ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Monday, October 21, 2013
MRC Still Complaining That GOP Is Accurately Blamed For Shutdown
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center, it seems, still can't handle the fact that the media is accurately reporting that Republicans are to blame for the recent government shutdown.

On the heels of his earlier mini-study complaining about this accurate reporting, Rich Noyes has cranked out a larger Oct. 17 study saying exactly the same thing. For the first time that we can remember, Noyes attempts an explanation for why the MRC focuses so narrowly on the TV networks and ignores cable news:

For millions of Americans, big political contests such as presidential elections and pivotal congressional hearings are still largely witnessed through the lens of ABC’s, CBS’s and NBC’s evening newscasts. According to Nielsen Research, more than 20 million viewers tuned in over the past two weeks for the Big Three’s take on the shutdown drama.

Noyes isn't going to tell you, of course, that the main complicating factor in complaining about cable news bias is Fox News, which like the MRC is a proud shill for the Republican Party, as well as pretending that Republicans had nothing to do with the shutdown.

As before, Noyes never why Republicans are not to blame for the shutdown -- he merely complains that they're being blamed  and Democrats aren't. He never stops to consider that this may be because these news outlets are reporting facts and that it's false equivalency to claim otherwise.

Noyes finally conceded the possibility of some GOP responsibility at the very end of his study, then tries to take it back:

As the shutdown neared its end, the networks’ polls found the American public more critical of the GOP than either Democrats or the White House. While some blame can perhaps be assigned to Republicans’ lack of a unified conservative message, the incessant drumbeat of hostile, and slanted, media coverage surely took its toll as well.

Earth to Noyes: "Lack of a unified conservative message" was not the problem; conservatives' insistence on deviating from longstanding practice by trying to defund an approved program by holding the rest of the government hostage was.

There's also a little matter that Republicans had been planning a shutdown for months, but Noyes won't tell you that.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 PM EDT
WND's Barry Farber Botches Facts
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barry Farber's Oct. 15 WorldNetDailiy column is headlined "Obama's ham-handedness on Egypt." In it he writes:

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood apparently won the post-Mubarak election fairly. Despite Obama’s claims that this is tangible proof of cleanliness and godliness, let’s remind each other of two leaders who started out by winning free elections, namely, Hitler and Mussolini.

First, Obama was more about praising the fact that Egypt had successfully conducted its first-ever democratic election than the specific result. The Obama administration called for Morsi to form a government with "mutual respect" for all and "respecting the rights of all Egyptian citizens – including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians."

Second, Hitler wasn't elected. As we've previously noted, Hitler was never elected president of Germany -- he was appointed chancellor, then assumed the power of the presidency.

Perhaps Farber should re-title his column "Farber's ham-handedness with the facts."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EDT
Sunday, October 20, 2013
MRC Hides Conservative's Endorsement Of Redskins Name Change
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center got all huffy over the past few weeks as more people argued that the Washington Redskins is a name that is somewhere between insensitive and racist and should be changed:

  • NewsBusters' Tom Blumer grumbled that the Associated Press did "an 880-word writeup on this breathtakingly important subject" of President Obama's opinion on changing the team name.
  • Matt Philbin ranted: "Well Redskins fans, it’s over. The ruling has been handed down from on high – The Washington Post and USA Today. They’ve got a foam finger for you, but it’s not the index and you’re certainly not #1 to them, and they’re the ones who matter. They’ve decided your team name will change."
  • Tim Graham complained that the Washington Post did an article on an online contest to pick a new team logo.
  • Philbin did more ranting, declaring that the Post "has dedicated at least 31,562 print and online words to its crusade" and wants to be "the paper that brought down a mascot."
  • MRC chief Brent Bozell decried the "liberal media agitation" for changing the name, howling: "The word 'Redskins' is so apparently offensive they’ve made the team sound like a porn film. Here is the insanity: They'd be less offended -- and in some circles of the libertine community, openly supportive – if Snyder renamed the team the 'Foreskins.'"
  • Graham complained further that sportscaster Bob Costas expressed his opposition to the name, which he dismissed as "another liberal rant with no rebuttal."

But changing the name is not just a liberal idea -- but the MRC won't tell you that.

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer -- normally a friend to the MRC -- opined on Fox News that while he's "in low dudgeon over this," he supports changing the name because the word's meaning has evolved:  But if it were personally my choice, I think it’s over the line. I do think, because of its history, it’s something that if you can change, you would change."

Krauthammer expanded on his views in his Washington Post column:

This is a matter of usage — and usage changes. If you shot a remake of 1934’s “The Gay Divorcee,” you’d have to change that title too.

