CNS Admits Existence Of U.S. Casualties In Iraq Topic: CNSNews.com
We've detailed how CNSNews.com has repeatedly emphasized the casualty rate of U.S. troops in Afghanistan without mentioning that the rate was much higher at the peak of the Iraq war. Now, CNS finally admits that U.S. troops are still getting killed in Iraq.
A July 5 CNS article by Patrick Goodenough reports that "Fifteen U.S. troops died in Iraq in June, more than in any single month since June 2009." Of course, CNS is days behind in reporting this revelation. But that didn't appear until the third paragraph of Goodenough's article; a claim that "Iranian security agencies" were to blame for "a fresh increase in violence" comes first.
Goodenough further tries to spin things by stating that "attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces and Iraqi civilians have dropped fourfold since 2007, when they averaged some 400 each week." No such spin is permitted Edwin Mora's monthly body counts, where the word "Iraq" is prohibited.
Admission of the existence of casualties in Iraq, this story is reminiscent of CNS' coverage of Iraq war casualties from 2007 to 2009, with heavy emphasis on how they have fallen. Here are some sample headlines from that period, where even monthly casualty increases are accompanied by proclamations of how they are down from the previous year:
By contrast, as we noted, the last two body-count articles by Mora carried the headlines "Under Obama, U.S. Casualty Rate in Afghanistan Increased 5-Fold" and "2011 On Pace to Match Deadliest Year in Afghanistan for U.S. Troops."
Will Mora and CNS be touting the inevitable casualty rate declines in Afghanistan as breathlessly as it did for Iraq casualty declines? Don't count on it -- that's not part of CNS' mission.
WND's Klein Reduced To Complaining About Masturbation Topic: WorldNetDaily
So it's come to this: Aaron Klein complaining about masturbation.
Klein devotes an entire July 4 WorldNetDaily article to an attempted hit job on AOL for publishing "an item on its main page about how men fake orgasms, recommending any male engaged in the practice should masturbate to help 'discover what stimulates you.'" At no point did Klein explain why masturbation is a bad thing; of course, he really couldn't since the AOL article (to which he failed to offer a link) he attacked was "medically reviewed" by a physician.
The ostensible goal of Klein's article was to paint the article as a consequence of AOL's merger with Huffington Post, where, he claims, "some have noticed a shift in AOL's content toward the Huffington Post's notorious liberal bent." Of course, this is a extremely poor example of it; the previous article in the "sexual health" section of the AOL EverydayHealth site that Klein is attacking, as listed at the end of it, carries the headline "The Anatomy of an Erection," and it was published in October 2009, well before the AOL-HuffPo merger. Klein does not explain what a "sexual health" website should be talking about in place of these subjects.
And while Klein is eager to identify Huffington Post as "liberal" -- which he does no less than five times in his article -- at no point does he cite the critics he describes as attacking HuffPo, such as American Thinker and the Media Research Center, as conservative. Klein even references the MRC's 2007 attack on HuffPo, which we've pointed out is utterly useless as "media research" because it cherry-picks 19 posts out of the tens of thousands on the website in order to attack HuffPo as "loaded with profanity and crude sexual and excretory metaphors." Of course, the point of such shoddy work is precisely so that right-wing hacks like Klein will mindlessly repeat it without examining the MRC's crappy methodology.
But let's look at the larger issue here: Why is someone stationed in Jerusalem writing about an American website publishing an article about masturbation? Isn't he supposed to be covering, you know, the Middle East?
Of the 23 articles Klein has written since June 1 only six carry a Jerusalem or Tel Aviv dateline and are devoted to Middle East issues. Nearly all of the rest are attacks on the Obama administration or other Democrats and liberals, which could have been written anywhere. Also, most of his Middle East-themed articles of late are anonymously sourced, so those are of marginal journalistic value as well.
Paying to keep Klein ensconced in Jerusalem seems like a needlessly expensive way for WND to pursue such right-wing hack work, since he's obviously doing little these days to justify being located there.
