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Wednesday, April 29, 2015
MRC Buries Schweizer's Political Bias, Lack of Evidence
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Jeffrey Meyer uses an April 26 NewsBusters post to complain about an interview ABC's George Stephanopoulos did with anti-Clinton book author Peter Schweizer. Meyer complained that Stephanopoulos cited "Democratic attacks against the author" and "quote[d] a 'independent government ethics expert' but didn’t mention he was a beneficiary of far-left billionaire George Soros."

Despite all that labeling, at no point does Meyer identify Schweizer as a conservative, though he obliquely referenced it by noting that Stephanopoulos highlighted Schweizer's "partisan interest" in attacking the Clintons.

Meyer further complained that "Stephanopoulos never appeared interested in the actual substance of Schweizer’s book, which alleges the Clinton Foundation took in millions of dollars in donations in exchange for potential influence with the U.S. government and instead acted as a Clinton defender." But he ignored the fact that Schweizer admitted during the interview that he has no "direct evidence" to back up his book's claims -- which would seem to indicate a decided lack of substance.

Meyer knows Schweizer admitted that -- it's in the transcript accompanying his post -- but he failed to highlight it in his item.

Meyer clearly doesn't like the fact that a conservative who made specious claims was called out on them.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 PM EDT
WND's Race-Baiters Take Baltimore Mayor Out of Context
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You had to know that the unrest in Baltimore had to bring out the race-baiters at WorldNetDaily, and they haven't disappointed.

An unbylined April 27 WND article is dedicated to taking Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake out of context, claiming that a statement she made can only be interpreted as giving rioters permission to destroy property. Cue the usual race-baiting suspects:

But civil-rights leader and author Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson blames Rawlings-Blake for her plan to permit demonstrators to destroy property.

She is “setting a dangerous precedent by allowing so-called protesters ‘space’ to ‘destroy’ property and assault people in that city under the guise of expressing their outrage over the death of Freddie Gray,” he said.

“Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is in over her head. It’s insane to allow thugs space to destroy and loot. The police should not be hampered from doing their jobs. Allowing this lawlessness to continue will only encourage more violence in Baltimore!”

[...]

Jack Cashill, author of “If I Had a Son: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman,” expressed bafflement at the mayor’s actions.

“I watched the video to make sure the mayor’s ‘safe space’ remark was not taken out of context,” he said. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t. For perhaps the first time in American history, a public official openly and casually took credit for allowing citizens to destroy property and terrorize innocent bystanders. Scarier still, the major media have not found this admission remarkable.

“In a city with a black mayor, a black police chief, and a predominantly minority police force, the protesters have so thoroughly ingested the anti-white propaganda educators and the media have fed them over the years that they feel comfortable in blaming Freddie Gray’s death on white people.”

Colin Flaherty, author of “White Girl Bleed A Lot: The Return of Racial Violence To America and How the Media Ignore It,” says the riots are simply part of a larger anti-white narrative that the mayor shares to some extent.

“The riots in Baltimore were not just about a black man who died in police custody. These riots and protests were all about how black people are relentless victims of relentless white racism. All the time, everywhere and that explains everything, especially why police arrest so many black people for apparently no reason whatsoever.

“Of course the mayor’s ‘safe space’ for property destruction during what she called ‘largely peaceful’ protests led to more violence. This is just one more example of black mob violence and how reporters and public officials ignore, deny, condone, excuse, encourage and even lie about it.”

It's obviously Cashill is lying about claiming the mayor's words were not taken out of context. In fact, the day before WND's article was published, the mayor's office issued a statement from a spokesman clarifying her inital (admittedly poorly worded) statement:

"What she is saying within this statement was that there was an effort to give the peaceful demonstrators room to conduct their peaceful protests on Saturday. Unfortunately, as a result of providing the peaceful demonstrators with the space to share their message, that also meant that those seeking to incite violence also had the space to operate. The police sought to balance the rights of the peaceful demonstrators against the need to step in against those who were seeking to create violence.

The mayor is not saying that she asked police to give space to people who sought to create violence. Any suggestion otherwise would be a misinterpretation of her statement."

WND makes no reference to the clarifying statement even though it, again, was issued a day before the article was published. But who cares about accuracy when there's political hay to be made? Much of the conservative media joined WND in taking the mayor out of context.

Oddly, one dissenter has been Accuracy in Media. Spencer Irvine wrote in an April 28 post about the mayor's complaint about being taken out of context: "Actually, she has a point. When you read the entirety of her remarks, seems like the news media took her 'space' comment out of context. Instead, it should have been reported that because the police gave peaceful protesters space to peacefully assemble, the violent ones abused that space and began to riot and loot."

