Trumps Birtherism Follows In WorldNetDailys Footsteps Topic: WorldNetDaily
If Donald Trump’s litany of discredited birther claims sounds a bit familiar, that’s because they are: WorldNetDaily has been pushing this stuff for years. Indeed, some of the biggest -- and most inaccurate -- birther claims Trump has made have also been promoted at WND.
A rising star in the Republican Party, Rep. Paul Ryan’s good looks have not gone unnoticed by the ladies.
Ryan’s new budget proposal which would reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion has everyone talking. However the ladies aren’t commenting on Ryan’s impressive economic policies.
Remarks made on a public bulletin board online called Turnstep.com include the observation, “He has the prettiest eyes in politics.” Numerous blogs refer to the 41 year old as “the GOP heartthrob.”
A father of three and seventh-term congressman, Ryan is also well known for his workout routine, called P90X. Associated Press reports the Ryan also holds exercise sessions for his colleagues, sometimes as often as five times per week.
Ellis Washington Thinks He's Socrates (Again) Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his April 9 WorldNetDaily column, Ellis Washington does another one of his dialectic symposiums in which imposes his own viewpoints onto the great philosophers of history. This time around, Washington purports to analyze the allegory of Plato's Cave and the idea of the philosopher king. Washington once again invokes Socrates, as well as Plato, Jesus, "realist" St. Thomas Aquinas and "anti-realist" Immanuel Kant.
At one point Washington -- er, "Socrates" -- declares:
Plato hearkens back to the forced suicide I suffered under the Athenian state because I refused to moderate my philosophical teachings. Four centuries later, this ridicule and rejection would happen to another philosopher, Jesus Christ – the greatest philosopher of us all!
Given that, as Washington notes, Socrates lived 400 years before Jesus, it's highly unlikely that he would declare Jesus to be "the greatest philosopher of us all!"
Washington also claims Jesus said:
All earthly knowledge is but mere shadows. My servant St. Paul wrote, "… we see through a glass darkly; but now face to face." I am the light of the world. Light removes darkness and shadows. I transcend reality and the Shadowlands. I told the unbelieving Jewish leaders of my day, "Search the scriptures [Torah]; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
Jesus spoke to the "unbelieving Jewish leaders of my day" in 17th-century Old English pronouns? Really?
WND's Simpson Defends Quran-Burning Pastor Topic: WorldNetDaily
Over more than two days, 21 were killed and scores injured. Pastor Jones is on the receiving end of more than 400 death threats. His insurance will be canceled, and he's the target of cyber attacks and property vandalism.
He admits his action was provocative, but it did not justify killings. According to the New York Times, he maintains his mission is to keep spreading the word that Islam and the Quran are instruments of "violence, death and terrorism." He says the FBI told him there's a contract out on him for $2.4 million.
Barack Obama said the desecration of the Quran was "an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry. However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity."
Sorry, sir. The burning of a book is allowed under our Constitution – and not a word about the killers. Where is your outrage at the burning of Bibles or when Muslims torch Christian churches with worshippers in them?
Matt Philbin uses a very long April 11 NewsBusters post to complain that hosts MSNBC's "liberal hosts and guests never miss an opportunity to associate today’s conservative movement with the Confederacy, secession, slavery and racism."
What seems to have escaped Philbin: Between the suggestions of secession and expressed fondness for the Confederacy through proclamations by Republican politicians that he documents, conservatives are the ones who brought it up in the first place.
Philbin seems to have no problem with conservatives' use of Confederate metaphors. He's really just complaining that MSNBC highlighted them.
WND Won't Tell Readers It Corrected Cashill's Column (And Farah Is A Total Jerk About It) Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we noted, Jack Cashill's April 7 WorldNetDaily column pushed the ludicrous conspiracy theory that a young Barack Obama had been Photoshopped into a picture of his grandparents; in fact, he had been Photoshopped out of the original picture to create a stupid conpsiracy theory that Cashill fell for hook, line and sinker.
Well, references to that photo and the related conspiracy have been excised from Cashill's column -- but WND has posted no notice that the column has been changed and corrected.
Editing of false claims without notice is pretty standard in the ConWeb, unless the error was so egregious that it went public (like when WND treated an April Fool's story about a Terri Schiavo TV movie as real) and/or presumedly brought lawsuit threats (as Aaron Klein knows).
