Is WND Taking Blinders Off About Purported Michelle Obama Tape? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is WorldNetDaily conceding it chose to be suckered by African Press International?
An Oct. 22 article by Bob Unruh strikes a skeptical tone for the first time at WND about API's claim that it has an auditotape of an interview it claims it conducted with Michelle Obama, highlighting Fox News' denial that it was negotiating with API for the "embarrassing recordings." Unruh even calls it an "alleged conversation" and refers to "purported 'Michelle Obama tapes.'"
That's a change from WND's previous reporting on the issue, which uncritically took API at its word despite obvious red flags about its credibility. WND has a history of believing the worst about Obama and presenting it as fact, then not retracting and apologizing when it turns out to be false. But that's what happens when you put a political agenda before journalism.
The blinders aren't completely off, though -- Unruh notes that API's alleged lawyer, attorney, Philip Berg, is "coincidentally pursuing a court challenge over Barack Obama's birthplace" but fails to mention that WND previously delcared that Berg's lawsuit "relies on discredited claims." (WND has an amnesia problem about that.)
Corsi's Memogate: Will He Retract His Articles? Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've documented, WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi made several claims regarding Barack Obama's relationship with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga using clearly fake documents as the only disclosed evidence to support them.
Corsi has so far been silent, refusing to either defend his claims or retract them due to the discredited evidence; he has hinted at a "fake but accurate" defense, claiming that criticism of his documents didn't counter the "substantive point" of his accusations. Actually, it does if there's no other evidence -- which, if it exists, Corsi has yet to present to his readers.
Corsi is in a corner here. Will he supply non-fake evidence, or retract his claims altogether? The world is waiting.
If Bill Clinton was the first black president, Barack Obama, if elected, will be the first "gay" president. No, I don't mean he'll personally decorate the West Wing, open a bathhouse in the Rose Garden or take up with Barney Frank. I mean he'll be the most radically pro-homosexual, anti-family president in history.
Softball CNN Interview of Palin Not Fluffy Enough for MRC Topic: Media Research Center
George Zornick at Altercation detailed how the softball interview of Sarah Palin by CNN's Drew Griffin was "shameful" in being so "McCain-friendly," burying questions about Troopergate and almost apologizing for asking about it at all, even though there's clear wrongdoing documented on Palin's part.
But it wasn't sycophantic enough for the Media Research Center: One of those softballs took a National Review article out of context. And that's what has Brent Bozell's knickers in a twist. From an Oct. 22 MRC press release:
"CNN ripped the National Review’s Byron York’s quote completely out of context and stood its meaning on its head, all so they could dishonestly bash Gov. Palin with it. This is the lowest form of sub-tabloid journalism. CNN’s distortion simply proves York to be correct: the media are out to destroy Sarah Palin.
"York's quote, properly cited, assails the media for its horrible misrepresentations of Gov. Palin. And CNN reinforces his assessment of their tactics by misrepresenting what he wrote so they could again bash Gov. Palin.
"CNN clearly knows they did something wrong, as evidenced by their removing the question from their online video. But that’s not enough. CNN should immediately correct the record, and apologize to Gov. Palin, Byron York and National Review and their viewers who were again subjected to their special form of journalistic malpractice."
Yeah, CNN is out to get Palin all right, what with those harsh, biased questions from Griffin, like:
"You seemed to be very much on your game. You get huge crowds. Even bigger crowds than John McCain. Why is that?"
"[T]wo months ago, it was all about who you were, where you were from and Wasilla, Alaska. I think, now it's just the economy. And you are the only person in this race with executive experience, who's taken over governments as mayor and governor. What will you do, day one, to tell the American people, things are changing for the better?"
"Governor, is Barack Obama a socialist?"
"Do you think his intention though, if not a socialist, is to move away from capitalism, true capitalism?"
"But they were talking about the fact that your experience as governor is not getting out. Do you feel trapped in this campaign, that your message is not getting out, and if so who do you blame?"
The man's a liberal media buzzsaw, that Drew Griffin.
NewsBusters is desperately trying to play down Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann's suggestion that all Democrats and liberals are anti-American and called for a "penetrating expose" in the media of what members of Congress are "anti-American."
