NewsBusters' Double Standard on Cable News Cheerleading Topic: NewsBusters
Jack Coleman works up some outrage in an Oct. 17 NewsBusters post over Ed Schultz's declaration that he's going to feature the Occupy Wall Street protests on his MSNBC show "every night. I'm going to put it on TV every night until the last protester goes home." Coleman denigrates Schultz as a "rodeo clown" and complains that he will "provide plenty of unpaid ads for Occupy Wall Street."
Funny, we don't recall Coleman complaining when Fox News provided plenty of unpaid ads for the tea party, providing it with near-blanket coverage on most of its shows, not just one.
WND Giving Away Copies of Cain's 9-9-9 Plan (And Building Cain's Mailing List) Topic: WorldNetDaily
The top of front page of WorldNetDaily carries a link to a page carrying the logos of both WND and Hermain Cain's presidential campaign:
The page itself makes this offer:
Herman Cain's 9-9-9 economic plan has become the focal point of the Republican presidential debate. This is your opportunity to get the plan FREE - so you can examine it without the media spin.
WND.com, one of America's leading websites and top online news sources is offering information FREE about this important issue from the Herman Cain for President Campaign.
You must sign in to get this download. Don't miss this opportunity to be fully informed!
And at the end is this notice:
I understand I will be signed up for FREE WND alerts and the FREE information from the Herman Cain for President Campaign. I can unsubscribe at any time.
Curiously, there's no disclosure that Cain's campaign is paying for this advertising, as required by law. There's also no disclosure that this is a donation by WND to Cain's campaign -- which is also what this appears to be.
MRC Hates That GOP Presidential Candidates Are Being Fact-Checked Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 18 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Matt Hadro complained that CNN's Anderson Cooper is holding Republican presidential candidate accountable for what they say.
Huffing that "Anderson Cooper 360" "often looks like it’s trying to keep Republicans away from the White House," Hadro grumbled that "Since July, a review of 'Keeping Them Honest' segments found 24 reports tagging the Republicans with dishonesty, compared with just three for Democrats – a ratio of eight to one." He continued:
Cooper's "Keeping them Honest" segments have targeted Republicans and conservatives at all levels of power, including the presidential candidates, congressional Republicans, and even state and local officials. Yet Cooper's nightly fact-checking has been far lighter on the President and administration that’s currently in power, providing little coverage of the ongoing Solyndra scandal or other administration foibles.
Meanwhile, Cooper responded to the accusation he was disproporionately targeting Republicans in an interview at Politico:
I think we are looking more closely at a Republican field that has a number of candidates. There’s a lot more to talk about with nine different Republican candidates out there. If it was a Democratic primary, we’d focus on Democrats. And there are certainly plenty of times when we’ve focused on President Obama or the Congressional Black Caucus.
I don’t think it’s accurate to say that we are just focusing on Republicans, but there is a very heated and very interesting Republican primary going on, where you have a number of Republican candidates making statements. As you get more into the general election, the focus will change.
This response as been appended to Hadro's article, but it has since been ignored. Hadro followed up with a Oct. 20 NewsBusters post complaining that Cooper "scrutinized Republican presidential candidates for statements they made in Tuesday night's debate, but has not reported controversial statements made this week by President Obama and Vice President Biden." Hadro made no mention of Cooper's response the day before.
It seems that Hadro's real complaint is not that Republican claims are being questioned disproportionately, but that they are being questioned at all. After all, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has made no such effort to delve into the claims Republicans have made, since editor in chief Terry Jeffrey apparently cares only about bringing down the Obama presidency.
Occupy Wall Street Derangement Syndrome (WorldNetDaily Division) Topic: WorldNetDaily
NBC New York reported that Brookfield Properties told police that it had received "hundreds of phone calls and emails from locals complaining about lewdness, groping, drinking and drug use, the lack of safe access to and usage of the park, ongoing noise at all hours, unsanitary conditions and offensive odors."
NBC also reported: "Protesters will be allowed to return to their designated areas after cleaning is complete."
This poses the question: Why in the name of common sense is the city allowing these hell-raising and publicly urinating and defecating nutballs to return after the scheduled clean-up of the same place they so dirtied?
