CNS: Some Catholics' Opinions Are More Equal Than Others Topic: CNSNews.com
A Quinnipiac poll finding that support for same-sex marriage among Catholics is at 54 percent did not sit well with the right-wing Catholics at CNSNews.com. So they figured out a way to spin the numbers.
How? By essentially declaring that there are two kinds of Catholics, and the opinions of one kind don't really matter.
Catch the spin in a March 7 CNS article by Patrick Burke:
Quinnipiac University conducted a national poll and reported that “American Catholics support same-sex marriage” by a margin of 54 to 38 percent, but for those Catholics who go to church every Sunday, a requirement of their faith, the poll results showed that Mass-attending Catholics oppose same-sex “marriage” by a margin of 55 to 38 percent.
CNS then revealed how it got to that number:
CNSNews.com asked Quinnipiac if results were available to the question of same-sex marriage based on Mass attendance.
The polling institute responded by e-mail with results that showed 55 percent of Catholics who attend Mass weekly oppose same-sex "marriage" -- 38 percent voiced support for gay “marriage” and 9 percent either did not know or did not give an applicable response.
In other words, at least 55 percent of Catholics who attend Mass weekly as required by their faith oppose same-sex "marriage."
On all other questions, the poll proceeded to break down results asked of American Catholics based on rate of Mass attendance. For example, American Catholics were asked whether or not they believe the Church is headed in the right direction, in addition to their views on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Burke doesn't explain why the opinions of Catholics who don't go to church weekly are less valid than that of those who do.
Burke also quoted Catholic League president William Donohue attacking the Quinnipiac poll without disclosing that his boss, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, is on the Catholic League's board of advisers.
WND Ramps Up Anti-Vaccine Fearmongering Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has long beenanti-vaccine -- a dishonest instinct that appears to be rearing its ugly head again.
On the heels of factually challenged fearmongering about HPV vaccines, a March 15 WND article by Garth Kant promotes a billboard campaign by the National Vaccination Information Center "urging parents inform themselves about potential dangers from vaccines." But Kant is silent on just how anti-vaccine the organization is.
NVIC is an antivax group, plain and simple. Despite hugely overwhelming tsunami-level amounts of evidence showing no link between vaccines and autism, they still think there is one. They go on and on about “vaccine injuries”, yet actual severe side effects from vaccines are very rare, especially when you realize that many millions of vaccines are given every year. The NVIC relies on anecdotes of injuries as evidence, but that's very dangerous thinking. Stories and personal observations are a good place to start—it’s how you might notice a connection between two things—but it’s not where you end. You must apply rigorous testing to your ideas, so that you can make sure you’re not seeing a connection where none exists.
But that’s not what NVIC is about. They are convinced vaccines cause injuries, and ignore evidence that there isn’t.
Sounds a lot like WND. In an attempt at false balance, Kant writes: "WND has long attempted to provide such information by reporting on the controversies surrounding vaccines for small pox, human papillomavirus (HPV), autism and the wide variety of vaccinations given babies." But much of that reporting has been misleading, unbalanced, or just plain false.
And to apparently prove that, Kant rehashes some of WND's past fearmongering on vaccines. Among those is the claim that HPV vaccines guard against only two of the 100 strains of HPV; in fact, the vaccines protect against four strains, and Kant fails to note that those strains are responsible for 90 percent of genital warts cases and 75 percent of all cervical cancers.
Kant also repeats a claim by Dr. Joseph Mercola without noting that Mercola is a conspiracy theorist who has been twice ordered by the Food and Drug Administration to stop making claims about his supplements that go beyond their intended uses.
Kant goes on to dishonestly overstate the danger of vaccines by writing, "But, just because vaccinations are safe for most doesn’t mean they are safe for all." The reality is that "most" is actually "nearly everyone." As even WND has conceded, the rate of adverse reactions of the more than 35 million doses administered of the HPV vaccine Gardasil is a paltry 0.05 percent.
Kant even cites his WND boss, Joseph Farah as some kind of medical authority: "Because HPV can be transmitted by sexual activity, Farah recommends parents talk to their sons and daughters about chastity." Apparently, Farah thinks an HPV vaccine is some sort of green light for reckless sexual activity -- an ignorant notion.
