On Wednesday, the far-left blog ThinkProgress unveiled an "investigation" that alleged, without any conclusive evidence, that the Chamber of Commerce was spending funds acquired from foreign-owned companies on political activities in the United States, a crime under U.S. law.
ThinkProgress demonstrated that such funds entered the Chamber's general fund, and that money from the general fund was used to pay for political activities. But it readily admitted that it could not show the same funds attained abroad were used for those activities. Instead, it demanded the Chamber prove the licit nature of its political funds. Some in the media ran with the story, despite that lack of evidence.
So was the Chamber consulted or asked for comment by media outlets that reported on the ThinkProgress post? In an interview with NewsBusters, Chamber COO David Chavern says they were not. And while the New York Times's initial coverage was an editorial, MSNBC discussed the issue on two separate programs. Neither, Chavern claims, made an attempt at balanced coverage.
I asked Chavern during a phone conversation on Thursday how he explained this apparent breach of the most basic standards of journalism.
A number of media liberals are up in arms over a far-left blog's inconclusive investigation - replete with innuendo and assumption - purporting to show that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has illegally spent funds obtained from foreign entities on political campaigns in the United States.
Of course near-identical efforts by a handful of the most powerful labor unions have not been mentioned.
The New York Times and MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz have all opined on the horrors of the Chamber's use of foreign funds. They all unquestionably parroted a report by the Center for American Progress's ThinkProgress blog that doesn't actually show that foreign funds have been spent on domestic political races. Meanwhile, labor unions have been given a pass, despite the amazing resemblance their political spending bears to the Chamber's.
When the Republican Party launched a new website in October of last year, they had some serious problems with the new site. The media ate it up.
Within a few days, media outlets ranging from Politico to "The Daily Show" to the Huffington Post to the Christian Science Monitor - and, of course, a host of liberal blogs - had weighed in on the website's problems. Their commentaries mostly took the form of mockery.
Last week, the Democratic Party launched a new site of its own. It too had some major bugs in the hours after it went live. The media's response: crickets.
The following clip aired on the Daily Show on October 15, two days after the GOP's site launched:
Matt brings up two pieces of evidence: Matt Yglesias saying that lying is okay was one distressing example. Well, duh. Yglesias is a liberal and I have yet to read a liberal blogger who doesn't believe the ends justify the means. There is no true objective truth, after all. And, really, lying is fine, if a greater truth is served yada yada. This is not new. Nor is it shocking. Everything from science (Al Gore and global warming) to social science (single mothering is as good as dual-parent families) to religion (Christianists!) to media coverage is manipulated to serve the statist i.e. Democratic good. And to make the arguments, lying isn't just recommended, it's necessary.
On MSNBC's August 9 broadcast of "Countdown," Yglesias did his best to psychoanalyze people that are upset a mosque is being built in the shadow of Ground Zero, where over 2,600 people died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. According to Yglesias, whose blog, ThinkProgress.org, is a function the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, opposition to the plan had nothing to do with sensitivities but instead economics. The anti-mosque sentiment, he believed, couldn't exist without masterminds like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich whipping conservatives against the mosque into a frenzy.
"Well, it seems to me that there is or at least there - it's much more visible than it used to be because we're seeing it stoked by sort of the leads in the conservative movement, by Sarah Palin, by Newt Gingrich, by others, in a way that we never had before 9/11," Yglesias said. "And I think what's happening is that when the economy goes down, people become anxious, you see, historically, a lot of increase in xenophobia, in fear and in sort of intolerance. And we've got the conservative movement leaders, very opportunistically trying to take advantage of that, try to play on people's anxieties, and build this kind of anti-Muslim hysteria in a way that President Bush never did in 2001 and 2002."
On Wednesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed that the federal judge in the Arizona immigration case doesn't possess "a strong political profile one way or another," which is a sign the decision is well-supported by the law.
