Yesterday, Media Matters noted that Daily Caller scribe Carey Roberts denounced "the Abuse Mavens" of the "domestic violence industry" who "ginned up this grand scheme: Let's exponentially broaden the definition of domestic violence" because they "don't want to see their generous paychecks trimmed."
In a statement to given to Media Matters today, National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) communications director Brian Namey took Roberts to task saying:
Anyone who has a mother, sister, friend, or colleague who has been abused knows that Carey Roberts' claims are completely outlandish. Domestic violence is all about controlling an intimate partner through a combination of tactics – physical, sexual, emotional, or financial.
According to NNEDV's website, the organization "was founded more than 15 years ago to be the leading voice for survivors of domestic violence and their allies."
How can I be sure the Daily Caller is merely pretending to find analogies to violence troubling? Well, first of all, note that the Caller's headline analogizes speech to explosive devices that kill people. Pro Tip: When trying to make a big deal out of rhetorical invocations of violence, it's best to avoid describing that rhetoric as "throwing bombs."
The Daily Caller's headline isn't the only thing that thoroughly undermines its efforts to make a mountain out of a rhetorical molehill: So too does its previous ho-hum coverage of Republicans invoking the specter of hostages to make political points.
Just last week, for example, the Caller reported John Kasich's use of the hostage metaphor without pretending the metaphor was some huge scandal:
"Our children are being held hostage," said a fiery Ohio governor-elect John Kasich in reference to the expanding federal debt. "If we have to be responsible and balance our books, they better get their books in order in Washington."
And just yesterday, the Caller ran a column by two Republican members of congress who claimed "the administration is now holding hostage the modernization of our dilapidated nuclear arsenal."
In June, the Daily Caller re-published a National Review piece headlined "Politicizing Aid at the G8 Summit." But the Caller apparently didn't find that headline sexy enough; on the Caller's site, the piece was headlined "OPINION: Hillary holding infant aid hostage for abortion rights."
Q: How twisted do you have to be to distort domestic violence guidelines in order to argue for loosening the definition of domestic violence?
A: Twisted enough to write for the Daily Caller.
Under the header "Yippee, we're all abusers now!," Carey Roberts denounces "the Abuse Mavens" of the "domestic violence industry" who "ginned up this grand scheme: Let's exponentially broaden the definition of domestic violence" because they "don't want to see their generous paychecks trimmed."
Roberts' entire column is a litany of purportedly-ridiculous things treated as "domestic violence" by "Big Sister." Here's a taste:
Go to the website of the federal Office of [sic] Violence against Women. The OVW informs us domestic violence is a "pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control."
Maintain power and control?
Ladies, if you nag your husband to mow the lawn, that's power and control. Men, quit telling your wife to not overdraw the ATM — same thing. If you get into a disagreement over the TV remote control, you guessed it, that's proof of an obsessive need for power and control. That's a heinous offense, according to Big Sister.
It goes on like that at some length. The most obvious sign that Roberts is blowing smoke is that he doesn't offer a single example of anyone ever being unjustly charged with domestic violence. He pretends that merely reminding a spouse not to "overdraw the ATM" will result in jack-booted government thugs kicking down your door (no joke: Roberts compares the Office on Violence Against Women to the KGB.) But he doesn't identify any example of anything even remotely like that ever happening, which is a pretty good indication that he's bitterly denouncing straw.
But Roberts doesn't stop at absurd caricatures of domestic violence definitions: He tells clear falsehoods about them as well. Here's Roberts:
But domestic violence runs rampant and proto-abusers need to be held accountable — or so the domestic violence industry claims — so why not swell our definitions even more?
Now, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, partner violence also includes "getting annoyed if the victim disagrees" and "withholding information from the victim." If that doesn't suffice, "disregarding what the victim wants" also counts as a punishable offense.
