MRC Falsely Portrays CBS Reporter As Biased Topic: Media Research Center
An Aug. 1 MRCTV (formerly Eyeblast.tv) video clip of CBS' Norah O'Donnell asking a question during a White House press briefing carries the headline, "CBS News' Norah O'Donnell: 'Where are the Tax Revenues?', 'We Got Nothing'."
But that headline is selectively edited to falsely suggest that O'Donnell was expressing her personal views on the subject of the debt ceiling deal. In fact, as the full transcript of the exchange shows, O'Donnell was asking White House press secretary Jay Carney to respond to what "some Democrats" are saying about the deal, not relaying her personal views.
Farah Won't Tell His Readers That WND Is Cited in Brevik's Manifesto Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah invokes the "No True Scotsman" fallacy in his July 28 WorldNetDaily column, claiming that Anders Breivik could not possibly be a Christian because Christians don't kill people like that:
Breivik has never been a part of a Christian fundamentalist church or faith. Instead, he casts himself as not very religious, and the only church he ever attended regularly was the state church. And while he considers himself at war with Islam and multiculturalism in Europe, he seriously considered an alliance with radical Muslims to wreak mayhem, havoc and bloodshed in his perverted cause.
Like many extremists before him, Breivik's goal was to kill as many people as possible to set off a wider conflagration that could and would only be settled by violence.
Breivik demonstrates his lack of understanding of the most basic Christian principles, like Jesus' warning to Peter in the Gospel of Matthew (26:52): "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
What does Breivik make of this clear warning? Amazingly, he sees it as a command by Jesus to use the sword against His enemies when it was just the opposite.
What you won't find in Farah's column, of course, is any acknowledgement that WND is cited six times in Breivik's manifesto, including one of Farah's own columns, eadlined "The Bible and self-defense," in which he explains that "The Bible couldn't be clearer on the right – even the duty – we have as believers to self-defense." Farah says he wrote the column as a follow-up to a previous column in which he issued a "plea to Americans ... to buy firearms as a first step to fighting terrorism" as a response to Christians who "wrote challenging my prescription as unbiblical, unscriptural and ungodly." Farah includes numerous Bible verses he claims supports his point.
If Farah was an honest journalist, he would have acknowledged the presence of his work in the manifesto of a terrorist and explain himself to his readers. But since Farah is not an honest journalist, hell will freeze over before that happens.
MRC Touts Klayman's Defamation Lawsuit Topic: Media Research Center
Various branches of the Media Research Center are promoting the defamation lawsuit that sue-happy defamer Larry Klayman filed on behalf of evangelist Bradlee Dean against Rachel Maddow.
A July 27 CNSNews.com article by Melanie Hunter uncritically repeats assertions by Klayman and Dean, including that "According to Dean, Maddow deliberately ignored the disclaimer on Dean’s Web site that he himself was not calling for the execution of gays." In fact, Maddow did state that Dean "later clarified that he didn't really mean to sanction murder of gay people."
Meanwhile, a July 28 NewsBusters post by Jack Coleman also rehashes the plaintiffs' claims, making sure to note that Maddow is "openly gay." Unlike Hunter, though, Coleman did correctly state that Maddow noted Dean's disclaimer, as well has hint at Dean's history of anti-gay rhetoric.
That's a lot of attention for a lawsuit that likely will get tossed out of court pretty quickly, if Klayman's recent history is any indication.
Geller Dishonestly Portrays Dispute Over Church Near WTC Site Topic: WorldNetDaily
Pamela Geller opines in her July 26 WorldNetDaily column:
This will make your blood boil. While New York City officials rush to build the Ground Zero mosquestrosity, a 15-story middle finger to America, they've allowed the rebuilding of the 95-year-old St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which stood at the base of the World Trade Center towers and was destroyed by Muslim terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, to be mired in obstruction and endless red tape.
The church has fought a 10-year-long sisyphean battle to rebuild that magnificent icon, but still can't rebuild, while the Islamic supremacist grifters behind the Ground Zero mosque have been helped by city officials to clear all obstacles.
In a letter to Christopher O. Ward, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, CeCe Heil, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, charged that the Port Authority had "misrepresented the nature of its preliminary agreement with St. Nicholas Church, engaged in fraud while moving away from negotiations, relied upon defamation to mask its activities, and trespassed on St. Nicholas Church property without warrant or legal justification." Heil added that "the Port Authority's activities are a violation of St. Nicholas Church's rights under federal law 42 U.S.C. §1983 and the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution."
