Noel Sheppard, Lazy and Incompetent Researcher Topic: NewsBusters
We've previously noted that NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard, as part of his barrage of sycophancy in defending Herman Cain, claimed that, according to his headline, "MSNBC Runs More Stories on Cain 'Scandal' Than it Did Obama's Ties to Ayers, Rezko and Wright Combined."
But looking more closely at Sheppard's Nov. 7 post in which he announced that claim, it looks even more fishy. He writes:
At press time, the Obama-loving outlet had aired at least 30 segments involving the now growing Cain scandal since it broke late last Sunday.
Yet according to LexisNexis, in the over 20 months between the time Obama announced his candidacy in February 2007 to Election Day 2008, MSNBC offered viewers seventeen stories concerning Ayers, nine involving Wright, and none dealing with Rezko.
At no point did Sheppard describe how he searched in Nexis for these results. A real researcher would have disclosed his search parameters.
And then there's this note at the end of his post:
Readers are advised that MSNBC doesn't transcribe all of its programs.
That's right -- Sheppard has been portraying his search results as encompassing all of MSNBC when he concedes that it covers only what's in Nexis, and he apparently doesn't even know exactly what MSNBC shows are or are not in Nexis.
Sheppard goes on to call MSNBC a "so-called news network." Does that mean we can call Sheppard a "so-called media critic"? And the Media Research Center a "so-called media watchdog group"?
Chuck Norris' Nov. 6 WorldNetDaily column largely ignores reality in trying to ramp up fearmongering about how vaccines are linked to autism.
Norris concedes that Centers for Disease Control and the Institute of Medicine, which he called "the nation's bastion of authoritative health and medicine advice," have declared that there's no link between vaccines and autism. But he responds by citing ... PRNewswire. Yes, he's citing press releases to respond to authoritative medical research.
Newsmax's Root Gets Facts Wrong on Government Employees Topic: Newsmax
In his Nov. 4 Newsmax column blaming public-sector employees for "why we are suffering the Obama Great Depression," Wayne Allyn Root cites one example: "According to USA Today and the New York Post, Firemen in Las Vegas average just under $200,000 per year."
We couldn't find any instance in which either USA Today and the New York Post made that claim -- perhaps because even if they had, it would be false.
What actually happened, according to a Las Vegas TV station, is that some fire department employees in another city in Nevada -- not Las Vegas -- were making more than $200,000 a year by racking up overtime. Not an "average," not by salary alone.The fire chief in that town said it was cheaper to pay someone overtime than to hire and train additional personnel.
In fact, Las Vegas firefighters recently signed a new labor deal in which they will not receive a cost-of-living raise for the third year in a row and see their health insurance costs increase. A Las Vegas councilman said that the city "didn’t have the same problems" with overtime as other cities did.
Not having his facts straight, however, doesn't keep Root from ranting anyway:
When Obama creates new government jobs, he’s just created a massive new obligation for taxpayers. Not just an expense for this year, but an expense for 50 or more years (until the day each government employee dies). In somecases, it’s even worse. When a government employee dies, their bloated pension is paid to the surviving spouse until they die.
So Obama isn’t helping us by creating government jobs. He’s killing us. For every new government job he’s putting taxpayers on the hook for $100,000 a year for the next 20 to 30 years, plus $100,000 a year for 30 or more years after they retire, plus free healthcare for life.
Why is America broke? It’s the bloated number of government employees. It’s their wages (salaries 40 percent to 70 percent above the private sector) and their pensions that are destroying the U.S. economy and creating a lifetime of unsustainable debt for future generations.
Actually, there isn't a "bloated number of government employees." The number of executive-branch employees per capita in the U.S. population has been steadily decreasing over the last 50 years.
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard is nothing if not a loyal, uncritical parroter of the Media Research Center's right-wing agenda. With marching orders to defend Herman Cain, the personal friend of his Media Research Center boss, Brent Bozell, Sheppard runs with it.
