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Thursday, March 17, 2011
NewsBusters Offended That Someone Who Doesn't Hate Gays Is Interviewed
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center doesn't like it when a gay person appears on TV or other media without being immediately denounced for their "lifestyle," and that also appears to go for anyone who won't denounce gays.

In a March 15 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd complains about a Time magazine interview with Jay Bakker, the "tebellious son of infamous 1980s televangelists" Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker who is leading a new ministry. What's the problem? Time reporter Amy Sullivan, Shepherd writes, "seems to sympathize with if not outright agree with Bakker's take on how Scripture can justify his stand on homosexuality" and "failed to critically evaluate Bakker's claims or present challenges to Bakker's theology from within the mainstream of orthodox Christian thought."

Shepherd didn't mention, however, that Sullivan described Bakker's "stance urging full acceptance of gays and lesbians in Christian churches" as "controversial."

Shepherd grouses about Bakker's view on leading a church that accepts gays and lesbians: "If God accepts sinners 'just as [they] are' how does that square with biblical and traditional Christian teaching that followers of Christ are to forsake sins such as homosexuality in obedience to Christ as Lord and Savior?"

Shepherd goes on to rebut Bakker's religious views as depicted in the Time interview, but it seems that Shepherd's real problem is that Bakker was allowed to express them in the first place.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 AM EDT
Molotov's Not-So-Wacky Obama 'Interview'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Those of you of a certain age may remember the Dickie Goodman comedy records in which he spliced pop songs of the day with narration to tell something far different than what those songs were about.

That's pretty much what Molotov Mitchell did in his March 16 WorldNetDaily video in which he purports to interview President Obama. We won't get into it -- it's as lame as that setup sounds -- except to note that, unlike Mitchell, Goodman was trying to be funny and not operating out of hatred.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Shocker: Obama Non-Derangement At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Well, here's some surprising news: a WorldNetDaily columnist who is, if only briefly, not mindlessly attacking President Obama.

Burt Prelutsky -- whose history of Obama derangement includes lamenting that "if only" Obama had turned out to be a serial killer, "today he'd probably be in prison, instead of the Oval Office" -- shockingly approves of Obama's decision not to get involved militarily in Libya in his March 16 WND column:

But lest anyone get the idea that I disapprove of everything Barack Obama says and does, it only took about 27 months, but he and I finally saw eye to eye on an issue.

Like Obama, I would not have involved our military in Libya. For one thing, I see no reason why the Arab League, which gave the no-fly zone notion a big thumbs-up, doesn't take on that job. They have pilots and jets. Why is it that America and the European nations always have to do their dirty work? All it ever gets us is the ongoing hatred and resentment of Arabs and Muslims.

Because Prelutsky is a cranky old man, he soon returns to form, complaining about how "we should not be letting the 6 o'clock news determine our foreign policy" and that "we already let Walter Cronkite do it once, and it not only cost us a victory in Vietnam, it cost millions of Vietnamese and Cambodians their lives."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
MRC Won't Admit The Truth About O'Keefe's Deceptive Editing
Topic: Media Research Center

James O'Keefe's NPR videos were so deceptively edited, even Glenn Beck's website The Blaze couldn't help pointing this out. So how does the Media Research Center react: By trying to discredit The Blaze.

First up was Matt Hadro, who argued in a March 14 NewsBusters post that "The damage control effort over at National Public Radio (NPR) is at such a state that they've consulted a piece from Glenn Beck's to argue it's the victim of a smear operation," adding that "In what seems to be an unprecedented move for NPR, much of its audience might be surprised that they drew from a Glenn Beck publication, of all places, for its defense."

Hadro tried to spin away the Blaze's critique, insisting that "Scott Baker of "The Blaze" himself even admits that the 'full cut' of one of [NPR fundraiser Ron] Schiller's most controversial remarks, about the 'racist' Tea Partiers, does not change the context but simply adds some background."

MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham followed up in a March 16 post  attacking NPR media writer David Folkenflik for reporting NPR's defense and invoking The Blaze, preposterously suggesting that The Blaze is conspiraing with NPR to save it:

It should be quite clear from this story that Scott Baker, the Glenn Beck employee, doesn't know "fairly balanced people" at all. It should clearly be questioned whether Baker is blatantly assisting NPR here because of a personal agenda, since his comments are exactly what Folkenflik and NPR want in this "precarious" political atmosphere. Will NPR be thanking Glenn Beck on air for saving their subsidies?

Because Graham is in hateful freak-out mode, and there's nothing more he likes having hateful freak-outs over is the existence of gay people, he feels the need to informus that Schiller is "openly gay," which he claims "would explain the 'fanatical about private lives' rant, and the wouldn't-call-them-Christians slam."

Graham, of course, has no knowledge whatsoever that Schiller's alleged gayness "explains" what he said during the sting, unless he has some special ability to read minds.

At no point does Graham dispute anything The Blaze reported. He's merely upset that the right-wing corporate line that NPR must be destroyed (or at least defunded) is being undermined by the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:08 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 2:14 PM EDT
Newsmax's Dr. Blaylock Fearmongers About Nuclear Radiation From Japan
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's dubious, fearmongering doctor, Russell Blaylock, is back to fearmonger again, this time about radiation from Japan's troubled nuclear plants.

In a March 15 Newsmax Health article, Ashley Martella and Jim Meyers interviewed Blaylock:

Prevailing winds in the area of the stricken reactors have been heading east into the Pacific, toward the Western Hemisphere. Blaylock was asked about the threat to Americans if radiation from the reactors eventually does reach Hawaii or the West Coast of America.

“Most of the health risks are not going to be due to acute radiation poisoning,” he tells Newsmax. “It’s going to be a risk of increased cancer.

“When we look at Chernobyl, most of West Germany was heavily contaminated. Norway, Sweden. Hungary was terribly contaminated. The radiation was taken up into the plants. The food was radioactive. They took the milk and turned it into cheese. The cheese was radioactive.

“That’s the big danger, the crops in this country being contaminated, the milk in particular, with Strontium 90. That radiation is incorporated into the bones and stays for a lifetime.”

If radiation does arrive in the United States, people would need “to change their diet. They need to stop eating Western farm products,” Blaylock says.

Meanwhile, in the real world, actual experts say the amount of radition that makes its way across the ocean under the current situation at the Japanese nuclear plants should pose no danger to the United States.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 PM EDT
Les Kinsolving Whining Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How narcissistic must WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving be that he believes it's newsworthy that he didn't get to ask a question at a press conference?

Kinsolving continues to cop his imperial attitude on new White House press secretary Jay Carney in  a March 14 article complaining that Carney "declined to recognize the second-most senior reporter on the White House beat, who had wanted to ask a question about the National Public Radio scandal."

It's once again noted that Kinsolving is "second highest in seniority on the White House beat," as if mere longevity deserves to trump his history of frivolous and biased questions that more than brand him as a right-wing partisan hack.

Kinsolving would have pushed this sense of privilege had he been called on. From the article:

Kinsolving had prepared a second question about the president's news conference on Friday, where he allowed only seven of some 50 reporters to ask any questions. Kinsolving noted John Kennedy handled many, many more than that.

Nothing like wasting a question on complaining that you don't get to ask enough questions. That's just more evidence of Kinsolving's narcissism and hackery.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
AIM's Flip-Flop: A Case Of Two Deceptive Videos
Topic: Accuracy in Media

After we posted our item yesterday on how Accuracy in Media surprisingly reported on James O'Keefe's deceptive editing in his NPR videos, AIM responded in a tweet: "Of course we will lend a skeptical eye to O'Keefe's editing practices. Otherwise, how could we call ourselves @AccuracyInMedia?"

