NewsBusters' Double Standard on MILFs Topic: NewsBusters
In a July 12 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard got all worked up that Bill Maher said that he hopes Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann "split the MILF vote." Sheppard huffed: "Honestly, what does it say about our society that this disgusting creature gets invited on so-called cable news networks to spout his highly misogynistic opinions?"
Of course, when a conservative uses that "disgusting" term, Sheppard can't be bothered to complain. We found no reference whatsoever in the NewsBusters archive to Tucker Carlson's tweet that "Palin's popularity falling in Iowa, but maintains lead to become supreme commander of Milfistan."
Apparently, Sheppard and NewsBusters believe only conservatives are allowed to be "highly misogynistic" in public.
Did WND Hire Private Investigator It Reported On? Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 16 WorldNetDaily article touts how private investigator Susan Daniels, whom Unruh claims "confirmed that Barack Obama is using a Social Security number issued to a Connecticut address," said on an appearance during Joseph Farah's guest-hosting stint for domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy that "I can't wait to see Nancy Pelosi in an orange jumpsuit." (So much for objective research.)
Unruh also writes that Daniels said she "was drawn into the controvery [sic]" after "a client asked her to do some research on Obama." So who was that client? Was it WND?
After all, WND's Jerome Corsi has said that he "hired private investigators" to pursue his anti-Obama vendetta, presumably with WND's money. Did Corsi hire Daniels too? If so, shouldn't have Unruh disclosed that in his article?
Of course he should. But WND refuses to be fully honest with its readers about how it's creating the birther stories it's reporting on. We've documented that Tim Adams has said WND-affiliated attorneys provided him with an affidavit to sign regarding his birther claims, which WND subsequently reported on without disclosing that fact. WND editor Joseph Farah shut down a press conference rather than confirm Adams' claim, which in itself can be taken as a form of confirmation. And for all we know, WND created the possibly fraudulent affidavit for birther Doug Vogt.
It is certainly not outside the realm of possibility -- and is even quite likely -- that WND hired Daniels. Farah should have disclosed that on his radio show, and Unruh should have disclosed that in his article. But Farah and WND have never been big on journalistic ethics, have they?
MRC Headline Falsely Impugns NBC Topic: Media Research Center
A July 13 Media Research Center item by Kyle Drennen -- repeated at NewsBusters -- carries the headline "NBC: 'About Time' Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. Suffer 'Damage'." But the first paragraph of Drennen's item contradicts it:
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk reported the latest details on the phone hacking scandal in Britain involving a Rupert Murdoch owned tabloid and declared: "Damage to the company [News Corporation] may have already been done. And some say it is about time."
In other words: Contrary to the headline, NBC reported what others said about News Corp., and did not assert that it was "about time" Murdoch and his company suffered "damage."
That's sloppy writing. Unfortunately, that's the kind of sloppy "research" we've come to expect from the MRC.
Anti-Gay AIM, WND Rush to Defend Bachmann's Anti-Gay Husband Topic: Accuracy in Media
ABC News' report on the "pray away the gay" counseling tactics used by Marcus Bachmann, husband of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, prompted a defense of Bachmann by some of the most anti-gay elements of the ConWeb.
At Accuracy in Media, Cliff Kincaid -- a gay-hater who has expressed his approval of a proposed law in Uganda that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality -- claimed in a July 12 column that ABC charged that "the Bachmann family counseling service engages in terrible things by teaching homosexuals how to leave their disease-ridden lifestyle," adding "Of course, the notion of the Bible condemning homosexual behavior, reflected in several passages, was viewed as bizarre and intolerant."
Kincaid dismissed the report at "largely recycled leftist material" and quoted at length fellow gay-hater Peter LaBarbera denouncing it. Kincaid even worked in claims by discredited foreigner Trevor Loudon, even though he did not comment directly on the ABC story.
