Truth Revolt's Ben Shapiro Gets Desperate For Attention Topic: Horowitz
We've generally ignored the Truth Revolt media-watchdog blog, largely because it's a second-rate ripoff of NewsBusters and part of the David Horowitz cult of personality. But it appears that Ben Shapiro and Co. are desperate for attention, as painfully illustrated by Shapiro's April 10 column accusing Stephen Colbert of "political blackface," complete with a vintage photo of an actual blackface entertainer. Shapiro goes on to complain that making fun of conservatives is just like racism:
This is the purpose of Colbert’s routine. His show is about pure hatred for conservatives in the same way that blackface was about pure hatred of blacks. In order to justify their racism, racists had to create a false perception of blacks; in the same way, Colbert and his audience can justify their racism only by creating a false perception of conservatives.
Shapiro seems to have ignored the fact that conservatives could come up with a liberal Colbert. But conservatives like Shapiro are too ideological to create genuinely effective political humor at Colbert's level, as anyone who has ever watched NewsBusters' "NewsBusted" or D.J. Dolce's WorldNetDaily videos can attest.
But even if Shapiro had a coherent point to make, it's lost because of his use of the blackface image. That just screams of desperation, a "hey, look at me!" tactic, an attempt to advance a few rungs on the right-wing media ladder by putting provocation before substance.
Will Shapiro succeed? Given his history of shooting himself in the foot with dickishness masquerading as edginess -- smearing a fellow Jew as a "kapo," refusing to admit he got snookered in the "Friends of Hamas" fiasco -- we suspect Truth Revolt will, sooner than later, go the way of the Horowitz group's previous blog effort, NewsReal.
But not before Shapiro provides even more examples of living up to the "revolting" part of Truth Revolt.
An unbylined April 14 WND article champions Richard Mack -- identified only as "executive director of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association" but who is also a member of the extremist group Oath Keepers -- and his claim that "his sources inside the federal government warn that Washington’s weekend retreat in a dispute over grazing land in Nevada was only a move to distract attention and diffuse tensions, because a raid on the family’s ranch still is planned."
WND doesn't mention that not only did Mack join other militia thugs in escalating the standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy and federal officials over Bundy's decades of violations of grazing laws, he planned a rather heinous plan should the standoff escalate: use women as human shields for the militia thugs.
As the Blaze documents, Mack told Fox News: "We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers."
Given that WND, for instance, approvingly quoted Rush Limbaugh claiming that President Obama was using children as "human shields" to announce new gun regulations, it should be outraged that militia thugs decided that women were expendible enough to serve as human shields in a standoff with federal officials.
But we suspect it's not -- the thugs were sticking it to the hated federal government, and the women would have been acceptable collateral damage who would also serve as convenient martyrs had things escalated that far.
MRC Bashes Jenny McCarthy for Being Anti-Vaccine, Forgets It's Anti-Vaccine Too Topic: Media Research Center
In an April 14 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock criticizes Jenny McCarthy for "attempting to backtrack on her anti-vaccine conspiracy theories." That's a bit hypocritical since the Media Research Center has its own anti-vaxxer streak.
As we've documented, the MRC has criticized people like McCarthy for promoting the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism, but it has promoted fearmongering about Gardasil and other anti-HPV vaccines, in part as a way to shame people about premarital sex. The MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has declared that studying how to boost the vaccination rate for anti-HPV vaccines is a waste of federal money.
Jerome Corsi writes dramatically in an April 12 WorldNetDaily article:
When Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to take his cattle off land the federal government demanded for the habitat of an endangered desert tortoise, it focused the nation’s attention on an arena Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., may have preferred to be kept quiet.
An investigative report published last week by Infowars.com drew a connection between Senate Majority Leader Reid’s involvement with Chinese energy giant ENN, Chinese efforts to build massive solar facilities in the Nevada desert and the showdown between Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, or BLM.
The word Infowars should set off warning signals -- that's the website operated by conspiracy-monger Alex Jones. It says a lot about Corsi that he considers Infowars to be credible.
