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Monday, November 19, 2012
MRC's Graham Baselessly Claims Susan Rice 'Lied'
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 17 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham claimed that ambassador Susan Rice "lied on five Sunday shows about Benghazi." Graham offered no evidence that this was the case.

In fact, Rice was was accurately conveying the consensus of the intelligence community at the time -- that an anti-Islam video played a role in motivating the Benghazi attack, something that appears to have been confirmed by subsequent reporting.

So, no, Susan Rice isn't lying. But Tim Graham is.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There's trouble in Israel, which means that WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein is treating is to more untraceable anonymous sources to advance his pro-Israel agenda:

  • A Nov. 14 article cited "senior Hamas members speaking to WND" to claim that "The Hamas leadership in Gaza is currently studying the possibility of firing rockets toward Tel Aviv, assassinating Israeli figures or launching suicide bombings inside Israel."
  • A Nov. 15 article cited "informed Middle Eastern security officials" to claim that "Advisers from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Units are in the Gaza Strip helping to oversee the firing of long-range rockets by jihadist groups there."
  • A Nov. 17 article cited "an informed Egyptian official" to claim that "A senior Israeli military official is on his way to Cairo to discuss a cease-fire over the conflict in Gaza."
  • A Nov. 18 article cited "Israeli defense sources": to claim that "Iran and Hezbollah are furiously trying to resupply Hamas in the Gaza Strip with long-range missiles to fire into Israel."

There's no way for any civilian to independently verify anything Klein writes, of course. And it looks like, with his purported quoting of israeli and Egyptian defense sources, that he's more than willing to become a shill for the Israeli government, just as he was for ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak last year.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 PM EST
MRC Writers Still Pushing Tired 'Liberal Media' Argument
Topic: Media Research Center

Matthew Sheffield and Noel Sheppard -- executive editor and associate editor, respectively, for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters blog -- have taken to the far-right American Spectator to push the MRC party line on "liberal media bias." But it's just the same old stuff they've been spouting for years, with more whining and fearmongering.

Sheffield (who has yet to apologize for denigrating election polling that turned out to be correct about the level of Democratic turnout) and Sheppard (who has been fighting a losing battle against facts the entire election cycle) try to make their longtime bogeyman bigger and scarier than ever: "The 2012 cycle demonstrated that left-wing journalists have far more sway on Americans' opinions than many conservatives have been willing to admit." And those media liberals are everywhere:

Even though the influence and popularity of the mainstream media have fallen in its traditional venues of print and broadcast television, the left-wing media establishment is also in control of the rapidly growing Internet news market and the cable television market. Fox News and MSNBC aside, the cable market is entirely controlled by the left: CNN, HLN, Current, CNBC (news side), Comedy Central, and all the highest-rated entertainment channels that venture occasionally into politics lean leftward.
To some readers it may come as a shock to learn that the left owns and operates all of the most significant news sites such as Yahoo, MSN, Google News, and Wikipedia. The news side of the web is also dominated by the online presence of big-time traditional players such as CNN, the New York Times, ABC, and Politico.
The left dominates the social media scene as well. While it is true that some on the right have been able to use Facebook and Twitter effectively to push messages and spur activism, the ownership and top management of both companies lean hard to the left.

By contrast, the authors write, the "audience reach" of conservative media "is still tiny compared to the hundreds of millions who consume news generated by the liberal mainstream media."

Despite this, they write, "exposing liberal media bias and finding ways of reaching people who are not interested in the conservative 'alternative media' structure have become even more critical to our political system." But wasn't the the intent of the MRC's $5 million "Tell the Truth!" campaign this year, which seemed much more interested in making sure the truth wasn't told about Republican candidates? Sheffield and Sheppard make no mention of this campaign, let alone its effect -- though the article's lamenting tone tacitly admits the campaign was a failure. (Perhaps if the MRC hadn't squandered money on flashy promotions like a Times Square billboard, it might have had an impact.)

Sheffield and Sheppard went on to rehash the usual circa-2008 right-wing whining over Obama -- he wasn't vetted because it didn't "properly expose" his relationship to Jeremiah Wright (wrong), that the media ignored the role of the Community Reinvestment Act in the financial collapse (that's because it played no significant role).

The authors are also angry at how the Obama campaign out-strategized the Republicans:

In January, the White House released a new edict concerning companies -- including religious organizations -- being required to provide free contraceptives to their employees even if it violated their religious beliefs. Prior to this, there had been absolutely no discussion of birth control from Republican presidential candidates. Yet this set off a firestorm of media attacks on Republicans and their so-called "War on Women."

