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Thursday, October 9, 2008
Ron Strom's Hypocrisy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 9 WorldNetDaily column by WND commentary editor Ron Strom criticizes Focus on the Family chief James Dobson for "pass[ing] up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead our nation out of the death grip of the two-party system – choosing instead to join those pushing the politics of fear by claiming Americans with a biblical worldview have just one responsible choice on Nov. 4, and that's to vote for Sen. John McCain."

What Strom doesn't mention: His employer is doing the exact same thing.

As we've detailed, while Strom's commentary page includes some criticism and his boss, Joseph Farah, purports to support "none of the above," WND's news pages have been mostly devoid of any substantial criticism of McCain -- certainly nowhere near the massive hate-fest WND is waging against Barack Obama. 

Strom might want to have a little chat with WND managing editor David Kupelian to explain why he endorsed McCain and refuses to allow any McCain criticism on his news pagers. 

Strom also wrote: "Imagine what could have occurred had Dr. Dobson stayed with his February assessment of Sen. McCain and urged his followers to support a different man for president – whether a third-party nominee or a write-in candidate – one who was faithful to the principles of the Constitution, the Bible and our Founding Fathers."

But WND hasn't been doing that either. For instance, Chuck Baldwin, the presidential candidate for the Constitution Party -- which claims a mission to "limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations" and, thus, is presumably the kind of guy Strom wants to win -- hasn't been mentioned in a WND news article since Sept. 23. For the next most recent reference, you have to go back to Aug. 20.

If Strom really believes what he's writing, he should demonstrate some journalistic fortitutde and hold his own employer accountable for its behavior instead of bashing Dobson for following in WND's footsteps.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:03 PM EDT
CNS Joins Newsmax In Putting Creative Headlines on AP Articles
Topic: appears to be following Newsmax in putting, er, creative headlines on the Associated Press articles it runs.

The headline the AP put on one Oct. 9 article: "Report: Voter purges in 6 states may violate law."

CNS' headline on its version of the article: "Never Mind About Fraudulent Voter Registrations: NY Times Examines 'Voter Roll Purges.'"

CNS seems not to think that as the article states, "tens of thousands of eligible voters" being "removed from rolls or blocked from registering," is a big deal. Perhaps that's because such purges tend to benefit Republicans, while carping about "fraudulent voter registrations" is use by Republicans as an issue against Democrats (witness the right-wing focus on ACORN).

UPDATE: TPM has more on the McCain campaign's anti-ACORN campaign. Key quote: "But by shrieking about voter fraud, the McCain camp hopes to make voting officials more willing to place restrictions in the path of voters on election day, potentially causing delays and confusion at the polls, and reducing overall turnout. And it seeks to discredit any Obama victory by raising the suggestion that it was aided by the votes of ineligible voters."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:17 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 9, 2008 4:54 PM EDT
Motley Still Isn't Answering the Question
Topic: Media Research Center

In attacking Huffington Post's Seth Colter Walls as "lying" about the Media Research Center, MRC communications director Seton Motley writes in an Oct. 9 NewsBusters post:

While usually pretending to be a journalist or a Sen. Obama campaign PR flak, he on Sunday took time out to play-act as a non-profit attorney. He proved himself to be just as untalented and unqualified in this capacity.

Walls properly but generically defines A type of non-profit classification of which we are one. He fails miserably in defining OUR non-profit. In short, he again has no idea about which he is speaking.

Nowhere does Motley explain what Walls is purportedly "lying" about or why it's a lie.

If you'll recall, the center of the dispute at hand is Motley's claim to Walls that he couldn't respond to questions from the Obama campaign about questionable claims he had made on "Fox & Friends" about Obama's relationship with ACORN because the MRC is a 501(c)(3) group. We (along with Walls) pointed out that while 501(c)(3) groups are prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity, but we didn't understand how answering questions from a political campaign also fell under that prohibition.

Here again, Motley fails to answer the question of how exactly the 501(c)(3) tax law prohibits him from answering questions from a political campaign. Nor does he explain the difference between the "generic" 501(c)(3) definition and the type of 501(c)(3) Motley suggests the MRC is.

Instead, he mindlessly bashes Walls in an apparent attempt to deflect attention away from the simple question Motley himself refuses to answer.

