New Article: WorldNetDaily's Letter Scam (Or Is That Spam?) Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND wants readers to pay it increasingly hefty fees to send letters to politicians on various hot-button issues -- and to spread numerous lies in the process. Read more >>
WND Seems Mostly Happy Tabloid Stole Its Birther Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is WorldNetDaily happy to have descended to the level of a supermarket tabloid? It appears so.
A July 5 WND article by Joe Kovacs details how the charges leveled by new birther hero Tim Adams are "now featured in a cover story in Globe Magazine, repeating the allegations originally revealed by WND." Kovacs adds that "in every instance of a quotation from Adams, the tabloid appears to have simply copied Adams' comments to WND verbatim, without ever mentioning the remarks originated with a WND interview."
Of course, the Globe isn't exactly a "magazine"; it's a supermarket tabloid. The Globe promoted the birther story last August, which WND also touted. It seems fitting, since WND has roughly the same standards of accuracy as a supermarket tabloid.
But lifting stuff from WND without sufficient credit has long been a sore point. Does this mean that WND will start attacking the Globe like it did the New Republic, when it slimed writer John B. Judis as "Judas" for not crediting WND for a story? You'd think it would, and we can't wait to see it.
Kovacs also repeats the claim that Adams' "direct contradiction of the White House storyline that Obama was born in Hawaii has sparked detractors to attack him personally online and on the air in a vicious smear campaign." But as before, Kovacs doesn't address the basis for the so-called "smear campaign": Why did Adams make his claim to a "pro-white" radio show at a convention of the white-supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens?
WND: Outreach to Indonesia = Obama's A Secret Muslim Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has elevated a controversy in a comment thread to "news."
No, really. Here's how Bob Unruh puts it in a July 2 WND article:
The chief of NASA says Indonesia is being considered as a likely space-mission partner for the United States, since President Obama has ordered the agency to reach out specifically to nations dominated by Islam.
But the confirmation from NASA administrator Charlie Bolden to an audience of engineering students recently has stirred a furor in the Orlando Sentinel forum pages after his comments were reported there.
Yes, that's how Unruh framed it -- this story is news because there are a lot of comments on it in a comment thread.
WND has reported before on Obama's ardent outreach to Muslims, which has come up periodically ever since he claimed to be a Muslim in a television interview where the interviewer corrected his "misstatement."
He also hired many Muslims for his administration, created the outreach to the worldwide Muslim community in the State Department, announced cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, offered funding to a Muslim technology fund, issued a special hajj message, had a "nonreligious" Christmas and offered support for an anti-Israel resolution at the U.N.
Nowhere does Unruh explain why it's a bad thing to reach out to any qualified person on the subject of science and technology -- nor does he explain how all of this makes Obama a secret Muslim.
A July 4 NewsBusters post by Jeff Poor contains the headline, "Embattled Weigel Calls Sources of Criticism of His Ideology 'Partisan Anti-Media Groups.'" Poor curiously doesn't mention one reason why ex-Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel is feeling "embattled" -- his employer, the Media Research Center, is waging a battle against him.
Poor writes that Weigel's reference to "partisan anti-media groups who just want to score points against mainstream media organizations" may "possibly" be about the MRC because "Newsbusters and the Media Research Center have documented Weigel's missteps during his brief stint at the Post and even prior to the leaked Journolist e-mails," but he doesn't note that the MRChas done more than "document Weigel's missteps" -- as we noted, the MRC's Dan Gainor was secretly trying to get his fellow right-wingers to interfere with Weigel's job by not talking to him.
UPDATE: Poor has updated his post to note: "Last month, Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor told Politico's Keach Hagey he had contacted conservative groups and asked them to stop cooperating with Weigel."
Farah Upset Others Horning In On WND's Guilt-By-Association Racket Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily just hates it when someone horns in on their territory.
