Death Threat Aside, Blackwell's Column Lies About Obama Topic: CNSNews.com
Sure, there was a death threat against President Obama in the comments section of a Feb. 1 CNSNews.com column by Ken Blackwell attacking "the Obama administration’s ongoing hostility to people of faith, especially Christians." But there was also a fundamental problem with Blackwell's column as well.
Blackwell delved into the controversy over former military offical Jerry Boykin's planned (and now-canceled) appearance at West Point, falsely claiming that Boykin "cannot speak at West Point because he’s an outspoken Christian." In fact, the issue is Boykin's lengthy record of extreme anti-Muslim statements and demonization of Obama. Blackwell doesn't explain why anyone who thinks that Obama has created a Hitler-style Brownshirt army to force Marxism on America must be allowed to speak at the nation's premier military academy.
The only hint of controversy Blackwell acknowledges is that "Boykin has cast America’s war against radical Islamic terrorists as fighting Satan." But he has gone even further than that: As Right Wing Watch detailed, Boykin has asserted that Islam not protected under the First Amendment and that there can be no interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians because Islam is not an Abrahamic faith and has nothing in common with Christianity."
As for Boykin's likening of the war on terrorism to a battle against Satan, the Defense Department has previously determined that Boykin violated Pentagon regulations by failing to obtain official clearance for making such extreme statements.
Most egregiously, Blackwell claimed that "This sad episode is yet another example of the Obama administration’s ongoing hostility to people of faith, especially Christians" -- but he offered no evidence that anyone in the Obama administration had anything to do with forcing Boykin to withdraw from his West Point speech.
Blackwell is lying and misleading his way through this column.
Newsmax Repeats Limbaugh's Faulty Attack on Employment Numbers Topic: Newsmax
A Feb. 3 Newsmax article by Amy Woods uncritically repeats Rush Limbaugh's claim that newly released numbers showing that the U.S. unemployment rate dropped in January are "corrupt" because “The number of jobs not available to be filled exploded by an unprecedented, record number of 1.2 million."
But Limbaugh misread the numbers. As Media Matters points out, the Bureau of Labor Statistics adjusted its methodology in January to incorporate demographic data gathered in the 2010 census, causing that statistical anomaly. As Time further explains:
The demographic adjustments had no effect on the unemployment rate, says Mary Bowler, the resident expert in these matters at the BLS. And when it comes to labor force estimates, the steep jump in the number of those not seeking work came entirely from the census adjustment, which added 1.25 million people to that group. If you take out the census adjustment, the labor force numbers stayed essentially the same, as reflected by the labor force participation rate of 63.7%. In other words, the spike in the number of people no longer looking for work is entirely the result of some people at the Labor Department adding numbers to their spread sheets rather than an actual observed shift anywhere in the real economy.
Woods ignores this explanation of the facts proving Limbaugh wrong.
WND Readers Not Taking Rejection of Birther Case Well Topic: WorldNetDaily
So, remember that Georgia birther case that WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah declared was the first time any birther evidence had been examined by a court of law (even though it wasn't)? The judge has handed down a ruling -- and the birthers aren't happy.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the judge rejected the arguments of birther lawyers such as Orly Taitz that Obama should be removed from the Georgia presidential ballot.
WND, meanwhile, had its own alternate-universe interpretation of the ruling. A Feb. 3 article by Unruh complains that the judge "cited a little-known determination by an Indiana judge" to back up his dismissal of the case. In fact, that determination is "little-known" to Unruh because, as we detailed last year, WND has studiously ignored its existence.
It's telling that Unruh not only fails to link to that Indiana court case -- which determined 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" -- he fails to link to the Georgia judge's ruling (h/t Obama Conspiracy). That's too bad, because thte judge exposes the incompetence of Taitz and her fellow lawyers and witnesses.
