WND's Two Views Of Anti-Muslim Filmmaker, Both Misguided Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill devotes his May 7 WorldNetDaily column to depicting filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula as a scapegoat for Benghazi, letting Nakoula complain that leaked information about his criminal record endangered his life:
The release of this information put a major target on Nakoula’s back and that of his family. At the time, given the White House’s widely echoed blame-the-video narrative, Nakoula believed himself responsible for the death of the four Americans in Benghazi.
“I felt I had blood on my hands,” Nakoula told me in a phone interview Monday. “I felt like I deserved my punishment.”
The only “danger” Nakoula posed was as a target of Islamic wrath or that of his cohorts in the check-kiting scheme.
Among the very real death threats Nakoula faced was one from a Pakistani cabinet minister who put a $100,000 bounty on Nakoula’s head.
The Justice Department responded to those foreign threats against an American national by recommending a two-year prison term for the American.
It could have been worse. Egyptian courts sentenced Nakoula to death for his role in the video.
When, some months after his arrest, I tracked Nakoula down to the Federal Correctional Institution–La Tuna at the westernmost tip of West Texas, I was the first person in the media to contact him.
When I called him on Monday, he was still confined to a halfway house in Orange County, Calif., nearly six months after he was supposed to have been freed.
“Why did you punish me again?” he asks angrily of the Justice Department. “Why? It was not in original judgment.”
Needless to say, Cashill ignores some inconvenient facts about Nakoula and his film. First, as we've noted, Nakoula deceived the actors in what became "The Innocence of Muslims" about the nature of the film. One actress told the Hollywood Reporter that the original script the actors followed was much different from the finished product, in which the actors' voices were redubbed to make it an anti-Muslim film. That, in turn, put the actors' live in danger, fearing reprisals for their parts in a film they were deceived about.
Second, Nakoulas film did, in fact, spark riots in the Mideast and elsewhere (just not Benghazi). The Week reported that protests occurred in more than 20 countries, killing at least 10 people.
Does Nakoula feel like he has blood on his hands for the people who did die in rioting over his sleazy, deceptive film? Cashill seems not to have asked him about that, nor did he ask about the lies he told his actors about the film's intent.
That's not the only narrative WND promoted about Nakoula. Erik Rush gets it wrong from a completely different viewpoint in his May 7 column, claiming Nakoula made the film as a government agent:
Finally, there is the shadowy background of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, producer of “The Innocence of Muslims” (the film that was purported to have touched off the widespread Muslim unrest of Sept. 11, 2012). The Shoebat Foundation and other media have alleged that Nakoula was actually an informant for the U.S. government dating back to the Clinton years. Did he produce “Innocence” at the behest of his government handlers for the express purpose of reinforcing White House propaganda? At this juncture, it’s certainly a reasonable question.
The rest of Rush's column is his typical increasingly unhinged Obama derangement, demanding that the president be brought up on treason charges.
MRC's Philbin Sneers At Gay Football Player Topic: Media Research Center
Matt Philbin's May 7 Media Research Center column on gay football player Michael Sam is filled with sneering derision:
If an NFL team ends up taking Michael Sam in a late draft round – or not at all – don’t blame the media. The Missouri defensive end came out of the closet to near universal media adulation (coincidentally timed with the NFL Combine in February). Now, with the draft looming on May 8, ESPN and ABC are doing their parts to make sure Sam is picked.
ESPN announced May 7 that it’s bestowing Sam with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The ceremony doesn’t take place until July, but it’s never too early to remind NFL coaching staffs that Sam had the courage to join society’s most trendy and celebrated grievance group.
But the sports and news media alike have a habit of obnoxiously intruding on sports with their political preoccupations. (Here’s looking at you, “Pinky” Costas.)
The Ashe Award was ostensibly the excuse for having Sam on “Good Morning America” May 7. But, covering mostly the same ground as the February media love fest, it was really about confirming that Michael Sam is still a homosexual.
Yes, the MRC has an anti-gay agenda, but apparently it's so anti-gay that hurling insultsis considered right-wing media criticism.
WND's Farah Tries to Defuse Bundy Standoff He Lit The Fuse On Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've documented how WorldNetDaily was an early cheerleader of the standoff between Cliven Bundy and the federal government, even touting how armed militias had "made the confrontation over Bundy’s use of federal land for grazing a rally cry." WND editor Joseph Farah ranted against the "Gestapo tactics of the federal government in dealing with honest, hard-working Americans who live off the land – our land."
