Janet Porter can usually be counted on to regurgitate the right-wing anti-Obama line, and she doesn't disappoint in her Oct. 20 WorldNetDaily column, mindlessly repeating demonstrably false attacks.
She starts off by declaring the Obama administration to be "downright evil" -- and lying about Anita Dunn, asserting that Dunn "says Mao Zedong as one of the two people she turns to most." In fact, Dunn saiud that Mao and Mother Teresa are "the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you're going to make choices."
Porter also claims that Dunn "told the Dominican government that she and the Obama campaign 'absolutely control[ed]' the media. They control what's reported and how." Another falsehood; as we detailed, Dunn was talking about the campaign managing media coverage of Obama, which every major political campaign attempts to do.
Porter writes of the Obama Whiteh House's attacks on Fox News: "They don't like that Fox News standard of: 'We report, you decide.' No, they want it to be "You report what we decide." Of course, the Bush White House similarly attempted pushed back against coverage it didn't like as well -- primarily targeting the New York Times -- but Porter fails to mention that.
NewsBusters Joins in Seeking Revenge on Olbermann Topic: NewsBusters
The Washington Examiner's Diana West is not the only right-winger looking to target Keith Olbermann's gig hosting an NFL pregame show as revenge for Rush Limbaugh not being able to buy the St. Louis Rams -- NewsBusters is hopping aboard the revenge train as well.
An Oct. 18 post by Noel Sheppard highlighted Juan Williams' complaint on "Fox News SUnday" about Olbermann, that he says "Conservatives are terrible, they're a bunch of jerks, blah-de-blah. And then he's announcing the game. Nobody says, 'Well, because he makes divisive statements he can't announce an NFL game.' I don't see that.
Jeff Poor followed with an Oct. 19 post (and MRC Business & Media Institute item) repeating Williams' statement, adding, "that's something Williams is dead-spot on with, if you take a closer look at Olbermann's nightly MSNBC show." Poor then complains about how Olbermann likes to bash conservatives in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment, which Poor says is "nothing but conservative-bashing sessions meant to appeal to his rabid left-wing viewers."
Like West, Poor bashes Olbermann for calling Michelle Malkin "a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it" but holds Malkin curiously blameless for siccing her hateful readers on an innocent person.
What Williams, Sheppard and Poor all seem to have missed (or are deliberately avoiding trying to mention) is that there's a key difference between Limbaugh and Olbermann: Olbermann limits his attacks to politics, doesn't attack NFL players, and has not been identified as making such remarks on his Sunday night NFL preview show, while Limbaugh leveled race-based criticism against an NFL player (Donovan McNabb) on an NFL pregame show.
Vadum Tries to Smear Us Topic: Capital Research Center
In an Oct. 20 ACORN-bashing piece at the American Spectator, the Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum curiously links to this very blog as an example of "so-called fact-checking operations that follow ACORN" who allegedly "a more much flexible definition for 'lie.'" No specific item, mind you -- just the blog itself, thus making this a dubious smear against us.
Why? We're not sure -- we haven't written all that much about ACORN. Perhaps Vadum is ticked off at use because we've repeatedly caught him in his own fair share of lies:
We've corrected Vadum's frequent false assertion that ACORN operated Project Vote in 1992 when Barack Obama was affiliated with Project Vote.
We've busted Vadum for playing fast and loose with ACORN numbers, insisting that the group is "eligible" to receive billions from the stimulus bill while burying the fact that ACORN would likely receive only a small fraction, if any, of it.
We've documented Vadum peddling falsehoods and distortions about Media Matters.
The White Rose letters were simple, but scathing indictments of the Nazi anti-Semitic genocide, and the loss of German life in the war. But most eloquently, the White Rose demanded that, for their own honor's sake, Germans, themselves, repudiate their support of Hitler so they would not carry the eternal shame as a nation of having marched for Hitler until the allies defeated the Reich utterly.
