MRC's Gainor Co-Stars in Muppet-Bashing Fiasco Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor is hopefully learning a valuable lesson: don't mess with the Muppets.
We've noted how an MRC Business & Media Center piece by Iris Somberg went on a tirade about how the new Muppets movie has an oil tycoon as its villain. Somberg's boss, Gainor, parlayed that piece into an appearance on Fox Business' barely watched "Follow the Money," where he and host Eric Bolling commiserated about about how the Muppets are "brainwashing" your children. "The only thing green up on that screen should be Kermit the Frog," Gainor ranted, further complaining that movies don't show "what oil means for most people, which is fuel to light a hospital or heat your home or maybe fuel an ambulance to get to the hospital if you need that."
That clip wentviral, making Bolling and Gainor laughingstocks for obsessing over the Muppets' supposed left-wing agenda.
Then, Gainor followed it up with a return appearance on Bolling's show complaining about the "ridiculous and humorous overreaction ... all because we dared basically to reveal the man behind the curtain." Gainor further huffed that Media Matters, which first posted the Gainor-Bolling clip (and which I work for), is "one of these Soros-funded media outlets, so when they do something, the left picks up on it."
Meanwhile, at the echo chamber that is the MRC network of websites picked a weird, nitpicky thing to complain about. A Dec. 6 NewsBusters post by Somberg grumbled about a "false Huffington Post claim," repeated by Conan O'Brien, that Bolling called the Muppets "communist,"helpfully clarifying that "he just said liberals are trying to brainwash children against capitalism." But brainwashing is what a communist would do, right? Somberg did concede, though that Bolling did say, "We’re teaching our kids class warfare. What are we, communist China?"
Somberg embeds the Conan clip in her post but not the original Bolling-Gainor clip. Is that a sign that Gainor and the MRC are a bit embarrassed by this whole fiasco, even if Gainor himself is shameless enough to make a repeat appearance on Bolling's show?
P.S. We couldn't find either Bolling-Gainor clip posted elsewhere at NewsBusters, or at the MRC's video site, MRCtv. So maybe someone at the MRC (if not Gainor) has a sense of shame after all.
Joseph Farah's Sour Grapes Over Newsmax's Debate Topic: WorldNetDaily
Newsmax is hosting a presidential debate and WorldNetDaily isn't, and Joseph Farah has a big ol' case of sour grapes over it.
In that vein, Farah devotes his Dec. 6 column to challenging Newsmax co-owner Richard Mellon Scaife's "bona fides as 'Republican' and as a 'conservative.'" In a rare bit of disclosure, Farah admits that Scaife "provided some funds for a nonprofit investigative reporting center I founded called the Western Journalism Center," as well as served as "a member of the board and held a minority ownership interest" when he was editor of the twice-deceased Sacramento Union.
Farah complains that Scaife "actively and publicly defends continued federal subsidies for the largest abortion machine in America – Planned Parenthood":
Last April, Planned Parenthood took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal featuring an op-ed Scaife wrote titled forthrightly, "Why Conservatives Should Oppose Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood."
Not only is Scaife's idea anathema to religious conservatives, it is opposed by most of the prominent economic conservatives and most libertarians who recognize that a $1 billion extremist organization whose primary mission is killings babies doesn't deserve hundreds of millions in federal subsidies.
You've got to read the entire diatribe for yourself in which Scaife lauds Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger – a prominent eugenicist who sought to eradicate the black race! In a 1939 letter, she wrote: "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."
Farah is taking that Sanger quote out of context. According to FactCheck.org:
Sanger says that a minister could debunk the notion, if it arose, that the clinics aimed to “exterminate the Negro population.” She didn’t say that she wanted to “exterminate” the black population. The Margaret Sanger Papers Project at New York University says that this quote has “gone viral on the Internet,” normally out of context, and it “doesn’t reflect the fact that Sanger recognized elements within the black community might mistakenly associate the Negro Project with racist sterilization campaigns in the Jim Crow south, unless clergy and other community leaders spread the word that the Project had a humanitarian aim.”
Farah finishes throwing Scaife under his bus:
One of Scaife's own deep, dark secrets is that, although he has spread millions around in conservative establishment causes and organizations, including some of Newt Gingrich's pet projects, his real heart and passion has always been supporting the wholesale slaughter of unborn Americans, who are entitled to constitutional protections promised, by the founders, to "ourselves and our Posterity." A literal definition of "posterity" is "unborn succeeding generations."
It is partly Scaife's anti-life compulsion that has, over the years, driven him to team up with, variously, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, former Rep. Jack Murtha and John Kerry.
