Oh No! It's MRC vs. Devo Topic: Media Research Center
In an Aug. 16 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute item, Ryan Robertson responds to Devo's new song about Mitt Romney's dog, which was infamously strapped to the roof of his car, not by critiquing the song but by attacking the band.
The headline of Robertson's article calls Devo "pop has-beens," while the article begins, "It’s kind of sad, really – a novelty pop band with a lone hit 30 years ago trying to make political hay of an incident of about the same vintage."
Dismissing Devo as noting but "a novelty pop band with a lone hit 30 years ago" shows a serious (though unsurprising) lack of musical knowledge on Robertson's part. According to Allmusic, Devo's first album was "one of the first pop albums to use synthesizers as an important textural element," and it "revived the absurdist social satire of the Mothers of Invention, claiming punk rock's outsider alienation as a home for freaks and geeks."
Further, according to Allmusic, the band's founding concept of de-evolution -- the idea that instead of evolving, mankind has actually regressed -- was informed by one band member witnessing the deadly National Guard shootings at Kent State University. Devo dramatized conformity, emotional repression, and dehumanization in order to attack them, not to pay tribute to them.
And Robertson's dismissing Devo as "pop has-beens" is ironic given that his employer has given a regular column to a musical has-been who hasn't had a hit in at least as long, Charlie Daniels.
When Will Jerome Corsi Give Woman's Birth Certificate Back? Topic: WorldNetDaily
John Woodman, author of a book debunking many of the WorldNetDaily-promoted birther conspiracies, recently reported that WND's Jerome Corsi refuses to return a woman's birth certificate he borrowed.
Woodman states that the certificate -- from a girl born in Hawaii in August 1961 -- was used by Corsi in a September 2011 WND article to attack Barack Obama's birth certificate as inauthentic. But Corsi inadvertently debunked one of his own conspiracy theories, that Obama's certificate was a fake because the certificate number was out of sequence with another pair of certificates known as the Nordyke twins. As we noted, when Corsi realized that, the images of the girl's certificate accompanying Corsi's article were replaced with ones that obscured the certificate number.
According to Woodman, the now-grown woman who lent Corsi her birth certificate, whom Woodman identifies only as "Hawaii Girl" to protect her identity, would like her birth certificate back, but Corsi won't give it to her:
“Hawaii Girl” mentioned that she had loaned her birth certificate to Jerome Corsi last year, at the request of a friend. This was with the understanding that Corsi was going to use it to compare to other known birth certificates, and that she would be getting it back.
She has twice requested its return — probably through her friend who asked her if she would loan it — but Mr. Corsi has not returned the certificate.
This is the only copy of her long form birth certificate that “Hawaii Girl” possesses. It is her valuable personal property, and Hawaii Department of Health rules now make it very difficult to get a replacement. It is an intensely personal document, and I would expect it has some emotional value to her.
“Hawaii Girl” herself seemed rather resigned to the fact that in spite of Corsi’s promises, and in spite of the fact that the certificate is hers, she won’t be getting it back any time soon.
Will Corsi do the gentlemanly thing and return the woman's certificate? Given the dishonorable and dishonest way he has conducted himself throughout the birther "investigation," don't count on it.
Flashback: MRC Denied Anti-Abortion Rhetoric Motivated Tiller's Killer Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been doing its best to portray the man who shot a guard at the Familiy Research Council headquarters in Washington as a mainstream liberal. For instance, Brent Bozell used his Aug. 17 column to call the incident "liberal violence" and the shooter "a gay-left activist," and he delcared that the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the FRC as a hate group "is obviously now causing real harm."
In an MRC press release, Bozell ranted that the shooter is a "militant, hate-filled left wing wacko" and that "the liberal media have created a culture that not only tolerates, but validates anti-Christian and anti-conservative violence."
But the situation was much different when Scott Roeder shot and killed Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller. Despite his numerous contacts withlong-established anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, the MRC bent over backwards to disconnect him from the mainstream anti-abortion movement and deny that the right's anti-abortion rhetoric played any role in creating Roeder.
