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Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Ponte Unleashes More Dubious Smears on Obama
Topic: Newsmax

Lowell Ponte has unleashed a new series of Obama smears at Newsmax.

In an Oct. 10 column, Ponte bizarrely asserted:

If Barack Obama is declared winner of the vote this Nov. 4 — and if Democrats attain a filibuster-proof 60 seats in the U.S. Senate — Democratic leaders have promised speedy imposition of the “Fairness Doctrine.” This will choke off the free speech of citizens, not only on talk radio but also on the Internet, the only two media where criticism of Democrats can readily be found, and uncensored, unfiltered voices of ordinary people can be heard.

All media could soon become today’s mainstream media, whose mannequins and womannequins dutifully repeat and amplify the Democratic Party line propaganda glorifying Obama and ridiculing Republicans. The entire news media would serve only a daily unbalanced brainwashing from the gibbering monkey faces of Big Brother’s lackeys like Paul Begala, Chris Matthews, and Keith Olbermann.

Ponte continued:

All of America will become Chicago, where four out of every two voters cast their ballots for Democrats.

Every future ballot box will be stuffed, every election stolen, to secure an overwhelming Democratic majority for centuries to come, I dreamed. And the symbolic light of Lady Liberty’s torch will be snuffed out.

Ponte also rehashes numerous horror stories about "vote fraud involving Obama’s ally ACORN" while failing to mention the inconvenient facts that 1) fraudulent voter registration forms virtually never lead to fraudulent votes being cast, 2) ACORN is required in many states to turn in all registration forms it collects, even those it suspects are fraudulent, and 3) ACORN regularly cooperates with authorities by flagging potentially fraudulent registration forms.

In an Oct. 13 column, Ponte tries to parse his previous assertions about Obama's links to ACORN (which we've previously debunked) against the Obama campaign's denials in a desperate effort to make them kinda-sorta true.

For instance, Ponte had claimed on Oct. 6 that Project Vote was "ACORN’s voter mobilization entity" at the time Obama worked for the group in 1992. In fact, as the Obama campaign pointed out, it was not a part of ACORN in 1992. But the only attempt Ponte makes at trying to disprove that claim is when he quotes the Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum -- who has his own accuracy issues on the subject.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:58 PM EDT
Cashill Keeps Building His Obama Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill is starting to sound like conspiracy-obsessed Richard Mellon Scaife (but without the bottomless barrel of cash). Just as Scaife insisted that Vince Foster's death was the Rosetta Stone of the Clinton presidency -- and threw millions of dollars at people to smear Clinton with conspiracy theories about Foster's death -- Cashill (who has penned his own Clinton conspiracy book) is clinging to the idea that nautical references are the Rosetta Stone to his otherwise unsubstantiated claim that William Ayers ghost-wrote Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father."

Cashill asserts in an Oct. 14 WorldNetDaily column that "A newly discovered anecdote from Bill Ayers' 1993 book 'To Teach' solidifies the case that he is indeed the muse behind Barack Obama's 'Dreams From My Father.'" This blockbuster evidence: Both books anecdotally reference the tidal nature of the Hudson River.

That's it. Really.

Nevertheless, Cashill declares:

This one anecdote holds a host of problems for Obama. For one, the East River would be hugely out of his way no matter where he lived in New York and especially if he lived anywhere near the Columbia campus on the upper West Side.

More troubling, his serendipitous journey to the river enables him to tell a story that is transparently fabricated and almost assuredly hatched in the weathered brain of Bill Ayers.

Even were there no other clues, Obama's frequent and sophisticated use of nautical metaphors makes a powerful case for Ayers' involvement in the writing of "Dreams."

Remember: Cashill is the same guy who spent a seven-part series for WND in 2002 "proving" that anti-abortion extremist James Kopp didn't murder abortion doctor Barnett Slepian and weaving a grand conspiracy that Kopp was framed -- a few months before Kopp confessed to the killing.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:31 PM EDT
Krugman Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Media Research Center

There's a case of some very sour grapes at the Media Research Center over Paul Krugman being awarded the Nobel Prize in economics.

