Newsmax's Root Peddles More False Anti-Obama Conspiracies Topic: Newsmax
Wayne Allyn Root has peddled a lot of anti-Obamaparanoia in his Newsmax columns, making one wonder whether the guy who wrote the book "The Conscience of a Libertarian" has any sort of conscience at all. He does so again in a Jan. 20 column in which Root peddles yet another unproven anti-Obama conspiracy in arguing that Mitt Romney shouldn't release his tax returns until Obama releases his college transcripts.
Root declares that since he and Obama attended Columbia University at the same time, "I’m Obama’s college classmate," yet :"I never met Obama. Never saw him. Never even heard of him. And not one of my friends in the Class of '83 ever met him, saw him, or heard of him." Given that Columbia is a very large university -- currently more than 20,000 students -- that's not as surprising as Root makes it out to be.
Root adds: "The Wall Street Journal reported in 2008 that Fox News randomly called 400 of our Columbia classmates and never found one who had ever met Obama. Strange set of circumstances, don’t you think?" But that same Journal editorial quotes Obama's Columbia roommate -- thus undercutting Root's argument. Nevertheless, he asks, "why do his classmates at Columbia not remember Obama? Was he a ghost? Did he never show up at class?"
As FactCheck.org points out, it's "absolutely untrue" that nobody remembers Obama attending Columbia.
After speculating that Obama was hiding "bad grades" yet managed to get into major universities and Harvard Law School, Root goes off the conspiracy deep end:
Fourth, I’ve heard it rumored that Obama got a leg up by being admitted to Columbia as a foreign exchange student. Is that true? Did he hold a passport from Indonesia? Did he receive easier admission by portraying himself as a foreigner? Did he receive financial aid as a foreign student — something not available to true-blue American classmates like me?
I asked one of my lawyer buddies to call Columbia U. and ask the simple question, “Can foreigners get aid to go to college at Columbia?” The answer, “Yes, we have lots of aid for foreign students. They might be able to get their entire tuition paid and go to Columbia for free.”
So did Obama portray himself as a foreigner to get easy admission and a free ride? He was raised in Indonesia. Did his mother ever change him back to a U.S. citizen? Or was this all too easy because he still had Indonesian citizenship and passport? If so, is he qualified to be president of the United States today? I don’t know. But shouldn’t someone in the media be interested in asking these questions?
As Snopes details, the never-substantiated claim that Obama passed himself off as a foreigner to obtain scholarhip money for college comes from an anti-Obama email proven to be fraudulent.
In asserting that nobody has "asked these questions," Rroot is deliberately ignoring the fact that people did ask these questions -- and found nothing to support them.
With such anti-Obama paranoia and willingness to spread discredited falsehoods about him, Root really should be writing for WorldNetDaily.
Damage Control: MRC Rushes to Gingrich's Defense Again Topic: Media Research Center
The last time Newt Gingrich was in trouble, the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell rushed to his defense (in a factually deficient fashion) and even played the Buckley card by declaring that his uncle, conservative icon William F. Buckley, would never have treated Gingrich so shabbily for his ethical faux pas as the editors of the Buckley-founded National Review are treating him.
Now, another piece of Gingrich's past has come back to haunt him -- in the form of an unflattering ABC interview with Gingrich's second ex-wife, Marianne -- and Bozell and the MRC are rushing to play defense yet again.
Bozell issued a statement denouncing the ABC interview as an "October Surprise of the worst sort":
It is not necessarily inappropriate for a news outlet to interview a candidate’s former wife. However, three conditions must be met: 1) is it newsworthy?; 2) is it fair and respectful to the families involved?; 3) is the timing appropriate?
On the timing issue alone it is clearly inappropriate for ABC to run this interview on the eve of the South Carolina primary. This smacks of an October Surprise of the worst sort, for which so many in the left wing press have become so infamous. There is no reason it couldn’t run next week.
If it doesn’t meet the conditions of newsworthiness or fairness and respect it should be killed altogether.
