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Thursday, February 17, 2011
Who Is Joel Richardson?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily author and occasionaly columnist Joel Richardson was on Glenn Beck's Fox News show tonight talking about his favorite subject -- why the Muslim Mahdi is the Antichrist. We're pretty sure Richardson didn't want to talk about why he thinks Islam is the "primary vehicle" of Satan or what President Obama and the Antichrist have in common (as he wrote in a WND column).

We';ve compiled Richardson's greatest hits over at Media Matters.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:03 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 17, 2011 8:05 PM EST
WND's Klein Cherry-Picks Another Think Tank Report
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein and his "Manchurian Presdident" co-author and researcher, Brenda J. Elliott, are two of the most shamelessly dishonest reporters ever.

Just a week after deliberately cherry-picking a report issued by a George Soros-funded think tank to falsely distort its conclusions and recommendations, Klein and Elliott do it again. From a Feb. 15 WND article by Klein, with "research" by Elliott:

An international "crisis management" group led by billionaire George Soros long has petitioned for the Algerian government to cease "excessive" military activities against al-Qaida-linked groups and to allow organizations seeking to create an Islamic state to participate in the Algerian government.

The organization, the International Crisis Group, also is tied strongly to the Egyptian opposition movement whose protests led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

[...]

In a July 2004 ICG report obtained by WND, the ICG calls on the Algerian government to curb military action against al-Qaida-affiliated organizations, particularly the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, GSPC, which, like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, aims to establish an Islamic state within Algeria, and an armed Islamic terrorist group known as Houmat Daawa Salafia, or HDS.

Soros' ICG names the two Islamic groups in its recommendations to the Algerian government.

"Give top priority to ending the remaining armed movements, mainly the GSPC and HDS, through a political, security, legal and diplomatic strategy," states the ICG report.

"Avoid excessive reliance on military means and do not allow these movements' purported links to al-Qaida to rule out a negotiated end to their campaigns," continued the ICG's recommendation to the Algerian government.

As before, Klein refuses to link to the ICG report in his article, even though it's easily avabilable. And as before, his apparent reason for that basic journalistic failure is because he's pulling statements out of context.

Klein didn't mention that the ICG report also stated that the main "Islamist" parties in Algeria have rejected violent fundamentalism:

While these persistent difficulties may suggest little real change over the last decade, Algerian Islamists have revised their outlook and discourse in important respects. Islamic political activism has abandoned its brief but intense flirtation with revolution and reverted to essentially reformist strategies. The Islamist parties now accept the nation-state and have either tacitly abandoned the ideal of an Islamic state or reconciled it with democratic principles. They no longer advocate fundamentalist positions on Islamic law and have begun to accept equality of the sexes, including women's right to work outside the home and participate in public life. These changes represent a partial recovery of the outlook of the "Islamic modernism" movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. True fundamentalism -- hostile to democracy and the national idea, resistant to innovative thinking, conservative on the status of women -- is today confined to the Salafiyya current from which Islamist parties now explicitly dissociate themselves.
 
The armed rebellion is now reduced to the Salafiyya's jihadi wing. Its initial scale owed much to the involvement of a variety of ideological currents, including movements derived from or at least partly inspired by Algeria's nationalist and populist traditions. But today only groups derived from the Salafi current remain active and they have no representation in the party-political sphere. As the armed movements' political and social bases have contracted, their connections with local "mafias" involved in illicit economic activities, notably smuggling, have become more pronounced. Links to al-Qaeda underline the narrowness of their domestic constituency and reliance on external sources of legitimation.
 
Abandonment of fundamentalism by mainstream Islamist parties means the two oppositions that structured party-politics in the early 1990s, polarising and paralysing debate -- Islamism versus secularism and Islamism versus the nation-state -- have been largely overcome. Inclusive, constructive debate on reform between the main political tendencies -- including Islamists -- should now be possible.

For good measure, Klein repeats his previous false distortion about the ICG's recommendation that "pave the way for the regularization of the Muslim Brothers' participation in political life" without mentioning that the ICG also recommended that the Muslim Brotherhood moderate some of its more extreme views as well.

