CNS Praises Media For Rallying Around Bush After 9/11 Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com director of communications Craig Bannister touts the media's initial response to 9/11 in a Sept. 9 CNS item:
The television media’s coverage of the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks showed us what the news media could, and should, be.
From ABC to MSNBC, from Fox News and CNN to the History Channel, the media’s solemn, respectful, patriotic coverage consoled, inspired, and united an embattled nation in shock.
Accounts of selfless acts of heroism punctuated the coverage of the chaos, devastation, and destruction. Hosts proclaimed their patriotism and rallied the nation around President Bush as he promised a swift and appropriate response to the attacks.
One gets the feeling that the important part to Bannister is the "rallied the nation around President Bush" stuff. We suspect he would not be so solicitous of the media had they behaved the same way toward a President Gore.
WND Marks 9/11 By Peddling Islamophobia Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in exactly the way you thought it would: by ramping up Islamophobia.
Joseph Farah used his Sept. 8 column to declare that 9/11 was a disaster in part "because American leadership misused the attack to expand government, misidentified the enemy and failed to recognize that our nation was at war." He wrote that "the exact moment U.S. policy went off the rails" was when "President Bush told Americans to carry on as if there were no war. He told them to go shopping – to go on vacation, to spend money. That was the 'sacrifice' they were asked to make for the cause."
After that odd bit of Bush-bashing (remember, Farah endorsed Bush's re-election in 2004), Farah returned to form by bashing Muslims and selling a book he published:
Americans need to understand what we are up against – the greatest threat since the Soviet Union, an international conspiracy of Islamists who have identified us as "the Great Satan."
Thankfully, an American woman, a blogger, an activist, has stepped forward to provide the real blueprint for victory in this continuing war.
Her name is Pamela Geller and her book is called "Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance."
It's more than an exposé of the threat. It's a battle plan for victory – the only kind that will actually prove effective.
Every American needs this book to prepare for this fight, to get mobilized and to understand how we can fight back in the streets, in the fields, in the cities and the countryside. This war is not being fought only in faraway lands. It is being waged right here – but, so far, only one side is fighting.
The Muslim-bashing is really cranked up in a Sept 10 WND article by Michael Carl mocking a Gallup poll of Muslim Americans, complete with sneering headline "Guess who thinks they are the victims."
Carl attacked Gallup official Dalia Mogahed by claiming that she "has been identified by Muslim reformer Tarek Fatah during a recent speech in Toronto as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in a position to influence President Barack Obama's policy." But the WND article in which Fatah makes this allegation -- the same one that serves up an adulterous philanderer as an expert on Islam -- offers no evidence to back it up.
Carl then cites anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer -- recently identified as a major promoter of Islamophobia -- to attack the poll as biased:
"They asked questions Muslims are sure to understand what they need to give as the answer to present the best front possible," Spencer said. "But they don't get to the heart of the matter on whether they want Shariah in the United States ultimately. That's not to say they would get honest answers if they did ask those questions.
"In any case, they're not asking the right questions to start with. They're asking questions that are tailored to give the picture of a Muslim community that is much more moderate than it really is," Spencer said.
WND attacking a poll for asking biased questions in laughable considering the biased questions of its own ethically challenged pollster, Fritz Wenzel.
In a fit of laziness endemic to WND, Carl makes little apparent effort to contact Mogahed or any other Gallup officials to respond to Spencer's attacks; he waits until the very last paragraph of his 59-paragraph article tio note that "The Abu Dhabi Gallup Center did not respond to WND's request for comment on the study."
Flashback: How The ConWeb Covered 9/11 Topic: The ConWeb
How did the ConWeb initially react to the events of Sept. 11, 2001? Pretty much the way you'd expect them too. Let's take a look back:
The bodies weren't even cold yet before WorldNetDaily and Newsmax were finding ways to blame President Clinton. WND found a convenient anonymous source to blame Clinton (thus demonstrating that Aaron Klein, while Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy attacked "the ever clever bastard" Clinton for seeking to "destroy America's intelligence agencies," like WND citing an anonymous source as backup. Accuracy in Media, meanwhile, used 9/11 to peddle its conspiracy theory regarding the crash fo TWA Flight 800.
