MRC Defines Maturity Down Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has exchanged media research (its version of it, anyway) for juvenile insults over the past few days.
For instance, here's Brent Bozell's statement about Keith Olbermann's departure from MSNBC, which doesn't even bother striving for any shred of professional dignity:
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Olbermann was a failure because he was vicious, insulting and off-the-charts liberal. And they replaced him with Lawrence O'Donnell, who is Olbermann but without talent. It is absolutely guaranteed that MSNBC will sink even lower. This network is clueless.
Then, in a Jan. 24 NewsBusters post, Geoffrey Dickens punctuated his criticism of Chris Matthews for advocating high-speed rail with the headline, "Matthews: America Stinks Because We Don't Have Fast Choo-Choo Trains."
Perhaps Bozell and his MRC boys might want to stop their weekly viewings of "Porky's" -- the juvenile attitude is starting to affect their work.
WND Lets Ethically Challenged Reporter Write Another Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
We knew we'd seen that byline before.
A July 25 WorldNetDaily article on the annual anti-abortion March for Life is, as you would expect from WND, completely and fawningly biased in favor of its subject. It was written by Anita Crane, a name you may remember.
As we detailed, Crane wrote an article for WND last September on Glenn Beck's Washington rally, extensively quoting one man in particular who had written a book that Crane made sure to mentnion. Turns out there was a reason for that: Crane edited the book, something that was not disclosed in the article.
That WND would continue to employ a reporter who committed such an ethical breach is amazing but, sadly, not surprising.
It seems that the threshold for screwing up is much higher at WND than pretty much every other news organization than we can think of. That's good news for reporters who are unemployable everywhere else in journalism, but bad news for WND's readers.
Newsmax's Faulty Dismemberment Plan Topic: Newsmax
An unbylined Jan. 23 Newsmax article carries the headline "Krauthammer Dismembers Obamacare's Promised Deficit 'Reduction'." It rehashes Charles Krauthammer's Washington Post column in which he found the numbers behind the claim that repealing health care reform would increase the deficit, in Newsmax's words, "laughable."
Provocactive headline aside -- so much for cooling down that violent rhetoric -- the only thing being dismembered here is Newsmax's journalistic integrity, through its uncritical presentation of Krauthammer's assertions as fact. For instance, Newsmax writes:
The entitlement it creates — government-subsidized health insurance for 32 million Americans — doesn't kick in until 2014. That means that any projection for this decade would cover only six years of expenditures but capture 10 years of revenue. “With 10 years of money inflow vs. six years of outflow, the result is a positive — i.e., deficit-reducing — number. Surprise,” Krauthammer points out.
In fact, as Media Matters points out, Krauthammer's claim that health care reform front-loads revenues and backloads spending is false.
Newsmax also asserts that, according to Krauthammer, "Obamacare actually creates two new entitlements that will cost Americans for decades to come if the law isn’t repealed." But one of those programs, the CLASS Act, isn't actually an entitlement at all; it's a voluntary program funded by its participants.
Newsmax might to be a little more careful with that ax next time, lest what gets dismembered its its own credibility.
Jerome Corsi drops this purported bombshell in a Jan. 24 WorldNetDaily article:
Former Hawaii elections clerk Tim Adams has signed an affidavit swearing he was told by his supervisors in Hawaii that no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate existed for Barack Obama Jr. in Hawaii and that neither Queens Medical Center nor Kapi'olani Medical Center in Honolulu had any record of Obama having been born in their medical facilities.
This is meaningless because at not point in the two-page affidavit does Adams relate any firsthand knowledge regarding Obama's birth certificate; he's only referencing what he was told by unnamed "senior officers in the City and County of Honolulu Elections Division."
Corsi finds it significant that one Adams statement is that "I was told by senior officers in the City and County of Honolulu Elections Division to stop inquiring about Senator Obama's Hawaii birth records, even though it was common knowledge among my fellow employees that no Hawaii long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate existed for Senator Obama." Adams also told Corsi, "We called the two hospitals in Honolulu: Queens and Kapi'olani. ... Neither of them have any records that Barack Obama was born there."
Unmentioned by Corsi or Adams is that it was presumably beyond the scope of his job as a "senior elections clerk" for four months in 2008 to be searching for Obama's birth certificate, since Obama was not a registered voter in Hawaii in 2008 (he cast his ballot in Illinois).
Corsi quoted Adams' supervisor, Glen Takahashi, as proof that Adams "was indeed working in their elections offices during the last presidential election," which nobody disputes. What is at issue -- and what Corsi doesn't acknowledge -- is that there are questions about what exactly Adams did. Corsi portrayed him as "overseeing a group of 50 to 60 employees responsible for verifying the identity of voters at the Absentee Ballot Office," but Takahashi told Dave Weigel that Adams was actually working in a a low-level data entry position.
