John Rocker Is Now A WND Columnist Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has announced that it has hired former baseball player John Rocker as an "exclusive weekly columnist." If that name sounds familiar, WND is eager to explain it away:
A fierce defender of conservative values, Rocker says his book, “Scars and Strikes,”is a wake-up call to those who base their perception of him on the Sports Illustrated article that led to a 14-game suspension from baseball in 2000. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig assigned Rocker to mandatory “sensitivity” training as part of his “sentence.”
Jeff Pearlman was the Sports Illustrated writer whose report sparked a media firestorm aimed at Rocker.
Commenting on ever playing for a New York team, Rocker told Pearlman: “I would retire first. It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing.”
Rocker’s teammates and friends in Major League Baseball rushed to defend him, but the damage was done.
That's right -- a guy best known for making numerous insensitive racial remarks now writes for WND.
WND softened up its readers toward Rocker in a May 29 profile by Michael Thompson, who described Rocker's racially charged rhetoric as merely "politically incorrect" and claimed that "Rocker was the first victim of many shots in the politically correct war waged against patriotic Americans."
Thompson also helped Rocker get back at Pearlman, calling him "notorious" and claiming without evidence that Pearlman "goaded" Rocker "into saying controversial things." Thompson uncritically quoted Rocker saying that Pearlman penned "eerily similar hatchet jobs to dozens of other subjects during his 20 year career."
Thompson made no apparent effort to contact Pearlman for his response to Rocker's attacks.
Thompson did further sucking up to Rocker in an accompanying article recounting how Rocker once went "an incredible 21-and-a-half innings without giving up a run in the playoffs."
After getting such fawning, uncritical treatment in which his every personal attack on Pearlman is treated as the gospel truth, why wouldn't Rocker want to write for WND?
Joseph Farah's Myopic Support of Syrian Dictator Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed how WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein is taking the side of murderous Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Now his boss is doing the same thing:
In his June 22 WND column, Joseph Farah at least concedes, unlike Klein, that Assad is a bad person. But that's OK because the other side is worse:
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have always been a staunch critic of Bashar al-Assad and his tyrant father before him. But, in the Middle East, the choice is often between bad and worse. And, predictably, Barack Obama has chosen worse by siding with Islamists over the authoritarian dictator with plenty of faults of his own.
For Americans, our prime concern should be humanitarian in a conflict like this. While Syria is an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel police state, what will inevitably follow the fall of Assad will make the current regime look like a benevolent picture of stability by comparison.
Syria is the home of one of the largest Christian populations in the Middle East. That is largely due to the Christian refugee crisis that was brought about largely due to the turmoil in Iraq since the U.S. intervention there. While Assad is a bad actor, he has been tolerant of religious minorities, including Christians. In fact, Assad, an Alawite, is part of a religious minority himself.
But if the Assad regime falls, it will mean genocide for the Christian community. In fact, the escalating rebellion is already taking its toll on Syrian Christians.
Farah is engaging in the worst kind of myopia here: Muslims bad, Christians good. Sure, Assad is a dictator who is killing his own people and destroying his country to stay in power, but hey, he's not targeting Christians!
In short: As long as the non-Christians are only attacking and killing themselves, the violence in Syria doesn't matter.
AIM Columnist Ignores Facts in Defending DDT Topic: Accuracy in Media
Alan Caruba devotes his June 18 Accuracy in Media column to ranting about Rachel Carson and her book "Silent Spring," the 50 anniversary of whose publication is this year. To hear Caruba tell it, Carson helped foment America's "unfounded fears of pesticides" and is just like Hitler:
There are books that have doomed millions to death. “Das Capital” by Karl Marx kicked off the worst economic system of the modern era, claiming the lives of millions of Russians and Chinese, along with others in the process.
Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” mobilized Nazi Germany, led to World War Two in Europe, and was responsible for the deliberate killing of six million Jews and another five million Christians in its concentration camps, not counting the millions more in war dead. The Nazi leaders were ardent environmentalists.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson; a book that is credited with giving rise to the environmental movement in general and, in particular, America’s unfounded fears of pesticides, especially DDT.