Once again, WND has placed its right-wing agenda ahead of facts. Sadly, that's WND's modus operandi.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 12:24 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Newsmax's Ruddy Shoots Down Anti-Clinton Attack Book
Topic: Newsmax

The new anti-Clinton book by conservative writer Peter Schweizer has been easy to dismiss for its bias and shaky claims -- so much so, in fact, that the ConWeb is not united in promoting it.

Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy -- who, over the years, has evolved from being a Clinton-hater to a Clinton supporter (though the Clinton hate has never disappeared from his website) -- devoted an April 27 column to defending the Clinton Foundation from the accusations in Schweizer's book, citing his evolution on Clinton as one reason he should be trusted on the issue:

In the 1990s I was described by both James Carville and George Stephanopoulos as the Clinton White House’s No. 1 press enemy. But after Bill Clinton left the White House, I came to admire him and his post-presidential work.

I was drawn to him largely for the very same reason he and his wife are being criticized today: the Clinton Foundation. Over time, I was impressed enough with its work that I even became a donor.

This may be difficult for many of the Clinton critics to stomach, considering the miasma of allegations now being made about them, largely due to a new book entitled "Clinton Cash" (HarperCollins) by Peter Schweizer.

A Fox News special that aired this past Friday detailed many of the allegations from the still-unreleased book. Fox said the book showed the "tangled" and "blurred" relationships between the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons' private or political activities.

After watching the Fox program, it became clear to me the only thing "tangled" and "blurred" are the numerous unsubstantiated, unconnected, and baseless allegations being made about them.

Ruddy goes on to note the corporate synergy going on between Fox News and the publisher of Schweizer's book:

I think the imperative for journalists is more appropriate: Follow the money. So let’s do that.

The sister companies of News Corp and 21st Century Fox own HarperCollins, which published Peter Schweizer’s book; they own The Wall Street Journal, which first raised the issue of the foreign donations; they own the New York Post, which broke the details about the Schweizer book; and they own Fox News, which gave the story oxygen and legs.

With so much media mojo from one company, there is no doubt they will be doing some pretty good "cashing in" from the many millions of dollars their new best-seller will generate.

That's something you won't read in the rest of the conservative media -- they're too busy trying to destroy the Clintons after 20 years that it still doesn't occur to them to be credulous about what they're promoting. 

Newsmax deserves a little credit for evolving into a conservative outlet that is at least somewhat interested in fairly presenting views it might not disagree with. You won't see that at WorldNetDaily or CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:36 PM EDT
Will WND Correct Or Retract Its False Harry Reid Story?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Earlier this month, as we documented, WorldNetDaily boarded the Harry Reid conspiracy train with an article by Garth Kant uncritically promoting a claim that the injuries Reid suffered on a piece of exercise equipment were in fact inflicted by his brother.

Just one problem: that story was completely made up.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that the man who says he made up the story about Reid's brother, Larry Pfeifer, says he did so to see how far an uncorroborated story would get in the conservative media. Though Pfeifer revealed to the outlets that he was using a pseudonym, none of the outlets who promoted the story demanded proof of his true identity.

How is WND reacting to this information? By doing as little as possible. It stole the first few paragraphs of the Sun story for posting on its own website, but Kant's original story stands uncorrected and unretracted.

This development comes, ironically, as Kant's boss, Joseph Farah, is touting his supposed investigative skills. In his April 27 column, Farah "brag[s] about my editorial team" in pursuing his feigning of interest in the death of Miriam Carey, "especially WND news editor Garth Kant, a veteran of CNN and MSNBC – but don’t judge him too harshly for that resumé."

Farah insists that "the work we have done on the Miriam Carey case is the kind of work that once won Pulitzer Prizes." But copying stuff from right-wing websites and refusing to correct it when it turns out to be false, like Kant is doing, is not the work ethic of a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Perhaps Farah should focus on getting the basics of journalism right -- fairness, balance, accuracy, prominent correction of errors -- before indulging in his Pulitzer delusions.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 AM EDT
Monday, April 27, 2015
WND's Corsi Just Can't Stop Promoting Documented Liar Joel Gilbert
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joel Gilbert is an utterly discredited filmmaker and a charlatan -- he even fed false information to WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi that his fellow birthers felt compelled to correct.

Bizarrely, Gilbert's track record as a documented liar is not stopping Corsi and WND from promoting him.

In an April 23 WND article, Corsi touts Gilbert's latest stunt, a interview he conducted with President Obama's half-brother, Abongo Malik "Roy" Obama, in which Malik complains that Barack Obama "exploited the family in Kenya for political purposes and now has abandoned them."

Needless to say, Corsi makes no mention of how badly Gilbert has been discredited or that he himself has been burned by Gilbert's lies. It's also unclear whether Malik Obama was informed of Gilbert's history of falsehoods before the interview.

