Is Judith Miller Another Newsmax Rehab Project? Topic: Newsmax
Last October, a surprising name popped up on Newsmax's "blog" list: Judith Miller, the former New York Times reporter whose work prior to the Iraq war promoting the idea that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction -- driven by her main source, Ahmed Chalabi -- has been largely discredited.
How did Miller end up there? She discussed it with Yahoo News' Michael Calderone:
In recent months, Miller has written several online posts for Newsmax but will now also contribute to the print magazine. Her first piece — on drugs, terror financing, and a little-known program for U.S. law-enforcement officials to embed in Iraq — appears in the January 2011 issue.
In a separate email, Miller explained why she accepted "an excellent offer" from Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy to write more for the publication. "Newsmax offered me a lot of space for what we both think is an important story, and support for the reporting that produced it," she said. "Both are rare commodities in American magazine journalism these days."
Miller said she had no reservations about writing for a partisan outlet, pointing out that she's also written op-eds for the Los Angeles Times and New York Daily News, essays and reviews for the Wall Street Journal, opinion pieces for Fox News, and reported articles for City Journal — a publication put out by the Manhattan Institute, of which she's an adjunct fellow.
"I've even written for the Independent, in London," Miller continued. "I value my political independence. So do Fox and Newsmax." (Incidentally, she voted for Barack Obama in 2008).
Or you might call it another Newsmax career rehab project. Like Bernard Kerik and Ralph Reed before her, Miller has a damaged reputation that Newsmax thinks can be repaired by giving her space to pontificate about the subjects of her choice.
This time, Miller is running a two-front rehab; in addition to Newsmax, she is also a Fox News contributor who appears on the channel with some regularity. So it's likely she will fare better than, say, Kerik.
At MRC, Repeating A Fact = 'Liberal Bias' Topic: NewsBusters
As we've previously noted, the Media Research Center is much more interested in scoring political points than doing actual media research. Yet another example surfaces in a Jan. 3 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan, in which he recounts John Roberts' purported "reputation for liberal bias."
Balan's first example of "liberal bias"? Calling the 2008 Democratic primary "historic." No, really. Apparently Balan doesn't think that a presidential primary between a woman and a black is not "historic."
By the way, Balan could come up with only 13 examples of "liberal bias" from Roberts, even though he has been in network news for 17 years. That's not much of a reputation, is it?
Another Zombie Lie Roams At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
It seems WorldNetDaily justcan’tstop telling lies about President Obama, no matter how many times they've been debunked.
The latest example is a January 4 article promoting WND editor Joseph Farah’s “premium online newsletter” G2 Bulletin. It states:
It was Obama who barnstormed on behalf of Raila Odinga, the socialist who hails from the same tribal heritage, the Luo, as Obama, when Odinga was seeking the presidency in Kenya.
Appearing with Odinga at campaign stops, Obama gave speeches accusing the sitting Kenyan president of being corrupt and oppressive.
As we’ve previously detailed, PolitiFact.com found "no evidence to indicate that Obama 'openly supported' Odinga" during his 2006 trip to Kenya – in fact, Obama made a point of saying that he tried to “meet with all parties” during his visit, including Odinga’s opponent, Mwai Kibaki. While Odinga clearly wanted to associate himself with Obama by attending some of Obama’s events during the visit, PolitiFact wrote, Obama “remained neutral in Kenyan politics, and did not support Odinga during his trip.”
This latest attack, by the way, comes while noting that Odinga -- whom WND called “Obama’s African buddy” -- was helping to negotiate a conclusion to turmoil in a presidential election in the Ivory Coast. WND portrayed the controversy as a conflict between “opening practicing Christian” Laurent Gbagbo, who is trying to cling to power and resist being unseated by his Muslim opponent, Alassane Quattara, amid allegations of vote fraud and the Gbagbo-controlled constitutional council’s overturning of the country’s electoral commission to declare Gbagbo the winner.
