ConWeb Lies, Misleads About Obama Statement Topic: The ConWeb
It's clear that the ConWeb cares nothing about facts when it comes to Barack Obama. It's demonstrated again with its overheated misinterpretation of, and outright lies about, a statement Obama made in 2001.
I mean, I think that, you know, if you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order in, as long as I could pay for it, I'd be OK. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.
And, to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that, generally, the Constitution is a charter of [unintelligible] liberties -- says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted.
And one of the -- I think the tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movements became so court-focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing, and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And, in some ways, we still suffer from that.
In full context, Obama was saying that the civil rights movement relied too much on the court system to advance its agenda instead of promoting change from the bottom up, and the Warren Supreme Court was not as radical as right-wingers claim it to be because it refused to take up "more basic issues of political and economic justice."
But that's not what the ConWeb will tell you Obama said.
NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick howled that "Barack Obama explicitly calls for the 'redistribution of wealth'" in the interview -- which he doesn't. NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein claimed Obama said "he laments the Supreme Court's insufficient radicalism in pursuing redistribution and refers to the civil rights movement's failure to develop a better strategy to bring about wealth redistribution as a 'tragedy[']" -- which he didn't.
One of the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement is that it failed to lead to income redistribution in the United States, Barack Obama appears to state in an audio excerpt of a Chicago public radio program recorded in 2001.
Obama, who then was an Illinois state senator, also stated that people continue to “suffer” because there is no government program to take money from the rich and redistribute it to Americans who are less well off.
Susan Jones asserted in an Oct. 27 CNSNews.com article that "The audio clip makes it clear that redistribution of wealth, or 'redistributive change,' is something Obama’s been aiming at for years." Again, not true; Obama could have been referring to political power as well, or exclusively. Similarly, Terry Jeffrey asserted that Obama "expressed disappointment that the Supreme Court 'never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth.'"
The Media Research Center's Seton Motley cited "damning new evidence of Illinois Democratic Senator and Presidential nominee Barack Obama's radical views on how we need to 'break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution' because it 'doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.'" Obama didn't say that.
Motley also quotes MRC chief Brent Bozell saying of this story: "We will monitor who does - and doesn't - cover this story, and we'll document it." We'll be doing the same thing -- but monitoring and documenting how Bozell and his fellow travelers lie and mislead about Obama's words.
UPDATE: Newsmax's Phil Brennan severely misinterprets Obama's words, turning Obama's declarative statement that the Warren court "didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution" into a false question by putting words in Obama's mouth, under the headline "Obama Attacks Founding Fathers, Constitution":
According to Obama if the Constitution "didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and [the] Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties." [emphasis added]
Obama didn't say "if the Constitution"; that's a fabrication by Brennan. Yet Brennan lies that Obama "shows a shocking ignorance of the purpose of the United States Constitution" and "would have sent shivers up the spine of Thomas Jefferson, et al."
UPDATE 2: WorldNetDaily joins the parade, falsely claiming that Obama "said in a radio interview the U.S. has suffered from a fundamentally flawed Constitution that does not mandate or allow for redistribution of wealth."
Aaron Klein's False and Misleading Anti-Obama Screed Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein lets loose an anti-Obama screed in an Oct. 27 column, likening Barack obama to "Middle East dictators":
All freedom-loving Americans and independent-minded journalists must be concerned about the authoritarian actions practiced in recent days by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign, which cut off future interviews to a local news network after its anchor dared to ask legitimate but pressing questions to Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden.
The boycott move is a direct threat to what little is left of America's free press, highlighting to reporters the ramifications of questioning the Obama campaign on issues it doesn't want to talk about.
As a Mideast reporter, I've seen this kind of action before. It's routinely practiced by Middle East dictators and has resulted in an intimidated press corps which toes the jihadist line, in part out of fear of having their contacts cut off.
First: It wasn't a "local news network"; it was a TV station in Florida.
