'The Least Informative Elena Kagan Discussion Ever' Topic: CNSNews.com
How lame was CNSNews.com's panel discussion of Elena Kagan? Right Wing Watch has the answer:
When I saw that Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network had spent nearly an hour discussing Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court with Terry Jeffrey, editor in chief of CNSNews.com, I certainly wasn't expecting it to be exciting.
But I didn't expect it to be downright painful ... but that is exactly what it was, as Jeffrey tried to use the Citizen's United decision, which he held up as a fundamental victory for the First Amendment, to make the case that Kagan should have resigned her position as Solicitor General rather than try to strip Americans of their basic rights.
To their credit, both Whelan and Severino repeatedly shot down Jeffrey's claims ... but it didn't matter, as every explanation they offered just seemed to further convince Jeffrey that government lawyers and Supreme Court justices and basically all lawyers are morally unfit to hold public office on the grounds that they are willing to argue positions with which they might not agree.
All of this eventually leads Jeffrey to start asking random hypothetical questions about whether an anti-choice Solicitor General who worked for a pro-choice administration would be morally fit to hold the office ... as if that is relevant to anything at all.
Alan Caruba, Amateur Media Critic Topic: Accuracy in Media
Alan Caruba has decided he wants to demonstrate the difference between right-wing media critics and real media analysts in his May 12 Accuracy in Media column:
If I were to date the rapid decline of both newsmagazines, I would point to the endless succession of weekly covers from 2008 onward that featured Barack Hussein Obama or his wife Michelle. Not since Princess Diana has anyone received such constant exposure beyond their inherent merit.
A newsmagazine or newspaper must retain its credibility if it is to have any hope of retaining its readers. It also helps if it hopes to retain its advertisers as well.
I am not discounting the obvious impact that the Internet and all manner of technology has had on these two organs of news, but I am suggesting that the availability of a vast amount of alternative, valid, documented, and reasoned information has rendered them useless by comparison.
Caruba thus joins the right-wingers like the Media Research Center in claiming that the only logical reason Newsweek could be failing is because it publishes article that conflict with its worldview, thus giving short shrift to the actual reasons it's occuring. We don't recall Caruba biased editorial content for the impending demise of the Washington Times, though the logic is exactly the same.
Klein, Elliott Dishonestly Respond to Criticism of Their Book Topic: WorldNetDaily
Why don't Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott want to have an honest discussion about their WorldNetDaily-published book "The Manchurian President"?
We don't know. Instead of that honest discussion, they have instead chosen to misrepresent criticism of the book issued by me and my employer, Media Matters.
A May 6 WorldNetDaily column by Klein -- curiously published the day before under Elliott's name on her blog, The Real Barack Obama -- purports to respond to a blog post by my Media Matters colleague Simon Maloy heaping deserved ridicule on the tenditious guilt-by-association evidence Klein cites to claim that Obama was under the sway on William Ayers as an 11-year-old child through the Sunday school he attended. Klein is apparently devoid of a sense of humor, for he twists that blog post around to misrepresenting it as claiming that this was the only evidence Klein had presented of an Obama-Ayers link:
Media Matters, however, simply quoted from the opening of the new book's chapter on Ayers – 3 pages out of a 17-page chapter – clearly giving the impression the entire chapter focuses simply on that one aspect of Obama's boyhood years and that I do not have any other documentation linking Obama to Ayers.
The rest of Klein's (or Elliott's?) column reads like it was taken from the book's PR kit for all the empty boilerplate praise it spews forth.
Meanwhile, in a May 6 RBO post, Elliott takes offense at another blog post by Maloy, this time taking aim at more ridiculous aspects of the book, such as its sninster red-drenched cover, with (supposedly) Obama's eyes framed to give, as Maloy writes, "the unmistakable impression that the President of the United States is peering out at you from behind a keffiyeh." Elliott demonstrated she has the same sense of humor as Klein:
Anyone with half an ounce of common sense can clearly identify a sheet of paper with a printed red marble design that has a strip torn out. The mismatched edges are clearly visible.
Who knew there was such a thing as Toreador Red?
