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Tuesday, December 18, 2012
MRC Fearmongers to Raise Money
Topic: Media Research Center

Ads like this are being found across the various Media Research Center websites:

The ads link to the URL mediaofmasscorruption.com, which is actually a fund-raising page for the MRC. There's lots of bold type, italics and fearmongering about the "liberal media":

The liberal media were out of control this year as they worked on behalf of President Obama's reelection. They pulled out all the stops—from covering up his scandals and failures to blatant journalistic fraud. The leftist news media were not only 100% FOR Barack Obama and the liberals, but also 100% AGAINST anyone or anything that threatened them and their socialist agenda.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the left-wing "news" media:

  • Knowingly covered up the administration's Benghazi debacle
  • Consistently buried negative economic news—no mention of gas prices, real unemployment numbers, inflation, or the looming fiscal cliff
  • Refused to report to America what Obama intends to do in the next four years

This isn't just media bias . . . it's censorship disguised as journalism—and it must be exposed!

This recent election has made it abundantly clear that the real battle for the hearts and minds of Americans is not being waged in Washington, D.C., or even on the campaign trail. It's being waged in the media, and the liberals are actively committed to victory by any means—even if that's a complete betrayal of every journalistic principle they were taught. This is why your gift to the Media Research Center is more important than ever. Your support will give the MRC the firepower to:

  • Continue serving as the ONLY organization capable of and dedicated to exposing the media's anti–free enterprise agenda and to promoting a fair portrayal of the business community in the news and entertainment media
  • Employ the most dedicated team of conservative expert news analysts who daily monitor all major nationally televised and print news broadcasts, publishing them daily in our state-of-the-art print and Internet publications, e-newsletters, blogs, websites . . . the works
  • Remain on the cutting edge in the quest for truth, exposing media bias through our network of bias-busting resources—CNSNews.com, MRCTV.org, Newsbusters
  • Act as the go-to resource for our conservative allies in journalism and talk radio, such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, and Cal Thomas, providing them with the indispensable counter-punch to the Left's most notorious purveyors of liberalism in the press

With your support, it won't be long before the liberal media have lost ALL credibility and can no longer influence public opinion.

The MRC probably won't be telling potential donors how it squandered $5 million on billboards and Republican convention festivities and trying to keep people from finding out the truth about Republicans. And really, does the MRC have any credibility given all the dubious "research" it conducts and the false claims it publishes?


Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EST
WND Snottily Corrects Judith Reisman Column
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long had an adversarial relationship toward correcting false information on its website, typically waiting until an actual or threatened lawsuit to do so. Other times, false information is changed or simply disappears without notifying readers that anything has been changed.

When WND actually does publicly correct something, it's done with as much foot-dragging as possible. A vivid demonstration of this is a Dec. 17 WND article by Chelsea Schilling, snottily headlined "Here's your correction, Wikipedia founder."

Schilling details the tale of how Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales objected to Judith Reisman's claim in a Dec. 14 WND column that he "made his original fortune as a pornography trafficker." Schilling details WND's pissiness in pointing out that a search portal Wales once operated called Bomis had a "premium" feature offering access to X-rated content, as described on a Wikipedia page about it:

However, Wales told WND the Wikipedia page “doesn’t say anything remotely like me making a ‘fortune’ from ‘pornography.’” He asked, “What do you intend to do about this libel?”

Farah responded, “Let me get this straight: You admit making money from pornography, but you feel defamed because you didn’t make enough for it to be considered a ‘fortune’?”

Wales also argued that the factual accuracy of Wikipedia’s own “Bomis” entry is irrelevant: “We are not discussing Wikipedia. If there are errors in Wikipedia, this does not relieve you of the moral and legal responsibility not to defame me, sir.  You know that.”

Farah asked, “Now Wikipedia is lying?”

“We are not talking about Wikipedia,” Wales retorted. “This is a defamatory falsehood. I have never made any ‘fortune’ as a ‘porngraphy [sic] trafficker.’ Fix it.”

[...]

Attempting to get to the bottom of the issue, Farah asked Wales how much money he generated from Bomis.

“For a few years, I took a modest salary as programmer and CEO (averaging less than $60k per year for the life of the company),” Wales explained. ”The company declined until we closed it; there was no sale and no big earnings of any kind.

“The revenue of the company was primarily advertising.  The best period of time for the company came when we were part of the NBCi network (a search engine and web portal run by NBC television), but that quickly went away when NBCi collapsed as a part of the general dot-com collapse.”

