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Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Avatar Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Horowitz

I felt empty when "Avatar" ended. It was as if I had witnessed an angry man's vision of the world, a man who fails to see joy in a child's smile, but who sees conspiracies around every corner. He is a man who sees his fellow neighbor as evil personified.

"Avatar" proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Cameron is not much of a man. He is a child on a never-ending temper tantrum. Like all members of his extreme political faith, he lives in a fairy tale world, and so it causes rage when that carefully constructed vision of how things should be doesn't translate into reality. Perhaps this explains why he's known to be a tyrant himself and why he's had four failed marriages.

When all is said and done, "Avatar" is more about a man projecting his own self-hatred and self-loathing onto the screen than anything else. It's all about Cameron, the man who doesn't trust corporations, who claims that Western culture is ugly, racist and greedy. Yet, at the same time, Cameron is the man behind "Avatar's" stunning box office records and its release on DVD and Blu Ray which made him even richer than he already was.

As an aside, there is a reason why the DVD has no special features and why the Blu Ray, while slightly better, only has the bare minimum: they are planning to release a special edition of "Avatar" shortly before Christmas. This edition will have all the features we missed the first time around. And Cameron, corporations' main critic, knows full well that fans of his films will buy this second edition as well, which means he will make double his profit. In other words, if he wants a conspiracy, he should look in the mirror.

-- Peter Sheldrick, May 5 FrontPageMag article

(See more Avatar Derangement Syndrome here.)


Posted by Terry K. at 11:37 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
All Hail Chairman David!
Topic: Horowitz

NewsReal may appear to be just another forum, but it's really just another tool in the aggrandization of David Horowitz.

First, there's the actual name of the blog in the nameplate: David Horowitz's NewsReal Blog. Since it's run by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, that's perhaps understandable. 

Then there's the Litle Red Book-esque "From the Writings of David Horowitz" category at NewsReal, which hands out daily nuggets of Mao-like wisdom from Horowitz, complete with the ever-more-Lenin-like visage of Fearless Leader. These readings from the master are punctuated with actual blog posts from the man himself.

Things occasionally fall into the surreal. Blog posts like "David Horowitz Reveals What’s on His Kindle" and  "David Horowitz’s Ultra-Popular 'Alinsky, Beck, Satan, and Me' Series" sound like they're from a wonky right-wing version of Tiger Beat instead of a supposedly serious blog about serious issues.

On top of all this, NewsReal's managing editor, David Swindle, says he's writing a book about "the ideas of David Horowitz." Gee, you think that's how he got the job?

It almost seems as if the Horowitz organizaiton is more a cult of personality than a political machine.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:58 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 9:58 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
NewsReal Calls Obama's Mom A 'Hippy Sleazebag'
Topic: Horowitz

An April 13 NewsReal post by some coward hiding behind the pseudonym "Van Helsing" (really? How unoriginal) describes Barack Obama's mother as a "hippy sleazebag."

That post links to a fuller one by the cowardly author at Right Wing News, where the  words "hippy sleazebag" link to a website purporting to have nude pictures of her.

The coward is a sleazebag as well. David Horowitz must be so proud.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Us v. FrontPageMag
Topic: Horowitz

Last week, we wrote an item for Media Matters about Ralph Peters' nonsensical fearmongering over "voting rights for illegals" at FrontPageMag. In response, FrontPageMag published a column by Rich Trzupek that engaged in a lot of ad hominem attacks to defend Peters.

We respond to Trzupek right here.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Horowitz

David Swindle uses an April 6 NewsReal post to liken PResident Obama to the "psychopathic" Mr. Blonde from "Reservoir Dogs." No, really:


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Ralph Peters Rants Against A Non-Existent Threat
Topic: Horowitz

Ralph Peters served up a special brand of crazy in an April 2 FrontPageMag article, ranting against giving "illegals" voting rights -- something nobody has proposed to do -- and illustrated with a picture of heavily tattooed gang members as an apparent illustration of the "illegals" who would purportedly be given those voting rights.

We have more at Media Matters.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
NewsReal: Health Reform Supporters Like An Abusive Spouse
Topic: Horowitz

For almost a decade I worked in a domestic violence shelter. I sat with women who were shaking, bruised and ashamed. They were in utter shock and disbelief at the violence that had just occurred. The names of the people in each woman’s story were different; but the story lines were remarkably the same.

