NewsBusters Ludicriously Insists Anti-Gay Pastor Isn't Anti-Gay Topic: NewsBusters
Ken Shepherd spends a Feb. 15 NewsBusters post -- in perhaps the blog's most dubious endeavor since arguing that Matt Lauer was expressing sympathy for Palestinians by wearing a checkered scarf -- pretending that an anti-gay pastor really isn't anti-gay or as hateful as his critics have said.
Shepherd is upset that NBC sportswriter Rick Chandler described the Dallas church of Rev. Robert Jeffress, where NFL player Tim Tebow will be speaking in April, "virulently anti-gay and anti-Semitic." Shepherd's retort: "But to back up his assertions, Chandler highlights claims Jeffress made that are either fundamentally doctrinal or political in nature. What's more, Chandler failed to point to any personal animus Jeffress has expressed toward either homosexuals or Jews, which should be incredibly easy to do if Jeffress really is 'virulent' in his hatred of gays and Jews."
Shepherd noted the evidence Chandler cited -- which includes denouncing Islam, Mormonism and Judaism as heretical religions “from the pit of hell" and claiming that “Seventy percent of the gay population” has AIDS -- then parses what Jeffress supposedly actually meant:
Those statements, while controversial, do not prove a hatred of gays nor Jews. When one thinks of a "virulently anti-gay church," one might think of the Westboro Baptist Church cult, which pickets the funerals of soldiers and joyously preaches that "God Hates Fags." The message of Westboro is anti-gay in that it rejoices in the thought of God punishing sinners, rather than joyously proclaiming the freedom and mercy that Christians find in Christ from their sins and from God's just judgment.
As to Jeffress's 70 percent statistic regarding gays and AIDS, yes, that sounds highly dubious, and there's no doubt Jeffress's views on gays in the military are certainly controversial, but they are political and policy concerns, not anti-gay screeds. In Jeffress's mind, he's looking out for the best interests of the men and women in the U.S. military. He may be completely off the mark, of course, but even so, that doesn't mean he's "anti-gay."
Chandler is entitled to his personal opinion about Jeffress and about Tebow, but exercise of restraint and charity with his value judgments is called for. Jeffress is certainly controversial and outspoken on religious and political matters, but to tag him anti-gay or an anti-Semite is unfair and unhelpful to the interests of any rational discussion about the religious beliefs that Jeffress holds.
Shorter Shepherd: For Jeffress, hating gays is just business, not personal.
Shepherd appears strangely incurious about any other possibly offensive things Jeffress might have said, like calling Catholicism representative of "the genius of Satan."
If Shepherd really is unsure that Jeffress truly is anti-gay beyond his religious beliefs -- but how can Shepherd claim that Jeffress' "religious beliefs" are separate from his personal beliefs when he has built an entire megachurch around spreading those beliefs? -- perhaps Right Wing Watch can offer him some clarity:
He has described gays and lesbians as “perverse,” “miserable” and “abnormal” people who engage in an “unnatural” and “filthy practice” that will lead to the “implosion of our country.” Jeffress argues that the gay community employs Chinese “brainwashing techniques” in order to have homosexuality “crammed down our throats.”
We're unclear as to how that can possibly described as merely Jeffress' "religious beliefs."
Shepherd does seem to be conceding that Jeffress hates Mormons, which is somewhat of a surprise given that NewsBusters and the Media Research Center have studiously avoided acknowledging that Jeffress said ugly things about Mormons, except to complain that other media outlets reported what he said.
This isn't the first time Shepherd has run to the defense of Jeffress. In a 2007 post, Shepherd whined that an "anti-Mitt Romney sermon" by Jeffress was reported in a newsapaper "a full 18 days" after the remarks were made, laughably insisting that any controversy in evangelical circles about Romney's religion "might be rather dormant" and blaming the media for "pushing a storyline to influence the presidential election."
WND's Klein Hides Violence By 'Sovereign Citizens' Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 12 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein begins with as much ominous fearmongering as he could muster:
With almost no media coverage, the White House last week announced its new Interagency Working Group to Counter Online Radicalization to Violence that will target not only Islamic terrorists but so-called violent “sovereign citizens.”
While Klein went on to note that "The FBI warned that sovereign citizens commit murder and physical assault," he essentially dismissed this by adding "Because of the troubling ideology of some Obama officials, the question arises as to exactly which citizens are considered threats by the government" and repeating distorted claims about former Obama adviser Cass Sunstein.
