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Tuesday, August 9, 2011
CNS Politicizes Deaths Of U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is desperately eager to blame the deaths 30 American troops, including 22 Navy SEALs, in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on President Obama. An Aug. 8 article by Susan Jones complains that "President Barack Obama issued a statement, but has not yet spoken publicly" about the incident.

What's the point of Jones writing this article? None other than to attack the president and accuse him of not caring about the troops.

In keeping up with its body-count tradition, Jones adds: "As CNSNews.com reported last week, at least 64 percent of U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan have happened on Obama’s watch."

CNS has chosen to politicize the deaths of American troops. Is that allowed under the Media Research Center's nonprofit tax status?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:24 AM EDT
WND Proves 'Erroneous' Description of Geller Is All Too True
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In an Aug. 4 WorldNetDaily article plugging Pamela Geller's new WND-published book, "Stop the Islamization of America," Joe Kovacs writes that Geller "has been erroneously labeled by the leftist Salon.com as "a right-wing, viciously anti-Muslim, conspiracy-mongering blogger." Not only does Kovacs explain why that claim is "erroneous," he demonstrates that the description is completely accurate.

Indeed, Kovacs uses the very next paragraph tolaunch into one of Geller's favorite anti-Muslim conspiracy theory, that the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero is a "victory mosque:

"The mosque story has been a game-changer," writes Geller, noting outrage over the attempt by Islamic supremacists to erect a triumphal mosque upon the sacred site of the attack on the World Trade Center towers has awakened the American populace to what's really taking place.

"In early December of 2009, the New York Times – on its front page – heralded the arrival of a 15-story mega-mosque going up at Ground Zero. It was shocking. I don't know what was more grotesque: the jihadists' triumphal mosque, or the New York Times' preening of it."

Geller says news agencies consistently ignored the fact the vast majority of Americans opposed the structure.

"Americans didn't want a victory mosque marking the site of the 9/11 attacks. They didn't want an insult to the 3,000 Americans who were murdered there by Islamic jihadists and for whom Ground Zero is a cemetery."

Kovacs repeats Geller's tirades at the media, demonstrating what a utterly hateful, vindictive far-right person she is:

"The dirty smear merchants over at Media [anti]Matters understood what was happening and issued a directive to the leftwing lemmings: 'do not have Geller on national television.' The very same day that Goebbels-inspired post ran, Chris Matthews canceled my TV appearance for that evening. And the media, both left and right, have generally followed suit. They will only have me on if they have no choice. If I make news vis-a-vis a lawsuit or rally or some other newsmaking event and they are forced to, they do so reluctantly. If they can get my lawyer instead, they will because they have become so fearful of the truth."

[...]

"They found their card, the dawah card," says Geller. "Dawah is Islamic proselytizing, and the media decided to proselytize for Islam. Dhimmi Diane Sawyer's show on Islam was a horrible lie. Overwhelmingly terrible. I don't imagine that even Hamas-linked CAIR would have dared to write such a fallacious and dangerous script filled with obvious lies.

"ABC followed up the propaganda hour with Sunday morning's notorious stealth jihadist, Christiane Amanpour, whose obvious Jew-hatred and predilection for submission has become the hallmark of her embarrassing career. She did not disappoint. Amanpour framed and packaged this hot-button issue for Al-Jazeera audiences, not American ones. But America wasn't buying– Amanpour was bombing, dead last. A very great sign of things to come."

Why wouldn't WND publish this book? Geller somehow manages to hate Muslims and the mainstream media more than WND does.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EDT
Monday, August 8, 2011
Pat Boone Denies He's Calling Obama A Jihadist, Does It Anyway
Topic: Newsmax

Pat Boone begins his latest column, published at WorldNetDaily and Newsmax, by declaring: "Let me be very clear, right off the bat. I'm not calling the president or his administration, his closest White House advisers and consultants, jihadists."