In a June 2, 2009, column, Bozell called Roeder an "unhinged vigilante," insisting, "In the very heart of the pro-life community, there is nothing they wanted less than another shooting of an abortionist." Bozell also denied that "the mere act of denouncing Tiller as a killer of babies – as if he were instead removing tumors – is an invitation to terrorism and murder." A few weeks later, Bozell complained about the media's alleged "theme that describing abortion as the death of a baby enables terrorism."
CNS' Penny Starr insisted in 2010 that Roeder is "a mentally unstable man" despite the fact that Roeder did not mount an insanity defense at his trial and a psychologist hired by the defense found Roeder competent to stand trial.
The MRC at one point even seemed to justify Tiller's death as the equivalent of the abortions he performed. In a June 1, 2009, MRC item by Scott Whitlock taking offense at one news report stating that "The abortion debate turns deadly": "The abortion debate turns deadly? If the procedure is successfully performed, isn't abortion always fatal?" (Whitlock later took offense at the news report failing to "point out the specific pro-life organizations that have strongly rejected this violent act.")
So, yeah, when Roeder murdered Tiller, the MRC was doing pretty much the opposite of what it's doing now in the FRC shooting. Double standard much?
WND Misleads About Bradlee Dean's Prayer Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bradlee Dean is a WorldNetDaily columnist and they share a (decidedly incompetent) lawyer, so it's no surprise that WND has come to Dean's defense by whitewashing his controversial statements.
For instance, in a July 11 WND article, Bob Unruh let Dean swat away controversy over a school presentation Dean led in Iowa:
He said complaints, like that from a mother who said, “They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42,” were based on distortions.
In fact, Jake MacAulay, a spokesman for the band, had said that the average age of death of a homosexual male is 42 years.
Actually, that alleged statistic is itself a distortion, based on a discredited claim from anti-gay "researcher" Paul Cameron.
WND let the Dean camp mislead again in an Aug. 18 article claiming that Dean's notorious prayer last year in the Minnesota legislature is "still making waves." The unbylined article quoted MacAulay claiming that the reason Dean's prayer caused a stir is because he mentioned praying in Jesus' name.
In fact, as was reported at the time, the controversy was over Dean's insult to President Obama's faith. Dean claimed that "the head of the denomination and his name is Jesus. As every President up until 2008 has acknowledged."
That's just basic reporting. As with its blackout on news unfavorable to birthers, WND won't tell its readers the truth about Bradlee Dean because it will make him look bad.
Noel Sheppard Bashes CNN Host For Citing Factual Information Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard had a hilarious little freakout in an Aug. 13 NewsBusters post, complaining that CNN host Soledad O'Brien read a quote from a congressman taken from a story on the website Talking Points Memo:
Can CNN's Soledad O'Brien make her sources any more apparent than she did Monday night?
While filling in for Anderson Cooper, O'Brien was actually caught on screen looking at an article from the left-wing website Talking Points Memo to assist her in a heated debate with Romney campaign senior adviser Barbara Comstock (video follows with commentary):
So, a CNN anchor with her own daily program used a far-left website for her show prep before talking to a Republican guest.
Do you need any more evidence of just how far to the left the self-described "most trusted name in news" is or why its ratings continue to tank?
Sheppard never disputes the accuracy of an information in the TPM article in question, nor does he prove his claim that TPM is "far-left." We'll conced that TPM is liberal-leaning, but it also has an excellent journalistic reputation. And it's certainly not as idelogically driven as, say, NewsBusters, which would certainly reject any description of it as "far right" even though that's exactly what it is under Sheppard's definition.
Weirdly, this has become a theme at NewsBusters. An Aug. 15 post by Matt Hadro begins, "Was Soledad O'Brien borrowing from liberal Talking Points Memo again? She was caught red-handed doing so Monday night, and her challenge to Romney's budget on Wednesday's Starting Point seemed awfully similar to TPM's take on the matter." Like Sheppard, Hadro does not dispute the accuracy of any of the information in the TPM piece he claims O'Brien was reading from.