And were they ever evacuated so that the clean-up could take place? No, they were not.
So when I see the mostly young people of Occupy Wall Street – a mixture of the bored, the nihilistic, the seekers of excitement, the left-wing true believers, the confused idealists and those hoping to engage in violence – railing against the rich capitalists on Wall Street, I get worried. Because the hatred they express toward the rich is similar to that expressed against the rich by Stalin, Mao and Pot Pot. Of course, these people are not comparable to those killers. But class hatred must lead to bad things. That is why President Obama is playing with fire with his attacks on the rich.
Communists, socialists and "occupiers" of various locations finally quit screwing around with the absurd "science" of Marxism-Leninism, "Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis" and hopeful blueprints for impossible creatures such as the "New Soviet Man," and realized, "We outnumber them 99 to 1. If they won't hand it over, we'll just take it!"
These scruffies stealing headlines worldwide are united by the same pathetic fallacy. They can't see a fat man standing beside a thin man without concluding that the fat man got that way at the thin man's expense. And they refuse to let the repeated historical failure of their vision blunt their confidence that "This time it will work!"
At least now the lofty rhetoric and high-minded battle cries of "justice" and "equality" are mercifully absent. A reporter once asked the founder of the American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers, "What does labor really want?" Gompers briefly, bluntly and brilliantly answered, "More!" If anyone in this naked, drug-besotted mob, which can't tell a police car from a defecatory-appropriate toilet, had the sharpness of a Gompers, then when asked what they really wanted, he'd reply, "Yours!"
Not all occupiers are failures. They've just allied with them. Many occupiers are undoubtedly sincere. Sincerity is no excuse for stupidity.
Most of them likely feel they could perform well in any of those multi-million dollar jobs they're protesting. After all, success is nothing but luck, right?
Not that far from the U.N. we have Wall Street, where thousands of young zombies have been congregating for some time, apparently in the belief that a rock concert is about to begin. I can only imagine that they were heading for Woodstock and got turned around when they found themselves stuck in Manhattan traffic.
Even though these demonstrations have caught on like a virus and are taking place all around the country, I'm actually getting a kick out of them. That's because I am imagining the parents – well-intentioned idiots who forked over thousands of dollars to send these young saps off to academia, where left-wing Dr. Frankensteins, posing as professors, could replace their brains with those of parrots – sitting home and watching the inevitable play out on their TVs.
Again, if I were in charge, I would round up these young idiots, together with Obama and all of his enablers in Congress, the public sector unions and the media, and send them off with one-way tickets to live in Greece. There they could experience firsthand the glories of socialism that they've espoused for decades.
While anger over unemployment, corporate welfare and crony capitalism are certainly understandable, it was painfully evident from the beginning that the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters in New York and their comrades in other cities were not part of a movement at all, but an orchestrated phenomenon. This is in part because high-profile American communists had been very publicly encouraging it for months.
It is somewhat ironic that the OWS zombies decry many of the same things the tea-party movement cites, but the OWS protesters are too stupid to recognize it. Obviously, in addition to their insistence upon placing blame in the wrong place, there are vast ideological differences between them and the tea party. It is also an irony that the racism, anger and penchant for violence in which these types so eagerly accuse the tea party of engaging are readily practiced among the "Occupy" protesters.
There are at least two conflicting views of the Occupy Wall Street mob(s). One is that the media are overplaying the protests and that they are much to do about nothing. The idea is that the protesters are primarily a bunch of idealistic kids living out their fantasies of the turn-on, tune-in, drop-out crowd of the '60s.
At the other extreme is the view that the protests are the start of a worldwide left-wing revolution promoted by communists, union Mafiosos and a variety of down-with-the-rich misfits. While I believe that the goofy, confused kids – who can't seem to coherently explain why they're protesting – are being used by the heavyweight, behind-the-scenes players who are funding the protests, that's beside the point.
And you can basically illustrate the divide this way: Roughly half the country identifies with the tea party, and the other half identifies with the flea-baggers you see occupying Wall Street and other select targets.
