AIM Thinks John Drew Is Trustworthy Topic: Accuracy in Media
Paul Kengor writes in a Sept. 27 Accuracy in Media column that he basically wants to give the House Un-American Committee treatment to President Obama, wanting to ask, "Has Barack Obama ever agreed with Marxist ideology?" Kengor continues:
I wrote a 400-page book on Obama and his mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, a literal card-carrying member of Communist Party USA (CPUSA no. 47544). There, I include transcripts of lengthy interviews I did with Dr. John Drew, who knew Obama at Occidental College in the early 1980s. Drew is completely credible. There’s no good reason to (at the very least) not take his account seriously enough for some follow-up queries.
Actually, there is a very good reason not to consider Drew to be credible: He really didn't know Obama.
As we've documented, Drew met Obama only twice in his life, both during social occasions, making it highly unlikely that he could have made such sweeping conclusions of Obama's purported nature based on a pair of brief, casual encounters. Further, some of Drew's details about Obama have been discredited by actual college friends of Obama.
I asked Drew if he believed Obama still believed some of those things today and, for the record, where and when and how Obama broke with some or all of that radical ideology. On that, Drew and I both speculated at length. Our mere speculation sent liberals into fits of blind rage. But it need not be that way.
If Kengor is talking about baseless speculation, he's correct. Drew is also on record as speculating that Obama may have been and/or may still be gay, which seems to further paint him as someone who is more interested in destroying Obama than telling the truth in a responsible way.
The fact that Kengor appears to have based much of his book on Drew's speculation about, and extremely limited contact with, Obama tells us that Kengor has an agenda as well.
WND's McMillan Latches On To Obama Twitter Follower Non-Scandal Topic: WorldNetDaily
Craige McMillan rants in a Sept. 27 WorldNetDaily column:
Five Twitter accounts tied to the Obama White House, including two of wife Michelle, have 23,274,272 fake followers. In fact, when inactive accounts are filtered out only about 20 percent of their followers are real.
Think for a moment the amount of time and effort it would take to generate that number of fraudulent Twitter accounts and followers. How many could you generate? Maybe a hundred? Possibly a thousand? But 23 million? Just who is doing this?
Or perhaps each Twitter follower was so ignorant and owned by the Democratic agenda that every real follower generated a lone fake follower? You know, like Obama “voters.” Each real voter generates another fake vote. To paraphrase Dan Rather, such an election would be “fake but accurate.”
Not only does McMillan ignore that Twitter accounts tied to Republican politicans have large numbers of "fake" followers -- as the article McMillan links to to make his case against Obama -- it really isn't even much of a scandal. Upstart Business Journal's Alex Dalenberg explains:
Some brands have been accused of purchasing fake Twitter followers to raise their online profiles, but even if the White House was intentionally purchasing fake followers (recall that both the Romney and Obama campaigns were accused of the practice during the the election) what exactly would they be trying to accomplish? Bots don’t vote. They don’t buy products. In at least one case, a corporate study by Coca-Cola found no impact on short-term sales from social media buzz.
Bottom line: fake follower stories are usually fake scandals, even if it confirms your preexisting worldview that the First Lady, Ted Cruz, Lady Gaga, or whoever is a substanceless charlatan. Cruz gets to mount a fake-filibuster of the healthcare bill by virtue of being a U.S. senator. Michelle Obama gets a platform to talk about how kids eat too many cheeseburgers because she’s the First Lady, not because she’s got a big Twitter following.
But McMillan is full frothing paranoid rant mode, so facts don't really matter to him, complete with childish name-calling:
When the Republicans found out AliBama’s minions were using the IRS to suppress the conservative voting message, they should have been dragging vats of tar, bags of feathers and pots of boiling oil to the White House and demanding AliBama’s resignation – or else! And Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi? They should have been locked in the House restrooms with the insurance executives for their corruption in using taxpayer money to buy the one extra vote needed to pass AliBamacare.
No budget – for how many years? But then why should we know how our great-great-grandchildren’s money is being spent by D.C.’s den of thieves?
NSA’s illegal domestic spying? It exists for one reason. AliBama and the rest of the thieves want to know what you are thinking, what you’re writing and what you’re talking about; and with whom. They need this so they can determine how far they can go in their usurpation against the underlying laws that govern the government.
That's the kind of writing that keeps McMillan employed as a WND journalist.
Note to NewsBusters: Wendy Davis Is What Democracy Looks Like Topic: NewsBusters
Matthew Sheffield wrote a Sept. 26 NewsBusters post defending Sen. Ted Cruz's not-a-filibuster in a futile effort to defund Obamacare, under the headline "Note to Media: This Is What Democracy Looks Like."
Funny thing, though: NewsBusters didn't see the last actual filibuster to make headlines as very democratic.
Earlier this year, Texas state senator Wendy Davis conducted a filibuster in the Texas Legislature to delay a vote on a strict anti-abortion law, which was successful in stopping a vote in one special session (though a new special session was later called in which the law passed).
In a July 4 NewsBusters post, Paul Bremmer derided what he called a softball-filled interview that ABC's Jeff Zeleny conducted with Davis, and he wanted Zeleny to ask Davis why she acted so anti-democratically:
When asked if she believed the bill she filibustered will eventually pass, Davis replied, “I just – refuse to say I believe it’ll happen. I’m an eternal optimist, I believe in people, I believe in the power of democracy and I’m gonna fight with every fiber I have to keep it from passing.”
Here was a golden opportunity for a critical followup: Ms. Davis, if you believe in the power of democracy, why do you want to prevent a majority of the democratically-elected state senate from passing a law? A democratic legislature is all about the rule of the majority. Unfortunately, Zeleny let that response float by without objection.
And in a July 9 post, Kyle Drennen huffed that "Texas state senator Wendy Davis and a mob of abortion activists prevented popularly supported pro-life legislation from being passed in the Lone Star State."
We don't remember Sheffield defending Davis' act of democracy the way he's defending Cruz.
Is Bradlee Dean's Ministry No More? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Minneapolis City Pages is reporting that WorldNetDailiy columnist Bradlee Dean has seen the exodus of the entire staff of his ministry, You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, including the co-host of his radio show, Jake McMillan:
Our source said the beginning of the end came when two former Dean staffers -- a husband-and-wife team including his former director of donor relations -- had a falling out with Bradlee. The couple stayed friends with some "You Can Run" employees and began trying to persuade their friends to leave the ministry. They had incremental success, culminating with the resignation of McMillan, and as a result Dean no longer has anybody working for him.
The source said that in the wake of our July report about disaffected former You Can Run staffer Jake Dagel -- Dagel characterized You Can Run as a "cultic sham ministry" -- a group of upwards of a dozen former staffers got together and compiled testimony about how Dean had mistreated and exploited them. They subsequently brought 28 pages worth of testimony to the Minnesota Attorney General's office and are currently working on a mediation proposal with Dean's camp. The group of former staffers seek reimbursement of funds they say Dean owes them and a guarantee that Bradlee will never hold another leadership position with a ministry. Our source isn't sure whether Dean could possibly face criminal charges as a result of the allegations, some of which constitute crimes.
Asked why Dean's staff quit on him when they did, our source said, "maybe they realized how bad it had gotten and said, 'We need to get out of here.'"
Needless to say, WND has not reported any of this, and Dean's latest WND column makes no mention of it.
CNS Pushes Bogus Claims About U.N. Arms Treaty Topic: CNSNews.com
Patrick Goodenough uses a Sept. 26 CNSNews.com article to uncritically repeat the "deep misgivings" of "Second Amendment advocates" about the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty:
The National Rifle Association (NRA) noted that the treaty urges countries to keep records of arms transfers, including information on end users, “for a minimum of ten years” (article 12).
“Data kept on the end users of imported firearms is a de-facto registry of law-abiding firearms owners, which is a violation of federal law,” it said in a statement. “Even worse, the ATT could be construed to require such a registry to be made available to foreign governments.”
In fact, as Media Matters details, the treaty's "end user" language does not -- and cannot -- require nations to create a gun registry or otherwise dictate how a nation regulates firearms domestically. Indeed, the ATT's preamble is explicit in "[r]eaffirming the sovereign right of any State to regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system."
