NewsBusters Insists 'Lie of the Year' Is 'Technically True' Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center's war on facts continues in a Dec. 13 NewsBusters post by Ryan Robertson, in which he ludicrously insists that Mitt Romney's campaign claim that Chrysler would move Jeep production from the U.S. to China -- chosen by PolitiFact as its "Lie of the Year" -- was "technically true."
How does he do that? By ignoring all the false stuff.
Robertson quotes only the statement from a Romney ad saying, "Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job," which he said was "simply and factually stated." But Robertson conveniently ignores the fact that the context of the ad implies that Chrysler would move Jeep production out of the U.S., which was denied by Chrysler itself.
Robertson then laughably claims that "Romney did exaggerate a bit when he said 'all' production was moving to China." If by "exaggerate a bit" Robertson means "make a statement with no basis whatsoever in fact," then yes.
All year, the MRC refused to apply its $5 million "Tell the Truth" campaign to Republicans, so it's not surprising that Robertson takes the next step and pretends that Republican lies are really the truth.
WND Article On 'Biased' Curriculum Was Discredited Before It Was Written Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 13 WorldNetdaily article by John Griffing begins scarily:
In the 70 percent of Texas public schools where a private curriculum has been installed, students are learning the “fact” that “Allah is the Almighty God,” charge critics of a new online curriculum that already is facing condemnation for its secrecy and restrictions on oversight.
Now come concerns about what critics describe as a definitively pro-Islam bias.
The critics say the studies border on proselytizing.
Not only is Griffing's article completely false, it was discredited a full two days before WND published it.
Griffing cites only unnamed "critics" of the curriculum, called CSCOPE; in fact, his source is a chain email fearmongering about it. Griffing made no apparent attempt to contact Texas school officials for a response.
If he had bothered to make this basic journalistic effort, he would have learned that school officials looking to that chain email he put so much faith in, and found it to be without merit.
The Dallas Morning News reports that one education official gave the members of one Dallas-area school board that had received the chain email "a 72-page handout listing every religious reference in the CSCOPE curriculum, from kindergarten to high school."
Christianity got twice as much attention in the curriculum as any other religion. Islam was a distant second.
The Red Crescent and Boston Tea Party reference mentioned in the email were nowhere in CSCOPE’s curriculum, although they may have been in the past.
If there was any Islamic bias in CSCOPE it was “bias against radical Islam.”
In other words, the exact opposite of that Griffing claimed.
Griffing also claims that CSCOPE's study of Islam "includes information on how to convert, as well as verses denigrating other faiths," and that it describes Allah as "the Almighty God" and "alone is the Creator" but makes "no mention of his documented sex activities with a child or his penchant for beheading entire indigenous people groups [sic]".
Since Griffing is merely repeating what he read in a chain email, he offers no context for which these statements allegedly appear.
Griffing goes on to assert that the CSCOPE curriculum treated the Boston Tea Party "as a terrorist act on par with the 9/11 attack." That's not true either. The handout includes an explanation of the Boston Tea Party exercise from the creators of CSCOPE:
As Americans, we of course know that the Boston Tea Party was a courageous and patriotic event in our history, celebrated as one of the most important acts leading to thte American Revolution. According to the writer [of the Boston Tea Party activity], the intent was to have students hear a random news report from an unidentified source claiming the event to be an act of terrorism -- writing it froma completely different perspective that the one embraced by our great country today.
Additionally, it is important to note that an "Engage" activiity is meant to "hook" the students and set the stage for thte rest of the lesson. The writer stated that this was an attempt to engage students with an activity on perspective over the topic of terrorism. The activity was meant to show student how the same act can be viewed differently, depending on one's perspective. The Boston Tea Party is an example of how an act of patriotism to American could be perceived differently by an outside party, specifically the King of England at the time.
Griffing -- described only as "a frequent contributor to American Thinker" -- wrote a thoroughly discredited article that, if he cared anything at all about journalism, he should have known was discredited before he even set fingers to keyboard. And if WND cared anything at all about journalism, it would have done some due diligence and some basic research before publishing it. This lack of even the most rudimentary fact-checking has burned WND in the past.