Needless to say, that's exactly what Boone has done by the end of the column:

What is "jihad"? It's an Islamic word, variously interpreted as "the struggle" or "the journey." But a struggle for what? A journey toward where?

"Jihad" is currently understood as a word for "holy war" – and that's exactly how we see it in action, as destruction and violence and the killing of thousands erupts suddenly and viciously all around the world. The "struggle" is obviously for the domination, the subjugation of all peoples under a Shariah society. Whether or not the Quran is correctly understood as commanding this, the several million fatally committed to jihadism believe they are doing the will of Allah.

And if they could have their way, if they could force their will on us,what would America be like? All citizens would take their orders from an all-powerful government; those who obey without question might have some privileges, those who don't would be imprisoned or killed; religious freedom would be nonexistent; "wealth" would be "distributed" at the whim and direction of the religio/political dictators; and courts would dole out punishment according to the jihadist guidelines.

Impossible in America? Are you watching what's been happening all around us, just the last two and a half years?

[...]

Joe Biden, that is exactly what we tea-party "terrorists" have been yelling at you and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and those who just agreed in "bipartisan" legislation to add 4 trillion more to our impossible debt! Is our president a "terrorist," too?

Or a "jihadist" who has found the path, the "journey" to the economic collapse of our country, with all the resulting "fundamental transformations"?

In other words, just another sleazy Obama-bashing column from the supposedly squeaky-clean entertainer.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:10 PM EDT
More Flat-Out Headline Cliches From Noel Sheppard
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard -- he of the repetitious headline cliches -- seems to have found a theme to pound into the ground.

Sheppard wrote these two headlines within a 24-hour span on Aug. 6 and 7:

These follow a similarly themed headline he wrote on Aug. 5: "Rush Limbaugh Catches Rachel Maddow In Bald-Faced Lie About Him."

 The "flat out" thing seems to have begun with a July 29 post carrying the hadline "Fareed Zakaria Flat Out Lies About Deficits, Debt Ceiling and U.S. Credit Rating."

The irony, of course, that Sheppard has a notable history of flat-out lying about things.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:29 PM EDT
Ellis Washington Being Ellis Washington
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington serves up another heaping helping of word salad in his Aug. 5 WorldNetDaily column.

Washington devotes a big chunk of his column to repeating the Democrat-bashing views of one Dr. Levon Yuille, whom Washington calls "like John the Baptist – a clarion voice of reason crying out in the wilderness." WAshington doesn't mention one other example of this "voice of reason": opposing hate crimes protections for gays because he finds it "demeaning [to] the black community."

Elsewhere, Washington declares that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and that Detroit "is the slave plantation the Democratic Party has created." Cue yet another anti-liberal rant:

Other liberal Ponzi schemes include: abortion, unionism, federal regulations, welfare, pensions, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Obamacare, QE1, QE2, the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009 ("Stimulus"), etc. Since FDR's "New Deal" of the 1930s and '40s, literally trillions of dollars have been stolen from the earners and given to people who didn't earn the money and don't deserve it. All welfare programs are disguised Ponzi or money-laundering scams where the money is funneled back into the Democratic Party coffers, slush funds, Mafia unions and political action committees.

Washington is not big on education either:

For example, let's examine one of liberalism's favorite and most worthless bureaucracies – the Department of Education. Currently the DOE budget is $107 billion per year. All 50 states are mandated to send money to the DOE to pay for the federal bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., and then some of those same dollars are "redistributed" back to the states with many strings attached (i.e., 2+2 =5, federal education testing scams, education atheism, Outcome Based Education, No Child Left Behind, LGBT agenda ["Heather has 2 Mommies"; "Daddy's Roommate,"], etc.).

Like we said, word salad. And not a particularly tasty mix, either.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:56 PM EDT
MRC's Gainor Obsesses Over One Obama Word (And Goes Birther)
Topic: Media Research Center

Remember how CNSNews.com has been obsessed with every little word President Obama says or doesn't say? Well, a different division of the Media Research Center empire has taken that obsession to a whole new level.

