ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Thursday, September 1, 2011
Newsmax's Ruddy Can't Quite Give Up Middle East Dictators
Topic: Newsmax

In his Aug. 30 column, Newsmax editor Christopher Ruddy's praise for moves to get rid of Middle Eastern dictators is weirdly tempered by their supposedly good side.

Ruddy writes that while Egypt's Hosni Mubarak was corrupt, he was also a U.S ally:

At the time of the Cairo demonstrations, I praised President Barack Obama's decision to move against the Mubarak regime and push for his ouster. Since then, the developments in Egypt are worrisome and should create anxiety about what's next for Libya, Syria, and other Arab states, including Saudi Arabia.

We should not forget that Mubarak was, in fact, a staunch ally of the U.S. over three decades. He kept alive the Camp David peace accords signed by his predecessor, Anwar Sadat. The peace with Israel was a cold one, but real nonetheless. He also kept Islamic radicalism at bay.

Still, Mubarak, his family, and cronies were corrupt and his regime fell under its own weight after a popular uprising, and perhaps with a helpful push from the Obama administration.

Now, Mubarak, on his death bed, is being tried in a Cairo court, lying in a cage. This image of Mubarak in a cage seems a terrible symbol of what happens to leaders that befriend the United States and champion their interests.

Similarly, while Ruddy condemns Syria's Assad regime for crushing protests, it's mitigated by keeping the peace with Israel:

With Egypt and Libya cooked, the Obama administration appears anxious to overthrow the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. But we need to ask again, Who replaces al-Assad?

Al-Assad is a dictator, but we should note several things. First, he and his father, have kept stability along the Syrian and Israeli border since war lasted erupted in 1973. It appears Syria has been anxious to modernize and even to be accepted by Western powers, but it has been rebuffed for several reasons.

Nevertheless, the al-Assad government’s recent efforts to crush civilian protesters should be universally condemned.

Al-Assad himself had been educated and trained as an ophthalmologist in England. The young al-Assad who took power in 2000 after the death of his father appeared to bring a whiff of fresh air into Syria.

Ruddy concludes: "The U.S. would be wise to go slow in demanding regime change, until we have a clear plan on who replaces the 'bad guys.'" Does Ruddy really think that support for the U.S. and their allies somehow make repressive dictators somehow less "bad"?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 PM EDT
Corsi Is Even More Rabidly Birther Away From WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It appears that the birther stuff Jerome Corsi pushes when he's away from WorldNetDaily is even more crazy than what he publishes there.

Media Matters found a video of a presentation Corsi gave to a tea party group in Arizona, in which he peddled his birther conspiracies. Corsi had this exchange with an audience member:

WOMAN: Does it concern you that he doesn't look a thing like Sr -- Obama Sr. -- but he does look a lot like Malcolm X?

[Laughter from audience. Man off camera says "that's a good one."]

CORSI: There's no proof that he is Malcolm X's son. He does not look like Barack Obama Sr. at all, and I've had a lot of questions as to whether he's the father. Want to know what I think? I've always thought the father was Indonesian. There's an Indonesian look alike very much like Barack Obama, and I think his characteristics are more Indonesian than they are -- and she might have met some Indonesian at [unintelligible] bar one night and that might be how it happened.

Media Matters also notes that Corsi's activism site, 1776 Nation, is planning a "Millionpatriotsmarch" in Washington Oct. 1 that at this writing is falling well short of that goal; only three people have said they're attending.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:03 AM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Still Gallup-Mining, Inventing Arcane Measurements to Attack Obama
Topic: CNSNews.com

It seems Terry Jeffrey really doesn't have anything better to do as CNSNews.com editor-in-chief than mine Gallup polls for into he can use to attack President Obama and promote conservatives. He has cranked out a couple more Gallup-related articles this week:

Negative View of Federal Government Hits New High in Gallup Poll

Gallup: Obama’s Approval Hits All-Time Low of 41 Percent Among Women

Meanwhile, Jeffrey is continuing to find ever more arcane ways of manipulating economic numbers to make Obama look bad. Jeffrey asked in an Aug. 31 article: "Will Barack Obama become the first president in the post-World War II era during whose term real gross domestic product never grew in any quarter at an annual rate greater than 4 percent?" Of course, that's not a standard measurement of presidential economic competence; Jeffrey appears to have just made it up.

