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Friday, September 30, 2011
McCaughey Misleads on Health Care Reform (Again)
Topic: Newsmax

A Sept. 28 Newsmax article by Martin Gould is devoted to serial misleader Betsy McCaughey's latest ramblings about health care reform. This time, she's chosen to mislead about an 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling stated about the constitutionality of the reform law:

She also noted that the 11th Circuit dismissed the administration’s contention that mandatory insurance is necessary to eliminate “free riders."

“The decision pointed out that free riders are largely illegal immigrants who, of course, are unaffected by the mandate, they are exempt from it; or lower income people who will be provided for by the expansion of Medicaid and also will not be compelled to buy private health plans.”

In fact, according to the majority's ruling, poor people outnumber illegal immigrants as "free riders" ("cost-shifters" in the court's parlance), and both together make up only about 53% of the total cost-shift [p. 139]:

illegal aliens and other nonresidents are cost-shifters ($8.1 billion, or 18.9% of the $43 billion), but they are exempted from the individual mandate entirely. 26 U.S.C. § 5000A(d)(3). Low-income persons are the largest segment of cost-shifters ($15 billion, or 34.8% of the $43 billion), but they are covered by the Act’s Medicaid expansion or excepted from the mandate penalty.

And the minority opinion points out that most “free riders” or “cost shifters” are not exempted [p. 242]:

Relying heavily on the economists’ brief, the majority goes even further and subjects Congress’ findings to an analysis that looks startlingly like strict scrutiny review. The majority engages in a breakdown of who among the uninsured are responsible for the $43 billion, presumably in order to show that the mandate will not be the most efficacious means of ameliorating the cost-shifting problem. See Maj. Op. at 139-41. For instance, the majority claims that low-income individuals and illegal aliens (or other nonresidents) together are responsible for around half of the total cost shifting, yet are exempted from either the mandate or its penalty. Id.at 139-40. But even on the majority’s own terms, a substantial number of cost-shifters are not exempted from the mandate or its penalty, and there was nothing irrational about Congress’ decision to subject to the mandate those individuals who could reasonably afford health insurance in the first place. 

Then, in another Sept. 28 article, Newsmax quotes McCaughey as saying:

"There are bigger premium hikes ahead in 2014,” she said, explaining that “1,472 employers and unions got waivers from the current coverage requirements because they couldn’t afford them. But in 2014, the waivers expire and mid- and large-size employers will be required to provide the ‘essential benefit package’ or pay a $2,000 fine — a mere pittance compared with the cost of that package.

“That's why McKinsey & Co. found that as many as 50 percent of large employers surveyed are considering dropping coverage in 2014. If that happens, middle and high earners will be forced into the exchanges, and lower income workers will be forced onto Medicaid."

In fact, McKinsey has admitted its findings were not meant as "a predictive economic analysis."

The article also carries the misleading headline, "McCaughey: Surge in Costs Start Of Obamacare Disaster." But there was no "surge in costs" directly attributable to health care reform; the article quotes the Kaiser Family Foundation's finding that health care reform accounted for just 1 to 2 percentage points of the 9 percent average rise in health care costs predicted for this year.

McCaughey has repeatedly misled at Newsmax before, so why should she stop now?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 AM EDT
Noel Sheppard Still Thinks The $16 Muffins Are Real
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard used a Sept. 29 NewsBusters post to cheer on Bill O'Reilly, during an appearance on "The Daily Show," for pointing out how host Jon Stewart, who according to Sheppard "liberals love to put ... up on a pedestal as being the most intelligent man on television aware of all that's impacting the nation," supposedly "missed a major story last week about almost unthinkable waste in government spending."

As Sheppard goes on to explain, that would be the story of the $16 muffins reportedly served at a Department of Justice conference. Sheppard concludes: "I guess the smartest guy in the room missed this story. Might it have been important if a man he didn't like was in the White House overseeing such waste? Hmmm."

Sheppard is apparently so invested in that right-wing talking point that he missed the fact that it has been discredited.

The DOJ has pointed out that "The abbreviated banquet checks did not reflect all of the food and services provided. ... The package consisted of food, beverages, staff services and function space, including a 450-seat ballroom and more than a dozen workshop and breakout rooms each of the five days of the conference." In other words, the DOJ got a lot more than muffins for their $16.

