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Monday, August 29, 2011
NewsBusters' Sheppard Repeats Discredited Claim to Attack Gore
Topic: NewsBusters

In order to rebut a claim by Al Gore that "scientists espousing a skeptical view of his money-making theory are exclusively doing so for their own financial benefit," Noel Sheppard writes in an Aug. 28 NewsBusters post:

As Sen. Jim Inhofe's (R-Ok.) former communications director Marc Morano reported in 2007:

Newsweek reporter Eve Conant was given the documentation showing that proponents of man-made global warming have been funded to the tune of $50 BILLION in the last decade or so, but the Magazine chose instead to focus on how skeptics have reportedly received a paltry $19 MILLION from ExxonMobil over the last two decades.

But as we detailed at the time, Morano's analysis manages to be both inaccurate and dishonest. Morano not only falsely portrayed ExxonMobil's $19 million as the only money that climate "skeptics" receive -- there are numerous other organizations that donate to, and promote, climate "skeptic" causes -- he also counted an overly broad array of items, such as alternative fuels, under "man-made global warming" funding.

Sheppard then claimed that "the Science and Public Policy Institute updated and confirmed these numbers." But the SPPI makes the same dishonest error that Morano did, comparing an overbroad "$79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, education campaigns, foreign aid, and tax breaks" against the narrow amount donated by one company, ExxonMobil.

Sheppard has been an incredibly dishonest global warming "skeptic," but you knew that already.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 AM EDT
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Public School Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Libertarian critics want to get rid of public education entirely. These arguments have merit. Our Founding Fathers quite deliberately did NOT include public education as a responsibility of the federal government because they considered the education of children to be solely the responsibility of the parents … or at best, applicable at the state level via the 10th Amendment.

While I entirely agree with the libertarian argument, I recognize this isn't likely to happen any time soon. Thanks to 50 years of progressive control of schools, we have a bunch of texting monkeys unable to write a coherent sentence, solve a basic math problem, and who have never heard of John Winthrop (though most of them know precisely who Harvey Milk was). Deprived of a sound education but brainwashed into thinking they turned out just fine, thank you, these voters are not likely to disassemble the cancerous Department of Education that has invaded and dumbed down public schools.

And make no mistake, this dumbing down is deliberate. How else to explain punishing teachers for teaching the curriculum? Clearly determined to make sure children grow up as ignorant as possible, a teacher in Chicago is being charged with "weapons violations" for showing tools to a class of second-graders for a curriculum that required a discussion of tools. For having the temerity to actually (gasp) bring tools into the classroom (wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, etc.), the teacher faces "disciplinary action and possible termination."

-- Patrice Lewis, Aug. 26 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 8:33 PM EDT
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source (And Language Misuse) Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 27 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein cites anonymous "Egyptian security officials" to claim that "The so-called popular uprising in Libya was supported and partially carried out by foreign mercenaries." Not only does Klein not explain why anyone should trust his "Egyptian security officials" -- possibly the same ones he relied on in his attempt to prop up the brutal Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak -- he doesn't explain why he doubts the extent to which Libyans support the rebellion against brutal dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Klein also has a little problem with the English language:

 

The claim may bolster critics who question the composure of the rebels' National Transitional Council, which has been recognized by the United States and most of the international community as the country's de facto government.


We're pretty sure he means "composition" instead of "composure," but we could be wrong.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 AM EDT
Saturday, August 27, 2011
NewsBusters' Sheppard: Mennonites Hate America
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard, in an Aug. 27 NewsBusters post, introduced a story about a Mennonite college banned the playing of the national anthem this way: "Just when you thought the America-hating in this nation couldn't go much further, a college campus decides to ban the national anthem at sporting events."

Yes, Sheppard just declared that Mennonites -- a Christian sect known for their pacifism, modest living, and conservative dress -- hate America. Good job, Noel!