Needless to say, Corsi stays far away from the fact that Adams first made his claim about Obama's birth certificate to a self-proclaimed "pro-white" radio host while he was broadcasting from the convention of the white-supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. WND hasneverexplained that one away.
Newsmax's Walsh Still Unhappy About Brown People Topic: Newsmax
James Walsh just can't stop lamenting what he calls the "Hispanicazation" of America.
Walsh keeps up his increasingly mean-spirited anti-immigrant tone in his Jan. 24 Newsmax column, in which he claimed that President Obama delivered a speech on immigraition reform "to appease the restive Hispanic voters (legal and illegal) who elected him." Walsh offered no evidence that illegal immigrants "elected" Obama.
Walsh also sneered at "100 open-borders activists" who "gathered for a rally," claiming that the rally took place "during the mid-morning hours when most citizens and legal immigrants are at work."
NewsBusters' Graham Asks: 'Is Justice Breyer Really Dumb About Tools?' Topic: NewsBusters
Yes, Tim Graham devoted an entire NewsBusters post to suggesting that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is "really dumb about tools" because he said that if a certain course of reasoning were to be adopted, "we are not just throwing a monkey wrench into the gears of government contracting; we're throwing the whole monkey."
Graham concedes that "It's quite possible that Breyer was trying to be a Supreme Court cutup," but he fretted whether "a Palin get the chance to be a wise-cracker," and he's more interested in portraying Breyer's quip as, in the words of someone he quoted, "more disturbing than funny."
This is the state of "media research" at the Media Research Center.
We Get Results: Kessler Writes About CPAC Topic: Newsmax
A few days ago, we wondered when Newsmax's Ronald Kessler would write about the controversies at the gay conservative group GOProud at CPAC, given that CPAC gave Kessler its inaugural "Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award" last year.
Kessler has finally come through -- he has written a Jan. 24 column on the issue, and he predictably allows his buddy David Keeneof the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC, to dismiss it all:
Some say CPAC should exclude GOProud, a gay conservative group. Others say it should emphasize national security issues more. Conspiracy theorists hint darkly that CPAC has been overtaken by Muslim extremists. And some insist that any group that has chosen not to participate this year must not approve of CPAC policies or speakers.
Rubbish, says Dave Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, whose foundation runs CPAC. Having been chairman since 1984, Keene has seen it all. He bears the brunt of lobbying by those who want to be speakers or want to ban others from speaking.
To Keene, those who try to define what conservatives should think and try to exclude those who don’t agree don’t understand what the movement is all about and why it has been so successful.
“CPAC does not attempt to define the movement,” Keene says. “In the past, you had people say that anybody who is for free trade should be thrown out, or anybody that is not for total restrictionist immigration policies should be thrown out, or groups that are not religious should be thrown out.”
In addition, says Keene, “We’ve had groups that are on one side or the other which never participated because they don’t feel they want to be identified with anybody else. Some economic groups don’t want to be associated with social conservatives. Some of the social conservatives don’t want to be associated with economic groups.”
Over the years, CPAC has excluded only one group, a Citizens Council in Mississippi, which Keene says was racist.
Keene goes on to defend GOProud, and Kessler points out that CPAC has more organizations taking part this year over last.
All in all, it's the fawning whitewash job we knew Kessler would do when properly motiviated.
WND Sides With Ivory Coast Leader, Against Rest of World Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has taken sides on the election controversy in the Ivory Coast, delaring in a Jan. 22 article that "Laurent Gbagbo, a Christian, legitimately was re-elected president" and that the country "is facing the forced Islamist takeover of its government" from "outside influences" who "seek to force the installment of Alassane Ouattara, a Muslim who, like Gbagbo, claims the presidency following a recent contested election." WND continues:
The forced selection of Ouattara by outside influences runs contrary to constitutionally established procedures in the Ivory Coast regarding such determinations, critics contend.
In this case, the issue centers on whether the United States and U.N. will select the next Ivory Coast president or allow the decision by the country's constitutional council to prevail.
The constitutional council had determined that there was sufficient evidence of vote-rigging in the northern part of the country controlled by Islamists to make the final determination that Gbagbo, the incumbent president, had won the hotly contested election last November.
The constitutional council under the Ivory Coast constitution has the last word on election results.
But the U.S., U.N. and African Union are pushing for the recognition of Ouattara and are demanding that Gbagbo step down and "respect democracy."
As we've detailed over at Media Matters, the United Nations and the European Union have certified that the vote in which Gbagbo lost to rival Ouattara was free and fair, despite some isolated incidents of violence, and National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer stated that the provisional results were in favor of Ouattara, adding, “Credible, accredited electoral observers have characterized the balloting as free and fair, and no party should be allowed to obstruct further the electoral process.” The constitutional council WND relies on as having certified the results of the election is, in fact, controlled by Gbagbo loyalists.
