MRC's Double Standard on Officials On Vacation During Disasters Topic: Media Research Center
In a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock was upset that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was criticized for being on vacation in Florida when a major blizzard hit his state. Whitlock huffed: Both CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today covered the anger in the New York/New Jersey region over the blizzard and the problems with the recovery. Neither of them, however, mentioned Christie."
But Whitlock's employer, the Media Research Center, has no problem attacking a government official for doing that very thing -- that is, of course, as long as the ofifcial in question is not a conservative. An April 1 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr carries the headline "FEMA Administrator Visits Sunny Orlando as Rhode Island Deals With Worst Flooding in 200 Years." Starr writes:
On Wednesday, one day after President Barack Obama issued an emergency declaration for flood-stricken Rhode Island authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency “to coordinate all disaster relief efforts” for the state, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was in sunny Orlando, Fla., giving a speech.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service predicted a sunny day Thursday with a high temperature of 82 degrees in Orlando, Fla., where FEMA Director Fugate was known to be on Wednesday.
Starr did not explain why Fugate needed to be in Rhode Island or what would possibly be gained by him doing so -- or why, for that matter, it was necessary to twice describe the weather in Orlando.
What's the difference between Fugate and Christie? We don't see any. Whitlock and Starr, however, apparently do: Christie is a conservative, while Fugate is presumed not to be.
Another Year, Another Lame WND List of 'Underreported' Stories Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's the start of a new year, and you know what that means -- another year-end list from WorldNetDaily of all the right-wing stories they think are "underreported" that ignores the facts to show they were rightly ignored.
At the top of this year's list is -- surprise! -- a birther story. This is the one involving for Hawaii elections temp worker Tim Adams claiming that there is no Hawaiian birth certificate for President Obama. As it did when it firstreported Adams' dubious story, WND ignores the fact that Adams first made his claim on the radio show of a self-described "pro-white" radio host that was broadcasting from a conference of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a decendent of the openly racist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s that the Anti-Defamation League describes as having a "white supremacy, white separatism" ideology. WND also ignores that the "senior elections clerk" position Adams claimed was described by his boss as a low-level data entry position, and that Adams would not have had access to any of Obama's election and related records since he is not registered to vote in Hawaii.
Another entry on WND's list is "the dark possibility of the manipulation of elections" as exemplied by, among other things, 'a formalized refusal by some states to follow election law regarding ballots for the military." WND asserted that "during the 2010 election some states simply disregarded – or demanded an exemption to – requirements that they get ballots to members of the military, who vote more conservatively than the general population, on time for them to be returned and counted." What WND didn't note is that claims about intentional efforts to prevent military members from receiving ballots are largely overblown, and states that failed to meet federal deadlines to send out military ballots reachedsettlements with the Justice Department to extend the deadline for their return to ensure those ballots were counted.
WND must have been running short on actual fake underreported news, so it had to come up wiht filler entries, like this one: "The push in the U.S. courts by homosexual advocates to demand the legalization of same-sex 'marriage' as well as through Congress to formally adopt the policy of allowing open homosexual behavior in the U.S. military." WND seems to concede it's not actually underreported, but it insisted that the issue "remains beyond the reach of most traditional reporting staffs." That seems to be code for saying that the media doesn't despise gays as much as WND does.
WND even threw in an "honorable mention" for its so-called "pink slip" campaign. If you'll recall, that was the right-wing screed that contained numerous factual errors. WND touted that the campaign "dispatched nearly 10 million warnings to members of Congress to return to the values of their constituents or face being removed from office in November," but if you divide 10 million by the 535 "pink slips" each participant generated,you have less than 18,690 people paying WND the princely sum of $29.95 to send out those slips -- hardly a massive outpouring (though WND grossed a cool $500,000-plus on the fleecing of its readers).