Of course, Gingrich's shabby treatment of his exes is hardly a "surprise," October or otherwise; Marianne previously told her story to Esquire in August 2010. And Bozell is clearly being disingenous here -- delaying damaging information about a candidate until after an election is probably not the position Bozell took when the candidate was, say, Bill Clinton.
Bozell's MRC employees were quick to pile on. MRC research director Rich Noyes tweeted, "If a rival candidate did to Gingrich what ABC News is doing to him, the media would slap it down as a dirty trick." NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd played the Clinton Equivocation card in a tweet accusing Bill and Hillary Clinton of having an "quasi-open" marriage:
When CNN's John King began the Jan. 19 Republican presidential debate by asking Gingrich about Marianne's allegations, NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard declared King to have acted "despicably," and cheered at how "The former Speaker was having none of this."
A Jan. 20 NewsBusters post by the MRC's Scott Whitlock goes into shoot-the-messenger mode by attacking ABC's Brian Ross, who conducted the interview with Gingrich. Ross is "smarmy," Whitlock asserts, declaring his interview to be "bereft of new information" because Ross interviewed Marianne for two hours but "ABC only used two and a half minutes of actual footage from that interview." Whitlock also played the equivocation card, complaining that "no Democratic examples of "two-timing politicians" were mentioned by the journalist."
Even the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com got in on the act, with a Jan. 20 article touting how Gingrich's misdirection in "denounc[ing] a 'vicious' news media that is 'protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans.'"
Bozell issued an even more bizarre attack on Marianne Gingrich by suggesting that she was lying by claiming in a radio interview that the interview has "that awful, awful taint of Rathergate to it." Bozell then clarified by saying that he was referring to how the interview was timed "to do the most amount of damage it possibly could to Newt Gingrich's career," and that Marianne may be "entirely honest" in her claim, though she is "lashing out at her ex-husband." Bozell then declares, "I think it was a mess of a story, I think it hurts the media."
Funny, we don't recall the MRC trying to discredit, say, Paula Jones as bitter and vengeful the way it's trying to discredit Marianne Gingrich.
As Gingrich's behavior grows increasingly slimy, you'd think that Bozell and the MRC would get tired of having to come up with ways to defend it, excuse it, and/or pretend it doesn't matter. Apparently not.
Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
Sadly, No! deconstructs aJan. 14 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh promoting the increasingly hateful and dubious anti-Kinsey attacks by discredited researcher Judith Reisman. Sample deconstruction: "Who wants to be the first to inform the wingnuts of the world that peer-reviewed research and verifiable results don’t just disappear if you smear the original researcher of the subject enough?"
Newsmax Calls In Donald Trump (!) To Ask Romney to Release Tax Returns Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is so upset with Mitt Romney not releasing his tax returns that it published a rare editorial on the subject. NOting that people from across the political spectrum have called out Romney's increasingly fumbling response on the issue, Newsmax declared, "Mitt Romney owes it to Republican primary voters, not to mention the American people, to release his tax returns — now!"
This is likely just a part of Newsmax's Newt Gingrich hypemachine prior to the South Carolina primary, of course. But Newsmax considers this a serious enough matter that it called in the big gun for backup.
A Jan. 20 article by Martin Gould and Ashley Martella kicks off this way:
Mitt Romney’s waffling over whether he should release his tax returns is hurting him and making him look indecisive, Donald Trump tells Newsmax.TV exclusively.
“He is just leaving too much doubt in the way he is answering the question,” Trump said.
Yes, Donald Trump, the guy who inexplicably remains a Newsmax fave despite his mere presence being responsible for scuttling Newsmax's planned Republican debate.
It's ironic that Newsmax enlisted Trump to speak out on this, since Trump has done his own fair share of waffling on the issue. Last year, when Newsmax was stroking Trump's by way of cheerleading his presidential aspirations, Trump essentially promised to release his tax returns in President Obama released his birth certificate. When obama did release said certificate, Trump quickly walked back his promise, declaring he wouldn't release them until "the appropriate time," which he suggested would hinge on him actually declaring he was running for president.
