Fake News

By Rusty Weiss | December 22, 2008 | 11:17 AM EST
Looney LeftIt would seem New Scientist magazine recently decided to sacrifice credibility in the field of research.  Journalistic research, anyway. 

In their recent article titled, "Science heroes and villains of 2008," New Scientist has taken the liberty of naming some noteworthy individuals in the field.  As their opening salvo states (emphasis mine): 

The collective brain of New Scientist has come up with 8 scientist heroes of the year and people to look out for in 2009, 3 non-scientists who deserve special mention - and two possible bad guys.

Apparently, the collective brain has recently slipped into a vegetative state.

Of the three non-scientists who deserve special mention, one is Philip Munger, an editor of the Progressive Alaska blog, guest of Air America radio broadcasts, and Daily Kos loon.  His contribution to science that earns him the status of hero?  Claiming that Sarah Palin once told him that dinosaurs and humans coexisted.  Ah, my hero.  Einstein, Newton, Hawking... and Munger, of course!

By Kyle Drennen | November 25, 2008 | 12:46 PM EST

Dean Reynolds, CBS On Monday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Dean Reynolds reported on Barack Obama's announcement of an economic team, but instead of getting reaction from Republicans or financial experts, Reynolds decided to stick with the president-elect himself: "Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, as Treasury secretary. Obama said Geithner has an 'unparalleled understanding of our current economic crisis.' And Lawrence Summers, a former Treasury secretary himself, to chair the National Economic Council. Obama called him 'one of the great economic minds of our time.'

The only mention of Republicans in the story was about how cooperative they will be if Obama backs off tax increases: "As a candidate, he favored raising taxes on the rich, but as president-elect he now says he's inclined to wait on that, a concession that could bring congressional Republicans to his side."

Following the report by Reynolds, Smith played a clip of an interview with former Clinton Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman, Arthur Levitt. At one point, Smith asked Levitt: "Barack Obama puts his economic team in place today. It's two months until he takes office. Is this audacious or is this good management on his part?" Levitt replied: "This is smart. I mean, we have an administration that is virtually powerless. Certainly a president who nobody listens to. What we've seen now with the new administration is we have a shadow administration in power, in place, acting in a constructive and in a cooperative way...We cannot afford a lost two-month period where public confidence would disappear. We cannot afford that."

By Ken Shepherd | October 14, 2008 | 12:20 PM EDT

Perhaps it's a bit much too expect from a blog that once dismissively her as a "Crazed, Christ-Loving Re-Virgin," but Gawker sure did take long enough to correct its reporting that attributed fake SAT scores in an anti-Sarah Palin photoshop to be those of blogger and Catholic author Dawn Eden. Last Friday the electronic gossip rag posted the photoshop and asked readers to judge for themselves if it was a fake or not.

[See Warner Todd Huston's related blog post on that here.]

In an early morning October 14 post at her Dawn Patrol blog, Eden noted that while Gawker corrected the record in the body of its October 13 blog, a misleading headline remained that insisted that "Sarah Palin's SAT Scores Actually Belong to Born-Again Virgin Dawn Eden." In truth, Eden's scores had been altered (view her actual SAT scores, available online here).

Writing at 12:30 a.m. today, Eden noted that the Gawker contributors that had the authority to change the headline had not yet done so:

By Terry Trippany | October 12, 2008 | 3:15 PM EDT

The New York Times took the unusual step of quickly editing and replacing a hysterical post by hockey blogger Lynn Zinser that covered Sarah Palin's appearance at the Philadelphia Flyers home opener where she was invited to drop a ceremonial puck. In her original post Zinser exaggerated the boos by the crowd, attacked Flyers owner Ed Snider for inviting Palin to the event and appears to have fabricated the discomfort felt by NHL players Scott Gomez and Mike Richards.