Things get even stranger in an April 26 article:

Among other accusations, along with Muslim Brotherhood fundraising, Malik has been accused of collaboration with Sudan’s radical Islamic regime, using money raised in his father’s and brother’s name for personal profit, and partnering with a cult leader.

Gilbert, who says he has gotten to know Malik over the past few months, insists Malik’s relationships “with questionable characters have been greatly misinterpreted.”

“All these relationships only have to do with Malik trying to find ways to help his extended family and his impoverished village financially,” he said.

“I can assure you that Malik is no terrorist-mastermind finance guy,” said Gilbert. “Malik has a 16-year-old son who is very ill. He doesn’t have money to keep his sick son in the hospital, and he can barely keep his car running.”

And who reported all of that about Malik Obama? Corsi -- he has repeatedly attacked Malik Obama in WND articles over the years in an attempt to smear President Obama by association.

In other words, Corsi is giving Gilbert a forum to contradict his own reporting. Apparently, Corsi is a glutton for punishment from Gilbert.

Given that neither Corsi nor Gilbert can be trusted, they seem to deserve each other.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:13 AM EDT
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Today in Tim Graham: An Old Anti-Clinton Attack, And An Aborted Insult
Topic: Media Research Center

In an April 22 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham claims it's "trash talk" for Michael Tomasky to claim that the Clintons "aren't corrupt" simply because they've been the target of decades of partisan-driven investigations and have never been indicted:

Tomasky is obediently employing the Clinton tactic of lowering the scandal bar to a lack of indictment equals moral probity. He’s also suggesting that a lack of indictment somehow proves Hillary was never a “congenital liar.” This is the woman who denied they was any evidence of her husband's sex with Monica Lewinsky and shamed the media into covering the real sexual offender: the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” 

Where have we heard this argument from Graham before? Oh, yes -- we remember now.

Back in 2007, we wrote an article on Graham and Brent Bozell's attack book on Hillary Clinton,  pointing out that the bill of particulars they were peddling regarding her alleged corruption lacked context and mentions of exculpatory evidence, not to mention the fact that after all of those investigations in the 1990s, the Clintons were never indicted on corruption charges. Graham didn't take that well, writing a post containing a very familiar complaint:

In his article, Krepel is playing the same old Not a Crook card to exonerate his heroine. We said Ray found her testimony to be factually false. He notes that Ray declined to prosecute, citing "insufficient evidence." The Clintons and their Arkansas toadies like Krepel athletically raise the bar, implying that the Clintons didn’t lie unless they were indicted for it.

[...]

Our book isn’t claiming Hillary should be behind bars. Our book is claiming that the media cannot be relied upon to investigate the Clintons with any vigor, especially the television networks.

As we noted at the time, the MRC has done the very same thing we were accused of in portraying a lack of indictment as vindication; in 2005, MRC writer Brent Baker declared that Rove's non-indictment in the Valerie Plame leak case was a "vindication" for him and didn't question whether Rove still did unethical things that simply didn't rise to a prosecutable level.

It's also quite hypocritcal for Graham to sneer at Tomasky's supposed "trash talk" when he's perfectly willing to dish it out himself. Note the URL of Graham's post; it contains the word "dumbassky," which means that sneering insult of Tomasky was part of the original headline of the post.

By Graham's Clinton standard, he doesn't deserve a pass for not ultimately using it -- after all, it's in the permanent URL for all the world to still see.

The fact that Graham actually considered "dumbassky" as a headline for his Tomasky post shows his emotional immaturity and dogmatic need to attack anyone and everyone who doesn't conform to right-wing orthodoxy.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 26, 2015 10:48 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

This week we were forced to witness the true colors of our ultra-socialist and pro-terrorist President Barack Hussein Obama again. Fresh off of his capitulation to his Muslim brothers in Tehran with regard to the sham nuclear negotiations that threaten the annihilation of not just Israel but also our own country, he seized the opportunity at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, to advance his dastardly plan to open full diplomatic relations with the Communist island of Cuba.

[...]

This is typical of Obama. He is a communist and a Muslim (who gives preferential treatment to Muslims over Judeo-Christian values) at heart and has acted accordingly over the last six years since he and his administration cleverly seized power over We the People by passing himself off as an amiable mainstream liberal, a Christian and someone who is a natural born citizen eligible to be president. Notwithstanding the ever-growing list of Obama scandals, from IRS-gate, to Benghazi-gate, to Fast and Furious-gate, to NSA/CIA-gate, to Obamacare-gate, to Amnesty-gate and many others – where he has ignored and defied the power of Congress and subverted not just the Constitution but also the rule of law time and time again, King Hussein is now on the verge doing such permanent traitorous damage to our national security that he should be removed from office for this alone.