Sheppard dutifully repeats criticism by fellow right-winger Liz Cheney of the coverage of Cain's sexual harassment scandals, declaring her "the voice of reason" in asking why the media is covering "irrelevant issues" instead of "the economy is going off a cliff." Sheppard didn't mention thatcongressional Republicans are a major contributor to promoting issues irrelevant to the economy, such as last week's GOP-promoted resolution “reaffirming ‘In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States.”
Sheppard then highlighted criticism of Cain coverage by, of all people, Kathleen Willey, who according to Sheppard accused Bill Clinton of "sexually assaulting her back in 1993." Sheppard huffily writes that "everyone involved should be asking themselves why unnamed, unspecific accusers create such a media firestorm today when women that actually stepped forward with far more serious charges in the '90s were almost totally ignored by comparison." That supposed ignoring of Clinton's accusers, of course, is a lie.
Sheppard also laughably insists that conservatives really aren't playing the race card by claiming that liberals are playing the race card on Cain:
The racial element being expressed by the Right is that blacks are not allowed to be conservatives. We've seen this in the treatment of right-leaning blacks for decades.
As such, conservatives aren't playing the race card per se. Instead, they are rightly pointing out that black Republicans are treated extremely poorly by the Left and their media minions.
This issue isn't that Cain's black. It's that he's a black conservative.
Of course, "playing the race card per se" is still playing the race card. Plus, the argument that reporting the truth about Cain's sexual harassment is racially motivated was severely undercut by Cain himself, who blamed one of his fellow Republicans, Rick Perry, for leaking the story.
Missing of course -- as it is from pretty much every MRC analysis -- is any mention of how many stories Fox News has run about the Cain "scandal."
Then, in a Nov. 8 post, Sheppard launches a personal attack on one Cain accuser, Sharon Bialek:
CNN's Piers Morgan on Monday did the first interview with Herman Cain's accuser, but failed to ask Sharon Bialek - who was in the company of her liberal activist attorney Gloria Allred - any questions about her two bankruptcies, the paternity lawsuit her former husband filed against her shortly after their child was born, or exactly why she was terminated by the National Restaurant Association a month before the alleged actions by Cain took place.
So, a woman with two bankruptcies, a history of financial troubles as well as difficulty holding a job is now accusing someone of inappropriate sexual conduct fourteen years ago.
Wouldn't this have been a great opportunity to ask her about her current financial position as well as her history of not being able to hold a job and the two bankruptcies?
As you can see, Morgan chose not to ask Bialek why her previous husband filed a paternity suit against her shortly after this child was born.
Why were such topics ignored? Was it part of the terms of the interview set forth by Allred?
We don't recall Sheppard insisting that the pasts of Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey or Juanita Broaddrick be discussed upon the disclosure of their alleghations against Bill Clinton. Indeed, in the above-mentioned Kathleen Willey post, Sheppard made sure not to mention her credibility problems, which include repeatedly changing her story about what happened with Clinton to actually lying to the FBI. Even independent counsel Robert Ray didn't find Willey credible.
But that would have been too close to responsible journalism, which Sheppard doesn't do. He is, after all, a loyal lackey for Brent Bozell, and Cain is Bozell's personal friend, who must be defended no matter what.
WND Columnist: Cain Harassment Charges Are The Work of Family Planning 'Cartel' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mark Crutcher peddles quite the conspiracy theory in his Nov. 4 WorldNetDaily column:
It is important to understand that, by this point in history, population control – especially black population control – had become a virtual religion for America's power structure. And that remains true to this day. Whether it's liberal social engineers, or wealthy elitists, or the media establishment, or the academic community, these people have created a "Population-Control / Family-Planning Cartel" that does not tolerate dissent. If you cross them, or if you appear to be a threat to their agenda, they will chop you off at the knees. It is also true that they have been especially ruthless about this when it comes to African-Americans. Early on, the leaders of the eugenics movement had figured out that it was best for them to keep their racial intentions hidden. They also understood that it would be hard to pull this off if a lot of "uppity" black opinion molders started challenging their actions and questioning their motives.
