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Monday, November 17, 2008
WND's Obama Birth Certificate Amnesia Reaches the Top
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Add Joseph Farah to the list of WorldNetDaily employees who doesn't read the website he works for.

In his Nov. 17 column, Farah claims that "Obama's record of non-cooperation and secrecy" in the matter of his birth certificate "has now resulted in conspiracy theories that will plague him throughout his administration if he doesn't address them now with utter transparence. ... Count me among those who really want to see that birth certificate now."

Farah doesn't mention that his own website is among those promulgating those conspiracy theories -- despite the fact that his own website debunked them. Which, of course, he also doesn't mention.

As we've repeatedly detailed, WND determined in August that the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign is "authentic," and that the lawsuit filed by Philip Berg demanding that Obama prove his U.S. citizenship "relies on discredited claims." Farah continues a pattern of WND writers who fail to acknowledge this simple fact in writing about accusations regarding the birth certificate.

Farah goes on to state: "This is hardly a laughing matter. The longer this soap opera drags on, the more suspicions it will raise – the less credibility our electoral system will have, the more many people will believe the whole political system is rigged." Of course, that's exactly the perception Farah wants to prevail.

By clinging to this false conspiracy theory -- which his own website has debunked -- Farah shows himself to be a very dishonest journalist. But then, we already knew that.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 PM EST
Klein Still Playing Guilt-By-Association on Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's clear that Aaron Klein's Obama-hate has not abated with the end of the campaign -- he's still playing guilt by association the way he did during the campaign.

A Nov. 16 article features an interview with Bernardine Dohrn, wife of "former Weathermen radical Bill Ayers." Klein actually appears to present Dohrn's views fairly, though the headline gets things wrong.The headline puts "Fear of Obama's ties to Ayers because of racism" quotes as if Dohrn said those exact words, but Klein quotes Dohrn saying no such thing. The subhead states, "Dohrn claims black man 'not knowable' to white people," but Dohrn never said that either; rather, Klein quotes Dohrn as saying that the idea that Obama was "not knowable to white people" was a tactic used by opponents of Obama -- like Klein, a leading promoter of Obama's purported ties to Ayers:

"You want to recognize here that the famous and much-talked-about Bradley Effect, the notion that white people cannot leave behind some of the trappings of white supremacy and racism that have been the ugly river beneath all U.S. discourse, is really important. I was struck when you were playing those tapes that the real coded message underneath those tapes that used Bill as a fear proxy is that you don't know who Barack Obama really is.

"There was some notion of him being unknowable, exotic, strange, foreign, deceitful. And, you know, strangely enough, we feel like if all they could come up with was that he knew us casually, the guy is pretty clean, is pretty extraordinary. He's been vetted and vetted and vetted, and there was nothing there to throw at him, except this question of maybe an African-American man is not knowable to white people. And it's worth – we don't – neither Bill or I think that we're in a post-racial world, but it is worth noting that that was rejected by almost all sectors of the population, including independent voters."

Given that Dohrn calls out Klein's anti-Obama tactics, it's surprising that Klein makes no effort to respond to her charges.

Another Nov. 16 article by Klein tries to tie the Communist Party to Obama by outlining what it was Obama to do -- despite the fact that he offers no evidence that any Obama policy is socialist.

To do that, Klein deceives on Obama's views. For instance, he writes of Obama's position on health care:

As an Illinois state senator, Obama publicly supported universal healthcare and previously expressed support for "single payer," although he later waffled. He also co-sponsored the Bernardin Amendment, which did not pass but which would have amended the Illinois State Constitution to add healthcare to the list of basic rights for residents.

At no point does Klein state the health care plan Obama promoted during his presidential campaign, which is not a single-payer plan and permits choice in plans.

That's dishonest. Sadly, such dishonesty is the kind of reporting we've come to expect from Klein and WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:48 AM EST
A Sucker's Bet from David Horowitz
Topic: Horowitz

For a while now, in an effort to boost sales of David Horowitz and Ben Johnson's book "Party of Defeat," Horowitz's FrontPageMag has been offering $500 "to any critic of the war -- who has written for a reputable publication -- to write a critique of the book and its main thesis." That thesis is summarized in the book's subtitle: "How Democrats and Radicals Undermined America's War on Terror Before and After 9/11."

The problem with this is that it appears to be a sucker's bet. It's not clear whether payment of the $500 is contingent on disproving the book, but it is clear that Horowitz and Johnson -- who appear to be the only judges -- will never concede (publicly, anyway) that it has been disproven, even if it actually was.

Typical is Horowitz and Johnson's exchange with Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff. He writes that Horowitz and Johnson "claim that Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's convicted chief of staff, never leaked the identity of Joe Wilson's wife, CIA officer Valerie Plame. Actually, he did - to Judith Miller of the New York Times over breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel on July 8, 2003." They respond:

Isikoff takes us to task over the leak of Valerie Plame’s name to Robert Novak. Scooter Libby was not the source of this leak; rather antiwar Realist Richard Armitage was. He then told no one and let the president’s enemies in the Democratic Party and the media call him a liar for several years. Still, Isikoff’s co-author, David Corn, has tortured logic to somehow link Armitage’s inadvertent leak to the White House.

That's rebutted again by Isikoff:

Horowitz and Johnson—having been caught in their mistake about Scooter Libby not having leaked Valerie Plame’s CIA identity—subtly reshift their argument to instruct me that Richard Armitage was actually the “source” of the leak. Thanks for the info, guys. The news that it was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage who first leaked Joe Wilson’s wife’s identity to Bob Woodward and columnist Robert Novak was revealed to the world in Hubis, the book I co-wrote with David Corn. Horowitz and Johnson criticize what they call Corn’s ‘”tortured” logic (a Freudian slip that?) regarding the White House connection. I don’t know what tortured logic they’re talking about. But as we painstakingly laid out in the book, Armitage’s role does not change the fact that Libby and Karl Rove (completely independently) leaked the same information for their own political reasons—to discredit Wilson for his criticism of the White House’s use of the phony Niger yellowcake story.

Horowitz and Johnson responded with further parsing:

We were not “caught” in a mistake about Libby: our book’s focus was on the leak to Robert Novak – the leak that sparked the appointment of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald -- in which Libby had no role.

Horowitz and Johnson really aren't interested in a serious debate on the issue -- they just want something they can contort into self-affirming evidence they were right all along. That's how the Horowitz crew rolls; another Horowitz co-author, Richard Poe, tried to do the same thing to Media Matters. (Poe plays the victim over this on his blog, whining that Media Matters "sought to discredit and silence me" four four years, ruefully calling it a "cheerless anniversary." Of course, Poe will never admit that he discredited himself.)


Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EST
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Hilmar von Campe, Apt Pupil
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Hilmar von Campe bills himself as a "former Hitler youth," and it indeed appears he learned well at the feet of the master. As he has before, a Nov. 15 WorldNetDaily column by von Campe engages in Nazi-esque demogogery by likening Barack Obama to -- ironically -- Hitler, while hiding behind the shabby cloak of purporting to warn people about Obama.

Von Campe plays the dishonest game by uncritically repeating Republican Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia "warn[ing] of an Obama dictatorship," as purportedly shown by "Obama's intention to establish a civil security force to impose a Marxist or fascist dictatorship," quickly adding that Broun "makes clear that he does not compare Obama with Hitler." That's a lie, of course; von Campe even quotes Broun's statement that, like Obama, "Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany."

Of course, von Campe picks up the false "civil security force" ball, noting that "Hitler created the Storm Troopers, S.A., and the Schutzstaffel (protective squad), or S.S. Both had the task to silence the opposition." As we've detailed, the allegation that Obama is planning to establish an SS-like "civil security force" is a false smear.