Well, no. According to Roberts, CDC will punish people for "partner violence" simply for being annoyed. But in reality, CDC lists "getting annoyed if the victim disagrees" and "withholding information from the victim" as potential elements of "Psychological/emotional abuse" -- not "violence." That doesn't mean that "getting annoyed" is automatically abuse, just that it could occur in a way that constitutes abuse. Perhaps more importantly, while Roberts pretends that CDC considers annoyance a form of "violence," CDC makes clear that it does so when emotional abuse comes in the context of prior physical or sexual violence:
The panel made the decision to classify psychological/emotional abuse as a type of violence only when it occurs in the context of prior physical or sexual violence, or the prior threat of physical or sexual violence. The panel suggested that "prior" be operationalized as "within the past 12 months."
Basically, Roberts is defending emotionally-abusive conduct by people who have already been physically abusive. But he doesn't dare come out and say that, so he pretends that the part about prior physical violence or threats of violence doesn't exist.
Again: You have to be pretty twisted to make a dishonest case for weakening domestic violence laws. But not so twisted that Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller won't publish you.
Oh, and just a week ago, Roberts took to the Caller to denounce restraining orders, arguing that instead, women should avoid "late-night strolls in public areas."
When Tucker Carlson launched the Daily Caller with a former aide to Dick Cheney and a multimillion dollar bankroll from a big GOP donor, Howard Kurtz reported that Carlson "insists this won't be a right-wing site." Every day since then, Carlson's staff has done its best to make a liar out of him.
Yesterday's example: The Daily Caller's interview with James O'Keefe, which made it through exactly one full sentence before telling a right-wing-friendly lie. Sentence two broke that impressive streak by claiming that "O'Keefe (dressed as a pimp) … found ACORN employees seemingly willing to facilitate shady dealings." False! O'Keefe was not "dressed as a pimp" during his interactions with ACORN employees, unless the Caller thinks khakis and a dress shirt constitute "dressing like a pimp."
Next, here's how the Daily Caller described another O'Keefe dirty trick: "After one botched stunt, O'Keefe was charged with (and later cleared of) trying to tap the phones in one of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's Louisiana offices." By noting only that O'Keefe was "cleared" of trying to tap the phones, the Caller suggests he did nothing wrong. In fact, O'Keefe pled guilty to breaking the law. Details!
Now, check out the questions -- all of the questions -- the Caller asked O'Keefe:
Do you consider yourself an activist or a journalist? Can someone be both?
Do you have role models? If so, whom?
Is there someone on the political scene you would like to see run for president in 2012?
You've attracted some controversy. Do you have any regrets for any of the actions you've taken?
What political cause would prompt you to chain yourself to the White House fence?
That's some hard-hitting, pull-no-punches journalism!
The Daily Caller blows the lid off of … nothing much:
Three of the "Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength," a group of 90 plus millionaires who signed a letter to President Obama asking him to allow the tax cuts on people with an income of $1 million or more each year to expire, say that despite their call to raise taxes, they will not pay the government more than they are required to, nor will they cut the government a personal check.
Later, the Caller suggested it was "hypocrisy" to call for higher taxes without voluntarily sending a larger check to the government. (It isn't. It would be "hypocrisy" for a rich person to say rich people should voluntarily send the Treasury contributions, but refuse to do so himself. That isn't what's happening here. But then, the word "hypocrisy" rarely means what reporters think it means.)
I eagerly await the Daily Caller's expose of conservatives who want to cut government spending but refuse to voluntarily stop using government-funded bridges, hospitals and schools.
The Daily Caller's Amanda Carey details the "Rise of conservative displeasure over Politico/NBC debate," quoting several conservative activists who worry (or pretend to worry) that Republican presidential candidates won't be treated fairly in a debate hosted by Politico and NBC.
Carey quotes conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt: "Can we be honest? They are all liberals. All of them. Not one of the questioners that could or would be proposed by Politico or NBC would be remotely in touch with the cares, concerns, and passions of the GOP's primary electorate." And Grover Norquist: "All the debates should be open to the media, but they should be held for the purpose of letting Republicans explain to Republicans why they should vote for them in the primary. … Instead, we'll get nitpicking from left-of-center journalists asking questions that will impress their fellow journalists." And Mark Levin: "There's no question that Politico and NBC are leftist and I'm not excited about their participation."
As usual, Media Research Center Brent Bozell out-shrilled them all: "When, oh when will Republicans learn? Every four years the presidential debate season takes place. Republicans dutifully line up for debates moderated by liberal 'moderators' except there's nothing moderate about these moderators who mercilessly attack them."
If this really takes place "every four years," there should be plenty of examples. And yet neither Carey nor anyone she quoted offered a single example of inappropriate questioning during debates moderated by Politico or NBC journalists. Certainly no "merciless attacks."
In fact, Carey never got around to mentioning that both Politico and NBC participated in GOP presidential debates during the 2008 campaign. This being the Daily Caller, it is of course possible that neither Carey nor her editors are aware of this basic fact, and that neither thought to check. And this being the Daily Caller, it's also possible Carey never mentioned those debates because they completely undermine the inane premise that Politico and NBC would attack Republican candidates during a debate.
Consider the May 3, 2007 Republican presidential debate moderated by Chris Matthews and Politico's John Harris and Jim VandeHei. Matthews kicked things off by asking Rudy Giuliani "Mayor Giuliani, how do we get back to Ronald Reagan's morning in America?" Then he moved on to John McCain: "Let me go to Senator McCain. We're in the house of Ronald Reagan. Every cab driver in America knew what Ronald Reagan stood for: defeat communism abroad; reduce big government at home. Can you, Senator McCain, restore that kind of unity of purpose?" That, apparently, is what Brent Bozell considers a merciless attack: Asking Republicans if they'll be like Reagan.
Later in the debate, Matthews invited the Republican candidates to "mention a tax you'd like to cut, in addition to the Bush tax cuts, keeping them in effect." He never asked how they'd pay for those tax cuts -- though during a Democratic debate a week earlier, NBC's Brian Williams demanded to know how the Democratic candidates would pay for their health care proposals (while never actually asking them to explain the proposals.)
That wasn't the only double-standard apparent in those two debates. During the Democratic debate, Brian Williams asked Barack Obama a loaded question about his personal finances -- a question that managed to smear the other Democrats on stage as well. A week later, Matthews, VandeHei and Harris failed to ask the Republicans a single question about their business dealings, personal finances, or ties to controversial figures. Those types of questions were reserved for Democrats only -- and this in spite of the fact that Giuliani's close relationship with the breathtakingly crooked Bernie Kerik was very much in the news.
The last time NBC and Politico participated in presidential debates, they lobbed softballs to the Republicans and held Democrats to a higher standard of fiscal responsibility. That's just a fact. It's what happened. And so, in whining about NBC and Politico participating in a 2011 Republican debate, the Daily Caller, Brent Bozell, and several other conservative media critics don't mention a single thing about those 2007 debates. Because conservative media criticism isn't about reality, it's about blind hatred of the media -- and about working the refs.
The slow-witted thirteen-year-olds Tucker Carlson has apparently hired to run The Daily Caller strike again:
Get it? Rosie O'Donnell, who is gay, is therefore half a man. Hahahahaha!
When The Daily Caller launched with $3 million in seed money from Republican financier Foster Freiss, the GOP donor said: "Tucker and Neil [Patel] present a huge opportunity to re-introduce civility to our political discourse. They are mature, sensible men who are very thoughtful and experienced with pleasant senses of humor and do not take themselves too seriously. They want to make a contribution to the dialogue that occurs in our country that has become too antagonistic, nasty and hostile."
I'll give Freiss this much: His quote is funnier than any of the Daily Caller's gay jokes.
Did you hear Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller site posted big readership numbers? It's true because I read the press release [emphasis added]:
The Daily Caller Shatters Traffic Predictions
WASHINGTON - (BUSINESS WIRE) - The Daily Caller has shattered all traffic estimates in its first 10 months since launch. By October, The Daily Caller, a 24-hour online news publication, reported that monthly unique visitors exceeded expectations by more than 100%. The Daily Caller also saw more than 7.5 million page views from visitors in October alone. Traffic for the third quarter, running from July through September, surpassed well over 1.5 million unique visitors per month.