Salon's Justin Elliott made the mistake of innocently asking WND editor Joseph Farah if it would inform readers that Cashill's column was altered, as well as the evidence behind a previous WND claim that Obama has spent $2 million on fighting legal actions over his "eligibilty" to be president (which Elliott had previously debunked). Elliott got a taste of the thin-skinned wrath Farah shells out when he and/or his website is caught violating basic journalistic standards, like scrubbing a story without issuing a formal correction:
When I pointed this out, Farah fired back (emphasis added):
Jack Cashill is an OPINION columnist. Admittedly, we publish some misinformation by columnists, as does your publication and every other journal that contains opinion. Bill Press seldom gets anything right in his column, but because we believe in providing the broadest spectrum of OPINION anywhere in the news business, we tolerate that kind of thing. Yes, Cashill’s column contained an egregious error, which we corrected almost immediately, which is far more than I expect you to do in what I assume is a NEWS piece you wrote.
I asked Farah if it is standard practice at WND to remove major sections of stories without any correction. To which he responded:
How long have you been in this business, punk? My guess is you were in diapers when I was running major metropolitan newspapers. You call what you wrote a news story? You aren’t fit to carry Chelsea Schilling’s laptop.
(Chelsea Schilling is the WND staffer who wrote the stories on which Trump's "$2 million" falsehood is based.)
Notice that Farah never answer Elliott's question about whether WND has a formal correction policy -- perhaps because it doesn't. Anyone who was "running major metropolitan newspapers" as Farah claims to have done would know that those very same papers have a procedure for correcting false claims and alerting their readers to the correction -- something Farah's current operation does not have.
Further, not only has Elliott more than qualified to carry Schilling's laptop (who, by the way, is still listed on the WND masthead as a "staff writer" even though she hasn't written a bylined article in months), she should probably be carrying his laptop given her long record of false and misleading claims (none of which, of course, have been corrected).
Farah's insulting of Elliott is also par for the course -- remember, Farah denigrated me as a "talent-challenged slug" for writing truths about WND that he would rather not have people know about.
Elliott also notes that he got an email from Cashill telling his side of the deletion:
The original photo was apparently released by the Obama campaign in April 2008. The experts with whom I consulted after the fact were not convinced that the original was legitimate, but they were confident that the photo of the couple together in the video had been reverse-doctored. The person who sent me the video did so in good faith, and I suspect that the person who created it did so in good faith as well, but my readers depend on me to be right. So out it went. That strikes me as responsible journalism, especially since I only added it incidentally as a symbol of the mystery surrounding the Obama campaign.
Of course, actual "responsible journalism" would have involved alerting his readers that the incorrect content was removed, a concept Cashill seems as unfamiliar with as Farah, even though he too has a publishing background -- in Cashill's case, executive editor of a Kansas City business magazine -- that almost assuredly has made use of a corrections policy that requires informing readers of incorrect claims.
Students observing the Day of Silence will be protesting the alleged system-wide victimization of homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, intersexed, queer and questioning students, teachers, janitors, bus drivers and school superintendents, based on heteronormativity and homophobia, stemming from outworn arguments and old attitudes, inevitably leading to bullying and violence.
Got it? Or maybe you are sensing a monumental con job here?
If that's your impression, you would be correct. The Day of Silence, a "student-led" event sponsored for the umpteenth year by the very adult Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), exemplifies the worst of current educational philosophy in the public schools.
In a word, it's dumb.
The DOS operates at the most elementary level of manipulation, propaganda and social engineering. It takes "social justice" nonsense, stirs in unfounded claims of "civil rights," adds a helping of knee-jerk anti-religious prejudice, swirls in teen rebellion, and simmers with disconnected stories of tragedy and heartbreak. Out comes a Hitler Youth product ready to do battle with anyone holding traditional moral values or even common sense.
Homosexuality is not the only non-heterosexual behavior WorldNetDaily loves to freak out over. It's not terribly fond of transsexuals either.
An April 6 WND article by Bob Unruh misportrays a proposed Maryland law would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity as leading to "coed showers" and "protecting cross-dressing possible sex offenders who gain access to women's locker rooms by alleging they are 'transgendered.'" Unruh generously promotes these misleading claims from right-wing organizations but made no apparent effort to allow anyone to respond to them.
Unruh keeps up the freak-out mode in an April 8 WND article over a new policy at Chicago's Cook County Jail that assigns men and women to cells based on their perceived gender. This story, unlike his other one, is surprisingly balanced; Unruh even talked to a jail official who pointed out that one detainee was a transgendered male who "had been through some surgical procedures already and self-identified as a woman," and that her behavior was improving because she was receiving counseling.
So Unruh is capable of writing a balanced story. Why doesn't he do it more often?
The MRC's Sad Little Friday Night Petition Dump Topic: Media Research Center
You've heard of the Friday night document dump, when politicians release bad news before a weekend begins in the hope that it's overlooked by the media because journalists would rather be doing other things on the weekend.
