Newsmax Suddenly Interested In Webb Hubbell, Too Topic: Newsmax
WorldNetDaily isn't the only right-wing website with a sudden interest in Webb Hubbell's doings.
Hubbell popped up on Steve Malzberg's Newsmax radio show, as detailed in a March 10 Newsmax article. Newsmax appears to portray Hubbell's views on health care more honestly than WND, which seized upon his criticism of one proposed aspect of Medicare reform to use him as a tool to bash Obama. By contrast, Newsmax writes:
Hubbell said he supported the concept of the Affordable Care Act but lamented that it had been altered drastically from its original form.
"It was a good attempt that got manipulated by the insurance companies to where it's not what it could be," he said.
"I'm personally a very strong supporter of a single-payer system . . . and I don't think [Obama] went far enough in that regard.
"The country as a whole needs to go where everyone has universal healthcare . . . There are people who are being denied coverage, there are people who are having to pay a lot more because they're being covered for things they don't need and those things are fixable."
Newsmax also lets Hubbell get in a plug for his upcoming novel, which we suspect is the only reason he's playing to these right-wing outlets in the first place.
WND's Lively Loves Russia For Its Gay-Bashing Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND has found another Putin-lover in anti-gay activist Scott Lively. In his March 10 WND column, he declares that Russia is "on the ascendancy in the matter of human rights" by, conversely, curtailing the human rights of homosexuals, and that the conflict in Ukraine is driven by this:
It is therefore obvious why America is in decline and Russia is on the ascendancy in the matter of human rights. America has largely turned her back on God, reorganized her government and culture on a statist model and is plummeting in a death spiral of moral and ethical degeneracy. As our collective former (Bible-based) values of self-restraint and personal responsibility steadily decline, external controls and surveillance by the new police state increase. The rule of law becomes the rule of man, and equal justice under law becomes special rights for favored groups.
Conversely, Russia has begun embracing Christian values regarding family issues, albeit imperfectly, in stark contrast to its aggressively godless Soviet past. Repression in Russia is decreasing as rapidly as it is increasing in the U.S.
The crux of the human-rights debate is what it means to be human. Russia appears to be returning to its pre-Soviet understanding that humans are made in the image of God, and that our “rights” are really duties of respect and care for each other imposed on us by Him. This is why the first principle of both the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights is the protection of the Christian church, from which the very concept of modern human rights emerged. And this is why the greatest point of conflict between the U.S. and Russia is the question of homosexuality. (I believe even the conflict in Ukraine is being driven to a large extent by this issue, at least on the part of the Obama State Department and the homosexualist leaders of the EU.)
Today, both the Magna Carta and the First Amendment are deemed to be trumped by the “right to sodomy” in case after case, and pro-homosexual activist federal judges in the U.S. are striking down “Defense of Marriage” laws in the most morally conservative states in the union with brazen disregard for the Constitution and the will of the people.
I ask you, which is the greater threat to human rights: Russia’s law preventing homosexual activists from disseminating their propaganda to children, or the lawless decrees of these American federal judges? I submit that the former is not a threat at all, but a reaffirmation of true human rights (in that case the right of parents to raise their children according to their own values), while the latter is an egregious affront to liberty and an undermining of respect for the rule of law, which endangers all human rights.
Russia has a long way to go even to meet today’s tarnished standards in America, but if current trends hold, Russia will eventually supplant the U.S. as the greater defender of true human rights. Unfortunately, at the pace that our country is falling, that day may not be far off.
Bozell Avoids More Questions On Ghostwriting In Latest Fox Appearances Topic: Media Research Center
We've noted that in the week following exposure of the fact that Tim Graham ghostwrote Brent Bozell's syndicated columns, Bozell appeared three times on Fox News and wasn't asked about it once.
Fox keeps its intellectual incuriosity intact with a March 6 appearance by Bozell on Megyn Kelly's show in which he, yes, was not asked about the ghostwriting scandal. You won't hear the MRC crying censorship about this, though.
