WJC Touts LeBoutillier's Fiction As Fact Topic: Western Journalism Center
Only the most dedicated, Obama-hating, fact-averse birther freaks would treat John LeBoutillier's fictional claim that Barack Obama's grandmother said he was born in Kenya as unambiguous fact.
Enter the Western Journalism Center. A Nov. 29 WJC post linking to a clip of LeBoutillier on "Fox & Friends" carries the headline "Obama Born in Kenya." No question mark, just a flat-out -- and completely false -- statement.
Of course, Floyd Brown and his WorldNetDaiily-assisted birther minions can barely breathe without saying something false or misleading about Obama, so this is nothing new -- it just reminds us of how little reason there is to take the WJC seriously.
WJC Has New Birther Conspiracy to Peddle Topic: Western Journalism Center
It's not enough for the Western Journalism Center to have a new falsehood-laden Obama attack book to sell -- it also has a creative new birther conspiracy to peddle.
The unnamed writer of an Oct. 4 WJC blog post -- presumably Steven Baldwin, author of the aforementioned falsehood-laden book -- states that "I started my investigation and analysis by deeming nearly every assertion as open to question, including the claimed identity of Mr. Obama’s parents. A certificate that a child was born to Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Hussein Obama in Honolulu on 4 August 1961 might be true; but, assuming it’s true, it does not necessarily follow that Mr. Obama is that child." He goes on to claim that the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign is "intentionally ambiguous" and that "it is impossible to tell from the certification whether the purported parents named therein are Mr. Obama’s birth parents or his adoptive parents."
Yes, the WJC is about to push the idea that Obama was adopted. Here is the evidence:
However, on 22 July 2009, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai’i State Department of Health, issued a statement by which she goes about as close to the brink as she can, without violating her legal obligation to keep the adoption confidential, to tell us that Mr. Obama was adopted. Her statement is quoted in the book “The Manchurian President” on page 76. (It’s amusing that the authors of that highly informative book fail to pick up on Dr. Fukino’s effort to disclose Mr. Obama’s adoption without violating legal restraints; they say on page 77 that her statement “told us nothing new.”)
Dr. Fukino’s statement refers to Mr. Obama’s “vital records” in the plural. He was not dead, so she must be referring to two birth certificates, the original that named birth parents and an amended certificate naming adoptive parents.
Moreover, data in the certification of live birth must have been taken from the amended certificate, for Dr. Fukino also says that the records verify that Mr. Obama is a “natural born American citizen.” If the original birth certificate showed Obama the Luo to be a birth parent, it would have proved the opposite.
Dr. Fukino is very clever. She has tipped us to an adoption without explicitly disclosing an adoption, which would be unlawful. She has also let us know that Mr. Obama’s birth parents were U.S. citizens, which makes baby Obama a natural born U.S. citizen at birth. This leaves open the possibility that he lost American citizenship thereafter.
You read that right: the WJC has declared Obama to be adopted because Fukino said "vital records" instaead of "vital record" -- even though "vital records" is the standard colloquial use and it's unnatural to use the singluar. Indeed, the department's website has an entire page on "vital records" discussing all the documents her department handles.
But the WJC isn't done conspiracy-mongering. It builds on the above to speculate why Obama won't "confirm" he is a "natural born U.S. citizen":
He might maintain that it would be to avoid family scandal and damage to the reputations of others, or to prevent the disclosure of his own illegitimate origins. In all probability, however, that there are two main reasons -
First, neither of Obama’s birth parents is of recent African origin. Mr. Obama’s whole political career has been based on being the son of a black Luo tribesman, with kith & kin in today’s Africa. Mr. Obama’s gross misrepresentation that he is black is arguably election fraud. An American black told Laura Ingraham the other day that a black will forgive one many a fault if he’s black. Wonder what they would think if he is, for example, the son of a Caucasian father and a predominantly Polynesian mother, with perhaps Portagee overtones, who just pretends to be black to get votes and denigrate opponents as racists.
Secondly, the Kenyan birth myth and other false notions about his birth and its constitutional consequences distract attention from his real citizenship problems, his probable loss of U.S. citizenship by forfeiture, disclaimer, renunciation, sedition, or some combination of the foregoing. He is trying to replicate the experience of Chester Alan Arthur, who was helped in distracting attention from the fact that his father William was not yet a U.S. citizen when Chester was born, by successfully rebutting false charges that Chester himself was born outside the U.S. By my hypothesis, Mr. Obama can prove eligibility at birth, but became ineligible by loss of citizenship thereafter.
This message only scratches the surface, but shows clearly what is likely needed to confirm Mr. Obama’s status as natural born citizen at the time of his birth: Hawai’i’s vital records of him and his DNA along with, perhaps, DNA analyses of others.
As we've previously noted, the release of the full birth certificate would never be enough for Obama-haters like Joseph Farah and the WJC. Now they want a sample of his DNA -- something never demanded of any other presidential candidate.
New Article: A Laughable 'Case For Impeachment' Topic: Western Journalism Center
WorldNetDaily and the Western Journalism Center team up to publish an error-ridden, lie-filled anti-Obama screed. Read more >>
Think Progress caught up with the Western Journalism Center's Caleb Heimlich at CPAC, where he was doing the bidding of his boss, Floyd Brown, by promoting Brown's campaign to impeach President Obama. Heimlich couldn't come up with any imeachable offenses specifically identified in the Constitution, instead essentially admitting that the effort is rooted in little more than policy differences.
We've already detailed the lies and distortions in Brown's impeachment drive.
Meanwhile, the WJC, far from doing anything involving actual journalism, is mostly content to rehash attacks on the media from other right-wing websites, combined with the occasional smear job, like one asserting that Obama is "stupid and lazy."
And lest anyone think this is about anything other than the aggrandizement of its leader, a graphic onthe WJC front page plugs Floyd Brown's availability for speaking gigs:
If you're curious, Brown's fee ranges between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on the location of the speech, and he "requires reimbursement for transportation and lodging."
WJC Spreading More Birther Conspiracies Topic: Western Journalism Center
A new Western Journalism Center report by Steve Baldwin purports to explore "the mystery of Barack Obama" but Baldwin is much more interested in spreading baseless conspiracy theories about Obama.
Baldwin asserts that "at least three document authentication experts have declared the scanned 'Certificate of Live Birth' Obama’s campaign team gave to a pro-Obama website to be an obvious phony." In fact, at least two of the people whose claims Baldwin is presumably referring to -- "Techdude" and "Ron Polarik" -- have been discredited.
Baldwin then promotes some new, novel conspiracies -- such as "it was discovered that Obama’s Selective Service card may have been doctored." His source for this? Far-right blogger Debbie Schlussel, who's known much more for her screechingrants than any sort of legitimate research. Nevertheless, Baldwin buys in: "The real reason why Obama probably did not submit this form as a teenager is that he assumed his Kenyan or Indonesian citizenship exempted him from this requirement."
Baldwin goes on to assert that "Obama has multiple identities in term of possessing numerous social security numbers." His source for this? The increasingly self-discrediting Orly Taitz.
How crazy are those conspiracies? Even WorldNetDaily is largely staying away from them.
The WJC is already on record spreading discredited claims about Obama. If the WJC wants to be taken seriously as a legitimate critic of Obama, it should probably stay away from fringe-of-the-fringe conspiracy theories.
WJC's Misleading, Tasteless Kennedy-Bashing Topic: Western Journalism Center
An Aug. 28 Western Journalism Center video, called "The Real Ted Kennedy," begins with a minute of snippets of various media tributes. These are followed by this image:
Which is immediately followed by this tasteless photo:
In this video, the WJC is suggesting that Chappaquiddick was never mentioned during coverage of Kennedy's death, but offers no evidence to back up its suggestion -- perhaps because it knows the claim is utterly false, as anyone who watched even part of the coverage knows.
