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Saturday, July 3, 2010
Patten's Sycophantic Promotion of Beck Book
Topic: Newsmax

David Patten's July 2 Newsmax article on Glenn Beck is sycophantic fluff -- half fawning review of Beck's new "faction" book "The Overton Window," and half softball interview of Beck.

Patten's "review" might as well be a press release. He begins it by pointing out that it "debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list – marking six consecutive occasions that a Beck book has grabbed the top position." Patten then baselessly claims a book-reviewing double standard:

Left-leaning authors who resort to the simplistic stereotypes of conservatives common to Hollywood movies are free to conjure the most grotesque global-Armageddon scenarios imaginable. That's just fine.

But when Beck proposes a rather toned-down variation on that theme, it's a different story. In fact, one reviewer suggested a well-thumbed copy of “The Overton Window” might one day be found nestled among empty ammo cases belonging to the next Timothy McVeigh-style extremist. 

There, that should teach that Beck guy to write best-sellers! 

Patten offers no evidence to back up this claim. Then again, he's too busy slobbering over Beck's book:

A fanciful tale? You might think so, until you page through its 28-page afterword, with authoritative sources and notes that suggest Beck is dead serious when he calls the book "faction." He defines that as "completely fictional books with plots rooted in fact."

Indeed, when Newsmax asked the Fox News host how close he believes the nation really is to an Overton Window shift, he replies without hesitation: "I think we're living in one now."

Given that Vince Flynn, Nelson DeMille and Brad Thor all have heaped praise on “The Overton Window,” it goes without saying that the book is an entertaining, thought-provoking read.

And with every book that flies off the shelves, readers receive an extra bonus: The certain knowledge that their purchase will help to drive Beck's critics crazy. 

Patten's "exclusive Newsmax interview" with Beck is no less fluffy, with Patten serving up softball after softball. Like:

  • How close are we to a real Overton Window-type event in our country?
  • Why is it when progressives write something, it's reviewed and accepted, but there's a tremendous double standard for a conservative writer.
  • Considering the cheap shots taken at your book and the work of other conservatives, do you perceive a Saul Alinsky approach, using ridicule to destroy your opponent?

Needless to say, Beck serves up the answers you'd expect. There's no way he would have agreed to be interviewed Newsmax if Patten was going to ask anything remotely challenging or uncomfortable.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Robert Ringer Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We should not allow ourselves to become emotionally engrossed in oil spills, riots in Greece and foiled terrorist plots. Instead, it is imperative that we relentlessly focus on our loss of liberty. Any of these and a thousand-and-one other ''crises'' could be used as an excuse for BHO to invoke an Obomination Sedition Act, which, in turn, could be used as an excuse to ''postpone'' elections in 2010 or 2012 for ''security reasons.''

Warning: Be on the alert for one crisis after another between now and November – and take the time to study the facts about each of them carefully. Some will be trumped up; some will be real but overblown by both the government and the media. But none will be an honest justification for BHO's taking yet more freedoms away from Americans.

Don't allow yourself to become distracted by IMF and G-20 riots, Joe Biden's custard outings or Al Gore's massages. Ignore most of the rubbish you see on television and stay focused on the real issue: our loss of freedom!

-- Robert Ringer, July 2 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 AM EDT
WND Gets Letters
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We try to catch those rare occasions that WorldNetDaily publishes a letter to the editor that actually contains substantive criticism (as opposed to its usual method of portraying the most extreme examples of criticism as representative of all criticism). So we were pleasantly surprised to read this letter, since we know a little about the subject (WND's letters cycle out a week after posting):

Mr. Aaron Klein's article about Mr. Vartan Gregorian was a sad and scurrilous exercise in reputation-smearing ["White House scholar funded Ayers group"]. When Mr. Klein wrote this fear-mongering rubbish, he omitted several pertinent facts.

  1. Mr. Vartan Gregorian has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian award in the United States. Could I point out that he received it from President George Walker Bush? He has also received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is recognized by the United States House of Representatives and the Senate, and as such the names of all winners are listed in the Congressional Record. So to claim that he is some kind of robotic follower of Obama is deeply silly, if not stupid.

  2. Mr. Vartan Gregorian is Armenian Orthodox by religion. As he was born and brought up in Iran, he probably understands Islam quite well, in both its positive and negative aspects. However, it is unlikely that he is an Islamist jihadist.