Kant even rehashes the debate over whether the preservative thimerosal causes autism, spending several paragraphs on the issue before getting around to nothing that no actual researcher has found a link between thimerosal and autism.
Kant is just engaging in irresponsible fearmongering, and WND's readers will be stupider for it. Then again, that's the kind of reader WND seems to want.
Dear Matthew Sheffield: There's Nothing 'Innovative' About CNS Topic: NewsBusters
Matthew Sheffield devoted a March 6 NewsBusters post to his ongoing lament that right-wing funders won't fund a genuine news operation. As we've pointed out, this is essentially an admission that conservative journalism doesn't succeed in the marketplace, since the top conservative newspapers in the country have long been money pits kept alive with the help of either right-wing billionaires or being subsidized by more profitable ventures.
Sheffield does get some things correct, such as agreeing with the Huffington Post's Michael Calderone that the conservative media in its current state is more interested in playing gotcha than doing real shoe-leather journalism. But he also oddly complains that Calderone "ignores some very innovative journalism being produced by my colleagues over at CNSNews.com."
Actually, what Sheffield calls "innovative" at CNS is really a more extreme case of the problem Calderone outlines:
CNS rewrites Associated Press headlines to add right-wing bias.
There's nothing terribly "innovative" about any of this -- right-wing outlets have been doing the same thing for years. CNS, however, does have the financial power of a multimillion-dollar nonprofit organization behind it.
But then, Sheffield has already conceded that the only way right-wing "news" can succeed is with a deep-pocketed ideologue funding it, not through the free market.
WND's Klein Revives Teresa Heinz Kerry Zombie Lie Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's suddenly 2004 in the brain of Aaron Klein, as evidenced by his March 14 WorldNetDaily article:
Secretary of State John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is a primary donor to the Tides Foundation, one of the country’s biggest financiers of the radical left.
Tides is a controversial clearinghouse that funds groups such as MoveOn.org, ACORN, Media Matters for America and a litany of so-called anti-war organizations.
If that line of attack sounds familiar, that's because it is -- WND was making the exact same attack in 2004 when John Kerry was running for president.
But Klein ignores, as WND didthen, an inconvenient fact about Teresa Heinz Kerry's donations to Tides: They are earmarked for specific projects in Pennsylvania.
Klein provides no evidence that any Heinz Kerry money funds any of the "radical left" programs he names -- he's merely playing a crude version of the dishonest guilt-by-association game that is one of his unfortunate fortes.
Bozell Takes His Heathering To CPAC Topic: Media Research Center
Last year, Brent Bozell pulled himself and his Media Research Center out of conservative confab CPAC in a huff because Bozell wasn't granted a prominent enough speaking slot -- which MRC's own news organization and blog failed to tell its readers.
This year, Bozell apparently got the speaking slot he demanded, and he used it to do some serious Heathering, continuing his expansion of his right-wing purity test to the entire Republican Party. Craig Bannister quoted from the speech in a March 16 CNSNews.com blog post:
"So what do we conservatives believe? What is a conservative?
"Throughout this wonderful conference so many very good leaders have discussed this so eloquently. Another discussion is unnecessary. Instead, let me tell you first what a conservative isn't.
"Paul Ryan, you're a good man and you mean well, and good for you for your courage trying to reform Medicare and rid us of Obamacare. But your proposed budget that has the federal government spending $41 TRILLION over the next ten years, with more and more and more spending increases every single year, and assumes all the oppressive Obamacare taxes. Congressman, that's what liberal Democrats do, not us.
"This is not conservatism. It is, literally, Democrat Lite.
"Do you have national aspirations? Do yourself and your country a favor. Rip that budget up and come back with one that truly does reduce the size of government, which puts us on the path toward a balanced budget by reducing deficits, and one that puts us on the path of solvency by eradicating our debt. Watch what happens to both your national aspirations, and your legacy.
"Haley Barbour, my friend, when you call for unity and on conservatives to "sing from the same hymnal" and then publicly trash good conservative groups like Club for Growth for supporting good conservatives, you're out of tune, and you're out of line. Do you want to be seen as a national conservative leader? Start supporting national conservative groups.
"John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy: You said all the right things to conservatives to propel the GOP back to the majority and you to the top three leadership positions in the House.
'You, like virtually every single other Republican elected to Congress solemnly vowed to rid us of Obamacare, which you can do simply by refusing to fund it. Why haven't you done so?