Goodenough also writes:
The U.S. already maintains what the administration says is recognized as the world’s “gold standard” in export controls for arms transfers, but under the ATT, countries hostile to U.S. allies like Israel and Taiwan would likely challenge U.S. weapons sales to them. (A majority of U.N. member states have backed texts accusing Israel in particular of grave human rights abuses.)
“The ATT outrageously forces the United States – the world’s most important defender of peace and democracy – onto equal footing with the world’s worst dictatorships and terror-sponsors,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) said in a statement criticizing the signing.
“Under this treaty, our crucial support for friends like Israel and Taiwan is endangered while enemies of these nations are empowered,” he said. “On the turbulent global stage, it risks preventing the good from doing good while doing nothing to prevent the bad from doing bad.”
That's another bogus claim. According to the text of the proposed treaty, the ATT would allow for arms embargoes to be issued against countries engaged in "genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes constituting grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, or serious violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949." Given that the United States Security Council is the issuing body of arms embargoes, and that the United States is a permanent member of that Council, the U.S. would possess the ability to unilaterally veto any proposed arms embargo.
WND Gives Anti-Muslim Film's Director A Pass On His Deception Topic: WorldNetDaily
Upon the release from prison of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula -- the film director whose trailer for his anti-Muslim film sparked protests in the Middle East and was originally thought to have played a role in the deaths of four Americans -- WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh fired softball questions at him, uncritically letting Nakoula claim that he made the film "Innocence of Muslims" "to warn America about the threat of Islamic jihad."
It seems, however, that Unruh did not ask him about allegations by the film's actors that Nakoula deceived them about the nature of the flim. One actress told the Hollywood Reporter that the original script the actors followed was much different from the finished product, in which the actors' voices were redubbed to make it an anti-Muslim film. That, in turn, put the actors' live in danger, fearing reprisals for their parts in a film they were deceived about.
Unruh makes a big deal out of claiming that Nakoula's film "garnered global attention when Obama blamed it for upsetting Muslims in Benghazi, who then attacked the Americans," though "the White House knew immediately that the Benghazi incident was an organized terror strike, not a random act of violence by an out-of-control mob of Muslims." Unruh doesn't mention that the film did, in fact, spark riots in the Mideast and elsewhere. The Week reported that protests occurred in more than 20 countries, killing at least 10 people.
Unruh quotes Nakoula lamely stating that “I want to apologize for any inconvenience or misunderstanding about my movie,” without any mention of what exactly he might have been apologizing for, or that death is slightly more than an "inconvenience."
Unruh also repeats an unsubstantiated claim by the father of one of the Benghazi victims that then-Secfretary of State Hillary Clinton "vowed that the person who made the video would be arrested and prosecuted." Unruh offers no evidence that the alleged Clinton statement has ever been verified.
Unruh rehashed much of his article the next day, adding that "Those who wish to contact Nakoula can respond to email@example.com." Does that mean we can ask Nakoula about how he deceived his actors and overdubbed the original script without telling them? Because Unruh certainly isn't going to ask that question.
MRC: 'Modern Family' Is 'Dangerous' Because It Makes You Sympathize With Gay People Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Evan Mantel is very unhappy that the TV show "Modern Family" is making him think of homosexuals as real human people:
This was a classic Modern Family. And as such, I am upset. Wanna know why I'm upset? (if you don't, why are you even reading??? Why?)
I'll let you in on a little secret: I write for a conservative blog. (I'll wait for those gasps of shock to die down.) As a conservative blog on entertainment, I'm in a tricky predicament during episodes like these. With a crappy episode, (like this one; HIMYM LINK)it is easy to rip the flawed presuppositions.
But this was a good episode. I laughed. I cried. I felt. It moved me like good art is supposed to do. But that's the problem. It moved me. It made me feel joy for Cam and Mitchell after the Supreme Court over-ruled California's Prop 8.
