Clay Waters' NY Times Derangement Syndrome Topic: Media Research Center
Oh, Clay Waters. What would we do without you? Have fewer posts, for one.
Waters spends a July 28 NewsBusters post doing what he strangely likes to do, complain that the New York Times labels conservatives as conservatives:
Jackie Calmes, one of the New York Times' most reliably pro-Democratic, Obama-supporting reporters, lit into the "conservative media" as leading the Republican Party to perdition in her Tuesday "Political Memo," "As the G.O.P. Base Clamors for Confrontation, Candidates Oblige."
Calmes' story was packed with labeling bias and dismissive, hostile portrayals of conservatives as angry, robotic followers of Rush Limbaugh and the like. There were an impressive 24 "conservative" labels in her 1,167-word story (almost beating the common conjunction "and," which appeared 29 times).
Wait -- it's "labeling bias" to accurate describe conservatives as conservatives? That's a new one.
This being the MRC, Waters doesn't actually bother to counter anything Calmes writes; he just complains that the mere fact it was written is an act of bias in itself. Check out this rant:
Calmes forwarded the liberal talking point of the conservative "echo chamber," though such a concept might apply more to liberals who get their news solely from the New York Times, MSNBC, or Comedy Central:
But spreading that notion is the conservative media, which has expanded in recent years, on air and online, to become many conservatives’ sole source of news, according to the Pew Research Center.
As opposed to liberals, who would never get their political talking points solely from Jon Stewart or MSNBC hosts like Rachel Maddow or Chris Hayes?
Of course, the goal of Calmes' article was not to make such a comparison -- it was to outline how the conservative media works. But Waters wants to district you from Calmes' valid observation -- and at no point does he deny that the conservative media echo chamber exists.
Waters' post is headlined "Anti-Conservative Hostility of the New York Times's Jackie Calmes Edges Toward Parody." Actually, it's Waters' hostility to the Times that has ventured well into parody territory.
Waters makes his Times derangement even more clear in a July 30 post railing at Calmes' report on the right-wing media for the Shorenstein Center at Harvard's Kennedy School, which Waters sneered was an "exhaustive 16,000-word report with the oh-so-objective title, ''They Don't Give a Damn about Governing' -- Conservative Media’s Influence on the Republican Party,' blaming the 'far right' for killing the moderate, pragmatic GOP, while dismissing the very idea of a liberal mainstream media."
In none of Waters' railing, however, does he attempt to contradict anything Calmes wrote, let alone her central thesis that the conservative media (of which Waters is a part), not the Republican Party, is driving the Republican agenda and pulling it rightward.
Waters was so incensed by Calmes' report that he devoted a second post to it, this time huffing that "Calmes offered a skewed history of talk radio, and saw the dark shadow of right-wing hate hovering over its birth."But beyond offering a more nuanced version of Father Charles Coughlin than Calmes did, Waters again never contradicts her central thesis or main conclusions.
The only message we can gather from all of Waters' ranting is that he thinks only conservatives should be allowed to analyze conservative media. Of course, his ranting shows he doesn't believe in the full logic of that stance: that conservatives have no business analyzing "liberal media." Such logic would put the MRC out of business, after all.
This is what the state of "media research" has become at the MRC these days.
P.S. Fun fact about Waters: Since losing his full-time gig as the MRC's professional Times-basher (he's now freelancing this stuff for NewsBusters), Waters has been writing Agatha Christie-inspired mysteries. Curiously, the list of other writing he does on his personal website makes no mention of his MRC work, though it links to his work at right-wing websites like PJ Media and National Review.
Bozell's Laughable Claim: Clinton Email Kerfuffle Is '100 Times More Serious' Than Watergate Topic: Media Research Center
In an Aug. 12 NewsBusters post, Melissa Mullins mocked the Washington Post for reporting a poll finding that "Apparently, parenthood is so devastating that it’s even 'worse than divorce, worse than unemployment, and worse even than the death of a partner,'" calling it little more than "clickbait." But when the Media Research Center has a hyperbolic claim to make, clickbait is just fine.
The same day as Mullins' post, NewsBusters posted a clip of MRC chief Brent Bozell laughably asserting that the manufactured "scandal" over Hillary Clinton's private email server is "100 times more serious" than Watergate.
According to who? Based on what? Bozell never says what his metrics are or how he came up with the "100 times more serious" formulation. Here's the full quote from Bozell:
I go back to Nixon and the Watergate tape is 17 and a half minutes log long. His entire presidency was destroyed because of this. Now, compare that to what we're learning about Hillary Clinton. Which is 100 times more serious. And yet it was fixation on Nixon and no coverage of this woman and the great irony of course is that she was on the Watergate judiciary committee investigation of Richard Nixon.
