than 26 percent are not citizens." But being a non-citizen does not necessarily equate to being illegal, meaning that the actual federal prision population made up of "illegal aliens" is even less.
Farah is even more wrong when state-level prison populations are considered. In Arizona, which has a reputation as a hotbed of illegal immigration, undocumented immigrants represented 14.8 percent of Arizona state prisoners. Similarly, in California, just 11 percent of the state prison population is undocumented.
Getting facts completely wrong is not the sign of a persuasive argument.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Kessler Shamelessly Plugs His Wife's Book
Ronald Kessler's Dec. 8 Newsmax column is nothing more than a shameless plug for his wife's book. Kessler begins with an anecdote about the CIA Christmas party, then abruptly shifts into shill mode:
This is followed first by an Amazon link to buy the book -- strange that his employer's own online store won't carry it -- then, after stating, "In the spirit of the holidays, she has given me permission to share some excerpts," a lengthy excerpt.
The book, by the way, is not some recently published tome; it came out in 2005. So it's not only shameless, it smacks a bit of desperation as well.
WND Columnist Falsely Claims Soros Has 'Pro-Nazi Past'
In a Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily column, author and "talk-show host with Fairness Doctrine Radio" Chuck Morse assails everyone who takes money from George Soros, and Jewish groups in particular, as having "spineless lack of courage" and "zero sense of principle." But Morse displayed his own lack of principle by repeatedly telling falsehoods about Soros' background, capped by the outright lie that Soros has a "pro-Nazi past."
Citing an interview Soros did on 60 Minutes, Morse wrote that in Nazi-occupied Hungary, "the 14-year-old Soros helped a man who was posing as his father make the rounds as this man confiscated property from Jews. Soros acknowledged that he served papers to Jews and watched as they were shipped off to the death camps." Morse goes on to bizarrely interpret Soros' statement that "I had no role in taking away that property" as admitting "he did indeed play an active a role in the confiscations."
But Morse is falsely portraying Soros' actions. In Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire, Michael T. Kaufman detailed Soros's reaction during the interview, as well as Soros' actions in Nazi-occupied Hungary, pointing out that Soros "collaborated with no one":
Morse's claim that Soros "served papers to Jews and watched as they were shipped off to the death camps" is also a false portrayal of what actually happened. In his book, Kaufman wrote that school-age Soros had been selected by officials to serve as a courier for the Jewish Council, an organization intended by the Nazis "as a first step leading to the identification and registration of Jews, which would be followed by herding them into ghettos and ultimately by their deportation to forced labor and death." Kaufman continued [emphasis added]:
Nevertheless, Morse insisted this was evidence that Soros has a "pro-Nazi past."
Morse went on to write that Glenn Beck was criticized by "liberal Jewish leaders" for "quoting from the Soros interview." In fact, as we documented, Beck selectively quoted from the interview without telling the full truth. He also claimed that Soros helped "send the Jews" to "death camps" and that Soros "saw people into gas chambers."
Morse also stated that "Abe Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote that Beck's recitation of the ‘60 Minutes' interview with Soros was ‘completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top.' After looking into the matter further, Foxman apologized to Beck for calling him an anti-Semite." In fact, Foxman never called Beck an "anti-Semite" regarding the Soros comments; the only time the term appears in his criticism of Beck over his Soros attacks is when he's quoting Beck. Foxman's apology to Beck -- in a letter dated more than two weeks before Foxman criticized Beck over Soros -- was for mistakenly including him in an ADL fundraising email's list of celebrities who had made anti-Semitic comments.
Morse even ran to the defense of Ohio Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott (whose name Morse misspells as "Rich Lott"), lamenting that "several liberal guests commenting on my daily radio program" criticized him "for wearing a Nazi uniform at a historical re-enactment," but "the same liberals have said not a word about George Soros' sordid past." Perhaps that's because those "liberal guests" researched all the facts regarding Soros -- something Morse has demonstrated he couldn't be bothered to do."
