CNS Does Oppo Research Disguised As 'News' Article Topic: CNSNews.com
A July 20 CNSNews.com article by Matt Cover is a thinly disguised "BiasAlert" from its parent, the Media Reserach Center, a lengthy rebuttal to Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, whom Cover claims "made several inaccurate statements about the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act during a news conference."
Cover stretches things to declare Van Hollen wrong, however. For instance, Cover's rebuttal to Van Hollen's statement that "you need a two-thirds vote to cut an oil and gas subsidy for the purpose of reducing the deficit" is that "The legislation does not specify whether ending certain tax expenditures would constitute a tax increase."
But haven't conservatives regularly portrayed ending tax subsidies as a tax increases? Yes, they have: An April 27 CNS article by Fred Lucas quotes a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner that a proposal by President Obama to cut oil and gas industry subsidies "would simply raise taxes and increase the price at the pump."
The article comes off as more an oppo-research hit piece rather than a "news" article. How does that sit with the MRC's nonprofit tax status?
C For Vendetta: Who Is Ed Hale, Corsi's Latest Birther Source? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi continues his series of vendetta-driven articles seeking to expose anti-birther critics on Internet forums in a July 19 article, in which he declares that Democratic Party operative James A. Johnson, the former chairman of Fannie Mae, "has been directing a team of up to 100 who are paid to publish disinformation on a wide variety of websites to discredit 'birthers'" and is "apparently operating with the full approval and cooperation of the president."
Corsi's main source for this claim is Ed Hale, whom Corsi identifies only as "the Texas-based creator of Plains Radio." Corsi made no apparent effort to confirm Hale's claim beyond leaving a message with Johnson that wasn't returned.
So, who is Ed Hale? To begin with, here's an introductory sample of Corsi hanging out with Hale -- who seems to have forgotten to put on pants -- earlier this month. Corsi, of course, didn't mention that appearance in his article.
Ed Hale (left) and Jerome Corsi, apparently broadcasting from a basement somewhere.
Like a significant number of birthers, Hale is a PUMA, having shown up on CNN in 2008 to promote a website called Hillary Clinton Supporters for John McCain. He once claimed to have 21 million listeners to his Plains Radio webcast (actually, he misread his analytics data). Also, the domain for his Plains Radio website has expired; here's a capture from the Wayback Machine, which demonstrates the same 2001-era web design skills as his McCain website.
He has claimed to have Obama's Hawaii birth certificate, as well as the divorce decree of Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham, neither of which he has apparently released publicly. Hale was also an eager promoter of the purported inflammatory Michelle Obama tape peddled by the dubious African Press International, which WND was also suckered into -- heck, Corsi was begging API for a copy -- until it was clear that API had no such thing.
Does this sound like someone who can be considered a reliable source for anything? It does to Jerome Corsi, and that's why he built an entire article about Hale's questionable claim.
Corsi also tries to fill in the many, many holes in Hale's story with screenshots from various Internet forums and plays connect-the-dots from there. But many of those posts clearly contain sarcasm that Corsi has chosen to take seriously.
On top of all this, Corsi concludes his article with a short bio of Johnson, making sure to note: "He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the American Friends of Bilderberg."
So Corsi has penned an article based on a never-proven claim from a completely unreliable source filled with misinterpreted conjecture and overheated fearmongering -- all because he and his birther crusade has been mocked on obscure web forums.
Is it any wonder that Corsi simply cannot taken seriously?
Klayman's No Homophobe, But ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
... he's kind of a homophobe. From Klayman's July 22 WorldNetDaily column:
In an effort of destroy the presidential campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann, the only true Christian conservative in the Republican primary race, the activist ultra left gay and lesbian "community" has sharpened its vicious talons. Garnering the complicity and support of the leftist mainstream media, they have been foaming at the mouth about her candidacy, which they see as a threat to their agenda – which in large part is to indoctrinate our children into the normalcy and thus "advantages" of a homosexual lifestyle.