Cooper asked Toobin if Judge Bolton, who decided the case, was a liberal, noting that she was appointed to the post by President Clinton."She's a Clinton appointee, but she was recommended by Jon Kyl," Toobin responded, "who is a very conservative senator from Arizona."
"She's clearly not a strong partisan, but we are a long way from the last word on the constitutionality of this law," Toobin added. "This is a hard case. You are going to see other judges come out other ways on this."
Toobin's points were also echoed by liberal blogs such as Media Matters and ThinkProgress, a liberal blog.
Liberal activists are so desperate to paint the Tea Party as racist that some, apparently, are willing to fabricate evidence and fallaciously draw unsupported conclusions to support their point.
Lee Fang, a writer for the far-left blog Think Progress, recently posted a video purporting to show racism at Tea Parties. But the video was a total fraud. It took statements out of context, claimed racism where there really was none, claimed liberal plants were authentic members of the movement, and even used video from 2006, three years before the movement existed!
Liberal writers at the Nation and the Huffington Post, as well as former Fox News cohost Alan Colmes all trumpeted the Think Progress video as evidence of Tea Party racism, despite the easily-verifiable evidence to the contrary.
Usually when you see something on the Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog, you ignore it (or at best take it with a grain of salt) because you know its fundamental objective is to score some inane point against conservatives or the Republican Party.
One can't help but be a bit stunned at the audacity of an organization built by Morton Halperin and George Soros lecturing others on "astroturfing." But that same audacity -- not the good Barack Obama kind -- is taken to extremes when that same organization alleges a corporate conspiracy where there simply is none.
Think Progress's Lee Fang was practically giddy that he had uncovered the next vast right-wing conspiracy, proclaiming that a powerpoint "obtained" by the website "reveals how the telecom industry is orchestrating the latest campaign against Net Neutrality" via layers of astroturfing "front groups."
In reality, the powerpoint was the creation not of the giant telecoms that quite openly oppose Net Neutrality, but rather of six students in a contest at a "think tank MBA" program held by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. The whole project cost under $200. And far from being "secret," as Fang claimed, the powerpoint was posted online, as was the audio of the students' presentation to the contest's judges. Some astroturf!
How can journalists possibly claim to be "objective" (in the Old Media, I-have-no-opinions sense of the term) when they get their news only from hyper-partisan sources on one side of the political spectrum? To do so should make any reporter blush.
But David Shuster, apparently, has no issue with undertaking such objective journalistic endeavors as "fact checking and analyzing", while gathering information from the left's most prominent online talking-point repositories.
Not content with simply relaying those talking points to his viewers, he makes sure to direct them (via Twitter) to websites where they can get their fills of the latest lefty banter. Johnny Dollar took the liberty of compiling a chart of the sites to which Shuster directed his Twitter followers throughout the month of January. The results are striking:
After a Census Bureau worker was found dead in rural Kentucky in September, liberals jumped at the chance to attribute his death to right-wing extremists whipped into a frenzy by the hate-filled sermons of Michelle Bachmann and Glenn Beck. It turns out the Census employee committed suicide and tried to make it seem like a murder to recoup life insurance payments for his son.
USA Today reports that Bill Sparkman "committed suicide and staged his death to look like a homicide." He was not murdered by a government-hating extremist with Fox News prime time cued up on his Tivo. Given this revelation, let us review what some in the liberal media and the lefty blogosphere had to say upon the discovery of Sparkman's body.
If there was any question which side of the ideological blogosphere a lot of the inside-the-beltway media establishment go to regularly, Politico may have just cleared that up.
In an Oct. 11 Politico story headlined "Think Progress makes its mark," which was the top story on its Web site that evening, Daniel Libit paid reverence to the left-wing Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog.
"Can a liberal blog launched in the midst of the Bush era - a blog that once obsessed over Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and the outing of Valerie Plame - still make its mark in the age of Obama?" Libit wrote. "In the case of Think Progress, the answer so far is yes."
