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Thursday, December 6, 2012
NewsBusters Pretends Anti-Immigration Group Isn't Controversial
Topic: NewsBusters

Ryan Robertson uses a Dec. 5 NewsBusters post to complain that Roy Beck, leader of the anti-immigration group NumbersUSA, was being unfairly portrayed in an interview in MSNBC. Robertson uncritically insists that "Numbers USA is a grassroots organization and an influential lobbyist group that concerns itself with immigration reform and the threat of mass amnesty."

What "threat of mass amnesty" is Robertson talking about? He doesn't say. As we've previously pointed out, the comprehensive immigration reform that has been put forward by the Obama administration is not "amnesty."

While Robertson doesn't actually quote much of anything from the interview, he nevertheless insisted that MSNBC had "no intention of portraying him in a positive light," adding that "rather than consider it an anti-amnesty organization, in predictable fashion [the interviewer] presented the group as 'racist' in motivation," citing claims from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In fact, the SPLC has documented how Beck has downplayed his work for John Tanton, a figure in the anti-immigration movement linked to white nationalists. The two are so closely linnked that Tanton has called Beck his "heir apparent." Robertson made no mention of Tanton in his blog post.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 PM EST
WND's Farah Flip-Flops, Is Now A 'Conservative'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has long denied is a conservative. In 2002, for example, he wrote a column titled "Why I am not a conservative," in which he declared: "I’m not a 'conservative' because I see precious little left in this world worth conserving. Conservatives, from my experience, do not make good freedom fighters. They seem to think a victory is holding back attacks on liberty or minimizing them. They are forever on the defensive – trying to conserve or preserve an apple that is rotten to the core."

Conservatives are too wimpy and not far-right enough for Farah: "Conservatives, it seems to me, only forestall the inevitable slide into tyranny. I don’t want to forestall it. I want to prevent it. I want to reverse that slide. I want to restore the dream that was America."

But Farah is quite willing to call himself a "conservative" when the right opportunity. A Dec. 3 WND article by Unruh details how "More than 100 conservative leaders from across the nation have dispatched a letter to GOP members in Congress encouraging them to “negotiate from a position of strength” with Democrats regarding the trillions of dollars in tax increases Barack Obama is demanding." One of those "conservative leaders" who signed the letter is Farah.

Unruh also does some shilling for his boss, noting that WND's "separate 'No More Red Ink' campaign explains what authority the GOP currently holds as the majority party of the U.S. House, where all national spending bills must originate." 

This may be nothing more than an attempt at trying to cash in, but it may also be a bit of reputation repair. After four years of pathological Obama hatred turned WND into a website that nobody believes, and Farah could certainly like to rebuild a little credibility by associating himself with the kind of mainstream conservatives he normally prefers to disdain.

If Farah is so willing to flip-flop on his ideological affiliation in order to make a few bucks and/or save his bacon, can he really be trusted. Farah's newfound conservative compatriots might want to ask themselves that question.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EST
At CNS, An Abstract Christmas Tree Sculpture = 'War on Christmas'
Topic: CNSNews.com

The right-wing media's idea of a "war on Christmas" may be utterly bogus, but that won't keep CNSNews.com from glomming onto it.

A Dec. 4 CNS article by Pete Winn begins:

Is there a war on Christmas in the city of Brussels?

The Belgian capital has replaced the city’s traditional 65-foot-tall Christmas tree in the center of the city with an even bigger structure of abstract modernist art, “Electronic Fir.”

Here's what the tree sculpture looks like:

Only at CNS can an abstract Christmas tree be considered a "war on Christmas." But then, CNS is a part of the Media Research Center, which has a history of hostility toward art it doesn't like.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:59 AM EST
WND Still Won't Tell Readers Why its Lawsuit Against Esquire Was Dismissed
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 30 WorldNetDaily article notes that "A federal appeals court has set a briefing schedule in WND’s appeal of a district court judge’s decision to dismiss its $250 million lawsuit against Esquire magazine." This is followed by the usual blathering by WND's lawyer, perennial courtroom loser Larry Klayman, attacking the judge for allegedly committing "negligently commit[ting] gross errors of fact and law" by dismissing it.

Again, Klayman and WND refuse to mention the main reason WND's defamation lawsuit against Esquire was dismissed: WND editor Joseph Farah admitted at the time the Esquire blog post was published -- which claimed that WND would destroy copies of Jerome Corsi's then-upcoming book "Where's the Birth Certificate?" because Farah had decided that "I cannot in good conscience publish it and expect anyone to believe it" -- that he knew it was a parody.

