MRC Still Insists Gingrich Has Been 'Completely Vindicated' Topic: Media Research Center
In a Jan. 30 Media Research Center item, Kyle Drennen asserts that NBC's Matt Lauer "failed to correct the record with the fact that in 1999 the Internal Revenue Service completely vindicated Gingrich" on charges of using nonprofit money to promote a partisan agenda.
But as we've detailed, this argument conflicts with earlier claims by the MRC that a lack of charges being filed against someone does not equal complete vindication -- well, at least when that person's last name is Clinton.
The issue in the Gingrich IRS case was whether a college course Gingrich organized through the political group he controlled, GOPAC, used nonprofit funds to promote a partisan agenda, which is illegal. (The House Ethics Committee investigation looked at the same issue but focused on Gingrich personally, and that investigation resulted in Gingrich paying a $300,000 fine.) As Susie Madrak of Crooks & Liars points out, the IRS revoked the tax exemption of an organization that worked with GOPAC because its funds were clearly being used for partisan purposes -- then, a few years later, under the Bush administration, reversed itself after lobbying from a GOPAC official.
Will Drennen mention that aspect of the case to his readers? Probably not.
Michael Carl may be a "veteran journalist" with "two master's degrees," according to his WorldNetDaily bio, but that certainly doesn't keep him from getting basic facts wrong.
In a Jan. 31 WND article claiming that Mitt Romney "may have been influenced" by the "radical" Saul Alinsky, Carl uncritically repeats a claim that Alinsky was a "neo-Marxist," later adding that Alinsky had a "Marxist vision." In fact, Alinsky was not an ideologue, stating that "I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism."
Carl also falsely states that "Alinsky dedicated his book 'Rules for Radicals' to the devil." In fact, Alinsky dedicated the book to his wife, Irene; it's only after that dedication and a page of "personal acknowledgements" that a subsequent page appears containing quotes from Rabbi Hillel and Thomas Paine, as well as another quote attributed to Alinsky in which he provides "an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins -- or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom -- Lucifer."
CNS Publishes Gaffney's Hypocritical Defense of Boykin Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com published a Jan. 30 article by Frank Gaffney defending retired military official Jerry Boykin against efforts to remove him from prayer meetings in Ocean City, Maryland (not successful) and West Point (successful) due to his extreme anti-Muslim views. Gaffney complained that the "threat" is that Boykin "might be allowed to exercise his constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech."
But as Right Wing Watch points out, no one is questioning Boykin’s right to say whatever he wants to say about Muslims -- just where he says it. Further, Gaffney has engaged in the same sort of behavior he deplores when it's used against Boykin. From Right Wing Watch:
If Gaffney really believes that groups protesting Boykin’s appearance at West Point are actually stripping Boykin of his right to free speech, then Gaffney is a serial opponent of the First Amendment under his standard.
Last year, Gaffney demanded that the American Conservative Union disinvite Suhail Kahn of Muslims for America from the Conservative Political Action Conference. He also called on CPAC to give the boot to Grover Norquist, who has done advocacy work in the past with Muslim-Americans including Kahn, labeling both of them threats to the conservative movement and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, Liberty Counsel’s Awakening 2011 conference, Gaffney condemned the conference for allowing Norquist to speak there and said that he made it his “personal burden for the past twelve years” to warn conservatives against joining with Norquist, saying, “I must tell you I think this is time to bring it to a stop”:
Therefore, if Gaffney thinks that asking a conference to disinvite a person from speaking at a conference is an attack on the “constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech,” then Gaffney himself has been one of the biggest opponents of the freedom of speech.
On top of that, David Patten hunts down "prominent Ronald Reagan expert" Paul Kengor to claim that Gingrich "is only the third GOP presidential candidate since the Barry Goldwater era who truly understands conservatism."
Newsmax also links to a Los Angeles Times article under the tease "Cuban-Americans Have Grave Doubts About Romney." The word "grave" appears nowhere in the Times article.
