Kessler Shamelessly Plugs His Wife's Book Topic: Newsmax
Ronald Kessler's Dec. 8 Newsmax column is nothing more than a shameless plug for his wife's book. Kessler begins with an anecdote about the CIA Christmas party, then abruptly shifts into shill mode:
There is no better description of CIA headquarters than in my wife Pamela Kessler’s “Undercover Washington: Where Famous Spies Lived, Worked and Loved.”
This is followed first by an Amazon link to buy the book -- strange that his employer's own online store won't carry it -- then, after stating, "In the spirit of the holidays, she has given me permission to share some excerpts," a lengthy excerpt.
The book, by the way, is not some recently published tome; it came out in 2005. So it's not only shameless, it smacks a bit of desperation as well.
WND Columnist Falsely Claims Soros Has 'Pro-Nazi Past' Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily column, author and "talk-show host with Fairness Doctrine Radio" Chuck Morse assails everyone who takes money from George Soros, and Jewish groups in particular, as having "spineless lack of courage" and "zero sense of principle." But Morse displayed his own lack of principle by repeatedly telling falsehoods about Soros' background, capped by the outright lie that Soros has a "pro-Nazi past."
Citing an interview Soros did on 60 Minutes, Morse wrote that in Nazi-occupied Hungary, "the 14-year-old Soros helped a man who was posing as his father make the rounds as this man confiscated property from Jews. Soros acknowledged that he served papers to Jews and watched as they were shipped off to the death camps." Morse goes on to bizarrely interpret Soros' statement that "I had no role in taking away that property" as admitting "he did indeed play an active a role in the confiscations."
But Morse is falsely portraying Soros' actions. In Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire, Michael T. Kaufman detailed Soros's reaction during the interview, as well as Soros' actions in Nazi-occupied Hungary, pointing out that Soros "collaborated with no one":
While he was living with Baumbach as Sandor Kiss, an event occurred that more than a half a century later would become the basis of charges that George Soros, the international financier and billionaire, had somehow collaborated with the Nazi occupiers of his homeland and had exploited his fellow Jews. The issue was raised in a bizarre television profile and interview of Soros aired on the CBS television program 60 Minutes in December of 1998. In the segment, Steve Kroft, the interviewer, noted with prosecutorial gusto that George's father had "bribed a government official to swear that you were his godson," and added that this survival strategy "carried a heavy price tag." For, he continued, "as hundreds of thousands of Jews were being shipped off to the Nazi death camps, a thirteen-year-old George Soros accompanied his phony godfather on his rounds, confiscating property from the Jews." Visibly dumbfounded by the line of questioning, Soros could only manage to say that he had no role in the seizure of property and was merely a spectator. To underscore Kroft's point, film footage showed masses of Hungarian Jews being led away at gunpoint.
This is what actually happened. Shortly after George went to live with Baumbach, the man was assigned to take inventory on the vast estate of Mor Kornfeld, an extremely wealthy aristocrat of Jewish origin. The Kornfeld family had the wealth, wisdom, and connections to be able to leave some of its belongings behind in exchange for permission to make their way to Lisbon. Baumbach was ordered to go to the Kornfeld estate and inventory the artworks, furnishings, and other property. Rather than leave his "godson" behind in Budapest for three days, he took the boy with him. As Baumbach itemized the material, George walked around the grounds and spent time with Kornfeld's staff. It was his first visit to such a mansion, and the first time he rode a horse. He collaborated with no one and he paid attention to what he understood to be his primary responsibility: making sure that no one doubted that he was Sandor Kiss. Among his practical concerns was to make sure that no one saw him pee. [Page 37]
Morse's claim that Soros "served papers to Jews and watched as they were shipped off to the death camps" is also a false portrayal of what actually happened. In his book, Kaufman wrote that school-age Soros had been selected by officials to serve as a courier for the Jewish Council, an organization intended by the Nazis "as a first step leading to the identification and registration of Jews, which would be followed by herding them into ghettos and ultimately by their deportation to forced labor and death." Kaufman continued [emphasis added]:
When his father asked him if [he] had read the messages, George reached into his pocket and pulled out several slips printed in blue ink. He said he thought his father should read them before he delivered them the next morning. It turned out the slips were summonses ordering people to report at the rabbinical seminary on Rokk Szilard Street. Each addressee was to bring a blanket and food for two days. Tividar asked thirteen-year-old George if he knew what the message meant.
"I can guess," George replied with great seriousness. "They'll be interned."