Police responding to domestic violence calls can tell a similar story. Often times, the officer responding to a call finds a calm man sitting on the front porch steps, smoking a cigarette, quietly waiting for the police to arrive. He greets the officers, and coolly explains to them that his wife is inside, ranting and raving. “She’s crazy, out of her mind. I don’t know what her problem is.”

Her problem is she has just realized what has happened to her.

In much the same way, as Americans try to grasp what just hit them...

-- Rhonda Robinson, March 24 NewsReal post, who goes on to claim that "The difference between the anger so many Americans feel right now, is quite different than the hatred and rage that has long been a part of the Left’s political arsenal."

So, only your anger, is valid, eh, Rhonda?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:14 PM EDT
Monday, March 15, 2010
NewsReal Promotes Bogus Fishing Ban Claim
Topic: Horowitz

A march 15 NewsReal blog post by Rhonda Robinson approvingly quotes a NewsReal commenter, whom she calls "entertaining and informative," making the claim that "the efforts to bring an end to sport fishing are neither rumor nor something that just popped up on the internet."

Actually, they're completely bogus. We'd cite Media Matters to back this up, but since NewsReal hates them, we'll have to go with no less a sporting authority than ESPN Outdoors, in which it essentially retracting a column that had forwarded the bogus claim:

ESPNOutdoors.com inadvertently contributed to a flare-up Tuesday when we posted the latest piece in a series of stories on President Barack Obama's newly created Ocean Policy Task Force, a column written by Robert Montgomery, a conservation writer for BASS since 1985. Regrettably, we made several errors in the editing and presentation of this installment. Though our series has included numerous news stories on the topic, this was not one of those -- it was an opinion piece, and should clearly have been labeled as commentary.

And while our series overall has examined several sides of this topic, this particular column was not properly balanced and failed to represent contrary points of view. We have reached out to people on every side of the issue and reported their points of view -- if they chose to respond -- throughout the series, but failed to do so in this specific column.

Is that good enough for Robinson and her favorite commenter? Probably not -- they probably would much rather promote anti-Obama conspiracies.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:47 PM EDT
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Annals of Unintentional Hilarity in Blogging
Topic: Horowitz

From a Jan. 19 NewsReal post by JE Tabler:

CBN, the most underrated news source on the planet

Yes, he's referring to the CBN of Pat Robertson and David Brody.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EST
Thursday, January 14, 2010
NewsReal Buys Into Chuck Norris Conspiracy
Topic: Horowitz

Leave it to the Horowitz empire to defend a false conspiracy.

A January 13 NewsReal post by Diane Suffern runs to the defense of Chuck Norris from big bad Newsweek, which demolished his conspiracy-laden WorldNetDaily column about President Obama's executive order extending certain "privileges, exemptions, and immunities" to Interpol. At no point does Suffern offer any evidence to disprove any Newsweek criticism; rather, she complains that "Newsweek attempts to equate reasonable concern for our sovereignty over international agencies with extended speculation (read: conspiracy theories). Not surprising."

Really? Asserting that "Interpol will become Obama's secret vault for terrorists' criminal records and evidence" and Obama's "original, long-form birth certificate" is "reasonable"?

Suffern also complains that Newsweek cited a National Rifle Association analysis of the executive order -- which, by the way, also blows Norris' conspiracy-mongering out of the water -- while conceding it's a "sound argument" (but not that it debunks Norris).

Suffern can't claim that both Norris and the NRA are being reasonable.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:01 PM EST
Kathy Shaidle, Gay-Basher
Topic: Horowitz

Kathy Shaidle not only is a blogger for NewsReal, where she remains unable to comprehend the simple fact that George Soros does not fund Media Matters, she also writes a weekly column summarizing talk radio for WorldNetDaily.

WND seems to be an appropriate home for her since they both share an interest in gay-bashing.

Her personal Five Feet of Fury blog currently hosts an ad for a subsidy-published book written by a "nuclear submarine force engineer" who insists that homosexuality is a "sexual dysfunction." (And really, who better to analyze the issue of sexuality than an engineer?)