For the next ten months, the press pounded the previously non-existent issue right up to Election Day when 55 percent of women voted for Obama, likely giving him the extra votes he needed to win.

Even if you consider the contraceptive mandate to be nothing more than a political stunt, doesn't the fact that the contraceptive debate resonated with female voters suggest that "there had been absolutely no discussion of birth control from Republican presidential candidates" meant a missed opportunity on the part of the GOP? Not in Sheffield and Sheppard's world -- it just proves that the media is liberal.

The authors are also eager to hang Hurricane Sandy around Obama's neck despite offering no real evidence to do so:

And how about the way the press handled Hurricane Sandy?

Rather than expose the magnitude of the disaster and the clear failings of FEMA, Obama's media gushed and fawned over his handling of the situation, and were almost orgasmic when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie praised the President's response. Never mind the millions of people in the area that went without power for days on end. Even now, the devastation is immense. Residents in New Jersey and Staten Island are irate as they shiver in the cold while filling out reams of paperwork.

One might say this was Obama's Katrina. 

Like nobody's ever called a given political event "Obama's Katrina"  (Or "Obama's Watergate," "Obama's Waterloo,", etc.) before.

Sheffield and Sheppard continue their excuse-making, insisting that Romney's loss was not a loss for conservativsm:

Because relatively few Americans are actually exposed to conservative ideas, it is fair to say that the 2012 elections were not a mass rejection of conservatism nor were they proof that Americans have somehow moved to the left. This is not a "changing electorate"; in truth, a plurality of Americans have favored Democrats and their policies since the days of FDR. The wins that Republicans managed to achieve since that time were primarily due to appealing candidates and a ground game that was better able to get right-leaning voters out to vote.

Doesn't this also mean that GOP gains in 2010 were not proof that Americans embraced conservatism or otherwise moved rightward? The authors don't address that.

Nor do they address the fact that this theory also means that the millions of dollars the MRC spends every year to fearmonger about "liberal media bias" is essentially wasted. Perhaps that's why this article appeared at AmSpec instead of the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EST
Saturday, November 17, 2012
WND's Gun Columnist Suggests McVeigh Was Set Up By Government
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time we checked in on WorldNetDaily gun columnist Jeff Knox, he was whitewashing the crimes committed by a gun dealer. Now, Knox is suggesting that Timothy McVeigh was set up by the government to bomb the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.

From Knox's Nov. 15 WND column:

Bill Clinton had pushed a radical liberal agenda, and a “patriot militia” movement was building and growing across the nation fueled by government-directed travesties like Ruby Ridge and Waco. Just as tensions between the two sides reached a boiling point, Timothy McVeigh detonated a bomb in front of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring nearly 700 others. Rather than triggering some sort of patriotic race war as McVeigh had envisioned, the blast resulted in the almost instantaneous dissolution of the militia and patriot movements as people tried to distance themselves from McVeigh and his actions.

There is an all too common government tactic of using paid informants to push extremists into planning serious crimes as a method of building cases against them. Informants provide encouragement, technical assistance and sometimes guns or explosives, and then government agents swoop in at the last moment to save the day. That is what some believe happened in the McVeigh case. Some take it the step further and suggest that McVeigh was allowed to commit his heinous act so as to gain public support for authorities to crack down on the militia movement. Whether that was the case or not, “agents provocateurs” are still commonly used, and there are plenty in power who will remember the lesson of McVeigh – such as then-Assistant Attorney General Eric Holder.

Today, as our nation is again faced with the challenge of an overreaching federal government feeling threatened by armed citizens who demand adherence to the Constitution, my great fear is that one side or the other will cross the line, resulting in reprisals and a cycle of increased encroachment on rights answered by increased violent resistance. Whether instigated by federal “agents provocateurs,” overzealous extremists, or unconstrained politicians and bureaucrats, the immediate result will be loss of innocent lives and further degradation of the Constitution.

Rather than shoot down a right-wing conspiracy theory, Knox has chosen to encourage it.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:13 PM EST
NewsBusters Defends Bradlee Dean
Topic: NewsBusters

As has been pretty much standard procedure in Larry Klayman's legal work, his lawsuit on behalf of lying preacher Bradlee Dean against MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has been dismissed.

Needless to say, WorldNetDaily -- for whom Dean writes an error-filled weekly column -- sought to spin this latest loss in the best possible light. A Nov. 14 WND article by Bob Unruh recounts the case in a Dean-friendly way and permits Dean and Klayman to spout off at length about the dismissal and to bash the judge for dismissing it. Not only does Unruh make no apparent effort to balance his story by contacting Maddow's legal team for a response, he copies-and-pastes claims from Dean's website that he "is endorsed" by various musical instrument makers. In fact, he's endorsing them, not the other way around.

