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Wednesday, May 14, 2014
MRC Desperately Tries to Smear Warren Buffett By Tangentally Tying Him to Gosnell
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Media Research Center still can't get the "research" part of its name down.

The latest example of the MRC's history of shoddy research is a May 13 report by Mike Ciandella and Katie Yoder attacking Warren Buffett for funding "abortion groups":

They say the key to successful investing is diversification. But Berkshire Hathaway Chairman & CEO Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor known as the  “Oracle of Omaha,” is a one-issue man -- and that issue is abortion.

Through the foundation he financed with more than $3 billion of his own money, Buffett donated $1,230,585,161 to abortion groups worldwide from 2001 to 2012. These groups, including Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the Population Council, either campaign for pro-abortion legislation, perform abortions themselves, or helped develop the controversial abortion drug RU-486. Buffett gave an additional $21 million to these groups between 1989 and 1996. (Tax forms between 1997 and 2000 are not available.)

So the $1.2 billion that Buffett gave to these organizations is enough to pay for the abortions of more than 2.7 million babies in the womb. Those figures come from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which says the average amount paid for a surgical abortion in the United States is $451 for the first trimester. That accounts for the majority of abortions.

To put that in perspective, Warren Buffett donated enough money to abortion groups to perform as many abortions as there are people in the entire city of Chicago.

Note how wildly overstated Ciandella and Yoder's claims are. "Abortion groups" is a laughably overbroad assertion, demonstrating the MRC's intent for this to be a political attack instead of objective research. After all, only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services are abortion services.

The "perspective" that Buffett donated enough money to abort "the entire city of Chicago" also has no business in a supposed "research" document.

Further, for all their fulminating about "abortion groups," Ciandella and Yoder provide no evidence whatsoever that Buffett foundation money directly paid for any abortions.

But they're not done. Ciandella and Yoder's next step is to smear Buffett by trying to tie him to rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell:

One year ago, on May 13, 2013, the infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted of three counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in a case the major media tried their best to ignore. Another of the groups Buffett funded inspected Gosnell’s clinic -- subsequently described in court documents as a “house of horror” -- and didn’t report conditions at the “worst abortion clinic” the inspector had ever seen to Pennsylvania authorities.

Again, Ciandella and Yoder provide no evidence that Buffett has any personal link whatsoever to Gosnell -- it's just a disgusting smear.

Further, the grand jury report on the Gosnell case placed much more blame on state health officials for years of failing to act on complaints about Gosnell's practice -- they "were repeatedly confronted with evidence about Gosnell, and repeatedly chose to do nothing" -- than the NAF, which had inspected his clinic about a year before Gosnell was arrested in response to him applying to become an NAF member.

Nevertheless, the MRC's Dan Gainor wrote a FoxNews.com op-ed that even more explicitly tried to link Buffett to Gosnell:

May 13, 2014, marks one year since Philadelphia abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder “in the deaths of three babies who were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy, ‘house of horrors’ clinic,” according to the Associated Press. Gosnell instantly became the face of abortion in the prolife community.

But there’s another, more recognizable face pushing abortion in the U.S. – liberal billionaire Warren Buffett. The so-called “Oracle of Omaha” has donated more than $1.2 billion to abortion organizations from 2001 to 2012.

That’s equal to the cost of roughly 2.7 million first-trimester abortions – more than twice the number of abortions that occur in an entire year in the United States. Unlike Gosnell, however, everything Buffett has done has been entirely legal. But Buffett does share something else in common with the abortionist. Both their stories have been largely unreported.

Like his underlings, Gainor does not prove that Buffett is directly "pushing abortion."

The most damning evidence of the MRC's partisan intent, though, is that Ciandella and Yoder devote 11 paragraphs of it to how "pro-life organizations expressed outrage at the amount of Buffett’s support dedicated to the demise of babies in the womb." Ciandella and Yoder claim they "reached out to both The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and Berkshire Hathaway," but got no response.

