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Tuesday, March 15, 2011
AIM's Flip-Flop: A Case Of Two Deceptive Videos
Topic: Accuracy in Media

After we posted our item yesterday on how Accuracy in Media surprisingly reported on James O'Keefe's deceptive editing in his NPR videos, AIM responded in a tweet: "Of course we will lend a skeptical eye to O'Keefe's editing practices. Otherwise, how could we call ourselves @AccuracyInMedia?"

The reason why AIM's skepticism was surprising is because not only had it not evinced such skepticism in the past, it has even honored O'Keefe's previous deceptive video work.

O'Keefe's videos attacking ACORN were a festival of deceptive editing, designed to support false claims by O'Keefe, sting co-conspirator Hannah Giles, and then-patron Andrew Breitbart about what ACORN employees allegedly did, which were largely disproven when the full, unedited videos were examined by law enforcement.

AIM loved the heck out of this sting. One blog post lionized O'Keefe and Giles as "journalists" who broke "one of the most explosive exposes in recent memory," another blogger unskeptically covered a press conference by O'Keefe, Giles and Breitbart, and Cliff Kincaid declared, "I think Giles and  James O'Keefe, who played the pimp, have performed a public service."

Ultimately, AIM named Breitbart a winner of its 2010 Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award; AIM chairman Don Irvine said, "I am thrilled to recognize Andrew Breitbart’s groundbreaking investigation into rampant corruption at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now."

So, we have to ask AIM: Why the flip-flop? Why was O'Keefe getting a past for his ACORN deceptions, yet now his NPR deceptions are suddenly worth reporting?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 PM EDT
WND's 'Promotion of Homosexuality" Canard
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has a long history of treating any discussion of homosexuality that doesn't involve denigration as a "promotion" of the "lifestyle." It does so again in a March 10 article by Bob Unruh regarding the case of a British couple not allowed to serve as foster parents because of their gay-hating views. See if you can detect the pattern:

But Paul Diamond, who served as barrister to the Johns family in the dispute in the United Kingdom over the nation's mandatory promotion of homosexuality to foster children, said there is a solution: The people need to reverse the nation's surge toward treating homosexuals as a privileged class.

WND reported on the court ruling that Christians who want to provide foster care for needy children must promote homosexuality to them, and that there is only a "qualified" right to exercise their Christian beliefs.

[...]

"There now appears to be nothing to stop the increasing bar on Christians who wish to adopt or foster children but who are not willing to compromise their beliefs by promoting the practice of homosexuality to small children," the organization said.

[...]

On the issue of requiring foster parents to promote homosexuality, the judges said, "If children, whether they are known to be homosexuals or not, are placed with carers who … evince an antipathy, objection to or disapproval of, homosexuality and same-sex relationships, there may well be a conflict with the local authority's duty to 'safeguard and promote' the 'welfare' of looked-after children."

Unruh offers no evidence that British policy is to "promote" homosexuality beyond not officially disparaging it. Unruh doesn't explain how failure to disparage homosexuality equals "promoting" it.

UPDATE: As you might imagine, Unruh is selectively quoting from the British court ruling on the case. In particular, he avoids the court's criticism of his article's main source, Paul Diamond, the lawyer for the parents. From the ruling:

It is hard to know where to start with this travesty of the reality. All we can do is to state, with all the power at our command, that the views that Mr Diamond seeks to impute to others have no part in the thinking of either the defendant or the court. We are simply not here concerned with the grant or denial of State 'benefits' to the claimants. No one is asserting that Christians (or, for that matter, Jews or Muslims) are not 'fit and proper' persons to foster or adopt. No one is contending for a blanket ban. No one is seeking to de-legitimise Christianity or any other faith or belief. No one is seeking to force Christians or adherents of other faiths into the closet. No one is asserting that the claimants are bigots. No one is seeking to give Christians, Jews or Muslims or, indeed, peoples of any faith, a second class status. On the contrary, it is fundamental to our law, to our polity and to our way of life, that everyone is equal: equal before the law and equal as a human being endowed with reason and entitled to dignity and respect.

