Ponte Hits the Hateful Talking Points Topic: Newsmax
Lowell Ponte is down with all the hateful right-wing talking points on health-care reform in his Aug. 11 Newsmax column.
Falsely claiming that Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer "accused health reform critics of being 'un-American'" when, in fact, they asserted that "Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American"? Check.
Hypocritically denouncing Pelosi's criticism of Nazi imagery by protesters at town halls whileclaiming that "Obamocracy 2009" has a "chilling resemblance to 1936 Germany"?
Simply making up stuff in claiming that "By age 7, Pelosi was already accustomed to demanding political payoffs in telephone calls with those needing her father's favors"? Check. Making up more stuff in claiming that Barney Frank and Chris Dodd "threatened and bullied banks into making millions of home loans to NINJAs, people with No Income and No Job"? Check again.
Needless viciousness in claiming that any plane Pelosi is on is "said to be designated Broomstick One"? Double check.
An Aug. 10 email by right-wing retailer The Patriot Depot, sent out on the Newsmax mailing list, touted the Aug. 2 WorldNetDaily article presenting what it purported to be Barack Obama's "Kenyan birth certificate." The WND article was further touted on the Patriot Depot's blog.
But WND itself conceded that the certificate was a fake four days before the Patriot Depot sent its email out.
The Patriot Depot folks need to keep current on their conspiracies.
In an Aug. 6 NewsReal blog post, David Swindle takes us to task for our previous criticism of him and David Horowitz for their apparent support of racial profiling:
David Horowitz had a great one-line response to Terry’s inability to even bother engaging our arguments for discussion:
What is it you don’t understand about protecting black people from black predators?
To which we respond: What is it you don't understand about not treating all black people like potential predators?
As we originally pointed out, Horowitz and Swindle seemed to justify the full search of a vehicle of a black person pulled over on the New Jersey Turnpike for a minor traffic offense -- mentioned during an appearance by Horowitz on Glenn Beck's Fox News show -- by claiming that "a high percentage of drug dealers in the New York-New Jersey area were black." That, on its face, implies support for racial profiling due to the apparent belief that because most drug dealers are black, all blacks should be therefore treated as potential drug dealers. No additional justification was provided.
Swindle then added:
I’m not sure Terry really understands what Horowitz and I are defending here. We’re not suggesting that it’s acceptable for a cop to pull over an African-American male who’s just driving down the street, not breaking any laws. To do so would be true “racial profiling” and a genuine example of a “DWB” — “Driving While Black.”
But if an African-American male is pulled over and fits the offender profiling (which would include many factors apart from his race), a cop shouldn’t be afraid to search his car because some leftist, anti-cop activist will try and attack him as a racist.
But there was no indication from the person mentioned during Horowitz's "Glenn Beck" appearance who was stopped and searched that he fit the profile of a drug dealer beyond being a black male.
We have no problem with police using profiling techniques to catch criminals -- after all, that's their job. We have a problem with race being a disproportionate factor when it's not justified, which is what Horowitz and Swindle (as well as Newsmax's Ronald Kessler) appeared to be endorsing.
We believe in color-blind justice. We hope Horowitz and Swindle do too.
Jeffrey managed to discredit himself by following up his false assertion with the actual quote from Pelosi and Hoyer -- "Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American"-- which is clearly not what Jeffrey, Johnson and Gainor claimed they wrote.
Johnson, Jeffrey and Gainor are just thelatest in the ConWeb to lie about the Pelosi-Hoyer op-ed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can hardly blink (and the cosmetic surgery tax to pay for Obamacare died nanoseconds after the thoughtless congressional sponsor was reminded of Madame Speaker's obsession) so she knows the power of Botox, a poison that tightens skin and reduces wrinkles.
Nancy has spent the last week injecting American politics with one poisonous shot after another of rhetorical Botox to firm up support and eliminate the wrinkles of opposition to the increasingly unpopular Obama health insurance "reform."
But the Botox didn't work. Each time Pelosi increased the dose, ratcheted up the rhetoric, ordinary Americans just got madder.
Make no mistake, Nancy, the wrinkles of opposition are getting deeper. The Botox is not working. We the People will not be intimidated, marginalized or ignored.
So Nancy, hold the Botox. The Constitution does not need a facelift. It needs to be respected. We the People will be heard.
WND Promotes False Internment Camp Conspiracy Theory Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has found a new conspiracy to latch onto: the government is creating internment camps for critics of President Obama. Too bad it's not true.
