Noel Sheppard is still dishing out from his big bag of tired headline cliches at NewsBusters. These are from the past month:
Somebody buy that man a thesaurus!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Noel Sheppard Headline Cliche Watch
Noel Sheppard is still dishing out from his big bag of tired headline cliches at NewsBusters. These are from the past month:
Somebody buy that man a thesaurus!
Ellis Washington Is Still Fighting Evolution
Ellis Washington devotes his Sept. 9 WorldNetDaily column to ranting about evolution with all the unseriousness we've come to expect from him. To wit:
Uh, yeah. Washington continues:
As we've repeatedly pointed out every time Washington does this, social Darwinism is not an "ancillary philosophy" to Darwinism -- the idea of survival of the fittest existed long before Darwin. And if Wikipedia is to be believed, Herbert Spencer didn't believe in the kind of social Darwinism Washington is accusing him of.
Washington went on to complain of a law review article he wrote: "after being accepted then rejected by an American law journal for no rational reason, I was forced to publish this work in a Romanian journal – the former communist country of the murderous dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. How's that for irony?" Of course, the unnamed law journal that supposedly accepted his article, on the subject of juvenile justice, likely had a good reason for rejecting it: it's a political screed.
We'll spare you the substance, if you can call it that, of the 26-page article and quote from its conclusion, which reads suspciously like one of his WND columns:
Washington thinks this is a law review-caliber article? No wonder he couldn't get it published in this country.
CNS Praises Media For Rallying Around Bush After 9/11
CNSNews.com director of communications Craig Bannister touts the media's initial response to 9/11 in a Sept. 9 CNS item:
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.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
WND Marks 9/11 By Peddling Islamophobia
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:
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.
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.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Newsmax Still Trying To Make Kerik Look Good
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 labored mightily to rehabilitate Kerik's image amid his corruption scandal.
Even prison, apparently, is not going to stop Newsmax from buffing Kerik's image.
Ringer Joins WND's Birther Parade
Add Robert Ringer to the list of birthers at WorldNetDaily (while, of course, denying that he's not). From his Sept. 7 column:
Friday, September 9, 2011
WND Promotes Savage's Lame Novel
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.
But as Media Matters details:
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.
What Passes For 'Media Criticism' At The MRC
Tom Blumer offers this bon mot of "media criticism" in a Sept. 7 NewsBusters post on a poll the Associated Press conducted with the polling firm GfK:
Real mature, Tom. But that's how the MRC rolls.
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
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.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
WND Dishonestly Edits Hoffa's Remarks
In a Sept. 6 WorldNetDaily article, Drew Zahn selectively edits James Hoffa's Labor Day remarks for maximum inflammatory effect:
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?
Matt Barber's Dishonest Anti-Dominionism
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:
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:
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
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.
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