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Wednesday, July 9, 2008
More Catholic-Bashing At WND?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 9 WorldNetDaily article begins this way: "A student at the University of Central Florida says he's now getting death threats after he stole and later returned a wafer representing the 'Body of Christ' from a Catholic Mass in Orlando." The article includes a strident statement from the Catholic League's Bill Donohue: "For a student to disrupt Mass by taking the Body of Christ hostage – regardless of the alleged nature of his grievance – is beyond hate speech."

Is WND trying to paint Catholics as violent bigots? It would seem so; the article quotes a friend as saying, "I was kind of confused because I always thought that Jesus was a pacifist, and they're using violence in order to get back the body of a pacifist." And also note that WND put "Body of Christ" in scare quotes; that would seem to be a belittling of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, which means the communion wafer is not "representing the 'Body of Christ'" as the WND article claims -- it is the Body of Christ.

As we've noted, the evangelical Protestants at WND have some issues with Catholicism.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EDT
What Is Israel Insider?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Desperate for any sliver of conspiracy to attack Barack Obama and boost John McCain, WorldNetDaily has renewed its previous attention to speculation that a birth certificate for Obama is not real.

A July 8 WND article repeats so-called "investigative work" by the website Israel Insider that the birth certificate "lack[s] authenticity." WND offers no information about what Israel Insider is, let alone any evidence that what it says can be considered trustworthy.

A scan of the website shows it to cater to right-wing Israelis as well as a hotbed of anti-Obama activism; currently on its front page is a rehashing of John Bolton's attacks on Obama as originially reported by WND's Aaron Klein.

Indeed, it's another sign of Israel Insider's bias that it loves Klein: It has reprinted numerous Klein articles. It has also published opinion pieces by Klein. An August 2004 "open letter" to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon begins, "I am a bit worried about your plan to unilaterally vacate all settlements from the Gaza Strip in 2005." (Klein laer wrote numerous articles about the withdrawal for WND, nearly all of them biased toward the Jewish settlers being removed, in which he whitewashed the violent extremism of some settlers.) Klein also attacked a speech Sharon gave: "Was Sharon's speechwriter drunk when this masterpiece was constructed? Did Doctor Seuss come back from the dead to help Sharon with his verbiage?"

Opinion pieces tend to reflect a certain familiar right-wing ideology:

  • One column begins, "It simply feels wrong that liberal American Jews continue to relentlessly pursue and cast stones at John Hagee to further their political agenda." The writer does concede that "Pastor Hagee's rhetoric and gestures do present the Jewish people with certain halachic and moral challenges." (WND has a hands-off policy on criticizing Hagee, whom WND editor Joseph Farah has declared "my friend," on its news pages.)
  • Another begins: "It looks like Mr. Obama is a shoo-in for the White House. It also looks like my people are going to be betrayed once again by a badly misguided American president." (WND as a whole, and Klein in particular, hate Obama and push an agenda that's pro-McCain.)
  • Another writes of the tenure of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: "When will this nightmare end?" (WND Klein hate Olmert too, to the point of trying to undermine him during a time of war.)

In other words, Israel Insider appears to be little more than an Israeli-centric version of WorldNetDaily. Given WND's history of reporting false claims, that's a bad thing for Israel Insider to be.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:34 PM EDT
CNS-Planned Parenthood Bias Watch
Topic:'s Penny Starr turns in another biased Planned Parenthood article, a July 8 piece that makes use of the inaccurate, pejorative descriptor "pro-abortion." As we've previously noted, "pro-abortion rights" is a more accurate descriptor.

In contrast to several previous articles critical of Planned Parenthood in which the organization is not provided a meaningful opportunity to respond, Starr quotes a respresentative of "the black pro-life movement" -- note that Starr does not use "anti-abortion," which is also arguably more accurate -- to comment on Planned Parenthood's endorsement of Barack Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 AM EDT
LeBoutillier Still Hates McCain
Topic: Newsmax

One thing you can say about John LeBoutillier: Unlike his Newsmax stablemate Ronald Kessler, he's not going to sell out his previous longtime of John McCain in order to ingratiate himself with his fellow Republicans -- well, at least not until it's much closer to the election and he has a full head of Obama-hate to rival his longtime Clinton hatred).

Indeed, in a July 7 column, LeBoutillier pounds on McCain yet again:

Has there ever been a president who has had so little support inside the base of his party? Has there ever been a president who went out of his way to attack that base? And took such glee is that base’s unhappiness?

How could McCain possibly lead the GOP, and the nation, with such poor relations with his own party?


A fascinating note: a long-time Reaganite Republican told me that virtually every conservative he knows is plotting against McCain not against Obama! What does that tell us about the state of the GOP and the conservative movement? It is riven with dissent and discord and, like any addict living in denial, it can’t be fixed until we reach the very bottom.

