Graham doesn't explain why someone who accused the president of the United States of sympathizing with the embassy attackers should be exempt from being questioned about it. Instead, he freaks out about a pair of reporters figuring out how to ask a question of Romney, which Graham potrays as collusion. Dave Weigel explains what really happened:
Reporters covering Romney had no idea whether he'd take one, two, or twenty questions. They had no idea who he'd call on -- they'd certainly endured pressers where foreign reporters wasted time with existential questions.* And so, at best, what we're hearing are two members of one reporting team figuring out how to phrase something. At worst, we're hearing two reporters from different organizations figuring out the best way to ask a question they both want to lob, anyway.
But really, it's about Graham and the MRC trying to protect Romney from the so-called "liberal media" to ease his path to victory. And Graham will say stupid things like this in public to distract from that fact.
Interestingly, the NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd promoting Graham's appearance makes no mention of his "waterboarding" statement, but it did highlight his attempt at Agnew-esque alliteration with his reference to a "pathetic pack of politicizers."
Erik Rush devotes his Sept. 11 WND column to largely regurgitating the same rumors Corsi has about Obama's purported secret gay sex, right down to presenting Larry Sinclair as credible:
Since 2008, telltale suggestions that Sinclair might not have been too off the mark have come to the fore, and circumstantial evidence of Obama being a practicing homosexual has continued to plague the president. Just yesterday, WND’s Jerome Corsi released a bombshell, referencing claims by Hillbuzz.org blogger Kevin Dujan that Obama is “full-on gay,” and that he hid his sexual orientation in order to become president. Dujan (who is homosexual) maintains that until 2004, Obama had a membership in Man’s Country, a gay bath house in Chicago, and that Obama was a member of a clique within Trinity United Church called the “Down Low Club.” Said to have been mentored by Rev. Wright, the group was a loose collection of professional, gay black men who maintained “straight” facades for the sake of their careers.
Like Corsi, Rush offers no actual evidence to back up these sleazy rumors or that anyone peddling them is in any way credible. Becoming the Weekly World News really is the WND standard of "journalism" these days.
Then, Rush goes off in thebizarre direction of suggesting there was something sexual about the bear hug pizza joint owner Scott Van Duzer gave to Obama:
In my opinion, the pizza restaurant stop was definitely not unscheduled. Not only did Van Duzer visit the White House in June during the course of charity work in June, but he didn’t look surprised to see the president when he arrived. Although it was clear from the video that the two men had not just met, toward the end of the clip, Obama presents Van Duzer with a few questions that were crafted to suggest that this was their first encounter.
Then there was the undignified nature of the encounter. You don’t just grab the president of the United States and lift him off his feet – although you might do so with your girlfriend. Then, there was the whole grabby thing. The president and the pizza man literally couldn’t keep their hands off each other, and Obama’s demeanor at this venue was more that of a guy cruising a bar than that of a campaigning incumbent.
Then again, Rush also thinks Malcolm X is Obama's real father, so this goofiness is relatively sane ranting for him.
And how do Rush's bosses at Pink Pagoda Girls USA feel about Rush's sleazy rumor-mongering? Maybe founder Jim Garrow can let us know sometime.
MRC's Waters Still Fighting To Take Obama Out of Context Topic: Media Research Center
Clay Waters just can'tstop taking President Obama's "you didn't build that" comment out of context, and he can't stop getting upset at people who point out that it's being taken out of context.
After a New York Times reporter correctly pointed out that "you didn't build that"was being taken out of context, Waters grumbles in a Sept. 11 MRC TimesWatch post: "Sigh. As Times Watch has stated before (whenever someone on the paper's roster of objective reporters feels duty bound to defend Obama from Republican attacks) the precious 'context' they seek doesn't help Obama dodge the charge of being anti-business."
Waters then quotes part of Obama's statement -- conveniently leaving out the part where Obama recognized " individual initiative," which most people would not describe as "anti-business."
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Robert Ringer Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
It seems we have a major contenter for our Slantie award for the craziest right-wing quote of the year. From Robert Ringer's Sept. 12 WorldNetDaily column:
If Der Fuhrbama wins in November, those of us who are not Obamaholics already know what his second term would look like – the final and total destruction not just of our economy, but of pretty much everything that is left of the American way of life. That being the case, I won’t even bother to go there. Hopefully, you already have your adopted homeland picked out in the event BHO wins.