That's what passes for "research" at the MRC. It has always been thus.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:20 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:22 PM EDT
WND's Monckton Has A Sad That Fox News Stopped Covering Birther Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

With his May 13 column, Christopher Monckton becomes the second WorldNetDaily columnist (after Burt Prelutsky) to lament that Fox News is too liberal for him. But Monckton is a birther dead-ender, and he's mad that Fox won't cover President Obama's birth certificate anymore:

Consider the question of the Obama “birth certificate.” On any view, this is an interesting story. An experienced, credible and much-decorated sheriff has published detailed and compelling evidence raising grave questions about the authenticity of several documents related to the identity of the occupant of the White House, and one of these documents remains on the White House website to this day.

Yet most news media have never subjected the “birth certificate” to scrutiny. Indeed, remarkably few have even been willing to admit that there is an investigation at all, still less to provide any reasonably detailed or factual account of its progress.

[...]

Consider the question of the Obama “birth certificate.” On any view, this is an interesting story. An experienced, credible and much-decorated sheriff has published detailed and compelling evidence raising grave questions about the authenticity of several documents related to the identity of the occupant of the White House, and one of these documents remains on the White House website to this day.

Yet most news media have never subjected the “birth certificate” to scrutiny. Indeed, remarkably few have even been willing to admit that there is an investigation at all, still less to provide any reasonably detailed or factual account of its progress.

Actually, Fox has given significant airtime to birther conspiracy theories. The problem, which Monckton is apparently unwilling to admit, is that the birther conspiracies have been discredited. Even an outlet like Fox News will eventually stop reporting things that aren't true.

That's a trait that apparently doesn't apply to Monckton.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 PM EDT
CNS Tries To Distrace From Bad News About Melting Polar Ice
Topic: CNSNews.com

This week, the New York Times reported that according to scientists, a large section of the massive West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable, and if the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighboring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries.

But the climate deniers at CNSNews.com don't want to talk about that. They'd rather take the "Squirrel!" approach and highlight something that reinforces their political ideology.

Thus, we have a May 13 article by Barbara Hollingsworth declaring that Himalayan glaciers are mostly not melting:

Nearly 87 percent of Himalayan glaciers are currently “stable,” neither melting nor advancing, according to a new study that cast further doubt on claims that melting glacial ice will help cause a dramatic rise in sea levels this century.

Often referred to as the “Third Pole,” the Himalayans contain “one of the largest concentrations of glaciers outside the polar regions,” according to the study by a group of Indian researchers that was published in the April 2014 edition of “Current Science.”

Hollingsworth makes no mention of the melting Antarctic ice sheet.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:57 PM EDT
WND's Unruh Cranks Out More Lazy, One-Sided Journalism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has long engaged in anti-journalistic practices like refusing to tell the side of the story he personally disagrees with. He's at it again in a May 8 article, which begins like this:

A California school district is going too far when it has public school students “bowing to the sun god” and participating in “liturgical/ritual religious practices” aimed at having them “become one with god,” according to a brief filed with an appeals court.

Yes, Unruh is once again  serving as a stenographer for a right-wing legal group, this time the National Center for Law and Policy, which is fighting yoga classes in a California school district.

And as usual, Unruh lavishes attention on the claims of the right-wing yoga opponents while misrepresenting the other side. Unruh asserts that "a district judge said the school program is religious, but officials can teach it anyway," going on to paraphrase:

San Diego Superior Court Judge John Meyer heard the case and declared in his July 1, 2013, decision that yoga, including the Ashtanga yoga taught at Encinitis, is religious. But the judge also said that the district did not violate the Establishment Causes of the U.S. and California constitutions by hiring yoga instructors to teach yoga to students during class hours.

Actually, Reuters got it much more correct that Unruh can be bothered with:

A California judge refused on Monday to block the teaching of yoga as part of a public school's physical fitness program, rejecting parents' claims that the classes were an unconstitutional promotion of Eastern religions.

