WND's New Poster Boy Even More Sleazy Than We Thought Topic: WorldNetDaily
A few weeks back, we highlighted the truth about Walter Fitzpatrick, WorldNetDaily's new birther hero whose background WND must whitewash in order to continue to present him as a poster. Turns out that background is even more seamy than we suspected.
An alert ConWebWatch reader directs us to a lengthy list of Fitzpatrick's contacts with law enforcement, which range from numerous instances of alleged domestic violence and harrassment to restraining orders and various other judgments filed against him.
Fitzpatrick was also court-martialed and convicted of failed to properly supervise the spending of his ship's "morale, welfare and recreation" money, effectively ending his Navy career.
Also, here's another bit of whitewashing done by WND. In April, Bob Unruh wrote that Fitzpatrick faced a "rioting" charge "for confronting a grand-jury meeting in Tennessee." Brian Fitzpatrick similarly wrote in his Oct. 28 article that Walter Fitzpatrick "tried unsuccessfully to place evidence about Obama's eligibility before a Monroe County grand jury in 2009."
In fact, such grand jury proceedings are closed to the public. As one Tennessee newspaper pointed out, "Grand jury proceedings, by law, are strictly private and only the grand jury and the officer making his or her case are allowed in the room. Even a court officer is not allowed into the courtroom during a grand jury session."
Fitzpatrick is the man who WorldNetDaily consider s a sane and reasonable advocate for making the case against Barack Obama's "eligibility" to be president. Apparently, Orly Taitz wasn't crazy enough.
WND Defends Anti-Gay Groups on SPLC List Topic: WorldNetDaily
Part of WorldNetDaily's anti-gay agenda is to run to the defense of any person or organization whose anti-gay behavior is called out for what it is. So when the Southern Poverty Law Center added several organizations to its list of anti-gay hate groups, WND was moved to respond.
A Nov. 24 article by Brian Fitzpatrick, carrying the self-pitying headline "Hate intrudes on Thanksgiving" -- ignoring, of course, the hate spread year-round by the groups in question -- complained that the SPLC "placed a virtual who's who of pro-family and Christian organizations, including the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and the Traditional Values Coalition, on a list of 13 'hate groups' for opposing the homosexual political agenda."
Which is, of course, not what the SPLC did. And Fitzpatrick knows that since he quoted the SPLC's criteria in his article noting that "the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities – and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups."
Fitzpatrick dutifully quotes the predictable denunciations of the SPLC by supporters of the groups placed on the list -- for instance, he quotes Coral Ridge Ministries' Robert Knight saying that "Smearing legitimate groups merely for disagreeing about homosexuality is a very hateful act" though that is a false statement -- but he couldn't be bothered to list the specific examples that earned those groups a place on the SPLC list.
Fitzpatrick has a growingreputation for journalistic hackery at WND, and this is just another example.
MRC Touts 'Climategate' Anniversary, Ignore Plagiarized Paper Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was all over the first anniversary of the so-called "climategate" scandal:
At the Business & Media Institute, Julia Seymour wrote that the emails "showed potential manipulation of temperature data," pretended that the "hide the decline" remark was something sinister (it isn't), and insisted that the "so-called 'independent' investigations" that exonerated the participants of thte most serious claims raised by deniers like the MRC were nothing more than a a "whitewash."
At NewsBusters, Noel Sheppard touted a right-wing article criticizing "the atrocious media coverage of the scandal," ingoring that some of that atrocious coverage same from his own side.
So when news came of accusations that a global warming-related report contained key sections that were plagiarized, you'd think the MRC deniers would be jumping right on that breach of scholarship. They didn't.
Why? Because this made their side look bad. From USA Today:
An influential 2006 congressional report that raised questions about the validity of global warming research was partly based on material copied from textbooks, Wikipedia and the writings of one of the scientists criticized in the report, plagiarism experts say.
Review of the 91-page report by three experts contacted by USA TODAY found repeated instances of passages lifted word for word and what appear to be thinly disguised paraphrases.
Led by George Mason University statistician Edward Wegman, the 2006 report criticized the statistics and scholarship of scientists who found the last century the warmest in 1,000 years.
