The photo-opped dead/wounded soldier routine is one of Obama's favorites. Back in July 2008, Obama canceled a planned trip to visit wounded troops at Rammstein and Landstuhl U.S. military bases in Germany because, as MSNBC reported, Obama "could not bring any media. Only military photographers would be permitted to record Obama's visit."
That attack was discredited long ago -- no evidence has ever surfaced to support the claim that Obama canceled the Landstuhl visit because the media would not be able to attend.
Further, Shapiro misleadingly frames the quote from from the MSNBC report he is citing. Here's how the quote Shapiro uses appears in the July 24, 2008, MSNBC "First Read" article he is apparently citing:
A U.S. military official tells NBC News they were making preparations for Sen. Barack Obama to visit wounded troops at the Landstuhl Medical Center at Ramstein, Germany on Friday, but "for some reason the visit was called off."
One military official who was working on the Obama visit said because political candidates are prohibited from using military installations as campaign backdrops, Obama's representatives were told, "he could only bring two or three of his Senate staff member, no campaign officials or workers." In addition, "Obama could not bring any media. Only military photographers would be permitted to record Obama's visit."
At no point does the MSNBC report claim, as Shapiro suggests, that Obama canceled the visit because he could not bring media with him.
Meanwhile ... Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters notes a Nov. 10 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan complaining that CNN "neglected to include sound bites from conservatives during a report about Sarah Palin," instead using "clips from moderate commentator David Frum, Democrat Bill Owens, and colleague Wolf Blitzer." That clip of Owens is of him saying, "Thank you very much."
Gaubatz Walks Back Muslim-Bashing Remark Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've previously noted WorldNetDaily author David Gaubatz's claim that 'Now is the time for a professional and legal backlash against the Muslim community and their leaders" (and WND's refusal to report it). Now, that statement has been scrubbed from the right-wing Family Security Matters website where it first appeared, according to TPM. Gaubatz and Family Security Matters are now walking that assertion back:
Pam Meister, editor at Family Security Matters, explained the change this way in am e-mail to TPMmuckraker (emphasis ours):
The interview was conducted via e-mail. After publication, Mr. Gaubatz realized he had written "Muslim community" when he really meant to say "Muslim Brotherhood." He asked us to make the correction.
Oops. Looks to us that Gaubatz got caught telling the truth, and it's costing him enough to make a public correction.
WND Gives Yet Another Platform for Obama-Nazi Smear Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is among the mostprolific hurlers of the Obama-Nazi smear, so it's no surprise that it would provide a platform for it to be hurled yet again.
WND is publishing an updated edition of "When Hell was in Session," Jeremiah Denton's memoir of life as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, which includes "a major new section written by Denton for today's generation." Promoting the book in a Nov. 10 article, WND allows Denton to rant during an interview:
President Obama, Denton contended, is usurping the rights of God, "as did Hitler and Stalin and the emperors of Rome."
"They all had gods – but when they didn't have good enough gods to constitute a culture, they went to hell," Denton told WND. "And we are too, if we continue to believe that man, all of us individually, or our government, can determine what the rights are and set up everything else to match that. We're done."
Denton is, unsurprisingly, quite right-wing, having once served as a consultant to Pat Robertson at his Christian Broadcasting Network. He also takes credit for "proposing a comprehensive strategy for confronting communism in Latin America that [Ronald Reagan] accepted and successfully implemented."
WND Falsely Takes Credit for Dunn's Departure Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Nov. 10 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein notes that White House communications director Anita Dunn is "is slated to step down from her post at the end of the month," adding that this "makes her the second Obama administration official to step down following controversies on which WND has reported."
In fact, WND had nothing to do with Dunn's departure. As Media Matters notes, Politico reported in April -- months before WND focused on Dunn -- that she was filling the job on an interim basis "until the president settles on a permanent replacement" for previous communications director Ellen Moran.
