NewsBusters Complains Spitzer Sitting Too Close to Parker Topic: NewsBusters
Mark Finkelstein has written some of the loopiest, most paranoid posts at NewsBusters, from speculating that Matt Lauer was a Palestinian sympathizer for wearing a checkered scarf to declaring that a soccer to hyperventilating over how a soccer ball on the cover of Time looks suspiciously like the Obama campaign logo.
Now, Finkelstein shows off his latest example of MRC-approved "media research": Eliot Spitzer is sitting too close to Kathleen Parker on the set of their new CNN show.
No, really. That's it.
Seriously, we're not kidding:
What were the Parker Spitzer producers thinking? If there was one guy you'd want to keep at a decent distance from a female co-host, it's Gov. Love Potion #9. But tuning into the show, for the first time, tonight, I was shocked to see the way the pair had been virtually thrown into each other's laps.
A bit of inside TV baseball: I host a local TV show in my hometown. I'm always struck by how, when I'm sitting what feels quite close to a guest, we appear miles apart on camera. So for Parker and Spitzer to appear so close on TV, they must literally be rubbing, well, elbows.
I can't say Parker looked particularly ill at ease with the set-up, though at times she appeared to lean away some. But it certainly made me, and presumably a chunk of viewers, uncomfortable to see a guy with Spitzer's track record getting so up close and personal.
For the love of Pete, put Spitz behind Plexiglass!
Maybe NewsBusters should try that with Finkelstein to keep him from writing more banal posts like this.
Criminal-Coddling Cashill Named to Police Discipline Board Topic: WorldNetDaily
Conspiracy-monger and WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill has apparently found a new hobby: getting involved with Kansas City politics.
The Kansas City Star reports that Mayor Mark Funkhouser is naming Cashill to a "Citizen Advisory Committee to Review Police Officer Disciplinary Procedures," despite lack of apparent qualifications to serve on such a board. Indeed, Cashill's expertise runs more toward helping criminals avoid responsibility for their crimes.
As we've detailed, Cashill praised the murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller as frontier justice, and has worked to exonerate the killer of a gay man in San Francisco by endeavoring to blame the victim and hiding the facts about the case.
Someone who has shown disdain for the law is probably not the right person to stand in judgment of the police.
Cashill has previously touted Funkhouser in his WND column as a "maverick Democrat" who ignored complaints about a member of the anti-immigrant Minuteman groupu he named to a city board. (The white suremacist American Renaissance website found this worth clipping.)
Perhaps Cashill's new appointed position is just payback for those kind words.
David Kupelian's Inexact Birther Argument Topic: WorldNetDaily
David Kupelian tries to clear things up in his Oct. 5 WorldNetDaily column:
For the record, this is exactly what I – and Joseph Farah and Jerome Corsi and Aaron Klein and pretty much every other journalist at WND – believe. After exhaustive research, we don't know where he was born, and neither do you.
Well, not exactly. Let us refresh Kupelian's memory about what Klein wrote in his book "The Manchurian President":
Aside from the "natural born" debate, there is the question of whether Barack Obama has ever provided documentation that proves he was born in the United States. Understandably, given the unusual and complex story of his origin, there is ample speculation that he may have been born in Kenya. However, as of this writing, the authors find no convincing evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, nor that his birthplace was any place other than Hawaii, his declared state of birth.
That's exactly what Aaron Klein has stated in a WND-published book, which WND just can'tquite be bothered to tell its readers about on its own website.
WJC Has New Birther Conspiracy to Peddle Topic: Western Journalism Center
It's not enough for the Western Journalism Center to have a new falsehood-laden Obama attack book to sell -- it also has a creative new birther conspiracy to peddle.
The unnamed writer of an Oct. 4 WJC blog post -- presumably Steven Baldwin, author of the aforementioned falsehood-laden book -- states that "I started my investigation and analysis by deeming nearly every assertion as open to question, including the claimed identity of Mr. Obama’s parents. A certificate that a child was born to Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Hussein Obama in Honolulu on 4 August 1961 might be true; but, assuming it’s true, it does not necessarily follow that Mr. Obama is that child." He goes on to claim that the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign is "intentionally ambiguous" and that "it is impossible to tell from the certification whether the purported parents named therein are Mr. Obama’s birth parents or his adoptive parents."