Not because the lady changed but because the word did.

Hail Skins.

Strangely, Graham has not seen fit to attack Krauthammer for this view the way he did Costas. Then again, the MRC did give Krauthammer its “William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence” last month with special praise for "his trenchant dry humor and perfectly-timed zings at various liberals in the media."

Krauthammer offered none of that in his support for changing the Redskins' name, apparently, so down the MRC memory hole it went.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 PM EDT
WND's Klayman Laughably Claims His Obama-Muslim Smears Are Just Metaphors
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As with his frequent client Joseph Farah (for whom he loses cases repeatedly), one must admire Larry Klayman's ability to lie so brazenly.

After Klayman took heat for ranting during last weekend's veterans protest in Washington that Americans should "demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up" -- something so odious and unproductive to the purpose of the protest that even WorldNetDaily refused to report Klayman's remarks even though he has said such things repeatedly in his WND column -- Klayman issued a non-apology through his one-man Freedom Watch organization. Klayman claimed that his attack was "metaphorically stated," adding, "While these references were intended to be metaphoric and not literal, they do ring true nevertheless."

Klayman's claim that he was speaking metaphorically is an after-the-fact CYA action, not to mention a complete lie -- he has invoked the Obama-is-a-Muslim smear way too many times for it to be a metaphor, and he has never couched it in surrounding language that would indicate it's a metaphor (and he certainly did not do so during his speech).

Klayman's press release went on to cite what he claimed were "uncontroverted" fact about Obama and his purported Muslim sympathies. But one of them is a total falsehood: "Fourth, Obama has worn a ring for decades that is inscribed with the saying that his only god is Allah." As we've documented, even birthers rushed to discredit this Jerome Corsi (and Joel Gilbert)-promoted falsehood.

Interestingly, when Klayman rewrote his press release for use as his Oct. 18 WND column, that example disappeared. His lie about speaking metaphorically, however, remains intact.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EDT
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Horowitz's TruthRevolt Copies NewsBusters, Ignores Basic Research
Topic: Horowitz

A couple weeks ago, the David Horowitz Freedom Center started up a website called TruthRevolt, which claims as a goal to "unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American public, and devastate their funding bases."It's headed by Breitbart's Ben Shapiro, who's perhaps best know around these parts for his petulant whining, as well as his ugly smear of Rahm Emanuel as a "kapo." So, yeah, Shapiro will be putting the "revolting" in TruthRevolt.

So far, though, TruthRevolt is covering much the same ground as NewsBusters -- even writing blogs on the exact same subjects. Perhaps that's why we've seen no mention of TruthRevolt on any Media Research Center website.

In addition, the website has earmarks of the David Horowitz cult of personality -- the TruthRevolt front page promotes two Horowitz books and "David Horowitz's Restoration Weekend."

TruthRevolt is also following NewsBusters' tradition of putting its right-wing agenda before solid research. An unbylined Oct. 17 item attacks "The View" co-host Jenny McCarthy for invoking a Jewish stereotype, then added, "But McCarthy is a leftist appearing in the mainstream media, and thus escaped scot-free."

In fact, both the mainstream media and the "leftist" media has been harshly critical of McCarthy for something much worse than invoking a Jewish stereotype: her promotion of the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism, which increased when she joined "The View." A quick Google search returns articles from the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The New Yorker, The Nation, Huffington Post, National Geographic, MSN and NPR. It wasn't that hard to do.

We realize TruthRevolt is new to the media-monitoring game, but here's a pro tip: Do a little research before you spout off, lest you look even more like the uninformed partisans you are.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:40 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, October 19, 2013 11:42 PM EDT
Aaron Klein Gets Schooled on WND's 'Christianist Xenophobia'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein really wanted to attack Obama administration adviser Mohamed Elibiary in an Oct. 18 WorldNetDaily article for using the word "Christianist" to describe right-wing activists:

Department of Homeland Security adviser Mohamed Elibiary has warned the tea party movement against attempting to change the U.S. political landscape through “Christianist Xenophobia.”

Elibiary further charged some “white identity/privilege types” have a problem with a “black president” and “brown Mexicans.”

“If #TeaParty wants US revived then we must swing Blue seats Red & that is only achievable thru Libertarianism, not Christianist Xenophobia,” Elibiary tweeted.

Asked by WND in an email to clarify his remarks, Elibiary replied: “’Christianist’ is a term coined about a decade ago and like ‘Islamist’ (for Muslims) and ‘Zionist’ (for Jews) refers to Christians who mix theology and nationalism.”