Newsmax was particularly offended that President Bush's actions might be implicated as a cause of 9/11. One article ranted: "How depraved can the liberal media be? How despicable? How utterly anti-American?" Then-Newsmax columnist Dan Frisa called the New York Times "despicable traitors" for suggesting such a thing. (Apparently, it wasn't treasonous or un-American to blame Clinton.) Phil Brennan declared that "I have a few suggestions for Mr. Bush about who he ought to put in the nation's cross hairs: Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Andrea Mitchell, the New York Times, Mary McGrory, The Washington Post and all the other Benedict Arnolds* in the anti-American media rat pack mindlessly attacking President Bush." The asterisk after Arnold keys the reader to a footnote that reads: "I ought to apologize to the memory of Benedict Arnold for lumping him in with this disloyal media scum - he was a genuine American hero before his betrayal - something that can't be said about the president's media critics, the majority of whom never wore a uniform."
Another Newsmax article went into full Bush-worship mode: "The president has been eloquent. He has been confident. Real Americans support him 100 percent."
Then-WND columnist Hugh Hewitt was particularly small-minded in his post-9/11 support for those in high office, writing: "If last November's vote had gone the other way, and vice president Gore had been the man to face this awful challenge, I pray that I would have supported him at this crucial juncture – in my columns and on my radio and television shows." In other words, just a week after 9/11, Hewitt was as eager to use it as a cudgel had those in office been Democrats as he was to use it against critics of President Bush.
The ConWeb also worked to deify Barbara Olson, the right-wing author who was on one of the planes that crashed on 9/11. WND, Newsmax and CNSNews.com all took part in the hagiography, which was mostly about making money on her death by peddling her books to a grieving readership
Newsmax targeted then-ABC host Bill Maher for his statement that "lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away" is cowardly, while "Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly" -- until it figured out that it agreed with him.
Finally, how can we forget Anthony LoBaido's unhinged rant at WND blaming America for 9/11? LoBaido declared that "America has killed over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5 years old with our anti-Saddam sanctions" and tried to make the argument that America deserved to be attacked and suffer massive loss of life:
All that is evil in the world can be found in New York: MTV, the United Nations, the U.N. abortion programs, the Council on Foreign Relations, New Age Church of St. John the Divine, WallStreet greed, Madison Avenue manipulation and of course more confirmed AIDS cases than the rest of America combined. Let's remember the filthy sodomite gay parade last summer in New York.
LoBaido earned extra points for his reference to "the openly Marxist, treasonous and abortion-mongering, occultic Hillary."
This is one of the few times WND eventually decided that something was too crazy for its website. While WND editor Joseph Farah initially defended LoBaido's right to say what he said, the column was quietly deleted from the WND website a few months later without explanation or apology. Of course, nothing ever goes away on the Internet, including LoBaido's screed.
It's that screed that inspired us to name the annual ConWebWatch Slantie Award for most unhinged statement made by a ConWeb writer after LoBaido.
Newsmax Still Trying To Make Kerik Look Good Topic: Newsmax
A Sept. 9 Newsmax article contains former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik's "first-person account of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 for Newsmax magazine's 10th anniversary commemorative edition."
Going unmentioned is Kerik's current residence: prison, following his guilty plea on corruption charges. That may be because Newsmax laboredmightily to rehabilitate Kerik's image amid his corruption scandal.
Even prison, apparently, is not going to stop Newsmax from buffing Kerik's image.
Add Robert Ringer to the list of birthers at WorldNetDaily (while, of course, denying that he's not). From his Sept. 7 column:
For a long time, I rated it about 75-25 percent that Obama was born in Kenya, for one reason and one reason only: If his citizenship was such an issue, there was no plausible reason for him not to do everything possible to make certain that representatives of all media outlets had access to his original long-form birth certificate. Instead, he stonewalled – hard – for nearly three years.
If you or I were president of the United States and millions of people were questioning our birth status, is there any doubt in your mind that we would demand that our birth certificate be made available for everyone to see in order to put the issue to rest once and for all?
But it got worse. When Obama suddenly decided, just a few weeks before Jerome Corsi's book "Where's the Birth Certificate?" was due out, to publish his long-form birth certificate on the Internet, my 75-25 odds shot up to 95-5.
That's right, while many Americans embraced a "See, I told you so" attitude, I became more suspicious rather than less, because I asked myself, "Why the sudden urgency? Why did Obama choose this moment in time to make available what millions of people had been asking to see for three years?"
As to the dispute about whether the PDF image of Obama's purported birth certificate is layered or was in any other way tampered with, I'm not high-tech enough to opine on that issue. I'd prefer to just stick with the most obvious question: Why would Barack Obama not be anxious to make a hard copy of his birth certificate available for all to see?