  3. He is a highly distinguished academic, who has been, successively, the founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania, the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, the president of the New York Public Library and then the president of Brown University. Oh, and he also has more than 60 honorary degrees, as of 2009.

The man is obviously both highly qualified and a major asset to the American people. The article says more about the writer and his agenda than anything else. And when the journalist in question has contributed one-tenth as much as Mr. Gregorian has, he might be qualified to clean his shoes.

This website claims to be in favor of "Judeo-Christian" values. It is not evident in the tone of a lot of the articles posted, which reek of envy, resentment and dislike of difference. The gentle carpenter of Nazareth said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," with no ifs, ands or buts. He did NOT say, "Thou shalt maliciously smear anyone who disagrees with thee." One reason why I am not a Christian is that such an absolute command is hard to keep, but most of your contributors do not even try to live up to the basic message of their so-called "Savior."

My other problem with this site is that both the contributors and the majority of readers too often fall prey to various silly conspiracy theories. It is, I suppose, a way of dealing with the world, which tends to be confusing and complex, but fantasy is never a good basis for dealing with reality. And I would have to add the so-called "Young-Earth Creationism" theory into the category of conspiracy theories. It is disproved by geology – especially plate tectonics, atomic physics, dendrochronology, astronomy, cosmology, etc. Denial of all scientific evidence amounts to promoting willful ignorance on your site. This does not enhance its credibility. And I know that you will argue that it is "free speech." People are entitled to free speech, but when it is patent nonsense, they are not entitled to have it treated with intellectual respect.

David Mac Artain

 

 Alas, making the you-can-lead-a-horse-to-water theory come to vivid life once again, the letters WND published in response completely miss the point:

Thanks to David Mac Artain's E-mail to the Editor [June 30], I have now read Aaron Klein's article on Vartan Gregorian.

After reading Mr. Mac Artain's disdainful words about Mr. Klein's writing, I just had to find out if Aaron had suddenly gone completely out of character and written a malicious "smear" piece. But, of course, that was not the case. Mr. Klein's and Ms. Elliott's article was well-written and researched, as usual.

Mr. Mac Artain seems to think that being honored by a couple of globalist presidents makes Gregorian beyond reproach, but it does not. I would also point out that being a "highly distinguished academic" nowadays simply means "flaming leftist." Receiving countless "honorary degrees" only means that fellow-traveling flaming leftists admire your work for the Cause.

Gregorian's ties to Ayers, Obama and Rauf and their various foundations and societies are disturbing. These leftists have infiltrated our institutions to the very highest levels, and they're deeply entrenched, like Vartan Gregorian.  

Mac Artain has penned an irrational, almost hysterical, argument against Aaron Klein's article, and the argument does not hold up. Aaron never called Gregorian a "robotic follower" of Obama; he simply laid out all the documented connections that paint a clear picture of what Gregorian is about.

Mr. Mac Artain apparently confuses WND's quest for uncovering truth and exposing wickedness and corruption in high places with the posting of articles "which reek of envy, resentment and dislike of difference." 

I would also remind Mac Artain that the "gentle carpenter of Nazareth," Jesus, is the same man who took whips to the corrupt money changers in the Temple, as he overturned their tables in righteous anger, and he's the same man who called the Pharisees and teachers of the law "hypocrites," "vipers," "fools" and "whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones and every unclean thing." There is a time to point out evildoers.

Gina Miller

And then there's this one:

So, let me get this straight, Mr. Mac Artain [E-mail to the Editor, June 30]. You are proffering that a man with a chest full of medals and many academic credentials couldn't possibly be a supporter of a left-wing radical group. Explain why they are mutually exclusive, please. Remember that Yasser Arafat was a Nobel Peace Prize winner. It didn't make him less of a terrorist.

Steve Sterenchock

Anyone surprised that WND's readership is so reactionary and apaprently impervious to reason? We're not.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Friday, July 2, 2010
WND Touts Ex-DOJ Lawyer's Unsubstantiated Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A June 30 WorldNetDaily article uncritically promoted the claims of J. Christian Adams, a former Department of Justice attorney who claims, as a result of "the Obama administration's refusal to prosecute Black Panthers who intimidated voters outside polls during the 2008 election," that "administration has ordered the DOJ not to pursue voting-rights cases against black people." The article is merely a rehashing of claims; WND makes no attempt to verify anything Adams says.