This isn't just bad reporting -- it's dishonest reporting. But do we expect anything else from Klein and Elliott?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:48 PM EST
Kessler's Non-Scoop: U.S. Will Be Attacked ... Eventually
Topic: Newsmax

The headline on Ronald Kessler's Feb. 14 Newsmax column is certainly a grabber: "FBI: 100 Percent Chance of WMD Attack." But when Kessler reveals the details of the claim, it's much less scarier than the headline makes it seem:

The probability that the U.S. will be hit with a weapons of mass destruction attack at some point is 100 percent, Dr. Vahid Majidi, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, tells Newsmax.

Such an attack could be launched by foreign terrorists, lone wolves who are terrorists, or even by criminal elements, Majidi says. It would most likely employ chemical, biological, or radiological weapons rather than a nuclear device.

In other words, we are definitely going to be attacked. By somebody. Eventually.

What a sad bit of scaremongering.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:47 AM EST
Shorter Les Kinsolving: Get Off My Lawn!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Les Kinsolving's Feb. 15 WorldNetDaily column is one long fit of old-guy grumbling about the Super Bowl. Among Kinsolving's complaints:

  • Nobody played any Sousa marches.
  • NFL players have "an aversion to barber shops." 
  • They also have tattoos.
  • "This begs another question: What would the National Football League do if one of its players were an American-Indian who lingered in the locker room long enough to adorn himself with full, face-covering war paint?"
  • The commercials sucked.
  • "I heard both 'America the Beautiful' and our national anthem musically mauled."
  • Then, a couple days later, some newspaper columnist criticized Francis Scott Key for writing such crappy lyrics.
  • By contrast, the Army-Navy game had marching bands that played Sousa marches, and their players aren't overpaid like those NFL guys are.

Also: "I confess that I avoided halftime, because I needed to eat dinner and halftime featured such 'highlights' as the Black Eyed Peas and Flash."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:52 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax's Dubious Doctor
Topic: Newsmax
Dr. Russell Blaylock, whose health newsletter Newsmax publishes, preaches questionable medical advice like railing against vaccines and declaring that NutraSweet and MSG cause brain damage. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EST
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Caruba Pushes Discredited Claims Pulled From Chain Email
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In a Feb. 14 Accuracy in Media column ranting against multiculturalism in general and immigration in particular, Alan Caruba writes:

In 2008 Los Angeles County, population 10.2 million, was where 42% of workers were paid cash and did not pay taxes; 90% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles were for illegal aliens; more than two-thirds of all births were to illegal aliens; nearly 40% of all inmates in California were Mexican nationals who were there illegally; and, nationally, while less than 2% of illegal aliens were picking crops, 37% were on welfare.

Most of Caruba's of these statistics are falsely portrayed and apparently pulled out of chain emails, with a few of the numbers inflated for dramatic impact. As Snopes details:

  • That high percentage of murder warrants for "illegal aliens" are outstanding warrants, not all warrants issued.
  • The birth statistic is for all Hispanics, not just "illegal aliens."
  • The percentage of inmates in California detention centers apparently applies to all deportable aliens, not just "Mexican nationals."
  • Illegal immigrants are not generally eligible to collect welfare benefits, those some may receive some forms of aid on behalf of children born in the U.S., who are by definition U.S. citizens.

It's pretty sad for Caruba to be pulling his lame attacks out of discredited chain emails.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EST
WND Inadvertently Tells Truth About 'Eligibility' Film
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 15 WorldNetDaily article is promoting a special deal on the WND-produced "documentary" "A Question of Eligibility," with a headline declaring it to be the "Most radioactive film of the decade."

The film is radioactive, but not for the reason WND thinks it is. As we detailed, "A Question of Eligibility" is riddled with discredited conspiracy theories and apparent violations of copyright law, as you might expect any film starring Jerome Corsi, Alan Keyes, Orly Taitz and Janet Porter to be.