Conservatives and Republicans are less inclined to speak ill of Scaife, because so many have been bankrolled by him.
Personally, I think of Scaife as the bank that keeps the conservative movement from being effective and doing what is really necessary to take back the country.
That's a far cry from 1998, when he declared, "I'd be happy to accept Scaife's money. There's nothing tainted about it." Now that Scaife is funding a more successful rival and there is no chance he will send any cash WND's way, Farah is suddenly feeling free to dis him.
Meanwhile, Farah has a few sour persimmons left over to toss Donald Trump's way for his participation in the debate:
Then there's the matter of Trump. Ron Paul may have said it best in his public statement declining the invitation to participate in the debate: "The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the presidency and flies in the face of that office's history and dignity."
Paul might have added the unseemliness of a GOP presidential debate being hosted by a guy who himself continues to flirt publicly with the idea of a third-party run for the presidency.
Farah, however, is not so soured on Trump that he won't pretend that he's a person who should be taken seriously by splashing Trump's latest birther rantings across WND's front page. Of course, Trump is about as likely to send cash Farah's way as Scaife is.
Meanwhile ... Topic: CNSNews.com
Media Matters catches CNSNews.com misrepresenting a comment Nancy Pelosi made about Catholic bishop. A Dec. 1 CNS article by Edwin Mora carried the headline "Pelosi Dismisses Catholic Bishops as ‘Lobbyists’—For Opposing Obamacare Reg Forcing Catholics to Act Against Faith." In fact the full context of Pelosi made it clear that she was simply distinguishing between her interactions with bishops privately, as a Catholic, and publicly, as a lawmaker.
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily Defends A Stalker Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND is more concerned that a man who obsessively blogs about a woman is able to keep his guns than about the woman who feels threatened by him. Read more >>
Newsmax Ramps Up Trump-Fluffing Before Debate Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's year of Trump-fluffing paid off in a debate it will host with Donald Trump. But that's just the beginning -- Newsmax is ramping up the fawning coverage of Trump in its run-up to the debate.
In its Dec. 4 "Insider Report," Newsmax touted how "Donald Trump’s organization is the largest privately held company in the New York metropolitan area."
A Dec. 5 article by David A. Patten and Kathleen Walter featured an interview with Trump, who just happens to have a new book out.
Another Dec. 5 article is a statement by Trump, which Newsmax has headlined "Trump: I’m Not Running for President, I’m Backing GOP Candidate." But that's not what he actually says:
Let me be clear: I do not want to run as a third party candidate.
My priority, my number one priority, is to defeat Barack Obama in 2012.
I want to support and endorse the Republican candidate for president.
Trump delcaration that he "wants" to endorse a Republican and "do[es] not want" to run as a third-party candidate are not definitive statements, as the Newsmax headline portrays them. It's entirely possible that he will not endorse a Republican and run as a third-party candidate, and his statement does not preclude him from doing so.
Now, WND Columnists Throw Cain Under the Bus (Mostly) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Now that Joseph Farah has declared that Herman Cain is no longer a suitable Republican presidential candidate, the race is on for his WorldNetDaily columnists to finish throwing Cain under the bus.
Vox Day exhibits his usual barely veiled racism, stating: "To no one's surprise, except perhaps those Republicans in desperate search of a get-out-of-racism-free card, the Magic Negro, Part II: Republican edition has 'suspended' his campaign, thus marking the latest collapse of a nominal frontrunner." He goes on to lament, "If we are to take the polls seriously, this leaves Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney as the two leading candidates for the Republican nomination, which is arguably the least attractive leadership pair on offer since the Polish people were divided between Hitler and Stalin."
(Day has been consistently anti-Cain, previously stating that he is "far too financially and economically dubious to be given any serious thought as a conservative presidential candidate.")
Jerry McGlothlin, meanwhile, asserts that Cain "went from frontrunner to a perceived moral failure." Then again, he's so far-right that he also thinks Mitt Romney's Mormonism is "problematic," and he complains that Ron Paul won't ban abortion and "leaves important moral matters like abortion and drug use to individual states to decide. The problem is that as long as there is a single state that allows abortion, people will cross state lines to get what they want." He ultimately concludes, like Farah: "The only man left standing is a woman. Her name is Michele Bachman, and she's set for a second surge."
Cain himself, meanwhile, tries to spin things in his WND column:
I was not surprised that I was viciously attacked once I rose in the polls. I was surprised by the nature of the attacks. Me, a womanizer? I would never have thought they'd come up with that one.
Someone who had to settle two sexual harassment lawsuits while leading the National Restaurant Association was "surprised" that they would be used against him? Really?