Indeed, if Obama were a white man, a la President Nixon, he would have been impeached and forced to resign by now. (And Nixon was at least a patriot.) But Obama and many of his henchmen, like Attorney General Eric Holder, a true fellow criminal and racist, know well how to play the so-called race card. Criticize him in any way and this amounts to an attack upon not just him but his “people.”

-- Larry Klayman, April 17 WorldNetDaily column

Would anyone be surprised to see this headline in the spring or summer of 2016: “Obama orders U.S. military attack on Israel / blocks Israeli strike at Iran / Iran grateful“?

Like it or not, there is an increasing likelihood we will see that kind of headline before Obama leaves office.

Why should we worry about that? Does water flow downhill?

-- Tom Tancredo, April 17 WND column

The party that calls itself “Democrat” hates democracy. You can vote for who you like, but Mr. Obama will not let your elected representatives in Congress decide or do anything. He is ruling by decree, like any tin-pot African dictator.

Look at Soetero”care” – hundreds of billions squandered, and not a single patient made better as a result. Look at how that law came to pass. The unspeakable Ms. Pelosi told the House that if it wanted to know what was in the thousand-page bill tabled only minutes before the vote it would have to vote for it before it had the chance to read it. Whatever that is, it is not the democracy your Founding Fathers had in mind.

Take free markets. And abolish them. That’s Mr. Obama’s approach. Using precisely the same techniques as the Nazis, he is issuing mad and cripplingly expensive environmental decrees via the EPA, in flagrant contravention of Article 1, Section 1, of your Constitution, because he knows your elected representatives would not stand for the rapid shutdown of manufacturing, utility, transport and service corporations that the EPA is now carrying out.

Your Constitution opens by saying that no one but the Congress you elect can make laws to bind you. Mr. Obama regards the Constitution as an obstacle to fascism, so he ignores it.

-- Christopher Monckton, April 19 WND column

Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution reads: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

This applies to the president (Barack Obama has at least 900 documented examples of lawbreaking, lying, corruption, cronyism, hypocrisy and waste), vice president, and all civil officers (includes both the supreme and inferior court justices, who hold their offices during good behavior).

These are not the type that can be saved; they are the type that must be stopped. America’s future depends upon it. Countries are destroyed for the lack of impeachment, and in many of these cases, indictment must follow impeachment.

-- Bradlee Dean, April 23 WND column

Recently, Obama and the ayatollah openly disagreed about the details of the nuclear deal. It figures that Iranians, the victims of a government-controlled media, believed the ayatollah’s version. It also figures that after listening to Obama’s endless lies for the past six years, most Americans also believed the ayatollah’s version.

-- Burt Prelutsky, April 23 WND column

When King George III perverted the legal system of the colonies, the revolution, which ensued in 1776, gave rise to the birth of a new nation. This must be our mission – to restore the integrity of our legal system and the country – as the likes of Obama and his compromised judges threaten our very continued existence.

-- Larry Klayman, April 24 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 10:45 AM EDT
Saturday, April 25, 2015
MRC Hides Link To Catholic Groups Who Signed On To Its Jihad Against Dan Savage
Topic: Media Research Center

One can almost admire how the Media Research Center cloaks its war on Dan Savage -- which, in fact, is a demand to censor all gay-oriented content on TV that doesn't conform to right-wing anti-gay dogma -- as an "education campaign."

But the deception doesn't end there. An April 21 MRC press release touts how "Catholic groups" have joined it in its "national campaign to educate the public" about Savage and the TV pilot based on his teenage years that ABC picked up.

But the MRC doesn't disclose its links to two of those groups. As we've documented, MRC chief Brent Bozell is on the board of advisors of the Catholic League and the Cardinal Newman Society, two of the groups listed in the press release.

Which means that the "Catholic groups" listed in the MRC  press release are not necessarily representative of all Catholicism -- just a right-wing slice of it.Indeed, Catholic League head Bill Donohue is so fringe that even his and Bozell's fellow conservatives are turning on him (something, by the way, you'll never see reported on any MRC website).

But Donohue's hateful and bigoted comments are just peachy with the MRC -- it's too busy trying to censor Dan Savage.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 PM EDT
WND's Unruh Perpetuates Lies About Sanger, Kinsey
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Promoting a conference claiming to "connect the dots between Margaret Sanger’s Malthusian philosophy and belief in promiscuity and hatred for marriage … to the pseudoscience of Dr. Alfred Kinsey discovered by Dr. Reisman," Bob Unruh writes in an April 22 WorldNetDaily article:

Thomas Malthus was a 19th-century professor who believed poverty and hunger were symptoms of a population crisis, and the solution was to prevent the growth in the numbers of certain groups of people.

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, built on that concept of eugenics, at one point saying she did not want word to get out that a goal was to reduce the black population.

Moving further was Alfred Kinsey, the infamous Indiana professor who assembled data on the sexual performance of children as young as five months, and Bernard Nathanson, one of the founders of the National Abortion Rights Action League.

