Bozell's In A Denigrating Mood Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell has always portrayed his political enemies in the harshest tones he can think of (i.e., "Christiane Amanpour needs lithium badly"), and this week he has stepped up his attacks.
In his Feb. 23 column, Bozell dropped a reference to "public-sector union hacks." That's right -- according to Bozell, every one of the millions of members of public-sector unions, no matter what they do for a living, is a "hack."
Bozell went on to dismiss as "politically perverse" the idea that the protests in Wisconsin over a Republican governor stripping public unions of collective bargaining rights could be likened to Egypt's recent revolution. Bozell pushed this theme during his weekly appearance on Fox News' "Hannity," citing ABC's Diane Sawyer as an offender.
One problem with that: As Media Matters points out, Sawyer was quoting Republican Rep. Paul Ryan at the time.
Bozell wasn't done denigrating, though. In his Feb. 25 column, he defended the male high school wrestler who refused to wrestle a female opponent by attacking the girl's parents, complaining that no one is asking why they are "encouraging their teenaged daughter for years to wrestle competitively with males – with every implication, physical and sexual."
Does that mean same-sex wrestling has a sexual component too? Bozell doesn't answer that question.
Cashill Complains He's Being Ignored By Fox Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill serves up a special Feb. 21 WorldNetDaily column dedicated to complaining that his conspiracy theory that William Ayers ghost-wrote Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" is being ignored. That's nothing new, of course, but this time he seems to be claiming some sort of right to appear on Fox News to spew his conspiracy theory.
Cashill is angry that "several of Murdoch's most prominent hosts on Fox News have made a point of shunning" birther-related issues as well as Cashill's authorship conspiracy.
Cashill insists that there is a "conservative media firewall around the White House" and that "no one is more capable of tearing it down" than Murdoch. Cashill concludes:
The David Gergorys [sic] of the world have an excuse: They have an agenda and a president to protect.
For our guys, "being thought a kook at a Georgetown cocktail party" is not excuse enough.
Note that he calls Fox News "our guys." So much for all that "fair and balanced" stuff.
UPDATE: On a related note, Media Matters takes a look at Cashill's new book "Deconstructing Obama" and finds it, well, stupid.
Newsmax Scaremongers About Oil Price Spike Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax takes the early lead in fearmongering about the effect of Middle East turmoil on oil prices with a Feb. 22 interview with former Washington Times editor Arnaud de Borchgrave, which featured the screaming front-page-worthy headline "$400 Oil Imminent with Mideast Upheaval."
De Borchgrave was actually a little more circumspect than Newsmax's screaming headline suggests, tying that dire price spike to the unlikely event of a nuclear attack on Iran:
Events in Iran, which has also recently been rocked by popular unrest, could in fact “drive oil up to $300 or $400 a barrel very quickly because we’re dealing with the Straits of Hormuz through which about 28 percent of the world’s oil passes every day,” de Borchgrave tells Newsmax.
If the United States or Israel launched an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, he adds, “it wouldn’t be difficult for the Iranians to sow a few mines, and the Iranians today have the capability of landing a missile on the deck of an aircraft carrier.”
According to the Newsmax article accompanying the interview, de Borchgrave falsely claimed that "Libya supplies around 74 percent of Europe’s oil." In fact, while most of Libya's oil goes to Europe, no single European country's percentage of oil from Libya tops 23 percent, with several countries below 10 percent.
CNS' Jeffrey Dishonestly Reports on Wis. School Achievement Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey -- in an apparent attempt to denigrate Wisconsin teachers currently battling a Republican governor who wants to eliminate the right to collective bargaining for most public employees in the state -- penned a pair of articles that dishonestly portray the level of student achievement in Wisconsin.
Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.
It's not until the ninth paragraph that Jeffrey notes this:
Nationwide, only 30 percent of public school eighth graders earned a rating of “proficient” or better in reading, and the average reading score on the NAEP test was 262 out of 500.
In other words, the level of eighth-graders reading proficiently in Wisconsin is actually above the national average -- not that Jeffrey ever explicitly states that, of course.