"The report was integral to congressional hearings about climate scientists," says Aaron Huertas of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C. "And it preceded a lot of conspiratorial thinking polluting the public debate today about climate scientists."
But in March, climate scientist Raymond Bradley of the University of Massachusetts asked GMU, based in Fairfax, Va., to investigate "clear plagiarism" of one of his textbooks.
Bradley says he learned of the copying on the Deep Climate website and through a now year-long analysis of the Wegman report made by retired computer scientist John Mashey of Portola Valley, Calif. Mashey's analysis concludes that 35 of the report's 91 pages "are mostly plagiarized text, but often injected with errors, bias and changes of meaning." Copying others' text or ideas without crediting them violates universities' standards, according to Liz Wager of the London-based Committee on Publication Ethics.
There's another reason the MRC didn't report this scandal: because it previously touted Wegman's research.
A January 2007 NewsBusters post by Amy Ridenour highlightedhow "the eminent statistician, Dr. Edward Wegman, who has described himself as a Gore voter," was among the "expert witnesses" who testified before a House committee.
Turns out he may not be so eminent after all.
If the MRC actually cared about science, it would be outraged by this. But they've said nothing, which tells us they care only about politics, not science.
WND Baselessly Attacks MN Secretary of State, Franken Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Nov. 25 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein attacks Minnesota Secreatary of State Mark Ritchie as having taken donations from "a shocking list of radicals that reads like a 'Who's Who' of the far-left world."
But Klein -- like conspiratorial anti-Obama blogger Trevor Loudon, from whom he lifts this attack -- offers no information as to how much these people gave to Ritchie, and neither link to the original data to back up their claim.
We found what is purported to be a database of Ritchie donations for his 2006 campaign on Loudon's KeyWiki website, and it seems that these donors were only a tiny part of the total donations.
For instance, the first person listed by Klein is "Barbara Baran, a member of Democratic Socialists of America." according to the database, she gave $150. "Max Palevsky, a former trustee of the Marxist-oriented, Soros-funded Institute for Policy Studies," gave $250.
This, by the way, is out of $106,000 reportedly donated to Ritchie's 2006 campaign.
In describing the affiliation of other donors, Klein falsely describes the organization J Street as "pro-Palestinian." In fact, it is a Jewish-led group that describes itself as "pro-Israel, pro-peace" and favors a "two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." (Klein has previously falsely smeared J Street as "pro-Hamas.")
Klein also wrote that Ritchie "oversaw the recount of the 2008 U.S. Senate race that put onetime comedian Al Franken into office," later stating that "fallout from the 'recount' that handed Franken the 2008 victory still is developing." It's unclear why Klein put "recount" in scare quotes, because it's indisputable that a recount took place.
Klein then repeated claims by right-wing group Minnesota Majority -- first reported at WND in an October article by Bob Unruh -- "it was found that at least 341 convicted felons voted in Hennepin County, where Minneapolis is located, and another 52 voted illegally in Ramsey County, home to St. Paul. The number of felons voting in those two counties alone exceeded Franken's margin of victory, the investigation revealed."
Neither Klein nor Unruh reported that Minnesota Majority's claims are largely overblown. MinnPost repoted that out of 451 names submitted by Minnesota Majority to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office for alleged illegal voting by felons, only 47 will result in charges. Election law expert Michael McDonald has stated that there are "solid reasons to suspect that Minnesota Majority has overstated the number of illegal votes."
Klein's intention, of course, is to undermine Ritchie and falsely portray him as conspiring to make Franken the winner of the Senate race. In fact, there's no evidence whatsoever that Ritchie acted contrary to law. Indeed, as writer Jay Weiner states, various panels of judges and even the lawyer for Franken's Republican opponent, Norm Coleman, said there was no widespread fraud in the election.
MRC's Graham Also Feels DeLay's Pain Topic: NewsBusters
Earlier, we noted how Noel Sheppard is feeling Tom DeLay's pain at being convicted of campaign finance crimes. Now fellow Media Research Center employee Tim Graham is joining in DeLay's pity party.
