Sheppard Gives Up On Spinning For Huckabee Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard's first attempt to spin away Mike Huckabee's remarks about President Obama's past was to portray it as merely misspeaking. His second attempt to ignore the illogic of that spin. Now, Sheppard seems to have conceded that Huckabee said something stupid.
Sheppard starts off his March 5 NewsBusters post by trying to go after George Will's Washington Post column criticizing Huckabee and pointing out the dearth of plausible Republican presidential candidates. Sheppard first attempts to dismiss Will as someone who is "no stranger to leaving the reservation," but then finds himself approvingly quoting Chris Matthews -- who just a few days earlier Sheppard was bashing as a "shill" and a "so-called journalist" for his "multiple Obamagasms" -- saying that people care more about the economy than fabulism about Obama's background. Sheppard continued:
This battle over Obama's background may have had its place in 2008 despite many on the right believing the fight never occurred because the junior senator from Illinois and his devotees in the media didn't let it happen.
Maybe that's so, but do most Americans, in particular independent voters, want to discuss the President's upbringing instead of issues that we're facing right here at home such as high unemployment, high gas prices, high food prices, low housing prices, and burgeoning revolutions in Africa and the Middle East that could quickly threaten our national security?
Don't we have far bigger fish to fry in 2011 than where the President was born and what influenced his worldview as a child? If he couldn't be beaten with such tactics in 2008 when he was just a totally unqualified junior senator, how can that possibly be a winning strategy now that he's got over two years presidential experience under his belt?
That could be seen as more spinning for Huckabee by trying to portray the questions Huckabee raised as not worthy of coverage. But later, Sheppard is fully agreeing with Will:
Sitting presidents are difficult to beat. Despite the ongoing housing crisis and high unemployment, Obama's favorability rating has remained quite high, making defeating him even tougher.
Will like most conservatives desperately wants this to happen sending the current White House resident packing, and therefore most certainly wants what he believes is best for the Republican Party to accomplish this.
What he's saying is that some potential presidential candidates are focusing on extraneous issues that not only don't resonate with the majority of the public but also detract from the stronger message.
"[T]he nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons."
In sum, the vast majority of Americans don't care where Obama was born, and care even less about his father and his grandfather. The more Republicans talk about such things rather than jobs, gas and housing prices, exploding deficits and debt, and a totally unstable Middle East and African continent, the less the public cares what such they have to say.
Bill Clinton's motto in 1992 was, "It's the economy, stupid!"
To a certain extent, Will is saying the same should be true for Republicans 20 years later.
Sheppard is throwing Huckabee under the bus, even if he won't come right out and admit that's what he's doing.
Pat Boone Falsely Bashes Sex Education, School Official Topic: WorldNetDaily
Serial misleader Pat Boone was in freak-out in his March 5 WorldNetDaily column, in which he engages in false and misleading claims regarding sex education. He writes:
[Right-wing activist James] Dobson reported last July that the Helena School District considered a proposal to extend sex education to children as young as kindergarten age! Fox News reported that the 62-page draft proposed that 3-to-6-year-olds be taught proper terms like "nipple, breast, penis, scrotum and uterus." Then in first grade, they should learn that sexual relations could happen between two men or two women, and by the time they're 10, instruction should include various ways people can have intercourse, be it vaginally, orally or through anal penetration.
In fact, that's not exactly what Fox News reported; a July 2010 article stated that "According to the 62-page draft proposal, beginning in kindergarten, school nurses will teach students proper terms such as 'nipple, breast, penis, scrotum and uterus." [emphasis added]. Unless the age for kindergarden has somehow been lowered to three, Boone is lying.
Boone wasn't done with the smears:
Are you ready for this to be national policy? Well, this administration and most of the teachers unions are. President Obama personally appointed Kevin Jennings to a constitutionally unauthorized position as "safe schools czar". He's not only a longtime homosexual activist who has worked for just such "instruction" in our schools as that described above, but who wrote a very complimentary foreword to his friend's book on pedophilia, the sexual seduction of children. This is the president's idea of a "safe school czar"!
Boone appears to be referring to a foreword Jennings wrote to a book called "Queering Elementary Education." But it's not about "pedophilia, the sexual seduction of children"; it is about, in the words of the book's co-author, "creating classroms that challenge categorical thinking, promote interpersonal intelligence, and foster critical consciousness. Queer elementary classrooms are those where parents and educators care enough about their children to trust the human capacity for understanding, and their educative abilities to foster insight intyo the human condition."
Boone might want to try the novel approach of knowing what a book is actually about before he falsely attacks it.