Only 39 percent of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools are proficient or better in mathematics, according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.
This time, Jeffrey waits until the seventh paragraph that he tells the full story:
Nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Education, public schools are not doing a good job teaching children to be proficient in math. The average American eighth-grade public school student scored 282 out of 500 on the NAEP mathematics test in 2009, with only 25 percent earning a “proficient” rating and only 7 percent earning an “advanced rating.” The other 68 percent of American eighth grader were rated less than proficient in math.
Again, Wisconsin achievement is above the national average -- this time significantly above it. Again, Jeffrey fails to explicitly state that.
There is no reason for writing these stories in this fashion unless Jeffrey was trying to falsely distort the record of teachers in Wisconsin. And there is no reason to think that Jeffrey had any other goal in mind.
UPDATE: Jeffrey repeats the teacher-bashing statistics in his Feb. 23 column, though that he surprisingly concedes that the numbers are "are slightly better than the national average for public-school students."
Jeffrey also portrays students at Catholic schools as doing better on tests, plus Catholic and private schools "can also teach students that there is a God, that the Ten Commandments are true and must be followed, that the Founding Fathers believed in both and that, ultimately, American freedom depends on fidelity to our Judeo-Christian heritage even more than it depends on proficiency in reading and math."
Jeffrey, of course, doesn't mention the fact that private schools, by their selective nature due to their tuition fees, tend to attract a more affluent and arguably better student than public schools, and that students who fail in private schools typically end up in public schools, thus skewing achievement figures.
WND's Farah Applies Coulter's Islam Solution to Gays Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah concluded his Feb. 22 WorldNetDaily column -- spent ranting against the idea that gays could be conservatives -- this way:
Ann Coulter once famously suggested the best way for Americans to battle radical Islam is to convert them all to Christianity. I agree.
And the best way to win over homosexuals to conservative politics is to do the same.
Of course, that's not all Coulter said about Islam. The full quote, taken from Coulter's post-9/11 column, was that we should "invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." To which she added: "And this is war."
Does Farah endorse the full application of Coulter's advice by invading homosexual strongholds -- bars, musicals, etc. -- and kill their leaders as part of converting gays to Christianity? He might want to elaborate.
However, the charge made by some (including myself) that the president is intent upon "destroying America" has invited ridicule, since the left and the press in particular typically paint all Obama detractors with a very wide brush. Logically, of course, it doesn't make any sense that a world leader of any political persuasion would intentionally destroy his country.
Well, this would depend upon what the meaning of the word "destroy" is.
If the meaning of "destroy" is turning America into a barren, smoldering, toxic moonscape from coast to coast, something out of "The Road Warrior" or "Resident Evil," then Obama almost certainly does not wish to destroy America. This paradigm of destruction would be dismissed by Americans as ludicrous – at least as far as someone wanting to bring it about intentionally.
But there are other kinds of destruction. A family can be destroyed without its members being slaughtered and their house burned down. Varying brands of calamity and/or dysfunction have served to consign family units to a state of non-being. It happens all the time. Similarly, nations throughout history have been destroyed without the wholesale annihilation of their people, their farms being burned and their cities razed to the ground.
We all know where the "mullah in chief," President Barack Hussein Obama, stands on Israel and the Middle East – four square with the previous "idiot in chief," former President Jimmy Carter. Like Carter, who believes in the "innocence of strangers" like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah – terror groups that in Jimmy's senile anti-Semitic mind he thinks are fellow "democrats" – Obama's pro-Muslim inclinations lead him to ignore the freedom movement in Iran, which is largely secular, and work against the Jewish state, Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East.
Indeed, while quick to push Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak out the door and open it up for the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, made scant mention of the demonstrations in Iran this week, saying only that they wished the mullahs – who are executing the opposition at a rate of one every nine hours – would honor universal concepts of freedom of speech. Nothing was said about so-called "regime change," which they were quick to advocate with Egypt. And when, in the last days, the neo-Nazi Islamic Iranian regime expressed its intention to send warships into the Suez Canal zone at Israel's doorstep – which is more than even a provocation, but a virtual act of war – what did Obama and Ms. Hillary say about that? Nada, rien, zero, nothing! And, to top it all off, there is the administration's desire, for the first time in U.S. history, to soon support a new but retooled United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements on its West Bank – land God gave to the Jewish people and which they reclaimed at the cost of Hebrew blood in the 1967 war.
