We've detailed how Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy has thrown his support behind Newt Gingrich, something that would undermine any pretense of objectivity in any GOP presiential debate it might host. Newsmax has now blown that up completely by throwing its corporate weight behind Gingrich.
A Dec. 29 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers declares: "Newsmax and Ronald Reagan’s eldest son Michael Reagan say the 2012 presidential election is crucial to America’s future and Newt Gingrich is the candidate who will best continue the Reagan legacy."
Accompanying this article is a video called the "The Newsmax 2012 Campaign Special," hosted by Michael Reagan and described by Meyers as being "featured in lieu of the Newsmax Republican presidential debate originally scheduled for Dec. 27." Meyers doesn't mention Donald Trump and how his presidential ambitions torpedoed the debate.
The half-hour video is all about Gingrich. Reagan introduced a fawning profile of Gingrich, followed by a lengthy, fluffy interview with Gingrich by Newsmax's Jon Bachman.
Newsmax's endorsement makes it even less likely that a Newsmax-sponsored debate will ever take place. Why would any candidate other than Gingrich take part?
WND's Kinsolving Has A Jefferson-Hemings Freakout Topic: WorldNetDaily
The ConWeb has some serious issues with the idea that Thomas Jefferson might have fathered a child with black slave Sally Hemings. Accuracy in Media called it a "smear," while the Media Research Center's Matt Philbin declared that Jefferson must be "exonerat[ed]" of the accusation.
Now, Les Kinsolving joins the freakout in his Dec. 26 WorldNetDaily column. He declares that the alleged Jefferson-Hemings hookup is "one of the most outrageous libels in American history," then quotes at length from some book on the topic. Kinsolving concludes by calling the story an "unconscionable smear of the third president of our country and author of our Declaration of Independence."
It seems Kinsolving is protesting a bit too much here. We already know he's a raging homophobe; is he a not-so-secret racist as well?
Newsmax's Wead Promotes Ron Paul, Ignores Newsletter Controversy Topic: Newsmax
Ron Paul is finding himself embroiled in a controversy over the racially charged content of newsletters he published in the 1990s. You wouldn't know that, however, if you've been reading Newsmax columnist Doug Wead.
Wead is the resident Newsmax promoter of Paul, repeatedy using his column to tout Paul's presidential prospects. His Dec. 23 column is no different,in which he examines "three myths regarding Ron Paul and the Iowa caucuses." Unmentioned, of course, is the controversy surrounding Paul's newsletters.
Wead is running the risk of denying reality to the point that he looks silly. Then again, Wead is so in thrall to Paul that he wrote a column headlined "Thomas Jefferson Lives On in Ron Paul," so he may be a bit blind to such things.
WND's 'Money Guru' Offers More Sketchy Analysis Topic: WorldNetDaily
You might remember Porter Stansberry as the WorldNetDaily financial adviser who is ready to flee the country at a moment's notice -- which is understandable given that his company has faced a $1.5 million sanction from the Securities & Exchange Commission over aggressive sales tactics. Stansberry's firm is also behind all those scary, Alex Jones-narrated "End of America" commercials on cable news channels, which use fearmongering to peddle his financial services.
Well, Stansberry is back, peddling more dubious advice.
The headline of WND's Dec. 23 article on Stansberry reads, "Money guru: Nation in decline if not outright collapse." Cue the fearmongering:
The man who predicted the bankruptcy of General Motors says the government's financial data isn't giving an accurate picture of the state of the U.S. economy, and the real numbers show things are much worse than is commonly believed.
The numbers tell us America is in decline, if not outright collapse, writes investment expert Porter Stansberry in the December 2011 issue of Stansberry's Investment Advisory.
Stansberry uses questionable analysis to back up this fearmongering. For example:
He uses the sale of cars as an example of evidence that shows real per-capita wealth peaked in the late 1960s.
