Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein's 48th anti-Obama article is yet another guilt-by-association piece, blaming Obama for "racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda" in community blogs on Obama's website, even though he concedes that "The Obama campaign does not monitor all blog material but says it removes offending posts brought to the attention of site administrators" -- and even admits that "Several offensive postings on the Obama site previously noted by WND and some Internet blogs have been removed by the Obama website staff."
Klein claims that "Obama's campaign did not return a WND e-mail request for comment before press time," but there's no indication he went through proper channels to report the offending content before penning yet another attack article for WND.
Of course, there are Obama death threats on the WND site, but Klein probably doesn't want to talk about that.
CNS Balance Watch Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's sense of editorial balance remains as skewed as ever: An Aug. 5 article by Michael Gryboski and Kaitlynn Riely featuring Democrat Nancy Pelosi's criticism of the Republicans' oil drilling plan provided an opportunity for Republicans to respond, while another Aug. 5 article by Penny Starr featuring Republicans' calls to reconvene Congress to repeal a ban on offshore drilling has no Democratic response.
One of many sayings I remember from my grandmother is, "If the hiss doesn't tell you it's a snake, then the fact that it slithers on its belly in the dirt should." And to that point, if the company Barack Obama has kept (read the dirt he has aligned himself with) doesn't tell you he is a Marxist reparationist, then the words from his mouth, i.e., his hiss, certainly should.
NewsBusters Misleads on Obama, Tires Topic: NewsBusters
An Aug. 4 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd referenced "a ludicrous statement by Sen. Barack Obama wherein the presumptive Democratic nominee suggested that properly inflating tires would eliminate the need to drill for more domestic oil," adding, "the Illinois senator didn't just echo some public service announcment about how properly inflated tires improve fuel economy. What Obama critics are making light of is this recent comment from last week where he suggested it does much, much more. It would eliminate our need to drill for more oil."
Shepherd then portrays the remark as inaccurate by claiming that Obama was referring to all new domestic drilling, citing statistics from a right-wing blogger that included possible oil finds on the outer continental shelf, ANWR and oil shale to wildly skew the numbers.
But ABC's Jake Tapper points out that, in context, Obama was referring to output in currently restricted areas of the OCS, and, in fact, proper tire inflation and tune-ups could, in fact, save the estimated daily output from restricted OCS areas.
Further, in suggesting that Obama's statement is the total extent of his energy policy, Shepherd joins WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah in ignoring other policy items Obama mentioned during that speech, as well as Obama's entire detailed energy policy.
The promotional headline on Newsmax's front page for part of the day on Aug. 4 (a screen shot of which is here) read, "Obama's Chicago Named Worst 'Nanny State' in U.S." it was accompanied by a photo of Obama and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley that stated, "Presidential candidate Barack Obama wants to bring Chicago-style politics to Washington."
In fact, Obama never served as an elected official in the city of Chicago (he represented a portion of Chicago in the Illinois state senate), so it's misleading, if not entirely false, to refer to "Obama's Chicago."
Further, the article being promoted by the misleading headline and photo makes no mention whatsoever of Obama.
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
For his 47th anti-Obama article, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein goes spelunking through right-wing blogs again and latches onto ... Pamela Geller, who runs the Atlas Shrugs blog and is virulently anti-Obama -- currently joining Klein's Obama-hating buddies at Israel Insider in embracing the fake-Obama-birth-certificate conspiracy -- as well as (like Klein) a sympathizer of right-wing Israeli extremists.
Anyway, the blog tidbit that Klein is trying to make a big deal out of this time is a claim that "Palestinian brothers inside the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip are listed in government election filings as having donated $29,521.54 to Sen. Barack Obama's campaign." Klein goes on to assert "The contributions also raise numerous questions about the Obama campaign's lax online donation form, which apparently allows for the possibility of foreign contributions."
But as Klein goes on to note, the Palestinian brothers falsely claimed to be living in Georgia on their donation form, which means the brothers are committing fraud, not Obama. And Klein does not outline any difference between Obama's campaign and John McCain's campaign in "allowing for the possibility of foreign contributions" in online donations.
