Richard Bartholomew tells us all about another one of the impeccably credentialed folks buying into the Obama birth certificate conspiracy.
An April 7 WND article by Bob Unruh promoted claims by "Lyle Rapacki, a former police officer who has worked in the field of psychological disorders for years," who asserted that "the issue of Barack Obama's eligibility to be president could become a 'flashpoint' in the United States," resulting in "civil unrest, or worse, being unleashed in the streets of our nation." As Bartholomew details, "Rapacki is best-known as an exponent of 'Satanic panic' conspiracy theories. ... In particular, he is alleged to have lied about a girl having been sacrificed by a coven of Satanists in Halloween 1988 when in fact he knew she was still alive."
In an April 9 NewsBusters post, Sheppard twists criticism of Beck for spreading anti-Obama hysteria that may have played a role in at least one mass shooting into a "War Against Conservative Opinion," insisting that "this new WACO strategy is about – getting rid of all the voices in America that don’t agree with the direction the far-left and the President they got elected are taking this nation."
Sheppard makes no mention about the details of the smoking gun evidence regarding Beck's link to cop-killer Richard Poplawski -- he posted a link at a discussion website for the neo-Nazi group Stormfront of a YouTube video featuring talk show host Glenn Beck talking about FEMA camps with Congressman Ron Paul, and Beck has hyperbolically asserted that gun rights are under fire as friends of Poplawski claimed that the man feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way."
Instead, Sheppard puts his best spin on it:
So what's the tragic logic on display here?
Brace yourselves: folks like Beck and other conservative talkers are inciting the lunatic fringe in the nation by having the nerve to suggest an anti-gun rights Democrat president along with an anti-gun rights Democrat Congress are going to enact anti-gun rights legislation.
At no point does Sheppard offer any evidence that Obama is "anti-gun rights" or that there is an "anti-gun rights" legislation pending in Congress.
But such silly things like facts and supporting evidence would have gotten in the way of Sheppard's rant:
Sensing their dream of all radio stations resembling Air America was fading away, the Left concocted a new scare tactic: conservative talkers are a security risk because they are inciting violence. People like Beck aren’t just opposing the new President’s ideas; they’re making America a more dangerous place for law-abiding citizens to walk the streets.
Enter Poplawski stage right whose rampage the very next day by a man apparently clinging to his guns if not his religion perfectly fit the bill.
And the war was on.
As a result, for the foreseeable future, a conservative talker will likely be blamed for every criminal act that can be somehow connected to anything uttered by a right-leaning media member until such individual is fired.
Of course, Sheppard's employer is fond of linking media portrayals to influencing real-life when it suits them -- Brent Bozell, for instance, bashed pro wrestling by claiming that 12-year-old Florida boy was imitating wrestling moves he had seen on TV when he killed a 6-year-old girl (at least, until WWE sued him for libel and forced him to apologize and retract his claims and pay WWE $3.5 million). And Beck himself has blamed video games for "training our kids to be killers" and "our sons to treat women like whores."
So criticizing people for words and behavior that others might emulate is standard for conservatives. Why does Sheppard think Beck should be exempt? Apparently, inflammatory rhetoric without consequences is OK if you're a Republican.
UPDATE: County Fair's Jamison Foser reminds us of the story behind Sheppard's new favorite acronym: "But far-right extremists have a rather more ... excited view of what happened at Waco. They view it as a battle in a war between an oppressive federal government bent on taking away its citizens liberty, religious freedoms, and guns, and the freedom-loving patriots who must protect their families from enslavement by the government." Oh, and Timothy McVeigh, too.
CNS Hides Partisan Nature of Pollster Topic: CNSNews.com
An April 9 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr on a press conference by supporters of a "conscience clause" that allows health-care workers to refuse to take part in such procedures as prescribing birth control:
The results of a nationwide poll by The Polling Company/Woman Trend of 800 adults, 18 or older, and 2,865 members of faith-based health care professional organizations also was unveiled at the press conference.
The poll found that 87 percent of the adults said they think health care professionals should not be forced to participate in procedures and practices that they morally oppose – a number that represents people across the political spectrum.
Starr fails to note that The Polling Company is operated by a Republican activist, Kellyanne Conway; thus her polling on this issue is suspect since it can be surmised that the questioning was tailored to provide the kinds of responses that "conscience clause" supports want.
Conway has also demonstrated a hostility toward President Obama, who is considering altering or reversing the "conscience clause." In March 2008, Conway said that then-presidential candidates Obama and Hillary Clinton "arguing about whether she should let him sit on the back of the bus of her presidential ticket." Conway also predicted in 2007 that Obama would lose because nobody had heard of him before 9/11. Being a good, loyal Republican, Conway even rushed to Rudy Giuliani's defense over his personal history of divorces and estrangement from his children.