Might the full truth have been so unimportant to Sheppard if a man he liked was in the White House? Hmmm.

UPDATE: Even the DOJ inspector general -- which first forwarded the $16 muffin story -- is backing off the claim. Will Sheppard report this to his readers?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011 2:08 PM EDT
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 8 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein cites "a top PA official" to claim that "The Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority it cannot significantly help advance a Palestinian state until after the 2012 presidential elections." Klein goes on to quote the anonymous "official":

"We were told to wait for Obama's reelection, and that before then nothing serious will happen for a state," the official continued. "But after the reelection, the U.S. said the schedule will be short to reach a Palestinian state."

Klein's boss, Joseph Farah, says that quotes from anonymous sources are "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better." Given Klein's heavy reliance on anonymous sources, there's no reason to believe that this is not the case here.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:38 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 29, 2011 8:42 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

With the possible exception of President Obama declaring himself president-for-life sometime in the near future, Americans should expect every dirty trick in the book (and some not yet in the book) from the Obama campaign, this administration and their surrogates during this election cycle. This is also leaving aside the possibility that the ruling beltway oligarchs have already determined that Barack Obama will win re-election via the GOP agreeing either to run an unabashed RINO or an individual who is manifestly unelectable for some other reason.

[...]

So, how stupid and gullible will we be, or more importantly: How many of us will be sufficiently stupid and gullible to buy into Obama deserving a second chance? Voters have obviously not widely acknowledged that our destitution is integral to the president's grand scheme, but they don't necessarily need to. For now, if they merely perceive him as a misguided fop and a buffoon, that will suffice. Still, they are going to be assailed with an incomprehensible degree and expanse of propaganda. For example, it is beyond belief that President Obama is getting away with blaming Congress for the lack of progress in our economic recovery. We also have his persistence in calling for more and more spending in the face of massive debt, even as it becomes increasingly apparent that this spending thus far has not only failed to stimulate economic recovery (why wouldn't it?), but was largely allocated solely according to his political advantage.

These devices rely entirely on our stupidity, gullibility and general ignorance of hard facts (the latter of which we know to be by their design). But as they say, we aint seen nothing yet.

-- Erik Rush, Sept. 14 WorldNetDaily column

When Obama said on election eve 2008, "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America," he wanted to bring Alinsky's nihilist nightmare to the heart of America. Every appointee, every policy, every executive order, every bill he presents to Congress has the singular goal of enslaving people to government, establishing the Democratic Party for eternity by destroying God, American exceptionalism, freedom and all opposition.

The moment you believe or give credence to anything Obama (or any communist, progressive socialist, for that matter) says, you have fallen into his trap, lost the argument and are now an unwitting participant in helping him achieve his evil goals of burning to the ground all of America's civil institutions by bankrupting the people – both in a metaphorical and actual sense.

-- Ellis Washington, Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column

President Eisenhower had his Sherman Adams scandal. Johnson had Vietnam. Nixon had Watergate. Carter had Bert Lance. Reagan, Iran-Contra. Clinton, Monica Lewinsky and Chinagate. G.W. Bush, many say, had Iraq. You might be able to add a scandal or two here and there, but that's about it. This next paragraph may be a little long.

President Barack Obama in only 32 months has given us "Fast and Furious," Solyndra and its oncoming clones, pressuring a general to pervert his congressional testimony, highest debt, highest unemployment, first financial downgrade and first fear of double-dip recession. He's the first president to announce he was a Christian and a Muslim to different audiences. He was the first president to treat allies like enemies and vice versa. He was also the first president to remain 20 years in a pew as clergy thundered "God damn America," anti-white vitriol and hatred of the only democracy between the Mediterranean and the Pacific Ocean. Then there's the gypsy-switch from stimulus to crony capitalism, forcing Obamacare down the American gullet, cozy dealings with imprisoned Tony Rezko, training and lawyering for disgraced ACORN, a White House Rolodex reeking with the likes of avowed terrorist bombers William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, telling the Brits where they could shove the bust of one of the greatest men of all time (Winston Churchill), a parody of a long-form birth certificate and world-wide apologies for an America that helped save civilization three times in the last century.

