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Thursday, October 16, 2008
Jerome Corsi's Memogate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi has the same problem CBS had on the subject of documents.

Like CBS' memos regarding President Bush's National Guard service, Corsi's memos purported proving that Barack Obama had a close relationship with Kenya's Raila Odinga and donated money to his campaign are clearly not original and may be competely fraudulent.

But even though Corsi so far is standing by his Obama docs, he dismissed the CBS docs:

  • In an Oct. 5, 2005, WorldNetDaily column, Corsi referenced "the forged documents story that brought Dan Rather down from his lofty chair as CBS News anchor."
  • In a Sept. 28, 2007, WND article, Corsi wrote: "CBS News initially stood by its claims in the face of widespread accusations – brought first by bloggers – that early 1970s documents used in the story to discredit Bush were forgeries, created with a modern word-processing program."

But  Corsi's documents are at least as "forged" as the CBS'. And like CBS, he is treating them as accurate, even "authenticated," even though you can't authenticate a fake.

In an Oct. 17 WND article, Corsi again insists that his documents have been "verified" -- even as he continues to offer nothing to support that "verification" but obviously fake documents.

Will Corsi ever come clean? We shall see.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 17, 2008 10:33 PM EDT
Cashill's Newest Smear: Obama's Anti-Semitic
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill declares Barack Obama an anti-Semite in his Oct. 16 WorldNetDaily column.

Why is Obama an anti-Semite: Because he mentioned Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz in a speech criticizing the runup to the Iraq war. 

Cashill thus baselessly buys into the argument that anyone who criticizes the neoconservatives who got the U.S. into the Iraq war is automatically an anti-Semite because a number of the most prominent neocons are Jewish.

Cashill claims that Perle and Wolfowitz's names in 2002 were "two names in common parlance only on the hard left" and singling them out was "the kind of intelligence that Obama could have gotten only from his pals in Chicago's unrepentant radical community." Uh, no:

In March 2002, Wolfowitz sat down for a lengthy interview on PBS' "Newshour with Jim Lehrer," and the New York Times Magazine did a lengthy profile of Wolfowitz in October 2002.

In an appearance on the July 11, 2002, edition of the PBS series "Wide Angle," Perle said: "Saddam is much weaker than we think he is. He's weaker militarily. We know he's got about a third of what he had in 1991. But it's a house of cards. He rules by fear because he knows there is no underlying support. Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder. Now, it isn't going to be over in 24 hours, but it isn't going to be months either."

As might be expected given his other concurrent conspiracy theory, Cashill drags William Ayers into it, calling him "no garden variety anti-Semite" and baselessly asserting he has a "fondness for Islamic Jew-haters."

Is Joseph Farah proud of that fact that he has sunk so law as to publish fabulists like Cashill in his failing effort to bash Obama? Is Farah's death wish for the company he has spent the past decade building that strong?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:22 PM EDT
Aaron Klein Repeats Lie About Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein repeats his claim in an Oct. 16 WorldNetDaily article that "Obama's campaign last week falsely claimed ACORN was 'not part of' Project Vote, but the organization's incorporation papers, obtained by WND, show Project Vote is a trademark name whose parent company is registered at the same New Orleans address in which ACORN and multiple ACORN affiliates are housed."

But again, as he did the last time he made it, he does not back up his assertion with any actual evidence that the incorporation papers support his assertion that Project Vote was not part of ACORN in 1992, when Obama worked for the group. That the two share an address now is irrelevant to whether they were closely affiliated in 1992.

Perhaps Klein can post those incorporation papers so we can all have a look.

Indeed, Klein offers no evidence whatsoever that ProjectVote and ACORN were as closely affiliated in 1992 as they are today. He further fails to quote ACORN's own statement on the issue:

In 1992, Obama ran a successful voter registration drive in Chicago for Project Vote which helped 150,000 people register to vote. At that time, Project Vote had no more connection to ACORN than it did with dozens of other national and local organizations with which it partnered on local registration drives. In 1994, over a year after Obama left Project Vote, ACORN and Project Vote began working much more closely together. 

Most reporters would consider it to be important to include a statement from ACORN -- Klein doesn't. He's too busy working for the McCain campaign by regurgitating its talking point that ACORN is involved in "numerous, massive voter fraud scandals."

Klein then twists a Obama campaign spokesman that Project Vote and ACORN were not as intertwined in 1992 as they are today by claiming that it "directly contradicts the Obama campaign's 'Fact Check' claim that ACORN was "not part" of Project Vote.