If it had, it would realize that Adams has no firsthand knowledge to support any of his claims; his attacks rely on hearsay and charges made by others.

WND also fails to mention Adams' background -- specifically, his ties to the "politicized hiring" that took place under the Bush administration, when DOJ employees tried to drive out liberal attorneys and replace them with right-wing ones -- like Adams. Indeed, the words "Republican" and "conservative" appear nowhere in WND's article.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 PM EDT
CNS Takes A Word Out of Obama's Mouth
Topic: CNSNews.com

A July 1 CNSNews.com article by Edwin Mora is headlined, "Obama: U.S. Borders Cannot Be Secured With Fences and Border Patrols." Mora begins his story: "President Barack Obama said today that U.S. borders cannot be secured with fences and border patrols."

But Mora left out a word that completely changes the meaning of what Mora was trying to portray Obama saying. From the direct quote of Obama in thethird paragraph (emphasis added):

“Even as we are committed to doing what’s necessary to secure our borders, even without passage of the new law, there are those who argue that we should not move forward with any other elements of reform until we have fully sealed our borders,” said Obama. “But our borders are just too vast for us to be able to solve the problem only with fences and border patrols. It won’t work. Our borders will not be secure as long as our limited resources are devoted to not only stopping gangs and potential terrorists, but also the hundreds of thousands who attempt to cross each year simply to find work.”

Obama didn't say that  "U.S. borders cannot be secured with fences and border patrols," as Mora claimed; he said that those things alone can't secure the border. Big difference.

Too bad Mora and CNS can't see that -- or maybe they do and choose not to in order to make Obama look bad, thus making them right-wing activists instead of journalists.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 AM EDT
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Interfering With A Reporter's Job
Topic: NewsBusters

A June 30 NewsBusters post by Lachlan Markay complains that "The White House has gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent the press corps from having meaningful access to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan," repeating claims by the right-wing Judicial Watch that it "apparently blocked a New York Times reporter from sitting in on Kagan's brother Irving's constitutional law class at Hunter College High School."

Markay presents this all as something shocking. So why isn't he similarly outraged that the publisher of his blog posts has done pretty much the same thing?

As we've detailed, Media Research Center vice president for business and culture Dan Gainor tried to coordinate a blackball conspiracy by trying to get his fellow right-wingers to stop talking to ex-Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel. Gainor was proud enough of his anti-Weigel crusade to talk to Politico about it, but it won't disclose it in his own attacks on Weigel.

If interfering with a reporter's coverage is a bad thing when Democrats do it, why isn't it bad when Markay's fellow right-wingers do it?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 AM EDT
Proof? Not So Much
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A June 29 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein carries a headline that shouts, "PROOF! Private insurance targeted for annihilation."

But what Klein calls "proof," the rest of us call guilt-by-association -- you know, like what Klein always does.

Klein's lead claim is "A socialist organization with close ties to Barack Obama has outlined a plan to turn the president's health-care legislation into a government-run system that will ultimately eliminate private insurance companies." Of course, these "close ties" exist mostly in Klein's fevered, Obama-hating mind; he offers nothing more connections that are tangental at best. Klein offers no evidence that Obama has any direct connection to this "socialist organization."

This really isn't about Obama at all; rather, it's about Klein's near-pathological hatred. Anyone else would seek psychiactric help for such a pathology -- but Joseph Farah seems to like pathological hatred in his reporters.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:49 AM EDT
Constitution Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Gen. McChrystal was wasting his time in Afghanistan. The real war is going on here, in America. It's the war the ism-infatuated intellectuals and East Coast elitist thieves have been waging against America since the days of the 16th and 17th amendments to the Constitution.

The 16th Amendment (do it for the war, don't you know) gave the federal government a reliably massive source of coercive funding, free of constitutional constraints, which enabled it to grow far beyond anything the Founding Fathers could have imagined (or perhaps they had – which is why they took such pains to limit their federal creation).

The Federal Reserve was created almost immediately afterward that same year (Dec. 23, 1913 – Merry Christmas, America). This gave the federal government the power to control banks, regardless of where they were located, and thus the flow of money nationwide. It was also a reliable purchaser of federal government debt – in case "enough" tax money to feed the beast could not be collected from the nation's newly indentured servants (formerly known as citizens).