So Bozell thinks Watergate was only about the erased tape? Really? Apparently he forgot all about the rest of the scandal -- attempted bugging of Democratic headquarters by Nixon's re-election campaign (starring Bozell buddy and domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy) and Nixon's direct knowledge of, and involvement in, covering up its involvement in that and other clandestine operations. While there was an 18 1/2-minute gap in the Nixon White House tapes (Bozell can't even get the number correct) later found to have been deliberately erased, the tapes also revealed Nixon helping to orchestrate a coverup of the Watergate break-in by having the CIA block the FBI from investigating it.
By contrast, Clinton has not been accused of committing a criminal offense, let alone of covering one up. The only thing Bozell cites is alleged handling of classified documents on an allegedly insufficiently secure server; he rants that "the intelligence communities inspector general says that she's holding onto classified material." In fact, it's unclear whether that material was classified at the time it was being circulated, and that the IG is effectively calling for retroactive classification.
Yet somehow, in Bozell's Clinton Derangement Syndrome-infected mind, this is "100 times more serious" than Watergate.
WND columnist Jack Cashill wasn't much of a birther -- choosing instead to concoct a conspiracy theory that Bill Ayers ghost-wrote Obama's first book -- but he was a birther. In a 2011 column, for instance, Cashill notes the alleged "technical anomalies" in Obama's then-newly released longform birth certificate, adding that "the sequence of events surrounding the abrupt and dramatic release of the document raises serious questions." He has also defended discredited birther Tim Adams, and he co-wrote a book by Terry Lakin, who carelessly threw his military career away in order to stand by his misguided birther beliefs.
In his Aug. 12 WND column, though, Cashill is showing an air of resignation about the whole birther thing because he knows he has to apply the same standard to Cruz, bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio -- who fail the birther definition of "natual born citizen," which applies only to children with two citizen parents -- and he certainly doesn't want to do that to the same level it has been applied to Obama.
Cashill laments that "even if Barack Obama had been born in Hawaii his status as a 'natural born citizen' is not a given," but he can't be bothered to make an argument either way anymore. Instead, he keeps throwing around the suggestion that Obama was not born in the U.S., even though he knows he can't prove it (and not mentioning that, as former cold case posse member Brian Reilly has noted, the state of Hawaii has issued a certified verification that Obama was born in Hawaii, which makes Cashill's questioning unnecessary):
In other words, if Obama were born in the United States, the courts would have had to determine if he was natural born, and they probably would have.
If he were born outside the United States, the courts would almost certainly have ruled against him.
As to Cruz, Rubio and Jindal, the courts would likely rule in favor of all three of them, Jindal’s case being the weakest and Cruz’s, despite his Canadian birth, quite possibly the strongest.
To insist at this stage that none of them is eligible is pure supposition, but one that has the full blessing of the Democratic National Committee.
Of course, Cashill offers no evidence that there is any major movement, let alone one promoted by the DNC, to have Cruz, Jindal or Rubio declared ineligible, let alone anything close to the WND-led anti-Obama birther campaign.
So, in the end, Cashill is just another cowardly birther jumping ship in order to avoid having to apply the same standard to Republican presidential candidates with the same fervor it was applied to Obama, proving yet again that birtherism was never about the Constitution and was only about hatred of Obama.
WND Perpetuates More Lies About Margaret Sanger Topic: WorldNetDaily
The ConWeb's liesaboutMargaretSanger keep piling up. An Aug. 10 WorldNetDaily article approving quotes WND author Paul Kengor pushing the latest smear:
It may be uncomfortable for fans of Planned Parenthood, but it’s true – Margaret Sanger, the legendary birth control activist, was a racial eugenicist who once spoke before the Ku Klux Klan.
The evidence is right there in her own memoir, according to Paul Kengor.
“These are the kind of great lengths to which liberals go to ignore the writings of their own icons,” said Kengor, a professor and author of “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.” “Pages 366 and 367 of her memoirs, published by a top New York publishing house, she talks about her 1926 speech to the Silver Lake, New Jersey, women’s chapter of the KKK. That’s right – Margaret Sanger spoke to the KKK.”
In an interview with WND, Kengor recounted Sanger’s KKK experience as documented in her memoir.
“She describes the white hoods that come through, the flaming crosses that come through,” Kengor recalled. “Then she gets up and speaks, and she spoke for so long and was such a hit that she didn’t get finished until late at night. She also said a whole bunch of additional offers to speak were proffered by her enthusiastic audience, and she finished so late that she missed the train to go back to New York. She had to spend the night there.
“And people might wonder, why would the KKK invite Margaret Sanger? Because Margaret Sanger was a racial eugenicist. She spoke openly of race improvement.”