This doesn't count Obama's fostering of the most toxic political climate in Washington's memory, his collection of associates my grandmother would scream if I ever played poker with – ex-cons, avowed Marxists, tax cheats and advocates of pro-homosexual indoctrination in kindergarten and a staffer, Anita Dunn, whose favorite philosopher is Mao Zedong. And don't forget using executive privilege to ramrod things like illegal-alien amnesty into law against the clearly expressed will of the Congress and the people.

-- Barry Farber, Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily column

I have pointed out on more than one occasion that this president's unbridled narcissism has been apparent to credentialed psychologists and lay people alike. This in itself is significant, but what might the practical ramifications of Obama being a bona fide malignant narcissist be given his current dilemmas?

As reported in WND, those familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder paint a very disturbing picture of what happens when the narcissist in question faces their ultimate crisis. That crisis would be others discovering them for what they are, resulting in a withdrawal of what the experts term "narcissistic supply." What arises then is an irresistible compulsion to pull down everything around them, thereby destroying themselves, their enemies and those former friends and admirers who "betrayed" them.

One does not have to be a clinical psychologist to infer that the structure Obama is pulling down around him is America itself. While his agenda has indeed included compromising our institutions in order to supplant them with new ones, according to those in the know, he will now become overtly erratic and reckless – which already appears to be occurring – with his actions manifesting even swifter and more destructive consequences.

God help us all.

-- Erik Rush, Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily column

Never tiring of its ability to parody itself, the Obama administration recently launched the latest offensive in its never-ending battle to prove that Barack Obama is a brittle man-boy who cannot stomach criticism. Truly, our president cannot bear to ignore even a single word contrary to his opinions. Having learned nothing from the public-relations disaster that was flag@whitehouse.gov, Obama and his lib minions have launched "AttackWatch." Through it, using the micro-blogging site Twitter, good little libs are encouraged to report to the government any free speech they don't like.

Ostensibly, the Twitter hash tag "#AttackWatch" is used to report "smears" of Glorious Leader Obama made by scurrilous conservatives bent on attacking our well-meaning but misunderstood president. In reality, libs define as "smears" any opinions with which they disagree, redefining as "lies" any political and ideological conclusions they oppose. In practice, the AttackWatch snitch account has been an even bigger disaster than the "flag" informer email, as conservatives across Twitter mercilessly ridiculed the effort while informing on themselves.

One might wonder how the Obama administration has managed to make such public fools of its staff and Obama himself after already making a similar mistake. A. Barton Hinckle characterized the AttackWatch account as simply "the latest in a string of episodes in which the administration has made itself look creepily authoritarian." Well, the reason Obama and his followers look creepily authoritarian is because they're a bunch of creepy authoritarians.

-- Phil Elmore, Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily column

What if Obama does withdraw? What will he do and where will he go?

Job openings for ex-occupants of the White House are few. Most of the positions are already filled. The office of "failed ex-president and Palestinian promoter" is held by Jimmy Carter.

The office of "ex-president with a global initiative that includes women" is held by Bill Clinton. Furthermore, if Clinton and Obama are in the same room, Clinton takes up all the oxygen.

The offices of "ex-president as gentleman" is jointly held by the Bushes. With all those positions filled, what will Obama find?

It's unlikely he can get a job in Chicago. There is friction between him and his old chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, so working for the city of Chicago is unlikely.

Even the Democratic Party does not offer a viable option for employment. The DNC got what it wanted from Obama in the form of Obamacare – so why should they use him any longer, especially if he withdraws?

Maybe Obama could withdraw and go on the lecture circuit with another book, like Sarah Palin. There are two problems with this plan: He has to write another book and, well, Obama is no Palin.

[...]

If the Birthers are successful in proving their case, then a felony conviction may void Obama's pension. He will go from the White House to the big house. What kind of state funeral do we give a presidential usurper?

Who will contribute to an Obama Library after he is gone from the White House? The question of where Obama was born and other suppressed documents about Obama's life will open up again as soon as the idea of a library is floated. Do you know anyone who will contribute to such a library?

