A Question Les Kinsolving Won't Ask Topic: WorldNetDaily
Les Kinsolving's Feb. 9 WorldNetDaily column is dedicated to wondering why CBS' Katie Couric "has not, reportedly, offered to share some of her income to save dozens of her fellow CBS employees – whom the New York Observer and the New York Post, among others, reported are being laid off." He even asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs a question to that effect.
Media Matters details the false and misleading claims in a Feb. 7 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh attacking Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's appointment to President Obama's council of governors and a report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center on right-wing extremism. WND falsely claimed that the report "linked Christians with violence."
And Richard Bartholomew details WND's misleading fear-mongering in a Feb. 7 article by Michael Carl claiming that "the Muslim Brotherhood is effectively employing a strategy of presenting 'Islam lite' to organizations" and hiding "some of the harsher truths about Islam."
Newsmax Distorts Foxman's Comments to Bash Obama Topic: Newsmax
In an interview for Newsmax, Anti-Defamation League national director Abe Foxman described President Obama's efforts on the Israeli-Palestinian situation this way: "I would give him an A for effort, a C-minus for strategy, and an F for accomplishment." Guess how Newsmax played it?
"ADL's Foxman Gives Obama 'F' Grade for Accomplishment" reads the headline of a Feb. 8 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers based on the interview. Meyers states in his lead paragraph that Foxman "gives President Barack Obama an 'F' – a failing 'report card' grade after his first year in office for his 'accomplishments' in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
It's not until the sixth paragraph that Meyers gets around to providing the entire Foxman quote.
Meyers then tries to frame Foxman's comment as evidence of Jewish discontent with Obama:
Foxman’s impatience and disappointment in Obama seems to reflect a growing unease among American Jews about the president’s Middle East policies.
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, expressed concern about Obama in a June interview with Newsmaxs Chief Washington Correspondent Ronald Kessler.
“There’s a lot of questioning going on about what he really believes and what does he really stand for,” Hoenlein said.
“[Jews] are genuinely very concerned,” he added.
As we've detailed, Kessler has long endeavored to drive a wedge between Jews and Obama. But Meyers doesn't report that Hoenlein backed away from his comments as reported by Kessler, and even the transcript of the interview that Kessler was forced to post at Newsmax made it clear that Kessler wastrying to get Hoenlein to attack Obama and then took liberties with Hoenlein's words to portray them as providing the bashing Kessler wanted.
Newsmax's embrace of Foxman is strange given that just two weeks ago, Newsmax columnist Pamela Geller was smearing Foxman as having a "sickness of the soul" for committing the offense of criticizing Rush Limbaugh.
Then again, maybe that Geller column is because this interview was being done. Interviewer Kathleen Walter provided a lengthy introduction for Foxman, noting that he "is known throughout the world as a leader in the fight against hatred" and "is the recipient of numerous awards including the French Legion of Honor." At no point in the 14-minute-long interview does Walter bring up Limbaugh or Geller's smears.
New Article -- Out There, Exhibit 51: Avatar Derangement Syndrome Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb -- led by professional right-wing movie prude Ted Baehr -- goes nuts criticizing James Cameron's blockbuster movie. Read more >>
Another Farah Birther Lie: He Claims He's Not Questioning Obama's Citizenship Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah writes in his Feb. 8 WorldNetDaily column:
Here's how the Hill played the story Thursday: "'Birthers' who question whether Obama is a U.S. citizen have raised questions about his birth certificate since the 2008 campaign. Even after proof has been offered of Obama's birth in Hawaii, some critics have questioned its legitimacy. Most mainstream politicians have dismissed questions about whether Obama is a citizen."
Seldom has so much disinformation been packed into a single paragraph. But that's been par for the course with media mangling of the eligibility issue.
First, Obama's claim that Americans are questioning his "citizenship," and the press' acquiescence to that assertion, is both deliberate and a lie.
The real question raised is legitimate: Is Obama a "natural-born citizen," a qualifier for only one office – the presidency. Obama has steadfastly refused to release his long-form birth certificate, the only document that could ever begin to answer that constitutional question.
Farah is lying when he says birthers like himself do not question Obama's "citizenship." To cite just one very recent example: a Feb. 4 WND article by Chelsea Schilling references "the growing ranks of officials and prominent commentators who say they are unsure of whether President Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen."
