Thursday, November 1, 2007

Confronting a Fox News "Democrat" about Moonie Apologist Carlton Sherwood's Journalistic Misconduct

[Note: This blog post is reprinted from the October 17, 2004 edition of Scoobie Davis Online]

Yesterday, I was listening to the Fox News Democrat Tammy Bruce's radio show and it was typical Bruce. She bashed John Kerry for the entire program. In addition, she had on her show Mark Hyman, the vice president of Sinclair Broadcasting--the group that is forcing its members to air the anti-Kerry defamation film Stolen Honor. I tried to speak with Hyman but was only able to talk to Bruce. However, I got in some useful information about Stolen Honor director and former Moon apologist Carlton Sherwood to Bruce's listeners.

First some background on Bruce. Bruce is the former head of the LA chapter of the National Organization for Women who has become a shill for the most reactionary elements of the American hard right. When I first encountered Bruce in 2002, I had no idea who she was. I had tuned into Dennis Prager's radio show and he announced that he had a lesbian Democrat on his radio show. Bruce was on the show to defend Dr. Laura Schlessinger against the well-deserved criticism from gay groups for her anti-gay bigotry. When I heard Bruce, my bullshit detector went off big time. I called up the show and pointed out how Schlessinger used the discredited research of notorious anti-gay crusaders Jeffrey Satinover and Dr. Paul Cameron to bash gays and lesbians (disclosure: Satinover regards me as a critic--a distinction that I view as a badge of honor). It didn't sway Bruce. I found Bruce's apologia for Schlessinger utterly pathetic.

Bruce is one of those people who claim to be a Democrat, but who use this label to bash Democrats (plus, it is a rather lucrative gig). Bruce is also a Fox News Democrat (a phenomenon I discussed in this recent post). Not surprisingly, Bruce writes for Christopher Ruddy's NewsMax(click here for a transcript of a phone conversation in which I discussed this with her). Bruce is also a member of the Talk Radio Network which is run by deranged cult leader Roy Masters (I have listened to Master's radio show--which advertises on Bruce's radio show--and the guy is truly fucking nuts).

I had a full plate of things I wanted to discuss with Hyman. Among them were his smear of John Kerry (derived from the Swift Boat liars) over his Silver Star (ABC News recently corroborated official Navy records that Kerry won his medals honorably and that Hyman lied; to date, no retraction or apology from Hyman).

Unfortunately, Hyman left the show before I could speak with him. But I was able to speak directly with Bruce. Here is the transcript (I posed as "Trevor"):

BRUCE: Let's go to Trevor listening on KABC. Trevor, welcome to the Tammy Bruce Show.

SCOOBIE: Hello, Tammy. I wanted to address journalistic integrity regarding Sinclair and Stolen Honor. Really, when it comes to Stolen Honor and Carlton Sherwood, the director, I don't know where to start when it comes to journalistic misconduct. For example, throughout his career--

BRUCE: You're talking Sherwood, right?

SCOOBIE: Yes. Throughout his career, he violated important provisions of the code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists.

BRUCE: Who said this?

SCOOBIE: Legitimate journalists John Gorenfeld as well as Robert Parry of Consortium News [Clarification: Gorenfeld and Parry didn't explicitly mention the code of ethics but documented Sherwood's misconduct.]

BRUCE: Two guys have said this about Sherwood? Okay.

SCOOBIE: Yes. When Sherwood posed as an independent journalist who wrote a book exonerating the Reverend Sun Myung Moon who owns the Washington Times--you know, the ex-con who thinks he's the messiah. Well, what had happened was that Moon himself had reviewed Sherwood's manuscript and that's a serious violation--

BRUCE: Trevor, do you remember something Mark [Hyman] had said about if you don't want to talk about the details of the issues, you try to destroy the character of the people involved. You try to destroy the messenger. Do you remember that comment, Trevor?

SCOOBIE: I remember that distinctly and this is an issue of journalistic ethics. I know since you write for NewsMax you don't know too much about that, considering--

BRUCE: Trevor, this is a perfect example and I can only say so much. So now my integrity--regardless of what I write--the association, you're impugning my character because I associate with other conservatives.

SCOOBIE: Not because they're conservative but-- [at this point, Bruce potted down my audio and spoke over me; While Bruce spoke over me, I was pointing out that Christopher Ruddy--who runs NewsMax--was a disgrace to journalism when he shilled for Scaife as the Vince Foster conspiracy theorist and now runs NewsMax, hardly an exemplar of journalistic integrity (Click here and here)]

BRUCE: [Talking over me] Have you read what I've written? Trevor,have you--Trevor, have you read what I've written?

SCOOBIE: Absolutely, all the time. I read NewsMax because I do a weblog and I study--[At this point, Bruce disconnects me]

BRUCE: Okay, I'm sure he studies something. Perfect example of not dealing with one detail of an issue in front of us about the nature of John Kerry's behavior, the specifics of the harm his statements made on the POWs, or even the legitimacy of the details of whether Sinclair should broadcast-- [the tape ran out at this point but I think you get the picture]

ANALYSIS: I realize some people might think that mentioning Ruddy and NewsMax was a mistake because it gave Bruce an excuse to disconnect me. Maybe, but it wasn't as if she was going to keep me on that much longer anyway. More importantly, Ruddy segues well in a discussion of Carlton Sherwood because both are good examples of a mutant strain of political operatives who pose as journalists. The valid point I was making was that it didn't surprise me that Bruce was promoting Sherwood's libels because she writes for someone like Ruddy.

I'm the opposite of people like Bruce, Ruddy, Ailes, and Swift Boat Liars head John O'Neil. I just don't understand these people. In my book, what is important is to tell the truth. This isn't the best blog on the internet (I wish I could devote more time to it), but it has heart, soul, and balls.

No comments: