Alex Koppleman at Salon delves into the WorldNetDaily poll asserting that Americans "are not only aware of questions about Barack Obama's constitutional eligibility for office, but almmost half are either 'troubled' by the questions or believe he should release all relevant documents including his long-form birth certificate." Koppleman notes:
Getting a result that favored WND's position on the issue of whether Obama should release a long-form birth certificate (despite the fact that he's already released a copy of his birth certificate and Hawaiian officials have said he was born there) involved a little sleight of hand.
The result trumpeted by WND is that 41.5 percent of respondents said "Obama should release all records, including long-form birth certificate," essentially the "yes" answer WND was looking for. An additional 7.8 percent said they "are troubled by these questions," which the site has been lumping in with the yes answer. The "no" answer, though, they split up into five different responses -- "I am not concerned," "questions not valid," "Obama has met requirements," "Obama has answered all questions" and "requirements outdated -- should be ignored."
It's a neat trick, and a fairly common one; by doing that, you can avoid providing a real reflection of the size of your opposition. In this case, the total of those five answers adds up to a majority of respondents, 50.6 percent.
It's also worth noting that WND's pollster, Wenzel Strategies, appears to have a bit of a bias.WND quotes company chief Fritz Wenzel as saying, "Our polling shows that the questions surrounding Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president clearly strike a nerve across America, probably because it is a problem that everybody understands. Every American citizen has a birth certificate, and once in a while we all have to produce them to get a drivers license or gain entrance to school .... And while Obama did get in to the White House, nearly half the country's adults -- 49 percent -- are troubled by this issue and still want him to produce his official long-form birth certificate." Such a statement furthers Koppelman's suggestion that Wenzel, like Zogby, likes to adjust questions to get the answers their clients are seeking.
There's more evidence of Wenzel's bias. He is a former political columnist for the Toledo Blade who quit his job to work as a paid media consultant for Ohio Republican congresswoman Jean Schmidt; he was accused of working for Schmidt while still at the Blade, a clear conflict of interest (not that WND thinks there's anythingwrong with that). Some have also accused Wenzel of keeping quiet on evidence of alleged financial misdeeds involving involving Tom Noe, a Republican activist in Ohio with whom Wenzel had a personal relationship. The Blade eventually did break the story of Noe's investment of $50 million in state money in coin speculation and how he could not account for a significant portion of that money (speculated to have been laundered into political donations to Republicans, including the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign), though without Wenzel's help.
A June 21 Newsmax article repeats a claim from "foreign policy expert" Michael Ledeen about "a letter reportedly from the office of Mir Hossein Mousavi, in which the Iranian opposition leader criticizes President Barack Obama for saying Mousavi and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad are 'two of a kind.'"
That "reportedly" is the only word of caution that Newsmax offers; in fact, Ledeen himself is refusing to vouch for the authenticity of the letter. While Ledeen writes that "the person who sent this to me is undoubtedly in touch with the Mousavi people on the ground, that much is certain. His information has been proven reliable throughout this period," he also states: "Like everyone else covering the revolution, I get a lot of material that can’t be authenticated, and one must always take such material with a healthy dose of skepticism."
Newsmax fails to note that Ledeen has a dubious history on such matters; he has been accused of involvement in Italian documents purporting to document that Iraq attempted to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger, documents later found to be forgeries.
Further, though there's no on-the-record verification whatsoever of the "two of a kind" remark attributed to Obama, Newsmax treats it as authentic. Then again, it wouldn't be the first time that Newsmax has put words in Obama's mouth.
WND Columnist Is Smear-Tastic Topic: WorldNetDaily
Dr. Frank Rosenbloom ("board-certified in internal medicine and practices general internal and hospital medicine in Portland, Ore.") begins his June 19 WorldNetDaily column by stating, "I am awed by the power of words and how, when properly utilized, a minimal number of words can convey great ideas and have lasting effects." He then abuses and debases the power of words through smears and out-of-context quotes.
First, Rosenbloom engages in the WND tradition of likening President Obama to Nazis:
A now well-known political figure ran a campaign promising change. His success was largely due to his skill as an orator, his use of words. He used many words to assuage his detractors, claiming that capitalism and the church were in no danger from him and he was no threat to those who had worked hard and succeeded. He was fortunate to be conducting his campaign during a severe economic downturn. The stock market had fallen, banks had failed, businesses were closing, and unemployment was increasing.