George remembers the incident in vivid detail. "There were five or six such notices and my father realized that the names were taken from an alphabetical list of Jewish lawyers. My father looked at the pieces of paper and said these people are deporting lawyers. The names were at the front of the alphabet, starting with A or B, which gave him warning that within a short period they would get around to S and order him to report. He told me to deliver the notices, but to tell the people if they reported they would be deported."
The next day George followed his father's instructions. "I remember one man I went to see who told me, 'You know, I have always been a law-abiding citizen -- I haven't done anything wrong -- so I have no reason to disobey this order, and I am sure that nothing terrible can happen to me.' And when I went back and told my father about it, we had another conversation about rules, what rules you obey, and what rules you break."
Years after the war, the Budapest bar association put up a plaque in its offices bearing the names of more than six hundred Jewish lawyers who perished after responding to the summonses of 1944. After George delivered his handful of messages Tivadar ordered him to stop working at the council.
George liked the excitement of being a courier but he obeyed his father without complaint. [Pages 32-33]
Nevertheless, Morse insisted this was evidence that Soros has a "pro-Nazi past."
Morse went on to write that Glenn Beck was criticized by "liberal Jewish leaders" for "quoting from the Soros interview." In fact, as we documented, Beck selectively quoted from the interview without telling the full truth. He also claimed that Soros helped "send the Jews" to "death camps" and that Soros "saw people into gas chambers."
Morse also stated that "Abe Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote that Beck's recitation of the ‘60 Minutes' interview with Soros was ‘completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top.' After looking into the matter further, Foxman apologized to Beck for calling him an anti-Semite." In fact, Foxman never called Beck an "anti-Semite" regarding the Soros comments; the only time the term appears in his criticism of Beck over his Soros attacks is when he's quoting Beck. Foxman's apology to Beck -- in a letter dated more than two weeks before Foxman criticized Beck over Soros -- was for mistakenly including him in an ADL fundraising email's list of celebrities who had made anti-Semitic comments.
Morse even ran to the defense of Ohio Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott (whose name Morse misspells as "Rich Lott"), lamenting that "several liberal guests commenting on my daily radio program" criticized him "for wearing a Nazi uniform at a historical re-enactment," but "the same liberals have said not a word about George Soros' sordid past." Perhaps that's because those "liberal guests" researched all the facts regarding Soros -- something Morse has demonstrated he couldn't be bothered to do."
WND Attacks Obama for Quoting the Founders Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh is little more than a rewritten press release from Rep. Randy Forbes, head of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, which has "written to President Obama asking him to correct a speech he gave in Indonesia incorrectly replacing the nation's motto of 'In God We Trust' with 'E pluribus unum.'"
In following Forbes' lead in bashing Obama over his use of "E pluribus unum," Unruh ignores any evidence that the phrase has a long and storied history in America. As Media Matters points out, even if it's not the national motto, it's certainly a national motto, given that it was chosen as the motto for the National Seal by a committee consisting of none other than Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Why do Bob Unruh and WND hate the Founders?
Unruh also uncritically repeats Forbes' claim that the Congressional Prayer Caucus is a "bipartisan" group. Given that Forbes is a Republican and the membership includes some of the most right-wing members of the House -- such as Michele Bachmann, Virginia Foxx and Steve King -- it's unlikely that it's as "bipartisan" and Forbes and WND would have us think.
WND's Anti-Gay Petition Based on Distortions Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has launched a petition to oppose the repeal of the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. (The inevitable reader-fleecing letter campaign is presumably still in the works.) It's back up with the usual misleading claptrap, mainly in repeating dubious scare tactics by opponents while omitting evidence to the contrary.
For instance, the petition states:
Whereas, Sen. John McCain has warned, based on the Pentagon's statistics, that 264,600 men and women would likely "leave the military earlier than they had planned" if open homosexuality is allowed, and some military analysts say the number leaving could well be double that, thereby endangering the viability of America's all-voluntary military;
Whereas, in another poll conducted by the Military Times – asking "If the 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy is overturned and gays are allowed to serve openly, how would you respond?" – nearly 10 percent said, "I would not re-enlist or extend my service" while another 14 percent said, "I would consider not re-enlisting or extending my service";
In fact, as we've detailed, a 2003 article in Parameters, the U.S. Army War College Quarterly found that "[n]ot a single one of the 104 experts interviewed believed that the Australian, Canadian, Israeli, or British decisions to lift their gay bans ... led to increased difficulties in recruiting or retention." WND makes no mention of this study.
The petition goes on to "demand that the lame-duck U.S. Senate honor the clear wishes of the voters they serve, as well as the wishes of the U.S. military, by immediately ceasing its efforts to overturn the proven and time-tested warrior culture of the finest fighting force in history." But "the clear wishes of the voters" is that the policy be repealed: A Pew Research Center poll last month found that 58 percent said they favored the military shifting its policy to allow gays to serve openly -- about the same percentage who have supported a policy change in polls over the last five years.