There's a reason the filmmakers' names "are being withheld at the request of the filmmakers," and it ain't because of the stated claim that "They fear reprisals from their government" -- they are much more likely to be embarrassed about their participation in such a slapdash, factually challenged production.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:26 PM EST
WND Joins Freak-Out Over Gay Valentines
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously noted how an NPR story on gay valentine cards sent the MRC's Tim Graham into a fit of anti-gay apoplexy. Now the gay-bashers at WorldNetDaily have taken that apoplexy to the next level.

A Feb. 15 article by Drew Zahn grumbles: "This Valentine's Day, National Public Radio chose two curious ways to celebrate the holiday: It thanked President Obama for proposing an increase in its federal funding, then it used its taxpayer money to promote greeting cards for the homosexual lifestyle."

Zahn then details the federal government's funding of NPR, suggesting that its doing this story is a reason to defund it. Um, isn't that censorship?


Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EST
NewsBusters Goes On One More Anti-Gay Freak-Out Over Gay Art Exhibit
Topic: NewsBusters

Ken Shepherd complains in a Feb. 11 NewsBusters post that "The Washington Post Style section mounted its latest favorite hobby horse again this morning with yet another article devoted to the controversial 'Hide/Seek' Smithsonian exhibit," but he mounts the MRC's favorite manufactured controversy hobby horse by denouncing the exhibit yet again.

Shepherd does at least acknowledge the MRC's role in manufacturing the controversy over the exhibit by noting that "NewsBusters sister organization CNSNews.com broke the story in late November that sparked the controversy." Shepherd then asserts that a video in the exhibit that the MRC's manufactured outrage caused to be removed was "offensive" -- as if that was an indisuputable fact and a universal view -- but he, like many of his MRC colleagues, do not explain the artist's intent with the video's imagery, which would place it in must eyes in a different light than the one the MRC has labored to paint it.

Shepherd complained that "The decision to remove the video was decried as censorship by liberal critics, a criticism magnified by the Post's Style section coverage of the row," concluding, "Of course, no one disputes the right of artists to free expression. The issue at hand is taxpayer sponsorship of offensive art, particularly art that is offensive to millions of religious Americans."

Well, actually, the MRC is very much attacking the idea of free expression. The MRC has a not-so-hidden anti-gay agenda, and its attack on the Smithsonian exhibit -- a collection of gay-themed portraiture -- is very much an attempt at censorship, something it actually accomplished by forcing the removal of the supposedly "offensive" video. The MRC is less offended by a single video than it is that gay-themed art was allowed to appear in public -- which statements by MRC chief Brent Bozell and other MRC officials have made all too clear. Shepherd should just admit it.

Further, Shepherd falsely claims that the art in question received "taxpayer sponsorship." In fact, the exhibit was assembled using private funds.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 AM EST
Farah Lies Yet Again That WND Never Claimed Obama Wasn't Born in U.S.
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's notorious thin skin about criticism of him and his website shows up yet again in his Feb. 15 WorldNetDaily column -- as if his childish opening reference to the Wall Street Journal as the "Wall Street Urinal" wasn't a clue.

This time Farah has his undies in a bunch about WSJ columnist James Taranto's claim that WND publishes "demonstrable falsehoods about Barack Obama's birthplace," specifically "claim[ing] falsely that Obama was born outside the U.S." Cue Farah in freak-out mode:

I immediately challenged Taranto to provide just one example of WND ever claiming Obama was born outside the country. I have not heard from him with such an example, nor do I expect to hear from him – for the simple reason it has never happened.

Be my guest – search for the accusation in WND's free public archives. You will not find any such accusation or characterization by WND or any of its staff writers, columnists or even letter writers. I invite the George Soros-sponsored Media Matters organization to assist Taranto in his futile search. They won't find any such assertion in the hundreds of stories WND has published seeking the truth about Obama's still mysterious origins.

By the way, it would not be a lie to say Obama was born in a foreign country. It would just be an unsubstantiated assertion. However, it is a lie to say WND has made such an assertion.

