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Saturday, August 29, 2009
ConWeb Embaces Attack on Kennedy, Don't Consider the Source
Topic: The ConWeb

WorldNetDaily, NewsBusters and NewsReal have all uncritically repeated a claim made by author Edward Klein on a radio show that Ted Kennedy purportedly enjoyed jokes about Chappaquiddick.

Klein, as we've detailed, is the author of a 2005 book on Hillary Clinton filled with errors and distortions -- and whose claims the ConWeb, particularly Newsmax, similarly promoted without acknowledging those errors.

UPDATE: The Washington Examiner did, too.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 30, 2009 5:12 PM EDT
ConWebWatch On the Air (In Germany)
Topic: The ConWeb

On Thursday, we did a radio interview with Danny Antonelli, an American expatriate who does a radio show in Hamburg, Germany called "Free Wheel." Click on the media player below to listen (interview begins around 19:37).

The rest of the show is worth a listen as well -- an eclectic mix of music, information, comedy and fiction readings:



Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 29, 2009 12:06 AM EDT
Friday, August 28, 2009
Farah's Laughable Attack on Wikipedia
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The latest salvo in WorldNetDaily's war against Wikipedia is Joseph Farah's Aug. 28 column complaining about Wikipedia's entry on WND. After noting segements of the entry describing WND as "right-wing" and "conservative," Farah lamented that the entry portrays WND as "a mean, nasty, ugly right-wing website."

Farah didn't offer any evidence to contradict those claims -- indeed, WND is right-wing, and just the day before Farah himself fulfilled the mean-nasty-ugly part. He then complained: "I have taken steps over the years to attempt to edit the site to bring it more in line with objectivity and neutrality to no avail."

Excuse us for a sec -- we seem to have busted a gut from laughing so hard.

Why? Because Farah has explicitly rejected the idea of objectivity and neutrality for his own website. As we've detailed, WND doesn't believe in reporting the full story (or even anything true). Farah himself, in his book "Stop the Presses!" declared that his personal right-wing evangelical Christian version of the "truth" is "a higher calling than 'fair and balanced'."

For Farah to demand "objectivity and neutrality" from others when he has no interest in providing it himself is the height of hypocrisy.

But Farah wasn't done. He then asserted that "if you want to read 100 percent factual information about WND, I suggest you go to my website to find it."

Oops, we seem to have busted another gut.

Farah links to WND's "about" page, where this "100 percent factual information about WND" is supposed to reside. But we found two whoppers right off the bat:

  • "WorldNetDaily.com's editorial policy reflects the old-fashioned notion that the principal role of the free press in a free society is to serve as a watchdog on government - to expose corruption, fraud, waste and abuse wherever and whenever it is found." That's provided "wherever and whenever it is found" is defined as 1) conducted by liberals and 2) conducted under Democratic administrations. As we've detailed, WND was largely silent about the two most corrupt conservatives during the Bush administration, Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningaham. In fact, the first WND article to address Cunningham's corruption did not appear until five days after he resigned from office due to said corruption.
  • "Why is it the fastest-growing news service on the Internet? Founder Joseph Farah believes it is directly due to WorldNetDaily's editorial formula - 'credible, fearless, independent.'" WND is not credible, it's not fearless, and it's certainly not independent the way normal people understand the term as it applies to news organizations -- you know, embracing objectivity and neutrality without fear or favor.

Farah concludes:

Wikipedia is a joke – a very bad and vicious joke.

Warn your children away from it. It's not a place for serious research. It's not even a place for casual research.

The same thing can be said about WorldNetDaily.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:07 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 28, 2009 10:21 PM EDT
NewsBusters Chooses Tunnel Vision, Beck's Fearmongering Over Facts
Topic: NewsBusters

An Aug. 27 NewsBusters post by "Mithridate Ombud" echoes his employer's tunnel vision on blaming "liberal bias" on every media problem by suggesting that newspaper advertising has declined because the publications "have spoon fed the progressive movement to the United States for the last several decades."

"Ombud" adds: "The people have spoken and if newspapers don't want to ask the hard questions we don't want the product. Online or off." That "hard questions" link goes to a FoxNews.com article by Glenn Beck listing questions that need to be asked "with boldness." The most recent entry at the time of "Ombud's" post is "Day 4," taken from his Fox News show that day in which he boldly fearmongers about the "civilian national security force" President Obama wants to create:

• Why do we need a civilian force?