CNS Falsely Claims Immigration Reform Is 'Deeply Unpopular' Topic: CNSNews.com
Fred Lucas writes in a March 4 CNSNews.com article:
Obama has long supported a “comprehensive immigration reform” that supporters call a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens and opponents call “amnesty.” But such legislation--backed by the immigration lobby and some pro-business organizations--was defeated in Congress during 2005 and 2007, and was deeply unpopular with the public.
Of course, as we've documented, CNS is one of those opponents who insist on (falsely) describing immigration reform as "amnesty." But Lucas is lying when he says that comprehensive immigration reform is "deeply unpopular with the public."
A November 2009 Pew Research poll found that 63 percent of the general public supported a bill to provide a "path to citizenship" for undocumented immigrants -- and that 54 percent still supported it when the same bill was described as "amnesty."
That's not the only one: An August 2010 Politico poll found that 61 percent of Democrats and independents, as well as 59 percent of Republicans, belive that Congress should “pass comprehensive immigration law guidelines now.”
Meanwhile, a July 2010 Gallup poll found that Americans are about equally divided -- 50 percent to 45 percent -- over whether the government's main focus should be on halting the flow of illegal immigrants coming into the U.S., or on developing a plan to deal with those already here. That might offer some backup for Lucas' position, but even then, you have to seriously spin things to portray comprehensive reform as "deeply unpopular."
NewsBusters Has Double Dose of Lack of Koch Disclosure Topic: NewsBusters
In a March 3 NewsBusters post, Matthew Sheffield highlights how right-wing blogger John Hinderaker "has engaged in some industrial-strength deconstruction to debunk two hit-pieces against the Kochs and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker put out by Think Progress blogger Lee Fang."
Sheffield neglects to mention one little thing: As Fang points out, the law firm Hinderaker works for counts Koch Industries as a major client. Then again, Hinderaker didn't disclose that either.
As we've also noted, NewsBusters parent and the organization that pays Sheffield, the Media Research Center, has also taken Koch money.
Farah To Huckabee: Come To The Birther Dark Side Topic: WorldNetDaily
While NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard has been trying to deny the evidence of Mike Huckabee's birther tendencies, WorldNetDaily would like Huckabee to embrace it.
Joseph Farah's March 5 column is an open letter to Huckabee challenging his claim that if there was really some dirt in Barack Obama's past, Hillary Clinton would have used it against him during the 2008 presidential primary:
First of all, you seem to have a very high regard for the Clintons. That worries me. Should we just have the Clintons determine for the nation who is qualified to serve as president – instead of some legitimate controlling legal authority according to the specific constitutional criteria? Do you really believe the Clintons are infallible – even with regard to political campaigning?
Has it ever occurred to you the Clintons might have been just as suspicious about Obama's eligibility as most Americans are but didn't have sufficient documentation to make the case?
Did it occur to you that Hillary was the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination when the primaries began and, as the front-runner, made a calculated decision not to raise that divisive issue because she had more to lose than gain?
Is it possible that, when she found herself in a close race, raising the questions might have made her look desperate and mean?
Has it escaped your notice that Hillary got a plum job in the Obama administration?
Quite honestly, it sounds like a cop-out to me.
Or perhaps you just haven't familiarized yourself with the central issues of this controversy.
Farah and WND, of course, have repeatedly misled and lied about those "central issues." Nevertheless, Farah takes a whack at Huckabee for falsely claiming that Obama grew up in Kenya:
Could it be, at this late date, you are still so woefully ill-informed about Obama's actual story?
And since you were mistaken about where Obama grew up, is it possible that you might also be mistaken in your unwavering confidence in the Clintons?
Is this really the way we should select presidents in America in the 21st century – on the basis of a tacit blessing from Bill and Hillary?
Farah, it seems, would rather base it on the hateful rantings from a fringe website. That's not an improvement.
Self-proclaimed prophet Joel Richardson uses a March 4 WorldNetDaily column to proclaim that his prediction of a resurgent Islamic caliphate -- touted with the help of Glenn Beck -- has been proven right. His proof? An anonymously sourced article on a website run as a side project of a Washington Times employee.
Fellow Conservatives Call Out NewsBusters For False Claim Topic: NewsBusters
It's rare for conservative websites to point out another website's errors, but that's what NewsBusters is currently on the receiving end of.
A Feb. 25 NewsReal post by David Forsmark points out that a NewsBusters post by Brent Baker falsely attacks the TV show "The Good Wife" for a character who tries to link tea party activists to racism. In fact, Forsmark, writes, it is a "rather slimy Leftist lawyer pressing the bogus race-baiting lawsuit," adding that "the whole thrust of the episode tore a new one in the idea of race-based lawsuits based purely on numbers and quotas, and gave those who bring them an, excuse the expression, a black eye."