Is Farah going to lie to our faces and say that questioning "whether President Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen" is not questioning his citizenship? It appears so. But Farah has done this before, falsely claiming that "I am not making accusations about where Obama was born" when he has a history of doing exactly that.
Newsmax's Lowell Ponte has a long history of Obama and Democrat derangement, to the point of claiming that "Obamacare" will kill Santa Claus. Apparently, just the mere sight of Obama sends Ponte into paroxysms of rage.
Which brings us to Ponte's Feb. 8 column, which begins:
The Super Bowl is supposed to be an event where football fans can forget worldly worries for a day by submerging themselves in beer, pizza, new funny ads, and sportscaster predictions and postmortems — and focus on the contest between the two NFL teams who made it to the final showdown.
So why did CBS, the network carrying this game, cut away during Sunday's pregame for a 10-minute (it felt like an hour) interview of President Barack Obama with "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric?
Was America suffering withdrawal symptoms from going a few hours without Obama's relentless appearances on our TVs?
Ponte goes on to call Obama a "ego-freak politician," the interview a campaign contribution to Obama and the Dems, and Katie Couric, who conducted the interview, was "raised by a left-liberal network journalist father."
So lost in his sputtering rage was Ponte that he declared, "We should now rename the Clinton BS network as OBS, the 'Obama Shill Network.'"
For Kincaid, Uganda Is Two People Topic: Accuracy in Media
Are there only two people in Uganda? Cliff Kincaid seems to think so.
A Feb. 3 Accuracy in Media column by Kincaid is headlined "Uganda Confronts 'Loud-mouthed Homosexual Lobby,'" in which he claims that "A leading pro-family activist in Uganda says that Christians in that East African country need help resisting the schemes of the international homosexual lobby." This person is the only one he quotes.
This was followed by a Feb. 5 column headlined "Uganda Rejects Obama’s Pro-Homosexual 'Change,'" in which, again, only one person is quoted, "Ugandan Christian minister Martin Ssempa."
At no point in either article does Kincaid offer any evidence that the views of these two people -- which hew closely to Kincaid's own anti-gay views -- are representative of any significant segment of the country, let alone every single one of the 30.9 million Ugandans, as the headlines of his columns suggest.
And, needless to say, there's no mention of the facts that counter the anti-gay attacks of Kincaid and those he quotes -- for instance, the death penalty could also apply to those caught engaging in homosexual sex more than once, as well as those who merely test positive for HIV, and that HIV is mostly spread in Uganda through heterosexual contact.
Trying to keep track of the disastrous decisions coming out of the Obama administration is very similar to watching the federal spending "dollars by the second" ticker. It leaves one dizzy. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen are the latest to shed any core principles and bow to the ungodly assault on everything good and decent in our nation by this president.
The egregious announcement by Gates, supported by Mullen, that "don't ask, don't tell" will be repealed is no surprise, as it is fulfillment of Obama's campaign promise to the GLBTQIA movement in general and the Human Rights Campaign in particular:
If this brass had any brass they would have resigned rather than have a hand in torpedoing the institution they are charged with leading and serving – and therefore our very national security. The stealth attack of moral relativism, feminism, multiculturalism, etc., that have been allowed to creep into our military like the poisonous cloud of chemical weapons is only exacerbated by forcing – and I mean forcing – sexual diversity in the face of our men and women in uniform.
I am not even going to pretend to be objective, as I have had a deep respect for our military all my life with a grandfather who served in the army in World War II, a father who served in the Navy post-Korean War, a father-in-law who was one of the Chosin Few of the First Marine Division in Korea and a son who is active-duty in the Marine Corps with two tours in Iraq under his belt.
WARNING: As we say in Texas, I'm fixin' to be offensive to some who think Christians should be wimpy, quiet saints 24/7.
I am one angry military dad who is mad as hell that the political agenda of a radical and tiny minority being force fed to the people of this country is more important than the cohesiveness, morale, effectiveness and ultimately the safety of those serving us in harm's way.
WND Silent on Missing Ex-Lesbian Who Violated Custody Order Topic: WorldNetDaily
Since 2005, when Les Kinsolving first wrote a column about it, WorldNetDaily has regularly kept up with a lesbian child-custody case that became a right-wing cause celebre because the biological mother of the child, Lisa Miller -- who, in the words of one WND article, "left the homosexual lifestyle and became a Christian" -- repeatedly violated court orders to allow her former partner, Janet Jenkins, to visit the child. The two women had obtained a civil union in Vermont prior to breaking up.