And then we have the reference to a keffiyeh, which is a “traditional headdress typically worn by Arab men made of a square of cloth (“scarf”), usually cotton, folded and wrapped in various styles around the head.” Perhaps Maloy should have taken the time to do a bit of research. Maybe he meant a Tagelmust (left), which has “the appearance of both a veil and a turban.”
Close but no cigar? Not even.
Then she linked to a MoveOn-published book with a similar cover.
Klein ranted further about Media Matters on the May 9 edition of his WABC radio show. He repeated the same misrepresentation about Maloy's Sunday school blog as he did at WND -- "This is an absolute smear against my book!" he exclaimed -- then highlighted a different Maloy post (this one more focused on the clownish Matthew Vadum -- who had expressed his pride that his questionable "research" was cited in the book -- than Klein) calling the book "a sloppy, guilt-by-association smear job that features some of the worst, most dishonest 'journalism' the right has to offer." This totally set Klein off:
That's it. No proof that it is sloppy or dishonest. In fact, I can guarantee you that Media Matters is going through page after page, footnote after footnote of this book, and they have not yet until today, with all of the smears of the book, released one piece of false information in this book. They have not found one mistake in this book. They have not found one piece of, quote, dishonest journalism in the book. So to just blindly say that this book is a "smear job that features some of the worst, most dishonest 'journalism' the right has to offer" without giving one proof, one piece of evidence that the book has anything in it that is sloppy or dishonest, well, to me that is sloppy and dishonest, and that is a total attempt to smear my book, whicih I guess I should be proud of. ... "Dishonest journalism" -- how dare they? How dare Media Matters lob such a claim without any evidence whatsoever?
What Klein didn't tell you: Two days after that latest Maloy post -- and two days before Klein's radio show -- I published a detailed analysis of Klein's book at Media Matters demonstrating the false claims, discredited conspiracy theories, birther arguments, deceptive editing, and guilt by association Klein uses.
In other words, Klein appears to be lying. Sloppy and dishonest, anyone? (Later in the show, he does claim he was emailed the analysis during a commercial break.)
At this writing, it has been a week since that analysis was published, and Klein has said absolutely nothing about it, let alone make any attempt to rebut it.
Meanwhile, Elloitt's attempt to rebut my analysis was lame at best, focusing only on the claim in the book that Ayers "may have" written Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" and, even more narrowly, on Oxford don Peter Millican's debunking of the conspiracy theory:
Media Matters provides a fair amount of disinformation regarding its top item, our statement that unrepentant 60s terrorist, and longtime Barack Obama associate and Hyde Park neighbor, Bill Ayers, “may have ghostwritten” Obama’s 1995 autobiography, ‘Dreams From My Father.’
Not only does the meaning of “may have” escape Media Matters but it also discounts what it calls “purported evidence” we attribute to WND columnist Jack Cashill. Cashill has conducted extensive research on the possible Ayers’ collaboration since 2008.
Media Matters profers two pieces of key disinformation to support its contentions.
1. “Oxford don conducted computer study, found claim to be ‘very implausible.’” As cited below, the “Oxford don”, Peter Millican, clearly states on his website that he did not conduct a computer study.
2. “The Sunday Times of London reported on November 2, 2008, that Peter Millican, a philosophy don at Hertford College, Oxford, who ‘devised a computer software program that can detect when works are by the same author by comparing favourite words and phrases,’ was contacted by Republican activists who offered him $10,000 to ‘assess alleged similarities’ between Dreams From My Father and Ayers’ book Fugitive Days.”
First, Elliott writes:
The fact is that it was not The Sunday Times of London who reported about Millican on November 2, 2008. On that date, the newspaper published two articles that were written by Peter Millican and submitted to it for publication.
In fact, only one of the articles cited is a column by Millican. The second is in fact, a news article carrying the byline of "Sarah Baxter in Washington." It's an article about Millican's claims, sure, but it's not a column by Millican.
The rest of the article nitpicks about how much analysis Millican did of the comparison, ultimately dismissing him as "obviously not unbiased in his assessment." And Jack Cashill is unbiased? Please.
