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Saturday, November 1, 2008
Cashill Complains That Everyone's Ignoring His Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill whines in a Nov. 1 WorldNetDaily column:

When historians tell the story of the 2008 election a century hence, they will tell how the ABETTO factor – A Blind Eye To The Obvious – finally undid America's once proud journalism establishment.

The following passage, one of the very few in the major media to condescend to the question of Barack Obama's altogether likely literary fraud, nicely captures the blindness.

"The bizarre accusation Jack Cashill made ... that Obama didn't write 'Dreams From My Father' (and that Bill Ayers did) has caught fire in the blogosphere and on talk radio."

So writes the proudly clueless Kirsten Powers in the only half-blind New York Post. The New York Times, at least, did not attack me. Nor did they see fit to cover the story.


What is truly "bizarre" – no, disgraceful – is that the major media are not all over this story.

Actually, no. In fact, the media seems to be acting quite responsibly in ignoring kooky conspiracy theories by a man who has a history of being proven consistently wrong -- who falsely insisted that James Kopp was innocent of killing Barnett Slepian and that Eric Rudolph was being framed for bombings at abortion clinics and the Atlanta Olympics.

Your conspiracy theory about Bill Ayers writing Obama's books is indeed "bizarre," Jack -- and you are rightly being ignored.

UPDATE: Remember when Cashill was crowing that "a British scholar of international repute" was looking into his conspiracy theory? That actually turned out to be correct. From a Nov. 2 London Times article:

Dr Peter Millican, a philosophy don at Hertford College, Oxford, has devised a computer software program that can detect when works are by the same author by comparing favourite words and phrases.

He was contacted last weekend and offered $10,000 (£6,200) to assess alleged similarities between Obama’s bestseller, Dreams from My Father, and Fugitive Days, a memoir by William Ayers.


The offer to Millican to prove that Ayers wrote Obama’s book was made by Robert Fox, a California businessman and brother-in-law of Chris Cannon, a Republican congressman from Utah. He hoped to corroborate a theory advanced by Jack Cashill, an American writer.

But that's not working out the way Cashill would like:

Millican took a preliminary look and found the charges “very implausible”. A deal was agreed for more detailed research but when Millican said the results had to be made public, even if no link to Ayers was proved, interest waned.

Millican said: “I thought it was extremely unlikely that we would get a positive result. It is the sort of thing where people make claims after seeing a few crude similarities and go overboard on them.” He said Fox gave him the impression that Cannon had got “cold feet about it being seen to be funded by the Republicans”.

UPDATE 2: Oxford's Millican writes in the London Times of his experience in getting drawn into all of this, and he takes apart Cashill's reasoning:

The trouble with these sorts of claims is that they are far too easy to make: take any two substantial memoirs from the same era and you are likely to be able to pick out a fair number of passages that have some similarities. Unless the similarities are really close (and they weren’t), just listing them makes no case at all, even if it might be enough to persuade some readers.

Cashill and friends – who were convinced but aware that more evidence would be needed to convince others – enlisted teams of analysts to try to give the theory a solid statistical basis. All of these analyses supposedly delivered positive results, but they seem badly flawed.


Oxford University Consulting, on my behalf, insisted quite properly that any such arrangement would have to be agreed before the results were known: there could be no question of carrying out an analysis that would be paid for only if the results came out in their favour. And I insisted that the analysis, once produced, would have to be in the public domain and thus made available to the Democrats also.

Having got to this stage, with texts and controls carefully prepared and special facilities added to Signature for the purpose, my little adventure into US politics ended. I was left with the impression that payment for propaganda was fine; but payment for objective research was quite a different matter.

Maybe one day I’ll go back and do the analysis in detail, but I doubt it. I would rather spend my time on serious research questions than on improbable theories proposed with negligible support.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:41 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, November 2, 2008 10:45 AM EDT
Waters Distorts, Omits Facts on Obama Fundraising
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Oct. 31 MRC TimesWatch item (and NewsBusters post), Clay Waters referenced "Barack Obama's sleazy online fundraising, where thanks to purposely lax security measures his site is able to receive untraceable donations from obviously fake names." Waters offers no evidence to back up his claim that the Obama campaign's "security measures" for donations are "purposely lax," beyond citing a Washington Post article claiming that the campaign has "chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts." By calling the campaign's action "purposely lax," Waters is mind-reading; he has no basis upon which to ascribe the malicious intent those words suggest.