We add this. On these issues Mr Diamond seeks to equiperate the views of Christians, Jews and Muslims. Thus he says (we quote his skeleton argument) that "all of the major religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) teach against homosexual conduct." He says, quoting the claimants' grounds, that "major faith groups (including Christianity, Judaism and Islam), hold to the orthodox view that any sexual union outside marriage between one man and one woman is morally undesirable", describing marriage for this purpose in his proposed declaration as "a lifelong relationship of fidelity between a man and a woman." We find these propositions surprising, at least when stated in this bald form. As far as the court is concerned, the content of any religious faith or belief is a matter of fact to be proved by evidence. We are, however, entitled, we think, to take judicial notice of the fact that, whereas the Sharia is still understood in many places as making homosexuality a capital offence, the Church of England permits its clergy, so long as they remain celibate, to enter into civil partnerships. Moreover, the Christian concept of marriage, encapsulated in the famous definition of Lord Penzance in Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee (1866) LR 1 P&D 130, 133, that marriage is "the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others", hardly accords with the Sharia, which permits a man to have up to four wives and to divorce any of them at any time by his unilateral pronouncement of a bare talaq.

In the circumstances we cannot avoid the need to re-state what ought to be, but seemingly are not, well understood principles regulating the relationship of religion and law in our society. We preface what follows with the obvious point that we live in this country in a democratic and pluralistic society, in a secular state not a theocracy.

Funny, the court's statement that "No one is seeking to de-legitimise Christianity" appears nowhere in Unruh's article.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:02 PM EDT
NewsBusters Offended That Liberals Appeared On TV
Topic: NewsBusters

A March 14 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock is yet another liberals-were-on-my-TV complaint, this time attacking two experts brought on by ABC to discuss the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

George Stephanopolos, Whitlock complains, "didn't identify the leftist background" of Joe Cirincione or Michio Kaku. At no point does Whitlock have any problem with what Cirincione or Kaku said -- this is purely an ad hominem attack.

Further, it's not clear that either of these people are "leftist." Whitlock complains that both Cirincione and Kaku have opposed nuclear weapons, but he doesn't explain why such a position is "leftist." Whitlock goes on to attack Kaku for having "a radio show on Pacifica Radio," but he also has another radio show that is syndicated by Talk Radio Network, which is the home of such rabid right-wingers like Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham, and he has repeatedly appeared on Fox News.

Ad hominem attacks aren't media criticism, of course, but Whitlock and his Media Research Center cohorts seem to be unaware of that fact.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:34 AM EDT
Aaron Klein's Hypocritical Outrage
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A March 13 WorldNetDaily article plugged that day's edition of WND reporter Aaron Klein's radio show, in which he attacked a Palestinian Authority spokesman:

"Why should America continue to fund the Palestinian Authority when its own apparatus is responsible for incitement to murder and violence and terrorism and has carried out repeated terrorist attacks against civilians?"

This is just one of multiple questions fired away by WND senior reporter Aaron Klein on his WABC Radio show during an interview with PA spokesperson Dmitri Diliani.

The confrontational interview, audio from which is linked below, took place in the wake of the weekend's bloody massacre in which Palestinian assailants brutally stabbed to death five members of the Udi Fogel family, including a 3-month-old infant, inside their home in the Jewish village of Itamar.

[...]

After Diliani repeatedly claimed to Klein that his Fatah organization condemns violence and supports peace, Klein ended the interview, but not before lashing into the Palestinian spokesperson.

"Yeah, you condemn violence," Klein exclaimed sarcastically. "I can't hear any more of this."

Continued Klein: "You condemn violence as a Palestinian, probably from your party, just slit the throat of a Jewish infant and as your president, Mahmoud Abbas, just dedicated a square to an infamous Palestinian murderer."

Klein's tone was much different in 2005 in reaction to another mass shooting in another disputed area Israel currently claims.