November 4, 2008 may be that bottom.

Yep, looks like LeBoutillier may need a little while longer to come around on McCain. Somehow, though, we suspect he'll be endorsing McCain by election day, if only because he thinks Obama is worse.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
WND Still Obscuring Peter Paul's Felonious History
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 8 WorldNetDaily article by Art Moore continues his and WND's history of obscuring the criminal history of Peter Paul, who is hurling lawsuits at the Clintons to save his own bacon.

Way down in the 27th paragraph of the article, after touting "Hollywood entrepeneur" Paul's latest lawsuit, Moore writes:

Paul awaits sentencing, under house arrest, after pleading guilty in 2005 to a 10(b)5 violation of the Securities and Exchange Commission for not publicly disclosing his control of Merrill Lynch margin accounts that held Stan Lee Media stocks and for transactions in mid-November 2000 he says were done to keep the stock from losing value and keep the company alive[.]

In fact, as we've detailed, the U.S. Attorney's office who prosecuted Paul spoke in much clearer language about Paul's criminality:

The securities fraud charges arise from PAUL's leading role in a scheme to manipulate the price of Stan Lee Media common stock, including transactions in which PAUL secretly borrowed money using the stock as collateral, and to profit unlawfully from such manipulations. The scheme resulted in losses to the investing public and financial institutions of approximately $25 million.

By throwing in gobbledygook like "10(b)5 violation of the Securities and Exchange Commission," Moore is trying to obscure the seriousness of Paul's offense. And, of course, there's no mention of Paul's previous criminal history, which includes a conviction for cocaine possession and an attempt to defraud Fidel Castro out of $8 million.

The mystery is why -- beyond hatred of the Clintons -- Moore and WND continue to cast their lot with a thrice-convicted felon who is merely trying to keep his guilty tuchus out of jail.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:39 PM EDT
Sheffield Approves of Another Fox News Democrat
Topic: NewsBusters

Praising Fox News' hiring of Hillary Clinton strategist Howard Wolfson as a Fox News analyst, Matthew Sheffield writes in a July 8 NewsBusters post:

The list of FNC Democrats continues to grow. One thing that is notable about this trend is that, in contrast to the resident conservatives at CNN and MSNBC, Fox's liberals like Wolfson, [Lanny] Davis, and Susan Estrich, generally tend to be more "on-message" than CNN's and MSNBC's conservatives such as Tucker Carlson, Joe Scarborough, and Amy Holmes.

First, that's not quite true; Fox News has a history of hiring Democrats who like to criticize other Democrats or reinforce conservative stereotypes about them.

Second, Sheffield curiously leaves off his list of conservative analysts Bill Bennett and Terry Jeffrey (who, as editor of, works just down the hall from Sheffield), who make regular appearances on CNN and are nothing if not on-message.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 AM EDT
New Article: A Bad Case of Tunnel Vision
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center blames "liberal media bias" for everything bad in the media -- declining Iraq war coverage, shrinking newspaper circulation -- even when there are other explanations that are more logical and easily demonstrable. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 AM EDT
Unruh's Anti-Vaccination Scaremongering
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted WorldNetDaily's anti-vaccination scare tactics before -- Joseph Farah has even praised that Texas polygamist cult's refusal to have their children immunized, declaring that "mothers and fathers made conscious and well-informed decisions not to immunize their kids because of the potential for dire health risks." (Farah also appears to believe that these same parents marrying off their teenage daughters into polygamous relationships and kicking teenage sons out of the cult to reduce competition for women does not involve health risks are similarly "conscious and well-informed decisions.")

WNd keeps up the scare tactics in a July 7 article by Bob Unruh in which he asserts, based on the assertions of an unknown blogger with no apparent medical expertise (he describes himself as "retired from corporate"), that the nasal-ingested flu vaccine FluMist poses a great danger to children. While Unruh quotes from some MedImmune press release about expansion of flu vaccination recommendations, he does not give MedImmune any opportunity to respond to the attacks on its vaccine. 

Unruh also quotes Jane Orient of the right-wing physicians group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- as is WND's wont, AAPS' political affiliation is unmentioned, let alone its anti-vaccination activism. We've previously noted AAPS' political activism; also the AAPS' journal is the one that published Madeleine Cosman's anti-immigrant screed containing false claims about illegal immigrants and diseases like leprosy. Indeed, that article remains uncorrected on the AAPS website.

It's the kind of substandard journalism we've sadly gotten used to from both Unruh and WND, who clearly don't trust their readers with the facts but intends to mislead them with only a censored version of the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EDT
Monday, July 7, 2008
This Is Vile?
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In a July 6 Accuracy in Media blog post, Don Irvine declared a Financial Times obituary on Jesse Helms to be "vile" and asserted that the writer "chose couldn't find an objective way to treat his life and legacy and instead chose to spew venom instead."