Yes, the WJC is about to push the idea that Obama was adopted. Here is the evidence:
However, on 22 July 2009, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai’i State Department of Health, issued a statement by which she goes about as close to the brink as she can, without violating her legal obligation to keep the adoption confidential, to tell us that Mr. Obama was adopted. Her statement is quoted in the book “The Manchurian President” on page 76. (It’s amusing that the authors of that highly informative book fail to pick up on Dr. Fukino’s effort to disclose Mr. Obama’s adoption without violating legal restraints; they say on page 77 that her statement “told us nothing new.”)
Dr. Fukino’s statement refers to Mr. Obama’s “vital records” in the plural. He was not dead, so she must be referring to two birth certificates, the original that named birth parents and an amended certificate naming adoptive parents.
Moreover, data in the certification of live birth must have been taken from the amended certificate, for Dr. Fukino also says that the records verify that Mr. Obama is a “natural born American citizen.” If the original birth certificate showed Obama the Luo to be a birth parent, it would have proved the opposite.
Dr. Fukino is very clever. She has tipped us to an adoption without explicitly disclosing an adoption, which would be unlawful. She has also let us know that Mr. Obama’s birth parents were U.S. citizens, which makes baby Obama a natural born U.S. citizen at birth. This leaves open the possibility that he lost American citizenship thereafter.
You read that right: the WJC has declared Obama to be adopted because Fukino said "vital records" instaead of "vital record" -- even though "vital records" is the standard colloquial use and it's unnatural to use the singluar. Indeed, the department's website has an entire page on "vital records" discussing all the documents her department handles.
But the WJC isn't done conspiracy-mongering. It builds on the above to speculate why Obama won't "confirm" he is a "natural born U.S. citizen":
He might maintain that it would be to avoid family scandal and damage to the reputations of others, or to prevent the disclosure of his own illegitimate origins. In all probability, however, that there are two main reasons -
First, neither of Obama’s birth parents is of recent African origin. Mr. Obama’s whole political career has been based on being the son of a black Luo tribesman, with kith & kin in today’s Africa. Mr. Obama’s gross misrepresentation that he is black is arguably election fraud. An American black told Laura Ingraham the other day that a black will forgive one many a fault if he’s black. Wonder what they would think if he is, for example, the son of a Caucasian father and a predominantly Polynesian mother, with perhaps Portagee overtones, who just pretends to be black to get votes and denigrate opponents as racists.
Secondly, the Kenyan birth myth and other false notions about his birth and its constitutional consequences distract attention from his real citizenship problems, his probable loss of U.S. citizenship by forfeiture, disclaimer, renunciation, sedition, or some combination of the foregoing. He is trying to replicate the experience of Chester Alan Arthur, who was helped in distracting attention from the fact that his father William was not yet a U.S. citizen when Chester was born, by successfully rebutting false charges that Chester himself was born outside the U.S. By my hypothesis, Mr. Obama can prove eligibility at birth, but became ineligible by loss of citizenship thereafter.
This message only scratches the surface, but shows clearly what is likely needed to confirm Mr. Obama’s status as natural born citizen at the time of his birth: Hawai’i’s vital records of him and his DNA along with, perhaps, DNA analyses of others.
As we've previously noted, the release of the full birth certificate would never be enough for Obama-haters like Joseph Farah and the WJC. Now they want a sample of his DNA -- something never demanded of any other presidential candidate.
WND's Farber Likens Obama to Romanian Dictator Topic: WorldNetDaily
To mark, as WorldNetDaily proudly proclaims, his 50th anniversary in radio, Barry Farber has decided to liken President Obama to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. From his Oct. 6 WND column:
The Romanian strongman and President Barack Obama seem to share a lamentable trait. Public unpopularity in the case of both leaders serves, not to inspire changing direction, but rather as proof that the "agenda" is working and should be intensified. You've heard the theory that President Obama is not "making mistakes"; instead, he's on a course deliberately calculated to bring America down so as to allow for a Marxist makeover.
Please, Mr. President, learn from Nicolae Ceausescu! The American mood is very ugly and getting worse. In 1940, Republican candidate Wendell Wilkie took an egg in the face from a Roosevelt supporter. I remember nothing of the kind, or any kind, aimed at Barry Goldwater, who won only five states; George McGovern, who won only one; or big losers Mike Dukakis and John Kerry. The national negativity is much worse at this moment than when the absolute worst befell President John F. Kennedy.
