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Thursday, September 29, 2011
WND Tries to Fearmonger About HPV Vaccine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh's Sept. 27 WorldNetDaily article is a rather desperate attempt to fearmonger about vaccines that help prevent the HPV virus, which can cause cervical cancer.

After noting the controversy over Michele Bachmann's comments regarding Texas Gov. Rick Perry's attempt to mandate the vaccine in the state, as well as a report pointing out that "Of the 35 million doses of Gardasil distributed in the U.S., only about 0.05 percent of individuals who have been vaccinated have reported some kind of side effect, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Unruh let the fear begin:

But it sounds so different when you refer to a paltry 0.05 percent of a large number of people rather than explaining just what happened to the 17,500 individuals who have suffered side effects like Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Bell's Palsy and even death.

Unruh added that "critics of Perry point out that the vaccine is supposed to address a disease only transmitted by sexual activity, and the issue isn't the mundane, clinical argument that Gardasil supporters portray."

Unruh cited "a campaign called Truth About Gardasil" as claiming that "at least 103" people have been killed by Gardasil, as well as a laundry list of side effects: "seizures, strokes, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, headaches, stomach pains, vomiting, muscle pain and weakness, joint pain, auto-immune problems, chest pains, hair loss, appetite loss, personality changes, insomnia, hand/leg tremors, arm/leg weakness, shortness of breath, heart problems, paralysis, itching, rashes, swelling, aching muscles, pelvic pain, nerve pain, menstrual cycle changes, fainting, swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, nausea, temporary vision/hearing loss just to name some of them!"

Unruh offers no evidence that the 103 deaths have been medically verified -- indeed, the Truth About Gardasil website appears not to offer any such verification -- noting only that "the government itself has documented deaths from reactions to the vaccine, although the total doesn't match the blog's claim of fatalities." Unruh is understating the case; in fact, as we've previously documented, the Centers for Disease Control lists just 68 deaths among patients taking Gardisil, and no direct link has ever been established between Gardasil and patient deaths:

As of June 22, 2011 there have been a total 68 VAERS reports of death among those who have received Gardasil® . There were 54 reports among females, 3 were among males, and 11 were reports of unknown gender. Thirty two of the total death reports have been confirmed and 36 remain unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report such as a name and contact information to confirm the report. A death report is confirmed (verified) after a medical doctor reviews the report and any associated records. In the 32 reports confirmed, there was no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths that would suggest that they were caused by the vaccine and some reports indicated a cause of death unrelated to vaccination.

Unruh continued:

Clark Baker of the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice said the performance of the Gardasil product itself doesn't matter much.

"The problem is when government officials or legislators order parents and require schools to give vaccines that are unproven."

Unruh doesn't explain what the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice is or does. Turns out this official-sounding organization is a fringe group that still believes vaccines cause autism and is promoting a video claiming that HIV and AIDS really doesn’t exist.

Of course, WND itself has a long history of freaking out about vaccines, even advising people to risk death by not taking the swine flu vaccine in 2009.It also touted the vaccine-autism link until it was discredited, and even then it failed to issue an original news article on the debunking, leaving it to columnist Phil Elmore to write about it.

Unruh also argues that people don't need the HPV vaccine because icky sex is involved: "But critics of Perry point out that the vaccine is supposed to address a disease only transmitted by sexual activity, and the issue isn't the mundane, clinical argument that Gardasil supporters portray."

Unruh then quotes a report from something called the Alliance for Human Research Protection, which claims to speak out on "issues affecting the safety of people in clinical trials," to attack the idea of an HPV vaccine, largely because of that icky sex stuff:

"Mandatory vaccination against HPV is unsupportable. HPV is not communicable in a school setting – it is communicated only by sexual contact. The condition human papilloma virus (HPV) is present in 50 percent of the sexually active population. HPV does NOT automatically develop into cancer in the overwhelming majority of the population. HPV is mostly benign – no treatment needed," the organization said.