AIM Joins The 'Dick' Conspiracy Topic: Accuracy in Media
A July 1 Accuracy in Media blog post by Roger Aronoff follows the Media Research Center in failing to condemn Mark Halperin for calling President Obama "kind of a dick" while simultaneously acknowledging that it was so offensive that he can't use the word uncensored, instead using "d***" and "the 'd' word."
Aronoff even goes on to literally repeat an MRC conspiracy, claiming that it Halperin "had instead called George W. Bush a fascist or a war criminal, no problem there at MSNBC, as Media Research Center has pointed out." But if Aronoff is so unbothered by Halperin's use of the word "dick," why won't he spell it out?
WND Posts Video Of Its Dog-And-Pony Show Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has posted video (in five parts) of its dog-and-pony show from last week in which it presented its lawsuit against Esquire magazine and pushed birther conspiracy theories.
We haven't watched the whole thing to see if WND deleted anything embarrassing, like the long gaps of Mara Zebest fumbling around at the computer -- we're in no hurry to lose another hour and a half of our lives reliving this experience again -- but we do know that the end of part 5 does keep intact Joseph Farah refusing to answer our question about whether WND-affiliated attorneys supplied Tim Adams with the affidavit he signed (and WND later reported on) and shutting down the press conference instead.
Public School Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
have a confession to make. Until I was an adult – as in, until a few years ago – I never completely read the Declaration of Independence.
Oh sure, I was familiar with the basics. I knew what it said … sort of. But somehow I just never got around to reading it.
This isn't surprising. I am, after all, a public skool gradjuate. And public schools, as everyone knows, hardly go around emphasizing such things.
But now that I'm a homeschooling mom, I was darned if my kids were going to be as ignorant as I was.
When one nation takes over another, that second nation is considered "occupied." That's currently the situation of We the People. We are occupied by the Government of America. An efficient parasite weakens and sucks blood from its host, but doesn't quite kill it. The Government of America has become a parasite on the body of the People of America.
And so this is why a thoughtful study of our founding documents is actively discouraged in government schools. Studying these documents puts students in opposition with the occupying force. The Declaration is considered inflammatory because students might recognize that the whole purpose of it was to put limitations on the Government, not to feed the beast.
CNS Belatedly Decides Obama Videos Can Be Used As A Cudgel After All Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is having a tryout for another attack on President Obama -- but this time it gave itself the added degree of difficulty of having declared it wasn't an issue first.
A June 29 article by Matt Cover breathlessly declared that "White House visitor logs reveal that President Obama’s political organization, Obama for America, filmed two campaign videos featuring the president--inside the White House." Cover waited until the second-to-last paragraph of the 12-paragraph article to undo all the hinting at illegalities he had been doing in the rest of the article, conceding that "the videos are not illegal" and that "presidents have often used the White House as a setting for political material."
Then, two days later, Cover apparently decided he didn't trust his legal analysis -- or, more likely, he or his bosses decided that this could be turned into a politically motivated wedge issue against the president. So he scared up a pair of right-wing activists who he presents as "election law experts" to declare that the videos are illegal after all.
Cover identifies Cleta Mitchell only as "a member of the American Bar Association’s election law committee"; in fact, she's a right-wing activist who we last saw serving as a contact for Dick Morris' Super PAC for America. Cover does offer some hint of the political slant his other "expert," Hans von Spakovsky, by noting that he's a "Heritage Foundation legal analyst," but he's much better known for obsessing over the largely nonexistent scourge of voter fraud.
But while Cover, in his June 29 article, noted that "President George W. Bush also filmed part of a campaign ad in the residential portion of the White House. President Bush also used a picture of himself in the Oval Office in a fundraising email from the RNC," he apparently did not ask Mitchell or von Spakovsky about the legality of those incidents, for he does not reference them in the new article. Nor does Cover mention that he had declared the videos to be legal just two days before.
Then again, it's not in Cover's interest to find out if Bush broke any election laws -- that's not what the Media Research Center is paying him to do. It doesn't matter to them that the flip-flop and the double standard is so blatant.