But the feds have backed off, the militias are still hanging out and threatening people -- which, curiously, WND has not reported. And suddenly, Farah is singing a different tune.
Farah -- who helped to escalate the Bundy Ranch situation by cheering on the militia thugs -- is now calling for calm:
No Americans should be pointing guns at other Americans over grazing fees that are allegedly owed by Bundy. There’s no need for that. This is the kind of conflict that should be resolved peaceably in courts of law as well as in the court of public opinion. It’s not life-and-death battle. It’s time for both sides to recognize this is not a matter calling for bloodshed and violence. Period. End of story.
Emotions are running high over the dispute – and that’s not good. It’s in everyone’s best interest to take a calm, cool look at the facts and stand down.
We don’t need another Ruby Ridge or Waco over a bunch of cows. No one should be welcoming or preparing for a shoot-out. It’s insanity. No one wins from such a scenario.
To date, no one has been seriously hurt or killed. That is a positive thing. It’s not a time for escalating the crisis or erecting barricades. It’s a time for defusing the crisis. Both sides need to calm down and get rational. This matter only rises to a life-threatening one if Americans – on either side – react without thinking.
No one benefits from a shooting war.
But wasn't WND hoping to benefit from a shoot-out it could exploit as another example of President Obama's supposed lawlessness? It exploited Ruby Ridge and Waco, after all -- there are hundreds of articles on both in WND's archive.
Farah goes on to complain that "the FBI is investigating supporters of Bundy who allegedly pointed guns at armed federal agents." Allegedly? Who does he think this militia member is "allegedly" pointing his weapon at?
For all the evidence that the militia thugs are continuing their thuggery, he won't call them out the way he calls out the government. He merely laments, "There’s irrationality on both sides. Both sides have been responsible for incendiary rhetoric. There have been misguided and baseless charges of racism. And there has been too much cowboy swagger, too."
And he's still misleading to defend Bundy:
Cliven Bundy is not a wealthy man. Clearly, he does not have $1 million to pay the government for the grazing fees it claims.
You might expect reasonable people in government to look at the situation, slap a lien on the property and take its cut when Bundy dies or sells his land. That would be logical. But it seems unlikely for whatever reason.
You might also expect the government to do what if often does in other much more serious disputes like the Middle East – negotiate endlessly to find a compromise solution. That would be logical, too. But it seems unlikely for whatever reason.
Farah seems to have missed the fact that the federal government has been working for 20 years to reach a settlement with Bundy. It seems the government has been more than reasonable in waiting that long to move against Bundy's lawlessness.
How nice of Farah to suddenly want to de-escalate the Bundy situation. He should have thought about that before he decided to escalate it.
In a May 9 WorldNetDaily article, Steve Peacock takes a victory lap over "An Obama administration plan to have U.S. military personnel oversee the construction of restrooms for a Kenyan girls’ school" being canceled. But it was not all sweetness and light, for Peacock huffily noted some criticism of his reporting:
The report simultaneously came under attack from leftist groups such as People For the American Way.
The group’s Right Wing Watch – a project “dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities of the right-wing movement” – simplistically accused WND of opposing aid to children who lack access to basic needs like sanitation.
Strangely, Peacock doesn't actually respond to the criticsim, nor does he provide a link to his critic. That suggests he's a little sensitive about the criticism.
In fact, the tone of Peacock's original March 29 article is one of opposing U.S. spending on basic needs like sanitation because it's somehow a nefarous scheme by Obama to help his so-called home countrty. Right Wing Watch, meanwhile, was mocking Peacock's obsession with aid to Kenya under the Obama administration.
Peacock's obsession is amply demonstrated at the end of his article (not to mention a lack of creativity in headline-writing), which lists all the articles Peacock has written on the subject:
Obama moves to protect taxpayers … in Kenya! Obama studying spending more … in Kenya Obama finally fixing health care … in Kenya Obama funds Kenya project during shutdown Obama can’t stop spending — in Kenya! Obama drops hundreds of millions on (Kenyan) farmers Obama repackages Kenyan aid scheme Obama pushes $50 million more for Kenya Obama expands reading program – in Kenya! Obama pushing Kenyan ‘peace’ projects New Obama projects to boost Kenya power companies COVER-UP! Contracting system sanitized of Kenya documents White House rolls out Kenya propaganda plan Obama’s spending grows ‘exponentially’ – in Kenya!