Bozell did say plenty of other things, however -- like that the nonexistent IRS scandal is "worse than Watergate" and makes Iran-Contra look "piddly" in comparison.
Bozell appeared again on Fox on March 10, coming to the defense of Sharyl Attkisson, who just quit CBS News claiming liberal bias. Bozell went into hyperbole mode here as well, claiming that Benghazi is "more important by factor of 100,000" than Chris Christie's bridge closing scandal. He did not explain how he came up with that number.
But that's just Bozell running his mouth -- which he knows he can do on Fox because he will never be asked challenging or embarassing questions about his own work.
Why is that? Does he have an agreement with Fox that he will never be asked about it? It sure seems that way.
Would Bozell tolerate such evasion of a journalistic scandal if he was a liberal and was making repeated appearances on MSNBC without being asked about it? Doubtful.
WND's Ackley Laments Not Being Able to Tell Fat Jokes About Hillary Clinton Topic: WorldNetDaily
Michael Ackley's WorldNetDaily column begins with a disclaimer that they "may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference."
So what are we to make of his March 9 column, in which he starts out criticizing fat jokes, then moves to lamenting that you can't tell fat jokes about Hillary Clinton:
You don’t hear anybody making jokes about Hillary Clinton’s weight. Hillary, though not quite as bulky as Christy, is – to put it delicately – heavy. But you don’t hear anybody jesting that she’s going to stand in as a breakwater on the Jersey shore, or that she caused a traffic jam by crossing the George Washington Bridge or is having a new pantsuit tailored at the awning factory.
This is because it would be ungallant to make fat jokes about a woman. A woman can assume the proportions of the Graf Zeppelin, and nobody will suggest openly that she take her place in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. The unchivalrous gent who made such crack could find the object of his “humor” smacking him in the mouth, or worse, dissolving in tears.
Though he might be trying to be an equal-opportunity offender, he’d be faced with the charge of sexism. You can hear the accusations: “Don’t you know what menopause can do to a woman, you insensitive oaf? Would you rather she was bulimic, you unchivalrous jerk? I suppose your ideal woman’s body would look like Barbie, you sick so-and-so.”
So, women get a pass if their hips stick in the limousine door, if they look like they’ve been taking extra gravy on their banquet-circuit mashed potatoes or if the speaker’s platform threatens collapse as they approach the lectern.
This isn’t a call for fairness. I don’t want fat women to receive the same treatment as fat men. I want fat men to receive the same treatment as fat women. That is, knock it off. Weight is irrelevant. Instead, try to stick with the issues.
If Ackley wants us to "stick with the issues" and not tell fat jokes, why obsess over Hillary's weight and lament that you can't joke about it?
Last month, CNSNews.com's Penny Starr was fretting that "American Idol" contestant MK Nobilette was was not only the first openly gay contestant but also "the first contestant to have two lesbian mothers supporting her in the audience." Starr's anti-gay freakout continues with another article about Nobilette, headlined "'American Idol's' MK Nobilette Has 5 Mommies":
MK Nobilette, the 20-year-old semi-finalist and first openly lesbian on "American Idol," announced on Thursday’s show that she has four moms, and if you count Nobilette’s biological mother – she was adopted – she has five moms. On Thursday’s show Nobilette explained that the two lesbians in the audience cheering her on were the women who adopted her. Then the two split up and found new lesbian partners.
No mention was made about Nobilette’s biological mother (or father), but she obviously has one somewhere. Thus, Nobilette has five mommies.
Why is Starr so obsessed with Nobilette? Does she hate gays that much?
Back in the 1990s, WorldNetDaily had nothing good to say about former Clinton administration official Webb Hubbell. Joseph Farah claimed that President Clintion was guilty of "a prima facie case of obstruction of justice in securing hush money for Webster Hubbell," then asserted that Kenneth Starr should have been impeached because he "let Webb Hubbell off the hook." One WND columnist insisted that "The direct link between Beijing espionage, millionaire drug lords and Bill Clinton is Webster Hubbell."
So why is WND suddently Hubbell's best friend? That's simple -- he became convenient to WND's anti-Obama agenda.