Anyway, the gist of the conspiracy here is that Reid's son Rory "had been appointed the primary representative" of a Chinese company that wanted to construct a solar power plant on the land where Bundy illegally grazed his cattle.
But Corsi is simply doing stenography here -- he doesn't bother to do any investigating on his own. He really should have because what he's copying isn't true. The right-wing Breitbart website did what Corsi wouldn't and even they can't support the claim:
Despite the obvious partisan gain to be had if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s son Rory (a failed 2010 Nevada gubernatorial candidate) had somehow been involved in a “land grab” affecting the Bundy family ranch operation—the facts just do not pan out as such. Indeed, Rory Reid did in fact have a hand in plans to reclassify federal lands for renewable energy developments. Just northeast of Las Vegas and Nellis Air Force Base, plans were drawn by Reid allies to potentially develop 5,717 acres of land for such use. While it would be fair to claim that such activity was in Bundy’s relative neighborhood, the federal lands once leased by the family were more than 20 miles away, east of Overton, Nevada. Contrasting maps offered by InfoWars and those entered into federal court record prove such a theory to be a stretch.
Despite the utter bogusness of Corsi's conspiracy, Joseph Farah parrots it in his April 13 WND column:
This was about something else.
It’s always about something else.
Maybe – just maybe – it had to do with another Nevadan by the name of Harry Reid.
It seems the Senate majority leader has been doing favors for a Chinese energy giant ENN, which has plans to build massive solar facilities in that area – tortoises or no tortoises.
Farah goes on to thank Bundy "for bringing all of this to the public’s attention." And surely Infowars thanks WND for publicizing its bogus conspiracy theory.
UPDATE: Barbara Simpson repeats the bogus conspiracy theory in her April 13 WND column.
CNS' Jeffrey Tries to Politicize Longevity Statistics Topic: CNSNews.com
Leave it to CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey to politicize census statistics.
It's not a surprise to anyone that women as a whole live longer than men, but Jeffrey puts a political spin on it in an April 10 CNS article headlined "Death Discriminates: 81% of Americans 100 or Older Are Women." Jeffrey continues the needless politicization in the article itself:
There is a vast inequality among people who live past their hundredth birthday, according to newly published data from the Census Bureau.
Eighty-one percent of the Americans 100 years old and older during the five-year period covered in the Census Bureau’s report (2007-2011) were women, while only 19 percent were men.
Why is Jeffrey putting this bizarre frame on what are essentially actuarial statistics? It's not like liberals (or anyone else, for that matter) have made this an issue. Maybe it's Jeffrey's idea of a right-wing joke.
As Militia Thugs Gather In Nevada, WND's Loudon Rants That Only The Left Likes Riots Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gina Loudon's April 13 column is headlined "Why the left loves a violent riot," and she's aiming at out-of-control campus celebrations, but she can't resist the urge to politicize it:
There is a political use for the mob mentality, and our founders understood that well. That is why they designed a representative republic instead of a democracy. Many in our country, including the president, continue to refer to our system of government as a democracy. It isn’t, and that matters. This is a substantive omission, and here’s why.
The difference between a republic and democracy is that a republic is far less susceptible to mob rule than a democracy. By design, democracy allows majority rule, even tyrannical rule, if it is supported by the majority.
Mob mentality plus lack of religion is the perfect recipe for tyranny.
When individualism is taken away, and replaced with groupthink, all people will become more susceptible to mob mentality. When groups are then rewarded more for being part of a group than for individual success (everyone gets a trophy mentality), that mindset deepens.
When God is taken out of schools, and now needs are met by government, the people begin to see the government as their supplier of needs. Therefore, the people are more willing to submit to the government’s requests, or even hypocrisies, because there is a sort of worship forming.
This is further consecrated when people no longer need family to help them when financial times are tough, because they have government for that. They no longer need neighbors to help them when they have needs, so they stay in their homes and wait for their government check to arrive. They no longer need local charities to help them when they are sick; they have government-controlled health-care programs for that. They no longer need church to help them in crisis, because government does. Once a society’s need for family, church, neighbors and charity are omitted, the government can move in for total control.
When religion is taken away, and moral relativity replaces religion, the mob can do anything without remorse.