No, it doesn't. The question at hand is not whether ACORN took part in Project Vote activities in 1992 -- both Obama and ACORN have said that took place. The question is whether Project Vote was a subsidiary of ACORN in 1992 in the way Klein repeatedly asserts. Klein offers no evidence to support the claim.

So Klein is lying again about Obama -- nothing new for him. 


Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EDT
Rep. Smith Cites Discredited Media Bias Study
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In an Oct. 14 Accuracy in Media blog post attacking what he calls Time magazine's "latest example of biased campaign coverage," Rep. Lamar Smith writes: "Time magazine’s bias existed well before this presidential campaign; a 2005 UCLA study found that Time’s coverage ranked well to the left of the average American voter."

Smith is apparently referring to a study by UCLA's Timothy Groseclose and the University of Missouri's Jeffrey Milyo. But as Media Matters detailed, the Groseclose-Milyo study's measure of "bias" -- the frequency with which various think tanks and advocacy organizations were cited approvingly by the media -- is so problematic that its findings are next to useless. Further, both Groseclose and Milyo have previously received grants from right-wing think tanks -- which is reflected in the study's bibliography, which cites the usual right-wing suspects such as the Media Research Center and AIM but no scholarly research on the subject of media bias.

Then again, taking refuge in such dubious claims -- as well as shilling for the McCain campaign, which he does here by enthusiastically defending its "Country First" slogan as "clearly meant to emphasize his decades of military and civil service" -- appear to be the whole point of Smith's mini-war on "liberal bias."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 PM EDT
Will Corsi Retract His False Documents At Teleseminar?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As part of his recovery from his (not so) "traumatic abduction" in Kenya, Jerome Corsi will host a teleseminar at 6 p.m. Eastern time today to discuss his claims about Barack Obama and Kenya's Raila Odinga.

As we've detailed, the documents Corsi has thus far supplied to support his allegations of direct Obama links to Odinga are either apparently fraudulent or blatantly fraudulent.

His claims that he "authenticated" these documents fly in the face of the simple fact that you can't "authenticate" a fake.

Will anyone ask Corsi during the teleseminar about these fraudulent documents? Will anyone be allowed to ask questions at all? Will Corsi admit his documents are fraudulent?

We shall see. What little credibility WorldNetDaily has a news source is riding on it.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 AM EDT
Farah Won't Admit McCain's (Or His Own) Link to Domestic Terrorist

Joseph Farah asks in his Oct. 15 WorldNetDaily column:

But, what if McCain had a similarly "tangential" relationship with some other terrorist bomber? Is it conceivable the man would still be in the presidential race? Or would the Big Media have drummed him out? I don't think there is any question about it. McCain would today be an asterisk in the history of presidential politics.

Farah fails to mention that McCain does have such a relationship with a domestic terrorist: G. Gordon Liddy

Of course, Farah would have to admit his own relationship with the domestic terrorist Liddy. And we know that ain't gonna happen.

UPDATE: Especially since Farah is filling in for Liddy on his radio show tomorrow. 


Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 16, 2008 1:32 PM EDT
New Article: An Extreme Reversal
Topic: WorldNetDaily
After years of avoiding describing right-wing Jewish extremists as, well, extremists, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein is suddenly tossing the word around. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 16, 2008 1:44 AM EDT
Corsi's Defense: Fake But Accurate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi peddles another dubious document in an Oct. 16 WorldNetDaily article, this time claiming that "when Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama visited Kenya on a "fact-finding" trip in 2006, he was carrying out part of a secret election strategy that also included exploiting divisive tribal tensions and ultimately taking advantage of rioting that left 1,000 dead."

Corsi links to a "strategy document" and asserts that he "has confirmed the authenticity of the strategy memo." But the link Corsi provides to the memo goes to a page on a public message board called Network 54. The page -- an expanded version of a document he previously cited as evidence that Obama gave "nearly $1 million" to Raila Odinga -- is entirely in HTML, which means that it cannot possibly be an original document, which he claims was "reported to have been smuggled out of ODM offices by Christian former-ODM officials."

It is impossible to authenticate an HTML document that began life as a "smuggled" hard-copy piece of paper. Corsi offers no evidence that the HTML page is authentic, nor does he explain who posted it or why it was posted on a public bulletin board.

Further, given that the original version of the "strategy memo" Corsi posted is clearly a fake re-creation, he can't claim authenticity for that version either.

As in his previous Obama-Odinga articles, all sources are anonymous. Remember what Corsi's boss, Joseph Farah, has to say about anonymous sources: that they're "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better."