WND published a March 9 column by Hubbell criticizing the Obama administration for "tinkering with Medicare" by considering limits on coverage for certain medications. WND wrote an accompanying "news" article calling him a "top Dem" though he hasn't been involved in politics for years. WND also reminds us that Hubbell "served 21 months in prison in the 1990s after pleading guilty to federal charges of overbilling clients at the Rose Law Firm where he was partnered with Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster." (And Farah considers this being left "off the hook"?)
Even more laughably, WND goes on to portray the Obama administration's ultimate rejection of the Medicare proposal as directly attributable to Hubbell's WND column. From a March 11 article:
One day after former Clinton administration official Webb Hubbell sounded off against a proposed Medicare rule change in a WND commentary, the Obama administration dropped plans to restrict access to antidepressant and antipsychotic medications.
In a stunning reversal, the Department of Health and Human Services killed the proposal a day after the official comment period ended and a day before the House of Representatives was set to vote on a bill to block the change.
In a letter to members of Congress, the department said it recognized “the complexities of these issues and stakeholder input” and declared that it “does not plan to finalize the proposal at this time.”
Some of that stakeholder input came informally from Hubbell in an unusual critique in WND just a day earlier, as he suggested the plan would hurt Democrats in the 2014 election.
There does seem to be a quid pro quo going on here, which WND doesn't explicitly admit. All three articles note that Hubbell is about to publish a novel and has a website where he writes a daily meditation, so it seems Hubbell is getting some promotional value in exchange for writing at WND.
That seems right -- Farah and WND exploited Hubbell's misdeeds to promote its anti-Clinton agenda in the 1990s, so it seems right that Hubbell is getting a little something in return.
NewsBusters Endorses Limbaugh's Jealous Attack on Ronan Farrow Topic: NewsBusters
Rush Limbaugh hates Ronan Farrow, and NewsBusters loves him for it.
A March 8 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock approvingly quotes Limbaugh attacking Farrow by claiming that "He's never done anything. He's never gotten good at anything" and that everything Farrow has achieved, including becoming host of an MSNBC show, occurred "simply by virtue of genealogy" and "simply because of the sperm cells." Whitlock adds that because Farrow's show isn't an instant hit, "The ratings back up Limbaugh's contention."
Do Limbaugh and Whitlock think Farrow graduating college at 15 is an achievement accomplished only because he has famous parents? How about becoming a Rhodes Scholar? If so, they don't understand how such things work.
It seems that Limbaugh and Whitlock are jealous of Farrow's success; when Limbaugh was Farrow's age, he was still working as a small-market radio DJ. We don't know what Whitlock was doing, but we're pretty sure he wasn't hosting a TV show.
Limbaugh is green with envy that Farrow has achieved so much more than the young Limbaugh had, and Whitlock is more than happy to endorse that envy.
WND Still Hiding Ex-Marine's Violent Words To Portray Him As A Victim Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh writes in a March 3 WorldNetDaily article:
You write something on Facebook that someone in the government doesn’t like. The result? You’re in handcuffs and taken to detention in a mental institution.
No charges, no rights, no freedom.
Not in America, you say?
But that’s almost exactly the scenario that is being defended by a federal judge, who now has dismissed a complaint filed over a veteran’s treatment.
A federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Rutherford Institute on behalf of Brandon Raub, a decorated Marine. The nonprofit legal group said in a statement Monday that Raub “was arrested by a swarm of FBI, Secret Service agents and local police and forcibly detained in a psychiatric ward for a week because of controversial song lyrics and political views posted on his Facebook page.”
But missing from Unruh's article -- as it is from previous WND articles about Raub -- is what Raub actually wrote on his Facebook page that drew such attention.
As we detailed, one of those "controversial song lyrics" was the line "Sharpen my axe; I'm here to sever heads," from a song by the obscure Canadian hip-hop group Swollen Members. Raub also penned a rant in which he rails against the Federal Reserve and the income tax and invoked 9/11 trutherism, concluding, "WE MUST TAKE OUR REPUBLIC BACK."
