How far will the WorldNetDaily reporter go to defend homeschooling? He'll liken critics to Nazis and throw an abused child under the bus. Read more >>
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
CNS' Jeffrey Pushes Dishonest Comparison of Working Women, Food Stamps
Terry Jeffrey writes in an April 14 CNSNews.com article:
But as Media Matters details, Jeffrey's comparion is meaningless because many working women fall into both categories:
Jeffrey's article notes that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." As we noted with CNS' dishonest, cherry-picking reporting on unemployment, this sort of coverage may very well be making Dr. Wold spin in his grave.
WND's Blood Moon Blitz
WorldNetDaily has published a book about the "blood moons," and by God, you will be subjected to thinly veiled ads for the book until the last blood moon appears, and probably well after it.
What WND won't always tell you, however, it that it published that book it's so relentlessly flogging. Or that the WND store is selling another "blood moons" book by a more prominent author, John Hagee, that's it's not so eager to promote (except when it accidentially links to it, as in this April 14 article).
Leading up to the book's March 18 publication, WND's coverage of it was shamelessly self-promotional, with articles touting the appearance of the book's author, Mark Blitz, on the "popular" show hosted by once-disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker and hyping how the book purportedly achieved a "necessary fourth printing" before its release date. There has also been the requisite fawning review of Blitz's book by WND columnist Jim Fletcher, who did not disclose the book is published by the same folks who publish his column.
With the blood moon's first appearance this week, WND's promotion has become even more relentless.
An April 13 article promoted some random blogger's claim that "the appearance of the blood moons over our skies may have special significance," going on to quote the guy as being very undecided about the whole thing: "“aybe the message is for us ‘sleepers’ here in the United States. ... We have turned from our faith in the God of Bible. Maybe He has a message for us; or maybe not." Such indecision is probably why Mark Blitz, and not him, wrote the book for WND, who is described as having "found the divine link between prophecy, heavenly signs, historical events, and when they intersect" by finding "the correlation between when blood moons fell on feast days and key historical world events."
The article falsely claims "The last tetrad happened in 1967, during the Six-Day War between Arabs and Israelis." Actually, according to Space.com, the last tetrad happened in 2003-04.
An April 14 article tried to put a political spin on things by baselessly suggesting that the blood moons are a message to President Obama (whom WND can't quite admit is president, since that word appears nowhere in the article):
Another April 14 article features Blitz admitting he doesn't know what the blood moons mean, but dang it, they must mean something:
One thing we do know it means is lots of hype with the goal of putting more money in WND's coffers. Thus, you'll never read at WND the fact that, according to Space.com, "while a tetrad of total lunar eclipses is somewhat rare, it is not extraordinarily so, and probably nothing to make a fuss about."
You also won't read at WND any criticism of hucksters exploiting the situation. From the Washington Post:
Nah -- you'll never read that at WND, not while it still has blood moon books to shill.
Truth Revolt's Ben Shapiro Gets Desperate For Attention
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:
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.
WND Censors Ex-Sheriff's Plan To Use Women As Human Shields In Ranch Standoff
WorldNetDaily is moving quickly on the Bundy Ranch standoff, from supporting lawbreakers and militia thugs to promoting bogus conspiracy theories. Now it's taking the next logical step: hiding unflattering information about those it's lionizing.
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.
Monday, April 14, 2014
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.
Whitlock did not bring up this double standard.
WND Pushes Discredited Ranch Conspiracy
Jerome Corsi writes dramatically in an April 12 WorldNetDaily article:
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 utter bogusness of Corsi's conspiracy, Joseph Farah parrots it in his April 13 WND column:
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
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:
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
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:
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:
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.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
NewsBusters' Blumer Still Doesn't Understand How Journalism Works
For a guy who purports to be a media critic, NewsBusters' Tom Blumer is remarkably clueless about how the media works.
Yes, that really is Blumer's complaint:
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
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:
Zahn lionizes the militia thugs:
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
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:
A quick Google search doesn't uncover anything Vespa has said on the subject, let alone deouncing it.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
WND Makes It Clear: It's Promoting Birtherism Out of Hatred for Obama
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:
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:
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.
All this means that the MRC continues to have a tin ear for satire.
Friday, April 11, 2014
WND Wants To Turn Rancher Dispute Into Another Ruby Ridge
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:
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.
Minor also ignores Bundy's history of violent rhetoric, which would seem to justify the federal show of force.
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.
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