As we detailed, when AWOL Israeli soldier Eden Natan Zada opened fire unprovoked on a bus in Gaza, killing four Arabs, Klein wasn't crying out in anger. Rather, the tone of his reporting was sympathy for Zada, lamenting that he was "murdered" by a "mob of Palestinians" after shooting. Klein never described Zada's victims as being "murdered." Klein wrote numerous articles painting Zada as a victim of the the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, even quoting in one article Yekutiel Ben Yaacov -- aka Mike Guzovsky, the Israeli terrorist sympathizer and former leader of the far-right Kahanist movement whom Klein defended after he was banned from entering Britain -- painting Zada as "the first casualty of the sadistic Gaza plan."

Klein has admitted his Kahanist sympathies on his radio show, while also ludicrously claim that he has "absolutely nothing to do with these Kahane Chai extremists." Given that extremism was a hallmark of the Kahane movement -- so much so that it was banned in Israel and declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department -- it's ridiculous for him to pretend there is some non-extremist brand of Kahanism.

Given that history, of course Klein would spew outrage over the Fogel massacre while ignoring the Zada massacre -- and engaging in his usual shoddy reporting in the process.

The article states that the Fogels lilved in "the Jewish village of Itamar," suggesting that the killings took place in Israel proper. In fact, Itamar is located in the West Bank. Further, as the UK Guardian notes, Itamar "is an intensely nationalist-religious isolated settlement deep inside the West Bank. Nationalist-religious Jews believe they have a divine right to the land irrespective of legal ownership." That, of course, does not justify the massacre of the Fogels, but that sort of information puts the deaths in perspective as part of the continuing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians in these areas -- a struggle out of which was borne Zada's massacre.

The article also shows Klein up to his old anonymous-source shenanigans again, citing only "top sources in the [Al Aqsa Martyrs] Brigades leadership in the northern West Bank city of Nablus" for his claim that "members of the Fatah group planned and helped to carry out the attack" against the Fogels. That claim also appears in an accompanying WND article by Klein.

Klein is a reporter who takes sides, not only against Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular but non-right-wing Jews, as his repeated attacks on former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert (and his refusal to report anything on the rape scandal involving Likud-affiliated Prime Minister Moshe Katsav) amply demonstrate.

All of this makes Klein not only a dishonest and hypocritical reporter and radio host, but a gutless one too.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 AM EDT
Monday, March 14, 2011
CNS Plays Gotcha With Education Secretary
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has been strugging to get its gotcha mojo back after getting pwned by Barney Frank late last year. It takes a stab at it in a March 14 article by Christopher Goins:

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, could not say where the U.S. Constitution authorizes the federal government to be involved in primary and secondary education.

On Thursday, after a House subcommittee hearing, CNSNews.com asked Duncan, “The Bill of Rights says that powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states and the people. With that in mind, Mr. Secretary, where specifically does the Constitution authorize the federal government to be involved in primary and secondary education?”

Duncan dodged the question. “We are obviously a small percent of overall funding--you know about 10 percent," he said. "The vast majority of funding comes at the local level--state and local level. But we have a responsibility to support children who have historically not had those kinds of opportunities--disadvantaged children, poor children, homeless students, children who are English language learners and, more recently, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of reform from the department.

"We have to dramatically improve the quality of education we are providing this country and we can help to continue to reward excellence and encourage at the local level,” Duncan said.

Of course, Duncan has much better things to do with his life -- like his job --than play gotcha with a hostile reporter who just wants an embarrassing sound bite to use against him.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 14, 2011 11:36 PM EDT
WND's Richardson Ratchets Up Apocalyptic Rhetoric
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Glenn Beck's favorite end-times prophet, Joel Richardson, has been ratcheting up his apocalyptic rhetoric at WorldNetDaily in recent days.