But Dean has another champion in the ConWeb: NewsBusters' Jack Coleman.

In a Nov. 15 post, Coleman recounts the dismissal in Dean-friendly terms, stating that "Superior Court Judge Joan Zeldon dismissed the case yesterday after Dean refused to pay $24,000 in Maddow's legal costs as ordered by Zeldon in June." But Coleman fails to explain the history of that ruling.

As we've detailed, the fine was imposed because Klayman and Dean wanted to move the case to a different court specifically to prevent Maddow from invoking the anti-SLAPP defense cited in her response to Dean's lawsuit, and that $24,000 fine was a condition of the move, meant to reimburse Maddow's legal team for having to come up with a new defense due to the proposed venue change. Dean and Klayman refused to pay, so the lawsuit was dismissed.

This attempt at after-the-fact venue-shopping can arguably be seen as incompetence on Klayman's part -- shouldn't he have picked the court in which to file his lawsuit against Maddow a little more carefully in the first place?

Coleman also uncritically note that Klayman "filed a motion requesting that Zeldon recuse herself for bias against Dean and ruling in favor of questionable attorneys' fees for Maddow." He doesn't mention, however, that Klayman's bill of particulars against the judge included such petulant complaints as the judge referring to Maddow's legal team, but not Klayman, as "distinguished." The motion also insulted the judge by claiming she acted like a "woman scorned" by Klayman's attempt to change venue.

Though it seems the next lawsuit Dean files should be against Klayman for incompetent representation, Coleman simply regurgitates the attacks by Dean and Klayman. But give Coleman brownie points for something, though: Unlike WND's Unruh, Coleman does claim he tried to contact MSNBC for a response.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 17, 2012 10:57 AM EST
Friday, November 16, 2012
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richt Wing Watch catches WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah's appearance on the radio show of the American Family Association's Tim Wildmon, where he again likens Aaron Klein's identity fraud stunt of doating to President Obama's re-election campaign under the name of Osama bin Laden to "what Martin Luther King did, sometimes you’ve got to actually commit civil disobedience to get people’s attention to the injustices that are going on."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:34 PM EST
MRC Can't Stop Freaking Out About A Boy's Painted Toenails
Topic: Media Research Center

It seems that a boy's painted toenails is being for the Media Research Center's Culture & Media Institute what George Allen's "macaca" remark is for the MRC's Tim Graham -- a touchstone of obsession.

Last year, CMI freaked out about an ad for clothing retailer J. Crew that featured a picture of the one of the company's designers painting her 5-year-old son's toenails pink, ranting that this was "blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children." CMI showed no evidence that it ever considered the concept that both young boys and girls like bright colors.

Later that year, CMI decided that its transgender fearmongering was vindicated when the female designer reportedly romantically linked to another woman.

That brings us to a Nov. 15 CMI post by Lauren Thompson, which reports that the designer "appears to have come out as a lesbian." Thompson also defends CMI's toenail freakout, declaring that "social conservatives' concerns that J. Crew was exploiting and normalizing the feminization of the boy with 'blatant propaganda'" were legitimate.

How does painting a boy's toenails equal "normalizing the feminization" of him? Thompson never explains, yet feels the need to add, "Move along, no agenda here, right?"

The only agenda we see is the gay-hating one of Thompson and the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EST
Updated: Friday, November 16, 2012 2:58 PM EST
Bipartisanship Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If there is such a thing as evil, bipartisanship surely deserves the label. First, because it’s nothing more than code for Republicans going along with never-ending, anti-constitutional, Democratic legislation. Second, and more important, to be “bipartisan” requires that one compromise between liberty and tyranny, and, given that the two are mutually exclusive, that’s a moral impossibility.

The purpose of an opposition party is not to “reach across the aisle,” not to compromise, not to be “bipartisan.” It is to oppose. It is to fight tooth and nail for the natural rights of every citizen – rich or poor, gay or straight, male or female, black, brown, or white. It is the duty of the opposition party not to give an inch when it comes to defending the Constitution and making certain that neither Congress nor the president be allowed to take actions that are not expressly granted to them by the Constitution.

Plain and simple, the objective should be gridlock – gridlock that prevents, rather than encourages, more legislation from being passed. I don’t want to see Congress accomplish anything other than dramatically reduce taxes, dramatically reduce regulations and dramatically reduce intrusions into our personal lives.