"While we're at it... when the Secretary of HHS decrees that we should be forced to pay for the murder of babies, why don't you decree that Americans are no longer going to pay for HHS? What of all the other oppressive, and in the case of Planned Parenthood, evil organizations immorally funded by our tax dollars? What of the utterly useless agencies like NPR, and PBS, and Legal Services, and the NEA and so many others you solemnly pledged to put out of our misery?
It looks like the war between establishment Republicans and right-wing agitators like Bozell will be continuing for some time.
WND's Schilling Repeats Zombie Lie About Military Voting Topic: WorldNetDaily
In the midst of the dubious pile of evidence Chelsea Schilling tosses out in a March 14 WorldNetDaily article as purported evidence that President Obama has "declare[d] war" on the U.S. military -- that phrase, by the way, appears in quotes in the headline but nowhere in the article -- this one stood out:
WND reported in August 2012 when the Obama re-election campaign sued Ohio state officials in an attempt to suppress, in that pivotal swing state, the votes of America’s military men and women – who traditionally lean conservative and vote Republican.
Schilling links to an August 2012 WND article by her boss, David Kupelian, as evidence for the claim.
One little problem: Kupelian was lying.
As we documented at the time, the goal of the lawsuit was to extend civilian early voting to that of the military, not reduce the military deadline to the existing civilian one. No military votes were suppressed, no matter how Kupelian tried to twist the truth.
Because Kupelian never bothered to correct his lie, Schilling -- who has her own lengthy record of falsehoods -- uncritically picked it up, thus making it a zombie lie, which WND is also fond of.
If Schilling is such a lazy reporter that she just copies-and-pastes WND's factually challenged attacks on Obama without bothering to check their accuracy (and, really, doesn't Schilling know how much WND has lied about Obama?), why trust anything else in that article?
MRC's Bozell Is Heathering The Entire Republican Party Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long engaged in political Heathering -- denigrating and dismissing any conservative who displays even the slightest deviance from right-wing dogma as not a "real" conservative. MRC chief Brent Bozell appears to be expanding his Heathering to the entire Republican Party.
Since President Obama won re-election in November, Bozell has been on one long temper tantrum, trying to intimidateRepublicans into not straying from right-wing by threatening to stop raising money for Republicans. jhat's a little awkward, given that the MRC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is not supposed to take partisan stands. Bozell has since expanded that to going after Karl Rove's operation to promote electable Republicans over right-wing extremists, which prompted a tussle over a Rove spokesman who (accurately) called Bozell a "hater."
Bozell has now unleashed some Heathering on Rove, in the form of a letter signed by him and other right-wing activists to donors to Rove's American Crossroads super PAC, declaring that Rove isn't a real conservative:
Karl Rove and others are attempting to blame conservatives and the tea party. But a simple analysis shows this to be simply untrue. In 2012, the only Senate Republican winners were Jeff Flake, Deb Fischer, and Ted Cruz—all of whom enjoyed significant tea party and conservative support. Meanwhile, more moderate candidates like Tommy Thompson, Heather Wilson, Rick Berg, and Denny Rehberg went down to defeat despite significant support from Crossroads.
It was firmly expected that Republicans would capture the Senate in 2012. It is inexcusable that they failed and, in fact, lost two seats.
Mr. Rove and his allies must stop blaming conservatives for his disastrous results. It is time for him to take ownership of his record. He must also stop posturing himself as a conservative: his record supporting wasteful government spending and moderate candidates over conservatives spans decades.
No matter how he positions himself in this attempt at damage control, Mr. Rove’s efforts will not elect the type of leaders who will come to Washington to fight for conservative principles. In fact, they are likely to stifle the emergence of candidates like Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, and Rand Paul. Further, the model that will be employed by the Conservative Victory Project has proven to be ineffective and a waste of political resources.
Heathering hasn't exactly worked on the TV-talking-head level. Why does Bozell think it will work against an entire political party?
Richard Bartholomew catches WorldNetDaily promoting the pseudo-prophecy that Pope Benedict's resignation fulfills a prediction that his successor will be the "final pope." That's something even Joel Richardson (one of WND's favorite end-times prophets) calls a "proven fraud."