Caruba goes on to rail about the DDT ban, claiming that "Malaria, once on the brink of being eliminated, has long since made resurgence since the ban of DDT, although some nations most affected by the disease have received permission to use it. That is Rachel Carson’s true and lethal legacy."
In fact, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting notes that DDT-resistant mosquitoes -- which carry the malaria virus -- had begun to appear well before the DDT ban due to overuse of the pesticide. Further, FAIR reports, there was never a global ban on DDT, and 10 out of the 17 African nations that currently conduct indoor spraying use DDT.
Caruba also claims that "The coast-to-coast plague of bedbugs that has occurred in the past decade and continues today could have been eliminated if DDT were still in use." In fact, Newsweek reports that, as with mosquitoes, bedbugs had developed resistance to DDT by the time of the DDT ban; besides, "In the 1960s and 1970s, most of the bedbugs that had survived the onslaught of DDT were wiped out by malathion, until it, too, stopped working."
We've previouslynoted other right-wing writers dubiously coming to the defense of DDT.
MRC's Graham Keeps Up His Employer's Obsession With Afghan Body Count Topic: NewsBusters
Earlier this year, we detailed CNSNews.com's obsession with the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan under President Obama, which runs counter to its interest in touting decreases in troop deaths in Iraq when George W. Bush was president. Now other parts of the Media Research Center are picking up this body-count obsession.
Tim Graham complains in a June 21 NewsBusters post that only one TV network highlighted the milestone of 2,000 troop deaths in Afghanistan:
On June 13, the CBS Evening News devoted a story by David Martin to the Afghanistan death count reaching 2,000, as Martin interviewed a mother of a fallen Marine. CBS was alone. There was no story last week on the Afghanistan death “milestone” on ABC, NBC, the PBS NewsHour – or even on the MSNBC programs found in Nexis, including Rachel “Our Military’s In a Perilous Drift” Maddow.
Unmentioned by Graham: Fox News. A Nexis search of Fox News transcripts (which covers most prime-time shows; most daytime shows do not appear in Nexis) shows that it appears to have failed to mention this milestone.
If not mentioning this is evidence of "liberal bias," why won't Graham call out Fox News on it, since the MRC purports to attack all instances of "liberal bias" in the media?
That's just cowardice on Graham's part -- it seems he doesn't want to be caught attacking a channel he regularlyappearson. Can't bite the hand that feed you, y'know.
WND's Klein Defending Another Middle East Dictator Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've noted how WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein seems to have found another Middle Eastern dictator to suck up to, Syria's Bashar al-Assad. It seems Klein is still trying to cozy up to Assad like he did with Egypt's Hosni Mubarak in the dying days of his regime.
As he did with Mubarak, Klein devotes considerable effort to painting the opposition to Assad only as jihadists. Indeed, Klein seems unusually desperate to prove that a massacre of civilians in the Syrian town of Houla was committed by opposition forces rather than the Assad regime.
In a May 29 article, Klein touted how "Syria presented the United Nations and the U.S. with information that indicates it was a group affiliated with al-Qaida, armed by Turkey, that slaughtered more than 100 civilians in their homes in Houla last week, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials," complaining that "Much of the Western news media blamed Assad’s troops for the massacre."
In a June 5 article, Klein highlights how "Jordan stated its security officials arrested two jihadists affiliated with al-Qaida on their way to Syria to fight against President Bashar Assad," insisting that "The information about al-Qaida among the opposition is significant." Klein also takes Assad's word at face value regarding "foreign terrorists" among his opposition:
Assad’s regime several times has claimed al-Qaida was behind a series of attacks blamed on Syrian forces.
Last month, Syria said it arrested 26 al-Qaida “foreign terrorists,” including one Jordanian.
Last Sunday, Assad used a rare national address to blame “terrorists” and foreign elements for the Houla massacre.