I know you can argue the numbers. Right now, I would say significantly more than half of the conscious people in the country actually would choose the tea party over the flea party. But that's just because we are all so uncomfortable living under the leadership of Barack Obama, the patron saint of the flea party.
I told you he would govern not as a commander in chief but as community organizer in chief – and that's just what he has done.
Without Barack Obama there would be no "occupations." He has ginned up this whole thing – he and his friends George Soros and the children of Saul Alinsky. If you didn't have millions of overgrown children attending universities that inculcate them in a Godless, state-worshipping religion, you don't have a flea party. If you didn't have tens of millions of smaller children being groomed as future agitators by National Education Association goons posing as "teachers," you don't have a flea party.
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is now entering its second month. I guess I can't blame the protesters for sticking around so long. It's exciting, isn't it? All the media attention, the celebrities and politicians fawning over them, the free food and goodies … Hey, if all it takes is camping in a park, pooping on police cars and waving signs – especially if I didn't have to show up to anything as restrictive as a JOB for a month or more – then I might consider joining the protests, too.
But this campaign apparently is not raising the IQ of any of the protesters, because they are still incapable of coherently explaining WHY they should receive something for nothing. When asked to pinpoint specific objectives, they wilt under logical questioning about how those objectives should be accomplished.
The ugly language used by many of the Occupy Wall Street activists and by liberals such as radio talk-show host Thom Hartmann to describe bankers is disgraceful and dangerous. When one replaces the word "banker" with the word "Jew" in the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric, one glimpses at the true nature and intent of the assault. Simply put, the Nazis and the German Communists portrayed Jews in virtually the same light as Occupy Wall Street activists are now portraying bankers. In reality, this is the same assault on private ownership today as was the one that was engaged in by the 20th century's two great socialist experiments, Nazism and Communism.
Jeffrey: Kagan Should Recuse Because She Appointed Someone Else To Handle Health Care Reform Topic: CNSNews.com
With CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey's recent attempt to revive the Elena-Kagan-should-recuse bandwagon, you had to know that a column restating it would soon follow. And it did. Let's just skip to the summary of Jeffrey's Oct. 19 column:
Five months before Obama nominated Kagan to the Court, Kagan assigned her top deputy to do work that made him a "legal adviser" on the anticipated Obamacare cases. That deputy went on to argue some of those cases in federal court.
Can Kagan's impartiality in these cases be reasonable [sic] questioned? It would be unreasonable not to.
That's all Jeffrey has -- that then-solicitor general Kagan appointed someone else to handle health care reform. After all, those emails Jeffrey has been obsessing over for months offer no evidence whatsoever that Kagan was otherwise involved in forming a legal strategy over challenges to health care reform. So Jeffrey must invent a conflict.
Needless to say, Jeffrey does not mention the much more obvious conflict-of-interest issues regarding Clarence Thomas, whose wife is a a right-wing activist who has attacked health care reform as unconstitutional. Thomas also failed to disclose his wife's income from activist groups for several years.
WND Defames Arab Journalist Who Has Denounced Bin Laden As 'Bin Laden's Second in Command' Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 21 WorldNetDaily article is nothing but a borderline-libelous smear job against an journalist involved in a joint venture with Bloomberg.
The curiously unbylined article (we're guessing F. Michael Maloof was involved somewhere) begins:
"I met Osama in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), and ever since, I developed a close relationship with him."
Who said this? Bin Laden's second in command? No, it's New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new business partner.
His name is Jamal A. Khashoggi, and he's heading the recently announced joint media venture between Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Bloomberg News.
That's right -- WND is portraying Khashoggi as "Bin Laden's second in command."
In a recent Arab press interview, Khashoggi revealed he grew up in Saudi Arabia with the late al-Qaida leader inside the radical Muslim Brotherhood, a secretive movement whose credo is "Jihad is our way; Death in the cause of Allah our highest ambition."
He says he spent time with bin Laden in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and later in Sudan. The close friends shared a dream of a pan-Islamic nation.
"We were young Muslim activists who believed in our responsibility to support Islam and create an Islamic state," said Khashoggi, who previously worked for Saudi's intelligence minister (who also met with bin Laden in Afghanistan before 9/11).