Missing from Geller's column is the Port Authority's side of the story, which tells quite a different story than Geller does about the church negotiations From an August 2010 Fox News article:
The Port Authority has claimed the church was making additional demands -- like wanting the $20 million up front and wanting to review plans for the surrounding area. They say the church can still proceed on its own if it wishes.
"St. Nicholas Orthodox Church has always had and will continue to have the right to rebuild on its original location. The question was whether public money would be spent to build a much larger church at a separate location on the site and ensuring that construction wouldn't delay the World Trade Center further," spokesman Stephen Sigmund said in a written statement. "On that question, we worked for many years to reach an agreement and offered up to 60 million dollars of public money to build that much larger new church. After reaching what we believed was an agreement in 2008, representatives of the church wanted even more public commitments, including unacceptable approvals on the design of the Vehicle Security Center that threatened to further delay the construction on the World Trade Center and the potential for another $20 million of public funds."
Sigmund said the "final offer" was made last year, which again included $60 million.
"They rejected that offer," he said.
If Geller were more interested in telling the truth than demogoguing the issue, she might have told both sides of the story. But she's as dishonest as the rest of the WND crew.
WND Columnist Blames Liberals For Norway Terrorism Topic: WorldNetDaily
Continuing WorldNetDaily's misdirection on the terrorism in Norway continues with a July 28 column by David Solway, who wants to blame liberals for the terrorism, even though liberals were ostensibly the target of Anders Breivik's campaign of terror:
The consequence should have been entirely predictable. In failing to meet the threat of cultural subversion, the European left has facilitated the emergence of the illiberal and xenophobic branch of the far right. For as violence begins to move in from the car-burning and no-go Muslim enclaves in the margins toward the city center, as Shariah courts begin to pepper the landscape, as in the U.K., as Muslim immigrants continue to swell the welfare rolls, as rape statistics skyrocket and honor killings multiply, and as the authorities prove themselves increasingly helpless and vacillating – or even worse, as colluding – the reactionary and militant right will earn more and more legitimacy among the masses. The anemic lack of both fortitude and foresight among the political classes can only energize the factions of militant, far-right extremism.
The same applies to the Islamophilic and ever-compliant media, operating in tandem with a complacent political establishment. Their reluctance to honestly analyze the explosive matrix of a worsening situation, heaping the blame on straw men like the Christian right or conservative political figures rather than isolating the real cause of their distress, namely, the leftist collaboration with a clamorous Islamic demographic gradually infiltrating our democratic nations, will infallibly result in a growing army of Anders Behring Breiviks and in more Norways to come.
Most of us would surely agree that terror is not an acceptable answer to terror. The problem is that a soft response to an undeniable menace will often generate a hard response – and just as often an irrational one. As we have seen in Norway, vigilantism can take strange forms. The aggrieved are as likely to strike at their own countrymen whom they regard as traitors or dupes and who embrace a sedative political philosophy resulting in the loss of national identity and the steady advance of alien cultural norms and practices.
I believe that Thornton, for all his astuteness, is quite wrong when he writes that "[t]his is not to suggest that anything is responsible for the Oslo bombing other than the actions of the bomber." In today's politically correct world, such disclaimers are perhaps understandable to avoid charges of insensitivity or racism. Nonetheless, it needs to be said that the Norwegian authorities and a fellow-traveling electorate are profoundly complicit in creating a situation that must inevitably culminate in violence. If the political climate does not change to favor the ascension of the moderate right, the tragedy that unfolded in Norway will spread to other European countries in the course of time. The simple truth is that there can be no solution to the dilemma unless we first recognize that the responsibility for this deteriorating state of affairs lies chiefly with the intellectuals, journalists and governing elites of the multicultural left who have brought it to pass.
MRC Still Unable To Handle That Right-Wing Website Broke Bachmann Migraine Story Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center is still having trouble coming to terms with the fact that the story about Michele Bachmann's migraines was broken by a conservative news outlet.
A July 23 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock does concede that the story was broken by the conservative Daily Caller, but it's only after complaining that "the three major networks devoted 12 minutes and 59 seconds to highlighting the 'campaign controversy' of Michele Bachmann's migraines." That's followed by further complaining that said networks identified the source of the story as conservative:
Jon Karl made sure label the Daily Caller, the source of the story: "The issue was first raised Monday be the conservative Daily Caller website, which quoted anonymous sources saying Bachmann frequently suffers from incapacitating headaches."
Both Today and Early show used the same description os the site as a "conservative" web page. "Liberal" is an ideological tag not as freely thrown around.
Whitlock doesn't criticize the Daily Caller for breaking the story -- only the networks for reporting it.