-- Robert Klein Engler, Sept. 23 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 8:04 PM EDT
CNS Misleads About Drug Gangs, Border Control
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Sept. 28 CNSNews.com article by Edwin Mora carries the alarmist headline, "DOJ: ‘Mexican-Based Trafficking Organizations Control Access to the U.S.–Mexico Border.’" That's followed by Mora's equally alarming lead paragraph:

Mexican drug-trafficking organizations “control access to the U.S.-Mexico border” and the “smuggling routes across” it, “resulting in unprecedented levels of violence in Mexico” and allowing those drug trafficking organizations and their associates to “dominate the supply and wholesale distribution of most illicit drugs in the United States,” according to the Justice Department's newly published 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment.

Mora doesn't quite get around to explicitly stating it, but it's clear from the DOJ report he's quoting that the "control" the drug gangs have applies only to drug smuggling, not legitimate commerce.

Mora's presentation, therefore, is very dishonest. But then, it appears CNS has chosen not to be an honest news organization.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:28 PM EDT
WND Tries to Fearmonger About HPV Vaccine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh's Sept. 27 WorldNetDaily article is a rather desperate attempt to fearmonger about vaccines that help prevent the HPV virus, which can cause cervical cancer.

After noting the controversy over Michele Bachmann's comments regarding Texas Gov. Rick Perry's attempt to mandate the vaccine in the state, as well as a report pointing out that "Of the 35 million doses of Gardasil distributed in the U.S., only about 0.05 percent of individuals who have been vaccinated have reported some kind of side effect, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Unruh let the fear begin:

But it sounds so different when you refer to a paltry 0.05 percent of a large number of people rather than explaining just what happened to the 17,500 individuals who have suffered side effects like Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Bell's Palsy and even death.

Unruh added that "critics of Perry point out that the vaccine is supposed to address a disease only transmitted by sexual activity, and the issue isn't the mundane, clinical argument that Gardasil supporters portray."

Unruh cited "a campaign called Truth About Gardasil" as claiming that "at least 103" people have been killed by Gardasil, as well as a laundry list of side effects: "seizures, strokes, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, headaches, stomach pains, vomiting, muscle pain and weakness, joint pain, auto-immune problems, chest pains, hair loss, appetite loss, personality changes, insomnia, hand/leg tremors, arm/leg weakness, shortness of breath, heart problems, paralysis, itching, rashes, swelling, aching muscles, pelvic pain, nerve pain, menstrual cycle changes, fainting, swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, nausea, temporary vision/hearing loss just to name some of them!"

Unruh offers no evidence that the 103 deaths have been medically verified -- indeed, the Truth About Gardasil website appears not to offer any such verification -- noting only that "the government itself has documented deaths from reactions to the vaccine, although the total doesn't match the blog's claim of fatalities." Unruh is understating the case; in fact, as we've previously documented, the Centers for Disease Control lists just 68 deaths among patients taking Gardisil, and no direct link has ever been established between Gardasil and patient deaths:

As of June 22, 2011 there have been a total 68 VAERS reports of death among those who have received Gardasil® . There were 54 reports among females, 3 were among males, and 11 were reports of unknown gender. Thirty two of the total death reports have been confirmed and 36 remain unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report such as a name and contact information to confirm the report. A death report is confirmed (verified) after a medical doctor reviews the report and any associated records. In the 32 reports confirmed, there was no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths that would suggest that they were caused by the vaccine and some reports indicated a cause of death unrelated to vaccination.

Unruh continued:

Clark Baker of the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice said the performance of the Gardasil product itself doesn't matter much.

"The problem is when government officials or legislators order parents and require schools to give vaccines that are unproven."

Unruh doesn't explain what the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice is or does. Turns out this official-sounding organization is a fringe group that still believes vaccines cause autism and is promoting a video claiming that HIV and AIDS really doesn’t exist.

Of course, WND itself has a long history of freaking out about vaccines, even advising people to risk death by not taking the swine flu vaccine in 2009.It also touted the vaccine-autism link until it was discredited, and even then it failed to issue an original news article on the debunking, leaving it to columnist Phil Elmore to write about it.