In a March 12 column, Richardson declared that "we are entering World War III in the Middle East," claiming that "the United States has suddenly found herself quietly involved in a multiple-front Middle Eastern war." He even threw in a dose of Obama derangement:

Simply stated, we must drill now. Let's delude ourselves that we are actually healing the planet some other time. For years now, the warnings have gone out that the U.S. needs to free itself from dependence on Islamic oil. President Obama has done just the opposite, choosing instead to petition some worthless puny little gods called Volt and Prius to save us. I would love to believe that Rush Limbaugh is wrong when he says that President Obama is purposefully trying to destroy this nation, but in light of his actions, what other option do I really have?

(Richardson has previously written a WND column headlined, "What Obama and the Antichrist have in common.")

In a March 14 WND column, Richardson declared that recent earthquakes, including the one in Japan, is a sign of the end times:

So do the recent earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand and Japan have any relevance with regard to the return of Jesus? Absolutely. If we consider the words of Jesus as well as some very stunning earthquake statistics, then a clear picture emerges, pointing to the soon coming of the return of Jesus.

After citing a raftload of Bible verses he claimed supports this view, Richardson added that "for the majority of believers out there who take Jesus' words at face value, who are watching the specific signs that Jesus spoke of, the evidence is all there. The contractions are increasing in both intensity and frequency. I believe there is a birth on the horizon."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 PM EDT
Shocker: AIM, Newsmax Reports On Deceptive Editing In NPR Videos
Topic: Accuracy in Media

It was a bit of a surprise when Glenn Beck's website The Blaze exposed the deceptive editing of James O'Keefe's videos of NPR fundraisers -- after all, The Blaze's video maven, Pam Key, has her own lengthy history of deceptive editing that makes its criticism more than a little hypocritical.

It's even more surprising that some ConWeb outlets have reported on The Blaze's findings -- and in a way that takes them seriously:

  • A March 11 Newsmax article notes that The Blaze "is raising questions about the editing of the tape that suggested an NPR fundraising executive said that tea party patriots were racists, among other comments."
  • In a March 12 Accuracy in Media blog post, Don Irvine wrote that "James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas may jhave some ‘splaining to do" following the Blaze article. Irvine added, "This doesn’t totally exculpate Schiller from repeatung these remarks since he didn’t exactly disassociate himslef from them but it does bring into question once again O’Keefe’s penchant for clever editing to make his point." He concluded: "Conservatives should hold themselves to a higher standard of journalism and in this case O’Keefe falls short."

Of course, other ConWeb outlets have not reported on The Blaze's findings. For instance, NewsBusters -- which has heavily promoted the purported scandal --  hasn't said a word about it. That would conflict with its anti-NPR agenda, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 AM EDT
Newsmax's Florida Donations Get Attention
Topic: Newsmax

Our research on Newsmax's undisclosed contributions to the campaigns of Florida politicians who are also getting fawning coverage on Newsmax -- published here and at Media Matters -- is getting some attention.

Business Insider noted the story and called Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy (who took part in fundraisers for two of the candidates named in the article) for a response:

When contacted by The Wire, Ruddy responded:
"Newsmax rarely endorses candidates in primary and general elections. However, we strongly endorsed Bill McCollum during his primary for Governor.
Our regular readers were well aware of our editorial perspective on the race.
Like most major media companies, Newsmax allows its executives to make donations to political candidates and like most major media companies, such donations are not noted in its contents."

Of course, most major media companies' executives are not so closely linked to their editorial content as Ruddy is with Newsmax's.

Further, the issue is not just Ruddy's personal contributions but those of Newsmax Media, which most notably gave $100,000 to Rick Scott's 527 organization at the same time Newsmax was announcing its endorsement of him. It begs the question of whether there is a quid pro quo taking place. Newsmax may have a certain "editorial perspective," but how much of it, if any, was a function of its and Ruddy's donations to their favorite candidates? Was Newsmax's fawning coverage an explicit or implied side benefit to the candidate getting the cash? There's also the implication of another quid pro quo: is Newsmax getting, or is hoping to get, something in return for these donations?