But it's an indisuptable fact that "sovereign citizens" have engaged in acts of violence, including murder. The FBI states:
If someone challenges (e.g., a standard traffic stop for false license plates) their ideology, the behavior of these sovereign-citizen extremists quickly can escalate to violence. Since 2000, lone-offender sovereign-citizen extremists have killed six law enforcement officers. In 2010, two Arkansas police officers stopped sovereign-citizen extremists Jerry Kane and his 16-year-old son Joseph during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 40. Joseph Kane jumped out of the vehicle and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle, killing both officers.
Curiously, Klein failed to note any examples of "sovereign citizens" engaging in violence in his article, despite dreging up his old attacks against Sunstein.
Dick Morris Back to Shilling for Newsmax Topic: Newsmax
Before Dick Morris became a fixture at Fox News, he shilled for Newsmax's dubious financial-product schemes. Now that he's off Fox due to his abysmal record of punditry, Morris is going back to what he knows best: shilling for Newsmax.
A Feb. 11 Newsmax article features Morris' "special video commentary" promoting the "Obamacare Survival Guide." Morris asserts, "It is not political or partisan. It doesn't discuss fairness. It is a practical guide to how to survive this new health care law. You must get it to protect your family."
That, of course, is false. As Publishers Weekly states, the book is "boldly one-sided" and "lobs stink bombs from the start at president Obama and the Democratic Party."
Needless to say, Morris fails to mention that the book is published by Newsmax, or that he has a continuing business relationship with Newsmax in the form of managing Morris' email list (which earned him a lot of money during the presidential campaign).
Burt Prelutsky's Double Dose of Derangement Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's not often that someone comes down with a simultaneous dose of Clinton Derangement Syndrome and Obama Derangement Syndrome, but Burt Prelutsky was struck down with that malady in his Feb. 12 WorldNetDaily column:
After watching Barack and Hillary billing-and-cooing for 30 minutes, I suspect that by the time he got home, Michelle was waiting with a rolling pin and a ton of attitude, wanting to know where he got off cozying up to that honky b–ch.
For my part, I will forever regret that I wasn’t on one of those congressional committees questioning her eminence, so that in response to her phony outburst, I could have replied, “For that matter, Mrs. Clinton, what difference does it really make if Bill only cheated with Monica Lewinsky or if he’s cheated on you with a thousand women, including your mother, your best friend, every woman on your staff and the family mutt?”
It appears that Prelutsky has decided to become the WND version of NormanLiebmann.
MRC Self-Unawareness Watch Topic: Media Research Center
Gotta love how the Media Research Center is so self-unaware that it doesn't recognize its own double standards.
In a Feb. 12 TV appearance, MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted about how the negative attacks on President Obama by Ben Carson have not been published in the media to Bozell's satisfaction. (This is noted in the same NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd that falsely states the nature of the criticism of Carson.) Bozell went on to state that because of talk radio, and the Internet, "the toothpaste is out of the tube" and while it may take longer for more people to become aware of what Carson said, "this story will not stop growing." Bozell added, "This proves why the networks are becoming increasingly irrelevant."
The irony here is that Bozell was making his rant on Fox Business, one of the most irrelevant channels out there. It averages only 14,000 viewers in the key target demographic of adults age 25-54 -- less than a third of its lead competitor, CNBC. The show Bozell appeared on, "Varney & Co.," averages only 20,000 viewers in the demographic.
Meanwhile, Matt Vespa rants in a Feb. 14 NewsBusters post about Kansas City Star editorial cartoonist Lee Judge, who he smeared as a "a left-wing political cartoonist" and "political hack" who "illustrated a depraved caricature depicting the grave of ex-sniper, and Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle – with the caption 'if only there had been a good guy around.'" Vespa further ranted that the cartoonist "transgresses the bounds of decency in service of a left-wing political argument."
But Vespa, for some unknown reason, selectively edited the caption: It actually reads, "If only there had been a good guy around with a gun around."
Vespa also forgets that just a couple of weeks ago, his employer published a cartoon that depicted a "Combat Barbie" with a prisoner-of-war uniform. Apparently, Vespa found nothing at all offensive about that.
