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Friday, April 6, 2012
Is WND Ramping Up Its Shilling for Santorum?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Despite WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah joining in lockstep with other right-wing leaders to endorse Rick Santorum's presidential campaign, WND has surprisingly done not all that much to promote Santorum. One might have expected something along the lines of Newsmax's ridiculously blatant shilling for Newt Gingrich, but that hasn't happened. Birtherism trumps all, apparently.

But is that about to change? An April 5 article by Bob Unruh touts "a report released today by Rick Santorum’s campaign" claiming that "GOP primary tabulations assembled by the media are wrong, and the former Pennsylvania senator actually is much closer to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney than is being portrayed."

WND also linked to a Politico article on Santorum meeting with "a group of longtime conservative activists" reportedly plotting "a late attempt to rally the right and block Mitt Romney’s nomination from becoming inevitable." No word on whether Farah is part of that group.

It would not be surprising for WND to finally to "Newtmax" on us, and it looks like it's about ready to do that.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 AM EDT
CNS Can't Stop Putting Words In Obama's Mouth
Topic: CNSNews.com

In an April 3 CNSNews.com article, Fred Lucas writes:

President Barack Obama told a gathering of newspaper editors on Tuesday that journalists were being too balanced in reporting on his conflict with Republicans over the federal budget.

No, he didn't. Here's what Lucas quotes Obama as saying:

“I guess another way of thinking about this--and this bears on your reporting--I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing that they are equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, equivalence is presented, which reinforces people’s cynicism about Washington in general,” Obama said. “This is not a situation where there is equivalence.”

Obama is not talking about "balance," he's talking about false equivalence, a completely different concept.

CNS has a disturbing habit of dishonestly putting words in Obama's mouth.

Elizabeth Harrington lays a similar word-stuffing an April 5 CNS article that "Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman said Thursday that paying taxes is a pathway taxes to citizenship for illegal aliens." Despite using the term "illegal aliens" several times in her article, Harrington offers no evidence that Shulman himself ever used the term.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 6, 2012 10:51 AM EDT
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Bozell Hypocritically Bashes NBC For Same Kind of Editing The MRC Does
Topic: Media Research Center

It wouldn't be the Media Research Center if Brent Bozell wasn't being a craven hypocrite, and he proves that again in desperately trying to blow up in incident regarding an edited 911 tape in the Trayvon Martin case aired by NBC.

On April 3, the MRC issued an indignant press release demanding an investigation:

The Washington Post has reported that NBC will be investigating who at NBC was responsible for dishonestly airing a doctored 9-1-1 conversation between George Zimmerman to make it look like Zimmerman's intent was racially motivated. Media Research Center President Brent Bozell stated this is not enough.

"This is a massive breach of the public trust. NBC is guilty of dishonestly fanning the flames of racial hatred in America by doctoring tapes. NBC cannot be trusted with the investigation. It's like Nixon investigating the Watergate tapes. NBC is guilty of deliberately lying to the viewing public, and NBC is going to be in charge of investigating itself? NBC’s parent company Comcast needs to investigate the intentional editing of George Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call. Comcast needs to come clean. Everyone involved needs to be held accountable." 

Yes, Bozell likened an edited audiotape to Watergate.

Of course, Bozell's organization selectively edits transcripts and video to promote their right-wing agenda on a regular basis. Has Bozell demanded an investigation into his own operations? Has he held anybody accountable for their dishonesty? Nope.

When NBC issued an apology for airing the edited tape -- something the MRC's Tim Graham immediately took credit for by calling it "A Win for NewsBusters" --  it wasn't enough for Bozell.

Cue another indignant press release in which Bozell huffed that it wasn't enough and again invokes his ludicrous Watergate comparison:

"We reject this fraudulent apology,” said Bozell.  “We're not surprised. After all, NBC 'investigated' itself. We again call on Comcast, not NBC, to investigate this matter -- thoroughly, honestly, and professionally.”

In NBC’s apology, they stated that an “error” was made and that they “deeply regret” it.  "There was no 'error,' as if a 'mistake' was made. This was a willful distortion, deliberately taking the quotes out of context in order to twist their meaning and feed the narrative of a racist assault. The level of dishonesty and journalistic abuse of the public trust is astonishing,” contends Bozell.