Farah asked: “Are you suggesting that Bomis was not trafficking pornography? Or that you were not involved in Bomis?”

“By any sane measure of our revenue and profits, no, we were not ‘trafficking pornography,’” Wales replied. ”Like many dot-com startups of the era, we struggled with what kind of advertisers to accept and we did have ‘adult’ advertisers – as did all the other major portals at the time. 99% of our revenue was not from that, so it’s totally ludicrous to claim we were ‘trafficking pornography.’”

Wales added, “You might as well claim that the owner of a local convenience store chain (who probably made more money than I did during that era) made a fortunate a [sic] pornography trafficker if they sold Playboy behind the counter. It’s nonsense and you know it.”

Ultimmately, Schilling writes: "After thoroughly researching the issue, WND has edited Reisman’s column to read: 'Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s creator, originally made his living off a website that earned revenue from pornography traffickers.'" Yet Reisman's column contains no correction or any other notification that a false claim has been changed.

Schilling has a lengthy record of making false and misleading claims that WND has not seen fit to correct, so this show of purported "thorough research" is the exception rather than the rule.

Schilling uses the remainder of her article to rehash WND's war on Wikipedia for publishing objectionable images and for purportedly allowing people to mock WND and editor Joseph Farah. Schilling also includes this note from Farah to Wales:

“You might recall that Wikipedia once claimed I had an affair … (Untrue) It claimed I was a homosexual. (Untrue) Both of these false accusations actually resulted in material and professional harm to me. So I am sure you will extend some patience while we address this issue.”

Farah fails to understand how Wikipedia works. He should ask his employee Aaron Klein, who had a subordinate write and edit Klein's Wikipedia page, making sure any less-than-flattering information was deleted.

Farah also apparently doesn't understand the difference between a user-generated site like Wikipedia and a supposedly professionally edited and curated site like WND, which theoretically should have higher standarrds. Yet Farah himself has admitted that -- and apparently has no problem with -- WND publishes false information.

Also: How exactly did Farah suffer "material and professional harm" from malicious Wikipedia edits? We'd love to hear the details, but we also suspect it's not all that true since most people understand that these things happen.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:42 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 2:57 PM EST
NewsBusters Tries to Build Clinton Concussion Conspiracy
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Dec. 17 NewsBusters post, P.J. Gladnick is very, very upset that the media is taking at face value Hillary Clinton's claim of a concussion as a reason to testify before Congress about the Benghazi attack, insisting that it has been "conveniently untreated" and that "mainstream sources conveniently bought into Hillary's excuse." Gladnick adds, "One has to wonder if these same reporters would have lacked any skepticism if, say, H.R. Haldeman had claimed that a "concussion" for which he was not hospitalized prevented him from testifying about Watergate."

The MRC has long despised Hillary Clinton -- Brent Bozell and Tim Graham even wrote a book trying to pre-emptively torpedo her 2008 presidential campaign. So why wouldn't it treat her concussion as some sort of Watergate-level conspiracy?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 PM EST
Birther Dead-Enders At WND Are Still At It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has de-emphasized its birther obsession since President Obama's re-election -- given that WND staked what little reputation it has on trying to destroy Obama with birtherism as its centerpiece only to fail miserably, that's not a bad idea -- but it hasn't given up the ghost completely.

At this point, WND seems mostly interested in indulging the legal fantasies of failed lawyer and anti-Obama obsessive Larry Klayman. His Dec. 14 column contains demonstrable birther falsehoods:

It is well-known that Obama had for years refused to release his claimed Hawaiian birth certificate and other official documents that reflect on whether he was born in U.S. territory as he claims, or in Kenya where his father of the same name hailed. If born in Kenya or somewhere else outside of American territory, Obama would be ineligible to run for and serve as president. And, even if born in America, Obama does not qualify as a “natural born citizen” under our Constitution, since he was not, as also required under our law to be president, sired by two American citizen parents. Only his mother was an American at the time of his birth.

As even a casual birther observer knows, Obama has released two birth certificates, the state of Hawaii has certified that he was born there, and the Constitution does not define "natural born citizen" Klayman is lying when he says Obama does not qualify.