So what do all their life accomplishments have in common?

Deception.

You can add Unruh to that list, based on the above. He takes Sanger's statement out of context to falsely portray her as a murderous racist. As we've documented, while Sanger embraced eugenicist ideas that were popular during her lifetime, she was not racially driven.

Unruh is alluding to a statement Sanger made regarding a birth-control initiative focused on the black community known as the "Negro Project," in which she is quoted as saying that "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members" -- a statement frequently taken out of context by right-wingers.

But as FactCheck.org reports, the Margaret Sanger Papers Project states that Sanger's statement, in fact, refers to the fact that "Sanger recognized elements within the black community might mistakenly associate the Negro Project with racist sterilization campaigns in the Jim Crow south, unless clergy and other community leaders spread the word that the Project had a humanitarian aim."

Later in his article, Unruh repeats discredited allegations by anti-Kinsey obsessive Judith Reisman -- who is speaking at this conference -- that “Kinsey solicited and encouraged pedophiles, at home and abroad, to sexually violate from 317 to 2,035 infants and children for his alleged data on normal ‘child sexuality.’ "

Riesman is the real liar here, but since she's an author published by WND, Unruh doesn't want you to know that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 26, 2015 6:31 PM EDT
Friday, April 24, 2015
CNS Managing Editor Keeps Up His Work As Franklin Graham's PR Guy
Topic: CNSNews.com

Franklin Graham doesn't like that a comic book superhero is gay, and CNSNews.com managing editor Michael Chapman is ON IT:

Marvel Comics outed its X-Men character "Iceman" as gay in its latest issue, a cultural step that is designed "to indoctrinate our young people to accept this destructive lifestyle," said Reverend Franklin Graham, who added that God Himself in the Bible says that "homosexuality is a sin" and we are to be on guard against all sin."

"Today the Marvel comic character Ice Man, from the 'X-Men' series, is coming out as gay," said Rev. Graham in a post on Facebook.  "This is another attempt to indoctrinate our young people to accept this destructive lifestyle."

"God’s Word says homosexuality is a sin, and we are to be on guard against all sin," said the reverend. "God calls us to repent, turn from our sins, and put our trust in His Son Jesus Christ who died and rose again to pay the penalty for sin."

This is the sixth blog post in April that Chapman has dedicated to the musings of Graham (the others are here, here, here, here and here). That's on top of the 25 articles Chapman dedicated to him in the first three months of 2015 -- more than one-third of Chapman's CNS output during that time.

Chapman has yet to publicly explain why he considers Graham's anti-gay, anti-Muslim and anti-Obama views so newsworthy that he presents them without permitting anyone to respond.

Regarding Chapman's other evangelical-extremist man-crush, he has published three more articles (here, here, and here) featuring the comments of Rafael Cruz, better known as Ted Cruz's dad, since we checked in last.

As with Graham, Chapman has not explained why Cruz's hateful comments are so important as to be presented without comment or criticism. That would seem to violate CNS' mission statement "to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

UPDATE: Chapman has added another piece of stenography for Graham, making it seven so far in April.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:09 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, April 25, 2015 12:35 AM EDT
WND's Chumley Tries To Link Walmart to Jade Helm Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You can't deny that WorldNetDaily loves its conspiracy theories. We see that again in an April 20 WND article by Cheryl Chumley:

Jade Helm 15 is set to kick off in seven states this summer, sending Special Operations forces from all four main branches of the military onto civilian soil to conduct hostile take-over training – and civil-rights advocates are sounding the alarms.

This is how the military describes it:

“The nature of warfare is always changing and U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s mission is to make certain the Army’s various Special Operations Forces are trained, equipped and organized to successfully conduct worldwide special operations in support of our nation’s interests,” said command spokesman Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria, in a statement to the Washington Post a few weeks ago. “Training exercise Jade Helm is going to assist our Special Operations Soldiers and leadership in refining the skills needed against an ever changing foreign threat.”

But plenty on social media aren’t calmed by the explanation, in part remembering the recent similar operation in Broward County, Florida, that saw Blackhawk helicopters flying above community streets while soldiers loaded citizen participants into white vans for transport to internment camps. It was all a staged exercise but for those watching, the scenes that unfolded were alarming.

Only at WND would social media be considered a legitimate source of information.

Chumley's article includes a scary-looking photo of unidentified military-looking people in dark uniforms and carrying assault rifles marching down an unidentified to imply that this is  what is happening during the Jade Helm operation (never mind that Jade Helm hasn't even started yet):

Not only does Chumley make no effort to fact-check the claims she reports, she ignores reporting by other, legitimate news outlets explaining why the conspiracy theories have no basis in reality, like this from Stars & Stripes:

Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria, a USASOC spokesman, confirmed that there is an upcoming exercise called Jade Helm 15 which is scheduled to take place this summer at locations in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, California and Nevada. But he denied the event is preparation for some sort of military takeover.