And Eqality Matters sums up Joseph Farah's March 12 WND column on the reaction to a previous column likening gay marriage to child sacrifice, which involves him denying he did such a thing before wishing he had.
NewsBusters Still Citing Bogus Climate Change Claims Topic: NewsBusters
Matt Vespa uses a March 13 NewsBusters post to push dubious climate change denier tropes.
Attacking a Slate blogger for highlighting that the Earth's temperature is rising “faster than it has been in 11,000 years," Vespa responded by citing a Daily Mail article claiming that global warming stopped 16 years ago. In fact, that claim relies on cherry-picked data and an arbitrary starting point for examining the data; the long-term trend demonstrates continued global warming.
Vespa also claimed that "1,000 scientists have questioned manmade global warming, and they’re made up of ex-NASA personnel and Nobel laureates." But as we've previously noted, not many of scientists on the list he cites -- peddled by global warming denier Marc Morano -- are trained in climatology, the relevant discipline for scientifically examining climate change.
Vespa complains that the Slate blogger, Phil Plait, "has cited Think Progress and another so-called media watchdog group, which shall not be named, in his posts – so you know it has a left-wing tilt." The watchdog "which shall not be named" is a presumed reference to Media Matters (my employer).
What kind of researcher goes all Voldemort on someone with whose views he doesn't agree with? Not a credible one.
What Happened With WND Live-Streaming CPAC? Topic: WorldNetDaily
A March 1 WorldNetDaily article declared: "Can’t attend the Conservative Political Action Conference March 14-16? Now you can follow much of the action free online, courtesy of WND-TV." The article went on to state thatin addition to the main speakers, "WND-TV will pick up other highlights throughout the event as well as turn to NRANews for live interviews with other speakers and guests."
One would think that such a statement would mean that CPAC would be streaming at WND. Well, not so much.
A March 14 WND article headlined "Watch Live: CPAC 2013" begins with the editor's note "Click here to watch live coverage of CPAC 2013." That link takes you to the live feed at the conservative website The Right Scoop -- not to anywhere at WND.
So what happened? Did WND ever intend to live-stream CPAC at its own website, or was it merely trying to glom onto the CPAC bandwagon in an attempt to erase the stain of its discredited birtherism?
Or is it something a little more simple? A sign-up box at the bottom of the March 1 article states, "By signing up for for this FREE live event, you will also be signed up for news and special offers from WND via email."
It seems that WND was invoking CPAC to do a little bait-and-switch -- promising access to video it wasn't actually providing in order to harvest some email addresses for its mailing list.
Most people would call that dishonest. Actually, it's just another business day at WND.
As the planet enters its seventeenth year in which temperatures have been steadily falling in response to a natural cooling cycle, the result of reduced solar radiation, the global warming hoax is finally being revealed as an instrument of the United Nations and individual governments, including our own, to impose “carbon taxes” that would raise billions of dollars for everyone involved.
Mychal Massie Being Mychal Massie Topic: WorldNetDaily
In recent years, many have voiced concern to me pursuant to Obama instigating a race war between blacks and whites. I argue, we are already in a race war and have been since every race-based divisive piece of legislation and every segregative word, phrase and assignation became the parlance of the day.
The idea of blacks not having a level playing field and blacks needing special dispensation from the caring white liberals has transmogrified into an intellectual pursuit of understanding for whites suffering from guilt and the liberal white illuminati who treat same as their exclusive realm of intellectual empathy.
Nothing sickens me to my stomach more than the unwitting and/or pompous liberal illuminati making references to “African-American, the black community, the black church, the black educational system,” or any other of countless race-based assignations covertly designed to divide, separate, alienate and develop the idea that blacks are aboriginal Americans.
People, whites specifically, take no thought to the fact that every time they speak using race-based assignations they contribute to the dissolution of the American fabric they want to believe they are making stronger. Segregative language does just that – it segregates.
In a March 13 CNS blog post, Joe Schoffstall promoted a video suggesting that Vice President Joe Biden said a "garden-variety slap across the face" is not as bad as other kinds of domestic violence.
In fact, the full video of the remark shows that Biden immediately added, "which is totally unacceptable in and of itself."
Schofstall based his item of a Washington Free Beacon post, which has since issued a correction. When will Schoffstall issue his correction?
UPDATE: The missing text has been added to Biden's quote, but there is no notice that the post has been corrected, and the original, edited video (which has since been made "private" so nobody can watch it) remains in the post.