Meanwhile ... Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters' Jamison Foser catches the folks at NewsBusters with a serious lack of knowledge about what a liberal is. A Dec. 28 post by Iris Somberg, for instance, labeled Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt as a "doctrinaire liberal" -- which he is most definitely not.
BMI Attacks Top 'Economic Myth' With A Myth Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC's Business & Media Institute recently issued its list of the year's "Top 10 Economic Myths." It might be a litle more credible if it didn't rely on myths to attack them.
Take, for instance, the top "economic myth," "The Chamber of Commerce is Taking 'Secret Foreign Money' for Election." Julia Seymour writes:
This myth about the Chamber of Commerce began with unsubstantiated claims from one left-wing group, but was soon embraced by the DNC, Obama and by liberal media outlets.
Think Progress, a left-wing website and arm of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, claimed that the Chamber was soliciting foreign money to pay for political attack ads in the U.S. midterm elections. That's a serious charge since it is illegal to spend foreign money on domestic elections, yet the group offered no evidence to support the allegation.
That didn't prevent Keith Olbermann of MSNBC from railing against the Chamber night after night. On one show he said the group was "something like the Manchurian Chamber of Commerce." The Los Angeles Times said the claim was "gaining traction" Oct. 7.
Surprisingly, it was the liberal New York Times that noted how baseless Think Progress' claim really was. The Times wrote on Oct. 8, "[T]here is little evidence that what the Chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents."
The paper went on to say that, "Organizations from both ends of the political spectrum, from liberal ones like the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the Sierra Club to conservative groups like the National Rifle Association, have international affiliations and get money from foreign entities while at the same time pushing political causes in the United States."
Tom Collamore, senior vice president of communications for the Chamber, told the Business & Media Institute the attacks were a distraction: "We certainly had our share of distractions in this election season. However, we remained focused like a laser on the issues we - and it turns out, the voters - care about: jobs and the economy."
Chamber President Tom Donohue called the Think Progress accusations "patently untrue" in an Oct. 12 letter. He also called out the White House for repeating the baseless claims "to try to salvage an election."
"Let me be clear. The Chamber does not use any foreign money to fund voter education activities - period," Donohue wrote. "We have strict financial controls in place to ensure this. The funds we receive from American Chambers of Commerce abroad, bilateral business councils, and non-U.S. based global companies represent a small fraction of our more than $200 million annual revenues. Under our accounting system, these revenues are never used to support any political activities. We are in full compliance with all laws and regulations."
At no point does Seymour actually disprove the claim. She asserted that Think Progress "offered no evidence to support the allegation," but the Chamber has never offered any evidence to support its denial. It has yet to publicly demonstrate how its "strict financial controls" keep foreign money from funding the Chamber's political activities -- indeed, Chamber spokesperson Tita Freeman has declared, "We are not obligated to discuss our internal accounting procedures." Seymour is merely taking the Chamber's denials at face value.
By the way, Think Progress didn't actually accuse the Chamber of "soliciting foreign money to pay for political attack ads in the U.S. midterm elections"; rather, it highlighted that "foreign money is fungible" and that the pot of money that paid for the attack ads is the same one that accepts foreign dues.
Of course, the reason Think Progress "offered no evidence to support the allegation" is that the Chamber doesn't feel obligated to release any such documentation, pro or con, since it's not required under campaign disclosure laws. This means the Chamber's denial is even more of a "myth" than Seymour claims Think Progress' original accusation is.
In another example of using myths to debunk "myths," Seymour's second-place entry was that the so-called "ClimateGate" scandal over stolen emails "isn't a big deal." Seymour writes that "It's been more than a year since leaked emails and files showed that global warming alarmists 'can't account for the lack of warming at the moment,' were attempting to 'hide the decline' of temperatures and indicated that their temperature records were in a 'hopeless' state."
But those are largely phrases taken out of context. The statement by one scientist who "can't account for the lack of warming at the moment" doesn't disprove that global warming is happening, and the "hide the decline" statement was in reference to dealing with unreliable tree-ring data, not a conspiracy to discard accurate data.
