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Monday, January 25, 2010
WND Was MIA on Pombo's Scandals
Topic: WorldNetDaily

With the news earlier this month that Richard Pombo is set to make another run for a House seat from California, Talking Points Memo compiled a bill of particulars detailing Pombo's various alleged ethical violations (relatives on the payroll, attempted bribery, dalliances with Jack Abramoff).

That got us to wondering: What did WorldNetDaily, that self-proclaimed "fiercely independent newssite committed to hard-hitting investigative reporting of government waste, fraud and abuse," write about Pombo's ethical violations before he lost his House seat in November 2006?

Nothing that we could find. You will, however, find a May 2006 column by Henry Lamb touting Pombo's performance at a committee hearing, as well as a July 2006 column praising Pombo for co-sponsoring a bill to reform Indian gaming laws.

You will also find a column by WND editor Joseph Farah lamenting Pombo's 2006 loss:

Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., my co-author on a book called "This Land Is Our Land," a property rights manifesto published in 1996. Pombo is chairman of the House Resources Committee, where he spent much of his time trying to overhaul one of the most ridiculous pieces of legislation in the history of our country – the Endangered Species Act.

Pombo was targeted with millions of dollars by environmentalist extremist groups that don't really care about conservation or endangered animals but do care about government control and political power.

After all the shock expressed by Americans over eminent domain in the last two years, men like Pombo, who have been fighting for personal property rights for decades, should have been returned to power, not turned out. But this was a strange election cycle, indeed. It was quite an upset.

He is a good man. He will be missed not just by people in his congressional district, but by all freedom-loving Americans.

There's our answer -- Farah gave his friend and co-author a pass on his ethical violations, making a mockery of any pretentions to watchdogging.

We already knew, from WND's similar silence on the corruption of Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham that Republicans were exempt from WND's brand of "hard-hitting investigative reporting of government waste, fraud and abuse." Now we know it also helps to be a friend of the editor.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EST
Sunday, January 24, 2010
NewsBusters Keeps Up Double Standard on National Enquirer
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters has been all over John Edwards' admission that he fathered a love child:

Erin Brown complained that it wasn't front-page news at every newspaper in America, even though much of the story had already been reported and Edwards himself hasn't held elective office in years. Brown nevertheless touted how "the National Enquirer busted Edwards in a Los Angeles hotel for cheating on his cancer-stricken wife."

Tom Blumer similarly complained that the Washington Post gave the National Enquirer's scoop on Edwards' affair short shrift, insisting that it "was worthy of follow-up" and that "The establishment media's failure to take the initial Enquirer story further was inexcusable."

Of course, as we detailed, NewsBusters' comrades at theMedia Research Center had a much different reaction to reports that suggested John McCain may have had an affair with a lobbyist; Brent Bozell denounced such talk as "rumor and gossip, fit to print only for the likes of the National Enquirer."

And we doubt anyone now affiliated with NewsBusters or the MRC was praising the Enquirer's reporting abilities when it discovered that Rush Limbaugh was surrepititiously buying pain pills.

Mark our words: The folks at NewsBusters will not have nice things to say about the Enquirer if the next big political scandal it breaks involves a Republican.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:30 AM EST
Kincaid Keeps Up Uganda Anti-Gay Freakout
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid continues his unqualifed support for, and obscuring of the facts of, the proposted anti-gay law in Uganda in his Jan. 22 Accuracy in Media column, this time complaining that Democratic members of Congress "are demanding that President Obama denounce the Christians of Uganda for considering new legislation opposing homosexual practices that threaten public health in that East African country."

Kincaid still insists that "the situation in Uganda has been distorted and misrepresented by homosexual activists in the media who want people to believe that efforts to protect and preserve traditional family values in Uganda are extreme and unwarranted," and that "the bill only applies to cases of open and overt homosexual conduct and behavior. The bill's much-publicized death penalty provision is mostly designed to punish those who sexually abuse children. "

Well, no. As we've previously detailed, the bill would apply the death penalty for anyone convicted of a repeat offense of having homosexual sex, and it  would also apply to Ugandans not living in the country. It would also punish people for not reporting homosexual activity. Kincaid is lying when he says it applies only to "open and overt" activity.