WND Defends Bradlee Dean Again, While Dean Hurls Anti-Gay Slurs Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gee, what a coincidence -- the same day we post an article about lying preacher Bradlee Dean and WorldNetDaily's efforts to protect and defend him, WND posts an article defending Dean's latest antics.
Dean's lead WND apologist, Bob Unruh, writes in a Feb. 14 article about how "Rock band leader, radio show host and international ministry organizer Bradlee Dean has been ejected from another school campus." As is typical Unruh style, he lavishes attention on Dean's side of the story -- which includes liberally quoting from a letter written to the school on Dean's behalf by right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel-- and only a single paragraph to the school's side.
According to Unruh, Liberty Counsel claimed that an otherwise unidentified "Mr. Berke" purportedly "even went so far as to yell to the assembled kids that 'none of what Bradlee Dean tells you is true; it’s all misinformation.'" Then, later in the article, Unruh uncritically repeats one of Dean's lies, that "the average age of death of a homosexual male is 42 years." That number relies on distorted and seriously outdated information by anti-gay "researcher" Paul Cameron.
If that wasn't enough, Dean devotes his latest WND column to the incident. He repeatedly smears one of the school personnel who blocked his little indoctrination session as "effeminate":
We no sooner stepped foot on campus, but the principal and an effeminate teacher approached us and attempted to cancel the event on their campus with no justifiable explanation.
Before we left, however, the effeminate teacher who had a part to play in the attempt to cancel the student-led presentation exercised his First Amendment right to tell the students, “I warn you, children, that everything this gentleman is going to tell you is complete misinformation.” [...]
What didn’t this effeminate teacher want the students to hear?
Or was it that this effeminate teacher didn’t want the students to know about Larry Brinken, a homosexual icon who was recently arrested for possession of horrific child pornography?
What was this effeminate man afraid of? He almost had me convinced that I was the one doing something wrong.
Remember, Dean is the guy who doesn't want people to think he wants gays to die so badly that he's suing Rachel Maddow over it (and hired failed lawyer Larry Klayman to prosecute it). Denigrating someone because he perceives that person to be gay -- Dean offers no evidence to support his suggestion -- demonstrated the hatred in Dean's heart and does not help his case against Maddow.
Dean also complains that those who stopped his presentation "read about me on Wikipedia or independent blog sites that have no credibility whatsoever and decided he was going to attempt to cancel the presentation based on disinformation." This links back to Dean's website, in which he criticizes only Wikipedia by name, does not specifically respond to any purpoted "disinformation," and touts a fawning WND profile of him by anti-Kinsey obsessive Judith Reisman, who has her own history of peddling disinformation.The website also essentially declared that the only accurate source about Dean is Dean himself: "For more information about our organization, please contact us directly."
If Dean wishes to dispute any of the information in the ConWebWatch article, he may contact us directly.
Dean concludes, "America should pay careful attention to who is doing the discriminating and who is abiding by the laws of our republic." Of course, his repeated denigration of someone who disagrees with him as "effeminate" is nothing if not discrimination.
We should also be careful of who denigrates his critics and insists that he alone is the only source of the truth.
To invoke the name of Dean's ministry: He can run, but he cannot hide.
P.S. It appears that comments have been disabled on Dean's column. Guess he really does want to run.
CNS' Disingenuous Obama-Bashing Over Gas Prices Topic: CNSNews.com
Matt Cover declared in a Feb. 12 CNSNews.com article: "The average price of a gallon of gas has increased 96 percent since President Barack Obama first took office in 2009, according to figures from the Energy Information Agency (EIA)."
But Cover's implication that Obama is solely to blame for the rise in gas prices is disingenuous. Cover hints at the reason for the disparity by conceding that "Gas prices took a sharp dive during the recession," but he ignores the fact that experts have said that market factors, not federal policy or anything Obama has done, is to blame for the rise in gas prices.
Cover is also disingenuous in noting that gas prices "reached all-time highs" in 2008 but failing to note who was president at the time. (Hint: It was a Republican.) This echoes CNS' selective memory in reporting body counts on U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan that ignore the much higher number of troops killed in Iraq under President Bush.
No, Les Kinsolving, D.C.'s Population Is Not Shrinking Topic: WorldNetDaily
Les Kinsolving writes in his Feb. 11 WorldNetDaily column decrying the idea of making the District of Columbia a state:
If Washington, D.C. – with its shrinking population – were ever made into a state with two U.S. senators and one member of the House, can we imagine the understandable rage in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, all of whom have populations that simply dwarf D.C.?