Judge John Meyer acknowledged that yoga "at its roots is religious" but added that the modern practice of yoga, despite its origins in Hindu philosophy, is deeply engrained in secular U.S. society and "is a distinctly American cultural phenomenon."

He also said the Encinitas Unified School District had developed its own version of yoga that was not religious but distinct and separate from Ashtanga yoga.

"A reasonable student would not objectively perceive that Encinitas School District yoga does advance or promote religion," he said.

Nowhere in his article does Unruh concede that yoga as practiced in America is secular, let alone directly quote anything the judge said.

Unruh must think he can get away with such sloppy and anti-journalistic work -- and since WND apparently has no problem with his anti-journalism, he's probably right.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Meanwhile ...
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Matters uncovers more examples of right-wing media outlets picking up the Media Research Center's dishonest video purporting to debunk the "gun show loophole" -- as well as more examples of how easy it is to buy a gun at a gun show without a background check.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:09 PM EDT
WND Lets Right-Wing Christian Radio Hater Respond to Criticism of Christian Radio
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A May 10 WorldNetDaily article by Leo Hohmann highlights "disparaging comments" about Christian talk radio made by an official with the Southern Baptist Convention. Hohmann features one Christian radio host objecting:

Janet Mefferd, whose nationally syndicated Janet Mefferd Show originates out of Dallas and is picked up by 100 radio stations across the U.S., was among the first to take Moore to task for his comments.

“It seems like a little bit of a nuclear bomb to be throwing, on Dr. Moore’s part,” said Mefferd, who then played an extended audio clip of Moore’s speech for her audience before launching into a stinging monologue.

“I’m not sure who he is indicting, because I’m not sure exactly who he was listening to, but isolating this one quote, ‘If all I knew about Christianity was what I heard on Christian talk radio, I’d hate it too.’ I find that offensive. I find that really offensive,” Mefferd said.

“First of all, I can think of an awful lot of people in the Old Testament who were pretty darn bold preaching the truth and God was awfully pleased with them,” she said. “Jeremiah took a lot of flak for saying what the Lord wanted him to say. And God was saying some things that didn’t really sound like a real tone for dialogue. God was saying things like, ‘don’t pray for these people, I’m going to destroy them.’ He says that multiple times. Read the book of Jeremiah. Read what Jeremiah went through. Here’s this weeping prophet and he’s having to say these very bold things about judgment coming to the people of Israel and they hate him and they’re mad,” said Mefferd, calling on Moore to apologize.

“What about the other prophets? What about those throughout history who have boldly proclaimed things about sin?” she continued. “Does that mean they didn’t care about those they were preaching to or didn’t want those sinners to be reconciled to God? The whole point of saying that was to reconcile people to God, to get them to recognize that they were in trouble, that the wrath of God was on them and if they didn’t turn they would be destroyed.”

Hohmann doesn't mention that Mefferd is one of the main purveyors of hateful talk radio. She has hosted some of the most hateful guests -- Pam Geller, Linda Harvey, Peter LaBarbera, and Scott Lively among them. She serves as a conduit for right-wing Christian hate, and she clearly sees nothing wrong with that.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EDT
Newsmax Uncritically Reports Cruz's Factually Flawed Attacks on Obama
Topic: Newsmax

A May 7 Newsmax article by Cathy Burke touts how "Sen. Ted Cruz unveiled the fourth in his series of reports on what he has called the Obama administration's abuses of power – an issue that has dominated the freshman lawmaker's 16 months in Congress," noting that it "cited 76 instances of the administration's overstepping its constitutional authority, ranging from Obamacare to Benghazi." But Burke simply repeats Cruz's allegations and made no apparent attempt to delve into the veracity of the allegations.

By contrast, the Washington Post Dana Milbank reported that several of Cruz's claims are specious if not outright false:

Consider item No. 2 in the “Other Abuses of Power” section: “Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.” This does sound bad — and strange, given that Obama had publicly said he was “angry” about the release, which was “a bad decision.”

