WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has hurled repeated attacks -- many of them distorted or completely false -- at President Obama's Supreme Court nominee. Read more >>
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Cashill Revives An Old Conspiracy
Back in 2006, we detailed how WorldNetDaily's Jack Cashill tried to portray then-Rep. Curt Weldon as the victim of a conspiracy by the Clinton Shadow Government to keep him from investigating "the truth behind Sandy Berger's shredding of stolen files, the Rosetta Stone of the Clinton saga."
Cashill revisits that conspiracy in his May 20 column, occasioned by the defeat of Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic primary by Joe Sestak, who ultimately defeated Weldon in 2006. The FBI raid of the homes of Weldon's daughter and a friend a couple weeks before that election -- as part of an investigation into whether Weldon used his office to steer defense-related contracts to family members --were politically motivated, Cashill again insisted, ominously adding: "By noon of that same day, a group of nearly 20 Democratic activists were protesting outside Weldon's district office in Upper Darby, carrying matching signs that read, 'Caught Red-Handed.' This, too, had to be coordinated."
Cashill concludes by stating, "Oh, by the way, Weldon has never been charged with anything." Cashill is quiet, however, about who has been charged in the investigation.
As TPM notes, a lobbyist and "very good friend" of Weldon's, Cecelia Grimes, was charged in 2008 with destroying evidence in the investigation, including throwing away her Blackberry. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five months of home detention. And in 2007, Weldon's former chief of staff, Russell James Caso Jr., agreed to plead guilty to helping a consulting firm championed by Weldon obtain federal funds and for concealing money the firm paid his wife. He was also sentenced to home detention.
Gee, wonder why Cashill doesn't want you to know about that?
WND Columnist: Stay Away From My Food Stockpile!
Patrice Lewis -- who we last saw likening women who use birth control to rutting cattle -- begins her May 22 WorldNetDaily column by stating, "On Thursday I made a severe error in judgment. I logged onto the Drudge Report[.]"
If she had just stopped there, we would have totally agreed with her. Instead, Lewis spends the rest of her column complaining about the "grasshoppers" are aren't preparing themselves for the coming apocalypse -- "I expect the bleep to hit the fan within a year, possibly less" -- and she fears those people will try to mooch off her apparently substantial survival food supply:
We realize Lewis probably hates Obama and all -- it is, for all intents and purposes, a condition for working at WND, unless you're one of the couple of liberal columnists Joseph Farah keeps around for window dressing -- but methinks she's been taking those survival-seed ads at WND a little too seriously.
Sorry, Ken -- Conservatives Really Are Obsessed with Kagan's Sexuality
We would take Ken Shepherd's complaint that the idea that, as his May 21 NewsBusters headline states, "Conservatives Are Obsessed with Kagan's Sexuality" is just a liberal meme if we hadn't just highlighted a column by a conservative writer explaining how he is, um, obsessed with Elena Kagan's sexuality.
Also, Senate Republicans do not consitute the whole of conservatism, no matter what Sheppard suggests.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
WND Columnist's Brain-Dead (And False) Attack on Kagan
A May 21 WorldNetDaily column by Kent Clizbe forwards the brain-dead notion that because Elena Kagan has worked in academia, she is ipso facto a "socialist" and has a "love affair with socialism." Because Clizbe is so desperate to smear and not illuminate, he makes more false claims about Kagan:
In fact, Kagan is not anti-military. Further, Clizbe is engaging in a desperate and sleazy bit of guilt by association by suggesting she's a covert KGB agent by mere dint of working in academia.
We've previously noted Clizbe, writing at Newsmax, weirdly attacking Eric Holder for not making personal sacrifices on the War on Terror, while Clizbe's son "went from a happy, engaged, charming 13 year old with straight A’s and a focus on the future, to a sullen, uncommunicative, high school flunky" because of Clizbe's long absences from home doing post-9/11 CIA work. Apparently, Clizbe's son becoming a teenager had no role in that. He similarly sleazily portrayed President Obama as a Soviet tool and the culmination of work begun by Lenin in 1920 to "undermine the culture, society, and economy of the United States."
CNS' Gotcha FOIA Request
A May 21 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas states:
This seems to be an attempt by CNS to use its FOIA request play "gotcha" with the Obama administration to portray it as lying and hiding -- even though later in the article, Lucas concedes the possibility that the "gotcha" letter CNS cited may have been misfiled or thrown out.
Lucas also uncritically quotes right-wing activist and voting suppression expert Hans von Spakovsky baselessly suggesting that because the FCC wouldn't release internal discussions about " local ownership rules" as CNS sought in its FOIA request, that FCC officials are trying to "avoid a document trail." Lucas offers no evidence that refusing to release internal discussions about a policy that has not been -- and may never be -- introduced is in any way out of the ordinary.