Posted by Terry K. at 6:20 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2011 6:21 PM EDT
WND's Erik Rush Doesn't Back Up His "Homofascist" Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Erik Rush's Aug. 24 WorldNetDaily column is about an alleged campaign on Facebook "to target and harass those who oppose homosexuals dictating the moral agenda in America, as well as people with whom they associate":

Several pages on Facebook run by these homofascist operatives have compiled information on specific individuals. Their principals not only post scathing screeds about said "homophobes," but they have gone as far as to contact their friends, family members, employers and clients. They have disseminated information about these "offenders" on those pages, for the express purpose of making the lives of these people as unpleasant as possible. Some have even lost their jobs as a result of employer retaliation by bosses who are "sympathetic to the cause." It will probably not surprise that these militant homosexuals have a decidedly anti-Christian bent and that the majority of their targets are those of that faith. "Christer" is the salacious invective used on one page, usually with an even more insulting descriptor preceding.

Completely missing from Rush's column is any substantiation of the claims he's making -- no links, no screenshots, nothing but a couple of anonymous, unsubstantiated quotes complaining about the purported harrassment -- or any direct quotes of the comments that set off the supposed harrassment. Somehow, we suspect that those comments go well beyond the mere expression of "traditional values" who are "simply trying to enjoy a new medium of information exchange" that Rush claims.

Without any substantiation of his charges, it's hard to take Rush's gay-bashing seriously. After all, this is a guy who accused President Obama of "collectively sodomizing the American people in perpetuity."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2011 12:00 PM EDT
Friday, August 26, 2011
Farah Roots for DC's Destruction, Then Claims He's Being Misquoted
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah appeared to be rooting for the destruction of Washington in his Aug. 23 WorldNetDaily column, in the wake of the earthquake that hit the East Coast:

Look, this earthquake turned out to be a warning only, without loss of life or serious property damage. But there will be a bigger one coming, as everyone should understand.

Your life can change dramatically in the blink of an eye.

I don't know what to expect from this hurricane on its way toward the East Coast. It could be devastating for some or nothing at all.

Nevertheless, it's always a good time to get right with God.

[...]

Washington, D.C., deserves more than the wallop it got today. It needs a much bigger shaking up than it got. And I have no doubts that it is coming – unless there is a real change of heart in the leadership of this country.

After all, if America doesn't face judgment soon, God will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. And God doesn't offer apologies.

Then again, God could just be sending a sign to Farah to stop using his website to peddle lies, distortions and birtherism and to become an honest journalist. Farah's probably too arrogant in his faith to have considered that interpretation, though.

The following day, Farah asserted that ABC had "deliberately misquoted" him from his column:

When I say "deliberately misquoted," I don't mean a reporter for ABC News interviewed me about my column and mischaracterized what I said. What I mean is that a reporter for ABC News read the column and pulled words out of context to suggest I was saying things I was not saying.

Which, of course, is not "deliberately misquoting" at all; it's taking something out of context -- something WND does on a regular basis.

Anyway, back to Farah:

But here's where I have a problem: "Farah went on to warn that 'there will be a bigger one coming' because 'Washington, D.C., deserves more than the wallop it got today. It needs a much bigger shaking than it got.'"

You will notice the partial quote "there will be a bigger one coming." You will notice the linking word "because." But if you read my column, as I'm sure this ABC reporter did, you will notice that these ideas of a "bigger one coming" and "Washington needing a wallop" are nowhere close to each other in the piece. They are not related ideas. They were purposely and inappropriately linked by the ABC reporter to suggest I was talking about a bigger quake coming to Washington, D.C. I never said that. I said the city needs one. I said the city deserves one. But I never said one was coming.

Actually, he kinda did. Here's the full context of that statement:

Look, this earthquake turned out to be a warning only, without loss of life or serious property damage. But there will be a bigger one coming, as everyone should understand.

Farah is very much talking about a bigger earthquake coming. Given that the entire column is about warning people to get right with God or worse things will happen, it's entirely reasonable to conclude that Farah is talking about a bigger earthquake coming -- and entirely hypocritical for Farah to complain about being taken out of context when at no point in either column he establishes what the proper context is for his claim that there will be "a bigger one coming."