Actually, Sanger's autobiography says something much different about that KKK speech than Kengor does. She called it "one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing" and -- contrary to Kengor's claim that her audience was "enthusiastic," Sanger wrote that she feared if she "uttered one word, such as abortion, outside the usual vocabulary of these women they would go off into hysteria." Sanger suggests it was conversations after the speech, not the speech itself, that kept her from making the last train to New York, and that was because a local curfew "everything" in the town "shut at nine o'click."
From pages 366 and 367 of Sanger's autobiography:
All the world over, in Penang and Skagway, in El Paso and Helsingfors, I have found women's psychology in the matter of child-bearing essentially the same, no matter what the class, religion, or economic status. Always to me any aroused group was a good group, and therefore I accepted an invitation to talk to the women's branch of the Ku Klux Klan at Silver Lake, New Jersey, one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing.
My letter of instruction told me what train to take, to walk from the station two blocks straight ahead, then two to the left. I would see a sedan parked in front of a restaurant. If I wished I could have ten minutes for a cup of coffee or bite to eat, because no supper would be served later.
I obeyed orders implicitly, walked the blocks, saw the car, found the restaurant, went in and ordered some cocoa, stayed my allotted ten minutes, then approached the car hesitatingly and spoke to the driver. I received no reply. She might have been totally deaf as far as I was concerned. Mustering up my courage, I climbed in and settled back. Without a turn of the head, a smile, or a word to let me know I was right, she stepped on the self-starter. For fifteen minutes we wound around the streets. It must have been towards six in the afternoon. We took this lonely lane and that through the woods, and an hour later pulled up in a vacant space near a body of water beside a large, unpainted, barnish building.
My driver got out, talked with several other women, then said to me severely, "Wait here. We will come for you." She disappeared. More cars buzzed up the dusty road into the parking place. Occasionally men dropped wives who walked hurriedly and silently within. This went on mystically until night closed down and I was alone in the dark. A few gleams came through chinks in the window curtains. Even though it was May, I grew chillier and chillier.
After three hours I was summoned at last and entered a bright corridor filled with wraps. As someone came out of the hall I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses. I waited another twenty minutes. It was warmer and I did not mind so much. Eventually the lights were switched on, the audience seated itself, and I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak.
Never before had I looked into a sea of faces like these. I was sure that if I uttered one word, such as abortion, outside the usual vocabulary of these women they would go off into hysteria. And so my address that night had to be in the most elementary terms, as though I were trying to make children understand.
In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered. The conversation went on and on, and when we were finally through it was too late to return to New York. Under a curfew law everything in Silver Lake shut at nine o'clock. I could not even send a telegram to let my family know whether I had been thrown in the river or was being held incommunicado. It was nearly one before I reached Trenton, and I spent the night in a hotel.
Further, as PolitiFact points out, the women's division of the KKK was not the KKK itself, and biographers note that Sanger was never a supporter of the KKK or even a racist. PolitiFact mentions a writer critical of the eugenics movement Sanger was involved in in the 1920s admits that Sanger was not racist or anti-Semitic.
In addition to their false framing of Sanger as a Klan sympathizer, Kengor's and WND's obsession with smearing Sanger by linking her to the KKK ignores a major bit of historical context: the KKK was a pretty mainstream organization in the 1920s, if still clandestine. One might even call it a conservative group, to hear one description of the Klan at that time:
The Klan promoted fundamentalism and devout patriotism along with advocating white supremacy. They blasted bootleggers, motion pictures and espoused a return to "clean" living. Appealing to folks uncomfortable with the shifting nature of America from a rural agricultural society to an urban industrial nation, the Klan attacked the elite, urbanites and intellectuals.
Their message struck a cord, and membership in the Klan ballooned in the 1920s. By the middle of the decade, estimates for national membership in this secret organization ranged from three million to as high as eight million Klansmen. And membership was not limited to the poor and uneducated on society's fringes. Mainstream, middle-class Americans donned the white robes of the Klan too. Doctors, lawyers and ministers became loyal supporters of the KKK. In Ohio alone their ranks surged to 300,000. Even northeastern states were not immune. In Pennsylvania, membership reached 200,000. The Klan remained a clandestine society, but it was by no means isolated or marginalized.
But you can't libel the dead, so WND lets the smears continue. The article goes on to quote WND columnist Jesse Lee Peterson falsely claiming that Sanger "was a hardcore racist who hated black Americans."
Jeffrey Lord spent his Aug. 8 NewsBusters post bragging about how CNN just hired him as an analyst and that is happy to promote his "legitimate conservative" views on the network.
Apparently, it's a "legitimate conservative" view to smear people as Nazis.
