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Thursday, May 8, 2014
AIM, MRC Fundraise Off Benghazi
Topic: Media Research Center

So newly appointed Benghazi select committee chairman Trey Gowdy has been decrying the idea of Republicans fundraising off Benghazi (ironically, at the exact moment Republicans were fundraising off Benghazi). The ConWeb has not gotten the message.

Media Matters catches Accuracy in Media seeking to raise money to fund its "Citizens' Commission on Benghazi" kangaroo court. But AIM isn't the only one.

The Media Research Center is running ads on its website stating, "Demand the media tell the truth about Behghazi." It takes you to a page that regurgitates right-wing talking points:

We have a smoking gun in the Benghazi cover up scandal: emails tying the White House to Susan Rice's false talking points about the terrorist attack. Finally, there’s proof that this administration lied about the terrorist attack in order to protect the President during his reelection campaign.

This is earth-shattering news. But guess what? The media are for the most part covering up the smoking gun! That the so-called “news” media refuse to report a smoking gun in one of the biggest scandals in modern history is a major scandal in its own right!

Signing the website's petition to "demand that the media stop censoring the news about Benghazi" takes you toanother page that solicits donations that "will enable us to build a grass roots army that we can unleash on the liberal media to demand that they tell the truth."

But the MRC's campaign -- and the right-wing media's Benghazi obsession in general -- seems to demonstrate that this is much less about telling the truth than it is about raising money and motivating the base.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:45 PM EDT
Clinton Derangement Syndrome, WND Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There is a deep chasm of comprehension between the power-mad and the power-indifferent. Neither one of us can understand the other. Hillary Clinton, for example, could never live the life I do. She would hate every quiet, simple, peaceful moment of it. Similarly, I could never live like her. I would hate every stressful, screaming, profanity-filled moment of it.

The difference is, as a powerful person she can boss me around through legislation. She can sic men with guns on me. She can take my money. She can take my farm. She can even take my life (what difference does it make?) without a qualm of conscience. That’s what government can do.

-- Patrice Lewis, May 2 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The Dick Morris Rehabilitation Project
Topic: Newsmax
After the right-wing pundit flamed out spectacularly with his chronically wrong predictions on Fox News, Morris continues to have a home at Newsmax, where he remains as wrong as ever. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
WND Devotes Article to Body-Language Analysis Of Bill Clinton's Comments About UFOs
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Yes, this is the actual content of a May 2 WorldNetDaily article by Jay Baggett:

Bill Clinton’s appearance earlier this month on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” – where he was asked about his interest in UFOs – has been subjected to body-language analysis by an investigator of paranormal claims, who says the former president exhibited signs of “significant apprehension, stress and guarded behavior.”

News of Clinton’s inquiries, after he became president, into what information the government held on UFOs and space aliens has been widely reported.

Following the first portion of Kimmel’s interview and prior to a commercial break, Kimmel announced he would be asking about UFOs upon return. While Clinton concluded he found no evidence they exist, he said, “if we were visited someday, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

That wasn’t enough for Ben Hansen, host of the TV show “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.” His program features interviews with people claiming they’ve had paranormal encounters in order to confirm or debunk their stories.

[...]

Clinton – who had been using both hands as he talked, sitting with both feet on the floor – immediately adopted what Hansen described as a defensive stance, indicative of intention to conceal, when first asked about UFOs. Clinton began gripping firmly both arms of his chair and crossed his legs. For most of the remainder of their conversation about UFOs, Clinton’s right hand stayed firmly anchored to the arm of the chair.

Asked if he had investigated UFOs as president, Clinton said he had “sort of” during his second term, but then appeared to backtrack on the chronology, changing the topic to Area 51, the federal government’s super-secret site in the Nevada desert. Clinton claimed Americans thought aliens were kept at Area 51 because workers there were required to wear special uniforms. But Hansen noted a leading Area 51 expert he consulted said Clinton’s claim was novel and had never been made before.

Given that WND has also promoted a conspiratorial Obama-hater who claimed to have a pseudo-scientific method that purported to uncover "secret" confessions in the president's words, it probably shouldn't be a surprise that it would devote an article to this.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 2:23 PM EDT
MRC's Double Standard on Veterans Care Scandals
Topic: Media Research Center

In a May 6 Media Research Center item, Scott Whitlock proclaims "the brewing controversy impacting American veterans and a shocking lack of access to hospital care" to be a "a Barack Obama scandal" -- despite the utter lack of evience of any personal involvement by the president -- further huffing that the media is somehow "censoring" this.

