NewsBusters Unhappy That Gays Are On Their TV Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters just hates it when gays are allowed to appear on TV.
Media Research Center employee Matt Hadro -- who is apparently in charge of the gays-on-TV beat, judging by his history -- devotes a Dec. 9 NewsBusters post to complaining that CNN gave "quality airtime" to "the director of a film on the coming-out story of a lesbian teenage girl." Even worse for Hadro, CNN's Frederika Whitfield "asked no tough questions" of the director "and instead teed her up to explain what the film is trying to accomplish."
WND's Klein Recycles Bogus Attack on ProPublica Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein cranks out another guilt-by-association smear job with a Dec. 6 WorldNetDaily article attacking NBC for entering into a content-sharing agreement with ProPublica. Klein puts "journalism" in scare quotes in describing what ProPublica does, and repeats a hit job on the organization by the right-wing (but not identified by Klein as such) Capital Research Center, which dismissed ProPublica as "churn[ing] out little more than left-wing hit pieces about Sarah Palin and blames the U.S. government for giving out too little foreign aid."
But as we detailed when WND first touted this attack on ProPublica, the CRC never accuses ProPublica of getting its facts wrong, only of not uncritically repeating right-wing talking points.
Klein omitted that the CRC actually praised ProPublica when it did reporting that more closely aligned with its agenda: "ProPublica reporters should receive high praise for their stories on Obama’s stimulus package and banking bailouts, on recent business and financial scandals, and on other issues related to open records and open government." But that would have undermined Klein's attempt to brand ProPublica and NBC as hopelessly liberal.
It's rather amusing to see Klein put "journalism" in scare quotes in describing ProPublica. After all, the biased pseudo-journalism he accuses ProPublica of engaging in -- of which he provides exactly zero examples to back up his assertions -- is exactly what Klein himself spewsouteveryday.
NewsBusters Unhappy That Reality Has Liberal Bias Topic: NewsBusters
Mark Finkelstein complains in a Dec. 8 NewsBusters post:
Take a stroll down the list of the six stories featured in Politico's "Daily Digest" email today, and you'll find five of them with a decided pro-Obama and/or anti-Republican angle.
Let's score the first story, about the upcoming GOP debate in Iowa, as neutral, even though the theme is a pending alpha dog-fight between Gingrich and Romney. But after that, every story has a decided liberal slant, as you'll see here:
"It's Cantor vs. Boehner again". Infighting among Republican leaders threatens GOP agenda.
"Dems: McConnell to regret filibusters". Mitch McConnell's legislative maneuvers will come back to haunt him.
"Obama trump card: Payroll tax cut": President Obama has "found a way to gain the upper hand" on the tax issue.
"Obama's strong minority support". Obama very strong with minorities in swing states.
"Candidates take hard line on Mideast". Republican positions are "provocative" and a President Gingrich would "roil" the Middle East. In contrast, Obama has handled the region "with extreme care and caution."
All of those stories, of course, are legitimate news, whether Finkelstein wants to admit it or not.
So, once again, NewsBusters has proven correct Stephen Colbert's declaration that reality has a well-known liberal bias.
Newsmax Ignores Reality On Trump Debate's Impending Fate Topic: Newsmax
Friday morning, Donald Trump appeared on Don Imus' radio show to say that the Republican presidential debate he is co-sponsoring with Newsmax may not go forward because only two candidates have committed to appearing at it while at least three candidates, including Mitt Romney, have declined.
Newsmax apparently missed that interview, because an article published about four hours later optimistically asserts, "Newsmax and Trump have said they will forge ahead with the debate." No direct quote to that effect from either Trump or Newsmax is included in the article, though it does include a list of major conservative groups and leaders" who have "endorsed the debate vocally."
In the Imus interview, Trump also contradicted an earlier assertion by Newsmax that he wasn't running for president, saying that "They really want me to drop my status as a potential person to run as an independent, and, honestly, I don't think I'm going to do that. I'm not going to drop it."Newsmax has previously insisted that Trump said he would not run for president, but as we pointed out, that's not what he said then, either.
CNS' Jeffrey Puts Words In Obama's Mouth Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com loves to portray President Obama as saying things he did not say by putting words in his mouth. It does so again with a Dec. 7 article by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey:
In a speech delivered at Osawatomie High School in Osawatomie, Kansas, on Tuesday, President Barack Obama argued that while a limited government that preserves free markets "speaks to our rugged individualism" as Americans, such a system "doesn't work" and "has never worked" and that Americans must look to a more activist government that taxes more, spends more and regulates more if they want to preserve the middle class.
That, of course is not what he said. In Obama's actual words:
Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes -- especially for the wealthy -- our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.
Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.
