We've detailed how WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah got all pissy with Salon's Justin Elliott for 1) pointing out that WND has supplied no evidence to support its claim that the entirety of the $2 million or so the Obama campaign has spent on lawyers since the 2008 election has gone toward fighting birther lawsuits, and 2) making a reasonable request that WND issue a formal correction to Jack Cashill's false claim that Obama was Photoshopped into a picture of his grandparents. The war of words between WND and Salon has dramatically escalated in the past 24 hours.
WND sent smearmongers Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott to go spelunking into Justin Elliott's past to try and dig up some dirt. All they could come up with was that he "has been a contributor to a think tank deeply tied to the White House that is funded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros." Read: He once wrote for the Center for American Progress' Campus Progress blog. They even perused Elliott's college newspaper work for evidence of ... something, apparently shocked to discover that he once argued that there are too many "white" editors on the staffs of college newspapers.
Salon responded to the invasion of privacy in kind by letting Alex Pareene take a whack at WND's petulant behavior:
WND was, I guess, not happy with my colleague's coverage of its unhappiness, because today it attempted to smear him in two separate but equally amusing articles. The first, by Farah himself, is just a lot of words calling Elliott a punk while never once actually acknowledging that WND's "$2 million" figure is false. No, WND is right because its "investigation" into the matter is a three-part series, and no one can possibly be wrong at such great length.
The best part of Farah's commentary is when he argues that Elliott is wrong and WND's reporter is right because of their respective bios. While Elliott has merely written for various places, WND's reporter was in the Army and is "one of the most remarkable young women I have ever met." Take that, Justin: Joseph Farah doesn't think you're remarkable!
The real meat of WND's response, though, is in this post that "reveals" Justin Elliott's ties to ... George Soros. See, Elliott contributed to CampusProgress.org, which is published by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank founded with money from George Soros. So ... Soros! Ooga booga!
This investigation was written by Aaron Klein, who is WND's Jerusalem Bureau Chief. Oh, and: "With research by Brenda J. Elliott." It took two people, one of them a foreign correspondent, to Google Justin. Just like how it took two people to edit Barack Obama's Wikipedia page to include birther conspiracy theories and then write a story accusing Wikipedia of bias after people removed those edits, which is something Mr. Klein and a "researcher" did in 2009.
Pareene then dismantled WND's history of self-discrediting behavior:
WorldNetDaily is a magnet for the dumbest, dullest wingnuts in America. Even its lawyer is a buffoon. Last year, WND sued the White House Correspondents' Association because WND's disreputable conspiracy website was only given one table at the Correspondents Dinner. (They do have a White House correspondent, actually. It's Les Kinsolving, a tragicomedy of a man who is invited to briefings solely to be called on when the press secretary wants to answer a stupid question about who wrote the president's memoir instead of a serious question about reality.) Anyway, their lawyer was Larry Klayman, who is not allowed to appear before courts in much of the United States because of his "total disregard for the judicial process."
Here is a story from WorldNetDaily: "Soy is making kids 'gay.'" It is in six parts. The original headline was "A devil food is turning our kids into homosexuals." WorldNetDaily demands your respect! It is a serious news organization!
There is no end to the idiotic things printed at WorldNetDaily. Here's Obama's Kenyan birth certificate. Here's a piece on how al-Qaida is sneaking nukes into the U.S. through the unsecured Mexican border in tandem with street gangs. Here's white supremacist Vox Day asking why the media refuses to report that a mentally ill person claims to have had gay sex with Barack Obama.
WorldNetDaily knows its (large!) audience of halfwits will eat up any garbage it's served, and, better yet, the rubes will buy any trash that's for sale. (Tea-stained flags, anyone?)
Thanks to that substantial audience of the nation's stupidest and most fearful elderly people, WND is actually an influential member in good standing of the conservative movement; the RNC rents its massive email list. Because of that usefulness to the party, Farah and his buddies are allowed to persist in the delusion that they are sane and perhaps even respectable. But everyone knows they're frauds and crackpots. It takes five minutes of reading that bottomless repository of feverish bullshit to figure that out.
