CNS Gives Mendacious Birther Janet Porter A Platform Topic: CNSNews.com
Barbara Hollingsworth devoted a Jan. 3 CNSNews.com article to the views of Faith2Action's Janet Porter on the "Duck Dynasty" imbroglio. Hollingsworth didn't mention Porter's history of hate and lies.
As we've documented, Porter has been a promoter of conspiracy theories about Barack Obama's birth certificate, even showing up in WorldNetDaily's factually challenged birther documentary. In addition, Porter has used her public platforms -- most notably her now-discontinued WND column -- to promote numerous falsehoods about Obama and others.
It says something about CNS that it considers such a mendacious hater like Porter to be a quotable source for a "news" article.
WND Finds Another Military Man to Endorse Overthrow of Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily sure loves folks who are essentially calling for a military coup against President Obama.
WND finds another one in former Army colonel Harry G. Riley, and Bob Unruh devotes a Jan. 4 article to his coup attempt:
“There is not much time and the only planning necessary is to select a starting date, which we have done, and then show up in Washington, D.C., on that date, and plan to stay for the duration. The goal is restoring the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land, removing the lawless leadership,” Riley explained.
“Will this be a cake-walk? No, it will be painful, and some people may die because the government will not be non-violent; some of us will end up in a cell, and some may be injured. If that’s what it will take to save our nation, do we have any choice? Freedom loving Americans will say there is no choice, we must begin the second American Revolution. Not with guns, but with millions of Americans demanding a return to constitutional government and the resignation of Obama, Biden, Reid, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi, and Holder as a start…then the constitutional restoration process can begin.”
He urged “all organizations, groups, particularly veterans and military retirees, [to] begin planning to visit Washington, D.C., beginning May 16, 2014.”
His plans seems to align mostly with what another retired military leader, Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, has advocated.
You'd think that WND would be more wary of military power, given that it has latchedonto the death of Miriam Carey as an example of police excess. But it appears WND hates Obama more than it fears the military.
AIM's Kincaid: Apartheid Wasn't So Bad Because Mandela Wasn't Executed Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Jan. 3 Accuracy in Media column, Cliff Kincaid follows WorldNetDaily in taking post-mortem shots at Nelson Mandela that have the effect of whitewashing apartheid:
Referring to Nelson Mandela, Rove says he “spent 26 years in prison before emerging to end apartheid and serve as the first president of a multiracial South African democracy.” However, Mandela’s debt to Soviet communism, which armed his movement, went unmentioned in Rove’s Wall Street Journal column. Rove also failed to note that the communists who run South Africa today counted Mandela as one of their own. The “democratic” South Africa of today is effectively a one-party state, and the white minority is under siege and facing genocide.
Rove writes that Mandela went “on trial for his life,” neglecting to mention that he was convicted of terrorism and could have been hanged for his crimes. Instead, Mandela received a prison sentence. The white government was actually quite lenient and offered to release him if he would renounce violence and terrorism. He never did. His terrorism cost innocent lives.
So apartheid wasn't so bad because Mandela wasn't immediately executed? Is that what Kincaid is saying?
As WND did, Kincaid ignores what Mandela actually said in response to offers to free him if he renounced violence: that his freedom was meaningless if apartheid was still legal. While Kincaid laments the "innocent lives" taken by Mandela's "terrorism," he's silent on on the innocent lives taken as a result of South Africa's apartheid regime.
WND's Klein Tries, Fails to Discredit NY Times Benghazi Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein is so desperate to discredit the New York Times' series debunking right-wing myths about the Benghazi attack that he devoted three whole articles to attacking it.
In a Dec. 29 article, Klein complains that the Times' report claiming that an anti-Muslim video played a major role in sparking the attack is a contradiction of findings in the State Department’s Accountability Review Board report of the Behgazi incident. This would be the same ARB report that Klein touted as having been discredited a couple months earlier by a "60 Minutes" report by Benghazi. Of course, Klein flip-flopped when the "60 Minutes" report itself turned out to be discredited.
In an article the next day, Klein tries to do a little fine parsing by claiming that the Times' claim that al-Qaeda did not play a role in the Benghazi attack is "directly contradicted" by earlier Times reporting that “Al-Qaeda-leaning” terrorists had training camps near Benghazi. Of course, one does not have to do with the other.