Because Jeffrey continues to obliterate the line between news and opinion at CNS, he writes in this "news" article:

For Obama to match that, the economy would need to be growing at 6.3 percent right now.

So, why isn't it?

Perhaps it is simply because people who in other periods would be investing their money, taking risks, building businesses, creating jobs and making themselves and their neighbors wealthier people are holding back out of the reasonable fear that under President Obama, there could be escalating government taxation and regulation, which would make their hard work and investment not worth the risk. 

Looks like someone cares a lot more about scoring political points than reporting facts objectively.

UPDATE: Jeffrey pounded out yet another Gallup-related article: 

Gallup: Unemployment Went Up—Again—in August


Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 26, 2011 10:27 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Meanwhile ...
Topic: The ConWeb

I appeared on Episode 8 of Media Matters' Blogdome! podcast last week to talk about the right-wing freakout over the Canadian origin of the bus President Obama used on his recent Midwestern tour.

Download it for free through iTunes here.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:49 PM EDT
Molotov Mitchell Defends His Embarrassing Rap Video
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Molotov Mitchell devotes an extra-long edition of his weekly WorldNetDaily video to reading, mocking and rebutting an essay by California-Berkeley professor Elizabeth Abel's critique of Mitchell and his crew's embarrassing anti-Obama rap "One Term President."

We can't find a copy of the critique ol' Molotov claims to be reading from on the Internets, but in Mitchell's version, Abel is criticizing the implicit racist and anti-Muslim tone of the video. That seems to be more in-depth analysis than is deserved for anything Molotov does, much less this silly video, but Mitchell gamely tries to make Abel look as bad as possible while defending the indefensible (he insists that "I'm sick of smelling like a mosque after Ramadan" "is a funny line, and you know it").

But then, Mitchell misspells "Berkeley" in the final on-screen text, so what does he know?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:08 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 2:34 PM EDT
Horowitz Spews Obama Derangement At Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

Back in 2008, David Horowitz warned against succumbing to Obama Derangement Syndrome over Barack Obama's election as president, asserting that birthers are "embarrassing and destructive" and "essentially arguing that 64 million voters should be disenfranchised because of a contested technicality as to whether Obama was born on U.S. soil," which he said is "not conservatism; it is sore loserism and quite radical in its intent." But now, Horowitz is succumbing to a different strain of ODS.

In an Aug. 29 interview with Newsmax, Horowitz declared that Obama "basically despises America," adding:

Obama is a radical of his (Horowitz’s) generation and actually is a product of the worst part of the 1960s, he said. Obama was a close political ally of 1960s radical and later education professor Bill Ayers, who Horowitz knows very well given his own background as a former leader in the New Left.

“I don’t think Obama cares about this country and I think he is intent on bankrupting it and diminishing our military to the point where we are a second-rate power,” he said. “He is already the most dangerous president we’ve had in modern times.”

Horowitz charged that Obama has surrendered the Middle East to the Muslim Brotherhood.

“There will be a war there soon and he’s responsible and that’s because he basically despises America and wants us to lose in these global conflicts,” he said.

Horowitz also believes that American exceptionalism is in danger under Obama.

“We are a unique country,” he said. “The left under Obama is destroying that uniqueness. The Obamacare is not even a disguised plan to turn this into a socialist country and make everyone a dependent of the state. In history we are really unique where we have been a nation of individualists, distrustful of government, jealous of our liberty, and the Obamaites are systemically destroying our liberties.”

What was that Horowitz once said about sore loserism? Never mind.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 2:08 PM EDT
WND Tries To Spin Taitz Lawsuit Dismissal As Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh does his best to turn a summary judgment against birther lawyer Orly Taitz into a conspiracy in an Aug. 30  WorldNetDaily article.

