Noel Sheppard Bashes CNN Host For Citing Factual Information Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard had a hilarious little freakout in an Aug. 13 NewsBusters post, complaining that CNN host Soledad O'Brien read a quote from a congressman taken from a story on the website Talking Points Memo:
Can CNN's Soledad O'Brien make her sources any more apparent than she did Monday night?
While filling in for Anderson Cooper, O'Brien was actually caught on screen looking at an article from the left-wing website Talking Points Memo to assist her in a heated debate with Romney campaign senior adviser Barbara Comstock (video follows with commentary):
So, a CNN anchor with her own daily program used a far-left website for her show prep before talking to a Republican guest.
Do you need any more evidence of just how far to the left the self-described "most trusted name in news" is or why its ratings continue to tank?
Sheppard never disputes the accuracy of an information in the TPM article in question, nor does he prove his claim that TPM is "far-left." We'll conced that TPM is liberal-leaning, but it also has an excellent journalistic reputation. And it's certainly not as idelogically driven as, say, NewsBusters, which would certainly reject any description of it as "far right" even though that's exactly what it is under Sheppard's definition.
Weirdly, this has become a theme at NewsBusters. An Aug. 15 post by Matt Hadro begins, "Was Soledad O'Brien borrowing from liberal Talking Points Memo again? She was caught red-handed doing so Monday night, and her challenge to Romney's budget on Wednesday's Starting Point seemed awfully similar to TPM's take on the matter." Like Sheppard, Hadro does not dispute the accuracy of any of the information in the TPM piece he claims O'Brien was reading from.
All we have here, it seems, is yet another example of the Media Research Center being upset that the truth is being reported, despite its "Tell the Truth!" mantra.
WND Still Whitewashing Family's Gun Offenses Topic: WorldNetDaily
Late last year, WorldNetDaily columnist Jeff Knox whitewashed the case of a family accused of selling guns to Mexican drug gangs in order to portray them as victims of government oppression, or something. He's still at it, despite the family members' conviction on several gun-related charges.
In an Aug. 9 WND column, Knox made a big deal of how "the Reese family not guilty on 24 of the 28 counts against them," but he was deliberately vague about they were convicted of:
Remington Reese, the 20-year old younger son, was acquitted of all charges, while his older brother, Ryin was found guilty on two counts and his father and mother, Rick and Terri, were found guilty on one count each. The charges carry a potential sentence of five years and $50,000 for each count, but those convicted typically receive sentences of about one year.
Those sentences are what judges give to the criminals who knowingly and intentionally lie on federal forms though, not firearms dealers who “should have known” that customers were lying to them.
But as the Associated Press reported, "The charges on which the three were convicted dealt with two undercover operations in June and July of 2011 in which they were accused of wrongly stating they had conducted background checks on the buyers that were brought in with [Jose] Roman," the undercover informant. The AP adds:
During the trial, prosecutors played secretly recorded tapes of Roman talking in the store about taking the guns and ammunition to Mexico. In one of the recordings, he says, "This ammo is going to Mexico, and it's not coming back. And if it comes back it's going to be on some guy's body." In another tape he talked about the guns being used to kill federales.
Rick Reese testified Roman was a boisterous braggart and he never took him seriously.
Knox didn't mention that part, and instead dismissed the idea that the Reeses should have known the buyers' intention (though he's on tape announcing it to them): "Absent an accounting for “Fast and Furious,” aggressively going after gun dealers whose primary crimes appear to have been either paperwork errors or a lack of a psychic ability to read a buyer’s mind is an outrage."
Knox spends much of the column fretting over whether the Reese family will get seized property back.
Guilt By Association: CNS Tries to Blame SPLC's Map for FRC Shooting Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has gotten its right-wing talking points: Blame the Souther Poverty Law Center for the shooting at the Family Research Council, even though there's not a shred of evidence to link the two.
Elizabeth Harrington gives it a go in an Aug. 16 article:
The man who shot a security guard at the Family Research Council (FRC) on Wednesday was “given a license” to do so because of groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that have labeled the FRC a “hate group,” said FRC President Tony Perkins.