The reason why AIM's skepticism was surprising is because not only had it not evinced such skepticism in the past, it has even honored O'Keefe's previous deceptive video work.

O'Keefe's videos attacking ACORN were a festival of deceptive editing, designed to support false claims by O'Keefe, sting co-conspirator Hannah Giles, and then-patron Andrew Breitbart about what ACORN employees allegedly did, which were largely disproven when the full, unedited videos were examined by law enforcement.

AIM loved the heck out of this sting. One blog post lionized O'Keefe and Giles as "journalists" who broke "one of the most explosive exposes in recent memory," another blogger unskeptically covered a press conference by O'Keefe, Giles and Breitbart, and Cliff Kincaid declared, "I think Giles and  James O'Keefe, who played the pimp, have performed a public service."

Ultimately, AIM named Breitbart a winner of its 2010 Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award; AIM chairman Don Irvine said, "I am thrilled to recognize Andrew Breitbart’s groundbreaking investigation into rampant corruption at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now."

So, we have to ask AIM: Why the flip-flop? Why was O'Keefe getting a past for his ACORN deceptions, yet now his NPR deceptions are suddenly worth reporting?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 PM EDT
WND's 'Promotion of Homosexuality" Canard
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has a long history of treating any discussion of homosexuality that doesn't involve denigration as a "promotion" of the "lifestyle." It does so again in a March 10 article by Bob Unruh regarding the case of a British couple not allowed to serve as foster parents because of their gay-hating views. See if you can detect the pattern:

But Paul Diamond, who served as barrister to the Johns family in the dispute in the United Kingdom over the nation's mandatory promotion of homosexuality to foster children, said there is a solution: The people need to reverse the nation's surge toward treating homosexuals as a privileged class.

WND reported on the court ruling that Christians who want to provide foster care for needy children must promote homosexuality to them, and that there is only a "qualified" right to exercise their Christian beliefs.


"There now appears to be nothing to stop the increasing bar on Christians who wish to adopt or foster children but who are not willing to compromise their beliefs by promoting the practice of homosexuality to small children," the organization said.


On the issue of requiring foster parents to promote homosexuality, the judges said, "If children, whether they are known to be homosexuals or not, are placed with carers who … evince an antipathy, objection to or disapproval of, homosexuality and same-sex relationships, there may well be a conflict with the local authority's duty to 'safeguard and promote' the 'welfare' of looked-after children."

Unruh offers no evidence that British policy is to "promote" homosexuality beyond not officially disparaging it. Unruh doesn't explain how failure to disparage homosexuality equals "promoting" it.

UPDATE: As you might imagine, Unruh is selectively quoting from the British court ruling on the case. In particular, he avoids the court's criticism of his article's main source, Paul Diamond, the lawyer for the parents. From the ruling:

It is hard to know where to start with this travesty of the reality. All we can do is to state, with all the power at our command, that the views that Mr Diamond seeks to impute to others have no part in the thinking of either the defendant or the court. We are simply not here concerned with the grant or denial of State 'benefits' to the claimants. No one is asserting that Christians (or, for that matter, Jews or Muslims) are not 'fit and proper' persons to foster or adopt. No one is contending for a blanket ban. No one is seeking to de-legitimise Christianity or any other faith or belief. No one is seeking to force Christians or adherents of other faiths into the closet. No one is asserting that the claimants are bigots. No one is seeking to give Christians, Jews or Muslims or, indeed, peoples of any faith, a second class status. On the contrary, it is fundamental to our law, to our polity and to our way of life, that everyone is equal: equal before the law and equal as a human being endowed with reason and entitled to dignity and respect.

