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Sunday, March 23, 2014
MRC Still Botching Bozell-Graham Byline; Column Itself Isn't Any Better
Topic: Media Research Center

CNSNews.com continues to cheat Tim Graham out of a proper byline for ghostwriting Brent Bozell's column. As we've noted, CNS has moved to giving Bozell and Graham separate bylines instead of a shared one, which means the column appears twice in CNS' archive.

(Meanwhile, Bozell and Graham get a shared byline at NewsBusters, while the main MRC website has simply stopped posting their column -- only one has been posted since the ghostwriting ruse was exposed, and none in the past month.)

But just because the byline is more accurate doesn't mean anything else is. Bozell and Graham write in their March 21 column:

"The Laramie Project" is an agitprop play compiled from real-life interviews that indicted the entire state of Wyoming as homophobic and therefore responsible for the murder of Matthew Shepard. One character announced it was just like "the Germans who looked the other way are guilty of the deaths of the Jews, the gypsies and the homosexuals."

The play packs a political punch, and the left has seen to it that it has been widely performed at colleges and even high schools across America for years. But last year, the accepted narrative began to unravel. Author Stephen Jimenez produced years of research that argued Shepard's killers Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson were not heterosexual monsters after all.

"A manager of a gay bar in Denver recalls seeing photos of McKinney and Henderson in the papers and recognizing them as patrons of his bar. He recounts his shock at realizing 'these guys who killed that kid came from inside our own community.'" It was a gay-on-gay murder. That would make the political message — the very essence of the play — fraudulent.

But on the left, an effective yarn is never having to say you're sorry. Forget the reporting; stick with the legend.

Bozell and Graham are embracing Jimenez's Shepard revisionism. As we noted when Bozell (and, we presume, Graham) promoted Jimenez's book on the case, it flies against established facts in the case, including that one of the killer not only denied having sex with Shepard, he mounted a "gay panic" defense at his trial.

Further, as Media Matters points out, Jimenez is also a friend of the defense attorney of one of the killers, which further raises questions about his objectivity.

Now that the right has an "effective yarn" to discount Shepard 's death, Bozell and Graham are sticking with that legend and don't care much for actual reporting.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 PM EDT
WND's Unruh Lazily And Dishonestly Reports On Birther Lawsuit Dismissal
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One telltale sign WorldNetDaily is about to bamboozle you: the story's headline doesn't convey the actual news being reported.

Thus, WND presented a March 21 article by Bob Unruh  under the headline "Breaking: Judge rules on Obama eligibility; 7-2 majority in state's high court announces decision on constitutional question."

In other words: the birthers lost yet another court challenge. If the birthers had won, that would surely be in the headline.

The bamboozlement continues in Unruh's opening paragraph: "One of the last remaining court battles over Barack Obama’s presidential eligibility has gone down in flames in a 7-2 decision by the Alabama Supreme Court to render 'no opinion.'"

Wrong. The court did issue an opinion -- it affirmed a lower court decision dismissing the lawsuit by Hugh McInnish and Virgil Goode demanding that the Alabama Secretary of State verify Obama’s eligibility to be on the 2012 Alabama presidential ballot. It simply chose not to explain its decision, though two of the judges issued concurring opinions pointing out that there is no statutory obligation for the Alabama Secretary of State to verify the eligibility of a presidential candidate.

Unruh didn't mention those opinions, though. Instead, he quotes extensively from the opinions of the  two judges who dissented, Roy Moore and Tom Parker, even though their opinions are moot. Unruh also touted Moore's previous opinion that "he had seen no convincing evidence that Obama is a 'natural born citizen' and considerable evidence that suggests he is not" -- which should have disqualifed him from judging the McInnish case.

Most of the rest of Unruh's article is lazy rehashing of earlier so-called evidence to prove that Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake without any mention that said evidence has been discredited.