Second: John McCain's campaign has done the exact same thing. Will Klein liken McCain to "Middle East dictators" for banning Time magazine's Joe Klein from the campaign plane? Isn't McCain also issuing "a direct threat to what little is left of America's free press"?
Third: Is "fear of having his contacts cut off" the same reason Klein -- who eagerly reported an endorsement of Obama by Hamas -- refuses to report that McCain was endorsed by Al Qaeda?
Klein then asserts that Biden's claim that "We haven't paid Acorn a single penny to register one single voter" is "false and misleading":
Obama's campaign indeed paid more than $800,000 in services to Citizen Services Inc., [sic] or CSI, a nonprofit organization that is an affiliate of ACORN and works from the organization's offices. The payments, listed for "stage, lighting or sound," stood out in FEC filings since CSI does not offer services for stage, lighting or sound. The Obama campaign amended the FEC reports in August and September to claim the payments to CSI were for get-out-the-vote efforts, which means the Obama campaign absolutely paid an affiliate of ACORN to help register voters.
In fact, "get-out-the-vote efforts" are not the same thing as registering voters. As CNN detailed, Citizens Services Inc. was paid by the Obama campaign for 'vote canvassing, such as knocking on doors and urging people to vote. ... Obama campaign advisers stressed in an Oct. 14 teleconference that the campaign paid Citizens' Services Inc. for canvassing, but not voter registration."
Klein also writes:
Biden's attendant claim there is "no relationship" between Obama and ACORN is also untrue. In 1992, Obama was director of Project Vote in Chicago, which helped register 150,000 voters on the city's South Side and whose parent company is registered at the same New Orleans address in which ACORN and multiple ACORN affiliates are housed. Obama's campaign claims ACORN was "not part of" Project Vote, but Obama himself previously stated ACORN was "in the middle" of Project Vote.
But again, as we pointed out the last time he asserted this, the fact that Project Vote shares a corporate home with ACORN now is irrelevent to the relationship between the two groups in 1992. As ACORN itself has pointed out: "At that time, Project Vote had no more connection to ACORN than it did with dozens of other national and local organizations with which it partnered on local registration drives." Klein has offered no evidence whatsoever to contradict this.
But Klein wasn't done smearing Obama over cutting off a TV station in Florida:
But the Obama-Orlando boycott could have far-reaching, long-term consequences should Obama take the White House. Reporters have taken note and will likely think twice in the future before bringing up legitimate issues that call into question Obama's leadership and its reifications for the U.S.
Talk radio must immediately be placed on high alert in response to the [Barbara] West incident and amid reports Democrat [sic] senators are itching to revive some version of the Fairness Doctrine, which aims to silence non-liberal viewpoints.
The type of media oppression evidenced by the Obama camp is regularly practiced in the Middle East, where (excluding Israel) independent journalism is virtually nonexistent.
The outlook for the already grim future state of reporting during an Obama administration just faded to black.
The funny thing is, that's what real journalists said about West's interview of Biden. As one observer noted, "It may be the worst interview of a major political figure by a "professional" broadcast journalist I've ever witnessed. It was like something out of the old Soviet Union where propaganda masqueraded as news. Every question West asked revealed a bias against Sen. Barack Obama that reached the point of outright hostility."
NewsBusters Likes 'Tough' Biden Interview, But Cried Foul At Couric's Palin Interview Topic: NewsBusters
An Oct. 26 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard begins, "The leftwing blogosphere went into full panic mode Saturday as a result of a tough interview Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden had with a Florida anchorwoman two days ago," adding that the anchor "gave Biden quite a grilling Thursday."
But a month ago,his MRC and NewsBusters buddies were in a similar "panic mode" over Katie Couric's interview with Sarah Palin, specifically Couric's non-difficult question asking Palin what newspapers and magazines she read:
Tim Graham declared that it "was designed as a 'gotcha' question to underline Palin's lack of worldly sophistication."
Brent Baker insisted that Couric had "patronizingly challenge[d] & lecture[d]" in the interviews, and the newspaper question was a effort by Couric to paint Palin as "an ill-informed dolt."
