Richard Bartholomew details WorldNetDaily's derision of Muslim conspiracy theories when WND has a long history of promoting "all manner of absurd conspiracy theories when it suits editor Joseph Farah."
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
WJC's Misleading, Tasteless Kennedy-Bashing
Topic: Western Journalism Center
An Aug. 28 Western Journalism Center video, called "The Real Ted Kennedy," begins with a minute of snippets of various media tributes. These are followed by this image:
Which is immediately followed by this tasteless photo:
In this video, the WJC is suggesting that Chappaquiddick was never mentioned during coverage of Kennedy's death, but offers no evidence to back up its suggestion -- perhaps because it knows the claim is utterly false, as anyone who watched even part of the coverage knows.
It's worth noting that the WJC is using the YouTube account of Expose Obama, which is operated by Floyd Brown, the right-wing operative who also runs the WJC. This comingling of resources (is that legal?) tells us what we suspected would happen: that the WJC under Brown would be little more than a partisan slash-and-burn operation -- not that it wasn't that when Joseph Farah ran the WJC.
UPDATE: The WJC followed up in the same hateful vein with an email sent out on WorldNetDaily's mailing list and signed by Floyd Brown. In it, Brown asserts that "Ted Kennedy probably did more than any political figure of his generation to weaken and corrupt America," "supported every so-called 'gay-rights' bill that perversity could generate," and blaimed the defeat of Robert Bork for the Supreme Court on "Kennedy, People for the American Way, the National Organization for Women, and a gang of crazies." Brown sarcastically closes: "Thanks, Teddy, for the 47 great years. We'll do everything possible to see that you won't have one more victory this fall. "
Newsmax's Walsh Peddles Misleading Attacks, Funny Numbers
Alinsky died with Obama was 11, and there's no evidence whatsoever the two ever met, let alone that Obama "studied at the knee" of Alinsky.
Walsh is particularly upset that Obama "received 74 percent of the Hispanic vote, in return for his support of comprehensive immigration reform with a 'pathway to citizenship' for illegal aliens and their extended families," which Walsh baselessly depicts as "amnesty."
Walsh claims that Obama faces an "immigration dilemma" because "The Obama administration realizes that U.S. citizens are opposed to benefits, including medical care, for foreign nationals in this country illegally, while immigrant advocates demand healthcare coverage for illegal aliens in the current bills." He then claims that a ban on illegal immigrants receiving benefits under health care reform is "a ruse, for Obama plans to put 'undocumented' aliens on a pathway to citizenship, thus solving the dilemma, even if it bankrupts the country."
Walsh also plays fast and loose with numbers, writing, "Immigration advocates place the number of illegal aliens from all nations at 11 million to 12.5 million. Other demographers put the number at from 20 million to 36 million undocumented immigrants." Walsh doesn't state who those "demographers" are who support that much higher figure -- meanwhile, the federal government and even the anti-immigration Center for Immigration Studies back up the lower number.
Nevertheless, Walsh treats the higher number as accurate: "Of the estimated 47 million uninsured in the U.S., nearly half may be in the country illegally." But even conservatives who consider that estimate to be inaccurate, like CNSNews.com, claim that the number includes "9.73 million foreigners" -- which includes people here illegally.
Walsh concludes with a little more fearmongering: "The double whammy of universal healthcare and comprehensive immigration reform during a recession could signal the end of the United States as the Founding Fathers envisioned it." We're pretty sure Walsh's racially based fearmongering and misinformation aren't doing much for the republic, either.
Farah's Response to WND Boycott Demonstrates Why Boycott Exists
Joseph Farah is, unsurprisingly, angry and defiant about The Next Right's call to boycott WorldNetDaily and those who support it through advertising or renting its mailing list (like the Republican National Committee). Farah's Sept. 1 column on the subject, however, serves as an example of why The Next Right would be moved to such a boycott.
Farah dismisses the Next Right writer, Jon Henke, as "this fellow I have never known nor associated with nor even heard of," then misportrays Henke's post, claiming he was moved to support a boycott solely "because of an article he read in the Boston Herald last week." It's clear from Henke's post that the Herald article was merely the last straw, not the entire reason.