(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)
WND Attacks Obama for Quoting the Founders
A Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh is little more than a rewritten press release from Rep. Randy Forbes, head of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, which has "written to President Obama asking him to correct a speech he gave in Indonesia incorrectly replacing the nation's motto of 'In God We Trust' with 'E pluribus unum.'"
In following Forbes' lead in bashing Obama over his use of "E pluribus unum," Unruh ignores any evidence that the phrase has a long and storied history in America. As Media Matters points out, even if it's not the national motto, it's certainly a national motto, given that it was chosen as the motto for the National Seal by a committee consisting of none other than Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Why do Bob Unruh and WND hate the Founders?
Unruh also uncritically repeats Forbes' claim that the Congressional Prayer Caucus is a "bipartisan" group. Given that Forbes is a Republican and the membership includes some of the most right-wing members of the House -- such as Michele Bachmann, Virginia Foxx and Steve King -- it's unlikely that it's as "bipartisan" and Forbes and WND would have us think.
WND's Anti-Gay Petition Based on Distortions
WorldNetDaily has launched a petition to oppose the repeal of the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. (The inevitable reader-fleecing letter campaign is presumably still in the works.) It's back up with the usual misleading claptrap, mainly in repeating dubious scare tactics by opponents while omitting evidence to the contrary.
For instance, the petition states:
In fact, as we've detailed, a 2003 article in Parameters, the U.S. Army War College Quarterly found that "[n]ot a single one of the 104 experts interviewed believed that the Australian, Canadian, Israeli, or British decisions to lift their gay bans ... led to increased difficulties in recruiting or retention." WND makes no mention of this study.
The petition goes on to "demand that the lame-duck U.S. Senate honor the clear wishes of the voters they serve, as well as the wishes of the U.S. military, by immediately ceasing its efforts to overturn the proven and time-tested warrior culture of the finest fighting force in history." But "the clear wishes of the voters" is that the policy be repealed: A Pew Research Center poll last month found that 58 percent said they favored the military shifting its policy to allow gays to serve openly -- about the same percentage who have supported a policy change in polls over the last five years.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
WND Columnist Interviews WND Editor; Softball Ensues
Over at his Prophecy Matters website, WorldNetDaily columnist Jim Fletcher does a softball interview of WND managing editor David Kupelian. In the process, though, Fletcher somehow fails to disclose that he's a WND columnist.
Because it's such a softball interview, we get Q-and-A's like this:
Fletcher seems to have no interest in that early history, even though it's fascinating. Perhaps that's because Kupelian doesn't want that story told.
The "magazine project" Kupelian is in all likelihood referring to is New Dimensions, published at the time by the Foundation of Human Understanding. As we detailed, FHU is run by Roy Masters, who has been accused of cult-like tendencies. WND's Whistleblower appears to be, for all practical purposes, a continuation of New Dimensions. For years -- and it may still be the case for all we know, though WND now claims to be headquartered in Washington, D.C. -- WND was headquartered in and/or around Grant Pass, Oregon, also the home base of Masters' FHU.
The rest of Fletcher's interview is similarly softball, allowing Kupelian to spout off about the Federal Reserve, George Soros, Alfred Kinsey, President Obama and others that are all too familiar for anyone who's been reading WND.
Richard Bartholomew catches WorldNetDaily engaging in a bout of false hyperbole by claiming that Joel Richardson's WND-published book "The Islamic Antichrist" is "a book greeted in the Muslim world with the same enthusiasm as Salman Rushdie's 'The Satanic Verses.'" Not only does WND fail to offer any evidence that "the Muslim world" is even aware of the book, the claim appears to be lifted straight from an earlier WND plug for the book, when it was presented as what would "almost certain" happen to the book.
We will add that WND's claim that Richardson "has written the book under a pseudonym to protect himself and his family" is seemingly contradicted by his posting a picture of himself on his website.
Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!
Accuracy in Media
Capital Research Center
Free Congress Foundation
Media Research Center
The Daily Les
Western Journalism Center
Support Bloggers' Rights!