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Sunday, December 21, 2008
Sheppard Still Bamboozling on Global Warming
Topic: NewsBusters

A Dec. 14 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard, in bashing the Associated Press, suggests that the existence of cold weather in parts of the country means that global warming doesn't exist:

What kind of media outlet would publish this hysterical nonsense with much of the nation in the grips of extremely harsh winter conditions? Does the AP have any idea?

It snowed in Houston Wednesday tying a record for the earliest appearance of the white stuff in the city's history.

There were rare snowfalls in Southern Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi Thursday.

They're expecting possible record-breaking cold in the Pacific Northwest.

Record cold in Montana.

Record cold in Denver.

Supposed to snow in the San Francisco Bay Area Monday.

And the AP thinks we're running out of time to solve global warming.

In fact, as Media Matters points out, most credible climate scientists reject the notion that short-term changes in weather, let alone individual storms, bear any relevance to the global warming debate. And Sheppard offers no evidence to support his contention.

Sheppard is a longtime bamboozler on global warming.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 AM EST
WND Repeats Corsi Claim Backed Up by Bogus Documents
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's just a weekend full of lies at WorldNetDaily, it appears.

A Dec. 20 WND article on an unsubstantiated claim that Jerome Corsi's detention in Kenya was "reportedly orchestrated" by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga (only anonymous "sources inside Kenya" are cited) asserts that while in Kenya, Corsi obtained "documentary evidence showing Obama helped raise nearly $1 million for Odinga's presidential campaign in three separate visits Odinga made to the U.S. with the assistance of Obama's staff."

As we detailed, that "documentary evidence" is an apparent recreation of a document PolitiFact debunked earlier this year, several months before Corsi first made his claim. The PolitiFact version -- which it says it obtained from the originators of the chain email, Celeste and Loren Davis, who "lived and worked in Kenya for the past 12 years" -- appears to have been run through a fax machine a few times, making the type fuzzy. Corsi's version, meanwhile, has clean type in an completely different typeface and format, and it appears to introduce a typo or two from the PolitiFact version.

The article also repeats Corsi's claim that he obtained "2006 e-mail documents handed to him in Kenya by former ODM party members and validated by the sources as authentic that established Obama designated Mark Lippert in his U.S. Senate office to be the go-between in communications with Odinga." But those documents -- a pair of emails -- "appear not to have been written by a native English speaker," as Politco's Ben Smith pointed out.

Why is WND still peddling claims that have been discredited? Do Corsi and Joseph Farah hate Obama that much that they simply can't be bothered to tell the truth?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EST
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Farah Lies About WND's Reporting on Obama Birth Certificate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The good news: Joseph Farah finally acknowledges the existence of his own website's previous reporting on Barack Obama's birth certificate.

The bad news: He lies to his readers about it.

In his Dec. 20 column, Farah begins truthfully by noting: "From Media Matters to Keith Olbermann to Democratic members of Congress, they are all eagerly attributing to WND a definitive finding that Barack Hussein Obama's website displays an actual copy of his birth certificate." But then the lies begin when he states: "There's just one problem. Nothing could be further from the truth."

Farah continues:

Here's an example. It's a constituent letter from Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash. He writes: "As you know, President-Elect Obama has indeed provided his actual paper Certification of Live Birth to several media organizations, as well as the Annenberg Foundation's non-partisan 'Factcheck.org' website and the conservative news website WorldNetDaily, which reported that a WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic.' In fact, all of these groups have recognized that the president elect's actual birth certificate document is real and genuine."

That statement is totally and obviously false.

It's too bad contempt of Congress charges don't work in reverse – so that citizens could jail members who lie to them.

At no time did Obama ever make his actual birth certificate available to WND – or any other news organization.

WND did offer up to forgery experts the facsimile of a partial birth certificate posted on his website. None of them could report conclusively that the electronic image was authentic or that it was a forgery.

Farah is lying. Here's what WND reported on August 23 (emphasis added):

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.

At no point does the August article express any doubt about whether the "forgery experts" could "report conclusively that the electronic image was authentic or that it was a forgery" as Farah claims; it unmabiguously and definitively states that "forgery experts found the document to be authentic."

As for the claim that "At no time did Obama ever make his actual birth certificate available to WND – or any other news organization," here's what the August article also stated (emphasis added):

However, FactChecker.org [sic] says it obtained Obama's actual birth certificate and that the document was indeed real. The site discredited some of the claims of Internet bloggers, such as that the certificate as viewed in a scanned copy released by Obama's campaign lacked a raised seal. FactChecker.org [sic] also established that many of the alleged flaws in the document noted by bloggers were caused by the scanning of the document.