It's worth noting that the WJC is using the YouTube account of Expose Obama, which is operated by Floyd Brown, the right-wing operative who also runs the WJC. This comingling of resources (is that legal?) tells us what we suspected would happen: that the WJC under Brown would be little more than a partisan slash-and-burn operation -- not that it wasn't that when Joseph Farah ran the WJC.
UPDATE: The WJC followed up in the same hateful vein with an email sent out on WorldNetDaily's mailing list and signed by Floyd Brown. In it, Brown asserts that "Ted Kennedy probably did more than any political figure of his generation to weaken and corrupt America," "supported every so-called 'gay-rights' bill that perversity could generate," and blaimed the defeat of Robert Bork for the Supreme Court on "Kennedy, People for the American Way, the National Organization for Women, and a gang of crazies." Brown sarcastically closes: "Thanks, Teddy, for the 47 great years. We'll do everything possible to see that you won't have one more victory this fall. "
Posted by Terry K.
at 12:07 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 11:52 PM EDT
WJC Touts Beck's Discredited 'Civilian Army' Claims Topic: Western Journalism Center
An Aug. 28 Western Journalism Center post asserts that "Glenn Beck is setting the gold standard in investigative reporting," citing as an example Beck's asking President Obama, "Why do we need a civilian national security force that is 'just as strong, just as powerful' as the military? ... Who are we fighting? Who internally is threatening our security?"
In fact, as we've detailed, Obama answered that question a long time ago. His reference to a "civilian national security force" has to do with a reorganization of the State Department and federal aid agencies: "We need to be able to deploy teams that combine agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside our military." Obama has also used the term to apply to an expansion of the Foreign Service, AmeriCorps, and the Peace Corps. It has nothing to do with jailing Americans, as Beck suggests.
Wouldn't an organization supposedly dedicated to "quality journalism," as the WJC claims to be, have bothered to investigate Beck's claim before reporting it instead of presenting his rants as undisputed fact?
On signing the 1965 Civil Rights Law, Lyndon Johnson lamented, “We [Democrats] have lost the South for a generation.” This moved Kennedy to commit perhaps his most egregious acts when he sponsored two Immigration reform bills that slammed the door on Europeans who had traditionally brought industriousness and honor to America. Instead they cleared the way for millions and millions of legal and illegal aliens from elsewhere who often bring no skills but palpable contempt for America. Kennedy is responsible for the damage they have done.
In other words: White people ("Europeans") are hard working and love America, non-white people ("from elsewhere") are lazy and hate America. That smacks of racism, does it not?
We've detailed how some conservatives seek a return to immigration laws of the early 20th century, which were largely driven by racism and eugenics. Columnist E. Ralph Hostetter, writing for CNSNews.com, has even specifically blamed Asian immigrants for "threatening America's cultural and ethnic future" because the 1965 immigration law "gave 60 percent of the newly established quota -- 170,000 new openings -- to Asians, who bring a different culture to America."
WJC Redefines 'Running the Ad' Topic: Western Journalism Center
The other day, we pointed out that a Western Journalism Center video claiming that Rachel Maddow's statement on "Meet the Press" that MoveOn.org never ran an ad comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler was a lie because the ad in question was not commissioned by MoveOn but, rather, a submission to a 2004 MoveOn contest that was taken down after controversy arose about it and never ran anywhere as a paid ad.
The WJC has now responded by calling us liars, accusing us of "splitting hairs" and asserting that it "never claimed the ad was run on commercial T.V. We consider posting the ad on its website to constitute 'running the ad.' "
So a submission to a contest that was (briefly) posted on a website is the exact same thing as buying airtime for it on commercial TV? Interesting redefinition of "running the ad."
That's not "splitting hairs" -- that's comparing apples and oranges.
Further, the WJC video remains a work of lying by omission: It presents the Bush-Hitler video but at no point does it explain that the ad was a contest submission, never ran as a paid ad, and that MoveOn itself said that "[w]e do not support the sentiment" in it. The WJC post accusing us of being liars doesn't mention that either.
