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Wednesday, June 23, 2010
WND Columnist: Obama Has 'Fealty Toward Islam'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farah devoted his column today to attacking MSNBC, calling its programs "agitprop" and a "bad joke" where there's "no attempt at balance. There's no attempt at fairness. There's no concern for the truth."

What Farah doesn't say: Agitprop that disregards the truth is WND's territory.

Take, for example, this column elsewhere on today's WND commentary page by Pieder Beeli, in which he purports to do "an inferential or forensic analysis" of President Obama by analyzing "what is implied rather than what is explicitly stated." You know, because mind-reading is more important than actual words. Beeli comes to the shocking conclusion that Obama has a "preference of Islam over Christianity," adding that "his fealty toward Islam and multiculturalism far exceed his fealty toward Christianity.

But Beeli -- whose listed qualifications for doing such an analysis are that he "has a Ph.D. in physics and has been previously published in right-to-life newsletters, blogs, online letters to the editor and student newspapers" -- uses a litany of lies and false attacks to reach his conclusion.

For instance, Beeli writes, "I have not heard Obama affirm the central Christian tenet, ‘The love of God was revealed to us on the cross of Jesus Christ.'" Here's what Obama said in a January 2008 Christianity Today interview: "I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life."

Beeli went on to complain that Obama has referred to the Quran as "holy," claiming, "one does not expect a Christian to suggest that the Quran is holy, because the Quran and the Bible contradict each other." But as BeliefNet's Steven Waldman noted, President Bush made several references to the "holy Quran" in speeches.

Beeli also asserted that "I have heard Obama forcefully mock the Bible." No, he hasn't. The link he provides to support this claim goes to an article at the right-wing website OneNewsNow quoting right-wing activist Robert Knight complaining that Obama used the term "Holy Quran." That in turn links to a Knight column claiming Obama "mocked the Bible's relevance for politics" in a 2006 speech, in which Obama said:

And moreover, given the increasing diversity of America's populations, the dangers of sectarianism are greater than ever. Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.

And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would it be James Dobson's, or Al Sharpton's? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith. Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount -- a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? We -- so, before we get carried away, let's read our Bibles now. Folks haven't been reading their Bible.

Of course, Obama was not mocking the Bible; he was pointing out the need for government to respect a diverse society and that even a purely Christian-based society would have trouble deciding which brand of Christianity to enforce. (James Dobson cited the same speech to falsely suggest that Obama wanted to expel Christians from the U.S.)

Beeli claims his little mind-reading analysis is "especially valuable" because Obama has told "over 150 documented lies," and because of "the Islamic sanction of taqiyya, which "has its origins in the prophet of Islam who allowed one of his followers to lie in order to kill someone who mocked the prophet." Unsurprisingly, Beeli is wrong about that too.

Hussein Ibish, senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, points out that the idea promoted by people like Beeli that taqiyya "constitutes a carte blanche for all Muslims to lie to all non-Muslims" is false; rather, it permits Muslims to lie about their faith in order to save themselves from imminent harm or death. "If there is a major religion that does not contain a doctrine that might permit someone to recant at the stake or before the axe, I am not aware of it," Ibish adds.

Beeli also baselessly insists that "Obama shows a deference to align public policy with Islam" and "shows a strong refusal to align public policy with Christian principles." He also cites the hysterically anti-Obama and anti-Muslim Pamela Geller as support and repeats the questionably sourced claim that Obama "confided his Islamic faith to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit."

But then, when you're reading minds and have decided actual words don't matter, facts really don't matter either.

Meanwhile, blogger Richard Bartholomew has done a little research into Beeli. Turns out he's not only an anti-evolutionist, he had this to say about the head of the Federal Reserve: "Ironically a single unwitting Jew, Bernake [sic], is committing terrorism on the US comparable to all the rest of the 1.2 B Muslims combined." He later repeats this claim: "Unfortunately a Jew, Fed Chairman Bernake, has committed more terrorism on the US in the last 8 years than the entire Muslim population has over the last twenty."

Farah told his WND readers to "sit back and enjoy watching these folks drown in their own incompetence, ignorance and insincerity. It's a sight to behold." Farah was talking about MSNBC, but with Beeli's sleazy, fact-free attack coming on top of WND's embrace of a man with white supremacist connections in a desperate attempt to perpetuate its failing birther crusade -- not to mention WND's lengthy history of factually deficient Obama-bashing -- he may have just as well been talking about his own website.

(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)


Posted by Terry K. at 4:33 PM EDT
It's Gay-Bashing Week At NewsBusters
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters has been on quite the anti-gay tear this week.

First, a June 21 post by Tim Graham bizarrely suggests that a lesbian teen who was barred from attending her prom got into homosexuality for the great perks:

Demanding to wear a tuxedo and bring your lesbian partner to the high school prom has been great for Constance McMillen. Ellen DeGeneres gave her a $30,000 scholarship check. Now she's meeting with Obama and being celebrated at Gay Pride parades and ACLU fundraisers at Woodstock.

Graham went on to defend the school's cancellation of the prom as "hardly an educational necessity" and purported to be offended that a USA Today story on the girl "left out the $30,000 scholarship check, and ignored gay Congressman Jared Polis's bill to ban all kinds of anti-gay discrimination in public schools and force high schools to accept gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students at proms."