“That notion was proposed by a few individuals who are unfamiliar with how and why USASOC conducts training exercises,” he said in an email. “This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for Army Special Operations Forces because they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.”

He said the only thing unique about this particular exercise, which is slated to take place between July 15 and Sept. 15, is “the use of new challenging terrain” which was chosen because it is similar to conditions special operations forces operate in overseas.

Instead, Chumley endeavors to tie Walmart into the grand conspiracy:

Yet one more poster pointed to recent reported Wal-Mart closures in Texas, California, Florida and Oklahoma with concern, saying the cited “plumbing problems” cited as the reason for the sudden shut-downs just don’t meet the smell test.

“Employees impacted by the Wal-Mart closures were given just a few hours notice about the six-month shutdown,” the blog Inquisitr wrote. “Approximately 2,200 employees will now be without a paycheck during the ‘extended repairs.’ … The abrupt Wal-Mart closures announcement has reportedly left employees confused and Americans pondering the existence of Wal-Mart underground tunnels and Operation Jade Helm conspiracy theories.”

One of the theories?

Inquisitr reports: “One of the widely circulating rumors associated with the Jade Helm Wal-Mart story on the Internet speculates that the military will use the underground tunnels to move undetected around certain states with the stores being used as either a communications hub or FEMA camps.”

The fear is ratcheted by the fact city officials who govern the areas of the impacted Wal-Marts say the stores haven’t filed any permit requests for plumbing problems, Inquisitr said.

Needless to say, Chumley doesn't mention the far more likely reason those Walmart stores abruptly closed: an atempt to short-circult union activity. CBS reported:

Walmart's plumbing problems have flushed out a potentially embarrassing labor situation.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has filed a claim with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that Walmart's (WMT) recent closing of five stores was done in retaliation for a history of labor activism at one of the locations, rather than because of the plumbing problems the retailer cited, The New York Times reports. The union is asking the government agency for an injunction that would require Walmart to rehire the 2,200 workers who were temporarily laid off or affected by the closings.

Since Walmart closed the five stores this month, citing plumbing problems as the cause, suspicions were aroused, especially because one shuttered location was the site of the first U.S. strike at a Walmart store. One employee at that store, located in Pico Rivera, California, told CBS Los Angeles that some co-workers believed the company was targeting employees who had spoken out against Walmart's labor practices.

But then, a corporate attack on unions isn't as sexy as a New World Order conspiracy theory for Chumley and WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
Thursday, April 23, 2015
CNS Is Mad More People Aren't Covered Under Obamacare, For Some Reason
Topic: CNSNews.com

The right-wingers at CNSNews.com have consistently grumbled about Obamacare, so it's odd to see them complain that it's not successful enough at covering people. Brittany Hughes writes in an April 13 CNS article:

Nearly 12 percent of American adults still do not have health insurance, according to a Gallup poll published Monday.

This is despite the fact that the individual mandate in President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), AKA Obamacare, took effect at the beginning of 2014.

According to Gallup 11.9% of American adults were uninsured in the first quarter of 2015. That was down one percentage point from the previous quarter and 5.2 points since the end of 2013, just before the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate went into effect.

The Gallup survey shows the ACA falling far short of the president’s statement that the law would be "about making sure that all of us, and all our fellow citizens, can count on the security of health care."

But Hughes doesn't mention one key reason why coverage isn't higher: the refusal of Republican governors to expand their Medicaid rolls.

As Bloomberg details, one key component of the Affordable Care Act is federal funding for states to expand Medicaid -- if they decide to take advantage of it. But 20 states haven't, the vast majority of them run by Republican governors like Florida and Texas. Those two states together have 1.6 million people who could qualify for Medicaid under the wider eligibility criteria, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Hughes might want to consider pointing the finger of blame where it actually belongs instead of engaging in kneejerk Obama-bashing.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:40 PM EDT
We Get Phil Elmore's Attention
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Looks like we've gotten someone's attention.

Phil Elmore's April 22 WorldNetDaily column was set off by our examination last week of Elmore's WND work. That's not to say it's a response, because Elmore doesn't really respond to anything in the article -- he doesn't link to the ConWebWatch article he's highlighting, nor to any other work of ours he highlights, which is a sign of the dishonesty to come.

(Funny thing is, WND has a history of this. In 2008, when we submitted a response to WND editor Joseph Farah's criticism of us, WND stripped out all the links to ConWebWatch articles that had been embedded in the original.)