There were a few dissenters, though. Mychal Massie remains a Cain man, declaring that "True positive change suffered a setback from which we may not recover," refusing to talk about the sexual allegations against Cain except to declare them to be"unfounded" and that a "what Ginger White and the media did to Herman Cain" was just like what "mysteriously published booklet, and the false claims of his being a racist, did to Goldwater."
Dennis Prager, meanwhile, went a completely different and weird direction, condoning adultery as long as it's done discreetly and by the right people:
But there is a larger issue that needs to be addressed first: What does adultery tell us about a person? For many Americans, the answer is: "Pretty much all we need to know." This certainly seems to be the case with regard to presidential candidates. The view is expressed this way: "If he can't keep his vows to his wife, how can we trust him to keep his vows to his country?"
I am a religious conservative, but I know this statement has no basis in fact. It sounds persuasive, but it is a non sequitur. We have no reason to believe that men who have committed adultery are less likely to be great leaders or that men who have always been faithful are more likely to be great leaders. To religious readers, I point to God Himself, who apparently thought that King David deserved to remain king – and even have the Messiah descend from him – despite a particularly ugly form of adultery (sending Bathsheba's husband into battle where he assuredly would be killed).
And while on the subject of leadership, another question for religious and/or conservative readers who believe that a man who sexually betrays his wife will likely betray his country: Who would you prefer for president? A pro-life conservative who had had an affair, or a pro-choice man of the left who had always been faithful to his wife?
Just knowing that a man or a woman had extramarital sex may tell us nothing about the person. I have always wanted to know: Why is sexual sin in general and adultery in particular the one sin that many religious people regard as defining a person as well as almost unforgivable?
Prager, of course, went on to deny that he was condoning adultery.
The only question left: whether Farah will allow a man whose "moral character and honesty has been questioned" to remain a WND columnist. Then again, Farah still allows Ann Coulter's column to appear, despite Coulter not being anti-gay enough for Farah's tastes, because WND needs the traffic she draws.
MRC Unhappy People Remember Frank's Epic Pwning of CNS Topic: Media Research Center
When Rep. Barney Frank announced his retirement, we reminded people of Frank's epic pwning of CNSNews.com's Nicholas Ballasy, who tried to play gotcha with Frank by asking him a question about gay soldiers showering with gay soldiers, only to have Frank turn the tables and mock Ballasy's attitude.
We weren't the only ones who remembered that -- and CNS' parent organization, the Media Research Center, is not happy about it.
Matt Hadro tried to put the best spin on things in a Dec. 2 MRC item as he huffed that "Some members of the liberal media commemorated Rep. Barney Frank's (D-Mass.) retirement announcement by replaying his testy response to a CNSNews.com reporter about homosexuals showering with straight men in the military." Hadro went on to grumble that "Liberal HLN host Joy Behar ripped the CNSNews question as 'stupid' as she asked Frank 'Are you going to miss the stupid questions people ask you?'"
Well, it was a stupid question, geared to play gotcha with Frank. Is this embarrassment why Ballasy has not moved on from CNS and is now with the Daily Caller?
CNS Obsesses Over End of Sodomy (And Bestiality) Ban in Military Topic: CNSNews.com
Befitting the Media Research Center's anti-gay agenda, MRC "news" division CNSNews.com has chosen to obsess over a defense funding bill that, among one of its many provisions, removes the article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that bans sodomy in the military.
But since removal of the sodomy article also references bestality, CNS has targeted its freakout over that.
"Senate Approves Bill that Legalizes Sodomy and Bestiality in U.S. Military," blared a Dec. 1 CNS article by Pete Winn. Winn quotes anti-gay activist Tony Perkins baselessly speculating that removal of the bestiality provision "may have been intentional."
To drive home the point, CNS promoted Winn's article on the top of its front page with the implicit statement: If you repeal the bestiality ban, this cadet will do something unspeakable to this horse.
Winn followed up with a Dec. 4 article complaining that "Not a single member of the Senate spoke out last week against a provision in the defense authorization bill that will repeal the military's ban on sodomy and bestiality if the bill becomes law."
Winn went on to define sodomy only as "gay sex," but that's incorrect. As the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network states, the UCMJ's definiton of sodomy also covers oral and anal sex between heterosexual couples. The New York Times reported that efforts to changing the sodomy ban to bring it into line with civilian laws have been in the works since at least 2005.
UPDATE: Here's how CNS is depicting Winn's Dec. 4 on its front page:
That would be Bill the Goat, the Navy's mascot. As far as we know, the UCMJ doesn't address furries.
