From Cliff Kincaid's January 15 Accuracy in Media column, headlined "Homosexual Imperialists Target Uganda":
Homosexual media activists in the U.S. such as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post have falsely depicted the bill in Uganda as an effort to kill homosexuals. In fact, it is designed to save lives by restricting dangerous homosexual practices, including pedophilia, child rape, and the deliberate spreading of the AIDS virus. The controversial death penalty provision, which even some pro-family activists in the U.S. find objectionable, is for crimes of "aggravated homosexuality."
Capehart has said that Uganda, which is heavily dependent on foreign aid, should be deprived of foreign assistance if the bill becomes law. Capehart and some foreign homosexuals are clamoring for the bill to be withdrawn from the Ugandan Parliament or vetoed if passed.
Pressure on Uganda to abandon the pro-family legislation is also being applied by open homosexual Democratic Reps. Barney Frank (Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.), and Jared Polis (Col.). On the Senate side, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee's subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, has warned Uganda it could lose favorable trading status if it proceeds with the legislation. Wyden contends that homosexuality is an international human right.
From a January 15 Associated Press article:
Absolutely giddy about a poll that showed Republican Scott Brown marginally ahead of Democrat Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, the Times' Johanna Neuman uncorked this beauty under the oh-so-subtle headline "Coakley losing it in Massachusetts, Dems in panic mode" [emphasis added]:
You could tell Coakley was losing it the other day when she derided her opponent by disdaining the most sacred of Boston icons -- the Red Sox. Criticized for taking a vacation during the campaign, Coakley defended herself and dissed Brown for an ad showing him shaking hands with voters at Fenway Park. "As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?" Coakley was quoted saying.
Slight problem. The entire paragraph is built upon a lie, because Coakley never disdained the Red Sox. Period. Neuman just made that part up in order to fill out the blogger's GOP-frenzy narrative.
In the item, Neuman linked to a Boston Herald article that told the supposed tale of Coakley dissing the Red Sox:
Former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling ripped Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Martha Coakley today for dissing Fenway Park, saying her disdain made her seem "out of touch."
"That's exactly what I've come to expect from politicians. So many are so far out of touch with their constituents it's laughable and pathetic," Schilling told the Herald.
Schilling, who considered running for the U.S. Senate seat himself, recently endorsed GOP candidate state Sen. Scott Brown. He linked another blog post on his Web site 38pitches.com that slammed Coakley's Fenway flub even more.
"It's Massachusetts. You do not make sneering insults about Fenway Park. What's she going to do next, insult the Red Sox?" wrote blogger Cassy Fiano in a post linked on Schilling's site. "She's apparently been trying to win the title of Worst Political Campaign Ever."
Schilling highlighted the blog post following a Boston Globe article quoting Coakley's response to concerns that she hasn't been campaigning enough during the tight race.
"As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?" Coakley was quoted saying, apparently referencing a Brown ad where he greets supporters outside Fenway.
Did Coakley mock the Red Sox? No. Did she even mention the Red Sox? No. Did she belittle the fact that her opponent shakes hands outside Fenway Park in the cold? Yes. Does Neuman honestly not understand the difference between referencing a Boston city location vs. ridiculing the hometown baseball team?
Even the article Neuman linked to conceded that Coakley hadn't insulted the Red Sox (i.e. "What's she going to do next"?)
This is just awful journalism.
Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his January 15 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
Last night, Media Matters posted an item detailing how CNSNews.com, in a January 14 article, falsely portrayed references to "Christian identity" in a 2008 interview by Erroll Southers, nominated to head the Transportation Safety Administration, as generic references to Christianity. In fact, the context of the interview shows that Southers was referring to the Christian Identity movement, which according to the Anti-Defamation League has "virulently racist and anti-Semitic beliefs" and is tied to several domestic terrorists.
Now, you'd think that after this story was demonstrated to be false, CNS would issue a correction or withdraw it. Nope -- we just checked a little bit ago, and not only is the story still live and unchanged hours after it was proven to be false, it's the top story on the CNS website's front page:
We'd be embarrassed if such an obviously false claim was left uncorrected on our website -- and we sure wouldn't be playing it up long after it was debunked. The Brent Bozell-operated CNS, it seems, operates by a different set of rules.
I feel comfortable handing out the award for "Worst Talking Point of the Decade (So Far)" to the emerging consensus among conservative media figures that President Obama is somehow at fault for reacting quickly to news of the Haiti catastrophe, while waiting a few days to make public comments about the failed bombing attempt on Christmas.
Limbaugh got the ball rolling on Wednesday, sounding incredulous about the fact that Obama waited a few days to address the failed attack while responding to the Haiti news in less than 24 hours. Later that day, Fox Nation echoed his attack with the headline "Pres. Obama Reacts to Haiti Earthquake Faster Than Christmas Bomber." Not content to let Fox and Limbaugh monopolize the insanity, Glenn Beck got into the action on his radio show today, saying that "Obama is dividing the country" by reacting "so rapidly on Haiti." This is certainly true - the country is divided on this. On the one hand, we have rational, thinking humans, and on the other we have Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox Nation. On what planet are these events comparable?
Tens of thousands of people are dead and a country is in shambles, but to Limbaugh, Beck, and Fox Nation, this is on par with a man failing to detonate a bomb on an airplane, killing no one. I'm not trying to minimize the failed attack, but to elevate it to the level of this catastrophe is self-evidently ludicrous.
This is indicative of an emerging trend we've seen this week, where the chief concern among sections of the conservative media has been to use this week's events to score cheap political points against President Obama. (For a perfect example of this, see Fox Nation's headline this morning "Obama Moves to Grant Amnesty to Haitian Illegal Aliens.")