But he's not done:
What hard-core, constitutional conservatives and libertarians must come to grips with is that America will never again be a country where anything remotely close to total freedom exists. The only way that would be possible is if we endured a bloody civil war, the good guys won, and the bad guys were either executed, imprisoned, or sent to California or some other communist country that would be willing to accept them.
And – let’s be realistic – that’s never going to happen.
Ringer might want to think about clearing space on his trophy shelf.
Newsmax's Ruddy Unhappy With Romney's Campaign Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy occasionally stops toeing the right-wing line to tell actual truths, like praising President Obama's foreign policy. He did so again in a Sept. 10 column, this time criticizing the way Mitt Romney's campaign is being run:
Earlier this year it seemed to many that Mitt Romney was a shoo-in to become our next president.
Back then the landscape looked quite promising for Romney to beat Barack Obama. After all, Obama was a Democratic president presiding over one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression, a doctrinaire liberal out of sync with most Americans, and a man who apparently has lacked the leadership to forge compromises in Washington to get the nation moving again.
But months later, Mitt Romney is behind in national tracking polls, most importantly in almost every swing state. A leading GOP official on Capitol Hill told me in Tampa that Romney can't win Ohio, and he won't win Virginia.
How could this happen?
Ruddy complains about the campaign's lack of conservative outreach, Romney's parade of gaffes, confusing messaging, and how the campaign "spent $2.5 million of critically important campaign funds building the Frank Gehry-inspired wood stage, which he cited someone calling it "a Swedish sauna."
Ruddy also rathery coyly writes, "Obama critics have been touting Edward Klein's new best-selling book about Obama entitled 'Amateur.'" He doesn't mention that one of those "Obama critics" that has been touting Klein's book isNewsmax.
CNS Politicizes Libya Attack By Bashing Obama Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com wastes no time in exploiting the killing of an ambassador and other Americans in Libya for political gain with a Sept. 12 article by Melanie Hunter headlined, "‘Is This an Act of War?’ Obama Turns His Back on Question about Libyan Attack."
In fact, as Hunter reports, Obama simply declined to take any questions after issuing a statement condeming the attack in Libya. Still, she does her best to vindictively portray Obama as callous for not answering any questions:
President Barack Obama took no questions at the White House Rose Garden press conference on the attacks in Libya, turning his back and walking away as a reporter asked, “Is this an act of war?”
One has to wonder: If it was a Republican president who made such a statement then declined to take questions afterwards, would Hunter and CNS treat him as harshly as they treat Obama? Don't count on it.
NEW ARTICLE: Jerome Corsi's Cesspool Topic: WorldNetDaily
With his birther conspiracies imploding, WorldNetDaily's star reporter is taking a deep swig of the most fetid waters of Obama-hate by parroting sleazy rumors about Barack Obama's sexuality. Read more >>
Churchill Bust Derangement Syndrome Topic: CNSNews.com
Ken Blackwell writes in his Sept. 10 CNSNews.com column:
We have praised President Obama for getting Osama bin Laden. And we respect how the president consigned Osama’s body to the deep. Ironically, Winston Churchill, whose bust he pitched out into the snow, would have approved, too.
As we've previously pointed out -- and the White House has since confirmed -- the bust of Churchill that was loaned to President Bush was scheduled to leave at the end of his administration. An identical bust of Churchill has been in the White House since the 1960s and remains there today.
Why does Blackwell obsess over this bust? We don't get it.
Another Blackout: WND Silent on Cancellation of Birther Gathering Topic: WorldNetDaily
It promised to be a blockbuster birther event: Joe Arpaio, Terry Lakin, Mike Zullo and even Pat Boone were supposed to gather Sept. 22 at a theater in Phoenix to call for Congress to investigate whether President Obama’s birth certificate is real. Tickets were reasonable, too: $10 for the general public, $25 for the front rows that also included admission to a post-event reception. Birtherpalooza, one might call it.
Not even the promise of crooner Pat Boone singing oldies from a spinning stage could save what was intended to be the premier birther event of the year later this month in Arizona.
Organizers of the gala, which would have featured Boone alongside Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and some of the nation’s other prominent conspiracy theorists, broke the news online Friday that it was canceled “due to inadequate ticket sales.”