But the MRC sang a different tune about another scandal involving the care of veterans when it occurred under a Republican president. In a March 2007 MRC item, Brent Baker fretted over a report on substandard treatment at the Walter Reed Medical Center, which stated that "the White House is well aware of the PR nightmare that it faces. The last thing this administration can afford is another Katrina."

That's one of the very few direct mentions of the Walter Reed scandal you'll find at the MRC, demonstrating that it's no stranger to the censorship it accuses others of conducting.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 AM EDT
Mychal Massie And the Gullible Americans
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Mychal Massie writes in his May 5 WorldNetDaily column: "People are gullible, and, the greater the desire to be viewed as knowledgeable, the greater the ease with which they buy into lies."

There's no greater illustration of that than Massie himself. Massie's penchant for using obscure words certainly marks him as someone who wants to be seen as knowledgeable, and he tells depraved lies at an astonishing pace. His column further tests the gullibility of his readers:

I remember vividly the lies in the late 1970s and early 1980s which claimed that, due to global cooling, by 1990 we would witness environmental catastrophes of “biblical proportions.” We were told people were going to die, crops would fail to grow and food shortages would be rampant. Time magazine and other so-called respected publications ran major features that supported the lies. Suffice it to say, catastrophes never happened.

Actually, there was never a scientific consensus on global cooling in the 1970s. Overhyping in the media aside, of 71 peer reviewed studies on climate change from 1965 to 1979, only seven articles predicted global cooling, while well over half predicted global warming.

And it wouldn't be a Massie column if he didn't spew some Obama derangement:

And perhaps the greatest fabricated story in the annals of history is that of Barack Obama. But people are still near manic in idolizing a person about whom less is factually known than is known about the Old Testament priest Melchizedek. And to compound that, these same people still bow before his every word even though he has been proven to be a pernicious subverter of truth, time after time.

That's right -- the depraved liar is warning that someone else is a liar. Massie is clearly hoping that his readers are gullible enough to ignore history.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
AIM's Kincaid Touts Its Kangaroo Court, Suggests Germany's Merkel Is A Secret Commie
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid takes a victory lap in a May 5 Accuracy in Media column:

The announcement that the House will vote on a special congressional committee to investigate Benghazi is long overdue. Accuracy in Media’s two special conferences on Benghazi helped mobilize the public and the press to demand this outcome.

Well, actually, not so much. AIM's "Citizen's Commission on Benghazi" is nothing more than a kangaroo court stacked with Obama-haters and birthers, none of whom have any interest in objective analysis and all of whom have every motivation to smear the president.

Kincaid goes on to tout one of the conclusions AIM's kangaroo court came to:

At AIM’s second conference on Benghazi, held at the National Press Club on April 22, retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons stated openly what many have been talking about privately—that the transformation of U.S. policy from opposing to supporting al Qaeda can only be understood in terms of Muslim Brotherhood “penetration into every national security agency of this government,” and “their carte blanche entry into the [Obama] White House.”

So will these agents of influence be named and exposed by the Benghazi special committee? That is why the public has to continue to be mobilized to apply pressure.

This leads to a defense of Joseph McCarthy dubious Red Scare tactics.

But Kincaid isn't done with the infiltration theme. He wrote a second May 5 column promoting the idea that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is some kind of secret Soviet agent (and, of course, brings Obama into it):

In the current context, with Putin continuing to destabilize Ukraine, the other notable case of alleged penetration is Germany. As we noted in a previous column, a book by Günther Lachmann and Ralf Georg Reuth published last year looks at the hidden communist past of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who spent 35 years of her life in East Germany, and concealed her work as an ideologue for a communist youth group.

The book grows increasingly relevant as we watch the Germans maneuver to avoid punishing Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. In the face of Russian aggression, Merkel says “…we want to continue having a reasonable partnership with Russia.”

“Germany is one of our strongest allies, and Angela is one of my closest partners,” said Obama. But since Russia is Germany’s partner, what does that say about Obama? The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place in front of our eyes.

