Plame Movie 'Bombed' At The Box Office? Not So Much Topic: NewsBusters
Matthew Sheffield attempted to gloat in a March 29 NewsBusters post that the movie "Fair Game," about the Valerie Plame case, "ended up being a total bomb." But then he proved himself wrong in the very next sentence:
It grossed just $9.5 million domestically. Add in the international ticket sales and the fiction flick just barely managed to recoup its production budget of $22 million.
A movie that recouped its production costs on its theatrical release is a "total bomb"? Sounds like Sheffield is trying to redefine the term.
WND's Klein Thinks Immigration Reform Is 'Radical' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein's March 26 WorldNetDaily article is yet another one of his guilt-by-association specials, this time attacking union official Eliseo Medina as a "radical on immigration issues" whom President Obama once "boasted of consulting."
How "radical" is Medina? The only evidence Klein offers is thatMedina has spoken in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, and that he was among "top supporters of Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez's Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Bill." That bill would have created a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants currently in the country and boost border enforcement.
Why is that bill so "radical"? Klein doesn't explain. Perhaps that's becuase there isn't anything radical about it. Only right-wingers like Klein oppose any sort of immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country.
Kent Clizbe Serves Up Another Bitter Anti-Obama Screed Topic: Newsmax
The last time we heard from Kent Clizbe, he was promoting false claims about Elena Kagan. It's been a while, so we knew another bitter anti-Obama screed had to be coming.
And here it is, in the form of a March 28 Newsmax column in which he touts how he vets candidates in his role of a CIA agent-turned-"executive recruiter," and how President Obama doesn't measure up:
On the other hand, Barack Obama’s background remains nearly a blank slate. His school records, from kindergarten to law school, remain hidden. The story of his financial support is hidden — his private elementary and high school in Hawaii, his international travel, his graduate and undergraduate tuition and living expenses, and more. And these are just the beginning of the Barack Obama vetting failure.
My extensive research into the espionage operations of the Communist International (Comintern), detailed in Willing Accomplices, familiarized me with their techniques. One of their most common tactics when responding to exposure is so pervasive that it could be their motto: Admit nothing. Deny everything. Make counteraccusations.
For a professional vetter, it is clear that one candidate in 2008 was concealing vital information, at best. The documents and stories floated to support the candidate’s claims only raise more suspicion.
Clizbe is a guy who has smeared Obama as a Soviet tool, so it's a little difficult to take his commentary as anything more than a bitter old man who can't get over the fact that his candidate didn't win.
A March 28 WorldNetDaily article uncritically promotes Donald Trump's claim that Presieent Obama has "spent millions of dollars trying to get away from this issue" of his birth certificate and eligibility. But WND did not serve up any evidence Trump has to back up the claim -- perhaps because there isn't any, as WND should know.
WND reported in October 2009 that "President Obama has paid nearly $1.7 million to his top eligibility lawyer since the election" -- a claim that wasn't exactly true. The evidence WND presented showed only that Obama's campaign, reorganized after the 2008 election as Organizing for America, paid that money to the law firm representing the campaign, but no proof was offered that all of the money -- or, for that matter, any of it -- went toward addressing "eligibility" questions.
WND also touted how "Trump released a copy of his own hospital-generated birth certificate to the media today, listing New York City's Jamaica Hospital as his place of birth on June 14, 1946." But as we've noted, the certificate was issued by a hospital, not the state-issued certificate he's demanding from Obama. That makes it even less valuable the certification of live birth Obama's campaign released, which, unlike Trump's certificate, was issued by a state agency.
You'd think WND would call Trump out on that. But since he's doing WND's dirty work in promoting the birther narrative, Joseph Farah and Co. are apparently going to give him a pass on the certificate's relatively meaninglessness.
Trump's Birth Certificate Is Meaningless Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is making a big deal about how Donald Trump "released his birth certificate exclusively to Newsmax." Just one little problem: That's not really a birth certificate.
As The Smoking Gun points out, the document he provided to Newsmax is not an official, state-authorized birth certificate -- it's a ceremonial one issued by the hospital he was (allegedly) born in, Jamaica Hospital in New York City, adding, "Official birth certificates are issued (and maintained) by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Vital Records."
In other words, it's no better -- and since it's not issued by a state record-keeping agency, arguably worse -- than the birth certificate Barack Obama has released, which was issued by the Hawaii Department of Health.
The Smoking Gun adds: "On a possibly related note, Jamaica Hospital has been the recipient of significant financial largesse from the Trump family. In fact, the Queens institution includes the Trump Pavilion, a nursing and rehabilitation facility that was named for Mary Trump."