"Furthermore, early detection of pre-cancerous cervical cells is readily accomplished by routine PAP smears – which sexually active women in the US routinely have. And pre-cancerous cervical condition is eminently treatable.

"Therefore, cervical cancer does not pose a major danger for all children – therefore, the risk from the vaccine itself is not justifiable," the group said.

The group's report from which Unruh pulled his quotes claimed that "there have been a total 68 deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) related to Gardasil" but failed to note that the CDC has established no direct link between the deaths and Gardasil.

Since it can't fearmonger about autism anymore, WND has to make vaccines scary somehow, which seems to explain Unruh's giving dubious fringe groups prominent play in his scaremongering.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 AM EDT
CNS Reporter Invents Math To Contradict His Own Reporting

A Sept. 27 article by Matt Cover begins with a hyperbolic claim:

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study of employer-provided health insurance plans, the ObamaCare health reform law could have accounted for as much as 50 percent of the spike in insurance premiums in 2011.

Cover then immediately contradicts that with the following two paragraphs:

The Employer Health Benefits Survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which specializes in health care issues, found that health insurance premiums had jumped by 9 percent in 2011, up from a 5 percent annual increase since 2007.

Drew Altman, president and CEO of Kaiser, first said that the premium increase was not because of ObamaCare but then went on to say that the ObamaCare law probably accounted for 1 to 2 percentage points of that increase, which he further explained in a column today (see below).

One to two percentage points of nine percentage points, in case you weren't counting, is not "as much as 50 percent."

Cover then embarks on some extremely creative mathematic to try and prove his opening paragraph correct:

According to the study, health insurance premiums for employer-provided coverage – the most common type – have been rising at a steady rate of about 5 percent each year.

This year, however, that rate jumped to 9 percent for family coverage and 8 percent for single coverage.

This means that ObamaCare was responsible for anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of the 4 percentage point jump in insurance premiums this year.

Got that? Five percent of the 9 percent increase doesn't count. By magically reducing that increase to 4 percent, Cover can then invent a line of attack by blaming Obamacare for "as much as 50 percent of the spike in insurance premiums in 2011" -- even though it has no basis in reality.

But then, it appears the truth is becoming less and less important to CNS these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
MRC Unhappy Gays Are Treated As Human
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's anti-gay agenda keeps on keepin' on in a Sept. 26 NewsBusters post by MRC employee Ken Shepherd, who apparently doesn't think gays deserve to have positive newspaper stories written about them:

The end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) is almost a week-old story, but the Washington Post is still busy churning up gushy human interest stories about gay and lesbian soldiers who are coming out of the closet.

"After end of ban, acknowledgment at last," reads the headline on page B3 of the September 26 edition of the paper. "Gay service members' partners celebrate repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell," noted the subheadline.

Staff writer Katherine Shaver gave readers a 16-paragraph feature that ended with a lesbian soldier giddily anticipating telling comrades that her Army Ball date will be her "wife."

As I noted last week, Post staff writer Ed O'Keefe offered two similar puffy stories two days in a row: a Metro section front-pager on September 20 and an A-section front pager on September 21.

At the rate the Post is going with you, you have to wonder if they're aiming for one story for each year DADT was in effect.

That's a petty little complaint, isn't it? But when you hate gays as much as the MRC does, sadly, that's to be expected.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:58 PM EDT
Newsmax's Root Defends Rich People
Topic: Newsmax

Millionaires have been abused minority in the United States, apparently, and Wayne Allyn Root has arrived to bravely defend them with right-wing talking points. From Root's Sept. 26 Newsmax column:

President Barack Obama is right. It is time for “fairness.” It is time to ask some Americans to do more, contribute more, sacrifice more.

But like most things Obama does, he has singled out the wrong group. The rich and business owners already pay far too much in taxes. They already sacrifice too much. They already share their wealth too much. The top 1 percent of income earners (almost all of whom are small business owners) already pay 40 percent of the personal income taxes in America, more than the bottom 95 percent combined.

The top 20 percent of income earners pay almost 100 percent of the income taxes in this country. That means 80 percent of the population pays almost no income taxes (a full 50 percent pay ZERO income tax).

Root then starts going a bit afield in his fawning over the rich:

The typical household with over $1 million in income will pay an average of 29.1 percent in taxes this year. The typical household making between $50K and $75K will pay 15 percent in taxes. Lower income households (below $50K) will pay an average of 12.5 percent in federal taxes (virtually 100 percent in the form of Social Security taxes).

In dollar terms that means the typical millionaire will pay $290,000 in taxes and the typical $50,000 middle-class family will pay $7,500. But, most importantly, almost all that $7,500 is Social Security taxes they will get back after age 65.

Why doesn’t Obama quote the actual numbers and ask Americans if this sounds fair? One American pays $290,000 in taxes. The other pays $7,500. Obama calls this “unfair.” Well as you can see, he’s right. It’s definitely unfair — it's unfair to the 20 percent of the citizens who pay virtually 100 percent of the cost of the governmental benefits, which are enjoyed for free by the other 80 percent of the population.

Obama purposely leaves out the fact that the rich and business owners earned their money, many by risking their life savings to start a business. In almost every case, they’ve worked hours that would kill a normal human being.

So poor people don't work hard? Not in Root's rarefied world, apparently. In fact, those losers -- Obama voters, same thing -- need to work even more than they already do:

The cold hard truth is that the rest of America: the poor, the lower middle class, the unions, and the government employees have to pull more of the load. The reality is that Obama’s voters get a free ride as a bribe to vote, support, and contribute to Obama.

Yes, we need more “fairness.” The problem is that Obama voters, those doing the most protesting and complaining, are the ones who need a refresher course in the definition of “fair.” They want something for nothing. It’s not just that they ‘want’ it, they ‘expect and demand’ it.

It’s no surprise when pollsters ask Obama’s voters if others should pay higher taxes, they emphatically scream “YES!” Why not? It costs them nothing, and they get 100 percent of the benefits.

So, Obama is right. Let’s make the tax system fairer. Let’s ask Obama's voters to sacrifice, contribute, and bear at least a little more of the load.

Root is making the curious assumption that people who aren't rich are lazy. That's exactly how you'd expect a rich person to think -- after all, Root did write a book called "Millionaire Republican."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:51 PM EDT
Bozell Hurls Deficient MRC Study At Networks
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell tries to draw attention to himself in a Sept. 26 Media Research Center press release, in which he claims he "issued a letter to the heads of NBC, CBS, and ABC television networks calling on them to end their bias against GOP Presidential hopefuls in their reporting and interviewing."

The MRC curiously did not make a copy of this letter public, including only one paragraph of in the release, in which he touts an MRC "research" piece claiming that "by a 5-to-1 margin, ABC, CBS and NBC morning show hosts employed an adversarial liberal agenda when questioning this year’s Republican candidates":

"This is thorough, well documented research.  Among other data, the research shows that by a 5-to-1 margin, ABC, CBS and NBC morning show hosts have employed an adversarial liberal agenda when questioning this year’s Republican candidates.  It is completely different from the treatment these same shows accorded Democratic primary challengers in 2007. . . Viewers are tuning out in droves because they are sick and tired of such undeniable bias."

Actually, like most MRC work, this is most definitely not "thorough, well documented research." First, as the MRC usually does, its scope is limited to the broadcast networks and excludes cable news networks in order to avoid having to pass judgment on Fox News. Second, there's no documentation at all -- no comprehensive list of questions grouped by categorization, and no explanation of the methodology used to determine if they were "liberal" or "conservative," a subjective dermination if there ever was one. Actual researchers would do that; Rich Noyes and Geoffrey Dickens, the MRC researchers who wrote this analysis, have no interest whatsoever in showing their work.