• Who is posing a threat to us?

• Who will this "force" be made up of?

• Who is the real enemy?

• Does the president know of a coming event? If not, who builds an army against an unrecognized enemy?

• Why won't the media get off their butts and look into these radicals in the White House? And into this civilian army?

If "Ombud" had bothered to look outside the right-wing media sphere for his information, he/she would know that Beck's fearmongering about a "civilian army" has been discredited.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 PM EDT
WND Dares Not Call It Indoctrination
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 28 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh takes the side of the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund -- indeed, Unruh's article is in large part a rewrite of an ADF press release -- in telling the story of an ADF client, a homeschooled 11-year-old child who has been ordered to attend public school as part of a family court case involving her divorced parents.

The girl's mother homeschools the child, and the father believes that homeschooling "prevented adequate socialization for [the child] with other children of her age." But what the ADF and Unruh -- who, as we've noted, homeschools his children and has demonstrated such pro-homeschool, anti-public education bias that he portrays any critic of homeschooling as Nazis -- are really interested in is the father's belief that "exposure to other points ot view will decrease [the child's] rigid adherence to her mother's religious beliefs, and increase her ability to get along with others and to function in a world which requires some element of independent thinking and tolerance for different points of view."

ALso of interest to Unruh and the ADF is the finding of the child's guardian ad litem that the child "appeared to reflect her mother's rigidity on questions of faith" and that the child "would be best served by exposure to different points of view at a time in her lift when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior and cooperation in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs."

What's so objectionable to exposing children to different points of view? As Unruh quotes the ADF as saying, "It is a parent's constitutionally protected right to train up their children in the religious beliefs that they hold. It is not up to the court to suggest that a 10-year-old should be 'exposed' to other religious views contrary to the faith traditions of her parents."

But there's another issue here. WND has long railed against what it calls "indoctrination" in public schools -- for instance, in a 2006 article, WND described as "sexual indoctrination" a plan in California that would prevented any school teaching materials or activities from "reflecting adversely" upon homosexuals, bisexuals or transgenders.

And what is a child who rigidly adheres to a parent's religious beliefs but an indoctrinated child? Isn't all indoctrination bad, wherever it happens?

As this case illustrates, indoctrination goes on all the time in homeschooling -- but WND will never call it that, because its employees would have to admit that this what they are doing to their own children.

For WND, apparently, identifying "indoctrination" depends on who's doing the indoctrinating.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 28, 2009 9:30 AM EDT
Wash. Post Scooped Both Goldberg And Kincaid
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The other day, Bernard Goldberg made a big deal about discovering that former "60 Minutes" producer Mary Mapes, who was in charge of the notorious 2004 report on President Bush's National Guard service that eventually got her fired and forced Dan Rather to retire from CBS, knew that Bush had volunteered to serve as a pilot in Vietnam but did not put that in her report.

Cliff Kincaid is not happy about this. He writes in an Aug. 26 Accuracy in Media column:

Sorry Bernie. Your "scoop" is old news. It's no "exclusive." Your Deep Throat is pulling your leg. AIM had the story four years and seven months ago and everyone knows it.

[...]

Indeed, it looks suspiciously like Goldberg's secret "source" simply had access to the AIM archives, even if Goldberg did not. It's too bad that Goldberg failed to acknowledge on the air that we had the story four years and seven months before he did. Of course, to make such an admission would make Goldberg look like a Johnny-come-lately-more than four years after the fact-to an important story.

Well, it seems Kincaid is taking a little too much credit. As David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars details, the fact that Bush had volunteered to serve in Vietnam was reported by the Washington Post as early as 1999. While this may be, as Goldberg said, a "crucial fact," it isn't the way Goldberg and Kincaid think it is. Neiwert points out that the 1999 Post report notes that "there was no chance Bush's unit would be ordered overseas" because the plane Bush was trained to fly was being retired by the military:

In other words, if Bush actually did volunteer for Vietnam duty, he did so secure in the knowledge there was no chance he'd actually be called upon. That is, he was talking big talk, once again, knowing full well he'd never have to back it up.