Meanwhile, a Dec. 16 WND article by Bob Unruh details Klayman's latest filing in his birther lawsuit on behalf of Michael Voeltz in Florida. Unruh uncritically repeats Klayman's discredited arguments and, as is official WND policy, refuses to tell the other side of the story. Which makes Unruh a propagandist, not a journalist.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 AM EST
Monday, December 17, 2012
MRC Issues Not-So-Special Report On 'War on Christmas'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center apparently decided it wanted in on some of that sweet (if bogus) "War on Christmas" action.

Thus, we have a Dec. 11 MRC Culture & Media Institute "special report" by Paul Wilson titled "Taking Christ out of Christmas." And he does all of the usual whining and self-victimization you'd expect:

Secularist Grinches have long sought to obscure “the reason for the season.” But censorship of Christianity is increasingly a media mission for all seasons; Christians are pressured to hide their public faith under baskets. From the media-driven assault on Christian restaurant Chick-fil-A to increasingly snide commentary masquerading as journalism, the media are increasingly pushing for a public retreat from religion.

And it’s working, at least according to one study. In October, Pew reported that a fifth of the American public, and a third of adults under 30, have no religious affiliation. And 88 percent of those people aren’t interested in belonging to a church.

[...]

The media, government, and schools, pushed by secularist groups, aim to litigate, browbeat, and photo-shop Christianity out of the public sphere. Christmas remains their most high-profile target, but increasingly, it’s an all-weather campaign.

As we all know, the MRC's "special reports" tend to be less than special, and that's the case here. Not only does he try to baselessly link isolated incidents, he even drags in criticism of Chick-fil-a because its president "spoke in favor of traditional marriage." Actually, Chick-fil-a has done a lot more than that, but Wilson won't tell you about it.

We'll outsource the rest of our criticism to Jon Stewart.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 17, 2012 3:20 PM EST
WND Columnists Blame Everything But Guns for Newtown Massacre
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnists have been quick to assign blame for the Newtown massacre -- making sure to exclude guns, of course.

Joseph Farah blames "secularism" and removing prayer from public schools (which isn't exactly the case -- school-sponsored prayer was banned) for this:

What should we expect when we not only prohibit weapons of self-defense in our schools, but when we banish the Creator from them?

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions that removed prayer from the public schools of America. Just look what has happened since. It’s not that God is exacting punishment on America as a result. He is giving America over to the desires of its wicked heart.

We are reaping the seeds of the whirlwind we ourselves planted.

It’s not that America’s highest court chose neutrality with respect to religion, as Justice Potter Stewart, the lone dissent on one of those key cases wrote. It’s that the court chose “the establishment of a religion of secularism.”

Secularism is indeed a religion. It places its faith in the hearts of men, rather than in the heart of a loving God who wrote the highest laws, those that guide the universe and offer the only path to salvation and eternal life as well as blessings in this one.

No amount of gun control can save us from ourselves. In fact, it can only quicken the judgment that is already upon us.

Pat Boone does pretty much the same thing:

The vast majority of Americans allowed a few militant, narrow-minded activists to effectively exclude the calming, moral, motivational and spiritual guidelines for healthy living from the daily environment of our children.

We let them shut God out of our schools and out of the very lives of countless young kids.

With what predictable result? In just the last few years, unprecedented in our history, our schools are hotbeds of drug usage and trafficking, guns and violence, rampant sexual immorality (some involving teachers with students), increasing required subject matter teaching kids all manner of things that the Bible condemns. And we don’t see the connection?

And the quality of the education itself is declining in shocking, undeniable ways. Of course, how could it be otherwise, in such a rudderless, polluted environment? While parents send their children to school, hoping they’ll come back alive.

Boone also makes the libelous accusation that Kevin Jennings, former safe school czar, is a "pedophilia advocate."

William Murray -- son of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who led efforts to remove state-sponsored prayer from schools -- takes much the same tack, also blaming churches for being too wimpy:

My mother, atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, fought to make the public schools the armed camps they are today by removing prayer, the recognition of the authority of God. In 1962 and 1963, I was attending an all-boys public high school in downtown Baltimore, Md. The school was a magnet school before the term even existed and was intended to prepare young men for college, majoring in science and engineering. There were 1,800 teenage boys in the school, and there was not a cop in the building – ever. The doors were unlocked and often the un-air-conditioned rooms had open windows. There were no metal detectors, no picture IDs, and students went in and out the doors on the honor system.

[...]

In the vast majority of America’s public schools, the authority of God has been replaced with the authority of the iron fist of government. Morals? Without the authority of God, there are no morals, and none are taught in the public schools today. The ethics that are taught are situational, perhaps the same situational ethics that led to the logic that caused the tragic shootings in Newtown.