Friday, May 21, 2010
WND Busted On Its Dishonest Journalism -- But Won't Correct False Claims
On May 11, WND published an article by Bob Unruh repeating allegations made by attorney Larry Klayman against a manager at Persian News Network, a division of Voice of America. Klayman is representing someone who has filed a lawsuit against VOA claiming that she suffered "harassment after she expressed her pro-Iranian- freedom perspective." Unruh uncritically repeated Klayman's claims, including an assertion that the manager "has close ties to the Islamic regime; in fact his father is a mullah in Iran." Unruh adds that "Contacted by WND, [VOA attorney Paul] Kollmer-Dorsey declined to respond to any questions about the dispute, referring WND to a media contact at the organization. That office did not respond to requests for comment."
A VOA official Danforth W. Austin fired back in a letter to WND, which WND published May 19:
WND appended an editor's note to the letter:
Thus far, Unruh's article has not been corrected or updated, nor has a separate update article been published. Further, WND deletes its letters to the editor from its website after a week, so Austin's letter will be purged on May 26.That means unless Unruh's article is updated or a separate update is published, the other side of the story will disppear -- presumably, the way WND likes it.
Whether or not VOA responded to Unruh's supposed requests for comment is irrelevant to the fact that his article contained errors that WND thus far will not formally correct.
This treatment of a request for a correction runs contrary to WND editor Joseph Farah has established as his preferred treatment. As we detailed, Farah complained in a September 2008 column that a Kansas newspaper published a letter to the editor claiming that Rep. Steve King got incorrect numbers about immigration from WND; in fact, WND was attributing the claim to King. We'll let Farah take it from here:
To sum up: In Farah's view letter to the editor in response to a letter to the editor was not sufficient to correct an error. But when WND makes false claims, it will not correct it but merely print the correction in a letter to the editor that's deleted from the website a week later.
Double standard, anyone? Unethical journalism, anyone?
Speaking of unethical journalism, in addition to publishing false claims that it won't correct, Unruh committed another violation of journalistic ethics by not disclosing a serious conflict of interest -- that Klayman is also working for WND.
UPDATE: Farah concluded is rant against the Kansas newspaper: "Nevertheless, because of arrogance or ignorance or stubbornness or pettiness, this little newspaper in this little town refused to do the right thing. That's the sad state of the media – even in small-town America." At WorldNetDaily, too.
Matt Barber Obsessed With Kagan's Sexuality
Will NewsBusters Apologize for Mocking Katrina Victims?
We've noticed that NewsBusters -- and, indeed, the entire Media Research Center -- has been silent about the controversy involving Fox Sports' Chris Myers, who mocked victims of Hurricane Katrina by saying that "the people in Tennessee, unlike -- I'm not going to name names -- when a natural disaster hits people weren't standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, okay. They helped each other out through this."
Perhaps that's because a NewsBusters blogger said the very same thing.
What I want to write about is the people of Tennessee and the true volunteer spirit of the Volunteer State. In the limited coverage given the flood by the national media did you see anybody on a rooftop waiting for a coast guard chopper to pick them up?
Any chance NewsBusters will apologize (as Myers did) for Daniels' uncivil mocking of Katrina victims? Probably not , since NewsBusters is oblivious to its own double standards on media coverage of such disasters.
Farah Decries News 'Manipulation,' Ignores His Own
Joseph Farah spends his May 20 WorldNetDaily column complaining that "There are lots of people discovering today that 'news' is often manipulation," which is best exemplified by Walter Cronkite allegedly helped a group of college students in the 1960s to obtain Ed Muskie for a speech. Farah then suggests his own "news" organization doesn't manipulate the news: "independent news sources like the one you are reading are still as scarce as hen's teeth."
That, of course, is a bald-faced lie.
As we've detailed, Farah uses WND for activism -- read: manipuation -- and not journalism. That manipulation has surfaced yet again with Aaron Klein's distorted and false attacks on Elena Kagan masquerading as "news."
The capper: Farah hilariously whacks "phony 'newsmen' like Walter Cronkite" for "misrepresenting their own opinions as the facts on the ground." Isn't Farah even more phony of a newsman than Cronkite? And isn't misrepresenting opinions as facts the entire raison d'etre for WorldNetDaily?
Unruh Still Misleading About Supplements Case
As he did in February, Bob Unruh once again misleads about the nature of the complaint by a "Christian nutrition ministry" fighting with the Federal Trade Commission in a May 20 WorldNetDaily article.
Unruh's article is barely comprehensible, so we'll summarize, including the parts that Unruh wouldn't report: The "Christian nutrition ministry" Daniel Chapter One drew an FTC complaint for making specific health claims about the nutritional supplements it sells. Daniel Chapter One doesn't believe it should have to offer scientific evidence of the efficacy of its products and that customer testimonials suffice. The FTC has repeatedly turned down the claim.
The new development prompting this story is that Daniel Chapter One is appealing the FTC's rulings to an appeals court by claiming a religious exemption to FTC regulations.
There -- we summed it up in four relatively brief sentences. Unruh, meanwhile, rambles on for paragraph after paragraph loaded with legal gobbeldygook and lots of pronouncements about religious freedom. At no point does Unruh explain why Daniel Chapter One wants to sell products whose efficacy hasn't been scientifically proven, or does he detail the product claims that are at issue, even though they are detailed in the FTC file. Also, at no point does Unruh make any apparent effort to allow the FTC to respond to the Daniel Chapter One's claims. Nor does Unruh explain how the nutritional products Daniel Chapter One sells are explicitly religious, which would presumably be a prerequisite for claiming a religious exemption.
Indeed, all we've seen here is a bad story written about a weak case. But that's what Unruh is all about, isn't he?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
CNS Covers the Hard News
From a May 19 CNSNews.com article by Terry Jeffrey:
Yes, CNS is a very serious news organization.
Morris Botches Health Reform Attack on Specter, Lincoln
In his Feb. 19 Newsmax column, Dick Morris claimed that Sens. Arlen Specter and Blanche Lincoln, by the unfavorable results of their races, "are now reaping the harvest of their votes for healthcare." Except that Specter's and Lincoln's Democratic primary opponents didn't make their votes on health reform an issue in their campaigns -- indeed, support for reform is one thing all those candidates had in common.
We have more at Media Matters.
WND's Kagan Distortions Continue
A May 18 article by Drew Zahn purports to detail that in the Citizens United case, Kagan "argued that the federal government has the power to ban books it deems to be 'political electioneering'" and that "political pamphlets could run afoul of the law." It's a typically unfair and unbalanced article, quoting only Citizens United's David Bossie and others attacking Kagan's argument. Zahn also obscures the fact that the law Kagan was arguing in favor of upholding applied only to corporate spending on political campaigns, not individual spending -- which means that Kagan was not, as Bossie falsely claimed, arguing to ban political pamphlets like those issued by Thomas Paine.
Nat Hentoff churned out a set of Klein-like distortions of Kagan's views on free speech in his May 19 WND column -- even citing the Media Research Center as an authoritative source for his smears. Media Matters breaks it down.
Sheppard's Double Standard on Media Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center
Noel Sheppard complained in a May 18 NewsBusters post that "our nation's media couldn't care less" about "an international conference discussing the scientific holes in the theory of man-made global warming." Sheppard is referring to the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, spearheaded by the right-wing deniers at the Heartland Institute.
While Sheppard ignores the institute's political leanings and downplays the biased, deniers-only nature of the conference, he does let slip -- though not until his final paragraph -- one reason why the conference has been ignored by "our nation's media": "Readers are advised that the Media Research Center is a co-sponsor of this conference."
That's right -- the MRC is helping to fund this biased conference.
But it seems that if this conference is so important to right-wingers, the right-wing media should be covering it as well. But it isn't.
CNSNews.com isn't covering the conference, even though its MRC parent is funding it. The MRC's Business & Media Institute has published several articles by Jeff Poor from the conference, but at no point in any of these articles does Poor disclose that the MRC is funding what he's writing about.
The only other ConWeb component we've seen covering the conference is WorldNetDaily, which sent Jerome Corsi to it. As we've noted, Corsi promoted a claim by one scientist at the conference without reporting that a previous claim the scientist made has been discredited.
This is not the first time that Sheppard has complained about media coverage of a subject that his own media has also ignored. On May 5, Sheppard lamented that "you may not know much about" devastating flooding in Nashville because of "all the attention media have given to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the failed car bomb attempt in New York's Times Square." Sheppard was followed by a NewsBusters complaint by Charlie Daniels that the flooding was "never really trumpeted in the national media."
But as Media Matters' Eric Boehlert pointed out, the Nashville flooding received even less coverage from right-wing news outlets such as the Washington Times and the New York Post, and Fox News ran half as many segments on the flooding that CNN did.
If the right-wingers' own media won't cover Sheppard's favorite subjects, what right does he have to complain that the "mainstream" media isn't covering them?
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