Remember in those years, in 2001 and 2003, Congress passed two of the most expensive tax cuts for the wealthy in history. And what did it get us? The slowest job growth in half a century. Massive deficits that have made it much harder to pay for the investments that built this country and provided the basic security that helped millions of Americans reach and stay in the middle class -- things like education and infrastructure, science and technology, Medicare and Social Security.
Remember that in those same years, thanks to some of the same folks who are now running Congress, we had weak regulation, we had little oversight, and what did it get us? Insurance companies that jacked up people’s premiums with impunity and denied care to patients who were sick, mortgage lenders that tricked families into buying homes they couldn’t afford, a financial sector where irresponsibility and lack of basic oversight nearly destroyed our entire economy.
We simply cannot return to this brand of “you’re on your own” economics if we’re serious about rebuilding the middle class in this country. (Applause.) We know that it doesn’t result in a strong economy. It results in an economy that invests too little in its people and in its future. We know it doesn’t result in a prosperity that trickles down. It results in a prosperity that’s enjoyed by fewer and fewer of our citizens.
Jeffrey is simply spinning Obama's words to demonize him, part of Jeffrey's Obama-hating agenda. Such eagerness to distort the facts is not what a journalist does -- but then, who thinks Jeffrey is a journalist?
Following the recent threats from Nancy Pelosi and the heavy brush with which the media are painting Newt Gingrich as unethical, the Media Research Center is now calling on the networks to seize the moment and report the truth from nearly 13 years ago.
It has been 4,689 days since the IRS formally cleared Newt Gingrich of any violation of tax law. It’s been 4,689 days since ABC, CBS, and NBC have had the opportunity to report it. What the heck. Why not today? Now is the time for these networks to report the truth for once. The networks owe it to the American people to report the fact that in 1999 the IRS completely vindicated Gingrich.
Funny, we recall being lectured by the MRC's Tim Graham that a lack of charges being filed does not equal being "completely vindicated." But that involved the Clintons, not Gingrich, so consider Bozell's aggressive defense yet another MRC double standard.
The issue in the Gingrich IRS case, as Bloomberg details, was whether a college course Gingrich organized through the political group he controlled, GOPAC, used nonprofit funds to promote a partisan agenda, which is illegal. (The House Ethics Committee investigation looked at the same issue but focused on Gingrich personally, and that investigation resulted in Gingrich paying a $300,000 fine.)
As Susie Madrak of Crooks & Liars points out, the IRS revoked the tax exemption of an organization that worked with GOPAC because its funds were clearly being used for partisan purposes -- then, a few years later, under the Bush administration, reversed itself after lobbying from a GOPAC official.
Somehow, we don't think Bozell wants the networks to report that.
Newsmax Already Scraping the Barrel for People To Endorse Trump Debate Topic: Newsmax
Presumably in order to get more presidential candidates to take part in its Donald Trump-moderated debate, Newsmax is scrambling to get prominent conservatives to endorse the debate over well-founded fears that Trump is nothing more than a publicity-seeking reality TV star. So Newsmax has been cranking articles like these:
Newsmax columnists are also contributing to the effort. Richard Viguerie encouraged encouraging Ron Paul to take part. Taking aim at Mitt Romney's refusal to enter the debate, Matt Towery tried the shame route, declaring without evidence that Romney's refusal "has sealed his fate in Florida, where the Newsmax/Trump world dominates." Really? If there's any domination of that "world" anywhere in Florida (and we can't see how that could happen), it's pretty much limited to their Palm Beach base.
Dick Morris weighed in as well; a Dec. 8 article claimed that "those who skip the debate are misjudging the broad reach such a debate would have." The article didn't mention Morris' extensive business relationship with Newsmax, which includes management of Morris' email list and his shilling for Newsmax's financial products.
Newsmax's credibility campaign, however, is already showing signs of straining to find conservatives willing to back it. One article declares:
Republicans should “jump at the opportunity” to share the stage with property mogul Donald Trump in the Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate, says former Ronald Reagan aide Jeffrey Lord.
Trump’s record as a job creator makes him precisely the kind of person the GOP should embrace, Lord writes in an article for the American Spectator.
But Lord has a history of making false and strange claims:
Lord falsely asserted that former Obama administration official Kevin Jennings "was sought out by a 15-year-old boy asking for advice about an affair with an older adult male." In fact, the boy was 16.
Suddenly, The ConWeb Loves PETA Topic: CNSNews.com
Normally, PETA is mentioned in the ConWeb only for purposes of ridicule. For instance, one CNSNews.com article repeats an attack on PETA claiming that "the group's in-your-face advocacy is increasingly calculated to offend, provoke and otherwise show contempt for America's religious faithful." WorldNetDaily columnist Ellis Washington, meanwhile, listed PETA among "liberal mafia pressure groups."