As Media Matters notes, Lord used a column at the right-wing American Spectator to go Godwin big time, claiming that Donald Trump's critics are engaging in a "Goebbelsesque Big Lie technique" by criticizing Trump's recent "blood" remarks about Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly. He calls it "a plu-perfect example of the insight of Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels" and adds in case anyone missed the point, "This is -- there is no other word for it -- a Goebbels-esque lie."
Lord has a history of dubious ranting, whether it be getting fooled by a fake Twitter account for Seth Rogen or making false claims about an Obama adminstraton appointee or insisting (then doubling down on his insistence) that a black man beaten to death in segregation-era Georgia wasn't technically "lynched" because his assailants didn't hang him and there weren't enough of them to form a proper mob.
This is who CNN hired as a commentator. And this is who NewsBusters has hired as one of its "star" bloggers.
Newsmax Is Still Giving A Forum to Anti-Vaxxers Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has longbeen a promoter of the anti-vaccine movement. And despite the fact that anti-vaxxers have been discredited, that promotion will continue.
An Aug. 4 Newsmax Health article by Sylvia Booth Hubbard touts Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s conspiratorial claim that "money is the reason Congress is delaying hearings on accusations that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hid a link between the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism," because the pharmceutial industry's lobbying dollars "buys a lot of influence." Hubbard continues:
Republican Florida Rep. Bill Posey has called on his colleagues to investigate charges that the CDC covered up data that showing a strong link between autism and the MMR vaccine.
Rep. Posey referred to last summer's admission by Dr. William Thompson, a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, that he helped the CDC hide data that showed giving a child the vaccine before the age of 36 months increased the risk of autism by 69 percent, and giving it to an African-American child increased the risk of autism by 240 percent. So far, Congress has refused to hold hearings.
"The CDC scheduled meetings to try to destroy the documents that demonstrated children were getting autism from the vaccine by literally dumping them in a trashcan," Kennedy charged."Congress only seems to act when a congress person has been affected directly by vaccine injury."
In fact, there is no such conspiracy (which Newsmax doesn't even get correct -- the claim was that there was a 340 percent increased risk of autism among African-American boys). As ScienceBlogs details about the purportedly suppressed data promoted by Thompson and fellow anti-vaxxer Brian Hooker:
[T]here’s no biologically plausible reason why there would be an effect observed in African-Americans but no other race and, more specifically than that, in African-American males. In the discussion, Hooker does a bunch of handwaving about lower vitamin D levels and the like in African American boys, but there really isn’t a biologically plausible mechanism to account for his observation, suggesting that it’s probably spurious. Finally, even if Destefano et al is thrown out, it’s just one study. There are multiple other studies, many much larger than this one, that failed to find a correlation between MMR and autism.
Even if Hooker is “right,” he has just undermined the MMR-autism hypothesis and proven Wakefield wrong, with the possible (and unlikely) exception of a single group, African American males. Given the dubiousness of his analysis and background, he hasn’t even demonstrated it for them, either, particularly given the copious other studies that have failed to find a correlation between MMR and autism. What he has done, apparently, is found grist for a perfect conspiracy theory to demonize the CDC, play the race card in a truly despicable fashion, and cast fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the CDC vaccination program, knowing that most of the white antivaccine activists who support hate the CDC so much that they won’t notice that even Hooker’s reanalysis doesn’t support their belief that vaccines caused the autism in their children.
Hubbard makes sure to note that "Kennedy says he isn't anti-vaccine," but the fact that he's promoting a discredited anti-vaccine conspiracy theory suggests otherwise.
Did Right-Wing Filmmakers Buy Favorable Coverage From MRC? It Appears So Topic: Media Research Center
Last year, wehighlighted how the Media Research Center was effectively serving as a public relations agent for right-wing filmmaker Phelim McAleer, not only promoting a campaign to raise money for McAleer's proposed film about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell but also promoting a costly billboard McAleer petulantly bought to bash a crowdfunding site that kicking him off while not asking the question of why he needs funding for his film when he is apparently not hurting for funds.
Turns out we were more right than we knew.
An Aug. 8 MRC email touts McAleer and his wife, Ann McElhinney, as the latest "fantastic speakers" added to next year's MRC junket -- er, Caribbean cruise. The email notes what "Ann and Phelim said about the upcoming MRC cruise":
“We’ve had the privilege of working with Brent Bozell and his team to promote our movie about the crimes of Dr. Gosnell. We’ve never been around a more dedicated team of professionals. When they commit to something, they do it right. So we expect nothing but the best on this cruise.”
Here's a screenshot of the statement from the email:
That looks to us like an admission that those MRC posts on McAleer's fundraising campaign were at least done on McAleer's request, if not actually paid for by McAleer -- something that the MRC never disclosed to its readers.
