We've previously noted that a Aug. 19 CNSNews.com article by Christopher Neefus failed to note the Lewin Group's links to a private insurer, throwing doubt on the article's claim that the organziation is "independent." But there's something else worth noting about the article as well.
The article was ostensibly about a "liberal Yale scholar" claiming that "he does not see the public option as a 'Trojan Horse' that could lead the United States to single-payer, government-run health insurance." Neefus permitted a representative of an anti-reform group to rebut the claim.
Meanwhile, another Aug. 19 CNS article by Penny Starr promoted the idea that sentencing teenagers to life without parole is not "cruel and unusual punishment." By contrast to Neefus, Starr at no point quotes anyone who objects to that idea.
Interesting that CNS presents a conservative claim unchallenged but decides that a liberal claim must contain a conservative response.
NewsBusters Perpetuates Health Reform Falsehoods Topic: NewsBusters
Rusty Weiss tries to perform debunking of claims about health care reform by attempted ridicule -- instead of, you know, using facts -- in an Aug. 19 NewsBusters post.
Citing a columnist who claimed that right-wing assertions that "the plans would give health insurance coverage to illegal immigrants; would lead to a government takeover of the health system; and would use taxpayer dollars to pay for women to have abortions" are "all claims that nonpartisan fact-checkers say are untrue," responds, essentially, that they are true because right-winger said they were.
Weiss makes no attempt to actually examine the claims in question -- if, say, Michelle Malkin said it's true, then by golly it's true.
Weiss then claimed that the columnist "goes on to rip Sarah Palin as ignorant, calling her death panel comment as ‘inane' and ‘absurd'. Therefore, if you too, believe the health care plan will lead to death panels, then you are not only as inane as Sarah Palin, but you're [sic] argument is as absurd as Rush Limbaugh's." Again, Weiss makes no effort to point out that the "death panels" claim has been repeatedlydiscredited, instead relying on an appeal to authority by assuming that anything Palin and Limbaugh say must be true, even though they have no demonstrated expertise on health-care issues.
Weiss went on to complain that "the liberal mainstream ‘fact-checking' media" reports that such arguments have been debunked by "fact-checking Web sites," then asks, "who is fact-checking the fact-checkers? They have been refuted before; here, here, and here."
Weiss then attacks FactCheck.org -- even though the link under his first "here" in the previous paragraph is a NewsBusters piece that defends FactCheck's research debunking various claims about Sarah Palin. Citing a FactCheck piece he fails to link to, Weiss writes:
In regards to the illegal immigrant aspect of the poll, FactCheck.org claims this to be a false argument because ‘the House bill specifically says that no federal money would be spent on giving illegal immigrants health coverage'. This completely ignores the amendment voted on and shot down by Democrats in the House Ways and Means Committee in July, which would have prevented illegal aliens from accessing taxpayer-funded health care benefits. The measure would have enforced income, eligibility, and immigration verification screening on an estimated 9.6 million illegal immigrants.
Why doesn't Weiss link to that FactCheck report: because it appears to debunk his final claim:
Of interest: About half of illegal immigrants have health insurance now, according to the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center, which says those who lack insurance do so principally because their employers don’t offer it.
Further, Weiss is nitpicking. The question was whether the bill "would give health insurance coverage to illegal immigrants" -- which it doesn't. Further, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported:
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, said Heller’s measure wasn’t needed because the bill prevents anyone in this country illegally from gaining federal help for premiums, just as current law prevents those people from gaining Medicaid and other medical coverage.
"The rejected amendment would have for the first time allowed insurance companies to access sensitive personal information to shop for customers and for other commercial purposes, while avoiding any responsibility to protect individual privacy or provide redress for errors as currently required of government agencies," said Doggett, the only Texas Democrat on the committee.
Weiss doesn't explain why such a violation of privacy -- which conservatives normally oppose -- is permissible in the pursuit of keeping illegal immigrants from getting public health insurance.
Our dialogue with David Swindle at David Horowitz's Newsreal blog continues in an Aug. 13 post by Swindle, who reports Horowitz's response to us:
Treating all black people like potential predators is racist and we’re opposed to that. First look at the statistics of how many traffic stops for broken tail lights turn up criminals and then ask yourself whether the inconvenience isn’t worth it. Because I have an artificial hip I get searched every time I take a flight (which is often). That’s a greater inconvenience than having your car searched because you didn’t bother to fix your tail light. Now consider how many black citizens have been robbed, raped, murdered and become addicted to drugs because of leftists who oppose these simple and reasonable measures the police use to stop crime.
