Ronald Kessler's June 21 Newsmax column channels John M. Palatiello, president of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition, to attack the Obama administration for allegedly "changing government rules to prevent agencies from using private firms in order to reduce costs. Typically, that raises costs to taxpayers by as much as 30 percent." But Kessler and Palatiello provide no verifiable examples of it actually occurring, let alone any evidence of the cost increase.
Kessler and Palatiello offer vague purported examples of businessmen who lost government contracts when government officials decided to do the work in-house -- but there are not enough details offered that, say, a media critic can independently verify the claim. For instance, Kessler quoted Palatiello as saying, "I know a small business man up in Peekskill, New York, who is a food service catering company. ... And he had a contract pulled from him and brought in-house. I know of mapping firms that have had contracts with the government where they have been canceled and brought in-house." But that's all the information offered, and it's not enough to go on.
Do Kessler and Palatiello have something to hide? The lack of details they offer to support their argument certainly begs the question.
WND Author: 'Shack' Devotees Exhibit 'Cult-Like' Tendencies, Author Is Like Jim Jones Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's war on the Christian novel "The Shack" continues with a June 20 column by James B. De Young, author of the WND-published anti-"Shack" book. In his column, De Young portrays fans of "The Shack" as exhibiting "cult-like" tendencies and "Shack" author Paul Young as -- we are not making this up -- akin to Jim Jones:
There are certain characteristics of the people who love "The Shack" that suggest cultic-like devotion. Why would I suggest such a thing? Because the word "cult" suggests certain behavior and domineering personalities that have often arisen among Christians in the past. Remember Jim Jones and his People's Temple cult in the 1970s? More than 800 adults and children committed suicide in blind devotion to their leader who could do no wrong and whose teaching was beyond questioning.
But how do I know a cult when I see it? The dictionary says that a cult is 1) a system of religious worship or ritual; or 2) a quasi-religious group, often living in a colony, with a charismatic leader who indoctrinates members with unorthodox or extremist views, practices or beliefs and 3) a group of followers.
Some of these words do not characterize the readers of the novel by Paul Young. But Paul Young is certainly a charismatic leader who is gathering a significant following. He certainly propagates unorthodox or extremist views and religious beliefs (as I will show). And since he comes under no local church, he himself decides what is orthodox.
De Young goes on to complain about "The Shack's" definition of God as someone who would rather "cure" sin than "punish it, insisting that "the vast majority of the teaching of Scripture attests that God does indeed punish sin." De Young concludes with more cultic smears:
If you believe "The Shack's" pronouncements about judgment and sin instead of the Bible's, then you are in danger of being swept up into a cultic allegiance to a charismatic leader! And isn't this just the nub of what makes many people uncomfortable about "The Shack"? The novel projects "novel" views of a lot of the Bible's teaching that at least distort the truth and at the most slander God and Jesus Christ (as I show in my "Burning Down the Shack").
And in line with the novel's opposition to the local church, this charismatic leader refuses to come under the leadership and authority of any local church and decides for himself what is true. This is cult-like!
If "The Shack" is not yet a cult, it may be on the way to becoming one.
With smears like these, De Young is quickly building a case to be sued for libel.
Does Cliff Kincaid Want to Bar Blacks From Donating Blood? Topic: Accuracy in Media
As Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid continues to foam at the mouth about evil "gay blood" -- his latest screed asserts that "the homosexual rights movement is quietly acknowledging that decades of 'safe sex' education have failed and that cases of HIV/AIDS and illegal drug use are on the rise among gay males" -- Slate's William Saletan points out the illogic of group-based blood screening.
While the prevalance of HIV in "men having sex with men" -- who are currently prohibited as a group from donating blood -- is "over 15 fold higher than the general population," Shafer writes, HIV prevalence is eight to nine times higher among blacks than among whites, and HIV prevalence for black women is 18 times higher than for white women. But blacks are not prohibited as a group from giving blood.
This begs the question: Shouldn't Kincaid be as concenred about blacks -- and particularly black women -- donating blood as he is gays? We can't wait to hear the answer.