Bozell invokes the "analysis" again in his Sept. 27 column, using it to mind-read the networks, claiming that "they hope to damage whoever the Republicans nominate." Actual research involves quantifiable data, not mind-reading.

That Bozell would use such a deficient study as a partisan political tool shows us yet again that the MRC isn't really about "research" at all.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 AM EDT
Farah Lies About Having WND Scoop
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Touting a story about how "Barack Obama's allies in Libya are systematically killing black Africans in towns and villages near Tripoli," Joseph Farah began his Sept. 23 WorldNetDaily column: "It's a story few have read. I surmise that based on interest in a story reported nowhere but WND."

Farah is lying.

The allegation that Libyan rebels were allegedly killing blacks first surfaced nearly two weeks before WND reported it in a Sept. 19 article. Tracing a quote from the only named source in that article -- from African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping -- we find it first originated in a Sept. 7 Agence France Presse article. That article was posted the next day on conspiracy-monger Alex Jones' site.

So not only is Farah lying about who came up with the article first, he's lying about who first highlighted it in the U.S. Will Farah and WND give credit where it's due? Probably not.

Further, both the WND article, which according to Farah was written by Michael Maloof, and Farah's column are eager to blame Obama for these alleged killings but conveniently leave out pertinent information -- like why this might be happening. From the AFP article:

Libya's former leader, ousted strongman Muammar Gaddafi, recruited many sub-Saharan Africans into his armed forces and since rebel forces seized Tripoli last month there have been reports of reprisals against blacks.

Farah and WND failed to mention that crucial fact, which puts Obama in the false light of supporting these alleged killings.

As noted above, Ping is the only named source in the original WND article, ; everyone else is anonymous. That gives  Maloof license to write smears like this:

As one writer told WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah in an email: "No black American would ever vote for (Obama) ever again if the truth came out that he's murdering" blacks in Libya.

Remember that Farah himself has stated that quotes from anonymous sources are "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better." There's no reason not to assume that Farah knows whereof he speaks and that his statement applies to Maloof's article as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Transgender Freakout
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center already despises gays, so Chaz Bono's presence on "Dancing With the Stars" could only set off its outrage meter even more. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 PM EDT
Farah Lives Dangerously, Encourages Palin To Sue McGinness for Libel
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The irony positively drips from Joseph Farah's Sept. 26 WorldNetDaily column, in which he claims that "I think Sarah Palin should sue the daylights out of Joe McGinniss and his publisher for their reckless disregard for the truth they showed in his new book –which, for the purpose of this column, shall remain nameless." He continued:

I have to tell you that I have been the victim of vicious lies and smears thanks to my own profile at WND. Some people believe what they read. They assume that if the lies are not countered with a lawsuit (or a duel) that the accusations have at least some truth to them. It's very hurtful and frustrating for anyone who cares about his reputation.

In this case, McGinniss' attack seems determined to do two things: Pad his own bank account and prevent Sarah Palin from seeking and winning the presidency.

Some believe a person like Sarah Palin is virtually libel-proof because her status as a public figure is so high.

But these attacks are so mean-spirited, politically motivated, profit-motivated and made with such malicious intent and reckless disregard for the truth that I think she should sue and should win. It would not only punish the guilty, it would send a loud-and-clear message to other media vultures that freedom of speech has its limits in a truly free and just society.

Of course, by his own standard, Farah and WND can be sued for libeling President Obama. WND has told numerous lies about Obama and his administration and smeared him as a Muslim, a Nazi and the Antichrist. There's no question that such attacks are "mean-spirited, politically motivated, profit-motivated and made with such malicious intent and reckless disregard for the truth." Indeed, Farah has already admitted that WND regularly publishes misinformation, which wouldn't exactly aid in his defense.

Further, WND has a documented record of losing libel lawsuits. It settled a lawsuit by Al Gore associate Clark Jones by admitting that "no witness verifies the truth of what the witnesses are reported by authors to have stated" about Jones and that "no document has been discovered that provides any verification that the statements written were true." Given that WND did no independent fact-checking of the claims about Jones before publishing, that's tantamount to admitted it libeled him.

If Palin can sue McGinniss and win, Obama can sue WND and win.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:22 AM EDT
MRC Repeats Bogus Cost-Per-Job Claim
Topic: Media Research Center

We've previously noted that the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor uncritically promoted a claim that an Obama administration green-jobs initiative cost $5 million per job created despite the misleading math involved at arriving that figure. The MRC liked that bogus figure so much, it repeated it again.

Julia Seymour asserted in a Sept. 21 MRC Business & Media Institute item: "The Washington Post, the $36.8 billion loan program has created only 5 percent of the 65,000 jobs promised and each job cost more than $5 million." Seymour got the number wrong -- the program has granted $38.6 billionin loan guarantees, not $36.8 billion.

In fact, as former White House economist Jared Bernstein details, the government didn't actually spend $38.6 billion on the loan guarantee program -- that assumes that all the loans will go bad, an extremely unlikely occurrence. The actual cost of bad loans that will result in the government covering for them will likely end up being under $5 billion, which Bernstein points out "gets you into a much more reasonable neighborhood re bang-for-buck."

That the MRC would repeat a figure it must know is a fraud -- and Seymour's own sloppiness in getting one of the numbers wrong -- tells us all we need to know about whether it's a political organization or a "research" organization.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 12:30 AM EDT
WND's Vox Day Equates Immigrants With Nazis
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We thought Vox Day liked the Nazis more than he did immigrants. After all, he regularly goes Godwin, and he proudly offered Nazi efficiency in departing Jews as a prior example for how one could remove millions of unwanted immigrants from a country (a reference even WorldNetDaily couldn't quite stomach).

Now, it appears that Day has reduced the status of Nazis to something equal to immigrants. From his Sept. 25 WND column:

Housing and jobs are two reasons why Republicans reacted so negatively to Rick Perry's declaration that immigrant children need to be educated because otherwise "they will become a drag on our society." Most Republicans, most Americans, don't want Texas to educate immigrant children. They want Texas to send them back to their homelands. It wasn't so much the fact that Perry favors taxpayer spending on immigrant education, or even his claim that those who don't are heartless, that caused such revulsion as his obvious assumption that immigrants and their children will never leave America.

Many, if not most, Americans view the mass invasion of their country by Mexicans and others about as favorably as the citizens of Czechoslovakia, Holland and France viewed the mass immigration of Germans into their countries during the 1940s. 

But above all, Day really, really hates immigrants:

The various myths about Ellis Island notwithstanding, the American people have always been moderately anti-immigration. While their political elite has studiously labored to replace them with a new and more dependent people for the last 50 years, Americans have never accepted the general concept of open immigration from around the world. More importantly, they know they have been lied to from the very beginning by the advocates of immigration, and they understand that neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party can be trusted to defend their interests versus the interests of the corporations that seek the ever-lower wage rates that come with the expansion of the labor supply.

However, this American distaste for mass immigration was somewhat concealed by the credit-driven real-estate boom of the previous 20 years. What did it really matter if families of low income, criminally-inclined immigrants from Mexico, Somalia or Pakistan established a beachhead in your neighborhood, so long as you could sell your house and move to a larger house in a nicer neighborhood where you wouldn't have to live next to the newcomers? That this led to the hollowing out of the cities, suburban sprawl, racial segregation and a doubling in the number of vehicles per family was only considered a problem by the sort of hand-wringing social scientists who would tend to prefer it if everyone lived in a totalitarian hive-city ruled by social scientists.

But the relocation retreat ceased to be an option as housing prices began to fall and homeowners who were under water on their mortgages became permanently locked into their locations. Don't like living near a neighborhood that has gradually devolved into an approximation of a dirty, crime-ridden third-world nation? Default or deal with it.

Day's immigrant-bashing is quite ironic because he himself is an immigrant, having fled the U.S. for Italy, where he still resides as far as we know.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT
Monday, September 26, 2011
MRC's Double Standard on Tabloid Bilge
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is all huffy about Joe McGinniss' new book on Sarah Palin:

  • Kyle Drennen declares that the book "amounts to an anti-Palin screed," " smearing the former governor with unsubstantiated allegations."
  • Tim Graham complains that NBC interviewed McGinniss about the book, "something they did NOT do in 1993 when McGinniss drew universal condemnation for a sleazy Ted Kennedy biography titled The Last Brother." He's even more put out that the "Doonesbury" comic strip excerpted this "tabloid sleaze," taking a personal swipe at artist Garry Trudeau: "It's also odd that Trudeau would mock Palin "flip-outs" if they occurred, since his own wife, former NBC star, Jane Pauley, has been well-known for talking about her diagnosis with bipolar disorder. Does that mean she could never function at the highest levels of NBC News?"
  • MRC chief Brent Bozell devoted an entire column to denouncing the book as "tabloid bilge" and NBC as "manure spreaders" for interviewing McGinniss.

Of course, the MRC doesn't mind "tabloid bilge" when it's about a Democrat. It's usually begging the media to report that.

We've already documented how the MRC loved tabloid bilge when it involved John Edwards, and demanded that the rest of the media repeat what the National Enquirer had reported on it. During the Clinton years, the MRC wanted every sleazy allegation spread far and wide.

In a February 1998 column, Bozell claimed that President Clinton deserved tabloid-level coverage: "Clinton receives tabloid coverage because he leads a tabloid life. It's that simple." You won't find Bozell saying that about Palin even though, unlike Clinton, Palin has starred in a reality show.

Just add this to the long list of double standards the MRC manages to maintain.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EDT
Gay Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I'm old enough to remember the debate about whether homosexuals should be allowed to be teachers at all, let alone allowed to punish students for disagreeing with the class-time advocacy of their sexual lifestyle. I remember the protestations from the pro-homosexual side, that "gays and lesbians just want the right to be left alone. They would NEVER interject their private lives into the classroom." They all lied, and we believed them, and now our children and grandchildren are being forced to celebrate "gay" culture under penalty of law.

That is the end game for the "gays." The final stage of their agenda, which has always been about taking control of things, is the power to punish dissent: to silence or crush their detractors. They only have this level of control in a few places yet, but they are moving fast to achieve it everywhere, and the momentum is on their side. And wherever they have it, they use it.

This brings me, in conclusion, to the subject of "gay marriage." Huh? How does "gay marriage" in any way relate to homosexual propaganda in schools? Or to Christian parents awakening late to the indoctrination of their children?

It is the same issue, my friends. "Gay marriage," "gay" curriculum, "gay" parades, "gay" TV shows, "gay" soldiers, "gay" adoption, "gay" diseases, "gay" recruitment and on and on. So many seemingly separate issues that are really just one issue: the unnatural, dysfunctional, personally and socially destructive phenomenon of homosexual sin. We are warned clearly and emphatically about it in the Bible. We have seen its corrupting effect in history. And we are literally watching its ethic of sexual anarchy supplant the biblical model of family as the guiding value system of our society.


The homosexual agenda represents an existential threat to Christian civilization and we're in the final phase of the war, losing badly. It all hinges upon you, Christian reader. Either get into the "game" in earnest, immediately, or wave goodbye.

-- Scott Lively, Sept. 23 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 6:35 PM EDT
Who Cares What A Foreigner Has To Say About Obama? Noel Sheppard Does
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard devoted a Sept. 18 NewsBusters post to the rantings of a foreigner, declaring that "Maybe what America's press really need is a Canadian television commentator to explain how atrocious their coverage of Barack Obama has been since the moment he tossed his named into the presidential ring in February 2007."

