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Friday, April 19, 2013
WND's Claim That Boston Bombers Were Trained By Iran Is Unverifiable, Of Course
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When you're hiding behind a fake name and use only anonymous sources, you can pretty much write anything safe in the knowledge that it's unverifiable by anyone else.

That, in a nutshell, is the career of WorldNetDaily writer "Reza Kahlili," a self-proclaimed former CIA operative who's best known for peddling outrageous claims about Iran. That M.O. is all too clear in an April 19 article by Kahlili:

The two brothers who set off the bombs at the Boston Marathon Monday were assets of a bigger network out of South Asia and were set up to be burned so there would be no link back to their handlers – and Iran.

As reported exclusively on April 16, a source within the Iranian intelligence services told WND that the Islamic regime had links to Monday’s bombings and that Hezbollah terrorists and Quds Forces were involved in the shadows. That information was shared with U.S. officials.

A YouTube video posted apparently by one of the bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, though not yet confirmed, shows a belief in the coming of the Shiites’ 12th Imam, Mahdi, and the rise of an Islamic army with black flags out of Khorasan, a province in Iran.

Not a single claim Kahlili makes is corroborated with an on-the-record source. None. Kahlili could be making up all these alleged anonymous sources for all we know. Because he hides behind a fake name as well, that makes him doubly unaccountable.

But it also makes him the perfect WND employee, where promoting an agenda has a much higher priority than reporting facts.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:06 PM EDT
AIM's Kincaid Can't Let Go Of His Discredited Anthrax Conspiracy
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid has been pretty much silent about his conspiracy theory that Al Qaeda was responsible for the 2001 anthrax since authorities revealed that government scientist Bruce Ivins was likely behind it.

But Kincaid is back on the case in  his April 18 Accuracy in Media column, spurred by the ricin mailings that are reminicent of the anthrax attacks:

It is still not known, officially and by adjudication in a court of law, who sent the post-9/11 anthrax letters because the FBI completely mishandled the case. They ended up paying $6 million in damages to an American scientist, Steven Hatfill, who was falsely termed a “person of interest” and hounded by federal agents. The FBI later argued that another U.S. Government scientist, Bruce Ivins, was the lone culprit, and “closed” the case. But Ivins was also hounded by federal agents, and took his own life. His attorney, Paul Kemp, has strongly argued that the FBI falsely blamed Ivins and never proved its case against him. No charges were filed in what the FBI called the “Amerithrax” case.

In fact, the evidence suggests the letters were linked to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the al-Qaeda operatives behind them.

The 2011 book "The Mirage Man" by David Willman persuasively argues that Ivins was the man who perpetrated the anthrax attacks. Willman states that the letters were mailed from a New Jersey mailbox located outside the offiices of a college sorority Ivins was obsessed with, that Ivins made a career as a civilian microbiologist for the Army despite a history of mental instability -- a psychiatrist confied that Ivins was the "scariest" patient he had ever known -- and that Ivins had created the batch of anthrax that matched the material in the letters and had unrestricted access to it.

Kincaid has apparently never addressed Willman's conclusions in his work for AIM, and he makes no mention of Willman in this column.

Meanwhile, Kincaid is quick to blame Al Qaeda for the Boston Marathon bombings, apparently solely based on the fact that "an al-Qaeda magazine had recommended the use of the same kind of bomb used in the Boston massacre." He continues:

Equally important, terrorism expert Steve Emerson said on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program on Wednesday night that the Saudi national with a student visa apprehended after the bombing is being deported on “national security grounds” in what may be shaping up as a high-level cover-up of Saudi, or other foreign involvement, in the Boston massacre.

“This is the way things are done with Saudi Arabia,” Emerson said. “You don’t arrest their citizens. You deport them. Because they don’t want to be embarrassed…”

Before the bombings, Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) had drawn critical attention in a report to Obama’s recent decision to allow some Saudis to “bypass normal passport controls at major U.S. airports.”

Walid Shoebat reports that the Saudi national who was being detained belongs to a clan that consists of several al Qaeda members and that high-level Saudi government officials have intervened on his behalf.

There are powerful political and foreign interests who do not want such reports to be highlighted or pursued by U.S. authorities. That is why the liberal media will now begin attacking Emerson, Shoebat, and others questioning the official handling of the case.