Unruh is dishonestly reporting this story by claiming what Raub wrote was merely something that "someone in the government doesn’t like." Red flags were raised about Raub's writings with good cause. The writings are so disturbing and so undermines Raub's case, in fact, that Unruh won't tell you what he said.
But this yet another one-source Unruh special, this time providing only the point of view of Raub's attorneys at the right-wing Rutherford Institute.
Ben Shapiro Attacks Non-Existent Kennedy School Grads Running Obama Foreign Policy Topic: CNSNews.com
Ben Shapiro snarkily writes in his March 6 CNSNews.com column:
In the ivory tower inhabited by the great intellects of the Obama administration, however, no problem is too big to be thought or talked or surrendered away. If Russia won't change its perspective, we will simply cut our military more to convince them we mean well; if the Palestinians or Iranians don't change their perspectives, we will force Israel to negotiate with them in order to prove our goodwill.
Meanwhile, our enemies laugh. And they should. The global battlefield is no place for the Kennedy School political science grad students who inhabit our White House and believe that a well-aimed, snooty barb is a substitute for a muscular foreign policy presence.
But Shapiro names no Kennedy School graduates involved in foreign policy in the White House. Perhaps that's because there aren't any.
Of the named people in his column, national security adviser Susan Rice graduated from Stanford and Oxford, and John Kerry went to Yale and Boston College. Of the Kennedy School grads listed at Wikipedia as members of the Obama administration, none are working in foreign policy.
The Kennedy School is operated by Harvard University -- the the same school from which Shapiro received his law degree. Somehow we don't recall him dissing his law degree the way he disses his fellow Harvard grads.
WND Rehashes Serial-Killer Smear of Valerie Jarrett Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's promotion for the new issue of its Whistleblower magazine reads exactly you would expect something from the home of Obama Derangment Syndrome to be:
Suppose you were a committed leftist revolutionary who somehow got elected president of center-right America.
Suppose you were great at making speeches, but little else. You masked your socialist agenda in the appealing rhetoric of fairness and justice, but secretly loathed the American system of constitutional government and free-market capitalism.
Suppose you were also an extreme narcissist with an absurdly grandiose view of yourself and almost no tolerance for criticism and disagreement. Your ego so fragile, your worldview so distorted, your mind so angry beneath your charismatic exterior, and your self-image of being a divinely gifted leader in danger of disintegrating in the light and heat of mounting geopolitical turmoil and your own stunning failures as president.
In short, suppose you were Barack Obama.
To “stay the course” you were on – of trampling the Constitution and forcing socialism on an unwilling America, despite plummeting disapproval and deafening calls for you to stop – you would need help. A very special and secret kind of help.
You would need Valerie Jarrett.
Yep, the issue is about Valerie Jarrett. It apparently includes a version of the article in which WND's Michael Maloof libels Jarrett by likening her to the serial killer Richard Ramirez, baselessly calling her the "Night Stalker."
As we've noted, WND's Joseph Farah claims credit for inventing the "Night Stalker" nickname for Ramirez, so Maloof is presumably well aware of the connotation for applying it to Jarrett.
The magazine also includes an article by Edward Klein, "in which the former New York Times Magazine editor in chief says Jarrett 'is in many ways the de facto president.'”
Zombie Blogger At NewsBusters Issues Zombie Complaint Topic: NewsBusters
We thought that Clay Waters' departure from the Media Research Center, we were done reading about complaints that the media labeled conservatives as conservative.
But no. In his first work since leaving the MRC last may when his TimesWatch column was canceled, Waters has resurfaced at NewsBusters to, yes, make another silly labeling complaint:
The New York Times covered the latest annual gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with its usual mix of suspicion, overloaded labeling bias, and anti-GOP doomsaying. The paper's skeptical coverage of the three-day conservative confab, held this year at National Harbor on the Potomac, opened with two stories in Friday's edition, one on the organizers's attempts to put "a less strident face on the convention and the party."