Actually, that's a relatively minor offense -- blogging doesn't pay so any ad revenue is generally tolerated, right-wingers like Shaidle (and, presumably, her readers) eat these books up, and an obsession with homosexuality seems right up her alley.

Here's a post outlining her response to a story that a claim of a playwright ("who still hasn't died of AIDS for some reason") that Abraham Lincoln was gay was made up to "raise awareness": "Dear gays: this is why people hate you."

And here's another one tastefully responding to a British education official named Ed Balls who, after police were called on an 11-year-old for calling a classmate "gay," said that "Even casual use of homophobic language in schools can create an atmosphere that isolates young people and can be the forerunner of more serious forms of bullying."

Shaidle's bon mot: "Not like sending four cops to some kid's house, you dumb fag!" And her headline: "Bullied as a child for obvious reasons, Mr. Balls takes it out on little kids."

So, was Shaidle bullied as a child? Or was she the bullier? We somehow suspect the latter.

WND obviously has no problem with such gay-bashing. But what about the Horowitz empire, which operates NewsReal? After all, managing editor David Swindle insists that commenters refrain from "Abusive, Ad Hominem, Overly Mean-Spirited" comments and "Hyperbolic Nazi References" -- though, as we've noted, that doesn't seem to apply to NewsReal's bloggers.

We predict Shaidle will get to keep her NewsReal job, as long as she keeps her overt homophobia confined to her personal blog (covert homophobia, we suspect, is mostly tolerated). After all, she does serve as NewsReal's reliable (if not coherent or factually accurate) basher of our employer, and that seems to be good enough for the Horowitz folks.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 AM EST
Sunday, December 6, 2009
NewsReal: Palin's Not A Birther Because Palin Said So Herself (Eventually)
Topic: Horowitz

It's kinda cute how David Swindle is pretending that Sarah Palin isn't promoting birtherism.

In a Dec. 4 NewsReal post, Swindle bashes "leftist polemicist[s]" for highlighting Palin's statement that "the public, rightfully, is still making" Barack Obama's birth certificate an issue and "I think it’s a fair question" to ask Obama to present further evidence of his birth. Yet Swindle insists that Palin is not "part of the cult of crackpot conspiracists who know for certain that President Obama was born in Kenya or, is at the very least, 'hiding his birth certificate'" becausePalin tried to walk back her statement on her Facebook page.

Based on that statement, Swindle declares: "So, no, Palin is not a birther. She was just caught off guard in an interview and chose her words poorly."

Swindle refuses to acknowledge the possibility that Palin is trying to have it both ways -- pretending she's not a birther (Swindle fell for that -- he has no evidence that she initially "chose her words poorly" on the subject) while also raising questions about Obama's birth certificate.

If birtherism is, as Swindle says, "poisonous crackpot conspiracism" on a par with 9/11 truthers, then why give Palin a pass by taking Palin's walk-back as a denial and ignoring the fact that she played into the hands of birther conspiracists like WorldNetDaily by answering the question as she did?

In an update to his post, Swindle complains about an Alaska blogger who noted that Swindle failed to note that Palin's statement, in the same interview in which she made the statement about Obama's birth certifciate, that she has released Trig Palin's birth certificate is apparently not true -- as Andrew Sullivan points out, no birth certificate or other evidence has been released by Palin. Still, it gives license for Swindle to complain about "crackpot 'Trig Birtherism' conspiracy theories." Never mind that his boss, David Horowitz, has flip-flopped on embracing conspiracy theories like depicting Obama as a "Manchurian candidate."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 6, 2009 10:51 PM EST
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Horowitz Makes More Extreme Attacks on Obama
Topic: Horowitz

We've detailed how David Horowitz has flip-flopped and embraced the kind of outrageous attacks on President Obama he once criticized.

Horowitz does it again in a Nov. 26 Newsmax article, which began as a promotion of his new book about his late daughter but quickly descended into vicious attacks on Obama:

“His roots are in the Left,” says Horowitz. “He (Obama) came out of the movement that I came out of, but he never actually came out of it. Their agendas are power, control and creating enormous slush funds for the armies of the Left -- and that's what this Administration is about. It is the most radical, the most dangerous political administration in Washington that we have ever seen.”