The typical WND article on the case uncritically repeated the claims of Miller's lawyer, the right-wing Liberty Counsel, claming that Miller moved from Vermont to Virginia and that any court order issued relating to her civil union cannot be enforced in a state like Virginia that does not recognize civil unions or same-sex marriage from other states. WND has denigrated Jenkins as someone who has "neither a blood nor an adoptive relationship" with the girl and repeated unsubstantiated allegations that the girl "reported being compelled to bathe naked with Jenkins while visiting and came home speaking of suicide." WND even highlighted a claim from Liberty Counsel that an attorney Jenkins hired withdrew "after he was indicted for obstructing justice and tampering with evidence regarding a murder that occurred in his home, where his college male friend was sodomized and killed," even though it's irrelevant to the case at hand.
Ultimately, the Vermont court awarded custody of the child to Jenkins as a way to ensure access to the child. WND reported on Liberty Counsel's appeal of that ruling in a Dec. 11 article by Bob Unruh that again repeated the unsubstantiated smears of Jenkins.
WND has been curiously silent, however, about events since then. As Right Wing Watch has detailed, Miller and the girl have disappeared -- opening her up to child abduction charges -- and Liberty Counsel and its leader, Mathew Staver, don't want to talk about it, to the point of deleting a Facebook group it ran dedicated to the case. ABC News has reported that Miller and the girl have apparently been missing since September.
That Dec. 11 article is the last thing WND has reported on the case. Apparently, if Liberty Counsel has nothing to say about it, WND doesn't either.
Blumer Keeps the Conspiracy Wheels Turning Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters' Tom Blumer keeps up his conspiracy-mongering about a supposed Obama conspiracy against Toyota to get to fix their unsafe cars with a Feb. 6 post highlighting a AFP article "Is US bullying Toyota on recall?" As one would expect, Blumer continues to ignore the fact that problems with unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles dates back to 1999, and the number of incidents with Toyotas is more than those that have occurred in vehicles from all other automakers combined.
But Blumer is so invested in the conspiracy that he's not going to let some pesky facts stand in his way:
While it may appear that Uncle Sam's conduct is judicious throughout this process, that appearance won't disperse the cloud of suspicion that hangs over the "negotiations" -- and it shouldn't. If the government hadn't decided to become the controlling owner of two auto companies, the worst suspicion would be that it's picking on a foreign-based competitor of a large U.S. industry. Now the suspicion is that it's trying to hurt the strongest foreign-based competitor of two companies it controls and from which it hopes (someday) to recover tens of billions of dollars it has thrown at them. No amount of outwardly professional behavior will negate the existence of that inherent multibillion-dollar conflict.
Similarly, we shouldn't blandly accept the idea that government's safety people, whose bosses have controlling interests in two competitors who "owe" them tens of billions, aren't going to let those situations affect their judgments as to how hard to push safety issues at a competitor. The fact that a consumer watchdog group that has tended to favor regulation in so many areas thinks that Uncle Sam has overreacted is not a trifling matter (though to be fair, Consumer Reports, having rated Toyotas so highly for so many years, has a bit of an appearance problem of its own).
What? Consumer Reports is in on the conspiracy as well? They're everywhere!
WND Hiding Full Account of Farah-Breitbart Incident Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we suspected would happen, WorldNetDaily is not eager to rell readers the full truth about the Tea Party Convention confrontation between WND editor Joseph Farah and right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart regarding the merit and political use of birtherism.
Even though WND reporter Chelsea Schilling was present for the confrontation, she wrote up no story; instead, WND links to a CBS News blogger's partial summary of David Weigel's Washington Independent account of the incident:
Why didn't WND link directly to Weigel's account, even though it's the most complete version available? Perhaps because Farah hates Weigel and the Independent for reporting on the birther stuff -- i.e. Orly Taitz's shoddy lawyering -- that WNDwon't. Indeed, during his rant, Farah denounced the Independent as a "socialist newspaper" (even though it has no print version).
It may also be because the CBS summary leaves out the fact that Schilling was present for the entire incident, and Farah and WND are likely hoping that its readers won't click through to read about the fullness of Farah's pettiness -- or wonder why Schilling isn't writing her own version of events. (Unless she's getting paid only to write only fluffy, positive articles on the proceedings instead of doing actual reporting.)
And even if Schilling somehow does end up writing something about this, it's a sure bet she won't mention the fact that Breitbart, despite taking the anti-birther side in his argument with Farah, has previously used his websites to promote birtherism.