Before I go further, let me make one thing clear. I am not a homophobe. I know and work with gays who are nice, decent, intelligent, hardworking. productive and respectful people. While I do not endorse or condone their lifestyle, my gay friends do not try to push their unfortunate situation – which is obviously both difficult and painful for them and their families – on others. They recognize that life is not perfect, and their lives are a study in this sad fact. There can be no doubt, contrary to the bizarre analysis of some who seek to explain homosexuality, that God intended sex to be between a man and a woman. Otherwise, He would have equipped us differently. Contrary to the humor of Woody Allen, who once quipped that "there is nothing like love between a man and a woman, it just depends which man and which woman you get in between," God, in my view, the Judeo-Christian view, obviously designed our bodies to accommodate physical relations "between" the opposite sexes. When man has strayed from this anatomical fact of life, bad things health-wise have happened; AIDs is just one example.
Why, then, are we conservative Christians and Jews not allowed to express our views about the ungodly pitfalls of the gay political agenda and live our lives as we please?
It is because we have been in an intense culture war in this country; the left – now led ironically by its pro-Muslim president, Barack Hussein Obama, wants to squeeze the teachings of the likes of Jesus and Moses from our public schools and our society in general. By pushing government as our God, and having the government condone and endorse the homosexual lifestyle through such institutions as "gay marriage," they want to squeeze God out of our lives, and instead hand over our mores and values to the "devil."
Yeah, portraying gays as the devil isn't homophobic at all.
Sheppard Buys Into Limbaugh Heat-Index Conspiracy Topic: NewsBusters
In a July 23 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard promotes Rush Limbaugh's conspiracy theory that the heat index -- how hot it feels outside by factoring humidity into the surface temperature -- is a government conspiracy to promote global warming, and chastising Bill Maher for reporting the heat index as the surface temperature:
If folks like him were honest, they would first make clear that heat index is not temperature. It's temperature including the impact humidity has on it.
And that's the real news this week that global warming obsessed media members have downplayed - record humidity.
Heat indices skyrocketed last week, and that must mean Nobel laureate Gore is right about global warming regardless of all the other factors involved.
If folks like Sheppard were honest, he would acknowledge that increased humidity is a sign of global warming. Also, he would explain why record heat doesn't prove global warming but record cold disproves it -- a claim he has made repeatedly at NewsBusters.
Congress and Obama are lining up to stick it to us. I was particularly insulted when Obama referenced all of us ignoramuses apparently unable to understand the debt ceiling. And that is exactly what he did when he said only professional politicians can understand it, and that we should just pay attention to going to work and watching television – that we should let the pros handle the economy, because it was beyond our ability to understand.
We once again see Obama's pompous arrogance, as he effectively told us to just shut up and let them handle things under his dictates. He called our voices high-minded pronouncements – that's some way for the president to treat the people footing the bills.
Well, I tell you what, "Mr. Best-selling Author," as you referenced yourself during the press conference – I agree that we should let the professionals handle the debt. But keep in mind that rules you out, because you are obviously lacking and absent of even the most basic financial principles. How dare you speak of saving jobs when millions and millions of people have lost their jobs directly because of your mishandling and interference in the economy.
Honest economists all agree that the Depression of 1929 lasted three to four years longer than it should have, specifically because of Roosevelt's governmental interference and attempts to micro-manage us out of the Depression. My question is: How long will the economic malaise we are now in be extended because of your mismanagement and failed economic policies?
Obama is a hard-core leftist Chicago politician for whom winning elections and expanding power and amassing wealth and rewarding friends and punishing enemies is everything. He is exploiting the current crisis – one of his own making – by cynically leveraging the power of the presidency and the Democrat Senate and his obedient propaganda ministry (media) to further expand government, even if it ends up destroying America.
The fact that Obama became president and brought openly Marxist people into his administration doesn't say so much about him as it says about the effects of decades of brainwashing of the American people by the education establishment, media and the intellectual elite.