Well, I work for Media Matters, so that may be close enough for Farah's purposes. It's an indisputable fact that WND -- including Farah himself -- has characterized Obama as being born outside the U.S. Here are just a few examples:

  • "The only living person who claims publicly to have been present at Obama's birth is his paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama, who says the birth took place in Mombassa, Kenya."-- Farah, July 23, 2009
  • "Of course, the only living person in the world who claims to have been present for Obama's birth is his paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama, who says it took place in Mombasa, Kenya." -- Farah, July 15, 2009
  • "California attorney Orly Taitz, who has filed a number of lawsuits demanding proof of Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president, has released a copy of what purports to be a Kenyan certification of birth and has filed a new motion in U.S. District Court for its authentication. ... WND was able to obtain other birth certificates from Kenya for purposes of comparison, and the form of the documents appear to be identical." -- WND, Aug. 2, 2009

(Of course, the claim attributed to Obama's grandmother has been discredited, and the "Kenyan birth certificate" was ultimately found to be a fake, but not before WND published it without bothering to verify it first.)

We can keep going if Farah wants. For example, here's a Nov. 23 column by Jim Fletcher calling Obama "the Man from Kenya" (something he does again in columns on July 19 and Sept. 14).

That pretty much destroys Farah's claim that there is no "such accusation or characterization by WND or any of its staff writers, columnists or even letter writers" that Obama was born outside the U.S. 

Farah frequently claims that he and WND have never claimed or suggested that Obama wasn't born in the U.S. He's lying every single time he does so.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EST
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Now That CPAC's Over, MRC Finally Admits It Boycotted CPAC
Topic: Media Research Center

We've detailed how the Media Research Center has been extremely reluctant to tell its readers that it boycotted CPAC over the appearance of GOProud. Now that the conservative gathering has come and gone, it's finally ready to come out of the closet.

A Feb. 14 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr lists the MRC as among conservative groups that "chose not to participate in the event" due to the presence of "the homosexual lobby group GOProud" -- the first time to our knowledge that this has been straightforwardly reported on an MRC webslte. Starr doesn't explain why she didn't report this until now, even though it's been public knowledge for more than a month.

Starr's article contains this curious "correction": "Several conservative organizations chose not to participate in CPAC this year; they did not boycott the event." It's not explained why several organizations choosing not to "particpate" in CPAC in protest of the presence of another group does not amount to a boycott; that seems like a distinction without a difference.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:18 PM EST
Graham's Latest Anti-Gay Freak-Out: LGBT Valentines
Topic: NewsBusters

How much does the Media Research Center's Tim Graham hate gays? He's furious that there are gay valentine cards.

In a Feb. 14 NewsBusters post, Graham fumes that NPR "would use Valentine's Day as another day to celebrate identity politics and social liberalism with a Monday Morning Edition story on 'Greeting cards that celebrate a rainbow of loves.'" NPR asking Hallmark if it offered gay valentines, Graham declared, was nothingmore than "shov[ing] Hallmark toward 'mainstreaming' the LGBT line of valentines." Never mind that Hallmark official's statement in the NPR report (quoted by Graham) that the company's same-sex wedding cards are "performing on par with our regular wedding cards" shows such a market already exists and doesn't need to be created by NPR.

Graham also huffs, "Since this is NPR, there is no room anywhere for a critical conservative voice." Graham should probably be grateful for that, since any right-winger freaking out about gay valentine cards would come off as petty and hateful as Graham does.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 AM EST
Ellis Washington Likens Reagan to Jesus
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A year and a half ago, Ellis Washington likened hateful radio host Michael Savage to Jesus Christ (followed by a likening of him to Prometheus, among many others). Washington is raising the Jesus comparison again, this time to a somewhat less unsavory character.

From Washington's Feb. 12 WorldNetDaily column:

I'm certain most of you reading this column have been profoundly touched by Reagan's conservatism, which was both organic and authentic. He often would say, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me." Over half of his life was spent being our John the Baptist, a clarion voice of reason, freedom, truth and constitutionalism piercing the cacophony of Social Darwinism, progressivism, welfare statism and moral relativism to show America that truly there was better way.