The lowest median age of the U.S. fleet was in 1969, at only 5.1 years, he points out. Even as recently as 1990, the median age was only 6.5 years. But in 2009, the median age of a registered vehicle in the U.S. was almost 10 years.
"Rich people buy new cars," he argues. "Poor people do not."
First, Stansberry gets his numbers wrong. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average age of an automobile in use in 1970, the earliest number DOT has, was approximately 5.6 years. And in 1990, the average age was more than 7.5 years -- not the 6.5 years Stansberry claims. The 2009 number is 9.4 years, which Stansberry stretches into "almost 10."
Second, Stansberry overlooks the fact that cars last longer than they used to. From a Motor Authority article featuring automotive consulting firm R.L. Polk & Co.:
Dave Goebel, from R.L. Polk, told reporters from MSNBC the increasing durability, not the economy, is the main driver of rising vehicle age. There are more vehicles per household than in the past, he said, indicating that people buy cars and then hang on to them because they last longer."Each new model year the technology continues to get better and there are fewer components that fail, so we expect to see these trends continue," he said.
If Stansberry is manipulating numbers to back up his claims, one has to wonder about the rest of his analysis.
Margaret Menge does a little deceptive editing in a Dec. 23 Newsmax article:
In a pre-Christmas interview with Barbara Walters set to air tonight on ABC, President Barack Obama refers to himself as lazy, saying it’s the result of having grown up in Hawaii, with the sun and beach.
Walters interviewed the president and the first lady in the Green Room of the White House on Dec. 15 in a special called “One-on-one with the Obamas.”
In the interview, Walters asks each: "What's the trait you most deplore in yourself and the trait you most deplore in others?"
"Laziness," the president replies.
"You're lazy?" Walters asks.
"You know, it's interesting,” says the president. “There is a deep down -- underneath all the work that I do -- I think there's a laziness in me. It's probably from, you know, growing up in Hawaii and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach”
“Sounds good to me,” Walters replies.
The president left for Hawaii today on a 10-day vacation with his family. He was scheduled to leave earlier and to stay in Hawaii for 17 days, but changed his plans after Mitt Romney, a leading contender for the Republican nomination for president, rapped him for leaving town before a budget deal had been reached.
Romney has repeatedly criticized the president for his lax work ethic and for taking long vacations, saying earlier this month: “Obama’s idea of a hands-on approach to the economy is getting a grip on his golf club.”
Q Okay. What's the trait you most deplore in yourself and the trait you most deplore in others?
THE PRESIDENT: Laziness.
Q You've lazy?
THE PRESIDENT: It's interesting, there is a -- deep down, underneath all the work I do, I think there's a laziness in me. I mean, probably --
MRS. OBAMA: If you had your choice --
THE PRESIDENT: It's probably from growing up in Hawaii, and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach --
Q Sounds good to me.
PRESIDENT: Right. But when I'm mad at myself, it's because I'm saying to myself, you know what, you could be doing better; push harder. And when I -- nothing frustrates me more than when people aren't doing their jobs. Although -- sorry, I shouldn't provide two answers. The thing actually that I most dislike is cruelty. I can't stand cruel people. And if I see people doing something mean to somebody else just to make themselves feel important, it really gets me mad. But in myself, since I tend not to be a mean person, if I get lazy, then I get mad at myself.
So Obama actually uses his feelings of laziness as motivation to "push harder." Menge not only didn't mention that, she reinforced the misleading impression that Obama called himself lazy by repeating Romney's criticism of Obama's supposedly laziness.
Politico's Ben Smith is calling this the "next anti-Obama talking point." Menge proves Smith right.Too bad Menge can't be bothered to fairly report the quote in full.
CNS Invokes George Washington On End of DADT, For Some Reason Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Dec. 21 CNSNews.com article on how Mitt Romney "says he has no plans to reverse the Obama administration’s repeal of the ban on homosexuals serving in the U.S. military," Michael W. Chapman adds, for no apparent reason:
As CNSNews.com has reported, America’s first president, George Washignton [sic], as the leader of the Continental Army, approved the dismissal of a soldier for “attempting to commit sodomy” with “abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes,” on Mar. 10, 1778.