For whatever it's worth, in April of this year, Barack Obama actually requested, and received, two certified copies of his original certificate of live birth from the Hawaii Health Department. I won't speculate on the reason for this … just calling it to your attention.
Look, I'm neither a birther nor a believer, but I am a skeptic whenever I smell smoke – and smoke is something that perpetually comes out of Obama's mouth. Based on his track record of telling the biggest whoppers this side of Indonesia with a completely straight face, why should I believe anything he says?
The specter of Marco Rubio as a viable candidate for president or vice president -- who, in the eyes of the birther fanatics aty WND, is just as ineligible to hold the office as Obama is -- prompted Ringer to add:
All this reminds me again why I believe the Constitution needs to be redrafted, for clarification purposes only, by constitutional scholars, preferably strict-constructionist constitutional scholars.
Among the items that need clarification are the general-welfare clause (Article I, Section 8, not to mention the use of the term "general welfare" in the Preamble to the Constitution), the Second Amendment (needs an "and" before "the right of the people to keep and bear arms"), and the 14th Amendment (clarifying that it was intended to cover the children of former slaves, not illegal immigrants).
Ringer concludes: "Hmm … why do I have this feeling that if Jimmy Hoffa were to read this article, he might want to have me "taken out"? Probably just a bit of paranoia on my part."
Yes, Ringer is paranoid. Why bother "taking out" a thuggish writer for a website that no thinking person takes seriously?
WorldNetDaily uses a Sept. 7 article to tout how Michael Savage's new novel, "Abuse of Power" moved up quickly on the Amazon sales charts after Savage begged his listeners to buy it. (Curously, it's not available at WND's own online store.) As WND summarizes the totally awesome plot:
The novel features Jack Hatfield, a freelance TV producer who loses his top-rated opinion show because of a liberal media smear campaign by a group that resembles Media Matters. While filming a piece on the San Francisco Police Department's bomb squad, he discovers the mayor and the FBI are covering up a possible Arab link to a bomb. Hatfield's pursuit of the truth takes him to Israel, Paris and London while Islamic agents prepare a major terrorist attack.
Unless Savage has been leading a rather impressive double-life, Hatfield represents a fantasy version of Savage. Jack Hatfield is basically the Most Interesting Man in the World. An incomplete list of his various talents includes: master interviewer and editor, Krav Maga martial arts expert, sex god, weapons expert, and the kind of guy who can disassemble a Glock and use "the gun parts as a lock pick."
After much globetrotting, terrorist-punching, and love-making, it is revealed that the mastermind (and money) behind the whole plan is none other than the obvious George Soros stand-in, Lawrence Soren.
Soren, whom Jack always thought "looked like a former SS officer," is presented as a raging anti-Semite who wants to help Hand of Allah detonate a nuclear weapon in the U.S. in order to enact a regime change and put "an end to this Zionist stranglehold." Soren works in coordination with a few American politicians, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, and an undersecretary at the British Home Office, among others.
In one of the book's many mindless nods to cliché, Soren reveals the entire evil plot to Jack in a gloating, long-winded speech, and asks Jack to join his cause because he's just so damn talented: "You're a wonderful communicator, Jack. You have a friendly, trustworthy manner about you, but you can be a bulldog when you need to and people respond to it."
Jack declines, and Soren orders him tortured for information and then killed. Thanks to Jack's incredible Krav Maga martial arts maneuvers (and use of a laser pointer to blind assailants), he manages to escape a compound filled with heavily armed men (for at least the third time in the book).
Working with several retired military men, Jack is able to stop the evil plot, which culminates in a fistfight (to stop the lead terrorist from detonating the nuke) at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge. Jack pummels the Muslim terrorist savagely (or Savagely?), and then delivers the requisite action-hero catchphrase, "Enjoy the virgins, asshole"[.]
Savage told WND that his goal with the book is to "send a message to the media moguls that conservatives read books and conservatives go to movies. ... More importantly, conservatives read novels. That's not just a realm of the elite liberal."
Savage also seems to be counting on his readers having less tasted in literature than elite liberals.
MRC Has Another Transgender Freakout Topic: Media Research Center
Earlier this year, Erin R. Brown, writer for the Media Research Center's Culture & Media Institute, had a big ol' hissy fit about a J. Crew ad that featured a 5-year-old boy with painted toenails, calling it "blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children." Now, faced with a transsexual who is committing the offense of existing, Brown is freaking out again.