The Court finds the testimony of the witnesses, as well as the exhibits tendered, to be of little, if any, probative value, and thus wholly insufficient to support Plaintiffs' allegations. Ms. Taitz attempted to solicit expert testimony from several of the witnesses without qualifying or tendering the witnesses as experts. See Stephens v. State, 219 Ga. App. 881 (1996) (the unqualified testimony of the witness was not competent evidence). For example, two of Plaintiffs' witnesses testified that Mr. Obama's birth in birth records, forged documents or document manipulation. Another witness testified that she has concluded that the social security number Mr. Obama uses is fraudulent; however, her investigatory methods and her sources of information were not properly presented, and she was never qualified or tendered as an expert in social security fraud, or fraud investigations in general. Accordingly, the Court cannot make an objective threshold determination of these witnesses' testimony without adequate knowledge of their qualifications. See Knudsen v. Duffee-Freeman, Inc., 95 Ga. App. 872 (1957) (for the testimony of an expert witness to be received, his or her qualifications as such must be first proved).
None of the testifying witnesses provided persuasive testimony. Moreover, the Court finds that none of the written submissions tendered by Plaintiffs have probative value. Given the unsatisfactory evidence presented by the Plaintiffs, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs' claims are not persuasive.
Unruh spends more space discussing the judge's criticism of Obama's lawyer for refusing to take part in the hearing than he does the fact that the judge found Taitz to be incompetent and her witnesses -- who included WND-promoted birthers like Douglas Vogt -- to be of indeterminate expertise.
Unruh also ignored the fact that Taitz did not have a defense mounted against her -- and she still lost.
Meanwhile, WND's readers aren't taking this ruling very well -- the comment thread on Unruh's article surpassed 800 comments as of this writing. And there's been at least one death threat so far, by this man:
WND, to its credit, did remove Bishop's threat fairly quickly. Still, what is it with the death threats on the ConWeb this week?
Pelosi to CNS: 'Is This A Speech, Or Do We Have A Question In Disguise As A Speech?' Topic: CNSNews.com
Nancy Pelosi appears to have CNSNews.com pegged for what it is: a right-wing talking-points factory posing as a "news" organization. Even more amazingly, CNS is apparently so unashamed of this that it will flaunt that bias.
At her Wednesday press briefing, CNSNews.com asked Pelosi: “The administration has issued a regulation that will require all health-care plans to cover sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that induce abortions. This would force Catholic individuals and institutions to act against their consciences. All across the nation, Catholic bishops are saying:--
Pelosi responded: "Is this a speech, or do we have a question in disguise as a speech?"
CNSNews.com continued: “‘We cannot--we will not—comply with this law.’ Catholic bishops are saying they will not comply with this law. Will you stand with your fellow Catholics in resisting this law or will you stick by the administration?”
Note that Cloud didn't challenge Pelosi's description of his question.
Of course, CNS has a long history of speechifying in the form of gotcha questions designed solely to trip up its political enemies in the hopes of getting a little right-wing catnip out of the deal in the form of a YouTube video.
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Here's the latest in the anonymous sources Aaron Klein hides behind in his WorldNetDaily articles:
A Jan. 24 article claims that "Iran has been working around the leadership of Hamas to form independent Hamas militias capable of carrying out coordinated attacks against Israel, according to sources in Hamas." Klein does not explain why Hamas would speak to him, given his fealty toward extremist anti-Palestinian rabbi Meir Kahane.
A Jan. 26 article credits "informed Egyptian security officials" to claim that "To pressure the U.S., Syrian President Bashar Assad has reopened his country’s borders with Iraq, allowing more jihadists to get into and out of Iraq." As we've documented, Klein started crediting anonymous Egyptian "officials" in order to prop up the dying regime of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Klein cited even more "Egyptian security officials" in a Jan. 30 article on a "secret meeting" by the Muslim Brotherhood "to coordinate the Islamic group’s rise to power in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa." Klein also offers up a bizarre defense of the brutal crackdown by the Assad regime in Syria, suggesting thatit's justified because Bashar Assad "faces an insurgency that is reportedly being coordinated in part by Muslim Brotherhood-allied groups." Klein did the same thing in defending Mubarak.
MRC Doesn't Mention One Of Komen's 'Bullies' Was The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
In a Feb. 2 Media Research item, Matt Hadro complains that CNN reported Planned Parenthood's complaint that the Susan G. Komen Foundation was the target of "bullying by the right," which resulted in the foundation cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings.
