DC Media Picks Up on MRC's Manufactured Outrage Topic: Media Research Center
The Washington City Paper has a story on how CNS' Penny Starr and the Media Research Center manufactured the scandal over the supposedly offensive and blasphemous art exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
Meanwhile ... Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is, of course, ecstatic that Sarah Palin told ABC's Barbara Walters that she reads their website. Media Matters has a brief history of the symbiotic relationship between Newsmax and Palin.
Bozell Attacks Only Liberal Supporters of WikiLeaks Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell's Dec. 8 column whips up some outrage over those who won't condemn Julian Assange and WikiLeaks -- but only those on one side of the political spectrum. He claims without evidence that "in the liberal media, the condemnations are few" against Assange, and he cites only two examples of alleged praise of Assange in the "liberal media."
Curiously, Bozell won't criticize supporters of Assange who reside on his side of the political spectrum -- and you think he might have noticed one, since he appears on Bozell's favorite channel, Fox News.
Andrew Napolitano -- Fox News analyst and host of a show on its sister channel Fox Business -- has argued in favor of Assange's First Amendment rights.
Another WikiLeaks supporter is WorldNetDaily columnist Vox Day, who wrote in his Dec. 6 column that "WikiLeaks is one of the last defenses that Americans have against the centralized control of communication being exerted by the U.S. government over the citizenry," and that "those so-called conservatives who have waxed hysterical in their contemptible fulminations against Assange" are "ideological frauds, enemies of democracy and false friends of human liberty."
Republican Rep. Ron Paul is another big WikiLeaks booster, who (while, of course, appearing on Napolitano's TV show) endorsed a WikiLeaks-style assault on the Federal Reserve: "Can you imagine what it'd be like if we had every conversation in the last 10 years with our Federal Reserve people, the Federal Reserve chairman, with all the central bankers of the world and every agreement or quid-pro-quo they have? It would be massive. People would be so outraged."
Larry Klayman -- whose "Judicial Watch litigation machine" Bozell highlighted in one of his columns -- has also sung the praises of WikiLeaks: "Whatever your opinion about Julian Assange, he did a real service to our nation and the world in revealing, in particular, the dangerous internal workings of the corrupt Obama foreign-policy establishment."
Unless Bozell can hold his own allies responsible for their support of Assange, his howling about purported liberals who support him is just empty political opportunism.
UPDATE: The list keeps growing: WND columnist Ilana Mercer calls Bradley Manning, the Army soldier of leaking the documents to WikiLeaks, a "whistleblower" while denouncing "collectivist impulse among so many of freedom's so-called defenders to condemn a man that took a great personal risk so as to expose the workings of the U.S. Empire."
WND Still Complaining About Unasked Questions Going Unanswered Topic: WorldNetDaily
This is becoming a thing. A Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily article complains yet again that White House press secreatary Robert Gibbs didn't answer a question that wasn't asked because WND's Les Kinsolving wasn't called on at the press briefing:
For the third time in a row, Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House and the second-most senior reporter on the White House beat behind Connie Lawn, was not recognized for questions at today's daily briefing.
The result is that there were no answers from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs or others at the briefing today on what the president thinks about a university snub of his Chicago buddy Bill Ayers.
One of the questions Kinsolving had prepared to ask was, "Does the president believe that Sen. Robert Kennedy's son, Christopher, and all the rest of the trustees of the University of Illinois at Chicago were wrong to deny the title of professor emeritus to Bill Ayers?"
As before, WND has not demonstrated why anyone who would ask such a biased, irrelevant question is deserving of any respect from the White House or its press corps.
So far, threeCNSarticles feature various members of Congress being asked during the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Capitol whether they believed that Jesus had a right to life from the moment of conception. Allo f the congressmen asked thus far were Republican, so at this point it's sort of an anti-gotcha -- it gives them a freebie opportunity to play to their conservative Christian base.
Once CNS moves on to asking the question of Democrats -- as it most certainly will -- the point becomes embarrassment.
WND, Reisman Think Kinsey Is 'Father of Child Pornography' Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily promo for Judith Reisman's anti-Kinsey screed "Sexual Sabotage" carries the headline "The father of child pornography."