At no point in any of these articles has Peacock proven that Obama has personally demanded each of these projects be carried out, or that such aid to Kenya is a change from past presidencies.
In other words, Peacock's just cherry-picking things to create some kind of Obama conspiracy theory. This is WND, after all, and conspiracy theories are part of its editorial policy.
MRC Still Doesn't Want To Talk About Lara Logan Topic: Media Research Center
We've previously documented how the Media Research Center promoted Lara Logan's "60 Minutes" story on Benghazi, only to go silent when it was discovered that Logan's main source was a liar. Despite "60 Minutes" being a big, fat mainstream media target, the MRC still doesn't want to talk about it.
Last week, a New York magazine article told the story behind Logan's Benghazi debacle and examines whether she will return to the show, from which she has been suspended since her story imploded.
The reaction at the MRC? Total silence. Again, even though "60 Minutes" is one of the MRC's prime targets.
Logan did get a mention at the MRC this week -- the first in five months. A May 8 NewsBusters post by Tom Johnson grumbling about a Salon piece highlighting Logan's conservative views. Johnson conceded only that Logan's Benghazi story "proved seriously flawed."
WND Tries To Move Some Old Clinton Impeachment Books Topic: WorldNetDaily
There has been a pile of books moldering away in WorldNetDaily's warehouse focused on the events surrounding President Clinton's impeachment, which it published some years back. Thanks to Monica Lewinsky, WND had the opportunity to move a few of them this week.
A May 7 article by Bob Unruh is framed around the impeachment memories of former congressman James Rogan, whose impeachment book WND published. In keeping with his reputation as a lazy reporter, Unruh simply copies-and-pastes excerpts from the book's promotional blurb into his article.
Another May 7 article by Joseph Farah is basically a promotional vehicle for Kathleen Willey's WND-published book. Needless to say, Farah avoids mentioning the fact that what Willey writes in her book tends to be at odds with established facts and reality in general, because facts get in the way of Farah's '90s fantasy.
AIM, MRC Fundraise Off Benghazi Topic: Media Research Center
So newly appointed Benghazi select committee chairman Trey Gowdy has been decrying the idea of Republicans fundraising off Benghazi (ironically, at the exact moment Republicans were fundraising off Benghazi). The ConWeb has not gotten the message.
Media Matters catches Accuracy in Media seeking to raise money to fund its "Citizens' Commission on Benghazi" kangaroo court. But AIM isn't the only one.
The Media Research Center is running ads on its website stating, "Demand the media tell the truth about Behghazi." It takes you to a page that regurgitates right-wing talking points:
We have a smoking gun in the Benghazi cover up scandal: emails tying the White House to Susan Rice's false talking points about the terrorist attack. Finally, there’s proof that this administration lied about the terrorist attack in order to protect the President during his reelection campaign.
This is earth-shattering news. But guess what? The media are for the most part covering up the smoking gun! That the so-called “news” media refuse to report a smoking gun in one of the biggest scandals in modern history is a major scandal in its own right!
Signing the website's petition to "demand that the media stop censoring the news about Benghazi" takes you toanother page that solicits donations that "will enable us to build a grass roots army that we can unleash on the liberal media to demand that they tell the truth."
But the MRC's campaign -- and the right-wing media's Benghazi obsession in general -- seems to demonstrate that this is much less about telling the truth than it is about raising money and motivating the base.
Clinton Derangement Syndrome, WND Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
There is a deep chasm of comprehension between the power-mad and the power-indifferent. Neither one of us can understand the other. Hillary Clinton, for example, could never live the life I do. She would hate every quiet, simple, peaceful moment of it. Similarly, I could never live like her. I would hate every stressful, screaming, profanity-filled moment of it.
The difference is, as a powerful person she can boss me around through legislation. She can sic men with guns on me. She can take my money. She can take my farm. She can even take my life (what difference does it make?) without a qualm of conscience. That’s what government can do.