Waters also fails to mention that Obama is not required under federal law to release the names of donors who give less than $250 to the campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 AM EDT
New Article: Mass Misinterpretation
Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb collectively misleads and lies about what Barack Obama said about the Supreme Court and the Constitution in a 2001 radio interview. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

The time for liberals to save their own political skins is now, before Nov. 4. They have an honorable, patriotic duty to stand up and say to America, “Stop right here! We want off this bus before it goes over the cliff. We were wrong about this Obama fellow. The evidence is now pouring in that he is not what he led us to believe. He is no liberal. He is a far-left radical and a mortal danger to this republic. Don’t give him your vote. He’s not getting mine.”

Will any of the leadership liberals do that? Do pigs fly? Do bears go in the middle of Times Square?

They’ve never tried.

If liberal Democrats fail to put country above party on Nov. 4 and if Obama wins, they can kiss their Democratic Party goodbye. They will deserve the political hell-fires they have stoked for themselves.

-- John L. Perry, Oct. 30 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EDT
Friday, October 31, 2008
Newsmax, NewsBusters' Double Standard on Reporters Booted from Campaign Planes
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 31 Newsmax article by Rick Pedraza begins:

In what many are saying might be a disturbing sign of things to come if Sen. Barack Obama becomes the nation’s 44th president, the Democratic nominee’s campaign tossed several McCain-endorsing reporters from traveling on its plane. 

Similarly, Matthew Sheffield writes in an Oct. 31 NewsBusters post:

In what could be seen as a disturbing sign for the future, the Barack Obama presidential campaign has blocked the Washington Times newspaper from traveling with the Democratic nominee in the final days of the election.


Update 9:57. Drudge is reporting (ht Blazer) that the New York Post and the Dallas Morning News are also blocked.  Is it a coincidence that all three booted papers have endorsed John McCain for president?

Blocking the Post is even more of an outrage considering that it is the sixth most popular newspaper in the country with a circulation of over 600,000.

Neither Pedraza nor Sheffield mention -- let alone criticize -- the fact that John McCain's campaign has also booted reporters who wrote things they didn't like of his campaign plane. Time's Joe Klein and the New York Times' Maureen Dowd are just two of them.

Indeed, by contrast, NewsBusters defended McCain kicking Dowd off the plane. From an Oct. 2 post by Warner Todd Huston:

Let's face it, Dowd is not a journalist. She is an opinion editorialist. She does not report, she opines. She simply cannot be expected to present unbiased news. McCain knows that he cannot even breathe without Dowd calling it a crime against humanity so that makes her a perfectly legitimate target for dismissal. There is just no expectation of fairness with a Maureen Dowd. Everyone knows it.

If more campaigns did this to media types that merely express opinions as opposed to reporting what is going on with the campaign one might expect that we'd get more serious news as opposed to constant personal opinion.

So, good on ya, John McCain. 

One more thing: If, as Pedraza writes, the booted reporters are "McCain-endorsing reporters," doesn't that mean they have a bias that reporters aren't supposed to have? Calling Brent Bozell ...

Posted by Terry K. at 4:22 PM EDT
Speaking of Amnesia ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 30 WorldNetDaily article on Philip Berg's "lawsuit alleging Obama is ineligible to be president because of possible birth in Kenya" once again fails to mention its own previous reporting that Berg's lawsuit "relies on discredited claims" and that "A separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate [showing him to be born in Hawaii] utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:24 PM EDT
Aaron Klein's Amnesia (And Dishonesty)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein must have a serious short-term memory problem.

Just one day after Klein (grudgingly and under protest, we can presume) wrote an article acknowledging that John McCain has ties with Rashid Khalidi, an Oct. 30 article by Klein again obsesses on "Rashid Khalidi, who has been closely tied to Sen. Barack Obama" -- with no mention whatsoever of the McCain ties he had admitted just two short days ago.

What you won't find, of course, is any mention by Klein of what others are reporting about Khalidi: that he is "respected by people on the right as well as the left," and "someone who has always reached out to all sides in the debate about the future of Israel and Palestine."

Klein's simply too dishonest to tell both sides of the Khalidi story to his readers. He would rather smear Obama than tell the full truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EDT
Kessler Just Can't Quit Mitt Romney
Topic: Newsmax
Like a lover checking up on an old flame, Ronald Kessler devotes his Oct. 30 Newsmax column to Mitt Romney's attacks on Barack Obama. Kessler gets a lilttle old-time fluffing in as well, promoting Romney's PAC and sycophantically asking him if he'll run again in 2012.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 PM EDT
WND Smears Obama By Editing His Words
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 30 WorldNetDaily article states:

A newly posted video on YouTube has captured Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama appearing to suggest that America after World War II had similarities to Nazi Germany.

In the video, Obama is on WBEZ radio in Chicago discussing the Supreme Court opinions on civil rights during the time America was dealing with Jim Crow laws.