How will Farah react to someone who reflects his own behavior back at him? We can hardly wait to see.
When Wisconsin’s top paper inquired about the whereabouts of Gov. Scott Walker this week, they turned to one of the leading political news websites in the nation.
“Who knew that Gov. Scott Walker had headed out on a national tour to help raise money for Republican senators facing possible recalls?” a story in the Milwaukee Journal asked Tuesday.
The answer: “Newsmax did.”
The story went on to detail the revelations in Newsmax’s exclusive interview with Walker Friday. In the story, Walker discussed his national tour to drum up support for his fight against powerful unions seeking to set back his efforts at budgetary reform.
But Newsmax missed the point -- presumably deliberately, to maximize the self-promotion -- of what was written at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Newsmax got the newspaper's name wrong). A newspaper blog post was highlighting the Newsmax interview because it was the first evidence most people in Wisconsin had that Walker had left the state. The post continued:
So where is Walker going as part of this national tour? Who went with him to Florida? Did he hold any fundraisers for his own campaign while there?
Walker's campaign isn't saying.
In a statement issued by a staffer at the Republican Party, the governor's campaign refused to answer any of those questions, saying only that Walker is defending the Republican senators "who stayed in Wisconsin and stood up for middle class taxpayers by making the tough choices to balance our budget."
Not a word inthe Newsmax article about Walker's refusal to disclose what apparently private activities he may be doing on the state's dime.
Whos The No. 1 Promoter Of Trump 2012? Newsmax! Topic: Newsmax
Donald Trump has more than Fox News to thank for creating buzz around his testing the waters for a presidential campaign (and associated spreading of discredited birther conspiracy theories about President Obama). Newsmax was an early and enthusiastic promoter of Trump’s presidential ambitions, and a Newsmax reporter helped pave the way for Trump to speak at a major conservative get-together.
NewsBusters Fact-Check: Kyl Misquoted Saying A Different False Claim Topic: NewsBusters
Matt Hadro turned a sad little bit of "fact-checking" in an April 8 NewsBusters post: that Sen. Jon Kyl was accused of making a different false claim than the one he made.
During an interview of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, CNN anchor Deborah Feyerick not only failed to ask Richards any tough questions about federal funding of the organization, but entirely misquoted the claim of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood services are abortions.
Feyerick began the segment attributing to Kyl a bizarre claim that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood's funding goes to abortions. Obviously, that was red meat for Richards who dismantled the faux statement claiming that no federal funding goes to abortions.
The following is what Sen. Kyl said on the Senate floor: "Everybody goes to clinics, to hospitals, to doctors and so on. Some people go to Planned Parenthood. But you don't have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol and your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."Sen. Kyl did not say that 90 percent of funding goes to abortions at Planned Parenthood, but that 90 percent of its services are abortions, another argument entirely.
Hadro doesn't mention that the claim he insists Kyl actually made is wrong too. As PolitiFact details, Kyl's claim that abortion is "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does" is egregiously false on the basis of total services the group provides; on a per-client basis, abortion makes up only 3 percent of services.
Even the aggressively anti-abortion website LifeNews, has to resort to such far-out comparisons as abortion to adoption referrals or prenatal care to come up with any ratio that approximates the 90-percent figure Kyl cited -- and it still wouldn't prove Kyl correct, however much it purports to divine the "intent of Kyl's remarks."
Hadro also calls the claim that no federal money Planned Parenthood receives goes toward abortion a "faux statement," but he offers no evidence to back it up -- perhaps because that itself is a faux statement. The federal government has long mandated that no federal funding go toward abortion.
NEW ARTICLE: Out There, Exhibit 53: Noel Sheppard's School of Headline Cliches Topic: NewsBusters
If liberals haven't been smacked down, they've been schooled -- bits of headline-ese the NewsBusters blogger invokes repeatedly. Read more >>
Farah Still Attacking Writer Who Pointed Out WND's Lack of Evidence Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his April 13 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah does the only thing he knows how to do when confronted by the fact that his "news" organization has gotten facts wrong: act petulant and attack his accuser.
