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Friday, December 4, 2009
NewsBusters Misleadingly Blames CNN for Questionable Obama Threat Claim
Topic: NewsBusters

Mike Bates uses a Dec. 3 NewsBusters post to crow about how CNN's Rick Sanchez has abandonded a claim that death threats against President Obama have increased 400 percent over threats against President Bush. But Sanchez wasn't the first to make the claim -- a conservative was.

Bates documents Sanchez first making the claim on Aug. 28, which he then lamented "was eagerly picked up by sites like Daily Kos and Racism Review." But more than three weeks earlier, Ronald Kessler -- no Obama fan, as we've detailed -- forwarded the claim in an Aug. 3 Newsmax article promoting Kessler's then-new book on the Secret Service:

A new book by Newsmax Chief Washington Correspondent Ronald Kessler features startling revelations about current and former U.S. presidents, including Barack Obama.

"In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect," released Tuesday, discloses that threats against the president have increased dramatically — by a staggering 400 percent since Obama entered the White House.

Kessler is the first journalist to penetrate the wall of secrecy that surrounds the U.S. Secret Service, and his book is based on interviews with more than 100 current and former agents.

Kessler was still repeating the claim, citing it in columns on Nov. 26 and Nov. 30 criticizing the security lapse that let a pair of gate-crashers into a White House state dinner.

Will the MRC hold Newsmax to the same standard it holds CNN? We'd like to see if it's capable of doing that.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:02 AM EST

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