[...]

Yesterday, the MRC issued a press release calling for NBC parent company Comcast to lead the investigation stating that having NBC conduct the investigation is equivalent to having Nixon investigate Watergate.  

"It is unclear to me if NBC is laughing, or spitting in the face of the public with that 'apology.' The 'investigation' apparently was as thorough and honest as the explanation: two whole sentences of nothing.”

This is the same Bozell who thought that Rush Limbaugh's three-day tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke merely "crossed a line" and that the  so-called "apology" Limbaugh issued -- dumped on a weekend in the wake of widespread criticism and an advertiser boycott, and which covered only two words he said and not the dozens of other insults he hurled at Fluke -- to be perfectly adequate. Bozell never called for any investigation into Limbaugh's long record of misogyny (perhaps because they are of like mind on the subject).

Bozell concludes by claiming that "NBC has lost its credibility as a news organization" -- ignoring his own loss of credibilty due to his own rampant hypocrisy.

Bozell is simply ranting about things that he does nothing about when his own organization does it, and he rejects an apology when he accepted much lamer ones. In other words, business as usual at the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EDT
CNS Uses NCAA Basketball Championship To Bash Gender Studies, For Some Reason
Topic: CNSNews.com

An April 2 CNSNews.com article by Thomas Cloud uses the NCAA men's college basketball champaionship game between Kansas and Kentucky to ... bash gender studies.

No, really:

You can spend four years earning a degree in “Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies” at the University of Kansas or a degree in "Gender and Women's Studies" at the University of Kentucky.

But the degree will cost you more at Kansas if you are an out-of-state student than it will at Kentucky.

At Kansas, according to the College Board, tuition plus room and board is currently $21,446 per year for an in-state student and $34,832 for an out-of-state student.

At Kentucky, it's $22,142 for an in-state student and $31,754 for an out-of-state student.

That works out to a cool $139,328 for an out-of-state student to earn an undergraduate degree in gender studies at Kansas versus just $127,016 for an out-of-state student at Kentucky. That's assuming the tuition and board and room costs don't increase--and the student finishes in four years.

Why spend so much time and money earning a college degree in gender studies?

The more logical question: Why did Cloud wasate so much time and money writing this bitter, mean-spirited piece of "news"?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 PM EDT
Newsmax's Ruddy Channels Bozell to Defend Limbaugh
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy has decided to take the Brent Bozell approach toward Rush Limbaugh's tirade of misogyny toward Sandra Fluke -- pretend that what Limbaugh said really wasn't that offensive and play the persecution card.

In an April 4 column, Ruddy dismissed Limbaugh's denigrating attacks as nothing more than a "mistake," praising him for having gone so long without making such a "mistake" (which is not true):

It is a remarkable testament to Rush Limbaugh’s broadcasting acumen that in nearly 25 years as a national radio host, the worst mistake he’s made is his recent comments about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke.

Think of it. Three hours a day, five days a week, almost a quarter of a century (roughly 20,000 hours) of air time – and the liberal establishment wants to get America’s most-listened-to radio host off the air for a comment he’s completely apologized for!

Ruddy insisted that Limbaugh's "apology" was "sincere," that "so many liberal commentators have said far worse without apology," and that "this brouhaha should have passed" as a result.

This, of course, is followed by Ruddy's lamenting of an "attempt to muzzle conservative voices," adding that "No one has ever stopped liberal hosts from broadcasting on radio." Which conveniently ignores the fact that a certain someone is trying to stop liberal hosts from appearing on TV.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:14 AM EDT
Noel Sheppard Asks Questions Answered in the Transcript In His Blog Post
Topic: NewsBusters

Does Noel Sheppard even read what he writes? Apparently not.

Sheppard rants in an April 4 NewsBusters post about "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart discussing Sarah Palin's appearance on "Today":

Honestly, do you think there's anything this woman could do that would get favorable reviews from the likes of Jon Stewart?

Can anyone explain exactly what Sarah Palin has done to warrant the continued harassment she gets from liberal media members?

For myself, it's this kind of ad hominem attack that led me to stop watching the Daily Show in 2004.