Loudon seems to have missed the events in Nevada over the past few days. A lawbreaker named Cliven Bundy had action taken against him for his lawbreaking, and not only did the website that publishes Loudon's column side with the lawbreaker, they cheered on the armed militia thugs that came to Nevada to escalate the situation.
Loudon probably won't call the militia thugs ready to maim and kill government officials given the slightest provocation bereft of religion and driven by moral relativity. Heck, she probably doesn't think Bundy violated the law even though it's been amply documented he has done so for 20 years.
Loudon's answer to the supposed problem she outlines is to turn back the clock:
The answer, you ask? Radical reform. No more free stuff, including education, even for those in need. Homeschooling is huge today, and very well streamlined. For those who need help, charities can help.
Put God back in school and destroy the theocracy of political correctness that says terrorist political systems are religions, and that our founders didn’t intend “One nation under God.” They did. Deal with it. If you don’t like it, move away to a country that agrees with you. There are many to choose from, but America isn’t one of them.
Eliminate the self-esteem movement along with the IRS, Department of Education and most other government bureaucracies. Let people fail so they can experience the American dream when they succeed.
Ironically, because WND typically censors anyone who takes issue with its far-right agenda, Loudon will never feel the sting significant criticism from the website that publishes her.
NewsBusters' Blumer Still Doesn't Understand How Journalism Works Topic: NewsBusters
For a guy who purports to be a media critic, NewsBusters' Tom Blumer is remarkably clueless about how the media works.
Blumer demonstrates this again in an April 9 post with the headline "AP Keeps Lois Lerner's Name Out of Headline and Opening Paragraph in Two Reports."
Yes, that really is Blumer's complaint:
I suspect that many readers who do their best to keep up with the news at a detailed level have a hard time understanding how many of their friends, acquaintances and neighbors — even many who they know put some effort into keeping up with current events — can be so unaware of many objectively important news developments.
There are two answers to that question. One is that the establishment press very often doesn't cover important matters at all; all one has to do is recall the empty media chairs at the trial of pre-born and newborn baby butcher Kermit Gosnell. The other is that when they do cover a story, journalists and their news outlets often do all they can to keep key names and facts out of their headlines and opening paragraph. Thanks to the fact that many people now consume news using computers, tablets, and smartphones, this stalling tactic may be even more effective now than it was in the print-only days.
Both stories avoid mentioning Lerner's name. That takes a lot of work, given that she is the object of potential criminal charges. Additionally, Ohlemacher's stories also could and should have been more precise in describing the issue as the "tea party targeting controversy."
The chances of clickthroughs on the headlines seen above on electronic devices are far lower than they would have been if Lerner's name had been added to the headlines. Many electronic news digests also include the first sentence or so of the reports themselves. In each case above, the text is less interesting than it would be if Lerner's name had been included.
As someone who -- unlike Blumer and the vast majority of Media Research Center writers -- actually worked in journalism for years, let me clue Blumer in on how journalism works. While Lois Lerner might be a household name in the right-wing media bubble Blumer resides in, she isn't in the wider world in which the vast majority of Americans live and which is AP's primary audience.
Because Lerner's name means nothing to the vast majority of Americans who aren't obsessed with this right-wing scandal, there is no need to put her name in the headline or lead paragraph of general-interest AP articles. "IRS official" means much more to the American public as a whole than Lerner's name does.
Blumer does go on to question the efficacy of AP's approach in a digital environment where news consumers made "judgments based on top-level headlines and opening paragraphs, often looking no further," but he's still insisting that Lerner's name is significant enough to make a difference in such decisions -- a supposition he doesn't prove.
WND Proclaims Militia Thugs The Winner In Rancher Standoff Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily took the side of scofflaw Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the militia thugs who helped escalate a standoff with federal officials over a longstanding grazing dispute, rooting for the situationto become another Ruby Ridge.
Now that the feds have backed off out of fear the militias would get violent, WND's Drew Zahn has declared a winner -- the militia thugs:
After hundreds of federal agents and allies surrounding Clive Bundy’s ranch in Clark County, Nev., were faced with citizen resistance – both armed and unarmed – it proved the feds who blinked first.