The New York Times announced today that it would appoint an editor to monitor 'opinion media'. In an attempt to respond to criticism that it has been too slow to pick up on stories first reported by conservative blogs and talk show hosts, the Times acknowledged poor coverage, but denied a political agenda.
The self-proclaimed 'paper of record' was extremely slow in picking up on two recent stories. The first, the 'trutherism' of former White House Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, was initially reported by Pajamas Media, and later by Glenn Beck on his Fox News talk show. The Times did not cover the story until after Jones had resigned.
Later, the Times neglected to report on the undercover sting operation that exposed ACORN for offering assistance in a bogus child prostitution ring. The Times reported on Congress's votes to de-fund ACORN, but neglected to mention the sting operation that inspired the votes.
If you haven't been under a rock the last few weeks, or relying on the mainstream media as your sole source of news, you are likely aware of some of the questionable circumstances surrounding the organization Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
A pair of intrepid investigative reporters, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, with the help of Andrew Breitbart, made it possible for the public to be aware of these practices by ACORN. However, the embattled organization, in a retaliatory maneuver, has filed a suit against O'Keefe, Giles and Breitbart. Breitbart appeared on Fox News Channel's Sept. 24 "The O'Reilly Factor" and responded to the suit.
"So, all I can see is that this lawsuit is an attempt to stifle free speech and the First Amendment and an attempt to make sure that the American people don't see the rest of the tapes and there are more tapes," Breitbart said.
Liberal bloggers this week have once again given credence to those who complain that bloggers lack credibility, attacking Michelle Bachmann over routine congressional floor actions.
Bachmann, who was holding the floor for the Republicans Monday afternoon, delayed a vote on a bill recognizing Hawaii’s 50th anniversary of statehood due to lack of quorum.
Apparently Bachmann’s delay for an evening vote proves she is an “Obama birther,” someone who believes that Obama was born in Kenya. After all, as Chris Steller of the Soros-funded Minnesota Independent said, “It’s hard to interpret Bachmann’s maneuver as anything other than her first foray into birtherism.”
In the wake of last Saturday's tragic cop killings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, left-wing new and old media representatives claimed the assailant was incited by supposedly false assertions from conservative talkers that President Obama was going to tighten gun laws.
One such outlet, the George Soros-funded Clinton front group Think Progress, offered the following hysterical headline hours after the shootings:
UPDATE at end of post: ATT and Ford complain about attack campaign!
In today's Tonya Harding Moment, just a week after complaining about Brit Hume's admission that he often used Media Research Center material when prepping for "Special Report" broadcasts, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann actually promoted an anti-Bill O'Reilly campaign started by the George Soros-funded ultra-liberal group ThinkProgress.
It appears that since Olbermann's "Countdown" continues to get trounced in the ratings night after night by "The O'Reilly Factor," his new strategy is: If you can't beat 'em, support an organization that is trying to get your competition's advertisers to end their sponsorship.
Amusingly, Olbermann even seemed proud of himself as he announced during Friday's "Worst Person" segment what most men would be ashamed of (video embedded below the fold):
Another episode of MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," another angry rant about a conservative disagreeing with liberal agenda - how predictable.
On the March 26 broadcast of "Countdown," Olbermann set his sights on Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, for suggesting that nature adapts to a changing climate - even when the changes predate the theory that man possessed the ability to change the climate.
"But our winner - Republican Congressman Joe Barton of Texas, back for another round of denying climate change," Olbermann said.
Olbermann quoted Barton in a March 25 hearing, leaving out passages in which Barton cited examples of how mankind has adapted to changing climate throughout history (full video here of statement).
The Clinton-founded and George Soros-backed leftwing propaganda outlet Think Progress has named two NewsBusters editors as being part of a "right-wing global warming denier propaganda machine" led by Sen. James Inhofe's communications director Marc Morano.
Along with Matt Sheffield and Noel Sheppard, the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor was also bestowed this honor.