Klein also once again defends Assad from accusations that his troops committed a massacre of civilians in the Syrian town of Houla, again taking a dictator at his word:
Largely unreported is Syria’s claim that an armed terrorism element is behind the massacre.
Middle East security officials told WND Syria has sent information to the U.S., U.N. and other international bodies indicating the house-to-house slaughter was carried out by a group affiliated with al-Qaida that came from North Africa.
According to Syria, the jihad organization entered Syria via Turkey, where the militants were first armed. Syria did not blame Turkey directly for the massacre, the security officials said. The Syrian report stated Turkey likely believes the al-Qaida elements were going to fight Assad’s regime.
In neither of these articles does Klein offer any reason why we should take the Assad regime's claims as truth.
In a June 14 article, Klein cites "an informed Syrian government source" to claim that Assad "is preparing a major offensive in the coming days against the opposition targeting his regime." Klein also once again defends Assad from accusations that his troops committed the Houla massacre, citing how "Germany’s leading daily, the Frankfurter 'Allgemeine Zeitung,' quoted sources claiming the Houla massacre was actually committed by anti-Assad Sunni militants."
As Richard Bartholomew points out, claims that anti-Assad forces committed the Houla massacre come from people citing anonymous sources, while numerous named eyewitnesses have confirmed that the massacre was the work of the regime.
Immigrant-Hater James Walsh Purports to Speak for Hispanics Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax columnist James Walsh is not exactly known for his friendliness toward immigrants to this country, many of whom are Hispanic. And he's particularly upset that Hispanics voted for President Obama (though he's lying about whether "illegal" immigrants voted).
Despite that, Walsh insists on speaking for Hispanics and declaring he knows what they really want, which he does in his June 21 column:
What does the Hispanic community think of deferred deportations? Many have their doubts about Obama and his repeated promises of comprehensive immigration reform — La Promesa de Obama — dating from 2007. During a February 2012 interview with the Hispanic television network, Univision, the president said, “I’ve got another five years coming up. We’re going to get this done,” suggesting comprehensive immigration reform.
Many Hispanics want to know why, in 2009 and 2010, when the Democrats controlled the White House as well as the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, was neither immigration reform nor the DREAM Act enacted? Obama never intended to actually seek the passage of comprehensive immigration reform, as it would defeat his idea of marginalizing America.
Recent surveys show that Hispanics are worried about jobs, the economy, education for their children, and fiscal solvency, with immigration coming in a poor fifth. The average U.S. citizen/taxpayer of Hispanic lineage also worries about the additional costs of adding an estimated 1.4 million illegal-alien youth up to 30 years old to the welfare rolls.
Hispanic voters realize that Obama is pandering to them by offering a campaign concession with limited shelf life. They know by now that long-term meaningful immigration reform is not part of Obama’s game plan.
How does Walsh know all this stuff about Hispanics? He doesn't say.
WorldNetDaily's relentless and flawed promotion of the apocalyptic work "The Harbinger" continues with a June 15 article claiming that a message President Obama wrote at the site of the Freedom Center being built at the site of Ground Zero is the latest instance of "American leaders fulfilling an ancient biblical prophecy and a curse of judgment on the U.S."
Richard Bartholomew takes a closer look at the book's author, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. Turns out he's a messianic Jew who's misusing a Bible verse.
Matthew Sheffield devotes an entire June 21 NewsBusters post to ranting that the group Common Cause is described as a "nonpartisan" group when it is actually a "liberal activist organization" and "a liberal astroturf group masquerading as a non-partisan government watchdog."
What about conservative groups that hide behind a "nonpartisan" description? Sheffield doesn't care.
Indeed, just a couple weeks earlier, in a May 30 post, Sheffield uncritically repeated a description of the Tax Foundation as a "nonpartisan research group" in regurgitating its claim that "millions of Americans are leaving high-tax areas like New York or California in favor of lower-tax jurisdictions like Texas or Florida." In fact, the Tax Foundation has been described as having a "pro-business leaning," and U.S. News & World Report called it a "conservative-leaning group."