-- Walter Williams, July 13 syndicated column at WorldNetDaily
Obama seized the office of president through fraud. As a usurper, he's never held office. That's what the word usurp means: to seize and hold (a position, office, power, etc.) by force or without legal right. Since he legally has never occupied the White House as president, he cannot be impeached.
Now, when I have pointed this out countless times to groups demanding impeachment, I get this response: I don't care - we just have to get him out.
Those are people who proudly proclaim they only want to see the U.S. Constitution upheld. Those are people who state unequivocally that the usurper was never eligible to run because he's not a natural born citizen under the U.S. Constitution.
You can't have it both ways. In essence, what those folks are saying is we can do the same thing as Obama and his coconspirators: circumvent the Constitution.
But, the usurper has committed crimes while in office! Indeed, he has and continues to do so. Knowing he was not eligible to run, the putative president solicited campaign donations to the tune of about $700 million dollars. He can still be indicted for wire fraud.
It's true that Obama could choose to destroy the economy no matter what Republicans do. In fact, he's already doing it – albeit a little bit slower lately because the borrowed money is running out. If he is staked with more borrowed money, his destructive economic policies will speed up. And if he's denied more borrowed money, he threatens to pull the pin on a hand grenade he's holding and order his sorry excuse for a treasury secretary to default on loan obligations and hold up Social Security checks.
For heaven's sake, why does anyone take this maniac seriously?
The president, who has at times been known as Barack Obama, is clearly in trouble.
No president except FDR has ever been re-elected with an unemployment rate higher than 9 percent. The erstwhile Barry Soetoro was an anti-war candidate who currently presides over no less than six foreign wars (three of them of his making), he has betrayed practically every campaign promise he made while running for president and he has apparently never met a Goldman Sachs executive he didn't want to nominate to his Cabinet. The only surprise about his low approval ratings, 42 percent according to Gallup and -15 as per Rasmussen's Presidential Approval Index, is that they aren't even worse.
Barack Hussein Obama is a radical in at least three political dimensions. By now, millions recognize that in economic policy, Obama is a European-style socialist. As such, he is impatient of gradual change and tends to push American progressivism to its logical extremes. In foreign policy he is an "anti-imperialist" of the Howard Zinn variety who thinks American military power has been used mainly to protect dictators and oppress the world's downtrodden masses.
But it is the third dimension of Obama's radicalism that actually powers his agenda: his cultural radicalism. He rejects "American exceptionalism" in every sense of the word. In his view, as in the view of any Saul Alinsky radical, America's self-image is flawed. America is a corrupt nation, tainted by the manifold sins, which Jeremiah Wright catalogued so eloquently in his Chicago sermons at Obama's chosen church. Our Constitution is flawed at the core – because it accepted and perpetuated slavery, second-class citizenship for women and other 18th-century imperfections – so we are a nation of sinners morally as well as politically.
Obama's radicalism lies not in a blindness to the danger of driving over the cliff of economic catastrophe. His radicalism lies in welcoming that catastrophe.
The biggest applause went to the Japanese general who said, "Nobody can do a better job of beating America than the Americans themselves are doing right now." Then things zoomed out of control. Germans and Japanese commenting in rapid succession, "Senator John McCain himself said the other day that whenever anybody important mentions 'Social Security' and 'change' in the same sentence, the phones light up and nobody can get through." "American seniors are terrified!" "ALL Americans are terrified! Americans aren't afraid of Germans and Japanese and Russians. They're afraid of unemployment and gasoline prices and recession."
"Look what Americans are teaching us! When Obama threatened that Social Security checks might not be able to go out if the debt ceiling weren't raised, the same Americans who fearlessly stormed our beaches at Normandy and elsewhere seemed too frightened to stretch out on a beach towel in Denmark." "Right! And Senator McConnell immediately proposed the Republicans give Obama the borrowing powers he wants with a warning that he'd be blamed if anything went wrong. At least, that's what it looked like in the German translation."