In a Dec. 31 article, Klein claims another purported contradition, that the lack of evidence al-Qaeda played a role in the assault differs from earlier Times reporting naming the "al-Qaida-linked group" Ansar al-Sharia as having led the attack. But as Media Matters points out, Ansar al-Sharia's desire to emulate al-Qaeda or having some murky links to al-Qaeda does not mean that the attack was conducted by al-Qaeda -- as in the core group founded by Osama bin Laden. Klein is using an overbroad definition to imply a link that is more solid than has been documented.
Klein really is rather desperate to cling to the right-wing narrative on Benghazi. In October, he cranked out threearticles in a futile attempt to discredit a Media Matters e-book. (Disclosure: I'm employed by Media Matters.) That's what happens when you put a partisan political narrative before reality.
Fred Fleitz Doesn't Understand Journalism Topic: Newsmax
Fred Fleitz devotes a Jan. 2 Newsmax column to freaking out about the New York Times' series disproving right-wing claims about the Benghazi attacking, in particular its noting that the Times had a reporter on the ground who was “talking to the attackers during the attack”:
This raises several serious ethical questions.
Why was this information withheld for 15 months and not published in September 2012?
Are there ethical guidelines for Times reporters that would bar them from being embedded with terrorists in the act of conducting a terrorist attack? How could a reporter stand by and watch a U.S. Embassy be attacked and burned?
Didn’t this reporter and the Times have a moral obligation to immediately contact U.S. officials about the attack? Did the reporter have a cell or satellite phone that he could have used to alert U.S authorities or his New York Times editor in New York?
What does this reporter know about the death of Ambassador Stephens? Has he told Congress what he knows?
As Media Matters detailed when Fox News anchors made the same claim, Fleitz's attitude demonstrates a lack of understanding of how journalism works or the facts on the ground at the time of the attack:
War reporters and groups that represent them say that the Fox critique shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the role of journalism, particularly during dangerous conflicts.
"When you're in the middle of a riot or an attack like that, first of all, it is not a reporter's job to call the authorities and he would have to assume the authorities know about it. It seems so bizarre," said Josh Meyer, director of education and outreach for the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative and a former Los Angeles Times national security reporter who has reported from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Sonya Fry, executive director of the Overseas Press Club, an association for foreign correspondents, agreed. "The job is to be an eyewitness and report on what they see, sometimes the consequences of that are that help arrives. It is not their job to call in the ambulances," said Fry. "Their job is to report. It is a sad state of affairs that people don't understand what journalists do these days."
Other war correspondents pointed out that it's unclear who the Times reporter could have called for help. As the series makes clear, Libyan militia leaders who were alerted as the attack unfolded refused to aid the Americans, Libyans who did seek to help were turned back by the attackers, while U.S. forces in Tripoli were quickly alerted. No help arrived until long after the first stage of the attack had concluded.
Nevertheless, Fleitz asserts that "there clearly is a New York Times editorial/newsroom conspiracy here."
WND's Unruh Still Pushing Lazy Birther Boilerplate Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh's Jan. 2 WorldNetDaily article claiming that the existence of a biryher lawsuit in the Alabama Supreme Court is a "White House nightmare" is pretty much what we've come to expect from Unruh -- lazy, biased reporting.
There's all the boilerplate recitation of so-called evidence to prove that Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake without any mention that said evidence has been discredited.
There's the touting of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore's views on Obama's eligibility as evidence that the court will rule against Obama, with no mention of the fact that it's a prejudicial opinion that should disqualify Moore from judging this case.
Then there's the hyperbolic "White House nightmare" headline, which we are pretty sure is no more true than Mike Zullo's claim that he has "universe-shattering" evidence about Obama.
BOZELL: It talks about defecating in her mouth. That's what was put on there on a planned segment. It took 19 days for this man to resign, he was never fired for this, and on top of that, they praised him, Comcast praised him as a good man when he resigned after doing that.
As we've pointed out, this faux outrage is rather rich coming from someone who called President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead" and could not be moved to even faux outrage when Rush Limbaugh denigrated Sandra Fluke. Bozell knows all too well that if you never apologize, you never have to resign.
Further, Bozell employs a man named Matt Philbin, who also hurled misogynistic slurs at Fluke (and homophobic slurs at me). Has Bozell ever criticized Philbin's sleazy comments? Not that we're aware of -- indeed, Philbin remains an MRC employee.
Unless Bozell can hold his side and his own employees to the same standard he applies to non-conservatives, he should simply shut up. But keeping silent doesn't keep the big bucks rolling into the MRC, does it?
WND's Flaherty Is Mad That Feds Won't Race-Bait Like He Does Topic: WorldNetDaily
Federal prosecutors' plan to charge a white man with a hate crime for engaging in a "knockout game" attack on an elderly black man has set off WorldNetDaily's Colin Flaherty. Why? Because the feds won't race-bait like he does.