WND Can't Stop Fearmongering About HPV Vaccine Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has been fearmongering about vaccines such as Gardasil approved to combat the human papilloma virus, which can cause cervical cancer in women for quite some time now -- and it looks like the dishonesty won't be stopping anytime soon.
A March 12 WND article by Alyssa Farah (daughter of WND editor Joseph Farah and now apparently a "special Washington correspondent for WND") begins this way:
A widely popular HPV vaccine the federal government has recommended for girls and boys as young as 11 has caused thousands of adverse reactions, including seizures, paralysis, blindness, pancreatitis, speech problems, short-term memory loss, Guillain-Barré syndrome and even death.
As we've detailed, proclaiming "thousands of adverse reactions" for a drug is meaningless without also reporting how many doses of the vaccine were administered. As even WND concedes, the rate of adverse reactions of the more than 35 million doses of Gardasil administered is a paltry 0.05 percent.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that there is "no statistically significant increased risk" for such specific severe adverse events such as Guillain–Barré Syndrome (GBS), stroke, VTE, appendicitis, seizures, syncope, allergic reactions, and anaphylaxis resulting from a Gardasil vaccination. The most common adverse events, according to the CDC, are pain and redness at the site of immunization, dizziness, nausea, fainting and headache.
Farah went onto fearmonger, "There are serious side effects including, occasionally, sudden death." Actually, "occasionally" is overstating the case; try "extremely rare." Forbes' Matthew Herper has debunked the idea that Gardasil has killed more than 100 people, pointing that many of those who died had other risk factors and "only a handful could possibly be linked to Gardasil. And based on the data available, it is unlikely (though not impossible) that even those deaths were caused by the vaccine."
Farah also wrote: "There are more than 100 strains of HPV; Gardasil and Cervarix, the most commonly prescribed vaccines, offer protection against two of them." In fact, Gardasil protects against four HPV strains -- two of which cause 90 percent of genital warts cases and two that cause 75 percent of all cervical cancers.
Farah concludes by repeating more Gardasil fearmongering from one Dr. Joseph Mercola. But as we've noted, Mercola is a seller of health supplements who opposes immunization, fluoridation of water, and mammography; claims that amalgam fillings are toxic; and makes many unsubstantiated recommendations for dietary supplements. Mercola has been twice ordered by the Food and Drug Administration to stop making claims about his supplements that go beyond their intended uses.
Farah's dishonesty and one-sided reporting seem to demonstrate that she has learned way too much from her father.
Our left-wing media's somber, mourning coverage of Venezuelan despot Hugo Chavez once again demonstrates the double standard journalists reserve for dictators.
Seven years ago, the left's greatest South American hate object, Augusto Pinochet, passed away. Never mind how he used free-market reforms to modernize Chile. Never mind that after 15 years of rule, he allowed a national plebiscite to vote against him, and he stepped down peacefully. The left-wing outrage pulsed on the front pages.
So "free-market reforms" are supposed to make upfor the fact that Pinochet's regime murdered and tortured its own people? Really, Brent?
Bozell does note that others reported on Pinochet's "repressive 17-year rule" and huffed that "Both the [Washington] Post and the [New York] Times used post-Pinochet government estimates that more than 3,000 people were executed or disappeared during the Pinochet dictatorship." But at no point in his column does Bozell express any disapproval of Pinochet's atrocious human rights record.
Bozell's claim that "after 15 years of rule, [Pinochet] allowed a national plebiscite to vote against him, and he stepped down peacefully" also ignores history -- namely, that Pinochet took power in a military coup, overthrowing the democratically elected Salvador Allende, and that the plebecite was the only time during his regime that he put himself up for a public vote. (And since it was a plebecite, there were no other candidates, only an up-or-down vote on whether Pinochet should stay in power.)
Further, Bozell's assertion that Pinochet "stepped down peacefully" is not quite true -- he actually attempted to overthrow the plebecite results.
We're not defending Chavez -- just pointing out the disgusting absurdity of Bozell claiming a highly murderous right-wing dictator is no worse than a non-murderous left-wing dictator. And what person in his right mind thinks instituting "free-market reforms" offsets in any way the deaths of thousands and the torture of hundreds of thousands? Bozell, apparently.