Finkelstein Attacks Verification of Facts, Not Falsehoods Topic: NewsBusters
Funny, we thought NewsBusters cared about getting the facts straight. Apparently not.
A June 20 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein -- instead of praising "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski for talking to the White House to get the facts on exactly what President Obama has done on the Gulf oil spill, the subject of numerous false claims made by Rudy Giuliani a few days earlier on the show -- attacks Brzezinski for contacting the White House in the first place:
Cut out the middle-woman and install Obama's teleprompter on the Morning Joe set . . .
Give her high marks for candor: on today's show, Mika Brzezinski admitted that she has been "working with the White House" on oil spill talking points. But that still leaves the issue of the journalistic propriety of someone in Brzezinski's position serving as such a blatant shill for the president.
If Brzezinski believes Giuliani had his facts wrong, have her book a White House official to straighten things out.
Has Finkelstein never heard of the concept of reporting? You know, when you contact a source for information? That's what Brzezinski did. Why is that a bad thing?
Finkelstein is not unfamiliar with such a thing -- only he didn't call it working with the White House on talking points. No, Finkelstein's little 2006 junket to Iraq was called getting the "real news" -- yes, the bug accompanying his NewsBusters posts on the subject read, "The real news from Iraq." The "real news"didn't involve him writing anything criticial about the Iraq war -- indeed, Finkelstein likely wouldn't be going on the trip if there was even the slightest possibility he might. And indeed he didn't -- eachblogpost was a fluffy profile of what he encountered.
In other words, in doing his fluffy little reports, Finkelstein was doing the White House's bidding, whether he admits it or not. By contrast, Brzezinski merely obtained information from the White House to counter false claims made by Rudy Giuliani -- claims neither Finkelstein nor any other MRC employee have admitted are false. Further, neither Finkelstein nor any other MRC employee have contradicted the information Brzezinski obtained from the White House.
So, Mr. Finkelstein, which is worse -- obtaining information from the Obama White House to counter false claims, or going on a junket in order to serve as a PR agent for the Bush administration? You tell us.
Speaking of Lazy and Shameful Writing... Topic: NewsBusters
Rich Noyes begins a June 20 NewsBusters post this way:
The Washington Post’s Colbert I. King is a regular TV commentator, a Pulitzer prize winner and the deputy editor of the paper’s influential editorial page. But the column he churned out for this morning’s paper is one of the laziest ad hominem attacks on conservatives I’ve ever seen.
It’s a shameful column, hardly worthy of a college newspaper, let alone a Pulitzer prize winner.
Should Noyes really be so surprised by allegedly lazy and shameful ad hominem attacks? After all, his MRC stablemate Brent Baker launched a similarly lazy ad hominem personal attack on Katie Couric for wanting to buy a Prius.
Or does Noyes think King needs to be even more lazy and shameful to reach the depths of Baker?
WND Pussyfoots Around Birther Hero's White Supremacist Ties Topic: WorldNetDaily
It appears that WorldNetDaily is not quite ready to tell its readers the full truth about its new birther hero, Tim Adams.
Adams is a former temp in a Hawaii elections office who claims that Obama was not born in the U.S. and that no original birth certificate for him exists -- a claim WND has eagerly embraced despite a complete lack of corroboration. As we detailed, Adams first made his claim to a self-described "pro-white" radio host of a show called "The Political Cesspool" during a conference of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a decendent of the openly racist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s that the Anti-Defamation League describes as having a "white supremacy, white separatism" ideology.
A June 20 WND article by Joe Kovacs touts Adams' appearance on a local TV show in Kentucky.Buried in the 19th paragraph of Kovacs' article is his attempt to tepidly address criticism of Adams:
Since WND's original report, Adams has come under fire from some critics online who suggested Adams may hold an anti-black philosophy and that his assertions were possibly racially motivated.