But Klein decided to push his luck and make it personal:

Elibiary said WND falls into his definition of “Christianist.”

“WND certainly would often times fall in this camp as well as perhaps a subset of Christianists that political scientists refer to as ‘Christian Zionists’ because of its foreign policy worldview through a dispensationalist end-time theology.”

Interestingly, Klein makes no effort to challenge  what Elibiary actually said; rather, he reaches into his big bag o' guilt by association and spends the rest of his article attack previous alleged offenses by Elibiary.

Does that mean Klein agrees with Elibiary's description of WND and other far-right activists as "Christianist"? It sure looks that way -- it can be argued that Klein's silence equals assent.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2013 4:17 PM EDT
Friday, October 18, 2013
Newsmax's Gizzi Blames Christie For NJ Senate Loss
Topic: Newsmax

Before the New Jersey Senate election, Newsmax's John Gizzi touted the prospects of Republican Steve Lonegan against Democrat Cory Booker -- while largely ignoring polls showing Lonegan far behind and completely failing to mention offensive remarks by a key Lonegan strategist.

Now that the election is over, with Booker defeating Lonegan by double digits, Gizzi must find someone other than Lonegan to blame. Unlike NewsBusters' Matthew Sheffield's blame of the media, Gizzi uses an Oct. 17 Newsmax article to take it out on Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, while hiding behind an anonymous source to do so:

Although most pundits believe the easy win by Democrat Cory Booker in the New Jersey special Senate election Wednesday was a foregone conclusion, there's another theory: If Republican Gov. Chris Christie had handled the situation differently, the outcome might have been quite different.

"Had Gov. Christie appointed a moderate-conservative with a known name — say, [state Senate Republican Leader] Tom Kean Jr. — after [incumbent Frank] Lautenberg died, and then scheduled the Senate race for the same day as the race for governor, Booker might just have been defeated," a former Republican U.S. House member told Newsmax.

Christie did none of the above.

Funny how conservatives have so much trouble blaming losses by conservative candidates on the candidate.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EDT
The Rich, Pathetic Irony Of Joseph Farah Complaining About The Lies Of Others
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah devotes his Oct. 17 WorldNetDaily column to ranting about the alleged "lies and deceptions" made by President Obama in a post-shutdown speech. Farah counters these supposed lies with little more than spin and right-wing talking points.

Farah concludes his column by stating: "I fear for an America presided over by such a prolific liar – one who does it so effortlessly and so brazenly."

Farah is probably just afraid of having competition. He's more than demonstrated his ability to lie in the prolific, effortless and brazen manner he accuses Obama of doing -- though unlike Obama, Farah runs a "news" website where he presents his lies as the truth.

That makes Farah's lies far more pernicious that anything he has accused Obama of.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:57 PM EDT
NewsBusters' Sheffield Blames Media For Cory Booker's Win, Because Why Wouldn't He
Topic: NewsBusters

As we've detailed, Matthew Sheffield's efforts to present himself as a forward-thinking right-wing new-media guru is undermined by his kneejerk blaming of the "liberal media" for every conservative failure. Sheffield demonstrates that tendency again in an Oct. 16 NewsBusters post blaming Steve Lonegan's loss to Cory Booker in the New Jersey Senate race on, yes, the liberal media:

The Lonegan story is truly an inspiring one. Instead of consigning himself to a life spent dependent on the state and ruing his disability, he decided to make something of himself and became a successful businessman and political activist.

Unfortunately for him, however, the word has not gotten out. According to the Nexis news database, in the four and a half months that Lonegan has been running for Senate, newspapers covering the race have mentioned his disability just 59 times in the more than 1,000 articles they’ve written about the special election. According to Nexis, the New York Times has mentioned Lonegan’s blindness once.

In contrast, the media’s treatment of Lonegan’s opponent, Democrat Cory Booker, has until recently, been nearly orgasmic. Since June of this year, the local newspapers have used the term “rock star” to describe Booker 42 times.

Needless to say, Sheffield makes no mention of a key Lonegan's sexually charged attack on Booker.

Sheffield also laments that "There also has not been any released reporting on claims that Booker does not actually live in the city he purports to lead" without mentioning that it was forwarded by the utterly discredited conspiracy theorist Joel Gilbert, best known for forwarding the completely false claims that President Obama's mother posed for nude photos and that Obama wears a ring that says "There is no god except Allah" in Arabic.