It seems that, by Trump's own standards, Trump has something to hide.
UPDATE: Trump has now ponied up an actual, official birth certificate to Newsmax. Meanwhile, Politico notes that -- as the official certificate states -- Trump's mother was born in Scotland, which would seem to run him afoul of the other birther argument used against Obama: he's not a "natural born citizen" because both of his parents were not born American.
UPDATE 2: Newsmax has also posted Trump's "certification of birth" from New York City -- the exact same form Obama has.
NEW ARTICLE: How Biased Must A WorldNetDaily Reporter Be? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Brian Fitzpatrick failed to make the cut as a WND writer. Was his work too slanted and misleading -- or not slanted and misleading enough? Read more >>
Why Is WND Begging For Money To Run Ads For Corsi's Birther Book? Topic: WorldNetDaily
A March 27 WorldNetDaily article kicked off the rollout of Jerome Corsi's WND-published birther book,which "promises to be a game-changer on the issue of Barack Obama's eligibility." But it also came with a questionable plea for cash:
Advance orders for this book from retailers across the U.S. already suggest it will be Corsi's third No. 1 New York Times bestseller – probably bigger than the previous two.
"Imagine how that will change the character of the debate on this critical constitutional issue," says Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND and WND Books, the publisher of "Where's the Birth Certificate?" "Therefore, we have a strategy for promoting this book far and wide – going right over the heads of the hopelessly biased and politically correct press. But we need your help to pull it off."
A series of television ads are now in production to ensure this book cannot be spiked by the Big Media. WND needs to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to air these commercials on television networks and stations throughout the country.
"You can view the first TV spot right now and help us spread it across the Internet long before the book is even available," says Farah. "Put it on your websites, your Facebook pages, send it to your friends by email and make sure they know how to donate to the cause – the cause of truth in the matter of Barack Obama's eligibility for office."
Go to Wheresthebirthcertificate.com to get the word out now.
"We need to make this the biggest publishing event of the year," said Farah.
Farah also urges everyone concerned about the cover-up to make a donation in any amount – from $5 to $5,000. (Bigger donations can be accepted by special arrangement by emailing Farah personally firstname.lastname@example.org.) Anyone who donates $25 or more will get a first-edition, autographed copy of "Where's the Birth Certificate?" by Jerome Corsi as soon as it is available in May.
WND is not a non-profit operation -- it's a for-profit, Delaware-incorporated company that is majority owned by Joseph Farah. It has claimed to be profitable in the past. So why is Farah begging for money?
Surely such a blockbuster book, with all of those advance orders Farah claims to have, should be throwing off enough cash for his envisioned publicity campaign to pay for itself, or at least demonstrate enough promise (if Farah's hype is to be believed) that WND could borrow the money to pay for the publicity campaign from a reputable financial insitution that would be paid back through the massive profits from said blockbuster book sales.
Instead, Farah wants your money. What is he offering instead? Just an autographed copy of Corsi's book. Nothing else. Not a piece of his company, which any prospective donor certainly should get -- Farah wants to keep all of that for himself.
Will he be offering accounting and documentation to prove that any donated money will actually go toward the book's promotion and not for, say, WND's day-to-day operations or remodeling Farah's house? He's not promising that.
Seems to us that Farah is running something of a scam here, trying to personally profit from other people's money.
If Farah is running his business this way, why should anyone have any sort of confidence in the contents of Corsi's book?
NewsBusters Touts Beck's Mocking of Alex Jones, Ignores That Beck Guest Is Jones Fave Topic: NewsBusters
In a March 25 NewsBusters post, P.J. Gladnick touts how "Glenn Beck and his radio crew produced absolute comedy gold by goofing on [conspiracy-obssessed radio host Alex] Jones' groupie-like fawning over [Charlie] Sheen." Gladnick adds, "It's going to be interesting to hear Alex Jones' reaction, if any, to Glenn Beck's comedy gold mockery of him. And no matter how many times you listen to the Glenn Beck Show clip of that impersonation, it will continues to induce uncontrollable laughter in you."
Gladnick didn't mention that another Jones favorite (and fellow truther) is G. Edward Griffin, author of the anti-Federal Reserve tome "The Creature from Jekyll Island." Griffin was the lead guest on Beck's Fox News show the same day Gladnick's post appeared.
We probably won't be seeing any "comedy gold" coming out of the Beck camp over that one. Not intentionally, anyway.
WND Unhappy Children Aren't Being Indoctrinated Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily regularly rails against what it claims is "indoctrination" of various kinds -- just search its archive. So it was a bit of a surprise to see a WND article complaining that children aren't being indoctrinated enough.