And Stewart points fingers at Palin for dividing the nation.

From my perspective, he is far more guilty of it than the conservatives he mercilessly attacks night in and night out.

Sheppard apparently didn't even bother to read the "Daily Show" transcript he appended to his blog post, for the very first thing he quotes Stewart saying is: "The former Alaska Governor was actually quite good and likable in this setting." Which answers the question of whether Palin could ever get "favorable reviews from the likes of Jon Stewart."

Then, regarding Sheppard's questionn of "exactly what Sarah Palin has done to warrant the continued harassment she gets from liberal media members," Stewart spends the rest of the excerpt doing exactly that, starting the second sentence of the excerpt: "My issue was not with how I viewed Governor Palin as co-host of the Today show. It was mostly with how Governor Palin seemed to view it." Which is, as Stewart goes on to explain, "cynically exploiting a manufactured notion of yourself as a crusader against a monolithic exclusionary activist liberal media whilst actually enjoying a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship with them only to the detriment to the rest of the country."

If Sheppard had, y'know, actually read the transcript he copied-and-pasted into his blog post, he would have had his questions answered.

Is Sheppard being this obtuse on purpose? Or is he naturally dense?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
MRC Still Bashing 'GCB," Still Won't Publish List of Purported Offenses
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Lauren Thompson has another weekly installment of attacking the show "GCB" for its purported "Christian hate-mongering." Thompson's list of "anti-Christian" offenses is now up to 137.

As she has throughout her crusade, Thompson refuses to publish the full list of offenses.

What is Thompson afraid of?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:31 PM EDT
WND's Farah Still Sliming Sandra Fluke
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah is not done with trying to slut-shame Sandra Fluke.

In his April 2 column, Farah delcared that Rush Limbaugh offered "a true characterization of the ridiculous Sandra Fluke." This echoes Farah's previous praise of Limbaugh for applying to "avowed fornicator" Fluke the "slut" smear of "which she is, according to the dictionary definition."

This is all because Fluke spoke publicly about birth control. Does Farah have issues with women?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT
Fluff-Fest: Kessler Fawns Over Romney, ACU
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is ever so slowly resigning itself to the inevitability of Mitt Romney being the Republican presidential nominee. Another sign: It's letting Ronald Kessler engage in a little more Romney-fluffing.

In his April 2 column, Kessler hauls out American Conservative Union's Al Cardenas to call for Romney's rivals to suspend their campaigns. Romney lets Cardenas respond to accusations of Romney's flip-flopping and claim that "Romney’s character is flawless."

Kessler also fluffs the ACU, proclaiming it "preeminent organization representing the full spectrum of conservative thought" and its congressional ratings "the gold standard for assessing members’ ideology." Cardenas gets fluffed too when Kessler irrelevently recounts how "Cardenas and his family fled Fidel Castro’s Cuba with only the clothes on their back." Just consider that payback for when the ACU, under the leadership of Cardenas' predecessor David Keene, gave Kessler its "Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award" in 2010.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:49 AM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Joseph Farah's Thin Skin, Part 2
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's editor further demonstrates his utter inability to handle criticism without hurling petulant insults. Count the falsehoods among the invective! Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
MRC's Gainor Thinks Woman Was 'Slimed' By the Truth
Topic: Media Research Center

Dan Gainor headlined his April 2 MRC Business & Media Institute article, "ABC’s Avila Slimes Mother Whose Son Died from E Coli." And how did Avila purportedly "slime" this woman? By telling the truth.

Gainor has been been attacking ABC for reporting on the use of "pink slime" -- beef scraps treated with ammonia -- used as filler in meat products, while trying to put the best possible face on the use of this stuff. What has Gainor's panties in a bunch this time is that ABC reporter Jim Avila shifted his focus to Nancy Donley, founder of a group called STOP Foodborne Illness, whom Gainor depicts as "a mother whose 6-year-old son died from E coli." Donley's group hascome to the defense of BPI, the company that makes "pink slime."

What did Avila do that so offended Gainor? He pointed out that Donley's organization is funded in part by BPI. That's it.

Yet, Gainor insists on portaying Donley as the victim:

Donley said she is "very grateful" for the support from BPI and other companies.