And setting aside the absurd comparison for a moment, this latest inanity from the conservative noise machine has the added bonus of lacking any historical context. As we've pointed out, George W. Bush waited six days to publicly address the shoe bomber incident in 2001.
Discussing Fox News' decision to all-but ignore the tragedy in Haiti on its top-rated programs, Jamison Foser wrote in his column that "I don't even want to think about the bizarre claims Glenn Beck would come up with." Well, these are the results, and they aren't pretty.
The only reason I ask is that on today's WSJ opinion page, Caddell and Schoen write a piece announcing how unseemly and disturbing it is that liberals have been criticizing pollster Scott Rasmussen. (You don't say.) For Caddell and Schoen, the polling criticism indicates a "disturbing attitude toward dissent" and is akin to "intimidation."
In other words, it's all very bad and liberals should stop [emphasis added]:
As pollsters for two Democratic presidents who served before Barack Obama, we view this unprecedented attempt to silence the media and to attack the credibility of unpopular polling as chilling to the free exercise of democracy.
"Unprecedented"? Oh brother.
So again I'll ask, did Pat Caddell and Douglas Schoen slumber through the Bush years, because what they may have missed was the fact that right-wing bloggers and activists routinely and emphatically attacked polls that they didn't like; they demeaned and insulted pollsters for producing "bias" and "skewed" results if those results were not sufficiently pro-Bush.
Right-wing poll bashing was an epidemic, but I don't remember hearing boo from Caddell or Schoen. Plus, the right-wing attacks were often wildly dishonest and factually inaccurate, unlike most of the criticism being leveled at Rasmussen today.
There's nothing wrong with Caddell and Schoen sticking up for their polling pals. But why didn't they do it during the Bush years?
As this Media Matters research item indicates, Fox News has been much less interested in covering the Haiti earthquake as compared to the cabler's competitors. This doesn't really surprise me, and for two reasons.
First, outside of Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel, Fox News doesn't do foreign coverage. Period. It has no commitment to global journalism. And second, because the Haiti natural disaster does not have an obvious partisan angle, Fox News doesn't really know what to do. Without an RNC, Obama-hating talking point to guide the newsroom, Fox News seems clearly adrift as they grapple with practicing actual who/what/where/why/how journalism. (It's like trying to speak that second language that you haven't used since high school.)
But Fox News' abdication of its news gathering responsibilities is not new. The cabler did the same thing in the wake of the 2004 tsunami.
At the time, I noted this at Salon:
Whereas rival CNN has torn up its regular programming and dispatched an army of staffers to the ravaged region, Fox News appears to be going through the motions on the colossal story. Rather than breaking news, Fox feeds off partisan sparks. And it's hard to get angry about a natural disaster because empathy does not lend itself to outrage -- although that hasn't stopped the high-priced talking heads at Fox from trying to turn the tsunami into a contentious issue.
If the Republican National Committee doesn't have an angle on the story, then neither, apparently, does Fox News. And the last time we checked, there were no GOP talking points on natural disasters of biblical proportions.
National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez unleashes a vicious smear of Massachusetts Senate Candidate Martha Coakley, suggesting under the header "It's a Good Thing for Martha Coakley That There Are No Catholics in Massachusetts" that Coakley said Catholics shouldn't work in emergency rooms:
The radio host, Ken Pittman, pointed out that complex legal principle that "In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom."
Coakley agrees that "The law says that people are allowed to have that." But, making clear her view - the attorney general who wants to be the next senator from Massachusetts - she declared that "You can have religious freedom, but you probably shouldn't work in an emergency room." (Listen here.)
In fact, Coakley said that if you refuse to provide legal medical services to rape victims, you probably shouldn't work in an emergency room. Lopez cut off the quote before that was clear, suggesting instead that Coakley's position is simply that Catholics shouldn't work in emergency rooms.
There is a massive difference between what Coakley said and what Kathryn Jean Lopez claims Coakley said. Just enormous. Lopez suggests Coakley's position is "Catholics need not apply"; in fact, Coakley's position is more like "people who don't want to do the job shouldn't take it." It says something about Lopez' confidence in the merits of her own position that she feels the need to dishonestly portray Coakley's.
This isn't Lopez's first fast-and-loose description of the issue this week. Here's something she wrote on Wednesday:
What Coakley and her campaign are referencing is a 2005 bill that mandated that hospitals provide emergency contraception to victims of rape. At the time, Scott Brown sponsored an amendment that sought to protect the consciences of hospitals and hospital personnel with religious objections to the medication, which sometimes works as an abortifacient.
As the Boston Globe explained last week, the amendment would have referred rape victims at a hospital that would not dispense emergency contraception to another hospital that would, at no additional cost. In an urban center like Boston, this is not akin to making emergency contraception unavailable to these women.
Set aside the callousness of Lopez' suggestion (reminiscent of Sen. Joe Lieberman's famous "short ride" comment) that it's ok to turn a rape victim away from an emergency room because there's another nearby. What's really striking about Lopez' description is what she leaves out: Not all of Massachusetts is "an urban center like Boston." For many people, there isn't another emergency room nearby. Again: it says something about Lopez' confidence in the merits of her position that she feels the need to mislead readers about its consequences.
It comes courtesy of Bloomberg News:
Republicans May Win Even If They Lose Massachusetts Senate Seat
Voilà! Pretty much sums up the Beltway coverage, yes? i.e. The GOP can't lose because--ta-da!--even if they lose, they "may win."
Why do Dems even bother?
UPDATED: The Bloomberg headline has been tweaked [emphasis added]:
Republicans May Gain Even By Losing Massachusetts Senate Race