Forget all the political mumbo-jumbo you’re hearing from the television analysts about why the most failed president in history was able to win a second term. The Republicans lost because they once again chose a stand-for-nothing candidate who was not passionate about liberty and free enterprise.

-- Robert Ringer, Nov. 14 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 AM EST
NewsBusters Puts Words In Susan Rice's Mouth (With Help From John McCain)
Topic: NewsBusters

Matthew Balan writes in a Nov. 14 NewsBusters post:

Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell took turns hammering Senator John McCain on Wednesday's CBS This Morning over his promise to block any potential nomination of Susan Rice to be secretary of state. Rose grilled McCain after the Republican slammed Rice for blaming a "spontaneous" mob for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi: "Didn't Susan Rice say that...all the information was not in, and she did not know everything there was to be known....what should she have said, based on what she knew at the moment?"

In fact, Rice did not blame a "spontaneous" mob for the Benghazi attack. In one of her TV appearances shortly after the attack, Rice said that "soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that -- in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent." Rice made similar statements on the other Sunday shows she appeared on.

Rice never claimed the attack was solely a "spontaneous" act. McCain got it wrong, and Balan can't be bothered to correct him.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 AM EST
Thursday, November 15, 2012
WND's Cashill Cries 'Voter Fraud,' Ignores Facts
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill writes in his Nov. 14 WorldNetDaily column:

On Tuesday, for instance, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that in 59 inner-city voting divisions, Mitt Romney received no votes.

“These are the kind of numbers that send Republicans into paroxysms of voter-fraud angst,” reported the Inquirer glibly. Well, yes they do.

When Barack Obama outscores Romney by a combined 19,605 to 0 votes cast in these 59 districts, the stench of fraud is surely in the air. Saddam never did this well! Yet, as far as I could tell, not a single major media outlet picked up on the Philadelphia story.

If they had, they would have likely scolded the implicitly racist Republicans for imagining fraud in an attempt to “suppress” the vote. This the DMC has routinely done whenever Republicans have attempted to tighten the voting process.

Even worse than fraud, though, is the process that turned 20,000 citizens into sheep. Years of crude, vile, racist propaganda by the DMC and its local operatives have transformed the birthplace of democracy into a laboratory of mind control Goebbels would have envied.

Aside from the immediate link to Godwinism, Cashill ignores inconvenient facts.

If Cashill had actually read beyond the headline of the Inquirer article, he would have seen that this is roughly as well as John McCain did in Philadelphia in 2008, in which he got no votes in 57 precincts. The Inquirer goes on tostate that there is "little hard evidence" of fraud despite those results because those precincts are "almost exclusively black" with very few registered Republicans. As one political science professor quoted in the article said, many parts of Philadelphia and other big cities simply lack Republican voters, a fact of campaigning that has been true since Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.

Cashill also fails to make mention of the fact that the opposite is true in other areas of the country -- Obama got no votes in some precincts in Utah, for instance.

We suspect that Cashill won't be screaming "voter fraud" about that.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:12 PM EST
Newsmax's Kessler Gives American Crossroads A Pass on Election Failures
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler uses a Nov. 15 Newsmax article to allow Stephen Law, head of the American Crossroads super PAC, to spin away the election results by insisting that they "do not represent a seismic shift but show Republicans need to work harder at wooing certain population groups."

Curiously, Kessler doesn't bring Crossroads' own dismal election record, other than to note that "Between American Crossroads and its affiliate American Crossroads GPS, Law put nearly $200 million into beating Obama."

In fact, Crossroads failed across the board. According to the Sunlight Foundation,  only 1.29 percent of the $104 million American Crossroads spent ended in the desired result, while about 41 percent of the $70 million Crossroads GPS ended in the desired result. None of that money, by the way, resulted in winning candidates.

Rather than holding Law's organization accountable, Kessler let him spin away and blame Romney's loss in part on demographic changes, the failure to defend Romney against the Obama campaign's early depiction of him, and failure to breach Obama's "likability firewall."

Needless to say, Kessler remains silent on his pre-election prediction of a Romney landslide.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 PM EST
WND's Flaherty Attacks Standard Police Procedure To Feed His Race-Baiting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It seems that resident WorldNetDaily race-baiter Colin Flaherty believes that all blacks accused of "black mob violence" are, by definition, guilty of it, and that no police investigation is necessary.

That much is clear from Flaherty's Nov. 9 WND article, which begins:

City officials in Baltimore knew exactly what to do when a mob of black people beat John Mason almost to death.

They blamed the victim.