Geller Isn't Bringing Her A-Game Crazy To WND Columnist Gig Topic: WorldNetDaily
Pamela Geller never made sense as a Newsmax columnist. Her rabid anti-Muslim tirades and birther leanings conflicted with Newsmax's attempts to present itself as a moderate conservative voice -- and they demonsrated a more natural fit at WorldNetDaily. And lo and behold, a few weeks back that came to pass: Geller is a WND columnist.
Thus far, Geller has let her WND readers see only bits of her weapons-grade crazy. Her most high-profile controversies have yet to see the light of day at WND.
For instance, Geller has been defending accused Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic by downplaying the number of Muslims killed in a massacre in Srebenica and by claiming that Mladic is actually being accused of "daring to fight back when Muslims attacked."
Most recently, Geller has been trying to figure out what to do about her steadfast support for the English Defence League, a far-right British anti-Muslim group long associated with violent attacks and long accused of having racist elements. After the head of the EDL's Jewish Division, Roberta Moore, resigned from the group complaining of "Nazis" in the EDL ranks, Geller first declared that she was withdrawing her support from the EDL, then flip-flopped the next day, insisting that "There is a struggle for the soul of the EDL" and that she still believes the EDL is "noble and true."
C'mon, Pam. If Ilana Mercer can use her WND perch to defend apartheid, certainly you should be able to hold forth at length on the virtuousness of Mladic and the EDL.
Tim Graham Has Another Anti-Gay Freakout Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has spoken: The Washington Post is not allowed to write about gays on Sunday.
In the tradition of the MRC's history of dictating what can be covered and when, the increasingly homophobic Tim Graham complains in a July 3 NewsBusters post that the Post used "Sunday, the Lord’s Day," to publish an article about gay-themed art. Graham wrote in his headline that Post art critic Philip Kennicott is claiming that "'Overt Bigotry' in the Overwhelmingly Gay Art World Must Be Banned," but it's clear that what Graham wants banned is gay art itself.
Graham smears an exhibit of gay-themed art at the Smithsonian last fall as "tawdry" because it was "often pornographic, or at least nude." Graham repeated the MRC's contention that a video removed from that exhibit was "mocking Jesus," ignoring the fact that the artist himself said it wasn't. Graham also failed to discloses that it was his employer that manufactured the controversy that led to censoring that piece of art.
Graham is really offended, though, at the idea that gay artists have had influence in art history, and that Kennicott had the temerity to point that out and state that it is an "overt sin of omission" not to acknowledge such themes in art. Graham huffed: "See how the notion of 'sin' gets turned upside down?"
Graham then went nuts over Kennicott's claim that as a result of the manufactured controversy over the Smithsonian exhibit resulted in an "emerging consensus" that "the acceptable level of anti-gay bigotry at an institution such as the Smithsonian is now zero." That prompted Graham to rant:
Translation: The “emerging consensus” is "Shut up, conservatives and Christians! You have no right to tell us what to do with your tax dollars!"
Kennicott, like many arts advocates and critics, believe that the art world is the educated avant-garde which forces progress on society. If the art world can’t yet banish “homophobia” to the ash heap of history, at least it ought to be drummed out of the art world.
Meanwhile, the emerging consensus is that the acceptable level of anti-gay bigotry at the MRC is 100 percent.
Another WND Birther Attack Falls Apart On The Slightest Examination Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh dedicates a July 1 WorldNetDaily article to uncritically repeating a claim by Carl Gallups, "the senior pastor at Hickory Hammock Baptist Church for more than 24 years with a long history of community and law enforcement involvement," that since 2003 there has been an "organized strategy" to install Barack Obama in the presidency through attempts by members of Congress to explicitly define, or remove, the constitutional requirement that the president be a "natural born citizen" that was occurring "during the years Barack Obama was developing a power base and running for president."
Since Unruh is regurgitating instead of reporting, it comes as no surprise that any actual look into the claim shows how flimsy and fraudulent it is.