"BPI has never asked for a single thing, ever. We will never be compromised in our position of protecting consumers from pathogens in the food supply. My goal is to put my organization out of business so there are no foodborne victims any more.

The funny thing is, Gainor engages in this same sort of "sliming" all the time. Gainor has repeatedly attacked certain news organizations for taking money from George Soros-linked groups (despite the fact that the money Gainor cites as being donated by Soros over a decade is much less than what one right-wing billionaire spends to keep one conservative newspaper in business for one year).

What's the difference between that -- for which Gainor established no quid pro quo -- and Donley's group being funded by a company she's now defending? None, really, except the apparent quid pro quo is much more obvious with Donley's group. Gainor's double standard couldn't be more blatant.

Gainor is just upset that facts were reported. Sad, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EDT
WND Columnist Rants Against Science
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As demonstrated by its anti-college magazine issue, WorldNetDaily isn't all that big on book-learnin' (all the better to keep its readers ignorant enough to believe birther conspiracies, one must presume). WND takes that anti-intellectualism to the next level with a black-is-white approach so bizarre that it portrays people who believe in science as anti-science.

In a March 31 column, Tom Flannery rants that there is a "left-wing war on science" taking place, citing as his first exhibit ... evolution.

There is the leftist pseudo-science of evolution and a universe which was the product of a massive unsupervised explosion – yet, ironically it would seem, somehow produced a whole world filled with beauty, order and complexity. When was the last time any explosion, even a controlled one, did that?

For the longest time, they told us there never was a creation event as described in Genesis 1:1, because the universe always existed. Furthermore, they insisted that the universe was the result of this unguided explosion and other random events, which occurred entirely by chance. Then it was conclusively proven that the universe did have a beginning and that there are at least dozens of equations governing the universe which, if any single one of them were altered in the slightest, would make Earth uninhabitable.

So it turned out that the opening declaration of Genesis, “In the beginning …” was an accurate scientific statement after all. Not only that, but the characteristics of our intelligently designed universe revealed the awesome handiwork of an infinite mind (as opposed to the complete chaos we should find in the aftermath of random events arising by pure chance). That means the second part of this verse is true as well: “God created the heavens and the earth.”

As far as evolution is concerned, the fossil record has been a bust, the transitional fossils Darwin’s theory demanded have never been found and the “simple cell” Darwin described – before man had the ability to actually look inside the cell – turned out to be complex beyond anything he could have ever comprehended or imagined.

Never mind, of course, that evolution has been copiously documented by science, or that evolution is not necessarily linked to the creation of the universe, or that it's entirely logical to believe in both God and evolution.

Nevertheless, Flannery continues:

Then there is the leftist pseudo-science of embryonic stem cell research. In their never-ending mission to destroy human life, liberals have demanded the destruction of human embryos for research purposes, predicting that this research would lead to cures for myriad diseases. To this day, they continue to willfully distort the truth by lumping all questions surrounding the topic under the singular heading of “stem cell research,” when they know quite well that there are two separate issues at stake here. The first is adult stem cell research, which is fully supported by pro-life advocates and other conservatives because it does not require the destruction of life and has been shown to have significant medical benefits, and the other is embryonic stem cell research, which the controversy is all about since it does destroy life and has shown zero potential for medical use.

Flannery ignores the fact that adult stem cell research has been going on a lot longer than embryonic stem cell research. It's disingenuous for Flannery to claim that embryonic research "has shown zero potential for medical use" because research is ongoing. That's why you do research, dude.

Flannery goes on to rant about "the leftist pseudo-science of global warming," "the leftist pseudo-science of abortion" and "the leftist pseudo-science of birth control and green energy."

Flannery appears not to understand what the word "pseudo-science" means. Just because you are opposed to scientific claims for political reasons -- and that's the ultimate gist of Flannery's ignorant rant -- does not mean that the documented science behind it does not exist.

Flannery's WND bio states that he "has won two $10,000 awards for opinion writing." Perhaps those organizations that gave him those awards should demand their money back in the wake of this stunningly ignorant tirade.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:40 AM EDT
NewsBusters Calls Spike Lee's Apology 'Self-Serving' -- But Not Limbaugh's
Topic: NewsBusters

In a March 31 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd chastises the Washington Post's Erik Wemple for approving of Spike Lee's apology to a Florida couple whose address he mistakenly tweeted as that of George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Shepherd griped that "Lee has NOT apologized to Zimmerman or the Zimmerman family," adding: "Isn't Lee's apology simply self-serving as it was extended to a party he never intended to harm in the first place?"

