FrontPageMag Gets Obama's Comments Even More Wrong Topic: Horowitz
In an Oct. 28 FrontPageMag article, ex-WorldNetDaily reporter Paul Sperry gets it even more wrong than his fellow conservatives about Barack Obama's statements on a Chicago public radio station in 2001.
Not only did Sperry assert that "Obama said it's a 'tragedy' the Constitution wasn't radically interpreted to force redistribution of wealth for blacks" -- in fact, Obama said it was a "traged[y]" that the civil rights movement relied so heavily on the courts to advance its agenda -- he repeated the lie that Obama said "the Warren Court was not 'radical' enough" -- in fact, Obama stated that the Warren Court's refusal to address the issue of "redistributive change" was evidence that it wasn't as radical as critics claim it was.
Sperry then takes a huge leap of logic and common sense by declaring that Obama's "remarks can only be interpreted to mean one thing: economic reparations for slavery." He then insists that government programs such as "universal health care, universal mortgage credits, college tuition, job training and even universal 401(k)s" are tantamount to "stealth reparations."
Sperry also embarks on creative reinterpretations of Obama's other work as well. He writes:
He also wrote in his recent autobiography that he sympathizes with militant black activists who fear that "white Americans will be let off the hook" for past crimes, such as "a hundred years of lynching under several dozen administrations."
Sperry takes two apparently random statements hundreds of pages apart out of context to stitch together something Obama never said. From "The Audacity of Hope," page 248:
Old habits die hard, and there is always a fear on the part of many minorities that unless racial discrimination, past and present, stays on the front burner, white America will be let off the hook and hard-fought gains may be reversed. I understand these fears—nowhere is it ordained that history moves in a straight line, and during difficult economic times it is possible that the imperatives of racial equality get shunted aside.
Still, when I look at what past generations of minorities have had to overcome, I am optimistic about the ability of this next generation to continue their advance into the economic mainstream.
From "The Audacity of Hope," pp. 21-22:
My wife will tell you that by nature I'm not somebody who gets real worked up about things. When I see Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity baying across the television screen, I find it hard to take them seriously; I assume that they must be saying what they do primarily to boost book sales or ratings, although I do wonder who would spend their precious evenings with such sourpusses. When Democrats rush up to me at events and insist that we live in the worst of political times, that a creeping fascism is closing its grip around our throats, I may mention the internment of Japanese Americans under FDR, the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, or a hundred years of lynching under several dozen administrations as having been possibly worse, and suggest we all take a deep breath. When people at dinner parties ask me how I can possibly operate in the current political environment, with all the negative campaigning and personal attacks, I may mention Nelson Mandela, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, or some guy in a Chinese or Egyptian prison somewhere. In truth, being called names is not such a bad deal.
Those two statements have nothing to do with each other, except in Sperry's fevered brain. But since he's already lying about Obama said in the radio interview, why wouldn't he lie about what Obama said in his book as well?
ConWeb Still Lying About Obama Statements Topic: The ConWeb
For the second day in a row, the ConWeb lies and misleads about Barack Obama's 2001 comments to a public radio station.
The Media Research Center's Brent Baker claimed that "Barack Obama regretted that 'the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.'" CNSNews.com similarly asserted that Obama "lamented in a 2001 radio interview that the civil rights movement had failed to cause 'redistributive change.'" The claim that Obama "regretted" or "lamented" those things are pure inventions on Baker's and CNS' part (who, in turn, are just regurgitating Matt Drudge); rather, Obama merely factually stated that those things did not take place.
At NewsBusters, Lyndsi Thomas complained that NPR didn't report that "John McCain specifically addressed the recently surfaced audio and even quoted Obama as saying, 'One of the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court-focused I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change.'" But Thomas failed to report that McCain falsely described the statement as meaning that "one of the quote -- 'tragedies' of the civil rights movement is that it didn't bring about a redistribution of wealth in our society." Scott Whitlock echoed Baker's lie that "Obama lamented to a radio interviewer that 'the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth.'" And P.J. Gladnick misleadingly claimed that Obama "called for legislative means to redistribute the wealth."
At WorldNetDaily, the poll question of the day is: "What's your reaction to Obama saying the Constitution is defective?" Of course, Obama said no such thing. Given that lie, it's no surprise that the leading response by far is, "Obama is defective, not the Constitution."
WND Misleads About GOP Foreclosure Vote Suppression Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 28 unbylined WorldNetDaily article downplays accusations of voter suppression in Michigan by Republicans in the form of using lists of foreclosed homes to challenge votes, claiming that the accusation is "based solely on unconfirmed reports and rumors" that "started on a leftwing blog in Michigan." At no point does WND report what that "leftwing blog" actually reported.