This is especially so considering what followed -- namely, that Bush wound up failing to fulfill his obligations to the Texas Air National Guard, precisely because he failed to maintain even the most basic, fundamental components if his TANG pilot's status beginning in the summer of 1972.

Indeed, there is a set of facts about Bush's service that is irrefutable: Lt. Bush did refuse an order to take a required physical, and he was suspended for "failing to perform up to standards". Moreover, the sequence of events that failure set in motion eventually ensured that Bush did not fulfill the entirety of his military obligation.

 

Somehow, we don't see Goldberg or Kincaid falling over themselves to address that.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 AM EDT
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 26 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein is the just latest to use anonymous sources to attack President Obama.

Klein references unnamed "Israeli and Palestinian officials" to assert that "Headlines declaring President Obama is close to a Mideast peace deal are overly optimistic." Klein cites:

  • "One Palestinian official"
  • "an official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bureau"
  • "multiple Middle Eastern diplomatic sources"

Nobody is named, which casts a cloud over the veracity of the article, especially given Klein's longtime animosity toward Obama and his frequent use of anonymous sources to attack Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 PM EDT
WJC Touts Racist Attack on Ted Kennedy
Topic: Western Journalism Center

An Aug. 26 Western Journalism Center post touts "An honest obituary of “Sir” Ted Kennedy you’ll never see in print," written by Kevin “Coach” Collins. In it, Collins writes:

On signing the 1965 Civil Rights Law, Lyndon Johnson lamented, “We [Democrats] have lost the South for a generation.” This moved Kennedy to commit perhaps his most egregious acts when he sponsored two Immigration reform bills that slammed the door on Europeans who had traditionally brought industriousness and honor to America. Instead they cleared the way for millions and millions of legal and illegal aliens from elsewhere who often bring no skills but palpable contempt for America. Kennedy is responsible for the damage they have done.

In other words: White people ("Europeans") are hard working and love America, non-white people ("from elsewhere") are lazy and hate America. That smacks of racism, does it not?

We've detailed how some conservatives seek a return to immigration laws of the early 20th century, which were largely driven by racism and eugenics. Columnist E. Ralph Hostetter, writing for CNSNews.com, has even specifically blamed Asian immigrants for "threatening America's cultural and ethnic future" because the 1965 immigration law "gave 60 percent of the newly established quota -- 170,000 new openings -- to Asians, who bring a different culture to America."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 AM EDT
Farah Spews Hate At Ted Kennedy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah lets his hate flag fly in his Aug. 27 WorldNetDaily column, spewing bile at Ted Kennedy:

I know there's an old adage that one shouldn't speak ill of the dead.

But I don't subscribe to the idea that when evil and foolish people die we should pretend they were something other than evil and foolish.

And Ted Kennedy was evil and foolish.

He wasn't just a politician with whom I disagreed.

He was a rotten man – a wicked man.

I know you're not hearing this from the rest of the press. I know you're not even hearing this from his worst critics. But if we can't call Ted Kennedy wicked and immoral, those terms have lost all meaning.

Farah goes on to reference "is alcohol-addled brain" and "his unfulfilled ego," and declares, "I'm not going to forget the idiotic way he characterized Ronald Reagan's brilliant initiative for strategic missile defense as 'Star Wars.'"


Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 AM EDT
More on Ron McRae
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Richard Bartholomew details the backstory on Ron McRae, the Anabaptist minister whose questionable affidavit Jerome Corsi is relying on to support his claim that Barack Obama's grandmother claimed that he was born in Kenya. Turns out McRae is founder of something called the Street Preachers' Fellowship -- remember, WorldNetDaily just loves street preachers.

Bartholomew notes that McRae also appears to believe that the Bible endorses separation of the races and, perhaps not coincidentially, expresses even more hatred for Obama than he did in his affidavit.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EDT
NewsReal Touts Bogus 'Death Book' Claims
Topic: Horowitz

An Aug. 25 NewsReal post by David Forsmark touts Jim Towey's misleading claims about a Veterans Health Administration booklet advising veterans on end-of-life care. Forsmark uncritically repeats Towey's description of the booklet as an attempt to "steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living."

In fact, the booklet emphasizes that "your wishes will direct future health care decisions" and presents preserving one's life "using any means possible" as an option to consider.