In the last few weeks, Cain began pointing out that the Cartel is still alive and well in the form of organizations like Planned Parenthood. He also reminded the public that this particular organization was founded as an instrument of eugenics while being politically and financially backed by ultra-wealthy racists and eugenicists. He then correctly pointed out that Planned Parenthood, as well as other eugenics organizations, have disproportionately placed their facilities in minority communities with results that have been both disastrous and predictable. Finally, he called for Planned Parenthood to be stripped of its one-million-dollars-a-day in taxpayer funding. (You heard correctly ... $1,000,000 a day.)
The fascinating thing is that, within hours, anonymous people start dropping out of the trees to claim that Herman Cain sexually harassed them. As we have seen in the past, this is a very convenient charge because it is one that is virtually impossible to refute. The reality is that, in the minds of many, the accusation itself is evidence of guilt. Once the charge is made, the target has to prove a negative and, for all practical purposes, that cannot be done.
So while I have no way of drawing conclusions regarding the merit of these accusations, it is their timing that is suspicious. From the beginning, it seemed too coincidental to actually be coincidental that Cain's attack on the Population-Control / Family-Planning Cartel was immediately followed by sexual harassment charges against Cain.
A Nov. 7 Associated Press article was sent out with the headline "Obama to promote ways for veterans to find work."
Run that through CNSNews.com's bias machine, and you get the pejorative headline "Going After the Veterans' Vote? Obama Plugs Jobs for Vets."
CNS also manages to drag its biased rewriting into the MRC's disparagement of the alleged victims of Herman Cain's sexual harassment. A Nov. 7 AP article carries the headline "Allred says new woman to accuse Cain."
But CNS changed it to "Fame-Seeking Lawyer Says Another Woman Will Accuse Cain of Sexual Harassment Monday."
We're pretty sure that the MRC never described Larry Klayman or John Whitehead as "fame-seeking lawyers" for their role in legal action against the Clinton administration.
Can CNS keep rewriting AP headlines to add right-wing bias without AP taking action against it? After all, CNS is damaging the AP brand by injecting bias where it didn't exist before.
WND's Farah Defends Walid Phares, But Doesn't Say From What Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Nov. 4 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah runs to the defense of Walid Phares by bashing criticism of him that he claims is coming from the Council on American-Islamic Relations:
What's bugging CAIR is that Phares is one of presidential candidate Mitt Romney's national security advisers. So the organization is touting Phares as an "extremist" (one of its favorite terms for anyone with whom it disagrees) and calling on Romney to let him go.
The anti-Phares campaign by CAIR was originally initiated by "civil rights" operative Randall Todd "Ismail" Hoyer, who began the attacks against Dr. Phares and was later jailed for terrorism offenses.
Mitt Romney may not be my choice for the Republican nomination, but his selection of Phares is a credit to his own discernment about national security issues.
While Farah references Phares' "extremism" and "terrorism," he fails to elaborate on the charges, nor does he link to any article in which those charges are detailed.
In fact, as we've noted, Phares -- a Newsmax columnist and a frequent interview subject at WND -- was a top official in a Lebanese sectarian religious militia responsible for massacres during that country's civil war.
Farah goes on to complain that CAIR "is smearing Walid Phares" -- but, as with WND's similar claim that right-wing anti-Muslim activists are being "slandered," there's nothing to explain exactly what the "smear" is.
As with the other story, it appears that the "smear" is that the truth is being told about Phares. And Farah hates the truth when it conflicts with his right-wing agenda.
MRC Now Disparaging Cain's Latest Accuser Topic: Media Research Center
Dan Gainor isn't the only Media Research Center official disparaging the alleged victims of Herman Cain's sexual harassment as being out for money.
MRC Culture & Media Institute managing editor Matt Philbin weighed in tweet-wise on Monday's press conference in which a woman represented by Gloria Allred made sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain:
Meanwhile, Gainor is continuing his campaign of denigration, repeatingallegations about the woman's background:
We don't recall Gainor pointing this kind of stuff out regarding Bill Clinton's accusers of sexual impropriety.
Then, Gainor tweets: "Journalists ethical code says journalists should: Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity." But that's what journalists did regarding Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broddrick, and Gainor's employer did not like that.
Apparently, a little consistency is too much to ask from the MRC.
