NewsBusters Decides: Only Positive Things Should Be Reported About Bush Topic: NewsBusters
Apparently, the media was not supposed to say anything bad about President Bush on the occasion of his presidential library dedication -- the folks at NewsBusters had a fit any time the media strayed from being less than fawningly positive.
Jeffrey Meyer set the narrative: "Previewing the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on Thursday, rather than positively reflect on the legacy of the Bush presidency, MSNBC unsurprisingly chose to mock and minimize his eight years in office." In short, no criticism of Bush was going to be tolerated (like it ever has been at the MRC).
Kyle Drennen complained that "On the eve of the dedication of George W. Bush's presidential library, NBC's Meet the Press moderator David Gregory appeared on Wednesday's Nightly News to tear down the former president's legacy, beginning the report by remarking that it was 'difficult to remember' Bush's popularity after the September 11th attacks."
Paul Bremmer huffed about "the media’s rampant anti-Bush attitude" and how an ABC reporter unleashed "an onslaught of negative questioning" about Bush to Karl Rove. Bremmer added:
What’s more, President Bush’s reputation is already on the mend. A recent ABC News / Washington Post poll showed that Bush’s job approval rating has risen from 33 percent when he left office to 47 percent now. So if anything, the “early indication” is that history may end up being kinder to President Bush than many of today’s commentators are.
Bremmer seems to have overlooked the fact that Bush has not been president for four years, so perhaps that "job approval rating" is an expression of approval that he wasn't doing it.
Tim Graham also got in on the act, asserting that the Bush Library dedication should have only been about "dignity":
One might think the opening of George W. Bush’s presidential library in Dallas was an occasion for dignity. But Bill Clinton didn’t think so. On CNN yesterday, Jake Tapper asked former Bush chief of staff Andy Card about “an interesting moment” in Clinton’s remarks.
What's so dignified about demanding that only positive things be reported about Bush?
WND Is Still Whitewashing Scott Lively's Anti-Gay Activity Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has long been an apologist for anti-gay activist Scott Lively, pretending he really doesn't viciously despise gays. That includes whitewashing the facts about the lawsuit filed against him by Sexual Minorities Uganda accusing Lively of fostering an atmosphere that led to the creation of a proposed law in Uganda that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality.
WND keeps up the whitewashing in an unbylined April 17 article that again uncritically repeats Lively's defense against the lawsuit while misrepresenting the claims SMUG has made.
The unknown WND writer claimed that "SMUG alleged Lively criticized homosexuality and that constituted 'crimes against humanity' in violation of 'international law' and his speech must be punished." In response, according to WND, Lively's attorneys at the right-wing Liberty Counsel "explained that SMUG would allow people to express an opinion against homosexuality, but they would not be allowed to take any action."
But the issue is not Lively merely having "criticized homosexuality." As SMUG's response to Lively's request to dismiss the lawsuit states, Lively, "through his coordinated campaign tosilence, criminalize and eradicate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex ('LGBTI') community in Uganda, who violates fundamental constitutional and human rights norms, bydenying to this group one of the most sublime benefits of free and equal speech – the right tochange people’s minds."
SMUG's response also points out that Lively's defense is disingenuous in portraying Lively as an ordinary citizen merely expressing his personal opinion:
Far from merely contributing fairly and honestly to the marketplace of ideas, Defendant has actively sought to implement a concrete and coordinated strategy via real legislation, policy and practice to deprive LGBTI persons of their elementary human right to equal coexistence. His protestations are also ironic in light of his leadership role in implementing this long-term, multi-faceted strategy to criminalize the expression of viewpoints because they are contrary to his own, and to strive for a regime of de jure or de facto forms of discrimination and oppression of a disfavored group.
Further, according to SMUG, Lively is on record denouncing homosexuality as "'evil,' pedophilic, fascist, genocidal and as a 'highly organized army," continuing: "These theories are not merely the ravings of an idiosyncratic editorialist – they are deployed specifically as part of a broader campaign to repress LGBTI persons – a central premise in his push for concrete mechanisms to deprive LGBTI persons of their right to equality and equal expression.