Farah then complains that the Boston Herald article in question offered only a "partial quote," taken "out-of-context," of a Feb. 1 WND article by Jerome Corsi suggesting that the federal government wants "to create the type of detention center" that "could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany." Corsi, Farah insisted, offered a "much more nuanced and accurate statement."
Uh, not really. Actual nuance would have required Corsi to tell all sides of the story -- not just what "those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs" but what the sposnor of the bill in question, Rep. Alcee Hastings, has said about it.
On Jan. 22 -- nine days before Corsi's article was published -- Hastings issued a press release on his sponsorship of the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act, which would 'create six National Emergency Centers throughout the United States to better respond to national emergencies":
Corsi reported none of this. Instead, the only quote of Hastings in his article was of a 2008 statement critical of Sarah Palin -- which is completely irrelevant to the bill in question. Corsi's only goal in this article was to ridicule Hastings and fearmonger about the bill he introduced.
It's disingenous for Farah to claim that Corsi offered a "nuanced" interpretation of the bill when the Nazi-concentration-camp description is the only interpretation he offered.
Nevertheless, Farah took potshots at anyone who dared to repeat Henke's post (like we did over at Media Matters), then mounted an even more disingenous defense of WND:
Farah concludes: "I hope you appreciate that WorldNetDaily difference." Of course, "that WorldNetDaily difference" -- fearmongering, hate and lies -- is why The Next Right wants to boycott it.
UPDATE: Henke responds to Farah as well:
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
West Laments Immigration by Non-Whites to U.S.
Topic: Washington Examiner
Add Diana West to the list of people who blame Ted Kennedy for letting non-white people into the country.
In her Aug. 30 Washington Examiner column, West cites as an example of "the rest of the Kennedy legacy": "The first legislation he managed as a U.S. Senator, the 1965 Immigration Act, effectively tipped the immigrant pool of this nation from Europe to the Third World."
As we've detailed, pre-1965 immigration law was largely driven by racism and eugenics, effectively limiting immigration to only those from northern Europe. Some conservatives seek a return to that restrictive pre-1965 immigration law. Is West one of them?
WND Fearmongers Over Swine Flu Vaccine
Is WorldNetDaily trying to kill Americans by instilling fear of a swine flu vaccine? It seems so.
An Aug. 31 WND article touting the latest Jerome Corsi Red Alert report claims that "he White House trying to cause a panic over a possible H1N1 virus that could inflict massive illness and death on the American people." The goal,WND suggests, is "to use the pandemic panic to create enough fear that the American public will acquiesce to the passage of Obamacare."
Corsi and WND engage in more fearmongering, claiming that "a massive public relations program launched by the federal Center for Disease Control aimed possibly at creating the atmosphere in which U.S. citizens could be forced to take H1N1 vaccinations against their will" (emphasis added).WND ignores the possibility that such a campaign could possibly be aimed at saving lives.
The article also states: "Neurologists around the world have been warned to watch out for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or GBS, which was generated by a similar swine flu vaccine administered by the government by the Ford administration in 1976." In fact, the 1976 vaccine was never definitively linked to GBS, which also "may be an extremely rare reaction to any vaccination."
The article then states:
So what happens if low vaccination rates result in a swine flu epidemic? Can we hold Corsi and WND liable for causing the deaths of Americans by their fearmongering?
Ex-CIA Man With An Agenda Smears Obama, Holder
Newsmax it touting an Aug. 31 column by Kent Clizbe, "a former member of the CIA's Directorate of Operations," attacking President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for purportedly declaring 'War on the CIA" by investigating the possible use of torture by CIA interrogators. Clizbe quickly makes his argument personal, questioning whether Holder has "made any personal or professional sacrifices since his country was attacked in 2001" while Clizbe is claiming that his son "went from a happy, engaged, charming 13 year old with straight A’s and a focus on the future, to a sullen, uncommunicative, high school flunky" solely because of Clizbe's long absences from home doing post-9/11 CIA work. (Call us crazy, but we suspect that's not the only cause.)
