MRC's Gainor Notes 'Big Name Lefty Media Help' For Wall St. Protests, Ignores Righty Media Help for Tea Party Topic: Media Research Center
The headline on Dan Gainor's Oct. 7 NewsBusters post reads, "Is Occupy Wall St. Getting Big Name Lefty Media Help?" He claims that a woman "who worked for decades handling lefty PR at Fenton Communications" is helping protesters how to deal with the media, asserting that if this woman "aiding the so-called grassroots movement of Occupy Wall Street, then it’s just the latest example that the professional, hardcore left is taking over where the amateurs began."
We don't recall Gainor engaging in such hand-wringing when the so-called grassroots movement of the tea party got big-name righty media help in the form of Fox News relenetlessly promoting tea party events. The tea party also got righty media help in the form of the MRC.
So to Gainor, a single liberal PR rep's alleged work for a liberal cause is much more worthy of mention than wall-to-wall coverage on a major cable networkof a conservative cause. Willful blindness is entertaining to watch, isn't it?
Gainor also echoes his earlier penetrating insight on the issue by writing, "Occupy Wall Street might not just be for smelly hippies any more." Willful blindness and moronic stereotypes!
Newsmax's Hirsen Blames 'Political Correctness' for Williams Jr. Controversy Topic: Newsmax
James Hirsen -- best known as an longstandingapologist for Mel Gibson -- does his best to perform the same service for Hank Williams Jr.
In his Oct. 7 Newsmax column, Hirsen fretted that "The long-running "Monday Night Football" theme song written by Hank Williams Jr. has been permanently cut by ESPN over Williams' comments that purportedly compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler." Purportedly? That's exactly what Williams did.
After rehashing Williams' comments on "Fox & Friends" in which he made the remark in question, Hirsen claimed that Williams' later statement attempting to tamp down the controversy "suggest[ed] that he was misunderstood." No, it didn't; it suggested that he was trying to defuse what he had said earlier in order to save a lucrative gig.
Hirsen went on to complain:
It should be noted that the Hitler comparison is the very same one that the left routinely used with impunity against President George W. Bush throughout his eight years in office.
It is unfortunate to say the least that a great song, one that millions of folks have come to associate with an American institution, will no longer be played because of an inappropriate and ill-considered analogy.
However clumsy Williams' comment was, though, it was not born of malice.
In my opinion, benefit of the doubt should be offered as freely as an apology and should not be doled out according to political correctness or ideology.
Presumably, Newsmax columnist Phil Brennan got that same benefit of the doubt when he pulled his own Obama-hitler comparison, writing in 2008 that "Like the German people of 1932, many Americans seem to be willing to put our future in the hands of a messianic leader with abundant oratorical gifts, a questionable and largely unknown past and a unshakable conviction born of a socialistic background that America can spend its way out of a debacle initially caused by trying to spend our way into prosperity."
As the links supplied above note, Hirsen is generally blind to controversial statements made by conservatives in general and conservative friends in particular, like Gibson. It took Hirsen two weeks to report on the scandal of Gibson's hateful comments made during a split with his ex-girlfriend -- and only then did Hirsen disclose that Gibson is " business associate and friend," something he hadn't done previously despite writing about Gibson at Newsmax for years.And even then, Hirsen took pains to insist that Gibson "has a long history of being a tremendous family man, a good father, a generous person, easy to work with, just all kinds of positive attributes."
MRC's Graham Baselessly Portrays Anita Hill As a Liar Topic: NewsBusters
In an Oct. 7 NewsBusters post, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham repeatedly portrayed Anita Hill as a liar during her 1991 testimony about Clarence Thomas. Graham claimed that Hill was " part of a lie-manufacturing left-wing conspiracy," further asserting that a Washington Post article about Hill "completely sidestepped whether she was lying her face off."
Just one problem: Graham offers no evidence Hill lied about anything.
At best, it's a he-said, she-said situation, and it's likely nobody will know the real truth outside of the two parties involved. Tellingly, Graham does not consider the possiblity that Thomas is the one who's lying. He also doesn't mention that Hill reportedly passed a polygraph test telling her version of events.
Graham goes on to whine about "Hill's millionaire payday," a reference to "million-dollar-plus book deal with Doubleday." Graham does mention that this book deal was made in 1993, a full two years after her testimony, but he's too invested in the smear to notice that the two-year lag pretty much shoots down the quid-pro-quo argument he's trying to make.
Plus, as the Washington Post article that set of Graham's tirade points out, Hill's book under that book deal wasn't published until 1998, which destroys Graham's cashing-in meme even more.
Funny, we don't recall Graham dismissing Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey for being in it for the money, even though they certainly tried to cash in on their Clinton-era infamy.
