2013 Slanties: Oppa Slantie Style
Biased reporting, wild claims, bizarre conspiracy theories -- it must be time to review the year in the ConWeb. Hey, sexy lady, let's do this!
By Terry Krepel
So, hey, sexy ladies (and guys) -- let's get the 10th annual Slanties going, shall we?
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The first award is for the most egregious example of bias in "news" coverage. There really is no contest for the award this year, so we won't even bother listing the runners-up. The Slantie goes to ... WorldNetDaily for hiding the truth about the collapse of its birther conspiracies.
When WND writer Jerome Corsi gave a birther presentation to a tea-party group in Arizona, that started the ball rolling to petition Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio to do an investigation into President Obama's birth certificate. Arpaio agreed, and WND inserted itself in the process by publishing fawning articles about him and even erasing him from a story about a lawsuit against his sheriff's department.
When Arpaio's "cold case posse" gave its initial report, it was clear just how deeply WND inserted itself in the process -- Corsi was, for all practical purposes, a member of the posse, all but guaranteeing that the investigation would not be thorough or balanced. And if that wasn't enough, Corsi and Mike Zullo, the head of the posse investigation, immediately published an e-book of the findings -- cribbing liberally from Corsi's book, thus confirming the anti-Obama bias of the "investigation" -- and kept the proceeds, even though the posse is a registered nonprofit organization.
As the conspiracies started to fall apart -- when John Woodman published a birther-debunking book, when Corsi and Zullo's posse was busted making an egregious error, when Obama's grandmother definitively said that Obama was not born in Kenya -- WND refused to tell its readers, desperate to keep up the facade that its claims about Obama's "eligibility" have some basis in reality.
WND also embraced anti-Obama filmmaker Joel Gilbert, who promoted the idea that activist Frank Marshall Davis was Obama's real father, and that Obama's mother posed nude for him. When Gilbert's wild claims were discredited, WND not only ignored it, Corsi doubled down by publishing even more outlandish claims from Gilbert. They were so wrong that even birthers were compelled to prove Gilbert wrong.
Such obviously willful blindness and blatant violations of journalistic ethics are the very definition of Slantie-worthiness. Congratulations, WND!
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Our next award is the Makin' Shit Up Award, given to the ConWeb writer who perpetuates falsehoods through his or her writing and even reports false or discredited information or otherwise lives up to the name of the award. Again, only one candidate clearly stood up from the pack: Jerome Corsi of WorldNetDaily.
The big birther story at WND in 2012 was the so-called "investigation" of Obama's eligibility by Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio's cold case posse -- something Corsi himself set in motion by giving a birther presentation to a tea-party group in Arizona that then petitioned Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio to do an investigation. Corsi and WND obscured this link, published numerous articles fawning over Arpaio, then hid from WND readers until after the posse released its preliminary findings that Corsi was a de facto member of the posse -- thus guaranteeing that any posse findings would emulate WND's conspiracy-obsessed birtherism.
As the evidence continued to pile up against the posse's -- and Corsi's -- birther findings, Corsi and WND hid the truth from its readers, as noted in the above Slantie Award. Instead, Corsi gleefully descended into the gutter, publishing never-verified rumors of Obama's purported homosexuality and touting the supposed credibility of Larry Sinclair, whose accusations even WND ultimately backed off of in 2008 after it was revealed that he was a convicted felon.
Corsi and WND also embraced anti-Obama filmmaker Joel Gilbert, who promoted the idea that activist Frank Marshall Davis was Obama's real father, and that Obama's mother posed nude for him. When Gilbert's wild claims were demolished, WND not only ignored it, Corsi doubled down by publishing even more outlandish claims from Gilbert. They were so discredited, in fact, that even birthers were compelled to prove Gilbert wrong.
As far as we know, Corsi has not issued a single correction for any of the false reporting he engaged in. That's how you win a Slantie.
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The next award is the LoBaido Award for the silliest statement made by a writer for a conservative news Web site (named after Anthony LoBaido, who wrote a post-9/11 column for WorldNetDaily that was so unhinged -- he blamed the attacks on America's immorality since "all that is evil in the world can be found in New York" and, for good measure, called Hillary Clinton "openly Marxist, treasonous and abortion-mongering, occultic" -- that WND eventually pulled it from its site). It was an election year, so the Obama derangement was especially profuse, with extra helpings of misogyny over Sandra Fluke and conspiracy theories about shootings. Here are the finalists:
What similarities are there between a domestic terrorist organization and the alleged journalists at the Journal News headquartered in White Plains, New York? At least two biggies: total lack of respect for privacy and complete disregard for others' safety.
-- Tom Blumer, Dec. 24 NewsBusters post
The Sandy Hook shooting occurred just days after Sen. Rand Paul sent out an alert that the U.N. was set to pass the final version of the Small Arms Treaty, supported by Obama the day after election.