Unruh also argues that people don't need the HPV vaccine because icky sex is involved: "But critics of Perry point out that the vaccine is supposed to address a disease only transmitted by sexual activity, and the issue isn't the mundane, clinical argument that Gardasil supporters portray."

Unruh then quotes a report from something called the Alliance for Human Research Protection, which claims to speak out on "issues affecting the safety of people in clinical trials," to attack the idea of an HPV vaccine, largely because of that icky sex stuff:

"Mandatory vaccination against HPV is unsupportable. HPV is not communicable in a school setting – it is communicated only by sexual contact. The condition human papilloma virus (HPV) is present in 50 percent of the sexually active population. HPV does NOT automatically develop into cancer in the overwhelming majority of the population. HPV is mostly benign – no treatment needed," the organization said.

"Furthermore, early detection of pre-cancerous cervical cells is readily accomplished by routine PAP smears – which sexually active women in the US routinely have. And pre-cancerous cervical condition is eminently treatable.

"Therefore, cervical cancer does not pose a major danger for all children – therefore, the risk from the vaccine itself is not justifiable," the group said.

The group's report from which Unruh pulled his quotes claimed that "there have been a total 68 deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) related to Gardasil" but failed to note that the CDC has established no direct link between the deaths and Gardasil.

Since it can't fearmonger about autism anymore, WND has to make vaccines scary somehow, which seems to explain Unruh's giving dubious fringe groups prominent play in his scaremongering.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 AM EDT
CNS Reporter Invents Math To Contradict His Own Reporting
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Sept. 27 CNSNews.com article by Matt Cover begins with a hyperbolic claim:

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study of employer-provided health insurance plans, the ObamaCare health reform law could have accounted for as much as 50 percent of the spike in insurance premiums in 2011.

Cover then immediately contradicts that with the following two paragraphs:

The Employer Health Benefits Survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which specializes in health care issues, found that health insurance premiums had jumped by 9 percent in 2011, up from a 5 percent annual increase since 2007.

Drew Altman, president and CEO of Kaiser, first said that the premium increase was not because of ObamaCare but then went on to say that the ObamaCare law probably accounted for 1 to 2 percentage points of that increase, which he further explained in a column today (see below).

One to two percentage points of nine percentage points, in case you weren't counting, is not "as much as 50 percent."

Cover then embarks on some extremely creative mathematic to try and prove his opening paragraph correct:

According to the study, health insurance premiums for employer-provided coverage – the most common type – have been rising at a steady rate of about 5 percent each year.

This year, however, that rate jumped to 9 percent for family coverage and 8 percent for single coverage.

This means that ObamaCare was responsible for anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of the 4 percentage point jump in insurance premiums this year.

Got that? Five percent of the 9 percent increase doesn't count. By magically reducing that increase to 4 percent, Cover can then invent a line of attack by blaming Obamacare for "as much as 50 percent of the spike in insurance premiums in 2011" -- even though it has no basis in reality.

But then, it appears the truth is becoming less and less important to CNS these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
MRC Unhappy Gays Are Treated As Human
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's anti-gay agenda keeps on keepin' on in a Sept. 26 NewsBusters post by MRC employee Ken Shepherd, who apparently doesn't think gays deserve to have positive newspaper stories written about them:

The end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) is almost a week-old story, but the Washington Post is still busy churning up gushy human interest stories about gay and lesbian soldiers who are coming out of the closet.

"After end of ban, acknowledgment at last," reads the headline on page B3 of the September 26 edition of the paper. "Gay service members' partners celebrate repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell," noted the subheadline.

Staff writer Katherine Shaver gave readers a 16-paragraph feature that ended with a lesbian soldier giddily anticipating telling comrades that her Army Ball date will be her "wife."

As I noted last week, Post staff writer Ed O'Keefe offered two similar puffy stories two days in a row: a Metro section front-pager on September 20 and an A-section front pager on September 21.

At the rate the Post is going with you, you have to wonder if they're aiming for one story for each year DADT was in effect.

