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Thursday, May 1, 2008
More Dishonesty From Matt Barber

Remember how professional gay-basher Matt Barber likes to spread lies and misinformation about gays? Well, here's another example.

We've previously noted the gay-bashing ("Homophobia: the rational fear that 'gay sex' will kill you!") in a Barber op-ed reprinted a couple weeks ago by and WorldNetDaily. Barber also wrote:

To the consternation of "gay" activist flat-earthers and homosexual AIDS holocaust deniers everywhere, one such study, conducted by pro-"gay" researchers in Canada, was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, or IJE, in 1997.

While the medical consensus is that smoking knocks from two to 10 years off an individual's life expectancy, the IJE study found that homosexual conduct shortens the lifespan of "gays" by an astounding "8 to 20 years" – more than twice that of smoking.

"[U]nder even the most liberal assumptions," concluded the study, "gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871. … [L]ife expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men."

As blogger Jon Rowe points out, this study took place before newer medications for AIDS victims were introduced. Further, the authors of that IJE study issued an update in 2001:

[I]t appears that our research is being used by select groups in US and Finland to suggest that gay and bisexual men live an unhealthy lifestyle that is destructive to themselves and to others. These homophobic groups appear more interested in restricting the human rights of gay and bisexuals rather than promoting their health and well being.

The aim of our research was never to spread more homophobia, but to demonstrate to an international audience how the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men can be estimated from limited vital statistics data.


In contrast, if we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved. Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996. As we have previously reported there has been a threefold decrease in mortality in Vancouver as well as in other parts of British Columbia.

This update is mentioned nowhere in Barber's op-ed. Indeed, we find nowhere on the CWA website where Barber or any other CWA official notes the 2001 update (though there are plenty of references to the original 1997 study).

Who's surprised? We're not. After all, CWA hired Barber knowing what it was getting, which makes the entire organization just as intellectually dishonest as Barber.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:21 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 1, 2008 6:25 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ed Brayton details the lies and distortions in an April 15 WorldNetDaily article on a custody case involving lesbian parents. Add this to the long list of such falsehoods WND won't be correcting anytime soon.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
Disclosure Missing In Intra-Conservative Attack Over McCarthy
Topic: Accuracy in Media

When Ronald Kessler wrote an April 7 column criticizing his fellow conservatives for their revisionist history on Joe McCarthy, we wondered how his buddies would take it. Not well, it appears.

An April 29 Accuracy in Media column by Wes Vernon bashes a retooled version of Kessler's column, which appeared in the April 22 Wall Street Journal. Vernon called Kessler's claims "well wide of the mark" and an effort to "distort and beat down history." Vernon claimed at one point, "That so many wildly inaccurate assertions would appear in just this one article is breathtaking."

Missing from Vernon's column is a little disclosure: He is the former Washington correspondent for Newsmax, a job currently held by Kessler. Is there maybe a little professional jealousy at work here?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 PM EDT
Kessler's Conversion to McCain-Fluffer Almost Complete
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler is completing his transition from Romney-fluffing to McCain-fluffing. From his April 30 Newsmax column:

In contrast to its suppression of what [Rev. Jeremiah] Wright said at the press club, the Times ran a 1,397-word story over the weekend insinuating that there was something improper in the fact that the beer distributorship owned by McCain’s wife Cindy has provided his campaign with a jet plane at low cost. The story never answered the question, So what? 

Kessler apparently didn't read the article:

Given Senator John McCain’s signature stance on campaign finance reform, it was not surprising that he backed legislation last year requiring presidential candidates to pay the actual cost of flying on corporate jets. The law, which requires campaigns to pay charter rates when using such jets rather than cheaper first-class fares, was intended to reduce the influence of lobbyists and create a level financial playing field.

But over a seven-month period beginning last summer, Mr. McCain’s cash-short campaign gave itself an advantage by using a corporate jet owned by a company headed by his wife, Cindy McCain, according to public records. For five of those months, the plane was used almost exclusively for campaign-related purposes, those records show.


Because that exemption remains, Mr. McCain’s campaign was able to use his wife’s corporate plane like a charter jet while paying first-class rates, several campaign finance experts said. Several of those experts, however, added that his campaign’s actions, while keeping with the letter of law, did not reflect its spirit.

The "so what?" Kessler seems to have missed: McCain's a hypocrite. He refused to follow a law he supported. 