Kincaid is also misleading on the proposed law's purported intention to "protect children from homosexual predators" and slow the spread of AIDS. In fact, the head of Uganda's AIDS comission has said that since homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, the number of gays there are "negligible." Further, by far the most prevalent method of HIV transmission in Uganda has historically been either heterosexual or mother-to-child.

This pretty much shoots down Kincaid's efforts at demonization of gays. Not that facts mean anything to him, of course.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Saturday, January 23, 2010
WND Still Trying to Weasel Out of CAIR Lawsuit
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is is still spinning its anti-CAIR book and the resulting lawsuit by CAIR against co-author David Gaubatz (and his son, who went undercover at CAIR and pilfered numerous documents that formed the basis of the book) in a Jan. 22 article by Art Moore.

Moore's article purports to describe CAIR's response to Gaubatz's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but all it really does is present the interpretation of the response by Gaubatz's attorney, David Horowitz. Indeed, Moore devotes only two paragraphs of his paragraph article to directly quoting from the response, plus one additional word -- "misnomer," the only word taken from the four-page section addressing Horowitz's assertion that CAIR cannot sue Gaubatz because it changed its name at one point.

But since WND surprisingly posted the response online -- if you'll recall, WND refused to post documents from Clark Jones' lawsuit against it, and there were none available online until we got a hold of some -- we know that CAIR said a lot more than "misnomer":

While this should and will be cured, it did not cause Defendants any prejudice or confusion.  Indeed Defendants did not raise the issue at the outset or before agreeing to an entry of a preliminary injunction by the Court ordering them to return to the plaintiff identified in the Complaint documents that they had stolen from that entity.  Defendants articulated no difficulty in understanding what it was they were required to do. Instead, they have attempted to construct a basis for dismissal out of an inconsequential and non-prejudicial misnomer.

Courts generally allow amendments to change or correct the name of a party, whether corporation or individual, where such change does not have the effect of substituting another party, and the court conceives it has jurisdiction of such party.

[...]

Most significantly, there is no prejudice to Defendants due to the misnomer in the Complaint. In the book Muslim Mafia and on his website, Defendant Paul David Gaubatz repeatedly and exclusively identified as “CAIR” or “Council on American-Islamic Relations” the entity from which he and his son had stolen documents and about which he was making accusations. Defendants feign “confusion,” but neither Defendants nor their attorneys could reasonably have been confused about who was suing them (i.e., the entity located at 453 New Jersey Avenue, SE in Washington, DC, for whom Chris Gaubatz worked as an intern during the summer of 2008, and from which Defendants stole numerous documents), nor to whom they were returning stolen property.  Is there any doubt that they could not have been compelled to return the property to someone other than the entity from whom they took it?

Meanwhile, it's clear that Gaubatz and Horowitz are trying to get out of the fact that, as we've previously noted, Gaubatz's son signed a confidentiality agreement when he worked at CAIR. There's no denial that he did, and Horowitz is quoted as saying by Moore that "this document would have been signed between a non-existent corporate entity and Chris Gaubatz. There need to be two parties to a contract."

So that's what this is about -- CAIR clearly has Chris Gaubatz dead to rights on the confidentiality violation, and Horowitz is trying to get out of it on a technicality.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:31 PM EST
Now, Farah Tries to Ride Glenn Beck's Coattails
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Earlier this month, Joseph Farah tried to hitch a ride on Sarah Palin's coattails by declaring their separate appearances at an upcoming tea party convention as the "Palin-Farah ticket." He does even more coattail-riding in a Jan. 23 article highlighting Farah's appaearance at an "educational policy conference" where Beck is also appearing.

Farah is trying to portray himself as mainstream by aligning himself with Beck and Palin, but all he's really doing is highlighting their fringe nature -- after all, birther Farah operates Obama Hate Central.

Plus, aside from the garden-variety right-wing speakers at this conference, which claims to be "designed to help restore the foundation of America" -- Michelle Bachmann, David Horowitz, Phyllis Schlafly, Rick Santorum, Frank Gaffney -- check out the extremism of some of the second-stringers on the bill:

Ted Baehr: Gay-basher, really, really hates "Avatar."

Miriam Grossman: Wrote this:

It's easy to forget, but the characters on Grey's Anatomy and Sex in the City are not real. In real life, Meredith and Carrie would have warts or herpes. They'd likely be on Prozac or Zoloft.

Brigitte Gabriel: Believes Muslims are soulless.

