MRC's Graham Pretends Frank Luntz Isn't Really A Republican Topic: NewsBusters
When Republican pollster Frank Luntz was surretitiously recorded saying that right-wing radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin were "problematic" for the future of the GOP, you'd think it might stir a little soul-searching for the folks at the Media Research Center.
Fat chance. Tim Graham's response, in an April 25 NewsBusters post, is to pretend Luntz isn't really a Republican.
Graham's headline refers to "'GOP' Pollster Frank Luntz" -- yes, "GOP" is in scare quotes -- and he asserts that Luntz is "denounced as too conservative by liberals when he turns up on liberal networks." But that's utterly dishonest -- Graham's fellow NewsBusters haverepeatedlytouted Luntz's Republican ties.
Meanwhile, the MRC is too closely in bed with the right-wing radio figures Luntz criticized for Graham ever to bad-mouth them. Recall that MRC chief Brent Bozell launched an "I Stand With Rush" website last year rather than issue any meaningful criticism of Limbaugh's three-day misogynistic tirade against Sandra Fluke. And the MRC is currenly paying Levin to promote its anti-media campaign on his radio show.
Graham is too much of a company man to even consider biting the hand that feed him -- and he's too much of an ideologue to do anything other than fragging friendly critics simply for daring to criticize.
Over the past few years, WorldNetDaily has been promoting a WND-published book that bashes another book, "The Shack," for allegedly having "deceived millions" about God -- author James B. De Young even smears "The Shack" author Paul Young as being aking to Jim Jones and the book's fans as having "cult-like" tendencies,. WND editor Joseph Farah's wrote of the book, "It embraces a universalist creed that suggests everyone is saved. It rejects the clear biblical condemnations of sinful behavior. It preaches the false 'I'm OK, you're OK' gospel and rejects the reality of eternal damnation."
In other words, it fails to comport with the right-wing fundamentalist Christianity of Farah and WND.
With reports that movie rights to "The Shack" have been optioned by Hollywood, it was time for WND to go "Shack"-bashing again. An April 24 WND article by Garth Kant that rehashes De Young's attacks on the book, asserting that "The Shack's" message of universal reconciliation is "a heresy that goes back all the way to the third century of the Church. It came to America in 1740 and was propagated among the churches of New England, where it found fertile ground and has been never totally eradicated.”
Since this is WND, neither Young nor anyone else is permitted to respond to De Young's attacks.
If the film version of "The Shack" does indeed get made, look for WND and De Young to continue to ride its coattails by bashing it.
Anti-Heathering: Newsmax's Ruddy Defends A Moderate Republican Topic: Newsmax
Call it anti-Heathering.
While the Media Research Center attacks any conservative who dares to even slightly deviate from the right-wing party line, Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy uses an April 24 column to defend the record of moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
Ruddy rails against a "grossly unfair" attack ad against Collins for supporting a failed effort at expanded background checks on guns:
The fact is, Sen. Collins believes in the Second Amendment. She has earned a solid B-plus rating from the National Rifle Association.
She has also opposed some of the lunacy being pushed by the Democrats. For example, she voted to support legislation in 2007 prohibiting foreign and U.N. aid that restricts U.S. gun ownership. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry recently indicated the U.S. would back such U.N. efforts.
On another key issue important to the NRA, Collins voted to support legislation in 2005 prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. In 1998, she also supported a law allowing the sale of guns without trigger locks.
Again, in 1999 she opposed a bill requiring background checks at gun shows.
Ruddy also defended Collins' Republican bona fides:
As for the allegation that she doesn’t “sound like” a Republican, it should be noted that Collins voted against Obamacare, voted in favor of the Bush-era tax cuts and their extension, supported the Iraq War Resolution authorizing President Bush to attack Iraq, and received a 0 percent rating from SANE (National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy), indicating a pro-military voting record.
On fiscal policy, she is a conservative, supporting the idea of a balanced budget constitutional amendment and enforcing existing spending caps in the future.
Last year, the GOP was within a hair’s breadth in gaining control of the U.S. Senate, but they blew it by putting forward candidates out of sync with mainstream voters.