Emerson is an anti-Muslim activist whose deportation claim has been discredited. Shoebat is an even more virulent anti-Muslim activist who has been credibly accused of lying about his past as a self-proclaimed former Islamic terrorist.

The question is not why the "liberal media" would legitimately question the veracity of Emerson and Shoebat. The question is why Kincaid still thinks they are credible.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 PM EDT
CNS' Starr Tries To Link Boston Bombings to Immigration
Topic: CNSNews.com

Right-wingers have been trying to suggest that immigration is somehow  to blame for the Boston Marathon bombings.

CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr joins that little parade, declaring in an April 19 tweet, "As terror attack in Boston unfolds -- on the day Napolitano testifies -- "Our borders are more secure than ever."

Given that the suspects are reportedly brothers from Chechnya who came to America several years ago as refugees, border security has nothing whatsoever to do with this.

Starr has apparently decided that her personal (and her employer's) right-wing agenda is more important than the facts.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 AM EDT
WND Upset The Muslims It Victimized Are Feeling Victimized
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Minor writes in an April 18 WorldNetDaily article:

While the hunt continues for those responsible for the brutal terrorist attack on Patriot’s Day in Boston, Muslim groups and their supporters already have part of the answer: They are the victims.

In an email this week, the Council on American-Islamic Relations – an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist-finance case in U.S. history – linked to a story in Religion News Service titled, “U.S. Muslims mobilize to prevent Boston backlash.”

Minor doesn't mention that one of the chief instigators of blaming Muslims for the Boston bombings is WND.

WND was quick to forward unproven, anonymous claims that Islamists were behind the bombings, even as it frowned upon speculation that right-wingers were behind them. WND's Aaron Klein libelously suggested a Saudi national who was questioned by police after the bombing (and cleared of any wrongdoing) is a terrorist. And WND promoted the discredited claim that the Saudi national was being deported.

Minor uncritically repeats those last two claims in his article, thus further victimizing the very same Muslims he's criticizing for fighting against victimization.

It must be nice to live like Minor does in a world of complete self-unawareness. But then, WND is not paying Minor to look at this objectively.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:18 AM EDT
Thursday, April 18, 2013
WND Promotes Discredited Assertion That Boston Bombing Suspect Is Being Deported
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joe Kovacs wrote in an April 17 WorldNetDaily article:

An expert on terrorism says the Saudi national who was the original “person of interest” in connection with Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing is going to be deported from the U.S. next week.

The foreign student from Revere, Mass., is identified as 20-year-old Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi.

“I just learned from my own sources that he is now going to be deported on national security grounds next Tuesday, which is very unusual,” Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism told Sean Hannity of Fox News Wednesday night.

Just one problem: None of that is true.

As CNN's Jake Tapper reported, the Saudi national questioned by authorities  is not a suspect and is not being deported. A second Saudi national from the Boston area is in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody for being in violation of his visa, but he has no connection to the bombing.

Kovacs also uncritically repeats Aaron Klein's sleazy implication that Alharbi is a terrorist because he shares the same last name as "a major Saudi clan that includes scores of al-Qaida operatives." Kovacs doesn't even bother with any disclaimer that he has no evidence to prove that Alharbi is, in fact, a member of that clan.

Sounds like the basis for a libel lawsuit against WND by Alharbi is contining to grow. That's not the position WND wants to be in, but as its birther debacle proves, it's incapable of stopping digging activities when finding itself in a hole.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Wayne Allyn Root Edition
Topic: Newsmax

Ninety days is all it took to put the U.S. economy into a coma, to destroy any chance of recovery. Ninety days defined by what I call the Obama "Axis of Evil” — taxation, regulation, unionization, litigation, IRS intimidation, demonization, and government strangulation. The last 90 days of this Axis of Evil have sealed our fate.

There are no new jobs. There will be no new jobs. Creating jobs in Obama's America is like trying to grow healthy plants in a nuclear blast zone. Obama has turned the U.S. economy into a “Hostile Work Environment.” I call it Obamageddon.

[...]

Obama is like a drug addict with giant bills to pay and no income. He has to find a way to pay for his food stamps, disability and unemployment society. The bill to keep this Ponzi scheme going gets bigger by the hour. But with 90 million adults no longer working, and everyone who is willing to work being robbed to pay for a nation of deadbeats, who is left to jumpstart the economy? Who is left to create jobs? The answer is — clearly — no one.