As we know, this politician was elected to the highest office in the land. His programs promoted redistribution of income, government control of large industries, nationalization of trusts and banks, and the suppression of religious conscience. He derided the people he felt were in control of the monetary system and complained that negative elements in society were trying to hold back the progress that he was going to ensure with his new programs. From the beginning he supported abortion and euthanasia – for certain groups of people. This politician's name, of course, was Adolf Hitler.
Rosenbloom then upped the smear ante by likening Hillary Clinton to Chairman Mao:
Consider the quotations below:
"Genuine equality between the sexes can only be realized in the process of the social(ist) transformation of society as a whole."
"Women's empowerment is always, always about more than bettering the lives of individual women. It is part of a movement."
The first is by Chairman Mao, the second is by Hillary Clinton. Yet, they are of similar form and speak from similar ideology.
Finally, Rosenbloom takes Obama out of context to falsely claim that he was bashing Abraham Lincoln:
Barack Obama said: "I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator." President Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address to commemorate the dead, to consecrate a cemetery and to inspire our country to continue on in its valiant struggle. A mere 278 beautiful words written on the back of an envelope, it is widely considered the most inspirational speech ever given.
First, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and his Gettysburg Address are two separate speeches. Second, when placed in its proper context -- a 2005 essay on Lincoln Obama wrote for Time magazine, which does not mention the Gettysburg Address -- it's clear that Obama was, in fact, praising Lincoln:
Still, as I look at his picture, it is the man and not the icon that speaks to me. I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator. As a law professor and civil rights lawyer and as an African American, I am fully aware of his limited views on race. Anyone who actually reads the Emancipation Proclamation knows it was more a military document than a clarion call for justice. Scholars tell us too that Lincoln wasn't immune from political considerations and that his temperament could be indecisive and morose.
But it is precisely those imperfections--and the painful self-awareness of those failings etched in every crease of his face and reflected in those haunted eyes--that make him so compelling. For when the time came to confront the greatest moral challenge this nation has ever faced, this all too human man did not pass the challenge on to future generations. He neither demonized the fathers and sons who did battle on the other side nor sought to diminish the terrible costs of his war. In the midst of slavery's dark storm and the complexities of governing a house divided, he somehow kept his moral compass pointed firm and true.
Rosenbloom also wrote: "Gifted speakers and writers often use a select few words to maximum effect. As evidenced by the length of this article, I am not one so gifted." Nor, apparently, is he gifted in making a reasoned argument that doesn't devolve into hateful smears and selective quoting.
Vadum Concedes His Error Topic: Capital Research Center
Remember that whole pissing match between us and the Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum about whether the Center for Independent Media shares office space with Media Matters? We just noticed it, but a few days later, Vadum conceded that we were telling the truth (though not to us, since we just noticed the thing) when we said they didn't.
Not that Vadum's feeling any way chastened by his error,mind you; he goes on to call Media Matters "the journalistic equivalent of a roving, extremely well-funded death squad." And somehow we suspect we won't be seeing an corrections on the numerousother errors and misleading claims CRC has promulgated.
CNS Tries to Revive Failed Non-Story Topic: CNSNews.com
Remember earlier this year when CNSNews.com tried to make a big deal out of President Obama acknowledging the existence of Americans who are non-Christians and even "non-believers," only to find that not even right-wing evangelical ministers were offended?
It seems that CNS hasn't given up on it. A June 19 article by Penny Starr begins:
After two hours of prayer, music, and testimony focusing on Jesus Christ and the importance of the Christian faith in the Latino community, President Barack Obama’s keynote speech at the 2009 National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast referenced Muslims, Hindus and “non-believers” in the first moments of his remarks.
That's right -- As far as Starr was concerned, the big news out of this prayer breakfast was that Obama acknowleged the existence of non-Christians.
In the same way he doesn't want to interfere with the so-called "elections" in Iran, he doesn't want to interfere with Tehran's efforts to obtain nuclear power. He'll give them until the end of the year to gain all the nuclear power they need to obtain their fundamental goal of wiping Israel off the map. But, rest assured, after that, he'll engage in some serious dialogue.
No, Obama doesn't want to dictate to other nations what they should do. Unless that nation is Israel. When it comes to Israel, he wants full dictatorship. I wouldn't be surprised if he were to appoint another unaccountable czar to rule over them.
In the same "Apology tour" highlighting America's arrogance for "dictating" policy, Obama also used his political power to try and force the European Union to admit Muslim Turkey into their midst. Thankfully, France and Germany wisely opposed his dictates.
And while we're on the subject of the arrogance of such "dictates," Obama, who said he wasn't interested in taking over the Auto industry, has done just - closing dealerships based not on their success, but on their politics. Those who opposed his candidacy are out of business, and those who gave him the most money remain open, even if their dealerships weren't successful. Auto czars and pay czars that answer to no one but the dictator in chief are making policy as we speak. They have taken over the banks, and now they want to run your health care.
This dictatorship must be stopped. And it must be stopped now. If we don't, we'll lose more than our strongest ally in the Middle East and the free market - we'll lose our lives.
Liberals got away with hate displacement under Woodrow Wilson (1913-21), America's first fascist president whose fascism predated other noted fascist by years – Lenin (1917), Mussolini (1922), Hitler (1933), Franco (1939). Liberals got away with hate displacement under the socialist state of FDR (1933-45), electing him to a record four terms. Liberals got away with hate displacement under LBJ (1963-69) who seized the Kennedy Camelot myth and exploited it for his own purposes, which he called "The Great Society."
Today President Obama has wholeheartedly assumed the JFK mantle and the myth, complicit with Hollywood and the state-run media in America, the rival to Hitler's chief movie propagandist, Leni Riefenstahl. They have helped Obama secure the presidential nomination through a complex pyramid of lies that support his naked fascism including innumerable separation of power violations.
Whether you call it displacement, liberal fascism, propaganda, socialism, government totalitarianism or the Liberal-Muslim Axis, all of it amounts to the liberal hate that kills truth.
Speaking of liberal goofiness brings us inevitably to Barack Hussein Obama, as he now proudly identifies himself – at least when he's addressing Muslims, praising Muslims and, as usual, slandering America. By the way, isn't it the least bit odd that he never condemns Muslims for clinging to their religion and their suicide bombs?
The president is like an unattractive high school girl desperately looking for a date to the prom: Any boor can take her for a few compliments. It's only when she arrives home the next morning, deflowered, that she realizes she's been suckered.
The simple fact is that the fool you Obama voters elected, along with his merry band of Chicago thieves, have already saddled each and every American with more debt than they will ever earn over the remainder of their lives. They've passed this plunder out to their friends, who know where it has to end up before the next election.
America's system of checks and balances, designed to safeguard against tyranny, is in shambles.
Thus, our tyrannical president, committed to replacing free and private enterprise with government-run socialism, is able to do so, virtually at will.
That same tyrannical president is able to downgrade national defense, drive the nation to the cusp of financial ruin and trash the best health care system in the world in favor of a government run HMO, again, virtually unchallenged.
Our tyrannical president is able to use tax laws as a tool for punishing the successful in order to reward the mediocre.
He is able to bow before foreign kings, denounce America and her leaders while on foreign soil and apologize for American superiority as though it were a curse rather than a blessing.
Likewise, are Obama and his government-controlled media accomplices really outraged over the Iranian mullah's stealing the election? I think not, because they are both part of the same Liberal-Muslim Axis. Michael Savage, together with Joseph Farah's WorldNetDaily, have been shouting from the roof tops that here in America just seven short months ago we elected an unremarkable, untested senator who to this day has not revealed to Congress or the American people his college grades, his LSAT scores for law school, what country he was born in, or even if he is a "natural born citizen" according to Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.
On this last point there are currently only five House members out of 535 members of Congress who have signed on to support proposed legislation mandating that all future presidential nominees prove U.S. citizenship … after Obama. This political cowardice is both deficient and outrageous!
In the end, what is the difference between the mullahs stealing the election in Iran versus President Obama and the Democratic Party stealing the election here in America?
… which is why we glorify the Hitler of Iran and hate Michael Savage.
MRC Shocked to Discover Some YouTube Content Isn't For Children Topic: Media Research Center
A June 17 MRC Culture & Media Institute report makes the not-exactly-earth-shattering discovery that some content at YouTube is not for children. Of course, any sentient adult knows this, but CMI has taken it upon itself to quantify some of this:
CMI looked at the most popular search results for the word “porn” – 157 videos that each had more than 1 million views. The analysis showed that while actual nudity has been blocked by YouTube, the site is filled with videos, images and spoken and written language that children should not be exposed to and many adults would find objectionable.
But there’s sexual material – including soft-core porn – all over the site. (A search of the word “porn” returned more than 330,000 results.) While there is little actual nudity, most of these videos are highly sexually suggestive and include explicit language and themes from lesbianism to “gangbangs.”
Out of the 157 “porn” videos that received more than 1 million views, almost two-thirds (101 of 157) advertised themselves to be actual pornography. Those 101 videos had 438,318,147 combined views – or 1.38 views for every man, woman and child in the United States.
Even more shocking to CMI: There are videos of homosexual people!