And that is what makes this show great. And dangerous. It relies on feelings which mislead. There is no logical argument in favor of gay marriage, but the sweetness of Cam and Mitchell trying to outdo each other's proposal is touching. Their simple and spontaneous proposal was as sweet as the portrayal of those who don't agree with gay marriage as spitting babies was subtle.
This realization that gays are people too doesn't bode well for the future of the MRC's anti-gay agenda. Or is the MRC so committed to that agenda that Mantel's job is in danger because of his apparent increasing difficulty in demonizing gays?
WND's Unruh Peddles Homeschooling Myths and Falsehoods Topic: WorldNetDaily
It seems to be a requirement to be a WorldNetDaily employee that employees' children must be homeschooled, and WND is a major source of homeschooling propaganda -- to the point where it tacitly approved of child abuse in order to preserve homeschooling rights.
Unruh goes Godwin right off the bat, stating in the lead paragraph that "Among major democratic nations, homeschooling already is banned in Germany, under a Hitler-era law." This is a fallacy WND has repeated for years, and it sleazily implies that anyone who doesn't support homeschooling as zealously as WND does is a Nazi. In fact, compulsory schooling in Germany has been a tradition for a good 200 years.
Unruh then recaps one prominent homeschooling case:
In the Romeike case, the family fled to the United States because German barred them from homeschooling. They obtained asylum, but the Obama administration appealed and obtained an order from a higher court that the family must return to Germany.
The dispute now is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Obama administration has argued in court that parents essentially have no right to determine how and what their children are taught, leaving the authority with the government.
Unruh does not mention that the Romeikes have also rejected private and religious schools in Germany, claming that they were "just as bad or even worse" than public schools. The Romeikes could have also chosen to work toward creating a school in Germany that more closely aligns with their claimed "Christian faith," but they apparently chose not to.
And the Obama administration did not claim in the Romeike case, as Unruh asserts, that "parents essentially have no right to determine how and what their children are taught, leaving the authority with the government."Unruh simply made that up.
Rather, the administration argued that "Romeike did not meet his burden of proving a well-founded fear of persecution" and "the Romeikes’ experiences with the police and legal system in Germany were a direct result of their failure to comply with German law prohibiting truancy, and were not the result of the German government’s desire to punish them for their membership in a protected group under the INA." The administration also pointed out that the Romeikes were not disproportionately singled out for persecution, and that the parents of homeschooled children and truants alike are treated the same under German law.
Finally, as one would expect from a homeschooling activist, Unruh's entire article is permeated with a pro-homeschooling bias, copiously quoting pro-homeschool activists and framing the opposition as intolerant Nazis.
No, Terry Jeffrey, Obamacare Does Not Pay For 'Abortion-Inducing Drugs' Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey rants in his Sept. 26 CNSNews.com column:
Under Obamacare, the administration will force Catholics and other Christians to buy and/or provide coverage for services — including sterilizations, artificial contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs — that violate the teachings of their faith.
Well, no. The "abortion pill," RU-486, is not covered. The morning-pills that are covered, like Plan B and Ella, do not induce abortions. These drugs primarily work by preventing ovulation.
We realize it's an article of faith among right-wingers that Obamacare pays for "abortion-inducing drugs." But that's simply not the case. Jeffrey -- who purports to be a journalist in the business of reporting facts -- ought to know better than to put his ideology before the truth.
But apparently he doesn't -- and that's presumably one reason why he is the CNS editor in chief.
After the success of this year’s 9/11 National Day of Prayer and Repentance, WND CEO Joseph Farah is pledging to continue the work next year.
“By any standard, the National Day of Prayer and Repentance September 11 was an unprecedented success,” said Farah, who conceived the idea along with messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn, the author of the bestselling “The Harbinger.”
“In only a few months, with the help of the Holy Spirit, it appears the effort mobilized hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of believers, to pray for the healing of our nation by repenting of their own sins. This has so encouraged me that we will immediately begin work on making the Sept. 11, 2014, bigger and better,” Farah said.
More than 1,000 churches and 250,000 individuals participated in the 2013 events and several celebrities, such as Chuck Norris and Charlie Daniels, endorsed the day as a way for America to rejuvenate itself spiritually.