Overt hatred of you, your team and what you represent, Mr. President, has soared to a new level. Former Vice President Al Gore's speech was shattered the other day when someone yelled, "You're a fraud!" Those who agreed obliterated the rest of Gore's remarks. You, yourself, recently had to stand there lamely and gamely and suffer face-to-face excoriation from a woman your protectors and image-buffers had every reason to believe was on your side.
You know what you're doing that generates this negativity. Stop it! Cut it out! Reverse it, please, while we're still far from any "Romanian" moment! You and Ceausescu both decided to "stick it to them"; in his case, until it was too late. You still have time to use the glow of our anger as your guiding light.
We will oppose you in the American, not the Romanian, way. The letter "D" beside a candidate's name may as well mean "delete." You and your Democrats are not our only betrayers. You are, however, our most recent betrayers, and we want you out – safely, cleanly and, above all, non-violently.
We want to see the smashing of your diseased agenda, the retirement of your tax-evading cadres and the abrupt annulment of your incontinent lunge to the left.
But we want you to be OK.
You can help!
You know, we're not exactly getting the vibe that Farber means it when he says he doesn't want Obama to be killed Ceausescu-style.
MRC Joins the Gold Bandwagon Topic: Media Research Center
Following in the footsteps of Newsmax and Glenn Beck (and after defending Beck over the issue), the Media Research Center has decided to clamber fully onto the right-wing gold-shilling bandwagon.
In an Oct. 5 MRC Business & Media Institute article, Jeff Poor -- author of the aforementioned defense of Beck and gold -- highlights how "Over the last 12 months, the price of gold has appreciated considerably" and that CNBC's Jim Cramer has explained that "the current high price of gold is not the result of a bubble, which he debunked by explaining the definition of a bubble." and that "gold's going to $2,000" an ounce.
Poor offers no contrasting view, even though the Wall Street Journal points out that speculation about gold sharply divides the investing community. And it was not all that long ago that Poor was mocking Cramer for admitting he was wrong for telling his viewers that Bear Stearns wasn't in trouble days before the investment bank tanked.
So when can we expect to see some Goldline ads pop up across the web pages of the MRC empire?
WND Cranks Up the Gay-Bashing Topic: WorldNetDaily
With the recent rash of suicides among gay youths -- and even "ex-gay" grouup Exodus International has into abandoned its support for a right-wing counterprotest to the "day of silence" as too divisive and confrontational -- notoriouslyanti-gay WorldNetDaily is torn between avoiding responsibility and throwing more fuel on the fire.
Taking the former route is anti-gay activist Linda Harvey, who makes no effort to countenance that gay-haters like herself could possibly be responsible, instead blaming gays for it:
The already troubled youngster is often the one drawn to homosexuality or gender compromise and is extremely vulnerable. For many reasons, the grand experiment is crashing before our eyes. But it's our precious young people, the targets of the double barrels of cruel words as well as cruel sexual manipulation, who are paying the ultimate price.
One wonders if any of these kids ever heard a clearly articulated warning against homosexuality. Or were they faced with a continuous onslaught of pro-homosexual diversity lessons, novels and events like the "Day of Silence"? Were they surrounded with liberal teachers as role models and the bad example of a homosexual school club? What part did any of this play in the sad belief that homosexuality was an inevitable destiny, instead of a wayward yet changeable sexual inclination? Under almost continuous pressure to accept a lie – confusion and then despair may be the predictable result.
On top of all this, then, in some young lives come the bullies. They are a part of life, especially for boys. But for the young person with same-sex attractions, this is the final straw where they feel totally trapped, with internal feelings they have been carefully taught "cannot be changed" on the one hand, and harsh peer rejection on the other. Yes, it looks hopeless indeed.
Could the stifling political correctness in certain schools be one of the reasons some kids feel utterly hopeless? Think about it. Even in the face of relentless taunts about homosexuality, many if not most kids would be able to survive intact if they saw the perpetrators punished and also knew they had a choice.
Harvey doesn't ask whether activists like herself are the ones inspiring those bullies.
Doing the latter is Molotov Mitchell -- remember, he's the man's man who has no problem with a proposed law in Uganda that would kill people for engaging in homosexual behavior. In his latest video, Mitchell feels the need, apropos of nothing except perhaps inspiration from gay suicides, to blame anorexic models on gay fashion designers -- and, of course, insult gays in the process:
Frankly, I think the anti-homosexual agenda should be raging in the fashion world more than it is in politics. The problem with the fashion industry isn't the women, it's the gay men who direct and cast them. Sure, gay men have contributed to fashion and art, but nobody talks about the numerous negatives that they have foisted upon us consumers, and models are the perfect example.