Flaherty unleashes his rage in a Dec. 31 WND article by Drew Zahn:
Colin Flaherty, who researched and documented hundreds of cases of racial violence for his 2013 book, “White Girl Bleed A Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It,” told WND the administration may be using the case to manipulate public opinion on the Knockout Game.
“I have uncovered hundreds of recent examples of black mobs and black teens taking violent actions toward specifically white targets. There can be little doubt there is a racial motivation behind these crimes,” Flaherty told WND. “Where have Obama and his DOJ been until now?
“White people don’t have a monopoly on hate,” Flaherty continued, “and it smacks of some alternate agenda for this administration to ignore scores of black hate crimes until a white hate crime is found to finally pounce upon.”
Here we see Flaherty's race-baiting agenda laid bare.Flaherty offers no proof that the crimes he singles out are racially motivated; he has simply decided that because the attacker is black and the victim is white, there is ipso facto a racial motive.
Flaherty wouldn't be a WND writer if he didn't buy into right-wing conspiracies, and he does so here:
Flaherty suggested that “agenda” may be to keep the state of racial tensions in the U.S. under wraps.
“For years, there has been an effort to scrub news stories about these crimes of any details about the assailant’s race,” he explained. “The press has been so determined to avoid any mention of violence among blacks, that it has created a false narrative that it’s only ‘youths’ committing these crimes. I have to wonder if the administration didn’t deliberately seize upon this case, knowing the publicity would further the narrative there’s no problem with black violence in America, just random violence.”
But Flaherty has never proven there is a "problem with black violence in America" -- all he has done is cherry-pick isolated incidents to perpetuate a race-baitingnarrative, to the point where non-blacks (and non-humans) are included as members of his scary "black mobs."
Zahn performs his own race-baiting in the article, claiming "knockout game" incidents are "typically black violence" with assailants who are "usually black."
MRC Censors The Reason Climate Change Antarctic Researchers Are Stuck In Ice Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been trying to make some hay over a research ship stuck in ice in Antarctica because researchers on the ship were examining climate change.
P.J. Gladnick sneered in a Dec. 28 NewsBusters post: "Somewhere far, far to the south where it is summer, a group of global warming scientists are trapped in the Antarctic ice. If you missed the irony of that situation, it is because much of the mainstream media has glossed over that rather inconvenient bit of hilarity."
NewsBusters' Jeffrey Meyer joined in the mocking, insisting that there is "irony that this event is an embarrassment for those pushing the liberal 'climate change' narrative."
The MRC Business & Media Institute's Mike Ciandella huffed that "only one story out of 23 on the network morning and evening news shows mentioned that climate change had anything to do with the expedition." Ciandella followed that so-called bit of research by claiming that "nearly 98 percent of network news reports about the stranded researchers failed to mention their mission at all."
The MRC fails to mention, however, that the ship's predicament may in fact be a result of climate change. Fox News, shockingly, endeavors to tell the other side of the story:
The leader of a scientific expedition whose ship remains stranded in Antarctic ice says the team, which set out to prove climate change, is "stuck in our own experiment."
But Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at Australia’s University of New South Wales, said it was “silly” to suggest he and 73 others aboard the MV Akademic Shokalskiy were trapped in ice they’d sought to prove had melted. He remained adamant that sea ice is melting, even as the boat remained trapped in frozen seas.
Turney later told FoxNews.com the ice surrounding his ship is old, rather than recently formed, and likely from a particular 75 mile-long iceberg that broke apart three years ago. Climate change may have prompted the iceberg to shatter and float into the previously open sea where the mostly Australian team finds itself stranded, Turney said.
“The ice was swept across to this area by the South-East wind, its pieces creating a knock-on domino effect,” Turney told FoxNews.com, speaking from a tent erected on the stranded ship’s top deck. “We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Apparently, it's too much to expect from the MRC to tell the whole story or put the story in its proper context. But we knew that already.
WND's Cashill Still Whitewashing The Murder A Sailor Committed Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill couldn't be more happy that his favorite murderer is out of prison.
Cashill's Jan. 1 WorldNetDaily column celebrates the release of former Navy sailor Steven Nary, who served 17 years in prison for killing a man in San Francisco. Cashill performs his usual smear job on the victim, calling him a "chunky, coked-up" illegal immigrant whose sexual advances Nary was merely fighting off and who died from nothing more than a blow to the head with a mug.