Farah, of course, offers no proof that 1,000 churches and 250,000 individuals took part. And certainly there is some standard that would find the day to be something less than an "unprecedented success."
Most importantly, Farah has failed to tell his readers whether he used the day to repent for the numerous sins he has committed against President Obama in the form of the lies and misleading claims that have been published on his website over the past five or so years.
Well, perhaps Farah can do that next year, now that he's giving himself another opportunity to do so.
Noel Sheppard writes in a Sept. 24 NewsBusters post:
The 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard is considered one of the nation's most notorious hate crimes.
Yet when a new book comes out by a gay author contending that Shepard was not killed because of his sexual orientation, America's media appear disinterested in reporting the new revelations.
"The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard" author Steve Jimenez sat down with NewsMax TV's Steve Malzberg Monday to discuss his book and his findings.
As we noted when WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah embraced this revisionism, Sheppard won't tell you that Jimemez worked on a 2004 ABC 20/20 segment that made many of the same claims as his book, so they're not all that "new." Further, Jimenez's key salacious claim -- that one of Shepard's killers, Aaron McKinney, had previously had sex with Shepard -- is undermined by the fact that McKinney denies it, as well as the fact that McKinney tried to mount a "gay panic" defense at his trial.
Sheppard also highlights that "the Advocate, the self-proclaimed "world's leading source for LGBT news and entertainment," published a very positive piece about Jimenez's book," adding, "So one of the leading sources for LGBT news and entertainment is out front on this story willing to give its readers these new revelations so that they can decide what the truth is."
I find problems with the fact that killer Aaron McKinney, who Jimenez accuses of doing drugs and having sex with Matt prior to the murder, never admits to sleeping with men. If he did indeed have sex with Matt or was bisexual, he can’t bring himself to “admit” it, even now. McKinney either didn’t have sex with Matt or is gripped by internalized homophobia, which is still homophobia. That seems relevant.
Perhaps Sheppard should take his own advice and publish more facts so his readers can decide what the truth is. But then, he's not exactly known for that, is he?
NEW ARTICLE: The Enemy Of Obama Is WorldNetDaily's Friend Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND sides against the president and America by supporting the regime of Syrian dictator Assad -- and, by extension, Russia's Vladimir Putin -- on the Syrian civil war. Read more >>
NewsBusters' Idea Of A 'Level-Headed Lib': One With Conservative Views Topic: NewsBusters
It appears that NewsBusters likes its liberals the way Fox News likes them: in name only.
Under the headline "Normally Level-headed Lib Kirsten Powers Goes Berserk at Daily Beast," Ken Shepherd writes in a Sept. 19 NewsBusters post about his disappointment that the Powers wrote something liberal:
"The Republican Party is destroying America" with a "murder-suicide" pact in the U.S. Congress to "shut down" the government.
You might expect such over-the-top language from anyone at MSNBC and quite a few at CNN, but, alas, that's from the pen of one Kirsten Powers, a liberal Fox News contributor who has struck us in the past as a rather rational lefty who doesn't resort to the same tired talking points. After all, she is a pro-life Christian who was great on the Kermit Gosnell issue. And let's not forget she's been good on the Benghazi matter. But today, however, she was railing that Tea Party-friendly congressmen in Washington "seem determined to take us all down with them."
At no point in her September 19 piece did it occur to Powers that President Obama is being equally if not more intransigent by issuing inflexible veto threats rather than entertaining some concessions like, I don't know, a bill to suspend implementation of ObamaCare -- including the individual mandate -- to AFTER the 2014 midterms, which could then serve as a national referendum on ObamaCare: If you love ObamaCare, vote for Democrats. Hate it and want it scrapped or significantly gutted, vote for the GOP.
On most other issues, Powers has been a staunch but intellectually honest liberal pundit. It's a shame she's sticking with the liberal media's herd mentality on this issue.
Of course, NewsBusters does what it can to enforce a herd mentality on the right by going all Heather on anyone who dare deviates from conservative dogma. Why won't Shepherd let conservatives do what he's encouraging Powers to do?