Reporter Jonathan Martin's rundown of the speech by Republican star Sen. Marco Rubio, still in the mix for the 2016 presidential race, contained nine "conservative" labels, which actually makes it a model of restraint for the Times compared to last year's label-heavy reporting. Yet the question remains: Just how many "conservative" labels do you need, when the conference has the actual word "conservative" in the title?
Waters doesn't answer his question by telling us which "conservative" labels in the article, if any, he considered extraneous.
Speaking of extraneous: Waters' end-of-blog bio still lists him as an MRC employee, portrays TimesWatch as an existing thing, and links to the TimesWatch Twitter feed though it apparently no longer exists.
Speaking of Indifference to Murder Victims ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill begins his March 5 WorldNetDaily column this way:
On Tuesday of this week, cop killer and former Black Panther leader Marshall “Eddie” Conway was sprung from a Maryland prison, and the NAACP greeted his release as though he were Nelson Mandela.
As the son of a cop, the nephew of a cop, the cousin of four other cops, I wish I were overstating how indifferent liberal activists were to the murder of then 35-year-old Donald Sager.
Yes, the same man who has amply demonstrated his indifference to the killings of people like Trayvon Martin and George Tiller is suddently concerned that someone might be expressing indifference about someone else's death. How ironic.
Though Cashill's column is ostensibly about the release of Eddie Conway, he leaves out crucial information -- like how long Conway was in prison before he was released. The killing for which Conway was convicted took place in 1970, which means Conway has spent more than 40 years behind bars. Conway has also consistently claimed his innocence, and there's no physical evidence linking Conway to the death; his conviction rested on a confession by one of the other defendants and testimony by a jailhouse informant.
But then, Cashill is saving his sympathy for killers like Scott Roeder, George Zimmerman and Steven Nary.
Flashback: Newsmax's First Foray Into TV Topic: Newsmax
So Newsmax has been getting attention for the upcoming launch of its new TV news channel as a rivel to Fox News for the conservative audience. But we remember Newsmax's first attempt to get into the TV business.
In 2001, Newsmax produced a show called "NewsMax.com Reports." As we detailed at the time, it starred Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy and then-columnist Barry Farber (now with WorldNetDaily) and promised to be "the start of a new effort to reach millions of Americans with news and information the major media won't report."
It was also essentially an infomercial, airing as paid programming on CNBC on a Saturday. Newsmax also created something called the "Off-The Record Club," designed to "help NewsMax to buy national TV air time to expand our reach." For $25 a month, members were promised a monthly "special audio tape briefing from a top expert, insider or VIP – giving you an insider's perspective you won't get from the major media."
We don't know if more shows were produced beyond the one that aired, or if anyone actually signed up for the club. We assume not, because we never heard from either again.
Meanwhile, in its article on the new TV venture, Bloomberg Businessweek offers some interesting tidbits about Newsmax:
It had revenue of $104 million in 2013 -- $46 million of it in subscription revenue from its 17 newsletters and $6 million more from the sale of vitamin supplements.
The average age of Newsmax’s audience is 54.7, which makes it a prime target for things like newsletters and vitamin supplements.
It was Amway founder Richard DeVos who suggested to Ruddy that Newsmax could sell supplements to his middle-aged audience.
Newsmax has 260 employees, with plans for 300 by summer. It's moving into a new 50,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Boca Raton.
Ruddy's friendship with the Clintons could pose issues down the road: “I’m already torn by a Hillary Clinton candidacy,” he says. “I actually think she would make a good president. Generally, I would align myself with the Republican candidate, so there could be some bumps coming down the road.”
She said, disparagingly, that he “believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness. When he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes is by its very nature part of Mother Russia.”
Is he wrong about that?
They were once united as one country. They do share much of their history. In fact, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is often referred to as the mother of Russian cities and the cradle of Rus civilization.
And is it wrong for a leader of a modern state to seek to restore greatness to his own country?
This might seem like an obtuse idea to Hillary, but what’s wrong with that objective?
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if Hillary’s party took such an attitude toward their own country?
So according to Farah, Putin is just a patriotic Russian whose patriotism should be an inspiration to Americans. No wonder nobody believes WND.