NewsBusters' Double Standard on Media Outlet Operator Bias Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 22 NewsBusters post -- headlined "Bias Alert -- Scott Whitlock is upset at the idea that Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor and former head of the Democratic National Committee, is part of an investor group looking to purchase the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. Whitlock approvingly quotes a former Inquirer employee saying that if thesale goes through, "Essentially, the Inquirer will cease to exist as a legitimate newspaper."
By that same standard, Fox News is not a legitimate news outlet because it was created and is being run by a former Republican operative, Roger Ailes.
Don't expect Whitlock or anyone else at the Media Research Center to concede that little truth.
Meanwhile, Newsmax's resident Romney cheerleader, Ronald Kessler, is trying to do damage control in a Feb. 22 column, enlisting Romney adviser Bay Buchanan to spin away conservatives' concerns about Romney. One way this happens is to attack one of Romney's critics, columnist Charles Krauthammer:
As a result, Buchanan says she agrees with columnist Charles Krauthammer’s assessment that the “real problem” with Romney is that “he doesn’t have fluency with conservative ideas.”
In the same vein, Krauthammer does not have fluency with the world of business.
“I wonder what would happen if you put Charles Krauthammer in a room with 20 CEOs,” Buchanan says. “He would speak as he does on television and would have great depth of information, because that is what he has done, but if they said let’s talk about the earnings of a couple of companies, you’d suspect he would probably have a basic line or two but would not come across as being fluent in the subject of corporate earnings.”
What counts, Buchanan says, is that Romney governed in Massachusetts as a conservative both fiscally and socially and lives conservative values in his family life.
“The social conservatives of Massachusetts have attested to the fact that he not only was good, but he was a champion of their causes,” she says. “As governor, he was very intent on making certain the business environment was healthy so that the private sector could thrive. In addition, he cut taxes and balanced the budget. That’s exciting to conservatives.”
Buchanan continues the spin by arguing that no candidate, including those conservatives are pining for to get into the race, is a perfect conservative. And there's even more Romney-fluffing:
Buchanan says Romney has improved his delivery dramatically since he last ran but is highly competitive and intent on improving.
“Mitt Romney is as smart and competent as individuals come, and his experience is exactly what we need, but he doesn’t communicate like a politician,” Buchanan says.
“If we really want somebody from the outside who is accomplished, who is competent, who has proven that he not only understands the economy but knows what needs to be done to turn it around and to create jobs and put this country back on track fiscally, we have our man,” she adds.
It looks like Newsmax is going to let Kessler do his Romney-fluffing more often now, after apparently blocking him from doing so in order to promote the now-collapsing Newt Gingrich.
This is not to say, however, that Newsmax has completely given up on Gingrich. A Feb. 23 article by Jim Meyers fawns over Gingrich's "bold new energy program designed to lower fuel prices and bring down the cost of gasoline to just $2.50 a gallon."
MRC Unclear on Definition of Incest Topic: Media Research Center
A Feb. 22 MRC Culture & Media Institute item by Lauren Thompson carries the screaming headline "TeenNick Endorses Teen Incest, Casual Sex in New Season Of ‘Degrassi’." As with a lot of CMI freakouts, that's not really true. And the incest stuff is definitely not true. Thompson writes:
The February 20 episode appropriately titled “Underneath It All” begins with two characters, Clare and Jake, on their way to school, with their father. Jake received a text message from Clare which read, “Dying to kiss you.” and later we find out the two are stepbrother and stepsister. As soon as their father’s car pulled away Clare declared the ride to school as the “longest car ride ever,” and proceeded to kiss her boyfriend/stepbrother.
Incest is defined as sexual relations between two people too biologically closely related to marry by law or custom. As Thompson concedes, the "Degrassi" siblings in question are step-siblings not related by blood. It may be a salacious plotline, but it is not incest.
Mychal Massie uses his Feb. 20 WorldNetDaily column to attack Maxine Waters' remarks about Republicans:
Blacks have two trump cards they can play at any time, in any situation and for any reason. They are “anger” – born out of real or perceived oppressive conditions created by white people – and the “bully factor” – born out of same. As referenced, Waters has a history of making inflammatory and insulting statements, which she defends with her blackness, i.e., it’s the mace she uses to remind people that she has a right to be angry. She has been given a pass her entire political career to say things and engage in behavior that a white representative, media person, or analyst would never be forgiven for, unless they are deemed to have favored status. And even then, we see the power of blacks, because it is they who determine what the acceptable standards are.
But Massie was not done -- he defends Fox News' Eric Bolling's remark that Water should "step away from the crack pipe" as "jocund," adding, "Trent Lott was forced out of office for making a harmless statement in a moment of jocularity. When have you heard a white comedian make jokes about blacks? But black comics mock whites as a matter of routine."