Corsi does take a stab at refuting evidence that an email purportedly written by Obama -- contrary to Corsi's claim that it shows Obama "backed ruthless foreign thug" Odinga -- showed that, according to Politico's Ben Smith, it "appear[s] not to have been written by a native English speaker." Corsi asserts that "a second similar e-mail WND published ... should not occasion any linguistic quibbles."

In fact, it does. The text of the second email read, "Thanks for contacting me about Mr Lippert through email. Contact him through mark_lippert.obama.senate.gov." The message is missing a period after "Mr" -- that missing period is standard British English -- and the email address lacks a "@" symbol. Further, as with his other documents, Corsi offers no evidence of the authentication he claims.

Corsi is essentially saying is that his documents are fake but accurate. Remember too that WND was on the side of the folks who who raised doubts about documents used by CBS to back up claims about President Bush's National Guard service. Indeed, an October 2007 article by WND columnist Craige McMillan declared that media outlets should adopt a consumer bill of rights, one suggested provision of which is, "'Fake but accurate' reporting has no place in our news room."

Apparently, it has a place in WorldNetDaily's newsroom.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:34 AM EDT
'Reality Check' Unreality: MRC Ignores Schieffer's GOP Ties
Topic: Media Research Center

An Oct. 15 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" -- unbylined, but apparently written by Tim Graham, who has posted it under his name at NewsBusters -- asserted that CBS' Bob Scheiffer "clearly did not take pains to appear objective before" the the Oct. 15 presidential debate for which he will serve as moderator. The so-called evidence: Schieffer called Sarah Palin an "attack dog." It's not explained how that arguably accurate description of her role in the McCain campaign is not "objective."

The "Reality Check" also asserts that "Schieffer also failed the fair-and-balanced test in a review of the debate he moderated in 2004," adding: "It's easier for a pundit to call the Democrat the winner when the moderator’s questions lean strongly to the left."

Graham (or whoever wrote this) conveniently fails to mention Schieffer's Republican ties -- namely, that Schieffer has a personal relationship with Bush and his brother was a former Bush business partner. And, as TPM reminds us, Schieffer defended John McCain when Gen. Wesley Clark said that McCain's experience as a prisoner of war didn't qualify him to be president.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Exclusive: Corsi's Kenyan Document Is A Fake
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've reported on the holes in Jerome Corsi's Oct. 14 WorldNetDaily article accusing Barack Obama of donating "nearly $1 million" to Kenya's Raila Odinga.

Here's the biggest, blackest hole of the entire piece: Corsi is repeating a long-ago-discredited chain email. 

From an April 18 PolitiFact item:

A chain e-mail that originates with a letter from American missionaries working in Kenya warns about Sen. Barack Obama’s ties to Kenya and its opposition party, encouraging readers “not to be taken in by those that are promoting him.”

Among the many allegations is one about Obama’s ties to Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga: “Obama under ‘friends of Obama’ gave almost a million dollars to the (Kenya) opposition campaign who just happened to be his cousin, Raila Odinga, who is a socialist trained in East Germany.”

The e-mail reads like a bad game of “telephone,” its claims drawn from assorted people and sources that have been stitched together. And yet, because it is signed by real people, who have a life in Africa, it somehow carries more credence than your average blog posting — and it’s spreading rapidly. (Read the e-mail here. )

But even with the credibility of a real author, the claims in this e-mail are as baseless as anything you’ve read from an anonymous blogger.

PolitiFact even has its own copy of the "internal document" Corsi has (here and here) -- and it looks nothing like Corsi's version.

The PolitiFact version -- which it says it obtained from the originators of the chain email, Celeste and Loren Davis, who "lived and worked in Kenya for the past 12 years" -- appears to have been run through a fax machine a few times, making the type fuzzy, while Corsi's version is clean and in an completely different typeface and format, and it appears to introduce a typo or two.

In other words, If the Davises' document is to be considered original, Corsi has a recreated copy.

Remember that Corsi said at the outset of his trip that he was going to visit "Christian missionaries." Would that be the Davises?

PolitiFact toes on to write about the document:

Loren Davis provided PolitiFact with a document that he says shows Obama gave $1-million to the Kenyan opposition campaign led by Odinga. A header at the top of the page says it’s a “consolidated statement of campaign financial activities.” Under the header is a list of “incoming resources” with entries listed in columns of “from” and “amount.”

Handwritten notes amplify the point being made. A name on the list is underlined and the words “Barak Obama” are written in the margin, suggesting that donation is from the Illinois senator, even though his name is misspelled. The amount across from this name also is underlined and next to it someone has written “$1 million,” implying Obama contributed $1-million.