"I was a Muslim Brotherhood type (and believed that by) establishing the Islamic system throughout, it will lead to the (return of the) caliphate," explained Khashoggi, who now calls himself a "neo-Islamist." "Now, I believe this is the work of God. If God wants (the caliphate) to happen, he will make it happen."
Note the vague reference to "a recent Arab press interview." That refusal to specify where the interview came from (or a link to it) is a clear indication that WND has something to hide.
And what is WND hiding? The fact that Khashoggi stopped being a "Muslim activist" long ago, has had no contact with bin Laden for years, and has denounced bin Laden's extremism. From the interivew, conducted in January with a magazine called Majalla:
Q: When did you last see or speak with [bin Laden]?
It was in 1995 in Khartoum. In that time, he was in the opposition. He had turned against his country. And I went with coordination with his family in order for him to denounce violence in Saudi Arabia. So we could break the ice and start a reconciliation which could lead him to come back to Saudi Arabia.
And he did denounce the terrorist acts in the discussion I had with him. But he would not let me have it on the record … and I flew back to Jeddah. That was the last time I saw him or spoke to him.
Q: What did you believe in when you were active in the Islamic movement?
I was a Muslim Brotherhood type [and believed that by] establishing the Islamic system throughout, it will lead to the [return of the] caliphate.
Now, I believe this is the work of God. If God wants [the caliphate] to happen, He will make it happen. But it is not really my work.
Why did I come to this conclusion? I saw how Muslim activists and Muslim leaders, how they fight, they assassinate, they lie, just like any other politicians. The other conclusion I came up with [is that] creating an Islamic state will lead to forcing people into accepting God, accepting a certain role, certain practices. And that defies the freedom which God wants us to enjoy. I will never enjoy my prayer if I am forced to go to the mosque to pray.
Q: Was this a gradual change in your ideas?
It was a gradual process…in my 30s. I would say it started after 1992 when the Afghans began killing each other in a very brutal way. [Then came] the events of Algeria, the failure in Sudan.
I still have a great respect and I think there should be always a role for religion in our life. And a role for Islam in our life. But I will never work for a state run by clerics and religious people.
I think most Islamic movements see the Turkish [Islamic] movement as the example because it is a success story. And the Turkish model is the model which will allow the Egyptian [Islamic] movement, for example, to claim victory. Let’s assume that one day the Ikhwan won in Egypt. They will have a serious problem with the economy, what to do with the tourist industry. The Turkish model has the solution.
Look, we cannot reverse history. The women in Syria 60 years ago were under the veil. No way are they going to go back there. That tradition of the past which some Islamists have nostalgic views of, when women were totally separated from the men and men were dominant, this will never come back again. This is a different time. If anybody of the Islamic movement anywhere will try to do that he will start immediately an opposition among the people and he will have to subject the people by force and by jail, like what the Iranians are doing.
Khashoggi is repeatedly on record as denouncing bin Laden. Froma May 2 Arab News article:
Khashoggi said he felt sorry that Bin Laden chose the wrong path when he was at the crossroads of history. “He hijacked our religion and chose the path of violence. I remember how we were all in the grip of violence in the early and mid-2000s, here in Saudi Arabia, Algeria … there were suicide bombings, bomb blasts, killings. His ideology did not conform with my understanding of Islam,” he said.
Khashoggi said had Bin Laden been a good reader of history and if he had had a chance to go on air he would have definitely admitted defeat after the people’s revolution in Tunisia and Egypt. “The Arab youth took the path of nonviolence to effect change in their countries. Nonviolence is in total variance with the Al-Qaeda ideology … Osama and his men believed in violence … nothing but violence — no reconciliation — no dialogue.”
In an interview on CNN after bin Laden's death, Khashoggi said that bin Laden "did a damaging effect to Islam, two important things. The indiscriminate killing of innocent people, which is a big taboo, a big mistake in Islam, and the other thing is suicidal attacks. Suicidal attacks, suicidal bombings is killing us, we the Muslims, damaging us the Muslims. And I just don't understand how he could tolerate sitting in his house in Islamabad and hear about a young Muslim entering a mosque in Peshawar and blowing up himself. That is totally absurd in Islam, it is totally absurd. By killing the innocent Muslims at the mosque and killing yourself, it's just -- I would never imagine sitting with Osama bin Laden in 1985 or up to '95 that he would allow or justify something as ugly, as horrific as that."