Forsmark also includes a transcript of Towey's appearance in which he and host Chris Wallace discuss the appearance in the VA booklet of the statement "If I'm a vegetable, pull the plug" without noting that Towey and Wallace failed to explain the full context in which the phrase appears.

Forsmark goes on to criticize VA spokesperson Tammy Duckworth for pointing out that Towey is selling his own end-of-life-choices book, thus "cast[ing] doubt on Towey’s motives and to confuse the issue about who is responsible for the work sheet being available currently."

In fact, given that Towey has attempted to get the VA to buy his booklet, Towey's motives are a legitimate issue, on top of the fact that he's misrepresenting the VA's booklet. Further, Forsmark downplays the fact that the VA booklet was available and promoted throughout President Bush's presidency.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 27, 2009 1:56 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
MRC Can't Stop Misleading About Ted Kennedy Profile
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Aug. 26 NewsBusters post reviewing how "journalists admired [Ted Kennedy's] policy efforts and treated him as their hero," Brent Baker writes: "Back in 2003, a Boston Globe profile forwarded: 'If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.'"

In fact, as we've detailed, the MRC has long taken the statement, from an article written by Charles Pierce, out of context. Pierce has written that he considered the statement "a tough, but fair, shot" pointing out that the death of Kopechne "denies to him forever the moral credibility" to be president.

Baker referenced the quote again later in his post, linking to a July 18 NewsBusters post by Rich Noyes on the quote and the article from which it came. As we noted, Noyes failed to address Pierce's criticism of the MRC for taking the quote out of context.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:38 PM EDT
Newsmax's Kennedy Obit Leads With Chappaquiddick
Topic: Newsmax

An Aug. 26 Newsmax article by David Patten on the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy begins by stating that "retrieved the fallen banner of Camelot progressivism when assassins' bullets struck down older brothers John F. and Robert F. Kennedy in the 1960s" -- but then immediately follows with four paragraphs detailing the Chappaquiddick.

Patten was also quick to reference "Kennedy's well-earned reputation for licentious behavior" and sneered that Kennedy "passed the torch of noblesse-oblige liberalism to Barack Obama."

While the rest of Patten eventually turns somewhat balanced -- though with an emphasis on negative events in Kennedy's life -- and he even writes a few nice things about Kennedy, the factthat Patten views Chappaquiddick as the way to lead Kennedy's obit demonstrates his, and Newsmax's, bias.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 4:16 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

This is another vile chapter in the still-young Obama presidency. Obama said he would not prosecute the great Americans who kept the country safe during the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Those heroic Americans kept this country so safe, in fact, that we felt free to elect a post-American, pro-jihad president.

[...]

One has to ask: why did this man run for president? The knee jerk reaction to such a question is that a man (or woman) runs for president because he loves America. It is becoming increasingly clear that Obama ran for president because he hates America and wants very much to indict it.

[...]

America electing an America-hater for president vanquished our moral authority.

[...]

The chaos from the anti-American presidency has not even begun.

Fasten your seat belts.

The man will never stop punishing America for electing him. We will pay with everything good and decent.

Obama is punishing America.

-- Pamela Geller, Aug. 26 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
NewsBusters Commenters Quick to Dance on Kennedy's Grave
Topic: NewsBusters

If took only two comments in a NewsBusters post noting the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy for NewsBusters readers to begin demonstrating a decided lack of class and sympathy:

Your father was a bootlegger- no better than Pablo Escobar, your father made a deal with the Chicago Mob thru Sam Giancana and then your equally sleazy brothers(I am not calling Mr Giacana sleazy- at least he didn't hide what he was) turned around and screwed the mob

Then worst of all you let Mary Jo die like a dog- you were never a man, just a sniveling, whinny, rich kid whi cried when he didn't get his way.

The world is a better place today

RIP Mar Jo

Stay classy, guys.

Needless to say, as a liberal, Kennedy gets no "RIP" (which even Robert Novak got) from the post's author, Tim Graham, though he conceded that "Kennedy was a historic figure in the Senate and an inspirational leader for American liberalism." Instead, he issued a warning that "We'll be watching for statements ... that don't ring true."

UPDATE: NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd is using Twitter to bash Kennedy:

Kennedy also gave us Title IX, which has had mad unintended consequences, namely it's screwed numerous male collegiate athletes over royally


Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:15 AM EDT

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