An estimated 100,000 gathered to hear Obama and one cannot help but be reminded that Germans gathered in the 1930s to hear another spellbinding speaker. That one plunged Europe into war.
-- Alan Caruba, July 25 CNSNews.com column
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Alan Caruba, July 25 CNSNews.com column
Will MRC Tell The Full Story Behind Obama, Troop Visit?
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center outlets are full of high dudgeon over Barack Obama's cancellation of a visit to U.S. troops at the Landstuhl military hospital in Germany-- but silent about the full story behind it.
But Sheppard, Finkelstein and CNS has all failed to report further details about the cancellation: that the Germany leg of Obama's European trip was paid for by his campaign, and the Pentagon has confirmed that Obama couldn't visit the hospital with his campaign staff, which would be a violation of Pentagon regulations. Further, McCain has similarly declined to visit certain military installations as a candidate.
Having made initial reports on this story, aren't Sheppard, Finkelstein and CNS obligated to report all the relevant facts regarding it? We think so. Will they admit that had Obama actually visited Landstuhl, they would be criticizing Obama for politicizing the troops? Probably not.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
CNS Selectively Edits Obama Speech
An unbylined July 25 CNSNews.com article on Barack Obama's speech in Berlin was headlined, "A 'Citizen of the World' Campaigns in Berlin." The article also quoted John McCain's campaign saying that Obama was"proclaiming himself a 'citizen of the world.'" But nowhere does CNS note that Obama also said in the speech that he was also "a proud citizen of the United States."
CNS also fails to note that in June 17, 1982, speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Ronald Reagan said, "I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world."
AIM Column Riddled With Falsehoods, Distortions
Topic: Accuracy in Media
A July 25 Accuracy in Media column by Olavo de Carvalho ("a philosopher and the author of several books" who "writes for three very influential dailies in Brazil") aiming to smear Barack Obama is loaded with falsehoods, distortions and unsupported claims:
Indeed, Carvalho is a font of smears in this piece. He baselessly asserts, "In the Democratic Party and U.S. big media, nobody seems to find anything strange about Obama. Even among supporters of John McCain there is some sort of tacit agreement not to hurt the opponent's feelings with demands beyond his capacity." He also asserts that Obama "listens to the Star-Spangled Banner with his hands on his genitals, and not on his heart" -- making us wonder what kind of things they teach in Brazil -- and claimed that "the candidate displays the kind of absolute trust in his own invulnerability that is so typical of revolutionary sociopaths."
Apparently, standards of journalistic accuracy in Brazil are even lower than they are at AIM.
AIM tried to distance itself further from Carvalho with the disclaimer, "Guest columns do not necessarily reflect the views of Accuracy in Media or its staff." But AIM does not have any auto-generated content and is under no obligation to publish views it disagrees with; all copy is, as far as we know, put through some kind of approval process before being placed on the AIM website. IN other words, somebody at AIM thought this article reflected their views to the point that it was deemed worthy to post. To pretend otherwise through a disclaimer is disingenuous.
Perhaps AIM could share with its readers the rationale for putting such a hateful, inaccurate, genital-obsessed piece of crap on its website.
Friday, July 25, 2008
WND 'Letter of the Week' Is From Terrorist Sympathizer
WorldNetDaily's July 25 "Letter of the Week" is from David Ha'ivri, who begins bitterly: "Barack Obama, your visit here is just a waste of time; you're not wanted or needed here. We'll do just fine without you, and you'll probably do better with out us, too. Don't come around here acting as if you're looking out for the good of Israel. We know who you are and who your friends are." Ha'ivri makes repeated references to "Barack Hussein."
What WND doesn't tell you: Ha'ivri is a terrorist sympathizer.
As we've previously noted, Ha'ivri is a sympathizer of extremist rabbi Meir Kahane, who led the Kach movement in Israel (which became Kahane Chai after Kahane's death). In a CNN documentary last year, Ha'ivri refused to condemn a plot by Jewish extremists to detonate a bomb outside a Palestinian girls' school, saying only, "I make no judgment. I think that war is an ugly thing." Ha'ivri's MySpace page even lists Kahane as a friend.
Given WND reporter Aaron Klein's own sympathies toward right-wing Israeli extremism, it's no surprise that Klein has featured -- and whitewashed -- Ha'ivri. In articles about the 2005 march Ha'ivri and other right-wing Jews led to the Temple Mount "in hopes of reclaiming the site from its Islamic custodians," Klein depicted him as simply a pious Jew and didn't mention his Kahane ties.
(WND also doesn't tell you that Ha'ivri's "letter" previously appeared elsewhere; it was also posted on the Israeli National News (Arutz Sheva) website.)
In a 1997 column, WND editor Joseph Farah listed the Kach movement as one of the "terror-supporting groups" that he claimed to "have no use for." But if a Kahane/Kach sympathizer is willing to bash Obama, Farah apparently does have a use for it after all.
WND Embraces False Kincaid Claim
In a July 25 WorldNetDaily article, Bob Unruh writes:
In fact, as we've noted, contrary to Unruh's and Kincaid's assertions, the bill has no funding mechanism, doesn't commit the U.S. to a targeted level of spending, and doesn't give the United Nations the power to impose a tax on the U.S.
What NewsBusters Writers Don't Post At NewsBusters
Many NewsBusters bloggers have their own blogs, and it's interesting to see what appears there that doesn't make the NewsBusters cut.