Bradley Watson: Author of a book that falsely conflates the Darwinian theory of evolution with social Darwinism to engage in liberal-bashing.

These are the people glomming onto Beck's mainstream appeal -- as Beck is becoming more fringe.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:53 AM EST
Friday, January 22, 2010
WND Changes the Subject on Corsi Criticism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Earlier this week, National Review Online published a detailed takedown by Daniel Griswold of Jerome Corsi and his book "America For Sale." Conservative activist David Frum highlighted Griswold's article on his FrumForum website, calling Corsi an example of "anger, paranoia and extremism" on the right.

In highlighting the criticism in a Jan. 19 WorldNetDaily article, Drew Zahn took care not to address any of the substantive criticism by Griswold or Frum, focusing instead on the "anger, paranoia and extremism" stuff -- and give license to Corsi to change the focus as well:

Corsi, however, told WND the tag-team attack by Griswold and Frum is just further evidence that the establishment doesn't get it.

"It's obvious the free-trade Republicans have no understanding of why tea party protesters are against globalism or loss of sovereignty," Corsi said. "We are attacked as 'extremists' because we don't agree with a centrist Republican Party that includes open borders, globalism and accommodation with the Democrats, including Obama.

"The attack on me helps explains why McCain ran such a poor campaign," he added.

[...]

"Cato and Frum miss that the tea party movement represents a fundamental political realignment in favor of limited government, limited taxation and private enterprise," Corsi told WND. "If the Republican Party follows the advice given by Griswold and Frum, John McCain's presidential electoral defeat in 2008 may look like a highpoint of Republican Party politics. Following Griswold and Frum's advice, the Republican Party free-traders are closer to the Democratic Party than they are to the independents and Democrats joining with disillusioned Republicans to form the tea party movement."

While Zahn concedes that Griswold's criticism of Corsi and his book was "harsh," and claims that it "warns tea partiers to stay away from Corsi's book for targeting, among other things, trade deficits with China, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization." Zahn (and Corsi) made no mention of the numerous examples of factual errors, conspiracy-mongering and obtuse commentary Griswold detailed. Here's one example:

Corsi writes that “China’s economy, heavily dependent on making cheap goods for the U.S. market, was cast into its own deep recession by the U.S. economic downturn.” In reality, China didn’t experience a recession, much less a deep one. According to the generally accepted figures from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, its economy grew 12 percent in 2007, 9 percent in 2008, and at an annual rate of 7.6 percent through the first three quarters of 2009.

He writes that our soaring trade deficit with China “reflects imports from China growing nearly 250 percent, from $100.1 [b]illion in 2000 to $243.5 [billion] in 2005.” Actually, while the latter number is about 250 percent of the former, the former only grew about 150 percent. He outdoes himself on page 182, declaring that “the U.S. negative trade balance with China in 1985 was under $1 billion; in 2008, the U.S. negative trade balance with China had grown more than 250 percent, to a negative $266 billion.” An increase from 1 to 266 would be an increase not of 266 percent, but of 26,500 percent (or 266 times).

Granted, many math-challenged adults and journalists struggle with percentages, but then again, those same adults do not pose as experts qualified to write books on global trade and finance. And typos and random errors creep into many books, but serious books by serious authors do not contain such widespread, obvious, and systematically biased errors as those teeming in America for Sale.

Now you see why Corsi wants to discredit Griswold.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EST
Molotov Mitchell Is 'Pro-Life'?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Jan. 22 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah touts Molotov Mitchell as among the "pro-life voices" his website site promotes.

Of course, if you're gay, Molotov is not so pro-life.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 22, 2010 2:10 PM EST
Democrat Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The technology of force can also be thieving, manipulation and intimidation of any democratic or bureaucratic process, in this case as nationally exhibited by the Democratic Party. Force, as misused by the Democrats, is the application of violence, abuse of process, libel, slander, propaganda, theft and a variety of other criminal behaviors to gain and keep, through any means necessary, the power to rule, arrogantly and presumptuously, every miniscule facet of your waking life.

Democrats engage in this reprehensible, morally bankrupt, hypocritical behavior even as they breathlessly exclaim that their political opponents mean them harm. The example that springs most readily to mind is the bug-eyed, botox-paralyzed, Medusan visage of Nancy Pelosi as she feigned crocodile tears at the thought of those awful, mean "tea party" people waving imaginary Nazi symbols and somehow implying violence because they dared to oppose the socialization of American health care.