-- Bradlee Dean, Dec. 20 WND column
My 23-year-old daughter called me mid-evening on Election Day, right after it became apparent that the unthinkable had occurred that Team Obama would have another four long years to transform and dismantle all that Americans loved, all that we fought for, all that we “built.”
-- David Kupelian, Dec. 19 WND column
Impeachment is your remedy. We would suggest simultaneous indictments against Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama, in combination with at least a four-year investigation. Due to the seriousness of the charges and the propensity to flight, both Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama would need to be held in confinement during the investigation. Given this regrettable state of affairs, Mr. Boehner, as the speaker, would have to assume the duties of the executive during the interim.
-- Craige McMillan, Dec. 12 WND column
Unthinkable. A cataclysmic disaster. The end of America as we know it.
-- Dec. 4 WND promotion for its Whistleblower magazine issue, with the theme "The American Tribulation"
Do you want to know where America is today in historical and biblical terms? It’s where ancient Israel was before being destroyed by God.
-- Joseph Farah, Nov. 18 WND column
If America had been invaded by foreign enemies, we could have fought back. But this wasn’t a foreign invader. It’s as if America had died of cancer or a self-inflicted bullet to the head. The fat lady sang, and it wasn’t the National Anthem. We have all heard about criminals who, having been cornered, refuse to be captured and incarcerated. Instead, they choose to go out in a blaze of gunfire. It’s called suicide by cop. What happened on Nov. 6th was suicide by voter.
-- Burt Prelutsky, Nov. 13 WND column
Like most conservatives and Republicans, the results of Tuesday’s election has left me numb and depressed, yet I will soldier on. I can’t believe that otherwise intelligent, rational people would knowingly elect a Marxist, socialist Muslim-sympathizer who has purposely ruined America, promised to wreak even more “revenge” upon this country in his second term and 53 percent of those exit polled blamed George W. Bush for Obama’s existential recession. Incredible!
-- Ellis Washington, Nov. 9 WND column
In the afterglow of Obama’s victory, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Ayatollah Khamenei, Vladimir Putin and Chris Matthews, as well as millions of pot-heads, sodomites, pro-aborts and all common moochers, are sharing a collective thrill. The American people by a clear majority have rejected fiscal responsibility, energy independence, national security, border security, traditional family values, and worst of all, standing with the most defenseless and innocent among us. Barack Obama’s re-election is a complete political, economic, moral, social and spiritual catastrophe.
-- Joel Richardson, Nov. 8 WND column
For those of us who fundamentally reject Obama’s policies, things are going to get very rough for the next four years. We have allowed our fellow Americans to pronounce judgment on the nation.
-- Joseph Farah, Nov. 6 WND column
By Election Day, with the momentum in favor of Romney, I believe deep-blue Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will go red for Romney. Obama is still the favorite in states like Michigan, Minnesota, and New Jersey, but Romney could pick off 1 or 2 of these if things break right.
-- Wayne Allyn Root, Nov. 5 Newsmax column
Is Barack Obama the “president,” or a narcissistic coward?
-- Barbara Simpson, Nov. 4 WND column
I, Obama, like my mentor, Caligula, delighted in humiliating Congress. For my first two years in office, I refused even to answer their letters on law, policy and budgetary issues of great urgency or meet with them unless I knew in advance that they would bow to my omnipotent will.
-- Ellis Washington, Oct. 19 WND column
Questions lib media never asks: "Will woman who won't take husband's surname have a feminist tilt?"
-- Tim Graham, Oct. 12 tweet
Mitt Romney is a rich guy. He doesn’t need to be president. The fact that he still wants to be, given all that he has endured, is genuinely noble.
-- Jon Dougherty, Oct. 6 WND column
Move over, Ponzi and Madoff Mr. Obama has made you look like amateurs.
-- Pat Boone, Sept. 14 WND 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.
-- Robert Ringer, Sept. 12 WND column
Let us say it honestly: Democrats loathe self-defense. They despise any assertion by the individual that his or her life has value. To the Democrats, all money and all people the latter is much more significant than the former belong to the government. This is why it is so important when spindly Barack Obama or bug-eyed Nancy Pelosi sneer at the concept of individual effort building individual success. This is why it matters when hypocrite and Klingon Michelle Obama presumes to dictate what you can eat while shoving junk food into her face.
-- Phil Elmore, Sept. 5 WND column
Most of all, I have faith in the American people and their ability this time to see Obama for what he reveals himself in his own memoirs to be: a pitchman. My prediction is that Romney will win by 10 to 12 percentage points.
-- Ronald Kessler, Sept. 4 Newsmax column
This week, a Russian court sentenced three feminist punk performers to prison for two years. The three women were charged with "hooliganism."