All we have here, it seems, is yet another example of the Media Research Center being upset that the truth is being reported, despite its "Tell the Truth!" mantra.
WND Still Whitewashing Family's Gun Offenses Topic: WorldNetDaily
Late last year, WorldNetDaily columnist Jeff Knox whitewashed the case of a family accused of selling guns to Mexican drug gangs in order to portray them as victims of government oppression, or something. He's still at it, despite the family members' conviction on several gun-related charges.
In an Aug. 9 WND column, Knox made a big deal of how "the Reese family not guilty on 24 of the 28 counts against them," but he was deliberately vague about they were convicted of:
Remington Reese, the 20-year old younger son, was acquitted of all charges, while his older brother, Ryin was found guilty on two counts and his father and mother, Rick and Terri, were found guilty on one count each. The charges carry a potential sentence of five years and $50,000 for each count, but those convicted typically receive sentences of about one year.
Those sentences are what judges give to the criminals who knowingly and intentionally lie on federal forms though, not firearms dealers who “should have known” that customers were lying to them.
But as the Associated Press reported, "The charges on which the three were convicted dealt with two undercover operations in June and July of 2011 in which they were accused of wrongly stating they had conducted background checks on the buyers that were brought in with [Jose] Roman," the undercover informant. The AP adds:
During the trial, prosecutors played secretly recorded tapes of Roman talking in the store about taking the guns and ammunition to Mexico. In one of the recordings, he says, "This ammo is going to Mexico, and it's not coming back. And if it comes back it's going to be on some guy's body." In another tape he talked about the guns being used to kill federales.
Rick Reese testified Roman was a boisterous braggart and he never took him seriously.
Knox didn't mention that part, and instead dismissed the idea that the Reeses should have known the buyers' intention (though he's on tape announcing it to them): "Absent an accounting for “Fast and Furious,” aggressively going after gun dealers whose primary crimes appear to have been either paperwork errors or a lack of a psychic ability to read a buyer’s mind is an outrage."
Knox spends much of the column fretting over whether the Reese family will get seized property back.
Guilt By Association: CNS Tries to Blame SPLC's Map for FRC Shooting Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has gotten its right-wing talking points: Blame the Souther Poverty Law Center for the shooting at the Family Research Council, even though there's not a shred of evidence to link the two.
Elizabeth Harrington gives it a go in an Aug. 16 article:
The man who shot a security guard at the Family Research Council (FRC) on Wednesday was “given a license” to do so because of groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that have labeled the FRC a “hate group,” said FRC President Tony Perkins.
The SPLC has posted what it calls a "Hate Map" on its website that points to the FRC as a "hate" group located in Washington, D.C..
Harrington offers no evidence that the alleged shooter ever saw this map -- which lists only the city, not the street address.
By contrast, the FRC's website not only provides the street address of its headquarters, a video on the website features an image of the building its headquarters is in.
If the FRC's own website provides more information about how to find its offices than the SPLC's map does, shouldn't Harrington be blaming the FRC for making it so easy for the shooter to find it?
Harrington also complains:
The map and SPLC listing of "hate organizations" equates groups such as the Family Research Council, which promotes the traditional Christian view of marriage and sexuality, with racist groups that violate Christian teaching on human dignity.
In fact, the SPLC has explained that mere opposition to gay marriage is not why it named the FRC as a hate group:
The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage. The FRC and its allies on the religious right are saying, in effect, that offering legitimate and fact-based criticism in a democratic society is tantamount to suggesting that the objects of criticism should be the targets of criminal violence.
As the SPLC made clear at the time and in hundreds of subsequent statements and press interviews, we criticize the FRC for claiming, in Perkins’ words, that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem” — an utter falsehood, as every relevant scientific authority has stated. An FRC official has said he wanted to “export homosexuals from the United States.” The same official advocated the criminalizing of homosexuality.
Harrington did not report the SPLC's statements, nor its statement it "eplores all violence, and our thoughts are with the wounded victim, Leo Johnson, his family and others who lived through the attack."