But WND leaves out one pertinent detail: The United Nations and the European Union have certified the vote declaring Quattara the winner as free and fair, despite some isolated incidents of violence. Further, National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer noted that the provisional results were in favor of Quattara, adding, “Credible, accredited electoral observers have characterized the balloting as free and fair, and no party should be allowed to obstruct further the electoral process.”
WND does write that the constitutional council that declared Gbagbo the winner is headed by “a loyal Gbagbo ally,” but focuses instead on claims of “massive vote-rigging” in Quattara strongholds and presents the controversy as a religious one in which “outsiders” are supporting “an attempt by a Muslim to unseat a Christian president.”
So, to sum up: WND is not only pushing zombie lies, it’s siding with an African leader who has demonstrated contempt for the principles of democracy.
NewsBusters Hides Full Truth About Attorney In Catholic Abuse Case Topic: NewsBusters
Dave Pierre uses a Jan. 2 NewsBusters post to screech about how the media is ignoring what is essentially a friend-of-the-court brief filed in a court case regarding sexual abuse of children by priests in the Los Angeles Catholic Diocese by "veteran attorney Donald H. Steier" in which he asserts that "about ONE-HALF of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse" (capital letters are his)."
Pierre makes a big deal out of how Steier submitted his brief "under penalty of perjury" and attacked an advocacy group for the victims of the priests.
But Pierre omits a pertinent fact: As Examiner.com's Kay Ebeling points out, Steier has served as a defense attorney for "accused priests all over southern California," which makes him hardly the unbiased, independent observer Pierre suggests he is. Indeed, the Los Angeles Diocese has paid Steier in the past.
As part of his representation of accused priests, Steier has opposed the release of internal church documents that would shed light on the abuse allegations -- which would seem to cast further doubt on the veracity of his claims.
Pierre goes on to hiliarously attack a response to Steier's filing by the victim-advocacy group SNAP, asserting that there is a "glaring absence from SNAP's statement. The organization does not refute nor deny any of the specific claims made by Steier. It simply labels them as 'outrageous' and 'hurtful.' That is hardly a blow to the explosive declaration aired by the veteran attorney." (Italics his.)
Pierre goes on to mock SNAP's call for church officialsto reveal how much money it has paid Steier. But Pierre doesn't deny that Steier was paid by the church, which raises the possibility that the brief Steier filed was also done on the church's payroll.
Pierre also has a poorly disclosed conflict of interest: His end-of-post bio asserts that he "is the author of the heralded book Double Standard: Abuse Scandals and the Attack on the Catholic Church." The Amazon page Pierre links to reveals that his book was published by CreateSpace, the self-publishing division of Amazon. As for how the book has been "heralded," the Amazon page has three Pierre-supplied laudatory quotes and exactly one reader review. We're not sure that qualifies as "heralded."
So Pierre is little more than an apologist for the Catholic Church, even as he concedes that "Yes, Catholic priests terribly abused minors, and bishops failed to stop the harm." That, by the way, is a line he basically copied-and-pasted from the promotional blurb for his self-published book.
A Dec. 31 CNSNews.com article by Edwin Mora continues CNS' selectiveobsession with counting U.S. troop fatalities by declaring "In the past year, U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan were killed at a rate of about one every 18 hours."
As before, no comparison is made with military casualties in Iraq. Mora makes a big deal out of the 496 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan, ignoring that troop deaths in Iraq far outstripped that number.
According to iCasualties, U.S. troop deaths in Iraq exceeded the 2010 Afghanistan number in four separate years: 849 in 2004, 846 in 2005, 822 in 2006, and 904 in 2007. The total of 1,357 U.S. deaths in Afghanistan is also far outweighed by the 4,432 U.S. deaths in Iraq.
Indeed, the word "Iraq" appears only once in Mora's article, and that was only in noting that President Obama said during the 2008 presidential campaign that "President Bush had wrongly shifted the focus in the war on terror from Afghanistan to Iraq."