Mainly, he plays the attack-the-messenger card, calling me a "troll" solely because I had the temerity to criticize his writing, offering no evidence of how that consists of "trolling" behavior. Elmore also falsely claims that I think "any opinion with which [I] disagree is automatically a 'lie.' and that I'm constantly "screaming that everyone [I don't] like is lying." In fact, I highlight actual lies as lies; Elmore offers no evidence I've ever portrayed a conservative opinion as a de facto falsehood.

Then, for some reason, Elmore goes back to a 2009 blog post I wrote for a lengthy attack regarding the use of sexual metaphors:

In a blog post entitled, “Erik Rush Discovers Gay Sex,” Krepel quotes WND columnist Erik Rush, who wrote, “Apparently, shouting at the president is objectionable, but his collectively sodomizing the American people in perpetuity is acceptable as long as it is done with a sense of decorum.” Krepel then cites a column in which Rush says, “Indeed – like the proverbial cellblock rapist, our president is ‘ramming’ as much of his Marxist agenda down our collective throats as quickly as he can.”

This, according to Krepel, is very, very mean (and homophobic). According to Krepel, this means Erik Rush is obsessed with gay sex acts. It could not possibly be, to Krepel, that the idea of your government “screwing you” is a common turn of phrase in popular culture; it could not ever be the case that Erik Rush thinks we are being force-fed Marxism by the president and that Rush is using colorful language to make that point. No, in Terry Krepel’s outraged eyes, it must be that Erik Rush has only just “discovered” gay sex.

Yet Krepel himself is obsessed with gay oral sex by his own logic. In objecting to a positive commentary on radio personality Michael Savage, Krepel refers on his blog to “fluffing,” an industry term used on pornography film shoots. Krepel also repeatedly refers to “literary fellatio” in this regard. Exactly how is this different than using the metaphorical language Erik Rush did in the column Krepel found so horribly, horribly objectionable? The answer is … that it isn’t. It isn’t different at all. Mr. Krepel is simply a hypocrite. In the world of Terry Krepel, you see, all pornographic metaphors are equal, but some pornographic metaphors are more equal than others.

Elmore seems to have missed the fact that I was pointing out that Erik Rush's use of violent sexual metaphors was of a piece with Rush Limbaugh's weird fixation on anal sex. By contrasts, my references to "fluffing" and "literary fellatio" -- to which Elmore has to go back to another 2009 ConWebWatch article -- were an apt metaphor for the situation I was describing. In it, I describe how former WND columnist Ellis Washington was using his then-position as the "authorized biographer for the conservative intellectual Dr. Michael Savage" to take his Savage sycophancy to a laughable extent, likening the extreme-right radio host to Jesus Christ and Prometheus.

And therein lies the difference that Elmore fails to see: Erik Rush's sexual metaphors portray forcible acts and imply the perpetrators, like President Obama, are violent thugs; mine point out how Washington is so determined to give pleasure to his subject that it might as well be sexual.

Having exhausted his questioning of things I wrote six years ago, Elmore returns to current matters, finally offering a direct response (sort of) to something I wrote: a post in a Twitter conversation I had with Elmore in which I note that because WND is so discredited, he is discredited by extension because of his association with it. He responds not by acknowledging WND's credibility problems but, rather, by repeating WND's own PR:

Fully 18 years after its founding, certain facts remain facts no matter how many times liberal trolls like Ross and Krepel dismiss them. This site was the first Internet-only news organization. It was also the first Internet-only news site to secure credentials to cover both the White House and Capitol Hill. Among Internet content providers, it was the first to see one of its books made into a feature film, the first to launch a movie production house and the first to start a book-publishing enterprise. As for the opinions liberals hate so much, founder Joseph Farah gives the libs plenty to gnash their teeth over, grinding out an unprecedented six opinion columns per week. WND has repeatedly broken major stories that achieved mainstream attention only later. Regardless of your opinion of its articles concerning theology, alternative-science and arguable conspiracy theories, this is a news organization that has left an indelible mark on the American news landscape.

Like much of the ConWebWatch work he's belatedly criticizing, WND's "firsts" are years in the past, and as any good investor knows, past performance doesn't indicate future results. Heck, we'll even agree with Elmore that WND made some stabs at actual journalism way back when. But it's been a long time since WND was driven by anything resembling journalistic principles, so desperate has it become to destroy Obama by any means necessary.

Elmore makes sure not to mention any of that more recent and relevant WND reportage, such as its failed jihad against President Obama and the whole birther debacle. WND's "indelible mark on the American news landscape" has become that of a bad joke.

If Elmore is proud to be associated with WND, far be it from us to further try to dissuade him.  But he shouldn't complain when he sees how that plays outside the WND bubble.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Newsmax's Hirsen Laments Bad Reviews For New 'Paul Blart' Film
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen uses his April 20 Newsmax column to ask where the love is for the new Kevin James film "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2," declaring that the film's opening-weekend success "is particularly impressive when examined in light of the excessively brutal reviews that the mainstream film critic community has heaped upon it."