First, Joseph Farah complained that MSNBC programs were "agitprop" and a "bad joke" with "no concern for the truth" -- when we all know that agitprop that disregards the truth is WND's territory. Then, in apparent response to a rash of gay-bashing at the Media Research Center, WND cranked up its own homophobia.
Now, Farah again complains when others do something his own website does regularly. In his July 5 column, Farah complains once more about the Minneapolis Star Tribune highlighting Michele Bachmann's appearance in a Coral Ridge Ministries video and noting Coral Ridge's previous video fallaciously linking Darwin and Hitler:
[Reporter Jeremy] Herb and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune didn't directly attack Bachmann for criticizing socialism. They did an end-run. It seems Coral Ridge produced an excellent video a few years ago called "Darwin's Deadly Legacy" that accurately documented how the "Origin of the Species" author's work led directly to the worldview of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, making the Holocaust possible and possibly even inevitable.
But it seems the busybodies over at the Anti-Defamation League denounced the Darwin documentary – and, thus, it became "controversial" in the eyes of Herb and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Now, mind you, Bachmann wasn't involved in the Darwin video. But she was involved in the subsequent socialism video. And that, in the eyes of Herb and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, presumably makes her an anti-Semite – even though the Darwin video recounts the Holocaust as one of history's darkest moments.
That is the kind of extreme guilty-by-association game they play at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Farah would know -- WND plays the guilt-by-association card all the time. That's pretty much all Aaron Klein does (well, that and citing anonymous, unverifiable sources). Heck, Klein even turned his guilt-by-assocation attacks into an anti-Obama book, in which he laughably claims he doesn't believe in guilt by association.
What would WND be if not for guilt-by-assocation?
Farah later states: "The only scandal is that a newspaper would continue to publish this kind of garbage and stay in business." Funny, we've often wondered that ourselves -- execept about WorldNetDaily.
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Here's the latest in anonymous, unaccountable sourcing from WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein, an anonymous source abuser:
A June 28 article cites "Israeli diplomatic sources," "a senior Palestinian Authority negotiator," and an "Egyptian security official."
A July 1 article, claiming that "Hamas has held meetings with U.S. officials," cites "a senior Hamas leader in Gaza."
A July 4 article cites "sources in Netanyahu's office."
In none of these articles does Klein explain why anonymity was granted to these sources, or whether he made any effort whatsoever to verify the information they allegedly gave him.
Klein also appeared on the July 5 edition of "Fox & Friends" to discuss claims by Hamas that they are negotiating with the U.S. WhileKlein did drop a couple of names, it was clear that there are no high-level communications going on -- Klein admitted that any talks are happening through intermediaries, not directly with the Obama administration.
Also, WND's name got botched during the interview. The Fox host called it "World News Daily," while on-screen text called it "World Daily News."
Mark Robare claimed in a July 1 NewsBusters post: "The big three nightly news broadcasts, NBC Nightly, CBS Evening and ABC World, lost a combined one million viewers in the second quarter of 2010, according to TVNewser."
Broadcast Evening Newscasts Lose More than 1 Million Viewers in Past Year
Even as the oil continues to gush from the sea floor, and the networks shuttle their anchors to points along the Gulf coast, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News and the CBS Evening News continue to lose viewers. All three broadcasts were down in Q2 2010 compared to the same period last year.
A quarter of a year is not a year, Mark.
Further, according to Eric Boehlert (who points out that the original headline, "ABCBSNBC Lose One Million Viewers Last Quarter," made the same falsehood), the more surprising statistic is that "Glenn Beck has lost more than one million viewers all by himself since January."
Fallacious Video Gets Another Boost Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last week, we detailed how WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah baselessly defended a Coral Ridge Ministries video endeavoring to link evolution to the Holocaust, attempting to defend the video's fallacious premise that evolution and social Darwinism are the same thing. Now WND has given the makers of the video a say.