The footnote on Cruz’s allegation points to an article in the Australian newspaper, a curious source. I looked up the article, which stated that “the U.S. wanted Megrahi to remain imprisoned in view of the nature of the crime.”

Cruz, in a preamble to his accusations, writes piously of “the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.”

The evidence? The first item in the first category (“Governing By Executive Fiat”): ”Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.”

Such waivers were at the heart of welfare reform, which I covered. Ron Haskins, who drafted the law, told The Post that waivers made the law possible by giving states freedom to experiment.

A few lines down, Cruz alleges that Obama “extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages . . . even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.”

Cruz’s footnote for this allegation is to a February news article, which notes that the administration’s “changes were set in motion last year when the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to refuse federal benefits to married same-sex couples.” So Obama is being “lawless” by obeying a Supreme Court ruling?

Cruz alleges that the administration “ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union.” In fact, Obama’s National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint — and any order would have been up to a judge, as the law requires. In the end, Boeing and the union struck a deal, and the complaint was dropped.

Cruz must have found some of his allegations too good to check — such as the charge that Obama “spent $205,075 in ‘stimulus’ funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16.” Actually, the removal of the plant (which had been believed to be extinct in the wild) was part of a massive road project run by California, not the federal government. Like thousands of other projects, it got stimulus dollars — less than 10 percent of its total funding.

That's what a real journalist would do. What's Burke's excuse?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 PM EDT
David Kupelian And 'The New Fascists'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

David Kupelian's May 11 WorldNetDaily column is about "the new fascists -- and their victims," but the only "fascists" he cites are gays and the only "victims" he cites are Christians. Kupelian completely ignores analagous examples of right-wing fascism.

For instance, Kupelian cites "the August 2012 attempted mass-murder attack on the Family Research Council, when an angry homosexual activist named Floyd Lee Corkins entered FRC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a 9-mm handgun, shooting a security guard before being overcome by the courageous staffer. After his arrest, Corkins – who told federal investigators (see video below) he was inspired to commit the terror attack on the Christian organization by the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate map”– confessed he had planned to 'kill as many people as I could … then smear a Chicken-fil-A sandwich on their face.'" Kupelian doesn't mention a successful murder by anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder, who shot and killed abortion doctor George Tiller in his church. While Corkins had no contact with the SPLC beyond looking at its website, Roeder had numerous contacts with anti-abortion group Operation Rescue before murdering him. Operation Rescue had previously exhorted activists to enter Tiller's church, and Roeder's car contined a Post-It note with a phone number for Operation Rescue official Cheryl Sullenger.

Kupelian also cites the case of Scott Savage, "a devout and peace-loving Quaker who wouldn’t hurt anyone or anything, who even rode a horse-drawn buggy like the Amish in that part of Ohio" who was criticized after recommending books by Kupelian and other right-wing authors in his role as a college librarian. Kupelian doesn't mention WND's fascist-like retaliation against the school, which included smearing the school's diversity training as "homosexual indoctrination." WND also insisted on describing Kupelian's book as a "bestseller" despite the fact that it never appeared on the New York Times' bestseller list, the gold standard for book sales. And as we've documented, WND apparently secretly collaborated with the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund to hype the Savage controversy and, thus, boost sales of Kupelian's book.

Kupleian complains that "the left – including the ever-expanding sexual anarchy movement" are "so deeply offended, so mortally threatened, by people simply disagreeing with them, no matter how civil and well-meaning." But Kupelian operates thet same way; as we've noted, he's not interested in engaging in substantial dialogue with his critics, since it's much easier to present the most extreme critics and pretend they represent all critics and, therefore, not worth responding to.He has proclaimed that "no one has actually identified a single factual error in" his books, despite the fact that his books are about assertions and conclusions, which are opinion and therefore not objectively true or not true.