Farah whining continued:

I think it's also worth pointing out that I never attributed any of this activity to "D.C. politics," as both the story and the headline of the ABC report contend.

I did say there needed to be a change of heart in the leadership of this country. But that is something very different than "D.C. politics."

When you are talking about Washington deserving to get hit by a bigger earthquake, you are indeed talking about "D.C. politics."

If Farah doesn't want to be as misinterpreted as he claims he is, perhaps he should have written more clearly in the first place.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2011 5:01 PM EDT
MRC Declares That ABC Hidden-Camera Show Is 'Liberal'
Topic: NewsBusters

Gosh, you can't get anything past the liberal-bias detectors at the Media Research Center. Having already declared Twitter to have a liberal bias, the MRC has found yet another font of bias: ABC's hidden-camera show "What Would You Do?"

The headline on MRC employee Scott Whitlock's Aug. 25 NewsBusters post declares "What Would You Do?" to be a "Liberal Hidden Video Show." Whitlock doesn't use that word in the body of his post, but he offers examples of what he presumably means:

The ABC program uses a hidden camera to see how people react. On February 4, 2011, host John Quinones explained how the show hired an actor to play a security guard and pretend to harass Mexicans. The piece, billed as an investigation of Arizona's immigration law, featured the faux-security guard spewing, "...If they're not legal citizens, they shouldn't be here. They should be deported. They look Mexican."

 On March 4, 2011, Quinones and his TV crew constructed a hidden camera scenario that involved gay military veterans expressing physical affection for each other in a diner.

The journalist narrated, "They're holding hands, stroking each other's hair and caressing each other's legs...So what will happen if we throw in our actor Vince, posing as an irritated diner, who's had enough of this PDA."

PDA is "liberal"? We had no idea. Or is it only when gays do it?

We've previously detailed how Whitlock criticized the hidden-camera segments on "What Would You Do?" while praising the right-wing hidden-camera entrapment antics of Lila Rose.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 AM EDT
WND Ventures Into Racially Charged Territory By Implying That Obama Is Lazy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The right-wing media have spent much of this month sniping at President Obama for taking a vacation. Now, some are taking the criticism up a notch, venturing into racially charged territory in the process.

In an August 22 column, WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farah wrote that “You won't hear me complain that Obama is taking his 17th vacation in the last two-and-half years,” adding: “We should be grateful the man has no work ethic. Just imagine the damage he would have done to the country if he did.” Farah also asserted that Obama “vacations more than any of his predecessors,” which is simply false.

Then, in his August 23 WND column, Burt Prelutsky took a break from hurling epithets like “loathsome” and “Chicago cockroach” at Obama to declare: “I wouldn't care if Obama was a Muslim if he weren't such an arrogant, lazy, snotty, lying socialist.”

That’s twice this week that WND columnists have portrayed Obama as lazy. The idea of the lazy black man is among the hoariest bits of stereotypical racial imagery out there, as Media Matters noted when Fox News’ Eric Bolling described Obama as “chugging 40s” and having “hoodlums in the hizzouse.”

It’s not the first time that the birther-obsessed WND branch of anti-Obama activism has ventured into this territory. Last year, the WND-affiliated Western Journalism Center published an article with the headline “Is Obama Stupid and Lazy?”

(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)


Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EDT
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Meanwhile ...
Topic: NewsBusters

Media Matters catches NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard falsely asserting that "2009's ClimateGate as well as a myriad of recent findings concerning significant errors in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 report have clearly proven" that "manipulation of data" on global warming has occurred. In fact, tghe National Science Foundation cleared "ClimateGate" scientist Michael Mann of scientific misconduct, and the IPCC doesn't conduct research, only summarizes it.