He states, "You've got the doctrines of Nazism that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what's going on back here at home."

But WND and the video edit Obama's words. As Media Matters detailed when Sean Hannity did the same thing -- is WND simply treating what right-wing radio hosts say as actual news? -- Obama was specifically speaking in the context of the rights of African-Americans. Here's the complete statement made by Obama, with they key statement WND didn't report in bold:

[T]here's a lot of change going on outside of the court that, you know, the judges have to essentially take judicial notice of. I mean, you've got World War II. You've got the doctrines of Nazism that we are fighting against that start looking uncomfortably similar to what's going on back here at home. You've got African Americans who are returning from the war with certain expectations in terms of, "Why is it that I'm now in uniform and yet am denied more freedom here than I was in France or Italy?"

The article repeated an old smear regarding that same Obama radio interview claiming that Obama "suggested his disappointment that the U.S. Supreme Court never had gone beyond the constraints of the Constitution and established wealth redistribution plans." In fact, he suggested no such thing.

Speaking of smears, Joseph Farah uses his Oct. 31 column to claim that the radio interview WND keeps lying about "leaves no doubt that Obama, the likely next president of the U.S., believes the Constitution needs to be scrapped, rewritten or, even more dangerously, reinterpreted by activist judges to permit what it clearly does not permit in plain English – the use of government to redistribute wealth to achieve what he terms "economic justice in society."

But Farah makes the mistake of relying on his own website for evidence of this. The Oct. 27 WND article to which Farah links as evidence to support his claim contains numerous false and misleading claims about Obama's words, as we've noted.

How can lies make something "clear" to Farah? How can Farah be so dishonest as to present such an opinion to his readers on the basis of lies?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:31 AM EDT
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

An Oct. 30 appearance by the MRC's Seton Motley on "Fox & Friends" followed the template: Motley appeared solo, and he's not identified as a conservative partisan.

An Oct. 29 appearance by Motley on Fox News' "America's Election HQ" followed the template as well. In his discussion with host Megyn Kelly of a videotape of Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi that the Los Angeles Times won't publicly release, neither Kelly nor Motley mentioned that Khalidi also has ties to John McCain, as even MRC division has reported.

An Oct. 26 Fox News appearance (in two separate segments) by Motley followed the template too. In discussing the Obama campaign's shutout of an Orlando TV station over harsh questions to Joe Biden, neither Motley nor his Fox News host mentioned that McCain does the same thing.

Does Motley (not to mention the MRC) have an exclusive deal with Fox News that he gets only softball questions, is never identified as a conservative, and is never forced to appear with anyone who might contradict his McCain-ordained talking points?

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 AM EDT
Meanwhile, Over At HuffPo...
Topic: The ConWeb
In case you missed the original, we now have a version of our article on ConWeb writers desperately smearing Barack Obama up at Huffington Post.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
WND Repeats Vadum's ACORN Smear
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 30 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeats attacks on ACORN made by the conservative Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum -- right down Vadum's headline smear "ACORN: Who Funds the Weather Underground's Little Brother?" As we detailed, Vadum's attempt to link ACORN to the Weather Underground is a lie because ACORN is not a terrorist group, and Vadum also makes several false and misleading claims about ACORN.

It's typical lazy Unruh reporting, based only on Vadum's CRC report, with only a token phone call to ACORN headquarters to create the illusion that he was interested in telling both sides of the story (apparently oblivious to the fact that there are numerous other places he could obtain that information).

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Newsmax Bashes Obama, Ignores That McCain Engaged in Same Behavior
Topic: Newsmax

An Oct. 30 Newsmax article by David Patten called Barack Obama "the first presidential candidate to opt out of the public system of financing presidential campaigns" and regurgitated the McCain campaign's criticism of Obama for opting out.

But Obama is not the first candidate to "opt out of the public system of financing presidential campaigns" and break a promise in doing so -- McCain is.

McCain took part in the campaign finance system for the primary, and his campaign even took out a bank loan using the matching funds he would get through the system as collateral. But once he began doing better in the primaries, McCain declared he was opting out of the system for the primaries (coincidentially, as he was reaching the system's spending limit for the primary season), despite an opinion from Federal Election Commission chairman David Mason that McCain cannot legally opt out of public financing for the primary season without FEC approval and despite using public matching funds as loan collateral.

Patten makes no mention of this.

Similarly, an Oct. 30 article by Dave Eberhart reporting that "John McCain has highlighted the fact that throughout the campaign, his opponent Barack Obama's 'definition of rich has a way of creeping down.'" without also noting that McCain's definition of "rich" begins at $5 million.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:28 PM EDT
Horowitz Spreads Obama Lies
Topic: Horowitz

In an Oct. 30 FrontPageMag article taking Christopher Hitchens to task for endorsing Barack Obama and criticizing Sarah Palin, David Horowitz repeats numerous false claims about Obama.

