Phil Brennan's Aug. 4 Newsmax column carried the headline, "Record Lows Dispel Global Warming Myth."
Uh, no, they don't.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
WND Debunks Kenyan Birth Certificate -- But Raises More Questions
Deviating from established policy in its reporting on President Obama,, WorldNetDaily has surprisingly found a lie it will no longer perpetrate.
An Aug. 6 WND article by Jerome Corsi states, "The Kenyan birth document released by California attorney Orly Taitz is probably not authentic, according to WND's investigative operatives in Africa." Corsi added that "WND obtained several samples of Kenyan birth certificates in use around Aug. 4, 1961, the date of Obama's birth, showing differences from the Taitz document."
This appears to be a direct contradiction of claims in WND articles published Aug. 3 and Aug. 4, which stated: "WND was able to obtain other birth certificates from Kenya for purposes of comparison, and the form of the documents appear to be identical." WND never detailed how "the documents appear to be identical," or published the documents used to make that determination. Further, Corsi does not explain how WND's stance flip-flopped from "identical" to "showing differences."
But as the image of the "authentic 1961-era Kenyan birth certificate obtained by WND" included in Corsi's article demonstrates, it looks completely different from the Orly Taitz-linked "Kenyan birth certificate." There is absolutely no way a reasonable person could claimed that the two "appear to be identical. (Then again, who said that WND employees were reasonable people?)
WND needs to explain the discrepancy. Was WND lying when it claimed the two "appeared to be identical"? Unless WND publishes the documents it used to make that determination, we must assume that it was, in fact, lying in order to perpetuate its editorial policy of smearing Obama (and, of course, to make money).
More MRC Tunnel Vision
Topic: Media Research Center
We've previously detailed the Media Research Center's overeagerness to blame "liberal bias" for any and all media ills. Jeff Poor contributes with an August 5 MRC Business & Media Institute article (and NewsBusters post) blaming lower ratings at CNBC on, yes, liberal bias.
Poor's take is all the more interesting because he notes that other analysts have cited the network's "rightward, anti-Obama tilt,"specifically Rick Santeili's rant and Jim Cramer's attacks on Obama. But ignore all of that, Poor asserts:
But Poor offers no evidence that CNBC had any liberal-leaning commentators before -- while Cramer had his own daily program and Santelli reported regularly. Rather than portending a shift to the left, the addition of Dean and Huffington appear more to provide a balance to the likes of Cramer and Santelli.
Further, if viewers were genuinely turned off by the purported leftward shift of CNBC, they would have presumably gravitated to the competition, themore reliably right-leaning Fox Business Network. But Poor offers no Fox Business ratings -- perhaps because they are so low the folks at News Corp. won't release them.
This is the kind of tunnel vision that the MRC makes such a poor media watchdog (pun quasi-intended).
Another Evidence-Free Aaron Klein Article
Aaron Klein is hurling more anonymous accusations at President Obama. This time, in an Aug. 5 WorldNetDaily article -- provocatively headlined "Obama's spies monitoring Jews house-to-house" -- Klein asserts: "The Obama administration has set up an apparatus to closely monitor Jewish construction in Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank to the point of watching Israeli moves house-to-house in certain key neighborhoods."
His source? "informed Israeli officials," who "spoke on condition that their names be withheld."
The only person Klein names in relation to the charge is David Ha'ivri, "spokesmen [sic] for the Shomron Regional Council in the West Bank." But Ha'ivri is much more than a "spokesman" -- as we've detailed, he's a follower of Israeli extremist Meir Kahane and sympathizer of the Kahane-inspired (and outlawed) far-right Israeli political party Kach/Kahane Chai.
In other words, Ha'ivri is not exactly an unbiased source, though Klein has repeated featured his comments several times over the years (while hiding his extremist background). And Klein otherwise has no evidence from anyone on the record, which makes his claim meaningless until proven otherwise.
Obama Hate Central: WND Still Pushing Obama-As-Antichrist Meme
How much does WorldNetDaily hate Barack Obama? It has published another article literally portraying him as the Antichrist.
An Aug. 5 WND column by Joel Richardson carries the headline, "What Obama and the Antichrist have in common." Richardson tries to be too clever by half, asserting that "Before I continue, I want to make it very clear that in no way do I believe that President Obama is the Antichrist" -- then outlining all the ways that Obama is like the Antichrist.
Richardson works in the theme of his new WND-published book "The Islamic Antichrist," in which he claims that, yes, the Antichrist is Islamic -- specifically, the messianic figure known as the Mahdi. As blogger Richard Bartholomew has detailed, this view relies on "voodoo scholarship" by reading contemporary events into the Bible's Book of Daniel when "it was written with a contemporary audience [the 2nd Century BCE] in mind; it does not contain secrets that make sense only thousands of years later."
Richardson then ties it all together by making the long-discredited suggestion that Obama is a secret Muslim:
So, yeah, despite what Richardson deceptively claims, he is portraying Obama as the Antichrist. What a sleaze.