This time, the person on the receiving end is Salon's Justin Elliott. His offense: asking if Donald Trump was correct to claim that President Obama has spent millions of dollars to fight lawsuits over his birth certificate. As we've noted, WND has proven only that the Obama campaign paid money to a law firm but not that all of the money -- or even any of it -- went toward fighting birther-related lawsuits.
First, Farah claimed that Elliott gave him "all of one hour and 26 minutes to respond" to the query before publishing his article -- an utterly hypocritical assertion given that WND frequentlyfails to even bother obtaining both sides to many of the "news" articles it runs, let alone give that side sufficient time to respond.
Farah then asserted that "Obama has used the cover of his taxpayer-supported office to devote far more than $2 million in financial resources to cover up whatever he's hiding on his birth certificate" -- but as before, he offers no evidence to back up this claim. Then, after noting that Elliott reported that "this figure is based on shoddy reporting by a discredited birther website and lacks any evidence to back it up," he asserts: "Never once in his article does Elliott explain how WND has been 'discredited' or why reporter Chelsea Schilling's series is 'shoddy.' So much for "backing up the lead," as we say in the news business."
In fact, Elliott did exactly that in his Salon article:
The implication of the WND stories -- though not explicitly stated -- is that because Perkins Coie worked on a birther suit, and because the Obama campaign paid Perkins Coie $1.7 million, therefore the campaign paid $1.7 million fighting birther suits. That's an obvious logical fallacy.
Indeed, just last month Roll Call published a look at the Obama campaign's post-election legal spending -- now totaling $2.8 million, most of it to Perkins Coie. DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan told the paper: "The campaign has incurred ordinary legal expenses related to the wind-down of its operations and other legal services which all campaigns incur and which are proportional to the unprecedented size of this campaign."
So, having ignored and misrepresented the issue, it was insult time, his usual response to criticism. Farah smeared Elliott as a "sissified, left-wing blogger" who is "pretending to do journalism," published his bio from his previous employer, and compared it to that of Chelsea Schilling, who wrote the original WND articles, laughably embellished by Farah "because she's too modest to tell you herself." Farah writes that Schilling is "one of the most remarkable young women I have ever met" and "is like a daughter to me."
What Farah won't tell you: Schilling has a mile-long rap sheet of falsehoods and misinformation in her work for WND.
What Farah also won't tell you: how pissy he got when Elliott asked why WND made Jack Cashill's false claim about a picture of Obama's grandparents simply disappear instead of publishing a formal correction. Farah called Ellott a "worm" during that exchange.
Farah asked readers to compare the two bios (despite the obvious bias in one of them), adding: "Which one would you rather have dinner with? Which one would you most trust to babysit your kids? Which one would you most likely hire if you had the choice? Which one seems more trustworthy?"
Trustworthy? That pretty much rules out Farah and Schilling, doesn't it?
Farah concludes by stating that "we stand by Schilling's three reports – every word of them." At no point did he or Schilling provide evidence that every cent of the money the Obama campaign paid to a law firm went toward birther claims -- then or now.
As I've said before (and will say again): We must remember that this isn't about Barack Hussein Obama. A minority of shiftless, callow malcontents have capitalized on the indolence and good nature of the American people in order to manifest their decades-long quest for power. The upshot of the processes they implemented is an administration that has appropriated authority reserved for the legislature and judiciary. This was ostensibly done to address severe economic distress, which was actually brought on by some who became principals in this administration. Activists and thugs in collusion with said administration maneuver to foment civil unrest and further economic upheaval as they clandestinely re-write our Constitution. This president's fast and furious spending has some convinced it is actually his intention to utterly decimate the U.S. economically.