CNS Adds Bias To Yet Another AP Headline Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's tradition of rewriting Associated Press headlines to add bias continues. An Oct. 6 AP article was sent out with the headline "Unions lend muscle, resources to Wall St. protests."
Run that AP story through CNS' bias machine, and it now carries the headline "Labor Unions Join Rabble in Wall Street Protests: 'We're in It Together'." The word "rabble" does not appear in the original AP article.
Newsmax Attacks Holder -- But Not His GOP Critics -- For Being 'Highly Partisan' Topic: Newsmax
In an Oct. 7 Newsmax article, Martin Gould writes that a letter sent by Attorney General Eric Holder to Republican congressmen was "highly partisan" and "attacked Republican members of Congress for anything from criticism of him to their defense of gun rights."
But Gould never describes the Republican congressmen as acting in a "highly partisan" manner, even though they are attacking a Democratic official over the "Fast & Furious" scandal. Gould does not that "Holder had particularly harsh words for GOP Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona for saying that administration officials may be 'accessories to murder' for their role in the project," but doesn't describe Gosar as acting "highly partisan" and doesn't describe why Holder's response to Gosar's attack -- "Such irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms" -- is "highly partisan."
Gould's description of Holder attacking congressmen's "defense of gun rights" turns out to be a misnomer. As Gould writes later, Holder was actually criticizing those who oppose a plan to "report large gun purchases near the border." Gould doesn't explain how support of that plan equals an attack on "gun rights."
Of course, Gould appears to be the one acting "highly partisan" here, to please his highly partisan employer.
WND's Klayman Libels Obama Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
For a guy who has a habit of suingothers for defamation, Larry Klayman sure likes to defame people.
Klayman has used his WorldNetDaily column to repeatedly libel President Obama by calling him a Muslim or the "mullah in chief." He takes it one step further in his Oct. 7 column, saying of Obama, "it is indeed more than likely that he pledges his allegiance to Allah."
Klayman, of course, offers no evidence to back this up, only generally citing "the behavior of President Barack Hussein Obama, chronicled many times in this weekly column."
If Klayman keeps this sort of unethical behavior up, the sue-happy defamer will be on the receiving end of a defamation suit before long.
Bozell Endorses Discredited Media-Bias Book Topic: Media Research Center
In a Sept. 12 Washington Times book review (reposted at NewsBusters), Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell praises Tim Groseclose's book "Left Turn," which purports to claim a new measure of liberal media bias:
Mr. Groseclose argues that one can measure liberal media bias through objective and quantitative statistical analysis, that “every [emphasis his] mainstream national news outlet in the United States has a liberal bias,” that out of more than 100 major news outlets studied, only a handful lean to the right and none of the supposedly conservative news outlets is far right.
Bozell doesn't comment on the absurdity of such a claim -- after all, Bozell has a vested interest in portraying the media as having a liberal bias, which makes him a less-than-objective reviewer. Indeed, Grosclose's methodology was discredited when he first wrote about it in 2006.
Bozell wasn't done gushing, though:
There’s much to like about this book. There is Mr. Groseclose’s fierce intellectual honesty: He makes no bones about his own political biases. There is a certain modesty in his work: He continuously submits his theories to peer review, even when his peers’ politics veer sharply from his own. Finally, when his conclusions generally track so neatly with those arrived at through the use of more traditional methodologies, who can argue?
Bozell wasn't completely laudatory of Groseclose's book, though. His first complaint is self-aggrandizing and petty:
I confess that at the outset I wasn’t too keen about doing this review. The Media Research Center, which I head, has conducted more studies on this subject than any other institution on the planet over the past quarter-century, so I turned to the “Left Turn” index out of curiosity to see which ones were chosen for citation. (Clear throat here: Ahem.) Not a one. Worse, where the index cites the MRC, in one instance it misidentifies the group; and in the other, allegedly over three pages, it’s a phantom citation - the MRC isn’t there at all.
People who aren't Bozell would reach two other conclusions: 1) the MRC's research sucks (as we've copiously documented), and 2) there's a lack of attention to detail in Groseclose's book that raises questions about his larger conclusions. Of course, since Groseclose's larger conclusions are the same as Bozell's, he won't be raising those questions, even as he finds more things wrong with it:
A conservative also will find faults. Mr. Groseclose labels Mr. DeMint “far right.” It can be argued that Ronald Reagan’s positions were even more conservative than Mr. DeMint‘s. What would that make the Gipper? The author cites ABC’s Charles Gibson as “nothing but fair and centrist in my judgment ABC’s Good Morning America, during his tenure, was approximately the most unbiased of all U.S. media outlets.”