AIM's Kincaid Thinks Conservatives Should Emulate British Hate Group Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid uses his Dec. 10 Accuracy in Media column to argue against Republicans embracing gay marriage, claiming that the British offer up an alternative:
This British Conservative Party has watered down traditional conservatism to such an extent that some conservatives have formed an alternative, the English Defense League (EDL), which has spawned the British Freedom Party.
This group has been strongly attacked in the media, here and abroad, as “far-right” or worse. But I had the opportunity to meet their leaders, Kevin Carroll and Tommy Robinson, at the 9/11 conference in New York City sponsored by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer which was designed in part to organize resistance to global Islam and safeguard our right of free speech against the advance of Sharia, or Islamic law. You can watch the speeches by Carroll and Robinson and draw your own conclusions. Carroll and Robinson want a patriotic alternative to the British Conservative Party that will promote traditional values.
As Right Wing Watch points out, the EDL is "strongly linked with violent actions and whose members terrorize Muslims and often espouse Nazism." So, yeah, "Far-right" seems pretty accurate. Of course, Kincaid thinks the white nationalist American Renaissance is a perfectly fine source on issues of race, so his perspective is a tad skewed.
Kincaid goes on to lament how EDL officials have been arrested:
American conservatives and their media should take a hard look at what is really happening in Britain. We had to turn to a relatively new conservative channel in Canada, Sun TV, for important news and information about how Carroll and Robinson and their supporters are being targeted by the “conservative” government there. Carroll was actually imprisoned for exercising his political rights. Robinson is still in prison on charges that he entered the United States illegally and has sent Pamela Geller a letter about his plight, which is published on her website.
Richard Bartholomew details that Robinson -- who has a long criminal record that would normally prevent international travel -- used a passport with a namethat was neither his real name nor his nom de plume of Tommy Robinson. Carroll was arrested along with 53 other EDL members as part of a police sting relating to a "planned disturbance," which sounds a litle more serious than Kincaid's benigh description of "exercising his political rights."
WND Still Pushing Dubious Voter Fraud Claims Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has its voter fraud story and is sticking to it, no matter how discredited.
A Dec. 10 WND article by James Simpson purports to examine possible evidence of voter fraud in the presidential election. He begins by ranting that "members of the president’s team did everything possible to rig the game in their favor" while "Democrats and their media allies also engaged in what has fairly been described as a dishonest and 'vicious' campaign to discredit the Republican nominee while steadfastly shielding the administration from its many scandals." So Simpson is clearly predisposed to declare anything and everything as evidence of "voter fraud."
After running through a laundry list of items that are mostly isolated examples of things, some of which have nothing to do with the election like bashing Motor Voter laws, Simpson concluded:
So is vote fraud real? Yes. Did it occur in this election? Yes. Was it enough to steal the election? In reality, although no single instance or aspect of vote fraud was likely enough to tip the election for Obama, the aggregate of their corrupt activities – including illegal campaign donations, taking advantage of states without voter ID requirements, military ballots delivered too late, as well as the laundry list of elements identified in this report, may well have been.
Election 2012 provides a powerful justification for, at a minimum, enacting strong voter ID laws throughout the nation and a repeal of the most anti-Democratic voting legislation ever written, the National Voter Registration Act.
In short, Simpson found what he wanted to find, thus fulfilling his preconceived notions.
Meanwhile, Molotov Mitchell's weekly WND video repeated many of the same allegations, ignoring exculpatory evidence as Simpson did. He added a couple new ones though, such as complaining that some Colorado counties had more registered voters than residents -- which, of course, proves nothing except possibly an out-of-date voter list. Mitchell thundered, "Counties like San Miguel reported that they had 140 percent voter registration. It's a miracle. Just guess who won San Miguel County."
That allegation is bunk as well. Mitchell is referring to a RedState article on the subject; the response from county officials was that “San Miguel County is a resort community. Many young people come here to work for a season or two and then move on," as well as "senior citizens who “leave during large parts of the year, causing a (non-forwardable) mail ballot not to reach them."