In a Nov. 26 NewsBusters post, Graham complained that no network news broadcast that reported DeLay's conviction "allowed DeLay air time to defend himself." Of course, if you've been convicted by a jury of your peers, the time for defense has passed. Does Graham think every person who claims they've been wrongly convicted should have the chance to say so on national television?
Also, Graham seems to have decided that only the I've-been-framed words straight from DeLay's mouth count. His own transcript shows that CBS noted that "His [DeLay's] lawyer called the verdict a miscarriage of justice and vowed to appeal." Graham doesn't explain why that's not good enough.
Victoria Jackson Goes Anti-Gay Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ranting about the forms of "sabotage" liberals use on conservatives, Victoria Jackson writes in her Nov. 26 WorldNetDaily column:
A very sneaky form of sabotage is brainwashing, and since the left owns the airwaves, this is an easy tactic to accomplish. It has inserted the gay agenda into every TV show and movie, even down to this minute detail I observed on "The Talk." The co-hosts call their husbands "partners" to be on the same level as lesbian Sara Gilbert. The shadow agenda of the show is the viewpoint that women do not need men. You can have it all: career, children and romance. A man is simply a "partner" you can enjoy or throw out. How subtle and wiley are the ways of the enemy. I auditioned for that show last year. I was told that it was a talk show like "The View" that would focus on motherhood. Little did I know that the focus was man-less motherhood. I brought in pictures of my babies from birth to now. I bragged about my husband, my high-school sweetheart, the breadwinner in our family. I was asked how I felt about Elisabeth Hasselbeck. I said she was my favorite because she held the conservative views that were closest to mine. I mentioned that I thought I could stand up for Christianity better than Sherri Shepherd because not only did I know that the world was round, I had a Bible verse to back it up ( Isaiah 40:22). I don't think there is one representative of Christian conservative values on "The Talk," is there? Talk about "tolerance."
Of course, Jackson has engaged in her own attempts at brainwashing, asserting that president Obama is "a Marxist, progressive, leftist, radical, socialist, communist dictator drunk with power."
Jackson also writes that "Another form of sabotage is lying." Her previous statement on Obama would seem to violate that as well.
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard is offended that anyone would be thankful that the American justice system worked. Lashing out in a Nov. 25 post against Roger Ebert's tweeting "Today let us give thanks for the right of trial by jury. Especially Tom Delay's jury," Sheppard huffs: "Makes you wonder what kind of deranged mind is actually getting pleasure from another human being's pain on Thanksgiving. Shame on you, Roger."
Sheppard conveniently omits the fact that DeLay's "pain" is entirely self-inflicted. He committed a crime, and he has been found guilty of that crime.
We're pretty sure Sheppard does not feel the "pain" of liberals convicted of crimes.
WND's Cashill Still Whitewashing Convicted Killer Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill takes yet another stab at rehabilitating the reputation of convicted killer Steven Nary, turning over the bulk of his Nov. 25 WorldNetDaily column to a letter from him. Cashill reiterated his usual defense of Nary:
As an inebriated 18-year-old sailor on leave in San Francisco, Nary was lured from a co-ed dance club to the apartment of the Argentina-born Juan Pifarre under false pretenses. When the coked-up Pifarre tried to rape Nary, the sailor fought back and killed him unintentionally.
The fact that Pifarre had at least two prior arrests on sexual charges, one for assault, carried less weight with San Francisco prosecutors than that he was both gay and a noisy Hispanic activist. Nary never had a chance.
As we've detailed, Cashill's version of events leaves out numerous inconvenient facts, such as that Nary allowed Pifarre to perform oral sex on him for money, and that, according to what Nary himself told police, he choked Pifarre for five minutes in the process of killing him. That doesn't sound unintentional.
CNSNews.com has long been trying to disparage the war in Afghanistan under President Obama, presenting monthly bodycounts as alarmingly high even though they are still far lower than they were at the height of the Iraq war (a fact typically ignored).
That continues in a Nov. 2 article by Edwin Mora, in which he writes taht "One-third of the total 1,259 U.S. military deaths reported since the beginning of the nine-year Afghan war have taken place this year, with two months still to go," adding that "In November, at least 49 U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan." The word "Iraq" appears nowhere in Mora's article, let alone the fact that this number is less than half of the peak casualty numbers in Iraq.