MRC vice president Dan Gainor writes in his Aug. 5 column:

No matter what the news of the day has been, Obama's favorite topic has been himself. In his first 41 speeches back in 2009, Obama talked about himself nearly 1,200 times - 1,198 to be exact. Scarily enough, the condition seems to have gotten more acute.

In 40 speeches and remarks on the national debt, Obama has talked about himself 39 times more than he has the debt - more than 3,200 times about Obama to a mere 160 about the national debt.

Let me put that another way, keeping in the spirit of the president's birthday. Picture two big cakes. The first has 160 candles on it. It's burning pretty bright - a bit more than three times the number of candles the graying Obama should have. Then imagine the other cake in the shape of an "I." That cake has more than 3,200 flaming candles on it - alarming party-goers and smoke detectors alike. That's not a cake, it's a weapon of mass destruction.

Yes, Gainor counted -- or, more likely, made some poor MRC intern count -- every time the word "I" appeared in Obama's speeches.

On top of that, Gainor appears to be going birther: "But that's our president as he turns 50, or Hawaii 5-O, if documents are to be believed." Gainor seems to be suggesting that they can't. 

It looks like WorldNetDaily may have found themselves a new columnist -- after all, birtherism is how Diana West got the job.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Victoria Jackson Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The communist "Christians," (Obama, Wallis and the Circle of Protection) twist Matthew 25 to push their welfare agenda. What Bible verses do they twist to condone the infanticide they support? The partial-birth abortion? The gay marriage?

While Obama prays for the poor, his policies of massive spending are creating inflation, which will result in each welfare recipient's check buying half as much as it did before he was in office. Therefore, he is actually "cheating" the "poor" he pretends to care so much about.

And, let's be truthful about how "the poor" actually live in this country. "Poor" people today own a car, a big-screen TV, a VCR and a DVD player. My husband can attest to this. When he was on the S.W.A.T. team doing drug raids, he witnessed the fact that the "poor" had more expensive television equipment than we (middle class) have ever owned or even wanted to own.

I wonder how much Obama personally tithes. He is a "devoted Christian," right? In 2008, USA Today reported Joe Biden and his wife gave an average of $369 a year to charity during the previous decade.

Maybe Obama should spend more time reading the Constitution and the Holy Bible instead of the Communist Manifesto and the Holy Quran.

-- Victoria Jackson, Aug. 4 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 8, 2011 12:06 AM EDT
Sunday, August 7, 2011
NewsBusters Declares: Twitter Has A Liberal Bias!
Topic: NewsBusters

It seems that no instance of liberal bias, real or imagined, gets past the eagle eyes of the Media Research Center. Why, even Twitter is biased!

No, really,  An Aug. 5 NewsBusters post by Aubrey Vaughan declares that  "Twitter has selectively crafted a list of suggested news accounts that suspiciously skip over any conservative news pundits." He continues:

The news list suggests 51 accounts. Populating that list are six ABC accounts, three NBC accounts, two CBS accounts, three MSNBC accounts, six CNN accounts, two NPR accounts, two PBS accounts, three BBC accounts, two NY Times accounts, two Huffington Post accounts, and a combination of other arguably liberal accounts including Newsweek, the Economist, Time Magazine, LA Times, WaPo, Chicago Tribune, AP, Reuters, ProPublica, Bloomberg News, and Slate. Excluding two government news accounts (FBI Press Office and West Wing News), two technology accounts (Digg and Wired's Gadget Lab), and three more specialized news accounts (Life.com, the Onion, and Al-Jazeera English), that leaves only two more accounts: Wall Street Journal and Fox News.

While liberal media outlets are greater in number and it makes sense to include all the major networks, Twitter does not promote the the media accounts equally. MSNBC's David Gregory and Rachel Maddow are suggested. CNN's Anderson Cooper, Larry King, Ali Velshi, and Jack Gray are suggested. Each network station also has a number of their TV personalities suggested. Absent from the list are suggestions to follow Fox News personalities like Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity, or radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, completely swaying the list in favor of liberal media outlets and their even more liberally inclined opinion journalists.