Unsurprisingly, WND mentions none of this. Also unmentioned by WND is Lively's relationship with Martin Ssempa, who has played a key role in whipping up anti-gay sentiment in Uganda and a supporter of the proposed "kill the gays" law. Lively considers Ssempa a friend -- so much so that Ssempa delivered a letter from Lively to the Ugandan parliament. In that letter, ironically, Lively makes clear that he opposes the capital punishment provision of the bill not out of personal beliefs but because it will make Uganda look bad: "Advocating the 'death penalty' for 'mere' sexual crimes evokes such a severe negative reaction in most Western nations that all other aspects of the law, and the rationale for drafting it is ignored, and very 'gay' movement we seek to oppose is strengthened by public sympathy they would not otherwise enjoy."
WND, of course, won't tell you that either -- it would rather have you buy a copy of Lively's discredited anti-gay screed "The Pink Swastika," a link to which WND helpfully embeds in the article.
CNS Calls Floyd Corkins -- But Not Scott Roeder -- A 'Domestic Terrorist' Topic: CNSNews.com
An April 25 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas asserts that Floyd Corkins, who has pleaded guilty to shooting a security guard at the Family Research Council headquarters, is a "domestic terrorist" who "found the Family Research Council as a target because they were listed online as an 'anti-gay' group by the Southern Poverty Law Center."
That's a change of pace from how CNS treated another domestic terrorist -- Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion zealot who murdered abortion doctor George Tiller during a Sunday church service in 2009.
As we noted at the time, CNS labored intensely to disassociate Roeder from the "mainstream" anti-abortion movement. CNS also played down Roeder's ties to the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, which were much stronger than those of Corkins to the SPLC. (The father of Brent Bozell, leader of CNS parent Media Research Center, led an early anti-abortion crusade of the kind that Operation Rescue would become known for.)
CNS' Penny Starr insisted in 2010 that Roeder is "a mentally unstable man" despite the fact that Roeder did not mount an insanity defense at his trial and a psychologist hired by the defense found Roeder competent to stand trial.
So why won't CNS portray Roeder as the domestic terrorist that he is? Perhaps because he was doing what Brent Bozell and Co. secretly wanted to do to Tiller.
WND Puts Words In Holder's Mouth Topic: WorldNetDaily
The headline on John Bennett's April 25 WorldNetDaily article reads, "Holder: Amnesty is a 'civil right.'"
But that's not what Holder said -- at no point does Bennett quote Holder using the word "amnesty." Bennett does accurately quote Holder discussing "a mechanism for [illegal immigrants] to earn citizenship."
Nevertheless, Bennett repeatedly describes proposal for immigration reform as "amnesty." But that's inaccurate as well. As Sen. Marco Rubio has pointed out, his "Gang of 8" reform plan is not amnesty because "Amnesty is the forgiveness of something" and his plan would require illegal immigrants to pay back taxes, a fine and an application fee as well as having a job and waiting for at least 10 years.
Bitter Ex-CIA Guy Returns To Newsmax Topic: Newsmax
We've detailed how Kent Clizbe is a bitter ex-CIA man who likes to lash out at President Obama by invoking birtherism. Newsmax has given him another opportunity to be a crank, this time in the form of an April 24 column in which he agrees with Rush Limbaugh that the sheer liberalness of Boston turned the Tsarnaev brothers into radical Islamists who bombed the Boston Marathon:
Recently, talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh came under liberal media attack for linking the bombers’ behavior to the “liberal elite intellectual thought” that infects the Boston community.
Limbaugh explained to a caller on his show how such a mindset harms young kids.
“They hang around people that don’t like America, they get inspired or influenced by it somehow, and it’s no wonder,” Limbaugh said.
“And if you end up around the wrong people long enough and you’re young enough and impressionable enough, then that kind of thing can happen,” Limbaugh said.
With the questions swirling of why two upwardly mobile young people in America could commit such acts, a good place to start would be the “educations” the two Tsarnaev brothers received.
Younger brother Dzhokhar graduated from the celebrated Boston high school Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS). A graduate of CRLS has had years of anti-American claptrap crammed down his throat.
The only evidence Clizbe provides of this is that one teacher at the school likes "liberal elite darling" Howard Zinn, which apparently makes the teacher a "weenie."
No wonder Clizbe's an ex-CIA guy -- if he was making such sweeping generalizations based on a single example, that's sloppy sleuth work of the highest order.