Not only does Unruh not explain what a summary judgment is -- a finding of facts by a judge where the outcome is obvious --  he attempts to paint Judge Royce Lamberth as obstructionist in Taitz's lawsuit attempt to release Barack Obama's Social Security files:

He concluded that there's no real interest in determining whether the Obama Social Security Number is genuine or fraudulent, and the need for secrecy for the president trumps all else.

"The SSA explained that the Privacy Act of 1974 ... protects the personal information of social security number holders," he wrote. "The SSA determined ... the plaintiff had identified no public interest that would be served by disclosure."

"Plaintiff makes no secret of her intention to use the redacted Form SS-5 to identify the holder of social security number xxxx-xxx-4425 – or, as plaintiff puts it, to confirm her suspicion that the president is fraudulently using that number," the judge wrote.

But Lamberth wrote in the case against Michael Astrue, Social Security commissioner, whether Obama is using a fake number isn't his concern.

"Even if plaintiff's allegations were true, an individual's status as a public official does not, as plaintiff contends, 'make exemption 6 irrelevant to him and his vital records.'"

Lamberth's ruling is much more clear, and less conspiratorial, than Unruh portrays it. Lamberth stated that Obama's status as a public official does not make him exempt from privacy regulations that govern release of Social Security documents and the "secrecy" every other American expects from Social Security:

Plaintiff’s allegation that the requested Form SS-5 is associated with a public official does not diminish the privacy interest at stake here. Even if plaintiff’s allegation were true, an individual’s status as a public official does not, as plaintiff contends, “make exemption 6 irrelevant to him and his vital records.” ... To be sure, a public official’s “privacy interests may be diminished in cases where information sought under FOIA would likely disclose ‘official misconduct.’” ... But plaintiff’s unsubstantiated allegations, without more, do not persuade the Court that therequested information “would likely disclose” official misconduct, id., and thus do not affect thecalculus here.

WND thus proves once again that it hates Obama so much that it cannot tell the honest truth about any birther-related issue.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:20 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Revolving Door
Topic: CNSNews.com
Right-wing activists have used CNS as a way station to do "reporting" before moving on to more right-wing activism. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EDT
Farah Can't Stop Misleading About 'Natural Born Citizen' Definition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah writes in his Aug. 29 WorldNetDaily column:

Two candidates for the job are mentioned over and over again – two wonderful, charismatic public servants whose only problem is they are not constitutionally eligible to be president.

They are Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

Don't get me wrong. I like both of these guys. If I were eligible to vote in Florida or Louisiana, I would vote to re-elect them. I would support either one for almost any job in America. But there is one job for which they are, by chance of birth, 100 percent, totally and inarguably ineligible to hold office – and that is the presidency of the United States.

Why?

Because both are sons of parents who were not U.S. citizens when they were born.

It's just that simple. To be a natural born citizen means to be the offspring of U.S. citizen parents at the time of birth.

Farah is misleading. As he surely knows, the Constitution contains no definition of "natural born citizen," and and no U.S. court has explicitly defined the term as it applies to presidential eligibility.

Thus, Farah's claim that Rubio and Jindal -- and, by extension, Barack Obama -- are "totally and inarguably ineligible" because they are "sons of parents who were not U.S. citizens when they were born" is merely an opinion expressed by a non-lawyer, not the undisputed fact he portrays it as.

Which means WND is misinforming its readers again. Anyone surprised?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 PM EDT
WND Cites Philandering Adulterer To Attack Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 27 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh cites "a former FBI special agent in Washington" to claim that "Infiltration of the federal government by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood is worse than some have warned recently." But Unruh won't tell you that the agent's personal life has discredited him and cost him his job at the FBI.

Unruh writes:

Former FBI special agent John Guandolo says Obama's ties to agents for the Muslim Brotherhood are even more extensive.

"The level of penetration in the last three administrations is deep," he said. "For this president, it even goes back to his campaign with Muslim Brotherhood folks working with him then."

Equally alarming, the Brotherhood also has placed several operatives and sympathizers within key positions in Homeland Security and the U.S. military, notes Guandolo, a former Marine Corps officer.