Further, Klein states that there are "prohibitions on receiving contributions from foreigners and guidelines against accepting more than $2,300 from one individual during a single election" but not that there are exceptions. For instance, as Klein was pushing his daily Obama-bash, Talking Points Memo was detailing how "Ten senior Hess Corporation executives and/or members of the Hess family each gave $28,500 to the joint RNC-McCain fundraising committee, just days after McCain reversed himself to favor offshore drilling, according to Federal Election Commission reports." That's apparently legal (if unmentioned by Klein). Further, because Klein doesn't note exactly where the brothers' money went or what, if anything, they got for it -- the brothers did claim to have purchased T-shirts from the campaign -- there is not enough information to determine the legality of the donations.
Finally, it's highly unlikely, despite Klein's suggestion to the contrary, that the Obama campaign knowingly broke the law in allowing over-the-limit donations from a foreign national.
This is only a half-reported story. Despite the Obama campaign not returning his calls -- given that he has a record of hurling distorted, murky and outright false attacks against Obama, why would they? -- he went with it anyway, solely in order to make Obama look bad, even though he can't actually back all of it up.
Kincaid Still Claiming Obama Is Manchurian Candidate Topic: Accuracy in Media
In an Aug. 4 Accuracy in Media column bashing the Associated Press for not using the word "communist" often enough to describe Obama "mentor" Frank Marshall Davis, Cliff Kincaid doubles down on his evidence-free assertion that Barack Obama is a secret commie and, thus, a Manchurian candidate:
Not surprisingly, AP leaves many major questions unanswered. The wire service notes that Frank Marshall Davis is referred to in Obama’s book Dreams From My Father “only as Frank.”
But why? What does Obama have to say about this curious omission? Could it have something to do with the fact that, by the time Obama wrote his book, he knew that Davis was a Communist? And that he deliberately covered this up? Or did he know it earlier?
This is the key question: What did Obama know and when did he know it?
Why didn’t AP ask this question? Was it afraid of the answer? Or did the campaign not want to comment?
There are more questions: Other than what was reported in Obama’s book, and by Davis’s friends and associates, what was the nature of the relationship between the two of them? Did Davis ever try to recruit Obama into the communist cause? Did Obama leave this out of his book, too?
Which of course raises the disturbing questions that must be asked:
- Did Davis recruit Obama?
- Was Obama, like Davis, Bridges and Robeson, ever a secret CPUSA member?
The blatant fraud and deception in the AP story may reflect thinking at the highest levels of the Obama campaign that, if the complete truth about the Obama-Davis relationship were made known, the candidate would be sunk. They must understand that Obama’s baggage would prevent him from getting a security clearance in the U.S. Government (none is required for a presidential candidate).
As might be expected, Kincaid mentions nothing about the questions Mark Davis has raised about Kincaid's previous attacks on Frank Marshall Davis -- indeed, Davis weighs in again on the comments here, documenting a new misrepresentation by Kincaid.
Activist Linked to Obama Not So Extreme After All Topic: WorldNetDaily
Among the numerous guilt-by-association attacks WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has hurled at Barack Obama was that Obama served on the board of a charitable organization that "granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a "catastrophe" and supports intense immigration reform." That group was headed by "Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi."
Apparently, Khalidi is not as extreme as Klein made him out to be. From an Aug. 3 Newsmax article by Ken Timmerman:
Since 2004, The State Department has provided $340,000 in taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian American Research Center (PARC), co-chaired by Columbia University professor Rashid Khalili [sic], who served as a spokesman for late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat at a time when the PLO was still considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.
While both Klein and Timmerman made an attempt to play up Kahlidi's purported extremist views -- and Klein never mentioned Khalidi's State Department funding at all -- neither offered any evidence that the money given to his organizations by either the Obama-linked group or the State Department was used for any extremist causes.
Further, Timmerman's article -- which specifically calls out former Bush adviser Karen Hughes as awarding money to "radical Islamist organizations," pretty surprising from the pro-GOP Newsmax -- cites Steven Emerson as the source of its allegations; Timmerman describes Emerson as a "respected terrorism expert." Er, not so much.
WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah has been yet another mini-crusade of late, trying to get people to pressure Congress into dropping all restrictions on drilling for oil in the U.S.. From a July 20 WND article:
"I want to bring Congress to its knees," he says. "I want to melt down their phones. I want to flood their e-mail boxes. I want to hold them as political hostages. The ransom demand is to unleash the free market to begin exploring and pumping domestic crude oil and getting it to market as fast as possible. We've got 75 days to make our voices heard. Let's make history by bringing this recalcitrant body of elitists into compliance with the will of the people and the rule of law."
"We're running out of time," Farah says. "If we let these rascals, these scoundrels, leave town before they lift all their ridiculous bans and restrictions on drilling for domestic oil, this country is headed for a major recession. Even worse, we'll head into a new year and a new presidency with the Washington elite thinking they put one over on us again."
Farah goes on to call it a "bipartisan, non-partisan movement." He's lying, of course; he's reading from Republican talking points, and he's targeting a Democratically-controlled Senate. Indeed, Farah flip-flopped just two days later in an article attacking Democrats for not lifting the offshore drilling moratorium, stating that he targeting "particularly the Democratic leadership" with his activism.
Farah's true partisan motivation has been clear ever since:
A July 24 WND article attacked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
A July 30 article smeared Barack Obama by falsely portraying a call to keep tires properly inflated to improve gas mileage as the extent of Obama's energy policy.
In all of his attacks, though, Farah has yet to offer any sort of fact-based rebuttal to arguments against expanded offshore drilling -- specifically that oil companies are not currently drilling on millions of acres of offshore land they already have drilling rights to, and that expanded domestic drilling would have a negligible impact on prices.
In other words, Farah's crusade is not just dishonest but mindless as well. And for what? To sell a few overpriced bumper stickers? Hey, he is a businessman, after all.
WND Now Selling Lame Anti-McCain Sticker Topic: WorldNetDaily
Months after it released its first bumper sticker attacking Democratic presidential candidates, WorldNetDaily has finally gotten around to selling one critical of Republican John McCain -- an apparent attempt to cancel out some of the disparity between Joseph Farah's "none of the above" rhetoric and his website's refusal to criticize McCain on its news pages to the extent it does Barack Obama.
Thus, we now have the "McCain Not Able" bumper sticker. However, the utter lameness of the design and the obtuseness of the slogan seems to guarantee that it won't sell well, at least in comparison to its "NObama" sticker, which wins points for pithiness if not originality.
So, how will Farah explain away the fact that his own managing editor, David Kupelian, has endorsed McCain, thus making his "none of the above" pledge utterly disingenuous?
And speaking of disingenuous, Farah writes the following in his Aug. 2 column:
I am serious when I tell you this is the most patriotic vote you can cast this year.
I'm so serious, I have written a book called "None of the Above." I didn't do it to make money. If you want to make money on a book, you don't write one that will be outdated Nov. 5. You don't give yourself a time window of only four months to make sales. And you don't target a market of Americans probably limited to no more than 10 percent to 20 percent of the public.
But that's what I did.
I did it because I am serious about this campaign.
Actually, writing a book to take advantage of a presidential campaign is exactly what you do if you want to make money -- otherwise, there wouldn't be so many books coming out regarding the 2008 election (see Corsi, Jerome). Farah is a businessman who runs a publishing division, after all, and he's not doing that out of the goodness of his heart. Does anyone really believe that Farah does not hope to make some money off his book?
Is Kincaid Colluding With a Commie? Topic: Accuracy in Media
On July 3, Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid published a column in which he ascribed the views of someone who portrayed himself as a communist-sympathetic blogger at Barack Obama's community blog site. Now, one person is fighting back against both the blogger and Kincaid: the son of the man whom Kincaid has been bashing over his connection to Obama.