Ruddy's explanation that Newsmax's "regular readers" already know about its right-wing slant and, besides, he's not required to disclose his political donations is mostly meaningless. Newsmax presents itself as a news organization, which brings some expectation of the existence of standards.

The Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics states that journalists should "Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived" and "Disclose unavoidable conflicts." Does Newsmax have an ethics code that it follows?

Sheryl Young at Yahoo News, meanwhile, highlighted this story as well. She wrote, "It is not identified whether Ruddy spent Newsmax income or his own personal income." The presumption can be made that if Ruddy made the contributions under his own name, he used his own money, and that donations under the Newsmax Media name used corproate money.

Young goes on to ask if there is a "so what" to all of this, noting that it's not illegal for Ruddy and Newsmax not to disclose their political donations on their website, that the policies on politial donations by employees at other media companies vary widely, and that a majority of those tend to favor Democrats (though she concedes that a significant number of those involve journalists who don't cover politics). 

We don't dispute the legality of not disclosing these donations, but we do believe the ethics of not doing so should certainly be discussed. Newsmax's main focus is its political coverage, and Ruddy made his early reputation as a (rabidly anti-Clinton) political reporter. And there is the appearance of a quid pro quo regarding donations and coverage.

Ultimately, the heart of the matters is that Newsmax needs to decide what kind of operation it wants to be. If Ruddy doesn't think his readers should expect anything more from Newsmax than mindless shilling for Republican candidates, it should stop pretending to be a "real" news site by surrounding said shilling with wire stories from actual reporters. If Newsmax wants to be taken seriously as a news operation, it should be more transparent to its readers about its behind-the-scenes fundraising and donations -- or perhaps not make them in the first place and let its words speak for themselves.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EDT
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Ellis Washington Being Ellis Washington
Topic: WorldNetDaily

More silliness from Ellis Washington in his March 12 WorldNetDaily column:

God commanded the Israelites that they were not to sacrifice any of their children to Molech: "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. ..." Sacrificing to the Phoenician god Molech (king) was a popular form of idolatry; it consisted of burning children alive. The idol was heated and the children were placed in its hands. Think of Molech as the ancient pagans' answer to partial-birth abortion.

For over 25 years I've written that once you separate legality from morality, all of the systems, structures, bureaucracies and ideologies of necessity collapse into relativism, anarchy, nihilism and genocide.

Tragically the Molech paradigm lives in modern times in the ideas of Humanism (man is god), Machiavelli (the end justifies the mean), Rousseau (glorification of the primitive condition without law or morality), Social Darwinism (evolution, natural selection, survival of the fittest), Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin (communism, state socialism), Nietzsche (will to power), Freud (sex is god), Margaret Sanger (radical feminism, eugenics, selective breeding/sterilization, abortion) and John Dewey (progressive education as anti-education).

Yes, he's falsely conflating social Darwinism with Darwinism yet again. And likening any of the other ideas he has self-defined in as offensive a manner as he could conjure to sacrifices to pagan gods is utterly preposterous.

Elsewhere, just in case Washington's screeching hatred for public education wasn't already obvious, he complained about how its creation distracted from more important pursuits like farming:

In 1857, the NEA was founded as the National Teachers Association (NTA) on the progressive principle of a free and compulsory education for everyone at taxpayers' expense. Although many people at the time were outraged at this taxation without representation and the taking away of people from their vocations, like farming, the idea of a free education for everyone sounded egalitarian and just. However, human nature and history tell us welfare philanthropy leads to paternalism and contempt by the giver and laziness, resentment and pathology by the receiver.

It seems Washington would rather see an illiterate agrarian society than one not educated to his far-right beliefs.

At the end, he writes: "Obama's secretary of education recently said that up to 80 percent of all public schools will fail within a year. I'm not shocked by this catastrophe, nor should you." But his supporting link doesn't even claim that; rather, it states that Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the number of schools that will be classified as "failing" under the No Child Left Behind law will rocket from 37 to 82 per cent in 2011, which indicates a problem with NCLB.