We add this. On these issues Mr Diamond seeks to equiperate the views of Christians, Jews and Muslims. Thus he says (we quote his skeleton argument) that "all of the major religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) teach against homosexual conduct." He says, quoting the claimants' grounds, that "major faith groups (including Christianity, Judaism and Islam), hold to the orthodox view that any sexual union outside marriage between one man and one woman is morally undesirable", describing marriage for this purpose in his proposed declaration as "a lifelong relationship of fidelity between a man and a woman." We find these propositions surprising, at least when stated in this bald form. As far as the court is concerned, the content of any religious faith or belief is a matter of fact to be proved by evidence. We are, however, entitled, we think, to take judicial notice of the fact that, whereas the Sharia is still understood in many places as making homosexuality a capital offence, the Church of England permits its clergy, so long as they remain celibate, to enter into civil partnerships. Moreover, the Christian concept of marriage, encapsulated in the famous definition of Lord Penzance in Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee (1866) LR 1 P&D 130, 133, that marriage is "the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others", hardly accords with the Sharia, which permits a man to have up to four wives and to divorce any of them at any time by his unilateral pronouncement of a bare talaq.

In the circumstances we cannot avoid the need to re-state what ought to be, but seemingly are not, well understood principles regulating the relationship of religion and law in our society. We preface what follows with the obvious point that we live in this country in a democratic and pluralistic society, in a secular state not a theocracy.

Funny, the court's statement that "No one is seeking to de-legitimise Christianity" appears nowhere in Unruh's article.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:02 PM EDT
NewsBusters Offended That Liberals Appeared On TV
Topic: NewsBusters

A March 14 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock is yet another liberals-were-on-my-TV complaint, this time attacking two experts brought on by ABC to discuss the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

George Stephanopolos, Whitlock complains, "didn't identify the leftist background" of Joe Cirincione or Michio Kaku. At no point does Whitlock have any problem with what Cirincione or Kaku said -- this is purely an ad hominem attack.

Further, it's not clear that either of these people are "leftist." Whitlock complains that both Cirincione and Kaku have opposed nuclear weapons, but he doesn't explain why such a position is "leftist." Whitlock goes on to attack Kaku for having "a radio show on Pacifica Radio," but he also has another radio show that is syndicated by Talk Radio Network, which is the home of such rabid right-wingers like Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham, and he has repeatedly appeared on Fox News.

Ad hominem attacks aren't media criticism, of course, but Whitlock and his Media Research Center cohorts seem to be unaware of that fact.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:34 AM EDT
Aaron Klein's Hypocritical Outrage
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A March 13 WorldNetDaily article plugged that day's edition of WND reporter Aaron Klein's radio show, in which he attacked a Palestinian Authority spokesman:

"Why should America continue to fund the Palestinian Authority when its own apparatus is responsible for incitement to murder and violence and terrorism and has carried out repeated terrorist attacks against civilians?"

This is just one of multiple questions fired away by WND senior reporter Aaron Klein on his WABC Radio show during an interview with PA spokesperson Dmitri Diliani.

The confrontational interview, audio from which is linked below, took place in the wake of the weekend's bloody massacre in which Palestinian assailants brutally stabbed to death five members of the Udi Fogel family, including a 3-month-old infant, inside their home in the Jewish village of Itamar.


After Diliani repeatedly claimed to Klein that his Fatah organization condemns violence and supports peace, Klein ended the interview, but not before lashing into the Palestinian spokesperson.

"Yeah, you condemn violence," Klein exclaimed sarcastically. "I can't hear any more of this."

Continued Klein: "You condemn violence as a Palestinian, probably from your party, just slit the throat of a Jewish infant and as your president, Mahmoud Abbas, just dedicated a square to an infamous Palestinian murderer."

Klein's tone was much different in 2005 in reaction to another mass shooting in another disputed area Israel currently claims.

As we detailed, when AWOL Israeli soldier Eden Natan Zada opened fire unprovoked on a bus in Gaza, killing four Arabs, Klein wasn't crying out in anger. Rather, the tone of his reporting was sympathy for Zada, lamenting that he was "murdered" by a "mob of Palestinians" after shooting. Klein never described Zada's victims as being "murdered." Klein wrote numerous articles painting Zada as a victim of the the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, even quoting in one article Yekutiel Ben Yaacov -- aka Mike Guzovsky, the Israeli terrorist sympathizer and former leader of the far-right Kahanist movement whom Klein defended after he was banned from entering Britain -- painting Zada as "the first casualty of the sadistic Gaza plan."