The veteran federal agent says such infiltration threatens national security, because the U.S. leadership of the international Brotherhood has outlined a secret plan to "destroy" the U.S. and other Western governments "from within."

Note Unruh's credibility-building descriptors for Guandolo -- "former Marine Corps officer," "veteran federal agent." But Unruh doesn't mention why Guandolo is no longer with the FBI.

Talking Points Memo reported that the married Guandolo resigned from the FBI after superiors found a list he wrote of his sexual conquests with agents and a confidential source. Notably, Guandolo had an affair with a key witness in the corruption case of former Louisiana congressman William Jefferson while simultaneously soliciting a $75,000 donation from her to an anti-terrorism group. Even Guandolo admitted that he may have jeopardized the Jefferson investigation with his sexual behavior.

Given WND's long-documented hatred of deviant sexual behavior, why is it quoting a philandering adulterer as a trusted source?

The rest of Unruh's article is problematic as well. It carries the subheadline "FBI: Penetration by radical agents worse than thought," though Guandolo is no longer an FBI agent.

Unruh also repeats attacks by so-called "Muslim reformer" Tarek Fatah on Obama administration members Dalia Mogahed and Rashad Hussain. Unruh uncritically passed along Fatah's claim that Mogahed "writes (Obama's) speeches"; in fact, she's a researcher who was consulted on Obama's 2009 Cairo speech.

Unruh further wrote of Mogahed:

Also helping with the president's speeches and policies toward Muslims is Mogahed, whose pro-Islamist statements have been posted on the Muslim Brotherhood's website, ikhwanweb.com.

Obama appointed the hijab-wearing Mogahed to the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. On a British television program, Islam Channel, Mogahed defended Shariah law, the barbaric Islamic legal code that treats women as second-class citizens.

Muslim women actually "associate gender justice or justice for women with Shariah compliance," she argued. "It is 'only a small fraction' that associate Shariah with 'oppression of women.'"

She added that Muslims should work to integrate Islamic law into public law.

In fact, in the interview Unruh is presumably referring to, Mogahed did not defend Sharia law; Mogahed said that she was "sure there are people out there" who believe that "the United States and Britain and other countries should be open to, the concept of, you know, integrating Sharia into laws in Muslim-majority societies," and she did not discuss what "a lot of Americans ... think" about Sharia law.

Unruh also claimed that Hussain (whom Unruh quotes Farah misidentifying as "Hassain") "has raised suspicions" because he once "defended Brotherhood leaders like Sami al-Arian." Unruh didn't mention that Hussain later stated that his statements about al-Arian were " ill-conceived or not well-formulated."

Unruh also portrays Hussain as a "devout Muslim" who "has told Afghans the antidote to Islamic violence 'is Islam itself,'" without mentioning Hussain's long record in opposing terrorism.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:21 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 1:45 PM EDT
CNS Falsely Attacks Obama Nominee Over VAT
Topic: CNSNews.com

Fred Lucas writes in an Aug. 29 CNSNews.com article:

President Barack Obama’s nominee to chair the President’s Council of Economic Advisors has supported a European-style consumption tax that taxes every stage of production for a good or service, a policy generally called a Value Added Tax, or VAT.

Alan Krueger, a Princeton University economist, called for the Value Added Tax in a commentary for the New York Times in January 2009. The White House, however, has said that President Obama would not consider such a tax.

“Why not pass a 5 percent consumption tax to take effect two years from now? There are many different ways to implement a consumption tax, but for simplicity think about a national sales tax,” Krueger wrote in the Times piece published on Jan. 12, 2009, shortly before Obama took office.

The consumption tax differs from a “Fair Tax” proposal or national sales tax proposal that has been considered in recent years by U.S. politicians who want to replace the income tax. The VAT would be a levy that adds to the current tax structure.

In fact, as Media Matters details, Kruger didn't express support for a VAT in that Times article; he specifically stated that "I pose it only as a suggestion for serious discussion; I'm not sure it is the best way to go."