Republicans could easily make the same mistake in 2014 if some elements within the party unfairly target highly qualified candidates like Susan Collins.
Will the MRC start Heathering Ruddy and Newsmax for being insufficiently conservative? We shall see.
Erick Stakelbeck At WND: "Waters Are Being Tested" For Christian Persecution Topic: WorldNetDaily
CBN's Erick Stakelbeck makes occasional videos for WorldNetDaily in which he opines on the issue of terrorism (despite his main professional experience being as a sports reporter). In his April 17 WND video, Stakelbeck spews all sorts of paranoid stuff, claiming that "the waters are being tested" for Christian persecution by the Obama administration, and that Christians will be "asked to make a choice" between their faith and riding "the progressive wave":
If you are a Christian who believes in the inherent truth of the Bible, and that Jesus, Yeshua, is the way the truth and the life, the savior of the world, you, my friend are a problem. ... This is the age of Obama, folks, and he and his friends are going to fundamentally transform America, just like he promised.
I’m sorry, I don’t believe this PowerPoint presentation [that named evangelicals as a threat] just slipped through the cracks. At this level, when you’re training Army Reserves, I would think it’s pretty hard to go rogue with no vetting of your materials. Don’t kid yourself, the waters are being tested.
So this is where we’re at in America. Things are moving very fast, almost too fast to keep up with, and in the wrong direction. If you are a Bible-believing Christian, you are going to eventually be asked to make a choice. Deny your faith, conform to the ways of this world and take the easy way out, just ride the progressive wave. Or you can stand boldly, you can speak truth to power, and you can leave all the consequences to God. Be strong and courageous like God told Joshua, or you can cave. There’s no gray areas when it comes to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and his son. If you think it can never happen in America, look at Europe.
This is what happens when you let sports reporters opine about terrorism.
In an April 4 NewsBusters post, Ryan Robertson referenced "the $529 million loan guarantee" received by the troubled electric car maker Fisker, adding that "The saga all began in 2009 when the Obama administration handed out $1 billion worth of loans to two electric car manufacturers, Fisker and Tesla." Both claims are misleading to the point of being false.
As Media Matters points out, Fisker received only $193 million of that $529 million. An update to Robertson's post sort of acknowledges that, though it's not clearly explained.
Robertson's assertion that "saga all began in 2009" is false. In fact, according to Media Matters, the program under which Fisker received federal money was signed into existence by President Bush in 2007, and it was funded under legislation signed by Bush in 2008. Further, it was Bush officials, not Obama officials, who encouraged Fisker to apply for a loan under the program.
UPDATE: An April 25 NewsBusters post by Geoffrey Dickens stated of Fisker: "The Obama administration has flushed almost $200 million of the American taxpayer's money down the drain on another green company failure." He failed to mention the Bush administration's role in the Fisker loan.
WND's Massie Lies About Telling the Truth Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie devotes his April 22 WorldNetDaily column to bashing a newspaper editor who he claims edited the content of his columns as published in that paper. (To which we add: A newspaper was actually publishing Massie's column?)
We're not going to insert ourselves into that particular tiff, but Massie said some other things that demand a response. Like this:
You, the public, entrust us to deliver the news/information factually and truthfully, and that same standard applies to opinion-editorials. People may not agree with my opinions, but the facts contained in same have withstood the test of time. And I am just as critical of Republicans and so-called conservatives as I am of liberal Democrats, perhaps even more so.
Liberals, however, exercise censorship, threats and intimidation juxtaposed to providing truthful, factual, unbiased news. And their minions will go to any extreme to prevent opinions they disagree with from being available to the public for them to make up their own minds.
The aspect of Ivancic’s dishonest machinations (which are most appalling) is that he cheats his readership of factual information, and in his rush to do so he sets the table for racial tension.
Massie's claim that he provides "factual information" is a laugh. We've documented numerous lies that Massie has promoted in his columns.
Massie also writes:
If I were given to liberal philosophies, I could scream RACISM at the top of my voice and make a perfect case for it. I could very easily make this about my skin color and not about Ivancic being morally opprobrious.