At no point does Elliott note that the book has no mention whatsoever of Millican's analysis; instead, she presents only the conspiracy-minded claims of Cashill and biographer Christopher Andersen -- who, in part, was relying on Cashill.
That's it. That's all Klein and Elliott have had to say about this substantial criticism of their book. Are they afraid of the truth? Or do they just want to tell it where I'm not watching?
I guess I won't be going on Klein's radio show anytime soon, even I'm probably the most knowledgable person in the country about the book and its claims (besides the authors, of course). It seems that these two are little more than gutless wonders who are eager to smear but go into hiding when they're directly challenged and are afraid to honestly confront their accusers.
Obama is not a fool. He is not incompetent. He is not a madman. He knows exactly what he's doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos – thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within. But the bonus is brilliant: As he taxes to death business owners, he also cripples his political opposition.
Rahm Emanuel cynically said, "You never want a crisis to go to waste." It is now becoming clear that the crisis he was referring to is Obama's presidency. As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward and Piven, two professors at Obama's Columbia University. They created a devious plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually, they're alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a Machiavellian game plan to overwhelm the system and turn the U.S. into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival.
Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who's asking for a 51st state? Who's asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government-entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Obama's plan all along has been to use Puerto Rico to add new Democratic senators, House members and loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would support this reckless scheme in the middle of a depression? Why now? There is only one answer – OVERWHELM THE SYSTEM.
Jackie Mason Suddenly Likes Black People Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jackie Mason's latest WorldNetDaily video begins with a rant that Obama didn't nominate a black person to the Supreme Court and hasn’t nominated a black person to a job "that's any good or any important or has any top quality to it or top level about it." Um, Eric Holder?
By contrast, Mason insisted, President Bush "surrounded himself with nothing but black people in the White House. You would think white people didn't even exist in America."
Mason eventually acknowledged that Holder is in the Obama cabinet, complains Obama hasn’t nominated any other blacks in the cabinet.
Then Mason says, "I wanted him to be president so we could have more nominations of black people in top jobs." Really? Isn't this the same guy who denigrated Obama as a "schvartze"? Isn't this the same guy who cried reverse racism by complaining, "Black people say the most racist things every day about white people. How come they're never defensive about it?"
Is Mason's sudden love for black people his idea of a joke? It's hard to tell, since his Obama-bashing rants have not been known for the existence of anything remotely humorous.
CNS Falsely Claims Pelosi Called For 'Amnesty' Topic: CNSNews.com
Here's how Nicholas Ballasy began his May 13 CNSNews.com article:
Speaking at the Asian-American and Pacific Islanders Summit held at the Capitol on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for amnesty for illegal aliens in the United States, a proposal she called a “path to legalization."
Ballasy is lying. Pelosi did not call for "amnesty"; she called for a "path to legalization" for undocumented immigrants. Ballasy offers no evidence that the two are the same thing; declaring a "path to legalization" to be "amnesty" is nonsensical and dishonest.
As we've pointed out, CNS -- which routinely and without explanation has described immigration reform of any kind as "amnesty" -- has conceded that "amnesty" is a term used by "opponents" of comprehensive immigration reform. Therefore, by arbitrarily redefining reform as "amnesty" without explanation, Ballasy and CNS are expressing an opinion rather than reporting the news. Yet Ballasy's article was in the "news" category.
Falsely twisting Pelosi's words is not news -- though, sadly, not new to CNS. It's dishonest hackery and demonstrates why CNS should not be taken seriously as a "news" organization.
Klein's Sloppy Kagan Smear of the Day: Guilt by Association Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein's latest smear job on Elena Kagan goes the guilt-by-association route (in further contradiction to his assertion in his Obama smear book "The Manchurian President," in which he laughably claimed that he didn't believe in guilt by association).
This time, Klein begins by Kagan referring to former Israel Supreme Court president Aharon Barak as "my judicial hero." The rest of the article is spent attacking Barak, whom he calls "universally regarded as one of the most extreme liberal activist high court justices in history."