Vaughan seems to have decided that if a news organization is not explicitly conservative -- like the Wall Street Journal or Fox News -- it must be liberal. He doesn't offer the metrics by which he has decided this; we weren't aware that, say, the Economist was "liberal."

Vaughan then rather laughably fails to see bias where it's most obvious:

Admittedly, the suggested accounts on the government list are much less biased. It actually follows a greater number of Republican than Democrat politicians, but that can be explained by the fact that it follows all the major 2012 presidential contenders, and no Democrats are running against President Obama. In addition to following candidates, the Republican suggestions include former Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain, Ambassador Condoleezza Rice, House Speaker John Boehner, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The high-ranking Democrats on the list include Obama, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and press secretary Jay Carney.

A clear Republican bias is "much less biased" to Vaughan? That seems to confirm our theory that conservatives don't think there is such a thing as conservative bias.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 PM EDT
WND Makes Another Embarrassingly False Article Quietly Disappear
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Remember how WorldNetDaily has made false statements in articles -- and even entire false articles -- disappear without explanation or even a correction, contrary to how a real news organization would act? Well, it's done it again.

An Aug. 4 WND article repeated statements by Rush Limbaugh marking President Obama's birthday:

"Tomorrow is Obama's birthday," he said today. "Not that we've seen any proof of that."

He continued, "But tomorrow is Obama's birthday and they're trying to rally Obama's base by sending out fundraising letters.

"What? What? … What, Snerdley, what? We haven't seen any proof of that. They tell us Aug. 4 is the birthday. We haven't seen any proof of it. Sorry. It is what it is," he said.

Just one little problem: that's actually what Limbaugh said last year, not this past week.

After MSNBC's Rachel Maddow picked up the story as portrayed by WND, she was huffily excoriated by NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard for presenting last year's Obama-bashing as this year's, declaring it a "bald-faced lie" and ranting, "Why are media members today allowed to lie with total impunity?" (Funny -- we could say the same thing about Sheppard.)

Maddow apologized on the next night's show, explaining that she made the mistake of trusting a WND article.

This is a highly embarrassing error for WND to commit, especially since WND editor Joseph Farah co-wrote one of Limbaugh's books and WND regularly devotes articles to Limbaugh's radio pontifications. This tells us that people at WND don't listen to Limbaugh's show as closely as they want their readers to think. 

As per its usual style of violating journalistic ethics in handling errors, WND simply deleted the article without telling readers it was deleted and issuing a public correction; it still resides in Google cache for now. Somehow, we suspect Farah issued a private apology to Limbaugh.

Of course, Maddow's apology wasn't good enough for Sheppard, for he ranted again in an Aug. 6 post:

However, is the far-left MSNBC now relying on far-right publications for its research? Are there really no resources at a division of Comcast, General Electric, and NBC to do some basic fact-checking beyond a website that those associated vehemently disagree with at every turn?

And are YouTube video descriptions considered credible enough for MSNBCer's to cite dates from?

Doesn't give you much confidence in the veracity of any of their reporting.

Is Sheppard agreeing with Maddow that nobody should be foolish enough to trust WND? If so, why isn't NewsBusters forcefully making this case to its readers? Perhaps for the same reason it won't criticize a conservative publication for publishing unflattering information about a conservative presidential candidate.

Sheppard goes on to complain that Maddow "felt the need to attack Limbaugh by accusing him of racism" by playing other Limbaugh sound bites, but Sheppard doesn't dispute the characterization, so he must agree that Maddow's clips accurately depicted Limbaugh's racial insensitivity.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 7, 2011 12:59 AM EDT
Saturday, August 6, 2011
CNS Whitewashes Perry Prayer Rally
Topic: CNSNews.com

An Aug. 5 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr touts the prayer rally today in Houston authorized by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Starr quotes only from Perry's proclamation for the rally and a Perry spokesperson. The only opposing view Starr provides is a single sentence: "Critics have said the prayer rally is designed to advance Perry’s political ambitions."