Well, the Media Research Center managed to create something altogether new: the Friday night petition dump (though the intent probably wasn't to be ignored).
Late on April 8, the MRC's political action division, MRC Action, posted a petition attacking liberal philanthropist George Soros:
Demand the Media Tell the Truth About George Soros and His Plan to Undo America
Left-wing billionaire George Soros has launched a campaign whose sole purpose is to advance his radical, globalist world order agenda while diminishing American sovereignty...and the liberal media are in on it.
For years, Soros has used his billions to influence elections, fund radical anti-American organizations including ACORN, La Raza, MoveOn.org, NOW and the Center for American Progress -- an organization that is feeding progressive talking points to the Obama administration.
In fact, Townhall recently listed Soros #1 in their 50 Most Dangerous Liberals in America publication, and still the media are mum about his true intentions and desires for America.
And the media should take the word of a niche, small-circulation right-wing publication that has a history of putting bias before facts because ... ?
The petition continues:
George Soros is bad for America, and the media aren’t saying a word. That’s why the Media Research Center -- the nation’s foremost liberal media watchdog has launched its national “Demand the Media Tell the Truth About George Soros” petition -- alerting the public, and holding the liberal media accountable for their active participation in Soros’ anti-American plans in bringing our nation down.
The MRC is asking for the help of liberty-loving Americans, to rally 25,000 citizen-signers of our petition. They will use this grassroots coalition as leverage against the media to report the truth about George Soros and his true intentions for our nation. As a people we must expose the threats to our freedom and way of life, and push back against those (including the media) that are attempting to reshape our nation.
No evidence is offered to back up the MRC's claims; rather, it states, "After signing our petition, click submit to go to our special FREE report."
It's not explained why the MRC dumped this petition on a Friday, thus guaranteeing it would be ignored outside of its niche audience. An accompanying NewsBusters post suggests one reason by noting that there are a pair of Soros-related conferences this weekend:
Starting Friday and continuing through the weekend, two George Soros sponsored conferences will take place in New England. In Boston, a "media reform" conference discusses means to “Change the World,” by changing the media. And, while we certainly agree that the media need changing, we’d prefer change that reflected the values of hard-working Americans as opposed to those of a billionaire socialist intent on taking the U.S. down a notch.
A second conference 150 miles north in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire will feature lefty academics and activists planning the best way to remake the global economy with a one world government, global currency, and even more power for anti-American forces in the United Nations.
Unmentioned is the fact that the MRC has accepted funding from a certain other billionaire with a radical agenda -- the Koch brothers.
Releasing a petition on Friday night is hardly the best way to generate attention for it. But the MRC has a bad habit of being incompetent with publicity.
(Full disclosure: My day job is with Media Matters, which has received funding from Soros.)
NEW ARTICLE: Les Kinsolving, Homophobe Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's White House "reporter" so hates gays that he considers them no different than pedophiles and necrophiliacs, and he endorses quarantining AIDS victims. Read more >>
MRC's Graham Sneers At The Idea of Actual Media Research Topic: Media Research Center
Tim Graham is clearly unable to figure out what to do when someone does actual media research -- as opposed to what he and the Media Research Center (where he is director of media analysis) does, which is well, not media research.
So, predictably, Graham turned up his nose at NPR's David Folkenflik, who analyzed six months of guest lists for the "All-Star Panel" on Fox News' "Special Report" and found that "the same mix typically prevailed: two clear cut conservatives and one other analyst, sometimes a Democrat or a liberal, but usually a journalist from a non-ideological news outlet." Why? Because his findings run counter to the MRC's talking points.
In an April 9 NewsBusters post, Graham scoffed at the idea that the news outlets like Washington Post would be considered "non-ideological": The Post is a 'non-ideological news outlet'? See the arrogance of media liberals on display." Graham, of course, is proudly displaying the arrogance of media conservatives by portraying any outlet that does not uncritically regurgitate right-wing talking points -- which, of course, Fox News does on a regular basis -- as axiomatically "liberal."
At no point, though, does Graham dispute the basic conclusion of Folkenflik's research -- that even if you assume that "Special Report" host Bret Baier is neutral and every reporter from a "non-ideological news outlet" is a liberal, most "Special Report" panels are unbalanced because the other two participants are conservatives. Even Graham, it seems, is not so foolhardy to even try to counter that.
Instead, Graham responds with a rather desperate misdirection claim in another April 9 NewsBusters post: claiming that the weekly political panel on NPR's "All Things Considered" is not truly balanced because liberal E.J. Dionne is up against David Brooks, who he claims is a "surrogate conservative."