I don't mean to rain on the Daily Caller parade, but I couldn't help chuckling reading all about how its online traffic is way ahead of "predictions" and "expectation" and "estimates." (Up more than 100%!) I'm chuckling because we never find out whose "predictions" and "expectations" the release was based on. Was it Carlson sitting around his kitchen table making "predictions" about what Daily Caller's traffic would be, and now the site's issuing proclamations because it exceeded those "predictions"?
Note to Daily Caller: If you're going to issue press releases based on unknown "predictions" and "expectations," why stop at 100% increases? Why not just say traffic is up 300% or even 1000% based on anonymous "estimates"? Sounds better that way, don't you think?
Right-wing media have been hyping reports from an Indian news agency that President Obama's upcoming trip to India will cost $200 million a day and will require 34 warships to be stationed off the Indian coast. In fact, the White House, the Secret Service and the Pentagon have called the claims false, and numerous U.S. media sources question the numbers.
According to a White House spokesman, the claim -- circulated by Rush Limbaugh and the Drudge Report -- that President Obama's November trip to India will cost the U.S. $200 million per day has "no basis in reality."
In a November 2 article headlined, "US to spend $200 mn a day on Obama's Mumbai visit," the Press Trust of India reported:
By noon, the Drudge Report featured a bright red link to the article that claimed: "REPORT: US to spend $200 million per day on Obama's Mumbai visit..."
Then, on the November 2 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh claimed, "$200 million a day this nation will spend on Obama's trip to India."
When Media Matters asked about the report, White House spokesman Matt Lehrich responded, "The numbers reported in this article have no basis in reality. Due to security concerns, we are unable to outline details associated with security procedures and costs, but it's safe to say these numbers are wildly inflated."
The Press Trust of India report was picked up by a number of conservative websites, including The Daily Caller, MichelleMalkin.com, and WorldNetDaily.
Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Fox Business' Eric Bolling repeated the claim after it was debunked by the White House:
The Daily Caller offers this morning a staggeringly lame gotcha attempt aimed at Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway. Reporter Jonathan Strong intimates that Conway is a hypocrite for highlighting Republican opponent Rand Paul's bizarre "Aqua Buddha" college stunt because Conway's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at Duke "had its own share of notable moments while Conway was studying public policy in the late 1980s and early 1990s." But Stong's article is all about the comparatively tame antics of other members of Conway's fraternity, including some scandals that happened long after Conway graduated.
Strong begins the article by strongly suggesting that Conway has some college-era skeletons in his own closet:
When Democratic Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway started attacking his opponent for the Kentucky Senate seat, Republican Rand Paul, for college-aged hijinks that involved smoking pot and "praying" to a god named Aqua Buddha, Conway's old classmates took notice.
"Can you believe he opened that door?" classmates wondered in e-mail chains, regarding why Conway would have invited scrutiny on his college days.
The reason? Conway, in his undergrad years at work hard, play hard Duke University, was a member of the school's then-most exclusive fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), which had its own share of notable moments while Conway was studying public policy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, albeit of a very different sort than the NoZe Brotherhood, Paul's group.
But the "notable moments" Strong highlights either have nothing to do with Conway, or aren't even that "notable." He writes of a 37-year-old Texan who pledged Conway's frat by pretending to be a college-aged French aristocrat, the "garden variety" pledge "hazing" the frat engaged in, and the fact that SAE had a series of scandals between 1994 and 2002 (Conway graduated in 1991).
Just in case there was any doubt about whether The Daily Caller should ever be taken seriously, this paragraph from Caller political reporter Caroline May should put the matter to rest:
Even more politically liberal commentators have noted the liberal bias of NPR. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting notes that in 2004, when there was a debate over the launch of Air America, the sentiment of many pundits was, "wait, don't we already have a liberal station: NPR?"