Or does Motley think the 501(c)(3) law prohibits him from answering questions from us, too?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 9, 2008 1:48 PM EDT
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein recounts a 43-year-old incident involving William Ayers that is utterly irrelevant to today's presidential race, featuring a woman who claims Ayers "locked her in his attic apartment when both were college students and intimidated her into having sex with his brother and his black roommate."

Klein quotes the woman as saying she "was compelled to speak out this week only after reading multiple media reports she said attempted to excuse Ayers' behavior during his Weathermen years" -- even though neither Klein or the woman offer actual examples of anyone "excus[ing] Ayers' behavior during his Weathermen years," and even though Klein includes in his article a lengthy excerpt from a 2006 article about the alleged incident the woman wrote for FrontPageMag.

Of course, Klein makes no mention of John McCain's -- or his own -- relationship with domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 9, 2008 9:36 AM EDT
New Article: Lowell Ponte's Democrat Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Newsmax
The Newsmax columnist just can't stop making ludicrous attacks against Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 AM EDT
NewsBusters Ignores Full Story Behind Andy Martin
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 8 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan reported on the confrontation between Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs and Sean Hannity over the appearance of Andy Martin on Hannity's weekend show. But Balan failed to mention the full context of why Martin is a problem for Hannity.

Indeed, Balan's goal was to bash Gibbs for using a "shout-down-your-opponent-to-shut-him-up strategy" against Hannity, failing to note that it's a strategy that Hannity himself regularly uses, and was in fact using against Gibbs. Balan also bashed Gibbs for indulging in "the latest example of the Democratic campaign attempting to whitewash their opponents," by "chang[ing] the entire subject of the discussion" of his pre-debate appearance on "Hannity & Colmes" to "whether Hannity was anti-Semitic for recently interviewing Andy Martin, who in 2000, accused George W. Bush of using cocaine, has been a candidate for various offices in several states, and is accused by the Washington Post of starting the rumor that Obama is a Muslim."

But Balan failed to mention why Martin was on Hannity's show in the first place -- to spread his never-verified attacks on Obama. Further, Hannity never revealed Martin's history as an anti-Semite, filer of nuisance lawsuits and fringe political candidate in several states to his audience, which would have cast legitimate doubt on Martin's credibility, not to mention (further) dismantle credibility of Hannity himself for uncritically putting such a person on his program. (Disclosure: Martin filed one of those nuisance lawsuits against us last year.)

Balan also failed to mention that Hannity's claim during the exchange that "I'm a journalist who interviews people who I disagree with all the time, that give their opinion" is rather bogus.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Graham: 'Daily Show' Audience 'News-Challenged'
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Oct. 8 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham referred to the "news-challenged audience" of "The Daily Show."

In fact, according to the Pew Center for the People and the Press, "Daily Show" viewers have the highest level of knowledge of political events of any TV show -- or of any news source, for that matter.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:04 PM EDT
Jeffrey Repeats Dubious Claims About Obama, Abortion

In his Oct. 8 column, Terrence Jeffrey repeated questionable right-wing claims regarding Barack Obama and the issue of abortion.

Jeffrey began by stating the "background" of the fight over the controversial "born alive" act in Illinois: "Eight years ago, nurse Jill Stanek went public about the 'induced-labor abortions' performed at the Illinois hospital where she worked. Often done on Down syndrome babies, the procedure involved medicating the mother to cause premature labor. Babies who survived this, Stanek testified in the U.S. Congress, were brought to a soiled linen room and left alone to die without care or comforting." In fact, Stanek's allegations were never substantiated.

Jeffrey also wrote: "Then-Illinois state Sen. Patrick O’Malley, whom I interviewed this week, contacted the state attorney general’s office to see whether existing laws protected a newborn abortion-survivor’s rights as a U.S. citizen. He was told they did not." But both Obama and other opponents of the bill said that existing law did prohibit it.

Jeffrey then tries to play semantics with Obama's use of the term "pre-viable fetus":

To explain his position, Obama came up with yet another term to describe the human being who would be protected by O’Malley’s bills. The abortion survivor became a “pre-viable fetus.”
By definition, however, a born baby cannot be a “fetus.” Merriam-Webster Online defines “fetus” as an “unborn or unhatched vertebrate” or “a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth.” Obama had already conceded these human beings were “alive outside the womb.”