NEW ARTICLE: The Dick Morris Rehabilitation Project Topic: Newsmax
After the right-wing pundit flamed out spectacularly with his chronically wrong predictions on Fox News, Morris continues to have a home at Newsmax, where he remains as wrong as ever. Read more >>
WND Devotes Article to Body-Language Analysis Of Bill Clinton's Comments About UFOs Topic: WorldNetDaily
Yes, this is the actual content of a May 2 WorldNetDaily article by Jay Baggett:
Bill Clinton’s appearance earlier this month on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” – where he was asked about his interest in UFOs – has been subjected to body-language analysis by an investigator of paranormal claims, who says the former president exhibited signs of “significant apprehension, stress and guarded behavior.”
News of Clinton’s inquiries, after he became president, into what information the government held on UFOs and space aliens has been widely reported.
Following the first portion of Kimmel’s interview and prior to a commercial break, Kimmel announced he would be asking about UFOs upon return. While Clinton concluded he found no evidence they exist, he said, “if we were visited someday, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
That wasn’t enough for Ben Hansen, host of the TV show “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.” His program features interviews with people claiming they’ve had paranormal encounters in order to confirm or debunk their stories.
Clinton – who had been using both hands as he talked, sitting with both feet on the floor – immediately adopted what Hansen described as a defensive stance, indicative of intention to conceal, when first asked about UFOs. Clinton began gripping firmly both arms of his chair and crossed his legs. For most of the remainder of their conversation about UFOs, Clinton’s right hand stayed firmly anchored to the arm of the chair.
Asked if he had investigated UFOs as president, Clinton said he had “sort of” during his second term, but then appeared to backtrack on the chronology, changing the topic to Area 51, the federal government’s super-secret site in the Nevada desert. Clinton claimed Americans thought aliens were kept at Area 51 because workers there were required to wear special uniforms. But Hansen noted a leading Area 51 expert he consulted said Clinton’s claim was novel and had never been made before.
Given that WND has also promoted a conspiratorial Obama-hater who claimed to have a pseudo-scientific method that purported to uncover "secret" confessions in the president's words, it probably shouldn't be a surprise that it would devote an article to this.
MRC's Double Standard on Veterans Care Scandals Topic: Media Research Center
In a May 6 Media Research Center item, Scott Whitlock proclaims "the brewing controversy impacting American veterans and a shocking lack of access to hospital care" to be a "a Barack Obama scandal" -- despite the utter lack of evience of any personal involvement by the president -- further huffing that the media is somehow "censoring" this.
But the MRC sang a different tune about another scandal involving the care of veterans when it occurred under a Republican president. In a March 2007 MRC item, Brent Baker fretted over a report on substandard treatment at the Walter Reed Medical Center, which stated that "the White House is well aware of the PR nightmare that it faces. The last thing this administration can afford is another Katrina."
That's one of the very few direct mentions of the Walter Reed scandal you'll find at the MRC, demonstrating that it's no stranger to the censorship it accuses others of conducting.
Mychal Massie And the Gullible Americans Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie writes in his May 5 WorldNetDaily column: "People are gullible, and, the greater the desire to be viewed as knowledgeable, the greater the ease with which they buy into lies."
There's no greater illustration of that than Massie himself. Massie's penchant for using obscure words certainly marks him as someone who wants to be seen as knowledgeable, and he tells depraved lies at an astonishing pace. His column further tests the gullibility of his readers:
I remember vividly the lies in the late 1970s and early 1980s which claimed that, due to global cooling, by 1990 we would witness environmental catastrophes of “biblical proportions.” We were told people were going to die, crops would fail to grow and food shortages would be rampant. Time magazine and other so-called respected publications ran major features that supported the lies. Suffice it to say, catastrophes never happened.
Actually, there was never a scientific consensus on global cooling in the 1970s. Overhyping in the media aside, of 71 peer reviewed studies on climate change from 1965 to 1979, only seven articles predicted global cooling, while well over half predicted global warming.
And it wouldn't be a Massie column if he didn't spew some Obama derangement:
And perhaps the greatest fabricated story in the annals of history is that of Barack Obama. But people are still near manic in idolizing a person about whom less is factually known than is known about the Old Testament priest Melchizedek. And to compound that, these same people still bow before his every word even though he has been proven to be a pernicious subverter of truth, time after time.