Then, there is the specter of civil unrest, which should not be underestimated, given the influence of prominent career black activists, black militants and the latitude they have enjoyed since Obama took office. If the president were to drop dead of a heart attack, or be caught red-handed committing a violent felony, the stresses of "having to endure the institutional racism so prevalent in America" would likely be blamed. As with Michael Jackson's self-destruction, there would be Al Sharpton before a bank of television cameras, bellowing about how white racism was the culprit, rather than an Obama's own misadventurous proclivities.
Add to this the historic predilection for this administration having fomented as much instability as it could across the board, and one can well imagine what might transpire if Obama were forced from office in disgrace, and then perhaps criminally prosecuted. Between the press and those of the caliber of Sharpton and the New Black Panther Party, our major cities could erupt in rioting and violence, radiating from inner city neighborhoods into adjacent areas and proliferating to a degree about which we can only speculate.
Thus, despite the fact that millions of rank-and-file conservatives, independents and even some Democrats might like to see Obama find a new job before his current term expires, I would not hold out much hope for this, no matter what he does. Such a fate he richly deserves, and the tyrannical direction to which he increasingly leans is indeed profoundly alarming. To a preponderance of our nation's power brokers, however, I believe that the potential short and long-term social and historical political impact of such a course preclude it being seriously considered.
CNS Defends Fox News From Murdoch Scandal Topic: CNSNews.com
A July 22 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones highlights liberal groups highlighting the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers to raise questions about "Fox News, a favorite target of liberals." Jones serves up a peculiar description of Fox News:
Fox News, with its “fair and balanced” slogan, is pegged as a conservative news outlet because it presents viewpoints overlooked or excluded by the liberal media and it employs conservative (as well as liberal) hosts and pundits.
WND Still Peddling Obama 'Civilian National Security Force' Lie Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily hasrepeatedlylied about what President Obama meant by his reference to a "national civilian security force," and the lying continues in a July 20 WND article by Bob Unruh.
Unruh falsely suggests that a Rand Corp. study on a "stability police force" was directly inspired by a 2008 speech in which Obamahis call for a "national civilian security force":
A study by the Rand Corp. within months of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's call for a "national civilian security force" that would be as big and as well-funded as the half-trillion dollar U.S. military confirms that there are several ways to create the suggested "Stability Police Force" so that it legally could operate inside the U.S. borders.
One of the top recommendations in the report was that the capacity and management operations of the U.S. Marshals Service be beefed up and handed the assignment.
In fact, the Rand study does not reference Obama or the phrase "national civilian security force" at all. It has nothing at all to do with any Obama policy, real or imagined; it examines whether the U.S. could benefit from a "Stability Police Force," "a high-end police force that engages in a range of tasks such as crowd and riot control, special weapons and tactics (SWAT), and investigations of organized criminal groups." Obama, of course, has never called for any such thing.
Further, as we've repeatedly documented, Obama was referring to an expansion of the State Department to create the ability to "deploy teams that combine agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside our military." Obama did not talk about a creating a domestic military force -- or, in WND columnist Victoria Jackson's version, a "private army."
WND has repeatedly refused to report the truth about Obama's statement, and we can only assume this failure is deliberate in order to push false smears of the president as part of WND's anti-Obama agenda.
AIM Runs to Murdoch's Defense Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media has issued a press release quoting Roger Aronoff telling us not to rush to judgment on Rupert Murdoch over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal:
“While clearly some of the practices of News Corp’s News of the World involving hacking into emails and cell phone messages were quite despicable, leading to the paper being shut down, it is premature to assume individual criminal liability, or that Rupert Murdoch media properties in this country engaged in similar practices,” Aronoff said. “We were reminded in the DSK case that the presumption of innocence still matters in this country, despite the charges.”
“The Left smells blood, and would love to see Fox News in particular somehow implicated and weakened by this scandal,” added Aronoff. “But it should be remembered that Murdoch has done much to counter the weight of the liberal influence in the mainstream media by allowing conservative voices a platform, which has helped shape the debate on many issues in this country, and for that he should be applauded. Beyond that, we should reserve judgment until the facts are known.”