That account has since been changed. Somewhere along the line Zinser gutted the original article and replaced  it with a new one that came a bit closer to reality. However the repost didn't occur before the original article shot across the internet where it was eventually picked up by Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher and flogged as a "political scoop". (update below: Rangers Scott Gomez voting for McCain-Palin)

By Lynn Davidson | October 7, 2008 | 3:04 PM EDT

Are newsrooms so slanted toward Barack Obama that they don't even realize it any more, or was an inaccurate headline about Sarah Palin just another example of more pro-Obama media bias?

CBSNews.com couldn't even rewrite a simple headline without putting fake words in Palin's mouth. The news organization revised and punched up a headline for a From The Road blog post in a way that made it seem as if Palin called her own comments about Obama's connection to domestic terrorist William Ayers an “Obama [s]mear,” which she didn't. Nowhere in the linked post did Palin say her statements were a “[s]mear" (thanks to NB reader Al; more screengrabs below the fold).

By Brad Wilmouth | October 1, 2008 | 2:46 PM EDT

It was eight years ago this week that France 2 TV introduced the world to Mohammed al-Dura, the Palestinian boy who was allegedly shot and killed during a gunfight between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen, in a video whose authenticity has increasingly been called into question years after it inspired anti-Semitic violence around the world. The American news media not only highlighted the story -- as the ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning newscasts collectively aired the video at least 28 times between September 30, 2000, and June 30, 2003 -- but the networks also showed other clips depicting Palestinians involved in fighting, supposedly with Israelis, that have been challenged by some media analysts, calling into question how many of the scenes shown by American media during times of Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be faked video that were passed off to international media as genuine. ABC's Good Morning American notably seems to have ignored the al-Dura story.

Boston University Professor Richard Landes has been a leader in delving into the practice by some Palestinian cameramen of staging scenes of violence to be used as propaganda against Israel. Landes notably took on CBS’s 60 Minutes in the film Pallywood, the first in a series of short documentaries produced by the Boston University professor. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recounts his unsuccessful attempts to convince the American news media to help expose the Pallywood hoax video phenomenon. While he recounts that American journalists he spoke with did generally agree with him that the deceptive practice likely exists, they were reluctant to be perceived as breaking neutrality by siding with Israel over the Palestinians, as he encountered a  view that it would not be “even-handed” to relay such unflattering activities by one side without finding similar examples from the other side. Professor Landes also cited an unnamed journalist at ABC as contending that there would be little “appetite” for the subject at his network. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recalls these conversations:

By NB Staff | July 6, 2008 | 10:47 AM EDT

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: how bad is it for Congressional Republicans?

By Terry Trippany | June 30, 2008 | 2:17 PM EDT

While many newspapers ride the blurred lines between campaigning for Barack Obama and reporting news about him the New York Times is making it clear that they have no desire to hide behind such pretense. Their "in the bag" effort on behalf of Barack Obama has become so blatant and transparent that they are now printing stories to convince Obama supporters to take on Hussein as a middle name in a show of solidarity for the MSM's presidential candidate of choice.

Emily Nordling has never met a Muslim, at least not to her knowledge. But this spring, Ms. Nordling, a 19-year-old student from Fort Thomas, Ky., gave herself a new middle name on Facebook.com, mimicking her boyfriend and shocking her father. “Emily Hussein Nordling,” her entry now reads. With her decision, she joined a growing band of supporters of Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who are expressing solidarity with him by informally adopting his middle name. The result is a group of unlikely-sounding Husseins: Jewish and Catholic, Hispanic and Asian and Italian-American, from Jaime Hussein Alvarez of Washington, D.C., to Kelly Hussein Crowley of Norman, Okla., to Sarah Beth Hussein Frumkin of Chicago.
By Brad Wilmouth | May 29, 2008 | 8:45 AM EDT