UPDATE: Last August, WND columnist Hal Lindsey claimed that Obama was preparing the world for the Antichrist.
Double Standard Fail At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
In an Aug. 3 MRC TimesWatch post, Clay Waters accuses the New York Times of employing a "double standard" on reporting on the economy. His evidence? A recent article noting that the rate of contraction in the economy has slowed, "crystallizing expectations of a turnaround in the second half of the year." Waters complained that this "portrayed it in positive terms," while an August 2008 Times story carried the headline "More Arrows Seen Pointing to a Recession" despite slight growth in the GDP.
Waters somehow missed the fact that the 2008 article noted "arrows pointing to a recession" because that's what was, in fact, happening -- even though his excerpt of the article also noted "a surge in claims for unemployment benefits" and that a previous quarter's GDP numbers "were revised downward to show a contraction -- the first official slide backward since the last recession in 2001."
The article also noted that the growth in that particular quarter was due to increased exports, a decrease in imports, and consumer spending spurred by a federal tax rebate: "Without that contribution, the economy would have contracted."
While Waters makes a big deal out of how the recent numbers "mark the first time in years the economy has contracted for four straight quarters," at no point does Waters dispute that a slowing of contraction could be described, as the Times' headline stated, a "hopeful sign" -- just that the Times portrayed it as such.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Schilling Buries the Lede, Smears Michelle Obama
An Aug. 4 WorldNetdaily article by Chelsea Schilling began in a quite sinister manner:
Then, Schilling decides not to answer that question for a while, preferring instead to engage in an irrelevant, Investor's Business Daily-sourced screed about Obama's decision to abandon work in a law firm for a job in public service that committed the offense of "staffing AIDS clinics."
It's not until the 23rd paragraph of her article that Schilling gets around to the declared point of her article -- what happened to Obama's law license: the only way for a lawyer to go on inactive status is to file a court order to do so.
And it's not until paragraph 37 that Schilling writes:
Why is that information at paragraphs 23 and 37 instead of paragraphs 4 and 5?
Because Schilling and WND want to smear Michelle Obama.
Because Schilling and WND love conspiracies, and they want to create the illusion of one over Michelle Obama's law license -- even though they are forced to admit one doesn't exist.
Because they Schilling and WND viscerally hate Michelle Obama.
That about covers it.
Newsmax Columnist Repeats Bogus Birth Certificate Forgery Claims
In an Aug. 4 Newsmax column, Pamela Geller goes deep into birther territory, rehashing discredited and irrelevant conspiracies regarding Barack Obama's birth certificate.
Geller spends a needlessly large amount of space on the case of Jay McKinnon, who in July 2008 posted what he claimed to be Obama's birth certificate on the Daily Kos website that, according to Geller, "even to the layman’s eye, it was obvious that the Kos COLB had been altered." Geller touted how the Israel Insider website broke the news that McKinnon "implicated himself in the production of palpably fake Hawaii birth certificate images."
Missing from Geller's account is McKinnon's side of the story. In an interview posted on Daily Kos, McKinnon said that he posted the fake certificate to serve as a magnet for conspiracy theorists (like Geller). McKinnon also discussed Israel Insider, a right-wing, anti-Obama blog with ties to WorldNetDaily's similarly right-wing, anti-Obama reporter Aaron Klein:
Geller then went on to claim that the birth certificate posted on Obama's campaign websiteis a "horrible forgery," according to the analysis of "Techdude."Geller summarized "Techdude's" credentials:
Geller also references other baseless Obama conspiracies, such as "the passport on which he traveled to Pakistan in 1981." To her credit, though, she does dismiss the Kenyan birth certificate that WorldNetDaily desperately wants to believe is real as an "obvious forgery."
Geller then complains about the "veritable birth certificate circus" for distracting right-wingers and blames not ringleaders like herself for this situation but ... Obama:
Geller never seems to comprehend the possibility that the "circus" could easily end when circus clowns like herself choosing to stop telling lies.
Newsmax's Walsh Repeats Health Reform Falsehoods
An August 4 Newsmax column by James Walsh repeats discredited falsehoods about health care reform.
Walsh writes that the reform bills "include provisions for mandatory 'end-of-life counseling' or 'advanced care planning consultation' for all seniors (defined as anyone 65 years of age or older) to be scheduled every five years." In fact, such consultation is not mandatory.
Walsh also claims that "The proposed legislation would require all hospitals, health clinics, and medical staff to provide for abortions." In fact, as the Washington Post reported, abortion is not explicitly mentioned in any of the major health-care bills under consideration in Congress; therefore, there cannot be an abortion mandate of the kind Walsh claims exists.
Walsh also engages in a host of smears of immigrants (for wanting an American lifestyle) and of Obama for purportedly favoring eugenics:
WND Still Defending Keynan Birth Certificate
In the face of mounting evidence that the "Kenyan birth certificate" it published is a fraud, WorldNetDaily is placing much more effort on defending its authenticity.