We do not yet pay a high price for speaking out against the communist takeover of our country by the revolutionary Obama administration, under the glazed gaze of a nearly corrupt Congress. The effort it takes to strike a keyboard is all we expend. The letters of the White Rose were written, printed and mailed by ordinary citizens who knew that, at each step, they were risking torture and execution if they were caught.
History looks at the rise and fall of the Third Reich and wonders how oceans of rational human beings could participate in such an obvious regime of atrocity. Will history judge us the same way?
Newsmax Fearmongers About Flu Vaccine Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has joined WorldNetDaily in spreading fearmongering about flu vaccines.
In an Oct. 16 email sent to the Newsmax mailing list, Dr. Russell Blaylock -- whose "Blaylock Wellness Report" is published by Newsmax -- sought to scare his readers:
Take government's aggressive promotion of the swine flu vaccination . . .
Flu vaccinations contain a full dose of mercury, the most toxic substance known to man.
No amount of mercury is safe. Even very small amounts can weaken your immune system.
Vaccinations also cause brain inflammation. And severe brain inflammation will lead to . . .
Behavioral problems and language difficulties in children!
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases in adults!
Like someone trying to deflect blame, Blaylock is accusing others of fearmongering:
When the swine flu story first broke, experts warned that it could be the worst flu since the 1918 pandemic that killed more than 50 million people worldwide, including 700,000 Americans.
But who were these experts?
People on the pharmaceutical and government payroll, that's who. They said it was the most unusual virus they had ever seen . . . that it could kill in large numbers . . .
Overnight, a compliant media spread this alarming news was spread far and wide.
he Chicken Little doomsayers (read "drug company executives") were disappointed in these statistics. But now they're back scaring the public again, saying the "big event" is coming this winter!
And surprise of all surprises, drugmaker Novartis has a swine flu vaccine all ready to go. And the company says it won't give the vaccine away to the poor. Everybody must pay!
Imagine if it could sell 2 billion doses worldwide and get $5 a piece for them. That's $10 billion.
Neat trick. But to succeed, it will need governments around the world insisting that their citizens get vaccinated while using taxpayer money to buy the vaccine for the poor.
Washington is on board. Can you guess why?
Big Pharma is the biggest contributor to Washington politicians -- both Democrats and Republicans. President Obama himself collected $1.2 million during his presidential campaign.
Blaylock goes on to advise people to "avoid flu shots, and if you've had them in the past, to take nutrients that will strengthen your immune system and reduce inflammatory cytokine activity."
In fact, the H1N1 flu brings on "lung inflammation and respiratory failure" in its victims, who tend to be relatively young compared to the elderly who typically succumb to typical seasonal flu. Does that sound like something that can be warded off with a handful of nutrients?
Of course, Blaylock is not doing this merely out of the goodness of his heart. He has subscriptions to his newsletter to sell: "just 13 cents a day. That's not a misprint -- I really mean just 13 cents a day!" But even after his sales pitch, he's not done scaremongering:
Also in your FREE report, Vaccinations and Brain Injuries -- Are You at Risk? you'll find out . . .
Why many doctors refuse to take the same vaccines they recommend to their patients!
How better nutrition and sanitation, not vaccines, wiped out childhood diseases in this country!
Why studies showing that vaccines weaken the immune system have been suppressed!
Why parents are told their children need 36 to 40 shots before attending school, even though frequent vaccination can cause brain damage!
Why seniors are told to get flu shots every year, even though repeated vaccination can lead to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's!
It seems that Blaylock's fearmongering may very well end up be responsible for flu deaths in people he scared into not getting a vaccine.
Thanks to P.J. Gladnick, NewsBusters is no longer allowed to cite humor or context to defend conservatives.
In an Oct. 16 post, Gladnick ridiculed Robert Reich's claim that his statements that an honest politician would make about health care, repeated by conservatives, were a "mock exercise" taken out of context. Gladnick called Reich's explanation "lame" and insisted that Reich was speaking in context.
