Dear Tim Graham: Complaining about Rachel Maddow allegedly mocking "little Todd Tiahrt" and "tiny Todd Tiahrt" might have been a little more effective had it not been preceded by your MRC colleague Brent Baker devoting an entire post to George Stephanopoulos' booster seat.
The latest example of this is a Jan. 10 WND article -- presented as "news" -- claiming that "new evidence indicates the U.S. Department of Agriculture may be covering up the greatest food shortage in modern history." It goes on to state:
Consumers in the United States are responding to the latest revelations with an unprecedented private-sector emergency preparedness plan. Websites such as SurvivalSeedBank.com are struggling to keep up with orders as people make plans to go "off-grid" in pursuit of food independence.
According to Bill Heid, spokesman for SurvivalSeedBank, demand for the company's "Full Acre Crisis Garden" product appears to be increasing.
Heid explains why so many people now are focused on food independence and not just financial planning in the event of a collapse.
"In a real crisis, food will be more valuable than gold or silver. When you're hungry, gold or silver coins won't always help you, and the few people who have food may not be willing to trade for something which can't be easily converted. Open pollinated seeds are truly the ultimate barter item in a meltdown. It seems like folks are waking up to reality of some very dangerous market conditions ahead."
Yes, SurvivalSeedBank.com is a WND advertiser. From today's WND front page:
This, of course, is a violation of journalistic ethics; the Society of Professional Journalists ethics code states that "Journalists should ... [d]istinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two."
WND needs to tell its readers how much SurvivialSeedBank paid WND for this dishonest placement of an ad as a "news" article, so we can see just how much WND's journalistic soul is worth.
Obama Derangement Syndrome: A Symptom Defined Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Jan. 9 WorldNetDaily column, Tom Tancredo lists among his symptoms of 'Obama Stockholm Syndrome" this: "You believe that the 1.5 million people who protested excessive government spending on the Capitol Mall on Sept. 12 were all part of a vast right-wing conspiracy."
Of course, if you actually believe that 1.5 million people actually showed up at the Capitol that day, it's a symptom you're suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome.
Newsmax Career Rehabilitation Watch Topic: Newsmax
In his Jan. 8 Newsmax column, Ralph Reed -- Newsmax's latest attempt at career rehabilitation -- cites as evidence that "Obama’s real-life 3 a.m. phone call has come, and he has flunked the test" that he "took days (while he played golf in Hawaii) to step before the cameras and acknowledge the obvious: a massive, systemic, and nearly disastrous failure of intelligence" in the aftermath of the attempted Christmas Day airliner bombing.
Reed doesn't mention that President Bush took twice as long as Obama to respond to another attempted bombing, that of shoe bomber Richard Reid, let alone assert that Bush's silence meant that he was soft on terror.
Reed also baselessly attacked the Obama administration for giving accused Christmas Day attempted bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab "full Miranda rights, and allowing him to lawyer up so we can get no information about his al-Qaida handlers." In fact, intelligence officials have already spent "a number of hours" with Abdulmutallab, in which "usable actionable intelligence" was obtained.
Reduced to its lowest common denominator, Marxism is government managing society. Freedom is society managing government. The current arrogant, Marxist majority in Washington could not care less about what the people want or say. They are convinced that they know best how society should be managed, and they are hell-bent to manage it the way they want.
Led by President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, this government has become, as Thomas Jefferson describes governments of force, "a government of wolves over sheep."
Americans who prefer Marxist, redistributionist, government-managed lives will continue to accept the loss of freedom and the decay of America. Americans who cherish freedom will continue to train their troops and attack at the primaries, in preparation for a full-scale rebellion on Nov. 2, 2010.
WND Lies About CIA And Global Warming, Gets Basic Fact Wrong Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Jan. 10 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi carries the headline "Obama diverts CIA to spy on ... polar bears!" Corsi himself writes that "President Obama has tasked the Central Intelligence Agency with investigating global warming."
But Corsi and WND are deliberately misstating facts. The truth -- which Corsi conveniently doesn't mention until the sixth paragraph, since it would contradict the first five -- is that the program has little or no impact on current intelligence gathering, since it relies on information already archived or collected when sensors are passing over empty wilderness.
Corsi also quotes Republican Sen. John Barrasso claiming that the CIA's involvement in climate change issues is "irresponsible," but fails to mention the experts who cite climate change is relevant to national security, since it could cause food or water shortages or adverse weather that would result in migration or the need for U.S. relief efforts or military intervention.
Corsi also commits a boner of an error in the lead paragraph. Can you spot it?
Corsi is presumably referring to the shooting at Fort Hood, not "Ft. Collins," which is a city in Colorado that has no active military installations.