In fact, the Michigan Messenger quoted a Michigan county Republican leader as saying "We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses" -- hardly "unconfirmed reports and rumors."
While WND reported that the Obama campaign filed a federal lawsuit against Michigan Republicans over the alleged scheme, it failed to report that the lawsuit has been settled. Michigan Democrats later stated that the settlement "acknowledges the existence" of such a scheme, while Republicans claimed there is "no proof ever existed" of it.
The bulk of the WND article, though, is dedicated to attacking Rep. Maxine Waters for promoting the charges, accusing her of "fann[ing] the flames of the deadly Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, earning her the nickname 'Kerosene Maxine,'" and suggesting that she will lead "unrest" among blacks on Election Day.
By contrast, WND regularly runs unconfirmed stories about Barack Obama -- and even outright lies, as well as claims it has previously debunked -- so WND's sudden concern about reporting "rumors" is the height of hypocrisy.
Timmerman Misleads About Source for 'Massive Obama Vote Fraud' Topic: Newsmax
An Oct. 27 Newsmax article by Ken Timmerman trumpeted the claims of "Lynette Long, a Hillary supporter from Bethesda, Md., who has a long and respected academic career," in smearing Barack Obama with charges of "fraud" in Democratic primary caucuses.
In fact, Long's blog reveals her to be a rather enthusiastic supporter of Sarah Palin. Further, a Washington Post article states that Long is "not just voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin, she even took the stage at their rally in Fairfax to trumpet her decision to the world":
Long agrees that Palin is not exactly, um, worldly, and that she lacks a certain base of knowledge. ("But I know character and instincts, and she is real.") And yes, Long vehemently disagrees with the Republicans' social conservatism.
But other factors trump those issues, she says, naming Obama's inexperience, Clinton's treatment by her party and the media, and the Democrats' failure to choose a female running mate.
She seems downright gleeful as she describes her fellow liberals' faces draining of blood when she sings Palin's praises. But when I suggest that the McCain camp is using her even as she uses it to teach fellow Democrats a lesson about taking women for granted, she says: "No, that's too crass. You have to break down a house to rebuild it, but Palin is likable, popular and has integrity. She's a person who will listen. Is she smart enough to do the job? Hey, Reagan was no brain surgeon, but people would follow him. It's about leadership. Sarah has made mistakes, but out of naivete, not out of corruption."
I posit that her newfound activism is really more about sticking it to Democratic men than about any real belief that McCain might promote the interests of women or that Palin would be a good president should she ascend to that role. Long protests that she really would be happy with a President Palin, a woman who understands the majority of Americans as no man could.
And then she says this: "I just don't understand how the Democrats couldn't see that women wanted a woman. I'm not getting back in bed with someone who's just abused me. Yeah, it's payback time."
Timmerman is pretending Long does not have an agenda when, in fact, she not only has one, she's all about payback -- which makes her anti-Obama activism less than trustworthy.
Ponte Still Lying About Obama, ACORN Topic: Newsmax
In an Oct. 26 Newsmax article, Lowell Ponte misleadingly claimed that "Joe Biden did not tell the truth Thursday when hit with tough questions about ACORN from a veteran journalist."
Ponte wrote in response to Biden's claim that the Obama campaign "have not paid [ACORN] one single penny to register a single solitary voter":
A Newsmax Fact Check shows that Obama has had a long relationship with the group, and the Obama campaign did indeed pay an ACORN subsidiary more than $800,000. The radical Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is a multi-faced creature its founders spun off into about 100 separate legal entities.
In our Oct. 6 investigation, Newsmax reported that ACORN’s founders “created a shell game under which money acquired by one ACORN front group, Project Vote (run in Illinois in 1992 by Barack Obama), would be moved to other ACORN-controlled groups,” some openly political and others tax-exempt and prohibited from direct political activism.
In fact, there is no evidence that the "ACORN subsidiary" to which the Obama campaign paid "more than $800,000" did any voter registration, as Ponte suggests. As we've noted, the money paid to Citizens Services Inc. was used for vote canvassing and other get-out-the-vote efforts, not registration.
Further, as we noted the last time Ponte made this claim, Project Vote was not an "ACORN front group" in 1992.
James Walsh, in an Oct. 27 Newsmax article, referenced "ACORN’s street brawling, fraudulent voter registration, and voter fraud," stated that "This will not be the first time that “direct-action” tactics have attempted to 'change' a form of government" -- then gave a quick history of the Nazi party:
In early 1920, Hitler published the NSDAP agenda. The agenda included redistribution of the wealth through profit-sharing of industries, tax cuts for the farmers and low-end citizens, nationalization of trusts, increases in social benefits for the elderly and poor, and free education.
The agenda was anti-Semitic and made Jewish citizens the scapegoats for all of Germany’s problems. NSDAP remained a minor party until the economic crash of 1929. Then, taking advantage of the financial crisis, NSDAP became the second largest party in Germany.
Supporting Hitler was the Sturmabteilung (SA), an assault section known as the storm troopers or the “brown shirts.” The SA, made up of petty criminals, unemployed sociopaths, street brawlers, and local thugs, disrupted opposition political party meetings and brutalized political opponents and average citizens.
The SA bullied legislators and often blocked their entrance to the Reichstag (Congress), thus ensuring NSDAP voting to carry the day. As SA violence increased, NSDAP Reichstag members fell out of favor.
Hitler, however, prevailed with an effective campaign of fear predicting a communist takeover of Germany. Hitler changed the form of the German government with a combination of eloquence, giveaways, fear, duplicity, and violence.
Walsh then asked: "Must the past be prologue?" We ask: Are cheap, slimy smears all Newsmax has left against Obama?
ConWeb Lies, Misleads About Obama Statement Topic: The ConWeb
It's clear that the ConWeb cares nothing about facts when it comes to Barack Obama. It's demonstrated again with its overheated misinterpretation of, and outright lies about, a statement Obama made in 2001.
I mean, I think that, you know, if you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order in, as long as I could pay for it, I'd be OK. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.
And, to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that, generally, the Constitution is a charter of [unintelligible] liberties -- says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted.
And one of the -- I think the tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movements became so court-focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing, and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And, in some ways, we still suffer from that.
In full context, Obama was saying that the civil rights movement relied too much on the court system to advance its agenda instead of promoting change from the bottom up, and the Warren Supreme Court was not as radical as right-wingers claim it to be because it refused to take up "more basic issues of political and economic justice."
But that's not what the ConWeb will tell you Obama said.
NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick howled that "Barack Obama explicitly calls for the 'redistribution of wealth'" in the interview -- which he doesn't. NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein claimed Obama said "he laments the Supreme Court's insufficient radicalism in pursuing redistribution and refers to the civil rights movement's failure to develop a better strategy to bring about wealth redistribution as a 'tragedy[']" -- which he didn't.
One of the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement is that it failed to lead to income redistribution in the United States, Barack Obama appears to state in an audio excerpt of a Chicago public radio program recorded in 2001.
Obama, who then was an Illinois state senator, also stated that people continue to “suffer” because there is no government program to take money from the rich and redistribute it to Americans who are less well off.
Susan Jones asserted in an Oct. 27 CNSNews.com article that "The audio clip makes it clear that redistribution of wealth, or 'redistributive change,' is something Obama’s been aiming at for years." Again, not true; Obama could have been referring to political power as well, or exclusively. Similarly, Terry Jeffrey asserted that Obama "expressed disappointment that the Supreme Court 'never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth.'"
The Media Research Center's Seton Motley cited "damning new evidence of Illinois Democratic Senator and Presidential nominee Barack Obama's radical views on how we need to 'break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution' because it 'doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.'" Obama didn't say that.
Motley also quotes MRC chief Brent Bozell saying of this story: "We will monitor who does - and doesn't - cover this story, and we'll document it." We'll be doing the same thing -- but monitoring and documenting how Bozell and his fellow travelers lie and mislead about Obama's words.
UPDATE: Newsmax's Phil Brennan severely misinterprets Obama's words, turning Obama's declarative statement that the Warren court "didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution" into a false question by putting words in Obama's mouth, under the headline "Obama Attacks Founding Fathers, Constitution":
According to Obama if the Constitution "didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and [the] Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties." [emphasis added]
Obama didn't say "if the Constitution"; that's a fabrication by Brennan. Yet Brennan lies that Obama "shows a shocking ignorance of the purpose of the United States Constitution" and "would have sent shivers up the spine of Thomas Jefferson, et al."
UPDATE 2: WorldNetDaily joins the parade, falsely claiming that Obama "said in a radio interview the U.S. has suffered from a fundamentally flawed Constitution that does not mandate or allow for redistribution of wealth."
Aaron Klein's False and Misleading Anti-Obama Screed Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein lets loose an anti-Obama screed in an Oct. 27 column, likening Barack obama to "Middle East dictators":
All freedom-loving Americans and independent-minded journalists must be concerned about the authoritarian actions practiced in recent days by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign, which cut off future interviews to a local news network after its anchor dared to ask legitimate but pressing questions to Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden.