Over at the National Center for Public Policy Research, Amy Ridenour does the unusual for a "name" conservative: defend Michael Savage. In making "an appeal for calm" over Savage's trashing of people with autism, Ridenour merely regurgitates Savage's spin:
Except that's not true at all. Savage has falsely recast his original remarks to claim they were taken out of context, and he's also on the record calling autism a "phony disease." Nevertheless, Ridenour continued:
Except Savage has never offered any evidence (that we've seen, anyway) of anyone "using autism for financial gain." Giving Savage a pass for mere "hyperbole" runs counter to the evidence, as opposed to what Savage wants people like Ridenour to think.
Meanwhile, at Stop the ACLU, NewsBusters' John "Jay" Stephenson is singing the praises of the upcoming book by Walid Shoebat and Joel Richardson (who helped gather stories from Shoebat and others for the WorldNetDaily-published book "Why We Left Islam"), which purports that "the Anti-Christ of Christianity is the Mahdi of Islam." Unsurprisingly, there's no mention of Shoebat's credibility problems.
Meanwhile, the the entire basis of Shoebat and Richardson's book is fundamentally flawed. As Richard Bartholomew details:
It's usually a good idea to see if a book is based in fact before one endorses it.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Mychal Massie, July 22 WorldNetDaily column
Apparently feeling desperate that Barack Obama's trip to Israel didn't generate much in the way of Obama-bashing material for him, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein is reduced to using his 45th anti-Obama article to huff that "Sen. Barack Obama's campaign plastered the entrance to the Western Wall – the holiest site in Judaism – with official campaign posters."
But nowhere does Klein accuse the Obama campaign of any offense -- the posters, he later notes, "adorned police barricades erected at the Western Wall plaza for Obama's visit" -- not actually on the Wall or any other holy site, so Klein is unable to accuse Obama of blasphemy. The only "controversy" Klein tries to whip up is over how far in advance the posters showed up, complaining that a Reuters photo caption "implied supporters brought along the pro-Obama material."
That's it. That's the only "news" peg Klein has for this article.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
How Do You Say 'Decemberists' In German?
Remember when NewsBusters tried to absurdly claim that a throng of 70,000 who went to see Barack Obama speak in Portland actually went instead to see local indie-rock band the Decemberists (which hasn't filled up a single venue a tenth of that crowd anywhere, let alone Portland) play? Well, they're at it again. From a July 24 post by Noel Sheppard:
Would it kill Sheppard to simply admit the undeniable fact that Obama is a popular person and is quite capable of attracting audiences even without opening acts? Apparently so.
And as much as we can safely assume no one at NewsBusters had ever heard of the Decemberists before they opened for Obama, it's an even safer bet that Sheppard has never heard of Patrice or Reamonn before this, let alone possesses any actual knowledge just how popular they are in Germany.
Dear Mr. Farah...
You write in your July 24 column that the New York Times' rejection of John McCain's op-ed is a "shameless act of political partisanship," "stunning decision to turn down publication of one candidate's opinion while gleefully publishing the other's opinion," further calling the Times an "immature and stridently ideological rag." Such words serve the implication that WorldNetDaily is somehow different, even though WND has a long history of telling only one side of many issues -- including numerous attacks on Barack Obama without a meaningful opportunity for response.
Since you want to suggest that WND, unlike the New York Times, is not "immature and stridently ideological," I offer the following opportunity for you to back you your words: If you are truly committed to an open and full range of opinion at WND, publish (or, heck, even link to) my op-ed about WND's coverage of certain religious groups. Every claim in it is substantiated, which equals, if not surpasses, WND's reporting standards, so I don't foresee any problem in that area.
Are you and WND mature and non-ideological? Here's your chance to demonstrate it.
Kincaid Still Lying About Poverty Bill Cost
Topic: Accuracy in Media
A July 22 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid references "Senator Barack Obama’s Global Poverty Act," adding, "This costly $845 billion bill commits the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of gross national product on foreign aid to meet United Nations objectives."
No, it doesn't. As we've repeatedly noted every time Kincaid makes this false claim, the bill has no funding mechanism, doesn't commit the U.S. to a targeted level of spending, and doesn't give the United Nations the power to impose a tax on the U.S.
Nevertheless, Kincaid repeats the claim in a July 23 AIM Report, falsely stating that the Global Poverty Act "commits the U.S. to spending .7 percent of our gross national product on foreign aid, at a cost over 13 years of $845 billion."
Still No Evidence for Key Claim in McDonald's Boycott
Bob Unruh writes in a July 22 WorldNetDaily article on the right-wing boycott of McDonald's:
As we have previously noted, WND has yet to offer any actual evidence that the NGLCC -- a group that primarily aids gay and lesbian business owners -- "lobbies for same-sex 'marriage' provisions." Nor has the boycott's leading sponsor, the American Family Association; nothing on its boycott website substantiates the claim that the group lobbies for gay marriage.
You'd think a "news" website would point out this gaping hole of evidence in the AFA's boycott. But, of course, WND is no ordinary "news" website.
Bozell Overtaken By Events
Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell's July 23 column starts out by declaring, "John McCain has figured out that one way to build enthusiasm among conservatives is to confront his former best friends in the liberal media," and asserting that "the media glorify Barack Obama."
Unfortunately, Bozell's column came out the same day it was revealed that McCain still has BFFs in the "liberal media" -- CBS was caught editing out a false claim McCain made about Iraq during an interview and substituting an answer McCain gave to a different question.
That undercuts the Obama media lovefest meme the MRC has been promoting, to the point that even NewsBusters hasn't mentioned it as of this writing.
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