UPDATE: WND has corrected the "Ft. Collins" boo-boo. The rest of the article's false statements remain intact.
Kincaid Still Falsely Defending Gay-Killing Uganda Law Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid returns to the subject of the proposed anti-gay law in Uganda in his Jan. 8 Accuracy in Media column, portraying it, as he has previously, as intended "to protect children from homosexual predators and the dangerous public health impact of the homosexual lifestyle." He also asserts that the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart "falsely claimed it would make homosexuality 'a crime punishable by death.'"
But Kincaid is the liar here -- Capehart's statement is essentially true. As we've previously detailed, CNN reported that the law would apply the death penalty to those who "engage in homosexual sex more than once," as well as "people who test positive for HIV"; it would also imprison "Anyone who knows of homosexual activity." The law would also apply even to Ugandans participating in same-sex acts in countries where such behavior is legal.
Kincaid's problem is that he's getting his misinformation about the law (and, apparently, about homosexuality itself) from virulently anti-gay pastor Scott Lively, whose Abiding Truth Ministries is on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups. The New York Times reported that the Uganda law was incited in part by people like Lively, who participated in a recent conference on the "gay agenda" in the country in which, according to the Times, they "discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how ‘the gay movement is an evil institution' whose goal is ‘to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.' "
Kincaid has never offered meaningful evidence to contradict any of the details we or anyone else have reported about the law, which makes him the liar when he insists that the death penality doesn't apply to homosexuals.
Earlier this week, WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah stated that "I am recommitting my energies and resources to the search for verifiable truth on this matter of eligibility. " Apparently, that also includes redoubling his efforts to hide from his readers Orly Taitz's record of shoddy lawyering and allegations of criminality.
A Jan. 8 WND article by Bob Unruh touts the latest court filings by Taitz, who "now is asking a California judge to investigate possible fraud against the court," alleging "a high probability of criminal acts of identity theft and Social Security fraud committed by the respondent." In apparent contradiction of Farah's claim that WND journalists operate, in Farah's words," the highest standards of ethics" -- Unruh fails to report that the same judge has levied a $20,000 fine against Taitz for repeated frivolous filings in the case. Nor does Unruh mention that Taitz has been accused of suborning perjury in the same case.
Then again, this does appear to be official WND policy, as Unruh and other WND "journalists" have repeatedlyhidden this information from its readers.
Unruh also fails to note that previous allegations of fraud made by Taitz, also involving the possibility of identity theft and Social Security fraud, have proven to be less than credible. In April, WND's Chelsea Schilling uncritically reported allegations by Taitz that the former webmaster for Taitz's website, accusing her diverting donations and allowing the site to be hacked. Even though Schilling could have gathered a response from the ex-webmaster's website, she instead no apparent effort to report the other side, in which the allegations are denied.
As part of her jihad against the former webmaster, Taitz allegedly sent out emails to the public repeating her accusations, which included the webmaster's Social Security number -- thus opening the webmaster up to identity theft and fraud. That resulted in a lawsuit against Taitz by another birther lawyer, Philip Berg. WND has never reported on that either -- or the fact that, as we detailed, Berg was able to obtain an entry of default against Taitz because of Taitz's incompetency of not following court-ordered procedure in responding to the lawsuit, resulting in the response arriving past the court-ordered deadline.
Unruh also baselessly claims that Obama has funded the "appointment – at a cost confirmed to be at least $1.7 million – of myriad lawyers to defend against all requests for his documentation." In fact, while that money was paid to a law firm through "Obama for America," WND offers no evidence that all of the money was dedicated to "defending against all requests for his documentation."
WND Violates AP Stylebook on Transgender ID Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah once insisted that WorldNetDaily hires "only serious and experienced journalists with the highest standards of ethics." It doesn't, of course -- one need look no further than the lies piled on lies appearing on its pages to see that.
Here's another example: One of those high standards journalists are expected to follow is the Associated Press Stylebook, a comprehensive guide to language usage in news stories, from proper identification of officials to, when you list the name of a city, you also name the state it's in. Here's the AP Stylebook guideline regarding transgendered people (h/t Media Matters):
transgender Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.
Commerce Department adviser Amanda Marshall was born as a male and underwent a sex change. Guess how WND handles Marshall?
In a Jan. 5 article, not only do Chelsea Schilling and Kathleen Farah repeatedly describe Marshall as "he," they put "Amanda" in scare quotes. They also include anonymous "bloggers" attacking Marshall with hateful comments like, "This administration is like going to see 'Rent.' What is normal? How about a homophobic gay man attracted to sheep as the next commander in chief? I'm down with that."
Yes, we know WND hates gay people. They're apparently not too tolerant of the very existence of transgenders, either.