Newsmax columnists did their part for their employer's pro-Gingrich agenda:
Chris Friend criticized Romney for bashing Gingrich's plan to establish a manned base on the moon: "Is that the kind of leadership America needs? Think big, and you’re out the door?"
Michael Reagan asserted that "Newt fights. Real Republicans need fighters, not mealy-mouthed compromisers who shrink away from any form of combat."
Meanwhile, Newsmax's longtime champion of Romney, Ronald Kessler, has not written anything about Romney since Jan. 13. Has he been barred from doing so, or is he still pining away for a Donald Trump candidacy?
WND's Vox Day Litters Germany-Bashing With Nazi References Topic: WorldNetDaily
See if you can catch all the Nazi references Vox Day has dumped into his Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily column:
Last week, Germany launched its most aggressive attack on another country since Operation Barbarossa in 1941. Der Spiegel led with a headline titled “Griechenland soll Kontrolle über Haushalt abgeben,” which has been misleadingly translated into English as “Germany proposes Greece relinquish some fiscal powers.” A more accurate translation would be: “Greece shall give up control over its budget.”
Strangely, the countries, which historically opposed German attempts to conquer small European nations, France and the United Kingdom, are generally supporting this 21st century revival of Germany’s policy of Anschluss. The demand for Lebensraum is financial this time rather than physical, but the basic concept remains the same.
Seen in this light, the German demand for the financial annexation of Greece appears as not only absurd and provocative, but intentionally absurd and provocative.
In Europe and in the United States alike, the heyday of the banks is rapidly coming to a close. The looming revolution is not a battle between capitalism and socialism, or a class war between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, but between the corrupt bank-government axis and the alliance of pretty much everyone else.
Day also describes German chancellor Angela Merkel as "Bundeskanzlerin," which, it turns out, is not a Nazi reference; it just sounds like one.
UPDATE: For the benefit of the readers of Vox's blog: The Nazi-esque reference in the final paragraph is to the "bank-government axis," not the bourgeoisie/proletariat stuff.
Bozell's Silly Attack on Tom Brokaw Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell issued a petulant response to NBC's Tom Brokaw over NBC's request that Mitt Romney's campaign remove a clip of Brokaw from one of its ads:
Come on, Tell The Truth, Tom! What really irks you is not that you're part of a presidential ad; it's that you're part of a Republican candidate's ad. You used NBC and your anchor chair as a platform to promote Democratic agendas and delight in Republican setbacks for more than 20 years. And you stood behind that reporting as a fair exercise in journalistic ethics, even when it was far from the truth.
If Tom Brokaw really cared about this kind of bias, he would do something about his own network and especially its sister network MSNBC given their outrageous pro-Obama nightly commentary disguised as news.
Bozell's self-righteous statement would be less silly if he had said the same thing about Fox News when it made a similar request to a campaign.
Thing is, Fox went a lot farther than NBC has -- in 2010, it actually sued the campaign of Democratic Missouri Senate candidate Robin Carnahan over its use of Fox News footage in a campaign ad in which Chris Wallace interviewed Carnahan's opponent, Roy Blunt.
Bozell is too much of a coward to apply his NBC standard to Fox News -- that Fox's action against Carnahan means they're offended to be part of a Democratic candidate's ad, and that Fox serves as a platform to promote Rpublican agendas and delight in Democratic setbacks.
Unless Bozell will do that, there's no reason to take his ranting against Brokaw with any sort of seriousness.
Your Day-Before-The-Primary Newtmax Update Topic: Newsmax
How did Newsmax spend the day before the Florida primary? Why, with more hyping of Newt Gingrich and more bashing of Mitt Romney.
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy got into the act with a Jan. 30 column criticizing Romney's "politics of division":
Even if Mitt Romney wins in Florida on Tuesday, he still may lose the presidency come November.
The old adage of “divide and conquer” may work well in war, but in politics it’s not always a smart strategy, especially in Republican primaries.