For instance, the first four efforts Unruh and Gallups cite occurred during the 2003-04 session of Congress, before Obama had even run for a U.S. Senate seat. Unruh also does some selective editing of the sponsors of those resolutions. For instance, the only sponsor Unruh lists for H.J. Res. 59 (which Unruh incorrectly identifies as "HJR 59") is Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder, failing to mention that another sponsor was Republican Rep. Darrell Issa -- hardly the kind of congressman who would be interested in paving the way for a Democrat to be president. Similarly, the only sponsor Unruh lists for S. 2128 (which Unruh incorrectly identifies as "S.B. 2128") is Republican Sen. Don Nickles, not mentioning that a co-sponsor was his fellow Oklahoma senator and notoriously right-wing James Inhofe.
Unruh makes no mention of what was going on in 2003 that was the actual motivation for such bills. It has more than a little to do with a certain famous actor who had just been elected California governor as a Republican. Snyder said during a October 2004 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the proposals (retrieved from Nexis):
Finally, with regard to the 20 versus 35 years, I certainly will be supportive of a 20-year amendment if that's what comes to the floor of the House and what comes out of this Congress. There are some issues, does that get into discussions about personality. I personally think both Governor Granholm and Governor Schwarzenegger ought to be eligible to be president. Some people may decide that that would be better having a longer period of time so we eliminate individuals. But I applaud you for your efforts here today and appreciate the opportunity to testify.
Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who sponsored another related resolution, had this to say during the hearing:
And, of course, this hearing would not be complete unless the name of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was not mentioned at least once. But, of course, he is just one famous example, as has been pointed out here today.
And so, another birther conspiracy completely implodes upon the slightest examination. The main goal of those bills was to elect a Republican -- not a Democrat -- who didn't current presidential standards.
And Joseph Farah wonders why WND is being ignored on the birther stuff. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with his repeatedly embarrassing himself by his insistence on publishing laughable tripe like this.
It wasn't the end of the month when CNSNews.com's Edwin Mora wrote a body-count article last week to attack President Obama's announcement of withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, so Mora had to churn out another one to adhere to his monthly body-count mandate.
Check out the headlines on Mora's article from last week and this week:
Under Obama, U.S. Casualty Rate in Afghanistan Increased 5-Fold
2011 On Pace to Match Deadliest Year in Afghanistan for U.S. Troops
Gotta love the faux-peacenik sentiments CNS is promoting here, eh?
Needless to say, the word "Iraq" is nowhere to be found, which means that Mora has failed yet to explain that the casualty rate in Iraq at the height of that war is more than double that of the current casualty rate in Afghanistan.
David A. Patten, Newsmax's go-to guy for slavish adherence to right-wing talking points, serves up a fawning farewell tribute to Glenn Beck's Fox News show in a June 30 article.
Patten uncritically repeats Beck's claim that he wasn't fired from Fox News, and goes on to sycophantically tout Beck's accomplishments:
That Beck’s program accomplished what most critics considered impossible for a 5 p.m. cable talk show is virtually undeniable. Viewership for his program exceeded 3 million per night at one point, astounding most media analysts.
Indeed, his program typically attracted more viewers than CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC combined, and he had the third-most-watched program on cable news, with 2.2 million viewers, before announcing in April that he would be moving on to other ventures.
Beck was occasionally compared throughout his tenure with Howard Beale, the unhinged anchor Peter Finch played in the 1976 movie "Network," who urged viewers to go to fling open their windows and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
But where the Beale character was irate, Beck proved himself to be one of the savviest stars in the media stratosphere in communicating with a devoted core audience.
In addition to his Fox program, Beck hosted the nation’s third-most-listened to radio programs in the nation and published a string of best-selling books, including "The Christmas Sweater," "Glenn Beck’s Common Sense," and "Arguing With Idiots." He also presented popular on-stage programs that toured from city to city.
Part of Beck’s magic with viewers was his tendency to eschew glitz in favor of talking in a personal, often emotional tone connected with viewers as if he were speaking with them one-on-one. And in that sense, Thursday’s farewell program was vintage Beck.
Patten claimed that "by some accounts" Beck's 8/28 "Restoring Honor" rally "attracted more than half a million people." In fact, that "some accounts" are largely that of Beck himself; professional crowd-counters estimated that between 78,000 and 96,000 attended.