Aubrey Vaughan writes in a July 28 NewsBusters post headlined "Lefty Journos Find New Favorite Target in Bachmann":
First it was her migraines, then it was the cost of her hair and makeup, and now it's correlating her anti-gay views to bullying and suicides in a school district she represents. Rep. Michele Bachmann has in many ways become the new Sarah Palin as a prominent female target the media love to hate. Even when she responds to her critics, they don't seem to go away.
Bachmann suffers from migraines, like 30 million other Americans, but has proved through her career the migraines don't hinder her ability to serve. Nevertheless, she immediately released a statement from her doctor explaining her migraines are under control. In comparison, both former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama had health issues that could have turned into major problems during their presidencies, but neither released their medical records. Clinton had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and clogged coronary arteries, while Obama was a longtime smoker with a family history of cancer.
The transparency of Bachmann's immediate medical explanation was not enough to satisfy critics, though, who have since found more ways to attack her.
At no point in all of this equivocation does Vaughan acknowledge that the migraine story originated with a conservative publication.
Perry Doesn't Hate Gays Enough For Farah Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah is backing off his support for Rick Perry as a presidential candidate, explaining in his July 28 column that Perry just doesn't hate gays enough for his taste:
My view of Perry changed from favorable but skeptical to highly unfavorable overnight this week after I read his comments to GOP donors in Aspen, Colo.
Essentially, Perry said he is just fine with New York state's decision to approve same-sex marriage.
"Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex," explained Perry. "And you know what? That's New York, and that's their business, and that's fine with me. That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business."
Of course, GOProud, the homosexual Republican group, was quick to praise Perry for his stand. I'm sure Perry is very proud of that endorsement.
What's wrong with his answer? So much it would take me more than one 750-word column to explain. But I will attempt to address his cowardly surrender of the national culture succinctly.
If America is to rediscover its greatness, citizens of all 50 states will need to rediscover the common values that brought us together as a nation in the first place – not just all go out and do our own thing, with every man doing what is right in his own eyes.
The only viable alternative is, quite literally, a break-up of the nation.
What Rick Perry is advocating here is cultural surrender.
This would have been a more thoughtful response from a genuine Christian conservative from Texas: "Marriage between one man and one woman is the building block of any functional self-governing society. Abandoning a critical, time-tested, biblical institution like marriage – or redefining it according to a faddish new notion of political correctness – will have profoundly negative effects on any community, state or nation that tries it. I hope and pray New Yorkers challenge the decision by the legislature in New York because I can't believe it actually reflects their views. If we can't agree on fundamentals like marriage, the very fabric of what binds Americans together is becoming so badly frayed that we may have to consider going our separate ways."
That's what I would have expected from a prayerful governor of Texas who is flirting with running for the Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Evidently I was fooled by Rick Perry.
I freely admit it.
I feel unclean for the nice things I have said about him to date.
Yes, Farah really thinks that advocating the dissolution of the United States over gay marriage is a "thoughtful response."
Farah has previously criticized Perry for mandating that a cancer-preventing vaccine be given to girls in Texas.
Newsmax Columnist Blames Muslims For Norway Terrorism Topic: Newsmax
Tawfik Hamid endeavors in his July 26 Newsmax column to downplay the Christian aspect of Anders Breivik's massare in Norway, doing everything he can to inject Muslims into the debate even though they had nothing to do with it:
While acts of violence against innocents all wreak similar havoc, from a quantitative point of view the Norwegian tragedy and Islamic terrorism are incomparable. Worldwide Islamic terror acts number in thousands while the number of political extremist and/or Christian terror acts can be counted on one’s own fingers.
As with most paranoid ideologies, Breivik’s fears might have a kernel of rationality. Islamic Shariah laws oppress women, limit religious freedom, and promote using violence to spread the faith.
A recent NY Times Op-Ed has suggested that the attacker could have been influenced by U.S. authors who have exposed the dangers of Islamic values. The problem, however, is not the messenger but rather the phenomenon itself.
Hatred toward Islam could be engendered by merely observing the facts on the ground: the nonassimilation by Islamic populations of European values, and by-contrast Shariah-inspired beheadings, amputations of body parts, hanging gays, honor killings, and stoning of humans until death.
Rather than blaming writers such as Robert Spencer for exposing the realities of Shariah law, we need to address the failure of the Muslim world to modernize its theology. Until Muslim religious leaders explicitly reject inhumane Shariah laws, negative reactions toward Islam and its teachings are inevitable.
Alas, apologists for radical Islam describe Islam and its Shariah Law — which promotes the formerly mentioned violent values — as “peaceful.” This irrationality invites other forms of irrationality. The latter may occasionally manifest itself as extreme reactions in emotionally unstable people like Breivik.