Doug Wead, in his Jan. 6 Newsmax column, concedes that it's unfair to claim President Obama is soft on terrorism. Still, Wead does so anyway.
Wead asserts that "Obama was too late to talk to the American people about [the Christmas Day attempted airliner bombing]. He was enjoying Hawaii when he should have been out front, instead of sending in his lame, Janet Napolitano, whose defensive answers were so offensive that she has since been banned to the Cheney bunker in the Grand Tetons." Then he asks:
Is it fair? Is Obama really soft on terrorism? Or is this payback for using an economic crisis and the U.S. Treasury to payoff voting constituencies? Or for being too apologetic to non-American audiences?
The fact is that presidents are always criticized this way and it is usually because of a deeper concern. When George W. Bush was tardy responding to Hurricane Katrina, when people were trapped on rooftops without water or food or toilets, in the heat, while he watched football games at the ranch, he was criticized too. It was emblematic, they said. He obviously didn’t care enough about the poor. There was a disconnect.
In both cases, the tardy response is tied to a partisan stereotype. Is it blown out of proportion? Is it fair to say that Obama doesn’t care about security or Bush about black people? No. If Bush didn’t care about poor blacks he wouldn’t have pushed for the biggest AIDS relief package for Africa in world history. And Obama certainly doesn’t want another 9/11. Only Sarah Palin would benefit from that.
Wead avoids mentioning a much more direct analogy: While it took Obama three days -- "too late," in Wead's view -- to publicly speak about the attempted bombing, Bush waited six days to the December 2001 airliner bombing attempt by Richard Reid.
Having thus discredited his own attack, he concludes that suggesting it's justified anyway: "This is partisan politics. But hey, if it forces agencies to work together, if it helps put some spine in Obama’s back, if it makes the country safer, well, keep it up."
NewsBusters Gives Giuliani's Whopper A Pass Topic: NewsBusters
Two separate Jan. 8 NewsBusters posts -- by Mark Finkelstein and Scott Whitlock -- quote from Rudy Giuliani's appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America." But neither Finkelstein nor Whitlock highlight the false claim Giuliani made during that appearance, that "We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We've had one under Obama" (the statement is included in Whitlock's transcript). Of course, there were, and not just 9/11.
Why the silence? Giuliani is a Republican, and the MRC routinely turns a blind eye to Republican wrongdoing (see Limbaugh, Rush).
WND's Jennings Attack Du Jour: Bashing A Play Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's latest attempt to attack Kevin Jennings is a January 8 article by Bob Unruh -- as per usual, following the lead of anti-gay group MassResistance, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group -- writing that Jennings "is president of the board of the Tectonic Theater Project, which created 'The Laramie Project,' a play about the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming homosexual Matthew Shepard that condemns traditional biblical views on homosexuality as hateful and bigoted."
Unruh described Shepard as "the 21-year-old man who, according to a 2004 ABC News '20/20' report, actually was killed by drug-using thugs intent on robbery -- a fact ignored by the production." But it's not a fact -- it's right-wing revisionism. As we've detailed, one of Shepard's killers mounted a gay-panic defense at his trial, and the "20/20" report ignored the killer's in-custody interview, during which he offered what the Matthew Shepard Foundation calls "an un-rehearsed and unemotional anti-gay account of the events before, during, and after leaving Matt tied to the fence."
Unruh uncritically repeats whatever MassResistance asserts about "The Laramie Project" as fact without any apparent attempt to verify them or obtain any response to the attacks. Among them:
It's an "insidious GLBT propaganda play ... which exploits the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard as a 'hate crime' and leads kids directly to groups promoting GLBT causes."
The play "ridicules a Baptist minister for preaching the biblical perspective on homosexuality as a sin. The pastor's expression of hope that Shepard repented of his sins before dying is described as hateful."
The play "takes part in fear-mongering" by repeating cast members' trepidation in going to Laramie, Wyoming, to conduct the interviews of residents that form the basis of the production; the two men accused in Shepard's death already were in custody, so, according to MassResistance, the "insinuation is that other Laramie citizens are dangerous."
The community as a whole is responsible for the crime of two men, with one character stating, "We need to own this crime. I feel. Everyone needs to own it. We are like this. ..."
Unruh stated that, in repeating MassResistance's attack on a high school's production of The Laramie Project, "Mass Resistance also noted the graphic language of the play for high schoolers to recite." Apparently high school students had never used graphic language until The Laramie Project came along.