Ronald Reagan’s name has been evoked quite often in this race. The Gipper must be turning over in his grave that Mitt Romney has so badly violated his 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”
Um, isn't that pretty much the same thing Gingrich is doing? Ruddy either hasn't noticed or doesn't care. He's in full Gingrich-whitewashing mode:
Sure Newt has baggage, which he wholly admits to. But despite Mitt Romney’s carpet-bombing with negative ads, the truth is that Gingrich has been a staunch conservative over many decades. The same is not true for Mitt Romney.
Also getting play at Newsmax are the usual suspects performing the Gingrich-fluffing role that Newsmax wants to see them in:
The day's Romney-bashing was led with a piece by Martin Gould claiming that "Discrepancies between Romney’s tax returns and the financial disclosure he filed with the Federal Elections Commission when he started his run for the White House last year are raising new questions about whether he has hidden huge sums from the public."
Newsmax even attacked Romney for "refus[ing] to allocate an extra $5 a day to provide kosher meals for poor Jewish nursing-home residents" as Massachusetts governor -- a pretty blatant play targeted at Florida retirees.
Another article discounts the reality of Gingrich's slipping poll numbers, enlisting Ed Gillespie to insist that "the race is still too fluid to call with just hours to go before the start of regular voting."
Will all of Newsmax's editorial bias be enough to help Gingrich? We'll find out soon enough.
CNS Repeats Discredited Number On Cost of Chevy Volt Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Jan. 27 CNSNews.com blog post attacking the Chevy Volt, Matthew Sheffield repeats the right-wing talking point that "According to a recent research study from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, total taxpayer subsidies in the Chevy Volt amount to as much as $250,000 per car."
In fact, that number has been discredited. As the Street points out, it's a crude calculation, dividing the amount of alleged subsidies by the number of Volts sold so far, which ignores the number of Volts to be sold in the future, as well as future vehicles that will incorporate the Volt's technology -- which will drop that per-car cost considerably. Further, Media Matters notes that the Mackinac Center is including in its subsidy costs plants that produce components for vehicles other than the Volt, making it unfair to attribute those subsidies only for the Volt.
It's no wonder that the Mackinac Center -- a right-wing think tank that has received money from the oil industry -- has a growing reputation for low-quality research. But because it supports a right-wing talking point, that "research" is good enough for Sheffield.
Molotov Mitchell Falsely Claims He Doesn't Endorse Murder Topic: WorldNetDaily
Molotov Mitchell's new film, "Gates of Hell" -- which tells the story of a black terrorist group that kills abortionists as revenge for purportedly targeting the black community -- is apparently so outrageous that even anti-abortion activists are distancing themselves from it.
Gerard Nadal writes at the anti-abortion website LifeNews:
Once again, Black Americans are portrayed as gangster thugs whose only depth is how much their ammo clip can hold in their automatic weapons. Blacks are consistently portrayed as hopelessly prone to violence as the only solution to what ails them.
This movie is vile and disgusting. Dr. Alveda King and the national team of Black pro-life activists follow in her uncle’s footsteps of non-violent resistance and education. This movie will set their work back by at least a decade. It is a vigilante apologia, and I genuinely fear that it will whip up young black men and lead some to violence.
Perhaps there are pro-lifers who see this differently than I do, but this movie will be the new face of the pro-life movement on CNN, MSNBC, and every other liberal news outlet.
This has sent Mitchell and his benefactor, WorldNetDaily, into damage control. Mitchell responds in a Jan. 28 WND article:
Mitchell responded, “I was pretty stunned to hear not only that strong of a criticism about a film Dr. Nadal had not even seen, but also the terrible analogy of strangling a baby, used by a pro-lifer to explain his disdain for a film he had not even seen.
“The trailer is, of course, shocking and provocative,” Mitchell said. “That’s what trailers are supposed to be.”
“No, I’m not espousing the murder of anybody,” Mitchell told WND. “The film is not a call to arms; it’s a political thriller. The topic of black genocide, the cover-up, the conspiracy – we were shooting for (pun intended) great art, great entertainment.