The WJC should try telling the full truth instead of redefining words to fit previous lies.
WJC Lies About MoveOn and Bush-Hitler Video Topic: Western Journalism Center
The Western Journalism Center has posted a video titled "Rachel Maddow Lies about MoveON.org," which purports to debunk Rachel Maddow's claim during the Aug. 16 edition of "Meet the Press" that MoveOn never ran an ad comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler.
But the WJC is the liar. While the video includes a clip of something that appears to be a MoveOn ad comparing Bush to Hitler, at no point does the WJC mention that it was submitted as part of a contest MoveOn ran in 2004 and never ran as a paid ad by MoveOn. Indeed, MoveOn specifically stated of that submission and a second similar one, "They will not appear on TV. We do not support the sentiment expressed in the two Hitler submissions." MoveOn later removed the ad from its website.
How is it that Floyd Brown and the WJC think it can get away with telling such a blatant lie?
WJC Peddles More Birther Lies, Distortions Topic: Western Journalism Center
A July 27 email by the Western Journalism Center, sent to the WorldNetDaily mailing list, contains a whole new crop of distortions and falsehoods.
The email asserts that "no amount of ridicule will change the fact that close a a half-million people have signed petitions calling on Barack Hussein Obama to release his birth certificate." Actually, the WJC has no way of knowing that this is a "fact." As we've detailed, WorldNetDaily -- whose petition the WJC is presumably referring to -- has never released the signatures of the signees, making it impossible to verify the number of valid signatures (WND's count at this writing, by the way, is a lot closer to 400,000 than "a half-million"). Further, WND has no apparent mechanism to prevent multiple signatures by the same person, making that count even more unreliable.
The email also claimed that "no amount of name-calling can change the fact that 58% of respondents to an AOL on-line poll said that Obama should produce his actual birth certificate." True, perhaps, but irrelevant -- online opt-in polls are not a reliable indicator of public opinion. The email adds that "49.3% of the respondents to a scientific Wenzel poll found the question to be legitimate." But as we've noted, WorldNetDaily commissioned that poll -- the questions for which were skewed to get the answers WND wanted -- and Wenzel Strategies, headed by a former conservative newspaper columnist who later worked for a Republican congresswoman, has a clear bias.
The email goes on to assert that "Obama's paternal grandmother said, she was present at Obama's birth, which took place in Mombasa in what is now Kenya." That's false -- WJC is relying on a translation error to make that claim.
The email also asserts, "Obama's mother was only 19-years old when Obama was born... she was much too young to bestow her citizenship on him for the purpose of satisfying Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution." Also false. As we've detailed, if Obama was born in Hawaii -- WJC offers no credible evidence to the contrary -- that's irrelevant. Further, according to the Chicago Tribune, the timetable at the time Obama was born for a parent to confer U.S. citizenship upon a child born outside of the U.S. (again, which WJC has not proven about Obama) was being a citizen for 10 years including five years past the age of 14; Stanley Ann Dunham was three months short of her 19th birthday when Obama was born (not exactly "much too young"). But federal law shortened that time period to two year after the age of 14 and made it retroactive to 1952. That makes Obama doubly covered.
The WJC also makes a big deal out of how "the State of Hawaii does not accept the Certification of Live Birth as singular proof that an individual was actually born in Hawaii" for the Home Lands program. Again, true but irrelevant. The Home Lands is exclusively for those of "native Hawaiian" ancestry, which Obama has never claimed to be, so it wouldn't matter if he failed to meet the birth requirement for that program.
Shocker: WJC Debunks Key Birther Claims Topic: Western Journalism Center
We've detailed how the Western Journalism Center, under the leadership of right-wing activist Floyd Brown, has positioned itself as a promoter of the Obama birth certificate conpsiracy. So when it starts debunking key birther claims, perhaps one should listen.
A July 21 unbylined WJC blog post reviews a CNN appearance by birthers Alan Keyes and Orly Taitz. It began in the usual sycophantic way, asserting that "Dr Keyes spoke very well in the minute or so allotted him" -- a laughable claim giving that Keyes' response to the mountain of evidence presented by CNN's Kitty Pilgrim was to demand "some evidence."