Mr. Gibson was no Keith Olbermann, to be sure; but I can provide dozens of examples documenting that he was no centrist, either. In perhaps the biggest head-scratcher, Mr. Groseclose declares that the conservative bias of Fox News’ “Special Report” is equal to the liberal bias of ABC’s “World News Tonight” or NBC’s “Nightly News.” That is simply untrue across the board, be it a measurement based on story selection, labeling, placement, sourcing, spokesmen or time.
In fact, one study found that the "All-Star Panels" on "Special Report" are consistently stacked in favor of conservatives. The MRC, of course, tried to dismiss this actual piece of media research.
Yet Bozell concludes: "Still, I like the book and recommend it." Go figure.
MRC's Dan Gainor: Hippies Are Smelly! Topic: Media Research Center
Can you guess the theme as articulated in the opening of Media Research Center VP Dan Gainor's Oct. 4 CNSNews.com column?
It would be easy to dismiss the Occupy Wall Street protests as another disorganized and pungent liberal whinefest … because that’s basically true. The demonstrations, taking place in New York and now other cities and other nations, have a classic lefty feel and scent. But there’s more to this, if you dig deep enough. These protests do reflect the genuine economic fears that many Americans feel.
The few thousand that have turned out to occupy Wall Street 24-7 are mostly young, rarely bathe and chant a lot.
Penetrating insights such as this are the reason why the MRC has become such a thought leader on the right.
Pamela Geller's New Book: Communist Bookstore Clerks And 'Secret Halal Meat' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Pamela Geller has written a new, WorldNetDaily-published book, Stop the Islamization of America. The book shares its name with the organization she runs, which the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as an anti-Muslim "hate group." As one would expect from someone with an extensive history of hate speech and extremist rhetoric -- so much so that her work was cited by Norwegian massacre suspect Anders Breivik -- the book is more of the same, presented as a how-to guide for activists. There's lots of name-calling, lots of self-promotion, a dose of revisionism and, for some reason, lots of quoting of Ayn Rand, complete with Geller's dedication of her book to "the individual."
Noel Sheppard, Media Researcher! Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard appears to have decided that, having spent a few years in the employ of the Media Research Center as associate editor of NewsBusters, he has that media-research thing down. An Oct. 5 NewsBusters post announces the results of Sheppard's painstaking research with this hard-hitting headline:
Why is this issue of utmost importance to Sheppard? He declares that Sharpton is saying this "hatefully," and that "according to LexisNexis, there have been no similar incidents at Fox News when either Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, or former host Glenn Beck began a program with 'Hey, Democrats.'"
This is the kind of, er, detailedwork we've come to expect from the MRC, and it seems to ensure Sheppard a bright future as an MRC employee.
Bob Unruh dutifully regurgitates right-wing attacks on Michelle Obama in his Oct. 4 WorldNetDaily article highlighting Judicial Watch's claim that a "family safari" to Africa was a waste of taxpayer money. Unruh uncritically repeats Judicial Watch'as attack while making no apparent effort to obtain any other side of the story that disagrees with WND's anti-Obama agenda -- a dereliction of journalism we're all too familiar with from Unruh.
But as Media Matters points out, then-first lady Laura Bush went on a similar "family safari" to Africa in 2005 with her adult twin daughters to no apparent criticism from Judicial Watch (nor from WND). Judicial Watch also baselessly classifies Obama's visit to Nelson Mandela as "tourism" even though he's a former head of state.
Unruh makes a point of claiming that, according to Judicial Watch, "the costs of the military airplane used for the trip were in the range of $425,000." In fact, according to ABC, a senior White House official called the figure "misconstrued and out of context." ABC also debunks another Judicial Watch claim dutifully repeated by Unruh, that Malia and Sasha Obama were listed as "senior staff" on the trip -- that was a designation of the section of the plane where they sat, not of the people who sat there. Neither Unruh nor Judicial Watch explain why they think it would be better for you children to sit away from their mother.
When you uncritically repeat some activist's outlandish claims like Unruh does, you tend to overlook such things.
But that's just the beginning of Unruh's perfidy here. He goes on to reference how "The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom touted the $10 million in public money Michelle Obama has spent on her 'vacations'":
"Branding her 'disgusting' and 'a vacation junkie,' [reports] say the 47-year-old mother-of-two has been indulging in five-star hotels, where she splashes out on expensive massages and alcohol," the London paper said.
The report said Michelle Obama is believed to have taken 42 days of vacation in the last year, including a respite in Spain that cost $375,000 and a $2,000-a-night ski trip to Vail, Colo.
But the Daily Mail report in question takes its information from the National Enquirer, which in turn cites no verifiable sources. Anonymous, unverifiable sourcing may be a staple of supermarket tabloids and shady British newspapers (not to mention WND), but it's hardly sound journalism.