An Aug. 7 WND article by Bob Unruh asserted "An ad campaign featured on a U.S. Army website seeking those who would be interested in being an 'Internment/Resettlement' specialist is raising alarms across the country, generating concerns that there is some truth in those theories about domestic detention camps, a roundup of dissidents and a crackdown on 'threatening' conservatives." In addition to quoting the usual alarmists, Unruh throws in the usual anonymous attacks by quoting YouTube commenters.
Janet Porter followed up in her Aug. 11 WND column by being even more paranoid:
Internment/confinement/correction camps for American civilians? Maybe there's something to all those rumors of FEMA concentration camps. After all, those internment/resettlement specialists are going to have to report to work somewhere. If you're going to round up American citizens, you're going to need a place to put them.
Internment and confinement are for criminals ... for terrorists. And terrorists, according to DHS, are ... us.
Both Unruh and Porter, as per WND style, ramped up the conspiracy factor without knowing what the hell they're talking about. As Media Matters detailed, "internment" is a term frequently used by the military when discussing detention facilities of all types -- a custom that goes back well before the Obama administration.
More sensible conservatives have tried to deflate the conspiracy. Ed Morrissey wrote at Hot Air:
It's not really a great mystery, nor is it a conspiracy to set up camps for political dissenters. It's a good job for people who want to serve the cause of liberty and freedom, and those who volunteer deserve our respect for choosing what's usually a pretty thankless job even without the paranoid overtones.
WND has yet to report this debunking to its readers. Apparently, a false conspiracy makes for better web traffic than the truth.
Newsmax engages in a bit of creative reinterpretation in an Aug. 10 article touting a Ben Stein column at the American Spectator claiming he was fired as a New York Times in part because of his 2008 movie "Expelled -- No Intelligence Allowed."
Newsmax rather bizarrely described the movie as "calling for a dialogue between science and faith." Er, not so much: When you're arguing that evolution paved the way for the Holocaust and obtaining interviews from evolutionists under false pretenses, that's not exactly calling for a dialogue.
In his Spectator column, Stein didn't deviate from reality quite so grandly as Newsmax, claiming instead his film was "a plea for open discussion of the possibility that life might have started with an Intelligent Designer." But again, invoking Nazis and engaging in deception does not exactly facilitate open discussion.
AIM Lies About Pelosi-Hoyer Op-Ed Topic: Accuracy in Media
Add Accuracy in Media to the list of ConWeb outlets making false claims about a USA Today op-ed by Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer.
In an Aug. 10 blog post, Don Irvine claimed that "concerned citizens are being called 'un-American' by the Speaker of the House and the Majority Whip" -- even though he excerpted a report clearly stating that Pelosi and Hoyer wrote that "Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American."
Irvine repeated the lie on Aug. 11, claiming that Pelosi and Hoyer "referred to Town hall protestors as 'un-American'" -- again, even though he excerpted the correct quote.
New Article: WorldNetDaily Does Not Do Journalism Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah spilled the beans -- he's an activist, not a journalist. WND's irresponsible treatment of the purported "Kenyan birth certificate" is yet another example of this. Read more >>
We didn't have time to get to this, but fortunately, World O' Crap did -- pointing out that Ellis Washington missed the point of another movie, this one "The Silence of the Lambs," in his Aug. 8 WorldNetDaily column that's yet another love letter to Michael Savage.
Key takeaway: "Oh, sorry, Prof, I couldn’t hear the silent lambs. I had John Cage’s 4′33″ turned way up."
WND Promotes Vicious Obama-Antichrist Link Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily wants the world to know how vicious it is by linking President Obama to the Antichrist.
On Aug. 10, it sent out an message to its mailing list touting Joel Richardson's hateful Aug. 5 WND column likening Obama to the Antichrist. While WND includes Richardson's disingenuous disclaimer that "Richardson is quick to point out he does not believe Obama is that future global leader," it makes sure to add that Obama's "messianic appeal and some of his policies do foreshadow the dreaded 'man of sin,' says Richardson."As we noted, Richardson is engaging in hateful deception.
The message also touts Richardson's new book, "The Islamic Antichrist," which claims that the Islamic messianic figure the Mahdi is the Antichrist. WND unironically states that "Richardson's book stands in stark contrast to most other popular prophecy books of the last 40 years," but somehow fails to note that it's likely because Richardson is wrong.
WND Repeats Discredited Claim About ProPublica Topic: WorldNetDaily
In an Aug. 9 attack on the Associated Press for agreeing to distribute reporting by "groups with financing from philanthropist George Soros and another far-leftist billionaire," WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein repeated a discredited attack on one of those groups, ProPublica. Klein wrote: "A report by the Capital Research Center concluded ProPublica 'churns out little more than left-wing hit pieces about Sarah Palin and blames the U.S. government for giving out too little foreign aid.'"
But as we detailed, the CRC's report on ProPublica is unbalanced, factually deficient and more about advancing a partisan agenda than actual "research." It mostly complained that ProPublica didn't slavishly repeat right-wing talking points on Palin, and it even contradicted the claim that it's a left-wing shill by stating, "ProPublica reporters should receive high praise for their stories on Obama’s stimulus package and banking bailouts, on recent business and financial scandals, and on other issues related to open records and open government."
Klein apparently didn't read that far into the report to find that claim.
Klein also asserted that another group, the Center for Public Integrity, "churns out regular partisan pieces," adding, "One widely debunked CPI study from last year, covered extensively by the AP, claimed it found President Bush and top administration officials had issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq as 'part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.'" But Klein offers no evidence that the claim was questioned at all, let alone "widely debunked."
Klein also failed to mention that WND published a series of articles that were underwritten by CPI -- the notorious multipart 2000 series by Charles C. Thompson II and Tony Hays attempting to link the-Vice President Al Gore to all sorts of nefarious goings-on in Tennessee. Then again, WND got sued for libel over that series, and despite fighting it for seven years, WND abruptly settled the case just before it was to go to trial by admitting it had published numerous false claims about one person named in the series. That, in turn, cast shadow over the rest of the series and, by extension, the journalistic integrity (such as it is) of WND itself.
But since when has WND ever cared about telling its readers the truth?
MRC Won't Blame Limbaugh For His Nazi Rant Topic: Media Research Center
In an Aug. 9 Media Research Center item, Brent Baker joined Newsmax in regurgitating Rush Limbaugh's talking points by absolving Limbaugh of all responsibility for what he says.
Baker insisted that it was "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who first put Nazi comparisons into play by accusing the opponents of 'carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care,'" and that Limbaugh was merely "reacting" to it with a screed likening Obama and Democrats to Nazis. Baker even linked to a transcript of Limbaugh blaming Pelosi and refusing to take responsibility for his own behavior.
We now know where the MRC gets its talking points from, don't we?
Similarly, an Aug. 10 MRC item by Rich Noyes complained that Limbaugh's Nazi rant was taken "out-of-context" by NBC, which did not mention that said rant "was part of a lengthy reaction to scornful statements by Pelosi smearing anti-ObamaCare protesters at town hall meetings." Noyes later asserted that "Pelosi had triggered the exchange with such a venomous charge." But Noyes, like Baker, failed to acknowledge that Pelosi's claim is true.
Variations On An Anonymous Theme Topic: WorldNetDaily
We'vedetailed how WorldNetDaily makes copious use of anonymous sources to smear President Obama. There's another way WND hurls smears without accountability: anonymous commenters.
In an Aug. 5 article dedicated to spreading the falsehood that a White House email address set up to collect reports of misinformation being spread about President Obama's health-care reform plan is a "snitch" program that collects data on people, Bob Unruh includes the following:
Bloggers and readers were livid.
Wrote one observer to WND, "In my life I never thought I’d see this happen in America. What are they going to do with the information they get?? Pure terrorism."
Added another, "Why wait for a snitch to turn your name in, when you do it yourself and save them the trouble. It only makes sense."
A third reader simply sent a link to an online history resource that cited the use of informants during the prelude to World War II.
Unruh offers no reason why these particular responses were chosen, or why they were granted anonymity. After all -- as WND editor Joseph Farah should very well know -- newspapers do not publish anonymous letters to the editor.
WND does not explain why anonymous comments, a lower grade of commentary because no one is accountable for it, should be given a privileged place in a bylined "news" story. Unless, of course, WND doesn't care about news -- or journalistic ethics -- at all.
Farah Doesn't See That WND Deserves Birther Ridicule Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah, in his Aug. 10 column, complains that he and his fellow travelers are being ridiculed over their birther obsession.
Is a guy whose website currently features a birther claims cribbed from a supermarket tabloid really complaining about being ridiculed?
Farah doesn't seem to understand that he sets himself up for such ridicule when his website embraces unproven supermarket tabloid claims, slobbers all over incompetent lawyer Orly Taitz while hiding said incompetence from its readers, and publishes information it can't be bothered to find out if it's true before publication, the "Kenyan birth certificate" being only the latest example.
In other words, Farah and WND deserve the ridicule it receives because they act in such a clownish, unprofessional matter and embrace the fringe crazies who promote the birther story.
Farah then defends the birther movement: "It's a leaderless movement – the hardest kind to crush. And it's righteous because it is rooted in the desire for truth and upholding the Constitution."
Well, no. As we've detailed, Farah cares more about running his partisan playbook and selling trinkets than he does the Constitution -- after all, as far as he's concerned, the birth certificate is nothing more than the new Vince Foster.