Mora wrote a Jan. 3 follow-up claiming that "Eighty-two percent of the U.S. casualties in Afghanistan in 2010 took place in Afghan provinces adjacent to the Pakistan border," but his numbers aren't consistent. This time, Mora claims that 497 U.S. troops died last year and 1,358 overall in Afghanistan. He doesn't explain the discrepancy between the two articles.
Does WND Think Presidential Death Threats Are Funny? Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Jan. 3 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn is largely sympathetic to a Florida sheriff's office employee who "left a Bible behind on a co-worker's desk with a note designating Psalm 109 as 'the Obama prayer.'" This is a verse that begins, "May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership." But it continues:
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children. May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation.
Zahn uncritically repeats the employee's contention that the "Obama prayer" was supposed to be "funny," and Zahn himself refers to "'the Obama prayer' joke." The implication here is that Zahn thinks threatening the president's life, even implied, is a joke as well.
This is not the first time Psalm 109 has been invoked at WND. As we noted, editor and CEO Joseph Farah himself cited it in a November 2009 column headlined "How to make Obama nightmare go away," repeating only the introductory verse and not mentioning the apparent death wish the subsequent verses imply. Farah concluded: "Pray! It works. It's a promise."
Are Zahn and Farah praying for Obama's death. They need to clarify their positions. After all, given Farah and WND's obsessive hatred for Obama, the idea that they wish him dead -- as well as the idea that think his death would be a total laugh riot -- is not exactly a stretch.
MRC's Double Standard on Officials On Vacation During Disasters Topic: Media Research Center
In a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock was upset that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was criticized for being on vacation in Florida when a major blizzard hit his state. Whitlock huffed: Both CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today covered the anger in the New York/New Jersey region over the blizzard and the problems with the recovery. Neither of them, however, mentioned Christie."
But Whitlock's employer, the Media Research Center, has no problem attacking a government official for doing that very thing -- that is, of course, as long as the ofifcial in question is not a conservative. An April 1 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr carries the headline "FEMA Administrator Visits Sunny Orlando as Rhode Island Deals With Worst Flooding in 200 Years." Starr writes:
On Wednesday, one day after President Barack Obama issued an emergency declaration for flood-stricken Rhode Island authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency “to coordinate all disaster relief efforts” for the state, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was in sunny Orlando, Fla., giving a speech.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service predicted a sunny day Thursday with a high temperature of 82 degrees in Orlando, Fla., where FEMA Director Fugate was known to be on Wednesday.
Starr did not explain why Fugate needed to be in Rhode Island or what would possibly be gained by him doing so -- or why, for that matter, it was necessary to twice describe the weather in Orlando.
What's the difference between Fugate and Christie? We don't see any. Whitlock and Starr, however, apparently do: Christie is a conservative, while Fugate is presumed not to be.
Another Year, Another Lame WND List of 'Underreported' Stories Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's the start of a new year, and you know what that means -- another year-end list from WorldNetDaily of all the right-wing stories they think are "underreported" that ignores the facts to show they were rightly ignored.
At the top of this year's list is -- surprise! -- a birther story. This is the one involving for Hawaii elections temp worker Tim Adams claiming that there is no Hawaiian birth certificate for President Obama. As it did when it firstreported Adams' dubious story, WND ignores the fact that Adams first made his claim on the radio show of a self-described "pro-white" radio host that was broadcasting from 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. WND also ignores that the "senior elections clerk" position Adams claimed was described by his boss as a low-level data entry position, and that Adams would not have had access to any of Obama's election and related records since he is not registered to vote in Hawaii.
Another entry on WND's list is "the dark possibility of the manipulation of elections" as exemplied by, among other things, 'a formalized refusal by some states to follow election law regarding ballots for the military." WND asserted that "during the 2010 election some states simply disregarded – or demanded an exemption to – requirements that they get ballots to members of the military, who vote more conservatively than the general population, on time for them to be returned and counted." What WND didn't note is that claims about intentional efforts to prevent military members from receiving ballots are largely overblown, and states that failed to meet federal deadlines to send out military ballots reachedsettlements with the Justice Department to extend the deadline for their return to ensure those ballots were counted.
