Bozell, MRC Do Not Find Colbert Amusing Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell and his Media Research Center are not amused by Stephen Colbert.
In his January 20 column, the Media Research Center chief railed against Colbert’s "egotistical stunts to promote his own Nielsen ratings," in particular the Colbert Super PAC, which Bozell claimed is presented as "exposing the glaring loopholes in federal (under) regulation of campaign ads” but is really about “Comedy Central hacks” Colbert and Jon Stewart favoring "a government crackdown on negative political speech." Perhaps Bozell is feeling a little vulnerable on that point, having recently likened President Obama to a "skinny ghetto crackhead."
Bozell then denounced how other TV outlets are praising Colbert for his satire, huffing: “Colbert, the critic of political viciousness himself, declared on his show, ‘Sarah Palin is a (bleeping) retard.’ "
But Bozell is taking that statement -- from a February 2010 episode of "The Colbert Report" -- out of context. Colbert had pointed out that Palin had demanded the resignation of then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel for using the term “[bleeping] retards,” but wouldn’t criticize Rush Limbaugh for saying “retard” because he was “using satire.” Colbert then declared that Palin said “it is OK to call someone a retard if, like Rush, you clearly don’t mean it. Which is why we should all come to her defense and say, Sarah Palin is a [bleeping] retard.” Colbert added, “You see? It’s satire.”
Bozell certainly seems to have a tin ear for satire. Then again, the MRC has a record of taking things out of context.
Most notoriously, as we've detailed, the MRC published an ellipsis-laden quote taken from a book by then-New York Times editorial page editor Howell Raines that it claimed denigrated Reagan. The space covered in one ellipsis was 28 pages, falsely portraying a statement that Reagan "couldn’t tie his shoelaces if his life depended on it" -- in which Raines was actually quoting someone referencing Reagan’s inability to tie a fly-fishing fly -- as a personal attack on Reagan’s intelligence by Raines. Eight years after first publishing the misleading excerpt -- during which time it was repeated by such right-wing pundits as Bernard Goldberg – the MRC finally issued a "clarification."
And there's also the MRC's repeated misportrayal of of a Boston Globe writer's criticism of Ted Kennedy as praise by omitting the context in which the criticism appeared.
Then, in a Jan. 29 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham approvingly quoted a National Review writer sniffing that Colbert's satiric exposure of the real nature of lax post-Citizens United election financing regulations through his super PAC "geriatric" in tone and actually funny, just "NPR funny."
That seems like projection, especially coming from the folks who produce the painfully unfunny "NewsBusted" video.
NewsBusters Thinks Obama Wanting To Help Man Find A Job Is A 'Gaffe' Topic: NewsBusters
We've detailed how NewsBusters insists on putting the words of conservatives in their proper context, but if you insist on putting, say, President Obama's words in context, you're simply making excuses for the guy.
NewsBusters keeps up that double standard in a Jan. 30 post by Kyle Drennen that pretty blatantly takes Obama out of context. Under the headline "Not Very 'Interesting': ABC and CBS Morning Shows Ignore Obama Gaffe," Drennen writes:
While NBC correspondent Peter Alexander noted on Tuesday's Today how "Republicans are jumping on the president's choice of words" in telling a woman her husband's long-term unemployment was "interesting" to him, neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS's This Morning bothered to highlight Obama's aloof flub.
Why isn't [CBS' Bob] Schieffer's mind boggled when President Obama seems puzzled by the plight of average Americans?
In fact, Obama said no such thing. Obama said that it was "interesting" that a questioner's husband could not find a job after three years of being unemployed because he was described as a high-tech engineer whose skills are in demand. Here's the full transcript of the exchange:
QUESTIONER: Hi, Mr. President. My husband has an engineering degree with over 10 years of experience, and he was laid off over three years ago and has yet to find a permanent job in his field. My question to you is: Why does the government continue to issue and extend H-1B visas when there are tons of Americans just like my husband with no job?
OBAMA: Well, Jennifer, I don't know your husband's specialty, but I can tell you that there's a huge demand around the country for engineers. Now, obviously, there are different kinds of engineers. So a civil engineer, for example, right now may not be getting as much work because we're not building our infrastructure as much as we should, which is part of the reason why in the State of the Union I said let's put folks to work -- not just construction workers but also engineers and architects, rebuilding our schools and our roads and our bridges and so on. Where you're seeing a lot of specialized demand is in engineering that's related to the high-tech industries. And now, what industry tells me is that they don't have enough highly skilled engineers. If your husband's in that field, then we should get his resume and I'll forward it to some of these companies that are telling me they can't find enough engineers in this field. So it's going to vary, but as a basic matter, there's a huge demand for engineers around the country right now.