Then again, any "tough" questioning of a conservative is seen by Sheppard, Graham and Baker as "liberal media bias."
Is Kincaid Blaming Financial Crisis on Soros? Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid has a new conspiracy to peddle: that the global financial crisis was engineered by George Soros to get Barack Obama elected. At least, that's what he appears to be hinting at in an Oct. 26 Accuracy in Media column:
Incredibly, we have no definitive explanation of why a global financial crisis suddenly materialized just six weeks before U.S. presidential and congressional elections. Instead, controversial hedge fund operators like George Soros, an Obama backer who was convicted of insider trading in France and was in the news earlier this year for his possible role in betting on a U.S. economic collapse, have largely escaped scrutiny.
“The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is scheduled to hold a hearing about regulation next month with five hedge fund managers,” including Soros, the New York Times reported last Wednesday. Soros is one of several hedge fund operators who reportedly made more than $1 billion last year. But this hearing could occur after the elections and after the Soros-supported Democrats take the White House and increase their numbers in Congress.
Soros is being treated deferentially by such media personalities as Bill Moyers of the Public Broadcasting Service and Fareed Zakaria of CNN.
Further, proving that he won't let go of a lie when it works to his benefit and proclivities, Kincaid yet again falsely claims that the Obama-sponsored Global Poverty Act will cost the U.S. $845 billion over the next 13 years. In fact, as we'vepointedout every time Kincaid makes this claim, the bill has no funding mechanism, doesn't commit the U.S. to a targeted level of spending, and doesn't give the United Nations the power to impose a tax on the U.S.
WND Prints Another Anti-Obama Letter From the Future Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 22 WorldNetDaily article by Art Moore promoted a hypothetical letter from a "Christian from 2012" -- which predicts that "Many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a majority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more" -- released by James Dobson's Focus on the Family Action.
This is the second report from the future purporting to describe America under a Barack Obama administration that WND has published in the past week. Janet Folger Porter's Oct. 21 WND column took the same approach.
Moore made no apparent effort to gather reaction from anyone to Dobson's letter. But as one blogger points out, Dobson's letter carries the overall structure and tone of "The Turner Diaries," the far-right novel best known these days as the inspiration for Timothy McVeigh to blow up a federal office building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
Instead of publishing fiction about the future, WND might consider reporting on what's happening now. Heck, it might even want to try doing something totally nutty like -- oh, I don't know -- telling the truth about current events.
Vadum Falsely Smears ACORN As Linked to Weather Underground Topic: The ConWeb
The Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum likens ACORN to terrorists by titling his new CRC report "ACORN: Who Funds the Weather Underground's Little Brother?" Vadum doesn't bother to support his suggestion that ACORN is tied to terrorism -- in fact, he demonstrates it's not true.
(Vadum promoted his report in an Oct. 25 NewsBusters post.)
The sole piece of evidence Vadum provides that's even related to the claim: ACORN founder Wade Rathke was a member in the 1960s of Sudents for a Democratic Society, a group that later splintered, one faction becoming the Weather Undreground. But Vadum specifically states that Rathke was among "[t]hose who rejected terrorist violence" -- that is, he was not a part of the Weather Underground.
Nevertheless, Vadum goes on to smear ACORN as a "sibling" of the Weather Underground.
Vadum also clings to the discredited idea that the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act -- which he claims "opened up banking to ACORN-style agitation" -- led to the meltdown of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, only about 20 percent of today's subprime housing loans were made by lending institutions not subject to the CRA.
Vadum again claims that Project Vote was "an ACORN affiliate" in 1992 when Barack Obama directed a Project Vote voter registration drive," adding that "Obama supporters tried to confuse the issue" by claiming otherwise. In his NewsBusters post, he writes that the claim is " fave of Seth Colter Walls at the Huffington Post." That's a reference to Walls ciriticizing and debunking Vadum's previous attacks on ACORN (which, peripherally, resulted in Vadum attempting a lame beatdown on us for agreeing with Walls).