But that's only one component of the criticism of Perry's rally. Starr doesn't mention that one major criticism of the rally is the far-right nature and history of hateful comments by the groups and ministers who are putting on the rally for Perry. Right Wing Wach has compiled a fact sheet about them.

Starr also failed to report signs of low attendance at the rally. The Houston Chronicle reported on Aug. 1 -- four days before Starr's article was published -- that only  8,000 people had signed up to attend the rally at Houston's Reliant Stadium, which seats 71,500.

So much for CNS' purported mission statement of "fairly present[ing] all legitimate sides of a story."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 AM EDT
Kessler's Oppo Research: Attacking Pawlenty to Help Romney
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler declares in his Aug. 4 Newsmax column that "Ahead of next week’s Iowa caucuses, Republican presidential nominee Tim Pawlenty’s camp is worried about his pardon of a convicted sex offender who was later arrested again for criminal sexual conduct with his own daughter."

Why does Kessler care about this? Because he's the PR agent for Mitt Romney. Kessler shilled for Romney during the 2008 Republican presidential campaign -- rather uncomfortably so --  and after Romney was eliminated, he dutifully switched his allegiance to the candidate he had been bashing on Romney's behalf, John McCain. 

Kessler spent the first few months of this year trying to pave the way for a Donald Trump candidacy, but when that failed, Kessler's allegiance returned to Romney, and he remains firmly in that camp.

Kessler's hit piece on Pawlenty is really nothing more than surrogate oppo research for Romney's campaign.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EDT
Friday, August 5, 2011
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Of all the dictators over the past hundred years, I believe Obama's rise to power mirrors that of Adolf Hitler's more than anyone else. I know, I know … I can practically hear readers chuckling. Enslaved people throughout history have a propensity for chuckling – until they wake up one morning and find themselves in chains. So, by all means, feel free to chuckle – but do hear me out.

Though most people don't realize it, Hitler was legitimately chosen to be chancellor of Germany in 1933 by President Paul von Hindenburg. At his swearing-in ceremony, Hitler faithfully repeated the oath of office: "I will employ my strength for the welfare of the German people, protect the Constitution and laws of the German people, conscientiously discharge the duties imposed on me, and conduct my affairs of office impartially and with justice to everyone."

Nice words … similar to those uttered by Obama when being sworn into office. Hitler was a charming, eloquent speaker who carried on incessantly about change. (Sound familiar?) Then, once elected, he moved quickly to establish a dictatorship – accomplishing that seemingly impossible feat in 52 days. Obama moved swiftly as well, but opposing forces in America made it impractical to establish a quick dictatorship.

The upstart Nazi Party (which was the commonly used name for the National Socialist German Workers' Party … repeat, Socialist) staged a slobbering love affair between Hitler and the German people. (Sound familiar?) When Hitler spoke for the first time as chancellor, it was said that "he was greeted with an outpouring of worshipful adulation unlike anything ever seen before in Germany." (Sound familiar?)

-- Robert Ringer, July 27 WorldNetDaily column

Obama has also developed a habit of citing the American people's tacit approval of aspects of his agenda, when most would find difficulty discerning such approval. When such measures become contentious, the president asserts that the American people "want" it, and surmises that his detractors' capitulation will necessarily follow. Were he to decide that he wanted to drill holes in all of our heads, he would simply state that this is what the American people wanted.

-- Erik Rush, July 27 WorldNetDaily column

This war in the capital right now is a war between communism and capitalism. If Obama calls the "rich jet owners" evil or greedy one more time, I will explode.

Rich people are job creators ... whether they mean to be or not. Don't people with mansions need employees, accountants, lawyers, gardeners, decorators, lots of plumbers, assistants, maids, cooks, dog walkers and comedians?