Now, suddenly, WND and CNS love PETA. Why? because they've signed on to their respective freak-outs over a congressional repeal of the sodomy ban in the military, which also covers bestiality.
White House press secretary Jay Carney has received a scolding from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for refusing to respond to a question at the daily news briefing Monday.
The question was raised by Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House and the second-most senior reporter on the White House beat. It concerned an effort in Congress to change laws so that its decision to allow homosexuals who publicly acknowledge their sexual orientation to serve in the military succeeds.
A letter today from PETA's director of communications, Colleen O'Brien, to Carney suggested that "this is no laughing matter."
"In watching last night's news briefing, we were upset to note that you flippantly addressed the recently approved repeal of the military ban on bestiality. With respect, this is no laughing matter. Our office has been flooded with calls from Americans who are upset that this ban has been repealed - and for good reason," wrote O'Brien.
"As we outlined in the attached letter sent yesterday to the secretary of defense, animal abuse does not affect animals only - it is also a matter of public safety, as people who abuse animals very often go on to abuse human beings."
She continued, "I hope that in the future, you will address important issues with sensitivity and not dismiss them with a joke.
Similarly a Dec. 7 CNS article by Pete Winn, who is apparently the CNS bestality correspondent given his obsession with this story:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has written a letter to White House Press Secrtary Jay Carney rebuking him for "flippantly" dismissing a question he was asked at Monday's press briefing about last week's Senate vote approving a bill that would repeal the military's ban on bestiality.
PETA has also writtend to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asking him to make sure that language is added to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to prohibit both bestiality and cruelty to animals.
This, by the way, is at least CNS' sixth story on the bestiality ban. The others:
CNS Blogger Forgets to Mention Which Party Passed Bill He Doesn't Like Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Dec. 2 CNSNews.com blog post, Eric Scheiner rants about a 1996 federal law that "allows the government to work with industry groups to levy a tax on their items with the funds designated for promotion and marketing." Scheiner complains, "Couldn't these industries pool their resources together and do research and marketing on their own?"
Scheiner doesn't seem too keen on noting which politicalparty controlled Congress in 1996, when the law was passed: Republicans.And guess who was the chief sponsor of that bill? Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican.
That omission is surprising, given theobsession Scheiner's employer, the Media Research Center, has with the media failing to highlight party affiliation in selected cases.
Latest Kessler-Keene-Romney Lovefest Mysteriously Disappears, Replaced By Trump-Fluffing Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax published a Dec. 6 column by Ronald Kessler quoting his longtime buddy, former American Conservative Union president and current National Rifle Association president David Keene, touting Mitt Romney's ability to beat Newt Gingrich. But sometime shortly thereafter, Kessler's column had mysteriously disappeared.
It disappeared quick enough that no copy of it currently exists in Google cache. The only place we could find a remnant of it is at Free Republic, which notes only the first two paragraphs:
Ex-CPAC Head Keene: Mitt Will Beat Newt
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will win the Republican presidential nomination, Dave Keene, former chairman of the American Conservative Union, tells Newsmax.
“Romney has the discipline,” Keene says. “”He has the money. He has the organization.”
Why did Kessler's article disappear? After all, it's no secret that both Kessler and Keene are big fanboys of Romney -- in June, Kessler quoted Keene declaring Romney to be the likely GOP candidate, and in September, Kessler quoted Keene calling Rick Perry "a riskier presidential candidate" than Romney.
One possibility we can think of is that Romney is refusing to take part in the Newsmax-Donald Trump presidential debate, and Gingrich did. Anotheris that Keene criticized a willing debate participant in Gingrich.
Kessler, meanwhile, seems quite eager to toe the corporate agenda. His latest column lavishes fawning praise on Trump's new book:
When Donald Trump considered running for president earlier this year, pundits said he was doing it for publicity.
Now in Trump’s new book, “Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again,” we learn what it was really all about: Trump believes President Barack Obama has been a disaster and wants to expose him for what Trump sees as the good of the country.
In doing that, “Time to Get Tough” succeeds as no book has so far. The combination of Trump’s business acumen, his no-nonsense prose, and first-class research have produced an important, devastating portrait of this president and his impact on America.
Of course, anything Trump might have written in his book doesn't disprove the notion that his presidential flirtation had nothing to do with seeking publicity.Indeed, Kessler concedes that "When it comes to garnering publicity, Trump is in a class by himself" -- though he insists that "regardless of how serious he was about a presidential bid, his goal all along was to influence the conversation and have a say in who winds up in the White House."
Then again, as we've detailed, Kessler is a longtime Trump-fluffer and played a lead role in touting the Trump presidential boomlet.
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.