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Sunday, March 13, 2011
Sheppard Asks Why Nobody's Analyzing NPR For Bias -- What About His Employer?
Topic: NewsBusters

In a March 12 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard freaks about over NPR "On the Media" host saying she "couldn’t find a metric" to apply to the question of whether NPR has a left-wing bias:

Maybe that's part of the problem - these so-called journalists don't know how to determine bias in reporting.

How about first taking a look at a week's worth of programming and simply adding up the number of real conservative and liberal guests as well as Republican and Democrat guests? The qualifier "real" means that folks like New York Times columnist David Brooks and former CNN contributor Kathleen Parker don't count because they are by no means conservative.

Um, doesn't Sheppard work for -- and isn't NewsBusters a division of -- the Media Research Center, who stated mission is to uncover media bias?

Has the MRC ever done what Sheppard advocates -- count the number of conservative and liberal guests in a given week of NPR news programming? We're not aware of it, and if Sheppard isn't aware of it either, chances are it has not happened.

And if the MRC has not done such a simple thing, doesn't it mean that the MRC doesn't want to because it would not be to its political advantage to do so? As we've detailed, the MRC typically exempts cable news from its analyses of news coverage, presumably to avoid having to apply its bias standards to Fox News.

Sheppard has asked a very simple question -- one he would be better off directing to his employer.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:12 PM EST
Saturday, March 12, 2011
CNS Again Pushes Bogus Job-Loss Claim

In a March 10 article, Nicholas Ballasy writes that he asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "You said the health care law will create four million jobs but the CBO director, Doug Elmendorf, told the House Budget Committee the health care law will kill 800,000 jobs – result in the reduction of 800,000 jobs in the workforce over the next decade. Is the CBO right or wrong in its estimate?"

Ballasy is deliberately misleading about what Elmendorf said. As we noted the last time CNS promoted this claim, Elmendorf did not sayd that "the health care law will kill 800,000 jobs"; he said there would be a one-half percent labor force reduction that would come from "reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply" as a result of increased health care benefits motivating people to "work fewer hours," not from top-down job eliminations.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 PM EST
Newsmax Pushes Discredited Palin Threat Story
Topic: Newsmax

A March 7 Newsmax article repeats a claim by Politico that Sarah Palin's parents have "received many death threats since the former vice presidential candidate gained national prominence," specifically citing a story about how "One man recently sent the family a photocopied receipt of a gun he’d purchased." But Newsmax ignored that Politico also reported that the FBI denied having any contact with the person who purportedly sent the gun receipt.

From the Politico article Newsmax linked to in support of its claim:

Palin’s father told the network about a man who had recently sent the family a photocopied receipt of a gun he’d purchased.

Chuck Heath said the man, an alleged stalker named Shawn Christy, was later arrested by the FBI.

“We kind of laugh it off, we got a restraining order on him, and lo and behold last week he showed up in Anchorage, from Pennsylvania, and fortunately the FBI was on top of it and sent him home,” Heath said.

But POLITICO was told the opposite on Monday.

Eric Gonzalez, a spokesman for the FBI's Anchorage field office, said the office has “has not arrested or had any contact with Mr. Christy.”

Two British papers reported earlier that the man had been arrested – apparently off of Heath’s assertion, citing a Palin family source.

Newsmax seems to have hidden the full story in order to overstate the threat.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EST
Friday, March 11, 2011
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Loren at Barackryphal takes a look at the WorldNetDaily-published book by Obama-hater and misleading poll-pusher Brad O'Leary, "The Audacity of Deceit" and finds that one section of it reads suspiciously like a WND article by Aaron Klein -- straight down to a repeated misspelling -- though at no point does O'Leary credit Klein's article.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:09 PM EST
CNS' Anti-Evolution Op-Ed Ignores Debunking
Topic: published a March 10 op-ed by Dominique Tassot (described as "president of the French Centre d’Etudes et de Prospective sur la Science," which contains "over 500 scientists and academics working to show the compatibility of Christian thought with scientific pursuit") asserting that "Darwinism" is "coming to an end," citing this as evidence:

The Russian Academy of Sciences has just published details of research directed by sedimentologist Guy Berthault showing that sedimentary rocks form very rapidly – two thousandths of the time attributed to them by the geological time scale.

