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Sunday, October 12, 2008
MRC "Reality Check" Lacks Reality on Obama, Abortion
Topic: Media Research Center

An Oct. 9 MRC "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes and Matthew Balan, in claiming that "the big broadcast networks" have failed to sufficiently report on Barack Obama's "pro-abortion stance," misrepresents Obama's views on abortion by repeating discredited right-wing claims.

The article repeats claims by anti-Obama activist Jill Stanek, "who described how a baby who survived an 'induced labor abortion' was abandoned by the hospital staff." But Noyes and Balan fail to mention that, as we've pointed out, Stanek's claims were never substantiated.

Noyes and Balan also assert that "Obama’s most extreme pro-abortion move came in Illinois, when he voted against a bill to protect babies born alive following unsuccessful abortions, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act." But they fail to note that Obama has claimed that the bill wouldn't have forbidden anything that wasn't already illegal.

They also claim that a CNN fact check on Obama's opposition over a proposed Illinois "born alive" bill failed to admit that Obama "unfairly attacked his critics as liars" by claiming that the bill originally failed to include to include "neutrality clause" protecting the status quo on abortion as a similar federal bill did because a clause identical to the federal clause was added to the bill. They fail to mention that, as we've noted, a state law containing the same language as the federal law would not have offered the same protection because no federal laws regarding abortion, which is regulated at the state level.

It was not until 2005, after Obama left the state legislature, that a "born alive" law passed in Illinois that specifically stated that it would not affect "existing federal or state law regarding abortion," a clause missing from earlier versions of the bill.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:28 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Part 2
Topic: Newsmax

By the early 1930s, Germany was in the grip of an economic meltdown. Its loss in World War I, followed by the Draconian conditions imposed by the victorious United States, Britain, and France in the Treaty of Versailles, had left the nation humiliated and in poverty, with a runaway inflation destroying their economy and the lives of the German people. The Treaty of Versailles required ruinous reparation payments to the allies.

The global depression that came in the wake of the U.S. stock market crash in 1929, made matters even worse in Germany, causing banks to fail, factories to close, and unemployment to skyrocket. Like the American people, they looked for a savior.

They found him in Adolf Hitler; another spell-binding orator who pledged to bring about change in the way the nation was governed and the economy managed.


Like the German people of 1932, many Americans seem to be willing to put our future in the hands of a messianic leader with abundant oratorical gifts, a questionable and largely unknown past and a unshakable conviction born of a socialistic background that America can spend its way out of a debacle initially caused by trying to spend our way into prosperity.

-- Phil Brennan, Oct. 10 Newsmax column

Anyone else seeing a pattern here?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 PM EDT
WND Columnist Repeats Bogus Matthew Shepard Revisionism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In an Oct. 11 WorldNetDaily column marking the 10th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, John Aman, "a writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and author of the book, 'Ten Truths About Hate Crimes Laws,'" repeats revisionist claims about Shepard's death to argue against hate-crimes laws:

There is just one problem with this story. According to the evidence, it is not true. Money for drugs, not "homophobia," was the motive for Matthew Shepard's murder, as revealed by a 2004 ABC News "20/20" report. Aaron McKinney, sentenced in 1999 to two life sentences for Matthew Shepard's murder, was on a sleepless week-long methamphetamine binge and in search of money for more drugs when he and his accomplice, Russell Henderson, met Shepard at a bar.

Earlier that evening, McKinney said, he had tried and failed to take $10,000 from a drug dealer. He saw in Shepard, a well-dressed but slight young man, an easy robbery victim and readily obliged when Shepard asked for a lift home because he was too drunk. All three were in the front seat of McKinney's truck, with Henderson driving, when Shepard grabbed McKinney's leg. McKinney reacted by hitting Shepard with his gun butt, as he told ABC, "I was getting ready to pull it on him anyway."

McKinney's attorney offered a "gay panic" defense at trial, suggesting that the murderer turned violent when Shepard made a homosexual pass at him. McKinney, who will never be eligible for parole, now says that was not the case. "No, I did not," he replied when asked if he attacked Shepard because he was homosexual. "I would say it wasn't a hate crime," he told ABC. "All I wanted to do was beat him up and rob him."

Henderson also denied the hate-crime charge. "It's not because me and Aaron had anything against gays or anything like that," he said.

As we pointed out back in 2004, when right-wingers begain taking refuge in McKinney's and Henderson's claims on ABC, McKinney and Henderson have a long record of lying, so it's rather impossible to believe anything they have to say now, especially given that the hate-crime aspect was corroborated at their trials.

As a Wyoming police detective who worked on the Shepard case said: "Only three people know what really happened that night. ... One of them is dead and the other two are known liars and convicted felons -- murderers."