And that's not all: At the same time the MRC was publishing those articles last year at McAleer's behest if not his subsidy, Terry Jeffrey, editor in chief of the MRC's "news" division, CNS News.com, conducted a 13-minute video interview with McAleer that was set up to promote his Gosnell crowdfunding project. As one might expect inan interview where the subject is paying for the microphone, Jeffrey tosses softball after softball and doesn't challenge anything McAleer says. Jeffrey laughably asks how McAleer's funding his film when, as we now know, he knows perfectly well how it's being done and he's being paid to help raise that money.
Jeffrey also emphasized that McAleer will be making a "factually accurate, true-to-life dramatization" of the Gosnell case, even though McAleer has a history of distorting facts in their previous work.
Demonstrating that all of CNS' "news" managers were in on the deal, managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote an article touting how a couple of has-been right-wing actors "call upon viewers to donate to gosnellmovie.com, a proposed documentary on Gosnell by filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney."
Neither Jeffrey nor Chapman disclose that their promotions were done with the full cooperation, and possibly the money, of McAleer.
If a "liberal media" outlet had committed this severe breach of journliastic ethics, the MRC would be screaming bloody murder. But the MRC has never been interested in holding itself to the standards it demands that others follow.
Combined with recent allegations that Donald Trump is paying Breitbart.com for favorable coverage, this sort of apparent pay-for-play isn't making the right-wing media look good.
Newsmax Attacks Fox Anchor on Trump's Behalf, Finds Haters To Back It Up Topic: Newsmax
Already heavily in the tank for Donald Trump, Newsmax does the billionaire's bidding once again with a smear piece on Trump's new bete noire, Fox News' Megyn Kelly.
Reading like something sent straight from Trump oppo research, an Aug. 9 article by Greg Richter recounts a 2010 interview Kelly did in which she was "rollicking with Howard Stern, discussing her breasts and her husband's penis size and engaging in some graphic sex talk." This, Richter posits, makes Kelly a hypocrite for being "turned off by Donald Trump’s sexist remarks."
Richter then digs up, of all people, Walid Shoebat to pile on Kelly for talking to Stern, highlighting a blog post in which Shoebat and his son Theodore highlight the Stern interview and declare that "Meghan [sic] Kelly is a wretch and a vulgar low life."
Walid Shoebat, as we know, has made a career out of claiming to be a reformed Palestinian terrorist-turned-far-right Christian, though evidence of any actual terrorist acts committed by Shoebat is scant at best. WorldNetDaily has allowed Shoebat to peddle dubious and false anti-Muslim claims.
Theodore Shoebat, meanwhile, is a rabid homophobe who advocates executing gays as well as anyone who issues "opinions expressed in favor for homosexuality."
This is who Newsmax thinks is a good character reference for Trump and a credible critic of Kelly. That's how far in the tank Newsmax is for Trump.
MRC Won't Criticize Fox News' GOP Debate Questions Topic: Media Research Center
With Fox News acting as host and Fox anchors acting as moderators, the Media Research Center presumably got the Republican presidential debate setup it wanted, free of influence from that nasty "liberal media" and their silly gotcha questions. The MRC has railedagainst the idea of other networks that don't identify as explicitly conservative getting involved in talking with GOP candidates over various perceived slights.
MRC chief Brent Bozell declared back in 2007 that "the GOP put an end to this charade by refusing to debate on CNN or MSNBC" and put his stamp of approval of Fox as being in charge of GOP debates, declaring that "They ought not to suggest, but demand, a Brit Hume or a Chris Wallace as moderators."
So Bozell and the MRC got what they wanted -- including Chris Wallace as one of the moderators. But the Fox News anchors sounded a lot like they weren't employed by Fox, according to much of the ConWeb:
At Newsmax, Dick Morris complained that the Fox moderators "pummeled Trump with such personal attacks and treated all of the other candidates like enemies," adding that "Megyn Kelly was especially partisan, her bias showing through her questioning of Trump.
Newsmax also highlighted how "Fox News is facing a backlash from conservatives after critics felt the network was biased and unfair in the manner it approached the forum for the Republican presidential candidates' debate Thursday, and namely, Donald Trump."
WorldNetDaily declared that Fox News "had launched a full-blown assault on" Trump and that "Megyn Kelly took dead aim at Trump all evening." Garth Kant and Chelsea Schilling went onto huff, "Few of the other GOP candidates were on the receiving end of such pointed attacks by Fox News debate moderators."
WND's Joseph Farah grumbled: "When Fox News gets rave reviews from the fringe MSNBC for its aggressive pursuit of the leading Republican presidential contender and kid-glove treatment of GOP establishment figures, you might think the big audience could prove to be a mixed blessing for the future of Fox."
Even MRC fave Mark Levin ranted about Fox's bias and how Kelly's question about Trump's misogynism was just "stuff that’s cherry-picked out of Season 6 of ‘The Apprentice.'"