Further, the "controversy" Klein claims brought down Dunn is itself bogus. Klein previously attacked Dunn by dishonestly framing her comments about how the Obama presidential campaign tried to frame coverage of the candidate as a claim that Obama controlled the media, ignoring the fact that this such media tactics are standard for any major political candidate.
CNS Auditions Another Bogus Story Topic: CNSNews.com
CNS is auditioning another scary, nit-picking story about health care reform. A Nov. 10 article by Karen Schuberg tries to peddle the idea that the health care reform bill "does not prohibit the use of federal funds to pay health care providers who provide 'end-of-life care' that involves denying food and water to a patient."
After quoting spokespeople for two Republican congressmen parroting the supposed alarm about this lack of mention, it's not until the 11th paragraph that Schuberg gets around to telling her readers that there is no story here:
Aaron Albright, press secretary for the majority Democratic members of the House Education and Labor Committee, told CNSNews.com the bill does not address the question of payment for end-of-life care. “We leave the current system intact,” Albright said.
When asked if the health-reform bill would rule out the use of federal funds to reimburse health-care providers who withdraw or withhold nutrition or hydration, Albright said it was a “false question.”
“We do not change any practice, or any law, or anything like that,” Albright said. “(End of life decisions) will be left up to the patient and their doctor and their family.”
Schuberg does her best to ignore this, insisting that "a source close to Republican members of the committee" claims that "it would be up to the government--Medicare and the Department of Health and Human Services--to develop guidelines to specifically prevent government-funding going toward withdrawal of feeding tubes and water." Why was this person given anonymity? Schuberg doesn't say.
CNS likes to auditiondubious stories in the hopes of providing more anti-Obama for the right-wing base, even after their dubiousness has been exposed -- often by CNS itself.
Kupelian Fearmongers About Islam, Shills for WND Legal Defense Fund Topic: WorldNetDaily
David Kupelian's Nov. 9 WorldNetDaily column is a big ol' pile of Islamic fearmongering, kicking off by describing alleged Fort Hood shooter Nadal Malik Hasan as "a certifiable, America-hating, jihadist "ticking time bomb" waiting to go off."
Kupelian then goes on to willfully mislead about what other news organizations have reported about Hasan:
Kupelian states that "Time magazine moronically blamed posttraumatic stress disorder – even though Hasan has never been deployed in a war zone." In fact, Time pointed out that "Cases of posttraumatic stress disorder quadrupled from 2005 to 2007, and PTSD affects even those — like Hasan — who haven't gone off to war" adding: "Hasan had spent six years dealing with the mental wreckage of war at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and, since July, at Fort Hood's Darnall Army Medical Center. His own susceptibility to mental problems was likely heightened because he was pretty much a loner: he wasn't married or in a relationship."
Kupelian wrote, "According to the Washington Post, the problem was that Hasan was lonely. That's right, the newspaper's report, titled "The lonely life of alleged Fort Hood shooter," was subtitled: "'He was mistreated. He didn't have nobody. He was all alone,' says neighbor." But the Post never blamed Hasan's actions on loneliness; the article in question merely described Hasan's life as seen by his neighbors in Fort Hood.
Nevertheless, Kupelian insisted that the "news media always torture themselves and their readers with the most wildly improbable explanations in their attempts to avoid the obvious truth." You know, like how WND portrayed DC sniper John Muhammad and accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo as "homosexual lovers with ties to the al-Qaida terror network," citing the National Enquirer as an authoritative source.
Kupelian went on to rant that anyone who says anything nice about Islam is suffering from Stockholm syndrome because "Being intimidated by Islam (or by anything, for that matter) actually causes some of us to mysteriously grow sympathetic toward it, to defend it, to side with it, even to convert to it." In case that was too subtle for his readers, Kupelian restates his argument: "Bottom line: We're intimidated, bullied, threatened, terrorized – and so we capitulate, not just in word and deed, but in thought. Get it?"