The Obama campaign strongly disputes this allegation and three Kenya experts who reviewed the document at our request called it fraudulent.

If the Davises' document is "fraudulent," that means Corsi's document is too -- even more so, since it's a recreation.

PolitiFact concludes that the whole Obama donation deal is "Pants on Fire wrong." That goes for Corsi as well -- and his other purportedly incriminating Obama email.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:28 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 8:50 PM EDT
WND Suckered By Fake Michelle Obama Interview
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 14 WorldNetDaily article claims that "Michelle Obama placed a surprise call to an African news agency to protest its coverage of WND investigative stories about her husband – characterizing the source of the material as "racist" and Jerome Corsi as 'evil.'"

Just one problem: it is rather obviously fake. From the Huffington Post:

Naturally, a mere contemplation of the obvious should have short-circuited the belief that this interview was real. ... The Obama campaign has been, throughout the season, notoriously disciplined and highly aloof from the press, so it's unlikely that Michelle Obama would have the green light to be calling up random bloggers to yell at them. If she did, she'd be doing that all the damned time! But Michelle is clearly working hard to avoid courting controversy.

[...]

Beyond that, there were obvious signs that the interview, and the organization, is fakety-fake McFake. For example: there are two "r's" in "Farrakhan." "Inauguration" is not spelled "innoguration." And you'd think that a writer for "African Press International" would be clear on the concept of capitalizing one's own publication's name. Nevertheless, these obvious signs proved too elusive for some people.

Among them is WND, which fully bought into it, complete with an email message from a representative from the alleged news agency (which appears to be nothing more than a blog):

However, in an e-mail to WND, a man who identified himself as API's "Chief Editor Korikr" confirmed the exchange.

"API hereby confirms to you that the story is true and if the huge interest on this particular story continues, we will post the recording on our website in the next immediate days.

"When we published the story we did not intend to cause any chaos but we are shocked by the huge interest the story is receiving from the Americans and the American media," he continued.

"Mrs. Obama called us just to ask API to stop joining the mainstream hate online media that is trying to destroy her husband's opportunity to get the presidency," he wrote.

He said his editorial board would meet to discuss how best to release the audio.

WND has a habit of letting its biases get in the way of its news judgment. This is not the first time that WND has treated a fake news story as real -- in 2005, WND treated an April Fool's item on the blog Defamer that Terri Schiavo's husband had sold the rights to his story for a TV movie was real.

On the other hand, WND thinks those Obama-smearing emails Jerome Corsi brought back from Kenya are real too. 


Posted by Terry K. at 5:02 PM EDT
Red Alert: The Holes In Corsi's Latest Attack on Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What's wrong with Jerome Corsi's assertion in an Oct. 14 WorldNetDaily article that Barack Obama donated "nearly $1 million" to the campaign of "foreign thug" Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga? Let us count the ways:

  • All his sources are anonymous. He cites "several highly credible ex-ODM [Odinga's political party] sources WND interviewed in Kenya," but offers no reason why he or anyone else should trust them.
  • Corsi's evidence later in the article doesn't even support his claim in the first paragraph that "Sen. Barack Obama, with a donation of nearly $1 million," is "among the biggest contributors" to Odinga. He cites an purported "internal document obtained by WND" listing "Friends of Senator B.O." has having donated the money -- not Obama himself.
  • Corsi offers no evidence that he has authenticated that "internal document." One clue that it may not be authentic is that it includes the full position titles of the sender and recipient. If it's an "internal document," wouldn't these folks already know they are and, thus, it would be unnecessary to include it?
  • Corsi claims that "72 individuals and organizations" are listed in the document as donating to Odinga, but the document as posted lists only 49.
  • Corsi references an earlier purported email posted by WND in which "Obama personally informed Odinga that "all our correspondence [be] handled by Mr. Mark Lippert." But that email appears to be even more fraudulent than the "internal document."

To summarize: Corsi is basing his current attack on Obama on anonymous sources and unverified, fraudluent-looking "documents."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 7:05 PM EDT
Newsmax Gets Amnesia About McCain's Flip-Flops
Topic: Newsmax

An Oct. 14 Newsmax article by Rod Proctor carries the headline: "Obama's Long Record of Flip-Flops Exposed."

Mentioned nowhere in Proctor's article: John McCain's even longer record of flip-flops. 

It's not that Newsmax isn't aware of this. Indeed, Ronald Kessler wrote of McCain in July 2007:

It's one thing for a candidate to flip-flop on issues. It's another thing for a candidate to contradict himself on himself.