To the contrary, Kupelian omits facts from his books that undermine his right-wing talking points. For instance, he blames the case of Andrea Yates killing her children on her use of antidepressants, but he doesn't mention that she was in thrall to a ultra-fundamentalist Christian preacher who taught that women were evil and must be subservient to men and convinced her and her husband to sell their possession and live in a bus.

And Kupelian certainly knows the techniques of fascism -- after all, he used to work for accused cult leader Roy Masters,  and WND had extensive ties with Masters' organization in its early years, even having its original offices at Masters' Oregon ranch.

Did we mention that WND also employs extreme homophobe Molotov Mitchell, who advocates "the abolition of homosexuality." Sounds pretty fascist to us.

Perhaps Kupelian should address his own fascist tendencies before criticizing others.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:48 AM EDT
Monday, May 12, 2014
FrontPageMag Imagines Hillary As A Black President
Topic: Horowitz

A May 12 FrontPageMag article by Daniel Greenfield rants about "the leftist hijacking of black identity," declaring that this means "Hillary would be America’s third black president." Greenfield's article is accompanied by this image:

There are no words.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 PM EDT
Lying Preacher Bradlee DeanJust Can't Stop Lying
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bradlee Dean begins his May 9 WorldNetDaily column this way:

Did you hear about the dictator who was asked by one of his subordinates, “How do we get the people to believe our lies?” The dictator answered, “Just tell them what they want to hear.”

Well, Dean should know -- he's an unrepentant liar, and he knows what WND readers want to hear (and it's not the truth). His WND bio continues to solicit donations to fund his lawsuit against MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, even though that lawsuit was dismissed a long time ago and the dismissal was recently affirmed by an appeals court.

And Dean can't seem to stop lying. He writes:

First we have Tommy Vietor, the individual responsible for changing talking points over and over again concerning information that was given to the American people about Benghazi. Tommy changed the talking points to do none other than deceive and mislead the people.

Tommy, in a disrespectful manner said in an interview, “Dude … This was like two years ago.” He said this with a big smile on his face!

Do remember that several people were murdered in Benghazi, yet Tommy makes light of it in his continued efforts to cover up the crimes committed by this administration.

Remember friends, Benghazi was TWO YEARS AGO!

In fact, the full context of the interview clearly shows that Vietor was talking about specific edits to talking points, not about Benghazi istself.

The guy -- whose Minnesota-based ministry apparently shut down last fall after all his employees quit on him, tired of being mistreated and exploited -- just can't help himself.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EDT
Dishonest MRC Video Purports to Bust Myth of 'Gun Show Loophole'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Matt Vespa declares in a May 7 CNSNews.com blog post that a Media Research Center video busts the myth of the "gun show loophole":

On April 25, MRCTV's Dan Joseph decided to go to the Nation's Gun Show at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia.  Arguably, it was probably one of the safest places to film a segment for MRCTV, especially with all the police on-site. As liberals continue to harp about expanding background checks and closing to so-called gun show loophole, Joseph asked a few vendors about the process involved when it comes to buying their merchandise.

No, this isn't a flea market. This isn't like any store where you can just put money down and leave with your goods. You have to go through background checks, and vendors will absolutely not sell to anyone with a criminal record.

Vendors say they won't even talk business with someone they think is suspicious.

So, if you want to buy a gun at a gun show, or from federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL), here's the typical process.

But there's false extrapolation here. Neither Vespa nor Joseph offer any evidence that the standards at this particular gun show -- which is operated by a national company that holds the sale several times a year -- are applied at all gun shows in Virginia. Indeed, one reporter was able to buy firearms at a Virginia gun show from private sellers without any paperwork.

Virginia law requires background checks for gun sales from federally licensed dealers, but not for firearms transferred privately, which is the "gun show loophole." While all vendors at the gun show Joseph attended may be required to be federally licensed dealers, that's clearly not the case for all gun shows, or even all gun shows in Virginia.And that may not even be true for this particular gun show: in 2013, a Virginia lawmaker reported he was able to buy a revolver at this gun show without a background check.

