MRC Self-Unawareness Watch Topic: Media Research Center
Gotta love how the Media Research Center is so self-unaware that it doesn't recognize its own double standards.
In a Feb. 12 TV appearance, MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted about how the negative attacks on President Obama by Ben Carson have not been published in the media to Bozell's satisfaction. (This is noted in the same NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd that falsely states the nature of the criticism of Carson.) Bozell went on to state that because of talk radio, and the Internet, "the toothpaste is out of the tube" and while it may take longer for more people to become aware of what Carson said, "this story will not stop growing." Bozell added, "This proves why the networks are becoming increasingly irrelevant."
The irony here is that Bozell was making his rant on Fox Business, one of the most irrelevant channels out there. It averages only 14,000 viewers in the key target demographic of adults age 25-54 -- less than a third of its lead competitor, CNBC. The show Bozell appeared on, "Varney & Co.," averages only 20,000 viewers in the demographic.
Meanwhile, Matt Vespa rants in a Feb. 14 NewsBusters post about Kansas City Star editorial cartoonist Lee Judge, who he smeared as a "a left-wing political cartoonist" and "political hack" who "illustrated a depraved caricature depicting the grave of ex-sniper, and Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle – with the caption 'if only there had been a good guy around.'" Vespa further ranted that the cartoonist "transgresses the bounds of decency in service of a left-wing political argument."
But Vespa, for some unknown reason, selectively edited the caption: It actually reads, "If only there had been a good guy around with a gun around."
Vespa also forgets that just a couple of weeks ago, his employer published a cartoon that depicted a "Combat Barbie" with a prisoner-of-war uniform. Apparently, Vespa found nothing at all offensive about that.
WND Defends Bradlee Dean Again, While Dean Hurls Anti-Gay Slurs Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gee, what a coincidence -- the same day we post an article about lying preacher Bradlee Dean and WorldNetDaily's efforts to protect and defend him, WND posts an article defending Dean's latest antics.
Dean's lead WND apologist, Bob Unruh, writes in a Feb. 14 article about how "Rock band leader, radio show host and international ministry organizer Bradlee Dean has been ejected from another school campus." As is typical Unruh style, he lavishes attention on Dean's side of the story -- which includes liberally quoting from a letter written to the school on Dean's behalf by right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel-- and only a single paragraph to the school's side.
According to Unruh, Liberty Counsel claimed that an otherwise unidentified "Mr. Berke" purportedly "even went so far as to yell to the assembled kids that 'none of what Bradlee Dean tells you is true; it’s all misinformation.'" Then, later in the article, Unruh uncritically repeats one of Dean's lies, that "the average age of death of a homosexual male is 42 years." That number relies on distorted and seriously outdated information by anti-gay "researcher" Paul Cameron.
If that wasn't enough, Dean devotes his latest WND column to the incident. He repeatedly smears one of the school personnel who blocked his little indoctrination session as "effeminate":
We no sooner stepped foot on campus, but the principal and an effeminate teacher approached us and attempted to cancel the event on their campus with no justifiable explanation.
Before we left, however, the effeminate teacher who had a part to play in the attempt to cancel the student-led presentation exercised his First Amendment right to tell the students, “I warn you, children, that everything this gentleman is going to tell you is complete misinformation.” [...]
What didn’t this effeminate teacher want the students to hear?
Or was it that this effeminate teacher didn’t want the students to know about Larry Brinken, a homosexual icon who was recently arrested for possession of horrific child pornography?
What was this effeminate man afraid of? He almost had me convinced that I was the one doing something wrong.
Remember, Dean is the guy who doesn't want people to think he wants gays to die so badly that he's suing Rachel Maddow over it (and hired failed lawyer Larry Klayman to prosecute it). Denigrating someone because he perceives that person to be gay -- Dean offers no evidence to support his suggestion -- demonstrated the hatred in Dean's heart and does not help his case against Maddow.