An unbylined Nov. 5 WorldNetDaily article slips in this statement amid yet another attack on the Council on American-Islamic Relations, this time on CAIR official Dawud Walid's criticism a prayer gathering that he called anti-Muslim:
As WND reported, Walid was a headliner at a conference in Detroit recently along with the co-author of a report that slanders critics of radical Islam, including Spencer, Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson.
This is in reference to a report by the Center for American Progress that detailed how the above named writers, as well as David Horowitz and WND columnist Pamela Geller, promote anti-Muslim attitudes on the right.
WND, though, never explains exactly how these people were "slandered." (Plus, WND misuses the word "slander," defined in law as verbal, not written like the CAP report.) Instead, it links back to an Oct. 14 article (also unbylined) similarly stating that the report "slanders critics of radical Islam." But it this article too, WND never states how the right-wingers were "slandered."
If WND is going to make such a serious allegation such as slander, it should be able to back up its claim. So far it hasn't.
Further, the WND article tries to downplay claims that the prayer event, scheduled for next weekend in Detroit, has an anti-Muslim bent to it, repeating denials from event organizers and suggesting that the only evidence to the contrary is "a video posted on YouTube of a conversation with two church leaders he said were associated with the prayer event."
In fact, as Rachel Tabachnick writes, there are numerous conversations posted online in which even organizers discuss the anti-Muslim nature of it. One pastor claims that "We are literally dropping in a Delta Force" with the intent of raising "awareness of the Islamic threat." Another pastor says, "We need the harvest of the Muslim people. We can't just sit by and let them continue the on the way they are, worshipping their false god." One of the lead organizers of the event, Lou Engle, has repeatedly claimed that the event will be used to convert Muslims.
CNS' One-Sided Attack on Teachers Topic: CNSNews.com
A Nov. 1 CNSNews.com article by Elizabeth Harrington is a one-sided attack on teachers that largely regurgitates a study by the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute claiming that teachers are overpaid "if you take into account benefits, job security, summer vacations and other factors." Harrington makes no apparent effort contact anyone who might take issue with the study's findings.
That wouldn't have been hard to find. Media Matters details numerous studies finding that teachers are paid less than comparable workers, and their wages have fallen when adjusted for inflation. Politico quotes reform-minded former Washington, D.C., schools chief Michelle Rhee as stating that "we do not agree that teachers are overpaid."
That's just lazy reporting on Harrington's part, though it may also be that CNS isn't interested in reporting criticism of a study whose findings obviously serve its right-wing agenda.
WND Columnist Joins Emergency System Freakout Topic: WorldNetDaily
Patrice Lewis writes in her Nov. 4 WorldNetDaily column:
On Wednesday, Nov. 9, federal authorities will shut off all television and radio communications simultaneously at 2 p.m. Eastern to complete the first-ever test of the national Emergency Alert System (EAS). The test is supposed to last no more than two or three minutes. "In essence," notes The Blaze, "the authority to seize control of all television and civilian communication has been asserted by the executive branch and handed to a government agency." Officials later backed the test down to a more conventional 30 seconds after people expressed their concerns.
While some folks will applaud the warm fuzzy benefits of such a test – after all, who can argue the need to disseminate critical national-security information to everyone? – there are others who have darker suspicions. Why 2 p.m? Why not 2 a.m.? As one commenter said, "This is not a test – it is a demonstration. A test would be done at 4 a.m. so it would inconvenience as few as possible."
Yes, a demonstration. Our government is apparently eager to make evident its supremacy in our communications systems. "Now we know in the event of a major crisis, the American people will be told with one voice … about an emergency. All that's left to determine is who will control the EAS when that day comes, and what their message will be." One voice. No others allowed.
We're from the government, and we're here to help. Now shut up, sit down and do what we say.
Lewis conveniently doesn't mention that this system is the result of a bill introduced by a Republican congressman, Jim DeMint, received near-unanimous congressional support, and signed into law in 2006 by a Republican president.
If Bozell Hates Anti-Semitism So Much, Why Does He Publish Pat Buchanan? Topic: Media Research Center
We've detailed how Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell railed against isolated instances of anti-Semitism at Occupy Wall Street and related protests (and trying to pretend they were more widespread than they were) while assembling a motley crew of so-called "Jewish leaders" who lack anything beyond a cult-sized constituency to back him up.
