Farah's Disingenous Attack on 'The Daily Show' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah used his Feb. 2 WorldNetDaily column to grace us with the reason he turned down an interview on "The Daily Show":
About a week ago, WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein, the author of “Manchurian President” (This one is such an important book on the subject I am making it available to you for a limited time for only 99 cents!) and “Red Army,” contacted me about pinch-hitting for him on the show. “The Daily Show” needed someone stateside to deal with this pressing question. When the WND marketing team talked to producers, it was agreed that “The Daily Show” interviewer and crew would conduct the shoot in our corporate offices in the Washington area.
But there was just one condition we insisted upon. Since it would be recorded for television in my office for an hour of which 30 seconds or one minute would be used, we informed the producers that WND would be simultaneously and unobtrusively recording the entire interview as well. My purpose was clear: I wanted to be able to show what was left on the cutting room floor.
Surprise, surprise – that was a deal-killer.
Farah is misleading, of course. As his admission that the interview was to take place at WND's "corporate offices in the Washington area" (Why so vague about where WND's offices are, Joe? The address is on your website) this wasn't going to be a sit-down in-studio interview with host Jon Stewart -- whose name Farah misspells -- which are almost always posted in their entirety on the "Daily Show" website. The show was apparently going to put together a humorous segment about people who insist that Obama is a socialist.
Farah then rants:
People often ask me why I am not on television much any more. This is part of the reason. It’s one thing to do live television, where the deck might be stacked against you, but there’s no editing. It’s another to subject yourself to the not-so-subtle manipulations of creative video propaganda. If Americans eager to see their mugs on TV were willing to lay down some ground rules before appearing, we might be able to bring some balance and fairness to the media.
This whole argument is utterly disingenuous of Farah. Does WND allow its interview subjects to record their interviews so they can show what was left on WND's cutting room floor? Probably not. More often than not, it simply chooses not to interview at all anyone who's not sympathetic to WND's far-right agenda, as Bob Unruh's one-sided articles demonstrate.
So, Mr. Farah, let's not pretend that your website has any meaningful journalistic standards, because it doesn't. WND's plagiarism epidemic alone proves that.
NewsBusters Knows Nothing About Saul Alinsky Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters has spent the past couple of weeks ranting about Saul Alinksy. One thing is clear, though: NewsBusters has no idea who Saul Alinsky actually is.
In a Jan. 22 post, Noel Sheppard asserted that "if the media had fully reported Obama's ties to Alinsky and other left-wing radicals in 2008, he never would have beaten Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination." In fact, Alinsky died when Obama was 10 years old and the two never met; thus, Obama has no "ties to Alinsky."
On Jan. 24, Matt Hadro was upset that "CNN's Soledad O'Brien would not brand Saul Alinsky as a leftist radical, and neither would she say President Obama was influenced by his writings – but she had no problem tying Alinsky's controversial beliefs to the Tea Party movement on Monday's Starting Point." Hadro didn't dispute the truth of what O'Brien did report about Alinsky, but did whine that it was a "neutral take."
Also on Jan. 24, Tom Blumer attacked a public radio report on Alinsky, taking offense at its description of Alinsky as "quite a pragmatic, quite a conservative guy." Blumer responded:
In "Rules For Radicals," as quoted here, Alinsky betrayed the fact that he considered half of the American labor movement insufficiently radical, disdainfully characterizing the American Federation of Labor half of what is now the AFL-CIO as "conservative and archaic" because it "clung to craft unionism." The fact is that the AFL's founder, Samuel Gompers, "improved the lives of millions of working men and women ... (and) rightly deserves to be called the greatest friend labor has ever known."
Blumer is selectively quoting Alinsky. In the section of "Rules for Radicals" from which Blumer plucks out the three words "conservative and archaic," Alinsky is discussing how thet AFL was not interested in unionizing workers beyond the craft unions it was familiar with during the 1930s, while the more "radical" CIO "espoused industrial unionism." Alinsky was discussing the AFL's management and expansion philosophy, not its political persuasion.
Blumer does more out-of-context quoting of Alinsky: "As to whether Alinsky was aligned with the bedrock conservative principle that individuals and families should be left to make their own decisions about their lives, he wasn't: 'The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.'"