The SPLC has posted what it calls a "Hate Map" on its website that points to the FRC as a "hate" group located in Washington, D.C..
Harrington offers no evidence that the alleged shooter ever saw this map -- which lists only the city, not the street address.
By contrast, the FRC's website not only provides the street address of its headquarters, a video on the website features an image of the building its headquarters is in.
If the FRC's own website provides more information about how to find its offices than the SPLC's map does, shouldn't Harrington be blaming the FRC for making it so easy for the shooter to find it?
Harrington also complains:
The map and SPLC listing of "hate organizations" equates groups such as the Family Research Council, which promotes the traditional Christian view of marriage and sexuality, with racist groups that violate Christian teaching on human dignity.
In fact, the SPLC has explained that mere opposition to gay marriage is not why it named the FRC as a hate group:
The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage. The FRC and its allies on the religious right are saying, in effect, that offering legitimate and fact-based criticism in a democratic society is tantamount to suggesting that the objects of criticism should be the targets of criminal violence.
As the SPLC made clear at the time and in hundreds of subsequent statements and press interviews, we criticize the FRC for claiming, in Perkins’ words, that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem” — an utter falsehood, as every relevant scientific authority has stated. An FRC official has said he wanted to “export homosexuals from the United States.” The same official advocated the criminalizing of homosexuality.
Harrington did not report the SPLC's statements, nor its statement it "eplores all violence, and our thoughts are with the wounded victim, Leo Johnson, his family and others who lived through the attack."
WND Uses Birther Martyr's Book to Fearmonger About Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jim Fletcher uses an Aug. 14 WorldNetDaily column to tout birther martyr Terry Lakin's bio. Not only does he fail to offer up the conflict-of-interest disclosure that Lakin's co-author is WND columist Jack Cashill, he apparently offers no critical analysis of its claims, declaring, "We do not want to hand another four years to the people who tried to destroy Terry Lakin."
In fact, Lakin destroyed himself. He was not court-martialed because he questioned Obama's eligibility; he was court-martialed because he refused an order to deploy.
As we've noted, Lakin and Cashill uncritically repeat Tim Adams' meaningless, overblown claims about his experience as an elections clerk in Hawaii.
Fletcher then goes on a flight of fearmongering:
Honestly, the gruesome narrative of Lakin’s story in “Officer’s Oath” reads like something from the transcripts of Soviet and Nazi trials, and one can almost envision Lakin standing before these titled court officers much like the conspirators against Hitler did decades ago.
If we think things like this can’t happen in America, get a clue. They already have. And if you think they won’t come for you, think about Terry Lakin. Read “Officer’s Oath” and spread its message as widely as you possibly can. Because if there are eligibility questions about the president come January, the powers-that-be might be coming for you next.
Fletcher doesn't explain why parroting discredited claims about Obama's "eligibility" should make military members exempt from following orders. The only person Lakin has to blame for destroying his career is himself, and Fletcher is too far down the same birther path as Lakin to understand that.
WND's Corsi Still Pushing Discredited Birther Posse Coding Claim Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi is either an idiot or utterly dishonest.
In a brief summary of the cold case posse "investigation" of Barack Obama's "eligibility" in an Aug. 16 WorldNetDaily article, Corsi writes: "In addition, the team found computer codes handwritten on the Obama long-form birth certificate are inconsistent with information filled out on the form, suggesting the document had been altered."
In fact, whatever coding system was used on Obama's 1961 birth certificate , it clearly wasn't the 1968 system Corsi, Mike Zullo and the rest of the posse used as evidence of an "altered" document.
Corsi certainly must know this by now, and that his refusal to write about the issue only further discredits the posse. The fact that he won't address it demonstrates how utterly dishonest and craven a human being he is.
There is the small chance that he is so far in the birther bubble that he doesn't know it's been discredited. That would make him a complete idiot. Either way, Corsi has a long history of ignoring inconvenient facts that interfere with his anti-Obama agenda.
