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Sunday, May 15, 2011
Newsmax's Walsh Misleads on Crime in El Paso
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's resident immigrant-hater, James Walsh, checks in again with a May 13 column denouncing President Obama's speech in El Paso, Texas, on immigration. Walsh asserted that "A drug cartel crime wave also is underway in El Paso, which ranks second only to southern Arizona in cases of drug and illegal alien smuggling and related murders."

In fact, as Media Matters details, El Paso was recently rated the safest large city in the country. And while its cross-border sister city, Ciudad Juárez, had more than 2,700 murders last year, El Paso had only one, in large part because the drug cartels don't bring their violence across the border.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Saturday, May 14, 2011
WND Dishonestly Presents Case Of Nutrition 'Ministry'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A May 13 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh dishonestly presents the case of a self-proclaimed Christian nutritional "ministry" as a free-speech case. He writes: "The Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether the government can dictate the message of a Christian ministry."

Unruh then offers a biased description of the case:

The core of the dispute involves the government's allegations that the ministry, which advocates for herbal and natural remedies rather than using "toxic pharmaceuticals," made promises of cures from its treatments.

The FTC's own adjudication process earlier decided that the FTC was right in attacking the organization, trying to impose massive fines and then ordering the ministry, at its own expense, to tell all of its customers that the "toxic pharmaceuticals" were the only "scientifically proven" remedies.

In fact, as we've documented, the case is about the "ministry" in question, Daniel Chapter One, offering claims about the supplements it sells without offering scientific evidence to back it up. Daniel Chapter One has steadfastly refused to offer anything but anecdotal evidence that its supplements work. But because Daniel Chapter One presents itself as a ministry, it has tried to reframe the argument as one of free speech when that is not the case. And Unruh is dishonest enough to play along.

More evidence of Unruh's dishonesty: Unruh makes no apparent effort whatsoever to contact federal officials for their side of the story.

Also unmentioned by Unruh are questions raised by the government about the finances of the couple that operate the ministry, Jim and Tricia Feijo, claiming that they have taken a vow of poverty, but are using the proceeds of Daniel Chapter One "to buy things like two Cadillacs, two homes, restaurant meals, tennis memberships, country clubs, pool and gardening services, cigars, carries around a Gold American Express card."

An FTC attorney has also stated, "What we know is that Mr. Feijo stopped paying his taxes sometime in the mid-1990s, and what we know is that thereafter, he incorporated Daniel Chapter One as a Washington corporation sole. The woman who incorporated it, Nancy Johnson, was then prosecuted by the IRS for tax evasion in connection with corporations sole."

But Unruh is too invested in telling the story the Feijos want to get out, so he has no interest in reporting the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 PM EDT
Your Newsmax-Trump Lovefest Update
Topic: Newsmax

Remember that Donald Trump speech Newsmax was charging readers $2.95 (plus the usual loss-leader scheme) for access to the live webcast? Turns out it really wasn't that interesting.

As the May 11 article by Jim Meyers shows, Trump engaged in his usual ranting and Obama-bashing. But if you didn't feel like shelling out the money (or having to remember to discontinue those free trial subscriptions before Newsmax charges you for a full year), Newsmax is offering a free video of the speech -- with, of course, a couple more offers on the side.

Also on the Trump front, National Journal is reporting that, according to an NBC spokesperson, Trump won't be announcing anything about his presidential ambitions on the season finale of "Celebrity Apprentice" because the episode was taped months ago.

That, of course, shoots a big hole in Ronald Kessler's third-time's-a-charm reporting to the contrary. Newsmax isn't ready to run a correction just yet, though: A May 11 article is taking refuge in a statement by a Trump spokesman that a statement of some kind timed to the May 22 finale is still "not inconceivable."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Friday, May 13, 2011
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Softball Interviews
Topic: NewsBusters

Scott Whitlock picked the wrong day to complain about softball interviews.

A May 11 NewsBusters post by Whitlock grouses that in 2008, ABC conducted a "friendly interview" with Osama bin Laden's son and "tossed softballs" to him. But when it comes to softballs being tossed by NewsBusters' own bloggers, however, that's perfectly fine.

Meanwhile, a few hours earlier, a post by Lachlan Markay features his interview with David Freddoso, author of the Obama-bashing book "Gangster Government." Markay immediately buys into Freddoso's premise, saying of the title of the book, "I don't want to call it hyperbole, obviously it's not." (He does concede that it's "a very inflammatory term, almost.") The rest of the interview as transcribed is Markay teeing up softballs for Freddoso to answer at length with no challenge from his interviewer.