In short, there is near-unanimous international opinion that Gbagbo is causing the crisis in the Ivory Coast by manipulating the election results and refusing to leave office, and U.S. actions on the Ivory Coast are in line with that international opinion.
WND also repeats the discredited claim that President Obama "barnstormed on behalf of" Kenyan leader Raila Odinga during a 2007 visit to the country and that Obama was "appearing with Odinga at campaign stops." In fact, as PolitiFact.com reported, Obama "remained neutral in Kenyan politics, and did not support Odinga during his trip," and it was Odinga who was seeking to align himself with Obama, not the other way around.
WND portrayed the Kenya situation as "the second Muslim-Christian battle in Africa recently," but the opposing candidate in the Kenyan presidential controversy, Mwai Kibaki -- who professes to be a Chtristian -- has two wives, something generally frowned upon in Christianity.
This is the second time this month that WND has sided with Gbagbo and pushed discredited lies about Obama and Odinga.
Loughner's Favorite Film Shares Obsessions With WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has been eager to tag accused Arizona shooter Jared Loughner as being influence by Marx and Hitler, as well as music lyrics. It has shown no enthusiasm for exploring another apparent influence on Loughner -- a conspiracy-mongering film called "Zeitgeist."
Perhaps that's because "Zeitgeist" has some common obsessions with WND.
Both Zeitgeist and Alex Jones promote the idea that world events are controlled by a secretive banking cabal that is using debt to enslave us all. Zeitgeist echoes Alex Jones in warning that the United States is about to be merged with Canada and Mexico into a "North American Union" that will use a new currency, the "Amero." "When the time is right," Zeitgeist informs us, "the North American Union, The European Union, the African Union and the Asian Union will be merged together, forming the final stages of the plan these men have been working on for over 60 years: a one world government." This government will implant microchips in all of our arms. "In the end, everybody will be locked into a monitored control grid, where every single action you perform is documented," it says.
The North American Union is one of the chief obsessions of WND writer Jerome Corsi -- he even wrote a book about it. For instance, in a Dec. 20 WND article, Corsi portrayed a meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the foreign ministers of Canada and Mexico as a part of moving toward creation of the NAU. Corsi has alsoscaremongered about the amero as well.
The idea of control and manipulation is the movie's real theme, knitting together its disparate parts. Zeitgeist's second-third rehashes classic 9/11 Truth theories that purport to show that the attacks were actually an inside job. This was done, the final section argues, at the behest of a banking cabal that has repeatedly goaded the United States into war in order to solidify its wealth and power. Chip Berlet, a senior analyst at the think tank Political Research Associates and one of the country's foremost experts on right-wing movements, points out that Zeitgeist borrows liberally from the G. Edward Griffin's The Creature from Jekyll Island, an "expose" of the Federal Reserve System popular with the John Birch Society, Alex Jones, and some Tea Party groups. It also draws on ideas from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, though it never mentions Jews.
While WND has generally stayed away from 9/11 trutherism, it is obsessed with the idea of secret societies like the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, and it sells Stanley Monteith's "Brotherhood of Darkness" -- which claims to expose "secret societies, how they have directed the course of civilization, and how they influence your life today" -- in is online store, as well as a book called "Hope of the Wicked," which purports to show "what the Masters of the Universe are planning for the New World Order." WND editor Joseph Farah is fully on board with this; in a 2009 column, he ranted about how "What Kissinger and his friends in the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and Bilderberg Group want to see and construct is a "permanent" form of global governance. They seek to serve as the architects of a new empire."
Despite having a lot in common with "Zeitgeist," WND has largely ignored its connection to Loughner. It has mentioned the film in only two articles, and only in passing: once in quoting Rush Limbaugh calling it a film claiming "your government was behind the downing of the [World] Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11," and once in quoting someone else; WND claimed that the film "alleges that Jesus Christ is merely another name for non-existent pagan sun gods and rails against currency-based economics."
Which it does, but much more too -- but WND doesn't want to tell you that because they would discredit themselves by doing so.
For instance, in a Nov. 22 post, Lachlan Markay played the equivocation card, declaring NPR's suggestion that Fox News is "uniquely disposed to Nazi comparisons" as "absurd claim on its face":
Of course anyone with a memory span longer than two years remembers a host of such Nazi comparisons that did not emanate from Fox News. In fact, while MSNBC and New York Times commentators were certainly fond of painting the George W. Bush administration as frighteningly fascistic or Nazi-esque, those sorts of statements did not stop once Bush left office - there were still conservatives to smear, after all.
At no point does Markay condemn Nazi comparisons by either side.