Kincaid has ginned up right-wing press in recent months by touting poet and activist Frank Marshall Davis as a "Stalinist" and card-carrying communist (even though there's doubt to the accuracy of that claim) who was allegedly "mentoring Obama during his formative high school years in Hawaii." Kincaid's July 3 column touted the writing of Alan Maki, the self-proclaimed communist who's writing a community blog on Obama's website, as offering "deadly confirmation that a hard-core CPUSA member played a key role in helping raise Obama."
Meanwhile, running to the defense of Davis has been his son, Mark Davis, who has appeared in the comment threads of numerous AIM articles to speak out. In a July 29 AIM column by Andrew Walden (who has previously tried to push the false meme that Obama is a "secular Muslim") purporting to expose "the Frank Marshall Davis network in Hawaii," Davis responds to statements made by Kincaid to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Bill Steigerwald:
My objection to the Steigerwald interview, cited by the Honolulu Community Media Council, is primarily based on two unsubstantiated claims:
1. Steigerwald’s unfounded statement that my father was a “lifelong member of the Communist Party USA.”
2. Your unfounded statement that my father was a “Stalinist,” because “He stayed with the Communist Party even after the Hitler-Stalin pact. That’s why I refer to him as `a Stalinist agent’.” You compounded the accusation further by claiming “His values, passed on to Obama, were those of a communist agent who pledged allegiance to Stalin.”
I believe that James Edgar Tidwell, whom you may consider an authority on my father, refutes your statement[.]
Davis also went after Maki in a July 15 post on his own Obama website blog:
In a blatant misappropriation of Obama campaign resources, "communist" blogger Alan Maki is colluding with "conservative" blogger Cliff Kincaid in a disinformation campaign designed to portray Barack Obama as communist-influenced . Accuracy In Media's Kincaid has been running this redbaiting campaign since he published "Obama's Communist Mentor"  in February 2008, in which Kincaid exaggerated the influence of "communist" Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987) on teenage Obama.
As of July 15, Kincaid's "Communist Party Backs Obama" article, partially based on the fraudulent Alan Maki blog, has over 58,000 Yahoo Search hits.
I have found no indication that Davis ever taught radical political or economic theory to Obama. Instead, Obama tells of Davis's attitude towards higher education and race relations. I believe that Maki's motivation is clear: He considers capitalism to be a "thoroughly rotten system," and is exploiting Obama’s good will towards Frank Marshall Davis for his own convoluted purposes.
Through his "Roundtable For Change" proposal, I believe that Maki is attempting to parlay Obama's respect for Davis's social insight into Obama's support for Maki's war on capitalism. Through his "Obama's Communist Mentor" disinformation, I believe that Cliff Kincaid is attempting to parlay Obama's respect for Davis's social insight into Obama's respect for Davis's "communist" inclinations. They both use disinformation. They talk to each other, which suggests mutual interests. Perhaps the left and right wings have met in the depths of hell and forged a compact against Frank Marshall Davis and Barack Obama. Their common interests include:
1. Opposition to Obama. 2. Using Maki’s blog for their own political agendas. 3. Communication with each other. 4. Use of Maki quotes in Kincaid’s reports.. 5. Exaggeration of Davis’s influence over Obama. 6. Using conservative blogosphere terms like “mentor” in this context, and falsely attributing it to others. 7. Misrepresenting reality to support their positions.
Their mutual use of “mentor” is especially curious, because I can find no use of it (in this context) that predates the conservative blogosphere.
If Maki reads the conservative blogosphere enough to have known about conservative claims regarding Obama’s “mentor,” then he should have known that Kincaid was strongly anti-communist BEFORE he spoke with him. Holding multiple conversations with him becomes even MORE suspicious. This suggests that Alan Maki willingly entered into this relationship with his putative ideological enemy. He knew (or should have known) that Kincaid would exploit his “Roundtable for Change” blog as ammunition against Barack Obama BEFORE his reported conversations with Kincaid, yet he willingly cooperated with Kincaid. This cooperation suggests a serious conflict of interests for Alan Maki.
I challenged Maki's characterization of my father, Frank Marshall Davis, in the comments of his post . I also challenged his association with Cliff Kincaid, and especially his use of the term "mentor" because it has been used extensively by Kincaid's redbaiting campaign.