-- Ed Koch, Aug. 20 Newsmax column
Obama is the most mendacious and pernicious, narcissistic megalomaniac ever to occupy elected office. He makes Hugo Chavez appear sane and coherent.
-- Mychal Massie, July 30 WND column
The epidemic of black-mob violence now has a soundtrack.
-- Colin Flaherty, July 24 WND article
Were the Denver shootings a false flag operation? It will probably be years before anyone can say decisively one way or the other. But if Holmes commits suicide or otherwise dies in custody, that will be a strong indication that he is one more in a long and suspicious series of lone gunmen.
-- Vox Day, July 22 WND column
So, what does sterilization do to a woman? And why does Obama want all women "with reproductive capacity" to be offered one for free?
-- Terry Jeffrey, July 11 CNSNews.com column
Power mad psychopath John Roberts just ruled government has unlimited power. I think American public feels differently. Details to follow.
-- Dan Gainor, June 28 tweet
Atheists can’t be real Americans in the truest sense of the word and People for the American Way should be renamed People for the un-American Way.
-- Joseph Farah, June 11 WND column
At his most passionate, Obama says of his new bride, “In her eminent practicality and Midwestern attitudes, she reminds me not a little of Toot [his grandmother].” That description must surely have warmed Michelle’s heart.
-- Jack Cashill, May 16 WND column
The “regime” of President Barack Hussein Obama who defrauded the American people to elect him president, his having taken advantage of the people’s political reaction to eight years of a disastrous and failed George W. Bush presidency is more than a threat to our Judeo-Christian heritage and American way of life. Obama is, plain and simple, the black communist equivalent of the Manchurian candidate, an evil force who is bent on destroying our beloved nation and our religious freedoms. It is no coincidence that Hillary Clinton is his secretary of state.
-- Larry Klayman, March 30 WND column
The fish stinks from the head down, and this is Obama’s foreign policy. Is it any wonder that jihadist attempts in this country have skyrocketed under this president?
-- Pamela Geller, Feb. 28 WND column
Anybody got Fluke's mailing address? I'm gonna send her a big Costco-sized box of condoms.
-- Matt Philbin, March 3 tweet
I agree that Limbaugh shouldn't have called Sandra Fluke a slut, Should have called her a skank.
-- Don Irvine, March 2 tweet
So, [Sandra Fluke] earns enough money in just one summer to pays for three full years of sex. And, yes, they are full years since she and her co-ed classmates are having sex nearly three times a day for three years straight, apparently.
-- Craig Bannister, Feb. 27 CNSNews.com blog post
If contraceptives R 2 B covered by health insurance shouldn't alcohol since sober people don't need birth control?
-- Noel Sheppard, Feb. 16 tweet
The claim that America disproportionately executes blacks is a falsehood, disseminated on virtually every left-wing website, from the ACLU to all the anti-death-penalty sites. The only way it can be regarded as true is if the disproportion is in relation to the entire population of the country: Blacks make up about 12 percent of the population and since 1976 have been about 35 percent of those executed for murder. But this is a statistic that tells no truth because it is meaningless in terms of determining alleged racial bias.
-- Dennis Prager, Jan. 17 WND column
And the Slantie goes to ... Robert Ringer's call to leave the U.S. He also earns Godwin style points for his use of "Der Fuhrbama." Presumably, Ringer is moving to his newly adopted homeland as we speak.
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Our final award is the Slantie Award for Career Achievement in Conservative Bias. This goes to a reporter or commentator with a consistent record of biased and slanted reports that fly in the face of time-honored journalistic practice, the truth and/or common sense.
And the Slantie goes to ... Ronald Kessler, Newsmax's "chief Washington correspondent" until leaving that post in December.
Kessler joined Newsmax in 2006, where he set the tone of his tenure by writing fawningly about the Bush administration and bashing Democrats. He cranked that up for the 2006 election, to the point where he essentially blamed then-Rep. Mark Foley's dalliances with congressional pages on the pages, not Foley.
For the 2008 presidential campaign, Kessler was Mitt Romney's man, writing fluff pieces and being kinda creepy toward Romney's wife. But when Romney lost the nomination, he was a good Republican soldier and promoted John McCain, despite having spent the previous several months bashing him to boost Romney's prospects. He also attacked Barack Obama by obsessing over Jeremiah Wright.
Amidst trying to turn Jews against Obama and regularly turning over his Newsmax platform to his buddy David Keene, Kessler found a new cause for the 2012 election: Donald Trump. Kessler facilitated Newsmax's boosterism of Trump's presidential ambitions, which led to an ill-fated attempt to host a presidential debate together.
Once it was clear that Trump would not run despite Kessler's best efforts, Kessler returned to his once and future presidential love, Mitt Romney, going so far as to declare that Romney would beat Obama in a landslide.
Kessler will be missed -- if only because his brand of biased, obsequious reporting is one of the reasons ConWebWatch exists.