How does Kessler square his newfound sycophancy of McCain with his previous hatred of the guy? Probably because that's what he's being paid to do.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 AM EDT
New Article: A Tale of Two Falsehoods
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah is quick to demand a retraction and apology for an incorrect claim made about him -- but WND typically takes months or even years to correct the false claims it makes, when it bothers to correct them at all. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EDT
CNS Ignores Peter Paul's Felonious History

An April 29 article by Fred Lucas rehashed once more "Hollywood businessman" Peter Paul's lawsuit against the Clintons but failed to mention Paul's long felonious history. This is suprising (or maybe not), since Lucas has previously (if incompletely) noted Paul's rap sheet.

Lucas also uncritically passes along Paul's spin:

Paul has said the motivation for his lawsuit was to provide compensation for his business. However, he said he also oped the lawsuit would expose the illegal fundraising as well, which he believes law enforcement has ignored.

Lucas doesn't mention that the "business" for which he wants to provide "compensation" -- Stan Lee Media, for which Paul no longer works -- is the same one in which he orchestrated a $25 million stock-manipulation scheme, to which he pleaded guilty. Lucas also doesn't mention that another motivating factor in Paul's pursuit of his lawsuit is a desire to reduce his sentence on the stock-fraud charge.

Lucas also never asks the obvious question: If one of Paul's main motivations is to "expose the illegal fundraising," why hasn't Paul been charged with illegal fundraising? Or is his Clinton lawsuit a way to keep that from happening?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Is WND Rooting for Riots Over Book Cover?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously noted that the only reason for WorldNetDaily to put an image of the prophet Muhammad on the cover of its new WND-published book "Why We Left Islam" is to be provocative (and, of course, boost sales of the book over the ensuing controversy). Indeed, WND is practically begging for Muslims to riot over the cover, and it makes the point that it's the first U.S. book to put Muhammed on the cover every chance it gets.

From an April 29 WND article promoting the book:

Could CAIR's attacks of the book and its Muhammad cover incite a violent reaction? In Muslim countries around the world, mullahs and government officials have demanded that books dealing harshly with Islam be banned and their authors condemned to death. In 2006, the infamous Danish cartoons lampooning Muhammad instigated riots.


"If Muslims rioted around the world after a Danish newspaper published a political cartoon making fun of Muhammad, what will they do in response to this book?" wonders [WND editor Joseph] Farah, himself a former Middle East correspondent of Lebanese and Syrian ancestry.

Shorter WND: Pleeeeeeze can there a violent reaction to our hatchet-job book? Pretty pleeeeeze?

Posted by Terry K. at 5:57 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 6:00 PM EDT
CNS Channels RNC

An April 29 article by Susan Jones regurgitates the Republican National Committee's attacks on an ad by the Democratic National Committee highlighting John McCain's statement that the U.S. needs to maintain a military presence in Iraq for "maybe a hundred" years. Jones not only fails to give the DNC an opportunity to respond to the attack, she also ignores that McCain has flip-flopped on the idea of a military presence in Iraq based on its presence in Korea.

After repeating McCain's statement from the New Hampshire town hall meeting from which his "maybe a hundred" statement claim that "we've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea for 50 years or so," Jones adds, "McCain repeatedly has clarified that he does not foresee 100 years of U.S. combat in Iraq -- just a lengthy post-war troop presence."

In fact, on the Nov. 27, 2007, edition of PBS' "Charlie Rose," McCain was asked by Rose if South Korea "is an analogy of where Iraq might be ... in terms of an American presence over the next, say, 20, 25 years, that we will have a significant amount of troops there." McCain replied, "I don't think so." Rose then asked: "Even if there are no casualties?" McCain replied, "No. But I can see an American presence for a while. But eventually I think because of the nature of the society in Iraq and the religious aspects of it that America eventually withdraws."

Isn't that flip-flop newsworthy to Jones and CNS? Doesn't that, as well as the DNC's response to the RNC's complaints that Jones failed to obtain, fall under CNS' stated mission to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story"? Regurgitating press releases is a pretty sure sign that you're not.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT
WND Touts Shoebat, Ignores Controversy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 29 WorldNetDaily article touts WND founder Joseph Farah's appearance at the Southern California Strategic Perspectives Conference in May. It also touts the appearance of other speakers, including Walid Shoebat, who it described as having "participated in acts of terror and violence against Israel" and led a "life of violence and rioting in Bethlehem and the Temple Mount" before "realiz[ing] that everything he had been taught about Jews was a lie."

The article makes no mention of the growing controversy surrounding Shoebat's claims to have been a terrorist -- even his own relatives doubt the claim. Shoebat has even bizarrely threatened libel lawsuits against those who report that he wasn't a terrorist.

That's particularly ironic, because the theme of Farah's talk at the conference is "What the 'news' is not telling you." 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 AM EDT
WND Still Won't Report Homeschoolers' History of Abuse
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 29 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh on the California homeschooling court case controversy stepped gingerly once again around the issue of the dysfunctional family at the center of the case.

Unruh stated only that "The original opinion arose from a dependency case brought in juvenile court." But as we've documented, Unruh and WND have long refused to tell readers the details of the family at the center of the case -- specifically, that the father has a long history of abusing his children while the mother stood passively by, as documented by the dependency court. Further, the dependency court has documented the shoddy home education the parents were providing the children.

Given WND's longtime salaciousness toward sexual matters in public schools, its squeamishness about delving into the sordid details here is a little odd. But as we've previously noted, Unruh and WND are apparently willing to condone child abuse in the name of protecting homeschooling from its perceived enemies.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 1:51 AM EDT
Trippany Pleased That BBC Echoes Conservative Smears of Hillary
Topic: NewsBusters

An April 29 NewsBusters post by Terry Trippany states: "The mainstream media types appear to have turned on Hillary Clinton as of late, with the BBC likening her to the knife wielding Alex Forest played by Glen Close in the 1987 movie Fatal Attraction." Trippany then called the smear a "breakthrough."

What Trippany doesn't mention is that the "Fatal Attraction" smear of Hillary originiated on her side of the aisle, with conservative Monica Crowley and conservative-leaning Andrew Sullivan both peddling it earlier this year. So why shouldn't she be happy that the smear has migrated to a wider audience?

We suspect that Trippany is absolutely ecstatic that an NPR reporter also joined in repeating the smear. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Farah Sorta Defends Polygamist Cult -- Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's quasi-defense of the polygamist cult in Texas continues in his April 29 column, in which he again tries to change the subject from sex crimes to government overreach.

While insisting that "I don't approve of this cult. I don't approve of polygamy. I don't approve of child brides," Farah again seems willing to condone it all, claiming, "The chances are very good there would be more evidence of child sexual abuse in government schools than has been produced at the Yearning for Zion Ranch."  He listed such benign evidence previously made public about the cult, such as "disturbed bed linens" and "12 of the kids have chicken pox" without mentioning a story on WND's own front page: that 31 of the 53 teenage girls in the cult that the state took into custody either have been or currently are pregnant.

Farah then rattles off some statistics:

According to the experts, 62 percent of girls are sexually abused by the age of 18 – outside the YFZ Ranch.

According to the experts, 31 percent of boys are sexually abused by the age of 18 – outside the YFZ Ranch.

According to the experts, most rape victims are under 12 years old – outside the YFZ Ranch.

Huh? Who are these "experts" Farah is citing? He doesn't say. Perhaps because they don't exist.

According to the National Institute of Justice, one out of three females and one out of five males have been victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18 years; among females, almost 30 percent of all forcible rapes occur before the age of 11 years. All of these numbers are much lower than the ones from Farah's "experts."

Farah claims to "believe in the rule of law" and not to "approve of polygamy." But polygamy is against the law in all U.S. states. Therefore, on that count alone he should be applauding the breakup of a polygamist cult. But he's not.

Why? As we previously theorized, Farah is willing to condone the abuse of the cult's children to prove a larger point about parental rights, just as he has turned a blind eye to the abused children in the California family at the center of a homeschooling lawsuit WND has turned into a cause celebre.

Which is to say, he doesn't actually believe in the rule of law after all. 

Posted by Terry K. at 10:12 AM EDT
WND Mag's Hillary Hatchet Job
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On the heels of its smear job on Barack Obama, WorldNetDaily's Whistleblower magazine lets its Hillary-hate flag fly in its latest issue, unsubtly titled "Queen of Darkness." Setting the tone, Hillary is likened to the "malevolent cyborg" in "The Terminator," and WND managing editor David Kupelian asserts that "Hillary Clinton is a pathologically lying chameleon for whom nothing is sacred but her own aggrandizement."

But most of the Whistleblower attacks appear to be little more than warmed-over hatchet jobs from the '90s and before:

  • "Clintons to face fraud trial" by Art Moore, documenting a little-publicized scandal currently plaguing both Bill and Hillary

This appears to be another rehashing of the Peter Paul case. Moore is a longtime Paul sycophant, and don't expect him to be any more honest about Paul's long criminal history than he has in the past (which is to say, not honest at all).

  • "Hillary's 'fraudulent' Watergate brief" by Art Moore, on revelations Hillary Clinton was fired years ago for allegedly colluding with the Kennedys against Nixon

This is presumably about Jerry Zeifman's Hillary-bashing claims. Will Moore tell his readers that Zeifman's current assertion that he fired Hillary from the Watergate committee staff -- his central claim here -- contradicts his 1998 assertion that he didn't have the power to fire Hillary?

  • "The real story behind the Clinton body count" by New York Times best-selling author Richard Poe 

This is how desperate WND is to smear Hillary -- the discredited Clinton body count is back. This appears to be Poe's 2005 WND article on the subject; we noted at the time that Poe, a longtime Clinton conspiracy-monger, conveniently ignores exculpatory evidence.

  • "Hitler, Stalin ... and Clinton?" A New York Post poll ranked Bill and Hillary among the most evil in history 

Another whiff of desperation. This hoary smear dates all the way back to 1999. WND is treating a gamed opt-in poll on the website of a conservative newspaper as gospel. Godwin's law lives! 

It's difficult to be outraged when WND has to dig so deep and so desperately for smears. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EDT
Accuracy in Academia Responds, Sorta
Topic: Accuracy in Media

We're probably a little behind the curve on this, but we just noticed what passes for a response by Accuracy in Academia to our item detailing how AIA's Malcolm Kline selectively quoted from a Gallup poll about academic bias in order to bolster his own views. Here it is in its entirety, from AIA's front page:

David Brock protégé Terry Krepel takes issue with Accuracy in Academia executive director Mal Kline’s take on the Cold War on Campus.

That's it. No attempt to defend, justify, explain or even apologize -- you'd think that an organization focused on academia would respond with something, you know, academic -- just a dismissal of the criticism as coming from a "David Brock protégé" (never mind the fact that ConWebWatch was founded four years before the creation of Media Matters).

Furthering the evasiveness, AIA didn't even bother to link to the actual post. Rather, it links to a Technorati page that excerpts only a portion of it and doesn't exactly direct readers to the original (there's a link, but it's not obvious that it's clickable).

Between Kline's original, misleading article and this evasive response, we have to wonder how AIA gets taken seriously. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EDT
FrontPageMag: McCain Can't Be Criticized Because He's A Veteran
Topic: Horowitz

Dan Rabkin's April 24 FrontPageMag article is a laughably overbroad attack against the New York Times, which he claims "has now run two front-page articles smearing American war heroes."

The first, according to Rabkin, was a February story that "attempted to brand Sen. John McCain a philandering, lobbyist-bedding, crook." Rabki ncalled it a "a low-grade attack on a decorated veteran" that "was a revealing demonstration of its deep-seated contempt for the military." But the article did not address McCain's military service beyond a single description of him as a "Vietnam war hero." What Rabkin appears to be saying is that decorated military veterans in politics should not be criticized at all. Yet he writes for a website that repeatedly attacked a "decorated veteran" who ran for president in 2004. Where's his criticism of that?

The second Times article Rabkin objects to is the recent story that, in Rabkin's words, "suggests that dozens of 'decorated war heroes' are simply a 'media Trojan horse' – puppets of the Defense Department who only support the war because they are profiting from it." Rabkin takes on logical leaps from there, claiming that "Indeed, these military veterans’ biggest sin, in the paper’s eyes, seems to be their voicing displeasure with the liberal media establishment personified by the New York Times." and adding, "Equally contemptible to the Times is that these military men have sided with their government in a time of war."

Rabkin finally concludes: "If you support your nation in a time of war, you are doing the Pentagon’s dirty work. American military veterans deserve more respect for their years of committed service." But we see no evidence that he thinks John Kerry deserves respect for his years of committed service, since he writes for a website that tried to discredit said service. After all, if mere criticism of military service is his threshold -- as Rabkin seems to be claiming here -- then he must defend Kerry as he has McCain.

Who the heck is Dan Rabkin, anyway? According to his end-of-column bio, he claims to be "a Middle Eastern Affairs and National Security analyst based in Toronto, Canada. He was Canada’s 2005 Governor General’s Medalist." No further details are offered about where, if anywhere beyond op-ed pieces, he does his analyzing. And what's that "Canada’s 2005 Governor General’s Medalist" thingie? That's apparently an award given to, as this University of Windsor writeup of Rabkin's award details, "the undergraduate student with the highest academic ranking in his graduating class," where he "receive[d] an A+ in every one of his 40 courses." And it was a "Silver Medal," which the Governor General's office describes as being for undergraduate students.

In other words, he's just a fairly recent college grad spouting enough right-wing talking points to get some cheap praise from the likes of the Horowitz empire.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EDT

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