QUESTIONER: I understand that. But how -- I mean, given the list that you're getting, I mean, we're not getting that. You said in the State of the Union address for business leaders to ask themselves what can they do to bring jobs back to America. But why do you think that thet H-1B program is so popular with the corporations?
OBAMA: Jennifer, can I ask you what kind of engineer your husband is?
QUESTIONER: He's a semiconductor engineer.
OBAMA: See, it is interesting to me -- and I meant what I said. If you send me your husband's resume, I'd be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there, because the word we're getting is that somebody in that kind of high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something right away. And the H-1B should be reserved only for those companies who say they cannot find somebody in that particular field. So that wouldn't necessarily apply if in fact there are a lot of highly skilled American engineers in that position. I'd be interested -- I will follow up on this, because I'm interested in finding out, and maybe we can get some information as to why your husband has been having trouble getting placed. We want to encourage more American engineers to be placed, and that's part of the reason why it's so important to us to boost American manufacturing.
Only at NewsBusters and its parent Media Research Center would offering to help someone find a job be considered a "gaffe" and a "flub."
Newsmax Dials Back Gingrich-Fluffing After Florida Blowout Topic: Newsmax
Days of Gingrich-fluffingbyNewsmax before the Republican presidential primary in Newsmax's home state of Florida (and even more before the Iowa primary) got Gingrich a 15-point loss. This seems to have motivated Newsmax not to put all its eggs in one presidential basket.
Oh, sure, there are the post-election articles designed to prop up Gingrich in the wake of the loss, such as quoting "political guru" Larry Sabato as climing that Florida was not a "game-ender" for Gingrich’s presidential hopes. There was also the requisite Romney-bashing, such as pointing out that Romney's votes "cost more than three times that of his nearest rival, Newt Gingrich."
But there was also an article coming to Romney's defense. A Feb. 1 article declared that "Sources in the mainstream media were quick to jump on Mitt Romney for saying he doesn’t care about the very poor — without placing the remark in context." But the article did not name any actual "sources in the mainstream" who were taking Romney's words out of the context -- only that it is likely to be taken out of context by Romney's critics.
Also, Romney-fluffer extraordinare Ronald Kessler was let out of his cage to fluff away once more. In a column posted the morning after Romney's Florida win, Kessler proclaimed that there is "no better example" of Romney serving as a "turnaround artist" than when he "turned a failure into a success with the 2002 Winter Olympics" by turning "budget deficit of $379 million" to "a surplus of $56 million."
Unmentioned by Kessler: That surplus was due in no small part to federal subsidies. The Salt Lake City Olympics received $342 million in federal money, more than was given to the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta.
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily's Plagiarism Problem Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND has been stealing the content of others for years, but the theft has seriously ramped up in the past couple of months. Read more >>
MRC Still Insists Gingrich Has Been 'Completely Vindicated' Topic: Media Research Center
In a Jan. 30 Media Research Center item, Kyle Drennen asserts that NBC's Matt Lauer "failed to correct the record with the fact that in 1999 the Internal Revenue Service completely vindicated Gingrich" on charges of using nonprofit money to promote a partisan agenda.
But as we've detailed, this argument conflicts with earlier claims by the MRC that a lack of charges being filed against someone does not equal complete vindication -- well, at least when that person's last name is Clinton.
The issue in the Gingrich IRS case 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.
Will Drennen mention that aspect of the case to his readers? Probably not.
Michael Carl may be a "veteran journalist" with "two master's degrees," according to his WorldNetDaily bio, but that certainly doesn't keep him from getting basic facts wrong.
In a Jan. 31 WND article claiming that Mitt Romney "may have been influenced" by the "radical" Saul Alinsky, Carl uncritically repeats a claim that Alinsky was a "neo-Marxist," later adding that Alinsky had a "Marxist vision." In fact, Alinsky was not an ideologue, stating that "I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism."
Carl also falsely states that "Alinsky dedicated his book 'Rules for Radicals' to the devil." In fact, Alinsky dedicated the book to his wife, Irene; it's only after that dedication and a page of "personal acknowledgements" that a subsequent page appears containing quotes from Rabbi Hillel and Thomas Paine, as well as another quote attributed to Alinsky in which he provides "an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins -- or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom -- Lucifer."
CNS Publishes Gaffney's Hypocritical Defense of Boykin Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com published a Jan. 30 article by Frank Gaffney defending retired military official Jerry Boykin against efforts to remove him from prayer meetings in Ocean City, Maryland (not successful) and West Point (successful) due to his extreme anti-Muslim views. Gaffney complained that the "threat" is that Boykin "might be allowed to exercise his constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech."
