MRC Drags Columbia U. Into Its Anti-Soros Crusade Topic: Media Research Center
It's been a while since the Media Research Center has inflicted its obsession with George Soros on its readers, so we were due. And the MRC delivers with an Aug. 28 "special report" by Mike Ciandella using Soros to attack the Columbia University journalism school.
But as withmany MRC "special reports," this one falls into the not-so-special category, sloppily written to suggest more sinister connections than the facts bear out.
Ciandella's big claim is that "Columbia has received $9.7 million from left-wing billionaire George Soros, more support than he has given to all but three other schools." But if you go to the section of the report detailing that, Ciandella says that the donations are since 2000, and his lack of further detail tells us that the amount is for all Soros donations to Columbia, not just to the j-school as he suggests.
(By contrast, the the Koch Family Charitable Foundations, operated by conservative billionaire Koch brothers, have given more than $29 million to George Mason University since 1985, and Ciandella doesn't seem too concerned about that.)
Still, that amount over 13 years is still one-fourth of what the Unification Church doles out every single year to keep the conservative Washington Times alive.
Ciandella also asserts that "Of the 40 full-time members of the faculty, 27 work at explicitly left-wing outlets including The Huffington Post, Slate, The American Prospect, Mother Jones, Salon, The Nation and Greenpeace." But "work for" typically means being paid, and Ciandella provides no evidence that the professors who "work for" these "left-wing" outlets receive money for their contributions. For instance, the Huffington Post does not pay its bloggers.
Ciandella goes on to huff that "Many of these professors not only write for these liberal outlets, but actually work full-time for them as well," citing as one example "Thomas B. Edsall with the Huffington Post." In fact, Edsall hasn't worked for the Huffington Post since 2010.
Further, Ciandella is using "left-wing" and "liberal" interchangeably, which further indicates the level of intellectual sloppiness in his report.
Ciandella even takes the respected Columbia Journalism Review for allegedly being "left of center":
On February 19, 2013, CJR published a fairly ironic report bashing the conservative-leaning Donor’s Trust, while referring to (and agreeing with) a report which claimed that Soros’s Open Society Foundations and the liberal Tides Foundation were “markedly more transparent about where money comes from and where it goes.”
Ironically, Ciandella doesn't disclose whether his employer, the MRC, has received any Donors Trust money. That lack of disclosure is typical here: Ciandella's report is bereft of endnotes that would detail where he got his information from, which a real researcher would do.
How Is Mychal Massie Lying About Obama This Week? Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's not too far from the truth to say that you know Mychal Massie is lying because his lips are moving. And he tells more lies in his Sept. 3 WorldNetDaily column:
Based on the color of Obama’s skin do we ignore the fact that his administration played a major role by backing the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the terrorist responsible for the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, despite Obama’s feigned concern over Megrahi’s release? Based on the color of Obama’s skin I guess we should overlook that Obama’s backdoor maneuvering resulted in Megrahi being released from prison to live in Libya.
In fact, the U.S. opposed the release of Megrahi, as demonstrated by correspondence with Scotland by the State Department, which specifically states that "we are not able to endorse the early release of Megrahi under any scenario."
And since this is Mychal Massie, whose hatred of Obama borders on the pathological, we get a massive dose of Obama derangement, in which Massie likens the president to Adolf Hitler and Ted Bundy:
Race-mongers and those who use color of skin as a cudgel to silence any and all criticism of Obama should be forced to answer the following questions.
Was Hitler bad because he was German or because he was an Erebusic evil consumed by hatred? Was Ted Bundy bad because he was white or because he kidnapped, raped, engaged in necrophilia and confessed to murdering at least 30 women? Is Fidel Castro bad because he is Cuban or because he is a vicious dictator who installed a failed political system and has murdered and imprisoned his people at the same time he was taking their property by constraint? Was Saddam Hussein bad because he was an Iraqi or because he imprisoned, tortured and murdered his own people? Are child-molesting Catholic priests bad because they are Catholics or because they are priests who used their positions molest children?
Newsmax's Gizzi Tries to Claim MLK For Republicans Topic: Newsmax
CNS' Terry Jeffrey is not the only right-winger who's trying to claim Martin Luther King Jr. for conservatives. Newsmax's John Gizzi joins the party in a Sept. 1 article pushing the idea that King was a Republican:
It is impossible to know whether King was Democrat, Republican, or independent. His home state of Georgia did not have registration by party, so allegiance to a political party depended on which primaries a voter chose to cast a ballot in.