Graham writes that "To use NPR's lingo, it's one clear-cut liberal and one 'non-ideological' journalist." Wrong -- Brooks is an opinion columnist, not a reporter. He's also a conservative Graham and the other Heathers at the MRC have repeatedly attacked for his purported lack of total commitment to hard-core conservatism. Indeed, Graham has sneered at Brooks in the past for being a guy who will "blithely sit around with liberals at pricey restaurants like Le Cirque and complain that those hicks from Texas and Alaska aren’t reading enough Niebuhr."
Meanwhile, this is what passes for "media research" at the MRC: an April 7 NewsBusters post by MRC employee Matthew Balan complaining that an NPR report was "slanted towards President Obama and two of his Democratic allies in Congress on Thursday's Morning Edition on the continuing battle over the federal budget, playing seven sound bites from them versus only three from Republican House Speaker John Boehner."
But as Media Matters pointed out, four of those quotes were from President Obama, while two more were from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Democrats control the White House and the Senate, while the Republicans control the House. Offering a mostly balanced representation of the branches of government involved is not bias, even if it means that more Democrats will be quoted.
So you can see why Graham was upset with Folkenflik's work -- he showed what his own MRC employees ought to be doing.
(Which reminds us -- when is the MRC going to do what NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard requested that somebody do, add up the number of right-wing versus left-leaning guest in a week's worth of NPR programming? Or are Graham and the MRC to do such a simple thing out of fear that it would undercut its NPR talking points?)
CNS' Jeffrey Dishonestly Links Planned Parenthood's Federal Funding to Abortion Topic: CNSNews.com
The federal funding Planned Parenthood recieves does not pay for abortions. CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey knows that. Yet he and CNS have repeatedlysought to falsely portray a linkage between the two.
Jeffrey goes even further in trying to create a false linkage in a pair of recent articles. He writes in an April 8 article:
Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Tait Sye recently told Bloomberg Businessweek that 90 percent of that $363.2 million came directly from the federal government or from Medicaid, a federal-state program. Thus, Planned Parenthood received about $326.88 million from federal programs in 2009.
Although the money from federal programs that went to Planned Parenthood in 2009 theoretically paid for things other than the 332,278 abortions the organization performed that year, the fact remains that Planned Parenthood—an abortion provider--received subsidies from federal programs that equaled about $932 per abortion it performed.
Of course, it's not theoretical that federal money doesn't go toward abortions -- it's an undisputed fact, as evidenced by Jeffrey's use of the fudge term "theoretically."
And breaking down Planned Parenthood's federal funding on a per-abortion basis is utterly dishonest and nonsensical since, again, the money is not used on abortion.
Jeffrey doubled down on his dishonesty in an April 9 article in which he complains that the budget compromise that averted a government shutdown "permits federal funding to continue for Planned Parenthood, a group that does an average of 910 abortions per day."Jeffrey repeated his "theoretically" fudge and his dishonest per-abortion breakdown.
What sort of an example does it set when the head of a "news" organization is so transparently dishonest?
Report: WND 'Patched In' To Trump's Birther Meeting, 'Privy To What Was Going On' Topic: WorldNetDaily
With Donald Trump going full birther, it's no surprise that WorldNetDaily would want to get in on some of that action. Now we have apparent proof that it is working with Trump.
The right-wing website The Post and Email contains a report from an anonymous "citizen reporter" about what happened inside a meeting Trump had with tea party activists and an Arizona state representative who sponsored an "eligibility" bill in the state that highlights WND's involvement:
Trump gave them a little over 30 minutes. WorldNetDaily had been patched in somehow and apparently had been privy to what was going on. Also, there were a lot of media outside in the hallway, but none was allowed into the meeting. The only people in the meeting were Trump, (Michael D.) Cohen, and the three people from Arizona.
Between this and its creation of an affidavit for birther and former Hawaii election temp Tim Adams to sign, it seems WND isn't content reporting the news; it's working behind the scenes to invent birther news to report. That's not the role of a "news" organization.