-- Horowitz references "Syrian criminal Tony Reszko [sic], who gave him his house." Rezko did not "give" Obama his house; he purchased the vacant lot next door, the sale of which was a condition of Obama being able to purchase the house.

-- Horowitz writes: "It was in [William] Ayers’ living room that Obama launched his campaign for Alice Palmer’s left-wing seat." In fact, Obama formally announced launched his campaign at a Ramada Inn, and numerous home gatherings, like the one at Ayers' home, were held around the same time.

-- Horowitz writes, "it was Ayers himself who hired Obama to spend the $50 million Ayers had raised to finance an army of anti-American radicals drawn from ACORN and other nihilistic groups to recruit Chicago school children to their political causes." In fact, "Ayers himself" played no apparent role in hiring Obama as chairman of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Further, actual educators have said that the CAC's work actually "reflected ... mainstream thinking among education reformers," not the views of "nihilistic groups."

-- Horowitz writes: "When his benefactor Alice Palmer changed her mind about passing him her senate seat, he refused to give it back. When she and two other black candidates attempted to challenge him in the primaries, he went to court to prevent them from running at all. He preferred to disenfranchise their supporters than win in an election." In fact, Obama challenged the petition signatures to put Palmer and the other opponents on the ballot -- a common procedure used to combat electoral fraud, which is supposed to be a big deal to people like Horowitz when ACORN is allegedly engaging in it.

When he isn't lying about Obama, Horowitz is engaging in a lengthy anti-Obama screed. But if Horowitz can't get basic facts right, why trust him on his ranting?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EDT
WND: Obama Is Manchurian Candidate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Earlier this year, David Kupelian set the tone for WorldNetDaily's rabid, falsehood-laden anti-Obama jihad by endorsing John McCain. Kupelian is back, declaring in an Oct. 30 column that Barack Obama really is the Manchurian candidate:

Barack Obama was programmed for years by his atheist, Muslim father, by the communist sex pervert Frank Marshall Davis, by con man Tony Rezko, by domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and others – most of all by black liberation theology screamer Jeremiah Wright. Obama's resume is largely manufactured. There is a total blackout on his college years. His campaign obscures what he did as a "community organizer." All his radical associations are denied or minimized. His miserable legislative record (voting "present" over 100 times to avoid taking a stand), his lack of achievement, his radical views and so on – all have been laundered through the magic of public relations into the near-sacred saga of "The One" who has been sent to serve, and to save, America.


America has a choice Tuesday between a genuine war hero and a genuine Manchurian candidate.

The funny thing is, just a few years back, WND was promoting the idea that McCain was the Manchurian candidate. 

An August 2001 WND column by Samuel Blumenfeld bashed "Republican liberal" McCain for contemplating an mavericky "Bull Moose" approach that would harm the Republican Party. Noting McCain's "sudden metamorphosis from conservative to liberal," Blumenfeld stated that "It is highly probable that McCain learned at least as much about the Marxist class struggle while undergoing forced communist indoctrination during his five years at Hanoi as any American student learns at a liberal state university." After citing a Camille Paglia column suggesting that McCain might be a Manchurian candidate, Blumenfeld writes:

The implication is that McCain subliminally absorbed communist doctrine as a result of his five-year captivity. If that is the case, then he ought to subject himself to deprogramming. The strength and vehemence of his liberal convictions, the fact that he considers himself to be a war criminal, would indicate that he very profoundly absorbed the communist critique of the American system. Is it possible that the communists have perfected a time-release form of indoctrination? That would account for the sudden switch in ideology at a very crucial period – a campaign for the presidency. Leaving speculation aside, however, we don't need conjecture to face this hard fact: The last thing America needs in the White House is a self-admitted war criminal.

As we've documented, virtually all criticism of McCain on WND's news pages disappeared when McCain became the de facto Republican nominee back in February. Thus, you won't see Kupelian referencing a column by Jack Wheeler WND published before McCain clinched the Republican nomination, in which he called McCain "psychologically unstable" and a "nutcase wack job," then asserted that McCain "collaborat[ed] with his Communist captors" while a POW -- not even to denounce it. Nor will Kupelian reference Blumenfeld's column calling McCain the Manchurian candidate.

Why? Probably because he hates Obama too much to remind their readers that he, despite all his blather about McCain being a "genuine war hero," secretly hates McCain too.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 30, 2008 1:22 PM EDT

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