At no point does WND report any of this about Khashoggi.
Khashoggi was fired last year as editor of Saudi Arabia's leading newspaper reportedly for criticising Saudi Arabia's conservative application of Islam and the religious police who enforce adherence to it -- which further undermines WND's smear job.
WND also plucked out of context Khashoggi's praise of Wahhabism; in fact, he was demonstrating how his own Wahhabi beliefs differ from the more extreme version Saudi Arabia is notorious for, and how they played a role in his firing from the newspaper:
Q: What led to your second departure from Al-Watan?
[There was an] article which was addressing the concept of sufism and salafism and respecting shrines. It dealt with a sensitive issue in relation to our salafi indoctrination background. I wasn’t in the paper that day, and if I saw that article, I would have stopped it from publishing, even though I still say it is some writer’s reflection on the issue. He wasn’t calling for respecting shrines.
Why would I not have published it? Because it’s not crucial to the debate. It’s not crucial to the development of Saudi Arabia. I’m willing to stick my neck out for an issue like women’s driving or women’s empowerment or reforming the [school] curriculum because that will have a positive impact on Saudi life. But really, what we think about shrines has no positive impact. In fact I am against shrines. I don’t believe in shrines. What I admire the most in Wahhabism is that it empowers me to reach God directly without the need of anybody else. And I like that and I call that positive Wahhabism.
WND also takes a couple low blows at New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and the joint venture, which is being funded in part by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who is also a major shareholder in Fox News parent News Corp.The article asserts that "Critics fear the venture could serve as a platform for bin Talal's notoriously anti-Israel agenda" and that "Critics say the mayor is chasing Arab petrodollars as his own business empire struggles amid the U.S. recession" -- but nowhere are the "critics" named. Indeed, there isn't a named source for any of the article's major claims, just reference to anonymous "critics" and "sources."
WND's reckless and dishonest attack has all the trappings of a defamation lawsuit in the making -- and possibly even a libel lawsuit.
WND Seeks (Biased, Obama-Hating) Washington Reporters Topic: WorldNetDaily
Do you know how to inject right-wing bias into a "news" story? Do you hate President Obama with the burning passion of a thousand suns? Are you a birther? Then you too can be a reporter for WorldNetDaily!
WASHINGTON – WND is looking for a few good men and women, preferably with reporting experience, to cover major events, hearings, protests and meetings in the nation's capital.
The positions are part-time, contractor positions, but can expand into full-time staff reporting jobs based on a track record of success.
Those interested in applying their skills and talents in this area are encouraged to send their resumes and cover letters to Sheila Ryan – at email@example.com.
The bias and Obama-hating is not specified in the job requirements, of course, but it's hard to imagine that anyone who's not fully on board with that agenda would be hired, since the rest of WND's staff already conforms.
On top of that, WND won't even consider you a real employee. The "part-time, contractor positions" being offered -- and the presumably paltry pay commensurate with such glorified-temp status -- are hardly inducements into the wonderful world of journalism, especially the highly defective version of it that WND offers.
MRC Absurdly Likens Solyndra to Enron Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center complained in an Oct. 11 "Media Reality Check":
A study by the Media Research Center finds that the three broadcast networks are providing virtually no coverage of the Solyndra scandal, a solar energy firm that went bankrupt after getting more than $500 million in taxpayer money from the Obama administration. This is not the approach the networks took after the collapse of Enron, an energy company with Republican ties. In just the first two months of 2002, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts cranked out 198 stories on the Enron debacle, compared to just eight so far on Solyndra, a 24-to-1 disparity.
That's an absurd comparison -- the two companies are nothing alike.