WND Uses Birther Martyr's Book to Fearmonger About Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jim Fletcher uses an Aug. 14 WorldNetDaily column to tout birther martyr Terry Lakin's bio. Not only does he fail to offer up the conflict-of-interest disclosure that Lakin's co-author is WND columist Jack Cashill, he apparently offers no critical analysis of its claims, declaring, "We do not want to hand another four years to the people who tried to destroy Terry Lakin."
In fact, Lakin destroyed himself. He was not court-martialed because he questioned Obama's eligibility; he was court-martialed because he refused an order to deploy.
As we've noted, Lakin and Cashill uncritically repeat Tim Adams' meaningless, overblown claims about his experience as an elections clerk in Hawaii.
Fletcher then goes on a flight of fearmongering:
Honestly, the gruesome narrative of Lakin’s story in “Officer’s Oath” reads like something from the transcripts of Soviet and Nazi trials, and one can almost envision Lakin standing before these titled court officers much like the conspirators against Hitler did decades ago.
If we think things like this can’t happen in America, get a clue. They already have. And if you think they won’t come for you, think about Terry Lakin. Read “Officer’s Oath” and spread its message as widely as you possibly can. Because if there are eligibility questions about the president come January, the powers-that-be might be coming for you next.
Fletcher doesn't explain why parroting discredited claims about Obama's "eligibility" should make military members exempt from following orders. The only person Lakin has to blame for destroying his career is himself, and Fletcher is too far down the same birther path as Lakin to understand that.
WND's Corsi Still Pushing Discredited Birther Posse Coding Claim Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi is either an idiot or utterly dishonest.
In a brief summary of the cold case posse "investigation" of Barack Obama's "eligibility" in an Aug. 16 WorldNetDaily article, Corsi writes: "In addition, the team found computer codes handwritten on the Obama long-form birth certificate are inconsistent with information filled out on the form, suggesting the document had been altered."
In fact, whatever coding system was used on Obama's 1961 birth certificate , it clearly wasn't the 1968 system Corsi, Mike Zullo and the rest of the posse used as evidence of an "altered" document.
Corsi certainly must know this by now, and that his refusal to write about the issue only further discredits the posse. The fact that he won't address it demonstrates how utterly dishonest and craven a human being he is.
There is the small chance that he is so far in the birther bubble that he doesn't know it's been discredited. That would make him a complete idiot. Either way, Corsi has a long history of ignoring inconvenient facts that interfere with his anti-Obama agenda.
NewsBusters Bashes Huffington Post For Reporting A Fact Topic: NewsBusters
In an Aug. 15 NewsBusters post, Paul Wilson complains that a Huffington Post blogger referended "Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a hate group." To Wilson, this was an "attack" and a "slam" on the FRC, "whose members were targeted by a gunman less than three hours earlier" before the Huffington Post made the post live; Wilson went on to smear the SPLC as "left-wing hacks."
But the Huffington Post blogger was simply stating a fact -- the SPLC did call the FRC a "hate group." That's not something that's open to debate, nor is it an "attack." You can dispute whether the FRC actually is a hate group, but it's unambiguously true that the SPLC called them that.
This is just another example of the MRC being opposed to telling the truth when that truth makes conservatives look bad.
It's Discredited Sources Week At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily seems to have devoted this week to promoting claims from less-than-credible sources.
An Aug. 13 article by Art Moore touts an attack on Huma Abedin: "a manifesto commissioned by the ruling Saudi Arabian monarchy effectively places the work of an institute that employed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the forefront of a grand plan to mobilize U.S. Muslim minorities to transform America into a Saudi-style Islamic state." Moore's source? Walid Shoebat, "a Palestinian American author and critic of radical Islam who has done extensive research on the Abedin family’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhod and its Wahhabist affiliations."
Moore's boss, Joseph Farah, echoed the attack in his Aug. 14 column, calling Shoebat an "intrepid ex-terrorist turned Christian."
In fact, as we've detailed, numerous questions have been raised about Shoebat's self-proclaimed ex-terrorist background, as well as the finances of the charity Shoebat operates. WND has denounced an attempt by CNN to find out the truth about Shoebat as "gotcha" reporting.