Meanwhile, AIM has yet to apologize for its own rush to judgment in uncritically repeating attacks on Leon Panetta by discredited foreigner Trevor Loudon in an attempt to derail Panetta's nomination as secretary of defense. Not only have Loudon's attacks been discredited, they didn't work; the Senate unanimously approved Panetta's nomination.
Kessler Writes About Another Man's Wife (Again) Topic: Newsmax
Ronald Kessler takes interest in the wife of another man in his July 20 Newsmax column, featuring the view of the wife of Juan Williams as part of the publicity campaign for Williams' new book.
Kessler take a straightforward approach to interviewing Williams' wife -- which stands in sharp contrast to his creepily fawning treatment of the wife of Mitt Romney, in which he devoted an entire paragraph to her "truly unbelievable smile."
MRC Has Trouble Admitting Conservative Website Broke Bachmann Story Topic: Media Research Center
The story of Michele Bachmann's migraines has been the sensation of the week in the political world, but the Media Research Center has had trouble dealing with one inconvenient fact: The story was first published by a conservative outlet, the Daily Caller.
A July 20 TimesWatch post by Clay Waters was in straightforward denial mode. While bashing the New York Times for latching onto the story, he acknowledged that the Daily Caller first reported it and denounced it as an "anonymously sourced report," but he failed to note the Caller's conservative ideology.
NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein, meanwhile, sought to distract from that inconvenient fact. Finkelstein conceded that "the story first appeared in the conservative Daily Caller," but he attacked John Heilemann for pointing out that the story was not the product of a "liberal media conspiracy." Finkelstein then declared that the story's origin doesn't matter: "And consider that even if the MSM didn't originate the story, liberal outlets like the New York Times have gleefully sought to exploit it to Bachmann's detriment."
Such wholesale refusal to acknowledge, or insistence on distrcting from, such an obvious fact shows that the MRC is much more interested in being a right-wing political website than a "media research center."
CNS' Starr: DOMA Critics Are 'Supporters of Homosexual Behavior' Topic: CNSNews.com
In a July 19 CNSNews.com article, Penny Starr weirdly describes critics of the Defense of Marriage Act as "supporters of homosexual behavior." No, really:
The Defense of Marriage was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, and it says, in general, that for any federal purposes marriage “means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” It also says that no state is required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in a different state.
Supporters of homosexual behavior, including same-sex “marriage,” responded positively to Obama’s endorsement of Feinstein’s bill, which would repeal DOMA and also ensure that same-sex married couples are entitled to receive benefits under federal law, such as medical leave and survivors’ benefits. The law would not, however, require states without homosexual marriage laws to accept such couplings.
Starr also puts the word "marriage" in scare quotes when it's being modifed by the term "same-sex."
WND Defends Shoebat Against CNN Trying To Find The Truth Topic: WorldNetDaily
Three years ago, we documented the holes in WorldNetDailiy fave Walid Shoebat's claims to be a former terrorist. It was only after CNN reported them did WND feel moved to action over it.
A July 16 WND article by Bob Unruh dismissed a two-night report on Shoebat on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" -- which went to Israel to find evidence to back up Shoebat's claims that he once firebombed a bank and served time in jail -- and found nothing -- was "gotcha" reporting, uncritically repeating claims by Shoebat's foundation of shoddy work and purported links to frequent WND target CAIR.
Longtime Shoebat ally Joel Richardson joined the defense with a July 18 column largely rehashing Shoebat's own defense. Shoebat himself sarcasticlally attacked CNN in a separate WND column.
Richard Bartholomew takes apart Shoebat's refusal to offer details about what his foundation has done for persecuted Christians, calling it an "evasive reply" on a subject other Christian organizations working in the same area are more open about. He continues:
The reply also claims that Shoebat’s name would not appear in Israeli records because he used his mother’s maiden name in his US passport. Shoebat claims that he couldn’t divulge these details to CNN because “CNN refused to offer privacy”; perhaps this is a genuine concern, but based on Shoebat’s statements and a bit of googling I was able to track down the name on the internet quite easily. So, once again, there is no reason why the “proofs” which Shoebat showed Daniel Pipes in 2006 should not be made public.