How did Flaherty reach this conclusion? He quotes a Baltimore police spokesperson as saying, “At this point, it’s unclear what the motive was. ... “We’re looking at a variety of possibilities. One of them is an obvious robbery. We’re also looking at the background of the victim, trying to see if there are any disputes that might have resulted in this.”

But that's not "blaming the victim" -- that's called investigating a crime. If you have a crime in which the motive is not obvious, as appears to be the case here, you investigate to find out what happened. At no point did the police spokesperson blame the victim -- he simply expressed a desire to find out the circumstances of the crime, which includes investigating any possible connections between the victim and the perpetrator. That's standard police procedure.

But Flaherty apparently doesn't want any investigation. The perpetrators were black, and that's all he needs to convict.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:09 AM EST
NewsBusters: Papa John's Critics Know Nothing About Business
Topic: NewsBusters

Randy Hall is in a bit of a huff in a Nov. 14 NewsBusters post, complaining that Papa John's Pizza and its CEO, John Schnatter, is being criticized by MSNBC's Ed Schultz and other "liberal" writers for complaining about having to (slightly) raise prices and (not so slightly) cut workers' hours in order to deal with higher costs under health care reform.

Hall's big response to the critics? "It's very obvious that none of the liberals criticizing Schnatter, who founded and oversees the third-largest take-out and delivery pizza restaurant chain in the United States (behind Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza), have anything anywhere near comparable business experience."

That's it. Hall makes no effort rebut any of the claims being made such as that the estimated additional costs to Papa John's health care expenses are a tiny expenditure to a company the size of Papa John's -- it would add at most 14 cents to the price of a pizza -- and that Schnatter himself lives pretty ostentatiously.

But then, NewsBusters and its Media Research Center parent have never been that interested in backing up their claims, have they?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 AM EST
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
WND Still Pushing Klein's Failed Anti-Obama Book
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein's Obama-bashing book "Fool Me Twice" had absolutely no effect on the presidential election, despite a brief appearance on the New York Times bestseller list. But that's not keeping WorldNetDaily from pushing the book.

A Nov. 8 WND article insisted Klein's book "may now be more relevant than ever" because it purportedly shows how Obama plans to "complete the fundamental transformation of America first pledged in 2008."

In fact, despite WND's claim that Klein's book details what Obama will do, it's nothing but Klein's usual blend speculation and guilt-by-association.

WND touted Klein's book again in a Nov. 11 article claiming that the book "documents how Obama may go about granting mass amnesty in his second term."

Note the weasel word "may." That tells you the slipperiness with which Klein and co-author Brenda J. Elliott wrote the book. It's all speculation, not fact, despite WND's claim that the book "documents Obama’s specific second term agenda in all major policy areas."

The article -- and,, presumably, Klein's book -- baselessly assumes that "immigration reform" and "amnesty" are the same thing. As we've detailed, "amnesty" has a specific meaning apart from immigration reform, and it's a term used (and misused) by critics of reform.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:25 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 3:29 PM EST
MRC's Bozell Rants Against Claim That Conservatives Cost GOP Election -- But Doesn't Disprove It
Topic: Media Research Center

At the Media Research Center, it seems, rantly louding is the same thing as "research."

In a Nov. 14 press release, headlined "Media Falsely Blame Conservatism for Republican Defeat," the MRC asserts that  "Following the re-election of Barack Obama, the liberal media are shamelessly using his win over moderate Mitt Romney to scare the GOP away from re-embracing its winning conservatism message." It quotes MRC chief Brent Bozell saying:

“We hear this from the liberal media every single time the Republicans don’t win something. They have only one solution for the Republican Party: don’t be conservative. It’s never about the failures of the candidates or a poor voter turnout effort. It’s that Republicans are too conservative – a false conclusion that ignores the successful campaigns of conservatives Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

“The liberal media discourage candidates from being conservative because it helps their preferred liberal candidates. Mitt Romney didn’t embrace the conservative base and he lost, just like Bob Dole and liberal media sweetheart John McCain. The liberal media’s rush to scare the GOP away from conservatism is a deliberate attempt to divide the party. They don’t want Republicans to embrace conservative principals [sic] because conservative Republicans win.”

But nothing Bozell or the MRC presents here disproves the idea that conservativsm cost the GOP the election. Merely saying something is "false" doesn't equal proof. And Bozell's invoking the "the successful campaigns of conservatives Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush" ignores the fact that the American electorate has changed since the Reagan era in a way that appears to no longer favor current-day conservative policies.

Yet, as we've seen, this sort of thing -- ranting and pre-determined conclusions -- has been what passes for "research" at the MRC for years.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST

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