Straight men don't want a skeleton with lipstick, they want curves, man! Womanly, buxom figures. But gay men dominate fashion, and they do everything in their power to make beautiful women look like little boys. You heard me right. Gay designers wouldn't know beauty if it walked on the the set of "Mad Men" and kissed them. They've got one thing on their mind, and it sure ain't beautiful women.
Ol' Molotov even offers a little lifestyle advice for de-gayifying yourself:
So the next time you women see an ad featuring an emaciated, skeletal chick, remember gay men find that attractive, not real men. Men, do not do this, but women, you could borrow a copy of Maxim. Those are the figures men prefer, not the gay Ralph Lauren fantasy that we've all been sold. So be healthy, exercise and ignore the Madison barrage because you are a woman. Be a woman. Don't be anything else.
And for you men who bought into the waif campaign: wake up! You're living a gay man's fantasy, man! You're the ones who are supposed to be hard and tough and straight. So start jogging, start a martial art, and tell your ladyfriends that they are beautiful. Because I don't let pedarasts dictate my definition, and neither should you.
But if men aren't supposed to read Maxim, won't it go out of business? It seems like he's defeat his own purposes.
New Article: Tell the Truth! (But Not When It Hurts The MRC's Agenda) Topic: Media Research Center
As before, the Media Research Center's latest "Tell the Truth" campaign involves bullying the media into pushing right-wing talking points. And it certainly doesn't involve truth-telling on the MRC's part. Read more >>
Note to Gainor: Right-Wingers Hate Science and Children, Too Topic: Media Research Center
In an Oct. 4 column headlined "Left Hates Science and Children," the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor portrays questions about vaccines as a partisan issue, suggesting that only liberals such as Robert Kennedy Jr. and Jenny McCarthy are promoting the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. (Gainor never actually proves that McCarthy is liberal; he lumps her in because she's a "Hollywood celeb" who is a "former Playboy model and TV personality.")
But Gainor is ignoring one of the biggest promoters of anti-vaccine scaremongering: the most-definitely-not-liberal WorldNetDaily.
As we've detailed, WND has repeatedly pushed the vaccine-autism link and touting the anti-vaccine American Physicians and Surgeons (also not a liberal group). When the 1998 Lancet article making a vaccine article link was retracted earlier this year, WND did no original article on it; when WND columnist Phil Elmore wrote a column highlighting the retraction, it also published a letter to the editor calling Elmore's column "not convincing" and railing against "filling my babies with pharmaceutical junk."
If only Gainor was as concerned about what his fellow right-wingers are saying as he is about isolated liberals -- especially when they're saying the same exact thing. One might even call that a double standard.
The Media Research Center's hostility to the truth continues -- despite its demand of others to "Tell the Truth" -- as Oliver Willis catches the MRC's Scott Whitlock attacking ABC's George Stephanopoulos for reporting the results of a poll suggesting the tea party movement may be "losing traction."
Willis points out that Stephanopoulos accurately reported this fact. So Whitlock was bashing Stephanopoulos for reporting a fact.
WND Again Bashes Gibbs For Not Answering Question That Wasn't Asked Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's nonsensical strategy of attacking White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for not answering questions that weren't asked resurfaces in an Oct. 4 WND article:
The same day that Rush Limbaugh identified Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs as "Robert Fibs," a key question about White House reaction to a University of Chicago vote to deny longtime Obama buddy Bill Ayers emeritus status went unanswered.
That's because Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House and the second-most senior reporter on the beat behind Connie Lawn, wasn't recognized for any questions.
As before WND provides no evidence that Gibbs deliberately avoided calling on Kinsolving because he knew Kinsolving was going to ask that question, so there is no logical basis on which to bash Gibbs for not answering it.
The article also states that "Kinsolving has confirmed that the exclusion he's dealt with from Gibbs is the worst treatment from any of the 14 presidential press secretaries with whom he's worked." It doesn't explain that Kinsolving complained about alleged mistreatment from White House press secretaries before -- the most recent example of which prompted WND to throw a passive-aggressive temper tantrum and a short-lived protest.
Then again, given his long history of slanted and irrelevant questions, Kinsolving has not exactly demonstrated that he he deserves to be called on at any press conference, not just White House briefings.
Newsmax Still Defending Bernard Kerik Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax, it seems, just can't let go of its favorite -- and failed -- rehab project.