Solyndra is a small company making solar panels that fell victim to a change in the market -- a rival method of building the panels suddenly became much cheaper than Solyndra's. Enron was a huge company using impenetrable and deceptive accounting methods to obscure massive corruption and market manipulation. As Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, authors of "The Smartest Guys in the Room," wrote: "Enron’s wash swamped the entire U.S. energy industry, wiping out hundreds of billions in stock value. It destroyed the nation’s most venerable accounting firm, Arthur Andersen. And it exposed holes in our patchwork system of business oversight—shocking lapses by government regulators, auditors, banks, lawyers, Wall Street analysts, and credit agencies—shaking faith in U.S. financial markets." Numerous Enron officials pleaded guilty to corruption charges. No one has alleged similar corruption in Solyndra's business dealings.
Such patent aburdity, though, didn't keep MRC chief Brent Bozell from repeating it in his Oct. 19 column:
Most Americans could still be fooled into thinking Solyndra is a new laundry detergent, not a failed solar energy company that took a half-billion dollars in Obama "green job" loans and went belly up. It's another Enron.
Yet Another WND Columnist Likens Obama to Hitler Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily loves to liken Obama to Hitler and the Nazis, and it happens again in an Oct. 19 column by Craige McMillan:
There is a widespread misconception that the German people elected the Nazi government.
The German's elected a man who – during troubled economic times that followed a flawed peace settlement at the end of World War I – told ordinary German's it wasn't their fault. The reason that worked is that Hitler found somebody else to blame.
That "somebody" turned out to be Jewish shopkeepers and small-businessmen. They were the ones who raised prices for consumers as the government printing presses gathered steam and inflation took hold. To most German's the Jews were "the rich."
Once the guilty were identified, the solution to Germany's economic woes became clear. The Jews were forced to turn over more and more of their money, property and businesses to the state, or place them under state control. The state would allocate resources to those who needed them. These people on the receiving end became the Nazi's strongest supporters.
German's did elect a talented orator to fix their problems. Hitler was quite fond of ejecting hecklers from his speeches, which were then devoted to "firing up the base," in today's vernacular. His propaganda outlets demonized the opposition. He seized on the violence the communists stirred up to consolidate his power. One by one he brought the various elements of German culture under his control, including the schools and the churches.
And the Germans, who had elected an orator to solve their problems, ended up with a god in human form at the helm of the state. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Of course, this is America. And such things could never happen here. The estimated 60,000 TSA employees are not an illegal federal police force that can set up at train stations and bus stations as well as airports. Secret lists and secret kill orders for American citizens don't exist. Constitutional protections still apply. Congress doesn't fund undeclared wars. Government gunrunning operations found selling weapons to Mexican drug gangs never happen. The federal government doesn't use the EPA to control business, or the taxpayer golden goose to pick winners and losers in auto manufacturing and solar panels. Unions and other supporters haven't gotten waivers from Obamacare's rationing and death panels. And Harry Reid really does understand the economy.
But I digress. We don't teach history anymore. After all, how can what happened so many years ago really matter today?
McMillan doesn't use the word "Obama," but the inference is unmistakable.
In case you're wondering, WND devoted almost no original coverage to the story of Hank Williams Jr. likening Obama to Hitler -- the only mention is in a column by Kathy Shaidle repeating Sean Hannity's hypocritical whining about "the liberal media's double standard."
An Oct. 19 CNSNews.com article by Matt Cover highlights how "Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who are seeking the Republican presidential nomination, said at Tuesday night's CNN-Western Republican Leadership Conference debate in Las Vegas that the religious faith of a candidate matters."
Both Santorum and Gingrich are Catholic; Cover identifies Santorum as such, but not Gingrich.
For an article that purports to discuss how a candidate's faith matters, Cover curiously made no mention of the biggest currently controversy regarding a candidate's faith: A supporter of Rick Perry, Rev. Robert Jeffress, delcared that Mitt Romney is "not a Christian" because "Mormonism is not Christianity. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity."
Indeed, a search of the CNS archive indicates that only one original CNS article has mentioned the Jeffress-Romney controversy, an Oct. 10 article that was focused on Santorum.
CNS has been carrying water lately for both Catholics and Santorum. Makes sense since Jeffrey (near as we can tell) and his boss, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, are Catholic.