A July 2 WND column by John Aman, director of communications at Coral Ridge Ministries, similarly defends the video -- and embraces the same fallacy:
Well, the facts are clear, as we show in our 2006 documentary, "Darwin's Deadly Legacy."
"Among German historians, there's really not much debate about whether or not Hitler was a social Darwinist," according to historian Richard Weikart, author of "From Darwin to Hitler" and a featured guest on our DVD. "He clearly was drawing on Darwinian ideas."
British evolutionist Sir Arthur Keith agreed. He wrote in the 1940s: "The German führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist. He has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution."
Even leading evolutionist Niles Eldredge freely admits the link between Darwin and Hitler. Eldredge, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, has written that "social Darwinism," which he regards as an illegitimate offspring of Darwin's theory, "has given us the eugenics movement and some of its darker outgrowths, such as the genocidal practices of the Nazis in World War II – where eugenics was invoked as a scientific rationale to go along with whatever other 'reasons' Hitler and his fellow Nazis had for the Holocaust."
Much of that claim is taken word-for-word from a Coral Ridge press release issued after the Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman pointed out that "Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people."
Regarding Aman's (or whoever wrote it) claim about Eldredge, Ed Brayton pointed out its contradictory nature:
Are they too stupid to understand that if social darwinism was an illegitimate offspring of evolution, as it is both in reality and in Eldredge's view, then it cannot be an admission of a "link between Darwin and Hitler"? Or are they just lying, knowing that most of their followers are too stupid to recognize the obvious contradiction in this paragraph? And does it really matter whether the explanation is stupidity or dishonesty to exploit stupidity?
Regarding Aman's invoking of Weikart, Brayton writes:
Kennedy's response also tries to gain credibility by citing Richard Weikart, author of a book called From Darwin to Hitler and, not surprisingly, a Discovery Institute fellow. Other historians have almost universally rejected Weikart's thesis, including at a conference on Judaism and evolution attended by ScienceBlogger John Lynch last year, where every single historian in attendance other than Weikart rejected his simplistic argument.
Brayton also destroys Coral Ridge's presumption that the Holocaust could have only been inspired by Darwin:
In order to be a valid argument, there would have to have been no genocide in pre-Darwinian history, back when that alleged Christian ethic of the value of every human being held sway. But not only is that not the case, one can point to instances of genocide not only justified by Christian theology but explicitly ordered by their Biblical God (according to their scripture, of course; I don't believe it for a moment). And to go even further, there is a vast history of Christian pogroms against the very group that Hitler's genocidal zeal was aimed, Jews. And as I showed a few days ago, Hitler cited those anti-Jewish statements by Christian theologians over the centuries to justify the Final Solution.
We know that it was possible for people to target the Jews for oppression and even death based solely on Christian hatred of the Jews because it happened several times throughout the history of Europe. After the Roman Empire converted to Christianity in the 4th century, it instituted a long series of anti-Jewish laws similar to the Third Reich. The Justinian Code, based so heavily on Biblical laws, had an entire section on the rights of Jews, essentially forbidding them from having any. They were forbidden to build synagogues, forbidden to read their scriptures in Hebrew, and even forbidden to gather in public places. Their property was confiscated.
There were many church conferences that passed anti-Jewish laws. The Trulanic Synod in 692 even made it illegal for a Christian to go to a Jewish doctor. The Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 required Jews to wear distinctive clothing to distinguish themselves from Christians (sound familiar? Remember, this was centuries before Darwin was born). The Council of Basel forbid Jews from attending universities. All of this was perpetrated by Christians long before Darwin lived; so much for the notion that before Darwin undermined Christianity, everyone was valuable.
And do we even have to go into Martin Luther, a man whose vicious anti-Semitism virtually knew no boundaries? It's not an accident that Luther was Germany's most influential theologian and Lutheranism the official church of Germany at the time of Hitler's takeover. It was largely Luther's virulent anti-Jewish screeds that provided fertile ground for Hitler's assault on the Jews. It was Luther who encouraged his followers to set Jewish synagogues on fire and declared that "they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing." Sounds a lot like a concentration camp, doesn't it?