Well, not really. A film sequel generally has a good chance to do well in its opening weekend no matter its quality or reviews from critics. Hirsen works in Hollywood, so he ought to know that.

Hirsen went on to complain that no movie-review websites "paid attention to a positive review that appeared on Ted Baer's [sic] Movie Guide site, in which the film is characterized as 'the funniest family movie in many years.'" Hirsen doesn't explain why anyone should pay attention to right-winger Baehr, who thinks the "Harry Potter" books and films "teach rebellion against authority" because "Witchcraft means rebellion against God's authority in the Bible."

Hirsen pumps up James' supposed family-friendly bona fides, pointing out that he "is married, has four children, and is a committed Catholic believer," as well as "part of an expanding group of professionals in Hollywood who are committed to the goal of creating family friendly fare for the general viewing audience."

Hirsen also ought to know that box-office take is not directly proportional to a film's  quality, yet he concludes his column by suggesting it is: "A quick look at the box-office results makes it clear that James has come through for his fans in a big way, and hopefully this portends that more wholesome Hollywood product is in store for the public."

Given that Hirsen promoted Mel Gibson and his film "The Passion of the Christ" -- and defended Gibson after unsavory rants went public -- for years without discolsing the close personal relationship with the actor makes us wonder if there's something between him and James he's not mentioning.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EDT
WND Hides The Truth About Why Houston Petitions Were Disqualified
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The rule of law was upheld in a Houston petition case -- but you wouldn't know that by reading WorldNetDaily.

Last week, a judge ruled that a right-wing petition initiative to overturn Houston's anti-discrimination ordinance did not contain enough valid signatures after the petitions were found to include numerous errors by petition circulators and forgeries that disqualified signatures. The judge noted that the disqualifying errors included pages where the circulator's affidavit was not notarized or where the circulator notarized his or own affidavit, signatures added after the circulator signed the verification, and signatures that appear more than once.

It fell to Bob Unruh to write about the ruling for WND. Given that Unruh has peddled falsehoods about the Houston case in the past, it wasn't going to go well for anyone interested in a fair and balanced story.

And it didn't. Three of the first four paragraphs of Unruh's April 17 article are devoted to a side issue that had nothing to do with the final ruling: an attempt by city officials to subpoena communications by some pastors in the case that was ultimately dropped.

It's not until the fifth paragraph that Unruh gets around to admitting that the judge ruled there were not enough valid signatures -- then immediately spent several paragraphs repeating talking points from petition supporters about how the signatures in question were valid.

At no point does Unruh bother to quote from the judge's ruling or explain why those signatures and petitions were disqualifed. He did, however, find space to allow petition supporters (including homophobic former WND columnist Dave Welch) to claim the judge “was supported in his election by the LGBT community.”

Unruh's article ends with the address and phone number of Houston Mayor Annise Parker, whom Unruh makes sure to let us know is "openly lesbian."

While Unruh's article is a journalistic dumpster fire, his boss, Joseph Farah, manages to take it even further in his April 19 column:

Not every state or community permits up-and-down votes of the people on issues of controversy. But the city of Houston, Texas, has such a provision that allows voters to act when they aren’t satisfied with the work of their city council.

Such was the case recently when Mayor Annise Parker, a “progressive” lesbian activist, persuaded the city council to enact a law that extended the most vigorous civil rights protections to “transgendereds” as a protected class, including ensuring that they got to choose the public restrooms of their choice.

Experience more of Joseph Farah’s no-nonsense truth-telling in his books, audio and video products, featured in the WND Superstore

Shortly afterward, pastors throughout Houston organized to undo the action with a city-wide vote. They gathered all the signatures that were needed, but they were disqualified by the city attorney, an apparatchik of the mayor. The Houston pastors appealed the decision to Judge Robert Schaffer last Friday. Once again, one “progressive” judge took the matter out of the hands of the people and placed it in the hands of the city’s ruling elite.

The coalition of pastors has promised an appeal. But you get the idea.

Like Unruh, Farah can't be bothered to explain why exactly those signatures and petition pages were disqualified. Instead, he rants that the judge's ruling "killed 'voter rights' in Houston."

That, of course, is a lie (but as we know, Farah loves lying). If the petition circulators had followed the relevant laws, this would not be a problem. 

In other words, Farah is advocating that the law be ignored so his anti-gay agenda can advance. He's mad that the rule of law was enforced, and the fact that he won't tell the truth about what happened tells us that he's more than aware of that -- and he's willing to pervert journalistic principles, with his pliant underling Unruh, to make sure his readers don't get the truth.

While Farah rants that "progressives" don't want justice and equality enforced, it's more than clear he's actually talking about himself.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 PM EDT

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