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Monday, December 19, 2011
Newsmax's Root Peddles Anti-Obama Myths
Topic: Newsmax

Wayne Allyn Root writes in his Dec. 14 Newsmax column:

First, we now know that since Obama’s stimulus started, America has actually lost about 2 million jobs. So for Obama to be telling the “technical” truth, it must be true that 3 million new jobs were created, while 5 million jobs were lost — for a net loss of 2 million jobs. Technically, Obama could be telling the truth, the kind of truth told only by lawyers.

Secondly, this awful math sounds remarkably similar to the math of leftist environmentalist politicians in Spain. Millions of “green jobs” have been created in Spain, the environmentalists claim. Yet unemployment in Spain is over 20 percent.

A recent scientific study unearthed the true reason for this disparity. It proved that for every “green job” created, 3 regular jobs in the traditional economy were lost. Gotta love the “new math” devised by Kool-Aid drinking liberals the world over, huh?

In fact, the study in question was not terribly "scientific" -- the study's author has been criticized for his lack of transparency, his "non rigorous methodology," and his ties to think tanks funded by the oil industry.

Root continued:

Third, let’s assume Obama is 100 percent correct in his belief that his masterful economic plan created 3 million jobs. We know that his stimulus package spent about $750 billion dollars of taxpayer money. Let’s do the simple math. Three million jobs divided into $750 billion dollars equals a cost of about $250,000 per job. Yes, I said $250,000 per job.

While FDR created the “New Deal,” President Obama has created a really “Bad Deal.” By spending $250,000 per job, this is the worst deal in taxpayer history. And that’s only if you believe 3 million jobs were actually created. They weren’t.

In fact, PolitiFact states that such simplistic per-job calculations are misleading because the stimulus money went toward a range of projects and programs including tax breaks, not just for salaries.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:11 PM EST
CNS' Jeffrey Dishonestly Attacks Public School Salaries

Terry Jeffrey writes in a Dec. 14 article:

Public school teachers receive greater average hourly compensation in wages and benefits than any other group of state and local government workers and receive more than twice as much in average hourly wages and benefits as workers in private industry, according to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Public primary, secondary and special education teachers are paid an average of $56.59 per hour in combined wages and benefits, BLS said in the report released last week.

That is slightly more than twice the $28.24 in average hourly wages and benefits paid to workers in private industry.

That's a dishonest comparison. Jeffrey has cherry-picked statistics to compare public teachers to all private workers, a comparison that does not account for the higher education levels and responsibilities that teachers have over, say, a private-industry laborer.

Further, as many commenters on the article's comment thread have noted, teachers typically work many hours at home grading homework and preparing for class -- something that may not be accounted for in the BLS' numbers, thus further skewing things.

But then, dishonest reporting is what Jeffrey is all about these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EST
Bozell Plays the Buckley Card
Topic: Media Research Center

Having seen its full-throated defense of Herman Cain go for naught -- turns out people didn't like the sexual scandals that were piling up against him, no matter how many times Dan Gainor insisted the victims were just after book deals -- the Media Research Center needed to find someone else to defend.

That lucky recipient turned out to be the surging Newt Gingrich. MRC chief Brent Bozell pounded out a NewsBusters post complaining that the TV networks failed to report that 13 years ago, Gingrich was "completely vindicated" in an IRS investigation of the funding practices of the group he headed at the time, GOPAC. But as we pointed out, this ignores that the House Ethics Committee looked at the same issue and decided to fine, or that 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.

Bozell then dedicated his Dec. 14 column to defending Gingrich against "the media elite and the Republican ruling class," declaring that Gingrich is "an older man, a wiser man, but a man that has a vision of both American history and the American future — and that's what scares the establishment."

Then, an outlet that is neither the media elite nor the Republican ruling class spoke out. National Review devoted an entire issue of its magazine to inveighing against Gingrich, citing his “impulsiveness, his grandiosity, his weakness for half-baked (and not especially conservative) ideas.”

That, obviously, could not stand as far as Bozell was concerned -- so he played the Buckley card. Bozell's father was married to the sister of William F. Buckley, founder and longtime editor of National Review. Bozell insisted that Buckley would have never said such mean things about Gingrich. From a Dec. 15 article by Michael Chapman at Bozell's

“National Review's endorsement of Romney & Huntsman proves only that this is no longer the magazine of William F. Buckley Jr.  My uncle would be appalled,” said Bozell in postings on Facebook and on Twitter.

In its Dec. 14 “The Editors" page, National Review published an editorial entitled “Winnowing the Field,” which flippantly dismissed many of the strong conservatives running in the race for the GOP presidential nomination and essentially gave its conservative imprimatur--for what it’s worth these days--to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman.