Shame on you, Republicans! You may not be pro-Islam like the mullah in chief, but, with your inaction, you are certainly furthering his anti-Judeo-Christian designs and endangering Israel, the United States and the entire Western world in the process.
If ever you needed an illustration of the idiocy, naïveté and downright selfishness of too many Americans, these spreading disruptions are perfect. You have supposedly educated people who threaten to "tear it all down" because they can't get what they want when they want it.
Of course, that there's no money to fund their expectations doesn't matter to them. Their rhetoric is illustrative of Marxist ideology in play, and it all should make one man particularly happy.
That man is Barack Obama, the man who is the president of the United States. It's too bad that he's out of his league in that job and totally removed from the havoc he's instigated, although I don't for a minute believe he isn't fully aware of the damage he has, and is, causing.
While the Middle East spins into chaos, our allies are deserted, our economy teeters on the rocks of bankruptcy, the dollar fragile and the threat of domestic violence over economic issues is too real, Barack Obama continues like the Wizard of Oz – existing behind the curtain of lies, pretending all is well with the world.
WND's Kupelian to Take Part In Anti-Gay Conference Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 20 WorldNetDaily article reports that WND managing editor David Kupelian will be taking part in the upcoming "Truth Academy" held by the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (which WND identifies only as "Americans for Truth") and Mission America.
AFTAH and Mission America are two of the more rabidly anti-gay groups out there. AFTAH chief Peter LaBarbera, for example, approvingly quoted Matt Barber -- another conference participant -- describing homosexuality as "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it 'love.'" And Mission America leader Linda Harvey blames gays for suicides among gay youths because they were under "almost continuous pressure to accept a lie."
Kupelian will not ostensibly be pushing an anti-gay agenda during his appearance there; his scheduled subjects to speak on are "Christian Persecution in America and the Role of the Left" and "Propaganda or Journalism? The Role of the Media in Undermining Christianity." But he is hanging out with some of the more vicious anti-gay activists, and WND has been a longtime home for anti-gay attacks, so he is clearly down with that agenda.
Newsmax Touts Biased Poll On Wis. Controversy Topic: Newsmax
A Feb. 21 Newsmax article is a actually a press release from Rasmussen Reports about its latest poll, which found that "48% of Likely U.S. Voters agree more with the Republican governor" in Wisconsin "in his dispute with union workers," while 38 percent "agree more with the unionized public employees.
Since all Newsmax did is copy-and-paste the Rasmussen press release -- though it's not labeled as such -- there's no critical analysis of it.
But as Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com reports, the Rasmussen poll introduces bias into the poll by asking, "Should teachers, firemen and policemen be allowed to go on strike?" In fact, police and fire services are specifically exempted from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's attempted restrictions on public sector unions. Thus Silver writes, the question is "a talking point posed as a question."
Another question in the Rasmussen poll asking whether "the average public employee in your state" earns more or less than "the average private sector worker in your state" is a "pop quiz" that doesn't belong in a poll, Silver writes. In fact, he notes, one analysis found that state employees typically earn slightly less than comparable employees in the private sector.
Ellis Washington Pegs the Silly Meter Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ellis Washington reminds us yet again of just what a silly and irrelevant man he is in his Feb. 19 WorldNetDaily column.
He starts off by referencing "the progressive revolution in the 1880s" and notes the philosophers and ideas allegedly tied to them, like "Social Darwinism, natural selection, survival of the fittest." The first and third are essentially the same thing, and "natural selection" is a demonstrated mechanism of evolution and accepted scientific theory -- and not linked to the other two, as what has become known as "social Darwinism" had been around well before Darwin.