So, to sum up: Trump the tax return waffler is accusing Romney of waffling on tax returns. Only at Newsmax...
Dennis Prager: Justice System Biased Against Whites Because Not Enough Black Murderers Are Executed Topic: WorldNetDaily
Yes, Dennis Prager really did write this in his Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily column:
The claim that America disproportionately executes blacks is a falsehood, disseminated on virtually every left-wing website, from the ACLU to all the anti-death-penalty sites. The only way it can be regarded as true is if the disproportion is in relation to the entire population of the country: Blacks make up about 12 percent of the population and since 1976 have been about 35 percent of those executed for murder. But this is a statistic that tells no truth because it is meaningless in terms of determining alleged racial bias.
This is very easy to prove. Males make up about 50 percent of the American population but make up about 99 percent of those executed. Is the American justice system wildly anti-male?
Of course not. The statistic that matters in assessing bias in executions is the proportion of murderers of a given group who are executed, not the group’s proportion of the entire population.
And here, it is clear that blacks are actually under-represented in executions.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, an anti-death-penalty organization, between 1976 and January 2012, 441 blacks (35 percent of the total) and 717 whites (55 percent of the total) were executed. Given that blacks committed more than half the murders during that time (52 percent versus 46 percent by whites), if we are to assess racial bias based on proportionality of murderers executed, the system is biased against whites, not blacks.
Because this fact is both obvious and irrefutable, virtually none of the anti-death-penalty sites note it. Instead, they focus on the race of murder victims and even the race of prosecutors – in other words, the race of just about everyone except those convicted of murder.
Oil-Funded CNS Hammers Obama for Rejecting Keystone Pipeline Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is in bed with -- and funded by -- the oil industry, and it has regularly shilled for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. So it's no surprise that it would harshly criticize the Obama administration for rejecting the pipeline.
The pro-oil, anti-Obama bias is palpable in the headlines alone:
Two of the articles uncritically repeat claims that the pipeline project wiould create 20,000 new jobs, ignoring the fact that this claim comes straight from the pipeline's builder and has been discredited.
Another CNS article, by Elizabeth Harrington, is dedicated to attacking Nancy Pelosi for disputing that the oil that would be distributed in the pipeline would be consumed in the U.S. Harrington relies on the American Petroleum Institute and the pipeline builder to rebut Pelosi, insisting that it almost certainly be consumed in the U.S. and that without it, “the U.S. will continue to import millions of barrels of conflict oil from the Middle East and Venezuela.”
But as the Council on Foreign Relations' Michael Levi points out in the Washington Post, U.S. vulnerability to turmoil in the Middle East is linked to how much oil we consume, not where we buy it from, and the pipeline would have no effect on oil prices in the U.S. since those are set on a global basis.
When your parent organization has a fellowship named after oilman T. Boone Pickens, who has donated millions to said organization, it only makes sense to toe the pro-oil line -- and CNS does so here to the expected slavish extent.
Newsmax readers didn't see that same level of coverage, however, when it came to an interview given to ABC News by Gingrich's second ex-wife, Marianne, in which she says some unflattering things about him. Newsmax kept the coverage relegated to wireaccounts that weren't promoted as enthusiastically as, say, the polling results.
MRC: NY Times 'Mars Memory of Cracker Barrel Founder' By Telling the Truth Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center, it seems, can't handle the truth.
A Jan. 19 MRC TimesWatch item by Clay Waters carries the headline "No Rest in Peace for Gay Rights: Times Mars Memory of Cracker Barrel Founder." Waters complains that a New York Times obituary on Danny Evins, founder of the Cracker Barrel chain of restaurants, "heavily emphasized his 20-year-old position on openly gay employees," dismissing this as "old news."
Um, aren't you supposed to recount the major events of one's life in a obituary, no matter how old? And Cracker Barrel's anti-gay discrimination, while not illegal at the time but characterized by what the Times called its "blatancy," is certainly an event worth noting.
One gets the feeling that Waters wishes that Evins could still be getting away with doing that -- which, of course, would make this an unsurprising part of the MRC's anti-gay agenda.