Unruh even tosses in some long-discredited claims about Nancy Pelosi, claiming that Judicial Watch found that "taxpayers spent $101,000 for in-flight food and alcohol for her during that time period." In fact, the money was not spent "for her"; the money covered congressional delegations arranged through Pelosi's office, some of which included Republican members of Congress.
Back in June, we reminded people that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is a WorldNetDaily columnist -- where he continues to publish column even after announcing his presidential bid, in contrast with other media outlets who suspended the candidates they employed while they embarked on their campaigns.
Now, Yahoo News' Chris Moody has caught on with a Oct. 5 article highlighting Cain's WND work and WND's birther-obsessed leanings.
Moody catches WND in a minor fabrication, one that forced him to issue a correction. WND advertises Cain's work as "exclusive commentary" when, in fact, they are obtained from a syndicator and thus not "exclusive."
UPDATE: Joseph Farah simply couldn't help but respond to the Yahoo article in his Oct. 7 column. He took exception to Yahoo's description of WND as "the online hub for people who believe that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States," responding, "Actually, the question of where Obama was born is of little concern to me and most people who read WND." That, of course, is a complete lie.
Joseph Farah is apparently still angry with Wired's Spencer Ackerman for pointing out how a rabidly anti-Muslim self-proclaimed counterterrorism "expert" is linked to WorldNetDaily.
Last month, Wired's Spencer Ackerman highlighted how William Gawthrop -- whose Muslim-bashing WND promoted in 2006 -- was hired by the FBI to provide training for agents; among the things he taught is that the more devout a Muslim is, the more likely he is to be violent.
As he did when the story first broke, Farah goes all ad hominem on Ackerman again in his Oct. 4 WND column:
National Public Radio and the New York Times recently jumped all over the FBI for allowing its agents to be briefed by experts in Islamic terrorism who weren't properly vetted - meaning they weren't selected by Muslim Brotherhood front groups like CAIR. Both of the reports were derivative of and made reference to an article in Wired.com prepared by Spencer Ackerman, famous not so much for what he has published but what he wrote that he never intended to be published. At the time, working for the George Soros-backed Washington Independent, he famously called upon his colleagues to deflect attention from Barack Obama's relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright by changing the subject. When anyone criticized Obama, they needed to be labeled as "racist," he explained. Even more telling was this Ackerman statement: "Find a right winger's (sic) and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mass and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a constant state of fear." Ackerman is not exactly a seeker of the truth - and that's exactly what the experts he attacked were trying to share with FBI agents.
As before, at no point does Farah disprove anything Ackerman wrote. Further, he deliberately misrepresents the nature of the criticism of the so-called experts. Unlike last time, though, Farah did provide a link to Ackerman's article.
MRC Has No Factual Basis On Which To Declare Chavez 'The Networks' Favorite Dictator' Topic: Media Research Center
A Sept. 30 MRC Culture & Media Institute article by Paul Wilson carries the headline "Hugo Chavez: The Networks' Favorite Dictator." Having made such a declarative, precise statement, surely Wilson must have mounds of emperical evidence to back up his claim, right?
Well, if you are familiar with the MRC's lengthy history of shoddy research, you will not be surprised to find that the answer is no. This is the extent of "research" Wilson has done:
Out of 21 stories on Chavez over the last two years (from Sept 29, 2009 to Sept 29, 2011), precisely 3 of them mentioned Venezuela's strained relations with the United States. Only one of them mentioned human rights abuses in Venezuela.
Two of those stories tended towards trivial and unimportant matters.
That's it. No examination of comparative coverage of other dictators to determine which one was the media's "favorite." And as per usual, Wilson's examination is limited only to the three broadcast networks. There's no mention of Fox News at all; if Wilson had bothered to do anything approaching comprehensive research, he would have found that Fox at one time had its own favorite dictator, the Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo.
Wilson also referenced how "The MRC analyzed media coverage of Chavez from 1998 to 2006" -- curiously linking not to the report but a Fox News article about Chavez that doesn't mention the MRC -- which "found that the networks ignored or whitewashed his radical brand of politics completely, refused to cover his threats against the United States, and positively covered his political stunt of giving oil to the American poor."
Complaining that "the media" (that is, the TV networks) did report on Chavez's "radical brand of politics" in 1998 is disingenuous because he was not as autocratic in 1998 as he is now. Upon taking office, Chavez did introduce some populist democratic reforms in Venezuela.
(We couldn't find a live version of the report on Chavez on the MRC's website; it's referenced near the end of this article by the MRC's Business & Media Institute, but the link no longer works.)
Wilson concludes by asking, "Will the networks acknowledge Hugo Chavez as an anti-American dictator, or will they ignore his anti-American ways once again? A more relevant question to ask would be whether the MRC will ever be able to tell the difference between genuine research and political hack work.