Tim Graham wrote that "the media should be investigating [Obama's] associations with very anti-American voices" and claimed that Bachmann was "ducking [Chris] Matthews’ attempts to have her declare all liberals are anti-American," even though it's clear by the transcript he attached to his post that she had suggested exactly that.
Justin McCarthy wrote only that Bachmann "stated that Obama has associated with anti-American individuals," adding, "Is this a case of labeling one anti-American for a simple disagreement?"
Geoffrey Dickens claimed that "Matthews pushed Bachmann to say Obama and liberal members of Congress were anti-American," but didn't note that Bachmann had already suggested as much.
Mark Finkelstein, meanwhile, didn't address Bachmann's words but, rather, attacked a Minnesota columnist the "Today" show had on to talk about Bachmann words as "a hyper-partisan Democrat." Finkelstein then bizarrely claims that when the columnist referedd to Power Line as "the biggest link in a daisy chain of right-wing blogs," he was making an "indecent" reference, helpfully linking a link to the "vulgar" Urban Dictionary definition of "daisy chain," conveniently ignoring the fact that there are morecommonandbenign interpretations.
Clinton Derangement Withdrawal Syndrome Topic: Accuracy in Media
We figured some members of the ConWeb would have problems getting over the fact that they don't have Hillary Clinton to kick around anymore for this presidential campaign.
That seems to be the logical explanation for Roger Aronoff's Oct. 21 Accuracy in Media column. Declaring that "It is an open secret, despite the protestations, that the Clintons do not want Obama to win," he constructs his own little Clinton conspiracy:
Could the Clintons be orchestrating one of the biggest October surprises of them all? A story that has been simmering in the blogosphere for months has finally gotten onto at least a couple of news sites. That would be the story of whether or not Obama is legally qualified to be president. The questions involve the truth of where he was born and the status of his citizenship.
The lawsuit was by a Philadelphia attorney, Philip Berg, who is the former deputy attorney general of Pennsylvania, and a former Democratic Party official there as well. He was also a strong Hillary supporter in the primaries.
In the full conspiracy spirit, Aronoff buys into the birth certificate canard despite acknowledging that both FactCheck.org and WorldNetDaily have debunked it and even stating that "We at AIM looked at it at the time, and didn’t feel there was enough to go on to run with the story." But that means nothing when there's a Clinton involved, however tangentally:
[T]he fact that this story is out there cannot be denied. The question is, will it be resolved in any way before the November 4 election, and the bigger question: will anyone in the mainstream media even report on this story, and investigate who, if anyone, is behind Berg on this matter, much less the validity of his claims.
So even though Aronoff doesn't think the birth certificate lacks evidence and even though it's been debunked by third-party sources he appears to consider authoritative, it must still be "resolved." Is Aronoff really that desperate to indulge in some nostalgic Clinton conspiracy-mongering?
In an Oct. 20 Newsmax article ostensibly trying to prove that what the obama campaign calls "smears" against their candidate are in fact "mostly true," Lowell Ponte focuses on one that is utterly false -- questions about Obama's birth certificate:
As proof, the Obama’s campaign has produced a “certificate of live birth” from Hawaii indicating that Barack Hussein Obama II was born Aug. 4, 1961. Critics, however say the document could have easily been forged and is not a substitute for a certified birth certificate.
No reporter has been allowed to see the original certificate of live birth or its certificate number, which is blacked out on copies of it on the Obama site.
Ponte fails to note that FactCheck.org proves the critics (and Ponte) wrong:
FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.
Ponte further fails to note that even his right-wing fellow travelers at WorldNetDaily agree (even if WND forgets that it did so):
A separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic. The investigation also revealed methods used by some of the bloggers to determine the document was fake involved forgeries, in that a few bloggers added text and images to the certificate scan that weren't originally there.
(Ponte's not the only Newsmax writer embracing the birth certificate lie; Geoff Metcalf insisted in an Oct. 20 column that a "Certified copy of original birth certificate" has not been released.)
Ponte also perpetuates other falsehoods under the guise telling the "truth."
