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Update: Felonheit 9/11

NewsMax's favorite criminal wants to make a movie. Plus: WorldNetDaily suddenly looks askance at people using the media to promote a story, Paul Weyrich perpetuates a conservative myth, and more.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 5/13/2005

A May 6 NewsMax article states: "Former Hollywood mogul Peter Paul is planning to produce a 'Fahrenheit 9/11'-style documentary detailing his election fraud allegations against New York Sen. Hillary Clinton."

Given that NewsMax and its writers have called "Fahrenheit 9/11" "fraudulent," "hate soup," "hate-filled," "factually challenged," "propagandistic," "mendacious and morally reprehensible," "agitprop," a "celluloid rant," a "schlockumentary," a "movie fantasy," a "flimflam foray," a "cheap shot of a movie," "filled ... with enough lies and propaganda to sink a battleship," and "a combination of half-truths, twisted conspiracy theories and blatant distortions of interviews, documents and file footage," that may not be the comparison NewsMax wants to use.

Then again, given Paul's substantial criminal history -- a felonious past and present NewsMax once again failed to tell its readers about, particularly the fact that he has to hurl all of these allegations now before his upcoming extended visit to the slammer -- applying NewsMax's previous attacks on "Fahrenheit 9/11" to Paul's upcoming film may indeed be the most appropriate description of what we can expect from Paul's pre-prison project.

NewsMax occasionally slips up, however, and inadvertently gives its readers actual facts about Paul. A May 4 article promoting the web site Paul started to attack Clinton (which, you will not be surprised to learn, also fails to mention anything about Paul's past and present criminal transgressions) quotes her lawyer, David Kendall, as saying that "Peter Paul is a man with an impressive record of felony convictions, currently in federal custody. Most of his civil suit has already been dismissed and the remainder has no merit."

A May 11 article on the trial of David Rosen, the former Hillary Clinton campaign finance manager accused of filing false reports to the Federal Election Commission about a fund-raiser that Paul had a hand in producing, marks the first time that a fairly detailed accounting of Paul's feloniousness has appeared in a non-Associated Press article at NewsMax. While it appears to be a rewritten New York Sun article, the NewsMax version quotes the trial judge calling Paul "a thoroughly discredited, corrupt individual. ... He's a con artist. The fact that he is, is already established."

Of course, NewsMax immediately went into damage control to protect its pet felon, noting that the judge was a "Clinton appointee" but hurting the cause a bit in another defense: "Though Paul's record includes past convictions for stock fraud and cocaine possession, his charges against Rosen have survived numerous challenges by Rosen's legal team."

The article also mentions Aaron Tonken as a "key witness" but fails to point out that he too is a convicted felon currently serving a prison sentence. It also mentions Raymond Reggie, who wiretapped subjects of the FBI probe into the fund-raiser, but -- you guessed it -- failed to mention Reggie's criminal history as well.

Still, when it remembers its biases, NewsMax's preference is to hide the truth about Paul and Tonken from its readers, as it did in articles on May 10 and May 12.

* * *

NewsMax isn't the only ConWeb component having trouble relating the criminal pasts of David Rosen's accusers.

A May 11 Media Research Center CyberAlert goes off on how NBC's "Today" show allegedly treated Clinton as a "victim" in the Rosen case. It includes an long excerpt from a Dick Morris column about the case, but the excerpt focuses on allegedly incriminating information against Rosen and doesn't include Morris' mention of "Paul's criminal record."

And a May 13 column by Rev. Jerry Falwell (reproduced at NewsMax and WorldNetDaily) claims that because Hillary Clinton is a Democrat, the case against Rosen "has been buried or ignored by the Big Media bosses" -- but he fails to note that Rosen's main accusers are convicted felons.

* * *

A May 11 WorldNetDaily article provides a lengthy forum for Chan Chandler, the pastor of a Baptist church in North Carolina who resigned after several parishoners say there were forced out of the church because of their support for John Kerry.