Obama the Marxist quoted the Communist Manifesto when he said, "Spread the wealth."

Communists "spread the wealth" by stealing from the rich and giving to the poor - over-taxation, fees, fines, over-regulation. Communists don't have a middle class. Everyone is poor except the elite: Reid, Pelosi, Jarrett, czars and Dictator.

--Victoria Jackson, July 28 WorldNetDaily column

Over the last couple of weeks I've been watching the speeches of President Obama, House Majority Leader Boehner, Senator Reid, and a host of other influential power brokers inside the beltway and on Wall Street. The crisis of the debt ceiling has turned into something much worse than a financial problem - it has completely morphed into a political problem, which will ultimately result in a geo-political problem.

There are many parties to blame in this mess, but the fact remains that both sides of the fence have an intense hatred for each other.

President Obama, through his rhetoric, is manufacturing, creating, fertilizing (however you want to say it), class warfare, race warfare and a social uprising that could bring our country down from within.

-- Kirk Elliott, July 28 WorldNetDaily column

This outcome of this debt crisis will hopefully show all of us – right, left and center – that it's time for the establishment to be removed. John Boehner can spend his time at tanning salons and hooka bars, but he has no place as speaker of the House. And, Barack Hussein Obama, who "kidded" at this year's White House Correspondence Dinner that he is the Lion King from Kenya, can and should go back to his native land.

-- Larry Klayman, July 29 WorldNetDailiy column

How much don't we know about Barack Obama as he nears the end of his third year of White House occupation?

Well, he claims today is his 50th birthday.

Yet, incredibly, it is still only an unsubstantiated claim – and, perhaps, more suspect than ever.

-- Joseph Farah, Aug. 4 WorldNetDaily column

Looking back on the late '60s, there are several similarities between Barrack Obama and Richard Nixon. Like Nixon, Obama believes government should play a crucial role in the economy (price controls/stimulus packages); and like Nixon, Obama relies on slick political gimmicks to destroy his enemies. But unlike Nixon, Obama doesn't rely on henchmen within his administration to do his dirty work. After all, who needs a Spiro Agnew when popular comedians and MSNBC commentators do your hatchet work instead?

-- Jay Stephenson, Aug. 5 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 5:50 PM EDT
WND's Rush Falsely Smears Soros As 'Nazi Collaborator'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Among the various attacks on President Obama in Erik Rush's Aug. 3 WorldNetDaily column, like his claim that Obama "became a constitutional lawyer, I contend, expressly so he could use his knowledge to skirt the Constitution," he feels the need to describe George Soros as a "former Nazi collaborator."

That is a malicious lie. As has been documented, the Jewish Soros, while a teenager in Nazi-occupied Hungary, had to pose as the godson of another man in order to keep from being identified as a Jew. During that time, the man was assigned to take inventory of a Jewish family that had left its belongings behind in exchange for safe passage out of the country, and Soros tagged along. The property was being taken by the Nazis no matter what Soros did, which was little more than tag along. There was no collaboration with Nazis.

Given that this comes from a guy who has likened Obama to a rapist, can we really expect anything from Rush except malicious smears?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:00 PM EDT
CNS Reporter Moonlights For Partisan Attack Group
Topic: CNSNews.com

An Aug. 2 WorldNetDaily article touts a report by the right-wing Capital Research Center -- home of the perpetually wrong Matthew Vadum -- on the legal watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, largely complaining that George Soros has donated to the group and that it goes after liberals more than conservatives.

That CRC report, interestingly, was written by a familiar name: CNSNews.com reporter Fred Lucas.

Why is Lucas, who purports to be a "news" reporter, moonlighting for a clearly partisan "research" organization like the CRC? After all, any organization that keeps Vadum employed clearly has a partisan agenda to push. This seems to be just another sign that CNS no longer cares about keeping up the pretense of being a real news outlet and has embraced its real agenda of being a right-wing attack machine.