Forsmark followed up on March 1, noting not only that Baker and NewsBusters have done nothing about the false claim, but that "The Good Wife" writer Robert King even posted on the comment thread of Baker's post explaining the reference:
The episode didn't impugn the Tea Party. A character in the episode (in fact, an opposition lawyer and a bad guy) impugned the Tea Party, and he did it for a reason (defending a cop-killer) that was clearly unsympathetic. In fact, the Tea Party was strongly defended by the sympathetic characters on the show. This was in a section of the episode you didn't include (except in an edited transcript).
And I should just add: the point of this episode was not to defend the Tea Party. The point of the episode was to show how two people who come from the exact opposite end of the political spectrum could look past that and come to respect and love each other.
No one at the MRC responded to King, and Baker's post remains uncorrected.
It's the start of a new month, and you know what that means: a new Afghanistan body-count report from CNSNews.com's Edwin Mora. As usual, Mora doesn't utter the word "Iraq" -- that, of course, is because the casualty rates for U.S. troops in Iraq under a Republican president was much higher than it currently is in Afghanistan under President Obama.
It's not that Mora is incapable of comparaing Afghanistan deaths to something; it just has to be politically advantageous for him and his employer to do so.
That seems to explain a Feb. 25 article by Mora noting that "More civilians were killed last year in Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city across the border from El Paso, Texas, than were killed in all of Afghanistan." CNS liked this comparison so much, in fact, that it ran the story again on March 3.
Fox Pushes WNDs Loopy Obama-Has-Ties-To-Gahdafi Attack Topic: WorldNetDaily
On the March 3 edition of Fox Business’ "Follow the Money," Eric Bolling devoted a segment -- complete with lame bobblehead-esque animation -- to the idea that President Obama is somehow linked to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi through a series of guilt-by-association connections, like being pictured together with Louis Farrakhan on the cover of a magazine with 17 other people.
An anti-Obama attack this loony and desperate could only come from one place: WorldNetDaily. As we've noted, it did indeed originate with WND’s Aaron Klein, who went even further by suggesting that Obama was being “cautious in his criticism” of Gadhafi because of these supposed links. Of course, Klein didn’t mention that the caution in Obama’s initial statements about the uprising in Libya was intended to ensure the safety of thousands of Americans who were still there.
The lame animation wasn’t enough for Bolling -- he invited Klein on the show to discuss it further. Klein quickly got lost in ranting about Jeremiah Wright and his “anti-white, anti-American, Nation of Islam-linked ideology,” and Bolling had to prompt him to talk about Libya. Needless to say, Klein offered up no substantive evidence beyond his convoluted guilt-by-association links.
As part of his kitchen-sink attack, Klein threw out another claim: that Obama, while he was a state senator in the mid-1990s, had employees who belonged to Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam. But Klein’s 2008 WND article on the incident shows that his main source was “a former key Obama insider ... who spoke on condition of anonymity” and who also peddled the story to far-right blogger Debbie Schlussel. (Schlussel howled that Klein stole the story from her.)
An anonymous “insider” who was pushing his story to far-right bloggers and websites? Not exactly the most reliable sourcing.
The only attempt in the segment to contradict Bolling’s enthusiastic embrace of Klein’s conspiracy theory came from Democratic strategist Regina Calcaterra, who said of Klein: “He’s been spending the past few years focusing on President Obama, trying to make a disingenuous connection like he is, especially saying that because Obama walked in the Million Man March that there’s a connection between him and Gadhafi via Farrakhan. ... And he denounced Farrakhan on national TV.” But Bolling quickly moved to interrupt and talk over her.
Klein has been making increasingly frequent appearances on Fox Business lately, despite his history of desperate smears and fraudulent reporting.
(Cross-posted at Media Matters, where you can find video of Klein's appearance.)
Newsmax Cherry-Picks Unemployment Stats to Attack Stimulus Topic: Newsmax
A Feb. 27 Newsmax "Insider Report" item tries to work up outrage over a claim that "jobs that were created and saved by the economic stimulus legislation that President Barack Obama signed in February 2009 cost at least $228,055 each." At the end, it states this: "Footnote: When President Obama signed the stimulus bill, the national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent. In January 2011, it was 9 percent."
That's a highly misleading view of the numbers, falsely suggesting that unemployment gradually went up over the past few years.
Of course, what actually happened is that unemployment rates spent much of that time well over 9 percent, peaking at 10.1 percent in October 2009. Newsmax's take conveniently omits the spike in unemployment between the signing of the stimulus and now.