Clizbe might have some credibility as a critic had he not had a record of baselessly trashing Obama. In a Sept. 30, 2008, Newsmax column, Clizbe called "Obama’s campaign talking points" the culmination of work begun by Lenin in 1920 to "undermine the culture, society, and economy of the United States":
In other words, Clitze has an anti-Obama agenda and his criticism can't really be taken seriously.
WJC Touts Beck's Discredited 'Civilian Army' Claims
Topic: Western Journalism Center
An Aug. 28 Western Journalism Center post asserts that "Glenn Beck is setting the gold standard in investigative reporting," citing as an example Beck's asking President Obama, "Why do we need a civilian national security force that is 'just as strong, just as powerful' as the military? ... Who are we fighting? Who internally is threatening our security?"
In fact, as we've detailed, Obama answered that question a long time ago. His reference to a "civilian national security force" has to do with a reorganization of the State Department and federal aid agencies: "We need to be able to deploy teams that combine agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside our military." Obama has also used the term to apply to an expansion of the Foreign Service, AmeriCorps, and the Peace Corps. It has nothing to do with jailing Americans, as Beck suggests.
Wouldn't an organization supposedly dedicated to "quality journalism," as the WJC claims to be, have bothered to investigate Beck's claim before reporting it instead of presenting his rants as undisputed fact?
Why So Serious?
As part of our continuing dialogue of sorts, David Swindle has taken us to task for having no apparent sense of humor, calling this blog "almost as bland and dull as a Nation editorial or a Noam Chomsky speech" and not finding Rush Limbaugh's joke about Barney Frank spending "most of his time living around Uranus" all that funny. Swindle adds: "It’s quite clear by the uptight, overly serious tone of his painfully boring blog that he was born without a funny bone."
Well, yeah, we're too busy documenting atrocities to regularly bring the funny -- we are a watchdog website, after all, which doesn't usually lend itself to knee-slapping humor. We will, however, occasionally display a bit of snark. But unfortunately for Swindle, telling the truth is simply not inherently funny; we're watchdogs, dammit, not comedians. If it's humor in liberal blogging Swindle wants, we recommend World O'Crap and Sadly, No!
Actually, we have quite a sense of humor in meatspace, with preferences toward the likes of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and (Swindle will be happy to hear) Bill Hicks.
Swindle goes on to defend Limbaugh's "Uranus" joke:
There's another factor to consider: the intent of the person telling the joke. A gay joke from Margaret Cho is not the same thing as a gay joke from Rush Limbaugh. Simply summarized: Cho is gay-friendly; Rush is not. Plus, factor in Limbaugh's weird obsession with anal sex, and it's clear that his intent in telling a gay joke about Frank is to mock and deride. And what is Limbaugh mocking about Frank? The fact that he's gay. That's it. Yeah, Barney Frank is gay -- so what? We're just not seeing the humor in that, however clever a line it might be.
Swindle also takes us to task for dismissing his previous likening of Obama to gangsters as guilt by association:
Just because one purports to offer a historical argument for a malicious smear doesn't make it less of a malicious smear. Does Hilmar von Campe offering a historical argument for smearing Obama as a Nazi make it any less of a smear? Technically, there's a historical argument for likening George W. Bush to Nazis, but again, that doesn't make it any less of a smear to call him that (even though those who criticized that smear have been eager to hurl the same smear at certain Democrats). And while gangster is arguably a lesser smear than Nazi, it's still a smear (and besides, Ellis Washington hurled that one a long time ago, so Swindle is a little late to the parade).
Further, since Swindle offers no evidence of Obama associating with gangsters -- only of purportedly emulating the tactics of Saul Alinsky, who once allegedly associated with gangsters -- the smear is, yes, guilt by association.
One final question: Swindle has seemingly declared all tactics pioneered or popularized by Alinsky to be akin to gansterism. But Swindle, by likening Obama to gangsters, is arguably using the Alinsky tactic of "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it." Doesn't that mean Swindle himself is acting like a gangster too?