The German book, The First Life of Angela M., only goes so far. It does not make the direct charge that Merkel is a Russian agent. That is a taboo topic, in the same way that an analysis of Obama’s grooming by Frank Marshall Davis is considered a form of “McCarthyism” directed against a civil rights activist. At least that is the rationale being offered by the media in the U.S. to avoid facing facts.

Remember, this kind of conspiracy talk is coming from the same organization that thinks its Benghazi kangaroo court is meaningful.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
WND Columnist Thinks WND Actually Cares About Miriam Carey
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Ackley writes in his May 4 WorldNetDaily column:

A final word about Miriam Carey: Why is WND the only news organization strongly campaigning for justice for this beautiful, young African-American mother? Other media have done stories, but there are the old questions: Where is the outrage? Where are the demands from civil rights organizations? Where is the human-rights commission investigation?

But as we've noted, there's no evidence WND is interested in "justice" over Carey, who was killed after attempting to drive onto the White House grounds then leading police on a high-speed chase through downtown Washington. WND cares only about using any and all means necessary -- including Carey's death -- as a cudgel against President Obama.

For WND, Carey is a political tool, not a cause driven by compassion. Too bad Ackley is too much of a WND loyalist to see it.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 PM EDT
MRC Doesn't Ask Where Crowdfunding Filmmaker Got Money for Billboard
Topic: Media Research Center

Phelim McAleer is apparently wasting his crowdfunding money designated to make a movie, blowing it on a billboard instead. And the Media Research Center couldn't be happier.

The MRC's Katie Yoder has served as one of the right-wing media cheerleaders for McAleer's crowdfunding campaign to make a film about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. A May 1 item by Yoder keeps up the cheerleading, touting how McAleer "erected a billboard slamming Kickstarter – a half mile away from Kickstarter’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York," attacking the company for putting restrictions on McAleer's crowdfunding efforts. (McAleer's campaign moved to another site.) Yoder goes on to proclaim that "the Gosnell movie’s Indiegogo campaign boasts more than $1.6 million raised with 16,500 funders – 76 percent of the $2.1 million goal."

One thing Yoder doesn't ask, however: Where did McAleer get the presumed thousands of dollars to erect a spiteful billboard? Did he take that money out of his crowdfunding pot, even though McAleer's little vendetta billboard has nothing to do with movie production? If so, did McAleer obtain permission from his donors to spend money on something other than movie production?

Yoder clearly doesn't want to know the answer. She's McAleer's PR agent, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 PM EDT
WND's Farah Goes Godwin, Makes An Obama-Hitler Comparison
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WND's standard illustration for slandering Obama as Hitler or some other dictator.

 

Having brought in Anita Dittman as WorldNetDaily's new resident Godwinist -- dropping slanderous comparisons of President Obama to Hitler -- has apparently inspired WND editor Joseph Farah to drop his own Godwinism in his May 5 column:

No U.S. president since Israel was reborn in 1948 has been less of a friend to Israel or the Jewish people than Barack Obama. He seeks to redraw the nation’s borders in a way that would leave Israel unable to defend itself. He has sought to freeze building by Jews in and around Israel’s capital. He seeks a so-called peace agreement that would involve ethnic cleansing of Jews in a future Palestinian state. Obama is not operating in the spirit of Oscar Schindler. On the contrary, he is operating in the spirit of those who appeased Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. He is operating in the spirit of those who looked the other way as 6 million Jews were exterminated. He is operating in the spirit of those who had an opportunity to save Jews from death in the Holocaust but did nothing.

In short, Obama’s list of humanitarian priorities is not like Schindler’s.

Farah, meanwhile, is a liar and slanderer who pretends to be a virtuous Christian, so he's not exactly occupying the moral ground here.

Meanwhile, WND has repackaged Dittman's earlier Obama-is-Hitler comparison as a cynical promotion for Dittman's WND-published book, "Trapped in Hitler's Hell." One wonders if the book's title is an explanation for Dittman's Big Lie technique.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT
Monday, May 5, 2014
Newsmax Lets Dick Morris Make A Prediction
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's Dick Morris rehabilitation campaign continues apace by giving him an April 30 column in which he explains how Rick Perry can make a presidential run in 2016:

Acceptable to Latinos based on his Texas record. Draws strong Tea Party support without being defined by it. A Southerner, he is clearly ready to play on the national stage. A big state governor whose record on jobs has only gotten better. He can’t be dismissed.