According to an Associated Press report, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, officials say “escalating tensions” led them to not only stop rounding up approximately 900 of Bundy’s cattle, but also release all 400 or so head already seized on public land the feds say Bundy can no longer use for grazing his herd.
“Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement,” BLM Chief Neil Kornze said in a statement, “we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public.”
Zahn lionizes the militia thugs:
A Montana militia member, Jim Lardy, told KLAS-TV in Las Vegas his group, Operation Mutual Aid, was prepared to “provide armed response.”
He said he’s not afraid to shoot, if necessary.
“They have guns. We need guns to protect ourselves from the tyrannical government,” Lardy said.
Other militia members are joining him, he said: “There is many more coming.”
A group called the Nevada Militia issued an alert on the Bundy Ranch’s Facebook page calling for supporters to mobilize in the area.
“Nevada Militia is mobilizing and requesting mutual aid if any Winter Soldier wishes to go, no further permission is needed – you may do as you wish. We will be monitoring the situation at this time as a group,” the alert said.
The alert concluded: “If things escalate we will mobilize as a group.”
Yet Zahn blames the feds for escalating the situation, even though the dispute has been going on for two decades due to Bundy's continued violations of law. Zahn waits until the 19th paragraph to mention that Bundy has been trespassing on federal land for 20 years.
CNS' Double Standard On Racial Insults Topic: CNSNews.com
In an April 10 CNSNews.com blog post, Matt Vespa huffed that "An Illinois State Representative engaged in a shameful game of racial politics" by referring to a biracial politician as a "half." Of course, the only reason Vespa cares about this is that the politician who made the remark is a Democrat and the apparent target is a Republican. Vespa adds that the Democratic politician "has a world-famous Democrat colleague currently living in the White House who, as CNN explains, has a 'white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya.'"
We wonder where Vespa was when conservatives engaged in similarly shameful games of racial politics regarding Barack Obama:
Radio host Brian Sussman called Obama a "Halfrican."
WND Makes It Clear: It's Promoting Birtherism Out of Hatred for Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh inadvertently gives away the game in an April 11 WorldNetDaily article, in which he notes that President Obama's birth certificate is "an issue that remains unresolved for some of his harshest critics."
What Unruh doesn't say: In order for Obama's "harshest critics" to consider the birth certificate "issue" to remain "unresolved," those critics must deny reality by pretending their concerns have never been addressed, though they have.
Unruh is apparently among those reality deniers, because he spends much of his article rehashing -- well, copying-and-pasting from earlier articles -- evidence purporting to call into question Obama's eligibility to be president without acknowledging those concerns have been discredited.
Thus, by deliberately ignoring reality, Unruh and WND are essentially admitting that they are perpetuating the birther conspiracy solely out of spite afor a president they hate.
Unruh also repeats his earlier dishonesty on the subject by relaying an Alabama Supreme Court ruling shooting down yet another birther lawsuit by quoting only the opinion of birther justices who dissented and completely ignoring the prevailing opinion that Alabama state officials were under no legal obligation to verify the eligibility of a presidential candidate.
On top of all that, Unruh served up this sneering derision of the president:
“And just to be clear I know where my birth certificate is,” he said. “But a lot of people don’t. A lot of people don’t.”
He was smirking, “Ha, ha.”
“I think it’s still up on a website somewhere,” he said. “Ha, ha, ha, ha.”
Then he took a long pause.
“You remember that? That was crazy,” he said. “That was some crazy stuff. Ha, ha, ha.
“I hadn’t thought about that in awhile,” he said, shaking his head. “Ha, ha, ha. Ha, ha.”
Perhaps if right-wing activists like Unruh were to acknowledge reality by reporting actual facts about Obama's birth certificate instead of rehashing discredited attacks,
MRC Takes Colbert Out of Context To Attack Him For Replacing Letterman Topic: Media Research Center
Needless to say, the Media Research Center is not taking the choice of Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman well.
