Your Day-Before-The-Primary Newtmax Update Topic: Newsmax
How did Newsmax spend the day before the Florida primary? Why, with more hyping of Newt Gingrich and more bashing of Mitt Romney.
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy got into the act with a Jan. 30 column criticizing Romney's "politics of division":
Even if Mitt Romney wins in Florida on Tuesday, he still may lose the presidency come November.
The old adage of “divide and conquer” may work well in war, but in politics it’s not always a smart strategy, especially in Republican primaries.
Ronald Reagan’s name has been evoked quite often in this race. The Gipper must be turning over in his grave that Mitt Romney has so badly violated his 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”
Um, isn't that pretty much the same thing Gingrich is doing? Ruddy either hasn't noticed or doesn't care. He's in full Gingrich-whitewashing mode:
Sure Newt has baggage, which he wholly admits to. But despite Mitt Romney’s carpet-bombing with negative ads, the truth is that Gingrich has been a staunch conservative over many decades. The same is not true for Mitt Romney.
Also getting play at Newsmax are the usual suspects performing the Gingrich-fluffing role that Newsmax wants to see them in:
The day's Romney-bashing was led with a piece by Martin Gould claiming that "Discrepancies between Romney’s tax returns and the financial disclosure he filed with the Federal Elections Commission when he started his run for the White House last year are raising new questions about whether he has hidden huge sums from the public."
Newsmax even attacked Romney for "refus[ing] to allocate an extra $5 a day to provide kosher meals for poor Jewish nursing-home residents" as Massachusetts governor -- a pretty blatant play targeted at Florida retirees.
Another article discounts the reality of Gingrich's slipping poll numbers, enlisting Ed Gillespie to insist that "the race is still too fluid to call with just hours to go before the start of regular voting."
Will all of Newsmax's editorial bias be enough to help Gingrich? We'll find out soon enough.
CNS Repeats Discredited Number On Cost of Chevy Volt Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Jan. 27 CNSNews.com blog post attacking the Chevy Volt, Matthew Sheffield repeats the right-wing talking point that "According to a recent research study from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, total taxpayer subsidies in the Chevy Volt amount to as much as $250,000 per car."
In fact, that number has been discredited. As the Street points out, it's a crude calculation, dividing the amount of alleged subsidies by the number of Volts sold so far, which ignores the number of Volts to be sold in the future, as well as future vehicles that will incorporate the Volt's technology -- which will drop that per-car cost considerably. Further, Media Matters notes that the Mackinac Center is including in its subsidy costs plants that produce components for vehicles other than the Volt, making it unfair to attribute those subsidies only for the Volt.
It's no wonder that the Mackinac Center -- a right-wing think tank that has received money from the oil industry -- has a growing reputation for low-quality research. But because it supports a right-wing talking point, that "research" is good enough for Sheffield.
Molotov Mitchell Falsely Claims He Doesn't Endorse Murder Topic: WorldNetDaily
Molotov Mitchell's new film, "Gates of Hell" -- which tells the story of a black terrorist group that kills abortionists as revenge for purportedly targeting the black community -- is apparently so outrageous that even anti-abortion activists are distancing themselves from it.
Gerard Nadal writes at the anti-abortion website LifeNews:
Once again, Black Americans are portrayed as gangster thugs whose only depth is how much their ammo clip can hold in their automatic weapons. Blacks are consistently portrayed as hopelessly prone to violence as the only solution to what ails them.
This movie is vile and disgusting. Dr. Alveda King and the national team of Black pro-life activists follow in her uncle’s footsteps of non-violent resistance and education. This movie will set their work back by at least a decade. It is a vigilante apologia, and I genuinely fear that it will whip up young black men and lead some to violence.
Perhaps there are pro-lifers who see this differently than I do, but this movie will be the new face of the pro-life movement on CNN, MSNBC, and every other liberal news outlet.
This has sent Mitchell and his benefactor, WorldNetDaily, into damage control. Mitchell responds in a Jan. 28 WND article:
Mitchell responded, “I was pretty stunned to hear not only that strong of a criticism about a film Dr. Nadal had not even seen, but also the terrible analogy of strangling a baby, used by a pro-lifer to explain his disdain for a film he had not even seen.
“The trailer is, of course, shocking and provocative,” Mitchell said. “That’s what trailers are supposed to be.”
“No, I’m not espousing the murder of anybody,” Mitchell told WND. “The film is not a call to arms; it’s a political thriller. The topic of black genocide, the cover-up, the conspiracy – we were shooting for (pun intended) great art, great entertainment.