You might remember Joseph embarrassing himself by lamely pretending to be transgender in order to mock anti-discrimination laws.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 PM EDT
WND Brings Us An Old Friend's Obama Derangement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Wheeler is a right-wing bon vivant with whom WorldNetDaily has had a long relationship -- WND ran "news" articles that were actually plugs for his newsletter and has allowed Wheeler to say all sorts of scabrous things.

After a few years of relative silence, Wheeler is back with a May 10 column in which he plucks birther strings to portray President Obama as an African at heart, just like all those horrible African dictators:

It took coming here, to the darkest pit of hellhole Africa, for it to finally dawn on me who Obama really is, to what total extent he isn’t American at all, but African.

[...]

After his dalliance with Ann Dunham at the University of Hawaii and Ruth Baker in Massachusetts, Obama Sr. returned to Kenya in 1964, where Mboya got him a job as senior economist for the Ministry of Finance. When Mboya was assassinated, Kenyatta had him fired, and according to his son’s book, “Dreams From My Father,: he became an alcoholic. A Big Man, Jomo Kenyatta, destroyed Obama Sr.’s life and his chance to be a Big Man himself as the protégé of Mboya.

When you read Obama Jr.’s account of his father in the context of decolonized Africa and its tradition of Big Men, you realize what his dream is: to be an African Big Man himself.

The current president of the United States is not an American, not in his soul. He is an African. Not an “African-American,” for that term only appropriately applies to descendants of Africans brought to America as slaves.

Obama Jr. is completely lacking in that ancestry and cultural heritage. His ancestry and heritage is half black African, which he embraces, and half white American, which he despises. He has no interest in being an American president. He wants to use the presidency to be a Big Man, to be worshiped and obeyed, to rule by executive decree, to live like a king and play more golf than conduct the business of state.

By now, you are no doubt focusing on the most worrisome feature of this, that Big Men never give up power willingly and will do whatever it takes to retain it. America has the deepest, most historically entrenched traditions of elected government in the world. How will America’s Big Man attempt to subvert them?

Whatever he tries, we have to be ready for it. Come what may, America’s African Big Man has got to be evicted from the White House at least by January 2017. Seems like an eternity away, doesn’t it? Yet now that we understand who and what he really is, it will easier to serve him his eviction notice.

Wheeler's column is all about Obama derangement and nothing about reality -- but that's exactly the kind of thing that plays well with WND's readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 AM EDT
Sunday, May 11, 2014
NewsBusters Frets That Bush Might Airbrush Bush Out Of Afghanistan (Which Is What CNS Has Done)
Topic: NewsBusters

In a May 6 NewsBusters post, Jack Coleman grumbles that a documentary on the 1970 Kent State killings didn't mention Lyndon Johnson (even though he had been out of office for more than a year at the time of the shootings). Coleman huffed, "It was like watching a documentary on President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan -- without a single appearance by George W. Bush. If and when CNN makes that documentary, Bush will be the primary figure, followed by Obama heroically bringing the troops home."

But airbrushing Bush out of the war in Afghanistan is exactly what NewsBusters' sister organization, CNSNews.com, has done. CNS has touted how U.S. casualties in Afghanistan went up under Obama while not mentioning the far higher U.S. casualities in Iraq under Bush, or that Bush essentially abandoned Afghanistan to concentrate on the war in Iraq, allowing the Taliban to rebuild and necessitating a larger troop presence under Obama.

Yet we have not seen Coleman complain about CNS' Afghan coverage. Funny, that.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 PM EDT
WND's Two Views Of Anti-Muslim Filmmaker, Both Misguided
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill devotes his May 7 WorldNetDaily column to depicting filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula as a scapegoat for Benghazi, letting Nakoula complain that leaked information about his criminal record endangered his life:

The release of this information put a major target on Nakoula’s back and that of his family. At the time, given the White House’s widely echoed blame-the-video narrative, Nakoula believed himself responsible for the death of the four Americans in Benghazi.