“I don’t believe that people will walk away from this show thinking that it’s OK to kill abortionists,” he continued. “People could make the same argument based on an episode of TV’s ’24,’ where Jack Bauer is chasing an Islamic bomber, and when he’s talking to Bauer, he explains why he did it and he gives some reasonable-sounding explanation for why he felt he was defending his nation. It doesn’t mean ’24′ was espousing suicide bombing because it shows more than one side of the story; it’s simply good story telling.”
In fact, Mitchell has espoused the murder of plenty of people, including abortionists.
In a June 2009 video, Mitchell chortled that the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller by an anti-abortion activist was "a fourth-trimester abortion, a lethal lead injection."
Further, as we've detailed, Mitchell endorsed the proposed law in Uganda that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality.
So Mitchell obviously has no moral aversion to the murder of his perceived enemies. So why wouldn't he make a movie that sounds for all the world like the "Turner Diaries" of the anti-abortion movement?
UPDATE: Did we mention that WND is selling Mitchell's vile video?
It's the last weekend before the Florida primary. How did Newsmax ramp up its Newt-fluffing?
Newsmax pounced on Herman Cain's endorsement of Gingrich, delivering not only an article on the event itself -- proclaiming it "a welcome boost for Gingrich, who has found himself having to defend himself against a vicious onslaught of attacks from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney" -- but also scoring an interview with Cain. Neither article nor the interview video made any mention of Cain's puzzling "endorsement" a week earlier of "we the people."
Newsmax also touted Sarah Palin's repeated endorsement of Gingrich and her portrayal of Gingrich being "crucif[ied]" by the "party machines" and the media.
But Newsmax's Newt-fluffing wouldn't be complete with some Romney-bashing. A Jan. 28 article complains that Mitt Romney has "strongly identified himself as a consistent conservative and Republican voter," but "a review of the facts" shows that "Romney as often gone to considerable lengths to distance himself from Republicans and conservatives."
Newsmax also promoted an Insider Advantage poll it claimed showing that Gingrich is "surging" -- from eight points behind Romney to six points behind. This poll, however, runs counter to most polls showing Romney widening his lead over Gingrich to double digits.
Farah Pushes Even More Birther Lies Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah is clearly not going to let the birther stuff go -- no matter how many lies it takes to keep it alive. He writes in his Jan. 27 column about the circus that was the Georgia brither hearing:
For four long years, compelling evidence has been available that challenges the constitutional eligibility of Barack Obama to occupy the White House.
In fact, I would say the evidence that he does not meet the simple requirements of the law is overwhelming.
But it was not until Thursday that the evidence – any of it – was heard in a single courtroom in America.
Not until very recently has any of it been examined by any official public proceeding or reviewed by any agency of government.
In fact, birther issues were heard in a courtroom before -- two years ago. In the case Ankeny v. Governor of Indiana, Indiana state courts were asked to reject Obama's eligibility for the presidency because he is not a "natural born citizen" -- the same argument Farah and WND make. In upholding the lower court's ruling dismissing the complaint, the Indiana Court of Appeals extensively quoted from the Wong Kim Ark ruling before concluding:
Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are “natural born Citizens” for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents. Just as a person “born within the British dominions [was] a natural-born British subject” at the time of the framing of the U.S. Constitution, so too were those “born in the allegiance of the United States  natural-born citizens.”
The Plaintiffs do not mention the above United States Supreme Court authority in their complaint or brief; they primarily rely instead on an eighteenth century treatise and quotations of Members of Congress made during the nineteenth century. To the extent that these authorities conflict with the United States Supreme Court's interpretation of what it means to be a natural born citizen, we believe that the Plaintiffs' arguments fall under the category of "conclusory, non-factual assertions or legal conclusions" that we need not accept as true when reviewing the grant of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
As we've detailed, WND has never reported on this ruling.
Farah went on to whine:
Meanwhile, for our trouble, we have been systematically vilified for providing the facts – a classic case of “killing the messenger.”
That's another lie. As we've also detailed, WND has refused to provide certain facts that conflict with its birther agenda, such as the existence of John Woodman's book debunking birther claims (even though WND's own Jerome Corsi has debated Woodman) and birther lawyer Phil Berg's discredit of the WND-promoted claim that Obama is using a fraudulent Social Secuity number.