At no point does Kovacs go into detail about the specific criticisms of Adams -- namely, his attendance at a racist-linked conference and his interview with a "pro-white" radio host. Kovacs certainly knows about all of this -- after all, he did his own share of whitewashing in that original article, writing that "People started to pay attention this week after he was briefly interviewed by James Edwards, host of a weekly radio show on WLRM Radio in Memphis, Tenn." Kovacs doesn't mention Edwards' name in his June 20 article.
But here's where it gets really weird. Kovac then not only portrays Adams as not racist -- even though at no point does Adams directly address the issue during the interview -- he quotes Adams suggesting that others pursuing the eligibility question are racist:
Adams, though, said it's people still asking Obama to prove his eligibility who tend to have race-based sentiments against the commander in chief.
"Some people are basically racist," Adams said. "It's a question of race. They don't like having someone who's not white, or they don't like someone who's from such a different heritage as President Obama, because his family has ties to Africa. His family also has ties to middle America, so to me it's also a non-issue. The other thing is, is he is a liberal, he's a Democrat. There's a lot of political rancor in the country in the last decade, starting with President Bush, and then we had 9/11. We've had the wars overseas. And this entire fight between the Left and the Right has become so Balkanized that anything someone finds, they say, 'Oh look, he lied about being born inside the United States. There must be something terrible there!' But they're extrapolating something that's not true."
WND, of course, is the leading promoter of birtherism. Which means Adams is, in effect, calling WND racist.
Despite that revealing quote, Kovacs dishonestly frames the issue. At no point during the Kentucky interview was he asked about his white supremacist ties; the above quoted answer was in response to the question, "So why do you think there is still this hubbub among some factions of the U.S. regarding his citizenship?"
If that's surprising, other statements by Adams that Kovacs didn't quote expose the real WND agenda even further. For instance, Kovacs cut off the above quote before Adams said:
This is the kind of thing you run into often. People nowadays constantly refer to the government as an enemy of the people, but the role of the government is to serve the people.
That's certainly a message WND doesn't want to get out. Later, Adams said this:
The other day we had the U.S. senator, I believe it was, who was stopped by the two young men who were asking questions on the street, and they almost had an altercation on the street. Our politicians have been so vilified, I think, that they are almost unable to interact with their constituents. Congress' approval ratings remain low, and the rhetoric is just so violent, and there's so much opposition that we seem to forget that we're all supposed to working toward the same goal. My comment was, the other day talking to several people, was I don't understand how anyone who is a politician in the country today manages to speak publicly, because no matter what you say, it rarely gets out to the public in the form you say it.
I think we need to notch down the rancor. We need to remember we are all one nation of people. Usually, when you say we are a diverse people, this is an oxymoron, but America is unique in that we are from our heritage a diverse people -- people from many different backgrounds and ethnicities. And we do have a dominant national story in America because we've had one group of people who were numerically superior to everyone else. There was a dominant social group, and that's been changing over the last 20 or 30 years. We have people -- more people from more diverse ethnicities coming in from other countries, coming in -- immigrating to the United States. The makeup of our country and the demographic is changing, and I think that causes a lot of agitation. A lot of people are afraid, and they latch on to people who tell them what they want to hear. And these people do not have their best interests at heart -- they're, you know, poverty pimps. And a lot of these are very nice people, but people can use fear to rile up a group of people who have been isolated or feel like they have been marginalized. And then you can't talk to anyone without very kind of outbursts we've seen over my rather -- I though rather boring comments a couple weeks ago.
"Poverty pimp" remark aside, Adams' comments about people falling prey to those who appeal to their fears describes WND to a T. WND branded itself as Obama HateCentral almost from day one, and it tellslies about him and his administration on a regular basis. Further, WND is so anti-immigrant that it has Tom Tancredo as a columnist.
WND is exploiting its readers' fear of Obama -- a fear that is possibly racially motivated -- and it clearly does not have the best interests of its readers in mind. If it did, it would act like a real news organization instead of the for-profit activist group it is.