Patten went on to noted that Beck "unveiled a list of names written on his iconic chalk board, speaking from a now-barren set and sharing the credit for the program’s remarkable accomplishments with all those who helped him to produce it" without mentioning that Beck misspelled the name of his own production company on the blackboard.
Bozell Falsely Claims Chris Matthews Would Never Insult Hillary Topic: Media Research Center
During his complaining about Chris Matthews' criticism of Michelle Bachmann, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell said on the July 1 edition of "Fox & Friends": "He would do that to Hillary Clinton. He would never in a million years wage that kind of insulting attack on Hillary Clinton."
Of course, Matthews has insultingly attacked Hillary Clinton -- which Bozell would have known if he had read his own website.
A January 2008 NewsBusters post by Geoffrey Dickens notes that "Matthews spent the first five minutes of Thursday night’s 'Hardball' personally apologizing to Hillary Clinton for insinuating that she owed her political success to sympathy derived from having endured Bill Clinton’s unfaithfulness." And a November 2008 post by P.J. Gladnick highlighted how Matthews, during a train trip, complained about President Obamaselecting Clinton as his secretary of state: "Why would he pick her? I thought we were done with the Clintons. She'll just use it to build her power base. It's Machiavellian. And then we'll have Bill Clinton, too. I thought Obama didn't want drama. ... She's just a soap opera. If he doesn't pick her, everyone will say she's been dissed again, we'll have to live through that again."
Bozell's false statement about Matthews, needless to say, wasn't noted in the NewsBusters post about Bozell's appearance. Then again, given that he hates Hillary even more than Matthews, maybe Bozell didn't consider Matthews' remarks to be insulting.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Joseph Farah Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah rants in his July 1 WorldNetDaily column:
Think about what I am saying here: The White House has issued a phony, bogus image it claims represents an accurate representation of Obama's birth certificate. That's the conclusion of the experts. But no one in the entire media establishment outside of WND will even take a second look.
A nation with political and cultural institutions in such a state of denial and decay is surely on the verge of some kind of judgment. That's the only conclusion I can make.
Isn't this a scandal bigger than Watergate? Isn't this bigger than the Teapot Dome?
Where are the calls for congressional investigations?
Why aren't subpoenas being issued?
Why hasn't a single story (outside of WND) been written or broadcast about what appears to be the biggest political scandal in American history?
Well, let's see ... because it's not? Because WND has no credibility? Because WND hates Obama so much that its work can't be trusted? Because WND is ignoring the evidence of experts who say the PDF isn't fake? Because WND is looking at an electronic file and not the physical certificate?
MRC Seems Fine With Calling Obama A Dick (But Can't Spell It Out) Topic: Media Research Center
Writers for the Media Research Center has said a lot of things about Mark Halperin calling President Obama "kind of a dick" on the June 30 edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe." None of them criticized Halperin for doing so, and all of them were unable to spell out the word "dick."
In the first NewsBusters post on the incident, Mark Finkelstein -- who spelled it "d--k" -- appeared to react to Halperin's insult the way he attributed to "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski: "shocked amusement."
In a follow-up NewsBusters post noting that Halperin had been suspended from MSNBC over the remark, Tim Graham went the euphemism route, substituting "[Short for Richard]" and "[male appendage]" for "dick."
The MRC then went the usual equivocation route, with Geoffrey Dickens complaining that nobody on MSNBC was suspended for "particularly distasteful things to say about a then sitting President George W. Bush." But Dickens joined his MRC in colleagues in censoring Halperin's word, this time as "d-ck," while did not censor any of the "particularly distasteful things" he claimed were said about Bush.
Noel Sheppard, meanwhile, completely avoided any sort of direct quote, saying only that Halperin made "an intemperate remark."Then he ranted that MSNBC is "the leading television propaganda outlet for this White House" and that "MSNBC was making it quite clear that until Election Day has passed, MSNBC personalities and contributors better be very careful what they say about the current White House resident."
If the MRC can't even fully enunciate what Halperin said because they think it's so distasteful, doesn't that definitively demonstrate the offensive nature of the remark and justify Halperin's suspension? Apparently not -- after all, the MRC won't criticize Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter over their long records of offensive statements.