WND must have been running short on actual fake underreported news, so it had to come up wiht filler entries, like this one: "The push in the U.S. courts by homosexual advocates to demand the legalization of same-sex 'marriage' as well as through Congress to formally adopt the policy of allowing open homosexual behavior in the U.S. military." WND seems to concede it's not actually underreported, but it insisted that the issue "remains beyond the reach of most traditional reporting staffs." That seems to be code for saying that the media doesn't despise gays as much as WND does.
WND even threw in an "honorable mention" for its so-called "pink slip" campaign. If you'll recall, that was the right-wing screed that contained numerous factual errors. WND touted that the campaign "dispatched nearly 10 million warnings to members of Congress to return to the values of their constituents or face being removed from office in November," but if you divide 10 million by the 535 "pink slips" each participant generated,you have less than 18,690 people paying WND the princely sum of $29.95 to send out those slips -- hardly a massive outpouring (though WND grossed a cool $500,000-plus on the fleecing of its readers).
Meanwhile ... Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters' Jamison Foser catches the folks at NewsBusters with a serious lack of knowledge about what a liberal is. A Dec. 28 post by Iris Somberg, for instance, labeled Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt as a "doctrinaire liberal" -- which he is most definitely not.
BMI Attacks Top 'Economic Myth' With A Myth Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC's Business & Media Institute recently issued its list of the year's "Top 10 Economic Myths." It might be a litle more credible if it didn't rely on myths to attack them.
Take, for instance, the top "economic myth," "The Chamber of Commerce is Taking 'Secret Foreign Money' for Election." Julia Seymour writes:
This myth about the Chamber of Commerce began with unsubstantiated claims from one left-wing group, but was soon embraced by the DNC, Obama and by liberal media outlets.
Think Progress, a left-wing website and arm of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, claimed that the Chamber was soliciting foreign money to pay for political attack ads in the U.S. midterm elections. That's a serious charge since it is illegal to spend foreign money on domestic elections, yet the group offered no evidence to support the allegation.
That didn't prevent Keith Olbermann of MSNBC from railing against the Chamber night after night. On one show he said the group was "something like the Manchurian Chamber of Commerce." The Los Angeles Times said the claim was "gaining traction" Oct. 7.
Surprisingly, it was the liberal New York Times that noted how baseless Think Progress' claim really was. The Times wrote on Oct. 8, "[T]here is little evidence that what the Chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents."
The paper went on to say that, "Organizations from both ends of the political spectrum, from liberal ones like the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the Sierra Club to conservative groups like the National Rifle Association, have international affiliations and get money from foreign entities while at the same time pushing political causes in the United States."
Tom Collamore, senior vice president of communications for the Chamber, told the Business & Media Institute the attacks were a distraction: "We certainly had our share of distractions in this election season. However, we remained focused like a laser on the issues we - and it turns out, the voters - care about: jobs and the economy."
Chamber President Tom Donohue called the Think Progress accusations "patently untrue" in an Oct. 12 letter. He also called out the White House for repeating the baseless claims "to try to salvage an election."
"Let me be clear. The Chamber does not use any foreign money to fund voter education activities - period," Donohue wrote. "We have strict financial controls in place to ensure this. The funds we receive from American Chambers of Commerce abroad, bilateral business councils, and non-U.S. based global companies represent a small fraction of our more than $200 million annual revenues. Under our accounting system, these revenues are never used to support any political activities. We are in full compliance with all laws and regulations."
At no point does Seymour actually disprove the claim. She asserted that Think Progress "offered no evidence to support the allegation," but the Chamber has never offered any evidence to support its denial. It has yet to publicly demonstrate how its "strict financial controls" keep foreign money from funding the Chamber's political activities -- indeed, Chamber spokesperson Tita Freeman has declared, "We are not obligated to discuss our internal accounting procedures." Seymour is merely taking the Chamber's denials at face value.