Kincaid followed up the next day with a more direct attack on ABC reporter Brian Ross, who conducted the report, making the largely irrelevant claim that Ross "hosted a fundraising benefit" for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Kincaid further complained that Ross did not interview any "ex-gays" -- and even that anyone would put "ex-gay" in scare quotes, huffing, "The failure of Ross to interview any of the ex-gays can be explained by his subservience to the homosexual lobby, which dominates the media business."
At WorldNetDaily, Joseph Farah -- who leads WND's pervasive anti-gay agenda and portrayed criticism by one writer of that agenda as a paranoid fantasy that the writer wanted to kill him -- also ran to Bachmann's defense, using a July 14 column to inventively parsing the words of both Bachmanns to pretend that they aren't as anti-gay as they are:
No. 1: Did Michele Bachmann say, as has been repeated ad nauseam in reports by CNN and dozens of other news sources, that homosexuals are "part of Satan"?
No, she did not. Here is what she did say in context in a speech in 2004: "We need to have profound compassion for the people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life, and sexual disorders. This is a very real issue. It's not funny, it's sad. Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle – we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It's a very sad life. It's part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It's anything but gay."
Now, I shouldn't have to explain the way the English language works to producers and editors at CNN and other major news agencies, but clearly that last inelegant statement does not say that individuals practicing homosexuality are "part of Satan." It suggests that it is satanic to suggest that the gay lifestyle is funny. There is no condemnation of individuals in her statement. Instead, the full context of her statement is urging compassion for people struggling with sexual dysfunction and sexual identity disorders.
No. 3: Did Marcus Bachmann call homosexuals "barbarians"?
No, he didn't. Again, in all of these deliberate misquotes and distortions, the actual words uttered by Michele and Marcus Bachmann reveal the truth.
Here's what he actually said in a radio interview about dealing with homosexuality: "I think you clearly say, 'What is the understanding of God's word on homosexuality?' We have to understand barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined and just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn't mean we're supposed to go down that road."
What Marcus Bachmann is talking about here is confronting non-believers with their sin – a widely accepted Christian principle. He's not calling homosexuals "barbarians." "Barbarians" is a euphemism for non-believers. He's talking about the need for individuals and societies to stop just doing whatever feels right and paying attention to God's moral absolutes. In other words, he's being a Christian.
Farah is reading a lot into that final statement. Given the close juxtaposition of the two words, a layman's reading of Bachmann's statement makes it very clear that he is indeed calling homosexuals "barbarians." The "euphemism" Farah takes refuge in -- that "barbarians" and "unbelievers" is interchangeable -- is not a common one; we don't even recall WND using it at any point. (Plus, it makes the fallacious assumption that it is somehow impossible to be gay and Christian.) While Farah is willing to impart to Bachmann words he never said and meanings he never expressed, the rest of us have to go by what actually came out of his mouth.
Of course, inventing creative meanings of what people said is nothing new for Farah -- he won a Slantie Award this year for somehow divining that President Obama's omission of the word "creator" when paraphrasing the Declaration of Independence during a speech was "an attempt at deicide."
WND Hides Facts On FDA Abortion Pill Report Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 13 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeated right-wing attacks on the "abortion pill" mifepristone, based on a newly released FDA report, but he ignored or downplayed mitigating factors, and he offered no context for the information.
Fourteen women have died in the United States alone and several thousand have experienced an "adverse event" after taking the abortion drug RU-486, according to a "quietly released" government report.
A Food and Drug Administration document, called the "Mifepristone U.S. Postmarketing Adverse Events Summary," is being highlighted by Liberty Counsel, a public interest legal organization that fights on behalf of the right to life, among other issues.
The report reveals the dangers of taking the drug, even though the Abortion Care Network reports on its website that many women "feel that Mifepristone is private and more natural."
Unruh didn't mention that the FDA's data was based on an estimated 1.52 million women in the U.S. who have taken mifepristone, and he didn't mention the report's statement that "These events cannot with certainty be causally attributed to mifepristone because of information gaps about patient health status, clinical management of the patient, concurrent drug use and other possible medical or surgical treatments."
Unruh also failed to offer context for how such a rate of adverse events compares to other medications. For instance, taking mifepristone is actually much safer than carrying a pregnancy to term; the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is around 13 per 100,000 live births.