RedState sums it up this way: "San Miguel County has a total population of 7,359 with 19.2 percent of the population below the voting age, making the highest possible number of registered voters 5,946. If the census numbers are to be trusted, that results in the possibility of up to 2,390 individuals on the voter rolls who should not be."
But let's look at the vote totals for San Miguel County: Approximately 4,100 people voted, far short of both the number of voters on the rolls as welll as the number of possible voters.
So, no voter fraud. But claiming that it happened, regardless of the facts, is what WND is paying people like Simpon and Mitchell to do.
NewsBusters Bummed That Mocking Transgenders Is No Longer Acceptable Topic: NewsBusters
Geoffrey Dickens laments in a Dec. 12 NewsBusters post:
Two veteran DC area sports talk radio hosts, ESPN980's Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban, were suspended, on Tuesday, for making fun of Gabrielle Ludwig, a 6-6, 50-year-old former male college basketball player, who came back to play the woman's game.
Dickens defended the suspended hosts by claiming they were merely using "the kind of lockerroom jocularity typical of sportstalk radio. Apparently that mockery drew the ire of LGBT activists."
WND Taking Shots At Rick Warren Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has had it in for pastor Rick Warren for quite some time. Warren and WND editor Joseph Farah have tradedpotshots for years, with a brief interlude of nice-ish articles about him seemingly done in an effort to get Warren off his back.
Now, WND has decided to take another shot at Warren. A Dec. 11 article by Drew Zahn tells the story of a man who "left his position as a Microsoft executive to launch a thriving megachurch in Arizona and travel the world with evangelical superstar Rick Warren to train others in the methods of 'The Purpose Driven Life'" who is accused of telling a woman in his church "to have sex with him with 'God’s approval' and divorce her husband."
Needless to say, Zahn makes no effort to contact this pastor or any of his possible supporters for their side of the story; instead he quotes an anti-Warren activist who complains that "Warren has built his organizations upon secular business management philosophies rather than the foundation of Jesus Christ."
Also needless to say, Zahn waits until the 12th paragraph of his 14-paragraph story to note said anti-Warren activist conceding that "In all fairness to Rick Warren, there is no direct connection between him and what this pastor is being sued for regarding sexual exploitation."
MRC's Bozell Claims Media Censored 'Union Violence' -- But Steven Crowder Is Censoring Too Topic: Media Research Center
In a Dec. 12 Media Research Center press release, Brent Bozell complains that the TV networks "deliberately ignored widely available footage of Fox News Contributor Steven Crowder being punched in the face by a union member." Bozell further huffs:
The pro-union broadcast networks are deliberately censoring footage of thuggish union violence directed at conservatives. If a Tea Partier had physically assaulted a liberal journalist or ripped down a structure occupied by a liberal organization all on video, the footage would be broadcast on an endless loop. ABC, CBS, and NBC have a responsibility to the American people to expose what’s really happening in Michigan. Their double standard is absolutely outrageous.
Both Steven Crowder and Americans for Prosperity should press charges on the parties responsible for these assaults, and they should be prosecuted. ABC, CBS, and NBC may be willing to turn a blind eye to union violence, but the unions are not above the law.
But it appears that "widely available footage" was selectively edited to remove Crowder's apparent provocation of the union member.
The New York Times reports that a version of the video released to Fox News' Sean Hannity shows " the man who punched Mr. Crowder being knocked to the ground seconds before and then getting up and taking a swing at the comedian." The Times adds:
There is one more anomaly in Mr. Crowder’s edit of the footage shot by his associates. The still frame he used for the clip’s title image on YouTube, which offers a much clearer image of the man punching him, was obviously shot by a second camera, from an entirely different angle than the rest of the footage he presented of the man hitting him. If Mr. Crowder wants to clear up the mystery of exactly what happened just before he was punched, it might make sense for him to release any footage of the incident shot from that second angle.
Additionally, there are reports that Crowder was deliberately trying to provoke a confrontation and "wasn't going to go home until he got punched."