Seymour then attempted to discredit investigations that cleared researchers of wrongdoing in the stolen emails, asserting that "there is evidence to suggest those 'independent' investigations were a 'whitewash.'" Her only evidence is citing the Cato Institute's Pat Michaels -- a global warming denier who has a vested interest in discrediting such investigations.
If I might speculate, the Europeans likely slighted "True Grit" for its unapologetic celebration of republican virtue. I refer here to those virtues necessary to build a successful republic: self-reliance, resourcefulness, strength, competence, charity, piety.
Unfortunately, these virtues are as alien to our own president as they are to the Europeans, which may explain why Barack Obama's approval ratings in Europe still hover in the 90 percent range.
"In America," said Obama upon his return from the putative Million Man March in 1995, "we have this strong bias toward individual action. You know, we idolize the John Wayne hero who comes in to correct things with both guns blazing."
Obama had other plans for America. "Individual actions, individual dreams, are not sufficient," he continued. "We must unite in collective action, build collective institutions and organizations." V. I. Lenin could not have said it better himself.
The presidency of Barack Obama has been injurious to the image of black Americans in politics. Prior to his election, one of his glaring deficiencies was his lack of experience. While even his detractors realize that his race has nothing to do with his being an anti-American, Marxist scoundrel, one still has to consider the superficial associations people can make in this vein. I have stated that it's unfortunate that our first black president had to be a person of Obama's character, because he does represent a blemish on the legacy of black Americans. In the best-case scenario, he will wind up merely being a footnote: our first black president. The specter of the worst-case scenario is what has motivated and mobilized Americans toward thwarting his agenda.
As a result of the dim view this president has cultivated, and its potential cultural blowback, it appears that the producers of certain television shows might have come on board to effect damage control in this area. In order to to counter the perception of ineptitude that has come about associated with Obama and his lack of leadership skills, an effort seems to have been made to portray blacks in high places as competent leaders in dramatic roles.
To be fair, some of these occurrences took place prior to Obama actually taking office, but a good case could be made that it was the intent of these organizations to prepare the American public for the leadership of a black individual via positive portrayals of black leaders. I would contend that America needed no such preparation, but that's another issue. The stronger argument exists in these concerned parties making their efforts in the face of Obama's subsequent plummeting popularity.
But the reality is that we have a criminal, Constitution-hating government headed by an angry young Marxist intent on bringing the United States down to the level of Third World countries. Sorry, but it's a chess game whether Republicans like it or not. And if they refuse to play, they will get checkmated all over the board by default.
Well, there you have it. According to the Los Angeles Times, President Obama is "evolving" in his views on the definition of marriage. Vice President Joe Biden shilled for that position on "Good Morning America" by declaring same-sex marriage as "inevitable."
Biden boldly quotes the president in his first meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff as he declared, "Gentlemen, I want you to prepare now; I want to end 'don't ask, don't tell.'"
"I want …"? What happened to the Constitution? To such despots that issue is irrelevant. He is on a mission and is looking more and more like it is out of the Kamikaze manual. Use your vehicle as a suicidal assault weapon to destroy the enemy. The difference is that his vehicle is the presidency and the enemy is the U.S. Constitution and our Judeo-Christian heritage.
The militant commitment of the Marxist/Democratic Party of 2011 America to radical sexual diversity is at its core driven by a hate for God's created order. Why do you suppose that earth worshipers (aka environmentalists), abortion "rights" advocates, GLBTQI activists, Darwinian evolutionists and atheists are uniformly standing side by side?
In case you think I have wandered from my topic, here is the trail of tears:
Is Farah Pushing Discredited Obama-Mau Mau Theory? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is Joseph Farah sending a coded message to his birther buddies? In his Dec. 30 WorldNetDaily column, he writes regarding new Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie:
So, will Abercrombie unseal the records? Will he convince his good friend, Obama, to simply give his consent to release the document? Or will he just continue to mau-mau the controversy by slandering Americans who simply believe in the rule of law?