So much for its purported mission to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily's Disappearing Act Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND doesn't apologize for getting facts wrong or even issue corrections over it -- rather, it tries to make embarrassing mistakes go away as quietly as possible. Read more >>
Cain Campaign Corrects Tim Graham's Attack on Criticism of Godfather's Pizza Topic: NewsBusters
In an Oct. 19 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham took issue with Washington Post writer Tim Carman's critique of Herman Cain based on his experience eating Godfather's Pizza. After noting that Carman wrote that Cain was campaigning "as if America were a midgrade Midwestern chain whose many problems could be solved with a few deaths in the family (read: store closings) and a tough-talking thug in a pin-stripe suit and fedora," Graham huffed: "Can’t a Post editor see that it might be impolite to equate closing unprofitable stores with Mob assassinations? Would they tolerate Barack Obama in the role of 'gangsta,' just let that be published?"
But Carman was doing no such thing; he was referring to Godfather's longtime mascot. Carman even said so later in his article, noting that Cain "brought back the original godfather character from the chain’s early years in the 1970s — a rubbery-mouthed Mafioso who loved to claim that Godfather’s was a 'pizza you can’t refuse.'" (You can see the original actor in the role in this vintage TV ad.)
Carman was also referring to the fact that "Cain’s primary weapon for reviving the brand was marketing" rather than any dramatic sort of innovation, as well as "Cain’s decision to downsize the chain’s ambitions" by locating outlets in "gas stations, convenience stores and the like."
Even Cain's campaign felt compelled to respond to Graham's misrepresentation. Graham added an update that acknowledged his error but still tried to salvage it anyway:
UPDATE: MRC's Matthew Balan notified me that former Cain communications director Ellen Carmichael thought my inference that the Post was referring to Cain as a tough-talking thug was wrong. She wrote on Twitter: "I love the MRC, but this piece is wrong. The pin-stripe suit & fedora 'tough-talking thug' is mascot of Godfather's."
It's certainly true that a reader might think the Post is referring to a Godfather's mascot...but does a mascot solve the chain's problems and execute store closings? I think the sentence is meant at least in part to tweak Cain as an "economic hit man," not refer solely to the mascot (and the mascot comes in later). But Tim Carman's phrase was the chain's "problems could be solved with a few deaths in the family (read: store closings) and a tough-talking thug in a pin-stripe suit and fedora." I'd say the Post should have more sensitivity toward a black Republican -- at least as much as they would have for Obama.
Graham also took an anti-elitist swipe at Carman, mocking him as "all grown up and writing articles about fine food" for his dismissal of Godfather's as "pies of no great distinction." Graham offers no opinion of his own on the taste of Godfather's -- he gives no indication he has ever tried it -- nor did he note a blind taste test conducted by Politico involving Democratic and Republican consultants as well as a local "foodie," in which Godfather's was universally panned.
P.S. As a Nebraska native like Carman -- my hometown is the home of the first Godfather's outside of Omaha -- who happened to eat at Godfather's on a recent trip back to the state, we can second Carman's analysis. The pizza I had was adequate but undistinguished, and eating there felt like a nostalgia trip. Even Godfather's founder, Willy Thiesen, has moved on to an upgraded experience: He now operates a restaurant that makes pizza in a coal-fired oven and offers wine paired with each pie.
Maybe today's Godfather's (and Graham) could take a little advice from its founder: "You've got to reinvent yourself. If you keep doing the same things you were doing, we've always heard, you get the same results. You've got to change yourself. Reinvent."
"U.S. Girls Just Dropping Dead"? No, WND Is Still Fearmongering About Gardasil Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily keeps up its dishonest and dangerous fringe anti-vaccine campaign against Gardasil with an Oct. 19 article by Joe Kovacs which carries the headline "U.S. girls just dropping dead." It repeats WND's previous scare tactics of highlighting adverse reactions to the Gardasil vaccine without offering any context of how they compare with other vaccines.
Kovacs claims that "26 additional deaths" were "caused by the shot" when, in fact, no such judgment has definitively been made -- he's merely regurgitating Judicial Watch's attacks. In fact, Kovacs concedes later in the article that the Centers for Disease Control -- an actual medical authority, unlike WND or Judicial Watch -- has found no "no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths" to suggest they were caused by the vaccine.