How is this relevant to anything that's happening today? George Washington used muskets as well -- does Chapman want the military to return to those as well?
Zombie Lie: WND's Farah Still Peddling 'Civilian National Security Force' Falsehood Topic: WorldNetDaily
It was more than three years ago that we first caught WorldNetDaily spreading the lie that Barack Obama's call for a "civilian national security force" meant that he wanted to create a police-state apparatus and imprison his critics. In fact, Obama was referring to an expansion of the foreign service and diplomatic and humanitarian aid.
Joseph Farah keeps up the bogus scaremongering his Dec. 22 WND column, kicking things off with a blatant falsehood:
Way back in July 2008, when Barack Obama was just a candidate for the presidency, he gave a speech in which he called for the creation of a "civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the U.S. military.
No one in the media reported it.
The line was chopped from transcriptions of the speech handed out to the media and public.
The Obama campaign stonewalled WND's efforts to question what he meant.
Finally, I broke the story in this column.
In fact, as we documented, Obama explained what he meant by a "civilian national security force" at the time he talked about it. Farah is simply lying through his teeth when he claims Obama never explained it.
Farah's claim that WND was "stonewalled" by the Obama campaign is also suspect. Remember that WND was starting to delve into birtherism around that time, plus it had already embraced the thoroughly discredited Larry Sinclair. What Farah self-pityingly describes as "stonewalling" seems actually to be about the Obama campaign refusing to deal with a "news" organization that was clearly hostile to him. That's just smart politics.
But who cares about the truth when there are readers to scare? Farah continues:
In fact, I think Obama may have pushed his "civilian national security force" through the Congress and signed it into law.
What am I talking about?
I'm talking about the defense reauthorization bill that sailed through both houses of Congress and was signed into law recently. I called it, "The day habeas corpus died."
I mean, who needs a "civilian national security force" if Obama can simply rewrite the rules of engagement for the U.S. military and employ those forces to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial?
Obviously Obama has broken the bank at the U.S. Treasury several times over and run up the deficit to $15 trillion. He's not going to find the money necessary to build a new domestic military force, so he did the next best thing – with bipartisan help from Congress.
The "civilian national security force" is now in place. The U.S. military has been authorized by Congress and Obama to arrest and detain indefinitely without charge or trial any U.S. citizen on suspicion of being a terrorist. The only one who can override the order is Obama himself.
Between these falsehoods and Jerome Corsi's plagiarism scandal, can anyone really trust what WND has to say about anything?
Ruddy's Support of Gingrich Likely to Undermine Any Newsmax Debate Topic: Newsmax
The major expressed issue that resulted in the implosion of the Newsmax/Donald Trump presidential debate was Trump own presidential ambitions. But there's another issue that has largely been ignored: Newsmax seems to have taken a side in the Republican presidential race.
When Newsmax was still promoting the debate, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy penned a column vouching for the conservative credentials of Newt Gingrich, one of the two candidates who had committed to the debate.
Ruddy has since written another pro-Gingrich column asserting: "Can Newt Gingrich beat Barack Obama next November? Sure he can." Ruddy goes on to downplay the idea that Mitt Romney is more electable, and even plays the Reagan card:
His record is so strong his critics can't argue with it, so they focus on other issues. We keep hearing that Newt's marriages will be an issue as well as his business dealings.
I recall that, in the 1970s, some said Ronald Reagan should be disqualified as a candidate because he had been divorced.
I believe the public understands they don't elect saints, but want leaders who have positive solutions to the economic crisis we face.
If the head of Newsmax is throwing his weight behind Gingrich, that certainly would have been seen as much of an debate issue by the non-Gingrich candidates as Trump's egomaniac ambitions. And a Trump-less debate, as Newsmax has hinted might still happen, will have that same hurdle.