Whitlock's criticism might have come off a little more credible if his own organization could demonstrate that it can conduct interviews other than the softball kind he purports to loathe.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:56 PM EDT
WND Bets It All That Birth Certificate Is A Forgery
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The long-form birth certificate got released, and its definition of "natural born citizen" is questionable, so WorldNetDaily is going all in on the only thing it has left: a conspiracy theory that the long-form birth certificate released by President Obama is a fake.

Jerome Corsi is leading the way by suggesting that the document "is a crude, computer-generated forgery. His evidence? The stamp of certification says "TXE RECORD" instead of "THE RECORD." Of course, the truth is much different: it's clear that overinking of the stamp made the H look like an X.

Despite such desperate stabs, WND is fully on board, led by Joseph Farah himself. He asserted in his May 11 column that "I'm persuaded the birth certificate released by Barack Obama's White House is fake, phony, a fraudulent forgery." He cites as part of his evidence "so-called 'layering' as seen by amateur and professional sleuths who have examined it." But WND itself reported that "the 'layer argument' can be easily explained" as a function of the PDF format in which the document was released.

The next day, Farah declared it to be "at best, an inauthenticatable image of a document" and that Corsi "has returned to Hawaii for more on-the-ground, first-hand investigation." Farah then asserted that "we may be witnessing the final days of the Barack Obama regime."

Funny -- such flailing on Farah's part suggests that we may be witnessing the final days of WorldNetDaily.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 AM EDT
NewsBusters Gets It Wrong On Clinton And Perjury
Topic: NewsBusters

Alex Fitzsimmons complains in a May 12 NewsBusters post that MSNBC's Martin Bashir "admonished" Newt Gingrich's "hypocrisy" for "criticizing former President Bill Clinton's adulterous behavior while he was engaging in sexual transgressions of his own," but "failed to mention even once that the Democratic president didn't just cheat on his wife, but committed perjury to cover up the affair."

In fact, as we've previously pointed out, Clinton was never convicted of perjury in either a criminal court or in his Senate impeachment trial. In the civil case Paula Jones filed against Clinton, the judge ruled that Clinton gave "intentionally false" testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky -- which is not perjury.

Not all lying in court is perjury, which has a specific legal definition. It's simply inaccurate for Fitzsimmons to use that term to describe what Clinton did.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EDT
Thursday, May 12, 2011
NewsBusters Falsely Calls Immigration Reform 'Amnesty'
Topic: NewsBusters

A May 10 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan carries the headline "NPR's Liasson Excludes Amnesty Opponents from Immigration Story." But Balan ignores the fact that President Obama comprehensive immigration plan, which NPR was reporting on, is not "amnesty."

As we've pointed out, Obama's plan places numerous conditions on the path to legalization of illegal immigrants, which by defiinition is not "amnesty."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EDT
AIM Cherry-Picks In Attack On NY Times Reporter
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Moshe Phillips spends his May 9 Accuracy in Media article attacking New York Times reporter Kareem Fahim, claiming that "A quick review of Fahim’s history provides all the evidence needed to prove that he is not an objective journalist but has very radical views on the War on Terror and related issues." But Phillips is cherry-picking Fahim's reporting and misportraying it.

Phillips writes:

Earlier in his career Fahim wrote for The Village Voice weekly tabloid. The Voice’s radical editorial stance on civil liberties, terrorism and Israel related issues is well documented.

So well documented, it seems, that Phillips can't be bothered to back up his claim. He continues:

Just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, in an article titled “The Emir and His Lieutenant” about Al Qaeda, Fahim referred to the terrorist organization simply as an “extremist group.” Fahim’s writings include apologies for the terrorist network, such as the statement that “Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri have seized on the desperation of the Arab world.” He also quoted a New York University professor who stated the following bit of garbage: “The Islamists present a utopian vision.”

In fact, the article in question is an examination of Bin Laden and Zawahiri became Islamist extremists and is in no way an apology. Phillips selectively edited Fahim's statement that "Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri have seized on the desperation of the Arab world" to hide the fact that, far from being an "apology," Fahim warned that bin Laden and Zawahiri wouldn't stop with 9/11. Here's the full Fahim quote:

Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri have seized on the desperation of the Arab world, cloaked their edenic "solution" in faith, and set a massive trap in the wreckage near Wall Street. Bombing Afghanistan to hell might feel like catharsis, but the threat is elsewhere, and it won't go away with the emir and his lieutenant.