As the ruling states, Farah "immediately recognized" that the Esquire article was satire -- telling the Daily Caller that the post was “a very poorly executed parody” -- until it became "inconvenient" for him to do so. The judge added: "Political satire can be, and often is, uncomfortable to its targets, but that does not render it any less satiric or any less an expression on a topic of public concern."

What we have here is not only Klayman performing is usual job of bad lawyering, but also WND performing bad journalism by hiding inconvenient facts from its readers that are crucial to a truthful understanding of the case. But we're used to that, aren't we?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2012 9:39 AM EST
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Bozell Still Threatening GOP
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell is not done throwing tantrums about cutting off the Republican Party if it fails to be as right-wing as Bozell on "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

CNSNews.com gives Bozell's latest threat the attention you'd expect from Bozell's house organ, in a Dec. 4 article by Susan Jones:

One day after Boehner mentioned an $800-billion tax hike -- half the amount President Obama is seeking -- conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III said the Republican Party is no longer the party of limited government, limited spending and limited taxes:

"It is now officially exactly right behind the Democrats -- on everything," Bozell said. "It is time for conservatives to start looking for a new home. There's precious little left for us here."

Perhaps Bozell might do well to listen to one of his Media Research Center employees, Dan Joseph, who (in a showing of reasonableness unusual in MRC employees) tweeted, "Real' conservatives would have a lot more credibility and power right now if they hadn't spent the last two years calling everyone a RINO."

Meanwhile, Bozell took umbrage at another alleged criticism of conservatives, also lovingly documented by his house organ. This time, the tantrum is directed at David Welch, a former research director for the Republican National Committee, who wrote in a New York Times op-ed that "The modern-day Birchers are the Tea Party,"' and that the Republican Party should weed out “extreme, untested candidates” and “bring adult supervision to the party” the way William F. Buckley denounced the John Birch Society in the 1960s. Bozell is a nephew of Buckley's, and he did not like the sentiment, so much so that a Dec. 4 CNS article by Michael Chapman reports on Bozell's unpublished letter to the Times in response:

“He states that Bill Buckley would have linked the Tea Party to the John Birch Society, expelled it from polite company, and in its place would invite great conservative leaders like Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Chris Christie and Karl Rove to take the helm of our conservative movement,” said Bozell,  “because they are ‘ideally suited to drive extremists from the party.’”

He continued, “Let me suggest to you what my uncle would have said instead, while laughing at Mr. Welch’s proposal: ‘Given that the Tea Party is definitely not the John Birch Society, we therefore do not need moderates like Jeb Bush or Chris Christie and operatives like Karl Rove running the conservative movement. They are ideally suited to be driven from our ranks.’”

If the Tea Party "is definitely not the John Birch Society," why are Birchers speaking at Tea Party events? The society has noted that "JBS President John F. McManus has spoken at various Tea Party rallies as well as at meetings of many other conservative organizations." It's also been documented that tea partiers are at least as conspiratorial as Birchers.

It seems Bozell's response stems from a faulty premise. But don't expect the "news" organization he operates to tell you that.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:05 PM EST
WND Dishonestly Ties Pedophilia to Criticism of Anti-Gay Therapy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 30 WorldNetDaily article by Jack Minor dishonestly claims that laws banning "reparative therapy" to change a person's sexual oreintation protects pedophiles. He writes:

A California congresswoman wants to federalize a state law to prohibit counseling to change a person’s sexual orientation, including that of pedophiles.

In fact, Rep. Jackie Speier is offering only a non-binding resolution -- not a proposed federal law -- declaring that "sexual orientation and gender identify or expression change efforts directed at minors are discredited and ineffective, have no legitimate therapeutic purpose, and are dangerous and harmful." The resolution does not address such therapy directed at adults, as Minor suggests.

Minor goes on to claim that "the term 'sexual orientation' is not defined in either the California bill or Speier’s resolution," then cites anti-gay activists who claim that "This language is so broad and vague, it arguably could include all forms of sexual orientation including pedophilia," and that under the language of a bill banning anti-gay therapy targeted at minors, a "mental health counselor could be sanctioned if there was an attempt to get a pedophile to change his behavior or speak negatively about the behavior." Minor adds:

Pedophilia has already been granted protected status by the federal government in a way. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act lists “sexual orientation” as a protected class; however, it does not define the term.