It's also yet another swing of the revolving door of CNS staffers who swing between CNS so-called journalism and right-wing activism.

It's also worth noting that while both Lucas and WND hyperventilate over Soros donating $100,000 to CREW and other liberal groups donating as well, they are dwarfed by Richard Mellon Scaife foundation donations to the right-wing Judicial Watch -- more than $8.7 million since 1997. Lucas and WND don't seem bothered at all by that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 AM EDT
WND Unhappy With Idea That It Can't Lie With Impunity
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 1 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh carries the alarming opening:

A federal judge who owes his lifetime appointment to Barack Obama today concluded that a pro-life organization whose leaders criticized a politician for supporting Obamacare for funding abortions just might be guilty of defamation – and possibly worthy of jail time.

Of course, the facts are much less alarming -- and they could have consequences for WND's brand of loose-with-the-facts journalism.

The case involves former U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus, who lost re-election in 2010 in part, he claims, because of ads by the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List claiming that Driehaus supports "taxpayer funded abortion." Unruh's suggestion that anyone currently faces "jail time" over the incident is false -- that applied only to a criminal complaint Driehaus had originally filed with the Ohio Elections Commission that he has since dropped. The current lawsuit is a civil action with no possibility of jail time.

The central question in Driehaus' lawsuit is whether the Susan B. Anthony List's claim that he voted for "taxpayer funding of abortion" when he voted for the health care reform bill. Dreihaus contends it's false, and the judge (whose appointment background is irrelevant) agreed, writing, ""Whether it is possible … that the PPACA would not prevent taxpayer funded abortion is entirely different from providing for 'taxpayer funded abortion.' The express language of the PPACA does not provide for taxpayer funded abortion." Thus, Driehaus' lawsuit can go forward.

Unruh, of course, is compelled only to report the SBA List's reaction, plus some of his own inadequately documented claims. First he writes:

In fact, the Obama administration confirmed in July 2010, as reported by ABC News, that the president's signature health care legislation funds abortions in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's health is at risk.

Unruh misleads by portraying health care reform as a change from previous federal abortion policy. It is not -- under the Hyde amendment, first approved in 1976, those are the only conditions under which the federal government funds abortions, and health care reform did not alter it.

Unruh then writes:

Further, it now has ruled that all insurance carriers will be required to include coverage of the Plan B "morning-after" pill that can destroy the life of a fertilized egg by preventing the implantation of the developing embryo, Answers in Genesis pointed out.

Noted the prominent organization, "Despite the evidence that Plan B has a secondary mechanism as an abortifacient, the FDA allows Plan B packaging and patient information to claim that it does not cause abortion... The 'truth' of this claim depends on new government-approved definitions."

Of course, Answers in Genesis -- whose goal is "to illustrate the importance of Genesis in building a creation-based worldview, and to equip readers with practical answers so they can confidently communicate the gospel and biblical authority with accuracy and graciousness" -- is not an organization qualified to render a medical judgment on what Plan B does. Oh, and it's not an "abortion pill."

The question remains whether the SBA List's ads rise to the level of "actual malice" required under defamation law. Unruh dutifully reported the SBA List attorney's assertions that it does not because his group "researched Obamacare themselves, and they also read the opinions of other groups that also concluded that Obamacare provided taxpayer funds for abortion services," and that even if the claim is false, it's "protected opinion."

This raises some interesting questions for WND, which has repeatedly published false claims about President Obama and his administration. Given that actual malice toward the president is practically WND's editorial policy, if Driehaus successfully obtains a verdict of defamation against the SBA list, that opens up a path of defamation litigation against WND for its shoddy, malicious journalism.

WND will make any plaintiff drag it out in court, however. Remember, it took seven years for WND to admit that it published falsehoods about an associate of Al Gore.

No wonder WND is alarmed by this case -- it might just be the thing that results in it being held accountable for its malicious lies.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT

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