Lucas further messes up by stating that "The VAT would be a levy that adds to the current tax structure." Actually, Krueger stated that over time, "income taxes or corporate taxes could be reduced and the revenue replaced by the consumption tax."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 AM EDT
Monday, August 29, 2011
WND Misleads About Planned Parenthood Clinic Plans
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 27 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh repeatedly calls a proposed Planned Parenthood facility in Michigan an "abortion center" and "abortion business." Unruh also states that "Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan bought the location and announced it planned to establish an abortion business."

Just one problem: Planned Parenthood has never stated that it plans to use the proposed facility to perform abortions.

The Oakland Press quoted a Planned Parenthood as saying in May that the organization has not decided what services will be provided in Auburn Hills yet: “We know our core services will be there, which is preventive health care like annual exams, cancer screenings and birth control. We don’t know what the other range of services will be yet.”

Unruh offers no evidence to back up his claim that Planned Parenthood intends to run an "abortion business" at the facility, nor does he mention the Planned Parenthood statement that it has not decided whether to offer abortions there. Indeed, Unruh makes no apparent effort to contact Planned Parenthood for their side of the story.

That's just sloppy reporting, the kind we've seen over and over again from Unruh.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
Newsmax's Patten Obscures True Political Affiliation of Pollsters
Topic: Newsmax

David Patten begins his Aug. 28 Newsmax article by claiming: "The economy is so dismal that President Barack Obama will have to re-write the political history books if he hopes to win re-election, political strategists say." But Patten then misleads about the political affiliations of those "political strategists" -- actually, two pollsters.

Patten describes Matt Towery as "CEO of the nonpartisan InsiderAdvantage polling company." But Towery's bio makes his political affiliation quite clear:

Matt Towery has served as campaign chairman for Newt Gingrich and chief strategist for numerous national political campaigns. He is known for his bipartisanship. Matt Towery became the first and only Republican to preside over the Democratically controlled Georgia House prior to leaving politics in 1997.

A steady Republican with bipartisan leanings does not a "nonpartisan" pollster make.

Patten then describes his other source, Doug Schoen, as a "Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor." The latter affilation is more important than the former. Schoen has a ,long record of trashing Obama -- and he's holding fundraisers for Republicans -- so he appears to be less of a loyal Democrat than Towery is a loyal Republcan.

Yet Schoen got the partisan label and Towery didn't. Funny how that works, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:10 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 29, 2011 11:14 AM EDT
WND's Geller Attacks Islamic Charity WND Was Caught Falsely Attacking
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Pamela Geller's Aug. 23 WorldNetDaily column is one long tirade against the charity Islamic Relief, declaring "I equate 'Islamic Relief' with dhimmi pain," accusing it of guilt-by-association with terrorists, and calling it a "jihadist group."

Funny thing about that: WND had to retract a similar attack on Islamic Relief.

As we detailed, in December 2004, WND published an article by Aaron Klein claiming that Islamic Relief "is connected to several organizations that support terrorism," has taken money from "a front group for Al-Qaida," and suggesting that the orphans it claimed to be raising money for don't exist.

Six months later, after what can be presumed to be a threat of a libel lawsuit by Islamic Relief, WND deleted Klein's article and published a retraction:

WorldNetDaily hereby retracts its Dec. 3, 2004, article titled "College concert for terror-supporting charity," about a California-based charity organization, Islamic Relief. WorldNetDaily regrets any adverse consequences caused by this publication to Islamic Relief and its worldwide founder, Dr. Hanny [sic] Al Banna.

WND never explained what in the story was false -- which can only lead to the conclusion that so much was wrong with it that a simple correction would not suffice.

And that, of course, means that Geller's playing guilt-by-association with Islamic Relief and terrorist is highly suspect as well. After all, WND has already retracted essentially the same claim by one of its own reporters, so there's no reason to think Geller is any more accurate.

It seems that WND and Geller's anti-Muslim fanaticism have set themselves up for another battle with Islamic Relief.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 AM EDT
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

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« September 2011 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL

Add ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch to Newsburst from CNET News.com