Republicans attempted to add an amendment specifying “pedophilia is not covered as an orientation.” However, the amendment was defeated by Democrats. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., stated that all alternative sexual lifestyles should be protected under the law.

In fact, as we pointed out the last time WND lied about this, the federal government considers pedophilia a crime, not a sexual orientation, so excluding pedophiles would be redundant.

Similarly, a Nov. 30 WND column by professional gay-basher Matt Barber portrays laws banning sexual orientation for minors -- which he calls "Sandusky Laws" -- as stopping "therapeutic help for child victims of monsters like homosexual pedophile Jerry Sandusky." Barber continued on his anti-gay rant, :

Thousands of people, many of whom once identified as “gay,” have received positive, life-changing benefits from such counseling. Yet, among other things, the fact that people can, and do, leave homosexuality bulldozes the politically motivated, scientifically discredited “born that way” meme.

[...]

Under Sandusky Laws, if children begin to experience sexual confusion – such as unwanted same-sex attractions stemming from sexual abuse, trauma or any other factor – these bans force, under penalty of law, parents and therapists to tell the children that they are now “gay” or “transgender” and must live with it – even if they don’t wish to live with it and are otherwise recovering from the abuse-caused sexual confusion.

Wherever one stands on the issue of “gay rights,” any reasonable, caring person should be appalled by these selfish adult activists’ sickening and hateful stunt. What kind of person politicizes the lives of children, treating them as throwaway pawns in a cynical game of political chess?

Barber went on to call Speier's resolution "propagandist," even though Barber himself is merely regurgitating anti-gay propaganda, then calls gay activism a "radical cult."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 PM EST
CNS Puts 'Infinity' In Nancy Pelosi's Mouth
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has its marching orders -- depict suggestions of eliminating the federal debt limit as increasing it to "infinity" -- despite the inconvenient fact that nobody has ever said that word. CNS has already put "infinity" in Tim Geithner's mouth.

Lest anyone doubts that this deceitful "reporting" is coming straight from the top, a Nov. 30 article by CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey carries the headline "Pelosi: Give Obama Power to Personally Lift Debt Limit to Infinity."


Jeffrey goes on to write that "In effect, under the plan Pelosi is endorsing, the only limit on the national debt would be President Obama's willingness to borrow money in the name of American taxpayers." Jeffrey ignores the fact that the debt limit has turned into a political tool in the hands of the opposition -- in this case Republicans. As Business Insider reports:

 The debt ceiling is a stupid, arbitrary rule that says Congress has to authorize going into more debt, beyond just the vote on the budget itself. It's the #1 source of vulnerability for the U.S. government. Because the U.S. can create its own money, there's zero chance of default, unless a committed opposition uses the debt ceiling as leverage to go too far.

[...]

In the best of times the Debt Ceiling is a pointless technical vote. In the worst of times, it's an opportunity for one side to hold the nation's economy hostage. At no time, is it a useful mechanism for constraining spending, or having a debate on anything.

Jeffrey's article made no mention of the arguments of those in favor of elminating the debt ceiling, thus violating CNS' own declared mission to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily Reads Obama's Mind
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND touts self-proclaimed forensic profiler Andrew Hodges, whose pseudo-scientific method purports to uncover "secret" confessions in the president's words -- but merely reveals himself to be just another conspiratorial Obama-hater. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 AM EST
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
CNS Pushes Misleading Claim That Obama's Budget Was 'Defeated Unanimously'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Fred Lucas writes in a Dec. 3 CNSNews.com article that "The White House stressed that the offer made to congressional Republicans last week is similar to the proposals that President Barack Obama made in his fiscal year 2013 plan – a proposal that was defeated unanimously in the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House last year." Lucas added that "The Democratic Senate voted 0-99 against Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal."

But that's a misleading claim. As Media Matters points out, the version of the Obama budget voted on by the Senate was not introduced by a Democrat -- it was a brief summary of the budget introduced by a Republican, Sen. Jeff Sessions, that included Obama's numbers but none of his specific policy proposals. Senate Republicans then forced a vote on it as a stunt, knowing that it was not a real budget.

It did, however, provide a bogus talking point for right-wing reporters like Fred Lucas.

UPDATE: CNS repeats the dishonest claim in a Dec. 5 article by Elizabeth Harrington.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:44 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:25 PM EST
The WND Birther Blackout Continues
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily, it seems, hasn't given up birtherism -- or hiding the facts about birther conspiracy theories from its audience.