Over at his Prophecy Matters website, WorldNetDaily columnist Jim Fletcher does a softball interview of WND managing editor David Kupelian. In the process, though, Fletcher somehow fails to disclose that he's a WND columnist.
Because it's such a softball interview, we get Q-and-A's like this:
PM: How did you arrive at your present position with WND?
DK: I knew Joseph Farah from back in the days when he ran the Sacramento Union, and he and I also had worked together on a magazine project. So when it was time, years later, for WND to split off from the Western Journalism Center to become an independent, for-profit news outfit, he called me and asked if I was interested in taking on the position of managing editor to help him build the organization. I went down to see him, we talked for 3-4 hours and then shook hands on it—and that's what I've been doing ever since.
Fletcher seems to have no interest in that early history, even though it's fascinating. Perhaps that's because Kupelian doesn't want that story told.
The "magazine project" Kupelian is in all likelihood referring to is New Dimensions, published at the time by the Foundation of Human Understanding. As we detailed, FHU is run by Roy Masters, who has been accused of cult-like tendencies. WND's Whistleblower appears to be, for all practical purposes, a continuation of New Dimensions. For years -- and it may still be the case for all we know, though WND now claims to be headquartered in Washington, D.C. -- WND was headquartered in and/or around Grant Pass, Oregon, also the home base of Masters' FHU.
The rest of Fletcher's interview is similarly softball, allowing Kupelian to spout off about the Federal Reserve, George Soros, Alfred Kinsey, President Obama and others that are all too familiar for anyone who's been reading WND.
Richard Bartholomew catches WorldNetDaily engaging in a bout of false hyperbole by claiming that Joel Richardson's WND-published book "The Islamic Antichrist" is "a book greeted in the Muslim world with the same enthusiasm as Salman Rushdie's 'The Satanic Verses.'" Not only does WND fail to offer any evidence that "the Muslim world" is even aware of the book, the claim appears to be lifted straight from an earlier WND plug for the book, when it was presented as what would "almost certain" happen to the book.
We will add that WND's claim that Richardson "has written the book under a pseudonym to protect himself and his family" is seemingly contradicted by his posting a picture of himself on his website.
In her Dec. 6 WorldNetDaily column, Barbara Simpson writes of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange:
This isn't a game, and Assange isn't God, deciding what laws to obey and those he won't. He has no conscience and has no compunction about receiving classified documents and posting them online. In fact, he considers himself above the law – any law, from anywhere.
So far, his audacity is working, but what Assange does is a massive, security breach, the consequences of which he ignores.
It's treason, pure and simple, the betrayal of one's country to an enemy. He's betrayed the United States, his country, our allies and the security of the free world, aiding our enemies, made worse because we're at war.
Charge him, try him, find him guilty and stand him against the wall – without a blindfold. Short and sweet.
We've got to show some guts and stop being intimidated my international slime and homegrown cowardice and sleaze.
The world will be a better place, and justice will be done.
The traditional punishment is death by firing squad.
If they need someone to pull the trigger, I'm available.
Just one little problem with Simpson's rush to execution: Assange is not an American citizen and, therefore, cannot be charged with treason.
New Article: A Manufactured Controversy Masterpiece Topic: Media Research Center
It took three tries for the Media Research Center to parlay its hatred of liberal content in museums into a major issue, but it finally succeeded with an attack on a gay-related exhibit. Read more >>
Is Newsmax Giving Mark Foley the Rehab Treatment? Topic: Newsmax
A Dec. 6 Newsmax "Insider Report" item details how disgraced Rep. Mark Foley is "reportedly is considering a run for local office in Florida -- and he won’t rule out seeking a return to Congress." Only Newsmax doesn't describe Foley as anything close to "disgraced."
Newsmax states that Foley "resigned from the U.S. House in a brouhaha in 2006," continuing:
Foley, first elected to the House in Florida in 1994, resigned in September 2006 following disclosures that he had sent inappropriate and sometimes explicit messages to former congressional pages.
Multiple investigations concluded Foley had never engaged in improper acts with the pages.
Newsmax doesn't explain how something can be "inappropriate" yet not "improper." That also depends on one's definition of improper.
While it appears there's no evidence Foley engaged in sexual behavior with minors -- Florida eventually dropped a criminal investigation into the case -- he clearly engaged in sexually explicit email conversations with current and former pages and at least one former page claimed to have a sexual encounter with Foley, all of which is arguably both inappropriate and improper.