“I don’t believe that people will walk away from this show thinking that it’s OK to kill abortionists,” he continued. “People could make the same argument based on an episode of TV’s ’24,’ where Jack Bauer is chasing an Islamic bomber, and when he’s talking to Bauer, he explains why he did it and he gives some reasonable-sounding explanation for why he felt he was defending his nation. It doesn’t mean ’24′ was espousing suicide bombing because it shows more than one side of the story; it’s simply good story telling.”
In fact, Mitchell has espoused the murder of plenty of people, including abortionists.
In a June 2009 video, Mitchell chortled that the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller by an anti-abortion activist was "a fourth-trimester abortion, a lethal lead injection."
Further, as we've detailed, Mitchell endorsed the proposed law in Uganda that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality.
So Mitchell obviously has no moral aversion to the murder of his perceived enemies. So why wouldn't he make a movie that sounds for all the world like the "Turner Diaries" of the anti-abortion movement?
UPDATE: Did we mention that WND is selling Mitchell's vile video?
It's the last weekend before the Florida primary. How did Newsmax ramp up its Newt-fluffing?
Newsmax pounced on Herman Cain's endorsement of Gingrich, delivering not only an article on the event itself -- proclaiming it "a welcome boost for Gingrich, who has found himself having to defend himself against a vicious onslaught of attacks from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney" -- but also scoring an interview with Cain. Neither article nor the interview video made any mention of Cain's puzzling "endorsement" a week earlier of "we the people."
Newsmax also touted Sarah Palin's repeated endorsement of Gingrich and her portrayal of Gingrich being "crucif[ied]" by the "party machines" and the media.
But Newsmax's Newt-fluffing wouldn't be complete with some Romney-bashing. A Jan. 28 article complains that Mitt Romney has "strongly identified himself as a consistent conservative and Republican voter," but "a review of the facts" shows that "Romney as often gone to considerable lengths to distance himself from Republicans and conservatives."
Newsmax also promoted an Insider Advantage poll it claimed showing that Gingrich is "surging" -- from eight points behind Romney to six points behind. This poll, however, runs counter to most polls showing Romney widening his lead over Gingrich to double digits.
Farah Pushes Even More Birther Lies Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah is clearly not going to let the birther stuff go -- no matter how many lies it takes to keep it alive. He writes in his Jan. 27 column about the circus that was the Georgia brither hearing:
For four long years, compelling evidence has been available that challenges the constitutional eligibility of Barack Obama to occupy the White House.
In fact, I would say the evidence that he does not meet the simple requirements of the law is overwhelming.
But it was not until Thursday that the evidence – any of it – was heard in a single courtroom in America.
Not until very recently has any of it been examined by any official public proceeding or reviewed by any agency of government.
In fact, birther issues were heard in a courtroom before -- two years ago. In the case Ankeny v. Governor of Indiana, Indiana state courts were asked to reject Obama's eligibility for the presidency because he is not a "natural born citizen" -- the same argument Farah and WND make. In upholding the lower court's ruling dismissing the complaint, the Indiana Court of Appeals extensively quoted from the Wong Kim Ark ruling before concluding:
Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are “natural born Citizens” for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents. Just as a person “born within the British dominions [was] a natural-born British subject” at the time of the framing of the U.S. Constitution, so too were those “born in the allegiance of the United States  natural-born citizens.”
The Plaintiffs do not mention the above United States Supreme Court authority in their complaint or brief; they primarily rely instead on an eighteenth century treatise and quotations of Members of Congress made during the nineteenth century. To the extent that these authorities conflict with the United States Supreme Court's interpretation of what it means to be a natural born citizen, we believe that the Plaintiffs' arguments fall under the category of "conclusory, non-factual assertions or legal conclusions" that we need not accept as true when reviewing the grant of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
As we've detailed, WND has never reported on this ruling.
Farah went on to whine:
Meanwhile, for our trouble, we have been systematically vilified for providing the facts – a classic case of “killing the messenger.”
That's another lie. As we've also detailed, WND has refused to provide certain facts that conflict with its birther agenda, such as the existence of John Woodman's book debunking birther claims (even though WND's own Jerome Corsi has debated Woodman) and birther lawyer Phil Berg's discredit of the WND-promoted claim that Obama is using a fraudulent Social Secuity number.
And even the "facts" Farah claims WND has "provided" on its birther obsession haveproven to belies more often than not.
Farah wraps up his whining this way:
I wonder what all those scoffers and mockers are going to say if and when Obama’s name does not appear on the ballot in Georgia and perhaps other states?
Will they report it? Will they label these actions “racist”? Will they continue to misrepresent the facts and the truth?