Massie is counting on you to forget exactly what Lott said, which was a tacit endorsement of Strom Thurmond's segregationist Dixiecrat presidential run in 1948.
Bozell Eliminating Contraception From MRC's Insurance Plan Topic: Media Research Center
Via The Jane Dough, we learn that Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell has decided to eliminate coverage for "contraceptive, sterilization and abortifacient services" from the insurance policy that covers MRC employees, claiming he was not aware of the coverage until now and that " I never would have approved this had I known."
Until that provision is actually removed, Bozell is trying to guilt his employees into not making use of it:
In the meantime, I have a simple plea I make: Do not avail yourselves to these contraception/abortifacient/abortion services, not through the MRC. They are evil, and I am unequivocal about this. But I’m also unequivocal in saying I cannot, and will not demand or even ask you to agree with me if you feel otherwise. I cannot, and will not force you to comply with this request if you’re not so inclined.
I cannot and no one here will not ever review your personal records to see what you have or haven’t done. Period. This is a personal request, and nothing more. To not do this is to commit a mortal sin, I believe.
This is probably not surprising, since the MRC is a conservative organization and all. But his trying to guilt his employees into not using coverage they're paying for is a somewhat dickish move. But that's not surprising either, given whatweknow about Bozell.
The incident is reminiscent of the Republican National Committee’s reaction upon discovering — through an article in Politico — that its health insurance plan covered abortion in 2009. Like Bozell, the RNC did not change its policy until it contradicted its political rhetoric, suggesting that women’s health care benefits are standard insurance benefits and that the GOP’s sudden outrage is nothing more than a manufactured political issue designed to rally the Republican base.
AIM Embraces Debunked Birther Conspiracy Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media has been known to go birther on occasion, and it does so again with a Feb. 21 column by Lawrence Sellin, who embraces one particular conspiracy (edited to remove references to Obama's full Social Security number):
Lawlessness may apply, not only to his Administration, but to Obama himself.
In my opinion, there is irrefutable evidence that Barack Hussein Obama is using a Social Security Number ([number]) not issued to him.
According to SSN Verifier Plus, the number [number] was issued in Connecticut between 1977 and 1979. The names associated with it are “Obama, Barack” and “Obama, Barack Hussein.” The dates of birth associated with that SSN are “1890”, “8/4/1961” and “4/8/1961.”
Sellin, it should be noted, is apparently violating federal law by including Obama's full alleged Social Security number. The law forbids "disclosing, using, or compelling the disclosure of the Social Security number of any person for unauthorized purposes."
Anyway, back to the conspiracy:
It is not a quantum leap in logic to conclude that Obama’s friend, unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, who also lived in New York City between 1981 and 1985, may have helped him obtain a new SSN.
In his book “Fugitive Days” Ayers describes his method for creating false identities:
“We soon figured out that the deepest and most foolproof ID had a government-issued Social Security card at its heart, and the best source of those were dead-baby birth certificates. I spent impious days over the next several months tramping through rural cemeteries in Iowa and Wisconsin, Illinois and North Dakota…”
The 1890 birth date may refer to the Connecticut resident who was the original holder of Obama’s SSN.
Sellin ignores the fact that birther lawyer Phil Berg has debunked the idea that Obama is using a fraudulent Social Security number.
In a Feb. 20 NewsBusters post, Hadro complains that Ricky Gervavis said in a CNN appearance that it's "child abuse" for "religious fundamentalists" to tell "their five-year-old children that if they turn out gay, they will burn in hell." Hadro doesn't explain why Gervais' statement is so offensive to him, but it obviously is or he wouldn't have highlighted it.
Having to work out outrage every time somebody says nice things about gays in the media must be a difficult job.
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily's Birther Bribery Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND's Jerome Corsi instigated Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio's "cold case posse" investigation of birther claims. Are Corsi and WND also trying to buy a favorable result by writing fawning articles about Arpaio and even erasing him from a story about a lawsuit against his department? Read more >>
Sheppard went on another dumb freakout in a Feb. 18 post, bizarrely upset that singer Roberta Flack wanted to "Obama bump" CNN hosts Soledad O'Brien and Piers Morgan. Sheppard huffed: "As if the President and the First Lady originated this practice."
Let me get this straight: R&B legend Roberta Flack is wrapping up a segment of remembrances at Whitney Houston’s funeral, offers Soledad O’Brien a pound, rather than a handshake, and Ms. O’Brien is supposed to do what? Spit on Roberta Flack because she called it an Obama Bump? Perhaps launch into negotiations? “I will gladly accept your departing gesture, provided you re-moniker it in a less partisan fashion.”
Posting a flimsy blog item isn’t, itself, a high crime, but allowing partisan bitterness to intrude needlessly into a solemn occasion is shameful. Newsbusters should have given it a rest today.