Cashill goes on to lament that San Francisco wasn't sufficiently homophobic to let Nary get away with it: "If this incident had taken place in some city other than San Francisco, it is unlikely that Nary would have been indicted, let alone convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced."
As per usual, Cashill leaves out some certain inconvenient facts: Nary allowed Pifarre to perform oral sex on him, for which Pifarre offered to pay Nary $40; Nary told police he choked Pifarre for five minutes and the apartment where Nary killed Pifarre was strewn with blood; and Nary originally denied any sexual contact with Pifarre and told the Navy medic who treated the broken hand Nary suffered in killing Pifarre that he had hurt it playing basketball.
Still, Cashill insists the killer is the real victim. Go figure.
CNS Hides Petroleum Industry Ties of Pro-Fracking Scientists Topic: CNSNews.com
Barbara Boland writes in a Dec. 30 CNSNews.com article:
Twenty-one scientists sent a letter this month to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown praising the use of fracking in California by oil companies and the new regulations on the procedure put in place that, they believe, will allow for a safe way to develop the “extraordinary” potential of the state’s shale oil reserves, improve the economy, create jobs, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
The letter is signed by leading geological, petroleum engineering, earth sciences and engineering scientists from some of the leading universities in the country, including Cornell, Penn State, UCal-Berkeley, Syracuse, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.
Boland doesn't mention why such a letter would get written in the first place -- it was proffered by a pro-fracking group.
Launched by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) in 2009, Energy In Depth (EID) is a research, education and public outreach campaign focused on getting the facts out about the promise and potential of responsibly developing America’s onshore energy resource base – especially abundant sources of oil and natural gas from shale and other “tight” formations across the country.
It’s an effort that benefits directly from the support, direction and technical expertise of a broad segment of America’s oil and natural gas industry, led in Washington by IPAA, and guided on the ground by IPAA’s more than 6,000 members and affiliates in the states.
On this site, you’ll find fact sheets and videos and charts and graphs — some boiling down the steps involved in the development process, others straightening out the myths you may have heard about what we do and how we do it. You’ll find letters and quotes from state and federal regulators testifying to the safety of the process – from drilling and completing the well, to managing and recycling the water, to bringing that well-site back to its original condition. And you’ll also find studies – some on jobs, others on safety, and even a few about how the shale “revolution” in the United States continues to impact energy markets (for the better!) all around the world.
In an Energy In Depth post promoting the letter, it's noted that "Energy in Depth helped to organize the letter, but exerted no editorial control over the content."
This bias is something Boland's readers should have been told about, but Boland apparently didn't find it newsworthy.
CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, has received funding from ExxonMobil and oilman T. Boone Pickens, and CNS frequently promotes talking points from the oil and gas industry.
WND's Monckton Keeps the Birther Faith Topic: WorldNetDaily
Even as WorldNetDaily has largely given up on promoting birther conspracies, WND columnist and foreigner Christopher Monckton (we refuse to call him "Lord," as he insists we do, because it's a title, not a name) has soldiered on in his rabid birtherism. Monckton rants in his Dec. 31 WND column:
In the House, there are probably enough votes to bring forward a bill to impeach Mr. Obama. Taking advantage of having gotten away with riding roughshod over the Constitution with his Donald Duck “birth certificate,” he has bypassed a largely supine Congress time and again, from Benghazi to Soetero”care” to the tyrannical legislative powers wielded by the sinister, out-of-control EPA in flagrant defiance of Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution.
Here is my New Year’s program for those justifiably antsy Republican members of the House who want to strike a final blow for liberty and democracy.
Step 1: Stop being panty-waists. A senior member of the House, whose opinions I have learned to respect, once told me that the real reason why no congressman has yet moved to set up a congressional inquiry into the self-evidently bogus “birth certificate” that festers to this day on the White House website is that they are terrified that the left will work night and day to trash the reputation of anyone who dares to question Mr. Obama’s legitimacy.
For two reasons, the GOP caucus should get its wobbly bottom down to Phoenix and get itself up to speed on the investigation.
First, the chief investigator, Mike Zullo, is no longer making public the results of his inquiries. The initial findings were publicized to attract people with evidence to come forward. That tactic worked. It is now clear to the investigators that criminal charges will be brought. So they cannot compromise the coming prosecution by saying what they know.
Secondly, the sheriff has now called in professional, full-time detectives to supplement the unpaid volunteers who have, until now, doggedly worked unrewarded and unthanked. Joe Arpaio would never have taken that step unless he were very sure of his ground.