Klein has admitted his Kahanist sympathies on his radio show, while also ludicrously claim that he has "absolutely nothing to do with these Kahane Chai extremists." Given that extremism was a hallmark of the Kahane movement -- so much so that it was banned in Israel and declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department -- it's ridiculous for him to pretend there is some non-extremist brand of Kahanism.

Given that history, of course Klein would spew outrage over the Fogel massacre while ignoring the Zada massacre -- and engaging in his usual shoddy reporting in the process.

The article states that the Fogels lilved in "the Jewish village of Itamar," suggesting that the killings took place in Israel proper. In fact, Itamar is located in the West Bank. Further, as the UK Guardian notes, Itamar "is an intensely nationalist-religious isolated settlement deep inside the West Bank. Nationalist-religious Jews believe they have a divine right to the land irrespective of legal ownership." That, of course, does not justify the massacre of the Fogels, but that sort of information puts the deaths in perspective as part of the continuing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians in these areas -- a struggle out of which was borne Zada's massacre.

The article also shows Klein up to his old anonymous-source shenanigans again, citing only "top sources in the [Al Aqsa Martyrs] Brigades leadership in the northern West Bank city of Nablus" for his claim that "members of the Fatah group planned and helped to carry out the attack" against the Fogels. That claim also appears in an accompanying WND article by Klein.

Klein is a reporter who takes sides, not only against Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular but non-right-wing Jews, as his repeated attacks on former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert (and his refusal to report anything on the rape scandal involving Likud-affiliated Prime Minister Moshe Katsav) amply demonstrate.

All of this makes Klein not only a dishonest and hypocritical reporter and radio host, but a gutless one too.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 AM EDT
Monday, March 14, 2011
CNS Plays Gotcha With Education Secretary
Topic: has been strugging to get its gotcha mojo back after getting pwned by Barney Frank late last year. It takes a stab at it in a March 14 article by Christopher Goins:

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, could not say where the U.S. Constitution authorizes the federal government to be involved in primary and secondary education.

On Thursday, after a House subcommittee hearing, asked Duncan, “The Bill of Rights says that powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states and the people. With that in mind, Mr. Secretary, where specifically does the Constitution authorize the federal government to be involved in primary and secondary education?”

Duncan dodged the question. “We are obviously a small percent of overall funding--you know about 10 percent," he said. "The vast majority of funding comes at the local level--state and local level. But we have a responsibility to support children who have historically not had those kinds of opportunities--disadvantaged children, poor children, homeless students, children who are English language learners and, more recently, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of reform from the department.

"We have to dramatically improve the quality of education we are providing this country and we can help to continue to reward excellence and encourage at the local level,” Duncan said.

Of course, Duncan has much better things to do with his life -- like his job --than play gotcha with a hostile reporter who just wants an embarrassing sound bite to use against him.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 14, 2011 11:36 PM EDT
WND's Richardson Ratchets Up Apocalyptic Rhetoric
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Glenn Beck's favorite end-times prophet, Joel Richardson, has been ratcheting up his apocalyptic rhetoric at WorldNetDaily in recent days.

In a March 12 column, Richardson declared that "we are entering World War III in the Middle East," claiming that "the United States has suddenly found herself quietly involved in a multiple-front Middle Eastern war." He even threw in a dose of Obama derangement:

Simply stated, we must drill now. Let's delude ourselves that we are actually healing the planet some other time. For years now, the warnings have gone out that the U.S. needs to free itself from dependence on Islamic oil. President Obama has done just the opposite, choosing instead to petition some worthless puny little gods called Volt and Prius to save us. I would love to believe that Rush Limbaugh is wrong when he says that President Obama is purposefully trying to destroy this nation, but in light of his actions, what other option do I really have?