We've not seen where anyone from Coral Ridge has responded to Brayton.
Henry Lamb writes in his July 3 WorldNetDaily column:
The root cause of the near-collapse that occurred in the last year of the Bush administration can be traced to the Democratic socialist idea that everyone has a right to adequate housing.
Before President Carter, private lenders in a free market often refused to fund mortgages in certain parts of cities where the neighborhoods were so bad that lenders considered the investment to be unsafe. Democrats and socialists called this practice "redlining." Carter and his Democratic colleagues enacted the Community Reinvestment Act, which effectively outlawed redlining.
This was an enormous intrusion by the government into the marketplace, but it was not enough to satisfy Democrats and socialists.
As we explained when Michael Reagan expressed a similar nostalgia for the practice, redlining in practice was racist because those "bad" and "unsafe" areas were invariably minority-dominated, and people who lived there were turned down for loans because they lived in those areas, not because of their ability to pay back the loan.
We've previously highlighted the cult-of-personality aspect of NewsReal, run by the David Horowitz Freedom Center mainly, it appears, for the glory of David Horowitz.
Another thing on the subject is worth mentioning: The avatar for NewsReal's Twitter account is, yes, the increasingly Lenin-like visage of David Horowitz. Which results in things like this (copied from TweetDeck):
The idea that President Obama is captaining us to hell, full speed ahead, became apparent to millions of Americans over a year ago; that's one of the reasons the tea-party movement has burgeoned. From his $10 trillion expenditure to get America out of a recession, to kowtowing to potentates and dissing friends and allies, to a greater interest in upholding political correctness than securing our increasingly volatile southern border, his overt employment of bribery and lies pertaining to transparency, lobbyists, taxation and earmarks, every day more Americans can see that something is drastically amiss as far as this president's policies go, even if they don't have a handle on the particulars of his political philosophy.
This week at the G-20 summit, Obama urged "rich" nations to begin spending their way out of their deficits (as he is ostensibly attempting to do in the U.S.). Back at home, Americans have realized that recently passed health-care-reform legislation is going to create widespread nightmares, that "net neutrality," "energy reform" and "environmental justice" are dangerous ruses and that the president's spending may well "fundamentally transform" America into a montage of scenes from "The Road Warrior."
The idea that President Obama is captaining us to hell intentionally, however, was a revelation. For a long time, it was beyond Americans' conceptualization that our government – let alone a standing president – might wish to raze the United States' structure to its foundation and precipitate circumstances and conditions that will make the Weimar Republic look like a New Year's Eve party.
It just doesn't pay to be a friend of the United States of America, these days – not with Barack Obama in the White House.
Over and over again we see this administration use its power to punish America's allies and reward our enemies.
Take, for example, Obama's relentless pressure on and criticism of Israel.
What does all this suggest?
It suggests that Obama himself is not a friend of the U.S. That's right. The president of the United States genuinely and demonstrably does not like the country he was chosen to lead. I can come to no other conclusion.
A July 2 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh continues his uncritical promotion of "a 'booze-gate' scandal in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spent $101,000 in taxpayer money for 'in-flight' services, including food and alcohol," working hand-in-hand with the right-wing Judicial Watch.
As before, Unruh obscures the fact that the food and alcohol were not for Pelosi's personal consumption; many of those Pelosi-related flights were not solely for flights involving herself or her family but, in fact, congressional delegations organized by Pelosi's office. Indeed, it's not until the 31st paragraph that Unruh mentions the existence of these congressional delegations.
That's not mere sloppiness -- that's a deliberate attempt by Unruh to write a biased story. Thus, he proves once again that he learned nothing about journalism from working for the Associated Press for more than 20 years.