Hadro, however, failed to disclose that the MRC is one of those "bullies."
A July 2005 MRC "Flash" newsletter touted how its "news" division CNSNews.com exposed how the Komen Foundation is using "money purportedly raised for breast cancer research" to support Planned Parenthood's "leftist, anti-life goals":
CNS investigative reporter Randy Hall also examined the fraud of fungibility when he looked at the records of the noble-sounding Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure. The organization’s nationwide series of 5 kilometer runs/fitness walks, named in honor of Komen, a breast cancer victim, are supposed to raise money for breast cancer research. So far, so good.
However, as Hall reported on Feb. 22 and then in a followup report on April 18, the Komen Foundation diverted $475,000 of the money it raised in 2003 to Planned Parenthood clinics around the country.
Planned Parenthood is the number one provider of abortions in America, but Rebecca Gibson, a spokesperson for the Komen Foundation, told Randy that the foundation and its affiliates “do not provide any funding for abortions or for any activities outside the scope of our mission.”
That may be technically true, but we couldn’t help wonder what the participants in the Race for the Cure events would have said had they learned that the organization they thought was raising money solely for breast cancer research was instead giving part of it away to Planned Parenthood clinics and making it financially easier for abortions to be performed.
In other words: CNS has no proof of fungibility of funding, only politically motivated speculation.
In April 2009, CNS published a column by anti-abortion activist Judie Brown attacking Komen for its links to Planned Parenthood: "In the case of Komen and its alliances with Planned Parenthood, given my non-degree in moral theology, I say no to Komen, no to collaboration with Planned Parenthood on any level – just plain no!"
In an August 2011 CNS column, Brown praised a Catholic bishop for making the "courageous stand" of barring his diocese's schools and parishes from fund-raising for the Komen foundation because "Komen has partnered with Planned Parenthood in the past." Brown added that the bishop's action "is exactly what is needed to help untangle the evil web that is woven in today’s atmosphere of tolerance for, and acceptance of, evil."
CNS also highlighted a Dec. 15 Associated Press article noting that the Southern Baptist Convention's publishing division, LifeWay, is recalling pink Bibles in which a portion of the purchase price went to the Komen foundation, "saying some of the money raised through their sale was being given to Planned Parenthood."
Needless to say, CNS was thrilled about Komen cutting off Planned Parenthood. After the announcement, it published an article detailing how "Pro-life groups are commending the 'brave decision' of the Susan G. Komen Foundation to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood."
Mychal Massie Spews Lies About Michelle Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Mychal Massie utterly despises Michelle Obama to the point of near-rage -- the nicest thing he call her, it seems, is "Buttzilla." So it's unsurprising he'd blatantly lie about her too.
Think about the message it would send if Michelle Obama surrendered her $15,000-per-day makeup person, her $11,000 hoop earrings, $2,000 skirts, multi-thousand dollar sun skirts and dresses, $40,000 bracelets and Roger Vivier shoes (maker of the most expensive shoes in the world). Think of the message she would send if she practiced the same temperance she preaches when it comes to her extravagant dinners, lavish multi-million dollar vacations, and the presidential jet for herself and her friends, as well as the family dog. Would the public think less of her if she were to forego $50,000 Madison Ave. spending sprees for undergarments just for her?
In fact, it appears the claim Obama spent $50,000 on lingerie is completely false -- nobody has presented any evidence whatsoever to back it up, and the White House strongly denies it.
The other claims Massie hatefully spews about Obama have been taken out of context. The "$40,000 bracelets" were borrowed, the "$11,000 hoop earrings" Obama wore on election night in 2008 paled in comparison to the $300,000 ensemble -- including a pair of $280,000 earrings -- Cindy McCain was wearing at the Republican National Convention, and nobody has claimed that makeup artist Derrick Rutledge charges Obama $15,000 a day (only that that's what he has charged in the past).
But Massie really doesn't care about the truth, does he? He has a first lady to maliciously smear, after all.