UPDATE: WND also offers more of the stenography that made them one of the few outlets allowed to cover the convention with a fawning (if unbylined) account of Palin's speech.
Noel Sheppard goes where most sane poeple wouldn't and uses a Feb. 6 NewsBusters post to defend Tom Tancredo's insulting, elitist, borderline racist assertion that Obama voters as so stupid they "could not spell the word 'vote' or say it in English" his call for a "civics literacy test" before being allowed to vote.
Sheppard, in responding to Rachel Maddow's criticism of the remark, tries to pretend that Tancredo wasn't alluding to the outlawed literacy tests of the Jim Crow South and that Tancredo was only talking about immigration:
Maddow was playing a little fast and loose with the facts here. After all, the federal government first used literacy tests as part of an immigration policy enacted in 1917.
It is of course correct that literacy tests were used in the south to prevent blacks from voting. However, as Tancredo's hot-button issue is indeed immigration, it's absurd to link his statement Thursday evening to racism.
But it's clear that Tancredo wasn't only insulting immigrants -- his statement about stupid Obama voters impugned all of them, not just immigrants. And if you're calling for a literacy test of any kind before being allowed to vote, you are in fact endorsing a historically racist act.
Sheppard then posts questions from a civics test on the MSNBC website and concludes: "So, Ms. Maddow, if it's not racist for the U.S. government to expect immigrants to answer these questions, is it racist to want voters to AT LEAST be able to spell the word 'vote'?" But that's irrelevant to the issue, and it's an endorsement of Tancredo's insult.
Do Sheppard and Tancredo really think that Obama voters are somehow more illiterate than McCain voters? Can they produce any actual evidence to support this theory?
Annals of Poorly Written Headlines Topic: CNSNews.com
A Feb. 5 CNSNews.com article by Terry Jeffrey carries this overly long headline: "Yale Gets $3.9-Million Federal Grant to Develop ‘Avatar’ Video Game to Teach ‘Sex, Drug and Alcohol Negotiation and Refusal Skills’ to 9-to-14 Year Olds."
If you're getting the impression that this game is somehow tied to the movie "Avatar," you're wrong. As Jeffrey later writes, "will feature 'virtual characters or avatars' that are guided by the children playing the game to make decisions about whether to engage in behaviors that put them at risk of being infected with HIV."
The alarmism Jeffrey's article is presumably trying to forward -- with its frequent references to “vaginal or anal intercourse" as stated in the grant literature -- is undercut by a headline that suggests a link to a popular movie that doesn't exist. That, and CNS' nonsensical auto-censoring in the comments that replaces "sex" with asterisks. How are commenters supposed to discuss an article on the subject of sex if they're aren't allowed to use the word?
UPDATE: CNS has now changed the headline to "U.S. Gives Yale Researcher $3.9-Million in Tax Dollars to Develop ‘Avatar’ Sex-Ed Video Game for Kids." It makes the headline shorter, but not only does it not address the fundamental problem of falsely linking the game to the movie, it introduces a new error by falsely describing the game as a "Sex-Ed Video Game for Kids." Teaching "teach “sex, drug and alcohol negotiation and refusal skills," which is what the article states the game does, is not "sex education."
WND Tea Party Convention Coverage: Stenography, Not Actual News Topic: WorldNetDaily
As expected, WorldNetDaily's status as one of the very few outlets permitted to cover the National Tea Party Convention -- chosen for their sympathy for the tea partiers' right-wing agenda -- has resulted in sycophantic coverage led by Chelsea Schilling, who provides near-stenographic summaries of speeches by her boss, Joseph Farah, as well as WND columnist Roy Moore and professional global warming denier Steve Milloy.
However, Schilling couldn't be bothered to report the one bit of actual news from the convention thus far -- Tom Tancredo's insult of Obama voters as so stupid they "could not spell the word 'vote' or say it in English." WND offers a link to a Fox News blog post for that, but even Fox News didn't mention Tancredo's subsequent call for a "civics literacy test" before being allowed to vote, which smacks of the now-outlawed literacy tests used in the Jim Crow South to keep blacks from voting.
UPDATE: The Washington Independent's Dave Weigel details how Schilling asked Andrew Breitbart about his criticism of birtherism, and how Farah joined the argument. Will this -- or any criticism of birtherism -- make it onto the pages of WND? We shall see.