By the way, Think Progress didn't actually accuse the Chamber of "soliciting foreign money to pay for political attack ads in the U.S. midterm elections"; rather, it highlighted that "foreign money is fungible" and that the pot of money that paid for the attack ads is the same one that accepts foreign dues.
Of course, the reason Think Progress "offered no evidence to support the allegation" is that the Chamber doesn't feel obligated to release any such documentation, pro or con, since it's not required under campaign disclosure laws. This means the Chamber's denial is even more of a "myth" than Seymour claims Think Progress' original accusation is.
In another example of using myths to debunk "myths," Seymour's second-place entry was that the so-called "ClimateGate" scandal over stolen emails "isn't a big deal." Seymour writes that "It's been more than a year since leaked emails and files showed that global warming alarmists 'can't account for the lack of warming at the moment,' were attempting to 'hide the decline' of temperatures and indicated that their temperature records were in a 'hopeless' state."
But those are largely phrases taken out of context. The statement by one scientist who "can't account for the lack of warming at the moment" doesn't disprove that global warming is happening, and the "hide the decline" statement was in reference to dealing with unreliable tree-ring data, not a conspiracy to discard accurate data.
Seymour then attempted to discredit investigations that cleared researchers of wrongdoing in the stolen emails, asserting that "there is evidence to suggest those 'independent' investigations were a 'whitewash.'" Her only evidence is citing the Cato Institute's Pat Michaels -- a global warming denier who has a vested interest in discrediting such investigations.
If I might speculate, the Europeans likely slighted "True Grit" for its unapologetic celebration of republican virtue. I refer here to those virtues necessary to build a successful republic: self-reliance, resourcefulness, strength, competence, charity, piety.
Unfortunately, these virtues are as alien to our own president as they are to the Europeans, which may explain why Barack Obama's approval ratings in Europe still hover in the 90 percent range.
"In America," said Obama upon his return from the putative Million Man March in 1995, "we have this strong bias toward individual action. You know, we idolize the John Wayne hero who comes in to correct things with both guns blazing."
Obama had other plans for America. "Individual actions, individual dreams, are not sufficient," he continued. "We must unite in collective action, build collective institutions and organizations." V. I. Lenin could not have said it better himself.
The presidency of Barack Obama has been injurious to the image of black Americans in politics. Prior to his election, one of his glaring deficiencies was his lack of experience. While even his detractors realize that his race has nothing to do with his being an anti-American, Marxist scoundrel, one still has to consider the superficial associations people can make in this vein. I have stated that it's unfortunate that our first black president had to be a person of Obama's character, because he does represent a blemish on the legacy of black Americans. In the best-case scenario, he will wind up merely being a footnote: our first black president. The specter of the worst-case scenario is what has motivated and mobilized Americans toward thwarting his agenda.
As a result of the dim view this president has cultivated, and its potential cultural blowback, it appears that the producers of certain television shows might have come on board to effect damage control in this area. In order to to counter the perception of ineptitude that has come about associated with Obama and his lack of leadership skills, an effort seems to have been made to portray blacks in high places as competent leaders in dramatic roles.
To be fair, some of these occurrences took place prior to Obama actually taking office, but a good case could be made that it was the intent of these organizations to prepare the American public for the leadership of a black individual via positive portrayals of black leaders. I would contend that America needed no such preparation, but that's another issue. The stronger argument exists in these concerned parties making their efforts in the face of Obama's subsequent plummeting popularity.
But the reality is that we have a criminal, Constitution-hating government headed by an angry young Marxist intent on bringing the United States down to the level of Third World countries. Sorry, but it's a chess game whether Republicans like it or not. And if they refuse to play, they will get checkmated all over the board by default.
Well, there you have it. According to the Los Angeles Times, President Obama is "evolving" in his views on the definition of marriage. Vice President Joe Biden shilled for that position on "Good Morning America" by declaring same-sex marriage as "inevitable."