Sheppard is a longtime promoter of global warming fabulism.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:12 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:57 PM EDT
WND Thinks Anti-Obama Rants Are 'News'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Just in case it wasn't clear how much WorldNetDailiy hates Obama and will be doing everything possible (within its little circle of influence, anyway) to keep him from getting re-elected: An entire Aug. 23 WND article is devoted to documenting the rantings of a foreign newspaper columnist who called Obama "a living and breathing nightmare."

At no point does WND explain why Yigal Walt's hate is of any importance when he does not even apparently live in the United States. It's simply a summarization of Walt's spew-fest.

This is what WND has become. It no longer cares about journalism, if it ever did; it's just a far-right political organization.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:50 PM EDT
AIM, Newsmax Bash MLK Monument For Chinese Ties
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The news that the new Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington was created by a Chinese sculptor is tailor-made for right-wing freakouts, and the ConWeb has obliged.

Cliff Kincaid, of course, ranted about it in an Aug. 23 Accuracy in Media article declaring that the sculpture "was 'outsourced' to Lei Yixin, a Chinese government-approved sculptor best known for creating edifices glorifying Mao Tse-Tung, father of Communist China and notorious mass-murderer." Kincaid goes on to cite anonymous bloggers and foreign newspapers criticizing the choice. Kincaid also wrote that "Mao, in a 1968 official Chinese government pamphlet, declared that King had been 'assassinated by the U.S. imperialists' and that they had 'killed him in cold blood.'"

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has noted that a construction boom in China has given Lei ample opportunity to build his skills, and reported that Lei was the choice of Harry E. Johnson Sr., president of the foundation that built the monument, was "Lei's skill at capturing personalities in sculptures, his expertise in hewing granite and his extensive experience with large public monuments."

Kincaid followed up with a column rehashing clips from Washington Post columnists criticizing the monument as the paper plans to publish a special section about it.

Newsmax piled on as well in an Aug. 22 article by Jim Meyers, who similarly cited a foreign newspaper to attack Lei and claimed that the sculpture "shows King emerging from a mountain of Chinese granite with his arms crossed."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EDT
WND Whiffs In Promoting Non-Scandal To Attack Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein is trying real hard to find a scandal in an Aug. 22 WorldNetDaily article:

President Obama's former political director worked at an international advertising agency that received government funds to direct a multi-million dollar campaign to sell Obamacare to the public, WND has learned.

Last week, Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates government corruption, reportedly obtained documents showing the White House helped coordinate the taxpayer-funded publicity campaign.

The campaign used Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo to drive Web traffic to government websites promoting the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The campaign was led by Ogilvy & Mather, an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency based in Manhattan.

The documents, obtained using a Freedom of Information request, showed that from October 2010 through February 2011, the Obama administration spent $1,435,009 on an online advertising campaign alone, including campaigns with Google and Yahoo, at almost $300,000 per month.

Andrea Shea King similarly tries to find scandal in this story in a separate Aug. 22 WND article:

In the "Why are we not surprised?" department, Surfin' Safari has learned that the government watchdog group Judicial Watch can prove the Obama administration used our taxpayer dollars to orchestrate a campaign to manipulate search engines to promote Obamacare.

Under a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, lawsuit, Judicial Watch learned through Department of Health and Human Services documents that the Obama White House "helped coordinate a multimillion dollar taxpayer-funded campaign to use Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo to drive web traffic to a government website promoting the Affordable Health Care Act (also known as Obamacare)."

According to Judicial Watch, the campaign, which included PR firm The Ogilvy Group, was designed "to increase public support for the president’s health-care overhaul among key Obama campaign demographics, specifically Hispanics, blacks and women."

What Klein and King won't tell you: It's not that big of a deal.

The "manipulat[ing]" of search engines King claims was done, as Judicial Watch notes, was nothing more than "'pay-per-click' advertising tools, such as Google Adwords" -- the same advertising program WND has installed on its website and WND is utilizing right now in a scheme to generate additions to its mailing list.