Will his debate brainlock disqualify him? Not if he doesn’t repeat it. Clinton recovered from a disastrous 1988 Convention speech. He’s probably had enough time to recover from his dismissal of Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme" in his book.

But Rick Perry has to develop a truly national perspective to win. He can’t forever be repeating "in the state of Texas" before each line. He needs to know more about issues other than energy. In 2012, he showed the same lack of depth and laziness in issue preparation as Sarah Palin did in 2008, but he wasn’t caught as easily because he’s a man.

[...]

Republicans don’t like to take chances. They want their candidates to have served their apprenticeship as losers. The Republican voters are agoraphobic, fearful of new situations and people. It takes them a while to get used to new candidates and those who have run once and learned their lessons have great appeal. So keep your eye on Perry.

Given Morris' track record on predictions, we can probably assume that Perry now has no chance whatsoever to become president.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Rhapsodizes Over James O'Keefe
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill devoted his April 30 WorldNetDaily column to rebutting the idea that Donald Sterling was the victim of being "James O’Keefe’d":

As Esquire writer Charles Pierce and others have commented in the wake of Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s sudden notoriety, Sterling’s lady friend V. Stiviano “appears to have James O’Keefe’d him.”

Pierce is referring to the work of imaginative young journalist James O’Keefe. Not yet 30, O’Keefe has pioneered the art of quietly recording the damning words of a range of duplicitous individuals – from ACORN workers to NPR executives to union honchos to campaign officials – and exposing those words to the light.

Pierce, however, does not quite get the verb “O’Keefe.” O’Keefe goes after corrupt and/or hypocritical organizations that have prospered through taxpayer largesse, and he always tries to work within the law, however ambiguous that law sometimes is.

[...]

The media do not share O’Keefe’s hierarchy of values. On CNN, after O’Keefe released the first video of ACORN office workers abetting his apocryphal scheme, the Washington Post’s Keith Richburg expressed his outrage – about O’Keefe.

“It sounds to me like that’s just entrapment,” Richburg said of O’Keefe’s sting. “You know, let’s go around various offices until we can finally trick somebody.”

On that same CNN show, Salon’s Joe Conason added, “It’s not journalism unless they report everything that happened. It’s propaganda.”

In fact, in just about every ACORN office O’Keefe visited the workers obliged his teenage-prostitution schemes. To prove they did, O’Keefe made a practice of posting the videos unedited to show that the damning quotes were not taken out of context.

Cashill is severely overstating O'Keefe's "values." In fact, before O'Keefe released his unedited videos, he released a heavily edited video designed to play up his most salacious accusations. And when O'Keefe got around to releasing his unedited videos, they usually showed that he was taking people out of context. Indeed, O'Keefe agreed to pay $100,000 to a former ACORN employee for falsely portraying him in a video and for illegally taping him.

Cashill goes on to declare that O'Keefe "has not once been sued for libel or defamation." Actually, the above cited case aside, he has been sued for defamation -- by one of his own former employees.

And Cashill was too busy rhapsodizing over O'Keefe's "hierarchy of values" that he mention a botched sting in which O'Keefe "hoped to get CNN Investigative Correspondent Abbie Boudreau onto a boat filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session."

Those are apparently the kind of "values" Cashill can get behind.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EDT
MRC's Bozell and Graham Again At War With Grammar And Perspective
Topic: Media Research Center

Last week, we noted that a column by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham cited an "early childhood memory" without explaining to which of the authors the memory belonged.

Bozell and Graham do it again in their May 2 column:

Saint Mary's Institute is the Catholic grade school in my wife's New York hometown, Amsterdam. It is affiliated with Saint Mary's Catholic Church, whose pastor Rev. John Medwid pens the opening to the Saint Mary's Institute annual newsletter.

Whose wife is being referred to here? We might assume that it's Bozell's, but it was revealed in February that Graham does all the heavy lifting in writing with Bozell's contributions unclear at best.

Either Graham has forgotten he deserves credit for his ghostwriter, or he has forgotten that it's a violation of grammar to offer a first-person perspective in a column authored by more than one person.