No wonder most candidates were eager to avoid the Newsmax debate.
Jerome Corsi's Bad Week Continues Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi is having a very bad week. Not only is he embroiled in a plagiarism scandal, he lost an arbitation ruling to make more money off his books.
Publisher's Weekly reports that an arbitrator ruled in favor of Regnery Publishing and against claims by Corsi and two other authors, Joel Mowbray and Richard Minter, that Regnery had “siphoned off” retail sales of their books by selling their books through the Conservative Book Club and Human Events magazine, which, like Regnery are owned by Eagle Publishing. The article continues:
In his ruling, arbitrator Alan Baron rejected all of the authors chargers, noting that the authors “have not produced evidence that a single volume was ‘diverted’ improperly or fraudulently by Eagle Publishers or Regnery. Suspicions and speculation are no substitute for evidence.” The authors had alleged that, in order to lower royalty payments, Regnery had moved sales of their books from retail channels through the book clubs and magazine. Baron agreed with Regnery publisher Marji Ross who said sales through the club and magazine were done as a normal course of events to help promote the book, a position supported by several expert witnesses.
The authors primary evidence was that a total of 460,000 copies of their books were unaccounted for, and alleged that those books had been sold through non-retail channel with royalties unreported, but Ross said that most of those copies had been destroyed. She was backed by Regnery’s distributor at the time, NBN, whose president, Jed Lyons, noted that the 460,000 copies represented a return rate of just over 30%, typical in the book industry.
In ruling against charges of breach of fiduciary duty and fair dealing, Baron said there was no fiduciary duty between Regnery and the authors and that Regnery had acted within industry standards. He pointed to testimony from Regnery expert Cathy Hemming who said the relationship between publisher and author is “fundamentally adversarial, not fiduciary in nature.”
Corsi put forward a case based on speculation and not actual evidence? When hasn't he done that?
ConWeb Is OK With Making Fun of Michelle Obama's Looks Topic: The ConWeb
For all the conservative whining about liberal incivility (see Sheppard, Noel), they certainly feel no need to keep their own incivility in check (see Bozell, Brent). Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner's comments about Michelle Obama's "large posterior" set off a whole new round of it on the ConWeb.
Accuracy in Media's Don Irvine tweeted in Sensenbrenner's defense: "Butt she does."
In a later tweet, he linked to a video of the song "Baby Got Back," adding, "All this talk about Michelle Obama's rear has me thinking of this."
NewsBusters, meanwhile, seems a bit put out that it's considered rude to make fun of another's supposed looks. In a Dec. 22 "open thread" post headlined "No Joking About Michelle's 'Posterior,'" the anonymous writer mused, "Would these sites be this solicitious of the FLOTUS when she belongs to the Other Party?" If so, would NewsBusters be as blase about it as it is about Obama's looks?
And then there's Mychal Massie, best known these days for frothing at the mouth over Michelle Obama, a.k.a. "Buttzilla." Massie ranted in twitterese: "cngrsman is spot on moose-chelle does have fat arse she shud keep it in mind whn she tells us wat 2 eat."
Massie followed that up with: "spkg of flotus buttzilla's tractor butt I'm tired of my tax$$ paying $15K a day 2 her makeup person i wud feel same even if makeup helped."
Something tells us that Massie is a lonely single man -- we can't imagine any woman putting up with such misogyny.
On last night's edition of Fox News' "Hannity," Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell called President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead." No, really:
BOZELL: How long do you think Sean Hannity's show would last if four times in one sentence, he made a comment about, say, the President of the United States, and said that he looked like a skinny ghetto crackhead? Which, by the way, you might want to say that Barack Obama does.
The MRC websites have been strangely silent about Bozell's hostile remarks so far -- the clip of the show hasn't even been posted on NewsBusters yet, though Bozell's weekly appearances on "Hannity" almost always get posted.
