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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
WND Ignores Full Story of Ex-Soldiers, Right-Wing Extremism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An unbylined April 14 WorldNetDaily article featured criticism by the American Legion of a Department of Homeland Security report on "dangers associated with "right-wing extremists" – and singles out returning war veterans as particular threats." The WND article stated that the American Legion "strongly objects to the report linking veterans to the Oklahoma City tragedy simply because bomber Timothy McVeigh had served in the military."

In fact, as Media Matters details, a 2008 FBI report (issued, by the way, under the Bush administration) stated, in the words of the DHS, that "some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups," adding: "A review of FBI white supremacist extremist cases from October 2001 to May 2008 identified 203 individuals with confirmed or claimed military service active in the extremist movement at some time during the reporting period."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EDT
ConWeb Baselessly Calls Tea Parties 'Grassroots'
Topic: The ConWeb

The following ConWeb articles, columns and blog posts baselessly asserted or uncritically repeated claims that the anti-Obama tea parties happening today are "grassroots" or "bottom up" despite growing evidence to the contrary:

WorldNetDaily:

  • March 15 article by Chelsea Schilling
  • March 23 article by Andrea Shea King

Newsmax:

CNSNews.com:

  • Feb. 20 column by Michelle Malkin
  • March 4 column by Michelle Malkin

NewsBusters:

  • March 23 item by Clay Waters
  • April 7 item by Jeff Poor
  • April 7 item by Clay Waters
  • April 9 item by Jeff Poor
  • April 11 item by Jeff Poor

Accuracy in Media

Only one ConWeb article uncritically acknowledges claims that the tea parties aren't "grassroots": an April 13 WND article by Chelsea Schilling.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 12:35 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Deep Thought
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard might have a credible case for criticizing government warnings about possible violence from "domestic rightwing terrorists" if the acronym for his so-called "War Against Conservative Opinion" idea didn't invoke images of gun-toting, child-molesting extremist cult members who murdered federal agents.

UPDATE: Jamison Foser adds: "So it is at least creepy, if not dangerous, for Sheppard to run around shouting 'Waco!' over and over, all the while promoting the fiction that the Obama administration has a secret plan to seize guns."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 2:35 PM EDT
WND Repeats False Claim About Obama's Pizza
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 13 WorldNetDaily article by Andrea Shea King falsely claims that President Obama "actually flew" pizza chef Chris Sommers in from St. Louis to make a pizza for him, further snarking that the pizza contains "a heaping helping of environmental hypocrisy."

But as blogger Tommy Christopher writes, he contacted the restaurant in St. Louis and got the truth (h/t Sadly, No!):

  • In fact, Chris Sommers flew commercial.
  • Not only that, he flew coach.
  • Not only that, he had already planned a business trip to DC, so the restaurant paid for his travel!

[...]

Finally, Barack Obama isn't saddling the American taxpayer with the tab for this feast. He's picking up the tab, for local ingredients, out of his own pocket.

Too bad King couldn't be bothered to investigate the story before latching onto a lie. But that's what makes her such an ideal WND employee.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 PM EDT
Kessler Fluffs Bush Again
Topic: Newsmax

Just because George W. Bush is out of office doesn't mean that Ronald Kessler can't fluff the guy.

A longtime Bush fluffer, Kessler takes the opportunity to fawn over him once more in an April 13 Newsmax column ostensibly about a meeting of former Bush administration officials "to map plans for the George W. Bush Presidential Center." He writes: "In contrast to President Obama, who takes swipes at Bush at every turn, they will have much to be proud of."

And the parade of fluffing begins, combined with potshots at the usual suspects. Kessler insists that Bush's achievements "have been largely ignored by a press determined to bash Bush whenever it can" and asserting without evidence that the New York Times "never misses a chance to portray Bush as an intolerant bigot."

Kessler devotes the latter part of his column to an attack on President Obama, including the misleading claim that "Obama has 'the most polarized early job approval of any president,' according to the Pew Research Center." He also claims that "Vice President Joe Biden has been busy making up stories about how he allegedly chastised Bush in the Oval Office" without offering any proof that Biden lied.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 12:11 PM EDT
AIM Baselessly Claims Critics of Lack of Degree for Obama Allege Racism
Topic: Accuracy in Media

An April 13 Accuracy in Media blog post by Don Irvine baseless asserted taht "Obama supporters and others on the left" are "mercilessly attacking" Arizona State University and "accusing the school of racism for their decision" not to award President Obama an honorary degree when he visits in May to deliver a commencement speech. Irvine offers no evidence that any notable person on "the left" has invoked racism in their criticism of the school. Indeed, it appears that the opposite is true.

For instance, John Aravosis at the liberal AmericaBlog wrote: "Now, before anyone thinks this is about racism or anything, it should be noted that Arizona State is happy to bestow honorary degrees on other people of color (or at least non-white color) who have accomplished great things in their lives, like the vice minister of education of communist China." (One would think that would set off the anti-communist obsessives at AIM more than a degree for Obama; instead, Irvine's offended that ASU will instead rename a scholarship for Obama, which means "his name will live on in perpetuity at a school where he has zero relationship and all because of the desire to be politically correct.")

At the Huffington Post, Earl Ofari Hutchinson stated that allegations that ASU president Michael Crow is a "closet bigot" are "mostly hearsay and does not tag Crow as a president with a vendetta against women and minorities."

Even a blog at the website for the black-oriented cable channel BET did not reference race issues in reporting the story.

Irvine might want to try backing up his claims once in a while.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 AM EDT
Monday, April 13, 2009
For WND, Fawning Profiles More Newsworthy Than Navy's Pirate Rescue
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How pathologically does WorldNetDaily hate Barack Obama? For much of the day today, its coverage of the rescue of a cargo ship captain kidnapped by Somali pirates starts at the 30th item on its front page.

The lead story? A fawning profile of Obama birth certificate obsessive Orly Taitz by Chelsea Schilling (who is apparently WND's go-to gal for slobbering profiles; she did one a couple weeks ago on movie-purity obsessive Ted Baehr).

Since Schilling is all about the slobbering and fawning -- indeed, she describes Taitz as a "fierce blonde" with "a vibrant smile and an ebullient personality" -- she's not going to tell you about WND's overly close relationship with Taitz -- as we've detailed, WND apparently has a role in facilitating Taitz's publicity stunts. Nor will she mention questions that have been raised about Taitz's legal qualifications and her methods of attacking Obama. (She's not a member of the American Bar Association, nor does the school from which Taitz received her law degree have ABA accreditation.)

Schilling will, however, indulge in casual slurs of Obama, quoting Taitz as saying that "much like President Obama's proposed brigade of youth organizers, the Soviet Union used children for slave labor."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:06 PM EDT
WND's Smith Displays Ignorance About Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Craig R. Smith writes in his April 13 WorldNetDaily column:

Obamamaniacs ignored his clear avoidance of any contact with the military by Obama during the campaign. Obama spoke to 300,000 Germans in the streets of Berlin but didn't have time to stop at the Landstuhl Medical Center to visit wounded heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan?

In fact, on the same summer 2008 trip in which he spoke in Berlin but canceled a visit to Landstuhl, Obama did visit a casualty unit in Iraq's Green Zone.

Smith also writes that on his most recent trip to Europe, Obama visited "a mosque in Turkey to appease the religion of peace" but not "the sacred, blood-soaked ground of Normandy where 9,387 American soldiers are buried" while ignoring the fact that Obama also visited troops in Iraq.

This is in a column, by the way, in which Smith accuses Obama supporters of being "ignorant of the facts."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnists Move in Lockstep to Bash Obama
Topic: Newsmax

As if moving in lockstep on orders from above, Newsmax columnists have declared that President Obama's visit to Europe and elsewhere accomplished nothing.

John L. Perry asserted in an April 13 column:

Like the Yorkshireman, Barack Obama burst upon the scene from obscure lineage — his emanating in disparate continents, Africa and North America.

Arms extended, Obama still circles the arena. Cheers continue, but slacken. His ill-timed effort to spread his wings across Europe, so congenial in leftist venues he courted, turned into a trans-substantial continental flop.

High-flying oratory proved utterly inefficacious in winning any major foreign-policy result he set himself to bring home in triumph. Obama’s personal diplomacy never took off.

A half-hour later, Newsmax posted a column by James H. Walsh saying pretty much the same thing:

President Barack Hussein Obama has been on a whirlwind tour of Europe, stopping at three recent European “summits.” Of course, his tour received glowing reviews by most U.S. news media and liberal/Democrat talking heads who decried that the tour was on the scale of Caesar’s return from the Gallic Wars.

World leaders and the world press, less obsequious than their U.S. counterparts, acknowledge the likeability of the new U.S. President, but as a leader for U.S. interests, not so much.

[...]

It is worth noting, however, that nothing of substance was accomplished. The Obama administration hastened to say that the president “built new relationships, which will prove to be the foundation for future substantive accomplishments,” which is Washington, D.C., spin at its best.

Contrary to the Obama administration, which tends to believe its own press clippings, the world is not in lock-step with the president’s stimulus plans, or his Afghan plans, his bailout plans, or his nuclear weapons control plans.

Did Perry and Walsh compare notes before writing their columns to make sure they didn't say the same thing the same exact way?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 PM EDT
New Article: Ellis Washington's Obama Derangement
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Fascists? Nazis? Mobsters? Devils? Pagan gods? The WorldNetDaily columnist has likened Barack Obama (among others) to all of these and more. Unsurprisingly, he's also a worshipper of Michael Savage. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
NewsBusters Takes Cue from Palin, Throws Levi Johnston Under the Bus
Topic: NewsBusters

Earlier this year, NewsBusters thought well enough of Levi Johnston to grace him with his very own category tag. Mark Finkelstein even ran to his defense in January, bashing MSNBC's David Shuster for labeling Johnston and Bristol Palin "unwed parents."

Not anymore.

Now that Bristol's mom, Sarah Palin, is trying to cut Johnston out of the family -- even to the point of apparently denying him unsupervised visitation of his own newborn son by Bristol --  NewsBusters appears to be doing the same thing.

Warner Todd Huston (of course) lobbed the biggest salvo so far:

Do you care that punk Levi Johnston is bawling to the press that Governor Palin is supposedly a controlling Grandmother? Especially in light of the fact that this kid is an uneducated, immature, unserious lout? 

[...]

This time we have punk Johnston whining that Grandma Palin is a bit cross with him and closely watches him when he is with the baby. All I can say is, can you blame her? I wouldn't think much of a grandmother that let's a jobless, high school dropout have unsupervised visits with a child he casually fathered without regard for his girlfriend's future or family. Would you?

Matthew Balan complained that in one interview, Johnston was asked "some obligatory sappy questions, such as what his son Tripp meant to him, and if his 'heart was broken' over the way things turned out."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EDT
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Where Are They Now?
Topic: Newsmax

The last time we heard of Lee Bellinger, it was 1992 and he was buying New Dimensions magazine from Roy Masters and hiring Joseph Farah as its editor. He's resurfaced as a promoter of guides to help people survive the coming social chaos in America.

In an April 8 email sent to the Newsmax mailing list, Bellinger has declared himself "Publisher of Independent Living" -- described as a "monthly financial, health, and taxation intelligence advisory" -- and he has "some disturbing developments" to share with us:

Bellinger goes on to assert that "many Washington insiders (including officials directly involved in homeland security) are personally making emergency preparations for social chaos. In addition, outgoing Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson told Sen. James Inhofe and Rep. Brad Sherman that so much financial mayhem lies ahead U.S. troops may have to impose martial law to deal with social unrest." he continues:

Not to be politically-incorrect, but the simple truth is millions of Americans who've never known anything but prosperity and easy-money have a militant expectation that society "owes" them something. And with so many families on the margins of survival already, the speed of the downward unemployment spiral is downright ominous (and unprecedented).

Worse, there are few signs the taxpayer dependents of today have any of the self-reliance skills that saw the hardy Great Depression generation through the tough times.

In fact, there is mounting evidence tens of millions of low-income government dependents and many others infected with a sense of entitlement are prone to crime and violence -- especially when it dawns on the masses there are not enough jobs and government promises of "relief" are as empty as the U.S. Treasury is bankrupt.

Peppered throughout the report are subheads such as:

  • When the Police Abandon Law-Abiding Neighborhoods to Mobs
  • Government Deliberately Keeps Public in the Dark About Multiple Threats to Public Order
  • Outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chilling Prediction
  • Two Categories of People: The Prepared vs. the Clueless 

Bellinger, needless to say, has the remedy: the "Social Chaos Survival Guide," which covers the following subjects, according to the email's subheads:

10 Key Warning Signs of Impending Chaos 

No Silver coins for Barter? Here's 25 Easily-Acquired Items You Can Hoard NOW

Eight Simple Rules that Let You Buck the System Without Attracting Attention

100 Steps to Greater Self-Reliance While Staying in the Mainstream of Society 

10 Simple But Key Steps to Total News Independence 

10 Steps You Must Take NOW to Avoid Detention Under Martial Law

Bellinger even provides a bullet list of even more subjects from his book, including:

  • Protecting your assets against the probability of social chaos. 24 essential steps you should take IMMEDIATELY to properly hedge your bets for a worst-case scenario.
  • TO FLEE OR NOT TO FLEE -- The pros and cons of hunkering down or evacuating an area that is under biological terror attack.
  • Inside tips on how emergency planners compile lists of "trouble-makers" to be scheduled for detention in the event civil liberties are ever suspended.
  • 10 facts about emergency property confiscation directives that you MUST know.
  • Secret government plans to issue "scrip" that will make your "cash-stash" worthless overnight. Know the warning signs to avoid getting ripped off by Uncle Sam.

Bellinger is also offering "THREE GREAT BONUS REPORTS" with purchase:

Free Bonus Report #1:
Smart Hoarding 101: Do It Right and Save Big Money By Stocking Up on Food, Water, and Yes, Fuel.

Free Bonus Report #2:
Life-Saving Basics: Make Your Own Antibiotic Alternatives At Home.

Free Bonus Report #3:
20 Key Insights Smart Investors Use for Successful Crisis Investing and Financial Self-Defense.

After all the hard sell, we find out how you get all this wonderful, informative stuff: by purchasing an $99 two-year subscription to his Independent Living newsletter.

Well, now we know how Bellinger plans to do his own independent living. How successful is his empire (which also includes another right-leaning newsletter, American Sentinel)? It apparently owns a 40-foot yacht.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Saturday, April 11, 2009
WND's Washington Smears Obama's Family
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Beware of anyone who thinks Michael Savage is "pure genius and inspiration." Thus, beware of Ellis Washington.

Not content with smearing President Obama, Washington is invoking "conservative intellectual and radio host, Dr. Michael Savage" to smear Obama's family as well. In his April 11 WorldNetDaily column, Washington approvingly cites Savage's claim that Obama has a "problem with women" and has an Oedipal complex that proves he has "resentment toward women that he has never been able to get beyond." Washington then spews:

"Honor thy father and thy mother" are such utterly sublime words for the ages. How can one truly honor his father and mother if, as in Obama's case, they repeatedly abandoned the manchild and left him to the care of others? The mother, named "Stanley" by Obama's maternal grandfather, had to grapple with the rejection and psychic trauma of not being loved as a little girl because her father, Stanley Durham Sr., so desperately coveted having a boy child.

Obama's mother, a tragic modern Cassandra-figure (Stanley) transmuted into the omnipresent Michelle, the strong mother-figure who would never leave him. Next was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright who married them, a racist, hatemonger minister – not a father to honor. As a matter of fact, throughout Obama's entire 47 years there were dishonorable mother and father figures who, though they indelibly shaped the manchild, could not receive his honor, including Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dorhn, Louis Farrakhan, Father Pfleger, professor Laurence Tribe, professor Charles Ogeltree, Rahm Emmanuel and the communist Frank Marshall Davis, just to name a few.

How can you honor your father and your mother when there is little to honor? When throughout your life there has been only a dishonorable mother and mother figures, a dishonorable father and father figures? In the meantime, America is descending into the paroxysm of economic depression, diabolical neo-Marxism and toward the Orwellian nightmare of a one-world government under his authority. What is driving Obama to this madness? Savage says, "The absence of a father has led to a pattern of idealized control that Obama has not only imposed on himself, but now wants to impose on the United States of America."

There are words for the kind of obsessive hatred exhibited by Washington and Savage, but "pure genius and inspiration" are not among them.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, April 11, 2009 10:15 AM EDT
Newsmax Lies About Pelosi Again
Topic: Newsmax

An April 10 Newsmax article by Rick Pedraza falsely asserted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "told a crowd of illegal aliens and advocates for immigration reform that federal or local law enforcement of existing immigration laws is 'un-American.'"

As we pointed out when Newsmax columnist made the same false claim, Pelosi Pelosi called immigration raids that separate undocumented parents from their documented children -- not all immigration laws -- "un-American." 

Pedraza also asserts that "Despite surveys showing that 75 percent of U.S. citizens are against providing amnesty, President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled House will push a system to make 12 million illegal aliens residing in the United States legal" without offering any evidence that the proposed Obama plan is, in fact, amnesty.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 AM EDT
Friday, April 10, 2009
Where Are They Now?
Topic: CNSNews.com

The New York Times reports on Marc Morano's newest gig, running the anti-global warming Climate Depot website for the right-leaning Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (heavily funded by ExxonMobil and Richard Mellon Scaife).

The Times erroneously calls CNSNews.com, where Morano worked prior to getting into anti-global warming activism full-time, "Cyber News Service" (that would be "Cybercast," actually) and fails to identify it as a division of the right-wing Media Research Center.

We've detailed how Morano peddled false and misleading claims about global warming at CNS and as an aide to Sen. James Inhofe.

UPDATE: The Wonk Room notes Morano's penchant for overly creative formatting in the press releases he sends out. 


Posted by Terry K. at 11:56 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 10, 2009 1:16 PM EDT

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