“No. 1,” said Obama, “whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or other elements of the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a—a child, a nine-month-old—child that was delivered to term.”
Yes. In other words, a baby born alive at 37 weeks is just as much a human “person” as a baby born alive at 22 weeks.

But Jeffrey fails to explain his, or medical science's, definition of "viable." In fact, 22 weeks is considered to be the absolute lower limit for viability of a fetus outside the womb. Jeffrey does not explain why, say, a 12-week-old fetus who "survives" an abortion should be considered "born" if it cannot survive outside the womb. Nor does Jeffrey mention the fact that third-trimester abortions are relatively rare.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EDT
NewsBusters Whitewashing McCain's Role in Keating 5
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center exerted much effort in minimizing scandals surrounding Sarah Palin. Now it's doing the same for John McCain's role in the Keating Five scandal.

Scott Whitlock complained that an ABC report on McCain and Keating "left out the fact that McCain was exonerated by the Senate Ethics Committee." Whitlock left out the fact that the committee concluded that McCain's conduct "reflected poor judgment" in his dealings with Charles Keating.

Seton Motley highlighted an appearance by "man of integrity" Robert Bennett, special counsel to the House ethics committee on the Keating scandal, on (man of less integrity) Mark Levin's radio show. Bennett claimed, "I saw nothing in my investigation that would call into question John McCain's ethics." Like Whitlock, Motley failed to note the full decision of the committee, nor did he describe what exactly McCain did -- accept free rides on Keating's jet, vacationed with Keating, invested in a shopping mall with him, wrote letters to regulators for him, helped secure the nomination of a Keating associate to a banking regulatory board, and urged regulators to back off Keating.

By contrast, as we've detailed, the MRC insisted that the Clintons were guilty of various deeds even after investigations cleared them.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 PM EDT
Farah Strains to Blame Gays, Clinton for Financial Crisis
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah has rather desperately tried to deflect blame for the financial crisis away from conservatives and toward liberals.

His Oct. 6 column blamed Washington Mutual's failure on its efforts to be "recognized as one of the top employers and lenders for Hispanics and sexual deviants," asserting that lending money to them "offend[ed] vast segments of the population" and adding, "I'm not surprised that WaMu was out of business 24 hours after announcing it was catering to sexual deviants at the expense of most of its customers and actively sending profits to corrupt cultural causes." Farah offers no evidence that the default rate of "sexual deviants" -- Farah's word for homosexuals -- was any larger than, say, Hispanics. 

His Oct. 7 column blamed the crisis on President Clinton because of his efforts "to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough for conventional loans." In fact, the vast majority of subprime loans in recent years were made outside of the Community Reinvestment Act that Farah is implicitly criticizing. Further, according to Robert Gordon at the American Prospect, "In late 2004, the Bush administration announced plans to sharply weaken CRA regulations, pulling small and mid-sized banks out from under the law's toughest standards. Yet sub-prime lending continued, and even intensified -- at the very time when activity under CRA had slowed and the law had weakened."

Farah also falsely attacks the Obama campaign for allowing ex-Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines to be "flirting with a Cabinet post in a Barack Obama administration" when he "should be breaking rocks at Sing Sing," further claiming that the campaign "continues to find a special advisory role for Franklin Raines." In fact, Raines has done nothing beyond taking a couple phone calls from the Obama campaign, and there's no evidence that he serves as any sort of "special adviser."

But then, when it comes to Obama, when have the facts ever mattered to Farah?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 AM EDT
Graham: Couric's Newspaper Question to Palin Was 'Gotcha'

Looks like Tim Graham has sipped a little too much of that right-wing Kool-Aid.

In an Oct. 7 NewsBusters post, Graham declared that Katie Couric's question to Sarah Palin about what newspapers and magazines she read "was designed as a "gotcha" question to underline Palin's lack of worldly sophistication":

Think of the pitfalls of the various answers. Say you read the New York Times and the Washington Post, and you disappoint the base. Say you read the Washington Times and watch Fox News, and the media treats you like a right-wing leper. Say you read the Anchorage Daily News, and they treat you like a hick.