NewsBusters Bashes Huffington Post For Reporting A Fact Topic: NewsBusters
In an Aug. 15 NewsBusters post, Paul Wilson complains that a Huffington Post blogger referended "Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a hate group." To Wilson, this was an "attack" and a "slam" on the FRC, "whose members were targeted by a gunman less than three hours earlier" before the Huffington Post made the post live; Wilson went on to smear the SPLC as "left-wing hacks."
But the Huffington Post blogger was simply stating a fact -- the SPLC did call the FRC a "hate group." That's not something that's open to debate, nor is it an "attack." You can dispute whether the FRC actually is a hate group, but it's unambiguously true that the SPLC called them that.
This is just another example of the MRC being opposed to telling the truth when that truth makes conservatives look bad.
It's Discredited Sources Week At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily seems to have devoted this week to promoting claims from less-than-credible sources.
An Aug. 13 article by Art Moore touts an attack on Huma Abedin: "a manifesto commissioned by the ruling Saudi Arabian monarchy effectively places the work of an institute that employed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the forefront of a grand plan to mobilize U.S. Muslim minorities to transform America into a Saudi-style Islamic state." Moore's source? Walid Shoebat, "a Palestinian American author and critic of radical Islam who has done extensive research on the Abedin family’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhod and its Wahhabist affiliations."
Moore's boss, Joseph Farah, echoed the attack in his Aug. 14 column, calling Shoebat an "intrepid ex-terrorist turned Christian."
In fact, as we've detailed, numerous questions have been raised about Shoebat's self-proclaimed ex-terrorist background, as well as the finances of the charity Shoebat operates. WND has denounced an attempt by CNN to find out the truth about Shoebat as "gotcha" reporting.
Then, in an Aug. 15 article, Jerome Corsi repeats a claim by John Drew that after a 1980 encounter with Obama, "his strong impression at the time was that Obama and the wealthy Pakistani roommate who accompanied him were homosexual lovers."
But as we've also detailed, Drew -- who has cited his encounters with Obama to claim that he was, as Corsi wrote, a "Marxist revolutionar[y]" -- met Obama only twice in social occasions, making it highly unlikely that he could have made such sweeping conclusions of Obama's purported nature based on brief, casual encounters.Further, some of Drew's details about Obama have been discredited by actual college friends of Obama.
Corsi makes no apparent effort to fact-check anything Drew says.
It seems Drew is nothing more than an Obama-hater who's embellishing his brief, long-ago encounters to curry favor with fellow Obama-haters. Why? Presumably to sell some books -- he's supposedly working on one. And Corsi is swallowing every word he says.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Policies That 'Kill' Topic: NewsBusters
In an Aug. 13 NewsBusters post, Matt Hadro expressed outrage at the New York Times' Paul Krugman saying last year that Paul Ryan's proposed budget "would kill people, no question." Hadro called it "egregious" and a "disgusting liberal smear" and bashed CNN's Gloria Borger for airing the Krugman clip in a montage while saying "nothing critical of Krugman's outrageous remark."
Yesterday, Fox News host Eric Bolling declared that "Obamacare literally may kill you." By Hadro's standard, that's an egregious, disgusting smear, and none of his conservative co-hosts on "The Five" said anything critical about Bolling's remark.
Will Hadro hold Bolling to the same standard as Krugman? Or will he acquiesce to the right-wing standard -- established by the Media Research Center's tacit endorsement of Rush Limbaugh's three-day misogynistic tirade against Sandra Fluke -- that conservatives don't hold other conservatives accountable for their words? We won't hold our breath for the former.
It's been a while, so it must be time for another one of Ellis Washington's so-called Socratic "dialectics" in which Socrates sounds nothing like the actual Greek philosopher and a lot like Ellis Washington.