Unable to answer my questions, Alan Maki suddenly accused me of engaging in a "racist, anti-Semitic hate campaign," and deleted my (and other) critical comments. He fraudulently attributed their removal as being "Deleted by admin," but contradicted himself in his July 14 post by declaring "I am deleting all of your entries."
Kincaid has yet to publicly respond to Davis' accusations of false reporting about Frank Marshall Davis or discuss -- his history of being a rabid anti-communist notwithstanding -- his apparent collusion with a self-proclaimed communist who censors his critics.
Remember Tony Hays, the co-author of the Gore-bashing series of stories WorldNetDaily published in 2000 that drew a lawsuit from Clark Jones and, just before the suit was to go to trial, an admission that the series made false claims about Jones and that "the sources named in the publications have stated under oath that statements attributed to them in the articles were either not made by them, were misquoted by the authors, were misconstrued, or the statements were taken out of context"?
Well, it turns out that Hays has remade himself into a fiction writer (though one might argue that that's what he was doing in his attacks on Gore for WND). His personal website proclaims that "Tony's short fiction has been published across the United States and Japan. His first two mysteries have attracted the attention of both award panels and literary critics." He also claims to be working on "a new historical mystery series for Tor/Forge." (Hays' contact page lists a post office box in Savannah, Tennessee, where the lawsuit against him and WND was filed, so we're pretty sure this is the guy.)
On his blurb page -- which insists that "Tony has been in frequent demand as a guest on radio and college campuses to talk about writing, the Taliban, and Middle East culture" -- Hays throws in a laudatory quote from ... Charles Thompson II, his co-author on the discredited WND series.
Needless to say, Hays makes no mention of the Gore stories or the lawsuit on the website, let alone any indication of whether he still stands by the claims he and Thompson made in it. After all, it stands to reason that if he (the statement issued by WND was purportedly agreed to by all parties in the lawsuit) was attributing claims about Jones by sources that "either not made by them, were misquoted by the authors, were misconstrued, or the statements were taken out of context," he and Thompson did the same thing regarding other claims made in the articles. Besides, having to admit that you essentially libeled someone tends to make that "frequent demand" for your services slacken off a bit.
Is Hagee Retracting His Apologies for Controversial Remarks? Topic: Accuracy in Media
Bethany Stotts writes in an Aug. 1 Accuracy in Media article:
Pastor John Hagee, the head of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) gave a fiery critique of the media at CUFI’s third annual Summit last week. “For several months we’ve found ourselves in the middle of a vicious national media firestorm,” said Hagee, who has been condemned for calling Hurricane Katrina God’s wrath on homosexuals and for calling the Catholic Church “the great whore.”
Hagee criticized the media for twisting his words and for not being willing to accept the “Bible view.” “The problem is that in the marketplace of ideas, a.k.a the media, they do not understand the Bible view. Many of the attacks on us stem from this unfortunate fact,” he said. “For the moment I am happy to report to you that the storm has passed, but I do emphasize ‘for the moment.’”
Stotts ignores that Hagee's new apparent defense of his inflammatory remarks -- and more specifically, his claim that his critics "do not understand the Bible view" -- seems to contradict his previous retraction of them. Hagee retracted his Katrina remarks by saying, "[U]ltimately neither I nor any other person can know the mind of God concerning Hurricane Katrina. I should not have suggested otherwise. No matter what the cause of the storm, my heart goes out to all who suffered in this terrible tragedy." And in a letter to the Catholic League, Hagee wrote:
I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful. After engaging in constructive dialogue with Catholic friends and leaders, I now have an improved understanding of the Catholic Church, its relation to the Jewish faith, and the history of anti-Catholicism.
AIM also has video of selected remarks by Hagee and Lieberman. In it, Hagee also says:
For several months, we found ourselves in the middle of a vicious national media firestorm. They say the first casulty of war is truth. What is true in a shooting war is also true in a media war.
It is simply surreal to experience turning on the television and her angry talking heads condemn you for saying things you never said. ... It is deeply troubling to pick up a newspaper and read sweeping condemnations of things you did in fact say but which are not new or controversial to those who believe in an all-powerful God who is sovereign and intervenes in human history.
