Right Wing

Gay-Bashing Provocateurs

A gay-bashing, right wing student newspaper at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island offers a fresh example of the conservative media's strategy of "publicizing censorship of their papers" so they can "cast themselves as the little guy up against the leftist establishment." The Hawk's Right Eye provoked the university administration into clamping down by running nasty attacks on Judy Shepard, whose son was beaten to death in Wyoming for being gay.

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Arson Attack on Peace Activists

Cindy Hunter and her husband, Sam Nickels, opposed Bush's war against Iraq and put a sign on their front porch showing the number of Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers who have been wounded or killed thus far in the war. An anonymous arson responded by setting fire to the sign, endangering their lives and causing an estimated $50,000 in damages to their home.

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Fox Gets the Memo

Charlie Reina, a former producer for Fox News, has posted a letter to the Poynter Institute's online journalism forum, explaining how the network deliberately slants the news. "Editorially, the FNC newsroom is under the constant control and vigilance of management," he writes. "The pressure ranges from subtle to direct. First of all, it's a news network run by one of the most high-profile political operatives of recent times. ... The roots of FNC's day-to-day on-air bias are actual and direct.

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Right Wing Collegians

The student editor of the California Patriot, a right-wing student newspaper at the University of California-Berkeley, claims that conservatives are the true heirs to the university's free speech movement of the 1960s. "The conservatives on Berkeley's campus have employed various strategies in order to insert their views -- whether they're wanted or not -- into campus debates," writes Michael Gaworecki.

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Is Media Bias a Dumb Debate?

"Denouncing bias in the media has become a dumb instrument. The cases keep coming. The charges keep flying. Often the subject - journalism - disappears," NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen. Rosen poses six questions about the bias question, and two answers. "Liberal spin. Corporate spin. Texas spin. Zionist spin. Republican spin. Hollywood spin. American spin. Anti-American spin. We want it out, out, out. Spin, that's bad," Rosen writes.

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Conservative Pundits Feel the Heat

"The right wing talk media empire is taking some hits," observes Anthony Violanti. Rush Limbaugh got the boot from ESPN last week after making racially charged comments about "black quarterbacks." Michael Savage was fired by MSNBC after saying he wished a gay caller would "get AIDS and die." Bill O'Reilly at Fox News has made himself a laughingstock with his temper tantrums and attempt to sue satirist Al Franken. Columnist Robert Novak is in the center of a controversy about his role in publishing a White House leak that outed an undercover CIA officer.

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Bill O'Reilly Decides, You Shut Up

"Fox News channel talk show host Bill O'Reilly says 'shut up' the way other people say 'um,'" observes Jack Shafer. "On his daily show, The O'Reilly Factor, he uses it as a place-holder for an idea still formulating in his brain. As a way to begin a sentence, end it, or punctuate it. ... He's even heaved this impolite language at entire nations, demanding they recuse themselves from the international conversation. In the half-decade his top-rated show has been on the air, he's called for the muzzling of practically everybody.

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Fox's Suit Sells More Books

"I'd love to make the case that Fox News will suffer irreparable damage to its reputation as a result of its frivolous lawsuit against satirist and author Al Franken, but I can't," writes Paul Holmes for PR Week. "Because the kind of people who take Fox News seriously won't care, and the kind of people who care are already incapable of taking Fox News seriously. ...

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The Terminator's Political Machine

Who are the figures behind actor Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign to become the governor of California? Max Blumental looks at the behind-the-scenes political operatives who have orchestrated the state's recall election. Schwarzenegger's high-priced consultants, George Gorton and Don Sipple, have worked with Republican operatives including Howard Kaloogian, David Gilliard, and former Enron pollster Frank Luntz, who "devised a strategy for the recall campaign centering around negative character attacks and avoidance of policy discussion," Blumenthal writes.

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