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Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Quote of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Resurrect shame – deep, abiding disgrace. While you're at it, whatever became of the shotgun wedding? Bring back the pejorative "bastard." I don't like it; it's hurtful, but it had its uses. So does hurt. With hurt come hard-won insights. The prospect of bearing a bastard once forced a parent to think: Do I want my child to bear this burden? Do I want for myself the status of an unwed, untaught mother? Expel pregnant girls; don't cater to them and kit them out.

-- Ilana Mercer, June 27 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 5:47 PM EDT
WND's Kupelian Endorses McCain
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's secret pro-McCain agenda just got a lot less secret: In a July 2 column, WND managing editor David Kupelian endorses John McCain, declaring that "John McCain really needs to be elected president in November."

What does this mean? That Joseph Farah's claim that he will not help McCain get elected notwithstanding, WND will, in fact, be helping McCain get elected by keeping its hands-off policy on McCain intact -- after all, Kupelian isn't going to jeopardize the campaign of someone he believes "really needs to be elected president." It also means that WND's policy of repeated, misleading, and false attacks on Obama will continue apace and only intensify between now and the election.

Thank you, Mr. Kupelian, for formally declaring your allegiance. Now we know for sure that going forward, WND is to be considered a partisan political organization operating as an arm of the McCain campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:53 PM EDT
WND Endorses Dressing Like A Polygamist Cult Member
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is excited to inform you, the reader, that "Pastel prairie-style dresses, modest shirts, trousers, long underwear and nightgowns are just some of the new Fundamentalist LDS clothing now available at sensible prices for purchase online."

Sensible prices! Certainly WND likes that the best of all. Will we be seeing these fashions in the WND store in the near future?

While the article does note that "several critics claim the strict dress code is a means for men to control women," we've previously noted that none of those critics can be found at WND:

  • Joseph Farah insisted he was not "an apologist for this false religion," but was quick to add that "cults aren't illegal." Farah also baselessly declared that "mothers and fathers made conscious and well-informed decisions not to immunize their kids because of the potential for dire health risks" (not mentioning the health risks non-immunized children face) and that "there is no evidence being made public to suggest every single mother in the compound abused or neglected her children – or to suggest these poor kids would be better off with the state of Texas as their parent."
  • Columnist Ilana Mercer painted an idyllic picture of the cult as a place where children are "frolicking in the open air on a large compound, doing your daily chores and feasting on hearty homegrown fare" and lead "a sheltered, chaste life."

The WND article went on to note that "church members have been commended on their sewing abilities" and link to the FLDS website, where can be found "quotes from LDS Doctrine and Covenants instructing members to dress modestly."

All of this makes us wonder: Does Farah dress his five home-schooled daughters FLDS style?

This, by the way, is far from the first time WND has done a tete-a-tete with religious extremists. In 2006, for example, WND appeared to side with the odious Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, benignly describing family member Shirley Phelps-Roper as someone "who believes America's sinful behavior has resulted in God's cursings rather than blessings," as well as being "licensed to practice law in Kansas and before the U.S. Supreme Court."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EDT
CNS Misleads on Obama Staff Pay

A June 30 article by Fred Lucas begins:

While Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has vowed to make pay equity for women a top priority if elected president, an analysis of his Senate staff shows that women are outnumbered and out-paid by men.

That is in contrast to Republican presidential candidate John McCain's Senate office, where women, for the most part, out-rank and are paid more than men.

That's a false conflation of issues. Lucas provides no evidence that women in Obama's office are being paid less than men with the same amount of experience doing the same job -- which is what the issue of pay equity is all about. All Lucas did was compute the average pay for male staff vs. female staff.

Lucas also provides an incomplete account of the case of Lilly Ledbetter, whom the Supreme Court ruled against in a pay equity case. He wrote that "The court said that under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, an employee must sue within 180 days of a decision regarding pay if alleged discrimination is involved," but didn't note that the issue in the case was that Ledbetter didn't know of the pay disparity until 18 years after the initial decision was made.

Newsmax reprinted Lucas' article. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EDT
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For his 40th anti-Obama article (versus jsut one anti-mcCain article), WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein expands on his previous right-wing blog-trolling by listing more inflammatory things he claims to have found in the blog community on Barack Obama's website -- but burying the fact that "the website carries a disclaimer that it does not monitor all blog posts."

Meanwhile, WND is promoting Klein as "one of the premiere [sic] reporters on Barack Obama," who will spend his time on WND's Caribbean cruise explaining, among other things, "why Hamas endorses Obama." Any chance Klein will explain why he's using Hamas terrorists to smear Obama?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Ponte Responds to Clark's Non-Smear With Smear of Clark
Topic: Newsmax

In his June 30 Newsmax column, Lowell Ponte claimed that "a retired U.S. Army general who supports Barack Obama viciously attacked presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s military credentials."

Actually, no, Gen. Wesley Clark did not "viciously attack" John McCain, though you wouldn't know it from Ponte, who repeated Clark statement that "I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president" without providing the context in which he said it -- that Clark was specifically responding to CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer's statement that unlike McCain, Obama has not "ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down."

Ponte responded to Clark's statement that McCain "hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall" and has never “held executive responsibility” over troops in wartime" by asserting that "McCain dropped bombs on North Vietnam before being shot down and spending five years under torture as a prisoner of war" and "McCain, whose father and grandfather were U.S. Navy admirals, led the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy" -- neither of which disproves what Clark said.

Despite never proving that Clark's comments about McCain's military record were vicious or an attack, let alone factually inaccurate -- as well as neglecting to mention that Clark also said, "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands of millions of others in the Armed Forces as a prisoner of war" -- Ponte asserted that "the press needs to tell Americans who Gen. Wesley Clark really is" ... then launched into is own vicious attack on Clark.

Ponte called Clark's military career "not stellar" and steeped with "mediocrity" -- sneeringly adding, "Like Bill Clinton, Wesley Clark was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford" -- until, as commander of Texas' Fort Hood, he " 'lent' 17 pieces of armor and 15 active service personnel under his command to what became Clinton’s extermination of the Branch Davidians." Ponte added, "Immediately after he went along with the Clintons’ potentially-illegal weapons request for Waco, Wesley Clark’s flat, fading career began an incredible meteoric rise."

Ponte concludes by rehashing smears of Clark by David Hackworth, a now-deceased retired colonel who has had his own troubles -- running a brothel and gambling hall for his troops in Vietnam while allegedly facilitating a black market for military script, yet still managing to obtain an honorable discharge -- so perhaps he's not quite the person for Ponte to be citing.

Needless to say, Ponte's position that a presidential candidate's military record can't be criticized is a flip-flop from 2004, when he cozied up to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and denigrated Kerry's Vietnam service. (Ponte also thinks that Kerry's neckties are "a secret signal of support to the Muslim world.")

Posted by Terry K. at 5:27 PM EDT
More Anti-Planned Parenthood Bias At CNS

A July 1 article by Andrew Tashjian and Michael Gryboski features "black pro-life leaders" attacking Planned Parenthood. The authors quote five different pro-lifers but make no apparent attempt to contact Planned Parenthood for a response; they merely spend two paragraphs of their 24-paragraph article quoting from Planned Parenthood's website.

This follows in CNS' longtime reporting bias against Planned Parenthood, devoting space to lengthy attacks on it while not giving the group any meaningful opportunity to respond.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

An appearance by the MRC's Tim Graham on the June 29 edition of "The O'Reilly Factor" follows the template: Graham appears solo, and neither he nor the MRC are identified as conservative.

In the segment, Graham baselessly asserts that Barack Obama is somehow linked to a Chicago Tribune editorial arguing for a repeal of the Second Amendment:

GRAHAM: I think he needs to be asked this question. I think the news media ought to say, "Your hometown newspaper has now suggested the Second Amendment should now be repealed. Do you agree with the Chicago Tribune?" And let him denounce the Chicago Tribune. We'd like to see that happen. But , yeah, clearly, Obama's position is definitely involved.

How, exactly, is Obama's position on guns "involved" with what a newspaper chooses to put on its editorial page? Graham doesn't say.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:39 AM EDT
CNS Smears Dems on Social Security

A July 1 article by Susan Jones begins: "It must be an election year, because Democrats are once again raising the Social Security issue to scare older Americans."

By contrast, we're pretty sure Jones has never begun an article by writing, "It must be an election year, because Republicans are once again raising the issue of terrorism to scare Americans."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EDT
WND Thinks Obama Worships Hindu Idol
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's smears of Barack Obama don't just come from Aaron Klein; they appear in unbylined articles as well, like a June 27 article headlined, "Is Obama devotee of monkey-god idol?"

The actual article doesn't follow the headline's suggestion that Obama worships a "monkey-god idol" -- Obama merely carries "a smaller version of the Lord Hanuman good-luck charm" with him. Lord Hanuman, WND writes, is a "Hindu monkey-god idol."

The article curiously fails to mention what else Obama carries around with him for luck. They include a bracelet belonging to an American soldier deployed in Iraq, a gambler's lucky chit, a and a tiny Madonna and child.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EDT
When Auto-Replace Goes Hilariously Wrong
Topic: The ConWeb

From the Arkansas Blog:

The nutty American Family Association, not busy enough censoring TV programs and such, has programmed its OneNewsNow website, including news searches, to replace the word "gay" in every use with homosexual.

You know where this is going don't you? Don't believe me? Actual search result here, with lead paragraph from top item.

Homosexual breaks Greene's US record in 100 at trials

Jun 29, 2008 ... Tyson Homosexual got quite a fright in his first race Saturday. He set a record in his second. Homosexual broke Maurice Greene's American ...

For those of you who don't read the sports pages: The reference is to Tyson Gay, the former UA sprinter, who just ran the fastest 100 meters ever.

UPDATE: The Washington Post talks to OneNewsNow news director, who says, "We don't object to the word 'gay' " except "when it refers to people who practice a homosexual lifestyle." And the "G" word has "been co-opted by a particular group of people." But numerous words have been co-opted over the centuries; why focus on un-co-opting this particular one?

That's an argument we've heard before. The Washington Times used to claim that the reason it wouldn't use "gay" was to fight "against Orwellian abuse of the English language" and for "preservation of the language." (The Times has since changed its policy and is now using"gay" like everyone else does.)

In the ConWeb, generally refuses to use the word "gay," and WorldNetDaily uses it only in scare quotes. Neither have publicly explained their reasons for doing so. 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 1, 2008 11:27 PM EDT
Monday, June 30, 2008
Slanted Newsmax Headline Watch
Topic: Newsmax

The Associated Press' headline on a June 29 article: "Clark: McCain lacks command experience."

Newsmax's headline on that same AP article: "Gen. Wesley Clark Denigrates McCain's Heroism."

Newsmax doesn't explain how Clark's statement -- as quoted in the article -- that "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war" is a "denigration" of McCain's "heroism."

UPDATE: Newsmax also doesn't explain why it has posted a second version of the AP article with the less biased, more accurate headline "Clark: McCain a Hero, but Lacks Command Experience." The other version remains posted.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:08 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 30, 2008 10:59 PM EDT
AIM, Newsmax Gloat Over Hatfill Settlement
Topic: Accuracy in Media

A June 29 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid unsurprisingly praised the U.S. government's multimillion-dollar settlement with Steven Hatfill, whom it had identified as a "person of interest" in the 2001 anthrax attacks but has since cleared of any connection with them. Kincaid has long championed Hatfill's cause.

But Kincaid goes a bit overboard (as he is prone to do) when he declared, "There was never any evidence indicating that Hatfill is anything other than a patriot who tried to help America prepare for the terrorist attacks that were blamed on him." That's not exactly true; as we've noted, Hatfill was involved with training members of the pro-apartheid, neo-nazi Afrikaner Resistance Movement in the 1990s -- not exactly a patriot kind of thing to do.

Newsmax similarly gloats in a June 29 article, declaring that "Newsmax is also vindicated for rising to Hatfill’s defense, having been almost alone among the media in digging out the facts about the infamous anthrax attacks that killed five Americans in 2001." It added that "In a series of articles, including our correspondent Phil Brennan’s 'The Crucifixion of Steven Hatfill,' we told the whole story."

If the "whole story" includes a dollop of hypocrisy, then yeah.

While Brennan rails against "the conspiratorial fantasies of politically motivated left-wing academics and their liberal media stooges" in his article, he paints his own conspiratorial fantasy that victimized Hatfill. On his list were biological arms control expert "Dr. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg and her left-wing colleagues," as well as the "out-of-control and pitifully incompetent" FBI.

The June 29 Newsmax article went on to state: "Instead of joining the rest of the media in doling out leaks from the FBI and presenting them as facts, Newsmax took the trouble to dig into the case and reveal the real story to the public." As opposed, say, its reporting on the Clintons.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:32 PM EDT
CNS Ignores McCain's Flip-Flop on Immigration

A June 30 article by Terry Jeffrey reported on John McCain's speech before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, in which he claimed that comprehensive immigration reform is his "top priority -- yesterday, today and tomorrow." Jeffrey went on to note that "In 2006, McCain worked with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) to ensure passage in the Senate of a 'comprehensive' immigration reform bill that would have given illegal aliens a path to citizenship while allowing 200,000 new 'guest workers' to enter the country each year."

But Jeffrey's emphasis on McCain position supporting comprehensive immigration reform ignores the fact that he has spent the past several months running away from that position: During a Jan. 30 debate, McCain said he wouldn't support for the McCain-Kennedy bill if it came up for a vote on the House floor.

So what we have here is a flip-flop -- actually, a flip-flop-flip -- from McCain that Jeffrey didn't call him on. The beginning of uncritical coverage for McCain on CNS? We'll see.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 PM EDT
Huston Discovers Subtext
Topic: NewsBusters

Warner Todd Huston is having another fit.

This time, in a June 28 NewsBusters post, he has decided that the Washington Post has "penned an attack on Free Republic." How so? By pointing out that "Freepers are to blame, if not initially responsible, for floating the Barack-is-a-Muslim chain email that so many millions of Americans have found in their email boxes over the last four years." But Huston never disproves that Freepers did, in fact, play a role in forwarding the bogus Barack-is-a-Muslim claims. How can the truth be an attack?

Because there's subtext! Huston repeats an assertion by National Review's Byron York that "the article has a pretty clear subtext, and it is that the exchange of such information on the Internet should be controlled." Of course, being subtext, you can pretty much make up whatever it purportedly is. And people like Huston will swallow it without question -- even as Huston complains that the Post didn't question what was told to it about the Freepers.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT

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