For a comparison with an actual drug, the National Institutes of Health reports that in one clinital trial of the anti-cancer drug Avastin for use in treatingage-related macular degeneration, the rate of adverse events was 24 percent -- much higher than the FDA has identified with mifepristone.
Unruh also muddled the causes of those deaths, writing that "the deaths were blamed on sepsis, the use of drugs, methadone overdose, delayed onset of toxic shock-like syndrome, suspected homicide and ruptured ectopic pregnancies." Are Unruh and his right-wing buddies really going to blame deaths apparently caused by murder or drug overdoses on mifepristone? Removing the drug overdose- and homicide-related deaths, that leaves nine deaths out of 1.52 million women that might possibly be related to mifepristone.
Unruh seems to have based his article on a press release from the right-wing group Liberty Counsel, which makes the same omissions of context and fact that Unruh does.
Vadum Tosses Away GAO Report That Proves Him Wrong Topic: Capital Research Center
Media Matters detailed how Fox & Friends promoted a claim that "ACORN" -- which no longer exists -- is still receiving federal money, only to back down after being contacted by a federal spokesman who pointed out that the figure Fox & Friends cited was the amount that was unspent and reclaimed from a 2005 grant. The spokesman's claim is backed up by a Government Accountability Office report issued last month.
Fox & Friends appears to have taken its information from a post by Matthew Vadum at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website.
If you go to Vadum's personal website, you'll find a copy of his Big Government post. But before you see that, you will see a giant photo of Vadum taken from an appearance from Fox Business. That's taken from his appearance on the June 17 edition of Follow the Money, one of six apperances Vadum has made on that show since early June, according to a Nexis search.
Note that in the picture, Vadum is holding a copy of a GAO report on federal funding of ACORN. During the segment, he attacked the report for not hating ACORN as much as he does, dismissing it as "like teenage interns were researching on Google for a few hours" and accusing it of not detailing as many ACORN-related voter fraud convictions as he found (never mind that doing so was outside of the report's scope). In a dramatic flourish, Vadum declared that "you can just throw it away if you want" as he tossed the report behind him, pages fluttering.
Perhaps Vadum shouldn't have tossed that GAO report away -- it's the very same report that disproves his claim.
The GAO report references the grant Vadum cited at Big Government, a $527,000 grant awarded to ACORN Housing Corp. by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2005. A footnote continues: "The grant was closed with a balance of $461,086 not expended before the expenditure deadline." That's the same $481,086 Vadum claimed in his Big Government post that HUD "gave ACORN ... in January."
Vadum's Big Government post contains no update or correction at this writing, though the version at his own website has an update noting that a HUD spokesman -- the same one who contacted Fox & Friends -- pointed out that the money was "de-obligated and recovered," not awarded and spent.
There's a bit of irony in the fact that Vadum's website features a photo of himself holding a report that, had he actually read it closely instead of theatrically tossing it away, would have saved him some embarrassment.
Victoria Jackson: Like Hitler, Obama Has A Private Army (And A White Mother) Topic: WorldNetDaily
1. private army (like Hitler)
2. socialist (like Hitler)
3. media control (like Hitler)
A clause hidden in the Obamacare bill, which is now law, gives Obama the right to form a private army.
Why isn't anyone freaking out?
Hitler did this.
Hitler, like Obama, was a "socialist" who came from a dysfunctional family, had a communist father who abused alcohol, womanized and sired several children from different mothers, had a white mother, suffered child abuse and neglect, moved often, lied about his birth and heritage, changed his name, was a narcissist, rose to power with the help of disreputable men, had the Rothschilds as financial backers, stirred up racial conflict and class warfare, wrote a biography about race at age 35, followed up with another book used to launch a political career, supported infanticide (partial-birth abortion), gave big speeches in stadiums, promised change and a new social order, had youth groups singing his praises, used propaganda, used voter fraud and intimidation, controlled the media, created "crises," used a poor economy, hated Jews (Israel), pretended to be "Christian," advocated population control and euthanasia, socialized medicine, formed a private army and then ... killed his political opposition with his private army.