“I felt I had blood on my hands,” Nakoula told me in a phone interview Monday. “I felt like I deserved my punishment.”

[...]

The only “danger” Nakoula posed was as a target of Islamic wrath or that of his cohorts in the check-kiting scheme.

Among the very real death threats Nakoula faced was one from a Pakistani cabinet minister who put a $100,000 bounty on Nakoula’s head.

The Justice Department responded to those foreign threats against an American national by recommending a two-year prison term for the American.

It could have been worse. Egyptian courts sentenced Nakoula to death for his role in the video.

[...]

When, some months after his arrest, I tracked Nakoula down to the Federal Correctional Institution–La Tuna at the westernmost tip of West Texas, I was the first person in the media to contact him.

When I called him on Monday, he was still confined to a halfway house in Orange County, Calif., nearly six months after he was supposed to have been freed.

“Why did you punish me again?” he asks angrily of the Justice Department. “Why? It was not in original judgment.”

Needless to say, Cashill ignores some inconvenient facts about Nakoula and his film. First, as we've noted, Nakoula deceived the actors in what became "The Innocence of Muslims" about the nature  of the film. One actress told the Hollywood Reporter that the original script the actors followed was much different from the finished product, in which the actors' voices were redubbed to make it an anti-Muslim film. That, in turn, put the actors' live in danger, fearing reprisals for their parts in a film they were deceived about.

Second, Nakoulas film did, in fact, spark riots in the Mideast and elsewhere (just not Benghazi). The Week reported that protests occurred in more than 20 countries, killing at least 10 people.

Does Nakoula feel like he has blood on his hands for the people who did die in rioting over his sleazy, deceptive film? Cashill seems not to have asked him about that, nor did he ask about the lies he told his actors about the film's intent.

That's not the only narrative WND promoted about Nakoula. Erik Rush gets it wrong from a completely different viewpoint in his May 7 column, claiming Nakoula made the film as a government agent:

Finally, there is the shadowy background of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, producer of “The Innocence of Muslims” (the film that was purported to have touched off the widespread Muslim unrest of Sept. 11, 2012). The Shoebat Foundation and other media have alleged that Nakoula was actually an informant for the U.S. government dating back to the Clinton years. Did he produce “Innocence” at the behest of his government handlers for the express purpose of reinforcing White House propaganda? At this juncture, it’s certainly a reasonable question.

The rest of Rush's column is his typical increasingly unhinged Obama derangement, demanding that the president be brought up on treason charges.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 PM EDT
MRC's Philbin Sneers At Gay Football Player
Topic: Media Research Center

Matt Philbin's May 7 Media Research Center column on gay football player Michael Sam is filled with sneering derision:

If an NFL team ends up taking Michael Sam in a late draft round – or not at all – don’t blame the media. The Missouri defensive end came out of the closet to near universal media adulation (coincidentally timed with the NFL Combine in February). Now, with the draft looming on May 8, ESPN and ABC are doing their parts to make sure Sam is picked.

ESPN announced May 7 that it’s bestowing Sam with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The ceremony doesn’t take place until July, but it’s never too early to remind NFL coaching staffs that Sam had the courage to join society’s most trendy and celebrated grievance group.

But the sports and news media alike have a habit of obnoxiously intruding on sports with their political preoccupations. (Here’s looking at you, “Pinky” Costas.)

The Ashe Award was ostensibly the excuse for having Sam on “Good Morning America” May 7. But, covering mostly the same ground as the February media love fest, it was really about confirming that Michael Sam is still a homosexual.

Yes, the MRC has an anti-gay agenda, but apparently it's so anti-gay that hurling insultsis considered right-wing media criticism.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:01 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 11, 2014 6:09 PM EDT

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