Even though the Fox anchors were apparently sounding just like the "liberal media" in their debate questions, and much of the right-wing media has been quite vocal about it, the MRC has been almost completely silent, even though accusing the media of unfairly targeting conservatives is kind of its job.
In fact, quite the opposite happened: an Aug. 7 Newsbusters post by Tim Graham touted how "The first GOP debate's Fox News moderators were so hard on the candidates that a New York Times columnist called it an "inquisition" and said the debate 'compels me to write a cluster of words I never imagined writing: hooray for Fox News.'" Graham did conceded that there is an issue of "whether the Fox moderators have provided Democratic operatives with priceless video for negative commercials," but he didn't criticize the apparent slant of the questions.
Then, in an Aug. 10 post, Mark Finkelstein noted MSNBC host Joe Scarborough reiterating our point, that a non-Fox News network that asked those questions would be the victim of "trashing" for months to come -- then says only that it's an "interesting point." He doesn't note that his employer has been conspicuously silent on the issue.
So what happened? Did the MRC not see the Fox moderators' questions as bias because they are from Fox? Or is Fox exempt from MRC scrutiny because it's too important a booster of conservatives to criticize publicly -- that is, effectively buying the MRC's silence?
The MRC will probably never cop to its silence (publicly, awanyway). After all, this is the debate lineup they demanded.
P.S. We suspect Levin's Fox-bashing quote won't be installed in the vast archive of Levin stenography the MRC operates over at its CNS "news" operation.
Is CNSNews.com getting tired of cherry-picking data and misleading readers about unemployment rates? Sort of.
The only article CNS generated in response to the July unemployment numbers was an Aug. 7 piece by Susan Jones declaring that "A record 93,770,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month, and the labor force participation rate remained at 62.6 percent, exactly where it was in June -- a 38-year low."
The fact that 215,000 jobs were added in July was reduced to a bullet point at the end of the article.
This is yet another article in CNS' history of cherry-picking unfavorable unemployment numbers and burying or censoring positive ones.
Operation Rescue Sics Lawyers On Those Who Note Its Link to Anti-Abortion Violence Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 6 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh touts how "Troy Newman, head of Operation Rescue, has dispatched a cease and desist letter to [Cecile] Richards and Planned Parenthood":
“I cannot stand by while Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards and ABC News air false allegations against me that are now being repeated as fact in numerous news sources,” Newman said in a press release.
“I have never condoned violence against abortion providers or businesses and Richards’ patently false statements against me must be retracted,” he said.
Well, that's demonstrably false. As we've documented, Newman is on record at least twice as condoning violence against abortion providers -- once in a 2003 press release lamenting that a court barred a proposed defense in Paul Hill's trial for murder of an abortion doctor that would have allowed him to claim it was a " justifiable defensive action," and in a conversation with Scott Roeder, killer of George Tiller, in which Roeder claims Newman said that it “wouldnʼt upset” him if Tiller were murdered.
Further, as reported in the book "In the Wake of Violence: Image & Social Reform" Cheryl R. Jorgensen-Earp, Newman seemed to justify James Kopp's murder of abortion doctor Barnett Slepian: "Kopp picked up a gun because he was discouraged at the lack of progress in the pro-life movement just as disappointment with their situations causes many poeple to seek abortions. The end result is frustration, temporarily solved by a bloodletting." Jorgensen-Earp notes that Newman's argument was effectively absolving Kopp of blame for killing Slepian, invoking an argument that makes a violent actor "twice removed from responsibility for his or her act, a victim of both uncontrollable emotion and the immoral force that generated that emotion."
The cease-and-desist letter Operation Rescue sent to Planned Parenthood -- it has also sent similar letters to ABC News and the Crooks and Liars blog for reporting Richards' comments -- is a masterpiece of lawyerly writing, carefully making sure not to address the specific allegations made about Newman and his Operation Rescue lieutenant, Cheryl Sullenger, regarding their history of anti-abortion extremism. It asserts that Newman "has never participated in, planned, assisted, caused, aided or abetted" in the deaths of Slepian or Tiller. However, the fact that the Operation Rescue phone number for Sullenger was on a note in Roeder's car following his arrest suggests some level of aiding and abetting in Tiller's murder, even if it was, as Newman and Sullenger have claimed, basic information provided to Roeder when he called them.
And given that Newman moved Operation Rescue to Wichita for the specific purpose of targeting Tiller, it can be argued that Newman aided and abetted Tiller's murder by creating an atmosphere that was increasingly hostile to the doctor -- not to mention inflammatory rhetoric including hosting a picture of Tiller on its website surrounded by flames with the words “America's Doctor of Death” -- thereby opening an opportunity for a violent act to take place.