[...]

Ninety days of the Obama "Axis of Evil” showcases what one man, supported by a blind, adoring liberal-biased media, can do to snuff out ambition, drive, work ethic, creativity, inspiration and enthusiasm — all in the name of equality, fairness and social justice.

-- Wayne Allyn Root, April 17 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 4:01 PM EDT
WND's Klein Courts Libel Suit By Playing Guilt-By-Association With Cleared Boston Bombing Suspect
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Apparently, WorldNetDaily is feeling the need to have a libel lawsuit filed against it.

Aaron Klein declares in an April 17 WND article: "The Saudi national questioned by police in the investigation into the Boston Marathon attack shares the same last name as a major Saudi clan that includes scores of al-Qaida operatives."

No, really, that's all Klein has --  the guy shares a last name with "al-Qaida operatives." Not that the guy is an Al Qaeda operative, not that his family members are Al Qaeda operatives -- only that he shares a last name with them.

It's not until the ninth paragraph that Klein gets around to admitting that "it is not clear whether the Alharbi questioned as part of the marathon probe is a member of the well-known Saudi clan."

But the fact that Klein chose to bury his dislaimer so far down in his story while playing up his guilt-by-name-association of someone who is not currently considered a suspect in the bombing suggests that this Saudi national, Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, arguably has a basis for a libel lawsuit against Klein and WND.

We don't know whether or not Alharbi is a member of the clan Klein alleges him to be -- and, more importantly, neither does Klein.  He has written a story with the full knowledge that he can't prove what he's claiming, and all the hedging and buried disclaimers in the world don't change the fact that he is strongly arguing that Alharbi is a terrorist solely on the basis of his sharing the last name of someone accused of terrorism.

Further, it appears Klein is basing his article on something published by Walid Shoebat, who even more explicitly ties Alharbi to "Al-Qaeda terrorists" based solely on his last name. Shoebat's not exactly known for his accuracy, and he's been credibly accused of lying about his own past as a self-proclaimed Islamic terrorist-turned-Christian.

If none of this turns out to be true -- which, given WND's track record in such matters, is entirely possible, if not likely -- Alharbi should get his libel suit against Klein and WND (and Shoebat) ready, because Klein's article is the epitome of irresponsible, malicious journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Biased, Smothered and Covered
Topic: CNSNews.com
As CNS' Matt Cover moves on to a new right-wing website, let's review his atrocious record of questionable and false reporting. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:21 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Newsmax-Dick Morris Rehabilitation Watch
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's image rehabilitation project for Dick Morris continues apace.

An April 15 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers fawns over Morris' new radio show in Philadelphia. Meyers sticks to press-release boilerplace, mindlessly spouting things like "Morris, once called 'the most influential private citizen in America' by Time magazine, is a former Fox News commentator and adviser to President Bill Clinton."

No mention, of course, that the reason Morris is a former Fox News commentator is because of his abysmal record of punditry, or that Morris' purported status as "the most influential private citizen in America" was granted shortly before he resigned in disgrace from Bill Clinton's re-election campaign for dalliances with a call girl.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 PM EDT
WND: Bad to Speculate That Right-Wingers Behind Boston Bombing, OK to Speculate Muslims Did It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily huffed in an April 16 article:

Call up the FBI. Whistle down Boston police. The commentators across the television airwaves have pinpointed if not an individual, the ideological leaning of the Boston bomber.

The right wing.

It started yesterday even as the smoke from the terror attack still was drifting in the skies of Boston, where three were killed and more than 170 wounded in two bomb blasts set off at the Boston Marathon.

The article offers a link to Joseph Farah's column in which he falsely claimed nobody has been arrested for an attempted bombing of a Martin Luther King Day parade -- in fact, a white supremacist pleaded guilty and is currently in prison.

The irony here is that WND is railing against baselessly blaming right-wing activists for the bombing. Clearly, the media should be baselessly blaming Islamist -- just like WND is.

AaronKlein served up another one of his no-name anonymous source specials, even admitting that nothing he's writing is confirmed, just what some people he refuses to name purportedly told him:

An al-Qaida-allied group in the Gaza Strip claimed to WND that there have been arrests of jihadists in both Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of the probe into yesterday’s Boston Marathon explosions.

The arrests could not be immediately confirmed.