A Dec. 1 WND article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeats the case of failed lawyer Larry Klayman, representing Michael Voeltz's challenge to Obama's "eligibility" in Florida. As we've previously noted, the case was previously dismissed because, since Florida did not conduct a Democratic presidential primary, Klayman had no legal basis on which to sue. Now that Obama has won an election, that legal basis has been established.

Unfortunately for Voeltz, his lawyer is offering no new legal argument. Unruh quotes Klayman as saying, "The judge equated being a ‘citizen’ with a ‘natural born citizen’ and cited no authority to conclude the two terms are the same. He quotes other state’s cases, where judges reached that conclusion, but that’s not precedent for him. What other courts said in lower cases means nothing to him." No evidence is offered in the article that the judge is forbidden from citing the outcomes of birther lawsuits in other states.

The apparent core of the case is rehashing the idea that Obama is not a "natural born citizen" for purposes of being president because his father was not an American citizen. Unruh quotes Klayman's complaint as saying, "Law of Nations defines the term of art ‘natural born citizen’ as one born in the country [to] parents who are that country’s citizens."

But de Vattel's "The Law of Nations" is not a legally binding document, and as we've noted, no direct equivalent to "natural born citizen" appears in Vattel's original French, and the phrase shows up only in English translations of the book issued after the Constitution was written.

Unruh also notes that the complaint "cited the evidence produced by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s special investigative unit, which has asserted that the birth documentation from Hawaii that Obama claimed was “proof positive” of his Hawaiian birth is not real." But, of course, Unruh fails to mention how the Arpaio cold case posse's "investigation" has been discredited.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:59 PM EST
MRC Blames 'Gay Mafia' For Criticism of Gay Conversion Therapy
Topic: Media Research Center

Paul Wilson rants in a Nov. 30 article at the Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute, under the headline "Gay Mafia Objects to Reparative Therapy Proponent on Dr. Oz Show":

How slanted is media coverage for the gay agenda? Enough that one show’s decision to include a proponent of reparative therapy in a segment on the subject of reparative therapy provoked backlash from the gay community.

The subject of Wilson's post was  that "gay activists" were criticizing Dr. Oz for including a proponent of "reparative therapy" -- the so-called therapy to try and turn gays straight that's a favorite orright-wing activists like Wilson -- during a discussion of the subject on his TV show.

Wilson then complained that Oz "sided with the gay community on the issue of reparative therapy." Well, no -- as Wilson quotes him saying, Oz sided with the "established medical consensus" that it doesn't work and has the potential to do harm. Wilson concludes by whining:

The only acceptable opinions on gay issues appear to be those of the gay community – as GLAAD director Herndon Graddick wrote: “The issue is not one that can be discussed as though both sides are equally valid.” Most of the media has fallen into lockstep with this view that the only acceptable side is the gay side. Those like Dr. Oz who dare to include contrary views are attacked for allowing any view contrary to the gay agenda.

So sound medical practice is part of the "gay agenda" and enforced by the "gay mafia"? At no point does Wilson concede that reparative therapy is destructive, and he even uncritically presents the self-description of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) as "a professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality." In fact, NARTH has been widely criticized for peddling discredited anti-gay "junk science."

Wilson, meanwhile, is willing to disregard sound medical practice in order to peddle his anti-gay agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 AM EST
Rick Santorum Joins WND At Perhaps The Wrong Time
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Apparently, only one failed 2012 Republican presidential candidate can write for WorldNetDaily At a time.

Herman Cain has fallen off WND's list of columnists (without any explanation, per WND style -- he moved over to Newsmax), replaced by Rick Santorum. A Dec. 2 WND article touts Santorum as an "exclusive columnist," which is not quite the coup it's made out to be given that the list of WND "exclusive columnists" also includes the likes of Ellis Washington and Jack Cashill. The rest of the article appears to be boilerplate bio -- WND editor Joseph Farah can't even be bothered to drop a blurb.

Speaking of boilerplate, Santorum's actual column is pretty standard-issue fearmongering about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

As it turned out, Santorum joined WND on the same day that WND published (but buried) a column by Vox Day floating the idea of a white separatist movement in the U.S. Who thinks Santorum is proud of this?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:17 AM EST
Monday, December 3, 2012
Noel Sheppard Ignores Facts About Domestic Violence In Bashing Costas
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard used a Dec. 2 NewsBusters post to denounce Bob Costas' reading of a sports columnist's criticism of the "gun culture" in the wake of the murder suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend. Sheppard took particular exception to the statement that "If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today," huffing, "Yes, because men never killed each other or themselves before the creation of the gun."