Dean also complains that those who stopped his presentation "read about me on Wikipedia or independent blog sites that have no credibility whatsoever and decided he was going to attempt to cancel the presentation based on disinformation." This links back to Dean's website, in which he criticizes only Wikipedia by name, does not specifically respond to any purpoted "disinformation," and touts a fawning WND profile of him by anti-Kinsey obsessive Judith Reisman, who has her own history of peddling disinformation.The website also essentially declared that the only accurate source about Dean is Dean himself: "For more information about our organization, please contact us directly."
If Dean wishes to dispute any of the information in the ConWebWatch article, he may contact us directly.
Dean concludes, "America should pay careful attention to who is doing the discriminating and who is abiding by the laws of our republic." Of course, his repeated denigration of someone who disagrees with him as "effeminate" is nothing if not discrimination.
We should also be careful of who denigrates his critics and insists that he alone is the only source of the truth.
To invoke the name of Dean's ministry: He can run, but he cannot hide.
P.S. It appears that comments have been disabled on Dean's column. Guess he really does want to run.
CNS' Disingenuous Obama-Bashing Over Gas Prices Topic: CNSNews.com
Matt Cover declared in a Feb. 12 CNSNews.com article: "The average price of a gallon of gas has increased 96 percent since President Barack Obama first took office in 2009, according to figures from the Energy Information Agency (EIA)."
But Cover's implication that Obama is solely to blame for the rise in gas prices is disingenuous. Cover hints at the reason for the disparity by conceding that "Gas prices took a sharp dive during the recession," but he ignores the fact that experts have said that market factors, not federal policy or anything Obama has done, is to blame for the rise in gas prices.
Cover is also disingenuous in noting that gas prices "reached all-time highs" in 2008 but failing to note who was president at the time. (Hint: It was a Republican.) This echoes CNS' selective memory in reporting body counts on U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan that ignore the much higher number of troops killed in Iraq under President Bush.
No, Les Kinsolving, D.C.'s Population Is Not Shrinking Topic: WorldNetDaily
Les Kinsolving writes in his Feb. 11 WorldNetDaily column decrying the idea of making the District of Columbia a state:
If Washington, D.C. – with its shrinking population – were ever made into a state with two U.S. senators and one member of the House, can we imagine the understandable rage in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, all of whom have populations that simply dwarf D.C.?
In fact, according to the U.S. Census bureau, D.C.'s population has increased by more than 30,000 since 2010 and by around 60,000 since 2000.
A quick Google search would have given Kinsolving the facts, and yet he could not even do that one simple thing.
Will NewsBusters Report That A Conservative Objects To Ben Carson's Speech? Topic: NewsBusters
Ken Shepherd claims in a Feb. 12 NewsBusters post that Ben Carson has been criticized by "the media" because he " dared to 'disrespect' the president by offering policy proposals that deviated from the government-centered ones of Mr. Obama's liking."
Well, no -- he has been criticized for using the National Prayer Breakfast -- which is supposed to be a nonpartisan event -- to issue a political attack on Obama's policies.
And you don't have to be a non-cionservative to feel this way. Conservative columnist Cal Thomas has written that Carson should apologize to Obama:
I am no fan of the president's policies, but the National Prayer Breakfast is billed as one of the few nonpolitical events in a very political city. Each year, the co-chairs, one Democrat and one Republican from either the House or Senate, put aside their political differences, as they do in weekly gatherings, to pray for the nation's leaders.
His remarks were inappropriate for the occasion. It would have been just as inappropriate had he praised the president's policies. The president had a right to expect a different message about another Kingdom.
NewsBusters publishes Thomas' column. What are the odds it'll publish this one?
If it doesn't, it wouldn't be the first time: NewsBusters and its Media Research Center stayed silent about Thomas' slur of Rachel Maddow, and NewsBusters declined to publish the column in which Thomas apologized.