The Atlanta pastor kept this to himself. His choice of primaries to vote in is not known and, as the intellectual force the civil rights cause, King carefully avoided embracing political candidates.
But there is some evidence as to where his party leanings were, including the observations of the Republican who was Martin Luther King's congressman.
"I believe Dr. King was a Republican," Fletcher Thompson, who represented the Atlanta area in Congress from 1966-72, told Newsmax. "Most of the blacks in the late 1950s and at least up to 1960 were Republican. Our party was sympathetic to them and the Democrats were the ones enforcing 'Jim Crow' laws and segregation."
But, as Gizzi later concedes, Thompson "never personally met King." That, of course, doesn't keep Gizzi from using Thompson to suggest King's political leanings, even as he goes on to admit that "Republican orators increasingly denounced" King for his "embrace of the anti-Vietnam War movement and his friendship with the far left."
WND Columnist: End-Time Teach Keeps Christians In Line Topic: WorldNetDaily
Tom Flannery seems to have inadvertently given away a secret about evangelical Christianity.
In rebutting a video made by fellow WND columnist Bradlee Dean criticizing evangelicals who teach end-times theology, Flannery's Sept. 2 WND column defends end-time teaching as "a message of hope and joy unspeakable" -- and, as it turns out, a good way to keep Christians in line:
Truth be told, end-time teaching is one of the most powerful motivating factors there is for godly living and making your life count in this world for Christ – since, if you truly believe that the Rapture is imminent, that it could happen at any time, you are far more likely to live each day as if it could be your last and you were about to stand face-to-face with the Lord.
Admitting you're scaring people into believing in God seems a bit counterproductive -- not to mention having the dubious effect of proving Bradlee Dean correct.
AIM's Benghazi Crowdsourcing Is A Bust So Far Topic: Accuracy in Media
In promoting its little kangaroo court it calls a "Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi," Accuracy in Media is staging some sort of unspecified conference (which may or may not be a planned Sept. 16 gathering) that it claims will cost $5,000. To that end, AIM is trying to raise $1,000 from its readers through a crowdfunding site, complete with perks for large donations.
Though the campaign nas been up and running for nearly two weeks, AIM has yet to receive a single donation:
Perhaps its readers have realized how much of a kangaroo court its birther-filled "citizens commission" will be. Whatever the reason, it doesn't bode well for AIM or its commission.
WND's Farah Misses The Point On Its Impeachment Profiteering Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah begins his Aug. 30 WorldNetDaily column this way:
You may not have noticed, but the semi-official government press really is taking the traditional watchdog role seriously.
Oh no, not as a watchdog on the government.
Not as a watchdog on waste, fraud, abuse and corruption in high places.
Not as a watchdog on corrosive and powerful institutions.
I mean they watch WND like hawks.
Farah goes on to complain that other news outlets have written stories about WND's new "Impeachment Store," mocking his critics for exposing "my scheme to enrich myself through this jaded scheme of profiteering off the outrage of millions of Americans over the conduct of the most un-American president in history."
But Farah (perhaps deliberately) misses the point. The question his activities raise is not one of money-making but of journalistic integrity.
As we've documented, Farah is using the same tactics against Obama as he did in the 1990s against President Clinton by promoting conspiracy theories about the death of Vince Foster. But unlike then -- when Farah used a nonprofit group as a front for his Clinton-bashing -- Farah heads the for-profit WND, and thus is in a position to make much more money off his anti-Obama activism than he did off his anti-Clinton activism.
This raises the likelihood that Farah will keep any anti-Obama story alive in order to sell more anti-Obama tchotchkes to his readers. Indeed, he has already demonstrated his willingness to do so by forbidding any contradiction of its birther conspiracies to be reported at WND.
By the same token, while WND has heavily promoted Aaron Klein's new anti-Obama book advocating impeachment, WND has not published any rebuttals of Klein's pro-impeachment arguments. Presumably, that's because he doesn't want to undermine sales of a book he's publishing. In other words, he has a motive for putting his own personal wealth ahead of journalism, and he is apparently doing so.
And, as always, Farah is thin-skinned about the truth being told about him and his "news" website.
