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Monday, October 8, 2012
WND's Unruh Dishonestly Writes About Obama's Executive Orders
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The rank dishonesty of Bob Unruh's Oct. 6 WorldNetDaily article begins with the headline: "'Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool': Obama's executive orders more and more dispensing with Congress."

Now, you would think that this was said about Obama's executive orders, or even said by Obama himself. Wrong -- as Unruh eventually gets around to noting in the 17th paragraph of his article, the quote has nothing whatsoever to do with Obama -- it was reportedly said by Clinton presidential aide Paul Begala in 1998.

Then there's Unruh's scaremongering opening:

Barack Obama has used executive orders to seal presidential records; create a faith council, an economic council, and a domestic policy council, a council on women and girls and dozens more; study bioethics, change pay grades, set up a team of governors to synchronize state and federal military operations in the U.S.; improve regulatory review; create a jobs council; set up immunity for Bosnia, revoke some earlier orders and talk about finances. GASP!

And he’s used them to talk about fiscal responsibility, ensure abortions through Obamacare; review Guantanamo Bay operations; promote diversity; amend court-martial procedures; launch a national women action plan, talk about Syria, talk about North Korea, encourage efficient government, target transnational crime groups, promote efficient spending and many, many more. WHEW!

Now critics are saying that if it looks like he’s trying to run the country single-handedly, their perceptions aren’t far off.

Take the first part of that first paragraph: "Barack Obama has used executive orders to seal presidential records." In fact, the very first executive order Obama signed opened access to presidential records, by reversing an executive order issued under the Bush administration (and dating about to the Reagan presidency) that allowed heirs or designees to a deceased president to claim executive privilege to block release of documents. The new executive order limits such assertions of executive privilege to living former presidents.

The ostensible purpose of Unruh's article was to respond to a chain email claiming "Obama has issued 923 executive orders in three and a half years." He had to admit that the figure was false, but he was even dishonest about that.

First off, Unruh couldn't even come right out and state it was false, instead writing, "Experts told WND that while Obama’s pace is above some other presidents, the figure of more than 900 is unrealistic." Unruh uses only "unrealistic" and "debunked" -- but never the word "false" -- describe the claim.

Even the statement that "Obama’s pace is above some other presidents" is dishonest; his statistics show that Obama's yearly pace is below every single president since FDR, except for George W. Bush. Unruh then tried to discount that by claiming that they were "dealing with different circumstances."

From there, Unruh dropped a reference to " the far left-leaning FactCheck" without proving the claim, plugged Aaron Klein's "new hot-selling" anti-Obama book, and for no apparent reason threw in the video for an anti-Obama song by Ray Stevens.

It's hard to believe that Unruh once worked for the Associated Press, since this article -- not to mention much of his work for WND -- violates pretty much every journalistic principle he would have learned there.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT

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