Kovacs also repeats the claim that one so-called "expert on Gardasil," Christian Fiala, "claims the drug is not only dangerous, but actually useless in fighting cervical cancer" without mentioning that Fiala has been called "Austria’s most notorious abortionist" by one anti-abortion website.
WND is simply engaged in some very desperate fearmongering -- and it's veering far away from the facts with the intent to destroy a business. Maybe Merck should sue WND for defamation; if WND's own lawsuit against Esquire magazine is a guide, Merck might win.
Newsmax Slobbers All Over Roger Ailes Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has posted a sneak peek of the upcoming edition of its magazine, featuring a lengthy, fawning profile of Fox News' Roger Ailes. Written by Deroy Murdock, a right-wing columnist whom Newsmax publishes, the profile is a predictably slobbering hagiography that attempts to whitewash Ailes' more dubious personality traits, copiously documented in other, less biased media, and minimizes Fox News' well-established right-wing bias.
Some examples of Murdock's fawning:
Media sketches frequently portray Ailes as a paranoid, bombastic bully. But it is difficult to match those caricatures with the man in person, who comes across as congenial and humble, in part due to a self-effacing humor consistent with his working-class roots. Try though liberals might, Roger Ailes is a hard guy to hate.
Other adjectives emanating from establishment wisdom are more brutal, labeling him “Crazy . . . evil . . . paranoid.”
The firestorm of controversy that surrounds Ailes was recently re-ignited by a Rolling Stone article titled, “How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory.”
The piece described Ailes in the most bilious terms possible, calling him “the classic figure of a cinematic villain: bald and obese, with dainty hands, Hitchcockian jowls and a lumbering gait.”
Despite the invective Ailes faces daily, he says he never will stop defending American values in order to gain elite approbation. “We’re losing our freedom of speech, we are losing freedom of religion, we are losing freedom of the press,” Ailes warns.
Despite Rolling Stone’s attempt to brand him as a raging homophobe, Fox News supports the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. “They come and meet with me every year,” Ailes says, “and Fox contributes to their dinner. We have our gay employees. I don’t have any problem. It’s not my business.”
Another common claim that Ailes tries to swat away is that his network echoes Republican talking points. The real focus of Fox News, he says, transcends politics in favor of traditional American values. “I program for working people who work hard, who want information to lead their lives, who believe in America, who believe in tradition, and are basically optimistic about this country,” he says.
Ailes practically pleads, hoping perhaps that someone, at last, will listen: “I know this drives everybody crazy, but they can’t disprove it because it’s true — we are fair and balanced. We let everybody come on this network, anybody who wants to come on with any point of view, and I think that’s what America needs.”
He adds this pivotal point: “Bias is not only what you put into a news story; bias is often what you leave out. And the other networks simply leave that position out. So we put it in.” Despite 15 years of continuous press scrutiny, no one has yet proven there is a vast right-wing conspiracy at Fox News to manipulate the news. “People think that Roger programs us and tells us what to say and what to do,” Greta Van Susteren tells Newsmax, also confirming Ailes’ generally hands-off management approach toward his talent. “In 9 1/2 years, I heard from him only once. In 2004, a Democratic presidential candidate’s underage son had a run-in with the police. Roger said, ‘Do not report that the son was arrested for stealing beer. That would spoil the kid’s life.’”
Remember, Newsmax attempted to buy Newsweek. Articles like this is what a Christopher Ruddy-led Newsweek would presumably look like.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Nazi References Topic: NewsBusters
An Oct. 18 NewsBusters post by Paul Wilson expresses outrage that actress Susan SArandon referred to Pope Benedict XVI as a "Nazi." Of course, he was, a fact Wilson tried to downplay as much as he could: "The future Pope was forced to serve in the Hitler Youth at 14. But he was an unwilling participant, who deserted the German army before the war’s end."
Funny, we don't recall any similar outrage from Wilson -- or anyone else at NewsBusters -- at Glenn Beck portraying George Soros as a Nazi collaborator. Nor do we recall NewsBusters declaring all the right-wing attacks on President Obama as a Nazi to be out of bounds.