Mora continues his disparagement of the Afghanistan war in a Nov. 24 article, in which he plays up a report claiming that "About 20 percent of Afghans perceive the condition of their country’s security as 'bad' and approximately 80 percent believe 'corruption affects their daily lives."
As with his body counts, Mora makes no effort to relate this to perceptions of security at the height of the Iraq War. Millions of Iraqis -- including an estimated 40 percent of the its middle class -- fled the country during the war, which arguably is a severe judgment on the sense of security at the time. There are other examples of the sense of security that was largely absent in Iraq during the war.
But Mora, bizarrely, makes no effort to draw the most logical comparison. Why? Perhaps because his body-count alarmism would fizzle when placed in context of the war waged by a Republican, which runs the risk of making Obama's war strategy look good.
WND Runs Ad From Anti-Semitic Fringe Catholic Website Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew highlights how WorldNetDaily is currently running ads -- including a prominent po-up overlay ad on the front page -- for a website, vaticancatholic.com (which redirects to a website called mostholyfamilymonestary.com), which promises to tell us "What Really Happened to the Catholic Church."The site is run by Michael Dimond, whom Bartholomew describes as "a well-known fringe traditionalist."
In addition to promotion of fringe Catholic beliefs such as rejection of Vatican II -- all recent popes are "antipopes" and "manifest heretic[s] who claimed to be pope" -- it also contains a dollop of anti-Semitism on a page headlined "Jewish Power and Control Watch," which claims to contain "news updates and posts concerning the growing Jewish control of society." It contains this bizarre passive-aggressive statement (emphasis in original):
It’s important to note in advance that, as Catholic Christians, we desire the conversion and eternal happiness of all Jews (as well as all other non-Catholics) to the one true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation. As Catholics, we reject all forms of racism as being un-Christian and illogical. Jews have frequently been tremendous, and some of the very best, converts. As shown in our video, Abortion, Rock Music and Freemasonry Exposed, the Jewish “holy book,” The Talmud, blasphemes Christ, condemns Christians and considers Jews to be a master race. That’s why it’s common for them to promote only Jews and thus come to dominate particular organizations and important positions in society. For a foundational understanding of Jewish control in America and Jewish beliefs, we recommend Ted Pike’s video The Other Israel (watch it here) and Michael Collins Piper’s book, The New Jerusalem (available from americanfreepress.net).
Yes, the website really does sell a documentary called "Abortion, Rock Music and Freemasonry Exposed," which reports on how "rock music played backwards contains hidden satanic messages" and how "the Freemasons regard Catholicism as their number one enemy." There's no mention of where abortion fits into this conspiracy.
WND might want to explain why it has accepted advertising from such a fringe, anti-Semitic group.
It's highly unlikely that, if I were president, I would ever sign off on instituting an airport-security program that coerced virtual strip searches, limited sexual assaults, irradiating passengers and the practice of reusing plastic gloves to fondle the private body parts of multiple travelers.
But, if I were and if I did, it would mean I really thought this wretched practice was vitally necessary to the security of the nation.
So I would be sure to take my wife and children over to the airport, along with a camera crew, and go through the ritual myself. Just to be sure the Transportation Security Administration employees didn't go easy on me because I'm the president, I would insist that they inflict on each of us the most draconian steps ever required to clear a passenger. That would mean we would each go through the scanner. We would each endure the most intrusive pat downs ever required. And I would insist that the latex gloves used on us were used on at least a dozen previous passengers.
That's what I would do. And that's what I think any real leader would do given the revulsion and uprising that has accompanied the new TSA procedures.
However, I don't expect Barack Obama to do that any time soon. Because he's not a real leader. He enjoys his privileged status too much to endure that kind of abuse or to subject his family to what other American families must endure to travel on a commercial airliner these days.