In the comment thread on a Feb. 1 CNS article by Patrick Goodenough on how a State Department used the term “human rights for LGBT people” instead of "gay rights," there can be found amid the usual hateful right-wing gay-bashing this gramatically challenged comment by someone calling themselves "CUREHOMOSEXUALS": "Is it OK to wish that -obama- get's AID/VIRUS and suffers like the rest of the gay animals."
As you can see from the timestamp, that comment has remained posted for nearly an entire day as of this writing. Nobody at CNS is apparently bothered by this sentiment.
When you pander to the Obama-haters -- as CNS is clearly doing under editor in chief Terry Jeffrey -- these are the kind of commenters you attract.
Bozell, MRC Do Not Find Colbert Amusing Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell and his Media Research Center are not amused by Stephen Colbert.
In his January 20 column, the Media Research Center chief railed against Colbert’s "egotistical stunts to promote his own Nielsen ratings," in particular the Colbert Super PAC, which Bozell claimed is presented as "exposing the glaring loopholes in federal (under) regulation of campaign ads” but is really about “Comedy Central hacks” Colbert and Jon Stewart favoring "a government crackdown on negative political speech." Perhaps Bozell is feeling a little vulnerable on that point, having recently likened President Obama to a "skinny ghetto crackhead."
Bozell then denounced how other TV outlets are praising Colbert for his satire, huffing: “Colbert, the critic of political viciousness himself, declared on his show, ‘Sarah Palin is a (bleeping) retard.’ "
But Bozell is taking that statement -- from a February 2010 episode of "The Colbert Report" -- out of context. Colbert had pointed out that Palin had demanded the resignation of then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel for using the term “[bleeping] retards,” but wouldn’t criticize Rush Limbaugh for saying “retard” because he was “using satire.” Colbert then declared that Palin said “it is OK to call someone a retard if, like Rush, you clearly don’t mean it. Which is why we should all come to her defense and say, Sarah Palin is a [bleeping] retard.” Colbert added, “You see? It’s satire.”
Bozell certainly seems to have a tin ear for satire. Then again, the MRC has a record of taking things out of context.
Most notoriously, as we've detailed, the MRC published an ellipsis-laden quote taken from a book by then-New York Times editorial page editor Howell Raines that it claimed denigrated Reagan. The space covered in one ellipsis was 28 pages, falsely portraying a statement that Reagan "couldn’t tie his shoelaces if his life depended on it" -- in which Raines was actually quoting someone referencing Reagan’s inability to tie a fly-fishing fly -- as a personal attack on Reagan’s intelligence by Raines. Eight years after first publishing the misleading excerpt -- during which time it was repeated by such right-wing pundits as Bernard Goldberg – the MRC finally issued a "clarification."
And there's also the MRC's repeated misportrayal of of a Boston Globe writer's criticism of Ted Kennedy as praise by omitting the context in which the criticism appeared.
Then, in a Jan. 29 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham approvingly quoted a National Review writer sniffing that Colbert's satiric exposure of the real nature of lax post-Citizens United election financing regulations through his super PAC "geriatric" in tone and actually funny, just "NPR funny."
That seems like projection, especially coming from the folks who produce the painfully unfunny "NewsBusted" video.
NewsBusters Thinks Obama Wanting To Help Man Find A Job Is A 'Gaffe' Topic: NewsBusters
We've detailed how NewsBusters insists on putting the words of conservatives in their proper context, but if you insist on putting, say, President Obama's words in context, you're simply making excuses for the guy.
NewsBusters keeps up that double standard in a Jan. 30 post by Kyle Drennen that pretty blatantly takes Obama out of context. Under the headline "Not Very 'Interesting': ABC and CBS Morning Shows Ignore Obama Gaffe," Drennen writes:
While NBC correspondent Peter Alexander noted on Tuesday's Today how "Republicans are jumping on the president's choice of words" in telling a woman her husband's long-term unemployment was "interesting" to him, neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS's This Morning bothered to highlight Obama's aloof flub.
Why isn't [CBS' Bob] Schieffer's mind boggled when President Obama seems puzzled by the plight of average Americans?