This condition exists in the schools and the society in general because of a failed church that is splintered and weak.

A large advertising sign near my home reads, “A church for those who don’t like church.” Translation: “No condemnation of sin here – we have coffee latte and great music.”

Barbara Simpson blames anti-depressants, even though it hasn't been made public what, if anything, the shooter was taking:

While not giving specific details, police are investigating allegations that Lanza suffered from a personality disorder and had anger issues, perhaps had Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.

This raises an issue that every anti-gun partisan chooses to ignore: the effect of anti-depressants on the human brain.

We’ve become a society where even basic human reactions to life situations are diagnosed as “syndromes” or “illnesses” and, of course, the solution is drugs.

We know anti-depressant drugs literally change the chemistry of the brain, often leaving the individual a shell of themselves and with dangerous tendencies.

They are the SSRIs – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – Prozac, Paxil, Luvox and Zoloft. They’re casually referred to as “chemical babysitters,” dispensed like water when the natural rambunctiousness of children bothers adults. It “quiets kids down,” makes them easily controlled, and often puts them at the edge of homicide or suicide or both.

Just read the package insert warnings on those commonly used drugs.

Doubts? Look at the drug connection in other horrific killings: Columbine, Kip Kinkel, Colorado, Tucson and too many others to recount.

If Lanza was being “medicated,” it raises the issue that guns aren’t the problem, prescription drugs are, and so are the doctors who prescribe them.

Simpson apparently doesn't understand that antidepressants are not a treatment for autism, though it has been used (to questionable effect) to treat some of the obsessive-compulsive that has ben associated with autism.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 17, 2012 2:46 PM EST
CNS' Starr Protects Karen Handel
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr devotes a Dec. 14 CNSNews.com article to uncritically repeating accusations made against Planned Parenthood by Karen Handel, former executive with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which generated controversy when it (briefly) cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Starr makes no mention of those who have disputed claims Handel makes in her book.

Starr keeps up CNS' longtime deception of stating that Planned Parenthood has received “government health services grants and reimbursements” totaling $487.4 million and "performed 329,445 abortions" without mentioning the pertinent fact that government money does not pay for abortions, per federal law.

Then Starr adds, for no apparent reason: "Planned Parenthood’s Form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service for tax year July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, shows Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards’ salary, benefits and compensation totaled $420,153."

Starr is silent, however, on what Handel made at Komen. According to the Washington Post, Handel's boss, Nancy Brinker, made $417,000 in salary in 2010, and paid 50 top executives more than $100,000 each.

Starr seems like she's trying to hide something. But she is an anti-abortion activist, not a real journalist, so it's not so surprising that she'd try to protect Handel.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 AM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Obama’s policies in furtherance of his vision – as clearly laid out during the campaign and even more so during these “fiscal cliff” negotiations – left unchecked will complete the fiscal destruction of the nation.

So if you insist, don’t call it intentional destruction. Call it, euphemistically, “the intentional fundamental transformation of America that will necessarily destroy her.”

-- David Limbaugh, Dec. 3 WorldNetDaily column

This just in: The Secret Service, backed by the District of Columbia Police Department, is battling thousands of protesters outside President Barack Obama’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue “palace,” prompting the socialist “leader to leave the building. Officers fired tear gas at up to 10,000 demonstrators angered by Obama’s November … decree that expanded his powers. ‘The people want the downfall of the regime,’ the demonstrators chant. ‘Our marches are against tyranny and the constitutional … decree, and we won’t retract our position until our demands are met.’”

The protests against Mr. Obama never happened. The train of abuses and usurpations did. I switched the lead characters in a Reuters lede describing the ongoing unrest in Egypt. I substituted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s name with Obama’s.

-- Ilana Mercer, Dec. 6 WND column

Our complaint, filed on behalf of presidential candidate Virgil H. Goode Jr. and Alabama citizen Hugh McInnish, seeking to force Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman to verify that Obama was eligible to be placed on the state’s presidential ballot – after she told our clients that she would not – was filed Oct. 12, 2012, with enough time for the court to rule that the state had an affirmative duty to determine – given the sworn affidavits from Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his investigator Mike Zullo and renowned investigative reporter and author Jerome Corsi – whether or not Obama is a natural born citizen as is required by the U.S. Constitution. As set forth under oath in these affidavits, there is credible evidence, which was incorporated into the complaint and a simultaneously filed motion for summary judgment, that Obama’s claimed long-form birth certificate, produced by the White House years after the issue of his place of birth was first raised by none other than his 2008 presidential primary opponent Hillary Clinton, is altered, forged and fraudulent.