And Washington's August 10 WND column delivers, with a "dialectic" that's really nothing more than Washington -- er, Socrates haranguing a straw-man version of President Obama for purportedly being a Marxist, complete with the decidedly un-Socratic tactic of taking Obama out of context:
Socrates: President Obama, you are playing semantic games just like the politicians and sophists of my day who manipulated words and ideas, ruining people’s lives and destroying the world’s first republic. Now, 2,500 years later, here you come following a long line of sophistic pols and demagogues called the Democrat Socialist Party and you hide behind deceptive words and Marxist slogans – liberal, Democrat, progressive, spread the wealth, the rich must pay their fair share, forward, change – to hide your true identity: Marxism.
Socrates: Why were you propagating Marxism in your July 2012 speech in Roanoke, Va.? If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. …”
Having soundly defeated his straw man, Washington -- er, Socrates delivers is
Socrates: In conclusion, Obama’s treacherous promise to Soviet Russia that, “After my election I’ll have more flexibility,” demonstrates to all but the most willfully ignorant of Obama’s venal and enduring hatred of America: the country you swore a Bible oath to protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. Obama’s draconian military cuts will further degrade her military forces to 1940 levels even as trillions will go to pay for Marxist health care called “Obamacare.” Israel will be alone to defend herself against Iran and Russia.
Indeed, President Obama is a Marxist whose policies are doctrinaire utterances and policy positions of every major tenant of Marxism, socialism and communism. If the Obama regime seizes a second term of power in November 2012, Congress and SCOTUS will be rendered irrelevant, America will go completely Marxist and history will record your epitaph the USSA – United Socialist States of America. R.I.P.
God help Washington should he ever find himself in an actual Socratic dialectic, one where he isn't allowed to create straw men and is forced to rely on logic instead of right-wing talking points.
NEW ARTICLE: Damn the Context, Full Speed Ahead! Topic: Media Research Center
NewsBusters and the Media Research Center get all huffy when conservatives are taken out of context -- but they have no problem doing the same thing to President Obama. Read more >>
Huh? WND Quotes Jesus Criticizing America Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 12 WorldNetDaily article by Michael Carl carries the headline "Jesus to America: 'Why do you persecute me?'"
Yes, that's in quotes. Yes, WND is claiming to directly quote Jesus talking about America -- highly unlikely since Jesus died a couple thousand years ago, well before the establishment of America.
In the article itself --which does not quote Jesus -- Carl essentially defends brutal dictatorships in Syria and Egypt because they supposedly did not persecute Christians. That's a specious argument, which presumes that non-Christians are less than human and, thus, more expendable under dictatorships.
Carl is not the only WND writer with an affinity for brutal Middle East dictators; Aaron Klein has sided with both Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Syria's Bashar al-Assad.
CNS Quotes Anti-Gay Hate Group Leader to Attack Transgenders Topic: CNSNews.com
Reporting on how "The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights announced on Aug. 7 plans to launch a government-sponsored ad campaign to combat transgender discrimination in Washington, D.C.," an Aug. 10 CNSNews.com article by Patrick Burke gives a platform to a gay-basher:
Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, said these types of ads promote “gender confusion” to the general public, and often go beyond their original purpose of combating discrimination.
“A lot of times these ad campaigns go well beyond discouraging abuse to promoting abhorrent behaviors,” LaBarbera told CNSNews.com.
“Basically, this is a market campaign for gender confusion in the name of human rights, and made all the worse by the fact that it’s taxpayer funded,” he said.
LaBarbera added that government agencies often become vehicles for the “radical left agenda,” in this case “sexual and gender experimentation.”
“What’s happened is that this whole agenda is an agenda of the left,” he said. “Something that sounds so innocuous -- ‘The Office of Human Rights,’ how could you be against that? -- is used to promote a radical left agenda, and sexual and gender experimentation.”
“They [the left] create these agencies with noble sounding names that really do nothing but have a leftist social vision, in this case promoting incredible abhorrent gender confusion and putting a smiley face on it and using taxpayer dollars to promote the radical transgender agenda now to the public. And I think that’s wrong,” he said.
LaBarbera's AFTAH is listed as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its "often vicious" anti-gay activism. Burke did not inform readers of AFTAH's status as a hate group, nor did he permit anyone to respond to LaBarbera's attacks.