WND's Unruh Ignores Facts, Fairness In Anti-Gay Attack on SPLC Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've documented how Bob Unruh gave up a 30-year career in real journalism to peddle bias, stenography and unfairness -- the kinds of things no real news organization would publish -- at WorldNetDaily. Unruh serves up another textbook example of how far his journalistic standards have fallen in a Jan. 17 WND article.
Unruh uses this article to uncritically repeat the agenda of groups such as Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, in this case highlighting a protest by said groups against the Southern Poverty Law Center for daring to criticize their anti-gay agenda. Of the article's 28 paragraph, Unruh devotes 23 of them to bashing the SPLC. Here are the only three paragraphs in which Unruh allows the SPLC to respond to the criticism:
The SPLC declined to respond to a WND request for comment about the news conference. But the organization did post online a statement slamming those who participated.
The SPLC said, “Claiming that the SPLC is engaged in a ‘campaign to demonize adherents of traditional Judeo-Christian morality,’ the white organizers of the press conference are brining along a set of black pastors is a presumed bid to embarrass the SPLC.”
The statement attacked LaBarbera and said his description of homosexuality as “lethal” is wrong.
That's all Unruh will allow the SPLC say in his article, despite linking to a much longer statement on the SPLC website, which further details the criticism the SPLC has made against AFTAH and other anti-gay groups. Thus, Unruh failed to mention the SPLC's most direct response to the protesters:
The irony is that SPLC has named five of the participating organizations as hate groups precisely because they demonize LGBT people, using a series of well-worn lies to paint gays and lesbians as perverts, pedophiles and worse. Despite the claims of the groups, the SPLC is not attacking anyone’s morality. Instead, our hate group listings reflect the fact that they regularly propagate known falsehoods.
Take the press conference’s chief organizer, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), and its leader, Peter LaBarbera. In 2007, LaBarbera claimed that there was “a disproportionate incidence of pedophilia” among gay men — a devastating accusation, but one that is entirely false, according to all the relevant scientific organizations. LaBarbera has compared the alleged dangers of homosexuality to those of “smoking, alcohol and drug abuse” and the AFTAH website describes it as a “lethal behavior addiction.” AFTAH has also claimed that an anti-bullying bill in California promoted cross-dressing and sex-change operations, among other things, to kindergartners and other children.
Why did Unruh edit the SPLC's response so severely? Is it because of petulance at the group for refusing to give a special response to WND? Or is it because a fuller response would have interfered with the slant of his article? Probably both. After all, if Unruh had noted that the SPLC had caught LaBarbera andAFTAH in numerous falsehoods, Unruh would have had to spend precious time explaining that way that he apparently decided could be better spent uncriticially pushing his employer's anti-gay agenda.
Clearly, WND is not paying Unruh to deviate from that agenda -- it's paying him to promote it, no matter how many inconvenent truths he has to ignore in the process.
That could be called many things, but journalism isn't one of them.
CNS Ratchets Up Anti-Gay Rhetoric Topic: CNSNews.com
It turns out that CNSNews.com giving space earlier this month to anti-gay activist Randy Thomasson was just the beginning.
In a Jan. 9 article, Christopher Goins gives space to Michael Brown to assert that "Conservative Christians need to take a stand and speak out on the transformation of the American culture by homosexual activism."If that name sounds familiar, it's because WorldNetDaily embraced his anti-gay activism last year. As we detailed, Brown thinks homosexuality is no different than pedophilia (while, of course, denying he was doing any such thing).
In a Jan. 16 article, Pete Winn highlights how a group of orthdodox Jewish clergymen called Mitt Romney "a dangerous homosexualist," featuring claims by the group's spokesman, Rabbi Yehuda Levin.Needless to say, Winn avoided reporting on Levin's more bizarrely homophobic pronouncements, such as blaming last summer's East Coast earthquake on New York and Washington, D.C., approving gay marriage, or blaming the murder of an 8-year-old boy in Brooklyn's Orthodox community on gay marriage.