In an Oct. 13 NewsBusters post, Mark Finkelstein took great pleasure in the folks at MSNBC's "Morning Joe" treating the award as a joke, then mocked Andrea Mitchell for  trying to set people straight:

Can Mitchell seriously believe this was other than a supremely political pick by the lefty Nobel Committee?  Does Andrea honestly imagine Krugman was awarded the prize for his academic work and not for his Republican-bashing and promotion of the road to collectivism on the pages of the Gray Lady?  Don't make us laugh!

Finkelstein then sneers: "According to the official Nobel announcement, Krugman was awarded the prize for "his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity." Right."

Then, in an Oct. 13 appearance on Fox News' "Your World," the MRC Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor was in a similar sneering mood, eager to delegitimize the award because it isn't given to people Gainor likes. From an Oct. 13 NewsBusters post by Nathan Burchfiel (the video of Gainor's appearance wasn't functional at the time of this writing):

"They've given Al Gore, they've given Jimmy Carter, they've given the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change," Gainor told Fox News Channel's "Your World" host Neil Cavuto Oct. 13. "The last three literary awards have gone to left and lefter writers and according to this paper called The New York Times there's a lot of critics who are questioning whether the committee is actually making decisions based on reasons other than best literary reasons."

Ouch. They'll get over it eventually. Then again, Tim Graham still hasn't gotten over that macaca thing...

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 PM EDT
Is AIM Boycotting NY Times, Or Stumping For McCain?
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media has launched a "Boycott the New York Times" website, aimed at, according to an Oct. 8 press release, "encouraging news consumers to boycott the most powerful media voice in America to protest its persistent leftist bias." The press release further quotes the editor of the site, Don Feder, as saying, "The Times has, over the course of decades, blatantly distorted the news to advance an ideological agenda."

How ironic -- Feder has done the same exact thing. 

As we've detailed, Feder has a long record of making dishonest and hypocritical claims. He's also an anti-immigration activist who is a member of the advisory board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, headed by John Tanton, who -- despite Feder's attempts to obfuscate the issue -- has likened immigrants to bacteria.

So it's no surprise that Feder brings his shoddy writing to AIM's Times-bashing site as well.

A Sept. 28 article by Feder is little more than a regurgitation of McCain campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt's anti-Times talking points: "Of course, Schmidt is right."

In an Oct. 2 article, Feder peddles more baseless and even false talking points blaming Democrats for the financial crisis, even quoting directly from a McCain ad. For instance, he claimed that "It was Jimmy Carter who first pushed Fannie and Freddie to lend to high-risk borrowers, to increase minority home ownership, pandering to one of the Democrats’ favorite constituencies." Feder is referring to the Community Reinvestment Act, a law passed during the Carter administration; in fact, less than one-fifth of subprime loans were made by financial institutions subject to the CRA.

Feder also asserts, "Some of Barack Obama’s closest allies were key figures in pressuring Fannie Mae to make high-risk loans — they include Franklin Raines and Obama campaign advisor Jim Johnson." But Raines is not among Obama's "closest allies"; both he and Obama's campaign deny he has any sort of advisory role.

Feder further claims, "Obama himself is #2 on the list of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae executives. He’s received $126,349, second only to Banking Committee Chairman Dodd." In fact, the Times itself has compiled a list -- which Feder has yet to refute -- showing McCain receiving more than $169,000 in donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives and lobbyists.

Feder and AIM claim to be building a case to "progressively limit [the Times'] influence," but all it's done so far is serve as a public relations arm for the McCain campaign. Isn't that illegal under AIM's 501(c)(3) tax status?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 AM EDT
Newsmax Takes Andy Martin's Side -- Again
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax stood behind noted anti-Semite and fabulist Andy Martin in 2007, when it printed a Martin column baselessly claiming that Barack Obama "locked ... away" his white grandmother "in his racist closet." It does so again in an Oct. 13 article attacking the New York Times for telling the story behind Martin and his serving as the genesis for the debunked claim that Obama's a secret Muslim:

The Times pinned the blame on this "persistent falsehood" about Obama on an Illinois man named Andy Martin.

In a story headlined "The Man Behind the Whispers About Obama," the paper said Martin had singlehandedly fomented the claim that “Obama is a Muslim who has concealed his religion.”

The paper also claimed Martin had past psychiatric illness and had made anti-Semitic statements.