In contrast to the hyperbolic MassResistance attack that Unruh swallows whole, The New York Timesnoted of "The Laramie Project" upon its New York premiere that "Even the evening's less sympathetic characters, including the Kansas preacher who showed up at Mr. Shepard's funeral as an anti-gay protester, are served up with respectful caution," adding that "There is an overriding sense that the characters -- who range from ranchers to university professors, from a lesbian waitress to a Baptist minister -- are cut from the same cloth of perplexed decency, embellished with the occasional signpost of an eccentricity." The Times also stated that the play has become "a catalyst for communities to discuss something of urgent importance: in this case, hate crimes, homophobia and the treatment of difference in American society," and that "it serves as a model for a way of speaking tough truths and listening respectfully."
Listening respectfully? That's a message WorldNetDaily and MassResistance don't seem interested in hearing.
CMI Lashes Out At 'Pro-Gay' Library Books Topic: Media Research Center
Carolyn Plocher's Jan. 5 MRC Culture and Media Institute article is one long screed against the American Library Association for daring to recommend book to youth that have gay characters.
Plocher takes the Depiction-Equals-Approival Fallacy approach to the issue, essentially claiming that any book that does not denounce homosexuality is "pro-homosexual" and, thus, not "good, wholesome literature." She goes on to specifically attack what she portrays as the ALA's focus on "authentic literature," with special focus on a graphic novel (to which Plocher adds, "aka a comic book") called "Skim," which features "a depressed, gothic, homosexual, Wicca-worshipping high school girl":
The ALA claims that “authentic literature” like “Skim” more accurately portrays the gritty, real American life, and therefore, has more literary merit. It’s a manipulative tactic that has effectively stocked library shelves across the nation with pro-homosexual books that inevitably fall into children’s hands.
Plocher offers no evidence that "Skim" is "pro-homosexual." And despite the fact that the book has received numerous honors, Plocher seems to have decided that "good, wholesome literature" with literary merit punishes gays, something "Skim" apparently does not do.
Plocher's article continues in this vein, quoting fellow right-wingers lamenting that such books are "replacing the traditional literature classics, which, in general, promoted mainstream American values or at least didn’t undermine them ," and that the ALA's goal is to "intimidate parents from ever complaining about books that are given to their own children."
Plocher further complained that "More than a dozen high school libraries rejected over 100 books that featured conservative perspectives on homosexuality, which were offered by the Colorado-based Focus on the Family." Plocher doesn't mention whether any of those books have any basis in reality.
In trying to shoot down Glenn Beck's dismissal of the birther conspiracy -- which has a massive investment in -- WorldNetDaily sent out Jerome Corsi to reiterate the case ... which is just as lame as it always has been.
In a Jan. 7 WND article, Corsi gamely tries to insist that, contrary to the idea that birthers believe "a wild conspiracy in which Obama's parents, knowing he would someday be president, 'preemptively' collaborated with two separate newspapers to publish phony announcements stating he was born in Hawaii," the truth is that "the birth announcements offer no proof of citizenship, because they might reflect nothing more than information a family filed with the Hawaii Department of Health to obtain a state Certification of Live Birth for a baby born outside Hawaii."
Note the word "might" in there. That's a major clue that WND's birther conspiracy hinges on what might be the truth. To do that, WND must discredit what the truth in all likelihood is -- that the birth announcements are credible evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii.
Corsi also rehashes the worn-out case that Obama's Hawaii certification of live birth is "not proof he was born in Hawaii," repeating an old canard:
WND also reported that until recently, even the Hawaii state government refused to accept a short-form COLB as proof of a Hawaiian birth required for eligibility in state programs. The Hawaiian Home Lands program, for example, required a "long-form birth certificate" filled out in the hospital with details such as the name of the hospital and the attending physician.
If a short-form COLB was not good enough for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, submitting a newspaper-printed birth announcement as proof of a Hawaiian birth would have been rejected immediately.
As we've detailed, the Home Lands program is not for people born in Hawaii but, rather, for those of "native Hawaiian" ancestry. Since Obama is not of native Hawaiian ancestry, he would not be eligible to apply for it in any case, so whether his birth certificate is sufficient to apply is irrelevant.
Corsi and WND are merely engaging in recycled bamboozlement in a fit of pique at Beck. WND didn't take it well when Beck slammed its pet conspiracy and, if the related opt-in poll is any indication, neither did its readers.
Moreover, I am less interested in passing out blame than I am in learning from and correcting these mistakes to make us safer, for ultimately the buck stops with me. As president, I have a solemn responsibility to protect our nation and our people, and when the system fails, it is my responsibility.
Mason also attempts to draw an analogy: "Could you imagine this, if I go on the stage and I'm telling jokes and the jokes stink, and I'm blaming everyone else but me. I'm the one who's in charge of the job. How come I'm the only guy who's not to blame?" Perhaps Mason can provide a specific example of when he tooksuch responsibility. He certainly has taken no responsibility for his humor-free smears and lies.