Despite the fact that CNS' parent organization, the Media Research Center, regularly criticizes the media for not presenting both sides of an issue -- a Jan. 18 MRC item on Piers Morgan and Rosie O'Donnell criticizing anti-gay Republicans, for example, stated that Morgan "ever seriously tried to provide the conservative side of the debate on homosexuality and same-sex marriage" -- neither Goins nor Winn ever seriously tried to provide the liberal side of the debate on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
On top of Penny Starr's latest anti-gay freakout over yet another art exhibit, it looks like CNS is getting fully in line with its parent organization's anti-gay agenda. Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey apparently doesn't mind that between this and the rabid Obama-hating, his "news" organization is looking more and more like WND every day.
Newsmax Fires Up the Gingrich Hype Machine Again Topic: Newsmax
After dialing things back in New Hampshire following an all-out effort in Iowa -- both of which couldn't get its candidate to finish any higher than fourth place -- Newsmax appears to be cranking up the Newt Gingrich hype machine once again just in time for the South Carolina primary.
A Jan. 14 "exclusive interview" by Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter touts Gingrich's claim that "any primary vote that is not for the former House speaker is a vote for Mitt Romney." A Jan. 16 article by Paul Scicchitano highlighted how "Gingrich appeared to score big points in Monday night’s two-hour Republican debate, according to an analysis by Fox News," adding: 'More importantly, Gingrich’s response to questions on the economy, foreign policy, and race in particular appeared to resonate well with the national viewing audience, who were invited to assess whether they felt candidates had answered questions — or attempted to dodge them — using the Twitter social media website to register their responses."
Meyers returns to crank up the level of fawning in a Jan. 17 article:
Newt Gingrich is garnering high praise for his performance in Monday night’s presidential debate in South Carolina — a dazzling success that drew an unprecedented standing ovation and could propel him back into close contention for the nomination.
And his sharp-edged response to a question from Fox News contributor Juan Williams may have generated the buzz equaled only by Ronald Reagan’s famous 1980 New Hampshire debate outcry, “I am paying for this microphone.”
Will Newsmax be buying TV time to run that so-called "campaign special" informercial for Gingrich in South Carolina the way it did in Iowa? We shall see, though that may be less a function of desire than available TV time in the state.
UPDATE: Newsmax keeps up the hype in a Jan. 18 article by Martin Gould, who reports that "Newt Gingrich is closing in fast on Mitt Romney just three days before the vital South Carolina primary," adding that "Now all eyes will be on Thursday night’s debate in North Charleston, S.C. when Gingrich will again try to use his rhetorical skills to catch his principal rival."
We suspect, however, that all eyes will be on Gingrich's debate performance for a different reason.
MRC Still Won't Break Down Fox News Debate Questions By Ideology Topic: Media Research Center
We've detailed how the Media Research Center has been quick to inform its readers how many questions in Republican presidential debates sponsored last year by networks such as NBC and CNN were "liberal" or "conservative" -- but not for the debate sponsored by Fox News. That blind spot continues in the latest round of debates.
The MRC was quick to roll out predictable critiques of debates hosted by ABC and NBC:
But when it came to the debate Fox News hosted on Jan. 16, the MRC was, as before, not interested in breaking down the questions by ideology -- even as it attacked one of the questions.
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard highlighted the "rather testy exchange with Fox News's Juan Williams" over Williams' suggestion that Gingrich was "racially insensitive" by claiming that black Americans lack a work ethic. Sheppard responded: "Despite his likely respect for his former Fox colleague, it was nice to see Gingrich do this. As NewsBusters has been reporting for months the media are going to constantly bring race into the discussion to assist Obama's reelection." But at no point did Sheppard attack Williams for asking a question "from the left."
Is the MRC so afraid of Fox News that it will avoid telling the truth about Fox News out of fear of offending them? Or does the MRC simply give Fox a pass no matter how egregious the behavior?
Then again, MRC chief Brent Bozell clearly feels so comfortable on Fox that he'll call President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead" without fear of retribution.
WND's Corsi Tries to Whitewash Charges Against Arpaio Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi keeps up his borderline illegal fanboy-esque slobbering over Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio in a Jan. 16 WorldNetDaily column.