But the Times ignored the allegations by many others that Obama is hiding his upbringing as a Muslim.

But in citing anti-Islam activist Daniel Pipes -- who, like Martin, claims that Obama currently is a Muslim (but unlike Martin, Pipes uses the reasoning that children of a Muslim father are automatically Muslim, thus discounting the idea of free will) -- Newsmax buys into Martin's argument. Newsmax tries to parse the issue by focusing on Pipes' claims about the allegedly Muslim aspects of Obama's childhood, itglosses over Pipes' insistence that due to paternal heritage, Obama is now a Muslim.

Is Newsmax so desperate to paint Obama as a Muslim that it defends the indefensible Andy Martin? It appears so.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:13 AM EDT
Farah Suddenly Concerned That McCain Will Lose
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For a guy who claims he doesn't want John McCain to win the election, Joseph Farah is surprisingly bothered by the possibility that McCain will lose.

In his Oct. 11 WorldNetDaily column, Farah points out that "I have been predicting with some degree of certainty that John McCain would win the presidential election," then laments that "He is floundering worse than even I could have imagined."

Farah then reverts to his old McCain-bashing: "John McCain is a disaster as a candidate. And he would be a bigger disaster as president. But don't worry, he doesn't have a clue as to how to win it."

So, if McCain is such a "disaster," why is Farah worried about him losing to Obama?

Sounds to us like more evidence that Farah's "none of the above" campaign is a hollow lie. But then, Farah and WND are no strangers to telling lies.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EDT
Too Much Macaca, Not Enough Fact-Checking
Topic: NewsBusters

Poor Tim Graham. He just can't get over the macaca thing.

Graham isn't even two paragraphs into his Oct. 13 NewsBusters post ostensibly about a Washington Post reporter's comments about William Ayers before he's pointing out that the reporter he's criticizing "spent 2006 making an enormous mountain out of George Allen's utterance of 'macaca.'"

As we've noted, Graham remained bitter for months after the 2006 election over coverage of Allen's "macaca" remark. He still is, apparently. 

Anyway, Graham does make his way to accusing the reporter of not "explaining how Ayers recruited [Barack] Obama to the Annenberg Challenge," going on to assert that the item on Obama and Ayers cited by the reporter -- which points out that the Annenberg Challenge was funded by noted Republican Walter Annenberg, staffed by "mainstream" folks and funded by "a host of respected, mainstream institutions" -- was somehow a lie. Rather than refuting any of the actual claims in it, Graham complained that it "trash[ed] Stanley Kurtz of National Review" and wasn't "detached fact checking." Graham also doesn't note that, as we've pointed out, contrary to his assertion that "Ayers recruited Obama to the Annenberg Challenge," any evidence that that actually happened is circumstantial at best.

Perhaps Graham was a little too busy thinking about macaca to actually refute the fact-check.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Monday, October 13, 2008
Jeffrey Misleads Again on Obama, Abortion

You know how CNS' mission statement claims that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story"? Well, not so much.

For the second article in a row, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has refused to tell the full story about Barack Obama's stance on a "born alive" law in Illinois. In his Oct. 13 article, Jeffrey uncritically repeats assertions by Sarah Palin about "Obama’s unwillingness to support legislation that would protect babies who were born alive after botched abortions" without pointing out the misleading nature of them.

Jeffrey repeats claims by "Jill Stanek, who went public about the 'induced-labor abortions' that were taking place at the Chicago-area hospital where she worked" while failing to tell readers that Stanek's allegations were never substantiated. Jeffrey also rehashes a statement that then-Illinois state Sen. Patrick O’Malley "was told by the state attorney general’s office that no existing state laws protected these babies" while ignoring other assertions that the behavior that would be outlawed under a "born alive" law was already illegal.

What Jeffrey has done here is act as an agent for the McCai-Palin campaign by uncritically quoting Palin. That can be called a lot of things, but "journalism" is not one of them.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:46 PM EDT
Corsi's 'Traumatic Abduction'?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 13 WorldNetDaily article declares that Jerome Corsi "has fallen ill after he was forced to endure detention at the hands of armed Kenyan immigration authorities." The article quotes WND editor Joseph Farah as saying, "Corsi is still recovering from his traumatic abduction at the hands of Kenya security officials who halted his planned press conference in Nairobi and denied him and his party food for an entire day before allowing them to depart for London."