While an Aug. 4 article notes the Washington Independent's detailing of how the document is apparently a altered version of an Australian birth certificate, WND quickly sets that aside, devoting more text to detail how a website linked to lawyer Orly Taitz "provided replies to the point-by-point criticisms."
Except that it didn't. That particular website's responses are largely unsupported or speculative, it does not address the Australian certificate, and it makes a previously discredited claim even more false by asserting that Obama's grandmother made a "sworn statement that she was present at Obama's birth in Kenya." As we've detailed, she did no such thing, let alone make a "sworn statement" to that effect.
WND curiously fails to obtain an updated response from Taitz regarding the certificate, or to report statements she has made in other venues. Salon.com reports that on her blog, Taitz asserted that the "Bomford report" -- the Australian birth certificate -- "was created to try to discredit my efforts." As the Washington Independent pointed out, "The Bomford birth certificate, not 'report,' was created in 1964 and posted online several years ago."
(WND also fails to alert its readers that, according to Salon, "both Google and Firefox identify Taitz's site as an attack site that contains malware.")
The article also repeats a previous claim that "WND was able to obtain other birth certificates from Kenya for purposes of comparison, and the form of the documents appear to be identical." But WND has yet to post any of those "birth certificates from Kenya" it claims to have obtained so that its readers may compare for themselves.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Jesse Lee Peterson, August 4 WorldNetDaily column
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Who Cares About Cliff Kincaid's Birth Certificate?
Topic: Accuracy in Media
An August 4 Accuracy in Media press release announced that AIM's Cliff Kincaid "has released a copy of his own birth certificate, in order to demonstrate what needs to be done to resolve the growing controversy over the alleged birth certificate of President Barack Obama."
Ummm ... so what? Did Kincaid or AIM similarly demand that Sarah Palin release Trig's birth certificate to prove that she was Trig's mother? Not that we could find.
Even Farah Thinks Kenyan Certificate Is Bogus -- So Why Did WND Publish It?
Joseph Farah, in his August 4 WorldNetDaily column, is hurling more deceptions over WND's publishing of a purported Kenyan birth certificate for Barack Obama.
Farah is being highly disingenuous. By publishing the certificate, WND confers a certain level of legitimacy on something that he cannot (and does not) claim to be factual. There are enough people in the world who will believe -- any WND caveat aside -- that if it's on the Internet, it must be true. WND's sluggish efforts in revealing facts discrediting the certificate don't help.
Farah goes on to assert: "It did occur to me that the fastest and most efficient way to determine authenticity was to show it publicly – and let the scrutiny begin." That, of course, runs counter to most news organizations that try to determine authenticity before publication.
Farah then claims: "The first I saw of this document was Sunday night when Orly Taitz put it on her website." That's impossible, since WND published it Sunday morning. Further, Farah asserted in a tweet the previous Friday: "Trust me for now: More coming next week on Birth-gate. You will be stunned. No more will anyone say there's 'no evidence.'" That's presumably a reference to the "Kenyan birth certificate." Which means Farah certainly had knowledge, if not actual pictures, of the certificate nearly two days before WND published it. That should have given it more than enough time to try and authenticate it -- that is, if WND actually cared about the truth.
Farah then misleadingly casts doubt on the authenticity of Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate: "the people who claim it is won't get any help from the state of Hawaii, which has steadfastly refused to confirm it is official Hawaiian issuance." Farah links to an August 2 WND article by Jerome Corsi which, as we've noted, contains no supporting evidence for the claim that Hawaii officials "refused to authenticate" the certificate -- only Corsi's assertion to that effect.
Most interesting, however is this claim by Farah: "The Kenyan document could be real. I haven't seen a single disqualifying error pointed out in the last 24 hours. But I still strongly suspect it is not."
Call us crazy -- or just adherents to longstanding, sound journalistic practice -- but if Farah could not authenticate the document he doubts is authentic (and, indeed, made no apparent effort to do so), WND had no business publishing it. Farah and WND acted irresponsibly in doing so.
Yet, as we've long documented, when it when it comes to Obama and WND, gross irresponsibility is Job 1. Farah is using WND to try and destroy Obama, and if it takes some dubious documents (which even he refuses to vouch for) to cast doubt on the legitimacy of a duly elected president whom he hates with a burning passion, so be it.
This is just another in the parade of lies WND has trotted out to smear Obama and delegitimize an elected president. And Farah wouldn't have it any other way.
Examiner Columnist Embraces Baseless Birther Claim
Topic: Washington Examiner
Diana West writes in an August 2 Washinton Examiner column:
In fact, as we've noted, the Western Journalism Center-- founded by WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah -- has discredited that claim, pointing out that while Hawaii law does indeed provide for birth certificate for children not born in Hawaii, it does not provide them with birth certificates that say that these children were born in Hawaii.
Will West bat that down as just another "Internet rumor"?
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