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Friday, April 17, 2009
CNS Still Pushing IHS Cover-up Non-Story; NewsBusters Joins In

Undeterred by previous attempts to baselessly attack President Obama, is trying to create another Obama controversy where there isn't one.

We noted an April 15 CNS article by Edwin Mora suggesting that the Obama administration demanded that Georgetown University cover up  the monogram "IHS," a symbol for the name of Jesus Christ, during an appearance by Obama there, even though he offered no evidence of it -- indeed, Mora admitted that the administration asked only that the university cover up "all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols" behind Obama's stage, not the IHS symbol specifically.

End of story, right? Wrong.

An April 16 article by Matt Cover noted that "Laura Bush spoke at Georgetown University in front of the same 'IHS'"  -- falsely suggesting that Obama administration demanded that it be covered. As with Mora, Cover's suggestion is contradicted by his own reporting, in which he quotes an Obama White House statement that "Any suggestions to the contrary are simply false."

Mora, meanwhile, makes the false suggestion once more in an April 16 article, calling it "the unintended consequence of the White House’s desire to have a backdrop of flags behind the president." Despite all the denials issued by the university and the administration, Mora still treats the claim as legitimate, further falsely suggesting that there's a "contradiction" between those denials.

Other branches of the Media Research Center are now jumping on the non-story. An April 17 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein breathlessly asserted that Obama's "hand-picked DNC Chairman [Tim Kaine] just went on national TV and denied that the Obama administration requested Georgetown University to cover up the IHS monogram representing the name of Christ" -- which, of course, is absolutely true -- further asserting that CNS "flatly report[ed] that such a request had indeed been made."

Wrong, Mark. CNS never claimed that the Obama administration demanded that Georgetown cover up the IHS -- which is exactly what Kaine said. Nevertheless, Finkelstein called Kaine's claim "credulity-busting."

No, what's credulity-busting is that CNS and Finkelstein are trying to build this molehill of a non-story into a fraudulent mountain of an attack on Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 AM EDT

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