The letter also claimed that Newman never planned, assisted, etc., in "the bombing of any clinic, whether an abortion facility or other." Again, he certainly seems to be condoning such violence with the presence in his organization of Sullenger, who was sentenced to three years in prison for conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic.
Yet the letter asserts, "Those are the true facts." Actually, it's Newman, Sullenger and Operation Rescue who are avoiding the "true facts" by refusing to discuss and admit acts and comments that have long been attributed to them publicly. What they're actually trying to do is suppress discussion of their behavior, not seeking to respond to alleged defamation.
MRC Invokes A Fallacy to Bash Jon Stewart Out The Door Topic: Media Research Center
We predicted that the Media Research Center would be hurling all sorts of envy and spite at Jon Stewart as he finishes up his run as "Daily Show" host, and we weren't wrong. The winner in that competition is Scott Whitlock, who served up this bit of sneering derision in an Aug. 7 NewsBusters post:
According to the networks on Friday, Jon Stewart's departure from the Daily Show means "America's satirical voice," the man who held the powerful "accountable," had said goodbye. A more honest reading would be that a low-rated liberal comedian left his basic cable television show.
On Thursday, the networks fretted the loss of America's "trusted, "profound" "beacon." But as the website FiveThirtyEight.com pointed out, Stewart's reach and ratings were always small[.]
Whitlock again invokes the MRC's favoritefallacy, that quality directly correlates with popularity. If there were true, the greatest movie of all time, "Citizen Kane" wouldn't have failed to make its production costs back on its initial release.
MRC Bigwigs Shill for Levin Book, Don't Disclose Business Deal With Him Topic: Media Research Center
In an August 5 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham mockingly wrote of "this week’s contest to see who can be the most obsequious Jon Stewart ring-kisser."
But when it comes to be the most obsequious Mark Levin ring-kisser, Graham has that covered. Graham and Brent Bozell let the Levin sycophancy fly in their latest column, which was posted the same day as Graham's above hypocritical sneering:
Arrogant liberal journalists naturally assume that conservative talk radio only succeeds in making Americans dumber. They reach this conclusion by avoiding conservative talk radio entirely.
The overwhelming majority would never dare appear on one of these shows and debate the conservative host.
If one of them ever entered the ring with Mark Levin, they'd invoke the "mercy rule" before the first commercial break.
In recent years, Levin has matched a brainy talk show with a series of brilliant political books. The latest is called "Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future." It's a good bet that no liberal journalist will read it, no liberal newspaper will review it, and that no liberal network would imagine calling up Levin for an interview. They are too busy advocating tolerance and diversity.
Graham and Bozell won't tell you, of course, that Levin's on the payroll -- the MRC pays Levin to say nice things about it on his radio show, and the MRC recipriocates by saying nice things about him on its network of websites. Meaning that their column is, in fact, a paid advertisement for Levin's book.
How dedicated is the MRC to slobbering over Levin? For but one example: the blog at MRC-operated CNSNews.com has run a whopping 22 articles transcribing Levin's pearls of wisdom just since July 1. That's even more than the rate at which CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman publishes the most hateful words he can find from Franklin Graham.
CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey joined his bosses in the paid-ad route, also devoting his August 5 column to slobbering over Levin and describing how his book "compelling argues [sic]" against "open-ended immigration" and "warns of the collapse of constitutional restraints on government power."
Like his bosses, Jeffrey didn't the business arrangement between Levin and and his employer.
We'd say how ironic it is that a self-proclaimed media watchdog would refuse to do something so fundamental to journalism as disclose an obvious conflict of interest, but the MRC has never subjected itself to the same rules it applies to others.
WND Still Hiding Extremist, Violence-Condoning Links to Anti-Abortion Videos Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 3 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh, on a judge blocking release of more dishonestly edited anti-abortion videos, is alarmingly headlined, "Baby-parts judge fears 'violence' -- against abortionists." Unruh writes of the request to block the videos, requested by the National Abortion Foundation:
“That security has been compromised by the illegal activities of a group with ties to those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers,” said NAF President Vicki Saporta in an announcement about the filing. “CMP went to great lengths to infiltrate our meetings as part of a campaign to intimidate and attack abortion providers.”
Saporta provided no support for her claim that CMP is tied to “those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers.”
And so, WND continues to hide evidence that Operation Rescue -- one of the groups behind the anti-abortion videos from the Center for Medical Progress -- and its principals Troy Newman and Cheryl Sullenger do have a history of perpetrating or condoning violence against abortion doctors.
As we've documented -- and as Operation Rescue has yet to refute -- Newman has twice been reported to condone the murder of abortion doctors, and Sullenger served prison time for plotting to bomb an abortion clinic.