That's a petty little complaint, isn't it? But when you hate gays as much as the MRC does, sadly, that's to be expected.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:58 PM EDT
Newsmax's Root Defends Rich People
Topic: Newsmax

Millionaires have been abused minority in the United States, apparently, and Wayne Allyn Root has arrived to bravely defend them with right-wing talking points. From Root's Sept. 26 Newsmax column:

President Barack Obama is right. It is time for “fairness.” It is time to ask some Americans to do more, contribute more, sacrifice more.

But like most things Obama does, he has singled out the wrong group. The rich and business owners already pay far too much in taxes. They already sacrifice too much. They already share their wealth too much. The top 1 percent of income earners (almost all of whom are small business owners) already pay 40 percent of the personal income taxes in America, more than the bottom 95 percent combined.

The top 20 percent of income earners pay almost 100 percent of the income taxes in this country. That means 80 percent of the population pays almost no income taxes (a full 50 percent pay ZERO income tax).

Root then starts going a bit afield in his fawning over the rich:

The typical household with over $1 million in income will pay an average of 29.1 percent in taxes this year. The typical household making between $50K and $75K will pay 15 percent in taxes. Lower income households (below $50K) will pay an average of 12.5 percent in federal taxes (virtually 100 percent in the form of Social Security taxes).

In dollar terms that means the typical millionaire will pay $290,000 in taxes and the typical $50,000 middle-class family will pay $7,500. But, most importantly, almost all that $7,500 is Social Security taxes they will get back after age 65.

Why doesn’t Obama quote the actual numbers and ask Americans if this sounds fair? One American pays $290,000 in taxes. The other pays $7,500. Obama calls this “unfair.” Well as you can see, he’s right. It’s definitely unfair — it's unfair to the 20 percent of the citizens who pay virtually 100 percent of the cost of the governmental benefits, which are enjoyed for free by the other 80 percent of the population.

Obama purposely leaves out the fact that the rich and business owners earned their money, many by risking their life savings to start a business. In almost every case, they’ve worked hours that would kill a normal human being.

So poor people don't work hard? Not in Root's rarefied world, apparently. In fact, those losers -- Obama voters, same thing -- need to work even more than they already do:

The cold hard truth is that the rest of America: the poor, the lower middle class, the unions, and the government employees have to pull more of the load. The reality is that Obama’s voters get a free ride as a bribe to vote, support, and contribute to Obama.

Yes, we need more “fairness.” The problem is that Obama voters, those doing the most protesting and complaining, are the ones who need a refresher course in the definition of “fair.” They want something for nothing. It’s not just that they ‘want’ it, they ‘expect and demand’ it.

It’s no surprise when pollsters ask Obama’s voters if others should pay higher taxes, they emphatically scream “YES!” Why not? It costs them nothing, and they get 100 percent of the benefits.

So, Obama is right. Let’s make the tax system fairer. Let’s ask Obama's voters to sacrifice, contribute, and bear at least a little more of the load.

Root is making the curious assumption that people who aren't rich are lazy. That's exactly how you'd expect a rich person to think -- after all, Root did write a book called "Millionaire Republican."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:51 PM EDT
Bozell Hurls Deficient MRC Study At Networks
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell tries to draw attention to himself in a Sept. 26 Media Research Center press release, in which he claims he "issued a letter to the heads of NBC, CBS, and ABC television networks calling on them to end their bias against GOP Presidential hopefuls in their reporting and interviewing."

The MRC curiously did not make a copy of this letter public, including only one paragraph of in the release, in which he touts an MRC "research" piece claiming that "by a 5-to-1 margin, ABC, CBS and NBC morning show hosts employed an adversarial liberal agenda when questioning this year’s Republican candidates":

"This is thorough, well documented research.  Among other data, the research shows that by a 5-to-1 margin, ABC, CBS and NBC morning show hosts have employed an adversarial liberal agenda when questioning this year’s Republican candidates.  It is completely different from the treatment these same shows accorded Democratic primary challengers in 2007. . . Viewers are tuning out in droves because they are sick and tired of such undeniable bias."