But, as my readership knows, I refuse to stoop to use an easy argument that will drive the racial wedge further between us as Americans. We must rise above that.
In fact, Massie is not afraid to play the race card. This is, after all, the guy who once likened Harry Reid to Bull Connor and Orval Faubus. He's also knows that, as a black man, he can get away with saying things he would be criticized for if he was white, like spewing unhinged hatred of President Obama, calling Michelle Obama "Buttzilla" and Jehmu Greene a "Negress."
It's laughable for Massie to pretend he's above racial matters when he himself is not averse to using his race to his advantage (or at least hiding behind it to get away with things others can't).
CNS Expands Its Word-Counting Fetish to Clinton Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has something of a fetish for bashing President Obama for specific words he says or doesn't say, i.e. paraphrasing the Declaration of Independence without mentioning "the Creator."
That obsession has expanded to other politicians CNS despises. Hence, an April 22 article by Penny Starr:
In accepting the “Advocate of Change” award at the GLAAD Media Awards on Sunday, former Democratic President Bill Clinton invoked the Declaration of Independence as confirming support for homosexuals as being “endowed with certain rights” but omitted the words “their Creator” as the source of those rights.
The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Yes, Starr really thinks this is worthy of a "news" article, which demonstrates that she (and the rest of CNS) puts right-wing ideology before journalistic intent.
WND Columnist Condones Domestic Terrorism Against Government Officials Topic: WorldNetDaily
In her April 19 WorldNetDaily column, Patrice Lewis warned that there is a "trend over the last five years or so in which the government tries to criminalize anyone who disagrees with it." As evidence, she repeated baseless fearmongering over government and military studies of far-right extremists.
Then, Lewis essentially justifies domestic terrorism against government officials because there are legitimate reasons "people believe the federal government is corrupt and tyrannical." She then rattles off a paranoid laundry list of alleged offenses, some of which have nothing to do with government:
Our children are being brainwashed with a federally driven progressive public school agenda of revisionist history, socialist propaganda, gender neutrality, anti-religious views, anti-family literature, the evils of the Second Amendment and the convenience of abortion.
One of the premier magazines in the nation publishes an article indicating that deeply held religious beliefs are a sign of mental illness.
Mental-health issues are being nationalized, setting the stage for Soviet-era-style psychological warfare on American citizens.
Lewis then writes, "As the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you’re wrong."
Now I ask you: who is working to bring down America, to rot the soul of our nation, to bring treason from within? Who is working to fracture our families, undermine our national security and crash our economy? Who is working to penalize small businesses, prosecute producers and reclassify innocent people as domestic terrorists at the stroke of a pen?
In short, who are the REAL domestic terrorists in America?
Well, given that she's essentially condoning, if not outright approving, the use of violence against elected officials, it appears Lewis is one of those domestic terrorists.
Newsmax Touts (Bulk-Purchase-Fueled) Sales of (Newsmax-Published) Obamacare Book Topic: Newsmax
Jim Meyers breathlessly writes in an April 12 Newsmax article:
The “ObamaCare Survival Guide” has reached a new sales milestone — it’s hit the coveted No. 1 spot on The New York Times best-seller list.
The Guide reached the Times’ best-seller list for paperback/advice in early February and remains there today.
The new first-place ranking will appear in the April 21 issue of The New York Times Book Review.
But if you look at the sales chart, you'll notice that there's a dagger symbol at the end of the “ObamaCare Survival Guide” entry. The end of the chart states: "A dagger (†) indicates that some retailers report receiving bulk orders." Bulk sales are a traditional method of boosting sales figures for conservative authors.
And many of those bulk sales appear to be coming from Newsmax itself. The book is Newsmax's latest loss leader, selling it for $4.95 with its usual bonus trial subscriptions to Newsmax magazine and other newsletters that one must opt out of in order to avoid being charged for a full year's subscription.
Meyers also fails to mention the key reason Newsmax is pushing this book so hard: Newsmax published it through its subsidiary Humanix Books.