Sheppard later added an update:

According to the American Association of Suicidology, roughly 50 percent of 2010's suicides were by firearm. The other roughly 50 percent were by such things as hanging and poisoning.

With this in mind, believing that "If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today" is preposterous.

Sheppard tries to distract from the issue at hand by focusing only on suicides. In fact, research shows that guns greatly increase the probability that women who are victims of domestic violence will be killed by their abuser, and the vast majority of murder-suicides are committed with guns.

So there's nothing at all preposterous about the idea that both Belcher and his girlfriend might still be alive had a gun not been involved in their dispute -- except, perhaps, inside Noel Sheppard's head.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 PM EST
WND's Vox Day Pushes Idea of White Secessionist Movement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Vox Day uses his Dec. 2 WorldNetDaily column to pontificate on separatist movements in Spain and Scotland, then use the insipiration to float the idea of a separatist movement in the U.S. for "white Americans who still hold to traditional values" and who don't like "the tens of millions of post-1965 immigrants from various non-European nations around the world, or their urban enablers":

There can be little doubt that Cameron’s opinion of UKIP is but a pale shadow of the U.S. bifactional ruling party’s hatred and contempt for white Americans who still hold to traditional values, believe in their constitutional liberties and derive their sense of identity from historical America. They mock the secessionist petitioners in Texas and other states, celebrate the infestation of even the smallest American heartland towns by African, Asian and Aztec cultures, and engage in ruthless doublethink as they worship at the altar of a false and entirely nonexistent equality.

And yet, they are afraid and they threaten every American who dares to think the unthinkable and speak the unspeakable. Why? Because they know time, history and socionomics are not on their side.

Is the secession of several American states truly unthinkable? Is the breakup of the United States of America really outside the boundaries of historically reasonable possibility?

Some would point to the amount of time that has passed since the Civil War, when the question was last considered. It has been 147 years since Americans attempted to exert their right to self-determination and leave the United States. However, it has been 305 years since the Scottish Parliament passed the Union with England Act in 1707, and even if Scotland does not vote to break up the Union in the referendum tentatively scheduled for 2014, the fact that the Scottish people are seriously considering an exit from a Union that is twice as old as the forcible one imposed by Abraham Lincoln should suffice to prove that the age of the U.S. does not render a potential breakup theoretically or practically impossible.

This is especially true given that the English people and the Scottish people have far more in common than Americans do with the tens of millions of post-1965 immigrants from various non-European nations around the world, or their urban enablers. The fact that the future citizens of Aztlán are presently content to continue collecting tribute in the form of state and federal largesse does not mean that they will refrain from exerting the political muscle that their growing demographic weight provides them once the contracting economy brings the gravy train to an end.

We missed this originally because, curiously, WND failed to post a link to it on its commentary page, even though Day has been a WND columnist for years, but Right Wing Watch caught it. Perhaps WND has realized that Day has issues and it would be better sometimes to hide him in WND's equivalent of the attic.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:17 PM EST
Bozell Throws Tantrum, Threatens To Stop Raising Money for GOP
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell issued a threat to the Republican National Committee last week, vowing in a letter to RNC chairman Reince Priebus that he won't raise any more money for Republicans if they allow taxes to be raised during the current "fiscal cliff" negotiations:

Reince, it pains me to say this, but if the Republican Party breaks its word to the American people and goes along with President Obama with tax increases, it will have betrayed conservatives for the final time. I will make it my mission to ensure that every conservative donor to the Republican Party that I have worked with for the last three decades— and there are many and they have given tens of millions to Republican causes—gives not one penny more to the Republican Party or any Member of Congress that votes for tax increases. The GOP will not deserve their support.

Of course, it's a little untoward -- if not illegal -- for Bozell, as the head of a 501(c)3 nonprofit like the MRC that's supposed to not take partisan stands, to  make a very partisan stand on fundraising, so technically he's speaking as the head of his superPAC-ish 501(c)4 group, For America.

Bozell's "news" outlet CNSNews.com, of course, promoted Bozell's tantrum in a Nov. 29 article by CNS managing editor Michael Chapman , who bizarrely quotes Bozell talking to him during a "telephone interview." Huh? Don't they work down the hall from each other at the MRC's Virginia headquarters?

And despite CNS' mission statement to  be a news source that puts "a higher premium on balance than spin and seek news that’s ignored or under-reported as a result of media bias by omission," Chapman includes no criticism of Bozell's threat.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EST

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