Will the Faith2Action leader use her May Day rally to ask forgiveness from God for the lies and hate she's spewed about Obama? Because she should. Read more >>
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Richard Bartholomew examines WorldNetDaily's promotion of the idea that "at least one constellation is an outright declaration of the 'Second Coming,'" citing as one piece of evidence that "on March 19, 2008, a powerful gamma ray burst detected by NASA’s Swift satellite in the Bo-otes constellation shattered the record for the most distant object that could be seen with the naked eye."
As Bartholomew points outL "It’s fascinating to see the way fundamentalism can be impressed with one bit of scientifc discovery while repudiating the scientific paradigm – the 'gamma burst' of 19 March 2008 actually occurred 7.5 billion years ago."
CMI Mind-Reading Watch
Topic: Media Research Center
Carolyn Plocher follows the MRC Culture & Media Institute tradition of pretending she can read the minds of reporters in an April 19 piece that purports to impute the motives of the Washington Post in publishing a profile of a lawyer suing the Catholic Church over allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
Plocher asserted that the Post "fawn[ed]" over the lawyer, Jeff Anderson, and that the article was "a free 1,400-word advertisement" for him. She went on to complain that "Anything in the article that could possibly be construed as negative about Anderson or his lawsuits against the Church was neatly padded with explanations and self-serving quotes."
Plocher also complained that "The article also sidestepped its duty to question Anderson's lawsuits, or at least give the other side of the story. " But Plocher doesn't tell us what that "other side" could be. It can't be that the abuse didn't occur, since it's pretty clear that it did.
In line with the MRC's treatment of any criticism of the Catholic Church over the child abuse scandal as unfair, Plocher portrayed Anderson's lawsuits as "attacks against the Catholic Church," ignoring the fact that Anderson is only criticizing the church in the context of its demonstrated history of shielding priests who sexually abused children from appropriate punishment.
Plocher also bizarrely portrayed as one of Anderson's "attacks against the Catholic Church" his "first sex abuse case that the Church settled with $1 million dollars – money that the article said was 'in return for silence.'" But the Post article clearly states that it wasn't a settlement: "The church offered $1 million to settle in return for silence. His client persisted and the investigation grew."
Plocher further complained that "Opponents to Anderson's work were only given four sentences – three of which were nothing but one-word epithets strung together and the fourth a partial quote sandwiched between two quotes of Anderson defending himself." Plocher then took it upon herself to amplify one of those criticisms -- the Catholic League's assertion that Anderson is "a radical lawyer who has made millions suing the Church" -- by highlighting the article's noting that Anderson "drives a Lexus," works in an "ornate office ... with Tiffany reproductions," and flies in a "chartered jet." But Plocher didn't highlight Anderson's estimate that most of his lawsuits yield no money for himself or his clients, often due to a statute of limitations.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Mychal Massie, April 20 WorldNetDaily column
CNS' Lazy, Biased Treatment of Obama Visitation Order
An April 19 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr on President Obama's executive order that will lead to hospital not circumventing requests from patients to receive visitation from their homosexual partners is loaded with laziness and bias.
The article is packed almost exclusively with critics of the order, chiefly "conservative activist " Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, who called it a "solution in search of a problem." While Starr endeavored to talk to Sprigg and hospitals for her article, she made no apparent attempt to contact any gay advocay groups. The one quote she includes from the head of the Human Rights campaign is lifted from "a statement posted on his group’s Web site."
Bias and laziness, folks.
Monday, April 19, 2010
NewsBusters Gives Domenech A Defense He Doesn't Deserve
Lachlan Markay runs to the defense of blogger Ben Domenech in an April 18 NewsBusters post, portraying him as being unfairly attacked over his repeating of a claim that possible Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is gay.
Markay defended the presumed truth of the claim by citing -- we kid you not -- a Twitter post from a "left-wing blogger." (Domenech cited the same blogger as "proof.") Markay added:
How does Markay know Domenech was acting in a "benevolent" manner by mentioning Kagan's presumed homosexuality? He doesn't -- he's merely giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, something we doubt he would give a liberal blogger caught making a similar claim.
We don't know Domenech's true intentions either, but we know his track record, which includes a history of plagiarism that got him fired from a blogging job at the Washington Post. We think that's worth mentioning in a discussion of Domenech's blogging work; Markay apparently does not.
AIM Columnist Promotes Discredited Birther Claims
Topic: Accuracy in Media
An April 16 Accuracy in Media column by Margaret Calhoun Hemenway -- spokesperson for Terry Lakin, the Army officer in the thrall of birther extremists who has decided to throw away his military career by refusing to obey orders because he claims Barack Obama is not eligible to be president -- not only fails to disclose that she's the spokesperson for Lakin, she embraces discredited claims about Obama's birth certificate.
First, Hemenway misleads about the nature of the criticism in 2008 of the birth certificate Obama released, asserting that FactCheck.org "lied" when it claimed that the birth certificate it examined was "original." In fact, birthers like Jerome Corsi were claiming at the time that the certificate released by Obama's campaign was itself a fraud -- a claim that has never been credibly proven. FactCheck's use of "original" did not refer to the vaulted copy in Hawaii's archives but, rather, to the authenticity of the certificate released by the campaign.
Hemenway then baselessly suggests that Obama's parents and/or grandparents faked his original certificate by lying to authorities about where he was born. Again, there's no evidence whatsoever to support this claim.