National Review was long the flagship of the conservative movement throughout the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. But when William F. Buckley Jr. retired, the magazine slowly lost its intellectual vigor and conservative acumen. Its latest political tack indicates that NR is philosophically lost at sea.

Bozell is engaging in the same sort of Heathering his MRC minions employ against conservative figures who deviate even slightly from right-wing doctrine. Since the offender this time is a publication instead of a person, Bozell decided to make it personal by invoking his family history, something he rarely does.

This also raises the question: Did Bozell violate the MRC's 501(c)3 tax-exempt status by using his "news" organization, CNS, to get his pro-Gingrich message out? It wasn't until the 11th paragraph of Chapman's press release-esque article that he got around to mentioning that Bozell headed the organization that published his article. Disguising Bozell's attack as a "news" article, albeit one that would not qualify as "news" at a real news organization, may not afford enough of a defense here.

Plus, there's the whole using-company-resources-for-personal-purposes thing going on here. Bozell's virulent reaction suggests that Gingrich is as close a friend as Cain was, which makes one wonder if Bozell is rushing to Gingrich's defense as a personal favor.

Lots of questions, not many answers forthcoming. All we really know is that Bozell is trying to play kingmaker, and we know who he wants to be king.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EST
Sunday, December 18, 2011
WND: Media Reporting On Birther Banner Fail, Therefore It Was A Success
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is in full spin mode on its epic birther banner fail.

If you'll recall, last weekend WorldNetDaily spent an undisclosed amount of money to fly an airplane over Cowboys Stadium carrying a banner reading, "Where's the real birth certificate?" But as was clear from the video WND posted to document the event (shot from another aircraft that WND presumably spent even more money to hire), the banner was clearly flying over an enclosed stadium, and the mostly empty parking lots indicate that it few well before the start of the evening game. All told, few people who attended the game even saw it.

But that's not what WND wants you to think. A Dec. 17 article forwards the mostly optimistically possible take on this embarrassment, in response to CNN's Anderson Cooper joining the numerous others who have ridiculed this effort: "[Cooper] didn't mention that the roof of the dome typically is open during the pregame time period when the banner flew, and even as it closed, those fans presumably walked from the vehicles in the parking to the stadium before the game when the banner was flying."

But WND offers no evidence that the stadium's roof was ever open during the time WND flew its banner -- indeed, the video evidence WND provides shows conclusively that it wasn't.

WND then shifted into there-is-no-such-thing-as-bad-publicity mode:

Joseph Farah, WND CEO, noted that while CNN was lamenting the fact that the video was of a banner to "nowhere" and it was a waste of money to fly banners no one would see, CNN was, in fact, publicizing that video, and putting it before viewers.

"Isn't that funny – as CNN airs video footage of the stunt! I know CNN's ratings are hurting, too, but Cooper provided a virtual infomercial – including pitching 'Where's the real birth certificate?' yard signs on sale in the WND Superstore," Farah, who originated the banner idea, said.

Shorter Farah: Sure, we look like creepily obsessed Obama-haters, but we got our message out!

UPDATE: Farah keeps up this up-is-down attitude in his Dec. 17 column, asserting without evidence that "not only did most of the 95,000 or so fans see the banner because they arrived early to the game for tail-gate parties and the best parking spots, but, thanks to the media reports like Olbermann's and dozens of others, the banner was actually viewed by millions."

Farah adds: "When people are sniping at you, you probably must pose some threat to them." We feel that way when Farah snipes at us.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 18, 2011 9:41 PM EST
Newsmax's Hirsen: Gingrich Is Just As Cool As 'Big Bang Theory'
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen seems a little desperate to praise Newt Gingrich in his Dec. 13 Newsmax column. Straining for a suitable pop-culture reference, Hirsen declares that Gingrich has the same sort of "geeky intellectualism" as the cast of the sitcom "Big Bang Theory."

No, really:

The plotline of "Big Bang" revolves around two roommates, experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter and theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, who are friends with aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrappali.

The intellectual prowess and comic geekiness of the four characters have transformed them into pop icons that amazingly share quite a few traits with former House Speaker Gingrich.

The GOP presidential candidate has a Ph.D. from Tulane and has worked as a professor of both history and geography. He famously co-authored and initiated the "Contract with America," which resulted in the Republican revolution of the 1990s.

It is also true that at think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute and Hoover Institution, Gingrich is a well-respected policy wonk.

That being said, his bona fide coolness comes from the same genuine curiosity about the world that attracts television audiences to the Sheldon character on "Big Bang." It turns out that, just like Sheldon, Gingrich has a deep love for science, particularly quantum physics.


The GOP presidential front-runner emanates a coolness that the current culture understands and admires, thanks to the achievements of real-life uber-nerds Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and the like.

Gingrich’s campaign would be well served to check into whether a Star Trek convention is scheduled any time soon in Iowa.

Uh, yeah.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EST
Saturday, December 17, 2011
MRC's Graham Still Mad At the Smothers Brothers After 40 Years
Topic: NewsBusters

Feel the bitterness in Tim Graham's Dec. 13 NewsBusters post:

George Clooney just can't get over the glory days when CBS was a powerful disseminator of left-wing propaganda. First, he fictionalized the glories of stone-faced anchorman Edward R. Murrow fighting the red-baiters. Next up is glorifying the Smothers Brothers and their CBS comedy hour and how they "spoke truth to power" with communist musicians like Pete Seeger singing "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" against the Vietnam War.

Unlike Graham, we have actually read the David Bianculli book upon which Clooney will base his movie.The Smothers Brothers were actually pioneering the use of political satire on network TV (and, this being the late 1960s, network TV was pretty much all the TV there was). And CBS, far from being "a powerful disseminator of left-wing propaganda," did everything it could to water down or scuttle the show's political statements and ultimately canceled the show because of it.

Amazing that Graham is actually paid to spew such ignorant hatred, but there you go. This stuff happened 40 years ago, Tim! It's time to move on!

Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 AM EST
CNS Screws Up Pelosi's Reference To 'Macroeconomic Advisers'

A Dec. 15 article by Edwin Mora went after Nancy Pelosi for saying that an extension of unemployment insurance "is not only good for individuals. It has a macroeconomic impact. As macroeconomic advisers have stated, it would make a difference of 600,000 jobs to our economy." Mora added, "Pelosi did not name those 'macroeconomic advisers.'"

In fact, as Media Matters detailed, Pelosi was not speaking generically. Macroeconomic Advisers is the name of an independent consulting firm whose research states exactly what Pelosi said.

CNS has done this sort of thing before. Last year, it repeatedly misinterpreted then-Obama administration nominee Erroll Southers' reference to the far-right Christian Identity movement, falsely claiming that Southers thought groups having a "Christian identity" were security threats.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 AM EST
Friday, December 16, 2011
MRC Condones Sexist Behavior As Long As It's Not Worse Than What Muslims Do
Topic: Media Research Center

In the midst of a Dec. 14 TimesWatch tirade criticizing New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for committing the offense of saying something less than laudatory about Israel, the Media Research Center's Clay Waters takes things in a weird direction.

After quoting Friedman pointing out that ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel have persuaded local bus companies to create segregated buses in which "women are required to enter through the bus back doors and sit in the back of the bus, as well as 'dress modestly,'"Waters retorts: "As if much harsher kinds of repression of women aren’t an everyday occurrence in other Middle Eastern countries."

Really? That's Waters' standard? Such blatant discrimination is OK since it supposedly is not worse than what "other Middle Eastern countries" -- read: Muslims -- do? 

A more sane response would be to criticize discrimination in all its forms, no matter who is perpetrating it. But MRC employees are not exactly known for their sanity, are they?

Posted by Terry K. at 5:02 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 18, 2011 10:50 AM EST
AIM Article at Breitbart Site Featured Nazi-Era Anti-Semitic Image
Topic: Accuracy in Media

A Dec. 14 Accuracy in Media article by Logan Churchwell opined on the supposed "increased risk of bias" in the Associated Press' new drive for "distinctiveness." But when the article was reposted at Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism site, it received an extra feature: Nazi-era anti-Semitic propaganda.

As Media Matters details, the image is based on an anti-Semitic cartoon in a Nazi-era magazine (which explains why the big guy looks more than a little stereotypically Jewish). The image has since been deleted without explanation and replaced with another image.

It's unclear whose fault this is, but the image appears in at least two other Big Journalism posts, according to Media Matters.

UPDATE: Big Journalism is sort of taking responsibility for the image, claiming it was removed after Breitbart editor-in-chief Joel Pollak ("an Orthodox Jew with a degree in Jewish Studies, so he tends to pick up on these things") noticed it. But Media Matters first noted Big Journalism's use of the image back in March.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 16, 2011 3:39 PM EST
Dear Dan Gainor...
Topic: Media Research Center

Should someone who holds the title of T. Boone Pickens Fellow really be spending his time complaining about that some other billionaire spends money to further his favorite causes?