But then, the post takes a shockingly reality-based turn, asserting: "On the other hand, from her interview it seems that Orly Taitz is building her case on 2 premises, one false and the other irrelevant."
The post states: "Orly Taitz asserts that 'to be president there have to be two parents who are citizens.' This is false." Citing "Blackstone’s classic exposition in 1765 ... from the Commentaries on the Laws of England" -- funny, we thought conservatives were opposed to using foreign law to make decisions in the U.S. -- the post continues:
Blackstone explicitly grounds natural-born status on location (jus soli), not parentage, except when the child is born abroad. The notion that both parents have to be citizens is false. All children born on American soil are natural-born subjects or citizens.
WJC then goes on to claim that suggest that, based on Blackwell, "If [Obama] was born on foreign soil, the fact that his father was not an American citizen would disqualify him from natural-born citizenship." But the WJC curiously fails to mention what U.S. law has to say on the subject -- as we've noted, legal scholars have pointed out that courts have ruled any child born to at least one U.S. citizen is a U.S. citizen, and claims that Obama's mother was too young to confer citizenship on her son are false.
Even more shocking, WJC demolishes another key claim, that Obama's "certification of live birth" is suspect because of a 1982 law that allowed people not born in Hawaii to obtain Hawaiian birth certificates:
Under Act 182 H.B. NO. 3016-82, state policies and procedures could accommodate even “children born out of State” (this is the actual language of Act 182) with an original birth certificate on record. But though Act 182 does provide children born out of state with a birth certificate it does not provide them with birth certificates that say that these children were born in Hawaii or at a specific location in Hawaii. Consequently these birth certificates cannot engender Certifications of Live Birth which state that the subject was born in Honolulu, as the purported Obama Certification of Live Birth does. So if the Obama Certification of Live Birth was not forged, it could not have been engendered by an Act 182-authorized birth certificate for “children born out of state”. And if it was forged, the false information on it was not based on anything that could be on an Act-182 authorized birth certificate. So Orly Taitz’ assertion that “Hawaii has statute 338 that allows foreign-born children of Hawaiian residents to get Hawaiian birth certificates” is irrelevant.
One of the key pieces of evidence regularly cited by WorldNetDaily -- whose CEO Joseph Farah founded the WJC -- is that a certification of live birth "is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii." Thus, the WJC has destroyed one of WND's major claims attempting to discredit the birth certificate.
The WJC tries to salvage things by baselessly insisting that "it is increasingly clear that Obama was not born in Hawaii," but no evidence is offered to back that claim up -- which suggests to us that it's is as bogus as the claims it just busted. But it has undermined its case, and the case of its fellow birther travelers, by this sudden fit of truth.
Selective Outrage at the WJC Topic: Western Journalism Center
The latest winner of the Claude Rains Memorial Gambling Awareness Award is the Western Journalism Center's Caleb Heimlich, who in a May 5 WJC blog post is shocked -- shocked! -- that people in the Obama administration watch MSNBC:
Today Kareem Dale, Obama’s special assistant to the president for arts and culture and a key White House advisor on disability policy stated that “at the white house, we always like to say we love MSNBC…”
That is quite a shocking development. The White House watches the network that shills for them on a daily basis.
I am comforted to know that the President is watching the channel that parrots everything he says.
Was Heimlich -- or Floyd Brown or anyone else at the WJC -- similarly shocked (or comforted) to learn that the Bush administration kept its TVs tuned to Fox News, which shilled for him on a daily basis? Or that a Fox News host served in the Bush administration?Or that Vice President Dick Cheney demanded on out-of-town trips that all TVs in his hotel suite be pre-tuned to Fox News?
Somehow we suspect that neither Heimlich nor Brown were able to get themselves terribly worked up about that. Which, of course, nullifies what Heimlich has to say now.
WJC Strikes Back With Attacks, Smears Topic: Western Journalism Center
We seem to have hit a nerve.
It appears that the Western Journalism Center has responded to our report on the WJC's revival (also posted at the Huffington Post) pretty much the way you'd expect -- by attacking me. From a WJC email apparently sent out on Human Events' mailing list (we haven't seen the actual email yet, but parts of it are posted here):
Terry Krepel, the senior web editor for Socialist Billionaire George Soros' Media Matters just put out an inflammatory hit-piece on us in The Huffington Post and called us smear-mongers, right-wing hitmen and conspiracy theorists.
He even accused us of "naked partisanship" (We'd refute that one if we could figure out what he means by partisanship 'sans clothes' and also, whether Krepel actually believes that adherence to the Constitution is a partisan issue).
What does the WJC get wrong here? First, my article wasn't written for Media Matters; second, George Soros does not fund Media Matters. Demonstrating that the truth doesn't matter to them, they do concede that latter point later in the email, parentically noting that Media Matters is "more accurately, funded by a Soros-funded organization... those little degrees of separation appear to matter to liberal spin-meisters." Yet they call it "George Soros' Media Matters" anyway.
If Floyd Brown and the WJC are going to continue to insist on referring to "George Soros' Media Matters," does that mean we can refer to Richard Mellon Scaife's Western Journalism Center? (Unlike Soros and Media Matters, Scaife did directly fund the WJC.)
The WJC then to proceeded to attack Media Matters based on claims made by ... discredited journalist Catherine Moy:
Catherine Moy with Human Events perhaps described them best when she wrote that Media Matters appears "to care more about taking out the kneecaps of conservatives than pursuing truth or accuracy in the media."
As we detailed, the 2007 Human Events article by Moy that the WJC reliles on to bash Media Matters is full of hyperbolic assertions, unsubstantiated or false claims and overblown leaps of logic.
What you won't find in the WJC's email (at least in the posted excerpt): any factual refuting of the claims I made. Indeed, it seems that the WJC wants to operate in dog-whistle mode --despite sending out this paid email, there is no mention of my report on the WJC website. It's impossible to tell at this point whether the WJC included a link to my report without a copy of the actual email itself, but I would venture to guess that there isn't one -- they're afraid to let their readers make their own decisions about what I wrote.
To the contrary, the WJC sticks to repeating its bogus claims about the birth certificate, claiming he "refuses to release an actual birth certificate" when, in fact, he has.
The WJC goes on (enthusiasm for all-caps in original):
And now that Krepel (and The Huffington Post) has taken time out of his busy day to slime us, one can only ask why?
Answer? Because, we are asking the ONE pivotal and credible question that the left does not want asked and we're driving the point home and taking the Mainstream Media to task for NOT asking that ONE SIMPLE QUESTION.
Specifically, why are teams of lawyers thwarting efforts to compel Barack Obama to produce, the ONE document that can verify that he is eligible, under the Constitution, to hold the office of President of the United States - his actual birth certificate.
If Barack Hussein Obama has nothing to hide, simply producing an actual birth certificate is not an unreasonable request.
But, because it is the ONE question that the left CANNOT answer and the question that Barrack Hussein Obama REFUSES to answer, it MUST NOT be asked... it MUST NOT be addressed... and it MUST NOT be acknowledged.
And, here's the most important part, since the question MUST NOT be be asked; those who dare to ask it must be discredited... they must be personally attacked.... lest the American people start asking the question too.
That is what the left really FEARS and that's why we're in the crosshairs.
Actually, judging by the amount of vitriol in this email and its apparent refusal to link to my report so readers can judge for themselves, the people who are afraid here are Floyd Brown and the WJC -- and they're afraid of me, a guy with a website who told the truth about them.
New Article: The Return of the Western Journalism Center Topic: Western Journalism Center
With a new smear artist at the helm in Floyd Brown, the WJC is armed and ready to hurl discredited conspiracy theories at President Obama the same way it attacked President Clinton when Joseph Farah ran it. Read more >>