Actually, like most MRC work, this is most definitely not "thorough, well documented research." First, as the MRC usually does, its scope is limited to the broadcast networks and excludes cable news networks in order to avoid having to pass judgment on Fox News. Second, there's no documentation at all -- no comprehensive list of questions grouped by categorization, and no explanation of the methodology used to determine if they were "liberal" or "conservative," a subjective dermination if there ever was one. Actual researchers would do that; Rich Noyes and Geoffrey Dickens, the MRC researchers who wrote this analysis, have no interest whatsoever in showing their work.

Bozell invokes the "analysis" again in his Sept. 27 column, using it to mind-read the networks, claiming that "they hope to damage whoever the Republicans nominate." Actual research involves quantifiable data, not mind-reading.

That Bozell would use such a deficient study as a partisan political tool shows us yet again that the MRC isn't really about "research" at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 AM EDT
Farah Lies About Having WND Scoop
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Touting a story about how "Barack Obama's allies in Libya are systematically killing black Africans in towns and villages near Tripoli," Joseph Farah began his Sept. 23 WorldNetDaily column: "It's a story few have read. I surmise that based on interest in a story reported nowhere but WND."

Farah is lying.

The allegation that Libyan rebels were allegedly killing blacks first surfaced nearly two weeks before WND reported it in a Sept. 19 article. Tracing a quote from the only named source in that article -- from African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping -- we find it first originated in a Sept. 7 Agence France Presse article. That article was posted the next day on conspiracy-monger Alex Jones' site.

So not only is Farah lying about who came up with the article first, he's lying about who first highlighted it in the U.S. Will Farah and WND give credit where it's due? Probably not.

Further, both the WND article, which according to Farah was written by Michael Maloof, and Farah's column are eager to blame Obama for these alleged killings but conveniently leave out pertinent information -- like why this might be happening. From the AFP article:

Libya's former leader, ousted strongman Muammar Gaddafi, recruited many sub-Saharan Africans into his armed forces and since rebel forces seized Tripoli last month there have been reports of reprisals against blacks.

Farah and WND failed to mention that crucial fact, which puts Obama in the false light of supporting these alleged killings.

As noted above, Ping is the only named source in the original WND article, ; everyone else is anonymous. That gives  Maloof license to write smears like this:

As one writer told WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah in an email: "No black American would ever vote for (Obama) ever again if the truth came out that he's murdering" blacks in Libya.

Remember that Farah himself has stated that quotes from anonymous sources are "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better." There's no reason not to assume that Farah knows whereof he speaks and that his statement applies to Maloof's article as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Transgender Freakout
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center already despises gays, so Chaz Bono's presence on "Dancing With the Stars" could only set off its outrage meter even more. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 PM EDT
Farah Lives Dangerously, Encourages Palin To Sue McGinness for Libel
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The irony positively drips from Joseph Farah's Sept. 26 WorldNetDaily column, in which he claims that "I think Sarah Palin should sue the daylights out of Joe McGinniss and his publisher for their reckless disregard for the truth they showed in his new book –which, for the purpose of this column, shall remain nameless." He continued:

I have to tell you that I have been the victim of vicious lies and smears thanks to my own profile at WND. Some people believe what they read. They assume that if the lies are not countered with a lawsuit (or a duel) that the accusations have at least some truth to them. It's very hurtful and frustrating for anyone who cares about his reputation.

In this case, McGinniss' attack seems determined to do two things: Pad his own bank account and prevent Sarah Palin from seeking and winning the presidency.

Some believe a person like Sarah Palin is virtually libel-proof because her status as a public figure is so high.

But these attacks are so mean-spirited, politically motivated, profit-motivated and made with such malicious intent and reckless disregard for the truth that I think she should sue and should win. It would not only punish the guilty, it would send a loud-and-clear message to other media vultures that freedom of speech has its limits in a truly free and just society.

Of course, by his own standard, Farah and WND can be sued for libeling President Obama. WND has told numerous lies about Obama and his administration and smeared him as a Muslim, a Nazi and the Antichrist. There's no question that such attacks are "mean-spirited, politically motivated, profit-motivated and made with such malicious intent and reckless disregard for the truth." Indeed, Farah has already admitted that WND regularly publishes misinformation, which wouldn't exactly aid in his defense.