Next, Matthew Balan scowled at CNN's "two softball interviews with the subjects of their upcoming slanted documentary, 'Gary and Tony Have a Baby,'" complaining that the interviews "sympathized with the same-sex couple, hinting they were 'role models' for the homosexual community, and made little effort to hide that they were advancing the agenda of homosexual activists." Balan continued his outrage at CNN:

Earlier in June, Soledad O'Brien herself helped promote her upcoming documentary by presenting a one-sided report about a lesbian teenager in Mississippi whose senior portrait was left out of her school's yearbook because she defied her school's rules by having it taken in a tux. CNN also aired a glowing two-part report from senior political analyst Gloria Borger on June 16 about Ted Olson and David Boies, the former rivals in Bush v. Gore who are now fighting to overturn California's Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex "marriage."

Graham followed up by bashing a Washington Post review of the CNN special, which Graham called "a thoroughly biased ode to the gay agenda." Graham harumphed: "If this documentary is carefully constructed to send the message that all opposition to homosexuality and "gay marriage" should cease, then it is the opposite of objectivity: it is meant to shut down a debate and declare the liberal side the winner for all eternity."

Noel Sheppard joined in the gay-bashing by asking if ABC News is "trying to position itself as the go to place for gay rights advocacy amongst the broadcast network websites." Why? "Ten days after featuring a video of a gay prom king and queen, the website prominently displayed a gay-themed McDonald's ad." Despite the fact that two stories among dozens of stories over 10 days hardly constitutes advocacy (unlike, say, four or five blog posts in a two-day span), Sheppard demanded to know, "What is ABCNews.com telling us with all this gay rights activism?"

Balan returned to attacking CNN for having on "another teenaged homosexual activist for a sympathetic interview to help promote their upcoming one-sided documentary," the Mississippi teen banned from her prom. Balan scolded CNN for not pressing the teen "on how she might have inconvenienced her classmates." Balan did not explain how wanting to do the very same thing her classmates were doing -- going to prom with the date of her choice -- represented an "inconvenience" to them.

Meanwhile, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell was in full Heathering mode, berating longtime conservative activist Grover Norquist for joining the board of the gay-conservative group GOProud. "It’s a gay group," Bozell howled. "And Norquist thinks social conservatives are going to accept this absolute abandonment?" Bozell added: 'Norquist has declared open war on social conservatives. Note to Chairman Steele: If he succeeds, and they leave the party, the GOP is ruined."

Why does it matter to Bozell if the GOP is "ruined" by the flight of social conservatives? It shouldn't -- but Bozell is apparently owned by the Republican Party. And apparently, he's upset his Republican buddies don't hate gay people as much as he and his employees do.

UPDATE: Media Matters' Eric Hananoki has more on the MRC's decades-long fight against gays.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:59 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 4:37 PM EDT
New Article -- Flashback: Patten vs. Franken
Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's David Patten churned out numerous reports on the 2008 Minnesota Senate race -- but he was a cheerleader for Norm Coleman and falsely accused Al Franken of stealing the election. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Farah Spreads Lies About Kagan (And Has Something to Sell You)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What does it say about a news organization when its leader tells easily disproven lies?

WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farah does exactly that in a June 21 WND article attacking Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. The article is headlined “Anti-military zealot on Supreme Court?” and quotes Farah as saying that "Kagan is a radical anti-military and pro-abortion zealot."

That is demonstrably false. Kagan is on the record as repeatedly praising the military for its "courage," "dedication" and "great service," and she has called military service “the greatest service a person can give for their country." And if Kagan is such a “zealot,” would she be receiving the support of solicitors general from across the political spectrum, such as Democratic appointees Walter Dellinger, Drew Days, and Seth Waxman and Republican appointees Charles Fried, Kenneth Starr, and Theodore Olson?

This isn’t the only lie Farah tells. He’s also quoted as saying: "This woman, as president of her university, banned the U.S. military from recruiting on campus. … Just contemplate rewarding that kind of vehemently anti-American action with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Elena Kagan must be stopped."

First, Kagan is not “president of her university”; she is dean of her university’s law school. Second, she did not “ban the U.S. military from recruiting on campus”; law school students had access to military recruiters during her entire tenure as dean, and she prohibited military recruiters from using the school’s career services office for only a single semester.

The short answer to why a journalist would tell so many lies to his readers is that Farah is not a journalist -- he is an activist. And his WorldNetDaily is not a news organization; it is, for all practical purposes, a for-profit activist group.

Speaking of profit, there is a reason Farah is telling you these lies -- he has something to sell you. Farah would like to join his “Stop Kagan Campaign,” in which you send him $24.95 to deliver “personalized, individually addressed, anti-Kagan letters to all 100 U.S. senators by Fed Ex.” Farah adds: "It's a phenomenal bargain. … It makes it easy for you to sound off on this historically bad nomination. It's a small investment. And I am convinced that if enough Americans take advantage of it, Kagan will be stopped -- even by this Senate."

Ultimately, this isn’t a “news” article at all -- it’s an ad. It seems that Farah wants to make money so bad he’s willing to tell blatant lies. And that tells you all you need to know about WorldNetDaily.

(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)


Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 PM EDT
Kessler's Unverifiable Attack
Topic: Newsmax

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:59 PM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:18 AM EDT
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.

UPDATE: Corrected name of Slate writer.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:25 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 11:52 PM EDT
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 -- each blog post 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.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
Monday, June 21, 2010
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?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EDT
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 Hate Central almost from day one, and it tells lies 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.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:35 PM EDT
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.)

Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 AM EDT
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?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Sunday, June 20, 2010
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 shoddy track record 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.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 PM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 PM EDT
Saturday, June 19, 2010
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:35 PM EDT

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