NewsBusters: Obama Is A Journalist Whisperer! Topic: NewsBusters
Ken Shepherd writes in a Sept. 1 NewsBusters post:
The president's call on Saturday for Congress to debate and pass a resolution authorizing airstrikes against Syria also served as a telegraphed message to the liberal media about how to spin the message in a way that puffs the president politically while turning a serious question of foreign policy and use of military resources into a domestic political grist for the 2014 midterms.
So Obama is sending secret "telegraphed messages" to the media?
After bashing a Wall Street Journal article for not hating Obama enough for pushing for an airstrike against Syria, Shepherd huffs:
Responsible journalism would call for dispassionately relaying all sides of the debate rather than helping the White House write this into a partisan narrative.
WND Just Can't Stop Fearmongering About Gardasil Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has long tried to scare its readers about Gardasil and other HPV vaccines. Bob Unruh is at it again in an Aug. 30 article:
A new video by the federal government intended to encourage the use of a virus vaccine that has been linked to seizures, paralysis, blindness, pancreatitis, memory loss, Guillain-Barré syndrome and even death includes a warning that the side effects could be merely “dizziness and stomach aches.”
The government watchdog Judicial Watch, which has been investigating for years the vaccine, Gardasil, is crying foul.
“The U.S. government is promoting a dangerous cervical cancer vaccine linked to thousands of adverse reactions, debilitating side effects and even death with a new video that outrageously claims side effects are limited,” Judicial Watch said.
Unruh uncritically presents Judicial Watch's alarmist claims as fact. At no point does he bother to explain the position of the Centers for Disease Control on Gardasil: 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.
But Unruh doesn't care about the truth -- just implementing his employer's right-wing agenda, even if someone might die in the process.
MSNBC obliterated the notion of separating cable-news hosts and their political activism when the network brass gave Rev. Al Sharpton a nightly show two years ago. It was just another day at the office when Sharpton held a rabble-rousing rally for Trayvon Martin in the afternoon, and then covered it on his show hours later.
But Saturday's rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington was the most dramatic conflict of interest yet. Sharpton organized the rally (with Martin Luther King III) and MSNBC aired huge chunks of it live, including all 20 minutes of Sharpton's screaming keynote speech. An MSNBC press release said they'd be promoting the rally from 11 am to 9 pm.
On Friday night, MSNBC gave Sharpton two hours of "pre-game" to promote the rally. On Sunday morning, he appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" to pose as Reverend King. On September 6, MSNBC will give Sharpton yet another two hours in prime time for an "Advancing the Dream" special.
This comparison is unfair to Rick Santorum, but imagine if Fox News gave Santorum a nightly show and then Santorum gave the keynote speech at the March for Life, and Fox aired large chunks of the March for Life live, and then afterwards, the Fox News hosts competed to see who could praise Santorum the most as the peerless leader of the century. Every liberal who's ever claimed Fox is a propaganda channel and not a news network should shut up and sit down after this Sharpton spectacle on MSNBC.
Bozell won't tell you that MSNBC is arguably following in the footsteps of Fox News, specifically its heavy promotion of the tea party in the early years of the Obama administration, in which Fox far surpassed anything MSNBC and Sharpton have done.
In August 2009, for example, Fox News repeatedly promoted a cross-country bus tour by one tea party group, with one Fox anchor even saying that "we want to let folks know" the Tea Party schedule so "they can be a part" of the events. One Fox "reporter" even embedded with the bus tour and filed biased, fawning reports promoting the tea party effort. And in April 2009, Fox News actually claimed sponsorship of tea party rallies.
Funny, we don't recall Bozell being critical of that, let alone lament any blurred lines between news and advocacy on TV.
As befits someone who kinda misses apartheid, WorldNetDaily columnist Ilana Mercer is fully on board with WND's race-baiting agenda, eager to scream loud and long that blacks are nothing but thugs and criminals.
In her Aug. 8 column, Mercer laments that even Fox News is "deflect[ing] from the white-hot issue of black-on-white violence":
You see, blacks are also more likely to murder whites than the reverse. This likelihood is a trend O’Reilly and the gang are submerging by emphasizing only the “intraracial” nature of most murders.
They are in “good” company. The Bureau of Justice Statistics does the same – and worse: It often inflates white violent crime by conflating whites with Hispanics.