WND has an obvious conflict of interest here because it published an anti-abortion book by Newman and Sullenger last year. but Unruh won't tell you that either.
We don't think Unruh is a stupid enough reporter to omitted this information inadvertently. Which means he's deliberatly withholding information.
CNS Promotes Anti-Gay 'Civil Rights Activist' Topic: CNSNews.com
Penny Starr writes in an Aug. 4 CNSNews.com article:
President George W. Bush, rather than President Barack Obama, will be best remembered for a legacy of having helped the African people, a Nigerian civil rights activist and attorney said on Tuesday.
“President Bush will really be remembered as the president who had the most impact on Africa of the last three presidents,” said Emmanuel Obege. “I think they’re no doubt about it.”
When asked to expand on his contrast of the impact on Africa of the Bush and Obama presidencies, Obege responded that each had very different priorities.
“The point I’m trying to make is President Bush actually did something that was relevant to the crisis that was facing the continent at the time,” he said.
“When you show up and you’re saying to the people of Africa ‘You need to legalize gay marriage’ – I had a lot of Africans say, ‘Well, when our presidents go to America we don’t say to you to legalize polygamy even though we have a lot of polygamy in Africa and we think it’s a great idea, but we don’t come to your country and tell you to do that.’”
Obege referred to Obama’s recent visit to Kenya where he lobbied for homosexual rights.
Holding a four-year-old HIV-positive boy from South Africa, President Bush speaks at the White House on May 30, 2007 about his efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and worldwide. (AP File Photo) ‘And the president of Kenya [Uhuru Kenyatta] said to him, ‘Well, Mr. President, thank you very much for your kind thoughts but this is really not an issue for us,’” Obege said.
“I’ve been asked when I testified in Congress ‘What is happening with the persecution of gays in Nigeria?’ Obege said. “And I said, very frankly, no gay person has been killed in Nigeria but you have thousands of Christians being killed.”
Not only does Starr spell the man's name wrong throughout her article -- it's Emmanuel Ogebe -- she uncritically repeats his falsehood about Obama and gives him a pass on his denial of gay persecution in Africa.
Contrary to Ogebe, Obama never pushed for legalization of gay marriage during his visit to Africa. He did, however, highlight the persecution of gays in Africa and argued that they shouldn't be the victim of discrimination because of their sexual orientation.
Contrary to Ogebe's suggestion that gays are not persecuted in Nigeria, a 2014 Mother Jones article highlights the sad reality for gays in that country:
Around midnight on February 13, a young Nigerian man named Femi* was jolted out of his evening prayer by shouting outside his window. A crowd of some 40 people had gathered around his house. "No more homosexuals in Gishiri!" they yelled, referring to Femi's neighborhood within Nigeria's capital city, Abuja. The mob broke down his door and dragged him outside in his boxers. They beat him and about 13 other gay men that night with broken furniture, machete handles, sticks, and a garden rake, vowing to kill them if they didn't clear out of the neighborhood.
The attack, and other acts of vigilante violence targeting gays and lesbians around the country, was motivated by a new anti-gay law that Nigeria's president signed January 7. The measure, modeled off the one that Uganda enacted in late February, levies harsh prison sentences on anyone who makes a "public show" of a "direct" or "indirect" same-sex relationship or supports an LGBT organization (10 years), and anyone who attempts to enter into a same-sex marriage (14 years), even though this would be virtually impossible in Nigeria. The anti-gay backlash the law has provoked in Nigeria has led not just to violence, but to homelessness, unemployment, harassment, and a steep drop-off in HIV/AIDS treatment.
If "no gay person has been killed in Nigeria," one -- and probably more -- will be killed soon, and Ogebe apparently doesn't care.
Another gay Nigerian writes of having fled the country because there ceased being opportunities for him there after his homosexuality became known: "I hope I will be able to walk freely in Nigeria one day without the fear of being lynched or jailed."
Further, according to Mother Jones, the ramped-up persecution of gays in Nigeria will likely hamper HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in the country because "social scientists have been scared off from taking stock of HIV trends in Nigeria—data that can improve the response to the epidemic—until the government can assure researchers that they will be exempt from punishment under the law."
It's laughable that Ogebe presents himself as a "civil rights activist" when he apparently believes a particular group of people doesn't deserve any. The fact that he was appearing at an event by the Family Research Council -- notorious for its hatred of gays -- is a clue that his "civil rights" credentials shouldn't be taken seriously. It seems that he thinks only Christians deserve full civil rights.
And Starr is just a lazy reporter who can't be bothered to tell both sides of a story, let alone spell the guy's name correctly.
UPDATE: CNS has corrected the misspelling of Ogebe's name in Starr's article. But here's a screenshot of the non-corrected version for posterity: