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Dianna Parker

Author ››› Dianna Parker
  • NY Post distorts facts to claim climate change science is "unraveling"

    ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    A New York Post editorial baselessly asserted that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) "bogus" statement about the date by which Himalayan glaciers will likely disappear was a "key finding" in order to claim that climate change science is "unraveling." In fact, scientists have noted that the IPCC report's claim should not be described as a central finding because it was not included in the IPCC's larger summaries; moreover, the editorial distorted several of climate scientist Phil Jones' statements on warming trends to suggest that they undermine the consensus that human activities are contributing to higher global temperatures.

  • Perino falsely claims Obama administration admitted it "bungled" Abdulmutallab interrogation

    ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    On Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Dana Perino falsely claimed that the Obama administration admitted that it "bungled" the interrogation and Mirandizing of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab following his arrest because "they had to do a review." In fact, the "review" the administration conducted following Abdulmutallab's attempted attack on a Northwest Airlines flight focused on intelligence and national security measure failures prior to the incident and was not focused on Abdulmutallab's detention and interrogation.

  • Washington Times' homophobia is rampant in letters section, too

    Blog ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    It's a safe assumption that newspapers receive letters to the editor on a daily basis from people who disagree with government policies. There's also no doubt that some are incendiary, hurtful, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc, because, well, some people have those beliefs and aren't afraid to say so in a public forum.

    But newspapers have differing standards for which letters actually make it into the paper. So, let's take a stab at guessing The Washington Times' standard. Here are snippets of letters that The Washington Times published, discussing the possible repeal of the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military.

    From today's online paper, in which a reader argued that "homosexual orientation is contrary to human nature":

    Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates; and other so-called leaders are working to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military. Even psychiatrist-commentator Charles Krauthammer is saying that the law forbidding homosexuals to serve in the military should be changed because social mores have changed. That is false.

    Homosexual propaganda has prevailed, but the natural law has not changed. The homosexual orientation is contrary to human nature, just as blindness and deafness are distortions of the anatomy/physiology of mankind. Just because some women have children out of wedlock does not mean society gives up on marriage. When will our political and moral leaders bow to the moral law and use it to guide human nature?

    And another from yesterday, in which a reader compared military officials who oppose "allow[ing] avowed homosexuals to become Marines" to German soldiers who opposed Hitler:

    A small group of German officers opposed the loyalty oath to Hitler despite great political pressure. They courageously honored and respected the moral and institutional values they represented and knew to be right. We who are Marines are proud to see that our commandant has shown similar courage in the face of political pressure to allow avowed homosexuals to become Marines.

    A cold chill shivers down the spines of men when they contemplate the physical acts of homosexual behavior. It is important the American people know that their Marines, and our commandant, have spine enough to notice and oppose this folly. I hope they will honor the many generations of Marines who sacrificed for American freedom and will remember to vote for and support those who will work to "keep our honor clean."

    Now, to be fair, some newspaper editors do opt to print objectionable letters because they either want to err on the side of inclusion, or they think it's necessary to show that some extreme views exist in the public discourse. For example, John Taylor, former president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers, told The Poynter Institute in 2003 that his paper elects to print some offensive letters because a "viewpoint that many find objectionable is a real viewpoint and it exists in the community. And we ought not to be asleep to that, because if you're asleep to those kinds of views, that's how they prosper." But, he added, the opinion pages are "about presenting divergent points of view, a spectrum of views."

    Not so for the Times. Its letters fit right in with the homophobic rants that the Times' purportedly professional columnists like editor emeritus Wes Pruden and Frank Gaffney have published on the opinion pages since the first murmurs of repealing "don't ask, don't tell," emerged. Media Matters has extensively documented the paper's history of anti-gay rhetoric, and since at least the beginning of this year, Times readers have been treated to nothing but opposition to the repeal of DADT on the Times opinion pages. If their readers want divergent beliefs on DADT, the opinion pages certainly aren't the place to see them.

  • No longer "overexposed"? Fox & Friends complains about lack of recent Obama pressers

    ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade and Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. criticized President Obama for not holding press conference since July, which Johnson claimed was a "tactic" to "avoid hard questions." But Fox News' newfound concern with Obama's purported press conference neglect stands in stark contrast to Fox's broadcast network's refusal to air both Obama's July and April 2009 conferences; and at the time of his most recent press conference, Fox News hosts claimed Obama was "overexposed."

  • Right-wing media jump to defend Palin after "crib note" criticism

    ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    Right-wing media figures have rushed to defend Sarah Palin from criticism that she apparently wrote "crib notes" on her hand during her Tea Party Convention appearances by claiming, among other things, that it's a "non-issue" and that having notes on her hand was "folksy," "down to earth," and "just like busy moms."

  • Quick Fact: Wallace revives Palin's "pal around with terrorists" claim without noting it was built on a falsehood

    ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    During an interview with Sarah Palin on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace aired a clip of Palin claiming during the 2008 presidential campaign that then-candidate Barack Obama had been "pal[ling] around with terrorists." But Wallace did not note that the New York Times article to which Palin originally attributed her claim actually found that "the two men do not appear to have been close."

  • Palin latest to walk back criticism of GOP leader Limbaugh

    ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    On Fox News Sunday, Sarah Palin became the latest Republican leader to walk back criticism of Rush Limbaugh's incendiary rhetoric, saying that he had been "satirical" in using the word "retards." In a prior statement about Limbaugh's comments, a Palin spokesperson had criticized the "crude and demeaning name-calling" of using the word, before later claiming that the statement was "not specifically aimed at Limbaugh" and, according to Limbaugh, calling his staffer "sort of in a panic" to explain it.

  • Palin apparently needs crib notes for how to avoid hypocrisy

    Blog ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    During an interview that aired on Fox News Sunday today, former vice presidential candidate-turned-Fox News contributor Sarah Palin took another swipe at President Obama for using a teleprompter to make speeches. She told host Chris Wallace that she doesn't want to be the de-facto leader of the Tea Party because, "It's much bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter. It is the people's movement. It's about the people and I'm proud to be a part of this."

    Perhaps the Tea Party movement isn't bigger than a charismatic woman who has crib notes apparently scribbled on her hand when she is giving speeches.

    A Huffington Post blogger seems to have caught Palin with the words "energy," "tax cuts," and "lift American spirits" written on her hand during her keynote speech yesterday at the Tea Party Convention. (Oliver Willis -- who works for Media Matters -- and Think Progress also caught Palin apparently reading off her hand during a later Q & A.) Palin also said during the speech -- without a hint of irony -- that the Tea Party movement is "a lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter." Palin appeared to be reading her speech from an apparently far-more-appropriate paper copy.

    Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that there are numerous photos of Palin using teleprompters to give speeches while on the campaign trail. For example, here's a photo posted last year by Florida TV station CFNews 13 of a November 1, 2008, Palin rally in Ocala, Florida:

    And here's another of Palin in Missouri a few days later, courtesy CNN:

    And a third of her in Ohio the same day, posted by The Plain Dealer:

    Time to retire this talking point?

  • Fox & Friends ignores Fox News' own reporting in trumpeting Bond's dubious accusations regarding disclosure of Abdulmutallab's cooperation

    ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    Fox & Friends co-hosts highlighted Sen. Kit Bond's (R-MO) allegation that it was wrong to disclose that Northwest Airlines bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was now cooperating with the investigation because, according to Bond, FBI officials, including director Robert Mueller, instructed members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that "keeping the fact of his cooperation quiet was vital to preventing future attacks against the United States." But Fox & Friends ignored its own organization's reporting that Senate Intelligence Committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and law enforcement officials have disputed Bond's accusations.

  • Kilmeade criticizes Obama for "never call[ing]" HIG unit that was not "fully operational" to interrogate Abdulmutallab

    ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade criticized President Obama for "never call[ing]" the "high value interrogation unit" following Northwest Airlines bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's arrest. But in fact, as Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair has acknowledged, the unit is not "fully operational"; moreover, it is not designed for use in the United States.