Funny, Corsi didn't sound very traumatized when he called into a radio show from Nairobi while in detention and accused Obama of orchestrating it. Nor did he sound traumatized when called more radio shows after leaving Kenya to make more baseless allegations against Obama.

The only trauma we see on Corsi's and Farah's part is that their little publicity stunt in Kenya didn't go off quite as planned. And when will Corsi admit that his so-called proof that Obama is buddy-buddy with Raila Odinga is bogus?

UPDATE: Apparently Corsi really isn't horribly traumatized or near death's door after all: He's doing a teleseminar later this week.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:45 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 12:34 AM EDT
Klein Accuses Obama of Lie, Won't Apologize for His Own
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 12 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein asserts that "Sen. Barack Obama's campaign is misleading the public regarding the presidential candidate's ties to a radical leftist organization that has admitted to major financial improprieties and has been convicted in numerous, massive voter fraud scandals." The article's headline goes further: "Obama website lies about ACORN ties."

The main claim Klein singles out is the Obama campaign's claim that "ACORN was not part of Project Vote" when Obama worked for it in 1992:

Obama's campaign claims ACORN was "not part of" Project Vote, but the organization's incorporation papers, obtained by WND, show Project Vote is a trademark name whose parent company is registered at the same New Orleans address in which ACORN and multiple ACORN affiliates are housed.

But Klein doesn't offer any evidence to back up the claim. He doesn't detail the information on the "incorporation papers" Klein claims he "obtained" or provide a copy of them with his story.

So this article proves nothing, and the rest of it is little more than playing guilt by association between ACORN and Obama, parsing words, and a rehashing of the worst allegations against ACORN.

Further, while Klein is accusing Obama of lying, Klein has yet to retract or apologize for his own lie about Obama.

As we detailed, Klein claimed in July that Obama made a "distortion of the Holocaust," suggesting that Obama is a Holocaust denier. In fact, the issue at hand was which Obama relative helped to liberate which concentration camp during World War II. Obama said nothing about the Holocaust, let alone "distored" it.

Klein needs to clean up his own house of lies before hurling (more) accusations he can't properly back up. 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EDT
Brent Bozell's Favorite Domestic Terrorist
Topic: Media Research Center

An Oct. 12 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer asserts that a Chicago Tribune article "demonstrates that for all these years a large plurality, if not a majority, of Democrats who hold the levers of power ... really haven't had a problem welcoming [William] Ayers, [Bernardine] Dohrn, and their unrepentant views of their violent pasts."

What Blumer doesn't mention: His NewsBusters publisher has no problem welcoming its own unrepentant terrorist and convicted felon into the mainstream.

G. Gordon Liddy was a featured "accepter" at the Media Research Center's 2008 Gala. As we've detailed, Liddy is the unrepentant Watergate felon who plotted to kill numerous people and plotted to bomb a liberal-leaning think tank. Liddy appeared in 2007 as well, in which he "accepted" an award for Katie Couric. An April 2005 CyberAlert reprinted a Washington Times article noting that Liddy was among the guests that "roared at the assembled clips and commentary" during the 2005 awards gala.

Liddy also served as a judge for the MRC's year-end Notable Quotables awards in 1992, 1995 and 1997.

The MRC further sought to whitewash Liddy's 1994 statement on his radio show that "if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests" by insisting in a November 1995 MediaWatch that "Liddy meant shooting in self-defense."

The MRC and its writers and bloggers might want to keep their employer's unwavering, uncritical support of Liddy in mind the next time they want to distort Obama's relationship with Ayers.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:31 AM EDT
WND Peddles Yet Another Obama Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's reporting and commentary on the Obama campaign is already littered with lies, so it's no surprise that WND would be peddling yet another one.

An Oct. 10 WND article by Drew Zahn uncritically accepts the premise of the creator of an anti-Obama ad that Obama was "mocking the Bible" during a 2006 speech. Zahn makes no effort to explain the full context of Obama's statements, and he selectively quotes from the Obama campaign's criticism of the ad to avoid mentioning damning its creator.