Similarly, in a Oct. 17 post, Gladnick rejected Anita Dunn's explanation that her referencing of Mao Zedong with Mother Teresaas her favorite philosophers "was intended as irony," retorting, "You peons just don't have the mental ability to see that Anita Dunn was merely being ironic despite the fact that was absolutely nothing in her facial expression, vocal tone, nor in what she said that displayed the slightest sense of irony. In fact, she was dead serious as you can plainly see in the video of her speech."
Gladnick went on to dismiss both Reich and Dunn as offering "incredibly lame excuses those on the left come up with to try to explain away statements they made that have come back to haunt them."
The problem here is that humor and context are lame excuses NewsBusters has used to defend conservative remarks, particularly those by Rush Limbaugh.
An December 2008 post by Kathleen McKinley, for instance, complains about "leftwing bloggers" who don't understand that the "Barack the Magic Negro" song Limbaugh has frequently played on his show is an "example of Rush being a racist" rather than the parody it was purportedly meant to be.
An Oct. 12 post by Matthew Balan lamented that "Limbaugh has been taken out of context yet again by the mainstream media" -- a lament he repeated in an Oct. 15 post.
Well, no more. Thank you, P.J. Gladnick, for dismantling those excuses as a conservative defense.
Examiner's West Unclear On the Concept Topic: Washington Examiner
It appears that right-wingers are out for revenge over Rush Limbaugh getting squeezed out of a deal to buy the St. Louis Rams, and they're turning their ire toward (who else) Keith Olbermann.
And that's pretty much the way Diana West put in her Oct. 18 Washington Examiner column:
I will start with two words: Keith Olbermann. In addition to his nightly gig on MSNBC -- a numbing blend of Leftist politics and something approaching Tourette's Syndrome -- Keith Olbermann is a co-host of NBC's "Football Night in America," the pre-game show that leads into "Sunday Night Football." Naturally, that would be Sunday night NFL football.
This job makes Olbermann a public face of the NFL. And a public face of the NFL with many filthy things coming out of it. These include his recent pronouncement that Limbaugh claiming his own success paved the way for Glenn Beck is "is like congratulating yourself for spreading syphilis."
We could slap a headline on that -- "NFL talker compares star radio and TV conservatives to venereal disease" -- only trash talk against conservatives doesn't generate mainstream outrage.
Take Olbermann's noxious attack this week on Michelle Malkin for what he characterized as her "total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred without which Michelle Malkin would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it."
Get that? Olbermann calls an accomplished and best-selling conservative author, commentator, blogger, wife and mother (who also happens to be beautiful) a "big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick," but such dehumanizing venom doesn't count as controversial, or even lightly strain his NBC-NFL connection.
First, West overlooks the obvious point that Olbermann's harsh words weren't directed to anyone in the NFL -- unlike Limbaugh, who infamously complained that Donovan McNabb was overrated as a quarterback because the media wanted a black QB to succeed. That claim has largely gone unsupported, and West curiously fails to reference it.
Second, West falsely suggests that Olbermann bashed Malkin apropos of noting, omitting what it was Malkin did to provoke it. As the Washington Post describes it, Malkin sicced her readers on author Charisse Carney-Nunes regarding a YouTube video of children singing the praises of Barack Obama, even though she had nothing to do with the song:
She knew Malkin had driven criticism of President Obama's back-to-school speech, streamed nationwide, as an attempt to indoctrinate students. Now Malkin was asking about a YouTube video of New Jersey public school children singing and enthusiastically chanting about Obama from a Black History Month presentation.
By nightfall, Carney-Nunes's name was playing on Fox News and voice mails on her home phone and cellphone were clogged with the furious voices of strangers. The e-mails kept pouring in, by the hundreds, crammed with words spam filters try to catch: She was a "nappy-headed" traitor; she would lose her job and go to jail; she was Leni Riefenstahl, the filmmaker who glorified Hitler.
Carney-Nunes, swept up in a viral tornado of vitriol, had nothing to do with the children's song. She was doing an author's reading in the school that day.
Olbermann may have been over the top, but doesn't inciting people against an innocent person deserve some kind of response? West apparently doesn't think so, at least as long as the inciting is done in the service of bashing Obama.