Newsmax Relies On Liberal Media to Produce Trump Debate Topic: Newsmax
In a Dec. 4 article, Newsmax announced that "A prestigious team of some of the top producers in network and cable television news ... which collectively has more than a century of experience in managing major network coverage of U.S. presidential debates and elections" has been assembled to produce Newsmax's debate featuring Donald Trump.
What Newsmax didn't mention: the team -- with previous experience mostly at CNN and CBS, are part of the dreaded "liberal media" that is supposed to be anathema to conservatives.
The head of Newsmax's team is a particularly surprising choice. The executive producer will be Eason Jordan, the former chief news executive at CNN.
In February 2005, Newsmax published a column by Michelle Malkins attacking Jordan for "incurable anti-American pandering" for supposedly claiming that American troops have deliberately targeted and killed journalists in Iraq. Jordan denied making such a claim, but the right-wing furor over the supposed remarks led to his resignation from CNN.
That was not the only criticism Newsmax had forwarded of Jordan. In an April 2003 column, Michael Glueck and Robert Cihak bashed Jordan for his admission that CNN had failed to report on atrocities committed by Iraq's Saddam Hussein. They wrote, "CNN and other so-called 'news' organizations have ignored the screams of children in favor of their own personal, ideological and business agendas or interests," adding, "Will Mr. Jordan be hearing these screams in his dreams for the rest of his life? He should – unless he's anesthetized his own conscience."
The Media Research Center predictably howled about Newsmax's selection of Jordan to lead its debate coverage -- Scott Whitlock declared in a Dec. 5 item that Jordan "accused U.S. troops in Iraq of attempting to murder reporters." He then wrote: "The question must be asked: Why are Ion, Newsmax and Donald Trump giving Jordan a platform?"
Whitlock wasn't concerned, however, that Newsmax and Ion were giving a right-wing birther like Trump a platform.
WND Baselessly Paints Anti-Gay Street Preachers As Conspiracy Victims Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh goes way beyond the established facts in a Dec. 1 WorldNetDaily column, asserting that "Two veteran street preachers in Houston are facing a bench trial for spreading the biblical message about homosexuality – and other sins – on one of their favorite corners for preaching in Houston." He then portrays the preachers as the victim of a gay conspiracy:
Their hearing will be in Houston Municipal Court, which is run by Barbara E. Hartle, who, according to the Dallas Voice, is listed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund as "one of only a few out members of the Texas judiciary."
She was appointed to the position by Houston Mayor Annise Parker, identified by the Los Angeles Times as "the first lesbian to head a major American city."
Allen told WND that no matter what happens, the fact that the ministers were handcuffed and ticketed, with their signs and shofar confiscated for a time, sent a chilling message about free speech regarding religion and homosexuality.
Unruh tells only the preachers' predicatably self-victimizing side of the story makes no apparently attempt to contact the police for their side of the story. Not surprisingly, they have a different view of events.
KHOU-TV reports that the two street preachers "were combative with officers, refusing to give their IDs and disobeying commands" -- an account that appears nowhere in Unruh's article, even though he embeds the TV station's video report in his article.
For some reason, WND lovestodefend (and mislead about) the invasive behavior and extremist views of street preachers.
Unruh's anti-gay conspiracy got overtaken by reality the next day, however, when he had to concede that this "court system managed by an 'out' lesbian judge" dismissed the charges against the street preachers.
Noel Sheppard Loves Ann Coulter's Filthy Little Mouth Topic: NewsBusters
We've detailed how NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard is a slobbering fanboy of Ann Coulter who loves every bile-coated pearl that spews from her filthy little mouth. Turns out he loves the filth too.
Sheppard ramped up his apoplexy in a Dec. 4 post against CNN's Howard Kurtz for daring to criticize his beloved Coulter for saying thing that had to be censored from MSNBC's "Morning Joe," which Kurtz described as "slang for male genitals":
Actually, what Coulter said was "dickweed." This is not a "slang for male genitals" as Kurtz said.
According to the Urban Dictionary, it is a "person so irredeemably stupid that their idiotic behavior causes pain to everyone that they interact with."
The Online Slang Dictionary agrees: "asshole, jerk, complete loser."
Strike two for Kurtz was ignoring that irrespective of the language Coulter used, she was trashing Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
This should have pleased Kurtz for in an earlier segment he lambasted conservative media as "essentially corrupt" because they weren't being harsh enough on the former Speaker of the House.
I guess we shouldn't expect he would recall what had occurred on his on show 40 minutes earlier, for if he had he might have praised Coulter for going against the conservative media tide concerning Gingrich.
Yes, Sheppard is criticizing Kurtz for supposedly contradicting himself -- something Sheppard doesallthetime.