Von Campe further demonstrates his ignorance by citing WND as a source for his claims -- always a bad move given WND's history of lying to its readers, especially about Obama:

Obama's views, as reported by WorldNetDaily on Oct. 31, 2008, that America after World War II has similarity to Nazi Germany because the Supreme Court has not established wealth distribution as a constitutional guideline have no basis. He stated to the present generation of Americans, "You've got the doctrines of Nazism that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what's going on back here at home."

Von Campe (as did WND) takes Obama's words wildly out of context. (Isn't that another Nazi-like propaganda tactic?) As we've detailed, the full context of Obama's remarks shows that he didn't say that. The quote about "doctrines of Nazism that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what's going on back here at home" specifically refers to the experience of African-Americans who fought in the war but faced discrimination and segregation upon their return.And Obama never said that America is Nazi-like becaue "the Supreme Court has not established wealth distribution as a constitutional guideline."

Von Campe also uncritically repeats Aaron Klein's unverified WND report that representatives for Obama met with Hamas; as we've noted, even Klein can't provide any backup for the claim, though the lack of facts have never been an obstacle for his anti-Obama agenda.

As a bonus, von Campe likens Colin Powell to the German military official who helped Hitler get into power:

Socialist Hitler was installed into power by the then German president, famous Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg. That made it easy for him to get the military leaders out of the way and in control of the armed forces – the only force in the country that could have spoiled his plans.

Obama also was endorsed by famous Gen. Colin Powell with a well-calculated timing shortly before the election. It was a signal to the military that it was OK to vote for Obama.

Will von Campe apologize for and correct his lies and distortions, or does he regret nothing?

(Richard Bartholomew has more on von Campe; among other things, he has connections with Walid Shoebat.)


Posted by Terry K. at 11:22 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 16, 2008 11:23 AM EST
Deep Thought
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Nothing says "counterrevolution" like a week in the Caribbean aboard a luxury cruise ship.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EST
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Vadum's Double Standard on Would-be Mass Murderers
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 14 NewsBusters post, the Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum bashes ABC for waiting until after the election to take "a fairly hard-hitting look at terrorist William Ayers, the would-be mass murderer, who helped to launch the career of then-Illinois state senate candidate Barack Obama."

But Vadum has nothing to brag about on that subject: He appeared at least twice in the month before the election on the radio show of unrepentant domestic terrorist -- and would-be mass murderer, given that he plotted to blow up the Brookings Institution -- G. Gordon Liddy.

Did Vadum confront Liddy about his history of murder and bombing plots and his ties to John McCain? We suspect not -- his agenda was to give ACORN a "beating" (and given Vadum's history, it was likely a factually inaccurate one) and to discuss "financial affirmative action," whatever that is.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 15, 2008 9:56 AM EST
Lowell Ponte's Obama Fiction Is Actually Presented As Fiction For Once
Topic: Newsmax

The candidacy of Barack Obama has inspired a lot of alarmist fiction about what he will purportedly do as president. Newsmax's Lowell Ponte joins the crowd with a Nov. 14 column:

Looking back from 2016 on eight strange years of President Barack Obama's administration, we see that it has been nothing like what idealists believed they were electing in 2008.

The Obama years will be remembered in the Ministry of Truth's official history as the era of 1,000 czars, the elitist commissars he gave the power to rule by fiat in every sector of America's government, economy, and society.

[...]

Thus it has been these past eight years for President Obama's bailout czar and urban planning czar, his education czar and Latin America czar, his cybersecurity czar and Internet czar, his Afghan-Iraq war czar and income redistribution czar, the voter list czar and radio-Internet fairness czar, and many hundreds more.

And through their partisan power, Barack Obama became America's permanent caesar.

Ponte has long been peddling false claims about Obama and other Democrats, so it's no surprise to see him make the tiny jump to fiction actually presented as such.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EST
Friday, November 14, 2008
NewsBusters Bashes Reporter for Following AP Style
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 14 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer bashes a Greenville (South Carolina) News reporter for referring to Catholic priest Jay Scott Newman -- who has declared that parishoners who voted for Barack Obama should not accept Communion until they have done penance -- as "the Rev. Jay Scott Newman":

Note to Greenville News reporter Ben Szobody: It's "Father Newman" or "Fr. Newman" every time his name appears, not "The Rev" when you feel like it. This should not be "controversial" (a favorite media word for "majority or accepted opinion we journalists don't like"), but it almost surely will be. 