If Bozell was genuinely concerned about anti-Semitism, he would have started rooting it out of his own organization.
The MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, publishes the twice-weekly syndicated column by Pat Buchanan. In May 2010, CNS published a Buchanan column in which he complained that if Elena Kagan's nomination was successful, there would be too many Jews on the Supureme Court: "If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats. Is this the Democrats’ idea of diversity?"
As we noted at the time, Bozell said nothing about Buchanan's column, even though around the same time he and the MRC were excoriating Helen Thomas' statement that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine."
In addition to Buchanan's borderline anti-Semitism -- in his new book, he attacks American Jews for having made themselves an "endangered species" by supporting the right of abortion -- he has refused to disavow the idea that minorities have inferior genes, attacked Barack Obama's mother as an "ethno-masocist," and appeared on a self-described "pro-White" radio show to promote his new book.
As opposed to the "Jewish leaders" Bozell scrounged up to criticize Occupy Wall Street, the Progressive Jewish Alliance and Jewish Funds for Justice have combined to call for MSNBC to stop giving airtime to Buchanan's bigotry.
Will Bozell follow this example and stop publishing Buchanan's column? Or will Bozell prove himself to be a partisan hack more interested in scoring political points than living out his declared principles?
We're guessing the former -- after all, one of his MRC lieutenants, Tim Graham, has already penned a defense of Buchanan.
Buchanan clearly writes with a white racial consciousness, even a tribalism. This was also true of Buchanan when he first joined MSNBC. Some of the passages singled out by the lefties (on TPM Muckraker) do argue that whites are being submerged, even vanishing under diversity. I find this pessimism overwrought. But can blacks like Van Jones say with a straight face that they don’t have an angry racial consciousness, a tribalism? It’s only that they’re the oppressed ones? With a black president, when does this stop being true?
It's almost comical that they would claim with some sort of shock that Buchanan "takes every opportunity to stoke the racial anxiety and fear that exists among some white people. In short, Buchanan wants to pit white people against people of color." And what has Al Sharpton done, and the other black race-baiters, constantly pitting black people against allegedly racist Republicans? If stoking racial anxiety is disqualifying, why does Sharpton been awarded a nightly platform?
Most Americans today don’t want to be that racially conscious, that white Americans panic over still “steering” the national wheel as a racial royal "We." Conservatives often especially want to prove they’re not racially obsessed. This (in some part) explains the current wave for Herman Cain – which is not to dismiss his successful life and leadership.
But some of Buchanan’s allegedly offensive prose is simply true. Take the passage about minority journalism organizations: “Half a century after Martin Luther King envisioned a day when his children would be judged ‘not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character,’ journalists of color are demanding the hiring and promotion of journalists based on the color of their skin.” Merit is not completely overlooked, but it can certainly seem secondary when groups are organized around skin color.
Graham then goes on to play the equivocation (and gay-bashing) card: "Again, you have to laugh at the idea that Buchanan's the 'extremist,' while gay groups that want to teach sex education to six-year-olds and let seven-year-old 'transgendered' boys join the Girl Scouts aren't extreme. They're the 'sane, clear-thinking people.'"
Graham made no mention, however, of Buchanan's complaints about Jews, even though his boss purports to be fighting against such things.
Did WND's Farah Plagiarize From Wikipedia? Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed WorldNetDaily's misguided war of Wikipedia. WND's boss, however, seems not so averse to making use of Wikipedia when it suits his purposes.
In his Sept. 22 WND column defending birther-leaning Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio:
He was born in Springfield, Mass., to Italian immigrant parents, both from Avellino, Italy. His mother died giving birth to him in 1932, and he was raised by his father, a grocery store owner. At 18, Arpaio enlisted in the U.S. Army and served from 1950 through 1954. After his discharge, he moved to Washington and became a police officer. He also served in the Las Vegas police department for a time, before being appointed as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which later became the Drug Enforcement Administration. During his 25-year stint in the DEA, he was stationed in Argentina, Turkey and Mexico and ultimately headed the DEA's Arizona office.