While Zahn quotes from Obama's speech to offer the "immediate context" of his words, he fails to quote from the Obama's campaign's statement that the speech "actually celebrates the role of people of faith in public life and offers nuanced thoughts on the intersection of religion and politics." Zahn does quote the Obama statement that "The video takes 5 sentences out of a 4,500-word speech Barack gave in 2006 completely out of context to stoke division and hatred," but he refuses to admit that that's exactly what the ad does.

Zahn curiously doesn't quote from the ad itself, which falsely claimed that Obama "mocked and ridiculed the books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, even laughing at the Sermon on the Mount, taking those passages painfully out of context." Of course, taking Obama painfully out of context is exactly what thet ad's creator does in his attack.

Instead, Zahn focuses on the Obama campaign's criticism of the creator,  Stepehn Marks of some 527 group called "pH For America," with Zahn paraphrasing the campaign's claim as being that Marks is "trying to scam Christians out of their money by promising to air a spot that will never be broadcast." In response, Zahn writes: "WND has confirmed, however, that – true to his word – the ad's creator purchased air time for the commercial on television stations in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. Sources at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh and a cable company servicing Erie told WND that the ad had been aired on several occasions."

But Zahn fails to mention that the Obama campaign noted in its statement that the ad did actually air: "At the beginning of October, the scammer behind this deceptive home video announced that he finally got his 'ad' on TV — but it turns out it only aired one time, at 2:00 a.m., on a single station in Pittsburgh."

Zahn further fails to mention that Obama's campaign pointed out that  Marks' ads are "missing the required legal disclaimer at the end saying who funded them." Remember, WND made a massive deal earlier this year accusing the Obama campaign of running an "illegal lottery" because a promotion in which donors were eligible to win a trip to the Democratic National Convention initially mistakenly lacked the required mechanism to allow non-donors to enter.

Sadly, it's not surprising that WND continues to lie about Obama. It is surprising that they would do it so transparently that its jeopardizes what little credibility it has. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 AM EDT
NewsBusters Peddles Dubious Claims on Obama, Odinga
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 12 NewsBusters post by Kerry Picket promotes allegations about Barack Obama "connection and support" for Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Her sources? A couple less-than-reliable folks: Mark Hyman and Jerome Corsi.

Hyman is the former (or perhaps current -- we're not really sure) right-wing Sinclair Broadcasting commentator with a long history of false and misleading claims. The Washington Times commentary by Hyman to which Picket links cites no sources for his claims about Obama and Odinga, so they can be presumed to be as dubious as his commentaries.

Picket links to Corsi's WorldNetDaily assertion that Obama backed "ruthless foreign thug" Odinga, citing emails he obtained during his misadventure as evidence. Picket fails to note that those emails appear to have been forged.

Picket also links to a "popular internet video" on Obama and Odinga, but no source is listed in it, and it was apparently posted to Eyeblast, the MRC's video website, by Picket herself. (Picket is an an associate producer at Eyeblast.)

Picket concludes by claiming, "Many questions still remain unanswered. By omission, the mainstream media is delinquent with the scant coverage of this story, and it may already be dangerously too late." Too late for what? Smearing Obama with bogus claims? Picket might want to check the veracity of her sources before making such wild assertions.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Unruh Still Spreading Anti-Gay Lies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously documented WorldNetDaily's lies in promoting David Parker's anti-gay agenda. WND's Bob Unruh keeps it up in an Oct. 9 article.

Unruh falsely claims that a school in Massachusetts is providing "mandatory ... instruction for children as young as kindergarten in how to be homosexual," adding that the school is "teaching homosexuality to young children."

That is a lie, as evidenced by Unruh providing no evidence to back up his claims. In fact, as we've noted, the dispute between Parker and his school district began when his then-5-year-old child was given a book called "Who's in a Family?" that depicted different types of families, including a couple with gays in them.

As per usual, Unruh quotes only Parker and the anti-gay group that supports him regarding the court ruling that the story is ostensibly about, makes no apparent effort to fact-check Parker's anti-gay assertions, and makes no effort whatsoever to report the reaction of supporters of the ruling, as a real journalist would.

But Unruh isn't a real journalist, though he once was. He's a polemicist merely putting lies in a journalistic form -- which means he fits in quite well at WorldNetDaily.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EDT
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

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