Does Sheppard offer any evidence that CBC's Rex Murphy has any extensive experience or specific insight into American politics beyond saying what Sheppard wants to hear? Nope. Plus, he's not even an American.

Further, Sheppard doesn't even bother to fact-check Murphy's errors. As Mdia Matters points out, Murphy ludicrously claims that the press “walked right past” the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scandal during the spring of 2008. In fact, Wright was mentioned in the media dozens of times in March and April 2008.

Sheppard concludes by opining: 'Maybe with their help, the media malpractice will be totally acknowledged by the guilty parties, and America will never have to witness such a disgraceful episode again." The "disgraceful episode," of course, being the election of Obama. This seems like the kind of partisan electioneering that doesn't comport with the MRC's non-profit tax status.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 AM EDT
Kessler and Keene, Together Again
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's Ronald Kessler has been a longtime fluffer of conservative activist, David Keene, giving him a platform to spout conservative talking points, and he does that yet again in a Sept. 22 column letting Keene pontificate on Republican prospects in the 2012 presidential race, declaring that "Gov. Rick Perry is a riskier presidential candidate than Mitt Romney."

Keene peddles establishment conservatism in pushing for Romney, declaring that Perry overextended himself by asserting that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, and, according to Kessler, thinks that "Perry’s candidacy could help Romney become a stronger candidate."

Conveniently, Romney is Kessler's preferred candidate, his infatuation with Donald Trump aside.

Kessler weirdly identifies Keene only has "the former chairman of the American Conservative Union," making no mention of his current job, president of the National Rifle Association.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 26, 2011 12:10 AM EDT
Sunday, September 25, 2011
MRC Praises Author It Denounced For Criticizing Bush
Topic: Media Research Center

When Ron Suskind's 2008 book, "The Way of the World," came out in 2008, the Media Research Center was eager to discredit it for its critical view of the Bush administration:

  • Brent Baker declared that Suskind was a "left-wing journalist," and that outlets that covered the book's allegations that President Bush "knew before the war Iraq had no WMD and that to justify the war the administration forged a letter to prove a connection between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda" downplayed "denials from former CIA Director George Tenet" and ignored that "the letter couldn't have impacted the public before the war since it didn't become public until nine months into the war."
  • Tim Graham claimed that Suskind's "novelistic flair goes overboard" because he "pretends to mind-read what President Bush is thinking." (Never mind that the MRC does this sort of mind-reading all the time.)
  • Noel Sheppard touted how "both the CIA and its former director George Tenet refuted" Suskind's claims, asking, "Will these rebuttals receive the kind of attention Suskind's allegations did?"

And when Suskind's 2006 book "The One Percent Doctrine" came out, in which the Bush administration also did not come off well,Mark Finkelstein huffed that Suskind is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, where the news pages are "more liberal than even the New York Times," citing a discredited study as evidence.

Now that Suskind has written a new book painting the Obama administration in an unflattering light, the MRC has changed its tune on the author. Far from nit-picking his book or pretending that rebuttal of claims equals a discrediting, the MRC demanded coverage of the book:

  • Tim Graham highlighted the book's claims, not mentioning his earlier denouncing of Suskind's "novelistic flair."
  • Noel Sheppard noted how the book "paints an unflattering picture of the Obama White House," failing to note how he portrayed the author's previous work as discredited.
  • Kyel Drennen presents NBC's Ann Curry confronting Suskind with the Obama White House's rebuttal of Suskind's claims not  s a discrediting but as Curry doing the White House's bidding by reading "Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney-approved talking points." The MRC didn't describe the CIA's rebuttal of claims in the earlier Suskind book as "approved talking points."

Funny how, in the eyes of the MRC, an author goes from discredited to lionized depending upon who he's writing about.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 PM EDT

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