Should someone who so repeatedly demonstrated his complete lack of reading comprehension skills really be weighing in on the state of education?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 14, 2011 10:46 AM EDT
Sheppard Asks Why Nobody's Analyzing NPR For Bias -- What About His Employer?
Topic: NewsBusters

In a March 12 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard freaks about over NPR "On the Media" host saying she "couldn’t find a metric" to apply to the question of whether NPR has a left-wing bias:

Maybe that's part of the problem - these so-called journalists don't know how to determine bias in reporting.

How about first taking a look at a week's worth of programming and simply adding up the number of real conservative and liberal guests as well as Republican and Democrat guests? The qualifier "real" means that folks like New York Times columnist David Brooks and former CNN contributor Kathleen Parker don't count because they are by no means conservative.

Um, doesn't Sheppard work for -- and isn't NewsBusters a division of -- the Media Research Center, who stated mission is to uncover media bias?

Has the MRC ever done what Sheppard advocates -- count the number of conservative and liberal guests in a given week of NPR news programming? We're not aware of it, and if Sheppard isn't aware of it either, chances are it has not happened.

And if the MRC has not done such a simple thing, doesn't it mean that the MRC doesn't want to because it would not be to its political advantage to do so? As we've detailed, the MRC typically exempts cable news from its analyses of news coverage, presumably to avoid having to apply its bias standards to Fox News.

Sheppard has asked a very simple question -- one he would be better off directing to his employer.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:12 PM EST
Saturday, March 12, 2011
CNS Again Pushes Bogus Job-Loss Claim
Topic: CNSNews.com

In a March 10 CNSNews.com article, Nicholas Ballasy writes that he asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "You said the health care law will create four million jobs but the CBO director, Doug Elmendorf, told the House Budget Committee the health care law will kill 800,000 jobs – result in the reduction of 800,000 jobs in the workforce over the next decade. Is the CBO right or wrong in its estimate?"

Ballasy is deliberately misleading about what Elmendorf said. As we noted the last time CNS promoted this claim, Elmendorf did not sayd that "the health care law will kill 800,000 jobs"; he said there would be a one-half percent labor force reduction that would come from "reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply" as a result of increased health care benefits motivating people to "work fewer hours," not from top-down job eliminations.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 PM EST
Newsmax Pushes Discredited Palin Threat Story
Topic: Newsmax

A March 7 Newsmax article repeats a claim by Politico that Sarah Palin's parents have "received many death threats since the former vice presidential candidate gained national prominence," specifically citing a story about how "One man recently sent the family a photocopied receipt of a gun he’d purchased." But Newsmax ignored that Politico also reported that the FBI denied having any contact with the person who purportedly sent the gun receipt.

From the Politico article Newsmax linked to in support of its claim:

Palin’s father told the network about a man who had recently sent the family a photocopied receipt of a gun he’d purchased.

Chuck Heath said the man, an alleged stalker named Shawn Christy, was later arrested by the FBI.

“We kind of laugh it off, we got a restraining order on him, and lo and behold last week he showed up in Anchorage, from Pennsylvania, and fortunately the FBI was on top of it and sent him home,” Heath said.

But POLITICO was told the opposite on Monday.

Eric Gonzalez, a spokesman for the FBI's Anchorage field office, said the office has “has not arrested or had any contact with Mr. Christy.”

Two British papers reported earlier that the man had been arrested – apparently off of Heath’s assertion, citing a Palin family source.

Newsmax seems to have hidden the full story in order to overstate the threat.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EST
Friday, March 11, 2011
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Loren at Barackryphal takes a look at the WorldNetDaily-published book by Obama-hater and misleading poll-pusher Brad O'Leary, "The Audacity of Deceit" and finds that one section of it reads suspiciously like a WND article by Aaron Klein -- straight down to a repeated misspelling -- though at no point does O'Leary credit Klein's article.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:09 PM EST
CNS' Anti-Evolution Op-Ed Ignores Debunking
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com published a March 10 op-ed by Dominique Tassot (described as "president of the French Centre d’Etudes et de Prospective sur la Science," which contains "over 500 scientists and academics working to show the compatibility of Christian thought with scientific pursuit") asserting that "Darwinism" is "coming to an end," citing this as evidence:

The Russian Academy of Sciences has just published details of research directed by sedimentologist Guy Berthault showing that sedimentary rocks form very rapidly – two thousandths of the time attributed to them by the geological time scale.