In fact, it appears that Szobody has correctly followed longstanding AP reporting style, which is to use "the Rev." for all ministers and priests -- including Catholic priests -- on first reference and the last name only on subsequent references.

There's noting "controversial" about what the reporter did here. Blumer shouldn't pretend that there is. 


Posted by Terry K. at 5:53 PM EST
The Atlantic Is 'Mainstream Media'?
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 13 NewsBusters post, Robert Bluey declared the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz "guilty" of "institutional bias against conservatives" for writing that "no mainstream outlet" published rumors regarding Sarah Palin's pregnancy "until the McCain campaign issued a statement, during the GOP convention, that Palin's teenage daughter Bristol was pregnant." Bluey adds:

I don't know what Kurtz considers a "mainstream outlet," but let's just assume we include the 151-year-old Atlantic, which Kurtz wrote about with great fanfare in August 2007. The magazine's most prominent contributor, Andrew Sullivan, was among the most rapid rumormongers about Trig Palin.

[...]

Has Andrew Sullivan done so much damage to The Atlantic's journalistic standards that's it's no longer considered a "mainstream outlet"? Please tell us, Howie.

So, uh, tell us, Bob: How exactly is Sullivan and The Atlantic "mainstream"? The Atlantic has a fraction of the circulation of, say, that "mainstream media" stalwart Time magazine -- where, by the way, Sullivan used to blog. Since the Atlantic is smaller than Time, that means it's less "mainstream," does it not? And isn't Sullivan also less "mainstream" for moving from Time to the Atlantic?

Indeed, the Atlantic archive at NewsBusters contains a mere 17 items -- and none before January of this year, even though NewsBusters was founded in 2005 -- which tells us that Bluey's own colleagues don't consider it very "mainstream," either. 

Yet Bluey "assume[d]" that The Atlantic is "mainstream." You know what they say about people who assume ... 


Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EST
WND's Schilling Still Has Amnesia About Obama's Birth Certificate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chelsea Schilling still hasn't apparently read the website she works for.

A Nov. 13 WorldNetDaily article by Schilling on lawsuits claiming that Barack Obama has never proved his citizenship -- like an Oct. 16 Schilling article -- failed to note that in August, WND debunked the claim that the birth certificate released by Obama's campaign was fake -- a "WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic" -- and that the first lawsuit this kind, by Philip Berg, "relies on discredited claims."

We've previously detailed Schilling's and WND's amnesia about its own reporting. 

UPDATE: A Nov. 14 article by Bob Unruh on another lawsuit (by Alan Keyes) also fails to mention WND's previous debunking.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 15, 2008 1:09 AM EST
FrontPageMag Falsely Claims Palin Africa Story Is 'Hoax'
Topic: Horowitz

In a Nov. 13 FrontPageMag article discussing criticism of Sarah Palin, Jacob Laksin noted the claim that Palin "did not know that Africa is a continent and not a country" and writes: "Palin has said that her comments about NATO and Africa were quoted out of context. The Africa charge turns out to be a hoax."

Wrong. In fact, the "hoax" in question was the assertion that purported McCain policy adviser "Martin Eisenstadt" made in an appearance on MSNBC that he was the person who first leaked the Africa claim. "Eisenstadt" and the related "Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy" are the creations of a pair of hoaxsters who have taken in MSNBC, among others, over the years.

Indeed, the AP article Laksin cited to back up his claim specifically contradicts him: "While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 AM EST
Klein Still Clinging to Unverified Story
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously noted Aaron Klein's embrace of the unverified claim in the Arab-language newspaper Al-Hayat that "aides" to Barack Obama met with representatives of Hamas. Well, Klein is still clinging to it -- and he still hasn't verified it.