Note To Joseph Farah: A Serial Killer Does Admire Your Website Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah begins his Feb. 11 WorldNetDaily column this way:
If a serial killer, like Christopher Dorner, the former LAPD cop turned murderer currently terrorizing Californians, said in his manifesto he admired me, I would try to use whatever influence I had with him to talk him out of his cold-blooded rampage and war on his former police department.
But that’s just me.
But a serial killer did give Farah's website his stamp of approval -- and far from trying to talk him down, Farah couldn't run away fast enough.
Anders Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in an attempt to further his far-right, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideology -- an ideology not unfamiliar to WND readers. Indeed, Breivik's manifesto cites WND six times, WND columist Pamela Geller is cited more than a dozen times, as is WND's favorite self-proclaimed ex-terrorist Walid Shoebat.
How did WND react to this?
It refused to tell its readers that it was cited in the manifesto.
It posted a video by the pseudonymous birther PPSimmons attempting to deny that Breivik is a right-wing Christian.
And Farah played the "No True Scotsman" fallacy by insisting that Breivik could not possibly be a Christian because Christians don't kill people like that, further declaring that "Breivik demonstrates his lack of understanding of the most basic Christian principles."
Of course, Farah doesn't actually care that a serial killer finds his website informative -- hey, the guy's boosting WND's page counts! His goal is to bash the liberals cited in Dorner's manifesto for not doing what he failed to do regarding Brevik.
Dorner praised conservatives in his manifesto as well, but you don't hear Farah demanding that Tim Tebow play negotiator.
In a Feb. 11 NewsBusters post, Matt Vespa takes a shot at Erika Bolstad, a writer for "the left-wing McClatchy Newspapers," for stating that Marco Rubio "doesn't think much of climate change," which puts him "squarely in the anti-science wing of his party." Vespa retorts:
Well, Ms. Bolstad should get her facts right. According to the UK Meteorological Office, global warming stopped sixteen years ago. Furthermore, it could cost the world economy $700 billion per year to avert rising temperatures that aren’t rising, and that's a drop in the bucket to the estimated $5 trillion dollars nations need to spend on power, water, infrastructure, and agriculture.
What's more, bucking scientific consensus, whether it be real or imagined, is not anti-science. Indeed, it's at the heart of scientific exploration. At any rate, Climate Depot's Marc Morano found 1,000 “anti-science” global warming skeptics who had this to say:
First, Vespa's claim that "global warming stopped sixteen years ago" relies on cherry-picked data and choosing an arbitrary starting point; the long-term trend demonstrates continued global warming.
Second, picking 1,000 "global warming skeptics" out of context ignores the fact that 97 percent of climate experts agree that global warming is manmade. And Morano's list is flawed because it's not limited to climate change researchers; he's merely citing "scientists," at least some of whom have no training or experience in climate research.
Vespa is the second MRC writer this year to have invoked the 1,000 scientists promoted by Morano, a former "reporter" at the MRC-owned CNSNews.com.
WND Trades Obama Birtherism For Obama Impeachment Topic: WorldNetDaily
Having destroyed what little credibility it had by spending four years obsessing over increasingly discredited conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate, WorldNetDaily has largely abandoned that line of attack. Unfortunately for WND, its new line of anti-Obama attacks -- agitating for his impeachment -- isn't going to restore WND's reputation.
WND, of course, has been calling for Obama's impeachment almost from the time he took office. In 2010, it cooperated with the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center on a book called " The Case For Impeachment" that was filled with factual errors and outright falsehoods.
But with Obama's re-election -- and, thus, the utter failure of WND's anti-Obama crusade that made it little more than a for-profit super PAC -- WND has apparently decided that impeachment, not birtherism, is where it's at.
A Feb. 11 WND article by Chelsea Schilling featured "a bipartisan panel of top constitutional experts" (well, three lawyers, including far-right birther lawyer Herb Titus) who evaluated "12 popular arguments for impeaching Obama."