Roger Hedgecock Still Lying About DHS Analysis of Extremists Topic: WorldNetDaily
Back in 2009, WorldNetDaily columnist and right-wing radio host Roger Hedgecock leaked an internal Department of Homeland Security report on right-wing extremism, insisting that it portrayed any and every critic of President Obama as a potential terrorist. That's simply a lie; it came to pretty much the same conclusions about the motivations of right-wing extremists and their interest in disgruntled military veterans as a similar assessment conducted during the Bush administration.
Now that the DHS report seems to have been proven prescient, Hedgecock is back to repeat his lies.
In his Aug. 12 WND column, Hedgecock concedes that "The assessment warned of the rise of 'Neo-Nazis' and 'militias,' a warning that some see as valid today in light of the Sikh temple massacre in Wisconsin. But the language went way beyond warning about violent hate groups." But then he goes back to lying about what the report said:
The secret assessment also branded political opponents of the policies of the new Obama administration as “rightwing extremists,” defined as any American “antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms and use.”
The assessment advised “intense scrutiny” by “our state and local [law enforcement] partners” of anyone who disagreed with Obama on amnesty for illegals, greater dependency on federal welfare programs or gun control.
In fact, the report never claims that all opponents of Obama are "rightwing extremists," as Hedgecock suggests. From the report:
The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.
— (U//LES) Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.
— (U//LES) Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.
DHS/I&A assesses that a number of economic and political factors are driving a resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity. Despite similarities to the climate of the 1990s, the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years. In addition, the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization.
Hedgecock also claimed: "Worse, the assessment targeted all our returning war veteran heroes as potential terrorists, potential Timothy McVeighs, even though military training does not include making fertilizer bombs." But the report didn't do that either, stating that only "a small percentage of military personnel" might be attracted to extremist groups:
DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.
— (U) After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.
— (U) A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”
— (U//LES) The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.
Meanwhile, Hedgecock seems to have gottten his desired result by leaking the study. After the right-wing outrage toward DHS that Hedgecock's leak provoked, the person who wrote the DHS analysis, Daryl Johnson, had his research team broken up, and he now claims that DHS devotes few resources to examining far-right extremism.
Now that Johnson has been proven correct, Hedgecock doesn't want to hear it -- he only wants to fearmonger some more in order to push his anti-Obama agenda.
Newsmax Doesn't Bother to Prove That Debate Moderators Are 'Liberal' Topic: Newsmax
The headline of David Patten's Aug. 13 Newsmax article reads "Liberal Dream Team to Host Presidential Debates," but Patten doesn't prove the claim -- even when he's quoting the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell.
Patten uncritically quotes Bozell claiming that one debate moderation, PBS' Jim Lehrer, "tilts strongly to the left," but no evidence is provided to back it up.Similary, Patten quotes Bozell saying that CNN's Candy Crowley will be "drinking from the CNN Kool-Aid, and they’re the ones who are going to prepare the questions for her," but again, no evidence backs up the claim.
Patten himself grouses that CBS' Bob Schieffer "has a habit of asking questions on Face the Nation that suggest a point of view" -- but the evidence he provides is Schieffer asking Rep. Michele Bachmann, "Has the tea party made compromise a dirty word, and is that why Congress can't seem to get anything done?" Given that polls have suggested that tea party activists do not want congressional Republicans to compromise with Democrats, that's an entirely reasonable question to ask.
Despite not proving that any "liberal" journalists were named as moderators, Patten groused, "No conservative journalists were named." He then quoted Bozell complaining that nobody from Fox News was named to take part:
“They’re no longer step-children,” Bozell said of Fox. “They’re major players in this. Why don’t I see Bret Baier, why don’t I see Shephard Smith, and a number of people who are not doctrinaire conservatives by any step of the imagination — why don’t we see them?
“What about Britt Hume?” he added. “…Where’s somebody from the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, or Newsmax? It’s not like the left has a monopoly of talent.”
We know Shepard Smith is a straight shooter, but is Bozell really suggesting that Baier doesn't have a right-wing bias? Thatsimplyisn'ttrue.