The work spanning a period of 30 years was first performed in France at the Marseilles Institute of Fluid Mechanics and subsequently at the Colorado State University hydraulics Laboratory in the United States. Its application in the field was tested on the Cambrian-Ordovician sandstones of the North-West Russian Platform by a team of Russian sedimentologists.

Their report is published in Lithology and Mineral Resources, a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Details can be found at www.sedimentology.fr

Although the volume of scientific evidence against evolution theory has been accumulating ever since Darwin’s theory was introduced, the certainty of its downfall is now confirmed by these recent discoveries in stratigraphy.

Well, not so much. One critique of Berthault's work points out that his research is "thinly disguised and poorly argued pieces of creationist propaganda unencumbered by new findings" and sums up the case against him:

  • His experimental work is not especially original or revolutionary
  • His studies do not support a radical reinterpretation of sedimentology
  • The geological column contains deposition mechanisms that lie outside the processes that Berthault investigated
  • The suggestion that fossil organisms are sorted, not chronologically, but ecologically and hydraulically is not credible
  • Radio-dating supports both the immense age and the chronological ordering of strata.

A separate exchange of views , including Berhault himself, over Berthault's theory that the Grand Canyon could have been created in a single year is pretty much shot down.

And another critique claimed that Berthault's "knowledge of the sedimentology literature and stratigraphic field methods are decades or even centuries out of date." (Berthault responds here.)

This is not the first time that CNS has peddled this theory; it gave space to Berthault himself to write about it in an October 2009 column.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EST
WND's Cashill Thinks Obama 'Quite Possibly' Had Gay Sex
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One of the sleazy anti-Obama memes WorldNetDaily has pushed, on both the stealth and not-so-stealth levels -- is the idea that Barack Obama has had gay sex at some point in his lifew. First it was the never-proven Larry Sinclair claims that WND gave prominent play to without bothering to fact-check them. Then, Jerome Corsi went the dog-whistle route last month by dropping the names of supposed gay-sex paramours familiar only to those (like Corsi) who hang out in the Internet's most fetid corners of Obama-hate.

Now Jack Cashill takes a dip in that pool of filth in his March 10 WND column:

On the Hawaii front, Obama had to worry too about what Mendell would learn about poet, pornographer and card-carrying member of the CPUSA, Frank Marshall Davis.

That relationship between Obama and Davis is succinctly illustrated in the poem "Pop," which was published under the 19-year-old Obama's name in a 1981 edition of an Occidental College literary journal.

Instinctively protective of Obama, reviewers to a person decided that the "Pop" of the poem had to be Obama's mother's father, Stanley Dunham, the man Obama called "Gramps."

Not a one of them asked the most basic question: Why would Obama name a poem about the man he called "Gramps" "Pop"?

Rebecca Mead, writing in the New Yorker, unhesitatingly describes the poem as a "loving if slightly jaded portrait of Obama's maternal grandfather."

Obama biographer David Remnick makes the same point, "'Pop,'" he says as though a given, "clearly reflects Obama's relationship with his grandfather Stanley Dunham."

More oblivious still is British poet Ian McMillan. "There's a humanity in the poem," he writes in the Guardian, "a sense of family values and shared cultural concerns that give us a hint of the Democrat to come."

Family values? What family? Roman Polanski's? The "Pop" of the poem is a drunken poet who is plying the underage Obama with alcohol and quite possibly sex.

Does Cashill offer any proof of this claim? Of course not.

Cashill, if you'll remember, is the same man who's quite put out that nobody takes his Obama-hating conspiracy theories seriously. Gee, wonder why?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:39 AM EST

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