Geoffrey Dickens kicks things off in an April 10 NewsBusters post by declaring that Colbert "call[ed] Sarah Palin 'a f**king retard'" -- which is dishonestly taken out of context. Dickens did attempt that missing context later in his post:
After playing a clip of Sarah Palin telling Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that Rush Limbaugh’s use of the word was acceptable because it was satire, Stephen Colbert, on his February 8, 2010 show concluded, “It is okay to call someone a retard if like Rush you clearly don’t mean it...And Sarah Palin knows that it is okay to call someone a retard if like Rush you clearly don’t mean it. Which is why we should all come to her defense and say, ‘Sarah Palin is a f**king retard.’ Get it.”
But Dickens is still omitting crucial context -- Palin had demanded the resignation of then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel for using the term “[bleeping] retards,” and Colbert was pointing out her hypocrisy in giving Limbaugh a pass.
Dickens also harrumphed, "On his March 15, 2012 show Colbert joked that the Taliban had 'a better track record on women’s issues' than Rush Limbaugh." Again, Dickens omits context here -- as the accompanying video makes clear, Colbert was noting that the Army had decided to stop advertising on Limbaugh's radio show in the wake of his misogynistic tirade against Sandra Fluke, while continuing to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Dickens then complained that NBC's "Today" show "played a clip of a mock political ad by Colbert that likened Mitt Romney to a serial killer." Dickens ignores the context here too -- Colbert was simply taking Romney's statement that "corporations are people" to its logical extension, that dismantling corporations, as Romney's Bain Capital does, is tantamount to murder.
WND Wants To Turn Rancher Dispute Into Another Ruby Ridge Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily sure does love to hook up with right-wing poster boys with unsavory backgrounds that must be whitewashed. They've found another one in a Nevada rancher with a propensity for violent rhetoric -- and they're ready to escalate things.
An April 9 WND article by Jack Minor sets things up in a WND-friendly way:
Federal officials have now taken to killing the calves and cattle of a Nevada rancher as part of a standoff that his family says has the potential to become another Ruby Ridge, where, in 1992, federal agents shot an unarmed Idaho woman holding a newborn infant in her arms.
“We have seen cows with tight bags but no calves on them, who are being moved by the BLM,” Ammon Bundy told WND. “This means they have separated the newborn calves from their mothers and they will eventually die.”
Ammon, 38, is the son of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher whose ties to the area go back to the 1880s and who has been engaged in a land dispute since 1993 with the Bureau of Land Management over long-established cattle-grazing rights.
Minor gives the other side of the story short shrift, making no effort to interview federal officials and blaming the federal government for "taking steps to escalate the situation" while ignoring the fact that Bundy is the one who has made sure the situation escalated by violating the law for two decades.
An April 11 WND article by Art Moore touts how Bundy is drawing support from "private armed militias," which have "made the confrontation over Bundy’s use of federal land for grazing a rally cry." Moore waiyts until the 44th paragraph to mention a statement from federal officials that Bundy has been breaking the law for 20 years. Like Minor, Moore made no apparent effort to contact federal officials.
If the Bundy situation does escalate, WND's biased reporting will have done its part in making sure that happens.
CNS' Chapman Shocked To Discover U2's Bono Is A Christian Topic: CNSNews.com
Last year, WorldNetDaily treated as news something music fans have known for decades -- U2 lead singer Bono is a Christian. Now it's CNSNews.com's turn to discover this. Michael Chapman relays this startling revelation in an April 10 CNS article:
Bono, frontman for the Irish band U2, investor, and philanthropist, said he believes Jesus Christ was divine, that he arose from the dead, and that he made promises to the world that will come true.
Bono, who has an estimated worth of $600 million, also said he prays “to Christ” in order “to know the will of God,” adding that he and his family pray together and sometimes go to church to pray for others who are suffering.
“I pray to get to know the will of God, because then the prayers have more chance of coming true -- I mean, that’s the thing about prayer,” said Bono in an interview with Ireland’s RTE One last year. “We don't do it in a very lofty way in our family. It’s just a bunch of us on the bed, usually, we’ve a very big bed in our house. We pray with all our kids, we read the Scriptures, we pray. It’s not even regular.”
