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Friday, October 10, 2008
What Rage?
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Oct. 9 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock, headlined "ABC's David Wright Rages at 'Full-bore Attack on Obama's Character,'" asserted that Wright "continued to rail against John McCain's 'full-bore attack on [Senator Barack] Obama's character' during Thursday's "Good Morning America.'"

Well, we watched the clip. We didn't see any raging or any railing -- just Wright pointing out that "in the past couple of days, the Republicans have been laying it on thick. Chumming the waters. And, not surprisingly, ugly reactions are beginning to surface." Whitlock doesn't contradict any of the claims Wright makes, which tells us that the whole point of the post is to equate telling the truth with having a liberal bias.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:04 PM EDT
Corsi's Email Evidence Against Obama Debunked
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 10 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh touted "e-mails obtained by WND senior staff writer Jerry Corsi during a trip to Kenya" as evidence that Barack Obama "backed" the "ruthless, foreign thug" and Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga. Corsi's key piece of evidence is an email purportedly from Obama to Odinga stating that "I will kindly wish that all our correspondence [be] handled by Mr Mark Lippert. I have already instructed him. This will be for my own security both for now and in future."

Well, not so much. As Politico's Ben Smith points out:

A small glitch: These emails, above, appear not to have been written by a native English speaker, unless "I will kindly wish..." is a phrase I'm just unfamiliar with. They have the unmistakable flavor of solicitations from dying African princes, who need only your bank account details to make you wealthy beyond measure.

At least the Bush National Guard documents were written in the right language.

Also unexplained: why Odinga would be using a Yahoo email account.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 10, 2008 11:38 PM EDT
Kessler's Anonymous Obama Smear
Topic: Newsmax

An Oct. 9 Newsmax article by Ronald Kessler purports to quote a "former Obama schoolmate" as saying that during high school in Hawaii, Barack Obama " didn’t hang out with a group I thought was the right group to hang out with," adding, "I would say Obama didn’t show great character about choosing who he hung out with. ... I think he behaved well and wasn’t getting into trouble, but he didn’t seem to hang out with the right people.”

Who is this "former schoolmate"? Kessler won't tell us, asserting that the woman "did not want to be quoted by name."

Kessler uses this person's alleged words to launch yet another attack on Obama, giving him an excuse to do his Republican duty and rehash Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan and William Ayers. Kessler concludes: "The fact that he associated with Ayers, remained a member of Wright’s church until this year, and exposed his children to Wright’s hate-America tirades shows the same poor character and lack of judgment Obama admits displaying in high school."

The fact that Kessler so willingly sold himself out to flip-flop from McCain-basher to McCain fluffer, and his willingness to forward anonymous smears, show us all we need to know about Kessler's character and judgment.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 AM EDT
Farah, Liddy Channel Andy Martin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

From the Oct. 7 edition of G. Gordon Liddy's radio show, which featured WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah taking some time to hang with his favorite domestic terrorist (via Media Matters):

FARAH: I hope to have Mr. Corsi, Dr. Corsi, on a plane to the U.K. before that debate takes place. If that is not the case, I hope we can make enough noise about this to make it an issue tonight.

LIDDY: Yeah. Now, in addition to freeing Dr. Corsi, are you also trying to free Obama's white grandmother?

FARAH: Good point. That's my next mission.

LIDDY: OK, Joseph. God bless you.

The stuff about Obama imprisoning his white grandmother comes straight from a March 2007 column Andy Martin wrote for Newsmax. But since neither Farah nor Liddy care thatmuch about facts, they think that raging anti-Semite Martin is a credible source. Indeed, as we've noted, WND considers Martin so credible that Aaron Klein treated his latest smear of Obama as fact in a Sept. 29 article.

Remember this the next time you're tempted to treat WND as a credible news source.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EDT
Heathers, Special NewsBusters Edition
Topic: NewsBusters

The boys at NewsBusters are turning into the Heathers. If you're a conservative who fails to strictly toe the right-wing line -- and especially if you get caught dissing lead Heather Sarah Palin -- you are so out of the club, and they'll say mean things about you.

Palin's Heather henchman at NewsBusters is none other than Tim Graham. In an Oct. 1 post, suggested that Kathleen Parker's column daring to suggest that Palin wasn't perhaps the best person John McCain could have chosen as vice president was written with the purpose of getting Parker on TV more: "Parker, a semi-regular on The Chris Matthews Show, doesn't seem to see how her souring on Palin might look to some like a way to demonstrate "independence" and hence more Matthews bookings. On Sunday, Matthews read from her column and cheeringly noted she was booked."

Joining in the Heathering was Mark Finkelstein, who insisted in an Oct. 4 post that Parker "became, overnight, liberals' favorite non-liberal pundit for her column calling on Sarah Palin to step down from the GOP ticket" and that Parker had an egg-like substance on her face because, after Palin's non-sucky performace during the vice presidential debate, "Parker is dismayed to have the Palin that made the author famous pulled out from under her."

After David Brooks called Palin "a fatal cancer to the Republican Party," the Heathers tried to turn him into Martha Dumptruck.

Scott Whitlock led the attack by putting scare quotes around "conservative" in describing Brooks, adding that he is "someone who makes a habit out of bashing other right-wingers."

Graham, meanwhile, let loose the Swatch dogs of war in an Oct. 9 post, calling Brooks "the man PBS’s 'NewsHour' unit selected to represent in some way 'conservative' opinion in America." He continues:

Many conservative and Republican taxpayers might ask: why are our tax dollars going to Washington to fund PBS, while they select "conservatives" to represent us who hate the politicians we support, and blithely sit around with liberals at pricey restaurants like Le Cirque and complain that those hicks from Texas and Alaska aren’t reading enough Niebuhr? Are we going to go to the polls to elect a commander in chief, or a senior fellow in Niebuhr studies?


David Brooks is nothing like Paul Gigot, who was both a good reporter and conservative idea man as a Wall Street Journal columnist. He’s a lot more like PBS’s last insult as a "conservative" representative: David Gergen. He's someone who inspires giggles when you reread in him in Newsweek in 2000 claiming "The conservative McCain backers see themselves as rebels against the establishment." Brooks defines the arrogant Manhattan establishment, looking down their snooty noses at the Alaskan moose-hunters. He is only a rebel against the people he’s supposedly speaking for on PBS.

Yikes. Why do we have a feeling that Graham is running around Northern Viriginia trying to find a place that sells ich luge bullets?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EDT
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

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