In fact, Obama said no such thing. Obama said that it was "interesting" that a questioner's husband could not find a job after three years of being unemployed because he was described as a high-tech engineer whose skills are in demand. Here's the full transcript of the exchange:
QUESTIONER: Hi, Mr. President. My husband has an engineering degree with over 10 years of experience, and he was laid off over three years ago and has yet to find a permanent job in his field. My question to you is: Why does the government continue to issue and extend H-1B visas when there are tons of Americans just like my husband with no job?
OBAMA: Well, Jennifer, I don't know your husband's specialty, but I can tell you that there's a huge demand around the country for engineers. Now, obviously, there are different kinds of engineers. So a civil engineer, for example, right now may not be getting as much work because we're not building our infrastructure as much as we should, which is part of the reason why in the State of the Union I said let's put folks to work -- not just construction workers but also engineers and architects, rebuilding our schools and our roads and our bridges and so on. Where you're seeing a lot of specialized demand is in engineering that's related to the high-tech industries. And now, what industry tells me is that they don't have enough highly skilled engineers. If your husband's in that field, then we should get his resume and I'll forward it to some of these companies that are telling me they can't find enough engineers in this field. So it's going to vary, but as a basic matter, there's a huge demand for engineers around the country right now.
QUESTIONER: I understand that. But how -- I mean, given the list that you're getting, I mean, we're not getting that. You said in the State of the Union address for business leaders to ask themselves what can they do to bring jobs back to America. But why do you think that thet H-1B program is so popular with the corporations?
OBAMA: Jennifer, can I ask you what kind of engineer your husband is?
QUESTIONER: He's a semiconductor engineer.
OBAMA: See, it is interesting to me -- and I meant what I said. If you send me your husband's resume, I'd be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there, because the word we're getting is that somebody in that kind of high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something right away. And the H-1B should be reserved only for those companies who say they cannot find somebody in that particular field. So that wouldn't necessarily apply if in fact there are a lot of highly skilled American engineers in that position. I'd be interested -- I will follow up on this, because I'm interested in finding out, and maybe we can get some information as to why your husband has been having trouble getting placed. We want to encourage more American engineers to be placed, and that's part of the reason why it's so important to us to boost American manufacturing.
Only at NewsBusters and its parent Media Research Center would offering to help someone find a job be considered a "gaffe" and a "flub."
Newsmax Dials Back Gingrich-Fluffing After Florida Blowout Topic: Newsmax
Days of Gingrich-fluffingbyNewsmax before the Republican presidential primary in Newsmax's home state of Florida (and even more before the Iowa primary) got Gingrich a 15-point loss. This seems to have motivated Newsmax not to put all its eggs in one presidential basket.
Oh, sure, there are the post-election articles designed to prop up Gingrich in the wake of the loss, such as quoting "political guru" Larry Sabato as climing that Florida was not a "game-ender" for Gingrich’s presidential hopes. There was also the requisite Romney-bashing, such as pointing out that Romney's votes "cost more than three times that of his nearest rival, Newt Gingrich."
But there was also an article coming to Romney's defense. A Feb. 1 article declared that "Sources in the mainstream media were quick to jump on Mitt Romney for saying he doesn’t care about the very poor — without placing the remark in context." But the article did not name any actual "sources in the mainstream" who were taking Romney's words out of the context -- only that it is likely to be taken out of context by Romney's critics.
Also, Romney-fluffer extraordinare Ronald Kessler was let out of his cage to fluff away once more. In a column posted the morning after Romney's Florida win, Kessler proclaimed that there is "no better example" of Romney serving as a "turnaround artist" than when he "turned a failure into a success with the 2002 Winter Olympics" by turning "budget deficit of $379 million" to "a surplus of $56 million."
Unmentioned by Kessler: That surplus was due in no small part to federal subsidies. The Salt Lake City Olympics received $342 million in federal money, more than was given to the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta.
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily's Plagiarism Problem Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND has been stealing the content of others for years, but the theft has seriously ramped up in the past couple of months. Read more >>
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."