AIM's Kincaid Enlists Woman-Hater To Attack Obama Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid devotes his March 2 Accuracy in Media column to the musings of Marc Rudov -- described as "the author and radio/TV personality known as The NoNonsense Man" -- regarding women in general and a newly released White House report on women.
Kincaid doesn't really want to tell you that Rudov is one of the more misogynistic persons you will ever have the misfortune to meet.
As we noted the last time Kincaid approvingly quoted Rudov, he has said such things as:
Claiming that "that most American women are as shallow as" the characters on "Sex and the City."
Asserting that if "the woman is complaining that the man doesn't work enough around the house," it may be because "she said 'I do' at the altar and 'I don't' in the bedroom."
Saying of Hillary Clinton: "The woman is not called a B-word because she's assertive and aggressive; she's called a B-word because she acts like one."
Describing the downside of a woman president: "You mean besides the PMS and the mood swings, right?"
Claiming, against statistical evidence, that "women are equal-opportunity domestic abusers."
Rudov brings that same level of insight to AIM, where Kincaid has quoted him saying of the White House report on women: "I discount any report about women from the White House. ... President Obama has a clear female bias and agenda."
Contrary to his moniker, Rudov seems to be filled with nothing but nonsense -- nonsense Kincaid is more than happy to swallow.
David Limbaugh vs. David Limbaugh Topic: The ConWeb
David Limbaugh wrote in his Feb. 25 column (published at WorldNetDaily):
President Obama's brazenly calculated move to unilaterally abandon the federal Defense of Marriage Act showcases his attitude that he is above the law.
So now we have an imperial president who is refusing to enforce a law passed by powerful congressional majorities while persisting in enforcing a law (Obamacare) that two federal courts have already invalidated. The only common denominator is that Obama believes he is the law.
Limbaugh's opinion appears to conflict with ... David Limbaugh. Here he is in an Aug. 3, 2007, column on the subject of claims of a different president declaring himself to be above the law:
Sen. Patrick Leahy has mounted his high horse again and is on the warpath against all things Bush and all things Republican. It might be instructive to examine certain statements in his tirade disguised as an interview with Politico.
Leahy said, "The president, with others, has stated in effect that he is a law unto himself and the president can overrule the law, the courts and congressional actions. We have seen this with regards to torture, signing statements and the president determining who will be prosecuted."
For Leahy this is nothing new. Like a spoiled kid who can't always have his way, he has been blowing things out of proportion for some time now — turning every political frustration into a supposed constitutional crisis. In early 2006, he betrayed his true colors when he said the constitutional "checks and balances that have served to constrain abuses of power for more than two centuries in this country" are at risk when Republicans control the legislative and executive branches.
To Leahy it was a constitutional crisis for voters to elect Republicans to power in the executive and legislative branches. But what's his excuse now, with Democrats in control of the legislative branch? Instead of admitting he has policy differences with President Bush, he says Bush is abusing the Constitution.
In other words, Limbaugh is acting exactly like the spoiled kid he accused Leahy of being.
That of course, depends on Limbaugh's selective view of constitutional issues, which is skewed to benefit Republican presidents. Limbaugh misleadingly defended Bush’s signing statements in his book “Crimes Against Liberty” by claiming that they were “simply to express objections to bills or parts of bills he was signing” (p. 174).
That contradicts what Bush actually did with the signing statements. From The Boston Globe:
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
Funny, we don't recall Limbaugh denouncing Bush as an "imperial president."
Sheppard Whiffs Again on Huckabee Defense Topic: NewsBusters
In a March 2 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard takes another stab at defending Mike Huckabee over his factually dubious remarks about President Obama's background -- and doesn't do much better on the fact meter than Huckabee did.
Sheppard dutifully repeats Huckabee's defense that when he said Obama grew up in Kenya, he really meant to say that Obama grew up in Indonesia, and that in his newly released book, "clearly what I wrote was about his childhood in Indonesia, about his Kenyan father and grandfather who he says was tortured by the Brits during the Mau Mau revolution. All of that is spelled out." Sheppard then relates the story told by Obama's grandmother that his grandfather was jailed during the Kenyan independence movement, adding:
This report was all the rage that month in 2008, even getting quoted by the far-left website the Huffington Post.
As such, all Huckabee was citing in his book and repeated on Monday was established history of Obama’s family.
Is this suddenly verboten? Was Arianna guilty of hate speech for mentioning Obama's Kenyan father and grandfather at her website? Or are only liberals allowed to bring this up?