An Oct. 16 WND article by Drew Zahn highlights right-wing angst over the "Antichrist" movie. Ted Baehr of "Christian media ministry" MovieGuide asserts that the movie contains "a wicked worldview, vile pornographic scenes, onscreen mutilation of private parts and some other material which I simply cannot describe to you in a family publication." Baehr also asserts that this film will be "coming to your local theater Oct. 23."
That's not likely. The film is directed by provocateur Lars von Trier, whose films (among them "Dancer in the Dark" and "Dogville") have never received a wide release in the United States, and it's distributed by indie-film maven IFC. Indeed, Box Office Mojo doesn't even list "Antichrist" on its release schedule for Oct. 23, suggesting that any release it does see will be very limited, to just a handful of screens.
It's unlikely that "Antichrist" will venture beyond the art-house circuit -- which we can safely assume few members of Baehr's target audience are sufficiently near to qualify as their "local theater."
In other words, this is a tempest in a teapot, even if Baehr's hyperbolic attack is even remotely accurate (which it appears to be; USA Today reports "fainting and vomiting at early screenings"). "Antichrist" may be an offensive movie, but it's not opening on 3,000 screens this weekend.
Nevertheless, Baehr goes into censorship mode, demanding that the film be slapped with an NC-17 rating, since most theaters won't show NC-17 movies. But since it's a foreign art film in limited release, it's more than likely that the film will be released unrated.
Now, if Baehr and WND could only work up similar offense about likening Obama to the Antichrist...
We've previously mentioned how Newsmax likes to present "experts" to attack Obama policies without clearly explaining that all of the "experts" they cite are conservative and are presumably more interested in advancing a political agenda.
This happens again in an Oct. 18 Newsmax article by David Patten citing "scholars" to back up a claim that "President Obama's healthcare proposals face serious legal problems" and that "at least some provisions will be ruled unconstitutional. Patten's list of "scholars" begins with Andrew Napolitano, "senior judicial analyst at the Fox News Channel." According to Wikipedia, Napolitano describes himself as a libertarian -- a political slant Patten does not mention.
Indeed, none of Patten's "scholars" are explicitly labeled as conservative. For instance, he describes the Competitive Enterprise Institute, from which one of hislegal experts hails, only as a "think tank," making no mention of the group's conservative leanings.
Other connections are drawn by inference -- a Republican congressman, former staffers in Republican administrations, articles published in the Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily, both conservative-leaning. Again, Patten makes no effort to explain that these analyses are coming from a conservative perspective.
WND Misfires in Attack on Dunn Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein is one of the leading perpetrators of guilt-by-association attacks on Obama administration staffers. As we've detailed, some of his attacks are more specious than others.
Another one of Klein's specious attacks is the subject of an Oct. 18 WND article, headlined "White House boasts: We 'control' news media; Communications chief offers shocking confession to foreign government." But the claim Klein is peddling is much less "shocking," and it certainly doesn't support the headline:
President Obama's presidential campaign focused on "making" the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was "controlled," White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference.
Dunn is talking about efforts by political campaigns to manage media coverage of their candidate -- which every political campaign of any size tries to do. There's nothing "shocking" about this at all.
Dunn was speaking at a Jan. 12, 2009, event focusing on Obama's media tactics and hosted by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, which seeks to promote collaboration between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.
So the headline is completely wrong -- Dunn could not have been boasting about how the White House controls the media because Obama had not yet been inaugurated at the time she gave her speech.
The errors of omission start at the beginning, with a quote from P.J. O'Rourke that "It’s the twilight of the radio loudmouth, you know? I knew it from the moment the fat guy ... refused to share his drugs." Nowhere is it mentioned that O'Rourke is a libertarian conservative.
Graham goes on to highlight how Limbaugh's statement that "We are being told that we have to hope Obama succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles, bend over forward, backward, whichever, because his father was black, because this was the first black President" caused the "media establishment" to "denounce Limbaugh and demanded that Republicans distance themselves from his claims." As the MRC has before, Graham gives Limbaugh a pass on the sexual crudity of Limbaugh's remark, just one of many references to anal sex by Limbaugh that Graham and his MRC buddies don't find offensive, though references to anal sex by other entertainers are routinely denounced.