Horowitz is making some baseless blanket assertions there. First, why the assumption that any vehicle with a non-functional taillight is that way because the driver "didn't bother" to fix it? Second, why the assumption that "leftists who oppose ... simple and reasonable measures" are to blame for crime? Third, where is it written that getting stopped for a broken tail light equals automatically "having your car searched"?
First, of course, the crew member from Glenn Beck’s show who relayed the alleged incident of racial profiling isn’t going to mention if there was anything else about him that might make him fit the profile of a potential drug dealer. What does he know about offender profiling? Certainly not as much as the cop who stopped him, who assessed the situation and saw clues of possible criminal wrongdoing beyond a busted tail light.
But the fact of the matter is that in this case, neither Krepel nor Horowitz and myself know what happened. We weren’t there, we can only guess. And it’s here where the subject of ideology emerges. How do we make our guess at what happened? Why do Horowitz and I tend to lean more heavily toward the idea that the cop was just doing his job? Why does Krepel see a potential racist?
True, we are arguing about a incident about which we know very little, only the limited information the Beck crew member related during the Horowitz interview. But Swindle leaves out one important component: the crew member thought that the search was unwarranted.
And this is where Horowitz's analogy about getting extra attention from airport security because of his artificial hip breaks down. Horowitz's inconvenience mainly applies in one specific situation: when he's boarding a plane. He can prepare for that eventuality and build time into his schedule to allow for it. The crew member, on the other hand, does not know what made the police officer search his car, and thus does not know what, if anything, he can do to lessen the suspicion. Indeed, the only possible contributing factor we're aware of is that he's black.
Further, I find it interesting that Horowitz publications such as NewsReal and FrontPageMag are so dedicated these days to denigrating the authority of elected officials whose politics they don't disagree with, yet offer deference to certain other authoritarian figures even if their motivation is in question, becuase they are "just doing their job." That's not a excuse Horowitz and Swindle would likely let any Obama administration official get away with.
Finally, Swindle writes:
So I return to Krepel with the question posed in my headline, which seems to be our primary fundamental disagreement: Is your average cop society’s sentinel or is he a racist authoritarian? Is racism within the law-enforcement community a systematic problem, or are there just a few bad apples? And if your answer is the latter, then why would you make the assumption that Beck’s crew member was likely the victim of one of those few?
In other words, which ideological approach is ultimately more accurate and more useful in 2009?
Why must it be either/or? I believe that the vast majority of police are doing the best job they can. I suspect that overt racism does not exist and is frowned upon within the ranks, and that any racism that does exist is by and large not consciously done and limited to situations such as what could be described as racial profiling.
I do, however, reserve the right to question the authority of anyone, law enforcement included, who hasn't earned it. And I don't have to resort to political ideology in the process.
CNS Falsely Calls Lewin Group 'Independent' Topic: CNSNews.com
In an Aug. 19 CNSNews.com article, Christpher Neefus referenced a study "conducted by an independent group--the Lewin Group--which showed that more and more people would end up in the new public insurance exchange over time."
In fact, as we've noted, the Lewin Group is not "independent" -- it is owned by a private insurer, UnitedHealth Group, which has a stake in opposing the creation of a public option for health insurance.
Brennan Falsely Claims 'Demonstrable Existence of Death Panels' Topic: Newsmax
In his Aug. 18 Newsmax column insisting that "Barack Obama has been revealed for what he is: a con man who managed to fool some of the people all of the time but has failed to fool most of the people all, or even some, of the time," Phil Brennan referenced "the demonstrable existence of death panels buried with the 1,000-plus pages of the House bill."
CNS Still Trying to Create Baseless ACORN Controversy Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is not giving up on trying to create a controversy where there isn't one.
As we've previously noted, CNS' Edwin Mora attempted on July 23 to put Sen. Christopher Dodd on the spot by asking him whether money in the health care reform package would go to ACORN without offering evidence that ACORN engages in health care-related activities.
Mora gave that nonexistent controversy another try in an Aug. 18 article by again baselessly pondering whether ACORN would receive money in the health care reform package set aside for "national network of community-based organizations" to "promote healthy living and reduce disparities."
Again, Mora fails to offer any evidence whatsoever that ACORN is involved in health care, though he quoted an employee of a right-wing think tank similarly engaging in empty thinking by speculating that health reform money "could be misused by organizations that do not promote healthy living."