Now, here's what the 2004 FAIR report actually said:
News of the April launch of Air America, a new liberal talk radio network, revived the old complaint, with several conservative pundits declaring that such a thing already existed. "I have three letters for you, NPR . . . . I mean, there is liberal radio," remarked conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan on NBC's Chris Matthews Show (4/4/04). A few days earlier (4/1/04), conservative columnist Cal Thomas told Nightline, "The liberals have many outlets," naming NPR prominently among them. [Emphasis added]
See the difference? FAIR said "several conservative pundits" declared that NPR is a liberal talk radio network. The Daily Caller portrayed that as FAIR noting that liberal pundits had made that claim.
And in the process, the Caller completely ignored this portion of the FAIR report:
Despite the commonness of such claims, little evidence has ever been presented for a left bias at NPR, and FAIR's latest study gives it no support. Looking at partisan sources—including government officials, party officials, campaign workers and consultants—Republicans outnumbered Democrats by more than 3 to 2 (61 percent to 38 percent). A majority of Republican sources when the GOP controls the White House and Congress may not be surprising, but Republicans held a similar though slightly smaller edge (57 percent to 42 percent) in 1993, when Clinton was president and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. And a lively race for the Democratic presidential nomination was beginning to heat up at the time of the 2003 study.
FAIR's four-month study of NPR in 1993 found 10 think tanks that were cited twice or more. In a new four-month study (5/03–8/03), the list of think tanks cited two or more times has grown to 17, accounting for 133 appearances.
FAIR classified each think tank by ideological orientation as either centrist, right of center or left of center. Representatives of think tanks to the right of center outnumbered those to the left of center by more than four to one: 62 appearances to 15. Centrist think tanks provided sources for 56 appearances.
So the Daily Caller took a FAIR study that debunked the claims of conservatives that NPR is biased towards liberals, ignored the debunking, and pointed to the study as evidence that liberals say NPR is biased towards liberals.
Get it? They're "skanks" because they're wearing lingerie. It's hilarious, right?
(Not that it really matters, but contrary to the Daily Caller's implication that the lingerie in question is billed as Halloween costumes, it is in fact billed as … lingerie.)
The Daily Caller today takes a shot at breast cancer awareness group Susan G. Komen for the Cure, publishing a hit piece taking the organization to task for providing funds to Planned Parenthood. The article attempts to concoct an accusation of hypocrisy by saying that "some groups allege" that abortion can cause breast cancer:
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation is a breast cancer awareness powerhouse. As its influence has grown, so too have the number of its critics, who, while appreciative of the group's good works, cringe at the fact that some of the donations to Komen end up in the coffers of abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
In addition to the debate over the propriety of allocating money to Planned Parenthood, some groups allege that studies prove abortions and certain oral contraceptives can cause breast cancer -- while organizations such as Komen deny such links.
First of all, as the article itself points out, Komen has said that it rigorously audits the funds in question to ensure they are used "for screening, treatment or education of breast cancer only." Indeed, according to Planned Parenthood, 3 percent of its health care services spending goes to abortion services, while 17 percent goes to cancer screening and prevention.
More importantly, the Daily Caller's presentation of the question of whether abortion causes cancer as a "he said/she said" matter for debate is pathetic and irresponsible.
At the Daily Caller, that's two sides of an even argument. In the real world, it's ideologues with no idea what they're talking about versus actual experts.
Over the weekend, our buddy Jim Hoft had a meltdown that the "state-run media" was "so corrupt that they will not report that a book was hurled at Obama and barely missed hitting his head." Apparently at the end of a rally in Philadelphia yesterday, someone hurled a book in Obama's direction. It is unclear who did this and why. But, in three separate posts, Hoft whined that the media simply refused to cover that this happened. It's almost as if Hoft is happy that the incident occurred.
And, Hoft got his wish. Fox & Friends has covered the story at least twice this morning, and the Drudge report is prominently highlighting the incident: