WorldNetDaily hereby retracts its Dec. 3, 2004, article titled "College concert for terror-supporting charity," about a California-based charity organization, Islamic Relief. WorldNetDaily regrets any adverse consequences caused by this publication to Islamic Relief and its worldwide founder, Dr. Hanny Al Banna.
Why did WND retract that article? The retraction doesn't say; instead it offers details about the humanitarian activites of Islamic Relief. But the story was written by Aaron Klein and began this way:
Nova Southeastern University is hosting a fundraising concert Saturday for an Islamic charity that has reportedly been under investigation for accepting a contribution from a front group for Al-Qaida and is connected to several organizations that support terrorism. Pending performers include a vocal supporter of the terrorist group Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
This is the second story WND has retracted in the past two months. More on this next week on ConWebWatch.
Getting It Wrong: Kerry's Form 180 Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a June 9 WorldNetDaily article, longtime Kerry-basher and bigot Jerome Corsi (whom WND once again failed to note was also a WND columnist and a WND-published author) falsely claimed that John Kerry didn't sign a Standard Form 180 releasing his military records.
The SF 180, Corsi claimed, is "a blanket release of documents to the American public," Corsi said. "This is not a Standard Form 180 procedure. I think he just called up the Navy and told them to send documents to the Boston Globe. I want to see the form posted on his website."
In fact, as Media Matters notes, a veteran can designate limits on access to his military records through SF 180, as Kerry apparently did by limiting access to the Boston Globe. Blanket access can also be granted.
The WND article also quotes John O'Neill of the discredited Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claiming that Kerry's release of records to the Globe "is not the full disclosure sought by critics of his Vietnam war record" and that "Kerry allowed Globe reporter Michael Kranish to obtain documents only from the Navy Department" and not from the the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.
In fact, a Navy spokesman told the New York Sun that the released records do indeed come from the St. Louis center and are "the whole record."
Getting It Wrong: Clinton's 'Values' Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com senior staff writer Marc Morano misleadingly described an award given to former President Bill Clinton in a June 9 article.
From the article's first paragraph:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) reached out to MTV's Rock the Vote Wednesday night, accepting the group's "Rock the Nation" award while former President Bill Clinton was honored for his "values."
The article's headline also claimed, "Clinton Honored for 'Values'," and Morano turned self-referential later in the article by describing what happened "[w]hen Cybercast News Service asked [former congressman Jack] Kemp how he felt about co-chairing an event honoring Clinton's 'values'."
But Clinton was not honored for his "values." As Morano himself wrote elsewhere in the article, he was given a "Lifetime Achievement" award, meant to "honor an individual who has always made reaching out to people and appealing to their values a primary part of his efforts to make the world a better place." The award refers to the values of voters, not of Clinton.
Morano also made note of what he called "Rock the Vote's overwhelmingly liberal agenda," which seemed to be belied by the presence of Republicans such as Kemp, McCain and Sen. Norm Coleman, and an honor given to "[t]he anti-war band, Black Eyed Peas."
Update: When You Assume... Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com continues to play up the assumption that Democrats act only out of crass political motives. From a June 9 article by Susan Jones:
A Democrat strategist says there's no reason for Democrats to compromise on President Bush's Social Security plan, not only because Democrats believe the plan is bad for the nation -- but because it could be the issue that inspires voters to return control of Congress to the Democrats.
By contrast, elsewhere in the article, Jones depicts President Bush as showing leadership for pointing out that "the current Social Security system is a looming problem for younger Americans."
New Article: Just Like Old Times Topic: The ConWeb
A pair of new books allow the ConWeb to engage in a couple of its favorite activities: bashing the Clintons and failing to tell the full truth about the bashers. Read more.
The CNS Slant Topic: CNSNews.com
More anti-liberal slant from CNSNews.com. From a June 8 story by Susan Jones about Bush judicial nominee Janice Rogers Brown:
Liberals accuse Brown of being "hostile" to civil rights and many other elements of the liberal agenda.
The story mostly quotes a black conservative, Jesse Lee Peterson (we thought WorldNetDaily had a lock on running Peterson's press releases), but doesn't describe his praise of Brown as being supportive of a "conservative agenda."
Jones offers no elaboration of what this "liberal agenda" is, beyond the ruling that civil rights is now, apparently, exclusively a "liberal" cause, not a conservative one.
Back Into WND's Anti-Kerry Matrix Topic: WorldNetDaily
Search for the words "Kerry form 180" in WorldNetDaily's archive, and you'll get back 15 stories, nearly all of them whacking John Kerry for not signing the Standard Form 180 to officially release his military records. Example: "It's way past time for my colleagues in the news media to join me in calling on Kerry to execute Standard Form 180," Joseph Farah wrote in a Aug. 16, 2004 column.
But now that Kerry has indeed signed the form and those records have been released, how does WND treat the story? It buries it. Why? Because nearly all of the records had already been released by Kerry.
Instead, in a June 7 story, WND focuses on another story that came out at the same time about Kerry's grades at Yale. The headline: "Kerry: Dunce is not enough." Buried in that story is the note: "[T]he military and medical records released appear identical to what Kerry has already released."
This continues WND's hate campaign against Kerry. It would much rather make fun of his college grades than apologize for spreading conspiacy theories about his previous refusal to sign the form.
Update: A Hillary-Basher and His Book Topic: Newsmax
A June 7 NewsMax article recaps its June 5 "Insider Report" promotion and excerpt of Ed Klein's upcoming Hillary-bashing book. Conspicuous by its absence: Any mention of Klein's false claim, which was in the "Insider Report," that Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan never said Hillary Clinton's name during a speech at his farm announcing her candidacy for his Senate seat.