Corsi does his best to paint Arpaio as the noble victim of a conspiracy against him led by none other than President Obama:
What is shaping up is an epic political battle in which the Obama White House has decided to launch a full-scale assault against local Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
In other words, the national battle on both illegal immigration and on the Obama birth certificate is rapidly coming down to a local duel that can be properly billed much like a heavyweight prizefight, as “Obama v. Arpaio.”
Moreover, it appears the White House has set February as the month Arpaio has either to comply with the Department of Justice demands, or face Eric Holder in federal court.
This is not coincidental.
Corsi is referring here to the investigation into whether Arpaio and his deputies committed civil rights violations against Hispanics. Corsi conveniently fails to mentiont that, as the Arizona Republic pointed out, this investigation began under the Bush administration, and it could have been completed sooner had Arpaio's office cooperated and not forced federal officals to go tocourt to obtain records. In other words, the timing of this investigation is largely a problem of Arpaio's making, not Holder's.
Corsi also tries to dismiss accusation that Arpaio's office botched hundreds of sex-crime investigations, calling it an "old story" and insisting that "the city of Phoenix has five times the uninvestigated sex crimes Sheriff Arpaio’s office supposedly mishandled." At no point, however, does Corsi address the substance of the charges or explain why it's relevant that other jurisdictions have more supposedly mishandled crimes that Arpaio's office.
As he has before, Corsi denounces an effort to remove Arpaio from office, attacking its leader, Randy Parraz, as having a "leftist Saul Alinsky background." And as before, Corsi doesn't explain the relevance of such an accusation -- he clearly has no other purpose than to hurl an ad hominem attack at Parraz.
Corsi even falsely attacks the Hispanic group La Raza:
La Raza even today retains its founding political agenda that major portions of the American Southwest should be returned to Mexico and/or allowed to form a mystical nation of indigenous Indians and Latinos, called “Atzlan.”
Truly, La Raza activists hold the extreme view that the United States should concede back to one form or another of Hispanic rule major portions of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas (at a minimum), under the presumption that an Anglo-dominated United States that communists and the radical left in general view as a capitalist, imperialist nation with colonial ambitions.
La Raza is not an "extreme" group who wants to return the southwester U.S. to Mexico -- in fact, it explicitly rejects that view.
But Corsi still isn't done painting Arpaio as a victim, or slobbering over him:
What the White House appears to hate is that Arpaio is an elected law enforcement officer who remains enormously popular in Maricopa County, precisely because he has the courage to stand up to their Saul Alinsky bullying tactics.
Since the White House declared war on Arpaio, he has announced both his decision to seek re-election this November as Maricopa County sheriff and his willingness to take on the wildly partisan Obama DOJ in federal court.
In the final analysis, Arpaio remains a hero to millions of law-abiding citizens across America precisely because today he still retains the same respect for law that has served to distinguish him throughout his five-decades-long career in law enforcement.
Remember, such sycophancy is being done in hopes that Arpaio's "cold case posse" will ignore a complete summation of the facts and return a birther investigation that comports with WND's birther obsession. So consider Corsi's slobbering just another bribe from WND to that end.
UPDATE: TPM reports that Arpaio is still being uncooperative, meaning that the reason this investigation is being dragged out is because of Arpaio himself, not the Obama administration.
Sheppard Approves of Gingrich Demanding That Romney Do Something Illegal Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard uses a Jan. 16 NewsBusters post to highlight Newt Gingrich's attack on Mitt Romney in which Gingrich claimed that "Mitt Romney's inability to control what a Super PAC supporting him says 'makes you wonder how much influence he’d have if he were President.'"
It's a strange thing for Sheppard to highlight, given that it would be illegal for a candidate to have any control over the super PAC supporting him. It's doubly strange because Gingrich has no control over his super PAC either -- to the point where he has to beg his super PAC to fix inaccurate claims in an anti-Romney video it released.
Why did Sheppard highlight this exchange without bothering to report all the relevant facts? Um, because he's incompetent?