Washington then added:
The early 20th century witnessed the classical age of Progressivism with books like Lenin's "The State and Revolution" (1917), Sanger's "The Pivot of Civilization" (1922), Hitler's "Mein Kampf" (1925), Freud's "The Future of an Illusion" (1927), Kinsey's "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" (1948) and Betty Friedan's classic, "The Feminine Mystique" (1948), among many others. The common objective in these diabolical books is promoting the ideals of the progressive revolution. Whether it is the end justifies the means, for the greater good, survival of the fittest, God is dead, a New World Order, first brown, then red, "is" (legality) over "ought"(morality) – all end in death for the individual and genocide for most of society.
Really? "Mein Kampf" is a progressive tract? It's just the same as "The Feminine Mystique"? Kinsey's compilation of research was all about "promoting the ideals of the progressive revolution"?
This is why no thinking person takes Washington seriously. Nobody, that is, except WorldNetDaily, which inexplicably continues to publish him every week.
NewsBusters Tries, Fails To Liken Dem Meeting to Koch Gathering Topic: NewsBusters
Julia A. Seymour has no sense of proportion.
In a Feb. 20 NewsBusters post, Seymour complains that an upcoming gathering by Democratic operatives "has gotten little attention or criticism, yet when conservatives gather at the semiannual Koch conference the left mounts elaborate protests."
The Politico item Seymour quotes about the Democratic gathering noted that "Participants include Obama campaign pollsters Joel Benenson and Paul Harstad, the 2010 executive directors of the DSCC, DCCC, and DGA, Organizing for America deputy director Jeremy Bird, SEIU political director Jon Youngdahl, and current DSCC executive director Guy Cecil." It is also not funded by billionaire financiers.
By contrast, the Koch Brothers-funded gatherings are much larger and include a large array of conservative figures. From a New York Times article discussing a previous Koch gathering in Aspen, Colo.:
The participants in Aspen dined under the stars at the top of the gondola run on Aspen Mountain, and listened to Glenn Beck of Fox News in a session titled, “Is America on the Road to Serfdom?” (The title refers to a classic of Austrian economic thought that informs libertarian ideology, popularized by Mr. Beck on his show.)The participants included some of the nation’s wealthiest families and biggest names in finance: private equity and hedge fund executives like John Childs, Cliff Asness, Steve Schwarzman and Ken Griffin; Phil Anschutz, the entertainment and media mogul ranked by Forbes as the 34th-richest person in the country; Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway; Steve Bechtel of the giant construction firm; and Kenneth Langone of Home Depot.
The group also included longtime Republican donors and officials, including Foster Friess, Fred Malek and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III.
Participants listened to presentations from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as people who played leading roles in John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, like Nancy Pfotenhauer and Annie Dickerson, who also runs a foundation for Paul Singer, a hedge fund executive who like the Kochs is active in promoting libertarian causes.
To encourage new participants, Mr. Koch offers to waive the $1,500 registration fee. And he notes that previous guests have included Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court, Gov. Haley Barbour and Gov. Bobby Jindal, Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, and Representatives Mike Pence, Tom Price and Paul D. Ryan.
Another thing Seymour might want to have mentioned: Her employer, the Media Research Center, has taken money from Koch interests, including the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation.
Being An 'Eligibility Activist' = Sending Money to WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 20 WorldNetDaily article details how WND's Joseph Farah has "devised a 10-point program for eligibility activism." Of those 10, eight require sending money to Farah and WND.
Farah wants you to donate to his birther billboard campaign, buy his factually flawed birther video, stock up on birther signs, T-shirts, postcards and bumper stickers, "Donate any amount to the investigative reporting fund to find out the truth about Barack Obama," and buy the new book by Jerome Corsi, the same guy who also apparently believes that Obama is having gay sex.
Of the remaining two steps, one gives you the option of sending money to WND by buying a "paperback version" of WND's downloadable "Obama eligibility primer" -- which is littered with factual errors too. The final, non-costly item is signing petitions (which, of course, are hosted by WND).
Media Matters' Jamison Foser has computed that being the "eligibility activist" Farah wants you to be means sending Farah and WND a minimum of $96.83.