An Oct. 5 article by Jim Meyers recounts the appeal by Bernard Kerik of his prison sentence for corruption. Kerik, if you'llrecall, is the formerNew York police chief whose image Newsmax worked hard to burnish, only to be foiled when Kerik pleaded guilty to the corruption charges and was sentenced to prison.
Meyers uncritically repeats the claims in Kerik's appeal, which apparently focuses largely on attacking the judge presiding over his case, Stephen Robinson. Kerik accuses Robinson of giving him a prison sentence that exceeded sentencing guidelines, and according to Meyers, Kerik "paints a picture of Robinson as abusive, bullying, and sometimes erratic."
As before, Meyers glosses over the particulars of Kerik's offenses, suggesting that Kerik pleaded guilty to only "minor charges." For the record, here's what the U.S. Attorney's Office that prosecuted Kerik had to say:
KERIK pleaded guilty before United States District Judge STEPHEN C. ROBINSON to: one count of obstructing and impeding the due administration of the internal revenue laws from 1999 to 2007, one count of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return (for the 2000 tax year), one count of making a false statement on a loan application, and five counts of making false statements to the federal government. Two of the false statement counts – the two counts that KERIK also agreed to transfer to White Plains from Washington, D.C. – relate to materially false statements that KERIK made to White House officials vetting him for the position of Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
At today’s plea hearing, KERIK admitted, among other things, that in 1999 and 2000 he received substantial renovations to his Riverdale apartment through Interstate (a metropolitan area-contractor) and conceded that Interstate paid approximately $255,000 for the renovations. KERIK also admitted that around the same time, he contacted New York City regulators concerning Interstate. KERIK further admitted that he failed to report the value of the renovations he received through Interstate on his federal tax returns. And KERIK admitted that he made false statements to the White House concerning the renovations he received on his Riverdale apartment and his relationship with Interstate when he was being vetted for the position of Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Meyers uncritically asserts that "Robinson capriciously ordered Kerik’s legal defense fund and the website for his defense to be shut down" without explaining that the shutdown was precipitated by the head of the defense fund being accused of leaking sealed information from the case to a newspaper.
Since Meyers is in stenography mode, me makes no apparent effort to seek out the other side of the story by talking to the judge or prosecutors.
Joseph Farah kicks off his Oct. 5 WorldNetDaily column bashing "a blogger I have never met or heard of or talked to in my life" because he had the temerity to claim that Farah owned Ann Coulter an apology over the GOProud imbroglio.
Farah went on to claim that he handled the whole thing "without any invective, any rash charges or ad hominem attacks." He seems to have forgotten about the part where he declared that gays are worse than the KKK.
ConWeb Flip-Flops on Kagan Recusals Topic: Newsmax
The Obama administration just can't win in the ConWeb.
We noted that during the Elena Kagan confirmation process CNSNews.com published an article fretting that Kagan might not recuse herself from cases involving health care ifshe made it to bench. CNS published otherarticles speculating about whether she would recuse herself from cases she was involved with while working as Obama's solicitor general.
Now Kagan's on the bench, the new Supreme Court session has begun, and what is the ConWeb worried about? That Kagan is recusing herself from too many cases!
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has decided to step down from participating in nearly half of the 51 cases the court has agreed to review this term because of potential conflicts of interest.
The news that Kagan will bow out of an unexpectedly large number of cases sent attorneys and legal scholars scrambling as the first day of the court's new term began Monday. Observers are trying to determine how major case law could be affected by not having a ninth justice on the bench for as many of the 25 cases that the court has agreed to hear so far this year.
The court is expected to agree to hear another 25 to 35 cases this term, and it is possible that Kagan will recuse herself from some of those cases as well.
Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice who has argued several cases before the Supreme Court, tells Newsmax, "The ramifications of this recusal could be significant for a generation."
He added: "I think this is fraught with disaster, as far as getting definitive opinions out of the Supreme Court of the United States. I think it's going to make it very difficult."
Chicago attorney and Fox News contributor Tamara N. Holder says for one justice to generate so many recusals is extraordinary. "It's good that she's recusing herself if there's a real conflict," Holder tells Newsmax. "But this many seems like a bit much. How can anyone be that conflicted? Is she overly cautious to the point of insecurity or is this the right move so as to avoid scrutiny with the final decision?"
No matter what Obama or his administration or any of his appointees does, the ConWeb will complain about it -- even if it contradicts previous criticism.