If you'll recall, Newsmax's James Humes spent early 2009 trying to push the ludicrous conspiracy theory that Obama returned a bust of Winston Churchill to Britain because "Obama, who grew up in Kenya, took umbrage at Prime Minister Churchill’s actions in 1953 of wiping out the Mau-Mau, the Kenyan terrorists who made a specialty of slitting throats of sleeping white and Black Kenyans." Dinesh D'Souza latched onto it as well in his discredited book "The Roots of Obama's Rage"; WND has promoted the book on its "news" pages and sells the book in its online store.
So was Farah's "mau-mau" reference a message to his fellow birthers that he'll happily swallow any Obama-bashing theory, no matter how hateful and ludicrous? Perhaps.
WND Lies About Its Birther Coverage -- Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
In attempting to yet again portray Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie as having a "radical history that ties him to a U.S.-based socialist organization with deep connections to President Obama," WorldNetDaily's Aaron Kleintries to once again whitewashhis employer's shoddy history of birther-related reporting.
In complaining about a statement from Abercrombie's campaign that he was being attacked by "conspiracy theorists ... who continually claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S.," Klein retorts in a Dec. 29 WND article: "WND has never reported Obama was born outside the U.S. Instead, WND has reported Obama has not released documentary evidence conclusively proving his place of birth."
Klein would like you to forget that his employer did, in fact, portray Obama as "not born in the U.S." Remember the "kenyan birth certificate" that WND made no effort whatsoever to verify before publishing, thus treating it as authentic? We do. We also remember the backflips Farah and crew performed to pretend that its sleazy, lazy journalism was somehow noble and responsible.
This is part of the revisionism that WND engages in to cover up its lack of regard for the facts. Farah himself has also previously claimed that "I am not making accusations about where Obama was born" when he and his website have done exactly that.
AIM's Kincaid Knows Nothing About Business Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid's Dec. 23 Accuracy in Media column carries the headline "Liberal Post Sued for Racial Discrimination." Of course, that's not what happened.
Kincaid does go on to note the actual truth -- that Kaplan Higher Education, a unit of the Washington Post Co., was sued for discrimination, not the Washington Post newspaper. Still, Kincaid can't really seem to figure out the difference between the Washington Post newspaper and the Washington Post Co., a corporate entity that operates many units, only one of which is the Post; he writes later in his column that "the EEOC has sued the Post."
That's just sloppy, if not willfully ignorant, writing. It sure as heck isn't "accuracy in media."
CNSNews.com and WorldNetDaily both published Buchanan's column. They apparently have no problem with Buchanan's racist leanings, just as they had no problem with Buchanan expressed the view that there were too many Jews on the Supreme Court.
Interesting that WND and CNS parent the Media Research Center have no problem with this, yet freak out over gays.
I wouldn't want to be seen naked by a homosexual male. I wouldn't mind in the slightest being seen naked by a straight man OR - gripping mood music would fit nicely here - by a male whose sexual proclivities were unknown, hence presumed to be heterosexual.
This is nothing less than the proclamation of a new civil right - the right not to have your body enjoyed erotically against your will. More accurately, that's far from a new civil right. It's a right we've always had but never had the need to invoke and defend until the government overthrew "don't ask, don't tell." Women, in particular, have always held that right dear, and men have helped them preserve it. ("Officer. That man in annoying me!" "OK, buddy. Move along!") The only thing that's new is the prospect of men and women in the service now openly preferring intimacy with members of their same sex.
Don't forget; it was an official of the Nazi German Embassy in Copenhagen who tipped off the Danish Underground that they were about to round up the Jews and deport them to concentration camps. That particular "Nazi" saved 6,000 Jewish lives. Some American civilians paid their own way to the Philippines in 1946 to testify on behalf of a Japanese prison camp commander who was uncharacteristically kind to his prisoners.