-- Larry Klayman, Dec. 7 WND column

With Obama’s re-election, it may be all but impossible to put a stop to his destruction of American education and the dumbing down of our children.

-- Barbara Simpson, Dec. 9 WND column

The art of jiu-jitsu is to use an opponent’s weight and strength to your advantage. I believe we can further choke the life out of Obamacare by using this martial arts technique.

-- Chuck Norris, Dec. 9 WND column

President Barack Obama is the most divisive man to ever occupy the White House –period! Yet, 95 percent of black Americans worship him as if he’s the messiah. Why?

Actor and comedian Jamie Foxx recently took the stage at the Soul Train Awards and told the audience, “Thank God, and our lord and savior, Barack Obama!” Foxx called on the audience to stand up and clap for Obama. His outrageous remarks were broadcast on national television, yet not one nationally known black leader repudiated Foxx.

-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Dec. 11 WND column

Now, Mr. Obama will be inaugurated for a second term. Check his father’s nationality – and the Constitution’s residency requirement for the president. Surely the U.S. Supreme Court justice should know this.

Finally, your reliance on the courts to sort out disputes between co-equal branches of government is – pathetic. The courts have no authority to order the executive or Congress to do anything, as you well know. So why bother? Do you think we are fooled?

Impeachment is your remedy. We would suggest simultaneous indictments against Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama, in combination with at least a four-year investigation. Due to the seriousness of the charges and the propensity to flight, both Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama would need to be held in confinement during the investigation. Given this regrettable state of affairs, Mr. Boehner, as the speaker, would have to assume the duties of the executive during the interim.

-- Craige McMillan, Dec. 12 WND column

I could continue to think that “Underground” is a dumb undergraduate poem about apes that step on figs – and be denounced as a racist – or I could interpret it as an allegory – and be denounced as a conspiracy theorist.

If I assume, however, that Obama is the sophisticated author the literary world insists he is, I can only interpret the poem as allegory. What is more, we know from his memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” that the young Obama would have identified with the Palestinian cause.

At Occidental, Obama tells us, he and his radical pals discussed “neocolonialism, Franz (sic) Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy.” Given these interests, an allegory on Palestine would seem to have been well within his ideological wheelhouse.

If the poem is interpreted as allegory, it would seem that these war-like apes, the Jews of Israel, are exploiting, even despoiling the land in which they have settled. Note that the apes both “eat” the figs and are “stepping on” them.

-- Jack Cashill, Dec. 12 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EST
Sunday, December 16, 2012
MRC Complains, But Doesn't Disprove
Topic: Media Research Center

Kyle Drennen devotes a Dec. 13 Media Research Center item to complaining that NBC's Chuck Todd said that Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration to be secretary of state because she was the "victim" of "conservative outlets who were making her the center of the Benghazi story."

Does Drennen offer any evidence to counter Todd's assertion? No. He's simply complaining that Todd made what is apparently an accurate observation.

Consider this another example of the MRC attacking people for telling the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 PM EST
Scott Lively Defends Uganda's Anti-Gay At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Scott Lively declares in a fallacy-filled Dec. 12 WorldNetDaily column:

Now that Uganda’s so-called “kill the gays” bill has been revised to drop the death penalty and reportedly add provisions for prevention and therapy for homosexuality, I think there may be room for tentative support in the Christian community in the West, even though it retains jail terms for offenders.

In fact, as we've noted, it's far from clear that the death penalty provision has been removed.

Lively goes on to rant about how good it is that Uganda wants to make homosexuality illegal:

Just because secular humanist America began to decriminalize sexual sins in civilian law starting in the early 1960s doesn’t mean criminal sanctions against homosexuality are “un-Christian.” Indeed, given the enormous damage to our culture from the so-called sexual revolution, it was obviously a big mistake for us to have done this. Knowing what we know now, it is arguably more “un-Christian” to support the status quo than to support a return to the legal framework of the 1940s and ’50s regarding sexual misbehavior.

But homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda; this proposed law merely ratchets up the penalties. Nevertheless, Lively claims:

Second, in all the media-driven hysteria about the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill, one glaring fact has been consistently omitted (despite my having pointed it out to nearly every “journalist” who has interviewed me). The fact is, Ugandan law is typical of most African law in that it tends to be very harsh in the letter, but very lenient in the application. I doubt very much that anyone arrested under the new law (if it passes) will receive anything close to the jail terms allowed for in the bill.