The work spanning a period of 30 years was first performed in France at the Marseilles Institute of Fluid Mechanics and subsequently at the Colorado State University hydraulics Laboratory in the United States. Its application in the field was tested on the Cambrian-Ordovician sandstones of the North-West Russian Platform by a team of Russian sedimentologists.

Their report is published in Lithology and Mineral Resources, a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Details can be found at

Although the volume of scientific evidence against evolution theory has been accumulating ever since Darwin’s theory was introduced, the certainty of its downfall is now confirmed by these recent discoveries in stratigraphy.

Well, not so much. One critique of Berthault's work points out that his research is "thinly disguised and poorly argued pieces of creationist propaganda unencumbered by new findings" and sums up the case against him:

  • His experimental work is not especially original or revolutionary
  • His studies do not support a radical reinterpretation of sedimentology
  • The geological column contains deposition mechanisms that lie outside the processes that Berthault investigated
  • The suggestion that fossil organisms are sorted, not chronologically, but ecologically and hydraulically is not credible
  • Radio-dating supports both the immense age and the chronological ordering of strata.

A separate exchange of views , including Berhault himself, over Berthault's theory that the Grand Canyon could have been created in a single year is pretty much shot down.

And another critique claimed that Berthault's "knowledge of the sedimentology literature and stratigraphic field methods are decades or even centuries out of date." (Berthault responds here.)

This is not the first time that CNS has peddled this theory; it gave space to Berthault himself to write about it in an October 2009 column.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EST
WND's Cashill Thinks Obama 'Quite Possibly' Had Gay Sex
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One of the sleazy anti-Obama memes WorldNetDaily has pushed, on both the stealth and not-so-stealth levels -- is the idea that Barack Obama has had gay sex at some point in his lifew. First it was the never-proven Larry Sinclair claims that WND gave prominent play to without bothering to fact-check them. Then, Jerome Corsi went the dog-whistle route last month by dropping the names of supposed gay-sex paramours familiar only to those (like Corsi) who hang out in the Internet's most fetid corners of Obama-hate.

Now Jack Cashill takes a dip in that pool of filth in his March 10 WND column:

On the Hawaii front, Obama had to worry too about what Mendell would learn about poet, pornographer and card-carrying member of the CPUSA, Frank Marshall Davis.

That relationship between Obama and Davis is succinctly illustrated in the poem "Pop," which was published under the 19-year-old Obama's name in a 1981 edition of an Occidental College literary journal.

Instinctively protective of Obama, reviewers to a person decided that the "Pop" of the poem had to be Obama's mother's father, Stanley Dunham, the man Obama called "Gramps."

Not a one of them asked the most basic question: Why would Obama name a poem about the man he called "Gramps" "Pop"?

Rebecca Mead, writing in the New Yorker, unhesitatingly describes the poem as a "loving if slightly jaded portrait of Obama's maternal grandfather."

Obama biographer David Remnick makes the same point, "'Pop,'" he says as though a given, "clearly reflects Obama's relationship with his grandfather Stanley Dunham."

More oblivious still is British poet Ian McMillan. "There's a humanity in the poem," he writes in the Guardian, "a sense of family values and shared cultural concerns that give us a hint of the Democrat to come."

Family values? What family? Roman Polanski's? The "Pop" of the poem is a drunken poet who is plying the underage Obama with alcohol and quite possibly sex.

Does Cashill offer any proof of this claim? Of course not.

Cashill, if you'll remember, is the same man who's quite put out that nobody takes his Obama-hating conspiracy theories seriously. Gee, wonder why?

Posted by Terry K. at 8:39 AM EST
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Undercover Stings
Topic: NewsBusters

When video of right-wing activists pretending to be Muslim philanthropists talking to fundraisers at NPR surfaced, NewsBusters was all over it, churning out (as of this writing) 12 posts in three days promoting the allegations, related claims, and the usual Brent Bozell indignance over it.

But a couple weeks earlier, when an audiotape of a blogger pretending to be right-wing moneybags David Koch calling Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to discuss strategy against protesting union workers, NewsBusters wasn't so receptive.