Looks like it's time for Noel Sheppard to sit his boss down and have a long, tedious, hypocritical conversation about civility.
UPDATE: NewsBusters has now posted the clip, with the (unintentionally?) ironic headline 'The Left Can Stop Lecturing About Civility At Any Moment Now." Obviously, Bozell can too. The accompanying blog post mentions nothing about Bozell calling Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead."If Bozell doesn't care about civility, shouldn't he be proud enough of this to promote it at his own website?
Apparently, Terry Jeffrey and his CNSNews.com subordinates are getting paid so well by the Media Research Center that it can blithely mock those less able to absorb the tax increase that would have occurred without a deal to continue the payroll tax reduction.
A Dec. 22 CNS article by Susan Jones, published before House Republicans caved on their demand for a full-year extension and accepted the Senate's deal for a two-month extension, carries the headline "'Waa, No Pizza Night': Sad Stories Roll In at Request of Obama White House."
Why is "Waa, No Pizza Night" in quotes? We don't know -- nobody in the article is quoted as saying it. Perhaps Jones was quoting a fellow CNS employee.
The only reference to "pizza night" comes from this quote: "Our cable internet bill is $49 per month. If we lose this payroll tax cut then we will have to give up either (our) internet access or possibly our 'Friday Family Pizza' night. Either way, we will lose something that brings us together as a family." Funny, we thought that the conservatives at CNS were all about bringing families together.
If Jeffrey, Jones and their CNS co-workers are so flush with cash that they look down their noses at those less fortunate (and less beneficient of a tax-exempt organization) than them, maybe they can throw a little cash our way.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Civility Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard works up some outrage in a Dec. 19 NewsBusters post over a Huffington Post story on the New England Patriots beating the Denver Broncos, over its headline "Brady Slays Tebow": "Don't you just love the new civil tone in America since Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was shot? ... But none of that matters when you're hunting Christians."
While Sheppard was huffing about that, however, his colleagues in the right-wing media over at Fox Nation were doing the exact same thing to President Obama.
At no point has Sheppard complained about the tone on his own side. Perhaps he should address that before taking others to task. Apparently, lack of civility among conservatives doesn't matter when you're hunting Obama.
Jerome Corsi and WND's 'Trusted Kenyan Professionals' Topic: WorldNetDaily
So WorldNetDaily put a Band-Aid of an editor's note on its plagiarism-laden Jerome Corsi article, putting the blame on the "trusted Kenyan professionals" who put the research together:
Editor's note: The following article is based on a paid, 8,000-word report by Kenyan researchers commissioned by WND. Unknown to WND, the report included unattributed references to a July 25, 2008, story by the Evening Standard of London. WND included a link to the 2008 story to back up the claims of the report, which WND believed was original. WND regrets the error.
As we noted, this only scratches the surface of the problems with Corsi's article, The editor's note fails to address the other issues Loren Collins identified with Corsi's article -- the AFP article that was also apparently plagiarized and the copyrighted photo that was presented without attribution.
WND's explanation of the Evening Standard link is also suspect. If the link was already there, that means Corsi read the article and, thus, should have known that the exact same information was in that "8,000-word report" WND commissioned from those "trusted Kenyan professionals." As Collins pointed out, sections of Corsi's article are directly copied-and-pasted from the Evening Standard article. Did nobody at WND really notice this before Collins reported on it? This raises serious questions about the competency of both Corsi and the WND editing staff.
Speaking of competency questions, there's Corsi's sources in Kenya, which have a long history of supplying Corsi with bum information. We've already detailed the cases of two memos Corsi touted in 2008, both of which are clearly fraudulent.
There's another fake document Corsi has been touting. In a Dec. 19 article, Corsi describes the "secret Memorandum of Understanding" then-Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga -- the guy whom Corsi has falsely accused then-Sen. Barack Obama of campaigning for during a 2006 trip to Kenya -- made with Muslim Sheik Abdullah Abdi, the chief of the National Muslim Leaders Forum of Kenya. In the memo, according to Corsi, "Odinga promised to rewrite the Kenyan constitution to install Shariah as law in "Muslim declared regions," elevate Islam as "the only true religion" and give Islamic leaders 'oversight' over other religions, establish Shariah courts and ban Christian proselytism."
Just one problem: That appears to be a fake too. From a Nov. 28, 2007, IHS Global Insight article (via Nexis):
After weeks of speculation and negative publicity, yesterday Kenyan Muslim leaders finally revealed the contents of the so-called memorandum of understanding (MoU) they signed with leading opposition candidate Raila Odinga in August, denying that the agreement was designed to promote their religion at the expense of others in the event of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) presidential candidate's victory in the upcoming election. The National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF), which signed the MoU on behalf of the country's Muslim constituents, said it had decided to make the contents of the deal public after a fake document circulated on the Internet claimed that Odinga's ODM had pledged to introduce shari'a in parts of Kenya where Muslims are the majority. "There was a fear that Muslims will force their faith on other people, Islam does not allow suppression of other religions and we will be the last to advocate for this," NAMLEF Chairman Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi said.
According to the MoU released yesterday, Odinga has pledged to defend Muslims against harassment and victimisation by state security forces that claim to be fighting terrorism. He has also promised to set up a commission to investigate renditions of Muslims to Somalia, Ethiopia, and the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay on the island of Cuba. The document also commits Odinga to initiate policies to redress the present marginalisation of Muslims living in the Coast and North-East provinces.
The fake document -- which he apparently obtained from anti-Odinga sources -- is the one Corsi is citing as the "secret" memorandum.
As far as we can recall, Corsi has used no named sources in a reporting on claims that originate from Kenya -- and that includes the "a former Kenyan Parliament member with whom WND has worked confidentially since 2008" and the "trusted Kenyan professionals" who put out the plagiarized "research" Corsi used.
Perhaps Corsi could explain how he came to trust these "trusted Kenyan professionals"and how they became so trustworthy. Perhaps WND editor JOseph Farah should explain why Corsi should remain on his payroll after such an embarrassing incident that gave yet another body blow to what little credibility WND has.
After all, if Corsi and WND found these folks to be "trusted," they obviously have an extremely low bar for such things. Real news organizations have much higher standards.
Here's an idea: Why doesn't WND post this "paid, 8,000-word report by Kenyan researchers" on its website so the rest of us can check it out? After all, WND paid handsomely for this piece of crap, so it shouldn't feel that bad about throwing these "trusted Kenyan professionals" under the bus, right?
Or is WND going to continue to protect their identities in the hope of getting more "research" from them?
Newsmax's Root Confused About His Religion, But He Loves Tebow Topic: Newsmax
Wayne Allyn Root can't seem to decide whether he's a Christian or a Jew. But he knows he likes Tim Tebow.
In his Dec. 19 Newsmax column, Root rushes to the defense of of Tebow against all the haters, including a Jewish rabbi, declaring that "Tim Tebow is a symbol of the role faith plays in our country." He recounts his and his family's religious history:
I am a Jew turned born-again Christian. I married into a family of devout Christian ministers and missionaries. My wife Debra and I have been happily married for over 20 years. We have four beautiful children ranging in age from three to 19. All four have been raised as both Jewish and Christian. All four have been raised to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukah. My oldest child Dakota, now a scholar/athlete at Harvard, attended church throughout her youth, and was also Bat Mitzvah. She leaves the day after Christmas for her birthright trip to Israel. It is the honor of her lifetime.
We might be wrong here, but if you're a born-again Christian, doesn't it mean you stop being a Jew? You can't be both Christian and a Jew at the same time, can you?
Yet this self-proclaimed "born-again Christian" concludes his column by writing, "I am a Jew for Tebow."