Starr devoted only a single sentence out of her 23-paragraph article to critics of the conscience clause, writing that they "charge the regulation will impose sweeping changes that will limit access to medical care, especially reproductive health care, for millions of Americans." Starr offers no further detail about the criticism, yet allows a supporter to assert that "the opposite is true."
Aaron Klein Guilt-By-Association Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein just can't stop making desperate guilt-by-assocation attacks on Barack Obama.
In an April 5 WND article, Klein once again publishes the musings of "one of the founders of the Weathermen terrorist organization," Mark Rudd, as an attempt to paint Obama as a radical, even though Klein has never presented evidence that Obama has ever been in the same room as Rudd or even knows the man's name.
With thisdesperateneed to smear Obama, and unable to provide any link between Obama and Rudd that is not circumstantial and tenuous, Klein demonstrates himself to be a sad, bile-filled excuse for a "reporter" -- and, thus, the perfect WND employee.
WND Promotes Another Meaningless Poll Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily descends further into joke status with its second story in as many days touting a meaningless, inaccurate poll.
An April 7 article by Chelsea Schilling reported on an "unscientific" MSNBC poll in which a plurality of respondents give President Obama "a grade of "F" for his performance in office." AT no point does Schilling feel the need to tell her readers the truth about "unscientific" polls: that they mean nothing because they are easily gamed to provide fraudulent responses that distort public opinion. Of course, distoring public opinion is Schilling's purpose here.
Schilling's colleague Drew Zahn reported on a similar meaningless poll the day before.
Savage Joins WND As Columnist Topic: WorldNetDaily
Apparently, WorldNetDaily has decided that it wasn't hateful enough: Michael Savage is now a regular columnist.
It's not a surprise -- WND already hosts Savage's website , it published two of Savage's books, and WND chief Joseph Farah is a longtime Savage apologist.
In the WND article announcing Savage's column (which it publicly admits for the first time it hosts Savage's website, though we first reported it months ago), Farah say, ""It is a great honor and privilege to offer Michael Savage's insights into the news at WND. ... He has an immense following because he is witty, entertaining and fearless."
There is a rising tide of pink fascism in this country, and it comes as a result of the election of Barack Hussein Obama. Obama has signaled that during his reign it will be acceptable to impose gay marriage on the people of the United States. He's being very cleverly used as a tool of the gay puppet masters. He is personally masculine, has a beautiful family and was used by the gay mafia to convince real American families that they should support him.
We are, however, at a loss to explain how such a statement meets the standard of being "witty, entertaining and fearless." Perhaps Farah can enlighten us on that.
Newsmax's Barry Farber jumps on the Obama birth certificate conspiracy bandwagon:
Watergate was Nixon's 800-pound gorilla everybody talked about, who sat there until he broke the sofa. The location of Obama's birth is an 800-pound gorilla that gets fatter every day and nobody — at least nobody in major media — likes to admit its existence. There's never been a coming-together of factors resembling this one in America's entire political history.
Farber rehashes all the talking points -- the grandmother, the "masquerade" of a birth certificate the Obama campaign issued -- and demands "simple — even superficial — journalism" without having apparently done his own, which would have uncovered the fact that such talking points have been debunked.
Aside from some desperate pre-election fear-mongering by Ken Timmerman, Newsmax had largely stayed away from the birth certificate conspiracy until now. Apparently, it's now apparently decided to fully embrace its heritage of Clinton conspiracy-mongering and try to work the same magic against Obama.
New Article -- NewsBusted: The Blumer File Topic: NewsBusters
For a guy who's supposed to be criticizing the media, the NewsBusters blogger is remarkably clueless about how the media works. Read more >>
Hypocrisy Watch: Farah Accuses Obama of Evasion Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah's April 7 worldNetDaily column is yet another defense of WND's obsession with Barack Obama's birth certificate. He wants us to believe that he cares only about "he sanctity of the Constitution and the rule of law" when, in fact, he has repeatedly demonstrated that he will stop at nothing, including ruining the credibility of his own website and latching onto a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory, to use his hatred to hound Obama out of office.
Even more hilariously, Farah asserts that Obama is being "permitted to get away with his deliberate evasion of the law" -- never mind that his own website found that the birth certificate issued by Obama's campaign was "authentic."
He won't acknowledge the facts of the August 2008 WND article finding Obama's birth certificate to be authentic and declaring taht Philip Berg's lawsuit over the birth certificate in part "relies on discredited claims."