In contrast to NewsBusters' fawning description of NPR punker James O'Keefe as merely a "conservative filmmaker" who "exposed" NPR "as the liberal shills most Americans knew this supposed news organization was," Kyle Drennen dismissed the Walker punker as nothing but a "prank phone call."

This was followed by Lachlan Markay also calling it a "prank" and highlighting the blogger's "more colorful antics,"going on to complainthat "the man is shameless, and an unethical journalist.

Of course, NewsBusters hasn't done any of that regarding O'Keefe, though he indeed has a history of colorful antics, shamelessness, and unethical journalism.

Ah, but O'Keefe's lack of ethics and colorful antics serves NewsBusters' right-wing agenda. And that matters more.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EST
Thursday, March 10, 2011
WND's Cowardly Smear of Obama Official
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has unleashed a double-barreled smear of Obama administration deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough for speaking at a Virginia mosque.

A March 7 WND article by Aaron Klein went his usual tired guilt-by-assocation route,  claiming that McDonough's speech "was hosted by a radical Muslim group that was designated by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in a scheme to raise money for Hamas." That's Klein's boilerplate language for the Islamic Society of North America.

Meanwhile, groups that have actually worked with the ISNA -- Klein offers no evidence he has personal knowledge of the attacks he spews beyond what he and researcher Brenda J. Elliot have cribbed from anti-Muslim websites -- have a much different view. Religion Dispatches notes that The Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, which has worked with ISNA, said that "ISNA understands and supports democracy and the freedom with responsibility that beats at the heart of the American experience."

WND followed up the next day with an unbylined article quoting anonymous smears of McDonough. The second paragraph quotes "one FBI veteran" saying of the Obama White House regarding McDonough's speech: "They are so ignorant. ... This is unbelievable bullsh--."

WND offers no explanation for why the "FBI veteran" was granted anonymity or even if he has any relevant experience to be discussing this issue.

Remember that WND editor Joseph Farah has attacked anonymous sources as "quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better." Until WND can offer a moreplausible explanation of its cowardly hiding behind an anonymous source to smear McDonough -- or even why it has compounded its cowardice by letting the article's author remain anonymous as well -- we shall assume that Farah is taking his own advice.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:12 PM EST
Newsmax Gives Money -- And Fawning Coverage -- To Another Fla. Politician
Topic: Newsmax

The headline of Jim Meyers' March 4 Newsmax article reads, "Haridopolos Sets Record Straight on Book Controversy." In fact, all Meyers does is give Florida State Senate President Mike Haridopolos the opportunity to spin away a growing scandal -- and unmentioned completely is the fundraising Newsmax's CEO did on Haridopolos' behalf.

Haridopolos was paid $152,000 by a community college in Florida to write a book about politics -- a book that the college didn't see fit to publish beyond the single 175-page, double-spaced manuscript he submitted, making his per-book payday much greater than J.K. Rowling's for the entire Harry Potter series. When news of Haridopolos' payday broke, the college made an electronic version of the book available through Amazon for $9.99.

With the book suddenly available, people could judge the quality of it -- and learn why it wasn't distributed in the first place. Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerebino noted that Haridopolos "somehow managed to write a political history of Florida that completely skips over the Florida recount of the 2000 presidential election," adding that it contains such crucial advice for aspiring politicians like "It is essential to study the issues before deciding to run."

You won't get any of those juicy details from Meyers and Newsmax. After declaring that the scandal was "a non-issue that his political opponents are seeking to take advantage of," adding that Haridopolos is a "viewed as a strong candidate" for a U.S. Senate seat, "which is why he has come under Democratic attack so early in the game." Meyers then proceeds to let Haridopolos spin away:

“I’ve been a teacher and an author since 1993, and prior to this book, I’d written another book,” he says.

“So I was approached by the college to write another book that would be a benefit to all students, not just here at Brevard Community College but potentially around the country.

“They approached me with the idea of writing the book over four years about what it’s like to run for office and be in office.

“Over the course of the four years, I took a pay cut from my old job to do this. And as far as our critics are concerned, welcome to politics. This is just one way they go after us.”