Graham complains how Limbaugh has been subject to "vicious personal attacks" by various people in the media. But the MRC has a long history of personal attacks on President Clinton in the form of sex jokes.
Graham also engages in irrelevant evidence on another claim, calling it unfair that Limbaugh was criticized as racist for his 2003 statement regarding Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb that "The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback can do well" and insisting that there was "plenty of evidence of liberal sports columnists 'desirous' of black advancement in the NFL (New York Times columnist Selena Roberts complained the NFL was 'white as baking soda')." But a single example making a general claim about blacks in the NFL -- which, as excerpted, does not demonstrate support for the claim -- doesn't prove Limbaugh's specific assertion regarding McNabb correct. As we detailed back then, the MRC couldn't back up Limbaugh in 2003, either.
Gaham stuck to the Limbaugh party line in defending him over his 2007 statement that he appeared to call soliders who called for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq "phony soldiers." Graham wrote:
Less than two minutes after that exchange, Limbaugh elaborated on what he had meant, explaining exactly who he was thinking about when he offered the term: Jesse Macbeth, a left-wing hero on YouTube for describing the horrors he’d seen American troops commit – but was then charged and convicted of falsifying a military record and falsely applying for veterans’ benefits. He’d never served overseas, and was dismissed from boot camp. ABC’s Brian Ross had done a story several nights earlier, and called Macbeth a “phony soldier.”
The left and Democrats in Congress then mangled Limbaugh’s comments to claim he had said that any servicemen or women who might oppose the war in Iraq in public had been defamed by the talk show host as “phony soldiers.” They typically made no reference to the actual “phony soldiers” Limbaugh was talking about.
In fact, it was not at all clear that Limbaugh was referring to MacBeth at the time he said the remark. As Media Matters documented, Limbaugh had not mentioned MacBeth at all on that day's show before he made the "phony soldiers" remark, and then did not specifically reference MacBeth until 1 minute and 50 seconds later. Limbaugh did not call MacBeth a "phony soldier" at that point either; rather, he berated the media for not checking out his story.
Given that Graham's report came out in the midst of Limbaugh's failed attempt to buy a piece of the St. Louis Rams, Graham complained that some media outlets attributed racially insensitive statements to Limbaugh that have since proven to be unverified or fabricated. Unsurprisingly, Graham didn't mention that there are numerous other examples -- fully documented -- of racially charged statements by Limbaugh.
WND Tries to Distract From Author's Anti-Muslim Sentiments Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 18 WorldNetDaily article by Art Moore attempts to defend against allegations that David Gaubatz, co-author of the new WND-published anti-CAIR tome "Muslim Mafia," is a "an anti-Muslim bigot associated with a racist organization" by focusing narrowly on a CAIR statement and and painting Gaubatz as a friend to all Muslims while ignoring actual evidence to the contrary.
For instance, at no point does Moore make no mention of the following about Gaubatz, as documented by Talking Points Memo:
He referred to "our Muslim leader" Barack Obama on his blog last year.
He has claimed that he personally found sites with Iraqi weapons of mass destruction when he was an agent with the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations in 2003. But the Syrians beat us to the punch on excavating the sites, Gaubatz claims, and the U.S. government suppressed the information to avoid the "explosive revelation of their own lethal incompetence."
Just yesterday he wondered about Congress' two Muslim representatives, "How much information do we have on Carson and Congressman Keith Ellison?"
According to Glenn Greenwald, Gaubatz in 2007 was focusing his time on creating "a comprehensive map of every mosque and Islamic school in the U.S" in order to determine which ones were preaching "Islamic law." The Web site that explained that project has since been made private.
He said in September 2008 on a now scrubbed blog post at www.jihadishere.blogspot.com that: "We are now on the verge of allowing a self admitted 'crack-head' to have his finger on every nuclear weapon in America."
He apparently has a history of faking conversions to Islam as part of his investigations.