He won't publicly release the petition so the claims WND has made about it about the number of signatures on it can be independently verified.
He won't discuss the relationship between WND and fellow birth certificate obsessive Orly Taitz, whose lawsuits on the issue have been prominently featured by WND.
Farah has no business accusing others of evasions when he refuses to answer simple questions about his own actions. Such hypocrisy makes him into the "whack-job conspiracy nut" he denies he is.
Newsmax Repeats Discredited RNC Cap-and-Trade Talking Point Topic: Newsmax
An April 6 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers writes that during an interview with Republican Rep. Michelle Bachman, Newsmax TV anchor Ashley Martella "noted that by some estimates cap-and-trade will add more than $3,000 a year to every American’s bill for gasoline and energy."
Meyers does not note that "some" in this instance is a list of talking points from the House Republican Conference, or that the claim has been discredited by one of the co-authors of the study from which the HRC purported to extrapolate its claim, stating that his study "has been misrepresented" and that the Republicans' claim of an average household cost of $3,128 is "nearly 10 times the correct estimate" based on his study's cap-and-trade model.
WorldNetDaily lovestopromote meaningless polls when they report results that further its political agenda. It does so again in an April 6 article by Drew Zahn, which touts a CNN opt-in poll showing a majority of respondents opposing the idea of Michelle Obama running for president in 2020.
While Zahn describes the poll as "unscientific," he fails to elaborate on what that means. In fact, such opt-in polls are virtually meaningless as an accurate reflection of public opinion because they are susceptible to multiple votes by respondents and organized campaigns to skew the results.
NewsBusters touted the results of this meaningless poll as well. While Matthew Balan pointed out in an April 6 post that "it is not a scientific poll," he nevertheless insisted that "these results may mean that “America’s unofficial royalty” have some obstacles to overcome before any political dynasty could become a reality."
An April 6 Newsmax article touts how a new Pew poll shows the gap between support for President Obama among Democrats and Republicans means that Obama "has succeeded in widening the political gulf among Americans more than any other president in modern history" -- a contention summed up in the headline: "Obama: Most Polarizing President Ever." But Newsmax ignores other factors that put the poll result in context.
Nonetheless, measurements of the partisan split in support for the President, as Pew Research has done here (they found a record partisan split in Obama's approval ratings, with 88 percent of Democrats but just 27 percent of Republicans approving of Obama's performance) are not quite as straightforward as they might seem. This is because partisan identification is at least somewhat fluid. The Republicans, in particular, have lost quite a bit of support over the past several years; those persons who continue to identify as Republicans are a hardened -- and very conservative -- lot. Just 24 percent of voters identified as Republican when Pew conducted this survey in March, which is roughly as low as that total has ever gotten.
We see some evidence of these effects in the comparison of Obama's numbers to those of George W. Bush's at a comparable point in his presidency. Obama and Bush had roughly the same level of support among members of their own party (88 percent for Obama, 87 percent for Bush) and roughly the same level of support among unaffiliated voters (57 percent for Obama, 56 for Bush). Bush, however, had more support from the opposition party (36 percent of Democrats versus 27 percent of Republicans). And yet Obama, not Bush, had the higher overall approval rating, because Democrats are a significantly larger constituency than Republicans.
Sheppard: Don't Hold Beck Accountable For His Inflammatory Rhetoric Topic: NewsBusters
If a conservative says it, it's not controversial.
That appears to be the conclusion Noel Sheppard has come to in an April 5 NewsBusters post declaring that "prominent left-wing bloggers" in their "vitriolic postings" have come to the "disgusting conclusion" that Glenn Beck should take responsibility for his anti-Obama rhetoric in light of Richard Poplawski's shooting of three police officers in Pittsburgh.
Sheppard doesn't bother to tell his readers what Beck said that the "prominent left-wing bloggers" found so offensive -- specifically, Beck has hyperbolically asserted that gun rights are under fire, and friend of Poplawski claimed that he feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" -- yet he asserts that it is "hateful" and "unfounded" to conclude Beck's words had any effect whatsoever on Poplawski.
Sheppard loves to defend right-wing rhetoric -- a couple weeks ago, as we noted, he insisted that Bernard Goldberg had no inspiration on a man who allegedly killed two people in a Tennessee church shooting, even though the man specifically said that "Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate + House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book."
This also dovetails with the refusal of his MRC bosses to criticize Ann Coulter no matter what offensive thing she says.
UPDATE: Sheppard was rewarded for his defense of Beck with a guest spot on Beck's show.