The reason the media didn't cover this story is because it lacks credibility. Too bad Sheffield is too blinded by his right-wing loyalites to recognize that fact.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 PM EDT
WND's Unruh Still Rejects Journalism, Can't Be Bothered With Balance
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Basically, all you need to know about Bob Unruh's Oct. 16 WorldNetDaily article running to the defense of the American Family Association and other anti-gay and right-wing groups is that of the article's 64 paragraphs, only one hints at offering an alternative view.

Much of the rest of Unruh's article is devoted to attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center for calling the AFA, the Family Research Council and other similar groups "hate groups" for their virulent anti-gay activism. Unruh mentions only that the SPLC has pointed out "the demonizing lies about the LGBT community spread" by the FRC and other groups, but he makes no effort whatsoever to substantiate the claims, though he could have easily done so. Unruh also refused to contact the SPLC to give the group an opportunity to respond to the attacks against it that he reproduces so lovingly in his article.

But that's not all -- Unruh also rehashes old attacks on those who have pointed out the violence of fringe right-wing groups. For instance, he noted a study by U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center that "linked opposition to abortion and other “fundamental” positions to terrorism." Unruh even repeated a claim from "constitutional law professor" Herb Titus that the study's author was "has adopted the strategy of many left-wing members of the professoriate, concentrating on the behavior of a few in order to discredit many who hold similar views but who do not engage in any form of violence."

As we noted when Unruh first promoted this attack, it's  rather ludicrous of Titus to attack the faculty of West Point as "left-wing members of the professoriate." Titus' criticism of "concentrating on the behavior of a few in order to discredit many" is also rather laughable given that's the exact strategy of WND's Colin Flaherty in fearmongering about "black mobs."

Unruh also wrote: "The Obama administration declined comment on its decision to monitor Julio Severo’s unabashedly Christian Last Days Watchman blog." Unruh didn't mention that the monitoring accusation -- which came from Severo himself -- is unsubstantiated by an authoritative, unbiased source, or that Severo peddles hate and lies about gays.

The fact that Unruh has so little disregard for journalism that he thinks he needs to tell only one side of a story is just another reason why nobody bellieves WND. But then, Unruh rejected journalism the day he started work at WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 AM EDT
Thursday, October 17, 2013
CNS Heathers Peter King

The Media Research Center Heathering bug has now spread to the MRC's ostensible "news" division, Here's Susan Jones' Oct. 16 article:

Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, has become a favorite of liberal media outlets for his harsh criticism of his own party.

On Tuesday, King appeared on CNN, blasting his fellow Republican Ted Cruz as "a total fraud" and demanding that the House pass a clean stopgap funding bill to end the government shutdown.


King repeated his prediction -- made earlier on another liberal network -- that Cruz will try to "rewrite history" in the months ahead by accusing Republicans of surrendering: "He's going to say we were on the verge of winning back in October and Republicans panicked, they quit so soon...I can just see that nonsense coming from him that we have to really go out of our way to target him now and show that he's a false prophet and a phony."

Jones doesn't explain to her readers that her defintion of a "liberal network" is any network other than Fox News. Jones also fails to explain how anything King said is false or misleading in any way -- indeed, his prediction that Cruz would blame his fellow Republicans for surrendering turned out to be right on the money.

As with the MRC's other Heathering victims, Jones is simply lashing out at King for daring to deviate from right-wing dogma. That may make Jones a good ideological apparatchik, but it's certainly not "news" by any stretch of the imagination.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EDT
WND Gives Away Aaron Klein's Slow-Selling Impeachment Book to Congress
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott's WorldNetDaily-published anti-Obama book "Impeachable Offenses" is rapidly declining in sales. Despite debuting less than two months ago, as of this writing it's ranked at 24,863 at, which belies Joseph Farah's boastful propaganda that the book had presold 100,000 copies.

Now, Farah has found a use for all those unsold copies of Klein's book on their way to the remainder bin: a publicity stunt to give copies to members of Congress. From an Oct. 16 WND article:

A book described as “the first draft of the articles of impeachment against Barack Obama” has been distributed to all 435 members of the U.S. House, including the dozen or so who already have publicly admitted they have considered the idea.

“Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office,” by Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott, argues that Obama already has committed many violations of the Constitution that could qualify him for impeachment, including his health care legislation, which the authors describe as taxation without representation.

The delivery of the books, donated by publisher WND Books, was arranged by Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas.

Since the publisher donated the books, they don't count as sales, meaning thew book will plunge further down the bestseller lists. Then again, the giveaway does clear some warehouse space (at least until the rest of the unsold copies are remaindered).

Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EDT
AIM Falsely Claims NJ Senate Candidate 'Has a Real Chance to Win'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

James Simpson's Oct. 15 Accuracy in Media column on the New Jersey Senate race carries the headline "Steve Lonegan Has a Real Chance to Win."