Members of Gaza’s Jihadiya Salafia group further said that al-Qaida is being credited for the attack in its affiliated online forums.

The Gaza sources told WND the online al-Qaida forum messages claimed the bombings were an al-Qaida response to a U.S. military airstrike that killed a high-profile Taliban leader and four other Taliban members last week near Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan.

Jihadia Salafia represents al-Qaida in Gaza.

It was not immediately clear whether the Internet claims should be taken seriously or simply represented jihadists utilizing the explosions.

Klein goes on to parrot the WND talking point of complaining that "some in the media have been speculating it could have been a domestic attack, with some analysts suggesting 'right wing extremists' were involved." Klein seems to think that hiding behind anonymous sources to baselessly implicate his employer's enemies is somehow more credible.

Meanwhile, Klein's fellow WND conspirator in anonymity, Reza Kahlili -- and that isn't even his real name -- is peddling even more anonymous claims:

Although it is not known yet who is responsible for Monday’s heinous bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured more than 100 people, a source within Iranian intelligence services told WND the Islamic regime was behind them and to look for trails through Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The source said the bombs were planted near the end of the race so that the horrific images of the blasts would be captured by all the media there and be replayed over and over throughout the world.

It seems that WND wants us to trust reporters with a history of biased journalism -- one of whom is hiding behind a fake name -- who can't come up with an on-the-record source to back up their claims over genuine media sources who are looking at all aspects of the case. No wonder nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:59 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 10:13 PM EDT
One MRC Division Gives Advice; Another Ignores It
Topic: Media Research Center

In an April 16 NewsBusters post, Kyle Drennen praised NBC's Tom Brokaw for "warn[ing] his media colleagues about premature speculation regarding the motivation of the Boston bombing: 'I think everybody has to take a deep breath...report what we know, and do the best we can with the information that we're able to get reliably.'"

He might want to send that message down the hall at Media Research Center headquarters to its "news" division, CNSNews.com.

An April 16 CNS article by Patrick Goodenough was devoted to highlighting how "a leading al-Qaeda ideologue last year recommended that jihadists in America include sporting events in their list of prospective terror targets." Goodenough conceded that "no group has claimed responsibility for Monday’s deadly bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon," but that didn't keep him from writing an article suggesting otherwise.

If the MRC can't be bothered to follow the advice it gives to other media outlets, why trust anything it says?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 PM EDT
WND's Whitewashes Erik Rush's Kill-'em-All Tweet
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When it came time for WorldNetDaily to report on its columnist Erik Rush's offensive, supposedly sarcastic tweet expressing his desire to kill all Muslims, they picked the ideal candidate to do the job: Chelsea Schilling, she of the fawning profiles and error-laden articles.

True to form, Schilling's April 16 WND article on the controversy portrays Rush as a victim instead of an aggressor, highlighting the death threats Rush has allegedly received in the wake of his comment.

How eager is Schilling to whitewash Rush's hate? In the very first paragraph, she asserts that Rush made "a sarcastic comment about killing 'evil' Muslims," then let Rush claim that "I was being sarcastic."

The problem is that Rush's after-the-fact insistence that the tweet was sarcastic doesn't mean that it was. He offers no evidence to prove the sarcasm (and Schilling is certainly not going to ask him). This smacks of the work of another person named Rush -- Rush Limbaugh, who tends to explaining away controversial statements after the fact that claim that they were "media tweaks."

Schilling is being so deferential to Rush, in fact, that nowhere in her article does she quote Rush stating that he does not want to kill all Muslims. Instead, she lets Rush complain that he was being portrayed in the media as defending his tweet, then adding, “They asked me, ‘If you had it to do over again, would you?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, probably.’”

And Schilling is carefully not to mention Rush's reference to "muzzie[s]" -- a Muslim slur -- lest people learn the truth about Rush's hate.

It's ludicrous for Rush to insist he's not defending his tweet when he says he'd send it again. Then again, he has deleted the offending tweet from his Twitter account, which suggests that he's little more than a coward who's trying to turn a screw-up to his advantage.

Fortunately for him, WND and Schilling are going to whitewash and defend him every step of the way.After all, Rush's supposedly sarcastic tweet is not offensive to the powers that be at WND.

Schilling concludes by stating that "Rush said he fully intends to write his WND column about the incident from his point of view Thursday."