As Mediaite also points out, the reason the fist-bump became associated with Obama in the first place is because of the MRC's favorite channel, Fox News, which accused Obama of engaging in a "terrorist fist jab."
A couple days later, Sheppard had a new post in which he recounts O'Brien's response to his silly post, and he gets huffy again:
@PoliticalPAW followed, "Granting you the ignorance plea, if heard, would you then have declined the 'Obama bump' offer?"
O'Brien replied, "i would have said: the fist bump is bipartisan. Which it is!"
Yes it is, but not when someone decides to name it after a president.
Did O'Brien truly not hear Flack say "Obama bump?"
I guess we'll have to take her word for it, but this goes to the gotcha game that media members like O'Brien play all the time, especially with Republicans.
If one of the GOP candidates made a similar error on live television due to not hearing what someone actually said, would they be able to so easily brush it off?
Consider that at the same time O'Brien was making her little gaffe which she now claims was an auditory mistake, media members were cherry-picking a 41 minute speech Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum gave earlier that morning in order to dishonestly accuse him of impugning Barack Obama's religious faith.
Santorum spent much of his Sunday trying to get numerous press members to better understand the full context of what he said but hasn't been able to change many minds for this false narrative continued Monday.
So why are America's media allowed to say I'm sorry, I mis-heard my guest, but the politicians they cover - I mean the Republican politicians they cover! - are held to the impossible standard of not being able to get their words accurately reported even when videotape supports their position?
Maybe that's something O'Brien should consider the next time she plays gotcha with one of her conservative guests.
So fist-bumps are no longer bipartisan because some entertainer -- not a news person -- related it to a politician? And Sheppard finds a way to steer this non-controversy to the tired MRC hobby horse of liberal bias?
This is the kind of "media analysis" that makes people not take NewsBusters seriously. Fortunately for our entertainment value, NewsBusters appears not to have realized this yet.
Oh, and Sheppard completely failed to mention Mediaite's deconstruction of his petty little attack.
WorldNetDaily has picked another winner as someone whose views are worth defending.
SeveralWNDarticleshavenoted that one of the plaintiffs in the Georgia birther case -- you know, the one that the birthers lost even though Obama's attorney didn't even mount a defense -- is a man named Cody Judy who, as WND's boilerplate reporting states, "is raising a challenge because he also wants to be on the ballot" as a presidential candidate.
Back in 1993 Judy charged onto the stage in front of 15,000 Mormons gathered to hear Mormon President Howard W. Hunter. He threatened Hunter with a “detonator” and suitcase that he said contained a bomb, demanding that Hunter read a document describing how God planned for Judy to lead the church. Hunter refused and Judy was subdued. He served 8 years in jail.
"The Daily Show" did a segment on Judy back in 2002, when he was running for Congress, in which he says he was actually saying he had a BOM -- the Book of Mormon.
NewsBusters Gets Hypocritical Over Context Again Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard uses a Feb. 20 NewsBusters post to complain that "America's media collectively cherry-picked from a 41 minute speech to completely misrepresent what [Rick] Santorum actually said" when he attacked President Obama's "phony theology."
But NewsBusters' outrage over out-of-context statements is highly selective. As we'vedocumented, it happily pulls Obama's words out of context and criticizes anyone who points out the cherry-picking.
Yikes: We Have Buchanan to Blame for WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
Kevin DeAnna's Feb. 18 WorldNetDaily article is a fluffy treatment of Pat Buchanan following his ouster as a commentator for the "liberal cable news network" MSNBC. DeAnna, however, makes no mention of the borderline racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic views that ultimately led MSNBC to get rid of Buchanan.
DeAnna also makes one other disturbing yet unsurprising revelation:
Pat Buchanan was also delighted to learn that the founders of WND, Joseph and Elizabeth Farah, actually met at a Buchanan conference. WND itself is one of the legacies of the Buchanan Brigades.
NewsBusters' Sheppard Touts Dubious Dick Morris Claim Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center just loves it when someone accuses a member of the media of acting on White House orders.
In a Feb. 13 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard touted Dick Morris' claim that ABC’s George Stephanopoulos is a "paid Democratic hitman" who is on the ABC payroll specifically for "making points for the Democratic Party," as evidenced by asking Mitt Romney "all those contraception questions" during a debate.
Sheppard followed up in a Feb. 16 post, regurgitating Morris' claim that the tactics Stephanopoulos allegedly used against Romney were "similar to how the Clinton White House got the media to do its bidding against its opponents." Sheppard wrote, "Was this orchestrated as Morris said by the White House in order to develop a narrative prior to the release of this edict, or were all these questions about a largely irrelevant issue in the campaign up to that point mere coincidence?"