But now, as then, Vadum offers no evidence to support his claim that Project Vote was "part of ACORN" in 1992. As ACORN itself stated, "At that time, Project Vote had no more connection to ACORN than it did with dozens of other national and local organizations with which it partnered on local registration drives. In 1994, over a year after Obama left Project Vote, ACORN and Project Vote began working much more closely together." Vadum neither mentions nor contradicts ACORN's statement; instead, he claims that such factual defenses are an effort "to confuse the issue."
That Vadum thinks facts "confuse the issue" -- on top of his headline smear -- says all we need to know about Vadum's partisan agenda.
An Oct. 24 Newsmax article by Nat Helms featured conservative Heritage Foundation panelists who claimed that "The U.S. election process is under siege from liberal election officials trying to wrestle it away from the electorate," but Helms whitewashed the history of one panel participant, Hans von Spakovsky.
Von Spakovsky, an expert on voter integrity issues and the Bush administration’s point man in the Justice Department, drew the ire of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and CNN political analyst Jeffrey Toobin in 2006 for supporting photo IDs for voters and questioning the validity of felons on Georgia’s voter lists.
Kennedy told the Associated Press that requiring photo ID’s hurt black voters. Toobin accused von Spakovsky in “The New Yorker” magazine of secretly targeting black voters to gain a Republican advantage in Georgia.
The truth is vastly different, said von Spakovsky, who said he was interested only in protecting the system from schemes taking advantage of lax voter registration laws.
Helms makes no effort to present the other side of the story on any of the claims made during the panel, and that includes von Spakovsky's version of the Georgia case.
In fact, as Slate's Dalia Lithwick details, von Spakovsky has a long history of acting in a partisan manner on voting issues, acting against Democratic interests and in favor of Republican ones. Regarding the Georgia law von Spakovsky championed, Lithwick states that "State and federal courts later found that statute unconstitutional."
Helms also writes that "Democrats killed a law this year that would have ensured that all military absentee ballots would be sent home via Express Mail instead of languishing for three weeks via regular mail. The Democrats sided with the postal service union, which opposed the measure," then quoted another panelist, "Virginia lawyer, Republican activist, and party consultant" Roman Buhler, as saying, "They clearly don't want the military to vote." In fact, as the Armed Forces Press Service points out, all properly submitted absentee ballots are counted in every general election, meaning that arrival time is irrelevant.
Graham Just Can't Quit Tim Mahoney Topic: NewsBusters
Cover Tim Mahoney's adultery, dammit!
That's the central message of Tim Graham's Oct. 24 post, which, like a previous Graham post, expresses annoyance that Florida congressman Mahoney's adultery isn't on the lips of people the same way the page-buggering of the man Mahoney replaced in Congress, Mark Foley. This time around, he compains that Mahoney was rated by Newsweek as slightly more dignified than the outright lie told by Sarah Palin about the Troopergate scandal.
Graham went on to whine that "Time and Newsweek blatantly enjoyed the Mark Foley scandal two years ago, and Foley’s face "graced" the cover of Newsweek," adding: "Foley wasn't just a massive story, it was also the subject of major media polls. Newsweek assertively polled and found that 52 percent thought House Speaker Dennis Hastert tried to cover it up." Graham fails to note that there was, in fact, actual evidence that Hastert and the Republican House leadership knew about Foley's inappropriate behavior toward pages for years but did little about it.
I dare not question Obama's messianic status, or I too might become a victim of media assassination (like Joe the Plumber) or Secret Service investigation (like Jessica Hughes). Apparently the most efficient method of establishing the credentials of the Messiah is to beat the holy crap out of any critics. This sends the message to the rest of the world that awkward and unvetted questions are bad, evil and sinful. And if the Messiah blurts out an inconvenient truth, such as telling Joe the Plumber that his modest and hard-earned wealth will be "spread around," then the angels … er, the media, hastily covers up the mistake by assassinating Joe. Clever.