Actually, it's mostly a clip job of other articles that rushes to Chandler's defense, leading with Chandler's claim that "his words and actions have been misunderstood and misinterpreted" and quoting a church official as saying that "Those that left, left of their own accord." The actual church members who were expelled, described three times as "disgruntled," aren't quoted until paragraph 42 of the 51-paragraph story.

The article also states: "The controversy drew national attention after some church members went to media claiming the pastor had politicized abortion and homosexuality, declaring last October in a sermon that anyone who voted for Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry should 'repent or resign.'" It also makes a point of saying that an interview with Baptist Press was "the pastor's only contact with media." These statements indicate that WND is looking askance at the church members who used the media to forward their claims.

Perhaps WND would like to explain how this attitude toward the "disgruntled" church members meshes with its own longstanding practice of being a haven for people and groups who want to forward certain claims and of printing only one side of a story before seeking (or, in many cases, not even bothering to seek) the other side. From the Terri Schiavo case (in which it eagerly promoted the unproven allegations of Schiavo's parents and demonized her husband) to the pseudo Schiavo case (in which it interviewed no one from the other side) to the raftload of press releases it has uncritically recycled, WND has been more than willing to act as a megaphone for those wanting to give their views their views a bigger audience without all that distracting balance stuff.

The next time WND complains about folks running to the media, it needs to check the residents of its own home for wayward media darlings.

* * *

Paul Weyrich seems to have a problem telling the truth about Democrats.

ConWebWatch has previously noted Weyrich's lies about John Kerry. Now, he's perpetuating a Republican urban myth: that Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey was barred from speaking at the 1992 Democratic National Convention because he was "pro-life."

He mentioned this in a March 15 commentary (reprinted at Accuracy in Media, NewsMax and and also in a May 3 commentary (which appeared at .

The truth is that Casey was denied a speaking slot at the convention because he refused to endorse the Clinton-Gore ticket, not for his anti-abortion views. Other anti-abortion speakers graced the 1992 stage, not to mention other Democratic conventions.

Unfortunately, since Weyrich is shilling for Sen. Rick Santorum in his expected 2006 re-election battle for his Pennsylvania Senate seat against Casey's son, Bob Casey Jr. -- he wrote on March 15 that Santorum "will need to hold Casey accountable for the far left ideas of Casey's party" -- expect the myth-making to continue.

* * *

NewsMax sure sounded unhappy in an April 12 article.

"The Democratic National Committee is distributing a fake mug shot of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay as part of its concerted effort to drive him from office," it complained, describing the photo as "featuring a smiling DeLay behind the words 'Case File,' includes the superimposed number '18821' -- all designed to give the impression that the top Republican had been arrested and charged with a crime." The article even provided a screen capture of the DNC web site featuring the photo.

NewsMax hastened to add: "The DNC's fake photo notwithstanding, DeLay has not been charged, let alone arrested, in connection with any of the allegations touted by Democrats and their handmaidens in the media -- and has never been implicated in any criminal activity."

But NewsMax has not always been so unforgiving of the portrayal of politicians as criminals in cases in which they have "not been charged, let alone arrested." From a Jan. 5, 2001, NewsMax column by John LeBoutillier:

The woman came out of her Washington, D.C., house yesterday morning in a hurry to get to work. She saw a folded piece of paper lying in front of her front door. ... She read the bold headline. CAUTION: SEXUAL PREDATOR TO MOVE INTO NEIGHBORHOOD. ...  It explained that a 'sexual predator' had just purchased a house five blocks from hers! And he was to move into the neighborhood within a mere few weeks!

Finally, the flyer’s final caution: "If you have a young daughter, watch out for her safety!"

At the bottom of the page was the address -- right there on Mass. Ave.! -- and the name of the soon-to-be neighbor who is a 'sexual predator': William Jefferson Clinton!

NewsMax has learned that all this week in the Kalorama section of Washington, D.C., between Massachusetts Avenue and Connecticut Avenue, these posted flyers have been handed out, tacked to trees, placed on cars and mailed to each resident.

What a wonderful commentary on the (Thank God) outgoing resident of the White House.
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