Mr. President, this has gone on long enough. You have refused to be candid with the American people whose trust you evidently desire and whom you are required to represent honorably. You have, in effect, erected a wall behind which you give the distinct impression of hiding. There are far too many questions you resolutely decline to answer, far too many mysteries which, by a modicum of simple disclosures, you could easily dispel in a single day. Indeed, so many riddles and puzzles have accumulated about you that, if they are not addressed, they will inevitably bring your presidency into increasing disrepute. At some point, the sphinx must speak.
Jews and Iranians, having been very successful in the United States, both financially and socially, have much political power to exert. Jews – at least the non-leftist ones – have sought in the past to use this political power and have succeeded in large part. Through lobbying and other means, in the past they have "convinced" most American lawmakers and government officials at least not to harm Israel. But now, with a President Barack Hussein Obama, who is a latent anti-Semite Israel hater, the task has become much more difficult. Obama and his compromised secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, have recently threatened Israel by stating that they, along with the "Quartet" – which also is composed of the United Nations, Russia and the European Union – will impose a Palestinian state on the Jewish nation, if it does not accede to Palestinian demands.
As for Iranian freedom, the "mullah in chief" would rather get down on his knees and beg for understanding and forgiveness of America from the Muslims in Tehran than take a strong stand and support the Iranian freedom movement.
Obama takes sides in the Islamic world only when the dissidents are hostile to U.S. interests or seeking to overthrow a U.S. ally, not when they support U.S. goals. This Islamist tilt is also seen in many of his appointments, particularly in the State Department and national-security staff.
We do not have to think Obama is a secret Muslim to call him out on his pro-Islamist foreign policy. Plenty of American leftists have been in that camp for decades. In fact, what seems to be happening in U.S. politics is a three-party merger of leftist ideology, one-world multiculturalism and Islamist interests. What is emerging is a strange stew of leftist sympathies for every policy tilt that is anti-capitalist and pro-Third World wealth transfers. Let's call it multicultural socialism until a better name comes along.
Have you ever asked yourself the question: How in the world does Barack Hussein Obama get away with the things he does and the decisions he makes without even a peep from the mainstream media?
Obama has sat back and watched the price of gasoline double since he took office; he put 87,000 oil workers in the gulf out of work with an arbitrary stroke of the pen and doubled the national debt without a word of explanation. The press reported nothing more than his brilliance in these matters.
With the help of the wicked witch of San Francisco, he destroyed the best health-care system in the world while ignoring the will of the people. He sent U.S. Air Force equipment and personnel to bomb Libya without congressional approval, and the press heralded him as a great humanitarian. Never mind that half the world believed he should return his Nobel Peace Prize. Where was the critical analysis from the press so essential to a free and open democracy?
Just imagine for a moment what George W. Bush would have been put through if he had made the same mistakes or unconstitutional moves. George Bush stopped playing golf when the troops were on the ground. Mr. Obama began. But I won't belabor the point. The double standard exists, and its seems we are all powerless to challenge it.
Newsmax's 'Special Article' In Parade Was An Ad Topic: Newsmax
Last week, Newsmax sent to its mailing list a promotion for a Pat Boone-endorsed "heart rate monitor watch" that touted an upcoming appearance in the Parade magazine Sunday newspaper supplement:
We have some exciting news!
This weekend some 66 million Americans will read Parade magazine with their Sunday newspaper — and Newsmax will be there!
Parade is running a special article featuring the legendary Pat Boone and his big secret to staying young. Boone teamed up with Newsmax on the piece to come up with a special offer for our popular Heart Rate Monitor Watch!
Well, the Sunday edition of Parade came, and the "special article" turned out to be ... an ad.
The text of the ad is posted on the Newsmax website. It's the usual loss-leader promotion Newsmax specializes in, selling the lead item cheap with trial subscriptions of various Newsmax publications thrown in for free -- which you must unsubscribe from in order to avoid being charged for a full subscription.
Newsmax presumably knows the difference between a news article and an ad, and it was dishonest of them to portray the Boone ad as a "special article."
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.