WND's Unruh Serves As Michele Bachmann's Press Agent Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily named Michele Bachmann its "Woman of the Year" last year, and apparently one of the perks of that designation is that WND will deflect and whitewash her ethhical peccadilloes.
Bob Unruh does exactly that in an April 22 WND article, uncritically regurgitating claims by a former Bachmann official that a dispute over how a staffer for her presidential campaign in Iowa was paid has absolutely nothing to do with her:
News media are turning an ethics dispute between the Iowa Senate and one of its members into a story that is “wrong, reckless, and outrageous,” according to a statement released by counsel for U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.
The dispute arose over a claim that an Iowa state senator was paid to work on Bachmann’s 2012 presidential election campaign. The charges, and refutations, both come from different members of the team that supported Bachmann in the race.
“The way the media is portraying this story is wrong, reckless, and outrageous. The affidavit by a former employee in fact confirms that Congresswoman Bachmann followed all applicable laws and ethical rules and instructed those working for her to do the same,” the statement.
“The alleged arrangement at issue was both lawful and properly reported under federal law. This dispute is between the Iowa Senate and an Iowa senator: it has nothing whatsoever to do with Congresswoman Bachmann or her political committees,” the statement continued.
“For anyone to suggest otherwise is both dishonest and reprehensible.”
Well, Unruh is certainly not going to suggest otherwise -- heck, he waits until the third-to-last paragraph of his article before he even gets around to naming the person making the allegation.
NewsBusters Repeats Bogus Claim About Carjacked Mercedes With 'Coexist' Sticker Topic: NewsBusters
Jack Coleman writes in the midst of a Rachel Maddow-bashing rant in an April 22 NewsBusters post:
In fairness to MSNBC viewers, I doubt that most of them and a majority of the network's former primetime hosts are at risk of becoming jihadist bombers. I am equal confident, however, that many MSNBC viewers have adorned a bumper on their vehicle with a "Co-exist" bumper sticker -- like the one placed on the Mercedes allegedly carjacked by the Tsarnaev brothers.
Maybe the brothers saw the sticker, maybe they didn't, but I hope this detail gets pinned down at Tsarnaev's trial, regardless of where it's held. The owner of the vehicle was sending a message with that sticker, along the lines of -- let's all get along, shall we? That's not how the sticker would be interpreted by predators like the Tsarnaevs. Their reading of it would be this -- unarmed driver who won't put up a fight.
Just one little problem: It's not true. The carjacked Mercedes did not have a "Coexist" bumper sticker on it.
Sorry to interrupt your Maddow-bashing with the facts, Jack.
WND's Top Sources On Boston Bombing and Islam: Reza Kahlili and Walid Shoebat Topic: WorldNetDaily
It says a lot about WorldNetDaily -- none of it good -- that its chief sources on the Boston bombings and their alleged Islamic links are Reza Kahlili and Walid Shoebat.
Kahlili -- the writer hiding behind a pseudonym who uses anonymous sources almost exclusively -- claims in an April 22 WND article that "Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Forces, ordered reconnaissance and intelligence gathering on various events and public gatherings in the United States years ago, culminating in the bombings at the Boston Marathon one week ago." His alleged source for this is "a source within Iran’s intelligence services," and Kahlili offers no on-the-record substantiation.
As we've pointed out, when you're hiding behind a fake name and use only anonymous sources like Kahlili does, you can pretty much write anything safe in the knowledge that it's unverifiable by anyone else.
Meanwhile, another April 22 WND article by Drew Zahn uncritically promotes a claim from Shoebat -- who has been credibly accused of lying about his own past as a self-proclaimed Islamic terrorist-turned-Christian -- that "a bizarre video released out of Egypt demonstrates the 'demonic' spirit that has gripped the nation since its 2011 Islamic revolution." Zahn makes no effort to verify the video or seek another interpretation.
These are the people that WND is relying on. Scary, isn't it?