So, shouldn't Uganda enforce the laws they already have instead of expanding the penalties? Lively is silent about this.

He is not silent, however, about how much he hates gays and doesn't understand sexual behavior:

Third, and most importantly, there is one easy, guaranteed method of protecting oneself from ever being subject to the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda: Don’t commit sodomy! We all seem to forget, in the dense propaganda haze of American popular opinion, that homosexuality is defined by voluntary sexual acts. Homosexuals are no more compelled to commit sodomy with each other than a married man is compelled to cheat on his wife.

Lively concludes his column this way:

However, since I didn’t write the Ugandan bill and have no power to redraft it on my own terms, and since the alternative to passing this bill is to allow the continuing, rapid, foreigner-driven homosexualization of Ugandan culture, I am giving the revised anti-homosexuality bill my support.

What Lively doesn't mention is that he did, in fact, influence those who did write the bill by pushing his anti-gay activism inside Uganda.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:37 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 16, 2012 8:17 PM EST
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Terry Jeffrey's Bogus Employment Stats Busted
Topic: CNSNews.com

On Dec. 7, CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey published an article claiming that "Seventy-three percent of the new civilian jobs created in the United States over the last five months are in government, according to official data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics."

Jeffrey is lying. Salon busts him:

CNS’ Terence Jeffrey arrived at the figure by comparing the change in the total number of people employed in June through November to the change in the number of people employed in government jobs over the same period. “These 621,000 new government jobs created in the last five months equal 73.3 percent of the 847,000 new jobs created overall,” he concluded.

Why five months? It’s sort of an unusual amount of time to look for a trend, if you think about it. Why not six? Looking at the very same data tables Jeffrey links to in his post, it’s clear he cherry-picked June as the start date because it had the lowest number of government jobs all year, thus making the increase through November look bigger.

[...]

If Jeffrey had started his analysis from the beginning of the year, he would have seen that government employment is actually down for the year, from 20,583,000 in January to 20,559,000 in November. But an honest look at the numbers would conclude they fluctuate significantly month-to-month with no clear trend in either direction.

Jeffrey has not yet issued a correction -- his article remains unadulterated as if it was true.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:37 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, December 15, 2012 8:51 PM EST
WND's Farah Trusts His Pollster Way Too Much
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah uses his Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily column to tout a poll commissioned by WND purporting to show "what Muslim-Americans really think," the results of which, in Farah's opinion, "were eye-opening and alarming. They should be to every American who believes in the U.S. Constitution and Judeo-Christian morality."

Farah goes on to toss out a point of argument: "Now, maybe you question the authenticity or reliability of this survey. Maybe you think it was biased." He then calls his pollster, Fritz Wenzel, a "respected pollster."

Farah, of course, doesn't tell his readers that Wenzel is an ethically challenged pollster who asks biased questions. Right Wing Watch sums up the case against Wenzel:

The polling firm gave Todd Akin the lead in his Senate race (he lost by 16%), claimed Mitt Romney and Republican Senate candidates would win in Ohio and Virginia (they lost) and promoted birther conspiracies. The firm even alleged that polls showing President Obama ahead were skewed to favor Obama (they weren’t) because they employ biased college students and intentionally ignore Tea Partiers. After the election, the firm’s head said Obama only won because his supporters are dumb.

Despite relying on the results from such an unreliable pollster, Farah nevertheless trusts them enough to use them as a basis for arguing for cutting off immigration of Muslims to America:

Americans have reason to be concerned about continued immigration of Muslims into the U.S. when so many already here, including those who have established citizenship, have values and beliefs that stand in stark contrast to the Constitution sand the values and beliefs that shaped it.

Already, massive immigration of Muslims has changed the very character of much of Europe, where special Shariah courts have been established, creating societies with entirely different legal standards.

Do we really want that for America?

In fact, we need to ask ourselves how many people who took oaths to uphold the Constitution to obtain their citizenship really meant it. Is that standard sufficient for Muslims, who are encouraged by their faith to deceive if it furthers the cause of Islam?

Farah has called for this before.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:45 PM EST
Friday, December 14, 2012
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EST
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.

As such, we have been provided yet another reason why nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:12 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 14, 2012 8:15 PM EST
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."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EST

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