If WND ever decides to abandon Adams, it won't be because of his white supremacist connections -- after all, it has no problem with Pat Buchanan's Jew-counting or Jerome Corsi's own associations with the same radio "pro-white" host that talked to Adams. It will be because he knows the truth about WND.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Henry Lamb Division Topic: WorldNetDaily
Henry Lamb started off his June 20 WorldNetDaily column with a blast of Obama derangement:
Obama believes in the rule of law – his law. No other law is relevant. No other law matters. When Obama speaks, he expects the world to obey.
In his Tuesday night performance, he said, "I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business. …" "Inform him?" Where does Barack Hussein Obama get the authority to issue orders to the CEO of a private corporation? There is no such authority in the Constitution. There is no law that empowers the president to "inform" the CEO of any corporation how he will spend the corporation's money. Obama couldn't care less about the Constitution or the law.
There was no constitutional authority for him to essentially take over General Motors and Chrysler, or the banks. Obama couldn't care less about the law. When he speaks, he expects the world to obey.
There is no constitutional authority for the federal government to require American citizens to purchase health insurance or any other product or service. It doesn't matter. Obama spoke; his congressional majority of comrades obeyed.
Lamb then claimed: "Obama and his congressional comrades absolutely refuse to consider allowing the development of oil in the Arctic Nation Wildlife Refuge. Of the entire 19-million-acre area, only 2,000 acres would be disturbed, an area of 3.125 square miles." In fact, 2,000 acres is only the drilling area; full development of the drilling site, with access roads, airstrips, pipelines, storage areas and other support facilities, would take up much more space.
Lamb then claimed:
What's most dangerous about this man is his restructuring the government to be operated by a collection of appointed czars, who are not accountable to Congress, who can exercise powers not granted to the government to achieve nearly dictatorial authority over the citizens of the United States.
In fact, several of Obama's czars were confirmed by the Senate, and we don't recall Lamb complaining about the large number of czars President Bush had working for him. (Oh, and at least 13 of Obama's czars had counterparts in the Bush administration.)
Graham Denigrates Singer's Christian Faith Topic: NewsBusters
It's called the Media Research Center, not the Religion Research Center. So why is Tim Graham denigrating others' interpretations of Christianity?
In a June 20 NewsBusters post, Graham attacked "newly declared lesbian country singer Chely Wright" for voicing a version of Christianity that offers support for gays and for noting that "her sister's minister equated gays with murderers." When Wright expressed frustration with "churches who automatically exclude young gays and lesbians. And old ones for that matter," and added, "How dare they assume they own God?" Graham sneered in response:
Orthodox Christians don't "own God." They believe in what the Bible teaches. The obvious reply to Wright's Gay Pride God is "How dare they invent their own God?"
Who appointed Graham theologian-in-chief? Who is he to say that Wright's version of Christianity is not valid? And why is Graham reading the gay-oriented paper where Wright's interview appeared? Is there something he'd like to tell us?
WND's Klein Still Hiding Behind Anonymity Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein continues to pile up the anonymous sources in more WorldNetDaily articles.
In a June 17 article, Klein claims that "The governments of Egypt and Jordan are considering hardening their positions against the U.S., believing the Obama administration awards concessions to anti-Western regimes," citing a "Jordanian intelligence official" and an "Egyptian government official," a "top official from Syria's Ministry of Information" and a "alestinian Authority official." Indeed, there's not a named source in the entire article. Klein offers no explanation for why his sources were granted anonymity.
Similarly, there are no named sources backing up Klein's claim in a June 19 article that "The U.S. extracted concessions from Israel in exchange for American opposition to the establishment of a United Nations commission to investigate Israel's commando raid of a flotilla earlier this month that resulted in the deaths of nine violent activists," citing only an "Israeli government official." Again, there's no explanation for why his source deserves anonymity.
As we've previously noted, Klein is perhaps WND's most flagrant abuser of anonymity. Keep in mind that Klein's boss, Joseph Farah, described quotes from anonymous sources as "made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better." Given Klein's shoddytrackrecord of biased and factually deficient reporting and far-right activism, there's no reason to give him the benefit of the doubt on granting anonymity, since he's doing the same thing his boss warned against.