In fact, according to the U.S. Census bureau, D.C.'s population has increased by more than 30,000 since 2010 and by around 60,000 since 2000.
A quick Google search would have given Kinsolving the facts, and yet he could not even do that one simple thing.
Will NewsBusters Report That A Conservative Objects To Ben Carson's Speech? Topic: NewsBusters
Ken Shepherd claims in a Feb. 12 NewsBusters post that Ben Carson has been criticized by "the media" because he " dared to 'disrespect' the president by offering policy proposals that deviated from the government-centered ones of Mr. Obama's liking."
Well, no -- he has been criticized for using the National Prayer Breakfast -- which is supposed to be a nonpartisan event -- to issue a political attack on Obama's policies.
And you don't have to be a non-cionservative to feel this way. Conservative columnist Cal Thomas has written that Carson should apologize to Obama:
I am no fan of the president's policies, but the National Prayer Breakfast is billed as one of the few nonpolitical events in a very political city. Each year, the co-chairs, one Democrat and one Republican from either the House or Senate, put aside their political differences, as they do in weekly gatherings, to pray for the nation's leaders.
His remarks were inappropriate for the occasion. It would have been just as inappropriate had he praised the president's policies. The president had a right to expect a different message about another Kingdom.
NewsBusters publishes Thomas' column. What are the odds it'll publish this one?
If it doesn't, it wouldn't be the first time: NewsBusters and its Media Research Center stayed silent about Thomas' slur of Rachel Maddow, and NewsBusters declined to publish the column in which Thomas apologized.
Note To Joseph Farah: A Serial Killer Does Admire Your Website Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah begins his Feb. 11 WorldNetDaily column this way:
If a serial killer, like Christopher Dorner, the former LAPD cop turned murderer currently terrorizing Californians, said in his manifesto he admired me, I would try to use whatever influence I had with him to talk him out of his cold-blooded rampage and war on his former police department.
But that’s just me.
But a serial killer did give Farah's website his stamp of approval -- and far from trying to talk him down, Farah couldn't run away fast enough.
Anders Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in an attempt to further his far-right, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideology -- an ideology not unfamiliar to WND readers. Indeed, Breivik's manifesto cites WND six times, WND columist Pamela Geller is cited more than a dozen times, as is WND's favorite self-proclaimed ex-terrorist Walid Shoebat.
How did WND react to this?
It refused to tell its readers that it was cited in the manifesto.
It posted a video by the pseudonymous birther PPSimmons attempting to deny that Breivik is a right-wing Christian.
And Farah played the "No True Scotsman" fallacy by insisting that Breivik could not possibly be a Christian because Christians don't kill people like that, further declaring that "Breivik demonstrates his lack of understanding of the most basic Christian principles."
Of course, Farah doesn't actually care that a serial killer finds his website informative -- hey, the guy's boosting WND's page counts! His goal is to bash the liberals cited in Dorner's manifesto for not doing what he failed to do regarding Brevik.
Dorner praised conservatives in his manifesto as well, but you don't hear Farah demanding that Tim Tebow play negotiator.
In a Feb. 11 NewsBusters post, Matt Vespa takes a shot at Erika Bolstad, a writer for "the left-wing McClatchy Newspapers," for stating that Marco Rubio "doesn't think much of climate change," which puts him "squarely in the anti-science wing of his party." Vespa retorts:
Well, Ms. Bolstad should get her facts right. According to the UK Meteorological Office, global warming stopped sixteen years ago. Furthermore, it could cost the world economy $700 billion per year to avert rising temperatures that aren’t rising, and that's a drop in the bucket to the estimated $5 trillion dollars nations need to spend on power, water, infrastructure, and agriculture.
What's more, bucking scientific consensus, whether it be real or imagined, is not anti-science. Indeed, it's at the heart of scientific exploration. At any rate, Climate Depot's Marc Morano found 1,000 “anti-science” global warming skeptics who had this to say:
First, Vespa's claim that "global warming stopped sixteen years ago" relies on cherry-picked data and choosing an arbitrary starting point; the long-term trend demonstrates continued global warming.