Mark Twain said, and I quote, "The man who does not read a newspaper is uninformed, and the man who does read a newspaper is misinformed." That ought to be in the Bible somewhere.
Is Hagee now un-retracting his retractions and standing by his attacks on Catholics and gays once again? It appears so. Why didn't Stotts notice that?
Perhaps because she was too busy trying to decouple Hagee from McCain, even though prominent McCain supporter Joe Lieberman was a featured speaker at Hagee's CUFI event. Stotts complained that Lieberman's CUFI remarks were reported "as those of a close McCain confidant, even though the speech was advertised as independent from the McCain campaign." Would Stotts let Obama get away with Barack Obama, for instance, claiming that a close adviser who, say, spoke at an event that also featured Rev. Jeremiah Wright was acting "independent" from him? We suspect not.
Stotts further complained that "Many columns deliberately connect Pastor Hagee to the McCain campaign" without noting that McCain's campaign specifically sought Hagee's endorsement.
CNS Article on Media Bias Omits Author's Bias Topic: CNSNews.com
An Aug. 1 CNSNews.com article by Julie Stahl highlights a "recent study" of Israeli media finding that "Israel’s own media coverage of the U.S.-backed Israeli-Palestinian peace process over the years has been biased toward the liberal school of thought." But the article never honestly admits the apparent bias of the study's author, Avraham Gur, instead presenting only his academic credentials.
Gur appears to be a conservative; he has written twoarticles for the Israeli journal Nativ, published by the right-leaning Ariel Center for Public Policy Research. Stahl's labeling bias is another clue: While Ehud Barak is described as "leftwing," neither Benjamin Netanyahu nor his Likud party are labeled as right-wing.
Stahl also states that "the so-called 'peace camp' or peace process is generally identified with the leftwing or liberals in Israel," but that "[s]ome Israelis oppose the idea of Israel giving up land to the Palestinians and creating a Palestinian state, a tangible, in exchange for peace, an intangible." Stahl thus implies that the "some" who oppose the peace process are right-wing -- in fact, it's true -- but she did not put an ideological label on them as the did the peace process supporters.
And there's also this curious paragraph about Gur's findings:
On Israel’s public television station, out of 2,717 participants in broadcasts, 1,348 to 3,228 minutes of broadcast time were from the leftwing; 871 to 1,667 minutes of broadcast time from the rightwing; and 498 to 696 minutes of broadcast time were considered non-political.
Why is there a range? Was it not clear whether a participant forwarded a specific political view? If the person's ideology was not clear, shouldn't that have been excluded from the numbers?
Further, Gur is apparently the only person Stahl interviewed for this story. Given that CNS' almost exclusively American audience knows little about the machinations of Israeli politics and even less about Israeli media, more information and analysis from others are needed to put Gur's study (to which CNS provides no link) in a realistic perspective as an apparently partisan document.
Farah Lies About Obama's Energy Policy Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 30 WorldNetDaily article falsely potrays Barack Obama's energy policy as just properly inflating tires and having the car tuned up:
"There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy," Obama said. "Making sure your tires are properly inflated – simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling – if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You'd actually save just as much!"
That's his energy plan? Inflate your tires? Get more tune-ups?
WND Editor Joseph Farah, organizer of a campaign to step up the pressure on Congress to drop its moratorium on offshore drilling and reverse its decisions to ban exploration for oil in Alaska's ANWR reserves before adjournment at the end of September, says Obama's apparent naiveté illustrates why the country has no time to waste.
"My goodness, it's time to educate America's so-called leaders about the law of supply and demand," he says. "I don't care if they really understand it. But let's make sure Congress acts before it's too late. Energy prices are robbing our country of jobs, seriously hurting real Americans' ability to make ends meet, driving up prices for every other product and service imaginable. This is no time to be talking about tire pressure. Let's put some pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."
In featuring only that statement and a video of Obama making only that statement, Farah fails to mention that in that same speech, Obama made numerous other proposals. And Obama also has a detailed energy plan on his website.