Wait -- isn't Palin supposed to be all mavericky and stuff? Shouldn't she be above caring whether she "disappoints the base" or if that darn mainstream media "treats you like a right-wing leper" or she looks like a hick? If it's a gotcha question, why does it matter to Graham what the answer is?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 AM EDT
CNS: Don't Trust 'Daily Show' Because It's Liberal

Nicholas Ballasy sledgehammers home a talking point in the lead of his Oct. 7 article:

Young people should not rely on “The Daily Show” for news, according to Rob Riggle, a correspondent for the popular comedy show, which is hosted by liberal Jon Stewart. According to polls, the politically liberal “Daily Show” is the main source of news for many young people.

So, don't rely on "The Daily Show" because it's liberal, then?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Graham Ignores Brokaw's Conflict of Interest With McCain
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Oct. 7 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham insists that Tom Brokaw, moderator for tonight's presidential debate, is a "strongly biased moderator" who is "part of the liberal media" and chock-full of "liberal utterances."

Graham curiously fails to mention Brokaw's role as a liaison between NBC and the McCain campaign. That would seem to demonstrate some sort of bias, perhaps even a strong one -- just not the one Graham wants to think Brokaw has.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:05 PM EDT
WND Obfuscates on Corsi Detention
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Oct. 7 article on WND writer Jerome Corsi being detained in Kenya obfuscates the apparent fact that Corsi is violating his declared purpose for going there.

As we pointed out, the Oct. 2 WND article announcing Corsi's trip claimed that Corsi was going "at the invitation of Christian missionaries who contend the rise of Islam in the African nation has been spurred by an agreement Odinga signed with Muslim leaders in an effort to win the presidency last December." But the article also announced various anti-Obama activities,such as bringing money to Obama's half-brother, George Obama, while repeating the false claim that George Obama "lives on $12 a year."

Neither Corsi nor WND have publicly identified the "Christian missionaries" at whose purported behest Corsi is visiting Kenya, nor have they explained how these mysterious "missionaries" are linked to Corsi's Obama-smearing activities there.

While the Oct. 7 article insists that "His visit and his activities during his stay have been well-known to authorities at the highest levels," there is no mention of those "Christian missionaries" and Corsi's apparent deviation from their agenda by attacking Obama.

UPDATE: WND also fails to note George Obama's response to Joseph Farah's cash gimmick, according to the UK Telegraph: "I have not heard from this man, but even if he came here with that money, I would not take it from him. ...  He is no friend of me or my family, and if the police want to send him out of Kenya, that would be better."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:21 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 7, 2008 3:43 PM EDT
Ponte Misleads About Obama, ACORN
Topic: Newsmax

An Oct. 6 Newsmax article by Lowell Ponte asserts that Barack Obama "can’t hide from the facts of his close relationship" with "the radical group ACORN," but Ponte appears to overstate his case and misleads about other details.

Ponte claims that Obama was "a key operative for the organization" and "was its lawyer in several pivotal ACORN cases" -- claims he doesn't really substantiate. He further claimed that "In 1992, Obama took time off as a lawyer to direct Project Vote, ACORN’s voter mobilization entity, statewide in Illinois." But as Obama's "Fight the Smears" website points out, Project Vote was not affiliated with ACORN in 1992.

Ponte also writes:

In Washington state, five ACORN employees were convicted in 2007 in what its Secretary of State Sam Reed called “the worst case of election fraud in our state’s history. It was an outrage.”

In this state the current Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire was elected literally by a handful of votes, but 450 apparently fictitious names were found registered to vote as Democrats at a single address. At least 1,700 ACORN voter registrations — using the names of Harry Reid, Dennis Hastert, and movie and sports stars — were later revoked in just one county of the state.

Ponte is conflating two separate incidents, and misleading about both. The governor's race to which he refers occurred in 2004, and then-U.S. Attorney John McKay said no charges of voter fraud were filed because "there was no evidence of voter fraud or election fraud." Regarding the 2007 case of apparently fraudulent voter registrations, Ponte fails to note that no votes were cast under those registrations.

Ponte even bizarrely tries to tie Obama to 9/11 because Obama worked as one of several lawyers for ACORN in a lawsuit to force the state of Illinois to enforce the "motor voter" law:

Motor Voter was the Clinton administration’s attempt permanently to tilt voter rolls in favor of the Democratic Party. And Obama, working for ACORN, played a key role in imposing this law.

Perhaps thanks to ACORN’s and Motor Voter’s influence, of the 19 foreign terrorists who attacked America on 9/11, at least six were registered to vote.

Then again, Ponte is no stranger to bizarre, baseless claims.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 PM EDT

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