Shepherd, by the way, is an employee of the Media Research Center, where his co-workers saw nothing offensive in Rush Limbaugh spending three days denigrating Sandra Fluke and whose boss, Brent Bozell, declared Limbaugh's so-called apology -- buried on the weekend, limited to his use of two words and ignoring the dozens of other denigrating insults he hurled at her, and made in the face of a growing advertiser boycott -- to be perfectly adequate, despite the fact that it was the very definition of self-serving.

If Shepherd didn't think Limbaugh's so-called apology was self-serving, why, would he apply that descrption to Lee, who has done much more to atone for his wrongdoing -- like calling the couple personally and paying them a monetary settlement -- than Limbaugh has?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:30 AM EDT
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What's been happening lately with Aaron Klein's excessive use of anonymous, unverifiable sources to make dubious claims? Let's take a look.

A Feb. 24 article claimed that "NATO countries are strongly considering the possibility of an international deployment to Syria if the Syrian opposition does not make major advances in the next few weeks," citing "informed Middle Eastern diplomatic and security officials." Klein did not explain how these "officials" were "informed," making that modifier essentially meaningless.

A March 4 article claimed that "Turkey has been arming al-Qaida organizations as part of its aid to opposition targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad," citing "Egyptian security officials." As we've detailed, Klein was unusually friendly with the corrupt Mubarak regime, so much so that his reporting last year was aimed at keeping Mubarak in power and bashing the popular uprising against him.

A March 11 article claimed that "Iran has been pressing jihadist groups in Gaza to continue firing rockets into Israel," again citing "Egyptian security officials."

A March 15 article claimed that "An internal Hamas investigation has found that Iran is paying off Hamas members to form independent militias to do Tehran’s bidding against Israel," citing "sources in Hamas." Klein has long been hostile to Hamas, so there's no reason any Hamas "source" would dare trust him.

A March 26 article claimed that "The U.S., Turkey and NATO have held high level military meetings the past few days to discuss options regarding Syria, including the possibility of a military campaign targeting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad," citing only "informed Middle Eastern security officials." 

A March 31 article claimed that "President Obama has been engaged in secret, back-channel talks with Iran in which he informed Tehran’s leaders he is completely opposed to any Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities," citing only  "informed Middle Eastern officials." Again, no explanation was offered regarding how these officials were "informed."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 AM EDT
Monday, April 2, 2012
NewsBusters Finds 'Liberal Bias' In A Peeps Diorama
Topic: NewsBusters

How much is the Media Research Center obsessed with The Washington Post? NewsBusters is even scouring the Post's contest entries for signs of "liberal bias."

IN a March 28 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd takes offense to an Occupy-themed display won the top prize in the Post's annual Peeps diorama contest:

Just when you thought Occupy D.C. was dead and gone and, with it, the Washington Post's gauzy coverage, the paper has resurrected it's puffery of the leftist movement just in time for Easter.

This time, the Post fondly remembered the left-wing squatters' camp by awarding its sixth annual Easter Peeps Diorama Contest to Cori E. Wright of Falls Church, Va., for her "OccuPeep D.C." display.  Wright, a decorative painter who works for the Architect of the Capitol told the Post that she "[doesn't] necessarily agree with the occupiers, but I agree with the right to occupy." [see photo of diorama below page break]

"I didn’t want to be disrespectful. I didn’t want to fill the signs with puns. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t one-sided," Wright noted.

"In the Post newsroom, her sincerity and objectivity reigned," Post staffer Katherine Boyle gushed.

Shepherd didn't mention the fact that the Occupy diorama really is balanced, down to the depiction of rats, which the Post described as its "favorite accessory":

Shepherd also seems to have ignored the possibility that the Occupy diorama was. you know, the best entry and deserved the reward.

But that would have required Shepherd to be fair and objective, and the MRC isn't paying him to do that.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:05 PM EDT

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