That's what John McCain has been doing — repeatedly — on whether he has a temper.

[...]

McCain's diametrically opposed claims about his temper raise questions: Is McCain so arrogant that he thinks he can say anything and get away with it? Or is he such a loose cannon that he doesn't know what the truth is?

Kessler hasn't written a thing about McCain's temper for months now. Wonder why that is ...


Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 PM EDT
Quote of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Horn records how the Dionystic idea of mental disease resulting from suppression of secret inner desires, especially aberrant sexual desires, was later reflected in the teachings of Sigmund Freud. Freudianism is therefore the grandchild of the cult of Dionysus, Horn concludes.

-- Oct. 7 WorldNetDaily article promoting the WND-sold book "Nephilim Stargates,"  in which author Thomas Horn claims that "the growing trend of hedonism may be supernaturally motivated." Horn states: "Is a psychological or supernatural force behind the growing flood of debauchery? Are we seeing evil supernaturalism in the birth pangs of a new occult Dionysianism?"

Richard Bartholomew has more on the multiple visions of Armageddon WND is peddling.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 PM EDT
Your WND Obama Lie of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Yes, it's another Obama-related lie at WorldNetDaily. This time, surprisingly, the lie isn't about Barack Obama himself, and it can be plausibly argued that the culprit is general stupidity and shoddy reporting rather than the outright malice that colors most of WND's anti-Obama coverage and causes it to disregard basic concepts of truth in reporting.

An Oct. 14 article rewrites a blog post by an anonymous (of course) person claiming to the parent of a student in Racine, Wis., whose son allegedly had a eighth-grade literature textbook that "laud[ed] Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's "change" theme and highlighting his 2004 Democratic National Convention as an example of good literature."WND repeatedly calls this section of the textbook an "article."

In fact, it appears to be a segement of Obama's 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention. The picture of the first page of the speech segment on the blog post indicates that the speech is in the textbook for analysis purposes by students. One text segment is called "Focus on Form"; another asks, "What words or prhases help you know that this is a speech?"

But WND never bothers to specifically identify this text as Obama's speech. Instead, it baselessly claims that the textbook publisher is "promot[ing] Obama's 'literature'"and it uncritically quotes the anonymousmother smearing Obama:"Honestly, what has Obama really done to be included in this book?"

The article doesn't get around to mentioning until the 12th paragraph that according to the textbook's publisher, "the Obama article was included because of "an editorial decision" that was made before Obama announced his candidacy, and it was deleted from versions of the book after that announcement." And it not until another five paragraphs later that WND vaguely hints at the larger purpose of the textbook by stating that the publisher "makes available on its website a CD featuring his speech in 2004. The CD also has speeches from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton and Laura Bush to teach children about public speaking, 'both when it's effective and when it fails.'"

WND never bothers to explore the actual purpose the textbook. From the publisher's page on it:

McDougal Littell Literature invites students to explore the world of art, literature, and life’s big questions.

The unique organization around clusters of standards allows for the teaching of major literary concepts across genre. Standards that belong together are taught together. Students analyze fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and media across clusters of standards. Special features support visual and media literacy, along with research strategies.

Sample pages from the book include the classic O. Henry short story "The Ransom of Red Chief," which is used to examine the literary device of conflict and resolution, using an shot from a Road Runner cartoon to illustrate the story's concept of things not going according to plan. Another invokes "Back to the Future" to examine movie plots, settings and visual techniques.

In other words, the textbook attempts to invoke popular culture as a way of engaging students in the study of literature. The Obama speech is likely in there as an example of a good speech that is worth examining for its structural elements.

Remember -- most, if not all, of the employees of WorldNetDaily either homeschool their children or send them to private Christian academies. They have never encountered a modern textbook used in public -- er, "government schools" except for purposes of cherry-picking purportedly offensive passages, as is done here.

WND, with its obsessive Obama-hate, will never concede that near-universal opinion that Obama gave an excellent speech in 2004 and will never accept the idea that it was added to the textbook for any reason other than to "promote" Obama.

And as a capper, the WND article adds:

WND columnist Jack Cashill, meanwhile, has documented evidence that Obama didn't even write the book published under his name, "Dreams from My Father." Cashill suggests the author actually was Weather Underground radical Bill Ayers, whose relationship with Obama has become a contentious issue on the campaign trail.

WND, of course, fails to mention that Cashill's "documented evidence" is a joke. But then, so is the rest of this article.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:38 AM EDT

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