And even the "facts" Farah claims WND has "provided" on its birther obsession haveproven to belies more often than not.
Farah wraps up his whining this way:
I wonder what all those scoffers and mockers are going to say if and when Obama’s name does not appear on the ballot in Georgia and perhaps other states?
Will they report it? Will they label these actions “racist”? Will they continue to misrepresent the facts and the truth?
You mean like Farah and WND do with any information that doesn't fit in with their birther obsession?
Craig Bannister writes in a Jan. 25 CNSNews.com blog post:
Last night, Pres. Obama reaffirmed his determination to protect our country’s children from the dangers of mercury, despite his vigorous defense of a mandate that all Americans put more of it into their homes.
“I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury poisoning,” Obama promised in last night’s State Of The Union address.
But, Pres. Obama, apparently, isn’t concerned with the health risk he’s subjecting Americans to by requiring them to put mercury light bulbs in their homes – a risk his own EPA even warns about on its Web site.
First, the light bulb efficiency law did not come from Obama -- it was passed by Congress in 2007 and signed into law by President Bush (a Republican, in case Bannister has forgotten).
Second, the law does "mandate" that "all Americans" use "mercury light bulbs" -- an apparent reference to compact fluorescent lights -- it simply mandates efficient bulbs. LED bulbs and halogen incandescent bulbs are both more efficient and do not contain mercury.
A Jan. 25 CNS "news" article by Elizabeth Harrington takes a similarly false tack, asserting that Obama supports "replacing the mercury-free incandescent light bulb with the Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL), which, when broken, can emit mercury vapor into the air." Harrington makes no mention of LED or halogen bulbs.
This is nothing but cheap -- and false -- fearmongering by a right-wing propaganda mill that cares nothing about the facts.
In a Jan. 23 NewsBusters post, Hadro cleverly spotted how "CNN's Kareen Wynter aired a gushing portrait of an openly-gay beauty pageant contestant, emphasizing her mission to "make a statement" about her orientation," thus continuing CNN's pattern of being "in the tank for gay rights."
On Jan. 26, Hadro's eagle eye found that CNN "aired a coming-out story that could have doubled as a promotional piece for the GLBT community." This happens to be "the openly-gay grandson of televangelist Oral Roberts." Hadro complained that, according to the grandson, "conservatives are wrong on gay marriage and his goal is to change their minds. And CNN gave him the air time to do exactly that."
Yeah, we wouldn't want people to learn something that may conflict with their beliefs, would we?
And really, Hadro has nothing better to do with his life than complain when gays appear on CNN?
Newsmax is also hammering away at Mitt Romney. A Jan. 27 article by Andrew Henry is a misleading attack on Romney by trying to link him to Goldman Sachs, which "received over $10 billion in emergency lending and bailouts from the Federal Reserve after the 2008 financial meltdown."
Henry wrote that Goldman Sachs is the "top donor" to the campaign, then states: "Goldman doesn’t contribute directly to candidates like Romney, but does so through its employees." Henry offers no evidence that Goldman contributes to Romney or any other candidate "throughs it employees." That used to be illegal, and it may still be. So Henry is accusing Goldman of behavior that may be illegal.
Late on Jan. 27, Newsmax posted an article by Dave Eberhart headlined "Romney Was Manager and Board Member of Corp Guilty of Medicare Fraud," noting that Romney's Bain Capital "purchased and ran the Damon Corporation, which pled guilty to Federal conspiracy charges -- as a result of tens of millions of dollars in systemic Medicare fraud."
This is a disingenuous attack by Newsmax, considering its own hypocritical record. As we detailed, in the 2010 Republican primary for Florida governor, Newsmax supported Bill McCallum against Rick Scott, about whom Newsmax raised the subject of Medicare fraud conducted while Scott headed the hospital firm Columbia/HCA. But when Scott defeated McCallum, Newsmax flip-flopped and endorsed Scott in the general election and was silent about the Medicare fraud stuff.