March 24, 2008

BlumerNetDaily, Part 2

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:40 am

UPDATE: For the benefit of WND, I am labeling portions of the text of Parts 1 and 2 for “material lifting,” “link hogging,” and “credit grabbing.” I am not claiming that the items labeled necessarily represent all relevant instances, or that the instances cited have necessarily been fully described.

UPDATE 2: Apparently, WND needs help distinguishing between “opinion,” “assertion,” and “speculation,” so I am providing them further assistance in that regard.

OVERVIEW: (opinion) I am outraged, and totally out of patience, at the brazen lifting of material, link hogging, and credit grabbing that is been going on for days at WorldNetDaily — based largely on material originally posted at BizzyBlog.

This is the second of two parts. Part 1 is here.


(opinion) Yesterday while many of us were in church celebrating the Resurrection and/or watching the latest round of NCAA tournament games (go XU), Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily (WND), in a report about the Rev. James Meeks, continued that publication’s material-lifting, link-hogging credit-grabbing ways:



(see individual items) Klein did a really poor job of attribution, and of reporting.

(see individual items) Let’s start with attribution:

  • (opinion, based on the definition of “exclusive) (third red box) Once again, in a mislabeled “exclusive,” WND is acting as if it owns the church bulletin story (credit grabbing). (assertion) Reminder: Yours truly did the dirty work, and broke the story. WND readers won’t know that unless they go back to the previous WND report. (opinion) But as Debbie Schlussel said last week: “….. par for the course.” (opinion) More lost hits, and lost exposure, for BizzyBlog (link hogging. Also, those who don’t link back to the previous WND article will not know that WND was not the source of the original material; by presenting the new article as “exclusive” without prior source attribution, WND is in essence lifting it and presenting it as its own).
  • (assertion) (not pictured) Klein also referred to, but did not link, to Mike Flannery’s CBS report from August 2006 about Meeks’s outburst. (opinion) Lost hits, and lost exposure for CBS, which has related video that WND does not (more link hogging).
  • (opinion, with speculation) It also strains credibility more than a little bit to believe that Klein (or his e-mail informants) didn’t go through this BizzyBlog post — without attribution, of course — to get to most of what he included in his report (clearly speculation [aggressive, but still speculation] concerning possible material-lifting).

(see individual items) Here are some, but perhaps not all, of the reporting problems (headline, and first two boxes):

  • (opinion) The headline is flat-out wrong. No matter how far you stretch things, Meeks is not an “Obama Pastor.” Obama has one pastor. His pastor was Jeremiah A. Wright until Wright retired; now it’s Otis Moss III. In fact, the first sentence of Klein’s report discretely contradicts the thrust of the headline.
  • (assertion) Although Obama’s April 2004 description to Cathleen Falsani is as originally reported, it pre-dates Meeks’s outburst by over two years, and directly contradicts a response Flannery e-mailed to me when I pointed to writer Nicolas Stix’s August 2004 characterization of Meeks as one of Obama’s “closest religious advisers” (see update 3 at this BizzyBlog post). Flannery is not infallible, but he says he has been covering Chicago politics for over 30 years. When I challenged his March 19 contention that “Meeks was never very close to Obama,” he called Stix’s closeness characterization “ludicrous.”
  • (assertion) “Council” should be “counsel.”
  • (assertion) In an unseen instance, Meeks’s name is used erroneously in the possessive.


(opinion) All of this is very pathetic. There was a time in the late 1990s when it appeared that WND might become one of the leading lights of New Media. Instead, in its current construction, WND is a sad monument to lost potential.



  1. No one likes there stuff stolen but it means you are doing something right, Tom.

    Comment by Ben Keeler — March 24, 2008 @ 1:53 am

  2. the burning question still remains after all the spin, false moral equivalence and finger pointing… Who outted Rev. Wright by pointing out the specific locations in the DVDs or tapes for the news to report???? Was it a Clinton operative???? That is the big story here, Rev. Wright’s bigotry will always be excused because he is of the perferred victim group.

    Comment by dscott — March 24, 2008 @ 3:21 pm

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