You mean like Farah and WND do with any information that doesn't fit in with their birther obsession?
Craig Bannister writes in a Jan. 25 CNSNews.com blog post:
Last night, Pres. Obama reaffirmed his determination to protect our country’s children from the dangers of mercury, despite his vigorous defense of a mandate that all Americans put more of it into their homes.
“I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury poisoning,” Obama promised in last night’s State Of The Union address.
But, Pres. Obama, apparently, isn’t concerned with the health risk he’s subjecting Americans to by requiring them to put mercury light bulbs in their homes – a risk his own EPA even warns about on its Web site.
First, the light bulb efficiency law did not come from Obama -- it was passed by Congress in 2007 and signed into law by President Bush (a Republican, in case Bannister has forgotten).
Second, the law does "mandate" that "all Americans" use "mercury light bulbs" -- an apparent reference to compact fluorescent lights -- it simply mandates efficient bulbs. LED bulbs and halogen incandescent bulbs are both more efficient and do not contain mercury.
A Jan. 25 CNS "news" article by Elizabeth Harrington takes a similarly false tack, asserting that Obama supports "replacing the mercury-free incandescent light bulb with the Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL), which, when broken, can emit mercury vapor into the air." Harrington makes no mention of LED or halogen bulbs.
This is nothing but cheap -- and false -- fearmongering by a right-wing propaganda mill that cares nothing about the facts.
In a Jan. 23 NewsBusters post, Hadro cleverly spotted how "CNN's Kareen Wynter aired a gushing portrait of an openly-gay beauty pageant contestant, emphasizing her mission to "make a statement" about her orientation," thus continuing CNN's pattern of being "in the tank for gay rights."
On Jan. 26, Hadro's eagle eye found that CNN "aired a coming-out story that could have doubled as a promotional piece for the GLBT community." This happens to be "the openly-gay grandson of televangelist Oral Roberts." Hadro complained that, according to the grandson, "conservatives are wrong on gay marriage and his goal is to change their minds. And CNN gave him the air time to do exactly that."
Yeah, we wouldn't want people to learn something that may conflict with their beliefs, would we?
And really, Hadro has nothing better to do with his life than complain when gays appear on CNN?
Newsmax is also hammering away at Mitt Romney. A Jan. 27 article by Andrew Henry is a misleading attack on Romney by trying to link him to Goldman Sachs, which "received over $10 billion in emergency lending and bailouts from the Federal Reserve after the 2008 financial meltdown."
Henry wrote that Goldman Sachs is the "top donor" to the campaign, then states: "Goldman doesn’t contribute directly to candidates like Romney, but does so through its employees." Henry offers no evidence that Goldman contributes to Romney or any other candidate "throughs it employees." That used to be illegal, and it may still be. So Henry is accusing Goldman of behavior that may be illegal.
Late on Jan. 27, Newsmax posted an article by Dave Eberhart headlined "Romney Was Manager and Board Member of Corp Guilty of Medicare Fraud," noting that Romney's Bain Capital "purchased and ran the Damon Corporation, which pled guilty to Federal conspiracy charges -- as a result of tens of millions of dollars in systemic Medicare fraud."
This is a disingenuous attack by Newsmax, considering its own hypocritical record. As we detailed, in the 2010 Republican primary for Florida governor, Newsmax supported Bill McCallum against Rick Scott, about whom Newsmax raised the subject of Medicare fraud conducted while Scott headed the hospital firm Columbia/HCA. But when Scott defeated McCallum, Newsmax flip-flopped and endorsed Scott in the general election and was silent about the Medicare fraud stuff.
On The Radio Topic: Media Research Center
ConWebWatch's Terry Krepel will be appearing Saturday morning on Media Matters Radio to talk about the Media Research Center's new anti-media "Tell the Truth" campaign. It's on SiriusXM channel 127, starting at 10 a.m. ET.
WND's Farber Smears Journalists As Nazis, 'Wilders' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Barry Farber is way, way too excited about Newt Gingrich's attack on journalists who dare ask him about his background. From Farber's Jan. 24 WorldNetDaily column:
Just as Russia thought it was going to have an easy conquest of tiny Finland and Italy thought it would have an easy Greece and the assembled Arabs thought they’d have an easy Israel, John King opened the final South Carolina debate by solemnly detonating the Sleaze-Bomb – something like, “Your second wife, in an interview with ABC accused you of wanting an open marriage.” King fully expected Gingrich to fidget uncomfortably and offer a simpering re-affirmation that he’d “made mistakes” and “come to God.” Little did he expect Gingrich to smite him with the hammer of Thor. Newt sprang the length of his chain and sank his fangs into the hapless hide of, not just poor John King, but CNN, ABC and that whole rotten underbelly of the media. And the audience, including Romney supporters, went joyously insane.
Gingrich was in no mood to take prisoners. When John King desperately tried to wiggle out by protesting, “It wasn’t our network that did that interview!”, Newt chased him into his spider-hole. “John,” he said, “You CHOSE that to open with.” Two thoughts: Churchill said, “The Germans are always at your throat or at your feet.” Not even the World-War-II Germans could get from throat-to-feet as quickly as CNN’s John King. The other thought was the rampage of the teenage “wilders” in New York’s Central Park who left a fortunately-still-alive-and-recoverable female jogger for dead after a merciless attack. One of those young defendants when caught wailed in tones reminiscent of John King, “I didn’t do anything. I just held her legs!”
The infamy of our leftist media should be jack-hammered into America’s soul. Former presidential candidate John Kerry had a marital upscuddle. Did a major network plot to have that revealed two days before a major primary? Where was the outrage when Dan Rather tried to destroy President George W. Bush with phony documentation? The cessation of pain is a blessing. ABC’s George Stephanopolous should write a thank-you note to Newt Gingrich and John King for taking the spotlight and scorch-light away from his own insipid attempts to turn ABC’s debate into a trap for Mitt Romney.
Americans! Conservatives! Fair-minded folk everywhere. Please, HANG ON TO THIS VICTORY. Don’t let it become “One day on the campaign trail.” Lift it high. Let it be our Lexington-and-Concord, our Guadalcanal, our bust-out from the Bulge, our Mount Surabachi, our Battleship-Missouri-in-Tokyo-Bay.
Will the media elite be deterred by their defeat at Gingrich’s sharpened tongue-point? Farm boys learn not to relieve themselves upon electrified fences.
Farber tried to reel things back in at the end:
I don’t mean to paint my shameful colleagues as Nazis, wartime Japanese or vengeful Jihadists. They’re catastrophically misguided Americans. If elemental fairness can’t make them behave better to conservatives, maybe a few more Gingrich moments can.
Oh, please, Barry -- you absolutely meant to do that. You want the media to be afraid to criticize conservatives, a strategy that's better known as working the refs.
But let's not pretend, Barry, that you're less of a hack than those you criticize. You write for WND, after all, whose factually and ethically challenged policies and agendas you have no courage to criticize -- the very definition of hackery.
Another Year, Another Misleading MRC 'Tell the Truth!' Campaign Topic: Media Research Center
It's another election year, so you know what that means -- time for the Media Research Center to roll out another ineffective anti-media campaign.
As we've documented, previous "Tell the Truth!" campaigns have exempted the MRC itself from that truth-telling stuff. The 2010 campaign was particularly lame, with lots of billboard trucks and a poorly planned protest against the New York Times and NBC in New York.
This time around, the MRC is suggesting things will be different, with even more money thrown at this year's crusade:
Today, the Media Research Center announced the launch of a $5 million campaign to document and expose media bias and its role in the 2012 presidential election, including a $2.5 million advertising budget.
“Tell The Truth! 2012” is the largest effort the MRC has undertaken in its 25-year history. It will also be the largest social media effort ever undertaken by conservatives, via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, the blogosphere and the MRC’s own MRCTV.org.
Yes, there will be billboard trucks:
Billboards and mobile truck billboards planned for Charlotte, NC and Tampa, FL for the week of conventions; Washington DC for a month leading up to the November election
And no MRC press release would be complete without a Brent Bozell rant:
“It’s time for Americans to take a stand, once and for all, against this leftist media,” contends Brent Bozell, MRC President and Founder. “It’s time for Americans to stand up and declare, once and for all, that the leftwing so-called ‘news’ media are no longer going to pick winners and losers. It’s time for Americans to demand of our news media that they return to the business of reporting – accurately, fairly, honestly.”
Bozell cited examples of recent bias against GOP candidates today (Thursday) in a tele-news conference with national media reporters from around the country.
"Who was Michelle Obama sleeping with before Barack Obama? If you think that's an outrageous question -- and I'd agree -- then why did reporters ask it about Mrs. Santorum?"
"Reporters" actually means one reporter at Newsweek, who found out that before she married Rick Santorum, Karen Santorum had a six-year relationship with an abortion provider 40 years older than she was. It appears to have been an accurate, fair and honest report -- Bozell offers no evidence that it wasn't. As with Newt Gingrich's behavior toward his ex-wives, Bozell simply doesn't want the question asked. He wants no criticism whatsoever of conservatives.