Monckton conveniently ignores all the evidence that debunks Arpaio, Zullo and other birthers -- among them John Woodman's book and the discovery that a document scanned into a Xerox WorkCenter 7655 office machine creates the same anomalies birthers have used as evidence that Obama's birth certificate is fake.
Zullo and Arpaio have yet to say anything about Woodman and the Xerox claims, which suggests that their so-called investigation is less than thorough.
Monckton also ignores the careless errors Zullo's investigation has made, which include fabricating evidence by using the wrong racial codes for Obama's certificate.
But then, facts and reality have never been something birthers like Monckton care much about.
The latest effort is a Dec. 31 article by Sandy Fitzgerald that largely rehashes a New York Daily News item about how Kerik plans to sue his defense attorney for allegedly working with prosecutors to send him to prison. There are a couple token paragraphs noting the attorney's side of the story, but much of Fitzgerald's article is dedicated to supporting Kerik's claims.
In case Newsmax's intent wasn't clear, the b ottom of thet article links to a 2009 puff piece headlined "Bernie Kerik, The Trial of an American Hero." As we documented at the time, the article hides facts in order to portray Kerik as the victim of "overzealous federal prosecutors."
Jerome Corsi cranks up the luridness in a Jan. 1 WorldNetDaily article:
Atrocities by Syrian jihadist rebels have reached sensational new levels, according to a revered nun working with persecuted Christians and an explosive new video report.
Sister Hatune Dogan told WND in a Skype interview that members of the Syrian opposition are draining the blood of Christians they behead and selling vials to Islamic radicals for $100,000 a piece.
The Syrian Orthodox nun explained that the blood is used in a ritual washing of hands in the belief the act atones for sins and provides privileged access to heaven.
The Christians, she said, are beheaded in ceremonies in which they are forced to kneel, with their hands and feet bound, as the Muslim radicals read a death sentence imposed because the victim refuses to renounce Christianity and embrace Islam.
She detailed how the head of the victim is brutally severed with knives. The blood spurting from their necks is captured in basins and then bottled.
“The Muslims sever the necks and collect the blood in vessels to sell the blood. The Muslims believe that if they kill a Christian and wash their hands in the blood of the Christian, they will go to heaven,” she explained.
She said the sale of the Christian blood “is a big business.”
This being Corsi, he makes no apparent effort to fact-check Dogan's claims, which, given the luridness of the claims, he would want to. As Richard Bartholomew points out, there are many unanswered questions:
However, this story is so extraordinary it is reasonable to ask a few questions: who exactly is this man whom the nun met, and why has he not been punished for his confessed crimes? How has a “big business” trafficking bottles of Christian blood into Saudi Arabia managed to develop without any evidence coming to light? Also, while it’s of course possible that a terrorist financier might want to vicariously participate in a killing in this way, there’s no precedent for this “big business” in Islamic history, and Wahhabi fanatics reject religious practices that amount to “innovation”.
Another red flag is that the story is being promoted by anti-Muslim activist Walid Shoebat, who has his own credibility problems. Corsi notes that Shoebat is "accepting contributions" for the nun "through a foundation he created for Hatune, RescueChristians.org" -- but Bartholomew notes that Shoebat has not claimed credit for this foundation.
But hey, since when has a complete lack of veracity kept WND from publishing anything?
WND editor Joseph Farah, meanwhile, demonstrates his disregard for journalism by using his Jan. 1 column to not only swallow Dogan's story whole but also repeat another unsubstantiated claim by Shoebat, then turn it all into an attack on the president he hates so much: "It’s time for American Christians to get on their knees in repentance for what we have done. Our own sins are responsible for Obama."
Farah, of course, is responsible for WND's many journalistic sins, but we've never seen Farah on his knees repenting. He has no moral authority whatsoever to talk about this subject.
Noel Sheppard Is Just Asking: Did Obama Know Robin Roberts Was Secretly Gay? Topic: NewsBusters
Writing about ABC's Robin Roberts coming out as gay, Noel Sheppard goes out on a speculation limb in a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post:
According toThe Wrap, "Roberts’ sexuality had been known to her family, friends and co-workers for some time."
Makes you wonder if the President was also aware of this and that aided in his decision to give Roberts an exclusive interview in May 2012 wherein he famously flip-flopped on his position on gay marriage saying, "At a certain point, I've just concluded that - for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that - I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
Only someone like Sheppard -- employed by someone with an anti-gay agenda like the Media Research Center -- could turn someone's coming out into a conspiracy.