Kupelian concludes by doing some old-fashioned cynical shilling for the WND-published anti-CAIR "Muslim Mafia" book: "One last point: If you really want to do something besides complain about the spread of Islamic radicalism in the United States – a level of infiltration already far more advanced than you can imagine – then make a donation to WND's legal defense fund." But given WND's historical lack of accountability in the use of its legal defense fund and even its own defense of "Muslim Mafia" -- not to mention WND's lousy track record in lawsuits in which the legal defense fund has been used -- people are better off withholding their money from WND until it comes clean.
'Muslim Mafia' Author Still Anti-Muslim Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember when WorldNetDaily defended David Gaubatz -- writer of the CAIR-bashing tome "Muslim Mafia" -- against claims that he is an "anti-Muslim bigot"? The defense was specious then, and the Fort Hood massacare has now allowed Gaubatz to revel even more in his anti-Muslim sentiments.
TPM reports that in an interview with the right-wing Family Security Matters, Gaubatz said:
Politicians, Muslims, and law enforcement are concerned about a 'backlash' against Muslims. Now is the time for a professional and legal backlash against the Muslim community and their leaders. Muslims know what materials are being taught in their mosques and they know many of the materials instruct young Muslims to kill innocent people who do not adhere to Sharia law. If Muslims do not want a backlash, then I would recommend a "house cleaning." Stack every Saudi, al Qaeda, Pakistani, Taliban, Hamas, and Muslim Brotherhood piece of material from their mosque and have a bonfire. Tell the American, Jewish, and Muslim community this hatred will no longer be allowed in their mosques.
Gaubatz makes no distinction between regular Muslims and radical ones -- hence, Gaubatz can be truthfully described as nothing other than anti-Muslim.
Which means, of course, that WND will completely ignore this, preferring to revel in the fiction that Gaubatz is a friend to all Muslims.
Health Care Reform Derangement Watch Topic: Newsmax
This accursed year instead of honoring our war dead as Nov. 11 approached, a majority of the members of the United States House of Representatives — 220 of them — spat on their graves by voting to pass a putrid piece of legislation heralded as a measure to improve the nation's healthcare but which in effect marked the beginning of the end of the United States they fought and died to protect.
On Saturday night, a majority of the members of the House voted to enact into law a measure that takes one-sixth of our economy, the nation's healthcare system, out of the hands of individual Americans and medical professionals and puts it into the hands of a government now presided over by a power-crazed president and hordes of unelected bureaucrats.
This is more than inexcusable. It is a crass betrayal of the voters who sent these people to Congress, the majority of whom opposed passage of this so-called healthcare reform. Fully 220 members of Congress simply ignored their wishes and voted to fasten this yoke around the necks of their constituents.
Most knew that this vote would inflict serious damage on what has been the finest system of healthcare in the world. No matter what goodies they were promised for betraying the people who sent them to Congress, they will soon learn that turning their backs on them wasn't worth it.
Benedict Arnold would have been proud of them. Their constituents won't be.
New Article: Newsmax's Rehab Fail Topic: Newsmax
Months of labor to rebuild the reputation of Bernard Kerik go for naught after the former New York City police chief pleads guilty to corruption charges. Nevertheless, Newsmax remains in the career rehabilitation business. Read more >>
Vox Day Longs For Old Days of Racist Immigration Laws Topic: WorldNetDaily
Vox Day writes in his Nov. 9 WorldNetDaily column:
These days, the old problems of black and white racial relations in America that were once so problematic look downright simple compared to the complications introduced by the radical changes to U.S. immigration policy in 1965. Now, the very meaning of what it means to be an American has become a deeply complicated one, as evidenced by the murders of 12 American soldiers by a man who was born in Virginia to Palestinian immigrants, a major in the U.S. Army, and a Muslim.
The true tragedy of Fort Hood is that it could have been so easily avoided by rejecting the false promises of multiculturalism and mass immigration 44 years ago.
Of course, those pre-1965 immigration laws to which Day apparently wants to return were racist and eugenicist.
We would like to beg you, our readers, to nominate ConWebBlog in the 2009 Weblog Awards. Since there isn't a media category per se and we're not quite poltical, we're going to aim for the Best Large Blog, defined as having a Technorati authority rating of between 301 and 500 (we're at 440).