When France 2 TV helped stoke a new wave of anti-Semitism and anti-Western sentiment and violence by presenting the world footage it claimed to show the Israeli military targeting and killing a Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, a scene that has been invoked by Osama bin Laden and many other terrorists and suicide bombers, the American news media also ran the story, showing the footage numerous times on major television news shows. But evidence has mounted over the years that Israeli troops likely were not the ones producing the gunfire seen in the video. And the sources of the footage at France 2 TV are under increasing fire for their role in the matter, last week losing a court battle to media critic Philippe Karsenty, who goes so far as to charge that the al-Dura footage was actually a staged scene, and that the boy may still be alive, part of what has become a reportedly common practice of Palestinian film makers as they record scenes of fake violence to be used as propaganda. A look at such filmmaking and acting has been examined in the documentary Pallywood, complete with a corpse in a fake funeral procession that gets up on its own after falling off the stretcher after the "Jenin massacre" hoax, and an ambulance that arrives immediately next to the body of a man literally two seconds after he is supposedly shot. CBS's 60 Minutes was among those accused of being duped into using scenes of staged violence as if they were real. (Transcripts follow) 

By Warner Todd Huston | May 8, 2008 | 9:29 PM EDT

The Associated Press today wins first place for the most misleading headline in the MSM by saying that a study shows that Jon Stewart's Comedy Central "The Daily Show" show is somehow "a lot like" Bill O'Reilly's "The O'Reilly Factor." The Thursday May 8 report is flippantly headlined, "Study of 'Daily Show': It's a lot like O'Reilly," but the following report does not exactly confirm the headline. It appears that the AP's distorted headline was meant to equate "The O'Reilly Factor" to comedy in order to impugn the serious character of the hit Fox show and make of it but an exercise in comedy.

By Kyle Drennen | April 24, 2008 | 5:07 PM EDT

NewsBusters.org | Still Shot of Harry Smith and Roger Mudd, April 24 At the end of Thursday’s CBS "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith interviewed former CBS News anchor Roger Mudd about his new memoir, "The Place to Be: Washington, CBS and The Glory Days of Television News," and teased the upcoming interview by declaring: "And we're also joined this morning by one of the great legends of CBS News, Roger Mudd, who's covered every major story in Washington for decades and worked along some of the best reporters who ever lived." One of those "best reporters," Mudd later explained, was Dan Rather: "There was a front row, Harry. And in the front row was Dan Rather, Marvin Kalb, George Herman, Dan Schorr, Roger Mudd."

Mudd went on to describe Rather and his numerous other colleagues in these terms: "No, it was a -- it was just a great conjunction of very talented, very hard working, very honest, ethical men and women, linked up to 20 years of some of the greatest and most profound stories that could have happened." Of course after Rather’s controversial National Guard story about President Bush in 2004, based on forged documents, the terms "honest" and "ethical" do not exactly come to mind.

Near the end of the segment, Smith asked about Mudd’s famous interview with then Democratic presidential candidate Ted Kennedy in 1979 in which Mudd asked Kennedy why he was running for president. Mudd recalled to Smith: "And his answer was -- it wasn't incoherent, but it wasn't really coherent either. And I think the answer is, Harry, that he really hadn't thought very seriously about why he wanted to be. And that exposed a weakness. That interview was not helpful." Smith later commented that: "Wow and it ended his candidacy." However, that interview was in November 1979, just as Kennedy announced his candidacy and he did not drop out of the race until the Democratic convention in 1980.

By Terry Trippany | March 8, 2008 | 6:04 PM EST

You seriously have to question why the mainstream media feels compelled to hire activists to pose as reporters in their precious newspapers.

I contemplated taking the higher road in this article and setting emotion aside. But I feel compelled to call it like it is. Why should I or anyone else sit idly by while feckless reporters such as Abdon M. Pallash of the Chicago Sun Times use the power of an irresponsible press to push their one sided agenda as if it was news?

Here's how I see it. Vice President Cheney visited the Great Lakes Naval base last night to give a graduation speech to 4000 sailors who have decided that they wanted to be part of the greatest military in the world despite the fanatical antics of anti-war Berkeley types and their supporters in the press. Given that American soldiers have repeatedly been branded by the mainstream media in the false context of cold blooded killers, who are depressed and too stupid to get a real job you would imagine that these recruits decided the press was full of it and that a military career was the path they wanted to take anyway.