The Post and Email also includes another account from a meeting participant rehashing the claims the participants fed to Trump:
The discussion trend allowed me to ask Mr. Trump right after he was speaking about the Kenyan grandmother, whether he knew about the Kenyan Assemblyman, (James Orengo) who stated on their Assembly floor so that it is documented that Obama was a son of their soil. He apparently did not know of that and asked me to send him the documentation. Anyone who has it readily available is welcome to send it to me so that I can forward it. Even more importantly, I also had the opportunity when we were discussing whether a real long form birth certificate actually exists to do two things. I mentioned Tim Adams, the Hawaiian election clerk and recent affadavit and ALSO asked whether he, Trump, was going to take the issue beyond the birth certificate and place of birth to the question of NATURAL BORN CITIZENSHIP. He asked me to explain precisely what that was and I then got to recite the precise clause from Article II, Section I and explain what the founders meant by it; and where they got the concept from, that being Vattel. He said that he liked the way I was explaining it and gave me another “homework” assignment to send him more information about it. Also, at some point in the discussion, the false social security number belonging to someone from Connecticut born in 1890 came up and so they are aware of that situation to some extent – maybe not all the way to the FOIA actions and suits filed vs. the Social Security Administration by Orly Taitz. Time did not allow getting into the issue to that full extent. ANYONE WHO WANTS TO HELP ME WITH THESE HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS, PLEASE DO, I WELCOME IT.
Much of this twaddle has been promoted by WND, and much of it has been discredited, in particular the stuff about Obama's grandmother, which originated from translation problems in an interview the grandmother had with a rabidly anti-Obama minister.
The participant also noted that the meeting was shortened "because Mr. Trump took a call from Newsmax during the meeting." We've already noted how Newsmax has apparently partnered with Trump to promote his would-be presidential campaign and is feeding him its prelimiary polling results on him.
MRC: Boy With Painted Toenails = "Transgendered Child Propaganda" Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center finds a way to freak out about just about anything even remotely non-heterosexual. A prime example is a April 8 Culture & Media Insitute article by Erin R. Brown over, yes, painted toenails.
Brown declared that "popular preppy woman's clothing brand and favorite affordable line of first lady Michelle Obama" J. Crew "is targeting a new demographic -- mothers of gender-confused young boys. At least, that's the impression given by a new marketing piece that features blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children."
Sounds scary, huh? Turns out it really isn't:
An email sent to customers on Tuesday, April 5th contained a promotion for free shipping if the customer spends $150 or more. The email also contained a feature called 'Jenna's favorites,' highlighting special selections by J.CREW designer Jenna Lyons. Jenna selected a striped long-sleeve t-shirt, and hot pink nail polish by Essie, modeled by her young son.
In the feature, Jenna is pictured with her adorable curly-haired son Beckett, and the two are seen giggling with Jenna holding Beckett's feet, containing hot pink painted toe-nails. 'Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink,' read Jenna's quote. 'Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.'
Not only is Beckett likely to change his favorite color as early as tomorrow, Jenna's indulgence (or encouragement) could make life hard for the boy in the future. J.CREW, known for its tasteful and modest clothing, apparently does not mind exploiting Beckett behind the façade of liberal, transgendered identity politics.
Huh? A boy with painted toenails is suddenly a political symbol and a transvestite-to-be? Does Brown believe that the notion that pink can be a favorite color for a boy something that must be suppressed or beaten out of the boy? Further, Brown seems to believe that Beckett is such a horrible and ignorant mother that she is unaware that her child's favorite things might change on a fairly rapid basis -- something Brown has provided no personal knowledge of beyond trying to read the woman's mind through a picture in an ad.
Brown then tried to claim that "Propaganda pushing the celebration of gender-confused boys wanting to dress and act like girls is a growing trend, seeping into mainstream culture," as evidenced by the "Princess Boy" story, which fellow CMI writer Matt Philbin freaked out about in January as "promot[ing] the tolerance of cross-dressing boys."
Is insulting a woman over so-called "transgendered child propaganda" that is happening only in the writer's head really the best way for the MRC to spending its time?
Newsmax Helps Huckabee Whitewash His Records Issues Topic: Newsmax
A March 6 Newsmax article by Luis F. Perez rewrites a U.S. News & World Report item in which Mike Huckabee tries to dismiss a Mother Jones report on the inaccessibility of his records from his 12-year stint as Arkansas governor, in part because he had the hard drives of the computers used by him and his staff erased and physically destroyed before he left office.
Perez portrays the issue as one of Mother Jones "falsely referring to missing records and computer hard drives from his time as governor" -- going even farther on the whitewashing limb than U.S. News' Paul Bedard did -- but Huckabee never disputes the central facts of the Mother Jones article. Documents confirm that the hard drives were "crushed under the supervision of a designee of [Huckabee's] office," and the backup tapes of the information on the hard drives have not been seen since they were turned over to a former aide. Neither U.S. News nor Newsmax address the issue of the missing backups.
As the Arkansas Times notes, everything Huckabee did was perfectly legal under state law, which is unusually permissive in the amount of records a former governor can keep secret. U.S. News and Newsmax have apparently decided that merely following the law is good enough.