Well, I am Obama's political opposition. That's why I am concerned.
The reason nobody is "freaking out" about the "private army" stuff is because it's not true.
UPDATE: We were so taken by Jackson's full Godwin that we missed her boner at the end:
Remember, Cuba voted in Castro, and Germany voted in Hitler. If America votes in Obama for the second time,we deserve a dictator.
Actually, neither Castro nor Hitler were "voted in." Castro assumed power after the Cuban revolution, and Hitler was appointed German chancellor and later assumed presidential powers. (WND's Joseph Farah got that wrong as well.)
Christopher Ruddy uses a July 12 Newsmax column to defend his former boss, Rupert Murdoch:
This news hurricane currently overtaking the media should really be re-titled “Time to Beat Up on Rupert Murdoch.”
Missing from all the sensational reporting is the fact that Murdoch is not well liked by the liberal establishment in Britain or in the United States. But this bias against Murdoch cannot deny the fact that Murdoch has played a key role in shaping our world today, including helping the West to defeat communism.
The allegations coming out of Britain are serious and should be investigated by the authorities, though I don’t believe Murdoch himself would ever have sanctioned criminal activities. During the mid 1990s, I worked briefly for the Murdoch empire at the New York Post. Such practices that have surfaced in Britain simply would never have happened at the Post.
Murdoch has, justifiably, moved to close his newspaper, The News of the World, and taken other serious actions to address these abuses.
In fact, many of the recent sensational press disclosures were actually provided to the official investigators by Murdoch’s own media company, which has been working closely with the police since the hacking allegations first arose two years ago.
Ruddy doesn't mention that one of the problems was that Murdoch papers were working a little too closely with police, as in bribing them to track cell phone signals of celebrities and others.
Murdoch as a victim of the left is a theme he repeats later in the column:
nd this really gets me to the guts of my story, the real backdrop: The left hates Rupert Murdoch.
Most Americans don’t know that it was Rupert Murdoch, an Australian and “outsider,” who came to Britain in the late 1960s and began shaking up the media establishment.
It was Murdoch and his newspapers that elected Margaret Thatcher, taking Britain out of its socialist coma. Were it not for Murdoch, it is doubtful the Iron Lady would have ever emerged.
Thatcher, with Murdoch’s support, broke the power of the labor unions and their lock grip over the British economy. Without Murdoch, there would never have been a Reagan-Thatcher alliance defeating the Evil Empire. And Britain would not be today a first-rate European power.
Murdoch was not just a player in this. He was the key player.
Murdoch and his paper saved our greatest city, New York. Back in the ’70s, the Big Apple was on the brink of insolvency.
Indeed, New York was on the path to become another Detroit; that is, until Murdoch decided to use the Post, then the third-most-read daily, to endorse Ed Koch, a dark-horse candidate and Democratic congressman in the 1977 mayoral election. Murdoch cleverly used a lottery style marketing program called Wingo, which, in the months leading up to the mayoral election, caused the Post’s circulation to mushroom.
Koch won that election handily, thanks to Murdoch. In my book, Koch saved New York by rolling back the power of the municipal unions that were a key factor in leading the city toward bankruptcy.
We suspect Ruddy wouldn't be so eager to paper over this scandal if Murdoch wasn't so conservative-friendly.
Farah: Approving HPV Vaccination Was A 'Mistake' For Perry Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a July 11 column explaining why Rick Perry can beat President Obama in the 2012 election, Joseph Farah also takes time to list a few of Perry's "mistakes":
One of the biggest came in 2007 when he signed an executive order that required every sixth-grade girl in Texas to be vaccinated for the HPV virus – a sexually transmitted disease. He needs to explain clearly why this was a mistake he will never make as governor again, nor as president.
Nor did he mention why Perry issued the order: because HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer and, according to Perry, "The HPV vaccine provides us with an incredible opportunity to effectively target and prevent cervical cancer."
Farah does not explain why trying to prevent cervical cancer is a "mistake."