In a Sept. 7 CMI article, Brown declares that ABC has "an ongoing PR problem" by the selection of Chaz Bono (formerly Chastity Bono) as a contestant for "Dancing With the Stars." Why? Brown doesn't really explain, other than to suggest that Bono's existence has somehow sullied a "once-family friendly show."
Brown claims that this is all part of some sinister "LGBT Agenda" on ABC's part, but, again, she provides no offense beyond the mere existence of Chaz Bono. Apparently, in Brown's world, transsexuals, if they must exist, are not supposed to be seen or heard.
WND Strains To Find 'Giant Cross' In Crane Collapse Topic: WorldNetDaily
Sure, WorldNetDaily strives to be piously (if hypocritically) Christian, but it's pushing it with a Sept. 7 article that strives to find "a haunting image of a giant cross" in an overturned crane at the National Cathedral in Washington:
Despite the fact it's clearly nothing but an overturned crane with stability arms sticking out, WND declares that "The cross image is reminiscent of the cross that emerged from twisted metal at Ground Zero after the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001."
Sometimes an overturned crane is just an overturned crane.
In a Sept. 6 WorldNetDaily article, Drew Zahn selectively edits James Hoffa's Labor Day remarks for maximum inflammatory effect:
When the leader of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters declares of tea partiers that it's time to "take these sons of bitches out," one union watchdog warns, it should be taken as more than just ranting rhetoric.
Hoffa made the comments at a rally in Michigan yesterday, in a speech leading up to an appearance by President Barack Obama. Hoffa declared that there is a "war on workers" being perpetrated by the tea party:
"President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march," Hoffa added. "Let's take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong."
In fact, Hoffa prefaced the "sons of bitches" statement by stating, "Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize." Thus, Zahn dishonestly presents Hoffa's remarks as advocating violence.
Aiding Zahn in his dishonest journalism is anti-union activist Rick Berman, a human being so loathsome his own son describes him as "a despicable man," "a sort of human molestor," and "An exploiter. A scoundrel. A world historical mother******* son of a bitch."
Zahn also can't get basic things like names correct. He lets Berman's description of Hoffa as "Jimmy Hoffa Jr." stand as the first reference to Hoffa; in fact, like George W. Bush, he is not a "Jr." by virtue of a different middle name. He's James P. Hoffa, and his father is James R. Hoffa.
Why trust a "news" organization that makes such basic, lazy errors?
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has warned that much of the Republican presidential field embraces this startling, seditious sect of extreme fundamentalism. She’s breathlessly warned that Christian Dominionists “believe they have a direct line to God” and intend to “clear the way for the [end of the world]…by infiltrating and taking over government.”
The Daily Beast/Newsweek chimes the tocsin with a hard-hitting, brilliantly penned – though deeply disturbing to all who love freedom – investigative piece headlined: “A Christian Plot for Domination?”
Author Michelle Goldberg warns that Mrs. Bachmann and Mr. Perry are deeply entrenched in a “little-known movement of radical Christians” who are preparing “an army of God” to “commandeer civilian government.” But it gets worse. It’s much bigger than all that.
Now, you may laugh. You may think these anti-Christian “Dominioners” like Maddow, Goldberg and Mantyla – these fearless progressives risking all to sound the alarm on the rising threat of Christian Dominionism – are just a bunch of liberal, tinfoil hat-wearing kooks.
You might believe they’re merely a left-wing gaggle of tattooed, body-pierced pot-brownie pies in pajamas, no different than 9/11-truthers, global-warmers or Holocaust-deniers.
Oh, you may suppose these liberal Dominioners – daring beyond measure – are simply a batty band of anti-Christian bigots and Daily-Kos-, MSNBC-types looking to smear Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and other GOP presidential hopefuls as a bunch of clandestine theocrats bent on Christian world domination.
Barber's denial of dominionism, and his attempt to portray those who document it as conspiracy-mongers on a level with truthers, is made all the more hilarious by the fact that Barber's employer, Liberty Counsel, is a promoter of dominionism. As PFAW's Mantyla notes:
You know, it takes a special sort of ignorant dishonesty to work for an organization that directly sponsors a dominionism conference organized by a bona fide Christian Reconstruction group that advocates the death penalty for homosexuality and then, when people start to point that out, respond by attacking your opponents as a bunch of kooks and comparing them to Holocaust-deniers.
That, however, is exactly the kind of ignorant dishonesty that gets CNS to publish your columns.
AIM's Irvine Misreads Video, Reads Minds Topic: Accuracy in Media
Did Don Irvine even watch the video he's attacking?