A March 26 article by Drew Zahn features religious pollster George Barna's complain that "Christian parents have been hoodwinked by political correctness into adopting an attitude so destructive to their children's faith and future that he calls it 'laissez-faire lunacy'":
Barna told WND the politically correct idea that "parents should let children choose their own faith" might sound good to a postmodern mindset, but it fails both parents and their children.
"An activity that has traditionally been influenced by parents, attempting to get their children to embrace the parents' Christian faith – we find more and more parents are saying, 'Culturally now that's unacceptable, that's deemed inappropriate,'" Barna said, "so they're not as aggressive in bringing their children along in the Christian faith."
The net effect, Barna said, is that children today are increasingly left exposed to the appeals of many other religions, delaying their decision to follow a particular faith until later ages and turning more and more to atheism and agnosticism.
"I'm not saying that parents should protect their children from knowing about the hundred other faith groups from which they could choose, not to let them know that and then let them know why Christianity is our faith of choice," he continued. "But to leave it completely in the hands of our children and say, 'It's their choice, their journey, I'm not involved,' I think that's lunacy."
"Parenting isn't a democracy," Barna said. "One of your jobs as a parent is to prepare your child for life. There's probably no area of life that's more significant than what you believe about God. Everything that you do in life, every decision you make, every relationship you build is going to flow forth from your perspective on key questions: Does God exist? Which god exists? What's the nature of that god? Am I supposed to be like that god? What's expected of me by that god? Those critical decisions form the foundation on which to base all your other decisions in life.
"As a parent, if I look at my children and say, 'The only fair and proper thing is for me to allow the child to make up his or her own mind based on what they feel or believe, based on what they experience,' that's an appropriate postmodern point of view," he continued. "I'm not sure, though, how well that prepares a child for life.
"If you as a parent believe it's critically important that you understand there is a God and who that God is and what His role is in your life, if that's important enough for you to buy into, then why wouldn't you say that's important enough for your children?" he asked. "If you believe that's what's going to prepare you for life successfully, then why wouldn't you want to instill those same values and perspectives in your child's life?"
"I don't see that postmodern, laissez-faire approach to children as a virtue," he concluded, "I see it as crippling a child."
Of course, another word for getting one's children to embrace their faith is indoctrination -- a word that, unsurprisingly,appears nowhere in Zahn's article.
By contrast, just this month alone at WND:
An anti-gay activist denounced a California plan teach about the role and contributions of gay Americans as "the worst school sexual indoctrination ever."
Another anti-gay activist called teaching the existence of same-sex couples to children "indoctrination."
News editor Bob Unruh asserted that "Muslims" were "using television to indoctrinate even toddlers and school-age children into a culture of death."
Unruh claimed that German authorities "sent two fathers to jail for refusing to allow the public school system to indoctrinate their children with a sex philosophy that 'if it feels good, do it.'"
Ellis Washington claimed that "most of us were educated in progressive education indoctrination centers called public schools."
Chuck Norris declared that schools were "progressive indoctrination camps."
By this same standard, what Barna wants is indoctrination of children into Christianity. Why are he and WND afraid to call it what it is?
AIM Embraces 'Third Terrorist' Conspiracy Theory For OKC Bombing Topic: Accuracy in Media
A March 24 Accuracy in Media column by Wes Vernon rehashes the conspiracy theory that a man named Hussain Al-Hussaini -- recently arrested for alleging slashing someone with a beer bottle in Boston -- is actually the "John Doe #2" who was initially sought in connection with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Vernon cites the work of reporter Jayna Davis, who has been pushing the theory for years -- for full conspiracy credibility, her book on the subject was published by WorldNetDaily (though today it's listed as a title by Thomas Nelson, WND's first book-publishing partner, because Nelson retained the rights to those titles published under the partnership after it ended). Vernon ranted:
This man should not be free another day until the authorities do their job and really “thoroughly” investigate the case and prosecute it. The feds have all of Davis’s evidence including 22 witnesses who saw him with Timothy McVeigh (later convicted) during relevant hours on the day of the Oklahoma City bombing.
One little problem: The whole "John Doe #2" thing has been pretty much discredited. As Salon reported in 2002, even anti-Muslim activist Steve Emerson disavows the idea that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh had any involvement with Muslim groups. Further, Salon notes, there's no logical reason for the feds to ignore a Middle Eastern connection to such a massively destructive bombing in the U.S.
UPDATE: Vernon follows up with another AIM column pushing the same conspiracy theory and, again, ignoring the fact that it's been discredited.