A Nov. 13 WorldNetDaily article by Klein repeats the claim by framing it around Hamas' statement that "The report in Al-Hayat was not accurate," which Klein parses by claiming it was "carefully worded" and "did not deny the terror group met with Obama aides."

And nowhere does Klein offer any additional verification for it -- he's still claiming that Ahmed Yousef, the Hamas spokesman who made the claim to Al-Hayat, has not called him back. And even if Yousef did, why would Klein (or anyone else, for that matter) trust a member of what he has repeatedly called a terrorist organization?

Given that everyone involved in the story is denying it -- Hamas is, despite Klein's parsing, as is the Obama campaign -- why is Klein still clinging to it? Simple -- because he's trying to bring down Obama's presidency the way he tried to damage his presidential campaign. He's just doing Joseph Farah's bidding.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 AM EST
Newsmax Repeats Bogus Story About Minn. Ballots in Car
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is in the tank for Republican Norm Coleman in the Minnesota Senate post-election battle against Democrat Al Franken, and as we've noted, it's been peddling baseless accusations of voter fraud against Franken.

One claim peddled was that, as stated in a Nov. 9 article by Phil Brennan, "one election judge who recalled that because of a communications snafu, the vote tallies could not be transmitted to the state electronically and that the top official in his voting district, a Democrat, simply took the results and carried them to the state in her car -- with no one to keep an eye on her."

A Nov. 12 article by Jim Meyers, summarizing a Wall Street Journal editorial, repeated the claim: "In one case, Minnesota’s director of elections announced on Friday, three days after the election, that she had forgotten to count 32 absentee ballots in her car."

Just one problem: The story isn't true. As Media Matters details, real media outlets have told the full story: The ballots were kept in a secure location and were never left in anyone's car. Further, even a lawyer for Coleman, Fritz Knaak, has said of the claim that "we've heard enough from the city attorney to let go of this. It does not appear that there was any ballot-tampering, and that was our concern."

It appears the only people who believe there was vote-tampering in this case are those in the right-wing media -- like Newsmax.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EST
Thursday, November 13, 2008
NewsBusters Tweaks MSNBC for Falling for Hoax -- But NewsBusters Did Too
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 13 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard begins: "MSNBC's David Shuster was duped Monday by someone erroneously claiming to be the McCain campaign adviser who leaked derogatory information to the press about Sarah Palin." Sheppard concludes: "The folks at NBC and General Electric must be so proud."

But NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick spent a Nov. 10 post issuing a detailed response to "Martin Eisenstadt," the hoaxster who claimed he was the one who leaked the Palin info in that MSNBC interview. Only later did Gladnick update the post to report the hoax nature of it.

Sheppard does not mention Gladnick's post. 


Posted by Terry K. at 5:40 PM EST
Kessler Smears Obama on Judges
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 12 Newsmax column by Ronald Kessler is one long hit piece on Barack Obama, an attempt to play scare tactics by making a big deal about "how quickly" Obama could change courts to "a liberal judicial outlook."

kessler writes that Obama has said that, in selecting judges, he would look for candidates who show "empathy" for the weak and underprivileged, then bizarrely twists Obama's words: "Obama wants judges to have a bias in favor of an entire class of individuals. Imagine the outcry if Bush had said he wants courts to side with the privileged."

Does Kessler really think that empathy is the same thing as bias? Kessler adds:

But what really sends chills up conservatives’ spines is the president-elect’s statement on a Chicago radio station that he is “not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts,” implying that he would like to change the courts so that they construct their own laws. 

In fact, Obama made no such implication. As the full context of Obama's statement demonstrates, he said the courts were not the ideal venue to bring about "redistributive change," but that it should come up on the political side instead:

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. 

[...]

You know, maybe I'm showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but, you know, I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn't structured that way.

Kessler is just handing red meat to the Obama-haters at Newsmax (of which he is one). Too bad he isn't terribly interested in relating facts.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 PM EST

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