There was no ranting from Sheffield about the Tax Foundation being desribed as "nonpartisan" when it's actually conservative.
That's not the only example of Sheffield's hypocrisy in recent days. He used another June 21 post to rail against "the far left's recent campaign to silence those who dared to question" that "Freedom of speech is one of the core values of the American constitutional system," including "outright attempts to use government force to compel groups of people to be silent before elections."
Sheffield made no mention of the censorship efforts of the person who operates the blog his post is published on: Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell. As we've detailed, Bozell demanded that MSNBC fire hosts who said things he didn't like, and even tried to encourage Congress to interfere with a business deal involving NBC's corporate parent, Comcast, because NBC did something he didn't like -- effectively insisting that Congress use government force to intimidate a private business in service of his personal vendetta against NBC.
If Sheffield is so concerned about "censorship," he should start with his own side. Since he obviously won't, he's nothing but a coward and a hypocrite.
WND's Farah: Obama Now An 'Accessory to Murder' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah writes in his June 20 WorldNetDaily column:
When Barack Obama claimed executive privilege today in an effort to protect Attorney General Eric Holder from a contempt-of-Congress charge in the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, he may have inadvertently exposed himself as an accessory to murder.
Obama cannot claim executive privilege for any member of his administration. He can only do so for himself and his inner circle of advisers, and should never do so unless it’s a matter of national security.
What Obama did, in apparent desperation, was to expose his own personal complicity in this scandal, making him, quite possibly, an accessory to murder.
Can you imagine how big this scandal is and how far it reaches for the administration to take such a gamble?
Obama is going down for this – whether it’s in the election in November or before. Democrats should start deciding now if they want to go down with him or stand up for principle as many Republicans did during the darkest days of Watergate.
Farah has already accused Obama of deicide, so this is actually a step down for him. Besides, as Media Matters points out, Farah is misreading Obama's declaration of executive privilege.
So deranged Obama-hater Farah is not just hyperbolic, he's wrong. Anyone surprised?
MRC: Critics Who Like HBO's 'Girls' Are 'Left-Wing' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has decided: Any TV critic who likes the HBO show "Girls" is, by definition, "liberal."
In a June 19 MRC Culture & Media Institute article headlined "Liberal Critics Still Consider ‘Girls’ Irresistible," Ryan Robertson complains that critics "love" the show, which in its final episode contained "frank discussions about STD’s, abortion references, frequent drug use, and brutish behavior – basically what audiences have come to expect from premium cable networks." He went on to grouse that "numerous left-wing columnists will continue to praise the show for its ‘brutal honesty’ and ‘gritty realism.’"
Robertson did not explain how anyone can be declared a "liberal" or "left-wing" based on the sole metric of liking one specific TV show.
Yet one of the critics he singlees out for loving the show is quoted as saying "there were some parts … that I absolutely loved, but it didn’t exactly leave me wanting more." He further undermined his own premise later in the article by noting that "a couple of writers were actually critical of 'Girls.'"
WND Fully Plays Race Card, Repeatedly Depicts Blacks As Violent Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last month, WorldNetDaily's Joe Kovacs took a dip in the race-baiting pool by highlighting a story in which it claimed that "100 blacks beat white couple" (later changed to "many blacks" after it couldn't come up with evidence that "100 blacks" partcipated), then did the occasional backpedal after it became clear the attack wasn't as racially motivated as originally claimed. It then followed that up with a scary-black-people story headlined "Wave of black mobs brutalizing whites," though the evidence she provided was somewhat less than a "wave."
WND has since decided that playing the race card suits it -- and, apparently, likes the class of readers such race-baiting attracts to its website -- because it's been ramping up its scary-black-people article output with the help of a freelancer named Colin Flaherty, a "talk-show host" and "online ad agency owner" who just happens to have penned a self-published book titled "White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How The Media Ignore It."