Moore also ran to the defense of the Society of Americans for National Existence, which operates a project called Mapping Shariah that Gaubatz has been involved with. AFter noting that CAIR stated that SANE "offered a policy proposal that would make it illegal to be a Muslim." Moore featured SAND director David Yerushalmi responding:
Yerushalmi said SANE's "overall response to CAIR's and the Left's cybervandalism of taking complex matters out of context and turning them into trite dribble" is laid out in a piece he published titled "The Truth and Nothing but the Truth."
"The approach used in these attacks is to quote literally a word or phrase or in some cases a provocative query in a long analytical piece that examines the hard reality of facts" but casts it "in such a way as to suggest some demonic (i.e., racist) agenda on the part of SANE and its participants," Yerushalmi said.
But the Yerushalmi piece Moore links to does, in fact, admit that SANE did, in fact, "call for outlawing Islam" because it "defined Islam as synonymous with Shariah." SANE has since more narrowly defined its calls for imprisonment and deportation to those who advocate Sharia in the U.S. (which it still calls "A SANE Act to Deal with the Islamic Threat to America’s National Existence").
A pair of NewsBusters attempts to sniff out liberal bias have gone, shall we say, awry.
An Oct. 16 post by Ken Shepherd purports to finda hidden agenda in the fact that a voiceover announcer for MSNBC also supplies the voiceover for an ad by "a pro-ObamaCare group."As County Fair's Matt Gertz points out, Shepherd persists with this conspiracy even after pointing out that MSNBC told him that the announcer is a freelancer who isn't prohibited from taking on other work.
Meanwhile, Noel Sheppard tried in an Oct. 15 post to find something sinister in Al Gore advising Google about "aspects of search quality," citing alleged "ongoing concerns about Google's political leanings and how its search algorithms might be manipulated to favor liberal news outlets over conservative points of view." As Sadly, No! noted, Sheppard failed to mention that Gore was acting on behalf of Apple, where he's on the board of directors.
Farah Insults Yet Another WND Critic Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah continues to be as thin-skinned as he ever was.
Farah used his Oct. 15 WorldNetDaily column to rant against a Roanoke Times columnist, Dan Casey, who criticized WND for endorsing censorship over a book lent by a high school teacher to a student, who lent the book to another student, whose father purported offense and ran to WND to complain. Casey's main offense, in Farah's eyes, was describing WND as a "California-based conspiracy-theory laden 'news' website." Farah retorted:
First of all, WND didn't "pick up the story." It broke it – a full four days before Dan Casey's local fish wrapper ever once mentioned it.
Second of all, WND is not based in California and neither is it "conspiracy-theory laden." (He must be getting his "facts" from Wikipedia.)
Apparently, the WND piece hit its mark. According to Casey, if he can be trusted in relating any truth, "Calls flooded the office of William Byrd, Principal Richard Turner and the Roanoke County schools administrative offices."
Of course, Farah is lying -- WND is very much "conspiracy-laden." As MSNBC's Rachel Maddow nicely summed up, WND is "a clearinghouse for most of the wackiest conspiracy theories on the right: President Obama is secretly foreign! Health reform is a secret plot to kill old people! The president's speech to school kids is a secret plan to form a new Hitler Youth! FEMA is really a secret plan to put conservatives in concentration camps!"
But, Farah being Farah, he had to insult Casey and his newspaper as well. On top of calling his paper a "fish wrapper," Farah smears Casey as a "twisted individual" and "the kind of creature I can't stand" who writes his column "thankfully in virtual obscurity."
Farah, meanwhile, shows no evidence of having read the book himself -- he recites the laundry list of offensive descriptions in the book without explaining their context, yet he repeats without comment Casey's noting that the Bible contains "passages about sex, and homosexuality, adultery, sodomy and incest. Plus murder, fratricide and idolatry" and pointing out those incidents have a "larger context."
Given Farah's eagerness to smear any critic of his work (as we know all too well), of course, there's no admission by Farah that WND libeled the teacher at the center of the manufactured controversy by suggesting that she wants to have sex with her students.