[...]

In the vote-fraud department, illegitimate officeholders like Al Franken are way ahead of Schultz. Franken stole his Minnesota Senate seat from Norm Coleman by (as tried and true for Democrats) changing the rules in the middle of the process – manipulating the recount of a close election to usurp that election's rightful winner. We can thank the precedent set by Democrat Al Gore in his attempts to commit similar theft of a presidential election.

The damning evidence is clear: Democrats are violent, corrupt, arrogant and self-righteous. A Democrat believes that his cradle-to-grave ideology makes him special. Whatever a Democrat does is justified in his mind as what is best for the masses, regardless of whether the proles know what is good for them.

The Democrats will continue to lie, to cheat, to steal and to trample the Constitution of the United States. They will be removed from power only through the most vicious of battles, and they will have to be dragged, kicking and clawing and screaming, from the table of government. The technology of their tyranny is all around us. The infrastructure of their arrogant imperialism is inescapable. Only when we are willing to acknowledge the fact of their thuggery will we have even the slightest hope of combating it. Only when we admit publicly that Democrats individually are villains will we have any chance of overcoming them.

-- Phil Elmore, Jan. 21 WorldNetDaily column

(In fact, Franken did not steal the election.)


Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 AM EST
WND Press-Release Journalism Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 20 WorldNetDaily article rewrites a press release from the Alliance Defense Fund, uncritically repeating as fact ADF's assertion that "a volunteer who was preaching the Gospel on public property" in front of a New Jersey high school was arrested "when his toe inadvertently brushed the grass." 

How does WND know that the "volunteer's" toe "inadvertently" -- and not deliberately -- touched school property? It doesn't -- that's what the ADF told it to write.

WND made no apparent effort to contact school officials for their side of the story. ADF probably instructed WND on that, too.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:37 AM EST
CNS: Shepard 'Allegedly' Killed Because He Was Gay
Topic: CNSNews.com

a Jan. 21 CNSNews.com article by Pete Winn asserts that Matthew Shepard "was allegedly murdered because he was homosexual."

Actually, given that one of his killers attempted a gay-panic defense at his murder trial, the fact that Shepard was killed because he was gay is pretty well documented. Any claim to the contrary is right-wing revisionism.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EST
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

Scott Brown's victory merely scratches the surface of America's revulsion at the sting, the con, that Obama has been perpetrating. Everything Obama campaigned on, everything he said, was a con - from Afghanistan to Israel, from healthcare to taxation.

As a nation, we're used to hollow campaign promises. But this is altogether different. This was a coup, and the people are letting Washington know that they're on to them.

I expect the Democrat reaction to be visceral. Don't look for rapprochement - it's not how Chicago plays. Expect a serious ratcheting up. Expect dirtier, sleazier, meaner, on all fronts: legislative, media, propaganda, and the politics of destruction.

-- Pamela Geller, Jan. 21 Newsmax column

Well, Geller does know all about being dirty, sleazy and mean.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:22 PM EST
WND Ignores Own Reporting Again To Forward Birther's Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily already has a record of ignoring its own reporting on Barack Obama's eligibility to be president in order to peddle more false claims. It does so again in a Jan. 20 article by Bob Unruh.

In addition to swallowing the unsupported claim that Obama poses a "security risk,"  Unruh uncritically promotes a claim by birther Charles Kerchner Jr. and his lawyer, Mario Apuzzo, that because Obama "admitted a dual citizenship at birth, thus making him ineligible for the office under the U.S. Constitution's requirement that the president be a 'natural born citizen.'"

Unruh makes no mention of its own reporting on the issue -- specifically an Aug. 10 article by Drew Zahn examining the impact of dual citizenship on the "natural born citizen" claim previously made by Apuzzo:

According to Apuzzo, regardless of where Obama was born, regardless of whether he ever releases his long-form birth certificate, his father's citizenship status disqualifies him from being president.

Apuzzo's definition of "natural born," however, has its critics, even among those challenging Obama's eligibility on other grounds.

"There's nothing that I'm aware of that says you have to have two American parents," said the executive director of the United States Justice Foundation, Gary Kreep, whose lawsuit alleges Obama was born in Africa and thus is constitutionally ineligible. "My understanding of it is if you're born in the United States, you're a natural born citizen, period."