Really? There was no child pornography before 1947? Is that what they're trying to say?
The article goes on to assert that, per Reisman, Kinsey is "not only a scientific fraud but a supremely sick and perverted human being – a sexual psychopath who reveled in the criminal molestation of hundreds of infants and children."
The problem is that Reisman has long engaged in shoddy research to promote her anti-Kinsey crusade, and there's no real reason to assume anything has changed in "Sexual Sabotage," despite WND's claim that Reisman's work is "frighteningly true."
The Kinsey Institute has responded to such claims: "Kinsey did not carry out any experiments on children, nor did he hire, collaborate, or persuade people to carry out experiments on children. He did not falsify research findings and he in no way condoned any sexual abuse."
The institute has even responded to the "Esther White" case, in which a woman claimed that Kinsey paid her father "to rape her and then report to him on the attacks." As we noted, the woman has offered no substantive evidence to back up her claims, and WND reporter Brian Fitzpatrick, who promoted the case in October, made no apparent effort to obtain the institute's side of the story. He could have pulled it off the website:
We have no reason to doubt that this woman was sexually abused. People may have used Kinsey's name to justify any sorts of behavior, but that is beyond the control of the researchers.
It is possible that this woman's father or grandfather wrote to Kinsey, as many people did, but he never encouraged any such behavior. Following that documentary, we checked through Kinsey's correspondence and could not find any that would match this story.
Kinsey did not ask people to fill out questionnaires or forms. There was no experimentation, and no one was 'recruited' to 'participate,' and certainly not to molest anyone. There is absolutely no evidence to support any of these claims. The research consisted of interviewing people about their sexual lives and relationships.
Nevertheless, WND promotes Reisman's version of Kinsey has some sort of superhuman villain: "Kinsey succeeded in promoting widespread sexual experimentation and immorality. He single-handedly gutted the tough laws that kept pornography and predators at bay in America."
Between Reisman's history of shoddy research and WND's wildly overblown claims here -- all designed to promote a special on Reisman's book -- there's really no reason to take any of this seriously, making WND's $4.95 offer perhaps still too much to pay for her screed.
Maryland's Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, on Nov. 30, issued a statement that included the following:
"Sexual orientation should never be used to determine the contributions any man or woman makes to our military."
This invariably suggests that all sexual orientations should be eligible for military service. That would include pedophilia and bestiality.
On the same day, President Obama declared:
"Today I call on the Senate to act as soon as possible so I can sign this repeal (of 'don't ask, don't tell') into law this year and ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally."
This presidential-designated category also raises the question about the armed forces accepting such additional alternative sexual orientations as necrophiliacs, coprophiliacs and urophiliacs.
AIM's Kincaid: Bring Back the Commie Witch Hunts! Topic: Accuracy in Media
In his Dec. 8 "AIM Report," Cliff Kincaid argues for bringing back the House Un-American Activities Committee, best known for its witch hunts against anyone remotely suspected of being communist. Why? He has one particular suspected communist in mind that he'd like to lead a witch hunt against:
Dinesh D’Souza says in his new book that Barack Obama is an anti-colonialist. Stanley Kurtz has a new book, Radical-in-Chief, which says Obama is a socialist. The new book Dupes by Paul Kengor tells the unvarnished truth. And that’s because he makes use of material we started releasing back in February 0f 2008 about Obama’s communist mentor, Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis. New Zeal blogger Trevor Loudon broke that story and we confirmed it.
I hate to say, “We told you so,” but Herbert Romerstein and I held a briefing in May of 2008 in Washington, D.C. releasing two reports, “Communism in Chicago and the Obama Connection,” and “Communism in Hawaii and the Obama Connection.” Then, in August of 2008, I released the 600-page FBI file on Frank Marshall Davis. The response from the media included Dana Milbank of the Washington Post making fun of us and Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report refusing to run paid advertising on the Obama-Davis connection.
The liberal and conservative media had their heads in the sand. They couldn’t come to grips with the unprecedented prospect of a possible agent of influence for the international Marxist movement occupying the oval office.
The difference between calling Obama an anti-colonialist, a socialist, or a Marxist mentored by a top operative of the CPUSA is that one category should immediately earn you an FBI investigation. Former FBI agent Max Noel says the Bureau used to investigate candidates for federal employment by analyzing Character, Associates, Reputation, and Loyalty to the United States. The first letters in those words make up the acronym CARL.
Obama could not have been elected president if he had been subjected to the CARL test. Leaving Davis aside – and he was on the FBI’s “security index” — Obama’s relationship with communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn was enough to disqualify him for the presidency.
Kincaid goes on to assert that "The liberals will raise a hue and cry, and some conservatives may balk, but it is mandatory and necessary to begin addressing what an old congressional committee used to call “un-American activities” at the highest levels of the U.S. Government."
Kincaid repeats his point at the end of the column: "We are faced with the problem of U.S.-based Marxists supporting our foreign enemies. These are dangerous times for America. The Congress must re-establish a House Internal Security Committee." The House Internal Security Committee was the euphemistic re-naming of the Un-American Activities Committee.
CNS Peddles False Claims About SPLC's Research on Anti-Gay Groups Topic: CNSNews.com
A Dec. 8 CNSNews.com article by Pete Winn falsely asserted that the Southern Poverty Law Center "announced that it was going to classify the Family Research Council and 12 other organizations as 'hate groups' because of their positions on homosexuality."
In fact, as Right Wing Watch hasnoted, the SPLC named only five anti-gay groups to its "hate groups" list. Other groups Winn listed as being named to the "hate group" list -- the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage -- were merely profiled by the SPLC.
Winn also wrote that right-wing former attorney general Edwin Meese said the SPLC "had cited no evidence whatsoever to show that the FRC or the other major pro-family conservative organizations were hate groups," quoting Meese as saying, "I think it is attacking them for exercising their freedom of speech and their freedom of religion." Winn also writes that the National Association of Marriage's Maggie Gallagher similarly said that the SPLC "has not presented any evidence to back up its claim that the groups it named were 'hate' groups"; Winn adds that "In a blog posting on its Web site, the SPLC said only that the FRC and the other groups 'have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.'"
In fact, the SPLC report on anti-gay groups -- linked nowhere in Winn's article -- serves up detailed evidence to back up its claims, including a lengthy section on the FRC detailing how it has "pushed false accusations linking gay men to pedophilia." The report also states that "Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups."
Joseph Farah hurls a load of hooey at the DREAM Act in his Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily column -- much of it misleading or outright false.
Farah begins by claiming the "so-called" DREAM Act is "providing ... amnesty" to the children of "illegal aliens." First, it's not the "so-called" DREAM Act; it is called the DREAM Act. Second, it's not amnesty. As conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin explains, "amnesty" is defined as "a blanket abolition of an offense by the government, with the legal result that those charged or convicted have the charge or conviction wiped out." Since there are conditions placed on who is eligible for the DREAM Act and what must be done before any steps toward citizenship are granted, it cannot be amnesty.
Next, Farah lists various crimes committed by illegal aliens -- none of which he makes any effort to prove are affected any way by passage of the DREAM Act.
Then Farah claims that "federal statistics don't lie. They say 55 percent of the inmate population in U.S. prisons is made up of illegal aliens. That suggests to me that more than half of the serious crimes committed in this country are committed by illegal aliens."
Farah didn't provide the source for his "federal statistics" -- perhaps because he is apparently making it up. According to PolitiFact Wisconsin, "73.4 percent of the federal inmates are U.S. citizens, and that more than 26 percent are not citizens." But being a non-citizen does not necessarily equate to being illegal, meaning that the actual federal prision population made up of "illegal aliens" is even less.
Farah is even more wrong when state-level prison populations are considered. In Arizona, which has a reputation as a hotbed of illegal immigration, undocumented immigrants represented 14.8 percent of Arizona state prisoners. Similarly, in California, just 11 percent of the state prison population is undocumented.
Getting facts completely wrong is not the sign of a persuasive argument.
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.