Patten's Sycophantic Promotion of Beck Book Topic: Newsmax
David Patten's July 2 Newsmax article on Glenn Beck is sycophantic fluff -- half fawning review of Beck's new "faction" book "The Overton Window," and half softball interview of Beck.
Patten's "review" might as well be a press release. He begins it by pointing out that it "debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list – marking six consecutive occasions that a Beck book has grabbed the top position." Patten then baselessly claims a book-reviewing double standard:
Left-leaning authors who resort to the simplistic stereotypes of conservatives common to Hollywood movies are free to conjure the most grotesque global-Armageddon scenarios imaginable. That's just fine.
But when Beck proposes a rather toned-down variation on that theme, it's a different story. In fact, one reviewer suggested a well-thumbed copy of “The Overton Window” might one day be found nestled among empty ammo cases belonging to the next Timothy McVeigh-style extremist.
There, that should teach that Beck guy to write best-sellers!
Patten offers no evidence to back up this claim. Then again, he's too busy slobbering over Beck's book:
A fanciful tale? You might think so, until you page through its 28-page afterword, with authoritative sources and notes that suggest Beck is dead serious when he calls the book "faction." He defines that as "completely fictional books with plots rooted in fact."
Indeed, when Newsmax asked the Fox News host how close he believes the nation really is to an Overton Window shift, he replies without hesitation: "I think we're living in one now."
Given that Vince Flynn, Nelson DeMille and Brad Thor all have heaped praise on “The Overton Window,” it goes without saying that the book is an entertaining, thought-provoking read.
And with every book that flies off the shelves, readers receive an extra bonus: The certain knowledge that their purchase will help to drive Beck's critics crazy.
Patten's "exclusive Newsmax interview" with Beck is no less fluffy, with Patten serving up softball after softball. Like:
How close are we to a real Overton Window-type event in our country?
Why is it when progressives write something, it's reviewed and accepted, but there's a tremendous double standard for a conservative writer.
Considering the cheap shots taken at your book and the work of other conservatives, do you perceive a Saul Alinsky approach, using ridicule to destroy your opponent?
Needless to say, Beck serves up the answers you'd expect. There's no way he would have agreed to be interviewed Newsmax if Patten was going to ask anything remotely challenging or uncomfortable.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Robert Ringer Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
We should not allow ourselves to become emotionally engrossed in oil spills, riots in Greece and foiled terrorist plots. Instead, it is imperative that we relentlessly focus on our loss of liberty. Any of these and a thousand-and-one other ''crises'' could be used as an excuse for BHO to invoke an Obomination Sedition Act, which, in turn, could be used as an excuse to ''postpone'' elections in 2010 or 2012 for ''security reasons.''
Warning: Be on the alert for one crisis after another between now and November – and take the time to study the facts about each of them carefully. Some will be trumped up; some will be real but overblown by both the government and the media. But none will be an honest justification for BHO's taking yet more freedoms away from Americans.
Don't allow yourself to become distracted by IMF and G-20 riots, Joe Biden's custard outings or Al Gore's massages. Ignore most of the rubbish you see on television and stay focused on the real issue: our loss of freedom!
We try to catch those rare occasions that WorldNetDaily publishes a letter to the editor that actually contains substantive criticism (as opposed to its usual method of portraying the most extreme examples of criticism as representative of all criticism). So we were pleasantly surprised to read this letter, since we know a little about the subject (WND's letters cycle out a week after posting):
Mr. Aaron Klein's article about Mr. Vartan Gregorian was a sad and scurrilous exercise in reputation-smearing ["White House scholar funded Ayers group"]. When Mr. Klein wrote this fear-mongering rubbish, he omitted several pertinent facts.
Mr. Vartan Gregorian has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian award in the United States. Could I point out that he received it from President George Walker Bush? He has also received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is recognized by the United States House of Representatives and the Senate, and as such the names of all winners are listed in the Congressional Record. So to claim that he is some kind of robotic follower of Obama is deeply silly, if not stupid.
Mr. Vartan Gregorian is Armenian Orthodox by religion. As he was born and brought up in Iran, he probably understands Islam quite well, in both its positive and negative aspects. However, it is unlikely that he is an Islamist jihadist.
He is a highly distinguished academic, who has been, successively, the founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania, the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, the president of the New York Public Library and then the president of Brown University. Oh, and he also has more than 60 honorary degrees, as of 2009.
The man is obviously both highly qualified and a major asset to the American people. The article says more about the writer and his agenda than anything else. And when the journalist in question has contributed one-tenth as much as Mr. Gregorian has, he might be qualified to clean his shoes.
This website claims to be in favor of "Judeo-Christian" values. It is not evident in the tone of a lot of the articles posted, which reek of envy, resentment and dislike of difference. The gentle carpenter of Nazareth said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," with no ifs, ands or buts. He did NOT say, "Thou shalt maliciously smear anyone who disagrees with thee." One reason why I am not a Christian is that such an absolute command is hard to keep, but most of your contributors do not even try to live up to the basic message of their so-called "Savior."
My other problem with this site is that both the contributors and the majority of readers too often fall prey to various silly conspiracy theories. It is, I suppose, a way of dealing with the world, which tends to be confusing and complex, but fantasy is never a good basis for dealing with reality. And I would have to add the so-called "Young-Earth Creationism" theory into the category of conspiracy theories. It is disproved by geology – especially plate tectonics, atomic physics, dendrochronology, astronomy, cosmology, etc. Denial of all scientific evidence amounts to promoting willful ignorance on your site. This does not enhance its credibility. And I know that you will argue that it is "free speech." People are entitled to free speech, but when it is patent nonsense, they are not entitled to have it treated with intellectual respect.
David Mac Artain
Alas, making the you-can-lead-a-horse-to-water theory come to vivid life once again, the letters WND published in response completely miss the point:
After reading Mr. Mac Artain's disdainful words about Mr. Klein's writing, I just had to find out if Aaron had suddenly gone completely out of character and written a malicious "smear" piece. But, of course, that was not the case. Mr. Klein's and Ms. Elliott's article was well-written and researched, as usual.
Mr. Mac Artain seems to think that being honored by a couple of globalist presidents makes Gregorian beyond reproach, but it does not. I would also point out that being a "highly distinguished academic" nowadays simply means "flaming leftist." Receiving countless "honorary degrees" only means that fellow-traveling flaming leftists admire your work for the Cause.
Gregorian's ties to Ayers, Obama and Rauf and their various foundations and societies are disturbing. These leftists have infiltrated our institutions to the very highest levels, and they're deeply entrenched, like Vartan Gregorian.
Mac Artain has penned an irrational, almost hysterical, argument against Aaron Klein's article, and the argument does not hold up. Aaron never called Gregorian a "robotic follower" of Obama; he simply laid out all the documented connections that paint a clear picture of what Gregorian is about.
Mr. Mac Artain apparently confuses WND's quest for uncovering truth and exposing wickedness and corruption in high places with the posting of articles "which reek of envy, resentment and dislike of difference."
I would also remind Mac Artain that the "gentle carpenter of Nazareth," Jesus, is the same man who took whips to the corrupt money changers in the Temple, as he overturned their tables in righteous anger, and he's the same man who called the Pharisees and teachers of the law "hypocrites," "vipers," "fools" and "whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones and every unclean thing." There is a time to point out evildoers.
And then there's this one:
So, let me get this straight, Mr. Mac Artain [E-mail to the Editor, June 30]. You are proffering that a man with a chest full of medals and many academic credentials couldn't possibly be a supporter of a left-wing radical group. Explain why they are mutually exclusive, please. Remember that Yasser Arafat was a Nobel Peace Prize winner. It didn't make him less of a terrorist.
Anyone surprised that WND's readership is so reactionary and apaprently impervious to reason? We're not.