The Obama administration has now engaged in a systematic campaign of terror against those that refuse to be submitted to an illegal search of their person by way of the invasive porno scanners. The punishment for not obeying the federal government is the humiliating experience of having to undergo a sexual assault as TSA thugs grope traveler's genitalia. There have been repeated instances of little children being sexually molested by TSA agents, the elderly being traumatized and the chronically ill being humiliated.
To date, the only politician on the national stage that has addressed the issue properly is Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Are the other potential presidential candidates really that dumb, or are they all bought and paid for? There seems to be a lot of politicians that talk about the Constitution in an election year that aren't too outraged over its trampling right after an election.
The Obama administration has declared war on freedom, war on human dignity and war on Americans. If it is unlawful to peep at someone in the nude against their will or to grope their genitals without their permission, then it is unlawful for the government to do so. The government gets is power from the consent of the governed, and if the people the government gets its power from haven't granted such a power, then the government can't invent it.
During the presidential campaign, Barack Hussein Obama said he wanted to create a domestic military force that was as equally funded as the military. That frightening statement was lost on most voters, who were hypnotized by a mass-media propaganda campaign. It didn't dawn on them that it was a statement of malicious intent directed toward them.
Americans were the target. The United States spends more on the military than the rest of the world. There is no other purpose for a domestic military force that is funded to that level than to subjugate the American people, to beat them down, to oppress them, to treat the American people as cattle, to turn America into a prison camp.
WASHINGTON – Barack Obama, who three times deleted the word "Creator" in quoting the Declaration of Independence recently, made no mention of God in a Thanksgiving message he issued today from the White House Rose Garden.
"This, of course, is what's truly meant by Thanksgiving – a holiday that asks us to be thankful for what we have, and generous to those who have less," said Obama at the annual event in which turkeys are "pardoned" by the president. "It's a time to spend with the ones we love, and a chance to show compassion and concern to people we've never met. It's a tradition that's brought us together as a community since before we were a nation, when the ground we're standing on was nothing but wilderness."
Thanksgiving is an American holiday about giving thanks to God for the blessings He has bestowed on the country and on individuals.
"Back then," Obama said reflecting on the early Thanksgiving tradition in America, "the simple act of survival was often the greatest blessing of all. And later, President Lincoln declared the first national day of Thanksgiving in the midst of the Civil War. During the depths of the Great Depression, local businesses gave donations and charities opened their doors to families who didn't have a place to celebrate Thanksgiving. In times of war, our military has gone through great lengths to give our men and women on the front lines a turkey dinner and a taste of home."
While Obama did not mention God in the context of his Thanksgiving reflections, he did conclude his comments with the following words: "God bless you and God bless the United States of America."
But most of his remarks struck a more secular tone: "So in America, we come together when times are hard. We don't give up. We don't complain. And we don't turn our backs on one another. Instead, we look out for another and we pitch in and we give what we can. And in the process, we reveal to the world what we love so much about this country.
"That's who we are. And that's who Thanksgiving reminds us to be. So I hope everyone takes some time during this holiday season to give back and serve their community in some way. And I also want to take a moment to say how grateful I am to the men and women who are serving this country bravely and selflessly in places far away from home right now. You and your families are in our thoughts and in our prayers, and you make me so very proud to be your commander-in-chief. So on behalf of Michelle, Sasha, Malia and myself, I want to wish everybody a wonderful and happy and safe Thanksgiving."
Why has WND deleted this article? Because it's not true. WND quoted only from Obama's remarks during the annual pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey. But Obama issued a separate Thanksgiving proclamation that mentioned God twice:
In confronting the challenges of our day, we must draw strength from the resolve of previous generations who faced their own struggles and take comfort in knowing a brighter day has always dawned on our great land. As we stand at the close of one year and look to the promise of the next, we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings, for one another, and for our Nation. This Thanksgiving Day, we remember that the freedoms and security we enjoy as Americans are protected by the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces. These patriots are willing to lay down their lives in our defense, and they and their families deserve our profound gratitude for their service and sacrifice.
As Americans gather for the time-honored Thanksgiving Day meal, let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God. Let us recall that our forebears met their challenges with hope and an unfailing spirit, and let us resolve to do the same.
WND merely deleted the story when it proved to be false. It has not publicly corrected the record or issued an apology to the president.
A real news organization would do that. So you know what WND is.
UPDATE: This makes at least the third completely false article WND has either disappeared without explanation or completely rewritten to remove any trace of the false claim. What does it say about the ethics and quality of editing at WND that so many utterly false articles appear? Other news organizations that published many more stories per day than WND does have a much lower total retraction rate -- typically, zero.
Posted by Terry K.
at 10:19 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 11:14 PM EST
MRC's Graham Just Can't Stop Hating the Kennedys Topic: Media Research Center
If there's anything Tim Graham and the Media Research Center hate worse than gays, it's Kennedys. Graham and crew, for instance, have yet to retract its multiple false portrayals of writer Charles Pierce's statements regarding Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick as "ludicrous level of veneration" of Kennedy when, in fact, in full context it was a criticism of Kennedy. The MRC's quote of the year wasn't even from a journalist; it was a blog post from a "Discover magazine deputy web editor... who formerly worked on the New York Times’s Freakonomics blog" that said something about Ted Kennedy the MRC didn't like.
It's in that context that Graham's Nov. 23 NewsBusters post should be viewed. The post is all about Graham's whining that the NBC Nightly News, on the occasion of the 47th anniversaryof John F. Kennedy's death, noted the existence "of yet another book of Kennedy family photos of the 'Camelot' era." Graham was particularly upset that anchor Brian Williams noted that there was a picture of the "incredibly cute John Jr. on a boat in August of ‘63." Graham continued to grouse:
The photos can be very similar to everyone else's family photos, which would hardly be Nightly News material. But the Kennedy family pictures are endlessly fascinating to some people. This adoration of the Kennedys isn't as obviously biased as NBC actually employing a Kennedy as an "objective" reporter for 16 years. Can we plan for Williams showing pictures from the Reagan family when the country celebrates the 100th anniversary of his birth next February 6? Or is Williams just not in as much awe of Reagan? Is he just still the kid who wrote adoring fan mail to LBJ?
John Kennedy died 47 years ago. Ted Kennedy died more than a year ago. Graham seriously needs to get over it.
A Nov. 22 Newsmax article by Brad O'Leary touted his own poll, claiming that "More voters listened for the message of the tea party than any other group leading up to the recent midterm elections."
We've documented O'Leary's history of skewed polls by the firm he pays to conduct them, Zogby International -- a pollster with a reputation for inaccuracy. And needless to say, this Zogby poll has a problem too.
According to the poll's crosstabs, only one question was asked: "For the following groups, please tell us if you listened to their messages before the election all of the time, most of the time, some of the time or never." Only two groups were identified -- the tea party and the National Rifle Association.
Because Zogby polled about only two groups, O'Leary's statement that the poll showed that "More voters listened for the message of the tea party than any other group" is not supported by the scant data.
Les Kinsolving writes in his Nov. 23 WorldNetDaily column:
Since 2007, we U.S. taxpayers have paid $2,100,745 for now-outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make 85 flights aboard a 42-seat Air Force C-32 – which is the size of a Boeing 757.
These Pelosi flights took her back and forth from Washington to her home district in San Francisco in one of the most infuriating of Democratic financial abuses.
In fact, the dollar figure Kinsolving cites is for Pelosi-led congressional delegations -- i.e., the congressional delegations set up through the Speaker's office, many of which included other members of Congress as well -- not her personal travel. Further, a number of those delegations included Republicans.
Wouldn't it be fun if the new House, as one of its first orders of business, asked for legislation to compel the enormously wealthy Pelosi to pay for the cost differential between those Air Force C-32 flights of hers and former Speaker Dennis Hastert's use of a 12-seat Gulfstream III passenger jet?
But the reason Pelosi had access to such a jet is for security purposes, as confirmed by the House Sergeant at Arms. The reason the larger jet was used is because the smaller jet Hastert used cannot make it non-stop from Washington, D.C., to California -- again, for security purposes. (Hastert needed to travel only to Illinois to visit his district.)
But we can't expect Kinsolving to care about something as basic as reporting the facts when he apparently spends his time thinking up biasedquestions to ask during White House press briefings.