It's all the laziness and dishonesty we've come to expect from Unruh and WND on birther issues.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EDT
Saturday, March 22, 2014
CNS Promotes Catholic League, Doesn't Disclose Bozell Is On The Board
Topic: CNSNews.com

Barbara Hollingsworth devotes a March 21 CNSNews.com article to an interview with the Catholic League's William Donohue in which he promotes his boycott of Samuel Adams and Guinness beers for not sponsoring St. Patrick's Day parades in Boston and New York because parade organizers refused to let gays march.

Hollingsworth devotes all but two paragraphs of her 26-paragraph article to Donahue, waiting until the final two paragraphs to include comments from, or attempts to contact, the brewers Donohue is targeting.

What Hollingsworth fails to mention, of course, is that her boss, Brent Bozell, is on the advisory board of Donohue's group.

Failure to disclose that conflict of interest is unethical journalism. But given that Hollingsworth devotes her article to serving as a stenographer for Donohue, journalism isn't exactly the most important thing on her mind.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:57 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Erik Rush Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Erik Rush is once again failing to bring his Obama-derangement A-game to his highest profile outlet.

In his WND column this week, Rush merely suggests that Obama is "calculating, treasonous international criminal with the agenda of rivaling history’s most notorious tyrants." But on his internet show this week, he goes much further.

As Right Wing Watch documents, Rush cites an anonymous "source" who claims that the missing Malaysian airliner was hijacked on Obama's orders, flown to a U.S. base in Diego Garcia in order to interrogate technicians aboard who wanted to “abscond to China,” after which everyone on the flight “murdered,” except for the pilots, who were spared because they are "pro-Islamist." Rush then adds: "At least, that’s what my source tells me. And they haven’t been wrong yet."

Whatever Rush is smoking, we'd like to get our hands on some of it -- after all, nobody who's sober could have invented such an outlandish scenario.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 PM EDT
Friday, March 21, 2014
CNS' Charlie Daniels Distorts Obama's Comments on Constitution
Topic: CNSNews.com

Charlie Daniels writes in a March 18 CNSNews.com column:

President Obama has made the statement that the U.S. Constitution is a flawed document.

It is not a president's job to decide the merits of the Constitution but rather to enforce it as it is, or convene enough states to call for a constitutional convention and change it. It is not in his purvey or power to decide whether to enforce and defend it, it is in his oath of office and when he in any way refuses to abide by every sentence in the document, he violates his oath.

Daniels thus becomes the latest right-winger to willfully misinterpret what Obama said in a 2001 interview.

To support his claim about Obama, Daniels links to a 2008 Newsmax article quoting Obama saying that the Constitution is "a remarkable political document that paved the way for where we are now" but also "reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.” Newsmax adds that "Obama did not elaborate on the 'fundamental flaw' that persists."

But as we've documented, when you look at the context of the interview, the "fundamental flaw" Obama was referring to was the Constitution's tolerance of slavery.

Is Daniels saying that Obama or any president should have tolerated a Constitution that permitted slavery? Sure seems that way.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:58 PM EDT
More Obama Lies From WND's Farah, Now With Added Out-Of-Context Numbers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah has always been a shameless liar, and he does it again in his March 18 WorldNetDaily column:

Who says Barack Obama isn’t doing all he can to help his country?

There are some cynics out there who don’t believe it. Some even suggest he’s doing his best to wreck it.

The facts suggest otherwise.

If the gospels of Matthew and Luke are correct, and one’s heart is where one’s treasure is, then Obama truly loves his country.

What am I talking about?

For several years now, WND has been tracking the administration’s investment in what Michelle Obama calls her husband’s “home country in Kenya.” I don’t call it that, mind you – never have. That’s what Obama’s wife calls it.

You gotta love how Farah makes a false statement -- that for Obama, Kenya is "his country" -- and then five paragraphs later denies he has done such a thing and blames it on Obama's wife.

Anyway, the point of the article is to sum up WND's selective reporting on "projects and spending Obama has directed to Kenya." No context is provided, of course; Farah can't be bothered to tell us any actual funding figures for previous years or funding for other countries in Africa. He's just cherry-picked these numbers and wants you to think that they mean something even though they're utterly devoid of context.