I'm simply saying there was a good German here and a good Japanese there. I'm not saying the wartime Germans and Japanese were a good ol' bunch of boys. And, no, dummy; I'm not comparing gays to Nazis or imperial Japanese. I'm simply saying President Obama cherry-picked a story of an effective and beloved military commander who happened to be homosexual. And, no, this is not an anti-gay screed. This may be the most pro-gay piece you've read lately. I literally fear instances of straight GIs losing it and actually murdering their gay comrades-in-arms. And I feared that long before any present debate or legislation about gays in the military.
I recall shower time during basic training at Fort Dix, N.J. It was like watering cattle down before shipping them out of Omaha in boxcars. At least a dozen shower nozzles and a hundred naked men screaming, cussing, carrying on and even washing. I remember thinking, "I would rather take a shower like this with a hundred gay men who I didn't know were gay than with 99 straight men and one known homosexual."
Go ahead and laugh, denounce, demean, berate, snarl, spit and threaten. I remain the world's foremost authority on whom I'd like to take a shower with.
Graham Just Can't Stop Obsessing Over Gay Art He Hates Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham headlined his Dec. 26 NewsBusters post "WaPo Still Railing Against 'Doubly Sacrilegious' Removal of Ants-on-Christ Video," and it begins: "It was two days before Christmas, and some Washingtonians were still complaining that images mocking Jesus had been removed from the National Portrait Gallery."
Graham, if you'll recall, has demonstrated an inability to stop obsessing over George Allen's notorious "macaca incident." He and the MRC were still complaining about it four years after the fact.
If the Post is "railing against" the removal of a single video -- a mere 11 seconds of which was the "ants-on-Christ" stuff -- from a Smithsonian exhibition on gay portraiture, Graham could choose to ignore it. But he does not; he takes the bait every time. So, of course, he uses the opportunity to once again rant about how much he hates gays:
"Openness" does not mean debate. It means that the capital must be open for the Gay Agenda to sprawl across the museum and for no one to dare to question it, even as it assaults ancient religions.
Well, one "ancient religion." We suspect that Graham would not be so concerned if the exhibit had a video of ants crawling over, say, Osiris. Of course, Graham makes no mention of the artist's intent of the video clip as a metaphor for suffering, not to insult Christianity.
And yes, Graham capitalized "Gay Agenda." Why? Who knows? It's certainly not a formal name, though gay-bashers like Graham appear to think otherwise.
Remember Joseph Farah's Dec. 17 WorldNetDaily column, in which he called for mass defections from the military over the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Media Matters' Joe Strupp got reaction to it from various observers on the issue. "Irresponsible" is one of the kinder reactions.
A seminal work in the effort to portray the mainstream media as having a liberal bias is Edith Efron's "The News Twisters." But Efron never read WorldNetDaily.
A prime example of WND's news-twisting is a Dec. 26 article by Eugene J. Koprowski on President Obama's endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. It carries the headline, "Obama to give Manhattan back to Native Americans?" Koprowski's opening paragraph reads:
President Obama is voicing support for a U.N. resolution that could accomplish something as radical as relinquishing some U.S. sovereignty and opening a path for the return of ancient tribal lands to American Indians, including even parts of Manhattan.
The answer to the headline's question, in a word, is no. Koprowski fails to report the single piece of evidence that discredits the claim he makes in his opening paragraph: U.N. declarations are not legally binding. Koprowski also doesn't mention that the U.S. is the last country on the planet to endorse the declaration.
Koprowski offers no actual evidence whatsoever to support his claim, instead engaging in rampant speculation apparently inspired by something somebody said 30 years ago. Koprowski makes another baseless claim: that "Obama's interest is personal" becaues "he was officially adopted by the Crow Nation, an Indian tribe in Montana, and he was given an Indian name."
