Noel Sheppard

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Associate Editor

Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014. More here about Noel's contributions to NewsBusters and tributes to him upon his passing.

Latest from Noel Sheppard

David Letterman on Tuesday took quite a swipe at Barack Obama.

During the opening monologue of CBS's "Late Show," the host asked the audience, "You know who else is on vacation?"

Letterman answered, "President Barack Obama. And this is his, since he's been in office, this is his sixth vacation."

Then came the marvelous and surprising punch line (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo): 

E-mail messages obtained by NewsBusters refute claims that multi-millionaire filmmaker James Cameron cancelled a debate with prominent global warming skeptics because they weren't as famous as he is.

As NewsBusters reported Monday, a debate had been scheduled and placed on the program for last weekend's AREDay summit in Aspen, Colorado, featuring internet publisher Andrew Breitbart, Sen. James Inhofe's (R-Okla.) former communications director Marc Morano, and documentarian Ann McElhinney. 

Within the past 36 hours, event organizers have absurdly claimed that since Cameron wanted to match wits with either Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, or Inhofe, he decided to pull out of the debate when this didn't happen.

E-mail messages between the prospective participants and Cameron's representative paint an entirely different picture. 

To begin our story, Richard Greene, the man that negotiated the particulars with the skeptics, sent the following regrets to the prospective participants some time Saturday (h/t Big Hollywood):

The New York Times on Tuesday declared what most conservatives knew would happen if Democrats took control of both Congress and the White House: "more Americans - and not just the rich - are going to have to pay more taxes."

In its editorial comically titled "A Real Debate on Taxes," the Times predictably argued for a total elimination of the Bush tax cuts, although it favored some partial delay to this given the precarious state of the economy.

That in itself was humorous as the Times clearly seems to get that raising taxes is indeed economically damaging.

Yet maybe more telling was how this "real debate" didn't once involve the spending side of the budget:

Multi-millionaire filmmaker James Cameron on Sunday backed out of a global warming debate that he asked for and organized.

For those that haven't been following the recent goings on concerning Nobel Laureate Al Gore's favorite money-making myth, an environmental summit was held this weekend in Aspen, Colorado, called AREDAY, which is short for American Renewable Energy Day.

Ahead of this conference, Cameron challenged three noted global warming skeptics to a public debate where he was going to personally "call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads."

One of the invited skeptics, Ann McElhinney of, wrote about Cameron's surprise cancellation Sunday:

New York Times columnist Frank Rich on Sunday blamed America's opinion of the Ground Zero mosque on the "Islamophobia command center" of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

As readers are likely aware, its properties include Fox News, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal, all witting accomplices to a devious plot to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment according to Rich.

Never mind that public opinion polls around the country and in New York state show vast majorities in opposition to the building of this Islamic center at the site of the 9/11 attacks.

In Rich's paranoid view, it's all Murdoch's fault:

I watched just about every major political talk show on television this weekend, and the funniest thing I heard was a comment by David Boaz of the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute.

In the predictions segment of "The McLaughlin Group," the Kentucky native spoke of the hotly contested race for Senate in that state between Tea Party candidate Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway.

What ensued left the entire panel laughing - except, of course, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift (video follows with transcript and commentary):

Bob Schieffer on Sunday blamed the internet for the growing number of Americans that think Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Namelessly referring to last week's Pew Research Center poll finding that eighteen percent now believe this, the "Face the Nation" host concluded Sunday's program saying that "in the internet age, ignorance travels as rapidly as great ideas."

He continued, "Now, not only great minds can find one another and compare notes, so too can the nuts and the perverts and those who are simply looking to validate their prejudices."

And continued, "So despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, a new poll tells us a growing number of Americans, most of them on the right, believe Barack Obama is a Muslim. No doubt, due in part to the fact that stories to that effect have gone viral on the internet" (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

David Gregory on Sunday finally got an answer to his question about extending the Bush tax cuts, but it certainly wasn't what he was expecting.

For those that have been watching "Meet the Press" this month, the host has been grilling his conservative guests about this issue ever since former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told him on August 1 that tax cuts don't pay for themselves.

Having badgered Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) about this earlier in the program with no success, Gregory broached the subject with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey in a subsequent segment.

With a hanging curveball coming into his wheelhouse, Armey whacked a long drive that still hasn't landed (video follows with transcript and commentary):

George Will on Sunday gave Robert Reich a much-needed history lesson about deficit spending and liberal myths concerning Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover.

As the Roundtable segment on ABC's "This Week" moved to the current state of the economy, Reich predictably called for another stimulus package. 

"You can't even talk about stimulus because people say, 'Oh, that would create a deficit and that would generate inflation,'" declared one of the Left's favorite economists.

