CNSNews.com has been increasingly distorting a proposed tax surcharge for high-income earners to pay for health care reform.
A July 11 article by editor Terry Jeffery screamed in its headline, "House Democrats Will Seek Massive $540 Billion Tax Increase." Jeffrey did note (though not until the fourth paragraph) that the figure in question is over 10 years; he later quoted the AP and the Washington Post on the income breakdown of the surcharge but failed to clarify that the tax would follow the marginal formula of the current tax system. As the New York Times described it:
The surtax, starting in 2011, would be calculated through a series of building blocks, beginning with a 1 percent tax on income exceeding $350,000 for couples and $280,000 for individuals. So a couple earning $500,000 would pay 1 percent of $150,000, or a tax of $1,500.
LaterCNS articles, however, has substituted explanations for scaremongering by focusing on the number:
A July 15 article by Adam Brickley and Fadia Galindo carries the headline, "Democrats' $540-Billion Tax Hike Will Force People Into Government-Run Health Care, Congressman Says." Brickley and Galindo reference "The Democrats’ proposed $540-billion tax hike to help pay for President Obama’s health care reform plan" but do not explain that the figure is over 10 years; they note the income breakdown but, like Jeffrey, fail to clarify that it's marginal.
Another July 15 article by Matt Cover -- which also references "Democrats' Planned $540-Billion Tax Hike" in its headline -- does the same thing. He then distorted reality by claiming that as of 2006, "nearly 68 percent of small business profits ($470 billion) were reported by people making over $200,000 a year, meaning that the majority of small business profits would be subject to the Democrats’ tax increases." That's false -- since the tax is marginal, only the amount over $280,000 (for an individual, $350,000 for a couple, under the proposed plan, as reported by Cover) would face the surcharge; income under that would not.
Speaking of Overly Sensitive ... Topic: NewsBusters
In a July 15 NewsBusters post, headlined "AP, Politico Overly Sensitive to Perceived Racial Slight of Sotomayor?" Ken Sheppard defended Republican Sen. Tom Coburn's statement that Sonia Sotomayor would have some "'splainin'" to do -- a reference to a catchphrase uttered by Desi Arnaz in "I Love Lucy" -- in a hypothetical attack on him. Shepherd made sure to point out that "it's clear the Oklahoma Republican did NOT ... evince a cheesy Desi Arnaz impression when cracking the joke."
While Shepherd was suggesting others were overreacting to Coburn's remark, another NewsBusters writer was having a major fit of overreacting.
A July 15 post by Catherine Maggio is headlined "Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Image and Legacy Desecrated in Service to Politics." How so? Somebody changedthe background image on his Twitter page to a image of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Sotomayor's face Photoshopped in. No, really, that's it.
Examiner's Health Care Report Biased, Misleading Topic: Washington Examiner
A four-page July 9 Washington Examiner "special report" on health care is devoted solely to attacking President Obama's plans for health care reform. Following the Examiner's dictate eliminating non-conservative opinion from the paper, no supporter of Obama's plans is permitted to respond to any of the claims made. Most people would call that a violation of journalistic ethics.
Not only did the Examiner farm out its criticism to its fellow right-wingers -- at least twoarticles are nothing more than talking points copied from the Heritage Foundation -- the "special report" repeats misleading claims and hides details about critics.
The misleading begins with Mark Tapscott's introductory editorial carrying the headline, "Do we want doctors, nurses to be government employees?" Tapscott offers no evidence that that would in fact happen under Obama's reform proposals. Tapscott also asserts that Obama plans on "nationalizing health care" and cites "fear that a government-run system in the U.S. will ration health care, just as has happened in Canada, Britain, France and other countries with such systems."In fact, Obama has specifically rejected a health care system like Canada's or Britain's.
An article by Joseph R. Antos asserted that -- under the heading of "$1 trillion," what Antos claims "Democrats have decided" health care reform should cost over the next decade -- "according to the CBO ... Sen. Ted Kennedy’s reform proposal would cover only an additional 16 million people. That works out to $62,500 for each newly insured person." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office analysis to which Antos is referring was an incomplete assessment that did not analyze the cost of a public option, considered a key to Democrats' reform plans. Antos made no reference, however, to a more complete July 2 CBO assessment of the current version of Kennedy's bill -- even though it was released a week before this column was published -- found that the bill, including the public option, would cost $611 billion over 10 years and cover 97 percent of Americans.
