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Friday, November 20, 2009
Vote For Us!
Topic: The ConWeb

The 2009 Weblog Awards

We would like to beg you, our readers, to nominate ConWebBlog in the 2009 Weblog Awards. Since there isn't a media category per se and we're not quite political, we're going to aim for the Best Large Blog, defined as having a Technorati authority rating of between 301 and 500 (we're at 440).

ConWebWatch is listed in the comments as a nominee, so what you need to do is click on the "+" icon in that particular comment to indicate your preference.

The nomination phase has been extended to Sunday, so act quickly! We appreciate your support.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EST
WND Parrots False GOP Talking Points on Health Care
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 19 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh uncritically regurgitates House Minority Leader John Boehner's claim that the Senate's health care reform bill contains a monthly "abortion premium."

In fact, there is no such thing. The bill contains a requirement that insurance plans that offer abortion coverage to segregate their funds so that tax dollars aren't used to fund abortion coverage. Further, consumers won't be forced to fund abortions with their premiums because the bill says that every state's health exchange must offer at least one plan that doesn't cover abortion.

Unruh makes no attempt to gather reaction to Boehner's claims from supporters of the bill -- an imbalance that's a longtime pattern of Unruh's.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EST
Does Palin Endorse Newsmax's Extreme Anti-Obama Rhetoric?
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is thrilled to death that Sarah Palin announced that she reads the website:

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax on Tuesday, she offered more praise.

"Let me start off by thanking you [Newsmax] so much for your daily updates,” Palin said. “If it weren't for Newsmax, there'd be a lot of us wondering what the heck was going on that day. . . it is very valuable, very helpful, and I appreciate all that you guys are doing to get a good message out there."

Newsmax is the home of some of the more extreme forms of anti-Obama rhetoric, including John L. Perry's call for a military coup against Obama and Pat Boone's eliminationist rhetoric, calling the Obama administration "varmints" who need to be "figuratively, but in a very real way" poisoned by a "tenting" of the White House.

Does Palin think Newsmax columnists such as Perry and Boone are "helpful" and offering a "good message"?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:03 AM EST
Another Legal Debacle For WND? Author Agrees to Return Purloined CAIR Documents
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Well, it looks like we can stop sending money to WorldNetDaily's legal defense fund.

Talking Points Memo reports that David Gaubatz, co-author of the WND-published, CAIR-bashing book "Muslim Mafia," has apparently agreed to a draft consent order in which he will return all documents and recordings obtained during the time at CAIR spent by Gaubatz's son, who stole the documents while working undercover as an intern. Gaubatz is also enjoined from publishing or otherwise disclosing any of the purloined documents and ordered to pull down any of the documents on blogs or websites he controls.

Poltico reports that Gaubatz's lawyer, Martin Garbus, says Gaubatz will continue to fight the lawsuit even though the legal team concluded it was better not to fight about the preliminary injunction.

WND has been soliciting for its legal defense fund regarding Gaubatz's book on the premise that CAIR material was legally obtained and, in the words of Joseph Farah, "done on advice of counsel at every step, and were in accordance with District of Columbia and Virginia state law." But as we've detailed, WND has not named the attorneys who advised it regarding "Muslim Mafia," nor has it publicly detailed the legal precedents upon which WND's claim that the documents are not stolen rests. WND has also refused to disclose the organization that Gaubatz says funded his investigation.

The court order Gaubatz is apparently agreeing to may also be a tacit admission that Gaubatz's son was violating the confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement he signed when he became employed at CAIR. While CAIR has claimed its can't find a copy of the signed agreement, Gaubatz's son has not denied signing one.

This is shaping up to be another legal debacle for WND. As we documented, WND fought a libel lawsuit filed against it by Al Gore associate Clark Jones for seven years before abrupting settling it just before it was to go to trial, admitting it published false claims about Jones.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:47 AM EST
WND Throws Wash. Times Under the Bus
Topic: WorldNetDaily

That's a fine way to treat a former business partner!

After days of being silent about the goings-on at the Washington Times -- depsite immediately reporting on the demise of a publisher of "homosexual newspapers" -- a Nov. 20 WND article cites "reputable sources within the paper" to claim that the Times "is set to lay off much of its editorial and production staff."

But then, shockingly, WND starts hammering the Times:

  • It points out that it "reportedly has lost billions of dollars in its 27-year history."
  • It reported that paper founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon in 2002  "told an assembly he was the messiah and the Second Coming of Christ, charged with fulfilling Jesus' unfinished mission," adding that he said at the occasion of the Times' 20th anniversary, "The Washington Times will become the instrument in spreading the truth about God to the world."
  • It noted that now-ousted editor John Solomon last year "announced it would stop using terms such as 'illegal aliens' and 'homosexual,' complying with the same standards of political correctness found at most other daily news organizations." 
  • It references editorial page editor Richard Miniter's discrimination lawsuit against the paper, noting that "Miniter says he was 'coerced' into attending a Unification Church religious ceremony in which a mass wedding was conducted by Moon."