Well, not so much -- Democrat Cory Booker defeated Republican Lonegan by more than 10 percentage points. Just like Newsmax's John Gizzi, Simpson ignored pre-election polls showing Lonegan behind by that amount or larger.

Also like Gizzi, Simpson made no mention of the fact that Lonegan's strategist and pollster was fired for making sexually suggestive comments about Booker.

Aside from the failed prognosticating, Simpson's column is a very thinly veiled bit of electioneering fof Lonegan. He implores readers to "Watch the video of Lonegan’s life story, and make up for the rampant media malpractice by spreading it around" and touts how you can "watch Lonegan clean Booker’s clock" in a debate. Simpson sneers that Booker "has the left fawning all over him nationwide because he is well-spoken, clean cut and black. Remind you of anyone?" Simpson concludes his column with a link to Lonegan's website.

Simpson's column runs dangerously close to partisan political advocacy, which is generally forbidden under the 501(c)3 non-profit status that governs groups like AIM. Hopefully AIM's lawyers reviewed this column before publication; otherwise, it could be in trouble.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 PM EDT
WND, Newsmax Tout Claim By Discredited Author
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Sandy Fitzgerald and Kathleen Walter write in an Oct. 16 Newsmax article:

The ongoing government shutdown and budget battle will haunt President Barack Obama and Democrats seeking House control in 2014, says Ed Klein, author of the political exposé "The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House"  — and White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett has been pulling the strings behind the scenes.

"The mainstream media has played this as a Republican gambit, which in fact it wasn't," Klein , a journalist and New York Times best-selling author, told Newsmax TV. "From the very beginning it was the president's strategy to demonize the Republicans on the shutdown in order to win the House of Representatives during the midterm elections."

And Jarrett and first lady Michelle Obama both enjoy an overwhelming influence over the president, Klein told Walter.

"The fact of the matter is that the strategy that the president is currently carrying out, which is the demonizing of the Republican Party, the effort to make the Republicans look like they are the bad guys in this whole thing, is the strategy that was devised and has been urged on the president by Valerie Jarrett, his senior political advisor," Klein said. "She has kept whispering in the president's ear, 'Stand firm, stand firm, and you're going to win.'"

Similarly, Garth Kant writes in an Oct. 16 WorldNetDaily article:

The shutdown was deliberately orchestrated by the White House, according to the former foreign editor of Newsweek and editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine.

Why would the White House intentionally cause such pain and havoc across the country?

It is a ploy to win votes, concluded author Ed Klein.

He told the New York Post that President Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, developed a strategy to force a showdown with Republicans over Obamcare.

Jarrett recommended shutting down government because, Klein said, she believed voters would pin the blame on Republicans.

And that would give Democrats the opportunity to win control of the House of Representatives in the 2014 midterm elections.

Neither Newsmax nor WND mention the fact that Klein is a discredited author with a right-wing agenda. They also failed to mention a secret Republican rule change that all but guaranteed a shutdown by essentially ensuring that a "clean" continuing resolution from the Senate would never be introduced in the House.

There's also the inconvenient fact that Republicans were the ones who had been planning a shutdown for months. Newsmax and WND don't mention that, either.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
NewsBusters Heathers Nicolle Wallace For Not Immediately Denouncing Obamacare
Topic: NewsBusters

Apparently, to be a true Republican one must oppose Obamacare unequivocally, and Nicolle Wallace has failed that test. So, it's Heathering time, courtesy of an Oct. 15 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein:

Nicolle Wallace is the perfect MSNBC kind of Republican: the kind who isn't sure if she opposes Obamacare.

On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough was seeking to make the point that while Republicans are divided over tactics, they are ideologically united in opposition to Obamacare.  To demonstrate his thesis, Scarborough asked Wallace whether she supports Obamacare, taking it for granted that she would express her opposition.  Amazingly, Wallace responded that she "wasn't sure anymore," then quoted her [former Bush aide] husband who had wondered "what do we hate about it?" She did then catch heself and admitted to not supporting Obamacare on the grounds that the government is not a competent deliverer of healthcare.  Too late: Wallace had already betrayed her RINO roots.

If someone, asked whether they support Obamacare, does not instinctively respond in the negative, given that the law represents everything that opponents of big government disdain, then that someone is no Republican, let alone a conservative.

Good job, comrade Finkelstein! Your fellow MRC apparatchiks will surely reward you for your commitment to ideology above all else, including reason. Wallace will soon be under your tutelage at the NewsBusters re-education camp.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« October 2013 »
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google