In a Sept. 5 Accuracy in Media post, Irvine writes of the "Fox News Sunday" interview between Chris Wallace and Dick Cheney, in which Wallace had shown a clip of Cheney on NBC's "Today" show in order to throw him a softball question about media bias:
Wallace had just shown Cheney a clip in which, after his interview with Matt Lauer of the Today Show, the camera zeroed in on a sign held by a protestor outside the studio that said to investigate Cheney. This was totally unnecessary and could have been avoided.
In fact, it's clear from the video that the NBC camera is zooming out of a crowd of people, during which time someone jumps in front of the camera with the sign.
Further, Irvine is mind-reading when he claims that the shot was "totally unnecessary and could have been avoided." How does he know the circumstances of that shot? He doesn't.
Inaccurate analysis and mind-reading hardly constitute "accuracy in media."
WND Treats Supermarket Tabloid's Birther Claims As Credible Topic: WorldNetDaily
This is the state of birtherism at WorldNetDaily these days -- it's thrilled that a second-rate supermarket tabloid touts its birther crap.
A Sept. 4 WND article by Drew Zahn praises how "The grocery-line tabloid Globe has made a front-page headline out of Obama's eligibility," hyping how "the published reports of 20 experts with established credentials who conducted forensic examination of the computer PDF file published on the White House website and the Xerox copies of the Obama birth certificate handed out by the White House to the press during an April 27, 2011, press conference." But as even WND's own Jerome Corsi has admitted, none of WND's so-called "experts" are certified forensic document examiners, since they aren't so dumb, as WND apparently is, to treat a PDF file as an original document.
Zahn also referenced "Doug Vogt, a scanner expert who has analyzed the Obama birth certificate documents released by the White House and who has already filed a criminal complaint with the FBI, charging the document is 'created forgery,' to no avail," without mention that Vogt's assertions have been discredited.
Of course, when WND is treating second-rate supermarket tabloid reports as credible, there's little reason to trust anythingelse WND has to say, either.
Ken Blackwell Repeats NLRB Myths At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski forward a whole bunch of baseless attacks on the National Labor Relations board in a Sept. 6 CNSNews.com column.
Blackwell and Klukowski assert that the NLRB's action against Boeing is an attempt to "dictate to a private company where they can and cannot open factories or create jobs." That's false; the NLRB complaint against Boeing alleges that the company moved jobs to South Carolina in retaliation for union employees engaging in lawful strikes in its Washington base.
The authors also claim that the NLRB is "claiming jurisdiction over St. Xavier University, saying that the school doesn’t qualify for the religious exemption to NLRB’s authority because St. Xavier is not Catholic enough." In fact, as we've previously detailed, the NLRB ruled that the school could not block faculty members from forming a union because it imposed no religious restrictions on the education they provide. The school's articles of incorporation "does not contain any reference to religion, God, Catholicism, Sisters of Mercy, or CMHE; instead it speaks only to the purpose of education," that the school "does not investigate the religious beliefs of its students, faculty, or trustees," and that it "has no requirement for faculty, including adjuncts, to espouse or emphasize Catholicism in their teachings or imbue students with the tenets of the Catholic faith."
Blackwell and Klukowski went on to claim that a recent NLRB ruling "stripp[ed] workers of the right to promptly contest the results of a vote to form a union." In fact, the ruling restores longstanding procedures on contesting union elections that both employees and the employer agreed to that were themselves overturned in a 2007 NLRB ruling.
Finally, the authors claim that "President Obama’s federal card-check legislation" would "abolish the secret ballot." In fact, the Employee Free Choice Act would have stripped employers, not workers, of the right to demand a secret ballot.
Doesn't anyone at CNS fact-check their columnists? Apparently not.
MRC Complains Non-News Isn't Being Covered Topic: Media Research Center
A Sept. 6 MRC Culture & Media Institute article by Paul Wilson complains that the major news networks "won't touch" the story of "the exclusion of any religious participation from the Ground Zero memorial service during the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks." But Wilson failed to mention one pertinent fact: it's not news.
The Wall Street Journal, in the article that Wilson noted "broke the story," stated that lack of participation by clergy "has been the case during past events marking the anniversary, and that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg "has said he wants the upcoming event to strike a similar tone as previous ceremonies."
Wilson didn't note therightward leanings of the Journal, nor did he not the right-wing leanings of Fox News as he touted how fox News shows "The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, The Five, and Fox News Watch all produced segments on the issue." Of course, if he had, that might have given away the partisan game he's playing.