Second, picking 1,000 "global warming skeptics" out of context ignores the fact that 97 percent of climate experts agree that global warming is manmade. And Morano's list is flawed because it's not limited to climate change researchers; he's merely citing "scientists," at least some of whom have no training or experience in climate research.
Vespa is the second MRC writer this year to have invoked the 1,000 scientists promoted by Morano, a former "reporter" at the MRC-owned CNSNews.com.
WND Trades Obama Birtherism For Obama Impeachment Topic: WorldNetDaily
Having destroyed what little credibility it had by spending four years obsessing over increasingly discredited conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate, WorldNetDaily has largely abandoned that line of attack. Unfortunately for WND, its new line of anti-Obama attacks -- agitating for his impeachment -- isn't going to restore WND's reputation.
WND, of course, has been calling for Obama's impeachment almost from the time he took office. In 2010, it cooperated with the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center on a book called " The Case For Impeachment" that was filled with factual errors and outright falsehoods.
But with Obama's re-election -- and, thus, the utter failure of WND's anti-Obama crusade that made it little more than a for-profit super PAC -- WND has apparently decided that impeachment, not birtherism, is where it's at.
A Feb. 11 WND article by Chelsea Schilling featured "a bipartisan panel of top constitutional experts" (well, three lawyers, including far-right birther lawyer Herb Titus) who evaluated "12 popular arguments for impeaching Obama."
Schilling's longtime problem with getting things wrong crops up here. Oone of Obama's supposedly impeachable offenses is that he "appointed more than 30 unelected 'czars' to positions in federal agencies while the Constitution requires that such appointments be vetted by Congress." In fact, of the 30 "czars" Obama had appointed by September 2009, 10 were confirmed by the Senate, and two others were appointed to positions specifically created by statute. Further, at least 13 of those "czars" had counterparts in the Bush administration, and we don't recall WND calling for Bush's impeachment over that.
According to the handy-dandy graphics accompanying each charge, Schilling's attorneys found only two alleged offenses deemed "severe" enough to be impeachable: "Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’" and "Illegally conducting war against Libya."
This was followed by an article the next day highlighting Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin's call for Obama's impeachment, made on WND reporter Aaron Klein's radio sho.
WND also has a petition one can sign demanding that Congress "immediately undertake a full and impartial investigation into the many blatantly unconstitutional actions of Barack Obama, with particular focus on the illegal war against Libya and the illegal “kill list” of U.S. citizens – offenses universally condemned by top constitutional experts as both unprecedented and unquestionably impeachable."
Because it wouldn't be WND if it wasn't trying to cash in on a story it's promoting, WND's online store has plenty of "Impeach Obama" tsotchkes, as evidence by a big front-page ad:
That's our WND -- frequently wrong, but never afraid to make a buck on it.
CNS' Jeffrey Already Smearing John Kerry In New Job Topic: CNSNews.com
John Kerry hasn't been in his new job as secretary of state for a full week yet, but CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey is already trying to smear him.
A Feb. 11 CNS article by Jeffrey carries the headline "Kerry Took More Security on Trip to Arlington, Va., Than State Dept. Posted in Benghazi."
And yes, that's exactly what the article is about:
Secretary of State John Kerry took a larger detail of security agents on a trip to Arlington, Va., last week, when he went to visit—of all places—the headquarters of the department’s security bureau, than the State Department deployed to its compound in Benghazi, Libya, in the days leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks.
Apparently, nobody told Jeffrey that Kerry had no involvement whatsoever with any of the events surrounding the Benghazi attacks. But then, when do sleazy smears have anything to do with facts?
WND Mysteriously Deletes Smear Piece On Sandy Hook Dad Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily was very proud of its story on Neil Heslin, father of one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre. Here's how it was promoted in an email:
Charles C. Johnson's story attacked Heslin -- who came out in favor of bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines after the massacre and was the subject of a debate over whether he had been heckled at a hearing -- as someone who has "repeatedly endangered citizen lives by driving drunk and without a license." Here's what it looked like on the WND website, where it was proclaimed as a "WND Exclusive":
But Johnson's story has since been removed from WND's website -- the link to the story now redirects to a search page. The story, however, is still available through Google cache, and a tweet promoting the article remains on WND's Twitter account.
Why did WND remove Johnson's story? We don't know -- no explanation has been published on the website, and a message to WND requesting one has so far gone unanswered.