[...]

There has never been an Administration that is so anti-Jewish,” he blasts. “There is a global genocide that is being planned and organized in full view of everybody -- and Obama is appeasing them and sticking it to the Jews. These are very dark times for this country, but I'm very optimistic because I believe that people are finally waking up.”

He sees a dark repeat of history.

“Everybody who calls themselves a progressive was a supporter of the Soviet Union or China -- the slaughter of 100,000 million people in order to make them go along with the socialist program. Obama is aiding and abetting and facilitating our enemies as we speak.”

[...]

“I am a former leftist so I understand the Left, and it has taken a long time for the conservatives to stop calling these people Liberals -- since they are bigoted, intolerant and totalitarian -- and start calling them the leftist or socialist that they are, and that is happening now in a big way.

[...]

“Inside of every so-called Liberal is a totalitarian screaming to come out. There is one TV channel that has some critics of the President on it like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity -- and they want to suppress it. That tells you exactly who they are. They are communist and, of course, it is so unfashionable to say that. I mean with a small ‘c,’ I don't mean the card-carrying communist. Their mentality is communist. It is not liberal,” he concludes.

Horowitz talks about his personal evolution.

“I was one of the founders of the New Left and I have been atoning for that ever since. I got involved in raising money for the Black Panther Party, and they murdered a woman whom I recruited to do their bookkeeping…

“In the mid '70s the Left -- and, by the Left I included the Democratic Party -- at this point had sabotaged the Vietnam War and forced America’s withdraw and 2 ½ million innocent peasants in Indo- China were slaughtered by the allies of the American Left.

“All progressives supported this, and there were no protests from the Left about it,” he adds. “That was the end of my soldering in the Left. I understood that these people have evil agendas. It all sounds very good -- peace, justice -- but it true, it is the form that evil takes, has taken in the 20th century.”

“They will destroy our democracy. That's what they are setting about doing – destroying our democracy or as we used to say during the Cold War our way of life.”

Really? ALL progressives support genocidal regimes? Please. Do you realize how wild-eyed and silly you sound, David?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 28, 2009 11:05 AM EST
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Citing Psalm 109:8 Is A Joke?
Topic: Horowitz

A Nov. 22 NewsReal post by Paul Cooper properly notes that criticism of right-wingers citing Psalm 109:8 in reference to President Obama is valid: "The context of the passage is of an evil leader being killed – it is not talking about someone being voted out of office. I believe proper use of the Bible centers around using verses in their proper context."

But then Cooper adds that "the verse is used by most people as a joke and not for genuine prayer." Cooper offers no evidence to support the claim. Indeed, we saw no evidence of humor or irony in Joseph Farah referencing it; of course, he also failed to present it in its proper context of killing a leader.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EST
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
NewsReal Ignores How Stewart Busted Fox News
Topic: Horowitz

A Nov. 16 NewsReal post by Paul Cooper bashes outgoing White House communications director for noting that "Jon Stewart of the Daily Show on Comedy Central…That’s where you are getting fact-checking, investigative journalism these days," asserting that this statement means "Dunn actually believes The Daily Show is more legitimate journalism than FoxNews." Curiously absent from Cooper's post is any mention of the incident that prompted Dunn to make that claim.

From the Bloomberg interview of Dunn that Cooper references:

DUNN: I'll give you one fact -- actually fun fact from this week, is that the, you know, a opinion show on a certain news network was using edited footage to make it appear that a rally last week in political opposition to the president was much larger than it appeared. Some of you may have heard about this, that the people who went in and did the fact-checking on that and actually exposed this, this kind of spliced, edited video that was designed to make it appear that more people oppose the president than really do, the people who exposed this -- Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, OK? Well, that's where you are getting, you know, fact-checking, investigative journalism these days, folks.

It is a different media environment. And the reality is that, you know, let's face it,  we're under no illusions about what the political agenda of certain news networks are.

Cooper also avoids repeating more inconvenient criticism of Fox, stating that Dunn "defends" MSNBC in the interview without noting that Dunn also pointed out that Fox News contributor Karl Rove "declared war on [NBC] during the previous administration, and you may recall that Fox actually applauded Karl for doing that."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 PM EST

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