Biden boldly quotes the president in his first meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff as he declared, "Gentlemen, I want you to prepare now; I want to end 'don't ask, don't tell.'"
"I want …"? What happened to the Constitution? To such despots that issue is irrelevant. He is on a mission and is looking more and more like it is out of the Kamikaze manual. Use your vehicle as a suicidal assault weapon to destroy the enemy. The difference is that his vehicle is the presidency and the enemy is the U.S. Constitution and our Judeo-Christian heritage.
The militant commitment of the Marxist/Democratic Party of 2011 America to radical sexual diversity is at its core driven by a hate for God's created order. Why do you suppose that earth worshipers (aka environmentalists), abortion "rights" advocates, GLBTQI activists, Darwinian evolutionists and atheists are uniformly standing side by side?
In case you think I have wandered from my topic, here is the trail of tears:
Is Farah Pushing Discredited Obama-Mau Mau Theory? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is Joseph Farah sending a coded message to his birther buddies? In his Dec. 30 WorldNetDaily column, he writes regarding new Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie:
So, will Abercrombie unseal the records? Will he convince his good friend, Obama, to simply give his consent to release the document? Or will he just continue to mau-mau the controversy by slandering Americans who simply believe in the rule of law?
If you'll recall, Newsmax's James Humes spent early 2009 trying to push the ludicrous conspiracy theory that Obama returned a bust of Winston Churchill to Britain because "Obama, who grew up in Kenya, took umbrage at Prime Minister Churchill’s actions in 1953 of wiping out the Mau-Mau, the Kenyan terrorists who made a specialty of slitting throats of sleeping white and Black Kenyans." Dinesh D'Souza latched onto it as well in his discredited book "The Roots of Obama's Rage"; WND has promoted the book on its "news" pages and sells the book in its online store.
So was Farah's "mau-mau" reference a message to his fellow birthers that he'll happily swallow any Obama-bashing theory, no matter how hateful and ludicrous? Perhaps.
WND Lies About Its Birther Coverage -- Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
In attempting to yet again portray Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie as having a "radical history that ties him to a U.S.-based socialist organization with deep connections to President Obama," WorldNetDaily's Aaron Kleintries to once again whitewashhis employer's shoddy history of birther-related reporting.
In complaining about a statement from Abercrombie's campaign that he was being attacked by "conspiracy theorists ... who continually claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S.," Klein retorts in a Dec. 29 WND article: "WND has never reported Obama was born outside the U.S. Instead, WND has reported Obama has not released documentary evidence conclusively proving his place of birth."
Klein would like you to forget that his employer did, in fact, portray Obama as "not born in the U.S." Remember the "kenyan birth certificate" that WND made no effort whatsoever to verify before publishing, thus treating it as authentic? We do. We also remember the backflips Farah and crew performed to pretend that its sleazy, lazy journalism was somehow noble and responsible.
This is part of the revisionism that WND engages in to cover up its lack of regard for the facts. Farah himself has also previously claimed that "I am not making accusations about where Obama was born" when he and his website have done exactly that.
AIM's Kincaid Knows Nothing About Business Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid's Dec. 23 Accuracy in Media column carries the headline "Liberal Post Sued for Racial Discrimination." Of course, that's not what happened.
Kincaid does go on to note the actual truth -- that Kaplan Higher Education, a unit of the Washington Post Co., was sued for discrimination, not the Washington Post newspaper. Still, Kincaid can't really seem to figure out the difference between the Washington Post newspaper and the Washington Post Co., a corporate entity that operates many units, only one of which is the Post; he writes later in his column that "the EEOC has sued the Post."
That's just sloppy, if not willfully ignorant, writing. It sure as heck isn't "accuracy in media."
CNSNews.com and WorldNetDaily both published Buchanan's column. They apparently have no problem with Buchanan's racist leanings, just as they had no problem with Buchanan expressed the view that there were too many Jews on the Supreme Court.
Interesting that WND and CNS parent the Media Research Center have no problem with this, yet freak out over gays.