Thus while 84 percent of white victims were killed by whites, and 93 percent of black victims were killed by blacks; a hell of a lot of whites are killed by blacks, while few blacks are offed by whites.
As regards “stranger homicide,” blacks murder whites four times more often than whites murder blacks. Put differently, black-on-white murders constituted 20 percent of the known sample of “stranger homicides.” White on black murders constituted 5 percent of the same sample. (Given the direction of the aggression, one wonders whether some in the white cohort were not engaged in self-defense.)
In the context of black-on-black violence, the self-celebrating media – Mr. O’Reilly and the parade of T & A that goes for commentary on cable – are currently breathing fire over the black family’s demise. To get my attention, they’ll have to get as fired-up about the white-hot hatred behind black-on-white menace and murder.
“There is no clear motive for why the murder happened,” a CNN reporter chanted robotically, in what has been for as long as I can remember SOP (standard operating procedure) in major media. Whenever a black murders a white – which is four times more often than the reverse – the salient features of the crime disappear into a black hole of disinformation.
By salient features I mean, in the main, information pertaining to the skin color of the perpetrator and victim and the extraordinary brutality with which the villain typically goes about exterminating his victim.
Overkill is the word I’m looking for.
“Sticks and stones may break [your] bones but words will never hurt [you].” That’s how children were once wisely taught, in rhyme, to get a grip on the dangers that await them in the world. Prevailing PC pietism has reversed this simple profundity. Dead and disfigured white corpses stacked up in morgues are purported to tell us not a thing about a killer’s motives, unless accompanied by nasty words.
But as the cliché goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Mercer also describes the death of Christopher Lane as being at the hands of "another pair of feral black youths," disappearing the white youth who is also charged in the death.
The latest entry is an Aug. 30 article by Melanie Hunter complaining that "The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $556,000 to Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine for an LGBT mental health internship program."Hunter goes on to demand of an HHS spokesman "why it was advantageous for HHS to fund the grant despite the sequester."
Hunter doesn't explain, however, why she has deemed this particular expenditure to be a waste of money -- arguably, she makes the opposite case by explaining while the grant exists:
"LGBT adults have higher rates of smoking, alcohol use, and substance use than heterosexual adults, which leads to long-lasting effects on both the individual and the community. Health professionals with greater exposure to LGBT patients and formal education in LGBT Psychology are better able to provide competent care."
Apparently, Hunter believes it is a waste of money to provide mental health services to -- and thus possibly save the life of -- an LGBT person, which comports nicely with her employer's anti-gay agenda.
WND's Jim Fletcher Doesn't Understand Newspaper Economics Topic: WorldNetDaily
When anyone invokes Rush Limbaugh, that should be a warning sign. Jim Fletcher writes in his Aug. 29 WorldNetDaily column:
As usual, Rush Limbaugh makes more sense than all the liberals combined. It’s always fascinating to watch the left come up with reasons for a certain reality, when in fact they are not facing the real reason(s).
Take the decline of newspapers, for instance.
I used to be a newspaper junkie, as many as I could lay my hands on. I’d get to work early so that I could devour all the news. Op-ed pages were my favorite. My personal print newspaper decline began when some of the old guard of the op-ed pages – men like John Robert Starr in Arkansas – began to well, die. Frankly, I found their replacements to be … mediocre.
But I digress. The real reason papers have declined in readership, of course, is the obvious: People were fed up with liberalism in the media, and they saw the rise of “the Internets.”
So how does Fletcher account for the fact that conservative newspapers like the Washington Times and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review would not be in business were it not for deep-pocketed owners willing to absorb millions of dollars of annual losses, even when there was no competition from the Internet? How does Fletcher account for the fact that even deep-pocketed owners get tired of losing money, which finally allowed the Washington Examiner and Human Events to succumb to market forces?
Is Fletcher going to blame the content of these conservative papers for their demise and lack of profit, as he does for "liberal" newspapers? Of course not -- Rush Limbaugh told him not to.
Noel Sheppard Mocks Obama For Discussing Jobs With A Businessman Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard sneers in an Aug. 30 NewsBusters post:
The United States is about to start a war with Syria, yet President Obama still had time Thursday to meet with NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson to discuss - wait for it! - jobs.
Obama's senior advisor Valerie Jarrett later thanked Johnson for the "great meeting."