Gay content, including gay propaganda, gay pornography and ads for gay escort services are easily found. There are 11,900 gay channels on YouTube, including 459 “gay porn” channels. A search of “gay porn” returns 52,700 individual videos.
This reminds us of a line from one of the "Porky's" movies made by a bluenose school official who was shocked -- shocked! -- that one of the students was showing a porn movie: "I sat through every filthy, disgusting frame of this repulsive movie ... twice." Some poor CMI staffers spent days digging through YouTube looking for every video offensive to their sensibilities that they could find ... perhaps twice.
One of CMI's recommendations is that "Parents should remember that even seemingly harmless videos and search terms can have disturbing results for children." Then again, the seemingly harmless act of going to church can have disturbing results for children as well.
CMI cranks out this moralistic reports on a regular basis. Last year, it determined that "53 percent of Dear Abby’s 2007 sex columns reject traditional morality," that "Homosexuality is perfectly acceptable to Abby," and that "Abby adopts a permissive attitude toward a variety of odd sexual behaviors." Thus, the CMI concluded, "Dear Abby’s advice on sexual matters cannot be trusted."
Lord of the Flies became the title of a famous novel by Nobel laureate William Golding, the story of British schoolboys stranded on a desert island. The boys separate into tribal identities and, thus balkanized, wreak havoc on one another as civilized boys lose their morality and revert to savagery.
Any similarity between this novel and what President Obama and his identity politics of class envy and racial polarization are doing to tear our nation apart is purely coincidental.
As Predicted, CNS Takes Obama Out of Context Topic: CNSNews.com
We sorta predicted that CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey's focus on President Obama's statement that "there are countries where a single-payer system works pretty well" was a prelude for taking the remark out of context.
That has now come to pass: A June 19 CNS article by Fred Lucas is built around Obama's statement, but at no point does Lucas mention of what Obama said immediately after: "But I believe—and I’ve taken some flak from members of my own party for this belief—that it’s important for our efforts to build on our traditions here in the United States. So when you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run health care, know this: They’re not telling the truth."
Richard Bartholmew demolishes Joseph Farah's June 13 WorldNetDaily column, in which he accuses Barack Obama of sending a code to Muslims in his speech at the Buchenwald concentration camp that he's promising to continue Hitler's genocide of the Jews. We'll let Bartholomew take it from here:
A few days ago he was pushing the idea that Obama created Swine Flu; but now we’ve reached the very bottom of the barrel, a point so low that only his good friend Michael Savage could possibly compete in the self-degradation that putting your name to such a vile piece of writing must entail.
Make no mistake - his question-marks and “don’t tell me I am taking this line out of context” sentence are no more than vacuous rhetorical devices which he hopes will deflect criticism for a posture that would make a British tabloid editor choke on his own puke. All they mean is that he’s too cowardly to take full ownership for what he’s saying.
So, Farah is happy to undermine an uncontroverial speech opposing Holocaust denial, a speech presented at a location which for most people represents both a memorial to Holocaust victims and a place for the most serious moral reflection, just to score a point that’s not even cheap. There’s no way he can believe what he’s writing, so he’s simply pumping out inflammatory and tasteless lies in order to whip up paranoia and hate. I’m sure he’d love to be accused of potentially inciting violence, just so he could bleat about how there’s a conspiracy to “silence” him. But just who is he writing this for, besides some lone nutjob with a cabin in the hills, an internet connection, and a collection of guns?
We'd have to provide a qualifed yes to that last question -- remember, WND does share mutual interests with Scott Roeder and James von Brunn.
Aaron Klein Desperate Obama Smear Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
The headline of Aaron Klein's June 19 WorldNetDaily article shouts: "Obama tied to Ayers ... at age 11." That's your first clue we're in for yetanotherdesperatesmearjob by Klein.
Klein's story is about a the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, "where President Obama attended Sunday school," which apparently has a history of "political activism." Klein then slips into screed territory, declaring that church as "a far-left activist church that may have helped provide the president's initial political education" -- specifically, that the church "served as a sanctuary for draft dodgers and was strongly tied to the Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS, during the time Weatherman radical Bill Ayers was a leader in that organization. The Weathermen was an offshoot of the SDS."
And therein lies Klein's desperate Obama smear:
The SDS connection to Obama's boyhood church is instrumental. During last year's presidential campaign, Obama notoriously brushed off Ayers' extremism as irrelevant since most of the Weathermen radical's violent actions were carried out when Obama was a kid.
Klein offers no evidence that the SDS carried out any "violent actions" when Ayers "was a leader in that organization" -- or any violent actions at all. Nor does Klein offer any evidence that Obama was exposed to any SDS activities as a child, though he omiously asserts that "Obama, however, likely learned values during his Sunday school days at the First Unitarian in the early 1970s." No, not "values"!
Klein then goes completely off the conpsiratorial rails. Among the evidence he cites for the church's activities as "a hotbed of far-leftist activism," Klein states that the church was "instrumental in founding the League of Women Voters." We weren't aware that the League of Women Voters was a "far-leftist activist" organization.
It's quite sad to see Klein is debasing himself so abjectly by writing such desperate smears. Apparently, there's nothing going on in Israel, where he's supposed to be heading up WND's Jerusalem bureau.
P.S. WND has a long history of negative portrayals of Unitarians.
Examiner Misleads on LA-Vegas Train Topic: Washington Examiner
A June 18 Washington Examiner column by National Review Online staff reporter Mark Hemingway falsely suggests that Harry Reid earmarked $8 billion in the stimulus bill for "a 300 mph, magnetic levitation (maglev) train between Los Angeles and Las Vegas." In fact, the money is designated for high-speed rail in general and not earmarked toward any one project.
Hemingway also falsely portrays the maglev option as the only possible solution for a high-speed rail line between LA and Vegas and, thus, the project is doomed without it. In fact, as the Los Angeles Times reported, Reid "now favors a conventional high speed train."
it's also worth noting that Hemingway's NRO affiliation is curiously absent from the Examiner's end-of-column bio, which describes him only as "a writer in Washington, D.C."
NewsBusters Ignores That Fox Ignored Crucial Facts in Walpin Case Topic: NewsBusters
A June 18 NewsBusters post by Brad Wilmouth highlights how "several FNC shows recounted the latest developments in the case of President Obama's suspicious, and possibly illegal, firing of former inspector general Gerald Walpin after an investigation headed by Walpin found Obama friend and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson guilty of misusing over $800,000 in funding intended for the AmeriCorps program." But Wilmouth somehow missed the fact that Fox News wasn't telling the full story.
As Media Matters details, some of those Fox News programs Wilmouth cited refused to mention a crucial piece of evidence in the Walpin case that led in part to his dismissal: a letter from acting U.S. attorney Lawrence Brown detailing allegations that Walpin and his staff "did not include" or "disclose" relevant information regarding the case to Brown's office; that Walpin repeatedly discussed the case in the press after being advised "under no circumstance was he to communicate with the media about a matter under investigation"; and that Walpin's "actions were hindering our investigation and handling of this matter."
Instead, Wilmouth reported only Walpin's side of the story, also failing to note Brown's letter.
UPDATE: A June 18 post by Wilmouth recounts Walpin's appearance on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," but doesn't note that Dobbs failed to bring up Brown's letter.
Here's a hint, David Letterman: An apology starts with you admitting you were totally wrong ... no equivocation ... no explanation ... no rationalization, and ends with you expressing your sorrow, giving a promise that it won't happen again and offering an act of contrition (such as your resignation or self-imposed suspension) ... no smirking ... no laughing ... period.
The Browns might want to pass that advice along to Farah. It took seven years for Farah and WND to admit to publishing false claims about a supporter of Al Gore after it became clear that it would lose the libel lawsuit the supporter filed against WND, which was about to go to trial. And even then, at no point in the official statement does WND offer any "act of contrition" amid the legalese. Farah and WND also wimped out by refusing to disclose the settlement terms of the lawsuit.
The Browns, meanwhile, make the false claim that Letterman was "joking about the rape of Palin's 14-year-old at the hands of a professional baseball player." Letterman says that wasn't his intention, and the Browns can't prove otherwise.
The Browns might want to apply that apology advice to themselves and apologize to Letterman for making a claim it can't substantiate.
Jeffrey Puts Words in Reid's Mouth Topic: CNSNews.com
A June 17 CNSNews.com article by Terry Jeffrey asserts: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) vowed Monday that the Senate would consider a 'comprehensive' immigration reform bill that would include giving amnesty to illegal aliens—an item he referred to as 'bringing the 11 million people out of the shadows.'"
Reid never said "amnesty" -- that's Jeffrey's imagining. And nowhere does Jeffrey explain his opinion -- which is exactly what this is, despite being presented as a "news" story -- that "bringing the 11 million people out of the shadows" is the exact same thing as "amnesty." Heck, Jeffrey doesn't even bother to define what he means by "amnesty."
In other words, just mark this down as a sloppy smear job by a right-wing activist throwing around scare words he refuses to define in order to rally his fellow activists.