Indeed, FactCheck.org states that it has "seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate," adding, "We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship."

Curiously, Farah does not suply a link to that August article in his column so his readers could judge for themselves. What is Farah afraid of?

Having lied about his website's own reporting, Farah then tries to spin it away:

But, here's the rub. Even if the image is authentic, which remains under serious question, it proves nothing. It is not a complete birth certificate. It doesn't answer the key questions as to whether Obama was indeed born in Hawaii, as he claims.

[...]

If anything, the fact that members of Congress and Obama's running dog lackeys in the media have to rely on WND to prove their candidate's constitutionally viability to serve should raise red flags from coast to coast.

[...]

The overwhelming preponderance of reports by WND on this matter raise serious questions about the eligibility of Obama to serve as president. Therefore, quoting one sentence out of context in one report represents a serious and deliberate distortion by those who are grasping at straws to justify their own predetermination of the facts.

Farah overlooks the fact that the reason that report is being cited is because it contradicts WND's subsequent reporting on the birth certificate, and neither Farah nor WND has offered an honest explanation of the chasm between the two -- or why it has refused to acknowedge the existence of that August 23 report in its subsequent reporting. The fact that "The overwhelming preponderance of reports by WND on this matter raise serious questions about the eligibility of Obama to serve as president" doesn't mean those reports are true.

And what, exactly, is the false context in repeating the August article's unambiguous statement that "A separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic"? Farah doesn't explain.

Farah also fails to explain away another statement in that August article: that Philip Berg's lawsuit charging that Obama is not a natural-born citizen in part "relies on discredited claims."

The fact that Farah is so blatantly lying about his own website's report about the birth certificate demonstrates just how far gone around the bend he is on the issue. He really is determined to destroy Obama at any cost -- including the truth.

UPDATE: Cross-posted at Huffington Post.

UPDATE 2: Keith Olbermann seems to have used our post as inspiration to name Farah his "Worst Person in the World" on Jan. 5. Thanks, Keith!


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 AM EST
Updated: Friday, January 9, 2009 1:37 AM EST
Quote of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ritualistic Baal worship, in sum, looked a little like this: Adults would gather around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants – men and women alike – would engage in bisexual orgies. The ritual of convenience was intended to produce economic prosperity by prompting Baal to bring rain for the fertility of "mother earth."

The natural consequences of such behavior – pregnancy an childbirth – and the associated financial burdens of "unplanned parenthood" were easily offset. One could either choose to engage in homosexual conduct or – with child sacrifice available on demand – could simply take part in another fertility ceremony to "terminate" the unwanted child.

Modern liberalism deviates little from its ancient predecessor. While its macabre rituals have been sanitized with flowery and euphemistic terms of art, its core tenets and practices remain eerily similar.

[...]

Nonetheless, the aforementioned pillars of postmodern Baalism – abortion, sexual relativism and radical environmentalism – will almost certainly make rapid headway over the next four to eight years, with or without help from the Christian left. The gods of liberalism have a new high priest in Barack Obama, and enjoy many devout followers in the Democratic-controlled Congress, liberal media and halls of academia.

Both Obama's social agenda and that of the 111th Congress are rife with unfettered pro-abortion, freedom-chilling, pro-homosexual and power-grabbing environmentalist objectives. The same kind of "hope, action and change," I suppose, that was swallowed up by the Baalist Canaanites of old.

-- Matt Barber, Dec. 19 WorldNetDaily column

UPDATE: CNSNews.com has also published Barber's column.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 22, 2008 12:46 PM EST
Friday, December 19, 2008
Graham's Double Standard on Presidential Library Donors
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Dec. 19 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham wrote that CNN's Wolf Blitzer "suggested it was unfair for the Obama transition team or Congress to press Bill Clinton to release the names of donors to his foundation and presidential library" while the libraries of ex-presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush haven't, adding that CNN correspondent Dana Bash "suggested their relatives haven’t been nominated for high office."

That, of course, is wrong. George H.W. Bush's son has not only been nominated for but has held a very high office for the past eight years.

Did Graham demand that the donors to the elder Bush's library be released in 2000? We're pretty sure he didn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 PM EST
Will Huston Correct False Claim He Repeated?
Topic: NewsBusters

Warner Todd Huston howled in a Dec. 15 NewsBusters post:

Looks like we can possibly thank our meddling media for another possibly bungled investigation, this time over the selling of Barack Obama's Senate seat by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojavich. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune was working with Fitzgerald's office on the investigation but decided to stop doing so in favor of printing the sensational story they were sitting on. This forced the arrest early so that the paper wouldn't blow the whole investigation.

The problem? It's not true. As the Journal reported on Dec. 17:

The timing of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s arrest wasn’t affected by a Chicago Tribune story that reported Blagojevich was being secretly recorded as part of a political corruption investigation, a Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman said. The Dec. 9 arrest, the spokesman said, had been planned before the Tribune article appeared Dec. 5.

A Washington Wire post Dec. 14 incorrectly said the Tribune article dictated the timing of the arrest.

Will Huston update/correct his post? We shall see.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:01 PM EST
WND vs. Wikipedia, the Sequel
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's current attacks on Wikipedia are only the latest in WND's anti-Wikipedia war. As we've documented, WND went after Wikipedia earler this year, calling it "Wikipornia" for purportedly peddling "sexually explicit images and content" (specifically, the notorious alternate cover of the Scoprions' "Virgin Killer" album) but failing to explain that they appear in the context of an encyclopedia.

A Dec. 17 WND article by Chelsea Schilling (author of the misleadingly alarmist "Wikipornia" articles) continues the trend by reporting on "the disparaging claims citizen-editors have made about U.S. senators in their Wikipedia profiles." Shockingly, Schilling even reports on the disparaging remarks made by Democrats, citing as evidence "a study conducted late last year by Gregory Kohs and several Wikipedia Review members." But Schilling fails to explain who Kohs is.

Kohs used to run a company called MyWikiBiz, a service that offered to write Wikipedia entries for businesses for a fee, and he has repeatedly clashed with Wikipedia and was ultimately banned from making edits there. Kohs is now somewhat in competition with Wikipedia, running his own Wikipedia-like (but paid and non-neutral) website.

At no point does Schilling disclose Kohs' business interests in competition with, and arguably at cross purposes to, Wikipedia (indeed, he has disparaged Wikipedia in other forums), and that Kohs has an interest in publicizing stories of "vandalized biographies" on Wikipedia in order to drive business to his own website.

The hilarious, hypocritical undercurrent of all this is that WND has it own ignominious history of publishing false claims that it makes little effort to correct. Just ask Barack Obama.

Schilling expresses shock that "many Internet users continue to use Wikipedia for research," but really, is WND a better solution, as is implied by this little war? Will WND issue a correction as easily as one can be made at Wikipedia? Just ask Clark Jones.

(Hat tip to reader T.F.)

UPDATE: Minor edits for grammar and clarification.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 22, 2008 12:00 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, NewsBusters Division
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters has been on an ODS tear the past couple days:

-- Ken Shepard freaked out at the idea that education secretary-designate Arne Duncan "was the architect behind a failed plan to open a 'gay-friendly' high school in the Windy City," calling it a "skeleton" the Washington Post wouldn't report. Warner Todd Huston did too. Why is it such a "skelton"? Shepherd and Huston don't explain. (CNSNews.com and Newsmax also suffered similar freak-outs on the subject, also without explaining why the idea should be considered so extremely controversial.)

-- As we noted, Tim Graham childishly mocked Time magazine writer David von Drehle as "David Von Drool" merely for writing an article about Time's choice of Obama as its Person of the Year. Graham even wrote a second post carping about von Drehle's "marshmallowy" Obama profile.

-- Brent Bozell weighs in on the Time article as well (appearing on "Hannity & Colmes" "live via satellite from the MRC's new state-of-the-art studio." No word on whether Bozell or any ohter MRC employee agrees with Sean Hannity's conpsiracy theory that the Person of the Year honor for Obama was a quid pro quo for Time writer Jay Carney taking a new job as Joe Biden's communications director.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EST
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Another WND Columnist Swallows Birth Certificate Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Add Craige McMillan to the growing list of WorldNetDaily writers who don't read their own website.

In his Dec. 18 column, McMillan complains that courts have "dismissed citizen demands that [Barack] Obama show his real birth certificate to the court (not the "Certificate of Live Birth" posted on his website, which is not acceptable identification to obtain a passport, among other things)."

In fact, as FactCheck.org has noted, the "Certificate of Live Birth" released by Obama's campaign meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Indeed, U.S. passports require only a "Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state"; the "short form" birth certificate appears to be permissable in most cases, including for those born in Hawaii.

Nowhere does McMillan give any indication that he has read the WND story from August in which it declares that Obama's birth certificate is authentic.