Will Bozell and the MRC demand that Crowder clear up any confusion and tell the full truth, or will they continue to promote a selectively edited video that is not an accurate representation of what happened?
Will WND Report On Censorship By College Farah's Child Attends? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Michael Farris, near as we can tell, is a close friend of WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah. Farris is a homeschooling activist Farris was a columnist for WND at one time, when Farah called him "one of the top legal minds in the nation and a hero to the homeschooling community." Farris was a speaker at WND's "Taking Back America" conference in 2010.
Farris is also founder of Patrick Henry College, a Christian school that specializes in teaching homeschooled students. At least one of Farah's children attends the school, and she wrote a fluffy profile of Farris for WND and another one about the school itself.
What do you think the chances are that WND will report on Farris' attempt to censor news content at the school.
The local newspaper in the suburban Washington community where Patrick Henry College is located reports on Farris' disapproval of a blog called Queer at Patrick Henry College, written pseudonymously by current or former students there. The problem is that homosexuality is officially frowned upon at PHC -- it violates the school's "honor code" -- and Farris has worked to censor or shut down the blog.
First, Farris threatened the blog's writers, claiming "violation of our copyright of the name Patrick Henry College" and declaring he would take "the legal steps to seek removal from Facebook and from the courts if necessary. In the process of this matter we can seek discovery from Facebook to learn your identity and seek damages from you as permitted by law. The best thing for all concerned is for you to simply remove this page."
Given that Farris is supposed to be a constitutional lawyer -- or, in Farah's estimation, "one of the top legal minds in the nation" -- he should have known better than to issue such a clearly unenforceable and intimidating threat. As Public Citizen noted, Farris is confusing copyright with trademark, which allows bloggers to use the name of the target of their criticism to identify the pages where the criticism appears. After being contacted Farris to inquire whether he was represented by counsel, Farris quickly retracted his threat, stating, "After further consultation, I withdraw my note from yesterday. While we believe in the inappropriate nature of the use of our trademarked name, we believe that litigation is not appropriate."
However, according to the local paper, the school has blocked access to the Queer at PHC website from campus computers and from the school's wi-fi network.
You'd think WND would be interested in the fact that a college was actively trying to keep its students from accessing the website, given its ownbattles against web filters. But given WND's longstanding support for Farris and hatred of gays, this is one act of censorship Joseph Farah can wholeheartedly support.
Of Barry Farber, Obama, and Nazis Topic: WorldNetDaily
Barry Farber's Dec. 11 WorldNetDaily column carries the headline "Obama's No Nazi -- But..." And you know what that means: If you have to explain that you're not calling Obama a Nazi, you're calling him a Nazi.
And that's pretty much what Farber does:
Adm. Miklos Horthy was the Hungarian leader who led his country into an alliance with the Nazis. He was driven by that Eastern European fear of Communism, and he opposed what Germany was doing to the Jews. Horthy was able to shield Hungary’s Jewish population for quite some time, and when the Germans began to demand he get serious about the Holocaust, Horthy came up with one suggestion after another to “find a place” for the almost 1 million Jews of Hungary. The Nazis kept bringing up more and more ridiculous reasons to reject Horthy’s leniency toward the Jews. Finally Horthy lost it and shouted, “You’re being impossible. We can’t just kill them!”
I’m not calling President Obama a Nazi. I’m only saying he’s being impossible! Obama’s intractable insistence on harvesting more revenue by raising tax rates on the super-rich ignores history, economics and mathematics, and exposes Obama as being more interested in the destruction of the GOP than in the rescue of America. Who can deny that a tax code that encourages more job-holders – therefore more taxpayers and therefore more revenue – beats trying to squeeze more juice from the rocks atop Millionaires’ Mountain?
Obama’s no Nazi; but he does remind me of those American officers after the American bust-out from the Belgian Bulge who jeopardized troops, supply lines and battle plans just to fulfill the vainglorious act of urinating in the Rhine River.