By the way, it seems that MRC division CNSNews.com has finally settled upon a way of properly crediting Graham after weeks of botching it. But at the MRC's main site, Graham got credit for a while but recent columns carry only Bozell's byline.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 PM EDT
WND's Unruh Lies About Detention Bill
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It seems that one reason Bob Unruh left the Associated Press to join WorldNetDaily in 2006 was WND didn't believe in things like reporting facts. Indeed, Unruh's WND work is little more than propaganda for his pet causes that dismisses or ignores entirely facts that conflict with his right-wing agenda. 

We see this yet again in an April 29 WND article by Unruh:

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court means the federal government now has an open door to “detain as a threat to national security anyone viewed as a troublemaker,” according to critics.

The high court this week refused to review an appeals court decision that said the president and U.S. military can arrest and indefinitely detain individuals.

The firm of William J. Olson, P.C., which filed a friend-of-the court brief asking the court to step in, noted that not a single justice dissented from the denial of the request for review.

“The court ducked, having no appetite to confront both political parties in order to protect the citizens from military detention,” the legal team said in a statement to WND. “The government has won, creating a tragic moment for the people – and what will someday be viewed as an embarrassment for the court.”

WND reported when the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act were adopted and later challenged in court.

The controversial provision authorizes the military, under presidential authority, to arrest, kidnap, detain without trial and hold indefinitely American citizens thought to “represent an enduring security threat to the United States.”

But Unruh is just regurgitating lies that even his fellow right-wingers have debunked.  The conservative Washington Times wrote in 2012 of the military authorization bill whose renewal Unruh is attacking here:

All dramatics aside, no matter what the murky NDAA says or means, it cannot strip Americans of their constitutional rights. Chief Justice John Marshall laid out this logical principle in the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison, which established the standard of judicial review. He wrote that if a law conflicts with a rule or right under the Constitution, “the Constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the Legislature, [therefore] the Constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.” This is a bedrock principle of American politics. Even if the most expansive reading of the defense authorization is correct and it does represent some kind of White House power grab, it doesn’t matter, because any such provision negating rights held by citizens would be struck down as unconstitutional once it was adjudicated.

There also is the matter of the law’s political context. Those who argue that the NDAA is some kind of enabling act for an impending Obama imperium must also explain how such a bill was passed by a divided Congress, particularly the conservative Republican-controlled House. If control was Mr. Obama’s objective, it would have been more sensible to craft the legislation during the two years when San Francisco Rep. Nancy Pelosi was speaker of the House, Democrats enjoyed a supermajority in the Senate and Mr. Obama was not so unpopular. He could have used those purported extraordinary powers to head off the “shellacking” he took during the 2010 midterm elections, assuming he thought he could get away with it.

The true test of the NDAA would be if Mr. Obama attempted to do what some people fear he might do, namely, begin a vendetta against his political opponents or others he wants to deal with “Chicago style.” But should we honestly believe Mr. Obama will soon order mass arrests and detentions of peaceful American citizens? That members of the military would carry out such orders, which go against all other laws and customs and the Constitution? That such actions would not be met with a flood of court cases, mass demonstrations, civil disobedience and active resistance? And all this would happen in an election year? It will take more than a scrap of paper to end freedom in America.

Needless to say, Unruh doesn't bother to report such things in his article -- he's all about fearmongering and propaganda, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 5, 2014 9:54 AM EDT
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Will MRC Admit GOP's Obamacare Study Is Bogus?
Topic: Media Research Center

Matt Hadro writes in a May 1 Media Research Center item:

House Republicans determined that just two-thirds of ObamaCare enrollees paid their first month's premium in the federal marketplace, but the broadcast networks ignored their finding on Thursday evening, though FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier ran a full story. If true, the report would drastically undercut the White House's number of ObamaCare enrollees.

Hadro won't tell you, but the operative term here is "if true." Turns out it isn't.

As TPM detailed, the GOP survey was rigged to produce that result -- it included language that explicitly left out the fact some people would still have time to pay their premium after April 15, which is when the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked companies to return their answers.Nearly 40 percent of Obamacare enrollees signed up after March 15, which means their first premium wasn't due until after the committee finished collecting its data.

Having demanded that the media cover a bogus study, will Hadro now report that the study was bogus and admit no self-respecting news outlet should have covered it in the first place?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT

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