ConWebWatch is listed in the comments as a nominee (which is where the shameless self-promotion comes in), so what you need to do is click on the "+" icon in that particular comment to indicate your preference.
The nomination phase ends Nov. 20, so act quickly! We appreciate your support.
Newsmax Parrots McCaughey's False Claims on Health Reform Topic: Newsmax
A Nov. 7 Newsmax article summarizes a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Betsy McCaughey on the "shocking details" of the health care reform bill passed by the House. But Newsmax made no effort to analyze the bill, instead merely copying-and-pasting parts of the column to show that the bill "illustrates the Democrats' radical agenda."
For instance, Newsmax repeats McCaughey's claim that "Illegal immigrants are exempt" from supplying "proof that you are in a qualified plan" with your taxes. In fact, as Media Matters detailed, the exemption is for "nonresident aliens," which are not the same thing as "illegal immigrants."
Newsmax also repeats McCaughey's claim that "Sec. 1114 (pp. 391-393) replaces physicians with physician assistants in overseeing care for hospice patients." In fact, Section 1114 adds physician assistants to the list of those qualified to oversee hospice patients and does not remove physicians from the list.
McCaughey further claims, and Newsmax repeats, that "Secs. 2521 and 2533 (pp. 1379 and 1437) establishes racial and ethnic preferences in awarding grants for training nurses and creating secondary-school health science programs." In fact, contrary to McCaughey's suggestion that race and ethnicity are the only guidelines by which the bill awards grants, the bill establishes numerous metrics.
WND on Hasan: Double Standards and Manufactured Outrage Topic: WorldNetDaily
When Scott Roeder murdered abortion doctor George Tiller earlier this year, WorldNetDaily went out of its way to portray him as apart from the anti-abortion movement WND supports. It made sure to paint Roeder as mentally ill and, as we detailed, avoided any mention of Randall Terry's inflammatory remarks condoning Tiller's murder. Indeed, Roeder has not even been mentioned in a WND article or column since June 4.
How times change -- WND is taking the opposite approach with Nadal Malik Hasan, accused of the murder of 13 people at Fort Hood.
WND was quick to highlight the fact that he's Muslim. In contrast to its refusal to report Randall Terry's remarks condoning Tiller's murder, a Nov. 6 article by Bob Unruh features a "radical Muslim group" who was "videotaped condoning the massacre at Fort Hood by Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan because it was a military target."
Yet the Nation's column is not much different than what WND columnist Jane Chastain wrote in a June 4 column about Roeder:
Tiller's alleged killer also considers himself to be a Christian and had a fish decal with the word "Jesus" prominently displayed on the rear window of his car.
"Thou shall not murder" is one of the Ten Commandments of God. The Bible prohibits individuals from punishing another for wrongdoing, no matter how grave. However, it supports using the judicial system to punish those who commit crimes.
Clearly, both Roeder and Tiller felt free to violate the absolutes in God's word when it suited their purposes.
A Nov. 8 article by Aaron Klein attacks a writer for "the left-leaning Nation magazine" for noting that "those who highlight the Fort Hood killer's Muslim ties are inspiring 'Islamophobia.'"
This is happening in the streets of America. No arrests. No condemnation. No attacks.
I'm not even aware of any temporary restraining orders being filed against these creeps.
All I can say is they are very lucky this Arab-American wasn't walking down that street when they pulled this stunt!
Farah also works in some crass commerce: "Purchase a copy of 'Muslim Mafia.' Better yet, purchase two copies – one for you and one for your member of Congress."
By contrast, not only did Farah not issue a similar condemnation of Randall Terry, he had a nice chat with Terry while guest-hosting (domestic terrorist) G. Gordon Liddy's radio show last week. Farah fawned over Terry, stating, "Randy, you've devoted -- your life's work, really, is preserving life, protecting life."
Of course, if it weren't for double standards and manufactured outrage, WND would have nothing to stand on.