Further, WND has a documented record of losing libel lawsuits. It settled a lawsuit by Al Gore associate Clark Jones by admitting that "no witness verifies the truth of what the witnesses are reported by authors to have stated" about Jones and that "no document has been discovered that provides any verification that the statements written were true." Given that WND did no independent fact-checking of the claims about Jones before publishing, that's tantamount to admitted it libeled him.

If Palin can sue McGinniss and win, Obama can sue WND and win.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:22 AM EDT
MRC Repeats Bogus Cost-Per-Job Claim
Topic: Media Research Center

We've previously noted that the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor uncritically promoted a claim that an Obama administration green-jobs initiative cost $5 million per job created despite the misleading math involved at arriving that figure. The MRC liked that bogus figure so much, it repeated it again.

Julia Seymour asserted in a Sept. 21 MRC Business & Media Institute item: "The Washington Post, the $36.8 billion loan program has created only 5 percent of the 65,000 jobs promised and each job cost more than $5 million." Seymour got the number wrong -- the program has granted $38.6 billionin loan guarantees, not $36.8 billion.

In fact, as former White House economist Jared Bernstein details, the government didn't actually spend $38.6 billion on the loan guarantee program -- that assumes that all the loans will go bad, an extremely unlikely occurrence. The actual cost of bad loans that will result in the government covering for them will likely end up being under $5 billion, which Bernstein points out "gets you into a much more reasonable neighborhood re bang-for-buck."

That the MRC would repeat a figure it must know is a fraud -- and Seymour's own sloppiness in getting one of the numbers wrong -- tells us all we need to know about whether it's a political organization or a "research" organization.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 12:30 AM EDT
WND's Vox Day Equates Immigrants With Nazis
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We thought Vox Day liked the Nazis more than he did immigrants. After all, he regularly goes Godwin, and he proudly offered Nazi efficiency in departing Jews as a prior example for how one could remove millions of unwanted immigrants from a country (a reference even WorldNetDaily couldn't quite stomach).

Now, it appears that Day has reduced the status of Nazis to something equal to immigrants. From his Sept. 25 WND column:

Housing and jobs are two reasons why Republicans reacted so negatively to Rick Perry's declaration that immigrant children need to be educated because otherwise "they will become a drag on our society." Most Republicans, most Americans, don't want Texas to educate immigrant children. They want Texas to send them back to their homelands. It wasn't so much the fact that Perry favors taxpayer spending on immigrant education, or even his claim that those who don't are heartless, that caused such revulsion as his obvious assumption that immigrants and their children will never leave America.

Many, if not most, Americans view the mass invasion of their country by Mexicans and others about as favorably as the citizens of Czechoslovakia, Holland and France viewed the mass immigration of Germans into their countries during the 1940s. 

But above all, Day really, really hates immigrants:

The various myths about Ellis Island notwithstanding, the American people have always been moderately anti-immigration. While their political elite has studiously labored to replace them with a new and more dependent people for the last 50 years, Americans have never accepted the general concept of open immigration from around the world. More importantly, they know they have been lied to from the very beginning by the advocates of immigration, and they understand that neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party can be trusted to defend their interests versus the interests of the corporations that seek the ever-lower wage rates that come with the expansion of the labor supply.

However, this American distaste for mass immigration was somewhat concealed by the credit-driven real-estate boom of the previous 20 years. What did it really matter if families of low income, criminally-inclined immigrants from Mexico, Somalia or Pakistan established a beachhead in your neighborhood, so long as you could sell your house and move to a larger house in a nicer neighborhood where you wouldn't have to live next to the newcomers? That this led to the hollowing out of the cities, suburban sprawl, racial segregation and a doubling in the number of vehicles per family was only considered a problem by the sort of hand-wringing social scientists who would tend to prefer it if everyone lived in a totalitarian hive-city ruled by social scientists.

But the relocation retreat ceased to be an option as housing prices began to fall and homeowners who were under water on their mortgages became permanently locked into their locations. Don't like living near a neighborhood that has gradually devolved into an approximation of a dirty, crime-ridden third-world nation? Default or deal with it.

Day's immigrant-bashing is quite ironic because he himself is an immigrant, having fled the U.S. for Italy, where he still resides as far as we know.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT

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