Monday, August 31, 2009
Conservatives Consider WND Boycott
The Next Right is suggesting a boycott of WorldNetDaily -- or, at least, any conservative groups that advertise there or rent WND's mailing lists -- over WND longtime looniness:
But there might be a little hitch in that boycott plan. As we note over at County Fair, one of the organizations that has rented WND's email list is ... the Republican National Committee.
CNS Buries Conservative Leanings of Ousted Japanese Party
In an Aug. 31 CNSNews.com article on Japanese elections, Patrick Goodenough describes the victorious party, the Democratic Party of Japan, as "a center-left coalition including socialists" and a party that includes "left-leaning" members. But Goodenough buries the conservative leanings of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which was ousted after 54 years in power.
Goodenough states at one point that the LDP "has various ideological factions," but he does not identify the LDP's conservative leanings. But it's not until the 24th paragraph that Goodenough quotes a South Korean news agency referencing the "conservative LDP government" that the LDP's ideology is revealed.
Why? Perhaps because CNS didn't want to associate conservatism with the fact that Japan is currently undergoing, in Goodenough's words, "the worst recession in Japan’s post-war history" and would rather let the party's misleading name speak for itself.
Farah Trashes Kennedy Again
Joseph Farah uses his Aug. 31 WorldNetDaily column to conjure up outrage over a report by author Edward Klein that Ted Kennedy "enjoyed sharing Chappaquiddick jokes with his close friends."
What Farah doesn't report, however, is that Klein has a history of making false and inflammatory claims, specifically in a book about Hillary Clinton.
nevertheless, this provides all the excuse Farah needs to once again spew hate at Kennedy, this time calling him "sick and twisted," a "pervert" and "a user and a drunk and an abuser" who had "contempt for America, the nation that provided him untold wealth and opportunity."
Blumer Dredges Up Misleading Schiavo Case Attacks
In criticizing an Associated Press article on the death of Terri Schiavo's father, Tom Blumer rehashes a few discredited right-wing talking points on the Schiavo case in an Aug. 30 NewsBusters post.
Blumer asserted that "at least two prominent neurologists insisted that Terri was not in" a persistent vegetative state. But neither of those neurologists actually examined her. The LifeNews link Blumer supplied noted that one of the neurologists, Joseph Fins, did not examine Terri Schiavo (purportedly because "was not permitted by [husband] Michael Schiavo from examining her") but, rather, "review[ed] Terri's medical records" and "watched videotape footage of her and observed her at her hospice." The other neurologist cited in the LifeNews story, Robert Cheshire, also did not examine Terri Schiavo, as we've previously noted.
Blumer also asserts that "There's more than a little bit of evidence that [Terri's] care was far, far less than perfect" under Michael Schiavo. Blumer linked to a 2005 WorldNetDaily article touting claims to that effect by Carla Sauer Iyer, a "former caregiver" to Terri Schiavo. But as we noted at the time, Iyer's allegations were not treated as credible by the judge in the Schiavo case, calling her claims "incredible to say the least," and even Terri's parents, who unleashed and condoned all sorts of smears against Michael in order to keep Terri alive, never asked Iyer to testify at any court hearing.
New Article -- Birthers Gone Wild: The Video
WorldNetDaily's "A Question of Eligibility" is less about eligibility and more about Obama-bashing, discredited conspiracy theories and apparent violations of copyright law. Read more >>
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Examiner Touts Bilderberg Conspiracy Book
Topic: Washington Examiner
The Aug. 26 print edition of the Washington Examiner promoted as that day's "Evening Read" the book "The Bilderberg Conspiracy" by H. Paul Jeffers (scan of paper below).
The copy -- taken directly from promotional copy and identical to that appearing on the page for the book at Barnes & Noble's website, reads:
The Examiner apparently ran out of copy to actually list those "monumental global events," but they appear on the B&N page:
Bildergerger conspiracies are typically fodder for the likes of WorldNetDaily, not a publication like the Examiner that's trying to pass itself off as a mainstream newspaper. But perhaps the fact that it's promoting this book is just more evidence that it's far out of the mainstream.
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