Bradlee Dean Still Playing the Victim Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bradlee Dean does a fine job of playing the victim in his Sept. 18 WorldNetDaily column, parlaying an online petition into a conspiracy against him and his ministry:
This week I received some information that my ministry was being petitioned by change.org, which is funded by none other than the international criminal George Soros, in an attempt to prevent my participation at the Minnesota State Fair. We also became aware of the fact that he who is petitioning the ministry is representing himself under a feigned manner and has no affiliation with the Fair. Outside of the fact that I have nothing to hide, the truth and facts, which bear forth my fruit, will expose their lies and those advocating crimes toward our American republic.
Dean might be taken a little more seriously if he didn't begin his alleged recitation of "the truth and facts" with apparent falsehoods.
First, change.org did not petition Dean -- change.org is an online platform used to circulate petitions. Dean offers no evidence that anyone in the employ of change.org has targeted him.
Second, neither the Soros Files nor Discover the Networks list change.org as a recipient of Soros money. Earlier this year, change.org received a $15 million investment from a trust created by the founder of eBay.
Then, Dean does something peculiar: He responded to the petition's charge that his ministry "crosses the line by advocating violence" not by denying it but, rather, by ticking off random instances of children molested or killed by presumably gay adults and playing guilt-by-association with others. Like this:
What of Kevin Jennings? Obama’s first “safe school czar” is the founder of GLSEN, that is, Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network. Kevin Jennings wrote a forward [sic] to a book called “Queering the elementary education” [sic].
Jennings is a hero and icon of the organization NAMBLA, the North American Man Boy Love Association. NAMBLA’s motto: “Sex before eight before it is too late.”
Dean provides no evidence that Jennings is a "hero and icon," and his foreword to "Queering Elementary Education" has nothing to do with sex; Jennings called for valuing "every human being as a precious gift" and looked forward to the day when students could "walk down our streets without fear."
Dean laughably concluded his column by stating, "Friends, this is not about attacking any particular people," pretending he hadn't just spent the entire column attacking particular people.
Once again, Dean's column also includes a request for donations to fund his lawsuit against Rachel Maddow, despite the fact that the lawsuit has been dead for months.
So where are those "truth and facts" Dean promised? History shows he's not capable of telling the truth.
AIM Columnist Mixes Anti-Intellectualism, Anti-Environment Ranting Topic: Accuracy in Media
Nicholas Guariglia uses a Sept. 24 Accuracy in Media column to rant about people smarter than he is:
None of this is to say climate change is not happening. It is to say, however, that if climate change is in fact happening, it may be due to heretofore unmeasured-and, in retrospect, somewhat obvious-”natural variables,” such as the behavior of the Sun. Nevertheless, President Obama is gearing up for a push of his anti-CO2 climate change agenda, this time by unconstitutionally using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bureaucratically enforce, through fiat regulation, what his administration cannot get passed democratically through Congress. And remember, this is the same EPA that spawned the outbreak of the once nearly-eradicated malaria by arbitrarily banning the insecticide DDT (to the silence of environmentalists, humanitarians, and journalists the world over).
This phenomenon-the trillions wasted by the IPCC; the millions dead because of the EPA-is the result of what can only be called “the credentialist fallacy.” The credentialist fallacy is a dogmatic interpretation of reality, one where greater importance is placed on an authority’s credentials than on its merits.
Meanwhile, Guariglia provides no credentials whatsoever to back up his pontifications, and boy, does it show.
Take, for instance, Guariglia's laughable claim that the EPA is responsible for "millions dead" because it banned DDT. First, the EPA could not (and did not) ban DDT use outside the U.S., and as we've documented, there was never a global ban on DDT usage.
Guariglia also conveniently ignores the fact that, as we've also noted, malaria-carrying mosquitoes were developing a resistance to DDT due to its overuse, reducing its effectiveness.
We would have examined Guariglia's arguments on the merits whether or not he has any credentials to speak of (which, again, he doesn't). And the merits of Guariglia's mix of anti-intellectualism and anti-environmentalism is decidedly lacking.
Guariglia later writes, "An ignoramus has no business arguing the periodic table with a chemist." As he has demonstrated, an ignoramus also has no business ranting about the environment.