Newsmax's whitewash of Foley's past can only mean one thing: it's another rehab campaign.
As we'vedetailed, Newsmax has given the likes of Bernarrd Kerik and Ralph Reed a forum to promote their political agendas without having to be confronted with their unsavory pasts. Foley would certainly be a likely rehab candidate -- after all, in 2005 Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy donated to Foley's abortive Senate campaign two days before Newsmax published a flattering article about Foley.
Newsmax is clearly not above giving Foley the full rehab treatment. But it is really worth the time and effort to rehab someone best known for getting way too close to teenage pages?
MRC's Gainor Targets Scarborough for Not Fawning Over Palin Topic: Media Research Center
It seems to be official now: The Media Research Center will not tolerate any criticism whatsoever of Sarah Palin, especially by conservatives.
On the heels of Mark Finkelstein's Heathering of conservatives Joe Scarborough and Nicolle Wallace for committing the sin of failing to flatter Palin, MRC vice president Dan Gainor has penned a column focusing solely on bashing Scarborough for daring to criticize Palin:
Each day Scarborough tries to skewer as much as he can of the right and still pretend to be conservative. Scarborough, a former Florida Republican congressman, has become a vocal voice for what he calls 'Switzerland' in the cable world - somehow a neutral outlet to both sides. He's delusional. Scarborough has more RINO (Republican In Name Only) in him than the National Zoo. (Conservatives should also recall during the Cold War that the real Switzerland was no more friendly to the U.S. than Scarborough is to the right.)
Nonting that Sbarborough has expressed a desire to help a "cenrist civility group," Gainor rants:
Civility? Scarborough doesn't even know how to spell it. He goes hunting for Palin and other conservatives the way Palin hunts moose, stalking the right each day ready to open fire. Back in August, he bashed the GOP for wanting to rein in illegal immigration. His response was to moan: 'My party. What happened to my party?' He concluded his view by claiming: 'We are going to ban Santa Claus next.' This after previously calling Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law 'unacceptable and un-American.'
His July attack on Republican Senate candidate Sharon Angle called her 'a jackass,' which must mean he's using a standard MSNBC definition of 'civility' in this new group.
But he has particular venom reserved for the former governor of Alaska. He recently told his audience that Palin's 'not going to run. It's The Art of War. The reason she's saying this is cause she knows she can't win.' Then why is she making noises about 2012? 'I hate to say it - it's about money,' he claimed. 'Hate to say it?' No he doesn't. He despises her and loves to say it.
Gainor, it seems, has decided that any criticism of Palin is uncivil and, therefore, forbidden. And it's clear Gainor has no interest in civility himself.
A Dec. 3 WorldNetDaily article by Brian Fitzpatrick highlighted a claim by Sen. John McCain that repealing the military's don't ask, don't tell policy "could drive massive numbers of troops out of the service," focusing on his assertion that a Pentagon survey finding that 12.6 percent of those polled would think about leaving the military earlier than planned translated to 264,000 troops leaving the military.
Fitzpatrick then piled on by citing Bob Maginnis, "military analyst" for the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, who said, "If you add in the number who said they 'might' leave, you get 23.7 percent. That would be 528,000, when you count both active duty and reserves."
What Fitzpatrick doesn't bother to report is that the speculation of McCain and Maginnis runs counter to the actual experiences of other countries that have implemented a similar policy. As Media Matters detailed, a 2003 article in Parameters, the U.S. Army War College Quarterly found that "[n]ot a single one of the 104 experts interviewed believed that the Australian, Canadian, Israeli, or British decisions to lift their gay bans ... led to increased difficulties in recruiting or retention."
You'd think that would be relevant to include in such an article. Fitzpatrick didn't. In fact, he quotes no DADT critics in his article.
NewsBusters Bashes Thomas, Ignores Catholic League's Donohue Saying Same Thing Topic: Media Research Center
NewsBusters has been quick to pounce on Helen Thomas' recent remark that "Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists." NoelSheppard called it "anti-Semitic," "disgusting," and "pathetic," adding, "Makes you sick, doesn't it?"
We are by no means defending Thomas, but we couldn't help but notice that NewsBusters and its parent, the Media Research Center, has been a tad inconsistent about denouncing such remarks. You might even call it a double standard.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue made a remark similar to Thomas' in 2004, when he said on MSNBC, "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, okay? And I'm not afraid to say it." He even defended the remark in 2006.
Yet we could find no mention whatsoever of Donohue's remark in either the MRC or NewsBusters archives. Why? Perhaps Donohue is a friend of MRC chief Brent Bozell -- after all, Bozell is on the board of advisors for the Catholic League, and he dedicated a column to slobbering all over Donohue and a book he had written:
There are an awful lot of people I know in the world of public policy, many of whom I respect and admire. But beyond respecting his wisdom and admiring his courage, I just plain like Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League. I like his Irish feistiness. I like his sense of loyalty. I like his sense of humor. Most of all, I like how he drives his opponents mad. And with his new book, "Secular Sabotage: How Liberals are Destroying Religion and Culture in America." he could be expected to be stricken from all manner of Christmas card lists -- except the people he skewers don’t believe in Christmas.
Disclaimer: I’m on the Board of Advisors of the Catholic League. I’ve been involved with this terrific organization for many years because Bill Donohue invited me, and I’ve never been able to refuse Bill Donohue anything.
Don't expect anything critical of Donohue to come out of the MRC.
Dave Welch still hates gay people, and he displays it again in his Dec. 4 WorldNetDaily column ranting about the possible repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell:
As the battle over "don't ask, don't tell" continues to rage inside and outside the D.C. Beltway – or as a good friend of mine who works there calls it, "the work-free drug place" – some larger questions must be asked. The underlying premise behind the GLBTQIA juggernaut that brought us to this point is that there are no moral boundaries governing sexual behavior.
The wildly successful campaign to secularize our culture, our government (including schools), the arts and now our churches has brought us to the point where in much of the country we are arguing about what defines male and female. The old demand for boys to "Be a man!" is not only passé but offensive, because being a man means you can now dress and live like a woman if it is what you feel like – and vice versa for women.
DADT is not really about military effectiveness as much as about unleashing the demonic aggression that is now teaching kindergartners about condoms and gender identity full force into the last "masculine" institution that represents the essence of right and wrong. If homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and the gender confused are allowed to "serve openly," then they are given carte blanche to demand equality and acceptance at every level of military policy.
And he doesn't stop there, branding anyone who doesn't hate gays as much as he does as insufficiently masculine:
Passive Christians and, most egregiously, passive pastors are the greatest problem, and the only remaining question is whether we will find enough males who are men in pulpits who are willing to take the risk of being branded and ridiculed by our opponents for daring to speak truth.
We have no problem daring to speak truth: Dave Welch is a hater.
Bozell: Gay Art Isn't Art Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell outlines his definition of art in his Dec. 3 column -- if he doesn't like it, or if it involves gays, it isn't art.
Bozell repeatedly puts "art" in scare quotes when discussing the works targeted by his organization's manufactured outrage over an exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery:
But apparently this gay and lesbian “art” needs to push more, more, evermore. So we have depictions of homoeroticism, including images of male genitalia on display; pinups of naked men, and paintings of two brothers, buck naked, making out. Still there must be more, so we have sadomasochistic themes, like imagery of mummified human remains and a portrait of a man devouring himself. Each has a “deep” meaning, see. Each is “art.”
Bozell also falsely portrays the exhibition as being funded by taxpayers:
And you, American taxpayer, you are making it possible. Your $761 million annually to the Smithsonian, and $5.8 million annually to the National Portrait Gallery makes it possible for these gay activists to pitch their tents inside, put up their displays, call it “art,” invite the world – even children on “Family and Friends Day” on November 21 – and then scream bloody murder when someone complains.
In fact, the exhibition was created by private funds. And he didn't mention that the person who first complained about the exhibit -- CNS' Penny Starr -- is on his payroll.
A Dec. 3 WorldNetDaily article touts its newest columnist, Diana West, for "her boldness and penchant for eliciting dropped jaws from opposing pundits." It also helps that she's a birther.
WND notes that West has discussed "the constitutional eligibility of Barack Obama to serve as president of the United States." Indeed, West wrote a Nov. 22 op-ed promoting the case of WND birther poster child Terrence Lakin, whom she sympathetically portrayed as "a senior military officer with an unblemished career" who is committing "what amounts to a historic act of civil disobedience for which he may well serve time in prison."
The reality she failed to meniton is that a military judge has already ruled that, according to military law, the personal beliefs or convictions of a soldier are not enough for the soldier to deem an order illegal, that Lakin cannot introduce any evidence related to Obama’s citizenship at his court-martial, and that the military court was not the proper venue for determining the eligibility of a president.
Farah again repeats his disingenous claim that WND has "the broadest spectrum of political opinion found anywhere." But West does not widen that supposed "spectrum" -- she's another right-wing columnist at a website already lousy with them. Indeed, WND highlights her advice to Republcans "not to compromise with Democrats."
West is not bold. She's a standard-issue right-wing columnist, and a birther to boot. That latter is what likely sealed the deal for WND, given the speed at which she was added following her birther column.