MRC: Depicting Gays in Comics Is 'Propaganda' Topic: Media Research Center
Kristine Marsh and Matt Philbin rant in an April 15 MRC Culture & Media Institute item:
Poor Sgt. Rock. Were he around today, the grizzled infantryman who’s WWII combat exploits thrilled a generation of boys might find himself sitting through sexual orientation sensitivity training in the post-Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell Army. And he’d be hard pressed to recognize his old DC Comics area of operations.
In an upcoming release, DC’s openly lesbian Batwoman character will be shown kissing her lover while proposing marriage. And now, Batgirl has a transgendered roommate. These are not your father’s comic books.
Like the rest of American pop culture, comic books have increasingly included pro-gay propaganda pieces aimed at the children and young adults who read them. Not to be outdone by DC’s super-heroic sexual diversity, Marvel released a comic a few weeks ago where “Wolverine and Hercules share a gay kiss,” as reported by The Huffington Post.
Yes, Marsh and Philbin really seem to believe that depicting gays in comics behaving like other comic characters behave is "propaganda."
Marsh and Philbin also rush to the defense of right-wing sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card from "gay activists" who "have been hounding him as a 'homophobe' and 'bigot,' simply for affirming the traditional understanding of marriage."
They go on to lament: "Unsurprisingly, there’s no public uproar or call for writers to be fired for pushing their gay agenda, because what press this gaying of comics has gotten has been favorable." But they don't explain why gays must be treated as nothing less than evil, which is apparently their goal.
David Kupelian's Solution to Obama-Induced Stress: Help From His Favorite Cult Leader Topic: WorldNetDaily
Turns out we were right on the money when we pointed out that WorldNetDaily's Whistleblower magazine would be blaming the nation's overall stress on President Obama.
WND has published managing editor David Kupelian's essay on the subject, and it pretty much fulfills that promise:
After all, let’s face the hard facts: We just re-elected perhaps the worst president in history, someone manifestly obsessed with dismantling traditional, free-market capitalist America and transforming it into a socialist nanny state. That in itself is highly stressful – at least for the roughly half the population that still understands socialism always leads to a profound loss of freedom and prosperity.
Then there’s today’s relentless economic pressures: high unemployment (the actual rate is at least double that of the “official” government rate), foreclosures and bankruptcies, a stagnant growth rate, 11,000 new people signing up for food stamps every single day, rising taxes for the entire middle class whose net worth is simultaneously shrinking, ever-higher prices for food, gas and other essentials – and overshadowing it all, a galactic national debt burden, courtesy of a wildly out-of-control government unrestrained by either the Constitution or common sense.
That, too, is very stressful. Top it all off with an administration continually abusing the public for the sake of enlarging and consolidating its political power – for instance, by purposely making the “sequester” cuts hurt Americans, even our active-duty soldiers, as much as possible.
Make no mistake: This sort of stress on Americans is not only intentional on the part of Team Obama – it is strategic. Remember, these people are revolutionaries (that is, engaged in “bringing about a major or fundamental change,” as Merriam-Webster puts it) and utterly committed to replacing one societal structure – America’s constitutional, limited-government, free-enterprise system – with another – a socialist, wealth-redistributionist system run by an all-powerful government.
Such a radical change cannot be accomplished while Americans are calm, happy, content and grateful for their blessings. Citizens must be unhappy and stressed out. Indeed, widespread popular discontent has always been the required fuel for leftist transformation.
Just reading a few pages into Saul Alinsky’s notorious “Rules for Radicals,” one encounters repeated confirmation that the very key to radical “change” is keeping the populace angry, encouraging their grievances, stoking their resentments and making sure they are continually upset. That is the primary psychological dynamic of “community organizing” – and America today is led by community-organizer-in-chief Barack Obama, a long-time master practitioner and instructor in Alinsky’s neo-Marxist agitation methods.
Top radio talker Rush Limbaugh recently picked up on this normally unspoken aspect of Obama’s modus operandi: “I think he wants people to snap,” opined Rush. “I think Obama is challenging everybody’s sanity. Obama [is] literally pushing people to snap, attacking the very sanity of the country.”