Indeed, a consensus on the correct definition of "natural born citizen" has eluded lawyers and scholars for more than 200 years. The Constitution's failure to offer any definition of the phrase whatsoever, the absence of definitive Supreme Court rulings and a wide array of opinions through the centuries have only further confused the question of what "natural born" actually means.

But as we've noted, Zahn ignored an 1898 Supreme Court ruling, in what is known as the Wong Kim Ark case, declaring that a non-citizen's mere presence in the U.S. is enough to make their child, if born here, a natural-born citizen.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 PM EST
Newsmax's Attack on Obama's First Year Filled With Misleading Claims
Topic: Newsmax

A Jan. 19 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers purports to be a "Newsmax look back" at Obama's first year in office, which to nobody's surprise "finds far fewer highlights than lowlights." Did anybody think Newsmax would declare Obama's presidency a rousing success?

Meyers ticks off a whopping 42 "failures, gaffes, broken promises and other missteps," a number of which are false or misleading.

The first bullet point states: "Within days of taking office, Obama broke his pledge not to raise any taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year by imposing a tax hike of 61 cents on a pack of cigarettes." But that's not a tax on lower-income people -- it's a tax on smokers. Anyone can easily avoid the tax by not smoking.

But that's not all:

  • Meyers writes that Obama "gave a gift to Queen Elizabeth: An iPod full of his own speeches." He doesn't mention that the queen reportedly requested the iPod, or that it also contains numerous other things as well, including video and photos of her 2007 visit to Washington and Virginia.
  • Meyers states that " the bust of Churchill that Prime Minister Tony Blair had presented to the U.S. as a gift from the British people had been returned to the British Embassy." It's unclear why Meyers considers this worth mentioning, since it reminds us that Newsmax columnist James Humes fabricated an Obama quote on the subject that Newsmax was forced to quietly delete.
  • Meyers writes: "The stock market hit a seven-year low, with the Dow dipping below 7,000, after Obama likened the market to political 'tracking polls,' suggesting they’re unimportant." Meyers considered it unimportant to note that the stock market is currently above 10,000.
  • Meyers writes, "Obama betrayed allies Poland and the Czech Republic by canceling plans to build a missile defense shield in those nations to guard against an attack from Iran." Meyers didn't mention that the ship-based missile shield being built in its place can be deployed sooner and will be more cost-effective than the land-based system put forward by the Bush administration -- or why Iran is planning to attack Poland and the Czech Republic.
  • Meyers writes: "In his inaugural address, Obama called on Americans to adopt a spirit of sacrifice. But the $49 million cost of his swearing-in ceremony was triple the cost of Bush’s first inaugural." In fact, Bush's 2001 inauguration cost $40 million, not the $16 million Meyers claims.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:18 AM EST
More Leading Poll Questions from WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a Jan. 19 article, WorldNetDaily serves up some more leading poll questions from its ethically challenged pollster, Fritz Wenzel:

Of course, the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign -- which even WND editor Joseph Farah concedes is authentic -- more than proves Obama was "born inside the United States," but WND has staked everything on obscuring that fact (as well as bedding down with Orly Taitz).


Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 AM EST
CNS Still Spreading Lie About Ex-TSA Nomimee
Topic: CNSNews.com

Matt Cover doubles down in a Jan. 20 CNSNews.com article, repeating his previous false assertion that now-withdrawn Transportation Safety Administration nominee Erroll Southers was using "Christian identity" in a generic sense in an online video:

Following Southers' union and ethics problems, video of a controversial 2008 interview surfaced on the Internet. As reported by CNSNews.com, Southers made several troubling statements, including labeling the violent, anti-Christian racist group the World Church of the Creator as "Christian-identity oriented," and saying that the war on terror should be given "parity" with other issues such as global warming and education.

[...]

Southers comment that some white supremacist groups were "Christian-identity oriented" also attracted attention, due mainly to the fact that he claimed such groups were the nation's most important domestic terror threat.

Cover leaves out the part that it got attention because Cover doesn't seem to understand that, as we've detailed, Christian Identity is the name of a specific group, not a generic reference to Christianity.

Either Cover actually believes what he's writing, or he's deliberately perpetuating a lie. Given CNS' anti-Obama agenda and the fact that Cover's goal over the past several days has been to attack Southers, we're betting on the latter.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 AM EST

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