UPDATE: Media Matters finds more factual errors in Klein's book. And a June 7 column by NewsMax's John LeBoutillier fails to note Klein's errors, noting that "Ed Klein and I are friends" and insisting that "none of the dozens of biographies of Hillary Clinton have ever been as well-researched as this one."
Getting It Wrong: Downing Street Memo Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax has gotten the orders from headquarters: Discredit the Downing Street Memo and anyone touting it. But would it hurt for them get their facts straight?
A June 3 article, headlined "Kerry Touts Bush Impeachment Memo," starts:
Failed presidential candidate John Kerry said Thursday that he intends to confront Congress with a document touted by critics of President Bush as evidence that he committed impeachable crimes by falsifying evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
But as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann points out, there was no mention of impeachment in the story NewsMax claimed to pull its Kerry quotes from, a small paper in Massachusetts. From there, it appears that Al-Jazeera picked it up and amped up the alleged impeachment call -- which actually came from Ralph Nader in a May 31 Boston Globe op-ed cited elsewhere in NewsMax's article.
The story calls the memo "largely ignored in the U.S. outside of rabid anti-Bush Web sites like MichaelMoore.com."
Then, in a June 5 article, NewsMax faithfully reproduces the claim of Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman calling "the memo's claims 'discredited,' noting that at least two previous U.S. investigations have probed the claims that Bush fabricated pre-war intelligence."
Getting It Wrong: A Hillary-Basher And His Book Topic: Newsmax
A June 5 item in NewsMax's e-mail-only "Insider Report" not only forwards misleading information about Ed Klein, author of a new book called "The Truth About Hillary," an excerpt from Klein's book is factually inaccurate as well.
The "Insider Report" cites NewsMax's John LeBoutillier as saying that compared to other Hillary-related tomes, "none of the dozens of biographies of Hillary Clinton have ever been as well-researched as this one," adding: "Nor have any of them been written by a professional journalist with such impeccable credentials."
And what are those credentials paraded by author Ed Klein? LeBoutillier says that Klein "comes from the bastion of the liberal, so-called 'mainstream media.' Klein has worked for the most liberal publications in the United States."
NewsMax and LeBoutillier fail to note, as Media Matters does, that Klein left one of those "liberal publications" -- the New York Times Magazine, where he was editor in chief for several years in the 1980s -- under an ethical cloud in the wake of inaccurate reporting that occurred under Klein's watch. Additionally, Klein's books on the Kennedy family -- described by NewsMax as "well-researched books based on interviews with people who knew the principals involved" -- rely heavily on anonymous sources and questionable armchair psychoanalysis.
The NewsMax item also includes a preview of the book, an anecdote claiming that when Hillary announced her candidacy for the New York Senate seat of Daniel Patrick Moynihan at Moynihan's farm, he "never uttered Hillary's name -- not even once -- during this event."
That's wrong, too. Moynihan said her name several times, as Media Matters also notes.
New Article: Suddenly, Motives Matter Topic: The ConWeb
The MRC was aghast that anyone would question the motives of Clinton's accusers. Now, it's equally aghast that Mark Felt's motives aren't being questioned enough. Plus: a rundown of the ConWeb's efforts to engage in Watergate revisionism. Read more.
Getting It Wrong: 9th Circuit Reversals Topic: CNSNews.com
In a June 3 CNSNews.com commentary arguing that "It really doesn't matter what the subject matter is, the word compromise spells disaster for conservatives. ... 'Compromise' always positions to the left," Frank Salvato writes:
Here's a fact: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is loaded with some of the most liberal judges in the history of the US judiciary. Their verdicts are consistently the most overturned of any court in the nation, the size of their district considered.
Here's an actual fact: In the 2002-03 Supreme Court term, the reveral rate of the 9th Circuit was fifth lowest of the 13 federal appeals court circuits. Additionally, "the size of their district" is an irrevelant measure of a judicial district's reversal rates.
Another quote from Salvato's column: "Little Susie used to learn how to conjugate a verb. She is now learning how to apply condoms to cucumbers." Salvato did not provide an example of a school where grammar classes have been discontinued in favor of sex education.
AIM: Felt's Not Deep Throat Topic: Accuracy in Media
From a June 3 column by Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid:
History professor Joan Hoff of Montana State University, an expert on the Watergate scandal, finds it interesting that Bob Woodward is claiming that he had a close relationship with former FBI official Mark Felt, now identified as Deep Throat, when Felt suffers from serious health problems, including dementia, and can't deny it. "It's just like when he said he interviewed [former CIA director Bill] Casey when Casey was comatose," she says.
Kincaid goes on to impugn the motives of Felt and the Washington Post's Bob Woodward; alleges a "conspiracy behind the Watergate conspiracy"; cites another author, Len Colodny, co-author of a book called 'Silent Coup,' which Kincaid describes as being "about the 'removal' of President Nixon," and who also thinks Felt isn't Deep Throat; and quotes Hoff calling the naming of Deep Throat "an orchestrated publicity stunt on the part of the Post and Woodward" because Woodward plans to publish his own book on Felt.
Kincaid says nothing about the crimes that were uncovered in Watergate and the people who went to prison for them.
Just Askin' Topic: CNSNews.com
Given that CNSNews.com has a reporter, Susan Jones, who repeated the false statement that "filibusters have never been applied to judicial nominations until President Bush took office" in twostorieson the same day (and at least one other time), shouldn't CNS be going a little easier on Democratic strategist Donna Brazile for making minor errors in mathematics and the number of a Bible verse?
New Article: When You Assume... Topic: CNSNews.com
New on ConWebWatch: CNSNews.com believes Democrats act only for purely political reasons, an assumption it refuses to make about Republicans. Read more.