The 17th Amendment broke the back of states' power over the federal government by removing state legislatures' ability to appoint United States senators to represent them in Congress. It centralized power in urban areas, destroyed rural areas and made the power of the press to manipulate public opinion during election time a very valuable commodity.

Armed with the massive money flow generated by a tax on incomes, and freed of the power state legislatures could effect upon the United States Senate by appointing their states' senators, the intellectualist and elitist thieves have never looked back.

-- Craige McMillan, July 1 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 AM EDT
Thursday, July 1, 2010
New Article: Newsmax and Newsweek, Sittin' In A Tree?
Topic: Newsmax

Christopher Ruddy and Richard Mellon Scaife attempt to buy the newsmagazine, but their promise to not interfere with its coverage runs counter to the right-wing agenda of everything else Newsmax does. Read more >>

P.S. The New York Times reports that the Washington PostCo. has rejected Newsmax's bid for Newsweek.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 PM EDT
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Sexual Conduct, Al Gore Division
Topic: NewsBusters

Rremember the Media Research Center's complaint that the media was reporting claims that South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley had an affair when the only evidence they had was that the other person claimed there was one? In the MRC's eyes, this was defined as "unproven"; NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein insisted it it was unworthy of coverage because "Haley has categorically denied the allegations."

No one should be surprised to learn that MRC's ethics on such things are completely situational and depend on who's being accused. Take the case of Al Gore being accused of making sexual advances on a masseuse. The charge is unproven, and Gore has categorically denied it. So guess what the MRC is complaining about? That it's being ignored, of course.

That's what Finkelstein does in a July 1 NewsBusters post, accusing MSNBC's "Morning Joe" of overlooking the story. Finkelstein doesn't mention that Gore has "categorically denied" the accusation -- thus making it, by his own standards of just a few weeks ago, unworthy of coverage.

Why is anyone surprised that MRC employees allow their bias to trump their ethics?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 PM EDT
Reed Suggests Solomon Amendment 'Settled Federal Law' Under Kagan
Topic: Newsmax

Ralph Reed's June 30 Newsmax column on Elena Kagan contains this curious statement:

Her defiance of settled federal law in banning military recruiters from the campus of Harvard Law School during a time of war reveals the temperament of an ideologue and a political partisan, not the temperament of a judge.

There is no federal law we know of, settled or otherwise, that forbids banning of military recrutiers "during a time of war." Reed is presumably referring to the Solomon Amendment, which cut off federal funding to schools who banned military recruiters. Given that a challenge to the Solomon Amendment was in the federal court system while Kagan was Harvard Law School dean -- and that a ruling by a federal appeals court that the amendment was unconstitutional gave Kagan an opening to keepmilitary recruiters from using the school's career office for a semester -- the suggestion that the Solomon Amendment was "settled federal law" is utterly absurd.

If this is the kind of commentary Reed is given permission to serve up as part of Newsmax's reputation rehabilitation program, why bother?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EDT
Schlafly's Falsehood-Laden Attack on Kagan
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When you start your column with a lie, it's difficult to take anything else you write seriously.

Phyllis Schlafly does just that in the opening sentence of her June 30 WorldNetDaily column:

Barack Obama revealed his goal for the Supreme Court when he complained on Chicago radio station WBEZ-FM in 2001 that the Earl Warren Court wasn't "radical" enough because "it didn't break free from the essential constraints placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution" in order to allow "redistribution of wealth."

As we've detailed, Obama didn't "complain" that the Warren Court wasn't radical enough; he merely stated it as fact.

Unsurprisingly, Schlafly goes on to mislead about other Kagan-related things. She bashes Kagan's praise for Aharon Barak despite his being "the most activist judge in the world" without noting that none other than conservative justice Antonin Scalia has also praised Barak. Schlafly also repeats the discredted lie that Kagan is "anti-military."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 AM EDT
Gainor Column on Weigel Doesn't Mention His Anti-Weigel Crusade
Topic: Media Research Center

Dan Gainor's June 30 MRC Business & Media Institute column is dedicated to "self-immolating Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel," complaining that "D.C.’s in-crowd, both left and right, has closed ranks around him as one of their own" and are "letting their friendships cloud their judgment."