This is apparently such stunning news to Chapman that he has to take this revelation from a year-old interview.
Just wait until Chapman finds out that U2 recorded a version of the 40th Psalm ... 30 years ago.
WND's Cashill: Hate Mail to Hank Aaron Was Written By The KGB Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's been a while since we've gotten a good conspiracy theory out of Jack Cashill, so it was nice to see him make the effort again in his April 9 WorldNetDaily column.
Cashill takes issue with Hank Aaron talking about the racist hate mail he received as he approached Babe Ruth's home run record in 1974, asserting without any real evidence that it was generated by Soviet KGB agents in an effort to stir racial tension in the U.S.:
Before slandering his fellow Americans any further, Aaron needs to review the work of Vasili Mitrokhin, for many years the senior archivist for the KGB.
Although Mitrokhin died 10 years ago, the book he co-authored with Christopher Andrew, “The Sword and the Shield,” might possibly open Aaron’s eyes.
For years, a disillusioned Mitrokhin made detailed copies of many of the KGB files. One KGB strategy he exposed was the effort “to weaken the internal cohesion of the United States and undermine its international reputation by inciting race hatred.”
Aaron claims to have received thousands of such letters, most of them with northern postmarks. It is possible, I suppose, that these letters came from homegrown racists.
The evidence, however, suggests another possibility. By 1974 racial tensions had defused. Hank Aaron had few enemies. Babe Ruth had few diehard fans. And the number “714″ lacked the iconic power of the number “60.”
Huh? Ruth's home run record did not have "iconic power"? Really? And the man who trashed Travon Martin and exhalted his killer as a civil-rights hero lectures us on the supposed lack of racial tensions in the 1970s? But Cashill's not done yet:
I knew some rough characters back then, but I did not know the person whose animus toward Aaron or love for Ruth would have moved him to go to the trouble of getting Aaron’s address and sending him hate mail.
We do know, however, that American communists like Jim Jones, the leader of the People’s Temple, had his minions doing exactly what Mitrokhin described during this same time period.
Hoping to subvert race relations in America, not strengthen them as he claimed, Jones ordered his people to write hateful, racist letters and attribute them to white people he hoped to embarrass.
We know, too, that in 1969 Charles Manson tried to stoke a race war by blaming the murders his people committed on black radicals – in a phrase, “Helter Skelter.”
If Cashill really believes any of that, he might want to have a chat with his fellow WND conspiracy-monger Colin Flaherty about his race-baiting.
MRC Doesn't Understand How Calling Criticism 'Emotional' Could Be Considered Sexist Topic: Media Research Center
Kyle Drennen misses the point to an almost comic extent in an April 7 Media Research Center item:
On her 12 p.m. ET hour show on MSNBC Monday, host Andrea Mitchell accused former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden of being sexist simply for criticizing Senator Dianne Feinstein's slanted Intelligence Committee report condemning the interrogation of terror suspects under the Bush administration.
Mitchell played a clip of Hayden questioning the credibility of the report on Fox News Sunday, where he cited Washington Post columnist David Ignatius: "He said that Senator Feinstein wanted a report so scathing that it would 'ensure that an un-American brutal program of detention and interrogation would never again be considered or permitted.' Now that sentence, that motivation for the report...may show deep emotional feeling on the part of the Senator, but I don't think it leads you to an objective report."
After the sound bite, Mitchell hyped the supposedly offensive portion of the legitimate criticism: "So was the Senate Intelligence chair just too emotional in the way she wrote that report?" Talking to left-wing New York Times columnist Gail Collins, she further asked: "What about the way men of a different opinion – and there are lots of opinions on this issue – how men criticize women in power?"
Collins joined in Mitchell's rant: "But when, you know, John McCain talks about waterboarding and the terrible, you know, moral consequences and practical consequence that kind of thing has, that's foreign policy. Clearly when Dianne Feinstein does it, it's emotional."
Either Drennen is so evolved as a human being that he doesn't see how dismissing Feinstein's criticism as "emotional" could possibly be considered sexist, or he's so retrograde that he doesn't think it's a big deal.