You know who didn't report the failure of this birther event? The birthers at WorldNetDaily.
NewsBusters Ignores That Matt Lauer's Job Prediction Is Backed Up By Economists Topic: NewsBusters
Kyle Drennen writes in a Sept. 7 NewsBusters post (emphasis his):
On Friday's NBC Today, less than two hours before another poor jobs report, co-host Matt Lauer touted a bold economic prediction: "Some of the analysts I've been reading have said that no matter who is president over the next four years, the economy will add about 12 million jobs just because of the cycle it's in." CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer agreed with the rosy scenario: "...a lot of pent-up demand in autos and pent-up demand in exports. It's not such a bad moment."
In fact, it's not just Lauer who is making that prediction -- prominent economists are too. According to the Washington Post, Moody’s Analytics, in an August forecast, predicts 12 million jobs will be created by 2016, no matter who is president. Macroeconomic Advisors in April also predicted a gain of 12.3 million jobs.
Also, Drennen is curiously silent on the fact that, as the Post also noted, Mitt Romney has promised to create 12 million jobs. Does that think that was as bold of an economic prediction as Lauer's?
WND Columnist Bashes Nazi Name-Calling, Ignores WND's Topic: WorldNetDaily
Barbara Simpson writes in her Sept. 9 WorldNetDaily column:
Maybe it was something in the water – or the air – or just political brain flatulence that led prominent Democrats last week to start hurling Nazi accusations at Republicans.
Having just read of some of the Nazi atrocities during World War II and having my consciousness raised again by the evil that has been, and can be, perpetrated by tyrannical monsters, it turns my stomach to know that elected Democrats and party operatives are accusing Republicans and their candidates of acting like Nazis.
Simpson doesn't mention the fact that the website that publishes her column is replete with attacks likening Democrats in general -- and President Obama in particular -- to Nazis.
It would be hypocritical if we thought Simpson read WND enough to be aware of that not-hard-to-find fact.
MRC Complains Media Not Reporting Irrelevent Detail on Teachers Strike Topic: Media Research Center
Scott Whitlock complains in a Sept. 10 Media Research Center item:
All three morning shows on Monday covered the massive teachers strike in Rahm Emanuel's Chicago that left 350,000 students in the lurch. However, only CBS This Morning explained that the teachers, through their public sector unions, are already well compensated, making an average salary of $71,000 a year (plus benefits).
Whitlock might have a point if salary issues were a primary reason for the strike.But they're not.
As the Washington Post reports, teachers and city officials are near an agreement on salaries. More prominentreasons for the strike are personnel issues such as an evaluation system teachers call punitive, smaller class sizes, and air conditioning for classrooms that don’t currently have it.
Given that salaries aren't a major bone of contention, there is no reason to report what current average salaries are -- unless media outlets want to emulate the MRC's right-wing agenda of punishing teachers for joining a union.
WND's Kupelian Plagiarizes Himself In Defense of Oregon Candidate Topic: WorldNetDaily
If WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian's Sept. 9 article defending Oregon Republican congressional candidate Art Robinson looks a little familiar, that's because it is -- Kupelian wrote pretty much the same column two years ago.
And we mean that literally. Of the 35 paragraphs in Kupelian's column, 23 are substantially or exactly the same as a Robinson-defending column he wrote in October 2010, when Robinson was also running in a House race against the same opponent, incumbent Democrat Peter DeFazio.
Which means that Kupelian repeats the same tired, dubious defenses of Robinson, who has also created a homschooling curriculum known as "The Robinson Curriculum." Kupelian writes sycophantically of this: "Talk about the American can-do spirit!" He continues:
One part of “The Robinson Curriculum” is a recommendation that students read as many as possible of the 99 short, classic historical novels for children penned by celebrated British author G.A. Henty (kind of like the “Hardy Boys” books). Now it happens that in one of these 99 Victorian-era books – all of which Robinson personally reprinted on his own printing press and offered to the public as an adjunct to his homeschooling curriculum – one fictional character makes a two-sentence remark while in Africa that could be considered racially insensitive by today’s standards. Because of this, candidate Art Robinson is being labeled a racist.
Yes, I know, it’s insane.