WND has long fearmongered about vaccines, even promoting the discredited link between vaccines and autism, but Farah does none of that here; instead, he suggests that the HPV vaccination is somehow icky because it's a "sexually transmitted disease." Farah also ignores the reason sixth-grade girls are being targeted -- because the vaccine being used, Gardasil, works best before a person has contact with HPV.
You'd think that Farah would have been chastened about its promotion of the vaccine-autism link -- the first report of its discrediting in an original WND article occured in a column, not a "news" item -- but he apparently cares more about fearmongering than the truth.
NewsBusters Shifts Into Equivocate-And-Denounce Mode On News of the World Scandal Topic: NewsBusters
Now that the Media Research Center has decided to weigh on the Rupert Murdoch-News of the World scandal (after trying to dismiss it a few months ago), it has fallen into its usual pattern of dealing with such things: equivocate and denounce.
Aubrey Vaughan writes on the former in a July 13 NewsBusters post:
For the past few days, everyone has relished the opportunity to pounce on the lack of media ethics by Rupert Murdoch affiliated tabloid News of the World, but are neglecting to recognize the lack of media ethics by much more mainstream media outlets on this side of the Atlantic.
Over the past three years, often to the chagrin of TV news audiences, Casey Anthony has been the star of the airwaves. Casey, a resident of Orlando, Florida, was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse following the death of her daughter, Caylee. Last week, Casey was found not guilty of these charges, and thanks to her previous good behavior in prison, is scheduled to go home Sunday. With her imminent release, brazen media outlets will soon begin duking it out to land the coveted first interview with the newly free Casey. Thanks to the thousands of dollars they put towards helping her throughout the trial, though, it seems that ABC News might already have a head start in the competition.
To help pay the bills, defense attorney Jose Baez revealed last March that Casey's team had accepted $200,000 from ABC News to help pay off her legal bills in exchange for exclusive pictures and videos. A spokesperson for ABC News told Mediabistro, "In August 2008 we licensed exclusive rights to an extensive library of photos and home video for use by our broadcasts, platforms, affiliates and international partners. No use of the material was tied to any interview."
It reportedly wasn't the first time ABC helped the Anthony family, either. Mediabistro reported that "[n]ewly released court documents reveal[ed] ABC News paid for a three-night hotel stay at a Central Florida Ritz-Carlton for the grandparents of murdered toddler Caylee Anthony," only days after Caylee's remains were found.
ABC also paid $15,000 to meter reader Roy Kronk, the man who originally found Caylee's decaying remains. He was paid for a picture he took of a rattlesnake in the woods taken in the same vicinity where he found a mysterious object that later turned out to be Caylee's decomposed body. Of course, with a payment that large, Kronk figured an interview was in the works as well, and within days, he appeared on Good Morning America.
Yes, Vaughan really thinks paying sources for scoops is no different than breaking the law by hacking into people's voice mail for story ideas. We don't dispute that paying sources is a serious ethical issue in journalism. But it's at least a few orders of magnitude smaller than the News of the World's phone-hacking.
Demonstrating the latter is Tim Graham, who attacked NPR for covering it at all:
Unsurprisingly, Fox-hating National Public Radio has eagerly embraced the nasty scandal of phone-hacking at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid, which included dastardly deeds like hacking into the phone messages of abducted 13-year-old Milly Dowler, whose parents thought she might be alive because a tabloid reporter was messing with her phone.
NPR was so excited by this scandal that they sent media reporter David Folkenflik to London, and he’s filed eight reports in the last week – and starred in a one-hour Diane Rehm Show devoted to the “Murdoch Tabloid Scandal” on Tuesday, in which the name “Murdoch” was used 70 times.
As he has before, Graham whined that NPR "the million-dollar grant NPR received from George Soros at almost the same time that Soros gave a million-plus to Media Matters for America to get cable operators to 'Drop Fox.' NPR should really try a fuller disclosure when it dives into scandals that please its liberal sugar daddies." Graham, of course, makes no mention of the conservative sugar daddies he must please by writing such things.