Also missing from both of these articles is any evidence that Mora asked ACORN itself whether it is even interested in making use of such money. Wouldn't that have been the first thing a reporter should have done, rather than engage in speculation?
New Article: WorldNetDaily Wants You To Think Obama Is the Antichrist Topic: WorldNetDaily
What do you do after you've repeatedly likened President Obama to Nazis? If you're WND, you turn "The Daily Show" into reality and go the Antichrist route. Read more >>
Joseph Farah offers up one of the more creative interpretations of the Bible in his Aug. 18 WorldNetDaily column:
It wasn't Jesus who was the socialist, it was the man who betrayed him – Judas Iscariot. And I will prove it to you.
Read John 12:1-8:
"Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
"Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
"Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always."
Note that Jesus was not a proponent of "the Great Society" or the "War on Poverty." He preached to individuals to heal the sick, feed the hungry and help the poor. But he never suggested in any way, shape or form that this was the proper role of government. This was the role of the church – the duty of the individual believer.
Jesus said: "For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always."
And note Judas' phony, non-righteous indignation about the wastefulness of pouring the expensive ointment on Jesus' feet: "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?"
Does this sound familiar? Doesn't it sound remarkably like Ed Schultz's whining?
But Judas didn't care about the poor, John tells us. He was a thief. He was the guy who held the moneybag. He wanted to see his own power increased by the sale of someone else's private property – just like the modern-day socialists who don't care about the poor and sick, but use them to increase their own standing.
No, Ed Schultz, Jesus was not a socialist. He was not a proponent of socialized medicine. He was certainly not in favor of people trusting in government. He was a proponent of people putting their faith in God and acting responsibly.
WJC Lies About MoveOn and Bush-Hitler Video Topic: Western Journalism Center
The Western Journalism Center has posted a video titled "Rachel Maddow Lies about MoveON.org," which purports to debunk Rachel Maddow's claim during the Aug. 16 edition of "Meet the Press" that MoveOn never ran an ad comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler.
But the WJC is the liar. While the video includes a clip of something that appears to be a MoveOn ad comparing Bush to Hitler, at no point does the WJC mention that it was submitted as part of a contest MoveOn ran in 2004 and never ran as a paid ad by MoveOn. Indeed, MoveOn specifically stated of that submission and a second similar one, "They will not appear on TV. We do not support the sentiment expressed in the two Hitler submissions." MoveOn later removed the ad from its website.
How is it that Floyd Brown and the WJC think it can get away with telling such a blatant lie?
WND's Birth Certificate Conspiracy Gets Even More Desperate Topic: WorldNetDaily
The efforts of WorldNetDaily to seize on any inconsistency, real or imagined, to smear President Obama and cast down on his citizenship are getting increasingly desperate.
An Aug. 17 article tries to make a big deal out of Obama's "official MySpace page" containing an older age than his official age, "which would mean he would have been born during the archipelago's time as a territory of the U.S., the islands' status from about 1900 until statehood in 1959." The article does not explain that a MySpace is not an official form of identification.
Meanwhile, an Aug. 17 article by Drew Zahn tries to make the case that Obama's parents (or someone else) made "a simple payoff" to Hawaii state officials to falsify Obama's birth date in 1961 because ... well, because birth certificates were falsified in New Jersey in 2004. Zahn did not provide evidence of falsification occurring in Hawaii in 1961 -- let alone any evidence of falsification involving Obama's birth certificate.It's a very crude attempt at guilt-by-association, even though the case Zahn cites is 40 years and half a hemisphere away from Obama's birth.
Geller Still Hiding Facts in 'Honor Killing' Runaway Case Topic: Newsmax
Pamela Geller has devoted another Newsmax column to the story of Fathima Rifqa Bary, an Ohio teenager who ran away from home to a Florida pastor claiming that her parents planned to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity. And again, Geller is hiding facts about the case.
Geller defends the pastor to whom Bary fled, Blake Lorenz, from accusations of being a cult leader by misdirection, not denying the accusing but asserting instead that Islam, "the group that silently approves of the murder of a daughter who shames her family by not wearing the proper head dress ... or by choosing another religion (like Rifqa Bary)," is the real cult and nto "the group that offers sanctuary to a poor threatened girl."
Geller, as she did before, fails to mention that, as we've detailed, Lorenz claims to receive "special personal messages from God about the imminent end of the world." Isn't the claim of receiving personal messages directly from God de facto evidence of a cult leader?
Geller also fails to note that Ohio police have said that Bary's parents have known about Bary's conversion for months and "appear to be caring."
Instead, Geller offers anonymous messages from "someone saying she was a friend of Rifqa."
Geller has done little but exploit this case for her own anti-Islam crusade. She's certainly not interested in the facts.
Who Says Wash. Times News Pages Aren't Anti-Obama? Topic: NewsBusters
An Aug. 15 NewsBusters post by Jeff Poor chortles that The New York Times ran a correction to an article that claimed the Washington Times is "decidedly opposed" to President Obama, stating that the reference was "to its opinion pages, not to its news pages." Poor didn't mention that the correction came after Washington Times editor John Solomon whined about the reference by insisting that "Our news pages have no agenda except to accurately and fairly cover the news."
Further, Poor shows no interest in looking into whether Solomon's claim is even true. As the pile of Media Matters items on Washington Times news articles about Obama appears to suggest, the answer may very well be no.
Finally, there's no logical reason for Poor to be offended by the idea of the entire Washington Times organization being depicted as conservative, given that Poor's employer, the Media Research Center, has an entire division dedicated to portraying the New York Times, news operation and all, as liberal and pro-Obama.
Newsmax's Walsh Smears Health Care Reform As Eugenics Topic: WorldNetDaily
Smear artist James Walsh is at it again in his Aug. 17 Newsmax column. This time he turns the smear machine on high by likening health care reform to eugenics.
No, really, he did. Never mind that there is nothing remoting approaching eugenics in any of the planned health care reform bills -- Walsh has decided there is.
Walsh asserts that "A new version of eugenics is being written into healthcare legislation by the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress." What it is Walsh never really makes clear; he writes that "the neo-eugenics of Obamacare could mean rationed healthcare for the unborn, infants, young children, those over 65, and the disabled, especially the 'mentally retarded.'"
Note the word "could" -- Walsh is offering nothing but scare tactics and speculation. Walsh offers no evidence that "rationed healthcare" would occur under health care reform, let alone that anything in the proposed bills equals "eugenics."
Walsh concludes by asserting that "The Obama administration would be ill-advised to consider eugenics." But it's not.
Walsh has gone from right-wing-scripted lies about health reform to wildly and irrationally vicious smears. Why does Walsh -- who purports to be an attorney -- want to tell falsehoods that, if he told them in a court of law, would earn him a quick trip to prison for perjury?
Farah Spreads Falsehoods, Smears Obama As Nazi Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah begins his Aug. 17 WorldNetDaily column by claiming, "Outfits like the George Soros-subsidized Media Matters will have a field day with it – excerpting passages out of context, deliberately distorting the words I am carefully choosing and, in typical knee-jerk fashion, mocking its premise."
OK, we'll take the bait. First, in the span of his first six paragraphs, Farah tells two falsehoods. First, Soros does not fund Media Matters.
Second, Farah asserted that "national socialism ... was then and remains today, despite the denials of historical revisionists, a 'left-wing' idea. All socialism is, by definition, a left-wing notion." Which, given the Nazis' hatred of leftists and communists, cannot be true.
Farah then asserted that "Obama seeks to use his power to impose policies that have, like it or not, a striking resemblance to those Hitler promoted in the 1930s," followed by a laundry list of unsubstantiated claims such as "Infanticide" and "Unfair treatment of Jews, in Obama's case, with regard to Middle East conflict." Farah then complained that is "acceptable for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to say American citizens attending congressional town halls are swastika-carrying thugs," even though some of those protesters were indeed carrying swastikas and engaging in thuggishbehavior.
Farah concludes by denying that he's unfairly likening Obama to Nazis: "Am I calling Obama a little Hitler, a Nazi or a fascist? I am saying American liberty faces very serious challenges from the country's own leadership – not from citizens who dissent against those policies. That's what happened in Weimar, Germany, too."
What Farah doesn't mention, of course, is the striking resemblence of WND's anti-Obama rhetoric to that of the Nazis against the Jews.
Fredric J. Baumgartner wrote in his book "Longing for the End: A History of Millennialism in Western Civilization":
The great enemy the Germans had to destroy to achieve their golden age was not Antichrist but the Jews. Yet Nazi rhetoric against the Jews was remarkably similar to that about Antichrist. The Nazis looked for the marks to identify a Jew as thoroughly and eagerly as any premillennialist did for Antichrist.
As it so happens, WND has recentlyendeavored to liken Obama to the Antichrist. So who's the Nazi now, Mr. Farah?