You'd think that with all this glee about Weigel losing his Washington Post job, Gainor would take a victory lap and proclaim to his readers how he worked behind the scenes to undermine Weigel by trying to convince conservatives not to speak to him. But strangely, he does not mention his own handiwork -- perhaps because it could lead to questions about what else he did to attack Weigel, his depiction of Weigel as "self-immolating" notwithstanding.

Similarly, over at NewsBusters, Lachlan Markay insisted, "Weigel did not leave the post because he is a liberal. And conservatives did not force him out." Markay didn't mention that the publisher of his blog post certainly tried to do just that.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Joseph Farah, Amoral Liar
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah is such a liar, one has to wonder what the motivation is. Is he pathological, or does he merely lack a conscience, taking the view that the end justifies the means in making money in promoting right-wing extremism?

Whatever the reason, he is clearly unable to stop. Farah adds another arrow to his quiverful of lies about Elena Kagan in a June 29 WorldNetDaily article in which he falsely smears Kagan as "a person who thinks it's OK to ban books," screeching, "Do you want a book banner on the Supreme Court?"

Here's Farah's alleged evidence to support his claim:

As solicitor general, Kagan defended before the Supreme Court a campaign finance law that could ban books and would ban pamphlets that would promote federal political candidacies or oppose them. While Kagan pointed out the law had never been applied to books, she acknowledged her support for the provision to consider such advocacy books as campaign contributions.

The facts are quite different the the pack of lies Farah is peddling. First, Farah thinks "could" and "will" mean the same thing -- apparently, he learned nothing about grammar in his career as a journalist. Second, the campaign finance law Kagan argued to uphold (in the Citizens United case) did not ban all books and pamphlets, as Farah suggests; it addressed only election spending by corporations and unions.

Further, Kagan never argued for banning books. While WND correctly notes that Kagan "pointed out the law had never been applied to books," it conveniently omitted that Kagan also said that because federal law had never banned books, it likely could not do so, and that any attempt would be unlikely to stand up in court.

Specifically, Kagan said, "Nobody has ever suggested -- nobody in Congress, nobody in the administrative apparatus has ever suggested that books pose any kind of corruption problem." Kinda shoots down Farah's claim that Kagan's a "book banner," doesn't it?

Farah pads out the article with the discredited lies that "Kagan is a radical antimilitary and proabortion zealot."

Farah then jumps to crass commercialism, begging his readers to send him $24.95 so he can send anti-Kagan letters to each member of the Senate.

So, compulsive or craven? We're not sure, but there is definitely something amoral going on with Farah. Nobody can spread such deliberate lies without deliberate intent.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 PM EDT
WND, CNS Push Attack Du Jour on Kagan
Topic: CNSNews.com

In the ConWeb, it's just one attack after another on Elena Kagan, and the facts really don't matter. Take today's attack, for instance.

What the ConWeb is howling about now is that back in the 1990s, when she was working in the Clinton administration, Kagan made suggested edits to a statement the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists planned to issue on the subject of the intact dilatation and extraction (D&X) abortion, aka so-called "partial-birth abortion."

CNSNews.com promoted this in a long, long June 29 article by Jane McGrath (whose main job is being an Obama-bashing blogger at Townhall.com). McGrath claimed that the draft ACOG statement "contradicted the argument President Clinton had been making to defend his opposition to a ban on partial-birth abortion." Which it didn't, of course. While the draft statement stated that ACOG "could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman" -- a claim that remained in the final version of the statement -- it went on to state that making intact D&X illegal "may outlaw techniques that are critical to the lives and health of American women." Kagan's edits mainly consisted of making the latter claim more explicit, stating that intact D&X may be the best option for some women.

McGrath goes on to uncritically quote an anti-abortion activist claiming that because of this, Kagan somehow "'deserves the blame' for delaying enactment of the partial-birth abortion ban."

WorldNetDaily anti-abort columnist Jill Stanek seized on the issue, misleadingly claiming that ACOG's draft was "unhelpful" and that Kagan "changed it to suit Clinton's pro-abortion agenda." Stanek went on to howl that "ACOG accepted a revision of its medical opinion from a political hack."

WND liked Stanek's column so much it rewrote it into a "news" article. WND, as per usual, makes no effort to do anything more with it, like obtain opinions from others on the issue.

But don't worry. As this attack crashes and burns, the ConWeb is sure to concoct a new one tomorrow.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 PM EDT

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