But the full quote from "Rules for Radicals" puts those words in a different context:
Great dangers always accompany great opportunities. The possibility of destruction is always implicit in the act of creation. Thus the greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.
From the beginning the weakness as well as the strength of the democratic ideal has been the people. People cannot be free unless they are willing to sacrifice some of their interests to guarantee the freedom of others. The price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people. One hundred and thirty-five years ago Tocqueville gravely warned that unless individual citizens were regularly involved in the action of governing themselves, self-government would pass from the scene. Citizen participation is the animating spirit and force in a society predicated on voluntarism.
We are not here concerned with people who profess the democratic faith but yearn for the dark security of dependency where they can be spared the burden of decisions. Reluctant to grow up, or incapable of doing so, they want to remain children and to be cared for by others. Those who can, should be encouraged to grow; for the others, The fault lies not in the system, but in themselves.
Here we are desperately concerned with the vast mass of our people who, thwarted through lack of interest or opportunity, or both, do not participate in the endless responsibilities of citizenship and are resigned to lives determined by others. To lose your "identity" as a citizen of democracy is but a step away from losing your identity as a person. People react to this frustration by not acting at all. he separation of people from the routine daily functions of citizenship is heartbreak in a democracy.
It is a grave situation when a people resign their citizenship or when a resident of a great city, though he may desire to take a hand, lacks the means to participate. That citizen sinks further into apathy, anonymity, and depersonalization. The result is that he comes to depend on “public authority” and a state of civic-sclerosis sets in.
From time to time there have been external enemies at our gates; there has always been the enemy within, the hidden and malignant inertia that foreshadows more certain destruction of our life and future than any nuclear warhead. There can be no darker or more devastating tragedy than the death of man’s faith in himself and in his power to direct his future.
Alinsky sounds almost like a tea partier there, doesn't he?
Speaking of which, Tim Graham simply refuses to admit that right-wingers like the tea party are using "radical-left theorist" Alinsky's community organization tactics.
In a Jan. 27 post, Graham freaked out at the idea, as expressed by a Washington Post blogger, that "if Alinsky were alive today, he’d surely be camped out in front of the White House, using every trick in his book, 'Rules for Radicals,' to point out the many ways in which the president is not an infiltrator of the dreaded establishment, but the personification of it." Graham huffed: "The charge against Obama did not begin with Obama as president. They begin with Obama's time as a community organizer in Alinsky's Chicago." Graham then irrelevantly quotes right-winger Stanley Kurtz trying to make the Obama-Alinsky connection.
In a Jan. 31 post, Graham was offended that an Alinsky biographer -- who Graham doesn't seem to think knows very much about Alinsky -- claimed that Alinsky was not "terribly ideological," which happens to be true. Still, Graham whines: "Could we please stop trying to imply he wasn’t a radical leftist writing to a radical audience?"
Again, Graham was offended that it was pointed out that right-wingers use Alinsky's tactics, adding, "How this makes Alinsky less radical is anyone’s guess." Well, right-wingers are using Alinsky's tactics, not only does it mean that Alinsky can't be that radical, it means that Alinsky's radicalness is irrelevant.
Graham seems to have forgotten that. Or perhaps he and his fellow NewsBusters are too invested in the idea of Alinsky as bogeyman that they don't want their readers to know the truth.
AIM's Kincaid Joins Geller's Anti-Muslim Group Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid has something new to do when he's not hating gays or hurling baseless smears: It was announced that Kincaid had joined the board of advisers for Pam Geller's latest anti-Muslim group, Stop Islamization of Nations.
As Richard Bartholomew has detailed, SION's board include the usual motley crew of anti-Muslim activists, including someone who claimed that the so-called Ground Zero mosque would be used to train terrorists and a guy who has criticized Christianity as well as Islam as "closed, dogmatic and fundamentalist and closed belief systems, which divide people between believers and non-believers."
Kincaid thus joins a clearinghouse of Muslim-bashing, which is not surprising at all given that he has long blamed the post-9/11 anthrax attacks on Islamic terrorists despite the fact that the evidence points to government bioresearcher Bruce Ivins, and has promoted the idea that President Obama is some kind of secret Muslim.
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.