Sheppard doesn't mention that Morris offers no evidence whatsoever to back up his claim. And he completely ignores that a prominent conservative Fox News employee has mocked Morris' claim.
On his Twitter account, Fox News' Brit Hume -- whom the MRC has awarded its William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence -- pointed out that Morris "couldn't substantiate" his claim. In another tweet, Hume said of Morris: "often wrong, never in doubt."
If one of the MRC's favorite conservatives is mocking Morris' claim, why is Sheppard rushing to portray Morris as correct?
Alan Caruba Still Peddling Global Warming Denialism Topic: Accuracy in Media
Climate denier Alan Caruba has a lengthy history of misleading about global warming. He keeps it up in a couple recent columns posted at Accuracy in Media.
In a Feb. 14 column, Caruba blames "the global warming hoax" for an alleged insufficiency of electricity in Europe as it deals with unusually cold temperatures because, he claims, countries have been "spending billions for wind power when they should have been building coal-fired and other sources of energy to heat their homes and businesses." Caruba goes on to note how "Serbia has started implementing power cuts in a desperate bid to stave off the collapse of its national grid as the country suffers the effects of days of freezing temperatures."
In fact, the UK Telegraph article from which Caruba pulled the Serbia story makes no mention of "wind power" -- in fact, it states that "Temperatures as low as -30C have sent demand soaring but also interrupted coal production, restricting supplies to Serbia's coal-fired power stations."
Indeed, nowhere in Caruba's article does he provide any evidence that power sources that aren't coal- or oil-based have any responsibility whatsoever for deaths from extreme cold.
In a Feb. 16 column, Caruba ranted about the release of documents from the conservative Heartland Institute, revealing its strategies to promote global warming denialism:
This week, a major smear campaign against the Institute erupted as the result of an act of deception and thievery that may well result in criminal charges against its as yet unknown perpetrator.
The President of the Institute, Joe Bast, immediately informed its supporters, directors, donors and friends that someone pretending to be a board member had sent Heartland an email claiming to be a director and asking that documents regarding a January board meeting be re-sent.
A clever ruse, but the result was that elements of the confidential documents were then posted on a number of so-called climate blogs and from there to various members of the media who, with the exception of The Guardian, took no steps whatever to verify the authenticity of the documents, some of which Heartland says were either a concoction of lies or altered to convey inaccurate information.
By contrast, Caruba describes the release of stolen emails from climate researchers connected to East Anglia University as nothing but a "leak." Caruba obviously had no moral qualms over that deception and thievery -- after all, those documents "revealed the extent of their efforts to spread the hoax and to suppress any expression of doubt regarding it." (Except that they didn't.) To our knowledge, Caruba has never demanded that "criminal charges" be filed against the "as yet unknown perpetrator" who stole the East Anglia emails.
Further, the Heartland Institute itself effectively confirmed the authenticity of the documents by complaining that they were "stolen." Caruba offers no evidence that he or anyone else attempted to verify the authenticity of the stolen East Anglia emails before writing about them.
Double standard? Obviously. But Caruba has not exactly been known for his honesty in his denier activism.
Bozell Criticizes JFK's Affairs, Stay Mum on Gingrich's Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell unloads on John Kennedy's infidelities in his Feb. 15 column:
The problem is that any honest historian couldn't claim that Jackie was JFK's sweetheart. He had lots of 'em. And now CBS has utterly ignored what NBC just exploited — er, reported — in prime time: Former White House intern Mimi Alford has written a memoir revealing how President Kennedy pressured her into Jackie's bed in 1962 to take her virginity. This affair began when she was 19 and four days into her internship. It would last until the eve of Kennedy's assassination.
It's shocking enough to read about Kennedy cornering this young girl, plying her with daiquiris and bedding her. But there's more: Alford says that the president told her to perform oral sex on his aide Dave Powers by the swimming pool, and she complied. It's perhaps most shocking that NBCs "Rock Center" put this woman on the air in prime time.
This is a tawdry interruption. The narrative must continue. At all costs, the Camelot mythology must stay alive.
As we know from our liberal media, sleazy White House affairs with interns are never meant to make the president look sleazy. These rotten-to-the-core husbands are lauded for their heroism and their "magnetism" and "electricity" for all posterity. Instead, we demean their coquettish "conquests" for daring to write about it from their viewpoint.
But Bozell can't quite bring himself to issue the same criticism of Newt Gingrich's extramarital affairs. In fact, as we documented, Bozell decreed that Gingrich's affairs shouldn't be covered at all, and he tried to denigrate ex-wife No. 2 for talking about the affair by suggesting that she wasn't telling the truth.
Apparently, as far as Bozell is concerned, conservatives don't have sleazy affairs -- only Democrats do. We can just add this to the long list of MRC double standards.