That's right -- the depraved liar is warning that someone else is a liar. Massie is clearly hoping that his readers are gullible enough to ignore history.
AIM's Kincaid Touts Its Kangaroo Court, Suggests Germany's Merkel Is A Secret Commie Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid takes a victory lap in a May 5 Accuracy in Media column:
The announcement that the House will vote on a special congressional committee to investigate Benghazi is long overdue. Accuracy in Media’s two special conferences on Benghazi helped mobilize the public and the press to demand this outcome.
Kincaid goes on to tout one of the conclusions AIM's kangaroo court came to:
At AIM’s second conference on Benghazi, held at the National Press Club on April 22, retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons stated openly what many have been talking about privately—that the transformation of U.S. policy from opposing to supporting al Qaeda can only be understood in terms of Muslim Brotherhood “penetration into every national security agency of this government,” and “their carte blanche entry into the [Obama] White House.”
So will these agents of influence be named and exposed by the Benghazi special committee? That is why the public has to continue to be mobilized to apply pressure.
This leads to a defense of Joseph McCarthy dubious Red Scare tactics.
But Kincaid isn't done with the infiltration theme. He wrote a second May 5 column promoting the idea that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is some kind of secret Soviet agent (and, of course, brings Obama into it):
In the current context, with Putin continuing to destabilize Ukraine, the other notable case of alleged penetration is Germany. As we noted in a previous column, a book by Günther Lachmann and Ralf Georg Reuth published last year looks at the hidden communist past of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who spent 35 years of her life in East Germany, and concealed her work as an ideologue for a communist youth group.
The book grows increasingly relevant as we watch the Germans maneuver to avoid punishing Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. In the face of Russian aggression, Merkel says “…we want to continue having a reasonable partnership with Russia.”
“Germany is one of our strongest allies, and Angela is one of my closest partners,” said Obama. But since Russia is Germany’s partner, what does that say about Obama? The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place in front of our eyes.
The German book, The First Life of Angela M., only goes so far. It does not make the direct charge that Merkel is a Russian agent. That is a taboo topic, in the same way that an analysis of Obama’s grooming by Frank Marshall Davis is considered a form of “McCarthyism” directed against a civil rights activist. At least that is the rationale being offered by the media in the U.S. to avoid facing facts.
Remember, this kind of conspiracy talk is coming from the same organization that thinks its Benghazi kangaroo court is meaningful.
Michael Ackley writes in his May 4 WorldNetDaily column:
A final word about Miriam Carey: Why is WND the only news organization strongly campaigning for justice for this beautiful, young African-American mother? Other media have done stories, but there are the old questions: Where is the outrage? Where are the demands from civil rights organizations? Where is the human-rights commission investigation?
But as we've noted, there's no evidence WND is interested in "justice" over Carey, who was killed after attempting to drive onto the White House grounds then leading police on a high-speed chase through downtown Washington. WND cares only about using any and all means necessary -- including Carey's death -- as a cudgel against President Obama.
For WND, Carey is a political tool, not a cause driven by compassion. Too bad Ackley is too much of a WND loyalist to see it.
MRC Doesn't Ask Where Crowdfunding Filmmaker Got Money for Billboard Topic: Media Research Center
Phelim McAleer is apparently wasting his crowdfunding money designated to make a movie, blowing it on a billboard instead. And the Media Research Center couldn't be happier.
The MRC's Katie Yoder hasserved as one of the right-wing media cheerleaders for McAleer's crowdfunding campaign to make a film about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. A May 1 item by Yoder keeps up the cheerleading, touting how McAleer "erected a billboard slamming Kickstarter – a half mile away from Kickstarter’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York," attacking the company for putting restrictions on McAleer's crowdfunding efforts. (McAleer's campaign moved to another site.) Yoder goes on to proclaim that "the Gosnell movie’s Indiegogo campaign boasts more than $1.6 million raised with 16,500 funders – 76 percent of the $2.1 million goal."
One thing Yoder doesn't ask, however: Where did McAleer get the presumed thousands of dollars to erect a spiteful billboard? Did he take that money out of his crowdfunding pot, even though McAleer's little vendetta billboard has nothing to do with movie production? If so, did McAleer obtain permission from his donors to spend money on something other than movie production?
Yoder clearly doesn't want to know the answer. She's McAleer's PR agent, after all.