Plus, overuse of anonymity is simply cowardly -- but we already know that about Klein.
Bozell Pushes Bob Hope Non-Controversy, Criticizes Exhibit He Apparently Hasn't Seen Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell's June 18 column is a regurgitation of an article at his MRC-operated CNSNews.com trying to create a controversy by baselessly accusing the Library of Congress of designing its exhibit on Bob Hope and politics to, in Bozell's words, "unveil a leftist political agenda, the likes of which Bob Hope would be the first to denounce."
But as we pointed out, CNS reporter Penny Starr provided no evidence that the exhibit is biased -- even she conceded that, in addition to liberal entertainers, the exhibit also includes conservatives such as Lee Greenwood, Pat Boone and Sonny Bono. Bozell doesn't mention that, nor does he note as Starr did that Hope became actively political during the Vietnam years; instead, Bozell insists that Hope "bent backward to keep politics out of his performances when entertaining troops."
Further, Bozell appears to be writing about something he has not seen. There's no indication that he went to see the exhibit himself -- nearly all the details he provides are straight from Starr's article, and nowhere does he claim that he personally saw the exhibit. Given that Bozell has previously ridiculed Attorney General Eric Holder for "insolence" and "laziness" in criticizing a bill he hadn't read, that is quite the double standard.
CMI Still Obsessed with WaPo's Reporting on Gays Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC's Culture & Media Institute continued its strange obsession with the Washington Post's coverage of gay-related issues with a June 14 article by Melissa Afable complaining about the Post's profile of conservative lawyer Ted Olson, who's working to overturn California's Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in the state.
Afable engaged in a healthy does of Heathering, portraying Olson's work on the case as "near-traitorous" to "social conservatives," adding that "Olson’s pro-homosexual stand has left many conservatives shaking their heads in disbelief."
Afable also demonstrates lack of knowledge about the profession she's criticizing, complaining that the "present-tense headline" on the Post article "made it seem as though Olson’s decision just came to light" when Olson wrote about his work for Newsweek last year. In fact, nearly all newspaper headlines are written in present tense -- that's basic newspapering practice that Afable and her fellow journalism illiterates at CMI (who are activists, not journalists) have yet to grasp.
Afable further sneered that "it wouldn’t be the first time the Post let its support of the gay agenda color its editorial decisions," rehashing CMI's previous attacks on the Post. But the Post has responded to CMI by pointing out that it used overly narrow parameters that ignored the Post's reporting on anti-homosexual activists.
Afable, of course, mentions nothing about that. She's not about to let the facts get in the way of her anti-gay agenda.
The Marxmeister in the White House now says he takes full responsibility for ending the oil mess in the Gulf. He also says he wants to "know whose a-- to kick," that he "can't suck it up with a straw," and … well, you know … the ongoing narcissistic spiel – "I, me, my … blah, blah, blah" – day after day, week after week, ad nauseam.
Watching his recent performances on the Gulf oil disaster made me think about a monster hit The Platters had in the '50s called "The Great Pretender." Little did they know that the champion Great Pretender wouldn't even be born until 1961 – probably in Kenya … but, then, no one is really sure about that because no one is allowed to see his birth certificate.
Everyone but 1) those on the far left, 2) Bill O'Reilly and 3) the loons (O'Reilly's word) who have yet to return from lunch realizes that The Great Pretender has had a Marxist agenda since even before his pot-smoking days at Columbia. Names like Wright, Ayers, Lloyd, Dunn, Sunstein, Holdren and Jones (both Jeff and Van) are well-known to those who have taken the trouble to learn about The Great Pretender's agenda.
Obama has been following FDR's dictatorial playbook to the T. In his 1937 inaugural address, at a time when unemployment was still rising (15 percent on Inauguration Day), FDR bodaciously said, "Our progress out of the Depression is obvious."
Mason's Latest Anti-Obama Rant: 'Does He Even KnowThere's A War in Afghanistan?' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jackie Mason unleashes yet another anti-Obama tirade in his June 17 WorldNetDaily video, which he begins by defending his anti-Obama tirades:
Is it my fault that he's doing something wrong? Why don't you evaluate what he's doing and if what I'm saying about him is true or false instead of telling me I should respect the president. I respect the presidency and I respect the president. He doesn't respect his own office.
We've fact-checked Mason, and found numerous falsehoods and misstatements in his hateful tirades, so he has discredited himself a long time ago. Needless to say, Mason keeps up the misinformation:
[Obama] told us at the beginning of this whole huge disaster with the oil situation, this huge disaster in the Gulf now, he told us that he couldn't do nothing about it, that's why he did nothing for the first nine days after it happened. The second nine days it wasn't his business either because there's nothing exactly he could have done, so he did nothing for the next nine days.
In fact, government officials were working on the scene almost immediately, and a quicker initial response was hampered by the fact that BP led the government to belive the spill was much smaller than it actually was.
Mason then went on to claim that President Bush was criticized for waiting "half an hour" to respond to Hurricane Katrina and that Bush "really couldn't do anything about it because constitutionally he can't move in the situation unless he has the invitation of the mayor and the governor. They both told him it's taken care of, there's no problem." In fact, two days before Katrina made landfall, then-Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declared a state of emergency. Blanco also called Bush to say, "we need your help. We need everything you've got." While Mason offered no evidence that Bush could not help in Katrina recovery without a state and/or local invitaiton, the military is prohibited by federal law from performing local law enforcement operations, a law Bush never waived in the days after the storm.
Further, even Republicans concluded that the Bush administration waited too long to evacuate New Orleans by failing to act quickly enough to reports that levees had been breached.
Mason then lied again that Obama "did nothing forthe first nine days, the second nine days and the third nine days," sneering that Obama "thinks he was elected to the office as an entertainer, a greeter. ... Every time you saw Bush, he was talking to a general, or he was talking to a colonel, an admiral, or he was talking to the heads of the State Department. Every time you see [Obama], there's a basketball team, there's a baseball team, and there's another team." Mason added: "How often do you ever seen him talk to a general? Does he even know there's a war in Afghanistan?"
Mason then concludes that section of his rant by saying: "What did I say that's not true just now?" Well, a lot.
But Jackie wasn't quite done -- he declared that if you disagree with him, it's somehow you're problem: "You're picking on me if you disagree with me and you don't care if I'm telling the truth. So if you don't like what I just said, look in the mirror. There's something wrong with you."
Poor Jackie, not only refusing to take responsibility for his own hate but trying to blame others for his hate.
Mason's video concludes with a plug for an upcoming live appearance by Mason (with discounted tickets available for WND readers). Mason claims he will offer "real laughs" about "everything that's wrong with Barack Obama. ... everything that's wrong with this country." If Mason's WND tirades are any indication, the painfully unfunny anti-Obama hate will be everywhere, and "real laughs" will be few and far between.
Actual Shocker: WND (Belatedly) Fact-Checks Fox News Topic: WorldNetDaily
In one of its increasing infrequent spasms of actual journalism, WorldNetDaily published a June 17 article by Chelsea Schilling fact-checking a Fox News report falsely claiming that President Obama "is, in effect, giving a major strip of the Southwest back to Mexico." As Schilling writes, "law enforcement officials in the area are saying the state still belongs to the U.S. and is not closed off to Americans."
As can be expected when WND attempts actual journalism, it's behind the curve -- Media Matters was debunking the claim a full 24 hours before Schilling's story was published, and even obtained a statement by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official well before WND did.
This certainly makes Fox News look really bad -- when even theliars at WND are proving them wrong, what does that say about Fox News' brand of journalism?
Newsmax aired its Bill O'Reilly-starring "Economic Crisis Summit" yesterday, and -- surprise! -- it's yet another financial scheme designed to separate Newsmax readers from their money, this time a "hot commodities insider membership" for a mere $1,495 (it's worth $5,681!). The videocast host laughably claimed during the videocast that O'Reilly was not "here to endorse anyone's point of view or to endorse product or financial service," but was "joining us just to give us" his take.