If some liberal had called Gingrich a "dickweed," it's a metaphysical certainty that Sheppard would pound out an indignant NewsBusters post about it. But instead, his sainted Coulter spewed the word, and she can do no wrong in his eyes.
Speaking of which, Sheppard referred above to an earlier post he wrote dishonestly bashing Kurtz for highlighting conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin for correctly pointing out that the conservative media is not interested in doing actual journalism when it comes to covering Republican presidential candidates, instead lazily engaging in boosterism:
The problem with that is the conservative media are up front in their ideology and are not trying to hide it. When you listen to a Rush Limbaugh or a Sean Hannity for example, you know you're listening to a conservative. They're certainly not trying to disguise that fact.
By contrast, much of the liberal media are hiding behind a dishonest veil of impartiality.
In fact, Rubin wasn't talking about radio hosts as the "conservative media" -- she was referring to self-proclaimed "news" websites.
That Sheppard thinks right-wing radio hosts are the direct ideological opposite of the "mainstream media" demonstrates how little he knows about the media. Such aggressive know-nothingness, somehow, makes him a premier media critic at the MRC.
After all, Sheppard's view that the conservative media should engage only in fawning praise of their fellow conservatives -- you know, like Sheppard does with Coulter -- puts him in league with his fellow MRCer, Tim Graham.
WND Helps With Advertiser's Publicity Stunt Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Nov. 29 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi gives publicity to an ad campaign by precious-metals trading firm Swiss America that's being touted as having been "rejected by major television networks, including the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network, for apparently political reasons."
Corsi, being the lazy and biased reporter that he is, did not ask whether Swiss America -- whom, in a reversal of WND's longtime refusal to disclose its business interests in the subjects it writes about, he admits is "a WND advertiser" -- created these ads knowing that they would never air and with the ultimate goal of working with right-wing websites like WND to generate publicity for the company based on that refusal.
The article also exhibits a rather hilarious case of cognitive dissonance. Corsi states that, according to Swiss America CEO Craig Smith (whom Corsi did not disclose is a WND columnist), "the intent of the ads was not to make a political statement." But the headline of Corsi's article reads, "See anti-Obama ads spiked by major networks – even Fox!"
So you can make an "anti-Obama" ad that's not intended to make a political statement? Please.
CNS Article on Cain Withdrawal Doesn't Mention Scandals Topic: CNSNews.com
Last week, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham attacked the idea that the right-wing media should do any serious investigation of conservative candidate, claiming they should only be cheerleaders. The MRC's "news" division provides an example of Graham's theory of journalism in action.
A Dec. 3 CNSNews.com article, credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff," reported on how Hermain Cain "announced that he is 'suspending' his presidential campaign," repeating Cain's quote that "As false accusations continue, they have sidetracked my ability to present solutions to the American people."
What is completely, and curiously, missing from the article: Any mention of what those supposedly "false accusations" are, or any mention at all of the affair and sexual harassment allegations against Cain.
So the MRC is apparently so committed to Graham's biased vision that it will distort reality and ignore established facts to report the "news."
Newsmax's Trump-Fluffing Pays Off With Joint Debate Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax -- led by the sycoiphantic Ronald Kessler -- spent much of the early part of this year aggressively promoting the presidential ambitions of Donald Trump, which ultimately imploded amid Trump's rampant birtherism. Newsmax CEO proudly proclaimed that Trump "realizes the great potential of Newsmax and has been using it very adroitly. We're well aware he's using it, happy he's using it."
That sycophancy has paid off with Trump teaming with Newsmax to host a Republican presidential debate Dec. 27.
Newsmax's "news" article on the debate reads like a press release,touting how Newsmax is "the largest online conservative news outlet in the nation" and propping up the little-watched, rerun-laden TV network Ion Television. No mention is made of Trump's birtherism, nor of Newsmax's rampant boosterism of Trump. Newsmax has since trumpeted that Newt Gingrich will appear at the debate.
Newsmax is ramping up its self-promotion in the run-up to the debate. It has already created an email list where people can "get special notices about this debate, be invited to online VIP events before and after the Debate and have an opportunity to participate online in the event itself!"
Is it surprising that these two publicity-hungry entities are getting together to create such a media event? Nope, not at all.
It's the beginning of a new month, so you know what that means: A new, context-free CNSNews.com article on how many U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan.
The curiously unbylined article (most previous body-count articles have been written by Edwin Mora) again plays up that "U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan have more than tripled under the current administration," ignoring the fact that many more U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq under President Bush. For once, though, it doesn't lead with that, highlighting instead on how "71 percent of U.S. military combat deaths in that country have taken place in provinces bordering Pakistan."