Like we said, Farah is a shameless liar.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Keeps Up The Misguided Pierce-Rage
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham and the Media Reserarch Center have been misportraying an article about Ted Kennedy for more than a decade now, and they're certainly not going to stop now.

In a March 10 NewsBusters post bashing "left-wing crazy man Charles Pierce," Graham adds that "Pierce is the (unintentional) funny man who imagined Chappaquiddick victim Mary Jo Kopechne thanking Ted Kennedy in her old age...'if she had lived.'"

As we've repeatedly documented, Pierce was not praising Kennedy -- the full context, and Pierce's declared intent, was to show that the Chappaquiddick incident effectively keeps him from having the "moral credibility" to be elected president.

But the truth doesn't pay at the MRC -- fitting a narrative. And Graham is apparently going to keep cramming Pierce in his discredited narrative no matter what.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 AM EDT
Thursday, March 20, 2014
WND's Unruh Still Whitewashing Phill Kline's Misconduct
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh has been a dutiful stenographer for anti-abortion zealout Phill Kline. Unruh's whitewashing continues in a March 15 WND article:

Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, whose law license was suspended by the state Supreme Court because of rules violations in a politically charged case where one of his investigation targets had partied with then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to cut through the biases held by state court officials and overturn the decision.

The petition to the U.S. Supreme Court has been filed by the Life Legal Defense Fund on behalf of Kline, who was punished as a result of his incendiary work to investigate and bring into compliance with the law the abortion industry in his state.

The legal ethics case was brought against him after complaints from abortion industry players who had been under investigation for refusing to comply with the state’s abortion reporting laws.

Yeah, Unruh would love to have you believe that Kline is being persecuted for his anti-abortion activism. But that would be a lie. As we've documented, Kline was found to have violated 11 rules governing the professional conduct of attorneys during his tenure as Kansas attorney general and a later post as a district attorney.The court cited three aggravating factors to support the indefinite suspension: selfish motive, a pattern of misconduct and his refusal to acknowledge the wrongful nature of any of his misconduct.

Instead, Unruh would have you believe that Kline merely committed "minor, if not irrelevant, inaccuracies." Unruh is playing stenographer again, this time lovingly detailing an appeal Kline's suspension while refusing to tell the full story or even letting any Kline critic have the floor for even a single paragraph.

But then, Unruh is not a journalist -- he's a lazy stenographer.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 PM EDT
MRC Pretends Obama Is Giving Away The Internet
Topic: Media Research Center

A March 17 Media Research Center item by Scott Whitlock is headlined "Networks Yawn as Obama Administration Gives Away the Internet." Whitlock touts how "Fox News extensively covered this development, but the network morning and evening shows ignored the monumental decision," concluding that "BC, NBC and CBS couldn't be bothered with wondering if giving away the internet is a good idea."

Perhaps that's because Obama is not, in fact, "giving away the internet."

As we noted when GOP operative Brad Blakeman went on a similar tear about it, the plan to transfer ICANN, the body that manages Internet names and addresses, to international control has been in the works since 1998, and it was always the plan that the U.S. would eventually relinquish control over ICANN.

In touting Fox News' coverage of the subject, Whitlock ignores the fact that Fox got it wrong by framing it as Obama "giving away the internet."Whitlock also invokes Mike Huckabee's criticism of Obama's alleged "giving away the Internet" without explaining what expertise, if any (and we're certainly not aware of any), that Huckabee has on the subject.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:46 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Military Coup
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Michael Maloof tried to get less-than-stable ex-military officers to bash President Obama -- at least until it became clear that what they really wanted was to overthrow the president. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:47 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
WND's Latest Desperate Grab At Credibility Fails Miserably
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily spent much of the past year touting how some previously unknown website proclaimed it to be "trustworthy" (conveniently ignoring the child-sex charges against a minister at the church that ran the website). Now WND is making another desperate grab for credibility.

A March 11 WND article proclaims:

Less than 48 hours after Ranker.com added a new category for “Top Websites 2014,” a small but enthusiastic band of WND fans made it No. 1 – topping Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and Netflix among many other more well-known giants.