Further, the professor who stated that "The Islamists present a utopian vision" is not endorsing that vision, as Phillips suggests. Again, Phillips is cherry-picking. Here's the full statement, which shows the professor going on to point out that utopian visions never work out in real life:

"The Islamists present a utopian vision," Haykel said. No Islamic group has achieved significant power in an Arab country, so their theories on governance remain largely untested. "The only way that it can burst is if they come to power and show that they don't have the answers to the fundamental questions facing society," he said.

Phillips went on to further attack Fahim:

In 2000 Fahim held a position at the Cairo based weekly newspaper Al-Ahram.  Slate.com reported in 2004 that “Egypt’s Al Ahram Weekly (is) the English-language version of the regime’s own media organ.” Fahim also wrote about Mubarak’s downfall for The Times.

Even here, he demonstrated his bias, treating the selection of Dick Cheney as George W. Bush’s running mate as a “summer surprise” that went against “the logic of positive image-making.” Fahim’s biases are transparent.

Phillips is misleading again. Cheney was, in fact, something of a surprise pick, so much so that adviser Karl Rove argued against it. Fahim was pointing out that the selection of Cheney as vice president "seemed to clash with [George W. Bush's] compassionate campaign." Phillips ignores that Fahim went on to explain why the choice was made: "In the political calculation of Republicans, however, Cheney is a perfect choice. Besides appealing to the conservative base of the party, he provides the weight critics have said Governor Bush lacks."

Phillips is portraying legitimate, mainstream observations as "extremism" and "bias." It's certainly red meat for AIM's readers, but not actual media criticism.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 PM EDT
Les Kinsolving Whining Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily keeps up the whining in a May 10 article complaining that White House press secretary Jay Carney "has refused to allow two questions to be raised that were caused by concern over the idea of spending tax money to lobby for more tax money for 'liberal' causes" by WND' Les Kinsolving.

As per usual, the article is structured to suggest that Carney had advance knowledge of what Kinsolving was going to ask, which WND offers no evidence to back up.

Besides, as it turns out, Kinsolving's questions are based on a false premise, that NPR is using "taxpayer financing for lobbying." In fact, an NPR spokesperson told Politico that the federal funding it receives through grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting "must be used ONLY for the specific projects covered by each grant. The funds are not used to support NPR’s general operations. So the notion that these grants would be used to pay for advocacy is completely bogus."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EDT
CNS Using Alinsky's FBI File to Attack Obama
Topic: CNSNews.com

A May 10 CNSNews.com article by Christopher Neefus states that CNS has obtained "the FBI’s complete file" on "left-wing community organizer Saul Alinsky," detailing how the FBI sent Alinsky's records to the Secret Service "after Alinsky suggested that President Lyndon Johnson would be in danger when visiting Chicago for the 1968 Democratic National Convention."

What's the news value here? None, except for one thing: it allows CNS to portray Alinsky as "one of President Barack Obama’s intellectual forebears." Neefus makes no other reference to Obama in the article, and he offers no evidence to back up this claim.

It seems CNS will continue rooting through Alinsky's FBI file looking for other instances of untoward behavior it can tar Obama with through a politically motivated bit of guilt by association. Since there is no news value here, the only possible reason for CNS to run this and future articles is to advance its right-wing partisan agenda.

Which makes CNS a political organization, not a news organization.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:38 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Newsmax Reports On How Much Trump Loves Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

The lovefest between Newsmax and Donald Trump continues in a May 9 article by Hiram Reisner, which leads off by quoting Trump on how wonderful Newsmax is:

Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump says Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy has “really done an outstanding job” and that no one can pick on the media organization for their support of his presidential candidacy.

Trump also said Monday on Steve Malzberg’s WOR radio show that America has become a poor nation, and if he decides to run for president — and the odds are pretty good he might — he would “make the country rich again.”

Malzberg asked Trump whether he thought a story the news service Politico published recently had picked on Newsmax for its support of Trump. Politico said Newsmax has been “dubbed the number one promoter of Trump in 2012.”

Trump dismissed the idea that Politico had dissed Ruddy or Newsmax, adding. “Chris Ruddy is a fantastic guy — he’s built a great organization. . . . I think he can pick on people — he’s got a lot of power,” he continued."