Isn't that special?
Our nation is talking about going to war, and the President of the United States has time to discuss jobs with a former basketball player.
So our President doesn't have time to talk to Congress about a looming war, but he does have time to chat with a former basketball player.
In fact, Johnson is a very successful businessman and employer. The Los Angeles Times reported upon Johnson becoming part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers last year:
Johnson’s strategy has included immersing himself in the minutia of real estate development and other business issues while linking up with top players in various industries. It was his Dodgers partner Peter Guber, then chairman of Sony, who green-lighted the development of Magic Johnson Theaters at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in the mid-1990s, said Lombard, who is himself an experienced real estate developer.
The shining success of the theaters in a South Los Angeles neighborhood overlooked by traditional investors led to a partnership with Howard Shultz, chairman of Starbucks, who arranged a special deal with Johnson to open Starbucks in urban neighborhoods. Johnson was Starbucks’ only franchise operator until the agreement expired in 2010.
Johnson also teamed up with Canyon Capital Realty Advisors, a Century City investment fund that manages about $18 billion for investors such as pension funds and university endowments. Together they have done a series of joint ventures investing hundreds of millions of dollars in densely populated, ethnically diverse communities around the United States.
Johnson seems like the perfect person to talk to about jobs, particularly in struggling urban communities. But Sheppard apparently despises Obama so much that he'll just sit and mock instead of investigating the facts. Sheppard's frequent placement of ideology before facts tends to get him into trouble, yet he remains a NewsBusters associate editor.
WND's Farah Has A Fit That Muhammad Bio Briefly Outsold A Film He Made Topic: WorldNetDaily
Few ConWeb figures are more thin-skinned than WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, and he proves it yet again.
Last week, WND actually devoted an article to how the WND-produced “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" was knocked from the top spot of Amazon.com's top-selling "faith movie or TV show in the country" after 67 weeks by a documentary about Muhammad.
Now, you'd think that topping a minor Amazon sales list for 67 weeks would be enough of an achievement that WND would accept the normal course of things and abdicate gracefully. But no. Take it away, Joe:
Joseph Farah, the producer of “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” said he knew the movie couldn’t possibly occupy the No. 1 spot on Amazon.com forever, but he’s shocked that a “pseudo-documentary about the life of Muhammad could be become the most purchased faith movie in America just 12 years after 9/11.”
“It’s revolting,” Farah said, “not that Isaiah was knocked out of the top spot after 67 weeks, but that it could be replaced by a movie that so distorts the twisted, murderous life of a megalomaniacal hate monger, oppressor of women and genocidal fiend whose teachings inspired the worst attack on American soil in the country’s history.”
Needless to say, Farah provides no evidence that the Muhammad documentary distorts anything, let alone any evidence that he has actually watched the thing.
But Farah's not done denigrating he has apparently never seen:
The movie was released Aug. 20 by PBS, a U.S. government-subsidized corporation.
“I’m sure all the money the federal government put into an advertising campaign for this tripe helped propel it to the top,” said Farah. “But I doubt it will have any longevity. I pray it doesn’t for the very future of our country. Whatever happened to the separation of church and state – or does that principle not apply to mosque and state.”
Farah's whining apparently paid off, because an article three days later proclaimed that "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" returned to the top of the list.
The funny thing, though, is that neither of the articles provides links to the WND-produced film at Amazon -- they all go to the film at WND's own online store. That's because Farah and WND make more money if you buy the film from them than if you buy it from Amazon.
The fact that Farah is hyping an Amazon sales list while discouraging you from buying from Amazon shows what a cynical promotional excercise this is.
CNS' Jeffrey Tries To Claim MLK For Republicans Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey apparently can't deal with how civil rights has become a mostly liberal cause. So the CNSNews.com editor in chief has dedicated a couple of articles to cherry-picking Martin Luther King Jr. in order to portray him as endorsing conservative causes.
One of Jeffrey's articles carries the headline "MLK: ‘A Just Law is a Man-Made Code That Squares With the…Law of God’" and quoted from his "Letter from Birmingham Jail." The second carries the headline "MLK: ‘Whatever We Do, We Must Keep God in the Forefront’" and quotes from a 1955 sermon "four days after Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Ala., for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person."
That's some wide-ranging cherry-picking there to selectively glom onto King's legacy.