Though only a few hundred votes had been cast, the expression of Internet users is not without precedent, says Joseph Farah, founder of WND.com.

[...]

“What does all this mean?” asked Farah rhetorically. “It doesn’t mean we’re the biggest website, of course – not even close with behemoths like Google and YouTube around. But it is a measure of loyalty and passion. WND has always evoked those qualities – and, I hope, always will.”

Tellingly, WND does not include a link to the Ranker.com list in its article. That's because if it did, it would be clear that the ranking is utterly meaningless.

It's also a very volatile list. As of this writing, WND is ranked 33rd out of the 36 websites listed. The top of the list is now dominated by gay-themed websites and blogs -- mainly because the currently top-ranked site, the gay blog Joe.My.God., had his readers freep the poll. It seems that Joe.My.God.'s readers are much more loyal and passionate than WND's.

Despite Farah touting the temporary ranking as one of "loyalty and passion," it was nothing of the sort. The screenshot at Joe.My.God of WND at the top of the list showed that it received only 68 positive votes. As of this writing, WND has received only 71 positive votes and a whopping 3,405 negative votes. 

Note one other thing: Ranker lists the person who submitted each website to the list. The person who submitted WND? Joseph Farah.

There are myriad reasons nobody believes WND, and desperate grabs at credibility are just one of them.

P.S. That minister, by the way, was found guilty of the child sex charges and sentenced to 20 years in prison. WND, which published a December 2012 article by Bob Unruh taking the minister's side and portraying his prosecution as anti-Christian bias, did not cover the trial or sentencing.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: CNSNews.com
Right Wing Watch catches CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey ranting during a radio appearance about public education, accusing President Obama of “federalizing 4-year-olds” by promoting preschool and declaring that Obama and Kathleen Sebelius favor "something akin to" the Communist Manifesto model for education.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
WND's Kupelian Still Fearmongering About Antidepressants
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian loves to fearmonger about antidepressants. He does so again in a March 16 WND column:

Without a doubt, they’re two of today’s most alarming health trends:

  • A staggering one in every 50 American children now has some form of autism, according to the most recent reporting from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The number of people now taking antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Luvox and Celexa – all with the FDA’s scary “black box” suicidality warning label – has become equally stratospheric, with 11 percent of all Americans 12-and-over taking them, and an astonishing 23 percent – almost one in four – of women in their 40s and 50s.

These two megatrends intersect, researchers say, when pregnant women are treated for depression, anxiety and other maladies with antidepressants.

Indeed, multiple studies conducted over several years now lead research scientists to conclude that women taking any brand of modern antidepressants – commonly called “SSRIs” (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) – while pregnant run an increased risk of giving birth to a child with an autism spectrum disorder.

Yet, the public – most importantly, the tens of millions of American women currently taking antidepressants, including 7-13 percent of all pregnant women – strangely has heard very little about this research and its important implications.

Perhaps that's because such research is not conclusive.

He highlights a two-year-old "groundbreaking peer-reviewed study out of California-based Kaiser Permanente documented a significantly increased prevalence of children born with autism spectrum disorders in pregnant mothers taking antidepressants, especially during the first trimester, compared with mothers not taking such medications." But he buries mention of a Danish study published in December found no increased risk. WebMD goes on to summarize the limits of previous studies, including the one Kupelian highlighted:

In one recent U.S. study, mothers' SSRI use during pregnancy was tied to a twofold increase in the odds that her child would have autism. A Swedish study saw a similar pattern, though the risk linked to the drugs was smaller.

But both studies included only small numbers of children who had autism and were exposed to antidepressants in the womb.

The new study is "the largest to date" to look at the issue, using records for more than 600,000 children born in Denmark, said lead researcher Anders Hviid, of the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen.

And overall, his team found, there was no clear link between SSRI use during pregnancy and children's autism risk.

WebMD goes on to point out it may be the underlying depression, and not the antidepressant, that contributes to increased autism risk. Indeed, in the Danish study, "once the researchers factored in the psychiatric disorders themselves, that statistical link fell away."