Asked why there is only one copy of the book, Haridopolos responds: “I’m not sure why. But the college, it’s their book. I wrote it and they control the copyright. As far as I understand, right now [an e-book download] is on for anyone who wants to purchase it.”

Meyers quotes no one else in the article, and he makes no attempt to tell the full story.But that's not what he's being paid to do.

The previous day, Meyers and Kathleen Walter did another interview with Haridopolos that made no mention whatsoever of the book. And Newsmax has promoted Haridopolos' views several other times.

History tells us that if Newsmax is promoting a candidate -- particularly a Florida Republican like Haridopolos -- it's also raising money for him. Indeed, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy served on the host committee for a Feb. 18 fundraiser for Haridopolos, which reportedly netted him more than $100,000 for his Senate race.

As with Ruddy's support for Bill McCollum in his 2010 race for Florida governor (for whom Ruddy also held a fundraiser) and Rick Scott (to whose 527 committee Newsmax donated $100,000), one has to wonder if slanting Newsmax's "news" coverage in favor of Haridopolos is one of the side benefits of getting money from Ruddy.

Needless to say, as with McCollum and Scott, Newsmax has not disclosed Ruddy's support of Haridopolos to its readers -- a huge violation of journalistic ethics.

P.S. We have an article up at Meda Matters summarizing Newsmax's financial support -- and positive coverage and endorsements -- of Haridopolos, McCollum and Scott.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:43 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE: What The Huck?
Topic: The ConWeb
WorldNetDaily, NewsBusters, and Newsmax take different approaches to Mike Huckabee's remarks on President Obama, from whitewashing them to complaining they didn't go far enough. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EST
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Les Kinsolving, Homophobe
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Les Kinsolving declares in his March 8 WorldNetDaily column that "I strongly disagree with the current campaign of militant homosexuals to promote acceptance of their orientation, and with their creation of the word 'homophobia.'"

Why? Perhaps the word "homophobe" describes Kinsolving to a T, and it's a truth he'd rather not have pointed out.

Kinsolving more than ably proves this in the remainder of his column, which he describes as "my imagination of what just might possibly happen later this year" but is just some bizarre takeoff of the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the right of Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church to protest the funerals of American soldiers:

Since May Day 2011 took place on Sunday, when the U.S. Supreme Court was not in session, the militant homosexual organization No Tolerance of Homophobia, or NTH, planned its day in court for Monday, May 2.
On that day, they were able to obtain four seats in the Supreme Court's courtroom, when the nine justices gathered to hear final arguments in a number of cases.

Three male members of NTH and one female member were seated in four different areas of the spectator's gallery.

During a brief pause, when one attorney yielded to another, the first NTH member, a large man with a thunderous voice, stood up and called out: "WHY SHOULD THIS COURTROOM BE MORE SACROSANCT THAN MILITARY FUNERALS?"

As two of the Supreme Court's police officers rushed to this row and had to weave their way around several seated spectators before they could seize him, he kept bellowing the same question as the justices sat, amazed and somewhat shaken at the disruption.

The guards were in the process of dragging out this protester when, from the second row, there came another loudly protesting vocal dissent: "THANK GOD FOR DEAD SUPREME COURT JUSTICES! AS FOR YOU, JUSTICES, YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!"

This attracted the attention and action of the only two additional Supreme Court police officers on hand who raced down the aisle and seized the second protester.



First, who knew that "militant homosexuals" spoke only in all caps?

Second, the irony is that Kinsolving clearly hates fags just as much, if not more, than Fred Phelps does.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:56 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

Like a true socialist, Obama believes government has the solution to every problem, and that solution is more government and higher taxes, combined with a prescription of social justice and affirmative action.

Based on his lifetime body of work, here is how I predict Obama will settle the NFL labor crisis:

  • Like cap and trade, Obama will produce scientists to declare that football is a dangerous sport threatening the health and welfare of the players. He'll then pass “helmet and trade” legislation putting government in control of football setting salaries for players, prices for fans, and giving new powers to the NFL players union.
  • Never letting a serious crisis go to waste, Obama will then pass legislation called "NFLCare" that demands that the NFL pay for the lifetime pension and healthcare of the players, paid for with massive new taxes on the NFL and its fans. The doctors who treat the NFL players will have caps placed on their fees. Of course this will lead to shortages of doctors and rationing, so eventually NFL "limb panels" will be set up to decide who gets a new knee, or shoulder, or hip. These decisions will be based on years of player life expectancy remaining, or the size of contributions to the Obama campaign.
  • He’ll then decide what income is “fair” and what is “greedy,” placing wage controls on players. Obama will say, “There is no longer a need for million dollar salaries. After all, just like government union employees, I’m going to guarantee NFL players, even the failed ones, pensions of $100,000 per year for life and free healthcare. We’ll call it NFL tenure. It's like a government job — guaranteed for life, without any performance necessary.

Like American businesses, players will react to lower wages and higher taxes by leaving the United States to play football in Canada and Europe, destroying the NFL.

Then, Obama will state proudly, “We’ve got to spread the wealth around” and pass ”NFL financial reform,” requiring 95 percent of revenues be redistributed to employees, vendors, peanut salesmen, ticket takers, security, and parking lot attendants.

-- Wayne Allyn Root, March 8 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 4:36 PM EST
MRC Tries Again To Revive Dead Non-Scandal
Topic: Media Research Center

Matt Philbin just won't stop beating the dead horse of the Lila Rose Planned Parenthood sting hoax.

In a March 7 MRC Culture & Media Institute article, Philbin and Erin Brown complained that the TV networks "devot[ed] 20 times more broadcast time to Charlie Sheen's porn stars and drug issues than to the Planned Parenthood video scandal and the subsequent vote in the House of Representatives to defund the organization."

But Philbin repeats the mistake he made in his previous attempt to rescusitate the non-scandal by  failing to mention that Planned Parenthood reported the "man posing as a pimp about obtaining abortions and birth control for the underage foreign prostitutes he traffics" to the FBI for the acts they were purporting to undertake -- an indisputable fact that completely undercuts Philbin's attempts to portray this as a legitimate "scandal."

Of course, trying to revive dead non-scandals seems to be MRC corporate policy.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 PM EST
What Passes For News At Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

Big news at Newsmax:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin tweeted a Newsmax story about Obamacare and drew a huge response from her more than 430,000 Twitter followers.

Yes, that's what passes for news there these days. But then, Newsmax has long been a sycophant for Palin.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 AM EST
WND, Newsmax Won't Fact-Check Bachmann, With Predictable Results
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Rep. Michele Bachmann is a ConWeb darling, to the point that they publish her rantings without bothering to fact-check her.

A March 5 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers and Ashley Martella dutifully repeats Bachmann's claim that "President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi should apologize to the American people for the $105 billion appropriation they 'deceitfully' hid in the healthcare reform legislation," adding that the "stunning revelation" of the expenditure points to "one of the biggest lies we have ever seen."

A March 7 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn also parroted Bachmann's claim that the health care reform bill "contains over $105 billion in already-approved spending 'hidden' in it's nearly 1,000 pages."

Newsmax and WND are so sure that Bachmann is telling the truth that neither contact anyone in the Obama administration -- or anyone at all -- to respond to the claim.

Unfortunately for them, it turns out Bachmann is lying about how "hidden" the funding is.

What Newsmax and WND wouldn't do, PolitiFact did -- fact-check Bachmann's claim:

We added up the spending Bachmann was referring to and got $104 billion -- very close to her number. Where our analysis diverges is her claim that the spending was "secret."

We concluded that Bachmann has a point if you look at at the amount of media coverage the appropriations and transfers inspired. There was hardly any. However, she went further than that, charging that the provisions were passed "secretly, unbeknownst to members of Congress." And that was not accurate.

The spending provisions were in the plain language of the bill; they did not vary dramatically from past congressional practice; and the bill was made public for 72 hours before the vote. On balance, we rated Bachmann’s statement Barely True.

Will WND and Newsmax report this truth about a right-wing icon to its readers? Don't count on it.

UPDATE: A March 7 article by Susan Jones blindly joined the parade, uncritically repeating Bachmann's claims without a fact-check and without allowing anyone to respond.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 7:25 AM EST

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