In 1992, he campaigned and won the position of Maricopa County sheriff. He was re-elected in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008.
Arpaio was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Italian parents both from Avellino, Italy. Arpaio's mother died while giving birth to him, and Arpaio was raised by his father, a grocery store owner. Arpaio completed high school and worked in his father's business until age 18 when he enlisted in the United States Army. Arpaio served in the Army from 1950 to 1954 in the Medical Detachment Division and was stationed in France for part of the time as a military policeman.
Following his discharge in 1954, Arpaio moved to Washington, D.C. and became a police officer, moving in 1957 to Las Vegas, Nevada. He served as a police officer in Las Vegas for six months before being appointed as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which later became part of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). During his 25-year tenure with the DEA, he was stationed in Argentina, Turkey and Mexico, and advanced through the ranks to the position of head of the DEA's Arizona branch.
In 1992, Arpaio successfully campaigned for the office of Maricopa County Sheriff. The voters of Maricopa County re-elected him in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008.
It looks like Farah copied-and-pasted from Wikipedia, did a little editing, and voila, a good chunk of his column is filled in.
Of course, this isn't the first time Farah has plagarized from others.
(Thanks to a loyal ConWebWatch reader for the tip.)
MRC's Gainor Still Sliming Cain Accusers As Gold-Diggers Topic: Media Research Center
We've detailed how Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor has been using Twitter to attack the as-yet-unnamed victims of Herman Cain's alleged sexual harassment as gold-diggers out for a book deal. He's still at it.
In one tweet, Gainor even used the #golddigger hashtag in writing, "Free Five Guys lunch (DC area only w me) to person who can guess exact amount of book deal advance for Cain accuser."
Gainor also wrote of one accuser: "So if she gets a book deal, does she have to refund cash to NRA?"
Funny, we don't remember Gainor or anyone else at the MRC being bothered by Kathleen Willey's book deal or how Gennifer Flowers changed her story after getting a sizable payoff from a tabloid.
Meanwhile, Gainor sounds like a birther in a ranting tweet about President Obama:
Yes, this man is a major figure at a major "educational" nonprofit group. How does the MRC have that tax status when it's making such blatantly partisan statements?
WND's Sue-Happy Lawyer Is In Trouble Topic: WorldNetDaily
We already know Larry Klayman is a sue-happy defamer. Now it appears he is so bad at being a sue-happy defamer that he can't even make an actual living at it.
The Miami New Times reports that Klayman -- a WorldNetDaily columnist who is representing WND in its defamation lawsuit against Esquire magazine -- has been reprimanded by the Florida bar for taking a $25,000 payment from a woman to represent her in a criminal case but failing to do any legal work for her. After he was ordered to return $5,000 of the money as agreed to in mediation, he failed to keep up the payments.
IN a 2010 letter to the Florida bar explaining why he hadn't kept up with the payments, Klayman wrote:
I have and have had very little funds, as my financial situation continues to be dire. I do not own any investments or retirement plans and just have a few pieces of jewelry and clothing, a television, a radio, a bed and clothing and shoes. I rent my apartment. The jewelry is a watch which is of negligible value, and consists of a watch and a ring valued currently under $200.00.
I am in the process of gathering my financial information which is scattered about three states, where I formerly resided in whole or in part, and will soon file for bankruptcy pro se. I cannot afford bankruptcy counsel, having been asked for a $5000.00 retainer which I cannot afford. I will not use this bankruptcy to discharge my obligation under the mediation agreement as I am committed to honoring it. Its just that my financial situation has been so poor.
Klayman told Miami New Times that he has since paid the woman the $5,000 he was ordered to repay her.
Meanwhile, Klayman's license to practice law in Pennsylvania is on "administrative suspension." And as we've previously noted, Klayman's $10 million lawsuitagainst the White House Correspondents Association as part of WND's snit fit over not being able to buy as many seats as it wanted for the White House Correspondent's Dinner was essentially laughed out of court. (When we asked Klayman about it, he huffed that "we decided not to pursue that." So why file the lawsuit in the first place if you have no intention of pursing it? Aside from the publicity-stunt aspect, that is.)