NewsBusters Mostly Quiet About Conservatives Insulting Lara Logan Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters got a lot of mileage out of denouncing Nir Rosen -- whom managing editor Matthew Sheffield described as "one of the more rabidly left-wing foreign policy commentators out there" -- for making offensive remarks regarding the attack on CBS' Lara Logan by a mob, which ultimately led him toresign his position as a fellow at the NYU School of Law's Center on Law and Security:
A post by Sheffield chortling that Rosen "has finally gotten some just desserts."
Matthew Balan repeating Rosen's claim that he didn't know Logan had been sexually assaulted before he made his remarks.
Balan's complaint that ABC's Ashleigh Banfield "punted" on Rosen by saying she was "certainly not going to cast aspersions" on him.
What you won't see at NewsBusters is little definitive condemnation -- let alone barely any mention -- of conservative commentators who made similarly offensive remarks about Rosen.
A Feb. 17 post by Noel Sheppard did call conservative Debbie Schlussel's comments about Logan "disgraceful" -- but only after complaining that MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell noted Schussel's remark and not Rosen's.
Sheppard followed up in a Feb. 20 post, complaining that Howard Kurtz identified Schlussel as a conservative but didn't identify Rosen as a liberal.
Completely unmentioned by NewsBusters, however, were remarks made by prominent conservative blogger Jim Hoft, who blamed Logan for her assault, claiming that "Her liberal belief system almost got her killed." Then again, NewsBusters couldn't be bothered to be insulted when Hoft portrayed Rahm Emanuel as a "Kapo" -- an insulting reference to Jews who collaborated with Nazis -- after Sheppard denounced one commenter using the same word to describe tea party members.
Newsmax Keeps Up Fossella Rehabilitation Project Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax, it seems, is still pluggingaway at its attempt to rehabilitate former Rep. Vito Fossella.
A Feb. 16 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers and Ashley Martella features an interview with Fossella, whom they described only as having "served 12 years in the House as the only Republican congressman from New York City, leaving office in 2009."
What Meyers and Martella don't tell you about Fossella: He left office in disgrace after a DUI arrest led to the revelation that Fossella had a mistress in Washington and fathered a child with her. It was only after that became public that Fossella decided not to seek re-election.
A Feb. 18 NewsBusters post by Brent Baker on the ublic worker protests in Wisconsin claimed that "Governor Scott Walker is merely asking the coddled workers for a slight increase, from six to twelve percent, in the portion of the generous health coverage they must pay."
A 100 percent increase in the workers' health care contribution -- which results in an effective 7 percent pay cut for these workers, which Baker later notes but doesn't challenge -- is "slight"? Perhaps Baker makes so much of that Scaife-Koch money that he wouldn't miss 7 percent of it.
Baker also offered no evidence to support his claim that the Wisconsin state workers are "coddled"; perhaps it's just a right-wing axiom that all public sector workers, by definition, are "coddled."
WND Cherry-Picks Media Matters To Fluff Joel Richardson Topic: WorldNetDaily
You thought Aaron Klein was an expertcherry-picker of misleading information? His fellow WorldNetDaily employees are no slouch either.
A Feb. 17 WND article by Bob Unruh is a transparent attempt to cash in on Joel Richardson's appearance on Glenn Beck's TV show by promoting Richardson's WND-published book "The Islamic Antichrist." As part of his promotion of Richardson, Unruh writes:
Media Matters for America launched an immediate response, called, "Who is Joel Richardson, Beck's End Times Prophet?"
It noted that Beck's website has published writings by Richardson, and the author also appears in a new video by Beck that talks about the threat of a nuclear Iran to the U.S. and Israel.
In fact, the Media Matters article in question (which we co-authored) is a compilation of Richardson's most outrageous statements, many of which were published by WND. The article's noting of Richardson's ties to Beck are, in context, evidence of how much Beck has tied himself to Richardson's loony views about Obama and Islam.
Talk about a selective reading. Is this kind of deceitful cherry-picking something that WND writers take special training to do?
P.S. Of course, like Klein, Unruh didn't link to the Media Matters item he quotes from, lest his extreme cherry-picking be exposed.