The George Soros-fundedClinton front-groupThink Progress expressed disappointment Sunday that conservative journalists who attended a dinner party with Barack Obama a few weeks ago haven't abandoned their political principles and become bleeding-heart liberals.
I kid you not.
Readers are forewarned to remove all food and fluids from their computer's proximity, for this is some truly hilarious stuff:
The leftwing blogosphere went into full panic mode Saturday as a result of a tough interview Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden had with a Florida anchorwoman two days ago (video embedded right).
As my colleague P. J. Gladnick previously reported, Barbara West of the ABC TV affiliate WFTV in Orlando gave Biden quite a grilling Thursday.
Yet, despite the obviously favorable and well-documented treatment Barack Obama and his running mate have received from the press during this campaign, Netroots members were shocked and appalled with how Biden was questioned.
Katharine Zaleski, the Senior News Editor at the Huffington Post, published the following Saturday (emphasis added):
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann accused Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Tuesday of cutting in half her state's funding for the Special Olympics.
Not only is this categorically false, it appears likely Olbermann got this erroneous information from the far-left website ThinkProgress which NewsBusters has shown in the past to be a source for some of the "Countdown" host's material.
Here's what Olbermann said Tuesday (video and partial transcript follow, h/t Johnny Dollar):
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
Have you ever considered who's financing the various new media outlets spreading extreme-liberal viewpoints around the country?
Most people think the biggest source is George Soros. However, there are others that are not necessarily household names, but are having a huge influence on the state of journalism today and in the future.
More importantly, they're on a mission to redefine the political landscape in ways you might not have imagined.
As reported by NewsBusters Matt Sheffield and Noel Sheppard in the September issue of the Capital Research Center's "Foundation Watch":
In February of 2007 a small group named the Tennessee Center for Policy Research published an interesting little story that made Al Gore, the king of global warming alarmism, look a tad foolish. The report that TCPR sent out showed that Al Gore's own home was an energy hog. The TCPR report revealed that Al Gore's Tennessee mansion used more energy each month than the average American household uses in an entire year. In a response to this report, Gore claimed that he was diligently working to make his home more green, but now it looks like Gore is being gored again because a year down the line his energy use hasn't gone down. It hasn't even stayed level. It actually increased by 10%. How will the media handle this bloated increase despite Gore's claims of trying to improve?
In 2007, to a sensational reception the TCPR noted that the Gore family burned through energy at an amazing rate saying, "Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh -- guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359."
In yet another in a disgraceful series of indecent journalistic collaborations, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Hillary Clinton's Think Progress actually quoted al Qaeda's second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri to discredit Republican presidential candidate John McCain (video embedded right, use scrollbars to properly center).
Mark Hemingway at the Corner pointed at this one: As Hillary's Army publishes paperbacks complaining about the "Free Ride" John McCain is getting from the press, the Hillary brigade at Think Progress didn't give McCain a free ride, they gave him an inaccurate smearing. They claimed that Sen. McCain's conservative-indigestion-causing speech on foreign affairs plagiarized phrases from an Admiral Timothy Ziemer. Oops, they report today, we had it backwards:
UPDATE: It appears that Ziemer’s speech may have been plagiarized from McCain. According to the McCain campaign, the senator used these lines before Ziemer — in 1995. We regret the error.
NewsBusters Associate Editor Noel Sheppard appeared on the March 10 "Glenn Beck" program on CNN Headline News to discuss the left-wing Web's recent smear of the radio host. Beck was taken out of context for comments he made about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). [See Sheppard's related March 8 blog entry here.]
GLENN BECK, host: Noel Sheppard is the associate editor of newsbusters.org, a conservative watchdog of the liberal blogs. Noel, you apparently did a Google search on this story. How out there is my bigotry?
NOEL SHEPPARD, Associate Editor, NewsBusters.org: Well, I Googled "Glenn Beck," "Obama" and "Anti-Christ," and I got 744,000 hits. Now, that doesn't mean that there's been 744,000 articles already written about this. That`s a little bit nuts.