WND's Washington: 'We MUST Invade Their Countries, Kill Their Leaders And Convert Them To Christianity' Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's been a while since we heard anythingreallycrazy from Ellis Washington, and we were starting to get concerned. Fortunately, Washington has heard our silent plea for more insanity and wrote this in his Jan. 22 WorldNetDaily column:
If America is really serious about combating worldwide Islamic terrorism and the increasing reports of Christian genocide among the 44 Muslim nations, then let us take up the battle cry of Ann Coulter and the Muslim author who converted to Christianity and train our military not only to kill and destroy our enemies but to convert them to Christianity.
What good is it to a nation to fight perpetual wars against Muslims and Islamic terrorism and spend over a trillion dollars in war costs and nation-building if the day we leave Iraq and Afghanistan the murderous thugs of al-Qaida and the Taliban not only seize hegemony, but become emboldened and metastasize into an even greater menace against neighboring Muslim countries who utterly hate Christianity, America, democracy, Israel and Western civilization?
My one revision of Coulter is not that we should invade their countries: "We must invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. PC (perversity correctness) means keeping Christianity, America and the West on the road to dhimmitude.
Six million Muslims convert to Christianity per year. Thank God Christian missionaries are still devoted to Christ's mandate: Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you, Ellis Washington, for coming to the rescue and dragging the level of debate down to where we would expect you to. We knew you would come through.
NewsBusters' Sheppard Thinks Liberal Opinions On TV Are 'Disgraceful' Topic: NewsBusters
In gloating over Keith Olbermann's departure from MSNBC during a Jan. 22 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard wondered if the network's new owners, Comcast, will "be far more concerned about the political image of MSNBC than GE was" and not "jeopardize its vast customer base with hyper-partisan rhetoric on its new news network."
Funny, we haven't heard Sheppard complain about the "hyper-partisan rhetoric" on Fox News.
Sheppard then speculates that if, Olberman's deprature, "more changes are made to MSNBC's prime time lineup in the coming months further diminishing the network's hyper-partisanship, we may look upon January 21, 2011, as the beginning of the end of a totally disgraceful period in television journalism."
Given that MSNBC's evening lineup is largely liberal, Sheppard appears to be describing an expression of liberal opinion as "disgraceful."
Just a reminder that Sheppard's employer, the Media Research Center, really doesn't want "balance"; it wants elimination of liberal viewpoints from the media.
Another ConWeb Writer Blames Music Lyrics for AZ Massacre Topic: CNSNews.com
Interesting how right-wingers are desperate to shoot down any suggestion that political rhetoric played a role in influencing Arizona shooter Jared Loughner, but they're all too eager to blame it on music lyrics.
Following in the footsteps of WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi (who blamed the punk band Anti-Flag) and the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell (who blamed the metal band Drowning Pool), Bozell underling Terry Jeffrey plays the blame game in his Jan. 19 CNSNews.com column, this time singling out the band Slipknot.
Jeffrey is shocked that the band "calls its fans 'maggots'" -- even though it's really no different from, say, Glenn Beck calling his audience "sick, twisted freaks," and we don't recall Jeffrey being terribly bothered by that (his fans certainly aren't). Jeffrey also quotes from an article describing the band's appeal: "Slipknot's lyrics articulate isolation and frustration. Mostly, though, they articulate rage." Which makes it just like anyother aggressive metal band.
Jeffrey curiously singled out Slipknot, even though he named another band Jeffrey allegedly listened to, the Mars Volta. He doesn't explain why; perhaps he decided that a band employing disturbing imagery and wearing grotesque masks is much more easily demonized than a progressive-rock band who wrote an entire album about an adoptee's search for his biological parents.
WND Complains Again That Gibbs Didn't Answer Question That Wasn't Asked Topic: WorldNetDaily
Les Kinsolving must have quite the sense of entitlement. Not only did he and WorldNetDaily take their ball and go home rather than be given a number of seats at last year's White House correspondents dinner they deemed insufficient, he seems to believe he has a right to be called on during White House press briefings.
For at least thefourthtime in recent months, WND has published an article complaining that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs didn't answer a question Kinsolving didn't ask. The article drips with entitlement, making sure to describe Kinsolving as "the second-most senior member of the White House press corps."
And true to form, Kinsolving's unasked question was designed only to insult rather than enlighten: "Do you have any idea just when the president will announce who will be your successor; and will he or she receive more than what the president reportedly described as your 'relatively modest pay' of $172,000 a year?" Kinsolving is merely regurgitating a right-wing talking point scoffing at how President Obama had described Gibbs' salary as "relatively modest" -- which flies in the face of conservatives' earlier assertions that the $250,000 income at which Obama originally intended to eliminate the Bush tax cuts was not "wealthy."
As we've pointed out before, Kinsolving's reliance on talking points over intellect demonstrates that, seniority aside, he has not earned the entitlement he and WND so insistently claim.