The denial of the realities of Islamic Shariah teachings invite those like Breivik to commit dramatically violent acts to draw attention to the threats that he, to an unfortunately large extent, perceives. If we truly want to stop the rising of more irrational behaviors against Islam we need first of all to stop irrationality in dealing with the problem.
Speaking of which: Remember how we noted that Massie was channeling nutball Rev. James David Manning by echoing Manning's "long-legged mack daddy" rhetoric? Turns out that Massie was a guest on Manning's webcast this week.
At CNS, Ridiculing Obama Is 'News' Topic: CNSNews.com
A July 26 CNS article by Eric Scheiner promotes a CNS-produced video called "The Great Debate," which asks, in Scheiner's words, "Would Senator Barack Obama disagree with the actions and statements of President Barack Obama?" Scheiner also stars in the video, which begins with a pretentious graphic for his personal brand, "The Schein."
This is a partisan attack on the president that typically comes from the Republican Party or a partisan right-wing advocacy group, the type of video whose only purpose is ridicule. So why is a "news" organization like CNS devoting tax-exempt donation money to producing it? Isn't such partisan political activity forbidden by organizations with a 501(c)3 tax status like CNS and its parent, the Media Research Center?
CNS, it seems, has decided to abandon the pretense that it's a "news" organization and is explicitly becoming the right-wing advocacy group it has been all along. It might want to do something about that tax status first, though.
WND's Klein Complains That Someone Else Is Doing Something It Does All The Time Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein couldn't work up any outrage in a July 27 WorldNetDaily article that Glenn Beck said the Norwegian political youth camp where dozens of students were shot and killed allegedly by Anders Behring Breivik "sounds a little like the Hitler Youth." No, it complained that 'Scores of major news media outlets published pictures of Glenn Beck in Israel while reporting on the radio host's seemingly unrelated controversial comments."
No, really. That's the complaint. Here it is again: "Some major media outlets reporting on the comments published images of Beck in Israel even though none of the reports mentioned the Jewish state."
WND even inadvertantly offers a clue to why this happened:
Beck visited Israel earlier this month to address the Knesset, the country's parliament. On Aug. 24, Beck is planning a rally in Israel called "Restoring Courage." The event is purportedly a follow up to Beck's massive "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, D.C., last summer.
Surely someone as media-savvy as Klein knows that media outlets prefer to publish the most current photos it can get of someone they're writing about. Since Beck has most recently been hanging out in Israel, those are the most recent photos available.
Besides, it's not like WND hasn't done the same exact thing it's accusing others of doing in running non-contextual photos. For instance, anyWNDarticle that mentions Bill Ayers typically includes a 40-year-old mugshot of him, even if -- as is usually the case -- the article is not about what he did 40 years ago.
Further, Klein never explains why he considers the Beck photos so offensive. The headline of his article suggests that it's being done to "smear Israel," but that doesn't make sense. How does it "smear Israel" to include a photo of Beck in Israel with an article about Beck saying something stupid? And Klein doesn't reference this point in the article.
Then again, WND doesn't explain why it runs 40-year-old photos of Ayers instead of a more recent one.
So, there you have it: WND publishes an article that manages to be hypocritical and uninformative about its main point. An amazing piece of anti-journalism from the folks who want you to believe that they're the opposite of "anti-journalists."
NewsBusters Bizarrely Suggests Abortion Doctor Is Lying About Being Threatened Topic: NewsBusters
Ken Shepherd engaged in an odd bit of nitpicking in a July 25 NewsBusters post about a "sympathetic profile for Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart" in the Washington Post.
Shepherd quoted a section of the article noting that Carhart's Nebraska farm had burned following the passage of a parental-notification law in the state: "The next day, Carhart received a letter informing him that the fire was in retaliation for the abortions. Local officials were unable to determine the fire’s cause." After the Post then wrote that the headline on the jump of the article stated "Doctor's activism grew after opponents destroyed farm," Shepherd huffed:
The farm fire may have been an arson. You may say it most likely was. But no one has been caught and proven guilty in a court of law for the farm blaze.
[Reporter Lena] Sun failed to produce evidence of other substantial threats against Carhart or to cite any law enforcement personnel who fear for his safety.
Is Shepherd really claiming that Carhart has never been threatened, or that anti-abortion protesters never threaten abortion providers? That's patently false -- just this week, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Can't Shepherd reasonably presume that abortion doctors fear for their life, given the history of violence against them? George Tiller and Barnett Slepian would undoubtedly agree.
And is Sheppard really claiming that courtroom-level forensic evidence is necessary before it can be said in public that anti-abortion protesters burned down Carhart's farm? Isn't the letter admitting retaliation evidence enough to make that claim with a moderate to high degree of certainty?