Hemenway adds: "When juxtaposed with statements by Obama's maternal grandmother, Kenya's Ambassador to the U.S, and now a Kenyan cabinet minister and Parliamentarian, that Obama was born in Kenya, calls for Obama to release his original birth certificate are wholly justified." Hemenway is lying when she sayas that Obama's grandmother said Obama was born in Kenya. As we've detailed, this claim comes from an anti-Obama minister who has chosen to dishonestly treat the grandmother's erroneous answer to a mistranslated question by him to the grandmother as a statement of fact.
Further, statements by Kenyan officials about Obama's birth cannot be taken seriously because it's apparent they are speaking more from national pride in Obama's heritage rather than from factual knowledge about the circumstances of his birth.
Hemenway obviously wants to win the lawsuit for Lakin, but she won't do it by peddling discredited lies.
Klein Falsely Takes Dunn Out of Context
An April 18 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein keeps up his red-baiting attacks on the Obama administration, taking a quote by Anita Dunn out of context to claim that she said Mao Zedong was among her "favorite political philosophers."
In fact, the full context of Dunn's quote is not inflammatory, as Klein suggests. She said that Mao and Mother Teresa are "the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you're going to make choices."
Klein went on to write:
Klein curiously doesn't name the person who made the accusation. That would be Ben Domenech -- who, by the way, is not a "CBS News blogger"; CBS merely published an "opinion" article by him. And Domenech does, in fact, have "a history of plagiarism" that cost him a position as a Washington Post blogger.
Tim Graham Does Not Like To See Naked People
Yes, Tim Graham devoted an entire April 16 NewsBusters post to complaining that a New York Times story about the travails of being a nude model in an art exhibit provided no "outrage at the public nudity itself, or any hint at whether the 'art object' could get arrested for indecent exposure" and that it "isn’t fully informing the reader as to the level of 'aggression' in some of the 'art' itself."
Must've been a slow day at MRC headquarters....
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Cliff Kincaid Checks In From Bizarro World
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid's April 16 column seems to have been written in some alternate universe. The headline: "Beck Takes Sharp Turn to the Left."
How so, since Beck has a long reputation for trashing anything remotely liberal? Because Beck has had on people from the Cato Institute.But wait, you say -- isn't Cato libertarian -- a right-leaning philosophy -- and not liberal? Yes, it is. But Kincaid has his own interpretation of libertarianism: "Cato is often labeled as 'conservative' or 'libertarian,' but its foreign policy views are frequently in sync with the Obama Administration." Kincaid continues:
By featuring the views of [Justin] Logan and other scholars from the Cato Institute, Beck has become one of the "progressives" he frequently criticizes on the air.
But that's not Kincaid's real problem. This is:
For Kincaid, it's all about the gays. Remember, he wants 'em dead, as his enthusiastic support for the Uganda anti-gay law amply demonstrates.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Joseph Farah, April 17 WorldNetDaily column
MRC's Baker Just Can't Stop Misportraying Quote
Topic: Media Research Center
We've previously identified Brent Baker as one of the Media Research Center's leaders in misportraying a quote out of a 2003 Boston Globe profile of Ted Kennedy by Charles Pierce. Despite what Baker and his MRC fellow travelers insist, Pierce's statement that "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" is not meant as praise; rather, Pierce has pointed out that it's part of a larger statement that the Chappaquiddick incident effectively kept Kennedy from having the "moral credibility" to be president.
But facts don't matter to Baker, for he misportrays the statement again in an April 17 NewsBusters post, in which he complained that an opinion about Ronald Reagan in an HBO documentary "relied on the expert assessment of a journalist who a few years ago contended that if only Senator Ted Kennedy hadn’t killed her, he “would have brought comfort...in her old age” to Mary Jo Kopechne." Baker added: "Pierce is infamous for his 2003 Globe Magazine tribute to Ted Kennedy in which he ludicrously postulated: '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.'"
It's hard to imagine such repeated misportrals are accidental since they've been going on for seven years.
Is it too much for Baker to admit that he's wrong, that he's been misusing Pierce's quote for seven years, and that he should apologize to Pierce? It appears so.
Ellis Washington Gets It Wrong Again
Which, as we've documented, is a complete misreading of what Obama said. Obama merely observed that the Warren Court did not engage in "redistributive change," and did not express an opinion on whether that was good or bad; he merely pointed out as an example of why the court wasn't as "radical" as its critics have claimed.
Washington then included a longer excerpt from the radio interview in which Obama made that claim, which puts his statements in their correct context. After which Washington still misinterprets it:
This after Washington cited the Obama quote in which he said that the civil rights movement relied too much on the courts.
Washington is either too dumb to comprehend what Obama said, or he's willfully misinterpreting it to promote his far-right agenda.
P.S. We noticed that Washington, in his end-of-column bio, is no longer calling himself "authorized biographer for the conservative intellectual Dr. Michael Savage." Wonder what happened....
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Williams' Outdated Argument Against Minimum Wage
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen example occured in 1909. The similarity between that and the South Africa example is that both took place in socieites in which racial discrimination in employment had not been outlawed. That makes them irrelevant to Williams' argument that minimum wage laws are racist today.
How WND Got That 500,000th Signature On Its Petition
We noted the other day how WorldNetDaily's proclaimed achievement of obtaining 500,000 signatures on its anti-Obama birther petition wasn't much of an achievement given its refusal to disclose the signers or subject the petition to any sort of outside auditing.
Turns out WND's count is even less honest than even we thought. Some enterprising blogger has detailed how he pushed the petition over the top the easy way, by signing up under multiple names and a fake email address -- 216 at last count.
We already knew WND had no scruples. This is just additional confirmation.
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