Aman has decided to trust liars and killers instead of the record of the case. It's a lot like trusting Ted Bundy as a way to argue against pornography.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The secret to selling bad ideas is to make sure they are the only ones available. This is how totalitarian regimes take power. Whether it was Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany or Vladimir Lenin in Communist Russia, the pattern is largely the same – totalitarian dictators come to power by enshrining themselves as cults of personality and then creating political monopolies through often less than delicate campaigns of indoctrination and censorship – especially censorship enshrouded in the intimidating aura of state power. Ironically, these cloven-tongued leaders often rise to dominance by preaching power to those they will dominate, provision to those they will impoverish and liberty to those they will force into state labor. Whether they claim to be left or right, revolutionary or reactionary, communist or fascist, the result is always the same – tyranny.

The great discomfort for many Americans as they watch the current presidential contest is that the scent of such totalitarianism hangs heavy in the air; the pattern so familiar in European dictatorships seems eerily present in Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

-- Shawn D. Akers, Oct. 10 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 12, 2008 1:28 AM EDT
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Farah Misleads About Corsi's Kenya Stunt
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah uses his Oct. 10 WorldNetDaily column to misleading Jerome Corsi's little Kenyan adventure. Farah writes: "Corsi made no secret of his mission in Kenya. He announced his intentions upon arriving in the country. He disclosed on his customs forms the purpose of his business trip."

In fact, as WND itself stated before the trip, Corsi "came at the invitation of Christian missionaries" allegedly worried about "the rise of Islam in the African nation." Corsi and Farah have never identified who these "Christian missionaries" are, orhow their anti-Obama stunts -- like presenting Barack Obama's Kenyan half-brother a check for $1,000 -- fit in with the the declared purpose of working with "Christian missionaries."

Farah also whined about the treatment of Corsi in the media:

Try to imagine, for a moment, how different coverage would be if a prominent reporter for the New York Times who was also a best-selling author was abducted at the point of automatic weapons by a foreign government as Corsi was, held without food, stripped of his passport and cell phone and denied the opportunity to make any calls or talk to the press. Do you suppose the Associated Press and other news service accounts would portray the reporter as some kind of reckless political operative?

But Corsi is a political operative. He went to Kenya for the sole purpose of attacking and embarrassing Obama, no matter how specious the "evidence." Curiously, we haven't heard a peep about those "Christian missionaries" Corsi was supposed to be helping.

Remember, Farah was rooting for Muslim riots over a WND-published book that put the prophet Muhammad on the cover, so he's clearly not averse to taking part in publicity stunts.

Will Farah and Corsi ever admit to their readers the full truth about the Kenyan trip? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, October 11, 2008 12:29 PM EDT
Michael Reagan's Favorite Domestic Terrorist
Topic: Newsmax

So Michael Reagan has a Newsmax column up attacking Barack Obama for his connections to "unrepentant terrorist bomber Bill Ayers." Reagan might want to justify his own connections to an unrepentant terrorist.

The company that syndicates Reagan's radio show, Radio America, is the same one that syndicates the radio show by G. Gordon Liddy, convicted felon and wannabe (if not actual) murderer who also has ties to John McCain.

Why should we trust Reagan or heed his call to demonize Ayers when Reagan works for a company that supports an unrepentant thug like Liddy?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:32 AM EDT
Huston Repeats False Claim on Illegals, Mortgages
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 9 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston touted "a shocking claim made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD says that five million illegal aliens hold illegal mortgages." Huston added: "This story should be in every paper and on every TV news cast. Yet it isn't. I'll leave the guessing as to why with you, gentle reader."

Um, how about the fact that it isn't true?

The Phoenix radio station that originally ran the story later pulled it, as Huston notes. But as the Phoenix Business Journal reports (h/t Media Matters):

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development says there is no basis to news reports that more than 5 million bad mortgages are held by illegal immigrants.

A HUD spokesman said Thursday his agency has no data showing the number of illegal immigrants holding foreclosed or bad mortgages.

But news reports, including one aired on KFYI-AM 550 in Phoenix, cite HUD as a source for the illegal immigrant mortgage number. The widely read “Drudge Report” posted a link to the KFYI report, but as of Thursday afternoon the link no longer connected to the story.

That radio station has a new article up claiming that its source was not HUD but, rather, "a retired agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

UPDATE: Huston has updated his post with the new article from the radio station, taking refuge in the radio station's claim that it "stands by the essence of their original report" -- even though the source remains anonymous and and no evidence is provided to back up the claim. Would Huston put up with that anonymity and lack of evidence if a liberal was making a claim that conservatives didn't like? We doubt it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, October 11, 2008 11:18 PM EDT
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

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