Then, in an Aug. 15 article, Jerome Corsi repeats a claim by John Drew that after a 1980 encounter with Obama, "his strong impression at the time was that Obama and the wealthy Pakistani roommate who accompanied him were homosexual lovers."
But as we've also detailed, Drew -- who has cited his encounters with Obama to claim that he was, as Corsi wrote, a "Marxist revolutionar[y]" -- met Obama only twice in social occasions, making it highly unlikely that he could have made such sweeping conclusions of Obama's purported nature based on brief, casual encounters.Further, some of Drew's details about Obama have been discredited by actual college friends of Obama.
Corsi makes no apparent effort to fact-check anything Drew says.
It seems Drew is nothing more than an Obama-hater who's embellishing his brief, long-ago encounters to curry favor with fellow Obama-haters. Why? Presumably to sell some books -- he's supposedly working on one. And Corsi is swallowing every word he says.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Policies That 'Kill' Topic: NewsBusters
In an Aug. 13 NewsBusters post, Matt Hadro expressed outrage at the New York Times' Paul Krugman saying last year that Paul Ryan's proposed budget "would kill people, no question." Hadro called it "egregious" and a "disgusting liberal smear" and bashed CNN's Gloria Borger for airing the Krugman clip in a montage while saying "nothing critical of Krugman's outrageous remark."
Yesterday, Fox News host Eric Bolling declared that "Obamacare literally may kill you." By Hadro's standard, that's an egregious, disgusting smear, and none of his conservative co-hosts on "The Five" said anything critical about Bolling's remark.
Will Hadro hold Bolling to the same standard as Krugman? Or will he acquiesce to the right-wing standard -- established by the Media Research Center's tacit endorsement of Rush Limbaugh's three-day misogynistic tirade against Sandra Fluke -- that conservatives don't hold other conservatives accountable for their words? We won't hold our breath for the former.
It's been a while, so it must be time for another one of Ellis Washington's so-called Socratic "dialectics" in which Socrates sounds nothing like the actual Greek philosopher and a lot like Ellis Washington.
And Washington's August 10 WND column delivers, with a "dialectic" that's really nothing more than Washington -- er, Socrates haranguing a straw-man version of President Obama for purportedly being a Marxist, complete with the decidedly un-Socratic tactic of taking Obama out of context:
Socrates: President Obama, you are playing semantic games just like the politicians and sophists of my day who manipulated words and ideas, ruining people’s lives and destroying the world’s first republic. Now, 2,500 years later, here you come following a long line of sophistic pols and demagogues called the Democrat Socialist Party and you hide behind deceptive words and Marxist slogans – liberal, Democrat, progressive, spread the wealth, the rich must pay their fair share, forward, change – to hide your true identity: Marxism.
Socrates: Why were you propagating Marxism in your July 2012 speech in Roanoke, Va.? If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. …”
Having soundly defeated his straw man, Washington -- er, Socrates delivers is
Socrates: In conclusion, Obama’s treacherous promise to Soviet Russia that, “After my election I’ll have more flexibility,” demonstrates to all but the most willfully ignorant of Obama’s venal and enduring hatred of America: the country you swore a Bible oath to protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. Obama’s draconian military cuts will further degrade her military forces to 1940 levels even as trillions will go to pay for Marxist health care called “Obamacare.” Israel will be alone to defend herself against Iran and Russia.
Indeed, President Obama is a Marxist whose policies are doctrinaire utterances and policy positions of every major tenant of Marxism, socialism and communism. If the Obama regime seizes a second term of power in November 2012, Congress and SCOTUS will be rendered irrelevant, America will go completely Marxist and history will record your epitaph the USSA – United Socialist States of America. R.I.P.
God help Washington should he ever find himself in an actual Socratic dialectic, one where he isn't allowed to create straw men and is forced to rely on logic instead of right-wing talking points.
NEW ARTICLE: Damn the Context, Full Speed Ahead! Topic: Media Research Center
NewsBusters and the Media Research Center get all huffy when conservatives are taken out of context -- but they have no problem doing the same thing to President Obama. Read more >>