NewsBusters doesn't demand that high level of evidence when conservatives make claims. For instance, on July 10 Tim Graham uncritically repeated a man's claim that he was fired from Cisco Systems for opposing gay marriage without providing any independent evidence that this is what, in fact, happened.
Of course, the MRC has worked to obscure the fact that anti-abortion activists commit violence. As we've noted, CNSNews.com's Penny Starr has repeatedly insisted that Scott Roeder, convicted of murdering Tiller in 2009, is someone "known to have mental problems" and "a mentally unstable man," even though the court and even a psychologist hired by his defense found Roeder competent to stand trial, and Roeder did not mount an insanity defense.
Uh-Oh: WND Brands Geller's Favorite Group As Radical, Ultra-Nationalist Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 26 WorldNetDaily article, taken for WND's G2 Bulletin and carrying the headline "'Radical' nationalists rising up in Europe," states that "The slaughter in Norway last week – allegedly by Anders Behring Breivik – appears to have unleashed a number of latent far-right activist groups throughout Europe whose members are beginning public protests over their worries regarding immigration, multiculturalism, globalization and the rise of Islam in Europe." It continues:
Now, following his alleged attack and the publication of his manifesto, ultra-nationalist groups throughout Europe are becoming more vocal, hoping to instill their concept of a more homogeneous society as a political mainstream viewpoint.
One of those groups, the English Defense League, or EDL, is to stage a rally in the town of Luton in Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom. Draped in the flag of the United Kingdom, demonstrators, many of whom are hooded, will be wearing white hockey masks with a red Crusader cross painted on it.
The demonstrators in Luton will be joined by so-called defense leagues from Norway where the recent attack occurred, Sweden and the Netherlands as well as supporters from other far-right groups from France, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.
Observers increasingly are concerned that members of ultra-right movements and demonstrations consist mostly of young people.
But as we've noted, the English Defense League is a favorite group of newly minted WND columnist Pamela Geller. Earlier this summer, 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."
Geller has not made mention of the EDL since the Norway incident. Does she agree with WND's assessment of it as "radical" and "ultra-right"? Does this mean she's finally ready to walk away from this organization for good since even WND considers it extreme? We shall see.
MRC Bashes Reporting On Debt Ceiling Crisis -- But Doesn't Dispute Its Accuracy Topic: Media Research Center
A July 26 Media Research Center study by Geoffrey Dickens and Rich Noyes concludes that "when it came to assigning blame for lack of a debt ceiling resolution, ABC, CBS and NBC’s coverage has placed the overwhelming majority of the blame on Republicans’ doorstep." But at no point do Dickens and Noyes dispute the accuracy of this coverage.
The authors assert that it's "anti-Republican" and a biased "tilt" to blame Republicans for the debt ceiling crisis -- but, again, they offer no evidence that this conclusion is false.
The authors add:
Democrats believe that they gained political advantage during the government shutdowns in late 1995 and early 1996, when the national media also disproportionately battered the Republican side of the stand-off. Once again, the broadcast networks seem eager to hand another liberal President an election-year narrative: that conservatives are an intransigent obstacle, while liberals offer a “balanced” and reasonable alternative.
Again, Dickens and Noyes do not dispute the accuracy of either narrative; they are merely complaining that it's being reported.
This, folks, is what the MRC peddles as "media research."
Newsmax's Ponte Misleads on Social Security COLAs Topic: Newsmax
Lowell Ponte writes in his July 25 Newsmax column:
Obama should also be forced to account for the hundreds of billions he has expropriated by denying Social Security recipients cost-of-living adjustments in 2010 and 2011 to offset the massive inflation his failed economic policies have caused. His administration has already said that most seniors will also receive no such cost of living increases in 2012.
In fact, the COLA provision mechanism was created in 1972, and Obama has no hand in whether or not to give one. As the Social Security Administration describes it regarding the lack of a COLA for 2011:
The Social Security Act provides for an automatic increase in Social Security and SSI benefits if there is an increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the last year a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was determined to the third quarter of the current year. As determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is no increase in the CPI-W from the third quarter of 2008, the last year a COLA was determined, to the third quarter of 2010, therefore, under existing law, there can be no COLA in 2011.
Further, Obama championed a $250 payment to seniors in lieu of a COLA in 2009, which was approved as part of the stimulus bill. He also championed another payment for 2010, but bills to do that died in committee. Republicans blocked the bill containing the payment for this year, claiming the country couldn't afford it.
If Ponte wants some answers to questions to why Social Security recipients aren't getting more money, he might want to check the people in his own party first before haranguing Obama about something he can't control.