The problem for Klein is that he never actually proves it. While he quotes various legal analysts calling Barak an "activist judge," at no point does Klein explain how that translates to liberalism. Klein also writes:
Barak worked tirelessly to place the judicial branch over the executive and legislative, subjecting even the Israel Defense Forces to judicial scrutiny on matters of self-defense.
For example, he famously ruled numerous times in favor of the Palestinians and against the IDF, which petitioned to construct the country's security fence on private Palestinian land in areas that had been used by terrorists to infiltrate Israeli population centers.
Barak's rulings halted the security fence construction and were blamed for scores of terrorist infiltrations from the very areas where Barak had stopped the fence from being built.
Barak also ruled the Israeli Supreme Court had the right to judge the IDF during wartime and that his court could counter military orders.
At no point does Klein demonstrate how ruling "in favor of the Palestinians and against the IDF" equates to being "extreme," or even "liberal." Nor does Klein cite the specific decisions regarding the Israeli security fence that he finds to be "liberal."
Such attacks, of course, are a highly selective reading of Barak's record. For instance, we found one instance in which a High Court panel headed by Barak ruled that the route of one section of the security fence is legal. And here's what the Israel consulate general's office in Los Angeles had to say about Barak and the security wall:
The decision by the High Court of Justice regarding the planned route of Israel's security fence in the northern Jerusalem area significantly emphasizes the important position of the rule of law and judicial review over Israel's security initiatives to protect its citizens from Palestinian terrorism. It also recognizes Israel's right to build a security fence that balances the security concerns of combating terrorism with the humanitarian needs of the local Palestinian population.
The court clearly determined that the goal of the fence is security in nature. President Aharon Barak wrote that the court "reached the conclusion based upon the factual background that the consideration for building the fence was security."
The court ruled, in accordance with international as well as Israeli law, that Israel's security authorities may plan the route of the fence based upon considerations of military necessity. At the same time, the court emphasized that the route must also take into account humanitarian considerations and a balance must be created between these two issues.
The court ruled that the Israeli government must reroute the planned fence in the northern Jerusalem area to balance those interests. The court rejected the claim of the appellants that, if the concerns were security in nature, the route of the fence must be along the "Green Line."
The court emphasized that security, and not political concerns, must determine the route without any connection to this or another line solely by balancing the concerns of security and humanitarian matters.
To those who criticize the security fence, claiming that 'the damage outdoes the good', Barak responded: "Similar statements are made by others – one could call them the Israeli left – against the involvement of the High Court in matters pertaining to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. They say that the court overstepped its authority, viewing its ruling as negative. Why? Because most petitions are rejected, and they allege that this "legitimizes the occupation", and that therefore it would be best not to involve the court. I am of the opinion that this would be the most grievous of errors. The percentage of rejected petitions from Judea, Samaria and Gaza – is the same as the percentage of rejected petitions from inside Israel. The situation for Palestinians in the region would be far worse if it weren't for the High Court."
So it looks like Klein is lying again -- Barak did, in fact, take security into consideration regarding the fence, but he balanced it with concerns about the population being affected by it.
Aaron Klein doesn't want you to know the full truth about Barak, just like he doesn't want you to know the full truth about Kagan's brief as solicitor general in the lawsuit against Saudi Arabia.
Most importantly, Klein doesn't want you to know what a sloppy, hateful so-called journalist he is. And WND -- which doesn't care about the truth any more than Klein does -- will continue to print his smears with impunity, no matter how sloppy and hateful.
UPDATE: Media Matters finds something else Klein didn't report: None other than Justice Antonin Scalia has professed his respect for Barak.
AIM Hosts Miranda's Coded Attacks on Kagan Topic: Accuracy in Media
Right-wing legal activist Manuel uses an Accuracy in Media podcast to change his previous praise for Elena Kagan to right-wing talking points, going so far as to make apparently coded messages by referring to "Jewish socialist culture in New York."
In a May 12 WorldNetDaily video ranting that we don't know how smart Barack Obama is because he hasn't released his report cards, Molotov Mitchell embraced another conspiracy theory: "Liberals desperately need you to believe that he's some kind of genius. That's the only way that they convince you that somehow all of this economic turmoil is somehow part of his master plan." That was accompanied by this screen image:
This is straight out of the right-wing obsession with the Cloward-Piven strategy and the belief that Obama is creating turmoil in order to keep the rubes off balance and increase his power for the upcoming dictatorship. That same obsession is shared by numerousWorldNetDailycolumnists.