But as Right Wing Watch points out, no one is questioning Boykin’s right to say whatever he wants to say about Muslims -- just where he says it. Further, Gaffney has engaged in the same sort of behavior he deplores when it's used against Boykin. From Right Wing Watch:
If Gaffney really believes that groups protesting Boykin’s appearance at West Point are actually stripping Boykin of his right to free speech, then Gaffney is a serial opponent of the First Amendment under his standard.
Last year, Gaffney demanded that the American Conservative Union disinvite Suhail Kahn of Muslims for America from the Conservative Political Action Conference. He also called on CPAC to give the boot to Grover Norquist, who has done advocacy work in the past with Muslim-Americans including Kahn, labeling both of them threats to the conservative movement and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, Liberty Counsel’s Awakening 2011 conference, Gaffney condemned the conference for allowing Norquist to speak there and said that he made it his “personal burden for the past twelve years” to warn conservatives against joining with Norquist, saying, “I must tell you I think this is time to bring it to a stop”:
Therefore, if Gaffney thinks that asking a conference to disinvite a person from speaking at a conference is an attack on the “constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech,” then Gaffney himself has been one of the biggest opponents of the freedom of speech.
On top of that, David Patten hunts down "prominent Ronald Reagan expert" Paul Kengor to claim that Gingrich "is only the third GOP presidential candidate since the Barry Goldwater era who truly understands conservatism."
Newsmax also links to a Los Angeles Times article under the tease "Cuban-Americans Have Grave Doubts About Romney." The word "grave" appears nowhere in the Times article.
Newsmax columnists did their part for their employer's pro-Gingrich agenda:
Chris Friend criticized Romney for bashing Gingrich's plan to establish a manned base on the moon: "Is that the kind of leadership America needs? Think big, and you’re out the door?"
Michael Reagan asserted that "Newt fights. Real Republicans need fighters, not mealy-mouthed compromisers who shrink away from any form of combat."
Meanwhile, Newsmax's longtime champion of Romney, Ronald Kessler, has not written anything about Romney since Jan. 13. Has he been barred from doing so, or is he still pining away for a Donald Trump candidacy?
WND's Vox Day Litters Germany-Bashing With Nazi References Topic: WorldNetDaily
See if you can catch all the Nazi references Vox Day has dumped into his Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily column:
Last week, Germany launched its most aggressive attack on another country since Operation Barbarossa in 1941. Der Spiegel led with a headline titled “Griechenland soll Kontrolle über Haushalt abgeben,” which has been misleadingly translated into English as “Germany proposes Greece relinquish some fiscal powers.” A more accurate translation would be: “Greece shall give up control over its budget.”
Strangely, the countries, which historically opposed German attempts to conquer small European nations, France and the United Kingdom, are generally supporting this 21st century revival of Germany’s policy of Anschluss. The demand for Lebensraum is financial this time rather than physical, but the basic concept remains the same.
Seen in this light, the German demand for the financial annexation of Greece appears as not only absurd and provocative, but intentionally absurd and provocative.
In Europe and in the United States alike, the heyday of the banks is rapidly coming to a close. The looming revolution is not a battle between capitalism and socialism, or a class war between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, but between the corrupt bank-government axis and the alliance of pretty much everyone else.
Day also describes German chancellor Angela Merkel as "Bundeskanzlerin," which, it turns out, is not a Nazi reference; it just sounds like one.
UPDATE: For the benefit of the readers of Vox's blog: The Nazi-esque reference in the final paragraph is to the "bank-government axis," not the bourgeoisie/proletariat stuff.
Bozell's Silly Attack on Tom Brokaw Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell issued a petulant response to NBC's Tom Brokaw over NBC's request that Mitt Romney's campaign remove a clip of Brokaw from one of its ads:
Come on, Tell The Truth, Tom! What really irks you is not that you're part of a presidential ad; it's that you're part of a Republican candidate's ad. You used NBC and your anchor chair as a platform to promote Democratic agendas and delight in Republican setbacks for more than 20 years. And you stood behind that reporting as a fair exercise in journalistic ethics, even when it was far from the truth.
If Tom Brokaw really cared about this kind of bias, he would do something about his own network and especially its sister network MSNBC given their outrageous pro-Obama nightly commentary disguised as news.
Bozell's self-righteous statement would be less silly if he had said the same thing about Fox News when it made a similar request to a campaign.
Thing is, Fox went a lot farther than NBC has -- in 2010, it actually sued the campaign of Democratic Missouri Senate candidate Robin Carnahan over its use of Fox News footage in a campaign ad in which Chris Wallace interviewed Carnahan's opponent, Roy Blunt.
Bozell is too much of a coward to apply his NBC standard to Fox News -- that Fox's action against Carnahan means they're offended to be part of a Democratic candidate's ad, and that Fox serves as a platform to promote Rpublican agendas and delight in Democratic setbacks.
Unless Bozell will do that, there's no reason to take his ranting against Brokaw with any sort of seriousness.
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?