The boycott move is a direct threat to what little is left of America's free press, highlighting to reporters the ramifications of questioning the Obama campaign on issues it doesn't want to talk about.
As a Mideast reporter, I've seen this kind of action before. It's routinely practiced by Middle East dictators and has resulted in an intimidated press corps which toes the jihadist line, in part out of fear of having their contacts cut off.
First: It wasn't a "local news network"; it was a TV station in Florida.
Second: John McCain's campaign has done the exact same thing. Will Klein liken McCain to "Middle East dictators" for banning Time magazine's Joe Klein from the campaign plane? Isn't McCain also issuing "a direct threat to what little is left of America's free press"?
Third: Is "fear of having his contacts cut off" the same reason Klein -- who eagerly reported an endorsement of Obama by Hamas -- refuses to report that McCain was endorsed by Al Qaeda?
Klein then asserts that Biden's claim that "We haven't paid Acorn a single penny to register one single voter" is "false and misleading":
Obama's campaign indeed paid more than $800,000 in services to Citizen Services Inc., [sic] or CSI, a nonprofit organization that is an affiliate of ACORN and works from the organization's offices. The payments, listed for "stage, lighting or sound," stood out in FEC filings since CSI does not offer services for stage, lighting or sound. The Obama campaign amended the FEC reports in August and September to claim the payments to CSI were for get-out-the-vote efforts, which means the Obama campaign absolutely paid an affiliate of ACORN to help register voters.
In fact, "get-out-the-vote efforts" are not the same thing as registering voters. As CNN detailed, Citizens Services Inc. was paid by the Obama campaign for 'vote canvassing, such as knocking on doors and urging people to vote. ... Obama campaign advisers stressed in an Oct. 14 teleconference that the campaign paid Citizens' Services Inc. for canvassing, but not voter registration."
Klein also writes:
Biden's attendant claim there is "no relationship" between Obama and ACORN is also untrue. In 1992, Obama was director of Project Vote in Chicago, which helped register 150,000 voters on the city's South Side and whose parent company is registered at the same New Orleans address in which ACORN and multiple ACORN affiliates are housed. Obama's campaign claims ACORN was "not part of" Project Vote, but Obama himself previously stated ACORN was "in the middle" of Project Vote.
But again, as we pointed out the last time he asserted this, the fact that Project Vote shares a corporate home with ACORN now is irrelevent to the relationship between the two groups in 1992. As ACORN itself has pointed out: "At that time, Project Vote had no more connection to ACORN than it did with dozens of other national and local organizations with which it partnered on local registration drives." Klein has offered no evidence whatsoever to contradict this.
But Klein wasn't done smearing Obama over cutting off a TV station in Florida:
But the Obama-Orlando boycott could have far-reaching, long-term consequences should Obama take the White House. Reporters have taken note and will likely think twice in the future before bringing up legitimate issues that call into question Obama's leadership and its reifications for the U.S.
Talk radio must immediately be placed on high alert in response to the [Barbara] West incident and amid reports Democrat [sic] senators are itching to revive some version of the Fairness Doctrine, which aims to silence non-liberal viewpoints.
The type of media oppression evidenced by the Obama camp is regularly practiced in the Middle East, where (excluding Israel) independent journalism is virtually nonexistent.
The outlook for the already grim future state of reporting during an Obama administration just faded to black.
The funny thing is, that's what real journalists said about West's interview of Biden. As one observer noted, "It may be the worst interview of a major political figure by a "professional" broadcast journalist I've ever witnessed. It was like something out of the old Soviet Union where propaganda masqueraded as news. Every question West asked revealed a bias against Sen. Barack Obama that reached the point of outright hostility."
NewsBusters Likes 'Tough' Biden Interview, But Cried Foul At Couric's Palin Interview Topic: NewsBusters
An Oct. 26 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard begins, "The leftwing blogosphere went into full panic mode Saturday as a result of a tough interview Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden had with a Florida anchorwoman two days ago," adding that the anchor "gave Biden quite a grilling Thursday."
But a month ago,his MRC and NewsBusters buddies were in a similar "panic mode" over Katie Couric's interview with Sarah Palin, specifically Couric's non-difficult question asking Palin what newspapers and magazines she read:
Tim Graham declared that it "was designed as a 'gotcha' question to underline Palin's lack of worldly sophistication."
Brent Baker insisted that Couric had "patronizingly challenge[d] & lecture[d]" in the interviews, and the newspaper question was a effort by Couric to paint Palin as "an ill-informed dolt."
Then again, any "tough" questioning of a conservative is seen by Sheppard, Graham and Baker as "liberal media bias."
Is Kincaid Blaming Financial Crisis on Soros? Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid has a new conspiracy to peddle: that the global financial crisis was engineered by George Soros to get Barack Obama elected. At least, that's what he appears to be hinting at in an Oct. 26 Accuracy in Media column:
Incredibly, we have no definitive explanation of why a global financial crisis suddenly materialized just six weeks before U.S. presidential and congressional elections. Instead, controversial hedge fund operators like George Soros, an Obama backer who was convicted of insider trading in France and was in the news earlier this year for his possible role in betting on a U.S. economic collapse, have largely escaped scrutiny.
“The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is scheduled to hold a hearing about regulation next month with five hedge fund managers,” including Soros, the New York Times reported last Wednesday. Soros is one of several hedge fund operators who reportedly made more than $1 billion last year. But this hearing could occur after the elections and after the Soros-supported Democrats take the White House and increase their numbers in Congress.
Soros is being treated deferentially by such media personalities as Bill Moyers of the Public Broadcasting Service and Fareed Zakaria of CNN.
Further, proving that he won't let go of a lie when it works to his benefit and proclivities, Kincaid yet again falsely claims that the Obama-sponsored Global Poverty Act will cost the U.S. $845 billion over the next 13 years. In fact, as we'vepointedout every time Kincaid makes this claim, the bill has no funding mechanism, doesn't commit the U.S. to a targeted level of spending, and doesn't give the United Nations the power to impose a tax on the U.S.
WND Prints Another Anti-Obama Letter From the Future Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 22 WorldNetDaily article by Art Moore promoted a hypothetical letter from a "Christian from 2012" -- which predicts that "Many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a majority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more" -- released by James Dobson's Focus on the Family Action.
This is the second report from the future purporting to describe America under a Barack Obama administration that WND has published in the past week. Janet Folger Porter's Oct. 21 WND column took the same approach.
Moore made no apparent effort to gather reaction from anyone to Dobson's letter. But as one blogger points out, Dobson's letter carries the overall structure and tone of "The Turner Diaries," the far-right novel best known these days as the inspiration for Timothy McVeigh to blow up a federal office building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
Instead of publishing fiction about the future, WND might consider reporting on what's happening now. Heck, it might even want to try doing something totally nutty like -- oh, I don't know -- telling the truth about current events.
Vadum Falsely Smears ACORN As Linked to Weather Underground Topic: The ConWeb
The Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum likens ACORN to terrorists by titling his new CRC report "ACORN: Who Funds the Weather Underground's Little Brother?" Vadum doesn't bother to support his suggestion that ACORN is tied to terrorism -- in fact, he demonstrates it's not true.
(Vadum promoted his report in an Oct. 25 NewsBusters post.)
The sole piece of evidence Vadum provides that's even related to the claim: ACORN founder Wade Rathke was a member in the 1960s of Sudents for a Democratic Society, a group that later splintered, one faction becoming the Weather Undreground. But Vadum specifically states that Rathke was among "[t]hose who rejected terrorist violence" -- that is, he was not a part of the Weather Underground.
Nevertheless, Vadum goes on to smear ACORN as a "sibling" of the Weather Underground.
Vadum also clings to the discredited idea that the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act -- which he claims "opened up banking to ACORN-style agitation" -- led to the meltdown of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, only about 20 percent of today's subprime housing loans were made by lending institutions not subject to the CRA.
Vadum again claims that Project Vote was "an ACORN affiliate" in 1992 when Barack Obama directed a Project Vote voter registration drive," adding that "Obama supporters tried to confuse the issue" by claiming otherwise. In his NewsBusters post, he writes that the claim is " fave of Seth Colter Walls at the Huffington Post." That's a reference to Walls ciriticizing and debunking Vadum's previous attacks on ACORN (which, peripherally, resulted in Vadum attempting a lame beatdown on us for agreeing with Walls).
But now, as then, Vadum offers no evidence to support his claim that Project Vote was "part of ACORN" in 1992. As ACORN itself stated, "At that time, Project Vote had no more connection to ACORN than it did with dozens of other national and local organizations with which it partnered on local registration drives. In 1994, over a year after Obama left Project Vote, ACORN and Project Vote began working much more closely together." Vadum neither mentions nor contradicts ACORN's statement; instead, he claims that such factual defenses are an effort "to confuse the issue."
That Vadum thinks facts "confuse the issue" -- on top of his headline smear -- says all we need to know about Vadum's partisan agenda.