Under the headline "Call for crackdown on black-on-white terror," a May 18 article by Flaherty highlighted a state lawmaker in Maryland who claims to be "concerned about 'black youths' who are 'terrorizing' Baltimore’s upscale Inner Harbor," which the legislator insists is a "hard truth." Flaherty followed that up with another article the same day touting how the lawmaker "wants the governor to send in state troopers to make the area safe."
Flaherty returned on June 6 to fearmonger about "blacks marauding" in Minneapolis:
Minneapolis police want you to know race has nothing to do with an epidemic of violent crime in their downtown.
Same for crime reporter Matt McKinney: The recent increase in what he calls “flash mob” violence and mayhem is “random” and “no other real pattern emerges” and the “motivation for the attack remains unclear.”
But more and more people in Minneapolis are connecting the violence with groups of blacks marauding through the downtown; beating, hurting, destroying and stealing. Sometimes right in front of police.
A lot of it on YouTube. With lots of witnesses – 15 to 20 times over the last year.
The attacks are part of a nationwide pattern of hundreds of episodes of unreported racial violence and lawlessness found in more than 50 cities over the last three years.
On June 17, Flaherty ranted about "one of the worst crimes scenes in the history of downtown Indianapolis" caused by "thousands of blacks who roamed the streets of downtown in the aftermath of an Indianapolis Black Expo marred by fighting, vandalizing, assaulting and even shooting. Lots of shooting."
And on June 20, under the headline "Chicago's unreported race war," Flaherty wrote:
City officials and the media might be the only two places left where people still deny Chicago is under assault from more than 50 episodes of black mobs attacking, beating, robbing and vandalizing over the last three years in and around downtown. Many of them are on display at YouTube.
Some call it the “Chicago Intifada.”
Over just the last two weeks, black mobs are under investigation in at least five new violent incidents in downtown Chicago.
Clearly, if you white people out there need confirmation for your lizard brain that all blacks are scary and out to kill you, Colin Flaherty and WND are happy to oblige.
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' War on John Holdren Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey and his crew advance its anti-Obama agenda by scouring decades-old textbooks for cherry-picked quotes it can take out of context to smear the Obama administration adviser -- and even bizarrely bashing him for owning a car. Read more >>
NewsBusters Dismisses Right-Wing Group's Offensive Tweet As 'Mistaken' Topic: NewsBusters
The resignation of Commerce Secretary John Bryson over health issues raised by a seizure that caused car accidents reminds us that we forgot to highlight how NewsBusters tried to cover for an offensive tweet about Bryson made by a right-wing group.
MRC researcher Kyle Drennen headlined his June 12 NewsBusters post "NBC, Arbiter of Civility? 'Today' Correspondent Slams Conservative Group for Mistaken Tweet." But Drennen offers no evidence that the tweet -- published on the Twitter account of Karl Rove-founded right-wing super PAC American Crossroads -- was mistaken. In fact, one can argue that typing out the tweet and hitting the "Publish" button is the exact opposite of "mistaken."
Drennen also avoids discussing the content of the American Crossroads tweet, leaving it only in the transcript at the end of the article, but nevertheless insisted that it was a "joking" tweet. Here's the tweet, which falsely accused Bryson of being drunk: "How does @commerce sec have three car crashes in five minutes and alcohol not be involved? #Skills." Where's the joke? Drennen doesn't explain.
Drennen also baselessly suggested that the offensive tweet wasn't live for very long; in fact, Politico reported that it was up for "a few hours" before it was deleted and followed by an apology from American Crossroads.
Of course, nobody at the MRC was offended when Rush Limbaugh spent three days hurling misogynistic smears at Sandra Fluke -- in fact, Drennen was more offended that Fluke was allowed to appear on TV to talk about Limbaugh's tirade. Drennen's outrage that NBC was portraing itself as an "arbiter of civility" when he couldn't be moved to say a word of criticism over Limbaugh is doubly hypocritical.
Given that, it's no surprise that Drennen would work so hard to spin away the offensive nature of the American Crossroads tweet. Making false accusations is nothing more than a "joke" to him.