Further, an article by Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute described the group only as "a nonprofit research organization focusing on patient-centered solutions to health reform." In fact, Galen is funded by the pharmaceutical and medical industries -- information relevant to readers.
Molotov Again Endorses Military Overthrow of Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Molotov Mitchell reprises a theme from his July 4 tea party tirade in his July 15 WorldNetDaily video, endorsing a military overthrow of President Obama just like they did in Honduras.
Mitchell declared Obama to be part of a "new axis of evil" along with Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, claiming that he's "working with" them to restore ousted Honduran President Zelaya, whom Mitchell called an "ousted criminal." Mitchell repeats his previous parallel of Obama and Zelaya:
So, a Marxist president tampers with the constitution, the military kicks him out. And now you know why Obama's so concerned. If could happen there, it could happen, well, anywhere.
Of course, Obama has not "tampered" with the Constitution. But don't expect Mitchell to be bothered by such facts.
Cliff Kincaid's Conspiracy du Jour Topic: Accuracy in Media
The Boston Globe won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for covering the Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up of priests who sexually abused children. There is a Pulitzer Prize waiting for the reporter who can figure out why the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, considered by Catholics the personal representative of Jesus Christ, has emerged as an advocate of one of the most corrupt and non-Christian organizations on the face of the earth-the United Nations.
-- Cliff Kincaid, July 14 Accuracy in Media column
New Article: Kessler's Wedge Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler took liberties with a Jewish leader's views on Obama, and got called on it -- so Kessler had to hunt for another Jewish leader to advance his anti-Obama agenda. Read more >>
NewsBusters Still Defending Bush's Firing of Attorneys Topic: NewsBusters
In a July 14 NewsBusters post reporting that the "left-wing blog Talking Points Memo" has received funding from investors to hire additional reporters, Clay Waters notes that TPM "won the media's George Polk Award for legal reporting for his work on the Bush administration firing eight U.S. attorneys under what TPM and other liberals claimed were politically motivated circumstances -- a perfectly legal effort that was nonetheless considered scandalous by mainstream media."
That ignores the controversy over why the attorneys were fired: reportedly for prosecuting too many Republicans and not enough Democrats and to make room for GOP political operatives.
Any chance Waters or his MRC buddies will ever admit that President Clinton's firing of the Travel Office staffers was "a perfectly legal effort that was nonetheless considered scandalous by right-wing media"?
Why Won't MRC Mention McCorvey's Link to Randall Terry? Topic: Media Research Center
When last we saw MRC Culture & Media Institute writer Sarah Knoploh, she was suggesting that George Tiller deserved to be targeted for murder. Now in a July 14 CMI article, Knoploh is complaining that the TV networks failed to mention that one of the anti-abortion protesters who disrupted Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing on July 13 was Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" in the original Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion who is now an anti-abortion activist. "McCorvey’s outburst should have received more attention from the networks," Knoploh insisted.
Knoploh goes on to fawn over McCorvey as someone "passionately working to overturn the ruling" and is "concerned about the lack of clarity on Sotomayor’s positions" on abortion -- though Knoploh doesn't explain how making a spectacle of herself at a congressional hearing is a suitable way to express concern about Sotomayor's "lack of clarity" on abortion.
Speaking of lack of clarity, Knoploh is mum about one aspect of McCorvey's disruption, as well as that of three others who disrupted the hearing with anti-abortion statements. As the Washington Post reported in an article to which Knoploh linked:
All appeared to be players in the shock street-theater troupe of Randall Terry, who founded Operation Rescue 20 years ago and yesterday brought his provocative props to his latest venue. Outside the Hart Building, Terry and his band brandished posters of aborted fetuses and children's coffins holding dolls covered in stage blood. A demonstrator dressed in a judge's robes carried the sickle of the Grim Reaper.
As we've detailed, since Tiller's murder, the MRC and the rest of the ConWeb have been trying to ignore Terry, particularly after he essentially condoned the killing of Tiller. This means that McCorvey is far beyond the merely "concerned" and "passionate" activist Knoploh portrays; she's in thrall to an extremist who condones murder.
We can see why Knoploh wouldn't mention that fact -- it destroys her narrative of McCorvey.
UPDATE: Knoploh's article is posted at NewsBusters as well.
Warner Todd Huston has long been one of NewsBusters' more aggressively clueless writers, and he demonstrates his aggressive cluelessness once again in a July 14 post bashing Sonia Sotomayor.
Attacking a CNN commentary by Jeffrey Toobin calling Sotomayor "a liberal in the cautious and careful mode" of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Huston retorted with a barrage of unsupported and undefined assertions:
Since when is Ginsburg a “cautious and careful liberal”? She was, after all, once the chief litigator for women’s rights for the extremely leftist group the ACLU. The reason she was picked by President Bill Clinton to take a seat on the Court is because she was an activist liberal. Not “cautious” in the least.
Yet, here is Toobin remaking Ginsburg’s story into that of a stolid, “cautious” liberal so that he can give cover to Sotomayor’s activism on behalf of minority set asides. The truth of the matter is, however, there is nothing “cautious” about either Sotomayor’s or Ginsburg’s liberalism. They are both of the extreme variety compared to the average, conservative Democrat’s.
Huston offers no evidence that either Sotomayor or Ginsburg are "extreme," let alone his definiton of "extreme" vis-a-vis his definition of an "average, conservative Democrat."
Huston then takes on the "wise Latina" comment:
Her supporters have said that this quote has been taken out of context and that read in context with the rest of the speech, this single sentence culled from the whole is easily misconstrued. But that is simply not the case. The New York Times helpfully published the entire speech and there is no way, when all is said and done, not to understand that Sotomayor is asserting in a straight forward manner that minorities -- "Latinas" in particular -- are better judges than white men. She further asserts that white men are less likely to have such experiences that will make them a good judge unless they are fortuitous enough to have reached "moments of enlightenment" that will put them on par with minorities.
Put plainly, she is saying "Latinas" make better judges simply by virtue of being Latinas. That is as perfect an example of racist sentiment as can be imagined.
One must admire the chutzpah of Huston acknowledging complaints that Sotomayor's statement was taken out of context -- then going ahead and taking it out of context anyway. The context, of course, is that Sotomayor was referring specifically to "race and sex discrimination cases" -- which Huston mentions nowhere in his screed and conveniently omits from the speech excerpt he included in his post.
Huston then made a big deal about how "five out the six cases that Sotomayor decided in lower courts that appeared before the Supremes were reversed by that court" -- even though he lists seven cases. Huston didn't mention that the Supreme Court typically reverses a large majority of the appeals court cases it considers, nor did he mention that prior to his elevation to the high court, at least four rulings Samuel Alito made as an appellate judge were overturned by the Supreme Court.
If Sotomayor's reversal rate disqualifes her, Alito'sreversal rate should have disqualifed him, right?
Huston can't be bothered by such trivia. He's too busy smearing Sotomayor as "A racist with low grades and a sense of entitlement that has been reversed or scolded in five out of the six cases of hers that have appeared before past Supreme Court sessions."
Yes, it seems Huston really does graduating summa cum laude from Princeton is evidence of "low grades."
Meanwhile ... Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters' Jamison Foser catches NewsBusters' Kyle Drennen, in a July 13 post, complaining that Harry Smith dared to challenge a Republican senator's talking points on Sonia Sotomayor -- namely, Sen. Jeff Sessions' assertion that Sotomayor is a "typical liberal activist judge." Drennen also fails to acknowledge that Session's conceded Smith's point that Sotomayor's "record is better than her speeches."
Newsmax Columnist Wants Americans to Sacrifice for Afghan War Topic: Newsmax
John L. Perry writes in his July 13 Newsmax column:
This may be the first time any country lost a war by legerdemain. Barack the Magic Magician is ignoring the war on terror into non-history.
Like the mesmerizing six-months “phony war” with no serious fighting between the Allies and Germany after the Nazis attacked Poland in September 1939, this current period of suspended animation between the United States and al-Qaeda may go down in history as President Barack Obama’s illusionary war.
Six months into his presidency, you’d never guess the U.S. is at war.
Look around you. Does this resemble a country at war?
There’s no talk about “the war effort.” around the breakfast table, at the workplace, in the streets, as in World War II. Where are the patriotic posters?
Who buys a $25 “war bond” for $18.75 – or even a single 25-cent “war stamp” to paste into a book of 75 stamps to trade in at a bank for a war bond?
Who collects meat drippings to contribute to national supplies of glycerin for conversion into munitions?
Who flattens tin cans to toss in with other scrap metal to drop in the form of bombs upon the enemy?
Enemy … what enemy? This president wants everyone to join him in being best buds with dictators of thug nations that provide sanctuary and sustenance to terrorists. Under Obama’s policies of “change,” even the very word terrorist is fast becoming taboo. Same for victory.
Who speaks of “making sacrifices” to “win” this war? What war is that?
Um, when did any of this take place under the Bush administration's war against Iraq? Oh, that's right -- it didn't. Did Perry make note of this prior to 2009? We suspect not.
It's no surprise to see Perry's column devolve into a fit of Obama Derangement Syndrome:
This president has located, and is lurching down, a road to a Marxist society that Marx, Lenin, and the whole lot never foresaw in their maddest dreams.
Not a shot need be fired, not a barricade left to storm. With avid help from its mass communications lair of leftist elitists, America is rapidly becoming a nation without a spine, devoid of a recognizable culture, robbed of its soul.
Under slick, diversionary, sleight-of-hand feats by Barack the Magic Magician, one moment you see the America you knew … now you don’t.
And, of course, no evidence that Bush sought the sacrifices from American civilians that Perry demands Obama seek.
CNS, Newsmax Join in Misleading About Ginsburg Topic: CNSNews.com
WorldNetDaily and NewsBusters aren't the only ones misrepresenting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's remarks about abortion in a New York Times interview.
A July 10 CNSNews.com article by Christopher Neefus asserted that Ginsburg "said she thought the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion was predicated on the Supreme Court majority's desire to diminish 'populations that we don’t want to have too many of.'" In fact, Ginsburg was not referring to herself regarding that belief, which is clear from the interview transcript Neefus included in his article.
Similarly, a July 12 Newsmax "Insider Report" misleadingly claimed that Ginsburg "says she thought the Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion was intended to aid population control among lower-income Americans."
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his July 13 WorldNetDaily column, Craig R. Smith repeatedly refers to President Obama as "Chairman Obama." Smith also throws in a reference to "Commandant Pelosi."
Is WND Editing Obama's Wikipedia Entry Again? Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've previously detailed how a person working under the direction of WorldNetDaily reporter Aaron Klein edited Barack Obama's Wikipedia entry so that Klein could write a WND article on how edits adding baseless speculation about Obama's birth were deleted. Is WND trying to manufacture another story like that?
A July 12 WND article by Joe Kovacs details how a Wikipedia page on the "early life and career of Barack Obama" had "changed numerous times" and "displayed at least two countries the commander in chief may have been born in – the United States and Kenya." Kovacs doesn't state how it became aware of the edits or who did the editing. Thus, we don't know whether the editing was done by Kovacs, another WND emoployee or an outside person acting under the direction of WND (as was the case in Klein's article).
(The edit-history section of the Wikipedia page in question shows that the edits Kovacs cited were made by a user posting under the name BenSpecter.)
Kovacs goes on to call the reversion of BenSpecter's edits "blatant scrubbing" (though WND did the same thing to Klein's article after publication in removing all evidence that the person who made the edits to Obama's Wikipedia page for Klein's article did so under Klein's direction).
Kovacs then goes on to add:
The recent revelations have some members of the public fuming.
WND reader Linda Trebe indicates she's "very upset, frustrated, disgusted, scared and amazed that nothing is being done to remove this evil illegal alien who is posing as our 'legal' president, but is a usurper. Why isn't this new information in the mainstream media for all the world and America informed and him asked to step down before our wonderful nation completely destroyed?"
Do Kovacs, Joseph Farah and the rest of the WND agree with Trebe that Obama is an "evil illegal alien"? Given the prominence to which Kovacs has elevated her remarks, we'd have to say yes -- which, of course, disqualifies Kovacs and WND from reporting anything that can be trusted.