WND has had a previous business relationship with the Times and related publications, as we've detailed, including a content-sharing agreement with now-defunct newsmagazine Insight and the appearance of Joseph Farah's column in the Times' weekly national edition. WND columnist Les Kinsolving even defended the paper by asserting "the fact that the Washington Times was founded by ex-convict and cult leader Sun Myung Moon should not detract from the fact that this daily newspaper has become one of this nation's most influential, and on Capitol Hill, most widely read daily newspapers." Farah did at one point work up the courage to bite the hand that feeds him by criticizing Moon's "coronation ceremony" in a Senate office building. But that was an anomaly until now.

WND's tone here is much different from a May 2007 article fawning over the Times on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, calling it "the major alternative to the mainstream Washington Post, and under the leadership of Wedley [sic: Wesley] Pruden, editor-in-chief, and Managing Editor Francis Coombs, pursues the news of the day with high journalistic standards." No mention of its money pit status or Moon's wackiness.

Despite the broadsides apparently aimed at Solomon's leadership -- after all, "illegal alien" and "homosexual" are still crucial parts of the WND stylebook, though Farah has yet to explain why -- WND is still protective in the Nov. 20 article. At no point does WND describe the Times' political leanings as conservative (it didn't mention it in 2007, either), nor does it mention the Confederacy-revering, white-supremacist-leaning ties of Pruden and Coombs (not to mention Robert Stacy McCain).


Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 AM EST
Updated: Friday, November 20, 2009 2:11 AM EST
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Klein Too Busy Smearing Obama to Correct His Reporting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed how the arrest of West Bank settler Yaakov (Jack) Teitel on numerous terrorism charges, including the detonation of a pipe bomb outside the house of Israeli professor Zeev Sternhell, contradicts the previous reporting of WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein, who uncritically reported a claim by a settler leader that the Israeli government planted the bomb "to demonize West Bank Jews."

It's been a week now since Teitel's arrest, and Klein has not seen fit to update or correct his reporting -- indeed, Teitel's arrest has been reported nowhere on WND. Klein has, however, found time to write up an article on a member of Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party calling Obama a "racist."

It seems that for Klein, advancing his anti-Obama agenda is more important than telling the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:20 PM EST
CNS Reporter Still Misleading on Judicial Nominee
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's Christopher Neefus goes all in on smearing judicial nominee David Hamilton, using a Nov. 19 article to repeatedly brand him as a "former ACORN fundraiser."

What Neefus fails to report: Hamilton worked for ACORN for only one month out of college.

Neefus has previously refused to tell his readers the full truth about Hamilton and ACORN.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 PM EST
New Article: Ellis Washington's Savage Sycophancy
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Ellis Washington is now Michael Savage's "authorized biographer," and you know what that means -- acts of literary fellatio likening Savage to Prometheus and even Jesus Christ. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:50 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2009 12:34 PM EST
WND Still Lying About Klingenschmitt
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 18 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh continues WND's history of lying about Gordon Klingenschmitt, calling him a "former U.S. Navy chaplain who was removed from the service after he exercised his right to pray 'in Jesus' name.'" As we've detailed, Klingenschmitt was court-martialed for disobeying an order, not for praying in Jesus' name.

Unruh also uncritically repeats statements by Klingenschimitt and others at a rally protesting a hate-crimes bill that covers sexual preference that misinterpret the bill, statements that claim the bill prohibits merely being criticial of homosexuals. In fact, the bill provides penalties for those who incite violence against homosexuals, not merely reading from the Bible as Klingenschmitt and others did.

Futher, as WND has frequently failed to do, Unruh fails to mention that the bill specifically states that "Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the Constitution," which would include the First Amendment protection for freedom of religion.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EST
Barry Farber's Fevered Brain
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barry Farber, in his Nov. 18 WorldNetDaily column, fills his head with right-wing anti-Obama talking points, then hits "puree":

Can you imagine any White House before this one bulging with lovers of Mao Zedong, Karl Marx, teenage homosexual activity, trees and animals having lawyers to sue humans, the ridiculing of free speech (from a stalwart of the FCC, no less), even polygamy? 

And then he goes completely off the rails:

What exactly does CNN mean when it says it's not an American but rather an international network? And are we sure we know what Mike Wallace was saying when he insisted that, as a combat correspondent, he would not tip off American troops even if he learned of an enemy ambush? Maybe we don't want to know.

Um, sure, whatever...


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EST
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Vote For Us!
Topic: The ConWeb

The 2009 Weblog Awards

We would like to beg you, our readers, to nominate ConWebBlog in the 2009 Weblog Awards. Since there isn't a media category per se and we're not quite poltical, we're going to aim for the Best Large Blog, defined as having a Technorati authority rating of between 301 and 500 (we're at 440).

ConWebWatch is listed in the comments as a nominee (which is where the shameless self-promotion comes in), so what you need to do is click on the "+" icon in that particular comment to indicate your preference.