And WND wonders why nobody believes them anymore.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 8:58 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Great Moments In AIM Self-Unawareness (With Bonus Attacks on Us)
Topic: Accuracy in Media

James Simpson purports to expose "Illegal Alien Propaganda: A Critical Lesson in Terminology and Tactics" in his April 12 Accuracy in Media column. But Simpson's opening salvo is, well, propaganda:

As we once again face the specter of illegal alien amnesty, and the permanent Democratic majority it will guarantee, it is critical to understand how the Left plays. They are unethical to the core, but we are so frequently deluded by their tactical use of language and emotion, that we are unequipped to deal with them effectively. The result: they win. This cannot happen again, unless we are all willing to start calling Obama “President for Life,” and Democrats, the “Commissars.”

Simpson is apparently oblivious to the irony -- not to mention very thin-skinned about criticism. Read the comments at the end of the column and you'll find us innocuously pointing out Simpson's misuse of the word "amnesty," following by Simpson hurling insults and false attacks at us for doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 PM EDT
Ellis Washington, Bad Law Professor
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his April 5 WorldNetDaily column, Ellis Washington complained that he has been "a blacklisted academic for 30 years." He linked to his manifesto on his personal website, which is mostly a lot of whining about how he can't get a tenure-track teaching job, followed by smearing his ideological opposites as Nazis. (As if exaggerating his resume, getting things flamboyantly wrong, and adhering to far-out-of-the-mainstream legal theories weren't enough reason not to hire him.)

Washington demonstrated yet again why no sane law school should hire him in his April 12 column:

The Court’s most controversial decision on the Fourth Amendment was Mapp v. Ohio (1961), which established the anti-constitutional exclusionary rule where critical evidence gathered by the police can be withheld from proving defendant’s guilt if a single judge deems the evidence “tainted” or derivative of the so-called “fruit of the poisonous tree.” This is judicial tyranny writ large!

Washington conveniently omits the facts of the case, in which a person was convicted of possessing obscene materials after an admittedly illegal police search of her home for a fugitive. Washington doesn't explain why illegally obtained evidence must be admissible.

In other words, Washington declared that it's "anti-constitutional" to uphold the Fourth Amendment's right against unreasonable search and seizure. And this guy wants a job as a law professor?

UPDATE: A ConWebWatch reader with a background in law points out that Washington is even more wrong than we first described. The exclusionary rule was not established in Mapp v. Ohio; that case merely ruled that it applies to the states as well as the federal government. The "fruit of the poisonous tree" rule was established for federal cases in the 1920 case Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 10:56 AM EDT
MRC's Graham: If You Can't See Liberal Bias In Lack of Gosnell Trial Coverage, It's Your Problem
Topic: Media Research Center

We've long known that the Media Research Center is so committed to its insistence of a liberal media bias that it will contort every story around a media-bias frame, no matter how far it is from the truth.

We see that again in the story of odious abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. A Washington Post article credits the MRC and its NewsBusters blog for cranking up complaints that Gosnell's trial was not getting the national attention it believed was deserved.  Post reporter Paul Farhi goes on to quote the MRC's Tim Graham declaring that "This is a story that threatens the abortion rights agenda. . . . It’s bias by omission," but adding that "Neither Graham nor any of the other critics have offered evidence for their suspicions."

Though presumably happy that the MRC got a high-profile media mention, Graham was upset that Farhi exposed his employer's modus operandi. He rants in an April 15 NewsBusters post:

Speaking of suspicions, I suspect someone at the Post is ignoring what I clearly said to Farhi as we talked about the Why of the Gosnell blackout. The evidence of the liberal bias is as plain as day in the blackout. The "why" is somewhat irrelevant. We believe the media want to prevent public-relations damage to the abortion industry, in the same way we believe the media want to inflict public-relations damage on other institutions -- say, the Catholic Church, as I said to Farhi.

I told Farhi is what this blackout proves is that the abortion industry and their media enablers have demonstrated they don't believe in the "safe" part of keeping abortion "safe, legal, and rare."

In other words: Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' evidence! If we say there's liberal bias, we don't need to prove it -- it's axiomatic. If you can't see it, it's not our problem.

Remember, the MRC has "research" in its name -- and its director of media analysis thinks it's "somewhat irrelevant" to research why something happened.

And Graham wonders why nobody takes the MRC's work seriously.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 AM EDT

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