Schilling's longtime problem with getting things wrong crops up here. Oone of Obama's supposedly impeachable offenses is that he "appointed more than 30 unelected 'czars' to positions in federal agencies while the Constitution requires that such appointments be vetted by Congress." In fact, of the 30 "czars" Obama had appointed by September 2009, 10 were confirmed by the Senate, and two others were appointed to positions specifically created by statute. Further, at least 13 of those "czars" had counterparts in the Bush administration, and we don't recall WND calling for Bush's impeachment over that.
According to the handy-dandy graphics accompanying each charge, Schilling's attorneys found only two alleged offenses deemed "severe" enough to be impeachable: "Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’" and "Illegally conducting war against Libya."
This was followed by an article the next day highlighting Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin's call for Obama's impeachment, made on WND reporter Aaron Klein's radio sho.
WND also has a petition one can sign demanding that Congress "immediately undertake a full and impartial investigation into the many blatantly unconstitutional actions of Barack Obama, with particular focus on the illegal war against Libya and the illegal “kill list” of U.S. citizens – offenses universally condemned by top constitutional experts as both unprecedented and unquestionably impeachable."
Because it wouldn't be WND if it wasn't trying to cash in on a story it's promoting, WND's online store has plenty of "Impeach Obama" tsotchkes, as evidence by a big front-page ad:
That's our WND -- frequently wrong, but never afraid to make a buck on it.
CNS' Jeffrey Already Smearing John Kerry In New Job Topic: CNSNews.com
John Kerry hasn't been in his new job as secretary of state for a full week yet, but CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey is already trying to smear him.
A Feb. 11 CNS article by Jeffrey carries the headline "Kerry Took More Security on Trip to Arlington, Va., Than State Dept. Posted in Benghazi."
And yes, that's exactly what the article is about:
Secretary of State John Kerry took a larger detail of security agents on a trip to Arlington, Va., last week, when he went to visit—of all places—the headquarters of the department’s security bureau, than the State Department deployed to its compound in Benghazi, Libya, in the days leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks.
Apparently, nobody told Jeffrey that Kerry had no involvement whatsoever with any of the events surrounding the Benghazi attacks. But then, when do sleazy smears have anything to do with facts?
WND Mysteriously Deletes Smear Piece On Sandy Hook Dad Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily was very proud of its story on Neil Heslin, father of one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre. Here's how it was promoted in an email:
Charles C. Johnson's story attacked Heslin -- who came out in favor of bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines after the massacre and was the subject of a debate over whether he had been heckled at a hearing -- as someone who has "repeatedly endangered citizen lives by driving drunk and without a license." Here's what it looked like on the WND website, where it was proclaimed as a "WND Exclusive":
But Johnson's story has since been removed from WND's website -- the link to the story now redirects to a search page. The story, however, is still available through Google cache, and a tweet promoting the article remains on WND's Twitter account.
Why did WND remove Johnson's story? We don't know -- no explanation has been published on the website, and a message to WND requesting one has so far gone unanswered.
As most readers know by now, Noel Sheppard isn't the sharpest tool in the NewsBusters shed, willing to ignore facts, reality and ethnic slurs in the service of bashing those who aren't as conservative as he is.
In a Feb. 11 post, Sheppard highlights Fox News CEO Roger Ailes' grousing that President obama "likes to divide people into groups," followed by media critic Howard Kurtz's response, "What in Obama’s record casts him as a racially divisive leader?"
Sheppard retorted: "Really, Howie? You think race relations are better in America today than they were before Obama took office?" Sheppard then cited a poll stating that fewer people believe race relations will get better under Obama than they did in 2008.
But Sheppard is presuming that Obama is solely to blame for that number dropping -- something for which he presents no evidence whatsoever. In fact, as Media Matters details, two clear culprits in dividing people have been ... Ailes and Fox News, from Ailes' campaign work for Richard Nixon to Fox's hiring of Glenn Beck, who called Obama a "racist."