Meanwhile, Matthew Balan was upset that NPR reported on a self-described "geek socialist" who is leading a fledging boycott against Murdoch's News Corp. Apropos of nothing but the MRC anti-gay agenda, Balan concluded by noting that earlier in the year NPR had "spotlighted a homosexual activist's income tax protest."
CNS Falsely Portrays DREAM Act As Amnesty Topic: CNSNews.com
A July 12 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr carries the headline "Durbin Characterizes DREAM Act as ‘Starting Point’ in Amnesty for All Illegal Aliens." But nowhere does Starr quote Sen. Dick Durbin using the word "amnesty" to describe the DREAM Act or any other immigration reform.
The article is an echo of a June 29 article by Starr with a headline that falsely suggested that Durbin called for "amnesty" when Starr quoted him saying no such thing. As we've documented, CNS repeatedly portrays the DREAM Act and other comprehensive immigration reform propsals as "amnesty" when, due to the numerous conditions imposed on illegal immigrants before citizenship may be granted, it is not by definition "amnesty."
Nevertheless, Starr follows up in a July 14 CNS article by falsely claiming that the DREAM Act was an attempt at "granting amnesty for illegal aliens."
Well, he was unhappy that we pointed out his false claim that ACORN is continuing to receive money from the federal government -- which is sort of impossible since ACORN has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the kind that results in liquidation of an organization, and that at least two government agencies have determined that the agency receiving the money, while descended from ACORN, "is not an affiliate, subsidiary, or allied organization of ACORN."
Vadum's initial response was to insult me, calling me a "douchebag" over Twitter. When I gave him an opportunity to prove me wrong, he huffed: "Oh do piss off. Facts are in my book & published opeds."
Vadum expanded his attack on me in a post at his personal website, declaring me to be a "useful idiot," a "paid character assassination [sic], professional liar, and all-around scumbag," and, finally, a "thin-skinned worm." Vadum hurls this torrent of insults at me, and I'm thin-skinned? He must be thinking of his publisher, Joseph Farah.
Again, Vadum punts on offering evidence to disprove my claim:
In fact, ACORN still exists, as I have documented in my acclaimed new book, Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, and it is gearing up to resurface under a new name in time to help re-elect President Obama, a former ACORN employee.
If Vadum is so hot for me to read his book, perhaps he could send me a review copy so I can examine his claims. Somehow I suspect it's as fact-free as his insult-laden tirades.
Oh, and we're not done with Vadum just yet. Stay tuned...
Newsmax's Walsh: Illegal Immigrants Part of Obama 'Class Warfare' Topic: Newsmax
A 2011 poll indicates that people are losing faith in the public education system. As Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute observed, “People will see the president’s budget as a definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over that has failed, and $2 trillion of federal spending has failed America’s children.”
The reason could be that the influx of undocumented foreign nationals is integral to the re-distribution of wealth by means of class warfare permeating the Obama re-election rhetoric.
Thewhiningcontinues in a July 8 WorldNetDaily article in which it is yet again suggests without evidence that White House press secretary Jay Carney did not call on Les Kinsolving because he knew what Kinsolving was going to ask and did not want to answer it:
The $37.1 million that White House aides make in salary apparently is off-limits to questions, as Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to allow WND White House Correspondent Les Kinsolving, the second-most senior reporter on the White House beat, to inquire about the benefits.
Kinsolving came to today's White House press briefing prepared to ask about the issue.
WND's suggestion that Carney is avoiding calling on Kinsolving because he doesn't want to answer tough questions is utterly dishonest. The more likely explanation is that Carney knows very well what a mendacious hack (and virulent homophobe) Kinsolving is.
As he is wont to do, Kinsolving uses his July 12 column to exact a little revenge for being ignored, making sure to note Carney's salary as he bashes the White House for giving raises, asking: "Have the number – and costs to the taxpayers – of the staffers of the president and the first lady shown either restraint or compassion for the millions of Americans unemployed?"
Is such pettiness the sign of a journalist who has earned the privilege of being taken seriously? Common sense says no.