Ponte writes of the Obama website's statements regarding William Ayers: "It does not mention that Obama and Ayers worked together on the board distributing millions of dollars with the aim of radicalizing Chicago schoolchildren. Nor does the site acknowledge that Obama kicked off his first political campaign in the living room of Ayers, the former Weather Underground leader."
Ponte fails to mention that the Chicago Annenberg Challege, on which both Obama and Ayers worked, was funded by prominent Republican Walter Annenberg, and contrary to his claim that it had "the aim of radicalizing Chicago schoolchildren," educational reviewers found that the project, in fact, "reflected ... mainstream thinking among education reformers." Further, according tothe Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet, "Obama's formal kick-off to announce his run for state senate was at the Hyde Park Ramada Inn on Sept. 19, 1995," and the coffee reception in Ayers' living was one of several held around the same time.
-- Ponte also claims that Obama "pocketed more than $105,000 in political contributions, the third-highest amount given to any lawmaker, directly from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." But he fails to mention that McCain McCain has accepted at least $169,000 from "directors, officers and lobbyists" connected to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the 2008 election cycle.
-- Ponte repeats his previous false claim that Project Vote was run by ACORN when Obama ran an operation for the group in 1992.
-- Ponte falsely suggested that when Obama said of his daughters, "[I]f they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at the age of 16," that he was referring to abortion. In fact, Obama was answering a question on sex education.Ponte also claims that "Nurses have reported instances in which surviving aborted babies were left by abortionists to die without water, food, or warmth," without also noting that the claims made by that nurse, Jill Stanek were never substantiated.
-- Ponte suggested that the reason that Obama canceled a planned visit to wounded soldiers in a German military hospital was because Pentagon officials said he "could not have his visits with hospitalized soldiers videotaped by the media," adding, "Prominent liberal mainstream media reporters such as NBC’s Andrea Mitchell rushed to defend Obama, saying that the press had never planned to cover his visits to military sickbeds." But Ponte never disproves Mitchell's claim.
It's January 22, 2009, for 911 News, I'm Janet Porter. Two days after the inauguration of Barack Obama as president, the Middle Eastern reaction is the same. (VIDEO: TERRORISTS DANCING IN THE STREETS.) Obama campaign supporters from al-Qaida to Hamas to Hezbollah, to Islamic Jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood, continue to dance in the streets.
The "Death to America Coalition" released a statement: "We have not celebrated like this since 9/11!"
President Obama thanked campaign contributor William Ayers by appointing him as director of Homeland Security. Ayers, who bombed the Pentagon, and after 9/11 said he wished he could have done more, in a statement released today, said, "Now I can."
WND Misleads on GOP Voter Fraud Arrest Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 20 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn reports on the arrest of a Republican activist for alleged voter fraud but reported only the man's defense, curiously omitting the evidence against him.
Zahn largely relies on the claims of Hector Barajas, communications director for the California Republican Party, in defense of Mark Jacoby, uncriticially reporting Baraja's claims that Jacoby was within his rights to claim his "childhood home" as his legal residence.
But that was not the charge against him; rather, that the address he put down as his legal address in California was not where he resided:
Authorities say Jacoby on two occasions fraudulently registered to vote at a California address where he does not live in order to satisfy a law requiring that signature gatherers be eligible to vote in the state.
Miller said investigators went to the Los Angeles County address he listed as home and spoke with the people who live there.
"They've never heard of him," Miller said. "They've lived there for years."
Jacoby's attorney, Dan Goldfine, said he has advised his client to decline interviews. But, Goldfine said, Jacoby's mother lives in LA County and that Jacoby was within his rights to declare her home as his residence. He said authorities had not revealed the address associated with the charges, though he suggested that Jacoby might have mistakenly put the wrong address on his registration form.
Zahn does not indicate that Barajas provided any evidence that Jacoby's "childhood home" is, in fact, the "legal residence" he declared.