Kupelian tries to pick apart that study, relying on the Kaiser Permanente researcher who gave the results he wanted. He also quotes Dr. David Healy, who has been accused of fearmongering about every drug approved since 1990.

Should the risks of antidepressants be investigated? Absolutely. But Kupelian is an unreliable messenger -- as we've documented, he blamed  Andrea Yates killing her five children on antidepressant use, ignoring the fact that Yates and her husband were in thrall to a fundamentalist Christian minister who led them to live a needlessly austere lifestyle.

Kupelian is not speaking knowledgably -- he's simply trying to scare people.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
No, Brad Blakeman, Obama Is Not Giving Away The Internet
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax gives space for Republican operative Brad Blakeman to rant:

Republican strategist Brad Blakeman is slamming plans by the U.S. government to open up the body that manages Internet names and addresses to the global Internet community.

Blakeman, who warned in a Newsmax column in 2010 that President Barack Obama was surrendering control of the Internet, told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Monday, that the administration's decision has been a long time coming.

"I gave a factual account of what the president was going to do and sure enough now in 2014, safely re-elected, our internationalist president is seeking to give our most important precious asset, the Internet, to basically international control. The United States developed it with taxpayer dollars at DARPA, which is at the Pentagon, as an open architecture networking. We didn’t keep it for ourselves, we monetized it and were able to make countries a lot smarter, a lot freer and now the president seeks to be beholden. It does not make any sense. It's not in our interest," he said.

[...]

Asked whether he would agree with a foreign policy expert who over the weekend likened the move to the giveaway of the Panama Canal in the 1970s, Blakeman replied, "No, it is more dangerous than that. The Panama Canal is certainly important to us, but nowhere near important as the Internet, which touches every American household. Our military uses the Internet now, our other government agencies as well as our private sectors rely on it.

"We created it. Nobody has ever made a complaint about America not being free and open and giving access to those who wanted it either through the registration of domain names or the giving out of IP addresses."

Blakeman said it is just another example of Obama's strategy of appeasement.

In fact, the plan to transfer ICANN, the body that manages Internet names and addresses, to international control has been in the works since 1998, and it was always the plan that the U.S. would eventually relinquish control over ICANN.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 PM EDT
WND's Flaherty Finds More Blacks To Race-Bait About
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Colin Flaherty is taking a short break from race-baiting about "black mobs" in order to race-bait about black politicians. He writes in a March 16 WND article:

The attorney general of Pennsylvania shut down an investigation of corrupt elected officials because everyone they caught – on tape – taking cash and gifts … was a black Democrat.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the sting operation began with a deal: A black lobbyist (who had been accused of fraud and participated in the sting to gain favorable treatment from the authorities) offered elected officials – black and white, Democrat and Republican – cash and gifts in exchange for votes.

Over a three-year period, the lobbyist found a handful of politicians willing to take the deal.

“Sources with knowledge of the sting said the investigation made financial pitches to both Republicans and Democrats, but only Democrats accepted the payments,” said the Inquirer.

Furthermore, all the offending Democrats were black, members of the Philadelphia delegation to the state legislature.

But Flaherty, as he's prone to do, obsesses over the racial aspect, downplaying claims that the investigation was problematic in other areas.

One key clue to Flaherty's race-baiting agenda is that he omits the name of the lobbyist at thecenter of the sting -- Tyron Ali -- identifying him only as a "black lobbyist." In fact, Ali does not appear to be black at all.

Flaherty mentions only in passing that Ali "was under investigation for $430,000 in fraud as well as other cases of violations of election law." Ali had been more than under investigation -- he was charged with more than 1,700 counts related to defrauding the state by diverting money earmarked for meals for low-income children and senior citizens for his own use. The press release announcing Ali's arrest mentions nothing about "election law." Strangely, every single count against Ali was dismissed via secret negotiations between Ali's attorney and and the state attorney general's office.

But Flaherty doesn't care about such trifles -- not when there's black people to race-bait about.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 8:59 PM EDT

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