But the obituary excerpt that Irvine copied into his post -- coincidentially, the only two paragraphs available without registering at the Financial Times website -- show no particular "venom" and, in fact, offer a truthful account of Helm's political career. It points out that Helms' political enemies thought him "little less than a monster" and describes him as "a man who never bothered to disguise his dislike for his enemies and his determination to frustrate them. They included all liberals, most foreigners, and those whose sexual orientation he considered unnatural."

That's not "vile"; that's accurate. Shouldn't a guy who runs a group called Accuracy in Media be a little more enthustiastic about accuracy?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:57 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 7, 2008 6:59 PM EDT
Communist Endorses McCain -- Where Is WND?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has made a lot of hay of Aaron Klein and John Batchelor's interview of a Hamas official apparently endorsing Barack Obama (without bothering to explain why a Palestinian terrorist would be chatting up two right-wing, pro-Israel, anti-Obama media people). So if, say, a committed communist would endorse John McCain, WND would be all over that, right?

Well, not exactly.

The BBC reported on June 23 that Tran Trong Duyet -- not just any committed communist, the guy who was in charge of the "Hanoi Hilton" where McCain was imprisoned for five years during the Vietnam War -- said of McCain: "McCain is my friend. ... If I was American, I would vote for him."

There's an endorsement at least as damning as the Hamas guy's for Obama. Aaron Klein -- most recently seen playing guilt-by-association in trying to link Barack Obama to communists -- should be falling over himself to breathlessly tell his readers how the Republican presidential candidate is linked to these subversive communist elements -- and from a country that defeated the U.S. in a war, no less.

Except, of course, he's not. Indeed, this story can be found nowhere on WND. As we've detailed, WND is effectively working for John McCain during this presidential election, a point driven home even farther by WND managing editor David Kupelian's endorsement of McCain. 

WND claims to be "credible, fearless, independent." Its kid-glove treatment of McCain is obviously none of these.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 7, 2008 1:05 PM EDT
Farah Lacks Facts to Back Up His Anti-Gay Agenda
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his July 5 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah declares that his endorsement of the right-wing American Family Association's boycott of McDonald's is "omething you won't see anywhere else in the media" because "McDonald's advertising dollars are coveted by news companies throughout the U.S. and around the world." He then asserts that he doesn't "have the same concerns and fear of loss as the rest of the media crowd" and that "I no more want McDonald's advertising in WND during this boycott than I would solicit advertising from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Don't want it. Don't need it."

But Farah offers no evidence that WND has ever accepted advertising in the past from McDonald's. If, as we suspect, Mickey D's has never advertised on WND, Farah is giving up nothing and taking no financial or personal risk by boycotting the company.

Further, WND has accepted -- and still accepts -- an ad from a company that sells a T-shirt that says, "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required." So for Farah to declare the moral high ground here -- "I believe in absolute standards of right and wrong as enumerated in the Bible" -- rings hollow. Unless, of course, he believes that lynching journalists is somehow proscribed by the Bible.

Farah also asserts that McDonald's, through its membership in the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce -- over which the AFA called the boycott -- is "promot[ing] of the radical homosexual agenda including same-sex marriage." But neither Farah nor the July 3 WND article announcing the AFA's boycott offers any evidence to support its claim that the NGLCC, in the July 3 article's words, "lobbies Congress on a wide range of issues, including the promotion of same-sex marriage." Further, not even the AFA's boycott website offers evidence that the NGLCC lobbies in favor of same-sex marriage.

Instead, what Farah offers is a lot of scare tactics in place of actual facts. Farah uses the word "radical" four times, three coupled with "agenda."

In an interesting aside, the July 3 article perhaps demonstrates the weakness of the evidence in support of a boycott by beginning two different paragraphs explaining what the AFA isn't boycotting:

"This boycott is not about hiring homosexuals, or homosexuals eating at McDonald's or how homosexual employees are treated. It is about McDonald's, as a corporation, choosing to put the full weight of their organization behind promoting the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage," said AFA chairman Donald E. Wildmon.


"We are not telling McDonald’s who they can hire to work for the company, nor are we demanding that they stop serving Big Macs to homosexual customers," AFA said then. 

So, are gays allow to be McDonald's franchisees, or to operate any business that caters to people other than gays? After all, helping business owners is the prime function of the NGLCC. Wildmon and the AFA folks don't answer that question -- and neither does Farah. 

A friendly piece of advice for Farah: Less hate, more facts. That way, you might attract more mainstream advertisers -- and, thus, demonstrate some actual risk should you decide to boycott them. 

Posted by Terry K. at 8:27 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 7, 2008 8:45 AM EDT
Ellis Washington's Boatload of Silliness
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington serves up a big heap o' silliness in his July 5 column.

The first comes in the second paragraph, in which he describes "Dr. Michael Savage" as "my favorite radio talk show host and a bona fide conservative intellectual." Because nothing says "intellectual" like telling someone to "get AIDS and die" or calling Nancy Pelosi "Mussolini in a skirt."

Washington followed that byrepeating Savage's assertion that "[Alfred] Kinsey was a sexual pervert who made up his own data," adding, "Dr. Savage, as usual, is right on point." The only evidence that Kinsey "made up" anything come mostly from notoriously anti-Kinsey "researcher" Judith Reisman, who has a habit of making up her own claims. Further, as the Kinsey institute points out, Kinsey's statistics largely hold up today.

That leads to the premise of his column, and the silliest claim of them all: that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was channeling Kinsey when he wrote the majority opinion blocking the death penalty for child rapists. He offers no real evidence for it other than citing an attack on Kinsey by Benjamin Wiker from his book "10 Books That Screwed Up the World" (of which Kinsey's "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" is listed as one), which includes this statement that Washington approvingly quotes:

Kinsey's pseudo-science became foundational for the sexual revolution, used both in courts and classrooms to push a limitless sexual revolution that began in the 1960s and through which we are still living. … It will not be complete until it extinguishes all opposition, the greatest of which is Christianity. Once again, we see atheism at the root of rebellion.

Again, we have to ask about something Washington was involved with: What does that even mean? Wiker seems to be invoking the Butterfly Effect on top of the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy.

Somehow we suspect Wiker has read a lot of Judith Reisman, which makes his rantings inaccurate as well as incomprehensible. And Washington probably has read Reisman as well -- if not directly, than through Wiker, as statements like "Kinsey's evil ideas on human sexuality" suggest.

Washington does invoke the Depiction-Equals-Approval fallacy himself through the statement, "Kinsey's one-man sexual revolution of the late 1940s lobbied and received academic legitimacy to render normal and to promote the vilest sexual ideas imaginable including, pedophilia, child rape, sadomasochism and bestiality." 

Only a person who thinks Michael Savage is a "bona fide conservative intellectual" would be found spewing such stuff.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Is There A Difference Between AIM, Kincaid Group?
Topic: Accuracy in Media

A July 3 Accuracy in Media article by Cliff Kincaid declared that because the Drudge Report "has just rejected two paid ads submitted by my group America’s Survival, Inc. about the influence that CPUSA member [Frank Marshall] Davis exerted over a young Obama," Matt Drudge is "play[ing the] role of censor." No, Cliff, he's just exercising his perogative as a businessman to do what he wants; censorship is AIM's campaign to intimidate cable systems to not air Al-Jazeera's English-language service.

This item -- which otherwise plays guilt-by-association by ascribing an unknown communist-sympathetic blogger's views to Obama -- raises another interesting question: What is the line between America's Survival and AIM? After all, Kincaid gets paid for doing both, the key components of America's Survival's agenda -- anti-communism and anti-U.N. activism -- are subjects Kincaid frequently addresses in his AIM articles, and like AIM, Ameica's Survival gets a hefty chunk of wingnut welfare from Richard Mellon Scaife -- $375,000 since 1999.

So, there's a lot of overlap -- indeed, Kincaid seems to be using AIM as the PR agent for America's Survival. But is there a wall here? Kincaid might want to explain to his readers what difference, if any, there is between the two groups.

We've previously noted that AIM is loath to discuss Scaife even as it regularly bashes George Soros. Given that Scaife essentially signs Kincaid's paycheck(s), he might want to demonstrate a little honesty about who funds his activism.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EDT
Homosexuality = Dementia?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily seems to be trying to tell us something with this strange juxtaposition of stories on its front page July 5.

You'll recall that Jim Rutz's assertion that soy products make you gay was debunked long ago, which WND fails to mention.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EDT
Saturday, July 5, 2008
WND Obsessed With Democrat Sex
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 2 WorldNetDaily article describing a "case of an alleged satanic torture involving a Democratic Party official and her husband" breathlessly reports that the case "has now expanded to include a third suspect, an even higher-ranking Democrat."

Sounds like high-ranking Democratic officials are involved in "satanic torture," right? Er, not so much. As the article goes on to state, the probe focused on the third vice-chairwoman of the Durham County, N.C.,  Democratic Party and has now expanded to the "even higher-ranking" ... first vice-chairwoman of the Durham County Democratic Party.

It's worth noting that while WND is keeping an eagle eye on the sexual proclivities of county-level Democratic officials -- and, one can assume, pruriently enjoying every single moment of doing so -- it didn't run an original news report on Republican Rep. Duke Cunningham's massive corruption until after he resigned.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:16 AM EDT

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