Further, the $1.4 million the Obama administration is accused of spending on promoting health care reform pales in comparison to the $12.6 million the Bush administration spent in 2004 to promote Medicare prescription drug benefits. WND and Judical Watch won't tell you that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011 6:51 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Noel Sheppard Cheers Republicans Who Put Politics Before Country
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard used an Aug. 22 NewsBusters post to express his annoyance that Howard Fineman said that Republicans are refusing to praise President Obama for the imminent ouster of Moammar Gadhafi from Libya, adding, "If Barack Obama came out and said, 'You know, I really love apple pie,' they would say, 'Apple pie is a socialist plot'”:

As I've said for years, it takes a tremendous number of rationalizations to be a liberal these days.

What is also quite striking about today's left-leaning political analysts is how they conveniently feign total ignorance of politics when the situation warrants.

There's an election next year that the Republicans would like to win. It is therefore not in their best interest to say nice things about the president they're trying to defeat.

Surely someone that has covered national politics since 1978 is not only aware of this, but also has experienced it throughout his career.

Apart from the months immediately following 9/11, Democrats hardly ever had anything nice to say about George W. Bush. That's called politics.

Unfortunately, folks like Fineman lose all knowledge of how this game works whenever there's a Democrat in the White House.

At that point, Republicans are considered rude if they don't fawn and gush over him like members of the media do.

Sorry to disappoint you, Howard.

So it's OK for Republicans to put politics before country, Noel? All righty, then.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 11:13 PM EDT
WND's Massie: Rep. Waters Is The Spawn of Satan
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Rep. Maxine Waters, the despiteous Democrat from California, not only thinks tea-party people should go to hell – she has offered to show us the way.

Do tell. First of all, the devil is from hell, so it stands to reason that one of his children would know the way back home.

[...]

Oh, and one last thing. The next time Waters offers to lead an exhibition of discovery to her father's homeland, I, for one, hope she stays.

-- Mychal Massie, Aug. 22 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 11:18 AM EDT
NewsBusters Finds A Tax It Wants To Raise
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters, normally advocates of tax cuts, has found a tax it wants to raise.

In an Aug. 22 post, Tom Blumer rants at an Associated Press article that he claims is "a long-winded, chidish taunt about the supposed hypocrisy of anyone who would like to see" elimination of the payroll tax cut. Blumer takes particular offense at the idea that "Many of the same Republicans who fought hammer-and-tong to keep the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts from expiring on schedule are now saying a different 'temporary' tax cut should end as planned. By their own definition, that amounts to a tax increase."

Blumer huffs that "hammer-and-tong" is "violent-appearing imagery," further complaining that "The evidence that this year's cut did much of anything to "help the economy and create jobs" is sparse indeed, given that the latest data on economic growth show an average rate of less than 1% annualized during the first six months of 2011." He then defends the Bush tax cuts:

First of all, the tax cuts took place in 2001 and 2003; the latter cut, which reduced across-the-board income tax rates as well as the rates on capital gains and dividend distributions, were far more important in affecting business behavior and improving the economy. As seen here, after the 2003 tax changes were passed, Treasury receipts increased by 44% from $1.78 trillion in fiscal 2003 to $2.57 trillion in fiscal 2007. Despite overindulgent spending by Congress during that time, the deficit in fiscal 2007 came in at $162 billion, which in Obamaland isn't that much different from the deficit in a typical month.

But Blumer showed only correlation, not causation, and he did not explain why the payroll tax cut did not have thet same effect he claims the Bush tax cuts did.

Blumer also repeats a right-wing fallacy:

Several other AP writers in the past 2-3 months have pointed out that the referenced $1,000 has been gobbled up by increases in gas prices, the responsibility for which largely resides in the administration's refusal to explore and drill for oil (which, if done aggressively enough, would certainly bring down the worldwide barrel price and prices at the gas pump).

In fact, experts agree that even an aggressive expansion of oil production in the U.S. would have little effect on global oil prices.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EDT

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