Mitchell then goes on to claim:
[U]nlike Obama, I can at least prove I am at least somewhat intelligent. I'm a card-carrying member of Mensa, the world's oldest and largest high-IQ society. It's only open to people who score in the 98th percentile of standardized intelligence testing, normally a monitored test like mine was. Not only am I a member, but so are fellow WorldNetDaily contributors D.J. Dolce and Vox Day. And I highly recommend their columns.
Vox Day, huh? Mitchell picked the wrong week to recommend ol' Vox, who, as we detailed, spent this week's column telling whites to kick the brown people out of their communites and " reclaim their traditional white Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture." Is that a view Mitchell "highly recommends"?
Dolce, meanwhile, is Molotov's wife, so his recommendation isn't exactly objective.
All of which just goes to show that being a member of Mensa doesn't necessarily translate into actual intelligent thoughts.
Ralph Reed keeps up his image rehabilitation project by repeating a falsehood about Elena Kagan in his May 12 Newsmax column, claiming that "Her attempt to defy federal law — reversed by the Supreme Court — by banning military recruiters from Harvard Law school during a time of war is only the most well-known example of her radical views."
Lachlan Markay asserts in a May 12 NewsBusters post: "In the latest example of a pattern of opacity, the White House has cut off the press's access to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Kagan has extensive ties to journalists, which only serves as a testament to this administration's determination to control the message on its major initiatives, including Kagan's nomination."
ONe of the examples Markay cites of this supposed insulating of Kagan from the media is the Washington Examiner's Julie Mason's criticism of a video of Kagan released by the White House. Markay highlighted Mason's claim that the video "doesn't count toward the administration's 'accountability' totals," and that "It's just another campaign commercial, masquerading as openness."
But Markay ignored what Mason also wrote in that same article criticizing the video:
It's standard practice around the White House (going back administrations) for any big nominee pending confirmation to stay away from interviews and unscripted public utterances until the voting is over. It keeps things tidy and minimizes variables. No biggie.
Further, as Media matters noted, a CBS News article on how the video "rile[d] reporters" stated: "Still, it's worth noting that it seems to be unprecedented for the nominee to be heard from at all before the confirmation hearings, other than in the initial introduction and in brief photo ops with senators."
In other words, there's no evidence the Obama White House is doing anything different with Kagan than what previous White Houses have done with their Supreme Court nominees. That seems like an important fact Markay should have mentioned.
Newsmax Proud Palin Repeated Its Lie Topic: Newsmax
A May 12 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers proclaims that "Sarah Palin cites Newsmax on her Facebook page for its article reporting that the Obama administration is targeting the military for pay reductions."
As we detailed, there are no "pay reductions" occurring; the Obama administration has proposed giving smaller raises.
Meyers adds that "Palin is a fan of Newsmax" -- which would seem to explain a few things about Palin.
New Article: Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Do Gay-Bash Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is not happy about President Obama's plan to overturn the ban on gays in the military, which translates into a lot of gay-bashing by its columnists. Read more >>
Porter Curiously Denies She's A Dominionist Topic: WorldNetDaily
Janet Porter uses her May 11 WorldNetDaily column to respond to critics of her (sparsely attended) May Day prayer rally, curiously claiming that she's not a Dominionist:
Then there's the accusation that some who were there believe in "dominion theology," which, I'm told, wants a theocracy to rule the world. Not what I believe; not even close. We who attended May Day just want to obey God in every area of influence and use our freedom to spread the Gospel. If you do an Internet search on D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, or Charles Stanley with Dominionism, you'll see the same type of accusations were repeatedly made against them, too.
But as Right Wing Watch points out: "If Porter doesn't want to be portrayed as a dominionist, maybe she should stop organizing events based entirely upon dominion theology and stop issuing dominionist prayers seeking control over the media and declaring that her goal is "to take dominion in every area" and 'occupy until Jesus comes.'"