Just wondering.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:55 AM EST
Newsmax Just Can't Stop Fluffing Trump
Topic: Newsmax

After Donald Trump burned Newsmax by abandoning their planned joint debate of Republican presidential candidates, why the heck would Newsmax continue to engage in Trump-fluffing?

We don't know, but that's what Newsmax has decided to do. A Dec. 15 article touts how "Donald Trump’s new book 'Time to Get Tough' is garnering praise from Rush Limbaugh, America's most-listened-to talk radio host.

The article is credited to "Newsmax Wires," but one has to wonder what self-respecting news wire would publish such something that is nothing more than a press release.

Then again, Newsmax's willingness to engage in more Trump-fluffing after Trump so publicly and humiliatingly dissed it doesn't exactly serve as a display of self-respect, does it?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EST
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Criticism of A Clinton Proves MRC Thesis Wrong (Not That MRC Will Admit It)
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Dec. 13 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd highlights how the Washington Post panned Chelsea Clinton's debut as a TV correspondent on NBC. The reviewer "clearly didn't pull his punches in his December 13 review," Shepherd wrote, "hitting the former president and his long-suffering consort the Secretary of State."

Um, doesn't this harsh review discredit the entire raison d'etre of NewsBusters' parent organization, the Media Research Center, that "the media," and the Washington Post in particular, has an ingrained liberal bias? If the paper was truly biased, wouldn't it have not published the review in the first place?

Alas, Shepherd doesn't seem interested in answering that question -- he's too excited by the Clinton-bashing to care.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:29 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2011 8:30 PM EST
Aaron Klein's Writing Partner Insists Her Obama Conspiracy Isn't Loony
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Right Wing Watch catches Brenda J. Elliott on Phyllis Schlafly's radio show promoting the book she co-wrote with WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein, "Red Army," which according to WND documents how "a radical socialist movement has been quietly infiltrating the major institutions of American power: our schools, our military, our economy, our media, and Congress itself."

On the show, Elliott called President Obama a "useful idiot" who is nothing more than a tool for said socialist conspiracy. She continued: "Honestly, folks, it is a conspiracy. Two people is all it takes for a conspiracy and an intent to make something happen, that’s a conspiracy. The word conspiracy theory has been really distorted, it’s been made to sound like something loony, and it’s not loony, it’s not loony!"

Aaron Klein's co-author, ladies and gentlemen.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EST
MRC Complains About Accurate Statement by David Frum
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Dec. 12 Media Research Center item, Matt Hadro complained: "Faux-Republican David Frum took a shot at Fox News viewers on Sunday when he told CNN's Howard Kurtz that 'people who watch a lot of Fox come away knowing a lot less about important world events.'"

Hadro didn't mention that there's evidence to back up Frum's claim. Last month, a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found that Fox News led people to be even less informed than those who say they don’t watch any news at all.

Hadro also grumbled about Frum's assertion that through the conservative media, "conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics." Of course, the MRC has a horse in this game (unmentioned by Hadro) through its "news" operation,, and its Obama-hating editor Terry Jeffrey.

Still, Hadro grumbled:

So Frum thinks that the conservative media are presently worse off in this regard than the liberal media, who are nevertheless catching up to them. Apparently, Frum has not seen MSNBC's "Lean Forward" promos which incessantly tout the network's liberal values of its prime-time lineup – including new host Al Sharpton laughably blaming Republicans for the down economy.

Meanwhile, the MRC has moved this year to promoting CNS' conservative bias, complete with banner ads right-wing radio hosts singing its praises:

And this is different from MSNBC how, exactly?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:12 AM EST
Newsmax Trying to Salvage Debate (Shhh, Don't Tell Newsmax Readers!)
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is trying to salvage its Republican presidential debate -- but it's not telling Newsmax readers about it.

When Donald Trump pulled out of serving as moderator for the planned Dec. 27 debate, Newsmax editorial director Steve Coz made only a non-committal statement about the future of the debate at Newsmax itself -- which, at this writing, is the most recent article containing the "Trump Debate" tag at Newsmax. He has, oddly, been more forthcoming with other news outlets about Newsmax's plans.

Coz told CBS News, "We're full steam ahead. ... We're obviously disappointed more candidates didn't come forward... [but] what everyone is ignoring is that we have the frontrunner."

Coz told the Huffington Post's Michael Calderone: "We, Newsmax and ION Television, are actively exploring having a forum for candidates on the 27th or at a later date. ... Obviously with Trump bowing out the situation has changed."

Why isn't Coz reporting any of this at his own website? Should Newsmax be the go-to site for news about Newsmax's debate?

Then again, Coz used to be editor of the National Enquirer, so maybe he's a little unclear about how this "news" stuff actually works.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EST

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