As we pointed out when Kupelian and other WND writers came to Robinson's defense in 2010, that's not exactly true.
The book in question is Henty's "By Sheer Pluck," and here's the offending passage, in which Mr. Goodenough, the mentor of the young lad who's the main character, pontificates upon their arrival in Africa, goes on a bit longer than the "two sentences" Kupelian claims, and is a bit more than "racially insensitive":
“They are just like children,” Mr. Goodenough said. “They are always either laughing or quarrelling. They are good-natured and passionate, indolent, but will work hard for a time; clever up to a certain point, densely stupid beyond. The intelligence of an average negro is about equal to that of a European child of ten years old. A few, a very few, go beyond this, but these are exceptions, just as Shakespeare was an exception to the ordinary intellect of an Englishman. They are fluent talkers, but their ideas are borrowed. They are absolutely without originality, absolutely without inventive power. Living among white men, their imitative faculties enable them to acquire a considerable amount of civilization. Left alone to their own devices they retrograde into a state little above their native savagery.”
A PBS bio of Henty noted that his books "are notable for their hearty imperialism, undisguised racism, and jingoistic patriotism," indicating that they they went out of print for a reason: such attitudes fell out of fashion decades ago. And far from being "classic historical novels," a scholarly paper on Henty's work noted that they contain a "formulaic structure" and imparted "a discourse embodying the British imperial ideology."
The real question here is what Robinson does with Henty's books in his homeschool curriculum, particularly given that, in Kupelian's words, he encourages students to "read as many as possible." What guidance is given to homeschooling instructors in addressing the offending passage in "By Sheer Pluck" and other similar offending passages that presumably exist in other Henty books? Kupelian is silent on this, as he was in 2010 -- which suggests that it isn't addressed at all.
Kupelian also recycles his promotion of Robinson's supposed scientific credentials by touting how he has rejected science:
Robinson has single-handedly documented the utter lack of unanimity in the scientific community on manmade global warming through a petition he started – not an online petition, mind you, but an actual document physically signed – that to date has been signed by more than 31,000 scientists, including more than 9,000 Ph.D.s. All 31,000 agree “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”
In fact, only a handful of signers -- less than 1 percent, according to one calculation -- have a scientific background in climatology, and there's no apparent verification mechanism to ensure that the signatories do in fact have the scientific qualifications they claim. Further, there have been more than 10.6 million science graduates as defined by Robinson's group since the 1970-71 school year, making the 31,000 on the petition a tiny fraction of that -- 0.3 percent, to be exact -- small enough that one could call it "fringe."
Kupelian concludes his column (both of 'em) by begging for donations to Robinson's campaign. But Robinson really doesn't need the money -- he's outraising DeFazio, with a whopping 79% of his contributions coming from out-of-state.
Plus, Robinson has a super PAC sugar daddy he can rely on. In the 2010 election, Robinson was the beneficiary of $627,500 in advertising paid for by a New York hedge fund manager, and he's expected to help out Robinson again this year. Yet, despite outspending his opponent in an 2010 election cycle that favored Republicans, DeFazio beat Robinson by nine points.
Kupelian mentions none of this, of course; instead, he asserts that "Art Robinson stands an excellent chance of winning" without explaining why the outcome could possibly be any different than 2010. You know, like his column.
CNS Columnist's Revisionist History of The Depression Topic: CNSNews.com
Kevin Price ("a syndicated columnist, publisher and managing editor of US Daily Review, and host of the Price of Business radio show") serves up this, er, interesting take on history in his Sept. 10 CNSNews.com column:
Another president who inherited a terrible economy was FDR from Herbert Hoover. How did FDR compare to Obama? Well, in spite of the romantic notions of liberal ideologues, Roosevelt was a disaster as he took a serious recession into the nation's worst Depression. Interestingly, Obama's approach to solve our economic crisis is similar to FDR's and we are getting similar results. Big government, outrageous subsidies, and massive increases in regulations guaranteed that the Great Depression would be the worst economic period in our nation's history to date. It appears Barack Obama may be committed to out performing FDR in this notorious area.
Actually, mosteconomistsagree that Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policies lifted the country out of the Great Depression, not deepened it.
And this guy hosts a radio show about business? Apparently an understanding of economics and history was not required for Price to get that gig.