WND's Kupelian Embraces Homophobe's Endorsement Of His Book Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed how WND managing editor David Kupelian's book "How Evil Works" is laden with factually suspect moralizing. It turns out that Kupelian has to turn to an even more morally suspect individual to promote it.
Every few months or so, those on WND's mailing list can count on getting an email promotion (like this) for Kupelian's book containing a slobbering endorsement of the book by Liberty Counsel's J. Matt Barber that WND published last summer that likened Kupelian to none other than C.S. Lewis as "a wordsmith capable of so effectively, objectively and concisely distinguishing between good and evil."
Of course, WND won't tell you that Barber is a notorious homophobe who once declared that homophobia is "the rational fear that 'gay sex' will kill you!"
That Kupelian must fall back on an endorsement by such a hateful man is more of a sign of desperation than a shrewd marketing move.
UPDATE: Most recently, Barber asserted that gay teens are committing suicide because they "know that what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, is immoral." Is that a statement Kupelian agrees with?
Jerome Corsi's March 26 column carries the headline "Ayers admits (again) he wrote Obama bio." The headline should be "Corsi admits he doesn't understand sarcasm."
While Corsi avers that Bill Ayers' statement in a recent speech that he wrote Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" and that "if you help me prove it, I’ll split the royalties with you" "could be explained away as a mocking irony designed only to goad Ayers's critics by yet another false admission he was the president's ghostwriter" -- indeed, the video clearly shows that Ayers was being sarcastic -- Corsi's overall tone is intent on taking Ayers' words at face value, which shows either that he doesn't get sarcasm or that it's not in his (or WND's) business interest to do so. Remember, Corsi's new WND-published birther book is coming out in May.
Corsi even hauls in Jack Cashill -- whose own attempts to prove Ayers' authorship have been discredited -- to weigh in:
In an email to WND, Cashill said that Ayers's face looked relaxed at first when he answered the question.
"This time, I think Ayers was making a serious admission," Cashill told WND. "I think it took a split second for him to realize where this was going. Then, as he pulls away, his face assumes a smile rictus. It’s not a full-face smile, but a false smile – only the mouth, not the eyes."
"Ayers is a very smart guy and he was careful to couch his comments with irony," Cashill noted. "But Ayers was not aiming his irony at critics like me. He was aiming his irony at the White House, letting Obama know that he could blow Obama out of the water, if he gets serious about it."
So Cashill is suddenly a body language expert all of a sudden?
UPDATE: NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard picks this up, and completely ignores the sarcasm, insisting that it's "newsworthy that the President's first book was written by a domestic terrorist."
MRC Officials Attack Musical They've Never Seen Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell devoted his March 25 column to trashing the new musical "The Book of Mormon," asserting that it "belongs in a latrine." He went on to claim that the show's creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone of "South Park" fame, are "perpetually immature" and "growth-stunted boys" who "have spent years delivering product sure to please high school sophomores and L.A. Times film critics."
But Bozell offers no evidence that he has seen the musical he's attacking -- highly unlikely since it officially opened only the night before his column appeared. Indeed, Bozell offers no personal observations of the show, only quoting others talking about it.
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham joined in the parade of deliberate ignorance in a March 26 NewsBusters post declaring his offense that a Washington Post would say nice things about this "Mormon-trashing musical." Graham offered no evidence that he has seen the show, unlike the Post reviewer he's attacking.
Graham followed up with a post attacking yet another review of the show -- which, again, Graham himself has not seen.
Is it too much to ask Bozell and Graham to actually experience the show they're attacking? Apparently it is.
Kinsolving Asks If Obama Is 'Sorry' That Illegal Immigrants Were Arrested Topic: WorldNetDaily
Yes, Les Kinsolving actually asked this question of White House press secretary Tim Carney:
Both the Washington Post and the Washington Times report the arrest of 130 illegal aliens in Virginia this week. Is the president gratified or sorry?
And Kinsolving wonders why he -- who is so more interested in being a spiteful partisan hack instead of a real reporter -- doesn't get to ask more questions in White House press briefings (something he whines about constantly).
Bozell Pushes Bogus Claim That Bush Didn't Get Free Pass In Iraq War Runup Topic: Media Research Center
A March 25 NewsBusters post highlights Brent Bozell's recent appearance on "Hannity," during which he complained that the media "hammered Bush" about getting congressional approval for the Iraq War while "such scrutiny has been missing in President Obama's actions on Libya." In reality, the media mostly gave President Bush a free pass in the runup to Iraq, which even the New York Times and Washington Post have admitted.