Fortunately for those actually interested in facts, Will was there to offer viewers the truth (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):  

Robert Reich on Sunday falsely accused former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of saying Muslims are like Nazis.

As NewsBusters reported last Monday, Gingrich was quoted by the New York Times as saying that building a mosque at Ground Zero "would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum."

Gingrich elaborated on "Fox & Friends" that very morning:

Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.

Unfortunately during the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week," Reich claimed without challenge that Gingrich said, "Muslims are like Nazis" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo): 

Gloria Borger this weekend ridiculed Barack Obama's dependence on his trusted teleprompter.

During the opening segment of the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show," the host was comparing the current White House resident to the late John F. Kennedy.

After Matthews showed video clips of JFK and Richard Nixon during the 1960 presidential campaign, guest Dan Rather remarked, "I noticed in the acceptance speeches neither one of them used a teleprompter. You can't imagine any candidate today going without a teleprompter for an acceptance speech."

Borger marvelously quipped, "Particularly Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

Michelle Obama's portrait was displayed at the Smithsonian on Friday:


Rich Lowry on Saturday had a fabulous exchange with one of Fox News's many liberal contributors over why the media stopped covering Iraq.

As the discussion on "Fox News Watch" turned to this week's troop withdrawal, the National Review editor claimed wartime press reports are "extremely defeatist all through the prism of Vietnam and then if we succeed it kind of ends in a whimper."

Newsday's Ellis Henican countered, "People get bored in a hurry and we got bored with this [war] two or three years ago." 

Lowry marvelously sniped back, "When we started to win" (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

"Is President Obama good for the Jews?" asked New York Times columnist Charles Blow Saturday.

His answer was quite surprising: "For more and more Jewish-Americans, the answer is no." 

In his piece marvelously titled "Oy Vey, Obama," Blow referred to Thursday's Pew Research Center report finding "33% of Jewish voters identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, up from 20% in 2008."

From there, Blow went where a liberal columnist for the New York Times typically dares not:

Glenn Beck on Thursday told his radio audience that CNN's Rick Sanchez is the dumbest man ever on television.

As NewsBusters has been chronicling the bumblings and stumblings of Sanchez for quite some time, we're certainly not going to take the other side of this debate.

Even if we tried, it would be difficult for the conservative talker highlighted many of this genius's missteps that we've also shared with our readers recently (video follows with transcript and clips of related miscues, h/t The Right Scoop):

Keith Olbermann on Friday evening once again stuck his foot in his mouth on national television when he bashed Ted Nugent for appearing at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally next Saturday.

Problem is Nugent is booked at the Boise Knitting Factory Concert House that night, and won't be attending the Beck event.

But this actually wasn't the only fact Olbermann got wrong on MSNBC's "Countdown," for he also accused Nugent of making racist remarks while giving a concert in Dubuque, Iowa, a few weeks ago.

Turns out this was flatly contradicted by an eyewitness (video follows with transcript and commentary):

What kind of shameless shill do you have to be to claim the President is on a winning streak as his poll numbers plummet, the economy teeters on a double-dip recession, and his Party is facing historic losses in both chambers of Congress?

A Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and former managing editor of the Washington Post, that's who.

Consider that just days after numerous polls were released showing America's confidence in Barack Obama at an all-time low, and stallwart supporters such as CNN and the New York Times' Maureen Dowd claimed that even George W. Bush was better at delivering a coherent message to the American people, Eugene Robinson wrote the following Friday:

Comedian Jon Stewart on Wednesday bashed Fox News for parent company News Corporation's $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association.

Unfortunately, Stewart failed to inform his viewers that Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central, has so far given disproportionately to Democrats this year.

Also missing in the "Daily Show" host's attack of FNC and Glenn Beck was that News Corp. prior to this contribution had historically given more to Democrats than Republicans.

Such facts were unimportant Wednesday evening, for Stewart was on another in a long line of Fox News is the devil incarnate rants (video follows with commentary):

As media members across the fruited plain try to convince skeptical Americans that Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Islamic Imam behind the Ground Zero mosque, is a moderate cleric, most have totally ignored an interview that he gave on CBS's "60 Minutes" less than three weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

To demonstrate just how wrong the press are about this man, Fox News's Bill O'Reilly played the relevant portions of that segment on Wednesday's "Factor."

As you watch this clip, it will be quite obvious why you likely have never seen it before (video follows with partial transcript):

Mark August 18, 2010, on your calendar as the day New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd published a piece bashing Barack Obama and praising George W. Bush.

This comes less than 24 hours after did exactly the same thing over the same issue.

Needless to say, Dowd's position in her column entitled "Our Mosque Madness" went completely contrary to public opinion regarding the building of an Islamic center at Ground Zero.

But before we get there, let's first take a look at a few paragraphs destined to give many readers whiplash as they slam on their reading brakes in disbelief: