Last October, WorldNetDaily took part in a right-wing freakout over Campbell's Soup offering a line of soups that meet Islamic dietary guidelines of halal, declaring it to be "catering to Islam."
Now, WND has felt the need to freak out some more over halal food with a Jan. 27 article by Joe Kovacs declaring all halal food to have been "sacrificed to idols." Kovacs uncovered an "outspoken American pastor" who is complaining that halal food means that Muslims "have their meat blessed in the name of their god, Allah, adding, "From the Christian standpoint, Allah would be an idol."
Kovacs makes no mention of kosher food, which is subject to similar procedures. It's not until the 20th paragraph, after liberally quoting the panicky minister , that Kovacs gets around to quoting a spokesperson for an Islamic nutrition council calling such panic ridiculous. And it's not until the very last paragraph that Kovacs notes that the minister 'stresses he's not against halal food, halal stores or Muslims."
The more appropritate response to such contrived Muslim-bashing panic, though, comes from Stephen Colbert: "Folks, we are dangerously close to being served Filet al-Fish by Imam McCheese!"
Newsmax Rushes to Attack Obama Over Egypt Topic: Newsmax
As events in Egypt started to escalate, Newsmax wasted no time in finding a way to attack President Obama over it. A Jan. 27 article by David Patten carries the headline, "US Under Fire for NO-bama Response to Mideast Powder Keg."
Surprisingly, the article was not as biased as its headline made it out to be. Patten -- who is typically no slouch in regurgitating right-wing talking points -- admitted that "The administration’s ambivalence stems from the region’s volatility," and nobody Patten quotes echoes the headline's "NO-bama" attack line.
This tells us that Newsmax's only interest was a slapdash attempt get a lead in framing events in Egypt, whatever they end up being, as a failure for Obama -- never mind that things are moving too quickly there for many to get a hold on.
CNS' Lucas Tweets Bile During Egypt Crisis Topic: CNSNews.com
And we have a front-runner for the dumbest ConWeb tweet regarding the events in Egypt: CNSNews.com's Fred Lucas, who takes a shot at White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for delaying a scheduled briefing on the crisis:
Lucas seems not to have considered that the White House might have a little more concerned with making sure its message is properly connected to quickly evolving events than trying to please a right-wing reporter who is more interested in trashing them no matter what they say.
Obama (And Chinese Pianist) Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Sure, the controversy over a song played by pianist Lang Lang at the White House state dinner for Chinese president Hu Jintao is entirely manufactured. But manufactured outrage is good enough for WorldNetDaily's Chrissy Satterfield, whose head explodes in her Jan. 26 WND column:
I wonder, what would it take to make Obama angry? What would Lang Lang have to do for Obama to put a stop to his performance? If Lang Lang had stripped down to his underwear and started screaming "Death to America," would he have budged? Some might say it would have been rude to interrupt Lang's performance. But hey, if I invite someone to my house (regardless if I owe them money) and they start singing about killing my family, I'm going medieval on them. Debt shmet, you disrespect my family? You better play dead. Unacceptable is the only word that comes to mind when I think about Obama. He just sat there and let us get the biggest pie in the face. When Lang started playing his Anti-American propaganda, Obama should have left. I don't expect him to get violent, or start shouting for Lang to stop. He could have stood up and walked out. That would have sent a clear message that respect is a two-way street. There is no excuse for Obama's lack of action. He has proven that he is nothing more than a marionette working for the liberal puppet masters. He can't do anything without being directed. He can't speak up without a prompter.
Obama probably didn't even realize what was happening. I wouldn't be surprised to find out he enjoyed Lang's musical rendition of "I hate America." There he was with that blank grin thinking how great he is, thinking how wonderful it is that he reached out to China. He threw Hu a "please like me" party and made us look like complete fools. Falling all over Hu, telling him how much we want to be friends, Obama was like a new kid in the schoolyard who just wanted to be accepted. All the while China is giving us a national swirly in the political toilet.
Obama deserves a wedgie the size of his ego for what he's done to us. He has helped our enemy embarrass us in front of the entire world. Who in their right mind would respect us now? Obama allowed us to be humiliated. He allowed Lang and Hu to spit in our face. He's made us appear weak and inferior. He has failed to lead by example. If he cannot stand up to Hu, what's the point of it all? My dose of honesty: We need a president who is strong, opinionated yet open minded; someone who will lead with his heart and protect our good name at any cost. Obama is none of those things, and this fiasco shows his true character … weak. As for Lang, he should never be allowed to set foot on American soil ever again.
Whatever would Satterfield do if she ever stumbled across an genuine controversy? Why, it just might kill her.
MRC Again Portrays Limbaugh As Innocent Victim Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's reflexive response is to protect right-wing icons like Rush Limbaugh at all costs -- even when its agenda runs counter to his.
This compulsion has shown up again in the MRC's response to a California state senator, Leland Yee, who said he had received death threats after Limbaugh dismissed his call for an apology Limbaugh's on-air mocking of Chinese speech and culture.
Tim Graham was first to join the Limbaugh brigade, squealing in a Jan. 27 NewsBusters post that "the media" was "trolling for proof that conservatives are racist and violent" and deriding Yee as "a liberal state senator running for Mayor of San Francisco."
Then, MRC chief Brent Bozell ratcheted things up by issuing a press release baselessly suggesting that Yee is a liar:
"This is part of a systematic, coordinated campaign designed to smear Rush Limbaugh. We've seen it before, over and over. The media helped propel the bogus story about the "phony soldier" by twisting Rush’s comments into an attack on U.S. troops. They validated the completely bogus quote alleging that Rush endorsed the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – which was later proven to be a complete fabrication. And the list goes on.
"This fax smells to high heaven. Before Yee attacked him, Limbaugh had never spoken about him. Limbaugh has no reason to want to attack him. Limbaugh has nothing to do with this. But the Yee camp sure has a lot to gain – especially from all the free publicity this gimmick is giving them and his political ambitions running for Mayor this year.
"So let's see if the so-called 'news' media, which are so obsessed with talk radio, will investigate and expose who is behind these smears, instead of doing the Left's dirty work and spreading smears against a talk radio giant who has never uttered a word of malice against Senator Yee. It reeks to high heaven. Let's see who has the decency to investigate this."
Of course, Bozell offers no proof to support his assertion that Yee is lying, even though he operates a news service that one would think is capable of investigating it. Bozell is also silent about the mocking behavior by Limbaugh that led to Yee's complaint, even though it's central to the issue.
The press release offers a link to an MRC "special report," called "The Left's Character Assassination Campaign Against Rush Limbaugh." But as we detailed, the report deceptively blurred the line between apparently false racially charged statements attributed to Limbaugh and the undeniably true things Limbaugh actually did say.
Of course, being honest about the issue would involve actual media research -- something Bozell and his crew have demonstrated they have no interesting in doing. He's too busy defending Limbaugh to tell the truth.
Would Arianna Huffington ask a "white supremacist" to do that?
Maybe she would.
After all, she invites inveterate liars and mudslingers to write opinion pieces on her website.
She's actually got one nut job on her payroll who pretty much writes full-time about me and WND – with hardly a word of it connected to reality.
Gee, who could Farah be talking about? Sounds like it's me.
First, I'm not on Huffington's "payroll" since Huffington Post doesn't pay its bloggers. Second, Farah has yet to offer any evidence whatsover that any claim I have made about him and WND is wrong or otherwise not "connected to reality."
I'll take this as proof that Farah reads ConWebWatch and is scared that the truth I tell about him and WND (and the rest of the ConWeb) will find a larger audience. He clearly feels that he must discredit me any way he can; since he has no actual facts to back him up, resorts to ad hominem attacks like "nut job" (if you'll recall, he has previously called me a "talent-challenged slug").
In short: The truth is on my side, and Farah knows it.
WND Pretending It Didn't Get Burned On Birther Claim Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is doing its best to pretend it didn't get burned when its story that radio celebrity gossip Mike Evans claimed that Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie told him that he couldn't find a copy of Obama's birth certificate in Hawaii state records went bad.
First, WND pretended it didn't happen. While it linked to the FoxNews.com article in which Evans retracted his claim, for a good while today that article appeared on its front page below Jerome Corsi's original faulty story and a separate version of it on Fox Nation:
In other words, WND played up the faulty story over the correct version.
Then, WND cobbled together a follow-up written by Bob Unruh, in which Evans vowed on a radio show featuring Jerome Corsi -- who wrote the original article uncritically repeating Evans' claims without bothering to fact-check them -- that he would talk to Abercrombie about it.
Meanwhile, Corsi's original article remains live and uncorrected, nor does it offer a link to Evans' retraction.
But that's the way WND rolls -- it generally doesn't correct anything, no matter how false, unless it's threatened with a lawsuit or if it can make the faulty article disappear quietly.
A Jan. 26 CNSNews.com article by Melanie Hunter-Omar provides a fawning depiction of Michele Bachmann's post-State of the Union speech, claiming that President Obama "failed to deliver on his promise to keep unemployment under eight percent by spending a trillion dollars on the federal stimulus program."
What Hunter-Omar doesn't do is mention anything unpleasant regarding Bachmann's speech -- like what she got wrong. For instance, take the claim Hunter-Omar led her article with. As the Washington Post noted, Obama never "promised" that that the stimulus plan would keep unemployment under eight percent.
The Post found other misleading claims by Bachmann, as did CNN, regarding another Bachmann claim Hunter-Omar uncritically repeated, that health care reform "will put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s healthcare bill." CNN called the claim "at best, misleading."
Hunter-Omar also avoid mention of the single most talked-about aspect of Bachmann's speech: the way she gave it. Viewers at CNN, which aired the speech live, were treated to Bachmann delivering it while looking somewhere other than directly into the camera; it turns out she was looking into a different camera used for the speech's Web feed.
NewsBusters Has A Hypocritical Fit Over 'F-word Variant' Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein devoted an entire Jan. 26 NewsBusters post to howling about the "vulgar new low" MSNBC's Cenk Uygur hit in using "profanity with malice aforethought." The word Uygur used, Finkelstein asserted, was so offensive that it "drag[ged] MSNBC even further down--if that's possible."
The word? "friggin'."
No, really. Not the actual F-word -- a "variation" on it.
Finkelstein was so offended by this word that he censored it in his transcript, writing it only as "fr---in'."
For allof his outrage, Finkelstein never explained why he was treating usage of "a variation of the f-word" as the same as usage of the actual word.
Like so many things NewsBusters does, this outrage is hypocritical. Why? Because the comment threads of countless NewsBusters posts are littered with usages of "frickin'" and "friggin'."
And here's Glenn Beck saying "frickin'" on Fox News -- and an hour earlier then Uygur said it. Was Finkelstein offended by that? Not that we recall.
If Finkelstein is so offended by this non-swear word, shouldn't he be more concerned about how NewsBusters commenters are dragging the site he works for further down (if that's possible)?
UPDATE: And where's Finkelstein's outrage over Sarah Palin referencing "WTF moments"? Nowhere that we can see.
New Article: Live By the Gotcha, Die By the Gotcha Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has been ambushing Democratic politicians and Obama administration officials with leading questions in the hope of forcing out awkward answers. But CNS' gotcha crew met its match in Barney Frank. Read more >>
WND Falls For Another Birther Hoax Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is so desperate to prove President Obama isn't a real American that it will latch onto any shred of evidence that might suggest that, no matter how questionable. It loves to run with claims it hasn't bothered to fact-check beforehand -- remember the "Kenyan birth certificate"?
When a radio interview surfaced of a man who claimed that Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie told him that he couldn't find a copy of Obama's birth certificate in Hawaii state records, WND's Jerome Corsi was quick to pounce, typing up a Jan. 25 WND article breathlessly promoting the audio, making no effort to contact the person to double-check the story.
A celebrity journalist now claims he misspoke when he said last week that Hawaii’s governor told him he was unable to find President Barack Obama’s original birth certificate after a search of state and hospital archives.
Mike Evans told FoxNews.com on Wednesday he was remorseful and embarrassed that he appeared to have given the impression that he had discussed the search for Obama’s birth certificate with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
“I was on 34 radio stations that morning. That was the only station where I said, instead of saying ‘the hospital said there’s no birth certificate’ I misspoke and said Neil said that,” Evans said. “I misspoke and I apologize for that. I apologize to Neil.”
Corsi and WND played up Evans' claim that Abercrombie had "egg on his face" over his attempts to find the birth certificate. But the only ones with egg on their faces now are Corsi and WND.
You'd think they would have learned their lesson by now, given the "Kenyan birth certificate" fiasco, to fact-check claim before rushing them into print. Apparently not.
A Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn carried this alarming opening:
If two homosexual men want to use in vitro fertilization to conceive a baby and then use genetics technology to ensure the baby is also "gay," while disposing of any "straight" embryos, would the law have any ethical problems with that?
America's leading ethicist in the field of human reproduction has written a paper that argues future homosexual couples should have "the right" to do exactly that.
John A. Robertson of the University of Texas Law School is the chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and an advocate of what his book "Children of Choice" calls "procreative liberty."
Zahn doesn't acknowledge that the opposite would also be true -- that couples could choose to dispose of "gay" embryos. Perhaps that's because he's OK with that.
WND's Klein Distorts Islamic Center Imam's Speech Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein has a new target to unleash misleading anti-Muslim attacks on.
A Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein -- with the headline "Ground Zero imam: 'Apostates against Islam must be jailed'; 'You do not have the right to spread this conviction, lest you pollute others'" -- began this way:
Those who leave Islam and preach against the Muslim religion must be jailed, declared the imam who has become the new face of the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero in New York City.
"If someone leaves the din, leaves the path privately, they cannot be touched. If someone preaches about apostasy, or preaches their views, they're jailed," stated Imam Abdallah Adhami in a November lecture obtained and reviewed by WND.
Adhami was discussing the Quranic view of apostasy, or Muslims who decide to leave the Islamic religion.
In fact, Adhami was discussing the historical view of apostasy, and Klein cherry-picked statements from a 10-minute-long response to a question about "what Sharia said about apostasy and how we should deal with that today." Plus, Adhami wrote an article in 2007 that acknowledged the right to change one's religion.
MRC Defines Maturity Down Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has exchanged media research (its version of it, anyway) for juvenile insults over the past few days.
For instance, here's Brent Bozell's statement about Keith Olbermann's departure from MSNBC, which doesn't even bother striving for any shred of professional dignity:
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Olbermann was a failure because he was vicious, insulting and off-the-charts liberal. And they replaced him with Lawrence O'Donnell, who is Olbermann but without talent. It is absolutely guaranteed that MSNBC will sink even lower. This network is clueless.
Then, in a Jan. 24 NewsBusters post, Geoffrey Dickens punctuated his criticism of Chris Matthews for advocating high-speed rail with the headline, "Matthews: America Stinks Because We Don't Have Fast Choo-Choo Trains."
Perhaps Bozell and his MRC boys might want to stop their weekly viewings of "Porky's" -- the juvenile attitude is starting to affect their work.
WND Lets Ethically Challenged Reporter Write Another Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
We knew we'd seen that byline before.
A July 25 WorldNetDaily article on the annual anti-abortion March for Life is, as you would expect from WND, completely and fawningly biased in favor of its subject. It was written by Anita Crane, a name you may remember.
As we detailed, Crane wrote an article for WND last September on Glenn Beck's Washington rally, extensively quoting one man in particular who had written a book that Crane made sure to mentnion. Turns out there was a reason for that: Crane edited the book, something that was not disclosed in the article.
That WND would continue to employ a reporter who committed such an ethical breach is amazing but, sadly, not surprising.
It seems that the threshold for screwing up is much higher at WND than pretty much every other news organization than we can think of. That's good news for reporters who are unemployable everywhere else in journalism, but bad news for WND's readers.