Trump added that he's a big fan of Newsmax too. " . . . I really like Newsmax — I read it, I hear it, I listen to it."

Trump's claim that he "hears" and "listens" to Newsmax is a bit odd, since Newsmax offers no audio-only products; its Newsmax.tv videos all have visual elements.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:25 PM EDT
Mychal Massie Thesaurus (And Obama Derangement) Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We haven't had the experience of Mychal Massie beating us over the head with his thesaurus in a while, so it was something of a joy to see him bust it out again in his May 10 WorldNetDaily column.

Not only does Massie invoke the old chestnut "Erebusic" -- which no dictionary that we've seen defines as an adjective -- he also uses "sanious" and, in what appears to be a first, "scrofulous." And since Massie is throwing around his five-dollar words in a fit of Obama derangement, it all feels a bit ludicrous:

His pretentiousness has been as scrofulous as he usually is. And, while prancing about with his chest puffed out, giving "ain't I great" speeches, the public is being led away from what is important.

[...]

But his is arguably the most Erebusic administration in the history of America. The goodwill being shown him is being used by his handlers to bolster a failing presidency. Unable to fill venues, unable to sell $30,000-per-plate fundraiser tickets, and with increased open belligerence toward the public, he needed help – and bin Laden cooperated.

At the risk of perhaps sounding a bit conspiratorial, I would not be at all surprised to see bin Laden's assassination touted as a "hail to Obama" on Sept. 11, 2012. After all, he got a short-lived bounce in the polls this time, so why not look for this just before the election?

The killing of bin Laden may have rid the world of one bad guy, but it isn't creating jobs and it isn't cleansing us of the sanious agenda of Obama and his administration.

It's hard to make a point when nobody knows what you're talking about.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EDT
CNS Falsely Claims Obama Called For 'Amnesty'
Topic: CNSNews.com

A May 10 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas carries the headline "Obama Claims He’s Done All GOP Wanted on Border Security, Now They Must Pass Amnesty." But as Lucas makes clear, Obama never used the word "amnesty."

Lucas did mislead about what Obama said, claiming that he wants to "grant legal status to the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens." In fact, Obama has stated that his immigration reform plan making illegal immigrants in the country "register and get right with the law, pay their respective taxes and fines, learn English and submit to background checks before they can get in line to apply for a legal status."

Lucas also betrayed CNS' agenda as exhibited by the headline, referencing "plan for comprehensive immigration reform, which proponents generally call a 'pathway to citizenship' and critics call 'amnesty.'" CNS has repeatedly and misleadingly portrayed comprehensive immigration reform as "amnesty," even as it admits the term is used only by critics.

Lucas previews Obama's speech in a May 9 article under the false headline "Obama to Tout Amnesty in Speech Near Mexican City That Had More Casualties Than Afghanistan."

UPDATE: CNS keeps up the falsehood in a May 11 article by Eric Schreiner, which carries the headline "Harry Reid: "‘We Need The People Of America To Rise Up’ in Favor of Amnesty for Illegal Aliens." At no point does Schreiner report that Reid used the term "amnesty."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 7:23 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Natural Born Misleaders
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has studiously avoided reporting evidence that contradicts its preferred definition of "natural born citizen," which just so happens to exclude Barack Obama. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Tim Graham's Favorite British Newspaper
Topic: Media Research Center

A May 8 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham cites not one but two articles in the British newspaper the Daily Mail. To which we ask: Why is Graham so into British newspapers?

Perhaps because British papers have a little lower standard of accuracy than American papers do, and thus, are a convenient way for the American right to attack a Democratic president. This happened during the 1990s, when conservative British papers were used a way to legitimize attacks on Clinton, since they filtered from there into right-wing American papers. This phenomenon is happening all over again with the Obama adminstration, as Media Matters has documented.

While Graham is not citing any Obama-bashing stories from his paper of choice, the Daily Mail, in his post -- his main goal is to take a whack at MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski -- the Mail has a decidedly checkered record of accuracy. It has promoted the idea that Obama has had brain surgery, pushed a discredited story about a purported Sarah Palin stalker, and touted birtherism. Most recently, it was duped into running what it claimed was a picture of the corpse of Osama bin Laden.Given that the main focus of the Daily Mail appears to be celebrity gossip -- it dominates the front page of its website -- it's no wonder that the standards are lower.

Just because the British have low journalistic standards doesn't mean Americans must as well. Graham might do well to remember that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 PM EDT

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