However, as I’ve written before: Shoebat’s back-story may or may not be true. The question of whether he’s an appropriate speaker at Homeland Security events can be assessed by looking at his statements, which are so excessive as to be absurd.
Shoebat claims that his legal name is his American mother’s maiden name, and that he refused to divulge it to CNN for reasons of privacy. But this is futile: from public statements Shoebat has made I was able to find Shoebat’s mother’s full name within a matter of minutes. There is no reason why Shoebat should not just be straight about it.
Indeed. Why won't Shoebat and his handlers simply offer up the definitive evidence it claims exists to back up his story instead of making others hunt for it and ridicule them when they don't match up with the secret evidence Shoebat has? After all, this story has been brewing for years.
Perhaps WND should use some of those investigative skills honed in hunting down President Obama's birth certificate toward such an endeavor. But they won't -- Shoebat is still useful to WND's agenda.
MRC Treats More Insults As Media Criticism Topic: Media Research Center
We'venoted how NewsBusters and its Media Research Center parent seem to think insulting liberals is the same thing as media criticism. This week has already seen more examples.
The headline of a July 19 MRC item by Scott Whitlock says it all: "Republican Joe Walsh Taunts 'Bully' Chris Matthews: Obama 'Sends a Tingle Up Your Leg.'" It exists for no other reason than to celebrate said taunting.
Meanwhile, a July 20 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard proudly promotes another taunt: "Michael Steele Laughs At Joan Walsh For Calling Obama 'The Reagan Figure.'"
WND Cranks Up the Gay-Bashing Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has ramped up its gay-bashing over the past couple of days.
In her July 18 column, Barbara Simpson went-on an anti-gay freakout over the new California law that requires schools to teach about the contributions of gays and lesbians:
The sexual material will be infiltrated into social studies and wherever else it can be inserted. It essentially requires that homosexuality be shown positively and as an equal and acceptable alternative lifestyle.
Parents will not be able to control content, will not be notified and cannot refuse to have their child participate in such lessons.
Now, with a stroke of his pen, Brown makes California the first state in the union to require students be taught about the history and contributions of homosexuals.
We're told students will be safer and respected, engendering a better understanding of homosexuals and increasing their ability to learn.
But, it's also instigating a social agenda that's a slap in the face of tradition, history, a decent education and the rights of parents to control and protect their children's upbringing.
Any doubts about social agenda? Laws already require teaching about minority groups -- women, blacks, Mexicans Asians, Europeans, American Indians and whatever else the state considers an underrepresented cultural and ethnic group.
Meanwhile, D.J. Dolce's latest WND video begins with her ranting, "Who's crazy this week? Gays are crazy." After referencing the California law adding the LGBT community to the list of those whose contributions must be taught in public schools (which Dolce's fellow WND denizens also don't approve of) and criticism of Michele Bachmann's husband for his controversial gay conversion therapy, Dolce then says of gays: "First you let them do their own thing in a corner -- 'Ah, they'll be OK.' Next thing you know, they're marching in the streets. You keep looking the other way, and then one day, boom, they throw you in an oven." Reacting to canned audience noise, Dolce adds: "You can 'ooh' all you want, but you've obviously not read 'The Pink Swastika.'"
As we've documented, "The Pink Swastika" promote the discredited view that, to use WND's words, "the Nazi Party is best understood as a neo-pagan, homosexual cult." Its co-author, Scott Lively, runs a ministry that the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group for Lively's anti-gay rhetoric. Lively is also reportedly one of the inspirations behind the proposed Draconian law in Uganda that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality -- a law endorsed by Dolce's partner, WND's own Molotov Mitchell.
WND, of course, sells the discredited screed in its online store. WND editor Joseph Farah has defended it, insisting that "I have failed to find one jot or tittle that has been undermined by critics" and whining that "I have been the victim of a malicious smear campaign in the homosexual blogosphere just for including the title in the WND Superstore."