McMillan does, however, appear to have read another WND story -- an Oct. 23 article on an unsubstantiated claim by Philip Berg (whose lawsuit claiming that Obama is a U.S. citizen, WND wrote in August, "relies on discredited claims") that Obama's paternal grandmother has stated that Obama was born in Kenya -- for he writes that Obama is "a man born in Kenya (according to his grandmother)." But McMillan offers no evidence to back up that claim, either.

Is a raging case of Obama Derangement Syndrome a requirement of employment for all WND writers?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 18, 2008 10:33 PM EST
Paul Weyrich, R.I.P.
Topic: Free Congress Foundation

Paul Weyrich, a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and head of the Free Congress Foundation (and whom we've written about), has died.

Here's Brent Bozell's statement on Weyrich's death. 

UPDATE: Tim Graham weighs in, as does Newsmax and CNSNews.com


Posted by Terry K. at 11:19 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 18, 2008 6:56 PM EST
Unruh Still Lying About Obama Radio Interview
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last week, we detailed how WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh is perpetuating a lie by falsely portraying Barack Obama's statements about the court system in a 2001 radio interview.

Unruh does it again in a Dec. 16 WND article, apparently copying-and-pasting statements that he knows are false -- that "Obama believes the Constitution is flawed, because it fails to address wealth redistribution, and he says the Supreme Court should have intervened years ago to accomplish that," and that Obama said "The Warren court ... failed to 'break free from the essential constraints' in the U.S. Constitution and launch a major redistribution of wealth."

Unless he can explain himself otherwise, Unruh can only be called a liar. No wonder he's no longer working for the Associated Press.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 AM EST
Stay Classy, Tim
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham uses a Dec. 17 NewsBusters post to hurl childish insults at David von Drehle, the author of Time magazine's profile on its Man of the Year, Barack Obama.

How childish? Graham feels the need to call him "David Von Drool."

That was so funny we forgot to laugh.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EST
Janet Porter's Obama Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Janet Folger Porter is still ranting about Barack Obama's birth certificate. This time around, she's asking: "Where are the journalists with courage? Where are the investigative reporters who care about the truth? Do they still exist beyond WorldNetDaily?"

Of course, if WND actually had any courage, every story it runs about the birth certificiate would note that months ago, it declared the certificate released by Obama's campaign to be authentic and that Philip Berg's lawsuit "relies on discredited claims." But it doesn't.

And if Porter had any courage, not only would she note WND's previous reporting, she would come clean about her use of Faith2Action resources to promote her personal anti-Obama crusade. But she doesn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EST
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
NewsBusters Ignores That Fitzgerald Asked Obama to Delay Releasing Info
Topic: NewsBusters

A Dec. 16 Newsbusters post by Matthew Balan noted that "New York Daily News columnist Errol Louis and Time magazine editor-at-large Mark Halperin agreed that there was no problem with the transition team of President-Elect Barack Obama delaying the release of their internal findings into their contacts with the office of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich."

But Balan failed to mention that, as Media Matters noted, Obama's delay was requested by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, as both Obama and Fitzgerald have stated.

Similarly, Mark Finkelstein claimed in a Dec. 17 post that "the president himself attempted to dodge a tough question" on Blagojevich without acknowledging that Obama has put off questions about Blagojevich at Fitzgerald's request. And Ken Shepherd called one reporter the "Obama lap dog du jour" for asking Obama, "How difficult is all this having to wait to release your inquiry business when the American people expect transparency?" also without acknowledging that the wait came at the request of the prosecutor in the case.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 PM EST
WND Promotes Meaningless Polls on Obama Birth Certificate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What do you do when the facts aren't on your side? If you're WorldNetDaily, and you're promoting the fraudulent claim that Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake -- a claim you've already debunked, even though you now pretend you didn't -- you take refuge in meaningless, non-scientific polls.

A Dec. 16 WND article by Chelsea Schilling promotes an America Online poll that claims plurality support for the idea that "people should be concerned about Obama's citizenship." Schilling does state that the poll is "unscientific," but she doesn't explain what that means.

As we explained the last time WND took refuge in such polls, opt-in online polls -- such as the AOL poll -- are meaningless because voters are self-selecting and the polls themselves are prone to being gamed by the likes of Free Republic, so the results are not representative of anything except the people who voted.

In apparent full desperation mode, Schilling doubled down on the bogus-poll stuff by adding: 

On a similar note, today's WND poll asked readers, "Are you satisfied Obama is constitutionally eligible to assume the presidency?" A full 98 percent of 4200 voters said "no."

WND readers are, if anything, even less representative of America. But Schilling failed to accurately label the WND poll as unscientific, let alone meaningless.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 PM EST

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