Both Huckabee and Sheppard get things wrong here. Salon's Justin Elliott, unlike Huckabee and Sheppard, actually researched the issue, pointing out that Obama’s family was never a part of the Mau Mau rebellion, and the prison time his grandfather served took place three years before the rebellion began. Elliott also quoted historian David Anderson about events in 1950s Kenya, when the Mau Mau rebellion occurred:
To portray the Obama family as being part of Mau Mau is stir-fry crazy. Let me explain why: The Obama family come from western Kenya, which is about as different from Nairobi and the Kikuyu area as Utah is from New York City. And it's almost as far way. They come from an area where there was no rebellion, there was no Mau Mau. So while his father and his grandmother may well have been nationalists -- I'm sure they were -- they weren't directly involved in the Mau Mau rebellion.
The other thing is, if you've read anything about Churchill, you'd know that, although he was the head of the government at the time of the Mau Mau rebellion, he was trying as best he could to get the British in Kenya to negotiate and to end the fighting. Churchill was not supporting or condoning the violence. He is actually one of the few British politicians who comes out of this smelling of roses.
Elliott sums up Huckabee’s (and Sheppard's) apparent views on the issue:
So a fleshed-out version of Huckabee's theory would go like this: Obama's grandfather hated the British because he was (supposedly) tortured in prison under the colonial regime a few years before the Mau Mau uprising. Therefore, President Obama must take a different view of the Mau Mau uprising -- in which his family played no part -- than Huckabee, who apparently supports the brutal measures used by the British to defeat the rebellion. And because of all that, Obama replaced a bust of Winston Churchill -- who himself wanted a peaceful solution to Mau Mau -- with a bust of Abraham Lincoln.
All of which makes Sheppard's defense that Huckabee merely made "a simple mistake the man has already acknowledged and apologized for" nonsensical because Obama's upbringing in Indonesia has nothing whatsoever to do with the Mau Mau rebellion.
That makes strike two in Sheppard's defense of Huckabee. Will he give it one more shot -- and, presumably, go down swinging?
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Ben Shapiro Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
During the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton suggested that if the emergency phone rang at 3 a.m. in the White House, you wouldn't want President Obama picking it up.
She was wrong. Obama wouldn't pick it up in the first place. He'd let it go to answering machine. He'd be too busy chasing the nearest camera.
Obama is the "Girls Gone Wild" president: Stick a lens in front of him and he'll take off his shirt, mince about like a coed, and babble nonsensical nothings to an audience oddly fascinated by his antics.
Obama's desperate need for attention is clearly a psychological condition. He drinks in applause like a washed-up movie star. It is usual for neglected children to develop narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), typically characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a strong sense of entitlement, preoccupations with utopian fantasies, elitism, manipulative tendencies and pathological need for praise.
President Obama was abandoned by his parents during childhood. Now he exhibits the textbook symptoms of NPD. He thinks his powers are godlike in import; "I have a gift, Harry," Obama once told Sen. Harry Reid. He believes he is entitled to positions of power and prestige. He has never worked a real job in his life, yet deigns to tell the rest of us that he embodies our hopes and dreams. He is obsessed with nonsensical utopian fantasies of one-world peace and harmony in which nuclear weapons are beaten into plowshares.
Obama is an elitist through and through, disdaining ordinary Americans as "bitter [people who] cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them." He is manipulative in the extreme, seeing every crisis as an opportunity to magnify his personal power.
Most dangerous, he requires a constant stream of paeans to his persona. Radical Muslims, socialists, anti-Semites — so long as they clap, they're worthy of his warmth. Obama strongly resembles a once-abused puppy; he doesn't care who pets him, so long as he receives the petting.
-- Ben Shapiro, March 2 column published at CNSNews.com
UPDATE: Here's some bonus Obama derangement from Shapiro, posted at Big Government:
So President Obama showed up at the Oscars to announce that his favorite movie song was “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca, which is about as believable as him saying he likes capitalism. By showing up during this broadcast, Obama basically labeled himself a political version of the Salahis – or of Anthony Michael Hall from every 1980s movie where he shows up to bug the cool kids.
Here was my abbreviated reaction (yes, I did shout this out loud):
“Get the hell off my TV. Get the hell off my TV. Get the hell of my TV. You have nothing to do with the Oscars. Nothing to do with any of the nominated movies. Why can’t you leave me the hell alone?! Final Four. Super Bowl. World Series. Little Miss Nevada Contest. It doesn’t seem to matter. I know your parents didn’t love you as a child, and now you need unending streams of attention, but you have nothing to do with this event, and you’re invading my living room … again. So get the hell off my TV!!!”