According to the link Lewis supplied, Hughes did not "question Obama's messianic status"; in fact, she was accused of making a death threat toward Obama and, subsequently, was paid a visit by the Secret Service, which investigates all perceived death threats against presidential candidates.
Timmerman Signs On to Obama Birth Certificate Lie Topic: Newsmax
An Oct. 24 Newsmax article by Kenneth Timmerman promotes Philip Berg's lawsuit over Barack Obama's birth certificate and accepts Berg's argument that the Obama campaign's failure to respond to the lawsuit means that everything Berg accuses is true.
Timmerman does some token reporting of the other side of the story -- citing "respected conservative blogger Ed Morrissey" as calling the Berg lawsuit a "conspiracy theory" and stating at the bottom of the article that Berg's "credibility was tarnished by work he did for the far-left '9/11 for the Truth' campaign"-- but the bulk of the article is dedicted to building Berg's credibility.
Nowhere does Timmerman note that FactCheck.org found that the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign "meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship," or that even his right-wing rivals at WorldNetDaily have declared that "WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic" and that "Berg's lawsuit relies on discredited claims."
That's shoddy reporting on the part of Timmerman, who has clearly decided how he wants this story to turn out, facts be damned.
UPDATE: A Philadelphia judge has dismissed Berg's lawsuit, calling Berg's attempts to use certain laws to gain standing to pursue his claim that Obama was not a natural-born citizen -- favorably portrayed by Timmerman -- "frivolous and not worthy of discussion."
McCain Volunteer Admits Attack Hoax; Will ConWeb Care? Topic: The ConWeb
On Oct. 23, the ConWeb pounced on a McCain campaign volunteer's claim that she was mugged and attacked, including having a "B" carved onto her cheek, in Pittsburgh because her alleged assailant spotted a McCain bumper sticker on her car. CNSNews.com and Newsmax did articles, while NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard, in a post with the screaming headline "Obama Supporter Maims McCain Volunteer, Will Media Care?" howled: "it's going to be very interesting to see how this disgusting incident gets reported by Obama-loving media."
But with the "victim" now admitting the attack was a hoax, how will the ConWeb react?
CNS posted an updated story, though the original story remains posted and has not been updated to state that the attack in a hoax.
Newsmax and Sheppard are silent thus far.
UPDATE: Sheppard has updated his post to note the hoax, but leaves his original histrionics intact. Will he ever apologize for not applying even a smidge of skepticism to the woman's claims before touting them so enthusiastically?
UPDATE 2: Newsmax has posted an updated article, but the original remains posted without any notice that it's a hoax.
'Reality Check' Unreality: MRC Obfuscates McCain Ad Criticism Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 23 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes claims that "from the end of the primaries (June 4) through October 21 ... the networks aired nearly three times as many stories criticizing McCain's ads (84) as hitting Obama's (32)." But by including statistics from as far back as June, Noyes hides the fact that McCain's advertising has been much more negative in recent weeks than Obama's.
Apart from complaints about the accuracy of campaign ads, network reporters often disdained the negative tone of ads. Again, McCain was on the receiving end of nearly three times as many stories scolding his supposed negativity (66) as Obama (26). But according to the Wisconsin Advertising Project's review of ads from June 4 to October 4, and taking into account ads that include both positive and negative messages, "the tone of the McCain and Obama campaigns has been absolutely identical."
Analysis from the Wisconsin Advertising Project of Sen. John McCain’s advertising for the week of September 28 to October 4 shows, in fact, that all McCain campaign advertising did have significant negative content – either spots that were comprised completely of attacks on the Democratic nominee or ones that combined attacks on Sen. Barack Obama with some talk about Sen. McCain’s own plans.
Further, Noyes offers no breakdown of when in the time period examined those stories were aired. But as the WAP demonstrates, McCain has been more harshly negative than Obama in recent weeks, so it can be assumed that most of the coverage of McCain's negative advertising also happened in recent weeks, not in June as Noyes implies. Thus, Noyes distorts reality by falsely portraying McCain's and Obama's ads as equally negative throughout the entire campaign.