I am prepared to argue that the only reason white liberals bow before Obama is because he is half-Kenyan with a Muslim name who harbors the deepest of resentment for traditional America. I would further argue that the only reason they embrace his wife is because she behaves in a way that is commensurate with their low opinions of blacks.
The biggest laugh Obama has handed me recently wasn’t, as you may have guessed, his sinking just two of the 22 shots he took, trying to show off for the kids on Easter Sunday. Rather, it was his announcement that he wants to teach America’s youth how to budget responsibly.
Is the man so completely oblivious that he doesn’t realize that with his cavalier approach to a $17 trillion national debt and an annual trillion dollar deficit, it would make far more sense if he announced he was going to teach our young people how to shoot baskets?
I don’t expect anyone in Washington to heed this advice – certainly not Barack Obama, who hates his tepid critics at Fox News more than he detests foreign dictators who starve their own people and threaten neighbors and the U.S. with nuclear annihilation.
As Obama learned early in his candidacy for presidency, there was no reward to be had for identifying single motherhood as a problem to be solved.
In a turning point of his career, Obama told a large church congregation in Chicago on Father’s Day 2008 that too many fathers were “missing,” and nowhere was that “more true than in the African-American community.”
Jesse Jackson promptly used a hot mic on Fox News to let it be known that Obama spoke out of turn. “I want to cut his nuts out. Barack,” said Jackson with impunity. “He is talking down to black people, telling ni–-ers how to behave.”
Obama got the message. From that time on, he used his Father’s Day addresses not to chastise missing fathers but to champion single mothers and to applaud himself as a child of such a circumstance, even if he had to lie to make his point.
Some people, even some conservatives will take umbrage at calling Obama a moron. Like trained parrots, they will say, “I may not agree with his policies, but he is an Ivy League graduate, after all.” In rebuttal, I will say, he is merely the over-weaned product of affirmative action. Not only have generations of morons graduated from Harvard, Yale and Princeton, but generations of the mentally challenged have taught there and continue to teach there.
Finally, in China, a man shoved a live eel up his butt after seeing some other dude do it in a porno film. As you might have guessed, he wound up having to undergo surgery after the creature ate its way through his intestine.
Now, I can’t tell you exactly why it is, but his experience reminds me in some peculiar way of all those people who voted to re-elect Barack Obama last November.
Haven’t we had just about enough now from the political correctness that leaves us as helpless as the sturdiest professional handcuffs? Obama didn’t invent political correctness, but he refined it to the point where Danish Lutherans are considered just as likely to attack us as Quran-thumping jihadists.
A person cannot know that President Obama is thick as thieves with radical Islamist factions such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the terrorist-affiliated Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and claim surprise that we are now beginning to live out the European nightmare vis-à-vis Islam.
MRC Cranks Up Factually Dubious Obsession With Soros Money Topic: Media Research Center
Presumably in an effort to justify its campaign to raise money by fearmongering about George Soros, the Media Research Center has been busy in recent days cranking out articles about the evil things Soros is funding:
The Earth Day article by Mike Ciandella is particularly absurd -- counted in that $20 million (which, by the way, is since 2000, not last year as the article starts off suggesting) is $4.4 million given to the NAACP.
But Ciandella offers no evidence that any of the Soros money went toward Earth Day activities. Indeed, at least $1 million of that went to the NAACP's Legal Defense & Educational Fund. Soros gave another $950,000 to that fund in 2011.
As we've previously pointed out, right-wing billionaires spend at least that much money per year propping up failing newspapers that the MRC has accused of spending since 2000 on media properties or Earth Day.
Ciandella is engaging in a lazy smear -- sadly, the kind of "research" the MRC has become known form.
WND's Erik Rush Calls Immigrants 'Human Garbage' From 'Third World Toilets' Topic: WorldNetDaily
The fact is that we have far more human garbage in this country than we ever ought to have tolerated, and this has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion; it has to do with what is in people’s hearts and minds. What we haven’t imported, the left has created. Liberals and radical Marxism in particular have inculcated a sense that we somehow deserve the antipathy of those around the world (and by extension, émigrés from Third World toilets) and so should endure it. The ongoing complaint of Muslims (radical and otherwise) is very much in this vein.
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.