(Richardson has previously written a WND column headlined, "What Obama and the Antichrist have in common.")

In a March 14 WND column, Richardson declared that recent earthquakes, including the one in Japan, is a sign of the end times:

So do the recent earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand and Japan have any relevance with regard to the return of Jesus? Absolutely. If we consider the words of Jesus as well as some very stunning earthquake statistics, then a clear picture emerges, pointing to the soon coming of the return of Jesus.

After citing a raftload of Bible verses he claimed supports this view, Richardson added that "for the majority of believers out there who take Jesus' words at face value, who are watching the specific signs that Jesus spoke of, the evidence is all there. The contractions are increasing in both intensity and frequency. I believe there is a birth on the horizon."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 PM EDT
Shocker: AIM, Newsmax Reports On Deceptive Editing In NPR Videos
Topic: Accuracy in Media

It was a bit of a surprise when Glenn Beck's website The Blaze exposed the deceptive editing of James O'Keefe's videos of NPR fundraisers -- after all, The Blaze's video maven, Pam Key, has her own lengthy history of deceptive editing that makes its criticism more than a little hypocritical.

It's even more surprising that some ConWeb outlets have reported on The Blaze's findings -- and in a way that takes them seriously:

  • A March 11 Newsmax article notes that The Blaze "is raising questions about the editing of the tape that suggested an NPR fundraising executive said that tea party patriots were racists, among other comments."
  • In a March 12 Accuracy in Media blog post, Don Irvine wrote that "James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas may jhave some ‘splaining to do" following the Blaze article. Irvine added, "This doesn’t totally exculpate Schiller from repeatung these remarks since he didn’t exactly disassociate himslef from them but it does bring into question once again O’Keefe’s penchant for clever editing to make his point." He concluded: "Conservatives should hold themselves to a higher standard of journalism and in this case O’Keefe falls short."

Of course, other ConWeb outlets have not reported on The Blaze's findings. For instance, NewsBusters -- which has heavily promoted the purported scandal --  hasn't said a word about it. That would conflict with its anti-NPR agenda, after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 AM EDT
Newsmax's Florida Donations Get Attention
Topic: Newsmax

Our research on Newsmax's undisclosed contributions to the campaigns of Florida politicians who are also getting fawning coverage on Newsmax -- published here and at Media Matters -- is getting some attention.

Business Insider noted the story and called Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy (who took part in fundraisers for two of the candidates named in the article) for a response:

When contacted by The Wire, Ruddy responded:
"Newsmax rarely endorses candidates in primary and general elections. However, we strongly endorsed Bill McCollum during his primary for Governor.
Our regular readers were well aware of our editorial perspective on the race.
Like most major media companies, Newsmax allows its executives to make donations to political candidates and like most major media companies, such donations are not noted in its contents."

Of course, most major media companies' executives are not so closely linked to their editorial content as Ruddy is with Newsmax's.

Further, the issue is not just Ruddy's personal contributions but those of Newsmax Media, which most notably gave $100,000 to Rick Scott's 527 organization at the same time Newsmax was announcing its endorsement of him. It begs the question of whether there is a quid pro quo taking place. Newsmax may have a certain "editorial perspective," but how much of it, if any, was a function of its and Ruddy's donations to their favorite candidates? Was Newsmax's fawning coverage an explicit or implied side benefit to the candidate getting the cash? There's also the implication of another quid pro quo: is Newsmax getting, or is hoping to get, something in return for these donations?

Ruddy's explanation that Newsmax's "regular readers" already know about its right-wing slant and, besides, he's not required to disclose his political donations is mostly meaningless. Newsmax presents itself as a news organization, which brings some expectation of the existence of standards.

The Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics states that journalists should "Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived" and "Disclose unavoidable conflicts." Does Newsmax have an ethics code that it follows?

Sheryl Young at Yahoo News, meanwhile, highlighted this story as well. She wrote, "It is not identified whether Ruddy spent Newsmax income or his own personal income." The presumption can be made that if Ruddy made the contributions under his own name, he used his own money, and that donations under the Newsmax Media name used corproate money.

Young goes on to ask if there is a "so what" to all of this, noting that it's not illegal for Ruddy and Newsmax not to disclose their political donations on their website, that the policies on politial donations by employees at other media companies vary widely, and that a majority of those tend to favor Democrats (though she concedes that a significant number of those involve journalists who don't cover politics). 

We don't dispute the legality of not disclosing these donations, but we do believe the ethics of not doing so should certainly be discussed. Newsmax's main focus is its political coverage, and Ruddy made his early reputation as a (rabidly anti-Clinton) political reporter. And there is the appearance of a quid pro quo regarding donations and coverage.

Ultimately, the heart of the matters is that Newsmax needs to decide what kind of operation it wants to be. If Ruddy doesn't think his readers should expect anything more from Newsmax than mindless shilling for Republican candidates, it should stop pretending to be a "real" news site by surrounding said shilling with wire stories from actual reporters. If Newsmax wants to be taken seriously as a news operation, it should be more transparent to its readers about its behind-the-scenes fundraising and donations -- or perhaps not make them in the first place and let its words speak for themselves.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EDT
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Ellis Washington Being Ellis Washington
Topic: WorldNetDaily

More silliness from Ellis Washington in his March 12 WorldNetDaily column:

God commanded the Israelites that they were not to sacrifice any of their children to Molech: "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. ..." Sacrificing to the Phoenician god Molech (king) was a popular form of idolatry; it consisted of burning children alive. The idol was heated and the children were placed in its hands. Think of Molech as the ancient pagans' answer to partial-birth abortion.

For over 25 years I've written that once you separate legality from morality, all of the systems, structures, bureaucracies and ideologies of necessity collapse into relativism, anarchy, nihilism and genocide.

Tragically the Molech paradigm lives in modern times in the ideas of Humanism (man is god), Machiavelli (the end justifies the mean), Rousseau (glorification of the primitive condition without law or morality), Social Darwinism (evolution, natural selection, survival of the fittest), Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin (communism, state socialism), Nietzsche (will to power), Freud (sex is god), Margaret Sanger (radical feminism, eugenics, selective breeding/sterilization, abortion) and John Dewey (progressive education as anti-education).

Yes, he's falsely conflating social Darwinism with Darwinism yet again. And likening any of the other ideas he has self-defined in as offensive a manner as he could conjure to sacrifices to pagan gods is utterly preposterous.

Elsewhere, just in case Washington's screeching hatred for public education wasn't already obvious, he complained about how its creation distracted from more important pursuits like farming:

In 1857, the NEA was founded as the National Teachers Association (NTA) on the progressive principle of a free and compulsory education for everyone at taxpayers' expense. Although many people at the time were outraged at this taxation without representation and the taking away of people from their vocations, like farming, the idea of a free education for everyone sounded egalitarian and just. However, human nature and history tell us welfare philanthropy leads to paternalism and contempt by the giver and laziness, resentment and pathology by the receiver.

It seems Washington would rather see an illiterate agrarian society than one not educated to his far-right beliefs.

At the end, he writes: "Obama's secretary of education recently said that up to 80 percent of all public schools will fail within a year. I'm not shocked by this catastrophe, nor should you." But his supporting link doesn't even claim that; rather, it states that Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the number of schools that will be classified as "failing" under the No Child Left Behind law will rocket from 37 to 82 per cent in 2011, which indicates a problem with NCLB.

Should someone who so repeatedly demonstrated his complete lack of reading comprehension skills really be weighing in on the state of education?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 14, 2011 10:46 AM EDT

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