Zahn buries the much more serious charge against Jacoby -- that, according to the Los Angeles Times, registrants were they were tricked by Jacoby's firm, Young Political Majors, into switching parties to Republican while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters -- by portraying it as a distraction from voter registration fraud allegations against ACORN. Indeed, five paragraphs of Zahn's article reference ACORN -- even though his article is not about ACORN -- while only two paragraphs reference the voter-duping charge against Jacoby's firm.
If we want a totalitarian, pansexual society, with its accompanying disease, dysfunction and abuse, and no room for nobility, goodness and tradition, then we need to make sure we vote for Obama with all his various revolutionary hangers-on.
Where Is Kessler's -- And Newsmax's -- Moral Compass? Topic: Newsmax
An Oct. 20 Newsmax column by Ronald Kessler accuses Barack Obama of 'lack[ing] a moral compass." We would argue that, by his flip-flop embrace of a candidate he despises out of an apparent desire to stay on the good side of his Republican buddies, Kessler has demonstrated the same lack of moral compass he accuses Obama of having.
Kessler cites Obama's "being 'friendly' with admitted domestic terrorist William Ayers" as evidence of Obama's purported lack of moral compass. The question thus arises: What's Ron Kessler's relationship with unrepentant domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy?
There doesn't appear to be much of one. Kessler and Liddy appearedtwice together on CNN in May 2005 to discuss the revelation that Mark Felt was the Watergate scandal's "Deep Throat," and while they didn't appear to agree on whether Felt was a hero, neither did Kessler take the opportunity to condemn Liddy for his actions in Watergate, as well as the murders and bombings he planned. Liddy earned only a passing mention in Kessler's book on the FBI, "The Bureau."
But Kessler's employer, Newsmax, has had closer ties-- and even less criticism of Liddy's domestic terrorism:
A January 2003 article by Dave Eberhart sycophantically referred to Liddy as "the G-Man" and listed "Watergate fall-guy" among his accomplishments, even though there's no question about his guilt.
A June 2003 column by Humberto Fontova stated of an alleged "plan for 500 kilos of TNT to kill thousands of New Yorkers" hatched by Fidel Castro: "ortunately, we had a crackerjack FBI back then, J. Edgar Hoover's outfit, employing such as the 'G-man' Gordon Liddy."
An August 2003 article by Wes Vernon took Liddy's side as part of a "rising chorus ... vehemently rejecting the claim by onetime Nixon campaign deputy director Jeb Stuart Magruder that President Richard Nixon order the break-in at the Watergate Hotel in 1972."
Geoff Metcalf whined in an April 2005 column: "Gordon Liddy went to jail. Sandy Berger goes on the speaking circuit and waits for Hillary?"
A June 2005 article by Phil Brennan authoritiatively cites Liddy in an effort to rebut "myths" about Watergate.
Newsmax listed Liddy among its "top 25 most influential talk radio hosts.
AIM Embraces Andy Martin-Citing Author Topic: Accuracy in Media
An Oct. 19 Accuracy in Media "briefing" by Irene Warren ("an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia") features the book "Obama: Why Black America Should Have Doubts," which appears to be yet another right-wing attack book. It also appears to be self-published; author William Owens Jr. seems to be the same William Owens who runs iTouch/Higher Standard Publishers, or it could be his father.
There are a couple things that raise questions about Owens' book. The first is the blurb page, whichfeatures the usual right-wing suspects -- Jerome Corsi, Jesse Lee Peterson, Alveda King, Star Parker. The second is treating Andy Martin seriously, which Warren does as well. Warren wrote:
“Barack Obama does not and cannot relate to our past as Black Americans because in reality he is not a Black American,” explained Owens, as he reiterated a passage from the book titled, Obama: The Man Behind the Mask, by author Andy Martin. “Obama is a Muslim who has concealed his religion. Obama has a great opportunity to be forthright. Instead, he has treated his Muslim heritage as a dark secret.”
Warren fails to mention that Martin is a discredited anti-Semite who shouldn't be trusted just because he says nasty things right-wingers like to hear about Obama. Indeed, Warren writes nothing at all about Martin's background, let alone what it says about Owens for his embrace of Martin.
So, for her ignorance of Martin, does AIM and AIA give intern Warren a failing grade for this story -- or a passing one?