In this respect I believe Reagan's life and legacy to be similar to Jesus Christ. No, Reagan wasn't perfect: He signed a pro-abortion bill as governor of California; as president Reagan raised taxes, committed deficit spending, gave amnesty to illegal aliens, made horrible foreign policy moves in Nicaragua and Lebanon and allowed his wife, Nancy, to wield secret powers way above her pay grade.

[...]

Christ did not attend the rabbinical schools of his day, and Reagan did not graduate from Ivy League schools like most U.S. presidents. Reagan, like Christ was a suffering servant, the despised and forgotten (political) prophet. Both men endured constant humiliation, contempt and perversion of their ideas to this day as many antichrists and antireagans abound – yet both are ultimately vindicated because they loved the truth and gave love, liberty and truth to the world.

Not quite as appalling as likening Savage to Jesus, but still...


Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 AM EST
AIM, WND Treat Boehner's Refusal To Condemn Birthers As Affirmation
Topic: Accuracy in Media

When House Speaker John Boehner was asked by NBC's David Gregory on "Meet the Press" whether he would criticize a focus panel on Fox News' "Hannity" that mostly believed that President Obama is a Muslim, or at least not a Christian, Boehner refused, claiming that "it's not my job to tell the American people what to think." As Slate's William Saletan points out, that refusal to criticize a lie -- echoed by other Republican leaders -- only perpetuates the lie and demonstrates a lack of GOP leadership.

As if to illustrate the point, two of the leading media outlets that have promoted the idea that Obama is not a real American were eager to embrace Boehner's refusal to criticize those beliefs.

WorldNetDaily framed it this way in a Feb. 13 article by Joe Kovacs: "Despite intense egging on by NBC newsman David Gregory, House Speaker John Boehner refused today to attack people who have doubts about Barack Obama's eligibility for the presidency."

Cliff Kincaid served up a similar framing in a Feb. 14 Accuracy in Media column:

NBC “Meet the Press” Host David Gregory berated House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday because members of the public and the Congress have doubts about President Obama’s professed Christian faith and alleged birth in the United States. Gregory wondered if all the doubts about Obama were undermining his legitimacy as President. He wanted Boehner to denounce these questions and concerns as “ignorance.” Boehner refused to do so.

[...]

In fact, as AIM has noted, calling yourself something is not the same thing as proving it is the case. Obama’s Christian claim deserves to be scrutinized, even when it involves a sensitive and personal matter such as religious belief. Our media are supposed to question the statements of those in power.

The facts show that there is no evidence that Obama was baptized in a traditional Christian sense of the term. Indeed, Muslims could join the church in Chicago that Obama attended.

[...]

Here are the facts, from Obama’s own perspective. Obama acknowledges in Dreams from My Father that his grandfather was a Muslim (page 104) and that he spent two years in a Muslim school in Indonesia studying the Koran (page 154). In The Audacity of Hope, he says (page 204) that “my father had been raised a Muslim” but that by the time he met his mother, his father was a “confirmed atheist.” His stepfather was not particularly religious and his mother professed “secularism,” Obama wrote (pages 204-205), but as a child he went to a “predominantly Muslim school,” after being first sent to a Catholic school. His mother, he said, was concerned about him learning math, not religion.

Kincaid went on to complain that "Pro-Obama journalists have consistently ignored questions about the constitutional eligibility of the current occupant of the oval office." Gotta love how Kincaid denigrates Obama as ann "occupant," as if he wasn't genuinely elected to the job.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:30 AM EST
Monday, February 14, 2011
CNS Pushes Bogus Job-Loss Claim
Topic: CNSNews.com

In a Feb. 14 CNSNews.com article, Dan Joseph writes that "the director of the Congressional Budget Office was testifying in the House Budget Committee that the health-care law President Barack Obama signed last year will kill about 800,000 American jobs over the next decade."

But that's not what Douglas Elmendorf said. As Media Matters explained, the one-half percent labor force reduction Elmendorf talked about comes from "reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply" as a result of increased health care benefits motivating people to "work fewer hours," not from top-down job eliminations.

Joseph does try to explain that later in his article, but his lead claiming that health care reform will "kill about 800,000 American jobs" is an inaccurate portrayal of reality.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 PM EST

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