Bozell's conflating this with looking into Michelle Obama's background is silly -- unlike with Karen Santorum, nobody's ever credibly accused Michelle of sleeping with an abortion doctor old enough to be her father, and if she did, it would certainly be as newsworthy as Karen Santorum's six-year dalliance.
Bozell misled again on purported attacks in a Jan. 26 CNSNews.com article on the crusade:
“It happened with Herman Cain--a hundred stories on the networks about his alleged dalliances, before a single source came forward," he said.
But we didn't need a source to "come forward" because we knew that Cain's then-employer, the National Restaurant Association, considered the accusations serious enough to pay settlements to two women.
Bozell concludes theMRC press release by saying that "the demand to the press is simple: 'Tell the truth. Be fair, honest and honorable.'" He should try that himself sometime.
Newsmax Splits Hairs to Whitewash Gingrich's Ethics Problems Topic: Newsmax
Newtmax -- er, Newsmax's Gingrich hype machine rolls on in a direction few fear to tread: explaining away Gingrich's ethics problems as House speaker.
A Jan. 25 article by local Republican shill David Patten engages in a huge game of hair-splitting:
Associates of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are stepping forward to rebut accusations from Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney that he resigned in “disgrace” and paid an ethics “fine.”
Gingrich insisted during a candidates debate Monday that reports he was fined $300,000 for House ethics violations are inaccurate and records back up his claim the payment was not a fine.
A Newsmax examination of the House Ethics Committee report, and the record of the House debate in January 1997 as recorded in the Congressional Record, supports Gingrich’s contention that the $300,000 he paid was a “reimbursement” or “sanction” related to legal fees, but not a fine or admission of any wrongdoing.
Many media accounts continue to refer to the payment as a fine, although the official Ethics Committee report on the matter, which the House accepted in its sanction of Gingrich, clearly indicated otherwise.
That'sd really what Patten's entire article -- insisting that the $300,000 was not a fine for a violation.
This was followed by a similar, unbylined article:
Despite ongoing allegations to the contrary, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was completely cleared by the Internal Revenue Service in February 1999 of politically driven allegations that he earned money by teaching a college course that was partisan rather than educational.
Newsmax also did another "exclusive interview" with Gingrich largely devoted to Obama-bashing, followed by an article on a "newly surfaced video" showing that 'no less a figure than Nancy Reagan asserted that President Ronald Reagan passed the “torch” of Reagan conservatism to Newt Gingrich — belying efforts by Mitt Romney supporters to cast Gingrich as anti-Reagan."
Newsmax really is completely in the tank for Gingrich, isn't it?
But if somebody holds the right-wing media to those same standards, NewsBusters freaks out.
Case in point: The Washington Post's Erik Wemple had the temerity to point out that conservative media outlets have all but ignored the story of a campaign manager for a Democratic congressional candidate in Arkansas whose cat was killed and the body found with the word "liberal" scrawled on it.
NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick, in true MRC double standard form, didn't take too kindly to this criticism, even though the website he works for does the very same thing on a regular basis. In a Jan. 25 post, Gladnick quickly played the misdirection card, accusing the media of ignoring some other story convenient to right-wing talking points that is "much too chock full of actual facts," as opposed to "the liberal dead cat story in which the perpetrator (and motive) is still unknown."
Finally, Gladnick whined: "So tell me Mr. Wemple, just how many of those media outlets, including your own Washington Post, have yet to report on the very REAL political scandal in Iowa? When you find that answer, please send us a telegram."
NewsBusters just can't handle their own medicine, can they?
CNS Ratchets Up Its Slobbering Over Mark Levin Topic: CNSNews.com
It actually takes two writers -- Susan Jones and Greg Gwyn-Williams -- to crank out a painfully fluffy Jan. 24 CNSNews.com article carrying the headline "1,500 ‘Very Pleasant’ People Wait in Snow for Mark Levin Book-Signing." And yes, the article is really all about how nice the people waiting in line for a Levin book-signing are.
The article is illustrated with pictures taken from Levin's website, so one has to wonder if Levin paid for this press release-esque placement.
This was followed by a blog post by Craig Bannister touting how Levin leads a group of three right-wing writers topping "the Barnes & Noble adult, nonfiction, hardcover bestseller list." That's right -- Bannister has to wander all the way over to B&N to find a bestseller list that conformed to his ideology.
This, in turn, was followed by a Jan. 26 article by Susan Jones declaring that Levin's book will debut at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list--in four different nonfiction categories."
All of this comes in the wake of CNS editor Terry Jeffrey's fawning interview of Levin last week.