WND's Zahn Turns Movie Review Into Liberal-Bashing Rant Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Drew Zahn has a peculiar approach to reviewing movies, which includes regaling us with his far-right ideology, from likening President Obama to an evil fairytale queen to hating a Disney film for teaching children to think for themselves to pretending his love for "Red Dawn" isn't political.
Sometimes, the review is barely there, buried under Zahn's ideology. Here's how Zahn begins his Feb. 10 review of the film "Identity Thief":
Women are unequal, so we’ll have a “sexual revolution” … People in the inner city are disproportionately poor, so we’ll ensure their “welfare” …
Not every religion is welcome in our schools, so we’ll kick God out altogether …
We have millions without access to health care, so we’ll create a government safety net and mandate everyone has insurance …
And now that we’ve enacted all these liberal “reforms” …
… women are no longer honored by men, their sexuality demeaned from sacred to casual, and 50 million of their children are dead to abortion.
… generations of inner city children grow up without fathers, and whole communities have lost the will to work, looking to government to provide for them.
… rampant immorality, crime, drugs, teen pregnancy and general adolescent stupidity reign in our schools, as academic standards tumble to the sewers.
… insurance rates are through the roof, businesses are being buried in health-care costs, doctors are leaving the profession in droves and insurance plans and employers are dropping people, so millions who had good private insurance may soon have to rely on an inferior government plan. And I haven’t even talked about rationing and the very real “death panels” yet.
Gee, how are those reforms working out for ya?
The same way liberal reforms almost always work out. They address a real problem … and make it worse.
The same thing happens in Hollywood. Perfectly good stories, intriguing ideas and talented actors are put together on a well-intentioned project … then a triple dose of liberalism turns the whole movie to dung.
It's not until the 12th paragraph that Zahn gives his readers any indication this is supposed to be a movie review. He ends the review by blaming the movie's alleged lack of quality on liberals:
All the good intentions are there.
But then the liberal agenda gets its hooks into it – and another funny movie, another good story, another great performance are all destroyed by a phenomenon all-too common in Hollywood, the ruinous effects of a liberal agenda.
Zahn could have said that it's a bad movie. Instead, he turns his "review" into agitprop. He most likely didn't learn that from Siskel & Ebert.
NewsBusters Announces Pope's Resignation With Misleading Claims Topic: NewsBusters
Here's how NewsBusters, in a Feb. 11 post credited only to "NB Staff," announced the resignation of Pope Benedict
Pope Benedict, the man liberal reporters slammed as "God's Rottweiler," is resigning. A spokesman for the Vatican did not have any more information and did not reveal a possible reason for the 85-year-old's resignation. Fox News reports "The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants."
The pope may have based his decision on watching all the press reports insisting Pope John Paul II resign due to his failing health from Parkinson's disease. The college of cardinals will elect a new leader for the world's Catholics in mid-March.
Actually, conservative-leaning publications like U.S. News & World Report and the News Corp.-owned Sky News have called the pope "God's Rottweiler." further, the conservative-leaning Canadian paper National Post called it one of the "nicknames that Ratzinger’s fans considered badges of honour."
As far as NewsBusters blaming "press reports" on the pope's health for the resignation, Reuters reports that the pope faced no outside pressure to resign.
One of the FBI’s former top experts on Islam has announced that President Obama’s pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, converted to Islam years ago in Saudi Arabia.
And who is this so-called "expert"? None other than John Guandolo, whom you might remember as a serial philanderer and adulterer who jeopardized a federal investigation by having sex with a witness and trying to get her to donate money to a right-wing "anti-terrorism" organization.
WND makes no mention of Guandolo's disgraceful behavior -- which arguably discredits his accusations -- despite WND editor Joseph Farah's insistence that WND follows "highest editorial standards and practices by experienced journalists." (Of course, you already know Farah is lying about that.)
WND similarly failed to mention Guandolo's adulterous background in a 2011 article that also uncritically repeated a claim he made.