A little advice to Barry Farber: If you're really not calling Obama a Nazi, don't use anecdotes involving Nazis. Pretty simple, really.
MRC Researcher Reads NBC's Mind Topic: Media Research Center
A Dec. 10 Media Research Center item by Kyle Drennen carries the headline "NBC Hoping Supreme Court Hands Down 'Roe v. Wade of Gay Rights'." But Drennen quotes only NBC commentators noting that the Supreme Court approving of gay marriage would be a monumental decision, which even Drennen would have a hard time arguing with.
But since he can't, he instead imputes motives he can't possibly know to thte NBC commentators.
That's not "research," that's bogus mind-reading. The MRC is a bitprone to that sort of thing.
Aaron Klein is not the only anonymous-source exploiter at WorldNetDaily. The pseudonymous Reza Kahlili -- the self-proclaimed former CIA spy who claims to have worked in Iran and is known for peddling hyperbolic and fearmongering claims -- has been banging them out lately as well.
A Dec. 4 WND article cites "a source who served in Iran’s Intelligence Ministry and who recently defected" to claim that "Iran has 170 ballistic missiles aimed at Tel Aviv, many with biological warheads."
A Dec. 11 article claimed that "Iran has infiltrated a team of Quds Force terrorist leaders into the United States to attack from within in 2013," according to a "source within the office of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic regime," who "is risking his life not only to reveal the terror operation but to warn that Iran is pursuing its nuclear bomb program around the clock from several secret sites."
Why should anyone trust Kahlili? Given that he once insisted that Iran was planning nuclear suicide bombings with "a thousand suitcase bombs spread around Europe and the U.S., there's no good reason to. Plus, he writes for a website that nobody believes, which should make one doubly skeptical.
And Kahlili's sources are even more unverifiable than Klein's -- the two listed above are either working in a closed society or in hiding after an alleged defection.
That means we must put even more trust in the reporter, which, frankly, we can't.
WND Still Pretending It Played A Role In HSBC Scandal Topic: WorldNetDaily
For months, WorldNetDaily has been touting John Cruz as the main whistleblower on HSBC's money-laundering schemes, even though that's not the case. With the news that HSBC is paying a record $1.9 billion in fines to settle the case with U.S. authorities, WND and Cruz are still eager to take credit for something they didn't really play a role in.
A Dec. 11 WND article by Art Moore is filled with Cruz's (and, by extension, WND's) self-aggrandizement:
Cruz was terminated in 2010 by HSBC after he provided evidence, including bank documents, that the identities of clients were being used to launder funds.
“I gave them tape recordings of employees talking about all of the fraud they are doing,” Cruz said. “To cover it up, they needed to get rid of me.”
As WND reported, Cruz turned over his evidence to federal authorities in 2009 but was not contacted until the allegations were first exposed by WND earlier this year.
Cruz met with special agents with the IRS criminal division in April and handed over a computer disc with copies of his internal documents. The agents, according to Cruz, were overwhelmed with the volume and detail of the information, calling it “mind-boggling.”
He said he doesn’t know the degree to which his evidence played a role in the investigation but believes it was a factor in the size of the fine.
“When I was first terminated, they were talking $800 million to $1 billion,” he said “I don’t think the fine would be anywhere near what it is right now if I had done nothing.”
Actually, it's unclear what role, if any, Cruz played in the federal case against HSBC. Reuters reports that the investigation can be traced back to 2008, when "the federal prosecutor in Wheeling, West Virginia, began investigating allegations that a local doctor used the bank to launder money from Medicare fraud." A Senate subcommittee report on HSBC issued in July makes no mention of Cruz.
Moore also touts how there was "fallout for WND" from the story in the form of how "senior reporter Jerome Corsi was fired by the New York City investment firm he had worked with for two years as a senior managing director, Gilford Securities." But as we noted, Corsi was apparently required to put disclaimers on his WND work distancing it from Gilford while he worked for both places, so it seems they weren't exactly proud to be employing him, and it also speaks to the cheapness of WND editor Joseph Farah that he apparently was paying his "senior reporter" so little that he had to take another job.