Kupelian also writes that "during eras when society and families are stable, unified and fundamentally decent and moral – as, say, America during the 1950s – the stress level for each person is minimized, or at least not compounded by a perverse society." Yeah, blacks in the 1950s weren't feeling any stress about being systematically discriminated against, did they?
Kupelian's solution to all of this Obama-induced stress involves an old friend:
Like the constantly inculcated attribute of “resilience,” the military has also found the practice of “mindfulness” to be extremely helpful in overcoming stress. And the gold standard in this growing field is “Be Still and Know,” a simple and time-tested awareness exercise that been used in all five armed service branches for many years.
“Be Still and Know” was developed by Roy Masters, who at 85 is the patriarch of stress experts, having taught this method since 1960 to millions, his fans including everyone from movie star John Wayne to Internet journalist Matt Drudge. He also hosts talk radio’s longest-running counseling show, “Advice Line,” on Talk Radio Network. The author of 18 books, Masters was featured on the Sean Hannity Show to discuss his newest book, “Hypnotic States of Americans.”
Recently, all four of the audio exercises on the “Coping Strategies” CD have been released in a new civilian version on a dedicated MP3 player called, “The Cure Stress Device.”
“In today’s high-tech, wireless world,” said Masters, “a little, self-contained audio device the size of a credit card seemed like the best delivery system possible.”
In a recent message he tweeted, Masters summed up more than 60 years of work in just 140 characters: “Learn to endure cruelty and injustice without resentment and after the stress has passed you will find the fulfillment you have been seeking.”
Kupelian never gets around to mentioning it, but he used to work for Masters. We've documented that Kupelian used to edit a magazine for Masters' organization, the Foundation of Human Understanding, that appears to have served as a prototype for Whistleblower.
Masters may not be the best person to take relaxation tips from. He and his FHU has been accused of cult-like tendencies over the years; his followers have been called "Roybots." Masters moved his operations to Grants Pass, Oregon, in 1982 -- followed by 2,000 of his supporters, who proceeded to attempt to take over the town; that prompted a boycott of Masters-related businesses by some local residents. A July 1992 episode of Geraldo Rivera's TV show featured a former FHU member who said of the group: "The role of women is to be very submissive, quiet, never questioning, not thinking, no decisions." The ex-wife of one of Roy Masters' sons denounced Masters on a 1999 TV show, citing a "long history of Masters' denigration of women."
Plus, as WND news editor Joe Kovacs inadvertently confirmed, WND's original headquaters was located on a ranch owned by Masters' FHU.
So we have your usual WND non-disclosure of conflicts of interest and a whitewashing of the ugly truth about the man who Kupelian apparently idolizes. Par for the course for a "news" organization so desperate for credibility that it's still touting how some website nobody's heard of (run by a church where an associate pastor has been accused of raping a child) proclaimed it "trustworthy."
NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard spent part of his weekend being fascinated by the tweets of Donald Trump.
Sheppard devoted an April 20 post to highlighting a Trump tweet asking, "Is the Boston killer eligible for Obama Care to bring him back to health?" Sheppard added that "Alas, many of Trump's followers didn't see the humor in this and voiced their displeasure." Actually, it's Sheppard and Trump who missed the humor: As severl Twitter followers responded, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, since he lives in Massachusetts, would be eligible for care under the health care plan put into place under former governor -- and 2012 Republican presidential candidate with prominent backing from Trump -- Mitt Romney.
The next day, Sheppard highlighted another tweet from Trump, this time asking, "What do you think of water boarding the Boston killer sometime prior to allowing our doctors to make him well? I suspect he may talk!" Sheppard did not voice his disapproval at either tweet.
By contrast, Sheppard completely ignored another, even more controversial tweet from Trump the same weekend. As Wonkette details, Trump rebutted a follower who complained about his views on the Central Park 5 case by retorting, "Tell me, what were they doing in the Park, playing checkers?"
In fact, the suspects who were originally convicted of raping a jogger in Central Park were exonerated were exonerated and released from prison after another person confessed to the crime. Trump later deleted the tweet.
Funny that Sheppard didn't want to interrupt his Trump-fluffing to tell the truth.