This is yet another empty WND article designed for the sole purpose of attacking Obama in contravention of the facts. That, of course, didn't keep WND editor Joseph Farah from writing a sneering column asserting he has a claim on Manhattan, based on the non-story he published -- even down to repeating the "Indian name" story word for word.
WND, as it has always done, is telling bald-faced lies to its readers. Is it any wonder that nobody takes it seriously?
CNS' Starr Misleads on Planned Parenthood, Abortion Topic: CNSNews.com
Penny Starr -- hater of abortion and Planned Parenthood -- begins her Dec. 23 CNSNews.com article, headlined "Planned Parenthood's Federal Funding Rose to $363.2 Million in FY 2008-2009, Aborted 324,008 Unborn Children in 2008," like this:
Planned Parenthood received $363.2 million in government grants and contracts during its 2008-2009 fiscal year, according to the organization's annual report. That was up from $349.6 million in FY2007-08.
According to a fact sheet on Planne Parenthood's Web site, the organization performed 324,008 abortions in calendar year 2008. That was up from 305,310 in 2007 and 289,750 in 2006.
It's not until the fifth paragraph that Starr gets around to noting that the two are mutually exclusive: "The funding is for reproductive health care services, including family planning, and cannot be directly spent on actual abortion procedures except in cases of rape, incest or to preserve the life of the mother."
That's otherwise known as the Hyde Amendment, whose name Starr curiously fails to mention.
Still, the false implication that Planned Parenthood uses federal money for abortions remains is Starr's article -- certainly the commenters on the article are under that impression.
NewsBusters Leans on Discredited Media Bias Study Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center's idea of good research is any work that confirms its anti-"liberal media" worldview (as its own shoddy research demonstrates).
Mark Finkelstein, in the midst of using a Dec. 24 NewsBusters post to insult the New York Times' Paul Krugman over his description fo a "well-developed right-wing media infrastructure" to "rapidly disseminate bogus analysis to a wide audience" and that there is "nothing comparable on the left" (he bashes the Times as the "Humbug Express" and that "cider bowl at the New York Times Christmas party" was "spiked with some wacky wassail weed, and that Paul Krugman drank deep—very deep—from it"), drops this bit of logic:
On the port side, we'd start of course with none other than Krugman's own home base of the New York Times. Include every other major newspaper with the exception of the Wall Street Journal [and even there its non-opinion pages point left].
Finkelstein's evidence that the Journal's news pages "point left" is a 2005 study by Timothy Groseclose and Jeffrey Milyo. Finkelstein doesn't mention, however, that the Groseclose-Milyo uses some highly questionable reasoning that skews its results.
As Media Matters pointed out at the time, Groseclose and Milyo's bizarre methodology was to examine the floor speeches of selected members to Congress to see which think tanks were referenced, then analyzed whether news coverage of the speeches mentioned the think tanks. If a news organization quoted a think tank mentioned by conservative members of Congress, then it was said to have a conservative "bias." Needless to say, this generates some strange results, including that the ACLU was categorized as conservative.
Groseclose and Milyo have previously received funding from right-wing think tanks like the Hoover Institution, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Further, their study is replete with citations from right-wing sources like the MRC and Accuracy in Media and virtually none from scholarly research on media studies.
But Finkelstein is too enamored of the fact that the Groseclose-Milyo study confirms his own biases to do any substantive analysis of the results. He continues:
Add in the three broadcast networks, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, NPR, academia, Hollywood, most major foundations, and countless liberal blogs—and you have a mighty media infrastructure indeed.
And on the right? Fox News, talk radio, and some websites. Pretty puny in comparison.
He offers no evidence to back any of this up -- if he asserts it, it must be true. He concludes: "To allay his startling symptoms, we'd prescribe for Paul a dose of reading NewsBusters for a week. Call us after New Years if the illusions of a lack of left-wing media haven't subsided."
Yes, he seems to think cherry-picked quotes devoid of context are always evidence. It seems Finkelstein has taken the shoddy research methods of his employer to heart.