The nomination phase ends Nov. 20, so act quickly! We appreciate your support.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:10 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 8:12 PM EST
Newsmax Parrots Palin Defender's Misleading Claims
Topic: Newsmax

We already know that Sarah Palin's memoir is filled with falsehoods and distortions, so it's not a surprise to see that it appears a Palin defender is resorting to the same tactics.

A Nov. 18 Newsmax article by Dan Weil features Matthew Continetti's "The Persecution of Sarah Palin," about which he writes:

Continetti said the mainstream political media spread one falsehood after another about Palin including that she:

  • Had been a member of the separatist Alaskan Independence Party (New York Times)
  • Had been a supporter of Pat Buchanan (MSNBC)
  • Faked giving birth to Trig Palin, who was supposedly her grandson (Atlantic Monthly)

Well, let's see:

  • The Times' source for the claim that Sarah Palin belonged to the Alaskan Independence Party was the head of the party. The Times issued a correction after the party chief changed her story.
  • MSNBC's source for Palin being a supporter of Pat Buchanan was ... Pat Buchanan.

So these claims were not invented out of thin air, as Continetti and Newsmax suggest.

As for the claim about Trig Palin, that's largely the work of Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan, not the entire Atlantic Monthly. And as Sullivan points out, he never actually disputed Trig's parentage, but merely "asked her and the campaign to provide easily available proof that she indeed was the biological mother of Trig after her bizarre and incredible stories about her pregnancy and labor. She has failed to produce any such evidence. And she clearly never will."

That's rather ironic given that Newsmax has signed on to demanding that Barack Obama release further proof of his birth.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:41 PM EST
WND Misleads on Pink Slip Campaign
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily offers unsurprisingly positive coverage of its own press conference in which it and Faith2Action's Janet Porter manage to get a few Republican members of Congress to endorse their "pink slip" campaign (and overlook WND's conspiracy-laden website). That means, of course, WND won't tell you the full truth.

The "pink slip" campaign, as we've detailed, features factually inaccurate right-wing talking points sent to all 535 members of Congress.

The WND article touts how the number of pink slips sent "have surged past 5 million," paraphrasing one congressman as saying the number is "staggering, because they weren't from people who were answering a telephone poll and participating in a survey," and that "There is a person behind each one of the slips." But that's misleading too. Divide 5 million by 535, and you get 9,345 -- the number of people who have paid WND $29.95 to do this. That's a far less impressive number than 5 million, so don't expect WND to bring it up.

WND chief Joseph Farah, meanwhile, is still pretending he's really not an activist by promoting the campaign:

"One of the questions I get from colleagues is why a news agency would involve itself in a political advocacy campaign like the 'pink slips' effort. The answer is that I am an American first and a newsman second. I don't want to see the foundations that made this country great and that made the notion of a free press possible destroyed. And that's why we got behind this campaign," he said.

Of course, the more logical -- and more truthful -- answer is that WND has never been a news organization and has always been a political advocacy group, as its eagerness to lie about President Obama amply demonstrates. Further, if WND were an actual news organization that cared about facts, it would not have issued a "pink slip" with such obvious factual errors.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

President Obama is dropping another O-bomb on America with the decision to try the masterminds of the shocking attack of Sept. 11, 2001, in a New York courtroom.

That’s right: Obama is trying to reduce the Sept. 11 act of war to a law enforcement issue. So our wartime enemy is going to face a civilian trial in New York City. It’s another O-bomb on American leadership.

[...]

America going on a witch hunt and prosecuting those who kept this country safe from people like Khalid Shiekh Mohammed, as Obama has announced he intends to do, sets back our moral authority. America turning her back on the jihad against women, Christian, Jews, and non-believers has set back America’s moral authority. America electing a radical for a President has set back America’s moral authority.

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

[...]

This is yet another vile chapter in the Obama presidency. As long as he is president, the man will never stop punishing America for being so foolish as to elect him.

-- Pamela Geller, Nov. 17 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 11:44 AM EST
CNS Ignores Sessions' Filibuster Flip-Flop
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Nov. 17 CNSNews.com article by Christopher Neefus details how "epublican Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday he plans to filibuster President Obama’s first judicial pick, Judge David F. Hamilton."

At no point did Neefus note that Sessions' position is a reversal from the one he held in 2003, in which he said of filibustering judicial nominees: "People on both sides of the aisle have understood it to be wrong. They have understood it to be in violation of the Constitution. . . . Mr. President, these nominees are entitled to an up-and-down vote. If a Member does not like them, he or she can vote against them. But it is time to move these nominees."

Neefus made no apparent attempt to contact supporters of Hamilton to respond to Sessions' criticism. Instead, Neefus' article is nothing more than right-wing anti-Hamilton talking points, right down to stating that Hamllton "began his career, as a fundraiser for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)" without mentioning that it was only for a month right after he graduated college.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 AM EST

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